News Riding

Here’s what made the 1969 Honda CB750 so cool

There were some pretty cool bikes in the late 1960s: The Triumph Trident, BSA Rocket 3, Norton Commando, Harley-Davidson XLCH and the Kawasaki Mach III.

But the 1969 Honda CB750 was different. It was revolutionary. Why was it so cool?

Well, four cylinders, four megaphone exhausts, a disc front brake, an overhead camshaft and amazing fit and finish for starters.

Honda engineers realized that several low-mass, smaller pistons could move faster than a few heavy ones, turning increased RPMs into more power.

The engine pumped out 67 ponies.

Plus it had a big advantage over the twin-cylinder machines of the day: it was smooth.

The new model won the famed Daytona 200 in 1970, its first time out, with future AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Dick Mann as the pilot. Of all of his national wins, perhaps the most fulfilling for Mann was his 1970 Daytona 200 win riding the new Honda CB750.

Mann ran strong all day and held off early challenges by former world champion and later AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Mike “The Bike” Hailwood and, later in the race, rising stars and future AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers Gene Romero and Gary Nixon.

The win not only gave Mann his first victory at the Daytona classic, it also marked Honda’s first win in an AMA national.