Original Super Bike: 1979 Honda CBX 1000

You know that you’ve owned more than your share of lame cars when a motorcycle has more horsepower and more cylinders than probably half of the cars that you’ve owned have had. I need to get out more. This incredible 1979 Honda CBX Super Sport can be found here on craigslist in Atherton, California, in the Palo Alto area. The seller is asking $16,000. Thanks to rex m for sending in this tip!

I can hardly count the number of cars that I’ve owned that have had 100 or fewer horsepower. This monster has 105 horsepower and it has two more cylinders than probably half of the cars and trucks that I have owned. What have I been doing with my life?! This engine looks like a Photoshop exercise but it’s real. The CBX was made for only a short time, from 1978 to 1982. Believe it or not, they sold fewer of them than they did the Honda CB900F.

At 600 pounds soaking wet, this is not a lightweight, throw-into-the-corners type of bike, although it certainly begs to be driven with spirit and aplomb, as I’ve never said in my entire life until right now. That’s how I drive my Honda Motocompo, though, come to think of it.

The seller of this beauty says that it comes with a rare Sport Kit purchased as NOS equipment from CBX guru, Mr. Phil Tabor. The purchaser also has the option of buying a spare OEM headlight housing, a set of OEM headers, and a rear cowl. With 10,876 miles, this bike is barely broken in and there is no rust and there are no dents or leaks.

Now this, my friends, is an engine. Frequent commenter, Howard A, nailed it on a recent post about a Honda CB550K3, saying that Honda’s 500 engine was the basis for the groundbreaking Benelli Sei 750 six-cylinder, the first production six-cylinder motorcycle beginning in 1973. This 1,047 cc six-cylinder has 105 horsepower and if you haven’t seen one in person, they’re a sight to behold. Have any of you owned or ridden a Honda CBX?

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Comments

  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    “SIX……..count ’em….SIX”.
    These are cool because they’re so outrageous.
    I saw a guy actually riding one of these on the
    street a while back.

    Like 7
  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    Unbelievable bike in a straight line but they were terrible in the mountains because they just couldn’t get through the corners. Talked to a couple of guys who rode them through the Marias Pass into the Flathead Valley. They said they were downright scary in places. Lots of power, top-heavy, just not made to negotiate curves. They took off well ahead of us (on our HDs) but were stopped several times on the way through. Of course, we had problems of our own: Halfway House, Stanton Creek Lodge, Stoners Inn, Hungry Horse, Blue Moon. Those hogs just didn’t run right without beer, which were followed by frequent stops because our back teeth were floating away…

    Like 25
    • CraigR

      Your handling assessment is correct. The fork tubes were undersized and had some flex to them which made for adventure in the turns. The ungodly howl that thing puts out at the top end is just glorious however. I have ridden one. Would not mind one in the garage.

      Like 10
  3. Howard A Member

    “The joy of six”, so clever ( I’d expect no less) BUT, that was taken from the ’60’s Mustang commercial, featuring a woman who wanted a 6 cylinder, and a play on words from a well known book at the time, “The joy of sex” and if I remember correctly, was banned in Minnesota( and Wisconsin).
    If you have red blood and are into motorcycles, you’ll agree, this was, and still is, the most outlandish 2 wheeler made. It’s as if the Asian engineers said, we’ve tried everything, how’s this? Clearly, they thought we drive on Bonneville Salt Flats all day. Like Geo sez, it was a poor motorcycle, I mean, look at it, just looks lop sided, BUT, I believe it remains the fastest stock motorcycle ever produced, and if you got gonads that clank, this bike is for you.

    Like 12
  4. sluggo Member

    I got a chance to ride a heavily modified CBX. It was lowered and had a air shifter and the most beautiful sounding 6 into 1 exhaust! It was set up to race for the 1/8 mile drag, but he didn’t have his race sprockets on. It was still crazy fast. Ill never forget that sound!

    Like 8
  5. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    This bike was the thrown gauntlet picked up by Kawasaki in making the KZ1300 with the resulting education by riders and manufacturers that maybe more isn’t always better. IMHO, of the three Sixers the Benelli at least had some semblance of handling to go with the engine-when the electrical gremlins weren’t running rampant.
    But there’s no denying that their sound at speed is incredible, unique and completely intoxicating!

    Like 8
  6. Patrick S Patrick S Staff

    This is a photo I made from my all stock ’79 CBX w/ 4600 miles. I also have the sport kit. These bikes sound like an air cooled Porsche 911 when wound out.So smooth! For me they handle just fine. I don’t push it. Weak link on these are the front fork flex,alternator brushes and swingarm bushings.

    Like 20
  7. Bill D

    Fun fact about the CBX: while there was lots of parts commonality of things like speedometers, turn signals, mirrors, etc., among Honda street bikes of the day, many components on the CBX were slightly upsized, to help make the engine look “in proportion” to the rest of the bike. Otherwise it would have looked outsized.

    Like 5
  8. On and On On and On Member

    Leiniedude? You’ve got one, I’m waiting for your take on this. Personally I never owned or rode one. The best and only 6 cylinder motorcycle I’ve ridden was a Honda Valkyrie. Rented one in Las Vegas and rode it to Death Valley and back in one day. It was awesome. I have a friend we call ‘Iron Butt’ cause he rides thousands of miles on any given trip rides a Valkyrie. Low center of gravity and some serious power and “pull”. A true road bike.

    Like 8
    • Michael Messier

      Had the CBX years ago. you could still lay it over more than a Harley in corners. Had the Valkyrie almost twenty years till hurricane Erma took it out. It was suppose to be my last bike. never had to shift it while you were going. So much torque you could be going 30 in fifth gear and just hit the throttle and not shift. Unlike my two Harleys.

      Like 6
      • Ken Bagby

        Michael I totally agree! I test drove on in 78 said then I would own one and 20 years later I did. Sales guy took me out on a two lane road and turned me loose. In the middle of a 45 mph curve I made the mistake of looking at the speedometer and I was doin 120. You just didn’t realize the speed while you were riding them. I bought a 70 and the had put 80’s pneumatics on the front! I all of 130 pounds could take one finger between the handlebars and rock it from side to side. You couldn’t do that with a kamacausi! It was an amazing bike! PS when I sold mine I doubled my money. Kinda wish I still had it! If you’ve ever had one you wouldn’t “dis” it

        Like 1
  9. 370zpp

    I see this as the logical next BIG step after the introduction in 1970 of the Kawasaki 500 Mach 3. Same kind of rush.

    And oh yeah, this particular CBX looks like a very good deal.

    Like 5
    • Dave

      I always thought of the CBX as Honda saying “I’ll see your four and raise you a pair!” Honda made Tour -Paks for their bikes and most of the CBX’s I’ve seen were set up that way. But that’s kind of like using Scotch for paint thinner.
      Yamaha came out with the XS Eleven, Suzuki pushed out the GS 1000/1100/1150, and Kawasaki had the KZ1300 that also saw touring duty.
      A few years later, Honda would introduce a new line of V-Fours. Yamaha and Suzuki would follow suit. Kawasaki would set the bar high with the 900 Ninja, a liquid cooled online Four.

      Like 4
  10. geomechs geomechs Member

    You know, whenever I come across a CBX I’m reminded (for some reason) of racing legend, Mike Hailwood, who rode a 250cc six for Honda in the mid-60s. Unbelievable control and judgment that guy had. He wore out a pair of boots in every race, rubbing completely through the outside edge and never skinning a toe…

    Like 9
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      Agostini & Hailwood & Dick Mann with all the other greats racing on bicycle-type tires in ill handling frames harnessed to explosive power engines while wearing pudding bowl helmets stuffed with leather.. Thanks for throwing that switch on the “way back” time machine, Geomechs. Many incredible races and racers in that time.

      Like 12
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Those guys were artists. They made racing look like anyone could do it and yet they were constantly monitoring the road ahead and everything around them. Everything the bike did was planned or anticipated…

        Like 7
  11. Steve

    Owned an 1982 (the white one) Sound like no other bike on earth … and yes, ran incredibly. Awesome bikes of a bygone era.

    Like 4
  12. Comet

    Whoever sync’d those six carburetors knew what they were doing. All the exhaust pipe colors are almost identical. Not a small task, or a job for the impatient. These bikes were a thing to behold, and ran like watches. What a beauty!

    Like 9
  13. luckylugnut

    Aah, the 70’s when motorcycle manufacturers ( Japanese anyway) were singing- “Anything you can build, I can build better !” and waged an arms race in motor designs.
    You want 1,2,3,4,or 6 cylinders ? You want air cooled or water cooled 2 strokes ? You want a vertical four stroke twin ? A V twin ? A Transverse V twin? A vertical four ?Horizontally opposed four ? A vertical six ? 1 overhead cam or 2 ? Enough design variations to drive any parts department into complete mental breakdowns !

    Like 5
    • Bill D

      In 2001 Honda put a V5 in some of their race bikes. It was never offered on a street bike, though.

      Volkswagen offered a VR5 engine in the Mk4 Golf/Beetle/Jetta/Bora in Europe. It was never offered in the USA. (We got the 2.5L inline-5 instead.) The VR5 was basically a VR6 with one cylinder missing and had a unique exhaust note.

      Like 2
      • DayDreamBeliever Member

        There have been some V-3 and W-3 engines in bikes as well. Missed my chance at a Honda V-3 250 about 15 years ago, should have just sold a car to get it. Darn.

        Like 1
      • Solosolo Member

        In South Africa we got the V 5 in the VW Golf and Jetta but only for one or two years at the most, so I don’t think it could have been a very good engine, however, the straight five lasted for several years with Audi and was a magnificent engine. Ken Tilly UK.

  14. Tom

    I don’t consider myself to be a motorcycle guy, but any gearhead has to appreciate these works of art. I did own a couple bikes before I got married, the first one being an ‘81 Kawasaki GPZ 1100.
    Probably not the best choice for a starter bike, but thankfully I survived! But the one bike that I would still love to own would be a CBX! I seriously considered buying one that a local motorcycle mechanic was selling. He had it perfectly tuned and he let me take it for a spin. I’ll never forget the beautiful sound and silky smoothness of that inline six! He said the biggest challenge was synching the 6 carbs, and hehad them tuned to perfection! I decided not to buy it and stick with cars, probably a good thing.
    Interesting side story; Berg Pearson Honda in Madison WI was selling CBX’s in crates until the mid eighties for $2500. The newer bikes coming out performed so much better that nobody was interested in them anymore.
    Someone is going to get a beauty here!

    Like 4
    • Bill D

      The friend who taught me to ride had bought a leftover ’82 Yamaha Seca 650 Turbo new-in-crate for something like half price in ’84.

      The Japanese Big Four had greatly expanded their production capability to meet the motorcycle boom of the 1970s. Then they ran headlong into the “double-dip” recession of 1980-81, and were stuck with thousands of unsellable units. When they slashed prices just to get the unsold bikes out the door, Harley-Davidson raised a dumping complaint with the FTC. Japanese motorcycles over 700cc were subsequently slapped with a 30% tariff.

      Like 2
  15. ken tilly UK Member

    Back in the eighties I bought a CBX with a 6 into one exhaust system that made such an incredible sound that I wound it up at every opportunity, which resulted in several tickets. As others have said, not the best handling bike but who cared when it made such beautiful noise? I had to sell it because I was I was offered 3 times what I paid for it. Fool! Then I used the cash to buy a 900cc Honda Bol d’Or with a fibreglass fairing and clip on handlebars, another great bike and it handled so much better than the CBX. Five years ago I was given an, at the time a non running, Yamaha XS1100 but at 76 years of age I couldn’t cane it as much as I wanted to because my shoulders and back couldn’t take the strain for too long. All of them were absolutely great bikes. My current bike, a 1986 Honda Rebel 450cc couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding if it tried but it suits my old age riding style.

    Like 9
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      Ken,IMO any bike is the best bike to have as long as you enjoy the Asphalt Dance together.

      Like 8
    • Johnny

      Sounds like you really like it though. What kind of mileage do you get? I have a 2006 and get about 90 mpg. I bought a extra gear that claims it will do better. I haven,t put it on yet.I bought the bike new and gear. Only have about 3,000 on it.This spring I,m planing on getting it out and use it. As long as I don,t go over 45 my back doesn,t hurt. I also have trouble getting cramps in my legs and have to scoot back on the seat. I had it up to 85 and I didn,t know if the bike was going air born or I was gonna get blow off. Never done that again.haha

      Like 3
  16. James Simpson

    What a great group of comments on this lore! Skilled writers-and obvious riders- every one. The closest I ever got was a Honda 350 scrambler. But, every bike I had ever owned tried to kill me! Four wheels have been my go to for the last 50 years. Living bikers ride “Time Machines”– because they cause a wake-of-passage” by their savvy ability to ride safely, and avoid consequence by taking actions first.–that is NOT always legal, but often surprising–especially when being passed! It takes a mindset to be a biker that is closer to martial arts than self-driving AI. anyway, great adventures revealed here. Thank you all for great rides!

    Like 6
  17. James m hannan

    yes i owned a 1981 cbx
    n it was a fanstatic bike
    had a mx3 header n nothing sounds like a cbx
    nothing!!!!!!?

    Like 4
    • Bill MacDonald

      Yes there is a better sound a twin kerker it was a beautiful racket on a cool clear eve,not neat as nice sounding or as fast as my 73 z-1 Kawasaki single kerker man you did some silly things when you were young 😂 lol

      Like 2
  18. rodknee

    Never rode one but I distinctly remember sitting on one and not only is that a wide tank, but when I saw how much engine there was on either side of that, well, I was giddy. Truly an awe-inspiring engine.

    Like 3
  19. Karl

    I don’t remember where I saw this but a tech school was trying to sell one of these still in the crate never opened. Apparently Honda had a hard time selling these bikes so they ended up giving a number of them away to tech schools for kids to work on. The fellow who ended up buying it said the bike is worth more in the crate original packaging than it would ever be being put together and on the road!

    Like 3
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      And not just engines to Tech Schools but entire bikes (sans title) to places like our local community college class for mechanical education, along with crated engines and spares!! The one with the beautiful pearl white paint that included a fairing and bags accented with different colored blue stripes was my favorite but all of these seem to have “disappeared” from the inventory as years went by…

      Like 2
  20. BigBlocksRock

    Nothing like the sound of a six cylinder with the right exhaust & it’s on the pipe.

    Like 1
  21. Super Glide

    Rode them and also did valve maintenance on them. Too many owners believed if you didn’t hear the valves, that was good. It wasn’t. Goldwing 1800 owners feel the same way. They do this because they’re afraid of bucket and shim valves adjusters. I ran into a guy with a CBX that had 2 pretty blue pipes on his center cylinders. The motor was toast a month and a half later, burned valves and pistons.

    The CBX had a sad end, because in the end it was marketed as a sport tourer. I didn’t matter anyway, because the Suzy GS1100E came out in 1980
    and laid waste to more than a few of it’s competitors and owners.

    Like 2
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      I bought a ’78 GS 750 new, and was back at the dealership for a service when the 1100 was recently out. The shop’s owner told me to take one for a spin while mine was in the back….

      Yea, that was quite a bit more power than I was used to, but also heavier/not as nimble. I resisted the call to upgrade, and I’ve pretty much looked at it as a good decision.

      Like 1
  22. dj chip

    i bought a 1979 brand new beat everybody with it

  23. George Mattat

    I owned 2 Kawi triple two strokes new and 4 others since. While they are a rush, nothing compares to a CBX. A close friend and classmate bought a new red CBX in May 1979. I rode it. Wow. He had it 20 years snd is mad he sold it. You can have your useless Harleys. I want this.

    Like 4
  24. Wayne

    I never rode one of these.(doesn’t mean I would not want to) But last year I was at a light and heard one of the most amazing sounds. I knew without looking that it was a CBX. And I was right. One of the only sounds that a Ferrari V12 comes close to. Truly music to a gear-head’s ears. I could listen to one going through the gears non-stop. A truly euphoric audio experience! ( Gee, stupid thought, since Bose makes sound cancelling audio equipment. Maybe a manufacturer could reproduce the sound while cancelling out their “own” exhaust sound! OR maybe it could be the next vehicle improvement craze? Yes? No? Ok, I will go back to my cage now!)

    Like 1
    • Bill D

      On the GTI and R32 VW pipe artificial exhaust noise into the cabin via their “Soundaktor”. I believe V8 Mustangs do this as well. Modern cars have such good sound insulation that you just don’t hear the engine the way you did in the previous century. (On VWs, at least, you can turn down or turn off the Soundaktor using VCDS.)

  25. Gerry Rhoades

    I had a silver 79 for 15 years. I bought it in 84 with 2.k miles and sold it in 99 with 7k miles. I had six into one and six into six header set ups for it along with the stock 6 into 2. I liked the 6/6 the best, sounded like a indy car when I wound it out, which was often! It handled for crap, the engine was part of the very inadequate frame rigidity and they flexed badly. Todays bikes have much beefier aluminum frames with no flex. There was a guy that road raced one but I cant remember his name.

    Like 1
  26. Graham Clayton

    Here is footage of the CBX1000 competing in the 1978 Castrol 6 Hour Production race at the tight and twisty Amaroo Park circuit on the outskirts of Sydney – hard work!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHo0DiqXAys

  27. Gary Jacobson

    I had a 1981 CBX, with full fairing and saddlebags. Air spring in the back and air forks. I bought it in 1994 for $900-It had 20,000 miles on it. I replaced the tires and had my Honda dealer check the tune–spot on! It was the fastest an–get on itd meanest bike I ever owned. The above writers are wrong on the hp though–mine had 130! Unfortunately the speedo only went to 85–Congress thought that would slow us down. Wrong! It had the most beautiful sound–get on it hard and it sounded like a Ferrari in heat! Acceleration was it’s best trick, and the most fun. In Illinois it’s nickname was “Widowmaker.” You had to be on top of you game at all times or you were dead. Mileage wasn’t so hot. On one road trip I averaged 30 mpg, but I wasn’t behaving. I sold it in 2004 for $900! It was a blast–good memories.

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