Posts by tag: parallel twin

Kawasaki January 30, 2018 posted by

Say it Ain’t So – 1988 Kawasaki KR-1 / KR250B

Dan would have to weigh in on how many bikes Gary has listed and sold on RSBFS, but suffice it to say the past year has been a great success.  Saving the best for last would be a debatable and bittersweet claim, maybe there's another container of gray-market wonders back there ?  Better to relish the KR-1 presented here.

1988 Kawasaki KR-1 KR250 for sale on eBay

Not actually derived from or intended to be a race bike, the KR-1 had a meteoric rise and quick retirement just a few years later.  The parallel twin pushed 55 hp, but peaky like no one's business, making power just between 6,000 and 11,000 RPM.  Never offered stateside, it thrilled young riders in the U.K. and the Pacific rim, and has only occasionally found its way here.  The super-light under 300 lbs. machine was over-equipped with dual disks, adjustable suspension, and 17-inch front / 18-inch rear wheels.

Gary has made presentation of gray market specials look easy, but this one is different.  Rather than doll up someone else's issues, this KR-1 was brought over restored, low miles, just about perfect.  As always, it's ready to run with legal title and registration.  His comments from the eBay auction:

Up for sale is a 1988 Kawasaki KR-1 with only 20,640 kilometers (12,825 miles). Bike is in mint condition. The collector whom I purchased it from in Japan did a full frame up restoration. Complete engine, front forks, front and rear brakes, drive train, rear suspension, custom paint restoration. I don’t normally buy bikes like this but when I saw that no expense was spared to make this bike look and run new, I just had to have it. Bike looks gorgeous and is in mint condition. There are only a few very light scratches and handling marks. All fairings and components are 100% Genuine OEM Kawasaki factory. All replacement parts used in the restoration were genuine OEM parts. Bike is completely stock. Bike runs like new. Comes with new battery and new engine fluids.

I’ve saved the best for last. The last is here.

Kawasaki saw the writing on the wall early and focused on four-strokes for 1993.  But the power delivery, quick steering, and riding position of the KR-1 are legend.  Hopefully an adult rider can keep it out of the tank slappers it destined novice riders to experience.  In a era where a successful design could be considered 100 machines ( Buell or Bimota ), or a thousand ( Ducati or Moto Guzzi ), Kawasaki saw the future on the other side of 10,000 KR-1's.  But for a fan of the green and white, there was never such a lightweight.

-donn

Say it Ain’t So – 1988 Kawasaki KR-1 / KR250B
Kawasaki January 11, 2018 posted by

Cali-Titled Two-Stroke: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale

During the 1980s and early 1990s, the vibrant quarter-liter two-stroke class saw the NSR, RGV, and TZR go at it with knife-fight-in-a-phone-booth intensity. Notably missing from much of the action was Kawasaki. It didn't help that Kawasaki didn't start building a two-stroke sportbike until 1988 and abandoned the class in 1992, before the other Japanese manufacturers and, as a result, the Kawasaki KR-1S is a bit of a holy grail for two-stroke fans in the USA. They're really nearly impossible to find in any market, as Kawasaki produced less than 10,000 examples in total, and they were obviously never sold here in the US.

If all you've done is glance at the spec sheets of the class competitors, you could be forgiven for thinking the bikes in this class were pretty much the same, with two-cylinder, liquid-cooled two-strokes, aluminum beam frames, six-speed gearboxes, and a suspiciously identical 45hp output. In fact, sometimes only a catchy acronym for the power valve gives the manufacturer away, although KIPS, ATAC, SAPC, and YPVS all performed basically the same basic function. But period road tests and two-stroke enthusiasts claim that each has a distinct character that seems line with corporate sterotypes: Honda's NSR was sophisticated and refined, while Suzuki's RGV was a bit of an unruly wild-child, fast and a bit fragile. But although Kawasaki joined the party late and left early, they left an indelible impression and their KR-1S was claimed to be the fastest, the easiest to tune, and have the hairiest handling of the bunch.

The KR-1S was powered by a liquid-cooled 249cc parallel-twin with a 180° crankshaft that also drove a balance shaft to improve smoothness, and put power to the back wheel through a six-speed gearbox. The "S" model seen here featured wider wheels at the front and rear, and tested top speed of 139mph. An "R" model was also available, but is nearly impossible to find, with fewer than 200 built. Interestingly enough, last month's Practical Sportbikes features an article that discusses the rebuild of a KR-1R in detail.

Like yesterday's ZX-7R, this KR-1S is slathered in green, white, and blue graphics that suit the bike's brash personality. Happily, the seller also includes images of the bike with the fairing removed, as it shows off the very slick aftermarket expansion chambers and another odd detail: the engine sits almost entirely below the frame! That of course keeps the bike relatively narrow, but seems strange that most of the engine is suspended beneath the frame, rather than nestled between the frame spars.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale

1990 Kawasaki KR1S C2. I am relisting and selling another bike out of my prize collection. Journalist called the KR1-S the most exotic and fastest of all the 250 2 stokes of that era. This KR1S is a UK model. Which means UK CDI power box, mile per hour speedo. Non-restrictive. Always been in street bike form. Not a converted back race bike. This is truly a rare bike. Unlike NSR’s, TZR’s and RGV’s and even Aprilia RS’s that come up for sale now and then, you very rarely see one of these for sale. I have owned this bike for over 10 years. I have spent many of thousands of dollars on upgrades. I mean many! I installed a pricy set of Dyna mags magnesium rims. The old KR1S aluminum rims came with a 17” front and an 18” rear. These are 17” front and back. Light weight magnesium and make sporty tires more available. I have put on a set of Michelin pilot sport tires. Green D.I.D.  O-Ring chain with gold aluminum sprocket. Beautiful high end custom steering damper. Then I had made a JMC fully braced swingarm with eccentric adjustment. Beautifully polished. I was told at the time that this was the only top braced swingarm that JMC has ever made for the KR1S. I installed a huge custom made “Pace” radiator made for the KR1S. This radiator is huge, and solves the problem of any overheating. If anything I have to tape of part of the radiator when its cool out. But a nice position to be in. Silicone radiator hose are used. Then I purchased a nice new set of Jolly Moto pipes with Carbon silencers. Bikes sound great and pulls better. I had the rear shock rebuilt and the shock spring powder coated green to match the bike. Front forks have been recently rebuilt with all new bushings, oil and seals. Rebuilt both the front and rear calibers with new stainless pistons, bolts, and seals. I had them powder coated too. Custom made steel braided brakes lines with aluminum fittings. They look like new. I also installed new light weight disks front and back.  Have a fortune in light weight titanium, stainless, and aluminum bolts throughout.  All the lights and switches work. The bike has 16,600 miles on it. So a far as I know the motor has never been touched.  I had plans to rebuild the motor and including all the parts to do it.  I have everything needed to build it included. But now I have gotten old and don’t have time for this project. I have tuned it up, changed all the fluids. Adjusted the power valves, etc. Bike does still run strong but mileage is getting up there for 28 year 2 stroke. The original bodywork on the bike is not too bad for its age but not perfect either. I had a few tabs and small cracks repaired. The tank has a couple tiny little chips, but is in remarkably in good shape for its age. No dents. The tank is clean inside without rust. The body panels have a few scratches and touched up spots.  Still not all that bad for its age either. Please refer to the pictures for more details. I am including the stock rims with a brand new fresh powder coat on them. The stock pipes, radiator, manuals, and various other parts as seen in my list and pictures. Lots of stuff.

The following is a list of some of the parts that are included with the bike, but not complete. No much to list. Please refer to pictures.

  • 4 brand new piston sets, including, rings, pins, clips, and small ends
  • Complete set of crank seals and crank bearings, plus new rod sets. Everything needed to completely rebuild the crank like new.
  • 3 gaskets set, plus one extra head gasket
  • New Water pump part set
  • New carb sets including floats
  • Power valve seals
  • New billet aluminum power valves and power valve wheels
  • 1 extra new front disk
  • Numerous new seals and bearing that go into the motor
  • Stock pipes in good condition
  • Stock swingarm with fresh paint and new bearings and seals. Like new
  • Stock radiator in excellent condition
  • Stock wheels with fresh powder coating, sprocket,  and cush drive

All the old wheel bearing, wheel spacers, front and back disks, sprockets, brake lines, and caliber parts. The old original nuts and bolts that were replaced with titanium and stainless, aluminum

Bike comes with a current California registration and title!  Has all the correct serial and engine numbers, but is listed as a 1980 instead of a 1990. You might think that wow I am asking way too much for this bike? I say “find don’t buy it then”. What I can say how often you see one of these for sale in this condition, with all these extras and titled too? Try to find another? These bikes are only going to increase in value as time passes. Plus I am including thousands of dollars in extra parts.

So the $17,500 asking price is big money for a two-stroke sportbike, but I'm betting it will find a buyer: if that California title is valid, I know a couple folks who'd love to snap it up, and it's really not all that far off what folks have been asking for pristine NSR250s recently. It isn't completely stock, but all of the upgrades described by the seller are clearly intended to thoughtfully boost performance and handling. All-in-all, it's one of the coolest bikes we've posted recently.

-tad

Cali-Titled Two-Stroke: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale
Norton January 3, 2018 posted by

Players Club: 1974 Norton John Player

Reaching back a bit further than regular RSBFS fare, today's bike is a great example of a rare, motorsports-themed repli-racer. Sure, it's nearly 44 years old, but an iconic model of a legendary marque will always have a home in a collector's heart. In this case, a Norton-Villiers era British twin celebrating success in the death-defying Isle of Man TT, sponsored by a well known brand of cigarettes, John Player. Put all of these fun facts together into one bike, and you have a the very limited production John Player Norton of 1974.

1974 Norton John Player Special for sale on eBay

Based on the successful Commando model, Norton attempted to go racing with a bespoke factory effort. Success was limited, although Peter Williams managed to win the Formula 750 Isle of Man TT in 1973 on a semi-monocoque framed Norton emblazoned with John Player sponsorship. This bred the idea for a limited edition replica, and in 1974 the JPS Norton was born. Only 200 examples of this bike were built, with the distinctive dual headlight fairing mimicking the racer's Peel Engineering-designed unit. While the livery and aero bits resembled the racer, the road going JPS model was much closer in DNA to the 850 Commando. Sadly Norton was unable to compete financially given the rise of the Japanese and the onslaught of the Italians, and racing exploits ceased as British motorcycle companies consolidated to avoid total insolvency. Norton joined forces with BSA and Triumph, forming Norton-Villiers-Triumph. The oddity that is the JPS Norton is a classic remnant of the time.

From the seller:
Rare chance to own an original, unrestored,numbers matching, 3 owner Norton JPN with 6,411 original miles. One of approximately 200 built to commemorate Norton winning the world championship with Peter Williams aboard. Current owner has owned over 25 years. Bike has always been garaged. Bike was last ridden 11 years ago, and was prepped for long term storage. Beautiful bike. Age and health forces sale.

We don't see too many of these JPS models moving at auction. This is partly due to the one year only, limited production of the bike. It is also due to the age of the bike in question; we tend to see older bikes as strictly collectors (rather than riders), and as a result they change hands much less frequently. The history and mileage of this example supports the theory: 44 years old, only 3 owners and 6,411 miles. This particular bikes is available in the US, and looks to be complete. Pictures are not the greatest we have seen, but there is enough there to get the basics (interested buyers should contact the seller for more details). The best part of this JPN auction is the price: the BIN is only $14,500 (which is definitely in the ballpark, re-commissioning costs notwithstanding), and the seller is open to offers. Check it out here, and start the New Year with a ghost of Christmas past. Good Luck!!

MI

Players Club: 1974 Norton John Player
Kawasaki November 26, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1989 Kawasaki KR-1R or 1990 Kawasaki KR-1R – buyer’s choice!

When RSBFS last listed this 1989 Kawasaki KR-1R on our pages, we considered it to be a bit of a world exclusive. That should tell you the rarity of what we are talking about. But how do you describe TWO KR-1Rs in the same collection? Unicorn doesn't quite cut it. You are looking at two examples of what has to be the rarest of the 250cc two stroke set, both in amazing condition. Utah collector Gary has certainly amassed himself a magnificent cadre of bikes - and RSBFS has been honored to help him list many of those bikes on these pages. But this particular event takes the cake: pony up $20,000 USD and take your pick of either one of the amazing R bikes listed here.

The KR lineup is a bit of a dark horse in the quarter liter sport bike world. Never as popular as the NSR/RG/TZR set, the Kawasaki offering provided a solid chassis and a very powerful parallel twin. In fact, a KR series bike held the 250cc land speed record at Bonneville thanks to that Kawasaki power. Outside of Japan, the KR is relatively unknown, although it was exported to the UK and AUS/NZ in limited numbers. Even the aficionados who are aware of the KR-1/KR-1S/KR-1R family have likely never seen one in person. And while some will be quick to point out that the KR-1R model is really just a 1S with slightly bigger carbs and more power, the value of the model has evolved well beyond the cost of the parts. These are rare, coveted machines and will remain at the sharp end of the collector scale for the foreseeable future.


1989 Kawasaki KR-1R D1

From the seller:
The bike came from a Kawasaki collector in Japan. Motor is all stock. Stock carbs,
stock airbox, stock heads, ect all confirmed OEM Kawasaki. Fairings 100% OEM.
Windshield appears to be OEM. Two Keys.

Previous collector has cosmetically customized this KR-1R with Kawasaki OEM green
front fender, Beet rear sets and Beet exhaust and mufflers. Some suspension
components have been polished.


1990 Kawasaki KR-1R D2

From the seller:
This 1990 KR250-D2 is completely stock and has the black front fender. It has had the rear cowling and the lower cowling professionally re-sprayed. The upper and the tank and all other components are original. New tires, fork seals, braided front brake lines and chain complete the refresh. Comes with Utah title. Runs and idles like new. Bike has been tuned and has new engine fluids. 25,290km’s on the odometer. Bike came from a Kawasaki bike collector in Japan. It is very solid and runs surprisingly well for the mileage.


More details:

Price: $20,000 gives you the choice of one bike

Contact: rmurangemasters@aol.com



In case you have not noticed, it is not 1989/1990 anymore. The KR-1R - already rare when it was first introduced - has become a very exclusive tile in the two stroke collector mosaic. These were built by Kawasaki as sports production racers, and as such many (most?) were thrashed and cast aside. Those that survived often fell victim to sea air and corrosion common to the Japanese home market. In short, a clean and loved KR-1R is a rare survivor of a rare species. Here at RSBFS we always recommend that if you are in the market you should seek out the best example of a collector model that you can find - but how often can you find more than one example to compare? Today you can find TWO of these remarkable KR-1R models in pristine condition in one place - all you need to do is pick the one you want. Kawasaki isn't building any more of these, and the world's supply is low and getting lower. Resto mods and parts bikes may be available sporadically in the future, but you are not going to find bikes in this condition often. If a KR-1R is on your bucket list, you might want to act before these jewels appreciate even more. Contact Gary at rmurangemasters@aol.com to seal the deal. Good Luck!!

MI

Featured Listing: 1989 Kawasaki KR-1R or 1990 Kawasaki KR-1R – buyer’s choice!
Norton October 12, 2017 posted by

Throwback Thursday: 1974 Norton Commando Fastback

In the mid-20th Century, Norton occupied rarefied standing in motorcycling, making itself legendary among racers in Britain and Europe, taking home Manx TT trophies and trading wins with other big names on the continent and in the Isles. Its big-bore engines and revolutionary vibration-isolating frame designs made the brand wildly popular, cutting edge and fast.

1974 Norton Commando Fastback for sale on eBay

By the 1970s, Britain's notorious knack for corporate mismanagement and reliability woes had hit the company hard, and as it tried to make its Commando - which had debuted in the late '60s with yet another innovative suspension setup - all things to all people, it was being outgunned by Japanese rivals.

The Norton Commando Fastback had helped debut the badge, and by 1974 was essentially just a sportier-looking seat and fender setup for the popular-but-flawed platform.

The 1974 example seen here is in excellent condition, and carries a raft of modifications to the parallel twin, including a displacement bump, big carbs and a high-compression RH7 head from an earlier Commando 750. We dig the era-appropriate copper-bronze paint, the overstuffed seat and simple, purposeful stance.

From the eBay listing:

900 CC.. BALANCED WITH LIGHTER SOLID STEEL FLYWHEEL.. 80MM BORE.. 36 MM MK2 CARBS MATCHED TO A RH7 HEAD.. BIG BORE EXHAUST. CLOSE RATIO GEARBOX WITH QUAIFE SHELL.((( MOSTLY FOR DOWN SHIFTING TO LESSEN GEARBOX STRAIN))) BIKE HAS NO ISSUES.. LOOK INSIDE MUFFLERS TO SEE HOW CLEAN IT RUNS..STARTS WITHIN 2 OR 3 KICKS AND WILL IDLE AT 500 RPM. EVEN WITH BIG CARBS... E MAIL FOR MORE INFO. E MAIL FOR PHONE NUMBER AND WILL CALL BACK IF SERIOUS. OTHERWISE PLEASE DONT WASTE MY TIME

Rarer than Japanese bikes of the same era, albeit a lot more temperamental, the big Norton is a time capsule to the end of the era of British manufacturing might, rendered in the brutal simplicity that made the breed famous.

Throwback Thursday: 1974 Norton Commando Fastback
Yamaha August 19, 2017 posted by

Barenaked Two Stroke: 1991 Yamaha R1Z

Looking like a modern take on the wildly popular RZ350 two stroke, the 1991 Yamaha R1-Z somehow never made it out of Japan. That's a shame, too, because the R1-Z sports a too-sexy-for-my-fairing steel trellis frame and the powerplant from the TZR250 race replica.

1991 Yamaha R1-Z for sale on eBay

Sneaking in under 300 pounds dry, the little smoker makes fantastic use of the 45 horsepower that was de rigeur among JDM quarter liters of the time. With as much time as TZRs spent on race tracks, waking an R1-Z up likely wouldn't be a challenge.

This R1-Z shows quite nicely, and comes with a clear Washington State title, so putting it on the road in your home state shouldn't be too much of a challenge. It does have marks in keeping with its age, and some pitting on the fuel filler cap, but the paint looks very nice. We are particularly fond of the "INDIVIDUAL SPORTS" graphic on the tank. Note the pillion seat.

From the listing:

INTRODUCTION:::

You are looking at a 1991 Yamaha R1Z. The Yamaha R1Z was legally imported from japan and now has a legal Washington State clear title. Yamaha r1z is a very rare unique blend of race inspired two stroke motor put into a open café inspired trellis frame. The R1Z was a bold move for Yamaha at the time and way ahead of the styling trend; the motor used in the R1Z is identical to the tzr250 parallel twin motors of the same time period so the R1Z is a very quick 250cc naked sport bike. This particular R1Z has very low 9300 miles (14,900 kilometers), and the bike is mostly all original and in good shape. But please feel free to read more about the specifics of this bike and see the pictures for detail. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. U.S. and International bidders are welcome to bid on this motorcycle but must arrange shipping themselves...

BODY:::

The body work is in great condition, all of the painted body work is near perfect with the exception of some very small rock chips on the front of the gas tank as can be seen in the pictures. The frame is in great shape with no major scratches or nicks and the motor is nice and clean. Overall the body is in very good condition for its age.

MECHANICAL:::

The bike runs and rides perfect, and it shifts smoothly through all 6 gears. The carburetor was recently cleaned and adjusted, and a full service tune-up was performed which included new, spark plugs, chain, air filter, brake pads, oil change, and brake fluid flush. All of the lighting and electrical components work as they should.

CONCLUSION:::

This is a great opportunity to buy a very rare nice and clean 1989 Yamaha R1Z. These bikes were never imported into the USA and very few were exported outside of Japan to any other countries so it is a very rare Yamaha model. If you need any additional pictures or have any additional questions please feel free to email us. Domestic & International buyers are welcome to bid but must arrange the shipping themselves. However we will be glad to assist with any loading of the motorcycle. We have helped with the shipping of motorcycles across the country and overseas for other customers in the past. Please feel free to bid as long as you make the shipping arrangements.

Bidding on this beast is just south of $2,200 with nine days left in the eBay auction. Does this stir your inner oil burner? Let us know in the comments below.

Barenaked Two Stroke: 1991 Yamaha R1Z