By John Wyatt
Hardback, 297 x 225mm
Over 220 images
All the across-the-frame four-cylinder Hondas that have monopolised motorcycle sales throughout the world on and off since the 1970s owe their existence to the CB750 introduced in 1968. The 750 thereafter uniquely influenced motorcycle design, and possibly the very concept of motorcycling, in the case of all the major manufacturers, and not Honda alone.
Although the Japanese companies had effectively changed the face of motorcycling in Europe and the USA in the years up to 1968 with a multitude of well-engineered models, their success had been in the main achieved through a painstaking process of improving and elaborating on the traditional outline of the motorcycle as laid down long before by the established makers of Italy and Britain. The CB750 changed all that. This was no careful, uprated, well- made variation on an antique theme. It was well made, all right, but overwhelmingly it was new. Revolutionary, some people said - and it is easy even today to see what they meant. It had a four-cylinder engine as big as a small cars and more powerful, disc braking, a 120-130mph top speed - and above all there was the sheer impressive size and weight of it. As was soon revealed, it also had amazing, car-like reliability.
The author of this book, raised on British bikes, came to the CB750 35 years ago. His first ride caused him to adjust his standards and expectations in motorcycling. Drawing on his experience as a private owner and a professional restorer, he has transcribed CB750 lore into a detailed account of the many variations of big four that have served motorcyclists during and beyond the 1968- 78 production span of the model. As is customary in the Original series, an authoritative text is matched by over 200 colour photographs specially commissioned to illustrate just about every external feature, large and small, that helped make Honda's sohc CB750 the most important motorcycle of its time.