Nestled neatly in the natural beauty of Kyoto, Japan, there is an off-road vintage bike wonderland. It’s called Kameoka Trial Land, and it’s been in business since 1972. President Yoshinobu Mori has a prized collection of vintage trials bikes from all over the place, ranging from BSA to Yamaha. He doesn’t just collect, though—he also loves to wrench, modify, and ride. If you ever wanted to see a vintage Honda Super Cub do trials, this video is for you.
Now, a Super Cub might not be the first bike you think of when mentally assembling a list of likely trials contenders. Heck, it might not even be the tenth bike you think of in those circumstances. Still, it’s a good reminder that just because a stock bike isn’t ideal for the task you want to accomplish, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. See also: offroading Honda Goldwings with Dos Honduros.
A little key frame reinforcement, suspension modification, and more appropriate rubber, and this 90cc thumper that just won’t quit is ready to kick-start into a perfectly capable trials bike. This sturdy little bear laughs in the face of giant boulders, and has absolutely no trouble ripping around forest tracks with ease. You want one too, right? I thought so.
While a talented rider can make even an ill-equipped machine look good, the great thing about a Super Cub is that it’s so approachable in the first place. Let’s say you haven’t been running a trials compound for the past 50 years. You’re still much more likely to be able to pick yourself up and keep going if you fall down on one of these ursine beauties. See also: Ed March and his C90 Adventures in round-the-world Super Cub touring.
This video is inspiring on multiple levels. On one hand, it’s clearly a great bike, wielded in capable hands. It looks like this guy is having all the fun, which is all most of us ever really want out of bikes, anyway. On the other hand, it’s a great reminder to not wait for the perfect [insert bike here] to fall into your lap before you go do That Thing on a bike that you really want to do.
So what if you’ve never worked on your own bike before? Everyone has to start somewhere. Don’t ever let any jaded know-it-alls get you down. Read up, watch videos, try stuff, make mistakes, learn from them, and most importantly, get better. Pretty soon, you’ll be doing awesome stuff like building a trials Super Cub in your shed/garage/studio apartment.