A short timeline of Honda Motorcycle Racing


The first Honda motorcycle was sold in the year 1894, while the first race which was in France happened a few years later. Since 1906 when Britain held the Tourist trophy races on Isle of man, the motor racing scene of Honda was blossoming all over Europe before world wars. The reason as to why Soichiro Honda set his insights to the TT race was because winning it was challenging and was symbolizing every essence of this sport. The declaration of Honda wanting to win this race would bring the company great interests all over Japan.

Most of the Moto GP races were taking place in Europe and was dominated by European manufacturers. Kiyoshi Kawashima, who had the whole trust of Honda, entered the race as the first person with the four 125cc Hondas. He attained position 6,7,8, and 11 in the lightweight manufacturer’s awards. The success in this class made them enter the world GP series with the 250cc and 125cc seeing the first success in 1960 by becoming first with the 125cc. In the subsequent race, a Honda rider became the first Japanese to win the series with a 250cc machine. In the same year, Honda became a double champion with both the 250cc and the 125cc machines.

Honda continued to succeed in the Moto GP races and won more trophies as years went by. After dominating the 125cc and 250cc races, it decided to move to the 500cc category in 1966. It dominated all the races by being the first in that year before taking a break in 1967. The name of Honda had spread all over the world, bringing pleasure to Soichiro Honda.

After a decade of missing from the series, Honda came back with a four stroke engine in 1977 that had oval-shaped pistons that provided great visual impressions. This new machine failed to win any race in this category and was withdrawn in 1981. Honda came up with a new V3 configuration that was lighter, had a new power unit, and featured enhanced tire life and easy handling. This motorcycle won the race in Belgium and Argentina.

The technology continued advancing seeing the introduction of race winning 800cc and 990cc motorcycles. The Repsol Honda team won triple races before getting into a difficult season in 2012. The Honda racers in 2014 experienced a difficult start to the series season only giving them one victory. The year saw Honda clinch the first world championship win at the Motegi circuit. That year saw Honda win triple titles in their competitions.

The lead racer for Honda experienced ups and downs in the 2015 series that saw him finish third and fourth in the overall standings. There was a crash that led to a sixteenth finish but achieved the first podium finish in Italy. The second win came in Germany when he finished second for Honda. The 2016 season circuit was impressive for Honda as the rider became the youngest to win three premier-class world championships. The Honda riders of the 2016 circuit became the first to win many races more than any other companies’ riders. Honda celebrated fifty years of participating in the Moto GP world championships winning twenty-two constructors titles and eighteen riders world championships.