Author Archives: Mike

Yamaha June 23, 2017 posted by Mike

Original Fizz: 1990 Yamaha FZR600

Before the haters and the interweb know-it-alls pipe up, we all know that the FZR600 - while a great bike in its day - is not rare. So what the heck is it doing here on RSBFS??! I can sum it up with one word: Condition. These bikes are not really collector material; Yamaha simply made too many, and they were really nothing special from a tech perspective. Fast forward nearly 30 years, though, and 98% (or more) of these bikes have been through about 6-7 owners, raced, hooned, crashed, trashed and rebuilt - and look like it. Here we have what amounts to a "nearly new" Fizzer 600 with enough miles on the clock not to be a garage queen (approaching 12,000), but clean enough to eat off of. The parts are original, and the bike looks it. This example is the 1% that had no chance to be special when released, but because of the preservation has become a unique find.

1990 Yamaha FZR600 for sale on eBay

Yamaha introduced the FZR600 as an update to the FZ series. Born of the Genesis ideology, the liquid-cooled inline four is canted forward notably in order to shift weight onto the front of the bike. Unlike the 750 and 1,000cc Fizzers, the 600 makes due with only four valves per cylinder, not five; that makes it like the 400. Unlike the 400, however, the Delta Box frame on the 600 is steel, not aluminum. This was a cost move on the part of Yamaha. Another cost-saving move was the relative lack of updates to the bike over its 10 year run; aside from colors and graphics, only minor cosmetic changes were introduced to the lineup. Again, I'm damning the FZR600 with faint praise; it is nothing particularly special, yet somehow does most things right.


From the seller:
1990 FZR 600 – Immaculate condition. I hate to do this but I am finally willing to sell one of the best bikes in my collection. The reason for my decision is because I am older and my back is not like it was. In my opinion this has to be one of the nicest (if not the nicest) 1990 FZR 600’s in the entire country. The bike has all its original plastic that is in amazing condition. This bike has been garaged and babied it’s entire life. When I purchased the bike I took a year to replace any and all tiny little trim pieces that get worn overtime using ONLY new “out of wrapper” OEM parts to do so. This bike has brand new tires (less then 20 miles), a new battery, a brand new OEM fairing stabilizer bar (try to find one of those) and a new windshield that even includes the factory OEM rubber trim around it. Even the seat is like new on this bike. The bike runs like NEW and starts right up. Clutch is perfect and shifts like new. The engine has only 11,800 original miles on it. There are only two major aftermarket parts on this bike. The first is a one piece “period correct” Vance and Hines four to one exhaust system which sounds great and the other is a "Stage One" jet kit. You will be amazed at how nice this bike is. This bike turns more heads then most because young kids don’t know what it is and old people (like me) haven’t seen one in 20 years (ha). As I said, I hate to see it go but someone should be riding this!!!! The price includes a real wheel stand.

I challenge you to find a FZR600 that looks like this. Hit up the GoogleTube and do your worst. What you will end up with is a bunch of rat bikes, "naked" stunters, abandoned rust buckets and possibly even some tenable, high-mileage used bikes. If you want a period correct FZR600 - one that you can ride and one that shows well - THIS is your option. The bummer here is that the price is rather steep. The 600cc Fizzer was always a bit of a budget bike during the day; you could spend more with Honda, Kawasaki or Suzuki, but you didn't necessarily get more bike. Yamaha was smart about their trade-offs, and built a competitive bike on a budget. This particular FZR600 - while about the best we've seen in a long, long time - breaks the bank with a $4,900 Buy It Now option. There is also an auction underway with a $4k opening bid plus reserve (no takers yet). Sadly, this is the best FZR600 that we have seen, and it is not likely to be sold at these prices. A good bike? Most certainly. Great condition? Undoubtedly. Overpriced for a non-collectable model? Sorry to say, but true. Check it out here, and then share your experience with the most versatile of the 1990s 600cc set! Good Luck!!

MI

Original Fizz: 1990 Yamaha FZR600
Aprilia June 22, 2017 posted by Mike

Tiny Tiddler: 2009 Aprilia RS125

Go figure, but these Aprilia RS125s are extremely popular on RSBFS. Nowhere near liter bike territory, the little Rotax-powered chicken chaser is the grey-market equivalent of a Honda Grom - only much, much cooler. With a single cylinder two stroke motor, lights and turn signals to make it almost legal in most states and a reputation for handling, this Aprilia will let you take the fight to those pesky Ninja 250Rs and Honda CBR250s for top title in the small bike class. Got a local track that is tight and twisty? Here is your answer. Addicted to anything that requires premix? Here is your answer. Got a few bucks laying around and hankering for a new toy? Here is your answer.

2009 Aprilia RS125 for sale on eBay

The world is changing, and we are drawn along with it - willingly or not. Gasoline and diesel are the targets of EV automobiles. Our beloved two strokes are already in their graves; four strokers have taken over everything from GP machinery to scooters. What is left but the past? This RS125 is a perfect reminder of the past. Conjuring up the glory days before Moto3, the RS125 hearkens back to an era of 125cc, entry-level GP racing. This is where pimply-faced teens cut their teeth before becoming heroes: Rossi, Biaggi, Criville, Capirossi, Locatelli, Pedrosa, Dovizioso, Luthi, Bautista, Di Meglio, Marquez. I mean, what do these guys know?

From the seller:
2009 Aprilia RS125. Purchased new, all original except tidy tail, exhaust bracket and solo seat. Factory wiring harness with no cuts/splices. Street legal, licensed and titled in my name (17 digit factory vin number). The solo seat was a factory Aprilia part (fiberglass). Bike has clear title in my name, never down or dropped, needs nothing.

Aprilia made the brave move to bring the RS125 into the US for a scant few years. Those individuals that purchased them bought well, as these are wonderful (if not small) sporting motorcycles. Keeping one on the pipe can be a mental exercise, but isn't the mental aspect what we we really seek when riding or racing? Gone is the basement torque you may expect from your Ducati. Gone is the safety net of big horsepower when you blow your corner entry and get dogged on the following straight. Small bikes are all about focus, corner speed and planning. The RS125 plays this game well with a rev-happy motor, strong brakes and decent suspension. This is a viable trainer for the younger set, and a noteworthy toy for the, uh, more mature riders (and readers) among us. If, when you step on the scale, you double the displacement of this little scoot, you will be forgiven if you pass. But you're still missing out.

Located in Tennessee and with 3,433 on the clock, this US titled bike looks to be in great condition. The seller is asking for some pretty big dollars, and already has a few bids on the hook; This RS125 is up to $4k with more to come. Check it out here, and then jump back to our Comments section for the real test: would you be able to ride a RS125, or is something, er, a little "larger" more preferable? This is a great bike for some - check it out and Good Luck!!

MI

Tiny Tiddler: 2009 Aprilia RS125
KTM June 18, 2017 posted by Mike

Alternative: 2013 KTM 1190 RC8R

The mighty RC8R was started as an internal pet project wtihin KTM R&D. This was no mere "sporty bike" project. Rather, the RC8 lineup was designed with racing in mind - Superbike competition and more. The culmination of that project was the "R" model RC8 - with top-shelf components and exclusive performance that rivaled the best of what the world had to offer. It was raced in competition with limited success, but paved the way for what is now KTM's MotoGP project. You'd be forgiven if you missed the RC8R in competition; most American buyers seemed to completely miss out on the RC8R in the showrooms too. With only a few hundred sold per year (tops), KTM eventually pulled the plug on this mega street bike. Today, the only SuperSport in the KTM lineup is the RC390.

2013 KTM RC8R for sale on eBay

The backbone of the RC8R is a tubular lattice frame of high-strength chrome-molybdenum steel. This is a page out of the early Bimota handbook, and resembles the handiwork of Ducati frames (except for the color, of course). On to that solid foundation KTM fitted a massive swingarm with adjustable pivot points. Suspension is WP on both ends, completely adjustable, naturally. In fact, adjustability might just be the RC8R's calling card: foot pegs and controls, seat height, and levers are all adjustable to help best adapt the bike to the rider. That is race bike level of detail, and certainly helps the rider control the 173 HP booming out of the 75 degree angle V-twin. Stopping this just-over-400-pound (dry) beast are Brembo radial mounts attached to lightweight, Marchesini aluminium die-cast wheels. All in all, a very formidable package.

From the seller:
2013 KTM 1190 RC8R White/Orange Only 1,400 Miles
Can't be told from new - Full Service History / Climate Controlled Storage
Original Books' Service Manual Keys & Tool Kit
Private Party Sale Title in hand Ready to transfer. No Paypal Game Cash or Bank check Only
Exterior Color:
White/Orange
Engine:
1195 cc
Title Condition:
Clear

The KTM RC8R does not quite have the supermodel good looks of the Ducati Panigale, but that keeps it from being a "me too" type of machine. Poised - as if ready to transform into something else - the KTM looks raw, mean and fast. These are wonderful bikes indeed, and the later year variants (such as this 2013 example) are free from the minor hiccups and teething that plagued the first year models. This is a solid, reliable, and confidence-inspiring mount, sure to make a statement when you arrive. Even sitting still it has a unique - exclusive - quality.

This particular example has only 1,400 miles on the clock; that helps explain why it looks so clean. There will be those that question a bike that has been ridden so few miles, but one man's garage queen is another man's nearly new motorcycle. And since you cannot get an RC8R any longer, wouldn't you rather get the newest one you can? Bidding starts high on this one: $12,995 is the opening ask, with a reserve in place. It may be too soon for these oddball quasi-Ducs to appreciate, as they were only recently discontinued (due to poor sales). In time, I would have to think the collecting world would come to appreciate this bike somewhat differently. Check it out here, as there are plenty of great pics of this steed. Then just back to our Comments section and give us a piece of your mind on this KTM: Is it a current superbike, a flash in the pan, or a future collectable? Good Luck!!

MI

Alternative: 2013 KTM 1190 RC8R
Kawasaki June 17, 2017 posted by Mike

Featured Listing: 1989 Kawasaki KR-1R!

It may take you a little bit to pry yourself away from this first picture. It's OK, I'll wait a moment. Yes, that is an honest-to-God, freaking *original* Kawasaki KR-1R. The rarest of the rare of the quarter-liter smoking set has arrived, and this is your chance (and likely your only chance) to score one of these "what lies at the end of the rainbow" sort of machines. KR-1 examples are few and far between these days. The "R" spec - as it does with all other mega cool bikes with sporting intent - kicks things up a notch into crazy uber collectable mode. With KR-1 models coming across our pages so infrequently, it should be no surprise that the one and only KR-1R seen here on RSBFS was over 6 years ago (and based in England). Today, we are thrilled to bring you what must be one of only a handful of KR-1Rs that live here in the US - and this one is titled for street use.

You might wonder what's the big deal about the KR-1R. Visually, it differs little from the lesser KR bikes. They all share the same parallel twin, reed valve inducted 250cc two stroke power plant. This motor, while not the trendy v-twin variety, has the distinction of being the most powerful of the 250cc smoking set. When it comes to bragging rights, the Kawasaki hits hard. Fun fact: A KR-1R holds the speed record at Bonneville for 250cc production motorcycles. The KR-1S is slightly different from a base KR-1 by color scheme and wheels. There are also bits that you cannot easily see, such as improved suspension components and chassis modifications (all KR models have an aluminum chassis, naturally). Take the KR-1S, add larger carbs for even more power, bolt on a close ratio gearbox and stronger clutch springs and you have one of the approximately 180 KR-1R Kawasakis in the world. It goes without saying that the KR-1R has a unique paint job with its nomenclature very, very clearly stated. All "R" model bikes were domestic (Japan) only machines.

From the seller:
The bike came from a Kawasaki collector in Japan. Motor is all stock. Stock carbs,
stock airbox, stock heads, ect all confirmed OEM Kawasaki. Fairings 100% OEM.
Windshield appears to be OEM. Two Keys.

Previous collector has cosmetically customized this KR-1R with Kawasaki OEM green
front fender, Beet rear sets and Beet exhaust and mufflers. Some suspension
components have been polished.

The bike has been professionally resprayed. Being a Kawasaki dealer with ties to
Japan, I was able to source OEM decals and correct paint codes. The paint job was done correctly. You may notice, The lower air vent was not blacked in like you see other KR-1R's on the internet. The green and black paint lays over the air vent with a 50/50 split like it came from the factory.

All three brake calipers were sent to Powerhouse in England for complete
refurbishment. Powder coated, new seals, pistons, pads, ect. because they were old
looking. I have all the original brake parts that go with the bike.

More from the seller:
Bike has newish tires, Dunlop GPR's, new brake fluid, new coolant, new oil, new
battery. Bike runs flawless at sea level and a little rich at my 4500ft elevation.
Bikes runs perfectly.

Bike comes with Utah title and is titled as a street bike for road use. I am looking
for offers over $20K - highest offer wins the bike. Potential buyers can contact me via email with offers. Only 180 bikes were made and this one is a very low serial number. Complete Serial number won't be published.

Price: Accepting offers over $20,000

Deadline: July 1, 2017

Contact: rmurangemasters@aol.com

If some of the pictures look familiar, you will notice this is indeed the same Utah collector (and Kawasaki dealer) that recently thinned out a number of exotic machines (some purchased by RSBFS readers!). Gary states that this KR-1R was a crown jewel in his collection, but it is time to move on. There are A LOT of pictures, and I've included as many as possible. If you are serious buyer and there is something that you want to see, ping Gary for more details. Word from our readers is that Gary is great to work with and the purchased hardware shows up looking as advertised. That is good to know, especially when dealing with what may be the only US-based KR-1R with a street title.

Values are hard to come by when so few examples change hands, but I can assure you that $20k is a bottom dollar bargain number when it comes to a clean and sorted KR-1R (if you can even find one). This bike looks fantastic, and is one of the more rare models you might hope to see on RSBFS this year (or the next). So if you have a spare kidney laying around that you're not really using, NOW is the time to reach out to Gary (rmurangemasters@aol.com) and make a deal. Good Luck!!

Featured Listing: 1989 Kawasaki KR-1R!
Honda June 16, 2017 posted by Mike

Tariff Buster: 1984 Honda Nighthawk S

The 1980s were a crazy-good time for motorcycling. Every major manufacturer was exploring the boundaries of what was possible. Everyone was in search of the silver bullet for performance; be it at the racetrack or the showroom. This was a heady era for Honda, as they pumped out new motorcycle variants seemingly every year. From two strokes to turbos, singles to six-bangers, Honda tried nearly everything. One of the surprising successes during this time was the Nighthawk S. Intended as a sporty commuter (comfortable, reliable, low maintenance), the Nighthawk S impressed with it's power and handling prowess. Today, the Nighthawk S remains a beloved, bygone model.

1984 Honda Nighthawk S with 2,500 miles!

Between 1984 and 1986, the American motorcycle scene was a mess. Harley-Davidson, the only remaining American manufacturer at the time, was flirting with bankruptcy like it was a super model. Using patriotism as their platform, H-D convinced Congress (and then President, Ronald Reagan) to increase the tariff on imported motorcycles greater than 700cc. This 10x tariff increase ensured H-D - who only produced bikes above the 700cc threshold - could be price competitive. Enter the Nighthawk S: Originally designed as a 750, the Nighthawk's 700cc air-cooled, inline four cylinder featured 4-valves per pot and hydraulic valve lifters - a nod to reducing the maintenance interval. With a willing motor, a solid chassis, 16" GP-inspired front wheel, comfortable seating position with bikini fairing and shaft drive, the CB700SC (as it was formally known) became the do-it-all hot rod - equally home in the canyons as it was for commuting.

From the seller:
HONDA'S all-new "HOT-ROD", the title given in 1984 by the trade magazines and publications. The Honda CB700SC was produced specifically for the US market. It was during this period steep tariffs were levied by the US International Trade Commission on motorcycles with engines larger than 700cc, With this tariff Honda provided an America-style, shaft-drive sport-custom that honored another American custom, a hot-rodding machine. Take a look at the specifications provided by a Cycle Guide Magazine of February 1984, you will see then why it was Honda's Hot-Rod.

If you are a serious buyer looking for an exceptional-almost new condition, original no aftermarket modifications, with possibly the lowest mileage NIGHTHAWK S of less than 2500 miles, for sale by original owner, well then this is your bike.

Performs and runs like new, seeing is believing! Note: Original magazines as show in photos will be provided to buyer.

Although produced for only a handful of years, the Nighthawk S is not rare from a "limited edition" marketing perspective. In fact, it sold rather well during its years of availability; American riders loved the combo of sport and reliability (the opposite of what Harley was offering) and they voted with their wallets. However like many UJM machines, finding a loved and cared-for one some 33 years later is nearly impossible. These Hondas are as reliable as your average chunk of cement - and are about as prone to leaking (again, the opposite of H-D hardware from the time). They are also pretty economical as far as older bikes go, making them excellent "buy and hold" motorcycles.

The verdict is still out in terms of whether or not the NightHawk S will ever be a collector bike - but like all UJMs, anything 30+ years old with low mileage and this clean will always have a market. This auction starts at $4,999 with a reserve in place. The Buy It Now option is available for one buck shy of $7,500. That is a good bit more than the sub-$4k that this model went for new, but good luck finding another 2,500 mile example in this sort of condition. Check it out here, and then share your thoughts and experiences with the NightHawk S in our Comments section. Good luck!!

MI

Tariff Buster: 1984 Honda Nighthawk S
Suzuki June 15, 2017 posted by Mike

Featured Listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250V Lucky Strike!

In the glorious 1990s, big tobacco made motorsports run. Cigarette sponsorship was everywhere, and every major series and team was titled by a cancer stick hawker; The Winston Cup, The Camel GT series (as well as the Camel AMA Supercross and Camel Trophy events), Marlboro McLaren, Marlboro Ferrari, Marlboro Penske, Mild Seven Benetton, Rothmans Williams, Benson & Hedges Jordan, John Player Lotus, 555 Subaru Rally, Silk Cut Jaguar Group C just to name a few. On the bike front, you cannot ignore the Rothmans Hondas, Skoal Suzukis, Smokin' Joes Hondas, Gauloises Factory Yamahas, and many, many others. Of course in the world of RSBFS, the one that really matters is the partnership of Lucky Strike and Suzuki. Which brings us to our bike: An original 1996 Suzuki RGV250V VJ23 Lucky Strike.

The RGV series was a popular and successful one for Suzuki. Using a liquid cooled v-twin to replace the earlier, parallel twin RG models, the RGV provided more power in a slimmer package. The results were impressive on the racetrack (so much so that Aprilia licensed the VJ22 powerplant for use in their own bikes), and translated tolerably well to the street. Suzuki RGV models are some of the most popular of the import two-strokes we see on these pages. So while RGVs may not be uncommon, this specific variant - the factory Lucky Strike livery - is very rare indeed. Just over 100 of the VJ23 "V" series were released for export as Lucky Strike models. There were an additional ~240 LS "T" models created for the domestic home market. To find a clean example that is not a fake Lucky Strike (cheap body panels are available) is a tough chore. Buyers need to be very careful, scrutinizing chassis numbers, SAPC versions, and other details such as exhaust chamber part numbers to ensure that they have 1) a VJ23 to begin with, and 2) the holy grail of the RGV lineup, the Lucky Strike Edition.

From the seller:
1996 (97 model) Rgv250v
Factory Lucky Strike
One of 119 in this scheme, these were the last of the vj23 line.
This was originally exported to China and is one of three that I own.
The full power bikes were quoted at 55ps in the sales brochure not 70.
This is unrestored except for the fact I've renewed all chassis/wheel brgs and consumables like carb rubbers.
Brakes and forks have been overhauled.
Engine is fine and has perfect compressions
Only non or parts are the carbon cans/nitron shock/brake lines
All oe parts are included,;seat/rear pegs/original shock/hoses/OE cans
Recent chain/sprockets
This bike needs nothing.

Price: £16,000 (plus shipping)

Contact: tasswipe@icloud.com

Like most Japanese bikes, there are a couple different variants of each model depending upon the intended market. Japanese home market bikes will always be restricted to a lower output due to licensing regulations. Bikes destined for Western Europe (specifically Germany and Italy) had a mid-grade output specification. Bikes headed to Canada and Australia usually were full-power examples, and where the higher HP numbers were quoted.

This seller is extremely knowledgeable in this model. While doing some research in the past, I came across some of his wisdom on a RGVs site, and I refer to it now and again. This is a good thing when it comes to very rare machinery; with Lucky Strike fakes pretty common, nobody wants to plunk top dollar down for any less than genuine. Fortunately, this looks to be a verifiable article from the factory. It is the last gen of the RGVs and probably the most desirable of the models. As such, it can command market price. The seller is looking for 16,000 GBP, which equates to approximately $20,400 USD at the current exchange. Drool over the pictures a little bit; your computer won't mind. Then contact Alan at tasswipe@icloud.com if you are looking for a centerpiece for your collection. Good Luck!!

Featured Listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250V Lucky Strike!