Author Topic: Honda C50 - Walking the Dog  (Read 301 times)

Offline Radar

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Honda C50 - Walking the Dog
« on: October 13, 2006, 09:05:51 PM »
£25 represented nearly one week’s wages for me back in the dark days of “Maggies Britain” in 1981. However it was enough for me to buy my very first, honest to goodness motorcycle, a 1972 Honda C50. That’s right the ionic “stepthru”, regarded as a commuter hack for factory workers wearing yellow oilskins, a Hi Tec open face crash helmet and welly boots for riding gear here in the UK, but an institution in many parts of the world.

The nine years the little Honda had spent in the world since squirting out of Honda’s sprawling factory in Japan had not been too kind to it, and the things like a MOT and road tax were a long distant memory. However, I did not let this stop me having the maximum amount of fun on my “chrunchie”. The poor machine suffered at my hands, and this was before I let a multitude of my similarly brain dead mates have go on her too. One favourite trick for the group was to see how fast we could torture the Honda to go by the time it had reached the bottom of the road I lived on with my parents. This leafy Birmingham suburb had seen (or heard), nothing like it before as the Honda hurtled past their lace- lined windows with a variety ache ridden teenagers at the controls. The Honda’s exhaust had more holes in it than your average Tetley teabag, and emitted a screaming wail that reflected the unrelenting abuse that was been dished out to the bike. 41mph was the highest speed ever claimed by one the lads before he had to go the almost completely ineffective brakes, and send the leading link front forks lurching upwards (!), as the balding front tyre squealed for mercy. Only ever managed 40mph myself!

Another popular stunt was forcing the Honda to pull huge wheelies, very silly I know, but great fun all the same. The C50 was fitted with a semi-automatic 3-speed gearshift with no conventional clutch, but the gears had to be selected manually; one back for 1st and then two forward for 2nd and 3rd respectively. I soon discovered that if the gearlever was held down in first that the nuts could revved off the engine without the bike going anywhere, then by taking my foot off the lever the gear would suddenly engage. The C50 would then leap up into an enormous wheelie, but the clever bit came when I stepped off the back of the bike and walked along behind her, just keeping hold of the bars. Huge amounts of fun, this little trick as called “Walking the Dog”. Try that on your R1! On second thoughts DON’T try that on your R1!

The Honda continued to suffer terribly at my hands over the next weeks and months, as I experimented on it like some mad Nazi scientist. For example the quivering Honda was the first machine I attacked with my very first (Halfords), socket set. The results were scary. Bits of Honda lay randomly strewn across the garage. I used to hammer the Honda around the roads surrounding my parents’ house, all the time ignoring details such as MOT, tax, crash helmet and even licence. Looking back now it seems crazy, stupid even, but then I was just a kid having fun, so what the hell!
On one hair raising expedition of the lads agreed to be my first ever pillion passenger, and I nearly killed the pair of us as I clipped a kerb while trying to take a bend as fast the Honda would go, but just about kept control. My mate was really impressed…

My first brush with the boys in blue also came while the C50 was mine. The Honda had spent all morning doing the lap of the local houses when just as I got home the engine cried “enough!” and packed up. As I pushed the bike the final few yards a Police car appeared from nowhere and out popped two of HM’s finest;
“Have you been riding this son?” One bellowed in his best ‘Bill’ voice.
“No” I croaked, praying that they wouldn’t notice the engine was so hot that it was virtually glowing! Boy was I bricking myself!
But just as I thought I was about to be hauled away and introduced to Norman Stanley Fletcher up popped the cavalry in the shape of my rampaging Mother!
“Leave him alone and go catch some criminals!” she screamed at the somewhat startled rossers.
Before you could mutter “Hello, hello, hello what’s all this then?” they hopped back in their Jam Sandwich and buggered off. Clearly wise men, choosing not to take on an Irish mother protecting her blameless (!) son.

Finally I released the Honda from purgatory and sold it for the same amount I paid. However, I sold to another 16year old mate nicknamed ‘Mad Dan’, a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire if ever there was one! That poor, poor bike…

Offline HEATZ

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Honda C50 - Walking the Dog
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2006, 11:57:44 AM »
thumbs thumbs ahh the memories big grin
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Offline Radar

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Honda C50 - Walking the Dog
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2006, 04:50:24 PM »
Quote from: HEATZ;117795
thumbs thumbs ahh the memories big grin


I quite fancy another Chrunchie, I wonder if those cheap Chinese copies are any good?