Posts by tag: retro

Honda October 27, 2017 posted by

Time Travel: 1989 Honda GB500 TT for Sale

At a glance, you might be thinking, “Hey, when did I get redirected to ClassicSportbikesforSale?” But no, this isn’t a vintage machine, it’s a Honda GB500 TT that was built in 1989. Strangely, it was both ahead of its time and retro, something that was really only achieved by the GB500 and Moto Guzzi’s 1000S. These days, classic is king, and many of the major manufacturers are cashing in on their heritage: Ducati, BMW, Triumph all have very successful lines of retro-styled bikes with modern performance. But in the late 1980s, the classic-style craze hadn't really caught on yet here in the US, and the GB500 has languished in obscurity for a long time, although used examples command decent prices and values are now on the rise.

Styled to evoke British classics from the 50s and 60s like Norton's famous Manx racers, the GB500 is one of those “everything you need and nothing you don’t” kind of machines, assuming you’re not trying to cut some serious lap times at the track or stalk superbikes in the canyons. Powered by a sleeved-down version of Honda's XL600, it’s simple, fun, and easy to maintain. The four-valve single gave 33hp at the rear wheel, enough to push the 390lb wet machine to a top speed north of The Ton: 108mph in period tests. It's not very fast in a straight line, but handling was very good and it's obviously a handsome machine: anyone who doesn’t know what it is will probably assume it’s much, much older than it is, and you'll get plenty of questions.

So with good looks, reliability, and usable performance, why didn’t it sell very well? Well it actually did sell pretty well in its home market. But in the late 1980s, vintage nostalgia hadn’t really taken off in the US, where the bike was sold for just two years: 1989 and 1990. Part of the problem might have been that you could still buy the real thing for reasonable prices, so the main reason to get one was that you wanted the style of a 50s or 60s British bike without the hassle. The price didn't help either: it was a well-built machine, but the $4200 Honda wanted was just $500 less than a Kawasaki ZX-7, so it's pretty obvious why the bike wasn't popular among "more is more" American motorcyclists.

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda GB500 TT for Sale

The GB500 TT derives its name from "Great Britain, 500cc and from the Tourist Trophy" a classic 37-mile motorcycle circuit on the Isle of Man.
It was originally produced 1989-1990. It is a 498cc SOHC single cylinder with a 5 speed transmission at approx. 390 lb. It has both an electric push start and a kick start. Paint is a metallic black-green with gold pin-striping and lettering, as well as chrome wire wheels. Although the British inspired the style of the bike, Japan polished the details and improved on the engines' smoothness and durability.

My bike is the 1989 GB500.

I am the second owner and bought this bike form a collector on 08/1998. It had 1,853 mi on it at the time. I have kept it garaged and rode it for pleasure around town. The current mileage 5,226. It is in great condition. The bike is light, easy to handle and fun to ride. Its vintage British styling turns heads. It has Metzler tires. The bike has a couple of faint paint scratches on the tank. It runs great. It has a Supertrapp exhaust that reduces the overall weight and makes the bikes single cylinder thumper earn its name. The chrome on the Supertrap is slightly aged. I also have the original exhaust system that goes with the bike. I previously purchased a Corbin dual seat made specifically for this bike. This also goes with the bike.

This is a classic bike so serious buyers who are interested in this particular bike should respond. I am asking $ 6,500. If you want to have to look at the bike in person I will meet serious buyers only. If you want to take the bike for a ride you will need to bring the asking price in cash as collateral.

The $6,500 asking price is at the high end of the spectrum for a decent GB500, but this one looks especially nice, with extremely low miles. If you like the style of a classic Triumph or Norton, but want something you can ride every weekend without having to gap the plugs, replace the points, reattach wayward brackets, make sure all the lights work, and clean up puddles of oil, the GB500 is a surprisingly classy and faithful replica of the real thing, without all that famous British bike "character..."

-tad

Time Travel: 1989 Honda GB500 TT for Sale
Honda July 18, 2017 posted by

Big Red Muscle Bike: Very Clean 1995 Honda CB1000 for Sale

In the 1990s, Honda had a bit of a problem with their engineers building cool machines the company didn't seem to know how to sell: the Hawk GT, the CB1, and their retro-styled musclebike, the CB1000F known internally as "Project Big One." And big it is: those are 18" wheels front and rear, but they look like a set of modern 17" hoops fitted to a much smaller machine.

The big, 998cc four cylinder engine that motivated the beast was taken from the Hurricane, retuned for midrange punch and backed by a five-speed gearbox. Power was a respectable 97hp and the overall package weighed 542lbs dry.  It was a practical performer, but its lifespan was limited: the CB1000 was introduced in 1992 and sold until 1996, but the bike wasn't even available in the USA until 1994.

Period reviews were very positive and the physically imposing bike handled well, but the CB1000 proved to be a tough sell. Like the earlier Hawk GT, the Big One predated the naked and retro-style crazes that bikes like the Monster and Speed Triple either started or capitalized on, and was long gone by the time it might have been a hit. It didn't help that prices for the CB1000 were high: it was just $500 less than the higher-performance CBR1000, so you can guess which one most buyers chose. If you missed out on the Honda CB1000 the first time around, this very clean example in bright red might be just the ticket.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Honda CB1000F for Sale

1995 Honda CB1000F A.K.A. " THE BIG ONE" 

An Extremely Rare and Mint 100% Stock and Low Mileage Survivor in Pristine Condition. 97 Horsepower, Very FAST! Owned by a 70+ year old guy that babied this beauty, never seen rain, stored indoors 24x7!

New Tires Front and Rear, braided stainless brake lines, Full Service, tune-up and a pro detail just completed!

HERE IS A CHANCE TO OWN THE CLEANEST CB1000F IN THE COUNTY AT AN ABSOLUTE STEAL...

THE CB1000F IS SIMPLY A PHENOMENAL MOTORCYCLE

The video included by the seller features a bit too much generic hard rock music that masks all the good bike-y sounds, although it's a Honda so the stock exhaust is pretty muted anyway... These are generally pretty hard to find, although a couple have popped up recently. None were in this sort of collectible condition though. The seller is asking $4,750 for this particular CB1000 which is obviously on the high side, but you are unlikely find one nicer.

-tad

Big Red Muscle Bike: Very Clean 1995 Honda CB1000 for Sale
Ducati February 16, 2017 posted by

Worked – 2007 Ducati Sport 1000 Biposto

Ducati SportClassics were made from 2006-2010, and with their cafe-racer looks, were very popular with customizers.  The dual-spark 992cc engine was fuel injected, and its reliability lent itself more to breathing upgrades than internal work.  This example has had intake and exhaust work and some well-executed cosmetic upgrades.

2007 Ducati Sport 1000 Biposto for sale on eBay

Designer Pierre Terblanche got started with the wild-retro MH900E, and completed the thought with the SportClassic line.  Pretty good power from the air-cooled desmodue at 92hp, with stable handling and moderate weight.  Dual shocks and dry clutch make reference to the good old days.  Bars are apparently clip-ons, but have risers and some adjustment to ease the pain.  The seat is the best of both worlds, a dual seat with color coordinated cafe cover.

No word on how many owners, but this Sport has been treated well and shows just one spot of clearcoat failure for its 7,500 miles.  The current owner is an Arrow fan and put on 2-into-1 exhaust and had it altered to work with the passenger pegs.  Velocity stacks and ECU reprogramming complete the respiratory therapy.

Not often seen at this level are the fender-ectomy and SpeedyMoto open cam belts ( with guards ).  Can't say the license plate mount is my taste but there a lot of nice smaller upgrades.  From the eBay auction:

• Pazzo adjustable brake and clutch levers
• Kuan steering damper mount with Ohlins damper
• Rear fender removed
• Taillight flipped and mounted under the seat pan (turn signals reversed to accommodate flip)
• Custom license plate mount with factory license plate light
• STM clutch slave
• Custom Arrow 2 ­1 stainless steel race full exhaust (not a slip on) ­­ I fell in love with Arrow exhaust when I put a system on my Monster. The sound is second to none and this exhaust does not disappoint. The reason it is custom is that Arrow never made a system to fit a biposto bike; it was only intended to fit the 2006 mono. I purchased one and worked with a local exhaust shop to modify it just enough so that it would clear the brake pedal and rear set.

• Speedy Moto frame sliders
• Speedy Moto Leggero belt pulley covers
• Corse Dynamics high performance intake system (includes velocity stacks, air filters, crankcase breather, etc.)
• MW Tuning / REXXER ecu re­flash to accommodate intake and exhaust mods. O2 sensor delete.
• Billet high capacity ECU heat sink
• Corse Dynamics magnetic oil drain plug
• Lane splitter style round bar­end rear view mirror
• RAM Mount triple clamp mounted ball for accessory mounts (phone/gps/etc.)

Light on the miles and looking great, this SportClassic has a steep buy-it-now but the right equipment and up-to-date maintenance.  The Make Offer button is there if this classic red machine speaks to you.  As the wintry mix fades this might be a good opportunity...

-donn

Worked – 2007 Ducati Sport 1000 Biposto
Honda May 21, 2016 posted by

TT Week – 1989 Honda GB500

In reverence to the nearly two weeks of racing along the 37-mile Isle of Man road course, Honda introduced a British-styled tribute thumper in 1985 and built it in a few displacements until 1992.   Called the Tourist Trophy and nicknamed the TT, the bike was a retro cafe racer with Honda engineering, and foretold many of the "classic style" successes to come.

20160521 1989 honda gb500 right

1989 Honda GB500 for sale on eBay

20160521 1989 honda gb500 left front

20160521 1989 honda gb500 right rear

Not a super sporting build, the GB500 is based on the single overhead cam engine from Honda's dual-sport XL600, sleeved down to 498 cc's and 33 hp.  Not taking it quite back to the 60's, the TT engine has a gear-driven balance shaft and the hemispheric combustion chamber with valves in a radial arrangement.  It's a willing and torquey thump, just 8.9:1 compression to ease kick starting.  The drivetrain is completed by a 2-into-1 exhaust, wet clutch and 5-speed transmission.  Brakes are true to form, a single 256mm front disk with rear drum.

20160521 1989 honda gb500 left

20160521 1989 honda gb500 dash

The TT is a stylistic success, the clip-ons and monoposto seat cowling complemented by the black-green paint.  The vintage vibe continues with the fork gaiters and dual rear shocks, chrome like the chain guard .  Gold pinstriping and plenty of chrome plating, along with spoked wheels complete the English landscape.

20160521 1989 honda gb500 right front

20160521 1989 honda gb500 under seat

This GB500 is the owner's second, he rides the other one and has preserved this with only 425 miles.  A spot of hangar rash here and there, but amazingly original.  From the eBay auction:

I am selling my low-mileage 1989 Honda GB500.  I am the second owner, and when I bought it at 240 miles, I didn't know if I'd like it.  By the time I hit 400 miles, I knew I loved it but I didn't want to modify this one from stock with this low of mileage, so I bought another (Supertrapp, fairing, removed emissions controls etc and with a whole lot more miles on it - I call it my "beater GB") and I ride that all the time, and this one never. 

I have not ridden it since 2010, but I have fired it up every year since.  It was last running at Barbers Vintage Festival last October (2015) and since then has been in my heated shed.  
It probably needs its carb cleaned and a new battery, and new tires & tubes, just due to its age and being run so rarely. Has 420 original miles.  There is a small scratch on the tank where my jacket zipper rubbed, and a scrape on the muffler which it came with from the first owner.  Otherwise, it is in near perfect condition (I can't think of any other flaws, but with 425 miles on the clock there will be some little rock dings on forks and frame paint), and it is absolutely standard.  There are no cracks in any of the plastic panels or covers, and the seat has no holes.  The gas tank has no signs of rust, and nothing creaks! 

20160521 1989 honda gb500 right

20160521 1989 honda gb500 right rear wheel

This TT will need a little freshening up before any substantial riding, or it could by drained and detailed, and elevated to a pedestal.  With no bids but quite a few watchers, getting to the reserve might be a challenge, though is it basically new with a little shelf wear.  Engineered to be more of an around-town machine, it might be at home in the pits of a Honda team at this year's Tourist Trophy, or take it down to pub to watch the tv coverage on your laptop...

-donn

20160521 1989 honda gb500 rear

TT Week – 1989 Honda GB500
Suzuki November 6, 2015 posted by

Rare Retro Brute: 2003 Suzuki GS1200SS for Sale

2003 Suzuki GS1200SS L Side Front2

A very rare Japan-only thug that would seemingly have been ideal for the US market, the Suzuki GS1200SS was unfortunately never sold here. It featured retro endurance-racer bodywork and the big, understressed four-cylinder from the long-serving Bandit, packaged with modern running gear to create a bike that was slightly ahead of its time.

2003 Suzuki GS1200SS R Side Rear

On paper, it's basically a retro-styled Bandit with pretty uninspiring specifications: limited by government regulations to just 100hp from the big, 1156cc air and oil-cooled 16-valve four, the bike was saddled with a twin-shock frame and weighed in at 460lbs dry.

2003 Suzuki GS1200SS Cockpit

But in the real world, where bikes actually live, the combination of a broad powerband, comfortable ergonomics, and a stable chassis mean lots of miles and lots of smiles. And, as the seller mentions, if you don't like that adequate and likely very torquey power figure, there's an entire catalog of upgrades and performance parts available for these bikes: the Bandit motor is pretty much the Small Block Chevy of the motorcycle world and has been used in everything from road-racers to drag-racers.

From the original eBay listing: 2003 Suzuki GS1200SS for Sale in New Zealand

Bike is in New Zealand! Will ship at owner's expense, more than happy to assist with details and facilitate smooth freight transaction.

Right, this is your chance to own what is a very rare motorcycle, The GS1200SS was made in limited numbers for the Japanese domestic market as a salute to the golden age of 80's muscle bikes and their success in the Sukura 8hr races.

Some of these GS1200SS escaped to New Zealand mostly the black ones and about 4 red and black models.

This is my second GS1200SS they are an incredibly capable do anything all day long super sports, tourer or track bike if you felt the urge.

This bike has an very low 13,204 Miles or 21,251 kms ( Speedo and Odometer are in KPH) Strong Bulletproof under-stressed motor. This bike is still factory restricted (to 100hp) but apparently it's not hard to get another 40hp with some work. (I never felt the need to go any faster but good to know there's more power waiting to be tapped should you desire.)

Includes original stock muffler.  Two minor scuffs to paint on tank (possibly belt buckle rub)  Otherwise perfect.

UK mag practical sports bikes issue 20 has a very favorable writeup and comparison with the GS1200SS and the original GSXR1100.

2003 Suzuki GS1200SS L Side Front

These are really cool-looking bikes, with that huge dual-headlight fairing providing plenty of wind protection, although I could do without the luggage rack on this example. Easy to remove, I'm sure. This needs some simple carburetor work and a full Sanctuary exhaust system and it'd be just about perfect.

Keep in mind: this bike may be a pain to import as anything but a display piece if you live here in the US. And that's a shame, since this is a bike to be ridden, not simply looked at. Unless by "display" you mean "parked up outside your favorite diner after a 200 mile morning ride."

-tad

2003 Suzuki GS1200SS R Side

Rare Retro Brute: 2003 Suzuki GS1200SS for Sale