Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Little smoker: 1982 Honda MB5

In most states in the Union, any two wheeler with 50cc's or smaller can be ridden on the street without special endorsement. (although you might need special bravery pills).  Most things under that 50cc limit are either small scooters or things with a set of pedals in addition to an ICE.  However for one year in 1982 you could have walked into your friendly Honda dealer and bought something that you wouldn't be embarrassed to ride with a full face helmet.  Find this 1982 Honda MB5 for sale in Graham, WA for $2,300 via craigslist.

The Honda MB5 was offered by American Honda in the U.S. for only one year, 1982, making them a rare item today.  The MB5 was more of an extremely small displacement motorcycle vs. a moped or scooter.  Powered by a 49cc aircooled 7hp two stroke, a contemporary road test by Cycle World had them clocking a 22.7 quarter mile and tripping the lights at 51 mph and continuing on to a top speed of 53 mph.  The test did mention that "you [had to] keep the engine buzzing as you shift thru the gears".The little two smoker ran oil injection, so there was no need to get your hands oily premixing and it put the "power" down thru a 5 speed transmission with a manual clutch vs. a lame automatic.

The MB5 also had a grown-up 12 volt electrical system, CDI ignition and a full complement of speedo, tach, warning lights and turn signals in a space age binnacle.  It was lacking electric start, you will have to kick it to life yourself, but you will only have to get a thimble-sized piston moving.  This particular bike is incredibly clean and seems to have less than 1,500 miles on it.

See a better way to rev the wee out of a small bike? email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com

Gianni is Daily Turismo's Pacific Northwest correspondent.

1 comment:

  1. All we were allowed to drive in Belgium from age 16 to 18 were 50s. It is possible to get them up to 60-65 mph, though (of course, you have to be drafting a semi going downhill to do that).They were exciting on the then speed-unlimited highways and byways of Europe! I wouldn't try that here, at least Europeans LOOK for small bikes. They do get GREAT gas mileage, which was good when 1971 gas prices in Belgium were over $4 a gallon.


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