If you think of a typical American motorcycle from the late 1950s, you’ll likely conjure up images of Harley-Davidson motorcycles with their big V-twin engines and “chopper” style. But if you look at the Japanese motorcycle market at the time, there was something very different going on. Companies like Honda were producing motorcycles that were much more technologically advanced than their American counterparts, and they were starting to gain a following among motorcycle enthusiasts. One of the most iconic Honda motorcycles from this period is the Dream 305. Here is a look at the history of this bike and what made it so special.
1969 Honda Dream 305 Brief History
It was the 1960s. The Cold War was raging, and people lived in a time of significant change. America was going through its version of an industrial revolution, with new technologies and an expanding economy. This was the era of the Space Race and the Cold War when science fiction became a reality and people were looking to the future with hope and excitement. But it was also a time of political and social turmoil, with the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement. One thing remained constant amid all this change: Honda motorcycles were still the nicest people on a Honda". The company had started making motorcycles in 1949, and by the 1960s, it was well-established as a quality manufacturer. The Dream was one of Honda's most popular models, and it was the flagship of the company's line-up. It was a big bike, with a displacement of 305 ccs. It had a pressed-steel frame and leading-link suspension, and it was available in various colors. It was a stylish and well-made machine, popular with both riders and collectors. But as the years went by, the Dream fell out of fashion. Its angular lines and square headlight became dated, and its pressed-steel frame made it difficult to restore. The Dream is now a rare and sought-after motorcycle, and it is a valuable addition to any collection.
1969 Honda Dream 305 Performance
If you have never got a chance to ride the 1969 Honda Dream 305, you are surely missing out on one of the unique motorcycles of all time. Remember, it's 1960s engineering, and they still managed to give the bike a high-power 2-cylinder, 2-stroke engine that produced 23.00 hp at 7500rpm, able to push the bike to speeds of up to 138km/h. Thanks to its 60.0 x 54.0 mm bore x stroke and Keihin carburetor intake, the bike was also pretty handy. It never overheated on long rides despite being air-cooled. Overall, the 1969 Honda Dream 305 was a fantastic motorcycle in terms of performance. It's no wonder that it's still considered one of the best bikes of all time.
1969 Honda Dream 305 Drive and Handling
When everyone was clamoring for more power, the 1969 Honda Dream 305 motorcycle offered a different take on things. Instead of making the engine bigger, Honda focused on making the rest of the bike smaller and lighter. This made for nimble handling and a sub-300 cc displacement perfect for beginners or those who just wanted an easy-to-ride machine. According to Bikez.com, the four-speed transmission was smooth, and the final chain drive was whisper-quiet. Overall, the Dream 305 was a well-rounded package perfect for those who wanted something a little different. Thanks to its smaller size and weight, the 1969 Honda Dream 305 motorcycle could zip through traffic and tight spaces with ease. It also had a shallow center of gravity, making it relatively stable at higher speeds. These factors combined make the Dream 305 a trendy choice among consumers.
1969 Honda Dream 305 Design and Styling
With its angular lines and fully-faired design, the 1969 Honda Dream 305 was unlike any other motorcycle. It was available in red, white, blue, and black and often came with whitewall tires. The bike had a chrome toaster-like fuel tank, color-keyed double seat, and fully-faired fenders. The headlight was square, and the forks were pressed steel. The mufflers were set low on the engine, and the chain was entirely enclosed to minimize oil splashing on clothing. The fuel gauge placement on the headlight was unique, and the speedometer was mounted on the handlebars. The seat was uncomfortable for long rides, and the bike was difficult to start in cold weather. But overall, the 305 Dream was the stylistic icon that launched numerous other Honda models, including the Hawk, Super Hawk, and SuperSport. However, its extreme styling fell out of fashion in the 1970s, and many Dreams were scrapped. Good survivors are increasingly hard to find, and they can be expensive to restore. NOS body parts are tough to find, and replacement mufflers are extremely expensive. Despite these challenges, the Dream is an essential part of Honda's history and a vital component of any respectable motorcycle collection.
- 1969 Honda Dream 305 Highlights
- 305cc 2-cylinder, 2-stroke engine, Air-cooled Engine
- Power 23.00 HP @ 7500 RPM Engine Power
- 138.4 km/h (86.0 mph) Top speed
- Carburetor Keihin Fuel system
- Single Overhead Cams (SOHC)
- Leading Link Enclosed Coil-Over-Shocks Front Suspension
- Swingarm with Coil-Over Shocks Rear Suspension
- Expanding (drum brake) Front & Rear Brake
- Overhead camshaft(OHC) Fuel Control
- 4-Speed Gearbox
Most-Common Problems With 1960 Honda Dream 305s
1960 Honda Dream 305 had some common issues that owners needed to be aware of. These included the necessity to change out the main jets at higher altitudes and adjust the carb and float levels. Luckily, Honda made a specific tool to help with the latter adjustment. However, it was still recommended that owners take their bikes to a mechanic specializing in vintage Hondas to get the carb cleaned and adjusted. These issues were necessary to consider when riding the 1960 Honda Dream 305.
Though it was not as popular or well-received as the other models in the Dream line, the 305 still managed to make a name for itself, selling over ten thousand units in its first year alone. Its production run would last a full ten years until 1979, when it was finally discontinued. The Dream 305 was one of the first Honda models to be exported to the US market, and it helped put the company on the map as a serious player in the global motorcycle market. Its unique styling and performance set it apart from other bikes of its time, and it remains a coveted bike among collectors today.
Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith