Honda Dreams weren’t exactly high-performance motorcycles. But then, they weren’t designed to be.
As one of the first models brought to the U.S. when Honda moved into the market in 1959, the 305cc Dream emphasized other elements of Honda’s approach to motorcycle-building. It was inexpensive to own, unintimidating to ride and reliable to maintain.
While those qualities may not have attracted a lot of traditional motorcyclists, they struck a chord with a new generation of riders interested in fun on two wheels. On that score, the Dream hit the mark.
There were, however, those who couldn’t ignore performance. And for them, the common Dream Touring model wouldn’t do. Instead, they sought out the rare Dream Sport, like this ’62 version owned by Pat Jones of Olive Branch, Mississippi, and previously on display in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum at AMA headquarters in Pickerington Ohio.
The Sport came with the same conservative leading-link front fork and stamped-steel frame of the Touring Dream. And it started with the same 305cc overhead-cam parallel-twin engine that put out a claimed 25 horsepower in the Touring version. Like the Touring model, the Sport also offered the convenience of electric starting, along with the low maintenance of an enclosed final-drive chain.
The main difference between the Dreams was in the exhaust system. The Touring model had Honda’s standard low pipes, while the Sport offered higher pipes, along with a different kickstart lever, footpegs and side covers to accommodate them.
This particular bike, says Jones, was one of a dozen bought by a Shriner motorcycle drill team in Memphis, Tennessee, then outfitted with extra equipment, including lights and crash bars.
“They apparently wanted the Sport model so they wouldn’t drag the exhaust pipes when they turned sharply,” Jones says.
By 1962, though, the Sport’s days were numbered. That year, Honda brought out the Super Hawk, with a hotted-up version of the 305 engine bolted into a more capable chassis. The Sport was dropped after 1963, having served its purpose of injecting a performance image into Honda’s growing line of motorcycles.