Honda Motorcycle History - A Visionary's Fantasy That Became Reality-Honda Motorcycles

The picture is of the first Honda distributor located in the USA (Los Angeles, CA)

Honda history and Honda Motorcycle History is an interesting and long story. This is just a brief synapses of honda history.

In October 1946, Soichiro Honda established the Honda Technical Research Institute in Hamamatsu, Japan, to develop and produce small 2-cycle motorbike/bicycle engines.

The "A" model motorized bicycle and the "B" model motorized tricycle were Honda’s first offerings to the “motorcycle” market although in looking at those machines, they bore very little resemblance to the motorcycles of today. The "C" model, Honda's first real motorcycle, soon became a performance and sales leader. Honda history is very inspiring.

Takeo Fujisawa, referred to as a co-founder of the Honda empire, joined the company in 1949 as managing director. That same year saw the 100cc " D" model, the first chain-drive Honda. Its telescopic fork and two-speed transmission were technologies rarely seen at the time.

Honda Motor Company started its upward movement in 4 stroke engines with the 150cc "E" model Dream which appeared in 1951. Sales success and incoming revenues allowed Honda to insist on two key ingredients: quality and design; probably the main ingredient for his success then and Honda’s continued success today.

Honda manufactured their first scooter model, the Juno, in 1954.

Honda's first overhead cam engine, in the 250cc Dream, appeared in 1955. That same year, Honda became Japan's top motorcycle manufacturer.

For the record, his first mechanical love was cars...not motorcycles. At about age 17, he became the owner of a Harley motorcycle and an Indian motorcycle and it was probably his interaction with these machines that sparked his interest in motorcycles. Isn't it ironic that his interaction with 2 American brands of motorcycles would kindle the flame that created the biggest competition to American Motorcycle Manufacturing?!!!

By 1959 Honda was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, producing approximately half a million units per year.

It was now time to consider taking on a new venture...the biggest venture....the USA, because Honda had already figured out that if their products were acceptable to the US consumer, his products would definitely be accepted everywhere.

In 1959 when Honda decided to export into the USA, Honda was already the largest motorcycle manufacturing company in the world. Within 5 years of bringing his operation into the USA, Honda became the largest Motorcycle Distributor in the world.

The Honda History is much greater and elaborate than this brief page. But I thought you might find it interesting to have a little understanding as to how Honda achieved the worldwide position of products, innovation, and acclaim that it has achieved. A miracle to some observers. Perhaps a supreme example of the American Dream to others.

And let it be said that Honda History is now Honda Present and it will certainly have a long and equally interesting Honda Future.


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