1973 Honda CB500 Four. A little beast of a classic.

Here is everything I know about this bike, the good and the bad.

First of all, this bike recently got $1600 of maintenance and safety improvements at the reputable vintage bike garage in San Diego (Kontiki Motorcycles). They’ve serviced my bike for the last several years. This includes a full carburetor clean, new tire, new gear shifter, new mirrors, full fluid maintenance, safety check, and many other things, too. (Please see receipt in last photo.)

I’ve owned this bike since 2010. The title is clean (no salvage), and I own it free and clear. It’s currently registered in State of California (always active, never put into non-operational status). I bought it from a cafe racer enthusiast, but he replaced only the handlebars and mirrors and kept everything else original. I’ve kept it in good shape as an everyday kind of bike, and overall I’d say it’s in excellent shape for something from this era. No major issues. Some minor ones listed below. Most of the parts are original, including plastic (candy ruby red) and gas tank and seat. Handlebar and mirrors and the ignition box are aftermarket. A few months ago, I had a full carb clean and other maintenance and safety improvements costing over $1500. The bike has excellent electrical — it was completely rewired about 7 or 8 years ago. No charging issues. Battery is 3 years old and is functioning OK, but might need replacement in another year (would benefit from trickle-charging, which is not an option for me where I live). Brake pads will need replacing at the same time — getting close to the metal there. Engine has good compression and is that good crotch-rocket loud. No oil leaks. Electric starter works well. Kick starter works, but I haven’t really used it in years. Bike does start easily from a push or from a little momentum from a hill. Bike always starts right up — just needs the normal warmup routine for cold-blooded bikes this old. Bike is road safe and ready to ride. Bike has good tires (one is brand new).

A few things to be aware of:

There has never been a speedometer or odometer on this thing, so the actual mileage is unknown. The title from 2010 does not have an odometer reading on it. Years ago, when I was riding it most days to work (I lived and worked in San Francisco), I was probably putting on 500-750 miles a year (for about 6 or 7 years). I rarely even took it on the highway, it was always just to get around town on side streets. In the last 6 or 7 years, I’ve ridden it even less, maybe 100 miles a year, if that. Because it has no odometer reading on the title and never declared for insurance, I believe you can buy a used odometer and declare that number if you want to. I’ve never felt the need to lie about the mileage myself because it’s so easy for anyone to change the odometer to a lower number if they don’t like what the current number says.

It’s been garaged the entire time I’ve owned it. The seat strap is frayed (although it’s still quite secure). Gas tank has a few dings and dents. Headlight works fine, but the black plastic is worn away on top (see photo). Would be cheap to replace it, I think. There is rust on the carburetor pipes and on the wheels. There is a seal in the fork suspension that is apparently torn. I replaced the ignition with aftermarket some years back, and so the key to the ignition is different from the key that opens the seat. There is a broken hinge on the seat, which I think would be cheap to fix. It doesn’t affect how the seat functions at all. There is only one ignition key in existence, so you might want to make a spare key. Ironically, a new ignition box might be cheaper and easier to install than making a new key.

I have a couple of videos showing me starting it up etcetera if you want to see them. I’m happy to answer any questions, please get in touch. I’m happy to work with you to accommodate shipping.

This bike would shine up well with a detailing. I just never bothered to do that myself — it’s always been an everyday kind of bike for me (though I don’t use it much anymore). Whether it’s shiny or not, it always turns heads and some people just stare at it slack-jawed. Definitely a cool, authentic little speed racer!

I am more than happy to work with you to get it shipped right. I’ve had some experience shipping this bike up and down the West Coast. I’m a good communicator and will definitely make sure this bike gets to you right. If you live in SoCal and can pick it up in person, even better.

Price: Auction

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Location: San Diego, California, United States