Author Archives: Mike

Suzuki June 15, 2017 posted by Mike

Featured Listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250V Lucky Strike!

Update 7.30.2017: Seller has notified us that this bike is now sold. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

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)

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.

Featured Listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250V Lucky Strike!
Suzuki June 13, 2017 posted by Mike

Featured Listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf Edition

Born in Austria, Walter Wolf made his fortunes in oil drilling equipment in Canada, and proceeded to spend much of it on motorsports. He poured millions into Formula 1 teams (including Williams and his own eponymous Walter Wolf Racing), sponsored numerous classes of racing and even sponsored individual drivers and riders. It is through his involvement with motorsports - and Suzuki - that the Walter Wolf Edition of the famed RG500 Gamma was born. If the big Gamma is the rare unicorn of the sport bike world, consider a Walter Wolf Edition a unicorn of an even more rare color.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf for sale on eBay

With 95 HP on tap and a 340 pound (dry) package, the RG500 was the most potent sporting motorcycle available to hungry buyers. Of the big two strokes, the RG was the most like the GP bike that inspired it, and far sharper than the Yamaha or Honda offerings. The Walter Wolf Edition RG500 (there was also a 400 and 250 model) was introduced as a limited production special that was separated from ordinary RGs by the graphics package. Liveried in dark blue / purple with red and gold accents and highlighted by the Wolf insignia, this special edition was released to the home market (in power restricted format) as well as Canada (estimated 100 units) and Western Europe. There are slight differences between each of the market-specific models largely due to local regulations (i.e. headlights, turn signals, etc). Japanese market bikes utilize a specific WW gauge package, while Canadian bikes make due with stock RG units. Logo placement is also slightly different between the markets. Today's bike just so happens to be a Canadian market example.

From the seller:
Absolutely stunning and original 1986 RG 500 Walter Wolf Edition, one of 100 ever built. In truly nice condition, bodywork is outstanding with very few scratches and blemishes. The whole bike is corrosion free, never been dropped. This machine has been very well taken care of and doesn't show her 31 years of age at all. Great effort has been put into preserving it's beauty and originality. All consumables are well within specs and ready to go for the summer.

More from the seller:
Interesting fact about this machine is that is was originally purchased and used in Montreal Canada in the market it was originally destined to and sold in France. The machine was spotted by a Canadian visiting Normandy during the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Vimy Ridge, purchased from a reluctant seller and sent back "home" in Quebec city Canada. Four new spark plugs, air filter cleaned.

More from the seller:
This machine is for the serious collector. For the US buyer, shipping, export fees and paypal fees are the buyer's responsibility. I can gladly assist with all these processes, take over it, or totally leave it up to the buyer. Export process normally takes less than a week and is based on a % of the value of the machine. Can ship throughout North America.

Walter Wolf Editions are striking machines - especially in person. The colors make the bike pop in sunlight, imparting an ageless beauty to an already beautiful machine. Since such a small percentage of Gammas were shipped in this unique livery, Walter Wolf Editions are among the rarest of the two strokes that we are likely to see on RSBFS; they certainly do not come around every day, and we can expect a long drought before the next good example emerges. This being a Canadian market bike means that it is a full-power RG in Wolf's clothing! If a Wolf is on your shopping list, an all-original bike with reasonable miles such as this should really get the blood pumping. This beast appears to be very clean, and very well cared for.

This RG500 Walter Wolf is currently on eBay. There is not much time on the current auction, so if you desire this Suzuki unicorn, you better act quickly. Click here to check it out before it's gone! Today's seller is an RSBFS fan, and a collector; there are hints at more bikes to come (check out the pictures). The summer is looking better and better - but its going to be hard to beat this Wolf Gamma. Time to ride into the sunset. Good Luck!!

Featured Listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf Edition
Sport Bikes For Sale June 10, 2017 posted by Mike

What We’re Watching – June 10, 2017

Welcome to What We're Watching. This feature highlights some of the auctions we are following - especially those that are about to close. Handy if you're curious about where values are going, or just want to snipe in at the last minute to score a deal!

Here are two great bikes that are within budget for most riders:


2002 Honda NSR150SP



Under 24 hours left before this rarely seen NSR 150 SP (with plates and title!) ring-a-ding-dings off to a new home. This one is still cheap with bidding below $4k, given that the last one we saw this year went for over $6,000! Check it out here before it smokes its way over the horizon.


1998 Honda Super Hawk with only 355 miles!



With only 355 original miles, this is as new a VTR as you are likely to find. Bidding remains below $3,500, which seems like a paltry sum for such a rare and cool bike. You can check it out here, but don't delay; it will be gone before end of day Sunday.


If you like what you see, move quickly. Every auction listed above will closed by tomorrow - at the latest. Don't forget to sign up for our free email service, and never miss a great deal on a rare bike again. Good luck and happy sniping!

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MV Agusta June 10, 2017 posted by Mike

Featured Listing: 1999 MV Agusta F4 Serie Oro

The rebirth of MV Agusta in 1998 was a storied affair, a huge investment, and was centered around the introduction of the F4. The F4 was a single model that represented the direction of the new company, encompassing both style and substance. The style came from the Cagiva Research Center with legendary designer Massimo Tamburini (co-founder of Bimota and designer of the Ducati 916 series). The substance was a powerful one-two punch of history and performance. The result was phenomenal, beautiful, and utterly exclusive.

The first 300 F4s that were released worldwide were Serie Oro machines. The term "Oro" refers to the golden color of the components. But this was not mere paintwork or some marketing ploy. Instead, MV Agusta took the old-fashioned route and sculpted a bike out of unobtainium. The metal components that might be aluminum on other bikes were created in magnesium on the Oro. Magnesium is a magic material that is lighter in weight than aluminum, just as strong (or stronger in some cases), but more difficult to work with. It is an expensive, labor-intensive method to lose weight, and shows the extent of the craftsmanship that went into the launch of the F4. Components created in magnesium on the Oro include the striking wheels, frame side plates and the huge swingarm.

Exotic materials did not end with the metals. Carbon fiber usage is extensive on the Oro, including all of the painted and unpainted bodywork, the tail section and the entire gas tank. Today carbon fiber is ubiquitous - seen nearly everywhere. In 1999, this was still aerospace and F1 material, and the labor to produce these pieces was far higher than other mass production methods, including injection molded plastics (ABS) seen on many bikes of the era. The overall silhouette of the bike is familiar, yet unique. The F4 has earned many accolades as one of the most beautiful motorcycles ever produced, and it is easy to see why. It is the culmination of where Tamburini started with the Ducati 916; more aggressive in some places, yet rounder and softer in others. The MV Agusta colors of red and silver highlight the proportions wonderfully.

All was not simply style, however. For motivation, MV Agusta created an all-new 750cc powerplant. It is a 750cc inline four with DOHC, but there is much more here as well. Engaging with the engineering genius of the Ferrari F1 team, MV Agusta created a cylinder head with the valves arranged in a radial pattern for maximum airflow and combustion efficiency. To this they added electronic wizardry in the form of multipoint fuel injection and an induction discharge electronic ignition to complete the package. The organ pipe exhaust system (4-2-1-2-4) serves both as a powerful visual focal point at the back of the bike while also routing the exhaust plumbing up high out of the way, aiding in cornering clearance. The noise of an F4 at full song is beautiful music indeed.

On the chassis side, the six piston front calipers and the master cylinder were development updates from the Cagiva-Nissan partnership in 500cc GP racing. Both Pirelli and Michelin - at the behest of Tamburini - created special tires to suit the F4 model specifically. Suspension features include a MV Agusta-spec front fork built by Showa that includes quick release front axle clamps - yet another bit of attention to detail that shows the agonizing efforts MV Agusta went through to create the Oro.

From the seller:
1999 MV Agusta F4 Serie Oro
No 279/300
VIN ZCGF400AAXV000279
Mileage: 7800mi
Fantastic condition and ridden regularly. The only blemishes are a 3/16” scratch on the left side fairing (see close up fairing image) and there are some rock chips on the wheels that have been touched up (see wheel images).

7500mi service (including valve adjustment) recently completed and the rear wheel bearings were replaced as a pre-emptive measure at the same time (these are the two major maintenance items to watch out for on the early F4s).

Includes tool kit, owners manual, factory rear stand, both "gold” keys

I encourage prospective buyers to view the F4 in person if possible or ask any questions they may have via e-mail:

Contact: mvagustaf4oro@gmail.com

Price: Asking $36,000 OBO

MV Agusta was determined to return to the sport of motorcycling where they once dominated with an effort worthy of the name. In the Oro, they succeeded in building both a very special motorcycle and one that works exceptionally well. That takes time, and tremendous finances. The rumor is that the Cagiva 500cc GP program was killed to help fund the F4 development, freeing up both cash reserves and engineering staff. That's how serious the rebirth of MV Agusta was in 1998, and that is how much effort went into creating the Oro model.

The MV Agusta Serie Oro is a rare and special machine. These bikes were frightfully expensive when new, and this immaculate example looks to be priced right in the range for a well-loved Oro today. With extremely limited numbers in the US (estimated at approximately 60), each individually numbered bike has the identification that makes it exclusive and distinctive. Looking good while going fast will never be a problem on this F4; your exclusivity is virtually guaranteed. And thanks to bikes like this Serie Oro, the legend of MV Agusta lives on. Contact mvagustaf4oro@gmail.com for more details.

MI

Honda June 10, 2017 posted by Mike

On the fence: 1990 Honda NSR250R SE

In the hardcore world of RSBFS, two strokes rule and four strokes drool (oil). The simple reason is power to weight: Take this 1990 NSR250R as an example: a 250cc v-twin producing approximately 45 HP in Japanese restricted configuration, has only only 290 lbs of bike to move. Similar four strokes have 10-15 less HP (even without home market restrictions) and are heavier by at least the same amount. An unrestricted 250cc smoker is a 60+ HP machine, tilting the numbers even more in favor of the two stroke. When it comes to ultimate performance, it is very hard to beat the sounds, smells and snot of a popcorn popper.

1990 Honda NSR250R SE MC21 for sale on eBay

The MC21 edition of the NSR was a considerable step forward for the NSR line. Featuring a 90° liquid-cooled 249cc v-twin with a trick, six-speed cassette gearbox (making ratio changes possible without pulling the motor and gearbox), asymmetrical "gull-arm" swingarm for maximum cornering clearance (tucks the right side pipe up in tighter) and adjustable suspension, the MC21 is a proper sporting motorcycle. The dry clutch with its "race rattle" is another nod to the intentions of this NSR. An estimated 16,000 were produced for Japanese home markets and as exports to the Pacific Rim and Europe, but sadly America was never a recipient.

From the seller:
1990 HONDA NSR250R SE MC21 DRY CLUTCH
The bike is imported from Japan.
Not registered yet in the U.S.
This bike is sold without title. (NO TITLE)
We don't know how to get a titile. Please ask DMV
Start engine.
Aftermarket Cowl but Tank is original.
Not original color
Race Foot pegs.
Some scratches So look carefully all pictures and video.
Turn signals don't work.
This motorcycle is 27years ago .Sold as is.
24150km (15006mile)
Engine Number MC16E-1222422
Sold as is with NO warranty NO refunds NO return.

This is one of those listings that gives a RSBFS staff writer pause for thought. One one hand, this is a freaking MC21 edition of Honda's acclaimed NSR250 series. The fact that it is an import, reasonably rare in the US, a two stroke and undoubtedly a sport bike ticks most of the right boxes on our checklist. On the other hand, the lack of seller knowledge with regards to title (i.e. it currently sits in CA where you cannot get one for this bike) and the overall condition (i.e. not stock, less than pristine with unknown history) make for a bike to avoid posting. In the end the candor from the seller and the rattle of the dry clutch in the video won me over. It may not be perfect, but throw in some elbow grease and you may have a winner (provided you don't live in CA).

Which brings us to the bottom line: the opening ask for this auction is a fairly unrealistic $4,200. I think that the initial bid is high enough to scare most bidders away, even though it may be in the pricing ballpark. While the bike is rare, there are certainly other NSRs available. A really good MC21 can fetch $7,500 - $9,000 (just check out some of our past Featured Listings), but I think this one will end up in more conservative territory. Check it out here, and then be sure and jump to the Comments section to share your thoughts. Does this bike belong on RSBFS, or should Mike be lashed with a wet noodle soaked in castor oil for the post? Good Luck!!

MI

On the fence: 1990 Honda NSR250R SE
Sport Bikes For Sale June 9, 2017 posted by Mike

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