Honda CB200 Reviews

1975 Honda CB200 from United States of America

Model year1975
Year of manufacture1975
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2009
Distance when acquired12000 miles
Most recent distance13000 miles

Summary:

Fun little bike for around town, and short spurts on the highway

Faults:

One cylinder sputters mildly, needs a tune up.

Original seat, little splits are starting to appear, foam is still good.

General Comments:

This little motorcycle is seriously not quick and handles just OK. Even so, this is a very fun little motorcycle. It's a little slow off the line unless you rev it up some to get her going. It has a 9,000rpm red line.

The brakes work well in traffic even in today’s world of great bikes (2009). The credit goes to the manual disc brake on the front wheel. Electrics are OK, not great. The electric starter works, but you need to turn off the headlight first. That's back when you could still do that. Luckily it still has the old kicker on the side too. I sure do miss them, good in emergencies. Blinkers are a little slow to activate & flash. Maybe a different flasher would help, I don't know.

What drew me to it were its looks. I started out looking for a 60's Honda or other Japanese Twin. When I ran across these I had to check into them. I really liked the style of the tank & how they looked as a cafe bike. The bike looked basically the same over the 74, 75, 76 year era. The paint schemes gave it a different look from year to year though.

I've had about 16 bikes, the biggest was a Honda CB900 Custom, & I've ridden an 1100cc Gold Wing on trips. These bikes had endless power & were very comfortable cruisers with air shocks & forks etc.

The last bike I owned & rode around was a Yamaha XS650 Twin. That was a nice bike for an in between size bike, a little tall for my legs, only 5'7". Balanced very well, good torque, not rev happy, good power though.

The CB200 is in no way a match for the bigger bikes, but that is not what it is all about. I'm only 150 lbs and was about 130 when I owned the CB900. My point is that when riding a smaller bike, you’re not carrying around all that extra weight. The effortless feeling of maneuvering it around the streets or off the kick stand is awesome. It doesn't need a big engine to move it along, but your weight, a passenger, steep hill or the wind can affect the speed in which you will travel along the highways & the byways.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 11th May, 2009

1978 Honda CB200 from United Kingdom

Model year1978
Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership1978
Most recent year of ownership1980
Acceleration marks 2 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 2 / 10
Handling marks 2 / 10
Braking marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.1 / 10
Distance when acquired12000 miles
Previous motorcycleHonda SS50

Summary:

Good for India or China

Faults:

Nothing.

General Comments:

"You meet the nicest people on a Honda" the advertisement went, and I believed it. So my first bike had to be a Japanese one; in the mid 70’s it was all there was? Well no, there were Italian designer bikes and copies of the Japanese bikes also scooters. A Honda SS50 was my choice.

It had a high exhaust pipe and was basically a Honda C50 Cub, the best selling bike of all time. Powered by a 49cc 5hp @ 9,000 rpm, 1 cylinder 4 stroke engine, when most sports bike were 2 stroke, that attracted me to it.

Performance was gutless - 50mph was seen once downhill with the wind behind me. It would struggle to 40mph most of the time.

There was a lot of talk at the time of bikes being too powerful, so later versions were detuned so as not to corrupt the youth.

On my first drive around a few bends, I came off after mounting the pavement and hitting a fence! No damage done, I continued to cover 12,000 miles over the next year with no problems. Once driving into a river, pulling the bike out, it started after a few kicks. Not really suited to British roads, it was a real motorised bicycle belonging in India or China.

After a year I traded it in for a Honda CB200. This was chosen over the CJ250 as it had an electric starter and the CJ250 was very ugly. I revelled in the power of the CB200, a two cylinder with 17hp @ 9,000 rpm. It would always hit 65mph on a flat road, and once I saw 80 downhill with the wind behind me!

One icy morning however, one year and 12,000 miles later, I jumped off it as it seemed to be sliding about on black ice out of control. Limping to a garage, I would never see it again, it was a wreck. Another bike for India or China, not the UK, it was so gutless. The CB200 was to performance in the bike world what Hindustan Ambassador is to the car world.

That’s the end of my Honda odyssey for my next bike was a Suzuki X7. It was some years later when I rented a Honda H100, that the world of gutless wonders was relived. Pulling on to the motorway at 70 mph, it preceded to slow down to 50, no 40, no 30mph, as a slight incline and the wind took effect. My 40 mile trip home had become an endurance test. A week passed and I upgraded to a CB250. These two Hondas were my introduction to motorcycling. I took the nice route, never again however would this happen. It is the road the ridicule and boredom. Why?

You see when I had my SS50, 2 friends had Italian GT mopeds, which went like the wind. Another had a Suzuki, another a Yamaha. All would leave a Honda SS50 behind. I had the slowest, most boring ‘sport's’ bike there was. As for the Honda CB200, my friends upgraded to Yamaha RD250 and Yamaha XS250. My CB200 was 20 mph slower, a slug in comparison. I was allowed to try the RD250 out by my friend. The power and the smoothness was in another league to the Honda, I was astonished.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th July, 2006

23rd Aug 2006, 08:59

I too had an Honda SS50. I purchased mine in 1982. It was a 1977 model.

Originally a 5 speed version, mine had a 4 speed box fitted. My sister's boyfriend at the time had had a similar model, but much modified. He set about modifying mine.

Sit up and beg handlebars were replaced with full drops. A short straight-through exhaust was fitted. The carb was worked on as well as the fuel feed. The gear ratios were changed to get fantastic low speed acceleration and wheelie potential, whilst the top end was calibrated so as to achieve around 60mph. As a result, I could lean tightly into bends out gun most "go-peds" and more importantly easily beat my mates FS1E!

Average review marks: 4.1 / 10, based on 2 reviews