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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Little Honda

In the summer of 1965 (when Lulu was 11) - I bought my first vehicle. It was a Honda Cub. Now 50 years later - and Honda selling more Cubs than any other vehicle made (60 million) - a company in Taiwan is marketing a replica. It is called the Symba. I just got back from my local Scooter store after looking at one. I did not take it for a drive but my mind raced back 50 years.

My 1965 Honda Cub had a tiny 50cc engine - and a three speed manual transmission with automatic clutch. That meant your shifted it with your foot but did not have to engage a clutch. It only went 45 MPH - but it did get 200 miles per gallon. At the time we were buying gasoline for 25 cents a gallon so who cared. Mine started by a kick pedal - but those with an extra $25 got an electric starter. Two people could ride on it at once - if they didn't weigh more than 300 pounds total.

This is a picture of the Symba - I just took it this afternoon.

I drove that bike from Tamaqua PA to Allentown - Tamaqua to Gettysburg - and later from Tamaqua to Virginia.

In 1965 - you could buy a new one for $215. At the time - a starting teacher made about $5000. I was making $2 every morning delivering milk for Heisler's Dairy. Read the fine print above - it says 200 miles per gallon!

The Real Honda Cub

There are a few improvements on the Symba over the Honda Cub. The Symba has a 110cc engine - and 4 speeds. The Cub was just 50cc and 3 speeds. The 2013 Symba has fuel injection. 

The local dealer had some 2010 Symba's with carburetors. 

The original Honda Cub had both the light and the speedometer in a plastic fairing. 

In 1964 - The Beach Boys wrote a song called "Little Honda" that made these scooters very popular. 50 years later - only 3 original Beach Boys remain.

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