Honda CBX

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CBX
CBX 1000 arg.jpg
Manufacturer Honda
Production 1978–1982
Class Superbike
Engine 1,047 cc (63.9 cu in) 24-valve, twin-cam air-cooled inline-6
6 carburetors
Transmission 5-speed
Suspension Front: Telescopic fork
Rear: Twin shock
Brakes Front: Twin disc brakes 280 mm (11 in)
Rear: Disc 305 mm (12.0 in)
Tires Front 3.5 x 18" Rear 4.25 x 18"
Wheelbase 1,495 mm (58.9 in)
Dimensions L 2,220 mm (87 in)
W 780 mm (31 in)
H 1,145 mm (45.1 in)
Seat height 810 mm (32 in)
Weight 272 kg (600 lb) (dry)
Fuel capacity 20 l (4.4 imp gal; 5.3 US gal)

The Honda CBX was introduced in 1978 as the first production Honda motorcycle with an inline six-cylinder engine (earlier they had produced a Honda RC series six-cylinder race bike). The twin-cam 24-valve engine produced 105 bhp (78 kW). The model was produced from 1978 to 1982. Since other models in the Honda CBX series were launched, the CBX is often referred to in present day publications as the CBX1000

History[edit]

In the late 1970s, the four major Japanese motorcycle manufacturers all began to build superbikes, road bikes with superior performance. Honda intended for the CBX to help re-establish the company's position at the forefront of motorcycle technology. American journalists were introduced to the bike in 1977; a first review appeared in Cycle magazine. The review called the CBX a "breakthrough for the Japanese motorcycle industry" and praised its design, concept, and performance.[1] Yamaha had already introduced the XS1100 in 1979; the CBX was available on the market in late 1979, and the production model was even faster than the prototype.[2] The CBX was not the first production motorcycle to be powered by a six-cylinder engine—the first was the 1972–1978 Benelli 750 Sei—but it was the latest and the most advanced entry into the hotly contested superbike battle being fought by the Japanese manufacturers. The 1979 model's 11.36 second quarter mile time (at 117.95 mph) was quicker than other superbikes of the day.[3]

By 1980, Suzuki had released its own superbike, the GS1100, and Honda came with a modified 1980 model which had revised cam timing and ignition for a better midrange performance. On the quarter mile, the Suzuki was a bit faster than the 1980 CBX, which was tuned down slightly; Motorcyclist tested them head-to-head on the quarter mile, with the Suzuki clocking 11.84 sec. at 116.1 mph, compared to 11.34 sec. at 118.9 mph 3800 for the CBX. Cycle World clocked the CBX at 12.13 sec. at 109.89 mph.[3] Motorcyclist's dyno test on the 1980 model revealed that the engine had lost five hp compared to the 1978 model, from 103 down to 98.[2]

Sport touring model[edit]

In 1981, Honda switched gears and headed the CBX into the sport touring category with the CBX-B, adding a sleek fairing and panniers, as well as Pro-Link "single-shock" rear suspension and air-adjustable front forks.[4] Honda decided that dual stainless-alloy ventilated front rotors (a first for the motorcycle industry) were needed to stop its 272 kg (600 lb) weight. When the 1982 model CBX-C model arrived, it was nearly identical to the 1981 model, the only differences were paint and trim.

Engine characteristics[edit]

For its time, the engine was highly advanced,[4] Honda having started the move toward four valves per cylinder.[2]

To make an otherwise bulky engine more ergonomic, the CBX had a stacked engine accessory arrangement. This involved a jackshaft that provided the drive to the alternator and ignition equipment positioned behind the cylinder block. This arrangement produced an acceptable engine width and removed critical equipment from positions that would incur expensive damage in the event of contact with the ground.[2]

Legacy[edit]

Although it lasted only five years, its style did give birth both to Honda's sport bikes and to its Honda ST series. Cycle Guide praised the bike as "the Vincent Black Shadow of 1979" upon its introduction.[5]

In 2011, Australian publication 2 Wheels Magazine named the CBX as one of their favourite 12 superbikes ever.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Frank, Aaron (2003). Honda Motorcycles. Motorbooks International. pp. 112–115. ISBN 978-0-7603-1077-9. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Suzuki GS 1100 vs. Honda CBX: Is There a New Superbike King?". Motorcyclist. March 1980. Retrieved 19 October 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "HONDA CBX Grand Prix Glamour and Touring Chic". Cycle World. July 1981. Retrieved 19 October 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Greg Williams (November–December 2009). "1981 Honda CBX". Motorcycle Classics. Retrieved 11 November 2009. 
  5. ^ Ric Anderson (January–February 2006). "Honda CBX: The Power of Six Cylinders". Motorcycle Classics. Retrieved 19 August 2009.