Those of us who grew up in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s had a sense of the importance of Honda in the scheme of things. It changed motorcycling by making motorcycles that were reliable and oil-tight, and were a practical alternative to a car – a service life of over 100,000 kilometers was no longer a dream but a reality. You could do 160km/h on a single-cam Honda Inline-Four every day without the motorcycle complaining or you having to rebuild it every weekend.
Sure, some models in some categories lacked the sparkle of competitor motorcycles from Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki, but that didn’t matter. If it said ‘Honda’ on the fuel tank, everyone knew you were on a winner for durability and reliability.
Not content with world domination on two wheels, Honda started making cars, the first few where powered by a 360cc twin-engine based on the engine from the CBR360. As far as I know, not much survived. Honda got distracted by its success, however, and lost the plot with motorcycles for a period while it concentrated more on cars.