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Author Archives: Donn

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
Featured Listing July 29, 2018 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – 1988 Yamaha FZR750RU

On the road to the OW-01, Yamaha made steady developments to the four cylinder FZR model, and for 1987 plugged the 5-valve Genesis engine into their Deltabox aluminum spars.  In time for the 1988 AMA Superbike season, the company made a few changes from the previous year, and brought the required 200 machines to their dealers.  This rare Yamaha has been treated to a high level of restoration and is now for sale.

1988 Yamaha  FZR750RU for sale in Portland, OR

The five-valve heads on the Genesis engine have great flow and combustion dynamics, and Yamaha's rocker-less valve actuation provides more linear response throughout the power curve.  For the DeltaBox, the company developed their own welding robots to seam the thin-wall stampings into a strong frame.  Steering head and frame connectors are vacuum-cast aluminum.  Brakes are substantial for a mid-size at 320mm, and Kayaba forks and monoshock are adjustable.  As per the fashion, wheels are staggered with a 17-inch front and 18-inch rear.

The owner commissioned a comprehensive rebuild in addition to a great cosmetic refurbishment.  Most all rotating parts outside of the engine bay are new or rebuilt.  Though the Genesis engine sounds complex, it was executed in a very straightforward way, and outside of a very long extension for your spark plug wrench, there's no reason to expect extra maintenance.  Here are Ethan's comments on the FZR:

This bike starts without hesitation, idles perfectly, has extremely crisp throttle response, and rides beautifully. It is truly a joy to ride, handles incredibly well, and pulls strong.

  • 26,000 miles
  • Carbs rebuilt and balanced by Vicious Cycle in Portland, OR
  • Factory original bodywork: all plastic was restored and all imperfections are gone, all paint is new in the original Silky White with clear-coat (tank has clear-coat over the decals), and all decals are new and factory correct. All work done by the skilled Paul Gardner of Image Concepts in Bend, OR
  • New EBC clutch friction plates and clutch cover gasket
  • New EBC rotors
  • New clutch pushrod oil seal
  • New wheel bearings
  • New shock linkage bearings
  • New fork seals and oil
  • New OEM hardware and grommets for all bodywork
  • New water pump, impeller circlip and oil seal, and coolant hose o-rings
  • New Metzeler tires
  • Media blast and new powder coat on wheels, exhaust midpipe, and subframe
  • Factory rebuilt and polished vintage Yoshimura pipe, new baffle and packing

The focus Yamaha put on superbikes led their build quality to new heights and prices joined them there.  The championships would have to wait, but the bikes are the stuff of legend.  Thankfully there are thoroughly freshened examples like this and we don't have to only read about it.   The asking price is $5,500, stop by Two Stroke Coffee in North Portland to take a look or contact Ethan - here -.

Featured Listing – 1988 Yamaha FZR750RU
Ducati July 26, 2018 posted by Donn

1974 Ducati Mk.3 450 Desmo

Hard to believe it was just 1968 when engineering director Fabio Taglioni put Ducati's street eggs in the desmo basket, having used the valve actuation technique in race machines for several years.  The Mk.3 line included 250, 350, and 450cc singles, and while this last-year model hasn't run in a while, its low miles and great cosmetics make it look worth some effort.

1974 Ducati Mk.3 Desmo for sale on eBay

The original bevel-drive engine uses separate cams to drive each valve, singing to 8,000 rpm on their way to 30 hp.  The Dell-Orto carburetor with a throat just over an inch in diameter handles the fuel mixing, and while there is an electrical system, starting is by a left side kick lever.  The Mk.3 gained a 5-speed transmission, helping keep the single on the boil.   The chassis has a hunch about the future of the engine being a stressed member, but in this case the steel backbone keeps things together.

A limited amount of this bike's long history is available, but it looks to be an older restoration and re-paint in a typical Ducati chrome yellow.  The age makes the correctness of details way beyond my knowledge base, but maybe a knowledgeable reader can point out a great original component or glaring faux pas.  The owner says this in the eBay auction:

Up for sale a beautiful 1974 Ducati single Mark 3 450 motorcycle.  10,785 miles show on the odometer.  This used to be a blue Mark 3 originally.  The original seat will be included.  Clear title in hand.   The bike has not been started in years, so it will need to be sorted out if you want to put it on the road, no battery. Sold as is with no returns.  Light scuffs and scratches from years of storage.

Many of the elements on the Mk.3 appear almost comically lightweight, but the magic 100 hp/liter was still just over the horizon.  With the gear driven desmo and cable brakes, not much to refurbish in the return to service.  But a careful inspection and slow start are advised, brake and shifter are not on their usual sides...

-donn

1974 Ducati Mk.3 450 Desmo
Aprilia July 24, 2018 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – 1997 Aprilia RS 250 Mk.1

Update 8.11.2018: This bike has sold to an RSBFS reader. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

First or last of a series, both have their proponents - as originally conceived or the final version.  This Aprilia RS250 is one of the early Mk. 1's, a European example brought home by a U.S. serviceman.  It's not without miles at over 15K, but undamaged, super-clean, and with recent heavy maintenance.

1997 Aprilia RS 250 Mk. 1 for sale on eBay

Not exactly a utilitarian design, the RS250 was a celebration of Aprilia's championships in the 250cc Moto GP, borrowing many of the techniques from the GP bikes.  Aprilia's own 250cc two stroke was too finicky for a road machine, and the company contracted with Suzuki to supply their 90-degree twin, with intake, ECU, and exhaust re-designed by Aprilia and good for 72 hp at 12,000 rpm.  The aluminum chassis is work of manufacturing art, the twin spars matched by the magnesium banana swingarm in similar natural finish and lacquer.  Components are right-sized for the model, upside-down forks but 40mm, dual front disks but 298mm.  Unlike later grays with rainbows, the Mk. 1 is almost in camouflage, silver on aluminum, with just a few graphics.

This second owner machine has been treated to a nice life insurance policy, including some top-end work, new clutch, sprockets and chain, and a smooth MPH odometer swap just one tank of fuel off total mileage.  Registered and titled in Illinois.  From the eBay auction:

It was originally purchased in Germany by a United States Armed Forces personal who brought it back to the United States and had it properly titled in Illinois.

The bike starts easy on one or two kicks, and runs smooth and strong. There are no known issues with the bike. I put in a fresh battery this winter, changed the front brake fluid and bled the brakes, and took it for a shakedown run before I took the pictures for this sale. I have owned the bike since 2012, but I have only put about 300 miles on it. I bought it from a friend who did refresh the engine and suspension, and I will include the receipts for this work.

Major works includes (done at about 12,000 miles):
- Top end job including 2 pistons, wrist pins, and gaskets
- New clutch
- Porting of both heads
- Re-Nickel cylinder
- New chain and sprockets (14/42)
- Fork seal replacement and fork rebuild (by Traxxion Dynamics)

The previous owner swapped the original speedometer that was in kilometers with a used MPH version. At the time of the swap, the original KPH speedometer had 18,080 kilometers on the odometer, the replacement used MPH speedometer had 11,491 miles. Since 18,080 kilometers = 11, 234 miles, the actual miles on the bike is 257 miles less than the current odometer reading. The old speedometer is included in the spares package.

Included with bike is the original passenger seat (see pictures), passenger pegs, the original KPH speedometer, the original clear windshield, and a *new* set of factory style stickers. Also included is two parts and repair manuals, and all receipts and original German government documentation.

The bike has the normal wear for it's age. The paint is nice, but not perfect, and some of the stickers are fading from sun and washing. Please look closely at the pictures for the details of the condition.

Aprilia continued to develop the 250 smoker long after other heavyweights had returned to four-strokes for the road, letting their race bikes improve the showroom models until 2002.  Reminiscent of an old scooter until the rev counter hit 7,000, it made phenomenal power per liter, and had the light weight and oversize brakes to dominate any technical track.  The list of Aprilia's 250cc riders reads like a Moto GP who's who, including Biaggi, Rossi, Melandri, and Lorenzo.   The opening bid has been set at $6,999, please contact Daniel through the eBay auctio.

Featured Listing – 1997 Aprilia RS 250 Mk.1
EBR July 23, 2018 posted by Donn

New School – 2014 EBR 1190RX

Erik Buell Racing had to provide a toned-down version of their flagship 1190RS superbike, since even their managers couldn't afford the RS.  The 1190RX has some of the expected Buell innovations and a refreshing level of tech compared to earlier offerings.

2014 EBR 1190RX for sale on eBay

Buell had earlier turned a corner and used a Rotax-based engine for their 1125 series, and continued development resulted in the 1190cc engine adopted by EBR, delivering 185 hp and 102 ft.-lbs. torque.  Fuel is in the formed aluminum perimeter frame, and the "tank" holds the airbox.  Showa has provided the big piston forks and a more conventionally configured monoshock.  It would be news if an EBR machine did not have the zero torque load front brake, this one might be the pinnacle of the design at 386 mm with an 8-piston caliper.  Electronics jumped the shark to this model, with an LCD dash and traction control configurable on the fly.

Though it has low miles and looks excellent, the salvage title makes this a real opportunity.  States handle this differently, making a reading of your DMV's rules and inspection of the bike a requirement.  A couple of calls to local indie shops wouldn't be a bad idea either, to see how much support is available.  From the eBay auction:

There only about 1200 EBR's made worldwide. This one is production #26. This is a 2014 model EBR 1190RX. Makes 185HP and 101TQ. The bike just hit 5,600 original miles and runs perfect. The power and torque delivery on this bike is crazy! This bike goes head to head with the Ducati 1199. It has interesting features like all LED headlight, the fuel sits inside the aluminum frame and airbox is on top.

The bike also has traction control and different track modes. There is a single sided front brake rotor and single caliper and stopping distance shorter due to the size of the bigger rotor. The bike is in pristine condition and only has your normal wear. The bike does come with a California rebuilt salvage title from previous damage to the right side plastic. Damage was minor and have pictures to show.  All the parts were special ordered from EBR.

EBR had just a few years afloat, and accomplished a lot, considering.  The Cycle World head-to-head with the Panigale was basically a draw, their biggest complaint being the hefty clutch.  Most of the development costs had been well, amortized in the 1190RS, allowing EBR to offer this advanced superbike at mere Ducati prices.  Now you could have it for significantly less, but put an eyeball on it first...

-donn

New School – 2014 EBR 1190RX
Honda July 20, 2018 posted by Donn

Born Ready – 1992 Honda NR750 – RC40

A peculiar bespoke-priced showpiece from the leading volume manufacturer, the Honda RC40 met at the crossroads of rule-bending engine development, enterprise-level manufacturing skill, and large-team design and engineering.  Rarely seen on RSBFS or elsewhere, this example has evidently been enjoyed in Ireland.

1992 Honda NR750 - RC40 ( Ireland ) for sale on eBay

The NR750's engine was a brainstorm response to Moto GP's limit of four cylinders.  Honda wanted more valve area and lower rotating masses, and the V4's oblong pistons ( roughly the shape of the carbon detail on the key ) were their strategy.  With connecting rods, fuel injectors, and four valves at each end of the pistons - RPM, horsepower, and complexity took quantum leaps.  The RC40 was a technical showboat elsewhere as well, with the alloy twin beam chassis, then-new upside-down forks, trick single sided swingarm, and 8-4-2 underseat exhaust.  The fairing is identifiably FireBlade, but surprisingly trim and fabricated chiefly of carbon fiber.

Next time you see an NR750 it will likely have fewer miles than this one, but in the photos ( evidently from a show ) indicate excellent condition.  At least this example has not been relegated solely to the display stand.  From the eBay auction :

Honda NR 750 13k Miles 21 Kms bike is in beautiful original condition. This bike is chassis number 60/200 built. Just had a full service complete with all fluids and a new battery. 

The bike does have a small mark on the screen but it can be polished out.  Comes complete with orignal NR key, Honda stand, Honda toolkit and manuals. I’m happy to send individual photos or video of the bike to any potential buyer. I’m based in Ireland but I do have a purpose built crate for the NR and I can ship it worldwide.

The development of the oval piston engine actually began with a 500 cc race engine, capable of 130 hp at 20,000 rpm.  Unfortunately neither engine conformed to KISS principles and were too expensive and long in development.  Still it's a smashing middleweight and 90's techno-barge, not unlike the Porsche 959 or Ducati's Desmosedici.  Destined like them for the dimly-lit exhibit, and the auction house...

-donn

Born Ready – 1992 Honda NR750 – RC40




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