Honda Express History

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My own interest with the Honda Express started when I tried to restore a old 1982 model which my wife used during her high school period as transport. I have found the scooter as very reliable as maintenance is simple and you only need minor tools to keep it on the road. Although the top speed is low, it is still much fun to drive. I always get appreciative nods, waves and smiles from passers by when I am driving.

Honda Express NC50

A large number of motor cycle manufacturers started developing mopeds after the 1973 oil crisis. The Honda motorcycle corp. of Japan released the Honda Express (NC50) into the market during 1977. This new bike was designed to enter the large market for mopeds from all the other manufacturers. It was designed around a fuel efficient single cylinder two-stroke engine and to simplify the operation it was fitted with a fully automatic transmission. Honda eliminated maintenance by using a small oil injector to self mix the Express's oil and fuel, thus eliminating the need for premixing.

  • 1977 The Honda Express (NC50) is introduced.
  • 1979 The Express II (NA50) is introduced alongside the Express. Both feature the same drivetrain, but the new model is built with a redesigned frame and larger seat.
  • 1980 Turn signals and a larger battery to match are added.
  • 1981 Both models see a series of improvements, including an automatic choke unit, a more rugged kick starter to replace the wind up starter, and a solid state Capacitive Discharge Ignition in place of the contact breaker based system. The Express II also receives an automatic two-speed transmission.
  • Also new in 1981 is the Express SR (NX50). This is a scooter variant of the Express with a somewhat modified engine. It is the first Express to feature an electric starter, 12v electrical system and a Honda V-Matic continuously variable transmission.
  • 1982 The Express receives a new frame design and the two speed transmission seen the previous year on the NA50. The Express II model is dropped, and a new model called the Urban Express (NU50) takes its place. This model features a frame similar to the NA50, and a drivetrain identical to the Express SR's, outside of its transmission gearing and electric starter. The Urban Express Deluxe (NU50m) is the same as the standard model, but comes with an electric starter and larger battery to operate it.
  • 1983 This is the final year of the Express series in North America. The NC50 remains unchanged from its previous year. The Express SR is no longer available.
  • 1984 This is the final year of the Express series in the United Kingdom.