Currently up for auction on Ebay is one of four Honda CB750 prototypes ever built, and the only one in the world known to be in running condition. Current price for this extremely desirable piece of moto-history? As of this writing, $135,000. And there’s still over seven hours still to go.
The Honda CB750 was a rather monumental bike in the world of motorcycling for its time. It introduced Soichiro Honda’s transverse inline-Four arrangement to the world — an engine configuration still used today. It also introduced reliable, sporty, and fast motorcycle available to the masses. Some even called it the world’s first superbike (though Vincent and Kawasaki fans might argue with that one).
According to the seller, Vic World, a renowned restorer given the nickname, “Mr. CB750,” he says, “What only some sandcast aficionados know, is that before the now rare sandcast CB750s were produced in 1969, Honda determined that they first needed to build a set of “preproduction” prototypes to market their “The King of Motorcycles” to the American public. So in 1968 they decided to build samples of this new ground breaking CB750 to unveil at their annual Las Vegas Motorcycle Dealer Show, as well as to provide eye-candy for the various trade magazines, and for promotional photography, advertisements, etc.”
In case you’re wondering about the authenticity of the prototype status, World explains some of the distinctive features to look for, all of which this bike has:
- One-off sandcast 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 are very rough cast)
- A one of a kind billet crankshaft (meaning it was turned and machined from one solid chunk of special steel bar)
- 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 (while street version bikes have all black pieces)
- Longer rear fender having brazed on turn signal stems
- A 43 tooth rear sprocket (vs. 45 for production)
- No handlebar kill switch
- No provision for a tool tray under the seat
- Sandcast “hollow” fuel tank emblems
- Cast gas cap and latch
- And literally hundreds more of distinctly different parts than standard, many of which are illustrated in the enclosed photos (Note: ALL vintage American Honda photos and flyers seen here are of the exact bike in this auction)
A $135,000 motorcycle might sound crazy to some, but it’s hard to deny the impact the CB750 had on the motorcycle industry. For more pictures and information regarding this ultra rare motorcycle, check out the CB750 eBay page.