Soichiro Honda started the Honda motorcycle manufacturing company in 1946 in order to produce cheap transportation for people after World War II ended. Honda developed their own 50cc engine after initially using old army engines.
Honda’s CB models were the first international success stories for the company, starting with 250cc and 305cc models in the 1950’s. The first huge success they had in Western markets (ie the U.S.) came with the introduction of the C100 in 1958, thanks to competitive pricing, reliability comparable to the ubiquitous British bikes of the period, and a very slick marketing campaign. They hit one out of the ballpark with the slogan “You meet the nicest people on a Honda”. By the mid-‘60’s, Honda was putting out 450cc and even 750cc bikes which were mass produced, affordable, reliable machines.
The Gold Wing was introduced in 1974 and has had one of the largest bases of devotees of any model of bike ever. Clubs for Gold Wing riders (Gold Wing Road Riders Association and Gold Wing Touring Association, for example) are hugely popular, thanks in part to the model’s suitability to riding virtually any distance in comfort, safety, and style. They have members who live and meet in most major Ontario cities from Brampton to London, from Owen Sound to Burlington. These organizations are much more than merely social clubs; they provide vital assistance to an endless number of charities when they stage various toy rides and charity rides. They also provide vital economic revenue to regions around the globe when they participate in events such as the Wing Ding taking place in Des Moines, Iowa June 30 to July 3, 2010.
Today Honda is the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. The Honda line of motorcycles spans the range of styles from dirt to sport, many models seemingly always in the discussion when one is considering the ‘best’ in any class. Honda cruisers such as the VTX line and the Shadow stable are always right on top of the latest developments both technologically and stylistically. Honda continues to recognize the fact that motorcycles are both a practical means of transportation as well as an expression of style and an extension of lifestyle for most riders.
Honda motorcycles comprise a large percentage of the bikes on the road in Ontario, and they are well served by a network of dealerships across the province. This dealership network continues to evolve, and now includes Honda Powerhouse shops such as the one in Milton, Ontario. The long-time dealers such as KW Honda in Waterloo, Ontario continue to attract a large and loyal clientele thanks to the high level of service and competitive pricing that they provide.