History has taught us that people underestimated Soichiro Honda at their peril. It’s too easy to see the man and the company he built in terms of just products but there was so much more to him than that. He had a real vision for not just the direction of Honda but motorcycling as a whole – and later the automotive market – that was literally game changing.
Case in point, the CA77. Honda had already made a name for themselves at the Isle of Man TT, so the next step was logically expanding in the US market. Two of the ground-breaking facets of the CA77 were the styling (with three vibrant colour options available) and the name, Dream. Nothing aggressive or gender specific about the name and certainly not intimidating. Equally the styling owed more to Italy than Japan with the first models even arriving shod with white wall tyres.
Electric starting – still rare on smaller capacity machines – was standard and so too a colour coded fully enclosed chain case. Add things like easy access for valve and ignition points adjustment plus a nacelle mounted speedometer and you had a stylish, plush ride combined with easy servicing.
Icing on the cake? Simple really; while most manufacturers were happy to sell to a narrow field of male enthusiast riders, Honda targeted everyone, men, women, kids – in fact whole families - creating the tag line 'You meet the nicest people on a Honda”. They even used the CA77 Dream as product placement with Elvis Presley in the Hollywood film Roustabout.
Despite so many being made, good survivors are rare. If you buy and restore a CA77 Dream you will literally be riding one of the way-markers in the development of modern motorcycling.
issued: Sunday, December 04, 2022
updated: Tuesday, December 27, 2022
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