The "Archive" section of the January 2001 issue of "Motorcyclist" featured the Honda CBX, written by Darwin Holmstrom:
Honda CBX 1979-1982
With its six cylinders, six carbs and 24 valves, the CBX was, as Cycle magazine said, “a cosmic haymaker of a motorcycle.” The sheer excess of the CBX took the world by surprise when it debuted in 1978 as a 1979 model.
Even though it weighed 599 pounds wet, the 1979 CBX was plenty quick. It cranked out 85 rear-wheel horsepower and made 52 foot-pounds of torque, enough to propel the big bike through the quarter mile in 11.55 seconds at 117.49 mph. “The bike is more than fast; it is magic. The exploding glitter of its technical credentials lights up the sky,” Cycle magazine hyperbolized in February 1978. The bike’s timeless, dramatic looks and unique sound make it one of the most desirable Japanese bikes of the period.
Honda designed the bike in the 1970s, which means it uses ‘70s suspension and brake technology. The 1980 model featured improved swingarm suspension with a more rigid swingarm, but it also lost horsepower, as Honda detuned it to meet German horsepower limits.
A major redesign for 1981 resulted in a sport-touring version with a frame-mounted fairing and hard saddlebags, but at 680 pounds wet, it was more touring than sport. For the purist, the earlier, lighter bikes are the ones to own, especially the 1979 model. Resist the urge to modify, and look for unmolested examples.
If a bike has been well cared for , it should prove no more troublesome than any other bike of the era, but when things do go wrong, be prepared to lay out some serious cash to make them right. A clean original or restored version can bring between $4,295 and $4,425, while less-clean examples go for as little as $2,500. CBX owners are supported by an active club called the International CBX Owners Association (ICOA). – Darwin Holstrom