Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's

Cycle News 1973 01 30

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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M .& 0.. ,... M en c' .. .., ~ w Z W ..J tJ > tJ A little zero speed, off-camber work revealed surprising balance control and Infinit ely desirable throttle response. the handling is d ocile . It must be at le ast somewhat con fid en ce-in spiring. One eleven year -old girl , like so m an y o f the y ounger generation o f m otorcy clists, learned to ride on it, as did a 2 7 year-old girl. T he automatic trans helps of course, as does the very sh ort turning radius. The quick handling is also on e of the features that gives the Trail 90 a lot of its p erson ality : fun. Nobody ever really had a b ad time riding it. It was ridden touring (really), in trials work, on Saddleback's TT co urse , and up p ower line cuts on razorback ridges. It was also p res sed into service as an around-town p ackage pick-up machine. The Honda did these things as uncomplainingly as faith ful Old Paint is reputed to do them. But you couldn't afford to get too vigorous with y o ur cornering at any speed above ' 10 MPH. The near vertical fo rks wo uld j u st lay right over p e rp endicu lar to the frame with mi n im um warning and interesting results. That same characteristic enable d waggish staffers to boggle some p uri sts ' minds by motoring through trials sec ti ons at zer o to five MPH , co ming to comp le te stops, turning th e fron t end in the desired direction and motoring -off again . Chuckle. The 90 also tempted riders to do bizarre things like ride up and down stone step s and over wal ls. It was well nigh impossible to avoid enjoying yourself while whirring around with a silly grin on your face , occasionally tee -heeing a Ii ttle as if big time Real Man Motorcycle Testers couldn't be taking all this seriously. In the meantime , this strange-lo ooking orange mo torcy cle was doing everything well within its area of intende d use. It even did some things acceptably for which it was never intended and it did them in a willing, friend-winning way. Faithful mechanical steed and all that. The very low weight and low CG didn't hurt a thing in performing these tricks. The 89.5cc displacement engine seems to get lost o n the b ike. You loo k way down on the frame to fm d a small finned collection of metal po king When It was t ime to go home from work. the CT-90 made a graceful exit. 8 he is unfalteringly climb ing up to where he thinks he wants to go with the altitude compensator on the 16 m m carb pulled out as he shifts between first an d second in the trail range. The b ike can probably go close to 400 miles with the gas it carries (in cluding the spare tank snap-locked to th e rear fen der) and during that time perform with virtually . no more attention than required by its co un terpart, the pack horse. Let the horse graze; lube the chain on the CT ·90 occasionally. So how did horse an d Ho nda stack up ? Maybe the be st way to co m e to a con clusion is to look at their abilities poin t by poin t , head to head. Goodies incl ude a gian t baggage rack and a detachable reserve tank w ith filler hose. One of life 's great advent ures: learning to ride tho usands have taken thei r first ever spin on a 90. forward horizontally toward th e fro n t wh eel. "Th at is going to carry me , a friend, and a bunch of gear up that hill ? Remarkable," And it is becau se it d oes. You definitely have to use th e trail . gearing for anything but flatland riding. The stre e t gearing won't take it up a 40-degree slope asphalt' driveway in first ; another instance where lower overall gearing in the street range would benefit th e machine. The engine will take a ride r an d his gear many, many miles b ack into the boonies with total reliability. A picture of a deer hunter about 80 miles from the end of the dirt road going up a mountainside a t 9000 ft. comes to mind. Hi s speed is maybe five MPH but gOec's of letha l power and an altitude compensat ing carbo H AN D LI N G Naturally the low speed stability of (Continue d on page 3 7) moto rcyc le. So ichiro knows ho w many HARD TO DETECT SPECS CT 90 K4 Wheel Base 048.0 in. Seat Height 30.5 in . FootPegHeight 11.4in. Ground Clearan ce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . ... . ... . . • . . ..... : . .6. 7 in . Dry Weigh t 194 lb. 1.4 U.S . gal. Fue l Capacity Fuel R eserve Capacit y 0.2 U.S. gal . plus 0.6 1 U.S. gal . in sub tan k Ai r cooled, 4-str o ke O .H .C. en gine T ype o f Engine Sin gle cylin d er, 75 d egr ees in clin ed fro m vertical Cylinder Arrangeme nt 50 mm x 45.6 mm Bore and S tro ke Displ acem en t 89 .5cc Compressio n Ra tio 8. 1: I Pist on valve ty pe , dia, 16 mm Carbu retor, Venturi Dia Transmission A ·speed , con stan t me sh Gear.Sh ift Pa tt ern D ow-4·3 ·2-I·N - Up , left foot return ty pe Kick starter S tartm g Sy st em So we leave Our happy Honda 90 rider putting about the hillsides of life w ith a never-quit m otor between his feet and a sillv R on his face . rin

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