Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,

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Lot 64
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,

Sold for US$ 55,200 inc. premium
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models
• Examples of each 1971 Honda SL Motosport dual-purpose model
• Restoration by vintage Japanese specialists Marbles Motors
• Sold as a collection, includes seldom-seen Japan home-market SL90
• Rare, low-miles SL175 unrestored except for repainted bodywork

Here we have the rare opportunity to acquire a most comprehensive collection of vintage Honda dual-purpose bikes, six professionally restored SL Motosport models ranging from 70cc to 350cc, to be sold as a lot. All are the handiwork of Marbles Motors, a north Texas shop that has become one of the go-to operations for fans of classic Japanese motorcycles.

Catering to all brands, Marbles handles everything from complete restorations to the sale of reproduction exhaust systems, wiring looms and rubber parts. Paintwork has become a shop specialty, with great care taken to color-match the proper shade of factory paint and apply graphics correctly. "In my opinion, the single most important item to get right when doing a restoration is the replication of colors/stripes on the bikes," says shop founder Randy Marble. "That just simply makes or breaks the deal, and that is why I have concentrated on creating the formulas for the colors." Besides handling paint jobs for its own restorations, Marbles takes in gas tanks and side panels from individuals, or can supply factory paint in tins and aerosol cans.

It is not by mere coincidence that Mr. Marble chose to bring together this assemblage of Hondas. His beloved SL70 was a ticket to adventure for young Randy, as the landmark minibike was for thousands of American boys and girls. The SL70 was in effect a fully featured motorcycle that had simply been downsized, perfectly scaled in ¾ size. Gone was the auto-clutch as used on other minis; instead the SL was foot-shifted and hand-clutched, further accentuating its "big bike" feel. The editors at Cycle World magazine immediately sensed there was something special about this new approach, that the SL70 wasn't just for kids, calling the bike, "An ideal beginner's mount, but its appeal is much broader than that...if this multi-age appeal is any indication, Honda has another marketing success on their hands."

That prediction, of course, proved true. Later in life, Marble purchased another SL 70 via an online auction. When it arrived much work was needed, which led to a restoration, which led to another, and 20 years ago Marbles Motors was born. "It was never intended to be a career," he says today. "It was a love of motorcycles as a child – I always wanted to be out and free, to roam and ride. One thing led to another and now it's a full-fledged business restoring old bikes."

Honda's SL line of Motosport models, sold during the early 1970s, was unique among its competitors in being solely four-stroke powered – it would be another few years and introduction of the all-conquering CR250 and CR125 motocrossers before Honda fully embraced two-strokes. Honda already had its CL dual-purpose scramblers during this time, but these were basically streetbikes with high-rise exhaust pipes. The SL's were much more dirt-oriented and benefited from more modern styling. Honda's corporate slogan during this era was "Mighty to Mini. Honda Has It All," referring to a diverse model line that ran all the way from the blockbuster CB750 Four to the tiny Mini Trail 50. Marble applied that same reasoning to the 1971 SL family, which that year consisted of a 70, 90, 100, 125, 175 and 350. Assembling one of each for this collection became a passion project.

Once rounded up, all of the SL's were treated to full Marbles restorations using as many NOS parts as possible. All engines were rebuilt and tested before the collection went on display at the shop. The exception is the SL175, perhaps the rarest of the Motosports, this one a well-preserved example found with just 1,100 original miles showing, needing only a re-paint in the correct Candy Sapphire Blue.

The SL90 is an interesting addition, a Japanese domestic model that was never sold in the U.S. and is rarely seen here. Outwardly similar to the SL100, the Candy Emerald Green 90 has numerous differences such as a black-painted frame, acutely upswept muffler, fitment of a centerstand, addition of a tachometer, smaller carburetor, passenger footpegs/seat strap and, naturally, warning stickers in Japanese.

Turning attention to the bigger bikes, even though both the SL175 and SL350 were powered by street-based parallel-twin motors, they were dramatically different from their CB/CL stablemates. A look at the 350's spec sheet shows just how different, starting with the frame, a heavily gusseted, double-downtube affair with geometry tailored more for a fire road than the highway. The engine was rigged for trail use with smaller carburetors and milder camshaft for a broader spread of power. Gone was the electric starter for a substantial weight savings; altogether, the SL350 was a useful 50lb. lighter than the CL350.

"It's getting to the point where we will have to admit that Honda has built a real dirtbike," stated Cycle World in its 1971 test of the bike. "Honda's new SL350 is not yet a motocross machine, but it is not intended for that purpose. Rather it is a beautifully conceived, tractable, reliable playbike with newfound rough-terrain capability. It's amiable and has great potential."

As the SL collection has been on static display at Marbles Motors, some batteries may need recharging. Odometers may not reflect total mileage from new as some speedometers were replaced with NOS instruments during restoration. All are titled, and a selection of brochures and owner's manuals is included in the sale.

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.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, these motorcycles are accompanied with Texas titles as listed. 1. 1971 Honda VIN No. SL701001616, 2. 1971 Honda VIN No. SL90K201353, 3.1971 Honda VIN No. SL100215889, 4. SL125S1027612, 5. 1971 Honda VIN No. 2011430, 6. 1972 Honda VIN No. SL3502047204.
Contacts
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Marbles Motors Collection of Honda SL's, The complete range of 1971 Motosport models,
Auction information

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