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Honda CBX1000: Six Appeal?
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Paul Miles has had a CBX in his life for most of the last thirty years. Here's his report card on Honda's classic six cylinder superbike...

Ah, the CBX. Everyoneís got an opinion, yet hardly anyone has actually ridden one. Why? Well, they were deemed too expensive, too thirsty and too complicated when new, I remember it well because I was associated with a Honda dealer at the time. Honda decided to make a six because they could, and in the process raised the stakes in air cooled motorcycles to the highest level; we wo, with six carbs, six pots, 24 valves.

RealClassic winter weather, by the look of it... 1979 Honda CBX 1000

When you look at one, and indeed ride one, the engine is everything, overwhelming in every respect. So smooth, with effortless, vibration-free power.. and what power! At the time of its launch the CBX annihilated the competition, in a straight line at least. Nothing could live with its huge and seamless power, nothing. But stick a bend in the road and the Supersport credentials, so proudly emblazoned on the tank, were put under scrutiny. Too skinny forks, pogo stick 24 way adjustable FVQ (soon known as Fade Very Quickly) shocks and weedy brakes allowed the Z1000s and GS1000s to catch you up through the swervery.

But do they make more sense now as a modern Japanese classic?

A+Motor: Well, it would be a brave man that would argue against the legendary status of the motor. It still delivers colossal power, even by today's standards, but is smooth and tractable and displays excellent manners around town.

A+Image: It looks and sounds fantastic and has space-age red clocks and giant switchgear that all works with typical Honda efficiency. Apparently, Honda based the exhaust note and clocks on a Phantom jet fighter, and you donít get that on a Yamaha! Plus, Comstar wheels as well.

B+Ride: Comfortable riding position, great two up, massive petrol tank, because at 35mpg you need lots of it!

B+Day to Day: Parts availability is very good with a few notable exceptions, but lots of interchangeability with other models like the CB900 and a great finish; itís a HONDA!

If you're gonna have one, have a big 'un... 1979 Honda CBX 1000 Engine

Known faults: Surprisingly few. You must drain the carbs if laying up, or they clog up badly, and there was an issue with fuel taps on the earliest models leaking into the motor causing hydraulic lock, but these should all have been fixed by now under warranty. Rattly clutches are common, and alternator failure isnít unknown; they had a clutch built into them, typical Honda solving non-existent problems.

B+The CBX's cult following has spawned several technical websites with an abundance of shared knowledge, including factory workshop manuals available for free download. So, when compared to Jap bikes of a similar age...

A+Reliability: Iíve had three CBXís, there seems to have been one in my life for nearly thirty years and Iíve never had one fail.

Handling and Brakes: The engine is far too potent for the cycle parts and the suspension becomes C+overwhelmed if pressing on a bit. The brakes, likewise, are very weedy. People that ride them a lot fit later forks and brakes from other bikes, or you could go the Moto Martin route... Fine for modern roads and ridden smoothly, but when compared to say, a GS1000, only a...

Value: Considering that it is arguably the greatest air cooled engine ever made and is a rare sight on British roads, yet is perfectly happy touring for thousands of miles or commuting into town every day, they can still be had very reasonably. It's for the same reasons that people didnít buy them when new, namely: too expensive; too thirsty; too complicated, they still donít trust them today.

A+But everybody secretly wants a go on a CBX. They tend to be either standard and more expensive, or modified and cheaper. Great value, buy one, resistance is futile!

Resistance is, indeed, futile... 1979 Honda CBX 1000
Good work...


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