Posts by tag: homologation

Yamaha March 19, 2017 posted by

Collector Alert: 1998 Yamaha R1 with 4395 miles

1998 Yamaha R1 on ebay

Ahh the Yamaha YZF R1...not just the bike that moved the motorcycle world beyond the legendary Honda CBR900RR/ Fireblade but also the template for pretty much every superbike that followed.   When it was introduced the YZF-R1 changed the expecation of what a street superbike could by packaging a power to weight ratio that had only seen on pure track machines with a bike comfortable enough to use everyday.  It shouldn't be a surprise the R1 was named as "One-Of-The-10-Sportbikes-you-have-to-own!" by Practical Sportbikes in their Oct 2016 issue.   As motorcycling editor Phil West wrote

"In producing the  YZF R1 (Kunihiko) Miwa and his team not only revolutionized sportbike design, they created the template for every superbike to this day."

For anyone unfamiliar with the R1 development history, in 1996 most inside Yamaha believed the market for super-sportbikes was static or decreasing.  Faced with this lack of growth Yamaha decided the only path was to get a bigger share of the market "pie".  Authorization was given to start working on a new superbike with a mandate that it had to position Yamaha for both race and sales success.  This was a tall order given that the competition included the legendary Honda CBR900/Fireblade.

Lead by Kunihiko Miwa, a team of Yamaha engineers undertook the project guided by thee major concepts; make it have the highest power, make it have the lowest weight, and make ii have the most compact dimensions.  The result was a design that shortened the length of the engine by vertically stacking the gearbox (an unheard of feature for a streetbike) and then joined it with a new lightweight frame developed around the concept of ultra-light weight and rider control/ergonomics.  New handlebars/clipons, one piece brakes and even LCD gauges were all incorporated into the design.

Upon its launch in late 1997 the R1 delivered 150ps while weighing only 177kg  (that's 148gbp and 390 pounds in Imperial).  Not only did the R1 dramatically exceeded the performance of the competition, it and reset the bar that had been established by the Honda CBR900RR/Fireblade earlier in the decade, it also seemed like it came from a different planet compared to the Thunderace it was replacing.

This particular R1 is in the first year blue/silver color scheme which seems to have been more popular than the white/red style.  Condition looks to be absolutely pristine and the seller does a very good job with the photos showing the bikes condition.   While service history/details aren't much that is to be expected given the very low mileage.

Here is what the seller has to say:

  • No scratches, only a few pin size marks from road dust
  • Mileage under 5000
  • Original exhaust changed when new, inever used and comes with the bike
  • Original paint, seats, tires and rear bike stand
  • Original books, keys, Bill of sale, copy of MSO, original title, service records and shop manual.
  • Bike has had only 2 collector owners in its 19 year pampered life.   Always stored in Heated and Air Conditioned Collector Garage

So what is this benchmarking blue beauty worth?  The current asking price for this one is at $6995 USD which is kind of high in my opinion but not out of line with what we have seen previously on RSBFS.  While this one is not in the red and white bodywork more currently prized by collectors, it is in amazing shape.  I think a fair price for this one is about $6400, maybe a bit more if the seller throws in fresh rubber or shipping.

One final note - I think is important to recognize that just a few years ago a 1st year Yamaha R1 wasn't high on the list of future classics for most collectors.  Everyone seemed to think it was a great bike, probably the final great sport bike of the 1990's, and yes it dethroned the Honda CBR900RR/Fireblade, but a future classic?  While these same collectors were probably still searching for a Ducati 916SP or Kawasaki Zx7RR or perhaps even a first year CBR900RR/Fireblade, prices for first year R1's were  starting to move up and are now no longer cheap.  The value will probably continue to rise over time so this might be a rare chance to get one before prices get out of reach.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Collector Alert:  1998 Yamaha R1 with 4395 miles
Honda March 9, 2017 posted by

The difficult 2nd album: 1994 Honda RC45/RVF750R

The Honda RVF750R/RC45 is always an interesting topic of discussion on RSBFS and with good reason. Part of Honda's technological onslaught of the 1990's (which included the RC30 and NR750), the RC45 was a true homolgation bike that came with lots of top level components including a 749cc V4 powerplant containing titanium rods and ceramic-lined cylinder walls, a new fuel injection system, and a track ready single-sided rear swingarm.   Add to this a ultra light weight achieved via a new aluminium twin-spar chassis and cast magnesium components and the result was something that, on paper at least, looked ready to compete at the highest level.

1994 Honda RC45 on eBay

But despite all of this techno goodness the RC45 didn't achieve the same level of track or sales success as doesn't seem to be as prized as its predecessor, the RC30.   Part of this was due to the breakthrough nature of the RC30, part was due to the competition on the track being much closer and part was due to what the RC45 was like to ride on the street.  The street version was tuned with a very tall 1st gear and only producing around 110/118 horses for the US/Euro version, which meant the RC45 didn't offer street riders a huge jump in performance from what other much cheaper 750 sportbikes were offering at the time.  Simply put, for a lot of non-track oriented buyers the RVF750R/RC45 performance didn't match the price.

Now this doesn't mean the RC45 wasn't a great sportbike- far from it.  While it may have been a bit of a let down on the street, things were quite different when it was taken to the track and tuned up.  In peak race form the bike was transformed to having nearly 190 bhp and was a capable enough machine to deliver championships over a span of years, including Miguel Duhamel's 1996 Daytona 200, John Kocinski's 1997 WSBK championship and Ben Bostrom's 1998 AMA Superbike Championship.

As for this particular RC45, it looks to be mostly OEM and the seller indicates that the parts which are not OEM are still with the bike.  Based on the pics provided the seller seems to be a big fan of 1990's sportbikes (although not their mirrors apparently) so there is a good chance this one has been taken care of properly.

Here is a summary of the info the seller gives in the ebay listing:

  • 2200 miles
  • Has a (Honda CBR) F3 front wheel, HRC carbon fiber front fender, HRC rear-sets.
  • Previous owner installed the Yoshimura bolt on muffler but have since found a brand new, in the box, stock muffler.  
  • Was going to remove the turn signals and trim the rear fender, so I bought an extra OEM rear fender to turn it back stock.
  • Will come with all the stock parts that were removed.
  • Bike still has its original tool kits, swing arm stand, and even the original helmet lock.
  • Documentation includes the service manual, parts manual, owners manual, pages from the Honda Red Book, a sales brochure, copies of the previous title and some Honda service updates.

So what is this pretty much pristine bit of homologation Honda technology worth?  Well current bid is up to about $30,000 USD with reserve not met.  That isn't surprising given the last one of these we saw on RSBFS hit $40,000 USD.  While that one was an ultra low mileage (<1000) example, I would still expect the reserve on this one to be in the mid $30,000 area if not higher.

From a collector standpoint, the major appreciation in value has probably already happened.  That isn't to say the value will go down, it just won't be jumping up dramatically.   I think this one will probably be best suited for someone who is similar to the current owner - a fan of mid 1990's homologation bikes.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

The difficult 2nd album:  1994 Honda RC45/RVF750R
Ducati March 4, 2017 posted by

Rare Homologation Special: 1988 Ducati 851 Tricolore for Sale

If you're looking to get close to your racing heroes, style yourself a Very Serious Motorcyclist™, or just like the idea of riding something with genuine links to legitimate race bikes, homologation specials offer their owners a taste of the trick parts and lightweight performance available to professional racers, all in a streetable package. This 851 Tricolore wears its Italian heritage proudly, and takes things a bit beyond what you'd normally expect in terms of road-legal performance: its about as close to a road-legal race bike as you're likely to find.

The 916 gets most of the fame and is more instantly recognizable, but it's really the earlier 851, introduced in 1987, that paved the way for Ducati's World Superbike success and the company's return to racing glory. The older Pantah-derived air-cooled L-twin engines were certainly high-performance motors in their day, but had been long-since eclipsed by the inline fours from Japan, and Ducati needed something new if they wanted to compete on relatively equal footing with 750cc inline fours in the brand-new World Superbike Championship.

Ducati kept the proven foundation of their v-twin, but added liquid cooling and brand new four-valve heads to create their "Desmoquattro" that pumped out 93hp along with plenty of fat midrange torque and gave the newly introduced 851 the performance to compete, factoring in a bit of a displacement bump that allowed the twins approximate parity with the smaller, revvier inline fours. Wrapped around that heavily updated engine was Ducati's distinctive trellis frame and chunky bodywork, along with ergonomics that were considered extreme at the time, but seem positively luxurious compared to the masochistic 916 that came later... For a while there, the 851 and the 888 that followed were less desirable than the gorgeous 916. But as they say, "familiarity breeds contempt" and with so many of Tamburini's masterpiece running around, it's hard not to be a bit blasé about them now. But the 916 would never have existed without the success of the 851 and that functional bodywork has a style all its own.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Ducati 851 Tricolore for Sale

One of 207 homologation "kit bikes"!
Frame Number: ZDM3HB6T6JB850034
Engine Number: HB6J850032

It was the Ducati 851 that first served notice that high-performance sportbikes and World Superbike racing would no longer be Japanese-only affairs. Where before Ducatis made do with simple air-cooled motors, the 851 had liquid-cooling, four-valve desmodromic cylinder heads and electronic fuel-injection. In 1990 Raymond Roche rode a factory 851 to the World Superbike championship, the first of 13 titles to date for Ducati.

World Superbike racers were required to be based on production streetbikes. One way to get the highest-specification base model possible was to build homologation specials – expensive, limited-edition versions that needed relatively minor modification to be track-ready. Ducati took this so-called "kit bike" approach with the 851 Superbike. Just 207 of these nominally street-legal machines were hand-built, enough to satisfy World Superbike rules, with an estimated 20 examples coming to the U.S.

 Differences from showroom stock include a braced swingarm, close-ratio gearbox, ventilated dry clutch and lightweight magnesium Marvic wheels. No speedometer, just a tachometer and temperature gauge. The motor was upgraded with race-grind camshafts, a hot-rodded electronic control unit, ram-air duct and free-breathing reverse-cone mufflers. It was good for about 120 horsepower.

One of the other differences is a round ring on the seat, which is explained by an amusing folk tale: the claim is that some Ducati employee placed a hot espresso maker on the mold before production, causing a slight deformation in the seat.

The Tri-Colore 851 kit bike on offer has been made fully street-legal, and is titled and registered. Globe-type turn signals mounted in the handlebar ends satisfy the DMV. The original owner was a local Southern California collector of some very interesting and important bikes, particularly Italian, low production machines. He mounted a bicycle speedometer with magnet on the front hub to further satisfy the DMV and clocked 2600 miles. The second owner kept the bike in his private museum of very exclusive Italian machinery and removed the speedo for display.

Mechanically, the bike is in excellent condition. The engine starts easily, idles smoothly and runs well. The bike shifts easily though all gears with a nice clutch action. Brakes, suspension and all electrical systems work perfectly. The new owner should be mindful of tire-pressure as the scuff-free magnesium wheels are notoriously porous. And it sounds fantastic!

Cosmetically, the bike is exquisite, showing light patina conducive with age and mileage. This is truly a Superbike for the street, with impeccable ownership history and is accompanied by a substantial document file, keys, and a clean, clear California title. A great opportunity to own a truly rare and exotic Italian icon.

So what does this piece of Ducati history cost? Well the asking price is $31,900 which is obviously very steep for an 851, but a bit of a bargain compared to the last one of these that was up for sale. This appears to be a different bike, considering that one had never had gas in it or been started, whereas this one has had a bit of use and a couple of concessions to road use added. The small bar-end mirrors are a modern addition, but aren't obtrusive and suit the bike's minimal-road-equipment style compared to the big, chunky, fairing-mounted original road-equipment parts or a more 80s set of "Napoleon" bar-end mirrors. The seller claims that just 207 of these homologation 851s were built in 1988 to meet World Superbike requirements and it looks to be in excellent shape, with just enough wear to suggest that it's in original, well-preserved condition. This is, as the seller says, literally a superbike for the street, with just enough road equipment to keep things legal-ish but not distract from your World Superbike fantasies. Hopefully, anyone that buys this will continue to put a few weekend miles on it from time-to-time!

-tad

Rare Homologation Special: 1988 Ducati 851 Tricolore for Sale
Suzuki January 15, 2017 posted by

Slab vs sling: 1987 Suzuki GSX-R1100, 1988 Suzuki GSX-R750

This post is for two early edition Suzuki GSX-R's, a 1100 and a 750.  Both are in good but not perfect condition, have the desirable blue and white bodywork and similar mileage.


1987 GSX-1100R on ebay

The first bike is a 1987 GSX-R1100...a big beasty of a sportbike responsible for more than one type of skidmark for anyone willing to sling a leg over.  While the smaller displacement 750cc sibling is considered to be the first affordable, modern racer-replica suitable for daily road useage, the bigger GSX-R model actually sold better than its 750cc sibling.  This was in large part due to its being less effort to use on the road/less peaky and also because, well, "more POWAHHHH!!!" is always a big seller.

This particular GSX-R1100 is the first year "slab-side" version prized by collectors.  Condition is not perfect but all parts appear to be OEM with the exception of the windscreen (and the seller indicates he has that available).  Oddly there appears to be some front fairing damage that has been fixed via a set of 'stitches' which is not something I have seen before.  Also I can't really tell from the pics but the frame looks a bit shiny - perhaps some polishing has occurred.

Mileage is a respectable 14,186 in the pics and the seller indicates he has owned the bike for about 7 years.   The seller does indicate some idle issues which are probably due to gummed up carb needles.  Other general service info isn't provided so I would expect fresh fluids and tires to be needed.


The second bike is a GSX-R750 edition from a year earlier with similar mileage.

1988 Suzuki GSX-R750 on ebay

The 750cc GSX-R750 was initially the more desired of the the series, in part because the 750cc configuration was the dominant configuration in racing at the time.   Like the 1100 earlier in this post this one looks to be in good condition but not perfect with some bodywork issues, bits of rust on the exhaust canisters and fork oxidation.  Also the condition of the brake lines/front fairing area make me think that despite what the seller says this bike wasn't always garaged or perhaps was originally owned somewhere damp.

As for maintenance, the seller indicates a bit of rough running but on the plus side, it has fresh tires, battery and brake fluids and all parts appear to be OEM with the exception of some handgrips.

Here are a few more pics of the 750cc edition.

So, what are these worth?  Both have opening prices in the $5,000-$6,000 USD range which seems a bit high but not preposterous, especially given both bikes location in California where prices tend to be higher.   Finding first gen Suzuki's that have not been modified is getting to be tougher and tougher - you are more likely to see something like this which while cheaper, would probably end up costing more if the intent is to put it back into completely OEM condition.

From a collectors standpoint, the market for these seems to be demonstrated by the similar pricing of these two so I would not expect either of these to appreciate in price much.  Personally I think the 1100 would be more fun but both will probably appeal more to the nostalgia-oriented rider or restorer than the investment oriented collector.  Then again, market values can change fast so if a late 1980's GSX-R is on your list for your dream garage, maybe a trip to California to check both out would be in order.

-Marty/Dallaslavower

Slab vs sling:  1987 Suzuki GSX-R1100, 1988 Suzuki GSX-R750
Honda November 30, 2016 posted by

Little Brother: 1989 Honda VFR400R for Sale

1989-honda-vfr400r-r-side-front

Looking very much like their very desirable VFR750R, the Honda VFR400R shares similar engine configuration, style, and that distinctive "PRO ARM" single-sided swingarm. The sophisticated V4 featured straight-cut gears in place of a chain or belt and drove twin overhead cams. Early VFR400s used a 180° crank, but the NC30 shared it's 360° "big bang" configuration with the VFR750, giving the bike a distinctive growl to go with the cultured whine of the gear-driven cams.

1989-honda-vfr400r-r-side

A big-bang engine groups its combustion events close together, in stead of spreading them out evenly. In theory, this gives improved traction, as the tire has a chance to recover grip in between pulses, although that may not be a huge advantage in a bike with just 59hp and 30ft-lbs of torque... Power was modest, but had just 350lbs dry to push, and was spread across a very wide, forgiving powerband.

1989-honda-vfr400r-fairing

These bikes didn't sell well when new, which wasn't really shocking: a period literbike could be had for similar cash and that huge increase in power could cover for a lot of sins on the road and on track. But that was hardly the point, and Honda only needed to produce a limited number to qualify them for racing. Originally intended for the Japanese market, a few made their way to the UK and mainland Europe as "parallel imports," these used to be very a very affordable way to pick up sophisticated Honda tech, but prices for these have been rapidly increasing of late, now that the RC30 is well out of reach for many collectors. Bidding on this example is north of $9,000 at this time, with the Reserve Not Met.

1989-honda-vfr400r-clocks

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda VFR400R for Sale

The VFR400R(NC30) is known for its handling, turning quicker than most other 400s on the market. You don't have to ride the NC30 to know that it is right. Everything about it just looks right. The scaled-down version of the RC30 is perfect in it proportions and in its detail. The reduction in size makes it neater still.

The engine gives the impression of that of a larger machine. Peak torque is at 12,000rpm, but it doesn't drop off, giving a long, flexible spread of peak power. It will hold any top gear cruise speed up to 100mph, will pull wide open in top from 2,000rpm and runs without a hiccup to 15,000rpm.Asked whether the quality of engineering is worth owning, the answer would be yes. The build quality is nearly as good as the RC30.

This bike is in excellent un-restored condition with very low miles. I approach all my bikes with the idea of preservation over restoration. When purchasing a bike what I look for is low miles and all original, this bike fits those traits very nicely. Please examine the pictures very closely. You can see it has not been restored but it is an excellent original condition. There is some minor chips and patina showing that it is a 27 year old bike. The bike was recently cleaned from top to bottom. Everything was cleaned, all fluids changed, brakes bled and then put back together ready to ride. Here's a list of a few things that were done.

Wheels powder coated, forks rebuilt, new rotors and pads front and rear plus brakes bled, new tires Bridgestone T30's. All the plastics were cleaned and polished and the small cracks were welded on the back side so they won't crack any more than they already are. All the gauges and cockpit pieces were cleaned and polished. Brand new chain and sprockets

1989-honda-vfr400r-r-side-tail

The seller also includes this helpful startup video of the bike being offered, and the original listing includes plenty of additional photos if what we've included here doesn't satisfy your NC30 lust. Aside from a few minor cosmetic imperfections mentioned by the seller, this is a very nice motorcycle and 6,000 miles is barely broken-in for a Honda, so this one is ready to display or ride, whichever strikes your fancy.

-tad

1989-honda-vfr400r-l-side

Little Brother: 1989 Honda VFR400R for Sale
Honda November 18, 2016 posted by

Out of the Winter Darkness: 1989 Honda RC30 in Canada

Before heading out for the holiday weekend, here is a bit of unobtanium: a 1989 Honda RC30 located in Canada.   Perhaps if you are heading towards Ontario for the holiday anyway, a short detour is in order?

rc302

1989 Honda RC30 for sale on eBay in Canada

The RC30 is a bike that every serious collector wants to own at one point, and for good reason - it was about as true a homologation bike as was ever produced.  The RC30, also known as the VFR750R, came with what was at the time unheard of specs for a street bike; titanium and magnesium cast components, track-type "slipper" clutch, a first gear designed for track starts up to 80 mph, a single-sided swingarm, etc.

The story of how the RC30 originated usually goes something like Soichiro Honda declaring he wanted to show the world what Honda could do if decided to put all its efforts towards producing a no-holds-barred sports bike and that the mandate was that there would be no compromise, no corners cut, and no bowing to the bean counters.  In short, the mandate was that the bike was to be the best and the result was the RC30, a bike built to win...and win it most certainly did.   The RC30 carried "Flying" Fred Merkel to consecutive WSB titles in 1988 and 1989, and powered Steve Hislop around the famous Isle of Man TT course at a then unheard of/first 120-mph lap.  How dominate was the RC30?  Think of it this way - in 1990 fifteen of the 25 finishers in the top F1 class were on the VFR750R/RC30.

A good review of the RC30 by visordown.com can be read here.

rc306

Given its been over 25 years since this bike was introduced, the RC30 ought to look and sound dated, but its elegant lines and tiny size (more like a big 250cc 2-stroke than a full 750cc 4-stroke) produce a stunning reaction even today.  Perhaps what keeps the RC30 an object of lust is the way it puts everything together; incredible feel from the suspension, outstanding build quality, a stupendously wide and usable powerband and the lightest weight in its class allowed the the 750cc powered machine to pretty much make the competition look stupid.  The only downside was that that all this top shelf performance didn't come cheap. The RC30 was priced at an eye popping $21,000 in 1990 (about $39,000 USD in today's dollars).

To put it simply, the word masterpiece can be commonplace when describing a rare sportbike, but in the case of the RC30 it was and still is truly justified.

rc301

This particular RC30 looks to be in good condition but I really wish the seller hadn't taken the pictures at night, had used a higher quality camera, and somehow changed the flash results.  Overall the bike looks to be OEM with the possible exception of a cut rear fender?  Also the tires look a bit off, perhaps the rear wheel is non stock?

Note:  The RC30 had different trim based on the destination country and while this particular model appears to be the dual headlight US version, it might actually be a bike produced specifically for the Canadian market (supposedly there was about 25 of these).  Unfortunately, the seller is not providing ownership history info and there is a somewhat ominous "rebuilt due to age" reference which could mean anything from a fluid change to a former track bike.

Here is what the seller has to say

  • Only 11000 km
  • All Original
  • Has been professionally rebuilt due to age to perfect spec
  • Bike rides perfect and needs nothing
  • Also has the race pkg includes race cams gives more power

rc304

Current bid price on this is only about $14,000 USD but that given that we have seen recent posts range from $22,000 to over $28,000 USD, I expect price on this one to jump.  To be honest I not sure if this is a bike produced specifically for the Canadian market or if this is a US bike (only 300 of these were reported as coming into the USA) but regardless, this one will probably hold its value over time.

Here at RSBFS we have some regular readers who will be able to offer better insight on the current fair price for this RC30, so if its time for you to add one to your collection, I suggest you check out the the comments on this post or the previous RSBFS posts linked above.  But anyone who is seriously interested will want to be quick as eBay auctions of these bikes often end early.   I would also be curious to hear from anyone who has imported a bike from Canada to the USA, suggestions for shipping companies...no reason...nothing to see here...move along now...

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Out of the Winter Darkness:  1989 Honda RC30 in Canada