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Honda July 18, 2018 posted by

Meeting Your Heroes: 1989 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

With values of the VFR750R RC30 through the roof, the VFR400R NC30 has become the affordable go-to for fans of Honda's V4 homologation specials. Styled like a 4/5 scale model of the RC30, the NC30's dual headlamps, aluminum beam frame, and Pro-Arm single-sided swingarm ape the bigger bike's look and function. Significantly the engine shares its V4 configuration, gear-driven cams, and 360° "big bang" crankshaft with the RC30.

The big bang firing order helps give the later Honda V4s their characteristic flat droning exhaust note and supposedly improves corner exit grip, compared to a more traditional 180° firing order that evenly spaces the combustion events. Even if you're not pushing the limits of traction, the big bang engines offer a very wide, forgiving powerband.

On paper, the Honda VFR400R doesn't seem like it'd impress a modern rider. Just 400cc? Are you joking? Well no. First of all, it has a dry weight of around 300lbs, so the 59 horses don't have very much mass to haul around, which is reflected in the bike's surprising 130mph top speed. Most importantly, the NC30 was designed to offer some of the best handling available at any price, and is still considered to be one of the all-time greats.

I was lucky enough to ride one of these recently and it was an absolute pleasure: famously agile handling meant the bike was intuitive, east to ride, and plenty of fun, even though I wasn't pushing its cornering limits. If you're slightly terrified trying to use anything approaching maximum revs on a modern sportbike, you'll be happy to know that the NC30 is both flexible at low rpm and happy to spin to its 14,500rpm limit. In fact chasing the redline was pretty much required, since I was working to keep up with a friend who was riding an MV Agusta F4R...

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

Up for auction is a beautiful 1989 Honda VFR400 model NC30. Hands down the most desirable color scheme. Gas tank is mint condition with zero rust inside the tank. The bike was legally imported into the United States. The bike has a clear Arizona US title with the proper 11 digit VIN number (title and frame number match). Bike starts right up runs perfect with no oil leaks. The bike is all original and is a true pleasure to ride pulling through all gears very hard. With a 14,000k rpm red line the bike will leave you with a smile on your face for days. Please view all the images as there are few scratches and scuff's throughout the bike. Also please keep in mind that this is all OEM factory Honda fairings and not the cheaper aftermarket stuff.The bike is all sock minus the stainless steel brake lines. All the electronics including horn, turn signals, high / low beam, and Killswitch all work as they should. This bike is being sold locally and I encourage all bidders to come down and view the bike in person or send a local mechanic on your behalf to view for you. Rare vintage Japanese bikes don't come up often and this is a beautiful example with no disappointment.

These days, it isn't too hard to find an NC30 for sale: the spike in RC30 prices and the fact that these have hit the 25 year mark has seen an influx of Japanese market bikes. So the trick isn't so much finding one for sale, it's finding a nice one for the right price. This one looks very clean and original, with the usual wear and tear you'd expect on a bike of this age that's actually been ridden often enough to accumulate the 27,000 miles indicated. The stock exhaust is a little quiet for my taste, but it does mean you can hear the cool whine from the gear-driven camshafts... There are still several days left on this auction and bidding is a bit slow so far, possibly owing to the mileage. But this is a Honda, and the fact that it isn't museum-quality just means you might get to ride and enjoy this cool little machine for

-tad


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Bimota July 17, 2018 posted by

Nice Curves: Low-Mileage 1995 Bimota SB6 for Sale

Tad first posted this one in December when it had a buy-it-now of $25k. It was relisted and eBay showed a sale at just over $10k. It's back now from the same seller with a buy-it-now of $15k or best offer. Thanks for the heads up, Donn! Links updated. -dc

The SB6 and SB6R were some of Bimota's best-selling bikes of all time, and featured what must be the mother of all beam frames. That distinctive, very rigid aluminum unit used Bimota's "Straight Connection Technology," designed to link the steering head directly to the swingarm pivot. This improved chassis rigidity at the expense of servicing: you pretty much have to unbolt the engine and swing it forward to adjust the carburetors, change the spark plugs, replace the front sprocket, or access the alternator drive that tends to fail...

Fortunately, this earlier SB6 at least features a set of Suzuki gauges, a good thing since the later Bimota units supposedly pack it in with unfortunate regularity. They may look fairly mundane, but least they work! The engine should be pretty reliable too, and powerful to boot: those gauges are matched to the inline four and five-speed gearbox from Suzuki's GSX-R1100.

I much prefer Bimota's follow up to this bike, the SB6R which pretty much embodies my favorite aspects of 1990s styling. Sure, the 916 might be the more iconic 90s design, but part of the reason is that it doesn't actually look like anything else from that era. The SB6R has the bulbous curves of the donor GSX-R, but with better colors, less weight, and more all-around Italian-ness.

But the strength of the original SB6 is that it looks like pretty much nothing from any era, unless you count Crea's weird, organic-nightmare bodywork kits from the era... Go ahead and Google that, and then promise me you'll never complain about Pierre Terblanche's 999 ever again. The SB6 is striking wrapper that contains all the analog performance you could ever want, along with a powerplant that should be at least easy to get parts for, even if it isn't actually all that convenient to work on.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Bimota SB6 for Sale

This is a one owner bike that has been stored inside a house.

Only 670 Miles!

The bike fluids have been drained and cleaned for proper storage. The bike is all original and near perfect.

It has never been on the market until now. I have had the bike in my house for over a year and just moved it to my warehouse and decided to let someone else enjoy it. I got the bike from a friend that knew the original owner and connected us.

I am open to fair offers. I listed the bike at top market price because someone might pay that. However make a fair offer and you might own this very rare, one owner Bimota.

Also, it has the Suzuki 1100 motor... Dyno specs in pics from years ago.

Since the seller "got the bike from a friend that knew the original owner and connected us," wouldn't that technically make this a two-owner bike? Even though the second owner only had it a year? Unfortunately, 1990s Bimotas were a bit unfinished from the factory, and great concepts suffered from pretty poor execution. If you had the time or money to go through your expensive Italian exotic to correct electrical faults and set up the suspension properly, you were left with a serious weapon for road or track. Of course, most buyers wanted their money to buy an actual, functioning motorcycle, and Bimota's kit-bike quality certainly hasn't helped values.  The $24,900 asking price is very ambitious for an SB6 but, with those kind of miles, maybe a collector who wants a very clean, low-mileage example of a very cool machine will bite. However, I'd say the seller's negotiation technique could be... stronger.

-tad


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Featured Listing July 16, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: Beautiful 1992 Suzuki RGV250 Lucky Strike

The growing popularity of grey market two strokes among collectors has meant that the skittish little rippers are much easier to find these days than they were even 18 months ago. They’re all over eBay, and entire importing businesses have grown up around them.

1992 Suzuki RGV250 Lucky Strike for sale on eBay

That’s great for enthusiasts and collectors, but demand often means that what’s on offer isn’t necessarily cleanest or most sorted example. That is not the case with this 1992 Suzuki RGV-250 Lucky Strike.

The plastics, suspension, engine and cockpit are all spotlessly clean, and it wears recent chain and sprockets and tires. The carbs have been cleaned and synced, and the oil injection pump was bled and cleaned as is working flawlessly.

From the seller:

1992 Suzuki RGV 250 lucky strike with 2642 KM or 1641 miles Fairings are mint condition, motor runs and drives perfect, all stock, starts on first kick. New tires, chain and sprockets, recent full service including carb clean and sync, oil pump has been bled and oil injection works perfect, new spark plugs, with non ethanol fuel only, comes with title. Call me with questions, my name is Mike 954-809-8596.

$11,000 or best offer

The bike is titled, which should square it away for road use in most states. With fewer than 2,000 original miles, this RGV is ready to show and ride in equal measure.

Moto Guzzi July 15, 2018 posted by

Two for the Road: 2002 Moto Guzzi V11 Tenni for Sale

In spite of its shaft drive and pushrod valvetrain, the original Moto Guzzi Le Mans went head-to-head against bikes like the Ducati 900SS. Unlikely as it might seem, it held its own, but later generations gradually lost ground on the competition. A new platform and six-speed gearbox introduced in 2000 on the V11 Sport was a huge leap forward for Guzzi, but the fully-faired Le Mans that followed was still pretty far from a lightweight sportbike. No problem, this Moto Guzzi V11 Tenni embraces the bike's more sport-touring bent with a set of soft luggage, and this one comes with plenty of other extras as well.

So the Le Mans doesn't look like much on paper: it's more of a mature sportbike. The big 1064cc v-twin still uses pushrods in this version and puts out 80hp and 65ft-lbs of torque to motivate the 557lb machine. It's no screamer, but pulls nicely once you get past the usual v-twin grumbling at lower rpm, and the longitudinal crankshaft's torque effect is pretty mild. Don't worry: you'll get used to it very quickly.

The V11 is pretty heavy, but handles surprisingly well: upgraded Öhlins suspension at the front and rear of the Le Mans improve the handling further and offer up a bit of unexpected bling for such a retro machine. The six-speed isn't as slick as those found on most modern bikes, but was a noticeable improvement when compared to the earlier, much-maligned five-speed that worked just fine as long as you planned ahead, used the clutch, consulted an oracle, made the correct ablutions...

This particular example is done up in very 1930s racing colors to commemorate Omobono Tenni's success racing Guzzis during that period. It's a very limited edition, if collecting is something you're into. I just really like the colors and think Guzzis are cool.

From the original eBay listing: 2002 Moto Guzzi V11 Tenni for Sale

#122 of 170 - with numbered plate on top triple clamp.

This V11 Tenni is a rider, not a museum piece. They don't show up in the photos, but there are numerous small nicks / marks on the tank, rear, and lower sides (the front fairing is almost perfect). The imperfections never bothered me, as I purchased this V11 to ride - and it rides well. I've owned Aprilias, Ducatis, and Triumphs - all chain driven with transverse engines. This was my first Moto Guzzi, and it took some getting used to. Steering requires a little more effort, and at low speeds you have to be mindful of the rotational forces of the longitudinal engine and drive shaft - but once you've got it down, this bike rewards with amazing stability, a comfortable ride, and possibly the best fairing ever made - both in beauty and smooth airflow. The hydraulic clutch is light but not limp, and the 320mm dual 4 piston front Brembos with braided lines are a pleasure to use with great feel and predictable, progressive stopping power.

The separate function forks are adjustable for compression and rebound damping, while the rear shock (just rebuilt) is fully adjustable. It's also equipped with an adjustable Bitubo Steering Damper. The bike is currently wearing Pirelli Angel GT tires that I estimate are good for another 1000 miles - I am including a new set of Dunlop Roadsmart III tires with purchase of the bike.

Comes complete with both the black and the brown suede saddles, rear seat cowl, 3-piece OEM luggage kit, tool kit, owner's manual, shop manual, extra air and oil filters, and service stand.

Mileage may go up slightly before end of auction (test rides), but it will be kept below 10,000.

Additional photos and close-ups of cosmetic issues available on request (24 pic. eBay listing limit).

Expandable Moto Guzzi Branded Tank Bag

  • Clear map pocket
  • Numerous storage compartments.
  • Easily unzips from tank pad for refueling.
  • Converts into a comfortable back-pack.
  • Reflective piping.

Expandable Tekno (OEM) soft panniers/saddle bags:

  • Zip and buckle closure.
  • Expands to double size.
  • Internal water resistant draw-string liner.
  • Easily removed from bike.
  • Locks to bike with internal key.
  • Mounting hardware goes on/off bike quickly and easily (only 3 bolts per side).

Also included with bike:

  • Paddock/service stand
  • Brand new set of Dunlop Roadsmart III tires from Sport Bike Track Gear
  • Spare Air Filter
  • Spare Engine Oil Filter
  • Spare valve cover gaskets
  • Owner's manual & warranty book
  • Service / shop manual
  • Two sets of keys (4 total: 2 ignition and 2 luggage keys)

Recent services:

  • New Fuel Filter at 6300 miles
  • Cleaned internal fuel tank filter screen at 9800 miles
  • New Air Filter at 6300 miles
  • Revised transmission spring
  • Uprated under-seat relays
  • Additional rectifier grounds
  • Lubricated throttle cables
  • Lubricated drive shaft
  • New Choke / High Idle cable
  • Fully adjustable rear shock just serviced by Ken Hall / SB Suspension
  • Oil changed at 9800 miles with Maxima full synthetic, new filter and sump gasket, cleaned internal stainless mesh screen
  • Hydraulic fluid flushed at 9800 miles
  • No coolant to worry about - engine is air / oil cooled
  • Brake pads & discs are in great shape with plenty of life left

I am not interested in trades, thanks.

Test rides available to serious buyers with an M endorsement and cash in hand. Tire kickers on a permit - please look elsewhere. Please show up with a helmet and riding gear. If you are local, I will gladly help you transport all the extras included with this bike (saddle, luggage, paddock stand, tires, books, etc.) back to your home. If you are from out of town, and looking to do a fly & ride, I can pick you up at O'Hare Airport and assist with shipping all the extras included with this bike (saddle, luggage, paddock stand, tires, books, etc.) Everything will be well packed in sturdy boxes with plenty of protection.

Clean & clear Illinois title in hand.

Thanks for looking!

There are not takers yet at the $7,500 starting bid and there is very little time left on the auction. With just 9,800 miles, this thing isn't even broken in, and the owner's soft luggage fitment is in the spirit of the bike. This is a sport-tourer with class and history, a bike that, when well-ridden could definitely embarrass much more sophisticated machines on a back-country road, but would get murdered at a track day. If you want a V11, the earlier Sports are cheaper, but this seems like a very nice price for a versatile bike like this, and it looks great in the Tenni colors.

-tad


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