Posts by tag: 399

Honda October 8, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing – 1992 Honda VFR400R ( NC30 ) with spare Repsol fairings !

Sold for $8,600. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Since they were never offered stateside, the smaller V-4's have an undeniable cachet as well as sparkling performance and appearance.  The VFR400R looks for all the world like its 750cc brother and can just about keep up until a long straightaway.  On a no-reserve auction, this NC30 has been carefully refurbished and sports a spare set of bodywork and Ohio registration.

 

Though it uses a similar 399cc four-valve V-4 to previous generations, the NC30's used 180-degree crank timing, resulting in a "big-bang" sound and torquier power delivery.  The later VFR40oR's also moved the exhaust to the left side of the bike, showing off the 18-inch alloy rim with the single-sided swingarm on the opposite side.  Equipped to have aspirations, the NC30 had a 6-speed transmission, triple disk brakes and 41mm forks.  Though the factory color schemes generally revolved around racing red, the aftermarket has specialized in replica race liveries.

 

The California owner has gone over his NC30, and paid particular attention to the brakes, cooling system, and component corrosion, a common malady on gray-market machines.  He provides a comprehensive list in the eBay auction:

The bike is a 1992 NC30 Type 7 with Type 1 fairings.  She only has 6568 KM's on here which is about 4081 Miles.  The gauges are in km's so note from the pics you will see it reads 6568.
 
Here's what I've sorted out since I've owner her (I only put on 100 miles since purchased):
  • Subframe had some corrosion, pulled it off, had it sandblasted and put 4 coats of silver paint before reassembling.  Did the same with passenger pegs and assemblies.
  • Took off carbs, completely dismantled, cleaned them for the better part of a full day, cleaned out any grime, old gas residue etc.  Fixed the broken idle screw as well.
  • Installed new Factory quality carb boots as original ones were a bit dry and had small vacuum leaks.  Replaced most of the carb boot rings too as they were not ideal.
  • Flushed the cooling system twice before pulling apart and opted for brand new oversized, high flow aluminum radiators.  Original hoses were ok but seeing that the bike is 25 years old, I upgraded the hoses to high temp silicon as well.  And yes, I changed all of them including the one on the top of the motor that's difficult to get to.
  • I went ahead and installed new NGK spark plugs, fresh oil and a new oil filter.  Also went for a very nice quality (and a bit pricey) air filter to keep things clean.
  • Took the bike to about 90 on the freeway but brakes felt a little spongy despite having steel braided lines.  I flushed the fluid and noticed a tiny bit of fluid on caliper so I pulled them completely apart, changed all the seals, pulled the pistons and cleaned them up, sanded the calipers a bit to clean off the corrosion, put on a coat of primer and 3 coats of caliper paint.  Put on new brake pads as well.
  • Original chain was a bit rusty so I replaced the chain with a AFAM Grade 7, Super Heavy Duty Gold XS-Ring Chain.  While I was at it, installed a new hard anodized rear sprocket, a steel front sprocket (both stock gearing) and scrubbed the grime off.  The chain guide was a bit dry so I replaced that too.
  • Tank rubbers were dry and two were missing so I ordered all new ones from Japan and now the tank rests perfectly on the frame as it should.
  • I originally planned on keeping the OEM bodywork in storage and riding it with a new set of non original bodywork so you'll see in pics that I started to install it but then decided I wasn't going to keep the bike so rather then continuing to mod them to fit, I just packed them back up.  It's a BRAND new set of rothmans replica bodywork that includes the entire bike (not tank), new fender...literally every piece.  The replica bodywork is MUCH better than prior years, very vibrant in color, perfect stickers with a nice clear coat over the stickers.  They are still a pain to fit but I did most of it already and bought all the clips, spare signals so you don't need to switch them out and a whole slew of extra bolts and screws just in case I needed them.  Anyway, entire spare bodywork set will be included with bike.
  • The OEM tank colors do not match the Rothmans bodywork so I bought a spare tank that's also included.  As you can see in the pictures, it's in really great shape but has a small crease dent in the front.  It's in great shape other then that and would be an easy repair if you wanted to get it painted to match the back up bodywork.
  • Many of the bolts have been upgraded and changed out to replace some of the corroded ones.  You can see the pinch bolts, caliper bolts, many others in photos.  They added up $ wise too.
  • Bike will also include stock radiators (in fine shape), stock hoses if you want them and lots of spare parts I've gathered up. (extra pegs, an extra seat cover in black in case you don't like red, levers...etc)

 

The owner wanted the body to be as nice as the mechanicals, and purchased a Repsol replica fairing set.  Most of the way through fitment, he caught another project and decided to put this one up for sale with the original Honda fairings, and includes the Repsol as a spare including a fuel tank in factory paint.

 

October being the time for gutsy baseball, this NC30 is shown in various degrees of undress, and the auction is without reserve.  Someone will be riding this VFR400R home, as auctioneers used to say, and it is a great year.  Reviewed as the easiest of the 400cc group to ride fast, but a tad softly sprung, slightly under-braked, maybe a skwosh overweight.  The owner also has a work-around for California registration, which might make it do-able if that's a requirement.  Considering the low miles and new parts, this NC30 seems worth keeping a close eye on...

-donn

Featured Listing – 1992 Honda VFR400R ( NC30 ) with spare Repsol fairings !
Yamaha November 26, 2016 posted by

Black Friday – 1990 Yamaha FZR400

Junior welterweight-sized FZR 400's were made for markets with progressive licensing laws, and couldn't last in the U.S. displacement arms race.  Still, they are revered for their handling,  light weight and fun factor.  Many were fed into the racing mill, but this rare black version survived beautifully.

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1990 Yamaha FZR400 for sale on eBay

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Pushing nearly 60 horses out of the 399 cc inline four, the FZR400 had plenty of motivation, though it arrived at a tall 11,500 rpm.  While many larger sportbikes used steel frames, the 400's Deltabox was aluminum.  Front forks were right-sized at 41 mm, and the rear monoshock was only adjustable for preload.  Brakes are capable with twin 282mm front disks and 210mm rear.  Dual headlights dominate the front of the full fairing, and the smallish rider's seat is downstairs from a diminutive pillion.

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Appearing to be a one-rider bike with under 2,500 miles, this FZR appears unrestored though some freshening up has been done.  A few photos without fairing show this to be a very lightly used and clean example.  As the owner states in the eBay auction:

Impeccable as new condition, legendary Yamaha road racer. One owner 2478 original miles. I have in hand the original title,  bill of sale/invoice & all Yamaha documents. All stock, except for braided steel front brake lines, aftermarket fork springs, new tires & a new sealed gel battery. Carbs have a recent sync, head decarbonized & valve clearances checked. This bike runs as good as it looks. Starts & idles smoothly hot or cold. Great verbal history as well.

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The Japanese manufacturers have an extraordinarily competitive spirit, and innovations of the mid-1980's that had recently been on their GP bikes soon found their way to the showroom.  While the FZR400 never had quite the speed of the Honda or Kawasaki, there was a build quality and price advantage which translated into more racetrack time, where truth will out.  This FZR400 has been renewed mechanically and looks ready to help the next rider discover that truth again, but this time in a subdued paint scheme, instead of the usual red and white...

-donn

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Black Friday – 1990 Yamaha FZR400
Honda September 29, 2015 posted by

Featured Listing: 1988 Honda VFR400R for Sale

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A precursor to the iconic NC30 that was a sort of "mini RC30," the VFR400R was powered by the a 399cc, gear-driven V4 and had the bigger model's same ELF-designed Pro-Arm single-sided swingarm. Visual differences compared to the later NC30 include a more conventional, street-bike styled single headlight and bodywork, along with four bolts to hold the rear wheel in place, instead of a single large hub nut.

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This earlier iteration of Honda's jewel-like V4 used a more conventional 180° crank, whereas later NC30 versions used a 360° "big bang" crank and firing order for improved traction and tire life. The 180° crank engine should sound a bit more like a conventional four, with combustion events spaced more evenly throughout each engine revolution. You still get the distinctive whine of the gear-driven cams fitted to these engines however.

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Although the small V4 isn't as manic at high revs as other 400cc four-cylinders, it should have a much wider powerband and still rev to a screaming 14,000rpm. Grunt is ultimately limited by the miniscule displacement, but handling is superlative and these were [and still are] very popular in the UK as track-day bikes, although the 18" rear wheel does limit tire choice somewhat.

1988 Honda VFR400R for sale on eBay

From the seller: 1988 Honda VFR400R for Sale

Imported legally this year from the UK with the idea of learning about  and testing the market as a possible business idea for the future.

When I received it, it would not idle, so, rather than clean the carbs, I opted for the more circuitous route and replaced the regulator/rectifier, coils, plugs, plug wires and battery as well as the starter solenoid for good measure. It ran better, but eventually I did clean the carbs and found the elusive idle.

The motor is sweet. Whining gear whir and a really nice howling exhaust note as it revs from clutch out at about 3000 all the way up to a redline of 14,000. Smooth and very torque strong powerband all the way up.

Also, as stated in the eBay post, the bodywork is original and a little rough on the two lower panels. The tank and balance of the beautiful old plastic is pretty nice in a slightly weathered patina appreciators sort of way.

I would like to mention the scale. The bike is small, the clearances around the engine and really throughout are tight and favor the small of hand. But, I am 5'10" and do not reach the bum stop under most riding conditions, so the ergonomics are semi comfortable and definitely not cramped.

Overall, this is a very sound , fun ride without the overkill of a larger superbike. I had an S3 400 Kawasaki that would pop your arms straight on the power, but this 400 is faster and more controllable in getting there. Like a RD400 but more muscular and with a much broader powerband. Throttle feedback is really fine. Would make a thrilling track bike or a good rider.

1988 Honda VFR400R L Fairing

Designed mainly for the Japanese market, a good number found their way over to the UK where they were popular as grey-market or "parallel imports." This example is a bit rough around the edges, as the seller clearly indicates, but these are the original panels and 27 years and 28,000 miles means some scuffs and scrapes and minor cracks are to be expected.

1988 Honda VFR400R R Side

The VFR400R is very rare here in the US, meaning this should be of interest to Honda fans here looking to complete their V4 collections or track day riders more concerned with corner speed than top speed. All-in-all, this bike lacks the endurance-racer styling and raucous "big bang" engine of later versions, but still provides the basic handling goodness that made these so popular in the first place.

-tad

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Featured Listing: 1988 Honda VFR400R for Sale
Honda August 7, 2015 posted by

Affordable V4: 1995 Honda RVF400 with Ohio Title

1995 Honda RVF400 L Side

Rare as hen's teeth here in the USA, Honda's little RVF400 [NC35] superbike made it into the country exclusively through grey-market imports, often via Canada. The RVF400 replaced the VFR400 in 1994 and used a smaller version of the bigger 750cc bike's gear-driven V4 engine.

Like the 750, the 400 used a 360° "big-bang" firing order to aid handling and increase tire life. The theory being that, when all of the combustion events occur close together instead of being spread out evenly, the rear tire is able to "recover" in between power pulses, making break away more predictable. Possibly superfluous with such a small displacement machine, but cool nonetheless, and big-bang bikes tend to sound better as well!

1995 Honda RVF400 Cockpit

Power is relatively unimpressive on paper: between 50hp and 60hp, depending on whom you ask, and that power is all up near the redline, so the bike needs thrashing to make progress, although you're rewarded with one of the best-handling chassis of all time. Kind of like a two-stroke 250 for people who think two-stroke motorcycles sound like chainsaws...

1995 Honda RVF400 Rear Wheel

The RVF400 looked very much like a miniature version of the RVF750, down to the updated cat-eye lamps and those giant, snorkel-like tubes to feed the engine fresh air, although the bike did not technically use ram-air to pressurize the airbox. The update also saw a change to upside-down forks and 17" wheel front and rear, which makes it easy to source modern, sticky rubber today, and many of these still see use in club racing.

1995 Honda RVF400 Fairing

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Honda RVF400 for Sale

I have too many bikes and not enough time. It's time to let a few go to new homes where they can be enjoyed and ridden. This rare Honda RVF400 is the V4 little brother of the RC45.  It's titled as a 1995, but the research I've done on the VIN and color scheme seem to indicate that it is actually a 1996 (the final year of production).  It small when compared to a 600cc sportbike but not super light like my Aprilia RS125.  It was originally marked only in Japan, so the small scratches you see in the pictures are probably no worse than a 20 year old CBR600 would be here in the states.  They probably weren't considered collector bikes in Japan at the time.  Considering that it's travelled half way around the world, I think it looks great.  I'd give it a 7-8 on a scale of 1-10.  There is a small paint discoloration between the headlights, a small crack on the right side of the rear fairing, a little road rash on the right mirror bottom and the left headlight has a little moisture in it.  The leather on the rear seat straps also has a small crack.  It's a really cool bike to ride and nobody in your town probably has one or may never have even seen one in the flesh.  The speedometer is in kilometers per hour and the odometer is in kilometers so I converted to miles for the listing.  Reserve is $7000. 

This bike has a few minor cosmetic scuffs, but the seller's reserve price seems very reasonable: if you want into the V4 Honda Club and funds are limited, this is going to be your best bet. And your investment is probably secure: in spite of their limited straight-line performance, their links to Honda's racing heritage, relative rarity, serious good-looks, and responsive handling make these very desirable to both riders and collectors.

-tad 1995 Honda RVF400 Speedo

Affordable V4: 1995 Honda RVF400 with Ohio Title
Honda January 21, 2015 posted by

Big-Bang Theory: 1996 Honda RVF400 for Sale

1996 Honda RVF400 R Front

Introduced in 1994 to replace the VFR400R, the RVF400 used a smaller, 399cc version of Honda’s gear-driven V4 powerplant with a 360° firing order. The updated model featured a revised fairing with cat-eye headlamps replacing the earlier bike’s round units, distinctive air tubes leading from the fairing to the front of the tank to feed the carburetors, although the airbox was not pressurized by any sort of ram-air system. Running gear saw a change to more modern upside-down forks and a 17” wheel replaced the earlier bike’s 18” item.

1996 Honda RVF400 Rear Suspension

Honda's homologation V4 engines featured a “big-bang” firing order that has all of the combustion events taking place relatively close together, instead of spaced evenly. This naturally increases engine vibration, but creates distinctive pulses in the power delivery that allows the rear tire to momentarily regain traction in between during on-track moments at the edge of adhesion, aiding handling and increasing tire life.

There’s also the undeniably subjective benefit in terms of sound: the “big-bang” engines often have the rawer, more charismatic sound generally associated with V4 engines compared to more conventional “screamer” motors with evenly-spaced firing intervals.

1996 Honda RVF400 L Side

From the original eBay listing: 1996 Honda RVF400 for Sale

1996 Honda RVF400 NC35. This bike is in very good condition. Bike has 9589 km = 5753 miles. Engine runs fine, no problems. There is a crack in the seat "see pictures". The passenger seat covers the crack so you don't see it. You don't see many RVF400 in this condition anymore. Bike is original, not restored. I have a clear California title for the bike.

1996 Honda RVF400 Dash

Sold officially only in Japan, all RFV400’s are grey-market imports. The seller is based in Japan, although this bike is supposedly in the US and has a clear California title. There is plenty of time left on the auction, with no takers yet at the $9,000 starting bid.

While these are obviously not as desirable as their bigger RC45 siblings, the RVF400 is prized by collectors for its motorsports heritage. And while the stock bike’s claimed 53hp is underwhelming on paper, the little RVF is reportedly a brilliant-handling bike, a “brains-over-brawn” bike for riders who like gear-whine that drowns out the stock exhaust.

-tad

1996 Honda RVF400 R Side

Big-Bang Theory: 1996 Honda RVF400 for Sale