We’re swapping four wheels for two on today’s Lamley Group, looking at a contender for the coolest Hot Wheels mainline of 2023: the Honda CB750 Café.
It’s not the first time I’ve bought a bike to Lamley: in February last year I bought you Siku’s Ducati Panigale 1299. But it’s the first time I’ve featured a Hot Wheels motorcycle and what a place to start.
The Honda CB750 is one of the great Japanese motorcycles; the archetypal “Universal Japanese Motorcycle”. Production began in 1969 and continued through several generations until 2003. All generations featured air-cooled 4 cylinder engines.
The Hot Wheels version is no standard CB750 however and has been modified in a “café racer” style. With the gloom of post-war rationing and austerity fading in 1950s Britain, motorcycle ownership became a real possibility for more and more young men. And once they had picked up a Norton, Triumph, AJS, Matchless, BSA or similar, it didn’t take long for them to start tinkering. New youth subcultures were created entirely around motorcycles, including the “Rockers” who liked to gather and race between the many transport cafés that dotted Great Britain at the time. Bikes were tuned and pared back to go as fast as possible; fairings and mudguards were ditched, handlebars were dropped, engines tuned and exhausts got louder. The café racer was born. The style caught on and filtered into mainstream motorcycle culture, and by the 1970s manufacturers had begun to produce production bikes in the style of café racers, a trend that continues to this day.
The Hot Wheels CB750 is a very cool model indeed and introduces us to the new MCCR wheel which is an awesome design.
The body is surprisingly heavy with the engine, frame, forks and exhaust all cast in metal. There’s also a kick stand moulded in which lets it sit nicely upright. The upper portion with the fuel tank, saddle, handlebars and front lights are all moulded in plastic.
The gloss black of the engine and frame contrasts beautifully with the blue upper body and the saddle which is painted in a tan shade to mimic leather.
For a mainline this thing is seriously impressive. Easily the best Hot Wheels bike I’ve ever seen and definitely one of the best mainlines (and that includes cars too!) of 2023.
(Find the Hot Wheels Honda CB750 on Ebay)