Renowned Hon­daphile cel­e­brates the grand­daddy of the su­per­bike hit­ting its half-cen­tury


Honda guru throws a party to mark the CB’S 50th an­niver­sary

I’ve never seen so many sohc Honda CB750S in one place be­fore. Prob­a­bly, un­less you worked on Honda’s pro­duc­tion line be­tween late 1968 and 1978, nei­ther have you. But Honda parts spe­cial­ist David Sil­ver couldn’t let the 50th an­niver­sary of the launch of the first mod­ern su­per­bike pass with­out cel­e­bra­tion. After all, the ground-break­ing CB750 has been in­stru­men­tal to the suc­cess of his clas­sic Honda parts busi­ness. He owes it one. To­day, David has thrown open his busi­ness premises and the Honda mu­seum he opened in 2016 in Leis­ton, Suf­folk, to wel­come CB750 own­ers to show off their ma­chines – and Honda fans to ad­mire them. En­try to the mu­seum is free for the day, while Bon­hams Auc­tions, the Honda Own­ers Club, Dream Ma­chine Ra­ce­paint and CR replica spe­cial­ists Good-bits have turned up to help the party go with a swing and David has even ar­ranged for good weather. There are nearly 84 en­tries in his eight-class con­cours com­pe­ti­tion, plus eas­ily the same again in CB750 rid­ers who’ve just turned up to en­joy the show.

Honda’s CB750 was of­fi­cially launched at the Oc­to­ber Tokyo Show in 1968. The bike was a vi­sion of the fu­ture. Four cylin­ders, 68bhp, elec­tric start, a disc front brake, in­di­ca­tors as stan­dard – and, most tellingly, a level of smooth­ness, re­li­a­bil­ity, so­phis­ti­ca­tion and per­for­mance never be­fore seen on a mass pro­duced ma­chine.

All of which ex­plains why there’s such a good turnout for this par­tic­u­lar birth­day bash. Plenty of the bikes have been rid­den in and there’s a buzz about the place.

Just about ev­ery vari­ant of the sohc CB750 is on show to­day. From early ‘sand­cast’ mod­els (the rough fin­ish on the crank­case cast­ings is ac­tu­ally the re­sult of grav­ity diecast­ing rather than sand-cast­ing) to rare vari­ants like Philip Cronin’s CB750A au­to­matic, a hand­ful of Phil Read Repli­cas, Honda Bri­tains and some won­der­ful spe­cials. But even­tu­ally the con­cours win­ners are picked out and the classy glass tro­phies handed out (see panel on the right for the class win­ners).

Truth­fully, though, ev­ery bike and ev­ery owner has a story to tell. Like the judges, we were spoilt for choice. Turn the page for a few tales – and spe­cial bikes – from a great day. And there’s only 10 years to wait un­til the 60th an­niver­sary event...

CB750S from all years and in all hues vis­ited Sil­ver’s Suf­folk base for the get-to­gether

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