The first small bike ( "buzzbike) I owned was an Italian made Garelli Mosquito?, which I bought for a couple of bucks, but it needed re-assembly. The motor had been removed and needed to be repaired and put back together, and parts of the frame needed re-spraying and re-assembly.
I then bought a second hand Honda Honda CA110 Sport 50 for around US$ 4, but it also needed re-spraying, however the motor was sound.
This model was the second generation of this model. It was produced from 1962 to 1969. I bought mine in 1966. The side covers were a blue colour and the tank had chrome covers (see photo on the right, below the brochure). The frame, front forks, and fenders were all blue. The saddle now had a strap. The engine was a 49cc OHV single cylinder with a manual clutch. My bike was the 4-speed model. The tank badges read "HONDA 50".
I spent most of my spare time attempting to make this bike go faster, but eventually got tired of constantly straightening bent pushrods, that's when I decided a 2-stroke would be less work.
One of the last modifications I made was to bore it our to 62.5cc, which would then accommodate 1 piston from the Honda 125cc twin. This mod made the bike really fly, but just resulted in more bent pushrods more often.
Small capacity buzzbikes & motorbikes
My decision to buy a 2-stroke was a good one. I bought this Suzuki brand new from "Baldy" Alexander at Alpet Motors in Durban, in 1967. It cost the grand price of R130, at today's exchange rate that around US $19.
After diligently running it in, I was tempted to begin modifications, but it was such a good runner that I resisted this until a year later.
The only maintenance required was regular de-coking the head, the plug and the exhaust - which gummed up fairly regularly as I used castor oil to get the racing bike smell, and a touch of nitro from time to time. Nitro was easy to get as my father flew model aeroplanes and he used it in the model fuel, as well as the castor oil.
When I turned 18, I swapped this bike for an old car that my father had lying around. My younger brother got the bike and I got a Peugeot 403 station wagon in return. Not a bad deal!
The photo on the right shows Yvonne sitting astride my Suzuki.
For many years thereafter I remained bike less, but around 1971/2 I bought a Suzuki 185cc scrambler. The bike shown on the right is similar to the one I bought, but mine was orange-red in colour. For some reason I have absolutely no photos of this bike.
This too was a good bike, the engine ran well and was totally trouble free despite some heavy riding in the bush areas and around Durban.
It was a brilliant bike to "wheelie", and I was often seen by disgusted neighbours wheelie-ing the bike the full length of our quiet suburban neighbourhood.
This was the last "small" bike I owned.
TS 185 J Sierra 1972
Overall Length: 2,035 mm (80.1 in)
Overall Width: 840 mm (33.0 in)
Overall Height: 1,135 mm (44.7 in)
Wheelbase: 1,340mm (52.8 in)
Ground Clearance: 246 mm (9.7 in)
Dry Weight: 99 kg (218 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 183 cc single cylinder 2-stroke. 17.5 hp / 7,000 rpm, 13.5 ft-lb/ 6,000 rpm. 70-75 mph.