Honda Superhawk CB72, CB77, CP77  

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Honda Parts Microfiche

Informal Research Report

My work with a large quantity of Honda Motorcycle Parts Catalog microfiche reveals that the period from the late seventies to the early eighties witnessed a marked change in fiche documentation philosophy at Honda. Namely, in the period, roughly from 1978 to 1983 Honda had abandoned the somewhat informal method of microfiche organization and began to assign actual part numbers to each microfiche card. Hitherto, the only identifying feature of each card was the date of issue and the models covered. [I have adopted the designation of Type I and Type II to denote the early and late versions, respectively.]

Although Honda's in-house use of the fiche was obviously not hindered by this changeover, collectors in pursuit of vintage and/or obsolete microfiche literature are faced with a much more difficult task in seeking out an elusive "early" Type I fiche without the benefit of a solid part number to go by. Interestingly, during the transition period Honda had produced both types of fiche cards, for identical models, concurrently. The result is that some Type II cards can be found from the late seventies and some Type I cards are dated as late as 1983.

While the significance of the above may be deemed clerical, on the surface, there is a very compelling reason why we should be interested - discrepancy between the Type I and Type II microfiche in their treatment of identical models. There are instances where only the Type I fiche contains a reference to an obscure model. My personal Honda microfiche collection contains one with a listing of CT90 Police Issue Motorcycles for Washington [state?]; later versions of the same microfiche omit the reference completely. Some collectors have reported being able to trace some parts only through the "early" fiche cards, while others are interested in the part number evolution that can be traced throughout the chronological advance of Honda documentation.

Finally, whereas an improvement in document organization is a natural event in the life of any business, here it has a peculiar, perhaps even a romantic overtone. While Type II microfiche has all the attributes of our "modern" times, the look and feel of any Type I card are unmistakably "vintage." I find it intriguing that both were produced concurrently for same models. It conjures up an image of some, within Honda, who were trying dearly to hang on to some fleeting, yet legendary era - something which, after all, we ourselves are pursuing in our Vintage Honda Motorcycle hobby.

To see what I've had a chance to catalog so far, select from the links, below, to view either the Type I or Type II list.


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