Bore x stroke:
Valves per cylinder:
Reserve fuel capacity:
The most pedestrian looking super sports ever created? Possibly, in ‘Pleiades Silver Metallic’, no less. Yet the ’79 CB750F was latching onto some serious pedigree in the game-changing CB750 introduced in 1969, now a perfect café racer fifty years ahead of it’s time. It’s four-cylinders oozed smoothness and reliability, with a configuration so popular it became the dominant sport bike engine layout. This forced their dastard island neighbours Suzuki and Kawasaki to up their game in turn, bringing out rivals to compete with the Suzuki GS750 and Kawasaki KZ750. By the end of the 1970’s, Honda went back to the workshop and quietly tinkered.
A more cultured, refined engine was introduced into the fold, with an in-line four that had double-overhead cams and – count em! - sixteen valves, Honda’s first use of a four-valve head on a production motorcycle, increasing airflow and increasing horsepower to 72. Honda added a stiffer frame, adjustable front-forks and fully adjustable shocks too. Using triple disc brakes and sticking with the composite aluminium Comstar alloy wheels introduced two years earlier, enabling the use of tubeless tyres, the small increments were themselves were evolutionary rather than revolutionary. It did have two horns though, so . . . you know, meep meep!
Despite sitting at a rather rotund, you-can-lay-off-the-pork-pies-now, dry-weight of 230kg – meaning on a full twenty litre tank a thrill-seeking rider was pushing a quarter of a tonne - the motorcycle had great handling. There were a few problems here and there with minor things like brake rotors warping and shocks gradually disintegrating so it felt like you were straddling an eight-mile an hour space-hopper, but that’s the price of thrills! However, these were easily rectified, and with its upright position the CB750F was built for the long ride rather than simple break-neck speed, with a large comfortable seat that those of us with less pie-padding always appreciate. When Honda envisaged the long ride, we’re not sure even their most optimistic of engineers would have expected well-maintained versions to still be trundling around forty years on.
Inadvertently, with the 750F Super Sport, Honda was changing Japanese motorcycles for good, challenging its European counterparts with its high-performance machines and in the process pushing its rivals to produce a favourite at Shepster Towers, the gorgeous Suzuki GSX750 Katana. Thank you, Honda!