remembering the unbelievable buzz when the original 750cc 4 cyl Honda was introduced.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by doctorunderhill, May 31, 2020.

  1. Boil

    Boil Tele-Holic

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    I had a CB900F back in the early 80s, it was a great bike, a little top heavy but handled pretty well, silver with blue stripes, a thing of beauty.
    Went over to my neighbours last summer to admire his Norton and he opens up one if his trailers and there is a silver and blue 900F in all its glory, that sure took me back.
    That being said I am giving up on bikes, just don't enjoy them anymore, once my Goldwing is sold that's it for me.
     
  2. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    Right out of high school in '73 I was wrenching in a Honda dealership. The 750 4-cyl was a huge seller, had power, handled better and had a more controllable power band than the crazy Kaws, was sophisticated, and a great value. The 500 4-cyl was the tamer, mid-range 4, but smooth and did everything right. The 350 4-cyl was ultra-smooth and kinda pointless as a bike, more like a 2-wheeled appliance.

    In Indiana there was no separate drivers license for motorcycles. The dealership would provide about 30 minutes of instruction and off you went into traffic. The stats for new Hondas we sold was 25% were totaled within 1,000 miles. No joke.
     
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  3. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Afflicted

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    My first time on a bike was as a passenger, at about age 7-8, on one of my parents’ friend’s CB550 four. It was still pretty new. I remember loving how it sounded and the little row of multicolored lozenge-shaped indicator lights between the green-faced gauges. Somewhere my mom still has a photo of me sitting on that thing, up on its center stand, in my underwear.

    How long could a little kid ride as a passenger in traffic on a big bike today before black DFS helicopters gave chase?

    I am 51 now and have a ‘77 CB750A “Hondamatic” sitting in the garage awaiting some rewiring. It’s been sitting there just like that for several years. By the time I get around to it I think I will be too afraid of riding in traffic to get much use out of it.
     
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  4. P-Nutz

    P-Nutz Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    CB 350 here!
     
  5. dickey

    dickey Tele-Afflicted

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    I had about 8 CB750s, from '73, to my last twin cam 81, including a brand new Hondamatic 750 that I got for a song.
    Vintage rice is nice, but Harleys are my thing now.
     
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  6. Torren61

    Torren61 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I had a 1972 Honda 754. Very fast.
     
  7. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    My first street bike was a 1973 GT 750 Le Mans with smoothbores, expando chambers, ported and polished. It was a wheelie machine! I rode that from 1983 until 1986 when I bought my 1985 GSXR750. I’ve still got the GSXR. I’ll post a photo of the GT. I’ve got a really crappy copy of a scan a buddy of mine sent me.

    Here’s my GSXR750. This woke up the 750 motorbike world in a big way in 1985 and it hasn’t been the same since. Pssst... There’s a 1989 GSXR 750RR under the tarp. 1 of 500 made.

    7E2AB051-2932-4BA1-9E74-8874949530A0.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
  8. John Backlund

    John Backlund Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I've owned about sixty motorcycles since 1966, and ridden several hundred others over the years, but the first generation, two-valve, CB750 is one bike that, to this day, I've never even ridden.

    On the other hand, I've owned seven 1970's Suzuki GT750 two-stroke triples, and still own that seventh one, which is currently undergoing a bit of a 'refreshing' at the moment, and will be back on the road sometime in mid-summer. It is a 1976 GT750A.

    Here it is as I bought it last fall...
    IMG_20191119_150109360_HDR.jpg

    And as it is today...
    IMG_20200406_172204307.jpg

    But concerning the old Honda fours, although my personal experience with the original edition of that great and iconic motorcycle is about zero, I do, however, have a pretty good time on my '17 Honda CB1100EX, which could be considered the modern continuation of those great air-cooled Honda fours from the late 70's and early 80's, with some notable 'improvements' of course.
    IMG_20200508_134225152_HDR.jpg

    I rode it about eighty miles out in the Black Hills today, in fact. Here it is looking pretty alongside a friend's 1200 ZRX Kawasaki (I also owned one of those some years ago too)...
    IMG_20200506_125357388_HDR.jpg

    The CB1100EX is a fabulous motorcycle in the retro/nostalgia vein, and just a great bike all-around, very well-built and finished, and obviously, looks amazing...
    IMG_20200506_125416852_HDR.jpg

    My other current 'retro' machine (besides my '15 1200 Sportster) is a 2016 Triumph Thruxton R 1200...
    IMG_20180910_085252237_HDR.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
  9. rz350

    rz350 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I've worked on many 750 Hondas...

    The most memorable was a '75 single cammer that the owner of the motorcycle shop where I worked had, he was so determined to make that thing fast...

    He had a ported head, big cam, header, smoothbore Mikuni's, aftermarket ignition, he still could not beat my modified RZ350.... :)

    He then put an 836 cc kit in it, bigger valves, he spent a metric **** ton of money on that thing.... Still would not beat my RZ350!

    I weighed at least 80 pounds less than him, so we'd swap bikes, I'd let him ride my RZ, he'd give me about 5 bike lengths on a rolling start, then he would reel me in on my bike,and blow by his bike at about 70 MPH... It was driving him crazy! We'd run up to 135 MPH or so....

    The problem was, my RZ350 was making around 72 HP on the wheel, and weighed almost 250 pounds less than that Honda, he was making around 80 HP, but he needed a bunch more! ;)

    He finally bought my '83 GPz1100 with a 1260 kit in it, that bike would eat my RZ alive!! :)
     
  10. 1293

    1293 Poster Extraordinaire

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    My college roommate was looking to buy one. He took it for a test ride and crashed into a parked car in about 3 seconds.:lol:
     
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  11. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    My best friend had an slightly modded RZ350 in the 80’s. My GSXR could outrun it but the RZ ruled the corners and except for top speed the RZ was unbeatable. It was so light and flickable it was just that much quicker.
     
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  12. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Afflicted

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    They had an accessory for the Kawasaki 750 Mach: A helmet with a rollerskate attached to the top with the wheels pointing up for when the wheelies went too far.:rolleyes::p:D
     
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  13. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    I had a 650 Bonneville look pretty and to leak oil and a kettle to ride. :D
     
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  14. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Here we go... This is a badly scanned photo of me and my first street bike. What a beauty! This is probably August or September of 1983.

    Andy's-Water-Buffalo.jpg
     
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  15. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    My second bike was a 750Four. Great bike - I put around 50K miles on it. Had it for a long time.
     
  16. ChubbyFingers

    ChubbyFingers Tele-Meister

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    The free smokescreen came in handy when radar guns and speed cameras were introduced too :)
     
  17. ChubbyFingers

    ChubbyFingers Tele-Meister

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    My last bike was a Ducati 916 I bought brand new in August 1997. I modded it with all carbon fiber bodywork from QB Carbon, John Hackett pipes, ignition chip air intakes and air filter, Marchesini wheels, Online forks and rear shock, AP Racing 6 piston brake calipers and cast iron rotors and a host of other mods.

    To cut a long story short it got trashed crossing the Altantic but someone bought it and apparently it's still in existence (currently on a SORN) somewhere in the UK.

    After living in the northeast of Scotland with its narrow very twisty up and down roads, free of traffic lights, traffic cops and F150 driving Yahoo's, no desire to ride in Houston.

    I have a long stalled project to build a T160 powered Triton. The frame was prepared by Dave Degens of Dresda and I have completed the rest of the frame with R6 right-way-up forks, trees and calipers, Norvil (Brembo really) 13 inch rotors. A Norman Hyde 1000cc stroked crankshaft is sitting ready.
     
  18. esseff

    esseff Tele-Afflicted

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    The 750/4 was a big nail in the coffin of the British motorcycles industry. Why kickstart an unreliable, oil-leaking, vibrating bike when you could ride a stylish machine with an electric starter that fired up the engine every time, had indicators and a rev-counter, didn't leave a puddle of oil underneath it and came home with all the bits it left with. Admittedly the early Japanese bikes weren't up to the same handling standards and the disc brakes had a disconcerting lag in the rain but it was a small price to pay for the greatly-increased reliability. I had a 1972 model Honda 500/4 and it never let me down mechanically, unlike British bikes I'd owned or ridden.
    A Triumph Bonneville T120R was one of the worst machines I ever had the misfortune to buy; the only good thing I can say about it was it gave me a good trade-in value against a Moto Guzzi V50. The dealer never knew that I wiped all evidence of oil leaks from it five minutes before I rode it there.
     
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  19. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Tele-Meister

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    I remember a good many ole Honda 4 cyl. bikes being made into choppers around here in the late 70s.

    Straight pipes and huge sissy bars ...lol
     
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  20. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    We were into dirt bikes then... the Honda Elsinore 125 was more of a game changer on our dirt tracks..;)

    I think an older cousin had a Honda 4/750...

    I do remember a day when we first heard/saw a Honda 4 go by with 4 into 1 pipes... that was a kind of Wow moment... no pipes/chrome on one side?.. wth?..
     
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