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Atodini
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:58 am
Rides:: 1974 CB500/4; 1971 C90
Location: Mansfield Notts.

New member

Post by Atodini » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:12 pm

I actually signed up to this forum a fair while back, having been searching for a C90 for a year or two, but decided to hold off posting until I actually found one - and I was very specific as to which version I wanted. This evening I bought one, just got to get it back here, re-commissioned and on the road.

That's the first question.... Does anyone know if a C90 will fit in a Berlingo? If it does if it will it'll save me having to use a courier or hire a bigger van!! It certainly won't fit in my other car...... I hope it will, though I might first have to take the back seat(s) out.. I googled it at 72" long so I'll have a measure up tomorrow!

A bit about me. Now retired, originally from Stepney in London, moved out to Essex when I got married, since when I've slowly migrated further north, spending 30 years or so in the Leighton Buzzard area, now residing (and remaining) in Mansfiels Notts.

From the late 1960's until the early 1980's I always had a "chaser" to use for work, both for commuting when I lived in Essex, thereafter kept at the office to rat around on during the day in my job as a Lift Engineer. Starting with a new C50 (in 1968 when I was still an apprentice) I quickly upgraded to 90's and stuck with them for a decade or so. Tended to buy a new one every 15-20,000 miles or two years or so. My main commuting steed became a motley selection of different bikes, my favourite of which without doubt was the CB500/4. Tried the bigger and smaller versions as well as a "plastic maggot" but always went back to the CB 500/4 - in total I had 3 of them and I still have one now. My other vehicular "vice" is Reliants... My old mum bought me my first, a 3-wheel Regal van, (in 1967) to try to keep me off bikes, which failed spectacularly, but since then I've always had one or more, (various models, mostly 4-wheelers) in the fleet. The current one, a 1975 Kitten, I've had since it was 3 years old. 620,000 miles to date so it's just about run-in!!!

Image

The CB500/4 with the Kitten in the background, both restored to my minimum standard..... The Nissan behind the Kitten in the picture is not and never has been anything to do with me!

My specific version of the C90 was a pre-1972 model, with the "cantilever" front brake. When Honda changed this to the later system I was mortified, in fact the first new 90 I bought after the change, I nearly fell off the first time I braked!!! The one I've bought popped up on e-bay a couple of hours ago and I was on the phone and bought it "on description". It's been in dry storage since it was 3-4 years old, still on the old buff log book, and is completely in-messed with in every way. It still has its original tyres on it (but not for long when I get it back here). The pictures in the ad clearly show that it's not suffering from the frame corrosion that has been present on the few I've viewed over the last year or two too, in fact it's quite "time warp" so a straightforward restoration, which will be as original by the way, as is the 500/4. The Kitten looks original but under the skin is anything but. Rebuilt in 2012 (when the chassis was restored then galvanised) it now boasts 21st century power disc brakes and poly bushed and gas shocked adjustable suspension with a tuned (albeit original) engine which makes it easy and safe to keep with modern traffic, even at motorway speeds, plus stop safely too if the need arises.... No such mods are planned for the 90 (but then you never know!).

John

culfy
Posts: 1006
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 2:47 pm
Rides:: several honda c90's c70 and c50, lambretta li special puch and a honda cbf
Location: sheffield

Re: New member

Post by culfy » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:44 pm

Great first post John , I feel as though I’ve known you for years :D ,quite a few lads around the Mansfield area so your not on your own ,cheers Ian from Sheffield .

JOHNBOY
Posts: 735
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:03 pm
Rides:: HONDA SUZUKI

Re: New member

Post by JOHNBOY » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:50 pm

am i reading the mileage correct if so what a mileage you have done

culfy
Posts: 1006
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 2:47 pm
Rides:: several honda c90's c70 and c50, lambretta li special puch and a honda cbf
Location: sheffield

Re: New member

Post by culfy » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:06 pm

Could be , if he’s had it 39 years that’s 16,000 a year.

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bikerbaker
Posts: 689
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:35 pm
Rides:: 1990 C90, 1986 C90, 2016 Kayak 110, K1&K6 SV650S, BMW F800 GT, Buell XB12R
Location: Rochford Essex

Re: New member

Post by bikerbaker » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:10 pm

Welcome, from Essex.

You can fit 2 or 3 Cubs in a Berlingo. One is easy, you just take out the single (split) rear seat. Two can go in if you take the double seat out (and leave the single in place). That is with the old (up to M59) version. The new Berlingo is 100mm longer inside.

If you make a little bridge (made mine out of wood) to make a straight run from the rear floor up to the handbrake enclosure it keeps the bike level and makes it easier to load straight.
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User avatar
Atodini
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:58 am
Rides:: 1974 CB500/4; 1971 C90
Location: Mansfield Notts.

Re: New member

Post by Atodini » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:34 am

Thanks bikerbaker.......

I think ours must be a "new" one - the handbrake is not in the centre as the one in the picture is, it's right alongside the drivers' seat, also the gear lever is very different being a short stubby thing high up directly in front of the dash.... Not being an expert on Berlingos its an 09 reg, July I think. So I'll whip the single seat out tomorrow and hopefully it'll go in. There's no rack on it that I can recall and the listing has been taken down now so I cant check. It hasn't got to come far anyway, only 40-50 miles away.

John

User avatar
Atodini
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:58 am
Rides:: 1974 CB500/4; 1971 C90
Location: Mansfield Notts.

Re: New member

Post by Atodini » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:06 am

JOHNBOY / culfy,

The bulk of the mileage was actually clocked up during the middle years of my ownership... Over a 13 year period it averaged about 40,000 a year. I became a tester in 1982, and, motorcycles no longer being practical for my job, it was used for commuting / work. In 1989, I started work for London Underground and used it heavily, mainly on nights, (when the maintenance work is done) all over London between stations on repair works. One of the years during this period it racked up 69345 between MOT's!! Living around 50 miles from the office, it was doing a minimum of 100 miles a day before I went anywhere!!

It was effectively retired in 2008, after I found that because of its age, my insurance company was no longer prepared to insure it as a "normal" car, telling me that it had to be insured as a classic only. Classic policies expressly forbid any commuting or business use, plus to be eligible it cannot be your primary vehicle, so I had to get a more modern car.....

These days it tends to do under 5k a year, mainly local shopping duties and to / from classic car meets, shows and rallies, so it's unlikely to hit a million in my lifetime.

In all the years I've owned it I've only needed to have the RAC recover it once, when the distributor disintegrated internally, stripping the drive gear in the engine in the process.... Not actually knowing what it was, the RAC sent a truck more suited for recovering HGV's that was so huge it wouldn't go down our road - we had to offload it on the main road and push it 500yds home! Otherwise it's broken down a few times but invariably something I could either nurse home or fix by the roadside! It's just had routine servicing and engine overhauls every 180,000 or so. It's had two gearbox rebuilds and the rear axle had a new crown wheel and pinion about a year ago, when the back lash in the drive line became too unbearable. The clutches last well over 100k. There's quite a few bits that are original, notably three of the four front suspension ball joints, a testimony to the fact they have grease nipples that have been greased once a month throughout my ownership. The other ball joint was replaced in 2012 along with its wishbone after damage was found to it. Probably the result of hitting a badger one night a while before.....

It's never done less that 50mpg, and in its present configuration regularly exceeds 60! The car is so light (507kg) that tyres rot and crack long before they wear out..... The longest period it's ever been off the road was two and a half months in mid 2012, when I removed the body from the chassis, to fix a rust hole in a cross member, then had the chassis galvanised followed by a rebuild replacing all pipes, bolts, bushes and similar. This was followed by a repaint and re-trim a year later, and, the year after that the engine was reconditioned and "blueprinted".

It and I are now both enjoying our well-earned retirement!!

Reliant by name.........

It's far and away the most travelled on the Kitten Register........ Plus it's the earliest known roadworthy Kitten. I have a picture of it on the Reliant stand at the 1975 motor show, where the Kitten was launched. It's also believed to be the only one the factory painted "Bond Bug" orange - production orange ones used a darker MGB "blaze" orange. So in all, its a rare wee beast....

John

User avatar
bikerbaker
Posts: 689
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:35 pm
Rides:: 1990 C90, 1986 C90, 2016 Kayak 110, K1&K6 SV650S, BMW F800 GT, Buell XB12R
Location: Rochford Essex

Re: New member

Post by bikerbaker » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:36 am

Atodini wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:34 am
I think ours must be a "new" one - the handbrake is not in the centre as the one in the picture is, it's right alongside the drivers' seat, also the gear lever is very different being a short stubby thing high up directly in front of the dash.... Not being an expert on Berlingos its an 09 reg, July I think. So I'll whip the single seat out tomorrow and hopefully it'll go in. There's no rack on it that I can recall and the listing has been taken down now so I cant check. It hasn't got to come far anyway, only 40-50 miles away.
John
Yep, you have the later Bling. Probably too late but as no rack on the bike it will almost definitely fit in with the back seats folded up and parked cross wise!
There is a UK Berlingo forum. Very useful indeed and saved me thousands in the past. They get very enthusiastic about their oddball vehicles. :lol:

Had mine since 2005 and will never sell it.
Good Luck!

Diddly
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:51 pm
Rides:: Honda ANF125 Innova;
Location: North East

Re: New member

Post by Diddly » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:52 am

Great first few posts so welcome. Its interesting to know a little bit of what people do/did for a living and how their transport met their needs.

Regards, Diddly

barker
Posts: 2463
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:38 am
Rides:: t80 honda90 nexus honda xr honda sh loncin
Location: west sussex

Re: New member

Post by barker » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:12 am

could you drive a kitten on a bike licence in the early years of production, or was it the 3 wheelers only , I know you can now drive some cars on a bike licence if they meet certain standards
anyway nice write up good to read some thing ,,interesting besides why wont my cub go faster,,,
welcome look forward to meeting you at one of the meets next year

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