Honda CD 185T
With 50cc step-throughs, in all their differing forms, it was the CD175 that helped to form the backbone of Honda's
commuter-bike programme in the UK. For a decade from the late 1960s it served as a cheap, reliable alternative to bus and train for all those 20/40 miles-a-day workers who in the 1950s might have bought BSA Bantams and the like. For most of its 10-year run it was unchanged until, in 1977, the pressed-steel frame gave way to a tubular structure.
There had seemed to be no pressing reason for the alteration; and certainly, once it was done, most Honda-watchers would have said there was every chance that the 175 would carry on, undisturbed, into the 1980s. But Honda decided otherwise.
In 1979 the 175 was replaced by the CD185T which, because its engine was merely 1mm bigger in the bores, while retaining the 175's 41mm stroke, was not a 185 at all but a 180. Perhaps there is some special euphnony in '185'; more likely, Honda calculated that an extra 5cc would… Read more