Posts by tag: 748

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)
Ducati July 5, 2019 posted by

City Slicker – 1985 Ducati 750 F1 Race Replica

As if a 34 year-old Ducati race replica weren’t rad enough, this 750 F1 has been improved in just about every way to be an up-to-date race shop’s rep.  Developed in NYC and now just a few clicks north, this sparkling 1985 model would be a hit in any concours or vintage race.

1985 Ducati 750 F1 Race Replica for sale on eBay

Ducati was taking on water in the early 1980’s, but had four consecutive F2 championships in the TT series which competed with FIM Grands Prix.  Some privateer successes with F2-based 750cc machines led the factory to developed its own F1 race bike, and the Pantah-engined 750 F1 road machine.  The F1 brought a host of firsts for Ducati – first trellis frame for the road, first monoshock, first floating brake rotors, first 2-into-1 exhaust, first alloy tank.  Though not scary powerful or all that lightweight, it was very sporty for the time and a great basis for a race team’s mods.

Long time previous owner and TT maven Lou Saif curated the long list of updates to this now dedicated race machine.  Suspension was modernized, wheel sizes normalized, and tweaks copied from factory endurance racers.  Soon to be ex-owner Gregory Rathe had these comments on – bikeexif.com –

Lou owned this 750 F1 for almost 20 years, and developed it as a replica of Marco Lucchinelli’s factory bike. “Lou’s intention was to make this bike a street racer, and as light and reliable as possible,” says Rathe. So the motor is mostly original except for the cams, Supermono lightweight gears, and a (very loud) titanium exhaust. The wheels are 17″ x 4.5″/6″ magnesium, and Lou shortened the tail and replicated the lights of the works bikes. The front fairing is also in the racing style, and the headlights are quick release—like those used for night racing. The bike is sprinkled with titanium hardware, and weight was removed from everywhere possible—so it now tips the scales at only 305 pounds. Isn’t it just gorgeous?

The 750 F1’s popularity led to three special editions named for challenging race venues – Montjuich, Laguna Seca, and Santa Monica, and some F1 racers which did well in the Italian TT series.  Meanwhile the new Cagiva management reconsidered their plan to absorb the brand and Ducati rose to the occasion.  An interesting snapshot of the end of an era, and a museum-quality treatment of the subject.

-donn

 

City Slicker – 1985 Ducati 750 F1 Race Replica
Ducati June 29, 2019 posted by

Semi Senna – 2002 Ducati 748S

The original desmoquattro designed for Cagiva was a 3/4 liter, so a supersport from the 916 gene pool was a forgone conclusion.  Some reviewers thought the higher revving 748 was a better choice for the road than the superbike.  From Miami, this 748S has just 7,776 miles and looks excellent.

2002 Ducati 748S for sale on eBay

With its smaller bore, the 748 could rev more freely, reporting 98 hp at 11,000 rpm.  Luckily the cooling system built for the 916 can cope more readily with the 748’s heat.  Premium Showa dampers soak up the road’s realities, with Ti nitriding on the fork legs to reduce stiction.  Retro-grade operations are conducted by Brembos’s excellent dual 320mm front disks, which fully occupy the Marchesini five-spoke wheels.  The bodywork was available in mono or biposto and many of the single seaters had a sporty number plate area behind the seat.

With under 500 miles per year, the semi-gloss finish on this 748S looks great.  Updates appear to be limited to Silmoto mufflers, Rizoma reservoirs and aftermarket levers.  Bar risers might be a thought for riders of a certain age, as the aggressive riding position is shared with the 916.  Tires and cam belts would want renewal if they’re original.  From the eBay auction:

Selling my Ducati 748S ‘Semi Senna’. All the best add-ons, she is fast and stops on a dime. Sounds AMAZING! Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for looking.

Besides its classic good looks, the 748 got good marks for the close ratio transmission and just-about-superbike power.  Early years had issues with the hard plating on the rocker arms failing, but were resolved before this last year example.  Bidding has been active, and should really take off if the seller posts answers to the questions they must be getting.

-donn

Semi Senna – 2002 Ducati 748S
Kawasaki January 19, 2019 posted by

Warm Leatherette – 2001 Kawasaki Ninja ZX7R

This ZX7R has popped up from the middle of the 1996-2003 run, mostly stock and showing no particular damage.  The owner lists a recent major service, battery and new tires.  Not a ground-breaking design or super lightweight, the mid-size Ninja did nail down a few AMA Superbike titles, and is still a great looking ride.

2001 Kawasaki Ninja ZX7R for sale on eBay

Kawasaki evolved the 748cc in-line four from the ZXR-750, and it puts out a very usable 112 hp.  The alloy twin-spar chassis was also a refinement from the previous model and offers a great-steering platform.  House adjustable USD forks and monoshock reviewed at the sporty end of the spectrum, rather stiff for road duty.  Six-piston Tokico brakes over 320mm rotors were up to the task.  Scoops next to the cat’s eye headlights send fresh air to the engine, and the biposto seat console offers a nice backstop for a solo rider.

With rather low mileage at 13K, this example looks great – but of course some close-ups would be nice, and we’ll have to look under that tank bra.  The color-matched pillion looks good, and the green Micron muffler will either delight or incite.  Surprising to see un-altered turn signals and tail feathers.  From the eBay auction:

Mint condition Kawasaki Ninja ZX7R. The only thing that is not original is the Micron can. I have the original black back seat for it. The bike only has 13,000 miles. It has never been laid down. There are a few minute scratches. It’ll be difficult to find one that’s this clean. The bike has new tires , battery and the front calipers rebuilt and all the fluids changed. The bike had a hung up float from sitting however that problem has been taken care of. Own a piece of history! The bike really needs someone that’s going to ride it. All it does is sit with me. It is maintained and started regularly. The bike runs and rides like a brand new machine.

Collectors will want a second -R, wanting an homologation special to keep up with their RC30 / OW01 buddies.  Not exactly plain vanilla but a perfect sport rider, carefully used, just a little young to be termed a classic…

-donn

Warm Leatherette – 2001 Kawasaki Ninja ZX7R