Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Look of Cub

This is practically the same video as my earlier one, The Look of Love. But I wanted to see if I could clean-up the earlier version a bit.


Blogger Byobz0r said...

Hi, I saw your videos on youtube and saw this link, and just wanted to ask a couple of questions. I live in Japan at the moment (nishi-tokyo) and was wondering if you have taken the 50cc moped/scooter license. If so, whats it like exactly? Also, could you tell me how much a beat-up, used (but working) honda cub would cost me? Thanks.

12:43 AM  
Blogger supercublogger said...

Yup, the gentsuki permit. Sure have. A few years ago. Very easy. I'd suggest you get the rules of the road booklet published by the Japan Auto Federation.
JAF It costs 1000yen and is the study guide for the written part of the test.

As for used cubs, it's actually not that easy to get a really good deal on them, because they go overseas. There are some sellers. Honda Dealers and others you can find in GooBike and that kind of thing. They also have the online version, but the big phonebook type is only 250yen. The best deals I saw were at a shop on Route 20 Koshu Kaido past Mitaka somewhere. Don't remember the name. But he fixed up cubs and sold them for around 70,000 to 100,000yen. The ones at dealers will be in that range too. I looked for really cheap ones, like 50,000 or even less. Hard to find those. So, I just bit the bullet and bought mine new in 2004. There's a Dream Honda in Nish Tokyo I sometimes go to. Their prices are around 100,000. Of course with a warranty for 1 year or something.

Good luck.

7:39 PM  
Blogger Byobz0r said...

Thanks for all the info, goobike is a good link. You say the gentsuki was very easy to get, how about for someone without previous motorcycle experience? I've seen some sample questions from the test, and most of them seem to be common sense, but I've heard that the pass-mark is pretty strict so I'll get a hold of that book to study. What bike/scooter did you use for the practical exam? and what did that consist of?
Thanks for all the help.

2:02 AM  
Blogger supercublogger said...

Also Bike Bros, which is the same as goobike. Yes, you'll need that book. There are tons of signs that are Japan only that need to be learned for the test. Some are obscure and not easily figured out. The same for right of way and such. The test is multiple choice, but in some ways, that makes it harder when they present several very reasonable choices.
I think it was a "Today" type. Your basic twist and go no frills scooter. The driving center out by Mitaka is teh one I went to. Huge place. Very cool driving area as well. Huge trees, sakura. There's an instructor out front and others watching from a tower structure. Maybe even others watching from the upper floors, could be. Basically they just go thru the motions of what to do on the road. Stopping fully, etc. It's not bad at all.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Byobz0r said...

Thanks for all the info, youve really been a great help. I looked around for some kind of "Super Cub Buyers Guide", but I couldn't find anything; at least not in English. Perhaps you could write one!
I have another couple of questions it thats ok, first of all, how important is the mileage on a used cub, and what kind of range is ok? For example, theres a Little Cub with 16,000km on the clock, it looks pristine, and its going for 100,000円. Right next to it is an almost identical little cub with just 960km on the clock, priced at around 140,000円. At what point should I worry about the mileage on a cub?
Secondly, are the 14" wheels onthe Little Cub the only difference from the Super? How differently do they handle etc?

Thanks again.

12:14 AM  
Blogger supercublogger said...

No worries. Yeah, maybe I should! Thanks for the praise. I'm not too knowledgeable about the real details on repairing Cubs, but I like 'em and just collect info and images of them. There's some real gurus out there, though! There's a yahoo group which i link on the sidebar which deals mainly with the US Passport version of the cub, an export model. But many of the same issues that Japanese cubs have they have too. But the Passport is points/condenser not magneto like ours. So, for electrical issues, they're not too helpful. But there's lots of cub fans on there. The guy who runs it is Mike Gladu. He's one of those gurus. Knows his stuff, but not full up on the Japanese cub. I haven't been visiting that group in over a year, but it's a good place to get info.

I'd say, judging from what I've heard from folks who sell used bikes here - granted they have a conflict of interest so, grain of salt - 10k or under is fine and desired. Over 10k and you are in the questionable area where you have to find out what kind of owner had it, was it a delivery bike or just leisure, etc. Mind you, most cubs go well past that normally, and even with poor treatment. It's usual to see cubs w/ 30k 40k or 50k and beyond on their odometers and they're still going strong and clearly not babied. So, I would say 16k ain't bad at all and probably perfectly fine for many more years of use. My cub now has over 17k. It's a 2004, but I ride it constantly, so it has more mileage per year than most. With that said, this 16k cub you mention is a Little Cub. They have a smaller frame, smaller wheelbase, so it might be too small, too low for you if you are over 5'11". I'm 6ft and the regular cub is a bit too small, but I am totally used to it. But I'd like it to be a bit taller/bigger so my knees weren't as high. But that's me. I'm not up on them too much, in terms of how long they last, etc. I think the drive train is pretty much the same but on a smaller frame.

I think year of cub is important too. Very new cubs don't seem to be as well constructed as earlier models. I'd say a early 2000 or late 90s cub is pretty well built. More sturdy than a 08, 09 model, in my opinion. I've also seen rust on very new cubs already. Mine sits outside every day almost never covered and doesn't have rust, so I'm wondering why a 08/09 model would already have rust on the tailpipe and screws.

I think if you can find a cub w/ around 10k on it, looks pretty good, no dents in the body under seat and rear fender, the foot pegs look straight, not bent, the leg guard looks ok (rarely do they change those, and they are kind of fragile, so it's a good indicator of abuse. ) The only reason I say no dents in body, is that you don't want it to track weird, since the body is the frame. Stamped steel type. It's not for appearance reasons but for safety and ride. Also spin the wheels and see if they are rounding correctly and not wobbly or uneven in spin (which would indicate hitting a curb or worse in its history) Look for rust on the rear shock tubes and upper chrome fittings. A little is normal for an older cub. A lot is strange. If you can find a cub that is good on these points and around 100,000 that's a pretty normal deal.

There's a dealer called T.R. Shop in Koganei close to Koganei Park. They specialize in old classic bikes and often have a Cub or CT110 or such types. Their prices are usually around 100,000 for the kind of cub I describe. They seem pretty trustworthy and attract a lot of bike enthusiasts. I don't have the link, but they always advertise in Goobike and Bike Bros.

Good luck.

9:32 PM  

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