Review of 1968 CB450SS (Ken Ives Special) Motorcycle Mechanics UK
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  1. #1
    Senior Member ashimotok0's Avatar
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    Review of 1968 CB450SS (Ken Ives Special) Motorcycle Mechanics UK

    Below is a link to a copy of the early 1968 MCM article on the CB450SS..... a painted red sporty version, based on the "Ken Ives Special" in an attempt to shift unsold CB450K0 bombers before the release of the CB450K1 5-speed. Interesting that the parts were added in the UK and that the chroming and paint were reported to be of poor quality compared with normal Honda standards (paint had orange peel and chrome on headlamp rusted in a very short time). Pity they didn't sell the 450D kit add on here, which transformed the Bomber into a stunning street scrambler.

    The test bike PUL 35F is still on the DVLA UK register but last taxed in 1982


    https://www.dropbox.com/s/nh8ht8ff21...01968.pdf?dl=0
    Last edited by ashimotok0; 06-07-2019 at 01:01 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ashimotok0's Avatar
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    Also early reviews of UK Bomber K0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/aqitbs5x8e...views.pdf?dl=0

  3. #3
    Member jjdugen's Avatar
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    Mine, 1969.Review of 1968 CB450SS (Ken Ives Special) Motorcycle Mechanics UK-dsc00127.jpg

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  5. #4
    Senior Member ancientdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjdugen View Post
    Mine, 1969.
    JJ, did you encounter a bit of flak for having a Japanese bike? Looks like a couple of people in the photo are staring at the 450 with less than pleasant looks... I see it's not the only Japanese bike there
    Tom

    Ride along at the drag strip - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20jFPazXlvU



    running points... because I'm too old for mysteries that begin with pushing

  6. #5
    Senior Member ancientdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashimotok0 View Post
    Below is a link to a copy of the early 1968 MCM article on the CB450SS..... a painted red sporty version, based on the "Ken Ives Special" in an attempt to shift unsold CB450K0 bombers before the release of the CB450K1 5-speed. Interesting that the parts were added in the UK and that the chroming and paint were reported to be of poor quality compared with normal Honda standards (paint had orange peel and chrome on headlamp rusted in a very short time). Pity they didn't sell the 450D kit add on here, which transformed the Bomber into a stunning street scrambler.

    The test bike PUL 35F is still on the DVLA UK register but last taxed in 1982
    Interesting article, shame that the parts modified were done with less quality than the original parts from Honda. Adding clip-ons with stock footpeg location was a horrible idea too, but the performance really got their attention. amazing what constituted good performance then as well... 15.8 ET in the quarter mile at 88 mph. The speed wasn't so bad as the ET, even my stock CL450K4 went 15.2 with me (the high school kid) on it when I ran mine in late '71, but the assault on speed and performance that really changed the motorcycle world was a year or so away yet at the time (CB750, of course). So odd to think that the BSA Rocket 3 was long since on the drawing board in the UK while all of this was going on...
    Tom

    Ride along at the drag strip - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20jFPazXlvU



    running points... because I'm too old for mysteries that begin with pushing

  7. #6
    Member jjdugen's Avatar
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    Hi ancientdad. Way back in the day, that was our local hangout, the Bird in hand, Eccles, (a suburb of Manchester). (and, yes, it was a pub, life was so uncomplicated back then).
    It was an eclectic mix of the impoverished and those a little higher up the food chain. My riding circle included a Kawasaki Mach3, a Suzuki Hustler and an RD350. We were slightly older than the majority of the clientele so had the benifit of higher wages. But there was a great deal of ingeinuity amonst the crowd, most were engineering apprentices at a local diesel engine manufacturer (Gardeners) or the ROF munitions works, so a great deal of re-engineering of old Brit iron was pretty nornmal. They remained life long friends, we even have re-unions that attract far more people than could ever have fitted tn that tiny place.
    Sadly, one by one the years are claiming them, I doubt that the world will ever be the same as in those halcyon days.

  8. #7
    Senior Member ancientdad's Avatar
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    Had to be an interesting time for you and yes, when life was much simpler. During my early years riding as a young adult, around 20 to 23, I often didn't own a car and had to rely solely on the bike - though they were always good ones during that period despite my low financial means because I always had my father to help with finding decent used bikes or rebuilding wrecks to superb daily riders - but no matter the weather, I rode. Many mornings in the rainy summers in Florida I'd pack my work clothes in a plastic bag, ride off in the rain and change to dry stuff in the bathroom at work... but it was a dedication to fun and the lifestyle, one that I was passionate about. Good for you that you have many lifelong friends from the era, mine came and went over the years as I moved about the general area and as some who weren't true friends (more involved for the benefits of knowing a Honda mechanic at the time) often fell by the wayside. It was good that you had a mix of so many brands back then with little issues over the loyalties to each, not that way here... British and American bike riders rarely gathered with Japanese riders and many times there was animosity, even in general public settings like Bike Week in Daytona. We just knew who and what to avoid and rode with our respective brand friends. It was what it was then and we didn't look at it as anything other than normal, so it never affected our passion for riding and the group enjoyment we all shared during long days of racing around the local backroads and rural areas, blasting from place to place and challenging each other to ride harder and faster... an exhilarating time, lots of miles of pushing the envelope being a bit wild and crazy in our youth. When I see some of the extreme stuff young people do today on the road-race capable machines available now and with so much less riding experience gained in their growing up life, taking so much larger risks with so much less seat time and the savvy gained by it all (especially starting smaller and working one's way up), it makes what we did back then look so much more tame... the difference is, virtually all of us survived it then - so many don't today as you see on the news regularly... too fast too soon, especially with the amount of traffic challenging all of us today. I look back and feel like I was in the right era at the right time, and I have great memories of it all. Simple but fast, enjoyable bikes and the greatest period of rock and roll music...
    Tom

    Ride along at the drag strip - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20jFPazXlvU



    running points... because I'm too old for mysteries that begin with pushing

  9. #8
    Junior Member Balderz002's Avatar
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    Just as a side note, I have just seen that PUL 35F was used in the 1969 spy comedy Some Girls Do.

    I am going to have to find that film out and give it a watch methinks....

    https://motopixel.org/pixel/some-girls-do#honda-cb450k0
    1971 Honda CB450 K4 in Polynesian Blue

  10. #9
    Senior Member ancientdad's Avatar
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    That's quite the collection of movies with motorcycles involved... thanks for that
    Tom

    Ride along at the drag strip - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20jFPazXlvU



    running points... because I'm too old for mysteries that begin with pushing

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