Author Archives: Mike

Yamaha August 25, 2017 posted by Mike

Featured Listing: 1994 Yamaha TZR250RS

When it comes to RSBFS, the most popular category for our readers seems to be the quarter-liter two stroke arena. The 250s make up the most often requested, clicked on, and likely purchased machines, and it's not hard to see why. For those who prefer a pure, unadulterated GP racer with handling that would embarrass a strip of velcro on a shag rug, enough power to be interesting (but not so much to be painful), braking that will give you 8 (or 9) cents of change back from your dime, and bodywork that screams purpose yet looks like art, not even the boys from Bologna or Rimini can touch a small-bore smoker. Popular world wide - from the home markets of Japan, throughout Europe and Canada - 250cc smokers made for great rides, affordable club racers, and a stepping stone to real GP bikes. In the US, they are coveted for all this PLUS the fact that none were ever officially imported into the US. That makes them rare with a capital "R." Put rare and drool-worthy together on the same ticket and you have today's 1994 Yamaha TZR250RS. The "RS" refers to Racing Sport - as if there would be any other sport worth considering....

1994 Yamaha TZR250RS for sale on eBay

The TZR250RS - also known as the 3XV model by Yamaha aficionados - consists of a 90 degree v-twin, fed with reed valve induction and twin Mikuni flatslide carbs. A close-ratio gearbox with a dry clutch and add triple disks all around showcases the intent of this machine. Featuring fully adjustable suspension front and rear, the RS model is a sub 280 lb (dry) smoking rocket that will corner with the best on the racetrack. Initially these RS models were home market bikes - which came with a restricted output of approximately 45 HP. Latter markets, including Australia, Western Europe and the UK enjoyed a higher-output machine. As with other smokers of the era, the TZR responds well to de-restriction (figure 30% gains) and traditional two-stroke performance mods. The TZR250 was available in many different configurations, which included a dizzying array of carburetors, ignition modules, exhaust power valves, transmissions and clutches. And as is the standard, each came with specific graphics and marketing nomenclature (250R, 250RS, 250RSP, 250SP and 250SPR).

From the seller:
Up for auction to the highest bidder with NO RESERVE is a Beautifully rare Yamaha TZR250RS (3XVA) with only 2,581 kilometers (1,604 miles). This TZR is in very nice mechanical condition. New battery, new fluids and has newer tires on it. Bike runs like the day it was new. This TZR has great curb appeal and looks great. Left rear cowling has two cracks in it and is missing a tiny piece where the two rear cowlings join together. Rims have paint peeling from sitting in time and need to be powder coated. Upper cowling, lower front cowlings have no cracks, fuel tank has no dents. Bike had sat for a while when I found it. I bought it to restore as it would make a excellent candidate for restoration since its got super low miles on it, but never got around to it. It needs to be cleaned up, corrosion removed, new rear left cowling installed and it will look like a million bucks again. Bike is completely stock and all original. Fairings are 100% genuine Yamaha. Original windscreen comes with purchase.

This TZR comes with a Utah state title and is titled as a street bike for road use. Bike will sell to highest bidder regardless of cost, loss or investment. This is an excellent chance to buy a Yamaha TZR250 RS on the cheap!

By the end of the 250cc two-stroke era, all the manufacturers had moved to a v-twin power; packaging and aerodynamics were the primary reasons, although longevity due to perfect primary balance was another positive factor for the vee motors (farewell, parallel twin). Yamaha definitely followed suit here, yet the result is far from another cookie-cutter "me too" 250 GP bike for the streets. The TZR lineup has a rabid following and stands out as some of the more rare variants of this popular class. You will look high and low for another TZR250RS, and - at least in the US - you will be looking for quite a while.

Today's example can be best summed up as very clean and a great starting point for either a rider or a sano-resto-neo-original build. This bike looks like an honest piece of kit, but is far from some of the museum pieces normally seen by this Utah collector (such as his awesome KR-1R). As the rooms of his man cave empty out to make room for new acquisitions, there appear to be plenty of fun items left; you should definitely check out some of his other auctions on eBay, including a cool Ninja 150RR. This TZR250RS is a meaty morsel - and RSBFS readers are serious two-stroke carnivores. Bidding has started slowly, and is only nearing the $3k mark with a few days remaining. Check it out here and start scheming on your plan to score this no reserve auction bike. Good luck!!

MI

Honda August 20, 2017 posted by Mike

Legal Smokers: Two 1982 Honda MB5s

The early 1980s were an interesting time for motorcycle enthusiasts. Big changes were in the air, and all manufacturers were scrambling to develop disruptive models in the search for performance and sales; think of the groundbreaking Ninja 900, GSX-R 750, V45 Interceptor, and the Turbo era bikes, to name a few. Riders and drivers across the US were still reeling from the energy crisis, and many commuters were in search of cheaper forms of transportation. Enter the Honda MB5 - a 50cc motorcycle meant to appeal to beginning riders as well as commuters the world over. In the US, the MB5 was officially imported into all 50 states and is a one year only model (it had nearly a 10 year run in Europe). While not the usual diet for RSBFS (likely more toy than trick), there is no doubt that the MB5 is a rare machine and a curious footnote for two stroke enthusiasts.

Two 1982 Honda MB5s for sale on eBay

1982 was the key year for the Honda MB5 in the US. Colors included the red/blue scheme as seen here, as well as a black/red model (the latter being the more rare of the two). The mighty 7 HP power plant consisted of a single cylinder, 49cc air cooled two stroke engine that included a counter-balancer to lessen vibration (a good thing, given the 10,500 RPM operating range). Fueling was simplified via oil injection (no more mixing oil with the gas during fill ups), and maintenance was simplified via CDI ignition (no points - which was still a relatively advanced concept by 1980). Power was transmitted via a wet, multiplate clutch through a 5-speed transmission. The whole package was complimented by Honda "ComStar" style wheels of 18" diameter, a decent instrument cluster (speedo, tach, warning lights), and a front disk brake. Rear suspension is handled by a conventional twin-shock arrangement, the shocks being "laid down" to appear more like a single shock setup. For street legalities, the MB5 includes a compliment of headlight/taillight plus turn signals.

From the seller:
I present here a pair of my MB5s, always garaged indoors away from sunlight and dampness when not ridden, red/blue, which to the best of my knowledge are all stock w/ original paint that is not sun faded, both w/ low orig miles, emits very little exhaust smoke at idle and when screaming thru the 5 gears at 9500 rpm, are generally 2nd kick Hondas and 1st kick when warm and note that the non rack bike is needing tires, a flasher, a front brake switch and a battery strap.

All D.I.D rims are clean and not pitted, have good clean gas tanks, frame, handlebars, non faded speedometer/odometer and tachometer gauges, seats w/ bright logo, no leaks on the exhaust pipes undersides and paint that matches all the components. The 1 side stand will remain on the bike w/ rack which I’ve added.

The engine(s) revs up to 9500+ rpm without missing a beat and winds back down holding a steady 1400 rpm idle, have cooling fins w/ rubber dampers that are all intact and w/o cracks. Better yet, although simple, are that both bikes have both working lo and hi beam headlights… 1 is a Stanley original while the other is a Sylvania Halogen replacement I was fortunate enough to find. Sometime back I had installed flash-to-pass switches on the bikes to prolong beam life but have removed them. I will remove my 3rd or Borg eye LED and rear LED lights.

By the mid 1980s gas prices had dropped back down to (if not below) normal levels. The need for a 75-100 MPG commuter vehicle abated - especially one that came with the limitations of a 50cc slightly-bigger-than-a-scooter two wheeler. As a result, most MB5s were either completely thrashed by young teens with aspirations of Spencer, Roberts or Lawson (don't ask me how I know), or otherwise abandoned to the gods of rust and neglect. Finding one in decent condition is difficult due to the relative rarity; finding a pair in decent nick is a rare occurrence indeed. Both of these bikes appear to be in better than average condition, with one of them sporting the rare, Honda accessory luggage rack.

There may be no substitution for cubic inches, but this pair of 50cc machines deserves better than obscurity. Like many attempts by Honda during this time, the MB5 only lasted a single year. Yet these were blessed with typical Honda craftsmanship, and reliability of the one-lunger is far better than your average 1980s mechanized machine. More for fun and curiosity than something that you would likely use on a daily basis, this duo of MB5s will be selling together. Opening ask is a pretty reasonable $3,535 (a fair price for one MB5 is good condition) - with no takers as of yet. Check it out here, and feel free to jump back to the Comments on 50cc machines. Did you spend any time on a tiny smoker? Let us know, and good luck!!

MI

Legal Smokers:  Two 1982 Honda MB5s
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