Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Seeley Honda 750.

From Real

"Back in 1975 Colin Seeley transplanted Honda's 70bhp CB750 F2 engine into a British-built café-racer chassis. Seeley wanted to make a bike which was lighter, better handling and better looking than the standard CB. As a bonus, the Seeley machines were also easier to work on and offered a lower seat height than Honda's original. The kits cost £1295 in 1977, and suited the F1, F2 or K-series CB750s of the era. Despite the expense, it was an attractive proposition for sports riders of the day as Roland Brown explains;

'By 1977 Honda had reached the K7 model, and that bike's smoothness was still an asset for gentle use. But its suspension gave a hairy ride if pushed hard on bumpy roads. Compared with the like of Suzuki's twin-cam GS750 and even Kawasaki's popular Z650, the venerable CB showed its age.'

Although Honda Japan weren't too interested in tweaking their successful CB, the rash of British built specials which were based around the 750 gave Honda Britain pause for thought.

Dave Degen's Dresda workshop produced one of the first in 1972; a sleek, semi-faired café racer with twin discs which weighed 45kg less than the standard bike and which could see nearly 130mph.

Rickman too built a special chassis for the CB, using Reynolds tubing, while other firms set to work boring out the engine. Once Colin Seeley had showed how successful his CB special could be, Honda cracked and asked him to build a Phil Read replica in honour of their world champion.

However, those bikes were not significantly lighter or faster than the standard CBs… so for many purists the Seeley Honda is the One To Have.

1 comment:

Berry said...

I have a Seeley-Honda registered in February 1978. I bought it new. It requires restoration but I have been unable to verify its number (chassis 672F) or more details than are listed on the registration document.

It is a shame that the original registry is no longer active. I thought I'd added mine to the list some years ago but it does not appear so I have no idea of its number.

I am thinking of selling it for restoration but as Seeley-Hondas are now so rare I have no idea of its value.

Any help/interest would be welcome.