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5 unforgettable lessons my Honda CL90 taught me about motorcycles

Exactly 50 years after learning to ride on a red 1967 Honda CL90, I’ve come to realize that almost everything I really needed to know about motorcycles came through this humble 8-hp street scrambler. Flash back to June 1970 and America’s motorcycle boom was on. Honda’s CB750 Four had debuted, European and Japanese dirt bikes flooded ashore, and bike magazines hit the newsstands rapid-fire.


Months of appealing and pleading, backed by decent scholastics and a demonstrable work ethic sealed the deal. Dad steered me not toward a Hodaka or Yamaha, but Honda’s Scrambler 90—bought used for $200. In hindsight, no machine better matched this skinny 16-year-old. That bike took me 18,000 in 18 months, conferring a lifetime skillset.


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