The Japanese motorcycle industry first made an impact outside its homeland with small-capacity commuter bikes and lightweights, and for many years the view prevailed in North America and Europe that they were incapable of building effective large-capacity machines. The arrival of the Honda CB450 in 1965 should have dispelled any lingering doubts about Japan's intention to compete in all sectors of the market. Known affectionately as the 'Black Bomber' after its black finish, the CB450 was Honda's largest model when launched and capitalised on experience gained with a succession of smaller-capacity twins. With a top speed of over 100mph and a standing quarter-mile time in the 14-second bracket, the refined CB450 sounded the death knell, not just for the traditional British '500' but for the entire UK motorcycle industry which, ever complacent, found itself at an ever increasing disadvantage in the all-important US marketplace.
This CB450 was bought as a project but in the event needed no work. Tested by Rick Parkington for Classic Bike magazine (copy on file), it is said to be sweet to ride and would need only a new seat cover and a tank re-spray (and perhaps professional valeting) to restore it to 'as new' condition. Note: a spare engine is fitted (original supplied). Kept in a heated garage as part of a private collection since purchase, the machine is offered with a V5C document.