All hail the Honda CB750…

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - CONTENTS - Ed­i­tor Bsim­monds@mor­

A bet­ter mo­tor­cy­cle jour­nal­ist than I (aren’t they all?) once told me that he thought that the Honda CB750 was the most im­por­tant two-wheeler of the 20th Cen­tury. He fig­ured that Honda’s move to large ca­pac­ity, multi-cylin­der mo­tor­cy­cles at the end of 1968 was a seis­mic change that led to the dom­i­na­tion of Ja­panese mo­tor­cy­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers and that it was the CB750 – not the hum­ble, multi-mil­lion sell­ing Honda C90 – that showed the way to the fu­ture. The same jour­nal­ist says that we should look again to the Far East – al­beit China and Korea this time – for the next rev­o­lu­tion. With th­ese man­u­fac­tur­ers ei­ther pro­duc­ing sin­gles, twins or old-spec four-cylin­der mo­tors, will we see them move into other, larger ca­pac­ity for­mats? And if so, what ma­chines will grace CMM’S cover in an­other 50 years’ time? Me? Be­ing born in 1971 I kinda missed out on the furore be­hind the bike it­self, but it had ram­i­fi­ca­tions with my older male fam­ily mem­bers – most of whom were bik­ers. Pretty soon the old Nor­tons, Tri­umphs and BSAS that I was sat on as a nip­per for pic­tures were re­placed by Ja­panese ma­chines, two-strokes, four-strokes and – ul­ti­mately – big-bore four strokes, Kawasakis and Yama­has mainly. Along with the 50th an­niver­sary of the un­veil­ing of the Honda CB750 in this is­sue, we are also look­ing back at the first 15 years of the World Su­per­bike championship, which is 30 this year. The spec­ta­cle of Jap four-cylin­der 750s bat­tling dom­i­nant V-twin Du­catis will never be for­got­ten. We hope you en­joy the is­sue.

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