Speed, power, and reliability. That’s what it means to ride a Super Hawk. The raw capabilities of this motorcycle and the reliability of the Honda brand allowed the Super Hawk to pioneer the path of high-performance motorcycles, leaving its competition to the dust and burnt rubber.
Born for Speed
Designed by Honda with Grand Prix racing in mind, the Super Hawk quickly gained a cult following among racers, sport bike enthusiasts, and of course average consumers.
First designed in 1961, the Super Hawk was the first superbike ever produced by Honda. Although the Super Hawk was discontinued in 1968 to be replaced by the more contemporary in appearance CB350, in its few short years of production the CB77 became a hotly demanded motorcycle.
Designed to Win
The CB77 was built with a 305 cc OHC straight-twin engine, battery and coil ignition, and a telescopic fork suspension housed in a tubular steel frame, rather than the pressed steel common to bikes of the time.
This 28 horsepower engine, massive for the day, had a low compression ratio of only 8:1, but was nonetheless capable of speeds just over 100 miles per hour. This made it one of the fastest motorcycles commercially available in 1961, and a natural choice for speedsters looking for something a little more thrilling than the average scooter.
One Model for the History Books
As with all motor vehicles, the Super Hawk experienced minute changes, alterations, and improvements from year to year before its eventual discontinuation; however, only one official model has earned its place in history: the CB77.
- CB77 Super Hawk (1961-1967)
Whether idling on the street or soaring in the prix, the original Super Hawk model was a marvel for its time. Capable of near-record-setting speeds, the CB77 out flew competitors and sold to the tune of more than 137,000 units in a time when the global population wasn’t even half of what is today.
- VTR1000F SuperHawk / Firestorm (1997-2005)
Also known as the Firestorm, the VTR1000F SuperHawk was named in a clear nod to the classic CB77. Though the Firestorm never grew to the height of popularity the likes of its Super Hawk predecessor, its modern specifications absolutely did justice to the Super Hawk name.
With a 996 cc V-twin engine and 103 horsepower, the Firestorm was capable of hitting top speeds of just over 150 miles per hour.
Super Hawks in Hollywood
In 1964, none other than Elvis Presley starred in a film entitled Roustabout, in which he cruised around on a pristine CB77 Super Hawk.
The CB77 was back in the limelight after being used in a cross-country roadtrip in 1968 that served as the inspiration for the 1974 novel by Robert M. Pirsig entitled Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Super Hawks Today
Nowadays, for all but the more passionate auto aficionados, the CB77 has fallen from the spotlight it once enjoyed. Aside from the revolution of the Super Hawk in the form of the SuperHawk from 1997 to 2005, there’s not much new going on in the history of the CB77.
Super Hawk Social Clubs
As a symptom of the CB77 Super Hawk’s membership in the world of classic motorcycles, there are countless motor vehicle groups associated with the powerhouse sport bike. One of the most well known is SuperHawk Forum, but there are countless more from Facebook to Twitter.
The Honda Super Hawk – A Real Powerhouse
Although it has fallen from the world stage like many greats before it, the name “Super Hawk” still rings loud and proud in the workshop of any motorcycle, superbike, scooter, or auto body shop across the country, if not the world.