Rumor has it, Honda is planning to reintroduce the classic CB750, … rumor has it. That may be true and it makes perfect sense in light of the return of so many models from Triumph and Ducati. The CB750 was a ground breaking model that completely changed the motorcycle landscape. Triumph had their Bonneville, but in terms of overall market impact, the CB750 is in a completely different league.
The possibility of this return, with all of the appropriate changes necessary to meet current EPA regulations, means the bike will probably look just like the old one but it will not be the old one, it will be a new motorcycle in every meaningful way, which leads to another question, who is going to buy this bike? Do buyers really want a new bike that looks just like the old one or do they want the old one? There will always be the initial rush of buyers that think it’s cool, but pretty quickly, buyers looking for a new bike will look for a current model instead of remakes. Buyers that want a real CB750 will look for an early bike to fix up or possibly one that’s already restored, then they can feel the connection with the past. But what is the connection and appeal of a look alike? If Honda finds this remake isn’t selling they’ll shut down production and soon we’ll have an orphan bike on the market with no real history, no support and no parts. I have a better idea.
Why not remake the parts? There are thousands of old CB750s for sale all over the world, many have seen better days and if there is one hesitation on the part of buyers it’s the fear of buying a bike with a few missing or broken pieces, whether those pieces are critical or cosmetic, that would keep the bike from looking and running like new. If Honda reproduced genuine factory parts for old motorcycles, not all, maybe, but a few specific models like the CB750, there would be a stronger demand than there already is for these old rides, a huge number of buyers that would chase these bikes down, keeping values up for sellers, keeping bikes running for those that want to hold on to their old favorite, introduce a generation of younger riders to the older bikes and take away the hesitation in a buyer’s mind upon seeing those missing or broken parts. (Just think about the demand for genuine Honda CB750 crate engines!) Absolutely everyone wins.
If an owners club can reproduce all of the parts to rebuild the old Vincents from scratch, Honda could do this with little effort. No company wants to cannibalize their new bike sales but this would hardly do that, instead, it would keep a lot more Honda history on the road. If you have one of these you could pass it down to your son or daughter and they could ride the bike you enjoyed so much. The goodwill for Honda would be immense and might set a loyalty to the brand in the minds of younger riders leading them to their Honda dealer instead of some other brand. Unless of course, Kawasaki started making parts for their old Z1.
UPDATE: After a couple of comments about parts being available already, I looked a little closer and it’s true, you can get Honda CB750 Parts – OEM parts and accessories for Honda CB750 for most all models ever made. This is not from Honda itself but the selection is very good.