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 Honda - CB MK2
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Honda D2-492-17-07
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 450
Model : CB MK2
Production : 1969 - 1970
Category : (R) Street Bike


CB 450 MK 2 - 1969

Spearhead of Honda's assault

The Japanese attack that would deal a fatal blow to the European markets and the local motorcycle industry took off in 1969, with the 750 four-cylinder Honda. The first direct hit – the 450 Honda – exploded at the end of 1965 in the seemingly impregnable kingdom of the British big twins.

New Features for a Production Bike

The kings of the road were still Triumph and Norton. These ultimate descendants of a long line of overhead-valve twins with separate gearboxes had nothing but their image and capacity. The first large-displacement Honda dealt them a cruel blow. The 450 Honda offered a host of sophisticated and original technical features. Following a technique inaugurated in 1960 with the CB72, the firing order of the two cylinders was staggered at 360 degrees, balance was improved and the new 450 Honda could turn at a spine-tingling 10,000 rpm. It had twin overhead camshafts and torsion bar valve springs, a feature previously seen on the unorthodox Panhard Dyna cars of the 1950s.

The Finishing Touch

Another unorthodox feature was the use of suction carburetors; the finishing touch was the fitting of an electric starter. This mechanical jewel cost little more than the rough-hewn Triumph 650 Bonneville. Honda built up its public image and the CB450 remained in the catalog for ten years with regular improvements.


Engine: 445cc (70x51mm) air-cooled twin cylinder

Power Rating: 45 hp @ 9000 rpm

Valves: twin overhead camshaft driven by chain

Fuel System: two 32mm Keihin suction carburetors

Transmission: 5-speecl; chain final drive

Suspension: telescopic forks (front); swinging fork with twin dampers (rear)

Brakes: twin leading shoe drum (front); drum (rear)

Weels: 18 inch (front & rear)

Weight: 386 lb

Maximum Speed: 93 mph

The 1969 MK2 version of the CB450 features the five-speed transmission launched in 1967; the 450 featured in the Japanese catalog was styled like the 750.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

Please contact me at info@moto-collection.org for conditions and copyright.

© Tous droits réservés
François-Marie Dumas

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