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Honda CB900 Custom

CB900 Custom

  • Price new - £1000
  • Engine – 902cc air-cooled dohc four
  • Power – 89bhp @ 9000rpm
  • Top Speed

Honda’s claim to be the best engine maker in the world looked a bit suspect in the late 1970s. Every model it released seemed to have reliability issues, usually involving cam chains. Even the CX500 suffered and that had pushrod valvegear!

Launched in 1978, the CB900 dohc fours were no exception. Great bike when they were running properly but a nightmare when the two cam chains started to saw their way to the outside world. If that didn’t get you, the big ends would sometimes fly apart, causing more mechanical mayhem. It’s a bit ironic that the engine was developed from Honda’s endurance racers.

Brits could choose between 750 and 900 fours bur Americans had to do with the 759 until 1980, when the CB900 Custom was introduced. In this case the word ‘Custom’ meant a lot more than high bars and a set of stubby exhausts.

While the sporty CB900F sold in the UK used chain drive, the Custom had an extra dual-range gearbox and shaft drive tacked on the back of the engine, which was now rubber mounted. This made an already large and heavy bike even larger and heavier but it was smooth and relaxed cruiser.

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