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Posts by tag: V-4

Honda August 13, 2018 posted by

One-Eyed: 1985 Honda VF1000R Interceptor

Honda has always been like, well, Honda. Never content unless there was a more complicated engineering solution to an already solved problem, Honda obliterated norms and reached for new frontiers throughout the 1980s. This was clearly evident in today's bike, a beautiful VR1000R. You see, Honda already had the successful VF lineup in place, including the one liter VF1000F (alongside the 750 and 500 variants). But the "F" model was born and bred to be a streetbike (even though the 750 was transformed into a decent Superbike racer over time). Honda, being a racing company, wanted more than a mere streetbike and needed a platform to express ideas and homologate. Thus, the VF1000R was born.

1985 Honda VF1000R for sale on eBay

Straight off, the R model is far more striking, more racy, than the rather pedestrian F. The swooping bodywork gives it the look of a European endurance racer, which was strictly intentional. The bike retained the same block as the VF1000F, but valve actuation was converted to gear-drive instead of the F model's chain setup. Straight cut gears off the crank provide the trademark whine that these - and other Honda gear-driven valve train models - are so famous for. Hotter cams were fitted in re-worked heads that provided a higher compression ratio. In all, the completed the head work resulted in a slight bump in HP at the top end. It is true that gear-driven cams have an edge in precision and reliability for a race motor, but the weight, noise and complexity often outweigh the benefits. For the 9 extra ponies created, Honda added some 7 additional pounds to the engine alone.

Speaking of weight, Honda seemingly created the R bike by replacing adequate F model items with heavier pieces. Better front forks added stability - and weight. The cooling system needed to be altered to cope with the new fully-enclosed bodywork. Honda added a second radiator and two additional fans to cope with the heat - which also added weight. The exhaust system was modified to add a collector box and build up ground clearance; the additional pipes / ducting also added mass. While no single component was to blame for the 600+ lbs (wet) weight, you can see how all this added up. The net result was a striking motorcycle that stirred the visual senses. And while it was still a formidable weapon in the canyons, all of that weight (and much of it relatively high up) dulled the senses a bit. It wasn't all negative - thanks to that slippery bodywork the VF1000R briefly held the top speed title of fastest motorcycle in the world.

From the seller:
Pairing down my collection:

This is another of my collection lovingly restored. Many practically unobtainable pieces were installed on this bike to bring it back to like new condition. The fuel tank is brand new NOS! ( I have had amazing luck finding NOS tanks!). I also have a 1982 RM250 NOS tank if anyone is interested and 1984 VF750F NOS tank. The front panels were repainted to like new condition! The bike also has NOS side vents, (unobtainable!!), grips, right switch pod, all turn indicators and tank rubbers. Plus... NOS front forks, yes that is correct, new NOS forks. New petcock and new clutch. Hundreds of dollars worth of cooling system refurbishment. It has a brand new hagon rear shock. New brake and clutch levers plus the master cylinders were rebuilt. The bike is all original and runs perfectly. Again, the cost to restore this bike to its current condition is no where near the purchase price. This is a relative bargain at the opening bid. It can be stored as a museum piece or ridden reliably for fun. Your choice.

No warranty implied or given, (its is a 33 year old bike after all)
The bike is for sale locally so the auction could end at any time. It is a no reserve auction. The price is fair compared to what was spent on it. Good luck....

The VF1000R went through a few iterations, including the headlight configuration. Many will find the dual-headlight R model to be more desirable as it more properly mimics the euro-endurance look. Single headlamp bikes are US only models; managing a full technical program, numerous racing programs and rules AND satisfying the DOT regs were made simpler by this easy move. Dual lamps appeared in the 1986 model year, as US regulations relaxed slightly on this front. Hence, the 1985 model is only a one-eyed wonder. Still this is an awesome piece of kit, and yet another example of Honda flexing their engineering might. These bikes still make a statement today: they look fantastic, are reasonably comfortable, and are more reliable than most would expect. They are also a relative bargain. This particular bike has some nice restoration touches, and has an opening bid of $6500. No takers as of yet, but there is still time left on the auction. Check it out here, and good luck; not many bikes look this good well into their thirties. This is one that will continue to age well....and ride well.

MI

One-Eyed:  1985 Honda VF1000R Interceptor
Honda August 5, 2018 posted by

Fast Forward – 1995 Honda RVF400 / NC35

On the coattails of the VFR400R,  Honda updated the long-lived welterweight and extended the success 1994-1996.  Feigning to be an RC45, the fox-eyed NC35 had the tasty build quality to live up to its MSRP.  This one has Cali title and looks great for its 20,000 miles.

1995 Honda RVF400 / NC35 for sale on eBay

Honda's 399cc V-4 is the basis for the RVF400, familiar though the cam timing has changed and it is mounted differently in the twin spar aluminum frame.  Ducts now bring fresh air from the front of the fairing to the airbox.  Forks are 41mm Showa, but now inverted for lower unsprung weight.  Styling is of course updated to echo the RC45, with graphics to match.  Wheels are the same 17-inch for the RVF, easing tire choices in the long run.

SoCal friend of RSBFS Glenn has gone over this NC35 from A to Z, and as the model was never offered in the U.S., they are rare and more so with California documents.  A nice cosmetic freshening up was done, as well as renewing any expendables for  the next owner.  From the eBay auction:

Of all the classic 1990 Honda's the RVF400 is one the best, and like the NSR250 the prices seem to be going up every year...finding a CA titled one, that also becomes harder each year. This bike is registered as a 1995 Honda with a 17 digit vin, currently non op with DMV, no back fees.  You can register this bike in any state.

This is a very nice nearly stock and very original unmolested NC35.  Far nicer than most of the NC35's left in Japan that suffer from lots of neglect over the years.  This bike has been in the states for a number of years.

All OEM original Honda bodywork that has been recently re-painted in stock original colors.

Freshly painted wheels front and back.

All stock except for the slip on exhaust and braided front lines.

In the last few months the bike has had the following:

Complete service front to back

Carbs cleaned

Front forks refreshed with new seals and fluid

New NGK Plugs

New Honda 10w-40 semi-synthetic fluid and filter

New Synthetic DOT4 brake fluid and flush front and back

New Battery

Brand New Michelin Pilot Powers ( nearly no miles on these!)

Deep detail and cleaning on every part of the bike and complete going over.

Bike has seen less than 25 miles from all this work. It is turn key and ready to go. Bike runs great and everything works as it should.

Very nice as seen in the photos. Hairline crack on the right upper mid panel, hard to see. Some fogging on right side headlight lens, very small ding in tank (will try to add photos of this) some light corrosion on frame, and some scratches in a few spots on the frame spars.

Even allowing for the cramped quarters, the RVF400 delivers fun at a low per-mile price, especially when insurance is factored in.  The light weight, balance and nice equipment make the RVF arguably the ultimate 400cc V-4 ( well, four stroke at least ).  This owner has assigned a boundary-stretching Buy-It-Now but the recent work might be worth it.  Or if you're almost there, the Make Offer button is available...

-donn

Fast Forward – 1995 Honda RVF400 / NC35
Honda July 20, 2018 posted by

Born Ready – 1992 Honda NR750 – RC40

A peculiar bespoke-priced showpiece from the leading volume manufacturer, the Honda RC40 met at the crossroads of rule-bending engine development, enterprise-level manufacturing skill, and large-team design and engineering.  Rarely seen on RSBFS or elsewhere, this example has evidently been enjoyed in Ireland.

1992 Honda NR750 - RC40 ( Ireland ) for sale on eBay

The NR750's engine was a brainstorm response to Moto GP's limit of four cylinders.  Honda wanted more valve area and lower rotating masses, and the V4's oblong pistons ( roughly the shape of the carbon detail on the key ) were their strategy.  With connecting rods, fuel injectors, and four valves at each end of the pistons - RPM, horsepower, and complexity took quantum leaps.  The RC40 was a technical showboat elsewhere as well, with the alloy twin beam chassis, then-new upside-down forks, trick single sided swingarm, and 8-4-2 underseat exhaust.  The fairing is identifiably FireBlade, but surprisingly trim and fabricated chiefly of carbon fiber.

Next time you see an NR750 it will likely have fewer miles than this one, but in the photos ( evidently from a show ) indicate excellent condition.  At least this example has not been relegated solely to the display stand.  From the eBay auction :

Honda NR 750 13k Miles 21 Kms bike is in beautiful original condition. This bike is chassis number 60/200 built. Just had a full service complete with all fluids and a new battery. 

The bike does have a small mark on the screen but it can be polished out.  Comes complete with orignal NR key, Honda stand, Honda toolkit and manuals. I’m happy to send individual photos or video of the bike to any potential buyer. I’m based in Ireland but I do have a purpose built crate for the NR and I can ship it worldwide.

The development of the oval piston engine actually began with a 500 cc race engine, capable of 130 hp at 20,000 rpm.  Unfortunately neither engine conformed to KISS principles and were too expensive and long in development.  Still it's a smashing middleweight and 90's techno-barge, not unlike the Porsche 959 or Ducati's Desmosedici.  Destined like them for the dimly-lit exhibit, and the auction house...

-donn

Born Ready – 1992 Honda NR750 – RC40
Honda June 9, 2018 posted by

Once Smitten – 1990 Honda VFR-750R / RC30

If there was to be sportbike bubble, the grail-like Honda RC30 might be leading the way, prices rising as you watch, with collector auctions drumming up some truly outlandish numbers.  Still it is a venerable model which stood the WSBK universe on its head for a few years - lightweight, powerful, easy to ride, and just a few thousand exist.  This one has low miles, few modifications, outstanding condition, and a knowledgeable owner.

1990 Honda VFR-750R RC30 for sale on eBay

Bred and born for superbike racing, the RC30 has the goods, sometimes well hidden.  Titanium connecting rods and 360-degree crankshaft timing help make a torquey flexible 102 hp.  The single-sided swingarm is novel for the era, and quick-release front axle is also race-derived.  Rideability is enhanced by the factory slipper clutch, and the endurance racer fairing protects the monoposto up to its 149 mph top speed.

Careful enough that he raked the gravel in the photo shoot area, this might be a unique previous owner.  Evidently having owned a few RC30's over the years, this one was preserved and carefully modified with just a polished exhaust and matching 17-inch wheels from an RC45.  It certainly shows beautifully, even without the fairings, making the pictures a must-save for RC30 fans or owners.  From the eBay auction:

As you can see from the pics, the bike is in exceptional stock OEM condition and has no period performance modifications other than the wheels and exhaust noted above. The bike still wears its original paint, and it is in very nice condition for its age. As best I can tell, all of the original Honda warning stickers and decals are still in place and looking good. There are a few very minor nicks and scuffs here and there, but you have to examine the bike very closely to find them. The most notable are on the lower fairing chin (see pics) and a scuff on the right side of the original windshield (see pics). Some of what you see on the fairing chin is actually the clear plastic chip guard lifting around the edges and trapping a bit of dirt, but there are a couple of chips at the very nose of the “chin” (it is not cracked through anywhere to my knowledge). There are also a few areas around mounting points that show some minor stress cracking in the paint which is quite common for an RC30 with any mileage, but these are minor enough that I could not get them to show in the photos. The front of the lower forks also have some discoloration in a few spots which is also very common for these bikes (see pics). The above said, the overall appearance of the bike is excellent. 

 

The RC30's balance and powerband led it to a long career at the Isle of Man and under endurance racing privateers.  Reviews said it was light handling and Honda-easy to maintain.  Prices had been in the mid-twenties until recently, in varying levels of miles and restoration.  A couple of zero-miles examples have popped up this year, one selling at Bonham's for over $90K including commission.  Nothing like that here, but this is a great specimen that it wouldn't hurt to ride once in a while.  That is what it's all about, isn't it ?

-donn

Once Smitten – 1990 Honda VFR-750R / RC30
Honda April 10, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing – 1989 Honda VFR400R / NC30

Update 4.26.2018: Greg informed me that the eBay buyer fell through on this one after it was shown as sold for $9,300. However another buyer stepped up and this bike is SOLD. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Our friend Greg at Deftone Cycles has made a good name for himself choosing clean sportbikes for import and making them ready for riding season. This V-4 399cc mini-superbike is a great example.

Built from 1986 to 1992, the VFR400R used gear-driven cams and had four valves per cylinder, generating the kind of performance that has helped keep the grey market alive after all these years.  The NC30 is the third generation of three, with updates like the left-side exhaust, Pro-Arm monoshock with 18-inch rear wheel, and 360-degree crank timing.  The styling is so reverential to the 750cc RC30 that riders will find themselves fielding questions about the bigger bike.

Deftone realizes the appeal of an  un-restored sportbike, and chooses their candidates carefully.  This one has complete factory fairings, undamaged though there is a little patina here and there.  The front brake calipers appear to have been refreshed, not a bad thing for a rider.  All new fluids and tune-up are part of the commissioning.  There is a dent in the left heel heatshield, but overall very few distractions on this machine.  From the eBay auction:

Completely original and unrestored.  Mechanically Sorted.  All fluids are fresh.  Shifts and revs to redline perfectly.  Starts effortlessly every time. Very Honest Bike. Very few scratches overall. Two blemishes to be aware of, Exhaust heat shield does have a dent. Fuel tank Dark Blue Stripe is showing some hairline cracks. This is very common with the Type 1’s original tanks. Dark blue stripe is a decal that over time has been known to deteriorate. Please see Images. Fuel tank is Rust Free. Has Vin Matching State of Ohio Title.

The VFR400R reviewed as a spot-on handler and was intended for the fan-base in progressive license markets.  It was offered intermittently in the Euro zone but often for more than competing 750's and 900's, insuring showroom failure.  But word got out, the legend grew, and there has been a steady demand for track-day machines and rare street-sports here and in the U.K.  The auction has just opened with a starting bid of $6,500, and you can send Greg questions via eBay's "contact seller" link or email - here -.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1989 Honda VFR400R / NC30
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




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