Honda CB750 Four
While this Honda CB750 Four superstar has been covered elsewhere in Classic Japanese Bikes, it has to be included with the middleweights if only because by the late ‘70s, it’s superbike status has aged gracefully into middle-age and was surpassed by many a large-bore competitor.
Abbreviated to the z650 in Europe, as were all the KZ models, the ‘Son of Z1” was first produced as a 1976 model and lasted until 1983. This classic Japanese motorcycle earned a sterling reputation as a bike with the handling of a 500 and the power of a 750.
This Yamaha twin was manufactured from 1968 to 1985, making it one of the longest running Japanese motorcycles ever produced. Also known as the Yamaha XS-1, there
were a great many iterations of this famous mark.
The Suzuki GS750 above could be a streetfighter, cafe racer, superbike or simply what it is. A very tough looking, subtly modified stocker. Who says classic Suzuki bikes from this era lacked a visual punch? This one's downright intimidating!
Arguably, the Suzuki GS750 was the first superbike from Japan to get it right. Sure, the CB750 hit the showrooms 7 years earlier and the faster Kawasaki Z900 came into production four years before the Suzuki. But neither of those handled particularly well. The Honda was akin to that of current day middleweight cruisers when it came to power and handling, whereas the Kawasaki had enough motor to totally overpower its chassis, enough so that it could really bite an inexperienced rider...