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Author Archives: Donn

Yamaha August 16, 2018 posted by Donn

1989 Yamaha FZR400R with just 1,300 Miles !

In the pint-size world of gray market imports and coastal residents with evidence of outdoor storage, here is a minty FZR-400 with just 1,300 miles.  Wearing aftermarket fairings to preserve the pure sports originals, this '89 has a retro look but appears ready to ride.

1989 Yamaha FZR400R for sale on eBay

Yamaha watched from the sidelines for a couple of years before introducing their mini-racer in 1986.  The aluminum Delta Box frame suspends the steeply inclined engine allowing downdraft carburettors.  The 60 bhp flow through a wet clutch and 6-speed transmission on their way to a 4-into-1 exhaust.  With full fairing and 3.9 gallons of super, the package weighs just under 400 lbs.

Yamaha imported the FZR here and though the owner doesn't give much history, this one has the MPH speedo.  Metals are pristine and of course the new replacement bodywork is.  Factory plastics are pictured and look great.  From the eBay auction:

Never raced.

This bike comes with two sets of plastics.

The plastics on the bike currently are excellent condition Freddie Sheen Japanese racing repro's (hard to find).

The bike comes with the original plastics in fantastic condition.

In addition the bike comes with original manual, rear footpegs, back seat,
spare perfect condition radiator and hoses and a new red front fender.

The bike does not smoke or drip.

Tires are older and should probably be changed before serious riding.

There is a hairline crack in the original front fender not noticeable unless you look for it.

The original pipe has a couple of scratches but no dents or dings.

Tank is clean and the bike runs and shifts perfect.

Bike is currently registered and has clean Colorado title in my name.

Yamaha didn't forget that even though factory rider Toshinobu Shiomori won the All Japan F3 championship in 1988, the FXR-400R was a road machine, and slowed the handling a skwosh.  It reviewed as more at home on a TT course than a technical GP circuit, and as such more fun on the street.  Build quality was on par with the big red machine, as was MSRP.  This one has been nicely preserved and the replacement fairings are just gravy.  For a 1,300-mile sweetheart, the ask seems reasonable, but if you disagree, the Make Offer button is available...

-donn

 

1989 Yamaha FZR400R with just 1,300 Miles !
Suzuki August 13, 2018 posted by Donn

Summer Fling – 1987 Suzuki GSX-R400

For 1987 Suzuki left the GSX-R400 substantially unchanged from '86, but thankfully returned to the twin headlight fairing.  In a catchy single-year iteration of Suzuki blue and white, Deftone Cycles has brought this GK-71F with low km's and Ohio title.

1987 Suzuki GSX-R400 for sale on eBay

Suzuki had introduced the 400 Gixxer in 1984 and made steady improvements over the years, the '86-87 models using water, oil, and air cooling to keep temps down.  Since it was a JDM progressive license machine, horsepower was stuck at 59 by statute.  Still the topped-off weight of just 365 lbs. made the most of the available ponies.  An interesting concept was the Deca Brake system, with a separate brake pad for each caliper piston, ten in all, hoping to work around some unhelpful disk brake dynamics.  New vents on the endurance fairing help draw heat out of the fairing and away from the rider.

As very few GSX-R400's were exported by Suzuki, most recent arrivals have some cosmetic issues from long storage.  Deftone has gone over the bike to insure trouble free running, but doesn't try to gloss over the truth.  A short cold start video is available - here -.  This is a low-mile fighter that could easily be a lover with some TLC.  Greg's comments from the eBay auction:

8,484 Miles (13,653 Kilometers) Completely original and unrestored.  Four stroke, transverse four cylinder, DOHC 4 valves per cylinder. One-year color scheme. Mechanically Sorted.  All fluids are fresh.  Shifts and revs to redline perfectly.  Starts effortlessly every time. Very Honest Bike. Very few scratches overall. Left lower fairing is where most of the issues are. Please see Images. Fuel tank is Rust Free.

Having stayed mostly in the home market, Suzuki's 400 gave ground in the period shoot-outs, but had their usual simpler, stronger, lighter cards to play.  Now rarer, they often don't have their original price advantage.  But this one is more affordable, if there was ever a 400 to doll-up as you learn to ride a lightweight, this might be it...

-donn

Summer Fling – 1987 Suzuki GSX-R400
Featured Listing August 10, 2018 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – 2002 Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans Tenni with 2,000 miles!

Moto Guzzi boarded the "special edition" party bus with a lot of boutique manufacturers, but the stance of their V11 Le Mans has held up very well, and the Tenni is a standout.  This Tenni has but 2,000 miles and is plated number 114 of 170.

The V11 Le Mans is modern enough that the Moto Guzzi Le Mans wiki doesn't even mention it, but the big axial V-twin didn't fall very far from the family tree.  Horsepower isn't wild at 92, but torque is so abundant that the 6-speed transmission is almost superfluous.  The V11's have beefy alloy side plates which on the Tenni are red anodized, part of a complex but pleasant styling job by Marabese Design.  Components are top notch with Brembo brakes ( unlinked ), lightweight hydraulic clutch, and adjustable suspension by Marzocchi in front and Sachs-Boge monoshock.  Dusty blue alloy wheels are seventeens.

Bought after reading last year's post on the - Tenni - the owner returned it to the road with new rubber, fluids, and a tune-up.  Real life has intervened however, and Rob wants to lighten his collection by several bikes, and unfortunately it's often last-in, first-out at times like these.  With just 2,006 miles, it's in nice stock shape, though Rob notes two paint imperfections - two small cracks on the right tank presumably from sitting with ethanol aboard, and a splatter of something on the seat fairing courtesy of the previous owner.  Part of the Tenni's design is semi-flat finished accents which might not even be painted, so a consult with a paint correction guy might be in order before diving in.

The V11 had a very together design and build quality thanks to new owner Aprilia's financing, and reviewed as somewhere between "rides by itself" and "weight disappears under way".  Never intended to take on contemporary sport bikes, it's happiest on a two-lane, exploring the relationship between torque, engine braking and the close-ratio 6-speed.  The Le Mans will always be part of the Guzzi story, and the V11 is up-to-date enough to ride without vintage worries.  The green and silver livery recalls their early endurance racers, on which Omobono Tenni took the Isle of Man in 1937.  Rob asks $7,850 for the Tenni, and can be reached at (757) 784-8410.

-donn

Featured Listing – 2002 Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans Tenni with 2,000 miles!
Ducati August 8, 2018 posted by Donn

Hey 19 – 1998 Ducati 900 SS/FE

The ( original ! ) owner of this 900 SS/FE must've been at the dealer in late 1997 to have cadged chassis number 016 of 300.  The end-of-model commemorative had mostly the best of the 900SS years, and where Ducati left off, this owner has updated to even better.

1998 Ducati 900 SS/FE for sale on ducati.ms

Ducati's 2nd generation Super Sports had the first generation of 904cc air-cooled desmo, with single overhead belt-driven cams helping deliver 84 hp.  Though for most of the 90's the SS had been a white frame and red or yellow fairing, the cosmopolitan FE had a dark gold trellis frame and silver monoposto bodywork.  Showa forks and monoshock were specified and of course Brembo's finest 320mm hardware.  Carbon fiber dash and mudguards provide a technical accent to the black 17-inch wheels.

Offered on the fan site ducati.ms, it sounds like the then-new owner poured darn near the purchase price right back into his new FE in engine and suspension work.  And then rode it sensibly to its current 8,400 miles.  The coordinated look of the billet rear sets and muffler brackets is outstanding, and it's rare to see a full Akropovich exhaust of this vintage.  The owner's comments from the for sale -post- :

Bought the bike new in 98 , it is #16 of 300 final editions Ducati produced of that generation of the SS (91 to 98) a great series , I also had a 91 and 93 super light but this was/is the nicest I've had.  To make it the best for me, (I didn't like the "fuel infection" and looks of the 99's) I took it to my friend Jeff Nash ( owner of AMS Ducati Dallas) soon after I bought it to massage it and work his magic   As I recall, it was to the tune of about 9-10k dollars extra spent back 20 years ago - I'll try to remember all what's been done .

He went all through the engine, balancing /lightening/polishing/porting, and adding the higher comp/displacement 944 kit, and added Kiehin FCR's 39's (he advised the 39's would be much smoother than 41's for street , and he was right) I added a 50mm Spaghetti / Titanium exhaust made by Akrapovic ( very hard to get that or Termi's back then) also have the K+N filter airbox mod.

Ohlins rear shock , and RaceTech mod to front forks, and then the really nice/light Marchesini magnesium 5 spoke wheels.  Custom billet pipe hangers footpegs and fully adjustable clip on bar assemblies, Corbin seat, recent Optima gel battery, rear stand ,tank bag ,tinted windscreen assorted extras carbon goodies etc ..

I believe I have all the original parts , and have new tires on bike.  And sitting on the shelf , new belts, fluids and filter I haven't got around to doing this year.

The FE reviewed as a sharp all-rounder, in hindsight made all the sweeter by the next year's emissions-driven re-design.  Just in time for the Final Edition ( and hopefully #016 wasn't too early to get it ) was a three-phase charging system which ended battery life woes for the air-cooled desmos.  Ducati took flack at the time for charging a premium for already depreciated tech, and with the updates this owner made, it would be interesting to know how the sale goes.  Hopefully the new owner is an RSBFS reader and can give us an in-flight report...

--donn

 

Hey 19 – 1998 Ducati 900 SS/FE
Honda August 5, 2018 posted by Donn

Fast Forward – 1995 Honda RVF400 / NC35

On the coattails of the VFR400R,  Honda updated the long-lived welterweight and extended the success 1994-1996.  Feigning to be an RC45, the fox-eyed NC35 had the tasty build quality to live up to its MSRP.  This one has Cali title and looks great for its 20,000 miles.

1995 Honda RVF400 / NC35 for sale on eBay

Honda's 399cc V-4 is the basis for the RVF400, familiar though the cam timing has changed and it is mounted differently in the twin spar aluminum frame.  Ducts now bring fresh air from the front of the fairing to the airbox.  Forks are 41mm Showa, but now inverted for lower unsprung weight.  Styling is of course updated to echo the RC45, with graphics to match.  Wheels are the same 17-inch for the RVF, easing tire choices in the long run.

SoCal friend of RSBFS Glenn has gone over this NC35 from A to Z, and as the model was never offered in the U.S., they are rare and more so with California documents.  A nice cosmetic freshening up was done, as well as renewing any expendables for  the next owner.  From the eBay auction:

Of all the classic 1990 Honda's the RVF400 is one the best, and like the NSR250 the prices seem to be going up every year...finding a CA titled one, that also becomes harder each year. This bike is registered as a 1995 Honda with a 17 digit vin, currently non op with DMV, no back fees.  You can register this bike in any state.

This is a very nice nearly stock and very original unmolested NC35.  Far nicer than most of the NC35's left in Japan that suffer from lots of neglect over the years.  This bike has been in the states for a number of years.

All OEM original Honda bodywork that has been recently re-painted in stock original colors.

Freshly painted wheels front and back.

All stock except for the slip on exhaust and braided front lines.

In the last few months the bike has had the following:

Complete service front to back

Carbs cleaned

Front forks refreshed with new seals and fluid

New NGK Plugs

New Honda 10w-40 semi-synthetic fluid and filter

New Synthetic DOT4 brake fluid and flush front and back

New Battery

Brand New Michelin Pilot Powers ( nearly no miles on these!)

Deep detail and cleaning on every part of the bike and complete going over.

Bike has seen less than 25 miles from all this work. It is turn key and ready to go. Bike runs great and everything works as it should.

Very nice as seen in the photos. Hairline crack on the right upper mid panel, hard to see. Some fogging on right side headlight lens, very small ding in tank (will try to add photos of this) some light corrosion on frame, and some scratches in a few spots on the frame spars.

Even allowing for the cramped quarters, the RVF400 delivers fun at a low per-mile price, especially when insurance is factored in.  The light weight, balance and nice equipment make the RVF arguably the ultimate 400cc V-4 ( well, four stroke at least ).  This owner has assigned a boundary-stretching Buy-It-Now but the recent work might be worth it.  Or if you're almost there, the Make Offer button is available...

-donn

Fast Forward – 1995 Honda RVF400 / NC35
Honda August 4, 2018 posted by Donn

Show or Go ? – 1995 Honda CBR900RR

The 1990's were a good time for alt-color schemes and splashy sticker packages, and it seems like more Fireblades were made in purple and  yellow than Honda's racing red.  This first-gen CBR900RR has high miles but you'd never know it.  Evidently detailed for display, it is has been refreshed for the road and is on a no-reserve auction.

1995 Honda CBR900RR for sale on eBay

Starting life as a 750cc development project, Honda stroked the engine out to 893cc, changing the overall dimensions very little but approaching shy-liter displacement and 122 hp.  Mass reduction and centralization likely came up at every design review, and the delivered machine weighed just 454 lbs. wet, around what most 600's were weighing back then.  Forks and Pro-Link monoshock are by Showa and adjustable, and Nissin brakes have four-puck calipers on the 296mm rotors.  The torn paper graphics are pretty 90's, as are the staggered 16-17 inch wheels, and "speed hole" arrays in the fairings.

The sparkling condition of this CBR fibs about its 32,000 miles, none of the usual wear seems to be on the fairings, cases, or Two Brothers slip-on.  Maybe the careful miles and fastidious cleaning were evenly spread over many years.  A puzzle is how the previous owner added the Euro parking light without changing the fairing.  The owner posts a pretty good - video - and says the bike was shown in his museum, unclear how long, but it starts and idles perfectly.  From the eBay auction:

The bike has the original Owner's Manual AND Tool Kit that's never been used !

- Two Brother's Slip On - Dyno Tuned for proper jetting

- Color matched Stainless Steel brake lines

- Flush Mounted LED Turn Signals - Brighter than the OEMs (OEM units are still available from Honda if desired)

- Factory Paint Job Is in Perfect Condition Everywhere

RECENTLY - Tuning re-verified - It started right up - idles correctly - Drives correctly - No leaks etc.

Below are the items my Master Mechanic has done to prep this motorcycle for sale -

Engine oil & filter replaced

New Battery

New Tires

New Front & Rear Brake Pads installed (Done before putting on display in the Museum)

New Spark Plugs -(Done before putting on display in the Museum)

Valve Clearances Checked - all were in spec. (Done before putting on display in the Museum)

New coolant installed

New OEM Air filter installed (Done before putting on display in the Museum)

The book on the CBR900RR is to dial the dampers back, get small and enjoy the tight handling and light weight.  The third year of the gen-1 had better shifting and fox eyes.  Buying a 20-plus year old sportbike is gutsy baseball, and despite the mileage this Fireblade looks to have had the care for the long road...

-donn

Show or Go ? – 1995 Honda CBR900RR




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