The Big Car Database

Honda Motorcycles

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. is a Japanese public multinational conglomerate corporation primarily known as a manufacturer of automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles, and power equipment.

Honda has been the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer since 1959, as well as the world's largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines measured by volume, producing more than 14 million internal combustion engines each year. Honda became the second-largest Japanese automobile manufacturer in 2001. Honda was the eighth largest automobile manufacturer in the world behind General Motors, Volkswagen Group, Toyota, Hyundai Motor Group, Ford, Nissan, and PSA Peugeot Citroën in 2011.

Honda was the first Japanese automobile manufacturer to release a dedicated luxury brand, Acura, in 1986. Aside from their core automobile and motorcycle businesses, Honda also manufactures garden equipment, marine engines, personal watercraft and power generators, and other products. Since 1986, Honda has been involved with artificial intelligence/robotics research and released their ASIMOrobot in 2000. They have also ventured into aerospace with the establishment of GE Honda Aero Engines in 2004 and the Honda HA-420 HondaJet, which began production in 2012. Honda has three joint-ventures in China (Honda China, Dongfeng Honda, and Guangqi Honda).

In 2013, Honda invested about 5.7% (US$6.8 billion) of its revenues in research and development. Also in 2013, Honda became the first Japanese automaker to be a net exporter to the United States, exporting 108,705 Honda and Acura models, while importing only 88,357.

Native name 本田技研工業株式会社
Romanizedname Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki-gaisha
Type Public (K.K.)
Traded as TYO: 7267
Industry Automotive
Founded Hamamatsu, Japan (October 1946, incorporated 24 September 1948; 67 years ago)
Founder Soichiro Honda
Takeo Fujisawa
Headquarters Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Area served Worldwide
Key people Fumihiko Ike
Takanobu Ito
(President and CEO)
Products 4,110,000 vehicles (2012)
Commercial Vehicles
Luxury vehicles
Electric generators
Water pumps
Lawn and garden equipments
Outboard motors
Jet aircraft
Jet engines
Thin-film solar cells
Owner Japan Trustee Services Bank(Trust) (6.46%)
The Master Trust Bank of Japan (Trust) (4.71%)
Mokusurei (3.09%)
Meiji Yasuda Life (2.83%)
Tokio Marine Nichido (2.35%)
(3月年2014 currently)
Number of employees 198,561 (2014)
Divisions Acura
Honda Automobiles
Honda Motorcycles


Throughout his life, Honda's founder, Soichiro Honda had an interest in automobiles. He worked as a mechanic at the Art Shokai garage, where he tuned cars and entered them in races. In 1937, with financing from his acquaintance Kato Shichirō, Honda founded Tōkai Seiki (Eastern Sea Precision Machine Company) to make piston rings working out of the Art Shokai garage. After initial failures, Tōkai Seiki won a contract to supply piston rings to Toyota, but lost the contract due to the poor quality of their products. After attending engineering school without graduating, and visiting factories around Japan to better understand Toyota's quality control processes, by 1941 Honda was able to mass-produce piston rings acceptable to Toyota, using an automated process that could employ even unskilled wartime laborers.

Tōkai Seiki was placed under control of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (called the Ministry of Munitions after 1943) at the start of World War II, and Soichiro Honda was demoted from president to senior managing director after Toyota took a 40% stake in the company. Honda also aided the war effort by assisting other companies in automating the production of military aircraft propellers. The relationships Honda cultivated with personnel at Toyota, Nakajima Aircraft Company and the Imperial Japanese Navy would be instrumental in the postwar period. A US B-29 bomber attack destroyed Tōkai Seiki's Yamashita plant in 1944, and the Itawa plant collapsed in the 13 January 1945 Mikawa earthquake, and Soichiro Honda sold the salvageable remains of the company to Toyota after the war for ¥450,000, and used the proceeds to found the Honda Technical Research Institute in October 1946.

With a staff of 12 men working in a 16 m2 (170 sq ft) shack, they built and sold improvised motorized bicycles, using a supply of 500 two-stroke 50 cc Tohatsu war surplus radio generator engines. When the engines ran out, Honda began building their own copy of the Tohatsu engine, and supplying these to customers to attach to their bicycles. This was the Honda A-Type, nicknamed the Bata Bata for the sound the engine made. In 1949, the Honda Technical Research Institute was liquidated for ¥1,000,000, or about US$5,000 today; these funds were used to incorporate Honda Motor Co., Ltd. At about the same time Honda hired engineer Kihachiro Kawashima, and Takeo Fujisawa who provided indispensable business and marketing expertise to complement Soichiro Honda's technical bent. The close partnership between Soichiro Honda and Fujisawa lasted until they stepped down together in October 1973.

The first complete motorcycle, with both the frame and engine made by Honda, was the 1949 D-Type, the first Honda to go by the name Dream. Honda Motor Company grew in a short time to become the world's largest manufacturer of motorcycles by 1964.

The first production automobile from Honda was the T360 mini pick-up truck, which went on sale in August 1963. Powered by a small 356-cc straight-4 gasoline engine, it was classified under the cheaper Kei car tax bracket. The first production car from Honda was the S500 sports car, which followed the T360 into production in October 1963. Its chain-driven rear wheels pointed to Honda's motorcycle origins.

Over the next few decades, Honda worked to expand its product line and expanded operations and exports to numerous countries around the world. In 1986, Honda introduced the successful Acura brand to the American market in an attempt to gain ground in the luxury vehicle market. The year 1991 saw the introduction of the Honda NSX supercar, the first all-aluminum monocoque vehicle that incorporated a mid-engine V6 with variable-valve timing.

CEO Tadashi Kume was succeeded by Nobuhiko Kawamoto in 1990. Kawamoto was selected over Shoichiro Irimajiri, who oversaw the successful establishment of Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc. in Marysville, Ohio. Both Kawamoto and Irimajiri shared a friendly rivalry within Honda, and Irimajiri would resign in 1992 due to health issues.

Following the death of Soichiro Honda and the departure of Irimajiri, Honda found itself quickly being outpaced in product development by other Japanese automakers and was caught off-guard by the truck and sport utility vehicle boom of the 1990s, all which took a toll on the profitability of the company. Japanese media reported in 1992 and 1993 that Honda was at serious risk of an unwanted and hostile takeover by Mitsubishi Motors, who at the time was a larger automaker by volume and flush with profits from their successful Pajero and Diamante.

Kawamoto acted quickly to change Honda's corporate culture, rushing through market-driven product development that resulted in recreational vehicles such as the first generationOdyssey and the CR-V, and a refocusing away from some of the numerous sedans and coupes that were popular with Honda's engineers but not with the buying public. The most shocking change to Honda came when Kawamoto ended Honda's successful participation in Formula One after the 1992 season, citing costs in light of the takeover threat from Mitsubishi as well as the desire to create a more environmentally-friendly company image.

Later, 1995 gave rise to the Honda Aircraft Company with the goal of producing jet aircraft under Honda's name.

On 23 February 2015, Honda announced that CEO and President Takanobu Ito would step down and be replaced by Takahiro Hachigo by June; additional retirements by senior managers and directors were expected.


Honda is the largest motorcycle manufacturer in Japan and has been since it started production in 1955. At its peak in 1982, Honda manufactured almost three million motorcycles annually. By 2006 this figure had reduced to around 550,000 but was still higher than its three domestic competitors.

During the 1960s, when it was a small manufacturer, Honda broke out of the Japanese motorcycle market and began exporting to the U.S. Working with the advertising agency Grey Advertising, Honda created an innovative marketing campaign, using the slogan "You meet the nicest people on a Honda." In contrast to the prevailing negative stereotypes of motorcyclists in America as tough, antisocial rebels, this campaign suggested that Honda motorcycles were made for the everyman. The campaign was hugely successful; the ads ran for three years, and by the end of 1963 alone, Honda had sold 90,000 motorcycles.

Taking Honda's story as an archetype of the smaller manufacturer entering a new market already occupied by highly dominant competitors, the story of their market entry, and their subsequent huge success in the U.S. and around the world, has been the subject of some academic controversy. Competing explanations have been advanced to explain Honda's strategy and the reasons for their success.

The first of these explanations was put forward when, in 1975, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) was commissioned by the UK government to write a report explaining why and how the British motorcycle industry had been out-competed by its Japanese competitors. The report concluded that the Japanese firms, including Honda, had sought a very high scale of production (they had made a large number of motorbikes) in order to benefit from economies of scale and learning curve effects. It blamed the decline of the British motorcycle industry on the failure of British managers to invest enough in their businesses to profit from economies of scale and scope.

The second explanation was offered in 1984 by Richard Pascale, who had interviewed the Honda executives responsible for the firm's entry into the U.S. market. As opposed to the tightly focused strategy of low cost and high scale that BCG accredited to Honda, Pascale found that their entry into the U.S. market was a story of "miscalculation, serendipity, and organizational learning" – in other words, Honda's success was due to the adaptability and hard work of its staff, rather than any long term strategy. For example, Honda's initial plan on entering the US was to compete in large motorcycles, around 300 cc. Honda's motorcycles in this class suffered performance and reliability problems when ridden the relatively long distances of the US highways.:41–43 When the team found that the scooters they were using to get themselves around their U.S. base of San Francisco attracted positive interest from consumers that they fell back on selling the Super Cub instead.

The most recent school of thought on Honda's strategy was put forward by Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad in 1989. Creating the concept of core competencies with Honda as an example, they argued that Honda's success was due to its focus on leadership in the technology of internal combustion engines. For example, the high power-to-weight ratio engines Honda produced for its racing bikes provided technology and expertise which was transferable into mopeds. Honda's entry into the U.S. motorcycle market during the 1960s is used as a case study for teaching introductory strategy at business schools worldwide.

List of Honda motorcycles

The following is a list of motorcycles, scooters and mopeds produced by Honda.

Name Engine size (cc)
Beat (FC50) 48
Super Cub C100, CA100, C102, C50, Sports C110, C111. C110D, C114 49
CB50 49
Dio 49
Elite E (SB50) 49
Elsinore (MR50) 49
Express (NC50) 49
Hunter Cub (CT50) 49
MB5, MB50 49
Metropolitan Jazz (CHF 50) 49
Metropolitan II (CHF50P) 49
Motra (CT50) 49
MT5, MT50 49
NCZ50 also known as Motocompo 49
Spree (NQ50) 49
Mini Trail (Z50A) 49
Mini Trail (Z50M) 49
Mini Trail (Z50R) 49
Mini Trail (Z50J) 49
Moped (P50, P25) 49
Moped (PA50/Hobbit/Camino) 49
Moped (PC50, PS50) 49
Moped (SFX50) 49
Moped (SH50) 49
Moped (X8RS) 49
SS50 49
Trail 50 (C100H, C100T, CA100T) 49
XR50R 49
ZB50 49
Zoomer/Ruckus (NPS50) 49
AC15 50
Super Cub C105, CD105, Honda C115 Sports 54
Trail 55 (C105H, C105T, CA105T) 54
Super Cub C65, S65 63
C70 Passport, CD70 72
Motosport (SL70) 72
ST70, CT70 Trail 70 72
Scrambler (CL70) 72
XL80 79
Aero 80 (NH80) 80
XR80 80
CR85R Expert 85
Super Cub C90 (12 volt) 86
Super Cub CM90, Honda Trail 90 C200 87
Trail 90 (CT200) 87
Super Cub CM91, C90 (6 volt), CD90 89
Trail 90 (CT90) 89
S90 CS90, Sport 90, Super 90 90
Super Cub C100EX 97
Bravo 100
Scrambler (CL100) 100
H100S Super 100
Bali also known as SJ 100 100
Dio/Lead 102
Trail 110 (CT110) 105
Livo 109
Activa 109
Aviator 109
CB Twister, CB110 109
Dream Yuga/Dream Neo/CD 110 Dream 109
Honda iCON 110
XRM 110
S110 110
Super Cub 110 110
CB125 122/124
MT125R 123
Benly (C92, CB92) 124
CB125E 124
CD125TC Benly 124
Super Sport (CG125) 124
CLR125 "CityFly" 124
CM125 124
Elsinore (CR125M) 124
Juno M80 124
Honda LS125R 124
Honda NS125 125
NSR125 (JC20, JC21) 124
Scrambler (CL125) 124
Varadero (XL125V) 124
Aero & Lead (NH125) 125
CBR125 125
Atlas Honda CG125 125
Dylan 125 125
Innova (ANF125) 125
Pantheon FES125 125
PCX125 125
RC143 125
Rebel 125
Shine 125
Sonic 125
Super Sport (CB125) 125
Super Sport (SS125) 125
Grom 125
CRF150R 149
CRF150R Expert 149
CRF150F 149
Unicorn 149
Trigger 149
CB150R 150
Verza 150
CBR150R 150
Pantheon (FES150) 150
NSR150 150
SH150, SH150i 153
Benly (C95) 154
TMX155 155
Juno M85 169
CD175 174
Super Sport (CB175) 174
XL175 175
Juno K 189
Reflex (TLR200) 194
Phantom (TA200) 197
CB200 198
CL200 198
Fatcat (TR200) 199
Roadmaster (CD200) 200
Honda TLR200 200
Juno KA/KB 220
CD250U 233
CM250C, CM250T 234
Nighthawk (CB250) 234
Rebel (CMX250C, CMX250CD) 234
CR250R 248
Elsinore (CR250M) 248
Integra (VT250F) 248
Big Ruckus (PS250) 249
Dream (CB250) 249
Hornet (CB250F) 249
CB250 G5 249
Super Dream (CB250N) 249
CBR250 249
CBX250RS 249
CRF250L 249
MVX250F (MC09) 249
NSR250R (MC16, MC18, MC21, MC28) 249
Reflex (NSS250) 249
NX250/AX-1 249
Spada (VT250L, MC20) 249
XR250R 249
CBF250 250
CBR250R (MC41) 250
CJ250T 250
Dream (C70) 250
Dream (C71, C72) 250
Hawk (CB72) 250
Helix (CN250) 250
Sport (CB250) 250
CB250RS 250
VTR250 (Interceptor and MC33) 250
XL250 250
XRE300 291
Dream (C76, C77) 305
Scrambler (CL77) 305
Super Hawk (CB77) 305
CB350 Super Sport 325
Four (CB350F) 350
Sport (CB350) 350
XL350R 350
Scrambler (CL360) 356
Sport (CB360, CB360T) 356
CL400 387
NS400R 387
CB400N 395
Hawk (CB400T, CB400T II) 395
CM400 395
VRX400 Roadster 398
CB-1 (CB400F, NC27) 399
RVF400R (NC35) 399
VF400F (NC13) 399
VFR400 (NC30) 399
CBR400RR (NC23, NC29) 400
CBX400 400
(Bros) NT400 400
Four (CB400F) 408
Scrambler (CL450) 444
Sport/Hellcat (CB450) 444
Nighthawk (CB450SC) 445
Hondamatic (CM450A) 447
Rebel (CMX450) 447
CRF450R 449
CB450DX (CB450N/PC14) 450
Ascot (VT500, VT500FT) 491
(VT500E) 491
Ascot (FT500) 498
CX500 500
Four (CB500) 500
Shadow VT500 500
Interceptor (VF500F) 500
Magna V30 (VF500C) 500
NSR500 500
Silver Wing (GL500) 500
Sport (CB500 twin) 500
Tourist Trophy (GB500) 500
Turbo (CX500) 500
XBR500 500
Four (CB550F) 550
Nighthawk (CB550SC) 550
Four (CBX550F/FII) 572.5
599 600
CB600F also known as Hornet, and 599 600
CBF600N 600
CBF600S 600
Hurricane (CBR600F) 600
Honda CBR600F2 600
Honda CBR600F3 600
CBR600F4i 600
CBR600RR 600
Shadow (VT600C VLX) 600
Transalp (XL600V) 600
XR600R (offroad) 600
Four (CB650) 626
Deauville (NT650V) 650
CBX650 650
Bros/HawkGT (NT650) 650
NTV/Revere (NTV650) 650
Nighthawk (CB650SC) 650
Silver Wing (GL650) 650
Transalp (XL650V) 650
Turbo (CX650T) 650
Africa Twin (RD03) 650
XR650L 650
Dominator (NX650) 650
Honda CTX700N 670
Nighthawk (CB700SC) 700
Honda DN-01 700
Deauville (NT700V) 700
Transalp (XL700V) 700
Honda NC700D Integra 700
Four (CB750) 736
Hondamatic (CB750A) 736
Africa Twin (RD07) 750
CBX750 750
Interceptor (VF750F, VFR750) 750
Magna (VF750C V45) 750
Magna Deluxe (VF750CD) 750
Nighthawk (CB750, CB750SC) 750
VFR750R RC30 750
RVF750 RC45 750
NR 750
XLV750R 750
RC212V 800
Interceptor (VFR800FI) 800
Pacific Coast (PC800) 800
Crossrunner 800
CBR900RR including CBR954RR 900
Custom (CB900C) 900
Super Sport (CB900F) aka 919 900
RC211V 990
Gold Wing (GL1000) 999
CB1000 1000
CB1000R 1000
CBF1000 1000
CBR1000RR 1000
Custom (CB1000C) 1000
CBX1000 1000
Firestorm (VTR1000) 1000
Hurricane (CBR1000F) 1000
RC51 (RVT1000R) 1000
Honda VTR1000f (aka Super Hawk aka Firestorm) 1000
Super Sport (CBX) 1000
VTR1000R (RVT1000) SP1 & SP2 RC51 1000
XL1000V Varadero 1000
Gold Wing (GL1100) 1085
CBR1100XX 1100
Magna (VF1100C V65) 1100
Sabre (VF1100S V65) 1100
Pan-European (ST1100) 1100
Super Sport (CB1100F) 1100
Racing Modified CB1100F (CB1100R) 1100
X11 (CB1100SF) 1137
CB1100 (CB1100A) 1140
Gold Wing (GL1200) 1182
VFR1200F 1200
CB1300 1300
Pan-European (ST1300) 1300
Gold Wing (GL1500) 1520
Valkyrie (GL1500C/F6C) 1520
Gold Wing (GL1800) 1832

Mopeds and light motorcycles

  • Ape series
  • Cub series
  • CT series
  • MB/T/X series two-stroke models
  • MT50
  • Express
  • ST series (Dax)
  • Wave series
  • Z series Monkey models
  • AirBlade
  • Grom

Motorcycle models

  • Bros/HawkGT (NT650)
  • CB series
  • CBR series
  • CM series
  • CRF series
  • CX series
  • Dax
  • Fury
  • GL series (Gold Wing)
  • ST series
  • Valkyrie
  • VF/VFR series
  • VT series
  • VTX series
  • XR/XL series (dirt and dual-sport bikes)

Off-road models

  • XR250R
  • XR600R
  • XR650L
  • XR80
  • CRF150F
  • CRF450R

Dual-purpose models

  • CRF230L
  • CRF250L
  • XR650L
  • MT250
  • MT125

Motocross models

  • CR250R
  • CR85R Expert
  • CRF150R
  • CR125R
  • CR500R
  • CRF250R
  • CRF450R


  • Big Ruckus
  • CN250 (Helix/Fusion/Spazio)
  • Elite
  • Express, Express SR
  • Joker
  • Juno
  • Metropolitan
  • Metropolitan II
  • Motocompo
  • NH series
  • Reflex, Reflex ABS (NSS300 Forza in Europe and Canada)
  • PCX 125 and 150
  • Ruckus
  • Silver Wing, Silver Wing ABS

Racing models

  • Honda RC series
  • RC211V
  • RC212V
  • NR500
  • NSR500

Honda RC213V Honda RC214V CBR 1000RR ( FIREBLADE) RS125 RS250

All Terrain Vehicles

  • Honda TRX 700XX
  • Honda TRX450R
  • Honda TRX250R