After reaching a staggering 100 million units produced worldwide, Honda has announced that a series of revamped 50 and 110 cc Super Cub models will return to the Japanese market as of next month. Manufactured in Japan, they will be available in both classic commuter and professional versions.
If there is one motorized vehicle that deserves to be termed as iconic, that has to be Honda's Super Cub. The small, rugged two-wheeler has been constantly in production since 1958, with numerous variants and offsprings still pouring out from 16 Honda factories in 15 countries.
Among these, the basic Super Cub 50 and 110 are still in production in China and, as Honda has just announced, a new dedicated production line has been set-up at the Kumamoto factory in Japan. These two direct descendants of the original 1958 model have received a well-deserved revamp, ahead of delivery to Japanese dealerships on November 10.
The plastic costumes have undergone a discrete redesign, while the application of LED lights brings about some energy-saving freshness. The four-stroke single-cylinder engine has also benefited from a gentle touch of modern engineering and metallurgy, now employing tougher and lower-friction pistons and cylinders, as well as a host of present-day tidbits, like needle bearings, new oil filter, a dipstick to measure oil level etc.
In order to satisfy contemporary Japanese emission norms, the engine is fed via Honda's PGM fuel injection system, and the exhaust system employs a new muffler incorporating a two-stage catalytic converter.
The new Super Cubs will be available in both classic and professional versions, the latter equipped with front and rear loading baskets, and rolling on 14-in wheels – in place of the typical 17-in tires we'll find on the standard Super Cub, in order to make more room for loading space.
There will be a long list of fresh color options available, with two engine capacities on offer; a 50 cc single that produces 3.7 hp (2.7 kW), and a 8 hp (5.9 kW) 110 cc single.
Pricing in Japan will be JPY232,200 (approximately US$2,050) for the Super Cub 50 and 253,800 ($2,240) for the Pro version, while the 110 cc models will retail for JPY275,400 ($2,430) in standard trim and 297,000 ($2,620) in Pro.
The model year 2018 bears a distinct significance for the Super Cub, marking its 60th anniversary, and Honda plans to honor this at the upcoming 45th Tokyo Motor Show. In fact, the amazing record of 100 million Cubs produced cumulatively all over the world has been officially reached this month, and Honda celebrated it with a new dedicated area in its global website and a ceremony at the Kumamoto factory to inaugurate the new production line.
Apart from the Super Cub reissues, Honda is planning to unveil a new CC 110 model in Tokyo, and we also remember last year's pledge for an electric EV-Cub coming in 2018.
It is indeed incredible that we were reporting on the 50-million production record in 2006, two years shy of the Cub's 50th anniversary, and now Honda has doubled that in a matter of just another 11 years. It's really hard to imagine any other vehicle ever contesting such a record, or even achieving anything close to that.
The 45th Tokyo Motor Show will be a bit more special for Super Cub fans, yet unfortunately most of the Cub-related novelties that Honda has in store for us will be exclusive privileges of the Japanese market – with the possible exception of the EV-Cub, if and when it comes.
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