Honda CB450 K1

1968 Honda CB450 K1
In the days before the horsepower race, the Honda CB450 was one of the most desirable bikes you could buy. You had the choice of charismatic, cantankerous British iron, which would invariably mark its territory with a little puddle of oil, heavyweight American cruisers, or the jewel-like build quality and supreme reliability of a Honda. This 1968 CB450 is one of the 6,000-or-so early K1 models, with a simple ‘450’ badge on the side panels, beneath a textured black vinyl seat with delicate white piping. The fuel tank was different to the ‘Black Bomber’ K0 models introduced in 1965, and the K1 was an altogether more attractive and contemporary-looking model. The example featured here was restored by the talented Jean-Claude Barrois, a welder by profession and friend of the Southsiders collective; Barrois has subtly modified this CB450 to add a sportier touch, creating new rearsets and fitting a redesigned exhaust. (The bike has now been sold, and the new owner plans to add a period-correct Avon fairing.) The excellent photography, by the way, is from Guerry & Prat Images, a new studio that is shaping up to become one of Europe’s leading motorcycle photography specialists. [With thanks to Vincent Prat.]

1968 Honda CB450 K1
1968 Honda CB450 K1
1968 Honda CB450 K1
1968 Honda CB450 K1
1968 Honda CB450 K1