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Suzuki April 19, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1985 Suzuki RG400Γ for Sale

With prices of Suzuki's RG500Γ "Gamma" through the roof right now, fans of 80s two-stroke exotica have had to look elsewhere for their smoky thrills, and today's Featured Listing RG400Γ might be just the ticket for collectors seeking two-stroke performance on a less extravagant budget. Certainly, values of the Japanese-market RG400Γ have been below those of the bigger bike, in spite of it being less common, owing to a significant power deficit: claimed weight is nearly identical at 340lbs dry, but claimed power is down significantly from 93hp to 59. That'd still make for a pretty fun package in a road bike, and you're still looking at better straight-line performance than the 250cc machines of the same period.

1985 Suzuki RG400 for sale on eBay

The Gamma was introduced in 1985 and lasted until 1987, although none of the bigger two-stroke machines lasted very long on the market. Suzuki's race-replica two-stroke was powered by an unusual liquid-cooled, square four engine that was configured like a siamesed pair of parallel twins, with two crankshafts and the "rear twin" slightly higher than the front for a sort of stepped design. The firing order helped to cancel out vibrations and the Gamma was designed without a heavy, power-consuming balance shaft as a result. The smaller RG400 was intended specifically for the Japanese market and was powered by a version of the engine that used the same 50.6mm stroke, but a smaller bore of 50mm versus 56mm to arrive at the reduced 397cc displacement.

Two-stroke engines are simple and very light weight, making them perfect for off-road and commuter machines. But that same incredible simplicity and a relatively high power-to-weight ratio also make them ideal for road-racing motorcycles and, once Walter Kaaden's two-stroke tuning secrets were "acquired" by Suzuki, they dominated Grand Prix motorcycle racing into the modern era. Riders familiar with performance two-stroke motorcycles love their incredible agility and savage power delivery, characteristics that defined the Gamma when it was new. As has been pointed out ad nauseam in the comments sections, even the RG500 isn't really all that fast by today's standards, although it's still a challenging ride: handling was superior for a 1980s motorcycle, but suspension has come a long way since then and the 59hp of the RG400 is being channeled through a 120-section rear tire that you'd be more likely to find on the front of a sportbike these days... But fans of the Gamma love the rawness, the purity of the bike. Or are just high on sweet, sweet two-stroke exhaust fumes.

This particular example features Walter Wolf graphics, which could be a plus or a minus, depending on your tastes. Suzuki fans might prefer the iconic blue-and-white colors, but I think Gammas are a little bit bulbous in the traditional Suzuki colors, and the Walter Wolf graphics slim the bike down nicely.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Suzuki RG400Γ for Sale

This early RG400 Walter Wolf is in good original condition with ~19,500km  / 12,100 miles. Recently purchased out of Japanese collection with 1987 Ducati 750 F1 Laguna Seca also listed on eBay. The mid to late 1980's was a great time to be a motorcyclist. Technology was evolving rapidly with the Japanese and European manufactures innovating at a tremendous pace. There were a myriad of engine layouts, number of cylinders, 2-stroke and 4-stroke vying for top honors and in the case of the NR500 - oval pistons! Technology proven on the race-track inevitably made it's way to the showroom to the great benefit of the riding public.  For a couple years in the later 1/2 of the 1980's enthusiasts in the rest of the world could go to their local dealer and buy an honest-to-goodness 2-stroke 4-cylinder F1 race-replica! The RG400/500 Gamma - along with the Yamaha RZ500 and Honda NS400 - brought the sound, the smell, and the looks of the GP circuit within reach of the knowledgeable motorcycle enthusiast.

The RG's square-4, twin-crank, rotary disk-valve RG400 is durable and reliable and easy to service and and readily modified for more power.

I've owned about a dozen RG500 as well as RZ500 in the early 1990's and this really takes me back. This one is a great 'rider' that draws a crowd and thumbs-up. It starts right up, idles well with and runs like 'back in the day' (a little smokey). Still has original oil-injection, airbox, and the original paint and bodywork. The aluminum frame is clean and bright with no sign of damage. Chassis and brakes are original and work like they should. Riding down the road, it's well-composed. A couple points worth noting 1) no belly-pan; 2) crack in upper fairing near windscreen at right rear-view mirror; 3) a couple touch-up on seat-section plastic; 4) turn-signal button missing (signals still work).

Ride it as it is, restore, or modify to suit your preference - whichever way you go, it'll bring a smile on your face and make a fabulous addition to your collection.
Currently on it's importation paperwork - Japanese de-registration certificate / English translation of certificate / NHTSA HS7 / EPA 3520-1 / CBP 7501 (stamped). Washington State title is available for $400 documentation fee approx. 5-week wait. WA state buyers responsible for Tax & License.

Happy to work with your shipper. In the past year I have shipped to/from Japan / Germany / England / Australia / Chicago / Georgia  / Arizona / California / Oregon / etc.i. I have been happy with Haul Bikes and would expect shipping to be in the $500 range to California and maybe $600-700 to the East Coast.

This looks like a pretty nice bike, considering the $9,250 asking price. There are a couple of cosmetic issues clearly disclosed by the seller and, although you might have to go with some aftermarket bodywork to replace that bellypan if you're on a budget, the bike is obviously usable without it. As always, it's important to do your homework if you plan to use this on the road: it sounds like the seller has all the paperwork needed to register this RG400, but whether or not that's even possible will vary, depending on your home state. Hm. I wonder what a Washington State PO Box runs per year...

-tad

Sport Bikes For Sale April 19, 2017 posted by

What We’re Watching – April 18, 2017

Welcome to What We're Watching. This feature highlights some of the auctions we are following - especially those that are about to close. Handy if you're curious about where values are going, or just want to snipe in at the last minute to score a deal!


1987 Yamaha SRX250



Less than half a day left on what is essentially a really cool toy bike. Not many SRX models exist in the US these days, and the 250 model is the one most likely to be abused. This looks like a clean example of a fun little tidler. No takers at the $2k opening ask, and the clock is ticking.......


1989 Honda NSR250 MC18



You're either a smoker or you're not. You've got 24 hours to decide. After that, this clean Featured Listing will be gone. Looks like the first $8,199 will take it, although the seller is open to offers. Don't wait too long - figure out the kind of rider you are and then grab that bike!


1991 Honda VFR400R NC30



Our last Featured Listing NC30 sold in mere hours of being available. I'd one is still up in Canada, but looks good and is priced right. The seller is looking for $6,800 for adoption paperwork, but is open to reasonable offers. Hard to find in the US, this seller knows how to ship and can help with the importation. Wait until the last minute if you must, but don't be surprised if someone grabs it before you.


If you like what you see, move quickly. Every auction listed above will closed by tomorrow - at the latest. Don't forget to sign up for our free email service, and never miss a great deal on a rare bike again. Good luck and happy sniping!

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Yamaha April 17, 2017 posted by

Collector Alert: 1989 Yamaha FZR750RR/OW-01 with 741 miles

1989 Yamaha FZR-750RR/OW-01 for sale on ebay

Most collectors of homologation bikes place the Yamaha FZR750RR/OW-01 near the top of their lists, along with the Honda RC30 and Kawasaki ZX7RR and...whats that you say, you don't understand all the fuss about homologation bikes?   Well I don't see any big blue police boxes or dogs named Peabody around so I guess I will just have to do my best to go explain the historical significance of these machines.

In the late 1980's race series organizers and major manufacturers agreed that it was in both of their interests if race bikes were more closely based on bikes that people could actually buy.  The thinking was this would keep fan interest, cut down on development costs and weed out money losing engineer flights of fancy (i'm looking at you, Norton rotary).  The adage of the day was "a win on Sunday equals sales on Monday".  But the major manufacturers engineer departments were still charged with winning and made the legitimate point that race bikes had very different performance needs from standard street machines.  In the end a compromise was reached; racebikes would still have to be based on a bike available for sale to the general public but the base bike could be a limited edition series that was equipped with the same components as the bikes that would be used on the racetrack, including racetrack level frames, engines and suspensions.  The limited edition bikes had to be able to be able to pass emissions and run legally on the street but could otherwise essentially be race bikes with lights and a license plate.  This agreement became known as the homologation rule and bikes from the era are referred to as homolgation bikes.


Okay, so they had some track-oriented tech, but you still don't see what's the big deal?  Consider this - a factory racetrack-level motorcycle has components that are hellishly expensive to develop and produce, the prices for one of these limited edition/homolgation bike was usually significantly higher than a standard street version.  The OW-01 had a list price of about $16,000 USD, which back in 1989 was equal to about a year of private college tuition.  And even with their high prices the street legal homologation machines were often unprofitable for the manufacturers so to cut down on losses the production run was typically a very small number of bikes.  For the FZR750RR/OW-01, production was 500 units over two years. But while Yamaha's 750cc powered machine was pricey and parts would always be a challenge, anyone who bought one did actually get something quite special: titanium rods, twin-ring pistons, an aluminum tank with a track ready fuel filler were all wrapped up in a beautiful hand welded frame. This was then combined with Ohlins suspension, magnesium brake calipers and quick detach sub-frame and axle release clamps.

And best of all, these track-oriented goodies weren't just for show. While not quite as successful as its main rival the Honda RC30, the FZR-750RR was used as the basis of multiple World Superbike wins, a British Sport Bike (BSB) title, set an Isle of Man TT lap record and was ridden to victory in the 1993 Daytona 200.

So in summary, homologation bikes were an opportunity for mere mortals to experience what a true race bike was like. They were also quite rare from a price and production number perspective and many were bought by privateer racers and then actually used on the track. This means that finding one today in pristine condition is quite a challenge and given that the primary rare sport bike criteria are condition, number produced, historical significance and technology, its only natural that the OW-01 always causes a fuss/is a big deal to collectors.

As for this FZR750RR/OW-01, a  quick look at the pictures in this auction show that the seller is a big fan on the late 1980's/early 1990's homolgation bikes.   The seller indicates a recent freshening of items which together with the low mileage means this one is a good option for someone building a collection.

Here is an overview of what the seller has to say

  • New battery,new fork seals and fork oil, new spark plugs
  • Fresh fluids including engine oil, new coolant flush, new brake fluid, and original air filter was serviced.
  • Carburetor jets and needles are original and still comes with the factory jetting set from the factory.  Runs a little rich at my elevation (Utah) but will need nothing if your going to run it at sea level. If your in a high elevation state it will need jets and fine tuning.
  • Still has the original factory tires, however there are age cracks in the sidewalls.
  • Still has its original chain & sprockets with factory safety wire, original brake pads and all original fairings and factory components.
  • Air breather hose was replaced since the original was hard and cracked.
  • Slight ripple in the muffler that does not show up in photos, you would never know it if I didn't mention it to you but its there.  Muffler was chromed and re-finished to repair the tiny ding in it that you cannot see now.
  • There is patina here and there as you would expect from a 28 year old motorcycle.  Also there was a scratch protection pad on the tank at one time, since been removed but has left a clear residue behind from adhesion.
  • The original fuel tank cap was replaced with a NOS OEM Yamaha fuel cap due to a rough edge from being dropped on the ground in the past we believe. Original fuel cap is included with sale.

?  

So, now for the price question- what is this bit of homologation era history going to cost?  While the listing has an excellent level of detail and some services have been done, the condition is not perfect (note the cracks in the dash foam) and there is a need for fresh tires.  Recent examples of FZR750RR/OW-01 on RSBFS  show a price range of between $16,000 -$25,000 USD so the sellers Buy-It-Now price of $27,500 seems to be a bit optimistic.

My person opinion is that the value of this one is right about $23,000 USD,  Current bid is at about $12,600 USD with about 5 days on the auction left.  Unless the seller has a significantly lower reserve than the Buy-It-Now price I don't think one will sell on the auction but any interested parties might want to follow the listing on Ebay and reach out to the seller after it ends.  Then again, Ebay can be a funny thing and part of being a smart collector is knowing when to pull the trigger so if this one is on your list, it might be time to move.

 

-Marty/Dallaslavowner


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Bimota April 16, 2017 posted by

The Joy of SRX: 1987 Yamaha SRX250

Today we find a fun rare model that is - for once on RSBFS - totally affordable. The Yamaha SRX series included multiple displacements, although in the US we only received the XT-derived 250cc model and the XT-based 250cc machine. Home markets also included a 400cc variant. Based around a nimble, single cylinder air-cooled engine, the SRX models were extremely narrow and light, focusing on nimble handling and flick-ability rather than oodles of HP and straight line speed. The design was neo-British old school, and the overall package was unique and usable. Unfortunately for Yamaha, these were not great sellers, and the US models were limited to only a few editions over the 12-year global run. The 250 suffered the worst fate; a single year availability in the US over a 2-year model span. Then it was gone like it was never there at all....

1987 Yamaha SRX250 for sale on eBay

From the seller:
Up for sale is my 1987 Yamaha SRX250. This bike is super rare and only imported the the US for one year. The motorcycle is super clean for being 30 years old. The bike is all stock and runs, drives, stops and idles very well. It has 10,708 miles. The bike is missing the side mirrors. The engine is 249cc with a 6 speed transmission. The engine shares many parts with the Yamaha XT250 enduro which was produced for many years. The tires will need replacing at some point. Inside of the fuel tank is pristine. The bike has a brand new battery. All controls work as they should, turn signals, horn, kill switch, ect....

I have yet to see another one on the road. The bike gets comments everywhere it goes. The bike is a blast to ride and has plenty of power.

The antithesis of the Ninja 250R and as far away from the Honda 250 Rebel as it could get, the SRX250 looked to have carved out its own niche. But the 1980s were not about small displacement bikes, and although attractive and utterly practical, the smallest SRX lost out to lack of interest. It was a practical bike that held the promise of a lot of fun (as much fun as 17 HP will get you), but small displacement and wild introductions of Hurricanes, Ninjas, Turbos and GSX-Rs ultimately buried that fun in a sea of noisy performance.

Today the SRX is a loved model (the 600 version much more so, since we are all capacity bigots). Honda has come closest to recreating the magic with the CBR250, and with a different era upon us is actually moving a fair number of units. The little CBR will never reach the rarity or novelty of the SRX250, but then again a marketing failure is an expensive way to create a future rare model. Check it out here. Sure it's more of a toy than a true canyon tool for many - but it's very rare, very cool, and very, very affordable. What's not to like?

MI


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Honda April 15, 2017 posted by

Old School Superbike: 1982 Honda CB900F for Sale

The modern "superbike" fits a very narrow design brief and, coincidentally, also refers to an actual racing class that includes big-bore sportbikes with full fairings and, typically a four-cylinder engine with an inline or V configuration. But the term was actually coined decades ago, and described big, naked four-cylinder machines with flat handlebars and relatively upright ergonomics like this Honda CB900F. Racing these machines was not for the faint of heart, as the bikes were fairly heavy for competition machines, and handling was merely "good," assuming you followed that with "for the time." Keep in mind this was during an era where engine performance far outstripped chassis development for bikes from major manufacturers, leaving outfits like Bimota with plenty of room for improvement.

The Honda CB900F certainly fits that description, with a long-stroke, air-cooled 901cc engine, a five-speed transmission, and a portly 570lb wet weight. By today's standards, it isn't nimble, and peak horsepower won't necessarily impress, but the big lump should put out plenty of torque for street riders, with plenty of style and comfort for long rides. The CB900F was only available for a couple of years before being replaced by the much-improved CB1100F.

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Honda CB900F for Sale

This is your chance to own a completely restored 1982 CB900F.

- New Paint
- Engine completely gone through
- Rare Japanese lidded tail/trunk with correct Japanese brake lens and blue Honda decal.
- Weigl Telefix front fork stabilizer from 1982.
- Complete Euro sport kit.
- Carburetor overhauled.
- 150 MPH CB750 Speedometer
- CBR600F3 Coils
- CB1100F rear shocks that were taken off a bike new and never used, they are perfect.
- Both brake master cylinders rebuilt new brake pads installed, all new piston seals.
- Frame, swing arm, and triple tree were professionally powdercoated.
- New modern style bearings
- New Clutch.
- Front forks professionally rebuilt and restored using all new seals and new Progressive springs.
- Ricks Motorsport Electrics ingitors, stator, and rectifier.

*Every part of this bike was touched professionally. If a part was removed it was either restored or replaced with an NOS or OEM Honda part.

If you are interested in pictures of the build process I would be happy to email a few. I will not ship this bike but will work with the buyer to help with arraigned domestic or international shipping. I will answer every question asked honestly and I am available by email.

From the listing, it appears that this bike has been enthusiast-owned and comes with a few tasty period performance and appearance accessories. Superbikes of the early 1980s haven't really begun to appreciate in the same way that similar machines from the 70s have, and some very nice examples have been available recently for very reasonable prices. This one is listed at a Buy It Now price of just $5,500 which seems very fair considering the apparent condition and the work that's gone into it. Every day rider, collectible, classic, bike night ride to show off: it's a bargain price for a bike that can do all that.

-tad


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