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The Honda CB550 is a 544 cc (33.2 cu in) standard motorcycle produced from 1974 to 1978. It featured a four-cylinder SOHC air-cooled wet sump engine. The first version, the CB550K, was a development of the earlier CB500, and like its predecessor, had four exhaust pipes, four silencers and wire-spoked wheels.

CB550
Honda CB550Four cropped.jpg
Honda CB550K
ManufacturerHonda
Production1974–1978
PredecessorHonda CB500
SuccessorHonda CB650
Classstandard motorcycle
Engine544 cc (33.2 cu in) air-cooled 8-valve SOHC transverse four
Bore / stroke58.5 mm × 50.6 mm (2.30 in × 1.99 in)
Compression ratio9.0:1
Top speed92 mph (148 km/h)[1]
Power38 hp (28 kW) @ 8,000 rpm[1]
Ignition typeKick start
Transmission5-speed manual, chain final drive
SuspensionFront: 35 mm telescopic forks
Rear: Twin shocks with adjustable pre-load
Brakessingle single-caliper front disc, rear drum
TiresFront: 3.25 x 19 in
Rear: 3.75 x 18 in
Rake, trailRake: 64°, trail: 105 mm
Seat height805 mm (31.7 in)
Weight437 lb (198 kg)[1] (dry)
Fuel capacity14 litres (3.7 US gal)

Model developmentEdit

Compared to Honda's 1969 dry sump CB750, both the CB500 and the CB550 were much smaller and lighter. The CB550K shared some visual similarities with the CB750, and it fitted into Honda's four-cylinder range as its mid-capacity bike.

From 1975 to 1977, a second version of the CB550 was offered,[1] the CB550F "Super Sport". The K and F versions were sold alongside each other, sharing a similar engine, instruments, lights, wheels, brakes and frame. The F featured a lighter 4-into-1 exhaust and slightly flatter handlebars, and a different fuel tank without any chrome trim. The F formed part of the Honda Super Sport range which comprised the CB400F, CB550F and CB750F. The F (aka F1) was succeeded by the F2, which had an additional flash decal on the fuel tank and deletion of the fork gaiters.

Both F & K models had a drum rear brake and a single front disc brake, although each fork slider had a bracket for a brake caliper. A second front disc brake could subsequently be fitted (using genuine Honda parts) by owners. The CB550K went through some minor iterations, the last being the CB550K4. Closely derived from the earlier CB500, the CB550's engine was the largest factory boring of this cylinder block; and when the CB550 was replaced in 1979 by the broadly similar Honda CB650, a completely new engine design was necessary.

 
1976 Honda CB550F1 "SuperSport"
 
CB550K (4-into-1) on the road

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Williams, Greg (November–December 2015). "Stuck in the Middle: The 1977 Honda CB550K". Motorcycle Classics. Retrieved May 23, 2017.