Monthly Archives: August 2020

Suzuki August 31, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing and NO RESERVE: 1987 Suzuki RGV250Γ for Sale

It’s a shame that we never really got any of the incredibly focused quarter-liter sportbikes from Japan here in the USA. Luckily, a few have sneaked in over the years, followed by a veritable flood of Japanese market bikes that have been brought over in recent years, since most are now over 25 years old and much easier to import. The spec sheets would have you believe they’re all virtually the same bike, but each had its own unique character, and today’s Featured Listing Suzuki RGV250Γ was the wild-child of the bunch.

1987 Suzuki RGV250Γ for Sale on eBay

Introduced in 1987 as a 90° v-twin followup to the parallel-twin RG250, the new RGV250 “Gamma” went through VJ21, VJ22, and VJ23 iterations before disappearing. The liquid-cooled two stroke engine displaced the expected 249cc, with a bore and stroke of 56mm x 50.6mm, and was backed by the equally expected six-speed gearbox. The bike used a 17″ front wheel and an 18″ rear as was common in the class, although later models featured matched 17″ hoops.

The “Real Sprinter Slingshot” emblazoned on the tail sounds like the sort of technical jargon the Japanese are known for but, as far as I can tell, it’s just a bit of a tie-in to the four-stroke GSX-R of the period that featured “Slingshot” carburetors. Later bikes featured swanky asymmetrical “banana” swingarms and electronic power valves, all shoutingly-proclaimed in bright acronyms on the fairings. Those bikes were more developed and more refined but, at just 282lbs dry, the VJ21 seen here was the lightest and most powerful of the bunch, and perhaps the most pure as well.

From the original eBay listing: 1987 Suzuki RGV250Γ for Sale

NO RESERVE This model not sold in USA, Direct import Japanese Domestic Market bike, 62hp pre-restrictions model, lightest weight year. Pretty much 250GP bike with lights added, cassette gearbox, all the right stuff! This is my favorite bike I have ever owned, absolute joy to ride, moving to where there are no roads, so gotta part with it. Runs great, shifts great, rides great. Recent sticky Dunlop Alpha 13 dot race series tires. Current MD tags and title. Original front fender cracked, see pic small cracks on fairings nothing major. Includes racing replica plastics from Hong Kong. Includes lots of extras, complete good running and shifting spare black Walter Wolf engine (no carbs, shift lever or kickstarter), original white wheels (18 in rear.) Zeeltronic programmable ignition box/ exhaust valve controller, spare exhaust valve actuator. Only bad, fork seals leak therefore front brake pads are oily. 29,614 km, or 18,401 miles. Unrestricted first year production for the V2, year after these were made Japanese law limited engine HP output. Also advertised locally so if ended early, that’s why.

Note that the seller does have this listed as a 1987 model and it’s probably titled that way, but it looks like a VJ21 model from 1988. That may just be a quirk of titling and registration, or the bike was a very early production VJ21. This is obviously not a perfectly-preserved museum piece. It’s a rider, and comes with some spares to change the look, or just keep the bike running. Or maybe you just happen to have an engine-less Walter Wolf RG250 lying around and can use the included engine to get that project rolling. The aftermarket panels might not be remotely original, but I like the idea of installing the included aftermarket, race-replica bodywork for a bike that’s intended to be ridden hard, instead of being displayed in a hermetically-sealed garage.

-tad

Featured Listing and NO RESERVE: 1987 Suzuki RGV250Γ for Sale
Bimota August 30, 2020 posted by

Robbiano Report – 2008 Bimota DB6R with 2,040 Miles !

Revitalized in the early 2000’s, Bimota and their sadly late designer Sergio Robbiano presented the DB6R Delirio, powered by Ducati’s latest 1100cc air-cooled engine.  This Long Island example has barely been ridden and looks basically new.

2008 Bimota DB6R for sale on eBay

Even Bimota was compelled to produce an all around naked sport, but the mixed chassis of trellis and billet connectors puts a fine edge on the concept.  Ducati’s injected dual-spark twin pumps 95 hp through the factory slipper clutch, and the stepped seat will hold you in for 160 mph.  Superbike-sized Öhlins and Brembo components are found front and rear, and carbon fiber mudguards cover the natural-finished Marvic wheels.  The complex array of mostly carbon side covers and fairing pieces don’t push the riding weight over 370 lbs.

Just enough information in this auction to make one want more, but what’s here appears clean and without a scratch.  The Delirio came with a modern canister exhaust but the Zard update is a sportier-looking replacement.  From the eBay auction:

This bike is in perfect condition in every way with only 2,040 miles.  It has a carbon fiber Zard exhaust installed by Bimota dealer at time of original purchase.  This may not be factual, but I was told that only approximately 6 of these bikes were imported into the US directly by the Bimota importer, making this a truly collectible and rare bike.

Robbiano started at Ducati, drawing Tamburini’s ideas for the 916, and was taken early from the middle of a successful design career which was always about two wheels.  As intended, the DB6R made a splash in Milan, and the production bike had great reviews.  Seemingly undamaged in many years of under-use, the bidding on this Delirio starts at just half of the list price.  For a fan of the brand or a design buff, a quick change of belts, tires, and liquids will give this Bimota a new lease on life.

-donn

Robbiano Report – 2008 Bimota DB6R with 2,040 Miles !
Triumph August 28, 2020 posted by

Thug in a Tux: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale

Big nakeds have finally come of age here in the US, with trick, high performance options from all of the major manufacturers. They’re the perfect bikes for affluent, middle-aged folks who can’t handle the crippling riding position of hard-core sportbikes, but still have a taste for speed and the skill to appreciate thoroughbred handling. But in the early to mid 1990s, things were just getting rolling for that market segment in North America, and the Ducati Monster and Triumph’s original T309 Speed Triple were at the forefront.

Both of those aforementioned bikes were designed with the same philosophy in mind and built using a similar formula: take an existing platform, in Triumph’s case a variation of their modular spine frame and their proven three-cylinder engine and transmission, fit a simple dash, stick a round headlight on the front, and roll it out the door. The original Speed Triple was a bit more retro-looking than the Ducati Monster, but it was popular and profitable, helped to keep the newly reestablished Triumph afloat, and remains a mainstay of their production.

A claimed 98hp came from a liquid-cooled, four-valve per cylinder 885cc triple was backed by a five-speed gearbox, and the bike had adjustable suspension at both ends and beefy six-piston brake calipers up front. Unfortunately, the bike’s modular origins meant weight was carried too high, and the bike wasn’t really much of a handler. It all makes for a pretty ripping streetbike though, with retro-cool looks and plenty of performance for the road.

The bike shows 17,769 miles, which should be no problem if the bike has been sympathetically maintained, since the burly Triumph engines of the era were pretty durable. The carbon fiber wheels should go a ways towards both lightening the bike and improving handling, and the flat-slides, while less forgiving than CV carbs, should improve power and add another layer to the triple’s characterful soundtrack that’s already been enhanced by the full aftermarket exhaust.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale

Fast, fun, and reliable speed triple. Well maintained with many upgrades. Dymag carbon fiber rims. Taylor Made carbon fiber engine covers. Carbon fiber fenders. Keihin flat slide carbs. Staintune stainless and carbon full exhaust system. New tires 4 months ago with plenty of tread left.

Unfortunately, although this one has some tasty period extras, it’s not cosmetically perfect: there’s some surface corrosion on the pipes, wear on the tank pad, and the carbon fiber is pretty faded, considering the bike’s $5,750 reserve price. From what we’ve seen, that’s a pretty ambitious asking price for a first-generation Speed Triple, although the cosmetics could be cleaned up and the paint still looks very shiny. The first-generation Speed Triple is a collectible in the making, but so far prices have remained low. That’s great for fans of bargain exotics, but not so much for ambitious sellers ahead of the curve.

-tad

Thug in a Tux: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale
Honda August 27, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing: 2002 Honda RC51 SP2 in

Update 8.27.2020: SOLD IN JUST 3 DAYS to an RSBFS reader! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

This 2002 Honda RC51 SP2 is a U.S.-market bike that was dressed up from new with European-market bodywork that sets it well apart from the red-black-silver and all-black bikes that were standard here. It also means the bike wears the non-U.S. “VTR” moniker, instead of the “RVT” decals we got on these shores. Confusingly, that means this bike — very much an RC51 SP2 — carries the same three-letter name as the U.S.-market Superhawk. Confusing, till you get below the skin.

2002 Honda RC51 SP2 for sale on eBay

No matter what the lovely white fairing says, this bike carries the same 133 horsepower, 996cc v-twin that made these bikes famous, coupled with the SP2’s revised wheels and lighter chassis. The big, torquey twin shuttled Colin Edwards to a pair of World Superbike championships and Nicky Hayden to an AMA Superbike crown, cementing the bike in amateur knee draggers’ dreams for a generation. Nice ones are starting to command the kind of money that only true cult classics can ask, and this one carries the bonus of being one of a precious few bearing a factory-sourced foreign livery. This is not eBay bodywork of dubious origin and odd proportions — it’s the real stuff, straight from the source.

Around and underneath that bodywork is a raft of special parts. There is Ohlins suspension front and rear to keep movements calm and collected, and a titanium Jardine exhaust, to drop a few pounds, add a couple horses and make the proceedings a bit more sonorous.

From the eBay listing:

Absolutely beautiful 2002 RC51 (SP-2) in Factory OEM Colin Edwards livery. Paint is stunning, and so many great options on this bike. Lusted-for Ohlins FG322 front suspension, Ohlins rear suspension, Jardine titanium 2 into 1 exhaust (sounds awesome and light weight), carbon fiber front wheel, Scott’s damper.

Honestly I hate to sell this bike, I truly love owning it. Every time I start it it makes me happy to own it…but too many things going on in life to keep it right now. This bike is not a beater, it is one for someone who loves this bike. So beautiful so fun to ride, so well taken care of. All seals appear to be excellent, not a single leak, new battery, starts immediately every time. Never overheats, just runs perfectly. This bike looks as showroom new as a bike could given it’s 18 years on earth. Obviously no test rides until total price in-hand. This bike is lovingly cared for and has always been.

If you are on the hunt for an RC51, you’ll be hard pressed to find one that sets itself apart so nicely without giving up any originality. This bike achieves that feat deftly.

Featured Listing: 2002 Honda RC51 SP2 in
Honda August 26, 2020 posted by

Purple Reign – 1994 Honda CBR900RR Fireblade

Honda’s just right ( not a supersport, not a liter-plus ) sized CBR900RR set a 1990’s wave in motion. This preservation contender has seen an almost impossibly low number of previous owner mods, and looks all the better for it.



1994 Honda CBR900RR for sale on eBay

The CBR900RR was legendary Honda designer Tadao Baba’s masterwork, and up-powered a supersport-sized chassis, while doing everything possible to limit weight and centralize mass.  There wasn’t really a racing class for the Fireblade, but the 122 hp and 454 lbs. wet weight turned the win-on-Sunday-sell-on-Monday paradigm on its ear.  Seemingly out of step design choices like the longer stroke engine provided a great torque signature, and forks were conventional but an imperturbable 45mm.  More in step was the 16-inch front wheel, which eased turn-in.  Innovations like the swiss-cheesed fairing areas allowed the Blade to slice through the air at least in theory.

Evidently on only its third owner, this CBR900RR has been very lucky.  The almost 24K miles really had me thinking re-paint, but the metal finishes are so nice maybe it was only ever ridden in flannel footed pj’s.  The outside of the tank is almost as perfect as the inside !  A black windscreen, compulsory tail tidy, and D+D muffler seem like the only acknowledgements to reality.  Not sure what the significance of the fork reflectors is, maybe this owner has a very concours example as well.  From the eBay auction:

3rd owner of this beautiful bike. The plastics and tank are some of the nicest you’ll find on a ’94. She starts right up and rides great. She’s leaving my small collection as I don’t have enough room to keep her. I’ve tried showing a couple of small areas of deficiency; the plastic behind the seat, couple of minor scuffs and the wheels have some small chips. Note: The front reflectors shown a couple of photos are not on the bike or a part of the sale.

The Fireblade had a nice 11-year run with mostly incremental changes, though styling was modernized early and got pointier as time went on.  Throughout it was a reviewer’s favorite, with great power, brakes and balance.  Not many have survived the years looking so lightly used, and bidding is active early on.  Hopefully the reserve will be be met shortly and we can watch where it goes.

-donn

Purple Reign – 1994 Honda CBR900RR Fireblade
Kawasaki August 24, 2020 posted by

The Danger Zone: 1985 Kawasaki GPz900R for Sale

Today’s Kawasaki GPz900R “Ninja” is one of the most iconic Japanese sport bikes of all time: the image of Tom Cruise racing a Tomcat along a runway, with just a pair of sunglasses, a bomber jacket, and his million-dollar smile to protect him from bugs traveling at 221 feet per second was burned into the minds of fans, cementing the Ninja’s place in motorcycling history as one of the coolest bikes ever. Unlike the film version, this example is slathered in classic Kawasaki green-and-white paint, making it just that extra bit 80s.

Elsewhere, the bike was known as the GPz900R, a clear evolution of the earlier GPz models. But here in the USA, it got a much more evocative name: “Ninja.” It’s clearly a bit silly now, naming your motorcycle after an ancient and heavily mythologized group of secretive assassins. But in the 1980s, ninjas were the height of cool, and the edgy styling of the bike certainly fit the name.

But the bike was sophisticated under that angular skin as well: the Ninja used one of the first liquid-cooled engines fitted to a motorcycle, and it eschewed the usual center-mounted cam-chain for one mounted on the end of the 16-valve engine to make it more compact. Today the numbers look decidedly sport-touring: 546lbs wet, with 115hp and a 151mph top speed. But at the time, the bike was pure sex and finding one this clean is pretty difficult today.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Kawasaki GPz900R for Sale

Up for auction is a rare opportunity to purchase a fully sorted and functional ninja 900R in the KAWASAKI trademark A2 export lime green. Thousands of dollars and thousands of hours went into the restoration/sorting of this motorcycle by a factory trained Kawasaki technician as a means of therapy. Believe it or not, it has $500.00 worth of OE o-rings in the cooling system and carburetors alone. Has had the mechanical work necessary for it to be right, whatever was needed was done or replaced (carburetor kits/cooling system complete overhaul etc.

This was the series of NINJA that started it all as the first water-cooled road-superbikes by Kawasaki. Restored by veteran motorcycle restorer that has been doing this since the 1980s. Valves adjusted to specifications, good cylinder pressures, pulls hard!  Valves lapped for optimum pressure. Good compression as would be expected with the low miles! New tires, chain, clutches pulled checked, counter-balance shaft chain adjusted. Replaced front wheel bearings because he did not like the way they felt in his hands. All new fluids in every system. This bike has standard drive sprocket ratios.

 This 617 LIME GREEN (this is not a lime green of a 1970 barracuda) it is a proprietary mixture color that can only be bought through authorized KAWASAKI dealers at $200.00 a quart retail. PPG DC-3000 premium clear.

Like most Japanese sportbikes, these depreciated to a point where they became nearly disposable, and many were thrashed, heavily modified, or written off. This one has obviously had a ton of attention lavished on it, and that paint! With just 10,500 miles on the odometer this is very clean and ready for anyone looking for a quick trip down that highway to the danger zone…

-tad

The Danger Zone: 1985 Kawasaki GPz900R for Sale
Suzuki August 23, 2020 posted by

1996 Suzuki RGV250SP VJ23

It’s been a while since we had an RGV250 without Disney cels in the background, but this SoCal example is a wake-up call to the mouse button finger.  This last-of-the-series VJ23 is a Sport Production model with the new 70-degree V-twin, Fla. title and nice cosmetics.

1996 Suzuki RGV250SP / VJ23 for sale on eBay

A lot of RGV250 history was revised with the 1996 engine, beside being capable of 62 hp, it had electric start !  The VJ23 engine was just about “square” and revved to 12,500 rpm, though peak power was back at 9,500.  Expansion chambers and upside-down forks were standard, and the single seat helped keep weight under 300 lbs.  The Sport Production equated to a factory dry clutch and close-ratio gearbox.

This owner imported and federalized the RGV, and installed a full Jolly Moto exhaust.  A fairly extensive re-fresh ensued, and a new gauge cluster sourced, thus the 5,500 claimed miles.  The purple accents may or may not delight, but the overall feeling is very good, and the owner relates some history in the eBay auction:

This bike had 7,200Km or 4,300 miles on it at the time of purchase. Then I went through at great expense to convert it to the full power model. I purchased brand new, not used, at great cost, the full power speedo gauge assembly (240KPH speedo), full power black box, air box lid, clutch springs and finally set of Jolly Moto pipes. The Jolly Moto pipes were not the best fitting with the bodywork, but do they preform outstanding and look great! Carburetors re-jetted accordingly. Then I rebuilt the top end using the full power pistons. They have a different coating on them to help avoid detonation at higher speeds. I installed new clutch plates for the dry clutch, new racing 26mm thick radiator, steering damper, wave rear disk, chain, Steel brake lines with Aluminum fittings, silicone radiator hoses, new chain and sprockets, a fortune in titanium, aluminum and stainless bolts. All jetted just right. Just recently I rebuilt the front forks using all new seals and bushing, all new brake fluid and gear oil, new air filter, brake pads, front turn signals, hoses, and a fresh set of sticky Dunlop Q3’s. Cleaned the carburetors added a new factory petcock and Lithium battery. All the switches, lights, turn signals, starter, horn operate without a problem. Oil injection is still intact. This bike is not all corroded out or full of oxidation like many of these bikes from Japan. Very Clean.

The bodywork on it looks fine for a bike it’s age, but not museum quality. There are small scratches, chips around the bike. All minor stuff. Please look at the pictures. The bottom right fairing has some “waves” from getting hot. That was there when I purchased the bike. Side panels are nice but a mark here and there. The tank is excellent shape. No dent and clean inside with a new factory petcock just installed. Paint is still shiny and bike looks great overall. Remember its 25 years old. Though this bike looks stunning, I built it to be a runner not a museum piece. It really runs great and once you hit redline in third with a little speed and air flow the ram air really kicks in and the bike accelerates hard. Much better than my VJ22. Less temperamental with the jetting.

The bike shows about 2,130 KM or 1,250 miles on it with the new speedo installed. Remember it has 7,200KM or 4,300 miles when I bought it. So do the math for the total. Still the 1,250 miles represents all the mileage I have put on it since I converted the bike to full power and installed the new top end.  Not much. I love this bike but realized, one I have too many bikes sitting around, and second I’m just too old at social security age to be hauling around on it anymore.

As the century wound down, the RGV250 could no longer find a place in the regulations, and though Aprilia stuck with it, even they couldn’t justify re-tooling for the updated VJ-23 engine.  Unfamiliar riders below a certain height-weight quotient might be surprised by the adult packaging of the later models, and the power delivery is epic.  Seems like a lot has been done right with this SP, and glad it’s a rider, not a display model.

-donn

1996 Suzuki RGV250SP VJ23
Honda August 22, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing: Immaculate 2002 Honda RC51 SP2

Update 8.22.2020: This bike has SOLD to an RSBFS reader! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

The 2002 Honda RC51 SP2 was the first year of the ultimate evolution of Honda’s gorgeous World Superbike conqueror. Built to play on Ducati’s v-twin field and engineered to within a millimeter of its life thanks to Big Red’s engineering might and racing experience, the SP2 gained four horsepower and dropped 11 pounds over the SP1 version. In 2002, Nicky Hayden won the AMA Superbike title aboard the SP2. That coincided with Colin Edwards’ second World Superbike championship aboard a Castrol-liveried RC51 SP2.

The racing success and Honda’s beautiful, 999cc v-twin made the RC51 a cult icon in its day. With the benefit of years, the bike has become a no-concession classic, as Honda has moved firmly toward a safer, more stolid lineup. Coincidentally, the World Superbike wins have dried up.

This 2002 RC51 SP2 shows a shade over 20,000 miles, but you wouldn’t know it to look at it. It’s hard to claim anything this old is flawless, but this machine comes close. It is also loaded with a stable of tasteful, reversible aftermarket parts. The list includes Stomp Grips, CRG levers, Yoshimura exhaust and flapper valve mod. The rest of the list is in the seller’s description below.

From the seller:

Here is an excellent example of a 2002 Honda RC51 with 20,813 original miles. The bike is in nearly flawless condition, mechanically sound, never dropped or crashed. Simple modifications include CRG RC2 levers, Carbon Fiber gauge cover, Zero Gravity dark smoked windscreen, HRC tank protector, Stomp Grip traction pads, Lamin-x headlight lens covers, Proton LED turn signals, HotBodies Superbike under-tail, Pyramid hugger, 520 chain and sprocket conversion (15/41) gearing and Yoshimura slip-on exhaust. Flapper valve mod has been done. There is no fuel injection module on the bike such as Power Commander etc. Battery is two years old. Starts first crank and runs like the true Champion that She is. Clean title in hand, California registration paid until 8/2021.

Asking price is $8,000 $7,500

It’s not too hard to find a nice RC51 even today, but it’s a Herculean task to find one this nice. It’s priced according to its condition, but if your next bike must be an RC51, this is the one you want.

Featured Listing: Immaculate 2002 Honda RC51 SP2

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