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Eye Candy: A bona-fide locomotive of a motorcycle

Bought sight unseen, the 35-year-old motorcycle, was ridden 4,500 Kms to Toronto from Vancouver and performed flawlessly.

  • 1979 Honda CBX

A locomotive of a motorcycle

The ride: 1979 Honda CBX

The owner: Peter Pinch, Toronto

The story: As teenagers during the 1960s me and my friends and I were always devouring information on the latest motorcycles in dealer showrooms. Bikes such as the Suzuki X6 Hustler, Yamaha Big Bear, Norton Commando, Kawasaki Mach III, etc.

These were bikes whose very names led to countless hours of daydreaming about how we would morph from nerds to rebels if only we could find the means to own one.

With each passing year manufacturers raised the stakes on the technology and appeal of their wares: 250 cc, 400 cc, five speed gearboxes, six speeds, three cylinders, 750 cc, disc brakes and, eventually, four cylinders. Imagine four cylinders in a motorcycle!

And then in 1978 the unimaginable. Honda introduced the most sophisticated (and possibly most outrageous) of production motorcycles, the CBX. A six-cylinder, 1050 cc sport bike with double overhead cams, 24 valves and six carburetors. And six chrome exhaust pipes to announce its presence and punctuate its uniqueness.

“There are no significant loose ends; it is uncompromised and utterly self-assured, and it is the most exotic, charismatic motorcycle we have ever tested,” Cycle Magazine declared in the day.

This rekindled the interest of a now thirty-something man-boy, sparking hours of imagining owning and riding this technological tour de force. However, with a wife, four children and a job, reality said ‘no.’

Fast forward to 2015. A 1979 CBX comes onto the market. Kids are grown. I’m retired. And my wife, if not completely onside, is willing to consider the idea. Her only demand — I must update my will.

And so the negotiations start. They are not without their bumps, the least of which is that the bike is in Vancouver and I’m in Toronto. Out of these discussions comes the plan. I will buy, sight unseen, a 35-year-old motorcycle, and ride it 4,500 kilometres back to Toronto. There is no plan ‘B.’

In person, the bike is more massive than I had anticipated. Its reputation as the fastest of its era adds to my apprehension. But it performs flawlessly. It is smooth and powerful. After six days of riding (and two speeding tickets), I’m safely home with my dream motorcycle.

It appears Cycle was right, in 1978, declaring, “The CBX is an immensely flattering bike with perfect elegance and total class, and history will rank it with those rare and precious motorcycles which will never, ever be forgotten.”

But — P.S. — my wife says I’m still a nerd.

Show us your candy: Got a cool custom or vintage car? Send us a picture of you and your family with your beauty, and tell us your story. And we like photos — the more the better — of the interior, trim, wheels, emblems, what you admire. Email [email protected] and be sure to use “Eye Candy” in the subject line.

More eye candy at thestar.com

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Show us your candy: Got a cool custom or vintage car? Send us a picture of you and your family with your beauty, and tell us your story. And we like photos — the more the better — of the interior, trim, wheels, emblems, what you admire. Email [email protected] and be sure to use “Eye Candy” in the subject line.

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