Hyosung Motorcycles is a Korean motorcycle brand that is sold in a wide range of countries under a wide range of names. As a result, while its products have proven to be rather popular, its brand isn't as strong as it could be. With that said, Hyosung Motorcycles have received a fair amount of praise over the course of its existence, meaning that interested individuals shouldn't ignore them when looking through the options for their next ride.
Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Hyosung Motorcycles:
1. Started Up By a Chaebol
Hyosung Motorcycles was started up by a chaebol called Hyosung. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, a chaebol is a South Korean conglomerate, which came into existence following the Korean War because the South Korean government provided considerable incentives to private companies in an effort to stabilize the South Korean economy.
2. One of a Wide Range of Products
As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that Hyosung Motorcycles was but one of a number of products being made by Hyosung. Those who are curious about the full list can find it on Hyosung's website, but examples range from textiles to chemicals and industrial materials.
3. Based in Changwon
Hyosung Motorcycles started out in Changwon, which possesses a number of interesting characteristics. For example, it is the first planned city in South Korea, having used the Australian capital of Canberra for its model. Furthermore, Changwon was created to serve as a back-up capital in case of emergencies, which might have something to do with the fact that it sits on South Korea's southeast coast.
4. Started Out Making Suzuki Motorcycles
Initially, Hyosung Motorcycles had a license for making Suzuki motorcycles for sale in the South Korean market. This made a fair amount of sense, seeing as how Japanese motorcycles had become very popular in a wide range of countries by the late 1970s.
5. Established R&D Center in Hamamatsu
Eventually, Hyosung Motorcycles made the choice to start making its own motorcycles. However, this was preceded by it establishing its own R&D center in 1986, which was located in the Japanese city of Hamamatsu. Generally speaking, Hamamatsu isn't one of the better-known Japanese cities, but it is nonetheless a place of some significance in the Chubu region, which sits in the middle of the main island of Honshu.
6. Named Official Supplier for 1988 Summer Olympics
Hyosung Motorcycles managed to make quite an impact by launching its own motorcycles. For proof, consider how it was chosen as the official supplier of motorcycles for the 1988 Summer Olympics, which were in Seoul. In particular, the 1988 Summer Olympics was notable because it had the highest number of participating nations for a Summer Olympics held during the Cold War period.
7. Spun Off As Its Own Corporation
In 2003, the part of Hyosung responsible for Hyosung Motorcycles was spun off as the Hyosung Motors & Machinery, Inc. In other words, it became its own corporation.
8. Has Seen a Number of Ownership Changes in Recent Times
With that said, Hyosung Motorcycles has seen a number of ownership changes in recent times, which has meant a number of name changes as well. For example, it was bought out by S&T Group in 2007 and then by Kolao Holdings in 2014. As a result, the corporation's current name is KR Motors Co. Ltd.
9. Has Entered Recreational Market
In recent times, Hyosung Motorcycles entered the recreational market. This was interesting because Hyosung Motorcycles tended to be best-known for making simple but cost-effective motorcycles that were well-suited for people who wanted something that would be practical for their commutes. As a result, the focus on the recreational segment of the motorcycle market was an interesting change-up that produced a lot of changes in the relevant products.
10. Still Uses Hyosung Motorcycles Brand
Even though the corporation that is currently called KR Motors has seen a number of name changes in recent times, some of its products have continued to use the Hyosung Motorcycles brand. This makes sense because Hyosung Motorcycles is a brand that has been built up over the course of decades, meaning that it would be counter-productive for the motorcycle manufacturer to get rid of so much accumulated goodwill.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker