That was the first Really Heavy Honda. It was intended to compete with the 650 cc pushrod twins from England. And to conquer America. It did not work. The 44 horsepower machine was technically light years ahead of the British and American heavy boys. With a Honda CB450 'Black Bomber' (they also came in red and blue, by the way, and white for police use) the 650 twins could be snotty if the road wasn't too bad and not too winding.
Technically, the Japanese had to learn something
But the Japanese twins cheered it up at speeds where their British competition had long gone into fragmentation mode. They stayed whole. Did not leak oil. Had a starter motor and flashing lights. The early CB450s had four-speed gearboxes and a pure competition construction of the block in terms of crankshaft suspension. The CB450s from the K1 type differed technically clearly from the Bombers. The Bombers were discovered long ago. The Honda CB450 K1 models are already seriously sought after. The number of people who think that a K4 or K5 is still not worth more than 1.500 euros is rapidly decreasing.
In 1965 the Black Bomber was a revolutionary motorcycle
The later models were ordinary, already somewhat dated middle class cars in the rapidly evolving market. And that they were for about 5-10 years in a time when 'old' engines were not cherished, but were scrapped. Before that, they were often brightened up with a 'racing seat', polyester tank and in any case Dunstall or Megaton mufflers or other fun pipes. Clip-ons or the famous 'lop-eared handlebars' and half or full tubs also scored highly in the late days. At that time there was often a lack of maintenance. And Japanese motorcycles can also die from neglect and malnutrition. But there is a golden rule. This is no guarantee, but it is more than indicative: If such a Honda CB450 DOHC looks reasonable to neat, there is a good chance that it can still enjoy a healthy old age with an owner who treats it with love and respect. .
The block may have done its job, but the fact that the engines with the double overhead camshafts, torsion bar valve springs and the very long cam chain were real engineers' dreams made them very sensitive to meticulous maintenance. And a block overhaul of the most complicated twin costs serious money. The parts are getting a bit scarce. And expensive. Moreover, it is not only the block parts that are expensive. So are the shiny and shiny stuff. In addition, not every painter can get away with Honda's paint colors from that time. A new, painted, otherwise bare NOS tank, costs more than 1.000 euros. For original, new mufflers you tap more than 1.500 euros without small material.
All the more reason to spend a few euros more for a CB450 DOHC that is as original as possible. The fashion models were with our friend Alex. The asking prices were about 3.000-3.500 euros. They were and are barn finds that have not run for years. The only 'guarantee' is that they have 'thick compression'. During our visit, one was already sold, the other reserved…