The Honda CB450 Black Bomber

1 / 10
The Honda CB450 Black Bomber.
2 / 10
The Honda CB450 Black Bomber.
3 / 10
The Honda CB450 Black Bomber.
4 / 10
Doubtless most Honda owners never had to use the provided tool kit on the Honda CB450 Black Bomber.
5 / 10
The red taillight was about the only spot of color on the early Honda CB450, which came only in black with silver.
6 / 10
Number plate was added for fun on the Honda CB450 Black Bomber; this is no race bike.
7 / 10
The Honda CB450 Black Bomber.
8 / 10
The calling card on the Honda CB450 Black Bomber was its double-overhead camshafts, a feature then found only on exotic race bikes, and certainly not on “cheap” Japanese street machines.
9 / 10
The Honda CB450 Black Bomber.
10 / 10
The Honda CB450 Black Bomber.

Honda CB450 Black Bomber
Years produced:
 1965-1968
Claimed power: 43hp @ 8,500rpm
Top speed: 102mph (period test)
Engine type: 444cc DOHC air-cooled parallel twin
Weight (wet): 430lb (195kg)
Price then: $1,000 (approx.)
Price now: $3,500-$6,000
MPG: 40-45 (est.)

“All warfare is based on deception. Therefore, when capable, feign incapacity; when active, inactivity. Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.” —­­ Sun Tzu, “The Art of War”

Widely recognized as one of the most important motorcycles ever launched by Honda, the Honda CB450 Black Bomber is celebrated as the company’s first “big twin” and as the first volume production double-overhead cam. Lauded and hyped by motorcycle and car magazines as one of the most remarkable machines ever, it was in fact a slow seller, never quite lighting the market on fire as Honda might have hoped. To understand the impact the CB450 had, it’s important to understand the U.S. market of the early 1960s and what led Honda to introduce the 450.

In the beginning …

Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine Featuring the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!