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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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.
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1969 Honda CB750 Pictures
The 1969 Honda CB750 provided four-cylinder power and smoothness never before seen in the world of motorcycling.