The in-line 4-cylinder setup is among the most popular engine configurations that the world has ever come across. These engines have been powering a million souls for many decades. Yes, they’ve come a long way and have gone through a plethora of changes and development over the years. Honda started using in-line 4-cylinder engines in its ‘CB’ range of motorcycles in 1968. And it still uses them for its latest models.
Here’s a quick glimpse at the history of Honda’s in-line 4 CB models.
1968 Honda CB750
The 1968 Honda CB750 bears many ‘firsts’. It was the world’s first ‘Superbike’, the first mass-produced 4-cylinder production motorcycle, and the first mass-production bike with electric start and disc brake. Honda showcased it at the Tokyo show in 1968 for the very first time where it was made public. The 1968 CB750 went on sale in 1969.
1971 Honda CB500F
The 1971 CB500F was Honda’s first 500cc in-line 4-cylinder motorcycle. It was a smaller and lighter bike but it showcased a similar style to the 1969 CB750.
1975 Honda CB400F
This was one of the first bikes in the world to get a six-speed gearbox.
1976 Honda CB750A
You’d be surprised to know that the CB750A was Honda’s first ‘automatic’ motorcycle – Hondamatic.
1979 Honda CB900F
This motorcycle had the first DOHC four-valve engine in a CB.
1981 Honda CB1100R
Raced successfully by Ron Haslam and Wayne Gardner.
‘The Big One’ – 18-inch wheels and 96hp (72kW) – first water-cooled CB in-line four.
1990’s version of the classic CB750 of the 1970s.
The first Hornet. A Japan-only bike powered by a repurposed CBR250 engine.
Introduction of the biggest CB engine, originally used in the Honda X-4.
1998 CB600F Hornet
A key part of Honda’s middleweight line-up for over 15 years.
Powered by a repurposed fuel injected 1996 918 FireBlade engine.
Introduction of fuel injection and ABS
2007 CB750 Special Edition
Japanese only Special Edition.
One of two versions of the CB1100 available, together with the CB1100RS.
The flagship of the new ‘Neo Sports Cafe’ range, unveiled at EICMA 2017 with the CB300R and CB125R.
The fourth member of the Neo Sports Cafe family continues Honda’s tradition of in-line four middleweights.