2. 1953 Honda

Barber Museum 1953 Honda

The first Honda motorcycles arrived on U.S. shores in 1959, but Soichiro’s early two-wheelers came into existence a decade earlier. This 1953 Honda is one of a few remaining models of the time and features an air-cooled, 145cc Single pumping out 5.5 hp and borrowed heavily from German engineering of the time, particularly N.S.U., which were dominating the contemporary racing scene. As we know now, Honda intensely studied the leading manufacturers of the time, engineering better, more reliable machines based on the lessons learned.

It’s extremely rare to find early examples of Honda motorcycles like this one, especially here in America. Some were shipped back by returning servicemen, but because there were no spare parts to be found, most ended up in salvage yards. However, the Honda brand as we know it now can trace its roots back to this machine.

  • Michael Howard

    It’s a shame the photos are such low-resolution. On my 1024×768 monitor they’re only 1/4 the size of the screen — on my 1920×1080 they’d look like postage stamps. Beautiful and rare bikes deserve high res details.

  • fastfreddie

    Loved the Kawazaki V12!Proper awesomeness:)

  • artist_formally_known_as_cWj

    I’m sure these arenmphotos of lovely bikes, but darn you, motorcycle.com for click baiting. Give us then option to read the entire store on one page, por favor.

    • Kevin Duke

      C’mon, give us the clicks! It’s cheaper than paying a subscription!

  • Dwight Nevins

    Saw this one on the way to Barbers at Motorcyclepedia in Newburgh, along with several others