Honda Motorcycles: A Brief History
Of the Japan's "Big Four" manufacturers (which includes Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Suzuki), Honda produces the most bikes per year. At last count (in 2009), Honda sold over 15 million bikes, making them the world's most prolific motorcycle manufacturer by a long shot. But the origins of Honda motorcycles were rather humble.
A year before Honda Motor Co., Ltd. was established in 1948, company founder Soichiro Honda's first creation was a small two-stroke engine that attached to a bicycle. The Cub scooter, which was introduced in 1958, proved immensely popular and is now the best-selling motorized two-wheeler of all time, having sold over 60 million units in the half-century since its introduction.
Other milestones in Honda's timeline include the trend-setting Dream CB750 Four (1969), the iconic GL-series Gold Wing tourer (1974), and the six-cylinder CBX1000-series (1978), not to mention the currently produced CBR-series sportbikes and the VTX cruiser family. Other highlights include everything from youth-oriented dirtbikes, dual purposes, and scooters to touring bikes, cruisers, sportbikes—and everything in between; the Japanese manufacturer once known for their "You meet the nicest people on a Honda" slogan has come a long way since they built their first bicycle engine in the late 1940s.
Honda has introduced three new-for-2011 motorcycles so far: the CB1000R, a sharply angled naked bike, the CBR250R, a long overdue answer to Kawasaki's best-selling beginner bike, the Ninja 250R, and the Shadow RS, a classically-styled roadster with a sweet retro-style red, white, and blue color scheme. See the rest of the lineup here.
Honda Motorcycles: Cruisers and Choppers
Honda's cruiser and chopper lineup is based primarily on two liquid-cooled v-twin powerplants: the 745cc Shadow line, and the 1,312cc VTX line. Though larger (VTX1800) and smaller (Rebel) models have been produced, the 2011 lineup only features 745cc and 1,312cc engines.
2010 Honda Interstate, Sabre, Stateline Review
What happens when Honda reinterprets the Fury chopper into three different types of cruisers? Read this review to find out.
2010 Honda Interstate, Sabre, Stateline Photo Gallery
See shots of the touring-oriented Interstate, custom-styled Sabre, and more traditionally styled Stateline motorcycles.
2010 Honda Fury Review
Honda shocked the motorcycle world when they built their first-ever factory custom chopper; read all about the Fury in this review.
2010 Honda Fury Photo Gallery
The Fury looks like no other Honda, and it's got the longest wheelbase of any bike in Honda history; see shots in this photo gallery.
2008 Honda VTX1800F Review
This 1,795cc cruiser produces massive torque, but hasn't been offered since 2008—maybe this big-bore bruiser is too extreme for these lean times?
2008 Honda VTX1800F Photo Gallery
Take a closer look at Honda's plus-sized factory custom cruiser.
Honda Motorcycles: Sportbikes
Honda ostensibly broke into the sportbike market when their inline-4 cylinder Dream CB750 Four was introduced in 1969. The bike's revolutionary combination of affordability, reliability, and performance paved the way for Honda's modern sportbike offerings.
2011 Honda CBR250R Review
The all-new Honda CBR250R packs a single-cylinder 249cc engine; see how it takes on the beginner bike competition in this review.
2011 Honda CBR250R Tech Dive
The seemingly simple CBR250R actually boasts a slew of technological advances; read about its 27 patents in this in-depth tech dive.
2008 Honda CBR1000RR Review
The Honda CBR1000RR got a complete redesign for 2008; read about how it performed at Laguna Seca raceway in this review.
2008 Honda CBR1000RR Photo Gallery
The Honda CBR1000RR enjoyed a serious restyling for the 2008 model year—do you love or hate its snub-nosed look?
Honda Motorcycles: Sport Tourers
Honda's entry into the sportbike market paved the way for another evolution of the genre: the sport tourer. Combining long distance comfort with performance, these bikes strike a balance between all-out performers like the CBR-series and cushy tourers like the Gold Wing.
2010 Honda VFR1200F Photo Gallery
Take a closer look at Honda's slickly styled VFR1200F.
2007 Honda VFR Interceptor Review
Honda's VFR Interceptor pre-dates the current-gen VFR1200F; read all about it here.
2007 Honda VFR Interceptor Photo Gallery
This 25th Anniversary Honda Interceptor boasts Honda's signature red, white, and blue paint scheme.
Honda Motorcycles: Concepts
Concept motorcycles offer a glimpse into possible future products, not to mention nostalgic nods to the past. Here are highlights of key Honda concept bikes.
Tokyo Motor Show Concepts, Including CB1100F, CB1100R, DN-01, EVO6, CB400 Super Four, Forza Z Scooter
See Honda's generous serving of concept bikes in 2007—several of which eventually made it to production—in this gallery.
Honda V4 Concept
This wild, minimalist concept inspired the all-new Honda VFR1200F.
EICMA Show Concepts, Including Crossrunner and Crosstourer
These 2010 EICMA show concepts reveal potential future crossover bikes for Honda.
The Honda Cub has been in production for more than 50 years, and virtually every modern Honda scooter can be considered a descendant of the original Cub's durable design.
2011 Honda PCX Scooter Review
This 125cc ride combines big scooter looks with a reasonable price tag.
2011 Honda PCX Scooter Photo Gallery
Can you spot the VFR1200F-inspired features on this Honda scooter?
2010 Honda Elite Scooter Review
Riding impressions of Honda's smaller, 108cc alternative to the PCX.
2010 Honda Elite Scooter Photo Gallery
Not quite as aggressively styled as its stablemate, the Elite offers milder bodywork in a smaller package.
2010 Honda SH150i Scooter Review
If you're looking for Honda's smallest-engined, street legal bike, you've come to the right place.
2010 Honda SH150i Scooter Photo Gallery
Take a look at the best-selling scooter in Italy— take that, Vespa!
2008 Honda Silver Wing Scooter Review
Is this a scooter or a motorcycle? The line gets blurry when the engine's pushing 600cc!
2008 Honda Silver Wing Scooter Photo Gallery
See shots of this big, brash maxi scooter.
Honda Motorcycles: Supermotos
Unlike European manufacturers like KTM and Aprilia, Honda wasn't the first motorcycle manufacturer to jump on the supermoto bandwagon, and their current supermoto offering is the diminutive CRF230M.
2009 Honda CRF230M Photo Gallery
See shots of the supermoto version of Honda's CRF230L.
2008 Honda CRF230L Review
If you plan on blazing trails as well as freeways, you'll want to consider this small-engined option from Honda.
2008 Honda CRF230L Photo Gallery
See how the CRF230L looks in both on and off-road situations.
Honda Motorcycles: Dual Purposes
Look in the dictionary under "dual purpose motorcycles," and you'd likely find a picture of their Transalp, which has enjoyed a strong heyday but is currently not available in the U.S.
Honda Motorcycle Long Term Updates
Honda loaned us a Honda Gold Wing for a year, and we share our adventures with the GL-series tourer in our long term updates.
Honda Gold Wing Long Term Update Index
What's it like to live with Honda's ultimate touring motorcycle for a year? Click here to find out!