Until the late 1950s, the world motorcycle market was dominated by British companies. Their products were known for large, thumping single or twin-cylinder engines that marked their territory with oil drops, but this was standard 1950s motorcycle operating procedure. In the 1950s, however, another country emerged to challenge the U.K.
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I had a 1971 Honda 750 in college 1972. It was a great reliable bike. I paid $1000 for it and sold it a year later for $1000. They were pretty quick for the time, and smooth riding compared to English and Italian bikes. I would love to have one again.
Mine was a K one identical colors to the one of the Mecum pictures, shaft linkage to four carbs dual cable throttle, automatic chain Oiler,4 quart dry sump oil system ; upgraded it with Dunlop K81TT rubber front and rear. It would do 125 miles an hour and bust a quarter-mile in the low 13s with my 200 pound butt on it. I put 100,000 miles on that bike while doing premed at UC Santa Barbara in the Mid 70s without any major repairs. It did need premium gas since it was an early model with high compression and Wilder Cam.These bikes are the first true superbikes on which all Japanese fours are based.
I had a '76 CB 750 K6 I jut sold last year after owning it 16 years. I loved it and it went to a young man who will take good care of it. I have a '75 that is my project bike which I hope to get going next year if we're all still here. It's a slow process when your on a limited budget, but I'm looking forward to getting it going. They are a great bike.
There is no such thing as a 'matching numbers' Honda. The motors came down one assembly line, the frames down another - whatever happened when they were united was coincidence.
The bike in your photos has the ultra rare CR750 front end. Double disc brakes, 18" front wheel and slightly longer fork tubes (chromed all the way to the top - the originals were not) to accommodate the different wheel size. These parts were only sold as part of the CR race kit. It also has painted fenders which never came from factory.
My original CB750 was a sandcast. It had a kit from Yoshimura that I put on to add a second disc brake. The bike never leaked a drop and it had 35K miles on it when I sold it. I wish I still had it.
My first "big" bike was a 750 K2 bought new. My wife and I rode it all over the country and finally traded it in on a Gold Wing. It had 72,000 miles on it when I traded it and the engine had never been opened. Only oil, valve adjustments and lots of chains and tires.
I bought a 1976 CB750 K6 new and rode it with a big smile for many trouble-free years. I have had several so-called super bikes more recently, but I will never forget that 750. How I wish I still had it.
I am restoring a 1975 - in the OEM Flake Apricot Red color. Many new parts and a lot of work to make it a reliable daily rider from the forgotten/left in a storage shed for 30 years relic it was when I got it It will be complete by mid August... and for sale. In Los Angeles. :-).
'69 /70 sand casts are arguably the worst to actually own and operate. They originally came equipped with 17/45 sprockets which in combination with the chains available at the time had a distressing tendency to toss through the cases. Once that was changed to 18/48 and D.I.D. came up with a heavier duty drive chain that stopped. The one-into-four throttle cable setup was a horror to adjust - fixed on later models with a linkage setup. The cases themselves were porous, leaving a very British-like tattletale wherever they went. By 1971 virtually all the problems were solved, providing a stone reliable motorcycle.
I was working as a police officer in Austin, MN when the 750's were first introduced. Another officer called me over to the dealer's shop on a Sunday morning to see what his friend had just unpacked ... his first Honda 750. I was totally in awe when it was fired up. It simply purred! I commented, "Premium fuel?" The dealer reached out, flipped open the fuel filler and said, "Every couple days you just slide in a pound of hamburger." Totally believable!
To the best of my knowledge, there is no such thing as a "numbers matching" Honda motorcycle. The frame numbers were the model, followed by the "K" series number, followed by the sequence number. (I.E. a CB750K3 would have a number like CB750-3012345 and the engine was similar but with an "E" following the model number, such as CB750E-3054321. As they came out of the factory, the sequence number of the frame and the engine were not identical.
I owned a 1971 Gold CB750. I had it up to 110mph and could have gone more but ran out of road. But it was a smooth comfortable motorcycle. Lost my job, had to sell the bike.
I bought a new green 1973 CB350F in 1973 instead of a CB550F because the smaller frame would fit in my 1962 Corvair Greenbriar diagonally. I drove this setup from Dallas, Texas to Montreal in 1975 to do an apprenticeship that summer. I toured all over that area of Quebec every weekend. My four-into-four pipes ultimately started to rust through just behind the weld and there were no replacement pipes available, other than the four-into-one, and I sold it like it was for pennies to a bartender at my favorite haunt. God, I loved that little bike... and wish I had kept it!
I worked at a Kawasaki dealership during this time-frame. We took in two '72 750Ks on trade for Kaw 750H2s (two friends playing 'One-upmanship). Kawasaki could run circles around the Honda, but those two Hondas were sold as soon as they were traded in. We made a better profit from the used Hondas than the new Kaws.