The Honda CB750 was earth-shattering when it debuted in 1969 that a new word had to be coined to describe it. And lo, the superbike was born. Soichiro Honda rocked the world with his large-displacement, transverse-mounted SOHC four-cylinder, unheard of in a mainstream bike at the time. Called the “King of Motorcycles,” advanced features for its time, like front disc brakes and electric starter, revolutionized the motorcycle industry in much the way Honda’s NSX jolted the supercar establishment 20 years later. Early CB750s can trade for $40,000 to 50,000, but this particular bike recently sold for a whopping $148,000. Here’s why.
The first 7,000 built had sand-cast engine blocks, setting them apart from later examples. They’re highly sought-after by collectors, and the earlier the serial number — and the fewer digits it contains — the higher the price.
This one, however, is a pre-production prototype. It was built with even more unique parts, many of them hand-made by skilled Honda craftsmen and completely different from their production counterparts. In total, four were built for promotional photography and display at trade shows in four trademark colors and are carefully tracked by collectors.
According to the seller, CB750 expert Vic World, the red one was crushed in Iowa in the early 90s. The gold one was shipped to Europe 25 years ago, where it was disassembled by the current owner and has yet to be rebuilt. The dark green bike has been lost to time, and no one knows its whereabouts.
That makes this blue-green specimen, which still has its original paint, the most complete and original one. American Honda used this very bike in all its promotional material and it was also lent to magazines for testing.
$148,000 might seem like a lot for a motorcycle, but its actually a steal considering its significant place in cycling history. See the auction on eBay.