As one of the leading motorcycle makers in the world, Honda has been revolutionizing the motorcycle industry for years. Recently, the company has been developing sleek, powerful, and incredibly fast motorcycles, but not even the latest models can undo the mark left by some of Honda’s vintage makes. These vintage Hondas have been acknowledged as some of the most iconic two-wheeled road masters that have ever graced our roads.
They set the foundation for most of the bikes we love today, and their demand continues growing over time. It is, then, only natural that we should take some time and reminisce over these masterpieces. Because, as they say, heroes get remembered, but legends never die. Here is a look at five vintage Honda motorcycles that we really love.
1973 Honda Elsinore MT 250
The Honda Elsinore MT 250 is one of Honda’s best motocross motorcycles of all time. Although it is not the first model of the Elsinore series, it is a better version of its predecessors, with excellent performance both on and off-road, making it ideal for all-round use.
The Honda Elsinore MT 250 was released in 1973, and its classic design is a great portrayal of the good old days. However, unlike most vintage motorcycles, it is lightweight for easy navigation in rough terrain, and is particularly designed for sporting. It features a moderate 250cc engine with just one cylinder. The engine pumps out a modest 28 horsepower and manages a top speed of 80 mph, which is not much if you are a speed devil but good enough when tearing through off-the-grid roads. The bike is generally easy to maintain, and its simple engine makes it relatively cost-effective. It is just as popular today as it was back in the 70s, so you should not have much trouble finding one for a fair price of around $900-$1,000.
1985 Honda Rebel
The Honda Rebel is small and light, but packs a lot of power and speed for a motorcycle of its size. This make was released in 1985, and is considered one of the best Honda vintage bikes today. It is still a common sight on the road, and never seems to lose its flare thanks to its classic look and hardy body and engine. The 1985 Honda Rebel weighs only 329lbs, making it easy to navigate even in rough terrain. It is powered by a 250cc v-twin engine with an output of about 18 horsepower, which is moderate by all standards but effective nonetheless. Its speed is just as restrained, achieving a top speed of 70 mph.
However, if your focus is not power or speed, the Honda Rebel will be sufficient for most of your needs and add a classic sensation to your riding sessions. Unfortunately, its small size makes the Honda Rebel unsuitable for tall riders or heavy riders. The market still has plenty of intact remnants of this classic make, and prices range anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500.
1984 Honda Sabre V65
As one of the few Japanese motorcycles that were labeled Tariff Busters, the Honda Sabre V65 is one of the most coveted vintage bikes of the 80s. It was released in 1984, and its production lasted only two years, subsequently boosting its already heavy demand. It has a compact and classic appearance unique to vintage motorcycles, and easily stands out from the rest. It is powered by a four-cylinder engine producing a power output of 76 horsepower and torque of 10,500 rpm. The 699cc engine propels the bike to a top speed of 121 mph, enough to put some decent modern bikes in its category to shame.
Today, the Honda Sabre V65 is considered the ideal vintage touring bike for rough terrains. The quandary is that it can be quite costly, as it was initially produced as a limited edition motorcycle. Prices vary from as low as$900 to as high as $2,500, depending on the bike’s condition.
1985 Honda GL 1200 Goldwing
The Honda GL 1200 Gold Wing stands out in almost every aspect. Its design alone tells it all. Featuring a golden hue and an elongated body, the bike is one of the most admired classic models of all time. Underneath the masculine body is a powerful engine that emits powerful bursts of vibration to make every riding session a sensational experience.
The four-cylinder, four-stroke engine has a power output of 94 horsepower and achieves a top speed of 118 mph. The fuel tank holds up to 22 liters of gas, making it ideal for long-distance rides. Coupled with an efficient liquid cooling system, the Honda GL 1200 Gold Wing is a true road warrior that has stood the test of time since its inception in 1985 to become one of the most popular Honda vintage motorcycles today. Although it is not exactly easy to come by, you can still find one in popular vintage motorcycle auctions.
Fortunately, its replacement parts are affordable and readily available, making it relatively easy to maintain. Prices vary from one shop to the next, and depending on the bike’s condition, but it can range anywhere between $2000 and $2500.
1969 Honda CB 750
The Honda CB 750 is not only the best Honda vintage bike, but the best vintage bike of all time. This motorcycle was so impressive at the time of its release that it was crowned the first ever superbike by motorcycle enthusiasts. It is easy to understand why the Honda CB 750 made such an impression when it was released in 1969. The bike pushed power and speed to the limit compared to other bikes back then, and it was categorized among the best sport bikes at the time.
It features a four-cylinder engine with an output of 68 horsepower and top speed of 125 mph, a feat that many brands would only wish for back then. Coupled with the masculine and compact look classic to vintage bikes of its time, the Honda CB 750 is everything a good vintage motorcycle should be. Thanks to its popularity, it is easy to get one of these road monsters and keep it in top shape. The bike is still popular today, and, unlike most other rare vintage bikes, its replacement parts are affordable and easy to come by.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker