The Honda CB750 four was the first four cylinder superbike, and the final nail in the coffic of the British bike industry. The first bikes, referred to as K0 for 1969 and 1970, are often seen as the rarest and most valuable, with supposedly more power and some slight cosmetic differences. Clymer spotted this near perfect 1970 CB750 KO in “Candy Gold” on display at the 2013 Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts vintage motorcycle rally.
There are a few key differences that allow you to spot a 1969 or 1970 Honda CB750 in a crowd of other bikes. The headlight ears on all the early bikes were color matched to the tank and side covers, while later year had mostly chrome plated pieces. Also color keyed was the airbox, which was a unique design with smooth sides as well (this example has a later box painted to match, which was common as the early boxes were prone to cracking). The K0 side covers also have six vent slots in them directing directing air inward toward the electronics, oil tank, and airbox intake. The seat on the K0 bikes is also different, having a small upturn at the back end of it.
Eventually Honda would sell hundreds of thousands of the variations on the 750-four between 1969 and 1978, before the major redesign and the introduction of the DOHC CB750. You can read much more about the Honda CB750 on Wikipedia.
Clymer Girl and the crew didn’t have to go far to attend the HoAME show and rally, as it was just up the road at the Kansas City Airline History Museum in the Downtown Airport. The show was packed with classic vintage and antique motorcycles including British, German, Japanese, Italian, and American makes, all on display. Manufacturers represented include Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW, Harley Davidson, Vincent, Triumph, BSA, Norton, Brough Superior, Indian, Cushman, Vespa, Laverda, Puch, Lambretta, MV Augusta, Ducati, Matchless, Zundapp, Moto Guzzi, AJS and more. There were 100% perfect restorations, well worn bikes daily riders, full-on customs, cafe racers, choppers, bobbers, dirt bikes, road racers – any type or style of motorcycle you could image. Also on display were vintage propeller driven passenger planes, including a Douglas DC-3, a Martin 404, and right outside the hangar was a 1958 Lockheed Super Constellation.
Clymer’s original 1969-78 Honda CB750 SOHC manual is still one of our best selling books, even 45 years later.