Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Honda January 13, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Exotic Heavyweight: 1985 Honda VF1000R Interceptor for Sale

1985 Honda VF1000R L Side

Some more 80's Honda action this week, only this time the bike is in much better condition and has all of its parts included! Modern sportbikes often obsessively address issues of weight while clawing at ever-higher horsepower numbers, worshiping at the temple founded by Lotus founder Colin Chapman and his philosophy that, “adding power makes you faster on the straights, subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere.” Today’s Honda VF1000R is a substantially-engineered motorcycle that lives by the first part of that axiom, but falls down a bit on the second…

1985 Honda VF1000R Nose

Looking much like a scaled-up GSX-R, the fully-faired, monoshock VF1000R was designed to homologate a number of features for Honda’s endurance-racing efforts, but was actually noticeably heavier than the sport-touring VF1000F at over 600lbs wet. The 998cc V4 replaced the F’s timing chains for the gear-driven cams that would eventually become an Interceptor calling-card, while anti-dive front suspension, quick-release axles, vented rear brake disc, and distinctive Comstar modular wheels fitted with radial tires rounded-out the exotic package.

1985 Honda VF1000R Rear Tire

All-in-all, the VF1000R was a bit of a disappointment as a roadbike, but that was never really the objective anyway: like most homologation machines, it was built to allow specific included parts to be used in much higher-performing, production-based racebikes. And it paved the way for Honda’s all-conquering RC30 and RC45, although I understand those were also fairly disappointing in road trim. Spare me your anger and flame in the comments section: I freely admit I’ve never ridden either of them, but I’ve read plenty of period reviews that were less than impressed, especially considering those bikes’ price tags then and now. Once again: road performance wasn’t really the point of those bikes, either.

1985 Honda VF1000R Tail

This particular example from ’85 has been upgraded with the dual-headlight setup from an ’86 model and looks to be in pretty spectacular shape, considering the bike’s age and the fact that it has seen a reasonable amount of road use, as opposed to a pampered life in a collection. For most of us, that just makes it sweeter, and means that it’s a runner, not a display bike. The included D&D pipes should make this bike a real howler: among Ducatisti, D&D is known for making pipes that exchange volume for anything resembling subtlety…

1985 Honda VF1000R Exhaust

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Honda VF1000R for Sale

Super Clean 1985 VF1000R, dual headlight upgrade over the original single one, clean paint, like new tires, smooth idle, it’s a Honda all the way!!! I hate to part with it, but I destroyed my left shoulder in Afghanistan and just can't take the lean forward any more 🙁 ... She is garage kept, and the pics don't do it justice... I will include a set of D&D pipes to the winning bidder as well! Any Questions just ask, I'm listing an Aprillia 1000R in a few more days as well.

Thanks for looking

The biggest challenge with many Japanese bikes from the 80’s and 90’s was their mass-produced affordability: people bought them, rode them hard, and exploited their famed reliability. That means in spite of higher production, tracking down nice examples of bikes like this can be just as difficult as finding a more exotic Ducati or Bimota that was produced in much smaller numbers, but has led a much more pampered life.

1985 Honda VF1000R Dash

There are still a few days left on the auction and bidding is active, although the reserve has still not been met at just north of $3,000. Much more a “GT” and less of a “back-road-burner” by today’s standards, this should make for a pretty cool road tool for Honda fans and that V4 soundtrack, complete with gear-whine, will make any bike fan smile.

-tad

1985 Honda VF1000R R Side

 

Exotic Heavyweight: 1985 Honda VF1000R Interceptor for Sale
Honda January 9, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Some Assembly Required: 1986 Honda NS400R

1986 Honda NS400R R Side

Honda’s NSR400R was a snarling, two-stroke middleweight from an era of unprecedented experimentation; a three-cylinder, triple-piped sportbike with cutting-edge specifications. The 1980’s must have been a very discouraging time for European and Italian manufacturers. While they were barely hanging on by their fingernails, Japanese manufacturers were in the throes of an era of funky, experimental technologies, trying out new formulas, and nothing was off-limits: unusual engine configurations, turbos, and active suspension were all tried, with varying degrees of success.

1986 Honda NS400R R Rear Suspension

The NSR400R wasn’t lacking performance or technology: the rattling heart of the little monster was a liquid-cooled, 90° V3 that put 72hp through a six-speed transmission. Power-valve technology beefed up the midrange power while water-cooling increased power and kept mechanical noise to a minimum, although the snarl from the pipes is undeniably that of a two-stroke. Anti-dive forks and modular wheels wrapped in radial tires completed the package.

1986 Honda NS400R Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Honda NS400R for Sale

This is a rare Honda NS400R Rothman's edition 2-stroke. We got this jewel  from a retired motorcycle mechanic. Bike is not running and engine will need to be redone according to him. Honda appears to be complete with a couple of things missing like keys, exhaust, mirrors, gear shifter lever, kick start lever, and coil cover.  Paint and fairing is nice with some scratches. Mileage is really low at  4,741 Km. Bike has a small decal with Japanese writing and No. 301 If someone can tell me the year or more info please feel free to do so and I will update the auction.  BIKE IS SOLD WITH A BILL OF SALE BUT If winning bidder wants a title we can obtain it at additional cost  just contact us.

1986 Honda NS400R L Fairing

Just two days left on the auction, with bidding just over $3,000 and the reserve not met. While this bike isn't 100% complete, the bike is in cosmetically good shape, and the parts missing are fairly straightforward to replace. Those missing pipes might be difficult or possibly expensive to source... So why not go all-out and, since you're going to have to rebuild the engine anyway, just have someone whip up a set of pipes with custom expansion chambers, all out of titanium while you’re at it?

-tad

1986 Honda NS400R L Side

Some Assembly Required: 1986 Honda NS400R
Aprilia January 4, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Practical Exotic: 2004 Aprilia Tuono 1000R

2004 Aprilia Tuono R Side Front

The Aprilia Tuono is bike with a style only an engineer or a racer could love, someone who truly appreciates what something does, rather than how it looks. I'd like to call it "form-following-function," but Aprilia always manages to include plenty of random styling bits that seem to do neither, so I won't. But it looks wicked, in the same way a medieval warrior on a heavy metal album cover done up in impractical spiked armor looks wicked: we know it ain't practical, but the design is a sort of short-hand for "bad ass".

2004 Aprilia Tuono L Side Front

The Tuono is exactly the type of naked bike journalists and riders keep asking for, but Japanese manufacturers never seem to be able to deliver: a headbanging sportbike stripped of its fairing, with more humane ergonomics for street riding. The Tuono followed Triumph's recipe for success, matching an uncompromisingly sporty frame and quality suspension to a just slightly retuned and regeared powertrain to create a comfortable streetbike that can get a wiggle on when twisty roads beckon.

In Aprilia's case, the beating heart of the frisky beast was their liquid-cooled 998cc Rotax engine that featured a pair of balance shafts to cancel out the vibration the 60° v-twin might generate. It's generally considered to be extremely reliable and very strong, if slightly less refined than comparable machines from Ducati.

2004 Aprilia Tuono Radiator

From the original eBay listing: 2004 Aprilia Tuono 1000R for Sale

I bought this Italian bike at this same time of year in 2010 to add to my stable of bikes (9 at the time).  I wanted to round out my riding skills and learn to road race so a couple times a year I would put a set of clip-on bars on this bike and head to the track.  Over the past four years I have done about a dozen track days - six of those days while being a student in Jason Pridmore's STAR School.  Most everybody at the track knows what it is and yet is surprised just how much drive it has coming out of a corner, provided that you're not spinning the rear tire.  Having said that, I learned that if I am to get more serious, continue to do track days and hone my road racing skills I best do it on a bike that won't make me cry if I lay it down.  This bike is just too beautiful to go through that and have to rebuild it after an incident.  

This is an incredibly flexible motorcycle.  It can a beast, a bike perfectly suited for hooligan behavior.  It can also sport tour quite comfortably, I took it on a three day Baja trip last year and it ran beautifully.  The engine is very smooth and reliable.  The brakes stop with a vengeance.  These Italian Aprilia's have been dubbed "...the best Japanese bike to come out of Europe..." because of their Honda-like reliability and usability.

I changed out the original plastics for carbon fiber because (A) I love how it looks and (B) the carbon components are more readily available and less expensive than OEM Aprilia parts.  I included a photo of how the bike looks with the original plastics.  ALL of the original plastics are included in the auction - faring, front fender, coil covers, rear faring, fender, passenger seat pillion and factory belly pan.

I swapped out the original plastic gas tank for a metal black one (goes with the carbon fiber).  Stock tank is included.

2004 Aprilia Tuono Front

Some minor flaws, cracks and scuffs aside, this bike should offer a TON of bang-for-the-buck, with just a bit of Italian funk thrown into the bargain. It looks clean and well cared-for, with some minor scars and wounds earned in 20,000 road and track miles. That GPR exhaust ain't the prettiest choice, but neither is the bike, and it does look pretty cool, and is definitely visually slimmer and a whole lot lighter than the original part.

2004 Aprilia Tuono L Side Rear

The Tuono has long been the darling of motorcycle journalists, although they haven't exactly sold like hotcakes... Maybe something to do with the fact that Aprilias don't get snapped up by weekend warriors and collectors the way Ducatis do. Or maybe their styling is an acquired taste. Whatever the reason, Aprilias represent an amazing value on the used-bike market, combining Italian charisma with excellent reliability to create the perfect low-cost exotic.

-tad

2004 Aprilia Tuono R Side

Practical Exotic: 2004 Aprilia Tuono 1000R
Cagiva January 4, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

2003 Cagiva V-Raptor 1000 for Sale in California!

Update 1.4.2015: The seller has alerted us that this bike is back on the market. There have been some updates since our first post in June 2014 and all new pictures as well. Links updated. Good luck to buyers and seller. -dc

Hey, speaking of British bike magazines, here’s one you’re probably not too familiar with unless you read those publications. Suzuki’s V-twin was intended to compete with Ducati, but the bikes they stuffed it into never really seemed to be able to cut the mustard. The TL1000S was brawn over brains, with a dangerous reputation and a compromised rear suspension, and the TL1000R wasn’t quite right either, a bit too fat, maybe too soft, maybe not twin-y enough?

But they sound amazing, and both make pretty cool road tools, if you want the sound of a twin without the headaches of Desmodromic valves and $120/hr labor charges. And other manufacturers clearly agreed, since it ended up powering Bimota’s SB8 and Cagiva’s V-Raptors.

2003 Cagiva V-Raptor 1000 for sale on eBay

2003 Cagiva VRaptor L Side Crop

The V-Raptor was pretty wild-looking and designed by Miguel Galluzzi of Ducati Monster fame, although I think the design is trying a bit too hard. Period reviews suggest that packaging for this powerplant continued to be an issue and comfort was severely compromised for style, but Ducati Monster owners should be familiar with that. But the bike was striking and provided Italian style and booming noise without the pain of 6000 mile valve-checks. Yes, unless you do them yourself, those are every bit as annoying as you’d imagine.

From the original eBay listing: 2003 Cagiva V-Raptor 1000

Missing Left Side Panel (Plastic, can order Carbon Fiber Replacements for About $100)- Bent Right Side Exhaust (Due to Slow Fall in Muddy Puddle)- Missing Right Side Chain Tension Adjuster (Easy to Fix with Bolt/Washers from Home Depot)- Will Need New Chain, Sprocket Set, Valve Adjustment, & Front Tire within Next 2k-5k Miles Jet Black Paint with Metallic Clear Coat (Professionally Done), Seat Re-Upholstered to Black Carbon Fiber, Dual Zorstec Exhaust Pipes

Look, I hate to once again be the resident Cheap Weird Bike Guy, and this bike has all the hallmarks of being ridden hard, lightly crashed, and put away wet. But it's a Cagiva V-Raptor! You can take it to a Suzuki dealer and get it worked on!

2003 Cagiva VRaptor Title

To be honest, I had no idea these were ever available in the US and is registered in CA, a notoriously strict place relatively intolerant of DMV shenanigans. Maybe a quick email to the seller to ask the bike’s provenance? He does include a photo of the title, which is nice. And a list of things that have been done or need to be done suggest that at least the seller is representing the bike fairly.

The photos aren’t great, and the bike needs a bit of work to make it presentable, but might be worth it for the great, grunty motor and all the very confused looks you’ll get at local bike nights.

-tad

2003 Cagiva VRaptor R Side AMERIKUH

2003 Cagiva V-Raptor 1000 for Sale in California!
Honda January 2, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

All the Toys: Honda NSR250

Honda NSR250 R Side

Here's one from Craigslist in South Carolina, a Honda NSR250. The NSR250 was a roadgoing two-stroke v-twin sportbike that's been largely forgotten here in the Land of "Bigger is Better," where two-strokes have long since vanished from the road. But among those in-the-know, they're much sought-after by collectors and fans of the two-stroke Moto GP era, and riders looking for a light, fast track day machine that stresses finesse over brute power.

Honda NSR250 R Side Front

250's are often associated with the derogatory "learner bike" epithet, but it's obvious at a glance that this is no commuter or toy: triple disc brakes, aluminum frame, and single-sided swingarm scream "high-performance" and the six-speed cassette gearbox obviously offers no real benefit for a street bike... The NSR's little 249cc v-twin featured about 45bhp stock, but can be tuned to make as much as 60 without breaking a sweat, and that makes for a potent package in a bike that weighed in under 300lbs dry.

Honda NSR250 L Side Rear

In addition, this example features a host of tasty, high-spec upgrades to the bike's components, swapping in lighter, or higher-performing items to increase racetrack prowess, although it still has road-legal lights and signals. It looks to be in great shape, but there's a bit of a fly in the ointment... From the original Craigslist posting: Honda NSR250 for Sale

Honda NSR250 titled and street legal in SC. Bike is in very nice condition, but it is not 100% original so I am pricing accordingly at $8500 obo with SE wheels and stock credit card PGM, or $10.5k obo for SP wheels and PGM with stock and HRC credit cards w/ other HRC upgrades:

1) Titled in SC as a 2008 ASVE NSR250 w/ an assigned VIN# different from the original. That means the bike was reassembled in 2008, and I could not use Honda's name. This has nothing to do with salvage, so everything is perfect with the paperwork, and both VIN's show on the bike and coincide in the DOT computers in TX and SC. I originally titled it in TX in 2008, and then moved to SC in 2010, and titled it in SC in 2014.
2) Frame is not original 1995 SP since original frame was altered by first US owner in Washington State, therefore I have a different frame that does not have the '95 SP series VIN #, but I suspect it was a '94 or '95 frame.
3) I sold the original SP forks and it now has SE forks on it. They look great and were rebuilt recently.
4) I do not run oil injection and I do not have the parts, but they are available on ebay cheap.
5) 1995 SP Dry Clutch Motor is fully rebuilt with less than 50 miles on it. It is awesome, pulling small power wheelies in partially restricted mode/stock carbs in 1st and 2nd gear. Wiring is stock and not spliced yet.
6) JHA aftermarket pipes with Tyga silencers
7) HRC airbox with Hi-Flo reeds, stock carbs, and Uni-filters
8) HRC single core radiator, hose, lower head conversion, and overflow system with no thermostat - continuous flow and works great
9) Penske Rear Shock that was rebuilt/sprung by Thermosman
10) Very nice 1995 SP bodywork with an excellent OEM spare upper fairing
11) 1995 SP Tank was repainted with original OEM decals and then cleared over - looks very good.

Honda NSR250 Dash

The list goes on, and includes modifications and updates. Those modifications destroy the originality a bit, but it uses appropriate, high-quality parts that should improve performance and look very trick... Unfortunately, the price seems a bit on the high side, considering those title issues that the seller mentions. Whether or not this will present a problem for you will depend on where you live and your intended use: many state DMV's have relatively lax rules, but the iffy status could cause problems if you try to register it in someplace like California or New York... So, caveat emptor.

Of course, if you buy this as a track bike, a role for which it should be ideally suited, you can sidestep that whole problem.

Honda NSR250 L Side Front

So: a great-looking rider, not a collector. A really, really nice "bitsa" as the Brits say. If your local DMV doesn't object to the funky title, this will be the perfect tool to terrorize your local back roads. If they do object, sell the lights and street bodywork on eBay, fit some lightweight panels, and have yourself a grand old time passing much bigger machines on the brakes and in the corners at your local race track.

-tad

Honda NSR250 L Side

All the Toys: Honda NSR250
Yamaha December 31, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Even Better Than the Real Thing? Yamaha YZR500 GP Replica

Update 12.31.2014: We first saw this GP replica in July when it failed to get any action with an opening bid of $26k. It's back on eBay now with a buy-it-now of $24,500. Happy New Year everyone! -dc

This Yamaha YZR500 GP Replica is the rarest of the rare, a one-of-a-kind opportunity to buy a one-of-a-kind motorcycle. Meant to recreate Yamaha’s iconic year 2000 OWK6 racing machine in the classic Marlboro livery, this bike may not be the original article, but is a hugely impressive machine in terms of the enthusiasm and money invested. Powered by a tuned 500cc V4 two-stroke engine and suspended by Yamaha R6 bits, with an authentic replica frame and bodywork, this might be the closest you’ll ever get to riding an actual GP machine.

2000 Yamaha YZR500 Replica L Front

I am no expert on these bikes, so I’d love to see the peanut gallery weigh in as to the accuracy of this replica. I’ve been next to full-on WSB and Moto GP motorcycles and it’s always interesting to me how they still basically look like motorcycles. Racing cars, especially Formula 1 machines, really look nothing like actual cars, aside from the four round rubber bits. But racing motorcycles? It’s the details that really impress, since they have the same basic silhouette as their road-going counterparts, but chock-full of amazing details.

2000 Yamaha YZR500 Replica L Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Yamaha YZR500 GP Replica for Sale

A replica of the legendary Yamaha YZR500 from year 2000. Based on a chassi handbuilt in aluminium by Mick Costin "Costin motorcycle enginering" Sydney Australia. An exact replica but made to accept the Yamaha RD500LC 2 stroke v4 engine. Also rear sets and suspension linkages comes from Mick. This one has a 1985 1GE engine rebuilt with new bearings, oil seals, clutch, pistons, and it is tuned "TSI mods" done by Orluff racing in sweden. 1 mm overbore. Samco silicon hoses for the modified Yamaha R6 radiator, Jim lomas custom made exhausts in stainless steel with carbon silencers. New Mikuni TM28 flatslide carburettors with new K&N Filters. The bike was run in a dyno bench in may 2014 and has 99 hp on the rear wheel. Forks, triple clamps, swingarm, rims and rear brakes comes from a 2006 Yamaha R6. Rear shock and front fender in carbon comes from a Yamaha TZ250, PVM radial front brake master cylinder, goodridge steel brake hoses to tociko 4 pot calipers. Galfer wave brake discs front and rear, new galfer brake pads, Fuel tank is a heavy modified unit from a VFR400 nc30 with a Pingel dual outlet fuel tap. Fairings are copys in glasfiber made by Motoforza from a 2000 YZR500 painted in Marlboro red. Standard RD 500 tacho and temp gauge, New Regina 520 chain and Afam alu sprockets, Only scrubbed in Michelin power supersport tires, The bike has only been ridden twice since it was built. I have many more pictures taken from building this bike that i will send to seriosly intrested buyer.

2000 Yamaha YZR500 Replica R Rear

I’m seriously impressed with the dedication and money that went into creating this motorcycle, but I’m not actually sure what you’d do with this thing after you buy it: it’s not the genuine article, so it’s a tough call for collectors, and it’s very, very pricey for a track day or vintage racing junky. On the plus side: you can actually ride it, without worrying you'll crash a priceless and historic racebike.

Or maybe, if you live in a more permissive state, it can, as the seller mentions, be registered for road use… How hilarious would that be? Suction cup a little projector-beam headlamp and a bicycle taillight, a pair of LED turn signals… I’d read recently that Britain actually has a special “track bike” MOT that allows limited use of track day bikes lacking the usually required road equipment to get to and from the racecourse during daylight hours.

2000 Yamaha YZR500 Replica R Side Engine

It’s certainly a very nice curiosity, and one I hope finds the right buyer. At $27,000 with the Reserve Not Met, that’s going to be a tall order. Please also note that the bike is currently in Sweden, if you didn't notice the non-USA license plates on the cars in the background of the photographs. Regardless, there’s very little time left on this auction, so move quickly if you want to get your hands on this one-of-a-kind motorcycle!

-tad

2000 Yamaha YZR500 Replica L Side

 

Even Better Than the Real Thing? Yamaha YZR500 GP Replica




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