Early Sandcast Model: 1969 Honda CB750

The Honda CB750 is perhaps the most significant Japanese motorcycle ever made, and certainly among the top ten of important motorcycles, period. Combining performance, reliability, and comfort like not previously seen, the CB750 is a cherished collectible among motorcycle enthusiasts. That sentiment reaches a fever pitch when it’s an early production model like this one, with a sandcast crankcase. Though this beautiful survivor will cost you a few bucks to ship given it’s located in Australia, some enthusiasts likely consider that a small price to pay for a survivor. Find the Honda here on eBay with bids to over $46,000 and the reserve unmet.

As some of you may recall, I am helping a friend of mine sell vehicles from a large property in Georgia, including a stash of motorcycles and parts (with the emphasis on parts). Just the other day, we had a gentleman come by to inspect a Yamaha TR250 and he noticed we had a CB750 project in the pile of bikes. More significant? It, too, was an early sandcast model, and you better believe we are working hard to get that one ready for sale. It’s nowhere near as special as this example, which the seller claims retains most of its original parts, and what needed to be replaced was done so with an emphasis on finding only factory replacements.

Interestingly, this is a USA model that somehow made the extraordinarily long journey to Australia. I ship about one crate per year from Australia, and while the costs are manageable, it’s not something I look forward to doing. This bike may have been purchased from California and shipped to the land down under solely for the purpose of a sympathetic refresh given how desirable these early bikes have become. Depending on how long he’s owned it, the seller may actually land right side up on this example if he bought it for reasonable money and then performed the restoration as he’s described in the listing, which included a top-end rebuild and respray in original colors.

The seller notes that the “….early two-digit machines are the rarest of all the sandcast models,” referring to the VIN number which denotes this is indeed an early bike – possibly one of the earliest non-prototypes to come to market recently. Given the strong prices restored examples have seen at auction, I’m not surprised to see the reserve hasn’t been met. Yes, it has been restored to some extent, but the work performed was to a highly original bike with the desirable matching-numbers sandcast engine still in place. Those bikes don’t come along often, and the claimed early production numbers really do push it over the top.

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Where to start? 1st, the 750 Honda broke all the barriers. As an 11 year old kid that still had the Honda 50, naturally, this thing was uncharted. FOUR CHROME EXHAUST PIPES,,,WOW! I only had one. This bike singlehandedly changed motorcycling forever. A little more history on the “sandcast” term. I read, Honda made 1000 prototypes with hand casted engine cases, most in California. Not sure why, cheaper than production casting, I suppose, and it was a test to see how the market reacted. Remember, prior to this, we never saw anything like it. Obviously, it was a success. Also, serial #’s are cb750E-1007414 or lower, so that checks out. It is a very early model.
    2nd, the price. UHP, UHP, UHP, I said I won’t comment on that anymore( biting tongue) but naturally, I’m flabbergasted at it. Cool find, for sure. You want a piece of history, apparently this is what it will cost you, oops, there I go again, oh the heck with it, they’re nuts.

    12
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      What Howard said, in spades. Incredible bike, a paradigmatic change in the motorcycle industry, and akin to the Honda 50 a world changer overall..
      Crazy fast for its time, crazy bunch of money in for this time. And too it’s about smart marketing-some of us remember a time when rocks were shellacked and sold as pets….

      7
      • Howard A Member

        I’m pretty sure this is all fluff. The word “sandcast” somehow makes it seem special, but I’m not aware of any advantage, it’s just an early 750. I read, one sold in England for $223,000 few years back, quite an investment for an initial price of $1,495 ( or $10,700 today)

        3
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    That’s in perfect condition,but if you paid $50,000
    (that’s a LOT of zeros!),what would you do with it?
    I’d rather have one that I could use,& not worry about
    depreciating.

    5
    • Stevieg Member

      I paid (and am still paying) $50,000 for my bike. I really wish I hadn’t done that now but the papers were signed a couple years ago!

      3
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        Are you using it for what you intended when you bought it, Stevieg? If you are then it was worth it. Mental Health Professionals charge much more than $50,000 (not including meds and “stayovers” at select, um, facilities) over the course of a few years time and such a machine is a major stress-reliever when utilized.
        Proof? Simple. Have you ever seen a motorcycle at a psychiatrists office that didn’t belong to the doctor? Me neither!!

        4
      • Stevieg Member

        Good point Nevada! I am just a little worried about how it will be paid for while I am “away” on my upcoming “vacation”, which is why I am selling off my fleet of paid for toys, along with my daily driver & winter beater. I am spending so much time dedicated to that and working, I haven’t ridden at all yet this year, except for a quick cruise through the neighborhood on my son’s Buell he just bought. Heck, mine is still at my cousins house, where I stored it for the winter. I haven’t seen it since last October, but I still have to pay for it.
        But under normal circumstances, you are correct sir!
        I need a beer lol!

        3
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        🍺🍺

        2
  3. Dave

    Some years ago I remember while, on my way home from work, I saw a group of teenagers pushing a very dusty CB750 down Brownsville Road in the Carrick section of Pittsburgh. One was fiddling with trying to start it while the others pushed. I remember thinking that this bike wasn’t going to end up on fleabay…at least I hope it didn’t. Better to tell stories about it being passed from buddy to buddy amidst parents’ admonitions of “You aren’t bringing a MOTORCYCLE in MY house!” One would find somewhere to hide it, usually at Crazy Uncle Louie’s garage, where he would guide the kids through the ritual of bringing long-neglected motorcycles back to life whilst indulging them with tales of how crazy their dads were “back when he was your age.”
    Happy Father’s Day, to all.

    16
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      Thank you-& Back at you, Dave!

      3
    • Stevieg Member

      I know exactly how insane my Dad was!
      Like Dave said, I wish all Dads out there a pleasant Father’s Day!

      2
  4. jo6pac

    I had one just like this. Ii was supposedly the 42 one shipped to the States. It was fun and easy to ride. I commuted from Fremont to San Jose every day for about a year. I was also the first one to throw the chain through the engine case. Honda in Gilroy, Calif. took it apart installed new case and chain. Honda paid for it and I paid for the oil and new plugs.

    Loved the sound it made.

    3
  5. Ronald

    This early 750 was in fact a game changer in America, at 12 when this was new I could only ride my bicycle to the Honda dealer and dream, It was king until the KZ900 came along and it was old news around where we live as it upped the ante in power. A guy I worked with in about 1972 had a CB750 Honda and when we would get off work at 330 he would pull the front wheel up and ride it about 1/4 mile to hit the ramp to the interstate on the way home. There were a lot of sissy bars,extended front ends and king/queen seats sold around southern Kentucky for 750’s

    3
  6. angliagt angliagt Member

    I was all set to buy a 750/4 back in 1980 –
    until I checked the price of full coverage insurance,
    as I would have to finance it.It was $3000,& the insurance
    was $500/year.
    I ended up buying a Suzuki 550/4 for $2000,& was
    able to get a personal loan on it.It was black,which is the best
    color for them,but not much fun to ride.
    After I layed to down ,while riding on a backroad,I
    traded it (+300) for a ’64 Lotus Elan project.

    1
  7. Keith

    Cast or not WAY TOO MUCH MONEY! Kind of like all these overpriced Porsches.

    3
  8. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended:Jun 19, 2020 , 8:00AM
    Current bid:US $46,301.00
    Reserve not met

    1
  9. Joe Haska

    Wow, I had no idea that the market on these early Hondas was so high. In December of 1968, I was on my R&R with my wife in Hawaii for a week. There was a large Honda dealership there and I wanted to stop and see the bikes.When we were dating ,I had a Triumph 650, but it was long gone. The model they were showing, was the new 450 scambler, they even let us ride it. Needless to say, I wanted one, and both of us young and impulsive, we bought one. We paid $1,100 dollars for it brand new and shipped in a crate to our home in Colo. When I returned from Viet Nam in May of 1969, it was waiting for me. It was in a crate and had to be assembled, I had no idea what that might take. Actually it was a piece of cake, I think I was riding it in about 2 hrs. and it din’t even come with instructions. I talked to a couple local dealers and they said that was impossible they weren’t allowed to sell them in the crate!
    I didn’t keep it very long, sold it for downpayment on our first house. If it has the value of the 750, I could uy 3 houses at 1970 prices, less than 20K then, seems about right ,I could buy maybe a 1/4 of a cheap house today.
    Also, Dave my first bike, that exact quote”You can’t keep it here”. Were you going to be safer, if they couldn’t see it.

    2
  10. John Revels

    Looks like it didn’t sell! Guess he really didn’t want to sell it! But at least you now know what the market is willing to pay! Guess the seller can use it as a heavy expensive paper weight! And then his heirs will one day sell it for what ever they get!

    2
  11. Philip Bregar

    My 5 year older brother gave me his CB750 after I got divorced in ’95, as he had lost his license. Mine was turquoise, and I sold it after about a year or so and bought something newer. Can’t keep them all.

    1
  12. James Turner

    I recognize this was a ground breaking year for motorcycles all and well, But to pay $46,000.00 for a pristine motorcycle it should be solid gold. I had a 1982 Honda C B Custom 900 cc and the one year only 1983 C B Custom 1,000 CC back in the 80,s. you might say these newer bikes were the offspring’s. Mine had air suspension, Step seat, Triple disc breaks and a high/ low 10 speed transmission. I was not afraid of running with and surpassing almost any cruiser type bike on the highway. But the bottom line here is unless you are a millionaire where cost is no object I cannot justify paying over $46,000 but maybe that’s just me.

    1
  13. Ronald

    It’s all relative as to how much money one has to the price of his toys and lifestyle. I’m not jealous of those that can afford to pay I’m envious that I cannot make the decision to pay high prices or not. For me there’s only one choice and that’s not buy expensive things such as a sandcast 750. I was also under the impression that these came out in 1968 not 69.

    1
  14. vintagehotrods

    As a car guy and a junior in high school, I was mesmerized the first time I saw a CB750 one summer night. It sounded so exotic, like a Ferrari on two wheels. Sure, I had loved the early Super 90’s on up to the 305 Scramblers, but this one was as different as night and day, and as special then as this one is today. The cost? If you have it, spend it on something like this and it will be worth every penny, because this is a time machine. It might just take you back to that hot summer night in 1969 when you were young and free to feel the wind in your face, the glorious sound of those four pipes and the power and feel of this marvel of Japanese engineering. Even though I was and always will be a car guy, these motorcycles started me on my fascination and love of two wheels. From my first Honda, that I put a fair sized dent in the quarter panel of an old lady’s sedan when she turned left in front of me, and then after my hospital stay for three broken vertbraes, I promptly spent the insurance check on a 1950 Harley Panhead basket case. Seeing Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider ride across America in 1969 inspired me to build a raked, chopped, rigid framed Harley with a 15″ over springer front end. When I ran out of money, my girlfriend Jan, who is now my wife of 47 years, funded its completion! I knew she was a keeper then! After a summer of fun on it, Uncle Sam called and sent me around the world to Germany to defend Europe from the Russians. Jan came along and we were married in 1973 in Bamberg, Germany. After my stint in the Army we returned home and my love of motorcycles got me a job in at Stich’s Honda-Kawasaki dealership in Sioux Falls. I installed a bunch of extended forks, sissy bars, drag pipes and ape hanger handlebars on many Honda 550’s, 750’s and Kawasaki 900’s. I even built a few Honda and Kawasaki powered rigid framed choppers too, I was in heaven! I also owned the first race inspired big bikes, the Kawasaki KZ1000R and Suzuki GS1000S during those years (and survived). My fellow mechanic’s were flat track racers, so that sent me down that path for the next 15 years, which saw me racing on two and three wheels, on motocross in the Midwest and flat tracks from Sturgis to Oklahoma City. I worked at another Honda-Suzuki dealership and then managed an accessory dealership before striking out on my own as a Maico Racing bike dealer. All this from a chance sighting of the first Honda 750 and seeing the movie Easy Rider. What a ride its been!

    5
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      Your writing is a time machine too, vintagehotrods-I’ll bet more than just a few of us just tripped back some many years to that same place in time of our own lives.

      Insofar as your success in the bike business it’s apparent that your support on the home front was very strong, as was the positive influence of your mentor(s). Well done, vintagehotrods, and thank you for giving many of us a moment to reflect in a positive light as well.

      1
  15. Stevieg Member

    Very cool story, Vintagehotrods!
    That is a great life you described. I bet it could make a interesting book if you ever decided to write one.
    Thank you for your service!

    2
  16. vintagehotrods

    Thanks guys, since I just turned 68 last week its fun to look back at what an interesting life I’ve had……..and lived to tell the story. Yes, my wife deserves a great deal of credit for that and where we are today, and that I’m still able to walk and talk. She was never happy with my racing but she stuck with me and my ears were ringing with “You had better not get hurt!” whenever I left the house to race. So I didn’t always take the chances it took to win, but largely escaped with no lasting injuries. I’ll never regret racing because I never would have learned the confidence to try most anything with no fear that I learned from charging into the first corner with twenty other like minded maniacs on my 490 Maico or 360 Bultaco Astro. As the Grateful Dead said…..”What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been!”

    2
  17. 370zpp

    Vintage hot rods: Like you, the first time I saw a CB750 I felt the same sensation; it sounded so exotic. By the time I was finally done riding, over the years I had owned three Honda 750s; two K models and a 75 750 F model that came with a four into one two piece exhaust that I sawed half the muffler off with a band saw when I got home from the dealer. The Harley guys would glare at me when after kicking and kicking to start their beloved sportsters, when I could reach down to my kickstarter – and start it with my hand.
    My 76 K model cost me $1900 new and I sold it to my neighbor in 2014 when I sadly realized for me it was time to stop riding.

    3
  18. Louis Chen

    Yes, the early Japanese bikes were truly well made-especially Hondas. I remembered about buying the CB 750 while I was stationed in Saigon, but a few of my crazy buddies died and injured when they couldn’t handled the speed! I guess I made the right choice in getting S-50 instead! I sold it my VNmese buddy after I left in 1971. Lo and behold I went back to ‘Nam and looked up the guy I sold the S-50, I was so happy that he was able to maintain and kept it in great condition! I guess even now, they don’t make them like they used to in motorcycle as well? The price is way too high unless you want to try to sell it the the Honda Motorcyle after you won the bid?

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