The Honda CB450 Black Bomber!

Arriving in the UK in 1966 the Honda CB450 was eagerly awaited as the first big Honda. I have the original receipt for my bike and it cost 365.

It was unique for a road bike in having twin overhead cams with torsion bar valve springs. One of the most impressive parts of the bike to this day is the engine which, when viewed in profile,  has a very classical twin cam shape --  like that of a Manx Norton.

The CB450 has a stormer of an engine when it is carefully set up. The main weakness of the bike is that it is very heavy (at about 430lbs) and ithe gear ratios are quite spaced over the 4 speed box with a low top gear. Even so it is generally reckoned to be the best 450/500cc Honda twin until the introduction of the CB500 water-cooled twin of the nineties.

I believe the original 4 speed Black Bombers were slow sellers in Britain and some of them were fitted with 'Ace' bars, sports dampers and painted red to raise their sporting image. It is not that unusual that models that were slow sellers when new now fetch a premium over the later 5 speed models! 

The CB 450 was raced extensively in production races in Britain  and  in the AMA large displacement class in the USA.rri

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