Last Call- You Can Take the City Out of the Bike. . . Edition

Honda’s CB750 was the first ‘big bike’ from the Japanese manufacturer, and remains today one of the epochal motorcycles of our time. The ‘CB’ in the name stands for City Bike but that urban nomenclature doesn’t mean that you can’t build a sick cafe racer out of one.
Build thread and image source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

  1. crinklesmith Avatar

    Some would say the CB450 was Honda's first "big bike"
    <img src=""/&gt;
    Although the SOHC four was certainly the biggest thing to come out of Japan to that date, having owned both, I prefer the twin.

    1. dead_elvis Avatar

      It was a fairly large bike at the time – sure, the Sportster was 883cc, but the other "big" choices at the time were primarily 650cc Brit vertical twins. Most motorcyclists back then were riding 250cc & smaller displacement machines.
      I'd love to see more sub-650cc machines for sale in the US today, especially standards (as opposed to dual-sports or trail bikes with lights). Too bad the US motorcycle buying public won't get 'em.

  2. theTokenGreek Avatar

    <img src=""&gt;
    The CB750 is an amazing platform from which you can build some gorgeous bikes… see this one-off Wrenchmonkees build. More about it at <a href="” target=”_blank”>

    1. dead_elvis Avatar

      Wrenchmonkees do some great – and pricey – stuff, although I've had way more than enough of those antiquated Firestone repops on custom builds at this point. I think the CB750 pictured at the top is one of Steve "Carpy" Carpenter's cafe bikes.
      Some of his stuff is a little "busy" compared to traditional cafe racers, and I've never seen one in person, so can't speak to the build quality… but damn if they aren't some pretty bikes.
      Edit – I suppose if I'd taken the time to notice the build thread & image source links, I wouldn't have bothered with the link I posted. At least, I like to think so. Mea culpa!

      1. Smells_Homeless Avatar

        Like you, I'm not much on the tires, but I LOVE those wheels.

  3. From_a_Buick_6 Avatar

    That's a sharp looking bike. However, I must be weird because I'd like to have an early CB750 in totally stock form.

    1. dead_elvis Avatar

      Not weird. What's not to like here? It was the start of a new era, and Honda got just about everything right. Hell of a lot more than you can say about other landmark firsts.
      <img src=""&gt;

    2. dead_elvis Avatar

      Poof? Shazam?

  4. Deartháir Avatar

    I'm probably biased, but that's only because I HAVE a CB750. And the more good press these things get, the more likely it is that I'll not receive any more flak from CaffeineFuelled for keeping mine around.

    1. CptSevere Avatar

      That's totally cool. What year, and which model, the K with four pipes or the other, I think the F, with two? Pictures, dammit. I've always liked the SOHC 750's, they changed the whole motorcycle game. I like Brit bikes more, but I can acknowledge the fact that the Honda 750 killed them, and reset the whole paradigm (I don't really like that word, but in this case it actually applies).

  5. Sidecar57 Avatar

    CB -City Bike? So what of the C, CA. CE,CS,CL and CSAs that came before and ran alongside the CB series?

  6. Ben Avatar

    Perhaps I'm biased, but I like its competition, the brutal KZ750 twin — double overhead cam, two big pistons moving in unison, firing on a wasted spark ignition system. 55 hp and miles of torque. Here's mine, it's been set up in pseudo-cafe format for about 5 years.
    <img src="; alt="" title="1978 Kawasaki KZ750 Twin">

    1. dead_elvis Avatar

      I've never been a fan of these – aesthetically, the sidecovers are from an unpleasant era of Japanese styling, and most of them seemed to have a semi-cruiser setup… this goes a long way towards correcting that. How are the vibrations with those pistons moving in tandem? The early Yamaha 650cc twins used the same arrangement & always put my hands to sleep in a hurry.
      And nice to see you on this side of the fence.

      1. Ben Avatar

        This one started out as sort of a cruiser-standard, not terribly attractive either with a king and queen seat and painted in a very 70's shade of maroon. It's bobbed, lowered slightly, 2-into-1, hotwings one-up seat, clubman bars, aluminum LED turn signals, foam filters, automotive-style coil, and side mounted plate. It's finished off in a very nice shade of Chevy Cavalier red with a Triumph-style checked stripe.
        Vibrations from idle to about 4000 rpm are fine, 4000 to 5000 is pretty unpleasant, 5000 to 7000 it smooths out again. There's a counterbalance shaft that takes most of the fight out of the vibes, but it can't handle everything. Of course at cruising speeds it's in that 4000 to 5000 rpm rev band so long hauls aren't very fun. After 200 miles you're pretty beaten up.
        And I've been on this side of the fence for a while, I've even posted a few articles.

        1. dead_elvis Avatar

          More pix would be welcome. Did you do the paint yourself? It looks great.
          Of course the ideal cruising revs are where the harmonic vibrations are the worst. Same thing with many inline-4s, on the throttle side.
          I haven't seen you here on the 'verse, but it's good to know you're around.