Posts by tag: 748

Honda September 18, 2020 posted by

Come In For a Test Drive – 1987 Honda VFR-750R / RC30

A ( if not The ) classic superbike at this juncture, Honda’s RC30 has beauty and real-world capability.  This example is slightly under-documented but has collectible looks.

1987 Honda VFR-750R / RC30

The RC30 was designed and built for the Superbike World Championship, which it won with Fred Merkel aboard the two first years.  The version found at the showroom had 112 hp available, with just 400 or so pound to push.  Endurance racing aspirations dictated the single-sided swingarm and quick release front axle, and the era required staggered wheel sizes of 17 front and 18 rear.  The RC30 always seemed more than the sum of its parts, the alloy chassis and big-bang V-4 not quite accounting for its well-balanced presence.

Seller Eurocycle appears to be a new outfit, with locations in Sonoma, Reno, and Vegas.  No history is offered but the condition is excellent for its nearly 24K miles.  Finishes and tires look fresh.  Besides new and used bikes, Eurocycle’s website shows rentals ( no the RC30 wasn’t listed ) and some kind of club membership – maybe a knowledgeable reader could chime in.

Eminently collectible, an RC30 was reviewed as not hard to ride, and might be an inspiring occasional rider for a small stable.  More history or perhaps some catch-up maintenance might be expected before sending this V4 out on a mission.  The ask is a little shy of what might be expected for a nice example, but as with so many things this year, all bets are off.

-donn

Come In For a Test Drive – 1987 Honda VFR-750R / RC30
Ducati August 3, 2020 posted by

Nice Surprise – 1988 Ducati Paso 750

Arguably the first modern Ducati, the Paso used an innovative design, and new belt-driven cams for its desmodue engine.  This Pennsylvania example has been beautifully restored, using at least a gallon of arrest-me red.

1988 Ducati Paso 750 for sale on eBay

Underneath Tamburini’s ground-breaking package was a familiar Pantah 748cc twin, this time with a single Weber carburetor and 73 hp.  A 5-speed was all the torque curve required, and Marzocchi suspension and 16-inch tires are found at both ends.  Triple Brembo disk brakes are nearly the same size all around, 280mm fronts and 270mm rear.  The soap-bar bodywork freed the designers to build the square tube frame strong and economical, and Tamburini honed the geometry and balance to make the Paso a sweet handling package.

The owner has a short eBay history but picked a lower-mileage Paso as a project, and made a beauty out of it.  Right down to the exhausts, it’s hard to find a modification to the factory’s ideal.  Alloy re-finishing came out better than new.  Pictures without the fairing might require some enhancement to really see the details.  From the eBay auction:

Purchased this classic Paso to perform a full restoration, but when we removed the body work, the chassis and componentry were in such excellent condition, we opted to focus on a cosmetic overhaul. The engine and chassis have been gone through and everything is in order. Valve adjustment and belts replaced within the last 1,500 miles. New tires, new battery, new oil pressure sending unit, new leather seat cover. All bodywork (fiberglass and ABS) was repaired prior to very high quality lacquer repaint. There is a blemish on the left side panel where the mounting point caused a crack after reinstallation (picture shown). Decals replaced and cleared over. Original Oscam wheels were stripped of the delaminated clearcoat and machine polished. There is likely not a Paso this clean outside of the Ducati museum.

The Paso’s styling wasn’t enough of a sure thing to generate more than a couple of thousand sales each year, though Honda came up with a very similar package for the late -80’s CBR600F.  The Weber struggled with heat in traffic, and an upgrade to fuel injection came with the last-of-the-line 907 i.e.  Paso’s do have their fan base though, who appreciate their moderately sporty riding position and protective aero.  Hopefully a RSBFS reader will meet the reserve on this cherry and let us know how it goes.

-donn

Nice Surprise – 1988 Ducati Paso 750
Ducati August 1, 2020 posted by

Lighter Makes Righter – 1987 Ducati 750 F1B

Ducati found its Taglioni-engined twins a good match for the fledgling Formula TT series, and produced road and track versions.  This California example has apparently never seen the road, and not much of the track as evidenced by the unfettered condition.

1987 Ducati 750 F1B ( Racebike ) for sale on eBay

The F1 refers to its Tourist Trophy class, the 600-750cc segment of the race series which got its start when FIM decided the Isle of Man was too dangerous a venue.   As presented for the street, the F1 claimed 63 hp, with two valves per cylinder and 36mm Dell’Orto carbs.  The artfully crafted chrom-moly chassis and swingarm had Marzocchi dampers front and rear.  Brembo brakes are not oversized at 280mm, and the six-spoke alloy wheel sizes were staggered at 16 inch front, 18 rear.  The sub-400 lbs. weight came through judicious use of lightweight materials and drilling everything else.

Hard to expect a full ownership and maintenance history for a find like this though the seller does posit an odometer issue.  Can’t tell all from the pictures provided, but the finishes look excellent and lack the patina that not much actual use would provide.  Carburettors have been upgraded to 38mm Mikunis, and fuel plumbing had to be changed to accommodate.  From the eBay auction:

1987 Ducati F1B that was never titled for the road. The speedometer has 4 miles. I don’t believe it to be original miles. The 750 F1 was a factory prepped track bike that saw very little use. The paint is in beautiful condition and as you can see in the photos. Bike is fitted with a harness for track, with out a left side headlight switch. The bike starts and runs flawlessly. Carbs are Mikuni race 38 mm flatslides. The bike would need little work to return it to a road bike but at the end it is a original factory 750 F1. The frame paint shows no use and is in beautiful condition without any damage or scratches. The bodywork has some small spider cracks on the mono seat, fairing is in beautiful condition. The plastic windscreen shows a small crack visible in the photos.

Ducati started out in Formula TT with their 600 F2 under Tony Rutter, who laid down 4 consecutive championships.  The 750 F1 wasn’t quite so lucky, but has become an iconic model.  Special F1 editions commemorating wins at Montjuich, Laguna Seca, and Santamonica may have put Ducati on the path to continuing limited editions.  This F1B is a classic piece of exotica and has the ask to match – but looks worth a daydream or two.

-donn

Lighter Makes Righter – 1987 Ducati 750 F1B
Honda May 8, 2020 posted by

Unequivocal – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30

Having graduated from nascent collectible to crazy-to-ride museum piece, Honda’s pre-eminent VFR750R / RC30 continues to appear for auction with exotic car-level reserves.  This Michigan example appears in a collector’s warehouse and looks superb.

1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30 for sale on eBay

Sharing V-4 engine architecture with the roadgoing VFR750F, the -R was mostly different inside the cases and pushed 118 ponies.  Titanium connecting rods greatly reduced rotating mass and defined unobtanium.  Crank and cams were geared to provide a power pulse every 360 degrees, improving rideability at racing rpms.  The all alloy chassis and peeks out behind the fiberglass fairing, holding 41mm right-side-up forks and ELF’s single-sided swingarm.  Trailing throttle torque was tamed by the factory slipper clutch.  Single seat and five gallon alloy fuel tank had their focus on the race course.

Said to be hosted by only its second owner, this RC30 looks outstanding and reports 7,037 miles.  If the new owner elects to ride there will be time to go over any needed repairs and recent maintenance, but they aren’t discussed in the eBay auction:

  • One of the modern era’s few immediately collectible classics
  • The RC30 was created for one reason – to win the World Superbike Championship! 
  • The seller is the second owner of the bike
  • First owner was Nick Helyer who purchased it in Orlando, FL in 1990
  • Nick was a British gentleman that apparently did some WEC racing in the late 1970s, early 1980s
  • The bike notably includes the owner’s manual, tool kit and two keys

Success came early and often to the RC30, taking the two first Superbike World Championships under Fred Merkel, as well as Formula TT wins with Joey Dunlop and Carl Fogarty aboard.  Not to mention a handful of World Endurance Championship wins and AMA Superbike victories.  Though this is “merely” the streetable VFR750R, it would make a singular afternoon.  Hopefully the next custodian will be able to arrange it.

-donn

Unequivocal – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30
Suzuki April 1, 2020 posted by

Tough Love – 1997 Suzuki GSX-R750

Not far into Suzuki’s water-cooled era, Ram Air Direct became a way to extract just a few extra ponies from 748cc, and were a nice success combined with the new-to-96 alloy twin-beam chassis.  This second-owner Gixxer looks worthy of a little TLC.

1997 Suzuki GSX-R750 for sale on eBay

After many years of air/oil-cooled engines, the 128 hp SRAD engine had tighter cylinder spacing, crank-end camshaft drive, and even tilted forward to straighten the intake path, presented a very compact package.  Magnesium covers for the head, starter and clutch helped contain dry weight to under 400 lbs.  The frame and alloy swingarm were an eclectic mix of stampings, extrusions, and castings, and must’ve give the production welders fits.  Multi-adjustable suspension was in place front and rear, and wind-tunnel tested bodywork smoothed airflow.

After an owner who seems to have been focused on performance, this GSX-R might respond to a rolling restoration.  Complete and not much in the way of external mods, it has been kept running to a high standard.  Especially the not-so-intuitive brake modification of going to a four-pot caliper to improve feel.  A nice list of mechanical improvements from the eBay auction:

-Wiley Co. Slip-on with larger main Jets Carburetor rebuild kit.
-Steel braid lines front and rear.
-Valve adjustment is done less than 100 miles ago. 
-New Throttle cable  
-New Spark plugs 
-Replaced New fuel pump, filter, complete petcock, and base gasket.
-Replaced the OEM front six-pot (wooden feel) stock calipers for a set of newly rebuilt Nissin 4 pot with new EBC pads (100x better-stopping power over the OEM calipers).
-Replaced the OEM automatic (CCT) cam chain tensioner (known recall issues) with an APE manually adjustable one.
-Replaced the OEM Charging system, with a new stator, Regulator/ Rectifier, and battery. Charging at 14.5 volts now.
-Rebuilt rear caliper with new pistons.
-Rebuilt front forks, new seals/oil, also new bearings for the steering head.
-Racetech rebuilt rear shock new spring and cart; fully adjustable preload, compression, and rebound damping. I have added adjustable rear links for ride height adjustment.
-K/N Filter for the Ram Air.
-Battlax S21 Front and Rear tires
-Front and rear wheel bearings replaced.
-A new chain and sprocket.
-Rear solo seat cowl and passenger seat.
-The seat has been reupholstered with a back pad.
-Undertail fender eliminator.
-New Brembo 19mm RCS Radial Master Cylinder and Clutch lever
-New set frame sliders.
-Stomp Grip traction tank Pads.
-New battery

In a segment where lightness never goes out of style, Suzuki injected a bunch into the SRAD models and combined with popular pricing, had a hit.  Hopefully fans will see around the cosmetics of this example and know that the hard work of helping this ’97 survive has been done.

-donn

 

Tough Love – 1997 Suzuki GSX-R750
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
Kawasaki March 5, 2020 posted by

Dark Horse – 1996 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-7R with just 5,800 miles !

One of Kawasaki’s alternative livery used basic black instead of championship lime, but this carefully tended example is an eye-catcher even so.

1996 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-7R for sale on eBay

Right in the middle of the 1989-2003 model run, the ’96 was the first year where the rest-of-world and North American models had the same ZX-7R name.  The classic 748 cc inline was carburetted and boasted 111 ponies.  Intake runners were dialed back a few mm to improve throttle response, and mid-range torque was augmented by a crossover pipe between downpipes 1 and 4.  Not messing with the good, the alloy twin-spar chassis can handle whatever comes its way and the conservative headstock geometry takes it all in stride.  Components like the 6-piston front brakes and piggyback reservoir rear shock were definite improvements.

This Virginia owner took super care of this baby, and the detailed photos show no wear or corrosion, not even a rub on the heel guards.  Rarely seen OEM mirrors and signals might actually work as intended.  The rims look as though they’ve been subjected to just one tire change.  From the eBay auction:

Bike still has over 99% of its original OEM parts – Bridgestone Battlax Hypersports and stainless steel front brake lines are not.  Extremely well preserved and under 6K there’s not much of a service record here.  Maintenance done recently – MOTUL 10W40 100% synthetic, OEM Kawasaki oil filter, MOTUL 7.5W 100% synthetic fork oil, MOTUL MC CARE chain clean and lube, OEM Kawasaki air filter, NGK spark plugs, OEM Kawasaki fuel filter, rear 41 PSI, front 37 PSI, P21S Carnauba Wax – check!

Clearly this bike is ready to show or ride to the beach, canyon.  Runs like it looks, INCREDIBLE.  Items included in sale: original owners manual, clear Exempt title, 2 keys and 1 spare, original sales ad, period correct never used tank bra, 100% original never used OEM Kawasaki tool kit.  Rare was the factory Ebony with reflective iridescence decals that color morph in sunlight but rarer here is a true survivor time capsule ready to take you back – don’t miss it.

Though the street-going ZX-7R had grown up into a slightly overweight kit, the AMA Superbikes had to make room for Doug Chandler and his Team Muzzy special, who repeated in 1997.  For a fan, this might be a perfect redux – hardly used, perfect shape, serious rather than flashy, and sensibly priced.

-donn

Dark Horse – 1996 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-7R with just 5,800 miles !
Suzuki October 3, 2019 posted by

RRoarr – 1989 Suzuki GSX-R750RK(RR)

Sold while this post was being edited, maybe to a reader ?  Still worth a look…  Donn

Regular readers might recognize the Disney cells and beige carpet before even clicking through to this listing, but this is one of this collector’s finer examples.  Also one of the most legendary Gixxers, returning to the longer stroke engine and uber rare with just 500 examples worldwide.

1989 Suzuki GSX-R750RK(RR) for sale on eBay

With its 40mm semi-flatslide “slingshot” Mikuni carburettors, the 748cc four was a nice upgrade from the H variant with 112 hp on tap.  The alloy frame was compact thanks to the 1988 update, still air and oil cooled with a two stage oil pump.  Fully adjustable 43mm forks and Full Floater monoshock are a gift and a challenge, requiring a studious wrench and some time to get right.  Figure in some break time as well, since the high footpegs, low clip-ons and hard seat challenge the rider.  In neighborhood of 450 lbs. ready to ride, it wasn’t super light, but was trim for the day.

 

Somehow wheeled onto the carpet after just over 1,000 miles, this RR is collector quality with original fairings and paint.  The Yoshimura carbon muffler lets you know you didn’t just pass through a galactic wormhole.  Its age shows only in the tank protector which has accumulated some dirt under one edge, otherwise it’s the time traveler.  From the eBay auction:

GR79C with only 1,675 kilometers (1,041 miles). All fairings are 100% original OEM factory Suzuki. Bike is in mint as new condition. Museum collector quality! Almost flawless. Original mirrors show patina in the glass reflection. Light tiny surface scratches on the right side of the swing arm by the stand bolt. Clear tank protector installed and has a dirty edge. The rest of the bike is mint. Bike has been de-restricted. Comes with a Yoshimura full exhaust system and Ohlins fully adjustable rear shock. Original stock exhaust system and stock shock in new condition go with bike. Those parts were removed and replaced with the upgraded components when the bike was purchased new. (Original parts are worth thousands alone.) Bike shows no signs of rust or corrosion. Original owner said it was cherished and always stored indoors and never ridden in the rain. No signs of wear on the bike. Comes with two original keys and fresh tires. This bike looks like a bike should with only a thousand miles on the odometer. Looks like it was just rolled off the assembly line. Chassis and engine are spotless. Bike runs as good as it looks. Extremely well cared for.

It would be a stretch to consider this museum piece for an afternoon’s pleasure, but it could happen.  Like jumping in a 30 year-old Porsche 964 Turbo, or V-Tailed Beech Bonanza, you’d want to take a short shakedown cruise, stop, look it over, then have a serious discussion with the mirror.

-donn

RRoarr – 1989 Suzuki GSX-R750RK(RR)