The Honda CB750 Four – A Historical Achievement for 1969
I don’t remember the production release of 1969 when the Honda CB750 started hitting the showrooms and was only 11 at the time. Here now 46 years later though, and thousands of us still live with these bikes. Honda introduced the CB750 Four Motorcycle to the world and in doing so, re-wrote what would become the New Normal. It was the first production traverse in-line Four. Four cylinders, four carburetors, four pipes, and a Front Disc Brake. All this was amazing stuff for 1969. It would take years for the rest to catch up. More than ½ Million CB750 Fours were made in just 10 years! (553,400) The last SOHC 750 Four was made almost 40 years ago, ending that amazing run in 1978.
The new, 1969 Honda would cruise at 100 mph all day long, it didn’t leak oil, and it was reliable as a rock. Honda’s new CB750 would in fact, re-write the new standard for drive chains. Chain breakage on the Honda was a first for motorcycling. Never before had so much power been available in a production motorcycle and the technology in link chains was simply not up to the task. With the unfortunate breaks came a wadding of chain links between the front sprocket and engine case that would knock a hole in the crankcase. Most of the broken cases were those limited and now coveted “Sand Cast” models. Many at Honda never believed the CB750 would sell – just “Too Big”, so they did not invest in the expensive Die-Cast Molds need to make Die-Cast parts used in high-production manufacturing. Instead, they used less costly molds of Sand, thus the term “Sand Cast”. The first 7,500 (approx.) engines would be made this way.
If you remember these motorcycles new, then you’ll remember and lived through the OPEC Embargo of 1974. Gasoline was rationed and fueling stations all over the country could actually “run-out” of gasoline to pump. Honda saw this Gas Crisis as a potential for new customers – those non-motorcycling riders who couldn’t use a clutch or change gears of a conventional motorcycle. They immediately started working on “Automatics” motorcycles that would use automatic clutches and no shifting to lure in new riders desperately looking for improved gas mileage. 1st choice was their rock-solid CB750 and to further intice the younger and “Misses” of the house – the CB400 Twin Automatic for her.
I don’t know of another motorcycle that has a bigger following. Thousands of these bikes are ridden every day, thousands more are being restored, modified, and collected. The CB750 is rarely the only bike an owner has, but they’ll tell you that it’s something they are attached to. The Honda CB750 has to be one of the easiest bikes to get parts for. There are so many of these being resurrected and preserved today that modern-day manufacturing companies are still making parts for this 40+ year old motorcycle! I did an eBay search just today and there were 71,077 “parts” that show for sale. A Google Search returned 534,000 related links.
These are photos of my 1974 CB750 Four model. This was an eBay purchase at $116. With some passion and some choice parts from the 10’s of thousands available, I built myself a wonderful “period Hot-Rod” just like the street-racer guy would build himself in 1974. Fully Balanced Crankshaft, 836cc Big-Bore, Balanced Wiseco Forged Pistons and Pins, MegaCycle Cam, Titanium Retainers, Kibble White Dual Springs and Stainless Valves, 5-Angle Serdi Valve Job, APE Heavy-Duty Studs Lower and Upper, Fully Balanced Carrillo Connecting Rods for a bullet-proof bottom end, Flow-Bench Porting, and CR29 Smoothbore Road-Race Carburetors breathing through large K&N Performance Filters. This list of parts is just some of those savory goodies that I’ve spent 40 years Dreaming of and Telling myself “one day, one-day” – well I’m glad I made that day happen some years ago. I love my CB750 Four and I loved building it even more.
I do want to take this time to acknowledge the SOHC4.net Forum group. This is the best group of guys that I have ever shared a public forum with. Thousands of exchanges and advice given and I have never seen a fight or dispute on the site. It’s All Motorcycle and lots of great advice and inputs. If you ever find yourself wanting one or maybe getting a Honda CB750, Go here First –
Gordon’s Frame Kit for the Honda CB750 SOHC (video)
Published on July 27, 2015
Gordon’s Frame Kit is designed to give access to the top end of the Honda CB750 SOHC motorcycle produced from 1969 through 1978. With Gordon’s Frame kit you can preform in the frame maintenances and repairs.
The Honda CB750 SOHC motorcycle was not designed for in-the-frame repairs. But, the Gordon Frame Kit makes that possible.
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