Posts by tag: homologation

Honda July 12, 2017 posted by

Pristine: 1985 Honda VF1000R with 442 Miles for Sale

When you mention Honda’s endurance race replicas, most folks are likely to think of their iconic RC30 or RC45 machines, some of the best-looking bikes of their era, or maybe the smaller NC30 if they’re more budget-minded. But the VF1000R had endurance-racer styling and a host of sophisticated features to homologate them for competition. Possibly the bike has languished a bit forgotten as it hails from an in-between period of sportbike design, as the formula was still being established. It’s bulkier and heavier than you might expect for a sports-oriented bike, at 600lbs wet. But 125hp and a spread of V4 torque meant a top speed of almost 150mph and, in keeping with the endurance-racing theme, it could charge along at that speed all day long.

So why was this racing-styled beast so heavy? The typical Honda tendency to over-engineer everything: fairings on the bike featured spring-loaded flaps to vent hot air, and the rear brake actually has a vented disc. Torque-Reactive Anti-Dive Control forks were designed to reduce brake dive and featured quick-release axles, adjustable bars meant ideal setup for a variety of riders, and modular Comstar wheels were wrapped in radial tires, a relatively new development for motorcycles. At the heart of the machine was a 998cc V4 with gear-driven cams that gave precise timing and that distinctive whine.

The VF1000R is not exactly an agile machine, but handling is stable and good wind protection combined with those adjustable ergos mean reasonable comfort. This particular example appears to be in pristine condition, as you'd expect with just 442 miles on the odometer. The only possible downside is that slightly less-desirable single, US-market headlamp. Interestingly, Honda developed that configuration just in case the Euro twin-lamp [behind a single lens] set up didn't pass regulations here. They needn't have worried, apparently, but typical Honda thoroughness won out and luckily both treatments look good.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Honda VF1000R with 442 Miles for Sale

Up for sale is my 1985 Honda VF1000R from my collection and it is in pristine condition and is listed with an astonishing 442 miles. The bike sat indoors for 27 years but that a full refresh has already been completed (details below).

Honda’s enthusiasm for the V4 engine layout in the early 1980s was such that by 1984 the VF range comprised six models and the fastest and most glamorous was the VF1000R: a limited-edition super-sports machine that was created, with little expense spared, to dominate production racing in the way that the straight-four CB1100R had done three years earlier.

Refresh details:

  • Flushed brakes, add stainless steel braided brake lines, rebuilt rear master cylinder
  • Lubed and adjusted throttle and clutch cables
  • Flushed cooling system
  • Torqued and checked all chassis fittings and fasteners,  check/tighten steering head bearings,
  • Replaced shock (rear) with Hagon coil-over upgrade, shock was valved and springs for me being a 180 lb. solo rider optimum.
  • Replaced battery, NGK spark plugs,
  • Performed compression check and full tune, including clean and synch carbs, flush fuel tank and add 1 gallon bath metal rust remover, replace petcock assembly (leaking).
  • Added engine top-end oiling kit from Daughtry Motorsports (early VF1000's were reported to suffer top end oiling deficiency and this kit addresses that fully).  Includes oil filter with adapter for top-end oiling kit.
  • Replaced original tires (old and cracked) with brand new Bridgestone Battlax BT45's.  Went to 150/70/17 rear (stock was 140) and 120/80/16 front (stock size).

Starting bid for this listing is $12,000 with no takers yet plenty of time left. These have been selling for shockingly low sums up until very recently, considering their rarity and specification, but collectors appear to have finally gotten wise to this forgotten gem. The seller is looking for big money, but I'd expect you're looking at the nicest, lowest-mileage example in the US. I'm not sure how much time it will take before that looks like a bargain, but I have the feeling it won't be all that long...

-tad

Pristine: 1985 Honda VF1000R with 442 Miles for Sale
Ducati June 3, 2017 posted by

What’s In a Name: 1993 Ducati 888 SPO for Sale

There was a time when the alphanumeric naming of a motor vehicle actually meant something, a time when a BMW 535 was obviously a 5-Series car sporting a 3.5 liter inline six, or when you could tell just from the name that a Ferrari 360 Modena was powered by a 3.6 liter version of their screaming flat-plane crank V8. There's also something elemental about a vehicle with a number for a name, something that connotes a competitive intent, and that's certainly the case with the Ducati 888 SPO, a machine that actually displaced the advertised 888cc.

Ducati sticking "SPO" on the end is a bit like the original intent of car-dom's "GTO" in that it indicates the "omologato" status of this version, which means that it was intended to homologate the bike to compete in AMA Superbike racing, as the European SP5 wasn't road-legal in the US. For the most part, the engine was pretty standard Strada spec, but the suspension used some higher-end components from the SP5.

That engine was Ducati's Desmoquattro four-valve, liquid-cooled v-twin making around 100hp and the stout midrange for which the Italian twins are famous. The 888 and its predecessor the 851 which, coincidentally, displaced 851cc, were hugely significant for Ducati, being their first modern sportbikes that could compete on road and track against their Japanese counterparts. Sure, in the showrooms they were produced in far smaller numbers and at a much higher price, but owning a Ducati has never really been the most affordable proposition.

From the original eBay listing: 1993  Ducati 888 SPO for Sale

Production #63 very clean, kept garaged, all services current

Well, that's not very much to go on, and I think the listing could use a few more pictures, but the pictures that are included suggest that the bike is in better shape than you'd expect, considering its 19,000 miles. Clearly, this has been owned by a conscientious enthusiast and, as with all Ducatis, condition is much more important than mileage: the basic L-twin engine is reliable when properly maintained and, aside from electrical gremlins, should provide years of booming Italian fun before needing more than routine attention. Bidding is up to just $7,600 but there are six days left on the listing and bidding is active, so it will certainly go much higher be for it expires.

 -tad

Honda May 11, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

A little brother in terms of displacement and a virtual twin in terms of style, Honda's NC30 packs the same technological punch as the famed RC30 in a smaller package. And like the RC30, the NC30 was designed to homologate a motorcycle for racing, although in this case it was for classes with a 400cc capacity limit. Here in the USA, the 400cc sportbike class is barely represented at all, with examples only occasionally appearing as the result of intrepid collectors or Canadian smugglers sneaking bikes in across our northern border. In the US, they were basically bikes without a racing class, and expensive ones to boot: they had all the complexity, and therefore cost, of their bigger 600 and 750cc brothers, without the straight line performance.

1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 for sale on eBay

Sure, they handled with all the agility you'd expect but, when a 600cc sportbike is considered "a great first bike" you're not going to find many takers for a 400. Of course, it was another story entirely outside the USA and especially in Japan, where tiered licensing and heavy taxes on bigger bikes meant a great deal of interest in the 400cc class as roadbikes and the relevant racing series, and bikes like the CBR400, GSX-R400, and ZXR400 competed fiercely.

So what are we looking at in terms of that reduced performance? Well you're not taking quite as big a hit as you might expect: the NC30 produced 59 claimed horses, versus the RC30's 118, 313lbs dry versus 400lbs, and a top speed of 130mph versus 153. So you've got a bike with almost half the displacement but with far more than half the performance, mostly due to that very light weight. What's possibly far more surprising than the performance differential between the two are the relatively low numbers for the famed RC30... Both machines featured six-speed gearboxes and the NC30 got a 360° "big bang" crank to match its bigger brother along with gear-driven cams, so you get the distinctive V4 soundtrack and wide powerband that helps make them such popular trackday bikes overseas.

From the seller: 1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

For your consideration is a GORGEOUS almost mint condition 1991 Honda VFR400R NC-30 with only 10,823 Kilometers (6,725 miles). Bike is very clean and well taken care of. Bike would be flawless except for the crack in the lower fairing under the bike. It has been repaired. Has a three tiny paint chip marks in the tank, and the left rear fairing has a rub mark on it from transportation & shipping (see pics.) This NC30 has 100% original OEM Honda fairings and components and is completely stock except for a few racing sponsor decals that can be easily removed. This bike would make an ideal candidate for restoration or enjoy it in its original condition... Bike has been serviced with new battery, new oil, coolant and filters serviced. Runs like the day it was new. A Utah state title in my company name will be presented to the buyer.

This particular machine appears to be in the same sort of condition as the seller's other offerings: not completely perfect, but in low mileage, extremely well cared-for condition. There are a couple of minor cracks in the fairing that are clearly indicated by the seller, and wear is limited to some minor surface corrosion and discoloration. Not museum-quality perhaps, but a very good-looking machine for someone who plans to occasionally ride the bikes in their collection. With the RC30 now out of the reach of ordinary enthusiasts, prices of the NC30 are on the rise as well and offer up a similar style and experience at an affordable price. For the moment at least.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale
Honda May 10, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1990 Honda RC30!

Update 5.15.2017: SOLD in just 5 days. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

When it comes to collecting, the Honda RC30 (i.e. VFR750R) is one for the ages. This is perhaps THE most collectable bike available insofar as modern machinery goes. With sensuous curves, striking paint and race-bred features, the RC30 is the ultimate homologation bike and the real deal on the street. Powered by a V-4 with gear-driven cams (oh, the music!) and titanium connecting rods, the RC30 was first released in Japan in 1988, followed shortly by a European version. Ultimately, this rare bit of unobtanium came to America as a 1990 model.

Released in order to qualify for the inaugural FIM Superbike racing series - where racing motorcycles are required to be based off of a street bike - the RC30 dominated the first season out. "Flyin" Fred Merkel had the piloting honors in 1988, and followed up with a repeat victory season in 1989. By that time, the legend of the RC30 had been secured. It seems that wherever the RC30 showed up, it won; be it the Superbike circuit, the Isle of Man TT, or the showroom. An estimated 3,000 bikes were produced, and carried the absurd price tag of approximately $15k USD. Today, that number seems like a bargain - if you can find one. This RC30 is being sold by a RSBFS reader and fan who found this bike right here on these pages. I'll let him pick up the story:

From the seller:
1990 RC30 - 49 state model - 3,540 miles. New battery, brake and clutch fluids. All original. Includes rear stand, tool kit, and 4 NOS Honda spark plugs. I also have the original tires, if you would like them for display purposes. This rare bird was last registered in 1994 in NY (there is a sticker on the left fork leg).

For some reason, it was put into long-term storage, then later sold to a man in Portland OR from whom I bought the bike. I have had the 30 for 5 years, but am moving and don’t have space for it in the next garage.

Study the photos - this machine is almost cosmetically perfect - it has a tiny chip in the paint on the fairing which I’ve photographed, a scratch on the bottom of the belly pan, and some slight discoloration at the bottom rear of the belly pan (I attempted to get it out using mirror glaze, but to no avail) - the discoloration is so minor I can’t get a decent photo of it. These tiny imperfections were present when I purchased the bike.

I put fresh fuel into it today, and it fired up immediately (see video). Now, the caveat - when it fired up, it also leaked some fuel due to a stuck float in one of the carburators (turn off the petcock and the leak stops - I cleaned the bike to remove any fuel residue). I’m a sorry excuse for a mechanic, and I’m not anxious to take this jewel to our local shop, so I’m selling it as it is, and the new owner will need to service the float.

Video of RC30 startup:

I am a Rare sports bike fan, and that’s how I found RC30 #37. I am hoping it goes to someone who will truly appreciate its originality, as I have.

RSBFS finds and posts the best sport bikes found for sale every day. But it's not every day that you come across as original and protected an example of "rare sport bike" as this beautifully cared for RC30. Yes, there may need to be some sorting out of the carbs (if you are keen to ride this unicorn) - but that seems to be proof that the bike really hasn't been fueled or run in a long time, and is all original as claimed. Gotta give props to full disclosure.

Tim is accepting offers on this beauty right now. Send him an email with your best shot (tmerrill@fulcrumlegal.com), and see if you can't add the most collectable modern sport bike to your collection. Good luck!!

Featured Listing: 1990 Honda RC30!
Honda April 28, 2017 posted by

Overbuilt Race-Rep: 1985 Honda VF1000R for Sale

Values of Honda’s overbuilt homologation special VF1000R have been shockingly low up until very recently, but these red-white-and-blue beasts are starting to see a significant increase in price. They’re not lightweight or nimble at nearly 600lbs with a tank of fuel, but Honda’s build quality and engineering prowess are on display throughout the bike: the 998cc V4 used gear-driven cams in place of chains, Torque-Reactive Anti-Dive Control forks for better performance under braking, modular Comstar wheels and radial tires when radial tires were still rare and exotic, quick-release axles, adjustable bars, and even a vented rear brake... No, I don’t mean cross-drilled, the rear brake was vented.

The style of the bodywork reflected the VF1000R’s endurance-racing roots and features some interesting little quirks: you can see where Aprilia got some design ideas from those funky mesh side-panels. Two different headlight configurations were available, depending on year: the dual-headlight setup is generally considered more desirable, although they’re both tucked behind a single rectangular lens so they don’t look like you’d expect if you’re picturing something like an RC30. This example uses the single headlight that has a couple of additional vents around the sides and top to take up the space left by the bigger unit. Why two styles? Honda was worried the dual setup wouldn’t pass US regulations and created an alternative treatment, just in case.

All-in-all it was typical Honda overkill, which is fine unless it leads to a significant increase in weight which blunts performance significantly: the VF1000R certainly isn’t a slow bike, but it’s not all that fast either. Handling was a bit ponderous, but good set up can help quite a bit and the positive news for road-riders is that the available performance is pretty effortless, the fairings provide good wind protection, and the bike can cruise at its near 150mph top speed with ease.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Honda VF1000R for Sale

This was the superbike of the day in 1985. I looked long and hard to find one in really nice original condition as it is getting hard to find good ones. This one was always stored inside and I have in in a climate controlled facility. I don't think it has ever been laid over as it is basically scratch free EXCEPT for on both sides of the front fender there are scratches that I guess were caused by someone's poor quality tie downs. You can see the scratches in the pic's. It has new tires. It has he original pipes which is unbelievable in itself.

The seller is right that these are rare bikes, although nice ones do show up pretty regularly on eBay. They're the kind of bikes people bought and cherished from new, so thrashed examples seem more like the exception rather than the rule. Which is good, because finding replacement parts is pretty difficult and the aftermarket is basically nonexistent. So why didn’t these capture the public’s imagination in the way the later RC30 and RC45 did? Probably a combination of the aforementioned visual and physical bulk. But maybe it also had something to do with the V4’s negative perception at the time that resulted from a few of the early VF750’s chain-driven cam lobes de-lobing, sometimes referred to as the “Chocolate Camshaft” syndrome. That issue actually affected only a small group of the early V4 bikes with chain-driven cams, but Honda's reputation took a big hit and required the incredible high-quality of the VFR750 that followed to erase that black mark.

-tad

Suzuki April 23, 2017 posted by

Rare Pair: 1990 Yamaha YZF750R OW01 and 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited for Sale

Just a quick Sunday post for you folks who can't get out riding this weekend. Or for those of you on the East Coast, reading this early in the morning before heading out for the day... So here we've got a pair of rare homologation specials from the Age of the Seven-Fifty, where this now-forgotten class was the cutting edge of competition. Sure, the Big Four all had liter-sized bikes available, but while they more powerful, they were also heavier and much more road-oriented, while the 750s were that perfect balance of light weight, agility, and power. Today's Yamaha YZF750R OW01 and Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited represent some of the very best-handling and most exclusive Japanese sportbikes of the era.

First up is the Yamaha FZR750R OW01, a bike that looks deceptively ordinary at first blush. It was designed to compete directly against the RC30 and in typical Honda fashion, they engineered a completely new solution for their homologation special, with a gear-driven V4, chassis, and single-sided swingarm shared with no other bike in their lineup. Yamaha's bike shares its silhouette with the more common FZR750R, but is far more exotic than it might appear: titanium rods, twin-ring pistons, an aluminum fuel tank, detachable alloy subframe, quick-release axle clamps, and Öhlins suspension at the front and rear. The engine was almost radically oversquare, although it displaced the advertised 749cc, and used Yamaha's five-valve head.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Yamaha FZR750R OW01 for Sale

This amazing bike has been in storage in a large collection for the last 9 years, dry stored correctly it will need recommissioning by the new owner for road use, it only has 34,000 kilometers and is in great shape with the original exhaust, toolkit and manual with pouch.

It has a few blemishes from its road use as seen in the pics rather than take up a lot of space here with this models lengthy attributes please do your own research, only 500 of these were made, a lot less than the RC30 and were quite a bit more expensive than it these bikes are getting scarce and climbing in value.

Suzuki threw their hat into the ring with their GSX-R750 Limited Edition, the homologation version of the iconic "Slabbie" version of their sportbike. Like the OW01, it's superficially similar to the standard bike, but features exotic parts intended for racing, like the lightweight dry clutch and electronic anti-dive forks. Lightweight bodywork, an aluminum tank, and a fiberglass tailsection differed from the stock machine, but the engine was still oil and air-cooled to save weight.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited, GSX-R750, and GSX-R1100 for Sale

Selling off my collection of 1986 GSXR First Generation Slab Side bikes. This is the ultimate collection if you are looking for all (3) excellent condition original bikes. Bikes are to be sold as a package as I have had them a long time and would hate to break them up.

1986 GSXR 750 Limited, 4400 miles, Original bodywork, pipe, airbox, etc  in excellent condition. Never been down and has not been a previous race bike.

1986 GSXR 1100- 8000 miles, Original bodywork,  pipe, airbox, etc in excellent condition. This bike has aftermarket tinted screen.

1986 GSXR 750 Red/Blkw ith only 600 original miles. Yes that's right only 600 true miles 100% correct and still has the OEM tires on the bike. I also have original bill of sale from dealer. This may be one of the lowest original bikes in the world. Pic does not show grab rail or front markers  but I have those as well.

All bikes have lots of paperwork. Not looking to separate bikes at this time.

Both of these auctions end Monday, so move quickly if you're interested. This is the second OW01 we've posted up recently and obviously will need some work if you want to use it on the road, but a new owner may just choose to preserve it as-is. The Suzuki is part of a collection so you'll be picking up three bikes instead of just one, but they're all in very nice condition with low miles so if you're thinking of adding some classic Suzukis to your portfolio, you're in luck!

-tad

Rare Pair: 1990 Yamaha YZF750R OW01 and 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited for Sale