Honda CBX

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This article is about the six-cylinder motorcycle made from 1978 to 1982. For Honda models with the prefix "CBX", see Honda CBX (disambiguation).
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
Top speed 134 mph (216 km/h)[1]
Power 100–105 hp (75–78 kW)[2][3]
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 a sports motorcycle manufactured by Honda from 1978 to 1982. With a 1047cc inline six-cylinder engine producing 105 bhp (78 kW), it was the flagship of the Honda range. The CBX was well received by the press, but was outsold by its sibling, the Honda CB900F.[4]

As a promotional exercise, CBX bikes were ridden by travelling marshals at the 1979 & 1980 Isle of Man TT.[3]

Engine characteristics[edit]

Honda had produced a Honda RC series six-cylinder race bike in the mid-1960s, but the CBX was Honda's first production 6 cylinder road bike. The CBX's advanced DOHC 24-valve inline six-cylinder engine was its outstanding feature; but in other respects the bike was conventional, having telescopic forks, a tubular frame, twin rear shocks and straight handlebars.[5][6]

Although bulky, the engine was wide only at the top. The width across the crankshaft was relatively narrow as the CBX had a stacked engine ancillary arrangement, whereby the alternator and ignition items were sited behind the cylinder block. This arrangement produced an acceptable engine width low down and moved critical items out of harm's way in the event of grounding.[6]

Journalist L. J. K. Setright wrote of the CBX's width: "Don't tell me that its engine is too wide: It is no wider than the legs of a rider, so it adds nothing to the frontal area, and personally I would rather have my legs shielded by a cylinder apiece than exposed to every blow ..."[4]

Sport touring model[edit]

In 1981, Honda repositioned the CBX into the sport touring category with the CBX-B, adding Pro-Link monoshock rear suspension, air-adjustable front forks, a fairing and panniers.[5] The CBX was given dual ventilated front brake discs to help retard the bike's 272 kg (600 lb) weight. The 1982 model CBX-C model differed little from the 1981 model, having only some changes to paint and trim.


In the February 1978 issue of Cycle (magazine) editor Cook Neilson wrote this of a review of a pre-production bike. The objective-to build the fastest production motorcycle for sale anywhere in the world-has been met. From a four days review one at the Webco dynamometer and one split between American Honda, Orange County Raceway and with two at Willow Springs.[7] Comparing the CBX to the CB900F, Setright added,"The CBX feels better and goes better, and the difference is greater than the difference in price, so the costlier bike is actually the better bargain. ... The CBX engine is as responsive as a racer, the nicest cycle motor to ever reach the street.".[4]

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, based on the Honda CB500 Four) but it was the latest and most advanced entry into the competitive superbike market. A review in Cycle magazine called the CBX a "breakthrough for the Japanese motorcycle industry" and praised its design, concept, and performance.[8] The CBX was available on the market in late 1978, and the production model was even faster than the prototype.[6] The 1979 CBX could cover a quarter mile in 11.36 seconds with a terminal speed of 189.82 km/h (117.95 mph).[9] But later CBXs were detuned, and Motorcyclist's dyno test showed the 1980 CBX had lost five hp compared to the 1978 model, from 103 down to 98.[6]

Cycle Guide praised the bike as "the Vincent Black Shadow of 1979" upon its introduction.[10] In 2011, Australian publication 2 Wheels Magazine named the CBX as one of their favourite 12 superbikes ever.

To avoid confusion with Honda CBX series bikes, the CBX is sometimes referred to as the CBX1000.


  • Kuch, Joachim: Honda. Motorräder seit 1970. (in German) Stuttgart: Motorbuch-Verlag, 2000, ISBN 3-613-02061-0, p.50-51
  • Limpf, Martin: Das Motorrad. Seine technische und geschichtliche Entwicklung dargestellt anhand der einschlägigen Fachliteratur. (in German) München: R. Oldenbourg Verlag, 1983, ISBN 3-486-27571-2, p. 59-63

See also[edit]

List of Honda engines


  1. ^ Burns, John (April 2, 2012), "Fifty Years of "Do You Have Any Idea How Fast You Were Going?" A brief history of Ludicrous Speed", Cycle World, retrieved 10 March 2016 
  2. ^ Bowen, Simon (January 11, 2011). "Classic Scrap: Honda CBX1000 vs. Kawasaki Z1300". Visordown. Retrieved 10 March 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Honda CBX1000". Carole Nash. June 20, 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Setright, L. J. K. (February 1980), CB900F vs CBX: the 995 percent solution 14, Cycle Guide Publications  – via General OneFile (subscription required), p. 86 
  5. ^ a b Greg Williams (November–December 2009). "1981 Honda CBX". Motorcycle Classics. Retrieved 11 November 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Suzuki GS 1100 vs. Honda CBX: Is There a New Superbike King?". Motorcyclist. March 1980. 
  7. ^ Boehm, Mitch (April 2016), "THE STATEMENT", Motorcyclist, pp. 48–52 
  8. ^ Frank, Aaron (2003). Honda Motorcycles. Motorbooks International. pp. 112–115. ISBN 978-0-7603-1077-9. 
  9. ^ "HONDA CBX Grand Prix Glamour and Touring Chic". Cycle World. July 1981. 
  10. ^ Ric Anderson (January–February 2006). "Honda CBX: The Power of Six Cylinders". Motorcycle Classics. Retrieved 19 August 2009.