Honda Sports Bikes of The Sixties

{This site was first created in 1997 by Keith Napier. Sadly Keith recently passed away and his wife and friends dedicate this site to his memory. The site largely remains as Keith created it, only the contact email address has been changed. I hope you enjoy Keith's work as much as he and his friends have.
Murray Barnard Oct 98)

This site is for fans of Honda's first golden age of motorcycle production which roughly covers the period of the 1960's.

We have listed the most formative Honda sports bikes of the era

   
   
  • The Hawk / Super Hawk
  •   CB72/77                   
    • C72/77 Tourers                              

   
   

for a list of other sites we have found for those interested in Honda and other old jap bikes


If you were not around the motorcycling scene at the time it is difficult to understand the enormous leap that was made during this period when Honda introduced their range of motorcycles to the world in the late fifties and early sixties.

The tourer models such as the Benley (C92) and the 250cc (C72) had rather bouncy leading-link forks unusual monocoque frames and square rear shocks of limited usefulness. The radical square styling was carried over to the headlamp shape and there was no chance that these Hondas could be mistaken for any other make when they bounced around the corner!

What they had in common with rest of the range was high output, oil-tight, reliable engines and a build quality that could be only dreamed of in a world where the entry level bikes here in the U.K. were either a single cylinder Triumph Tiger Cub or a BSA Bantam based on a DKW two-stroke of the 1940's! Probably the best small British bike of the period here was the Ariel Arrow which was never developed to compete with the imported bikes fitted with oil injection and decent brakes.

The Honda sports (CB) models had more conventional cycle parts as well as higher output and better brakes. In many cases the Honda sports bikes had the "legs" of bikes twice their capacity. Combining their reliability and advanced features with a good build quality led to Honda being taken more seriously by the "Enthusiast" who had previously looked at the imports as either 50cc commuter bikes or oddly styled small tourers. Next



Classic Hondas of the Sixties

Classic racing pics
of the Seventies