A brief history of Honda motorcycles
Soichiro Honda quickly learned in his 30 years that life was full of hard knocks, never more so when his piston ring making business collapsed in the late 1930s. He also learned methodical thinking and engineering could overcome most technical problems and after taking on new engineering skills, his reformed business became a huge success.
WWII effectively finished large scale Japanese manufacturing, but not Soichiro’s spirit or forward thinking. In 1946, he purchased a bulk load of ex-military radio generators and quickly developed the small capacity two-stroke engines to fit and power ordinary bicycles – the first cheap, powered transport for the masses.
Three years later, the newly formed Honda Motor Co. released its first purpose-made bike with a 98cc two-stroke engine. It’s rumoured that the first test ride of the bike led to one of the few Honda staff saying: “It’s like a dream…”
It wasn’t long before Soichiro Honda saw four-stroke power as the only viable, clean and acceptable method of engine propulsion and introduced a 146cc Dream motorcycle, and so began a long history of innovative four-stroke motorcycles.
From revolutionary V4-powered motorcycles to single and twin-cylinder bikes, Honda Motor Co. has continuously strived to produce the best motorcycle available in all genres of motorcycling.
Even though Honda has produced such a famed range of bikes like the class-leading Honda CBR Fireblade superbike, and past racing greats from the separate division that is Honda Racing Corporation, Honda Motor Co. should be known as the company that produced the biggest ever selling motorcycle. That bike is the humble Super Cub range, better known in the UK as the C50, C70 and C90.
In essence, the Super Cub is a single-cylinder four-stroke workhorse loved and respected by owners across the world – a bike that has achieved an unbeaten production figure of 60 million bikes. Honda’s greatest advertising campaign was for the Super Cub and its slogan has never been topped in the world of motorcycling: “You meet the nicest people on a Honda”.
Honda’s range of motorcycles
The Honda CBR125R is the leading sports 125cc learner legal. On the opposite end of the scale, the CBF125 isn’t so dramatically styled but equally reliable and fuel conscious. The XL 125 Varadero mimics Honda’s big-bore Adventure machines, albeit on a reduced scale.
With over ten scooter models to choose from, ranging from 50cc to the new dual transmission 670cc parallel twin Integra Maxi scoot, Honda has the market well and truly covered. All machines are four-stroke powered and the commuter specials such as the Vision 110 are fuel misers with a claimed return 140mpg.
The Honda NC700X is a revolutionary adventure machine with a semi-auto gearbox, space under the tank to fit a helmet and Honda’s latest corporate adventure styling – quite simply a bike anyone could ride. The long-serving V-twin Transalp wears the old school adventure clothes and looks decidedly dated compared to the new 782cc V4 Crossrunner and 1237cc Crosstourer and its off-road biased SE brother. The big XL1000V Varadero is the ultimate Honda for mile munching.
Honda has a fearsome reputation for building sports bikes that are designed for road use but are also exceptional on the track with little modification. The CBR600RR is the definitive middleweight supersport machine, while the class leading CBR1000RR has just reached its 20th year milestone. With an ABS braking system and superb chassis, the Fireblade proves that you can ride fast in relative safety.
- Naked series
More models here than you can shake a stick at. Although classed as naked, some models come with half-fairings to fulfil their roles as dual-purpose machines. The middleweight Hornet and CB1000R use detuned sport engines to give engaging rides, while CBF1000 and NC700S are more practical everyday riding creatures.
Honda’s Legendary Goldwing is the epitome of Japanese touring machinery. Complete with every touring comfort required and powered by a flat-six engine, this bike is the super-size divan of the bike world. The ST1300 Pan European is a Grand Turismo, whereby the need to travel fast with luggage is easily met. The NT700VA Deauville enables newly qualified licence holders to go touring on a middleweight machine.
The Honda Fury is the first Japanese custom to break the mould by being so different and individual it could have come from a specialist custom builder rather than a production line. Custom cruisers in the normal laid back American V-twin style are represented by the VT750C Shadow and Shadow Black Spirit.
How Bennetts provide tailored Honda Insurance
Bennetts recognises that Honda produces a comprehensive range of motorcycles, all meeting different criteria to suit the many and varied needs of prospective owners. Because of this, Bennetts understands what it means to a customer to get the exact quote to suit his or her machine and needs – we are all different.
We also recognise that a new Honda model is not always what our customers are looking for. For this reason, Bennetts also has the knowledge and means to find our best competitive quote for second-hand Honda machinery.
As the No. 1, motorcycle insurance specialist with over 30 years experience in customer satisfaction, we believe we can offer the most competitive insurance quote geared to suit you and, of course, your Honda motorcycle.
How to get a quote for your Honda motorcycle
Call us on 0800 107 7990 for a quote on your Honda motorcycle insurance today. The highly experienced team at our UK-based call centre is equipped to answer all your questions and guarantees to find our best possible insurance quote tailored to your needs. Alternatively, apply for a quote online here.
Sources of interest for Honda owners and fans
http://world.honda.com/motorcycle/ – Honda global website dedicated to its motorcycle division with separate links to dedicated sites for sport, technology talk, Super Cub and much, much more.
http://www.honda.co.uk/motorcycles/yourhonda/news/ – the Honda UK motorcycle website. News, views and model list go hand in hand with accessories, specifications and dealer locations.
http://www.hoc.org.uk/ – this is the official Honda Owners Club website. Here you’ll find information, news and advice from the people that ride and breathe Honda motorcycles.
http://www.davidsilverspares.co.uk – David Silver Spares is the first port of call for anyone requiring spares for Honda motorcycles manufactured between the early 1960s and early 2000s.