Although for many years manufacturers have produced what are virtually replicas of the 'Works' racing machines, for sale to the general public, if is true to say that no machine captured the interest of the motor cyclist so vividly as the first production version of the Honda 4 cylinder. Already a legend in racing circles, the Honda 4 had represented a serious challenge ,whenever it appeared in International events. With riders such as the late Bob MacIntyre, Jim Redman and Mike Hailwood, the 4 demonstrated its supremacy on frequent occasions, irrespective of whether the 125 cc, 250 cc, 350 cc or 500 cc version was raced. Even the previously unbeaten multi-cylinder Italian models no longer had their own way and were hard put to continue racing under truly competitive terms.

At the end of 1967 Honda withdrew from racing and commenced work on a road going version of their in-line 4, scaled up to 750 cc. Without question it was designed to be the number one 'Superbike', a position it has occupied since its introduction in 1969. In engine layout it follows the lines of the racing machines closely, a feature heightened by the use of four carburetors and four sets of exhaust pipes and silencers, two on each side of the machine. A speedometer calibrated up to 150 mph and a tachometer with the red band commencing at 8500 rpm completed the 'street racer' effect, which led to such a peak of interest that over 61,000 Honda 750 cc 4's were sold IN THE USA ALONE in just over three years. In Britain, the 750 model was first imported during January 1970, designated the model CB 750. It enjoyed a similar reception from discerning motor cyclists and soon became a fairly familiar sight on the roads, even though most only saw its rapidly disappearing rear view. It is still in production today, substantially unchanged in outward appearance, although greatly improved as the result of an incredible number of modifications aimed at making a good product even better. The Honda Motor Company Limited has an uncanny knack of producing the right machine at the right time and establishing yet another trend for others to follow. The 750/4 was no exception.

Against a background of rumours of Honda's return to GP road racing, the CB 750F model was introduced. It incorporated Honda's new styling, giving it the 'cafe racer' image. The four-into-one exhaust, and rear disc brake were the most obvious external changes. Other minor changes have were also made, bringing this popular model up to date for the mid '70s.

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August 6, 2003, 6:50 pm
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