If you want to pick up a 1979 Bimota SB2, 1988 Honda RC30, 1985 Suzuki GSX-R750 or a 1969 Honda CB750 Sandcast for your collection, now’s your chance.
Mecum Auctions is offering a wide variety of desirable motorcycles at its annual Vintage and Antique Motorcycle Auction Jan. 22-27 at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Here’s a look at some of the machines being sold. For more information, go to www.mecum.com.
1979 Bimota SB2. This 750cc machine is one of only 140 ever built. It is part of the Motorcycle Collection of Stockholm bikes on sale at the auction. The 400-plus Motorcycle Collection of Stockholm was created by Christer R. Christensson, who has been collecting motorcycles for 50 years.
When the Bimota SB2 first came out in 1977, it was one of the most advanced superbikes on the scene. Mecum Auctions notes “the SB2 was the first street-legal Bimota, the company formed by Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri and Massimo Tamburini that had been building racing chassis since 1973 in Rimini, Italy.
The partners saw a huge opportunity to build contemporary motorcycle chassis for existing motors, as the standards of road-holding in the motorcycle industry (especially in Japan) were not keeping pace with engine design. Bimota’s first chassis housed a Honda 750 Four, the HB1, and worked around Suzuki and Kawasaki engines as well. The company‘s first prototype road motorcycle, the SB2, was shown at the Bologna Motor Show in 1976 with a tuned Suzuki GS750 DOHC motor enlarged to 850cc with Yoshimura racing parts, as well as an ultra-light chromoly trellis frame, weighing around 20 pounds, with an adjustable steering-head angle and monoshock rear suspension,” the auction house says.
The Suzuki engine was used as a stressed member and held at three points, and an eccentric swing arm cam adjusted the chain tension. With race-modified 35mm Ceriani front forks and a Corte & Cosso adjustable monoshock, it also had triple disc brakes and magnesium alloy wheels by Campagnolo,” Mecums says.
1988 Honda RC30. This 750cc Honda RC30 has 1 mile on the odometer from being pushed since it has never been started. The original sales invoice is from WG Bill Tillson Ltd. of Cleveland, Ohio.
This bike came standard with a quick-release front fork system and a single-sided swingarm for quick tire changes. The aluminum frame used two curved extrusions to wrap around the water-cooled engine, which was a V-4 DOHC design with four valves per cylinder. The camshafts were gear driven, the brakes were top-shelf with four-piston calipers, and the 6-speed gearbox had very close ratios. The engine pumped out 118 horsepower, enabling speeds of more than 150 mph. Price in 1988? $15,000.
1985 Suzuki GSX-R 750. This racer-replica production bike is from the Motorcycle Collection of Stockholm. Mecum Auctions notes: “It wasn’t a sheep in wolf’s clothing; it was the real deal, and it changed the sport bike game forever. It had more power and considerably less weight than any other 750, and it was packed with technology previously only seen on the track, and on factory team bikes at that.
The bike feature d oil-and-air cooling, an aluminum frame, 41mm forks, flat-slide carburetors, triple 300mm drilled disc brakes, 18-inch wheels and magnesium rocker covers. It weighed just 388 pounds dry, which was about 70 pounds lighter than its rivals. The engine produced 106 horsepower at 10,500 rpm, giving it a top speed of around 150-160 mph.
1969 Honda CB750 Sandcast. Another bike from the Motorcycle Collection of Stockholm, this bike has a Swedish title. It’s one of the very first models with sandcast crankcases.
Remarkable as it seems in retrospect, Honda was unsure what the reception for its across-the-frame four-cylinder machine would be and used a technique called permanent mold casting (often referred to as sandcasting, although this is technically inaccurate) for its first few hundred models before investing in molds for die-casting its crankcases,” Mecums says. “With more than 400,000 of the CB750 model sold between 1969 and 2003, the investment was certainly worthwhile. Those first ‘Sandcast’ models are considered the most collectible of all roadster CB750s, the precursors for the deluge that followed.
The bike was more than a rolling, 67-horsepower statement of technological pride from Japan’s largest manufacturer, though. It was also Honda’s first marketplace shot at the big-bore Brit bikes and Harleys. For the first time, and often for less money, you could run with ‘serious’ motorcycles while riding a Honda. The new model even won the Daytona in 1970, its first time out.
1976 Yamaha RD400. The RD, like the Suzuki GSX-R 750 of a decade later, attracted performance-hungry riders. The Rd400 featured a short wheelbase, light weight, simple 398cc twin-cylinder two-stroke engine and disc brakes. Many aftermarket parts were available, from clip-on handlebars to rearsets to café racer seats and bodywork to bigger pistons.
1975 Kawasaki Z1 900. One of the original Superbikes, the Z1 boasts a 903cc, air-cooled dual-overhead-cam engine, no-nonsense styling, a claimed 82 horsepower at 8,500 rpm and a claimed top speed of 130 mph-plus. At a time when two-stroke street bikes were the quickest machines on the streets, the big four-stroke muscle bikes were taking over.