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Honda May 11, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

A little brother in terms of displacement and a virtual twin in terms of style, Honda's NC30 packs the same technological punch as the famed RC30 in a smaller package. And like the RC30, the NC30 was designed to homologate a motorcycle for racing, although in this case it was for classes with a 400cc capacity limit. Here in the USA, the 400cc sportbike class is barely represented at all, with examples only occasionally appearing as the result of intrepid collectors or Canadian smugglers sneaking bikes in across our northern border. In the US, they were basically bikes without a racing class, and expensive ones to boot: they had all the complexity, and therefore cost, of their bigger 600 and 750cc brothers, without the straight line performance.

1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 for sale on eBay

Sure, they handled with all the agility you'd expect but, when a 600cc sportbike is considered "a great first bike" you're not going to find many takers for a 400. Of course, it was another story entirely outside the USA and especially in Japan, where tiered licensing and heavy taxes on bigger bikes meant a great deal of interest in the 400cc class as roadbikes and the relevant racing series, and bikes like the CBR400, GSX-R400, and ZXR400 competed fiercely.

So what are we looking at in terms of that reduced performance? Well you're not taking quite as big a hit as you might expect: the NC30 produced 59 claimed horses, versus the RC30's 118, 313lbs dry versus 400lbs, and a top speed of 130mph versus 153. So you've got a bike with almost half the displacement but with far more than half the performance, mostly due to that very light weight. What's possibly far more surprising than the performance differential between the two are the relatively low numbers for the famed RC30... Both machines featured six-speed gearboxes and the NC30 got a 360° "big bang" crank to match its bigger brother along with gear-driven cams, so you get the distinctive V4 soundtrack and wide powerband that helps make them such popular trackday bikes overseas.

From the seller: 1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

For your consideration is a GORGEOUS almost mint condition 1991 Honda VFR400R NC-30 with only 10,823 Kilometers (6,725 miles). Bike is very clean and well taken care of. Bike would be flawless except for the crack in the lower fairing under the bike. It has been repaired. Has a three tiny paint chip marks in the tank, and the left rear fairing has a rub mark on it from transportation & shipping (see pics.) This NC30 has 100% original OEM Honda fairings and components and is completely stock except for a few racing sponsor decals that can be easily removed. This bike would make an ideal candidate for restoration or enjoy it in its original condition... Bike has been serviced with new battery, new oil, coolant and filters serviced. Runs like the day it was new. A Utah state title in my company name will be presented to the buyer.

This particular machine appears to be in the same sort of condition as the seller's other offerings: not completely perfect, but in low mileage, extremely well cared-for condition. There are a couple of minor cracks in the fairing that are clearly indicated by the seller, and wear is limited to some minor surface corrosion and discoloration. Not museum-quality perhaps, but a very good-looking machine for someone who plans to occasionally ride the bikes in their collection. With the RC30 now out of the reach of ordinary enthusiasts, prices of the NC30 are on the rise as well and offer up a similar style and experience at an affordable price. For the moment at least.

-tad


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Suzuki May 11, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: Suzuki TL1000R Racer/Track Day Special for Sale

In the 90s, Ducati captured the imagination of race fans and road riders alike with their exotic, race-winning v-twins, and the Japanese were forced to play catch up on track in in the showrooms, as they'd largely been relying on highly-developed, but less emotional inline fours in World Superbike and endurance racing. The rules of World Superbike certainly favored v-twins at the time, and the Japanese seemed to believe that was all there was to their success, "If a tiny little company like Ducati can do it, we can too!" Unfortunately, both Honda and Suzuki missed their opportunity to cash in, producing "Ducati-killers" that failed to understand exactly why people bought Ducatis in the first place. The Honda SuperHawk was a very good motorcycle cursed with a tiny gas tank and handling that was never really intended to measure up to the track-focused 916, with handsome but fairly bland looks. And Suzuki's TL1000R was a massive failure in terms of its Ducati-slaying ability as well. They'd already built their road-focused TL1000S, so the TL1000R should have been a no-brainer. But while the 916 was narrow, sleek, and very focused on speed, the TL-R was bulbous and heavy, with handling limited by the controversial rotary rear damper carried over from the TL-S. The rotary damper worked fine in theory, but overheated in practice, resulting in sometimes scary at-the-limit handling. Luckily, today's Featured Listing, a track-ready TL1000R goes a long way towards rectifying those shortcomings.

Why use a rotary damper in the first place? Well a bike with a 90° v-twin is generally very narrow [unless you're on a Moto Guzzi], light, smooth and torquey, but presents packaging challenges. Ducati's front cylinder lies nearly horizontal, making for a very long engine and a correspondingly long wheelbase. Suzuki rotated their engine back in the chassis, but that left little room for a traditional rear shock, and they used a compact rotary damper in its place. It was a proven concept, but the execution left a bit to be desired...

Although the TL1000R was considered a sales flop at the time, low prices and that absolute peach of a v-twin have made it a very appealing roadbike. Keep in mind that Suzuki used this engine to power a whole range of their own bikes, and it was used by plenty of other manufacturers as well. It is reliable, reasonably powerful, and sounds great with a set of aftermarket cans. The TL1000R was a fundamentally sound bike, with all of the elements to be the everyman v-twin Suzuki advertised, but the execution was flawed. Power is never going to rival modern Ducatis, unless you throw a ton of money at the engine. But pounds can be shed, and handling improved with a swap to a more traditional rear shock and good suspension set up.

Today's Featured Listing goes back to the TL-R's original stated intent and systematically fixes problems: a complete modern GSX-R1000 front end with a Brembo master cylinder, lightweight bodywork, updated rear shock by Penske, and an Aprilia RS250 solo tail that lightens the bike visually as well, making it the sleek machine it always should have been.

From the seller: TLR1000R Race Bike for Sale

TL1000R for sale, bill of sale, no title, was built frame up piece by piece. Specs follow:

Engine - stock internally, Sharkskinz airbox, M4 full exhaust - rear sections have been modified to pull the exhaust closer to the swingarm for cornering ground clearance, Power Commander III. Yes, I know it's not really a superbike with the stock motor, but the rest of the modifications mean it's not SS legal.

Chassis - LE rear link and Penske shock, 04 GSXR 1000 forke/triples - LE valved and lengthened, Woodcraft clipons, Vortex upper triple clamp, Ohlins steering damper, Sato rearsets

Brakes - Brembo radial m/c, 04 GSXR 1000 calipers with spacers to run 320mm TLR rotors, rear caliper is a Wilwood PS-1 in a captured spacer setup (Pro Fab did the swingarm modification and all the machined parts), Goodridge stainless lines

Body - Sharkskinz body with Honda RS250 tailsection. Rear subframe is all fabricated aluminum.

Misc - Wire harness has been thrifted and ECU has been relocated to the front in fabricated aluminum holder. Clutch m/c is a brembo radial. Throttle is from Yoyodyne, probably more little stuff that I'm forgetting.

$6500, located in Indianapolis

Email is best for me: motorsport.studio at geemale.com

I love the Aprilia RS250 tail section, and the Gulf Racing colors work for me too: I'd love to do a track Ducati 916 up like that! Honestly, $5,600 seems like a heck of a deal for such a fully-developed bike. I've no idea if it'd make a competitive racebike, but if you like twins but don't want to risk your precious 998R in the fast group at a track day, this might be just the ticket. I fully understand why folks would choose something like a GSX-R or R6 as a trackday ride, but it's the funky stuff like this that interests me.

-tad

MV Agusta May 11, 2017 posted by

La Bella Donna: 2012 MV Agusta F4RR

Meccanica Verghera Agusta, the firm originally founded by Count Giovanni Agusta to produce airplanes way back in 1923 was reborn as MV Agusta in post WWII Italy to produce scooters and small motorcycles. As the 1940s and 1950s turned into the 1960s and 1970s, MV Agusta steadily increased the displacement and performance of their bikes, rivaling the best from Europe and Japan. However the company finances foundered and MV Agusta was to go through a dizzying array of receivers and buyers over the next few decades: From an independent motorcycle manufacturer to reorganization under public financial ownership, a purchase by Cagiva, a sell-off to Malaysian car maker Proton, a reorganization under Carige, investment by Harley-Davidson, a sell-back to Claudio Castiglioni, an investment by the AMG division of Mercedez-Benz and finally in 2016 with new financial troubles looming, a reorganization and refinance under international investment firm Black Ocean Group. Despite all of this, the MV Agusta motorcycles continue to tell an amazing story.

2012 MV Agusta F4RR for sale on eBay

The re-birth of MV Agusta under the Cagiva banner brought with it the fabled pen of designer Massimo Tamburini, who was working as part of the Cagiva Design Center (CDC). Father of the Ducati 916 series of bikes and the "Ta" in the legendary firm of Bimota, Tamburini created something that took the 916 to a different level. Often referred to as the most beautiful motorcycle in the world, the MV Agusta F4 never lacks in the looks department. And with a short-stroke inline 4-cylinder engine with central cam chain and radial valves (with influence from the engineers at Ferrari), the F4 has the motive power to back up the beauty. With just under 200 HP from the 998cc motor, the F4RR moves the 423 pound bike along nicely.

From the seller:
MV Agusta for sale I am the second owner incredible bike , part of an expensive Italian motorcycle collection top of the line ... this bike never see rain ...excellent condition

this bike is not for beginner

any question feel free to ask

Not much info from the seller; sparse text and few pictures. No mention of maintenance, modifications or the like. This bike is reported to have 9,000 miles on the clock, so it has definitely been used. Nice to know that those still riding on training wheels need not apply, but I would think that the $17,000 Buy It Now price might weed those out automatically. The seller is open to offers - and considering this is a $26k+ motorcycle new today, perhaps a deal could be struck. Check it out here, however it may not be moving too quickly. Jump back to the comments and let us know about your favorite MV-A from the modern era. Is this it? Good Luck!!

MI


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Suzuki May 10, 2017 posted by

Time Machine: 1982 Suzuki Katana 1000

Grab your leg warmers and get ready to dial up your favorite Tommy Tutone number - we're going back to the 1980s! Hard to believe that Suzuki dropped the Katana on a flabbergasted world more than 35 years ago. With looks dominated by a big-block inline four and scantily clad with an itty-bitty bikini fairing, the Katana was as provocative as it was performance-oriented. Even today this bike stands out as something special; the design language still tells a powerful story as this bike looks mean and menacing just parked in the drive.

1982 Suzuki Katana 1000 for sale on eBay

Primarily a collection of existing parts, the Katana was not mechanically groundbreaking. Motivation comes from the GS model lineup, and the Katana 1000 is actually - GASP - less powerful than the GS1100 that donated the motor. But the sporting intent of the Katana is quite clear, and with a less-is-more philosophy overall the Katana made for a potent platform in the day. Today, archaic elements such as two valves per cylinder, air cooling and twin shocks make this look like it came from the caveman era. Yet this was built to go AMA Superbike racing (hence the 1,000cc vs 1,1000cc engine), and go racing it did.

From the seller:
This Katana is in very good condition, the fuel tank has a few small scratches and a shallow dent close to the filler cap. The bike shows 14939 miles looks to be original miles on the bike. The front reflector holders are missing on the bike. The exhaust system is new from MotoGP Werks. The inside of the fuel tank is clean. This bike looks like it has been taken care of during it life time. I was not planning on selling this bike as it is a great example of an original bike and it took a long time to find an original bike with out modifications. Realizing that I still have a number of projects ahead and needing the space I have decided to pass the bike on.

Katanas continue to be polarizing models today. Although the Katana name has been slapped on many a bike since 1982, it is really the original that one should bring to mind. Many examples have been rodded, rat-rodded, or simply abused to the point of salvage. Clean, original examples are very difficult to find. And while this one is not 100% original, it is closer to factory than many we come across. The seller has done a good job highlighting the known discrepancies, and would likely entertain questions should a prospective buyer have any.

This auction is live right now, and bidding has been moderate. The price is nearing the $8k mark at time of this writing, and the reserve is OFF. Get in while you can, because this bike is going home at the end of it all. Check it out here, and then jump back to the Comments section and wax nostalgic with us. Did you lust after a Katana when it was released? Did you actually OWN one? Were you even born yet? Good Luck!!

MI


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Honda May 10, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1990 Honda RC30!

Update 5.15.2017: SOLD in just 5 days. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

When it comes to collecting, the Honda RC30 (i.e. VFR750R) is one for the ages. This is perhaps THE most collectable bike available insofar as modern machinery goes. With sensuous curves, striking paint and race-bred features, the RC30 is the ultimate homologation bike and the real deal on the street. Powered by a V-4 with gear-driven cams (oh, the music!) and titanium connecting rods, the RC30 was first released in Japan in 1988, followed shortly by a European version. Ultimately, this rare bit of unobtanium came to America as a 1990 model.

Released in order to qualify for the inaugural FIM Superbike racing series - where racing motorcycles are required to be based off of a street bike - the RC30 dominated the first season out. "Flyin" Fred Merkel had the piloting honors in 1988, and followed up with a repeat victory season in 1989. By that time, the legend of the RC30 had been secured. It seems that wherever the RC30 showed up, it won; be it the Superbike circuit, the Isle of Man TT, or the showroom. An estimated 3,000 bikes were produced, and carried the absurd price tag of approximately $15k USD. Today, that number seems like a bargain - if you can find one. This RC30 is being sold by a RSBFS reader and fan who found this bike right here on these pages. I'll let him pick up the story:

From the seller:
1990 RC30 - 49 state model - 3,540 miles. New battery, brake and clutch fluids. All original. Includes rear stand, tool kit, and 4 NOS Honda spark plugs. I also have the original tires, if you would like them for display purposes. This rare bird was last registered in 1994 in NY (there is a sticker on the left fork leg).

For some reason, it was put into long-term storage, then later sold to a man in Portland OR from whom I bought the bike. I have had the 30 for 5 years, but am moving and don’t have space for it in the next garage.

Study the photos - this machine is almost cosmetically perfect - it has a tiny chip in the paint on the fairing which I’ve photographed, a scratch on the bottom of the belly pan, and some slight discoloration at the bottom rear of the belly pan (I attempted to get it out using mirror glaze, but to no avail) - the discoloration is so minor I can’t get a decent photo of it. These tiny imperfections were present when I purchased the bike.

I put fresh fuel into it today, and it fired up immediately (see video). Now, the caveat - when it fired up, it also leaked some fuel due to a stuck float in one of the carburators (turn off the petcock and the leak stops - I cleaned the bike to remove any fuel residue). I’m a sorry excuse for a mechanic, and I’m not anxious to take this jewel to our local shop, so I’m selling it as it is, and the new owner will need to service the float.

Video of RC30 startup:

I am a Rare sports bike fan, and that’s how I found RC30 #37. I am hoping it goes to someone who will truly appreciate its originality, as I have.

RSBFS finds and posts the best sport bikes found for sale every day. But it's not every day that you come across as original and protected an example of "rare sport bike" as this beautifully cared for RC30. Yes, there may need to be some sorting out of the carbs (if you are keen to ride this unicorn) - but that seems to be proof that the bike really hasn't been fueled or run in a long time, and is all original as claimed. Gotta give props to full disclosure.

Tim is accepting offers on this beauty right now. Send him an email with your best shot (tmerrill@fulcrumlegal.com), and see if you can't add the most collectable modern sport bike to your collection. Good luck!!

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