1969 Honda CB750 Sandcast
Location: Appleton, Wisconsin
Mileage: 13,642 Miles
Price: Currently $12,500USD with reserve not met.
“Just because something is rare, doesn’t make it valuable.” This slogan is used by many to low-ball sellers, or to just tell sellers that what they have is actually pyrite, not the gold they believe it to be. However, as the collectibility of Japanese motorcycles becomes more prevalent and focused, some bikes will become the most desirable and therefore the most valuable. As far as the direction vintage, Japanese, street bikes appear to going in, the ’69 CB750 Sandcast appears to be one of the top performers.
The Honda CB750 was absolutely revolutionary when released in 1969. As played out as it has become, the CB750 was a four-stroke race bike for the road, something the world had never seen, and also single-handedly ballooned the sales of cider in the West Midlands. The CB750 of 1969 was revolutionary in it’s electric start, front disc, transverse mounted inline-four, and single overhead cam among other things. Some of the most surprising attributes of the CB750 were it’s affordable price ($1469 USD in 1969) and the fact that it was actually dependable! The last real CB750 was released in 1978, as that was the end of the SOHC, dry-sump, bikes that were what made it so special when released. The bikes were relatively the same from ’69-78, but what makes the sandcast so special?
Speaking of Ferrari’s on a bike website isn’t the most popular move, but it’s going to be the easiest way to explain why the sandcast is the most expensive CB750. In 1975, at the Paris Motor Show, Ferrari released the iconic 308; the 308GTB wasn’t released to the buying public until 1977 however and the first 712 cars feature fiberglass bodywork. These ‘glass cars can easily be identified by the horizontal line at the top of the A-Pillar, which isn’t present on the steel bodied cars. The fiberglass bodied 308GTB is the lightest of the 308 line, features a dry-sump oil system, least amount of government regulation items (bumpers, emissions), and is carbureted as opposed to fuel-injected. Some of these features were carried on through the post ’77 cars but the most important feature of the first 712 is the fiberglass body. It has been widely speculated why these early cars feature fiberglass bodywork as opposed to the steel of the cars only a year later. The most widely accepted reason is that Scaglietti/Ferrari didn’t have the resources to immediately start production with the steel body tooling. These fiberglass 308’s are generally valued in the $40-55k range, or more, dependent on condition while other carbureted 308s tend to lie within the $25-35k range.
What does this all mean for the CB750 shown here? The sandcast CB750s were produced up to serial number 1007414, these bikes featured some identifiable features such as front fender, gas tank, chain guard, master cylinder, etc., and most importantly the sandcast engine. The sandcast engine has no performance benefits over the later die-cast blocks. Honda went with the sandcast motors early on simply because a cope & drag system is considerably cheaper and faster than fronting the money for a die-cast production line. The sandcast CB’s routinely sell for $10-20k more than a later (pre-’79) CB750 of the same condition. You don’t want to ask about RSC parts for a CB750…
I know, you’ve probably skipped the last few paragraphs and I’m fine with that; Here is the review of this particular CB for sale: This bike is in very good condition for being forty-two years old. This bike is supposedly original except for a missing side cover and having the top clap replaced at a Honda dealer in the 1980. The SN of the engine does not match the SN of the frame. I’m not versed well enough on sandcast CB750s to know if this is possibly the original engine or not. If it is not however, whomever found the engine did a lot of leg work as the engine is only thirty-three numbers from the frame. This bike is in very good, driver, condition and should be more than acceptable for a restorer or someone who wants to simply be the eccentric guy at bike nights who rides the “…sandcast ‘750!”. This CB750 appears to be early production based on it’s left mounted horn which is in line with the early SN. The mileage also appears to be consistent with the condition of the bike shown.
This bike is right for you if you have the money for a brand new CBR1000RR, but not the interest in one. Or, if you prefer appreciation to depreciation…See the bike on eBay . Learn more than you’ve ever wanted to at the Sandcast Only Owner’s Club here. Find NOS parts or get your sandcast bike restored here.