Honda has been around since 1948, building automobiles and motorcycles. The Japanese corporation is multinational and has established a strong reputation throughout the world for producing quality motorcycles. They also rank high in customer satisfaction. The 1970s was a decade in which some of the most memorable bikes were produced by Honda, and here are the 5 best models built during this era.
The MT 125R is a specialty bike under the classification of Grand Prix motorcycle road racing. It was designed specifically for competition road racing in a closed course environment. The Honda Racing Service Center division produced these bikes from 1976 through 1979 with marketing for the United States in 1977 and 1978 through the Honda Motorcycle dealer network in America. These bikes featured a small engine two-cycle motor capacity with their 50cc, 80cc and 125cc classes winning multiple titles under the skillful riding of Angel Nieto and Randy Mamola. The MT125R was preceded by the Honda CR93 and the RC149 and was succeeded by the RS125R.
The XL250 made its debut in 1972 with production running through the 1980s. It came on the scene as a newcomer with a modern four-stroke in a 250cc capacity enduro style bike. It earned distinction as the first four-valve motorcycle to be mass produced. Although Triumph had produced their four-valve in the 1920s and Indian in 1911, neither of these companies turned their specialty racing bikes into mass-produced versions. The XL250 earned its place in history as a dual sport bike that has the appearance of a dirt bike along with the necessary traits for qualification in the class, but it’s also street legal. There are no hydraulics in this model making it totally mechanically operated and produces 24 horsepower. It’s popular with collectors because of its historical significance in the world of dual sports bike manufacturing.
Honda Gold Wing GL1000
The Honda Gold Wing GL1000 was produced from 1974 through 1979. It’s a sweet touring bike that is powered by a 999cc SOHC flat-four engine. It cranks out 80 horsepower with 63 lb. ft. of torque that is paired with a 5-speed manual transmission. The bike holds 5 gallons of fuel for extended road trips. This bike first made its appearance to the world in 1974 at the Cologne Motorcycle Show. This attractive and fully loaded bike became popular in Japan, Australia, Western Europe, and North America because of its good looks, riding comfort and dependability on the road.
Honda CX Series
The CX Series motorcycles were produced from 1978 through 1983. This was an innovative bike that incorporated new technologies for its time, such as electric starters, liquid cooling, modular wheels, a low maintenance shaft drive and dual CV type carburetors that cut down on emissions. The bike was designed with the ability to push start in the event of a failure of the electrical system, so it provided a fail-safe for the new electric design. It was produced in GL500 and GL650 Silver Wing variant models. These bikes were produced in engine sizes ranging from 497cc to 674cc in V-Twin, four-cylinders that produced horsepower between 48-77 with the CX500 turbo at 82 hp and the CX650 turbo at 100 horsepower. What makes the CX special as a collectible? It was Honda’s first V-Twin motorcycle. It arose from the crowd with a variety of cruiser, sport as well as standard motorcycle features that allowed it to fall under a variety of classifications with multiple variants arising from the base model to meet the requirements of a discriminating group of riders.
The CB500T was produced from 1975 to 1976 and is in demand among collectors of vintage bikes because one of these bikes in mint condition bears an unusual brown color. The soft padding in the seat made it comfortable for the rider and it’s large enough to carry a rider without feeling crowded. This motorcycle succeeded the CB450 when its production phase ended in 1974. It’s powered by a 498cc DOHC parallel twin engine with a top speed of 101 mph, paired with a 5-speed transmission.