Honda 90 - The Mac of Motorcycles.

We now present a special presentation of the P.A.G. Following Up A Story With a Related Story department at GO! Tower. Part one today and part two tomorrow. Plus, it's about motorcycles. So, beardy leather guys rejoice!

Maybe a minute ago you were sitting there thinking to yourself "I'm pretty sure Honda's history of  accessible, reliable transportation is a new thing, and that Honda used to make much different vehicles." Well, GUESS AGAIN sucker! Prepare to have your mind exploded!

The Honda 90! Pkshheeewww! There goes your mind! This ad for the Honda 90 dates from 1964. Information on the web mostly covers the more trail-oriented CT90 and sportier S90, but the basic 90 - sometimes just called "The Cub" was produced in one form or another from 1964 to the late 1970's. This ad is the one that started it all.

In the 1950s, motorcycles had a public image problem, what with the Hell's Angels and various biker gangs. Honda wanted to make an affordable, reliable motorcycle that looked like the polar opposite of, say, a Harley Davidson.

Mission accomplished! The 90 was a friendly, non-threatening two-wheeled VW bug of a thing that was mechanically simple, and bordered on indestructibility.

They sold millions of them, establishing a presence in new countries like America, opening the door for Honda's automobiles that seem to enjoy a fairly healthy reputation for durability  to this day. You can almost say that the Cub had the unenviable task of overcoming the rather "tarnished" image of the Japanese after WWII in the mind of middle America. It's pretty impressive that it began to turn around as early as '64.

I could spew more facts, but this YouTube video does a fantastic job of spewing for me. Most of the facts and interesting info are at the start of the video. The second half mostly consists of a guy trying to wreck a 90 in various un-scientific ways. Please enjoy the German subtitles. Audio is British English, so some of you may have to squint with your ears if you didn't grow up on Monty Python.

I found a person trying to sell a similarly-dated ad for the Honda 90 for $25. What a jerk. I bought the whole magazine for two bucks. You can print out this jpeg at pretty good resolution as many times as you want for free. You're welcome.

Tomorrow: Part Two!

UPDATE: The title of this post is inaccurate. The Honda 90 is not "The Mac of Motorcycles." Macintosh computers are not affordable or especially reliable. Sorry for the lapse in judgment.


RonH said...

the cub is a step through
this ain't

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