Honda CB750 | History-Making Motorcycles

Honda CB750 | History-Making Motorcycles

With its massive four-cylinder engine, the Honda CB750 ascended to the top of the heap of motorcycles offered with more than four cylinders in 1969.

In the summer of 1969, if you wanted a motorcycle with more than two cylinders you had four choices that were each new models that year: the two-stroke 500cc triple Kawasaki H1 Mach III, the 750cc BSA A75 Triple and its stable-mate 750cc T150 Triumph Trident (actually introduced in the fall of 1968), or the new SOHC four-stroke four cylinder Honda CB750.

With its massive four cylinder engine, notwithstanding any actual advantages the competition may have had at the time, the CB750 ascended to the top of the heap. The advantage widened with Dick Mann’s victory at Daytona astride one in 1970 — even though the BSA triples scored a podium sweep at Daytona the following year.

Creature comforts like an electric starter that neither the British competition nor the H1 offered and functional advantages the British bikes lacked such as a five speed transmission (vs the BSA/Triumph four speed) and front disc brakes (vs over-matched drum brakes on the competition) also set the Honda apart from the other multi-cylinder bikes on the market.

Add an approximately $250 lower price than either of the British models and it quickly became apparent that the Honda CB750 had opened a new front in the war for market share.

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