1969 Honda CB750: World’s first superbike

Published: 06 July 2016

Engine 736cc, SOHC, air-cooled, inline four Power 67bhp Weight 218kg

Value £25,000-£40,000

“This is the bike that coined the term ‘superbike’ and launched Honda, and the whole Japanese motorcycle industry, onto the world scene in terms of big-capacity bikes,” says Silver. “Up until the CB750, the largest machine Honda built was a 450 and it was more commonly known as a small-capacity motorcycle manufacturer – the CB changed all that.

"This bike effectively ended the British motorcycle industry as it was so far ahead of anything the likes of Triumph or BSA could produce. As well as being the first production bike with a disc brake, the CB had an electric start, it was an inline four, and was just a massive leap ahead of everything else out there.

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“This actual bike is very special because it is what is known as a ‘sand-cast’ model. The first 7414 CB750s had engine cases and cylinders that were sand-cast rather than die-cast, which leaves a rougher finish and makes them far more valuable as they were the early bikes. This bike is actually VIN number 750, which makes it even more special, and believe it or not I found it in Philadelphia, America, on Craigslist for a very reasonable sum. 

This isn’t actually the rarest CB750 in the world as in around 1968 four prototypes were built, three of which are known about and one is lost. One was sold in 2014 for just over £100,000, one was crushed, one remains in the UK and one was last seen in Brighton at a bike show in 1969 and is believed to still be in Europe somewhere. If you know of a green CB750 with an odd frame number that is H and then four digits, give me a bell…”

For more on David Silver's Museum click here.

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