Before the movie “Back to the Future” had been thought of Honda introduced its new model for 1978 as “First to the Future”. This was a new model that had big shoes to fill. Its predecessor, the Honda CB550 had been a simply brilliant motorcycle with good handling and balance. So the new motorcycle from Honda for 1978 needed to be not just a good bike, it needed to be a great bike.
The new bike from Honda for 1978 came from the mind of Shoichiro Irimajiri, the designer responsible for the Honda GL1000 and the jaw dropping six cylinder Honda CBX. But his new design for 1978 did not precipitate the same wide eyed wonder as the CBX when reviewers first caught sight of it. It looked sort of like a cross between a Honda and a Moto Guzzi and the appearance initially left a lot of reviewers cold, one described its engine saying “It looks like an air compressor.”. This was not going to be a case of love at first sight.