Friday, March 22, 2019

Honda Early Model Product Codes and Model Codes


People often wonder just what some of the Honda model designations are and what they mean. Below is a short list of the pre 1961 model codes and what they were assigned to, in the beginning of Honda’s storied legacy of amazing machines.
Model No.          Name                    Model                        Cycle                     Cylinder capacity
10                           Dream                  E                                4                              146
11                           Dream                  3E                              4                              146
12                           Dream                  4E                              4                              220
13                           Dream                  6E                              4                              200
14                           Juno                      7E                             4                              200
15                           Juno                      8E                             4                              220
16                           Juno                      8E(KA)                    4                              220
17                           Juno                      8E(KB)                    4                              220
18                           Juno                      8E(KC)                    4                              220
20                           Benly                     J                              4                              90
21                           Benly                     JA                           4                              140
22                           Benly                     JB                           4                              125
23                           Benly                     JC                           4                              125
24                           Benly                     JC                           4                              125
30                           Dream                  SA                           4                              250
31                           Dream                  SA                           4                              250
32                           Dream                  ME                          4                              250
35                           Dream                  SB                           4                              350
36                           Dream                  SB                           4                              350
37                           Dream                  MF                          4                              350
70                           Dream                  C70                         4                              250
71                           Dream                  C71                         4                              250
72                           Dream                  C72                         4                              250
75                           Dream                  C75                         4                              305
76                           Dream                  C76                         4                              305
77                           Dream                  C77                         4                              305

As you can see, the last few model codes match up to that of the 1960s 250-305 twins, which which most people are aware.  After this list, the CBs came into being and US variations, thus CB72 (250) and CB77 (305) and CA72, CA77 US-spec Dreams in 250 and 305 configurations.
More 1960s relevant codes through 300 are:

254         CS71 Dry-sump Dream Sport
255         CA71 US Dry-sump 250 Dream
256         CAS71 US Dry-sump 250 Dream Sport
257         CE71 Dry-sump Dream Sport 250
258         CB71 Never produced
259         C 72 Wet-sump 250 Dream
260         C76.CA76 Dry-sump 305 Dream
261         CS76.CAS76 Dry-sump Dream Sport 305
262         CA72 US Wet-sump 250 Dream
263         C2-72 Solo seat 250 Dream
264         CS72.C2S72 Dream Sport 250 Dream
265         CR71 Factory 250 road racer
266         C77.CS77 Wet-sump Dream/Sport
267         CA77.CAS77 US 305 Dream/Sport
268         CB72 250 Hawk
269         C2B72.CMB Type 2 Hawk
270         CM72 CB with Dream 250 engine
271         C3-72 Dream variant
272         C3A72 Dream 250
273         CL 72 Scrambler
274         C2L 72 Type 2 Scrambler
275         CB77 Super Hawk
276         C2B77 Type 2 Super Hawk
277         C1AL72 Late 250 Scrambler
278         CL77 305 Scrambler
279         C 78 late Dream
280         CA 78 late US Dream
281         CP77.C2P77 non-Police
282         CYP77 305 Police
283         CB450.450P Black Bomber
284         C2B450 Type 2 Bomber
285         CP450 Bomber Police
286         CB250 basis for the CB350
287         CB350  350 version of 286 code bike
290         CL250 basis for the 350 Scrambler
291         CL350.FP 350 Scrambler
292         CB450K1 5 speed
293         CL450 Scrambler
294         CL450K1
296         CB250M Domestic 250
297         CB350M
298         CD250.K1
300         CB750.K1 750 Four

To avoid some duplicate codes, Honda renamed a  few with “C” in the beginning, according to the charts on the CMSNL.COM site:  https://www.cmsnl.com/help/faq/14_honda/#f16

C12         DREAM 4E
C13         DREAM 6E
C24         JC58
C30         SA250
C30         SA350
C32         ME250
C32         ME350

For fans of the Benly series machines, the numbers started with 90 (C90) and had related numbers up to 225 (CA160, which is based upon the Benly chassis design).

200         C 90
201         C 95
202         C 92
203         CA92
204         CS92
205         CB92
206         CA95
207         CB95
208         CD92
209         CS95
210         C2-92
211         C2D92
212         C3 92
213         C10 95
214         C2D 95
215         C3A 92
216         CB93 (CB125) not related model
217         CB96 (CB160) not related model
218         C3S92
219         C3 95
224         C4 92
225         CA160

Honda finally ran down the digit codes with the   496 CB400T motorcycle model. From 500 to 999 the codes mostly covered automobiles and power products. From that point the new letter codes were invoked.

Commonly seen in the 1980s were these models; however the actual product code for the parts is generally different than the model code. Model codes were implemented when the US decided that every new motor vehicle sold in the US was required to have a 17 digit VIN code. You will see the model codes as part of each VIN number for motorcycles sold in the US.

RC01      CB 750 KZ-C / CB 750 CB-C / CB 750 SCC-D
RC03      CB 650 Z + B
RC04      CB 750 FA-C
RC05      CB 650 B-C / CB 650 CA-B
RC06      CB 750 CB
RC07      VF 750 SC-D / VF 750 CC-D
RC08      CB 650 SCC
RC09      VF 750 CC-E
RC10      GL 650 D / DD Silverwing
RC11      CX 650 CD
RC12      CX 650 ED
RC13      CB 650 SCD-F / EE / CBX 650 ED
RC14      VT 750 CD + H (Canada)
RC15      VF 750 FD-E
RC16      CX 650 TD
RC17      CBX 750 FE + G
RC18      CB 750 SCE (Canada) / CBX 750 PE-H / P2H-L (Police)
RC19      VT 700 CE-H
RC20      CB 700 SCE-G
RC21      VF 700 CE-H
RC22      VF 700 SE-F Sabre
RC23      VF 700 FE-F
RC24      VFR 750 FG-K
RC26      VFR 700 F / F2G-H
RC27      CBR 750 F (Japan)
RC28      VF 750 CH-J
RC29      VT 750 CH (Deutschland)
RC30      VFR 750 RJ-L
RC31      NT 650 J-M Hawk GT / NT 650 Bros (Japan)
RC32      VT 800 CJ
RC33      NTV 650 J-V
RC34      PC 800 K-T Pacific Coast
RC36      VFR 750 FL-V
RC38      CB 750 M-W Nighthawk (USA + Canada)
RC40      NR 750 N
RC42      CB 750 F2N-W Seven-fifty
RC43      VF 750 CP-T
RC44      VT 750 C/C2V / NV750C2 (Korea)
RC45      RVF 750 RR-S

For example, the VIN on my NT650 Hawk GT is JH2RC3113JM000597, where the RC31 is inserted. However if you are looking up a fuel tank part number for this bike you will find it shown as 17506-MN8-860, where MN8 is the actual parts product code for this machine.

These model codes were not continuous for a series of bikes, but were assigned as to when they were created/planned as a new model. For example the little CBR250R(RR) four cylinder screamers started with

MC17    CBR 250 RH (Japan) original model
MC18    NSR 250 RJ-K / R2J 2 stroke twin
MC19    CBR 250 RJ-K / R2K (Japan) 2nd generation
MC20    VT 250 Spada (Japan)  V-twin
MC21    NSR 250 R (Japan) 2-stroke twin
MC22    CBR 250 RRL / RR2L (Japan) 3rd generation.

So, you can see that there are gaps in the numbers between the variations of a single basic design machine. Model codes were assigned in sequence of the next model to be designed and built, not as a “next model” version of the same machine.  It’s complicated….sometimes.

Before the 17 digit VIN codes, which began with the 1980 model years, the bikes built from 1968-1978 generally used the engine displacement as part of the model name, with an appropriate prefix, like CB, CL, SL, XL, CX, etc. (CB350, CL175, XL125, SL90, CX500), followed by a suffix that often indicated the updated model of a series; i.e. CB450K7. Honda took a bit of a diversion when they added the model year to the series, but only for 1976-78. Most of the models had K-something suffixes, however the little 100-124 single-cylinder models had an S behind the model size, so CB125S0, S1, S2, etc. The K-series designators pretty much died out by 1979.

There are many variations and often confusing options on Honda’s myriad of models from the past 60 years. Hopefully, I have revealed a few of the answers to those many questions about Honda’s model and product codes.

Bill “aka MrHonda” Silver

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