120 Miles – 1989 Honda GB500

In Cafe Racer, Japan by Abhi3 Comments

Share Button

Post-Sale Update: The featured Honda GB500 sold for $11,500.01 after 9 bids on eBay. The other Honda GB500 noted at the bottom of this article sold for $5,000 after just 3 bids on eBay.

In the late 80s, Honda took a risk and gave the world a beautiful motorcycle inspired by 60s thumper racers of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy race – bikes like the Manx Norton and AJS 7R. Originally created as a 400cc bike in Japan, the bike got a bump in displacement to 500 cubic centimeters, and was then exported as the Honda GB500 across the world. The United States only got this beauty for 2 years, as sales were poor. Now, it’s a modern classic, and a personal favorite of mine.

1989 Honda GB500 - Right Side

Why were sales poor? First of all, Honda was a decade ahead of the times when it came to the release of factory cafe racers. American consumers weren’t ready for it, especially for a bike that looked British coming from the land of the rising sun. Secondly, US buyers were more interested in high horsepower sports bikes, and a relatively expensive standard that couldn’t keep up in the straightaways wasn’t going to be able to keep up in sales figures, either. The engine was a sleeved-down unit from the XL600 dual-sport, while the aesthetics were focused around clip-on handlebars, a solo seat with a seat hump, and the lovely pin-stripes.

1989 Honda GB500 - Gauges

This specific Honda GB500 might be the nicest one I’ve ever seen (which probably means it’s also going to be the most expensive). With just 120 miles on the odometer, the seller claims it’s basically showroom new. The photos don’t give me a reason to doubt him.

1989 Honda GB500 - Left Side

These bikes are truly collectible, and appreciation for them is only rising. But beware!  If you’re taller than 6′, you may have trouble with this one.  Find this Honda GB500 for sale in Birmingham, Alabama with bidding up to $10,390

1989 Honda GB500 - Right Rear

If you’ve wanted a GB500 but don’t want to pay a premium for something so pristine, there’s another example with a few minor flaws (the biggest of which is a dent in the tank) which will probably end up between $5-6k. 3-1 Update: It sold for $5,000. Find it Fayetteville, Arkansas with bidding up to $4,500

Share Button