1965 Honda S90
1965 Honda S90
For sale is my sympathetically restored 1965 Honda S90, an early model using the OHC 90cc Honda engine for the first time. This particular S90 was sold in 1965 from Shadco Honda main dealers in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It was imported to the UK in 2016 and I bought it from a motorcycle dealer in Swindon, Wiltshire that same year.
The bike was totally complete but required a really good restoration. I stripped the bike to its component form and reconditioned everything, replacing anything worn with NOS Honda parts. Remarkably, the paintwork, now 58 years old, is original on the main frame, fuel tank, air filter housing, etc. The tank is immaculate inside, and the speedometer is original and probably the best condition dial face I have seen. Chrome work is all original, not rechromed, and the handlebars are the correct Honda S90 with internal throttle cable design. Fuel tank badges are original, as are the chrome side panels. Wheel rims were replaced with brand new Honda items as the originals were looking tired (originals to go with bike). New tyres, tubes, and tapes were also installed.
The original 18″ wheels have an odd spoke pattern that uses spokes that are no longer available, so all spokes were carefully removed, polished, and re-zinc plated as original, then rebuilt into the original hubs and NOS rims. The quality of the early Hondas is lovely, with little details like the brake arm pivots having brass bushings pressed into the aluminum castings. Forks were stripped and rebuilt with new seals, cleaned, and all bushings checked for wear (none found).
The engine was stripped to the last nut and bolt and rebuilt with all new parts, bearings, and seals. I found the engine had been overbored, so I went to 104cc using a brand new piston assembly rehoned to exacting spec using the original Honda light alloy cylinder barrel (only used on the early S90s). A new ATV high torque camshaft was sourced from the USA, and new valves, seals, springs, rocker arms, DID cam chain, sprocket gaskets, etc., were installed. Everything that was originally zinc plated by Honda was replated with top quality zinc plate after a lot of pre-plating preparation work. The exhaust system is in excellent original condition with the odd mark on it but no rust, and it was too good to not use and so much better than an aftermarket version.
Another difference with the very early type is the cranked inlet manifold/carburettor/air box arrangement totally unique to the first year. The carb is still the original item, rejettled and tuned for the extra 14cc. It would be very easy to return the engine to 90cc if required, only requiring a cylinder sleeve/piston assembly and standard jetting for carburettor.
The rear wheel sprocket is geared so it cruises at a lot lower RPM in top gear, and it pulls nicely with the little extra capacity. The seat is original, not mint as it has a tiny split I repaired that isn’t in a critical area. Mudguards again are all original, as is the front and rear light assemblies, all retaining the correct Stanley part number coding. Original rubber foot peg rubbers and handle grips, original wiring loom/ignition switch with identification year and part number.
I spent 300 hours of restoration time alone on this bike, so obviously the selling price is nowhere near what it’s cost me in time and parts. The S90 was the USA’s answer to our Suzuki AP50s or FS1Es, as