Author Topic: UK CB500/4 K0 or not 🤔🤔🤔  (Read 208 times)

Offline Nurse Julie

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UK CB500/4 K0 or not 🤔🤔🤔
« on: February 03, 2020, 06:32:58 PM »
Just seen an old mag for sale on the Bay of Fleas with a road test of the 500/4. They were using a K0. The bike was 1st registered in UK February 1972, declared manufactured 1972 ( so it got from Japan bloody quickly). On the surface of it, it looks like a UK CB500/4 K0, which as many of us are aware was never officially sold by Honda in the UK. But, there is a bit of a giveaway as to its origin. Quite a few people have surmised that dealers were importing K0's from Europe to UK, through the back door as it where, as customers were desperate to get their hands on the 500/4 in UK but we had to wait for the K1 to be officially launched here.
Anyways, what I have noticed on this particular UK registeted K0 is that it has a European Direct style idiot light surround, FLASH, OIL, NEUT, BEAM. 🤔🤔🤔Where Grahams UK 500/4 K0 has (had, 'cos I sold it 😊😊😊) the UK K1 style idiot light surround fitted (Bottom photo) with NEUTRAL not NEUT . I'm thinking this could add weight to our assumption that there were very, very limited numbers of proper K0's sent over from Japan as press bikes and the rest were indeed dealer back door imports from mainland Europe.

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« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 06:54:23 PM by Nurse Julie »
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Offline Bryanj

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Re: UK CB500/4 K0 or not 🤔🤔🤔
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2020, 08:15:07 PM »
There had to have been some K0 in the UK in the 70's Julie as i was working for an independant dealer 76/77 ish and did an insurance job on a gold 500 with the "Honda Motor Co. Tokyo Japan" transfer below the side panel badge but none of the main Honda parts dealers(Fowlers, Bill Head, Bill Smith, and several London ones) could find it or a part number for it and I only found a part number in a Japanese parts book showing K0 only.

Offline SteveD CB500K0

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Re: UK CB500/4 K0 or not 🤔🤔🤔
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2020, 06:15:05 AM »
The SOHC “gang” (that’s us) wandered around DSS at his September bash looking at and comparing 500/4 idiot lights.

I’m not sure that we came to a conclusion though.


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Offline Oddjob

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Re: UK CB500/4 K0 or not 🤔🤔🤔
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2020, 12:03:14 PM »
When I was on my first course at Honda UK I meet a guy who was involved in the importing of all the early Honda machines from Japan, my interest at the time was only the 500 as I owned one of the first K1 bikes and I was interested in why the K0 was never imported. He told me that Honda UK imported 3 of the K0 bikes for press testing before the K1 was officially launched, there was a Gold, Black and Brown model imported but not the Green as the Green was not intended for the UK market so they felt that having a press bike in a colour that wouldn't be available wasn't a good idea.

One of the bikes was written off, he thought it was the brown version, the other 2 were sold when the K1 became available in numbers and after that the K1 version was used for press releases.

One of the sold K0 bikes went to a Honda UK employee, the other was sold through a main dealer in Chiswick I believe. The fate of both of these is unknown although the registration marks are known if you look at some of the press testing done at the time.

I got the impression that the brown one was written off really early and would only have been seen in very few ( if any) press reports, the black and the gold were the main ones seen, the gold being the favourite one to be taken by the press.
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