Why We Picked It:
The Honda Super Cub, or in some markets simply the Honda Cub, is quite simply the single most produced motorized vehicle in history. Period. Let that sink in for a moment. This humble little motorcycle, first released in 1958 and expected to only last a single year on the market, has been produced without pause and is still being produced as you read this.
If you took the second and third most-produced motor vehicles ever, the Toyota Corolla at over 43 million made, and the Ford F150 pickup at over 40 million produced, they do not even scratch at the Super Cub’s over 100 million produced.
Cars in the 1950s were still very expensive in many parts of the world, especially in Asia. Add in that Japan was going through a recession, and the Super Cub C100 subsequently sold fairly poorly at first. As well, during the winter of 1958, many customers began to complain about the clutch on the bike, which was a leverless centrifugal clutch against a plate clutch slaved to the 3-speed foot-shift lever.
Instead of simply writing it off and letting the model die, Honda Soichiro launched one of the greatest customer service offensives of all time, with Honda salesmen, factory workers, mechanics, and even executives giving up their winter holiday time to visit each and every Super Cub customer in person to effect repairs.
This dedication to customer service, which is an integral part of Japanese culture and etiquette even to this day, flipped the fortunes of the Super Cub. The clutch slip issue was remedied at the design level, and instead of the model dying off, more and more orders came in.
In the 1960s, the model took off, exporting to every corner of the Earth with the C102 variant, but most importantly to Asia. The fact that the model was reliable, easily serviced with minimal mechanical knowledge, and could be started either with an ignition switch or kickstart should the electric ignition fail, led to an explosion in sales. It sold so well new factory was built in Suzuka, Mie Prefecture in Japan to build upwards of 70,000 Super Cubs per month.
The rest, as they say, is history. Today you can buy a Super Cub in the USA, most countries of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines… pretty much anywhere you look, you can get either a new or used Super Cub.