Pick of the Day: 1971 Honda CB750, a motorcycle that changed everything

The 4-cylinder sport bike has risen in value commensurate with its icon status

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The 750cc Honda is still painted in its original color of Valley Green

Sometimes a vehicle is produced that offers so many advances in technology, styling or performance that it is a literal game changer. A few classic cars that come to mind were the Jaguar E-Type, Lamborghini Miura and the Porsche 959, all of which offered a combination of elements that set the world on its proverbial head and sent manufacturers back to their respective drawing boards.

A true game changer in the car world generally has the drawback of also being prohibitively expensive to attain. But one vehicle category where a game-changing machine can be easy to attain is motorcycles.

The Pick of the Day is one of those motorcycle game changers, a 1971 Honda CB750. Almost overnight, the CB750 made obsolete the bikes from England, which at that point were the leaders in the world motorcycle industry.

In 1969, Honda introduced the high-performance sport bike with a large-displacement, SOHC 4-cylinder engine that was both reliable and accessible. Besides the strong power from its 750cc engine, the Honda had a disk brake in front and a reliable electrical system – a problem area for the British bikes – presented in a dramatic-looking package.

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This CB750 looks to be an all-original and extremely well-cared-for example of this motorcycle icon, according to the is located at a dealer in Sarasota, Florida, dealer advertising the Honda on ClassicCars.com. This being a 1971 model, known by Honda fans as a K1 (Honda’s internal code), it does not have the original first-run CB750 K0 sandcast engine cases, but it benefitted from many improvements over the original model.

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The dealer says bike is in true showroom condition, still painted in its original Valley Green metallic. The Honda is complete with its original owner’s manual and it just received a recent full-service including carb cleaning, the dealer notes, adding that the gas tank is rust free inside and out, and that there is no rust on or in the original exhaust, both Achilles heels for older CB750s. The bike also wears brand-new correct Dunlop tires.

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These bikes were for years available for a few thousand dollars, but over the past decade, they have been recognized as the important landmark motorcycles that they are, and prices have risen dramatically. A 1969 sand cast case Honda CB750 today is worth north of $30,000 machine. 

CB750s from the early ‘70s models are still affordable, however, and this one is offered for a market- correct $12,900.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

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Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

10 COMMENTS

  1. I remember this bike, I drove one after being on a Harley. Got to the stoplight, no shaking, no rattle, no vibration. I hit the starter, grind!!!, and realized it was just in a nice quiet rpm state. The engine had not quit. Just quite and smooth..

  2. The side cover jewels are on backwards. Red flag to anyone in the know. Wouldn’t be original and I’d worry what Else could be wrong if
    This simple detail is messed up.

  3. Owned one of these after getting out of the military in the 70s. Was a quiet riding bike with good power and speed. After getting older however, and used to riding bikes with wind fairings, it probably wouldn’t compare for me as well now that I’m older and “ more cautious” and spoiled to riding. Good looking bike but hard to imagine ALL this is original as clean as it appears. Side cover jewels are on backwards (see prior comment as well from another) and noticeable to anyone ever owning one right away.

  4. I sure would’t mind having a copy of one of those, Back in the early 80s living on base, I bought my first motorcycle. It was a CX 500 Custom. It was a tranversal V twin that was liquid cooled as well as shaft driven.It was quite large and heavy for a small 500CC displacement bike. One of my friends had bought his first bike as well. I was a 70s Honda CB 750 four. Quite impressive looking with that bright orange high metallic paint job.
    Got to take it for a spin and man, was I impressed. That very smooth running 4 cylinder that had amazing pull all the way up the revs was impressive as hell especially for an older dated looking bike.
    Yup, I can definately see one of these well preseved or restored bikes bringing in strong money.

  5. I HAD SOME,,,,GREAT BIKES…LOVED THEM & STILL DO……….A GUY IN GULFPORT, MISS. CAN TELL U ABOUT THEM & TEAR ONE DOWN & PUT IT BACK BLIND FOLDED…HE IS GREAT AT REPAIRING OLD HONDAS ——TRIUMPHS…………I CALL HIM MR. HONDA….CHECK HIM OUT AT ”FRENCHIES SHOP ”

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