Author Archives: William

Honda June 20, 2022 posted by William

Good Things Come In Small Packages: 1989 Honda NC30 VFR400R

The Honda RC30 needs zero introduction.  The looks and performance are the stuff of legend.  As more and more collectors compete for a limited number of bikes on the market the prices inevitably rise.  We often hear enthusiasts in the hobby lament this as it means they might not get a chance to experience the machine.  The wonderful thing about this hobby is that even though specific models might be rare, there are always alternatives to explore.  In this case it the RC30s baby bother, the NC30.

The 400cc class of sport bikes from the late 80s and early 90s offer some amazing technology, packaging and overall fantastic riding experiences.  These were not built as the budget, or entry level motorcycles of today.  These were built to fit into engine size restricted classes and to offer buyers real performance.  Most offerings remained as JDM options.  It was determined that the US and European markets would not see the value in these smaller bikes.  Hindsight has told us that this was probably true.  The 600cc class is dead in the USA and most modern sport bike riders are only focused on absolute power and speed.

Today these are available for import and are being brought over for collectors and riders alike.  Known for extremely high redlines (some north of 17,500 RPM) and sublime handling it is no wonder many buyers are taking advantage of this opportunity.  Parts availability should be of little issue as Honda is very good at supporting vintage motorcycles.  For the price point it would be hard to find something more unique, reliable and with a usable performance envelope.

From The Seller’s eBay Listing:

Honda’s Street-legal race bike. This exquisite 1989 Honda VFR400R NC30 has been thoroughly sorted and is a fabulous rider. Runs incredibly strong, no smoke or leaks. 100% of the electrical and lighting work. See videos below! A fully documented restoration was performed a year ago, and has been on museum display since. Clean title, in hand. Original exhaust is excellent and free of any scuffs or dents. Brand new battery, fluids, and tires. 48k kilometers (30k miles) A wonderful collector piece of Honda’s HRC racing history.

The VFR 400 series were explicitly a scaled-down version of Honda’s racing RC30 models and only intended for the Japanese domestic market. The VFR400, like the RC30, used straight-cut gears to drive its camshafts, which made a characteristic whine that became associated with pure speed.

With a redline of 14,500 RPM, the top speed was 130 MPH. Riders loved the NC30 for its razor-sharp handling and its wide spread of power, which had plenty of torque without the peakiness of most highly tuned fours.

 

This bike looks to represent a great opportunity for someone that wants a bike that is equally good to look at as it is to ride.  Relatively high mileage will mean riders are the buyers, not matter how many time the seller uses the word collector in the listing.  That is not a dig as these are wonderful out on the road.  The 400cc market is very hot right now because more and more riders are embracing the slow bike fast ethos.  It will get even hotter when the new Kawasaki 400cc four cylinder sport bike hits showrooms.   The Buy It Now price of just under $12k seems reasonable for the condition and current market.  A buyer would be wise to press the seller for more details on the mentioned restoration as that could potentially be a great selling feature.

Good Things Come In Small Packages:  1989 Honda NC30 VFR400R
Honda June 16, 2022 posted by William

Your Package Has Arrived: New 2004 Honda CB50R

Collectors can be a competitive crowd.  They are constantly trying to find the best, rarest and most interesting items to add to their collections.  Often this manifests into the search for zero mile examples of machines.  These bikes are literally brand new and allow the owners to have something in perfect, and original condition.  But what is one step up from zero miles you ask, well that would be still inside the OEM shipping crate.  We have seen a few examples of this trend over the last year.  A couple of high profile auctions included motorcycles that have never been removed from the shipping crates or prepared for sale.

Today we have found a Honda CB50R, better known as the Dream 50 that has remained inside the box since 2004.  Collectors have loved the little retro bike since day one.  Offered in the USA in limited numbers the “off road use only” machine had the look of a 60s GP bike with some interesting modern tech in the engine.  It was also at a very attractive price point.  These bikes come to market every now and again, and it is not uncommon to find one that has lived on display and never ridden.  What is uncommon is to find one that retains the shipping crate.

From The Seller’s eBay Listing:

2004 HONDA CB50R NEW IN CRATE

Frame number AR02-1000550
Engine number AR02E-1000576.

New in crate 2004 Honda CB50R. Complete with most of the original shipping cardboard. Has been carefully stored indoors for many years. 1 Owner. Bike was bought locally.

No rust or corrosion. Paint is perfect. Original cardboard box of goodies in the bottom of the crate has never been opened.

Original shower cap still installed on the seat cowl. Original intake cap is still on the velocity stack.

Fantastic investment for museum or Honda collector.

The eBay Auction does not list a Buy It Now price, so no clear understanding of what the dealer is expecting.  The Dream 50R market is well documented and prices have been steadily rising over time.  At this point it appears that $10,000 will buy you a nice example, so it will be really interesting to see what premium the crate brings.  Will a collector just have to have it, or will they nit pick that the cardboard is not perfectly flat?

Your Package Has Arrived:  New 2004 Honda CB50R
Ducati June 13, 2022 posted by William

Changing Of The Guard: 2005 Ducati 999R

The one constant in the universe is time.  It endlessly marches forward.  Some say it heals all wounds, others claim it creates new perspectives.  Time has clearly helped the 999 generation of Ducati.  Once hailed as a ugly duckling and not worthy to follow the beautiful 916, now those comments are little more then a whisper in the back of the room.  Most agree that the design has aged extremely well.   The performance and race winning heritage was never in question and now these are at an age that collectors are starting to take notice.  They offer a ticket into the exclusive Ducati R world at a value that is hard to ignore.

Any Ducati to wear the R badge is riddled with some of the best components available at the time.  Magnesium engine covers, forged wheels, Ohlins suspension, radial Brembo calipers, carbon fiber fairings and shower fuel injection round out the list.  These were not just slightly upgraded S models, these were serious machines with a focus on track performance.  There is a debate in the 999R groups over what year is the best.  The latter bikes (like this 2005) have an upgraded swing arm, a striking red frame and a few other small evolutions over the early bikes.  In the USA the early bikes were the only ones to come with a numbered triple tree, a build plaque and a few other collectable trinkets.  In the real world on the street the changes between the bikes would probably be hard to tell by most owners/riders.

From The Seller’s eBay Listing:

Ducati Superbike. World Ducati Day is coming. Get started with the track season. Modern classic Italian designed by Pierre TerblancheCarbon fiber fairingsMonopostoEVR slipper clutchTermignoni street AND race exhaust with matched ECUs (SOS Diagnostics)Printed shop manual(second set of carbon fiber fairing available separately)Serious offers onlyLocal pickup only in Seattle WA

This example shows about 4,000 miles and had a couple of desirable and period correct upgrades.  No mention of service history, or when the last belt change was performed.  The latter is not a huge deal and often has exaggerated costs speculated, but service records do add to the appeal of any collectable.  The asking price if $18,000 might make some pause, but for anyone following the market closely on these, it is not really out of line.  These have risen sharply in value recently as reflected in some high profile auction results.  With the prices of run of the mill 916s approaching this price point it makes sense that people are turning their eyes to the next series of bikes and seeking out the highest specification examples.

Changing Of The Guard:  2005 Ducati 999R
Yamaha June 8, 2022 posted by William

Forbidden Fruit: 2005 Yamaha MT-01 In The USA

For many the current line up of Yamaha’s MT series naked bikes are the go to performance street bikes.  They offer a very attractive package of usable speed and manageable ergonomics.  If you are looking to have one do it all motorcycle, it is hard to go wrong with an MT07 or other offerings.  With how popular this segment has become it is crazy to think that Yamaha did not bring the MT01 to the USA when launched in 2005.  They felt that there would not be a market for a high performance naked V twin.

The 102 cubic inch (1670 for those metric fans) engine produced about 90 horsepower and a stump pulling 110 pound feet of torque.  The front end was taken from the R1 superbike as were the brakes.  Weighing in around 550 pounds means this is never going to be a track monster, but there is more to life than just lap times.  A muscle bike on the street is a rowdy proposition and will offer a rider endless smiles.

From The Seller’s eBay Listing:

2005 Yamaha MT01 imported UK Mint Condition only 5,000 km

VIN Jyrp121000010032

Currently listed with a Buy It Now price of $12,800 and few details in the listing.  The main question any US based buyer will have is where and how it was titled.  The bike is not old enough to qualify for the 25 year exemption, but there have been other MT-01s titled in the USA.

Forbidden Fruit:  2005 Yamaha MT-01 In The USA
Bimota June 1, 2022 posted by William

Long Way To Go: Bimota HB3 in Japan

The 1980s were a last hurrah for the mighty air cooled four cylinder superbikes.  Soon water cooled engines would produce more power and start to dominate the performance charts.  One of the high water marks of that era was the Honda CB1100R.  Those bikes were desirable in period and remain sought after additions to many collections.  For many the closest one will ever get to these rare motorcycles is to build a plastic kit of one.  Bimota saw what Honda had achieved with the engine and thought that they could turn the wick up a bit.

Reducing the weight, adding better suspension and improving the frame design created an even more lust worthy machine.  The Bimota HB3 was the third iteration of a Bimota with a Honda engine.  Just 101 of these motorcycles were built.  As with anything this rear it is far fetched to find one local, let alone at all.  This example is located in Japan, but due to the age there should be little problem importing it to anyplace else in the world.

From The Seller’s Listing:

It was stored for a long time in the warehouse.
The inside of the tank is clean. (Because it is made of plastic, there is no rust.)
Since the front and rear brakes have been disassembled and cleaned, there is no sticking.
The rear brake master cylinder is not working.
(Repairable with general-purpose products)
I cleaned the inside of the carburetor.
Oil was sprayed and cranked in the cylinder.
Battery needs to be replaced.
I have lost my key.
(Since the handle, electrical system, and key are made by Honda, you can create a key from the key cylinder.)
There is no exterior or other rust.

There are 101 cars in the world, and the number of existing cars in Japan is probably one hand.
It is a very rare individual.
We strongly recommend checking the current car.
We have all pointed out the engine, so we will correct it.
I recognized that the engines of CB1100R and CB1100F are the same, but since the point cover and crankcase of CB1100R are gold, my vehicle is the engine of CB1100F.
will add the progress on the engine key and tank key.
Keys can be created from the cylinder. Since you can construct it on a business trip,
we will arrange it immediately if you make a successful bid.

A Buy It Now price is listed of about $20,000 USD and as of writing has not been sold.  The price might be slightly optimistic after digging into the listing.  It appears that the bike has been in long term storage and will need a decent service before being put back on the road.  If static display is more you thing, a basic detail should be all that is needed to end up with a rare sport bike that anyone would be proud to stare at for hours.   The billet work is wonderful on these bikes and the engineering is rather interesting as well.

Long Way To Go:  Bimota HB3 in Japan
Bimota May 20, 2022 posted by William

Featured Listing: 1998 Bimota SB6R

In the spirit of full disclosure, this bike is being offered by RSBFS contributor, William. -dc

If you have been a reader of RSBFS for any length of time, you know we are huge Bimota fans.  The appeal is the wonderful marriage of exotic Italian design, incredible engineering and the proven performance of an OEM engine.  In this case the SB6R is powered by a water-cooled GSXR1100 engine.  Service cost are kept in check by the use of the Suzuki engine.  Suspension is Paoli adjustable forks out front and an Ohlins adjustable shock in the rear.  Plenty of stopping power is provided by the Brembo Goldline calipers.  The end result is a machine with the reliable power of the GSXR1100, but the better part of 100 less pounds to move down the road.

We have featured many examples over the years and this particular bike was purchased here in 2019 by me as my first Bimota experience.  I had a long standing passion for the brand and jumped at the opportunity to get this bike back on the road.  At this point my passion has surpassed my garage capacity and this bike needs to be moved on to a new home.  As with any bike that has gone a while without use, the fuel system needed to be cleaned.  Viton seals were installed in the carburetors after a total tear down and ultrasonic cleaning.  New intake manifolds were installed to replace the original dry cracked units.  Tires, breaks and service items were also installed.  Under my stewardship I have covered about 500 miles of trouble free enjoyment.

Details About The Bike:

For the 2020 season:

  • Michelin Power RS Tires

  • New Battery

  • EBC Brake Pads

  • All Hydraulics Flushed

  •  Coolant Flushed

  • NGK Plugs

  • Carburetor Rebuild

  • New OEM Suzuki Intake Boots/Manifolds 

The bike shows very well with low mileage of just over 3,000 miles.  The red bodywork pops in the sunlight, and the Corse exhaust provides and intoxicating sound.  The carbon is glossy and the billet work is amazing to look at.  All lights, gauges, switches and systems work as they should.  Would be at home on display as part of a collection, or out for the occasional Sunday ride.  No leaks, smoke, funny noises or issues to report.  This bike will provide many more miles of enjoyment should the new owner decide.

Sold with a Clear Title and an asking price of $13,500.  Please email Jaguarsurfer@yahoo.com with any questions, or to express interest.

Featured Listing:  1998 Bimota SB6R
Ducati May 19, 2022 posted by William

Bargain Alert: Low Mileage 2002 Ducati 750SS

When ever having a casual conversation about anything these days the subject turns to rising prices.  Maybe that is inflation, or a spike in demand, or collectors taking notice of new eras of motorcycles.  Either way, it often leaves some enthusiasts struggling to find ways into this wonderful world of interesting rides.  Hopefully things have not gotten you down that much, and there are still a few BitCoins left in your account, because you are going to want to take a look at this Ducati 750SS.

Will get the good stuff out of the way first.  With under 4000 original miles it is safe to say this bike has been sparingly used.  The miles are low enough to appeal to collectors looking for the best examples of a bike they can find.  The miles are also high enough that the new owned should be able to put a few miles on it here and there without feeling guilty.  Perfect combination for most dynamic collectors.  The pictures show that the bike is exceptionally clean.  Being the entry level SuperSport some ended up being treated poorly, but not this one.  The other striking thing is that this bike appears to be 100% stock.  Incredible to think that someone was able to resist adding some Termignoni pipes.  But the thing to get really excited about here is the price point.  $2995

From The Seller’s Listing:

Excellent condition, super low miles (4000). Never dropped, always garage kept. Runs and rides great, Newer battery, Racing Yellow. Tires are good but may need replacing soon. Includes rear wheel stand and tank bag

The listing is light on details about service.  A perspective owner should budget some funds should the bike need belts.  Do not let the internet scare you away on this.  OEM cost for belts is less then $200 and for the average DIY’er it will take longer to get the bodywork off than it will take to change the belts.  These bikes at this price point represent an amazing opportunity for someone to dip their toe into Ducati ownership without much downside risk, or for a long time Ducati fan to have a beautiful and usable bike in the stable.

Bargain Alert:  Low Mileage 2002 Ducati 750SS
Ducati May 13, 2022 posted by William

Back To Our Regular Programing: 1996 Ducati 900SS SuperLight (In UK)

Seems as if the UK has had a couple of really interesting motorcycles come to market recently.  On the heals of a post trying to make a case for a Bimota DB2 over a standard 900SS this SuperLight really complicates the situation. Sure the DB2 is appealing, but is it too niche?  Maybe a Ducati 900SS SuperLight is a better fit.  The SuperLight was to be the ultimate version of the first generation SuperSports.  A light, simple, fun machine.  In the end Ducati created a cult classic from the start.

The single seal SuperLight was treated to more than just a unique numbered plaque on the triple tree.  The special yellow and single seat configuration make the bike pop and stand out.  Some carbon extras reduce weight and increase the visual appeal.  In some markets lighter wheels were used.  Many small details come together to create a wonderful package.  Low production numbers mean that you are unlikely to run into another at the local bike night.

From The Seller’s eBay Listing:

Ducati 900 Superlight MK IV, 1996/N, I’m only the 3rd owner, 42438 miles, MOT 12th June 2022 (Can put full MOT on the bike for new owner), Comes with 2 x original keys, a thick stack of service history (Belts changed at 40974 miles), Carbon cans, clutch cover and front & rear mud guards, Superb to ride, sounds lovely, Great original condition for age & mileage, HPI Clear, Possible part exchange? Collection Norwich, I may be able to deliver, £5250 NO TIME WASTERS as I just don’t have the spare time!!! Genuine bike so only genuine buyers please!!!

With the rise in popularity of all things 90s it is hard to think of a more Rad way to spend 5250 Pounds Sterling.  At the current exchange that price would have buyers lined up around the block in the UK.  One would think that there could not be that much of an imbalance on opposite sides of the pond.  Would love to hear from some of our UK readers on the topic of valuation and comparisons to US based recent sales.  Mileage is a fair bit higher than others that have been listed, but these robust motors are know to last.

Back To Our Regular Programing:  1996 Ducati 900SS SuperLight (In UK)