The Honda 750 four is rightly considered a classic with values increasing in recent years. The 1969 bikes, referred to as K0, are often seen as the rarest and most valuable. Among those the first 7,414 examples, with rough finished “sandcast” engine cases, are even rarer and more treasured. Clymer spotted this immaculately restored CB750 KO “sandcast” on display at the 2013 Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts vintage motorcycle rally.
In 1968, when Honda greenlit production of the world changing SOHC CB750, there was still a little hesitation before jumping into the market with both feet. Before investing in the more expensive production molds for high volume casting, Honda ran off a series of engine cases and other parts by gravity casting them with permanent mold dies. The first 1,000 bikes were meticulously assembled and tested in California before being sent out to dealers, and likely less than 10,000 copies of those early parts were made.
Of course, we all now know what a huge hit this bike was, selling hundreds of thousands between 1969 and 1978, before the major redesign and the introduction of the DOHC CB750. You can read much more about the Honda CB750 on Wikipedia.
Clymer Girl and the crew didn’t have to go far to attend the HoAME show and rally, as it was just up the road at the Kansas City Airline History Museum in the Downtown Airport. The show was packed with classic vintage and antique motorcycles including British, German, Japanese, Italian, and American makes, all on display. Manufacturers represented include Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW, Harley Davidson, Vincent, Triumph, BSA, Norton, Brough Superior, Indian, Cushman, Vespa, Laverda, Puch, Lambretta, MV Augusta, Ducati, Matchless, Zundapp, Moto Guzzi, AJS and more. There were 100% perfect restorations, well worn bikes daily riders, full-on customs, cafe racers, choppers, bobbers, dirt bikes, road racers – any type or style of motorcycle you could image. Also on display were vintage propeller driven passenger planes, including a Douglas DC-3, a Martin 404, and right outside the hangar was a 1958 Lockheed Super Constellation.
Clymer’s original 1969-78 Honda CB750 SOHC manual is still one of our best selling books, even 45 years later.