50 Years of Super Cub — C50

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Honda Super Cub 50

50 years of Super Cub

1940 Why the super cub was Born

In the late just after WWII, began to build motorcycles and based on imported models. first models, however, too expensive for the average consumer. It was problem that prompted the of Honda;s auxiliary engines for Founder Soichiro Honda was to create useful products anyone could use.

The bicycles that were first products received a welcome in the market place.

— A big hit

The Cub F-type, released in was a particularly bit hit. Next, ventured into motorcycle and entered the scooter market as In 1952, however, Honda’s products began to experience a of problems.

Demand has shifted auxiliary engines to actual and Cub F-type sales began to Honda managed to stage a by putting out various new motorcycle but they were all 250cc or these were not products everybody could ride. production of the Juno scooter and the F-type, with its broad drew to an end.

Soon the company was captivated by the idea of a small motorcycle that could ride.

1956 Developing a New Little Motorcycle

By the Soichiro returned to Japan, he had an image in his mind of the new product he to make. It incorporated Fujisawa’s of creating a small bike would expand Honda’s base, plus a low-floor, design that would it easy for women to ride, And Soichiro insisted on a four-… This was a novel approach, on the premise that a four-… was necessary for a smooth ride at low on Japan’s many unpaved

And the new model was to have a kick not a pedal starter like a

Soichiro conveyed these and new ideas to his team of engineers. At he would pick up a piece of and draw on the floor. A crowd of would gather round, and would express their freely, regardless of their or job title.

Fueled by this exchange, ideas soon to take shape. It was within dynamic atmosphere that began to develop its new little

1957 — Birth of the Cub

In early 1957, Honda work on the vehicle’s engine. It was the time anyone in the world had to mass-produce a 50cc OHV 4-… and the development team came up more and more ideas flew in the face of conventional Ultimately, they created an with phenomenal power: rpm and 4.5 horsepower.

At the same time, began to develop the Super unique automatic centrifugal The goal was to produce a bike could be operated one-handed, as at the some restaurant deliveries made by bicycle riders boxes with their hand, whilst steering their left. This out to be extremely challenging, however, difficulties associated with during shifting and the revolution of the kick starter.

Nearly day, Soichiro huddled development engineers, brainstorming for The result was the birth of the revolutionary centrifugal clutch.

Honda began developing the Cub’s body that and in April body styling began. Soichiro’s mantra Make something that in your hand! In other he wanted to make a compact that would fit comfortably customer’s lives.

Soichiro was particular about the size of the The bike had to handle well on unpaved roads, but it also had to be Honda decided that the tire size would be 17 a size that did not yet exist for vehicles.

The major tire all refused to produce a new tire for just one model, but after rejections, Honda finally a small manufacturer who was willing to do it.

Yet the team in charge of creating the was faced with the challenge of existing tires to make prototype tires. Everyone to the challenge, responding to all such with a can-do attitude. The Cub was truly the fruit of everyone’s efforts.

Meanwhile, the chemical proposed using polyethylene than the fiber-reinforced plastic that had been used on the This reduced the body’s substantially, but the supplier that fabricate the body had never such a large … and only agreed to the project on the that Honda would the cast.

As the body design completion, the new motorcycle finally its name: the Super Cub. The married Super, which was a word at the time, to the Cub of the Cub F-type. The Cub was still a big favorite with and he immediately seized on the name.

On December 24, one year after had begun, the final FRP mock-up was The intricate mock-up was mounted on a top in the cafeteria, and as they stood in of it, Soichiro asked Fujisawa, Managing Director, how many of do you think we can sell? Without a beat, Fujisawa responded, units!

Astonished, the other exclaimed, 30,000 units a When Fujisawa responded No, units a month!, everyone was At the time, the total number of sold each month in was only around 40,000 and besides, Honda did not yet have the capacity to produce 30,000 per month.

Fujisawa, however, was envisioning the blueprints for a new factory would be built to accommodate of the new motorcycle.

The development of the production Super Cub lasted a year and months- lead-time of an unprecedented for Honda in those days. In of 1958, Honda announced its new and August 1958 marked the mud release of the Super Cub C100 .

— How the World Welcomed Cub

When the Super Cub C100 hit the it was priced at 55,000 yen, an well within the reach of the consumer but challenging profitability-wise. Fujisawa was determined to set a price was attractive to the average person to the customer base. Meanwhile, development, Soichiro insisted, I you to make the best product regardless of cost.

We can make up for the in mass production. Along his high standards in manufacturing Soichiro clearly had a lot of confidence in abilities as a salesman.

Fujisawa came through a sales strategy full of ideas. First, they need to build a retail Fujisawa put the word out via a mass contacting businesses with community roots that then had nothing to do with such as lumber dealers and stores.

Honda Super Cub 50
Honda Super Cub 50

He created a network of where women would comfortable shopping, and in 1960 he running ads in general interest At the time, it was unheard of to advertise in anything other than motorcycle publications.

These to expand Honda’s customer were astonishingly effective, and in a few years, Fujisawa’s unbelievable of 30,000 units per month had a reality.

1959 — Honda Opens its Doors

In American Honda Motor its doors, and the Super Cub made its voyage into an overseas This was a mere ten months the model’s release in Japan. The rested on Fujisawa’s conviction in order to truly succeed we to succeed in the toughest market of

But American Honda’s Cub sales lackluster. The US market was dominated by of at least 500cc displacement, and the image of motorcycles was rough and Despite this, they a Mini-Trail (U.S. version of the 90 cc Cub) and other new models catered to the US market and used the mailing strategy to expand sales network to sports and fishing gear retailers, a sporty image for the brand.

These efforts received a boost from an ad campaign in LIFE magazine. The ads featured the You meet the nicest people on a promoting the concept that who ride Cubs are just people, completely overturning the that all motorcycle riders black leather jackets. men and women of all ages were an interest in American Honda and its

In 1963, the company’s 5th year in the US American Honda sold units.

1961 — To and the World

Meanwhile, European GmbH opened in Germany in and the following year marked the of Honda Benelux N.V. Honda’s first overseas facility. Bit by bit, the Super Cub and the of the Cub Series carved out a position in

The Super Cub expanded to Asia success in North America and Assembly production began in the 1960s in Taiwan and South and Asian Honda established its Asian distribution base in in 1964. One year later, the venture company Thai was established as a motorcycle manufacturer. To day, the company develops a of models based on the Cub that are popular throughout Southeast

At first, the demand for two-… was very high in Thailand, but as the modernized and fuel emissions became more stringent, the performed a complete turnaround.

Now the was for four-… bikes, and since the Cub had been a strong brand, it a surge of renewed interest. Honda bikes account for 70% of the market, of which the Cub series 60%.

Recently, the country where the Cub the most popularity of all is Vietnam. The is so well established there the word Honda is synonymous motorcycle. Honda Vietnam in 1996, taking Honda’s motorcycle factory of the 20th online in 1997.

Today, years since its birth, the market continues to expand its design remains fundamentally Each year, close to 5 units are produced worldwide. The Cub is a global standard, reaching volumes unrivaled in the history of transportation.

While styling and details vary slightly by and application, the Super Cub has always its identity as a useful vehicle is easy for anyone to ride.

The Cub truly embodies the Honda It is key to the origins of Honda.

Honda Super Cub 50
Honda Super Cub 50
Honda Super Cub 50
Honda Super Cub 50
Honda Super Cub 50
Honda Super Cub 50
Honda Super Cub 50


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