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Hey I'm looking at a 1973 CB450 that I'm test-riding on Sunday... I can't get a straight answer on how much power to expect from the bike though! It's my first and I'm hoping to gradually cafe it out, and when I'm done I'm HOPING it will be able to do freeway speeds. I think expecting this bike to do a ton is a stretch but 70-80 would do it. The owner has told me everything from "plenty of power for freeway at 70" to "bring a truck, it'll max at 55" and on forums I've almost been universally told it won't be a problem... by people who own the later 80's 450s. But that's an updated motor!

Anybody know how they compare?

Thanks!
 

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a good running stock cb450 should just break through 100mph with an average sized rider (about 105mph down hill). Trust me, you do not want to be on one that is doing 100 mph on any road as it will feel like you are chuck yeager breaking the sound barrier for the first time - a whole lot of sound, fury, and vibration.

the early DOHC cb450s are awsome motors - the evolution of that motor ended with the cb500T in 76 before it went out of production totally. The later (77+) cb450s are clean sheet designs and shae nothing with the earlier 450s. They are as different as night and day and the later bikes are total dogs. The earlier cb450s (1969-1974) will give a cb750 a run for its money from a stop light to just under 100mph.

sounds like the one you are looking at isn't running so hot, hence the brign a truck comments. when it is running well the highway will not be a problem with these bikes.

and BTW, the cafe poseurs have totally ruined the term "the ton".
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Good info! That's kinda what I was hoping to hear. We'll see. Having talked to the guy it sounds like the bike has decent power but he's a beginner and hasn't taken it on the freeway. I guess I'll test ride it and try to get out on some bigger roads where I can get it up to speed. I'm buying it as a beginner bike, was looking at an SV650 but I think it's too much bike for me. I've been emailing robertob on these boards about his 450 and he was saying basically that you need to WIND the motor to keep up with modern traffic, and he recommended against it. I heard that the 450 is a terrible handling bike too, and the 350 is nimble by comparison... any thoughts there?

Any idea how they compare to the 550? There are two bikes I'm looking at in SF... maybe you could advise me a bit?

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/mcy/658300563.html
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/mcy/655243434.html

Agreed about the ton... I felt douchey just typing it in. Had to try it once though!

Thanks Geeto!
 

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I like the 550s better but that is because I am a SOHC four guy. Rosko should be able to tell you more about the 450s as he has one as his daily rider. There are others on this board too but I think the racing season has everybody busy.
 

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quote:Trust me, you do not want to be on one that is doing 100 mph on any road as it will feel like you are chuck yeager breaking the sound barrier for the first time- a whole lot of sound, fury, and vibration
FWIW, back in the early 90's I went from riding a Ducati Paso, to a CB450 (forget the year). Sounds absurd, but had more fun on the Honda. I had an absolute ball on that bike.

Whereas The Duc was just snoozing at most anything below twice (or 3x) posted speed limits, at speed on the CB I thought I was going to die. Kept the adrenaline up, and the cops happy.

Proving- "it's more fun to ride a slow bike fast, than a fast bike slow."

Have fun, cheers-
Leo

p.s.- I did some light touring on the CB; so it can hit the highway, within its limits.
 

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i have a 550 as my daily ride. great bike. all the headgaskets on them leak. its a fun bike. i bought it thrash it and ride 2 ups. i beat the crap out of it. the brakes suck. the motor pulls fine, but its nothing to get excited about. ive owned it like 3 years now. its a little weird sometimes, like any old bike, its as boring as the day is long, but it gets the job done. it'll do 100 no problem. it handles fine. but its just kind of like riding a hoover around.

if i were you, id go with the twin. easier to work on, less parts. and more interesteing.

jc
 

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the CB450 sounds awesome with pipes less quiet than stock. bcr makes some really killer pipes (expensive, tho!) for the 450 that I wish didn't cost more than I've already spent on my bike.
 
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