“When what you are deeply passionate about, what you can be best in the world at and what drives your economic engine come together, not only does your work move toward greatness, but so does your life. For, in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work. Perhaps, then, you might gain that rare tranquility that comes from knowing that you’ve had a hand in creating something of intrinsic excellence that makes a contribution. Indeed, you might even gain that deepest of all satisfactions: knowing that your short time here on this earth has been well spent, and that it mattered.”

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Friday, December 30, 2011

A letter that designed the future

A lot has changed since I last posted on ThrottleQuest. As the year closes to it's end, my love for the quest, for the journey, to know about these humble machines draws me back to the thing I love the most - learning about motorcycles. Today I found this amazing piece of history, which paved the future, laid a foundation, so strong, that entire generations would be standing on that foundation till the end of this world and bask in the glory of the vision of one man - Soichiro Honda.

On 20th March, 1954, Soichiro Honda wrote a letter to the employees of his motor company stating his intentions for the first time to go to racing. This was the letter that holds the key to the future, because after he wrote the letter, he opened the Pandora's box, but this it was not suffering and pain that came out of the box, this time the Pandora's box contained the future of world motorcycling. This was a call of duty, Honda asking his employees to jump into action to design the future of motorcycle industry.

In his letter he wrote -

Some five years have passed since the founding of our Honda Motor Co., and I never cease to rejoice that the efforts of all our employees have taken form in the achievement of our epoch-making advances.

Since I was a small child, one of my dreams has been to compete in motor vehicle races all over the World with a vehicle of my own making, and to win. However, before I can become victor over the whole world, I must first, of course, assure the security of the business, obtain precision machinery and equipment, and create superior designs. I have, therefore, been devoting myself entirely to these points, and working to present superior practical vehicles to our customers in this country. Consequently, I have not had any free time for turning my energy to motorcycle racing until today.

Now, however, reports on the recent international motorcycle race held in Sao Paulo have provided me with detailed information on the situation in the countries of Europe and America. I had thought that I was seeing the world with a fair degree of realism, without being caught up in fixed ideas, but now I realize that, after all, I have been blinded by my excessive feeling for Japan in its present situation. Even now, the world is advancing at tremendous speed. Conversely, however, as I have always felt, I am filled with an abundant, unshakable confidence that I can win. The fighting spirit that is my nature will no longer allow me to continue turning away.

Now that we are equipped with a production system in which I have absolute confidence, the time of opportunity has arrived. I have reached the firm decision to enter the TT races next year.

Never before has a Japanese entered this race with a motorcycle made in Japan. It goes without saying that the winner of this race will be known across the globe, but the same is also true for any vehicle that completes the entire race safely. It is said, therefore, that the fame of such an achievement will assure a certain volume of exports, and that is why every major manufacturer in Germany, England, Italy, and France is concentrating on preparations with all its might.

I will fabricate a 250cc (medium class) racer for this race, and as the representative of our Honda Motor Co., I will send it out into the spotlight of the world. I am confidend that this vehicle can reach speeds exceeding 180km/h. When this engine is completed on the basis of our company’s creativity, it will be no exaggeration whatsoever to say that it will rank at the world’s highest levels of engineering. Since the motorcycle, a shining star of modern heavy industry, is a comprehensive business, it will require the highest engineering level not only of the engine, but also of tires, chains, carburetors and other parts. To achieve this, it must be supported by meticulous attention to detail and unremitting effort.

I address all employees!

Let us bring together the full strength of Honda Motor Co. to win through to this glorious achievement. The future of Honda Motor Co. depends on this, and the burden rests on your shoulders. I want you to turn your surging enthusiasm to this task, endure every trial, and press through with all the minute demands of work and research, making this your own chosen path. The advances made by Honda Motor Co. are the growth you achieve as human beings, and your growth is what assures our Honda Motor Co. its future.

The scrupulous care that is required when tightening a single screw, and the commitment that refuses to waste a single sheet of paper: these are what will open the way before you, and prepare our route for Honda Motor Co. Fortunately, our outside contractors, our agents, and our banks have given us their generous cooperation. I’m, moreover, blessed with customers who join us as well to help concentrate our entire power on this point.

I see that Germany, though like us defeated in the war, has industries that are reviving, and feel more than ever that our Motor Co. must, above all, enter this race and complete it.

We must gauge the true worth of the Japanese machine industry to raise it to a point where we can display it proudly to the entire world. The mission of Honda Motor Co. is to enlighten Japanese industry.

With this, I announce my determination, and pledge you that I put my entire heart and soul, and turn all my creativity and skill to the task of entering TT Races and winning them.

This I affirm.

Soichiro Honda
President, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

He was the legend, who visioned what a future should look like and today we are living his legacy - the amazing Honda

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  1. Precious and Valuable find. Thanks a lot

  2. @Payeng Dude,

    Rightly said man, it's absolutely precious. I could almost feel the energy Mr. Honda might have had while drafting this letter, when I went through the description!!

  3. Back then it was necessary for Honda to make a statement to the world about the superiority of its products, hence racing and winning was so important.

    Sadly now teams like Suzuki and Kawasaki are pulling out of MotoGP

  4. Well, both Suzuki and Kawasaki haven't been a potent opponent to Honda, Yamaha and Ducati in first class MotoGP competition, and I guess it's a wise move from their side to concentrate more on the WSBK championships. With Kawasaki coming off with the biggest, badest and madest Kawasaki ZX10R till date, and with the presence of stallwart factors like the S1000RR and now the Panigale (may be)... the 2012 WSBK season should be interesting.

    But at the same time look at Honda, it made a statement then and last year it stamped it's authority in the entire season of 2011 MotoGP :)


Item Reviewed: A letter that designed the future Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal
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