Honda is the largest motorcycle manufacturer in Japan and has been since it started production in 1955. At its peak in 1982, Honda manufactured almost 3 million motorcycles annually. By 2006 this figure had reduced to around 550,000 but was still higher than its three domestic competitor, Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki.
Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) was formed in 1982. Its racing activities are an important source for the creation of leading edge technologies used in the development of Honda motorcycles.