Readers Rides: 1990 Honda NS144F

by | Apr 10, 2020 | Honda, motoGP News, Suzuki

Robert Perkins tells us the tale of his hopped-up 1990 Honda NS144F:

The pictures included are of my Honda NS144F. Actually, it started life as a stock 1990 Honda NS50F, which was a liquid-cooled update to Honda’s slightly better-known MB5. I bought it as a novelty to my meager Honda motorcycle collection and never gave it much attention . . . until the day I was initiated into the subculture of modest-displacement motorcycles at a 50cc rally.

Readers' Rides

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Tucked away in the Georgia mountains (cue banjo music?) I found myself participating in a 100-kilometer Isle of Man aboard this fiery machine. After returning a changed man, I knew one thing for certain: 50cc and seven claimed horsepower were not enough to quench my lust for power. A sane man would have simply turned his attention to more powerful motorcycles in his stable. The ones which easily pumped out 10 times or more the horsepower of my measly 50, but that would simply be too easy. No sir, I wished to hang with the fast crowd, to be one with their big-bore kitted 50s approaching speeds, real or imagined, of 65 mph and beyond. And a year later I did just that with the help of my credit card, worldwide shipping, and one 72cc big-bore kit with matching head (not to mention a flat-slide carburetor and a tuned exhaust thrown in for good measure).

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Yes, that was the year I led the pack at the Georgia Isle of Man and all was well in our universe. But such goodness could not remain. For next year the blight of the Groms descended upon the rally and brought forth their overpowered 125cc four-strokes! It was their superior torque wrought from that evil displacement that on the return climb up to Suches and the finish line wrenched victory from me in this so-called “fun run”! Nevertheless, I vowed to beat them at their own game and not by using the devil’s tricks. There would be no blasphemy by the affixing of a larger displacement motor robbed from an unclean host and never intended for my spindly NS. Nay, for I was a man of the small-bore and his lowly displacement. Hypocrisy would not be my path. Instead, I swore to the heavens above (Do I have Burn’s attention yet?) to smote them as David did Goliath [Yes, “smite” is present tense – JB] through my faith in 50cc parts and their performance accessories. Yea, for so was the spirit of the original rally in the olden days.

Readers' Rides

Thus, with the patience of Job and three long summers lost in the machine shop upon Mount Sinai, I emerged with a twin-cylinder NS50F utilizing two 72cc big bore kits, two 24mm flat-slide Mikuni carburetors, and two tuned exhausts. I dubbed this Leviathan the mighty Honda NS144F Magnum! Due to my faith in the almighty milling power of Bridgeport and the dial caliper of Starrett this beast produced near 18 powers of the horse where once she gave perhaps seven. The secrets of mine creation through crankshaft coupler, the combination of two engine cases, and the linkage of two counterbalancers is not to be revealed. This time shall come in the form of a revelation or email if said party cares to know further what transpired those three summers when I was lost in the wilderness of the land of Bridgeport, Hendey, and Starrett…


Well, we know we’re curious to hear more, but this is Readers’ Rides, so we thought we’d let the readers decide. Leave a comment below if you’d like to see the rest of the story.

Readers' Rides
Readers' Rides
Readers' Rides
Readers' Rides


We’re suckers for nice photos and descriptive words and reasonably decent pics of your favorite motorcycle, or maybe just your most memorable one for all the wrong reasons? Send yours to contact@motorcycle.com, title it “Readers’ Rides,” and see yourself in this spot one of these weeks.

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