Posts by tag: 1988

Honda September 29, 2015 posted by

Featured Listing: 1988 Honda VFR400R for Sale

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A precursor to the iconic NC30 that was a sort of "mini RC30," the VFR400R was powered by the a 399cc, gear-driven V4 and had the bigger model's same ELF-designed Pro-Arm single-sided swingarm. Visual differences compared to the later NC30 include a more conventional, street-bike styled single headlight and bodywork, along with four bolts to hold the rear wheel in place, instead of a single large hub nut.

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This earlier iteration of Honda's jewel-like V4 used a more conventional 180° crank, whereas later NC30 versions used a 360° "big bang" crank and firing order for improved traction and tire life. The 180° crank engine should sound a bit more like a conventional four, with combustion events spaced more evenly throughout each engine revolution. You still get the distinctive whine of the gear-driven cams fitted to these engines however.

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Although the small V4 isn't as manic at high revs as other 400cc four-cylinders, it should have a much wider powerband and still rev to a screaming 14,000rpm. Grunt is ultimately limited by the miniscule displacement, but handling is superlative and these were [and still are] very popular in the UK as track-day bikes, although the 18" rear wheel does limit tire choice somewhat.

1988 Honda VFR400R for sale on eBay

From the seller: 1988 Honda VFR400R for Sale

Imported legally this year from the UK with the idea of learning about  and testing the market as a possible business idea for the future.

When I received it, it would not idle, so, rather than clean the carbs, I opted for the more circuitous route and replaced the regulator/rectifier, coils, plugs, plug wires and battery as well as the starter solenoid for good measure. It ran better, but eventually I did clean the carbs and found the elusive idle.

The motor is sweet. Whining gear whir and a really nice howling exhaust note as it revs from clutch out at about 3000 all the way up to a redline of 14,000. Smooth and very torque strong powerband all the way up.

Also, as stated in the eBay post, the bodywork is original and a little rough on the two lower panels. The tank and balance of the beautiful old plastic is pretty nice in a slightly weathered patina appreciators sort of way.

I would like to mention the scale. The bike is small, the clearances around the engine and really throughout are tight and favor the small of hand. But, I am 5'10" and do not reach the bum stop under most riding conditions, so the ergonomics are semi comfortable and definitely not cramped.

Overall, this is a very sound , fun ride without the overkill of a larger superbike. I had an S3 400 Kawasaki that would pop your arms straight on the power, but this 400 is faster and more controllable in getting there. Like a RD400 but more muscular and with a much broader powerband. Throttle feedback is really fine. Would make a thrilling track bike or a good rider.

1988 Honda VFR400R L Fairing

Designed mainly for the Japanese market, a good number found their way over to the UK where they were popular as grey-market or "parallel imports." This example is a bit rough around the edges, as the seller clearly indicates, but these are the original panels and 27 years and 28,000 miles means some scuffs and scrapes and minor cracks are to be expected.

1988 Honda VFR400R R Side

The VFR400R is very rare here in the US, meaning this should be of interest to Honda fans here looking to complete their V4 collections or track day riders more concerned with corner speed than top speed. All-in-all, this bike lacks the endurance-racer styling and raucous "big bang" engine of later versions, but still provides the basic handling goodness that made these so popular in the first place.

-tad

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Featured Listing: 1988 Honda VFR400R for Sale
Honda September 22, 2015 posted by

Arizona-Titled Two-Stroke: 1988 Honda NSR250R MC18 for Sale

1988 Honda NSR250R R Side

Here in the USA where torque, big, low-revving engines, and straight-line speed were the order of the day, corner-shredding 250cc race-replicas never stood a chance of being popular. But you always want what you can't have, so quite a cult has grown up around bikes like this little Honda NSR250R.

1988 Honda NSR250R L Side Detail

Powered by a reed-valve, liquid-cooled 90° v-twin two, stroke with a six-speed casette-style gearbox, these are a far-cry from the "learner bike" stereotype often applied to bikes of this displacement. But racetrack-bred handling and a slim powerband mean there's plenty of joy to be found wringing the neck of an NSR on a twisty road.

1988 Honda NSR250R Dash

Stock, these two-strokes were limited to just 45hp, although the MC18 is capable of another 15hp once de-restricted: with just 280lbs to push around, 60hp should make performance suitably entertaining. Improvements over the earlier MC16 included electronic PGM ignition, bigger carbs, and other updates to improve flexibility, something that's generally lacking in two-strokes.

1988 Honda NSR250R R Side Rear

Bigger brakes, wider wheels, and uprated suspension rounded out the package and although the passenger seat and headlight scream "practical transportation" they're largely ornamental and this bike is best for back-road blasts and track days.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda NSR250R MC18 for Sale

Up for sale is a legally-imported NSR250.   The bike was imported by me this year along with 2 other bikes, I have decided I don't need all 3 so here is your chance to get a very clean example of a 1988 NSR250 MC18.

The bike runs great, it has 9517 original KILOMETERS (title shows a miles, as that is how they measure here, but is in KM, which makes it about 6,000 original miles from 1988.   The bike is clean and has the original fairings which fared well over the years, but do have minimal cracks and scrapes.   The gas tank is very clean with no trace of rust inside.  The bike starts well and the oil injection works great, I have only used synthetic oil and the 2 stroke smoke is not bad at all.

As for performance, this is a blast.  Even though this is a 250cc it is NOT a beginner motorcycle, it puts out a lot of power in the high RPMs (for any of you who rode a 2 stroke are probably familiar with). The bike goes through all gears with no issue, all lights work, it is a good running cycle.

This bike is street legal in Arizona, all turn signals and lights work, etc.  The speedometer is in kilometers per hour, there are conversions available, however, I just used a free cell phone application to monitor speed.  Please check with your local DMV if there are any concerns regarding the speedometer cluster, etc.   A clear Arizona title is provided.

1988 Honda NSR250R Rear Wheel

The seller also helpfully includes a video of the bike running. 

These aren't especially rare in the UK and Japan, but few ever made it to these shores. With prices on sporty two-strokes low in their original markets and demand rising for them here in the USA where they represent tasty, tasty forbidden fruit, many are finding their way over here in less-than-stellar condition. This one isn't perfect, but minor cracks and bits of wear aside, it looks like a very solid example, assuming the reserve is set reasonably.

It'd be nice to know if the bike has been de-restricted and you should definitely do your homework if you plan to run this on the street: the Arizona DMV may be more permissive than your own.

-tad

1988 Honda NSR250R L Side

Arizona-Titled Two-Stroke: 1988 Honda NSR250R MC18 for Sale
Bimota September 18, 2015 posted by

Built for Two: 1988 Bimota YB5 for Sale

1988 Bimota YB5 R Side

Although they built their reputation around their race-spec bikes, Bimota also built plenty of street-biased bikes. There's obviously no real racing class for a bike like the Bimota YB5, powered as it was by Yamaha's 1188cc FJ1200 engine and 5 speed transmission.

1988 Bimota YB5 R Side Rear

But while it may not have been eligible for any race series, the YB5 had a couple aces up its sleeve. One was that massively torquey engine. The other was something you don't often see on a Bimota: a set of pillion pegs matched to a passenger seat!

 

So while this probably wouldn't be an ideal bike for long-distance touring, it's nice to know you can head out to a local bike night to show off not just your taste in bikes, but your taste in significant others as well.

1988 Bimota YB5 R Side Fairing

While Bimota was obviously famous for their lightweight construction and, although it was more than 50lbs less than the donor machine, the YB5 still weighed in at 463lbs dry. The frame was based on their SB4 and period testers reveled in the bike's nearly magical combination of stability and agility, traits that, when combined with the flexible engine, make it an ideal sportbike for road-biased riders.

1988 Bimota YB5 Rear Wheel

The original YB5 used 18" wheels with low-profile tires, although this one looks like it's been fitted with a set of 17" wheels from Technomagnesio.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Bimota YB5 for Sale

Rare chance to own a Bimota YB5,  one of only 208 units built.
Has been in climate controlled collection for past 10 years.  (thinning the collection)
Mileage  10,651
Condition very good,  but will need new
Tires
Battery
tune-up, etc.
All stock motor and exhaust. (FJ1200 motor)
Rare Special option Brembo technomagnesio wheels
please note:  stock "suicide" side stand and several small blemishes in fairing.

1988 Bimota YB5 L Side Fairing Damage

So it's not pristine shape, but has obviously been well cared for. The bike has attracted little interest so far, with one bid at $6,500 and the reserve apparently met. Bimotas are often thought of as hideously expensive exotica, but many of the mid to late 80's bikes sell for a relative song, considering their rarity. And because the engines and transmissions are all from common Japanese bikes, you should be able to keep one running for peanuts. Body panels can be an issue, but for the price, they represent a serious exotica bargain.

-tad

1988 Bimota YB5 L Side

Built for Two: 1988 Bimota YB5 for Sale
Sport Bikes For Sale July 14, 2015 posted by

Restored Slingshot: 1988 Suzuki GSX-R 750 for Sale

1988 Suzuki GSX-R750 R Side

Today's GSX-R750 is sort of the polar opposite of Sunday's Ducati Supermono: the Gixxer was always intended to be ridden and enjoyed anywhere, street or track. It needed no army of trained technicians to make it run, or a crew to push start it like the Supermono did, or pro-level riding skill to appreciate, or a degree in engineering to understand. It just flat worked, everywhere, all the time.

The People's Superbike.

1988 Suzuki GSX-R750 Front Rear

The "J" model was introduced in 1988 and was the first significant redesign of the bike. The engine remained oil/air cooled, but internals were reworked with a shorter stroke that allowed higher revs and resulted in a displacement of 748cc. The bike now featured Mikuni  BST36SS carburetors that gave the bike its "Slingshot" nickname. As always seems to be the case, the newer bike made more power, but was slightly heavier. 112hp may not seem like much power now, but the GSX-R750 was the premier hooligan bike of the age and makes plenty of power to keep riders entertained.

1988 Suzuki GSX-R750 L Side Lower

So why would you want one of these middle-child bikes? Well the style, first of all. Looks may be subjective, but this happens to be the only era GSX-R I actively lust after. Maybe I imprinted early and was inspired by the blue and white Gixxer I saw in high school, with one headlight sporting a bright yellow headlamp and one clear for a heterochromic, endurance-racing style. Or maybe the owner was just French...

1988 Suzuki GSX-R750 R Side Front Wheel

Or maybe you plan to tear up the back roads on your classic Japanese sportbike and want to fit the latest, stickiest rubber. Those 17" wheels will make that much easier, although the relatively skinny 160 that's fitted as standard reduces your choices somewhat. I'm sure you can probably go up to a 170, or fit a readily-available wider wheel from another year... The Gixxer forums I'm sure will be full of suggestions, I'm sure.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale

This bike is a truly unique example of a late model GSX-R in exceptional shape. Completely restored with rebuilt motor and painted only a few thousand miles ago, the chassis has 20K on it. Tons of extras, tuned, titled, registered, and ready to ride. I am thinning out my herd but not in any rush to sell so if it doesn't hit my buy it now or a reasonable offer is made no big deal, I'll keep riding. I am simply testing the waters so make me an offer I can't refuse or simply gawk at my photos and enjoy:-)

The restoration includes the following: A long stroke 750cc motor (similar to the RK model, arguably the best of the oil cooled) with Weisco piston kit, 771cc w/ 11:1 compression, pocket port work done on the head, new bearings and gaskets all around. The transmission had the gears under-cut and shimmed (shifts like butter). Has the original Mikuni Slingshot BST36mm but rebuilt with Stage 3 jets and SS needles. Also, I had a set of custom Velocity stacks made with screens and set of RamAir filters to slip over (for riding on the street).  It has a ceramic coated exhaust (Xtreme Coating) full system from Yoshimura with a polished aluminum canister, less than 100 miles on it.  Suspension has been completely over hauled. The Front forks are off a 92 1100 (inverted style tubes) with new oil and seals, LG valve kit installed for 180+ lb rider. The rear is off a 92 1100 as well but has very trick and ultra-rare Metmachex swing arm (imported from across the pond) with eccentric adjusters, recently had polished less than 100 miles.  New Super Sprocket and X-Ring chain, had to go down a tooth on the counter sprocket due to too much torque off the line. Both wheels have new bearings have been powder coated, the rear has the lip polished and cleared. New rubber all around - Pirelli Diablo Rosso II. Battery is new- Yusa sealed. SS braid brake lines. Paint has been repainted to the factory colors. Seat reupholstered to factory spec vinyl. Tank has a rebuilt petcock and the inside is uber clean. LED turn signals instead of those droopy rabbit ears.  Side covers have been polish if you wanted to go the half fairing / naked look. Comes with a factory service manual, rear seat and tank bra. I know am missing something but I have a folder knee deep of records and receipts you'll get.

Complete serviced done 100 miles ago, new oil, plugs, carbs and valves serviced, all maintenance done by local Suzuki mechanic for over 20yrs.

1988 Suzuki GSX-R750 Yoshi

An '88 wouldn't have had the upside-down forks seen here, but they're a logical, period-correct update that came along for the 1991 model here in the US, although everywhere else got the USD forks a year earlier... Fewer corners in the US, I guess...

1988 Suzuki GSX-R750 Seat

Other than that, this bike looks absolutely perfect, except for the missing fairing lower that looks to have been removed for the video, to show the bike starting from cold. And the turn signals are better than the stockers, but maybe something a bit less conspicuous would have been even nicer?

Is this bike worth $9,500? Well you can still find decent examples for less than half that, but they're getting rarer all the time. I'm sure you couldn't replicate this bike for that money, so this might be just the bike for someone who wants the best, and is happy to pay for it.

Interestingly, a nearly-new GSX-R750's are going for similar prices...

-tad

1988 Suzuki GSX-R750 R Side Close

Restored Slingshot: 1988 Suzuki GSX-R 750 for Sale
Honda May 22, 2015 posted by

Baby V4 in the USA: 1988 Honda NC30 for Sale

1988 Honda NC30 R Side

The Honda NC30 was officially introduced in 1989, although this one obviously slipped in under the wire as, according to the seller, it was manufactured in December of 1988. This was the first year of the smaller V4 to feature the iconic look seen here, with dual round headlamps to match the single-sided swingarm and overall look of the bigger RC30.

1988 Honda NC30 Fairing

Internally, this was also the first year for the 360° "big bang" firing order that has the combustion events occurring close together, instead of spaced evenly. This theoretically allows the tire to regain traction briefly between pulses, increasing grip, improving tire life, and making a much cooler noise as a bonus! Front tire was a 17" with the rear 18", making tire choice a bit limited today.

1988 Honda NC30 Rear Wheel

The little 400cc motor makes an underwhelming 53hp, although handling is another story and the NC30 is definitely about corner speed and momentum.

And the right side of the bike may be the good side, with all that single-sided-y goodness. But it always makes me worry that the un-photographed side hides some dark secret...

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda NC30 for Sale

December 1988 Honda NC30 VFR400. This bike is one of the first off the production in Japan and I have a letter from Honda to prove along with it confirming its correct engine and frame numbers.

These were only ever made for Japanese market. Never sold here.

Legally imported and registered with a clean and clear title which I have in hand. I owned this machine in England where I used it and then legally imported it when I moved here.

It's in the very rare seed silver.

Wheels are immaculate.

Good Bridgestone battleax tires.

Just serviced all with official Honda parts.

Air filter, oil filter, spark plugs, and oil.

Recent new front brake pads.

Absolutely no leaks anywhere.

All original panels no cheap reproduction.

Blue flame exhaust but also has its original uncut system included.

Has a black double bobble screen but also has it original screen (still has Japanese decal)

Recently fitted speedo converter when I moved here, Now reads in MPH rather than KMH

Other than the mentioned this bike is completely standard. Has the original rubber seals around the headlights, the infill panels between the panels and the frame. The drain pipes and hoses are in place along with the holders in their positions as they should be.

Renthal chain and sprocket set.

Spares include front discs (rotors)

Spark plugs 

Fork dust seals

Speedo cable.

Just a extremely clean and reliable bike for 27 years old. A iconic collectors bike. Not another forsale in the whole country that I can find.

I use the bike regularly. 

Nothing else looks or sounds like it.

1988 Honda NC30 Front

The NC30 was produced for the Japanese market, but some were officially sold in select European markets. Bikes did manage to find their way to North America by way of Canada and, in this case, individuals jumping through the hoops required to import them. In spite of their rarity and exotic specifications however, prices have been generally much less than the more famous 750cc version.

1988 Honda NC30 Rear

They're far from fast bikes, but they handle beautifully and, if you're looking for genuine Honda racing heritage with gear-driven V4 whine and your funds won't stretch to an RC30 or RC45, this is a pretty good way to get a very polished piece of exotica you can actually use every day.

-tad

1988 Honda NC30 R Side2

Baby V4 in the USA: 1988 Honda NC30 for Sale
Bimota May 5, 2015 posted by

Japanese-Market Rarity: 1988 Bimota YB7 for Sale

1988 Bimota YB7 R Side Front

Only rarely seen outside Japan, the market for which it was exclusively designed, the Bimota YB7 is like a 3/4 scale YB4. The bike is based around the FZR400 powerplant, so it's obviously no real powerhouse, with a claimed 65hp from the 399cc liquid-cooled four. But that just means you get a sweet-handling, four-cylinder exotic with performance you can actually access, seeing redline in multiple gears, instead of just first, without finding yourself in the pokey.

1988 Bimota YB7 L Side

And weighing in at 352lbs dry, it's not like the bike is actually slow: 136mph is plenty to have fun with, and the bike has a reputation for being relatively easy to ride and unintimidating as well, even in everyday traffic.

1988 Bimota YB7 Dash

They're very rare as well, with less than 500 produced and, being Bimota, they're certainly collectible. So these fill a bit of a weird niche: an everyday exotic that won't try and kill you. For me, that's a big plus but, for many speed-junkies, anything less than 750cc's is a complete waste of time.

1988 Bimota YB7 L Peg Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Bimota YB7 for Sale

Located in Santa Ana, California. Bike has 5951 km = 3570 miles on it. This Bimota is based on the Yamaha FZR400. These bikes were built for the Japanese market only. Bimota made approx. 321 of these bikes. This bike is in very good condition with low miles. The engine runs very good. There is no crash damage on this bike. I do not have a title for this bike. Bike is being sold with a bill of sale only. Non USA buyers will have to make there own shipping arrangements. I can recommend a very good shipping company in Los Angeles. Bike is being sold as is, no returns. So, ask questions and look at the pictures carefully before you bid. Again, this bike is being sold with a bill of sale only. I do not have a title for this bike.

1988 Bimota YB7 Front

The seller mentions that he doesn't have a title for this bike, so be sure to check with your DMV if you plan to register it for the road. Caveat emptor: in some states, this will definitely cause headaches, although it may be no problem at all in others.

1988 Bimota YB7 L Rear Wheel

That being said, it's a really cool little bike that has, so far, generated very little interest. Which is a shame: parts to maintain it should be easy to come by, even if fairing panels are not, and the bike will provide more capability than probably 90% of riders can actually exploit.

1988 Bimota YB7 L Peg Detail

If you could locate some pattern bodywork, it might make a very cool little racebike or track-day curiosity. Certainly, it'd be satisfying to run down literbikes and even 600's on a screaming little 400...

-tad

1988 Bimota YB7 R Side

Japanese-Market Rarity: 1988 Bimota YB7 for Sale