Honda MT5/100 Supermoto

This is the story of the MT100 SM RegNo HFX 978V that I built a long while back, it took way too may years, but it had a lot of cool parts and was a fun beast. The first part of this story is much the same as that of my MB5 that I built, but there are some differences, not a worry if you haven’t read the other story yet I guess!

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Whilst the MB5 was done the same year, the MT5 actually only took me 15 years to finish... 

I should say that some of this info appeared on the now long defunct website (owned by a guy called Roderick Barton if I remember correctly) which I used to write for back in the day. I did a bunch of technical articles about things like adding the rev counter drive to the MT engine, how to fit the MB5 disk front end to the MT etc etc, for those that have long memories... If you haven’t and wanted to read those articles, I’ve brought them back into life on this website and they are here: MT5 Technical articles.

Whilst I started on the MB5 first and completed that in 1991’ish, I did start on bits of the MT and just did odds parts of it as ‘n when over the years. Thus it had work done on it all over the country as I moved around. I remember painting the frame in about 1993 on a nice warm summer day, and also did the back end bodywork as a complete unit back in Spring 1992. I went to Amsterdam a good few times over the mid 90s (I used to live there and rode an MT5 there when I was a kid) and picked up a bunch of stuff like the trick 'extra long' side panels, later style headlight cap, fork brace, twin silencer kit(!), lift kit for the front forks and rear shocks, longer stand to work with those lifted parts, longer speedo cable for that too etc etc.

I took another trip down to Lytchett Minster in  1992 and I grabbed another bunch of MB/MT parts and this time they wanted a fortune for much less stuff than I had snagged before, and we had a bit of a barney about it. I think I had to pay up as I needed the parts badly and they knew it, and after that I never went back. Shame really as they had good stuff.

One of those parts was a used MBX dash as they used the same wheel size as the MB, so it was fitted... very '80's spaceage’ compared to the MB / H100 version!

That old stalwart for Honda parts, David Silver Spares, provided me a bunch of stuff when parts were cheap back then. For a while the bike had MBX wheels (at 25quid each lol) but I liked the simplicity of the old 3 spoke MBs so I got a used set of those on it instead when I added NOS ones to the MB5... Silver's provided full fork legs still in honda wrapping at a tenner or 25 of something stupidly cheap per side and a full seat for another tenner, I think I had new rear shocks as well for something like the same money...

It took a long time to source those parts as it was what they had in at the time, but worth it as replacement seals from the dealer were more than complete forks from Silver’s back then. I built up and on sold a few MTs over the years for the local guys using nice parts from Silvers. It was all just cheap and fun to do.

I remember having the MB5 front brake bled by a Honda dealer in Portsmouth when I couldn’t bleed it myself as the fluid would just not push through on the lever, it cost something like 35quid... Robbers! Years later I bought a vac bleeder from the local Hein Gerike shop in Farnborough for the same price of 35quid and haven’t looked back since... Goodrich provided the custom stainless brake hose of course, the rest of the front brake is pure MB50, with NOS OEM pads from Silvers of course. It worked ok, I wouldn’t say it was vastly superior to the MT drum, but it looked and felt more modern LOL

I messed with the Mutant for a while and then decided to swap the motor into this bike after a service, and it was a surprisingly simple fit. I sold the rest of the Mutant on for spares to a local lad for what I paid for it... It had some trick twin leading shoe front brake setup he wanted I think... that was in 2003/4. Im not 100% sure what happened to the original engine for the MT but it had a 70cc kit fitted, I think it went to the guy who bought this bike as part of the spares package. Anyway, The H100 engine was great, really grunty in this short frame and would lift the front easily on the gearing fitted. Eeek!

Over the years I picked up parts from Honda dealer 'discounted parts' bins all over the UK, I remember some of them in places like Chester, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Bristol and Swindon. When I first moved to Swindon I found a local guy selling off parts from the old Artdeans store which he bought as a job lot when they shut and became Fowlers (The same people - The Pullen's - bought it back off Fowlers later and set up again on the same site, small world). I spent a fair few evenings at his place helping him catalogue the parts and he gave me parts cheap to say thanks I think, plus I bought a half restored XL100 from him... another story...

I also found a silencer in the cheap bin at a local shop, so that was fitted... it sounded great!

In 1990’ish I bought two bikes from a guy in Totton, So'ton, UK... I think I paid 25quid the pair... I placed a WTB ad in the local Portsmouth paper and his mum rang me up and offered me them as she wanted rid... she was asking £100 I think, but when I got to their house there wasn’t much left of the bikes and what was there wasn’t that usable as he had left them outside and people had vandalised and plundered them for parts, plus he also stripped bits off and lost or sold them... His mum was stood there with folded arms saying 'just bloody take em mate, he doesn’t want much for em!' etc. He looked a bit shell shocked that his mum was sorting out his bikes and when I gave him the money he said he was going to put it towards a kart so he ‘could rant it up n down the high street’... I think he was about 14... I nodded and said 'cool' and took the bikes away... He also had a mid '70s Yamaha RD twin 125 there as well that he offered me for cheap, but I already had a car full of bikes.

I was living in near P'mouth at the time and after a few phone calls I found a scrapyard down in Lytchett Minster, near Poole/Bournemouth, who said they had a bunch of MB and MTs so I had a day trip down there and picked up a bunch of parts for something like 80 quid... It was one of those places where you can get the parts yourself, and all their stuff was in old shipping containers to keep it dry. It was probably originally tidy but by the time a few punters had been through the place the bike parts were piled high and there was oil all over the floor, plus people had raided bits off the stuff but dumped the bits they didn’t want on the floor or chucked it towards the back not caring if it was any good or if they damaged anything else in the process... It was mental, dangerous and hard to work... and worse still, the doors blew shut on occasion! Being in the dark in that environment was 'interesting' to say the least. Luckily for me the MTs and MB's he had were mostly complete and he had enough bikes for me to get most of what I needed. I got a better MB tank and loads of stuff like engine parts, switches, dashes and such like, plus their main shop sold me some aftermarket parts like ignition switches etc. I didn’t get as many MT parts as id have liked as whilst the MBs were just seen as old crocs back then, the MTs were still being used by the moped boys round town.

So, after all that I had most of the two bikes I needed as I wanted to build an MB5 and an MT5 from the wreckage from Totton... Little did I know that I would cart these bikes all over the UK as I moved about for work and keep these bikes for 'basically forever' and I only sold them when I moved to Aus back in 2005... I should have kept them really, they were with me longer than almost anything else I’ve owned...

I made up all the black back ground stickers with trial and error from patterns that I had made myself and then cut from satin black vinyl from the market. For a long time it wore the number 12s from my old racing days, and yes I also made the numbers myself... I just didn’t know you could buy the numbers in the sizes and shapes that I wanted at the time!

Fast forward to 2005 and I sold the bike to a chap from somewhere like Rotherham, who had a business making carbon fiber silencers for bikes. He bought my MB5 when it was on ebay and gave me cash to take the MT as well when he was at my house. I also sold him all my boxes of spares as I knew I wouldn’t need them anymore once the bikes were gone... it was a really sad day...

I hope he still has the MT100SM and has enjoyed it, I know he sold the MB5 on in 2014 but the MT has yet to surface... I think would be cool if it turned up at a show sometime as I’d like to see it was still in one piece and being enjoyed. So if anyone comes across HFX978V, do please let me know.

(In the photo below, the bike looks amusingly looks stunted from this angle, must have been the camera as it looked fine to the eye...)

BVM Moto in Stroud provided this mudguard which was huge and probably from a BMW R80 Dakar bike or something! It was so big that I needed to make a new bracket from scratch, but the OEM guard was NLA even by 1993’ish. Although I could have bought a reproduction copy part in Holland of course. I later bought a GasGas TXT249 from BVM, but that's another story...

In something like 1999 or 2000 I bought an MT known as the ‘Mutant’ which fitted with a H100 engine, it came from a fellow off road guy who delivered it in his Kombi van, cheers Clive!. It was a rough bike but by then I was a sucker for anything MT related of course...

With the engine fitted I needed a useful pipe and in about 2003, the now sadly defunct Taylors in Chippenham provided me with a NOS Suzuki RM125 pipe which I set about cutting and shutting to make a pipe that would work properly with the 100cc unit.

I expect that this is probably the only up-n-over custom pipe for the H100 engine you will ever see that properly fits the MT5!

One great find was the NOS tank (also from Silvers), for 25quid back in 1994...

Back then, I would ring Silver's weekly for the MT and MB bits as they would not ever hold a list of what I wanted, with a view to then ringing me to let me know what they had just got in. So much for customer service! I’d have thought that would have been gold to them, but back then they were in control and you just played along waiting for their huge ads in MCN... the parts were cheap enough I guess....

....Old days, old skool...

Actually even back in the early 90s these bikes were pretty much gone from UK scrapyards, and by the mid 90’s many parts were listed as NLA from Honda.

If you were doing one of these today I’m sure that Ebay helps, but it does make you realise just how helpless we were back in the day when it came to the parts. You were stuck with the local parts guys and breakers you could find and call. I would regularly ring all over the country for parts and most of the time the breakers would just tell me to take a hike or charge an arm and leg for them. Without ebay you just couldn’t build a bike like this now.