1979 Honda CBX 1000 Z (1,047cc transverse six)
103 bhp, 600 lbs, 135 mph
In the late 1970s all the Japanese manufacturers were building superbikes. With the CBX, launched in 1978, Honda aimed to re-establish itself at the forefront of motorcycling technology and performance, given the by then pre-eminence of the 1,000 and 1,100cc fours available from Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha. The CBX was undoubtedly at the cutting edge - with six carburettors feeding six cylinders and with four valves per cylinder and DOHC this was a real tour de force. The width of the engine meant that the alternator and ignition had to be positioned behind the cylinder block.
Performance is very good although not any better than either the Yamaha XS 1100 or Suzuki GS 1000 - also the relatively slim forks can make for the occasional "tank slapper". However, the sheer presence of the six cylinders and header pipes is awesome. The complexity of the CBX scared many potential buyers and hence it was produced for only five years. 38,000 were built in Japan and some 3,150 A models in the Honda Ohio factory. The CBX-Z was available in 1978 and 79, then the CBX-A and in 1981 and 82 it became the faired and bagged CBX-B Pro-Link.
This bike is a Canadian machine bought in 2012. It was restored by A&H Cycles with paint by Dream Machine. Apart from braided brake hoses and Dynojet kits in the carbs it is pretty faithful to the original. It is a superb smooth ride which always turns heads.