1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615

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Lot 177
1971 Honda CB750 K1
Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615

US$ 8,000 - 12,000
£ 6,000 - 9,000
1971 Honda CB750 K1
Frame no. CB750-1080222
Engine no. CB750E-1080615
• All original example
• Honda's first big four
• The world's first motorcycle to be called a superbike

Fifty-plus years on, it is hard to imagine the impact the Honda CB750 had on the motorcycling world when it was unveiled to a stunned Japanese public at the Tokyo Show in October 1968. True, there had been plenty of four-cylinder motorcycles before, but these had been built in relatively small numbers and aimed at the wealthy few. Here, for the first time was a mass-produced four within the financial reach of the average enthusiast, and one whose specification - overhead camshaft, disc front brake, five-speed gearbox, electric starter, etc. - made the opposition look obsolete overnight.

Bike magazine summed up Honda's achievement thus: 'Like BSA/Triumph's parallel twin and Ducati's desmodromic single, the Honda inline four is one of those engines which created a standard out of an ideal. The list of Honda's technical achievements is impressive but the appearance of a production four-barrel roadster at a Mr. Everyman price was probably their greatest coup'. A trend-setting design of immense significance and one of the truly great classic motorcycles, the CB750 is highly sought after by collectors.

The Honda CB750 made its United States debut at Las Vegas in January 1969 and to the UK public at the Brighton Show three months later, having been sampled by the motorcycling press at the Brands Hatch race track a few days previously. Deliveries out of Japan, however, were slow to arrive, and over the winter of 1969/1970, a revised version had been introduced, known retrospectively as the 'K0'. The latter differed mainly by virtue of its die-cast crankcases, this casting method being better suited to mass production than the sand-casting process used for the earlier machines completed prior to September 1969. The CB750, the SOHC versions, that is, ran through the seventies (until the launch of the twin cam) to 1979, achieving much publicity and, although copied by others, was arguably never bettered.

Over the years there has been some confusion in nomenclature due to the fact that all pre-K1 Honda 750s in the USA have come to be known as K0 when, in actual fact, the models in chronological order were CB750, then K0, then K1, and onward to K8.

This 'barn find' CB750 was first purchased by a Kansas farmer (first registered there in September 1971) and ridden through the local farmland for four thousand odd miles. When he got tired of the cold winters he relocated to Safford, Arizona in the mid-1980s to become one of the largest, and thus wealthiest, cotton growers in Arizona. The bike wasn't ridden any more, instead it was covered – and as you can see it today still with rich Kansas dust (nicely matching its Candy Gold) on the tires – and placed in his aircraft hanger where it has been sitting for more than 20 years.

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.
Contacts
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
1971 Honda CB750 K1 Frame no. CB750-1080222 Engine no. CB750E-1080615
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