What was hot in the 1960’s? The Beatles were a hit, tie-dye was in fashion, and Honda had this timeless classic, the SS50. The model succeeded the S50 in the 1960s, sporting a lot of the same stuff but with a few key upgrades earning it that extra ‘S’ in its name. 

This Honda SS50 hails from 1967, and it had a four-stroke 49cc air-coiled overhead camshaft single-cylinder engine laid down on its side for cooling. It was a chain-driven motorcycle, and it initially came with a four-speed manual transmission. A fifth gear was added in later year models, and it eventually got a disc brake in the front. The model here, from the late sixties, is definitely an earlier production as it features twin drums in the front and rear. 

In whatever case, the bike was “crying” for help buried under leaves and branches. After a timely rescue, unknown history, and brief assessment of the damage, the bike was wheeled away for its initial disassembly. Typical of bikes of this age, rust is a big issue, and there was no shortage of red stuff all over the exhaust, fenders, chain, etcetera. 

Disassembly took a while, but it was a straightforward job. One of the great things about old bikes is the simplicity of their designs. Getting this bike down to bare parts is more or less a straightforward job, especially with that exposed engine. 

Following the teardown, it was off to the grinder with this one with some extra help from the paint stripper. The black paint on the frame would later be replaced with teal, the same with the tank, and the other parts of the bike. The chrome bits would still persist, however, but sanded down and given a new coat of paint. 

The engine wasn’t restored in this video, perhaps it was done off-cam, or it was still good enough to run. Either way, the carburetor was cleaned and cleared of debris and all the other parts came together. Fresh foot peg rubber, indicators, electrical tape, hoses, and a final few touches capped off the build, and it was off into the sunset with this classic bike.

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