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Honda C90 Tops the Classic Charts

Honda’s evergreen C90 step through is the UK’s most popular classic bike, with Triumph’s Bonneville taking the runner-up spot. That’s according to a new report from loop, an automotive PR agency, which has (amongst other things) quantified the CO2 emissions of Britain’s fleet of classic bikes and scooters. It uses the DVLA’s definition of classic – anything built or first registered more than 40 years ago – and concentrates on licenced machines, not those on SORN.

Brit bike fans might be surprised to learn that there are more classic Hondas on the road than anything else, at 35,894. BSA trails at 28,713 followed by Triumph (26,142), Lambretta (23,211) and Yamaha (18,672). Suzuki, Kawasaki, Norton, BMW and Velocette fill out the top ten. Honda’s dominance is underlined by the top ten classic models too, with the CB750 and VFR750 taking fifth and sixth slots. Two Lambrettas make the top ten – the GP150 (third place) and GP200 (ninth).

The report also attempts to quantify the carbon footprint of Britain’s classic bikes, based on average fuel consumption and the greenhouse gas emissions of modern E10 petrol. It reckons that each classic bike on the road emits an average 209.9kg CO2e per year, based on the average classic mileage of 700 miles/year. To put that in perspective, classic bikes make up just 0.05% of the UK’s total transport emissions, thanks to relatively few being on the road, covering low miles.

Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF, was intrigued by loop’s findings: “That looks like a great argument for classic bikes. Companies like Honda were at the forefront of clean ICE development, they had to sell into California, which was obsessed by tailpipe emissions way back in the 1970s. I’d also say that my first bike was a C50, rapidly traded for a C90, which I rode for several years as a teenager. The economy was stunning, I got an easy 100 miles out of its tiny tank, ridden like a teenager. It withstood anything I threw at it, brilliant.”

Written by Peter Henshaw

Information taken from Classic Bike Emissions a report produced by loop

Top image courtesy of MCN