Tweak­ing the twin: Its evo­lu­tion and a rare beast

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - CLASSIC RIDE -

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!

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