At $130,000, This Classic Honda Motorcycle Is a Steal Autopia

20 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on At $130,000, This Classic Honda Motorcycle Is a Steal Autopia
Honda CB1300 Prototype
Honda CB1300 Prototype

At $130,000, This Classic Honda Motorcycle Is a Steal

Photo: Sandcast2/eBay

It’s hard to overstate the importance of the Honda CB750. Simply put, it was the world’s first superbike and a milestone in motorcycling. And one of just four handmade prototypes can be yours — if you’ve got something north of $130k in your bank account.

A gorgeous blue prototype is up for sale on eBay. and it’s prompted one hell of a bidding war. Ninety bidders have pushed the opening bid of $1,969 — clever — to $130,300 by Friday afternoon.

“Six figures? For a motorcycle ?” This isn’t just any motorcycle.

To understand how revolutionary the CB750 was, you need to think back to 1969. Back then, bikes came in essentially three flavors: glorified scooters from Japan, heavy cruisers from Milwaukee or finicky twins from Britain. Soichiro Honda, whose company introduced itself to America just seven years before with the “You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda ” campaign, wanted to offer something better.

Something powerful, reliable, safe, and fun.

The CB750 was all that and more. It was a technological marvel, with a front disc brake and a powerful (for its day) 68-horsepower, overhead cam four cylinder engine that could rocket the rider to 125 mph. The same basic engine configuration dominates the market today, and the CB750 was so quick and agile that the term “superbike” was coined specifically for it.

Honda CB1300 Prototype
Honda CB1300 Prototype

During development, Honda built four prototypes to test components and gauge interest in the bike. This very bike, the one we’d put in our garage if we had the dough, was among them. It appeared in the 1968 Las Vegas Motorcycle Dealer Show and was featured in Honda’s marketing material.

An early CB in mint condition is a thing of beauty, but this one is just a bit … more.

The engine covers were sand cast. The crankshaft was milled from a solid chunk of steel. The carburetors were one-offs. Even the plastics were custom.

It was handmade, a fact proven by the scribbled marks an engineer made on the underside of the fenders to indicate where the mounting holes should go.

According to the seller — well-known in bike circles as a CB750 aficionado — the other three prototypes were lost, crushed, or disassembled and languishing somewhere in Europe. If that’s true and this is the last of the lot, you can bet the final bid will be stratospheric. And a bargain.

Honda CB1300 Prototype
Honda CB1300 Prototype
Honda CB1300 Prototype
Honda CB1300 Prototype

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