Motorcycle Repair/Honda C.92
I am in the process of restoring a Honda Benly 125 with engine serial No: C92E-3502935. After extensive research (including valuable information from yourself), I had come to the conclusion that it was of 1963 manufacture. However, this bike does not have a re-designed fuel tank, no fuel tank rubber knee pads (they dont appear to have dropped off), & the original flat sided mufflers. When removing the main wiring harness, there was a small label fixed to it, stating, "Sumitomo 1962". What conclusions would you come to?
Kind regards, John (Australia)
John, using the CMSnl.com site for reference (http://www.cmsnl.com/honda-c92cs92-benly-touring-general-export_model7925/partsl
), I see that your muffler (one of several listed) falls in the from serial number: C92F-3503001 up to serial number: C92F-3506700 range using part number 18330-200-/040 and 050, then switching to 18330-212-007 and 017 parts thereafter. The center codes refer to the "root model" of where the part originated. 200 is a C90, which was an non-electric start version of the 125cc Benly. Below are all the model codes associated with the 125-150cc Benly series.
200 C 90
201 C 95
202 C 92
212 C3 92
213 C10 95
214 C2D 95
215 C3A 92
I'll assume that you recognize some of the variations, like the 205 CB92 Super Sport and the CS92-95 Benly Sport models which have the dual high-mount exhaust muffler systems. Even I don't know all the details of the various other editions, like the C2 and C3, types. Usually those refer to whether the bikes had sheet-metal handlebars or not and if they had solo-seat/rear rack combos or not.
With the mufflers, the -050 suffix refers to the fact that those are the 5th revision of the original part number, so some tweaking of the original designs happened at least 6 times, being that the -000 was the first generation part. Often they will redesign the mounting systems for more security, but you also have the two inlet packing types: sleeve type and o-ring design. Then, you have the flat sided mufflers and the round ones, so a lot of part number combinations can arise.
In regards to the apparent mix of 1962 wiring harness and 1963 bike, I have seen this kind of confusion arise with the 250-305cc models. The date code on the harness is the year that the harness was made, which often is associated with the year of manufacture of the machine, however when there is a changeover from one year to the next, there seems to be "leftovers" from the previous year's wiring harnesses which are installed on the next generation machines. Unlike the "just in time" production of many of the bike's parts, they seemed to have stored up large quantities of wiring harnesses for use in all the model variations.
Your bike does have 1963 production serial numbers. That number 5 inserted into the serial number denotes some variation of the stock C92. Often the 2nd digit is for CS models on the 250-305 models, but your bike does not have those CS features, so it may refer to some other chassis modification option. The 250-305 bikes have a 7 or an 8 in the second position to denote the CS71/2-76/77 Dream Sport editions. I am primarily a 250-305cc expert, so have more of a passing interest in the little Benly models. What I am sharing here is a mix of direct and indirect knowledge that I have accumulated through the years, as I have sought to learn as much as I can about the general Honda product line from the 1960s, but due to the vast amount of models offered and the non-US variations, some of the pieces of the puzzle are missing to date.
Using the CMS link above, may give you a few more clues about the part number ranges, however they are using updated microfiche part numbers that come from Honda. A lot of the superseded part numbers are not shown, as the older ones are discontinued. Finding a period Benly parts book from the 1963 edition year would probably help you pinpoint the changes to the earlier part numbers more succinctly. There has been a C90 parts book on eBay recently, but it would be too early to be useful for your 1963 bike.
I just had a look at eBay auctions and found this one which might be very useful for you.
Item number is 150759440792 in case the system truncates the URL, which it has done in the past.
Okay, my brain has downloaded everything it can for your question, so I hope it has been helpful for you. Good luck with the project.