Tweaking the twin: Its evolution and a rare beast
Honda was only too aware of the CB92’S potential and offered a tuning kit that would turn an already potent road machine into a production racer. The race kit contained: megaphone exhausts, freer flowing downpipes, single seat, revised minimal wiring loom, tacho, starter motor cover, revised alternator, upgraded cam-chain adjuster, a selection of sprockets, pistons, carburettor, camshaft, coil, spark plugs, shocks, handlebars, brake vent, tyres, footrests, plus nuts and bolts drilled ready to lock wire. This kit then turned a CB92 into a CB92R and although some bikes are now sold as CB92RS there’s little substantive evidence that Honda actually produced such a model. Those that know believe it was possible that a few specially selected dealers fitted the kits to showroom models prior to customers buying what they thought were ‘official factory racers’. Produced from 1959 through to 1964 the CB92 Super Sport Benly was based around the C92 commuter and although the basic profile changed little there were numerous detail differences. Earlier models were variously equipped with alloy tanks and front guards rather than painted steel items along with magnesium brake hubs. This last item may well have been stock left over from Honda’s 1959 Mount Asama race effort. Lights, silencers, fuel taps and even handlebars and clamps all changed as Honda sought to reduce parts proliferation across models. Finally, two years before the model was deleted, Honda swapped out the iron cylinder block for an alloy version. Today CB92S are not exactly common but there’s a super rare version that the most ardent Benly fans covet. Named the CB95 the bike runs a 150cc top end but there are so few known to exist no one can be absolutely certain about when they were made and for how long. Yet there’s one piece of folklore that seems reasonably well substantiated. In the run up to the 1959 TT, the Honda team members needed to learn the circuit if they were to stand any chance of not going home in disgrace. It’s well documented that they acquitted themselves well claiming 6th, 7th, 8th and 11th in the 125cc light weight class using dedicated works racers. What’s not so well known is that the team grasped the intricacies of the circuit on CB92 Benlys fitted with 150cc cylinders and pistons: CB95 or official TT course learning machines? Probably we’ll never know!