Hondarora - Matchbox MB18 1975-1984. With original box

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Hondarora - Matchbox MB18 1975-1984. With original box

Hondarora - 18

Hondarora was the first solo, realistic motorcycle model produced by Matchbox. It was very popular and had a long production run of 10 years from 1975 to 1985. It was modelled around the equally popular Honda CB750, a large motorbike aimed at the American market.

Early examples were a dull red with a chromed engine and exhaust pipes, handlebars, front forks and mudguard. The saddle was usually black although the odd few were white. A little purple and orange sticker with a Honda logo graced both sides of the petrol tank. The delicate spoked wheels were actually modified wheels from a discontinued Models of Yesteryear car. The front forks could turn and the bike could be stood up with a stand attached to one of the exhaust pipes.

There were many variations on Hondarora which usually used its real name of Honda CB750 in non-English speaking markets. A bright orange version was made exclusively for the K-6 King Size Motor Cycle Transporter set. In 1977 it appeared in one of the Two-Packs series, in the 'Military Jeep and Motorcycle' set where it sported a dark olive drab colour scheme with the engine and forks in black. The regular bike suffered a lot from cost-cutting as the sticker was taken away, the forks remained black and the spoked wheels with tyres were replaced with one-piece five-spoked plastic ones.

In 1980 It was recoloured metallic green and was redone again in yellow in 1982. At this time the engine was also black but, perhaps to make up for this, introduced a light brown rider figure.