‘Dorothy’ is a Honda CT110, or ‘postie bike’ as they’re known in Australia.
The bike was once sold internationally, with a big market for it in the States and parts of Asia, now I gather Honda only builds them for the Australian postal service, making a batch of about 3000 every year.
Private individuals can’t buy brand new, you have to wait until they’ve done around 30,000 kilometres of postal service before they’re put up for auction.
They’re simple things; 105cc, no clutch, four-speed automatic clutch, and toughened up to cope with all the extra weight they’re tasked with carrying.
Top speed is about 80km/h, or just below 50mph. Dorothy used to like to cruise around 65km/h. I think that’s why she lasted so long because she was never really worked that hard. I might have been riding 14 hours some days but it was always at a constant and steady speed. Not much stop start, not much acceleration, just a lot of momentum, apart from up and over the Himalayas when she really struggled.
Of course Dot isn’t standard. This is a standard postie bike;
The changes to Dot include an extra eight litre petrol tank from a motorcross bike (the standard tank is under the seat), a set of orange pannier sacks, the design based on those the postman uses, a tent rack above the headlight, a sheepskin seat cover, a handlebar brace and a couple of water bottles mounted to the engine guards.
Other than that she was standard.
I bought her from these guys;
Joe in the middle owns a shop in a town not far from Brisbane that specialises in postie bikes. I bought Dorothy from him after the original bike I left Sydney on began to pack up just 1000 kilometres in to the trip.
It was the best thing that could have happened though, as the only part I had to change on Dorothy in 35,000 kilometres was this sprocket, which made it as far as Kyrgyzstan before needing to be replaced.
Two years on from the trip she’s still running and I haven’t had to do anything to her yet.
All in all she was the perfect bike for this trip and maybe it was fate that our paths crossed that day.