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Honda November 5, 2018 posted by

Small miles, big pistons: 2001 Honda RC-51

Somehow, whoever owned this 2001 Honda RC51 managed to keep it mostly off the road in its 18 years, showing remarkable restraint in the face of a bike that built a legend for itself under the likes of Colin Edwards, Nicky Hayden and Joey Dunlop. Fast, reliable and uncompromising, the RC-51 took the fight to Ducati in the early aughts in a variety of superbike classes and at the Isle of Man.

2001 Honda RC51 for sale on eBay

This is the SP-1 version of the RC51, meaning it has slightly shallower rake and trail, and is a few pounds heavier and a few horses less powerful than the later SP-2 version. It is by no means a slouch. You're still looking at a bike that is well under 500 pounds fully fueled that puts out more than a 130 horses at the crank. Beginners need not apply, to be sure.

The seller provides little description of the bike beyond the mileage, but the pictures say more than enough about its condition. It appears to come with a the original manual and toolkit, as well as a pillion pad and the original front turn signals. The bike looks like it has new, sticky Dunlop street and track tires, and is as clean as you'd expect for a bike with so few miles.

From the eBay listing:

Yes the listing is correct. 2,001 miles!!! Bike runs and shifts smooth. Brand new tires. I’m pretty sure if you’re looking at this bike I don’t have to tell you much about it, you know what you buying. This bike is 18 years old, it’s not perfect, has a very small scratch on the top of the tank.

If you have any questions at all me feel free to contact me.

With the passing of Dunlop and Hayden and Edwards' retirement, as well as myriad rule and convention changes in the class it once dominated, the bike is becoming a piece of history, even as it remains a potent performer by modern standards. Examples like this one will be the ones whose value goes up in years to come, but they haven't quite gotten to the blue-chip collector price point just yet.


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Sport Bikes For Sale November 4, 2018 posted by

Buzzsaw: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 on eBay

The seller of this 1985 Yamaha RZ500 keeps the details light in his eBay posting, but the details he does share are certainly intriguing. The iconic GP replica sports a set of very nice aftermarket Lomas pipes, upgraded forks and wheels from a four-stroke Yamaha FJ, and a top-end rebuild. You cannot really say fairer than that when it comes to an aged two-stroke sport bike. The weird tire sizes and anti-dive forks have gone the way of the Dodo and any questions about maintenance have been answered.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on eBay

In '85, the Yamaha RZ500 was used to making light work of the big, heavy four-stroke superbikes that comprised its competition, and was riding the wave of Kenny Roberts's Grand Prix successes upon a similar-on-paper machine. It lost a few horsepower and a few kilograms to the Suzuki RG500, but the Yamaha was still no slouch, and was to go down as the more refined and rideable of the two machines. Where the Suzuki shrieked, the Yamaha would bellow.

From the eBay listing:

1985 rz500. Great driver quality bike. Could use some touchups but mechanically very nice. Lomas pipes. 20,000 miles on chassis. 1200 miles on new gaskets, seals, and top end. Have receipts. Has FJ forks and wheels. Oil injection has been removed but comes with bike along with the proper throttle cable. Email any questions. Can send pics of anything you'd like. rd500 2 stroke street legal.

As mentioned, the details are few, but the ones we get are important. The pictures show a beautiful example of a legendary machine, and one that will be just as easy to ride as it will be to collect.


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Honda November 3, 2018 posted by

Collectible Classic: 1990 Honda VFR750R RC30 for Sale

For all the accolades it's received, the Honda VFR750 RC30 is a subtle machine. To the uninformed, it doesn't look all that special, especially now that single-sided swingarms have become fairly common. The proportions are good, it's very compact, and the colors are classy: it's a handsome bike, but doesn't appear to be much more than another Japanese sportbike, although one that just looks right. And the spec sheet doesn't really do much to give the game away either, although hints about that this is a very special machine...

The bike weighed in 458lbs with fuel, coolant, and oil, with power quoted at 118hp, good for a top speed just a shade north of 150mph.  It wasn't especially lightweight, even at the time, and the power-to-weight looks decidedly tame now. Of course, numbers don't tell the whole story. They never do. They're just a useful metric, a way to compare apples to apples. I'm not good enough to test an RC30 against its peers and come away with anything useful to say, other than "that was cool." And nearly thirty years later, I'm sure it'd be hard to understand the impact of a bike like this when it was introduced if you're used to riding modern motorcycles, bikes that all learned a trick or two [or ten] from this one.

The RC30 might represent peak Honda: everything is perfectly engineered, and reviewers have always gushed about just how easy it was to get the most out of. As Pirelli says, "Power is nothing without control" and the RC30 was, by all accounts, an easy bike to ride fast, a bike that flatters the rider. The proof is in the pudding, as it were, and the bike won innumerable victories in Superbike and endurance racing. For a racebike, it had a surprisingly long shelf life, and was popular with both factory teams and privateers.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Honda VFR750 RC30 for Sale

  • VIN JH2RC3009LM200170, engine # RC30E-2200324 - matching numbers
  • only 642.8 street miles, never raced, one private owner from 1998
  • unmarked original paint, decals and finish
  • a 49-state ‘no smog’ L-model, one of approx. 316 to US-market spec.
  • climate controlled storage
  • clean, transferable Ohio title

118hp at 11,000rpm, red-line 12,500rpm, 51lbft torque at 7,600rpm, dry weight 400lb, over-square water cooled V4 DOHC, 6-speed, top speed quoted at 153mph

The RC30, a modern classic if ever there was one, was created solely to win the World Superbike Championship, a goal it met in the nascent series' first and second years, 1988 and 1989. And while American Fred Merkel aboard his Team Rumi-sponsored purple and black RC30 was bringing Honda its first two WSB crowns, Britain's Carl Fogarty used another RC30 to win the TT F1 World Championship in those same years, and the equivalent FIM Cup a year later in 1990. No mere short circuit scratcher or TT rocket ship, the RC30 proved strong lasting enough to win a bag-full of Endurance Classics, too. ‘That this latter requirement was also part of the design brief may be determined from the fact that a quick-release front fork and single-sided swinging arm - essential for speedy wheel changes - were part of an unrivaled specification that included a twin-spar alloy beam frame, 16-valve V4 engine with gear-driven cams, close-ratio six-speed gearbox and four-pot front brake calipers. All of which did not come cheap: at the time of its launch in 1988 an RC30 cost near double that of other super-sports 750s.’

Despite the passing of 30 years the RC30 remains a match for the following generation of superbikes but possesses an exclusivity that precious few of them can approach. ‘No other bike from the late-Eighties is lusted after like the RC30’, reckoned Bike. ‘And then there's the exhaust note – loud, of course, but soulful enough to bring a pit crew to tears.’

This RC30 is a beautiful street example that is in stunning, as new, un-raced condition, showing 600-odd miles on the odometer. The original dealer was Cycle Sport Center, Inc. of Cridersville, Ohio. They sold it to Steve Bennett of Domi Racer Distributors, Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio who rode the 600+ miles gently on the street, and then sold it, with a new set of tires, in late 1998 to the current seller, the first private owner. The bike has been meticulously stored unridden and maintained from then on. It comes with the original owners manual, unused tool kit, and the factory key.

A likely never-to-be-repeated opportunity to acquire an ‘as new’ RC30.

This bike, hidden away for 20 years, is in superb condition, so it can justify the label "museum quality." It re-defines 'as new.' Its VIN tag, shown here, illustrates just how clean this bike is.

To maintain the RC30's original finish, complicated by the use of several colors and many stick-on decals and stripes, it behooves the caretaker to take great care when moving it for photography and preparing it for sale. Remarkably, this bike has had the kid glove treatment from day one.

Foreign sales are invited. The buyer must pickup the bike from the seller. The seller can help with arranging third-party domestic and/or international transportation upon request, at the buyer's expense. Pickup must take place within 21 days of the payment clearing the bank. Thereafter, storage will be charged at $10 per day.

Contact the seller via email in the first instant. Questions are invited.

Well, I think it's always a good sign when the seller invites questions and the bike appears to be extremely clean, as you'd expect from a bike with just 600 indicated miles. Experts should feel free to chime in with opinions in the comments, and I'd love someone to fill me in on the signature that is visible on the tail section. I'm guessing it's Bubba Shobert, who raced 500GP bikes for Honda, but the seller doesn't seem to mention that little bit of trivia.

-tad


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Ducati November 2, 2018 posted by

Hero Worship – 1995 Ducati 916 Corsa

An order of magnitude rarer than any road-going Ducati, bona fide Corsa machines appear just every few years, while merely special 916's check in almost monthly.  Returned to its original as-delivered livery, this is a California privateer's Fast-by-Ferracci 916/955 racer.

1995 Ducati 916 Corsa for sale on eBay

Carl Fogarty had won the 1994 WSBK Championship ( and would repeat in 1995 ) and a basically 1994-spec Corsa was available to purchase for 1995.  The twin was bored to displace 955cc and forged pistons pushed the compression ratio to 12:1 and made 155 hp.  The all Öhlins suspension was also oversized, with 46mm forks and a 10mm longer swingarm than the road bike.  A 5.8 gallon fuel tank went race distance and the rear rim was 6 inches wide.  In a valiant effort to challenge the 320 lbs. minimum weight, fairings and covers were carbon fiber.

My usual yardsticks of mileage and maintenance are no use here.  The owner does offer a short monograph of the very bike by Ian Falloon - here -.  It's a never-titled racer which might turn a lap or two in the future, but more likely will be toward the end of an aisle of other red bikes.  From the eBay auction:

Bike built in February of 1995 and initially sold by Eraldo Ferracci.  This Corsa was retired from competitive racing in 1997.
Retrospeed of Belgium, Wisconsin was previously commissioned to fully repaint bike, install a new fuel pump, prove that the bike was mechanically sound, change fluids and set up for long term storage.
New slicks would need to be fit prior to track use.
The owner, an Italian collector, is thinning his motorcycle collection to make room for a car purchase.
The 955 Corsa is not titled-none were-as they were produced for the sole purpose of racing.

After a late season crash that saw him recovering in 1996, owner-rider Greg Prinze painted the 916 in Pro Italia's tricolore for 1997 and took the California-based American Federation of Motorcyclists 8-race championship that year.  Both retired after that, and the bike was at some point restored for display.  The starting bid set accordingly, the FBF provenance and race history serve this Corsa well.  Discussing the performance is like the occasional "how would you spend the Powerball ?" discussion, it sure would be nice to try...

-donn


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Yamaha October 31, 2018 posted by

Un-mothballed – 1988 Yamaha TZR250

Without being over-spec'ed or blingy, Yamaha's entry into the 249cc learner-sports class was right-sized, nicely put together, and handled straight out of the box.  This one has been on display and recently returned to the land of the living.

1988 Yamaha TZR250 for sale on eBay

 

Like the RD350 whose success it was trying to copy, the TZR250 used a parallel twin engine, the twin Mikuni carburetors ( with bores not much much bigger than your thumb ) making 50 hp.  The alloy DeltaBox frame is as close to overdone as anything got on the TZR, but chassis rigidity pays double in predictable handling.  The forks were not adjustable and the monoshock for preload only, but reviewers said they got it right.  Front brake was a single 320mm disk, but with a four piston caliper.  Front and rear tires were 17 inchers.

In surprising condition for its age, this TZR has run just 5,700 miles.  No comment about whether this is a gray market import, but there is the KMH speedometer.  The previous owner's cosmetic restoration is mentioned in the - video -  and here are some of the comments from the eBay auction:

RECENTLY -

New Battery & amp; Battery Tender Hookup - which can also be used to run Electric gear

New front and rear brake fluids flushed and replaced with Honda Pro DOT 4

Carbs were Digitally Synchronized

OEM Air filter checked -  is as if new

Perfect Mechanical and Cosmetic condition and needs nothing

Replaced the fork oil with 15W

New transmission oil

Oil Injection Tank filled up

Coolant flushed and replaced

New set of tires have 300 miles on them in 4 rides this last year

Yamaha went on to a reversed cylinder twin ( carbs in front, exhausts in back ) in 1989 and finally joined the crowd with a V-twin in 1991.  But the original can often be the best.  A bit pricey for a 250, the TZR languished for their last couple of years here.  This early and seemingly correct example will go far, but probably not outdoors...

-donn

 


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