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Again… with the Honda 90 to Cadzand-Bad - column

ER Classics Desktop 2022

Ask motorcyclists who did the North Cape, who drove Route 66. Then a lot of fingers go up. But a trip where the travelers spent the full ten hours on 254 kilometers? What kind of trip must that have been? What kind of motorbikes did those heroes ride?

That trip went to the distant area around Cadzand-Bad, now occupied by Flemish people. And the engines that survived that tour de force, and even returned unscathed to their grease points? Those were a 90 Honda S1966 with a freshly overhauled engine and an almost new 120 cc SuperCub clone of the sadly defunct Super Motor Company of company owner Dimitri himself. The Super Motor had just been tuned, not quite adjusted yet. But Dimitri knew us and said carefree: "Ah, you will be fine".


The idea was born when Ernie, who bought the 90 (89,6!) Cc Honda sometime in his college days, some 30+ years ago because he couldn't find anything cheaper anywhere, thought back to his early motorcycle days. The Hondaatje was then used for commuting, visits to various lovers and travels.

With amorous commuting, it was not uncommon for the study to go on and on. Then the solidly sculpted Ernie traveled laden with a rucksack on his back, a rucksack on his stomach and a typewriter on the back of the buddy. He preferred to do this indoors, and if possible in the windage of a truck. That saved speed, fuel consumption and was, out of season, warmer than having to split the wind yourself.

The trips on the brave little Honda went very regularly to Cadzand-Bad, where family lived and where cheap overnight stays or holidays could be celebrated. At the time it was a ride of about 250 kilometers.

A check on the route planner showed that Cadzand-Bad was still in the same place. We decided to follow Ernie's route 'straight away'. And that's where Dimitri from the Super Motor Company came into the picture. Because the in-house Hercules K125 BW had not yet been identified. Dimitri did not have a demo available for a while, but lent his own bike. Top!

On a beautiful Friday morning we started the engines. The Honda started to run happily, a bit hollow nosing at no load. Perfect. The Super Motor awoke to the raucous roar of a saber-toothed tiger that was unexpectedly taken anally by an oversexed hippopotamus during his afternoon nap and had to be kept milking until his block was warm. The block was tuned? Well then! Later, once driving, the Honda clone was fortunately quite civilized. We were ready for the journey. In the thirty years that Ernie had last ridden the ride, Cadzand-Bad may have remained roughly in the same place, but the roads to it had changed a lot. Part of the route from Ernie's memory had become a motorway, or cycle path. The pieces of historic and traffic-responsible public road were already overrun by cycling figures so early on Friday morning. In terms of mentality, that kind of person makes groups like Satudarah and the Hells Angels look like innocent mischief clubs.

The would be Tour winners are massive, stupid and intimidating. It turned out to be handy to just stay on your own track with the left arm angled and the fist clenched. With that approach, it turned out that only one such post mamil's (middle aged men in lycra) was following his illegal course on the other lane. He must have been left with a bruise. Due to the entry of the freshly restored Honda block, the motorways were not a top option. But because it was early during the week, those cycle paths turned out to be a great alternative. Because cycling a social apparently have nothing to do with cycle paths. So cycle paths became the solution, because 60-70 is too slow for secondary roads.

Even the police who later arrested us thought so. The agents also fully understood the nostalgic importance of the trip. There were only some caveats about the sound of the tuned Honda clone. But in the meantime we had already suffered so much permanent hearing damage that we could put that into perspective. In the meantime the trip was of course very Zen. The goal was not important, every mile of the journey was an experience. Along Ernie's thoughts from 30+ years ago we saw, just in the Netherlands, abandoned houses, ruins, forgotten classics, barking dogs on yards. Abandoned villages. Endless plains. And of course windmills. In one of the villages that are full-size on the map, we ate lunch from the supermarket after about three hours of travel.

Traveling makes you hungry. It is not for nothing that our Muslim fellow citizens do not have to fast during Ramadan when they are traveling. Satisfied we got back on our mopeds. It made progress. We passed Zaltbommel! Gelderland had been an oasis of peace and space and some early catering. In Brabant, pigs and second-hand car dealers have always been the revenue model. The reborn Hondablokje sang happy and was getting less and less inconvenience from the pieces of false flat when we took another viaduct over a main road. The Super Motor was with the used travel pace just in the area where it had plenty of megafonitic. But if he was sometimes allowed to run in his work area, the block showed that the adjustment at full throttle was in any case in order. In any case, the mixture will not have been too lean. With a tank capacity of just three - say two and a half - liters, the Super Motor turned out to run something from 1 in 25. Its purebred ancestor, the S90, consumed about a liter of excise juice per fifty-sixty kilometers. But it was also run in, while the Super Motor was walked on a choke collar.

Even after fine-tuning, the 'Bami block' will probably keep you thirsty. The mounted carburettor had a venturi that a pair of thoughtless wood pigeons could have nestled in. After a bend, the sky-blue Chinese take-away suddenly took off. The throttle cable got stuck somewhere. That 'somewhere' turned out to be behind a bolt head near the steering head. Fortunately, every motorcyclist always has a few tie wraps with him. So the balor cable was firmly positioned and behaved properly for the rest of the trip. With a little help from the TomTom Rider 400 that was programmed on the nicest winding roads, the gaps in Ernie's memory were neatly filled. And so we arrived in Zeeland. Zeeland will be opened up from the Dutch side with a serious road network. From the Flemish side, it is bought up by project developers from Bruges and Knokke.

To get to Cadzand-Bad from Zeeland, you can cross Antwerp. That was not an option. We were too slow for the Antwerp Ring, should there be no traffic jam. The tunnel was canceled due to the speed of climb the S90 was able to maintain as it climbed out of the tunnel, and we also estimate that the tiling of the tunnel walls could come off due to the engine noise from Dimitri's driving local clearance. Fortunately, there is still a cattle boat sailing between Vlissingen and what the Zeelanders call 'Bresjes'. That is a pedestrian and bicycle ferry. Motors may not be transferred with it. But with the two lightweights placed right in sight of ticket sales, two tickets were ordered 'for us and our bikes'. The ticket salesman gave a mild laugh. "Engines. Whatever." We received neat moped tickets and pushed ourselves on board. In Breskens, the fish shop at the harbor turned out to be closed. We decided to keep going and drove on to Cadzand-Bad. There we ate a lot of fries with stewed meat at the first takeaway and gambled that we could sin for the last kilometer. The two Jupiters the man fell perfectly after the ride. After a few espressos we went to our sleeping place, an apartment of acquaintances. We threw out our things, took a shower. Walked for another hour to loosen up the muscles although the long journey had given us little effort and saddle pain.

After the walk, we sat down on the balcony and watched the setting sun. With a solid glass of whiskey in hand, a broad smile on our faces. Two men of a certain age on motorcycles. Together on a balcony after a challenging journey. We calculated our average daily speed at 26 kilometers per hour. We were satisfied. And the knowledge who had those expectant twinkling eyes when he heard that the two of us on motorcycles would be without our loved ones for a whole weekend? He suffered from unprocessed dream dreams. Because as the two tigers we were, we were in our baskets at a quarter past nine.

More columns you can read via this link

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Also read:
- Driving a motorcycle, then and now
- Kawasaki 90 G1L
- Downgrading. Because sometimes less is more
- Kawasaki G7, size matters
- Japanese classics: Real classics

7 Comments

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  1. Read again with pleasure. Reminds us of the journeys made 40 ++ years ago on the Puch and later on the BMW r35. The beginning and the end was known and in the meantime I often consulted the map. Definitely not a disaster because getting lost will take you to the most beautiful places.

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