Project: To restore and improve a 1969 Honda SS50.


The Honda SS50E was sold in the UK from 1968 to 1972 as an economical 200mpg motorcycle. Closely related to the Honda Cub C50 it has a monocoque frame and the legendary over head cam 50cc engine. Unlike the C50 it has a manual 4 speed gearbox giving it a stunning top speed of 50mph, down hill, with a tail wind.

This particular example is pretty much complete and original. It hasnt been ridden since the 70s so only has 3200 miles on the clock. The whole bike is covered in surface rust so fist stage of the rebuild is to strip the bike and redo the paint.

 Given the cost of rechroming, some of the parts will have to be sourced new. Rather than being a faithful to original restoration this will be a combination of restoration and modification. Many of the parts can be sourced on ebay, CMS also have a large stock of new old stock parts.




Theres not much to these bikes so within a couple of hours its stripped. The engine looks a bit tatty but still has decent compression, there's no way to test it as theres half a spark plug stuck in the hole. Rather than try to recondition the engine and convert the electrics to 12v it'll probably be cheaper and a lot easier to buy a new Chinese engine. Although the SS50 was an economical bike it wasn't a quick one, if a new engine is to be purchased then it could be bigger!




Both aluminium and steel parts are corroded on the wheels. The preferred treatmet for the hubs will be clean and polish, the rims and spokes will have to be replaced.


Back from the painters, the frame and tank shiny again. Classic black and chrome always look good together. After painting the head races were removed and new roller type fitted.


New badges for the tank were supplied by CMS. New knee rubbers and chrome side covers are unobtainable, the original rubbers have gone brittle so they'll be left in place. This will mean the metal side cover cant be rechromed, luckily the original chrome is in reasonable condition.


The forks have some corrosion under the paint. To save cost theyre polished by hand. Picture shows before and after a lot of elbow grease.


Phil Denton Engineering supplied these beautiful bespoke stainless steel engine, wheel and swing arm bolts. All other nuts anb bolts will be original Honda chrome steel items from CMS.


Looking like a bike again, a couple of cafe racer style parts are added. The chrome pieces on the forks were unobtainable so had to be rechromed. New mud guards are fitted, these are Chinese copies from CMS and require a bit of fettling to fit. The seat came from ebay. The standard rims have been replaced with 1.5 front and 1.85 rear Radaelis from Central Wheel Components to beef the wheels up a bit. The hubs and brake plates are polished by hand then buffed up and laced with stainless spokes by professionals.


The YX140 supplied by 00Racing test fitted. Its the 4 speed 14bhp version with secondary clutch and fast road 75w generator. Engine case has been left unpainted so it can be polished more easily. Since this is a more modern copy of the original engine no modification of the engine mounts is required. To make it look a tad more Honda-ish the alloy cylinder is painted black to mimic the original iron one. Polishing the much larger clutch cover will hopefully help that to blend with the vintage look of rest of the bike. Since the clutch cover is so much bigger the foot pegs will have to be modified to fit properly.


Engine case professionally polished by Allenchrome. Monkey straight through exhaust from Webike test fitted, it will have to be cut and re-welded into the correct position to avoid fouling anything. A rear mount will also have to be welded in place.



To stick with the racer theme a light weight lithium battery is purchased from the states via ebay. On testing the charging system it was found that the lithium battery was being over charged. The maximum voltage this 4 cell pack should be charged to is 14.4v, the reading taken with the engine running peaked at 14.7v so an alternative will have to be found. Something small, light, cheap and can handle the higher voltage of the YX140 generator.


SS50 Battery


On the suggestion of a member of the Sixteener Special Sports Moped Forum a 12 volt 1.2 amp hour Yucel (Yuasa) lead acid battery replaces the lithium one. The battery doesn't need to be very big, its only there because the regulator that comes with the engine requires one.  A new battery box is bent into shape using aluminium sheet and padded with foam.


ss50 battery

Nearly finished now. The electrics are tidied up with some new sleeving round the old loom. Headlamp and tail light are fitted - the tail lamp from Webike wasn't specifically designed for this model so needed cutting down, after which a coat of paint was put on to ensure a good colour match.






ss50 light

ss50 clocks

ss50 brake

ss50 rear wheel




# Anh Pham 2019-07-22 04:57
hello. I want buy fuel tank black. Can you help me? please.
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# Jon B 2016-10-07 20:43
Hello Titimus, bike looks great.
What did you have to do, to change the bike from 6v to 12v working ?
Where didyou get the handlebars from with the cutouts for wiring/cables?
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# juliuszeezout 2016-03-25 19:31
what a great restoration! how did you manage to fit that new rear tire on there without brushing the frame? a friend of mine has the same honda with a 3.00" rear tire and there isn't more than half a cm of clearance. Since you have fitted a 1.85 rim I can only assume you have fitted a larger tire...
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# Lewis 2015-11-19 16:39
Hello, really nice build. What is the MPG like and the average crusing speed of this engine on this bike?
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# SS50 from Viet Nam 2015-06-22 11:24
Hi there,
As pictures it is honda CD 1970 with many good parts. Now i have somw honda ss50 and cub super, you can visit my facebook.com/bu ithanhphuong, you can look my some bikes. These are good and original full, if you need for your catalogue, we can together work.

Mr Phương- (849)- 908.52.10.52.
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# Mr Ross 2016-01-16 23:58
Hi Mr Phuong,
I live in Go Vap & I would like to export 67 Hondas around the world.
If you are interested give me a call.
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# Olivier 2014-12-07 12:13

I do the same job, you have done on your bike, could you tell me the brand and dimension of your tires ?

I think i will chose the same rims as you.

Thanks in advance
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# Jay of Viet Nam 2014-11-09 02:38
I don't know if you are aware but the Honda SS50 / Benly 50 / Honda 67 is still being manufactured today in China by Jai Ling or Jailing. Making all of the parts needed like tank rubber easily available. I "believe" the Jai Ling product is being manufactured under license from Honda so it should be of usable quality anyway. These are still popular in Thailand and the parts are next to free if you can find a source there.
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# Hugo 2014-09-23 20:39
hi can i ask where you managed to get a UK compliant headlight? i'm restoring an asian import at the moment and cant get it through MOT due to the headlight
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# Jorden 2014-05-10 13:40
Hi theorem do you still have the original exhaust, seat and rear fender of the ss50? I am looking for the ones shown in your pre-restoration photos. Thanks!
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# Nice job 2014-05-01 13:27
Just by chance would you have a speedo for one of these bikes?
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# yamakawa 2014-04-12 15:42
Very impression!!!
I am trying to restore my SS50
My SS50 lost many parts
Can you give me the removed parts from this restoration? ( handle bar, fender or anything)
please send me the list via email
Thank you
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# Lee 2014-03-09 10:10
It's nice. I'm restoring my bike, like your.But I can't find the fuel tank. May you let me know where i can buy it.
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# ian 2013-10-16 20:21
have 1976 ss50 my wifes from new cannot find 2nd and 4th cogs on lay shaft any ideas
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# Mike Perry 2013-10-12 13:10
I have a 1976 Honda SS50, the black and yellow paint job one.
I need to find a workshop or maintenance manual to bring her back to life as she only has a few hundred miles on the clock and has not been ridden since 1980. Can anyone point me in the right direction ?.
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# thinh quang 2013-10-05 23:01
I am missing an exhaust (original) as in this blue moped, if anyone can do without,please contact me :
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# ScouseJock 2013-10-08 23:02
I might have one soon as I won't stay original on the exhaust. Where are you
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# Thinh quang 2013-12-31 02:52
sorry for a long timer to answer your messenger.
I am from Denmark, have you still your original exhaust ?
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# ScouseJock 2013-10-08 23:01
Wow impressive rebuild especially with the engine upgrade.
I am buying a 1970 to rebuild for son. Going to keep it as a 50cc initially as he will only legally be able to ride a 50cc at 16. I will look at engine upgrades but a 140 cc is prob pushing it. Lol
Might have to start a blog when we start this rebuild.
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# dan 2013-09-09 22:06
i have a 1968 ss50 from germany, cannot find a manual anywhere. can anyone help?
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