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Lot 208: Honda C71 Dream

The Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show, Bonhams (20 October 2013)

Having started motorcycle production with a simple single-cylinder two-stroke, Honda soon switched to the four-stroke engine and in 1957 introduced its first twin-cylinder model of that type: the 247cc C70. With its slightly inclined cylinders, single overhead camshaft, gear primary drive and integral gearbox, it set the pattern for generations of twin-cylinder Hondas to come. This state-of-the-art engine went into a pressed-steel chassis, the frame, front fork and swinging arm being fabricated of this material, while there were full-width aluminium alloy hubs at both ends. The maximum power output of 18bhp was produced at 7,400rpm and the motor could be revved to 8,000, an unprecedented figure for a production motorcycle engine in the mid-1950s. In 1958 the design was updated with an electric starter, becoming the C71. The latter would turn out to be a huge success, helping to establish a presence for the Japanese company in North America. Possessing an unmistakable style all its own, the C71 Dream is now one of the most desirable of these early Japanese classics. One of the first 144 Hondas imported into Europe, this original Honda Dream is a particular fine example, currently displaying a total of only 10,408 kilometres (approximately 6,400 miles) on the odometer. Apart from a missing tank emblem, available from CMS, and a broken kick-start spring, it appears spot on and would grace any collection of classic motorcycles. It is not known whether the engine runs, but it does turn over smoothly without any ominous noises. There is no reason to believe that with a carburettor clean, a thorough service and a new battery that it would not start. The machine comes complete with copies of Dutch registration documents. No reserve.

Lot Details
Auction The Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show
Bonhams, Staffordshire, UK
Lot Number208
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£2900
Hammer Price (inc premium)£3335
Condition rating2
Registration number
Chassis numberC71-6025528
Engine numberC71E-960266
Engine capacity (cc)247
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors