When Honda hit the market in 1969 with the CB750, the term “superbike” was created to describe this revolutionary motorcycle. Was this because it was the best performance motorcycle of its time? No. The Triumph and BSA triples were faster and handled better but were more unreliable, leaked oil and did not have the finish of the Honda. It was the four cylinder engine, electric starter, indicators and front disc brake together with reliability and good pricing that made this Honda a superbike. Discovery Channel rightfully included the CB750 in its top 10 motorcycles of the 20th century.
We at Retro Write Up really enjoy the Honda CB750 cafe racers. There are so many wonderful interpretations of the cafe racer theme applied to these venerable motorcycles. Our featured early model single overhead cam CB750 cafe racer is another KCR creation and once again reflects their attention to detail and finish. The original oil tank has been retained along with the distinctive 750 Four badge. Disc brakes on the rear wheel would only make an appearance much later in the CB750’s life cycle. Kerker and Yoshimura were names that grew famous with this Honda model. In the ’70s a open Kerker 4 into 1 announced the presence of a CB750 from several kilometers away.
Honda began installing electric starters on their smaller capacity models early on. The CB750 was also fitted with an electric starter which was unique in the bigger capacity market. The kickstart mechanism and lever were retained as a backup in case of starter failure. However if the starter did fail or the battery was low on charge, it was easier to push start this motorcycle than to try kickstarting it. KCR have fitted the traditional K&N type air filters. Everything on this engine looks better than new.
The unusual tank and tailpiece are part of a kit especially imported from England and are made from fibreglass. The choice of colour for this motorcycle combines well with the black rims and all the polished and chromed bits.
GT stripes and chequered flags are very much part of cafe racer tradition. The clip on handlebars are mounted on the top of the shocks which have been pushed through to lower the front end slightlly to give the motorcycle a more aggressive stance. The original gauges have been retained.
Honda manufactured 400 000 of the single overhead cam CB750 models. They were very popular in South Africa and are an important motorcycle in our motorcycling heritage. We have some world class original or restored CB750s on our roads. We also, thanks to both professional and amateur builders, have a growing number of world class CB750 cafe racers and customs hitting our roads. We are honoured to be able to show you them.