1967 Honda CB450 'Black Bomber'
Registration no. LDN 85E
Frame no. CB450 1009260
Engine no. CB450E 1007403
The Japanese motorcycle industry first made an impact outside its homeland with small-capacity commuter bikes and lightweights, and for many years the view prevailed in North America and Europe that they were incapable of building effective large-capacity machines. The arrival of the Honda CB450 in 1965 should have dispelled any lingering doubts about Japan's intention to compete in all sectors of the market. Known affectionately as the 'Black Bomber' after its black finish, the CB450 was Honda's largest model when launched and capitalised on experience gained with a succession of smaller-capacity twins. Nevertheless, the CB450 departed from Honda's usual practice in a number of ways, in particular its use of twin overhead camshafts, torsion-bar valve springs and constant-velocity carburettors. The tubular frame - replacing Honda's traditional fabricated spine type - was another departure from the norm. With a top speed of over 100mph and a standing quarter-mile time in the 14-second bracket, the refined CB450 sounded the death knell, not just for the traditional British 500 but for the entire UK industry which, ever complacent, found itself at an ever increasing disadvantage in the all-important US marketplace.
This example was purchased in 1975. Last taxed to 31st May 1988, 'LDN 85E' comes with an expired MoT issued 11th April 1987 recording the mileage at that time as 51,844. The current odometer reading is 93,040 miles, suggesting that the original speedometer may have failed and been replaced. Sold strictly as viewed, the machine is offered with bill of sale (1975) and old-style Swansea V5. A rare opportunity to acquire one of the great classic Hondas, ripe for sympathetic restoration.