1990 Honda GB500 TT

Honda GB500TT

When the GB500 first came out, I thought about buying one, but passed on the opportunity, only to see them discontinued almost as quickly as they appeared in the Honda line up. I just spotted this one on eBay looking brand new and, with only 28 miles, it practically is.

They're favorites among those who own them and if you ever thought you might like to add one to your collection or even if you just wanted one to ride every day, you would be hard pressed to find one in nicer condition. Just thought it was worth pointing out for those who might say later, "Wow, if I had only known." Well, now you know.

Link: GB500 on eBay Listing has ended.

Comments

  1. BoxerFanatic says

    Hawk GT, CB1, and GB500 were Honda’s try at building interesting niche bikes.

    it burned them on the deal, and we’ve not seen much for unique hondas since. Superhawk languished too long, 599/919 were overprices, and otherwise it seems to be all cruisers, Goldwings, Supersport I4s, and dirt bikes.

    I am going to miss the Hawk GT I sold out of financial necessity. Hopefully other brands continue to build interesting motorcycles, rather than the standard fare.

    • Pat W says

      I picked up a used GB to use as a donor to put a flat track tt bike on the street. The GB was so much fun to ride I left it alone and just rode the snot out of it.
      The CB-1 had quite a price tag on it back then. I picked up a left over for $1000 off. The suspension was set up for someone under 100 lbs. Thanks for putting in those flat cams and costing us all that hp. I wish Honda would have brought in one of the 400 V 4’s.
      I picked up a used Hawk GT. Great bike but the forks were under dampened and under sprung. It was nice of Suzuki to update the Hawk and keep the 650 v twin’s alive. Where the F are you honda? All the great bikes that you had – CBR250RRR – NC30 NC45 and you never brought them to the states.
      Thanks so much for giving us the DN-01 , VFR1200 and the fury. LMFAO.

    • Vefferic says

      Well, Honda later brought the X11 (naked CBR1100R) and VRX Roadster in the steet category and X4 (custom CB1300) all unique at their time, as well as the DN-01.

      On the subject, I do own a ’89 GB500 (TT actually was only used in print with the ’85 Jap/Kiwi maroon GB500 TT, not with the later US ones) since 2002 and can only recommend it for reasons already mentioned. Main drawbacks are lack of power (a 600cc bore, open exhaust and flatslide will remedy) and the kind of power does not match the look, it’s revvish, not thumperish (a 650cc transplant will remedy).

      Luckily, most owners seem to have kept them well, so still today there are nice finds out there, even here in the EU where prolly 1,100 – 1,200 of the app 5,000 pcs made for the US ended up those days and later.

      More info and owners to be found in Yahooo’s GB500 Group and on http://www.xbr.de in the Phorum (German speaking, but English messages are welcome).

  2. Bob Nedoma says

    Interesting one, …….. indeed.!
    I AM making an offer, subject to being able to bring the bike to, and register it in Canada (not all that simple). And if I end up owning it, I will ride the bike – a lot.
    A beauty like this one must not sit in a museum collecting dust.
    At $8,500 “buy-it-now” price, I know a DEAL! when I see one.
    The only thing that keeps me from hitting the [buy-it-now] button TONIGHT is the confusion about bringing the beast in to Canada, B.C., getting (vintage ride) insurance for it (and taking it back to U.S.A. for visits only occasionaly). Checking into it now, hoping to sort this out soon, truly yours….. Thanks for the link Paul.

  3. todd says

    Still my favorite bike even though I’ve owned plenty of others with more power or whatever.

    I currently have the engine out of mine, the head started leaking oil all over. Now it’s in the middle of a transplant from my XR650L… I’ll try to refrain from adding a flatslide carb, it already had enough power for what it was. Thanks for helping keep the value up.

    -todd

  4. B50 Jim says

    When the Japanese set about to build an English bike they do a great job — witness Yamaha’s XS 650, which was the best Meridan Triumph ever built. But American riders seem to have a mental block against 500 singles, and the manufacturers haven’t found a way to overcome it. A 650 single like the Savage sells reasonably well, but in “Bigger is Better” America, 500 is a bit too small to convince most riders it’s sufficient engine to get them down the highway. I don’t know why — most of today’s riders have never seen, much less ridden, an old English thumper, so they can’t have bad memories of eye-rattling vibration, oil leaks and underpowered yet self-destriucting engines. The Japanese 500 thumpers have none of that. I think it’s just a case of “too small” in potential owners’ minds.

  5. Tin Man 2 says

    I recently got a great deal on a 06 Buell Blast (500 single) and I just love the drivetrain. Just the reverse of Vefferics observation, the Blast engine is a Thumper in a Sporty style bike. Great little engine but just does not match the bike. Buell would of sold alot more Blasts if they would have copied an old English bike like Honda did.

  6. Randy says

    I sometimes think people who love the XS650… never owned one. Or if they did they never owned a sorted Bonneville or Tiger, I have owned both, and in comparison to the 1978 Bonneville I owned the XS650 was bland, underpowered, handled mediocre, was heavy, and shook worse if that’s possible. Oh, and it was kind of ugly in the way only the Japanese could pull off.

    So far I’ve owned a SRX600, XL500, XL600, DR650, two F650 Dakars, and three different SR500’s, Right now I’m looking for a clean XT500. I’ve ridden an Ascot 500 single (slow slow slow), and a friend has a Victor 441 (fun, but scary – right shift and no brakes). So, I think I have a perspective on big singles. The most fun and interesting of the lot above, besides the 441, were the SR500’s (not the SXR600, another pretend owner “best”). The unbalanced SR500 shakes like Richter 7 earthquake. Luckily it runs out of power about 65mph, when the shaking starts getting bad. The nice thing about the SR500 was it was a dirtbike (XT500) in street clothes, so it was a wonderful slider and tough crasher.

    But in the end, these bikes are slow. Even the BMW F650 are slow as any modern minivan full of fat adults can give you a run for your money. I’m as one percenter as the next singles guy but it’s obvious to me why big street singles don’t make it in the market place. Out on the highways and freeways these bikes are maxxed out just keeping up with traffic. Sure, the one percenters have fun with them, even stock they do, but that doesn’t work for the other 99 percent.

    I’ve never ridden a GB500. I did ride to the tip of Baja with a group of, of all things, Nortons owners, with a few miscellaneous bikes thrown in. My Multistrada, a Guzzi, a Thruxton, a Roadking, and a GB500. The GB500, on the long sections, we were always waiting for it.

    • todd says

      This is all pretty much mis-information. I’ve ridden both my brother-in-law’s T140 Bonneville (a rare running moment) and a Friend’s XS650. Though I rode them nearly a year apart they were practically identical – except the Yamaha gave more opportunities to ride it.

      The singles I’ve owned (or still own) are a GB500, XR250, XL350, XR650L, B50MX, B50T, KLX300R, and multiple CT90’s… I’ve ridden an SR500, XT500, SRX250, SRX400, KLR650, Gilera 106, TTR250, F650, R27, Duke, Blast, MZ Skorpion, B33, XR200, XR600, CB125, XR75, DRZ400S, XR650R… With putting over 50,000 miles on the GB500 alone I feel compelled to refute your argument.

      A GB500 is slow for a bike but does 0-60 in 5.1 seconds and will top out at 103ish mph, 1/4 mile in 14.37 @ 89.7mph. The F650 is 30% more powerful than the GB. I don’t know what minivan you are talking about but a Dodge Caravan SE (driver only, no passengers) does 0-60 in 11.5 seconds and the 1/4 mile in 18.2. I’ve had the SR500 over 65 without TOO much vibration but it still had a bit of power left. I’ve been on runs where I was able to pull over and wait for the guy on the CBR F3 and Ninja 636 to catch up. I’ve taken my XL350 (cafe racer) up past 85 and climbing except I could no longer keep my eyes from vibrating. The GB, KLR, Duke, and F650 were very smooth at speed for being a single.

      Please keep your facts straight.

      -todd

  7. B50 Jim says

    I rode a ’75 XS650 for 11 years and never had a bad day with it. Yes, it wasn’t the most powerful 650 available, but it made that power over a wide range of speeds and rarely lacked for the necessary ponies. It did vibrate but not to excess — but al I had for comparison was my B50. Compared to a 650 4-cylinder it was a paint mixer, but I never ended a day’s ride with numb fingers — and I could ride it all day. I did install a Corbin-Gentry double-bucket seat, which made all -day rides possible; the stock seat was deplorable. it handled well enough after I replaced the stock Yokahamas with Dunlop K70s, in fact it surprised me the few times I had to pull an emergency turn; it planted solidly and tracked through at speeds and cornering angles that I was sure would end in a crash, but it simply stood back up and continued on. I replaced the stock shocks with air shocks, and drilled & taped the fork caps for air fittings so I could add some spring to the front. This all falls under the heading of “sorting” — and I’m sure a well-sorted Bonnie or Tiger would do as well — but I doubt they would run trouble-free for year after year with only normal maintenance the way an XS could.

    I still ride my B50, which is the successor to the 441, and it continues the tradition of massive vibration, lack of power and right-hand shift (where God intended it) — oh, and tons of fun to ride. It never was intended for highway use but will run down the road if it has to — just not too far before parts fall off. Its brakes are adequate, and it’s a light, nimble bike that I can toss around with the best of them.

    I’m currently working on a ’71 BSA Thunderbolt — the single-carb version of the popular 650 — and I’ll be able to compare it to the XS650 from memory. I still doubt that it will be nearly as reliable as the Yamaha, but I’m sure it will be more fun. And it is a handsome roadster.

  8. 'flyer says

    I’ve never been a huge fan of Honda since I last owned one in ’80, but the GB is one I would love to have handy. If I only wasn’t addicted to Rosso Italiano in golden boxes…

  9. Randy says

    It’s all viewpoints boys – Tood, you can’t refute my statements with “fact” or numbers. Just your that your viewpoint is different than mine. I only expressed my view based on my experience to help make the point why big street singles FAILED in the MARKET PLACE.

    I spent 30 minutes in Panamint Valley trying to shake an old dodge minivan at 85mph, which is about as fast as I was willing to flog my Dakar. I finally let the thing go by – stuff with adults and with squashed rear tires, crazy.

    Once again, I said sorted – yes, all English bikes can fall into disrepair. My Bonneville was sorted – I commuted on it every working day for 3 years and 25,000 miles from brand new. I worked on that bike every weekend – sync the carbs, chain,etc. I changed points every oil change. I learned how to make that bike reliable. Compared to the XS650 it was 40 pounds lighter, had at least 15 more HP, handled wonderfully, and was gorgeous.

    I owned all the bikes I listed above and liked or loved each one. I’ve owned many more, most with far more power and highway capability, my views are my views.

  10. David Duarte says

    I’ve never had or ridden the GB500. They are cool, and I’d love to have one, but for $10,000? I could buy a brand new Royal Enfield and ride away with $4000 or so still in my pocket.