Rare But Cheap: 1967 Honda SS50

1967 Honda SS50

Contrary to what one would initially think, rarity doesn’t usually have much bearing on value. We see lots of rare vehicles all the time that have little to no collectors value. The problem is that some sellers don’t seem to understand or realize that. They feel that because there is only one other one for sale, that clearly their car must be worth serious money. Well, thankfully the seller of this little Honda SS50 moped realizes that being rare doesn’t make it worth huge money. They are offering it here on eBay without a reserve and bidding has just gone over $300!

1967 Honda SS50 Moped

I’ll admit, I don’t know a ton about these little bikes. I know that they feature a tiny 49cc engine and that we didn’t get many (if any) officially imported to the states. This one was brought over by a serviceman who had been stationed overseas. They must have really enjoyed zipping around on it to make it worth bringing home! I’m not sure if I would want to ride it in modern day traffic, but it might not be too bad for just around town. It sure would save on fuel and you’d have a rather unique ride! So do any of you know more about the SS50? I know I would love to learn more about them!

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Comments

  1. fred

    This is one of the many vehicles I suddenly remember once owning when Barn Finds featured it (I had owed over 100 cars and bikes by age 25 and am now…ahem..older than 25). This and the 70cc version were plentiful at the time and (back then) were considered motorcycles rather than mopeds. Maybe the us version had a different model #? It was a fun bike that would top out at something like 40. The Hondells immortalized this bike in song…”Honda, Honda go faster,faster…”.

    A few years later I had a near death experience on a Honda 350 and swore off motorcycles.

    • Davnkatz

      I was in my last few years before military retirement and I had a 90cc for daily transportation from home to Fort Hood – about 20 miles. The 50c was considered a “child’s” motorcycle, and indeed was the first “powered” cycle for 9-12 year olds. They were registered as motorcycles, but kids were allowed to ride them ONLY on vacant lots or out in the country.

  2. Ron W

    Well first thing is that bike is not a Moped. a Moped has pedals and can be ridden like a bicycle The SS designation was to differentiate it from the honda 50cc stepthrough the Super Sport design was meant to look more like a “big” motorcycle

  3. fred

    Looking at some online info sites, I see the US versions were “Sport 50’s” and the models were C110,111 and 115. They looked almost identical to this one and were EVERYWHERE.

    Like 1
    • NPMCaptain

      Hi, they aren’t almost identical. The C110 and the SS50 are trully different.
      Both are 50cc but C110 had 3,6 hp, just 3 gears, lighter and slower than his “big brother” SS50 with 5 gears, 6 hp, 55 mph

      Like 1
    • Peter

      The Honda 49cc is worldwide the largest seller of all time. (80 MILLION -no kidding) Put Honda on the map. I owned one in the 70’s thru 80’s in South Africa

      Like 1
  4. rogerowen

    To the left of the picture appears a (CD175?) ‘Benley’ – now that is interesting!

    • Howard A Member

      Hi roger, or a Dream? I see what looks like a Bridgestone 175 next to the SS50.

  5. Dan

    I bought a Honda 65 new around 1966….would do way more than 40mph…rode the wheels off that little thing….

  6. Dean

    My first bike was the Suzuki equivalent of this. I could get almost 50 MPH out of it if I laid flat out with my head between the bars and my feet on the rear signal light stalks – with no helmet or protective clothing, on a gravel road. God really does protect fools and teenagers – I was 13 at the time. You had to premix the 2 cycle oil into the gas, but it got something in the range of 100 miles to a gallon. We lived on a farm, and my sisters and I put almost 10,000 miles on that bike over 6 years, without any mechanical issues. Three of us still ride, on much larger and faster bikes, but a whole lot more safely.

  7. RayT Member

    We had a “Trail 55,” essentially the same mechanicals on a different frame. I worked my way up from there, ending up with a 305 “Super Hawk.” All of them decent bikes, and the tiny one was actually quite nice for running around town. Only rode a “Benly” once, but it seemed okay; a friend who raced bikes — mostly H-Ds and Triumphs — told me the stamped-steel frame of the “Benly” was not terribly stiff, which caused handling problems at high speed.

    The “SS50” seems to be a near-twin to the 90cc model Honda sold in the U.S. Those were sweet little bikes! Again, most suitable for around town, but I wouldn’t mind having one.

  8. Howard A Member

    You didn’t see many of these for some reason. When I was a kid, I had a “step-thru” Honda 50, and me and my brother abused the heck out of that thing. It never broke. You saw step-thru’s, regular 50’s, trail 55’s, Sport 65’s, regular 90’s, Sport 90’s and trail 90’s, but no SS50’s. That step-thru 50 cemented early on my love of motorcycles, and have had many since then. 50 years later, I still love biking, all thanks to that little Honda 50.

  9. jim s

    this is to small a motor for me but the RD 350 the seller also has up for sale on ebay would work. interesting find.

  10. 365Lusso

    My first bike was a step-through Honda 50 too. It was the first engine I ever took apart, lapped the valves, new rings, honed the cylinder, rode the pi$$ out of that li’l feller. I lived in the BVI and used to drive that little bike over really rough dirt roads to the main town about an hour away whenever possible. It never let me down. The next bike was a 305 Scrambler–that was Nirvana back then. So-o-o much power, and could rev to the moon ;-). Remember snuff-or-nots (I think that’s how it’s spelled)?

  11. fred

    What amazed me about these engines was you could sit and let them idle for awhile, with no air moving over the cylinder, and it would run cool as a cucumber. And extremely quietly, compared to say a B & S minibike engine.

  12. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Grew up with Hondas all types, pretty much indestructible.

    Currently have a couple of mid-70’s era 125’s in the process of making playbikes out of them for wife and daughter.

    Going through them meant splitting the cases on these antiques. The 70’s must have been Honda’s way of capturing the market through manufacturing quality stuff. While I realize that they had some issues, Honda elevated motorcycling by making the whole process easier.

    The insides of these engines are like disassembling a Rolex. So much quality and so tiny when compared to British Iron from the same era. Honda did their homework. Not sure if it’s still the same way as nothing I own in bikes go past the mid-80’s.

    Fun to rebuild, especially as since I’m no longer 13 I can afford new gaskets and pistons and other miscellaneous parts and rebuild it the way my younger self wanted back then.

  13. Neil

    I just purchased a 1970 Honda PC50 before Christmas for $500 Cdn (about $50 US) lol

  14. S.Brodie

    I bought a Blue C110 in 1962 and it had the typical pressed steel frame but the same motor and transmission as this has. It had a 4 speed trans. with clutch and the valves were operated by pushrods unlike the S90 and 65 which had overhead chain driven cams. This little engine put out 4.6 Horsepower@ 9,600 rpm. I drove mine to the 11,000 mile point and parked it (still own it) I rebuilt (new rings and honing) the engine about 6 times. When they were pushed hard at 40mph they would sieze, but just cool down and away you went. As a kid I abused this machine and it just wouldn’t die. Had mine up to 60 mph going downhill. These were fun bikes for a 99 pound 14 year old and were 4 cycle machines. Cost $331 brand new.

  15. Dan

    Things change very quickly. While I was dreaming of my early days on a similar first bike and contemplating a bid, this little MC sold for over $2000. Guess I will stick with my memories.

  16. ydnar

    SOLD for $2067.00 surprise surprise. I knew it would be a home run.

  17. Greg A Yancey

    The SS50 was never officially imported to the United States. We got the same bike but with a 65cc engine as the S65. This bike had an overhead cam engine as compared to the C110 (50 cc sport) that had the older style pushrod engine. Both had 4 speed transmissions with manual clutches. The 50 cc C100/C102 models were overhead cam with 3 speed transmissions and automatic clutches (required no clutch lever and acted like a centrifugal clutch). The 55 cc C105 and 90cc CT200 were also pushrod, 4 speed automatic clutch trail models. The C200 was a larger version of the C110 Sport but it was sold as Benly Sport to associated it with the larger 150/250/305 Benly models. The S65 never sold in huge numbers here in America like the C110 models did, I think because the bigger, faster S90 was also released and was quite a bit faster for not a lot more money.

  18. Brian Smith

    This is the same as my first vehicle – a 1974 Honda SS50VE in South Africa. My brother bought it from a girl who won it in 1974. He rode it for 2 years and sold it. Quite by chance I bought it 2 years later and we kept it for 4 years. It was sold and we once again by chance bought it back for my little sister several years later. It was in need of attention so I replaced the seat and did up the engine. I had to make every gasket except the head gasket. It has a timing chain and double spring overhead valves (no push rods). The reason for the double springs is to prevent valve bounce at peak revolutions which is 12000 RPM. To get any speed out of it you needed to operate it at those revs. It had no “powerband” as its 2 stroke counterparts. It was incredibly difficult to get the valve cotters in due to the spring tension as I did not have a valve lifter. The crankshaft has press fitted roller main bearings and these would take a hammering if the motor was converted to a 72cc. Mine had the 72cc barrel, but a 50cc head I think. I could not find the correct rings (2 compression and 1 oil) so I had to file down new rings for a 75cc motor to the correct ring gap. The barrel was honed and the rings bedded perfectly. No smoking and slightly white exhaust end due to leaded fuel. It has a 6 volt system (Yuasa battery) and is charged by a magneto flywheel. It has a centrifugal oil filter in the clutch housing and a three plate wet clutch as I recall. After a few years I sold it to a colleague for R300 and he promptly onsold it for R1000.

  19. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Are you sure about that 12000 rpm range? Sounds a little high?!

    • NPMCaptain

      Almost there, 10.500 rpm for sure

      Like 1
  20. NPMCaptain

    Honda SS50 or Honda 67.
    Awesome little Vintage Honda, 50cc 6HP 5 speeds, i have one year 1972. Was easily found in Vietnam at the time of the war. Today there are several clubs there by the owners such as Saigon 67

    Like 2
  21. Kirk

    I owned 2 of these when I lived in Vietnam in the 1990’s. I was the weird white dude riding this thing around – it was bored out to 72CC’s. I had it restored as much to original as I could. Original 5 speed –

    Like 1
  22. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Fifty CC’s……and 5 gears!?!

    Gorgeous and no doubt, being a Honda, it was like a fine made watch.

    I love the 60’s and 70’s Hondas, especially the smaller displacements.

  23. Louis Q Chen

    Talk about memory lane! While stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, S. Vietnam, I bought one of these, same red color, I think it was $300 USD. Even with only 50CC, this a workhorse for the old S. Vietnamese. They were very creative bunch! This the “tractor” for various “trailers” that was attached! I recalled from pulling veg/fruit cart to market even “pick up” with up to 6 passengers! These SS50/SS90 are still running around the street of Saigon NOW! Talk about durability/reliability. The engine was easy to work on like tune up or valve adjustment which I do every 3,000 miles and change the points every 6000 miles. These routine maintenance are like my VW Beetles. I remembered there was also the C-50 which had the CVT trans. and most favored by women due to no clutch and only 3 spd. vs, the 5 spd. S/SS versions. The C-50 are now called the HONDA DREAM and still in production. The sad part is that these old Japanese classic are now cloned by communist China and they’re prone to broken frame and poor quality/reliability issue. And these clones can be had for about $800 USD new. I took several trips back to VN-2001-2017 and was surprised to see my SS50 still looks great and still running smoothly as I remembered. I gave my SS50 to a very nice VNmese family they promised me that they’ll keep it up and never sell it! It was a cheap and convenience, I was one of the few riders that had a helmet. Remember this IS NOT A SCOOTER, it’s a REAL MOTORCYLE. Too bad the seller is too far, I would have bought and restore it my “memory ride plus I have ready replacement source in Vietnam!

  24. Lloyd Deng

    Hi, i know this post were 2 years ago. i just wonder anyone know where can i get one of this bike? i am in Arizona. thanks

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