Author Archives: Marty

Full Name: Marty G Website:
Info: owner, zanemoto zane laverda nutter, currently owning more than I should bit of a collector too
Honda January 29, 2017 posted by Marty

Hello Beastie: 1991 Honda CBR1000F

1991 Honda CBR1000F on eBay

In the late 1980's/early 1990's the major Japanese motorcycle manufactures all seemed to follow the same 3-level market segment philosophy.  At the bottom end were the learner bikes of 125cc or 250cc,  in the middle were the 750cc machines including Limited Edition repli-racers that could go to the track with a few modifications.  Finally in the top segment were 1000cc machines, big bikes that could do both big speed and big distances in comfort.   In this 1000cc (and up!) segment the results included machines such as the Kawasaki ZZR1100/ZX11 and our featured bike, a CBR1000F.

The CBR1000F actually launched in 1987 and originally followed the Honda "Hurricane" naming convention.   A redesign came in 1989 with improved bodywork including a much improved front fairing.   At the same time the Hurricane moniker was was dropped and the big beastie became known simply as the CBR1000F.

For anyone interested in the details of the changes, click here.

The big Honda wasn't designed to win any awards for feather touch handling, and at nearly 500 pounds wet you weren't going to pick it up by yourself if it tipped over.  But it would track straight and true against crosswinds that would blow smaller bikes around.   Basically it was exactly as advertised; a big bike that could do big miles smoothly via big speed.

This particular CBR1000F looks to be in excellent shape.   The OEM seat, already quite comfortable, has been upgraded to a Corbin unit and the front windscreen looks to be non-OEM but otherwise everything looks to be stock and in good condition.   The seller indicates the bike has recently come out of storage and has been refreshed but does have a few light scratches and is in need of fresh rubber.  The only issue I can see i some damage t0 the riders left exhaust which might mean the bike has gone down once but no damage is apparent in the bodywork.

Here is what the seller has to say:

  • Only 16,500 miles
  • New fork seals
  • New battery
  • Been in storage for over a decade, just taken out and reconditioned by Honda technician.
  • Carbs taken apart cleaned and adjusted to factory specs
  • Tires are in decent shape but would replace 
  • Bike does have numerous scratches/scuffs...all small scratches/scuffs and might be able to buff out but wanted to disclose all flaws.

So what is this bike beastie worth?   Is it worth more than its current no-reserve Ebay price of $1,326 USD?  Before you do a double take on that price, based on ebay recent sales history, this does seem to be about the current asking price for the early 1990's CBR1000F.  But those bikes don't look as good as this one, so I would expect this price to move up a bit.

While the Honda CBR1000F probably won't ever appreciate in value, its still a very good bike with the bulletproof Honda reliability that was common of the early 1990's.  The condition and low price of this one seems like a great opportunity for anyone who is looking to keep their main bike for the track but add something a bit more "grown up" to their garage and at a very, very good price.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Post Script - the same seller is also offering a 1986 Kawasaki 1000R in that's more appealing, click here for details.

Hello Beastie:  1991 Honda CBR1000F
Suzuki January 15, 2017 posted by Marty

Slab vs sling: 1987 Suzuki GSX-R1100, 1988 Suzuki GSX-R750

This post is for two early edition Suzuki GSX-R's, a 1100 and a 750.  Both are in good but not perfect condition, have the desirable blue and white bodywork and similar mileage.


1987 GSX-1100R on ebay

The first bike is a 1987 GSX-R1100...a big beasty of a sportbike responsible for more than one type of skidmark for anyone willing to sling a leg over.  While the smaller displacement 750cc sibling is considered to be the first affordable, modern racer-replica suitable for daily road useage, the bigger GSX-R model actually sold better than its 750cc sibling.  This was in large part due to its being less effort to use on the road/less peaky and also because, well, "more POWAHHHH!!!" is always a big seller.

This particular GSX-R1100 is the first year "slab-side" version prized by collectors.  Condition is not perfect but all parts appear to be OEM with the exception of the windscreen (and the seller indicates he has that available).  Oddly there appears to be some front fairing damage that has been fixed via a set of 'stitches' which is not something I have seen before.  Also I can't really tell from the pics but the frame looks a bit shiny - perhaps some polishing has occurred.

Mileage is a respectable 14,186 in the pics and the seller indicates he has owned the bike for about 7 years.   The seller does indicate some idle issues which are probably due to gummed up carb needles.  Other general service info isn't provided so I would expect fresh fluids and tires to be needed.


The second bike is a GSX-R750 edition from a year earlier with similar mileage.

1988 Suzuki GSX-R750 on ebay

The 750cc GSX-R750 was initially the more desired of the the series, in part because the 750cc configuration was the dominant configuration in racing at the time.   Like the 1100 earlier in this post this one looks to be in good condition but not perfect with some bodywork issues, bits of rust on the exhaust canisters and fork oxidation.  Also the condition of the brake lines/front fairing area make me think that despite what the seller says this bike wasn't always garaged or perhaps was originally owned somewhere damp.

As for maintenance, the seller indicates a bit of rough running but on the plus side, it has fresh tires, battery and brake fluids and all parts appear to be OEM with the exception of some handgrips.

Here are a few more pics of the 750cc edition.

So, what are these worth?  Both have opening prices in the $5,000-$6,000 USD range which seems a bit high but not preposterous, especially given both bikes location in California where prices tend to be higher.   Finding first gen Suzuki's that have not been modified is getting to be tougher and tougher - you are more likely to see something like this which while cheaper, would probably end up costing more if the intent is to put it back into completely OEM condition.

From a collectors standpoint, the market for these seems to be demonstrated by the similar pricing of these two so I would not expect either of these to appreciate in price much.  Personally I think the 1100 would be more fun but both will probably appeal more to the nostalgia-oriented rider or restorer than the investment oriented collector.  Then again, market values can change fast so if a late 1980's GSX-R is on your list for your dream garage, maybe a trip to California to check both out would be in order.

-Marty/Dallaslavower

Slab vs sling:  1987 Suzuki GSX-R1100, 1988 Suzuki GSX-R750
Suzuki January 4, 2017 posted by Marty

The Beast Below: 2001 Suzuki TL1000R

2001 Suzuki TL1000R on ebay

Back in the late 1990's the motorcycling world was gobsmacked by the Ducati 916 - not only was it shockingly beautiful, it restored the v-twin as THE desired powerplant for the motorcycling cognescenti.  Given the impact of the Ducati 916 it wasn't a surprise that the competition tried to build their own v-twins with the results including the Aprilia FalcoHonda Firestorm and Suzuki TL series (S/Street and R/Race model). While these bikes were each interesting in their own way (especially the Falco) none dethroned the Ducati.  The reasons for this were varied; the Aprilia was poorly marketed and simply bland looking in comparison while the Honda suffered from a very small fuel tank and poor (for Honda anyway) build quality.  As for the TL series, the issue was handling.

When the Suzuki TL series was introduced with the TL-S/Street version the 90 degree v-twin won raves for producing 125hp.  However the v-twin design meant that there was less room for the rear suspension so Suzuki fit a car-like rotary suspension system which involved a separate spring and rotary damper.  While this suspension is fine under most situations for the street, when the suspension came under heavy load it got hot and the suspension could struggle to respond quickly enough. The result was front wheel lift which could then result in tank slap.   The press jumped on the issue, declaring the bike as a "widow maker".

Even as Suzuki worked to resolve the TL-S/Street versions handling issues the company launched the TL- R/Race version.  Like its year younger sibling, the TL-R had a great engine (tweaked to produce 135hp) that was now mounted in a GSX-R series derived beam frame and clad with full bodywork.   The TL-R came with a factory installed steering damper but despite the changes, still maintained its reputation for dangerous handling.  Sales were below target and after 6 years Suzuki decided to pull the plug on its V-Twin series efforts and refocus its attention on the GSX/inline four series.

This particular TL1000R is in the traditional late 1990's blue and white Suzuki colors.  Personally I think it was a mistake for Suzuki to clad the TL-R in something that was so similar to the GSX-R series but the bodywork on this one does look to be pretty good.   The taillights, turnsignals, windscreen and frame sliders/crash bungs are aftermarket but could be restored pretty cheaply.  The seller does indicate some scuffs and a broken bit of fairing but also indicates that the sale includes some extra bits

Here is what the seller has to say

  • Mileage 11,338
  • Has a full Yoshimura exhaust system, Power commander + tune  
  • Included in the sale is a spare belly pan, tail fairing, and upper fairing and clear windscreen 
  • Chain and sprockets are in good condition, oil is fresh.  
  • Bike is lowered slightly but OEM shock with OEM ride height links that will go with the bike

So what is this V-Twin beastie worth?  Obviously its not a pristine bike and will require some attention if the intent is to acquire it for a collection.  However the price right now is stupid low at $2600 USD (which is barely above KBB trade in value) and these still have a reputation for being very good both as a daily commuter and on  the track.   Personally I think this one is a screaming deal right now.

Note: If you are interested in learning more about the TL1000R, check out some of our previous posts regarding the Suzuki TL1000R.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

The Beast Below:  2001 Suzuki TL1000R
Honda December 26, 2016 posted by Marty

Boxing Day Dream: 1989 Honda RC30 with 1,550 miles in the UK

1989 Honda RC30 for sale on ebay uk

Any RSBFS readers not familiar with the Honda RC30/VFR750R can read our previous RC30/VFR750R posts to learn about this legendary bike but to quickly summarize, Honda decided to show the world what it was capable of when all the limits (financial, manpower, etc) were ignored.  The result was the Honda RC30, a machine built to win and boy did it.  In just the 1st year after its introduction the result was pure domination with 15 of the 25 finishers in the top F1 class being on the new Honda.  As this was the homologation era, street versions also had to be available, an a total of 1,500 were produced each year over a 2 year production run.

A large block of the RC30's that were produced were dedicated to the Japanese market and this particular RC30 is apparently one of these Japanese editions but interestingly, is currently located in the UK.  Despite its travels, it is probably the most pristine/intact one we have had on RSBFS, with mileage at only 1,550 miles.

The pics* seems to match the mileage with the bike looking like it just came out of the factory.  The seller does mention some slight staining around the frame plate but this is not apparent in the pics and everything looks completely OEM/stock.   Given the low miles and the statement that this is a formerly japan market bike I would assume the Japan market CDI/top speed limiter is still installed but info on how to remove/replace it is available on the web so it would be fairly straightforward to enjoy the full RC30 experience.

*NOTE:  The listing includes both standard pics and additional classified ad pics which are located at the bottom of the ebay.co.uk listing.

The Honda RC30/VFR750R is one of those bikes that every serious collector wants to have in their collection.  It is probably the homologation bike that had the most top level track success, although the Ducati Desmosedici and Kawasaki ZX7-RR are both close runners up.  But even given its legendary success on the track and the pristine condition of this example the question remains; is this example worth the asking price of 28,000 GBP/$35,000 USD?  That price seemed a bit high at first but then again it is very unlikely you will see one for sale in this condition anytime soon and prices do seem to be steadily increasing.

I guess the question is what is this bikes destiny?  Is it already fated to exist only as a halo bike in a collection?  Or will its next owner give it some fresh fluids/rubber and do a bit of riding to see what all the fuss was about?  All I know is that if I was able to acquire this one, I would be in that second camp for at least a bit.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Boxing Day Dream:  1989 Honda RC30 with 1,550 miles in the UK
Suzuki December 19, 2016 posted by Marty

First Year Big Bird: 1999 Suzuki Hayabusa (the unrestricted model)

1999 Suzuki Hayabusa for sale on eBay US

Its a given that every sportbike collector has a bike (or two) they regret not adding to their collection back when they were cheap to acquire.  Typically these regrets are for bikes that introduced a new technology or reset the standards for a sportbike class.  Also they were probably in pristine/nearly all OEM condition.  My personal example of this is the 1st year Yamaha R1 (the red and white one) which has seen dramatic price appreciation over the last 2 years.  Other examples in recent years include the Suzuki TL1000 and Triumph Daytona 955i, both which have also begun to increase in value quite dramatically

I mention all this because today's post is a 1st year/1999 Suzuki Hayabusa, a model which could become another "missed opportunity" for collectors very soon.

When the Hayabusa was first announced in the late 1997, the expectations of the sportbike world were that it would be an ultra-light, ultra focused machine meant to compete against the Honda CBR900/Fireblade and Yamaha R1.  This was probably due to its name, which means "Perigrine Falcon".  But Suzuki actually decided to go after a market that hadn't seen any dramatic changes in quite a while; the big bore hyper-sport.  Suzuki's Hayabusa hearkened back to the era when bikes like the Kawasaki ZX, Honda Blackbird and Yamaha Thunderace ruled; big bikes that could cover big distances with big speed.

Did the Hayabusa deliver?  Woo wee wow, yes it did.  The big Suzuki came standard from the factory with a top speed that was over 300 kph (that's over 185 mph for our non-metric readers).  Even more insanely, upon its introduction the big "bird" bike from Hamamatsu Japan did not have any electronic speed restrictions installed so even more speed was easily possible with just a few tweaks.

It probably shouldn't have come as a surprise that, shortly after the Hayabusa was launched,  an agreement was reached between the Japanese and European manufacturers to limit motorcycles to no more than 300 kph. This meant that the unrestricted Hayabusa,was pretty much guaranteed to be the top speed champ for quite a while.  The Hayabusa actually held the top speed record for unmodified bikes for almost 10 years, finally being dethroned by the BMW S1000 in 2009.

This particular Hayabusa looks to be nearly all OEM and the seller posts a fair amount of pics showing condition.  Mileage is approximately 14,000 miles so its not been a garage quuen but a good amount of service info is provided.  Even the only non-OEM pieces are clearly identified by the owner.

Here is what the seller has to say:

  • *NEW* Pilot Sports
  • Full Akrapovic stainless steel exhaust system
  • Full synthetic fluids every 4K mi. from day one
  • PowerCommander 3 with a radical map currently programmed
  • Brock clutch kit and clutch cushion upgrade
  • Adult owned, NEVER raced, dropped or molested.  
  • Never seen rain.  Been in a heated garage on battery tender for a couple years now
  • Have stock seat and sissy bar.

One more interesting note- the big  Suzuki wasn't a runaway sales success in its first year.  Unlike most bikes, which sell well in their first year and then see their numbers decline the Hayabusa reversed this pattern.  According to Wikipedia, "sales in the United States increased from just a few thousand units in 1999 to over 10,000 in 2006."

So is this 1st year unrestricted speed monster worth the $7000 USD asking price?   Well we haven't posted too many of these before so very little price info is in the RSBFS archive.  A quick search through ebay history seems to show a price for 1st year Hayabusas around $4500-$6000 USD  depending on mileage.  Given this bike has approximately 14,000 miles the sellers $7000 asking price seems to be at the high end of the range but not completely unreasonable.

The Hayabusa will never be unobtanium and you won't impress anyone by riding one to your local bike night.  Then again, we used to say the same thing about 1st year Fireblades and the R1.  And this is the 1st year model, which was produced in much less numbers and was the only unrestricted version, so perhaps the question for collectors really is - how much will I regret it if I miss this opportunity?

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

First Year Big Bird:  1999 Suzuki Hayabusa (the unrestricted model)
Honda November 18, 2016 posted by Marty

Out of the Winter Darkness: 1989 Honda RC30 in Canada

Before heading out for the holiday weekend, here is a bit of unobtanium: a 1989 Honda RC30 located in Canada.   Perhaps if you are heading towards Ontario for the holiday anyway, a short detour is in order?

rc302

1989 Honda RC30 for sale on eBay in Canada

The RC30 is a bike that every serious collector wants to own at one point, and for good reason - it was about as true a homologation bike as was ever produced.  The RC30, also known as the VFR750R, came with what was at the time unheard of specs for a street bike; titanium and magnesium cast components, track-type "slipper" clutch, a first gear designed for track starts up to 80 mph, a single-sided swingarm, etc.

The story of how the RC30 originated usually goes something like Soichiro Honda declaring he wanted to show the world what Honda could do if decided to put all its efforts towards producing a no-holds-barred sports bike and that the mandate was that there would be no compromise, no corners cut, and no bowing to the bean counters.  In short, the mandate was that the bike was to be the best and the result was the RC30, a bike built to win...and win it most certainly did.   The RC30 carried "Flying" Fred Merkel to consecutive WSB titles in 1988 and 1989, and powered Steve Hislop around the famous Isle of Man TT course at a then unheard of/first 120-mph lap.  How dominate was the RC30?  Think of it this way - in 1990 fifteen of the 25 finishers in the top F1 class were on the VFR750R/RC30.

A good review of the RC30 by visordown.com can be read here.

rc306

Given its been over 25 years since this bike was introduced, the RC30 ought to look and sound dated, but its elegant lines and tiny size (more like a big 250cc 2-stroke than a full 750cc 4-stroke) produce a stunning reaction even today.  Perhaps what keeps the RC30 an object of lust is the way it puts everything together; incredible feel from the suspension, outstanding build quality, a stupendously wide and usable powerband and the lightest weight in its class allowed the the 750cc powered machine to pretty much make the competition look stupid.  The only downside was that that all this top shelf performance didn't come cheap. The RC30 was priced at an eye popping $21,000 in 1990 (about $39,000 USD in today's dollars).

To put it simply, the word masterpiece can be commonplace when describing a rare sportbike, but in the case of the RC30 it was and still is truly justified.

rc301

This particular RC30 looks to be in good condition but I really wish the seller hadn't taken the pictures at night, had used a higher quality camera, and somehow changed the flash results.  Overall the bike looks to be OEM with the possible exception of a cut rear fender?  Also the tires look a bit off, perhaps the rear wheel is non stock?

Note:  The RC30 had different trim based on the destination country and while this particular model appears to be the dual headlight US version, it might actually be a bike produced specifically for the Canadian market (supposedly there was about 25 of these).  Unfortunately, the seller is not providing ownership history info and there is a somewhat ominous "rebuilt due to age" reference which could mean anything from a fluid change to a former track bike.

Here is what the seller has to say

  • Only 11000 km
  • All Original
  • Has been professionally rebuilt due to age to perfect spec
  • Bike rides perfect and needs nothing
  • Also has the race pkg includes race cams gives more power

rc304

Current bid price on this is only about $14,000 USD but that given that we have seen recent posts range from $22,000 to over $28,000 USD, I expect price on this one to jump.  To be honest I not sure if this is a bike produced specifically for the Canadian market or if this is a US bike (only 300 of these were reported as coming into the USA) but regardless, this one will probably hold its value over time.

Here at RSBFS we have some regular readers who will be able to offer better insight on the current fair price for this RC30, so if its time for you to add one to your collection, I suggest you check out the the comments on this post or the previous RSBFS posts linked above.  But anyone who is seriously interested will want to be quick as eBay auctions of these bikes often end early.   I would also be curious to hear from anyone who has imported a bike from Canada to the USA, suggestions for shipping companies...no reason...nothing to see here...move along now...

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Out of the Winter Darkness:  1989 Honda RC30 in Canada