Posts by tag: grey market import

Honda April 10, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing – 1989 Honda VFR400R / NC30

Our friend Greg at Deftone Cycles has made a good name for himself choosing clean sportbikes for import and making them ready for riding season. This V-4 399cc mini-superbike is a great example.

Built from 1986 to 1992, the VFR400R used gear-driven cams and had four valves per cylinder, generating the kind of performance that has helped keep the grey market alive after all these years.  The NC30 is the third generation of three, with updates like the left-side exhaust, Pro-Arm monoshock with 18-inch rear wheel, and 360-degree crank timing.  The styling is so reverential to the 750cc RC30 that riders will find themselves fielding questions about the bigger bike.

Deftone realizes the appeal of an  un-restored sportbike, and chooses their candidates carefully.  This one has complete factory fairings, undamaged though there is a little patina here and there.  The front brake calipers appear to have been refreshed, not a bad thing for a rider.  All new fluids and tune-up are part of the commissioning.  There is a dent in the left heel heatshield, but overall very few distractions on this machine.  From the eBay auction:

Completely original and unrestored.  Mechanically Sorted.  All fluids are fresh.  Shifts and revs to redline perfectly.  Starts effortlessly every time. Very Honest Bike. Very few scratches overall. Two blemishes to be aware of, Exhaust heat shield does have a dent. Fuel tank Dark Blue Stripe is showing some hairline cracks. This is very common with the Type 1’s original tanks. Dark blue stripe is a decal that over time has been known to deteriorate. Please see Images. Fuel tank is Rust Free. Has Vin Matching State of Ohio Title.

The VFR400R reviewed as a spot-on handler and was intended for the fan-base in progressive license markets.  It was offered intermittently in the Euro zone but often for more than competing 750's and 900's, insuring showroom failure.  But word got out, the legend grew, and there has been a steady demand for track-day machines and rare street-sports here and in the U.K.  The auction has just opened with a starting bid of $6,500, and you can send Greg questions via eBay's "contact seller" link or email - here -.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1989 Honda VFR400R / NC30
Featured Listing March 20, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1990 Honda CBR 250RR MC22

Update 3.30.2018: Sold to an RSBFS reader. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

This little Texas Tornado (with a nod to Colin Edwards) embodies the spirit of what RSBFS is all about. A high-revving, razor-sharp handling, tasty morsel of forbidden exotica, this grey bike was successfully imported, plated and titled in the United States. At the highest level, this is a story with a happy ending. Because even now as the current owner places it for sale, it becomes available to all who ride - not just those with the means and skills to import. And this is one bike that you need to ride.

Featured Listing: 1990 Honda CBR 250RR MC22 for sale in Texas!

As we learned from the two stroke lessons through the 1980s, Japanese home market restrictions placed a huge amount of emphasis on smaller classes. Long derided as beginner bikes in the cubic-inch hungry US, the Japanese cultivated a rich and amazingly technical cadre of sub 500cc machinery. Far from a beginner bike, this 250cc example sports a liquid-cooled, inline four cylinder powerplant with four valves per cylinder and a redline that extended into the 20,000 RPM range. Sophisticated suspension bolted to a light-but-stiff aluminum frame gives this 45 HP / 300 LB racer a fighting chance when facing down much larger competition.

From the seller:
I have an immaculate 1990 Honda CBR 250RR MC22, It is fully legal and was imported in full compliance with US laws. It is registered in my name with all paper work done and inspection through February 2019. Texas blue title in hand.

For those of you who don't know, this bike was never sold in the US. It is a 250CC inline 4 cylinder 4 stroke motorcycle that revs up to ~20,000 RPM. It is a 1990 model so there was no limiter. Do a quick YouTube search on what the bike sounds like to give you an idea.

More from the seller:
This bike is practically flawless. Runs perfectly and strong and was imported via a popular JDM Motorcycle importer based in the east coast where the bike was inspected head-to-toe. Along with a cosmetic restoration, the bike went through a full mechanical inspection including the engine and carburetors, clutch and transmission, front and rear suspension, brakes and cables, all lights and electrics, and the fuel, oil, & coolant systems.

More from the seller:
There are new fairings on the bike in perfect condition with no scratches, dents or blemishes. I have owned the bike for about 2 months and have never dropped it, but there are scratches on the engine case and exhaust can as the PO in Japan had a spill at low speeds. This damage is pretty insignificant considering the age of the bike and I still deemed it worthy to import here to the States. There is one LED out in the tachometer cluster (around 10k RPM) but you can still see your RPMs even at night from the other LEDs. I believe in full transparency when selling my vehicles and I am a motorcycle enthusiast through and through. This is the only issue (if you would even call it that) with the bike. In the sale I will include 1 extra Honda Key, an OEM Honda Regulator and cable ($150 not including shipping from Australia), and an OEM Honda air filter.

More from the seller:
Last but not least this bike was meant to be ridden. It would be great fun in and around the city, and even more fun on the track. Easily the most fun bike I've ever ridden in my life. It is a rider's bike. I put a lot of money into getting this bike here and getting it fully legal. That being said since I've done all the leg work and the bike is now turn-key, I believe my price is pretty fair, but I have room for a little negotiation.

Price: $6,000

What you are looking at is a bone fide rare import that is also a rider. It has been legally and correctly brought into the US, and is looking for its next home. Bigger riders may find the cockpit a bit cozy, and forward motion will be affected by the additional gravity (physics, after all, does impose limitations), but few riders could step off of this bike without a gigantic grin. If you are a rider that aches for an apex, are up to the challenge of dealing with tens of thousands of revs, and want to distance yourself from the cookie-cutter crowd, your mad motor scooter has arrived. Serious shoppers should drop Kenny a line at ksl.hoang@gmail.com. Good Luck!!

Featured Listing: 1990 Honda CBR 250RR MC22
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 July 27, 2016 posted by

No Reserve Import: 1989 Honda NSR250 MC18 for Sale

1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 L Side Front

Styled to resemble the RS250RF race bikes, the Honda NSR250 used a gorgeous aluminum twin-spar frame, triple disc brakes, and a whole host of lightweight, mass-centralizing tricks you’d normally expect to find on bikes with a much larger displacement. The NSR250 was motivated by a liquid-cooled two-stroke v-twin with two carburetors and Honda’s ATAC “automatic torque amplification chamber” system that boosted midrange torque for road-riders. Bore and stroke of the 249cc machine was a slightly undersquare 54mm x 54.5mm and the bike was restricted to 45hp from the factory. Of course simple tuning could easily unleash another 10hp or so and turn the claimed 288 pound [dry] machine into a real rocket that required extensive use of the cassette-type six-speed gearbox.

1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 R Rear

This bike doesn’t feature the highly-coveted Rothmans design, but the silver, red, and grey colors suit the bike and still manage to look period-appropriate. Some race-replica paint schemes are positively lurid and that makes sense on the racetrack, where sponsors are paying for maximum visibility but, on the street, the more shocking graphics are a bit… Youth. Like a big ADIDAS logo on a fluorescent polo shirt or something. If you’re into the race-rep look, go find some aftermarket fairings and fit those for a budget and keep the originals for when you sell.

Full disclosure: I would totally rock a Marlboro-liveried TZR250.

1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 L Side

As is generally mentioned in the comments of these posts: some parts required to maintain NSR250s are becoming more difficult to find or are even NLA from Honda directly. I’d imagine that, given the popularity of these sports two-strokes and the number manufactured, someone will pick up that ball and run with it, but until then you should be prepared to hunt around the internet for leftover OEM parts, folks liquidating their collections, and clearing out their garages. Or just stick it in your living room and make “ziiing-g-g-g… ZIIIIINNNGGGGGggg…” noises.

1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 L Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 for Sale

The bike is just imported from Japan. Not registered yet in the U.S. Sold as is with NO warranty NO refunds NO return. Used motorcycle with scratches and wear as 26 year old used bike. Speedometer looks HONDA genuine parts and shows 35,000km = about 21,900 miles, but actual mileage is unknown. Very good running condition sharp response of 2-stroke engine is still well. Can shift all gears very smooth. Brakes are work fine. Electricals are all work but front brake switch is not working.

Has an original key. HONDA genuine fairings, not Chinese plastics. Have hairline cracks and chips on fairings, so look carefully all pictures and video. Will needs new tires and fork seals. Muffler silencer is loose so needs re-rivet.

1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 R Side Engine

Obviously, as we’ve stated before, you need to do a little homework before buying one of these recent grey-market imports. But if where you live allows this kind of thing, or if you’re looking for a cool track day machine, you might want to keep an eye on this one. The bike isn’t pristine but appears to have been well cared-for: garage space is at a premium in Japan and many of these bikes sit outside, unprotected, so surface corrosion and general wear is a real problem on some of these recent imports. In this case, there is minimal corrosion visible and very little rust, paint is still shiny, with just a few cracks the seller describes and some chipped paint on the tail. This is a no reserve auction so, depending on how high the bidding goes, this could be surprisingly affordable and make sense for collectors and riders alike.

-tad

1989 Honda NSR250R MC18 R Side

No Reserve Import: 1989 Honda NSR250 MC18 for Sale
Suzuki October 31, 2015 posted by

Quarter-Liter Gamma: 1988 Suzuki RGV250Γ SP VJ21 for Sale

1988 Suzuki RGV250 SP R Side

Unfortunately, today's tasty little two-stroke Suzuki RGV250Γ SP is short on photographs. It's another of the raft of recent imports from Japan, and details are scarce, but the price may have you reaching for your mouse anyway.

The RGV250Γ replaced the RG250 in 1988, swapping out that bike's parallel-twin for a more modern v-twin that eventually found its way into the Aprilia RS250, although Aprilia made a number of changes to their version. On paper, the new baby Gamma looked very much like its rivals from Honda and Yamaha, like they were all peeking at each others' essays during final exams...

1988 Suzuki RGV250 SP Dash

Nestled in between the spars of a lightweight, aluminum beam frame, the little 249cc, 90° v-twin made about 55hp and was mated to a six-speed gearbox. Front wheel was 17" although the rear was a slightly inconvenient 18" in size. This bike is claimed to be an SP or "Sport Production" model and should also feature adjustable suspension front and rear.

The headlight on the RGV is mounted flush in the fairing and looks less like an afterthought compared to something like the Honda RS250R and I particularly like the text on the tail section: considering the GSX-R "Slingshot" bikes were named for their carburetors, I'm guessing this is simply a marketing link to those models as opposed to a reference to any mechanical specification. It's also good to know this is a Real Sprinter bike, not just some fake knock-off...

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Suzuki RGV250Γ SP VJ21 for Sale

In 1988 Suzuki released two stroke V twin racer replica.

At that era, Japanese economy was too good, so they released

new model more often than every year.

This is SP model, so it has adjustable front and rear suspension, 

close ratio 6 speed transmission and solo seat cover.

Ran when I transport from Tokyo to Yokohama.

I just received it and not check yet.

I'll take pics and inspect it and add info.

13977 Km = 8714 miles

Was very clean when it left Japan but I found a scratch on right side cowl.

Other than that, this is very clean. Still shining.

Had no leak but found fuel under petcock.

Please see pics.

Real SP model are very rare, I should start with $5000... too late..

1988 Suzuki RGV250 SP Clean

It's worth noting that the shot of the left side does show fluids spilled down the frame which have been helpfully cleaned off in the close up. The question is why you'd photograph a bike you plan to sell before cleaning it. Really this listing could use a few more shots, but I think we've got enough to tell that this is a decent, well-used example of a rare, collectible model: the paint is shiny and the plastics are scuffed in places, but not cracked, and all the important bits that make the bike stop and go appear to be in good shape.

Bidding is currently up just north of $4,000 with a little more than 24 hours left on the auction. If you're a collector, this probably needs a good bit of work to get it into shape, but everything's there and a fresh set of fasteners and a touch up of some brackets will do wonders for the appearance. If you're a rider, well the cosmetic wear and tear shouldn't bother you too much. Assuming the bike runs as advertised, this could be a good buy.

-tad

1988 Suzuki RGV250 SP L Side

Quarter-Liter Gamma: 1988 Suzuki RGV250Γ SP VJ21 for Sale