1974 Rickman Honda 750CR for Sale
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.
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.
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)
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
New stainless brake lines
Remote reservoir front brake
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…