Monthly Archives: December 2016

Ducati December 22, 2016 posted by

Low-Mileage Future Classic: 1995 Ducati 900 SS/CR for Sale

If you want a machine with charisma, humane ergonomics, and a dash of tradition, the early 90s Ducati 900SS is a modern classic that offers a less frantic experience than similar bikes from Japan. Straight-line performance for the two-valve v-twin is modest, but these were all about midrange power and torque. Powered by a 904cc version of Ducati’s air/oil-cooled Pantah-derived engine, the 900SS came in SS/SP and SS/CR flavors. The SP was equipped with some carbon bits and adjustable suspension components, so handling for the more entry-level CR is pretty basic.

I happen to love the half-faired version of the bike seen here, although I’d probably try to find a nice SP version and just fit the abbreviated fairing: the non-adjustable Showa forks found on some CRs aren’t great, but even those are better than the much-maligned Marzocchi parts… I’m not sure which are fitted here, but it really shouldn’t matter since you either won’t use the bike for serious canyon-strafing and live with the stock parts, or will just bin them and get something better. But plenty of parts exist to sort that out: a set of forks from the SP, an adjustable Öhlins rear shock and some good rubber should see things improve significantly.

As always with a Ducati: condition is key and maintenance is critical: valve adjustments every 6,000 miles and timing belt changes every 12,000 miles or two years at the very least. The air/oil-cooled Ducati engine is fundamentally rugged, but needs more attention than many other machines and neglect is your enemy: the 900SS may be cheap to buy, but putting a bad one right can quickly exceed your purchase price, so this one looks like a pretty good deal.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Ducati 900SS/CR for Sale

Ducati’s Supersport line has a pedigree that unmatched, its lineage traceable all the way back to the original 750cc racing Supersport of 1972. That bike won the famous Imola 200 race under rider Paul Smart, cementing respect for the Italian motorcycle manufacturer. The early 1990’s were special years for Ducati’s 900SS.  With the re-designed frame, improved Brembo brakes, the 900SS had the handling to accompany the booming 904cc desmodue. Powered by an air-cooled desmodromic 2-valve 90° V-twin is nicely carbureted by Mikuni, and has a wide power band.

This 900 SS/CR has had a pampered life, one owner, 5888 original miles, dealer serviced and always garaged. Basically stock with the exception of carbon fiber exhaust by D&D, bar end mirrors and rear fender eliminator. Recently serviced with belts replaced and carbs rebuilt. Includes all stock parts, both original keys and original manuals. This your opportunity to own a beautiful example of Italian engineering.

I happen to think the air/oil-cooled Ducati twins are some of the nicest-sounding engines of all time, but if you buy this one you’d better hope your neighbors agree, as those D&D cans are pretty loud… I’d keep them, but the seller indicates that he has “all stock parts” so you can always fit the original, much quieter pipes if you prefer. The Pantah-engined 900SS has been at or nearly at the bottom of the Ducati food chain for a while now, but prices are starting to creep up for good examples. The Buy-It-Now for this very clean example is a reasonable $5,200 but as always, a few folks are really jumping the gun on values: there’s an SS/SP that’s been sitting on eBay for a while now, with an asking price of almost $9,000… But nice, reasonably-priced examples like this one are still out there if you look.

-tad

Low-Mileage Future Classic: 1995 Ducati 900 SS/CR for Sale
Yamaha December 21, 2016 posted by

Feelin Fizzy: 1989 Yamaha FZR400

A perennial fan favorite, the 400cc edition of the Yamaha FZR has often been lauded for its razor-sharp handling and overall balance. While generally best suited for riders of smaller stature, the smaller Fizzer filled the gap currently occupied by the modern crop of 300cc machines; small enough to be entry level, but with the DNA to carve some serious corners in the right hands.

1989 Yamaha FZR400 for sale on eBay

Powered by an in-line four cylinder that is happy to rev to a stratospheric 14k, the FZR400 is encased in an aluminum Deltabox perimeter frame with triple disks all around. Wrapped in full bodywork that evoked images of the bigger FZRs – including dual headlights – there was nothing small or cheap about the 400. And while the model run started in 1986 and ran through the mid 1990s, Yamaha only imported them into the US for a few years, and even fewer into California.

From the seller:
You are looking at my 1989 Yamaha FZR400 California EXUP model. I am the original owner and the bike is in amazing condition both cosmetically and mechanically. I have a complete file on the bike that includes the original receipt from when I bought the bike from Golden Gate Cycles in SF in July 1989. I spent over $4,000 this summer to have the bike mechanically reconditioned by Speed Motorcycles in Bronx, NY and it runs well. The only problem is a sticky front master brake cylinder. I had it rebuilt by Speed but it might need replacing. I’m selling the bike because I’ve lost interest – when I had it reconditioned this summer I thought I was going to get back into riding but it turns out that I’m just not that into it anymore. I never tracked this bike – I did put an aftermarket Kerker slip-on muffler on it and had it dyno tuned but I have the original exhaust.

This bike is very rare and I’d be very surprised if there are any out there in this condition and still owned by the original owner.

Today the FZR400 is hard to find in unmolested condition. So many of these bikes ended up on the racetrack (refer above to “razor-sharp handling”), that most of the available Fizzers have been thrashed. And rebuilding a FZR400 is not an exercise for the weak or impatient; parts are not exactly plentiful, and stock fairings are all but impossible to find. My recommendation: Find the cleanest, best example you can, and jump on it. Could this original owner bike be the one? Check it out here and see!

MI

Feelin Fizzy: 1989 Yamaha FZR400
Honda December 21, 2016 posted by

High-Tech Two-Stroke: 1996 Honda NSR250R MC28 for Sale

From the “jeez, if you’re going to post your bike for sale, couldn’t you at least wash it” files comes this Honda NSR250R MC28. Early NSRs have become relatively common on this site recently, with containers full of them coming over from Japan, now that they’ve become relatively easy to register in some parts of the US. But the MC28 version is still pretty rare here, as it isn’t yet 25 years old and is pretty much the ultimate development of the successful NSR formula. The MC28 features many trick parts, like the single-sided swingarm and Honda’s PGM-IV electronic ignition that interpreted throttle position, gear-selection, and rpm to create three-dimensional ignition maps for each cylinder and to adjust their RC “Revolutionary Controlled” Valve for improved power and midrange response.

All that technology served a 90° liquid-cooled 249cc v-twin backed up with a six-speed cassette gearbox. As has been discussed at length, these were restricted to 45hp in their home market and, depending on the model, it can be a real pain to release their full potential. Especially in the case of the MC28: that very cool PGM-IV ignition system uses swappable ignition maps stored on “smart cards” and, unless you can track down a nearly unobtainable HRC card with “race” maps, you’re kind of stuck. Supposedly, work-arounds do exist for this issue, but be sure to consult with an expert and proceed at your own risk…

It may be hard to see under that layer of dust, but this is a pretty nice bike, a few superficial scratches aside. The seller indicates that quite a bit of work has gone into it.

From the original eBay listing: 1996 Honda NSR250R MC28 for Sale

I won’t start by saying that is a GP replica and is a fast bike for a 250cc. If you are interested in the bike you know about it….

  • The bike has a complete engine rebuilt
  • all Honda parts
  • rebuilt complete crank (all the bearings)
  • all seals
  • all gaskets
  • clutch
  • tires
  • chain & sprockets
  • the rims are powder coated
  • all electrical working
  • PGM4 on the bike with one card

Fairings are OEM Honda not after market and they are in great shape no cracks at all

I have the bike for 3 years and I have done only 1500km on the engine. The bike is stored indoors all year and I start the bike every 5-6 weeks. I am just changing the fork seals this week (the one tube has a very small leak). The bike needs nothing just a rider to enjoy the ride. I have rebuilt the bike myself I have register and plate it here in Canada ON. The bike come complete from japan in boxes and I assembled it here. With the bike I have some parts that they come with it. 1 set of complete exhaust (you have the option Dog Fight or Ethos) The bike comes with stock.

1 set of front forks USD from a VFR400 NC35. You need to get the upper and lower fork clams and you install them on the bike. The bike comes with stock forks. As you see on some of the pics the forks and the exhaust I had them on the bike but the bike is complete stock now. The bike is located in Toronto Canada.

Bidding is up north of $6,000 with the Reserve Not Met, which is no surprise, considering what earlier NSRs go for these days. Even more so than usual, be sure you know what you’re doing before you buy this if you plan to register it for road use. It’s still a few years away from that magical 25-year mark, but maybe now’s the time to scoop one up for your collection, with an eye to registering it down the road.

-tad

High-Tech Two-Stroke: 1996 Honda NSR250R MC28 for Sale
Honda December 20, 2016 posted by

Grey Market Rarity: 1988 Honda VFR400 NC24 for Sale

 

Built for 1987 and 1988, the NC24 version of Honda’s VFR400 was powered by a 399cc V4 with a lofty 14k redline, although it used a more conventional 180° crank instead of the later bike’s 360° “big bang” unit, which should give the bike more of an inline-four sound but with the added bonus of a distinctive whine from the gear-driven cams. The engine was surprisingly flexible, and handling was considered excellent. It was the very first VFR400 to use Honda’s Pro-Arm single-sided swingarm, although the rear wheel on the NC24 was secured by four bolts, instead of the later bike’s single large nut: the part you see in the photos is actually a plastic cover designed to mimic a trick racing part.

The VFR400 was originally intended for the Japanese market, although the later NC30 was officially imported to the UK and others found their way abroad through various grey market and “parallel import” channels so they do show up for sale pretty regularly, even here in the USA. This is actually the first NC24 I can remember seeing for sale. Most of the attention goes to the NC30, with its “baby RC30” looks. But this is still a very cool and unusual motorcycle, and perhaps the dowdy looks will keep costs down for folks more interested in performance and heritage than sexy style. With somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 hp and around 350 lbs dry to push around, performance is respectable and these have always been popular bikes among

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda VFR400 for Sale

Here we have a Honda NC24 VFR400. It has just been imported into the States from the UK. I test rode this bike when I collected it in Lancaster, England. It started with some difficulty but after warming up it idled well. I suspect that the carbs are restricted by washers. This is a common practice in the UK to satisfy licensing requirements for novice riders. If I were going to ride it regularly, I’d have the carbs cleaned and the washers removed. The bike comes with the V5 document (English equivalent of a title) , copies of import papers, and a bill of sale. I offer competitively priced delivery in the lower 48 States with a right of refusal guarantee. Upon delivery if you are unsatisfied with the motorcycle you will only be responsible for the delivery fee.

Bidding is very active, but just up to about $1,600 so I imagine it will go a good bit higher before the auction ends. The bike certainly isn’t perfect, with some flaking paint on the clutch lever, slight discoloration of the plastic “nut” that covers the rear hub, and the surface corrosion you’d expect on a bike that made it to the USA via the UK, where bikes see far more time being ridden in harsh weather and exposed to the elements. I’m also guessing that those aren’t the original fairings: looking online, that red stripe on the tank should continue onto the side panels. Maybe just repaint the whole thing as a Rothmans replica? As the seller mentions, these smaller-displacement bikes were often modified to limit power and allow them to be used by new riders on restricted licenses. Instead of buying a little 125, you could buy a bigger bike with restrictions in place to limit power. Once you’d graduated to a full license, you could convert the bike to full power. The seller obviously isn’t 100% sure they’ve been installed, but I’d expect anyone planning to buy a nearly 30 year old motorcycle would be prepared to do a bit of carburetor work if they plan to regularly ride their funky new purchase.

-tad

Grey Market Rarity: 1988 Honda VFR400 NC24 for Sale
Aprilia December 19, 2016 posted by

Little Wonder – 2003 Aprilia RS50

Holding up Aprilia’s presence in the beginner market, the Minarelli- engined RS50 was surprising robust, and ready for almost any speed mod.  With just break-in miles, this Cali-registered RS50 has thankfully seen none of that.

2003 Aprilia RS for sale on eBay

A scooter only to DMV, the Aprilia can make 65 mph out of its 49cc single, but uses motorcycle tires and wants a better synthetic oil to help keep its bearings alive.  The specs read like a bigger bike with cast perimeter frame, integral seat sub-frame, upside-down forks, and monoshock rear.  Cast wheels are 17 inch with 300 mm front and 180 mm rear disk brakes, and bodywork is a sweet RS250 lookalike.

Limited info but looks great and the owner says this in the eBay auction:

For sale is an awesome Aprilia RS50. This bike is street registered in California and runs well. This bike has never been down and has incredibly low mileage for the age. It is a real looker and gathers lots of attention.

A perfect holiday gift that will almost fit under the tree, this RS50 would take you across town or teach a featherweight a thing or two.  In a segment choked with knock-offs, here it the real deal, with classy RS colors.  And though there is a 50cc fun formula, it would be more fitting if it saw the racetrack from the pit lane…

– donn

 

Little Wonder – 2003 Aprilia RS50
Suzuki December 19, 2016 posted by

First Year Big Bird: 1999 Suzuki Hayabusa (the unrestricted model)

1999 Suzuki Hayabusa for sale on eBay US

Its a given that every sportbike collector has a bike (or two) they regret not adding to their collection back when they were cheap to acquire.  Typically these regrets are for bikes that introduced a new technology or reset the standards for a sportbike class.  Also they were probably in pristine/nearly all OEM condition.  My personal example of this is the 1st year Yamaha R1 (the red and white one) which has seen dramatic price appreciation over the last 2 years.  Other examples in recent years include the Suzuki TL1000 and Triumph Daytona 955i, both which have also begun to increase in value quite dramatically

I mention all this because today’s post is a 1st year/1999 Suzuki Hayabusa, a model which could become another “missed opportunity” for collectors very soon.

When the Hayabusa was first announced in the late 1997, the expectations of the sportbike world were that it would be an ultra-light, ultra focused machine meant to compete against the Honda CBR900/Fireblade and Yamaha R1.  This was probably due to its name, which means “Perigrine Falcon”.  But Suzuki actually decided to go after a market that hadn’t seen any dramatic changes in quite a while; the big bore hyper-sport.  Suzuki’s Hayabusa hearkened back to the era when bikes like the Kawasaki ZX, Honda Blackbird and Yamaha Thunderace ruled; big bikes that could cover big distances with big speed.

Did the Hayabusa deliver?  Woo wee wow, yes it did.  The big Suzuki came standard from the factory with a top speed that was over 300 kph (that’s over 185 mph for our non-metric readers).  Even more insanely, upon its introduction the big “bird” bike from Hamamatsu Japan did not have any electronic speed restrictions installed so even more speed was easily possible with just a few tweaks.

It probably shouldn’t have come as a surprise that, shortly after the Hayabusa was launched,  an agreement was reached between the Japanese and European manufacturers to limit motorcycles to no more than 300 kph. This meant that the unrestricted Hayabusa,was pretty much guaranteed to be the top speed champ for quite a while.  The Hayabusa actually held the top speed record for unmodified bikes for almost 10 years, finally being dethroned by the BMW S1000 in 2009.

This particular Hayabusa looks to be nearly all OEM and the seller posts a fair amount of pics showing condition.  Mileage is approximately 14,000 miles so its not been a garage quuen but a good amount of service info is provided.  Even the only non-OEM pieces are clearly identified by the owner.

Here is what the seller has to say:

  • *NEW* Pilot Sports
  • Full Akrapovic stainless steel exhaust system
  • Full synthetic fluids every 4K mi. from day one
  • PowerCommander 3 with a radical map currently programmed
  • Brock clutch kit and clutch cushion upgrade
  • Adult owned, NEVER raced, dropped or molested.  
  • Never seen rain.  Been in a heated garage on battery tender for a couple years now
  • Have stock seat and sissy bar.

One more interesting note- the big  Suzuki wasn’t a runaway sales success in its first year.  Unlike most bikes, which sell well in their first year and then see their numbers decline the Hayabusa reversed this pattern.  According to Wikipedia, “sales in the United States increased from just a few thousand units in 1999 to over 10,000 in 2006.”

So is this 1st year unrestricted speed monster worth the $7000 USD asking price?   Well we haven’t posted too many of these before so very little price info is in the RSBFS archive.  A quick search through ebay history seems to show a price for 1st year Hayabusas around $4500-$6000 USD  depending on mileage.  Given this bike has approximately 14,000 miles the sellers $7000 asking price seems to be at the high end of the range but not completely unreasonable.

The Hayabusa will never be unobtanium and you won’t impress anyone by riding one to your local bike night.  Then again, we used to say the same thing about 1st year Fireblades and the R1.  And this is the 1st year model, which was produced in much less numbers and was the only unrestricted version, so perhaps the question for collectors really is – how much will I regret it if I miss this opportunity?

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

First Year Big Bird:  1999 Suzuki Hayabusa (the unrestricted model)
Yamaha December 18, 2016 posted by

Not Quite Stock: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

We generally try to post relatively stock, good-condition bikes here on CSBFS but, every once in a while, we like to throw you guys a curve ball, and this highly-modified Yamaha RZ500 certainly qualifies as that. At a glance, there’s little left of the original, two-stroke GP-replica bike but the changes should make the bike handle like a much more modern machine. This one might generate some controversy and we want to hear from you, but keep the comments polite please!

The seller appears to be going for a 90’s YZR500 look for the bike, but he doesn’t indicate exactly where he sourced the bodywork. It seems like it retains the original RZ500 frame, but suspension front and rear has been updated to more modern spec, with the front using parts from a Yamaha R1. He mentions that the two-stroke V4 engine is by Rick Lance, which is a good thing as he’s a well-known name in the two-stroke tuning community. Unfortunately, he doesn’t really describe exactly what’s gone into it. Interestingly, you can see that the bike does feature a headlight tucked back in the fairing and it is claimed to be titled and street-legal!

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

Up for GRABS… My sweet 2 stroke! I’m done with bikes, I need a new plane. Wyn Belousky built and Rick Lance powered rocket ship. List of goodies as follows: Öhlins rear shock, R1 front forks with Öhlins internals, JMC custom mega braced swing arm, 28 mm Mikuni flat slides, brand new Jolly Moto carbon silencers on Jolly Moto GP pipes, ginormous ZX7-R radiator. Handles like my R6 just much lighter and then there’s the 2 stroke hit, lol! It’s a shame just to leave in my garage somebody needs to ride the hell outta this thing. Merry Xmas happy bidding. Oh! And I have a bunch of xtra parts to go with it, street legal clear and clean Florida title.

There are no takers yet at the $17,000 starting bid, and this is the second time the bike’s been up for auction. The asking price might be out of line, but I think the bigger problem is that the description is pretty vague: with something drastically customized, a list of the cool upgraded parts isn’t going to be enough. A video of the bike in action, and pics of the bike with the fairing off might help as well. For the most part, it looks pretty professionally put together, but those primitive tabs mounting the fairing to the frame cast a bit of doubt… It’s obviously a pretty cool machine, but not worth much to collector-types since it’s so far from original and, without more information on this one-of-a-kind build, folks are obviously going to be pretty hesitant to drop the kind of cash the seller is asking.

-tad

Not Quite Stock: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale
Honda December 17, 2016 posted by

Quarter-Liter Screamer: 1990 Honda CBR250RR MC22 for Sale

Small-displacement, entry-level sportbikes are a tough sell here in the USA. With an emphasis on big bikes, no licensing limitations, and lots of cheap used machines available, there’s little incentive for new riders to pick up something like today’s Honda CBR250RR. Which explains why they were never sold here in the first place, although examples have recently been finding their way over here, mixed in with the other, formerly unobtainable two-stroke exotica that often features on this site.

Produced between 1986 and 1996, the CBR250RR was intended mainly for the Japanese market, although some found their way to other countries as grey market imports, obviously in places where someone might spend the premium required for such a relatively sophisticated machine.

The spec sheet reads like a much bigger bike, with four tiny pistons and sixteen valves operated by gear-driven cams, with a six-speed gearbox putting 40hp to the rear wheel. The wet weight of 350lbs isn’t quite as light as one of the better-known 250cc two-strokes, but you do get that sophisticated metallic shriek as the bike winds around to 19,000rpm and the bike has excellent handling.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Honda CBR250RR for Sale

The 1992 Honda CBR250RR MC22 is from a golden era of sportbikes. With a water cooled 4 valve per cylinder inline 4 with dual overhead gear driven cams that redlines at 19,000rpms. I cannot think of any modern small displacement bike that comes with an engineering feet such as these bikes. Honda was at the top of their game in this era. Not only does the bike rev to 19,000rpms  but it is the linear progression and feel when you’re doing it that is truly unreal.  few bikes that share the sensation of riding this bike. I’m always amazed when I look down at the tach and see I have 10,000 more rpms before I hit redline. Haha. Weighing just above 300lbs and having 45hp it is actually lighter and has more power than a brand new CBR300. I have a few friends who claim they are only about 10 of these bikes in the states. I don’t know if that’s true but I only know of about 8 of them. Most in private collections. 

The bike in the auction was legally imported from Japan and is currently registered in my name. When I got this bike the fork tubes were pitted and the seals were shot. I purchased brand new fork tubes from GF Racing and the forks were completely rebuilt with all new seals and bushings. All the fluids were flushed and replaced…..brakes bled, oil and coolant changed and etc. New tires were installed and the carbs were cleaned. Brand new battery. Brand new chain and sprockets. 

The seller also includes a video of the bike being started and running. This particular CBR250RR looks to be very clean, with less than 4,000 miles on the odometer and just a few minor scuffs and bits of surface corrosion. The problem with the little CBR is one of value for the money: for all that sophistication and complexity, you’re still looking at a 250cc four-stroke so power is predictably modest, even given the bike’s light weight. Here in the US, it’s a very sweet little novelty bike that’s probably a lot of fun to thrash, with that stratospheric redline and cam-gear whine but, as asking prices have crept up, they make less and less sense. Obviously, not everyone agrees with me on this: bidding is very active on this bike, and up north of $6,000 with just about 24 hours left on the auction.

-tad

Quarter-Liter Screamer: 1990 Honda CBR250RR MC22 for Sale

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