Posts by Category: Honda

Honda April 7, 2020 posted by

Affordable Twin: 1998 Honda VTR1000F Super Hawk for Sale

By the late 1990s, Ducati’s success in production-based racing and general iconic-ness meant a new emphasis on v-twins for many manufacturers. It helps that a v-twin package makes for a great roadbike, with flexible midrange torque and lots of character at any speed. As a bonus a v-twin just sounds like a motorcycle. With 916-level specifications and a price that was lower than a Ducati 900SS, the Honda VTR1000F Super Hawk, or “Firestorm” in some markets, should have been a hot seller. But anonymous looks, road-biased handling, and a few annoying quirks combined to make Honda’s “Ducati-killer” a bit of a miss. Everything about the VTR1000F looked great on paper: a 996cc 90° v-twin with liquid-cooling and four valves per cylinder, lightweight aluminum beam frame, and adjustable suspension certainly fit the bill. Side-mounted radiators looked trick and were supposedly more efficient than a traditional unit. They probably also helped keep the wheelbase short, something that can be tricky on transverse twins like this one, but the location also made them a bit of a liability in a crash. Cam-chain tensioners were supposedly a weak spot, but the engine is generally blessed with the expected Honda-levels of reliability.

So what went wrong? The specifications may have been impressive, but power wasn’t quite up to Ducati 996 levels, and handling wasn’t even as good as the 900SS. At 423 claimed pounds, it was light enough, but the bike was really never designed to be a serious sportbike: the frame was light and had flex tuned into it to provide great feedback on the road, but it was too willowy for serious track use, let alone racing. I read an article years ago about a British privateer team trying to race a VTR1000F, back before the SP-1 was released, and their biggest challenge was stiffening that frame. A pair of carburetors may have seemed pretty retro in 1998, but the big mixers meant great fueling for the twin. Unfortunately, they also meant pretty poor gas mileage and limited range: the thirsty Super Hawk got less than 30mpg and a 4.2 gallon tank meant no more than 130 miles between fillups, with the reserve light staring you in the face at around 100 miles. Bikes from 2001 and beyond had a larger 5 gallon tank, but it still didn’t really qualify as a sport-tourer, in spite of all-day comfort from the reasonable ergonomics.

It may not have been a serious sportbike, but it was a pretty great motorcycle for anyone looking for a versatile street machine. Handsome and competent, without being particularly pretty or even distinctive, it’s been largely forgotten today. Launched at almost the same time as Suzuki’s TL1000S, it was probably a better bike, but the widowmaker Zook stole all of Honda’s thunder and was generally much more exciting, owing to it’s sometimes wayward handling and wheelie-prone character. It’s a shame because, limited range and bland looks aside, it doesn’t have any real vices.

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Honda VTR1000F Super Hawk for Sale

Honda Super Hawk . This is a VTR1000 Superhawk v-twin. The bike looks, and runs great. This is Honda`s version of a Ducati without all the trouble, and expense, and much more comfortable. Bike has low miles with lots of extras, and everything is ready to go. Had to relist due to a Scam buyer. Shipping is the buyers responsibility. I will help load. 1/2 hour NE of Louisville, 1 hour SW of Cincinnati.

It’d be nice if the seller actually went into details about what “lots of extras” means. I see aftermarket levers, reservoir caps, signals, fender eliminator, polished wheels, and maybe an aftermarket seat. Most of it seems of average quality, but your mileage may vary. All-in-all, it looks pretty nice and it can all be reversed, if you want more originality. With 15,800 miles on the odometer and an asking price of $3,199 you’re certainly getting a lot of bike for the money, something that’s characterful and pretty unusual, as long as you don’t mind stopping for gas more often…

-tad

Affordable Twin: 1998 Honda VTR1000F Super Hawk for Sale
Honda March 26, 2020 posted by

Sex and the Single Owner – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30

Lately more appropriate to a Bonhams or Mecum stadium event than an online auction, the very collectible RC30 appears here claiming just one previous owner and 4,809 miles.  The sparkling condition and reasonable* asking price makes it possible this listing will end early.

1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30 for sale on eBay

Honda built the 748cc V-4 with the Superbike World Championship in mind, and the big bang 360-degree crank opened an interval for correction mid-corner.  A generation before traction control and 3-axis reference systems, the factory slipper clutch eased downshifts.  Showa provided adjustable forks with quick-release axles, and matched the single-sided swingarm’s quick tire changes.  Brakes are right-sized at 296mm, and the rear caliper has linkage designed to reduce wheel hop.

Not sure where this RC30 has been all these years, but it’s shown with Oregon tags by an eBay specialist with a bunch of other neat bikes on offer.  Spotless and seemingly original right down to the DOT reflectors on the front forks.  Comments from the eBay auction:

This RC30 hailed from a small, but discerning collection of cars and motorcycles. The original owner covered a mere 4,800 miles in just about 30 years. Regularly maintained since new, the bike runs and rides like new.

This legendary machine is offered in excellent condition throughout. The engine starts readily, idles smoothly and has an abundance of power. AN ABUNDANCE! The bike is fast with a long first gear, that doesn’t launch you from a standing start, but winds on power for what feels like an age. The clutch is silky-smooth and brakes and suspension are near perfect. Tires are in very good condition.

There are negligible blemishes in the paint finish around the bike, mainly at the bottom of the fairing, and there are no dings. All body panels are original, and the tank is totally free of blemishes and scratches/dents. Seat is excellent as is the rest of the bike. The bike is accompanied by a clean, clear title, books and manuals, spare key, and a full set of completely untouched tools. There is also a matching hand-crafted tank bag.

Honda took the first two years of the championship with Fred Merkel, and three if you look at the manufacturer’s ranking.  Most of us will just have to wonder what it was like, to be in the points so consistently, on a Castrol purple machine.  Lightness, power, and build quality all played their role.  The motoring press ran out of superlatives almost as soon as the limited edition was gone.  Cherry though not a museum piece, the next owner could sample the RC30 experience before the spotlights beckon.

-donn

Sex and the Single Owner – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30
Honda March 19, 2020 posted by

Bantamweight Racer: 1981 Honda RS125RW for Sale

Today’s Honda RS125RW might be a bit obscure for most of our readers, and is certainly older than the bikes we usually feature here, but a genuine Honda Grand Prix machine is certainly worth a look whenever one comes up for sale! This one has plenty of patina, period stickers, and an apparently rare dry clutch for less weight and extra noise!

Honda’s Grand Prix racing motorcycles were based around four-stroke engines until the two-stroke MT125 was introduced in the 1970s. The MT125 was replaced in 1980 by the RS125RW seen here, and that machine soldiered on until it was replaced in 1987. The significantly updated RS125 introduced in 1987 was eventually developed into the dominant machine more familiar to most of our readers.

Powered by a motocross engine borrowed from the RC125M, the RS125R’s liquid-cooled, reed-valve engine made 30hp from 124.9cc with a bore and stroke of 56 x 50.6mm. The frame was a twin shock, steel duplex design, had disc brakes at both ends, and weighed in at 170lbs dry. It wasn’t considered cutting edge when new, but it was reasonably successful in competition and Honda continued to develop the bike and its successors as an over the counter racing machine available to younger racers honing their skills.

From the original eBay listing: 1981 Honda RS125RW for Sale

1981 Honda RS125R-W located at our shop in Santa Ana, California. The pictures in this auction were taken at our shop in Japan. This RS125R-W is in very good condition for its age. Engine has a super rare dry clutch. The previous owner said he rebuilt the engine before it was put away many years ago. RS125R-W are very hard to find now. This bike is the best we have had for many years now. And the only one we have had with a dry clutch. Bike will come with a new windscreen not mounted to the bike. There are no spares with this bike. Bike is sold as is, no returns. Look at the pictures carefully and ask questions before you bid. Sorry, no Paypal on this item. Again, bike is sold with a bill of sale, no title. Bike comes with what you see in the pictures in this auction.

The starting bid is $6,995 with a few days left on the auction and no bids as yet. This one is obviously a bit of a gamble, since parts to keep one running will be difficult to source. The engine is said to have been rebuilt, but I’d be prepared for the worst if it was my money. Experts might have a line on what they might need to actually ride it, and this bit of Honda racing history would obviously make an awesome display piece for your living room or the lobby of a business, if you just want to show it off in all its period patina.

-tad

Bantamweight Racer: 1981 Honda RS125RW for Sale
Honda March 4, 2020 posted by

V4 Cruise Missile: 1993 Honda VFR750 Interceptor

The Honda VFR750 never fails to pop up in forum posts and old magazine articles seeking to name the best all-around motorcycle available. Inevitably, there’s some dentist from Portland who chimes in with 43 photos of his immaculate VFR and a long tale about how he’s put 175,000 miles on it from new and only ever changed the oil and tires. It’s a fact of Internet life, and it gets pretty old. But, if you spend any time at all around the bikes, you’ll discover that those Aerostitch-clad Boomers are on to something. These bikes are, quite simply, phenomenal.

1993 Honda VFR750 for sale on eBay

Of course, I am biased. A red ’97 model sits in my garage, and I sought it out after reading too many dentists telling me how awesome it was. They were right. The gear driven cams make a gorgeous whine on top of the small-block lope of the V4, the power is electric and the handling, while not exactly sprightly, is impressive for something so large and perfectly stable.

This 1993 Honda VFR750 appears to have been babied by one of the aforementioned healthcare professionals, and shows very nicely in white. The way the single-sided swingarm shows off that magnificently ’90s rear wheel is enough to give you visions of Joey Dunlop. With 15,000 original miles, a next to new set of tires and new spark plugs, battery and fuel filter, there is no reason this thing shouldn’t be down for a cross-country road trip tomorrow.

From the eBay listing:

Up for sale is my VERY clean VFR-750. Ultra low miles, adult owned and maintained. Never ridden in the rain, always garage kept on a battery tender when not riding. Has 480 miles on a new set of Michelin Pilots, new spark plugs, new fuel filter, battery is 1 year old, carbs were cleaned and sync’d, K & N air filter, gutted Yoshimura slip on muffler. Always washed after every ride, oil and filter changed every 1,000 miles using Honda oil and filter.

With a hollowed-out Yosh pipe, this thing will make your neighbors hate you, but how could they ever hate this bike?

V4 Cruise Missile: 1993 Honda VFR750 Interceptor
Honda February 27, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing: 1990 Honda RC30

Update 3.5.2020: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

The 1990 Honda RC30 was built specifically to win the World Superbike Championship for Honda, back in the glory days when racing meant almost as much to manufacturers as their retail operations did. People still came out in hordes to watch roadraces at tracks around the world, and the level of talent and daring were visceral in a way that the hyper-controlled environment today just cannot match. Somewhere there is video footage of Joey Dunlop changing a clutch on an RC30 laid on its side on a patch of grass. 

The street legal RC30 homologation specials wed that spirit with the highest tech available to sportbikes at the time and created a legend. As a marketing exercise, they executed their mission far beyond expectations. The 118 horsepower seems pedestrian by today’s standards, but the feathery, torquey RC30 rewards focus in a way that modern machines can’t match. 

This one, #58, had a fair number of miles put on by the first owner’s wife, before our pal Mark bought it, rode it enough to get the feel for it, then winterized it and put it on display in his house. As a result, it is in beautiful condition, with under 5,000 miles on the clock. It has a CBR600 front wheel to fit modern tires, but the original is included, along with the original rear. We’d keep those around for posterity, but there’s one choice if you’re actually going to ride it. 

From the seller:

The bike is #58, which was previously on RSBFS years ago. Original owner put most of the miles on it, his wife rode around NorCal. All the documentation is there including original pink slip! The tires are the originals for display. There’s currently a CBR600 front wheel on it for the 3 1/2″ rubber. I wanted to try the legendary RC30 so I put new rubber on it and then rode it for 50 miles before it went into the basement. It really is a piece of rolling artwork, never really appreciated it until I rode it.

All gas was removed etc. Comes with original stand, in great condition as you would expect from something that’s lived in an air conditioned basement for the last few years. Photos are not great, happy to do a video call with any real buyer that wants to see specifics…..bodywork on or off. There’s nothing to hide, no stories with this one.

Price: $35,000.

The rarer these get, the more desirable and expensive they become. This one is one of the best we have seen, and it has been made ready to ride, display or do double duty. You can’t say fairer than that. 

Featured Listing: 1990 Honda RC30
Honda February 22, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing: 1979 Honda CBX

Update 6.18.2020: This bike is SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

What’s cooler than a steel-framed classic motorcycle powered by an air-cooled inline six? In the literal sense, almost anything, as no matter how many fins you cast into the block, six 166-cc pistons slamming up and down at 9,000 rpm produce rather a lot of heat. In the figurative sense, though, damn near nothing comes anywhere close.

1979 Honda CBX for sale on eBay

The Honda CBX only lasted from 1978 to 1982, but when it bowed in ’78 it was the fastest production bike there was, and reviewers raved about how much better it went than the next-best CB900F. One reviewer said that even though the CBX was more expensive, it represented the better bargain as the dynamics were good enough to outweigh the cost difference. With 105 horsepower from the big six and a 140-mph top end, the numbers were absolutely eye watering, at a time when 80 horsepower was considered just fine. Even with a 600lb wet weight — gargantuan by today’s values, and unthinkable for anything sporting — the bike wasn’t that much heavier than its four-cylinder competition.

This 1979 Honda CBX is in better-than-showroom condition, having only covered 9,000 miles over the last 41 years. It has been owned by a Honda dealer, and two fastidious owners in the last 20 years, who kept it immaculately clean. The seller went through it thoroughly, but says he only refinished a few small parts. The gorgeous shine you see everywhere else is factory original.

From the eBay listing:

1979CBX: As close to new as possible with no “patina”. The original owner was a Honda Dealership owner. The owner passed away after putting 8,533 miles on it in 5 years. It took 20 years for his estate to be settled and the bike was auctioned in 2005. The second owner had it for 15 years (mostly sat in his living room) and put about 500 miles on it before selling it to me in July 2019.

I disassembled the bike and performed the following: Replaced the wheel bearings and seals, replaced the steering head bearings and dust seals, rebuilt the brake calipers and master cylinders using all Honda NOS parts. Replaced all of the brake lines with Spiegler stainless steel lines. Replaced the 630 drive chain with Honda NOS chain (continuous with no mater link) in a sealed bag with instructions and a new chain wear decal. Replaced the tires with Avon Roadriders. Replaced the shocks with Hagon adjustables. Rebuilt the forks with Honda NOS seals, o’rings and Race-Tech springs. The carburetors were restored by Old School Carbs. Replaced the fuel petcock with Honda NOS assembly.

There were only four parts that I refinished-side stand, center stand, brake master cylinder and battery side bracket. The only part that I re-chromed was the rear axle nut. The front fender, fuel tank, tailpiece, side covers and chain guard are original. The seat is original. All of the electrics except the battery are original.

Included is the original operator’s manual velcro’d to the right side cover. Also the complete original tool kit is in its bag next to the battery box.

I had planned to ride the bike after I completed my work. I have changed my mind as it is too nice for me to risk it. Please call if you have any questions or need pictures of specific areas. Paul 314-600-0197

As the specter of inline six motorcycles fades further into history, bikes like the CBX are moving up in the world with collectors. Apart from the alarming speeds they can achieve, they sound like a Formula 1 car at full chat, and cut a wide swath in person. Finding one even close to this nice is going to be increasingly hard.

Featured Listing: 1979 Honda CBX
Honda February 15, 2020 posted by

Honda Week Continues: 1988 Honda NSR250R for Sale

Oh god, I can only imagine the backlash in the comments as our unofficial Honda Week rolls on! Today, we’ve got a clean MC18 version of the NSR250R, Honda’s little two-stroke sportbike that took the fight to the Suzuki Gamma, Yamaha TZR, and Kawasaki KR-1. And like those bikes, it was a technological powerhouse, squeezing maximum power from the tiny engine. Introduced in 1987, these never officially made it to our shores, but are now old enough that they can be legally imported and registered in most states.

The original NSR250R MC16 was followed by the MC18 seen here in 1988. It was powered by a compact, lightweight, crankcase-inducted 249cc 90° v-twin that used Nikasil-plated cylinders for a slightly undersquare 54 x 54.5mm bore and stroke. An early version of Honda’s PGM electronic ignition and their electronic RC or “Revolutionary Controlled” powervalve gave a more flexible spread of power, and a six-speed cassette-style gearbox put power to the 18″ rear wheel that was matched to a 17″ front.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda NSR250R for Sale

For sale is a 1989 Honda NSR 250 two-stroke motorcycle with rare hard to find CA title and registration for street use. The bike was just serviced so it is in running condition with everything working, it has been owned by its last owner for over 18 years. It is in good shape for its age but it is not perfect. If you have any questions feel free to send me a email.

The odometer shows 17,590km, which means the bike has a little less than 11,000 miles on it. No problem if the bike has been properly maintained, and it has that all-important California title that should make a trip to the DMV somewhat less painful if you want to register it here… Probably. The MC18 is less desirable than the later MC21, let alone the MC28, but it’s still an NSR250R and should go for a good bit less: bidding is up to $3,856.00 with several days left on the auction.

-tad

Honda Week Continues: 1988 Honda NSR250R for Sale
Honda February 14, 2020 posted by

Speak of the Devil: 1990 Honda VFR750R RC30 for Sale

Speaking of the RC30… After the little-brother VFR400R we posted this week, we’ve now got the legendary Honda VFR750R here on RSBFS. The RC30 wasn’t especially light, or powerful, but it was beautifully made and was incredibly easy to ride, with intuitive handling. A true sportbike icon, it represents an unusual way to approach production racing.

Most of the time, homologation bikes are tweaked and upgraded versions of regular production machines. You take your basic sportbike platform, then add an adjustable steering head, or flat-slide carburetors, or titanium engine parts, or a different bore and stroke, then build enough examples incorporating those changes to qualify the resulting machine for whichever classes you intend to enter. Instead, Honda built a low-production superbike that was sold alongside its more conventional inline-four sportbikes like the CBR.

Honda’s belief in the the V4 has obviously been validated: the format is popular in MotoGP, and several modern hyperbikes use the format for all of the same reasons Honda felt it was a winning formula. A V4 is heavier and more complex than an inline four, since it has two cylinder heads and an additional set of camshafts. But the format contributes to mass-centralization and is much narrower than an inline four, which allows for better aerodynamics.

Honda’s V4 used a set of gears to drive the overhead cams, and a 360° crankshaft to improve rear-wheel traction. Build quality was incredibly high and, with the fairing removed, the RC30’s components are densely packed in between the thick aluminum frame spars. The V4 configuration is great for handling, but it also makes a bike generally complex and hard to work on. Perfect for a bike that was designed for homologation purposes.

I’m curious about the wheels on this bike: the seller mentions that it currently wears wheels from an RC45, which is an odd choice. The original RC30 wheels would be a 17″ front and an 18″ rear, which makes the fitment of modern sportbike tires problematic. The RC45 would have a 17″ rear, but went to a 16″ front. Again, making the fitment of modern sport tires difficult. An RC45 rear and an RC30 front would make the most sense to me, but the photos don’t clearly show what’s been done here.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Honda VFR750R RC30 for Sale

If you are viewing this bike, you know exactly how influential the VFR750R/RC30 was to the motorcycle world.

  • With only 3,000 being produced, RC30’s with this mileage are extremely hard to find
  • 748cc V4 powerplant is pure bliss
  • Often referred to as a Homologation Special for HRC’s World Superbike Campaign
  • This bike is believed to have 4,754 unrestored original miles
  • The bike currently has RC45 wheels and a aftermarket exhaust
  • Factory Wheels, Exhaust, and Jetting goes along with the sale
  • Rear Stand is also included with the sale
  • This RC30 has spent the last 2 years in the Throttlestop Motorcycle Museum on Display
  • The bike runs and rides beautifully
  • Paint work is very nice, no dings or issues with the gas tank
  • Lower belly pan has normal wear, see pictures
  • All the hard to find pieces are on this bike and untouched

This was the pinnacle for Honda in the late 80’s/early 90’s and is extremely timeless. Here is your chance to own one of the most desirable Sport Bikes of this era!

Bidding is active, and up to $25,100 with several days left on the auction. This example isn’t perfect, but is low-mileage, unrestored, and looks very clean in the photos. And if the RC45 wheels aren’t to your liking, the original wheels and exhaust are included, so you can put it back to stock before you lock it up in your hermetically-sealed storage vault.

-tad

Speak of the Devil: 1990 Honda VFR750R RC30 for Sale