School Bikes: The 1981 Honda CBX

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This is as close to new as it gets. Believe it or not, this 1981 Honda CBX has never been started.
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A portion of the cockpit of the Honda CBX.
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If you found a vintage bike in mint condition would you use it or display it in a museum?
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Right down to the lettering, Jeff Winter’s “school” 1981 Honda CBX looks brand new — which it basically is: The engine’s never been fired.
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Early ads for the Honda CBX honed in on the CBX’s biggest asset, it’s 6-cylinder engine.
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Jeff with the 1981 Honda CBX at a recent show.

1981 Honda CBX
Claimed power:
100hp @ 9,000rpm
Top speed: 138mph
Engine: 1,047cc DOHC, air-cooled inline 6-cylinder
Weight (dry): 633lb (287kg)
Fuel capacity/MPG: 5.8gal (21.9ltr) / 25-40mpg

It’s not an urban legend: Honda really did donate hundreds of its six-cylinder motorcycle to high school shop classes, and the 1981 Honda CBX Jeff Winter found at Richfield High School in Richfield, MN is one of the few survivors.

Let’s see a show of hands. How many of us would head back to school if the Honda CBX was a teaching aid in the mechanics shop?

Hard to believe, but in 1981 Honda distributed hundreds of its advanced CBX and V-twin CX Turbo six-cylinder motorcycles to vocational and technical schools across the U.S. The machines were donated on the assumption they would be used to teach students the ins and outs of motorcycle mechanics. But working on such a technically advanced motorcycle was surely beyond the scope of the average student.

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