Monthly Archives: July 2016

Triumph July 31, 2016 posted by

Rev. 1.0 – 2000 Triumph TT600

Taking the sportbike fight right downtown, Triumph's all-new 600 made a valiant run at the big four.  Light weight, nice handling, and quality components, it unfortunately had to be shipped before the fuel injection could be adequately tweaked.  And though software updates have corrected the throttle response issues, the damage to the reputation caused the TT to be superseded after only three years.

20160730 2000 triumph tt600 right

2000 Triumph TT600 for sale on eBay

20160730 2000 triumph tt600 left

20160730 2000 triumph tt600 right rear

Triumph's twin-spar alloy frame carries 43 mm Kayaba forks and monoshock, both fully adjustable.  Quality Nissin brakes use dual 310 mm front rotors and 220 mm rear.  The rounded full fairing incorporates two fresh air intakes above the fork legs.  At a time when most manufacturers were using four carburetors, Triumph made a big wager on Sagem electronic fuel injection.  Peak power was competitive at 110 and nearly 13,000 rpm, but rideability suffered from the faulty fuel injection map.

20160730 2000 triumph tt600 front

20160730 2000 triumph tt600 left rear wheel

With just about 8,500 miles, this TT looks great with its polished exhaust and recent tires.  The mid-west owner says this in the eBay auction:

Here for sale rare 2000 Triumph TT 600 in excellent condition.  The bike is running, riding and shifting excellent and has only 8441 miles (as of today).

It is 600cc 4 cylinder water cooled engine with 110hp and 68Nm. 6 speed and 154mph top speed.

Very nice example of British sport bike.

20160730 2000 triumph tt600 left front

20160730 2000 triumph tt600 right front wheel

Most TT600's received updated software under warranty, but it might be worth checking the maintenance records on this machine.  Triumph's return to the sportbike market should've been a great success.  Once the fuel delivery woes were sorted, the bike got great reviews as a nicely equipped sharp handler - maybe without Japanese street cred but a fine start.  This one looks smart in red and appears to be a cared-for example, might end up being a bargain.

-donn

20160730 2000 triumph tt600 cockpit

Rev. 1.0 – 2000 Triumph TT600
Honda July 30, 2016 posted by

Unobtanium alert: 1996 Honda RVF750R RC45

Back in the 1990's Honda introduced new technology to the sportbike world at a truly dizzying pace.  From 1990 to 1999, Honda USA introduced sportbike riders to the RC30, RC45, RC51, CBR600F2, VFR750, the legendary NR750 and the CBR900RR.  Personally I can't think of another manufacturer that launched so many top of class bikes over a similar length time frame.

While the Honda RC30 actually launched in 1987 in Japan, it didn't come to the USA until 1990  The RC30 was a techo tour-de-force that won a lot of races and developed a deep following.   The follow up RVF750R, also often referred to as just the RC45, wasn't as successful on the track but interestingly, for many collectors the RC45 is more desirable.

For anyone who is interested, an overview of all the differences between the RC30 and RC45 can be found here on Wikipedia.

rc451

Introduced in 1994 and produced until 1999 but only imported officially into the US for 1994 with a 50 unit allocation, the Honda RC45 was a true homologation bike.  Right out of the box the bike came with a lot of top shelf components including an exotic DOHC 749cc V4 engine that had titanium rods, ceramic-lined cylinder walls and gear driven cams.  The RC45 also incorporated a new fuel injection system, lots of cast magnesium parts to reduce weight, a new aluminium twin-spar chassis and an exotic (for 1994) single-sided rear swingarm.

rc457

1996 Honda RVF750R/RC45 on ebay

And yet despite all the new tech, the RC45 didn't have quite the same level of track or sales success as the preceeding RC30 and initially was considered to be a bit of a failure.  Part of this was due to the fact that the new powerplant in the street/homolgation version was tuned to only produce around 110bhp for the U.S. version/118 for the European version which wasn't a huge jump from what standard 750cc sportbikes of the same era were offering.  Also street riding on the RC45 first gear was reported to be kind of a pain due to a very tall 1st gear.

While the RC45 didn't find favor on the street, things were quite different when it was taken to the track.  In peak race form the bike was transformed with power reported as being nearly 190 bhp.  Track successes of the RVF750R included Miguel Duhamel wining the 1996 Daytona 200, John Kocinski winning the 1997 WSBK championship and Ben Bostrom winning the 1998 AMA Superbike Championship.

rc458

As for this particular RC45, sharp eyed viewers have probably caught that this US-located bike is listed as 1996 with a VIN # well above 50 (NOTE:  This is assuming they can tear their eyes away from the art that is the perfect welds on this bike).  These issues are explained by the seller as being due to the fact that this particular RC45 was originally delivered/sold in Switzerland in 1996 and then imported into the USA.  While "gray-market" RC45's can be a pain to get registered, the seller also indicates they have a US title in hand.

rc454

From the photos in the eBay listing, this particular RC45 looks to be completely original with only a few small nicks.  I guess the excellent condition should not be surprise given the listed mileage of about 2800 miles/4400 kilometers.  Personally my only concern is that the eBay seller has a zero feedback rating and some of the pics on this eBay listing look incredibly professional/like official promo pics instead of pics of the actual bike being sold.

rc455

rc453

rc459

Based on the listed phone number the seller appears to be a dealer located in Florida and while the maintenance/ownership history isn't as complete as I would like for a bike like this, the seller did provide the following service info.

  • "Recent" full service (quote marks added by me - Marty).
  • New Pirellis.
  • New fuel pump.
  • New Battery
  • Original stand included.
  • Spare ECU.
  • Spare complete period Micron exhaust included.

rc45cropped

So what is this bit of mid 1990's homologation goodness worth?  Well the RVF750R is current one of the top desired 750cc homolgation machines of the 1990's, the others being the Kawasaki ZX7RR and Yamaha OW01.  This particular RC45 looks good but there are some things I would personally follow up on, such as the VIN#/title situation and also, given the color of the brake fluid in the master cylinder, what exactly was meant by "recent" full service.

Previous postings of these seem to have gone for a price between $24,000 and $29,000 USD.  Assuming the title is clear, I would expect price to be somewhere in the upper part of that range band.

ADDENDUM:  Some of our frequent readers/comments of RSBFS such as RC45 and The Collector are more experienced with the RC45, hopefully we can get them to provide their input in the comments section.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Unobtanium alert:  1996 Honda RVF750R RC45
Yamaha July 29, 2016 posted by

Won’t Wait 4/1 – 1989 Yamaha YSR50

Usually relegated to the holiday or April Fool's page at RSBFS, the YSR50 was built by Yamaha 1987-92 for the kids and pocket-bike market.  This eBay offering is undamaged, never modified, and stored indoors, so mint it won't keep until Xmas or next April.

20160729 1989 yamaha ysr50 right

1989 Yamaha YSR50 for sale on eBay

20160729 1989 yamaha ysr50 left

20160729 1989 yamaha ysr50 front

Sporting an awesome 7.1 hp from the factory, it's no wonder engine mods and transplants were the norm for the YSR50.  Still, at that seat height, 38 mph will seem a lot faster.  Perimeter frame, 5-speed transmission, disk front / drum rear brakes, and endurance fairing fill out the spec sheet.

20160729 1989 yamaha ysr50 right front

20160729 1989 yamaha ysr50 right fairing

Still wearing the hardly-seen factory rearviews, this YSR50 has been somebody's special toy.  It has full lighting for road registry, and '89-only blue/white livery.  From the eBay auction:

This 1989 Yamaha YSR50 is in excellent original condition.  This is a collector quality motorcycle.  It has only 1009 miles on the odometer, but it shows like it has less than 100 miles.  The previous collector and I kept this YSR50 inside a home (I had it in my man cave).  It is street legal with a California title, license plate and registration. It has matching serial numbers on engine and frame.  It is in remarkable condition and has been well maintained.  It was professionally prepped for long term storage.  The fuel tank is in excellent condition inside and out. The paint is excellent with no dents or scratches.  There are no cracks in the plastic fairings.  The fairings are near flawless with the exception of a couple scratches on the lower bottom fairing that cannot be readily seen without kneeling down low to the ground (see picture).  The only other flaw is a scratch on the right side engine cover by the kick starter (see picture). In comes with the factory operators manual and tool set. I will also include a brand new battery (still in box).

20160729 1989 yamaha ysr50 left rear

20160729 1989 yamaha ysr50 right front wheel

Hardly needing a display stand, you could pretty much hoist the little YSR up on the counter to detail or just fawn over.  Now the seller is asking mid-size money for the 49 cc's, but the new owner will likely have the sportbike aspect covered.  This could be a special ride from the main house out to the pool cabana, or maybe the perfect pitbike for a Yamaha vintage race team.  A gem by almost anyone's definition...

-donn

20160729 1989 yamaha ysr50 cockpit

Won’t Wait 4/1 – 1989 Yamaha YSR50
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

Vivid Green Oddity: 1984 Kawasaki KR250 for Sale
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

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

No Reserve Import: 1989 Honda NSR250 MC18 for Sale

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