Tagged: Honda

Sexy Six: 1979 Honda CBX for Sale

1979 Honda CBX R Rear

In an era when a 750 was still considered a “big” bike, Honda’s six-cylinder, 1047cc CBX was very much a monument to excess. It was complex, expensive, wasn’t especially fast, and was too heavy and poorly suspended to really handle. And the lack of a fairing meant its sport-touring ability was relatively limited as well. But as an engineering statement it was without peer, and the smooth, exotic sounds made by that huge aluminum brick of an engine really had no equal in the motorcycling world either.

1979 Honda CBX R Front

In point of fact, the engine isn’t really all that wide: it’s not a whole lot wider than Honda’s own CB750 four. But on a naked bike, with nothing but the era’s bicycle-skinny tires and a fairly slim tank to give it context, it looks like an aluminum-finned wall. That cascading row of exhaust headers doesn’t help, and probably emphasizes the bike’s width. Fit a set of crash-bars and the organ-pipe six-into-six exhaust seen here, and you’re looking at a serious visual statement.

1979 Honda CBX L Side Pipes

Likely inspired by Honda’s jewel-like six-cylinder racing machines, a long gestation meant that, by the time the CBX was released, those sleek and impossibly delicate 250cc, seven and ten-speed Grand Prix bikes were long-forgotten by the general buying public. So the CBX was a bit of a footnote in terms of production numbers for a company like Honda. But they were often cherished by owners and many excellent examples exist today, although this one appears to be in especially nice condition.

1979 Honda CBX L Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1979 Honda CBX for Sale

I am listing my super rare unrestored 1979 Honda CBX with only a bit over 15,000 miles and it is probably one of the nicest if not the nicest unrestored CBX’s available anywhere. The paint and body work are flawless, fairing is aftermarket (and look great on the bike) and has been painted to perfectly match the factory paint.  No chips, scratches, dents and the best factory paint I have ever seen on an original bike and I have owned many. The engine still has all the original paint which is also mint and stock not polished cases or the like and it runs like new as well, and the non-factory exhaust still appear almost new themselves with no scratches or dents. I have never seen a CBX that even comes close to the original quality of this bike.

1979 Honda CBX Dash

I’m not normally a fan of bikini fairings like the one seen here, but it compliments the bike’s lines and likely improves the bike’s ability to cover long distances. Bidding is very active on this particular CBX and, although there’s just a couple days left on the auction, the reserve has not been met at $8,800. The Buy It Now price is set at $13,500 which is definitely at the top of the range for a CBX. But with prices of the six-cylinder Hondas headed upwards, and considering how much a restoration on one would cost, it seems like it might be worth it for someone looking to add a very original example of this appreciating classic to their collection.

-tad

1979 Honda CBX R Side

Yetman-Framed 1963 Honda 250 Racebike for Sale

1963 Honda 250 Race Bike R Front

I’d like to be able to tell you what we really have here, but the listing simply says it’s a 250 Honda Road Racer. Factory Honda 250cc racers of the period were generally sophisticated four-cylinder or even six-cylinder machines, although there was the CR72, a parallel-twin race bike. So is this a full-on racer, or a converted street bike? without a shot of the bike sans fairing, it’s hard to tell and I’d be happy to have any experts weigh in the comments. The frame won’t give you much hint: it’s not the original and is claimed to have been built by Yetman.

1963 Honda 250 Race Bike L Rear

Dave Yetman was an innovative, seat-of-the-pants motorcycle enthusiast who, after crashing his CB77, found it was more economical to build a replacement frame for it, using welding skills he learned working on Formula Vee cars. At the time most motorcycles used cradle frames, whereas Yetman used thin-tube, “trellis-style” frames that used the engine as a stressed member. His frames were almost impossibly light: the resulting CB77 frame was only eight pounds, compared to the original’s 30!

1963 Honda 250 Race Bike R Tank

In business making frames throughout the 1960’s for roadracing, off-road, and drag racing applications, Yetman was like an American version of Rickman or Nico Bakker, creating bikes that were lighter, faster, and better-handling than what you could generally get from the factory.

1963 Honda 250 Race Bike Fairing

From the original eBay listing: 1963 Honda 250 Road Racer for Sale

Motoexotica is pleased to present this extremely rare and beautifully preserved 1963 Honda road racing motorcycle which features a 250cc four stroke twin cylinder engine and a Yetman racing frame. Bike is also equipped with 5 speed transmission, 26mm Mikuni carburetors, twin leading shoe front brakes, magnesium triple trees, full safety wiring, and more.

As part of a collection, this bike has been a static display piece for several years and has not been started or run recently. Overall condition is excellent with some patina on original parts but no broken or damaged pieces and parts that we are aware of. This bike is a fantastic piece of motorcycle racing history and is sure to start conversations wherever it sits.

It’s a shame that this bike is currently a display item, but I’d expect it should be possible to get it into running order without too much difficulty. Bidding is up to $3,700 with the Reserve Not Met and a couple days left on the auction. Perhaps if the seller included a bit more history, it’d get the bidders’ juices flowing…

-tad

1963 Honda 250 Race Bike L Side

 

Far Ahead of Its Time: 1981 Bimota HB2 for Sale

1981 Bimota HB1 R Side

As sleek and sexy as exotic cars and motorcycles may appear to the uninitiated, it’s under the skin where the really beautiful stuff generally lives. After all, you can cloak a pedestrian four-banger Fiero in fairly convincing Lamborghini bodywork, but pull the bodywork of this Bimota HB2 and the bike is perhaps even better-looking.

1981 Bimota HB1 Engine

While the GSX-R is generally thought to have brought endurance-racing looks and monoshock frames to the masses, they certainly weren’t the first to actually build a bike like that for the road. That honor would likely go to Bimota and one of their lightweight Japanese-engined racers. This was at the tail end of the era before the Japanese Big Four really got their act together and made big bikes that could handle, and Bimota was happy to take their powerful and nearly unburstable powerplants and put them into packages that were uncompromisingly fast, lightweight, and devoid of mass-production compromises.

1981 Bimota HB1 Side Plate

The HB2 was, as the alpha-numeric name suggests, the second Honda-powered bike built by Bimota. Only 10 HB1’s were built, the first made from a CB750 wrecked by Massimo Tamburini himself. 200 HB2’s were built following, making them almost mass-produced by Bimota standards. The HB2 was powered by the CB900F’s 90hp air/oil-cooled, four-valve, four-cylinder engine, wrapped in a lightweight trellis frame that saved almost 70lbs compared to the more traditional donor bike. The exhaust added a dab of power but was mainly intended to save additional weight.

1981 Bimota HB1 Rear Wheel

It takes just 4 bolts and a single electrical connector to remove the lightweight fairing and allow unfettered access to the gorgeous mechanicals, as can be seen from the photos.

From the original eBay listing: 1981 Bimota HB2 for Sale

Great opportunity to buy a supper rare and highly collectable motorcycle, one of the first Bimotas,this one was 2nd generation using a Honda engine but was the 1st model Bimota implemented the billet  plate to hold the frame together, was the most expensive and fastest production bike back in 1981. Is a very basic and simple motorcycle, engineered ,design and manufactured with one purpose, to serve one rider and provide the most handling and performance. Has a very cool spider web trellis frame, billet  integrated plates to improve rigidity, magnesium wheels, magnesium legs 40 mm fully adjustable Italia(Certain) fork, billet triple tree and rear sets, one piece fiber glass body with tank cover and integrated seat. Bike is mostly stock with the exception of very rare Dellorto PH32 carbs, original came with Keihin carbs (very cheap and easy to obtain on eBay).

I purchased the bike from a collector, along with other motorcycle and unfortunately can’t keep them all, decided to sell a few, including this Bimota HB2.

The bike is very solid and in better than average shape but is not pristine, has scratches, dents, some other marks and scuffs as you can imagine for a 34 years old bike. I encourage who ever is interested to come for an inspection, bike has new tires, carbs and fluids taken care, starts and rides well but I only take  her out for short rides, too precious to go the distance. Only 197 of these babies were made, this is#26 and titled in my name, Illinois title.

I have bunch of period magazine covering this bike and all of them have agreed the bike was a masterpiece and way ahead of its time, for years had no competition, was in a class all by herself/ I would included them with the bike.

1981 Bimota HB1 Dash

Interestingly, these early Bimotas generally used the factory gauges for a less-exotic and bespoke, but far more reliable way to keep an eye on vital statistics: the gauges on 90’s Bimotas were almost comically erratic when they functioned at all. With plenty of time left on the auction, but no bidders and a starting bid of $11,000 there’s plenty of time to get in on a very collectible motorcycle in solid shape.

-tad

1981 Bimota HB1 L Side

Little Blue Bomber: 1975 Honda CB400F Super Sport for Sale

1975 Honda CB400F R Side

The introduction of Honda’s CB750 in 1969 did more than simply redefine what a range-topping bike could be. It heralded an onslaught of sophisticated, reliable machine across their entire range: while sporty midsized offerings from the other Japanese manufacturers were often quick and nimble, but powered by peaky, noisy, smoky two-strokes, Honda used sophisticated overhead-cam twins and fours. In fact, their direct competitor for the famous Yamaha RD350 was this bike, the four cylinder CB400F. 1975 Honda CB400F L Front

Powered by a bored-out version of the 350, the 400F engine actually displaced 408cc, and the bike featured a relatively novel six-speed gearbox, something nearly unheard of outside racing circles in an era when most bikes still used only four.

1975 Honda CB400F R Side Detail

The Honda couldn’t hold a candle to the RD in terms of quick and dirty speed, but it beat the little smoker hands-down when it came to sophistication. Unfortunately, the sportbike market wasn’t especially interested in refinement, so the Honda didn’t sell all that well when new, with buyers in the middleweight sports market opting for the light weight and personality of the Yamaha.

But while the Honda was much heavier, handling was still excellent, and riders of the period found plenty of success on track, with race-prepped bikes capable of true giant-slaying ability and top speeds of over 130mph.

1975 Honda CB400F Clocks

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Honda CB400F for Sale

This 1975 Honda 400 Four Super Sport is equipped with a side stand and a center stand which is handy for maintenance. It also has an electric start & a kick start. This is handy if the battery is low, as the starter robs the voltage to the ignition coils. After starting the bike from cold, it needs to warm up on part choke for a few minutes before setting off, or you could find yourself fumbling with the choke whilst riding.

This little guy pulls well from the start (even with its peak power of 37 bhp at 8,500rpm and redline at 10,000 rpm), and with 6 gears to choose from you’ll find your left foot is kept busy if you want to make the most of it. It accelerates well from 0-70 mph, which is the range where most riders will find themselves on this urban super sport. The seating position is slightly bent forward, giving a dominant street fighter feel. The bike handles very well at all speeds providing good cornering and a comfortable ride, and would make a great city commuter anywhere in the world.

This well preserved 1975 Honda CB 400 F only has 12,655 miles on the odometer. The VIN number is CB400F-1027692, Date of Manufacture is 03/75, and Engine ID# is CB400FE-1028229. It is in very nice condition. The bike starts, runs, and shifts very well. The bike is all original with the following exceptions – which were made to get it roadworthy for the new owner:

New “Varnish Blue” paint on gas tank and side covers (professionally done and very nice)

New chrome exhaust muffler

New dash lights/ console  (replaced with new)

New seat cover  (replaced with new)

New tires

New cables for throttle, brake and clutch

New master cylinder

New switch gear for starter and kill switch at throttle side of handlebar

We have gone through this bike and cleaned it from top to bottom and performed the following services:

Installed new brake pads and rebuilt front caliper (with new brake fluid)

Repainted front brake calipers

Polished all chrome parts and accessories

Cleaned and tuned all 4 carburetors

Replaced all fluids

All lights and electrics work perfectly, and the horn work so it will easily pass Texas vehicle inspection. There is not a bit of grease or dirt on this bike anywhere as it was given a very thorough detailing, even in the places you can’t see.

1975 Honda CB400F R Side RearThis one has been repainted and looks to be in excellent physical and mechanical condition. The seller also includes a nice video of the bike being started and running.

These are great little bikes, and can still be found for very reasonable prices. They make excellent “starter classics” since they’re physically on the small side, are reliable, and have decent parts availability.

-tad

1975 Honda CB400F R Side Front

Sand-Cast Classic: 1969 Honda CB750 for Sale

1969 Honda CB750 R Side Front

When the Honda CB750 came onto the scene in 1969, beating Kawasaki’s own four-cylinder bike to market by the narrowest of margins, it was a revelation: four-cylinder motorcycles were previously the domain of luxury or high-end sporting manufacturers like Ariel or MV Agusta. But the CB750, while certainly not cheap, was an affordable alternative to the established large displacement bikes from the European manufacturers, offering refinement and reliability previously unheard of at that price-point. The specifications seem so unexciting now, but that’s because every other manufacturer needed to produce similar machines, or be left in the dust.

And Honda didn’t stop with their 750: that initial CB gave birth to a whole range of four-cylinder, five-speed bikes, including a 350, a 400, a 500, and a 550. The fours were often heavy, compared to their twin-cylinder or two-stroke competition. But they offered an unmatched level of sophistication compared to those relatively crude machines.1969 Honda CB750 L Side

For a long time, four-cylinder bikes from Honda, Kawasaki, and Suzuki were being regularly chopped into bits as part of the burgeoning cafe racer scene, owing to their low prices, power, and solid construction. This one will not be subjected to that sort of treatment. It’s an early model CB750, with the sand-cast engine cases that are so desirable among fans of this bike.

1969 Honda CB750 R Side Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1969 Honda CB750

In their 100th anniversary issue, Motorcyclist magazine named the 1969 Honda CB750 as the “Bike of the Century,” and this one may be the bike of this century! I bought it 30 years ago from the original owner, a schoolteacher in Chicago, who had kept it as immaculately as I have ever since. I’ll try to keep this text short as you true lovers of vintage Hondas know the story very well by now, but the term “sandcast” is abused so much on eBay it bears re-telling. 

Soichiro Honda was a wise businessman and when he developed this breakthrough machine in the 1960s era that was dominated by British twins & triples, and he wasn’t sure it would sell with its daring 4 cylinders, 4 exhaust pipes, 4 carbs and front disk brake. To play it safe, Honda cast the engine blocks in rough sand molds rather than investing in much smoother (and more costly) metal molds. When the bike started selling well, they invested in the metal casts and all models after VIN # 7,414 have a smooth engine block finish, making these early bikes with a rough “sandcast” finish very rare. 

How rare is this one? Chassis VIN # = 374 and engine = #379, only five digits apart! Why are they apart? Hondas were shipped from Japan in separate crates of engines & chassis, and then assembled in California in random fashion. Many sandcasts have frame & engine numbers that are hundreds of digits apart, so this one’s close numbers are rare indeed. If you check the Sandcast web site (www.cb750sandcastonly.com) and scan the registry, you’ll see this one listed as #18 and with its very close #s for the chassis & engine. 

What’s also special about this bike is it is a rider, not a “trailer queen.” It had 18,000 miles on it when I bought it, and I’ve put another 6,000 miles on it since, generally short trips every month in the summer to keep it mechanically sound. It runs like a “dream” (forgive the Honda pun!) and has been maintained by some of the best vintage Honda mechanics whose identity I’ll only reveal to the buyer to not drive them nuts with too many phone calls early on.

1969 Honda CB750 L Side Engine

There are plenty of additional details over at the listing, so take a gander if you’re a fan of this bike. There are four days left on the auction, with bidding up to $27,000 and the reserve not yet met. That might seem to be a princely sum, but the really rare, early CB’s do command all that and more.

1969 Honda CB750 Headlamp

For a long time, the very reliability and ubiquity of the UJM was their downfall: people treated them like the appliances they were designed to be. A vintage Triumph is going to require regular fiddling and adjustment, and will likely leak at least a bit of oil. They’re full of character, fully capable of cutting a rug and they look great doing it. But vintage European bikes ownership is more like a relationship: you’re invested, an enthusiast. Japanese bikes of the period were notable because they generally flat worked. Just add gas and tires.

But that also means that, when Honda or Kawasaki introduced their latest and greatest model, old bikes were just that: old bikes. And often left to decay, or sold on to less sympathetic owners more concerned with cheap transportation than maintaining an heirloom motorcycle. But considering what early Z1’s and Honda CB750’s are going for these days, the joke’s on them.

-tad

1969 Honda CB750 R Side

Little Nipper: 1977 Honda MT125R Race Bike for Sale

1977 Honda MT125R R Side

When you’re looking to go racing, it’s easy to lust after exotic, high-performance machinery. But most of us need to think in terms of real-world practicality and consider things like “tires” and “maintenance” and that’s where bikes like this Honda MT125R fit in. Simple and cheap, it wasn’t the fastest thing out there when new, but was designed for competition and was easy to keep running.

1977 Honda MT125R Cockpit

Built for just two years, from 1977 to 1978, the Honda MT125R was a two-stroke, production racer. Parts for this little 169 pound Frankenstein-ian Monster were largely derived from other production motorcycles in Honda’s stable, with just the frame and bodywork being unique to the MT125. The engine, notably, was from the proven and durable CR125 off-road model, making parts especially easy to come by.

1977 Honda MT125R R Tank

That little 123cc two-stroke, air-cooled single put 26bhp through a 6-speed gearbox. Interestingly, Honda did produce a liquid cooling kit that could be fitted to the bike, including a new cylinder and head, water pump, and accessories.

While 26hp is real power in such a featherweight bike, it’s all up at the top of the tach, and the bike required a brutal launch technique with screaming revs and lots of slip. First-generation bikes had a cable-operated front brake, although this one sensibly features a later hydraulic unit, here fitted with a braided line.

1977 Honda MT125R R Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Honda MT125R for Sale

Nice Honda MT125R classic racer. AHRMA Formula 125 eligible. All there, good compression. I have “dry” installed a Jerry Lodge hydraulic front brake conversion (uses a early 2000 Yamaha DT125r or TTr125 caliper and master). The fairing is a bit cracked here and there but I installed it for illustration and it would protect the bike if it is shipped. You can get new from Airtech etc..

This looks more like a bike for someone interesting in vintage racing, not simply collecting, as the bike does feature some practical upgrades and is not in absolutely perfect condition. Bidding is almost ridiculously low at just $1,225, a screaming deal for all the track-day fun you’d have with this little nipper.

-tad

1977 Honda MT125R L Side

On Rails: 1976 Honda CB750 Bonneville Salt Flat Record Holder

1976 Honda CB750 Salt Flat L Side

Well, this Honda CB750 probably doesn’t fall under our usual parameters for “sport bike” but it is most definitely a “race bike” and how could we possibly exclude a machine that has successfully

Even if it doesn’t have a front brake. Or rear shocks…

1976 Honda CB750 Salt Flat Tank Detail

During the 1970’s and 1980’s the undisputed kings of the street and strip were the big four-cylinder bikes from Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Honda. Sure, Kawi’s two-stroke triples were entertainingly wild and punched well above their weight, but were hamstrung by typically peaky two-stroke powerbands, and the idle-to-redline shove of a no-replacement-for-displacement four made bikes like the CB750 the go-to choice for straight-line performance.

1976 Honda CB750 Salt Flat R Side Front

From the original eBay listing: 1976 Honda CB750 Bonneville Salt Flat Record Holder for Sale

Recently restored vintage record holder

Original built by Hollister & Cunningham

Drag raced in northern Nevada and northern Cali in the late 70’s

Restoration was done by me, mostly cosmetic. New aluminum “Excel” rims and stainless steel spokes laced to original hubs Paint on tank is original restored and re painted the tail section New cables, new chain, new tires. Restored and re painted the front fender Clean, rebuilt, and synchronized the carbs Flushed fluids from engine New fluids Hand build Mallory magneto RC Engineering 4 into 1 header No stater or rotor on left side of crank shaft After Boneville bike was drag raced in Northern Cal and Northern Nev Comes with the wheelie bar and stack of sprockets All documentation from Boneville Salt Flat records Bike starts and runs fine. Seriously fast!

1976 Honda CB750 Salt Flat Plaque

I’m not sure what a buyer would do with this machine, since it’s not a practical day-to-day machine. While the Excel rims weren’t on the bike at the time of its record run, they look great, although I always get creeped out at the thought of riding a bike with no front brakes on the street…

But with a Buy It Now price of only $6,500 I’d bet you won’t find a world record holder machine for any cheaper!

-tad

1976 Honda CB750 Salt Flat Engine1976 Honda CB750 Salt Flat Certificate

Café Done Right: 1975 Honda CB750 for Sale

1975 Honda CB750 Cafe R Side

I try to stay away from posting up too many café-styled machines here, especially of the home-brewed variety. There’s nothing wrong with them necessarily, but the do-it-yourself vibe also leads to some half-cocked ideas and questionable engineering: take a half-decent Honda CB750, slap on a fresh coat of paint on the tank, flip the bars, fit a set of individual pod-filters and, voila! You now have a bike with probably less performance than the original and likely far less comfort as well…

1975 Honda CB750 Cafe L Side Rear

Introduced in 1969 as part of Japan’s opening salvo in the war for big-bike domination, the CB750 combined the sophistication and exotic wail of a four-cylinder with the durability of an appliance. Along with Kawasaki’s Z1, the CB brought sophisticated engineering to the masses. In recent years, these workhorse UJM’s [Universal Japanese Motorcycles] have become the darlings of a custom-bike scene tired of overpriced, fat-tired choppers with ubiquitous S&S twins and Baker non-unit gearboxes. Cheap to buy, with a wealth of parts to maintain and customize, cast-off Japanese bikes democratized the custom movement, although prices of even poor examples have been driven out of the basement, leading bourgeoning bike builders to search for less-expensive alternatives…

1975 Honda CB750 Cafe Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Honda CB750 Cafe for Sale

Honda CB750 cafe racer w/ new black paint/gold racing accent stripes. Clear California title – runs and shifts with no issues – Front and rear drilled racing rotors, new handle bars, new mirrors, new seat pan, new upholstered seat, new gas tank emblems, new front & rear turn signals, new brake light, new oil & filter, new brake fluid, rebuilt (2) front and (1) rear calipers, rebuilt master cylinder, new speedo cable, new clutch cable, (2) new throttle cables, new reflectors and much more – feel free to contact me with any questions or to set up a time to inspect – thank you!

1975 Honda CB750 Cafe L Side Engine

This particular example caught my eye for the dual-disc conversion up front, an nod to performance and safety. Looking very much like a modern Triumph Thruxton, this is a pretty nice, rideable classic, although the seller wants a pretty penny for it, with an asking price of $6,500. There are three days left, so maybe make him an offer.

It isn’t perfect, but the CB750 is a terrific platform and this should give you Brit-bike looks and style without the headaches and leaked oil in the garage…

-tad

1975 Honda CB750 Cafe L Side

Show or Go: 1972 Honda CL350 AHRMA Racebike for Sale

1972 Honda CL350 Race Bike on Track

While race and track bikes tend to be built with “go” rather than “show” in mind, even at the highest levels, vintage racing is sometimes a different story. While there are plenty of lashed-up, rattle-can bikes on the classic circuit, there are also some really nicely prepped machines that look like they’d be at home on a custom build show, and this Honda CL350 definitely has one foot in both of those worlds.

Honda’s CL350 was introduced in 1968 and, much like the new Ducati Scrambler, was meant more as a fun, versatile streetbike than a real offroad machine. Americans love their dirtbikes, so the CL350 sold very well at the time, and its basic reliability means there are plenty of nice ones still around. They’re rugged, make decent power, and have a very classic look, making them popular today in both stock form and as the basis for café-style rebuilds.

1972 Honda CL350 Race Bike L Rear

Powered by a 325cc parallel twin with a chain-driven overhead cam, the CL350 put out about 33hp in stock trim. But there was plenty more to be had and the engine was both lightweight and very tough, with much of the bike’s overall weight coming from heavy-duty offroad-capable parts. This means that there’s plenty of weight to lose when building a dedicated streetbike or a roadracer like we have here.

1972 Honda CL350 Race Bike Engine Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1972 Honda CL350 AHRMA Racebike for Sale

The bike was built to a very high standard using the best components and lots of Italian “bling.” It uses the preferred CL350 frame (reinforced) which like the Honda CB350 version – has competitive advantages compared to the SL350 model frame.  It was also remarkably reliable. No DNSs and no DNFs during its one full season of competition! Add fresh fuel, battery and rubber and you’re ready to go racing with a very competitive mount!

I also used this bike myself to pass AHRMA’s Fast and Safe road-racing school at NOLA. This is an excellent track day bike! Or – a unique exotic for the collector who wants a special bike with real race “cred” that was built to an aesthetic level rarely seen on racing machinery.

Would be a great conversation piece as a static display for any private collection, restaurant or coffee shop …but I would prefer that this bike is acquired by someone who plans to continue its distinguished racing career.

This is a special bike that goes as good as it looks. Draws a crowd wherever it appears!

This is an well-maintained machine. The assembly / paint was expertly done in 2013. Beyond that, it does have the honest patina of actual racing action. It will require new rubber and a fresh battery.

Frame

Honda CL350 (high pipe, street-bike) was selected as the basis for this build. The frame (merely spot-welded at the factory) was “fully” welded during our build. All joints, attachments, pressings, perimeters, etc. were completely welded together for maximum rigidity.  Extraneous brackets were removed.  The steering head bearings were replaced with tapered roller bearings (All-Balls).  Swing-arm is stock.  Paint is urethane single-stage (no clear coat).

Brakes

Front brake was extensively tweaked by Vintage Brake. They did all their magic turning, backplate service and brake shoe matching magic to build these serious binders.  Front has Ferodo shoes.  Rear is NOS Honda CL350.

Suspension

Many thanks to Race Tech for their help, support, design & guidance.  Front forks are 1981 35mm Yamaha 650 twin with Gold Valve emulators and 80kg/m fork springs.  SL350 Honda triple clamps are used for the (larger) 35mm fork size.  Rear shocks are custom, fully adjustable Race Tech shocks.  They did the math based on the build sheet dimensions and superbly constructed them. Steering damper by Shindy Daytona.

Engine

Most internal parts are from Bore-Tech.  Racing Cam is from Megacycle along with their valves springs & lighter retainers.  New guides were installed.  A big bore, high compression piston kit from Bore-Tech was installed.  Stock crank (roller bearings).  Cappellini needle bearing / overhead oiling / oil filter setup to eliminate running the hardened cam in plain aluminum carriers. Cappellini supplied the trick oil cooler as well.  Degreed the cam according to Megacycle specs. Ignition is electronic and run off the crank versus the cam end.  Stock Honda clutch and gearset.

1972 Honda CL350 Race Bike R Side

The “SL350” the seller mentions in the first paragraph was introduced in 1969 and used a heavier frame more in keeping with legitimate off-road riding, but that obviously makes it less suitable for a track bike. This example uses the lighter CL/CB frame intended for street duty. The smaller Honda twins are, in general, very popular in vintage roadracing: they’re rugged as all get-out and are still very affordable, with maintenance and tuning parts readily available. Although it is possible to spend ludicrous amounts of cash building one to this level, that’s not really necessary, and you can still have a blast on something less polished.

1972 Honda CL350 Race Bike Tank Detail

As you can see from the close-up shots, this is a beautifully-prepared bike and, although the $8,900 Buy It Now price is very high for a Honda CL350-based anything, it’s probably worth that, considering the fabrication and care that’s gone into this build. As is often the case, you’re left with a bit of dilemma: do you risk trashing something this nice on track?

-tad

1972 Honda CL350 Race Bike Engine Parts

Street or Track: 1973 Honda CB500 Street Race Bike for Sale

1973 Honda CB500 Cafe R Front

Some bikes are rare by virtue of the fact that few were ever made. Others are rare simply because so few survive in anything like good condition. Others, like this Honda CB500 are one-of-a-kind, a common bike elevated to the ranks of rare and valuable because of the execution.

1973 Honda CB500 Cafe R Rear

Certainly, Honda made plenty of CB500’s, so they’re not rare in terms of how many were built. But in typical Honda style, most were used as transportation and then passed on, discarded, and caught in an ever-worsening spiral of less-sympathetic maintenance as they moved down the food chain to the bottom-feeders. Luckily, Honda’s line of four-cylinder motorcycles were built to last, and parts to rebuild them are plentiful.

1973 Honda CB500 Cafe Cockpit

While the seller refers to this as a “race bike” and the bike does appear to have some history that speaks to competition, it’s currently set up for street use, with a headlight, taillight, and rear-view mirror. The listing includes a thorough accounting of upgrades and prep work, including an overbore to 651cc’s and a set of bigger CB750 carburetors to help feed the hungry Honda. I’m not sure how the overbore affects racing classes, as bikes are generally grouped according to displacement and the modifications that have been made, although those twin-discs up front are a welcome upgrade, no matter how you plan to use this bike.

1973 Honda CB500 Cafe Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1973 Honda CB500 Race Bike for Sale

According to the previous owner, the bike was raced in F1 CCS vintage Classes in 2000 and rebuilt for the next season at the end of the year. It was raced in 02 in CCS WERA and AHRMA winning both LW and HW Vintage classes. At the end of 02 the motor was again rebuilt to its current state. In 2003 the bike saw a practice laps but was never raced again. The bike was sold to someone for their 64 birthday but to health issues his race days are over that is when I bought the bike. The bike has a clear title. The bike runs great and has no mechanical issues and dose not leak or smoke. When I bought the bike number cylinder was not hitting when for a good drive and it cleared up runs like race bike should. Things that have been done to bring this race machine to this standard

CB500’s are not especially rare or valuable, although prices for nice examples are being dragged upwards as Honda’s other four-cylinder bikes increase in value. However, this particular example looks like it’s been well cared for and treaded to significant mechanical and cosmetic upgrades that definitely make it worth a second look. With five days left and bidding just north of $5,000 it looks like I’m not the only one who thinks that.

1973 Honda CB500 Cafe Dash

As it stands, this CB500 is a very slick street bike, and that bare metal tank with leather strap look appropriately racy for posing at the coffee shop after a good ride down some winding back roads. If you plan to take “race bike” literally, make sure you read the rule book of the appropriate sanctioning body carefully. If you plan to ride this on the street, make sure you replace that hideous AutoMeter oil pressure gauge with something more appropriately vintage.

-tad

1973 Honda CB500 Cafe L Side