Today’s mid-size motorcycles are sporting 800-900cc engines, but there was a time when the class was closer to 500cc. After Honda’s stunning success with the first-gen 750F, the next stop would be the smaller 500K in 1971. True to Honda fashion, this was a new design, not a shrunken 750. The finished product was a jewel to behold and a market success, often credited as…ahh…inspiration for the 1973 Benelli Sei six-cylinder sport bike. Some teething problems led to a 1974 redesign resulting in the bike you see here, the 550F.
This was the sporting model to the four-pipe K, with lower handlebars and a generally cleaner style. This bike is represented as original condition and has just the right amount of imperfections to qualify as a proud survivor. It wears period Lester mags in place of the original chrome steelies, and a gorgeous engine detailing in place of the usual clear coat peeling. This 550F was featured in VJMC’s magazine last Fall. It shows about 8000 miles and the maintenance is current. Find it here on ADVRider (registration required) for $3,950 in Rock Hill, SC. A solid investment, seems to me.
Today’s 600cc hypersports can trace their lineage to this model and should probably offer a little headlight nod in passing.