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Egli-Honda and Seeley-Honda

Who survives whom here?

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In the mid-1970s, Colin Seeley and Fritz W. Egli‘s motorcycles were Damn well ahead. Two friends have enjoyed this lead for more than 500,000 kilometers.

Egli-Honda and Seeley-Honda

E.t was never planned to keep these machines for more than three decades. But there was never a reason to part with it. Half a life has passed. Lots and lots of sport excursions to the Sauerland or the Eifel, winding alpine holidays, sloping excursions on the Nurburgring – nowhere and never did Egli or Seeley behave like scrap iron. And now their graying owners are wondering who will one day give whom here the bread of grace.

Well, there is no hurry to answer, but Claus Stickann cannot imagine sticking his almost 60-year-old motorcyclist heart to anything other than his Seeley Honda. And although the seven years younger
Thomas Mohr has long confronted his old love with a provocative rival, he thinks similarly: The RC 30 is more likely to come out of the house than his Egli-CB 750, which he bought in 1979.

He used to unwind around 30,000 kilometers a year. Thomas does not know more details, only uniformed friends reminded him ten years after the purchase and on the occasion of a narrowly passed noise measurement that every motorcycle must have a speedometer. Thomas found a Krober tachometer perfectly adequate, and true to his credo that an Egli must be uncompromising when it comes to brakes, engine, chassis and weight, he doesn’t impose more than necessary on his. More a speedometer.

Foam rubber seat and the lack of a starter make it clear that there are no extra sausages for the driver. The CB electrical system is fed by a minimal alternator, a touch of aluminum covers it, where all the other Honda sohc fours hold this huge pot in the world. 191 kilos. Full tank. 97 (measured, but more on that later) horsepower work on this. Makes 1.96 kilograms per horsepower – today’s 600s don’t have it much lighter either.


The Seeley carries a little more weight with it. On closer inspection, however, there could be a smart budget behind this upgrade orgy: While the friends needed a new motorcycle every few years to postpone their performance peak, Claus was constantly tuning his Seeley. The bottom line was that it was cheaper and – in a similar way in good marriages – it led to a deeper bond. The Seeley gets what it could improve and adorn at almost any price, period. Recently, Claus gave her self-measured titanium screws, and overall they are enveloped in an aura that even the TÜV inspector gives in to: He understands that only the owner can appreciate such a complete work, i.e. drive it. That’s why he watches as Claus brakes.

But not only examiners have to crack the magic of these two pairings. Claus and Thomas are really no bores, they drive a tight strip and are just as seldom as they are reluctant to show the rear tires of modern athletes. Regardless of the driving skills of their drivers, Egli and Seeley must have extraordinary potential. Or does someone want to claim that they can start pursuing country roads with ambitiously moving current 600s with a standard CB 750? I agree.

No, the two very different frame concepts just work really well, and in addition, small-series chassis of this type and age allow extensive conversions. Even with substantial changes to the chassis, the appraisers do not immediately dismiss it in horror. There has never been a standard Egli or Seeley. And Claus and Thomas never had to wait for the central Honda official for tire approvals either; they drive what suits them.
After all, both benefit from the enormous tuning potential of the early Japanese four-in-lines. Although Honda always knew from racing where the four-stroke engine hides its performance, the CB engine is drawn rather conservatively. They wanted to stay on the safe side and not overwhelm the drivers. Tuners had a lot of fun: larger valves, sharper camshafts, higher compression, more bore – the Honda quad can handle everything without losing its reliability. Of course you shouldn‘t overdo it here either. Claus had already installed a displacement of 811 instead of 736 cm³ in his series CB by means of a larger bore. This very robust engine then moved to the Seeley, which he was able to buy in 1979 with 100,000 kilometers. For 2000 marks!


Thomas didn’t really want a construction site. At the same time, such experiences weld together, and the friends were also allowed to blaspheme as they wanted: If everything went well, there were no more waves and grooves on the country road, the cock on the highway could remain fully excited. Then Thomas finally experienced the motorcycle that everyone had always dreamed of. Sometimes – and the Egli also taught this – such dreams grow into the sky. In any case, the promised durability of a 975 cm³ set never wanted to materialize. Installed four times, dismantled four times. Today the measure for both is 836 cm³. Then there are made heads and increased compression, of course. Tea oven-in-two-in-one exhaust system from Egli-Schule has turned out to be a deep source of healthy additional performance. The biggest kick, however, was provided by the Mikuni TMR 32 flat slide carburetors installed at Stephen Topham in Stemwede. Spontaneous, greedy, noble. Almost a must, and since tuning to Topham’s test bench, Thomas and Claus finally have reliable performance data.

A four made like this lasts 80,000 to 100,000 kilometers – hardly less than the series part. Every six or seven years, Claus picks up his well-stocked pool and builds a new engine. For this, Thomas uses the services of Michael Niemann, the German Egli importer. He’s in Iserlohn. And its Egli Honda clearly fulfills the act of seducing adults. His shop is no less: Anyone who visits Michael and after an hour still believes they don’t need Brembo monoblock pliers can be considered extremely solid. Thomas softened after Michael helped him erase the dramatic consequences of an overly accurate swallowtail inspection of the ring. Partial rebuilding.

Since then, his motorcycle has been equipped with an Egli fork and magnesium wheels; Thomas is a dental technician, so his job is for perfect craftsmanship and precious metals. At the same time, he likes the fact that neither one nor the other immediately catches the eye. He doesn’t want to show off the perch. And other Egli drivers do not interest him as an elitist group, but as a gas-crazy and technology-obsessed bunch.


History in racing

EGLI-Honda CB 750

Racing in a Vincent Black Shadow was only a partially good idea: the engine could easily be brought up to enormous power, the chassis wasn’t. But now the young Swiss Fritz W. Egli had received such a thing as a present and absolutely wanted to compete in mountain races with it. So he practically redesigned the Vincent’s backbone tube frame, replaced the square with a ten-centimeter round tube and otherwise only used straight tubes. The highly gifted designer won the championship with it – and, without knowing it, had created a great basis for business: Less than two years after the Egli-Vincent, the Honda CB 750 made its debut in 1969; it is known to be followed by a multitude of Japanese four-cylinders, mostly with chassis that support the Motors were not on par. As a result, Egli very quickly devoted himself to the Nippon Fours, his first CB 750 variant appeared in 1971 and was built around 400 times in total by 1984.

From 1973, however, the Egli-Kawasaki with the Z 900 engine claimed the leading role, especially since Godier / Genoud won the 1974 World Endurance Championship with the Kawa engine. Egli chassis with Honda dohc four-cylinder engines still achieved large numbers, the Egli Ducati achieved great fame, but in Bettwil in the canton of Aargau there were also chassis for Laverda two- and three-cylinder, Honda singles, BMW bricks or – in the The company’s early days – air-cooled Triumphs and a total of around 250 chassis for one or two-cylinder Vincent.


Seeley-Honda CB 750

Seeley-Honda CB 750

The Englishman Colin Seeley, who was born in 1936, made a name for himself as a Grand Prix driver: in 1964 and 1966 he finished third with a BMW team. After his sports career, he devoted himself to chassis construction, his chassis, initially designed as a closed double loop, then open at the bottom for classic English sports singles, was used by many privateers and competed on a broad front against the now rare factory racers. In 1970 Tommy Robb finished fourth overall in the 500 World Championship with a Seeley. Factory teams soon made use of his experience – Seeley built chassis for Ducati and Husqvarna. As a Yamsel, Yamaha two-stroke twins raced far forward in the Seeley chassis, but the most famous Seeley mesh enclosed a 500cc Suzuki twin. Barry Sheene started his world career with the and has always called it the handiest motorcycle of his entire career.

It was not until 1975 that Colin Seeley discovered the Honda CB 750 as a grateful object and, by the end of 1978, had manufactured exactly 302 copies or double-loop frame kits that were tailored to customer requirements. A few sports suspensions have been added. Instead of a single upper pull tube to the upper end of the steering head as with the standard frame, Seeley relied on two straight tubes. Therefore, he could not use the standard tank, customers had the choice between a 20 or 24 liter aluminum tank. The frame tubes leading to the lower end of the control head are very wide, unlike in the series, the tubes from the swing arm mounts to the upper parts are straight. The frame parts were hard-soldered, polished and nickel-plated, only a few specimens went to customers painted. Bronze bushings guide the swing arm, Seeley preferred to build his own creation with the typical wheel axle mounts that can also be found at Ducati. As a fork, there was also an in-house creation, visibly inspired by Norton’s Roadholder, or a Marzocchi with 38 mm stanchions.

Technical specifications


EGLI-Honda CB 750

Engine: Basis Honda CB 750, bore x stroke 65 x 63 mm (series: 61 x 63), displacement 836 cm³ (736), Arias forged piston, compression 10.5: 1 (9.0: 1), power: 97 HP at 9500 / min (67 HP at 8000 / min), cylinder head with revised ducts and larger valves, Yoshimura camshaft Stage 1, Mikuni TMR 32 flat slide carburetor, four-in-two-in-one exhaust system from Egli-Schule, Replica of a CR 750 alternator

Chassis: central tube frame made of hard-soldered precision steel tubes, nickel-plated, Egli racing fork, Ø 38 mm, Egli swing arm made of oval tube, guided in tapered roller bearings, Koni spring struts.

Front brake: two floating 320 mm Brembo discs with Brembo four-piston racing calipers with individual pads, 19 mm radial hand pump from Brembo; Rear brake: 220 mm disc with two-piston Brembo calipers.

Wheels: Egli magnesium wheels, front 2.50 x 18, rear 4.00 x 18

Weight: 191 kg with a full tank

Year of construction: 1979

Current mileage: over 500,000


Seeley-Honda CB 750

Engine: Basis Honda CB 750, bore x stroke 65 x 63 mm (series: 61 x 63), displacement 836 cm³ (736), JE pistons, compression 10.25: 1 (9.0: 1), power: 95 HP at 8500 / min (67 HP at 8000 / min), cylinder head with revised ducts and larger valves, series camshaft, Mikuni TMR 32 flat slide carburetor, four-in-two-in-one exhaust system from Egli-Schule

Chassis: Double loop frame made of hard-soldered Reynolds 531 chrome-molybdenum tubes, Marzocchi sports fork, Ø 38 mm, with subsequently titanium-nitrite-coated immersion and standpipes as well as adjustable rebound damping, Kruger & Junginger eccentric swing arm made of light metal, guided in encapsulated needle bearings, stereo struts from Wilbers (custom-made).

Front brake: two floating 320 mm Brembo discs with Billett six-piston calipers with individual pads, 19 mm radial hand pump from Brembo; Rear brake: 200 mm disc with Brembo two-piston caliper.

Front wheel: Moto Guzzi hub with stainless steel spokes in Akront flat shoulder rim, 2.50 x 18. Rear wheel: Honda CB 750 F1 hub with stainless steel spokes in Akront flat shoulder rim, 4.25 x 18

Weight: 210 kg with a full tank

Year of construction: 1977

Current mileage: 591,000

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