It was my first ever bike. I bought the Honda CB100n, from a girl I fancied back in my school days, for a few hundred quid. Knowing me, I probably paid too much. The tiny blue Honda came with a name too. Yoshi was around as old as I was and I loved it.
Of course, having bought it, I then had to get a licence for the thing. By then I was old enough to go straight for a full licence on Christmas leave. Once back at work, a gun fitter I worked with (he rode an Enfield India Bullet 350) told me I wouldn’t want to keep it after riding the ER5 for the test. “You’ll feel like your riding a plank,” he told me. Seems like a pot calling the kettle black situation coming from an Enfield rider. It turns out he was wrong anyway.
I was happy to cut my teeth on that tiny bike. It was the only bike I ever owned that I exclusively maintained myself. It took me from Catterick to Harrogate and back 3 or 4 days a week for a year or so. That was a fair distance but you hardly ever needed to put fuel in the thing. I was younger, fitter and more immune to hardship so I didn’t see any reason to not ride it for miles and miles. I even took it a little further north on a few occasions.
Though I’d love to have one in my dream garage for nostalgic reasons, it had it’s limitations. It was good for 50mph max cruising speed. Faster than that and you’d probably fry the motor. The 6 volt electrical system made riding back to camp in the wee small hours more than a little tricky. Though it had pillion pegs, the only time I ever remember using them was to give a lift to a very drunk corporal a short distance back to the barracks.
It was reliable enough for a very old bike. I had to do some work on the dodgy cable operated front brake calliper. Other than that you just had to adjust the tappets and contact breakers from time to time then choke on, boot on the starter and kick it into life.
Of course, all things come to and end. This one hung around for a while though. After I bought my first big bike, I still didn’t want to get rid of it. Yoshi stayed with a friend for a while, and then found it’s way back into dad’s garage. Eventually however, my parents made it clear it couldn’t clutter up their garage any longer. Eventually I let it go free to a good home. I hope they enjoy it as much I did.