Saturday, September 8, 2007

Carpy on the history of the Seeley 750.

Carpy's 78 Seeley 750 Honda

Carpy of 750 Cafe writes of the Seeley history:

"Between 1975 and 1978 The English company Colin Seeley International was
responsible for 300 neatly crafted SEELEY HONDA'S with CB750 engines
and other running gear. The majority of the Seeleys were supplied as chassis kits,
to which engines were added. But a number were commisioned asComplete Motorcycles, using brand new Honda's as Donor bikes.

Former Sidecar GP racer Colin Seeley had founded his own marque in the
1960's to build road racers around single-cylinder OHC 350cc AJS and 500cc
Matchless engines, to which he had aquired manufacturing rights. After the British Single cylinder machines became outpaced by the New japanese two-strokes, Seeley decided to embark on a CB750-based project in the winter of 1974-75.

He purchased a K2 which was brand new and set about re-working it with the
aim of creating a top-quality road-legal motorcycle that was better looking
and easier to work on than the standard CB750.

A tailor made frame was designed, to be made by Seeley's welder Jack Wren,
in the same light guage reynolds 531 tubing as the Seeley racers. Of duplex cradle layout, it was well braced at the steering head, which contained taper roller bearings and was set at 28 degree's. The rear swingarm featured the simple and precise chaine tensioning system
devised by Seeley racers and substantial sheet-metal gusseting supported its pivots.

The earliest of the series of these cafe racer motorcycles retained many
original Honda parts and components, including the instruments, front forks,
brakes, exhaust system and sometimes even the seat. However, Seeley subsequently produced racer-style single and dual seats to match his handsome 20 and 25 litre aluminium petrol tanks, and used various proprietary parts. Kits were added to covert F1 and F2 models, as well as the K series of Honda's.

Cast alloy wheels were sourced from Campbray in the UK and later from the US
company Lester, when Seeley became it's UK agent. Other American components used on some machines were Hunt plasma-coated aluminium brake discs, Jardine exhaust systems and S&W rear suspension units.

Seeley also devised his own four-into-two exhaust system and his frames were
usually finished with nickel-plate, although an F2 powered limited edition sported an unusual but eye catching White enamel frame.

Some of the Seeley Hondas sold as complete bikes, and had US US-sourced
big-bore kits giving capabilities of 810 and 1,000cc.

Although some UK dealers, Including Read-Titan, were distibutors for the
costly Seeley honda, most examples were exported to a total of 12 countires.
For the German market, where a significant number of kits and machines were
sold, the necessary TUV approval was obtained.
Seeley also negotiated imports to Spain, despite the countries embargo on
fully Japanese motorcycles.

Like Seeleys Racing machines, the re-framed Hondas were well noted for their
superlative roadholding, elegance and exclusivity."


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