Half-Century of Performance: A preview

Honda, Superbike

By Nigel Paterson

The road-going Superbike was born 50 years ago, when Honda released the CB750 onto an unsuspecting public.

It would change motorcycling forever, ushering in a new era of multi-cylinder bikes, starting a performance war that would destroy the British bike industry and change the way everyone thought of motorcycles.

The first of what became known as the Universal Japanese Motorcycle (UJM), the CB750 was bigger, faster, more powerful and handled better than any Japanese bike before it.

There may have been larger-capacity British, Italian, and American bikes, but none could come close to matching the handling, price and performance of the CB750 – and, crucially, the reliability.

The CB750, for its time, was bulletproof and easier to work on than most other bikes too. Needless to say, they sold in droves.

If you enjoyed this article and would like the full-length version it can be found in the current edition of Road Rider #151 – find yours in store now.