Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Honda MBX75 Hurricane

The Honda MBX75 Hurricane was a Spanish domestic model built at 75cc opposed to 80cc for their licensing laws. This was done by reducing the bore to 48mm opposed to the 49.5mm of 80. The 75 was also assembled in the Montessa Honda factory in Spain, which I assume for import duty reasons.

The first bike wore the same colour schemes as the rest of the world, red, black and white. Second generation bikes had the large MBX logo on the tank with the rainbow graphics, the wheels also changed from Comstars to forged Grimeca wheels.

The last generation had the cool Rothmans paint scheme in both blue and red.

To give an idea of how important the 75cc Spanish market was Honda roped in none other the Freddie Spencer who featured on the brochure and in advertising material!

The MBX75 was replaced with the NSR75, which was in effect a re-dressed MBX and shared many parts.
For more info on the MBX75 take a look at www.hondambx.com the website is in Spanish, but google chrome will translate it.

Yamaha RD80LC and LC2 brochures

Yamaha RD80LC

Yamaha RD80LC 2

Honda's MB/MT/MV/X series motorcycles

In 1979, Honda introduced a very successful series of light motorcycles in the US and in Europe. Honda's productionlines of these models were in Spain, Belgium and Sweden.
Both the Honda MB road-model and the Honda MT offroad-model motorcycles were released in Europe. The MB was made 1979 to 1981 in Europe and in the U.S. in 1982 only. In Europe however the mt50 production would last until 1997.

Both models were in 2 versions; 80 and 50 cc, two-stroke. Honda left its four-stroke program temporarily because it aimed at the European moped market for 16-year-olds, the legal age at which someone can drive a 50 cc motorcycle in most European countries.
The MB model was sporty and complete. It was standard equipped with a speedometer, rpm counter, front disc brake and Honda Comstar wheels. Because of its success Honda released the MT series, a naked off-road version, on the European market.
The result of this move was that sales in Europe greatly increased. The MT series earned its popularity because of the large numbers of original and imitation parts that were available. By means of these parts the owner was able to create a unique state of the art model. Another very important issue was that with a reasonable amount of money it was very easy to gain extra engine power. The result was a tuned up MB or MT easily exceeding the legal engine power.
In parallel with the MB and MT series, Honda released aircooled MBX and MTX 50 & 80 cc models. 
Unlike the MT50 which had a 5 speed gearbox, the MTX50 had a six speed 'box plus a HERP chamber on the exhaust. In 1983, Honda released a watercooled successor to both the MB/MT and aircooled MBX/MTX series, the MTX50/80RFD and the MBX50/80.

In 1985, the MTX50/80RFD was revised cosmetically into the MTX50/80RFF. This, in turn became the MTX50/80RII, a motorcycle based around the existing MTX125/200R motorcycles. Honda's MBX looked like Honda MTX SH(adow).
Because of important law and insurance changes the sales in these types of light motorcycles decreased enormously. As a result production in Spain and Belgium came to a standstill in 1992. MBX production lasted another year and stopped in 1993. Only in Scandinavia a limited production for the local market lasted until 1997. After that Honda's M productions came to an end.

There were 50, 80, 125 variants of both the MBX and MTX as well as a 200c version of the MTX. The MTX125/200R started life in 1983 as RFD models and were ungraded in 1985 into the RFF. Changes includes dropping the drum brake at the front and replacing with a disc, bigger forks, revised graphics, a revised rear shock, revised CDI and, in the case of the 200, a new swingarm. The 125 cc motorcycle come in both restricted and de-restricted form. The de-restricted version and the 200 cc version had ATAC chambers operated by a piston valve attached to a mechanical governor.

The stock MB8 uses a two-ring 45mm piston and 50.8mm stroke – compared to the 41mm stroke of the MB5
To complete the 'M' range we have to include the MVX250, with the engine being a V3 two stroke like the NS/RS500 racers of the early 80's. This model was very short lived and suffered engine reliability problems, but is a very good looking motorcycle.

**Source text Wikipedia

My bike: Video, running my bike for the first time this year

I got a Nilox Action Camera via work so I thought I would have a play. Here is a short video of the bike warming up for the first time this year plus some great stills with a 'fish eye' effect.

Road test: Motorcycle Weekly

just picked up this copy of Motorcycle Weekly dated 19th March 1983 with a road test of the Honda MBX80 in it. The feature is called "Movin' into the '80s!" and the test is by some chap called Paul Carroll.... enjoy!

Press Release: Honda MB-8

The daddy of the MBX, here is the original Japanese press release for the 1980 Honda MB-8. The text has gone through google translate so reads a little funny...

February 15, 1980 Honda motorbikes type sports MB-8 (eight) to launch two models simultaneously released with some improvements

Honda Motor (Japan) is a new design of high-performance two-cycle engine, bodywork and fresh unique design technology to load 80 cc sports car, "Honda MB-8" from February 22 release. The 8 MB-Honda, nimble handling and transit point to the primary axis BARANSA, central cooling cylinder head combustion chamber, the combustion chamber bell technologies such as high-power engine (9.5 horsepower), a simple

 Items / models MB-8 MB-8
 Standard cash price  In the district of Sapporo price 152,000 152,000 yen (155,000) (155,000 yen)
Sales Plan (Years, domestic only) 3,000 3,000 units
Items / models MB-8(HC01) 8-MB (type HC01)
(m) Wingspan × × Length (m) Height 1.880×0.655×0.980 1.880 × 0.655 × 0.980
(m) Wheelbase (m) 1.220 1.220
(kg) Vehicle Weight (kg) 91.82 Maintenance: 91, dried: 82
(L) Fuel tank capacity (L) 9.0 9.0
(km/L) Fuel consumption (km / L) 60(50km/h 60 (50km / h proving ground test values)
Engine type Air-cooled two-stroke single-cylinder
(cm 3 ) Exhaust volume (cm 3) 78 78
(mm) Lumen diameter (mm) × stroke 45.0×49.5 45.0 × 49.5
PS/rpm) Maximum output (PS / rpm) 9.5/8,000 9.5 / 8,000
(kg-m/rpm) Maximum torque (kg-m/rpm) 0.89/7,500 0.89 / 7,500
Gearbox 5-speed return
Frame format  Backbone -
Tire size () (Previous) 2.50-18-4PR 2.50-18-4PR
() (Post) 2.50-18-6PR 2.50-18-6PR
Brake format () (Previous) Hydraulic disc
() (Post) Mechanical leading trading ring

owners bikes: Erik's MBX50 and 80

These two bikes were sent in by Erik Dekker. Erik is looking for an electronic copy of the workshop manual, I have the manual but not scanned in. Do you have one, can you help him out? Drop me a mail if you have done it?

Rothmans MBX50


Brochure: 125 street & trail riders

Just picked this brochure up from ebay, it features all of Honda's learner machines of 1985 including the MBX50, 80 and 125. The dealer sticker on the front is from 'Continental Motor Cycles Ltd' Woking, which I believe is now Woking Yamaha!
The MBX 80 text reads;
"Smaller brother to the outstanding MBX125F, this mean machine has many of its striking family characteristics, maching specification yet with all of the insurance advantages of a machine under 100cc. A powerfull 2-stroke liquid cooled engine with low maintenance Capacitor Discharge Ignition and 6-speed transmission are matched with twin hydraulic disc brakes for on the road stopping power."

Honda's MBX50 from the Honda Collection Hall

The Honda Collection Hall is located at the Twin Ring Motegi race track transport museum housing a collection of not only Honda road and race cars and bikes but also important machines from their competitors.
In the collection is this rather nice liquid cooled MBX50, I have included it on this site as a reference for the ‘factory finish’ as I would suggest this is probably the best standard example left?

Check out the rest of their bikes here.

Amazingly, Honda have a video of it running, and its pretty rapid!

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics show, Stafford

On Saturday the 20th we visited the Classic Motorcycle Mechanics show at Stafford show ground, this show specialises in Japanese machinery from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. There are plenty of club stands, privately entered bikes and lots and lots of traders, in fact the show is so big it needs to be seen to be believed.

We went with a shopping list of things we would like for the MBX project, but unfortunately we ended up not buying anything… But it is a good day out so all was not lost.

The MB5 owner’s club stand had this lovely red MBX50, immaculately presented I did manage a quite chat on its engine finish.

 There are plenty of race bikes on display and that are fired up and run, including this ROC Yamaha YZR500 and Freddie Spencer RS250 replica that the great man has ridden himself.


My bike: original ebay listing

Here is the original ebay listing for my bike. Note it's not for sale!!!!

HONDA MBX80 FWDD WHITECondition:         
Used: An item that has been previously used. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of ... Read more
Manufacturer:  Honda
Model: MBX80 FWDD   
Number of Previous Owners:     12
Type:     --             Engine Size:        79 cc
Mileage:              28000   
Power: 11 Bhp
Model Year:       1983
Colour: White
Date of 1st Registration:               14 Dec 1983        Metallic Paint:   --
Gears:   Six-speed manual            MOT Expiration Date:     May 2012
Drive Type:         Chain     Warranty:            --
Start Type:          Kick start              Independent Vehicle Inspection:             --
V5 Registration Document:          Present                Road Tax:            11 Months Remaining
Customised Features:    --             Extra Features: --
Performance Upgrades:               --             Previously Registered Overseas:               --
Reg. Mark:          A*** *** Get the Vehicle Status Report
honda mbx80 bike bought a few months ago with the intent of restoring it but it became a work hack and now with only a couple of days MOT left my on-going restoration with another bike means i will not be able to take this on, i have the owner- manual plus a NOS belly pan and a good second hand rear mudguard, due to the bike being 28 yaers old there are all the age related marks which include some surface rust on the tank, frame etc along with a couple of tiny dents on the tank, the fairing needs a little attention but is serviceable, the bike is a good runner but little end is a little rattley nothing major, MOT runs out on 4th may but there is 11 months tax left, the pics make the bike look better than it is so don’t expect a minter but would make an ideal resto project which due to the rarity of this model it richly deserves, therefore sold as spares or repairs, i have tried to be honest with the description and will add more if anything comes to mind ,no tyre kickers please only bid to buy. Cash on collection as well as buyer responsible for collection viewings welcome please email to arrange or to ask any questions.