Honda’s been building motorcycles ever since 1949. That’s 70 years of mobilizing people on two wheels when sometimes four just wasn’t possible or realistic or the most fun. And right at the end of 2019, the company celebrates its 400 millionth motorcycle built.
Honda introduced the Dream D-Type in 1949, a post-World War II motorcycle that was cheap, efficient, reliable and basic. It had an air-cooled, two-stroke, single-cylinder engine with a displacement of 98cc. It made a whopping three horsepower and was the very first mass-produced motorcycle from Honda.
From there, Honda expanded to make every sort of motorcycle you can imagine and gave the European manufacturers a real run for their money.
Thirty-five manufacturing facilities across 21 countries later, Honda’s motorcycle production has been stellar. In 1997, it produced 100 million units. In 2008, it his 200 million units. It hit the 300 million-unit milestone in 2014. It is ending this year with 400 million motorcycles built, according to a company press release.
Unsurprisingly, the United States market accounts for very little of Honda’s motorcycle production. According to a company pie chart, most production units went to India (28.2 percent). Indonesia was a close second (24.8 percent).
In fact, the U.S. doesn’t even show up on the chart. This, no doubt, is because motorcycle culture here simply isn’t as big as it is in Asian and Latin American countries.
Honda didn’t say which motorcycle was its 400 millionth made, but damn! Four hundred million motorcycles. That’s more motorcycles than there are miles between Earth and the sun.