Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Yamaha October 4, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Historic Stroker: 1977 Yamaha TZ750 for Sale

Update 10.04.2018: Back on eBay for $60k or make offer. Too cool not repost 🙂 Links updated. -dc

Update 10.23.2017: We first saw this TZ750 for sale in March 2016 with a buy-it-now of $95k. It is now listed for $62k. Good luck to buyers and seller! Links updated. -dc

1977 Yamaha TZ750 R Side

It’s pretty much raining Yamaha TZ750s this week, with no less than three of these valuable and iconic racers available for sale, of the 600 or so that were built throughout production. It’s a bit older than the bikes we normally feature here on the site, but I think we can make an exception in this case. If you’re not familiar, the TZ750 was Yamaha’s two-stroke roadracing machine that was dominant in AMA racing during the 1970s.

1977 Yamaha TZ750 L Side Tank

Early bikes put out around 90hp but that jumped to 140 by the time 1977 had rolled around. That may not sound like much by today’s standards, but combined with the bike’s light 345lb weight and the primitive frame, suspension, and tire technology of the time, it was a true test of a rider’s skill to keep the beast pointed in a straight line, to say nothing of the curves…

1977 Yamaha TZ750 R Side Lower Fairing

The first bikes actually displaced 700cc and were reportedly built up from a pair of Yamaha’s racing 350s, a rumor borne out by the fact that some of the early TZ700s appear to have “347” stamped into the cases. But the later machines that debuted in 1975 shared no parts at all with the parallel twins. Apparently based around a bored-out 500cc Grand Prix engine, the TZ750 eventually moved from a twin-shock to a monoshock rear suspension for vastly improved handling. In any case, they were the bikes to beat throughout the 1970s, with both power and reliability. They just needed brave and skilled riders able to exploit them.

1977 Yamaha TZ750 R Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Yamaha TZ750 for Sale

This is the 1977 Vesco/Romero/Busch Beer TZ750. Lots of history.

The engine cases in the bike now are an early spare. The original cases have just had a repair to the shift fork rod support boss and are ready to go back in the bike.

The original engine was also used as the rear engine in the Vesco land speed record streamliner.

Bike is sold as is and with Bill of Sale.

Some spares will also be included in the sale.

1977 Yamaha TZ750 L Side Engine

With a Buy It Now price of $95,000 I’d hope that “all the spares” would be included in the sale. Or that the seller would include a few more details regarding exactly what spares: when you’re trying to keep a forty year old racing machine running, every bit helps. That’s obviously a lot to pay for any motorcycle, but I’ve no doubt this thing is worth some serious cash, given its rarity and racing history.

-tad

1977 Yamaha TZ750 R Side Rear

Historic Stroker: 1977 Yamaha TZ750 for Sale
Honda October 3, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Jersey Strong: 1991 Honda NSR250R SP for Sale

The New Jersey Turnpike, in spite of being the punchline for a million jokes, is actually a marvel of modern efficiency, an engineering feat that allowed commercial traffic to flow more easily through state to points north and south. But there are just too damn many cars in Jersey for the traffic to flow these days, and the engineered straight-line qualities that make The Turnpike a great commercial road make it a horrible road for motorcyclists, unless pinning the throttle to the stop is your thing. And today's Honda NSR250SP is pretty much the worst bike for that kind of riding.

With just 249cc worth of two-stroke power on tap, sustained high-speed runs, or high-speed runs in general are pretty much out of the question. Sure, it'll do 130mph flat out, but it's tiny and, at just 288lbs dry, it's pretty obvious the NSR250R wasn't designed for that kind of riding. Fortunately, you don't have to go very far in New Jersey to find the kinds of roads the little two-stroke is perfect for: it's not called "The Garden State" for nothing, and it can be a beautiful place, once you get clear of the seemingly ever-present congestion. And deer: they're everywhere. Luckily, this lightweight machine has triple disc brakes to pull the little NSR up quickly, should one of those things leap or just wander out into your path.

Power came from a slightly undersquare liquid-cooled two-stroke 90° v-twin with bore and stroke of 54 x 54.5mm. Two strokes are mechanically simple, obviously pretty dirty, and the bike still uses carburetors, but the NSR is in every other way a very sophisticated machine. Honda's PGM-III system controlled ignition advance and the RC valves based on information supplied by throttle and gear-position sensors. The six-speed gearbox was a cassette-type to ease gearset changes trackside, although that's more of a theoretical benefit than a practical one for most owners. The SP or "Sport Production" version seen here added a dry clutch and lightweight Magtek wheels, along with adjustable suspension at both ends. In between the standard R and the SP was the mid-level SE model that lacked the SP's magnesium wheels for a reduced cost.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Honda NSR250R SP for Sale

1991 Honda NSR 250 SP

9913 Miles clean New Jersey title 

Fresh fluids (coolant, gearbox, 2T and brake fluids)

Rust free tank

All original plastics

Bike does have some light scratches on the side fairings, broken tab on the belly pan and broken piece on the front upper fairing. Please take a close look on the pics for better description of the condition. Everything else is in really nice shape including the frame, subframe, fork, tank, wheels and tail piece. Please feel free to message me for any inquiries. Thanks for looking

The Buy It Now for this NSR250SP is $9,800 which seems reasonable, considering some of the more outrageous asking prices we've seen for NSR250Rs, especially the higher-spec Sport Production model. The bike isn't described as being perfect, but seems like a clean runner, and that Jersey title is a nice extra: when it comes to grey market bikes, The Garden State isn't the easiest DMV to navigate.

-tad

Jersey Strong: 1991 Honda NSR250R SP for Sale
Featured Listing September 27, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1994 Suzuki RGV250Γ VJ22 for Sale

Update 9.27.2018: Price is dropped to $9,500 or best offer. Good luck to buyers and seller. Contact Jeff by phone or text with your interest here: 310-729-8122. -dc

By the time the early 1990s rolled around, four-stroke performance motorcycles like Suzuki's GSX-R750 had gotten more powerful, more refined, and much heavier. Seriously, the GSX-R1100 of 1993 weighed in at 560lbs wet! Luckily, two stroke sportbikes at least remained pretty svelte. Although a little bit heavier than the original versions from the late 1980s, they still hovered right around 300lbs, which gave bikes like this Featured Listing 1994 Suzuki RGV250Γ excellent handling and decent acceleration, in spite of the limited power from the dirty little v-twin.

The RGV250Γ Gamma naturally used a twin-spar aluminum frame as was common in the class, along with a 249cc, liquid-cooled two-stroke 90° v-twin controlled by Suzuki's own electronic power-valve and ignition control system they dubbed "SAPC," an acronym for "Suzuki Advanced Power Control." The result was around 55hp in de-restricted form, although the original Japanese market bikes were limited to just 45hp.

This VJ22 is the second generation of the bike that followed the original VJ21 and was eventually superseded by the VJ23 that had very different looks and used an entirely new 70° two-stroke v-twin. Style for the VJ22 was similar to the earlier VJ21, but featured a distinctive braced swingarm and 17" wheels front and rear, instead of the 18" rear found on the VJ21.

Today's bike offers up retina-searing graphics that might have been considered dated and unfashionable until recently, but waves of nostalgia for 90s sportbikes have made this style cool again. Or at least have made it okay to admit that you always thought these vibrant colors were cool. It can be tricky to judge condition from photos, but this bike appears to be in exceptional shape, especially considering the age of the bike. Aside from that, it's been thoughtfully modified, properly maintained, and appears to be ready to go terrorize the local canyons or your local bike night with ring-a-ding noises and heavy two-stroke smoke.

From the Seller: 1994 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22 for Sale

  • Australia model 17 digit VIN
  • 34mm carbs
  • De-restricted SAPC
  • Box original bodywork 
  • Racetech suspension 
  • Bike is fully serviced: carb clean and sync 
  • Oil pump bleed 
  • Fresh 2t Motul 710 
  • New spark plugs 
  • Idaho plates
  • Located in Redondo Beach, California.
    Contact Jeff with your interest by phone: 310-729-8122, call or text
    $9,500 obo

Well the 17-digit VIN should make it a bit easier to register in some states, which makes this one appealing to folks who want to ride their bikes and not just collect, display, or track them. Yes, it already has an Idaho registration, but I'm not sure how strict the Idaho DMV is and some states might still give you trouble without the right number of digits in your VIN. The asking price for this little two-stroke? $11,000. It's not one of the famous race-replica editions, but this example is ready-to-ride and looks very 90s with those neon graphics.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1994 Suzuki RGV250Γ VJ22 for Sale
Honda September 27, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Cutting Edge: 1985 Rothmans Honda NS400R for Sale

Not too long ago, all kinds of weird and wonderful sportbikes from the mid-1980s were available for reasonable sums. Until recently, they weren't really old enough to be considered classics in terms of styling, and they weren't even close to modern machines in terms of outright performance or handling. It probably didn't help much that they're just plain weird to modern sensibilities: consider Honda's NS400R, with its two-stroke V3, anti-dive forks, odd middle-of-the-road displacement, and the slightly awkward, upright styling common to bikes of the era.

The 80s saw the Japanese brands finally come into their own and race and showroom success, combined with a strong economy, saw experimentation across the industry. Not all of it worked, of course, but that's beside the point. The bodywork of the NS400R seen here hid a liquid-cooled, 90° two-stroke V3 engine meant to evoke Honda's Grand Prix racing machines that used a similar configuration. The bike featured a six-speed gearbox, Honda's ATAC powervalve system, electronic ignition, TRAC anti-dive forks, a Pro-Link rear suspension, Comstar wheels, and radial tires that were considered very cutting-edge at the time.

Weight was very light, at just a shade over 400lbs wet and the bike's claimed 72hp means performance is a match for the RG and RZ, in spite of the NS400R displacing just 387cc. Why the smaller displacement, when an NS500R would have made for a more authentic Grand Prix experience? Well, regulations in the bike's home market meant significantly increased costs for 500cc machines: Suzuki actually sold an RG400 for Japanese two-stroke fans, and Yamaha detuned their RZ500 to meet power restrictions. Faced with the prospect of a detuned 500 or the need to sell two different models, Honda simply created one, very refined machine with their NS400R, but the perceived performance deficit hurt sales.

It's a shame: handling was superlative and the bike is often mentioned as a forgotten gem of the era. Of course, prices for bikes like the Suzuki RG500Γ have been rising rapidly over the past few years, dragging Yamaha RZ500 prices along with it, and the NS400R has been sucked into their wake. Two strokes are long dead and gone, and fans of smoky, lightweight sportbikes have been snapping them up quickly, especially really nice, low-mileage examples like this one.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Rothmans Honda NS400R for Sale

Very nice condition. Runs great. 1509 original miles [2429 kilometers]

This is not 100% OEM. The two main items that are not OEM include the:

  1. Bodywork: brand new aftermarket bodywork (OEM bodywork included)
  2. Brand new Jim Lomas expansion chambers (OEM exhaust included).

Carbs ultrasonically cleaned, rebuilt and jetted. Also synced with Motion Pro carb balancer.

When fitting the Lomas chambers I pulled the cylinders to inspect them. No issues and still see cross-hatching in the Nikasil.

  • New base and head gaskets and ATAC gaskets.
  • New clutch (metal and friction plates)
  • New chain/sprockets 
  • New air filter
  • Fresh antifreeze
  • New spark plugs
  • New rubber boots from air box to carbs
  • Rebuilt fuel petcock
  • New regulator rectifier
  • Tires are in great shape

Everything works like it should. No leaks at all.

I'd be curious about the condition of the original bodywork, if it's not the stuff in the picture shown off the bike. If it was an original Rothmans, why the replica bodywork? I'm not implying anything shady on the part of the customer. Honestly, I've said forever that if I got something weird or rare, I'd personally source aftermarket panels and paint them up, then store the originals safely away, but it's not clear that this is what the seller has done. Either way, it looks damn nice, and the seller helpfully includes a recent video of the bike. And, while the NS400R was sort of languishing, forgotten and a bit unloved compared to the Gammas and RZs for a while there, prices have begun to move steadily upward, and the seller is asking a $7,700 Buy It Now price for this one.

-tad

Cutting Edge: 1985 Rothmans Honda NS400R for Sale
Honda September 22, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Box of Mystery: New-In-Crate 2000 Honda RC51 for Sale

I'll keep this one short and sweet, since we already featured an RC51 this week. But if you've always dreamed of adding a big, cardboard box marked "HONDA" that supposedly contains a VTR1000, today is your lucky day, because what we have here is an absolutely pristine, if somewhat vitamin D-deficient example of Honda's v-twin superbike. The RC51 was their Ducati-fighter, the 90° v-twin they built to contest the World Superbike Championship and take advantage of the rules they felt the Italian firm had been exploiting to gain an unfair advantage over Honda's beloved V4s.

Right out of the gate, the WSBK machine was a contender and won the championship in 2000, the very first year it competed, and then again in 2002. Point proved, Honda basically retired the bike, withdrawing official support in 2003, although the roadbike soldiered on until 2006. The first generation SP1 bikes had some handling issues, but the SP2 rectified them and the RC51 is by far the most affordable of Honda's SBK homologation efforts. It's no RC45 but it still features HRC-branded magnesium components, gear-driven cams, and trick side-mount radiators.

The Buy It Now price listed is $25,000 and I really have no idea if it's actually worth that. Clean examples regularly trade for as little as $6,000 and the RC51 is a very practical sportbike that begs to be ridden. It's a terrific roadbike and just a few changes can turn it into a pretty good track machine as well. That's no surprise: on one hand, it's a Honda. And on the other, the bones were used to build World Superbike-winning racebikes.

From the original eBay listing: New-In-Crate 2000 Honda RC51 for Sale

First year of this incredible machine. Brand new still in the crate! One chance at this opportunity. Selling for my father. Buyer pays for shipping. Thanks for looking. DM for any additional questions or photos.

Well, that really isn't much information, and there are only three photos, but I guess that seems appropriate, given the circumstances. I mean, what does one really do in these types of situations? Get one of those flexible, fiberoptic cameras like the FBI uses, or at least uses on TV, prior to breaching a room full of well-armed drug dealers with ties to hate groups and prominent local officials? A giant x-ray machine? No matter: I'm sure we all know what the RC51 looks like, and this very well may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy a perfect, pristine example of this bike like a fly trapped in amber...

-tad

Box of Mystery: New-In-Crate 2000 Honda RC51 for Sale
Ducati September 20, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 2008 Ducati Monster S4RS Tricolore for Sale

The Ducati Monster was aptly named: it was the ultimate parts-bin special, with a frame from the 888, and the air and oil-cooled two-valve engine from the 900SS, along with some non-adjustable suspension and other bits Ducati had lying around: aside from the dash, tank, and seat, just about every part of the Monster was already sitting on a shelf. In fact, Ducati's intent was to use their liquid-cooled four-valve engine, but a warehouse full of unused 900SS engines and additional profit they promised sealed the deal. Which means that, when they finally slotted their superbike engine into the frame, everything had come full-circle for the Monster, and this Featured Listing S4RS can be seen as the ultimate incarnation of Galluzzi’s original vision, which was sketched over a photo of an 888 sans bodywork.

The two-valve Monster worked great at a time when there really was nothing else on the road like it, other than the retro-styled Triumph Speed Triple. Sure, there had been sporty nakeds previously, but in the era of the sportbike, the Ducati was something fresh and new from the Italian company, a practical exotic.

But by the 2000s, plenty of other manufacturers had jumped on the bandwagon and were making much faster, more modern bikes. So in went Ducati’s liquid-cooled four-valve, in this case, the 998cc Testastretta version, distinguished at a glance by the triangular oil-cooler beneath the radiator that adds a bespoke touch to a bike that otherwise remained true to its parts-bin roots.

The result was a huge bump in power: the original two-valve engine is rich in torque, but you’re really looking at 75hp at the wheel from a healthy example. In this application, the Testastretta made a honking 130 claimed horses, kept vaguely in check by the Öhlins suspension. Unfortunately, although the later Monsters actually used the frame from Ducati’s ST bikes that offered more stability than the original 888 part, the power really overwhelmed the chassis, and the riding position was not ideal for controlling what really was a pretty wild ride. It ended up being a bit less refined than bikes from Aprilia and KTM, but it's really no contest in terms of curb appeal and, while the dynamics are ultimately limited, it's great fun to hoon around on!

The bike is currently in Canada, and the listed 18,500 kilometers equates to 11,495 miles, so it’s certainly no garage queen, but has obviously been well cared-for. And while it’s not hard to find Ducatis with far fewer miles, the big question is, “would you want to?” If you plan to simply display your bike and wait for it to increase in value, sure, a 900 mile bike makes sense. But sitting or occasionally running doesn’t really count as exercise, and a bike with a few more miles under its belt might be better for those looking to ride as well as collect.

From the Seller: 2008 Ducati Monster S4RS Tricolore for Sale

Showroom condition. Needs nothing. Collector owned. Runs perfectly. #130 of 400. Eligible for BC Collector Plates in about 4 years. Arrow Full Carbon Fiber Exhaust (personal opinion- it sounds a million times better than the Termi that is more common. A fairly representative video link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=md6dLOdTR0U ). Power Commander III Ohlins suspension Brembo brakes CRG levers tail tidy and bar end mirrors

OEM parts (exhaust, levers, etc) included in sale.

Originally a USA bike. I imported it 4 years ago. Currently plated in BC and bike is located in Victoria, BC.

No trades. If ad is up it's still available. Low balls will be ignored.

Thank you for looking.

The $15,500 CAD asking price equates to just a shade over $12,000 USD and occupies a bit of a middle-ground in terms of S4RS Tricolore pricing. Certainly you'd also have to consider shipping and all that if you plan to bring the bike back to the US, but I think it's a good bet that, down the road, this will be one of the most collectible Monsters. Contact Mark with your interest.

-tad

Featured Listing: 2008 Ducati Monster S4RS Tricolore for Sale




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