CG125 / 1975

Clearing the Way for Entry into Brazil's Motorcycle Market

CG125 / 1975

The Shocking State of Motorcycles in Developing Countries

Exports of motorcycles to developing countries increased dramatically during the 1970s, consistent with the growth of Southeast Asia's economies. Consumers in that region wanted practical motorcycles that could handle multiple passengers and overloading.

The Shocking State of Motorcycles in Developing Countries

The lightweight, short-pushrod OHV engine features a gear-driven, single camshaft structure for both intake and exhaust. The shaft is located where one would find the cam-chain housing in a more conventional OHC engine.

In order to meet the growing needs of this region, Honda exported the CS90 model with four-cycle OHC in January 1968, and then the CB100 in September 1969. In contrast, the company's competitors were exporting two-stroke, 100-cc models. Due to a lack of proper maintenance - a condition unique to that part of the world - Honda was losing ground to other manufacturers. In response, Honda developed a model featuring its new OHV engine, exporting it as the S110 in March 1973. The real problem, however, was not so easily solved.

In May 1974, in order to conduct thorough research in actual markets under real-world conditions, Takeshi Inagaki, who was in charge of creating motorcycles for developing countries, and Einosuke Miyachi, the man in charge of design, left Japan from Haneda International Airport. They spent a month watching motorcycle users in major cities throughout Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Iran, and Pakistan. What they saw, though, was beyond anything they could have imagined.

"It was normal to see a child on the tank and the wife at the back, with two to four people riding together," Inagaki recalled. "And some people loaded vegetables, chickens, and pigs onto their motorcycles. I even saw motorcycles towing loaded carts."

The dealer situation, too, was completely different from that found in Japan. At the time, the dealer's primary responsibility was to disassemble and repair motorcycles that were not in working condition. Customers typically brought their motorcycles in only when they had stopped running. Therefore, the concept of routine maintenance was completely foreign to the dealers and customers.

"They continued to use oil even after it had turned into goo," Inagaki said, "and the paper filter elements in the air cleaners would become solid as a dirt wall from all the dust. The drive chains would be stretched out to their maximum adjustable lengths, and were worn and torn from hitting the chain case. The examples of such abuse went on and on. One after another, we saw spectacles we'd never even imagined possible from our home base in Japan."

It was thus apparent that due to their complex structure the four-cycle, OHC motorcycles could not perform to their true potential in developing countries, where people subjected their bikes in the harshest conditions and the dealers were unable to provide sufficient service.

The Challenging Spirit of Honda

1990 - 1999
  1. The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997
  2. Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994
  3. Odyssey / 1994Odyssey / 1994
  4. Establishment of Honda Taiyo, Kibo-no-Sato Honda and Honda R&D Taiyo / 1992Establishment of Honda Taiyo, Kibo-no-Sato Honda and Honda R&D Taiyo / 1992
  5. Hosting Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991
  6. The NSX / 1990The NSX / 1990
1980 - 1989
  1. The VTEC Engine / 1989The VTEC Engine / 1989
  2. Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988
  3. An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988
  4. Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987
  5. The Airbag System / 1987The Airbag System / 1987
  6. The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983
  7. Formula One Entry / 1983Formula One Entry / 1983
  8. Development of Honda's Franz System Car / 1982Development of Honda's Franz System Car / 1982
  9. The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982
  10. Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981
  11. The Car Navigation System / 1981The Car Navigation System / 1981
  12. City / 1981City / 1981
  13. The F200 The F200 "Komame" Mini-Tiller / 1980
  14. Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980
1970 - 1979
  1. The Oval Piston Engine / 1979The Oval Piston Engine / 1979
  2. Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979
  3. The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978
  4. Creating Hometown Forests / 1977Creating Hometown Forests / 1977
  5. The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977
  6. Introducing the Accord / 1976Introducing the Accord / 1976
  7. CG125 / 1975CG125 / 1975
  8. Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974
  9. Company Leaders Honda and Fujisawa Retire; Kawashima Assumes Presidency / 1973Company Leaders Honda and Fujisawa Retire; Kawashima Assumes Presidency / 1973
  10. Announcing the Civic / 1972Announcing the Civic / 1972
  11. Introducing the CVCC / 1972Introducing the CVCC / 1972
  12. Holding All Honda Idea Contests / 1970Holding All Honda Idea Contests / 1970
  13. Launching the Office of Safe Driving Promotional Operations / 1970Launching the Office of Safe Driving Promotional Operations / 1970
1960 - 1969
  1. The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969
  2. Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968
  3. The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968
  4. Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966
  5. The E300 Portable Generator / 1965The E300 Portable Generator / 1965
  6. Formula One Entry / 1964Formula One Entry / 1964
  7. Kyoto: Celebrating the Company's 15th Anniversary / 1963Kyoto: Celebrating the Company's 15th Anniversary / 1963
  8. Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963
  9. Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962
  10. Employing the Employing the "My Record" Project and Expert Certification / 1960
  11. The R&D Center Goes Independent / 1960The R&D Center Goes Independent / 1960
1950 - 1959
  1. Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959

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