Monthly Archives: September 2016

Honda September 2, 2016 posted by

Featured Listing -1993 Honda VFR400R

Update 9.7.2016: All three bikes are now sold. Congratulations to buyers and seller! -dc

This Featured Listing is part of a set from the sellers for a VFR400, TZR250, and an NSR250. They are available for purchase as a group or individually. The sellers are available this labor day weekend for personal inspections in Southern California. -dc

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20160825 1993 honda vfr400r right

Stuff of legend here in the states, the VFR400R was built 1986-93, partly to satisfy progressive licensing requirements in Japan and a few other countries.  While speed and power were mechanically limited, the restriction were easily defeated, leaving a superb handling 60 hp machine which could be enjoyed by beginners and expert riders.

20160825 1993 honda vfr400r left

20160825 1993 honda vfr400r right front

The third and final revision to the bike had the factory designation NC30, and was the most refined.  The 14,500 rpm redline and "big bang" crank provided the ultimate performance from the 399 cc V-4.  Echoing the looks of its showroom-mate VFR750R, the 400 was also equipped like a larger bike, with twin-spar aluminum frame, adjustable suspension ( 41mm forks and single-sided swingarm rear ) and triple disk brakes.  The NC30 also used a handling trick from bigger bikes - a smaller front wheel aids turn-in, controlled by a steering damper.

20160825 1993 honda vfr400r right peg

 

20160825 1993 honda vfr400r left front wheel

This example began life in south Asia and was imported to the U.S. and restored.  Here are the owner's comments:

Purchased from prior owner in Nevada, imported from Thailand, prior history unknown, selling on bill of sale only, it was given a recent restoration using OEM parts when possible, quality repaint & wheels powdercoated, , minor upgrades (ie; braided brake lines), has full tread Bridgestone Battlax BT014, is missing passenger footrests. Has not been started in a while, but just needs fresh fuel.
Spares & Extras: Rear subframe (current one has slight twist, replacement is straight, can swap if desired), extra braided brake lines, steering damper & more.

Also includes Pit Bull rear stand, fresh Yuasa battery and trickle charger, parts catalog, service manual, and more documentation.

20160825 1993 honda vfr400r left tank

20160825 1993 honda vfr400r binnacle

Looking at least very good, with just over 11,000 miles.  The VFR400R reviewed as the best-made and easiest to ride of the small sports.  Almost any rider could hum along to the gear-driven cams on this down-to-earth exotic, though some work awaits if the road is your goal.  The ask is a sensible $5,700.

Donn

20160825 1993 honda vfr400r front

20160825 1993 honda vfr400r left rear

 

Featured Listing -1993 Honda VFR400R
Yamaha September 2, 2016 posted by

Featured Listing: CA-Titled 1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA for Sale

Update 9.4.2016: I've received word that this bike is now sold. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

This Featured Listing is part of a set from the sellers for a VFR400, TZR250, and an NSR250. They are available for purchase as a group or individually. The sellers are available this labor day weekend for personal inspections in Southern California. -dc

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1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA L Front

Here in the USA, the 80s and 90s saw intense competition between the Japanese Big Four in the 600cc and 750cc classes, with the bikes seeing almost yearly updates to the roadbikes and fierce rivalries on track. Oveseas, the same sort of knife-fight-in-a-phone-booth competition was happening in the quarter-liter sportbike class, with little two-strokes like this TZR250 looking for any performance advantage to edge out its rivals.

1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA R Rear

Earlier bikes in the class were mostly parallel-twins, although Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha were all running v-twins by the late 90s, all in an effort to maximize the slim performance benefits available. All featured cutting-edge technology, with lightweight aluminum beam frames, top-spec brakes, power valves, "banana" swingarms designed to maximize cornering clearance, and bulging expansion chambers. Later bikes even featured some seriously cutting-edge electronics, with Honda's PGM-III creating a three-dimensional ignition map for each cylinder, based on throttle-position, revs, and gear. The bikes all made similar power and weighed in at around 300lbs, with narrow powerbands and razor-sharp handling.

1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA L Tank

Before moving to a v-twin with the 3XV, Yamaha experimented with the 3MA version of their TZR250 that used a parallel-twin configuration with the cylinders reversed so the carburetors were up front and the exhausts faced to the rear. This mainly seems to have been a way to efficiently package the bike's exhausts: two-strokes rely on bulbous expansion chambers to make competitive power, and routing them under and around the engine and past the swingarm was challenging. Aside from some slightly bulging side-panels, the reverse-cylinder 3MA solved that problem, and the stinger tips poking through the tail look very trick.

1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA R Fairing

The 3MA is a pretty exotic little bike and pretty rare outside Japan. Reliability is claimed to be no worse than any other 250cc two-stroke, but parts availability for this Japanese-market-only bike can be tricky. Looking for performance parts for your NSR250? Tyga's got a whole website worth of exhausts, engine kits, rearsets, and bodywork. The 3MA? Better brush up on your Japanese and get ready for long waits as parts ship from the other side of the world.

1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA L Rear

From the seller: 1989 TZR250 3MA for Sale

7,614km Original owner, purchased new from EMI, CA titled & registration (currently on non-op), this TZR is basically stock except for custom ceramic coated expansion chambers with jetting to match, braided steel brake lines, rear fender eliminated, and has full tread Bridgestone Battlax BT014 tires. Oil injection intact. Rear lower corner of left side fairing damaged, not too visible, but needs repair. Has not been started in a while, but fuel system is dry, petcock recently rebuilt.

Spares & extras: Gearbox cassette, steering damper, & a few bits.

Comes with Pit Bull rear stand, fresh Yuasa battery and trickle charger, parts catalog, service manual, and more documentation. Pit Bull front stand is available.

$5900

In case you don't feel like doing math this morning, 7,614km works out to just 4,731 miles. The price is on the high side for a 3MA, but not by very much, and the bike's legal status and very low miles more than make up for it: I hear that it's possible to register these in California, but it can be expensive and difficult. This one saves you the trouble, and includes some spares to boot. It's not absolutely perfect cosmetically, but unless you're looking for a museum piece, this looks like a great example. I don't have the money or the space for another bike right now, but this one's making me wish I did.

-tad

1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA R Seat

Featured Listing: CA-Titled 1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA for Sale
Suzuki September 2, 2016 posted by

Untitled: 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP for Sale

1996 Suzkuki RGV250 R Front

Unlike modern, small-displacement machines like the Ninja 300, the Suzuki RGV250Γ "Gamma" is a high-performance machine in miniature, not a sporty-looking commuter based on a very basic platform. Emissions legislation meant we never officially got any of these little rippers here in the US, but the 250cc class really took off in the mid-to-late 1980s and saw absolutely fierce competition between the four major Japanese manufacturers before interest waned and legislation finally killed the class off by the late 1990s. Other than the Aprilia RS250 that used the very same engine, the 1996 Suzuki RGV250 was basically the end of the line for two-stroke performance motorcycles, as the VJ23 that followed lasted just two years.

1996 Suzuki RGV250 L Fairing

This 1996 VJ22 bike was the last year of the 90° v-twin engine, as the short-lived VJ23 that came along in 1997 featured a 70° v-twin that likely improved packaging, although Suzuki claimed improved power as well: 90° is ideal for smoothness, but on a four-stroke it ends up being hard to effectively fit into a compact wheelbase. That's obviously less of a problem for two-strokes with their very compact heads, but performance margins in the class during this very competitive period were razor-thin and changes that gave even a small advantage were taken very seriously.

1996 Suzuki RGV250 R Fairing

In any event, Suzuki claimed 60hp from the 249cc twin and the surrounding motorcycle otherwise followed the template set down for the quarter-liter class: aluminum beam frame, six speed gearbox, proprietary power valve technology, expansion chamber-clearing curved swingarm, and sub-300 lb weight. In spite of their power valves the Gammas, like all of the 250cc sportbikes were highly-strung, with narrow powerbands that made heavy use of the slick gearboxes mandatory. The snarling exhaust notes and giant-killing performance left a lasting impression on the motorcycling community, and many of the Japan-only models have become highly venerated by motorcycle enthusiasts who've ridden them, raced them, or only know them by reputation and endless combing of the internet for information to flesh out their two-wheeled fantasies...

1996 Suzuki RGV250 Cockpit

This RGV250Γ is the higher-spec SP model that should feature a close-ratio gearbox and a dry clutch to go with the fully-adjustable suspension at both ends of the bike, although buyers should be sure to do their homework to verify that this is, in fact, the real deal. It looks like you can see the dry clutch peeking out from behind the fairing on the right side of the bike, so that's a good sign.

From the original eBay listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP for Sale

Located in Santa Ana, California. This bike is in very good condition for it’s age. Engine runs good, but could use a light carb clean. There are a few minor scratches on the fairing. Bike has only 6529 KM = 3917 Miles on the clock. The solo seat pad will be included with the bike. Also included is a new set of air filters. Bike is sold with a bill of sale only. I don't have a title for the bike. Look at the pictures carefully and ask questions before you bid. This is a USA only auction. Again, this bike is sold with a bill of sale only, no title.

1996 Suzuki RGV250 R Side

Obviously, the lack of a title will be a problem for many buyers, but as always: your mileage may vary. If you're looking to collect or display, this example isn't perfect, but looks like it could be pretty close with a bit of work and, if you want to build a two-stroke race or track bike, none of that will matter anyway. The later versions of the two-fiddy Gamma, especially ones in SP trim, are pretty rare and desirable here in the US, so I wouldn’t be too surprised if this one finds a home without much trouble in spite of potential problems titling and registering it.

-tad

1996 Suzuki RGV250 L Side

Untitled: 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP for Sale

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