1979-1980 Honda Express

1979 Honda Express

The Honda Express and Honda Express II were manufactured between 1977 and 1983. They were developed by Honda to meet demand for large scooters as a result of the oil crisis of 1973. During that time, gasoline was in short supply in the United States, and motorists had to wait for hours in line to buy gasoline. Large, gas guzzling automobiles fell out of favor for local or short commutes.

A large scooter allowed consumers to get to where they were going for local or short commutes, and avoid the long lines at the gas station. Scooters could go a very long time between fill ups. To make things simpler, Honda developed these scooters with a continuously variable automatic transmission coupled to a two stroke gas/oil mix engine. This way, riders would not have to shift gears or worry about changing oil in their scooter. Simple, economical and cheap.

All versions of the Honda scooters were powered by a 49 cc engine. Top speed was around 30 miles per hour. So, what’s the difference between a scooter and a motorcycle? Scooters are lighter, more agile and easier to ride than motorcycles. They are best suited for small commutes on surface streets. Anyone who can ride a bike can probably ride a scooter. Motorcycles are heavier, have engines of 250 cc and above, have multiple gears, and can reach highway speeds. Riding a motorcycle takes skill and a special driving license.

These two scooters came to live in the museum in September 2016. They were purchased from the original owner and both scooters have racked up less than 500 miles since new.

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