Granddaddy: 1960 Honda Super Cub 50

052716 Barn Finds - 1960 HONDA C100 - 1

This is the one that started it all. Well, not thee exact “one”, but the model that got Honda on its feet. This 1960 Honda Super Club 50 is in Ethyl, Washington and is listed on eBay with fairly spirited bidding, but the current bid is just over $100. It doesn’t look 100% original to me so maybe this one deserves a restoration over the winter.

052716 Barn Finds - 1960 HONDA C100 - 2

The seller just “acquired an estate collection of 12 1960s-1985 Honda motorcycles”. I’d love to know what else was in that mix! The Super Cub (not Supper Club, that makes me hungry) can be compared to the Jeep, Model T, or VW Beetle as a vehicle that became iconic in the last century. This one is missing the engine shroud which really makes the look, if a person can say that about a 50cc scooter. Honda was hoping to make a “nice” motorcycle, as compared to the rough and tumble image that motorcycles, and some motorcyclists, had in those days.

052716 Barn Finds - 1960 HONDA C100 - 3

This paint on this one looks like it’s been “touched up” over the years, which is unfortunate; original is king when you’re pulling something out of a barn. But, this would be a fun winter restoration project. Here’s a gentleman starting and riding one on YouTube, just so you can hear the classic sound that they make. The Super Cub hit the market in 1958 and in 1959, American Honda opened its doors and the Super Cub made its first trip to a foreign market. This little thing is basically the granddaddy of the Honda that we know and love today, at least the motorcycle arm of Honda.

052716 Barn Finds - 1960 HONDA C100 - 4

Speaking of little things, this is Honda’s 50cc four-stroke engine; like a little sewing machine. In 1956, Soichiro Honda and Takeo Fujisawa toured Germany and saw small motorcycles everywhere and came up with a plan to produce a similar vehicle. The plastic engine cover and leg shields really made the look of these things so you’ll want to source one of those. A requirement of Fujisawa was that a rider would be able to carry a tray of soba noodles while driving, a powered noodle-delivery-bike, so to speak. They figured that they’d sell a lot of them, and they were right. I have never owned a Super Cub but I would love to get one someday. Have any of you ever owned or ridden a Honda Super Cub?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    My very 1st motorcycle was a 1965 one like this, only red. This one appears to have been modified, as I doubt that front fender, knobby tires, or rear sprocket are stock. Also, mine had an enclosed chain, and the guard is missing. Someone tried to make this bike what it’s not, a dirt bike. I know, me and my brother tried the same thing with ours. It sure took a lot of abuse. On these, there was no hand clutch, per se. The clutch was disengaged when you moved the shift lever, plus, it was centrifugal too, somehow. I’ll never forget the shift pattern, one click back, 2 down for 2nd, ( to go through neutral) and another down for 3rd. I think we had it up to 42 mph, with the faring removed and the air cleaner open ( not sure that added any speed, but we thought it did) Also, if you held the shift lever up,with your toe it disengaged the clutch, and we’d rev it up and “dump” the lever, to spin the back tire. Can’t believe it took that,,,for years. This little bike started a life long love of motorcycling,( I’ve owned dozens of bikes) and even though, I don’t own one now,( been the longest I’ve been without one) I do plan on getting another, just not a Honda 50 again. But it all started with this.

    • RayT Member

      We had two of these when they were new, both “Trail 50s” with knobbed tires and a larger rear sprocket (but not like the one shown here). We bought a plastic road fairing from the dealer for the one my sister rode at college.

      Dead reliable, not fast, but certainly an improvement over my 10-speed!

      Like 1
  2. jeff myers

    There’s a sign as you drive the road to Ethyl.
    It says “Entering Ethyl”.
    Just up the road from town of Packwood.

  3. rangeroger

    My first motorcycle in 1963 was one of these also. That rear sprocket is stock, mine had one just like it. If you look closely at it you’ll see the street sprocket inside the large one. The large sprocket was bolted to a carrier on the hub inside of the small one. To go off-road, you removed a quick link from the chain, moved the big sprocket over, and then from your tool bag you got the extra length of chain and linked it all back together. I spent a lot of time on the fire trails in the San Bernardino Mountains with that bike just puttin’.
    On the street side, I removed the muffler,clamped a piece of straight copper pipe, and slipped the diffuser back in. I found a beautiful little D’ellorto carb at the local Ducati shop and put it on. Bike was good for over 65 mph and I kept breaking the speedo cable. Got clocked by a friend one time at over 70.
    Great little bike. Got rid of it when I went in the Navy in ’66.
    Later 55cc and the Trail 90’s had an off-road sprocket that all you had to do was move a lever to shift sprockets.

  4. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    most likely later – 1964 – if I had the serial # I’d look in my book…..

    • Boo

      It’s definitely a 1960. Lots of details are different to the later ones.
      Note things like separate rear mounting holes for legshields (shared with engine mount bolt from ’61) two clutch adjuster bolts (single from ’62) tiny tail lamp lens (bigger in ’62 then much bigger from ’63)

      Like 2
  5. NickF

    I think this bike might be more than it appears at first glance. I own a matched set of Trail 55’s which were the first “trail” bikes Honda produced. The inspiration for the Trail 55 was the early Cubs that were modified by some west coast dealers/owners. The story is that when Honda set up in Long Beach and appointed dealers on the west coast they were surprised by how many Cubs were being ordered by non L.A. dealers. Upon investigation they learned that some dealers (I believe in Washington state) were removing the fairing and front fender and installing a sprocket adapter to give the bikes more torque for hunting and fishing. Upon seeing the effect the company decided (in 1963?) to create the Trail 55. My guess is that this one is a converted Cub which is pretty rare. Comments anyone?

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Nick, I agree. The Trail 55 had a small seat and the little rack, which this one doesn’t have. I just noticed that skid plate too. That’s an add on. I bet you are right. Also, I don’t remember too many blue ones. Mostly red or white. Could the blue been a special deal? A little too fancy for just a back yard kid, like me. Thanks for the ad.

      • Boo

        The 55 also has extended rear shock mounts on alloy brackets, putting both shocks outboard of the swingarm… This has just the left shock extended to clear the big sprocket, the right one remaining inboard of the swingarm, as seen on the Herb Uhl dealer conversion and also Honda’s first C100T 50cc trail before the 55.
        Also, it could well have been blue originally (a subtler shade than this repaint though) .. Road going C100s came in Maruem Blue originally.

    • Scotty G

      I think you nailed it, NickF (and Howard).

    • Boo

      I’ve just noticed, looking at the pics full size, there are remains of the welds where the 1959-60 style ‘hanging’ engine mount has been removed from the downtube.. Further confirmation that it’s probably one of the first dealer-converted trail versions (Herb Uhl in Boise, Idaho I believe)
      An interesting piece of Cub history for sure! Hope it found an appreciative home.

      I’ve attached a pic of an original early 1960 Cub with the mount intact.

  6. NickF

    The low exhaust slung exhaust and bullet type taillight are other giveaways. In the ebay pics you can see some Scarlet Red showing thru the blue. This configuration has only one slide switch on the handlebar for hi/lo beam which I believe is typical of the very earliest Cubs. Later Cubs had blinkers which necessitated two slide switches, left for blinkers, right for hi/lo I believe. The rear ring sprocket appears to be fabricated. The seller stated 50cc but I thought the “Super Cub” as the logo says was the 55cc. Here’s a pic of an early Cub at the Honda Collection Hall in Japan.

    Like 1
    • Boo

      Super Cub badge was normal on very early US Cubs.. Replaced with ‘Honda 50’ badging after Piper aircraft said no.

      Like 1
  7. Bill

    Wondering if you could help me out. I have, I think a 1964 super cub 55. Motor serial #C105E-64343, frame serial #C105-JO4631. There is aolso a serial # at the neck of the frame 0640630. I am trying to confirm the year to find parts as well as the paint code. It was blue color. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Cheers

  8. NickF

    got any pics?

  9. bill majovsky

    Here are some.

    Like 1
    • NickF

      I would say you’re correct. Obviously it’s missing the most visible evidence of a Cub but you can see it retains the air cleaner bracket for its fairing. Color looks similar to an earlier post of mine from the Honda Collection Hall (taken by a friend) and you can visit their site for visual info at http://world.honda.com/collection-hall/. Missing the right engine cover … I think I have that.

      • Boo

        I posted the colour code as a reply to the original comment.

  10. bill majovsky

    Another

    • NickF

      ( I thought I replied already but I don’t see it here, pardon me if I’m repeating). I believe you are correct. The pics seem to indicate a Super Cub with a missing fairing. Long seat, blinkers, enclosed chain drive, even an extra bracket on the air cleaner I believe. As far as the color, I suggest you reference a bike from the Collection Hall in Japan (world.honda.com) as you can be sure of an accurate rendering. That’s a nice little bike. Attached is one of my Trail 55s – about 90% complete.

  11. bill majovsky

    serial#

  12. bill majovsky

    serial # also

    • Boo

      Mid 1964. See my Nov 25th reply to your original comment up the page.. Colour code is in the answer too!

  13. bill majovsky

    Thanks, very helpful. going to paint in the spring. About to start tearing engine down to see what problems might arise there.

    • NickF

      How did you make out with your resto?

  14. James

    my barn find. I believe it’s a 1960

    Like 1
  15. Tim Watson

    Hi guys I have a what is registered as a 1966 Honda c100 but it’s different it has no front indicators at all never been filled the bars are as they where as it left factory. The right switch also has no switch it’s blank????

  16. NickF

    The configuration is similar to the CA105T but I presume it is not as you would have figured that out. So I would say what you have is a C100 as opposed to a CA100 (American). google.co.uk will show you pics of British C100s with those non functioning blinkers. Also there was the C102/CA102 but I’m not sure what their differences were … electric start? I mostly concentrate on the CA105T. Good luck. I’ll be interested to hear what the experts say.

  17. NickF

    I apologize if I’m reposting on this. Your configuration is similar to the CA105T (Trail 55) with the silver/clear non-functional blinker lens. Plugs in the rear fender side holes? Some had electrics, some didn’t. Is it the C100 vs CA100? Is your similar to the pic above posted by James?

  18. Fletch

    My little scoot is a ’63 CA102, originally would have been electric start. It has a Chinese 110cc transplant with a four speed transmission and 12v. I plan on it to replace the ’78 Vespa Bravo as a pit bike at the drag races in Kent WA.

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