Chris Rushton, CB750 owner
Owner of the two CB750 fours featured, Chris Rushton, 58, a retired engineering consultant from Nottinghamshire, is a stalwart of the ‘Sand Cast Only Club’ and an expert on the very early 750cc Hondas. He’s been riding bikes since 1976 and has a liking for Honda fours in general, ranging from a CB350 Four, a CB400F, a CB500 Four, ‘sand-cast’ 750 fours, and up to a CB1300 and VFR750. The Honda bug started after he decided to move up from his first bike, a Suzuki B120P. “I wanted a 400 Four but couldn’t afford one,” said Chris, “so settled on a 250 Honda twin because the local dealer was Honda. After a year I progressed to a 400 Four. I just kind of stuck with Hondas.” Chris bought his first Honda 750, a K2, in 1986. “I followed it up the next year with what we call a 750 ‘K0’, a die-cast CB750. That’s the one that is now in the Beaulieu Motor Museum, donated by its present owner. The K0 is a transitional model produced at the end of the CB750 and start of CB750K1 production, with K1 carbs and airbox. Then at the TT in 1987 I met Honda enthusiast Dave Ayesthorpe and he became a good friend. I guess his passion for Hondas reinforced my own.” Dave, who recently died, was the owner of a collection of Hondas, including one of the four rare pre-production CB750S. Pride of place in Chris’s collection is the blue ‘sandcast’ with the engine number 1005298 dating from August 1969 which he bought in 1990 with 22,000 miles on the clock. “A guy in Manchester
was importing Hondas from the US along with Kawasaki 900 fours. It was largely original but needed a full recommission. The seat was split and the side panels missing but it had four pipes on it – two of them are still on it – I found better ones than the originals – one had got a graze on it.” It had been running well until last year. “I stripped it last year with 133,000 miles because there was a considerable oil leak from the head gasket,” says Chris. “When I took the head off I spotted that there were a few pieces missing from the number 2 piston. When I looked further I found it was because one of the rings had escaped, but they were in the exhaust when you rattled it. “But it was running fine and wasn’t burning oil. So it’s had a plus-0.5mm rebore. The crank and the shells and the camshaft and the bearings are all the originals. All the consumable bits have been changed of course. It has got Avon tyres on because personally I like Avons. They suit most of the bikes I have. I am rigorous regarding servicing, as oil and time are a lot cheaper than engine rebuilds,” he says. “I replace the drive chain every time the rear tyre is changed.” To show the huge mileage the bike has covered, Chris modified the speedo’s odometer with an extra numeral, and it now shows 133,900 miles. Again, he has maintained the essence of its history, including the sticker on the front fork leg, a parking permit from the University of Southern California that expired on January 20, 1972. “I do far more miles on this than any of my other bikes, including the modern ones such as the VFR and CB1300,” says Chris. “Why? Apart from the fact that it is such a significant motorcycle within the overall story of motorcycling, for me it has character, is dependable, makes a great sound through those original ‘HM300’ exhausts (which are the same ones as fitted to it in 1990 when I bought it), handles and brakes reasonably well if you accept that it is 1970s technology. It still puts a smile on my face, even after all these miles,” adds Chris.