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1965 CT200 Trail 90
Thank you to Cycle World Magazine, 1965, for the following contribution:
"Honda’s claim of world’s biggest seller cannot be denied. Large and small, the name Honda has been almost generic in this day of motorcycles from past to present. In 1965, Honda’s biggest displacement bike, a 450cc twin cylinder was a remarkable motorcycle.
However and perhaps the most important segment of the range of motorcycles offered during the 1960’s was the Honda CT200 Trail 90.
The Honda Trail 55 may have been a more popular model, based on price, but the 90 was the perfect answer for the novice trail enthusiast, particularly if he had had little or no previous experience on a motorcycle. The Trail 90 was designed for the hunter and for the fishermen who fit that description.
Compared to the Trail 55 the Trail 90 offered 30% more power for not quite that much more money. Amongst many other improvements over the Trail 55, was the U.S. Department of Forestry approved spark arrester/muffler. Even in 1965 it was becoming a necessary component, if one wanted to enjoy what remained of the wilderness they were allowed to travel in.
The Forestry-approved spark arrester was standard equipment on Honda’s trail models, saving a lot of trouble for the serious trail rider and offering a small advantage over the competing trail bikes.
Honda rates the CT200 Trail 90 with 6.0 hp @ 7,500 rpm. Valves, pushrods, camshafts and several other engine components rattled quite a bit at those engine speeds. Many found however, that worrying about those noises was a waste of time, as the Honda engine would do it almost endlessly.
The Honda CT200 Trail 90 was a motorcycle that appealed to the new rider, but it was a fun ride even for the most experienced riders. It handled very well and it had ample power.
The only criticism Cycle World Magazine had to offer on the CT200 Trail 90 was the short travel of the front suspension.
Ground clearance was abundant and gear ratios could be chosen. Would the rider desire a spin on the pavement, a few minutes changing the rear chain from one sprocket to another (two were provided, side by side), and he would have a bike that would travel at 50 + mph cruising speed.
Full lighting was standard, as were steel fenders, more than adequate air cleaner, engine protective guard, luggage rack, high mounted exhaust pipe, proper handlebars, two-speed sprockets as mentioned, folding foot pegs and anything else one might think of. In short, the accessory makers had a dislike for the CT200 Trail 90, as it was a “loaded” motorcycle.
An automatic clutch was standard, eliminating the “chore” of using the clutch in both starting up and changing gears under way. Honda certainly knew their market." Closing lines on the original brochures read “No Extras Needed.”