1961 Honda CB92 Benly

The first Super Sport


| March/April 2007



Honda

Some of Honda's early roadsters were rather bulky and unattractive, but that certainly wasn't true of the CB92.

Photos by Roland Brown

Honda CB92 Benly
Years produced:
1959-1962
Total production: 24,251
Claimed power: 15hp @ 10,500rpm
Top speed: 75mph (est.)
Engine type: 124cc single-overhead cam, air-cooled parallel twin
Weight (dry): 110kg (242lb)
Price then: $495 (1961)
Price now: $5,500-$14,000
MPG: 110 (est.)

Flat-out on a long, straight road just outside Daytona Beach, I’m doing my best to squeeze every last drop of speed from the racy 1961 Honda CB92 Benly. In an attempt to cheat the wind as much as possible I’m hunched down over the silver-painted tank, peering through the tiny flyscreen, my chin almost touching the friction steering damper knob above the top yoke.

Between my knees the parallel twin engine is straining every sinew, beginning to vibrate just a little more as the revs get higher and higher. In front of my eyes, set into the headlight, is the angular speedometer, whose needle is flickering slightly as it goes through 70mph ... 75 ... 80 ... Until the Honda just breaks 85mph before I finally decide that’s enough and shut the throttle, mindful that surely no elderly roadster should take such abuse for long.

Fast for its day
In reality, the Honda CB92 Benly Super Sport — to give the bike its full title — was not quite as fast as its speedometer was suggesting. Its true best was about 75mph, even when ridden by a smaller and more aerodynamic jockey than I. But that’s still very impressive for a 125cc roadster when you consider that this bike was built in 1961, and that the model was introduced way back in 1959. If anyone wonders how Honda rose to dominate the motorcycle world so rapidly, almost half a century ago the CB92 provides the perfect illustration.

Quite simply, it’s a brilliant little motorcycle: handsome, fast (for its capacity), beautifully engineered and very well equipped. When it was launched, the Super Sport wasn’t merely the fastest 125cc bike around; it could also embarrass many much larger machines on both road and track. The CB92 — along with its same-sized siblings the C92 roadster and high-piped CS92 tourer, plus other models including the 250cc CB72 — helped make Honda’s name in the early 1960s, and paved the way for the bigger bikes such as the CB450 twin and CB750 four that came later in the decade.

The inspiration for Honda’s early twins had been German firm NSU’s 250cc Rennmax parallel twin, on which Werner Haas had won a second consecutive world championship in 1954, the year that Soichiro Honda visited the Isle of Man TT during a trip to Europe. Honda’s first twin-cylinder model, the C70, duly appeared three years later with a similar capacity and angled-forward parallel cylinders, though without the Rennmax’s gear-driven twin cams.

thomas buyea miami, fl.
11/22/2017 12:48:08 PM

I remember the brochures for the Honda CB92 from back in 1962 and Honda claimed an 87 MPH Top Speed ! And I believe if Honda Motor Company said that it was quite possibly true !! I also almost totally ? I wanted one very badly but my finances as a teenager were very very limited or I would have bought one, Which reminds me, I stoped at a Suzuki motorcycle dealership once back in about1964 and it turned out that the Suzuki dealership was having a bankruptcy sale and only had one thing left to see and it was a new Suzuki X-6 !! The bank officials who were in attendance offered it to me for " $200.00 !! "But I did Not have $200 ! I probably could have purchased it for a $100.00 because they wanted to finish the BR sale and go hom ?e But of course I did Not have $100.00 (;^((


ranger0116
11/22/2017 12:48:05 PM

I remember the brochures for the Honda CB92 from back in 1962 and Honda claimed an 87 MPH Top Speed ! And I believe if Honda Motor Company said that it was quite possibly true !! ( Probably with a 5" tall 90 pound Japanese rider ?) ? I wanted one very badly but my finances as a teenager were very very limited or I would have bought one, Which reminds me, I stopped at a Suzuki motorcycle dealership once back in about1964 and it turned out that the Suzuki dealership was having a bankruptcy sale and only had one thing left to selle and it was a new Suzuki X-6 !! The bank officials who were in attendance offered it to me for " $200.00 !! "But I did Not have $200 ! I probably could have purchased it for a $100.00 because they wanted to finish the BR sale and go home? But of course I did Not have $100.00 (;^(( I was not much of a fan of two cycles, But for an X-6 at those prices I definitely would have bought one, I had test driven one a few months earlier at their main larger location and it was a very fast 250cc !!


george webber
5/26/2009 6:33:36 AM

Hi i raced a CB92 in early 1961 and was lucky to purchase one 12 months ago it was raced in WA.mostly complete and as raced. in exceptional condition .now in restoration mode i would like help in finding bits and pieces one thing missing is the kick starter Help welcomed thanks George






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