The Honda Trail 90 (CT90) is practically indestructible, but most have been used hard and left rusty and dusty, unlike this one seen at the Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts (HoAME) Vintage Motorcycle Rally/Show. Originally created by a rural Honda dealer by taking the leg shield off of their popular 50cc step through scooter, and adding a much bigger rear sprocket, the CT90 became a perennial favorite. Unlike most other dirt bikes, these were not about playing or racing off-road, but simple transportation where there were no roads, be it a farmer’s field, a rancher’s grazing range, or the forest hunting ground’s of a sportsman.
Clymer Girl and the crew didn’t have to go far to attend the HoAME show and rally, as it was just up the road at the Kansas City Airline History Museum in the Downtown Airport. The show was packed with classic vintage and antique motorcycles representing the best of British, German, Japanese, Italian, and American manufacturers. Some of the brands on display were Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW, Harley-Davidson, Triumph, BSA, Norton, Indian, Cushman, Vespa, Laverda, Lambretta, Ducati, Matchless, Zundapp, Moto Guzzi, and more. There was everything from 100% perfect restorations, to well worn bikes daily riders, to full-on customized cafe racers, choppers, bobbers, dirt bikes, road racers – any type or style of motorcycle you could image. As part of the museum’s permanent exhibits, there were also vintage propeller driven passenger planes, including a Douglas DC-3, a Martin 404, and, the pride of their collection, a 1958 Lockheed Super Constellation.
The Honda Trail 90 had just 8 horsepower, but thanks to the 4 speed transmission and dual range gearing , these bikes topped out at 55 mph, and could climb like a goat. Ample racks for cargo, a sub-200 lb total weight, and greater than 100 mpg fuel economy meant you could ride it anywhere and get back, or toss it in the back of a truck without a ramp.
Honda produced the Trail 90 from 1966-1979, then revised it into the CT110 which sold in the USA until the mid 1980s. In Australia however, this is the official vehicle of their rural postal carriers, and they were still taking delivery of new “postie bikes” into 2010. All of these bikes are covered by the Clymer Honda 50-110cc OHC Singles 1965-1999 manual, or the Clymer Vintage Collection Four Stroke Motorcycle Manual.