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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. ChubbyFingers

    ChubbyFingers Tele-Holic

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    In the 80s I used to pull pints in a pub in Weston-Super-Mare in England called The Cavendish, later The Corner House. For those that might know Weston it used to be across the road from the Barclays Bank and opposite the back door into M&S. Nowadays it's a sushi restaurant.

    The landlady, Sue T, was from Coventry, reputedly connected by family to the Hells Angels there. 5 foot nothing in her socks, she had the meanest left upper cut you ever saw and once laid out the former west of England amateur middleweight champ with a single blow.

    Anyway. When she left school she got a job at the old Triumph Merriden factory, putting the tail light clusters on the old Bonnevilles and Tigers.

    She was shown a line of bikes, a rack of light clusters, buckets of bolts, nuts and shakeproof washers and told to get on with it.

    Now. Sue had never seen a shakeproof washer before. Regular washers, yes. Shakeproof washers, no. So Sue just assumed they were all broken and didn't bother using them.

    For about six months just about every new Triumph would lose its tail-lights...
     
  2. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    This is so true. And is still somewhat true today, you can find all sorts of wrecked bikes with low miles on the odometer.
     
  3. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    That is hilarious!!
     
  4. Bassman8

    Bassman8 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    The 125 Elsinore definitely was a game changer, another brilliant move by Honda. I know because we TM-125 (Suzuki's "hotshot" 125cc MX bike) riders were literally left in the dust when the Elsinores hit the track. I did get one and like my future 500 Four, it never gave me an ounce of trouble.
     
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  5. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    So those CBs were a little before my time, I got in on the second generation of Honda motorcycles that changed the motorcycle landscape.
    The Four Cylinder Magna and Sabres which debuted I believe in 1982 of which I had an '82 and an '83 model in the Magna trim.
    I had the VT750 model but always wanted its big brother the V65 1100cc model Magna which ran low 11's in the quarter.

    When I was a lead pastor I rode a motorcycle (the Magna at first and a VTX 1800 later) most days which made our church a magnet for motorcycle riders. So much so that we had our own T shirts and even had a project bike that we were "chopping out". It was a 79 CB 750 that someone donated to us. Alas we never got that bike finished, we spent more time laughing and goofing off than we did wrenching on that bike! Eventually we gave that bike to one of the guys who was bike less at the time and he finally finished it up and rode it for a long while.
     
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  6. Stubee

    Stubee Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I loved the 750, probably my most desired bike back when I really was getting serious about getting one. My wife finally got alarmed and said “maybe you should look at a new (used) truck?” as she knew that might pull me away, and in those times of very little money it did. Probably a good thing.

    I first got to ride little 2-strokes my friend Duke’s dad sold back in the 1960s, then my friend Ernie got into bikes so I got to ride a few, including his Goldwing with sidecar. Now that was weird to take curves in! My uncle had a Goldwing he gladly let me take & my sister got a 750 for her boyfriend to take her around on and there I went again. All that fun riding and I never bought one, maybe something inside me saying “It’s ok for others but not YOU”. I do envy all the riders I know.

    The 750 was the only bike I ever dumped, catching it in fresh deep gravel as I was turning around at the end of a driveway. That was hugely embarrassing and I was glad the homeowner wasn’t out mowing his grass to witness me getting it upright, seeing it was fine and motoring on as though nothing had happened.
     
  7. John E

    John E Friend of Leo's

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    So cool. Definitely put Honda on the map forever. My first Honda was a 1975 (or so) XL-75 that we would tool up and down my road on... back and forth, back and forth... for hours at a time… lol. Memories I will never forget.

    My favorite Honda I owned however, an 89' Hawk GT (NT650). The Ducati Monster before the Ducati Monster. Still has a cult following. I wish they would do a reissue of this bike, I would buy it in a second. Thing handled like it was on rails. So far ahead of it's time.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. electrichead

    electrichead Tele-Holic

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    My older brothers friend had a cb750 and it was like 1971 or so and he took me for a ride.
    Which was pretty unusual because mostly he picked on me as older brother and friends usually do.
    Within a few years I had a 72 xlch HD and a 75 kz1000.
    I was hooked
     
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  9. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    Forgot about those. It handled 100% better than any previous Japanese off roader. The Elsinore was the first evidence that the Japanese makers finally understood damping and springing.
     
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  10. ChubbyFingers

    ChubbyFingers Tele-Holic

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    One quirky little bike sold in the UK for a couple of years was the Yamaha TRX850.

    It had a trellis frame like a Ducati 900ss but a parallel twin out of the Yamaha TDM850.

    It handled superbly (I had one myself - black too just like the picture) but was a little under-powered for serious 900SS competitions. Bit of a "gurlie bike" therefore. I replaced it with a Yamaha YZF1000R "ThunderAce", a big jellymold thing that was blisteringly fast (same engine as the original R1) but handling was definitely in the sports tourer / oil tanker mode.
     

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  11. kingofdogs1950

    kingofdogs1950 Tele-Afflicted

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    Whoa, I haven't thought about Honda choppers in years. I had a totally pimped out Honda 750/4 chopper sitting in my garage for a couple of years.
    It was donated to my brother's church and somehow ended up in my garage.
    Old school, no front brake, raked out forks.

    My roomie bought a Elsinore 250 when they first came out.
    What a great bike!
    I had a Yammie 175 and my friends had various other Japanese dirt bikes.
    The Elsinore was sooooo much better.
    I wanted a faster bike so I got a BSA 500 Victor.
    Wellll... it was faster when it actually ran. It was incredibly hard to start. Very high compression and hard to kick over, even with a compression release. I learned to bump start, hopefully with the help of a friendly hill.
    I eventually gave it to my brother in law.

    Mark

    img_i7asx5VeAJnTd0r.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2020
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  12. Jonzilla

    Jonzilla Tele-Meister

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    20200329_131423.jpg 20200329_134318.jpg I love 70s Honda's! Maybe some of y'all can appreciate my '75 CB550K1:
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2020
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  13. esseff

    esseff Tele-Afflicted

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    Oh, man, why did you have to post that picture... I've been done with motorcycles for the last ten years but that one's got my oil circulating again. :cool:
    I love that old style and it's as near as damn-it to my CB500/4.
     
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  14. Skub

    Skub Poster Extraordinaire

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    I was never a Honda fan,it was always the big K for me and still is!

    No denying Soichiro's place in history though,he changed everything.

    This was my first big bike.

    [​IMG]

    This is my current ride.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Bassman8

    Bassman8 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Some of those big bore dirt bikes had a sinister look to them. Sometimes you could judge a book by it's cover...that includes some of the Japanese bikes of the era too.
     
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  16. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    This photo reminded me of a ride I went on a couple of years ago. We took a ride through extremely twisty roads on Vancouver island to a place called Port Renfrew. It’s beautiful and it’s an exciting ride. There were 6 or 7 of us on the ride but in the front was a Ducati 1098, followed by my GSXR and a good friend on his 72 Honda 750 with a Jardine pipe. His bike looks a lot like your 550. It wasn’t loud, just a little throaty and his bike runs just about right.

    At one point the Ducati got on the throttle so the Honda and I were in pursuit. The Ducati has long legs and really takes off in the straights and my GSXR is faster in the straights than the Honda but in the corners that Honda was like glue. There was absolutely no way to shake him in the corners. It was outrageous how well that bike handled.
     
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  17. ChubbyFingers

    ChubbyFingers Tele-Holic

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    ^It's often more the jockey than the steed, remember.
     
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  18. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    But would it go a ton?
     
  19. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    It didn’t happen to me but wrecking a motorcycle in the first couple months of ownership is fairly common. There is more to riding a bike than being able to balance it. As a note I have not ridden in thirty years.
     
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  20. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Yes, for sure with that guy. He's a pilot for his day job and he's got a few motorbikes for fun. He's also got a GSXR like mine and it is extremely tricky to keep up with him.
     
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