Honda produces 200 millionth bike

Milestone reached in Honda’s 60th year in the industry

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Oct. 30, 2008
Honda Motor Co. announced that it has produced its 200 millionth motorcycle.

The Japanese manufacturer says the milestone-setting motorcycle rolled off the line at the end of September. The 200 million-unit mark comes in Honda’s 60th year in the motorcycle industry. Honda reached the 100-million mark in 1997.

Honda’s began mass producing motorcycles in 1949 with the Dream D-Type, the company’s first two-wheeler that didn’t look like a bicycle with an engine. The Dream D-Type had a semi-automatic clutch; the left lever operated the front brake. The bike had only two gears, and to stay in either first or second gear,Honda's first production model, the 1949 Dream D-Type, bucked the trend of all-black motorcycles with a maroon color scheme. the rider had to hold the left pedal down with his toe for first or his heel for second. Easing up on the pedal completely shifted the bike to neutral.

The Dream D-Type proved to be popular at first due to its ease of use, but sales tapered off as riders found it uncomfortable to hold the pedal down in the proper position.

Honda’s first production plant outside of Japan opened in Belgium in 1963. Honda now produces motorcycles at 32 facilities in 22 countries with separate research and development operations in the United States, Germany, Italy, Thailand, China and India, each one focused on meeting the needs of its local market.

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