Clymer visited the 22th Annual Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts (HoAME) Vintage Motorcycle Rally/Show and took a close up look at Tom Marquardt’s 1980 Honda CB750F former AMA factory race bike. It received the trophy for Best Competition Motorcycle sponsored by Heartland Park Topeka. This factory AMA Superbike was part of Honda’s re-entry into AMA competition, with a team including Freddie Spencer, Steve McLaughlin, and Ron Pierce, who raced this bike in competition. Midway through the year Ron was injured racing in the Suzuka 8 hour endurance race, and Roberto Pietri finished out the season.
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 representing the best of British, German, Japanese, Italian, and American manufacturers. Some of the brands on display were Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW, Harley-Davidson, Triumph, BSA, Norton, Indian, Cushman, Vespa, Laverda, Lambretta, Ducati, Matchless, Zundapp, Moto Guzzi, and more. There was everything from 100% perfect restorations, to well worn bikes daily riders, to full-on customized cafe racers, choppers, bobbers, dirt bikes, road racers – any type or style of motorcycle you could image. As part of the museum’s permanent exhibits, there were also vintage propeller driven passenger planes, including a Douglas DC-3, a Martin 404, and, the pride of their collection, a 1958 Lockheed Super Constellation.
The Honda CB750 this superbike racer is based on debuted in 1979, with DOHC and four valves per cylinder in the motor, and an entirely new bike built around it. Replacing the original Honda SOHC Cb750, first sold in 1969, the new motor made more power and revved higher, even in the laid back CB750C “custom” trim. There was also a retro styled CB750K, with traditional spoked wheels and a return to 4 individual exhaust megaphones, and a special “10th Anniversary Limited Edition”. The sportiest bike of the bunch though was again the CB750F, which took great advantage of the more powerful engine, stiffer chassis, better suspension, and upgraded brakes. Though Honda had stayed away from AMA production bike racing because it was not thought the SOHC motor would make competitive power, they returned in 1980 looking to take on all challengers. In their first year Freddie Spencer won the Road America race at Elkhart Lake, WI and finished third overall in the championship.
If you need a manual for your classic DOHC Honda CB750, or if you are preparing one for vintage road racing, you’ll find the Clymer Manual an invaluable tool. You can get your copy here. Clymer also covers the CB900, CB1000, and CB1100 that were the result of Honda’s continued efforts to go faster in this manual.