Hyosung Motorcycles

The Remarkable History of Hyosung Motorcycles

The Remarkable History of Hyosung Motorcycles

1. Hyosung Motorcycles

Hyosung Motorcycles, renamed KR Motors, is a Korean motorcycle brand established in 1978 after being acquired by the Kolao Group, now called the LVMC Group. After becoming part of the Kolao Group, Hyosung Motorcycles became a renowned global motorcycle manufacturer that has produced several affordable yet reliable motorcycles. Read this article to learn about the remarkable history of Hyosung Motorcycles.

2. Domestic Market Share and Global Expansion

Domestic Market Share and Global Expansion
Photo Credit: Iconic Sport Cycle

Hyosung has a strong presence in the domestic market, with more than 86 dealership stores, eight official showrooms (company-owned), and more than 457 service stations. Hyosung/KR Motors also has branches in over 80 countries. Thanks to its research and development center, the company has successfully produced 250-700 cc water-cooled engines. KR Motors has produced a wide range of versatile motorcycles, including a cruiser lineup, sports bike lineup, scooters, and electric scooters.

2023 Hyosung/KR Motorcycles
Cruiser Entry-Level Cruiser Aquila 125S
Intermediate-Level Cruiser Aquila 300S
Aquila 300S Supreme
Performance Cruiser Mirage 650PRO
Scooter Gas-Powered Scooter Deli Road Pro
Beaver 125V STD
Beaver 125V DLX
Grantus 125
Partner 100
Yolo 125
Kwin 125
Kwin 350
Electric Scooter Elution
ISCO (E-Deli Road Pro)

3. The Remarkable History of Hyosung Motorcycles


3.1 Beginning

Hyosung Company, a South Korean brand, was established in 1966. It manufactures several technologically advanced products related to Industrial equipment, construction machinery, and information technology.


Photo Credit: Iconic Sport Cycle

In 1978, KR Motors established a separate division known as Hyosung to manufacture motorcycles, in Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea.


Photo Credit: Iconic Sport Cycle

Hyosung Industry formed a technical affiliation with Suzuki and received technical assistance and equipment to work on advanced projects. The relationship between Hyosung and Suzuki continued for more than three decades. Hyosung also manufactured several Suzuki motorcycles for different markets.


Photo Credit: Iconic Sport Cycle

3.2 Became the Official Motorcycle Provider for the 1988 Olympics

Hyosung became a globally recognized manufacturer by the industry leaders. As a result, it was appointed to provide motorcycles for the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. Hyosung was also assigned the responsibility of supplying motorcycles for the 86 Asian Games.


3.3 Establishing R&D Center

In 1986, the company decided to delve deeper into incorporating advanced technology and reliable components in its motorcycles. To improve the design and engineering, a state-of-the-art research and development center was established in Hamamatsu, Japan in 1986.


Establishing R&D Center
Photo Credit: Iconic Sport Cycle

3.4 Became a Self-Dependent Motorcycle Brand

Due to continuous progress in research and development, Hyosung became successful in designing and manufacturing its products, thanks to the available production facilities and technology.


In 1988, Hyosung became a reliable motorcycle brand and started exporting motorcycles, including the Hyosung FR50 and the Hyosung Familia 100 to Japan.


In 1990, Hyosung inaugurated separate branches for motorcycle and machine sales.


3.5 Established a New Manufacturing Facility

In 1991, Hyosung Motors established another manufacturing facility in Daejeon Daesung, South Korea.


In 1992, Hyosung also separated the service incorporation, along with the motorcycle and machine sales incorporations.


As part of the expansion plan, Hyosung started exporting the Hyosung CAB50 to Italy in 1994.


3.6 ISO Certification

In 1996, Hyosung received the ISO9001 quality certification for manufacturing reliable products. The company also crossed the production of 1 million motorcycles in 1996.


3.7 Global Expansion

In 1997, Hyosung contracted with several international companies in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Philippines as part of its expansion plan.


3.8 Another Milestone Achieved

Hyosung achieved another milestone in 2001 as the manufactured units exceeded 2 million.


Hyosung signed an agreement with a Chinese company for a joint venture.


In 2003, Hyosung Motors and Machinery was separated from the parent company, Hyosung Group, through a merger and acquisition process to become a specialized motorcycle manufacturer.


After separating itself from the Hyosung Group, Hyosung Motors & Machines Inc. successfully managed to normalize its operations and management. The debt reconciliation was also concluded in 2004 to ensure better growth and performance.


3.9 Entering the U.S. Market

In 2005, Hyosung took several decisions to continue its growth and expansion, including the expansion into new markets and partnering with international companies. The company entered the U.S. market by establishing a sales division. The partnership with Europe and Asia was also consolidated by strengthening the distributor network.

3.10 Introducing Recreational Vehicles

Hyosung entered the world of recreational vehicles in 2005 by manufacturing the Hyosung WOW50 and the Hyosung WOW100. Later, the company also produced the Hyosung LT160 and the Hyosung TE450. It was quite a surprising move by the Korean manufacturer as it was intended to produce low-powered and affordable motorcycles for riders who are looking for a daily commuter. However, Hyosung ATVs added versatility to the Hyosung products range.


The company’s brand name was changed from Hyosung Motors to S&T Motors, due to being acquired by a Korean company, S&T (Science and Technology) Group.


3.11 Acquisition by Kolao Group

In 2014, Kolao Group acquired the company and renamed the brand name to “KR Motors”. The acquisition helped the company reach global markets due to having a strong hold in China and India. As a result of the expansion, the company produced two popular models, including the Hyosung EXIV R (GD250R) and the Hyosung Yotta 80. The Hyosung EXIV R is an entry-level sports bike and the Hyosung Yotta 80 is a gas-powered scooter.

KR Motors continued expanding globally as a subsidiary was established in America and a showroom in Cambodia.


In 2015, San Yong Sung was appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of KR Motors.


In 2016, Tae Kwan Kim was appointed as the new President of KR Motors America.


Acquisition by Kolao Group
Photo Credit: Iconic Sport Cycle

KR Motors became one of the leading motorcycle brands in the domestic market with the highest market share and earned a total of 500 million dollars in global sales.

2020 Onwards

3.12 Current Position

Currently, the Hyosung Company is becoming well-known for its efforts to promote hydrogen-powered vehicles and establish charging stations. It has a variety of motorcycles in its 2023 lineup, including cruisers, performance cruisers, and scooters. The major focus of Hyosung is to promote the use of clean energy that does not affect the environment. The company has several electric scooters in the 2023 lineup.

4. Are Hyosung Motorcycles Any Good?

Hyosung motorcycles are not ideal for expert-level riders as they are not very powerful and technologically advanced motorcycles. However, they are ideal for beginners due to being cheaper, lightweight, low-powered, and reliable.

5. Wrap-Up

Established in 1966, Hyosung has gone through several ups and downs, mergers, and changes in the brand name. Despite being officially labeled as KR Motors, the brand is still marketed as Hyosung in most markets due to being used for decades. Hyosung Motorcycles are not the most iconic and popular motorcycle brand worldwide, but it still produces some of the best beginner-friendly motorcycles in most global markets. The company manufactures one of the simplest, most affordable, lightweight, low-powered, low-maintenance, and reliable motorcycles.

If you own a simple or classic motorcycle, you can always customize it to make it look attractive and improve its capabilities. Viking Bags offers top-class motorcycle parts, including fairings, crash bars, sissy bars, backrests, comfortable seats, and touring-oriented handlebars to improve the comfort and performance of your motorcycle for ideal touring performance. Viking Bags also has a variety of neatly-stitched leather and hard motorcycle luggage bags, including saddlebags, tank bags, and sissy bar bags.

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