Posts by tag: V-4

Honda September 9, 2017 posted by

Tasty Import: 1991 Honda VFR400R

For those US-based collectors, enthusiasts and oglers of grey-market machinery, Canada is a mysterious and wondrous locale. The nearest point to the US that regularly receives imports reserved for Europe, Canada is often the gateway to the forbidden fruit that is unobtainable exotica for US residents. A perfect case and point is today's 1991 Honda VFR400R - the NC30 being a well-respected carver in the "smaller superbike" category.

1991 Honda VFR400R for sale on eBay

The NC30 is the third generation of Honda's 400cc V-4 sport bike (preceded by the NC21 and NC24). The sporting intent of this model is not merely cosmetic; the VFR400R closely resembles the mighty RC30 because it relies on much of the same technology. Powered by a 90 degree four banger with gear driven cams, the NC30 has a 360 crank with a "big bang" firing order; the sound of a VFR400R on full song is unmistakable. On the chassis side, a twin-spar aluminum frame and trick single-sided swing arm keeps all the important bits in line. The inverted 41mm front fork is adjustable (as was the rear shock). The exhaust canister is on the left side of the bike, which maximizes the aesthetics of the exposed wheel and simplified rear wheel changes.

From the seller:
You find it! a rare edition of the famous VFR 400 NC30 in mint condition.

Sell in person in cash only.

No shipping, buyer is responsible for pick up. (Located in Canada Montreal)

Tyga fearing, anodised peg, carbon fiber/ aluminum exhaust, brand new tire, 4 cylinder V4 59HP and run A1.

50034km not miles.

The seller does not seem to have a lot to say about this bike and offers only a few pictures. Clearly the plastics and paint are not stock - but the overall effect looks very good. There are more KMs on this bike than many we tend to see (approx 31,000 miles), but like most Hondas the VFR400R is near bulletproof. There are some nice additions, but more history and maintenance information would be welcome. This bike is located in Quebec, Canada and is looking for a new home. The opening ask is $4,399.99 USD with no takers as of yet. Check it out here, as there are only a few days left. Good Luck!!

MI

Tasty Import: 1991 Honda VFR400R
Yamaha July 30, 2017 posted by

Bargain or Basket Case? 1985 Yamaha RZ500

** Not Actual Bike. For illustrative purpose only.

RSBFS is all about the rare machine in exceptional condition. This is NOT that kind of post. This is, shall we say, an experiment. As many of our readers exhibit extensive mechanical knowledge, how about a rare and desirable bike that requires a little bit of work? Put on your rose-colored "I can see the potential here..." glasses and dive into this 1985 Yamaha RZ500. Long a staple of US-based two-stroke desires, the big RZ is one of the more popular smokers in existence. With great examples capable of eclipsing $20k in today's market, does sweat equity mitigate the price or is this just another pile of parts? Read on before you make your decision.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Project Bike for sale

Known as the RD500LC in some markets, the RZ500 was Yamaha's repli-racer knockoff; having experienced tremendous success on the racetrack thanks to the exploits of Kenny Roberts and the PJ1-sponsored YZR500 GP machine, Yamaha hoped to parlay that into success on the showroom floor. Between 19854 and 1986, these 500cc, twin crank V-4 machines allowed street riders to exercise their inner Roberts or Lawson - everywhere but the US. Given the importance of the US market and the lack of EPA acceptance of anything as dirty as a two-stroke, the big RZ did not have a long model life span. Today it is considered rare and coveted by collectors. That is what makes this opportunity potentially (insert rose-colored glasses here) interesting.

From the seller:
1985 Yamaha RZ 500 in the works, I have most the parts (approx. 99.7%) including New Aftermarket Fairing kit with some new hardware (Tank cover not included). Windshield, Brakes, Tires, Chain/Sprocket, Wheel Bearings, Rims Powder Coated, Upgraded Hi Performance Ignition, Throttle Cables, Battery, Air filter, Gas Cap, Exhaust gaskets, Oil caps and plugs, Thermostat. Seat recovered. Some of these items have not been installed. Engine starts/runs but only been tested on cap full of fuel. Needs a bit more to assemble/finish YPVS needs setting up/repair. left handle bar cap missing, one mirror cracked. Need seat key/lock Fuel tank refinished in White Main photo of completed bike for reference only.

While the seller claims that the bike is mostly there, restoration experts would warn you that there can be a LOT missing in that final 0.3%. And that only refers to the parts list. Unless you have extensive experience assembling this model, have an original example that you can use as reference or are clairvoyant, you may find putting this puzzle together a bit more work than anticipated. And considering that this puzzle is good for speeds well over the ton, you had better ensure that the pieces are assembled correctly.

The general consensus is when collecting you should strive to find the best example of what you want; the cost of restoration usually exceeds the cost of what you could buy a better example for in the first place. Methinks this may be one of those cases, unless you are purchasing simply because you want a project. If you want a RZ500 to ride, my recommendation would be find one that is ready to be ridden. The seller is looking for $8,200 Canadian (works out to be $6,542 USD) or best offer. Cheap and interesting, or crazy and incomplete? Check it out here first, and then jump back and share your thoughts in the Comments section. Is this a project you would tackle? Good Luck!!

MI

Honda June 29, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing – 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30

Like real estate, they're just not making any more V-four 399cc sportbikes, and every one that appears has some kind of history - used or abused, neglected or cared for.  This Ohio-registered NC30 looks nicely preserved and has survived 25 years with only a couple of plastic cracks and scuffs.

If you had your headphones in, you might mistake a passing VFR400R for its big brother 750.  The 9/10 scale fairings look every bit of the Honda flagship, but the smaller engine revs to 13,000 rpm, delivering 59 hp.  Upside-down forks were still for racier machines, so the VFR makes do with a conventional front end, with single-sided swingarm.  The dual front discs are 269mm in diameter, and period wheel sizes of 16" front with 18" rear put a nice edge on the handling.  The NC30 is toward the end of the VFR400R development, and has the best looking fairing of the line.

 

Offered by Ohio dealer and RSBFS sponsor Deftone Cycles, this NC30 has covered under 4,000 miles and has great factory graphics.  Clean and complete with a few rubs from its garage-mates, and the owner pictures the crack under the mirror mount.  Notes from the eBay auction:

3,979 Miles (6,405 Kilometers) What we have here is a Type 7 model with Type 1 Fairings. The fairings are factory Honda OEM. So you are getting the upgraded suspension that was offered on the type 7 with the look of the original type 1. Other than that it’s completely original and unrestored. More of a rider than for a collection. Bike needs nothing.  All fluids are fresh.  Shifts and revs to redline perfectly.  Starts effortlessly every time. Some of the mounting tabs are broken on the lower fairings, nothing that is visible from the outside. The upper fairing by the mirror has some cracks, the mirror hides most of the defect. Windscreen is aftermarket MRA. Awesome windscreen. The white on the top of the fuel tank has been re-sprayed with the Honda wings being replaced. Not perfectly done but very presentable. If I was keeping the bike I would be very happy with the paint. Included close up pictures featuring defects. Bike has Vin Matching State of Ohio Title.  NC30-1100*** “Buyer is responsible for their own State Requirements.”  Imported into the States through all legal channels. EPA and Declaration papers provided.

 

The owner's knowledge of the type variations outpaces my own, but the NC30 was offered for three years before being superseded by the Fireblade-styled RVF400R.  Competition in the home market and other progressive licensing countries was heated, and the NC30 reviewed as the best all around, with strong if not leading edge chassis, and standout Honda build quality.  The starting bid is set at $6,800, and you can ask questions of Greg through the eBay auction - here -...

-donn

Featured Listing – 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30
Yamaha June 28, 2017 posted by

New York State of Mind: 1984 Yamaha RZ500

I will freely admit - having been born and bred in SoCal - that I have absolutely no idea what a New York state of mind might be. However I imagine it a series of dichotomies; hot and humid summers, cold and snowy winters, and the world's most crowded (and motorized unfriendly) city. That pretty much conjures up the images I have, intending NO offense intended to our East Coast denizens. However in my palm-tree infested world devoid of rain, I have a hard time thinking about how rare hardware survives. This bike does little to change my impression, although it may not be entirely fair to blame the locale.

1984 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on eBay

As I'm certain you have heard before, the RZ500 is the most populous of the rare, big two strokes. Encompassing a V-4, twin crank two stroke in a mild steel perimeter frame, the RZ was akin to a GP racer for the street. It was not the most hardcore of the bigger smokers (that honor falls to the Gamma), but it was both approachable and readily available; provided you lived somewhere other than the US. There are plenty of examples available, mostly coming from north of the US border; our two-stroke friend, Canada. Given the location of this bike, that is the most likely point of import.

From the seller:
Up for sale is a 1984 Yamaha RZ500 Motorcycle. Clear Title. Frame Number 47X-002434. I will get the engine number Soon and update the listing. Previous Owner had Bought the bike in 2007, He had put on new Tires, When though the Carburetors, changed the Kilometer Speedometer out for a MPH Gauge. Original reads 19,651. He had put a used MPH gauge on so mileage should be around 20,000. He had kept the original Kilo gauge, see picture, reads 34,454. The bike has a new battery. Fires right up and sounds great, no leaks or noises. Goes through the gears fine, clutch feels good. Inside of the gas tank was previously lined and is now starting to Bubble, so will need to be cleaned out. Front and rear brakes work as should. Headlight/ Taillight work. Has rear blinkers, Front blinkers are missing. It has a Jolly Moto exhaust system. Plastics have some cracks and slight repairs, but looks great! Expect normal wear and tear for a bike its age. Little to no rust. Would make a great Rider! Rare motorcycle, Clear Title/ Toolkit and cowl for seat. Please see all pictures before bidding. Bike is sold as is.

The seller shares some good information about the bike, but it seems unlikely that these words are the whole story. Not only has the speedo been changed out, but so too has the temp gauge. Were these items damaged in a crash (evidenced by the numerous scars on the bodywork), or was there another reason? Was overheating an issue? Where did all of the rust come from? Where are the front turn stalks? There are so many questions that I would want to ask on this one, not the least is why are all of the puke tubes hanging out in non-stock locations? The Jolly Moto pipes are a good score, but great pipes attached to some questions only really amplify the queries. Was the steering damper added after the fact? I could go on, but I'll stop here.

It should be no surprise to less geographically-challenged individuals than me that this bike is located near Syracuse, only a short doughnut's throw over the border to Canada. The swapped speedo makes sense from a federalization perspective, but the rest of the issues nag at me. Far from the near-perfect $20k smokers and exotica you tend to see on RSBFS (like this Kawasaki H2R or this ultra rare Kawasaki KR-1R), this RZ500 is a bit of a work in progress (as soon as the new buyer starts making progress). That could be a good thing if the price is right. The fly in the ointment here is that the opening ask is one buck short of ten grand. Yes, that is $10,000 USD. While a clean and well-sorted RZ500 can be a $15k machine (and $20k for a time capsule example), this one is far from that. Check it out here, and let us know what you think; does the DIY approach make any fiscal sense here, or is this one simply trying to ride the bubble? Good Luck!!

MI

New York State of Mind: 1984 Yamaha RZ500
Honda June 7, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1991 Honda VFR400R

Designed for racing, the Honda VFR400R was - in may ways - like its homologation big brother the RC30. Except in size. Based around the same format as the RC30, the NC30 brought all the goodness of the 750cc class scaled down to a mere 400cc. The smaller package included the same go-fast plan as the RC30 including the screaming V-4 motor with gear-driven cams, 6-speed close-ratio gearbox, the unique single-sided swingarm to facilitate tire changes and the dual-headlight racing bodywork that bore a strong Honda family resemblance (graphics included). All in all, the NC30 was the epitome of "smaller is better." With less mass and a lower center of gravity, the NC30 is a handling dream.

Here in the US, the problem with the 400cc class in general was rider expectation. Americans thrived on cubic inches, where there is no substitution for displacement. The middleweight class had grown from 500cc to 550cc and up to 600cc. Smaller bikes were just not interesting to American riders. With a tremendous supply of 600cc bikes, and easy access to liter machines the 400cc and below classes were considered fringe beginner bikes, and largely ignored. Pricing did not help, as the 400cc bikes were not significantly cheaper than the 600s. History tells us that this is a shame, given the interest these smaller bike draw today. Thankfully, with licensing regulations limiting smaller machines in other countries (especially Japan), the 400cc class thrived - which is why we can bring you this VFR400R Featured Listing.

From the seller:
1991 Honda VFR400R NC30
Small version of VFR750R RC30.
RVF replica.
Almost every year, Honda gave progress to VFR.
1987 Start selling VFR400R NC24.
in 1989 VFR became NC30 and has center nut for rear wheel.
30mm shorter wheelbase, skinny spark plugs, 17" front wheel.
Cross ratio transmission.
in 1990 adjustable rear suspension with reserve tank.
I bought this one because I couldn't afford when they were sold new.
Now I'm going to buy another 2stroke, so this one has to go.
Very light weight 164Kg=360lb

This bike is located in Torrance, California.
Price: $5,500
Contact:
motohikoo@gmail.com

This year has offered us a bumper crop of 400cc imported machinery. This is wonderful news as we engage in longer, warmer days, summertime riding and track days. Summer requires a special machine to enjoy, and there are few more enjoyable bikes on the planet than a VFR400R. Packed full of Honda technological goodness, reasonable performance (expect 59 HP or so), exceptional handling and a never-available-in-the-US type of rarity that many riders crave, this NC30 could be your ticket.

This 1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 is available in Torrance, CA. It is an import from Japan that now lives stateside, and inquiries should be directed to the seller at motohikoo@gmail.com. This is a bike that you can collect AND ride, so don't miss out on some riding fun this summer. Grab yourself some import exotica and hoon away!

Featured Listing:  1991 Honda VFR400R
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...

-donn

Polished V4 – 1987 Honda VFR700F Interceptor