|ONE of the most successful two-wheelers ever produced must surely be the Honda Fifty. In the face of this high
standard, how does the new 87 cc C200 measure up to its smaller brother?
Good use has been made of the extra 38 cc, not by increasing top speed, but by giving better acceleration and greater punch throughout the range. Briefly, the C200 is a delightful little machine. It is smart, agile, easy to ride and utterly reliable.
Starting was first time every time, although it was necessary to open the air slide very gradually during the first mile to keep the engine from dying. This, of course, was much more apparent in cold weather when it was easy to stall the engine before it got really warm.
A typical four-stroke single, the power unit idled with grandfather-clock precision and an almost inaudible wooffle was all that could be heard. At all speeds the exhaust note was subdued in the extreme.
Mechanical noise, too, was unobtrusive; the all-iron
barrel and cylinder head help to keep the noise level low.
Action of the engine-speed clutch on the test model was
below par in that the drive was taken up very suddenly .
Although an experienced rider would get used to this very
quickly it could be unsatisfactory for a learner. Gear
changing, up or down, was normally attended by a slight
clonk. This discouraged fast changes; but the C200 make no
pretensions to being a sportster.
Handling suffers from excessive, bouncy suspension
movement on uneven roads. The reason is that neither
suspension is sufficiently damped, the bigger culprits being
the rear units. It was not too bad solo, but the combination
of a 13 stone passenger and bumpy corners taken
enthusiastically caused the rear end to step out of line
ROAD TEST BREIF SPECIFICATION
Engine: Honda 87 cc (49 x 46 mm) ohv single.
Engine rpm at 30 in top gear, 4,400.
Maximum Speed: 53 mph (with following wind) 51 mph (average of runs in both directions).