Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The CB 750. The first ever superbike – Part. 1 [The hard facts]

The Honda CB 750 was design by Yoshirou Harada, who also designed the Honda CB 72 & CB450. Before the design process started Mr. Harada gave seven guideline criteria that the new bike should fulfil. The criteria was as follow:

1) A highway cruising speed of between 85 and 100 mph. Abroad power band with minimum vibration and engine noise.

2) Excellent stability, even when travelling at over 100 mph.

3) Strong and reliable braking, effective at high speed and with full loading.

4) Ergonomic riding position and controls, for a relaxed and comfortable ride.

5) Lighting and instrumentation which is patently sophisticated and reliable. Overall looks that will get the machine noticed by other road users.

6) Utter reliability from every component, while inspection and maintenance must be easy.

7) Full use of new materials, technologies and the latest surface treatments to ensure unique design and promote ease of production.

Being the fastest production bike at the time of its release, and on top of that the only production bike with a disk brake, this bike was something else. Remember this bike came out in 1969! Cycle magazine & Cycle world magazine gave floorless reviews of the bike in there January & August issues, and was noticeably amazed by the bikes good handling, acceleration, and stopping power.

Having produced one of the most reliable motorcycles at the time, the CB 750 took the USA & Europe by storm! And crippled the British and American motorcycle production for years and send them onto a serious crisis in the 70’s & 80’s.

No wonder that Honda, a bit cocky some might say, quote themselves in their US commercials; “Sonner or later, you knew Honda would do it”.

The CB 750. The first ever superbike – Part. 2 [In Racing]

Bold d’Or 1969

Winning the prestigious Bol d’or (Golden Bowl) in France in September 1969, gave the CB 750 another promotional boost, just when initial waves caused by its launch earlier in the year were beginning to settle. Two bikes were ridden at the Bol d’or, with hotter camshafts and special exhaust sustems. No air filters were fitted and power output was up to 72 bhp. The bikes were driven by 19 year old Michel Rougerie & Daniel Urdich.

The relatively inexperienced rider Michel Rougerie measured up to the task by winning Bol d’or with an average speed of 72 mph / 116 km/h, and completed 445 laps in the 24 hours the race was on.

Rougerie whent on to be one of France’s top racers, winning three GP races, but lost his life en a crash in Yogoslavia in 1981.

Daytona 1970

To demonstrate the capabilities of the CB 750, Honda put together a factory effort to race the bike at Daytona in 1970. Honda’s race division quickly went to work on the already capable stock CB 750, to produce a race version of the bike for the Daytona 200. It was initially referenced as the “CB750 Racing Type”. It later became known as the CR750. The factory produced four bikes for that early race effort, unfortunately Ralph Bryan crashed during practice and the bike burned dramatically due to the high amount of highly flammable magnesium used in building the racer .

On March 15, 1970, Dick Mann rode one of the factory CB750 Racing Types (against a field of Harley-Davidsons, BSAs, Triumphs, Suzukis, and Yamahas), to win the Daytona 200, and set a new track record.

Dick Mann returned to Daytone on CR 750s up through the 70’s but never to win again.

The CB 750. The first ever superbike – Part. 3 [Racing Today]

As a direct result of, and to support the 1970 race effort, Honda produced a limited number of CB750 race kits, and made them available to their dealer network. The race parts kit contained over 150 special parts, including everything from special racing pistons, rings, valves, crankshaft, camshaft, pipes, forks, brakes, gears, rims, spokes, and sprockets, down to special gauges, carburetors, and a generator.

The net result of installing the race kit was to raise the engines output 23 horsepower to 90 horsepower, and the redline to an angry 10,500!

Today many vintage racers cling on to CB 750s all around the world. [Pirctures are from the UK and Japan]

The CB 750. The first ever superbike – Part. 4 [Café Racers]

Chris Sharon... the proud owner and builder of this immaculate CB750F. Based in Seattle, he is also a member of a vintage motorcycle club called the Knuckle Busters. To get a few extra horsepower, the heads were ported and polished, 849cc big bore with stage three cam and chrome 4 into 1 exhaust. The frame was powder coated in flat black paint with hand laid pin stripes.

Jason Koschnitzke... an industrial designer by trade and has been wrenching part-time on bikes for many years and many late nights. Recently he decided to follow his dreams and make wrenching his full-time job. So he created Motto Motorcycles which are based in Chicago. The 1978 Honda CB750 is built with a 836cc Wiseco 10.25 C/R kit and supporting go fast internal modifications. It's running Keihin 29mm CR carbs and a ceramic coated Kerker 4-1 exhaust with 2.0" baffle. It has double disc brakes in the front, drilled rotors and he flipped the forks around to place the calipers on the back side.

Wrench Monkees...

...Gorilla Punch is probably the most famous CB 750 Café racer. Being posted on almost every MC blog ever it is hard to miss.

Steve "Carpy" Carpenter...

...from the amazing CB750 Cafe has build this CB750 called the "Road Warrior'. Carpy dedicated this CB to the helicopter crew of HS-6, who died last year in a tragic training accident. The 'Speedy Indian' graphic on the side cover is a tribute to the aircraft referred to as the "Indian 617".

The Brammo Empulse RR

The Brammo Empulse represents the first production sportbike to be available by consumers.

The Empulse comes in three flavors (Brammo Empulse 6.0, Empulse 8.0, & Empulse 10.0) with differing amounts of on-board power each variant. While mileage will vary on actual riding conditions, the range are based on mixed use of freeway and city streets. All the Empulse models are capable of speeds in excess of 100MPH, and feature a 40hp liquid-cooled AC synchronous motor.

With the Empulse 10.0 having a 100 mile range, and costing only $13,995, Brammo is offering a potent and affordable package.
The big issue here is price/performance parity with internal combustion engines. When you consider the Ducati Streetfighter that’s currently only gets about 130 miles on a tank of gas, and costs $14,995 retail, the Empulse 10.0 becomes a vary attractive option to consumers. Obviously there are cheaper motorcycles that get better range than the Streetfighter, but the point is that for the first time, production electric motorcycles are creeping onto the performance figures of ICE motorcycles, while remaining affordable to the average consumer.
The Empulse will be sold through Best Buy, just like the Brammo Enertia, and will be available mid-2011. Orders will be served on a first-come, first-serve basis, and can be placed at A $99 fully-refundable deposit must be placed 90 days before delivery of the Empulse to the customer.

Designed by Brian Wiseman, Brammo’s Director of Product Development, the Brammo Empulse has a striking design that mixes bodywork that could find itself just as easily on an Italian sportbike as an American-made powercycle.
The Brammo Empulse RR entered the e-Power electric race at Laguna Seca, and was on display in pit area with a full race fairing. Brian Wismann says that fairings could be an option to Empulse owners if there’s enough interest. There is also some hinting as to the possibility of there being an Empulse spec-racing class, but we’ll have to wait and see on that development.

The way of the future!

One of my other big interests is electric vehicles. With the battery and sustainable energy technology speeding ahead, it is the only way forward if we want to go forward (on wheels). Alternative fuels? Fuck that! You still have emissions, and just because you can make cleaver calculations and say that your vehicles has a low carbon footprint it do not compete with green energy electric motors. Let’s make this perfectly clear ones and for all: Electric vehicles driving on green energy from sustainable energy sources have zero emissions. IT IS THE WAY OF THE FUTURE!

“But electric vehicles are boring”, you say. Yes in the past because nobody put an effort in developing them, and because the agenda on the energy front did not permit it!

Have a look at this! It is the Motoczysz-E1pc. It just won the Isle of Man for electric motorcycles, with an average speed of just under 100 mph/160 km/t. Cool??? Yeah it is fucking cool!!! Last week it won again at laguna seca in the US, and it is not the last we have seen of the killer machine…

I personally want one! And bad to! Michael Czysz, who build this machine, has talked about putting it in production? I will be the first to get a huge loan to get my name on Czysz’s “I-WANT-ONE-OF-THOSE-COOL-BIKES” list.

Electric vehicles are boring? No no no… There are so many cool vehicles coming. It is the way of the future.