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Six-Cylinder Barn Find : 1980 Honda CBX

The Honda CBX wasn’t the first six-cylinder motorcycle to hit the market, Benelli beat Siochiro and Company by a few years with their beautiful 750 Sei, but Honda came through with a monster in 1978. The seller has this 1980 Honda CBX listed here on eBay in Hendersonville, Tennessee and the current bid price is $3,700 but the reserve isn’t met.

The seller refers to this inline-six bike as a barn find and I can’t think of a scarier, cooler, or more worthy “modern” motorcycle project than a Honda CBX. They aren’t the most-valuable motorcycle and I was surprised to see Hagerty was only at $18,900 for a #2 excellent example. They have sold for much more than that but in 2022 when people are paying nutso prices for vintage vehicles, or for new vehicles that others have ordered and are now flipping them, I expected double that price.

Honda made the CBX from 1978 to 1982 and it was considered very much a superbike at the time, even with its regular tube frame, twin rear shocks, and other “normal” motorcycle features. It was, for all intents and purposes, a Chevette with an SBC dropped in the engine bay. You can see that this example has seen better days and, sadly, it appears that parts of the engine have been painted black for some reason. I don’t know if murdered-out was a phrase when this bike went into its “barn”, but maybe the previous owner predicted the future with that.

The seller gives us quite a few photos but none showing the rear or many detailed photos and you can see the tail light lens on the back of the split seat in the photo above. It’ll be a labor of love to restore this one as just bringing it to a shop to have it restored would most likely be a money-losing proposition. 1980 was the last year for the non-saddle-bag-burdened version of the CBX which also received a detuned engine, so the 1980 and previous versions may be more popular with sporty motorcycle enthusiasts. I personally like the 1981 and 1982 models with the faring and saddle bags.

The engine in this beautiful beast is Honda’s 1,047-cc, 24-valve, DOHC inline-six which would have had around 100 horsepower. The seller says that the engine in the bike turns over but there is another engine with some issues and a ton of parts that go with this auction, so hopefully the next owner can get this baby back on the dragstrip turning 11.36-second quarter mile times again. Have any of you owned or ridden a Honda CBX?


  1. Charles

    You meet the nicest people on a Honda.

    Like 11
  2. Solosolo Solosolo Member

    I had a 1981 CBX, 105 BHP, six into one exhaust system. It was a fantastic bike in a straight line but a bit difficult to corner hard. Many years later I bought a Yamaha 1.1 which was even more of a handfull. Couldn’t keep the front wheel on the tarmac from one traffic light to the next!

    Like 12
  3. Indnrdr

    Herb Ottaway of Wichita, Kansas beat them all to the 6-cylinder holy grail with his Super Six Indian, inline six cylinder, now located in the Twisted Oz Motorcycle Museum in Augusta, Kansas.

  4. david r

    I pity the new owner if he wants to pull the engine and repaint the frame for a cosmetic refresh. Must weigh a ton.

    Like 4
    • 428CobraJet

      247 pounds I believe. I own a 1981.

      Like 1
    • Cobra Steve

      I have had the good fortune to have owned five of these throughout the years…1979 and 1980 models. The engine is actually part of the frame. With my 29 inch inseam, I was usually standing on my toes at a stoplight. Uncorked with the Australian Pipemasters 6:6 exhaust, that six made a howl which sounded like a cross between a 3 L Colombo Ferrari V-12 and a 930 Turbo Porsche!

      Like 10
      • Cobra Steve

        IIRC, Black was only offered in the 1980 model year. Candy glory red and Perseus (spelling?) silver were offered in 1979 as well as 1980. Beyond that they had a pearl white color but since they went to a cruising style, I lost interest.

  5. Karl

    Very interesting bike for it’s time. Honda had a very hard time selling these it seems as unique and cool as they were nobody really wanted them. I saw one a couple years ago still in the crate needing to be assembled, it was brand new and was being sold by a tech school apparently Honda gave a fair number away to lots of schools because they couldn’t sell them. The school was asking 7k for this bike brand new.

    Like 7
    • 428CobraJet

      1981s only. and 7k would have been several years ago. they are complete in the crate as I understand, except maybe bars. maybe. School bikes didn’t have titles. I believe that would now be maybe 30k for a crate School bike. maybe more

    • Gary

      They were expensive for the times and I think maybe a little to unique for people. We had a blast on all of ours, I like being a oddball.

  6. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    I still have my 81 I bought new. Coming from my 1971 Shovel to this was some ride! I knew a guy a town away that put a turbo on a early CBX. He is not around but it was not the bike that did him in. RIP.

    Like 4
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Mike, you are full of surprises!
      Nice bike.

      I don’t know if it is the same guy or not, but 2 days in a row I’ve seen 2 different 70’s 2 stroke bikes along the same route.
      One was a Suzuki 500cc and the other was a Yamaha 350cc I’m not good on models, but they were traditional Japanese bikes, no high mounted exhausts or knobbys..

      Like 1
  7. angliagt angliagt Member

    “SIX….count ’em……SIX”

    Like 1
  8. Cam Usher

    Sure , Benelli was first but they just copied Honda lol. The 750 Sei was just a CB500 with 2 more cylinders

  9. Cadmanls Member

    These sounded like a sports car with the six into one exhaust. Just a cool unique scooter. No they weren’t the fastest of the era but looked good with that six hanging in the frame and that wonderful sound.

    Like 1
  10. Tom

    I almost bought a ‘79 that looked just like this back in the early ‘80s. A very good motorcycle mechanic owned it and he had that thing tuned to perfection! I’ll never forget the sound, and how smooth that in-line 6 was. I ended up with an ‘81 Kawasaki GPZ 1100. Faster, better handling and probably a better bike all around, but man, that 6 cylinder!! The Kawasaki was my first bike and thankfully I lived to tell about it. Got married, had kids and no longer had any interest in bikes, but to this day a CBX is the only motorcycle I’d like to own!
    Interesting side note; in ‘83-‘84 the local Honda dealer had leftover ‘82 CBX’s in crates that they could barely give away for $2500. Talk about kick yourself!!

    Like 1

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