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  1. #1
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    Oct 2012
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    The First "SuperBike"

    Honda CB750 is still widely referred to as the original or the first superbike of the world and not many can argue otherwise. First to have a disc-brake and an electric starter and the one responsible for popularizing the inline-4 cylinder configuration, the Honda CB750 is one of the most significant and iconic motorcycles in the world. And it has just turned 50!

    In the 1960s, Honda was doing very well all over the world but they quickly realized that the Super Cub and the performance-oriented CB450 (with a parallel-twin DOHC engine) were not enough to make an impact in the US market. The need was to build something bigger and more powerful.

    It was the same year when Soichiro Honda, founder of Honda Motor Company, was suggested to build the “King of Motorcycles”, especially for the American market. Honda realized that they will have to put their racing experience to use and build a motorcycle that was fast with high-speed cruising ability and still is safe. Also, it shall be comfortable enough for long rides with a wide and high handlebar. Precisely what works in the American market.

    They showcased the motorcycle in 1968 and subsequently, launched it in 1969. A motorcycle with an air-cooled inline-4 750cc engine, round headlamp, a high handlebar, and a flat seat with disc brakes and an electric starter. The CB750 was a groundbreaking motorcycle and its acceleration was unmatched by any other production motorcycle with a top speed going over 190 km/h. The combination of a performance-oriented inline 4 engine and the added safety of the front disc brake meant that the CB750 closely resembled Honda’s GP racing motorcycles of that time. The motorcycle became an instant hit and it overwhelmed Honda with exceedingly high demand.

    The biggest impact of the CB750 is in the fact that it was the first motorcycle to be called a “Superbike”. It was a complete package. The CB750 has been featured in Discovery Channel’s “Greatest Motorbikes Ever” and the Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan includes the CB750 as one of the “240 Landmarks of Japanese Automotive Technology”. The design of the CB750 led to many similar looking sportbikes from other Japanese motorcycle manufacturers. For this reason, the CB750 is known as the Universal Japanese Motorcycle (UJM).
    "It was also the final nail in the coffin of the ailing British bike industry. Within a decade, BSA, Norton, Royal Enfield and effectively even Triumph were no more. No mean feat for a bike that went from idea to metal in around six months."

    Also did great damage to Harley as this guy explains: (he also refers to it as the "father of modern motorcycling")

    Other interesting links with similar write-ups (and great pics):



    Here's mine: 1976 CB750F "Super Sport" Sulfur Yellow

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    "Real Boys Kiss Boys" -M.L.




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