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Buying a CB750F2N
(otherwise known as an RC42 or Retro)

In essence the Honda CB750F2N is one of the old school Universal Japanese Motorcycles with an across the frame four cylinder engine of 747cc with a bore and stroke of 67 x 53mm, in a Double Cradle steel frame. The machine produces enough power to make life interesting - about 72bhp. Two of the prime advantages of the bike are it's hydraulically operated valves and automatic camchain tensioner, really saving on workshop costs and downtime.

It is fast enough for speedy motorway use and very reliable for commuting to work. The handling is quite good and the 500lb machine is surprisingly easy to ride. For example it doesn't wrap it's self up in knots (of the tank-slapper variety) when it reaches a bendy bit in the road. The bike is attractive in a conservative kind of way and given gentle customising by the owner can be transformed into a real beauty.

There isn't much that goes wrong with them. I have heard that the Crank's can self distruct if the bikes are used for dispatch riding (but I've never seen any evidence). My own machine could of cost me dear when I damaged the left hand disc - like an idiot, I tried riding the bike without removing the disc-lock (since dumped in the dustbin and replaced by a big hairy 'up yours' anti-thief device). Generally the cost of spares isn't too expensive. Before resorting to using 'Pattern' parts owners are advised to try their local Honda dealer first. If all else fails try and find second-hand original parts rather than pattern parts.

It's a good idea to use good quality chains from a 'top' name because these bikes do seem to like chains - one day I'll try one of those 'Automatic Oilers' that have been around for ages.

The Honda CB750F2N is priced at around £5,000 new although secondhand 'projects' can be found from about £1,500 if you look long enough. My own bike cost in the region of £2,500 with under 10,000 miles on the clock. The bike represents a sound choice for those wanting a reliable, trustworthy, traditional machine with plenty of performance for the real world.

Chris