The biggest selling series of motorcycle of all time, the Honda Super Cub, this week broke through the 100 million milestone, with company bosses holding a ceremony at the Kumamoto factory where the iconic commuters are now manufactured.
First launched as the Super Cub C100 in 1968, the two-stroke step-thru was superseded by the four-stroke semi-automatic engine with which it would become famous in 1964. Branded as the C50, C70 and C90, the frugal pressed-steel scooters were popular in the UK throughout the 1970s and 1980s as one of the cheapest and most reliable forms of transport around. While the C90 dropped out Honda’s UK brochures in the early 2000s, updated versions of the Cub continued to provide low cost mass market mobility around the world, with the more modern Innova remaining in the range for years to come. Today the C90 and other Super Cubs have a cult following in Britain and around the world, with a big custom bike scene seeing many of these classics leading a second life as shed built specials.
Although not on sale in Europe, today Honda offers the Super Cub 50, Super Cub 110, Super Cub 50 Pro and Super Cub 110 Pro in a number of Asian markets and the company says that it has no plans to drop the concept. Takahiro Hachigo, President & Representative Director, Chief Executive Officer of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said: “(The) Honda Super Cub, which was created in Japan, fulfils the expectations of our customers and embodies Honda’s passion to serve people worldwide with the joy of expanding their life’s potential. As a result, the Super Cub series has long been enjoyed by customers all over the world and was able to reach the 100 million-unit milestone in worldwide cumulative production. Honda will continue to evolve in keeping with changes of the times and strive to offer products that go beyond the expectations of our customers.”
These days Honda produces Super Cub series motorcycles at 16 plants in 15 countries around the world, with the model celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2018.
Key milestones of Honda Super Cub Series
- August 1958 Sales of Super Cub C100 began (air-cooled four-stroke, single-cylinder OHV engine, 49cc, 4.5 horse power)
- 1959 Exports to the U.S. began
- 1960 Production at Suzuka factory began
- 1961 Cumulative global production of the Super Cub series reached 1 million-unit milestone Production based on component parts sets began in Taiwan (first production outside of Japan)
- 1964 Sales of Super Cub C65 (the first OHC engine) began
- 1966 Sales of Super Cub C50 (OHC engine) began
- 1974 Cumulative global production of Super Cub series reached 10 million-unit milestone
- 1983 Sales of Super Cub 50 Super Custom began Fuel consumption of 423mpg) achieved
- 1988 Sales of Press Cub began
- 1991 Production transferred to Kumamoto Factory
- 1992 Cumulative global production of Super Cub series reached 20 million-unit milestone
- 2005 Cumulative global production of Super Cub series reached 50 million-unit milestone
- 2007 An electronically-controlled fuel injection system, Honda’s PGM-FI, was installed on Super Cub 50, Press Cub 50 and Little Cub
- 2008 Cumulative global production of Super Cub series reached 60 million-unit milestone The 50th anniversary of Super Cub sales
- 2009 Sales of Super Cub 110 and Super Cub 110 Pro began
- 2012 Super Cub 110 and Super Cub 50 underwent full model change
- 2014 Shape of Super Cub became first vehicle to obtain three-dimensional trademark registration in Japan Cumulative global motorcycle production of Honda reached 300 million-unit milestone
- 2017 Super Cub 50, Super Cub 110, Super Cub 50 Pro, Super Cub 110 Pro underwent model change
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