Author Archives: Mike

Kawasaki February 7, 2017 posted by Mike

More from Japan: 1989 Kawasaki ZXR250R

Looking like its bigger brothers of the ZX7 family, you would be forgiven to mistake the ZXR250 for a larger displacement motorcycle. But as we all know, small bikes rule in Japan, and when it comes to small sport bikes, Japan really does rule. Built to work around restrictive licensing rules in the home market - as well as conform to standards in other Asian markets such as Malaysia - the Big Four poured significant resources into the quarter-liter category. From two strokes to four, model lines for larger displacement bikes were often ported to the lower classes, resulting in families of models from 50cc up to 1100cc, depending upon the market. This ZXR250 was the result of that effort, and is available directly from Japan.

1989 Kawasaki ZXR250R for sale on eBay

The similarity of looks between the ZXR250 and its larger siblings is not just cosmetics - Kawasaki packed this bike with some significant go-fast tech as well. The liquid-cooled inline four banger offers 45 HP and will rev up to 19,000 RPM thanks to a brace of four Keihin carbs feeding the four valve per cylinder heads via forced air induction. Power is delivered via a 6-speed tranny, and the whole package is wrapped in an aluminum perimeter box frame. Triple disks all around provide braking duties, an upside down fork holds up the front, and a Uni-Track mono shock rear end completes the picture. All in all, your standard, screaming, hyper-sensitive small bike perfect for the hooligan in you.

From the seller:
KAWASAKI ZXR250R
VIN:ZX250A-300532
Year: 1989
Mileage: 14,835km
Condition: Running very well. Very good condition. Body work has tiny scratches and repair mark for tiny crack. Front forks has No rusts on the chrome, No oil leaks. No rust inside of the gas tank.

Shipping : We'll put it into the wooden crate and ship by surface. We'll enclose Japanese original title, and also Sales Certificate and Bill of Sales issued by us in English. Shipping cost: The bid price includes shipping cost to overseas, and it's charged from our office in Japan to the nearest port to your address. We expect you'd pick it up at the port and arrange the land transport to your address by yourself.
The other cost, such as the handling cost, duty fee, tax, etc. which will be charged in your country, they're not included there.

We have seen a few other bikes being offered by this seller. They all suffer (to some degree) of life in the salty, ocean air of crowded Japan. Scuffs and minor cosmetic issues are par for the course when daily parking areas contain hundreds - if not thousands - of bikes at any given time. Some corrosion is to be expected due to the proximity of the sea. Still, for those outside of the home market, this 250 is a rare bird and a pretty neat piece of tech. Nothing in the pictures looks too terrible to me, but then the issue of registration for the road raises its ugly head. This bike will be sold with a bill of sale and importation paperwork, but it's up to you to get it registered. That may not be a problem depending upon your locale, but realize that home market bikes do not carry 17-digit VIN numbers which are often required in the US.

This is your chance to own a rare (in the US, at least), home market bike from Japan. This 250 will beat the snot out of any of the similar era 250s that meekly putted up to our shores, and is likely still competitive against the newer crop of small bike madness that is going on. The uniqueness in the US is undeniable; there is no point in having fun if you can't look cool doing it at the same time. This bike ticks a lot of boxes on the wish list, and deserves a good home in someone's garage. Check it out here, and then let us know what you think. Are you down with a 250 sport bike, and if so which is your favorite?

MI

More from Japan: 1989 Kawasaki ZXR250R
Nico Bakker February 2, 2017 posted by Mike

Leonard Smalls approves: 2000 Nico Bakker Barracuda 1000 formerly owned by Nicolas Cage

Back on ebay after failing to sell in December of 2015, here is a Nikko Bakker crafted Barracuda 1000 that is said to have been previously owned by Nicholas Cage.

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2000 Suzuki TL1000 powered Nico Bakker on ebay

Collectible sportbikes typically meet at least one of the following criteria; be produced in limited numbers, been in pristine/OEM condition (or have very low mileage); have what was at the time new/revolutionary technology, be hard to find in its listed location and/or have a significant ownership history. In this case, we have a bike that meets  a significant number of these criteria.  The Barracuda is a Nico Bakker framed special powered by the Suzuki TL1000 power.  This particular Barracuda was previously owned by Nicholas Cage of Leaving Las Vegas (good!) and Ghost Rider (bad!) fame and could be the only one imported into the United States.

I have to admit I am a Nico Bakker fan, in large part because he designed the frame for my beloved Zane-era Laverda 750 series.  Apparently Nico Bakker is still building bikes in the small town of Heerhugowaard, Holland (about an hour north of Amsterdam).  You can see more about Nico Bakker from this post from 2012.

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From what I am have been able to find, the Barracuda has a custom frame built around a Suzuki TL1000 engine, suspension is WhitePower/WP or Ohlins, brakes are Brembo, the exhaust is Akrapovic and the 5-spoke wheels are Marvic.  More details about the components can be found here and there is a review from Carole Nash here.

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Like most very small production runs, there isn't a lot of information on what it would take to maintain this bike.  Given that its core is a Suzuki TL1000 and the rest of the bits are high end (but well established), I would expect no significant maintenance issues but I would expect to need fresh fluids and given its age, probably fresh rubber/tires too.

From the seller:

  • Mileage is only 765 miles/1232km
  • Recent serviced included battery replacement
  • Features a steel tubular frame with alloy swingarm.  Powertrain from the Suzuki TL1000. 
  • Ride height, steering angle and even the swing arm height can be altered.

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So what is this Dutch crafted rarity worth?  Based on the previous listings it seems that the seller is looking for prices above $22,000 USD which seems like a lot for a bike that while rare, doesn't seem to inspire "lust".  (previous listing on ebay here.)   Also I am not sure if this one will appreciate in value.

I think this will only appeal to a serious collector, someone who already has a decent collection and and is looking to take a bit of a flyer on this one.    It may also appeal to  Zane-era Laverda fans and maybe that is the best potential new owner- someone who wants to see what's it like to have a Nico Bakker frame combined with a bonkers powerplant.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Leonard Smalls approves:  2000 Nico Bakker Barracuda 1000 formerly owned by Nicolas Cage
Ducati February 1, 2017 posted by Mike

Featured Listing: 2001 Ducati 748RS

Update 3.1.2017: Relisted due an overseas buyer that backed out. Links updated with new listing links. Good luck to buyers and seller! -dc

If you are looking for the ultimate variant of the iconic Ducati 748, look no further. The RS model - intended strictly for competition - is the baddest of the baby 916s. With more power thanks to RS-specific engine internals (approx 124 HP out of the box) and less weight thanks to a different chassis, thinner bodywork made fully in carbon, and the omission of all street legal equipment whatsoever, the RS model was sold to privateer racers. And in the right hands, the 748RS was a winner. From a visual perspective, the gorgeous 748/916 silhouette originally penned by famed designer Massimo Tamburini looks even cleaner in full-race mode. And did I mention that these RS models are RARE? The voluminous pages of RSBFS have only listed a handful over the years.

2001 Ducati 748RS for sale on eBay!

This particular 748RS has a nifty trick up its sleeve. Instead of being a track day only bike, this one is actually registered for street use, in California. I'll give that a moment to sink in. Registered. In Cali, no less. That is a massively Big Deal, as rather than have a race replica based off a street machine, here you have a street bike built from the racer. Hard to get more hard-edged than that. Looks like the original Magnetti Marelli digital dash has been retained, and the add-ons are very, very subtle. If you went into this article thinking that the RS is a rare beast, this example just took it up another level.

From the seller:
Up for Sale is my 2001 Ducati 748RS. This bike is crazy clean. It looks brand new. This bike was the backup bike for a Ducati Race team. The Bike is California Street Legal with some hidden lights you can't see. This bike has little to no time on it. It has never been raced and has very little hours on it. Its in really really nice condition. I do not know a too much about this bike other than what I have said above. I can't find anything wrong with it and looks like a brand new bike. There is a small crack on the tail section in the white of the number plate. Its very hard to see and you can't take a picture of it. No other starches or chips or anything that I can find but will let you know if I find any. This was a display bike for me but was run often to keep it in running condition. If you are looking for a 748RS you know how hard they are to find.

When it came to placement on the 748RS, only race proven, top-shelf equipment need apply. The front of the RS model is held up by a beefy 43mm fork with Ohlins internals, with the rear also supported by Ohlins; both full adjustable, naturally. Brembo brakes are the order of the day all around (320mm front, 220mm rear) as well as the requisite Marchesini lighweight 5-spoke wheels. The full exhaust system with carbon canisters could have come from nobody but Termi. Magnetti Marelli provided the race dash and electronics, just like one would expect from a factory race bike.

If you want to look like a boy racer, there are many potential options. If you want to BE a boy racer, you need a proper motor scooter. And this, my good reader, is a proper scoot. I won't get into the potential comfort factor here; racers aren't built for the cush factor. The full race exhaust may be a bit overwhelming at times, considering that even the base models sound louder than the DOT & EPA regulatory approvals would suggest. I don't know how high-strung the bike is, although I would assume the internal mods made by the Ducati factory wizards give some serious bite to go with the bark. Bring it on, say I!

This California street legal RS model Ducati 748 (that is a combination of words you don't hear every day!) is available right now on eBay. The opening ask is just shy of $12k, which seems to be smack in the ballpark for other RS models we have seen more recently - and a bargain considering the CA status and street legal nature of the bike. It's clean enough to eat off of, and rare enough to solicit a Pavlovian response among collectors. Check it out here (you know you want to), and step up into MAN-racer league!

MI

Featured Listing: 2001 Ducati 748RS
Yamaha January 31, 2017 posted by Mike

Top of the Heap: 1996 Yamaha FZR400RR SP

Another "direct from Japan" offering available on ebay this week is a FZR400RR SP model. RSBFS has only seen one of these bikes come through our pages, way back in 2011, and I urge you to read Ian's excellent coverage on the model in question. The last bike we saw was a UK spec machine, while this one resides in its home country of Japan. What you need to know: When it comes to Yamaha 400cc machines, this was the top spec, ultra rare edition of the FZR set. Everything else is simply from the stone age.

1996 Yamaha FZR400RR SP for sale on eBay

The march of progress is inexorable; yesterday's breakthrough is tomorrow's antiquity. That is especially true in the cutting edge world of performance motorcycles. What was spectacular 21 years ago is still enchanting today, but not likely as mind-blowing as it was then. Still, starting with the basic Fizzer 400 - widely regarded as a handling gem even today - and going whole-hog "price is no object" mad in the R&D facility produced what was essentially a Fizzer on crack. Meant for the track, the RR SP model featured some tasty carbon, solo saddle, fully adjustable suspension, bigger binders, modified intake, flat slide carbs, special exhaust and more. Nothing was left on the R&D table when Yamaha called it done.

From the seller:
YAMAHA FZR400RR SP

VIN: HK31A-102176
Year: 1996
Mileage: 40,385km (Meter is changed to Aftermarket. Real mileage is unknown)
Condition: Running well. Body work has scratches, cracks and touch up paint.

MODIFY
Front fork,Triple clamp and Top bridge TZR250R 3XV of up side down forks
Carbs FCR32
Meter Aftermarket
Front brake caliper Brembo 40mm
Ignition coil UOTANI SP
Front wheel 17*3.00 Rear wheel 17*4.50
Winkers, Tail light LED

Shipping : We'll put it into the wooden crate and ship by surface.
We'll enclose Japanese original title, and also Sales Certificate and Bill of Sales issued by us in English. Shipping cost: The bid price includes shipping cost to overseas, and it's charged from our office in Japan to the nearest port to your address. We expect you'd pick it up at the port and arrange the land transport to your address by yourself. The other cost, such as the handling cost, duty fee, tax, etc. which will be charged in your country, they're not included there.

My research indicated that 1994 was the last of the 400s from Yamaha, yet this is listed as a 1996. Maybe one of our super-sharp readers can help fill that gap for us. Regardless, numbers are very low for the RR SP model, and limited to the few countries in which they were released (hint: the US was not one of them).

The seller is offering to crate the bike and ship it world wide, and will include some importation paperwork. The rest will be up to you, which may be difficult depending upon where you live. Those in the US should consider this carefully, as nothing is more tragic than purchasing a bike that cannot be used legally. However this would make for a very potent track-day weapon, so there is that angle to consider. Check it out here and remember: we may not see another one of these for another six years! Good luck!

MI

Top of the Heap: 1996 Yamaha FZR400RR SP
Yamaha January 30, 2017 posted by Mike

Buy Direct: 1990 Yamaha FZR250R in Japan

Here on RSBFS we see quite a bit of commerce concerning bikes that have been imported from where they were originally sold to areas where they were not. The laws of supply and demand apply regardless of geography, regardless of DOT and regardless of EPA. But why wait for someone else to do the work for you (and pick up the potential profit)? What if you could reach out to a foreign region, pluck a tasty morsel of exotic goodness, and bring it back home yourself - such as this FZR250R ... Interested? Read on.

1990 Yamaha FZR250R for sale on eBay

In Japan, small bikes rule. This is partially due to the space limitations and density of the country, but more to do with training and cost of licensing. There is a steep increase in the price of a license as you go up in capacity, making larger bikes not viable for most riders. Thus, most manufacturers offer some serious hardware in the smaller classes. Take this FZR250R as an example: While only 250cc, it sports an in-line four cylinder liquid-cooled motor with 4-valves per pot. Redline is an insane 18,500 RPM, with max power in the 45 HP range. A Delta box perimeter frame gives all the pieces something to mount to, and braking duties are handled by triple disk. There are also some concessions to cost in the form of non-adjustable suspension (rear preload only).

From the seller:
Yamaha FZR250R 3LN3

VIN: 3LN-279194
Year: 1990
Mileage: 34,700km
Condition: Running very well. It has tiny scratches but looks very good condition.

Shipping : We'll put it into the wooden crate and ship by surface.
We'll enclose Japanese original title, and also Sales Certificate and Bill of Sales issued by us in English. Shipping cost: The bid price includes shipping cost to overseas, and it's charged from our office in Japan to the nearest port to your address. We expect you'd pick it up at the port and arrange the land transport to your address by yourself. The other cost, such as the handling cost, duty fee, tax, etc. which will be charged in your country, they're not included there.

The US has recently been blessed with an upsurge in the quarter-liter market. For decades we have suffered with bargain-basement Kawasaki Ninja 250 models as our sole sporting representation. While adequate as a beginner bike, the first few generations of this model were firmly grounded by price. Lately, however, we have seen that change. A war is going on in the sub-400cc categories, bringing technologically advanced hardware to what has previously been seen as the scooter set. With the Big Four now bringing new 250-300cc products into the US, this FZR250R may not seem quite so exotic - but in 1990 this was a major player that could contend with the two strokes of the time.

Located in Japan, this FZR250R is looking for a new home somewhere else in the world. It's not a perfect example, but overall it looks pretty clean. The seller will crate and ship to your nearest port, and it comes with a bill of sale and paperwork apparently recognized in the US. There is still the question of titling the bike in your state, but with the appropriate paperwork that should not be too different than titling any other used bike. Caveat: Not all states apply; Japanese home market bikes generally do not have a 17-digit VIN, making registration all but impossible in some locales (think California, as an example). Check it out here, look closely at the pictures, and - as always - ask questions. Buying direct from Japan is not quite the same as buying in person, but you're not likely to see one of these on Craigslist any time soon. Good Luck!

MI

Buy Direct: 1990 Yamaha FZR250R in Japan
Honda January 28, 2017 posted by Mike

Endurance: 1979 Honda CB900F DHOLDA Edition

Among the modifiers, tuners and hot rodders of the motorcycle world, the lines can be drawn between the majors and the minors. The majors contain those that made the jump beyond tuner - be it kit producer or full-fledged manufacturer. I'm thinking the likes of Rickman, Bimota, Spondon, Harris, NCR and the like. The minors are full of extremely talented - but smaller scale output - organizations that often specialize in one type of make or model or focus on racing classes. Think Kalex & Speedup (concentrating around Moto2 racing), or any of the individuals that started careers improving race bikes (e.g. Tony Foale). This group also includes boutique builders such as Lance Gamma (who, incidentally offer services beyond RGs) and Nico Bakker (who is capable of designing/building anything). This list is potentially endless, and I'm sure readers can rattle off a dozen potentials. One such entry that must be included in this group is the D’Hollander family out of Belgium.

1979 DHOLDA Honda CB900 for sale on eBay

Focusing on Honda specifically for racing - and specializing in Endurance events - D’Hollander combined his own name with that of Honda to create the DHOLDA brand. While the beginnings were small (the grandfather originally made bicycle frames, before moving to mopeds), DHOLDA can be credited for winning at least one major Endurance event every year throughout the 1970s. We are not talking club-level racing either: 24 hours of Francorchamps (Spa), 24 hours of Barcelona, 1000 km at Mugello, and of course, the Bol D'Or. Into the 1980s and beyond, DHOLDA migrated into SuperBike, SuperSport, SuperMotard, as well as stock classes (i.e. 600), always with Honda. Alongside the business of racing DHOLDA created a business catered to street riders with go-fast parts and tuning services. It is from that side of the DHOLDA organization that this wonderful period CB emerged.

From the seller:
Welcome to a great opportunity. This is a very rare DHOLDA CB900F European Spec CB900F tuned by famous DHOLDA of Belgium race tuner Jean D'Hollander. Please feel free to google "DHOLDA Honda". This bike is Honda Racing History heritage, not sure if ever actually used in competition. I believe it is one of a handful of tuned bikes much like AMG is for Mercedes. The bike engine has been bored to 1000cc and the head has been reworked as is the custom exhaust and carbs. I have been in touch with Mike D'Hollander who is Jeans son and now runs the famous tuning company along with his sister. He indicated that his father, before he passed away in 1995 was big on building these king of incredible bikes. I have the emails and willing to forward them to you. The history of the bike as far as I know is it came to the USA in 1980-81 from Europe. It has all European gauges (look at speedo KPH) so it shows 13219 kilometers which is just over 8,000 miles. This is very low mileage! It sat in an air conditioned warehouse until recently. I have gone through the bike and cleaned most of the grime and dust off it and got it looking pretty decent.

More from the seller:
Everything works on this bike. The tank is coated and clean. The carbs could probably use a cleaning but work fine. The engine is a high compression, all four cylinders about 200psi(very nice) and it burns no oil,no smoke at all. Engine is tight and has no leaks at all, not a drop of oil. It revs like the devil, with plenty of power. I estimate over 100hp, maybe 110-120hp. It has a custom fairing-fiberglass and Euro headlight with switches for parking,head lights and high beam, each position controlled by rider. The brakes are good but tires are probably 30 years old with tread but should be replaced. I rebuild the rear brake master cylinder with fresh fluid both front/rear brakes and new oil/filter. Hope I didn't miss anything but please ASK QUESTIONS! 718-551-4451. I would like whomever gets this bike to be able to appreciate the provenance and history. Maybe it belongs in a Museum but I am a regular guy who loves to find these kind of rare bikes and passes them on to the right person that has the ability to display and store them. Currently I have a clear Florida title.

It is not exactly clear what tuner services and modifications were bestowed upon this bike. It wears the Endurance-style fairing made popular during the era, replete with dual headlights necessary to light corners through the long nights of 24-hour races. It also sports a significant bump in capacity with a big-bore kit and who knows what other engine wizardry DHOLDA was capable of during this time. Any way you look at it, this bike looks serious; dated, perhaps, but serious.

DHOLDA is not only still around, as an organization DHOLDA is thriving with both racing and street tuning sides of the business. As long as it's a Honda, they have solutions that can improve your ride or race. And if the old-school Endurance stance is your look, check out this very cool DHOLDA Honda CB. The BIN price is $11,900, with the auction near $5k with reserve still in place. As always, let us know what you think!

MI

Endurance: 1979 Honda CB900F DHOLDA Edition