Author Archives: Mike

Yamaha December 29, 2017 posted by Mike

Featured Listing: 1986 Yamaha FZR400

When it comes to imports, the 400cc welterweight class is the gem of the grey market set. With decent power at stratospheric redlines, these lighter, smaller sport bikes can run rings around middleweights (and even the big bikes) when the going gets tight. Sized for normal people, one need not be a practitioner of human origami in order to fit. Rare in the United States, yet more reliable than the buzzier two strokes that receive the lion's share of import press coverage, every stable should house at least one of these 400cc scalpels. And this Japanese home market 1WG model FZR400 in super rare blue might just be the one you need.

Unlike the rest of the Big Four, Yamaha actually imported the 400cc four stroke 1WG model into the US. US bikes began with 1988 the model year, although they were otherwise identical to the 1WG spec of the earlier Japanese models (the EXUP exhaust valve being a mandatory EPA fitment for CA bikes). US bikes showcased the red/white livery of Yamaha racing, and by the close of 1989 the party was pretty much over stateside. Often derided as the most common of the 400cc offerings, the FZR did offer real performance: Genesis DNA is evident in the engine configuration; liquid cooled cylinders tilted at an extreme angle to aid weight distribution, the four valve heads, four carbs with straight shots into the intake ports, and the four into one performance exhaust. On the chassis side, an aluminum "Delta Box" perimeter frame showcased the sporting intent of this model. If you didn't know better, you could easily mistake a naked FZR400 for a FZR600 or 1000. These are not starter bikes or toys - these are very capable road and track motorcycles that come by their reputation honestly.

From the seller:
1986 Yamaha FZR400 1WG.
Bike is minty. Rarer color. JDM bike. All fairings and components are 100% genuine
factory Yamaha. Bike is 100% stock. I have freshened it up a bit. I have replaced
the front master cylinder with new OEM. Engine covers (caps) have been replaced with
new OEM. New fuel petcock. New fork seals, new battery and new engine fluids. All
fairings, exhaust, and components not mentioned are original to the bike. No rust in
the tank. Runs and rides like new. Will install a new set of tires for the right
customer. Comes with Utah state title and is titled as a street bike for road use.

Asking $6900
Email Gary for details:

This particular FZR is a Japanese home market model and comes to us from well known collector and RSBFS follower Gary. You have seen many bikes in his collection pass through these pages (he has what must be the most lusted-after living room furniture we have seen). Feedback from those who have conducted business with him has been positive - he is an avid rider and collector. That shows in the presentation and condition of the bikes offered. This specimen appears to be very, very clean. Mileage appears to be approximately 6,150, based off of the odometer reading on the KM clocks. Strike a deal and this blue beauty rides off into the sunset with a fresh set of rubber, ready to attack the canyons.

FZR400s are interesting from a collector perspective. In some ways the FZR is almost passe - another mass-produced sport bike from the Big Four. But by the numbers it tells a very different story. It used to be that the unloved FZR400 was a bargain basement bike, picked up for a song and thrashed wildly on the street and track. Those days of "nearly free" Fizzers are behind us. The word is out and the market has spoken. Even officially imported US bikes are rapidly rising in value; we have seen asks approaching $10k. Now it is optimistic to expect a 1WG to approach the same velocity of appreciation as, say, an RC30, but there is no doubt that we are seeing a rise in pricing for FZR400 models. Some use is evident, but this particular example looks to be in fantastic shape for a model going on 32 years young. This bike is undeniably rare in color and form for US buyers, and is looking for a new home at a reasonable $6,900. Shop around a bit - but if you are looking for the right FZR400 you will be hard pressed to find another like this. Interested buyers should contact Gary directly. Good Luck!!


Featured Listing: 1986 Yamaha FZR400
KTM December 24, 2017 posted by Mike

The year that was: 2011 KTM RC8R

For a too-brief period of time, KTM offered a raucous 1195cc 75 degree V-twin encased in a stout trellis frame and enveloped in bodywork that could only be inspired by origami sculpture. And while the RC8 turned heads on the street, it took the upscale model "R" model to make a real impact in the racing community. Alas KTM had bigger fish to fry than AMA and FIM Superbike series (heading to MotoGP, Moto2 & Moto3), discontinuing the RC8 lineup a few short years later. KTM CEO and President Stefan Piere actually stated to the press that KTM would no longer produce a street-going superbike as he did not believe it was morally responsible for the company to create something that could not be utilized safely on the street. Thankfully examples like this 2011 RC8R are still available on the used market.

2011 KTM RC8R for sale on eBay

The introduction of the "R" coincided with a bump in displacement from 1,148 to 1195cc across the entire RC8 lineup. But the R offered much more than just a bigger bang. Relatively unique to KTM, the RC8R provided for a vast array of adjustments similar to what you would expect on a race bike. From levers to pegs, suspension and sub-frame height, the RC8R was an open book for a rider who knew what they wanted. And when set up correctly, the RC8R could be as potent as any of its peers, as proven by Chris Filmore in AMA Superbike competition.

From the seller:
2011 KTM RC8R
3,372 miles
Mint condition
License plate fender eliminator kit
Original license plate bracket in perfect shape
New tires, plus an extra set of tires

This example looks pretty impressive. With only 3,372 miles on the digital clocks, today's example has not traveled very far down the highway. The fender elimination kit gives the bike an extremely clean tail. And while mods are nearly always frowned upon, the inclusion of the original pieces in the sale mean this bike can be returned to stock shape if desired. Until then, I would revel in the sharp looks of this beast and ride the heck out of it.

The seller is asking $10,900 in a Buy It Now auction format. That is pretty much in the ballpark for one of these models in this condition, if not a little on the upper side of the range. Thankfully the seller is open to offers, so there may be some Christmas spirit left in this relatively rare Austrian beauty. Check it out here and make the man an offer - KTM won't be building them like this any longer. Good Luck!!


Yamaha December 23, 2017 posted by Mike

Christmas Green: 1985 Yamaha RZ500

'Tis the season for seasons greetings, wish lists and good old fashioned commercialism. RSBFS tends to see a lot of great bikes in the week prior to Christmas, and this RZ500 is no exception. With clean plastics, upgraded suspension, a Rick Lance rebuild and an impressive list of updates, this particular RZ promises to be one of the better examples viewed this year - provided you are OK with what can best be called a resto-mod instead of a stone-stock specimen. The upgrades may be a downside for some, as it has been well established that collector machines have the greatest potential when 100% stock. For those that ride, however, some mild breathing spices up the sauce that makes these bikes so special. Intrigued? Read on!

1985 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on eBay

Regular readers of RSBFS will already know the stats, specs and strengths of the RZ500. Still, a bike of this class deserves a quick, remedial refresh: 500cc of two stroke power, arranged in a V formation and sporting twin cranks (think of it as a siamesed pair of 250cc twins), reed valve induction, and individual tuned exhaust pipes for each of the four cylinders. On the chassis side, the RZ offers a mild-steel perimeter frame (aluminum look silver paint notwithstanding), a mono-shock rear suspension, adjustable front forks and the GP-requisite triple disk brakes. All of this is wrapped in sexy plastics with Yamaha racing stripe livery. Touted as a GP bike for the street when it was introduced, the big RZ is one of the prime imports that remain the lust of the American riding set.

From the seller:
1985 YAMAHA RZ500
Offering from my collection ( 2Stroke Passions) one of my best...
I am a true enthusiast and have been for over 50 years . I am not a soulless flipper ... All my motorcycles are stored in a climate controlled dehumidified facility and i ride them.

1985 RZ500 V4. 2stroke complete rebuild and upgraded to better then new . No stock ones problems. Less then 1000 miles since acquired 2012 (20,050 actual before Complete rebuild ). ***Notice I use the word rebuilt not restored I will not abuse or miss use that term . To me restored means to make as news and (original) as possible. This RZ has been made better then new , dependably usable . No expense spared ... Anyone that truly knows RZ500’s know that stock ones were a good place to start they have issues . This one doesn’t :). All proper maintenance and upkeep up to date... Rode last weekend for annual children’s toy ride , ran perfect... big smiles...

More from the seller:
This bike is of Canadian vintage and is Titled and registered here in the States (Arkansas). The motor is freshly rebuilt and performance tuned by the premiere RG/RZ 500 specialist, Lance Gamma (Rick Lance)). The motor is at factory first overbore and assembled with all correct and OEM stock Yamaha parts with modestly ported cylinders and milled heads new gaskets,seals,hoses,. The exhaust system is a beautiful set of Tommy Crawford chambers which are over 30 pounds lighter than stock and have a seamless power delivery with quiet tone. The shock is a premium Wilbers unit with adjustable ride height helping the bike to turn sharper along with a front end overhaul firming up the notoriously soft forks. EBC HH pads improve the braking performance and a Lance Gamma Supplemental Radiator helps even out temps front to rear and keep the motor cool. Manual Fan switch. Stock Petcock fix. Much more. No issues... If you are looking for a stock collector piece to keep your other mildly interesting bikes company, move along. There's nothing to see here. If however, you are wanting to discover for yourself what all the hoopla was about at the release of these bikes some 32 years ago (you remember, GP bikes for the street? What were they thinking??), this is one which will bring you up to speed, so to speak. It simply begs to be ridden. Runs great,wonderful machine. More pictures and Videos available ...

This seller appears to be a true enthusiast, and has built himself an awesome looking RZ. Employing the likes of Rick Lance ensures performance AND reliability, and the listed modifications enhance the overall function of this rare machine. This is very clearly a rider, despite the clean appearance and sano presentation. It's hard to find anything not to like about this one - that fact that it has been properly imported into the US and titled is even better. If I had to pick any nits, it is the lack of mileage information and/or pictures of the gauge cluster. The eBay listing notes zero miles, but that is obviously not the case. The rebuild/refurb does roll back the clock a bit, but it would be nice to know more of the history of the machine.

This is one of the better RZs we have seen this past year. As a result it should be no surprise it is also one of the most pricey RZs we have seen. This seller is looking for top dollar here. From a rider perspective, I can live with the $25k ask. From a collector perspective, this bike represents one fewer of the dwindling number of original RZ500s left in existence. And while that might raise the bar for the remaining stock examples, what does it mean long term for collecting a non-original specimen? I would imagine that there will be no lack of lust for the RZ500 in the future, and one that looks (and likely runs) like this one will continue to grow in value; great will always be worth more. Check this one out here - and note that the seller is open to offers. Good Luck!


Christmas Green: 1985 Yamaha RZ500
Sales Report December 12, 2017 posted by Mike

Sales Summary – May 2017

Whether you are a collector or simply interested in values, let's take a look back at May 2017 and see what sold and for how much. Links to the original post on RSBFS included.

SOLD Bikes

1999 Bimota SB8R - SOLD for $9,103

2002 Ducati 998R - SOLD for $23,100

Two 1987 Honda NSR50s
SOLD for $3,050

1987 Honda VFR700F Interceptor - SOLD for $3,049

1988 Honda CBR250R MC19 - SOLD for $6,000

1990 Honda CBR250RR - SOLD as a Featured Listing!

1990 Honda RC30 - SOLD as a Featured Listing!

1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 - SOLD for $9,200

1992 Honda NSR150 SP - SOLD for $6,100

1995 Kawasaki ZXR400R - SOLD for $8,850

1999 Laverda 750S - SOLD for $4,350

1980 Suzuki GS1000S - SOLD for $15,477

1982 Suzuki Katana 1000 - SOLD for $8,300

1990 Suzuki GSX-R400 - SOLD for $5,600

1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A - SOLD for $7,100

1992 Suzuki RGV250 Lucky Strike - SOLD for $9,019

1984 Yamaha RZ500 - SOLD for $22,000

1989 Yamaha FZR400R - SOLD for $4,300

1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA - SOLD for $4,200

Unsold Bikes

2000 Aprilia RS 250 - no sale at $9,300

1990 Kawasaki ZX750F Ninja - No sale - listing ended

2004 Benelli TNT 1130 - No sale with a $10,000 opening ask

1997 Bimota SB6R - No sale with $20,000 opening ask

1997 Bimota YB11 - No sale with bids up to $7,600

2003 BMW R1100S Boxer Cup Replika - No sale at $10,000

2005 Ducati 749R #0051 - No sale with bids up to $10,100

2005 Ducati 999R - no sale at $14,000

1985 Honda VF750F Interceptor with Full-Factory HRC Engine Kit - No sale at $13,900

2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2R - No sale at $49,500

2012 MV Agusta F4RR - No sale at $17,000

1993 Suzuki GSX-R600 - No sale at $7,099

1970 Yamaha TR2 350 - No sale and zero bids at $9,900

Nico Bakker-Framed 1980 Yamaha TZ750 - No sale and zero bids at $25,000

1984 Yamaha RZV 500R - No sale with bids up to $13,777

2008 Yamaha R6 Graves Spec Racebike - No Sale at $12,000

Suzuki December 7, 2017 posted by Mike

Featured Listing: 1989 Suzuki GSX-R750K

When Suzuki introduced the GSX-R750 (G model) to US buyers in 1986, the racing world was set on fire. With four-stroke, race-bred technology - devoid of the corny race-replica shortcomings - the original GSX-R was a privateer's dream. This was as close to a race bike as one could buy in a showroom, and Suzuki capitalized on that fact with lucrative sponsorship opportunities in both professional and amateur racing series. This first generation of the GSX-R is often referred to as "slabbie" due to the flat, narrow bodywork along the sides and rear of the bike. Notable chassis features included an aluminum alloy frame, adjustable suspension and large, ventilated triple disk brakes. But the big story was the motor: to save weight the GSX-R was air-and-oil-cooled. This setup was pioneered on the XN85 Turbo project, and resulted in a much lighter package than the liquid cooled competitors. Bottom line: The GSX-R was a formidable track weapon.

Featured Listing: 1989 Suzuki GSX-R750K for sale!

Fast forward only a few years, and already there were significant changes. While the unique air-oil cooling was retained, 1988 (J model) introduced a shorter stroke power plant that could rev higher than previous models. Gone were the flatslide carbs, replaced by new, larger Mikuni "slingshot" carbs with vacuum-actuated slides. The newer carbs worked better at lower RPMs and ultimately made more power than the first generation setup. The bodywork gained some fluidity through subtle curves, although the paint scheme remained familiar and relatively traditional. Chassis changes included a stronger frame, a bigger front fork and new wheels allowing for wider rubber. With the additional performance and handling capabilities came an increase in weight. The 1989 (K) model was the culmination of these changes, producing a meaner, faster GSX-R - and a neo collectable in its own right.

From the seller:
This gorgeous 1989 Suzuki GSX-R750K "Slingshot" edition was brought to SUB moto service for a "make run" and ultimately a full restoration. Our service department took it apart, looked it over closely, any parts showing excessive wear and tear were repaired, refinished or replaced. This almost 30 year old GSX-R had held up well.

Its hard to believe that 31 years have passed since the US introduction of the original GSX-R. The model has held up well, and the J and K models have started to appreciate in value just like the slab-sided generations have done. The problem is finding a solid example of the breed. Three decades ago, these were mass-produced motorcycles of reasonable cost. Many found their way onto race tracks or (worse) into the hands of teenage squids who wanted to emulate Roberts, Lawson or Spencer. Today even a clean K model Gixxer is old and will likely need serious refurbishment. That is the appeal of this particular 1989 Suzuki GXR-R750 Slingshot - it presents well and has been thoroughly refurbished. This is a rider that you can collect. Or a collector that you can ride. Either way, you will be sitting pretty.

More from the seller:
It received a full service, new tires, all fluids were replaced and a complete carburetor rebuild including all rubber internal parts.. The original bodywork was sent out to be professionally inspected for any cracks or weak spots, Then repaired, gas tank cleaned out and everything repainted to exact factory specs even using an NOS Suzuki decal kit! All rubber pads and cushions mounting the tank and bodywork were also replaced. The original white wheels were sent out to be professionally powder coated, we cleaned and re-greased all the wheel bearings, reinstalled and then slipped on a fresh pair of Michelin Pilot Power 2CT's.

This GSX-R750K is not a concourse level restoration and really should be ridden and enjoyed, these are great bikes and a wonderful model series.

More from the seller:
Over $6500 spent in restoration! It will stand out in the crowd, Blue/White combo is always Suzuki's most popular and this one is a true classic. We just finished up some final details and it is ready to go!

If the beautiful pics are not enough to whet your appetite, check out the short video provided by the seller. Be sure and crank up the volume, as this Slingshot sounds fantastic! Take note of how clean everything looks. This is not just some used bike, but rather an example that really stands out from the crowd:

A few years from now (or a few years ago) you will be making comments like "I remember when the non-slabbie GSX-Rs were unloved and you could pick them up for nothing..." Those days are gone, as are many of the good examples of this breed. Good looks, great performance and a solid pedigree - what is there NOT to like of this generation GSX-R750? If there is a downside, I certainly can't find one. The K model does not have the distinction of being first generation, but other than that it is a superior motorcycle in every way to the earlier series of the line. With values on the rise, the time to get in is now. Check out this beautiful example courtesy of Seattle Used Bikes (a reputable shop in the Pacific Northwest) and be sure and tell 'em you saw it on RSBFS.


Featured Listing: 1989 Suzuki GSX-R750K
Ducati December 6, 2017 posted by Mike

Smart Bargain? 2006 Ducati PS1000 LE

The world of Ducati is littered with factory limited edition models. Many of these editions are simply visual; a different color of paint or a splattering of carbon fiber accessories. But make them in few enough numbers, and they become far more rare and desirable than the standard model on which they are built. Consider, then, the Paul Smart commemorative model. Created by grafting homage elements of the 1970 green frame 750SS racer onto the new SportClassic platform, the PS1000 LE was a truly unique machine in both form and function.

2006 Ducati PS1000 LE Paul Smart for sale

Built one year only, the Paul Smart edition was created to celebrate the milestone of a certain 1972 Imola race. Hoping to cash in on the nostalgia of the iconic green frame bevel drive desmo, designer Pierre Terblanche started with a standard SportClassic Sport 1000 model and added the visual elements of sliver paint on the plastics and of course the green painted frame. Chuck in adjustable Öhlins suspension front and rear, a steering damper, and lower clip-ons (which are a bit of stretch for smaller riders) and you have a fair bit of distinction over other SportClassic models. Worldwide, the Paul Smart was restricted to just 2000 examples.

From the seller:
2006 Paul Smart Limited Edition, PS1000LE DUCATI, Rare and collectable. This is a factory-made sort-of replica of the Green frame Ducati that legendary Paul Smart made famous. Only a few thousand of these made, less than 1000 came to the USA. Great condition, low mileage. Fast and beautiful. I have the factory racing ECM, but did not install it as it is plenty fast already. Termignonis installed. Stock exhaust included. Speedimoto Belt Covers, bar end mirrors, New battery, Rebuilt title, cosmetic damage only, rebuilt by Paul Smart expert using factory parts.

The interesting thing about Ducati limited edition models is that they really work - both as a functional motorcycle as well as an investment vehicle. By and large, most recent LE models are worth more today than when originally sold. Just take a look at a clean SuperLight, the internet sensation MH900e, or any of the other numbered editions released by Bologna. Paul Smart has name recognition amongst the Ducatsi faithful, and these PS1000 LE examples are behaving in a very similar financial manner than the limited edition models that preceded it.

Paul Smart models have been chasing upwards from the high teens into the $20k region, and we have seen asks as high as $30k. Historically, Ducati PS-LE models are decent investment vehicles provided they are original and relatively stock. That is where caveat emptor enters the picture. Literally translated into "let the buyer beware," the ask for this very pretty Paul Smart edition is a relatively scant $13,500. The details are clearly missing, but the tell is the rebuilt title. No question that accident damage is the cause. The real question is if these models will become coveted enough to warrant investment in a bike with a black mark on its permanent record. Check it out there, and then let us know what you think: bargain or bad call? Good Luck!!


Smart Bargain? 2006 Ducati PS1000 LE