Posts by tag: grey market import

Suzuki August 13, 2018 posted by

Summer Fling – 1987 Suzuki GSX-R400

For 1987 Suzuki left the GSX-R400 substantially unchanged from '86, but thankfully returned to the twin headlight fairing.  In a catchy single-year iteration of Suzuki blue and white, Deftone Cycles has brought this GK-71F with low km's and Ohio title.

1987 Suzuki GSX-R400 for sale on eBay

Suzuki had introduced the 400 Gixxer in 1984 and made steady improvements over the years, the '86-87 models using water, oil, and air cooling to keep temps down.  Since it was a JDM progressive license machine, horsepower was stuck at 59 by statute.  Still the topped-off weight of just 365 lbs. made the most of the available ponies.  An interesting concept was the Deca Brake system, with a separate brake pad for each caliper piston, ten in all, hoping to work around some unhelpful disk brake dynamics.  New vents on the endurance fairing help draw heat out of the fairing and away from the rider.

As very few GSX-R400's were exported by Suzuki, most recent arrivals have some cosmetic issues from long storage.  Deftone has gone over the bike to insure trouble free running, but doesn't try to gloss over the truth.  A short cold start video is available - here -.  This is a low-mile fighter that could easily be a lover with some TLC.  Greg's comments from the eBay auction:

8,484 Miles (13,653 Kilometers) Completely original and unrestored.  Four stroke, transverse four cylinder, DOHC 4 valves per cylinder. One-year color scheme. Mechanically Sorted.  All fluids are fresh.  Shifts and revs to redline perfectly.  Starts effortlessly every time. Very Honest Bike. Very few scratches overall. Left lower fairing is where most of the issues are. Please see Images. Fuel tank is Rust Free.

Having stayed mostly in the home market, Suzuki's 400 gave ground in the period shoot-outs, but had their usual simpler, stronger, lighter cards to play.  Now rarer, they often don't have their original price advantage.  But this one is more affordable, if there was ever a 400 to doll-up as you learn to ride a lightweight, this might be it...

-donn

Summer Fling – 1987 Suzuki GSX-R400
Honda August 5, 2018 posted by

Fast Forward – 1995 Honda RVF400 / NC35

On the coattails of the VFR400R,  Honda updated the long-lived welterweight and extended the success 1994-1996.  Feigning to be an RC45, the fox-eyed NC35 had the tasty build quality to live up to its MSRP.  This one has Cali title and looks great for its 20,000 miles.

1995 Honda RVF400 / NC35 for sale on eBay

Honda's 399cc V-4 is the basis for the RVF400, familiar though the cam timing has changed and it is mounted differently in the twin spar aluminum frame.  Ducts now bring fresh air from the front of the fairing to the airbox.  Forks are 41mm Showa, but now inverted for lower unsprung weight.  Styling is of course updated to echo the RC45, with graphics to match.  Wheels are the same 17-inch for the RVF, easing tire choices in the long run.

SoCal friend of RSBFS Glenn has gone over this NC35 from A to Z, and as the model was never offered in the U.S., they are rare and more so with California documents.  A nice cosmetic freshening up was done, as well as renewing any expendables for  the next owner.  From the eBay auction:

Of all the classic 1990 Honda's the RVF400 is one the best, and like the NSR250 the prices seem to be going up every year...finding a CA titled one, that also becomes harder each year. This bike is registered as a 1995 Honda with a 17 digit vin, currently non op with DMV, no back fees.  You can register this bike in any state.

This is a very nice nearly stock and very original unmolested NC35.  Far nicer than most of the NC35's left in Japan that suffer from lots of neglect over the years.  This bike has been in the states for a number of years.

All OEM original Honda bodywork that has been recently re-painted in stock original colors.

Freshly painted wheels front and back.

All stock except for the slip on exhaust and braided front lines.

In the last few months the bike has had the following:

Complete service front to back

Carbs cleaned

Front forks refreshed with new seals and fluid

New NGK Plugs

New Honda 10w-40 semi-synthetic fluid and filter

New Synthetic DOT4 brake fluid and flush front and back

New Battery

Brand New Michelin Pilot Powers ( nearly no miles on these!)

Deep detail and cleaning on every part of the bike and complete going over.

Bike has seen less than 25 miles from all this work. It is turn key and ready to go. Bike runs great and everything works as it should.

Very nice as seen in the photos. Hairline crack on the right upper mid panel, hard to see. Some fogging on right side headlight lens, very small ding in tank (will try to add photos of this) some light corrosion on frame, and some scratches in a few spots on the frame spars.

Even allowing for the cramped quarters, the RVF400 delivers fun at a low per-mile price, especially when insurance is factored in.  The light weight, balance and nice equipment make the RVF arguably the ultimate 400cc V-4 ( well, four stroke at least ).  This owner has assigned a boundary-stretching Buy-It-Now but the recent work might be worth it.  Or if you're almost there, the Make Offer button is available...

-donn

Fast Forward – 1995 Honda RVF400 / NC35
Honda April 10, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing – 1989 Honda VFR400R / NC30

Update 4.26.2018: Greg informed me that the eBay buyer fell through on this one after it was shown as sold for $9,300. However another buyer stepped up and this bike is SOLD. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

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
Honda 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




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