Honda has been putting bright ideas on two wheels from the beginning. Mr. Honda himself was responsible for more than 470 patents over his career. Here are just a few instances where that same Performance First ideal led the way with new ideas.
First product sold with the Honda name:
The 1947 A-type bicycle engine, a 50cc two-stroke making one-horsepower at 5000 rpm that was fitted to a standard bicycle frame and sold until 1951.
First Honda model exported to the U.S.:
The 1959 Super Cub.
First bike off the Marysville, Ohio, assembly line:
The 1980 CR250.
Winner of the first AMA 125 National motocross title:
Marty Smith on the Honda CR125 Elsinore.
First large-displacement Honda motorcycle with an automatic transmission:
The 1976 CB750A featured the Hondamatic dual-range transmission, and was produced until 1978.
First two-stroke engine to use a single vibration-canceling counterbalancer:
Introduced to Japan in 1979 as the MB50, the unique little 8-horsepower sport bike debuted in America in 1982 as the MB-5.
First production motorcycle using offset-crankpin technology for smooth performance:
The 1983 Shadow 750 V-twin.
First viable, cleaner-burning two-stroke race bike:
The 1995 EXP-2 with Activated Radical Combustion technology that debuted in the 1995 Paris-Dakar rally. Bruce Ogilvie won the Vet class aboard one at the 1995 2000-mile Nevada rally.
First aluminum-framed production motocross bike:
The 1997 CR250R.