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Honda History

Soichiro Honda came across a small engine designed to power a No. 6 wireless radio in 1946 and was inspired to devise a way to utilize that engine to power a bicycle. Just a few years later, on September 24, 1948, Honda Motor Co. Ltd. was officially launched.

The first genuine Honda model, however, preceded the official incorporation, with the A-Type debuting in 1947. It was fitted with a modified auxiliary engine and proved inspiring enough for Honda to continue on to create a B-Type and C-Type. The B-Type was a three-wheeler designed to carry cargo which was scrapped in the prototype stage, but the C-Type was a 96cc engine fit onto a frame with pedals which went on to score a race win for the brand in 1949 in Japan.

These milestones led Honda to create its first proper new motorcycle in 1949, the Dream D-Type. Although this machine had a lot going for it, including an innovative transmission with no clutch lever, the major step forward came with the company’s first four-stroke, the Dream E-Type, which surpassed expectations during a now often retold test ride across Hakone Pass. The E-Type became a sales success soon after its release, paving the way for an iconic machine a few years later, the Super Cub C100. During these years Honda also marked its first entry into the Isle of Man TT races and expanded its business to include the American Honda Motor Co. subsidiary in Los Angeles.

Honda became a racing powerhouse through the ’60s and business continued to increase, and its product line expanded to include models such as the Gold Wing (1974), the CBR600F Hurricane in 1987, and the CBR900RR in 1993. The company has enjoyed success in race series around the world and today has a diverse range of models from the Africa Twin adventure motorcycle, a complete line of cruisers, top-class sportbikes such as the CBR1000RR, a range of standards, and reissues of famous models from the past such as the Super Cub, Monkey, and Trail 125.

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