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Posts by tag: gear-driven cams

Honda June 14, 2018 posted by

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

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

There isn't much to say other than this bike is literally a brand spank'n new bike. There are only "9" miles on the bike, as in "nine". These miles were put on at the factory. The tires are original and still have the injection nibs on them. I bought this bike out of a collection because I am a huge CB-1 fan. I own another CB-1 that I ride and use with my kids. They are amazing bikes and have a cult following. I bought this bike about three years ago simply because it was so cool and such a time capsule that I could not pass it up. I have never ridden it. It only sits covered in climate controlled storage. I never had the heart to ride it because it is so perfect. It is the curse of its newness. I spent some careful time and money prepping it for long term storage when I fist took delivery of the bike. The dealer did a full inspection, started the bike, and did a leak down prior to putting it into its cryogenic state. If you intend to do the sacrilegious act of riding it, then the battery will need to be re-installed and a few other minor checklist things, but easy to do. I can do this for you if needed. I have full records of what the dealer did to prep it for storage. You are welcome to check with the dealer and inquire what they did. The bike is PERFECT! Serious buyers are encouraged to look at it in person. Please feel free to ask me any questions. I'll do my best to reply quickly. I live in the North San Francisco area. I can help with organizing shipping if needed. I would prefer an in person inspection before it gets shipped. Buyer must pay for all shipping and crating if needed. Local pickup is of course preferred. I have "ALL" the paperwork... I mean everything down to the original pamphlets, certificate of origin, title, etc, etc. I also have both original keys. Payment must be completely cleared in my account before I will release the bike.

Update 6.14.2018:

There have been some questions about the long term storage of this bike so I feel I need to give some detail. When I received the bike it had no fuel or fuel residue in the tank, fuel lines or carbs. When I received the bike it had already been put into a long term storage state.

We I received the bike in order to test and run the engine we never put fuel in the tank. We did an external IV fuel drip to test the motor and it started immediately and ran perfect. After we were done the carbs were taken off and completely drained, dried and sprayed internally with an aerosol oil specific for storage. We sprayed the inside of the tank as well. The spark plugs were removed and the inside of the cylinders were sprayed.

Every single piece of rubber on this bike was generously coated with grease specific for long term storage of rubber and plastic. For example spark plug boots, all cables, hand controls etc. Much of this was wiped away for the photos but if you look at the chain that will give you an idea.

The forks were carefully inspected and treated but I need to look at the document to see what was done.

The engine was drained and then refilled with a specific oil to a higher level for long term storage to minimize any moisture buildup.

All of the exposed electrical was coated specifically for long term electrical storage. The battery was removed, I have a new battery ready to go.

The inside of the exhaust was treated to remove any moisture and the end of the exhaust was bagged and sealed. This seal was removed for the photos.

In summary this was a very expensive hibernation process that is fully documented over $2K. This was done at Marin Speed Shop as a labor of love by their master mechanic Max. Max took a great deal of time and care doing the research to ensure that this bike would stay in BRAND NEW condition for the next 30 years. Please call the shop to verify but only if you are a very serious buyer, respectfully please do not waste their time.

There are lots of small details I am leaving out but I'm almost certain that the shop still has the hibernation document if not I'm sure I do somewhere.

There is ZERO corrosion of any kind on this bike. If the buyer does the unthinkable and decides to ride it, I would suggest putting on new tires because tires do harden over time. That said the tires visually look perfect. I did not replace the tires because the tires are original to the bike as they were on the showroom floor and that's cool!

Hope this help, and good luck

My guess is that this could very well be the only brand new CB-1 in existence. If there is another one, it is probably in the Honda motorcycle museum in Japan.

Good luck on bidding and I look forward to meeting you.

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 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
Bimota August 19, 2017 posted by

Spec-ial-ity – 2006 Bimota SB8K Santamonica with Under 1,000 miles !

Even among specialty manufacturers like Bimota there are favorites, where performance and style have somehow met in a synchronicity better than other models.  The SB8K is one such example, the first bike produced after the company was resuscitated in the early 2000's.  The fresh design, techniques, and materials were spot-on and even resulted in a couple of WSBK race wins.

2006 Bimota SB8K Santamonica for sale on eBay

Using the 996cc Suzuki TL-1000 mill, Bimota engineered their own and intakes and a moving fuel injector system which optimized the fuel delivery position relative to the throttle butterfly.  The resulting 143 hp had the big twin's wide torque band and was packaged in a lighter hybrid frame with aluminum beams and carbon fiber connectors.  The body and fuel tank were also carbon, finished to a level usually only seen on Bimota's billet aluminum components.  Oversize Öhlins forks are fully adjustable, as is the rear monoshock.  Radially mounted Brembo brakes, OZ wheels, and Termignoni exhaust complete the picture.

As you might expect from a bike with under 1,000 miles, things are stock and very clean.  Shouldn't be any maintenance issues with the hybrid chain and gear cam drive.  Likely the new owner could change the fluids and rubber and ride away.  From the eBay auction:

This bike has spent most of its life in living rooms, 866 miles. 

(kilometers shown in picture) Beautiful near perfect bike, built with a profusion of light alloys and carbon fibre.  Many parts meticulously machined from aluminum alloy.  The motor was taken from the Suzuki TL1000R and has been highly tuned by engineers to deliver more output and torque at all engine speeds.  The SB8K is the only production bike in the world to use Bimota's very own Radial Injection.  Some paint chipping by titanium panel chips on side fairings,(easily touched up) and some small scratches on lower fairing under bike, I assume from loading (not visible unless fairing is removed).  Runs perfect, pulls like a freight train.  Carbon fibre everything including parts of the frame, Has OZ Wheels, Ohlin struts and shocks, Brembo Monobloc calipers, 385 lbs. 134 horsepower!

The SB8K reviewed as a big machine, but sharp, with light weight and handling, and hard suspension.  Bimota's tune camouflages the Suzuki engine, and power delivery is linear.  The rarity and low miles will probably keep this Santamonica on display, but it could be pressed into service at any time.  Named for the Superbike World Championship track in Rimini, Italy ( and not the West Hollywood suburb ) the Santamonica was a great re-start for Bimota, and a great oughties exotic...

-donn

 

Spec-ial-ity – 2006 Bimota SB8K Santamonica with Under 1,000 miles !
Honda August 16, 2017 posted by

Single-Sided Sportbike: 1987 Honda VFR400R NC24 for Sale

The later NC30 version of Honda’s VFR gets most of the attention, due to the fact that the style and specification so closely mimics the iconic RC30 at about half the cost, but this earlier VFR400R NC24 still makes for an appealing and attention-grabbing ride. The NC24 was sold in 1987 and 1988 and featured a 399cc V4 with gear-driven cams, although it had a more conventional 180° crank instead of the later bike’s 360° “big bang” firing order that helped give that later bike its distinctive character.

The 60hp produced by the V4 was modest but very flexible and the gear-driven cams added a characterful whine to go with the precise cam timing that prompted their inclusion. The VFR400R was light at around 350lbs dry and handling was predictably excellent. The bike's endurance-racing design brief is clearly reflected in that ELF-designed Pro-Arm single-sided swingarm, here secured by four nuts [hidden by a plastic cover] instead of the later NC30's genuine single nut.

Styling is fairly conventional, apart from that swingarm and high-mount exhaust. The bike has a single trapezoidal headlamp instead of twin round units found [for most markets at least] on the later NC/RC30's, making this earlier VFR a bit of a bargain, considering the engineering and heritage on display here. This one is a fairly recent import from Japan and comes with a Washington State title!

From the original eBay listing: 1987 Honda VFR400R NC24 for Sale

Directly import from Japan, BDS Auction.
Honda VFR400R
1987 year
First generation with: single rear Pro-Arm system.
Model NC24-10006460
9526km- approximately 6500 mile original!
Excellent condition , new battery, oil filter, spark plugs.
Has clear WA Title!!!
No Trade!
We are a licensed dealer and importer of Japanese vehicles.
Have been importing since 1996!

The seller also includes a video walk-around and startup of the bike. The little V4 seems to fire up pretty easily, once the cameraman remembers the choke, and the bike makes a nice, exotic whir. $5,900 seems reasonable for this bit of Honda history: everything works and, although there is some of the expected surface corrosion on a Japanese import, the bike looks very complete, with low miles and tons of cool engineering detail.

-tad

Single-Sided Sportbike: 1987 Honda VFR400R NC24 for Sale