Posts by tag: RC30

Yamaha April 17, 2017 posted by

Collector Alert: 1989 Yamaha FZR750RR/OW-01 with 741 miles

1989 Yamaha FZR-750RR/OW-01 for sale on ebay

Most collectors of homologation bikes place the Yamaha FZR750RR/OW-01 near the top of their lists, along with the Honda RC30 and Kawasaki ZX7RR and...whats that you say, you don't understand all the fuss about homologation bikes?   Well I don't see any big blue police boxes or dogs named Peabody around so I guess I will just have to do my best to go explain the historical significance of these machines.

In the late 1980's race series organizers and major manufacturers agreed that it was in both of their interests if race bikes were more closely based on bikes that people could actually buy.  The thinking was this would keep fan interest, cut down on development costs and weed out money losing engineer flights of fancy (i'm looking at you, Norton rotary).  The adage of the day was "a win on Sunday equals sales on Monday".  But the major manufacturers engineer departments were still charged with winning and made the legitimate point that race bikes had very different performance needs from standard street machines.  In the end a compromise was reached; racebikes would still have to be based on a bike available for sale to the general public but the base bike could be a limited edition series that was equipped with the same components as the bikes that would be used on the racetrack, including racetrack level frames, engines and suspensions.  The limited edition bikes had to be able to be able to pass emissions and run legally on the street but could otherwise essentially be race bikes with lights and a license plate.  This agreement became known as the homologation rule and bikes from the era are referred to as homolgation bikes.


Okay, so they had some track-oriented tech, but you still don't see what's the big deal?  Consider this - a factory racetrack-level motorcycle has components that are hellishly expensive to develop and produce, the prices for one of these limited edition/homolgation bike was usually significantly higher than a standard street version.  The OW-01 had a list price of about $16,000 USD, which back in 1989 was equal to about a year of private college tuition.  And even with their high prices the street legal homologation machines were often unprofitable for the manufacturers so to cut down on losses the production run was typically a very small number of bikes.  For the FZR750RR/OW-01, production was 500 units over two years. But while Yamaha's 750cc powered machine was pricey and parts would always be a challenge, anyone who bought one did actually get something quite special: titanium rods, twin-ring pistons, an aluminum tank with a track ready fuel filler were all wrapped up in a beautiful hand welded frame. This was then combined with Ohlins suspension, magnesium brake calipers and quick detach sub-frame and axle release clamps.

And best of all, these track-oriented goodies weren't just for show. While not quite as successful as its main rival the Honda RC30, the FZR-750RR was used as the basis of multiple World Superbike wins, a British Sport Bike (BSB) title, set an Isle of Man TT lap record and was ridden to victory in the 1993 Daytona 200.

So in summary, homologation bikes were an opportunity for mere mortals to experience what a true race bike was like. They were also quite rare from a price and production number perspective and many were bought by privateer racers and then actually used on the track. This means that finding one today in pristine condition is quite a challenge and given that the primary rare sport bike criteria are condition, number produced, historical significance and technology, its only natural that the OW-01 always causes a fuss/is a big deal to collectors.

As for this FZR750RR/OW-01, a  quick look at the pictures in this auction show that the seller is a big fan on the late 1980's/early 1990's homolgation bikes.   The seller indicates a recent freshening of items which together with the low mileage means this one is a good option for someone building a collection.

Here is an overview of what the seller has to say

  • New battery,new fork seals and fork oil, new spark plugs
  • Fresh fluids including engine oil, new coolant flush, new brake fluid, and original air filter was serviced.
  • Carburetor jets and needles are original and still comes with the factory jetting set from the factory.  Runs a little rich at my elevation (Utah) but will need nothing if your going to run it at sea level. If your in a high elevation state it will need jets and fine tuning.
  • Still has the original factory tires, however there are age cracks in the sidewalls.
  • Still has its original chain & sprockets with factory safety wire, original brake pads and all original fairings and factory components.
  • Air breather hose was replaced since the original was hard and cracked.
  • Slight ripple in the muffler that does not show up in photos, you would never know it if I didn't mention it to you but its there.  Muffler was chromed and re-finished to repair the tiny ding in it that you cannot see now.
  • There is patina here and there as you would expect from a 28 year old motorcycle.  Also there was a scratch protection pad on the tank at one time, since been removed but has left a clear residue behind from adhesion.
  • The original fuel tank cap was replaced with a NOS OEM Yamaha fuel cap due to a rough edge from being dropped on the ground in the past we believe. Original fuel cap is included with sale.

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So, now for the price question- what is this bit of homologation era history going to cost?  While the listing has an excellent level of detail and some services have been done, the condition is not perfect (note the cracks in the dash foam) and there is a need for fresh tires.  Recent examples of FZR750RR/OW-01 on RSBFS  show a price range of between $16,000 -$25,000 USD so the sellers Buy-It-Now price of $27,500 seems to be a bit optimistic.

My person opinion is that the value of this one is right about $23,000 USD,  Current bid is at about $12,600 USD with about 5 days on the auction left.  Unless the seller has a significantly lower reserve than the Buy-It-Now price I don't think one will sell on the auction but any interested parties might want to follow the listing on Ebay and reach out to the seller after it ends.  Then again, Ebay can be a funny thing and part of being a smart collector is knowing when to pull the trigger so if this one is on your list, it might be time to move.

 

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Collector Alert:  1989 Yamaha FZR750RR/OW-01 with 741 miles
Honda December 26, 2016 posted by

Boxing Day Dream: 1989 Honda RC30 with 1,550 miles in the UK

1989 Honda RC30 for sale on ebay uk

Any RSBFS readers not familiar with the Honda RC30/VFR750R can read our previous RC30/VFR750R posts to learn about this legendary bike but to quickly summarize, Honda decided to show the world what it was capable of when all the limits (financial, manpower, etc) were ignored.  The result was the Honda RC30, a machine built to win and boy did it.  In just the 1st year after its introduction the result was pure domination with 15 of the 25 finishers in the top F1 class being on the new Honda.  As this was the homologation era, street versions also had to be available, an a total of 1,500 were produced each year over a 2 year production run.

A large block of the RC30's that were produced were dedicated to the Japanese market and this particular RC30 is apparently one of these Japanese editions but interestingly, is currently located in the UK.  Despite its travels, it is probably the most pristine/intact one we have had on RSBFS, with mileage at only 1,550 miles.

The pics* seems to match the mileage with the bike looking like it just came out of the factory.  The seller does mention some slight staining around the frame plate but this is not apparent in the pics and everything looks completely OEM/stock.   Given the low miles and the statement that this is a formerly japan market bike I would assume the Japan market CDI/top speed limiter is still installed but info on how to remove/replace it is available on the web so it would be fairly straightforward to enjoy the full RC30 experience.

*NOTE:  The listing includes both standard pics and additional classified ad pics which are located at the bottom of the ebay.co.uk listing.

The Honda RC30/VFR750R is one of those bikes that every serious collector wants to have in their collection.  It is probably the homologation bike that had the most top level track success, although the Ducati Desmosedici and Kawasaki ZX7-RR are both close runners up.  But even given its legendary success on the track and the pristine condition of this example the question remains; is this example worth the asking price of 28,000 GBP/$35,000 USD?  That price seemed a bit high at first but then again it is very unlikely you will see one for sale in this condition anytime soon and prices do seem to be steadily increasing.

I guess the question is what is this bikes destiny?  Is it already fated to exist only as a halo bike in a collection?  Or will its next owner give it some fresh fluids/rubber and do a bit of riding to see what all the fuss was about?  All I know is that if I was able to acquire this one, I would be in that second camp for at least a bit.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Boxing Day Dream:  1989 Honda RC30 with 1,550 miles in the UK
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.

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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.

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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
Honda September 16, 2016 posted by

1990 Honda RC30 For Sale in California

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We've seen some quick sales of great examples late in the season (check out this ZX750M1 that sold in two days for $18k) and this RC30 in California could fit that bill as well. It is advertised with less than 10k miles and the opening bid is $22k reserve not met. Where do you think this bike will end up?

Have a great weekend,

dc

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1990 Honda RC30 for sale on eBay

From the seller:

If you are looking for one of these, no explanation is required how rare and exotic this motorcycle is. hand built one by one and imported 300 only to state. She is in beautiful condition. She has Micron exhaust but comes with stock exhaust and bottom fairing in pristine condition as well. Rear wheel stand is also included. I have couple of boxes of NOS and extra stuff to go with. Only thing missing is the factory tool kit. I will only accept cash or bank transfer for payment. She is a 49 state bike.

s-l1600-5

1990 Honda RC30 For Sale in California
Honda August 8, 2016 posted by

They seem to come in waves:
Another 1994 Honda RC45, this one with under 900 miles

We just had a nice RC45 here on RSBFS last week and given the rarity of these it's a bit of a surprise that another one has popped up for sale so soon.  While the previous bike was a gray import bike offered by a dealer in Florida, this one looks to be a US bike currently owned by a collector.

rc452

1994 Honda RVF750R/RC45 in Texas USA

As noted in the post from last week, the RVF750R (also known as the RC45) was introduced in 1994 as the successor to the epic RC30 and was a true homologation bike.  The RC45 came with a 749cc V4 engine containing titanium rods, ceramic-lined cylinder walls and gear driven cams, as well as a new fuel injection system and a race-ready single-sided rear swingarm.

The RC45 was a good bike on the track, being ridden to championships in 1997 and 1998.  But reviewers/riders found the bike a bit of a letdown on the street, mostly due to it being tuned to only produce around 110bhp for the U.S. version and the race gearbox having a very tall 1st gear. Consider the following review from motorcyclenews:

"Like the race version, Honda's road-going RC45 doesn't quite hit the spot, but it's still an impressive piece of exquisite engineering. As the ultimate ‘90s Superbike, the Honda RC45 lacks the pure focus of a Yamaha R1, the visceral punch of a Ducati 916 or the exotic edginess of a Bimota SB6R. Also, people might think your Honda RC45 is a Honda RVF400 NC35 from a distance..."

rc453

Mileage on this one is a low 877 according to the seller.  Unfortunately no other maintenance info is provided.  Based on the dust and color of the clutch reservoir fluid, I would bet that the bike has been standing for quite a few years and would require a thorough refresh including tires.

rc451

By the pics provided the bike looks to have been part of a serious collection.  Initial bid price is $40,000 USD with reserve not met. That price seems to be inline with what we have seen these go for in the past, even with the expected additional cost of a freshening.  Also given the rarity of these bikes, I wouldn't expect the price to drop below the opening bid.

It seems like the RC45 doesn't ring the emotional bells for a lot of collectors in the same way the RC30 did.  This one is certainly in excellent condition and is probably a good investment for a serious collector, but I wish there were a few more pics and comments by the seller.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

They seem to come in waves:</br>Another 1994 Honda RC45, this one with under 900 miles