Six Appeal: 1979 Honda CBX for Sale
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.