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Posts filed under ‘Motorcycles’

Honda CBX: Superbike Godfather

February 19, 2012 by Matt

Honda CBX CBX1000 Red

I’ve never been much into bikes, but this one almost made a believer out of me.

Actually, having never really experienced it, that’s not altogether true; however, I can confidently say it was the first motorcycle to actually interest me. The power, the ahead-of-its-time sophistication, the speed and the fact that it sported an inline-6 (my favorite engine configuration) all drew me in. I knew nothing about bikes at the time, and I had absolutely no idea that the ’78-’82 Honda CBX is far, far “too much bike” for a beginner to even contemplate, but I knew I wanted one. It was the equivalent of a 15-year-old lusting after a Lamborghini Countach, in other words.

Honda CBX CBX1000 Red

What made it so special? Well, just look at it. I defy any enthusiast of things mechanical to lay eyes on the six chromed exhaust pipes curling down and away from the cylinder head and not dissolve in paroxysms of desire. The bike has an undeniably vintage look, but that massive engine wedged underneath the fuel tank speaks volumes about its accelerative capabilities. Powered by a 1047cc, 24-valve, DOHC, 6-carb straight six developing 105 hp, the CBX could destroy the 1/4 mile in 11.5 seconds, and the engine’s size and refinement meant it could pull readily from lower in the rev range as well. Even if the engine’s girth meant it would never be quite as nimble as its lower-displacement, more compact stablemates such as the CB750, the CBX was beautifully flexible and brutally fast in its own right. I still want one.

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Nerves of Steel: The Isle of Man TT Race

November 9, 2011 by Matt

Isle of Man TT Race Motorcycle Bike Air Jump

I normally focus on car-related news, design and engineering here at Spannerhead, but the recent discovery of a little event called the Isle of Man TT motorcycle race prompts me to take a little detour into the two-wheeled world.

Held annually over a 37-mile public road course lapping the Isle of Man, the race features some of the most insane—and I do mean genuinely crazy—racing I’ve ever seen. I can’t imagine another motorsport where simply crossing the finish line intact would require a greater percentage of luck versus skill. If the entrance application had a “Do you have a death wish?” question, all the entrants would check the box.

The course record of just over 17 minutes, 12 seconds was set in 2009 by John McGuinness, a time that works out to an average of 131.5 mph—meaning the bike was traveling at an even faster clip for much of the race. The all-time wins leader is Joey Dunlop, with 27 victories under his belt, over a fourth of all the Isle of Man TT races that have ever been held. As with the Nurburgring, course familiarity probably helps.

To see the bikes in action, click on the jump below.

Watch the clip!

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