My sweet long haul. It's long guys! I mean it's only like 2 kamen rider series long and you do get Hongo and Hayato so it's basically just 2 series.
It is very much the 1970s kids superhero show, and that's what you have to remember. I personally grew up with this kind of show so it was something familiar for me. I don't see this as dark in any way, despite the fact many seem to believe Showa series are darker. It's cheesy and goofy and it's just a fun episodic show.
Hongo Takeshi is lovable and does start off the show as our pained rider, who we are frequently reminded can no longer feel love, as he pets a puppy. Then he just leaves the show for a bit, comes back, and he's calmed down a lot about his inability to feel love and got the hang of holding things without crushing them with his inhuman strength.
I love Ichimonji Hayato, he's easily made it on my favourite riders list. I love this idiot who saw a dinosaur and thought it was a bird. However, it takes him and Taki to make up to one Hongo Takeshi, and even like that they don't make up a single cell of Hongo's brain. With them the show is just full of dumb antics and that's what I love from them. It's weird when we do get Hongo back and Taki has to be responsible and not steal eggs from Shocker while giggling.
If you're chill with a series being 90% silly nonsense where things are solved via deus ex machina, and can take 98 episodes of it, watch 1971. It's nice to see the original riders, it's nice to see Hongo as something other than the legendary kamen rider, and it's fantastic to have Ichimonji Hayato, absolute idiot who kicked a general in the crotch and is afraid of flying despite the fact he falls from helicopters weekly without any problems.
List of Series
Lupinranger vs Patoranger