1982 Honda CBX
There is something about the CBX that can’t be explained. This is a beast of a motorcycle but it is more ‘Beauty and the Beast’ than ‘The Hulk’. It is an incredible motorcycle and Honda did absolutely the right thing with it as time went along.
The CBX came at a time when the ‘Big Four’ (Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda) were all developing ‘Superbikes’. Honda at the time was considered the tamest of the bunch, everything about the bikes were good,fit and finish was way above everybody else, comfort was great and the bikes Honda was building were easy to ride, but nothing really stood out, what’s a poor company to do?! Let’s take our racing success and bring it to the street.
Honda developed the six cylinder motors for Grand Prix racing in the 60’s quite successfully. Jim Redmond and his 250 and 350 six cylinder bikes won just about every race they entered. So, when time came for Honda to blow past the retail competition they brought in Shoichiro Irimajiri, the engineer that developed the Grand Prix bikes to design the new Honda Superbike.
Development of the CBX started in 1976 and the biggest problem they faced was getting the weight down. Initially, Irimajiri San wanted the bike to be water cooled because it would be lighter, but the higher ups insisted on standard air cooling because of cost effectiveness. Truth be told, the CBR1000 four cylinder was actually faster than the Six. In the end the CBX should have produced about 130HP but settled at 103hp only 5 more than the CB1100F of the time. There may have not been much difference in the HP ratings but the difference in the ride is huge.
Here’s what happened however, Honda built a fantastic motor and designed a beautiful body for it but, then scrimped on the handling aspect of the bike. The CBX was not the Superbike that everyone, including Honda had hoped for, but Honda figured what the CBX was perfect for…Sport Touring.
Other than BMW with their RS series motorcycles, nobody else was really into the sporting side of touring. In 1981 Honda took the CBX in a whole new direction that was just about perfect. A complete change to the suspension (front and rear), a sleek new fairing and some stylish saddlebags and you have the sportiest ride to take you from here to Nova Scotia and back.
There is so much more to the CBX story. Sadly, the CBX was only around for four years but since that time it has grown a following that lives and breathes six cylinders. I found a beauty on ebay this morning that if you are looking for a sport tourer that will serve you well, be comfortable, draw a lot of attention as you travel across the country and still leave money in your bank account to do the travels, check this CBX out. It only has 44K miles, has a fresh tune up and battery, the carbs have been gone through and it is ready to ride. This is one of those bikes that I advocate (especially at this time of the year) that you buy it, fly to it and ride it home…the long way!
Click on the pics below for more pictures and info. This is a great bike and I think it can be had at a very reasonable price.