Our friend Gabe stopped by MotoPreserve the other day, looking for us to help his friend with a stuck bolt. Sadly, we couldn’t get the bolt off, but we were treated to a glimpse of his gorgeous 1967 Honda CB450 Black Bomber.
Honda CB450 Black Bomber: ugly ducking or classic?
Production began on the Honda CB450 Black Bomber in 1965, as Honda’s attempt to enter the “big bike” market. Sights set on the European manufacturers, particularly the British companies, Honda threw their hat in the ring with this large displacement bike. The 444cc engine was coupled with DOHC and a pair of CV carbs.
Sales were lukewarm, and at the time the style of the bike was not appreciated. Called the ‘ugly ducking’ by some, in 1967 the Honda CB450 Black Bomber was updated by a bolt-on kit sent to dealers, which changed the tank, side covers, fenders, taillight, handlebars, and special upsewpt exhaust pipes. Fortunately, this example has the original styling – now desirable.
While it would take several more years for Honda to achieve their heightened status as manufactures of advanced, large displacement performance bikes (with the introduction of the CB750 in 1969), this bike has become a classic.
The bike is a 1967 Honda CB450, that I found on craigslist for $600, with an open New Jersey title from 1972. My plan had been to get it running as good as possible, with no money, and leave it cosmetically more or less how I found it. I’ve hammered a few dents outs and took off some horrendous reflective stickers, but other than that it looks about the same as when I bought it. I’ve cheated a little, but still probably only have about $300 bucks in to the bike. It’s been a faithful everyday bike for the last year and a half and is so fun to ride. I got the cocktail shaker mufflers off of craigslist for $30 and had to find a headlight for it ( also $30). It had original Dunlop K70s on it that said made in Great Britain on them. I rode on them for a while but once it was time to get inspected I bought a new pair of repros. Just before the winter I finally got new og style control cables and put the cut down drag bar on it. This bikes has treated me the best of any bike I have, even though it doesn’t get nearly as much attention as my other vehicles. Took it to 100 mph on the prospect expressway a couple weeks ago, I think my arms are still vibrating.