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On the bubble? 1988 Yamaha FZR400

In the feast-or-famine world of eBay, we seem to be experiencing a bit of a glut from the Fizzer 400 quarter. We don't always see a ready supply of these bikes, but in the first part of 2017 we have witnessed a steady stream. That is the good news. A RSBFS fan favorite, there is much to recommend when it comes to this little 400cc machine. While HP is not impressive, this in-line four will rev to the moon, and with an aluminum delta-box twin-spar frame, adjustable suspension and a tidy riding position, cornering speeds usually surpass those of the bigger (heavier) bikes. What's not to love? Well, therein lies the bad news: prices are rising on these underrated sport bikes. If you have one now, hang on to it. If you are in the market for one, tread carefully (and prepare to spend some cash). Or wait to see if the bubble bursts.

1988 Yamaha FZR400 for sale on eBay

This FZR400 is claimed to be an original one-owner bike with fewer than 3,000 miles on it. The pics show a clean bike with no discernible rash. There seems to be a slight mark on the upper left corner of the fairin, but is easily forgiven on a bike of this age. Even the tops of the trees are free from the swinging key syndrome. The bodywork appears to be intact, and overall the bike is very clean and presents well. Given the difficulty of finding parts for these models, we recommend to purchase the best example you can find; the more complete the better. This looks like a complete bike, with some spares. Did I mention it is clean?

From the seller:
Up for your consideration is an original 1988 FZR400 Motorcycle with 2,609 original miles. Motorcycle has had one owner and stored in the garage since new. The auction includes owners and service manuals, spare keys and period performance parts that were never installed. The bike needs carb work to idle well.

I often wonder about additional performance parts included with the sale of a stock motorcycle. I wonder about exceptionally low miles in a cable-driven odometer world. The devil's advocate in me also wonders about the idle issues; is this simply a case of sitting unused too long, or is there something else lurking behind the scenes. Why are the tank cover mount grommets and screws missing/broken (or appear to be) - oversight or other? To be precise, this bike is not completely stock - the NRC case covers are clear aftermarket items. Again, the devil on my shoulder prods at me; is this preventative maintenance or evidence of a previous boo boo? There is nothing nefarious going on that I can tell from the advert, but if I had any Spidey sense it might be tingling, prompting me to either ask more questions or check the bike out in person.

Of course the devil that is poking at me sprang up from the asking price: $7,500. That would be a serious high-water mark for one of these models, and at that price I would expect perfection. We typically see FZR400s as $3,500 - $5,000 bikes, with exceptional examples fetching a bit more. You can't blame a seller for trying to get top dollar, and you can be sure I will be watching this one carefully, as it could be a price barometer for the type. If nothing else, we continue to see good examples of the FZR400 in the market - and that is something that should make all of us very happy. Check it out here and let us know what you think.

MI

9 Comments

  • I will agree this is one of the nicest I have seen in at least five years. Having own one for the last six and sold it last summer. I’m guessing the extra cost is in his aftermarket parts. I say this is a very strong $6,000 bike considering his part list

  • Got to love the picture of the keys banging up the top fork. Why why why?

  • I’m digging it! Sure, it has spring pre-load caps, is missing the the rear foot pegs, has a kewl custom pipe hanger and the NRC covers (ALL of which screams ex-race bike), but the upside is it has the OEM solo seat cover, OEM bodywork, intact rear fender, original windscreen with the rubber edge cover and stock exhaust. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the carbs need work because it’s jetted for an aftermarket header and can. The shock doesn’t appear to be OEM either, but I’m getting old just like this bike so, my memory could be cloudy. If the aftermarket parts aren’t desirable I’m sure Mr Long has a 400 parts bin full of OEM take off parts. Heck, I think I have a set of stock fork caps and a 400 Kerker header I’d be willing to give away for shipping costs. Good luck to the seller and the person who buys it!

    • That is not a custom exhaust hanger, that is the Cali EXUP exhaust hanger. I had one on my FZR 400 back in the day. Damn I wish I still had that bike.

      $7500 is a bit lofty for this even as clean as it is. $5000-$6,000 seems more reasonable but then again try to find one as clean as this.

  • It’s a good ‘un. Clogged pilot jets will cause strange idol and erratic off idol. They were around $8 a piece a few years back. A wise investment.

  • I just dig the FZ/FZR400’s. I have collected brochures for almost all the various FZ/R 400 models (and there where a LOT).

    For what it is this “generic” world market FZR400 is a great bike. And anyone who has not experienced an ’80’s era Japanese 400cc 4 cylinder 4 stroke is really missing out. While the 250cc 4/4’s with their stratospheric red lines sound cool, they are just anemic wheeze bags. The 400’s on the other hand are honest to goodness real mid sized bikes with real upgrade potential if you are so inclined.. I never owned a Yammie 400 4/4, but I did own a CBR400RR NC23 for a while and would swap rides with a friends FZR400.

    If you can swing the purchase price I say buy an FZR400, enjoy it for a while then sell it on – you will not regret it 🙂

  • ….45 is right. Great fun small motorcycle. If you get bored just swap in a 600 motor. Wouldn’t mess with that stock 400 so not really any upgrade potential. Would like to try the CBR. This one is far too much. Paid well less than a g note for one. Decent rider for doing exactly that. Not a garage princess by any means.

  • I won’t knock any bike that has sat for more that 60 days with fuel on board. And if you live near any humidity the alcohol in pump gas will doom you motorcycling career. Buy a good ultrasonic cleaner and get used to the gasohol plague.

    That or just be sure to put a tankful through it on a monthly basis. No sin on you just because the system absorbed water and screwed your carbs. Welcome to the 21st century. Time to recalibrate expectations. This era machine was not designed with any expectation of having to run on 10% alcohol.

    Now if you can’t get rebuild kits for the carb seals anymore then its time to walk away. Especially at that price.

  • http://spotonmotorcycles.com.au/yamaha-fzr-400/#prettyPhoto

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