Bravo, Benly!

Scoop re­sam­ples Honda’s sem­i­nal mi­cro-sports twin: the CB92 Benly.

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - CLASSIC RIDE - WORDS: STEVE COOPER PHO­TOS: GARY D CHAP­MAN

As a highly-val­ued reader of CMM, you should have ev­ery ex­pec­ta­tion that the copy you read is ac­cu­rate, fresh and un­bi­ased. Apolo­gies, as while I can com­ply with the first two I’m go­ing to strug­gle with the last. I sam­pled a Honda CB92 more than a decade ago, com­ing away ut­terly cap­ti­vated. And to­day I’ve an­other chance to ride the leg­endary CB92 Benly Su­per Sport. I’m like a dog with two tails; these lit­tle guys re­ally float my boat and I’m not the only one thus be­sot­ted. You see, in the very late 1970s (when old Ja­panese bikes were gen­er­ally per­ceived as just so much junk) a small but ded­i­cated group of odd­balls be­gan restor­ing ori­en­tal motorcycles. From this small cadre of fans for all motorcycles Ja­panese was born the Amer­i­can arm of the VJMC (Vin­tage Ja­panese Mo­tor­cy­cle Club). Even that far back one of the must-have ma­chines was the Honda CB92, aka the Benly Su­per Sport. De­spite the bike’s odd styling and ap­par­ently frankly per­verse colours of­fered on some ma­chines, the lit­tle 125cc OHC twin had gar­nered a small le­gion of fans. In the Benly’s hey­day if you wanted a four-stroke then Honda was your only op­tion and, for­tu­itously, the com­pany then had the largest num­ber of deal­ers State­side which meant bet­ter cus­tomer sup­port. Also many didn’t trust two-strokes at that point in time and this played right into Honda’s hands. Fac­tor in overtly pos­i­tive press re­ports on the small Honda twins and it wasn’t long be­fore the Benly be­came the bike that peo­ple with as­pired to. So it’s rather for­tu­nate that we have ac­cess to CMM sup­porter Karl Chad­wick’s ex­quis­ite ex­am­ple. When we rock up at his garage and I start slaver­ing over the CB92 he pops the fol­low­ing ques­tion: “Do you want it with the black seat on or shall I get the red one down and fit­ted?” Benly devo­tees know that the red bikes nor­mally came with a black perch while the dark blue ones ar­rived with an out­ra­geously bright red one. This, in­ci­den­tally, was an arte­fact of the very ear­li­est Hon­das

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