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Posts by tag: gear-driven cams

Honda August 13, 2018 posted by

One-Eyed: 1985 Honda VF1000R Interceptor

Honda has always been like, well, Honda. Never content unless there was a more complicated engineering solution to an already solved problem, Honda obliterated norms and reached for new frontiers throughout the 1980s. This was clearly evident in today's bike, a beautiful VR1000R. You see, Honda already had the successful VF lineup in place, including the one liter VF1000F (alongside the 750 and 500 variants). But the "F" model was born and bred to be a streetbike (even though the 750 was transformed into a decent Superbike racer over time). Honda, being a racing company, wanted more than a mere streetbike and needed a platform to express ideas and homologate. Thus, the VF1000R was born.

1985 Honda VF1000R for sale on eBay

Straight off, the R model is far more striking, more racy, than the rather pedestrian F. The swooping bodywork gives it the look of a European endurance racer, which was strictly intentional. The bike retained the same block as the VF1000F, but valve actuation was converted to gear-drive instead of the F model's chain setup. Straight cut gears off the crank provide the trademark whine that these - and other Honda gear-driven valve train models - are so famous for. Hotter cams were fitted in re-worked heads that provided a higher compression ratio. In all, the completed the head work resulted in a slight bump in HP at the top end. It is true that gear-driven cams have an edge in precision and reliability for a race motor, but the weight, noise and complexity often outweigh the benefits. For the 9 extra ponies created, Honda added some 7 additional pounds to the engine alone.

Speaking of weight, Honda seemingly created the R bike by replacing adequate F model items with heavier pieces. Better front forks added stability - and weight. The cooling system needed to be altered to cope with the new fully-enclosed bodywork. Honda added a second radiator and two additional fans to cope with the heat - which also added weight. The exhaust system was modified to add a collector box and build up ground clearance; the additional pipes / ducting also added mass. While no single component was to blame for the 600+ lbs (wet) weight, you can see how all this added up. The net result was a striking motorcycle that stirred the visual senses. And while it was still a formidable weapon in the canyons, all of that weight (and much of it relatively high up) dulled the senses a bit. It wasn't all negative - thanks to that slippery bodywork the VF1000R briefly held the top speed title of fastest motorcycle in the world.

From the seller:
Pairing down my collection:

This is another of my collection lovingly restored. Many practically unobtainable pieces were installed on this bike to bring it back to like new condition. The fuel tank is brand new NOS! ( I have had amazing luck finding NOS tanks!). I also have a 1982 RM250 NOS tank if anyone is interested and 1984 VF750F NOS tank. The front panels were repainted to like new condition! The bike also has NOS side vents, (unobtainable!!), grips, right switch pod, all turn indicators and tank rubbers. Plus... NOS front forks, yes that is correct, new NOS forks. New petcock and new clutch. Hundreds of dollars worth of cooling system refurbishment. It has a brand new hagon rear shock. New brake and clutch levers plus the master cylinders were rebuilt. The bike is all original and runs perfectly. Again, the cost to restore this bike to its current condition is no where near the purchase price. This is a relative bargain at the opening bid. It can be stored as a museum piece or ridden reliably for fun. Your choice.

No warranty implied or given, (its is a 33 year old bike after all)
The bike is for sale locally so the auction could end at any time. It is a no reserve auction. The price is fair compared to what was spent on it. Good luck....

The VF1000R went through a few iterations, including the headlight configuration. Many will find the dual-headlight R model to be more desirable as it more properly mimics the euro-endurance look. Single headlamp bikes are US only models; managing a full technical program, numerous racing programs and rules AND satisfying the DOT regs were made simpler by this easy move. Dual lamps appeared in the 1986 model year, as US regulations relaxed slightly on this front. Hence, the 1985 model is only a one-eyed wonder. Still this is an awesome piece of kit, and yet another example of Honda flexing their engineering might. These bikes still make a statement today: they look fantastic, are reasonably comfortable, and are more reliable than most would expect. They are also a relative bargain. This particular bike has some nice restoration touches, and has an opening bid of $6500. No takers as of yet, but there is still time left on the auction. Check it out here, and good luck; not many bikes look this good well into their thirties. This is one that will continue to age well....and ride well.

MI

One-Eyed:  1985 Honda VF1000R Interceptor
Featured Listing July 26, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: Museum Quality 1989 Honda CB-1 for Sale

Update 7.26.2018: The buyer fell through from the first eBay listing so Hans has relisted. Opening bid is $6k and no reserve. Good luck to buyer and seller! Links and seller description updated, plus a walkaround video is added as well. -dc

I’ve always been a “slow bike [and car, for that matter] fast” kind of guy, mainly because I could never really afford the fast bikes I wanted, but also because I'm pretty sure I'd have gotten into trouble riding something powerful all the time. But some folks just prefer smaller-engined motorcycles: on the road especially, you can barely get a modern sportbike into third gear unless you’re on the freeway, and winding one to redline, even in second gear, is likely to land you in jail if you do it in or around civilization… But that’s never a problem with something like today’s pristine Featured Listing Honda CB-1.

The 400cc class came about because of regulations that heavily taxed and otherwise displacements over 400cc in some markets, not because everyone was clamoring for them. In Japan, the 400cc sportbike, and even 250cc four-stroke sportbike classes were hotly contested, with Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Yamaha all producing smaller, more sophisticated machines than we ever saw officially in the USA. But licensing and laws aside, there are also fans of smaller displacement bikes that have the experience and skill to handle a legitimate sportbike and don’t want to be stuck with one of the torquey, but fairly crude-feeling singles or parallel twins you normally find powering bikes in the class.

Enter the Honda CB-1. Powered by a slightly detuned version of the CBR400RR's engine, the 399cc inline-four had some serious mechanical specifications, including sixteen valves and gear-driven dual overhead cams. The result was 55hp and a 13,500rpm redline, plenty to motivate the 400lb machine and push it all the way to 118mph, assuming you were prepared to thrash the sewing-machine-smooth engine mercilessly.

The CB-1 was one of only a couple of 400cc, inline-four sportbikes that were ever available in the United States, and that sophisticated little screamer is the main appeal here, along with the simple, sporty styling that has aged very well. The CB-1 did lose the CBR's aluminum frame and made do with tubular steel unit instead, but saved weight by losing the fairing and the CBR's second front caliper and rotor. Smaller valves and different tuning meant slightly less outright power that the CBR, but lower gearing meant it was a better real-world bike as well.

Unfortunately, as polished as it was, the CB-1 didn't really sell very well here in the USA, where bigger is always better and 600cc supersports are considered "learner bikes." But its surprising sophistication had fans then and now, and has become a bit of a cult bike here in the States. But if you missed the boat the first time around and didn't get to buy one new from your local Honda dealer, here's your chance: this one has just 9 miles on the odometer and is amazingly clean.

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda CB-1 for Sale

2nd Chance! up for sale is my brand new 1989 Honda CB1 never registered. This bike has been in climate-controlled storage its entire life.

Originally sold in California, I bought it out of a collection in Colorado about 3 years ago. The previous owner had removed all the fuel and prepped the bike for long term storage. The 9 miles on the bike were dealer prep miles.

Since I took delivery of this bike, it has gone through another extremely thorough and expensive prep process for long term storage. This was all documented and the work was lovingly done by the master tech at Marin Speed Shop here in Marin California. There is absolutely no fuel in the tank or in the carbs or fuel lines. The bike was started two years ago prior to storage to verify its condition. It had a perfect leak down and we used an auxiliary fuel tank because we did not want to put fuel in the bike's tank. The bike started and ran perfectly. Afterwords the carbs were disassembled and all fuel was removed and the carbs and tank were then misted with oil.

This is a museum-quality bike, it is as brand new as the day it was sold. Every aspect of this bike has been gone through and prepped for this long term storage. Everything on the bike is original, even the tires, so if you want to ride it then the tires should be replaced.

Please look closely at the pictures. I will be happy to take calls and answer any questions. I have all the paperwork - I mean everything. I have the bill of sale, title, certificate of origin, all original pamphlets, all keys, everything.

There is no reserve on the bike except that I have started the bidding at $6000.00. I have spent quite a bit more than this so I am hoping to get more but the bike needs to go because we need the space.

Best of luck and thanks for looking,

Please call for any question you may have 408 391 8975

Hans

Obviously, with basically just delivery miles, you'd likely need to go through the bike top-to-bottom before riding it. So perhaps the biggest question here is, "Does anyone really need a museum-quality Honda CB-1?" Well since the bike was originally a practical, affordable, and sophisticated do-it-all scoot, I doubt this will have the universal, drool-worthy appeal of something like an RC30, a bike that was sold in very limited numbers and had very exotic components. But somewhere, you just know there are a couple folks who've always loved this classy little machine or are looking to complete their extensive Honda collection. Regardless, it's obvious there is real interest in this bike: although nice, well-used CB-1s regularly change hands for around the $3,000 mark, bidding over at the eBay auction is already up north of $6,000 with several days left on the auction!

-tad

Featured Listing: Museum Quality 1989 Honda CB-1 for Sale
Honda July 18, 2018 posted by

Meeting Your Heroes: 1989 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

With values of the VFR750R RC30 through the roof, the VFR400R NC30 has become the affordable go-to for fans of Honda's V4 homologation specials. Styled like a 4/5 scale model of the RC30, the NC30's dual headlamps, aluminum beam frame, and Pro-Arm single-sided swingarm ape the bigger bike's look and function. Significantly the engine shares its V4 configuration, gear-driven cams, and 360° "big bang" crankshaft with the RC30.

The big bang firing order helps give the later Honda V4s their characteristic flat droning exhaust note and supposedly improves corner exit grip, compared to a more traditional 180° firing order that evenly spaces the combustion events. Even if you're not pushing the limits of traction, the big bang engines offer a very wide, forgiving powerband.

On paper, the Honda VFR400R doesn't seem like it'd impress a modern rider. Just 400cc? Are you joking? Well no. First of all, it has a dry weight of around 300lbs, so the 59 horses don't have very much mass to haul around, which is reflected in the bike's surprising 130mph top speed. Most importantly, the NC30 was designed to offer some of the best handling available at any price, and is still considered to be one of the all-time greats.

I was lucky enough to ride one of these recently and it was an absolute pleasure: famously agile handling meant the bike was intuitive, east to ride, and plenty of fun, even though I wasn't pushing its cornering limits. If you're slightly terrified trying to use anything approaching maximum revs on a modern sportbike, you'll be happy to know that the NC30 is both flexible at low rpm and happy to spin to its 14,500rpm limit. In fact chasing the redline was pretty much required, since I was working to keep up with a friend who was riding an MV Agusta F4R...

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

Up for auction is a beautiful 1989 Honda VFR400 model NC30. Hands down the most desirable color scheme. Gas tank is mint condition with zero rust inside the tank. The bike was legally imported into the United States. The bike has a clear Arizona US title with the proper 11 digit VIN number (title and frame number match). Bike starts right up runs perfect with no oil leaks. The bike is all original and is a true pleasure to ride pulling through all gears very hard. With a 14,000k rpm red line the bike will leave you with a smile on your face for days. Please view all the images as there are few scratches and scuff's throughout the bike. Also please keep in mind that this is all OEM factory Honda fairings and not the cheaper aftermarket stuff.The bike is all sock minus the stainless steel brake lines. All the electronics including horn, turn signals, high / low beam, and Killswitch all work as they should. This bike is being sold locally and I encourage all bidders to come down and view the bike in person or send a local mechanic on your behalf to view for you. Rare vintage Japanese bikes don't come up often and this is a beautiful example with no disappointment.

These days, it isn't too hard to find an NC30 for sale: the spike in RC30 prices and the fact that these have hit the 25 year mark has seen an influx of Japanese market bikes. So the trick isn't so much finding one for sale, it's finding a nice one for the right price. This one looks very clean and original, with the usual wear and tear you'd expect on a bike of this age that's actually been ridden often enough to accumulate the 27,000 miles indicated. The stock exhaust is a little quiet for my taste, but it does mean you can hear the cool whine from the gear-driven camshafts... There are still several days left on this auction and bidding is a bit slow so far, possibly owing to the mileage. But this is a Honda, and the fact that it isn't museum-quality just means you might get to ride and enjoy this cool little machine for

-tad

Meeting Your Heroes: 1989 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale
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

Sharp Little Blade: 1991 Honda CBR400RR NC29 for Sale
Honda November 27, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing – 1995 Honda RVF400R Restored by Speedwerks

Update 12.20.2017: Steve has updated us that this bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! He also mentions that he has an even nicer one that will be ready in early January, stay tuned! -dc

As profiled in the 1984 edition of Cycle World's occasional "Forbidden Fruit" column, the RVF400R / NC35 was a world-beating junior but accompanied the legendary RVF750R / RC45 only to the home market.  RSBFS sponsor Speedwerks has given this example a new lease on life.  The 399cc V-4 has been comprehensively freshened with new fluids and filters, seals and tires, chain and titanium exhaust.  With Ohio title, it's ready for a new rider.

The NC35 had several nice updates to the earlier VFR400R, mechanical in the 41mm upside-down forks, Pro-Arm rear monoshock, 17" wheels front and rear, and cosmetic in the cat-eye headlights.  61 hp is available at a lofty 12,500 rpm, the gear-driven cams whining their way to the beat of the "big bang" crank timing.  Build quality and reliability was above the rest of the junior market, though the price was a dry weight of just under 365 lbs.

Speedwerks has been restoring and preparing sportbikes for more than 20 years, and the results of their experience are apparent here.  Painted and plated parts are correctly colored and finished, rubber parts renewed, and the aftermarket fairings have factory livery.  After the carb rebuild and new exhaust, a tuning session on the dyno was done.  Here are Steve's notes from the build:

Honda RVF400RR NC35. 33K miles, Clean US title, Fully Serviced and dyno tuned, runs and rides as new.
Demon titanium exhaust. Mobil 1 synthetic with Hi-Flo filter, Antifreeze flushed/filled,
Steel braided brake lines, bled with Castrol fluid and fitted with new Ferodo pads.
EK chain, Carbs rebuilt and jetted, new fuel lines and filter, NGK ER9EH plugs.
New Bridgestones fitted, RS10 soft front, S20 dual rear. Fresh fork oil and seals.
Bodywork is aftermarket and shows well, the paint is very nice.
This RVF is a good reliable rider, ready for a good home. Personal delivery available.

Speedwerks is asking $8999, contact Steve by email (steve@speedwerks.com) or visit their Facebook page.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1995 Honda RVF400R Restored by Speedwerks
Honda September 7, 2017 posted by

Sponsored Listing: 1990 Honda CBR250RR from Deftone Cycles

Update: Greg notes that this bike is sold! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

The 1990 Honda CBR250RR name doesn't carry the same room-quieting name recognition that some of its two-stroke and 400cc siblings do, but that is not for lack of trying.

1990 Honda CBR250RR for sale on eBay

The little CBR is pure early Golden Age Honda: it packs an innovative, uncompromising design with top-shelf kit and fit and finish into a lithe, unintimidating package aimed at knee draggers and commuters alike. The bike garnered a particularly loyal fanbase in Australia, with plenty of gushing reviews and forums to sing its praises.

This particular CBR250RR comes to us from site sponsor Deftone Cycles, and is a squeaky-clean specimen that is ready and willing to show the next owner what the best part of 20,000 rpm feels like. It carries a clean Ohio street title and a set of OEM-look aftermarket fairings.

Deftone is selling the very clean original fairings with the bike, but switched them out for the aftermarket plastics for the sake of preservation and presentation. It appears that one of the original side panels could use a repair, but otherwise the set is more or less blemish-free.

From the eBay listing:

1990 Honda CBR250RR MC22 CBR 250RR. 20,228 Miles (32,555 Kilometers) Bike needs nothing. All fluids are fresh. Shifts and revs to redline perfectly. Starts effortlessly every time. Here at deftone cycles we pride ourselves with supplying original OEM equipped fairings, because of age it is getting harder and harder to find OEM fairings that meet the needs of our customers, so we are offering this CBR250RR with new aftermarket. The original OEM's are included in the sale. The fuel tank is of original paint and rust free. Bike has Vin Matching State of Ohio Title. MC22-1008*** “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. Please email any questions.

Power for the CBR250RR comes from an inline four with Honda's famous gear-driven cams, which not only reduce maintenance, but give the engine an evil whine unique to Honda sportbikes of the era. The mill is good for 45 horsepower, or about seven more than the modern CBR250RR Honda released in other markets last year, which relies on a 38 crank-horsepower thumper for motivation.

We'll take the '90 every day of the week. Ride to the office, hit the cafe or head to the canyons, and the little CBR will not blink. The starting bid for this bike is $5,200 with nearly a week to go in the auction.

Sponsored Listing: 1990 Honda CBR250RR from Deftone Cycles