Tagged: inline six

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

Succeeding with Excess: 1976 Benelli 750 Sei for Sale

1976 Benelli Sei 750 R Side

“If some is good, then more is better.” That pretty much sums up the philosophy in effect here. Benelli’s six-cylinder Sei wasn’t really faster than an equivalent four. It didn’t handle any better. And it certainly wasn’t any more frugal. But it was more. Six freaking cylinders more, at a time when the motorcycling world was just getting used to the idea of easily available four-cylinder machines, Benelli went and built this thing. In fact, the driving philosophy behind its creation seems to be, “Because we could.” Which is a great reason to build things, as far as I’m concerned.

Especially motorcycles.

1976 Benelli Sei 750 Engine

Introduced in 1972, the 750 Sei featured an inline-six engine that was enlarged to 900cc in 1978. While 71hp was nothing to sneeze at, the real advantage of the configuration was smooth power and a wide powerband. Certainly, the wide engine limited cornering clearance, and the bike wasn’t really suited to back road scratching. It was a sophisticated sport-touring machine, the classic “gentleman’s express.” Unfortunately, styling was a bit subdued, performance was a bit underwhelming even when bored out to 900cc, and the bike was naturally expensive to run. But six-cylinder motorcycles sound amazing and, ridden within their limits, are very enjoyable motorcycles.

1976 Benelli Sei 750 R Side Tank

This particular example is in very original condition, apart from the 6-into-1 exhaust. Certainly the look of the original system is more classic, although this set up will save plenty of weight and perhaps improve the limited cornering clearance issues.

From the original eBay listing: 1976 Benelli Sei 750 for Sale

Bike is complete. It has been stored inside for many years and the front forks, having no mechanical problem, are somewhat pitted and rusty. The chrome rear fender, headlight rim and front fender have some surface ‘stuff’ on them but they are not rusted. The rim itself isn’t perfect. Tires are new, battery isn’t.

This bike was purchased disassembled in 1985 from a dealer. All of the parts were new. After reassembly, the bike was ridden sporadically for 5 years and then stored indoors. It is currently in Birmingham Alabama, stored in a car enthusiast’s toy room. The bike is stock except for the Marving 6-into-1 exhaust system. The tires look new but they have been on the bike for over 20 years. The battery was changed about 5 years ago and charged occasionally. The electrics all work.

1976 Benelli Sei 750 R Side Rear

With a $7,000 Buy It Now price, I think the seller is aiming a bit high, considering the bike’s condition. Obviously, while the paint on the tank and bodywork are very original and shiny, much of the bits that rust have surface corrosion and pitting. This is a great starting point, but anyone looking at this bike should be planning for an extensive and probably expensive restoration to get this bike in working order. Is it worth it? Certainly not from a financial standpoint. But these are obviously rarer and more exotic than a CBX and have the same draw: a physically massive, silky-smooth six cylinder engine.

-tad

1976 Benelli Sei 750 R Side Panel

Executive Express: 1982 Honda CBX for Sale

1982 Honda CBX R Front

I’ve written a number of times about Honda’s mighty CBX, with its straight-six and cascading wall of exhaust pipes. They’re glorious monuments to excess: relatively heavy, with too many cylinders, too many exhaust pipes, and too many carburetors, with plenty of power and a truly silken, exotic exhaust note.

1982 Honda CBX L Engine

Introduced in 1979, the bikes struggled a bit with their identity. The straight-six itself was shared with no other models and was really intended to evoke Honda’s GP race bikes of ten years prior. But while those racing machines were jewel-like exotics of staggering complexity and miraculous packaging, the CBX let it all hang out, and with the butch 1047cc powerplant on full display, the bike was anything but lithe and sleek. Although the six wasn’t really much wider than Honda’s 750 four-cylinder, it certainly looked that way, and the whole package was pretty heavy. Nearly 600 pounds of weight, combined with relatively indifferent suspension, made the bike more of a sport-touring machine.

1982 Honda CBX L Rear

Early CBX’s featured classic “UJM on steroids” styling, with twin shocks, a little duck-tailed seat unit, and nothing up front to hide the imposing engine. But in 1981 the bike’s mission changed and the bike was developed into a monoshock sport-touring machine. The angular 80’s fairings may not be to everyone’s taste, but the redesign actually suits the bike’s original mission very well: eating up miles in class and comfort.

1982 Honda CBX Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Honda CBX for Sale

I am the second owner for the past 24 years. The bike has lived a sheltered life, always indoors where it was has been loved and respected. Never wrecked or abused. Keeping this rare-limited bike to original specs and condition was always my goal and passion. Original 13, 340 miles. Untouched pearl white paint with black/blue stripes. Minimal paint scuffs on right rear saddle bag from passengers getting on and off through the years. One small minor 3/8″ scratch on left front side of gas tank. Original owner called it a “birthmark” since new from shipping. It was elected to leave it rather then to fix it.

All original decals an information tags still on the bike and in perfect condition. Current a leather Corbin seat for comfort, original seat is in perfect condition and included in the sale. Bike runs and rides excellent, no issues. No rust in gas tank. Everything works as it should. Highway pegs added when new by original owner – not drilled. Tires were replaced 22 years ago, no rot. Front tire in very good condition, rear is wearing down. Approximately 11,000 miles on tires. I have a brand new set of tires never used, original to the 1982 CBX are also included with the sale.

Front fork seals replaced, carbs were synchronized once. Replaced full exhaust with last known set of Honda line original exhaust 20 years ago for $2,000 is still in like new condition and replaced rear air shock due to leaking for $680 with last known Honda line original.

1982 Honda CBX Front

Folks who love to travel on their motorcycles seem to love full-dress Harleys. I’ve never ridden a full-dress Harley, so I can’t really speak to the experience, but I do know that they’re extremely heavy, relatively slow, and handle poorly. I hear they have killer stereos though… That seems to suit most people, but I’ve never understood why you can’t have comfort, speed, and sophistication. This CBX provides all three, and I think I’d prefer that wailing straight-six for a soundtrack, since I’m pretty bored with classic rock.

With bidding just above $5,000 it’s no surprise the reserve has not been met. This bike looks to be a very nice example of a late CBX. One of the few Japanese bikes of the period that have really always been pretty collectible, CBX values are definitely on the rise, although early bikes remain more desirable. Which is great if you actually want to use your bike to tour, since you get that truly epic motor in a much more usable package.

-tad

1982 Honda CBX R 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