Very long and interesting history but really began when Ernst Degner did a runner from East Germany , taking secrets that made Suzuki competitive . think they paid him with a can of Coke and some fries , he thought he was in Heaven . makes a change from stewed turnips for every meal.
Honda joined in with the CB450 in the mid 60's . reasonable size for a bike then and much more reliable than the dross made by UK and USA . then the CB750 arrived !! changed motorcycles forever . push button start, 4 cylinders and it almost handled !!
Even though the Triumoh Trident was actually faster , no-one believed it , not even me .
Yamaha had to get involved of course , can only make so many pianos before people get bored . a few nice little 2 strokes before they hit the big time with some monsters . TZ 750 was unreal to us then , huge power although I remember smiling as MV's overtook them down long straights , needed to be long for MV to get up to speed .Shame Yamaha never worked out how to get it round corners .
Kawasaki always outgunned by the other 3 but have made some nice fast bikes latterly , Z1 was the icon we all wanted.
Anybody showing interest I can talk all night about this , be warned