Clymer Manuals Honda CB750 K0 Sandcast Vintage Motorcycle
Clymer Manuals CB750 KO sandcast on display at the 2013 HoAME Vintage Motorcycle Rally.
The Honda CB750 is a motorcycle built in several model series between 1969 and 2003, and also in 2007, that is recognized as a milestone for Honda's successful introduction of the transverse, overhead camshaft inline four-cylinder engine that has been seen ever since in the dominant sport bike configuration. Though MV Agusta had sold such a model in 1965, and it had been used in racing engines before World War II, the CB750 is recognized as the four-cylinder sport bike that had a lasting impact and is often called the first superbike. The model is included in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Classic Bikes, the Discovery Channel's "Greatest Motorbikes Ever," and was in The Art of the Motorcycle exhibition, and is in the UK National Motor Museum.
Honda of Japan introduced the CB750 motorcycle to the US and European markets in 1969 after experiencing success with their smaller motorcycles. The bike was targeted directly at the US market after Honda officials, including founder Soichiro Honda, repeatedly met with US dealers and understood the opportunity for a larger bike.
Under development for a year, the CB750 offered two unprecedented features, a front disc brake and a transverse straight-4 engine with an overhead camshaft, neither of which was previously available on a mainstream, affordable production bike. These two features, along with the introductory price of US$1,495 (US$9,359 in current money), gave the CB750 a considerable advantage over its competition, particularly its British rivals.
Cycle magazine called the CB750 "the most sophisticated production bike ever" upon its introduction. Cycle World called it a masterpiece, highlighting Honda's painstaking durability testing, the bike's 120 mph (190 km/h) top speed, the fade-free performance of the braking, the comfortable ride and excellent instrumentation.
The CB750 was the first modern four-cylinder machine from a mainstream manufacturer, and the term superbike was coined to describe it. The bike offered other important features that added to its compelling value: electric starter, kill switch, dual mirrors, flashing turn signals, easily maintained valves and overall smoothness and freedom from vibration both underway and at a standstill; later models (1991 on) included maintenance-free hydraulic valves. On the other hand, the bike was difficult to get on its center stand and tended to throw chain oil onto its muffler.
Unable to gauge demand for the new bike accurately, Honda limited its initial investment in the production dies for the CB750 by using a technique called permanent mold casting (often erroneously referred to as sandcasting) rather than diecasting for the engines -- unsure of the bike's reception. The bike remained in the Honda lineup for ten years, with sales totaling over 400,000 in its life span.
The CB750 is sometimes referred to as a Universal Japanese Motorcycle or UJM. The Discovery Channel ranked the Honda CB750 third among the top ten greatest motorbikes of all time.
CB750F Super Sport