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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Model: Honda Super Cub 110



Well, Honda is releasing a 110cc version of a heavily redesigned Super Cub. 

These changes could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at them. (I mean that figuratively and literally.) 

There are many changes to the timeless bike. Right off the bat, one can see the ubiquitous leg guard has changed, as has the actual body style and type. The entire handlebar assembly has changed, as has the instrument face, all controls, and headlight and turn signal components.

No longer a stamped steel body/frame, the actual frames resides underneath plastic body panels. The website states this is to prevent rust. 

I foretold these changes, when I saw a new Yamaha Mate, which is, as a friend of mine used to call such things back in high school, " a plastic chicken" when he was referring to the 'new'(80s) Corvettes. Basically, a shell of its former self. 

Well, the Cub has retained the 'look' of the cub, at least, but really, so much has changed with the design, that a Chinese Symba might actually be closer to a Honda Super Cub than a Honda Super Cub (110) is now. 

The 50 and 90 cc versions are unchanged from previous models, but don't expect them to stay that way for long. It will cost Honda too much money to run drastically different style builds under the same model name.

Horsepower is up, as one would expect, but not nearly as high as one would think with the more than double cubic displacement and programmed fuel injection (PGM FI). 

A telescoping front fork has replaced the Super Cub signature leading link type. Perhaps points gained in riding comfort and lost in original style department ( I may be one of the last remaining leading link fans). 

A two stage clutch mechanism has been added to ease shifting, according to the website. Also, an additional gear has been added, making it a 4 speed. (long overdue)

Mileage is considerably less than the 50cc and 90cc models. 

The only remaining original elements from former the Super Cub design are the outward general appearance and step-thru design. The assembly of body and engine components (Thailand) lead one to believe that the Super Cub is no longer Super, nor a real Cub.

I'll wait and see one in person to make my final assessment. I will add that, as is obvious from my comments, I'm not too thrilled with most of the changes. If the workmanship is excellent, like previous Cubs, and the design (in person) is impressive, I'll say so. But if not, I'll state that too, just like I did when I noticed rust on the 2008 'anniversary' edition models last year.  







(note: click on photos for higher resolution)


Adventures of a Super Cub

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13 Comments:

Anonymous Eric said...

I'd heard a rumor about this scooter last year but no one could verify it. Now here it is!

Just to clarify: the Symba is Taiwanese and I believe it's being built in Taiwan, not mainland China. (Could be off about that; they are doing some production in China.) Flyscooters has a Supercub clone that actually looks more like the original but is built entirely in China and suffers from the same quality concerns and issues of other Flyscooters models.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I own the 110. I used to own the 50, but it was stolen. The 110 is "better" in power and performance. But if you want the best of both worlds, get the Cub90. I tried to get a 90, but the new ones are sold out.
The 110 does not have the feel or emotion of the 50. If you do not know what I mean by that, then don't worry, just get the 110. Its a nice plastic scooter.

7:59 PM  
Blogger supercublogger said...

I like that, 'feel or emotion' of the 50. I've tried very hard to explain exactly that sentiment to folks who wonder why I like the Super Cub over twist and gos or the 110.

Annon, tell us more about the 110 experience. So far, you're the only one I've heard from who actually rides on. Thanks.

4:30 PM  
Blogger supercublogger said...

Hi Rick

Annon is me, Rick, the 110 owner. I'm now using it to commute to work, errands, and relaxing evening rides. As I said, I wish I could have gotten a new 90, but the 110 is a good motorcycle.

The good: 
- The power of course; 8HP is better than 3.4 on the '50. On the '50 I found myself pushing off with my feet. I was the slowest motorized vehicle on the road. Now I keep up in street traffic no problem


Hmm. That's strange. I usually have to brake for traffic and find myself often going too fast for safety's sake. I know the older cubs had 8.5:1 comp ratio. Mine has 10.0:1, with the magneto, not the points. But still carb'ed.

- Two up: can carry a passenger.
- It honestly does get 60KM/L. Runs on pennies a day (ok, Yen)
- Top speed above 80kph. The '50 redlined at 65kph with me tucked.

Really? What year 50 did you have? I'm curious, because I can easily pin my speedo w/ just over half throttle on level ground, nominal headwind, not even close to redline (added two sprockets at crankshaft, longer chain). At the dealer I sometimes visit (not where I bought it) Dream Honda in Nishi Tokyo, they've had my bike up to 80kph when testing some stuff for me.

Also, I've easily ridden two people on mine. (not legally of course ;) I wouldn't want to go uphill in an emergency with them on there, but I didn't have much trouble. I'm 6feet 90kgs. And, my bike gets mileage as advertised. No joke there, either.


Compared to other scooters, the 17" wheels are luxury. Smooth rolling over the occasional obstacle, rough off-road trails no problem, etc..

I know you're comparing with other scooters and the 50 Cub back and forth here, but did your 50 come with less than 17inch rims? Cubs come with 17 inch stock. Yours should have had 17inch 2.25s front and back unless it was a Press Cub.

As you can see from the pics on this blog, I went up from the stock 17 2.25 to 17 2.50 front and back w/ Bridgestone Battleaxe street tires. No complaints and lots of fun. I've scuffed the pegs on cornering w/ those Bridgestones w/out any slide at all. I'd actually like to go to 18inch.




The bad:
-There is no 'press cub' size rack yet, so riding two up would limit you to a very small rear box. So, I made a custom rack to hold my Givi52L. Its 'trailer-park', but only until I get the Press-rack which is due out in a few months.
-The handle bars are about 5CM wider than the '50. When splitting lanes this is BAD. 5CM narrower would have been an improvement. Most scooter pilots here do split lanes.

Yeah, I try not to do that myself (some close calls), but it is par for the course here.

The ugly:
- The plastic body. The metal body exuded timeless quality and strength. The plastic body is flimsy and will eventually crack/discolor from UV, etc..

Yes, I felt that when I got a look at one up-close (again at Dream Honda Nishi)

Summary: 
Its still a Cub. If you want a Cub with decent power, this is your only new option now that the '90CCs are sold out. 
Riding this you really feel that this is a motorcycle. It rides like one, and not like a scooter (like my Honda Spacy) Motorcycles have 1.engine mounted on the frame (not the swingarm), and 2.footpegs not a deck.
I fabricated a box holder. Pic here, more later.
http://virquodmachina.wordpress.com


Thanks a bunch for the fine review. I'm sure lots of folks will be happy to get a bit of insider knowledge on this new bike from Honda.

- Robbie

12:08 AM  
Blogger supercublogger said...

Whoops. I accidentally deleted your original post, Rick. Sorry about that. I'm having trouble with this older version of blogger (I gotta update). Your post is still in toto in my response. Feel free to repost it if you still have a copy.

- Robbie

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robbie, Rick here.
Mine was the 50th anniversary model in black. Shame it was stolen.
Your performance sounds better than mine; maybe due to the modifications you performed. About the 17" rims, that was a reference to my other non-Cub scooter with smaller wheels. The 17"s are one feature I really like on the Cubs (Press model aside).
Now I've had the 110 for about 400kms. The transmission is giving me trouble. On the '50, depressing the foot lever to upshift or downshift always engaged the next gear, or neutral. On the 110, at a stop, about 10% of the time depressing the lever results in no audible 'click', and the gear does not change. I have to 'blip' the throttle to move the gears, then heel or toe the desired gear. It is annoying. Maybe this is operator error, and technique will eventually compensate.
I ordered the back rack from the new 110 Press cub model, to replace the standard rack on my 110. It will give me room for the tandem seat, AND a 52 liter GIVI box (which sometimes carries my dog in his dog-carrier).
Overall Im pleased with the 110 for its power and economy, and price point.
Now I'm looking at CT110s; really interested in getting one.. can I justify having two cubs? haha..
Thanks for your great blog; I enjoy seeing your posts on places I have not been yet in Tokyo.
My 110 pic is in the October 2 post:
http://virquodmachina.wordpress.com/

5:46 PM  
Blogger supercublogger said...

Robbie, Rick here.
Mine was the 50th anniversary model in black. Shame it was stolen.

Hi Rick. 

Right, I did a short write up on that one when it was being delivered to dealers. I liked it, generally. Have yet to see one on the road, though. 

Oh, yeah. I think that had the Programmed fuel injection, no? And the newer exhaust? 

That may explain the lower power output. That fuel injection was designed to reduce power output to reduce emissions under lower demands. Not a great idea, imho.




Your performance sounds better than mine; maybe due to the modifications you performed. About the 17" rims, that was a reference to my other non-Cub scooter with smaller wheels. The 17"s are one feature I really like on the Cubs (Press model aside).

Now I've had the 110 for about 400kms. The transmission is giving me trouble. On the '50, depressing the foot lever to upshift or downshift always engaged the next gear, or neutral. On the 110, at a stop, about 10% of the time depressing the lever results in no audible 'click', and the gear does not change. I have to 'blip' the throttle to move the gears, then heel or toe the desired gear. It is annoying. Maybe this is operator error, and technique will eventually compensate.



I think the idle speed may be too high. Higher revs at stop will have a tendency to spin the clutch plates just enough to make disengagement harder. 




I ordered the back rack from the new 110 Press cub model, to replace the standard rack on my 110. It will give me room for the tandem seat, AND a 52 liter GIVI box (which sometimes carries my dog in his dog-carrier).
Overall Im pleased with the 110 for its power and economy, and price point.
Now I'm looking at CT110s; really interested in getting one.. can I justify having two cubs? haha..
Thanks for your great blog; I enjoy seeing your posts on places I have not been yet in Tokyo.
My 110 pic is in the October 2 post:
http://virquodmachina.wordpress.com/




Cool. Nice site. Yours? Those abandoned bikes, btw,are most likely not abandoned, but stolen. Owners would be notified by the police when found, and would still be liable for disposal costs. I see stolen bikes all the time, parked in the darndest places. There's also another possibility. Stolen for insurance replacement. 

I was gonna ask about your iPhone, since I noticed you uploaded it via that. But then i saw your post at the bottom about it! Not so good?

7:31 PM  
Blogger khainguyen_hut said...

Woa. I realy want to have Super Cub 110. But it only sell in Japan! :(.

1:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice bike. Can we buy the honda super cub 110 in europe, or the 50, or the 90, or the sym symba?

regards.
denis

11:16 PM  
Blogger prolix said...

What an exciting experience!/Hilarious! Delightful! True!/wonderful stuff! thank you!
Wheels Miami

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Boo said...

Interesting post and review. Thanks! I run a 1967 CM90 Cuib, but fitted with a Wuyang 125 engine, which is a Chinese copy of the Wave 110 motor, but with bigger capacity. It's not quite Honda-smooth but it's reliable, and good for the hills where I live, with good torque and a 4-speed box. I'm wondering if the engine mountings on these 110 Cubs are the same as the pressed frame models? If so it would be a nice combination to put this engine into a 50 or 90 bike, to get the performance with the Cub soul (that's the reason I did mine - I just don't want a modern bike!). I do like the sound of 60 km per litre! (mine gets about 50, same as a C90)

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I own a super cub 90. Did a engine re-build last year and some simple upgrade ie(smaller front and rear sprockets for more top-end speed). I'm thinking about changing the the piston and the sleeve to upgrade to 110cc but for now I'm in the process of re-painting her,even had a custom moulded carbon fibre leg-guard(that thing looks sweet!!). I live on a caribbean island called Antigua. They're not much super cub 90's on isle,but ppl who actually own them cherish them a lot!

11:06 PM  
Blogger Ibnu Kamel said...

How much the price?

6:59 AM  

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