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Honda C100 Super Cub
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You may well sneer at the humble step-through, but Dean Fountain suggests that the Honda Cub is the most important motorcycle of all time...

1958. Does that year stand out to you as probably the most significant year in motorcycling since Gottlieb Daimler produced the first motorbike in 1885? It should, because a small team of designers under the watchful eye of Soichiro Honda had planned and produced a motorcycle that was to change history.

What was this colossus, this two-wheeled Leviathan? Ladees and gentlepersons I give you the Honda C90! Well technically I give you the Honda C100 but theyíre all pretty much the same thing.

My next-door neighbour has got one of these. Says it all... 1958 Honda Super Cub

The good old crunch was probably the first introduction to riding bikes for many of us as we roared around fields and waste-ground all over the country on the clapped-out old nail that seemed to exist amongst every bunch of sweaty adolescences in the land.

This isnít the Honda Super Cubís entry into the annuls of riding history -- that would be plain silly, but if you moved on from the aforementioned field bike to an iconic Honda such as a Goldwing, Fireblade, sand-cast CB750 or (lucky wossname!) an RC30 or NR750 then you owe it all to the C100.

Check out the red seat. Quality... 1958 Honda Super Cub

The Cub in all its different forms went on to sell over 50 million units and is still in production today. Itís not only the most successful motorcycle in history but it is also the highest selling motor vehicle in history, financing Hondaís global domination of motor bikes for over half a century and making them the biggest engine producer in the world.

Motorising the population of Asia and selling millions of cheap and reliable hacks to America and Europe bankrolled Hondaís racing successes, from Phil Read on the Island to fast Freddie Spencer on the world stage. It financed innovative research and design which was to produce some of the aforementioned iconic bikes of the century, but the humble C100 is not iconic -- itís seminal.

Sochiro Honda's first engines were clip-on units of bicycles. 1952 50cc 2-stroke Honda Cub

When the first-pressed steel-framed, single-cylinder 49cc step-thru ( they even invented a new class of bike for it) design rolled off the production line it changed the lives and aspirations of millions. The Super Cub become the first motorised transport for a generation of households and carried whole families to work, school and play.

Super, smashing, lovely. 1964 Honda CM90 Super Cub
Honda Cubs on eBay.co.uk

So if youíve never ridden a crunch in one of its many forms then get a spin on your Uncle Bertís old commuter or blag a blast round the common from the local hoodies. No matter how self-conscious you feel, youíll be able to revel in riding a true part of motorcycling history.


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