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Posts by tag: Restored

Kawasaki June 29, 2018 posted by

Outer Limits – 1974 Kawasaki H1F Mach III

Prehistorically speaking, Kawasaki came just behind the Honda CB750 in the nascent superbike sweepstakes, but just ahead in the 1/4 mile.  The lighter weight two stroke triple had a wheelie addiction, and a substantial power-to-weight advantage, if not being a dream to handle.  This H1 is an older restoration and comes to you with a few foibles but excellent cosmetics.

1974 Kawasaki H1F for sale on eBay

The H1 had a classic twin downtube frame but innovative two-stroke triple.  Three 28mm Mikunis fueled the engine and oil injection was automatic.  For a 500, a 12.5-second quarter was a revelation, but period single front disk and rear drum at least kept exuberance rational.  Improvements over the six years of production improved the Capacitive Discharge Ignition system and standardized the unusual N-1-2-3-4-5 shift pattern.

This late Mach III looks better than excellent with most metals looking almost new, and there's very little plastic aboard.  The Ohio owner divulges that the odometer is hopelessly optimistic, and colors are from an H2, but beside the K&N air filters it appears complete, stock, and un-muddled.  A steering damper is installed which appears stock but from an earlier year.  From the eBay auction:

Mostly stock bike with air intake pods, dual piston front brake caliper and aftermarket exhaust. Older restoration with paint and chrome in above average condition. Starts up on 2nd or 3rd kick and shifts through gears smoothly. No dents in tank, scratches or cracks in plastic. Tank has been lined. Oil injection system is complete. Gauges, lights and turn signals all in good working order. Seat and seat pan in excellent condition. Recently replaced drive chain. Mileage on speedo is not correct. Paint scheme is the H2 color, black/purple.

Reviews showed the chassis to be un-cooperative with mid-corner direction changes and rough roads in general, but once the inadequate brakes were planned for, the power slowed the passage of time.  In the better part of valor, a friend of mine in the late '70s sold his shortly after lifting the front wheel with his fiancé on the back.  Neither designed or built for longevity, few have survived in this condition, the restoration here done on a nicer example.  Bidders are off to find the reserve but the auction still has five days to run...

-donn

Outer Limits – 1974 Kawasaki H1F Mach III
Honda April 13, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing – 1969 Honda CB750

Update 4.25.2018: eBay notes a sale at $25,600 and seller has confirmed the bike is SOLD. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Even legends take a few baby steps - Honda’s landscape-changing big four was originally manufactured on low-production tooling, known as “sand-cast”.  The smooth 67 hp model sold over 50,000 units the first year, and went on to around 400,000 sales, a lifetime achievement for any other manufacturer.  This early production CB has had a white-glove  restoration using period correct parts and techniques.

1969 Honda CB750 for sale on eBay

Known as the original superbike, the big CB750 was designed with some simplicity in mind.  Low-friction plain bearings are used throughout the engine, and the cylinders are undersquare with a longer stroke than bore, partly in order to limit crankcase width.  The cam chain and intermediate drive share the middle of the one-piece crankshaft for strength.  The switch to disk brakes had just begun but Honda cast theirs in rust-resistant stainless to ensure the clean look stayed nice.  The twin tube steel frame might’ve been the most traditional and not-over-engineered part of the package.  Early on a kickstarter was included though electric start was standard.

Subject of a three-year restoration completed in 2014, this CB was built with NOS parts for the engine and cosmetics.  An NOS wiring harness and exhaust system were sourced for the build, as few survive at their age.  A crucial un-restored tank was found in Candy Blue Green, though it post-dates the sand-cast era.  With the pebble-surfaced cases that "sand cast" refers to, the engine was rebuilt by Honda specialist Mark McGrew in Minnesota.  The complete package is easy on the eyes, the chrome rear fender echoing the front, and the quartet of headers making their way down and back.  Looking head-on shows the lightness and surprising ground clearance available.  Moto Borgotaro is located in Brooklyn, NY - here is a short excerpt from their complete offering which you can view - here - :

“Sand cast” guru Andy Morris of Hampton Bays, New York built this bike. Morris has worked on 15 “sand cast” CB 750s and nearly 50 later versions – he is so good that he can correctly assemble one of these Hondas from a tub of parts without reference to any manual – and he remembers buying # 2659 from a shop in Pennsylvania in the late 1990s. Its restoration took him three years and he used only OEM NOS replacement “sand cast” parts except for the rear rim which he had to have re-plated. All the fasteners, the spokes, the wiring harness, the four exhaust pipes, and other components came out of Honda parts boxes.

www.motoborgotaro.com

For all intents a "new" 1969 motorcycle, this CB750 has turned only 756 miles since completion.  It just looks like fun waiting to happen, at least to riders of a certain age.  My intro to the model was my buddy's CB550 in 1974, and even that seemed endlessly powerful compared to the trail bikes and vertical twins that were more my speed.  Though the standard layout had a self-limiting effect on top speed, it could do almost anything and torque was  always available.  It was also another chapter in the Honda quality story, the single cam engine being eminently reliable.  Strangely enough, the introductory model was also the most powerful, as horsepower figures waned through the emissions legislation and gas crisis years.

Honda used the pre-production molds to cast around 7,000 engines, which would be a successful year for most manufacturers and a full lifespan for more exotic models.  But as usual Honda was looking over the horizon, to around 40,000 machines each year with total production over 400,000.  This museum quality CB750 could be the opener for a collection of Honda superbikes, or the capstone for a history of earlier Hondas.  Moto Borgotaro can be contacted - here -.

Featured Listing – 1969 Honda CB750
BMW April 8, 2018 posted by

Ab Fab – 1975 BMW R90S

Lots of young men had Farrah Fawcett posters on their walls in the mid 1970's, while those with the two-wheeled affliction might've had one of a sexy R90S.  The bike was BMW's return to /S machines and was made only for a few years, but won Daytona and the inaugural AMA SuperBikes championship in 1976 under Reg Pridmore.

1975 BMW R90/S for sale on eBay

A descendant of BMW's venerable R75, the R90 was bored out to 898cc's and the helpful addition of Dell'Orto carburetors brought home 67 hp.  The first production year retained the Type 247 engine's kickstarter, but the 1975 update deleted that and added drilled brake rotors and a strengthened crankshaft.  The R90S was an early design of Hans Muth, who went on to many machines at BMW and then for Target Design.

This Tennessee /S has been comprehensively restored, every part NOS or newly painted, polished, or plated.  The owner started with a tired example with a rusty tank and missing its fairing, but has achieved a rare level of mechanical and cosmetic completeness.  From the eBay listing:

Bike was completely taken apart down to the bare frame and ever component rebuilt, restored or replaced. The complete motor, transmission, forks, wheels and carbs were rebuilt by Guenther Wuest in Indiana. He is a well know BMW motorcycle restorer.  Almost ever part replaced was replaced with parts from BMW thru Max. I have all the receipts and most of the packaging they came in. 

The only parts that are not BMW are the rear shocks and exhaust. I have all the original parts that were removed and replaced including all fasteners and are included with the sale.  Bike did not have a fairing or mirrors and had some kind of custom seat pad when I received it.  It also only had three aluminum  blinkers with no internals. The original gas tank was rusted beyond use so I went searching for a tank and came across a complete set of Daytona Orange body parts including a fairing.  The parts were re-painted some time ago but are in very good shape.  There are a few small chips on the tank and a couple small cracks on the fairing.

Front wheel was rebuilt with a new rim from Max and stainless steel spokes. The rear wheel was replaced with an original rebuilt Weinmann wheel I bought from Guenther.  Tires are new and wheels are balanced.  Every cable, nut, bolt, clamp, hose, seat, blinkers, bulbs, wires and complete brake system including the master cylinder is new. Also found a NOS tire pump that is included along with some new BMW tools.  Bike has only been ridden maybe 2 miles since completion and it starts right up and runs very smooth.

The R90S reviewed as a great all-rounder - not the fastest or most powerful, but handled well and was comfortable to ride through the 6 gallons of fuel on board.  The bikini fairing was borrowed widely though most did not include the thoughtful clock and oil pressure gauge.  The design was soon superseded with fast-paced engineering updates leading to the R100S and RS.  Likely this one will be for show only, though the restoration has prepared it for the road as well...

-donn

Ab Fab – 1975 BMW R90S
Honda March 12, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing – 1986 Honda VFR700F

Update 3.14.2018: SOLD in 2 Days! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

VFR fans might remember this special 700F from last spring's write-up.  Over the past year just a few hundred miles and a new starter are of note. 

The VFR700F was an interim model which ducked under a tariff limit on engine size, making a huge difference in MSRP from the VFR750F.  Performance was comparable and the model received two updates even though it was only imported for two years.  This edition is a late 1986 F2, with the angular console inkeeping with the times.

The F2 was a significant re-design from the 1983 introduction, and the entire engine was new in response to the update to the cam lubrication problem.  The frame was now a twin-spar aluminum, adding a sixth speed, air-adjustable forks and revised Pro-Link monoshock.  Still it was 81 hp pushing just over 500 lbs. wet, though the racing team did wonders with theirs - Fred Merkel won the AMA Superbike 1984-86 and was the new WSBK champion 1988-89.

This particular VFR was a rescue but looks like a show dog these days.  Fairings were repaired by plastic welding but are factory original.  Nice touches like the bronze powder-coated engine cases and up-to-date black wheels compete with knowledgeable fan updates like the 17-inch front wheel and shortened and cored mufflers ( with correct jetting ).  A lightening trim to the front fender shows the restorer's expertise and sharp eye, and maybe a little nostalgia with the NOS tank emblem.  Check out the restoration blog - here - .

By now most VFR's have half-again or twice as many miles, as they are a rider's bike.  Most have never even heard about a restoration like this.  Renewed for another life, with its 2nd generation alloy chassis and stock paint and graphics, it could easily hold its own at a show or concours.  Owner Scott asks just $4,000.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1986 Honda VFR700F
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 December 16, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1978 Kawasaki KZ1000 Z1R for Sale

There are no points for second place. Unbeknownst to Kawasaki and Honda, both manufacturers were developing the Next Big Thing in the 1970s, an affordable, reliable, inline four-cylinder motorcycle displacing 750cc's. Unfortunately, Honda's CB750 was first to market by several months, leaving Kawasaki with the unenviable choice: be the also-ran, or delay their machine to come up with something special. The Z1 that followed may not have been first, but the 903cc engine meant its performance blew the CB750 into the weeds, and the Kawasaki Z1R seen here was an evolution of that muscular 70s machine.

Of course, by the time the Z1R was introduced, the overall package was pretty long-in-the-tooth, with a dual-shock rear suspension and spindly front forks. Most of the updates were cosmetic, with more modern, angular styling and cast wheels. Frame reinforcements and triple disc brakes improved handling and stopping, and a displacement bump to 1015cc took care of the straight-line performance enhancements. The 550lb wet weight and long wheelbase mean that it won't exactly carve corners, but that same long wheelbase should make it easy to blast away from stoplights in a howling cloud of tire and exhaust smoke.

While the Z1R may not have been cutting-edge when it was new, time has been kind to it and the crisp styling and classy silver-blue color look very sharp today. Like all 70s muscle bikes, the Z1R has definitely been increasing in value, perhaps as a result of its association with its even wilder sibling, the turbocharged Z1R TC. The seller refers to this as a "nut and bolt, frame-off restoration" and it certainly looks the part.

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Kawasaki KZ1000 Z1R for Sale

Coming out of my private collection (only because I just restored another 1978 Z1R) is my matching numbers 1978 Kawasaki Z1R with 9,300 original miles in pristine restored condition. This was a full nut and bolt, frame-off restoration with no expense spared, with over $20,000 in parts, labor, and paint refinishing.

The engine was completely disassembled and bead-blasted, then rebuilt to factory specifications with new: pistons, rings, camshafts, cam chain and adjuster, transmission undercut, multi-angle valve job, bearings, seals, carburetors were rebuilt and synchronized, all the hardware new old stock "NOS" or re-plated/zinced/re-chromed.

The frame was bead-blasted, treated, and powder-coated in a matching "OEM" black finish. The forks and brake calipers/master cylinders were completely rebuilt. The wheels were bead-blasted and powder-coated back to "OEM" standards with new tires, "NOS" cables, and wiring harness.

The bodywork was meticulously refinished using the "OEM" paint code and looks like it did when it sat on the Kawasaki showroom floor. The tank and side cover emblems are new old stock "NOS." The original Kawasaki 4-into-1 Z1R exhaust has been replaced with a very similar late 70s triple-chromed 4-into-1 exhaust that looks stock but sounds better. 

Every single part, nut, and bolt has either been replaced with new, rebuilt, or refinished to the highest "OCD" restoration standard. She looks, starts, and runs just like she did in 1978. Please don't hesitate to call or text me with any questions or concerns: 954-816-0806 Bob.

This immaculate, show-winning Z1R is worthy of any motorcycle museum, and will be your pride and joy, sitting in your private collection.

Don't miss out. Tell your wife these bikes are appreciating 15% or more each year and you can get it in time for Christmas.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

Honestly, I haven't crunched the numbers, but I'd bet he's right about that rate of appreciation: the values of 1970s superbikes have been steadily climbing for years now, and with plenty of folks who owned these when they were new looking to relive a lost youth, I don't see that changing anytime soon. Plus, if you do need to sell the significant other on your intended purchase, keep in mind that long, flat 1970s seat should make it a viable date-night ride, compared to a more modern sportbike!

-tad

Featured Listing: 1978 Kawasaki KZ1000 Z1R for Sale




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