Tagged: Readers Ride

Reader’s Ride: 1975 Honda CB550 Four for Sale

1975 Honda CB550 R Side

It’s hard to overstate the impact Honda’s exotic-for-the-masses CB-series fours had when they were introduced. Prior to 1969 and the CB750, engines with more than four pistons were found only on the racetrack, or slotted into the frames of rare and expensive MV Agustas and the odd Ariel square-four. Singles, twins, and a few triples ruled the streets, until Honda dropped their multi-cylinder bomb on an unsuspecting world.

1975 Honda CB550 Headers

And they didn’t stop there: the 750 gave birth to a whole range of four-cylinder bikes for the masses in a variety of displacements: a 350, a 500, a 550, and the 400. The smaller machines especially gave up some speed in exchange for their sophistication, since you could go faster for cheaper on a Yamaha two-stroke. But buying one of the Honda fours meant access to a machine that had a smoothness and sophistication previously unheard of at this, or really any price. And you no longer had to wonder about what parts were shaking themselves loose during each ride, and then wait for those parts to ship from somewhere in Europe.

Our old buddy Gilberto in LA is offering up this middleweight Honda CB550 Four on Craigslist in LA:

Extremely rare opportunity to own an un-molested, unrestored, CA Blue Plates, One Owner All Original Honda 1975 honda 550 Four. Bike comes with first owners pink slip which shows bike being registered back in 8/1975. Bike has recently been tuned and carbs balanced… Needs nothing, and mechanically sound. Call or NO text at 323-972-5487. Asking 5k obo

1975 Honda CB550 R Engine

He’s asking pretty premium money for this bike, but it’s all-original and still costs half of what you’d be looking at for a bland, modern commuter that would do everything better than this Honda except one, and that’s put a smile on your face on a sunny Sunday morning ride up the Pacific Coast Highway. A really early Sunday morning ride: traffic on PCH is a bear on the weekend. Better idea: buy it and ship it home and ride it on a windy back road.

1975 Honda CB550 L

If you’ve been following this site for a while, daydreaming but thinking you don’t have the knowledge or experience to own a classic bike, this is the type of machine to start out on. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one of these: they’re stylish and still relatively affordable, with excellent parts and aftermarket support. In addition, a huge following has grown up around these, with groups riding them stock, cutting them up into bobbers and cafe bikes, tracking them, restoring them. So whatever you’re into, or whatever you think you might be into, this could be your gateway drug.


1975 Honda CB550 L Side

Reader’s Ride: 1972 Laverda 750SF for Sale

1972 Laverda 750SF Gold R Side

Regular readers know I’m a fan of the tough-but-sensitive machines that were made by Laverda, before they went the way of the dinosaur. They just seem to have the right combination of butch engineering and overbuilt construction, wrapped in simple, elegant style that suggests a hardened thug in a custom-tailored suit. This particular example was submitted by one of our loyal readers and looks to be well worth your consideration.

Laverda started out making agricultural machinery in Breganze, Italy, and their history of rugged, overbuilt engineering solutions bled through into their motorcycles: the parallel twin found in the 750SF had five main bearings! Parts not manufactured by Laverda were all selected for their quality and reliability: Ceriani suspension, Bosch ignition components and a Japanese Nippon-Denso starter. The big Laverdas were always a bit on the heavy side, owing to their heavy construction, but had stable handling and made great endurance racing machines.

Early bikes like this one had either a Laverda drum brake or a magnesium Ceriani four leading shoe front brake. This giant drum actually gave the SF its name: “Super Freni”.

1972 Laverda 750SF Gold Wheel

From the original eBay listing: 1972 Laverda 750SF for Sale

From the seller:

1972 Laverda twin cylinder 750 SF. This is the model with the huge Laverda designed front drum brake. Electric start, starts first time with choke, easy low loping idle after short warm up.

Pulls from 1000 rpm like a locomotive and howls at crusing speed. Custom 2 into one exhaust and larger 36 mm Delortro carbs. An over built, bullet proof reliable italian masterpiece.

Works shocks and all stainless bolts and fasteners. No wrench marks. Small chip in paint on tank as shown in the video and pix.

Manuals, parts list and spare head set with cam and valves included.

All electrics and mechanical work and feel “right”.

Purchased in Feb. from John Falloon at Made in Italy Motorcycles in the UK.

Texas plates, registration and title.

1972 Laverda 750SF Gold Dash

He’s also helpfully included a link to YouTube of the bike starting and running from cold.

Bidding is up to $3,350.00 which is well south of where this one will likely end up. It’s a gorgeous machine and, while I still prefer my Laverdas in vivid orange, this is a very classy shade of gold that really flatters the bike and isn’t quite as shout-y.


1972 Laverda 750SF Gold Engine

Chilean Classics

When I think of motorcycles around the world I usually think of the home countries manufactures bike dominating the landscape. UJN’s riding all over Tokyo, Ducati’s screaming down the narrow Italian city streets, and British twins along country lanes. So when I think of a county like Chile, all I can imagine are scooters, and dirt bikes. I cannot think of an original Manufacture from South America, so I think utility, and not leisure. But as a reader in Chile points out with an email full of links, there are more options on offer.

Starting with a small 150cc 1958 MV Agusta.  It may be that my Spanish is none existent, but there is limited information on the bike other then the year, make and engine size. I think it might by a GT from 1958. As we have shown these small, early MV Agusta’s, they are the bikes that started MV on their history of winning. The road bikes, as well as their race bikes may have been small in displacement, but they were not small on styling or performance.

The second bike that our reader points to is this 1956 T100 Triumph. Doing a little research it appears that there was a time in the 1950’s when South America Was very cash rich and because of this, lots of leisure activities were popular. One of the most popular was racing anything with a motor. South Americans produced, and continue to produce, great drivers and riders. This is because of a rich tradition of motorsports, and apparently those fans bought bikes and cars from around the world. This T100 looks to be a nice survivor, ready for a nice long ride north or south, not so much east and west travel space in Chile.

The last bike that our friend in Chile pointed out was another Triumph, this one another 500cc, but in Speed Twin trim. During the 1950’s and up until 1969 the major medium for racing motorcycles was the 500cc Senior bikes. All major events were limited to the half liter, and major manufactures self limited their top offering to 500cc. Around the world, the largest engines you would find was 500cc, and this Speed Twin looks to have survived with a little help.

There have always been Motorcycles in every corner of the planet. Often times the makes and models tell you a little bit of the history of the area. If I were to look at the offerings listed on this Chilean webpage, I would say that Chile has a long and strong history of motorcycling. That is a good thing for a fan of the Classic Sports Bikes. We are grateful for our readers around the world, and thankful that they have the opportunities to own some of the same bikes we highlight here on CSBFS. If you would like to share some great Classics Bikes For Sale, check us out on Facebook, and share your links. BB

Readers BMW K100RS

This BMW K100RS comes from a reader who saw the previous K100RS we highlighted in Blue and offers up their Red Brick for sale here on CSBFS. As we pointed out previously the K engine was a HUGE change from the 60 years of boxer twins that the Bavarian company had offered. The DOHC, liquid-cooled, fuel injected in line four laid on its side could as well have come from space when compared to the tradition BMW had fostered since 1923.

What BMW offered with this new engine was not to shabby. The 987cc came from four 67cmx70cm cylinders pushing a CR of 10.1:1 and generating 90hp at 6000rpm. The engine would continue to rev up to 8500 but was limited by the ECU that ran the Bosch LE-Jetronic fuel injection. This same injection system ran most of the BMW fleet of cars during the same time.

From the seller

I have decided to sell the best bike I have ever owned. I have owned it for 17 yrs. It has a little less than 59,000. miles. It is in immaculate condition. The extras are; Storz Ceriani front forks, Koni rear shocks, La Pera seat, newer handle bars with bar backs, extended mirrors, new battery, super trap exhaust, cover, stock forks, extra wheel, parts and manual. This Bike is now a classic collectors. Check out this link and see for yourself. He can explain it much better than I can.


Call Peter at 805-559-4995


Peter said in his email that he has always kept the bike garaged and is willing to answer any questions that you might have. He also said that he thought he would never sell this bike, but is looking for $4000. He also included a video highlighting some of the features of the K100RS, so if you are interested and want a “tour” of the brand, check out the video below. BB

Peter just added from comments

I would like to mention that I also have the original strap on gas tank bag, the original starage box that attaches to the back rack,  a black bra that covers the front fearing, the original front forks, an extra front wheel with the tire, and the Red paint on the tank, without the black cover, is in the same great shape as the rest of the bike.  I am located in Ventura County, California for anyone that is interested.


A Reader’s Ride: 1983 Honda VF750

CSBFS and RSBFS reader Warren contacted us regarding this nearly new ’83 Honda VF750 (official shop manual for the 83 Honda VF750). I think you will agree with us: this is about as clean as it gets! Warren has listed many details about this bike, and I think he tells it best in his own words. Contact information is included at the bottom of the post if you are interested in this beauty!

1983 Honda VF750FD Motorcycle
Engine Number: RC07E2115418
Chassis Number: RC152007493
Manufacture: April 1983
True Odometer: 3,122 kms

It has a genuine 3,122 kms on the clocks (1,950 miles) in perfect 100% running order

It’s 100% genuine, totally unmodied, immaculate showroom condition.

It even has the original tyres fitted.

Only the battery has been changed

Prior to long term storage in 1998:
* Motorcycle thoroughly hand cleaned and all metal surfaces lubricated, paint surfaced clean polished
* The fuel tank was drain and clean and a rust proof GLEEM coating was applied inside.
* The spark plugs were removed and synthetic oil was poured through to protect the pistons, rings and valves.
* The crankcase were drained and totally filled with synthetic oil.
* Fuel lines and carburettors drained and cleaned
* Suspension drained and fully refilled
* Chain totally cleaned and relubricated excessively
* Tyres overinflated to 45 PSI to maintain shape and sidewalls lubricated to stop cracking
* Motorcycle placed on centre stand
* Battery removed
* Protective bike cover applied
* Motorcycle was stored in climate controlled storage facility free from any natural light which can fade the colour on parts and plastics
* Wheels and tyres turned every 60 days to stop “pressure points” on wheel bearings and tyres

June 2011 removal from storage:
* Motorcycle thoroughly hand cleaned and all metal surfaces lubricated, paint surfaced clean polished
* All fluids drained
* NEW Engine oil and NEW Engine Oil Filter
* NEW Air Filter
* NEW Spark Plugs
* NEW Fuel Filter
* NEW Battery
* NEW Fork Oil
* Chain totally cleaned and relubricated

The motorcycle starts and runs as well as it did on the day it left the factory. The camshafts were replaced under warranty in an Australian Recall in 1984, due to the known camshaft wear problems. This bike was so young that there was no wear on the camshafts but were changed anyway by Honda Australia.

My “fixed” asking price is USD $14,000 uncrated ….. located in Melbourne, Australia. Assistance would be provided to transport the motorcycle to any place in Melbourne for crating and shipping.

My contact details:
Mr Warren Whittaker
5/15 Green Street
Airport West VIC 3042

Telephone: 61-3-94499100 (up until 15th September)
Telephone: 61-3-93388199 (after 15th September)
Email: wn.whittaker@bigpond.com