…but also. Scott Redmond on alternatives for old Honda fours.
1969 bike had sandcast crankcases (and now daft prices); these quickly gave way to more conventional and cheaper to produce cast items. By the mid-seventies the SOHC had serious competition. Kawasaki had stolen the thunder with its Z1 and subsequent models. Suzuki had stayed loyal to the two-stroke with their GT750, perhaps not a direct competitor for the sensible Honda 750 four. Suzuki knocked it up a gear and gave us the GS750 (their first four-stroke) and it made the CB750 look dated all of a sudden. The later 750 SOHC models came thick and fast, an assortment of makeovers and tapping into trends of the time, with K and F models and also the odd custom.
The 750 F1 in its yellow splendour looked fresh-faced, but its spoke wheels looked silly in a world of mag wheels. The F2 then came along, it had Comstar wheels and the engine was blackened up, but it was all too little too late. Of all the SOHC models it is probably the one that has stood the test of time the best, its long slender tank and saddle giving it a sleeker look, beneath the tin though it was still pretty much an early Seventies model. Honda created the Phil Read Replica/honda Britain machine, which had a huge endurance-racer inspired fairing, big twin lamps and matching seat unit. The reworked tank added to the racer look. There was no shortage of aftermarket frame kits for the SOHC engine, offerings from Rickman, Seeley
had potential. The Honda CB750F arrived in 1980 wearing its euro-designed clothes, an angular tank, space invader-style graphics and it was identical to the CB900F, so it carried kudos with it. A bloke called Freddie Spencer helped with its image and it made the SOHC range look very last year. The 750F held the Honda 750 fort into the Eighties. With technology changing at an alarming pace many weren’t too surprised when Honda retired the inline four in favour of the future and that future was the V4 layout. The VF range stole the headlines, but Honda didn’t turn its back completely on the configuration that had helped make it the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer.
The CBX750F was introduced to the range in 1983, its handsome looks alone made it stand out, but the jewel in its crown was the engine. The VF750 range gave Honda nightmares and bad press, with their chocolate cam issues, meanwhile the CBX750F quietly got on with being a superb motorcycle. In just over a decade Honda developed the 750 on many levels, technically and cosmetically and, sure, those bikes from the summer of ‘69 are classics, groundbreakers and your Trevor Francis bikes, but, for me, the CBX750F is more like your Brooking, a loyal servant and a little overlooked. We’ll never know what Brooking was worth really because he only ever kicked a ball for one top flight club, but I reckon he’d have got a few quid more than that other Trevor. If you want to own an air-cooled 750 Honda, after you’ve stopped dreaming about the SOHC, start searching for a DOHC CBX750F.
This went for more than £50k!
Good ones cost the earth! and Dresda autos and they all fabricated frames and chassis kits for the Honda motor. It wasn’t until 1979 that Honda parked the ageing SOHC and went back to the drawing board. The CB750KZ wasn’t that much of an improvement visually, but its DOHC engine
Scottie says try a humble CBX. Bert says try a CB1300.