Honda had a lot of interesting bikes on offer in the late 80’s and early 90’s many of which have now gone on to become cult classics. The CB-1 was only sold in 1989 and 1990 but carried on for another year in Japan before Honda sidelined the bike in 1992 and replaced it with the CB400 Super Four which went on to be a way better seller for the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer.
The CB-1 was an interesting offering from Honda, sold alongside the Hawk 650 and GB500 as a smaller alternative to the 600’s and 1000’s that dominated the headlines of motorcycle magazines of the day. It still has a strong following today and most of them are still on the road thanks to thoughtful owners and the excellent build quality of Honda stuff from this era.
I have a had a few CB-1’s over the years and can tell you from personal experience that not only do they make a lot of sense as a fun around town type of bike, they are cheap to own, maintain and very easy to work on. In the real world about 55-60 horsepower is just right on the streets, and the CB-1 lets you actually use all that without risking some time in jail, its just quick enough to have some fun but best bit is the sound from its CBR400 derived inline 4 engine.
The engine is the highlight of the bike, completely uncovered by fairings, it looks as it good as it sounds, and it sounds great all the way up to its 13,500 RPM redline thanks in large part to its gear driven cams.
While the engine is great the rest of the bike is not bad either, very light, easy to ride and it handles very good, brakes can be a bit mushy but that can be improved on without too much time and money.
This 1990 looks to be like a very fair deal, reasonably low miles for its age, still in stock condition, nearly new tires and some maintenance history. You can probably buy it, ride it for a few years and then sell it for what you paid when and if you get bored of it, that’s a win in my book! [Editor’s Note: Hell, I think you could enjoy this for a couple of years and then sell it for more than $2,500!]
Find this 1990 Honda CB-1 for $2,500 in Oakland, California here on Craigslist.