Vintage Honda motorcycle manuals?
December 13, 2013 12:56 PM   Subscribe

Incredibly-specific-gift-filter: What is/where can I get the best manual for 1977 Honda CB750Fs?

My fella is about to embark on rebuilding some motorcycles that fell in his lap. It's going to be a long-range project for fun. There's going to be a steep learning curve for him, but he has some good people who can mentor him with it. I'd like to give him some tools—specifically, the OEM shop manuals. Problem is, I know nothing about motorcycles and I'm confused by all the options out there. Questions:

1) It looks like the manual I'm looking for is #6230010, which is usually listed as a 1970-77 CB750F/K shop manual. HOWEVER! I have seen some listings mention that the manual is actually for 1969-1974 with a supplemental section for 1975-1977, and occasional standalone listings for the supplemental section. Should I assume that unless mentioned, a 1970-1977 manual does indeed include 1977?

2) Looks like the options are finding an original shop manual in a binder or a reprint. There are reprints like these and reprints like these (that last one is for 750As, but the cover design is what I mean). Are these meaningfully different? Is one authorized and the other not, or something else like that? If you've used one of these reprinted manuals, are the tiny tech drawings and photos clear?

3) I have seen occasional caveats to reprints that the wiring diagrams are no longer available. What the whaaaa?

4) I'm thinking I should also get him the Common Service Manual, which is much more straightforward re: acquiring. Good idea or no?

5) Say I DID want to track down an original shop manual in a binder. Listings seem to be few and far between on eBay; is there another specifically motorcycle-related classifieds or auction site I should be looking at?

(I know you can download all these things for free and it's silly to pay a hundred dollars to have them in paper...but I really think the recipient would prefer paper books, and I REALLY think he would think an original shop manual would be the coolest thing ever.)

Or am I going about this all wrong and should get something else entirely? Thanks!
posted by peachfuzz to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you do get him one on paper, put it into sheet protectors. Means you can flip pages with greasy fingers without destroying the thing.

Also, general wisdom states that the Chilton/Haynes/Clymer manuals are way better than the Honda one.

Here's a thread from a moto forum that discusses the various options:
posted by mollymayhem at 1:11 PM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

This question would get a better response over at -- Also, they have manuals there.

I would just print out the shop manual. I would also pick up the Cymers, it's pretty crap for those old bikes, but it's good to have a second perspective.

Between the shop manual and Cymers he should be ok. I would also pick him up a JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) screwdriver, those screws looks like Phillips heads, but they are a little different, and when trying to get off old screws, it helps to get the best purchase possible.
posted by jonclegg at 5:13 PM on December 13, 2013

I'd have to agree with mollymayhem about the 3rd party manuals being better than the honda manual. I'm pretty sure I still have an old haynes for that model kicking around somewhere. Mefi mail me and I'll dig around for it if you want it.
posted by Makwa at 8:10 PM on December 13, 2013

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