The Japanese motorcycle industry first made an impact outside its homeland with small-capacity commuter bikes and lightweights, and for many years the view prevailed in North America and Europe that they were incapable of building effective large-capacity machines. The arrival of the Honda CB450 in 1965 should have dispelled any lingering doubts about Japan’s intention to compete in all sectors of the market. Known affectionately as the ‘Black Bomber’ after its black finish, the CB450 was Honda’s largest model when launched and capitalised on experience gained with a succession of smaller-capacity twins. Nevertheless, the CB450 departed from Honda’s usual practice in a number of ways, in particular its use of twin overhead camshafts, torsion-bar valve springs and constant-velocity carburettors. The tubular frame – replacing Honda’s traditional fabricated spine type – was another departure from the norm. With a top speed of over 100mph and a standing quarter-mile time in the 14-second bracket, the refined CB450 sounded the death knell, not just for the traditional British 500 but for the entire UK industry which, ever complacent, found itself at an ever increasing disadvantage in the all-important US marketplace
The CB450D is a Honda ‘special edition’ of the CB450K0 Black bomber. When the CB450K1 5 speed model came out following the K0 4 speed version, there were several unsold 4 speed K0’s at Honda and in dealers showrooms. In order help sell the old 4 speed model, Honda came out with the ‘D’ kit, upgrading the street bike to a scrambler version, high pipes, sportier tank, seat and panels and some other changes. This new styling proved to be successful, so much so that Honda decided to produce ‘CL’ versions for all the following 450 and 350 twins. This is the only high pipe derivative of the CB350/450 twins that has a pipe either side. As only a limited number of the CB450K0’s were fitted with a ‘D’ kit, this bike is one of the rarest street bikes in existence, possibly less than 10 remaining. An original ‘D’ was being offered at AMA Ohio vintage days for $8,500 making it a highly prized accessory set. This bike has been the subject of a no expense spared ground up restoration with 100’s of NOS parts used. The bike has been imported from a private collection in Michigan USA last year and is supplied with a current MoT and V5C logbook. A super rare opportunity as there are only 3 other known examples existing of this model in Europe.