20 Iconic Honda Motorcycle Hits

From redefining the standards of superbikes to setting the benchmark for touring and off-road capabilities, Honda has etched an indelible mark in the pages of motorcycle history. With an arsenal of groundbreaking innovations, record-setting performance machines, and motorcycles that have democratically brought two-wheeled transportation to the masses, Honda has become synonymous with reliability and engineering excellence.

Honda CB750 (1969-2003)

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The CB750 revolutionized the motorcycle industry when it was released. It was the first affordable four-cylinder motorcycle with a disc brake, electric start, and reliable performance. Its 736cc, air-cooled, inline-four engine produced 67 horsepower, laying the groundwork for future sportbikes.

Honda Gold Wing (1974-Present)

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The Gold Wing is the quintessential touring bike known for its luxury and comfort. Over the years, it has incorporated features like an 1833cc flat-six engine, Apple CarPlay, and even an airbag, making it a leader in the long-haul motorcycle segment.

Honda CBR900RR Fireblade (1992-2003)

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This bike redefined the superbike category with its impressive power-to-weight ratio. Weighing just 185 kg and powered by an 893cc inline-four engine generating 122 horsepower, the CBR900RR set new standards for sportbikes.

Honda CR250R (1973-2007)

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A legend in the motocross world, the CR250R was introduced with a 2-stroke, 250cc engine and was considered one of the best off-road racing motorcycles of its time. Its lightweight frame and powerful engine made it a favorite among motocross riders.

Honda Rebel 250 (1985-2016)

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This bike became iconic as a beginner’s motorcycle. It featured a 234cc parallel-twin engine that was easy to handle. Its smaller frame made it accessible and affordable, a perfect introduction to the world of motorcycling.

Honda VFR750R RC30 (1987-1990)

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This race homologation motorcycle with a V4, 748cc engine produced around 76 horsepower. The bike gained legendary status in both racing circuits and among enthusiasts for its handling and performance.

Honda CBR1000RR (2004-Present)

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This superbike has a liquid-cooled, inline-four 1000cc engine, generating up to 189 horsepower in the latest versions. It has been consistently praised for its balance of power, handling, and overall performance.

Honda Africa Twin (1988-Present)

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Originally inspired by the Paris-Dakar Rally, the Africa Twin is celebrated for its off-road capability. The latest models come with a 1084cc parallel-twin engine optimized for adventure riding.

Honda CBX (1978-1982)

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Known for its inline-six, 1047cc engine that produced 105 horsepower, the CBX was remarkable for its technical prowess and smooth power delivery. It was a performance and engineering marvel in its day.

Honda Monkey (1961-Present)

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Originally designed as a children’s ride for amusement parks, the Monkey gained popularity for its diminutive size and 49cc engine. Today’s versions keep the iconic look but offer a 125cc engine, making it both nostalgic and functional.

Honda Super Cub (1958-Present)

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Known as the world’s best-selling motor vehicle, the Super Cub’s simple 49cc engine and its extreme reliability make it a global icon. Newer models have a 125cc engine while retaining the classic look.

Honda Valkyrie (1996-2003)

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This cruiser was based on the Gold Wing but aimed to offer a more performance-oriented ride. It came with a 1520cc flat-six engine that produced 100 horsepower and was known for its unique, muscular styling.

Honda NSR500 (1984-2002)

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This legendary Grand Prix motorcycle racing bike is renowned for its dominance in MotoGP, particularly under the pilotage of Mick Doohan. The NSR500 was powered by a 499cc V4 two-stroke engine that was both powerful and reliable, contributing to its numerous championship titles. Its advanced technology and superior aerodynamics made it a formidable competitor on the track, earning it a storied place in racing history.

Honda XR650L (1993-Present)

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A dual-sport motorcycle that combines the ruggedness necessary for off-road adventures with the features needed for on-road legality. The XR650L’s 644cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine offers reliability and simplicity, making it a favorite for both trail riders and commuters. Its longevity in production speaks to its enduring popularity and the positive reviews from riders who appreciate its versatility.

Honda VTX1800 (2001-2008)

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One of the most powerful production cruisers of its time, the VTX1800 featured a massive 1795cc V-twin engine that provided abundant torque and a smooth ride. Its retro styling blended with modern engineering made it popular among cruiser enthusiasts who desired performance and comfort in a stylish package. The bike received high marks for its build quality and road presence.

Honda RC213V (2012-Present)

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A MotoGP race bike that has captured several world championships thanks to its cutting-edge technology and engineering. The RC213V features a V4 engine and a host of electronic aids that maximize its performance on the racetrack. It’s a showcase of Honda’s capability in high-performance motorcycle engineering, often leading to developments that trickle down to consumer models.

Honda CTX700 (2014-Present)

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Designed for comfort and ease of use, the CTX700 includes features like an automatic dual-clutch transmission and a low-slung, 670cc engine that helps lower the center of gravity and improve handling. It’s appreciated for its smooth ride and approachability, especially for newer riders or those looking for a relaxed riding experience.

Honda CBR650R (2019-Present)

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A mid-range sportbike that balances performance and everyday usability. The CBR650R sports an inline-four 649cc engine that is tuned for both spirited weekend rides and commuting. Its sporty design, inspired by its superbike siblings, and positive customer reviews for its handling and engine smoothness, make it a favorite among younger riders looking for an accessible yet exciting bike.

Honda Shadow Phantom (2010-Present)

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This model in the Shadow lineup stands out for its ‘bobber’ styling, with matte finishes and a minimalist look. Powered by a 745cc V-twin engine, it offers a balance of power suitable for new riders while providing the classic cruiser feel. It’s well-regarded for its low maintenance needs and comfortable riding position, making it a reliable and stylish choice for cruiser aficionados.

Honda CRF450R (2002-Present)

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A top choice in the motocross world, the CRF450R has a strong reputation for its powerful and responsive 450cc engine. It continuously incorporates innovations from Honda’s racing development, like superior suspension setups and chassis improvements that enhance maneuverability and power delivery. The bike’s continuous evolution and success in competitive settings underline its status as a premier choice for serious motocross riders.

This article originally appeared on MyCarMakesNoise.

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Author: Dave Johnston

Dave is a hands-on automotive technician with experience in performing service, diagnostics, and repairs on domestic and imported vehicles. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge far and wide.

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