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Millionth Motorcycle Made at Marysville, Honda is Happy


At the end of July the millionth motorcycle rolled off the assemblyline at Honda's Marysville Motorcycle Plant in Marysville, Ohio. Honda's Marysville plant was its first in the U.S.; it started production on September 10, 1979. The plant's millionth bike was a Gold Wing Aspencade.

The Gold Wing motorcycle is Marysville's premier product and has been manufactured exclusively in Ohio since 1980. All products built at the Marysville Motorcycle Plant are made only in Ohio, including the new Valkyrie, Shadow 1100, Shadow American Classic Edition and FourTrax ATVs.

Speaking about the Marysville plant, plant manager Ray Wilt said "This is one of the most flexible, highly integrated manufacturing plants in the United States. We build our products from basic raw materials -- stamping, welding, molding plastics, and assembly into motorcycles and ATVs which are shipped to customers all over the world." About 20 percent of the Marysville plant's production is exported to 43 countries.

The Gold Wing 1520cc engine is also made in Ohio at Honda's Anna Engine Plant. Production includes casting and machining of the engine block and transmission case from raw aluminum, then assembly of the 6-cylinder overhead cam powerplant.

"The Gold Wing engine is one of the most complex, precision engines ever manufactured by Honda," said Jim Kelly, assistant manager of Assembly at the Anna Engine Plant. "The parts we make are cast and machined to tolerances measured in microns -- less than one-third the thickness of a human hair."

The Anna Engine Plant began production in July 1985 with Gold Wing engines. The plant now makes Accord, Acura CL and Civic engines and drivetrain components, as well.

Production of the one millionth vehicle at the Marysville Motorcycle Plant occurred during the 8th Annual HomeComing event, a national rally which attracts more than 5,000 motorcyclists to the Marysville Motorcycle Plant. "It's fitting that we were able to share this one millionth milestone with so many of our customers," said Wilt. "This milestone belongs to them as much as it does to our associates. Without the support of our customers and the community, this could not have happened."

Customer demand drives changes at the Marysville Motorcycle Plant, too. Production has tripled in the past five years to more than 180,000 a year. Demand is up for all models produced at Marysville, especially the new Valkyrie -- a performance custom motorcycle that is captivating riders with its style and muscle -- and the FourTrax line of hardworking ATVs that are popular in the U.S. and opening new markets overseas.

                       MOTORCYCLES PRODUCED

          Marysville Motorcycle Plant Honda of America Mfg.

    GL1500 Gold Wing    Universally known as the world's premier luxury
                        touring motorcycle, the Gold Wing is
    The One Millionth   manufactured exclusively at the Marysville
    Vehicle Manufac-    Motorcycle Plant.  The best-selling touring
    tured on July 26,   motorcycle in America, the Gold Wing is also
    1996                exported to customers around the world.

                        The Gold Wing 1520cc 6-cylinder OHC engine has
                        been manufactured at Honda of America's Engine
                        Plant in nearby Anna, Ohio since start-up of the
                        engine facility in July 1985.  Domestic
                        suppliers in Ohio and throughout the U.S.
                        provide most of the parts and materials for Gold
                        Wing production, making it truly one of
                        America's finest motorcycles.

    GL1500C Valkyrie    The most imposing and exciting custom motorcycle
                        ever is another exclusive model made in Ohio.
                        The Valkyrie's high-performance 6-cylinder
                        engine is made at the Anna Engine Plant, the
                        home of precision engine manufacturing.  With
                        1520cc, six carburetors and a hot-rod heart,
                        this 6-cylinder engine has what it takes to
                        dominate the streets.

    Shadow 1100 and     Together with the Valkyrie, these two Shadow
    American Classic    custom motorcycles make the Marysville
    Edition             Motorcycle Plant the custom bike production
                        headquarters for Honda.  Powered by a
                        liquid-cooled 1099cc V-twin, both Shadows
                        possess low-end torque and mid-range power for
                        excellent rideability around town or on the open
                        road.  Both Shadow models also feature a factory
                        custom color paint program that allows customers
                        to choose their own color and logo combinations.

    TRX FourTrax        The all-round versatility and unsurpassed
    Utility Vehicles    reliability of Honda FourTrax utility vehicles
    * 200 Type II       have made them America's top sellers for years.
    * 300               Made exclusively at the Marysville Motorcycle
    * 300 4X4           Plant, these FourTrax vehicles have a high local
    * Foreman 400       content from suppliers throughout the U.S.
                        Production of these popular models has risen
                        dramatically during the '90s as customers around
                        the world prize their hardworking abilities and
                        easy-to-use qualities.  Produced in both
                        standard and 4X4 models, all FourTrax models are
                        powered by durable four-stroke engines that
                        produce ideal power and torque for all-purpose

                   MOTORCYCLE PRODUCTION 1979-1996

         Marysville Motorcycle Plant Honda of America Mfg.
                 One million vehicles produced from
                 September 10, 1979 to July 26, 1996

    *  One millionth is 1997 Gold Wing Aspencade.
    *  Breakout of one million production:

         Gold Wing          315,000
         Other Motorcycles  195,000
         ATVs               490,000
         Total            1,000,000

    *  Gold Wing Series

    GL1100 Models 1980-83  GL1200 models 1984-87   GL1500 models
       -Standard              -Interstate             -Interstate
       -Interstate            -Aspencade              -Aspencade
                              -SEi                    -SE

    * CR250R ELSINORE               1980
    * CBX                           1980
    * CB900C CUSTOM              1981-82
    * CB1000C CUSTOM                1983
    * VF1100S V65 SABRE          1984-85
    * VF1100C V65 MAGNA          1984-86
    * VT1100C SHADOW        1985-current
    * VFR700F INTERCEPTOR           1987
    * CBR1000F HURRICANE         1987-88
    * VF700C MAGNA                  1987

    * VF750C MAGNA                  1988
    * VT700C SHADOW                 1987
    * VT800C SHADOW                 1988
    * VT1100C2 SHADOW
      American Classic
      Edition               1995-current
    * GL1500C VALKYRIE      1997-current
    * FOURTRAX 200               1990-91
    * FOURTRAX 200 Type II  1991-current
    * FOURTRAX 300          1990-current
    * FOURTRAX 300 4X4      1990-current
    * FOURTRAX 400 4X4      1995-current

    * Listings are for model year

Paul Dever -- The Auto Channel