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Author Archives: Donn

Honda March 18, 2015 posted by Donn

Big Bang Theory – 1988 Honda RC30

One of the winning-est race bikes in history, the Honda RVF750 took the first three World Super Bike Championships 1988-90, the AMA Superbike, and countless endurance races and series.  It was homologated with the RC30, an exotic special built in very low numbers by Honda's racing department.

20150316 1988 honda rc30 right front

1988 Honda RC30 for sale on eBay

The V-4 750cc engine that powers the RC30 is a racer for the road, with 4-valve heads, gear-driven cams, titanium connecting rods, but most distinctively, it uses a different crankshaft and firing order.  Known as a 360-degree or big bang crankshaft, cylinders 1 & 4 fire close together, then the crank moves 270 degrees, then cylinders 2 & 3 go.  This leads to an explosive delivery of power, sounding completely different than the similar-looking engine in the VFR road bike, which fires 1-4-3-2 but with 180 degrees of crank rotation between each.  Check this Canadian RC30 fan site for the sound -

20150316 1988 honda rc30 cockpit

20150316 1988 honda rc30 right rear

After a long rest, the current owner got the bike ready to ride and sell - from the eBay auction:

This bike (and it's 15 serial number older sister shown in the last picture) has been in my collection for over 15 years, I recommissioned it last year, cleaned carburetors, checked fluids, serviced it and got it ready for rides.  Please see the pictures of the bike as it is today.  It has Mavic wheels fitted at present, either these wheels or the original wheels for the bike can be fitted for the new owner. I have the main stand. Since you are looking at this auction I do not have to tell you how rare these bikes are.

The specifications read like the race bike they are, with a twin-cradle frame, 4 downdraft carburetors, 41mm Showa forks, Pro-Link rear, twin 296m disks up front, single 256mm rear.  110 hp and 53 ft-lbs. of torque push 1st gear up to 82 mph ( 11,000 rpm ) and sixth delivers around 150 mph.  A slipper clutch relieves the possible rear wheel chatter from the big bang crank.  The transverse V-4 keeps the engine weight low in the chassis.

20150316 1988 honda rc30 front

20150316 1988 honda rc30 naked

20150316 1988 honda rc30 naked tank

Areas that will keep an owner's attention are engine cooling, brake rotor wear, and obsolete tire sizes ( though this bike has a more current set of Mavic wheels fitted ).

Only around 300 were produced for the U.S. market in 1990, this example is a Swiss import.  Many European countries received the bike in 1988-89, but only the hundreds.  Truly exotic and certainly a handful, the RC30 is a super performer with a distinctive sound.


Big Bang Theory – 1988 Honda RC30
Ducati March 17, 2015 posted by Donn

Sport Production (h)Omologation – 1993 Ducati 888 SPO

20150315 1993 ducati 888 spo left

For the 1991 World Superbike Championship, Ducati made a small increase to the bore of the modernized 851 engine, and introduced the 888.  Capitalizing on the 4 desmodromically actuated valves per cylinder, fuel injection, and water cooling in the 851, the bike brought Ducati the 1992 and '93 WSBK championships under American Doug Polen and the AMA Superbike championship in 1994.  It was homologated for the 1993-94 model years, with around 300 SPO's being sold in the U.S. in 1993, and only 100 in 1994.

1993 Ducati 888 SPO for sale on eBay

20150315 1993 ducati 888 spo right front

20150315 1993 ducati 888 spo left rear

A brilliant performer, the 888 has 104 hp and 59 ft-lbs torque available, transmitted through a 6-speed transmission.  Fully adjustable suspension front ( Showa ) and rear ( Ohlins ), and big 320mm brakes ( Brembo ) complete the controls.  The beautiful monoposto bodywork has air intakes either side of the headlight, and a large number 1 on the tailcone.  Known as the Strada overseas, these bikes were as much a WSBK as was available.

20150315 1993 ducati 888 spo binnacle

20150315 1993 ducati 888 spo front

Having been stored since 1997, not much history in the eBay auction:

Original 1993 spo .....purchased new and stored under blankets since 1997...this bike has not been started since 1997...parked and left under a set of blankets.

20150315 1993 ducati 888 spo right front wheel

20150315 1993 ducati 888 spo belly scoop

With incredibly low miles, some new seals, belts, and tires, this 888 SPO would be a rare sight street or track.


Sport Production (h)Omologation – 1993 Ducati 888 SPO
Honda March 10, 2015 posted by Donn

Unusual color and condition: 1989 Honda CBR600F

Honda's first fully faired sportbike with inline 4-cylinder engine, the CBR600F began the generation.  Built from 1987-1990, it's one of the best balanced and lightest 600's of the time.  This example has unusual pearl white/silver paint with matching seat, tank protector, wheels, and mirrors.

20150310 1989 honda cbr600f left

1989 Honda CBR600F

Honda's first City Bike Racer, the CBR was meant to commute and win races.  The seriously oversquare ( and reliable ) 598cc four puts out 85 hp and 44 ft-lbs. of torque.  Nissin 4-piston calipers grip 3 drilled rotors to provide great braking.  Frame design was an evolution of the VFR750, the air adjustable forks and monoshock rear provided agility with enough stability to achieve the 12-second 1/4 mile and 140 mph the soap-bar fairing make possible.

20150310 1989 honda cbr600f right front

20150310 1989 honda cbr600f centerline

Showing color-matched seat and tank protector, in the eBay auction the owner says:

Good condition, a few minor scratches and one tiny ding on gas tank however did not scratch or break paint. All original comes with matching tank bag and saddle bags. I am the 2nd owner my mother in law is the original owner.

20150310 1989 honda cbr600f speedo

20150310 1989 honda cbr600f rear tire

20150310 1989 honda cbr600f front tire

Though not high resolution, the photos show no obvious flukes, appearing adult-owned and garage-kept.  Without much detail about current use or maintenance, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect a tune-up, fresh tires and brake pads.

20150310 1989 honda cbr600f left garage

After 4 successors ending with the CBR600F4i in 2006, the CBR600F was re-introduced in 2011 as the Hornet.  But the smooth handling and slippery bodied 1987-89 model was the beginning of a great run.



Unusual color and condition: 1989 Honda CBR600F
Buell March 8, 2015 posted by Donn

Raw Awesome 1998 Buell S1 Lightning

From the S2 Thunderbolt of 1994-95, the Buell S1 Lightning was a decrease in model number and price, but an improvement in many ways.  Developed by Harley-Davidson engineer Erik Buell, the Buell bikes pioneered many innovative features but never denied their desire for the brute horsepower of the 1203cc Sportster engine.

1998 Buell S1 Lightning for sale on eBay

20150307 1998 buell s1 left

20150307 1998 buell s1 right

Adjectives like pure, naked and muscular are used on the Buell S1, some comparing its single-minded design to the Ducati Monster.  With the Buell features such as horizontal rear shock absorber, large diameter front brake disc, and isoplanar engine mounts, there is no denying the performance orientation of the 100 hp machine.

20150307 1998 buell s1 left engine

20150307 1998 buell s1 right engine

With under 1000 miles, this one seems mint.  From the eBay listing:

944 miles, one owner. To include new battery, original cylinder assembly with pistons, original heads, original air filter assembly (motor upgraded prior to delivery), plus original and Corbin seats. Bike properly stored in heated shop.

20150307 1998 buell s1 binnacle

There was a factory upgrade engine available in 1998, maybe that's what was installed on this bike, though there are countless H-D 1200 upgrades available.  Also seen here is a cone filter instead of the factory Power Volume intake.  The owner has upgraded to a Corbin seat but includes the factory piece.  WP suspension, low maintenance belt drive, and Italian controls complete this innovative package.  Blue trellis frame and orange bodywork have a good-natured effect on this thunder bike.



Raw Awesome 1998 Buell S1 Lightning
BMW March 5, 2015 posted by Donn

Rejuvenated 1986 R100RS Tribute

The venerable BMW R100RS was designed by Hans Muth for the 1977 model year,  and based on a 980cc engine, an upgrade from the classic R90S's 898cc.  Looking modern in the late 70's the frame-mounted fairing allows all weather riding and increases stability to allow a top speed of almost 125mph.  The supple ride rewards smooth riding, tucked into the fairing listening to the quiet whir from below.

1986 BMW R100RS Tribute

20150303 1986-R100RS-Sport left front

20150303 1986-R100RS-Sport left

This particular machine was a mechanic's love affair:

The bike started out as a 1986 R80RT, that was converted to an RS. The original motor was sold to help pay for the rebuild, and the builder started with a used 1978 R80 motor bottom end off our shelf.

The comprehensive rebuild included an engine with the RS's larger valves, dual-plug heads, Nikasil cylinders, 40 mm Bings, and factory sport cam.  Additionally a stainless custom exhaust was fabricated.

20150303 1986-R100RS-Sport right cylinder

20150303 1986-R100RS-Sport right

20150303 1986-R100RS-Sport cockpit

Over 3 years, the mechanic upgraded and rebuilt every sub-system, replacing the clutch, upgrading the starter, and replacing all the bushings and bearings in the transmission and final drive.  Steering head and forks were rebuilt, and a new fork brace and rear shock installed.  Brake calipers were rebuilt and push EBC floating rotors.

20150303 1986-R100RS-Sport left front wheel

20150303 1986-R100RS-Sport left rear

The list of new parts is pretty surprising, and the fairing was not neglected, a bright yellow with well-coordinated stripes and lowers in black.  With distinctive Motorsport badges all around, it makes a splash.

20150303 1986-R100RS-Sport centerline

Again from the ad:

After turning 3700 miles, it was parked for a few years and has returned to the shop to have the carbs cleaned, fuel tank lined, and a general inspection.  A 1986 version of a model that went out of production in 1984, it will never be destined for a "collection", this tribute to the ground-breaking design is a rider, and appears ready to go.


Rejuvenated 1986 R100RS Tribute
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.


Once a Champion – 1990 Kawasaki ZX-10