Honda associates greet thousands of motorcyclists at 2007 HomeComingSM

Ride for Kids charity ride raises $81,273

Despite overcast skies and threatening rain, enthusiastic motorcyclists rode hundreds and even thousands of miles for the 2007 Honda HomeComingSM and Ride for Kids events.

Thousands of motorcycling enthusiasts and other guests participated in three days of events at Honda of America Mfg.’s Marysville Motorcycle Plant that included motorcycle demonstration rides, ice cream socials, seminars and motorcycle light parades. Most riders also participated in events in Marysville and Bellefontaine, Ohio, and other areas of Union, Logan and other surrounding counties.

Motorcycle plant tours were the most popular attractions again this year, where Honda associates guided more than 4,900 guests to see Gold Wing and VTX motorcycles in production. Associates exchanged information with riders about their Honda motorcycles, and explained how they assure quality throughout the manufacturing processes.

“This event gave us plenty of opportunities to share ideas and learn firsthand what customers expect in our products,” said Bob Axe, plant manager of the motorcycle plant. “Connecting with our customers is very important to Honda and all our associates.”

Guests also met with associates at motorcycle plant displays, where they got a close look at welding, painting, assembly and other manufacturing operations, including engine assembly. They also saw displays developed by associates at the Marysville Auto Plant, East Liberty Auto Plant and Anna Engine Plant that included videos of their manufacturing operations, plus the products built at those locations.

Cledith Farris from Grover Hill, Ohio, was the lucky winner of a custom-painted VTX 1300 motorcycle in a drawing at the end of Saturday’s farewell banquet. Tim Cattell, an associate in the Paint Department, developed the design that took first place in the motorcycle plant’s design competition. Fellow associates brought the design to life through their custom painting and decaling skills.

Evening motorcycle light parades also were popular attractions. In Bellefontaine, 579 motorcycles rode in the Thursday parade, while 614 participated in Marysville the following night.

More than 250 bikes participated in the 16th Ride for Kids event for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation held Saturday morning in conjunction with HomeComing. The riders raised $81, 273 to fight the No. 1 killer of children among cancer diseases. Associates from Honda of America Mfg. and Honda R&D Americas, Ohio Center raised nearly $22,000. Honda matched this amount by 50 cents on the dollar, increasing the total to nearly $33,000.

The only motorcycle plant in Ohio, the Marysville Motorcycle Plant has the annual capacity to produce 75,000 of Honda’s largest and most complex motorcycles, the Gold Wing GL1800 touring motorcycle and the VTX 1800 and 1300 cruiser models. Associates also assemble the motorcycle engines in the plant.

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