Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Honda May 13, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1992 Honda NSR150 SP for Sale

Intended for the Asian market, I'm not sure I've ever seen an NSR150 SP for sale here in the USA before. As with the bigger NSR250, this was not a budget commuter, and included plenty of high-tech components to match the Repsol race-rep paint job. Obviously, style is key for a first bike that will likely be purchased by a younger rider attracted to the sleek lines and evocative Repsol colors, but that doesn't mean everyone wants plastic tires and budget components that they will quickly outgrow.

It certainly has big-bike technology to match the big-bike looks, and is festooned with typical acronyms and cool-sounding names: the PRO-ARM single-sided swingarm is featured prominently, and the bike also includes a six-speed gearbox, Nikasil coated cylinders, and RC valves to improve the little 149cc engine's flexibility, as well as HECS or "Honda Evolution Catalyzing System" to help it meet rising emission standards. And in typical two-stroke form, the little NSR150 SP makes a big claimed 39.5hp and 19 lb.ft of torque, although that seems pretty ambitious and I've not seen any independent articles that confirm this output.

The package weighed in at just 268lbs dry, so this thing should be a bit of a rocket if you're expecting mere scooter performance and handling. It's probably not the ideal bike if you've got typically... American proportions but, if you're of smaller stature, this might make a very cool ride and a great conversation-starter, even if if offers only modest performance.

From the Seller: 1992 Honda NSR150SP for Sale

Very RARE in the USA, seldom ever seen 1992 Honda NSR 150 SP Repsol edition. 150cc two stroke single cylinder liquid cooled engine. My money says this is the fastest way thru a tight corner on two wheels, lol. Only one owner with only 740 kilometers (460 miles). This bike is in as new condition. As I like to say, It was loved as a child, lol. 100% original OEM Honda factory stock condition. Bike has new oil, coolant and filters serviced. Runs like the day it was new. Utah state title in my company name will be presented to the buyer. Premium museum quality.

As with the seller's previous bikes, there are a few minor cosmetic imperfections visible on exposed metal surfaces, but the plastics appear to be in excellent condition and the bike is basically ready for its next collector-owner. This may not have the pedigree of an RC30 or even an NC30 but it certainly is rare and exotic!

-tad

 

Featured Listing: 1992 Honda NSR150 SP for Sale
Honda May 11, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

A little brother in terms of displacement and a virtual twin in terms of style, Honda's NC30 packs the same technological punch as the famed RC30 in a smaller package. And like the RC30, the NC30 was designed to homologate a motorcycle for racing, although in this case it was for classes with a 400cc capacity limit. Here in the USA, the 400cc sportbike class is barely represented at all, with examples only occasionally appearing as the result of intrepid collectors or Canadian smugglers sneaking bikes in across our northern border. In the US, they were basically bikes without a racing class, and expensive ones to boot: they had all the complexity, and therefore cost, of their bigger 600 and 750cc brothers, without the straight line performance.

1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 for sale on eBay

Sure, they handled with all the agility you'd expect but, when a 600cc sportbike is considered "a great first bike" you're not going to find many takers for a 400. Of course, it was another story entirely outside the USA and especially in Japan, where tiered licensing and heavy taxes on bigger bikes meant a great deal of interest in the 400cc class as roadbikes and the relevant racing series, and bikes like the CBR400, GSX-R400, and ZXR400 competed fiercely.

So what are we looking at in terms of that reduced performance? Well you're not taking quite as big a hit as you might expect: the NC30 produced 59 claimed horses, versus the RC30's 118, 313lbs dry versus 400lbs, and a top speed of 130mph versus 153. So you've got a bike with almost half the displacement but with far more than half the performance, mostly due to that very light weight. What's possibly far more surprising than the performance differential between the two are the relatively low numbers for the famed RC30... Both machines featured six-speed gearboxes and the NC30 got a 360° "big bang" crank to match its bigger brother along with gear-driven cams, so you get the distinctive V4 soundtrack and wide powerband that helps make them such popular trackday bikes overseas.

From the seller: 1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

For your consideration is a GORGEOUS almost mint condition 1991 Honda VFR400R NC-30 with only 10,823 Kilometers (6,725 miles). Bike is very clean and well taken care of. Bike would be flawless except for the crack in the lower fairing under the bike. It has been repaired. Has a three tiny paint chip marks in the tank, and the left rear fairing has a rub mark on it from transportation & shipping (see pics.) This NC30 has 100% original OEM Honda fairings and components and is completely stock except for a few racing sponsor decals that can be easily removed. This bike would make an ideal candidate for restoration or enjoy it in its original condition... Bike has been serviced with new battery, new oil, coolant and filters serviced. Runs like the day it was new. A Utah state title in my company name will be presented to the buyer.

This particular machine appears to be in the same sort of condition as the seller's other offerings: not completely perfect, but in low mileage, extremely well cared-for condition. There are a couple of minor cracks in the fairing that are clearly indicated by the seller, and wear is limited to some minor surface corrosion and discoloration. Not museum-quality perhaps, but a very good-looking machine for someone who plans to occasionally ride the bikes in their collection. With the RC30 now out of the reach of ordinary enthusiasts, prices of the NC30 are on the rise as well and offer up a similar style and experience at an affordable price. For the moment at least.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale
Suzuki May 11, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: Suzuki TL1000R Racer/Track Day Special for Sale

In the 90s, Ducati captured the imagination of race fans and road riders alike with their exotic, race-winning v-twins, and the Japanese were forced to play catch up on track in in the showrooms, as they'd largely been relying on highly-developed, but less emotional inline fours in World Superbike and endurance racing. The rules of World Superbike certainly favored v-twins at the time, and the Japanese seemed to believe that was all there was to their success, "If a tiny little company like Ducati can do it, we can too!" Unfortunately, both Honda and Suzuki missed their opportunity to cash in, producing "Ducati-killers" that failed to understand exactly why people bought Ducatis in the first place. The Honda SuperHawk was a very good motorcycle cursed with a tiny gas tank and handling that was never really intended to measure up to the track-focused 916, with handsome but fairly bland looks. And Suzuki's TL1000R was a massive failure in terms of its Ducati-slaying ability as well. They'd already built their road-focused TL1000S, so the TL1000R should have been a no-brainer. But while the 916 was narrow, sleek, and very focused on speed, the TL-R was bulbous and heavy, with handling limited by the controversial rotary rear damper carried over from the TL-S. The rotary damper worked fine in theory, but overheated in practice, resulting in sometimes scary at-the-limit handling. Luckily, today's Featured Listing, a track-ready TL1000R goes a long way towards rectifying those shortcomings.

Why use a rotary damper in the first place? Well a bike with a 90° v-twin is generally very narrow [unless you're on a Moto Guzzi], light, smooth and torquey, but presents packaging challenges. Ducati's front cylinder lies nearly horizontal, making for a very long engine and a correspondingly long wheelbase. Suzuki rotated their engine back in the chassis, but that left little room for a traditional rear shock, and they used a compact rotary damper in its place. It was a proven concept, but the execution left a bit to be desired...

Although the TL1000R was considered a sales flop at the time, low prices and that absolute peach of a v-twin have made it a very appealing roadbike. Keep in mind that Suzuki used this engine to power a whole range of their own bikes, and it was used by plenty of other manufacturers as well. It is reliable, reasonably powerful, and sounds great with a set of aftermarket cans. The TL1000R was a fundamentally sound bike, with all of the elements to be the everyman v-twin Suzuki advertised, but the execution was flawed. Power is never going to rival modern Ducatis, unless you throw a ton of money at the engine. But pounds can be shed, and handling improved with a swap to a more traditional rear shock and good suspension set up.

Today's Featured Listing goes back to the TL-R's original stated intent and systematically fixes problems: a complete modern GSX-R1000 front end with a Brembo master cylinder, lightweight bodywork, updated rear shock by Penske, and an Aprilia RS250 solo tail that lightens the bike visually as well, making it the sleek machine it always should have been.

From the seller: TLR1000R Race Bike for Sale

TL1000R for sale, bill of sale, no title, was built frame up piece by piece. Specs follow:

Engine - stock internally, Sharkskinz airbox, M4 full exhaust - rear sections have been modified to pull the exhaust closer to the swingarm for cornering ground clearance, Power Commander III. Yes, I know it's not really a superbike with the stock motor, but the rest of the modifications mean it's not SS legal.

Chassis - LE rear link and Penske shock, 04 GSXR 1000 forke/triples - LE valved and lengthened, Woodcraft clipons, Vortex upper triple clamp, Ohlins steering damper, Sato rearsets

Brakes - Brembo radial m/c, 04 GSXR 1000 calipers with spacers to run 320mm TLR rotors, rear caliper is a Wilwood PS-1 in a captured spacer setup (Pro Fab did the swingarm modification and all the machined parts), Goodridge stainless lines

Body - Sharkskinz body with Honda RS250 tailsection. Rear subframe is all fabricated aluminum.

Misc - Wire harness has been thrifted and ECU has been relocated to the front in fabricated aluminum holder. Clutch m/c is a brembo radial. Throttle is from Yoyodyne, probably more little stuff that I'm forgetting.

$6500, located in Indianapolis

Email is best for me: motorsport.studio at geemale.com

I love the Aprilia RS250 tail section, and the Gulf Racing colors work for me too: I'd love to do a track Ducati 916 up like that! Honestly, $5,600 seems like a heck of a deal for such a fully-developed bike. I've no idea if it'd make a competitive racebike, but if you like twins but don't want to risk your precious 998R in the fast group at a track day, this might be just the ticket. I fully understand why folks would choose something like a GSX-R or R6 as a trackday ride, but it's the funky stuff like this that interests me.

-tad

Honda May 9, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Tiny Four: 1988 Honda CBR250R MC19 for Sale

"When it rains, it pours" seems to apply to cool motorcycles. Haven't seen a GSX-R750LE in a long time? Suddenly, four or five examples come up for sale. I'm not sure why: maybe it's that folks hoarding them with an eye towards eventual sale suddenly see a demand for them and want to get in on the action? Or maybe individuals who've stashed them away from new are all of a certain age and are looking to liquidate their collections as they get older and less able to ride? Whatever the reason, we've seen a number of small displacement, grey-market sportbikes like this Honda CBR250R MC19 come up for sale recently in excellent condition, so if you've a hankering for tiny fours, take a look!

250s have long been associated here in the USA with learner bikes and hypermiling commuters. Generally powered by economical twins and singles, they offer low cost and high reliability, with racy styling, garish graphics, and names that link them to bigger, more capable sportbikes. But in countries where engines with greater displacement are disproportionately expensive to purchase heavily taxed, or limited by licensing laws, small inline fours like this one wrote a fascinating, if short, chapter in motorcycling history.

At a glance, the specifications look like they could come from a typical race-replica: liquid-cooled inline four, six-speed gearbox, 337lb dry weight... Then you get to that displacement: 48.5mm x 33.8mm for just 249cc. The claimed 40 horsepower is shockingly respectable although the 18,000rpm redline speaks to how hard you'll have to work to access it. This example has a bit of wear around the edges, but nothing you wouldn't expect from a well cared-for, but nearly 30 year old motorcycle.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda CBR250R MC19 for Sale

For those of you that missed the Kawasaki ZXR250 sale, you get another chance for an exciting 250cc grey market Honda sport bike. This will be the last 18,000 RPM screaming 250cc inline four I will be selling. From the Honda room, comes a very special 1988 Honda CBR 250R MC19. This CBR has an inline four cylinder engine that revs to the moon and redlines at 18,000 RPM's. Its a blast to ride! This CBR is a one owner bike with only 310 kilometers (192 miles). Completely stock condition just like the day it rolled off the assembly line. Every fairing and component is 100% original stock Honda. Bike has never fallen over or been down. This CBR has a few scratches here and there from moving around the garage but shows like new. Bike is in very nice original condition and shows light patina throughout.   Bike has been serviced with new oil, coolant and filters have been serviced. Runs like the day it was new. Bike comes with Utah title in my company name and will be presented to the new owner.

With just 192 miles on the odometer, this one is certainly worthy of being put on display. Bidding is up to about $2,400 at the time of writing, with plenty of activity. The usual titling issues may apply if you're in a state with a strict DMV, so do your homework if you plan to do more than display this sweet little machine.

-tad

Tiny Four: 1988 Honda CBR250R MC19 for Sale
Yamaha May 4, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Track Weapon: Nico Bakker-Framed 1980 Yamaha TZ750 for Sale

I was almost hesitant to post this monster, concerned that our passionate but sometimes purity-obsessed readers would find it less of an object of desire and more an abomination. For sure, this Nico Bakker-framed Yamaha TZ750 is a mongrel, a beast. A chimera, if you will. The engine? A ferocious liquid-cooled two-stroke four-cylinder race engine and six-speed gearbox from the TZ750, which alone should be enough to at least give this thing a second look. The Bakker frame is from 1980, although it was purpose-built for the TZ to cure the bike's notoriously sketchy handling. But then you've got mismatched 17" wheels, modern-ish suspension and R6 bodywork. Hey, at least it's almost all Yamaha-sourced!

And as a racing machine, the bike's constant evolution is far more in keeping with the original intent than some perfectly preserved collectible. In a way, it's even cooler than a period-correct TZ750: each and every one of those is a piece of history and should probably be cared for as such and ridden with kid gloves. This? It will handle better than folks like Kenny Roberts, who raced the TZ750 back when it was new, could ever have imagined and mere mortals can take it to the track and ride it in anger. And possibly not die.

When introduced in the 1970s, the TZ700 and TZ750 that followed became the bikes to beat on racetracks in Europe and in the United States, where they dominated AMA racing for years. This was a motorcycle from the era where engines were making rapid leaps in terms of raw performance, while suspension design, tire technology, and handling advanced more slowly: even the early bikes with just 90hp were shredding rear tires and trying to eject their pilots. By the time 1980 rolled around, the TZ was making much more like 140hp in a lightweight package that was good for 185mph top speed, with solid reliability.

Early machines used a frame with a twin-shock rear suspension that was later updated one with thicker tubing and a monoshock in 1975. Unfortunately, handling was never much more than "adequate," with pilots hanging on for dear life as much actually riding them, which explains the Nico Bakker frame seen here, something the seller claims is just one of five made for the TZ. Nico Bakker is, of course, one of the most talented frame designers of all time, and his work has graced racebikes, low-volume specials, and even production roadbikes built by everyone from Suzuki to Laverda.

From the original eBay listing: Nico Bakker-Framed 1980 Yamaha TZ750 for Sale

This is a 1980 Nikko Baker chassis TZ750. Number 5 of 5 that were built for the Big TZ. Yamaha used these aftermarket chassis to rectify the problems with their ill handling factory chassis. These frames were far superior to the stock units and Yamaha used them until they figured out a solution for their own. This bike has been modified with the correct pieces to keep it AHRMA and WERA legal. It is a weapon in any Vintage class you care to run it in. Nikko Baker used the Full Floater style rear suspension with a link and conventional type shock. As apposed to the limited adjustability of the stock mono shock modified backbone Moto Cross unit Yamaha was using. An Ohlins remote reservoir unit replaced that. Upgraded fork tubes ( conventional style ) from a late model Honda CBR900RR with adjustable internals from KPS suspension. Set up for a 180 lbs rider. A 17" Honda 5 spoke 3.5, aluminum wheel is used up front with 310mm HRC rotors and 4 piston Nissan calipers for stopping power. A billet Yoshimura top triple tree and aftermarket billet clip ons. As for the rear wheel it has a 3 spoke 17" Marvic 5.5 Magnesium wheel. Taking advantage of readily available, easy and inexpensive parts instead of the custom Nikko Bakers hand formed tank and tail section. A 2001 R6 tank was used along with a 2004 R1 race tail section. Fits excellently and can be aquired all over incase anything gets damage in a crash. We use the stock style fairing still. Nothing works as well or keeps the integrity of the original TZ like the stock unit. All the original body and engine parts that came on the unit go with the bike also. Like stock Yamaha forks and triple trees, Astrolite wheels ( 18" x 5.0 rear and 18" x 3.0 front ) Spondon front calipers, and hand formed aluminum fuel tank ect. Tank is about $2500 to $3000 and over a year wait time to get.

Engine wise it has a complete rebuild on her and every go fast goodie made for the TZ750. New Renstar individual cylinders with reed cages, Renstar billet crank shafts, new transmission ( set up and cut by Paul Gast ) Lentz chambers with 10" aftermarket aluminum silencers. Along with the 40mm Lectron high velocity power jet carburetors Magura 1/4 turn throttle and cables and Brembo radial master cylinder . It has all the best stuff to make an amazing Vintage liter bike slayer.  Bike comes with loads of spares too. Cylinders, heads, crankshafts, rod rebuild kits, pistons clutch parts, transmission, gearing and tons of spare Lectron tuning needles and parts. Also have the original factory round slide Mikuni carbs and cables. Plus more misc parts and gaskets.

I have only one issue. I couldn't source out a new Ignition stator and box. So after unit was completed i sent it out to be gone thru as a precaution. It will be back and installed on unit by time of delivery.

Is it a pure collectible museum-piece? Absolutely not, not even close. Is it beautiful? Well, if pure function is your idea of beauty, then maybe it is. Keep in mind that if you're a fan of originality and want something closer to the stock TZ750, the seller does mention that the original bodywork, wheels, and other parts will come with the bike, although I'd want to verify exactly what that includes before dropping money if that's the direction I wanted to go. I've got no idea how to value something like this, but the seller obviously does: the Buy It Now price is set at $45,000. The comments section is open, so let me know what you guys think about this beast! And remember: keep it civil guys.

-tad

Track Weapon: Nico Bakker-Framed 1980 Yamaha TZ750 for Sale
Kawasaki May 3, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Tiny and Green: 1994 Kawasaki ZXR250 for Sale

Little sportbikes like this very nice Kawasaki ZXR250 were never imported to the USA for a very good reason: there was basically zero demand for them. In other countries, licensing limitations, high taxes on larger-displacement bikes, and much more expensive fuel mean that riders don't necessarily graduate from a 250 to a 600 to a full-on literbike. In places where you're incentivized to "think small" a bike like this makes perfect sense, since it has the big-bike styling, real sportbike handling, and mechanical sophistication an experienced rider might want, all in a fun-size package.

The bike was introduced in 1988 with a major mechanical and styling refresh in 1991. Displacing just 249cc, that little jewel of an engine produced a claimed 45 hp and just a sliver of torque at 18 ft.lbs and could push the 311 lb dry machine all the way to 124 mph. Obviously, the ZXR250 isn't going to offer up all that much more in the way of straight-line performance compared to something like a modern Ninja 300: you can't get blood from a stone. Or in this case, horsepower from just 15 cubic inches. And modern entry-level machines provide technology this little Kawasaki couldn't dream of. But with modern 250s mostly built around torquey singles or economical parallel twins, this inline four with its positively shrieking 19,000 rpm redline may offer more noise than actual power, but it also provides plenty of rider involvement to go with that spine-tingling sound.

Modern entry-level sportbikes have powerplants chosen for their simplicity, economy, ease-of-maintenance, and torquey power delivery so new riders can focus more on riding and less on shifting gears to chase insane redlines. So obviously, a carbureted inline four-cylinder will require much more effort to maintain and more skill to ride effectively, but I expect fans of small sportbikes know exactly what they're in for with a bike like this. Today's example has had a few miles roll under the wheels, but looks from photos to be in exceptionally good condition. I prefer the earlier style fairings with twin round headlamps, but that's simply a matter of taste. You certainly can't argue with the condition of what's on display here or those very 1990s HVAC hoses leading to the airbox...

From the original eBay listing: 1994 Kawasaki ZXR250 for Sale

Up for your consideration is a RARE MINT CONDITION low mileage 1994 Kawasaki ZXR250 with 19,518 Kilometers (12,127 miles). It is in mint condition and has new battery, Kawasaki filter & engine oil, new coolant flush, new brake fluid, new spark plugs and original air filter was serviced. This ZXR250 isn't your typical Ninja 250 that was sold here in the states. This ZXR has an inline four cylinder engine that revs to a 19,000 redline. In my opinion, its one of the best bikes you can ride on a twisty road. Even though this ZXR250 is completely stock, it comes with an extra carbon fiber aftermarket slip on muffler included in the sale.

When we received the bike, It was taken apart and cleaned and inspected along with the full service. We noticed that the bike has been very well taken care of over the years. You can tell it was loved as a child, lol. The bike runs and rides like the day it was new. Would make a great addition to any collection. This ZXR250 comes with a clean Utah title in my company name that will be presented to the new owner.

Bidding is up just past $3,000 with several days left on the auction. Interest in these little machines seems pretty high when they come up for auction, and several CBR250RRs have been featured on this site recently. They offer good handling and great looks, but very modest power, so I think you're mainly buying these for the novelty, that insane and very accessible redline, or as a Kawi completist. There are definitely more economical ways to sportbike, but fewer more stylish.

-tad

Tiny and Green: 1994 Kawasaki ZXR250 for Sale