A legendary battle in 1967
This picture was taken at the 1967 Tourist Trophy at the Isle of Man during the 500 race. Mike Hailwood is landing on the front wheel after the famous jump in Ballaugh Bridge. The big question about Honda’s retirement was made official only in February 1968. The Grand Prix racing efforts already had been dramatically cut for the 1967 season: the factory was only backing Mike Hailwood in the 250cc, 350cc and 500cc, with Ralph Bryans as support rider in both 250cc and 350cc. Out of the circuits, the factory was preparing the introduction of a motorcycle that would be a revolution in the motorcycle world: the CB 750, introduced in November 1968 at the Tokyo Show. It was based on the information Honda had gathered from the years of competition. The 750 was of course not made for racing in Grand Prix, but it was put on the tracks in other competitions where it was immediately taken to victory: at the Bol d’Or in September1969, and in Daytona in March 1970.
Text: Marc Pétrier – Photo FIM/Maurice Büla Collection