Posts by Category: Honda

Honda November 28, 2019 posted by

Gym Buddy – 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30

Sport riders tend to head toward the lighter side when working on their skills or the racetrack beckons.  Now closer to thirty years of age than twenty, the NC30 is a perfect choice for a workout partner.  This grey import is even more unusual in the black / red livery.

1992 Honda VFR400R NC30 for sale on eBay

From across the four-lane it would be easy to confuse the NC30 with its 750cc sibling, but the general scale ( and 400R decals ) give it away.  The 59 hp are responsible for motivating only 364 lbs. dry, and it stays under 400 lbs. with full fuel.  Right wrist and gearbox will get exercise, since peak power is at just under 13,000 rpm.  Don’t miss shoulder day too often, since the compact package and 16-front / 18-rear wheel stagger will keep weight on the bars.  The last-gen NC30 had the 360-degree “big bang” crank, shows off the rear wheel courtesy of the left-hand muffler, and sports a 14,500 rpm redline.

A little light on pictures and description, this example calls for more information.  In the meantime we can enjoy the striking livery, new Battlaxes , and carbon muffler, and no evident damage.  From the eBay auction:

I have for sale a very rare color combination 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30, new tires , brakes, forks rebuilt, bike is in a good condition , has aftermarket exhaust , 18,000 kilometers (11,300 miles).

Comes with Vermont registration in my name which can be registered in any state.

Won’t need your headphones at this gym, just earplugs, as the gear driven cams will be music to your ears.  Reviewers advised that the NC30 had fallen off the sharp edge of the 399cc class, but the smooth power delivery, soft spring rates, and high build quality resulted in high overall ratings.  Even with its high ask, this one deserves further investigation.

-donn

Gym Buddy – 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30
Featured Listing November 24, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30

Update 11.20.2019: Joe’s bikes are being sold at Bonhams 2020 Las Vegas Auction. The auction is scheduled to take place on Thursday, January 23rd 2020 at Caesar’s Entertainment Studios, beginning at 12 noon. For information about the bikes and the auction itself, please visit – https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/25835/ You can also contact Michael Caimano directly at 929-666-2243 or Michael.Caimano@Bonhams.com

Check out all Joe’s bikes that are being offered at Bonhams. Good luck to bidders and seller! -dc

Even if not fans, RSBFS readers will acknowledge Honda’s long history of success in motorcycle production and racing.  These days, Honda seems to have the engineering chops ( and resources ) to do almost whatever they put their minds to – witness their Formula 1 winning V6’s for Williams and McLaren, several years as CART’s engine of choice, and more recently the HondaJet aircraft ( with turbofans developed by Honda and GE ).

The VFR750R/RC30 from 1987-1990 is just one more example, where engineers and designers pulled a winning concept together, and the manufacturing side of the company executed beautifully, about 3,000 times.  As testament, the factory team won the inaugural WSBK season in 1988.  This rare example has been in a collector’s display since new, and occasionally exercised, turning under 1,200 miles.

As their homologation special for the Superbike World Championship, the RC30 really was the mythical race bike with lights.  From the sharp-steering alloy chassis to the 296mm front disks to the single-sided Pro-Link swingarm, the RC30 provided the racers what they needed.  Shocks and forks on the single seater were only adjustable for preload, since the race teams would be putting their own special parts.  The compact V-4 looked similar to the preceding VFR750F, but shared almost no internal parts.  Even the exhaust note with the new 360-degree crank was specific to the RC30.

Resting in the motorcycle wing of a large auto collection, this RC30 has received excellent care and not even break-in miles.  The pictures show an apparently new machine, even though a generation has passed since it was built.  The owner tells of a mid-life cosmetic refurbishment:

In general, I do believe super rare Italian motorcycle of the 1970s and 1980s are the future Ferrari of motorcycle collecting. We all know what has happened to Ferrari.

An exception would have to be my super low (under 1,200) miles, almost perfectly like-new 1990 Honda RC30.

Yes, there are a few exceptions to what I call my Italian collecting rule and one of those would be the 1990 Honda RC30. This 1990 Honda RC30 needs no introduction or explanation by me as it is such a famous Honda, that the only thing you need to know about an RC30 is if you are getting a good one or a really great one or one of the very best.

The RC30 in this listing was purchased for the collection several years ago and is an extremely low mileage bike. It was absolutely 99% perfect, however, some of the detail parts that were white rubber or painted white had become slightly discolored. At that time, almost ten years ago, Honda was still had these parts in stock and we purchased each and every part to bring the cosmetic looks of the bike back to 99%. This 1990 Honda RC30 has not been raced or abused or messed with in any way. It currently looks like new, runs just as it should and is kept on a trickle charger and is exercised thoroughly during the spring, summer, and fall; and again it has never been raced or abused (most have been!).

As you may already know, there is nothing more exciting nor handles better than the Honda RC30. The looks, graphics, and colors of the bike need no apology either. They are absolutely a stand-out in any crowd of motorcycles. Most RC30s were extensively raced and it is very hard to find one that has not been modified or raced. You are looking at one that has not been abused in that way shape or form. This bike is always kept on a trickle charge and ready take a trip to any bike show at a moment’s notice. This is truly a bike for a serious collection and it would be a shame to abuse it. Oh yes, it comes with a new Honda rear wheel stand still in the box.

All my bikes are kept in climate controlled storage and on trickle chargers when not in use so they are always ready to take a day’s ride at a moment’s notice.

Honda might be accused of an obsession with the V-4, which brought it multiple WSBK titles along with TT and endurance racing wins.  After Superbike rulesmakers made a short dalliance with the V-twin an offer they couldn’t refuse, Honda returned to the four with the RC212V.  But for road riders, the RC30 was a moment when you could buy something very special from the local dealer, even though it cost twice as much as the nearest competitor.  That moment is reflected in recent asking prices even for fairly well-used examples.  But in this case, we have an RC30 that has been in a collector’s hands from day one, without damage history and in impeccable shape. 

-donn

Featured Listing – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30
Honda November 24, 2019 posted by

Ride like the wind: 1982 Honda CX500 Turbo

In the early 1980s Honda was flexing some serious technological muscles. Sure, they nearly single-handedly created the big bore standard with the CB750 in the 1970s, but the avenues they pursued in the 1980s were a fantastic mix of avant-guarde ideas seeking performance. Imagine the breadth and scope of Honda’s R&D department during this time: From the simple, air cooled single FT500, the wild six cylinder CBX, the sublime V45 Interceptor, the more conventional Hurricane, two strokes like the NSR250 or 400, the narrow angle v-twins, and even the mighty GoldWing touring rig. Every engine configuration was different. And on top of that blows in the amazing CX500 Turbo – the world’s first fully-backed factory Turbo effort. Heady stuff indeed.

1982 Honda CX500 Turbo for sale on eBay

With everything that was going on, Honda leveraged an existing platform for the Turbo. In this case, it was the CX500 series, better known as a cruiser in US parlance, but available in a number of different forms (including sport tourers and sporty models) in world markets. This is the same platform that spawned the GL500 SilverWing, the smaller displacement touring bike. So obviously the bones of the Turbo were mighty flexible. But simply bolting a turbine wheel to the exhaust pipe does not a functional motorcycle make. Honda went all out in the quest to tame the bugaboos lurking in the mythological sphere of boost. Tricks included a tiny IHI turbocharger, liquid cooling (already present in the CX series), computerized fuel injection with knock detection that could retard timing, an improved 4-valve cylinder head, forged pistons, different connecting rods and a beefed up bottom end including a stronger crank. With a reported 82 horsepower, the 80 degree, pushrod V-twin had come of age.

From the seller:
1982 Honda CX 500 Turbo. This is a clean titled original condition vehicle as pictures show. It runs very well with no issues. All lighting and accessories operate as designed. Motorcycle was used for land speed record attempts. 3 official records were set with documentation included. Steering damper, boost gauge, AFR meter are installed. Final drive gearing has been changed for top MPH. Original gearing included. Motorcycle is fully legal and can be ridden normally on the street.Tires were new and motorcycle was running when stored. Fuel has been treated and battery has been maintained. Vehicle is sold as is.

Also included is a spare parts bike, engine and many extra parts.

Did you read the seller’s text? Maybe you want to go back and read it again. Yes, this bike was used for land speed record attempts. In some ways, this is a very strange choice. With a top speed of 125 mph, the stock CX500 Turbo is not going to set the salt alight. There is no indication of what the records might have been, but I would love to see them. No notes on what has changed on the bike other than gearing, a steering damper, and an air/fuel ratio meter. Beyond the text, I spy an extra boost gauge and fuel pressure monitor. None of that is a deal killer in my book, although Honda Turbos are pretty heavy on the handlebars at slower speeds – I’m not certain the damper is necessary if you are riding in a legal manner. This one even comes with a spare parts bike!

We have seen a spate of Turbos on RSBFS as of late, and I’m amazed at how dirt cheap they are for the technology Honda invested in their production. These are rare motorcycles that stand out and really do perform, yet they remain unloved and underappreciated. Prices have come up slightly over the years, but we are still near the bottom if you are in the market for something worth holding on to. Check it out here – and contemplate if you need to pick up yet another hobby, such as land speed record collecting. Good Luck!!

MI

Ride like the wind: 1982 Honda CX500 Turbo
Honda November 19, 2019 posted by

Your Lying Eyes – 1984 Honda VT-500FT Ascot

Honda’s middleweight Ascot shared the legendary dirt track’s name with a basic fun-looking design. Marketing knew better than to play up the innovative engine and low-maintenance shaft drive.  This low-mile example has been lightly customized as an HRC lookalike.

1984 Honda VT-500FT Ascot for sale on eBay

Never just sticking a toe in, Honda had carefully considered the VT engine, and used a traditional-looking 52-degree angle, but offset the crank throws to reduce vibration.  Engineers had also been at the heads, and specified a three valve arrangement with twin spark plugs, grabbing 50hp from the 491cc’s.  Water cooling kept the rear cylinder cool and made the fins a styling element.  Brakes were on a budget with a single front disk and drum rear, and the shaft drive had just the right geometry to not over-react.  High pegs, small tank ( and seat ) and low bars kept the emphasis on sport.

This California owner has done a masterful tribute with a paint scheme evoking HRC’s RS750 racer, and incorporated Ascot Park’s logo on the side covers.  35 year-old mechanicals have been freshened up with a dual exhaust, carb cleaning, and new rubber.  The round headlight is a nice touch.  From the eBay auction:

The bike has some nice new or newer accessories on it including:
* Beautiful new HRC paint scheme professionally done with period decals.
* A nice two into two chrome exhaust system getting rid of that boat anchor, restrictive OEM system..
* New Dunlop K180 rear tire. Front tire is almost new.
* Control Cables.
* New battery.
* Carburetors were cleaned.
* New turn signals and round headlight (replaces the ugly square one).
* Starts right up and runs, shifts and stops as it should.
Lightweight and peppy little shaft drive bike.  Really cool around town or even for medium distance freeway rides.  Sounds nice with this new exhaust system.  Slick 6 speed transmission with a cute little light that says OD when you shift into 6th.  Be the only one in the pits with a “one off” RS500 Honda!  All electronics work.  Headlight, hi/low beams, turn signals, horn, etc.

Leave it to Honda to have a sportily camouflaged bike with a bunch of the latest technology aboard, almost maintenance free to boot.  Precious little in common with the fire breathing four-valve RS750 which took the Grand National Championship 1984-87, but the VT engine went on to power a gazillion Shadows.  The factory exited the flat track arena after intake restrictors were introduced, but had certainly proved their point.  This knowing homage looks to be a lot of fun with a low starting bid.

-donn

 

Your Lying Eyes – 1984 Honda VT-500FT Ascot
Featured Listing November 1, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: Euro Spec 1994 Honda RVF750R RC45 for Sale

Certainly one of the most sought-after bikes of the 1990s, today’s Featured Listing RVF750R RC45 was the follow up to Honda’s extremely successful VFR750R or RC30. Ultimately, the RC45 didn’t have the same success in racing as their earlier RC30, but it wasn’t for lack of effort. The RC45 was every bit as polished and exotic, and used the same basic formula as the RC30: light and stiff aluminum beam frame, V4 with gear-driven cams, and a single-sided swingarm. The RC45 was powered by a 749cc, 90° V4 with gear-driven cams and the “big bang” firing order that gave the Honda V4s their characteristic sound and improved traction coming out of corners. The cam gears were moved from the center of the engine as is typically seen in motorcycles, including the RC30, to the side of the engine to improve packaging, while sophisticated PGM-FI fuel injection replaced carburetors.

Total displacement of the new V4 was almost identical to the earlier bike to squeeze under the limit for to meet World Superbike regulations, but the bore/stroke were changed significantly from 70 x 48.6mm to 72 x 46mm, making the engine more oversquare to reduce piston speed and increase revs. Titanium connecting rods helped reduce reciprocating mass and magnesium castings kept the overall weight of the engine down, while a slipper clutch helped keep the rear tire from locking up during downshifts.

Showa adjustable suspension components at both ends of the aluminum beam frame kept the odd-size 16″ front wheel and 17″ rear wheel in contact with the ground, with the rear hoop mounted to a distinctive, ELF-developed single-sided swingarm that helped ease wheel changes during endurance racing events. So why didn’t the RC45 match the RC30’s success, particularly in WSBK? Well, the RC30 was incredibly innovative when it was introduced, so perhaps the competition from the other manufacturers had just caught up to Honda. I’ve also heard rumor that the new engine was incredibly difficult for privateers to tune. Regardless, it was still an amazing piece of engineering from Honda, and one of the most desirable superbikes of the era.

From the Seller: Full-Power Euro Spec 1994 Honda RVF750RR RC45 for Sale

This is the very first RC45 model to be brought into South Africa (one of only 3), it was imported brand new. I bought it from a collector and since then have fitted new tyres, chain, battery and had all the fluids replaced. She rides beautifully and sounds eargasmic, note that this is the full power model as noted by the ED demarcation on the PGM-Fi. 34,000km (21,250 miles). All bodywork and the screen is OEM Honda, and the only aftermarket bits are the Yoshi exhaust, and the indicator deletion. (Which are readily available from Honda, and can be arranged). No rust or oxidation due to our favourable, dry climate, and careful storage by myself and the previous owner. Tool kit and paddock stand will be included in the sale.

A rare opportunity to own, ride and enjoy the ultimate 90s superbike. A reasonable asking price of $35,000 includes free shipping and crating to any location, worldwide. Please contact Justin via email justin@redladder.co.za

Just 200 were made worldwide, making this a very rare machine. The mileage isn’t barn-find-low, but Hondas are built to last and this still appears to be a very sharp machine. Keep in mind that these are incredibly rare, finding the parts and an experienced specialist to refresh your 0-mile RC45 could be a real headache. This one looks ready to ride and enjoy!

-tad

Featured Listing: Euro Spec 1994 Honda RVF750R RC45 for Sale
Honda October 22, 2019 posted by

Right-sized – 1986 Honda VF500F Interceptor

Following the 750 Interceptor to the showroom but actually descended from the diminutive VF400F, the 499cc version was just about right for an intermediate rider ( or cognoscenti ) in the American market.  Most got ridden to a fair-thee-well but this New Hampshire example shows beautifully with just over 6,000 miles.

1986 Honda VF500F Interceptor

Honda had a world-beater in their new V-4, and the 500 was distinct from the 400.  The square-tube basket frame showed off the supersport fairing, and had air-adjustable suspension at either end.  Dual 255mm brakes are now period items as is the 16 / 18-inch stagger.  Weight was under control at just over 400 lbs. dry, refreshingly light for the time, all the better for the handling.

Shown in a gallery setting, this Interceptor appears excellent, with only the triple tree cover showing wear from the key ring.  The seller has this to say about their baby:

This is likely as close to a New 1986 Honda Interceptor 500 you likely to find.
Ultra low mileage ( 6,266 original  miles ) This bike belongs in a collection.
This bike has been professionally serviced including New Tires (Factory correct)
New Brakes, New Fork Seals, New O-ring Chain, New battery, Carbs completely rebuilt and synchronized
New sparkplugs, New fluids. This bike runs and drives as it should.

Honda kept a V-4 in the line-up before and after other manufacturers toyed with the idea.  Foreseeing the mass centralization paradigm, designers worked through the complex packaging issues.  The 500’s power-to-fun ratio made it a good pick that riders didn’t grow out of too soon.  This example post-dates the cam lubrication issue that forced a recall of earlier VF’s and Magnas, and seems an outstanding original.

-donn

Right-sized – 1986 Honda VF500F Interceptor
Honda October 17, 2019 posted by

Spitting Image: 1989 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

Speaking of 400s… This grey market Honda VFR400R NC30 looks for all the world like it’s bigger, 750cc brother, the superbike homologation special VFR750R, also known as the RC30. The two machines can be pretty hard to tell apart, and just the smaller headlights and narrower real wheel give the game away without looking closely. Side-by-side, the NC30 is visibly smaller, but has the same sleek, 90s shape, beam frame, single-sided swingarm, and classic graphics.

Both bikes are powered by V4 engines with gear-driven overhead cams and a 360° “big bang” firing order that gives the bike its distinctive exhaust note, overlaid with the whine from the cam timing gears. That stunningly engineered Pro-Arm swingarm is heavier than a double-sided unit, but makes for quicker rear tire changes during endurance racing pit stops. The smaller engine also means much less weight, and the NC30 weighs just 400lbs wet, compared to the RC30’s nearly 490lbs.

Handling is brilliant and the bike is a popular track day mount overseas, although they’re a little too rare and a little too pricey to make much sense here in the US. Not that it would stop me from thinking seriously about it. It’s a very compact, lightweight machine, and the 60 or so horses feel stronger than you’d expect. I had the opportunity to take an extended spin on one, and it was plenty comfortable, although a guy my height does look a little like the proverbial “monkey humping a football.”

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

Pretty clean 1989 Honda VFR400 NC30 with only 8,021 original miles [12,909km]. The bike starts right up and runs and drives good. Everything works like they should, except for the missing seat lock and rear view mirrors. Got a Buy It Now price of $8,500 or will consider the nearest best offer. Got a clean and clear title in hand.

Please ask all questions and clear all doubts before bidding. It is the buyer’s responsibility to inspect the bike prior to bidding. Call 646 361 8452 to come inspect the bike. The bike is being sold “as is” with no warranties. All sales final with no refunds and no returns.

There are just hours left on the auction, and the Buy It Now price seems in line with the bike and its apparent condition. I’m generally much more interested in European exotica, but the NC30 is on my very short list of bikes to own.

-tad

Spitting Image: 1989 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale
Honda October 13, 2019 posted by

Wild East – 1988 Honda CBR250R

During the 80’s heyday, Honda showed a graduated selection of displacements with two- or four-stroke engines in various configurations.  The early CBR250R was destined for an upscale beginner and came to the U.S. only via the grey market.  This 1988 four cylinder 250 looks good and its black/gold livery doesn’t stretch the truth with racey graphics.

1988 Honda CBR250R for sale on eBay

When introduced in 1986, the CBR250R was at the high end of sporty convention with alloy spar chassis, Pro-Link monoshock and big front disk brake.  The 1/4-liter inline was nicely oversquare, almost a requirement when pushing the 2-inch pistons to 18,000 rpm.  With gear-driven cams and 4-into-1 exhaust, no trouble putting together the legislated limit of 45 hp.  For 1988 there were twin headlights on the full fairing, and pillion accommodation for a JDM teen from thirty years back.

This NYC owner has several classic sportbikes at auction, none with hi-res photos however.  Showing just over 4,000 miles with no particular damage or corrosion.  Though it’s shown without plates, the owner states clear title and good running condition, and in the eBay auction can’t argue with pretty clean:

PRETTY CLEAN 1988 HONDA CBR 250  MC19 WITH ONLY 4,123 ORIGINAL MILES (6,636 KM).  THIS BIKE RUNS AND DRIVES GOOD.  EVERYTHING WORKS LIKE THEY SHOULD.  IN MY OPINION THE BIKE IS IN EXCELLENT CONDITION FOR A BIKE OF THIS AGE.  HOWEVER, THERE ARE IMPERFECTIONS DUE TO AGE.  GOT A BUY IT NOW PRICE OF $8,500 OR WILL CONSIDER THE NEAREST BEST OFFER.  GOT A CLEAN AND CLEAR TITLE IN HAND.

Different than fire-breathing superbikes or more powerful smokers, this early CBR still has rarity on its side plus the gem-like engine.  The dual headlight look is classic and this one might be a nice rolling resto as cosmetics are tuned up.  Not much to compare it to, but the buy-it-now might be a little rich for 249 cc’s – however the Make Offer button is lit.

-donn

Wild East – 1988 Honda CBR250R