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Where did Kapchais come from?
"The Honda Super Cub introduced their famous tagline “You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda” and sales skyrocketed to the point where it is now considered to be the world’s most successful motorcycle of all time."
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
November 2020
How does it start

Back in 1958, a 43-year-old man with the name of Loh Boon Siew went for a vacation in Japan and discovered there the Honda Cub. The late Tan Sri Dato Loh Boon Siew decided then and there to ship some models back to Malaysia as the nation was in the midst of rebuilding itself after the World War. 

 

It started with the Honda C100 Dream and Honda Bealy and later moved on to the Honda Super Cub. The late Tan Sri Dato Loh Boon Siew thought that the Cubs were perfect for petite Asians, and would help locals travel easily at a very affordable price. 

It started with the Honda C100 Dream and Honda Bealy and later moved on to the Honda Super Cub. The late Tan Sri Dato Loh Boon Siew thought that the Cubs were perfect for petite Asians, and would help locals travel easily at a very affordable price. 

With that thought, he met up with Soichiro Honda himself and both parties agreed to set up a joint venture that would be Honda’s subsidiary and sole distributor in Malaysia. Not too long after, Malaysia’s first-ever Honda showroom was opened in Pitt Street, Penang.

A collection of vintage Honda motorcycle commercials related to the famous campaign slogan.

Photo by haydenhondaIN

Honda Cubs

Honda Cubs weren’t well-received in the beginning, with many citing the C50 as a vehicle that just couldn’t handle the rugged landscapes of Malaysia at that time. But in the 70s, the late Tan Sri Dato Loh Boon Siew and Soichiro Honda finally developed the Honda C70, a bike so popular it established Honda motorcycles as a household name. 

To make Honda Cubs, or ‘kapchais’ more affordable and its manufacturing processes more efficient to serve the huge demand locally, a factory was set up in Penang in 1968 and the joint venture was rebranded to Boon Siew Honda.

Bike building takes time, and in a place like Malaysia where competition is steep, one has no choice but to keeps prices competitive. There is almost no incentive monetary wise to continue on this path, but Azahar is adamant about pushing his skills further and turning his passion into a sustainable career path.

“You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda”

Later on, The Honda Super Cub introduced their famous tagline “You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda” and sales skyrocketed to the point where it is now considered to be the world’s most successful motorcycle of all time. 

By 1986, Boon Siew Honda’s manufactured bikes had hit one million units. But it didn’t stop there, to date, Boon Siew Honda has achieved the number of 5 million bikes produced. It also had a number of successful models under its belt including the legendary Honda EX5, an iconic motorbike in the local scene even after 30 years of history. 

Original article by Bikes Republic

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