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There are plenty of products out there that like to call themselves game-changers, but few can really live up to that lofty title.
Honda’s CB750, however, absolute can and could be considered one of the most influential motorcycles to ever roll down the American road. From the comfortable, upright style seating, to the incredibly durable yet powerful 4 cylinder engine, and fade-free disc brakes; the CB750 was the first mass-market, large displacement bike to earn the “Superbike” moniker. It would even go on to form the basis of what a Universal Japanese Motorcycle (UJM) design would be for decades and decades to come.
Looking back on the history of American motorcycles, there are few bikes that inspired more dreams of the open road or stole the hearts of motorcycle enthusiasts quite like the Honda CB350. Full of charisma, and charm; the CB350 was perfectly placed at a time things were just a little bit simpler, and having fun on a quality motorcycle didn’t cost a fortune. In fact, what made the CB350 so appealing was the promise of not only motorcycle thrills, but unbeatable, drive it till the chains fall off reliability that was as endearing as it was useful. Sure, it wasn’t the fastest thing on the market at the time, but no one really cared. This is the magic of the CB350.
The 1970’s + 80’s were some funky years in the flat track world, motorcycles were quickly evolving and manufacturer’s were fighting to claim the title of the best performing motorcycle and team. During the late 70’s through the 80’s we saw all sorts of oddball bikes popping up and making their attempts to claim the title. In this story we’re going to cover one specific model that made an appearance in the flat track world for a short stint, that many people may have forgot about our weren’t aware it was even a thing. Before we dive into the trials and tribulations of this specific manufactures push into flat track, we need to give a bit of back story and lay out the foundations of how this came to be.
Deep within the confines of the biker subculture has always remained a series of "happenings" and moments over the years, pure, raw, forever nostalgic moments that have given fellow bikers a sense of pride for having lived through them or been a part of them. We have always tried to pay homage to moments like this and regionally these moments have become something that have transformed the landscape surrounding these biker happenings and brought others in pilgrimage to find their own sacred yet wild moments within them. Daytona Bike week forever immortalized by the striking images in the pages of biker magazines of the eighties and nineties was forever transformed when Daytona legend Willie Jones of the famed "Tropical tattoo" in Ormond beach began hosting a "true to the core"custom bike show called "chopper time" birthed from the comradery of fellow bikers and custom builders that would often make his tattoo shop lot a staple of their adventures. The show soon became the mecca of Southern motorcycle culture and held true to its core values for over 2 decades now. Early on bringing along the outgoing vaudevillian talents of the quick witted "Roadside Marty" as his master of ceremonies and an All Star cast of judges that made the shows awards a true "judging of its own peers" the show was destined to get bigger and better with every passing year. Not only did the show allow builders from all over the country from all walks of life to showcase their talents, connect with like minded individuals over a cold well priced brew or just simply cruise the lot looking for continued sources of inspiration, it also had a very important cause fueling it that not everyone knew about.
Vintage motorcycles and for this instance particularly old Honda's, seem to hold their own collection of stories and memories between families all over America and the world over. Whether that experience may have been a father teaching his son to rebuild a set of inline four carburetors in their garage on the weekends or maybe even the first bike that you remember your Uncle ever taking you for rides on or beyond that maybe it may have been the bike that got you into motorcycles altogether. Well no matter what the story, their lineage and their story is also yours. This sentiment certainly holds true for one such vintage inline four enthusiast Brenen Hiler of Indianapolis, Indiana who recently had the chance to acquire the 1975 Honda CB750 that was the bike that started it all for him. Passed through his family a few generations that CB stayed barn fresh and just a can of carb cleaner away from a solid ride for 3 decades until it was finally time for Brenen to be reunited with it. We sat down with him in his home shop in Indy and discussed his love for all motorcycles and how it progressed over the years all beginning with one very particular blue honda CB750.