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457 Mile 1977 Honda CB550K3

I’m not purposely staying away from Hondas, I like them, a lot. I just have never had the opportunity to own a Honda car or a Honda motorcycle over 49 CCs. This 1977 Honda CB550K3 is quite a bit bigger than the Hondas that I’m used to and it looks like a very nice mid-range bike. The seller has it listed here on eBay in East Syracuse, New York. The current bid price is just over $2,100 and there is less than a day left to get your bids in!

The CB550K was made for a handful of years, from 1974 to 1978, actually being introduced in late-1973 for the 1974 model year. It was an upgrade from Honda’s CB500 in mid-range power but the engineers also took care of a nagging clutch problem and a transmission that wasn’t exactly as smooth as silk to shift.

This example is all original and it has an amazingly-low 457 miles on it. You may have noticed that both side covers are missing so you’ll have to track down both of those and have them painted. Speaking of paint, the beautiful brown gas tank has a small ding on it that hopefully can be massaged out. Speaking of the tank, the seller says that it appears to have been coated at some point and should be cleaned out.

A new feature of the CB550 was a beeping turn signal indicator which is probably a nice feature but it can be fairly annoying and a lot of owners eventually figured out how to disable that. I have a Motocompo, a Honda Gyro, and a Honda Motra and I’m well aware of the beeping turn signal indicator. There are a few areas that need work aside from the inside of the gas tank, like the pipes in certain spots, but they say that it appears that this bike was in storage and they believe that the mileage is correct due to the wear, or lack of wear on the tires.

The engine is Honda’s four-stroke, single-overhead-cam, air-cooled 544 CC with 50 horsepower. This is still the era when bikes had both kick start and electric start which I like. What I don’t like is that this one isn’t currently running. I have no doubt that most Barn Finds readers could wake it up after a thorough carb cleaning and fuel-system check and all of the usual steps. It sure looks great and that’s half the battle. Have any of you owned a Honda CB550?


  1. Howard A Member

    Nice find, you know, after going the “dual sport” schtick, I now realize, I should have gone this route. The dual sport made a lousy street bike, and the trails were so rough, it wasn’t any fun anyway. I had a friend that had the 500 version. I read, these motors were the base for the Benelli, 750 6 cylinder, with 2 cylinders lopped off( or vice versa) Certainly no argument on the miles, I wonder what the real story on this was? Great find, better like to tinker, as electrics, I heard, go south just from sitting, and replacements, even NOS, if any, are junk too. These were great commuter or city bikes, but fell short on the long haul, even though, I’m sure many made cross country treks on one. My rule of thumb, no street bike under 750, but this would do just fine for short rides. After that Suzuki, I’ve decided to give up all modern motorized objects, except the squarebody Jimmy, which is hardly modern and am persuing my childhood electric guitar hobby instead.

    Like 4
    • Mr.BZ

      In the early 80s, a friend of mine had a Benelli 750-6, and if that bike had any connection to Honda you sure couldn’t tell. Nothing but trouble from every direction. I had a Suzuki GT750, and every time we went for a ride that Benelli ended up in the back of a truck for the ride home.

  2. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    It takes about 30 seconds to disable the turn-signal beeper on these.

    The only reason the electronics would be an issue over time would be if it sat unprotected.

    Like 2
  3. John

    I cannot remember a Honda bike of any variety having electrical issues (except batteries). They were basically bullet-proof. I had a 350, and a 350-4. Both were excellent bikes. The 2 cylinder bike was loads more fun. Mine made lot of long-distance trips. It was never comfortable, but I was in my 20s and didn’t care. I’ve had several bikes since then. None was as much fun as the 350 (especially when I was 20 something).

    Like 3
  4. William Broucek

    My first bike was a 1978 CB550k and served as my daily transportation for about a year, in San Francisco. Sat in the rain and wouldn’t start? That’s what the kickstart was for. I did my own maintenance, and I can tell you that syncing the carbs is no small trick and it really unusual for me to still have some blue pipe not matter how hard I tried to get them all correctly adjusted. It made a few trips between San Francisco and Los Angeles in the 4 years I owned it, each one leaving me getting like I’d ridden 4k miles in a day instead of the 400 or so it actually was. Dead removable bikes and very forgiving of deferred maintenance as long as they’re ridden regularly. I put 25k on in the first two years and it never missed a beat. Great bike!

    Like 1
    • William Broucek

      Gotta love autocorrect

      *it wasn’t unusual… blue pipe
      *dead reliable bikes

  5. Solosolo ken tilly UK Member

    I bought a 1978 HONDA 550/4 back in 1980 but mine had clip on handle bars and a fibreglass fairing. The best bike, out of more than 50 that I have ever owned. I do believe that the Benelli Six was a Honda 550/4 with an extra cylinder “stuck” on each end.

    Like 1
  6. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this bike sold for $3,450.

    Like 1
    • Zack DeMundo

      Wow, that was cheap.

      I have a green 1974 550k that I love, and have put around 10k miles on, but I don’t ride it anymore, since I bought a Triumph 765R. Alas, I will be selling the Honda soon. Along with a couple of 350s, one a “dual sport” and one a heavily modified CB. I love all of them, but if I have time to ride, I ride the Triumph; start it up and go.

  7. wardww

    I had several CB400s years ago and a CB is a CB. Solid, easy to repair and easy on the eye. This one looks sweet.

    Like 1

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