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Hey guys, I'm new to metrics...I've been into American V-twins for the last 5 years or so. Choppers and Customs mostly, anyway I recently got turned on to Cafe Racers, really dig the style and at the same time looking for something as a daily rider to get back and forth from work and scoot around the city. So I've decided I'm going to build a Cafe Racer for my daily rider. I want to use the Honda CB750 as a base, thinking about an early to late 70's model. So my question is there any certain model or year that is better then another year to build off of? Maybe some years have better handling then others or better drivetrain/engine then others? Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Ace
 

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quote:
Hey guys, I'm new to metrics...I've been into American V-twins for the last 5 years or so. Choppers and Customs mostly, anyway I recently got turned on to Cafe Racers, really dig the style and at the same time looking for something as a daily rider to get back and forth from work and scoot around the city. So I've decided I'm going to build a Cafe Racer for my daily rider. I want to use the Honda CB750 as a base, thinking about an early to late 70's model. So my question is there any certain model or year that is better then another year to build off of? Maybe some years have better handling then others or better drivetrain/engine then others? Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Ace
Metrics are what you call new japanese crusiers. Old hondas are not metric bikes but are vintage bikes, like old bonnies and WLA harleys. Just call them soul machines. I mean, nobody goes around calling old triumphs witworths? right?

SOHC cb750s were made from 1969 to 1978. They rpoduced in the range fo 53-68hp depending on the year and were made in three basic models: the K (standard), the F (Supersport), and the A (Automatic, yes as in automatic transmission).

The 1969-1970 (K0) bikes are the lighest and were at one point considered the fastest. They made the cb750 reputation and their looks as a stocker are unbeatable. Unfortunatly these are usually the most expensive cb750s and they are somewhat fragile.

The 1971-1972 (K1, K2) fixed a lot of problems with the early bikes, and their look was a little sleeker. They still fetch a high price and are considered the last of the fast K bikes.

The 1973-76 K bikes (K3,K4, K5, K6) are probably the mose refined K bikes. Honda figured out that the cb750s fragile nature was due to the power output and lowered it to 58hp. Most good condition cb750s will make between 53-58 rwhp. The advantage is that they have the earlier bike's shape but rock solid reliability. I personally own a K5 and that bike is an anvil ( I also own a K3 with equal reliability). There are minor changes throughout the bikes but most of the k3-k6 bikes have a lot of parts changeover so spares are easily available. These are the engines you need if you are going to do an 836cc conversion.

the 1977-78 K bikes (K7, K8) are more refined. The bike got heavier, the power output went up and the addition of a 630 chain made the bike less prone to breakage. Most people think these are the ulgy cb750s and therefore they sell for the least amount and people like to chop them up. Anything that makes these porkers lighter is a blessing

In 1975 honda introduced the SS (F bike). All F bikes have a read disc brake instead of a rear drum. The 75-76 (F0, F1) was basically a K bike with better carbs, a rear disc and bodywork more like a kawasaki triple or suzuki gs with a tailsection and stepped seat. These are the only cb750 hondas to use a rear disc on spoke rims so lots of guys building cafe bikes look for these rearends. The 1977-78 F2s, saw a lot of improvements. The engine hp was boosted and the bikes are as fast if not faster than the early cb750s. They got mag wheels and the ability to run tubless tires, and also the best brakes ever put on a SOHC 750 (dual disc up front, rear single disc). All F bikes use a 4 into 1 exhaust (instead of the K bikes 4 into 4) which helped ground clearance but you still run out of room on the right side and the mufflers are heavy.

The A bikes are hondamatics (1976-78). They have no clutch or tach and the brakes are on the handlebars (one is a parking brake). They have the strongest bottom ends and a lot of cb750 racers used to use the A cranks in K cases to build strong race motors. They come with aluminum rims on the stock cb750 hubs (a GW part bin raid) so they make excellent parts bikes for a cafe racer looking for DID aluminum rims on the cheap. Other than the novelty factor they really aren't that cool and are probably the heaviest cb750. I had a friend who had a 900cc kit in a hondamatic and that bike was cool because it did burnouts, holeshots, and chirped when it shifted. Honda made the automatic a 400 in 1979 because the cb750 was too heavy for the women who wanted to ride it.

A couple of sites to check out:

www.sohc4.us
www.hondachopper.com
www.cyclexchange.net
www.airtech-streamlining.com

there are tons others but this will get you started. the SOHC forum has a parts list thread and can tell you where to get the best gear for the bike.

I'm sure i missed a ton of info so feel free to chime in.

Don't rule out the DOHC supersports of 1979-1982. They can be had in 750, 900, and 1100 cc flavors, have great brakes and bodywork modeled after the BOL D'Or endurance racers. They make 80-100 hp and are every bit as reliable as the SOHCs provided you keep up on the maintenance. I own a 1979 750 and a 1982 900 and they really the best of both worlds, vintage riding expirence with modern brakes and speed.

check out www.cb1100f.net




Edited by - Geeto67 on May 15 2006 4:03:47 PM
 

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javascript:insertsmilie('<img src=icon_smile_shy.gif border=0 align=middle>');
javascript:insertsmilie('<img src=icon_smile_shy.gif border=0 align=middle>');

Yes sir; What about a GS1000 Zuki,I'm fixing one,rebuild from

skratch...

Sincerely Hellmopperjavascript:insertsmilie('<img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>');
javascript:insertsmilie('<img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>');

Gla moppedist...
 

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javascript:insertsmilie('<img src=icon_smile_shy.gif border=0 align=middle>');
javascript:insertsmilie('<img src=icon_smile_shy.gif border=0 align=middle>');

Yes sir; What about a GS1000 Zuki,I'm fixing one,rebuild from

skratch...

Sincerely Hellmopperjavascript:insertsmilie('<img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>');
javascript:insertsmilie('<img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>');

Gla moppedist...
 

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quote:
javascript:insertsmilie('<img src=icon_smile_shy.gif border=0 align=middle>');
javascript:insertsmilie('<img src=icon_smile_shy.gif border=0 align=middle>');

Yes sir; What about a GS1000 Zuki,I'm fixing one,rebuild from

skratch...

Sincerely Hellmopperjavascript:insertsmilie('<img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>');
javascript:insertsmilie('<img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>');

Gla moppedist...
The zook GS 1000 is an awsome bike. Very fast. The problem with the GS1000 is that their prices have eclipsed those of the cb750, espically if you have one of the aluminum swingarm bikes. The aluminum swingarm is a direct swap in for many other bikes so a lot of these zooks bit the dust so their swingarms could go into kzs and h1s back in the day, which makes them kinda rare now.

However the first GS750s (1976-1978) are some of the best bargains there are. Faster than the cb750s and as fast as the kz900s, people can't seem to give these bikes away. I have a 77 in my backyard that runs and at $300 I have had no takers.

The kawasaki kz900s are also awsome 70's jap superbikes. The unfortunate thing is like the kawi triples, the z1 and kz900 have hit the stratosphere on prices. The aftermarket is burgeoning for these bikes and the engines with really big bores are still used in drag racing. Unfortunatly the kz900 and kz1000 are surronded by a lot of plodding bikes in the kz line like the kz650 and 750 twins (boat anchors, the kz750 four however is a pretty decent bike).
 

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the gs750 is an awesome little bike. great on the road. stable on the highway and plenty of poot in its toot.

jc
 

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Wow Geeto, you just answered so many of my questions.

I'm fixin to buy a cb750 in the next month or so and I've been hunting quite a bit. I've noticed that the prices can varry significantly. I know there's probably no good answer to the question, but what is a reasonable price I should be looking for in my first cb750? What's considered a good deal?
 

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Just my 2cents but to me Honda parts seem to cost more.
I have a 84 FJ 1100 and a 74 Suzuki t500 and i swear i get sticker shock any time i buy a Honda part.
Could just be me snorting to much chain lube


84 FJ110
77 CB50 Cafe bike now
76 parts bike
74 Suzuki t500 soon to be on the road
 

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quote:
Just my 2cents but to me Honda parts seem to cost more.
I have a 84 FJ 1100 and a 74 Suzuki t500 and i swear i get sticker shock any time i buy a Honda part.
Could just be me snorting to much chain lube


84 FJ110
77 CB50 Cafe bike now
76 parts bike
74 Suzuki t500 soon to be on the road
Overall My 71 t500 is actually more expensive in parts than a cb750, and there are less new parts for it. If you think cb750 parts are expensive, you should see what kawasaki triple parts are doing these days. All of the 70's two strokes seem to cost more than OEM honda parts.

That being said, buying stuff from honda for a cb750 is expensive, but there are aftermarket alternatives.

quote:I'm fixin to buy a cb750 in the next month or so and I've been hunting quite a bit. I've noticed that the prices can varry significantly. I know there's probably no good answer to the question, but what is a reasonable price I should be looking for in my first cb750? What's considered a good deal?
It all depends on what you want.

The best stock looks for your dollar go with a 73-76 K bike and expect to pay between $800 and $2500 for running examples depending on condition (museum perfect can get as high as $5K).

For the best performance for your dollar buy a 77-78 supersport and expect to pay between $600 and $1500 for running examples ($2000 if they are really nice).

For the cheapest motor and frame with no intention to modify the engine internals buy a 77-78 K bike and expect to pay between $500 to $1500 for good running clean bikes (If you are close I know a freshly painted one for $1500 and the bike is really nice).

For the best resale value for a stocker get an early bike K0, K1, K2 and expect to pay a couple of grand for clean running bikes.

the NADA website can give you their take on prices too and it is the standard dealers go by. www.nada.com

They list my 75 K bike as $1875 for the average top value for a nice one. But the market can be higher or lower depending on a lot of factors, eg, I have been offered over $2K for my cb750 and my bike is really only between good and very good and I have seen a museum quality K% sell for $5K on ebay. Whenever I am selling a bike I try to get the nada price plus 30%, whenever I am buying if I got the NADA price I consider it a deal (and if I got it for less all the better).

I consider NADA slightly inaccurate because it tends to be a little selfserving towards dealers and also because the data they compile from is last years data and not real time. However if you are insuring a bike for a value (like theft) most insurance companies defer to the NADA value (you can negotiate with them btw as to the value...it is called an agreed value policy and has to be updated every year)
 

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condition is one factor, but don't forget location. with ebay and the rest of the internet the market is closing the location gap, but it is still a factor when considering shipping/local market expectations.


-scott...............my mother is in real estate
 

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Geeto
your breakdown of the classifications of 750s was enlightening!
I have been looking for this kind of info on CB350s so it was great to see it here for the 750
I had just found out from this site http://100megsfree4.com/honda/
that mine is a CB350K3 Super Sport
I knew it was a Supersport from a vintage add but had been looking for that missing letter and was coming up short. ( i would have guessed that it was a S for SuperSport-and that would have been wrong)

The info isn't anywhere in my owners manual or the shop manuals and it came into question when I was about to order a part and I was dubmfounded
(easy for me since I know squat)
Are these Letter Classifications found somewhere on the bike or in the Vin #
for future reference or is it just based on years/chronology?
Is there some sort of list somewhere that you can look up a vin and cross reference?
Are these versions pretty much the same across the different size CC models?
ok one more..
would the errant G model be one with Disk Breaks?

This site was also helpful for my 350 hunt
http://www.honda350k.com/CB350.html
Even though the type is black and you have to cut and paste it somewhere else to read it.

Thanks for the copious amounts of helpful info
Cheers
 

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Yup, G is the disk'er. I wish I had the patience to write an essay on 350s to rival Geets 750 class but alas, I don't have it in me.

This site documents a 350 resto pretty well and has links to some good aftermarket upgrades for your street 350 (check the rectifiers!).

http://www.geocities.com/teleman218/

The good thing about the 350 is its bomb-proof!(NOT Tanner-proof!!) Another is that, because of its popularity in vintage racing, there are TONS of aftermarket parts and upgrades for the engine, brakes, carbs...

Get yourself a factory manual, top it off with a parts fische, you'll be sorted.




BORN TO LURK, FORCED TO WORK.
 

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i always find a way to screw up a cherry running motor in my racer. i will keep my fingers crossed on the next one.

i should stick to skateboarding

mt
 

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i always find a way to screw up a cherry running motor in my racer. i will keep my fingers crossed on the next one.

i should stick to skateboarding

mt
 

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Thats Pretty funny
Thats the same site where i saw the brochure for my bike and learned
of its SuperSport Status
The Resto just happens to be on my exact bike
Lucky Me
I felt like i hit the jackpot when i found that
Thanks for passing it on

The best I could do for a shop manual was that Helm Service Manual
but its really not much better than the Clymer that I already had.
Is there a place to get a better one?
Also bought a Haynes that I saw but for later years(73-77) just cuz it had actual photos and was clear.

I had heard about the rectifier because I was having problems keeping my battery juiced in the beginning.
Died to a FULL STOP on my first ride out to Forrest hills in the fall.
Put a new battery in and have since learned to skimp on daytime light usage and use the Electric Starter less
but this isnt a 350 thread so I will stop my yammerin

Thanks
 

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quote:

I knew it was a Supersport from a vintage add but had been looking for that missing letter and was coming up short. ( i would have guessed that it was a S for SuperSport-and that would have been wrong)
Honda, years ago used to produce a book that was a spotters guide for the dealers. It not only listed what vin numbers constituted what models but how to spot parts from different years (like if someone put a 1978 cb750 K8 gearbox in a K0 bike). It also cross referenced common service items. They produced this book from the 1960's until the mid 1990s. Only dealers got them and since they were updated every year most threw out their old ones. I only know a few people that still have these books and they are not parting with them for anything. You don't even see them in ebay. In the mid 1990's honda went computerized with their parts fiches so it no longer became necessary to have a book. Still the information is still being compiled and is now published by helm inc, makers of auto and motorcycle manuals. their version of the book retails for $33 and seems to have all the same info that the old books had, although I have not yet seen one.

That being said, honda uses certain standards in lettering their bikes. Standard models are usually denoted as "K" bikes, Supersports are "F", Automatics are "A", crusier or chopper style bikes are "C", and Some Twins are "T". There are many exceptions to this as the cb350k3 is a supersport but carries a K designation, and a cb350F is not a supersport (the F stands for Four cylinder). Starting the the 1980s thr "R" or "RR" designation was used for race bikes like the VFR1000R (the VFR1000F being the sport touring model). Honde still uses some of these designations today as the CBR600s have progressed form F1, F2, F3, and currently the F4i (which is being phased out for the cbr600R and 600RR).

The prefix letters are interesting too. A lot of people think that the CB designation was meant to stand for "City bike" or soemthing to that effect. In actuality it was used to describe chassis variants on in house design mules (some being only sketches). Starting with AA, honda ran through most of the alphabet (AA, AB, AC...BA, BB, BC...etc) until they got to CA. The CA prefix accompined pressed frame motorcycles from 92ccs to 305 ccs. When honda began build a second chassis variant of their existing engines using tube frames tey called them "CB". When they started build scramblers they adopted "CL", these were mostly for assembly line use as the bikes had their own names they sold under (Dream, Superhawk, Scrambler). By the mid 1960s the CB had become an identifier for any tube frame street bike (Dirt bikes were originally XL models). Honda originally used the "RC" designation for their race bikes But occasionally used "CR" as well (although CR was just to designate a bike that could not be used on road and came to replace the XL prefix for dirt bikes when they started using XL for the enduros).Honda began using NSR for their race and street bikes in the 1980s and began using RC for street bikes starting with the RC30. Honda continues to use the "CB" identifier even today in the CBR 600 and 1000 and the CB900F (the honda 919) and cb1000 ("the big one"). In japan honda continues to make a cb750 based on the nighthawk but looking like the DOHC cb750F of 1979-1982. This is just a breif summary of what my research turned up on these prefixes so far, unfortunatly I abandoned following throw as to why these designations were chosen and evolved with the models when honda said they didn't want to waist their time helping me.

So there is my fill of useless knowledge for today.
 

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Dang Geeto!
You are a virtual warehouse of information
No, an actual warehouse.
Thanks


"In the mid 1990's honda went computerized with their parts fiches so it no longer became necessary to have a book. Still the information is still being compiled and is now published by helm inc, makers of auto and motorcycle manuals. their version of the book retails for $33 and seems to have all the same info that the old books had, although I have not yet seen one."

So the Helm Fiche Book is obviously different than the Helm Service Manual that I got.
Guess I will root around for that.

I wanted to believe that the CB was for Cafe Bike but I knew that was just wishful projecting. I thought it might be for City Bike too, so good to know the real origin is for the frame.

So much to learn.
Thanks Again
 

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Geeto,
Are you talking about the Honda Motorcycle Identification Guide? They still make those and you can order them at any dealer. Mine goes from 1959 to 1998. Has a single pic of each model, vin numbers, engine numbers, major design changes.

There is also rumor of a service parts cross reference. I've never seen one, I have seen a scan of a page out of one. It had no pics, but listed model vins, part numbers for various service parts and some way of cross referencing those numbers with other models that the part would fit. Things like a CB175 rear sprocket will fit CB125, CB160 etc. Hugely valuable to a restorer and very rare. At one time I searched high and low for one.

I have a good friend that's the parts manager at a dealer...wonder if he would give me the CD's for their outdated parts system when they get a yearly update.
JohnnyB
 
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