Monday, December 8, 2014


Honda started making motorcycles over 65 years ago and, Nov. 26, they announced a huge milestone: producing their 300-millionth motorcycle. Current population of the U.S. is 323,700,000. So that’s about one motorcycle for every person in the United States including the little babies.

Of course, the 300 million number includes a lot of sales in other countries, but it is a tremendous number, exceeding by far the total manufacture of any other motorcycle company.

In 1958, Honda introduced the Honda 50, known globally as the Super Cub, which would go on to revolutionize the industry. This iconic bike paved the way for Honda’s expansion into the U.S. in 1959 and Canada in 1969. The Super Cub, which has sold nearly 90 million units globally since its inception, was the focus of a mid-1960s advertising campaign, "You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda," that played a major role in the transformation and growth of the U.S. motorcycle market.

The Super Cub and it’s fraternal twins with up to 90cc engines are the all-time best selling single model of a transportation devices on two-, four- or any number of wheels.

In 1949, Honda started mass production of motorcycles in Japan with their 98cc Dream Type-D. Today, Honda produces motorcycles and related vehicles: ATVs and UTVs (side-by-sides) at 32 plants in 22 countries, including two plants in North America.

In the 1960s, Honda established Honda of America Mfg. and the company’s first U.S. production facility, the Marysville Motorcycle Plant. The plant, which opened on September 10, 1979 in Marysville, Ohio, produced both motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) until 2009. Production of ATVs has since shifted to Honda of South Carolina Mfg. (HSC) in Timmonsville, South Carolina.

Since the start of production in 1979, Honda has manufactured more than five million power sports products in North America using global and domestically sourced parts. Today, Honda Power Sports manufactures FourTrax ATVs and Pioneer side-by-sides and engines, while the Honda plant in El Salto, Jalisco, Mexico, produces motorcycles.

The successful startup of motorcycle production at Honda of America Mfg. in 1979 was soon followed by the auto production at the Marysville Auto Plant in 1982. Motorcycle production continued in Ohio until 2009 and planted the seeds of manufacturing expertise that has led to many Honda facilities across North America. Today, Honda operates 17 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda and Acura automobiles, automobile engines and transmissions, Honda all-terrain vehicles and side-by-sides, lawn mowers and power equipment products, and the HondaJet light jet.

The Honda HA-420 HondaJet is the first general aviation aircraft developed by the Honda Aircraft Company. [Wikipedia]
Range: 1,358 miles
Top speed: 483 mph
First flight: December 3, 2003
Length: 43 ft
Unit cost: $3,650,000 USD
Engine type: GE Honda HF120

That’s right. Honda makes a jet. I know! Who knew?

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