Jumping into the world of classic motorcycles can be daunting. For one, prices aren’t always conducive to a tight budget and maintenance, and upkeep can seem a little harrowing. But if you’re still dead set on getting a vintage bike, your best bet is a Honda. Take bikes like this 1981 CB750C — they’re loaded with timeless style and, even in good condition, they’re usually dirt cheap.
England and Italy dominated the motorcycle landscape right up until Honda brought the CB750 to market in the late ’60s. The CB750, referred to as the Universal Japanese Motorcycle (UJM), with its simplified, adaptable architecture, efficient design and engineering, turned the industry on its head. Honda was able to pump out thousands of CBs and for significantly less than its European rivals who scrambled to keep up, with some arguably even going out of business as a result.
The ubiquity of old Honda CBs is what makes them affordable classics in almost every aspect. Bikes like this CB750C aren’t rare, so they’re not even close to being collectible, and you’ll be tripping over replacement parts when you need them. Hondas are famously reliable, but, when you do need to take a wrench to one, their simple design makes most maintenance a sinch and with parts everywhere, you never need to look far or spend much.
For a bike approaching 40 years old with only 23,000 miles on the odometer, this CB750C is in incredibly good shape. It was just serviced and had the brake master cylinder replaced and the carbs rebuilt, but look at that as a couple of fewer expenses you have to think about anytime soon. The going price is hovering around $2,600 and with prices for other Hondas going for around the same, don’t expect the final bid to go much higher.