The sales slogan was “You meet the nicest people on a Honda,” and in the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, Jay talks about the highest-produced vehicle ever. With more than 100 million built, the Honda 50 is the ubiquitous mode of two-wheeled transportation.
Original production began in 1958, and the four-horsepower, step-through chassis was an instant hit. How did this humble step-through motorbike become a staple of the motoring community? Jay runs through the Honda 50’s qualifications—dead-on reliable, easy to repair, and easier to ride.
Buyers of the early machines were asked to lay out just $215. The times have changed, though, and while the vintage Honda 50 is forever retro-cool, Honda has brought the design into the 21st century. Now named the Super Cub and commanding $3599, the updated design more than doubles the horsepower, adds powerful disc brakes, and features a keyless ignition.
Is it all worth it? Did the vintage design get it right the first time, making the update superfluous? Jay weighs in on that debate as he straps on his helmet and heads out for a ride. Either way, you can have a lot of fun on a Cub at 35 miles per hour—whether your chariot is modern or vintage.