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Yamaha June 2, 2018 posted by

Saved Not Spent – 1989 Yamaha FZR-400 with only 1,200 Miles !

The four stroke small-sports are definitely whipping up on the stock market this year, and this barely used 1989 will likely continue the trend.  It's a cornering machine with 60 hp and ready-to-ride weight well under 400 lbs.  New repro bodywork to preserve the excellent factory set can only help.

1989 Yamaha FZR-400 for sale on eBay

The progressive-license wars had been going on for several years overseas, and all of the big four had four valve inline fours available with racey lookalike styling.  The Yamaha won the refinement award with the EXUP exhaust valve tailoring the torque curve, and build quality was just shy of the red benchmark.  Except for the fields with numbers, the specs read like its big brother OW-01 - Deltabox frame, Genesis top end, quad Mikunis, dual front disks, and staggered alloy wheels.

The owner's not saying much about the history or whether this example is an import, but despite the nearly three decades it shows no corrosion and has Colorado paperwork.  Some 1989's have updated seat console and fairing while this one has more details from a few years before, perhaps an aficionado could comment.  From the eBay auction:

Never raced.

This bike comes with two sets of plastics.

The plastics on the bike currently are Japanese racing repro's.

The bike comes with the original plastics in fantastic condition.

In addition the bike comes with original manual, rear footpegs, back seat,
spare perfect condition radiator and hoses and a new red front fender.

The bike does not smoke or drip.

Tires are older and should probably be changed before serious riding.

There is a hairline crack in the original front fender not noticeable unless you look for it.

The original pipe has a couple of scratches that have been touched up but there are no
dents or damage of any kind.

Though the FZR-400 was imported for a few years, the displacement arms race and premium MSRP curtailed its long term success.  Riders with a track day habit or easy access to some twisty bits have re-discovered the segment, and the bikes can be maintained at home. This one looks too nice to track, but could certainly take in some turns on the way to a bike night...

-donn


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Honda June 1, 2018 posted by

Sharp Little Blade: 1991 Honda CBR400RR NC29 for Sale

If you're into bikes that aren't obviously compensating for something, this little Honda CBR400RR offers big-bike looks and serious refinement in a more compact, less overwhelming package. The included photos are very nice, but the seller has included just three of them, so I'll keep this post short. In general, 400cc sportbikes from this period are grey market imports: while very popular overseas and in particular in their home market of Japan, there was little to no interest in a sportbike displacing less than 600cc here in the USA.

That's unfortunate, because this "Baby Blade," so called because its bigger sibling was called the "Fireblade" in other markets, was a pretty sophisticated machine. It was powered by a 399cc inline four with sixteen valves, gear-driven twin overhead cams that was suspended in a stiff aluminum frame. The 70hp available from de-restricted versions was put through a six-speed gearbox and overall there's plenty of fun to be had on a tight canyon road.

Americans actually could pick up the CBR's close relative in the relatively obscure CB-1 that used a detuned version of the CBR's engine but replaced the aluminum frame with one made of steel. Weight was similar as the CB didn't have a fairing, but it looks like Honda might have gambled correctly in not importing the CBR, since the CB-1 didn't sell very well.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Honda CBR400RR NC29 for Sale

1991 Honda CBR400RR NC29 aka Baby Blade

Classic smaller displacement sport bike popular in Japan/UK. Imported from Japan.
Starts and runs nicely all through rev range!

Recently carb tuned and de-restricted. Bike is in KM and I added a MPH overlay.

Makes a great small displacement track bike! 

New: 

  • Pirelli Rosso Corsa
  • Screen
  • Mirrors
  • Battery
  • Tank grip
  • Axle slider

Buy It Now price is $5,500 which is a pretty decent price although you'll obviously have to be careful to verify you can register it where you live. This one is in Texas and I'm assuming it's been road-registered there since the seller has gone to the trouble to add the MPH overlay to the speedometer.

-tad


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Ducati May 31, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing – 2007 Ducati 944 Race/Track Bike

Update 5.31.2018: Price reduced to $7,000 USD! Good luck to buyers and seller. -dc

RSBFS reader Tom caught a mean case of the track bug back in 2006, and embarked on an exciting custom project. He enlisted pro builders from south of his Canadian border and developed a 944cc desmodue with a titanium chassis. The result is faired in Sharkskinz 998, with 999 tank and seat fairing, all red of course.

 

Doug Cook at ARC Fabrication fabricated the chassis from titanium.  The resulting frame is bizarre and beautiful, but the geometry, suspension and brakes are all reworked 900SS so handling is a known quantity.  Bruce Meyers at BCM Motorsports in Laconia rebuilt Tom's 900SS into a ported and polished race engine, with oversize cylinders resulting in 944cc, fed by 41mm Keihin flat-slide carburetors.  Tom enlisted BlackStone Tek to make a set of carbon fiber wheels for the project, and ARC supplied two underseat exhausts, one muffled to usual racetrack requirements, and the other open for unrestricted events.

 

Real life stepped back in the picture after the build was complete and Tom could only claim a few track events in the each of the next few years, on display since then.  The bike has been run but has low hours and is undamaged.  Pictures show the artful fabrication and sanitary presentation, from polished swingarm to tidy cockpit.  Tom's own thoughts on the bike:

This is truly a unique and amazing track bike ridden only occasionally for two or three seasons.  The full race motor (including STR cams, 41 mm FCR's, over-sized race pistons, ported and polished heads, blueprinted, etc.) was built by BCM Motorsports in New Hampshire.  The titanium frame, stainless exhaust pipes and red carbon fiber cans were built by Doug Cook.  The welds on the ti-frame, exhaust and the cans are pure art.  The bike has new front and rear Michelin slicks, 916 triple clamps, Rizoma brake fluid reservoirs, straight-through megaphones (they're wild!), cast iron rotors, Brembo levers, Shorai lithium battery, etc.  The bike weighs approximately 320 pounds and, it really flies, brakes fantastically (one finger) and turns like crazy.

Hard to fathom the number hours that went into this build, but the quality shows that a pro builder starts from a different plane than a shade-tree race mechanic.  The desmodue is a nice choice for a club racer, without liquid cooling and readily available.  Probably not the right mount for a novice track rider, but for someone ready to step up to a purpose-built lightweight, this is a singular opportunity.  Tom asks $9,500 $7,000 and can be reached - here -.

-donn

 

 

Suzuki May 31, 2018 posted by

Canadian Stroker: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

Suzuki's RG500Γ "Gamma" didn't actually use a detuned version of the racing RGB500's engine, but at least shared that machine's square four two-stroke configuration, so it looked and felt like it could have been developed from the real thing. The specifications were certainly unlike anything else on the road: twin cranks, disc valves, four cylinders and 498cc, surrounded by a lightweight aluminum frame.

A quartet of very compact Mikuni flat-slide carburetors tucked in on the sides of the engine and fed the liquid-cooled two-stroke, a six-speed cassette gearbox kept the engine on the boil, and Suzuki's "Full-Floater" suspension system and anti-dive forks helped put the power to the ground.

That square four turns fuel and air into a combination of power and heavy smoke that dribbles out of the four separate exhausts at idle. Once "on the pipe," it puts a claimed 95hp through the impossibly skinny 120-section tire, enough to easily motivate the 340lb dry weight. Handling and braking were both exemplary in 1986, but have obviously been far surpassed.

The feeling is still there though and, in spite of Suzuki' Automatic Exhaust Control power valve that helped give the lightweight machine a more manageable powerband, the bike was still a very raw experience. Which is exactly what makes it such a desirable bike today: it's a race-replica that does more than just look the part.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

The bike has never been plated or crashed.  Have owned it since 1990.  Very low mileage, very fast and reliable, 1 -2 kick starts (usually 1).  The only mar on the cosmetics is 4 small dimples , the result of a board sliding over and contacting the tank while in storage.  Can put the winning bidder in touch with the shop that did the engine work.  The shop owner races a gamma in vintage Class, he is the predominate specialist in Eastern Canada.  The entire engine, including the crankshafts and powertrain have been rebuilt and/or inspected, the invoices exceeded $6,000 US and can be emailed to the winning bidder.  My storage people can also do crating, export documents and shipping (Div. of Tippet Richardson Int.)  Shipping are dependent on destination, an advanced quote can be provided.

There hasn't been much activity so far, but the opening bid was set at $18,000 and the seller is in Canada, which may be limiting interest in the bike. While I think this color and graphics scheme is very flattering, it may also be that purists prefer the classic blue-and-white Suzuki scheme. Hopefully, we'll see some interest over the next couple of days!

-tad


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Aprilia May 30, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 2000 Aprilia RS250 Cup Challenge for Sale

"A man's got to know his limitations," Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry famously deadpans in Magnum Force, a film which happens to feature several Italian motorcycles, none of which are an Aprilia RS250 like this Cup Challenge bike. The decision-makers at Aprilia must have been fans of Clint Eastwood though, as they took that advice to heart: when they were planning the RS250, they stuck with what they knew and kept the frame design and styling in-house, while leaving the engine and transmission to an established manufacturer with vastly greater resources and expertise.

Instead, they used the 249cc v-twin from Suzuki's RGV250. Power for the RGV was listed at just 45hp, so the RS250's claimed 70 horses made it seem like the Aprilia version must have been outrageously modified, tuned to the absolute hilt. The reality was that Japanese restrictions meant all the home-market two-strokes were officially limited to 45hp, and were all capable of similar outputs when properly tuned and de-restricted. In fact, those in-the-know claim that Aprilia's modifications  pretty much amounted to a set of engine cases with "Aprilia" cast into them, and that 55hp at the rear wheel is a much more realistic expectation.

No problem: the Suzuki twin was plenty powerful and tuneable, with good parts availability and a high-strung character that complimented Aprilia's masterpiece of a frame, an aluminum beam unit that looked great and worked even better: reviewers then and now often refer to the RS250 as being one of the best-handling motorcycles of all time. Weight was pared to the bone and the bike was kick-start only. With about 300 pounds to stop, the triple Goldline Brembos were almost overkill, considering the same setup was used to effectively halt the much heavier Ducati 916 and the massive Moto Guzzi Sport 1100...

So the bike fit the standard quarter-liter mold: aluminum frame, asymmetrical "banana" swingarm to clear the expansion chambers, kick-start, and agility instead of brute strength. But where the Japanese bikes were often decorated with wild graphics and bold colors, the Aprilia kept things classy in elegant, basic black. Some of the earlier models featured race-replica graphics and colors, but even those were pretty understated, compared to other bikes in the class.

The Aprilia RS250 Cup Challenge version was created to compete in a one-make race series late in the model's life. It was never really intended to be a roadbike, but did come with an actual VIN so some have been converted, as you can see here: this example does the bare minimum to make it road-legal and looks that much cooler for it.

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Aprilia RS250 Cup Challenge for Sale

2000 Aprilia RS250 Cup Challenge Edition. Original owner. Titled and registered here in AZ since new. Street legal and plated. 2 stroke twin. 6 Speed. Never damaged or raced. Some track days over the last 18 years. 5400 miles since new. RS50 taillight and rear turn signals. Small Piaa headlight with switch and brake light switch to keep the DMV happy. New battery, oil service and fork service. Fresh coolant and brake fluid as well. Carburetors and power valves were also cleaned and synched. Factory service manual and some gearing go with. If you want to show up at bike night and be a bit different here’s your ride. The smell of castor smells like victory. Mechanically and aesthetically in excellent condition.

Well, this might have a couple nods to streetability that will "keep the DMV happy" but your mileage, as they say, may vary, depending on where you live. Honestly, all RS250s here in the US are "grey market" bikes and only quasi-legal at best here in California. That's part of what makes CA titles so valuable for bikes like these: if your RS250 doesn't already have one, it's unlikely you'll be able to get one. Then you're forced to register your bike in your Arizona-living buddy's name, and end up riding around hoping the CHP doesn't give you a hard time when they pull you over... This one has clearly been enthusiast-owned and miles are very low. Although it's really a converted race bike, the "road legal" equipment installation is pretty slick and unobtrusive. And reversible! Bidding is pretty active over on eBay and there's plenty of time left to get a bid in, so head on over and take a look!

-tad

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