Following hot on the heels of the VF750S/Sabre debacle the Big Aitch ran back to the safety of its security blanket in the guise of the ubiquitous air-cooled four cylinder machines that had stood the company in good stead since 1969. However, on this occasion Honda didn’t simply rehash an old model; the CBX750 was effectively a ground-up design.
With oil/air cooling it was always going to be a bit stronger than its predecessors and, in fact, acquitted itself rather well at the 1984 750cc production TT. Not as frantic or focused as the competitors’ 750s of the day, the CBX750 might well be considered as the thinking man’s three-quarter litre machine.
If you’re after a bit of comfort allied to a decent half fairing then the CBX750 starts to make sense. If you want Japanese quality and low maintenance/price then this could be the bike you’ve been looking for. The bike is effectively the apogee of the air-cooled four and it was made as much to save Honda’s name as it was to make money. The cams run hydraulic tappets so there’s no need to spend money or hours fettling the top end. There are one or two known issues such as the alternator chain wearing at high mileage but that’s about it.
Not the lightest of the genre but it stays planted on the road without feeling skittish. Brakes are good for the period and made even better by modern hoses. With around 90bhp on tap and a decent seat it’s more sports tourer than full-on sports machine but none the worse for it. Factor in the legendary Honda build quality and there’s a lot to like for little money.
Good, honest, well used bikes can go for £600. A clean 20,000 mile example might top out at £1200. We recently spotted an immaculate, low mileage, fully faired Bol D’Or version for sale at £3800. To be honest that’s simply too much. Pay £1750 tops and enjoy one of the Japanese classic scene’s best kept secrets.