Property of James May 1967 Honda CB450 'Black Bomber' Registration no. VEV 28E Frame no. 1010710 Engine no. 1007291 (see text)
The arrival of the Honda CB450 in 1965 should have dispelled any lingering doubts about Japan's intention to compete in all sectors of the market. Known affectionately as the 'Black Bomber' after its black finish, it was Honda's largest model and capitalised on experience gained with a succession of smaller-capacity twins. Nevertheless, the CB450 departed from Honda's usual practice in a number of ways, in particular its use of twin overhead camshafts, torsion-bar valve springs and constant-velocity carburettors. The tubular frame, replacing Honda's traditional fabricated spine type, was another departure from the norm. With a top speed of over 100mph and a standing quarter-mile time in the 14-second bracket, the refined CB450 sounded the death knell, not just for the traditional British '500' but the entire UK motorcycle industry which, ever complacent, found itself at an ever increasing disadvantage in the all-important US marketplace. This CB450 was first registered, to Bridge Street Motorcycles of Witham, Essex, on 25th May 1967. The Honda was purchased by James in May 2014 and is described by him as in generally good condition. Last used in July 2015, it benefits from new ignition coils and HT leads, refurbished wiring loom and overhauled carburettors, though it should be noted that the starter motor requires attention. The machine is offered with its original old-style logbook (recording a different engine number), V5C registration document, sundry invoices and a quantity of expired MoT certificates and tax discs.