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In a distant 1969, man stepped on the Moon for the first time, at the Woostock festival love was proclaimed and not war and, among other stories, Sling commercialized the first motorcycle of the modern era that left a deep mark on the memory of the Motards who dreamed of what was the first superbike in history.
This mythical naked was the start of the brand’s four-cylinder family, a deep inspirational footprint for the current range of large naked (CB1000R, CB650R).
If we look back, in the 1968 Tokyo Motor Show a gray prototype with red stripes was presented. A four-cylinder in-line motorcycle, with four independent exhausts reminiscent of those of Grand Prix motorcycles and, among other novelties, a simple front disc brake that has never been seen on a series production bike.
The Electrical start It was another of his delicacies. The commercialization of the Honda CB750 in its first version (K0) continued with different versions until the CB750F2 of 1978.
The first Superbike
Considered the first superbike in history, the CB750 Four represents the transition to modern times. Until then, Italian factories like Moto Guzzi, Laverda or Ducati, the BMW German or British like Norton, Triumph or BSA they dominated the market among large-displacement motorcycles.
With the CB Four, the Japanese began their landing in Europe in 1969, coinciding with the arrival of the spectacular Kawasaki 500 H1 Mach 3 and its three-cylinder two-stroke engine… Before the Four, in 1968, Kawasaki brought its 650 W2 SS, a copy of a two-cylinder BSA, to the Old Continent.
But the bike that broke the most schemes was the CB Four, of which they were sold between 1969 and 1977 55,400 units.
His 4-cylinder in-line capable of performing 67 hp at 8,000 rpm and its hydraulically controlled front disc brake, the first ever on a production bike, made the difference.
The thruster provided a hitherto unknown feel and was capable of skim 200 kilometers per hour in an engine that had its weak point in a secondary drive chain and stability at high speeds.
With a 61 x 63 mm engine dimensions, it was not the most powerful of its time (the Kawasaki 750 H2 2-stroke produced 74 hp), but the power delivery and smoothness from its inline four cylinder, powered by four Keihin carburettorsIt is surprising even fifty years later.
The chassis was a double cradle in steel tubes combined with stamped sheet metal elements; the suspensions, hydraulic both front and rear, and its weight, barely 220 kg dry.
It’s funny how a model with fifty years of history can be so far away in time and at the same time so close to the present in terms of sensations. Logically the passage of time is inevitable, but the fact that in recent decades the aesthetics of models from the sixties and seventies have been present on the market again, does not distance this little girl too much. Sling CB750 Four of the motorcycle image currently in the catalog.
It is surprising how small it is to stand still and, once seated in the comfortable seat, the feet are slightly forward and the hands up. Very high.
In fact, this handlebar so high was one of the few criticisms that received the CB Four at the time, because fifty years ago it was not understood how a motorcycle capable of performing 67 hp and reach 200 kilometers / hour offered so poor aerodynamic protection.
Today we are not surprised at all, since we have large naked on the market with more than 140 hp. The general feel of the Four seemed correct to me, although logically the gearbox is louder than we are used to, the clutch requires more effort and the front brake … well I can say little more than it simply brakes very little when compared to the brakes of our days.
That is why one has to get used to and take braking references well in advance. But this is a 50-year-old motorcycle that continues to turn with precision and that, despite the fact that I could not start it through the magic button that also made it famous, it started with the first kick.
In our little contact it seemed to me easy to drive despite being ten years old and of having to pay more attention to the account when opening the throttle or putting the gears at the proper rotational speed so that they engage correctly.
The success of this small CB750 Four it was its simplicity, quality of materials and construction and also the fact that it does not need unnecessary adjustments for a motorcycle of its time. Yes it is true that chain of secondary transmission it had to be changed every 15,000 km and that its stability at high speeds was not the best.
What the hell! It was a motorcycle that made us dream and that, without a doubt, showed her good manners: winner of the Bol D´Or from 1969 Y Daytona 200 with Dick Man. In addition, Peter Darvill and Norman Price took the podium at the XVI edition of the 24 Hours Motorcyclists of Montjuïc. Its success on the track was transferred to sales and, since its first version, almost 50,000 copies have been marketed.
A motorcycle to dream that could not reach Spain, since at that time the protectionist laws prevented the commercialization of Japanese products.
So while in Europe and the US, where the CB750 Four was originally destined, many made their dream come true, in Spain they had to settle for continuing to dream.
Honda in 1969
Honda’s headquarters, founded in 1948, was in Tokyo in 1969 and its Suzuka facility was 100,000 square meters. In Sayama (385,000 square meters) the cars were produced with 5,500 employees. The motorcycles, in Hamamatsu (155,000 square meters), with 3,100 employees. In Saitana (95,000 square meters) the engines (cars and motorcycles) were produced with 2,500 employees and, in the Suzuka research center, 1,050 employees worked …
In solo twenty years of life, Honda became the world’s largest motorcycle factory. It also held the record for exports, especially in the US, and twenty years after its founding they celebrated the 10,000th machine coming off the assembly line.
His intense activity between 1958/1968 sportingly reported the achievement of 34 world titles. In 1971, its production was 1,973,000 units. The range consisted of around forty models of all displacements, from mini bikes to 250cc single-cylinder, twin-cylinder and the big star of the brand: the CB750 Four four-cylinder.
What we like the most and what we least …
Only +: Without a doubt, the best thing about the CB750 Four was the concentration of in-line 4-cylinder technology, the arrival of the disc brake and the electric starter in a single model. Easy to drive and great reliability.
Only-: Stability especially at high speeds was its weak point, and its consumption, 7.5 liters per 100 km, somewhat high.
Motor type: 4 cylinders in line, 4T, air, OHC
Displacement: 736 cc
Maximum power: 67.6 hp at 8,000 rpm
Feeding: Four 28mm carburettors
Change: 5 speeds
Clutch: Multi-disc in oil
Secondary transmission: By chain
Chassis type: Double cradle in steel
Swingarm: Double steel arm
Front suspension: Telescopic fork 143mm travel
Rear suspension: Two 85mm travel shock absorbers
Front brake: 296 mm disc with hydraulic control
Back brake: Drum 180 mm
Tires: 3.25-19 /4.00-18
Axle distance: 1,455 mm
Seat height: 800 mm
Deposit: 19 l
Weight: 235 kg
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