Monday, December 26, 2016

Motorcycles are among the world’s most popular vehicles, but not all motorcyclists know about the history of motorcycles or the background and specifications of models they use. Although vintage motorcycles have become popular in Thailand, non-collectors do not know old models, which are no longer for sale.

The LHM Motorcycle Museum in Kanchanaburi province showcases a vast collection of Japanese motorcycles and a few Western models from after the end of World War II. The museum is owned by the Lo Heng Mong motorcycle shop in Tha Maka district, which has been open for more than five decades.
The establishment of the museum was inspired by an old photo of shop founder Boonchai Pongvitayapanu shaking hands with Soichiro Honda, founder of Honda Motor Company. The shop has kept a sample of most models it has sold. As market demands have changed and buyers opted for rare old models, the museum was founded for the young generation to study the history and evolution of motorcycles.
The museum is divided into four sections — the Learning Centre, the Historical Centre, the 50th Anniversary of Lo Heng Mong Honda and Yamaha Centre and the Old Motorcycle Posters Centre.
The Learning Centre gathers various models of motorcycles ranging from the first to the latest ones such as the Honda C200, Honda Dream Kuruspa, Honda C72 (alias Honda Pig), Kawasaki GTO, Yamaha Bell 80 Year 1981, Honda MTX 1982, Yamaha TZM and many more.
The Historical Centre tells the history of all motorcycle brands and biographies of their founders. On display are Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki motorcycles. Visitors will learn what the company founders did before creating the first model and what their inspirations were.
Although the first motorcycle was created in Europe at the end of the 19th century, the first Japanese motorcycle did not exist until after the end of World War II.
According to the biographies of motorcycle company founders, Soichiro Honda set up a research company in Hamamatsu in 1946 and the first project was to install small used engines to bicycles. Later, Honda started manufacturing engines and sold the popular bikes. He later established a motorcycle factory and turned his researchcompany into Honda Motor Company. Honda was the first Asian to be honoured in the Automotive Hall of Fame in Michigan, US.
Suzuki motorcycles were produced by Michio Suzuki, who founded Suzuki Loom Company in Hamamatsu town in 1909. The firm began manufacturing motorcycles in 1952 with the Power Free Model, which has a two-stroke 36cc engine and simple design.

Yamaha became a popular brand of motorcycles after Kenichi Kawakami, the fourth president of Nippon Gakki Company, took the helm in 1950 and paved ways for the production of motorcycles by his musical instrument company. In 1955, the first Yamaha motorcycle YA1 was produced.