1967 Honda CB450 Police Special

Stop in the name of ... Honda?

| March/April 2011

1967 Honda CB450 Police Special (officially designated the CP450)
Claimed power:
43hp @ 8,500rpm (claimed)
Top speed: 102mph (period test)
Engine: 444cc air-cooled DOHC parallel twin
Weight (wet-stock): 430lb (195kg)
MPG: 40-45mpg (est.)

In the mid-1960s, most U.S. police motorcycles were big 74 cubic-inch Harley-Davidsons. But that didn’t stop Honda, always looking for new markets, from making a play for a piece of that police pursuit motorcycle pie with the Honda CB450 Police Special.

In 1967, the double overhead cam Honda CB450, which had been introduced in 1965, was still Honda’s flagship model, and would remain so until the Honda CB750 burst on the scene in 1969. Given Honda’s aggressive pursuit of the American bike market, it’s no real surprise to think that Honda, if it were to compete for a share of the police pursuit motorcycle market that year, would choose the 450 as its pitch; but what does come as a surprise is the fact that Honda built a police bike at all in 1967.

Indeed, Honda collector and expert Don Omen confirms that his beautiful 1967 Honda CB450 Police Special, which is designated the CP450, is not even one of the first generation CB450 cop bikes; he says about 25 of them were sent to North America in 1966. That said, Don’s CP450 is still a pretty rare find these days — and he has two of them.

Honda’s patrol bike

The example featured here is one Don has owned for nearly 14 years. “I bought it from a fellow in Rice Lake, Wisc. He was getting parts from me to restore it. He was hosting a 30th birthday party for a biker buddy of his and invited me. I was near his house and called for better directions, and he came on the CP to get me. First time I saw it, he was coming down a hill with red lights flashing and siren blaring. What can I say? The CP went home with me,” Don recalls.

As near as Don can determine, the equipment the bike has is correct for the period, but not necessarily what might have been “standard.” Don explains: “Each department probably would have bought the basic bike and added the other accessories and equipment it wanted.”

jeff molenaar
1/18/2012 7:05:49 PM

hello i have a 67 honda cb 450 P police bike sitting in my garage , any info on it would be great , thinking of selling it this spring , needs some tlc,has solo seat, missing side covers and the siren unfortunatly,tank is in great cond for its age

Charles Brand
3/10/2011 11:30:55 PM

The "60 MPH @ XXXX RPM" refers to the speedometer cable RPM, used as a reference to calibrate the speedometer. It in no way refers to engine RPM at that speed. As motorcycle speedometers of the era typically were driven either by direct connection to the front wheel or to the transmission output or final drive, engine RPM would be irrelevant to the reading.

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