When you talk about motorcycles of the late 1970s and 1980s, it’s near impossible to do so without making mention of the MB50, Honda’s wonder-bike.
This lightweight bike filled a very similar transportation role to the motor scooter, as it was lightweight and perfect for more suburban travel.
Looking Back At the Honda MB50
The Honda MB50, which was known as the MB5 in the United States, first hit the market back in 1979, and rode deep into the 1980s. Though sales ended quickly in the UK in 1981 and the United States in 1982, it helped to fill a void between bikes and scooters.
Technology of a One-Year Wonder – The Honda MB50
1982 was the first and only year that the MB50 appeared on American soil. It came with a 50cc engine that was just three cubic engines, though was able to output a maximum 85mph, which was very impressive. It produced seven horsepower, though didn’t quite have the torque that Americans wanted, which had a lot to do with its ultimate demise.
The air-cooled two-stroke engine was paired with a five-speed chain drive. The bike had a pretty archaic layout without any sort of control panel, though did have a simple analog speedometer and tachometer with a 10,500 rpm redline. It used Honda’s Comstar wheels and a front disc brake as well.
A Timeline of the Honda MB50 (1979-1988)
The Honda MB50 came on the scene in 1979 in Europe and the UK, though wouldn’t hit North America until 1982. Though the bike was around for almost a decade, there were never any significant changes. The MB50 models in Europe came in red, black, and white, with a blue stripe. Unlike the US version the European MB50 did not receive a fairing around the headlight, nor did they receive a small windshield.
In 1979, all of the European models were introduced with four-speed transmission. When 1981 rolled around, Honda began introducing all of the European models with the same five-speed transmissions that the US models had.
The Honda MB50 In the News
In recent news, Lance Corporal Andre Dan Mostert passed away and was buried in Vryheid. At his large, celebratory funeral, many spoke of his red Honda MB50 motorcycle that he spent much of his time on.
Celebrity Endorsements of the Honda MB50
Unfortunately, we have been unable to find any celebrity endorsements of or owners of the Honda MB50. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that it was a very obscure bike in its day, and still remains a very obscure bike. With that said, there are some popular celebrities that own Honda motorcycles, including Richard Hammond, with his only MTX50 that he began riding when he was 16.
The Honda MB50 In Pop Culture
While we have been unable to find any mentions or cameos of the MB50 in television or film, there is a super cool commercial from back in the 1980s. If it doesn’t make you feel old, we don’t know what will.
Best Honda MB50 Groups
One of the biggest groups that is centered around the Honda MB50 is the MB5 Club in the UK. Here you can get to know tons of different MB50 owners and enthusiasts in the UK region.
The Honda MB50 – A Classic Long Gone
The Honda MB50 was the best road-version bike that people could have asked for back in the day. Though it only lasted for a few years, it made a pretty massive impact. Nowadays, it is probably one of the most sought after vintage Honda motorcycles that is out there. If you’re able to find one these days, we recommend grabbing it.