February 9th

10 love stories to get your motor running this Valentine’s Day

Ten touching love stories for Valentine’s Day, from the first Honda product ever made to matching his-and-hers S2000s.

  • 01 Soichiro and Sachi Honda

    Fun fact: the first Honda product was modelled on a motorised bicycle that Soichiro Honda tested with the help of his wife, Sachi, in 1946 – two years before Honda Motor Co Ltd was founded. Transforming an old, beat-up bicycle, Mr Honda created a motorised ‘bata-bata bike’ by using an army radio as a motor – and his wife’s hot water bottle as a fuel tank. Clever, right? But the invention served a greater purpose: it ultimately led to the founding of Honda and the company’s first product, the Honda Type A, a motorised bicycle based on the very same bata-bata bike. Thirteen years later, Honda was named the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world – a title it still holds to this day.

  • 02 Emma and Jamie Millar

    Ever since she was a teenager, Emma Millar had always, always wanted a 1982 Honda 90  She dreamt about owning one for years, but it wasn’t until her wedding day that her dream became a reality. While she and her guests were tucking into dinner, Emma realised that her groom, Jamie, had vanished. Cold feet? Not exactly… A couple of minutes later, Jamie reappeared – on a 1982 Honda 90. She was delighted, and made a vow to one day give the bike to their son. Aww.

  • 03 Gordon and Jillian Shedden

    Did you know that Honda’s BTCC champion found love on the racetrack? Believe it or not, Gordon Shedden met his wife, Jillian, while competing against her in 1997. Later that year they teamed up for a round of the EERC Britcar series. They married several years later and lived happily ever after, Jillian taking over as manager of Knockhill race circuit and Gordon winning three BTCC Championship titles for Honda. 

  • 04 Pete and Liz Roberts

    It wasn’t until decades into their relationship that Pete and Liz Roberts finally decided to go on the holiday they’d always talked about. Bahamas beach retreat? Nope. Machu-Pichu picnic? Not quite. It was, in fact, the most challenging motoring adventure on the planet: the Mongol Rally, an epic 10,000-mile, 55-day, 23-country race through some of the toughest terrain on Earth. But unlike most competitors, Liz and Pete didn’t use a top-of-the-range 4x4. They used their very own daily driver – a Honda Jazz. Read their incredible true story here.

  • 05 Charley and Dom Reeves

    Like a lot of married couples, Charley and Dom Reeves remember one night early in their relationship that drove them wild. Shortly after getting in bed, Charley’s husband, Dom, teased her about always blocking his brother’s driveway with her scrappy old car. Why couldn’t she just, y’know, get a sharper, sleeker car, like a Honda Integra Type R? Good question. “We stayed up all night… talking about Integras,” she says. “Dom had one he was about to scrap for parts, so I asked if I could drive it.” Which she did, before immediately falling in love and buying it. “We now have two Integras: Dom’s is track-ready, whereas I have made mine more of a show car.” See it here

  • 06 Paul Hannam and the Kangaroo Kid
    A proper love story, though not in the traditional sense: from a very young age, Paul Hannam had looked up to the Kangaroo Kid. (FYI: the Kangaroo Kid is a world-record-setting professional ATV stunt rider – and star of our recent video.) But years later, as an adult, Paul met his hero at a UK stunt show. One thing led to another, and before he knew it, he was the Kangaroo Kid’s sidekick. The dynamic duo now tours the country with their Honda Fourtrax 250s, putting on stunt shows for thousands of wide-eyed fans – just like little Paul back in the day.

  • 07 Andrew Fry and a Honda CM200

    May 26 1980 was a big day for Andrew Fry: it was the day he got his first paycheck – and his first motorcycle, a Honda CM200. Unsurprisingly, he was over the moon. “I could go wherever I wanted, when I wanted, without relying on public transport – or a lift from Dad!” he said. “As a shy, retiring seventeen-year-old, that really was freedom. I rode down to Brighton on day two, and Margate the following week. I even met my first girlfriend – my second love after this bike – through a shared affection for it.” Cheeky.

  • 08 Jerry and RoseMarie Smith

    Jerry and RoseMarie met on a blind date in April 1960 and hit it off immediately, marrying just five months later. For over 50 years, they’ve supported each another through thick and thin. “Jerry has never held me back, but encouraged me in everything I wanted to do,” said RoseMarie. That includes one of her greatest passions, motorcycling. Thousands of miles, hundreds of adventures and half a century after buying their first motorcycle, Jerry and RoseMarie are still riding together, most recently on a Honda ST1300 – their seventh motorcycle to date. 

  • 09 Gemma and Howard Harrison
    Gemma Harrison, founder of women-only bike collective VC London, recently revealed that her first bike, a Honda 125cc, was actually a gift from her hubby Howard. Although it still holds a special place in her heart, Gemma has since upgraded to a Honda CRF250R – and now heads up one of the country’s coolest motorcycle collectives. Naturally. Find out more here.

  • 10 Sophie and Justin Williams
    According to Sophie Williams, founder of UK car club Modified Girls, it was love at first sight when she laid eyes on partner Justin – and his super-sexy NSX. But it was their mutual love of S2000s that brought them together. After saving up for years – and in Sophie’s case, even forgoing meals to save an extra few bob – the couple purchased his-and-hers S2000s. They even did all of the modifications together. You can see Sophie’s S2000 here, but be warned – it’s a beaut.