Call or text Pete on this Oustanding 1966 Collector quality CB450 The 1965 Honda CB 450 – known as the “Black Bomber” in the U.S. – was Honda’s tentative step into performance street bikes and, like the Model T Ford, could only be had in black. By 1965, the company was already fully involved and successful in racing, with Jim Redman winning the Junior and 250 TT in the Isle of Man, but the CB 750 was four years away and the company was still known for small displacement bikes. The 305 cc Super Hawk had brought café thinking to Hondas in 1961 with its telescopic forks, tube frame and lively performance. The CB 450 was a natural progression that took aim at the British 500 cc Triumph and BSA twins. Its 43 bhp, DOHC 444 cc straight-twin had chain-driven cams, torsion-bar valve springs, a screaming 9,500 rpm redline, 412 lb weight and genuine 102 mph capability. The first examples had four-speed gearboxes, but five-speeds arrived later. The crankcase was split horizontally to avoid the oil leaks that plagued British bikes, an electric starter was fitted, and constant velocity carburetors meant smooth running. 18-inch wheel rims were alloy, while the gas tank and fenders were steel. Finding a good Black Bomber these days will take some doing, and it probably won’t be cheap. OEM parts can be quite expensive and items like mufflers are probably not worth re-plating. Due to the CB 750’s popularity, Black Bombers are now quite rare and you’ll be sure to attract attention at any vintage bike gathering you attend. Plus, when it’s time to go, you just hit the starter button.
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