Over 87 million Honda Super Cubs have been produced since the motorcycle was introduced in 1958, so it’s hardly surprising that it has become one of the most recognisable vehicles on the planet.
And now – as if to cement the Super Cub’s iconic stature – the scooter has been granted a three-dimensional trademark. So if you were thinking of copying it – don’t!
First introduced in Japan in 1997, three-dimensional trademarks are granted to products which have acquired distinctiveness through long and extensive use. The Honda Super Cub certainly meets the required criteria.
It’s the world’s best selling vehicle and – despite no longer being available in the UK – is still being produced in 14 different countries, most notably Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil, China, Nigeria and Japan.
The Super Cub is particularly well known in the US, where it’s credited as changing the public’s perception of motorcycling and motorcyclists.
Dream the American dream
It was back in the early 1960s when American Honda – faced with the unenviable task of increasing annual motorcycle sales from 40,000 to 200,000 units per annum – turned to Grey Advertising.
Its “You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda” campaign featured housewives, a parent and child, young couples and respectable members of society riding Super Cubs. In a flash, it changed the perception of motorcycling forever.
The Honda Super Cub became a symbol of casual and convenient daily transportation, erasing the motorcycle’s deeply rooted negative image. A major victory for such a small machine.
Around the world, the Honda Super Cub would develop a reputation for reliability and robustness. It led none other than James May to describe it as “the greatest machine ever”, claiming:
“The Cub will never die. You can throw one in a canal, leave it for 10 years and then fish it out and ride to work. It even looks good in brown.”
Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to search the bottom of our nearest canal.