History of the Honda 919 CB900F Motorcycle

The Honda 919 CB900F has history dating back to the 1970’s when the early model inline-four “Superbikes” defined the world of high performance motorcycles as we know it today.The 1969 Honda CB750 K0 was the first high-performance four cylinder motorcycle to hit the streets. With today’s availability and vast popularity of high performance four cylinder motorcycles, it is hard for one who was not there to completely understand the the mark this motorcycle left on the motorcycle industry. Back then, Honda motorcycles had only been available in North American markets for approximately ten years, and in a predominantly British-led High performance market, Honda quickly raised the bar bringing these bikes to a whole new level. The CB750K0 brought a whole lot to the table, including the merging of excellent engineering sophistication and ease of rideability, which previously had not been done with such simplicity.

Equipped with a Honda SOHC 736CC engine, this was Honda’s first inline four cylinder motorcycle in mass production, and ultimately, the first that the motorcycle market in general had ever seen. The Honda SOHC 736CC was the first engine to combine power and civility into one. Equally significant was the all new “disc brake”, which, until then had never been installed on a mass produced motorcycle.

With about half a million Honda CB 750 motorcycles sold over the span of it’s nearly decade-long life cycle, the Honda CB750 turned the world of high performance motorcycles into something motorcyclists around the world had never seen before – or were even expecting to see, for that matter.

After 10 years of blowing the minds off motorcyclists with ground-breaking excellence in engineering and bar-raising motorcyle design the Honda CB750 K0 was replaced with yet another motorcycle masterpiece. Again, Honda would deliver a bike that would set the standards high above the competition once more.

In 1979 Honda Released the all new 1979 Honda CB750F motorcycle. This was a bike that, among other things, provided impressive technical specifications, once again merged into a nice, simple, comfort able package. The Honda CB750F was equipped with a DOHC 749 cubic centimeter, quad cylider, twin cam engine, 4 valves in each cylinder, and even had dual over head cam shafts that, rather than using rocker arms, used bucket-and-shim adjuster technology.

These were specs that had never been seen before in early high-performance four cylinder motorcycles, and thus placed the Honda CB750F way ahead of the rest. This was particularly true with Honda’s CB750F Super Sport edition that offered even more power and control than even the standard model.

After seeing the success of the 1979 Honda CB750F motorcycle, Honda realized that there was a big market for a high performance four cylinder motorcycle. And, in 1980, Honda quickly responded with a larger 902 cubic centimeter engine on a custo-style motorcycle body. The result: the 1980 Honda CB900C custom cruiser motorcycle. The CB900C sported a larger engine than the CB750F, as well as a two range gear box and shaft drive. The CB900C was Honda’s way of showing the world that it doesn’t take a sport bike to get the speed and ease of rideability. This custom could make nine out of ten of it’s sport-bike competition look like pedal bikes.

In 1981 Honda finally released it’s own 900 sport version superbike, this came in the form of the Honda CB900F. With it’s engine being the next size up in Honda’s superbike lineup, the Honda CB900F was the first superbike packed into a medium sized, light weight motorcycle. In fact the CB900F was so light weight for a bike in it’s class that, even with a twenty per cent larger engine, it was only about twenty-two pounds heavier than it’s 750 cubic centimer predecessor. But it’s small difference in weight wasn’t what attracted the customers. It’s price tag was only about three hundred dollars more than the Honda CB750F. Plus there were upgrades everywhere you look! A Stronger, sturdier, thicker reinforced frame; bigger forks; larger engine valves; larger carburators; and the use of light-weight aluminum on the body. The Honda CB900F was also the bike that Honda put to the test against it’s competitors in many early-eighties motorycle race events. You could see now why this was the bike everyone wanted in it’s day.

The growing success of the Honda superbike didn’t stop at 900cc’s. In 1983 Honda released yet another larger version of the previous success. This time it came in the form of an 1100cc (1062 cubic centimeters, to be exact) supersport. It was the Honda CB1100F, and it came with everything that everyone liked about the Honda CB900F, and more. This bike was the fastest, most powerful superbike of it’s time. Not only did it have a beast of an engine, but all the gadgets were there too; an antidiving system; handlebars that could adjust to your liking; a box section swing arm. While the early Honda CB750F was an excellent example of a mastery between power, functionality, and simplicity – the 1983 Honda CB1100F acheived that ance again, but this time, on a higher scale, and with better technology. And of course, as per the past, the CB1100F barely put a dent in your wallet in comparison to the 1982 CB900F, which was only a couple hundred bucks cheaper the year previous.

Flash forward (or backward I suppose) four years to 1987. As the new liquid cooling engine technology develops, the old air cooled “steam engines” slowly phases out. And so comes the all new 998 cubic centimeter DOHC 1987 Honda CBR 1000. Here was an a brand new kind of bike with four-valve-per-cylinder technology and it was liquid cooled. This provided the engine with power more steadily, and it was more “peppy” too. And though the loud roar’s of the big old CB1100F’s really made a statement about the bike’s power, the new more-silent Honda CBR1000 engine made a statement of refinement and sophistication. Of course the CBR1000 also had all the speed, ride-ability, and power of it’s predecessors too – only better – all the new developing technology allowed the CBR1000 to be slightly lighter than the earlier models. The CBR1000’s numbers looked great on paper, but it did even better on the road. This bike quickly grew in popularity, putting the past behind it.

Of course, Honda couldn’t completely ditch the old technology that made bike lovers fall in love with the old CB750F back in 1969. After all, the air cooled engine was age old tradition that many motorcycle enthusiasts just didn’t want to let go of. In response to this, Honda “re-released” another air-cooled rumbler in the form of the inline four cylinder, 747 cubic centimeter engine, Honda Nighthawk 750. Now, although Honda was bringing back one of their old air cooled motors, this time they added a twist; this time they added an automatic cam chain tensioner, for ease of repair and maintenance, as well as hydraulic valve lash adjusters. It was also equipped with a spin-on oil filter and solid state ignition system. The Honda Nighthawk 750 turned out to be a true classic bike, with touches of modern technology throughout. This was a bike for anyone who had ever rode a motorcycle, and loved it. It was a tribute to it’s forefathers, and motorcyclists loved it.

In 1993 Honda released another light-weight speed demon that topped the charts once again — the all new Honda CBR900RR. It was what seemed to be a marvel of physics. The Honda CBR900RR’s engine was packed into a frame that would have typically fit a 600 cubic centimeter bike. It had an uncanny amount of power and speed and weighed significantly less than all of it’s earlier-model Honda Motorcycles. Of course, this one made Honda lover’s (and all bike lover’s, especially thoe with a taste for speed) go crazy. Honda had created another hit, and yet another mastery of engineering.

There has always been something about superbikes that just puts a warm and fuzzy feeling in the hearts of motorcycle lovers everywhere. And in 1994, Honda dedicated the CB1000 to all those people who wanted a superbike over 10 year’s previous, but missed their chance. This time the rough and tough superbike was back, and some of the technology the 1990’s had to offer with it. The Honda CB1000 was a liquid cooled 998 cubic centimeter DOHC liquid-cooled engine. The CB1000 was the cadillac of superbikes; it’s wheel base measured about sixty inches, giving the rider plenty of leg room, and yet was over thirty pounds lighter than it’s peer bike, the CBR1000. Apparently you can take the superbike away from the motorcyclist, but you cant take the motorcyclist away from the superbike.

In 1998 Honda released a new bike on the European market. They were calling it the “Honda Hornet” and it was driven towards riders who just love being out on the road riding their bike. Of course, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be another one of Honda’s masterpieces. The European Honda Hornet CB600F was a bike that could be whatever the driver wanted it to be. It was a super slick looking machine that was easy and comfortable to drive, and didn’t skimp out on the speed or power. It had super pleasing aesthetics indeed, and yet, looking back is just an updated, refined version of the old model Honda CB900F’s made back in the 1980’s. The Honda CB600F Hornet quickly became a hit among everyday motorcycle lovers across Europe… But it didn’t stop there…

After four years of hearing about so called “Honda Hornets” that Europeans had been raving about across seas, North Americans were growing increasingly curious as to what they were missing out on. In 2002, Honda finally released an all new model they were calling the Honda 919 CB900F. The Honda 919 CB900F was developed with all the knowledge and technology gained from earlier-model Honda Motorcycles and superbikes. Specifically, the Honda 919 CB900F was basically the Honda Hornet body with, essentially, a “tested-and-true” Honda CBR900RR engine with 919 cubic centimeters, sixteen valves and inline liquid cooling.

In 2006, the Honda 919 CB900F essentially the same bike it was when released in 2002, with a few tuning changes and perfections here and there. The Honda 919 CB900F was, and still is a great bike for anything you could throw at it, plus it can still tear up the street any time, any place. It is a bike that benefits from the refinement of older technologies, and it certainly shows.

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