Author Archives: Mike

Honda August 17, 2017 posted by Mike

Threesome: 1986 Honda NS400R

The Honda NS400R is a bit of an odd duck in the annals of rare bike collections. Bigger than a 250 but lacking the brutal thrust of the 500cc smokers, the V-3 two stroke is neither fish nor fowl. Nearly all other two strokes are apples to the NS400R orange. With typical Honda flair and technology, the NSR is finished to a very high standard and offers a more evolved package than the competition. Instead of focusing solely on the HP game, Honda polished the edges and created a softer sport bike. But make no mistake - the NS400R is quite capable of madness in the canyons when piloted by an experienced rider.

1986 Honda NS400R for sale on eBay

To make a NS400R, imagine taking a parallel twin and 90 degree V-twin power plant and stuffing them together in the same case. Retain two cylinders up front, and one in the rear (for packaging). Beef up the single cylinder moving parts to compensate for only having one piston rather than two (to quell vibration), toss in some power valve and exhaust chamber wizardry (ATAC system) and bolt it all to a six speed gearbox. Slide that contraption into a sweet aluminum perimeter frame, bolt up a trick TRAC anti-dive fork and Showa rear shock, and drape it in aerodynamic bodywork with intricate detail (even the kickstand has a freaking fairing!) and you've got another Honda masterpiece.

From the seller:
Up for sale is a very rare beast which was sold new in Calgary Alberta Canada and I am the second owner. This bike has sat in a collection for over 20 years and has been started regularly and kept up the way it should have been. I took bike out and have put 250 klms on the machine and worked flawlessly as it should. Everything is 100% and factory Honda not aftermarket ebay panels. These bikes are climbing in value extremely fast and are not going to stop that's for sure.

The only flaw in the bike is a small hairline crack forming by one of the bolts on the faring. I am putting this up for sale this one time for I have found a brand new on in the crate still. Bike is perfect needs nothing at all and is currently located in Alberta Canada with a clear title and can be crated up professionally to ship for an extra charge.

This two owner bike is definitely interesting. The seller does not note the model year, which I sussed is an '86 due to the "G" digit in the provided VIN (not to mention the big "1986" on the VIN plate). The bike looks clean and is claimed original, but no notes of maintenance or refresh on the running gear - a potential issue for a 31 year old bike with 15,534 on the all kilometer clocks. Certainly it has not set the interwebs on fire as of yet; only a few bids and far below $2k with a reserve in place.

If you are in the market for a NS400R - and there is really no reason you should not be unless you are no longer breathing - this could be your next ride. The bike is located in Canada, meaning that importation awaits US buyers. While that is a negative in this case, it should not be all that surprising considering that Honda never imported these to the States in the first place. You are past the 25 year mark at this point, so for states other than the one at the bottom left of most US maps, it might not be that big of a deal. Check it out here, and then jump back to the Comments section and share your thoughts: is the NS400R too big, too small, or just right? Good Luck!!

MI

Threesome: 1986 Honda NS400R
Honda August 16, 2017 posted by Mike

Featured Listing: 1996 Honda NSR250R SE MC28

When it comes to competition - performance AND style - you simply cannot beat the 250cc two-stroke market. Designed both for capturing regional buyers where licensing regulations restrict capacity and to bolster the corporate image of the company related to GP racing, the quarter-liter smoker is one of the more focused sporting machines you are likely to find. All of the Big Four competed heavily in these 250 battles, and the result is an aging crop of razor-sharp racers that collectors lust after. Never officially imported into the United States, any of these grey-market interlopers are rare. Fewer are in clean, corrosion-free condition. And even fewer have a title for road use Stateside. This 1996 Honda NSR250R ticks all the right boxes. Read on!

Featured Listing: 1996 Honda NSR250R SE MC28

The Honda NSR250 series has proven to be one of the more popular models for importation. Part of this is due to age: the original 250 racer was born in 1985, while the street bike emerged in 1987 and therefore slides under the 25 year old rule for US imports. Unlike the Suzuki Gamma, Honda stuck with the same basic format throughout the model run; all NSRs are 90 degree vee twins. For the next decade or so, Honda continued to ramp the hyper-factor on what could only be referred to as a "racer with lights," finally closing the door on the model in the late 1990s due to ever-tightening emissions regulations, changes in racing classes, and improvements in four-stroke technology.

Today's Featured Listing is the vaunted MC28 variant of the NSR250R. This bike is still a bit newer than the 25 year rule, and therefore more rare to find imported and titled in the US. The MC28 is pretty trick by 1996 standards - check out the single-sided swingarm. While other manufacturers were implementing "banana" style arms to help the right-hand side pipe tuck up tighter for better cornering clearance, Honda did away with the right-side arm altogether, improving the tire changing experience and the style all in one fell swoop. The MC28 also introduced Honda's PGM-IV electronic ignition. This programmable ignition mapping system took input from the throttle position, gear-selection, and RPM to create specific ignition sequences for each cylinder. This system also took control of the exhaust valve, ensuring optimum settings for peak power. In short, the MC28 refined the two-stroke tuning experience and made it as simple as using a key card.

From the seller:
Up for sale is a rarely seen Honda NSR 250R SE Repsol edition MC28. This bike is the cream of the crop. There are only 9,102 kilometers (5,656 miles) on this beauty. This NSR is in mint condition with only a few nicks and handling marks. Bike passes for new condition. Comes equipped with very tasteful and expensive mods: Ethos Design full exhaust system with carbon fiber mufflers, Tyga rear sets, Tyga carbon fiber front fender, heel guards, air intake and carbon fiber dash surround. Engine is completely stock. Fairings 100% original OEM Honda. The upper cowling is fiberglass FRP made in Japan. Very nice finish and is prized in Japan for high quality. The rest of the fairings are genuine Honda OEM.

Bike is ultra clean and very well cared for. Tires are very fresh and the bike runs like the day it was new. Full service with carb tune just completed. This is the bike everybody wants in their collection. Bike needs nothing! No problems, no stories, no excuses. This Repsol comes with a Utah state title and is titled as a street bike for road use. Comes with one key card.

This particular MC28 looks fantastic in the classic Mick Dohan Repsol livery. And to compliment an already great machine, this one appears to have quite a bit of the Tyga catalog thrown its way to boot! The Ethos full exhaust is icing on the cake. Unlike much of what we see imported out of Japan, this bike is a cherry rider that looks clean and collectable. This is a bike you can park in your man cave with pride, yet begs to be taken on a canyon-carving session on the weekend. The seller is an avid collector, is well known to RSBFS readers, and has garnered nothing but positive feedback according to readers who have become new owners of some of his bikes. Check it out here before it's too late. This one has had TONS of internet interest and will be going to a new home soon. If you lust for an NSR250R, this may be your best chance to realize that dream. Good Luck!!

MI

Featured Listing: 1996 Honda NSR250R SE MC28
Bimota August 8, 2017 posted by Mike

Baby Bimota: 1973 Bimota HB1 350

What you are looking at is somewhat of an oddity. Most people likely do not even know this model existed in the Bimota lineup - probably because it didn't. Whereas the HB1 was officially a frame/suspension/bodywork kit designed around the Honda CB750, the HB1 350/400 provided a shorter list of components designed to augment Honda CB350 and CB400s. The smaller kit did not provide a new frame (which was the major cost associated with a Bimota offering). Instead, the smaller HB1 model provided some bodywork and a swingarm which were meant to augment the performance of the smaller Honda fours and relied upon the stock, Honda chassis.

1973 Bimota HB1 350 for sale on eBay

Like all early Bimotas, the HB1 350/400 components were delivered separate from the remaining pieces necessary to build a complete motorcycle. The buyer was expected to supply a suitable donor machine which would then be utilized as a parts bike. Not only that, but the buyer was expected to build the bike - or at least hire a competent shop for assembly purposes. In the case of the 350/400 kits, the donor machine WAS the base motorcycle, and buyers had their choice of a few different Honda fours from this period. Of the handful of kits that were produced (numbers are *extremely* hard to verify in this case as no frame numbers are associated with the pieces), most appear to have been built on the CB400 Four. This example utilizes a CB350.

From the seller:
Up for No Reserve auction is this nice example of a rare Honda/Bimota HB1 350. Produced in very limited numbers (approximately 10), the original HB1 was based on a Honda CB750 and all were built for the track. However, Bimota also produced a handful of kits that fit CB 350 and 400 fours. The kit consisted of the tank, bodywork, swingarm, and a couple of other odds and ends. This particular machine started life as a European market 1972 CB350, and one of the aforementioned kits was added later on. Generally speaking this bike shows well, and its bodywork's aging paint is in very good condition.

This motorcycle has been imported from the U.K., and was test ridden in Yorkshire. It preformed well, and the engine pulled linearly through the power-band. The auction's winner will be provided with British ownership paperwork, a dating and authenticity letter, and import documents.

This is an excellent opportunity to augment your motorcycle collection with a sharp looking rarity for a small fraction of the cost of the factory original HB1s.

Make no mistake - Bimota started life out as a small-bike racing company, and built successful frames and components for 350cc racers. Thus this was not really a departure for them, but rather a stepping stone to help finance the bigger, more ambitious projects. As such, this smaller Bimota-outfitted machine is both a tribute to the beginnings of this legendary company as well as a more affordable alternative to the models that would follow. The build itself looks good, and provides a proper cafe racer stance that nicely compliments the Bimota name, logo and colors.

A full HB1 750 build is something reserved for the wealthy - at auction you can expect one to easily cross the $75,000 USD threshold. The 350/400 kitted Bimota will be much, much more affordable. Sure, it's missing the hand-welded trellis frame. Yes, the bodywork is a bit spartan and has not aged particularly well. And let's face it: the Honda CB350 - while a fine motorcycle in its day - is never going to haul the mail with much gusto. All that adds up to a very rare set of pieces that will likely go for a bargain. Bidding on this no reserve auction started down in the basement (99 cents) and is climbing quickly from there. Lots of time left on this one, so watch it carefully; you may be able to score yourself a very rare, Italian deal. Good luck!!

MI

Baby Bimota: 1973 Bimota HB1 350
Kawasaki August 1, 2017 posted by Mike

Godfather: 1982 Kawasaki GPz1100

Here is a bike that should need no introduction. The last of the "He-Man" bikes and the best of the rest as the motorcycling world teetered on the verge of technology overload, the Kawasaki GPz1100 was THE bad boy on the block in the early 1980s. This bike is very far from rare in terms of production numbers - the only limit was the number that could be shuffled through the showroom floor. Tack 35 years onto that memory, however, and what you have is something that is a bona fide collector in the kind of condition that we see here (nostalgia only helps). Being sold by a dealer out of Connecticut, this GPz1100 is a survivor that looks tremendous and sports only 12,261 miles on the clock. Interested? You should be. Read on!

1982 Kawasaki GPz1100 for sale on eBay

Young Padawan learners take note: Long before the days of liquid cooling, four valve heads, fuel injection, rising-rate single shock rear suspension, upside down forks, big brakes, ECUs or radial tires, motorcycles still existed. They were just a bit more basic than what you know today. The quest for speed still existed, but the answer to most questions was displacement. Want to create a legacy? Build a bigger bike. Want to sell more bikes? Bore out whatever you have to something larger. Dousing the resulting product in "arrest me - now!" red paint never hurts. Backing it up with the most decent chassis of the day, adding triple disks (a novelty) and capping it with a bikini fairing (oooh, racy!) pretty much made this THE big bore bike to have back when Magnum PI was the hot ticket on TV.

From the seller:
1982 GPZ1100 KAWASAKI
Absolutely Stunning, an Original Paint, Antique Kawasaki, A Rare Museum Quality Piece!

A member of the “Red Revolution” as it is beautifully painted in Kawasaki’s “firecracker red”. The color just seems to hover above this bikes remaining parts (frame, engine, exhaust, mufflers, forks, handlebars, mirrors, etc.) as they are blacked out chrome. Creating a seriously aggressive look! It’s the second year Kawasaki produced an 1100cc and they were serious about having the best superbike! The B2 is similar to the B1 however it is unique due to its cockpit fairing, clip on style handlebars, LCD fuel gauge display, 4 digital fuel injectors mounted directly into the cylinder head, digital microprocessor to measure airflow, throttle position sensor (to eliminate throttle lag and lower emissions), reflectors on both sides of the tail light, stiffer fork springs, compression and rebound damping for a better handling on either track or street.

The GPz was indeed a revolution for Kawasaki; an evolution of the Z1 and the KZ series, the GPz was the most sporting of the Big K lineup, and became the legend behind the forthcoming Ninja. It didn't hurt that the Kawasaki was very successful against the onslaught of Honda went it came to Superbike racing; while they eventually succumbed to the V-4 Interceptors, the GPz reigned supreme in their final years of competition. Not bad for caveman technology. But then again, a simple club wielded effectively can be a formidable weapon. Today, simply finding one of these archaic rocks can be a chore. Finding one with relatively few miles and looking like this is a dream.

Bidding is currently below $4k USD with no reserve. There is a fair amount of interest in this machine; I'm not surprised given that the last GPz we posted (a lowly 550 model) garnered a good deal of attention from our readers. I cringe when I hear this referred to as an antique, but maybe that is just my age-related pride. This particular example looks to be fetching a far greater sum than the aforementioned 550, but even then it is still quite reasonable by collector standards. Check it out here, and feel free to jump back to our Comments section and share your thoughts on this era of the GPz. Good Luck!!

MI

Godfather: 1982 Kawasaki GPz1100
Aprilia July 31, 2017 posted by Mike

A quick 50: 2000 Aprilia RS50

When it comes to two strokes, this is how the rest of the world generally sees them: smaller bikes for entry level riders and cheap transportation. Common across Asia and Europe, small-displacement bikes fall into either the scooter or the repli-racer category. Each has its own merits, although the scooter category is the most popular. Thankfully, manufacturers realize that young riders aren't always sensible; some are motorsports enthusiasts. Thus, the small-bore repli-racers exists. And we should be happy they do. Otherwise, we might never see the likes of this 2000 Aprilia RS50 in California.

2000 Aprilia RS50 for sale in California

Utilizing a single cylinder, reed-valve inducted two stroke engine designed and built by Derbi - an uber-successful small street and race bike manufacturer, now owned by Piaggio - you can think of the RS50 as a more adult sized version of the Yamaha YSR50. Thus, in addition to its use as a young rider training tool and object of general abuse, these RS50s are also popular in mini-bike racing events. If you are an adult looking at one of these machines thinking "gee, that looks like fun" you would certainly be right. There is nothing quite like flogging a smaller, slower motorcycle to the limit. And with decent chassis and suspension components, that limit may be a bit higher than you anticipate (yet still tremendously safer than doing something similar on your Panigale R).

From the seller:
Up for sale is my 2000 Aprilia RS50. Current registration and pink slip in hand! Clear title! Runs great! I rarely ride it so it needs to go!

4,686 appx miles!
Electric start!
24mm CPW Mikuni flat slide carb
Carbon fiber reeds
Arrow full exhaust
New EBC HH front brake pads

Near new (only about 200 miles and 1 ½ years old) Pirelli Diablo dry weather racing tires. My friend spent $300 on them!

I was told by the previous owner it has a 70cc KRD kit on it. Please see the last 3 pictures of the engine with the fairings removed. It is pretty quick so I believe it (and I own several 50cc 2-stroke street bikes)!

I do not know the history of this other than I bought it from my friend about a year ago, and he only owned it for a year or two, so you are buying it as is!

With a big-bore kit, this RS50/70 should be even more fun to flog - especially around a go-kart track or similar closed course. That may be the likely history behind this bike, given the mods and Pirelli slicks that are currently fitted (although the bike retains lights, signals and license plate for street use). If you are looking for a toy to play with when the big bikes just feel too big, or if your inner child (or actual child) is crying out, this could be $2,500 well spent. Check it out here. It is certainly quite a rare model for the US, and looks like it could be a ton of fun. There are some red flags regarding history, mods and rash, but as a whole it could worth looking into. Good luck and have fun!!

MI

A quick 50:  2000 Aprilia RS50
Aprilia July 30, 2017 posted by Mike

Where There’s Smoke… 2000 Aprilia RS250

It's always a wonderful morning when a quick perusal of "stuff for sale" nets a smoker looking for a good home. Makes me feel like I'm doing the world a real service, like finding foster homes for stray animals. In this case, the animal in question runs on premix and has the potential to scream like a banshee. Nice! Today's stray is an imported Aprilia RS250, brought to this country by a US military member (yet another reason to thank a vet for their service). It has very low miles and appears to be quite clean. It's also looking for a good home.

2000 Aprilia RS250 for sale on eBay

Aprilia created the RS250 series to celebrate their GP success in the quarter liter class. Streetable versions of the RS250 were built from 1995 - 2002, with minor cosmetic changes coming in 1998. And while Aprilia is a well-respected motorcycle manufacturer in their own right, they turned to Suzuki when it came time to build the RS250. Utilizing a Suzuki-sourced VJ22 V-twin, Aprilia made minor changes in the packaging, bolted on a RS250-specific set of chambers and updated the ECU to their own specs. Otherwise, you can expect similar sounds, feel and performance to the motive power of a RGV250. The rest of the bike is pure Aprilia, with a twin spar aluminum frame, upside down forks, a curved swingarm, and race-tuned aero bodywork.

From the seller:
This is a 2000 Aprilia RS250, street legal motorcycle that was originally imported by a US military person many years ago. I have owned it since 2008. It has a 17-digit VIN number, and is insured, licensed and completely street legal. I have always stored it inside a heated garage at my home. As you can see by the photographs, it is extremely clean and well maintained. It has 4,484 total miles and is in all original condition, including the original tires. The only non-stock part on it is a tinted windscreen. I have ridden it a couple of times a year since I've owned it, and I always drain the tank and fuel system between rides. I have always used Motul 710 full synthetic two cycle oil in the injection system. It has a few scratches on some of the bodywork and decals, and I was told that these scratches occurred during shipping to the US. I never doubted this explanation since the bike shows no signs of having ever been crashed. It is in excellent mechanical condition, and it runs and rides like a new motorcycle. All lights and instruments work as they should, and there are absolutely no problems or issues with anything. Included in the sale are the original toolkit and the rear passenger seat that came with the bike when new. I also have a new replacement windscreen that I will include in the sale. The one on the bike is scratched, and I bought a new one to replace it, but never installed it. This is one of my all-time favorite motorcycles, and I am only selling it to help fund the purchase of another rare motorcycle.

The RS250 is not exactly rare in the sense a RC30 or OW-01 is rare. However they are definitely on the "more buyers than available stock on hand" scale of supply and demand. Even so, they are not terribly expensive. This is true even though these may be some of the most modern (chassis, suspension, brakes, electronics) street-going two strokes available to US buyers. With a 17-digit vin and clear title, you'd be in like Flynn at your local DMV - California residents, as usual, need not apply.

This auction is just getting underway, with a current bid below $1,500. There is a reserve in place, so this bike may not be getting a new home any time soon; time will tell here. Meanwhile, readers are encouraged to search the RSBFS archives on these wonderful machines, given that we have seen quite a few pass through our pages. Doing your homework is the best way to ensure you chase after the right bike, for the right price. Check out this 2000 Aprilia RS250 here, and ping us back in the Comments section if you have one of these or have ridden one. Good luck!!

MI

Where There’s Smoke… 2000 Aprilia RS250