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1960s Honda CB350

A Visual History of Motorcycle Design

Now up: World War 2 and the “Bigger is Better” rage of the 1950s.

During World War 2 production was once again focussed on the demanding need for transportation on the battlefield. Many motorcycle clubs and organisations were put together after WW2, as people felt the need to continue to satisfy that riding ‘bug’ they’d obtained during the war. For many, it would have been the first interaction with a motorcycle.

1930 BSA Motorcycle

The 1950s saw a great period of social and cultural upheaval in western societies. We explored this to some extent in our piece on the history of café racers – essentially ideas around speed, freedom and style came to the forefront, and motorcycles introduced in the 1950s were larger and more powerful than their predecessors.

1950s Indian Motorcycle

Next up: Cafe Racers, and Japanese invasion of the 1960s and 1970s.


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  1. “Japanese makers such as Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha put together modern designs that became best sellers around the world.”
    How can that sentence NOT include the name Honda? (I know there are two pictures of Honda’s, but to not include them in the text is a slight.)
    What IS that title-page model, by the way? Looks suspiciously like the 2nd ride I ever bought new…a CB160.

  2. crazy to see the evolution of the motorcycle. The bikes from the 20’s are pretty impressive for that time.

  3. Bike service center @Southwestcycle

    It is called perfect evolution, from 18’s to till date there are many changes in the motorcycle design , engine and in many things.

  4. Chop Shop Customs

    Loved seeing the time line. Thanks for putting the post together and sharing!

  5. It’s amazing to see where we came from and exciting to see where we are going! Thanks for posting these photos and article! I found it interesting and informative!

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