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Honda tried to succeed with electric scooters, but the invention was born 40 years before its success
Honda tried to succeed with electric scooters, but the invention was born 40 years before its success
Anonim

The Japanese manufacturer Sling It is one of the most versatile in the world. In addition to motorcycles, which is its most successful department, it also makes cars, airplanes, water vehicles, garden and industrial machinery, and robots.

What many do not know is that also made his foray into the world of scooters back in the seventies. At that time they presented a vehicle designed for children's mobility, the Honda Kick `N Go.

The Honda Kick `N Go, a 3-wheel scooter with a groundbreaking powertrain

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Honda's idea of ​​creating a product focused on children born out of necessity. Back in the early 1970s, commercials for the brand in Japan detected that children were bored when a family came to the dealership. To give them a chore and entertainment, they created an internal competition of ideas, and from there the proposal to make a children's scooter was born, the Honda Kick `N Go, which in Japan was also marketed by the GOGO company.

It was an interesting bet since what was created was a scooter, an element of mobility, and it supposed the first step of access to the Honda brand. In an original and creative way, the Japanese firm managed to connect with the children's audience thanks to the Honda Kick `N Go.

The original concept of the Honda Kick `N Go is that of a three-wheel scooter that had a mechanical self-propulsion system It was a first on the market. The system is here to stay and even today scooters can be purchased with this advance technique.

Kick N Go Propulsion

To move the scooter, the driver has to step back on a metal T-shaped lever which is located at the back. With this movement it manages to move a sprocket that has an associated chain and that transmits the movement as if it were a pulley system to the rear wheel. Depending on what strength and spirit (number of repetitions) you do, the scooter will pick up more or less speed. It should be mentioned that the wheels are made of plastic and have a rubber area covering them.

Brake

As a safety system, the Honda Kick `N Go has a shoe brake which is operated from the right handlebar lever and manages to reduce speed by stopping the rear wheel. The directional axle is the front, where it mounts two wheels in the first version and one in the second. On the original model, the two front wheels help stability while limiting the turning radius.

America's Mid-1970s Christmas Present

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The commercialization of the scooters was done in phases. 2,000 units were first introduced in Japan on a trial basis and, being a success, they were extended through the dealer network throughout the Japanese country to also reach the United States market in 1974.

The Honda Kick ´N Go se advertised on the street and also on television. In the United States, at Christmas time in the years it was on sale, from 1974 to 1976, the scooter was one of the toys most desired by American children. Here we can read a testimony that confirms this appreciation.

No specific data is known of how many units were sold, but what is clear is that it was a successful product for Honda. The market going price it was around 80 dollars, which was quite a lot for a toy.

There was two generations of the Honda Kick ´N Go and they are easily differentiated, in the first the scooter had three wheels and in the second only two. Two series were made of the original vehicle, one in 1974 intended for a purely child audience, children who weighed less than 45 kilograms, and another, the senior, which was focused on an older age group and was released in 1976. In that same year the second series was launched, following the base of the senior model but with a single front wheel. It was marketed exclusively in the North American market.

Left: 1974 Child Honda Kick `N Go Top Right: 1974 Honda Kick` N Go Senior Bottom Right: 1976 Honda Kick `N Go 2 (United States Only)

The Honda Kick ´N Go is a product evolved to be a toy from the 70s, but it is still rudimentary and therefore, dangerous in the hands of any child. The instruction manual includes instructions for learning how to use the scooter and various parental care notices. On the one hand, it determines its correct use by avoiding occurrences such as riding the scooter more than one (something that unfortunately continues to be done today), tying it to a bicycle or going without hands. On the other hand, it declares that its use is not recommended in shared areas with steep slopes and / or road traffic.

Even with the danger notices in the manual, the reason for its withdrawal from the market was the worst possible, a accident occurred in 1976. At two children lost their lives of a young age while playing with the scooter. The commercialization of the toy only lasted two years.

The Honda Kick `N Go is almost a collector's item

Despite the fact that it has already been 46 years since the beginning of its commercialization, You can continue to find units of the Honda Kick ´N Go for sale through the internet. The largest market is the United States and the price depends on the state in which the specific unit is located. A Honda Kick ´N Go in need of a deep repair is worth more than 100 dollars while in the case of a more or less well-kept unit it can reach the 250 dollars.

Kickngoebay

It is a curious object that has an interesting story behind it. It is attractive as a toy from the seventies and therefore it stands to reason that increasingly appreciated by collectors. The current retro fashion does not help either and makes this type of elements have a good value in the market.

A Facebook group and a reissue in 2017, the other curiosities of the Honda Kick `N Go

Sustainable mobility, multimodality in transport, electrification … All these terms are the basis of the idea of ​​transport that prevails for the imminent future. Honda is a company that, although in its own way, has always met the demands of the market with an updated product and, although it may seem surprising, also updated the Kick 'N Go.

New Honda Kick N Go

At the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, Honda presented the futuristic Honda NEUV Concept as a concept car, an autonomous electric vehicle designed for urban carsharing. This city car incorporated in its trunk a multimodality proposal for the last mile with a Honda Kick `N Go reissue, now in an electric version and designed for adult use.

The idea the series did not prosperTherefore, at the moment, no Honda scooters have been re-marketed beyond what was made from 1974 to 1976.

Although it has not been updated, the Honda Kick ´N Go is a product that still alive today. His fans participate and share information through his own Facebook group, which remains active in 2020, and can also be read about in various online forums.

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