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Honda Cafe Racers

1974 Honda CB550 Four

  • 1974 Honda CB550 Four
  • 1974 Honda CB550 Four
  • 1974 Honda CB550 Four
  • 1974 Honda CB550 Four
Price : USD1,225 (Auction)
Date : May 11, 2019
Condition : Used
Year : 1974
Model : CB
Bike Type : Standard
Mileage : 20659
Engine Size : 544
VIN : CB5501009751
Shipping to : United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia
Location : Front Royal, Virginia, United States

Of all the UJM bikes of the ’70s, the CB550K series is easily one of the most attractive. I’ve been reticent to sell this simply because I enjoy looking at it. But, we need to make room for other projects and this bike deserves someone who will give it the love it deserves.

This CB550 has been well maintained and is quite original. I purchased it from a member of the SOHC4 Owners Club. It is, however, a 45 year old motorcycle and in some respects it shows its age. To my knowledge it has spent all of its life garaged except one year. As a result, the chrome is very bright with minor pitting, the paint is in good shape, the seat is original, etc. Even the factory paint marks are still there.
The Good:Very original with only minor reliability modifications (see below)Starts immediately… currentlyModerately low mileage @ 20kComes with original tool kit and owner’s manual (not pictured)Gorgeous stylingSeems to be original paintNew petcock and only surface rust in the tankNew battery (0 miles, but it’s been parked for about 6 months on a tender)New carb o-rings, floats, gaskets, etc.New carb isolatorsNew carb intake tubesNew air filterNew coils and wiresNew plugsRebuilt front brake caliperAll lights workThe weird beep noise for the turn signals still worksComes with a box of original parts that were replacedThe Modified:Electronic distribution system to replace points (original parts come with bike)Modern voltage regulator (huge improvement over stock)Float setting is lower than standard, most likely due to wear in the carbs (so don’t expect the stock 22mm value to work)The Not-So-Good:The steering bearings really should be cleaned and greased–you can definitely feel that the races are dryThe forks seem to be fine, but if you need to do the steering bearings then you might as well rebuild the forksRuns a little rich, might need to have the floats lowered a bitAnother symptom that the floats are high is that it will leak fuel from the overflow tubes if the bike is resting on the kick-stand with the petcock onWill need new tires and tubesSpokes are rustySurface rust on inner exhaust pipesCracking paint in the gaugesMissing the decals for the gas tankSide covers have cracked and been repaired with epoxy, one side cover in particular has a noticeable chunk of paint missingA few minor scratches in the gas tank paint down to the primerRun/Stop switch is fadedCurrently not registered (I’m not riding it), but could get a temp tag for test ridesHaven’t taken it in for a Virginia safety inspectionAll in all, this is a pretty fab bike that would make an excellent addition to a collection. Personally, I think the condition is good enough that it should not be turned into a cafe racer. It’s an original in good, unrestored shape but it would be a good contender to restore up to street show and maybe even show bike condition.

The Buy It Now price is set about $1,000 lower than comparable bikes are going for as far as I can tell. So, hopefully, that’s a pretty fair price.

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