Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Ever seen this Cafe Racer - Honda GB500 Tourist Trophy?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Toecutter, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. I had a few minutes spare today so dropped into a shop, and saw one of these....



    It was a customers bike in for service so don't know it's value as I can't find any for sale.

    I think it's a great looking bike. I know there are a few lovers of Cafe Racer's here, so what do you think?

    Honda GB500

    By 1989 the British twin cylinder motorcycles were replaced by British triples and primarily by the Japanese bikes. Each year the Tourist Trophy race was held on the Isle of Man and Honda was determined to bring back the flavor of those British twins with a bike that had look of the Norton and Triumph racing bikes. Honda responded by launching its GB500 (commonly known as the tourist trophy) as a retro-bike with styling and components that recalled fond memories for many motorcyclists of the classic British cycles. The GB500 was a clever package, designed to appeal to a new market that no current motorcycle maker had tapped: the classic, collectible cycles and the older enthusiast. And while numerous British-cycle riders may have never given a second look at a Honda, the GB500 won many a heart.

    The GB500's nomenclature spelled out exactly what the cycle was designed to be: the GB stood for Great Britain, belying the bike's styling heritage; the 500 denoted the 500cc displacement, in itself a telltale, classic engine size. To top it of!', the black and gold paint scheme of the GB500's gas tank, side panels and rear seat cover immediately called to mind the Velocette and HRD-Vincent colors.

    The most important aspect of a motorcycle is of course the engine, and Honda got that right as well. The GB500 was powered by a simple engine with a single, near-vertical cylinder, which reminded riders of many a classic British "thumper," from Norton to BSA, AJS to Matchless. And even with current noise and exhaust emissions regulations, the GB500's engine emitted a deep-throated howl that echoed back to the past.

    The GB500 had no fairing or 16-inch wheels seen on Japanese sportbikes. Instead the wheels were wire-spoked. The forks had gaiters. The handlebars were clip-ons. The fuel tank was blocky. A tail fairing was placed behind the one person saddle. The engine was a 500 cc vertical single with a two-into-one header. However the single front disc brake belied the retro look.

    The GB500 was likely too early for the retro craze of the 21st century.

    Few more pics here http://www.cyclechaos.com/wiki/Honda_GB500
  2. Yep, they're a damn nice looking bike. All it needs is a polished alloy tank and it'd be perfect
    If anyone's interested I know this place usually brings them in as grey imports from time to time - in fact they've already got one on the way but looks like someones already put a deposit down on it.
    Edit: They do have a 400cc version for sale though for 4 grand.
  3. I tried to get one a couple of years ago. I actually put down a deposit with an importer.

    No luck. The 400 is much easier to get, but I believe it's an od engine not being related to any of the traily donks. Also they are not really cheap enough to bring one in to just swap an xr600 engine into.

    Still maybe you could get a 400 imported (if you still can under the new laws), ride it until the engine is cactus then put in the xr600 engine you have found in the meantime.
  4. ProCycles St Peters....
  5. You can import anything you want that's pre-1986 without any problems.
    Edit: That should be pre-1989.
  6. Interesting....good topic for a new thread.
  7. Had they had this bike 3 months ago or I had known about them having it when I was shopping for another bike I may not have bought the MuZ.
  8. Except that:

    On another note, I don't mind the look of the Honda CB400 for sale on the importmc website here.
  9. They are a nice looking bike, there's even a version that had a VTEC engine (though debatable whether that's a good thing or bad thing). Prefer the Yamaha XJR400 myself though (not that they have one for sale).