Posts by tag: 399

Honda June 20, 2020 posted by

Cleaniac – 1996 Honda RVF400R / NC35

Honda’s lightweight RVF400R has had a bit of a resurgence here on RSBFS lately, suspension updates making it the ultimate small V-4.  Here’s a Houston edition that looks unfettered and super clean.

1996 Honda RBF400R for sale on eBay

Honda couldn’t do much to improve the 399cc’s power and stay within the law, and the chassis dimensions, remain the same as the VFR400R.  Still carburetted with four 30mm Keihin’s fed by the fresh air tubes from in front of the mirrors.  The tires got a little wider and are both 17’s, and forks are now upside down, with a hair less trail than the VFR.  Bodywork was modernized, with fox-eye headlights that were more Fireblade than RC45.

Just a little history on this RVF, though it evidently hasn’t been ridden on the road by the seller.  Very sharp for almost 11,000 miles and a quarter century.  From the eBay auction:

Excellent condition all stock original condition with few minor blemishes from normal use.  It have 17,520 Kilometers runs and shifts great with smooth and powerful V4 Honda race engine.  Those are rare superbikes and this bike was imported from Japan and I did not ride it much since it was part of my little Honda collection and it was never abused, red-lined, raced or tempered with.  I changed the battery (Yuasa) changed oil (fully synthetic) and new Honda filter.

Can’t take anything away from the current small-sport singles, some are even racier and lighter, but lack the symphony of gear-driven cams, 360-degree crank and 14,500 rpm redline.  No fairing mounted speakers required for these tunes, just a twist of the wrist.  Without the usual wear and dirt, the buy-it-now per pound is pretty high, but might be worth pursuing.

-donn

 

Cleaniac – 1996 Honda RVF400R / NC35
Yamaha June 12, 2020 posted by

Can’t Quit – 1977 Yamaha RD400

Most running, driving bikes with 40-plus years on have taken some kind of rebuild, and this 1977 RD400 is no exception.  This recent completion has had soup to nuts attention with some nice upgrades.

1977 Yamaha RD400 for sale on eBay

Though regulators in the western hemisphere were already thinking of two strokes in the past tense, Yamaha had a world-wide market to consider, and put a lot of new engineering into the 1976 RD400.  New crankcases were required for the 44 hp twin, and without the counter-balancer required in a four-stroke, resulted in a lightweight power unit.  CDI ignition and rubber engine mounts civilized the new 400.  Chassis and suspension were pretty UJM, but disk brakes and cast wheels were a peek into the future for a small-bore.  Stylists used black mechanicals and chrome exhaust to highlight the tank color.

Offered by a southern Conn. restoration shop, this RD shows just 15,843 miles and recent rebuild of the engine and pretty much everything else.  The blacked-out fenders and yellow wheels update the looks quite a bit, and performance improvements from the DG expansion chambers, K&N filters and remote reservoir shocks can be anticipated.  Nice list of new or rebuilt components from the eBay auction:

This is a very clean custom eye catching RD400 The engine was rebuilt 2 years ago .50 over.  It has very little mileage since the build. Very Sharp. Very clean. It has some desirable mods for the street.  Tuned and timed. Very quick response, nice power band. 

New:  Custom paint & decals w/Matching rims. Very clear gauges. OEM style mirrors. Replacement controls. Grips. Cables. Tires & tubes. Clutch. Fork tubes, seals, dust boots and polished lower fork housings.

Polished heads. Chain and sprockets. Performance master cylinder and clutch levers. New calipers. Rebuilt rear master cylinder. Braided brake lines. Rear sets from HVC. OEM signals & rear tail light. Rebuilt carbs w/pod filters, new jets. Custom seat. RFY rear Nitrogen charged  gas shocks.

Very nice DG chambers – No road rash.  Note: Chain Guard will be installed after modification. 

Lighter than everything comparable, the RD400’s non-linear powerband made friends with reviewers at Cycle World, who called it one of the ten best in 1976 and covered it as recently as 1993.  Yamaha kept honing the two-stroke twin, going back down to a 350, adding catalysts and liquid cooling.  After the two-wheeler was retired in 1995, the powertrain lived on in the Banshee quad, and helped parts availability for RD owners.  This example has a few days to run and hasn’t met the reserve, but the sensible restoration looks good enough to get there.

-donn

Can’t Quit – 1977 Yamaha RD400
Honda June 10, 2020 posted by

Dust Bunny – 1992 Honda VFR400R / NC30

Not born on a construction site, but this vintage VFR400R may have acquired permanent resident status.  Propose to this beauty and whisk her away to the country ( roads ) of your choice.

1992 Honda VFR400R / NC30

A staple in the domestic market, the 400 cc VFR got great attention from Honda and the model was produced from 1986-1993.  For the third generation NC30, a 360-degree crank was introduced, and the redline raised slightly to 14,500 rpm.  Unrestricted power is closer to 68 hp, more inkeeping with the Nissin brakes and staggered 16 and 18-inch wheels.  The alloy twin-spar chassis accepts the right-side-up forks and the race-derived single sided swingarm.  Twin headlights in the RC30 lookalike fairing fool many a fan until they’re close-in.

Looks like this owner has carved out a spot in a larger garage to work on his VFR, and while not without some miles, it looks very good.  Just a couple of comments accompany the eBay auction:

1992 Honda VFR400R NC30, 18,000km or 11,000 miles, new tires, new brake pads, new fork seals all original fairings, de-restricted. Vermont registration, can be registered in any state in USA 

Bike runs very well

The VFR400R wasn’t sold far and wide, but along with its track manners and geared cam soundtrack, has a loyal following.  The ask is up in superbike territory, but a V-4 400 is rare and getting more so.  This Honda red example looks worth pushing the Make Offer button, at least to start a conversation.

-donn

Dust Bunny – 1992 Honda VFR400R / NC30
Honda May 20, 2020 posted by

Fox Eye Lady – 1999 Honda RVF400R / NC35

In many ways a template of the Superbike RC45, the middleweight RVF400 ( NC35 ) had its own character and predatory facial expression.  This Wisconsin rider looks very good despite some prodigious miles.

1999 Honda RVF400R / NC35 for sale on eBay

Honda made a substantial update to the VFR400R, with a new chassis, inverted forks and 17-inch wheels front and rear.  Changes to the carburetors and valve timing could improve the torque curve but power was legislated to be 59 hp.  Air scoops and tracts over the handlebars deliver fresh if not ram air.  Forks and monoshock are adjustable for pre-load and rebound, and 269mm brakes are Nissin branded.  From down the block, the styling could fool you into an RC45 sighting.

Though it has seen 37K miles, this RVF shows nicely and has just a few wear marks to show for it.  Un-faired photos show the beauty to be more than skin deep.  From the eBay auction:

Clean and titled low-mileage 1999 Honda RVF400 (NC35). Registered and plated in Wisconsin. Clean title on hand. Some history on this bike: This bike is the little brother to the legendary RC45. The NC35 is a classic for collectors or exotic bike enthusiasts. As an evolution to the VFR400 (NC30), the NC35 comes with upside forks and 17” rear wheel for improved handling. Other unique features include a lightweight aluminum frame, and single-sided swing arm. Not to mention Honda’s V4 bullet-proof gear-driven engine with its distinctive rev whine. I purchased it from a private collector and have ridden it regularly. Bike starts right up and runs flawlessly. This bike has only seen non-ethanol fuel.

It is currently kept on battery tender and Pitbull front and rear stands. Cosmetically in great shape. OEM fairings show signs of age, but was very well maintained. The paint/decals throughout are still glossy. A couple of minor blemishes from prior ownership: tank has a small chip which was touched up. Details shown in ad photos. No other cracks or blemishes that I am aware of. Again, I rode this bike for many years. It is not in pristine show room condition. I’m happy to provide additional pictures if desired. Minor modifications I added to the bike – steel braided brake lines, CRG levers and a carbon fiber pipe (original canister available). Overall bike condition is very clean and well cared for; with some normal signs of wear for twenty-one year-old bike. It is a blast to ride and a conversation starter as many have never seen this bike.

The NC35 might’ve been considered a beginner’s bike here, but it was offered only in Japan and made its way around the globe in the gray market.  Lighter race riders have embraced its handling and build quality.  Unlike the racy singles being proffered today, the RVF400 has an exotic V-4 engine with a soundtrack provided by gear-driven cams.  While a collector could keeping shopping for less miles and patina, a rider might be happy it’s not perfect.

-donn

Fox Eye Lady – 1999 Honda RVF400R / NC35
Honda April 22, 2020 posted by

Band of Horses – 1996 Honda RVF400R / NC35

Honda’s diminutive V4-400 has almost a cult following here, and it was never actually offered for sale anywhere but Japan.  This fine example looks to have just a fraction of km’s showing on the odometer.

1994 Honda RVF400R for sale on eBay

As the last in a long line of small V4’s, and had the commensurate goodies on board – in addition to 59 ponies, the gear-driven cams brought music to every twist of the throttle.  The alloy chassis had upside-down forks up front and 17-inch wheels at both ends.  Nissin brakes are right-sized at 269mm, with black calipers matching the black painted alloy wheels.  Graphics took their cues from the RC45, though the more modern fox eye headlamps were particular to the RVF.

Sounds like this RVF owner picked a nicer example and worked to keep it that way, a couple of stress cracks but find another lightweight sportbike from a past generation without them.  Kudos for using the ignition key without the house keys, and the red wheel reflectors look great day or night.  Comments from the eBay auction:

As for this bike. I purchased it from a private collector last summer, and have ridden it regularly for about 500 miles on short weekend rides. Bike was fully prepped and all fluids replaced prior to my ownership. Bike starts right up and all mechanicals function flawlessly. Currently ridden on non-ethanol fuel only, and kept on battery tender. Miles will go up marginally with the occasional warm up.

Cosmetically in great shape. No dings on tank, OEM fairings with no rash or touch up paint, no signs of bike ever been down, and very glossy paint/decals throughout. A couple of minor blemishes from prior ownership: tank extension has small scratch on upper right corner, minor stress crack on upper left cowl, and small stress cracks on lower side fairing and tabs (reinforced with plastic cement on inside). Details shown in ad photos and I’ll be glad to provide additional pictures or videos if desired. Minor modifications that came with bike: silver bar ends and steel braided brake lines. Reflective wheel tape added for night-time safety. Overall bike condition is very clean and well cared for; with some normal signs of wear for twenty-four year-old bike.

As a baby superbike, the RVF400R had a lot of differences with its big brother RC45, but shared the family build quality.  Pretty racy for the segment, the high MSRP warded off the bean counters and the really junior riders for which it was theoretically intended.  This one has been taken care of nicely and will reward the next owner with plenty of power for its low all-up weight.

-donn

Band of Horses – 1996 Honda RVF400R / NC35
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
Yamaha July 26, 2019 posted by

Summer Fizz – 1989 Yamaha FZR-400

Late July we should be focused on tall drinks with a lot of ice and a splash of seltzer, when a bargain-priced lightweight pops up.  This restorable rider sponsors thoughts of a ( well air conditioned ) van trip to Georgia.

1989 Yamaha FZR-400 for sale on eBay

Yamaha had been pursuing separate F3 and 400cc road bike goals, but joined other manufacturers in the racey replica business in 1986.  The .85 pint-sized inclined four fit snugly in the Deltabox alloy frame, and 60 hp arrived at a lofty 12,500 rpm.  Relaxed geometry made the handling less aggressive than some of the competition, with just preload adjustable on the right side up forks and monoshock.  Brakes are single piston but 298mm dual rotors, muy bueno for the expected use.  16,000 miles and 30 years down the road, the original build quality testifies for the defense.

No word on the chain of custody or originality of some parts, but the FZR appears substantially stock and quite tidy.  The owner has this to say in the eBay auction:

extremely good condition and runs perfect and is surprisingly fast for a 400 – everything works and it has a manual fan switch for hot days – it has brand new shinko podium 006s , a yoshimira exhaust system that sounds great, new regulator rectifier,recent chain and sprockets, and comes with the service and owners manual – also it has the seat strap if you want to remove the solo seat cowl and the rear seat pad is there as well-there is a small crack and scuff on the left mid fairing as seen in the picture but doesn’t affect the rigidity of the fairing – would make a very competitive ahrma vintage race bike in the next gen lightweight superbike class or a fun bike to tear up the curves in the mountains –

Since RSBFS is usually attracted to nicer examples, it bears emphasizing that a real rider has its place in the garage.  It can go to the track, or out in the rain, or be lent to a friend.  Or become the basis for a riding restoration.  This FZR appears to have had attention when needed, but hasn’t been refinished or glossed over.  Some might find the ask a bit much for a generation-old midsize, but if you’re still interested the Make Offer button is lit.

-donn

Summer Fizz – 1989 Yamaha FZR-400
Honda June 25, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing – 2000 Honda RVF400 NC35

Honda’s second generation small V-4 took the successes of the VFR-400R / NC30 and modernized them for the late 1990’s.  Having never been sold new here, all are gray market imports with metric speedos.  RSBFS reader Jae has this super-clean example tuned for the high country.

Sticking with the winning formula, Honda made evolutionary changes for the NC35’s 1994 introduction.  Carburettors were updated to a 30mm semi-flatslide design, with velocity stacks aimed down the intake.  Rake and trail were unchanged but the frame was re-designed.  Inverted forks were installed, and the single-sided swingarm recieved a major update.  17″ wheels are found front and rear, easing tire choices for the future.  The styling templates the iconic RC45, and the riding position is more relaxed than some other small sports.

With just under 11,000 miles, Jae and the previous owner have been careful custodians of this NC35 if not long distance riders.  Most of the mods are deep under the fairings:

– Current and clean Colorado title and registration (registered & titled as a “2000 Honda NC35”.
– VIN is: NC351103563
– 17,400 km (10,800 miles)
– Motor has fresh oil, oem air filter, recent valve adjustment
– Bigger capacity upper radiator
– new Samco radiator hoses (fresh coolant last summer)
– Penske shock (emulsion version with ride height adjustment)
– 5.5″ Kosman widened rear wheel (fresh new tire)
– Dymag magnesium front wheel (new tire)
– JHA shotgun full exhaust system from Japan (with new exhaust gaskets)
– Tyga steering damper (sorry, stuck on a few Ohlins stickers but no real Ohlins parts…)
– Solo rear cowl (stock passenger seat included)
– new gold chain, rear sprocket (520)
– Titanium nuts/bolts sprinkled throughout (rear spindle pincher, rotor bolts)
– Braided steel brake lines front & back (newer RC51 gold Nissin front calipers w/HRC pads)
– Magura HC1 radial brake master cylinder
– Jetted for Colorado elevation
– As far as I know, I am the 2nd owner in the states. Previous owner (~2008) was a Porsche mechanic from Denver)
– misc small box of spares (passenger pegs, oem brake master, original rad, etc)
– I can throw in a spare set of oem wheels (powercoaded white) if full price is paid
– shipping (or pickup) will be have to be paid/arranged by buyer…

* Needs nothing to ride as is, perfect to start the summer!

Jae asks $10,000 USD and can be contacted – here –

Originally presented as a junior sportbike in markets with progressive licensing, the RVF-400R’s wide powerband, crisp handling, and distinctive engine sound gained the attention of cognoscenti worldwide, and it’s a sought after track day machine.  Thankfully Jae’s hasn’t been subjected to that, it’s been nicely updated and maintained.  Not to mention being an RC45 lookalike without the vacation-home pricetag !

-donn

Featured Listing – 2000 Honda RVF400 NC35