c.1963 Honda 50cc CR110 Racing Motorcycle
Engine no. 23 30
Not only did they epitomise the virtues of a racing motorcycle, being small, light, fast and simple, but they handled wonderfully well, and if properly (and rather expensively) maintained they were remarkably reliable. Brian Woolley on the Honda CRs, Directory of Classic Racing Motorcycles.
Little more than one year after its breakthrough first success at World Championship level in 1961, Honda made its state-of-the-art Grand Prix technology available to privateers in the form of the 50cc CR110 and 125cc CR93 over-the-counter racers. Like their works equivalents, the 50cc single and 125cc twin employed gear-driven double overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder, this combination of tiny cylinders and minuscule valves enabling them to rev safely well into five figures, the CR110s maximum power of 8.5bhp arriving at a then stratospheric 13,500rpm. Both models employed a tubular steel frame, devoid of lower rails, to which was attached a conventional set of cycle parts, and while the 50 boasted no fewer than eight gears in the gearbox, the more tractable 125 made do with six. First made available in 1963, the duo immediately achieved a dominance of their respective classes that would last for many years, and countless stars of the future, including Bill Ivy, Jim Curry, Rod Scivyer and sidecar champion Chris Vincent, gained their early experience aboard the diminutive CRs. This CR110 was owned from new by Bill Barker, a motorcycle dealer based in Yorkshire, and is believed to have competed in the Isle of Man TT on several occasions (the 50cc race was included in the TT programme from 1962 to 1968 inclusive). Well known collector Tony ONeill bought the machine directly from Bill Barker, who had already commenced its restoration, and completed the rebuild circa 1996. Purchased from Tony ONeil by the current owner sight years ago, the machine has not been run since and will, therefore, require some re-commissioning before further use. The high-level exhaust and rear disc brake are the only changes from original specification. Only a relative handful of CR110s was imported into the UK, and this restored example represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire one of these jewel-like masterpieces, which are highly sought today after by classic racers and collectors alike.