1969 Honda CB750
|Also called||Honda Dream CB750 Four |
|Assembly||Wakō, Saitama, Japan
Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
Suzuka, Mie, Japan 
|Class||Sport bike or standard|
|Engine||736 cm3 (44.9 cu in) SOHC air-cooled straight four (1969-1978) 
DOHC air-cooled straight 4 (1979–2003, 2007)
|Bore / stroke||61 mm × 63 mm (2.4 in × 2.5 in) |
|Top speed||125 mph (201 km/h)|
68 hp (51 kW) @ 8,500 rpm (1969) 67 hp (50 kW) @ 8,000 rpm(DIN) 
|Torque||44 lbf·ft (60 N·m) @ 7,000 rpm|
|Suspension||Front: telescopic forks
Rear: swingarm with two spring/shock units.
|Brakes||Front disc / Rear drum|
|Tires||Front: 3.25" x 19"
Rear: 4.00" x 18"
|Rake, trail||3.7 in (94 mm)|
|Wheelbase||57.3 in (1,460 mm)|
|Dimensions||L 85 in (2,200 mm)
W 35 in (890 mm)
H 44 in (1,100 mm)
|Seat height||31 in (790 mm)|
|Weight||218 kg (481 lb)  (dry)
491 lb (223 kg) (wet)
|Fuel capacity||19 L (4.2 imp gal; 5.0 US gal) |
|Fuel consumption||34.3 mpg-US (6.86 L/100 km; 41.2 mpg-imp) |
The Honda CB750 is a motorcycle built in several model series between 1969 and 2003, and also in 2007, that is recognized as a milestone for Honda's successful introduction of the transverse, overhead camshaft inline four-cylinder engine that has been seen ever since in the dominant sport bike configuration. Though MV Agusta had sold such a model in 1965, and it had been used in racing engines before World War II, the CB750 is recognized as the four-cylinder sport bike that had a lasting impact and is often called the first superbike. The model is included in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Classic Bikes, the Discovery Channel's "Greatest Motorbikes Ever," and was in The Art of the Motorcycle exhibition, and is in the UK National Motor Museum. The Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan, Inc. rates the 1969 CB750 as one of the 240 Landmarks of Japanese Automotive Technology.
Honda of Japan introduced the CB750 motorcycle to the US and European markets in 1969 after experiencing success with their smaller motorcycles. The bike was targeted directly at the US market after Honda officials, including founder Soichiro Honda, repeatedly met with US dealers and understood the opportunity for a larger bike.
Under development for a year, the CB750 offered two unprecedented features, a front disc brake and a transverse straight-4 engine with an overhead camshaft, neither of which was previously available on a mainstream, affordable production bike. These two features, along with the introductory price of US$1,495 (US$9,614 in current money), gave the CB750 a considerable advantage over its competition, particularly its British rivals.
Cycle magazine called the CB750 "the most sophisticated production bike ever" upon its introduction. Cycle World called it a masterpiece, highlighting Honda's painstaking durability testing, the bike's 120 mph (190 km/h) top speed, the fade-free performance of the braking, the comfortable ride and excellent instrumentation.
The CB750 was the first modern four-cylinder machine from a mainstream manufacturer, and the term superbike was coined to describe it. The bike offered other important features that added to its compelling value: electric starter, kill switch, dual mirrors, flashing turn signals, easily maintained valves and overall smoothness and freedom from vibration both underway and at a standstill; later models (1991 on) included maintenance-free hydraulic valves. On the other hand, the bike was difficult to get on its center stand and tended to throw chain oil onto its muffler.
Unable to gauge demand for the new bike accurately, Honda limited its initial investment in the production dies for the CB750 by using a technique called permanent mold casting (often erroneously referred to as sandcasting) rather than diecasting for the engines – unsure of the bike's reception. The bike remained in the Honda lineup for ten years, with sales totaling over 400,000 in its life span.
The single overhead cam models were produced from 1969 through 1978.
- 1969 CB750K or CB750K0
- 1971 CB750K1
- 1972 CB750K2
- 1973 CB750K3 (US-only, K2 elsewhere)
- 1974 CB750K4 (US/Japan-only, K2 elsewhere)
- 1975 CB750K5 (US-only, K2/K4 elsewhere), CB750F, CB750A (Canada-only) The 1975 CB750F had a more streamlined look, thanks in part to a 4-into-1 exhaust and cafe style seat with fiberglass rear. Other changes included the use of a rear disc brake and a lighter crankshaft and flywheel.
- 1976 CB750K6, CB750F1, CB750A
- 1977 CB750K7, CB750F2, CB750A1
- 1978 CB750K8 (US-only), CB750F3, CB750A2
Production (rounded figures)
- 1979–1982 CB750K
- 1979 CB750K 10th Anniversary Edition (5,000 produced for U.S.)
- 1979–1982 CB750F
- 1980–1982 CB750C "Custom"
- 1982–1983 CB750SC Nighthawk
- 1984-1985 CB750SC Nighthawk "S" in Canada
- 1984–1986 CB750SC Nighthawk (Horizon in Japan) (CB700SC Nighthawk "S" in U.S.)
- 1992-1997 CB750F2
- 1991–2003 CB750 Nighthawk
- 2007 CB750 (Japan-only)
|Engine||736.6 cc (44.95 cu in) inline-four, SOHC air-cooled|
|Bore / stroke||61 mm × 63 mm (2.4 in × 2.5 in)|
|Power||47 hp (35 kW) @ 7,500 rpm|
|Torque||5.0 kg·m (49 N·m; 36 lbf·ft) @ 6,000 rpm|
|Transmission||Two speed, w/torque converter, chain|
|Brakes||Front: 296 mm (11.7 in) disc
Rear: 180 mm (7.1 in) drum
|Tires||Front: 3.5" x 19"
Rear: 4.5" x 17"
|Wheelbase||58.1 in (1,480 mm)|
|Dimensions||L 89.0 in (2,260 mm)
W 33.7 in (860 mm)
|Fuel capacity||18 l (4.0 imp gal; 4.8 US gal)|
In 1976, Honda introduced the CB750A to the United States, the A suffix implying "automatic." Although the two-speed transmission included a torque converter typical of an automatic transmission, the transmission did not automatically change gears for the rider. Each gear was selected by a foot-controlled hydraulic valve/selector (similar in operation as a manual transmission motorcycle). The foot selector controlled the application of high pressure oil to a single clutch pack (one clutch for each gear), causing the selected clutch (and gear) to engage. The selected gear would remain selected until changed by the rider, or the kickstand was lowered (which shifted the transmission to neutral).
The CB750A was sold in the North American market only. The name Hondamatic was shared with Honda cars of the 1970s, but the motorcycle transmission was not fully automatic. The design of the transmission is similar in concept to the transmission in Honda's N360AT, a kei car sold in Japan from 1967 to 1972.
The CB750A used the same engine as the CB750, but detuned with lower 7.7:1 compression and smaller carburetors producing a lower output, 47.0 hp (35.0 kW). The same oil was used for both the engine and transmission, and the engine was changed to a wet sump instead of dry sump type. A lockout safety device prevented the transmission from moving out of neutral if the side stand was down. There was no tachometer but the instruments did include a fuel gauge and gear indicator. For 1977 the gearing was revised, and the exhaust changed to a four into two with a silencer on either side. Due to slow sales the model was discontinued in 1978, though Honda did later introduce smaller Hondamatic motorcycles (namely the CB400A, CM400A, and CM450A).
From 1982 through 2003, with the exception of several years, Honda produced a CB750 known as the Nighthawk 750. Early models were designated as the CB750SC Nighthawk while later models were simply known as the Nighthawk 750. The Nighthawk 750 features a 4-stroke engine with a 5-speed manual transmission, and has front disc and rear drum brakes.
In 2007, Honda Japan announced the sale of a new CB750 very similar to the models sold in the 1970s. Announced as the CB 750 Special Edition which is in the silver colors of the CB 50 AMA racer of the 1970s, and the CB750, offered in three color schemes reminiscent of CB750s sold previously. As of August 2007[update], these bikes have only been announced for the Japan domestic market.
|Model||Engine displacement||Fuel system||Cam||Valves per cylinder||Power||Torque||Weight||Drive|
|1969 CB750 Four  ||736 cc (44.9 cu in) ||4 carburetors ||SOHC ||2||67 bhp (50 kW) @ 8,000 rpm   ||59.8 Nm (44.12 ft·lbf) @ 7,000 rpm ||218 kilograms (481 lb) ||5 Speed, Constant Mesh, Gearbox, Final Drive Chain |
|1976–1978 CB750A ||736 cc (44.9 cu in)||4 carburetors||SOHC||2||47 hp (35 kW) @ 7,500 rpm ||5.0 kg·m (49 N·m; 36 lbf·ft) @ 6,000 rpm ||262 kg (578 lb) ||Two-speed w/torque converter, chain|
|1978 CB750K12 ||748 cc (45.6 cu in)||4 carburetors||DOHC||4||65 hp (48 kW) @ 9000 RPM||5.9 kg·m (58 N·m; 43 lbf·ft) @ 7000 RPM||231 kg (509 lb) Dry||5 Speed, Constant Mesh, Gearbox, Final Drive Chain|
|1979-1980 CB750F (RC04) ||748 cc (45.6 cu in)||4 carburetors ||DOHC ||4||68 hp (51 kW) @ 9000 RPM ||5.9 kg·m (58 N·m; 43 lbf·ft) @ 8000 RPM||228 kg (503 lb) Dry ||5 Speed, Constant Mesh, Gearbox, Final Drive Chain |
|1980–1982 CB750C Custom||748 cc (45.6 cu in)||4 carburetors ||DOHC ||4||65 hp (48 kW) @9000 RPM ||5.9 kg·m (58 N·m; 43 lbf·ft) @ 7000 RPM ||236 kg (520 lb) dry
 ~252 kg (556 lb) wet
|5 Speed, Constant Mesh, Gearbox, Final Drive Chain |
|1981 CB750F||748 cc (45.6 cu in)||4 carburetors||DOHC||4||70 hp (52 kW)||536 lb (243 kg)||Chain|
|1982–1983 CB750SC (Nighthawk)||749 cc (45.7 cu in)||4 carburetors||DOHC||4||66.57 hp (49.64 kW) @ 9,000 rpm||41.54 lbf·ft (56.32 N·m) @ 7,500 rpm||573.5 lb (260.1 kg) wet||5-speed, chain See also Honda CB700SC|
|1991–1993, 1995–2003 CB750 (Nighthawk)||747 cc (45.6 cu in)||4 Keihin 34 mm Constant Vacuum carburetors||DOHC||4||75 hp (56 kW) @ 8,500 rpm||64 N·m (47 lbf·ft) @ 7,500 rpm||463 lb (210 kg)||Chain|
|2007 CB750||747 cc (45.6 cu in)||VENAC||DOHC||4||74 hp (55 kW) @ 8,500 rpm||64 N·m (47 lbf·ft) @ 7,500 rpm||520 lb (240 kg)||Chain|
- "Honda Dream CB750". 240 Landmarks of Japanese Automotive Technology. Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan, Inc. Retrieved 11 August 2013. "Developed with the goal of giving riders greater power with better safety, the Dream CB750 featured Honda's first double cradle frame and the world’s first hydraulic front disc brakes."
- Honda. "The Dream CB750 Four (Official history)".
- Honda CB750 – It Really Changed Everything, by Paul Crowe - "The Kneeslider" on 5/1/2008.
- Walker, Mick (2006), Motorcycle: Evolution, Design, Passion, JHU Press, p. 150, ISBN 0-8018-8530-2
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- "Greatest Motorbikes Ever". Discovery Channel.
- List of vehicles, National Motor Museum Trust, retrieved 2010-01-19
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- "Cycle Road Test: Honda 750cc Four", Cycle (magazine), August 1969: 33–39, 78–81
- Wilson, H. (1995), The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle, Dorling Kindersley Limited, pp. 88–89, ISBN 0-7513-0206-6
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- Classic Bike Glamorous and Glorious by Mick Duckworth June 2004 issue
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- Ker, Rod (2007), Classic Japanese Motorcycle Guide, Sparkford, UK: Haynes Publishing, p. 81, ISBN 1-84425-335-X
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- Motorcycle Online 2000 Valuebike Shootout
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- Honda Dream CB750 Four History, The First Motorcycle to Offer Disc Brakes.
- Brown, Roland (2005), The ultimate history of fast motorcycles, Bath, England: Parragon, pp. 114–115, ISBN 1-4054-5466-0
- Honda Press 1977, Honda EARA.
- Honda Press Dec 1978, 1978 Honda CB750K.
- Honda Press June 1979, 1979 Honda CB750F Released June 23, 1979.
- Honda Press May 20, 1980, 1980 Honda CB750C, CB750K, CB750F Press Release.
- American Honda Motor Company (2000), Honda Motorcycle Identification Guide, 1959-2000, pp. 254–255, 262–263, 278, ISBN 0-9642491-1-1
- Falloon, Ian (2005), The Honda Story: Road and Racing Motorcycles from 1948 to the Present Day, Sparkford: Haynes, pp. 79–82, ISBN 1-85960-966-X
- "Honda CB750 Specifications" (in JP). Honda Japan. Retrieved 9 May 2010.
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