History of the Honda CB360by Jerry Romick
In the mid-1970s, American motorcycle culture was in the midst of a "cafe craze," and the popularity of European styled cafe racer bikes was heightening. Honda introduced its CB line of cafe-styled motorcycles to take advantage of this demand. The Honda CB models introduced during this time included the CB350 Twin, CB350 and CB400 Fours, as well as the CB360.
The Honda CB360 Difference
Honda already had similarly styled motorcycles on the market with 350-cc and 400-cc engines. Looking back, the introduction of a 360-cc model is somewhat confusing -- the CB360 engine was tuned for a slightly broader torque range, and some reviewers found its ride slightly more refined than those of the other CB models.
Honda CB360 Competition
The Honda CB360 and its siblings with 350-cc and 400-cc engines weren't alone in the fight for mid-size market share. All of the other major Japanese manufacturers had motorcycles in this class. Suzuki offered the somewhat slower GT380. Kawasaki had the KH400. And the best seller in the class was the Yamaha RD350.
Honda CB360 Specs
Honda produced the CB360 for the model years 1974 and 1975 with little or no change. An air-cooled, OHC, twin-cylinder 357-cc engine with two valves per cylinder powered the CB360. The engine's compression ratio was 9.3-to-1. It generated 34 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and had a reported top speed of 102.5 mph. The CB360 had a six-speed transmission with a chain final drive. The bike weighed in at 392.4 pounds, ready to ride with all fluids, including a full tank --2.91 gallons -- of gas. Honda did offer an optional front disc brake on the CB360.
The Honda CB360 Today
Honda introduced the CB360 in 1974 and stopped producing them in 1976, so they are not that easy to find today. The bike does have classic cafe racer styling and, compared to other motorcycles of the era, it handles fairly well.