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2019 Honda Super Cub C125 ABS | First Ride Review

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2019 Honda Super Cub C125 ABS | First Ride Review 2019 Honda Super Cub C125 ABS | First Ride Review

2019 Honda Super Cub C125 ABS | First Ride Review






The original Honda Super Cub C100, in the Japanese “sea and sky” livery. Photo courtesy Honda.
“You meet the nicest people on a Honda.”
The year was 1963 and American Honda, which opened its doors in Los Angeles barely four years prior with eight employees, wanted to change the way car-loving Americans saw motorcycles. When Honda came to the United States in 1959, fewer than 60,000 motorcycles were sold here annually, with most of those being domestic and European models larger than 500cc.
Dealers were skeptical of this bold, upstart new Japanese company, essentially telling 39-year-old General Manager Kihachiro Kawashima, “Good luck, but you?re just splitting a small pie into even smaller pieces.” Undaunted, Kawashima responded: Fine, we?ll make the pie bigger on our own. And the key to that bigger pie was the 50cc CA100, the “nifty, thrifty Honda Fifty,” known in Japan as the Super Cub.

“To succeed in the U.S. is to succeed worldwide. To take up the challenge of the American market may be the most difficult thing to do, but it’s a critical step in expanding the export of our products.” –Takeo Fujisawa, Senior Managing Director and co-founder of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

 
Honda’s “You meet the nicest people” ad campaign has become the stuff of legend, and it almost single-handedly changed the American motorcycle industry forever. Image courtesy Honda.
The Super Cub was designed to be accessible: a bike anyone could ride, rugged enough to handle the rough unpaved Japanese roads and with a quiet, fuel-efficient engine. Honda fitted it with its first-ever semi-automatic centrifugal clutch transmission, meaning gear changes were initiated by simply toeing the gearshift lever, no clutch required. The Japanese model was painted a lovely “sea and sky” combination of dark and light blue with a contrasting red single seat, reportedly inspired by Mr. Honda?s penchant for wearing a red shirt and driving a red sports car. The American version, meanwhile, had two-up seating and a bright, toy-like red and white paint job that reflected American Honda?s strategy of marketing the Super Cub as something fun and unthreatening, the perfect accessory for modern youths of the Jet Age. It was a marked departure from the image most Americans had of motorcycles and “bikers” in general, personified by somewhat dangerous, black leather-clad young men, a la Marlon Brando in “The Wild One.”
And it was a booming success. In 1961 Honda sold 17,000, in 1962 35,000 and in 1963, the year of the “You meet the nicest people” campaign, 90,000 CA100s were sold in the States.

The Super Cub’s new image was “unlike anything that Americans had imagined before. It was that of a completely new vehicle; a motorcycle that simply didn’t seem like one.” –Kihachiro Kawashima, General Manager, American Honda Motor Co., L...
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2019 Honda Super Cub C125 ABS | First Ride Review 2019 Honda Super Cub C125 ABS | First Ride Review

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Fuente de la noticia: ridermagazine
Fecha de publicación: 08-02-2019 21:20
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