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"Universal Japanese Motorcycle", or UJM, is a term coined in the mid-1970s by the American Cycle magazine to cover a particular type of Japanese standard motorcycle that became commonplace following the ground-breaking Honda CB750, considered to be the first "superbike". With its inline four-cylinder engine, the CB750 became a template for subsequent designs from the other three Japanese manufacturers. Stereotypically, a “UJM” would be a 4-cylinder standard motorcycle with a carburetor for each cylinder, a unit construction engine, a disc front brake, a conventional tubular cradle frame, telescopic front forks and twin-shock rear suspension.
After 1969, the major Japanese motorcycle manufacturers, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha, began replicating each other's designs, resulting in a remarkable homogeneity of form, function and quality. They each produced UJMs, such as the Honda CB500, the Kawasaki Z1, and the Suzuki GS750. Such machines had massive sales, and UJMs continued to be produced for more than a decade.
In 1976, Cycle described the new phenomenon as follows:
Subsequently, in the 1980s and 1990s, the Japanese manufacturers began to diversify their ranges, producing faired sportsbikes, race-replicas, dual-sport bikes and musclebikes. However, a nostalgia for the UJM led the Japanese manufacturers to introduce “retro” bikes, which were a modern take on the UJM. The market for “retro UJM”s has proved sufficiently robust for Honda to introduce a new aircooled UJM, the CB1100, in 2010.