Latest Posts

Honda December 25, 2018 posted by

Christmas Bonus: 1989 Honda VFR750R RC30 for Sale

Long before "mass centralization" became a popular marketing buzzword for sportbikes, Honda was investing its bubble economy-inflated budget in a bike that took advantage of that very concept, the exquisitely-engineered VFR750R, otherwise known as the legendary RC30. Honda was so invested in sportbikes at the time that it actually sold an I4 and a V4 range of bikes concurrently, with their CBR and VFR filling slightly different niches. But when it came to their homologation bikes, Honda took their hard-won knowledge from the street-oriented V4 bikes and used it to develop the bike seen here, the VFR750R.

If you're passingly familiar with Honda's roadbikes, "VFR" probably evokes images of practical and engaging sport-touring bikes that lean on the sport end of the spectrum. This is not one of those bikes. The RC30 was developed to win production-based racing classes, specifically the then-new World Superbike Championship, although the ELF-designed single-sided swingarm hints at the bike's endurance racing capabilities as well.

At the heart of the bike is obviously a compact V4 engine with a relatively narrow frontal area for good aerodynamics and very centralized mass, gear-driven cams for extremely precise valve control, and a 360°crankshaft that improved traction at the rear wheel, compared to a more traditional 180° unit. The concept of the 360° crank is that the combustion events are clustered close together, instead of spaced evenly throughout each engine revolution to allow the rear tire to "recover," increasing traction and improving tire life. It also gives the bike a flatter powerband and a distinctive soundtrack that can be appreciated, even if your skills don't extend to tire-spinning corner exits. The downside of a V4 is generally increased weight compared to an inline-four and tight packaging, especially with a 90° v-angle, as used here. Stripped of its fairing, the RC30 looks very dense and packed with mechanical bits, and V4s can be a bit of a bear to work on.

Reviews then and now describe it as an easy bike to take full advantage of, a bike that rewarded finesse, a bike that just did as it was told and allowed the rider to get on with winning. Power was unremarkable, weight was average, and nothing about the bike screamed "race winner." But win it did, even against stiff opposition from Ducati, Bimota, Suzuki, Yamaha, and Kawasaki, and Honda only abandoned the V4 formula when it decided that rules in WSBK favoring v-twins were onerous and biased. So they built a v-twin and showed everyone they could win with those as well, but it was clear their hearts would always belong to the V4...

The RC30 is a handsome bike, with nearly perfect proportions and a wealth of amazing details, although it doesn't have the easy wow-factor of something from Italy. It's not often you can accuse Ducati of cribbing styling elements, but the 916's taillights and distinctive single-sided swingarm look awfully similar to what you can see here. And unlike those Italian machines, every single component is carefully thought out to work as part of a complete package, and engineered to near-perfection.

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda VFR750R RC30 for Sale

  • Long term ownership and fewer than 5,000 miles
  • 1989 Honda VFR750R RC30
  • Frame Number: 2100129
  • Engine Number: 2100162
  • Legendary 16-valve gear-driven DOHC 90 degree V4 engine
  • Reportedly fewer than 3000 produced
  • Single owner since 1990
  • Fewer than 5,000 miles from new.

One of the modern era's few immediately collectible classics, the Honda VFR750R - better known as the 'RC30' - was created for just one reason: to win the World Superbike Championship, a feat it achieved in the nascent series' first two seasons of 1988 and 1989. And while American Fred Merkel was bringing Honda its first two WSB crowns, Britain's Carl Fogarty used an RC30 to win the TT F1 World Championship in 1988 and 1989, and the equivalent FIM Cup in 1990. No mere short circuit scratcher, the RC30 and its derivatives proved durable enough to win a hat-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 passage of time and progress of motorcycle technology, the RC30 remains a match for the latest generation of sports bikes but possesses an exclusivity that none of them can approach. 'No other bike from the late-Eighties is lusted after like the RC30', reckoned Bike, and few would disagree. And then there's the exhaust note – loud, of course, but soulful enough to bring a pit crew to tears.

This RC30 was only very recently liberated from its second and very long-term owner. Purchased in the UK in 1990, fewer than 5,000 miles have been put on the bike since it was new. Not long after acquisition, the superbike was taken to the Isle of Man where it was driven around the race track, but not actually raced. In 1991 the machine was brought stateside. Regularly maintained since new, the previous owner reports that the RC30 was taken to the local Honda dealer for a pre-sale service within the last couple of months.

Fresh from nearly three decades of single owner care, this legendary machine is offered in excellent condition throughout. The engine starts readily, idles smoothly and has an abundance of power. The clutch is silky-smooth and brakes and suspension are near perfect. I would opt for a new pair of tires before serious road use and am happy to negotiate your tire choice in to the price.

This is a rare opportunity to acquire a motorcycling icon of performance and provenance and a must-have for a discerning collection.

For additional information and photos go to ClassicAvenue.com

V4s are all the rage these days, but Honda really pioneered them for modern motorcycle applications. Because who the hell else would want to design around such a packaging headache? Obviously, Honda has a history of doing things just because they can, practicality be damned: their oval-pistoned racebikes grew out of a staunch refusal to adapt to the changing technology of the Grand Prix scene and simply build a competitive two-stroke. And although that particular experiment was a failure, it shows the lengths to which Honda will go when they believe in an engineering concept. Luckily, the V4 wasn't quite so complex and was ultimately vindicated by both in-period success and by the legacy it left behind. This example has very low miles and appears to be in very nice, original condition with an asking price of $44,900 and just one more day on the listing, so if you didn't get what you wanted for Christmas this year and happen to have a bit of your holiday bonus left lying around...

-tad


18 Responses. Join the Discussion!
Moto Guzzi December 24, 2018 posted by

Some of its parts? 2003 Moto Guzzi V11 with mods

While we here on RSBFS tend to favor the original over the modified, sometimes there is a clean enough project bike that deserves some attention. I believe this V11 is one such bike, and I think you will by the time you get to the bottom of this post. Pull up a chair, grab some coffee (or something stronger) and read on!

2003 Moto Guzzi V11 build for sale on eBay

While we tend to see major dollars thrown at the odd Ducati or custom two stroke, it is not often we come across a Moto Guzzi bestowed with such a lavish wardrobe. Guzzis are relatively rare enough in the US and a V11 would find itself on these pages if in decent condition, but when somebody takes the time and money to bridge the stocker into something more while retaining nearly all the stock pieces, you see a potential collection in the making. After all, there are nearly enough parts here to build a second bike!

The V11 is as straightforward a Guzzi as you can imagine: The big V twin is situated across the chassis. Displacing 1064cc and with valves actuated with pushrods, the focus is more on torque than outright, high RPM power. Still, there are over 90 ponies at your disposal in stock form, which ensures respectable performance. Modern touches such as fuel injection and a six speed gearbox bring the Italian relic to the current century. Evolution is a good thing, and Guzzi took advantage of a solid foundation to provide minor improvements to the lineup: a lighter clutch made engagement easier (and reduced the torque roll), enhanced swing arm / driveshaft geometry reduces shaft jacking, and revised chassis rake/trail numbers enhance handling. If you ever drooled over a 1970s or early 80s LeMans, the V11 line offered the same great bones with far greater refinement and reliability. Better yet, the V11 was offered in several guises, including Naked, Sport and LeMans formats along with a few limited specials.

From the seller:
After 5 years of ownership and countless dollars and hours spent on restoring and modifying this Moto Guzzi V11 Sport (serial #1 for the 2003 model year), I have decided to part ways with this fantastic motorcycle. My BMW car hobby has overgrown the garage, and I haven't rode any motorcycles in a few years now. I've sold off all my other bikes and this is the last one I was hanging on to. I've only ridden this one about 64 miles since I completed the resto-mod. There's still a few things I'd like to do to be fully complete to my satisfaction, but I will have to leave those items to the new owner. I'd be happy to discuss all the details with potential buyers.

As a brief overview, I purchased the bike in 2013 from a local seller here in Tucson. Although it had fairly low miles, it had seen some sun exposure and needed some serious TLC. Being serial number 1 for the 2003 model year (the very first bike with all of the Piaggio group updates), I had to save this bike, and also put my flare into it. About 9 months later and thousands of dollars later, I had created a wanna-be Cafe Sport model, with actual Ohlins suspension from a Le Mans (sourced from The Netheralands), a brand new Quat-D exhaust, and custom SpeedHut digital gauges with GPS speedometer (to name a few mods). Lots of OEM and Italian carbon fiber bits too, along with a Power Commander III. Tons of brand new parts from Italy, including a new gas tank and hand controls just to name a few parts. Including the purchase price of the bike, I probably have close to $15K wrapped up in this restoration.

More from the seller:
I will consider getting the old Odyssey battery I have installed and try to get the bike started for interested parties, but I may not have the opportunity during this holiday season. The tank has been drained and not run for a few years now, as it's just been on display in my garage (sad I know). It was running fantastically before putting it away, as I had adjusted the valves and balanced the throttle bodies with the special adapter cable and multi-meter, as well as a digital differential pressure gauge I borrowed from work. That said, I would highly recommend that the bike be gone over thoroughly by a Moto Guzzi expert before taking to the streets. The tires are old now and should be replaced, even though the tread is still within spec. Again please remember that this has been sitting un-ridden in a climate controlled garage for at least 3 years. The engine oil, trans oil, and final drive oils are 4 years old, but only have 64 miles on them.

More from the seller:
In the pictures below, please note that I am selling ALL of the spare parts with the bike, so if you are the lucky winner, please plan on arranging for transport of the motorcycle as well as the huge spread of parts as shown. There's probably $3000 in spare parts alone. On that note, please do not ask me to part out the Quat-D exhaust, carbon fiber pieces, etc. At this time, the winning bidder will be rewarded with a large collection of rare OEM and aftermarket parts to which he or she can part out as they see fit. I truly think this resto-mod is a great 'sum of its parts' motorcycle, but I understand if it appeals to some people as a source for parts and profit; however I will not be tearing the bike down for that purpose.

Selling as shown in the photos, no warranties expressed or implied. Happy to work with your moto-shipping company for transport. The bike is located in Tucson Arizona. I will be keeping the personalized license plate!

Not only is this a gorgeous build full of some awesome parts, it has been chronicled in a few different formats. First off, there is an extensive thread in the Guzzi forums HERE. If you want to see a timeline, this is your chance. There is also a video of the bike in action, however it may not be in its final configuration:

As you can imagine, the seller has invested more into this V11 (with serial #1) than he is likely to get back out of it. Bespoke items for Italian hardware do not come cheap, and modified machines rarely recoup the purchase price (or labor) of the upgrades. And at the heart of it, the base V11 Sport is not exactly rocketing up the charts when it comes to valuation. That makes this auction extra interesting: with a $7,500 opening ask there is a lot of value here, even if that is on the high side for this make/model. Check it out here - there are many more pictures available. Enjoy the fruits of someone else's labor and obsession, and if you play your cards right you might end up with an Italian steed with a boatload of spares for a decent sum. Viva Italia!

MI


3 Responses. Join the Discussion!
Norton December 23, 2018 posted by

Mystery Ship: 2010 Norton Manx

According to Wikipedia: "The Norton Manx or Manx Norton is a British racing motorcycle that was made from 1947 to 1962 by Norton Motors Ltd." And as any avid motorcycle enthusiast will know, this is a truly iconic brand and model - dominating the TT as well as other races in the day. Knowledgeable readers will also know that Norton has not been in the motorcycle business for a number of years, having changed hands several times over the last few decades. Rights to the Manx name was sold off in the late 1960s, and currently resides (since 1994) with UK Engineer, Andy Molnar. If the date of the bike is correct, this looks to be a Molnar Manx - a faithful reproduction of the original Manx but NOT a true Norton.

2010 Norton Manx for sale on eBay

From the seller:
(translated with Google - the original text is in French)
Bore diameter: 90 mm
Reinforced motor bearings
Gardner carburetor: 40 mm
Box Quaife 6 reports with barrel
Maxton rear shock absorbers
Magneto electronic ignition
Öhlins steering damper
18 "wheels with Avon racing tires
Integral fairing with integrated recovery tray
Carbon front and rear fenders
Front brake Fontana 4 cams 230 mm
Electronic rev counter

Maintenance documentation as well as new maintenance parts are also provided with the motorcycle.

Molnar Precision Ltd. offers a number of reproduction parts, including chassis, suspension, engine and transmission pieces. They also offer complete bikes, which I believe this to be. They are not cheap, and including currency conversion from GBP to USD would result in $40k+ for a build. There is very little info on this bike - and even fewer pictures - but one can make the reasonable assumption that it is the 90mm bore spec, based on the ad text, which works out to 500cc (see the Molnar spec sheet). With a starting bid of $28,000 and a Buy It Now of $35k this could be in the money when compared to a new Molnar build, but interested parties should do some serious research before jumping in. The good news is that the bike is already in the US, so that makes the transport that much easier. Check it out here. Definitely not a core RSBFS offering, but we thought it interesting. Jump over to the Comments and share your thoughts on this remade classic. Good Luck!!

MI


3 Responses. Join the Discussion!
Ducati December 22, 2018 posted by

Suit That’s Red – 1992 Ducati Paso 907 I.E.

- Sold on the buy-it-now while this post was being scheduled, hopefully to a sharp RSBFS reader !

Like a back-lit tinsel tree in its hometown Santa Monica, this rather red Paso is all dressed up for Xmas.  The last-generation desmodue was a fuel-injected 9th inning home run, which unfortunately couldn't extend the Tamburini model into extra innings.

1992 Ducati Paso 907 I.E. for sale on eBay

The all-enclosed Paso was one of the first Ducatis under Castiglioni stewardship, intially as a 750cc and later a 904, both with a single Weber.  More linear electronic fuel injection and 90 hp came in 1991, transforming the ride.  Hiding under the soap-bar is a peculiar square-tube frame, and Marzocchi suspension peeks out.  Brembo made both the four-piston calipers and wide 17-inch wheels.  Intakes and vents are arrayed over the fairing with the aim of funneling cold air to the airbox and radiator, and warm air out and away from the rider.

With nearly 48,000 miles, a full rebuild and restoration is likely in this Paso's past, and though there's no mention of it in the auction, the buy-it-now is in the upper end of the range.  No evident damage and it's spotless all around.  Nothing out of the ordinary except for a missing turn signal lense and a nicer seat cover.  From the eBay auction:

This final year example of the 907ie is offered in the classic Ducati red livery. Showing an astonishing 47,926 miles, the bike looks like it has a fraction of that. Regular servicing by a local independent shop has kept the bike in fine riding condition. A recent trip to the shop ensured that the bike was ready for sale.

The 907 I.E. got high marks for its torquey delivery, spot-on fuel injection, hydraulic clutch and 17-inch wheels.  The all-encompassing body was an acquired taste though, and production never really got much over 1,000 per year, ensuring its rarity.  This Paso would have some stories to tell, about some long sporty tours and that season getting a makeover.  And a super previous owner...

-donn


2 Responses. Join the Discussion!
Suzuki December 22, 2018 posted by

Teenage Dream: 1991 Suzuki GSX-R1100 for Sale

The 90s sportbike market is booming right now. Folks that grew up riding or lusting after vintage 1960s and even 1970s bikes are steadily aging out of the hobby, and values for bikes of that era are already pretty high. Many people that lusted after 90s bikes, on the other hand, are right in that sweet spot, where they're young enough to still enjoy bikes like today's Suzuki GSX-R1100, but old enough to have some mid-career disposable income, now that the kids are headed off to college... And while the values of 1990s sportbikes have risen sharply, solid examples of some amazingly capable and entertaining machines are still available for much less than your average midlife crisis Corvette.

It also helps that the ergonomics of the big Gixxer, while considered pretty extreme at the time, are a far cry from the ass-up, head-down, seat-like-a-plank superbikes of today. In fact, the riding position could almost be considered "cushy" and far closer to a modern sport-touring machine. While still technically considered sportbikes, I don't think that there were too many classes that would have allowed this later Gixxer to compete when it was new, but that wasn't really the bike's mission statement by the 90s. It was devastatingly effective at the kind of riding your average weekend warrior does, with relatively stable, predictable handling in spite of the near 500lb weight, good wind protection, and room for two-up blasts.

The majority of the package was pretty unremarkable, with an outdated but effective cradle frame, a full-fairing, a monoshock rear, and garish, neon-airbrush graphics. The biggest change from the earlier "Slabbie" and "Slingshot" GSX-Rs was the addition of updated bodywork with improved aerodynamics, including a fully-enclosed headlight unit. But the star of the show was definitely the engine, Suzuki's hulking "oil-boiler" inline four that relied on engine oil, a high-capacity oil pump, and an oversized cooler to keep temperatures under control.

Displacement was up to 1127cc for this M-model version, and the factory claimed 145hp, although much more was available with careful tuning. These are famously tough bikes, and variations of the engine saw use in the later Bandit 1200 and GSX1400. But the writing was on the wall, and looming power and emissions requirements meant the addition of liquid cooling for 1993's iteration of the big GSX-R to help it keep pace with bikes from the other Japanese manufacturers.

Of course, that meant even more weight, and while these things may disguise their weight on the move with a low center of gravity and good suspension, they're incredibly heavy if you're say, rolling one around your garage or a showroom... This example has obviously been cherished, and the seller appears to have been very meticulous when it comes to maintenance.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Suzuki GSX-R1100 for Sale

I graduated high school in 1991 and this was my dream bike. At the time when I was 17, and was riding around a Riva 180 scooter as I couldn't afford the GSX-R, and I recall them being about $8,500 new. So when I could buy one, I did and looked for the very best stock, impeccable bike I could find just like I saw on the showroom floor. This bike is insanely clean, all original stock parts including the rare factory OEM solo cowl. I went through just about every mechanical thing I could, not because I needed to but because I didn't plan on selling the bike. See pics: I kept all the original replaced OEM parts like o-rings from cabs, needles, jets, o-ring seals, float bowl gaskets, etc. I wanted a bike that ran and looked like brand new and this one checks off both boxes. There was no expanse spared on this bike, period. The bike starts right up with choke, idles, and purrs along. I get told over and over not to sell, it's just a really excellent example of a perfect bike. The bike is truly a time warp.

At 9,469 miles, I went through the bike entirely and correctly as follows:

  • Carburetors. First, all four of the head-to-intake pipe o-ring seals were replaced, head oil hose o-rings, all o-ring seals in the carbs, including the most important o-ring on the plastic slide with emulsion tubes, float bowl gaskets, needles, seat valves, pilot jets, air jets, seals from replaced original seals
  •  Brand new Bridgestone BT016R Pros with 40 miles on them, they still have the knobbies... I went with these because they looked to most original to the bike and have the correct profile. Some tread patterns do not look correct and the profile is off, these look similar to the originals
  • Brand new air filter
  • Brand new oil filter and Motul 5100 10W-40 oil, mineral based
  • All new OEM factory NGK plugs including one factory OEM spark plug cap that was loose
  • All new bearings in the wheels and sprocket carrier. All factory OEM with boxes and receipts [NSK, NTN, etc. No Chinese bearings.]
  • EBC sintered brake pads new front and rear. 40 miles on them
  • Full hydraulic flush of brakes and clutch with Motul 5.1 fluid also at 9,469 miles
  • Recharged the rear shock with nitrogen to 140 lbs
  • New YUASA battery with trickle charger connection
  • Factory toolkit included, along with the original rear passenger grab handle
  • Factory solo cowl included

Bidding is up to near $6,500 with plenty of time left on the auction. These aren't quite as desirable as the earlier models, but all GSX-R1100s are pretty collectible at the moment. Clean, carefully-maintained, low-mileage examples like this are very hard to find, something that's reflected in the shocking jumps in prices we've seen in a very short period of time. They're big, fast, reliable, and relatively comfortable. What's not to like?

-tad


8 Responses. Join the Discussion!

Search

Subscribe by Email

Get all our new posts delivered to your email automatically. Spam free! Enter your email address:




FB Like Box

Archives