‘Go low-tech this win­ter’

Why an old Honda Benly will keep you mov­ing through the cold

Motorcycle News (UK) - - BUYING & SELLING -

I hap­pen to like these things - they’re ut­terly bul­let-proof com­muter bikes with all the tech of a bul­lock cart. Drum brakes, en­closed chain, sin­gle carb, 6v electrics on the early ones, and an en­gine that was de­signed to run on paraf­fin and no main­te­nance. Imag­ine a twin-cylin­der CG125 and you’re pretty much there.

This one has done just 12,000 miles from new. It’s al­most all orig­i­nal, and it doesn’t ac­tu­ally go be­cause it has been stashed in the back of a garage since its owner died. But it will, I prom­ise you. I’ve re­sus­ci­tated these things be­fore. A new bat­tery, a carb clean, a points check (ask your dad), fresh fuel and I guar­an­tee it will live again.

I’m run­ning a Benly as a win­ter bike right now. Good, I mean re­ally good, ones fetch well over £1000 now, such is the de­mand for old clas­sic Hon­das - I paid a grand for mine. That’s silly, when you think I paid £840 for the Sprint. This one cost me £625, and I think it’ll go for £800-£850 when I’ve sorted it.

I hov­ered over an ebay BMW F800ST the other day, ag­o­nis­ing over whether to snap it up for £2300 or not, as no­body was bid­ding (and didn’t, in the end). I left it, be­cause I didn’t think the value was go­ing to go any­where, and BMWS (apart from old ones) aren’t that easy to sell pri­vately. I’m glad I didn’t, be­cause val­ues of these things seem to be tum­bling - you can get a re­ally good 2010-11 model for as little as two grand now. I cer­tainly dodged a bul­let there...

Neil rides a Ninja H2… and this

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