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Honda Motorcycle History

On Wednesday 24th September 2008, 60 years after Honda Motor Company was founded by Soichiro Honda, Honda celebrates its diamond anniversary.

In 1949, Honda manufactured our first commercial motorcycle, the "Dream Type D," in Japan; in 1963, they opened their first overseas plant, in Belgium. Ever since, Honda has followed one basic rule: build products close to the customer. The result has been a worldwide succession of manufacturing facilities for a total of 28 motorcycle plants in 21 countries, as well as Honda R&D operations in the U.S., Germany, Italy, Thailand, China, and India all working to develop motorcycles that match national needs. In 2005, the 150-millionth Honda motorcycle rolled off the production line. While this feat owes much to sharp market growth in Asia, they intend to build on it by expanding in world markets from the U.S. and Europe, where mature markets are dominated by sports motorcycles and leisure bikes, to Asia, where motorcycles are primary transportation. Their goal? To make Honda cycles more popular than ever.

From the 1950s, there's the C100 Super Cub, a 'humble commuter' that remained in production for over 50 years to become the best-selling powered vehicle of all time.

From the 1960s there's the CB750 - not only generally agreed to be the 'first modern superbike' but also the machine which, thanks to its technology, specification and value, was the final nail in the coffin of the once dominant British motorcycle industry.

From the 1970s, there's that technological masterpiece, the six-cylinder CBX1000. The 1980s gives us the definative homologation special racer, the VFR750R, better known as the RC30. And, representing the 1990s, the bike that 'tore up the superbike rule book', the first CBR900RR Fireblade. All of them, for many and varied reasons and undeniably class acts.

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