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Posts by tag: ELF

Honda January 25, 2018 posted by

Fun Size: 1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

A recent influx of  Honda VFR400R NC30s means they're in danger of not being nearly such rare sportbikes as they used to be... But relatively few were made for all markets, so there's no real chance of them ever being a common sight, especially here in the US where they've only recently become legal to import. Basically, a smaller version of the Honda's homologation superbike RC30, the NC30 used the same formula, only with less weight and displacement.

The NC30 used stiff, lightweight aluminum beam frame to suspend the heart of the bike, a 399cc V4 with gear-driven cams and a six-speed gearbox. Fully-faired, endurance-racing style bodywork with twin round headlamps helped support the family resemblance, as does the distinctive, single-sided ProArm swingarm out back, something that wasn't all that much use in World Superbike competition, but was handy for endurance racing. Plus, it obviously looked cool enough that the nobody's-idea-of-a-long-distance-anything Ducati 916 used a single-sided swinger just because.

So why build a smaller RC30? Well the NC30 was intended to form the basis for machines that would be used to compete in the hotly-contested 400cc class that was pretty popular everywhere but, you guessed it, here in the USA. With just 59hp, it's obviously no powerhouse, but the bike's 313lb dry weight means a respectable 130mph top speed, more than enough for a road bike or a shorter, tighter track. It's a bike that obviously stressed handling over power, and the "big bang" V4 has a wide powerband, making it easy to be in the right gear, and makes a distinctive drone.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

Honda VFR400R NC30. NO RESERVE 11,035 Miles (17,758 Kilometers) Completely original and unrestored. Mechanically Sorted. Cosmetically does have touchup paint and some cracks and scratches. Some pitting on the aluminum especially at the swingarm. Please see images. All fluids are fresh.  Shifts and revs to redline perfectly.  Starts effortlessly every time. Very Honest OEM Bike.  Fuel tank is Rust Free. Bike has Vin Matching State of Ohio Title.  NC30-1101*** Buyer is responsible for their own State Requirements. Imported into the States through all legal channels. Sold as is. Buyer responsible for shipping. Thanks for looking.

As with many of Deftone Cycle's offerings, it isn't museum quality, but is complete, clean, and mechanically sound, with fresh fluids. In addition, a short video of the bike starting and running is included. Bidding is up to $4,500 with a couple days left on the auction, although I'd expect it will go higher. How much higher? Well recent examples of this mini-endurance racing replica have sold for somewhere between $7,000 and $8,000 so we'll see where this ends up.

-tad

Fun Size: 1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale
Honda December 30, 2017 posted by

Jersey-Titled Vee Four: 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

Prices of the RC30 have gone through the roof, and enthusiasts who want a taste of Honda's homologation specials have been forced to go elsewhere. Luckily, the less-desirable, less cubically-endowed, and equally exotic VFR400R NC30 manages to provide many of the qualities of its larger sibling at a greatly reduced cost. At a glance, it's pretty hard to tell the RC30 and the NC30 apart anyway, as both feature very similar styling with those distinctive twin round headlamps and the distinctive Pro-Arm single-sided swingarm. It's just as tasty under the skin, as both the 750cc RC30 and the 400cc NC30 are powered by V4s with gear-driven cams and 360° "big bang" crankshafts that gave the bikes a distinctive noise and a wide, accessible powerband that made them easy to fully exploit on road or track.

The NC30 had impressive handling to match it's bigger-engined brother, and although power was down compared to the RC30, so was weight: the NC30 clocked in at a claimed 313lbs dry versus 400lbs, and the little 400cc machine had a top speed of 130mph, a pretty impressive achievement. Sure, the NC30 only makes 59hp, but handling is the name of the game here, and revving the nuts off a bike to make good progress on a fast road is much more fun than loafing with the throttle barely cracked for fear of catapulting yourself into the weeds riding a 200hp liter bike.

Prices for the smaller V4 machine have increased significantly over the past few years, but examples like this very clean Honda VFR400R show that good deals are still available for the cost of a used R6. Keep in mind that these are all grey market imports here in the US: some have sneaked in from Canada, and more have been brought over from Japan in recent years. But a valid title, especially from a state with more stringent requirements like New Jersey as is the case here, adds plenty of value for anyone who actually wants to ride their little homologation specials on the road.

From the original eBay listing: 1992 Honda VFR400R for Sale

1992 Honda VFR 400 NC30 with 24449 miles. It will come with a clean New Jersey State title. Full maintenance service was performed including carb rebuild, new fork seals, new ngk ER9EH spark plugs, Motul Motocool coolant, motul brake fluid, Motul 300V oil, hiflo filter and new set of Michelin PRD3 tires. I also had the wheels and fork legs powder coated. Bike does have some minor scuffs all over from years of service. Fairings are all OEM but does have some scratches and fading on front fender. This bike is solid and ready to go! Please refer to the High Resolution pics attached.   

Bidding is slow so far, and up to just over $2,000, with a Buy It Now price of $7,800 that still seems like a relative bargain. That funky 18" rear hoop might make things a bit more difficult when the time comes to fit new tires. Fortunately, an increase in the popularity of classic racing means there have been more options recently, since a number of the late 1980s two-strokes share the 17" front and 18" rear combination seen here. Aside from a few scuffs and scrapes, this appears to be in very nice condition, the the seller is obviously an enthusiast.

-tad

Jersey-Titled Vee Four: 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale
Honda October 10, 2017 posted by

The Last and the Best? 1994 Honda NSR250R MC28 for Sale

Sometimes, the very final version of a car or motorcycle is a pale shadow of the original, as the years inevitably add pounds and dilute the purity of what made the original example so desirable. But the Honda NSR250R went out with a bang instead of a whimper, at the top of its game, and is considered by many to be the best of the series. The MC28 might have put on a couple pounds compared to the previous MC21, owing largely to that very cool ELF-designed Pro-Arm single-sided swingarm that was heavier than the double-sided aluminum units that preceded it, but the bike was packed with cutting-edge technology.

There were three versions of the MC28, the standard R version, the SE that came with a dry clutch, and the SP that included the dry clutch and a set of lightweight Magtek wheels. This example is the regular R, but all MC28s are pretty special and come standard with that Pro-Arm swingarm, a 90° liquid-cooled two-stroke v-twin and a six-speed cassette gearbox for easy, track-side gearing changes.

The two small combustion chambers were still filled by carburetors, but the charge was ignited by what was probably the most sophisticated electronic control system available on a motorcycle at that time. The fourth iteration of Honda's electronic ignition was called, naturally, "PGM-IV." The system took in sensor input from the throttle position, gear-selection, and rpm to create three-dimensional ignition maps for each cylinder and adjust Honda's RC "Revolutionary Controlled" Valve for maximum power and response.

The biggest concern if you're looking at a NSR250 is whether or not it has been de-restricted: power for the Japanese-market 250s was limited to just 45hp, and it can be very difficult to unleash the bike's full potential without the HRC version of the ignition card that functions as the MC28's key. The seller doesn't mention whether or not this bike has already been de-restricted, but it's worth a quick email to the seller as this will affect the value and desirability, especially for anyone interested in riding this little machine in anger.

From the original eBay listing: 1994 Honda NSR250R MC28 for Sale

This is a 94 Honda NSR250 MC28 v-twin 2-stroke sportbike with credit card ignition and only 6000 kilometers (3600 miles). 

Clean North Carolina title with the correct 11 digit VIN. These are quite rare to find in the US as they were originally only sold in Japan, and this is the lowest mileage example I have ever seen here in the US. It is completely stock and all the controls are tight and smooth as you would expect on a low mileage bike. I bought this bike in 2011 after it had been removed from storage, fluids changed/replenished, new tires mounted, and new chain installed. I start it up several times a year and ride it occasionally but I doubt I have put over 200 miles on it since I have owned it. I recently put a new battery in it and disassembled the carbs to clean the bowls and jets out.  It starts and runs as it should.  I don't need to sell this bike but I have a lot of other toys and feel it is time to turn it over for someone else to enjoy if that person is out there. Tool kit is in place and I also have the passenger seat pad.  Rear stand and indoor cover is included.  Has one scuff on the right side of the tail section that has been touched up, and the rear of the right lower is discolored.  Other than that, very minor blemishes only.  Not really interested in any trades. 

Winning bidder must pick up bike in person in Charlotte, NC and pay in cash.  Title will be signed over at that time.  Willing to discuss shipping if you make all arrangements to have your carrier pick bike up at my house after all funds have cleared.

The Buy It Now price for this NSR250 is $10,000 which is reasonable for a nice, clean NSR250 with a US title. The MC28 included some of the most advanced technology ever available in the two-stroke 250cc class, and is thought of by many as being the best-looking of the breed, with the cool single-sided swingarm providing the visual flourish that seals the deal. Unfortunately, residents of states like California might be out of luck, as titling can prove impossible for a bikes less than 25 years old. Of course, if you "know a guy," or "know a guy that knows a guy" then you can probably make that happen but, if you're in a state where registering this might prove possible, it's a huge help that this bike comes with a clean US title. Otherwise, maybe just buy it and display it for a couple years before you try to register it. Certainly, the last of the Honda two-strokes will only going go up in value.

-tad

The Last and the Best? 1994 Honda NSR250R MC28 for Sale
Yamaha March 19, 2014 posted by

Strange New World: 1993 Yamaha GTS1000A

GTS_1

In the late 1980s and early 1990s it seemed that everybody was trying to improve upon motorcycle front suspension design. The working theory was that as front forks have to deal with multiple different forces (suspension, braking, steering), they needed to be extra beefy to handle them all. A better way might be to isolate some of the forces, enabling a better handling, safer motorcycle. Engineer James Parker developed the RADD concept, which was adopted by Yamaha for this rare sport-tourer: the GTS1000.

1993 Yamaha GTS1000 for sale on eBay

GTS_3

From the seller:
Right side has been down, plastics have been replaced, scratches on the frame and front swingarm

GTS_2

There were many interpretations of "funny front ends" during this era, including the Bimota Tesi and the legendary ELF racers (both of which experimented with alternate takes on the swingarm front end concept). Noted designer Tony Foale created one, and Dutch master Nico Bakker marketed an example as well. But for all the benefit of isolating braking, suspension and steering forces, the concept has yet to take off commercially. All of what adds up to make this GTS a rare bird.

GTS_4

This bike is far from perfect, but then we don't see many of them around. Prices are relatively cheap, and aside from the front end the rest of the bike is pretty standard Yamaha - meaning parts availability and mechanical reliability are what you would expect. Click here to check out all the pictures. Be sure and let us know what you think!

MI

Strange New World: 1993 Yamaha GTS1000A




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