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My wife's friend came over tonight on her sidecar rig and let me take my son for a ride in it, in exchange for fixing her two weedeaters. It was my first as a sidecar driver (I'd ridden in one attached to an old BMW once before) and it was a hoot! I stayed on grassy pasture but did experiment with "flying" the chair on some tight right turns. Easy, at 15 mph.



Also cool was the somewhat rare bike propelling the sidecar; a 1977 CB750A. Sort of like riding a bike with a powerglide in it. Owning a CB750A would be fun, assuming they're reliable. Wife's friend hasn't broken anything yet, and she's had it about a year.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, guys...yeah, it is a cool bike. I got to ride it as a solo last year, shortly after she got it. Took it out for an hour and a half, actually, and rode it all over the place. It was interesting.



If you've never ridden one, it's got a fluid torque converter like a car, no clutch control, and a Neutral-Low-Drive foot shift. You have to shift it with your foot from one ratio to the other, unlike a car, but it can easily get up to 45-50 in low and once it's warm it seems pretty comfortable taking off from a dead stop in Drive. I thought it felt best to take off in Low, shifting up somewhere in the 25-35 mph range, depending on how much I wanted to accelerate vs. take it easy.



The round thing you'd expect to be a tach housing is actually pretty much a blank-faced thing with a couple idiot lights in it...N, L, D and I think oil temperature or oil pressure or something. You'd have to try pretty hard to over-rev this thing. I would guess when I felt the top of the powerband approaching and shifted up I was probably no higher than 7500-8000 (this is last year, riding it solo, not out in the pasture with the sidecar!) and I seem to remember the normal 750F redlining at 9500 and pulling up into that range pretty eagerly.



Highly enthusiastic specifications research after that ride informed me that the automatic 750s were detuned quite a bit, presumably to broaden the torque curve for the two gears. Lower compression and quite a bit smaller carbs. It's been several years, at least, since I've ridden a normal CB750F, but it would be interesting to compare the two back-to-back.



It's not that I mind shifting/clutching, but I really thought the 750A was a pleasant all-around ride. All I could really complain about with it was that the forks and shocks seemed kind of tired and boingy at any kind of spirited cornering attempt. Can't really bitch about that on a bike that old. The seals don't leak and the bike is pretty cherry and the lady who rides it is quite a bit lighter than me, so for her it might not be an issue anyway.
 

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yeah..all the Honda autos were cool....the helmet is not making you look fat....sirloin steak and 'taters are though...lol
 

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I had a cb750 sohc and a cb750 dohc, I think the sohc was a cb750a I didn't own it more than a couple days before I sold it for more than I paid for it, so can't remember too much about it.





it is all the good food I am sure your wife makes that adds to the extra padding, not the helmet
 

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I was looking for an "A", even a 400 recently. I really am that lazy. An 836 kit, F cam and carbs might be fun, but like you said, it ain't broke.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
z50 chopper said:
it is all the good food I am sure your wife makes that adds to the extra padding, not the helmet


It is I who cooks for mi esposa y my hijo. I cannot blame this on her.



firepower354 said:
I was looking for an "A", even a 400 recently. I really am that lazy. An 836 kit, F cam and carbs might be fun, but like you said, it ain't broke.


Oddly, after our friend got this one, I noticed two or three of them for sale on Craigslist around here. Before that I remember seeing one, at a swap meet in Denver when I was a little kid and it must have been pretty new.



There must have been some kind of "lazy avoidance stigma" that kept them from selling well. I've never come across evidence that the drivetrain was problematic, and I've even heard somewhere that Russ Collins had a 750A-based dragbike. You could argue that combining the bike experience with the Powerglide experience isn't as sporty, but it still gets down the road pretty quick and--to me, at least--had its own appeal. I'm surprised some of the people who ended up buying early GL1000s weren't more attracted to the 750A, given its obvious lack of cooling complexity, fuel pump, etc.



Having a broken 750A or GL1000 probably wouldn't be too fun nowadays.
 

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I love the look on your boys face. He's obviously taken a ride with Dad before. Got the death grip and the visor down for aerodynamics!!!



Last pic you sent me didn't have so much grey in that beard! My wife says it's distinguishing! (lying to me same way I lie to her about the dress I hate!)
 

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CrawlerD said:
Last pic you sent me didn't have so much grey in that beard! My wife says it's distinguishing! (lying to me same way I lie to her about the dress I hate!)


We never lie to our wives/girlfriends, we just don't tell the whole truth, because we love them. And if caught we never admit to it. Haven't you learned anything yet?:p
 

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doopsx3 said:
yeah..all the Honda autos were cool....the helmet is not making you look fat....sirloin steak and 'taters are though...lol


Yeah I was gonna steal a line from "Tommy Boy" and say it's not the helmet that makes you look fat, it's your face that makes you look fat. Of course it would just be good natured kidding.
 

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How did you get a picture of me on your property riding an automatic 750? That helmet reminds me of the first time I got shot out of a cannon. But as Hunter S. Thompson said, "its' better to be shot out of a cannon than squeezed from a tube"



There was a Hawk 400A at the bike show last month. It was nice but the guy wanted like 4 Gs for it. My friend the retired Honda mechanic has only good things to say about the 400A. We never talked about the 750A...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I just saw a 400A on Craigslist, for something like $1,000-$1,200. It looked pretty sharp. I've never seen on of those in real life, but in the picture the motor looked a lot like the CM/Hawk series twin, with the sort of clamshell-lid valve cover. I believe I've heard that they had chain-driven counterbalancers and 360-degree cranks...anyone know if they are automatic versions of CMs and whether they have that type of crank?



I'm interested in that because I think parallel twins with 360-degree cranks (old britbikes, XS650s) sound like hi-octane manic britbike Steve McQueen badassness, whereas twins with 180 degree cranks (CB450s, many other Hondas, LTD454s, EX500s) sound like lawnmowers. At least until they get up around 7K-8K rpm.



I used to think about that when I'd race my friend's LTD454 with my XS650. I'd get the holeshot and would be digging the sound from my homemade exhaust and suddenly this tornado would woosh by and he'd be eight bike lengths ahead and disappearing fast. It seemed like bad sportsmanship to comment on how hokey the fake cruiser styling of that thing was when it could totally hand me my azz like that. That guy eventually upgraded to a 1200 Sportster, and from what I could tell the fake cruiser LTD454 was a totally dead-reliable easy bike to live with, was quicker than the Sportster, and cost many thousands less.
 

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My pops had a sidecar on a cb750k1 when I was a boy. It was a hoot. The front brake was an evil joke, but it was, overall, a good sled. Lots of fun was had on that thing and I think it had over 80,000 miles on it when he sold it.
 
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