Honda CB 750

Honda CB 750 1960s Japanese classic motorbike

The Honda CB750 could be considered the point at which motorcycling's modern era began. Technically, it was released in '69 - but its presence so suffused the Seventies that it cannot but be grouped with bikes of that decade. Kawasaki's Z1 is often thought of as the first Japanese 'superbike' - and with some justification. But timeline-wise, the CB 750 was first out of the traps ... and by four years, at that.

The CB 750's four, across-the-frame cylinders were clear evidence there was a new kid on the block. The corresponding quartet of silencers served to hammer home that powerful message. Overall, the CB 750 was 'solidity' encapsulated. But it was stylish solidity. The petrol tank, in particular, was sleek and well-rounded. The multi-spoked wheels were a latticed delight. Paintwork and chrome vied for attention. The CB's front disc brake was technologically advanced. High handlebars - and a well-padded seat - were tailor-made for long journeys. Of course, the 750 was primarily pitched as an all-rounder in the showrooms.

The CB was a big success, sales-wise. That was only to be expected from a bike which topped out at 125mph - and also handled reasonaby well. Honda's rivals fell over themselves to match it. As a result, the CB furthered the cause of motorcycling. The day of the 'Jap Classic' had dawned!

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