Honda CB 550K


Make Model

Honda CB 550K




Air cooled, transverse four cylinder, four stroke, SOHC, 2 valve per cylinder.


Bore x Stroke 58.5 x 50.6 mm
Compression Ratio 9.0:1


4x 22mm Keihin carbs

Ignition  /  Starting

Battery  points  /

Max Power

50 hp @ 8500 rpm

Max Torque

30 ft-lb @ 7500 rpm

Transmission  /  Drive

5 Speed   /  chain

Front Suspension

Telescopic fork

Rear Suspension

Swing arm

Front Brakes

Single 270mm disc

Rear Brakes


Front Tyre


Rear Tyre



 192 kg

Fuel Capacity 

16 liters       

Consumption  average

41 mp/g

Braking 60 - 0 / 100 - 0

- / 44.5 m

Standing ¼ Mile  

14.5 sec / 144.2 km/h

Top Speed

164 km/h


The Honda CB 500 Four is replaced by the CB 550 K3. The engine of the K3 is known, it is installed for several years in 550 BC Four Super Sport. Moreover, if the CB 550 four K3 appears in France in 1977, it is already marketed for several years in other countries.

The engine is an evolution of the CB 500 Four, the bore is increased by 2.5 mm. Engine power, despite the increased displacement, remains virtually unchanged (+ 2 hp). However, it is available earlier (8 500 rpm instead of 9 000). The couple also increasing, but remains perched high (7 500 rpm).

This machine makes some modifications to the CB 500 Four. The most visibly with the line it shares with the CB 750 K7 and 4 pots who lose their shape if features. The tachometers (the speedometer and tours) are now more legible (larger size and especially identified, fashionable CB 750 Four). The fuel tank is larger (+ 2 Litres) and closes a door now recessed. The top in terms of changing the position of the key contact finally arrives at the scoreboard (instead of below the reservoir). The fork loses its bellows and takes a lot lighter.

The machine is marketed until 1978. It is replaced by the CB 650 Four.

The Honda CB550 is a motorcycle manufactured by Honda. It is considered the younger cousin to Honda's CB750 and was introduced in 1974 as the CB550K0. Later iterations were produced through 1978 ending with the K4. Furthermore, the CB550 was offered in a Super Sport, "F" model called, simply, the Honda CB550F. Cosmetically, the CB550 looks much like its larger and smaller cousins. Colors included Flake Sunrise Orange with Black, Boss Maroon Metallic with Black, Freedom Green Metallic with Black, Candy Jade Green, and Flake Sunrise Orange. Stock exhaust was a four-into-four style. Other options included a two-into-two style and a four-into-one on the Honda CB550F.

Specifications for the CB550 were virtually unchanged over the model lines.

Reviewers were overwhelmingly positive in regards to the CB550 during the 1970s. However, in some aspects the CB550 is lacking; especially in terms of braking. Despite the reviewer's suggestion, the CB550 is not a beginner's bike. Power comes on suddenly and with lacking brakes, can make the CB550 unforgiving. Furthermore, the handling, when compared to modern sport bikes, is unresponsive with considerable head shake when riding aggressively through corners. However, the CB550 still garners respect.

Maintenance on the CB550 is nearly identical to the Honda CB750 and can be completed, mostly, with common hand tools. Some specialized tools, including feeler gauges, a timing light, chain breaker and riveter, amongst others. Common maintenance tasks include chain tensioning and cleaning/lubing, valve adjustment, rear brake adjustment, oil and filter changes, etc.

Overall, if common maintenance is performed regularly at the proper intervals with quality parts, the CB550 is very reliable and has been reported to be good for 100,000+ miles.

CB550 F model
The CB550F was the largest factory boring of the smaller block, air-cooled, 4 cylinder, single over-head cam motorcycles made by Honda during the mid- to late 1970s. The block of the CB550 was similar in appearance to, but considerably smaller than, the heavier casting of the CB750. These motorcycles had two stock gauge and exhaust configurations. The early models had a single gauge cluster and four individual exhaust tubes, each with its own muffling elements.

The "Super Sport" model, featured a dual gauge cluster (with a separate speedometer and tachometer) and a stock 4-into-1 header.  repainted from the original "Candy Apple Blue" to yellow. A factory "Candy Apple Red" was also available. CB550s shared a similar emblem to the other "Fours" made by Honda: the triangular side covers had the upward-rounded displacement (550, in this case) with the word "Four" superimposed.

As for the performance, the CB550F was over geared and could not reach yellow-line in 5th gear with the stock sprocket arrangements. With the stock gearing, the CB550F Super Sport was capable of reaching speeds in excess of 105 mph (169 km/h) with a 200 lb (91 kg) rider, while remaining well below 9200 rpm yellow line limit on the gauges. Valve floatation limited any desire on the part of the rider to extend the revolutions to red line, which was 11,000 rpm. The light weight of the motorcycle limited the appeal of the CB550 for longer distance rides, and though it was barely adequate for touring, it was superb for intermediate distance urban and freeway riding. A common modification was to add several teeth on the rear drive sprocket to make the motorcycle considerably quicker off the starting line and reduce some of the wear on the clutch.

This was done at the price of some fuel economy and slightly higher levels of vibration. The single disk on the front was unbored and was prone to slipping in wet conditions until the disk was hot enough to evaporate off the water accumulation. Considerable care had to be exercised when riding in wet conditions due to a highly non-linear "grab" when the water film was squeezed dry. This posed a risk for loss of control under wet conditions for riders unfamiliar with this behavior. While there were both right-side and left-side caliper brackets on the stock forks, aftermarket modification of the front disk to a dual, bored-disk configuration was required for optimum all-weather, performance braking. Later, factory models of the small-block "Fours" included the slotted disk modification as a stock configuration. This motorcycle was well-made, tolerating frequent use of the throttle.