The Honda CBX550. With inboard disc brake. (1982-1986)
A lot of the Honda CBX550 must have been sold. Because on every motorcycle run you found - and you find - the Comstar front wheels with built-in disc brake that are characteristic of the small CBX. Is a disk, looks like a drum. And it never became.
It couldn't go on
The small Honda CBX550 was one of the Honda models in the early 1980s that had only a short production time. The eighties, after all, was the time when Japanese motorcycle builders thought that the trees grew into the sky and that every motorcycle rider should have his own model of motorcycle. Plus they didn't want to give the competition any room to score. The Honda CBX550 was intended to plunge sales of the Kawasaki GPZ550. The CBX550 was only available for two years in many markets. The machine was equipped with Honda's TRAC anti-dive front fork, air support in the front suspension, a dashboard that was very similar to that of the CBX 1000 and of course those crazy inner disc brakes. It is possible that the inboard brake system was devised to allow the discs to perform optimally even in the rain. That was quite a thing at the time with disc brakes from Japan. The butt was sprung by Honda's Pro Link system.
The successor to the CB400 The Honda CBX550 - the dream successor to the CB400, the first well-handling Japanese motorcycle (quote English press) - was available in 'naked' version and with a top half fairing. The CBXs were very neatly finished. The little CBX was fast, nimble, and crazy about touring. Still, the power source was quite smooth, not "spiky". There was already enough power from 3.000 rpm. And it stayed that way until the tachometer needle went into the red. And the standard exhaust system has been lovingly compared to the iconic 'bunch of bananas' under the CB400. Only bananas have never rusted so convincingly. Original exhaust systems are therefore very scarce. And expensive. But despite all its sportiness and perfectly shifting six-speed gearbox, you could also just tour nicely on the CBX550. The buddy and the seating position also contributed to this.
The downside is that the Trac system and the built-in discs contribute to the unsprung weight of the front wheel. And with really sharp driving you notice that. A steering damper fitted afterwards or the fitting of a stroke wider tire masked the unrest that occurred at the front during the quiet collision with a traffic light or similar obstacle. The mounting of conical head bearings that are 'slightly' tightened was also an option. Maintenance of those pretty looking constructions was rather difficult. That made it expensive. The built-in disc brakes were clearly the answer to the question nobody had asked.
The CBX550 had, apart from all its plus points and characteristic things, one real pain point: the chain tensioner of the distribution chain. Above the 20.000 km, that part started to rattle. And there was no herb against that. In addition, the gearbox heated the oil supply of the rear suspension. That led - certainly in long turns - to a surging spring behavior that you were not waiting for.
Classic, rare. And not wanted
In the meantime, the CBXs are classic, rare and not very sought after. The parts provision is limited. But with a nice copy you can have a lot of dated but high-speed fun without losing your driver's license immediately.