What would you pay for a 50-year-old Honda motorcycle? Well, if it’s a certain 1969 CB750 Four, the market price is 161,000 pounds, or about $223,000. That’s what one sold for at H&H’s National Motorcycle Museum Auction in the U.K. this week.
The CB750 was was one of the first transverse-mounted, overhead camshaft four-cylinder bikes that was affordable for the masses — and reliable to boot. According to Hemmings, it had electric start, a front disc brake and a 124-mph top speed. When new, a so-called "Universal Japanese Motorcycle" like this one came in at about $1,495, which makes it a hell of an investment, as long as you have 50 years to wait — and your particular bike happens to be one of three preproduction versions.
The 1969 Honda CB750 Four delivered 67 hp.
Around the time the bike was built, Honda was winning motorcycle races and wanted to put what it learned into a bike for the consumer, as well as compete with the American and British brands. The CB750 matched the displacement of the contemporary Triumph, and it beat the contemporary Harley by 1 hp (66 hp to 67 hp).
The candy gold paint on this 1969 Honda CB750 Four has seen better days.
This particular bike was one of the prototypes, hence the high price, and shared few parts with the production version. All of the preproduction models wore a shade of candy paint; this one came in gold.
The estimate was only 35-40,000 pounds, but other prototypes have sold near this price, so it isn’t too far out there. Hemmings posits that the one remaining prototype — one was destroyed — may come out of hiding after this sale.