Hero Honda CD 100: Gone, but not forgotten
Finding the right bikes to fill this space without resorting to classic or vintage bikes isn’t as easy as you’d expect. Everything of relevance to us at Fast Bikes India has mostly been ridden, some we have banked for the appropriate moment, and I won’t touch a 100cc econo-miser with a barge pole. And then I came across this.
It isn’t fast, desirable, sexy or collectible. But if I had to make a list of the bikes that had the most impact on us in India, this would be at the top of the top ten. The Hero Honda CD 100 changed everything. It killed 2-strokes. It killed performance. It birthed the “kitna deti hai” generation. It put millions on the road, and continues to do so till date. If you’re from Pune and go up to ride at that bike haven you will notice this bike owned by the fellow who runs the shack at the base of the dam. It’s a million years old. There’s no need for a key to start it. There are no brakes, the handlebar points to London, the bike heads to Tokyo and the tyres are older than time itself. But it still runs. It is indestructible. Throw it from the top of the dam, pull it out of the water, and it will start on one kick. Put two drops of petrol and a hundred drops of kerosene or whatever semi-liquid adulterant you can find and it will run. Contrary to those ads nobody ever filled a CD 100 to the brim — those two drops would be enough to last you the month.
The sloper engine is the trump card. Nothing you do will kill it. Eventually the frame will break into two but even then these CD 100s (and the SS and the Splendor and everything else that had the legendary Honda engine) will find a buyer. The engines apparently do not rust and so once their motorcycling lives are over they end up powering little boats. That quality is why Hero Hondas have the best resale value in its class. Nothing ever goes wrong. And that’s why they’ll never go away, nor will be forgotten.