Posts by tag: Showa

Honda March 24, 2018 posted by

Order of Magnitude – 1994 Honda CBR900RR

Honda developed their Fireblade with an eye on the ruler and the scale, keeping size and weight down so the 893cc engine could provide open-bike performance. Though often seen in white/blue/red or black/purple/yellow livery, the pearlescent yellow on this CBR has a less trendy but outstanding appeal.

1994 Honda CBR900RR for sale on eBay

Honda developed a new inline four for the CBR900RR, nearly as compact and weighing just thirteen pounds more than it's 599cc brother.  Engineers optimized mid-range torque for the new engine, resulting in 65 ft.-lbs. at 10,000 rpm and 122 hp available.  The 45mm Showa dual-adjustable forks and fully adjustable Showa/Pro-Link rear were judged overly taut for the real road, but this set has been professionally adjusted for a full size adult.  At 296mm the front disks aren't oversized, but with four-piston calipers they can get the job done.  The compact package turns sharper yet with 16-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels.

Evidently having only three owners, this CBR looks way better than its 24,000 miles normally would.  Mods were all done recently, and mostly don't detract from the CBR's good looks, which would be easier to mess up with the monochrome paint.  Turn signal smoothing and tail-tidying are fairly personal, and the factory parts are included for the new owner.  From the eBay auction:

This bike has a few tasteful upgrades.  All of which I did myself.  When I purchased this bike, it was 100% bone stock OEM condition.  So I have all of the stock parts too that I will include in with the purchase as I have no use for them. Here is a list of the upgrades I did to it:

- Micron polished slip on exhaust ($350)
- Front & rear suspension re worked by Race Tech suspension ($1,200)
- Zero Gravity dark smoke tinted windscreen ($50)
- Pro Grip carbon fiber tank pad protector ($20)
- New Bridgestone Battlax tires w/ about 300 miles on them now ($300)
- Smoke tinted LED tail light w/ integrated turn signals ($45)
- Rear fender mud guard removed & license plate raised up
- LED license plate light
- Front LED turn signals hidden inside front grill inlays ($30)
- Black brake & clutch levers ($25)

The 893cc CBR was just the first generation, and for 1994 the transmission was updated to improve shifting.  The succeeding years brought three increased engine sizes and fuel injection, but kept the core principles of compactness, light weight and mass-centralization.  Project leader Tadao Baba was a factory worker and veteran test rider, but not a designer or engineer.  His vision gave the CBR900RR a multi-year head start when compared to rival open-class machines.  This updated survivor looks like it wasn't ridden hard or put away wet, and it'll be interesting to see where bidding goes...


Order of Magnitude – 1994 Honda CBR900RR
Ducati August 27, 2017 posted by

Remembrance: 2010 Ducati 848 Nicky Hayden Edition

Let me start out by making it clear: Ducati built this bike to celebrate Nicky's competitive streak and championship-winning skills while he continued racing for the Bologna squad - current tense. Today, we look at this very differently, and make quiet, respectful references in the past tense. This was not intended to be a remembrance model; tragic events turned it into that. Although Nicky raced for Ducati for 5 seasons in MotoGP, he was never able to duplicate his 2006 championship Honda form on the Italian machines. Yet in 2010 Ducati honored Hayden with a bespoke 848 Superbike showcasing the Kentucky Kid's signature and USA-themed styling elements. Only 150 were made world wide.

The Ducati 848 is the little brother to the 1098/1198, in the same manner as the 749/999 and 748/916 model pairings. In fact, the 848 benefits from many of the same components as the 1198, including oil cooler and radiator. With 134 HP pushing only 370 pounds of bike, the 848 is good for 160+ on the top end. But that is not the whole story. With 70 foot pounds of torque ready to assist you, the Ducati twin is very forgiving should you select a slightly higher gear than the situation calls for. That is one of the Ducati's (not so) secret weapons in the wet; tractable, usable power. The rest of the bike is pure Ducati. That is to say, finished to a high level of specification, including trademark trellis frame, aluminum single-sided swingarm, Showa suspension components front and rear, Brembo monobloc calipers, Termi pipes and Marchesini lightweight wheels.

From the seller:
2010 Ducati 848 NH (Nicky Hayden Edition). Great condition, no mechanical issues at all. Has been well taken care of and runs perfectly. Nothing to fix, ready to ride. Includes Bilt helmet, Sedici lambskin gloves, and full cover. Nicky Hayden autograph on gas tank.

Mechanically speaking, the real differentiation between the Nicky Hayden Edition of the 848 and the standard offering is graphical. There are no extra-sporty bits included with the NHE, unless the signature on the tank inspires you to greatness every time you ride in a manner that a plain red tank just doesn't manage. Otherwise, you are looking at more of a marketing exercise than a technical one; but as usual, Ducati pulled off another great looking bike (at a slight premium over the base model). This particular example looks reasonably well cared for (despite the 38,709 miles on the clocks - something of a record for most Ducati Superbikes), although I would like to know a LOT more about the maintenance history of this bike. There appears to be a license plate eliminator out back, and Nicky's signature is badly faded. Still, it presents decently well.

This 2010 Ducati 848 Nicky Hayden Edition is available on eBay as a Buy It Now classified. The asking price: $6,200. All in all, that is not too bad considering. This particular bike has a few too many miles on it to be a collector, but then again the NHE bikes haven't really appreciated in the same manner as other Ducati limited edition models (the 2000 MHe, for example). And it is too early to tell how the passing of the legend that was Nicky Hayden will play into the future value of these machines. But with only 150 created by Ducati, you can be sure there won't be another one on every corner you pass. Check it out here, and then share your thoughts in the Comments section. Good luck (and Godspeed, Nicky).


Remembrance: 2010 Ducati 848 Nicky Hayden Edition
Honda August 17, 2017 posted by

Threesome: 1986 Honda NS400R

The Honda NS400R is a bit of an odd duck in the annals of rare bike collections. Bigger than a 250 but lacking the brutal thrust of the 500cc smokers, the V-3 two stroke is neither fish nor fowl. Nearly all other two strokes are apples to the NS400R orange. With typical Honda flair and technology, the NSR is finished to a very high standard and offers a more evolved package than the competition. Instead of focusing solely on the HP game, Honda polished the edges and created a softer sport bike. But make no mistake - the NS400R is quite capable of madness in the canyons when piloted by an experienced rider.

1986 Honda NS400R for sale on eBay

To make a NS400R, imagine taking a parallel twin and 90 degree V-twin power plant and stuffing them together in the same case. Retain two cylinders up front, and one in the rear (for packaging). Beef up the single cylinder moving parts to compensate for only having one piston rather than two (to quell vibration), toss in some power valve and exhaust chamber wizardry (ATAC system) and bolt it all to a six speed gearbox. Slide that contraption into a sweet aluminum perimeter frame, bolt up a trick TRAC anti-dive fork and Showa rear shock, and drape it in aerodynamic bodywork with intricate detail (even the kickstand has a freaking fairing!) and you've got another Honda masterpiece.

From the seller:
Up for sale is a very rare beast which was sold new in Calgary Alberta Canada and I am the second owner. This bike has sat in a collection for over 20 years and has been started regularly and kept up the way it should have been. I took bike out and have put 250 klms on the machine and worked flawlessly as it should. Everything is 100% and factory Honda not aftermarket ebay panels. These bikes are climbing in value extremely fast and are not going to stop that's for sure.

The only flaw in the bike is a small hairline crack forming by one of the bolts on the faring. I am putting this up for sale this one time for I have found a brand new on in the crate still. Bike is perfect needs nothing at all and is currently located in Alberta Canada with a clear title and can be crated up professionally to ship for an extra charge.

This two owner bike is definitely interesting. The seller does not note the model year, which I sussed is an '86 due to the "G" digit in the provided VIN (not to mention the big "1986" on the VIN plate). The bike looks clean and is claimed original, but no notes of maintenance or refresh on the running gear - a potential issue for a 31 year old bike with 15,534 on the all kilometer clocks. Certainly it has not set the interwebs on fire as of yet; only a few bids and far below $2k with a reserve in place.

If you are in the market for a NS400R - and there is really no reason you should not be unless you are no longer breathing - this could be your next ride. The bike is located in Canada, meaning that importation awaits US buyers. While that is a negative in this case, it should not be all that surprising considering that Honda never imported these to the States in the first place. You are past the 25 year mark at this point, so for states other than the one at the bottom left of most US maps, it might not be that big of a deal. Check it out here, and then jump back to the Comments section and share your thoughts: is the NS400R too big, too small, or just right? Good Luck!!


Threesome: 1986 Honda NS400R
Honda May 5, 2017 posted by

Polished V4 – 1987 Honda VFR700F Interceptor

Honda took some lumps over the cam metallurgy on the early 1980's V4 engines, and re-introduced the engine in 1985 with gear-driven cams and impeccable quality control.  Almost a unicorn in its own right, the VFR700F was a de-stroked 750 staying out of a tariff scuffle.  This example has been refurbished to a level that will please the pickiest concours judge and make the rider happy on the way home.

1987 Honda VFR700F Interceptor for sale on eBay

Doubling down on the smooth and compact V4 engine, Honda did the heavy lifting that brought us the WSBK-winning RC30 and RC45, and transferred a great deal of the success to the carburetted 699 cc model.  The twin-spar frame is large section for the era, and the bike had adjustable Showa suspension, with Pro-Link rear.  Keeping with the times, there's a 16" front and 18" rear wheel, helping the slightly overweight bike turn in.  Very together Honda fairing design, and the angle of the frame is reflected in the seat console.


Seeming to have put the entire bike in a vibratory polisher, this VFR700F owner took things to a rare level, cosmetically and mechanically.  Keeping a basically stock look, the rear fender was cleaned up nicely.  Updates to the exhaust and front wheel size indicate a very knowledgeable owner.  Hard to believe it's an '87 with 22K miles.  The owner offers more high-res pictures - here - with comments and upgrades from the eBay auction:

Original bodywork restored and painted in matching original Pearl Crescent White, with black accents throughout the bike. Several desirable upgrades, 22,375 miles, mechanically and cosmetically inspected, cleaned, updated, replaced, repainted, repaired...anything needing attention was accomplished. This Interceptor is in excellent condition, no issues, no disappointments. The paint is new, the mechanics are correct, the tank is rust-free inside. The bike starts and runs perfectly hot or cold, runs straight and has a unique, modern vibe on a vintage bike.

- 17-inch front wheel from CBR600 (in place of OEM 16") with fresh Avon Road Rider
- Wheels finished in black (from original white) with white painted pinstripe
- Galfer stainless steel brake lines, front & rear
- OEM mufflers shortened 5 1/2 inches and painted black -- great sound, great look
- Carb jet kit
- Rear fender eliminator with original turn signal and seat lock mounts shaved from subframe
- LED rear turn signals
- Powdercoated engine covers in "Bronze Texture" -- clutch & alternator
- Seat recovered in marine grade vinyl
- Front fender reshaped for a lighter look
- NOS front turn signals mounted with shorter stalks to tuck the signals closer to the body
- Reproduction windscreen
- ODI hand grips
- New OEM fuel petcock
- Various rubber mounts, grommets, etc. replaced as needed
- Original owners manual
- Bike is completely cleaned and detailed


The quality and overall balance of the second generation V4's kept them on a lot of best bike lists through the late 1980's, though the 700 keeps a low profile.  Honda shortly returned to the inline four for their more sporting machines, but continued developing the V4 throughout the 90's.  With only a day to run, the bidding on this updated and beautified VFR is active but seems low.  There is still time to swoop in for this very rare Honda...


Polished V4 – 1987 Honda VFR700F Interceptor
Aprilia May 2, 2017 posted by

Legalities: 2000 Aprilia RS 250

Up for grabs today is a 2000 Aprilia RS250 - the most modern of the smokers we are likely to see on RSBFS these days. Sired by Aprilia during the dying days of 250cc GP racing, the RS250 is a street bike homage of the RSW250 GP racer. Using a Suzuki-derived twin based on the successful RGV250 series, an alloy chassis developed by Benelli and top-shelf suspension components (Showa, Sachs), the RS250 is a fitting end to the dominance of two-strokes in the smaller classes.

2000 Aprilia RS250 for sale on eBay

There are two versions of the RS250 to consider; the first is as we see here - a completely street legal bike with lights, instrumentation and all the other DOT niceties needed in order to obtain a title. The second version is the one-make racing series bike, the RS250 Challenge Cup example. We see many of the Cup bikes converted to street use, with varying degrees of completion. If you are intending the bike for street use, then the recommendation is to go with a model that started life out as a street legal machine. This one fits the bill.

From the seller:
2000 Aprilia RS 250 Amazing Original condition with clear Kentucky Title. 2 owner bike that has been in private collection since 2003. All fluids just changed and carburetors cleaned and services. Bike runs and ride like new. 100% original condition with 912 miles. These RS's and getting harder and harder to find in this kind of condition. The 2000 RS 250 had 72.5 HP @11,900 RPM and dry weight was 306 lbs. This one is ready for the street or the track, be the coolest rider at your track day or smoke those 600's on the back roads! It is in almost flawless condition with only 2 small spider type marks on the side fairing (shown in pictures) typical with the thin fiberglass fairing Aprilia use. Bike has never been dropped or down in any way. Come with full service manual and the original RS 250 Challenge service and repair manual. Here is your chance to own one of the coolest and highest HP 2 stoke 250's made. Or just buy it and stick in in your collection! Any questions let me know, I will do my best to answer them. John 860-810-332 or email. Good luck and happy bidding!

The seller has done a good job pointing out the highlights of this particular example of the breed. 100% original condition is a nice-to-know, as many of these bikes harbor modifications in search of additional speed (at the expense of originality or reliability). Only 912 miles means that this bike has not seen a lot of use or abuse - also a good thing. The cracks noted in the gel coat are (unfortunately) common; while they do detract slightly from the value, they do not necessarily indicate any issue, nor impede functionality. The only thing missing is commentary on services completed - while two strokes do not require the same care as a four stroke, seals do need to be tested due to age. A savvy buyer might figure on a bleed down test (at minimum) to ensure everything is healthy. Otherwise, well done by the seller.

Question for the Aprilia experts: The silencers on this one look suspiciously like Arrow units. Did these bikes come stock with something other than the brushed aluminum silencers, or have these been added after the fact?

This auction is pretty hot right now, with bidding above $8k and what looks like much more to come. These bikes are indeed becoming more rare as the world moves on to cleaner sources of motivation, and a good, stock RS250 is something that is only going to go up in value. Check it out here, and be sure and drop us a Comment. Have you owned or ridden a RS250? Share your thoughts and experiences. Good luck!!


Ducati July 10, 2016 posted by

Brooklyn Charmer – 1997 Ducati 900 SS

A feature of the marque since 1974, the Ducati SuperSport provides a great deal of sporting performance at a nice price point.  While many if not most Ducati SuperSports have been updated from their budget-conscious factory specs, the 1997 model presented here has been well cared for and garaged to boot.

20160709 1997 ducati 900ss right

1997 Ducati 900 SS for sale on eBay

20160709 1997 ducati 900ss left

20160709 1997 ducati 900ss right front

Using the air-cooled 904cc desmodue, the 900SS has 84 hp available in the bronze-painted trellis frame.  Marzocchi forks and Sachs monoshock came from the factory, but this example has been upgraded to the Showa front end from a 996.  The brake caliper mounts are different on a 996 but rotors appear to be similar to the 320mm stock.  Two-into-two exhaust remains, but is now an Arrow system.  Red cafe racer bodywork looks excellent, and the factory seat wth hard pillion cover has been traded for a color-matched Corbin seat.

20160709 1997 ducati 900ss front

20160709 1997 ducati 900ss rear

This owner has been over this super-clean SS, and improved almost every system.  A comprehensive list is in the eBay auction:

996 Ducati front end with Showa shocks

Cycle cat billet triple tree with extended clip-ons for better riding position

Smoked wind screen

Arrow exhaust pipes

Corbin seat

Fast by Ferracci racing clutch

After market rear suspension

Braded stainless brake and clutch lines

Carbon fiber front and rear fenders

Battery tender leads.

Aluminum primary cover

Frame Sliders

20160709 1997 ducati 900ss front

20160709 1997 ducati 900ss right engine

Light weight and with real-world if not Superbike power, the 900SS reviewed as a good handler and entry to the brand.  The two-valve engine has a reliable reputation, and overall the package is sport-oriented and not overly complex.  Despite city life, this 900SS appears carefully tended and has been thoughtfully updated.  Looks ready to take the new owner for a ride up the Palisade Parkway to Bear Mountain any day...


20160709 1997 ducati 900ss dash

Brooklyn Charmer – 1997 Ducati 900 SS