Minichamps MIN122161900 1978 Honda CB900 F 'Bol D'Or' Super Sports Bike - Blue (1:12 Scale)
"A thundering Super Sports bike with devastating performance and an unwavering stamina that will be setting the pace for many years to come."
- Honda's advertising campaign for the 'Bol D'Or'
The first generation CB900 was produced from 1979 to 1983, and the second generation was produced from 2002 to 2007. The newer generation CB900F was called the Hornet 900 in Europe but went by 919 in North America, while the similar CB600F was the Hornet 600 in Europe and the 599 in North America. The trademark for the vehicle name Hornet in North America was held by AMC (owned now by Chrysler) for their Hornet car.
Honda introduced the superbike to the world in 1969 with the CB750, and with the success of Honda's other models and mainstream, respectable marketing image, enjoyed dominant market share. But a decade later the single overhead camshaft (SOHC) CB750F2 of 1978 could not compete against double overhead camshaft (DOHC) fours from Kawasaki, Yamaha and Suzuki, and Honda had been content to fall behind in performance features and in market share. After this period of devoting R&D resources to the car business, Honda returned its attention to motorcycles with a new DOHC roadster whose development roots lay in Honda's successful endurance racing in Europe, with the RCB-series RS1000, as well as suspension advances learned in motocross racing.
The CB900F's design was aimed at European markets, rather than the usual focus on the United States, and it was not imported into the US until 1981. In Europe, it was known as the Bol D'Or, after the Bol d'Or endurance race. Honda's advertising at the time proclaimed the bike, "A thundering Super Sports bike with devastating performance and an unwavering stamina that will be setting the pace for many years to come."
Pictured here is a 1:12 scale replica of a 1978 Honda CB900 F - 'Bol D'Or' that is finished in blue. Comes with a kickstand and a handsome presentation case.
Length: 7 inches
Height: 3.5 inches
Release Date: January 2013
Historical Account: "Bol D'Or" - The Bol D'Or is a motorcycle endurance race, held annually in France. Originally, it was an automobile as well as motorcycle race. The automobiles were limited to 1100cc engine capacity until the 1950s when the limit was raised to 1500cc, and later to 2000cc. The original organizer was Eugene Mauve.
The race, traditionally taking place on the second weekend of September, lasts for 24 hours and each motorcycle has a team of 3 riders taking turns. The teams originally comprised just 2 riders, with each rider having to do an exhausting 12 hours apiece; but sometime after 1977, in the interests of safety, the rules changed to 3 riders per team. Until 1970 the race was held at various circuits, mainly Montlhry and Saint-Germain-en-Laye. From 1971-1977 the Bol D'Or was held at Le Mans. For the next 22 years the event took place at Paul Ricard, after which it moved to Magny-Cours. The Le Mans Bugatti Circuit is sometimes reckoned finest venue for the Bol D'Or; and after the race moved south, a successor event was established, the "24 Heures Du Mans". The Bol D'Or has now returned to Le Mans, so there are now two annual 24-hour motorcycle endurance events at Le Mans. The Bol D'Or is now held in the spring, while the 24 Heures Du Mans is in the early September slot formerly used by the Bol D'Or.
24-hour motorcycle endurance racing has a strong Francophone fan-base, with the three main events held in France (Le Mans & Magny-Cours) and French-speaking Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps). Not surprisingly, the most successful teams and riders are French, but there are occasional British successes. In 1992, an all-British team of riders won the race; and British rider Terry Rymer has had consistent results. In the 1970s, Phil Read competed as a rider, as did Neil Tuxworth, who later headed Honda Racing UK. The Mead & Tomkinson racing team fielded "Nessie", a revolutionary bike with hub-center steering.