Author Archives: Donn

Kawasaki March 3, 2015 posted by Donn

Once a Champion – 1990 Kawasaki ZX-10

In the garage next to the previously posted Future Classic is this retired heavyweight world champ.  For 1988-90 the fastest production motorcycle capable of 165 mph, the ZX-10 was the Kawasaki flagship between the 1984-2006 GPZ-900R "Top Gun" and the 1990-1995 ZX-11.  Updates from the GPZ-900R include semi-downdraft carburetors and 11:1 compression.  137 hp and 541 lbs call for wide open spaces, but the triple discs helped record a quick 60-0 stop for Cycle World in 1988 of 107 ft.  Full fairing in black and red protects the rider and wraps the egg-shaped "e-box" aluminum frame.  Castings at the head and swing-arm mount are welded to the extrusions.

20150302 zx10 right front

20150302 zx10 left rear

The seller notes that :

"the bike is in good shape for a 1990, but it does have some marks on plastic and tank with small dent in tank, and I think it needs 2 bolts for plastic replaced as the ones in it are not OEM."

20150302 zx10 dash

20150302 zx10 left tank

20150302 zx10 right seat

20150302 zx10 left seat

Hard to find in nice shape, this one has moderate miles and light patina indicating a small number of owners.  The seat will need a new cover, and a small dent in the left side of the tank could be massaged out.   Tires aren't described but might want to be refreshed if you intend to try for the 1/4 mile in the 10 second range that the ZX-10 can do.

-Donn

Once a Champion – 1990 Kawasaki ZX-10
Honda March 2, 2015 posted by Donn

Honda NS400R 1986 Rothmans Livery

In celebration of Freddie Spencer's 1983 500cc championship (or was it the competing Suzuki RG50o and Yamaha RD500 ?), Honda developed a race inspired 400cc two-stroke triple.  The rare 90-degree ( center cylinder up, outside cylinders ahead ) was little wider than an upright twin, putting out a smooth but peaky 72 hp.  The '85-87 models were never imported to the U.S., federalized one at a time or relegated to the track.

20150301 ns500r right

20150301 ns500r left front

20150301 ns500r left rear

Quick handling thanks to a short wheelbase and double cradle aluminum frame, all six speeds are required to keep the engine in the 7,000-10,000 powerband, but deliver 130 mph in top.  Dual front and single rear discs bring the modular wheels back to the speed limit.  Front suspension is  air-assisted with anti-dive, and rear shock has a remote reservoir.

From the eBay auction:

This bike sat for over 10 years covered - prior to my purchase. 

The Carbs have been cleaned and balanced. It has fresh Non-Ethanol Premium Gas in it and it starts & runs perfectly.

The bike now starts on the 1st or 2nd kick when cold. Note in the You-Tube video that the bike is started cold with the choke on - after about 30-40 seconds the choke is able to be turned off and the bike idles idles at 1,200-1,300 RPMs.

20150301 ns500r left front tire

20150301 ns500r right tank

20150301 ns500r cockpit

20150301 ns500r centerline

After 8,385 miles, this example is most of the way through re-awakening from a long rest, new battery and carbs cleaned, still waiting on rebuild kits for the fuel tank petcock and rear brake master cylinder.  16-inch front and 17-inch rear tires will also be required.  A few different liveries were available, this in the red, white, and deep metallic blue with Rothmans stickers, was replaced before the bike was parked and appears to be in excellent shape.

-Donn

Honda NS400R 1986 Rothmans Livery