Talk me into or out of a CT90
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Thread: Talk me into or out of a CT90

  1. #1
    Senior Member DonBenito's Avatar
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    May 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    I got the bug about 6 months ago when I saw a particularly well-restored example of the classic Honda Trail 90 for sale on the local craigslist. I didn't buy it, but someone else promptly did and I think I know why.

    A lot of people have a ton of fun on these bikes, and with the stupid low entry price for running specimens they're hard to resist. I'd love to have another mount in the stable just because, and a classic bike like the CT90 would fit in pretty well with my current line-up. I hated having a "classic" 4x4 as my only fun vehicle way back when, but I'm at a level of technical confidence and currently running vehicles where a challenging classic seems fun again, and down time isn't really a factor.

    For a while longer I have a rapidly depreciating 2012 KLR650 street queen tearing the crotches out of my jeans. I was originally looking for a more sporty-street type bike to complement the TW200, but the wife started riding my TW and we decided I should get something better to ride the FS roads together on. One bloody crash and a few close calls later, she decides motorcycling isn't for her. Meanwhile, I've been thrashing the TW like a guy who has another bike to ride to work and the fun I've been having has my old lady re-thinking her 2 wheel aversion.

    Once the economics equal out with the ergonomics, I'll be trading the KLR in for something with slicker tires, but the CT90 question has nothing to do with that.

    Let me be clear, I'd be buying the CT90 as a fun 3rd bike for me. If the lack of a clutch suckers the little woman back into riding that would just be a cool bonus. I would see the CT90 like I see my TW, a bike that has achieved near perfection as a classic machine in its own right that deserves to be maintained and enjoyed for what it is. They're cool little bikes, and what harm could come from joining a second cult once you already belong to one?

    Please, bail me out or tip me overboard on this one!
    2011 TW200 - Sold - after 9700 miles and 1,000,000 smiles. So long Tee Dub!
    2012 KLR650
    - Sold
    2013 Tiger Explorer XC
    2014 CB500X - RRP L3

  2. #2
    Senior Member B-dub's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    Southwest Utah
    Go for it! Like you said the price of admission is low. I've never owned a CT90, but I have two CT70's, and they're a blast to putt around on. There's a thread on right now of a bunch of guys doing the TAT on CT90's. You've probably read about the guy who rode his from Australia to England. Fun, capable little bikes as long as you're not in a hurry. I think a CT90 would be ideal for your wife to learn on. That's got to be the perfect excuse to get one, right?
    My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.

  3. #3
    Senior Member joeband's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    norcal nutjob
    can't help you.... i have a '79.

    1994 TW226- 6spd. 10w-40 synthetic, XTHidden Content , XT225 stainless header, +2" Joemama swingarm, lizrd cooler, +20% fork springs, +25% rear spring, 2001 speedo w/ trip odo, pro taper atv bars, bark busters, shinko 241 front tire, front fender w/ mr bracket bracket, Hidden Content , o-ring chain, ricochet skid plate, Hidden Content , XT225 rear brake cam lever, folding-tip shifter, cycle rack, kolpin 1.5 aux tank & 1450 pelican case. Hidden Content or Hidden Content

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  5. #4
    Senior Member silverhead's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    Central Iowa, USA
    A common thing being done around here is buying Honda Cubs, Passports, or anything with this sort of engine layout and sticking Lifan, Chinese 125cc engines into them. Those Chinese engines are about $280 dollars shipped to your door and they are really torquey for their size. A 100 dollar titled Passport with a Lifan engine goes nearly 60 mph.

    I think my friend has about 100 dollars into this 'build'

    It's surprisingly fast and reliable. He's got trials tires on it and it'll go almost anywhere my TW goes.
    1993 TW200

  6. #5
    Senior Member Bobo413's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Shelton Wa
    I say go for it. I have 2 CT110's a 1983 & a 1984 & they are a lot of fun to ride around. Ultra reliable & parts are easy to come by too.
    2005 Yamaha TW200
    2003 Kawasaki KLR650
    1995 BMW R100GSPD Classic
    1983 Honda CT110
    1984 Honda CT110

  7. #6
    Senior Member r80rt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Go for it, I was looking for a CT 90 when I found my TW. I'm still looking for one, I love them.
    Only a fool would attempt it, and God help me, I am that fool!

  8. #7
    Mel is offline
    Senior Member Mel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    San Luis Obispo, Calif.
    If you guys are interested in CT90's, I have two of them for sale. Low miles, always stored inside.


  9. #8
    Senior Member TW-Brian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Pleasanton, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by joe band View Post

    That's a sweet looking little bike Joe!

    I'd love to have one like that but just cannot bring myself to pay what people are asking for theirs, even though most are clapped out rustbuckets. I've owned 3 CT90's in the past but was unable to find the parts on them that are apparently made out of gold.

  10. #9
    Senior Member small's's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    Martinsville Indiana
    Never ridden one but alot of guys around indiana on advrider have them and they love them. They have rides around here just for the super small bikes like that. I'd say give it a go!

  11. #10
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Desert, SoCal
    Quote Originally Posted by TW-Brian View Post
    I've owned 3 CT90's in the past but was unable to find the parts on them that are apparently made out of gold.

    What has happened with CT values is the existence of those Chinese parts and motors. Lots of them sat broken in garages for 30 years due to the cost of repairing them with Honda parts. Back when CT's were a dime a dozen a lot of people didn't consider them worth fixing. Now you can pop a shiny new motor in one for a couple of hundred bucks and have the fully street legal small displacement dualsport that no one will send us because they don't think we'll buy them. Supply and demand. When you can't anything that does what a CT does new, prices on the old ones go up.

    You can probably thank China for re-establishing demand for smaller bikes in this country, as well. Their knockoffs suck for the most part but they won't always, and Japan better get on the stick fast. Remember when Jap=Junk? None of you youngsters probably can, but it didn't stay that way for long.

    Looks like Honda has wised up and made the investment to get them cleared for emissions in the U.S. and Europe and may get another 60 years out of the same basic motor My local dealer is taking orders for the new Grom and I figger there will be a "CT-like" version of it to follow, unless they've lost their minds.

    I won't be buying a new one, but we're saving up for two old CT's. One for me to ugly up (gotta be O.D. green) and a nice one for her, which I'll never be allowed to touch.

    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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