Posts by tag: V3

Honda December 1, 2017 posted by

Triple Time: 1986 Honda NS400R for Sale

Honda's two-stroke NS400R was ostensibly intended to capitalize on their Grand Prix racing efforts, but with less displacement and one fewer cylinder than rivals from Suzuki and Yamaha, it got lost in the shuffle at the time and suffered from a perceived lack of hairy-chestedness, compared to its 500cc competition.

So why did Honda go with a 400cc triple instead of a 500cc four, like Yamaha and Suzuki? Well in fact Yamaha and Suzuki did produce 400cc versions of their engines, in order to make these performance machines more appealing in their home market of Japan, where taxes and licensing laws made owning the 500cc version prohibitively expensive. So instead of building different versions of their repli-racer to suit the laws of different countries, Honda simply used the 400cc version for all markets.

The performance gap, especially between the NS400R and the RZ500 is actually pretty minimal, due to the Honda’s light weight: the liquid-cooled 387cc V3 produced a claimed 72hp and the bike weighed just 360lbs. A six-speed gearbox helped keep the two-stroke “on the pipe” and the bike featured sophisticated suspension at both ends, with TRAC anti-dive forks and a Pro-Link rear setup. Modular Comstar wheels were fitted with radial tires, a relative novelty at the time.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Honda NS400R for Sale

This bike has been meticulously restored from bottom to top as a shining example of the replica Honda put out in honour of the legend Fast Freddie Spencer! For the hard core era two stroke enthusiast and collector, this machine will not disappoint you!

I also have another 1986 NS400R that is in parts. Everything mechanically is there for restoration except some of the body fairings. I would not be fair to part this unit out as a result. I am prepared to sell both as a package or separately. 

Ask and I can send you the link to the Youtube video.

Period reviews praised the bike’s handling, and the overall package was surprisingly refined, considering the bike’s light weight and racy specification. I wonder if that didn't hurt the bike's reputation, although it should have been a bonus at the time. It's the same thing that let down the RZ500: in an effort to make a better road bike, Yamaha lost sight of why people were interested in a big-bore two-stroke in the first place, and the result was needlessly heavy and somewhat less exciting than Suzuki's Gamma. The NS400R doesn't have a weight problem, but it doesn't seem to have the RG500's wild reputation, either. They were relative bargains for a long time, but values have risen significantly over the past few years and this restored example is being offered for approximately $9,400 US. Note that this bike is currently in Canada, so keep that in mind before you hit the Buy It Now or Make Offer buttons.

-tad

Triple Time: 1986 Honda NS400R for Sale
Honda October 5, 2017 posted by

Three to Get Ready: 1986 Honda NS400R for Sale

The 1980s were a very exciting time in the motorcycling world, especially for fans of Japanese bikes, and a huge variety of machines were available in a dizzying array of configurations: two-strokes and four-strokes, singles, twins, triples, fours, and even six-cylinder engines. And it wasn't just engines that saw the application of innovative new technologies: anti-dive forks, electronic ignitions, and radial tires all became common on sporting machines for the first time. Of course, race-replicas were very popular as always, and into the mix came the Honda NS400R that combined all of those elements into a potent little package.

At the center of this unusual machine was a liquid-cooled, 90° V3 meant to ape Honda's GP machine of the period. Although with the two flanking cylinders canted forward and the middle one pointing up, it was actually the reverse of the racing machine's configuration that had the single cylinder pointed towards the front. As you'd expect, the two-stroke had Honda's ATAC powervalve to give the bike some additional midrange grunt and the 387cc engine put out a claimed 72hp through a six-speed transmission to the rear wheel. Overall, the package was very refined, with a claimed weight of just 360lbs. Handling was a definite strong point, helped by TRAC anti-dive forks up front and a Pro-Link rear, with modular Comstar wheels and radial tires at both ends.

Also, because I'm into weird details, I have to point out the tiny triangle of fairing that folds out when the sidestand is extended. Does it serve any practical purpose? Of course not. Did it cost real money to develop and manufacture? For sure it did. But that's the kind of detail that defines bikes of this period.

So why a 400cc machine, when Suzuki and Yamaha were producing race-replicas closer to the actual racing displacement of 500cc? Well bikes intended for the Japanese market were limited in terms of power and displacement throughout the period, and Honda likely wanted to make sure a single version of the bike could easily be sold in all markets. Unfortunately at the time, a perceived power and performance deficit compared to the RG500 and RZ500 likely hurt sales, but I think that's far less of an issue now: none of these bikes are especially fast by today's standards and the handling of the NS400R is famously good.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Honda NS400R Rothmans NC19 for Sale

NS400R a road going replica of the GP motorcycle. 2 stroke with a V3 engine.

The bike is imported from Japan. Not registered yet in the US. This bike is sold without title. (NO TITLE) Sold as is with NO warranty NO refunds NO return.

Start engine! Runs OK, new battery.

This bike is original, with 25,488 km (15,837 miles) This motorcycle is 31 years old. Some scratches so look carefully all pictures and video. Sold as is.

Buyer responsible for vehicle pick-up or shipping to your location. (Bike in Carson now.) If anyone wants to come see the motorcycle, please contact me.

These flew under the radar for a long time, compared to the 500cc Suzuki and Yamaha, but prices are on the rise now. This recently-imported example looks shiny, and the seller claims it is original. A few scrapes and scratches mar the bike, and the lower right-side pipe does have some damage, although maybe that'll buff out? There are no takers yet at the $5,800 starting bid with a couple days left on the auction. As always, the lack of a US title may be discouraging bidders, as that can be difficult to navigate, and many would rather not deal with the headache.

-tad

Three to Get Ready: 1986 Honda NS400R for Sale
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!!

MI

Threesome: 1986 Honda NS400R
Honda May 25, 2016 posted by

Featured Listing: 1986 Honda NSR400R for Sale

Update 6.1.2016: Sold in just one week! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

1986 Honda NS400R L Side Front

If Honda’s history of brilliant technical innovation has a downside, it’s that it sometimes posits answers to questions no one actually asked. Some recent missteps like their sophisticated but overweight and expensive VFR sport-tourer suggest that they’ve just recently lost their way. However, it’s definitely not the first time they created a bike that had seemed to have no real built-in audience, and bikes like today’s very sharp-looking 1986 NS400R show that this is really nothing new for Honda.

1986 Honda NS400R R Side

Meant to capitalize on Freddie Spencer’s wins on a 500cc machine and pitched against exotic race-reps from Suzuki and Yamaha, Honda introduced… a 400cc motorcycle, although it at least did feature something approximating the race machine’s unusual 90° V3 layout: a bit like a Ducati “L” twin, one cylinder is nearly vertical, while the other two jut forward. Race bikes actually featured the opposite: two up and one down. Carburetors are nestled in the center of the vee, and the overall dimensions are very compact, allowing the engine to be ideally positioned in the chassis.

1986 Honda NS400R Cockpit

Producing 72hp and backed by a six-speed gearbox, the 400 is far less manic than a typical 250cc sportbike of the era. Sure, the wild top-end rush is still there, but sheer displacement makes a difference and Honda’s ATAC “automatically-controlled torque amplification chambers” on the front two-cylinders help bulk up the midrange, so the overall experience is far more civilized. It’s probably not sanitized to the level of the RZ500, but the middleweight NS400R surprised period reviewers with its level of refinement. It gets even better once the road turns twisty: thanks to the light dry weight of 360lbs and equipped with sophisticated suspension components and a whole raft of 80s acronyms, the NS400R is often thought to be one of the best-handling motorcycles of the era.

1986 Honda NS400R Engine

Today’s Featured Listing looks impressively clean, with enough miles to indicate regular use, but few enough that it should appeal to collectors who’d like to occasionally ride it. Shots with the fairing removed show that it wasn’t just quickly hosed down and buffed up prior to being photographed: the bike has clearly been well cared-for.

From the seller: 1986 Honda NSR400R for Sale

For sale, an immaculate 1986 Honda NSR400R with 13,150 kms (7,900 miles) on clock.  This is one of less than 450 NS400R’s originally imported to Canada (although nobody seems to know the exact number for sure) and is registered in Alberta.  The bike is complete, with original parts and fasteners, and unmodified with zero corrosion of the frame, exhaust or gas tank.  The top end of the engine was inspected and piston rings were replaced while it was apart.  Bodywork is original plastic with a fresh coat of paint and clear coated replica decals.  Wheels are in perfect original condition and new Bridgestone BT021 tires were installed. The carburetors still have original factory jetting (rich!).   Everything works exactly as delivered from the factory and is ready for the new owner to enjoy.

Included in the sale are the following hard to find items; solo cowl and two-up cowl(seat and strap), factory rear stand, factory service manual and sales binder, and period magazine articles.  Spare ATAC valves are available at extra cost if the new owner wishes to have them de-restricted (i.e. bored out).  Selling with a current Canadian title/registration and bill of sale.  The owner can assist in the export process and possibly transportation to a shipping depot in Montana.

Price $7,500 USD

1986 Honda NS400R R Side Rear

Too small to compete with size-queens who will scoff at the sub-500cc displacement and too big to compete with bantamweight 250s, the NS400R didn’t sell very well and was gone from Honda’s lineup after just two years. Unlike the 500cc fours from Suzuki and Yamaha, these have languished largely forgotten by collectors and the NS400R currently occupies that weird motorcycle middleground: they’re not especially valuable as yet but they’re obviously very rare, with interesting specifications and clear links to Honda’s race bikes. Largely overlooked by more mainstream buyers, they represent a pretty good value for riders looking to get into weird 1980s exotica or collectors who want to complete their two-stroke or race-rep stable. I'd expect these are undervalued at the moment and the NSR should appeal to both riders and collectors: the larger displacement and powervalve arrangement should make for real-world performance while the 16”/17” wheel combo means relatively modern rubber can be fitted.

-tad

1986 Honda NS400R L Side

Featured Listing: 1986 Honda NSR400R for Sale
Honda September 14, 2015 posted by

Middleweight Two-Stroke: 1987 Honda NS400R for Sale

1987 Honda NS400R Faired

I have a contrary streak in me a mile wide and sometimes I like being different just to be different. I've owned Saabs and Alfa Romeos, both of which feature some really interesting design features that offer up alternatives to conventional thinking, although they don't always work as advertised... And to me, the Honda NS400R is a bit like that.

1987 Honda NS400R L Engine

A middleweight two-stroke with a liquid-cooled, 90° V3 that put 72hp through a six-speed transmission, one might reasonably ask, "Why a V3?" I'd assume it was marginally narrower than an inline triple for better aerodynamics: Honda isn't known for doing things "just because." But the truth is that I don't really care if it's actually better. I just want a two-stroke V3 motorcycle.

1987 Honda NS400R Dash

If you're looking for a typically wild, two-stroke ride, this might not actually be the droid you're looking for. Strangely, Honda did everything possible to un-stroke-ify the NS400R: water-jackets quieted the mechanical racket, and power-valves combined with bigger displacement to provide a modicum of midrange power.

1987 Honda NS400R L Rear

These were a bit of an odd duck when new: not as lightweight and visceral as the 250's, and certainly not as lethal as the big 500cc fours. But they were blessed with what some claimed was the best handling of the era, and if you're into weird engine configurations, I dare you to try and find another two-stroke V3 running around anywhere.

1987 Honda NS400R R Side

From the original eBay listing: 1987 Honda NS400R for Sale

1987 Honda NS400R, MC-19, 3 Cylinder, 2 stroke, 34,000 KM, Brand New Paint and Windshield, Runs Great, Clean Calif. Title and Registered. 

So there's a bit of a mystery here. Is that the same bike in the first photo? It looks a bit sharper and cleaner than the other pictures... And that front mudguard doesn't match. The seller claims that it "runs great" which is a good sign, considering these can be a bit of a pain to obtain parts for. But if it has "brand new paint" it might be a good idea to show some pictures of said paint. Or does it mean he has brand new paint in cans, not yet applied to the bike?

Questions like that don't appear to be discouraging potential buyers: bidding is up north of $3,000 with the Reserve Not Met. Fairing off, it looks pretty dusty and I'm wondering how much more this would sell for if they'd bothered to clean it off a bit before listing it...

-tad

1987 Honda NS400R R Rear

Middleweight Two-Stroke: 1987 Honda NS400R for Sale
Honda January 9, 2015 posted by

Some Assembly Required: 1986 Honda NS400R

1986 Honda NS400R R Side

Honda’s NSR400R was a snarling, two-stroke middleweight from an era of unprecedented experimentation; a three-cylinder, triple-piped sportbike with cutting-edge specifications. The 1980’s must have been a very discouraging time for European and Italian manufacturers. While they were barely hanging on by their fingernails, Japanese manufacturers were in the throes of an era of funky, experimental technologies, trying out new formulas, and nothing was off-limits: unusual engine configurations, turbos, and active suspension were all tried, with varying degrees of success.

1986 Honda NS400R R Rear Suspension

The NSR400R wasn’t lacking performance or technology: the rattling heart of the little monster was a liquid-cooled, 90° V3 that put 72hp through a six-speed transmission. Power-valve technology beefed up the midrange power while water-cooling increased power and kept mechanical noise to a minimum, although the snarl from the pipes is undeniably that of a two-stroke. Anti-dive forks and modular wheels wrapped in radial tires completed the package.

1986 Honda NS400R Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Honda NS400R for Sale

This is a rare Honda NS400R Rothman's edition 2-stroke. We got this jewel  from a retired motorcycle mechanic. Bike is not running and engine will need to be redone according to him. Honda appears to be complete with a couple of things missing like keys, exhaust, mirrors, gear shifter lever, kick start lever, and coil cover.  Paint and fairing is nice with some scratches. Mileage is really low at  4,741 Km. Bike has a small decal with Japanese writing and No. 301 If someone can tell me the year or more info please feel free to do so and I will update the auction.  BIKE IS SOLD WITH A BILL OF SALE BUT If winning bidder wants a title we can obtain it at additional cost  just contact us.

1986 Honda NS400R L Fairing

Just two days left on the auction, with bidding just over $3,000 and the reserve not met. While this bike isn't 100% complete, the bike is in cosmetically good shape, and the parts missing are fairly straightforward to replace. Those missing pipes might be difficult or possibly expensive to source... So why not go all-out and, since you're going to have to rebuild the engine anyway, just have someone whip up a set of pipes with custom expansion chambers, all out of titanium while you’re at it?

-tad

1986 Honda NS400R L Side

Some Assembly Required: 1986 Honda NS400R