HERS: 1982 Honda CT110

On a fall 2014 trip up to Idaho to see Chelsea's dad, we mentioned we were looking for a small motorbike and wanted to go see one we'd found nearby on Craigslist while in the area. Upon hearing this, Chelsea's dad said, "I have an old Honda trail bike you can have if you want!" The beauty came home with us, and after a carb clean and a new tire, she was good to go. It was Chelsea's daily driver all summer before it came time to disassemble it and install the new Lifan 125 engine.

HIS: 1971 Honda CT90

When Chelsea inherited her bike, it was quickly decided that one was simply not enough, so we took to Craigslist and found a great deal on an older/smaller trail bike. Christian successfully swapped out the existing engine on his CT90 with a Lifan 125. It was a huge learning process, and with his hectic summer work schedule, it took two months to finish. Happily, the swap was a success and he's looking forward to putting more miles on it and breaking her in!


Bike Mods:

  • Lifan 125cc engines (Christian went fully manual and Chelsea stuck with a semi-automatic)
  • Performance exhausts
  • New heavy duty rear and forward suspension/springs
  • Custom built aluminum rear racks (sprayed with Plasti-dip to prevent extra wear and tear on the dry bags)
  • Shinko 244 Golden Boy Tires

Gear on the Bikes:

Why did we choose these tiny, underpowered trail bikes to try to travel on?

We love these bikes because of their size. Weighing in at just over 200 pounds each, the bikes are super maneuverable, easy to control and have a low center of gravity, making them a lot easier to balance than your traditional dirt/trail bike. With the high and low gears, they're perfect for exploring off-road mountain trails, but still provide a nice smooth ride on normal paved roads.

We also love traveling slow. The entire point of these bikes is to soak everything up on our travels. Traveling is always a little more personal on a motorcycle because you experience the smells, weather and landscape in a much more personal way than you would in an enclosed vehicle. Traveling on a severely underpowered motorcycle is evenmore personal because you can't take interstates and we'll always do our best to avoid busy roads regardless of their speed limit (or speed expectations in this case). We want to take our time and not miss a thing. We want to soak up every detail of the places we drive through. We want to take back roads and get lost winding our way around to avoid the interstates. These bikes will force us to do that.

We also just love these little bikes. They have an amazing history and a really cool cult-type following here in the states. Everywhere we go on them we get looks and comments of excitement and curiosity. It's a GREAT way to connect with people and we can only assume that will continue to ring true once we've loaded them down with belongings and supplies and hit the road. When was the last time you stopped to strike up a conversation with someone on a Harley or a regular touring motorcycle? Think of seeing the two of us putzing down the road with all our gear on these tiny things. You'd be pretty curious, wouldn't you? We're hoping they become an integral part of the relationships we look forward to forming on the road.