1969 Honda CB750 sells for $148,100.00

| 2/11/2014 1:27:00 PM

Tags: honda cb750, black side down, richard backus, classic japanese motorcycles, classic honda motorcycles,

1969 Honda CB750

Sold for $148,100, one of four pre-production 1969 Honda CB750s.

Somebody just paid $148,100 for a 1969 Honda CB750. Honda CB750 fanatics know that the first 7,414 1969 CB750s featured sand-cast cases. The Holy Grail of Hondas, the sand-cast CB750s have for years commanded a premium over the later die-cast CB750s. But $148,100? The incredible price starts coming into focus when you learn that Honda built four pre-production CB750s in 1968, shipping them over to the U.S. to show to dealers and help promote the new model. The CB750 that just sold on eBay was one of those four bikes.

The bike was sold by Vic World, known by some as “Mr. CB750” and the acknowledged expert on sand-cast and early production Hondas. Early auction watchers questioned the bike’s provenance, but as they learned of Vic’s intense knowledge and involvement in the brand from auction watchers like former Motorcyclist editor-in-chief Mitch Boehm, those concerns vanished as vintage motorcycle collectors watched in amazement as the bike went from its opening bid of $1,969 (nice touch) to finally sell at a staggering $148,100 seven days and 102 bids later. At that price it’s entirely possible there’s institutional money behind the purchase, either from Honda itself or an organization like the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. That said, sand-cast CB750 prices have been on the rise, and Vic World claims he sold an early (below frame no. 20) sand-cast to a private collector for $75,000 a few years ago.

Whatever the case, there doesn’t appear to be much question but that the bike in question is one of the four pre-production CB750s shipped to the U.S. in 1968. Of the four, one (Candy Red) went to the crusher in Iowa years ago, another (Candy Gold) went to Europe where it was disassembled and sits, and a third (Candy Green) disappeared, leaving this (Candy Blue/Green) as the only known complete and running survivor. Significant differences from production models abound and include things such as:

• One-off sand-cast engine covers, featuring an external “double step” on the alternator cover
• A wedge-shaped transmission cover, fitting under the Alternator cover
• Very unusual clutch and valve covers (both appearing nothing like the street bike counterparts and very rough cast)
• A one of a kind billet crankshaft
• Chrome fenders showing (under the chrome plating) engineer’s scribe marks to mark off where holes should be drilled
• Hand-hammered/welded exhaust pipes
• One-off special cast by Keihin 26mm carb assemblies
• Handmade white plastic parts throughout the motorcycle (production street version bikes have all black pieces)
• Longer rear fender with brazed on turn signal stems
• A 43-tooth rear sprocket (versus 45 for production)
• No handlebar kill switch
• No provision for a tool tray under the seat
• Sand-cast “hollow” fuel tank emblems
• Cast gas cap and latch

1/9/2018 2:25:27 PM

I learned to ride on a 1969 CB 750, Serial # CB750000411. I bought it used. It needed an oil tank cover and a couple of other cosmetic parts. 2 Honda dealers told me the bike didn't exist. Anyone know the history of this bike?

bike on highway

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