Shape of Super Cub becomes first vehicle to obtain Three-dimensional Trademark Registration in Japan

Honda Cub

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. recently announced that the Japan Patent Office granted a three-dimensional trademark registration for the shape of the Super Cub, Honda’s popular and long-selling scooter. This is the first time in Japan for the shape of a motorcycle or any other product from an automaker to be registered as a three-dimensional trademark, and it is an extremely rare case for an industrial product of any kind.

More than 50 years since the Super Cub was first introduced in 1958, Honda has maintained the consistent design concept of the Super Cub while continuously achieving functional improvements. As a result, it came to a point where most consumers who see the design of the Super Cub recognize it as a Honda product, and that became one of the determining factors for the Japan Patent Office to grant the trademark.

Honda Cub

The Super Cub has been sold in more than 160 countries*. Cumulative worldwide production of the Super Cub has reached 87 million units* as of March 2014, which makes the Super Cub a motorcycle with the largest production volume in the world.

Honda will continue cherishing the basic concept of the Super Cub and strive to deliver joy to customers all around the world.

About the Super Cub production

Cumulative worldwide production of the Super Cub series

10 million units:     August 1974

50 million units:     December 2005

60 million units:     April 2008

Key countries of the Super Cub production:

Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil, China, Nigeria, Japan, etc.

Honda is currently producing the Super Cub at 15 production plants in 14 countries around the world.




All-new class leading 2nd generation Honda Ballade presents a dynamic mix of value, space, performance and comfort

Honda Ballade

  • Major improvements to segment-leading compact sedan
  • Superior interior execution adds to strong value proposition
  • Exceptional occupant space and generous luggage compartment
  • Class-leading active and passive safety attributes
  • Improved drivetrain achieves gains in efficiency and performance
  • Advanced touch-screen interface for Elegance models a segment first
  • Three years after the new-generation Ballade was launched in South Africa, Honda Motor Southern Africa has released an all-new, second-generation Ballade.

The 2014 Ballade ups the ante at every level: from its streamlined shape and even more spacious interior to exceptional safety standards, improved dynamics and greater efficiency. At the same time, the new-generation Ballade continues Honda’s long-established reputation for quality, longevity and reliability. The Ballade also offers an extended list of standard features across its two specification levels, many of which entrench the Honda’s class-leading status in this segment.

Already Honda’s best-selling sedan in SA, this latest Ballade is expected to attract an even greater number of buyers seeking a vital mix of value, space and performance.

Crucially, the Ballade doesn’t rely on older-generation technology, and delivers several innovations, including an all-new Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT) featuring Honda’s Earth Dreams technology, as well as a touch screen-based infotainment system that offers an array of powerful features.


While the new Ballade may appear to be derived from the previous model, only 14 percent of the 2011 version’s sheet metal has actually been carried over. The newcomer has similar proportions, but is in fact slightly longer and taller. The wheelbase has been extended by more than the increase in overall length, creating a shorter front overhang, and a more spacious interior.
Strongly emphasised style lines create a more powerful, more confident side-on appearance, while the rear treatment continues to underscore the smooth flow of the Ballade’s design.

At 4 400 mm, the new Ballade is 45 mm longer than the previous model, while the wheelbase has grown by 50 mm to 2 600 mm. The new sedan’s height of 1 475 mm is also 5 mm taller, while vehicle width remains the same. The result is a car that looks fresh and modern, with a powerfully communicated presence and a strong identity.


The Ballade already enjoys an enviable reputation for exceptional space and comfort, but Honda’s engineers have been able to achieve further improvements to the cabin.

The longer wheelbase allows an even more spacious, class-leading interior, and a generous luggage compartment. Rear accommodation exceeds expectations, and is comparable with upper-D segment sedans – particularly impressive considering the Ballade’s compact wheelbase.
In fact, the new Ballade features the compact exterior dimensions typical of a B-segment sedan, but employs the extended wheelbase more typical of a C-segment model. The result is class-leading interior space, with significant gains in shoulder room, as well as rear knee and legroom. The boot capacity has increased to 536 litres, and also offers a wider aperture to ease access, including a lower loading sill.

Three power points allow smartphone or device charging from all four seating positions, while there is also generous provision for storage spaces, including a glove compartment, front and rear cup holders, door panels with stowage pockets, and a lidded binnacle between the front seats.


The drivetrain of the new Ballade appears similar to that of the outgoing model, but as the statistics prove, it delivers more pep, better efficiency and lower emissions. The engine is still a 1,5-litre four-cylinder unit, and the output figures have remained at 88 kW and 145 Nm respectively.

Innovative solutions such as reduced internal friction, weight reduction and Honda’s own i-VTEC variable valve timing system, together with the Ballade’s more aerodynamic shape, have allowed significant improvements in performance, fuel consumption and emissions.

Maximum torque is reached at a lower rev count, creating a flatter torque curve and improved in-gear response, which in turn assists the Ballade in posting faster sprint times. Also new is a latest-generation Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT) with seven ‘virtual’ gears, which allow it to make the most of the engine’s urge.

The CVT unit’s design is a direct result of Honda’s Earth Dreams initiative, which seeks to create intelligently engineered, efficient technologies that also deliver environmental benefits. Thus, the CVT’s reduced weight and greater efficiency result in reduced fuel consumption, and reduced emissions.

In the upmarket Elegance, the CVT is equipped with shift paddles, allowing incisive gear shifts and greater control. The CVT itself also features enhanced responses and user-friendliness, thanks to technical improvements such as stiffer belt tension, improved CVT fluid characteristics, and a stronger pump. Honda’s Econ button on the CVT model, adjusts throttle mapping, shift patterns and cruise control operation.


The new Ballade performs more eagerly than before, while achieving improved levels of efficiency in the process. Manual-transmission models accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 9,6 sec, which is 0,2 quicker than the outgoing model. Top speed is 185 km/h.

The new CVT gearbox-equipped Ballade achieves even greater improvement with its 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 11,1 sec, trimming almost a second from the previous, automatic gearbox-equipped model’s sprint time. Top speed increases to 190 km/h.
Combined cycle fuel economy also shows significant improvements, compared to the previous-generation Ballade. The manual version achieves a combined-cycle consumption figure of 5,9 litres/100 km*, while the CVT model is slightly more economical, at 5,8 litres/100 km*.


The latest Honda Ballade platform has achieved a significant reduction in mass, together with enhanced torsional rigidity, and a revised independent front suspension.

The latter continues to employ the proven MacPherson strut system, but features a new configuration to optimise damping, stability and road manners. As before, the independent front suspension is combined with a space-saving torsion beam at the rear.

Much effort has also gone into the power assistance of the rack and pinion steering system. While the energy-efficient electric power steering has been retained, the power steering motor has been moved closer to the steering wheel, and away from the steering rack, for improved feel and feedback.

The result is a Ballade that is easy to drive, thanks to its stable road manners and high comfort levels, but is also responsive to enthusiastic driver inputs.


The new Ballade offers class-leading levels of active and passive safety. The new sedan is equipped with six airbags – front, side and curtain – as well as seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters. Active head restraints are standard, too.

Another segment first is the introduction of Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) as standard across the Ballade range. VSA incorporates both traction control and electronic stability control, assisting the driver in maintaining control, even in extreme situations.
Honda has also included Hill Start Assist to the Ballade’s feature set, making starts on an incline easier and safer by preventing the vehicle from rolling back.

The Ballade body construction employs Honda’s G-Con (G-Force Control) technology, which uses pre-programmed deformation patterns to manage the forces of a collision through the Ballade’s body, as well as the forces exerted on the occupants during a collision, and onto pedestrians in the case of a pedestrian accident.

A further innovation fitted to the new Ballade Elegance is a multi-angle rear-view camera. When reverse gear is selected, the camera view is displayed on the car’s touch-screen display. The camera angle can be adjusted to change perspective, assisting with parking.

The camera incorporates a dynamic guidance function that displays yellow guide lines while reversing to indicate the area into which the vehicle is being reversed. The lines change as the steering wheel angle is changed to show the area being reversed towards.


As part of the thoroughly updated interior, the Ballade Trend model gets an all-new audio system with integrated USB and Bluetooth. The list of standard equipment is comprehensive, and also includes air-conditioning, electric windows, electric folding mirrors, and remote central locking.

The Elegance version takes the already comprehensive Trend package up a further notch by introducing a multifunction steering wheel that follows the Civic steering wheel’s design, and incorporates control of the cruise control, Bluetooth and audio functions.

However, the most eye-catching addition to the Elegance execution is the fitment of a seven-inch touchscreen display with icon-based graphical user interface. It offers an intuitive interface for the car’s infotainment system, including audio functionality and Bluetooth telephony.

The touchscreen interface emulates smartphone screen functionality by offering gesture-based control (including tap to select, swipe to scroll, slide to move and pinch to zoom) for more intuitive ease of use.

In addition, the infotainment system is fitted with an HDMI port. HDMI allows images, video and audio data to be accessed from compatible smartphones and devices (such as iPads and tablets) and displayed on the Ballade’s screen.

Aftermarket applications can be used to add useful functionality – turn-by-turn navigation, for instance, or monitoring a wide range of vehicle system parameters using an optional wireless adapter linked to the car’s diagnostic port.

The new Honda Ballade will be offered in a choice of six colours, of which three are metallics, while two are pearl-effect hues. They are Taffeta White, Alabaster Silver Metallic, Urban Titanium Metallic, Golden Brown Metallic, Carnelian Red Pearl, and Crystal Black Pearl.

Sales of the Honda Ballade start in June through all authorised Honda automotive dealers countrywide. The pricing includes a three-year/100 000 km warranty, a four-year/60 000 km service plan, and one-year roadside assistance. Recommended retail prices are:

Honda Ballade 1.5 Trend                                    R195 900

Honda Ballade 1.5 Trend CVT                            R210 500

Honda Ballade 1.5 Elegance                              R220 990

Honda Ballade 1.5 Elegance CVT                      R235 590



PRODUCT NEWS’s Simon Everett takes Honda’s BF250 engine for a test drive and finds out more about the engine’s ‘EcoMo’

Honda BF250

To see triple-mounted Honda BF250’s in action click on the link below:

Combine the technology within the Honda BF250 motor with the low drag of the new, stronger gearbox and transmission and you have a very stylish, well made, economical engine to hang on the back of your boat. Honda has really brought themselves into the mix with this motor.

The new Honda BF250 has been designed as a dedicated marine engine of 3583cc in a 60 degree V6 configuration utilising all their technological know-how. The mechanics are impressive, with bigger valves, lighter specially skirted pistons, a new crank and shorter conrods take the power from the pistons to the gears. The lower unit has also been improved, the gear case has been shaped for better laminar flow, and bullet shaped to reduce the drag by five per cent despite being of larger diameter to house the bigger gear wheels which provide a gear ratio of 2:1 for greater torque and improved fuel economy. The gears have been improved with finer tolerances and specially ground faces to reduce friction losses. Honda has gone down this route to allow the engine to use 16 inch propellers for heavy, work boat applications in addition to lighter leisure boat use.

Dual intake system – One major advancement on the BF250 is a radical, dual air intake system that separates cooling air from combustion air. There are two separate air intakes, one for cooling the electrical components, and the second purely for combustion. Two slash cut intakes on the top of the cowl provide air directly to the induction inlet tract via a moisture trap before ducting through the throttle body delivering cooler, denser air for better combustion and a 3hp benefit over standard cowling induction. The cooling fan draws the air in at the bottom and forces it out through the top after it has circulated the cowling.

To run the plethora of electronics on a modern boat Honda has incorporated a very useful function into the high output alternator, their new idle charging system. Sensors recognise when there is a high demand on the alternator at low revs and automatically increase the engine speed by 100 rpm to generate an additional nine amps for charging, with about 30A available at 750 rpm and 40A by 1000 rpm batteries are kept in good condition, even in high load situations. These load sensors are used to take the load off the gears when changing gear, making a smoother transition from neutral to in-gear, either ahead or astern. The gear change is noticeably smoother and less clunky as a result.

All the latest technologies are included, such as the holeshot enhancing BLAST. For faster acceleration onto the plane the engine monitors sense the change in throttle position, at low revs, and adjust the mixture and ignition timing to boost torque until the engine pops out onto the plane, at which point the engine load sensors recognise the reduced load and readjust the settings for high fuel economy running. The BLAST engine settings are only activated when the throttle position changes fast, not if the throttle is set for slow cruising.

Twin Honda BF250's

Testing it out

Once the boat is on the plane, the load on the engine reduces, allowing the electronic management to adjust the fuel mixture, valve and ignition timing for much leaner running. Honda call it EcoMo, it gives very economical cruising between about 3000rpm and 5000rpm, depending on hull shape and propeller choice, a green light within the tacho, or on the compatibly linked Garmin chartplotter unit, is displayed when the engine is running at these economical settings.

In practice the fuel efficiency of the Honda under the green light conditions is very frugal. We tried the motor on a variety of craft and the same was true on each one, the holeshot and economy whilst running on the plane was excellent. The boats we had were a couple of fast RIBs and a Ranieri 26-foot centre console. The Ranieri is quite a heavy boat being 1.5 tonnes with a single step to reduce the drag, she was on the plane in under four seconds and the economy light came on at just 2800 rpm at around 12 knots. For this boat the most economic speed was between 16.0 and 21.0 knots at 3000 – 3500rpm which returned 1.02 miles per litre.  At 4000-4500 rpm, 25.6 knots and 30.2 knots fuel consumption was 0.9 miles per litre. This averages to one mile per litre anywhere between 16 knots and 31 knots and proves the point about economy in the green light sector.

At idle the Honda is a bit louder than the Yamaha or Suzuki, but there is an odd benefit to this. On numerous occasions I have seen people go to start the engine, only to get a horrible grinding noise as the starter motor tries to engage with an already running motor. The Honda doesn’t require you to look at the tacho to see if it is started, there is enough idle noise to let you know she is running, but not enough to be intrusive.

Combine the technology within the motor with the low drag of the new, stronger gearbox and transmission and you have a very stylish, well made, economical engine to hang on the back of your boat. Honda has really brought themselves into the mix with this motor.

Engine Type 3.6L, 60°,V6,SOHC, 24V VTEC
Displacement 3583cc
Full Throttle HP Range 5,300 – 6,300 RPM
HP Rating at Prop shaft 250HP @ 5,800 RPM
Lean Burn Control Yes
Direct Air Intake Yes
Alternator Output 90-Amp
Gear Ratio 2:1
Dry Weight (inc St Steel Propeller) 278 kg (L) 284Kg (X) 288Kg (XX)



The design of the BF250 incorporates a number of advanced, technological innovations that contribute to the engine’s high fuel economy and excellent performance

Honda BF250

1. Discuss the design of the new Honda Marine BF250 engine. How does the styling concept of the engine relate to enhanced performance

The all-new Honda BF250 engine incorporates the world’s first marine direct air dual circuit induction system of its type on a production outboard. The first circuit draws air into the front and around critical engine components, and a top-mounted cooling fan draws cooling air over the alternator. The second circuit routes cool air from the upper intake vents, removes moisture, and then inducts it into the throttle body. This system provides for cooler, denser air for better combustion than conventional under-cowl induction systems.

The styling concept of the Honda BF250 is a departure from other Honda Marine outboards in that the aesthetic design is sleeker and slimmer. In addition, the cowling of the new BF250 exhibits a sharper, more angular profile over previously introduced models. The overall design is streamlined and more aerodynamic, with chrome lines conveying power and speed.

Twin Honda BF250's

2. What other design attributes enhance the operation and performance of the new Honda BF250 engine?

The new Honda BF250 engine is NMEA 2000® certified. NMEA 2000 is a combined electrical and data specification for a marine data network for communication between marine electronic devices such as depth finders, nautical chart plotters, navigation instruments, engines, tank level sensors and GPS receivers. Parameters of this certification are defined and controlled by the U.S.-based National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA). This accreditation signifies that a product has been tested to meet specific critical safety criteria and to correctly implement network management and messaging. In meeting this certification, the Honda BF250 does not require the added expense of proprietary gateway devices; the certification also correlates with enhanced safety as the new BF250 engine is equipped with engine oil pressure and overheat information alerts.

The design of the Honda BF250 incorporates a spark plug maintenance cover which assists in ease-of-maintenance of the spark plug. This window provides access to the spark plugs without removing the entire engine cover. The engine also includes a high-quality, cost-effective nickel spark plug that seals the combustion chamber.

The technologically advanced Electronic Control Unit (ECU) in the Honda BF250 can predict the operator’s shifting operation based on changes in engine speed and throttle position. In order to reduce the shifting load, the ECU actually controls the ignition timing to modify torque when the operator shifts from partial to neutral.




Flagship Honda BF250HP offering advanced technology

Honda BF250

Click here to see the Honda BF250 in action:

The Honda BF250 four-stroke engine is the most powerful outboard in the Honda Marine lineup and is the company’s flagship model. The design of the BF250 incorporates a number of advanced technological innovations that contribute to the engine’s high fuel economy and superior performance.

The 3.6 litre VTEC® (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control®) engine is equipped with an all-new gear case, incorporates the world’s first marine direct air induction system of its type on a production outboard (providing for cooler, denser air for better combustion than conventional under-cowl induction systems), and has a full-throttle RPM range of 5300-6300.

The Honda BF250 engine also incorporates the Boosted Low Speed Torque (BLAST™) System through which holeshot and acceleration are dramatically improved by advancing ignition spark timing to within one degree of the knock limit during ‘hammer down’ acceleration.

Honda BF250

Type Four-Stroke 60° V-6
Displacement 3583 cc (219 cubic in)
Bore & Stroke 89 mm x 96 mm (3.50 in. x 3.77 in)
Full Throttle HP Range 5300 – 6300 RPM
HP Rating at Propshaft 250 hp @ 5800 rpm
Induction Scavenging SOHC VTEC®
Valves Per Cylinder 4
Fuel Delivery Programmed Fuel Injection
Fuel 86 Octane
Ignition System Microcomputer Programmed
Starting System Electric
Lubrication Wet Sump
Cooling System Water Cooled
Alternator 90 Total Amps (60 Charging Amps)AMP+: 9 additional amps at idle
Trim Range -4° to +16°
Tilt Range 72°
Gear Ratio 2:00:1 (24/12)
Gear Shift F-N-R
Propeller Optional (up to 16” diameter)
Overall Length 920 mm / 36.22 in
Overall Width 625 mm / 24.60 in
Recommended Transom Height(s) (L) 508 mm / 20.0 in
(X) 635 mm / 25.0 in
(XX) 762 mm/ 30.0 in
Dry Weight (L) 278 kg / 611 lbs
(X) 284 kg / 624 lbs