Posts by Category: Honda

Honda December 20, 2016 posted by

Grey Market Rarity: 1988 Honda VFR400 NC24 for Sale

 

Built for 1987 and 1988, the NC24 version of Honda's VFR400 was powered by a 399cc V4 with a lofty 14k redline, although it used a more conventional 180° crank instead of the later bike’s 360° “big bang” unit, which should give the bike more of an inline-four sound but with the added bonus of a distinctive whine from the gear-driven cams. The engine was surprisingly flexible, and handling was considered excellent. It was the very first VFR400 to use Honda’s Pro-Arm single-sided swingarm, although the rear wheel on the NC24 was secured by four bolts, instead of the later bike’s single large nut: the part you see in the photos is actually a plastic cover designed to mimic a trick racing part.

The VFR400 was originally intended for the Japanese market, although the later NC30 was officially imported to the UK and others found their way abroad through various grey market and "parallel import" channels so they do show up for sale pretty regularly, even here in the USA. This is actually the first NC24 I can remember seeing for sale. Most of the attention goes to the NC30, with its “baby RC30” looks. But this is still a very cool and unusual motorcycle, and perhaps the dowdy looks will keep costs down for folks more interested in performance and heritage than sexy style. With somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 hp and around 350 lbs dry to push around, performance is respectable and these have always been popular bikes among

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda VFR400 for Sale

Here we have a Honda NC24 VFR400. It has just been imported into the States from the UK. I test rode this bike when I collected it in Lancaster, England. It started with some difficulty but after warming up it idled well. I suspect that the carbs are restricted by washers. This is a common practice in the UK to satisfy licensing requirements for novice riders. If I were going to ride it regularly, I'd have the carbs cleaned and the washers removed. The bike comes with the V5 document (English equivalent of a title) , copies of import papers, and a bill of sale. I offer competitively priced delivery in the lower 48 States with a right of refusal guarantee. Upon delivery if you are unsatisfied with the motorcycle you will only be responsible for the delivery fee.

Bidding is very active, but just up to about $1,600 so I imagine it will go a good bit higher before the auction ends. The bike certainly isn't perfect, with some flaking paint on the clutch lever, slight discoloration of the plastic "nut" that covers the rear hub, and the surface corrosion you'd expect on a bike that made it to the USA via the UK, where bikes see far more time being ridden in harsh weather and exposed to the elements. I'm also guessing that those aren't the original fairings: looking online, that red stripe on the tank should continue onto the side panels. Maybe just repaint the whole thing as a Rothmans replica? As the seller mentions, these smaller-displacement bikes were often modified to limit power and allow them to be used by new riders on restricted licenses. Instead of buying a little 125, you could buy a bigger bike with restrictions in place to limit power. Once you'd graduated to a full license, you could convert the bike to full power. The seller obviously isn't 100% sure they've been installed, but I'd expect anyone planning to buy a nearly 30 year old motorcycle would be prepared to do a bit of carburetor work if they plan to regularly ride their funky new purchase.

-tad

Grey Market Rarity: 1988 Honda VFR400 NC24 for Sale
Honda December 17, 2016 posted by

Quarter-Liter Screamer: 1990 Honda CBR250RR MC22 for Sale

Small-displacement, entry-level sportbikes are a tough sell here in the USA. With an emphasis on big bikes, no licensing limitations, and lots of cheap used machines available, there's little incentive for new riders to pick up something like today's Honda CBR250RR. Which explains why they were never sold here in the first place, although examples have recently been finding their way over here, mixed in with the other, formerly unobtainable two-stroke exotica that often features on this site.

Produced between 1986 and 1996, the CBR250RR was intended mainly for the Japanese market, although some found their way to other countries as grey market imports, obviously in places where someone might spend the premium required for such a relatively sophisticated machine.

The spec sheet reads like a much bigger bike, with four tiny pistons and sixteen valves operated by gear-driven cams, with a six-speed gearbox putting 40hp to the rear wheel. The wet weight of 350lbs isn't quite as light as one of the better-known 250cc two-strokes, but you do get that sophisticated metallic shriek as the bike winds around to 19,000rpm and the bike has excellent handling.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Honda CBR250RR for Sale

The 1992 Honda CBR250RR MC22 is from a golden era of sportbikes. With a water cooled 4 valve per cylinder inline 4 with dual overhead gear driven cams that redlines at 19,000rpms. I cannot think of any modern small displacement bike that comes with an engineering feet such as these bikes. Honda was at the top of their game in this era. Not only does the bike rev to 19,000rpms  but it is the linear progression and feel when you're doing it that is truly unreal.  few bikes that share the sensation of riding this bike. I'm always amazed when I look down at the tach and see I have 10,000 more rpms before I hit redline. Haha. Weighing just above 300lbs and having 45hp it is actually lighter and has more power than a brand new CBR300. I have a few friends who claim they are only about 10 of these bikes in the states. I don't know if that's true but I only know of about 8 of them. Most in private collections. 

The bike in the auction was legally imported from Japan and is currently registered in my name. When I got this bike the fork tubes were pitted and the seals were shot. I purchased brand new fork tubes from GF Racing and the forks were completely rebuilt with all new seals and bushings. All the fluids were flushed and replaced.....brakes bled, oil and coolant changed and etc. New tires were installed and the carbs were cleaned. Brand new battery. Brand new chain and sprockets. 

The seller also includes a video of the bike being started and running. This particular CBR250RR looks to be very clean, with less than 4,000 miles on the odometer and just a few minor scuffs and bits of surface corrosion. The problem with the little CBR is one of value for the money: for all that sophistication and complexity, you're still looking at a 250cc four-stroke so power is predictably modest, even given the bike's light weight. Here in the US, it's a very sweet little novelty bike that's probably a lot of fun to thrash, with that stratospheric redline and cam-gear whine but, as asking prices have crept up, they make less and less sense. Obviously, not everyone agrees with me on this: bidding is very active on this bike, and up north of $6,000 with just about 24 hours left on the auction.

-tad

Quarter-Liter Screamer: 1990 Honda CBR250RR MC22 for Sale
Honda December 13, 2016 posted by

Lightweight Racer: 1998 Honda RS250R for Sale

To the uninitiated, Honda's alpha-numeric naming convention can get confusing, and it'd be easy to mistake this RS250R for something like a garden-variety NSR250R with a set of track-day fairings. But unlike the road-legal, race-replica NSR250R, the RS250R was a production race-bike, a Grand Prix machine in miniature. With the fairings removed, the elegant simplicity of this lightweight machine is clearly visible.

It’s absolutely not a learner bike, or a practical track-day ride: it’s a pure GP racing motorcycle, and needs the attention you’d expect to keep it running properly. Powered by an ever-so-slightly undersquare 54x54.5mm two-stroke v-twin that could be tuned to snarl out over 90hp, the complete package weighed 223lbs dry, which should make loading it back into your van or pickup at the end of the day much easier than even your average 600cc sportbike.

Bikes up until 1993 used a 90° v-twin, but this later example uses a redesigned 75° unit, presumably because it is more compact, and the increased vibrations caused by the imperfect primary balance would be of limited concern for a racebike, especially considering the minimal mass of the tiny pistons and rods.

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Honda RS250R for Sale

Honda RS250R NX5 98, Most of you know what your looking at, for those that don't: this is a rare factory GP bike for racing use only, It is NOT street legal! Not recommended for the novice racer or trackday guys either, these 250 GP bikes reward talent and punish mistakes. Very sorted and capable machine with all standard equipment.

One sprint race in '13 on full engine and chassis rebuild. Rebuilt and rechecked this fall 2016. We went through the bike and installed new Pirelli slicks (green) on freshly powder coated wheels, new OEM clutch, new silicone hose kit, rings, RK chain, refinished pipes and professionally painted bodywork with new wind screen. Needs nothing except a discerning owner. Some spares are available separately.
This was Brian Kcraget's B bike, Brian last raced this machine and WON on it in 2013 (see podium pic). Has been stored properly since and not used.
So obviously, titling and registration issues are irrelevant here, since this a pure race bike. The $12,000 Buy It Now price for this example will seem steep if you're expecting 250CBR or even NSR250R prices. But keep in mind that, while the displacement may be small, the level of performance and the quantity Honda race-spec parts will be high, although this example doesn't include any spares, which is something to consider if you're planning to use it regularly. It's pretty bare-bones, but a very cool and functional tool for going fast and will likely still provide serious thrills for a skilled rider.
-tad
Lightweight Racer: 1998 Honda RS250R for Sale
Honda November 30, 2016 posted by

Little Brother: 1989 Honda VFR400R for Sale

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Looking very much like their very desirable VFR750R, the Honda VFR400R shares similar engine configuration, style, and that distinctive "PRO ARM" single-sided swingarm. The sophisticated V4 featured straight-cut gears in place of a chain or belt and drove twin overhead cams. Early VFR400s used a 180° crank, but the NC30 shared it's 360° "big bang" configuration with the VFR750, giving the bike a distinctive growl to go with the cultured whine of the gear-driven cams.

1989-honda-vfr400r-r-side

A big-bang engine groups its combustion events close together, in stead of spreading them out evenly. In theory, this gives improved traction, as the tire has a chance to recover grip in between pulses, although that may not be a huge advantage in a bike with just 59hp and 30ft-lbs of torque... Power was modest, but had just 350lbs dry to push, and was spread across a very wide, forgiving powerband.

1989-honda-vfr400r-fairing

These bikes didn't sell well when new, which wasn't really shocking: a period literbike could be had for similar cash and that huge increase in power could cover for a lot of sins on the road and on track. But that was hardly the point, and Honda only needed to produce a limited number to qualify them for racing. Originally intended for the Japanese market, a few made their way to the UK and mainland Europe as "parallel imports," these used to be very a very affordable way to pick up sophisticated Honda tech, but prices for these have been rapidly increasing of late, now that the RC30 is well out of reach for many collectors. Bidding on this example is north of $9,000 at this time, with the Reserve Not Met.

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From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda VFR400R for Sale

The VFR400R(NC30) is known for its handling, turning quicker than most other 400s on the market. You don't have to ride the NC30 to know that it is right. Everything about it just looks right. The scaled-down version of the RC30 is perfect in it proportions and in its detail. The reduction in size makes it neater still.

The engine gives the impression of that of a larger machine. Peak torque is at 12,000rpm, but it doesn't drop off, giving a long, flexible spread of peak power. It will hold any top gear cruise speed up to 100mph, will pull wide open in top from 2,000rpm and runs without a hiccup to 15,000rpm.Asked whether the quality of engineering is worth owning, the answer would be yes. The build quality is nearly as good as the RC30.

This bike is in excellent un-restored condition with very low miles. I approach all my bikes with the idea of preservation over restoration. When purchasing a bike what I look for is low miles and all original, this bike fits those traits very nicely. Please examine the pictures very closely. You can see it has not been restored but it is an excellent original condition. There is some minor chips and patina showing that it is a 27 year old bike. The bike was recently cleaned from top to bottom. Everything was cleaned, all fluids changed, brakes bled and then put back together ready to ride. Here's a list of a few things that were done.

Wheels powder coated, forks rebuilt, new rotors and pads front and rear plus brakes bled, new tires Bridgestone T30's. All the plastics were cleaned and polished and the small cracks were welded on the back side so they won't crack any more than they already are. All the gauges and cockpit pieces were cleaned and polished. Brand new chain and sprockets

1989-honda-vfr400r-r-side-tail

The seller also includes this helpful startup video of the bike being offered, and the original listing includes plenty of additional photos if what we've included here doesn't satisfy your NC30 lust. Aside from a few minor cosmetic imperfections mentioned by the seller, this is a very nice motorcycle and 6,000 miles is barely broken-in for a Honda, so this one is ready to display or ride, whichever strikes your fancy.

-tad

1989-honda-vfr400r-l-side

Little Brother: 1989 Honda VFR400R for Sale
Honda November 18, 2016 posted by

Out of the Winter Darkness: 1989 Honda RC30 in Canada

Before heading out for the holiday weekend, here is a bit of unobtanium: a 1989 Honda RC30 located in Canada.   Perhaps if you are heading towards Ontario for the holiday anyway, a short detour is in order?

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1989 Honda RC30 for sale on eBay in Canada

The RC30 is a bike that every serious collector wants to own at one point, and for good reason - it was about as true a homologation bike as was ever produced.  The RC30, also known as the VFR750R, came with what was at the time unheard of specs for a street bike; titanium and magnesium cast components, track-type "slipper" clutch, a first gear designed for track starts up to 80 mph, a single-sided swingarm, etc.

The story of how the RC30 originated usually goes something like Soichiro Honda declaring he wanted to show the world what Honda could do if decided to put all its efforts towards producing a no-holds-barred sports bike and that the mandate was that there would be no compromise, no corners cut, and no bowing to the bean counters.  In short, the mandate was that the bike was to be the best and the result was the RC30, a bike built to win...and win it most certainly did.   The RC30 carried "Flying" Fred Merkel to consecutive WSB titles in 1988 and 1989, and powered Steve Hislop around the famous Isle of Man TT course at a then unheard of/first 120-mph lap.  How dominate was the RC30?  Think of it this way - in 1990 fifteen of the 25 finishers in the top F1 class were on the VFR750R/RC30.

A good review of the RC30 by visordown.com can be read here.

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Given its been over 25 years since this bike was introduced, the RC30 ought to look and sound dated, but its elegant lines and tiny size (more like a big 250cc 2-stroke than a full 750cc 4-stroke) produce a stunning reaction even today.  Perhaps what keeps the RC30 an object of lust is the way it puts everything together; incredible feel from the suspension, outstanding build quality, a stupendously wide and usable powerband and the lightest weight in its class allowed the the 750cc powered machine to pretty much make the competition look stupid.  The only downside was that that all this top shelf performance didn't come cheap. The RC30 was priced at an eye popping $21,000 in 1990 (about $39,000 USD in today's dollars).

To put it simply, the word masterpiece can be commonplace when describing a rare sportbike, but in the case of the RC30 it was and still is truly justified.

rc301

This particular RC30 looks to be in good condition but I really wish the seller hadn't taken the pictures at night, had used a higher quality camera, and somehow changed the flash results.  Overall the bike looks to be OEM with the possible exception of a cut rear fender?  Also the tires look a bit off, perhaps the rear wheel is non stock?

Note:  The RC30 had different trim based on the destination country and while this particular model appears to be the dual headlight US version, it might actually be a bike produced specifically for the Canadian market (supposedly there was about 25 of these).  Unfortunately, the seller is not providing ownership history info and there is a somewhat ominous "rebuilt due to age" reference which could mean anything from a fluid change to a former track bike.

Here is what the seller has to say

  • Only 11000 km
  • All Original
  • Has been professionally rebuilt due to age to perfect spec
  • Bike rides perfect and needs nothing
  • Also has the race pkg includes race cams gives more power

rc304

Current bid price on this is only about $14,000 USD but that given that we have seen recent posts range from $22,000 to over $28,000 USD, I expect price on this one to jump.  To be honest I not sure if this is a bike produced specifically for the Canadian market or if this is a US bike (only 300 of these were reported as coming into the USA) but regardless, this one will probably hold its value over time.

Here at RSBFS we have some regular readers who will be able to offer better insight on the current fair price for this RC30, so if its time for you to add one to your collection, I suggest you check out the the comments on this post or the previous RSBFS posts linked above.  But anyone who is seriously interested will want to be quick as eBay auctions of these bikes often end early.   I would also be curious to hear from anyone who has imported a bike from Canada to the USA, suggestions for shipping companies...no reason...nothing to see here...move along now...

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Out of the Winter Darkness:  1989 Honda RC30 in Canada
Honda November 11, 2016 posted by

Rothmans Replica: 1988 Honda NSR250R SP for Sale

1988-honda-nsr250r-sp-l-side-front

All of the quarter-liter two-stroke sport bikes of the late 80s and early 90s are pretty desirable, but Honda's v-twin NSR250R is both one of the best-known and most popular. Power was a modest 45hp, but the NSR could be de-restricted for additional power safely, if not always easily, since that factory output was mandated by government decree and not because of any sort of mechanical limitations. This earlier MC18 version of the bike lacks the later MC21's cool asymmetric "gull arm" swing arm and the MC28's heavy, but very trick-looking single-sided unit, but I really like the slightly chunkier lines and that solid-looking aluminum box-section swingarm. It could also be that MC18s are a bit more affordable than those later bikes, and much easier to import and register than a late-model MC28...

1988-honda-nsr250r-sp-r-side

We've featured bikes from this seller in the past, and they appear to be one of the companies that's recently begun importing these little sportbikes on a regular basis, turning them from "rare sportbikes" into "uncommon sportbikes." But even though these two-stroke sportbikes aren't quite the unicorns they once were here in the USA, the NSR250 has a bit of cachet the TZR and RGV seem to lack, and that Rothmans design makes this one of the best-looking race replicas of all time.

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From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda NSR250SP MC18 for Sale

Up for sale is 1988 HONDA NSR250SP MC18 rare 2-stroke sports! The bike is just imported from Japan. Not registered yet in the U.S. Very good running condition sharp response of 2-stroke engine is still well. Can shift all gears very smooth. Brakes are work fine. Electricals are all work but front brake switch is not working. Has an original key. According to frame# this bike is SP version.

Speedometer looks HONDA genuine parts and shows 24600km = about 15400miles, but actual mileage is unknown. Will needs new tires and fork seals. Has HONDA genuine fairings and MAGTECK wheel. But has hairline cracks and chips and scratches and under fairings are looks repaired by FRP and repainted. Have hairline cracks and chips on fairings, so look carefully all pictures and video. Used motorcycle with scratches and wear as 28 ages.

And then, feel free email me for more info on this bike!

1988-honda-nsr250r-sp-r-rear

More pictures are available for your viewing pleasure here. The seller also includes a video of the bike being started here. It's not in flawless condition, with some wear and a couple deep scratches on the fairings, so this one might be more of a rider than a display bike. Bidding is up just north of $3,000 with a few days left on the auction and active bidding so far.

-tad

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Rothmans Replica: 1988 Honda NSR250R SP for Sale