Late Pre-Production Machine as pictured in "Motorcycle Sport" April 1969 - Known as "The Brighton Bike."
CB750-2110/CB750E-2110 similar yet different to the Production models available for retail sale. Still used the steel upper brake line. Had side cover badges same as Late Production bikes. At least one was a dark green color as pictured in the January 1969, Las Vegas USA dealer convention (colour like later used on K1). Reportedly, there were 4 of these Late Pre-Production bikes sent to American Honda in Los Angeles in time for the January 1969 Las Vegas dealer convention and these bikes were ridden in the desert outside of Las Vegas. These bikes had the rectangular starter cover and crankcases like the Production models. Some of these Late Pre-Production bikes may have had a sandcast outer transmission cover. This Pre-Production transmission cover was completely different from both the Prototype models, but appears same as Production models. Had the 1 into 4 carb cable setup like Production bikes, the choke lever was some sort of a stamped steel part, not round stock like the Production models. Alternator covers on the Late pre-Production model, when looking down on the top of it or from the front, the round part housing the alternator (coils/magnet) had two different diameters, in other words the cover was not smooth from outside to inside of cover. The outer half of the cover was slightly smaller diameter and about half way into the cover the cover was raised or slightly larger diameter that mates to the crankcase it's self. Calipers were less finned than Production models. Note the flat type duck tail seat.
From Member Chris Rushton - "The late pre-production bike pictured on the site is actually the
gold one shown at Brighton, England in 1969. That very bike still exists here in England - in a
private collection for more than 20 years now. It can be identified by the slightly more pointed
than standard front indicator lens's fitted. Unfortunately, it was dismantled for restoration about
ten years ago, and has not yet been completed. It's frame and engine numbers are
CB750-2110 / CB750E-2110. The numbering system is certainly an interesting one. Based
on my own discussions and observations, I had come to the conclusion that the early pre-production
bikes were probably numbered in a sequence (four digits only) starting 1***, and the later type
pre-production type (as per the Gold "Brighton show" bike - and of the type seen at Las Vegas)
in a sequence (again four digits only) starting 2***. In summary, the pre-production bikes do
have their own unique numbering system, which predates the sytem (seven digit) of the
production bikes - the first true production spec bike would therfore of been #1000001. There
are actually some pictures in a Japanes magazine of engine number 1000005 / frame number 1000010,
certainly suggesting that very low serial number bikes were indeed sold. The 1102 serial number
referred to was quoted to me verbally by the owner some years ago - I have never been able to
see it myself (wrong continent!). The late pre-production bike cylinder and upper crankcase are
seperate, the top end oil feed passing up the outer rear stud cavities. The whereabouts of the
FOUR Late Pre-Production bikes has always been a bit of a mystery and indeed someone must
know of their ultimate fate. The Gold bike reached England and along with an Olive Green bike
was shown at Brighton. After Brighton, nothing more is known of the Olive Green bike.
The Gold bike went on to France, returned to the UK and was sold off. There was a Red bike
in Las Vegas. (I have photos of the Red bike and the Olive green bike at Las Vegas.)
What happened to the Red bike after Las Vegas is unknown. There would appear also to have
been a Blue-Green bike, from brochures of the time. In closing, although outwardly similar, there
is virtually nothing on the Early Pre-Production machines that is similar to Production models.
Every major component and most of the minor ones differ substantially in detail."
12/10/06 - Per Chris Rushton - Late Pre-Production Master Cylinder information.
"A UK CB750 enthusiast, Phil, with an exceptionally nice K0 came out of his local Honda dealer one
day early in 2006, to find an elderly guy admiring the K0. During the ensuing conversation the old guy remarked that while working
for Honda UK during 1969, he prepared for sale the very first CB750 sold in the UK. The bike in question was actually the Gold
pre-production bike which had been on display at various "launch" events, and then road tested by the UK press during 1969. Honda
UK sold it to the Earl of Denbigh during late 1969 (no production CB750's were available in the UK until early 1970) who requested
that they fit flat "European" handlebars prior to him taking delivery. It was found that with the flat bars that the master cylinder
reservoir would of been at an unacceptable angle and of course that the metal brake pipe would not fit, hence a production master
cylinder and pipe were sourced from Japan and fitted.
The old guy managed to keep the removed pre-production master cylinder and put it in his workshop where it languished for over
36 years. Following the encounter in early 2006, Phil kept in touch with the old guy and eventually was able to acquire the master
cylinder, which he subsequently allowed me to have. We are at present hopeful that the old guy (now 79 years young, and still
preparing racing Ducati engines!), will succeed in finding also the metal brake pipe which he say is somewhere in that workshop.
There is a hope that one day this unique piece of CB750 history can be re-united with that Gold pre-production bike, believed still to
exist, from which it was taken some 37 years ago."
Pre-Production Master Cylinder Internals
Interesting history, Chris Rushton, on Late Pre-Production model CB750-2110 - "The Brighton Bike"
The Earl of Denbigh, the first owner of the Gold bike was actually President of the UK motorcycle retailers association (or similar) back then, hence no doubt how he was able to buy the bike. I am almost certain he took delivery in September of 1969. The bike was ridden on The Isle of Man during June, whilst still fitted with the high bars, so it would appear that the odd replacement master cylinder was definitely fitted at a time when several thousand sandcasts had already been built.
The other "give-away" which I should immediately of picked up on is the registration number. CGU 7H is its UK license number (which it still has today - they are allocated for the life of the vehicle, and are rarely owner transferred.) The last letter represents the year during which the vehicle was UK registered. The registration year actually runs 01st August of one year through to 31st July of the next year, at which time they increment the letter suffix. Sorry to go on a bit. In actual fact, CGU 7H was issued on 4th September 1969, hence the picture showing it being ridden with the flat bars was taken after that date. The registration would have been allocated as a part of the "prepping" it for sale process during which the bars / master cylinder change occurred. When previously press tested (for example on the Isle of man during June of '69, it would have had a temporary "trade" licence plate fitted.
You may also note the rear light is an oval one, and the light bracket also differs - these were I believe CB450 twin parts fitted for reasons of compliance with UK "motor vehicle construction and use" regulations.