Honda is the largest motorcycle manufacturer in Japan and has been since it started production in 1955. At its peak in 1982, Honda manufactured almost three million motorcycles annually. By 2006 this figure had reduced to around 550,000 but was still higher than its three domestic competitors.
Soichiro Honda began producing motorcycles in 1946 to satisfy a thirst for cheap transportation in war devastated Japan. Honda began his effort by installing military surplus engines in bicycles. As Honda became more prosperous, he designed his own 50cc engine for the bicycles. The first motorcycle that featured a completely Honda designed motor and frame was produced in 1949. It was called the Model D for Dream. Soon Model J Benly appeared.
Honda wanted to sell a more powerful motorcycle that led to the 146cc over head valve four-stroke E-Type Dream with a top speed of 50mph. The motorcycle featured Honda's own designed frame and suspension on both wheels.
In 1952 Honda began producing the Cub with two-stroke engine. Its big sales became basis for future development.
In 1953 Honda began producing a four-stroke single powered motorcycle featuring more engineering sophistication. This small motorcycle was also called a Benly and featured a three-speed gearbox, pressed steel Frame, rear suspension with the engine and swinging arm on a sprung pivot, and telescopic front suspension and produced 3.8bhp.
A revolution in the motorcycle industry began in 1958 when Honda brought the C100 Super Club to the American market. It was the first Honda motorcycle sold in the U.S. The small step through design was easy to ride reliable bike. It was featured in the famous “you meet the nicest people on a Honda” marketing campaign that eventually made the C100 motorcycle the best selling motorcycle of all times. Eventually more than 30 million would be built.
CB models included the CA72 (250cc) and followed by the CA77 (305cc). The parallel twin engines proved very reliable, however their stamped steel welded frames handled poorly at higher speeds.
Performance and handling improved when the company bolted the little parallel twin engines to a steel tubular frame and added twin carburetors for more power. The motorcycles were known as the CB 72 and 77 super hawk models and gained a reputation of reliability.
The first commercially successful large motorcycle was the CB450, brought out in 1965 and called the black bomber. This innovative engine featured torsion bar valve springs that allowed high rpm and was the first serious effort by Honda to challenge English dominance in the American marketplace.
This was followed in 1969 with the Honda CB750 four. A powerful and reliable motorcycle that dominated the motorcycle market. The success of the CB 750 4 cylinder Honda led to a series of smaller Honda motorcycles with 350, 400, 550 cc motors and ushered in the era of the universal Japanese motorcycle.
This design would reach its fruition when it morphed into the cult classic inline 6 cylinder CBX in 1978.
The reliability and power of the four cylinder Honda 750 soon led to a new kind of motorcyclist, the long distance touring rider. Craig Vetter designed a full fairing for the motorcycle called a Windjammer. Before long thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts were touring the countryside on their motorcycles behind a Windjammer.
In 1974 Honda brought out the GL1000 Gold Wing. The motorcycle featured a flat four cylinder 999cc a water cooled engine with power delivered through a driveshaft. It proved to be as reliable as the cars of the day. Soon thousands of Goldwings were bought up and converted to touring motorcycles by their new owners.
With interest running so high for touring models, Honda brought out the Interstate model in 1980. This was the first Japanese produced motorcycle to roll off the assembly line as a complete touring motorcycle. The motorcycle featured a full fairing, trunk and saddlebags.
In addition to touring motorcycles, Honda began developing a series of V-four engines in the 1970s. This led to the production of the Honda Sabre and Magna in 1980. These two models led to a whole series of VF designated high performance motorcycles ranging between 400cc and 1000cc. But due to mechanical problems the VF line was unable to sustain itself.
Following the VF was the new VFR series of motorcycles. The VFR 750R was a sport touring motorcycle with lots of power, good balance and reliability.
In 1996 Honda produced the fastest motorcycle in production with the CBR1100XX Super Blackbird (1137cc). The motorcycle became popular with the long range high speed touring crowd.
Soichiro Honda died on August 5, 1991 of liver failure.
Honda's entry into the U.S. motorcycle market during the 1960s is used as a case study for teaching introductory strategy at business schools worldwide. There are a few theories explaining their great success.
Fri, 06 Aug 2021
Earlier this year, a Japanese company patented the name and layout of the new NT1100 model. A while later, renderings of what a sports touring car with the engine and transmission from the CRF1100 Africa Twin might look like appeared on the network. Since then, no new information about the appearance of the NT1100 has been leaked, but just the other day it became clear that the model will be presented soon.
Fri, 04 Jun 2021
There are no crutial changes, the manufacture's engineers, with the help of factory racers, were fine-tuning the motorcycle. As a result, the enduro CRF450RX, like the cross-country CRF450R, received a retuned electronic engine control unit, as well as recalibrated shock absorbers, which had a positive effect on enduro handling.
Sun, 30 May 2021
The company President Toshihiro Mibe said that Honda is committed to being completely carbon-neutral across all of its products. To do this, the company is expanding the range of electric vehicles and has also developed a standard for replaceable batteries Honda Mobile Power Pack.
Thu, 06 May 2021
It will be a real adventurer, only a small one. The motorcycle will focus on the Asian markets. These isn't much information about the bike yet, but it is preliminary known that it will be built on the CB190 platform and will receive a single-cylinder engine with a displacement of 184 cc.
Fri, 12 Feb 2021
The Africa Twin parallel twin will be installed in another chassis - an asphalt tourist one. Unfortunately, at the moment there are no official pictures, only the fantasies of fans and third-party designers. Only one thing is clear - the engine will be 1100cc, and just like the CRF1100 Africa Twin touring enduro and CMX1100 Rebel chopper, the engine will be offered with both a conventional motorcycle foot-shift gearbox and a DCT robot.
Tue, 19 Jan 2021
There are no radical changes, improvements have affected parts of Honda tourers that are important for ensuring the comfort of the rider. In addition, new color and graphic schemes have appeared for the 2021 models. The Tour version has Gunmeatal Black Metallic and Candy Ardent Red.
Sat, 12 Sep 2020
The legendary microbike received an engine that complies with Euro5 standards and significantly upgraded looks. In addition, the MSX125 will now also be sold under its own name Grom on the European market. Honda Grom received an updated 125cc single-cylinder engine with 9.6 horsepower, aggregated with a five-speed gearbox instead of the previous "four-speed".
Wed, 08 Jul 2020
There has been no official information from Honda about the new generation CBR600RR yet, but it became known that the 2021 model will echo the older Fireblade in terms of its exterior. The "Six hundred" will receive a "two-eyed" LED head optics, the air intake will be located in the middle. Winglets will be added to the fairing to increase downforce at high speeds.
Thu, 02 Apr 2020
The modern Honda Gold Wing is equipped with a double wishbone front suspension, which not only increases ride comfort, but also allows the geometry of the motorcycle not to change during acceleration and braking. Lever suspension, which stabilizes the bahavior, may appear on other models of the company in the future. This is hinted at by patent images of similar systems integrated into the design of completely different motorcycles - the “classic” CB1100 and the small-capacity C125 Super Cub.
Sun, 11 Aug 2019
The model is called ADV 150 and, despite its similarity with the X, it has nothing to do with it. The engine is a single-cylinder with a volume of 149.3 "cubes", developing 14.2 hp at 8500 rpm and 13.8 Nm at 6500 rpm. Suspension is a regular telescopic fork and two Showa rear shocks.