Posts by tag: Freddie Spencer

Honda December 6, 2018 posted by

Right Said Fred: 1986 Honda VF1000R

Organizations have been using star power to move product since the beginning of time. The religious world has deities, the stick and ball sports have performance heroes, arts and entertainment circles have famous people, and even the social media world has some form of acclaimed personas (not that I would know who they are). Big names connect consumers with the idea of being like somebody famous. 90% of the population cannot dunk a basketball, but that doesn't slow down shoe sales. And so it is with no surprise that motorcycle manufacturers attached star power to help move models and drive consumers into the showroom. It was rampant in the 1980s, and continues through to this day. Sometimes the connection was blatant; witness Kenny Robert's signature on the fairing of the RZ350, or Nicky Hayden's script on bespoke RC51 models. And sometimes the connection is implied, such as with the 1979 Suzuki GS1000 - often mistakenly referred to as the Wes Cooley edition. So as we gaze upon this magnificent 1986 Honda VF1000R, the colors evoke HRC's racing livery and we assume this to be an homage to the great Freddie Spencer. Star power that is implied - but not overtly stated - is still star power. And it still moves product.

1986 Honda VF1000R for sale on eBay

Developed with the technology to win races, the VF1000R was a massive technological wonder when it was released in Europe; especially when compared to the rather bland "F" model sold in the US. Four cylinders arranged in a 90 degree vee formation, double overhead cams spun by gears (oh the glorious sound!) working four valves per cylinder. The frame was of the perimeter variety to cradle the motor, but tech extended to both ends of this machine: Honda’s Pro-Link rising-rate rear suspension (a massive upgrade over twin shock setups) and up front the Torque Reactive Anti-Dive Control (TRAC) anti-dive front fork with nifty quick change axle (a nod to the endurance heritage). With a 16" front wheel - just like the GP racers - and bodywork and dual headlamp evoking Honda's endurance racers from Europe, the VF1000R was everything the American buying public could want in a repli-racer. And much, much more. Especially in terms of weight. The "R" model looked the look, but tipped in at a very porky mid-500 pound range wet. It also came with a significant increase in price over the "F" model. But you can't really argue with the look. Let's pick this one up here from the seller:

From the seller:
1986 Honda VF-1000-R - Only 33K Miles - Also Called Honda's Autobahn Baby

- Mechanically this bike is a 9.5 Out Of 10 And Cosmetically It's a 9.25 out of 10
- Excellent condition for a 33 year old ICON in the Motor Cycle World.
- It'd be cool for it go to a collector who understands what it is and appreciates it's wonderful condition.

More from the seller:
Before going on display in the Museum the following was done - Not in any order . .

- Installed new fuel petcock
- Rebuilt Carbs with all Honda OEM Parts
- Carbs all Digitally Sync to perfection
- Installed new brake pads front & rear
- Installed New OEM Air Filter
- New Spark plugs
- Valves adjusted
- Installed New rubber cushions in the rear drive hub
- Rebuilt Front forks - new seal - dust caps and used 15w fork oil

More from the seller:
Recently After Being Pulled From Museum Display This Last Month - The Following Was Done

- Flushed entire fuel system/carbs with fresh Non- Ethanol fuel and filled gas tank with the same
- New Battery & Battery Tender Hookup - which can also be used to run Electric gear
- New front and rear brake fluids flushed and replaced with Honda Pro DOT 4
- New Hydraulic clutch fluids flushed and replaced with Honda Pro DOT 4
- Replaced engine oil & filter
- Tires have 150+/- miles on them in 4 rides.

Everything checked fine on these rides and the bike is a blast to ride especially listening to the whine of the gear driven cams at the engine's 11,000 RPM redline.

PLEASE NOTE - It has been recently un-mothballed in a loving fashion by my master mechanic. The fuel system flushed with non-ethanol premium fuel. Installed a new battery along with a new battery tender hook-up. It started up in less then 10 seconds and runs great! There are no fuel leaks. It idles perfectly with the choke off. It Revs & Restarts fine. It is ready to go and needs nothing to go riding. And/or it's ready to go straight into another Museum.

The seller has also included a video of the bike in question, including a walkaround and some facts and figures:

The seller claims this to be a museum example, and indeed the pictures do show the bike parked in like company. But what does it mean to be a museum display? Cosmetically, I would imagine it needs to be in good shape. Mechanically everything should work, although for a static display that is not really necessary. In this case, the video includes a startup and showing full functionality. This seller has gone the extra mile to show off the bike, and seems to know quite a bit about this model.

At the end of the day this looks to be a solid example of a well loved model from the 1980s. So what's not to like? If I had to pick nits, I would point to the 33,000 miles as one - although the bike does not look like it traveled that far, nor is there a longevity concern. I would, however, expect the miles to be reflected in the price. For true collectors the non-stock F1 cans might be an issue, though I concede I do not have any experience sourcing original parts for this particular model (i.e. might not be an issue). There is minor rash on the top of the triple trees, and the tank protector is also not stock. All small stuff. The real tire kickers here should not necessarily be the collectors, but those who are looking for something from an earlier time that they can ride. R model VF1000s are not exactly blue chip investment material; not too rare, not too valuable, and unlikely to appreciate in the manner of a RC30. But it is a wonderful machine to ride, enjoy, and fawn over until the next caretaker picks up the mantle and unlikely to plummet in the coming years. This NO RESERVE auction is going on right now, and this bike remains a bargain at the time of writing. Check it out here. This is not the fastest, not the best handling, and certainly not the most rare bike on our pages - but it will not fail to put a smile on your face. Can you beat that? If you missed the budget RZ, don't miss out on this one. Good Luck!!

MI

Right Said Fred: 1986 Honda VF1000R
Honda November 14, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1986 Honda NS400R for Sale

Update 11.15.2018: This bike has SOLD in less than a day! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Honda considered themselves to be a four-stroke company and had to be dragged, kicking and screaming into the two-stroke GP era. After the abject failure, at least in terms of race results, of their oval-pistoned NR500, Honda finally relented and applied their usual tenacity and innovation to the two-stroke NS500, and that machine provided the inspiration to today's Featured Listing, the road-going Honda NS400R.

Seen here in Freddie Spencer-inspired colors, the NS400R obviously differed from its Grand Prix sibling in terms of displacement. Why just 387cc, instead of something closer to the racing version's 498cc? Well Japan had regulations that led to much higher costs for 500cc machines that made them impractical for the vast majority of riders so, instead of creating two different versions of their bike for domestic and overseas sales, they created just one well-conceived and thoroughly-developed version.

The NS400R and its racing inspiration both had liquid-cooled, two-stroke V3 engines, but the roadbike reversed the racebike's asymmetrical cylinder layout, with two of the three cylinders projecting to the front and a single pointed up towards the underside of the tank, and the package produced 72hp in a very civilized package.

In addition to the unusual 90° V3 engine configuration, the NS400R used Honda's ATAC powervalve system and electronic ignition, a six-speed gearbox, TRAC anti-dive forks, a Pro-Link rear suspension, modular Comstar wheels, and radial tires, a relative novelty at the time. The entire package weighed in at around 400lbs wet and handling was considered to be the very best the era had to offer, although it's been unfairly overlooked for years.

From the Seller: 1986 Honda NS400R for Sale

Northern Beauty

Selling a 1986 Honda NS400R with 33,219 km. (20,641 miles). The bike has Ontario ownership (title), and there are no liens against it. The bike is located about 30 miles east of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was originally purchased at Esquire Honda in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in April, 1987. The current owner purchased the bike from the second owner in 2007 in Thunder Bay, Ontario. In its history it has received new tires, steering head bearings, new steering head damper and one fork stabilizer.

The bike experienced a driveway tip over about three years ago, which caused a scrape to the left side fairing lower. It was professionally re-painted to match the original, and is not detectable. Only a small scuff mark appears on the left side lower cowl. There is a small dent on the right side exhaust canister, as shown in the photos. There is a scuff mark on the kick stand, which has the painted fairing attached, and the mirrors, while original, have faded in colour. There are several tiny stress cracks around the windshield fasteners and on the seat cowl fasteners, but they are very small, and not noticeable unless you’re looking very closely. Other than the aforementioned blemishes the bike is in excellent condition, and only needs a new owner.

It starts eagerly, and I’d be happy to send a startup video to show its running ability.

The owner can assist with shipping and, for a fee the bike can be taken to the U.S. border crossing at Niagara Falls/Buffalo (90 miles) or the Ivy Lea crossing in upstate New York (120 miles).

$5500. USD

Honda's decision to go with a 400cc model may have cost them sales at first: the NS400R made less power than the competing RG and RZ, but it weighed significantly less as well, so performance was roughly similar. But being a 400, there was a perceived lack of credibility and, for a while, prices on the used market reflected that, although values of the NS400R have been rising quickly over the past few years. But not this one: the seller is asking just $5,500USD, although it is in Canada. If you've been looking for a clean example but have been put off by the asking price for recent offerings, rent, borrow, or steal a van, make sure your passport is up to date, and hit the road. Because you won't find another example at anywhere near this price.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1986 Honda NS400R for Sale
Honda September 21, 2016 posted by

Freddie Spencer Replica: 1985 Honda NS250R for Sale

1985-honda-ns250r-l-front

The earlier MVX250F entry into the two-stroke class was criticized for being too bland, but they corrected that error with this, Honda's NS250R MC11. The bike made serious power and handled extremely well, but wasn't good for much other than racetrack antics and perfectly smooth roads. Like its descendants, the NS250R was packed full of cutting edge technology: the front used TRAC “Torque-Reaction Anti-Dive Control” forks and the engine had Honda’s ATAC “Automatic Controlled Torque Amplification Chamber” to boost midrange by adjusting the volume of the front cylinder’s exhaust.

1985-honda-ns250r-r-side-rear

And while competing bikes from Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki used parallel-twin engines, Honda used a compact 90° v-twin configuration with Nikasil-lined bores that made the class-standard [and government-limited] 45hp at 9,500rpm. The bike weighed in at a featherweight 317lbs dry, thanks in part to a frame and the swingarm that were both constructed from lightweight aluminum, while Honda's Comstar modular wheels could be fitted with then-revolutionary tubeless tires.

1985-honda-ns250r-cockpit

This example is done up in vivid Freddie Spencer colors and appears pristine. Freddie actually won both 250 and 500 titles in a single season on Hondas, something that just doesn’t even seem to fit into modern racing at all, unless we’re talking about the Isle of Man TT or the Northwest 200, where riders often compete in a number of classes on different displacement bikes.

1985-honda-ns250r-l-rear

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Honda NS250R Freddie Spencer Replica for Sale

These are the holy grail of two-stroke road racing! These bikes are not around considering they were either raced or crashed. Seize the opportunity!

These Honda NS250Rs used to dominate the racing scene! It won the 250cc World Championship 11 times! This bike was distinctly modeled after Freddie Spencer’s race bike! These bikes are seriously light & agile, coupled with a powerful two-stroke engine made for very quick lap times! These bikes had a strong presence is the Isle of Man & many other historic racing events!

This bike possesses a massive fun factor! Once the power band is reached this thing goes into warp drive!

Sweet decal package with various Honda racing sponsors! Truly one of kind! NADA does not have a value on these bikes because they are so rare!

New rear tire! Less than 200 miles!

1985-honda-ns250r-r-fairing

No word on whether or not the bike comes with a valid US title or the box of genuine NOS Honda Racing Exclamation Points the seller used to write the listing... Obviously, this isn't an actual racebike: it's a race-replica. But the seller is correct: these are very rare, especially here in the USA. I'm not sure this was ever officially sold here, although two-strokes were still legally for sale up until 1985, so I guess its possible. If you are interested in bidding and live in a state where titling grey-market bikes is difficult, the usual "check with your local DMV before bidding" caveats apply. Although, with less than 200 miles, collectors who simply plan to display the bike might also be interested.

-tad

1985-honda-ns250r-r-side

Freddie Spencer Replica: 1985 Honda NS250R for Sale
Honda August 8, 2016 posted by

They seem to come in waves:
Another 1994 Honda RC45, this one with under 900 miles

We just had a nice RC45 here on RSBFS last week and given the rarity of these it's a bit of a surprise that another one has popped up for sale so soon.  While the previous bike was a gray import bike offered by a dealer in Florida, this one looks to be a US bike currently owned by a collector.

rc452

1994 Honda RVF750R/RC45 in Texas USA

As noted in the post from last week, the RVF750R (also known as the RC45) was introduced in 1994 as the successor to the epic RC30 and was a true homologation bike.  The RC45 came with a 749cc V4 engine containing titanium rods, ceramic-lined cylinder walls and gear driven cams, as well as a new fuel injection system and a race-ready single-sided rear swingarm.

The RC45 was a good bike on the track, being ridden to championships in 1997 and 1998.  But reviewers/riders found the bike a bit of a letdown on the street, mostly due to it being tuned to only produce around 110bhp for the U.S. version and the race gearbox having a very tall 1st gear. Consider the following review from motorcyclenews:

"Like the race version, Honda's road-going RC45 doesn't quite hit the spot, but it's still an impressive piece of exquisite engineering. As the ultimate ‘90s Superbike, the Honda RC45 lacks the pure focus of a Yamaha R1, the visceral punch of a Ducati 916 or the exotic edginess of a Bimota SB6R. Also, people might think your Honda RC45 is a Honda RVF400 NC35 from a distance..."

rc453

Mileage on this one is a low 877 according to the seller.  Unfortunately no other maintenance info is provided.  Based on the dust and color of the clutch reservoir fluid, I would bet that the bike has been standing for quite a few years and would require a thorough refresh including tires.

rc451

By the pics provided the bike looks to have been part of a serious collection.  Initial bid price is $40,000 USD with reserve not met. That price seems to be inline with what we have seen these go for in the past, even with the expected additional cost of a freshening.  Also given the rarity of these bikes, I wouldn't expect the price to drop below the opening bid.

It seems like the RC45 doesn't ring the emotional bells for a lot of collectors in the same way the RC30 did.  This one is certainly in excellent condition and is probably a good investment for a serious collector, but I wish there were a few more pics and comments by the seller.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

They seem to come in waves:</br>Another 1994 Honda RC45, this one with under 900 miles
Honda May 25, 2016 posted by

Featured Listing: 1986 Honda NSR400R for Sale

Update 6.1.2016: Sold in just one week! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

1986 Honda NS400R L Side Front

If Honda’s history of brilliant technical innovation has a downside, it’s that it sometimes posits answers to questions no one actually asked. Some recent missteps like their sophisticated but overweight and expensive VFR sport-tourer suggest that they’ve just recently lost their way. However, it’s definitely not the first time they created a bike that had seemed to have no real built-in audience, and bikes like today’s very sharp-looking 1986 NS400R show that this is really nothing new for Honda.

1986 Honda NS400R R Side

Meant to capitalize on Freddie Spencer’s wins on a 500cc machine and pitched against exotic race-reps from Suzuki and Yamaha, Honda introduced… a 400cc motorcycle, although it at least did feature something approximating the race machine’s unusual 90° V3 layout: a bit like a Ducati “L” twin, one cylinder is nearly vertical, while the other two jut forward. Race bikes actually featured the opposite: two up and one down. Carburetors are nestled in the center of the vee, and the overall dimensions are very compact, allowing the engine to be ideally positioned in the chassis.

1986 Honda NS400R Cockpit

Producing 72hp and backed by a six-speed gearbox, the 400 is far less manic than a typical 250cc sportbike of the era. Sure, the wild top-end rush is still there, but sheer displacement makes a difference and Honda’s ATAC “automatically-controlled torque amplification chambers” on the front two-cylinders help bulk up the midrange, so the overall experience is far more civilized. It’s probably not sanitized to the level of the RZ500, but the middleweight NS400R surprised period reviewers with its level of refinement. It gets even better once the road turns twisty: thanks to the light dry weight of 360lbs and equipped with sophisticated suspension components and a whole raft of 80s acronyms, the NS400R is often thought to be one of the best-handling motorcycles of the era.

1986 Honda NS400R Engine

Today’s Featured Listing looks impressively clean, with enough miles to indicate regular use, but few enough that it should appeal to collectors who’d like to occasionally ride it. Shots with the fairing removed show that it wasn’t just quickly hosed down and buffed up prior to being photographed: the bike has clearly been well cared-for.

From the seller: 1986 Honda NSR400R for Sale

For sale, an immaculate 1986 Honda NSR400R with 13,150 kms (7,900 miles) on clock.  This is one of less than 450 NS400R’s originally imported to Canada (although nobody seems to know the exact number for sure) and is registered in Alberta.  The bike is complete, with original parts and fasteners, and unmodified with zero corrosion of the frame, exhaust or gas tank.  The top end of the engine was inspected and piston rings were replaced while it was apart.  Bodywork is original plastic with a fresh coat of paint and clear coated replica decals.  Wheels are in perfect original condition and new Bridgestone BT021 tires were installed. The carburetors still have original factory jetting (rich!).   Everything works exactly as delivered from the factory and is ready for the new owner to enjoy.

Included in the sale are the following hard to find items; solo cowl and two-up cowl(seat and strap), factory rear stand, factory service manual and sales binder, and period magazine articles.  Spare ATAC valves are available at extra cost if the new owner wishes to have them de-restricted (i.e. bored out).  Selling with a current Canadian title/registration and bill of sale.  The owner can assist in the export process and possibly transportation to a shipping depot in Montana.

Price $7,500 USD

1986 Honda NS400R R Side Rear

Too small to compete with size-queens who will scoff at the sub-500cc displacement and too big to compete with bantamweight 250s, the NS400R didn’t sell very well and was gone from Honda’s lineup after just two years. Unlike the 500cc fours from Suzuki and Yamaha, these have languished largely forgotten by collectors and the NS400R currently occupies that weird motorcycle middleground: they’re not especially valuable as yet but they’re obviously very rare, with interesting specifications and clear links to Honda’s race bikes. Largely overlooked by more mainstream buyers, they represent a pretty good value for riders looking to get into weird 1980s exotica or collectors who want to complete their two-stroke or race-rep stable. I'd expect these are undervalued at the moment and the NSR should appeal to both riders and collectors: the larger displacement and powervalve arrangement should make for real-world performance while the 16”/17” wheel combo means relatively modern rubber can be fitted.

-tad

1986 Honda NS400R L Side

Featured Listing: 1986 Honda NSR400R for Sale
Honda July 30, 2013 posted by

Destination Holland: 1985 Honda NS400R

NS400R_3

Forget about tulips, wooden shoes, cheese, or anything else you think you know about Holland. Ignore the tourist trades and go straight for the good stuff: this nearly new 1985 Honda NS400R.

1985 Honda NS400R for sale on eBay

NS400R_2

Built as a commemoration to Freddie Spencer and his GP title(s), the NS400R is a V3 two stroke that was intended to replicate a street going GP bike as closely as possible. While not as powerful as the RZ500 and RG500 competition from Yamaha and Suzuki, the NS400R was very small and agile, more closely resembling a 250cc bike. A blast to ride and as rare as they come, most of these have seen some reasonable miles and a fair share of abuse. This particular bike is a major exception. Check out the details from the seller below.

NS400R_4

From the seller:
For sale this new Dutch Honda NS400R V3 2 stroke Freddie Spencer GP replica in a original condition as it 27 years ago left from the factory, the bike is new bought by a collector and has only 4700 km (2937 miles) gone, everything is original and new to this motorcycle , there is not even a scratch on it. The engine runs excellent.

If you had no money in 1985, driving license, you were too young or not even born yet, then this is your chance to buy a new Honda NS400R.

NS400R_1

You might want to be sitting down for this next bit. Smokers and strokers from the 1980s are rapidly ascending into expensive classics. This one is no different. Given the apparent original condition from the photographs and the low miles on the bike, this is an example at the upper end of the quality scale. The price also reflects that: your starting bid opens at $11,000 (with no takers as of the time of this writing). If you are on the European continent you have some transport options not available to US buyers (i.e. pick it up yourself and ride it home). Still, this is a great looking bike that is worth a look for you Honda fans. Check it out here!

MI

Destination Holland:  1985 Honda NS400R