Latest Posts

Kawasaki July 29, 2016 posted by

Vivid Green Oddity: 1984 Kawasaki KR250 for Sale

1984 Kawasaki KR250 L Side Front

Well here's a real curiosity, another bike from the era of experimental engine configurations. Prior to the introduction of the KR-1 featured earlier this week, Kawasaki’s quarter-liter two-stroke sportbike reputation was upheld by this bike, the KR250. Although it’s powered by what is technically a parallel twin, the Kawasaki KR250’s engine is configured more like half of a square four. It’s basically a pair of singles, one behind the other, with separate cranks, and the design is referred to as a “tandem-twin” to differentiate it from more conventional parallel-twins.

1984 Kawasaki KR250 R Side

Although it complicates construction a bit, it likely helps the bike remain very narrow and improves packaging, as exhaust routing and expansion chambers no longer have to run underneath the engine as they do on most parallel-twin engines. In this case, they both exit on the right side of the bike: one down low, the other partly through the tailpiece in flamboyant 1980s style. The round taillamp set into the kicked-up tail and those bolt-on-overfender-styled hand-fairings are a nice touch. And that stepped seat appears to be a factory part!

1984 Kawasaki KR250 Dash

That unusual engine was backed by a six-speed gearbox and put out 45hp, good for 112mph when pushing the sub-300lb machine. Like other two-strokes of the period, it was lightweight, reasonably quick, and handled well. Later versions added the KVSS "Kawasaki Exhaust Valve Sycronization System" to help with the typically flat two-stroke midrange. They apparently could be difficult to get started, even when new, but are otherwise no more difficult to own than any other smoker of the period. The KR250 isn’t worth all that much in other markets but is extremely rare here in the US, which counts for a lot if you’re a fan of the weird.

1984 Kawasaki KR250 R Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Kawasaki KR250 for Sale

Very good running condition sharp response of 2-stroke engine is still well. Can shift all gears very smooth. Brakes are working fine. Electricals are all working. Has Kawasaki genuine fairings but repainted by previous owner. Has hairline cracks and chips on fairings, so look carefully all pictures and video. Fuel tank has some small dents. Used motorcycle with scratches and wear as this is 32 years old. Speedometer looks KAWASAKI genuine parts and shows 36,300km = about 22,600 miles, but actual mileage is unknown. Will needs new tires and fork seals.

The bike is just imported from Japan. Not registered yet in the U.S. This bike is sold without title, as is with NO warranty NO refunds NO return.

The seller also helpfully includes this short video of the bike sounding very fierce. This is another no-reserve auction and bidding is very active so far, but it apparently started at $0 and is creeping up by inches. Currently, it’s at around $1,200 with a couple days left. The seller mentions that the bike has been repainted by a previous owner and I can't vouch for the originality of that color scheme, but I think that red and green paint looks terrific. Like Christmas on two wheels, if Christmas was a heavy smoker with a nasal voice who just showed up in a shipping container from Japan.

1984 Kawasaki KR250 R Side Front

Parts will obviously be challenging, getting it worked on difficult, and this definitely won’t provide the performance of a modern sportbike, but I bet it’d be hard to find something that will generate more discussion at your local bike night short of a Bimota Tesi.

-tad

1984 Kawasaki KR250 L Side


No Responses Yet. Join the Discussion!
Kawasaki July 28, 2016 posted by

Rare Team Green Two-Stroke: 1988 Kawasaki KR-1 for Sale

1988 Kawasaki KR1 R Side Front

Well this one’s pretty exciting: the recent influx of two-stroke sportbikes has been notably lacking in Team Green Kawasakis like this KR-1, thought by some to be one of the best, or at least the craziest, of the breed. Considered by the press to be a significantly better performer than the RGV, the KR-1 was very fast, but flawed and somewhat fragile: reliability was pretty sub-par even compared to other highly-strung two-stroke whippets, and the bike was notoriously tank-slappy over uneven surfaces, something that affected road riders more than track users.

1988 Kawasaki KR1 L Side

Although it followed the very familiar “249cc, six-speed, liquid-cooled two cylinder” formula common to every bike in the class, that little motor was noticeably more oversquare than the Honda NSR250: bore and stroke of the parallel-twin were 56mm x 50.6mm and the bike put out a claimed 55hp which, in the KR-1, was good for a top speed of 131mph. The later KR-1S saw a slight bump in power and a max velocity of 139mph, making it the fastest 250 by a pretty wide margin, considering the virtually identical specs of the bikes in this class.

1988 Kawasaki KR1 Dash

The 271lb dry weight helped, of course, and the cassette-style 6-speed gearbox was an exotic piece of kit, if basically useless on the road. But on the track, the bike shined and it was very successful in British Supersport racing at the time.

Today's example looks very sharp, except for a few minor cosmetic imperfections like that discolored pillion seat and those possibly non-standard rear indicators. Many recently-imported two-stroke sportbikes are selling for very reasonable sums, but the seller is jumping right in with a $6,500 starting bid on this one.

1988 Kawasaki KR1 L Side Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Kawasaki KR-1 for Sale

Nice original KR-1 for sale.

Good for Collection or Track days.

Not recommend on street too fast! No title bill of sale only.

Bike runs well.

Will ship worldwide, export shipping papers available.

Ultimately, the KR-1 is missing some of the trickness found on the TZR and NSR. It doesn’t feature reverse-head wizardry and banana swingarms are also conspicuously absent, but these have that reputation for being unruly and wild, which made up for the more pedestrian components. And since two-strokes always require a bit more effort to run, the lack of reliability didn’t seem to negatively affect the bike’s image when new and doesn’t seem to affect it now.  The 18” rear wheel does limit tire choice somewhat, although manufacturers are starting to offer some grippy rubber in that size, owing to two-strokes’ popularity in vintage racing.

1988 Kawasaki KR1 Cockpit

The KR-1 lacked the later KR-1S’ nickel-plated cylinders, which might help when the time comes to source engine parts. It was also supposed to be a bit roomier than competition from Suzuki and Honda, something that might help it appeal to US riders, assuming they can get it titled. Just fit a steering damper and have at it. No seriously: you’ll be fine. I’m sure. Safe as houses.

More Kawasaki weirdness in the pipeline for tomorrow, so stay tuned!

-tad

1988 Kawasaki KR1 R Side


5 Responses. Join the Discussion!
Honda July 27, 2016 posted by

No Reserve Import: 1989 Honda NSR250 MC18 for Sale

1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 L Side Front

Styled to resemble the RS250RF race bikes, the Honda NSR250 used a gorgeous aluminum twin-spar frame, triple disc brakes, and a whole host of lightweight, mass-centralizing tricks you’d normally expect to find on bikes with a much larger displacement. The NSR250 was motivated by a liquid-cooled two-stroke v-twin with two carburetors and Honda’s ATAC “automatic torque amplification chamber” system that boosted midrange torque for road-riders. Bore and stroke of the 249cc machine was a slightly undersquare 54mm x 54.5mm and the bike was restricted to 45hp from the factory. Of course simple tuning could easily unleash another 10hp or so and turn the claimed 288 pound [dry] machine into a real rocket that required extensive use of the cassette-type six-speed gearbox.

1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 R Rear

This bike doesn’t feature the highly-coveted Rothmans design, but the silver, red, and grey colors suit the bike and still manage to look period-appropriate. Some race-replica paint schemes are positively lurid and that makes sense on the racetrack, where sponsors are paying for maximum visibility but, on the street, the more shocking graphics are a bit… Youth. Like a big ADIDAS logo on a fluorescent polo shirt or something. If you’re into the race-rep look, go find some aftermarket fairings and fit those for a budget and keep the originals for when you sell.

Full disclosure: I would totally rock a Marlboro-liveried TZR250.

1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 L Side

As is generally mentioned in the comments of these posts: some parts required to maintain NSR250s are becoming more difficult to find or are even NLA from Honda directly. I’d imagine that, given the popularity of these sports two-strokes and the number manufactured, someone will pick up that ball and run with it, but until then you should be prepared to hunt around the internet for leftover OEM parts, folks liquidating their collections, and clearing out their garages. Or just stick it in your living room and make “ziiing-g-g-g… ZIIIIINNNGGGGGggg…” noises.

1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 L Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 for Sale

The bike is just imported from Japan. Not registered yet in the U.S. Sold as is with NO warranty NO refunds NO return. Used motorcycle with scratches and wear as 26 year old used bike. Speedometer looks HONDA genuine parts and shows 35,000km = about 21,900 miles, but actual mileage is unknown. Very good running condition sharp response of 2-stroke engine is still well. Can shift all gears very smooth. Brakes are work fine. Electricals are all work but front brake switch is not working.

Has an original key. HONDA genuine fairings, not Chinese plastics. Have hairline cracks and chips on fairings, so look carefully all pictures and video. Will needs new tires and fork seals. Muffler silencer is loose so needs re-rivet.

1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 R Side Engine

Obviously, as we’ve stated before, you need to do a little homework before buying one of these recent grey-market imports. But if where you live allows this kind of thing, or if you’re looking for a cool track day machine, you might want to keep an eye on this one. The bike isn’t pristine but appears to have been well cared-for: garage space is at a premium in Japan and many of these bikes sit outside, unprotected, so surface corrosion and general wear is a real problem on some of these recent imports. In this case, there is minimal corrosion visible and very little rust, paint is still shiny, with just a few cracks the seller describes and some chipped paint on the tail. This is a no reserve auction so, depending on how high the bidding goes, this could be surprisingly affordable and make sense for collectors and riders alike.

-tad

1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 R Side


8 Responses. Join the Discussion!
Ducati July 26, 2016 posted by

The Sum of Its Parts: 2000 Bimota DB4 for Sale

2000 Bimota DB4 L Side

Bimota’s successful line of Ducati-powered bikes seems a bit unconventional for the brand, considering they'd always been about creating machines that fused powerful, well-engineered Japanese engines with lightweight, race-bred frames to create bikes that were more than the sum of their parts. But machines like this DB4 seemed to be more about just distilling a Ducati down to its barest essence, rather than creating something that was more of a "best of both worlds" sort of motorcycle. Nothing wrong with that: the DB4 worked exactly as advertised, although that Ducati, Perfected confection came at a high price...

2000 Bimota DB4 Tank

Powered by a humble 904cc version of the oil and air-cooled Desmo v-twin that was introduced way back in the 1980 Ducati Pantah, the DB4 makes up in light weight agility what the 80hp lump lacks in grunt. Interestingly, Bimota took what could be considered a retrograde step with the fueling, and fitted the older 900SS’ Mikuni carburetors. I’ve heard mostly good things about Ducati’s fuel-injection of the period, so I’m not sure what prompted that move.

2000 Bimota DB4 R Engine

In both carbureted and fuel-injected format, it’s a very entertaining motor, but the bike is hardly a rocketship: a 12.1 second ¼ mile time is four-wheeled Import Tuner territory these days and the 131mph top speed can be significantly bettered by a bone-stock VW GTI. But the claimed 363lb dry weight means unmatched agility for a four-stroke motorcycle and the bike provides a thoroughbred experience in terms of sound, feel, and style. If the extremely patriotic Italian color scheme doesn’t get your attention, the distinctive oval tube frame or the stacked shotgun-style exhaust of the stock bike will. Of course, that all assumes you’re looking at a stock bike. Which this one obviously isn’t.

2000 Bimota DB4 Clocks

Most DB4s were fully-faired, but some percentage were sold like this one with an abbreviated half-fairing that does away with the belly-pan, perhaps to gain ground clearance on the brakes and in corners. The half-faired look reminds me a bit of a 1980s GSX-R, since many people removed that lower fairing for hard riding. It’s still a great-looking machine with the non-standard fairing paint, but definitely loses some of the blatantly Italian style of the standard bike.

2000 Bimota DB4 Rear Wheel

264 built seems like a very small production run, but the DB4 is actually one of the more “mass-produced” models for Bimota and the bike’s relative popularity helped keep the company afloat during tough times.

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Bimota DB4 Custom for Sale

90% Ti bolts|
Front Brake Caliper/ fender holder is Magnesium rare)
Valve cover are sand-cast magnesium with Bimota logo
Clutch Housing Magnesium
Lightweight Yoyodone Clutch assembly super-lite
BST carbon Fiber Wheels
Titanium Exhuast slip-on Scorpion
Fender carbon OEM
Rear Fender Carbon
License plate holder Carbon
Clutch cover and belt cover Carbon from Ducati Performance
Rear Sets fully adjustable from Carbon Dream with Heel Protector (have eccentrics)
Ti-Kickstand Motocorse Italy
Anonzied MC rear sprocket
Stock Clamps
Clutch and Brake Master 16X19 RCS
Billet Brembo Calipers
Speigler Custom Brake Lines Direct fit no banjo bolts
9 came to the US and BOB StienBugler has 3 from bimota spirit
#005 this was born a quarter fairing Bimota came as a full fairing bike
Has Euro Headlight, with high and low beam instead of the USA HL which has one bulb
Has a Paioli Rear Shock with remote reservoir (one of kind)
Motocorse Italy Rear spools
Muffler brackets that bolt to head made of custom billet.
Yoyodyne Slave cylinder
Originally bought with 90 miles. bike was upgraded from then.
1482 miles. Has been owned by a "Ducati Professional its entire life." 

There are just 1,482 miles on this DB, so dry-rotted rubber bits would be my biggest concern, rather than general wear-and-tear or mechanical abuse. The eye-searingly vivid exhaust may be period-appropriate, but the otherwise subtle machine would be better served by a simple carbon or titanium end can. I’m sure someone out there with an old R6 would love to fit this pipe, so finding a buyer shouldn’t be too hard. The listed modifications are otherwise simple bolt-on items and of good quality/high cost. 90% Ti fasteners? Yeowch, that’s a pricey way to save some weight… I like the cast magnesium engine cover though, and those carbon-fiber wheels should make a light bike even lighter.

Bidding is active, but up to just $6,200 with the Reserve Not Met. I have a feeling this one will struggle to reach the seller's goals: the parts that have gone into it appear to be of high quality but overall, it feels kind of disjointed. Today, the Ducati/Bimota link is stronger than ever and this should at least be a stable investment, although I'd paint the fairing to match and get a less distracting exhaust fitted.

-tad

2000 Bimota DB4 R Side


4 Responses. Join the Discussion!
Honda July 25, 2016 posted by

Back to the future: 1985 Honda VF1000R with under 500 miles

I have to admit the VF1000R was a bit before my time; my memories of 1985 are more about flying Deloreans than 1000cc sportbikes. For anyone else who doesn't remember, the Honda VF series of bikes included everything from a 400cc standard to 1000cc sportbikes.  The passage of time has relegated most of the lineup to the dustbin of history but the VF1000R is still highly desired by collectors.  Why?   Well it was the top bike in the lineup which is always a draw to collectors but more importantly, it was one the first models released by Honda after the VF-F "chocolate cams" issue damaged Hondas reputation. The response by Honda was to over engineer the next series of bikes (the VF-R series) resulting in bikes that had previously unheard of levels of performance, comfort and most importantly, reliability.  The VF1000R was the bike that proved Honda could make a big sportbike that would work everyday.

vf1000r1

1985 Honda VF1000R for sale on ebay

While the VF1000R was engineered to show that Honda had resolved the cam issues of the VF-F series, it was also designed to be the basis of race efforts and a showcase of Honda technology.  The big sportbike with the tasteful red over blue and white paint job included a lot of race tech from the company's race team efforts via significant changes to the engine, front suspension, bodywork, and rider ergonomics.  The result was the VF1000R was rated as the fastest production motorcycle until the Kawasaki GPZ900R took the title a year later.

An excellent and detailed explanation of all the changes between the VF1000F and the VF1000R series of bikes can be found here.

vf1000r4

While the VF1000R was a significant technological advancement from the F series that came before it, all the changes did result in one problem; an increase in weight.  The resulting bike weighed in at nearly 600 pounds with half a tank of fuel, roughly 85 pounds heavier than the F series race bike it was based on.  The result was the R version struggled to be competitive when it was used in racing.

Also the introduction of the CBR series in the late 1980's/early 1990's began an era where riders could get a mid-sized/much lighter bike that offered nearly the same power as the previous generation liter bikes like the VF1000R.  It would take until the introduction of the Yamaha R1 in 1998 for the liter bike class to regain its status as the king of the cc configurations.

vf1000r6

This particular VF1000R is in pristine condition and is listed with an astonishing 431 miles (yes you read that right). The seller indicates this particular bike sat indoors for 25 years but that a full refresh has already been completed (details below).

Refresh details

  • Flushed brakes, add stainless steel braided brake lines, rebuilt rear master cylinder
  • Lubed and adjusted throttle and clutch cables
  • Flushed cooling system
  • Torqued and checked all chassis fittings and fasteners,  check/tighten steering head bearings,
  • Replaced shock (rear) with Hagon coil-over upgrade, shock was valved and springs for me being a 180 lb. solo rider optimum.
  • Replaced battery, NGK spark plugs,
  • Performed compression check and full tune, including clean and synch carbs, flush fuel tank and add 1 gallon bath metal rust remover, replace petcock assembly (leaking).  
  • Added engine top-end oiling kit from Daughtry Motorsports (early VF1000's were reported to suffer top end oiling deficiency and this kit addresses that fully).  Includes oil filter with adapter for top-end oiling kit.
  • Replaced original tires (old and cracked) with brand new Bridgestone Battlax BT45's.  Went to 150/70/17 rear (stock was 140) and 120/80/16 front (stock size).

vf1000rspringsvf1000r5

So what is this fresh slab of mid-1980's sportbike goodness worth?  Well when I wrote this post the current high bid was $6,550 USD with a still listed Buy-It-Now option of $12,990 USD.  The price seemed a bit high at first but is actually in line with what other VF1000R's have sold for recently.   Given the outstanding condition, recent refresh and low miles, I think the reserve on this one will probably be near the Buy-It-Now price.

As the seller incides in their eBay listing "if you are serious about owning one of the nicest VF1000R's in the country this is the right bike."   Personally it's a bit before my time but it would be an excellent addition for a serious collector or perhaps someone who wants to re-live a bit of the 1980's.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner


3 Responses. Join the Discussion!

Search

RSBFS 7 Year Anniversary Celebration!

To celebrate 7 years online, we're bringing back the classifieds area of the site where we welcome you to post your motorcycle for sale -- any motorcycle! Thank you for reading and supporting RSBFS!

Self Service Classifieds

Subscribe by Email

Get all our new posts delivered to your email automatically. Spam free! Enter your email address:

Featured Listings

Do You have a special sportbike that should be listed on our site? Sell your bike with a Featured Listing for just $59. We seek out 1985-2002ish model years that are near perfect and in original condition, that would appeal to collectors and enthusiasts. Our readers help sell another bike every 2-3 days! Email me to get started!

FB Like Box

Historically Significant MotoGP Artwork at MotoDeity.com



SpeedWerks Bikes Previously Listed:
-1991 Ducati 851
-1989 Yamaha FZR400
-1998 Derbi GPR50
-NSR250 MC21
-91 GSX-R 750
-89 FZR400
-NSR250SP MC28
-RS250 Cup