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Honda CB900 F in war colors

Honda SP4
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Revolutions are also becoming outdated. And where the Honda CB750 F was earth-shattering news in 1969, the Honda CB750 K7 (1977-1978) was the last of the Honda four-cylinder story with single overhead camshafts. The K7 (and the K8) was a good, now almost classically styled engine for people who found the Honda F1 and F2 four-cylinder too modern or just ugly. And those F1 and F2 were Honda's latest attempt at keeping their trusty long-standing until the company finished its overhead cam models.

From 1978 (to 1984). After the CB750 OHC engines had already acclaimed enthusiast status, the Honda CB900 F Bol d'Or DOHC four-cylinder was plain old stuff. And they cost nothing at all. Meanwhile, those Honda CB900 F Bol d'Ors are classic not only in calendar years, but also in their entire technique and appearance. And that's why they want them now. But find a nice one.


Still very Honda

Despite its datedness, such a 900 cc Honda CB900 F Bol d'Or is still a fast machine. Not comparable to a modern bicycle. But in practice even more than fast enough.

Such a 900 cc DOHC block produced 91 hp in the beginning and later 95 hp. And in a country where you can drive up to 130 km/h on some stretches of highway, a top speed of more than 200 km/h is enough. A Honda CB900 F pilot does not have to be ashamed of the acceleration either. The four-cylinder has a pleasant power curve and a nice torque curve, so it is also just good to tour. A good model can always be improved. With the 900, the improvement was best visible in the cut. The early Big Bols were heavy drinkers. 1 in 10 and 1 in 13 were values ​​that were only considered a little later in Japan. With the C and D versions, a use of barely 1 in 17 is feasible.

Just drives well

The handling of the Honda CB900 F Bol d'Or is just good. And steering isn't really hindered by the quite serious weight of the machine either. That 'Bol d'Or' means 'Golden Bowl' by the way. And that's the thing that the winners of the 24 Hours of Le Mans took home. The Bol d'Or machines were therefore always intended to be sporty. Still, the suspension is comfortable and the seating position is only slightly bent forward. On long journeys, that seating position, even for a possible passenger, is fine. From the end of 1980 there is also the F2. It is equipped with a streamline that also offers quite good protection. The comfort is even greater because the engine block has been mounted in rubbers from that time on.

From A to D

The Honda CB900 F starts at the end of 1978 with the 'A' type. The final version is the 'D', which has black mufflers. There are quite a few Bol d'Ors imported off the official paths. So pay attention to differences between year of construction and first name. From 1981 there were the 'B' types that were recognizable by their 'reversed' Comstar spokes. From that moment on they stood with the 'hollow' side out. The rivets can become loose on the first generation of Comstar wheels. And that's something you don't want!

The Honda CB900 F of the 'C' series have the 'boomerang' rims, and matt black engine blocks. Where the 'A' models had their problems, their successors got better and better. We hear from the club that oil leakage at the head gasket can often also be solved with a silicone gasket, instead of with the approach mentioned in the workshop manual.

That's a typical practical fact

And for that, a club membership is very useful. The characteristic rattling of the camshaft chain indicates a (coming) replacement of the camshaft chain tensioner. That is quite an expensive operation. Starter malfunctions can often be solved by cleaning that part. Also look out for signs of fall damage on the alternator cover. A slightly pressed lid can – unnoticed – rub against the rotor. The consequences of this are also more expensive than you would like.

A real classic

But in the meantime, the Honda CB900 F Bol d'Or is a true classic. And that his smaller 750 cc brother runs just a little better? Well, if that's your point, then you just score and 750, right? And that the early Bols were not really well painted? Yes, that was some wrong frugality on the part of the Japanese.

The cheapest way to ride such a bike has already been discovered

The Hondas were often (with purchase already) provided with personal war colors. Those machines are now starting to reappear. That is not factory original, but time original. And certainly not ugly. However?

Read also:
- Honda CB450 DOHC (1965-1974)
- Honda CBF900 Bol d'Or. Also a classic
- The Honda CB 750 SOHC (1969-1978)
- Honda CB750 Four vs Honda CB750 Four
- Honda CB 750 Hondamatic: Rare

Honda SPL 0
Honda CB900 F

4 Comments

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  1. You cannot call the first examples a steering bike. Many front fork stabilizers sold in the motorcycle shop where I worked at the time.

  2. During my technical training, one of them had a Bol d'or at school. I really wasn't just standing there alone watching my mouth water. The appearance of that bike, that sound of that 900. After all, it was a serious thing! The owner imagined himself in some kind of God status with that thing. Always hung firmly on the gas when someone looked. Preferably pop the clutch and hit the rear wheel with that thing. The college courtyard could only be exited via a steep slope. There, too, the guy immediately hung on to the gas. Until that one day. The umpteenth stroke of gas, followed acutely by a mechanical 'clamp' and a Bol d'or that immediately lay on its side with the rider and with serious damage. 'What's happening'? Once again the Bol d'or was the center of attention, but in a different way.
    The chain appeared to have grown tired of all the abuse and she had broken gradually. To make matters worse, it had gathered itself into a lump of chain around the pinion near the block. Due to the lack of space, a piece of aluminum had to give up its place on the crankcase. Expensive school for his riding skills, so a lot of bystanders thought.

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