1974 Rickman Honda 750CR for Sale

1974 Rickman Honda 750CR L Side

Japanese motorcycles of the 1970’s were marvels of mechanical engineering: innovative, powerful, reliable.  But motorcycle handling was still something of a black art, and the science behind it was in its infancy.  At the very least, you needed a good amount of stiffness in your frame to ensure that your suspension geometry, and therefore handling, remained consistent.

Many Japanese bikes of the period lacked this quality: they offered cheap, reliable speed, but if you wanted sophisticated handling, you needed to shop elsewhere.

Small European companies like Bimota flourished during this period and took the Japanese engines, stuffed them into light, stiff frames suspended with high-end components, and created bikes that had the best of both worlds.

1974 Rickman Honda 750CR Dash

The Rickman brothers started out building off-road race bikes in the 50’s and 60’s, engineering bespoke frames to fit around existing engines from the Japanese manufacturers.  They eventually expanded their repertoire to include road-racing and street machines, including kits for the new Japanese multi-cylinder engines, notably Honda’s iconic 750 four.

The kit consisted of a frame and bodywork.  The bike builder needed to supply the rest of the bike, including engine, transmission, and electricals.  Rickman’s distinctive, nickel-plated frames provided the stiffness the original machines lacked and the specials handle well and had a very European look reminiscent of period Nortons.

About 300 total machines were built, with an unknown number making their way to the States.

1974 Rickman Honda 750CR L Engine

The original eBay listing provides a pretty comprehensive list of upgrades and maintenance: 1974 Rickman Honda 750CR for Sale.

Valid New York State Title

836cc kit (new pistons and rings)

¾ cam

Alloy liner inside fiberglass gas tank so bike can be run with modern junk gas (10% alcohol) without melting the gas tank

New cam chain

All new bearings in engine

New Keihin CR carbs

Rebuilt calipers

New stainless brake lines

Remote reservoir front brake

Sealed battery

Frame re nickel plated

Fabricated rear-set gear lever retains the original Honda shift pattern (the original kit called for simply reversing the lever which reversed the pattern).

Original Borrani Rims with new spokes

Works shocks with adjustable damping

Dyna electronic ignition

Stainless inner fender

Four into one exhaust

Rebuilt forks with new fork tubes

New steering bearings

New paint and seat upholstery

New Gustafsson windscreen

Chrome plated oil tank (under fiberglass cover)

Bike sold with a near unobtainable set of Rickman’s eccentric rear swing arm adjusters for adjusting chain tension

This is a great looking machine, and the perfect choice for someone who loves authentic, vintage cafe style but wants the power and reliability of a four-cylinder Japanese machine.  Bidding is up over $9,000 with the reserve still not met.  I’d bet we still have a ways to go on this one…

-tad

1974 Rickman Honda 750CR R Side

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