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1966 450 Police Special
The 1965 Honda 450 Police Special was brought to The United States in limited quantities, twenty-five units to be exact. It was a tough cultural shock for Police Departments everywhere, as on those days Police Bikes had 1000cc plus of engine displacement, thus making the 450 seem like a small motorcycle.
In fact that perspective was skewed, as the 450 Police Special would be able to outrun many of the 1000’s of the era. However such misperception about the Honda 450P’s performance detrimented its penetration in the North American police force.
Even today however, the CB450P exemplifies Honda’s ingenuity and remarkable engineering. We are proud to have this model in our museum, and it has become one of the most sought-after models for motorcycle displays across the nation. The Honda flier read as it follows:
“Police departments are now offered for the first time an especially excellent motorcycle which is also modern, powerful, versatile, economical and above all, reliable. Great reliability for which Honda is justly famed results in economy, as mechanical troubles are practically unknown and regular servicing is both simple and inexpensive.
The 4-speed gear ratios are carefully chosen so that top speed can be reached quickly from cruising speeds, yet slow cruising is also possible without straining the engine or tiring the rider. Special police equipment such as an extremely accurate jeweled speedometer with a needle stop button, loud siren, two patrol lamps, and a sturdy rear carrier suitable for mounting radio or emergency equipment is included.
Some features included:
1) A penetrating siren is mounted on the front safety bar, is activated by pulling a lever fitted on the left handlebar. This way it can be operated without the rider taking either hand from the grips. The siren is driven is from the rear tire.
2) Two bright red patrol lamps are mounted on the front safety bar, preserving the hard-to-see narrow silhouette and helping keep the center of gravity low for easy handling. A handlebar switch controls both lamps.
3) A heavy-duty carrier mounted behind the seat is designed to carry special police equipment such as a radio, first aid kit, and other applications. Police radios and a speaker system are available from Honda as optional parts.
4) A large, comfortable seat is combined with ergonomically placed footrests, gear change and rear brake controls and a handlebar designed with proper height and width for the most comfortable riding position at any given speed.
5) A reliable push-button electric starter guarantees much faster starts. The patrolmen who are assigned duties that require constant stopping and starting all day long particularly appreciate such feature.
6) The accurate, jeweled speedometer is large and easy to read, even at night. It is equipped with a button to stop and hold the needle at any speed. This is the world’s first jeweled police motorcycle speedometer.
7) Superior brakes make this one of the safest vehicles ever produced. The front road-racing type break, which gives 75% of the braking capacity on a motorcycle, has two leading shoes for quicker, non-skid safe stops.
8) This police motorcycle is fitted with a strong front safety bar to keep the machine off of the rider’s leg in case of a spill. It also has a sturdy rear bumper that prevents damage if the motorcycle is hit from behind.
9) The Honda 450 Police Special is powered by a double overhead camshaft 4-stroke engine, which produces 43 horsepower. This is the only DOHC motorcycle in production. The powerful, high torque 444cc twin cylinder engine is fitted with two 36 mm (1.42 inch) CVB type carburetors, which give both economical smooth cruising and excellent acceleration. It is a very easy engine to service and a minimum of care assures a very long life. Double oil filters, wire mesh and centrifugal, assure perfect pump-driven lubrication of the engine to prevent overheating and wear, as do two large air cleaners. Roller bearings at all engine stress points guarantee long life. The semi-double-cradle tubular frame gives great stability at high speeds and along with the telescopic fork and swinging arm suspension assures excellent road holding even when cornering on rippled pavement at high speeds.
It is important to add to this information section the Honda Bulletin #8-302 sent to dealerships in regards to the CB450 Police Special prior to its release. It read:
American Honda Motor Co., is pleased to introduce the new Honda police motorcycle to The United States market. The new CB-450P that will provide you with further offers the power and dependability of a 444cc, DOHC engine, almost identical to the CB-450.
We are enclosing a brochure on the CB-450P that will provide you with further information. Additional brochures are available from the Sales Department if you should need them.
In addition to the specifications contained in the enclosed brochure, other details on the CB-450P are as follows:
Dealer Net Price|
$720 Los Angeles and Portland
$726.00 Baton Rouge, Norfolk and Newark
Restrictions| All model dealers only are eligible to purchase the CB-450P
Orders for the CB-450P are now being accepted by the Motorcycle Order Department. However due to the limited production of this model, delivery will take approximately two to three months.
Parts lists, shop manuals, and warranty cards for the CB-450P will be available in the near future.
While the volume of this unit is restricted to some degree, most dealers know of police or other law enforcement agencies that would be interested in obtaining a police type motorcycle at a price considerably less than what they might currently be paying for a similar unit.
In addition to the volume that can be derived from the sale of these units, the publicity and exposure connected with the local police officers riding Honda motorcycles will be of untold value to your dealership.
AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR CO., INC.