The Honda History of the wings began with Mr Soichiro Honda. First image of the Honda logo appeared on 1947, when Mr Soichiro was inspired by the goddess Nike that appears on the Greeks mythology. Nike or his origin “nenikhkamen” was the word used on the first Marathons in Athenes, Greece, to denominate the Victory.
The image of Victory goddess on the Constantin II age coins
Later this goddess was called Victory on the Romans mithology and was represented by the wings goddess Victory. Victory is in Roman mythology, the goddess who personified triumph. Daughter of Estigia and sister of Potestas, Vis and Invidia.
Victoria of Samothrace was sculpted by an unknown artist at Hellenistic period. It shows Victoria as a beautiful woman with great wings open.
Mr Soichiro used the Victory wings to reinforce the symbology of the Honda brand and thus was burn the beginning of the Honda wings logotype.
In 1947 Honda made, manufactured and sold his first complete motorbike. It has a ½ horspower and was known as Honda A-type, but maybe was most known as the name of “Chimney”, why? Because it gave a lot of smoke and a stench of turpentine.
In 1948 Honda introduced a 90cc version of this A-type first model, known as B-type. On this bike Honda used the first logo inspiredon the Victory wings image.
First 1947 Honda logotype
1948, the B-type was the first that saw Victory wings figure.
In 1953 Honda produced one four-stroke motorbike, a sophisicated 90cc , 3,8 horspower engine, was known as the Benly that means in Japanese lenguage convenience. The bike was a great success and were sold as a rate of a 1.000 units a month. At this time The Benly model used a two wings logotype.
1953, the Benly model used the two wings Honda logo
In 1958 Honda introduced in Japan and later in 1959 the US the world’s best-selling motorbike, the C100 Super Cub. 30 million units sold!!
The Super Cub used a 50cc four-stroke OHV engine with three speed gear box. The innovarive frame without cross bar became so popular with the ladies population and set a new trend in conmuter motorcycling. The word “scooter” born at this moment to denominate this style of motorbikes wich sold in 50, 70 and 90cc engine capacity versions.
25 years later we can still find the same, with small changes, scooters under the name C50, C70 and C90.
In 1968 Honda introduced a new concept motorbike, a new word to described it born: “Superbike”
The bike was shown at Tokyo Show in 1968, the fastest and powerfull bike on the world at this moment. 750cc, four cylinder that was called Honda CB750 Four.
At this year Honda introduced the new one wing logotype with the HM words. The logo had small modifications on the next years
1968, the Honda one wing logotype with the HM words.
Left side, the 1968 first wing. Right side, updated wing drawings for next years.
In 1970 Honda entered on the off-road market with a two-stroke motocross bike and later with different trail versions, the MT125 and MT250.
Also no ore time later, in 1972 Honda introduced the four-stroke SL125 and the SL 250 equipped with a long travel suspension achieving a good and succsseful off-road motorbike.
Based on the SL engines, Honda produced the also successful XL versions in 1973 with improved off-road performance.
1973, the wing drawing incorporated the complete HONDA word, outline was enlarged and the yellow Honda colour was also introduced.
These XL off-road engines were the basis for the development of the well known Honda Trials bikes.
The TL 125 first in 1974 and the TL 250 in 1975 were the first production Honda Trials motorbikes. The begining of the nice and amazing history of this brand on Trials line narrated here at this webpage: The Honda Trials History.
A new version now with the later used red-white and blue colors that appears around 1985. On RTL trials models the three color wing was applied.
In 1988 and coinciding with the 40th annyversary of the Honda brand a new design for the Honda wings logotype was created to commemorate this special event.
The 1988 commemorative Honda logotype
My acknowledgments to the friend of this site 生野 涼介 Ryosuke Ikuno. Without his valuable help had been impossible for me the writting of this article.© This document was created by The Honda Trials History webpage owner.
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