BMW Motorrad Spezial

Honda CB450S

1987 Honda CB450S
Everybody knows Honda’s long-running CB series of motorcycles—and their potential for being turned into cafe racers. But one of the lesser-known variants is the CB450S, which was made in the second half of the 1980s. Details are sketchy: it was apparently built in South America, and sold in Germany and Canada. But that’s all I’ve been able to find out. The engine is an air-cooled twin pushing out a respectable 45 bhp, mated to a six-speed ‘box. (Apparently a ‘reduced effect’ model with only 27 bhp was also made, presumably for learner riders.) If anyone knows more about these bikes, please drop us a line in the comments. They’re chunky and well-balanced in a very 80s way: fit a solo seat and junk that rear fender, and you’ve got a rather good-looking bike.

  • Adrian

    I’m pretty sure that the CB450S was also sold in the UK for a couple of years. The problem for those bikes in the UK was escaping the stigma of the Super Dream moniker that the early versions had. I think this was an attempt at gaining some of the pizzazz that the RD400 and RD350LC had at the time.

  • Alex

    It was the 350 that was sold in the UK. Mainly bought by despatch riders in London.

  • All I know is that the engine is a reuse from the earlier CB 400 N model. Fairly antique sohc design. The 450 is pretty nice actually, and has stood the test of time.

  • Adrian

    Nope, the CB400 Twin was the despatch riders hack in London.

  • Alex

    Was it really. ‘Cos when i spent 13 years as a DR there i saw tons of the 350’s. Admittedly 400N’s were used aswell.

  • Adrian

    I’m originally from the UK, I worked in London for a long time and I take your point , but the 400 and CX500 were the weapons of choice when I was there. I wasn’t a DR though so you were probably closer to the action.

  • AadmanZ

    My dealer in Holland is a big fan, I always thought he was mad, and has a couple of them. As loan bikes for customers that have their bikes in the shop and some just to look at I guess.

    I do see part of the appeal, the fact they are pretty much indestructible, but then again, so are most Honda’s aren’t they?

  • Edi

    I own a CB 450s from 1988 with 44BHP. Great machine, I ride it since 2003, had some motor problems but it;’s very easy to repair. Now I have modified it a little bit to be more a racer:

  • Stefan

    Edi, in case you get this, do you still have the original handlebar ? mine got bended and i might need another one if i can’t repair that one.

    you can find me at yahoo id: kaos_qc

    thanks mate

  • I own a Cb 450 S and I’m “restoring” the bike right now.
    Here in Italy they have been sold for some years and there are still some going around. That kind of bikes are called “mules” here because they always run. I’ll let you know when it will be finished (around Christmas)
    Answering to Andres, the engine is not the same of the older 400N, that engine has been used on the nighthawk.
    In Germany there are still many people riding this bike and there’s a good spare parts market. Answering to Stefan, you can find your handlebar on for a reasonable price. There’s even on sale a nice 2in1 chromed exhaust. The originals are almost impossible to find!

  • These were pretty nice!
    I learned how to ride on one of these when I lived in The Netherlands back in 1990. Pretty much undestructable bike.

  • Andrew

    I used to own a 1988 CB450S, purchased used in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada in 1995. I rode it for about 12 years, putting close to 80,000km on it. Very reliable, very smooth bike. It had a very distinct style, a wonderful exhaust note, and got nice comments everywhere it went. The only reason I sold it was to move on to my dream bike,a black 2001 Shadow Spirit 1100. I can’t overstate how excellent and reliable this bike was, definitely a great all-around motorcycle.

  • Isabel

    Just bought a 450S and unfortunately found out there is some kind of power failure. If I try to speed up a bit, the speed just drops down to 80/90 km/hour.
    If anyone recognizes this problem, please let me know!

  • Gord Veldhoen

    I’m wondering if Isabel ever found out what was causing the power failure. I’m having a similar problem (in my case, the power level drops suddenly but then can come right back again) but I think I’ve traced it to a coil that’s starting to break down. Has anybody tried replacing the original coil with a coil from a different but similar bike? I wouldn’t want to go long distance on my 450 but it’s terrific as a commuter bike.

  • I saw those in Brazil in mid 80’s in a vacation, I took a closer look at them because a I owned a CB450T Hawl, they were made in some factory in Brazil, the streets were crowded with the lesser model and this one

  • wondering if anybody knows the valve clearances for this bike. cannot find repair manual or any info on the net about the engine in these bikes.

    • Gordv

      I use the Clymer Honda repair manual for 1978-1987 400-450 twins for all the required maintenance including engine work even though my bike is a 1988 model. (The only year it was imported into Canada.) I was able to completely disassembly and reassemble the engine using the manual so even though it doesn’t cover my exact year, it still has good information. Valve clearance given in manual – Intake, 0.08 – 0.12mm (0.003 – 0.005in.) Exhaust, 0.12 – 0.16mm (0.005 – 0.006in). Hope this helps.

  • Jaap-schipper

    Hello dus anyone have a repairmanual in pdf?
    [email protected]