Tagged: straight six

Six Appeal: 1979 Honda CBX for Sale

1979 Honda CBX R Side

One of my favorite double-take bikes, the Honda CBX can appear at first glance to be simply just another 1970’s motorcycle. But even out of the corner of your eye, something looks off. A second look, and it all becomes clearer:

“Hmmmm… That’s an awful lot of engine up there.”

1979 Honda CBX L Engine

The 1047cc straight-six looked massive but was, in reality, not a whole lot wider than Honda’s 750cc four. But where that engine just about tucks into the complete package, that extra bit of CBX just hangs out on either side, a huge aluminum brick just barely surrounded by a motorcycle. With no radiator in front to block the view, the 6-into-2 exhaust is on full display, a polished metal pipe-organ monument to excess.

1979 Honda CBX Dash

While the straight-six GP bikes that inspired the CBX were light and lithe and packed their impossibly tiny, Swiss-watch mechanicals behind sleek bodywork, there was nothing subtle or sprightly about the CBX. Nearly 600lbs ready-to-roll with typically mediocre Japanese big-bike suspension, the bike shared nothing but engine configuration with its racing cousins. It was possibly this confused message that ultimately made the bike such a hard sell: a heavy, expensive bike inspired by racing but with absolutely no racing pretensions whatsoever? People did buy the bike, and lucky for us, treated them with care and respect, but they were not huge sellers at the time.

1979 Honda CBX R Front

Eventually, the CBX was updated with slab-sided styling and a monoshock rear suspension. It was less elegant, but much more suited to the bike’s real forte: fast touring.

From the original eBay listing: 1979 Honda CBX for Sale

Original 1979 Honda CBX, excellent condition with 17k miles. Original Paint and parts, there are aftermarket mirrors and an oil pressure gauge currently on it but I have the original mirrors and cap that go with the bike. Bike has never sat unused or in non running condition, it starts up easily and runs smoothly and perfect. No leaks, drips, or issues. That is the original seat and exhaust on the bike, there is one small rust spot on the left side exhaust, right side looks clean. There are no splits in the seat, all tabs on the side covers are intact. Bike is in excellent condition but it is 35 years old so not perfect. There is a small scratch on the back of the fender and a rub mark on the rear seat cowl. I am selling the bike for the original owner who is now 84 years old and can no longer ride. I personally rode the bike approximately 80 miles in the last couple weeks and it is an absolute joy to ride. I have the bike and clear title in hand. Bike is for sale locally, inspections are welcome and I will cancel this listing if the bike sells.

1979 Honda CBX R Engine Side

Interestingly, these were some of the first Japanese bikes to attain classic status. They were never really treated as the appliances,which makes sense: while Japanese sportbikes were typically marketed to, shall we say, less-than-sympathetic owners who used the machines’ mechanical excellence as an excuse to beat the living hell out of them, then forget them in a shed, the CBX was always a high-end, luxury grand touring bike.

1979 Honda CBX L Side Rear

With 17,000 miles on the clock and a Buy It Now price of $11,900, this seems like a pretty decent price for what appears to be a very good CBX: the black is a little bit faded, but the bike looks very sharp and original.

While the nearly $12,000 asking price might seem like a lot of cash, the value of these has remained relatively flat, while bikes like the Kawasaki H1 and Z1 have increased significantly over the past few years. I wonder if, with the CBX, we’ve hit that intersection between rarity and value, or if they’ll spike upwards again. I’m hoping not: they’re on my list of bikes to own.

-tad

1979 Honda CBX L Side

1979 Honda CBX Turbo for Sale?!

1979 Honda CBX Turbo R Side

Honda’s CBX was always about excess, a bike designed to impress, to demonstrate Honda’s engineering excellence. It wasn’t about speed on the track, or back-road carving, or even touring. It was all about that engine, that glorious, straight-six engine making exotic shrieking noises.

So how would you improve it? Upgrade the suspension? A good start, but it’s really too heavy to ever really be a sportbike. And with the engine sticking out like that, you’d be terrified of a lowside… Spondon frame? Same problem. So what about slapping a turbocharger onto it?

As they say, “Nothing exceeds like excess.”

1979 Honda CBX Turbo L Side Engine

The style may not appeal to everyone, but the pure excess of turbocharging one Honda’s epic straight-six sure does push some interesting buttons. Oddly enough, there’ve actually been a couple of these up for sale of late. This one, believe it or not, is the more tasteful turbo’d CBX of the pair…

From the original eBay listing: 1979 Honda CBX Turbo for Sale

TIMS has a custom CBX we built a few years ago available for sale– it is a totally awesome turbocharged CBX that we built from the ground up–it has an extremely rare Blake turbo (one of only 8 thought to have been built by Blake in the 1980s)–it is unique in that the cast plenum intake is totally round with no square edges for choppy fuel intake like the typical ATP or Mr Turbo intakes and a smooth streetable 42 Mikuni carburetor –it has TIMS exclusive low-compression pistons, heavy duty valve springs with TIMS exclusive titanium retainers and shim under bucket set up as well as Falicon rods and chromoly studs,our exclusive extended oil pan for an additional quart of oil to keep her running cool, TIMS exclusive hydraulic clutch upgrade,  and the coolest item we have ever had is the totally trick custom gear driven offset euro alternator that allows for removing with out taking off the turbo plumbing for a bullet proof ride–we put a inverted shock front end on it with 120/70-17 inch tire and  wheel and modern brakes, we integrated a custom heavy duty rear swingarm with a 160-60-17 tire and wheel and a pair of showa piggy back custom shocks for an awesome handling ride like no other cbx–the paint is tims second to none and we flush mounted an aircraft type fuel filler cap and put a corbin gunfighter seat on it –it has lots of chrome and custom billet parts to numerous to mention all here…

1979 Honda CBX Turbo Gauges

The execution looks top-notch, but I could do without the garish, logo’d white-face gauges and the flames on the Corbin saddle. To me, that boost-gauge mount looks too much like those huge, 10k rpm Autometer tachometers that were stuck on the dash of every Civic DX for a while there in the 90’s… I’m not saying a voltmeter isn’t useful, but I’d swap in that boost gauge and just do without knowing how well my charging system was charging.

I assume you have more important things to worry about on this bike.

1979 Honda CBX Turbo R Engine

Minor styling choices aside, it’s a really nicely put together bike, obviously no hack job cobbled together in a shed and left for the next buyer to finish. With lots of rare or one-off parts, it’s difficult to put a value on this one, but it’s no surprise it still hasn’t hit its reserve.

I just hope that the turbo doesn’t muffle the exhaust sound too much.

-tad

1979 Honda CBX Turbo L Side

1979 Honda CBX for Sale

1979 Honda CBX Silver L Side

I just posted one of these last week, but I can’t pass up the opportunity to write about the massively-engined, and massively cool Honda CBX. I’d love to own a six-cylinder bike: they really do make the sweetest ripping-silk sounds, and that massive engine sticking out on either side will always have people wondering just what is going on with this bike.  I’d love to go Italian, but the idea of finding parts for a Benelli Sei 750 or 900 is intimidating to say the least.  So while I typically don’t lust after Japanese bikes, I surely do want one of these.

1979 Honda CBX Silver Dash

Styling is largely unremarkable: apart from the little turned-up ducktail spoiler, the look is basically Standard 1970’s Universal Japanese Motorcycle.  But you don’t need to make much more of a statement, with that glorious engine out in front!  Supposedly, the six is only a few inches wider than Honda’s own 750 four, but you’d never know it by looking at it.

The bike was introduced in 1979 as a sport touring machine: it was powerful, but also very heavy and far from a nimble handler.  But the 1047cc, 24-valve six-cylinder motor gave it charisma to spare, and the bike is blessed with Honda’s famous reliability.  Although rebuilding those carburettors might give you or your mechanic pause…

1979 Honda CBX Silver R Pipes

Another really cool bike with a very spare eBay listing: 1979 Honda CBX for Sale

All original, unmolested condition with the exception of the 4-into-1 DG exhaust.  New tires.  Seat has a small split in a seam (see bottom photo), but included is a replacement seat and a brand new replacement cover.
  • Runs perfectly – fast, smooth and strong all the way to red-line
  • Replacement seat with new upholstery included
  • Ready to hop-on and ride home!
  • New tires: Dunlop 491 Elite 120/90-18 rear, IRC Grand HS 3.25H-19 front

Let’s hope he means a “6-into-1 exhaust,” or those two unmuffled cylinders are going to be VERY loud…  Bidding’s at about $5,500 right now, which seems like a real bargain for a machine this nice.  I’m a big fan of these early CBX’s, as opposed to the later, more touring-oriented bikes.  I’d love to upgrade the running gear a bit, fit some lower bars and smaller indicators, find out a way to unobtrusively protect those protruding cylinders, and go howling around, scaring my neighbors.

-tad

1979 Honda CBX Silver R Side

1979 Honda CBX for Sale

1979 Honda CBX L Front

The big, brawny Honda CBX was a grand “touring” bike from the era when that meant the bike had relaxed ergomics, effortless, arm-stretching power, and room for a passenger.  No GPS, no heated grips, no fairing, no iPod dock, no speakers.  Just a comfortable seat, two wheels, a fuel tank, some instruments to tell you what’s going on, and tons of silky-smooth power from that huge straight-six laid across the frame and a huge cascade of shining exhaust pipes.  Well, it would have a shining cascade of exhaust pipes, if this one wasn’t missing that particular bit…

1979 Honda CBX R Dash

We all ride bikes for the stimulation they provide, the sensory input, and the CBX makes a glorious howl, like an Italian car.

The seller is a person of relatively few words:

up for sale is an original 20,000 mile 1979 cbx 1000 inline 6. has paperwork, been sitting for couple years, will need slight tank cleaning on the inside, and the rear master cylinder, needs an exhaust system, and a shift lever to complete. up close the paint has a couple small paint chips and one or 2 small scratches but no dents, the bike overall is an 8 or 9 out of 10. the paint shines excellent, some slight pitting on engine chrome but it looks great otherwise. Super clean 1979 cbx 1000 it is an eye grabber. was going to get a nice DG pipe and keep it but too many projects needing funds is the reason for sale. Bike will not disappoint being a rare one as well. email any questions, shipping is fine as long as the buyer works out details. please contact me if you are the winning bidder after the auction.

comprises the whole of the original eBay listing: 1979 Honda CBX1000 for Sale.

1979 Honda CBX R Tank Top

Later CBX models were touring bikes in the more contemporary style, sprouting huge Windjammer-style fairings and luggage.  I know I very much prefer the earlier, UJM-on-steroids style of the earlier bikes.  Ratty examples often get rebuilt into snorting, Spondon-framed customs of all stripes, but this one looks a bit too nice to chop up. Find a nice used set of headers, or have a shop bend some up for you.  Or leave them off and terrorize the neighborhood?  This one definitely goes into my fantasy garage.

-tad

1979 Honda CBX R Side

Reader Suggestion: 1979 Kawasaki KZ1300 for Sale

1979 Kawasaki KZ1300 R Side Front

One of our readers suggested this beast, but wasn’t sure if was sporty enough for this site.  It may be pushing things a bit to call the leviathan Kawasaki KZ1300 a “sport bike”, but it certainly could be called a sports-tourer, in an era when “touring bike” meant that you could cover large distances behind the bars, not necessarily that you could pack enough stuff for a week of camping once you got there, charge your iPhone, navigate via GPS, and listen to Skynrd…

No this is a touring bike from a simpler era.  And as far as I’m concerned, if I can justify weird and unusual or forgotten machines as “sport bikes” I’ll include them.

Looking like a traditional UJM that’s somehow… off…  Just what is it, something wrong with the scale, just slightly…  Oh my god!  It’s huge!  And are those six cylinders?!  It really is a bulky machine, but with simple lines and undeniable presence.

1979 Kawasaki KZ1300 L Side

Pumping out 120hp from its straight six, with water-cooling and shaft drive, it got exactly the reviews you’d expect from a machine like this:  it was smooth.  Powerful.  It was stable, like a locomotive.  There was limited cornering clearance.  It was powerful.  Comfortable.  Did we mention powerful?

And oh look!  An eBay ad with a video clip!  But don’t get too excited, unless you’re a big AC/DC fan…

1979 Kawasaki KZ1300 Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1979 Kawasaki KZ1300 for Sale

The original Trifecta of “six cylinder” motorcycles in the late 70’s and early 80’s consisted of the Honda CBX, the Kawasaki KZ1300, and the two Benelli Six Cylinders [750 cc and 900cc].  These motorcycles were originally of course made for the purpose of riding, touring, and eating up hundreds of miles on the road in comfort.  They were all fast for the day and were also considered very reliable.  Today the Trifecta is considered highly collectible and the smart collectors are getting a copy each in their collection.  Today we have a most unusual offering that the KZ1300 in this ad is the exact motorcycle that was used in both the Cycle World road test and Motorcycle Classic road test.

The owner has indicated that he would consider ending the auction on this motorcycle for the sum of 6,750.00.

IF YOU ARE A COLLECTOR OF ICONIC 70s & 80s BIKES, A FIRST YEAR KAWASAKI SIX CYLINDER IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST FOR YOUR COLLECTION.  AFTER THAT WE WOULD RECOMMEND A FIRST YEAR CBX AND EITHER A BENELLI 750 CC OR BENELLI 900 CC.

Really?  You’d recommend I buy your bike first?  Wow, I’m glad I asked.

1979 Kawasaki KZ1300 Tank

In any event, this looks like a classic Japanese bike that offers the sort of performance that most riders are looking for in the real world.  It’ll out-cruise just about anything on the road, and classic, carburetted straight six motorcycles sound simply amazing.  Oh, and it makes lots of lazy power.  I read an article once about one of the fathers of the stunting-scene in the UK, who started out riding one of these simply because it was cheap to buy and so stupidly easy to do burnouts on.

-tad

1979 Kawasaki KZ1300 R Side

1979 Honda CBX for Sale

1979 Honda CBX R Side

The Honda CBX is a classic example of motorcycle excess, a bike whose reason to exist seems to simply have been “because we could.” A huge, air-cooled inline six slung across the frame is an unusual powerplant, but it certainly looks good.  Few bikes have bothered with this configuration, and only BMW has tried it recently: complexity and packaging issues make them pretty impractical.

The CBX was introduced in 1979 and  was supposedly only slightly wider than Honda’s own 750 four, although you’d never know that by looking at it.  The 1047cc, 24 valve, straight six was meant to evoke the racing heritage of Honda’s six cylinder racebikes, but the machine’s nearly 600 pounds blunted any real sporting aspirations.

1979 Honda CBX Dash

To a casual viewer, a Honda CBX looks like any other 1970’s Japanese machine.  But look closer, and you notice the massively wide engine sticking out on either side and six pipes that cascade from the exhaust side of the cylinder head.  It’s no canyon-carver, more of a luxury, sport-touring GT.  A strong visual statement with plenty of turbine-smooth power and shrieking exhaust note that make for a very addictive ride.

Go here for the original eBay listing: 1979 Honda CBX for Sale

The bike had sat for sometime, the carbs were pretty well clogged with old ethanol gas (as most of you can imagine).  So we pulled them off and gave them each a thorough cleaning – with the new carbs back on the bike and some fresh gas, she fired right up!  This CBX has an absolutely incredible sound – when you crack open the throttle, she sounds like a V12 Ferrari – clean, crisp, high pitched – take a listen on the YouTube videos we have posted below and hear for yourself (… and yes, she does have the signature/normal clutch basket rattle that all ’79 CBX’s are notorious for – do a google search on CBX Clutch Basket Noise – you will be able to read all about this specific noise).  She really pulls hard/strong through all gears and through the entire RPM  range – she is actually way faster than we had expected (first CBX for us)!  EVERYTHING on this bike works:  all gauges, all lights, all indicator lights.  Her brakes are awesome and she handles really well for a bike of this size.  She recently won a trophy for the “Best Stock Bike” category (as chosen by the spectators) in a local car/bike show.  The motor and bike are super clean – seeing her in person and giving her the once over will confirm why she took that trophy (as these photos and videos really do not do this bike justice)!

1979 Honda CBX L Engine1979 Honda CBX Pipes

This one sports a very cool looking 6-into-1 exhaust which goes a long way towards lightening the looks of the bike and replaces the stock, paired 3-into-1 system.  The new system also sounds, as the cliché goes, like a Ferrari, with an exotic, ripping wail like nothing else on two wheels:

While maintenance can be expensive for these, they’re reliable in typical Honda Fashion.  Take care of this one and it should reward you with years of arm-stretching, stoplight-to-stoplight fun.

-tad

1979 Honda CBX L Rear