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1960s Honda CB350

A Visual History of Motorcycle Design

Now up: 1980s Japanese dominance and innovation.

By the 1980s, there was a huge variety in the type of bike you could buy – and with Japanese manufacturers leading the way – many different forms and designs of motorcycle became popular. With their affordability in Asian markets, Scooters and smaller engine motorcycles became popular in the west.

Japanese dominance of the market continues to this day – for sheer volume of production the British motorcycle industry had once led the way, however the reliability and cost of Japanese motorcycles began overtaking the quality of western versions.

1989 Honda CBR600 F1 Hurricane

Next up: Today!


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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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