The Honda 550 Four, the successor to the CB500 Four, was produced between 1974 and 1978, an in-line 4-cylinder 8 Valve four-stroke with a single overhead camshaft, producing 50hp and being capable of a top speed of around 100 mph.
It sat just below the 750 four in Honda’s line up of sports motorcycles and was around 80 lbs lighter and, with its stiff steel cradle frame with twin down-tubes it was beautifully balanced with a low centre of gravity and thus, a lively and easy bike to ride.
Although the V5 shows a large number of owners, this particular UK supplied motorcycle has undergone a significant and thorough restoration over recent years. In 2006 the mileage was noted at 42,378 and it now shows 11,739, due to fitting a new clock it is believed during its major engine rebuild in 2012.
After its total engine and clutch rebuild in 2012, when it benefitted from having all the engine cases cleaned and polished it was used for a few years before going into dry storage for several years.
In 2019 it came out of storage and was treated to a further restoration, which included many new parts and a full strip down. The wiring loom was replaced, new ‘repro’ exhausts and flanges were fitted along with a new seat, the carbs were stripped, cleaned and rebuilt, most cables and rubber footrests and grips etc were replaced and a new set of indicators and rear light were fitted along with new mudguards. The brake lines were also replaced, and new pads and shoes fitted front and rear.
The tank was blasted and re-lined before being treated to a full professional respray along with the side panels, in period Honda colours of Flake Sunrise Orange and Black, with new badges fitted.
Having brought the bike up to a very acceptable and presentable standard it was then stored away until being purchased around 18 months ago by the present owner, who has kept it in the condition you can witness in the photographs.
The V5 is present and correct and the bike was declared SORN on the 30th March 2021.
The current MOT is valid until December of this year.
There are many receipts for spare parts and works done over the various years and restorations together with a Haynes workshop manual.
Overall, this CB550k is in lovely condition and certainly looks like it’s ready to be ridden and enjoyed by a new owner.
If you study the photographs you will find a few imperfections here and there…namely the clutch lever and left hand crankcase cover have a few scuffs and scratches, there are several nuts and bolts that are showing signs of rusting, the jubilee clips on the fuel/air intakes need a clean and the wheels are just beginning to pit slightly in places.
These are all just really signs of age and authenticity that give the whole motorcycle a patina of gentle aging and history that befit a 70’s Classic Honda motorcycle.
There are a few chips of paint missing from one of the side panels that can easily be left or touched up, and signs of gentle use and wear here and there but nothing leaps out at you.
The motorcycle has been recently recommissioned having again sat in dry storage for the previous 18 months with oil and filters changed, and chain and lubrication maintenance. The carbs were stripped, cleaned and rebuilt but do still need properly setting up and balancing.
The bike starts easily by using either the kick or electric start, and settles nicely to idle.
Brakes and tyres are all pretty much new so other than the need to have the carbs set up the bike probably just needs to be ridden.
Always a favourite with motorcycle enthusiasts and bikers everywhere, the CB Hondas from the 70’s are just about as classic a motorcycle as they come.
Hugely successful and desirable, the big single overhead 8 valve 4-cylinder Honda 4-stroke engines had a well-earned reputation for reliability and easy maintenance.
The agile and nimble CB550 made full use of the engine making this a great mid-sized sports motorcycle with Honda heritage and performance.
So, classic CB Honda from the 70’s, nice condition with hardly anything to do. This could be a perfect chance to own a superb bike for sheer riding pleasure, or a classic that you store away and is likely to retain a healthy value for years to come.
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