This year marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic Honda CB750, and the Venice Vintage Motorcycle Club in Venice, California (just west of Los Angeles), is honoring the occasion by giving one away.
Since the original ’69 models are going for their weight in gold, VVMC’s Shannon Sweeney of SS Classics has orchestrated a ground-up cloning restoration replicating the 1969 Honda based around a 1971 CB750. The project included a complete motor rebuild, new powder coat from Safeway Sandblasters, period correct 1969 Candy Ruby Red paint, new rims and stainless spokes, polished hubs and engine cases, new K0 seat, and lots of new and restored bits, making this bike ready for one lucky winner to ride home.
The raffle and giveaway will take place Saturday, September 22, at the 11th annual Venice Vintage Motorcycle Club Rally, 2150 Dell Ave. Venice, California. Tickets are only $10 each and you need not be present to win. Click here for details and to purchase tickets.
In 1969, you could visit your “Meet the Nicest People…” dealership and ride off on a CB750 for around $1,495. In the bargain, you got a transverse-mounted, 67-horsepower, air-cooled, SOHC, four-cylinder engine, a 5-speed tranny, electric start, a front disc brake and about 125mph at a twist of the throttle…not to mention comfort and dependability.
To say the CB750 was a hit with the public would be an understatement. During the initial 9-year production run (designated K0 through K8), more than 400,000 were sold. Variations of the CB750 continued until 2003, the evolution spanning both SOHC and DOHC models. In 1976, there was even an automatic version (the CB750A) for some reason. The “Nighthawk” name crept into the line-up in 1982. In 2007, Honda brought out at a retro CB750 Special Edition for the Japanese market.
So how did their value depreciate—or appreciate—in the decades following their introduction? This coming January marks the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Honda CB750. Back in February 2014, a Candy Blue/Green ’68 Honda CB750, one of four factory pre-production models originally sent to dealers as a teaser, was offered on eBay with an opening bid of $1,969. At the auction’s end, seven days later, bidding topped out at $148,100. This past March, at the H&D’s National Motorcycle Museum in the U.K., another of the near-legendary pre-production CB750s, this one appropriately enough painted Candy Gold, sailed off the auction block at $223,000!
As for the production CB750, the rest is motorcycle history. The first so-named “superbike” was first offered to the public in 1969, Honda producing only 7,414 in that first run and each featuring the now-legendary “sand-cast” cases. Not quite as rare as the First Four, the “sand casts” in top original condition now also garner big bucks.
The good news is that there’s a bunch of CB750s of various years still out there for reasonable money and suitable for restoration or all kinds of “customization” from mild to wild. Here are a few we’ve found: