With modern technology in a classic design and high performance in a commercial package, the Honda Super Cub has it all. In fact, out of all the other motorcycles, superbikes, and scooters in the history of the world, none has been produced as much as the Cub.
But what makes the Honda Super Cub the most popular motor vehicle ever produced? Climb onto the pillion and I’ll show you what I mean!
The Super Cub first entered production in 1958, two years after two of Honda’s founders returned from a visit to Germany with the knowledge that they either needed to find a way to compete with the widespread popularity of lightweight mopeds or to let their business fall by the wayside.
In the end, Honda chose not only to compete, but to set the industry standard for decades to come by mass-producing affordable, lightweight chassis with a single-cylinder, bullet-proof engine in a sleek design.
Tech Specific to the Motorcycle
Nowadays, the Super Cub is more than just a moped-inspired motorcycle.
The 2019 Honda Super Cub C125 comes with: a 124.9cc air-cooled, single-cylinder four-stroke engine; a fully transistorized ignition; a 9.3:1 compression ratio; and a SOHC valve train with two valves per cylinder.
All of these specifications serve to elevate the Super Cub from a timeless classic to a high-performance motor vehicle.
Timeline of Versions with Changes and Pictures
Given a 61-year production line, the designers at Honda have had plenty of time to improve upon their original design.
- Super Cub C100 (1958-1965)
The 1958 Super Cub initially found a very limited market, due to a recession in Japan at the time of production as well as consumer complaints regarding slipping clutches.
- Super Cub C50 (1966-1977)
The introduction of the OHC engine enabled Honda to better design the lighting systems of their motor vehicles. The C50 saw improved headlights, taillights, and flashers.
- Super Cub C50 (1978-1982)
In 1978, the C50 model received design alterations that resulted in a quieter exhaust and improved rev torque for an even safer ride.
- Super Cub 50 Super Custom (1983-1990)
This version of the Super Cub’s primary difference from previous versions was a new engine with improved fuel economy.
- Super Cub 50 Standard (1991-2006)
Aside from a few minor design changes, the 50 Standard most notably differentiated itself from the 50 Super Custom with the addition of a mechanical fuel gauge.
- Super Cub 50 Standard (2007-2016)
This version of the 50 Standard model saw few changes but significantly increased safety performance by decreasing the probability of punctures.
- Super Cub 50 (2017-2018)
This model sought to revert to the original C100 style by removing all of the minor changes that accrued throughout the decades. The 2017 model also included LED lights for the first time.
- Super Cub C125 (2019-)
The newest addition to the Super Cub family, discussed in greater detail above, maintained the classic design of the C100.
The Cub in the Spotlight
As recently as 2017, news outlets were heralding Honda’s production of its 100-millionth Super Cub motorcycle, further cementing the design’s rank as the most-produced motor vehicle of all time.
Celebrity Endorsements of the Super Cub
While Honda’s Super Cub hasn’t appeared in any major video games or been endorsed by any prominent American celebrities, it has achieved widespread critical acclaim the rest of the world over, particularly in Japan.
Super Clubs for the Super Cub
With more than one hundred million of these models having been produced, you would be hard pressed to not be able to find any social groups surrounding it. Despite its lower popularity in the US, there are even Facebook groups explicitly dedicated to American owners of the Super Cub.
The Honda Super Cub – A Timeless Classic
After nearly a dozen major model changes, one hundred million models produced, and more than six decades of history, the design and style of the Super Cub C100 lives on, manifest in the chassis of every Super Cub that has ever followed. You should expect nothing less of such a timeless classic!