The Honda CB 100 (Super Sport 100) was a basic commuter motorcycle launched all the way back in 1970, with manufacture continuing until only 1972. However, in those 3 years this basic bike became an international favourite as a dependable, frugal town or city bike. The basic chassis and design of the bike was not revolutionary, since it followed the earlier CB bikes. In fact, clones of the CB 100 have continued to dominate many countries in some parts of the world, thanks to its simplicity and dependability.
At the heart of the Honda CB 100 is a basic air cooled, single cylinder, 4 stroke 99cc engine. It produced just 11 hp at 8000 rpm, but this was enough power for a lightweight commuter bike with a kerb weight of just over 200 pounds. With a good rider and long stretch of road, the CB 100 could touch top speeds nearing 70 mph. However, since the CB 100 carried only basic expanding shoe brakes on both 18 inch wheels, this was fast enough for safe riding! The CB 100 functioned very well in small, overcrowded roads, where this small Honda could effortlessly zip past clogged traffic.
The CB 100 engine came with Honda's own forced wet sump lubrication system that made maintenance a breeze. A 5 speed transmission used a wet multi-plate clutch system for easy operation on crowded city streets, which require a high number of gear changes even during short rides. Designed for basic run-arounds, the Honda CB 100 had a basic, comfortable seat and adequate suspension for level city streets. Even with a tank having a fuel capacity of just over 2 gallons, the Honda CB 100 required surprisingly few refills, thanks to the frugal 99cc engine and light chassis. In real riding conditions, the CB 100 returned figures between 80 and 95 mpg, making it an affordable, practical ride.
During the 3 years of production, there were some cosmetic changes made to each year's production, but no major technical modifications. For many Honda enthusiasts, the 1972 model is the best looking, with its white tank, side cover with tasteful color inserts, and loads of chrome. However, you can still find earlier models in parts of the UK, while riders in some parts of Asia are happy to buy exact clones manufactured locally. With the right quality of genuine spare parts, the Honda CB 100 is still a great little commuter bike that promises little, but delivers more.