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Posts by tag: CB-1

Featured Listing August 15, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1989 Honda CB-1

The Honda CB-1 is everything you have come to expect from Honda: exquisitely engineered, sublime build quality, wonderful ergos, reliability and performance. It also has a few things you might not have come to expect: it is missing bodywork (eek, it's naked!), it is missing weight, and it is missing displacement. All of this equates to rare fun at astounding RPMs.

Featured Listing: 1989 Honda CB-1

Known by many names - CB-1, NC27 and CB400F to name a few - the CB-1 began life as a Japanese home market bike. But unlike many rarities that were intended to stay on home soil, the CB-1 made a break for it and was actually imported by Honda into the US and Canada. Score for us! Also unlike many home market bikes, this one was bigger than a 250. Much bigger, in fact. A stomping 399cc in displacement, the CB-1 was good for about 55 HP. With a liquid cooled inline four cylinder and gear-driven DOHC actuating four valves per jug, the CB-1 was not your average middleweight. And speaking of weight, the CB-1 was no porker, either. At well under 400 lbs, this is a lithe, flickable fun machine that stirs the imagination without draining the pocketbook.

From the seller:
Hi everybody. Here it is! The 1989 Honda CB-1 The first truly naked sports bike that started it all.

It looks and runs like the day it left the showroom. Everything works as it should. You can just get on and ride. There are no scratches, dents, or dings. The paint is perfect! It has never even seen rain! This bike has been well taken care of with regular fluid changes and always filled with super.
New Pirelli Diablo Rosso 2 tires (400 miles ago)
Carbs were cleaned
New fork seals installed
If you have been looking for a mint CB-1 with low miles that runs perfect, this is the one!

All pics show condition of bike. There is a small imperfection on the filter box (as pictured). It comes with owner's manual and 2 sets of keys. It has a clean title.

More from the seller:
It has around 10,500 miles. It may have a few more miles before I sell it. It’s a great bike. You can either pick up in NJ or you can have it shipped. It is the buyer's responsibility to pay for and make shipping arrangements. I have used motorcycleshippers.com before and they did a pretty good job. Email me if you have any questions. I'm happy to help.

Listing price: $5999

Contact information: imjustjeff@icloud.com

The CB-1 party started in the US in 1989, but lasted only through 1990. A combination of factors resulted in poor sales, hence its withdrawal from the marketplace. The US was not quite ready for the small bike resurgence we are experiencing today, which is a shame. The CB-1 was missed by knowing riders, yet remains one of the mysterious enigmas in the collector world today. Rare and unique, sporty yet naked, fun but useful - the CB-1 is many things. It has aged well, and this particular example is a prime specimen. Pricing is right on the money for a pampered example. Serious tire kickers should give Jeff a shout. This is a bike that will hold interest through the fads and trends, and will remain what it is - a truly great motorcycle.

MI

Featured Listing: 1989 Honda CB-1
Honda July 26, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: Museum Quality 1989 Honda CB-1 for Sale

Update: This bike has sold to an RSBFS reader! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

I’ve always been a “slow bike [and car, for that matter] fast” kind of guy, mainly because I could never really afford the fast bikes I wanted, but also because I'm pretty sure I'd have gotten into trouble riding something powerful all the time. But some folks just prefer smaller-engined motorcycles: on the road especially, you can barely get a modern sportbike into third gear unless you’re on the freeway, and winding one to redline, even in second gear, is likely to land you in jail if you do it in or around civilization… But that’s never a problem with something like today’s pristine Featured Listing Honda CB-1.

The 400cc class came about because of regulations that heavily taxed and otherwise displacements over 400cc in some markets, not because everyone was clamoring for them. In Japan, the 400cc sportbike, and even 250cc four-stroke sportbike classes were hotly contested, with Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Yamaha all producing smaller, more sophisticated machines than we ever saw officially in the USA. But licensing and laws aside, there are also fans of smaller displacement bikes that have the experience and skill to handle a legitimate sportbike and don’t want to be stuck with one of the torquey, but fairly crude-feeling singles or parallel twins you normally find powering bikes in the class.

Enter the Honda CB-1. Powered by a slightly detuned version of the CBR400RR's engine, the 399cc inline-four had some serious mechanical specifications, including sixteen valves and gear-driven dual overhead cams. The result was 55hp and a 13,500rpm redline, plenty to motivate the 400lb machine and push it all the way to 118mph, assuming you were prepared to thrash the sewing-machine-smooth engine mercilessly.

The CB-1 was one of only a couple of 400cc, inline-four sportbikes that were ever available in the United States, and that sophisticated little screamer is the main appeal here, along with the simple, sporty styling that has aged very well. The CB-1 did lose the CBR's aluminum frame and made do with tubular steel unit instead, but saved weight by losing the fairing and the CBR's second front caliper and rotor. Smaller valves and different tuning meant slightly less outright power that the CBR, but lower gearing meant it was a better real-world bike as well.

Unfortunately, as polished as it was, the CB-1 didn't really sell very well here in the USA, where bigger is always better and 600cc supersports are considered "learner bikes." But its surprising sophistication had fans then and now, and has become a bit of a cult bike here in the States. But if you missed the boat the first time around and didn't get to buy one new from your local Honda dealer, here's your chance: this one has just 9 miles on the odometer and is amazingly clean.

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda CB-1 for Sale

2nd Chance! up for sale is my brand new 1989 Honda CB1 never registered. This bike has been in climate-controlled storage its entire life.

Originally sold in California, I bought it out of a collection in Colorado about 3 years ago. The previous owner had removed all the fuel and prepped the bike for long term storage. The 9 miles on the bike were dealer prep miles.

Since I took delivery of this bike, it has gone through another extremely thorough and expensive prep process for long term storage. This was all documented and the work was lovingly done by the master tech at Marin Speed Shop here in Marin California. There is absolutely no fuel in the tank or in the carbs or fuel lines. The bike was started two years ago prior to storage to verify its condition. It had a perfect leak down and we used an auxiliary fuel tank because we did not want to put fuel in the bike's tank. The bike started and ran perfectly. Afterwords the carbs were disassembled and all fuel was removed and the carbs and tank were then misted with oil.

This is a museum-quality bike, it is as brand new as the day it was sold. Every aspect of this bike has been gone through and prepped for this long term storage. Everything on the bike is original, even the tires, so if you want to ride it then the tires should be replaced.

Please look closely at the pictures. I will be happy to take calls and answer any questions. I have all the paperwork - I mean everything. I have the bill of sale, title, certificate of origin, all original pamphlets, all keys, everything.

There is no reserve on the bike except that I have started the bidding at $6000.00. I have spent quite a bit more than this so I am hoping to get more but the bike needs to go because we need the space.

Best of luck and thanks for looking,

Please call for any question you may have 408 391 8975

Hans

Obviously, with basically just delivery miles, you'd likely need to go through the bike top-to-bottom before riding it. So perhaps the biggest question here is, "Does anyone really need a museum-quality Honda CB-1?" Well since the bike was originally a practical, affordable, and sophisticated do-it-all scoot, I doubt this will have the universal, drool-worthy appeal of something like an RC30, a bike that was sold in very limited numbers and had very exotic components. But somewhere, you just know there are a couple folks who've always loved this classy little machine or are looking to complete their extensive Honda collection. Regardless, it's obvious there is real interest in this bike: although nice, well-used CB-1s regularly change hands for around the $3,000 mark, bidding over at the eBay auction is already up north of $6,000 with several days left on the auction!

-tad

Featured Listing: Museum Quality 1989 Honda CB-1 for Sale
Honda November 21, 2017 posted by

Baby ‘Blade: 1992 Honda CBR400RR NC29 for Sale

The Honda CBR400RR was designed to appeal to buyers in certain countries that were limited to bikes of smaller displacement because of tiered licensing requirements or heavy taxes on larger machines. Racing classes in those markets also existed to campaign 400cc motorcycles, and were hotly contested by the usual suspects: Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki also had smaller versions of their popular sportbikes. Honda even went a step further, and offered a second 400cc sportbike in their V4-powered VFR400R. Unlike today's smaller-displacement offerings, these were grown-up sportbikes in miniature: instead of a simple single-cylinder engine or an economical parallel-twin, the CBR400 used a 399cc inline four with sixteen valves, gear-driven twin overhead cams, backed by a six-speed gearbox, and suspended in a stiff aluminum frame. Straight-line performance was modest by today's standards, but bikes in the class had handling that was often better than their more powerful, but generally heavier siblings.

Americans saw a variation of this bike in the short-lived CB-1 that used a slightly detuned version of the CBR's inline four, including the sexy gear-driven cams, but wrapped in a steel frame instead of the CBR's lighter aluminum beam design. A lack of bodywork on the CB-1 kept the weight reasonable compared to the sportier CBR and the bike was a good handler, but Americans just weren't ready for a pricey, naked machine like that in the late 1980s. Would the CBR have sold any better, had it been brought over? America had a pretty binary motorcycling culture through the 80s and 90s: people bought sportbikes or cruisers, with little interest in more practical machines. The CBR would have been similar to Yamaha's offerings, whose little FZR400 was actually more sophisticated than the bigger-engined, but heavier, steel-framed FZR600. FZR400 is certainly a cult bike now, but its relative rarity suggests the CBR wouldn't have been much of a success at the time, although I expect it might have sold better than the CB-1.

At the end of the day, without the laws and taxes that conjured the 400cc class into being, there isn't much to recommend the bike over the CBR600 or CBR900, aside from superlative handling. The main appeal here is rarity, agility, and the fun of a motorcycle you can cane the hell out of without needing the skills of a professional racer, or a helicopter airlift ride to the nearest trauma center.

From the original eBay listing: 1992 Honda CBR400RR for Sale

Very rare 1992 Honda CBR400 (baby Fireblade) NC29 legally imported from Japan and currently titled, insured and registered here in NJ. Bike has 13220 miles, fresh Motul (brake fluid, engine oil and coolant) fluids, TSR slip on, new NGK plugs, Continental Attack tires, carbs were cleaned and fuel tank drained/cleaned. This bike is very clean and in excellent condition. Please feel free to message if you have any questions. 

From the relatively low-resolution photos, this appears to be a very nice example of a cool, grey-market CBR400RR, but unfortunately the Buy It Now price is an eye-watering $9,500. New Jersey's DMV may not be as draconian as California's in terms of emissions requirements, but they're even more strict in other ways, so the NJ title and registration suggests that the seller hasn't cut any corners making this legal although, as always, caveat emptor.

-tad

Baby ‘Blade: 1992 Honda CBR400RR NC29 for Sale
Honda June 13, 2017 posted by

Big Bike Spec in a Small Package: 1990 Honda CB-1 for Sale

Performance motorcycles have gotten so powerful and fast that they're only even rideable by normal humans because of sophisticated electronics. If 99% of riders need traction-control just to keep their 190hp superbike on the road, couldn't it be argued that they're too powerful? ABS and all the other safety systems are amazing, but should be there just in case the rider gets it wrong, not to keep the rampant power under control. Are riders of these bikes actually having more fun? Maybe, but doesn't something like today's Honda CB-1 make much more sense for most riders?

Plus, if you do get dusted on a canyon road, you can always blame the machinery: "Hey look, this is a 400cc motorcycle! What do you expect?" If you're on a new BMW S1000RR, you really have no excuse for being slow, other than self-control and sanity. The 1990 Honda CB1 doesn't have that same problem, however, with good handling and modest power. The displacement screams "learner bike" but the specifications argue otherwise:

399cc liquid-cooled inline four, sixteen valves actuated by gear-driven overhead cams. Six speed gearbox. The combo was slightly detuned from the CBR400 for street duty, but it put out a respectable 55hp and could push the machine to 118mph, certainly plenty for the street and even a bit of freeway cruising. It lacked the CBR400's twin-disc brakes up front and uses a steel unit instead of the CBR's aluminum beam frame, but the engine is still used as a stressed member, increasing rigidity and keeping weight reasonably low.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Honda CB-1 for Sale

Overseas they have a tiered licensing system.  50cc, 125cc, 250cc, 400cc, 750cc, and above.  Most young men cannot afford above 400cc, so the 400cc market is full of hot rod bikes.  This is one such bike.  Water cooled DOHC 4 valves per cylinder, direct gear actuation of the cams, no cam chain, six speed transmission, red line at 13,500 rpm, power kicks in at 9000.  Top speed is over 100 mph.  The effect of the photography makes the paint look like it is robin's egg blue, but it doe not look like that in person.  The blue paint is a nice metallic finish.  Accessory windshield is quickly removable.  Heated grips have been added.  Accessory adjustable handlebars also.  All stock otherwise.  Very clean, except for some pollen on the gauges in the photo.  Was my wife's bike but she does not ride it enough to justify keeping it.

There are no takers yet at the $1,900 starting bid and there are just over 24 hours left on the auction. It looks like it's in good shape, although that windscreen needs to go. Like the Hawk 650GT, the CB-1 has developed quite a cult following and with very good reason: unlike the CBR400, the CB-1 was officially imported, but few were sold and they're hard to find now, although they still don't sell for all that much.  It's the Goldilocks of motorcycles: not too big, not too small. And the price is just right.

-tad

Big Bike Spec in a Small Package: 1990 Honda CB-1 for Sale
Honda March 22, 2017 posted by

All You Really Need: 1990 Honda CB-1 for Sale

No one is arguing that we don't live in an era where "learner bikes" aren't very sophisticated machines, but no matter how impressive the electronics found on modern small-displacement bikes may be, and no matter stone-axe reliable the mechanicals are, there's something distinctly uninspiring about the weedy exhaust note of a single-cylinder KTM RC390. It's a great motorcycle in pretty much every way, especially considering the affordable price-point, but it definitely doesn't sound sexy. Something like this Honda CB-1 however, might appeal to both new and experienced motorcyclists, especially those a bit shorter in stature or riders who've realized the truth of the old axiom, "It's more fun to ride a slow bike fast than it is to ride a fast bike slow."

There's no problem with a lack of sexy here, although that's probably because the CB-1 wasn't really designed as an entry-level motorcycle: the 399cc inline four that motivates the CB-1 was shared with the sportier CBR400 that never officially made it to the USA, although they do show up from time-to-time as grey market imports. As you would expect, this mini-sportbike powerplant is very sophisticated, and has four tiny cylinders, sixteen valves, and dual overhead cams operated by gears, instead of the expected timing chain. The little four made 55hp and could push the 400lb machine to a top speed of 118mph. The frame is a less-sophisticated tubular steel unit instead of the CBR's aluminum beam frame, valves are bit smaller, and the CB-1 has a single-disc front brake set up, but it is otherwise very similar in terms of performance, except in top speed. Of course the CB-1 was geared a bit shorter and actually felt quicker in real-world riding than its sportier sibling.

This example appears to be very clean, although the gauges could use a little help. A trip to eBay should eventually turn something up, or fit something cool and modern from Acewell or Motogadget. The carb service mentioned by the seller is a nice bonus, as that could be a headache for a new rider, or even for an experienced wrench.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Honda CB-1 for Sale

This is a fine specimen of a CB-1. It does not at all look its age. It's not museum quality, there are a few minor blemishes, but it is very close to perfect. The bike was just serviced: the carburetors were cleaned & synched and new tires were mounted. It runs perfectly, all the lights work, etc. It needs nothing but a new owner to enjoy the ridiculously smooth high-reving beauty.

The seller is asking just $3,100 for this particular bike, a bargain considering the performance and sophistication found here. There are near cult-like levels of devotion surrounding the somewhat forgotten Honda CB-1 and it's v-twin stablemate the Hawk GT, although that hasn't translated into increased values, as these are still very affordable bikes and offer performance, rarity, and relatively easy maintenance. Although handling is limited by the budget suspension, bolt-on upgrades from the era's CBR should sort that out easily and improve stopping as well with a second front brake disc and caliper. In an era of relatively simple and economical small-displacement machines, something like this offers up big-bike thrills in a very sophisticated, manageable package, with a low price tag, street cred, and good looks.

-tad

All You Really Need: 1990 Honda CB-1 for Sale
Honda October 13, 2015 posted by

Investment Strategy – 1989 Honda CB-1

Occasionally we see a special bike re-appear after many years and just a few miles, and though it could be seen differently, this is one of those - an anyone-can-jump-on machine, special handling if not performance, with 26 years and 9 miles.

20151012 1989 honda cb-1 left

1989 Honda CB-1 for sale on eBay

20151012 1989 honda cb-1 right

Harkening back to the CB-400F ( and marketed in some countries that way ), the CB-1 is peculiarly recognizable as a motorcycle, and while not a race-replica, you might not throw your daughter's date off the porch if he rode up on one of these.  Sharing but slightly detuning the liquid-cooled 399cc in-line four from the CBR400RR, the CB-1 makes do with 55 hp, geared down a bit so it gets away punctually if not with great speed.  Using a steel tube perimeter frame instead of hydro-formed thin-wall aluminum, it's a neutral handling if not lightweight package.  Built to satisfy progressive license requirements in Japan and Europe, it was value-engineered to appeal to junior riders, carburetted instead of injected, but did come with nice 41mm front forks, Pro-Link style rear suspension, and 310mm front / 240mm rear disk brakes.

20151012 1989 honda cb-1 left grip

20151012 1989 honda cb-1 right front detail

Spiriting away a plain vanilla model and storing it without fluids will eventually pay off big, all a question of patience.  With only 9 pre-delivery miles, this might be the time for this gem.  About the only usual upgrade that would be welcome would be a polished stainless exhaust.  From the eBay auction:

We are proud to offer for sale a Museum Quality Collector example of the rare 1989 Honda CB-1 also known as the CB400F or NC27 in some countries. This bike was developed for the Japanese market and also sold in the USA and Canada. Only offered for sale in models years 1989 and 1990 this is a very rare and desirable bike. The only owner of this spectacular motorcycle purchased it new on March 23, 1991. The bike was intentionally never started  or ridden and has the original Pre Delivery miles on it performed by the selling Honda Dealership. This CB-1 was purposely preserved in As-New condition and stored indoors in a climate controlled environment. The motorcycle has a charged battery in it and spins over quickly on the starter button. We have made the decision to not fill the carburetors or tank with fuel, fire up and run as many potential buyers would prefer to keep the bike in its present condition to be part of a motorcycle collection.

20151012 1989 honda cb-1 right front wheel

20151012 1989 honda cb-1 left rear wheel

Not a legislative requirement and not much of a bargain in the states, the CB-1 was withdrawn after 1990.  It needed the 400-4's cool factor, but over 15 years the game had changed, even for a fun machine with a 13,500 rpm redline.  In the 25 years since the CB-1, it has changed again, with singles and twins in the first-bike market with counter-balancers replacing the multiple cylinders.  Especially in the U.S., the CB-1 is a snapshot, when there were still a few bikes with not much plastic and no room for graphics.  With 7 days to run, the auction has more than 20 bids, showing that there are still some riders out there that want a motorcycle that looks like well, a motorcycle...

20151012 1989 honda cb-1 left engine

-donn

Investment Strategy – 1989 Honda CB-1




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