1969 Honda CB750

Fast, smooth, affordable, and boasting a four-cylinder engine, the 1969 Honda CB 750 was a landmark in motorcycle history. See more motorcycle pictures.

The 1969 Honda CB750 motorcycle offered a combination of hardware never before seen on a single machine. When Honda introduced the model in June of 1968, the manufacturer dropped the gauntlet that changed the world of motorcycling.

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At the heart of the Honda CB750 motorcycle was an inline four-cylinder engine with single overhead cam, four carburetors, prominent four-into-four exhaust, and 67 horsepower at 8000 rpm.

For those keeping track, it put out a good 15-percent more power than BSA's new 750-cc Rocket 3 and at just under 500 pounds, weighed about the same.

It's not hard to guess which was quicker.

But it wasn't just the four-cylinder engine that caused such a stir; though most contemporary competitors were twins, several manufacturers had offered fours in the past.

No, it was the fact that four-cylinder power and smoothness was joined by a five-speed gearbox, electric starter, and a front disc brake --the disc brake first ever on a street machine -- all at a reasonable price.

The first Honda CB750 motorcycles were produced with sand-cast cases that had a rough finish; later models had smoother castings.

Those early sand-cast models, such as the Honda CB750 motorcycle pictured with this article, became the most valuable to collectors.

By 1970, Dick Mann had piloted a race-prepped Honda CB750 motorcycle into the winner's circle at Daytona, and the world of aftermarket hop-up equipment came alive.

The Honda CB750 motorcycle is also credited with casting the mold for what would later be called the "Universal Japanese Motorcycle," a breed of machines that would bring the bikes of England to their collective knees.

Go to the next page to see more pictures of the 1969 Honda CB750 motorcycle.

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