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Posts by tag: california title

Kawasaki April 21, 2018 posted by

Rare Colors: Cali-Titled 1989 Kawasaki KR-1S in Zeus Blue for Sale

They're relatively rare here in the US, even in states with lax registration requirements, but late 80s and early 90s quarter-liter two-strokes were pretty widely available elsewhere in the sportbiking world, considering their narrowly-focused role and limited audience. Kawasaki was largely absent from the intense class rivalry during that period, though. Their earlier KR250 was out of date compared to something like the original TZR and they didn't have a real competitor ready until 1988 when the Kawasaki KR-1 and the sportier KR-1S were introduced.

The KR-1 was discontinued in 1992, without any significant updates and well before the others in the class. Just 10,000 were built, making it a pretty rare sight outside Japan these days: Honda constructed more than ten times as many NSR250Rs! But although Kawasaki as a company didn't seem like they'd gone all-in on the idea of going head-to-head against Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha, it wasn't as if the KR-1S itself didn't measure up.

Like most of its rivals, the KR-1S was powered by a liquid-cooled two-stroke parallel twin and backed by a six-speed gearbox to exploit the razor-thin powerband although, also like its rivals, the Kawasaki did feature power-valve technology, here dubbed "KIPS," to boost the midrange. Modern bikes with their ever-larger engines and horsepower numbers are increasingly equipped with electronic up-and-down shifters and autoblippers, but they really don't particularly need them on the road, considering the available power. A quickshifter/autoblipper would get plenty of use on one of these, had they been available: there's only so much you can do with just 249cc and the bike's government-mandated 45hp, so dancing on the gear lever is a required, not optional activity when riding a little two-stroke.

The frame was the typical aluminum beam unit of the class and the suspension was good but, compared to other bikes in the class, the KR-1 was a bit... raw. Handling was "lively" and the bike managed a best-in-class tested top speed of 139mph. An engine balance shaft driven by the 180° crankshaft seems like it was the only concession to civility, and even that was probably justified as preventing vibration damage to the minimalist frame, rather than as a means to refine the experience of riding the wee beastie.

From the original eBay listing: Cali-Titled 1989 Kawasaki KR-1S in Zeus Blue for Sale

The KR1S model here in the USA is one of the most rare of the Japanese 250 racer replica two strokes. If one can be found, it will usually be the green, white, and yellow bike. Sometimes the black and green bike, but never a factory genuine JDM Zeus Blue bike. These bikes were very limited in production. The factory Zeus Blue bikes differed from the export models in a few ways: indicators, mirrors, calipers, rotor center color, wheel color, all ID by the frame number. California titled and plated to its original VIN# Rare. Call Tim @714-746-5087 for more details.

When I purchased the bike a few years ago, I went onto the forums and found only a handful of original Zeus Blue KR1S models all overseas: one in Australia, one in the Netherlands, and one in the UK. I would go so far as to say this is the only one in the USA, and I know it’s the only one with a California title. This is THE rocking horse unicorn bike. To whomever buys the bike, you would be INSANE to remove the California title from the bike. That makes this bike so desirable. These bikes were ONLY JDM models never for export which is what makes them so rare. I have owned many many 2Ts (TZR, SPR, MC21, Rothmans, MC28, VJ23, V Model, Lucky, etc). These parallel twins really are amazing bikes. Having owned the four big Japanese manufactured bikes, to me there is no question Kawasaki is the most fun to ride. They literally are mad scientists and I LOVE IT! The KR1S was the fastest of all the 2T racer replicas. And if you know Kawasaki, they just built it and let it rip. Yamaha, Honda have their rev limiters, credit card ignitions, etc. Not Kawi. This thing will go all the way if you were to wind it out all the way. The sound of the parallel twin motor is simply the best. The cackling of the pipes. This bike has only had Motul 710 in it, runs fantastic, starts first kick, and purrs at idle. 18k miles on the clocks, float, gaskets, float valves all done, carbs serviced and cleaned, has Uni foam filter, new plugs, steering damper, factory toolkit, original key, etc. Clear California title in hand and current registration ‘til Jan 2019. Bike is for sale locally so the auction can end at any time. Thanks. Enjoy the ride…

Personally, I prefer my wild-haired Kawasakis to be vibrant green, and not the more civilized, metallic green they've been using on their modern, more sophisticated offerings. No, I want that lurid, fluorescent green of old. But this color scheme is exceedingly rare here, and that does count for something. Not to mention that it does look pretty sharp! The 18,000 miles indicated may not be stored-in-your-livingroom low, but the bike does appear to be you-could-eat-off-it clean and is in immaculate condition, with the very desirable California registration. And yes, the seller is correct that re-titling it in another state is absolutely a bad move financially: legitimately-titled two-strokes of this era are difficult to come by here, and there are plenty of well-heeled enthusiasts willing to pay extra for something they can legally ride.

-tad

Rare Colors: Cali-Titled 1989 Kawasaki KR-1S in Zeus Blue for Sale
Kawasaki January 11, 2018 posted by

Cali-Titled Two-Stroke: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale

During the 1980s and early 1990s, the vibrant quarter-liter two-stroke class saw the NSR, RGV, and TZR go at it with knife-fight-in-a-phone-booth intensity. Notably missing from much of the action was Kawasaki. It didn't help that Kawasaki didn't start building a two-stroke sportbike until 1988 and abandoned the class in 1992, before the other Japanese manufacturers and, as a result, the Kawasaki KR-1S is a bit of a holy grail for two-stroke fans in the USA. They're really nearly impossible to find in any market, as Kawasaki produced less than 10,000 examples in total, and they were obviously never sold here in the US.

If all you've done is glance at the spec sheets of the class competitors, you could be forgiven for thinking the bikes in this class were pretty much the same, with two-cylinder, liquid-cooled two-strokes, aluminum beam frames, six-speed gearboxes, and a suspiciously identical 45hp output. In fact, sometimes only a catchy acronym for the power valve gives the manufacturer away, although KIPS, ATAC, SAPC, and YPVS all performed basically the same basic function. But period road tests and two-stroke enthusiasts claim that each has a distinct character that seems line with corporate sterotypes: Honda's NSR was sophisticated and refined, while Suzuki's RGV was a bit of an unruly wild-child, fast and a bit fragile. But although Kawasaki joined the party late and left early, they left an indelible impression and their KR-1S was claimed to be the fastest, the easiest to tune, and have the hairiest handling of the bunch.

The KR-1S was powered by a liquid-cooled 249cc parallel-twin with a 180° crankshaft that also drove a balance shaft to improve smoothness, and put power to the back wheel through a six-speed gearbox. The "S" model seen here featured wider wheels at the front and rear, and tested top speed of 139mph. An "R" model was also available, but is nearly impossible to find, with fewer than 200 built. Interestingly enough, last month's Practical Sportbikes features an article that discusses the rebuild of a KR-1R in detail.

Like yesterday's ZX-7R, this KR-1S is slathered in green, white, and blue graphics that suit the bike's brash personality. Happily, the seller also includes images of the bike with the fairing removed, as it shows off the very slick aftermarket expansion chambers and another odd detail: the engine sits almost entirely below the frame! That of course keeps the bike relatively narrow, but seems strange that most of the engine is suspended beneath the frame, rather than nestled between the frame spars.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale

1990 Kawasaki KR1S C2. I am relisting and selling another bike out of my prize collection. Journalist called the KR1-S the most exotic and fastest of all the 250 2 stokes of that era. This KR1S is a UK model. Which means UK CDI power box, mile per hour speedo. Non-restrictive. Always been in street bike form. Not a converted back race bike. This is truly a rare bike. Unlike NSR’s, TZR’s and RGV’s and even Aprilia RS’s that come up for sale now and then, you very rarely see one of these for sale. I have owned this bike for over 10 years. I have spent many of thousands of dollars on upgrades. I mean many! I installed a pricy set of Dyna mags magnesium rims. The old KR1S aluminum rims came with a 17” front and an 18” rear. These are 17” front and back. Light weight magnesium and make sporty tires more available. I have put on a set of Michelin pilot sport tires. Green D.I.D.  O-Ring chain with gold aluminum sprocket. Beautiful high end custom steering damper. Then I had made a JMC fully braced swingarm with eccentric adjustment. Beautifully polished. I was told at the time that this was the only top braced swingarm that JMC has ever made for the KR1S. I installed a huge custom made “Pace” radiator made for the KR1S. This radiator is huge, and solves the problem of any overheating. If anything I have to tape of part of the radiator when its cool out. But a nice position to be in. Silicone radiator hose are used. Then I purchased a nice new set of Jolly Moto pipes with Carbon silencers. Bikes sound great and pulls better. I had the rear shock rebuilt and the shock spring powder coated green to match the bike. Front forks have been recently rebuilt with all new bushings, oil and seals. Rebuilt both the front and rear calibers with new stainless pistons, bolts, and seals. I had them powder coated too. Custom made steel braided brakes lines with aluminum fittings. They look like new. I also installed new light weight disks front and back.  Have a fortune in light weight titanium, stainless, and aluminum bolts throughout.  All the lights and switches work. The bike has 16,600 miles on it. So a far as I know the motor has never been touched.  I had plans to rebuild the motor and including all the parts to do it.  I have everything needed to build it included. But now I have gotten old and don’t have time for this project. I have tuned it up, changed all the fluids. Adjusted the power valves, etc. Bike does still run strong but mileage is getting up there for 28 year 2 stroke. The original bodywork on the bike is not too bad for its age but not perfect either. I had a few tabs and small cracks repaired. The tank has a couple tiny little chips, but is in remarkably in good shape for its age. No dents. The tank is clean inside without rust. The body panels have a few scratches and touched up spots.  Still not all that bad for its age either. Please refer to the pictures for more details. I am including the stock rims with a brand new fresh powder coat on them. The stock pipes, radiator, manuals, and various other parts as seen in my list and pictures. Lots of stuff.

The following is a list of some of the parts that are included with the bike, but not complete. No much to list. Please refer to pictures.

  • 4 brand new piston sets, including, rings, pins, clips, and small ends
  • Complete set of crank seals and crank bearings, plus new rod sets. Everything needed to completely rebuild the crank like new.
  • 3 gaskets set, plus one extra head gasket
  • New Water pump part set
  • New carb sets including floats
  • Power valve seals
  • New billet aluminum power valves and power valve wheels
  • 1 extra new front disk
  • Numerous new seals and bearing that go into the motor
  • Stock pipes in good condition
  • Stock swingarm with fresh paint and new bearings and seals. Like new
  • Stock radiator in excellent condition
  • Stock wheels with fresh powder coating, sprocket,  and cush drive

All the old wheel bearing, wheel spacers, front and back disks, sprockets, brake lines, and caliber parts. The old original nuts and bolts that were replaced with titanium and stainless, aluminum

Bike comes with a current California registration and title!  Has all the correct serial and engine numbers, but is listed as a 1980 instead of a 1990. You might think that wow I am asking way too much for this bike? I say “find don’t buy it then”. What I can say how often you see one of these for sale in this condition, with all these extras and titled too? Try to find another? These bikes are only going to increase in value as time passes. Plus I am including thousands of dollars in extra parts.

So the $17,500 asking price is big money for a two-stroke sportbike, but I'm betting it will find a buyer: if that California title is valid, I know a couple folks who'd love to snap it up, and it's really not all that far off what folks have been asking for pristine NSR250s recently. It isn't completely stock, but all of the upgrades described by the seller are clearly intended to thoughtfully boost performance and handling. All-in-all, it's one of the coolest bikes we've posted recently.

-tad

Cali-Titled Two-Stroke: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale
Yamaha October 31, 2016 posted by

Cali-Titled Two-Stroke: 1985 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale

1985-yamaha-rzv500r-r-front

I have some bad news for anyone who lusted after the Yamaha RZV500 when it was new: the bike is now 31 years old. With any luck, you're aging as well as this V4 two-stroke GP-replica, although I'm sure that varies by individual. And that's the thing about bikes and bikers this old: even if they've been relatively well cared-for, they've still very likely picked up a few dings, scuffs, and scratches. Some call that "patina" and some call it "wear and tear." Whichever side you come down on, this particular RZV500 is exceptional condition.

1985-yamaha-rzv500r-front

The RZV500 was powered by a twin-crank, liquid-cooled two-stroke V4 with a set of torque-boosting YPVS powervalves and standard Autolube oil-injection. Two-strokes can seem pretty raw, but the Yamaha used a balance shaft to smooth engine vibration. This was intended to allow the other parts of the bike like the frame and brackets to be more lightly built for less weight, but had the side effect of making the bike more civilized to ride.

1985-yamaha-rzv500r-l-frame

A six-speed gearbox put power to the 18" rear wheel and the bike's compact design necessitated a rear shock mounted under the engine, Buell-style, to free up space for the bulging expansion chambers for the rear pair of cylinders. Forks were high-tech as well, and featured an anti-dive system.

1985-yamaha-rzv500r-dash

Although it was thought of as being less sporty than its only direct competitor, Suzuki's RG500 Gamma, but that kind of thing is relative and the Yamaha was still a cutting-edge sportbike with a combination of power, light weight, and an evocative link to the two-stroke Moto GP racebikes of the era.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale

All original RZV500R Yamaha. A true and original 51x bike with aluminum frame and all original engine/body and exhaust. Imported into Calif in the 1990s and titled there. Clear title.

Frame is 51x, engine is original.

Ridden on nice Sundays until 2004 when it was put in storage with fuel drained. Kicks over easily. Will need to be serviced by new owner.

Certainly a motorcycle that belongs in a museum or private collection.

Bike is in wonderful shape, but has been ridden. Minor scuffing and etc but zero dents and no cracks in body.

1985-yamaha-rzv500r-rear

Mileage is very low: just 7,400 and the bike's overall condition reflects this, helped by the fact that the bike has been off the road for a while. It'll likely need some going through before it's road-ready, since rubber bits like brake lines tend to get dry and brittle with age, especially when they've been left sitting. Bidding is very active and up north of $10,000 with several days left and the Reserve Not Met, no surprise considering the condition of this RZV.

-tad

1985-yamaha-rzv500r-key

Cali-Titled Two-Stroke: 1985 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale
Honda May 25, 2016 posted by

Grey Market Goodness: 1988 Honda CBR400 with California Title

1988 Honda CBR400 R Side

Anyone glancing at today’s Honda CBR400 would be forgiven for thinking it was a much more powerful machine: the looks are pure sportbike, and then you notice the decals that shout “CBR400.” But what the little Honda lacks in displacement, it makes up for in sophistication: four cylinders, six speeds, gear-driven cams, aluminum frame…

1988 Honda CBR400 L Side Rear

Produced between 1988 and 2000, the Honda CBR400 was the little brother to their popular 600cc and 900cc sportbikes. Intended for a market that had strict limits on displacement and power for new riders, these were never officially sold anywhere outside Japan, although a few managed to find their way to our shores over the years. There’s been a recent influx of grey market bikes like this, as enterprising individuals looking to slake our thirst for nimble sports motorcycles buy these up relatively cheap in Japan and ship them over by the container load. These were entry-level machines in their original market, and not difficult to come by there. But here, in the land of Harley-Davidson, they’re weird and kind of wonderful.

1988 Honda CBR400 R Side Front

Bikes like the CBR250RR we featured recently are very cool but, although that bike’s tiny four will positively scream to near 20,000rpm, outright performance is pretty feeble. This 400, while still no match for a modern supersport motorcycle in terms of straight-line speed, does offer a bit more midrange for everyday riding, but still loves to be thrashed. Gear-driven cams add to the noise and the 399cc four cylinder produces a claimed peak of 59hp, which should be plenty entertaining and there’s more on tap with basic tuning. Suspension wasn’t anything to write home about, but the light weight and stiff frame mean the bike is a terrific backroad companion and I’d imagine plenty of other CBR parts will fit, if you plan to track your little CBR…

1988 Honda CBR400 Clocks

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda CBR400 for Sale

Very rare to be registered in Cali. Runs great. Paint on tank original and clean inside. Small dent in rear of tank. Upper plastic thought to be original. Lower plastic re-painted before I got bike. Some tabs could stand to be repaired on that and rear tail center insert.

46k km on speedo calculated to 29k miles.

Has fold up passenger peg brackets (see pics, circled in yellow).

64 year old owner, former bike wrench and former shop owner. Have very large bike collection being thinned down to make more space. Bike always stored indoors, and run every couple of months to keep healthy.

Overall, a pretty well preserved bike.

The seller also helpfully includes a video of the bike starting and running. This example is in decent overall condition, with minor imperfections and wear-and-tear expected of an entry-level machine. These were designed for the Japanese market and, although they’re styled like big bikes, they’re physically pretty small. I’ve never seen a CBR400 in the flesh, but I’ve spent some time around the CB1 that shares the same basic engine and powertrain with similar weight and wheelbase. Those are very compact, like a 7/8 scale model of a regular motorcycle.

1988 Honda CBR400 R Side Rear
There are no bids as yet, but there are lots of "Watchers" and there is still plenty of time left on the auction. The Buy It Now price of $5,000 seems reasonable, considering the rarity and condition, but potential buyers will obviously have to be serious fans of odd, grey-market bikes because that same money would also buy lots of other, faster toys.

-tad

1988 Honda CBR400 L Side

Grey Market Goodness: 1988 Honda CBR400 with California Title