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Machine Types: Early Prototype

1. Early Prototype model photographed in December 1968, Cycle World, revealing a Japanese test rider at the Honda factory riding a "mysterious" four cylinder bike with electrical monitoring devices mounted on the gas tank and the sides of the bike with wires from these devices dangling everywhere. Had drum front brake & chrome side panels on gas tank.  There are apparently more & different pictures of this bike in the Italian magazine periodical ï¿½Motociclisimo,� published sometime in 1969.  ANYBODY KNOW MORE?  Please send information to be posted.  DOES ANYONE KNOW WHO THE MAN RIDING THE MACHINE IS ? 

28.Dec.04 - per Norman Gaines;  "I recall that the rider of the early CB750 with the drum brake in the black and white picture was Morio Sumiya, Honda's #1 test rider and a semi-factory racer. He was the one who ran with (and finished ahead of) Steve McLaughlin at Daytona in Honda's second CB750 foray. He was killed not much after that in a national race in Japan.  The answer to the question of the strange small "alternator" cover is that the prototypes had magnetos, not alternators. Take a look at the CR750 mag cover for confirmation.  In the pre-production pictures, you didn't mention that the cylinders and upper crankcase were one piece! That was advanced technology for 1968 - I don't think Honda actually produced an engine like that until the Interceptor models."  Thanks, Norman !

29.Dec.04 - just in from Hirokazu Sugiyama, employee with HONDA motorcycles of Japan since 1972; "The photograph of CB750 may have measured an exhaust-related temperature.  The rider in the photograph appears not to be  Mr SUMIYA.  Mr SUMIYA was a man with a very sufficient physique.  The rider in the photograph is thinner than Mr SUMIYA."      Thanks, Hiro !    (Ed.note - Let's keep this healthy debate alive!)