Tagged: Japanese

Barn-Find Racer: 1975 Yamaha TZ750 for Sale

1975 Yamaha TZ750 L Side

A combination of big-bore, two-stroke power and rapidly evolving handling made the Yamaha TZ750 the bike to beat during the 1970’s on racetracks in the US and abroad. Early bikes shredded tires and scared the bejesus out of even experienced riders, and twin-shock rear suspensions gave way to mono-shock setus as power increased from “plentiful” to “terrifying.”

1975 Yamaha TZ750 Gauges

The original bikes actually displaced 700cc’s, exactly like a lashed-up pair of 350 twins might and, although the four used much of what Yamaha had learned racing their 350, it shared no parts with its little brother, and appears to have been based on a bored-out version of their 500GP machine, making it very exotic indeed, although handling on the first bikes was fairly suspect.

1975 Yamaha TZ750 R Front

This early example uses a more conventional twin-shock rear suspension: later bikes featured thicker tubing and a much improved monoshock suspension that redirected suspension forces to the steering head and created a much more stable platform for the four-cylinder, two-stroke animal lurking under the bodywork. That liquid-cooled lump featured reed-valves for a wider powerband, likely around 90hp here, although later bikes put a slightly terrifying 140hp through the bikes six-speed box. Combined with decent handling from the later monoshock frames, it made the TZ750 the bike to beat during this era.

1975 Yamaha TZ750 R Side Engine Detail

The story behind this bike is included over at the original eBay listing. It rambles a bit, but makes for an interesting read: 1975 Yamaha TZ750 for Sale

Now I really had to think about how far down do we take this project, we could do a frame off complete restoration or just clean?

Well the answer is; They Are Only Original Once! We just cleaned it and got it running. Now the old guy told me that even though it was in storage in his garage that he would once a year spray WD40 in the cylinder and after inspecting the lower end I believe him. We removed the head and cylinders to inspect the lower end, we also scoped as much as we could. The crank looked perfect and clean. So we cleaned the piston rings and wrist pins and put back together.

Please note that we have only run this bike a couple of times so we are mixing the fuel very rich, that is why there is so much smoke in the video. Also the video was shot on May 6 of this year and it was the first and only ride on this bike. My tech is the rider and it stalled on his first run because he was trying to find first gear. The video (we will be posting soon) and pics speak for themselves.

As you review the pictures note that the bike still has most if not all of the original safety wire from its race days. Also note that is bike has most if not all of the original factory cable and hose clips or clamps. These items are usually missing on most of the TZ bikes I have seen.

I did not try to mount the fairing as it seemed to fragile from sitting in the garage but is mostly complete.

Some Notes:

The frame number is 409-000327

The Engine number is 409-000327

Bike has a clean green Michigan Title

Original paint bike (I would say about 98% original as I did repaint the head, exhaust and some misc bracket).

Original safety wire still intact from the track

All original cable clamps and clips

All parts that had to be replaced are OEM Yamaha (even the hose clamps)

Rebuilt Stator from Rick Shaw, the owner at Rick’s Electrics

Rebuilt CDI Box in original case from England

New exact duplicate radiator from England

New grips and shift rubber

Rebuilt all brake calipers w/ OEM Yamaha parts

Removed head & cylinders, cleaned rings and wrist pins, scoped and inspected crank. Crank and lower end was perfect.

Cleaned carbs

New tires, however they are road tires not track tires.

Race fairing with new replacement wind shield (this windscreen will need some alteration however was the only replacement available). 

1975 Yamaha TZ750 Tank Detail

And no, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you: that is a rear-view mirror, tail light, and a headlight on there: one of the previous owners set the up for road use! Kids, don’t try this in California… And yes, although it is a big rough around the edges, it does run, as can be seen in this video here. I love how hard-edged that two-stroke crackle is here, sounding pretty far-removed from the typically agricultural sound of an idling smoker.

1975 Yamaha TZ750 Engine Detail

Just 111 TZ750’s were built during 1975, making each and every one a highly-desirable collector’s item. Bidding is very active on this bike, and is currently up around the $25,000 mark with plenty of time left on the auction. I’d expect the buyer to return this to track-only specification and hopefully take it vintage racing, but I can imagine the temptation to take it out on the road might be very hard to resist…

-tad

1975 Yamaha TZ750 R Side

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

Cheap Speed: 1975 Kawasaki H1 500 Mach III

1975 Kawasaki H1 500 R Side Rear

Although “Mach III” is a pretty ambitious name for a motorcycle that can only just top 115mph, it probably felt much faster to test riders of Kawasaki’s two-stroke three-cylinder rocket, given the questionable brakes and less-than-secure handling. 60hp might not sound like a big deal today, but it came on in a frantic, two-stroke rush that invoked unintended wheelies, all accompanied by a chainsaw-snarl soundtrack.

1975 Kawasaki H1 500 L Side Rear

The Kawasaki H1 500 Mach III was actually pretty par for the course for big-bore Japanese roadbikes of the 1970’s, a formula that generally included a powerful, sophisticated powerplant suspended in a chassis just barely able to contain the engine’s fury, with brakes added almost as an afterthought. Spindly forks and frame flex led to a reputation for wayward and even lethal handling, in a case like this one.

1975 Kawasaki H1 500 Cockpit

But in a strange way, this was exactly what the US market really called for: in the quarter mile and stop light drag races, power was king, and fuel consumption below 20mpg was no big deal in an era of cheap gas. Buyers wanted cheap speed and the H1 delivered. Brakes? Those are just so you can stop and pick up your winnings after a race, or pull up to the pumps to refuel, right? Handling? Well as long as you can stay in your lane for 1,320 feet at a time, the handling’s just fine, thanks.

1975 Kawasaki H1 500 L Bar Detail

At the time, a lack of refinement in the package might have been considered a distinct disadvantage. Instead, the straight-line speed, combined with a low price point to create a cult bike that was a legend even in its own lifetime.

1975 Kawasaki H1 500 R Side Rear Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Kawasaki H1 500 Mach III for Sale

This is my 75  Kawasaki H1. I purchased this motorcycle many years ago. It is not stock but it’s very retro. It has had motor work, 0.50 pistons, rings, bearings and new gaskets. It also has pods, reconditioned and re jetted carburetors to go with the nice set of chrome Denco chambers. New tires and tubes. The front caliper was also rebuilt with new pads. New sprockets and chain. The tank, side covers and cowl were painted back in the late 70’s and are retro to that time period. The decals were added on and clear coated recently. I don’t think you can get a paint job like this now and if you could I bet it would be very expensive. The large metal flake really stands out. Inside the tank is clean. The chrome is in very nice original condition. I replaced the fork ears with NOS ones a few years back. All the electrical works and it starts up in 1 or 2 sometimes 3 kicks. It runs well and has that snappy two stroke sound . Smooth acceleration and quick braking. I have kept it stored in a warm dry area in my house and has been well taken care of. It’s a very noticeable motorcycle and does attract quite a bit of attention when I do take it out. Frame # H1F-39057  Engine # KAE 109069 mid year production model.

1975 Kawasaki H1 500 Side Panel

As the seller points out, this bike features a gorgeous, period-look metal-flake paint job that may not be to everyone’s taste, but if you’re buying a 70’s Kawasaki, you might as well go all-in. Those Denco expansion chambers are gorgeous as well, and this bike looks to be really well put together. Bidding is very active on this bike, with less than 24 hours to go and bidding just north of $6,000 as I write this, although I expect that to go up significantly before the auction is all over. But if you’re looking for a nice H1, it might be worth keeping an eye on this auction to see if you can snipe yourself a good deal…

-tad

1975 Kawasaki H1 500 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

Even Better Than the Real Thing? 1982 Kawasaki GPz 1100 Eddie Lawson Replica Replica

1982 Kawasaki GPz1100 R Side

At the tail-end of the twin-shock era, bikes like the Kawasaki GPz1100 were king on both road and track, although the writing was on the wall and lightweight, monoshock sportbikes like the GSX-R would soon end their dominance. These dinosaurs were heavy and stable, with ubiquitous air-cooled four-cylinder motors that were nearly unburstable and could be tuned to produce enough straight-line speed to keep even jaded quarter-mile junkies satisfied. On track, riders like Wes Cooley and Eddie Lawson managed to wrestle these thuggish motorcycles around racetracks all over the USA.

1982 Kawasaki GPz1100 Tank

Based on the KZ1000J, Kawasaki’s Eddie Lawson Replica was built to celebrate that rider’s success in AMA Superbike racing. Performance enhancements included an oil-cooler, Kerker 4-into-1 exhaust, and higher-spec suspension. Most significantly, a revised frame improved stiffness and sharpened up the handling.1982 Kawasaki GPz1100 L Side Seat

Full disclosure: this is not actually the Eddie Lawson Replica it at first appears to be, and the seller is very clear about that. It’s a replica of that replica, based on a GPz1100, and looks to have been well done, although the genuine article did feature revised frame with different geometry for sharper handling, but for most people this will do the business and be more comfortable. And it’s not like the seller just slapped on some paint and called it a day: a big-bore kit, more aggressive cams, and new carbs should make for a real rocket that will leave stoplights with authority.

1982 Kawasaki GPz1100 L Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Kawasaki GPz1100 ELR Replica

The previous owner did a frame up restoration of this bike in 2007. It has been driven less than 700 or so miles since that restoration. Everything on the bike was rebuilt and refinished at that time including the fork tubes being re-chromed, new brakes, new tires, new old stock seat, new windscreen, stainless steel fastener kit, etc. The frame and wheels have been powder coated as well as many other parts. New paint was professionally done to a very high standard, no stripe tape was used, all of the stripes were painted on. The paint itself is near flawless and looks fantastic. I would personally rate this bike a 8.75 on a scale of 1-10 as far as cosmetics go and I am more critical than most. If you wanted to take this bike to the next level as far as an Eddie Lawson Clone, I would add the piggy back rear shocks and a deep dish saddle. The April 2015 issue of Motorcyclist Magazine actually has an article on the ELR KZ1000R for anybody who is interested.

The engine was also completely gone through at that time and features an MTC 1185cc big bore kit, Z-2 cams, and Mikuni smooth bore 34mm carbs. The bike has a little under 15,900 original miles. Everything works on the bike as it should with a couple of exceptions. The fuel gauge is not working and probably needs a new sending unit. The rear brake is weak, it should grab more than it does. The carburetor slides are sticking. I thought this issue at first was a sticky throttle cable and ordered a new one but that wasn’t the case, it was the carb slides. Please keep in mind that these are smooth bore racing carbs (great for all out power but can be a bit stubborn around town) and can be a bit cantankerous at times and need to be resynchronized periodically. The new owner could always opt for the stock CV carbs if they want something a bit more mellow.

1982 Kawasaki GPz1100 L Side Front Wheel

Starting bid of $4,999 and four days left on the auction with no takers as yet. That seems a very reasonable place to start for a bike like this, considering the low miles and very nice conditon: it’s not as if a GPz1100 isn’t a pretty cool bike on its own. Genuine ELR’s are some of the most collectible 80’s Japanese bikes of the period, but this should perform very much like the real deal, and that engine work should make it a hoot to ride.

-tad

1982 Kawasaki GPz1100 L Side Rear

Brains and Brawn: 1978 Rickman Kawasaki for Sale

1978 Rickman Kawasaki L Side Front

Vintage bikes often appeal to riders of “a certain age” who grew up with these bikes and have a nostalgic soft-spot for them: vintage bikers naturally relate to vintage bikes. Some are just riders who love to tinker, while others just love the quirky looks and accessible performance of the machines from a simpler times and want the feel of a vintage motorcycle without all the “leaking oil on the floor” and “having to adjust the carburetors while idling at a stoplight” malarkey that sometimes goes along with vintage Triumphs and Nortons, making something like this Kawasaki-powered Rickman the perfect solution.

1978 Rickman Kawasaki R Side Fairing

Don and Derek Rickman created a line of dirt-racing motorcycles in the 1950’s and 1960’s, packaging bespoke frames and suspension packages around engines and transmissions from other manufacturers. Their line eventually expanded to include roadcourse and street machines, and they’re most famous these days for their line of big-displacement four cylinder bikes built around engines from Honda and Kawasaki.

In the 60’s and 70’s, suspension tuning was something of a “black art”, and while Japanese motorcycles were famous for their refined engineering, their handling was generally not on par with the European brands. So companies like Rickman used took that existing engineering and improved it by creating a chassis that could handle the power effectively.

1978 Rickman Kawasaki Front

Bikes were generally sold in kit form: Rickman supplied a new, lightweight nickel-plated frame and aerodynamic bodywork, the buyer supplied engine, electricals, and other assorted bits to put the whole thing together. The results speak for themselves and combine the best of old-world British craftsmanship and racing expertise with powerful, reliable engines from Japan.

1978 Rickman Kawasaki Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Rickman Kawasaki for Sale

You maybe  looking at one of the rarest bikes on the planet.  This bike is titled as a Rickman and not as a Kawasaki. The  bike is titled as a 1978. The  I.D. plate fixed to the steering neck indicates September, 1977 chassis and is the correct id plate for this bike.  

Almost all of the  Rickman CR900’s, of which few were built, were finished in green This bike has the orgiinal gel coat in red. The bike is original in color and I know of no other with this color. This is an original machine in pristine condition and rides like a rocket ship with the responsive and light frames built by Rickman powered by the Kawaski 900 cc motor. This bike performs as good as any modern bike today. 

The  900 cc motor number is Z1E 238xx.

This Rickman chassis was purchased in England by the original owner while vacationing there. 

The milage on this bike is less than 9,000. Most of these miles were accumulated prior to the motor being installed into the Rickman.  Thus this Rickman frame has seen very limited use.  The original rear sprocket shows virtually no wear. The saddle looks near new. The instruments are from the original Kawasaki and show the mileage covered by both the kaw and the Rickman chassis. If you are looking for an original colectable motorcycle that is sure to increase in value look no further. Rickman motorcycles, are extremely rare and  have proven in the past to be highly desirable and with their limited production should continue to increase in value. I have the clear title in hand and can assist with shipping.

1978 Rickman Kawasaki Controls

Although I’d take issue with the seller’s statements that this is “one of the rarest bikes on the planet” and “this bike performs as good as any modern bike today” it is an unusual machine in superlative condition and will definitely handle better than the Z1 from which it borrows its powerplant. I’m not really sure exactly how many Rickman Kawasakis were actually produced: in many cases, these were sold as kits, not complete bikes, and a whole menu of upgrades were available, making history a bit hard to verify. These are very cool and desirable bikes, but I think the seller may be aiming a bit high with this one: there is plenty of time left on the listing with a Buy it Now price of $25,000.

-tad

1978 Rickman Kawasaki R Side

The Turbo Kid: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo for Sale

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo R Side Front

Getting away from the race bike theme today, we’re headed back to the wild and wooly 1980’s with a nice Suzuki XN85 Turbo. Built for just one year in very limited quantities, with only about 1200 produced, the XN85 was an odd, developmental dead-end for Suzuki, and a very strange bike to produce with the iconic GSX-R750 likely already on the drawing board…

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo L Side Rear

But it gave Suzuki a player in the very weird Turbo Wars of the 1980’s, where every manufacturer needed a boosted model to remain relevant, and the word “turbo” became a byword for “cool,” even when you weren’t talking about cars or motorcycles. At least I’m assuming that the character named “Turbo” in the movie Breakin’ didn’t actually have a Mitsubishi TD04HL-19T in place of a heart…

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo L Side Engine

In any event, unlike what Kawasaki’s did with their Z1R-TC, Suzuki didn’t simply slap an aftermarket kit on a very dated platform, and the XN85 was very much state of the art, with clip-on bars, rearset pegs, 16″ front wheel, and a monoshock “Full Floater” rear suspension. The engine was a 673cc four cylinder that gave the bike the 85hp for which it was named…

And check out those 80’s-riffic LCD boost, fuel, and oil temp gauges!

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Suzuki XN85 for Sale

This is a one owner bike that was found in a barn.

Please Google Suzuki NX85 to read all about the bike.

We had gone completely through the bike and everything works like it should. It starts up with a push of the button and purrs like new.

Brand new tires with zero miles.

Inside of the tank is brand new.

The miles are correct and was never raced on a track which is what it was intended for. If you are competing in the vintage road course races this is a must have and you will not see another one.

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo R Side Rear Suspension

Although it is a little bit disconcerting that the seller calls it an “NX85” in the listing and talks about some non-existent racing heritage, this does look like a very nice example of a pretty rare motorcycle. In spite of their eminent usability and practicality, the prices for many early 1980’s Japanese sportbikes remain relatively low, and, assuming you’re okay with the so sharp you might cut yourself styling, these are very cool. Although “relatively low” ain’t what it used to be, with this example apparently bidding up to $8,500 at a recent Mecum auction.

Pick this up and you will likely generate lots of attention, although it will probably be from 50-year-old dudes coming up to you at bike nights, telling you, “I used to have one of those…”

-tad

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo 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

Collectible Racer: 1973 Yamaha TZ350A for Sale

1973 Yamaha TZ350 L Side

Jeez, as often as these TZ’s have been popping up of late, you’d think they were common or something… Yamaha’s TZ350’s were pure racing motorcycles and had no roadgoing derivatives directly related to them. Which is a shame: “race bikes for the road,” while often very narrowly-focused, lousy for roadtrips, and entirely lacking in passenger accommodations for that cute girl you met at the bar last night, can be terrific Sunday morning canyon-dance partners, allowing owners to get more use out of them than they otherwise might when restricted to track-only riding.

1973 Yamaha TZ350 R Front

The affordable TZ350A introduced water-cooling to Yamaha’s over-the-counter two-stroke parallel twin GP machine, and the bike evolved progressively through to the final TZ350H model. “A” versions like the one for sale this week featured a dual-shock rear end, although later versions changed to a monoshock rear suspension.

1973 Yamaha TZ350 Dash

The twin made a smoking 64bhp and at under 300lbs dry, these were competitive right out of the box, although they were bikes without a class here in the USA and generally were forced to run against larger machines.

1973 Yamaha TZ350 Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1973 Yamaha TZ350 for Sale

Up for auction is a piece of Yamaha, Daytona, and AMA racing history! This 1973 Yamaha TZ350A was ridden by rookie expert Jim Evans to third place in the 1973 Daytona 200 for sponsor/owner/tuner/dealer Mel Dinesen. (Don Emde had won the 200 outright for Dinesen the year prior aboard a Yamaha TR3.) This privateer TZ350 finished the 1973 200 behind World Champions Jarno Saarinen and Kel Carruthers on Yamaha factory team TZ350s in what was the first major race for Yamaha’s new water cooled TZ family of GP series production racing bikes. The new TZ350s outpaced and/or outlasted both four and two-stroke machines of up to 750cc in that year’s contest.

The late Stephen Wright found and restored this bike in the early-90s, before selling it into two successive private collections. Wright is well known as having been curator/chief restorer for Steve McQueen’s motorcycle collection, starting with work for McQueen’s Solar Productions in the 1960s, as well as for his excellent books on motorcycles and motorcycle racing in the United States. His restorations are extremely well-regarded. 

Condition:

This TZ350A has been in two private (climate controlled) collections since being found and restored by Stephen Wright in the early 1990s. In the interest of full disclosure, there is some minor shelf wear (a few paint chips and a scrape along the primary side of the fairing from a tie down buckle during shipping), the rubber band mount for the oil temp gauge is split, and the Goodyear racing slicks show some dry cracking on the sidewalls, as you would expect from age. That said, the bike remains very clean. The paint finish is excellent and the colors are sharp. Take a look at the photos to see for yourself. The nice thing about the bike is that the 20+ years since the restoration have given the bike just the right amount of patina. Overall, this bike is stunning and beautiful; people gravitate to it.

The bike was mechanically and cosmetically restored to full working order and correct appearance, then prepared for collector ownership (i.e. all fluids were drained and the engine was fogged). Any attempt to run the machine should follow a full recommissioning. The brakes, clutch, and throttle all operate as they should.  

1973 Yamaha TZ350 L Rear

There are four days left on the auction, with bidding north of $15,000 and the Reserve Not Met. This is in absolutely gorgeous condition, considering it’s basically an ex-race bike. There are a few minor scrapes that, to me, don’t detract at all. And while discs are generally better and more reliable means for stopping, that huge front drum and drilled rear hub are beautifully sculptural.

It’s obviously not in ready-to-run shape, so if you’re looking for a bike to ride in AHRMA events, you’re better off looking elsewhere. If you’re looking for a beautiful collector’s item that has been properly prepared for a life on display, this could be your bike.

-tad

1973 Yamaha TZ350 R Side