Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

joey hollifield /

My 1981 Honda Express

Picture216.jpg

Sorry purists. I couldn't help it. I saw a Honda Express and thought it was dorky as hell, but saw some potential so I bought it. I went to hacking away and here is what I've got so far. Actually Since I took that photo I've upgraded the rear suspension and exhaust, plus a new VM18. Other mods include a 70cc Wizard kit from Treats, shaved away as much of the deck and head as possible, swapped in some new carbon reeds, and done a little porting. For the look I just stripped it, changed the handlebars, and shot it with paint. It has an on/off switch for the ignition mounted under the seat, Ebay twist throttle and handbrakes, and a little bike speedo computer.

This thing is FUN to ride! It's actually pretty darn quick, takeoff is good and really kicks in about 15mph, blasting all the way up to 37MPH, which is faster than I want to go on this little guy! I think I'll be riding wheelies with a little more tuning.

The best thing about it is it's size and weight. It's about the size of a 20"BMX bike, and under 80lbs. I ride it alot in the woods, my fishing bike. I can pick it up, toss it over a fence, downed trees, whatever, and keep on truckin. You could cram it in a hatchback if you had to. All that and still street legal(sorta), I wish I had discovered these decades ago!

All of my friends laughed at me when I bought it and started working on it. Now they all want one too.

I have a real bike, BTW a V-star 650 that has been neglected ever since I got the Express. I've been riding that little thing all over the place, grinning from ear to ear the whole time.

I just wanted to show off my ride, and say thanks to everyone here. I picked up alot of good information here while I was working on this, and I do appreciate it very much.

I'll try to get a pic with the latest upgrades tomorrow.

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

Dr. Mantis Toboggan M.D. /

That thing is dope! You should post more pics.

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

like the look ,I have one stripped like that,thought some kids bike steel fenders might look good.

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

Captain Janeway /

Love it! Post more pictures

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

Ahem the express that Honda should have made

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Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

joey hollifield /

I can dig it, Rick! Wanna share some details? Looks like you've either spent a bunch of dough, done a bunch of custom fabrication, or both. Nice work any way you look at it!

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

joey hollifield /

Thanks! I will get some more pics tomorrow. Since I took that one I've upgraded the exhaust, and rear suspension. It rides like a dream now, and the pipe helped out quite a bit, but I'm not sure I like either one. They kinda killed my BMXpress style. I may have to go back.

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

joey hollifield /

Will do, tomorrow! Thanks!

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

joey hollifield /

I wish I could find some fenders that did look good, and fit the look. Like I said I ride this offroad alot more than on, and it's kind of annoying being pelted with blobs of mud when I do hit the pavement.

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

joey hollifield /

Rick Ems Wrote:

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> Ahem the express that Honda should have made

Hey is that real alligator? I actually have a piece of that myself, and toyed with the idea of making a seat cover from it.

Looks cool.

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

Def thought BMX the second i seen it

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

I don't think Honda would have used a water bottle for a fuel tank.

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

I like the look except for the Barcalounger seat. Just doesn't need to be that large. I'd love to see it play in a skate park!

Well done.

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

joey hollifield /

M-Tenn Aaron Wrote:

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> I don't think Honda would have used a water bottle

> for a fuel tank.

Nope, Honda isn't that cool. ;)

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

joey hollifield /

Gary Herrisch Wrote:

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> I like the look except for the Barcalounger seat.

> Just doesn't need to be that large. I'd love to

> see it play in a skate park!

> Well done.

I know. The seat has been an issue for me from day one. It's not all that big really, but way too big for a BMX bike. It's on my list. There's a compartment under the seat for the battery, CDI, ignition coil, and a rectifier. I don't use the battery, and would highly recommend anyone else to do the same (I'll tell the story in a sec), and could easily mount the rest right above the engine on the seat post. I'm torn between cutting off that compartment so I can use a bicycle seat, or welding the compartment up, shoving an expansion plug down the seat post, and adding a petcock right above the plug, converting it all into a fuel tank.

A skate park could be a blast. I've got a buddy who could tear one up with his little 50cc Kawasaki dirt bike, he used to ride a half pipe on it. I bet the BMXpress could do just as well.

BTW, about the battery... Was riding one day and when I got off I noticed the brand new seat cover had torn along the seams. I thought it was a piece of crap and was going to return it. A few hours later my GF started laughing and asked me what had happened to me. My shorts looked as if I had been attacked by a bobcat, shredded, even my boxers were ripped. I was way confused, couldn't figure it out for anything what the heck had got me, or why I didn't remember it. It was twilight zone stuff... The next day I was riding and my suddenly my ass was on fire, or at least felt like it was. I stopped and got off and grabbed the back of the seat to pull it up on it's center stand. A cut on my hand started burning like hell, and that's when I realized the issue. The brand new battery I had just installed was boiling over and the acid had permeated and pretty much completely soaked the seat foam. Thankfully I had plenty of paint protecting the steel. I soaked the seat foam in some baking soda and water, and washed the whole bike with it too. No more battery for me. I don't need lights when it isn't running. I'm trying to work out a system now with a boost circuit up to 12v, and a regulator, maybe a bigish capacitor to help with the pulsing at low RPM, and some custom, discreet, LED fixtures for all the lighting.

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

Get a battery eliminator kit. Also sounds like your regulator shit the bed and was cooking the battery.

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

joey hollifield /

simon zarka Wrote:

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> Get a battery eliminator kit. Also sounds like

> your regulator shit the bed and was cooking the

> battery.

What regulator? There's a rectifier and a CDI box. Is it on the coils? I haven't even had the flywheel cover off of this one, there may very well be one in there.

It runs fine with no battery, and will power lights too, but at 6 volts, and they get brighter with RPM. I don't think a battery eliminator is what I need. I need a boost converter, capacitor, and possibly an additional 12v regulator. I might add a charging circuit and a small lipo pack or something. I'm not sure there is anything on the market that is really ideal for this. I will probably need to design something myself.

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

Battery eliminator is just a fat capacitor.

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

Rob GasketFace /

I used a similar concept for mine:

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

joey hollifield /

Awesome!

I actually came across some photos of yours right after buying mine, while trying to figure out what to do with the thing.

I definitely got some inspiration from your build! It was one of very few custom NC50's I could find, and liked yours alot.

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

joey hollifield Wrote:

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> I can dig it, Rick! Wanna share some details?

> Looks like you've either spent a bunch of dough,

> done a bunch of custom fabrication, or both. Nice

> work any way you look at it!

Ricky built the Urban Express engine and the original frame poop. The frame is a Honda express with the seat compartment extended, a top bar welded in. It has an Urban Express drive with Derbi scooter wheel mounted. Showa forks, Dirt bike radiator half, mechanical water pump, tomos seat Kreidler tank, derbi 74cc kit, 80cc dirt bike pipe, 24 OKO. A big pile of shit ya know. We barter. He needed a frame for the build and accidentally grabbed poop. ;) Na, it's alright. I spent many hours on that frame, moved the engine over 1 1/2" to center the 5" tire. Patching holes, covering ugly shit.. Many.. It's a cruising moped for a big guy.

Dickhead!

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

lol , I see the top bar as BMX style frame so long as you don't have a tank on it .

I like the look yall bring but I need the extra support for safety reasons. .

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

Could go whole-hog on the bmx concept.

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

This is great! I really like the minimalistic look. Great idea for my next project. Stealing this.

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

Bad Cadillac™ /

Rich Condor Wrote:

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> Def thought BMX the second i seen it

Def looks cool but it does look like a motorized BMX bike for sure!

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

simon zarka (simon_c) — seventeen hours ago

Could go whole-hog on the bmx concept.

I LOVE your bike! Great job.

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

Haha That's not my bike. I pulled it from the gallery here.

This is my express:

(edited)

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

These things would look tite with small jet ski fire extinguisher as a gas tank.

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

joey hollifield /

simon zarka Wrote:

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> Haha That's not my bike. I pulled it from the

> gallery here.

>

> This is my express:

I like it Simon! Very cool. I like that NC50 engine on the bike also. The thought had crossed my mind but I like the NC50 frame I think.

Frank, just about everything I do is minimalistic! Most folks say it's because I'm lazy, lol.

Thanks for the comments, and also for posting your bikes. Where were they when I was trying to find my path? The only one I found was Rob's.

It's really nuts the difference a set of handlebars makes, isn't it? Lose those dopey ape hangers! I don't know what the hell Honda was thinking. They had a good base, but I don't think they could have made it any dorkier, maybe with a big squeeze bulb horn. Felt like I needed a propeller on my helmet to ride it before I stripped it.

Re: Honda Express - The way Honda should have done it!

Heres my 81 express

2016-06-16 19.43.44.jpg

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