Posts by tag: gear-driven cams

Honda April 16, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1990 Honda VFR750R RC30

Update 4.22.2019: This RC30 has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Often considered the darling of the collector world, the RC30 reigns supreme as being one of the most approachable of the highly sought-after rare bikes of the 80s & 90s. Volumes of research are readily available for these fascinating machines, and values remain strong with steady and continued appreciation. In short, the RC30 contains everything that RSBFS readers crave: A fantastic sport bike with racing DNA; A gorgeous silhouette that is THE iconic shape of the era; A mythical soundtrack that matches the good looks; A limited numbers homologation bike… and a good investment. There may be haters out there, but they are vastly outnumbered by those who understand what the RC30 brings to the table.

Featured Listing: 1990 Honda VFR750R RC30

Officially known as the VFR750R, the RC30 differs from the more pedestrian and economical VFR750F in more ways than the similarities. Both bikes have VFR in the title and both utilize a V4 engine arrangement. Apart from the Honda badge on the tank, that is where it ends and where the RC30 takes off. Throwing off the chain-driven engine internals of the previous VF series, the RC30 makes use of a gear-driven DOHC architecture which provides for ultra-precise valve timing and control. This is the piece that contributes to the characteristic whine of these VFR motors. And while the newer VFR-F models also utilized gear driven cams, the motor internals of the RC30 were decidedly more racy. Connecting rods were made of titanium to reduce reciprocating weight and raise the redline. The crank timing was changed to a 360 degree “big bang” sequence instead of the F-bikes 180 degree crank (the latter being smoother for street riding). The transmission was configured for racing – meaning a close-ratio box – and a slipper clutch was fitted. The twin spar chassis was all aluminum, including the revolutionary single sided swing arm. Suspension was all top line offerings from Showa. Devised for endurance racing and facilitating quick wheel/tire changes, even the front of the RC30 has quick-change hardware to minimize pit lane delays. And that is what the RC30 was built to be: a race bike with lights made available to the public. A total of 3,000 units were built.

From the seller:
1990 Honda RC30 For Sale

This beautiful motorcycle is for sale after 18 years of ownership. Its owner is selling his collection of desirable motorcycles due to health issues. It is complete, runs like it should, and has never been down. The bike has been ridden approximately 400 miles under its current owner. In its time it was never raced or abused, and always stored indoors in a dry and temperate climate.

More from the seller:

Because the bike has seen very limited road use over the past few years it received a total carb cleaning and synching within the past few months. At the time, while the carbs were removed, the fuel petcock was also dismantled and thoroughly cleaned by a former Honda mechanic.

The RC30 comes with its original factory tool roll, and the rear swing arm stand.

If you’re reading this post you already know this bike’s legacy both in Honda’s history, and in racing history. The bike was purchased from a collection in Georgia, and imported it into Canada after taking delivery there. It has been licensed in Ontario since that time, and has a clear ownership (title) in the province of Ontario. There are no warranties expressed or implied.

More from the seller:

Price: $28,000 (USD) or $35,000 (CDN)

The bike is located east of Toronto, Ontario. For you U.S. readers, importing a bike from Canada to the U.S. shouldn’t be anymore trying than it was to bring it to Canada. Filling out the appropriate forms, and having a bit of patience is all you really need. The owner can assist in shipping, but all planning and costs are the responsibility of the buyer.

This RC30 is in amazing condition, having traveled only some 2,200 miles in it’s lifetime. This is helped by the limited ownership; RC30s tend to be coveted and kept in collections for longer periods of time than other machines. This one is no different, and has been fawned over for nearly two decades. These are the types of bikes you hang on to for as long as you can, and those fortunate enough to own one have realized significant gains in valuation. Year after year, this is about as reliable a sure thing that one can find when it comes to collecting motorcycles. And even if you are more into riding than collecting, the RC30 has much to offer. There are those who ride these bikes regularly, which is really how it should be. These bikes were built to go racing, and while they look fantastic as a static display they are much more beautiful at full song.

This particular bike is located in Canada, although it looks to have been a US bike originally. The clocks are in MPH and it has already been federalized. That should help with bringing it back over the border (that, and the fact it is more than 25 years old). This bike comes with some cool RC30 extras, and has been recommissioned to boot. Check out the pictures – feel free to drool a little. At $28k USD this RC30 is priced to sell in the real world. Good Luck!!

MI

Featured Listing: 1990 Honda VFR750R RC30
Featured Listing April 5, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30

Often considered the baby brother to the RC30, the 400cc NC30 deservedly stands proud on its own right. The V-4 with ultra-precise gear driven cams delivers a powerful 60 horsepower soundtrack that is unique to this model – especially when the tach swings up toward the 14,500 RPM redline. This is partly thanks to the NC30s 360 degree crank, creating a “big bang” motor when compared to the NC21 or NC24 predecessors. With a race-bred twin spar aluminum frame, endurance-bred single sided swing arm, four-into-one exhaust and adjustable suspension, the underpinnings of the VFR400R were anything but cheap. Drape the whole package in a glorious shape that is as iconic as any of the sport bikes we hold in high esteem (RC30, 851, 916, F4), throw in typical Honda build quality and reliability and you have the NC30 in a nutshell.

Featured Listing: 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30

The seller knows quite a bit about this bike, and I’ll let him share detail on this example.

From the seller:
1992 Honda VFR400R NC30
Currently has 11’558 Km that’s about 7,100 miles, will go up as I do ride it at least once a week.
I just put on new tires front and rear, new brake pads front and rear, flushed and bled front and rear brakes. Had the rims powder coated as the original paint was peeling. I also noticed some of the smaller pieces were looking their age so I had them powder coated black also, instrument stay, Misc cable guides, fairing stays.

More from the seller:
I just serviced the forks, new seals and fluid, Valve check, replaced all o-rings in the carbs, they were starting to leak, flushed and replaced the coolant I got the bike 3 years ago from the original owner’s estate, he passed away. Prior to his passing he was doing a full restoration and had removed the original body work. He ended up getting Dementia and that was as far as he got. Over the years the original body work got lost. I wanted to keep this bike original so after much searching I managed to find Honda body work that had been in an accident. I had the crash damage repaired and repainted. It looks really nice. The bike runs amazing, starts easily cold or warm, smooth, powerful and quiet. It is the best handling bike I have ever ridden. I’ve owned it for about 3 years now I’m 6’1″ and 220 pounds. This bike was designed for someone 5’04” and 145 so as I am getting older I can only ride it for about 10 minutes due to the full racer tuck.

More from the seller:
The bike is not perfect but really nice and would make a perfect weekend canyon rider. If I were to keep it I would do the following:

– Paint the lower fork housings and the rear subframe
– remove all body work and detail the engine and frame.

Bike is located in Lake Havasu City, AZ. I have a clean and clear Arizona title with current registration till April 2020.

Asking Price: $10,500 (will consider reasonable offers)
Contact: baldyy@aol.com

I really like this seller’s approach to the bike; it is not a perfect zero-mile statue, but a well-cared for and maintained rider. After all, these 400cc rockets are meant to be enjoyed in their element (which had better include lots of corners). Parts of the bike have been selectively restored, reconditioned or updated which is what you would expect from a fawned-over 27 year old motorcycle. Devoid of the hyper-focused attention bestowed upon the bigger RC30, the NC30 is a bike you can ride and enjoy for what it is. Not so expensive to be an unaffordable collector, and not so rare and finicky not to be a regular rider – provided you fit. As the seller notes, this is definitely not a spacious and airy bagger; the crop of 400cc grey bikes definitely cater to a slightly smaller set. If you do fit, there are few bikes that collect the handling accolades of a VFR400R. With a jewel of an engine that purrs at low revs and snarls & shrieks through 14,500 RPM, the NC30 is positive proof against those who say Hondas lack soul. This example is clean and fully operational, and priced fairly for today’s market. If you think you are in the market for the gem known as the NC30, contact Paul for more information. We typically don’t see these bikes last very long in the market; act quickly before it’s gone!

MI

Featured Listing: 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30
Honda March 27, 2019 posted by

Learning Curve – 1992 Honda CBR400RR

Most often Rothmans livery is seen on two-stroke race replicas, but this middleweight is a 399cc inline four.  It’s a grey market import from Japan, registered in Florida and looking excellent with just under 7,000 miles.

   

1992 Honda CBR400RR for sale on eBay

 

Sometimes referred to as the “baby ‘Blade”, the CBR400RR was developed several years earlier, but restyled in 1992 to accompany the Fireblade to the showroom.  It was also built like a larger bike, alloy twin spars of the chassis and swingarm ready for much more than the factory 59 hp.  Faired scoops deliver fresh air to the engine, by way of four 26mm flat slide carbs.  Showa suspension all around, preload-only adjustable, leaving room for enhancements.  Grown-up dual discs are 276mm, and dry weight is just 360 lbs.

 

This CBR has low miles and is nicely presented.  Some corrosion is almost to be expected but is not readily apparent.  Expert readers will have to comment on the correctness of the fairings and livery, but it’s at least complete.  No word on the reason for the sale, but from an island on Florida’s west coast, this owner has an hour’s slog through Fort Myers to get to some open riding.  Just a couple of comments from the eBay auction:

Beautiful NC29 1992 CBR400RR in Rothmans paint.  Low miles, runs great, very clean, new battery and chain. Florida title ready to go.  Direct Japanese grey market import.

Designer Masanori Aoki was a youngish pro when he led the CBR400RR effort, staying with Honda through the 1800cc Gold Wing, and more recently the Rune factory-custom.  Designed as junior machine for learning riders, the CBR gained a great following in the sporty grey market.  Though committee-designed and conforming to Honda’s value-engineering principles, it’s still a high-revving, lightweight, and beautiful package.

-donn

Learning Curve – 1992 Honda CBR400RR
Honda March 2, 2019 posted by

A Nordic Natural: 1988 Honda VFR750R RC30

The multiple motorcycle auctions in Las Vegas in January each year are somewhat of a bellwether for prices overall. Sure, pricing is a bit over-inflated due to peer-pressure, bidding competition and the general excitement of the auction atmosphere, but what sells high at these auctions will generally do well on the open market. If you’ve never been, you should definitely consider going – at least once. The lights, the noise, and the thousands of bikes that cross the block over multiple days and multiple auction houses are a sight to behold. It also gives you an appreciation for what is hot, and what has cooled off (or failed to make the cut). But you didn’t need to attend – or even follow – this year’s auctions to know that the RC30 is hot. Possibly the most collectible of the 80s vintage homologation racers, the VFR750R tops the bucket list of many, and remains on a rocket ship trajectory in terms of value. If you want one you will have to stand in line, and bring your wallet.

1988 Honda VFR750 RC30 for sale on eBay

The RC30 is known for good looks, sharp handling, and glorious sound. The latter comes courtesy of a mass-centralized V4 engine, utilizing gear-driven cams for precise valve control – which contributes to that legendary and iconic whine. The flatter sound of the RC30 exhaust is the result of a 360°crankshaft. The approach results in greater traction due to the more widely distributed power cycles (when compared with a conventional 180° crank). Everything that makes beautiful noises also helps with the sharper handling; pull the bodywork off of an RC30 and you quickly realize how packed in tight everything is. Mass centralization is the real deal, and the more you can concentrate weight centrally and down low, the easier the bike will be to flick from side to side, etc. And while those who are lucky enough to see an RC30 in its naked form will call that magical V4 beautiful, the good looks really come from the beefy aluminum twin spar frame and endurance racing inspired bodywork. The twin headlamps are straight out of the 80s, and they went straight into the book of classic looks. The single sided swing arm completes the package, and proved its worth during wheel changes at the racetrack – especially during those endurance events.

From the seller:
Selling my rc30 vfr750r, very low mileage (3553km) and extremely well take care of. 100% working order. Been standing in the living room as eye candy since bought in 2002.
Got first bought in Germany by the original owner,then driven to Monaco and back, after that parked in his office. I then later purchased it. (2002)

The bike is located in Norway (Sarpsborg).
Contact me for more info/pictures.
Price is 500,000 nok (Norwegian Kroner)
We can help with shipping.

Most RC30 we find these days are collector bikes. It is pretty rare indeed to find a RC30 thrasher, and few are regular riders. This particular bike has but 3,500 KM (2,200 miles) and appears to be in complete, original order. Which brings us to problem #1: as RC30 enthusiasts are not limited to North America, this wonderful example is located in Norway. US-based buyers might want to start consulting shipping and importation guides now. Problem #2: RC30s are no longer $15k, $20K, $25K or even $30k. The asking price on these models continues to rise. This particular example is asking well neigh on $60k. And the worst part for those that have a hankerin’ for homologation is that the asking price is not really out of line with where the market is going. We have seen higher asks – much higher – and not just at auction. Check it out here. Look over the pictures. And then decide if you want to board the RC30 price elevator. We have seen nothing but up for these models with nary a dip in valuation over the years. If you want in, you best commit before these are $75k and then $100k bikes. Good Luck!!

MI

A Nordic Natural: 1988 Honda VFR750R RC30
Honda December 25, 2018 posted by

Christmas Bonus: 1989 Honda VFR750R RC30 for Sale

Long before “mass centralization” became a popular marketing buzzword for sportbikes, Honda was investing its bubble economy-inflated budget in a bike that took advantage of that very concept, the exquisitely-engineered VFR750R, otherwise known as the legendary RC30. Honda was so invested in sportbikes at the time that it actually sold an I4 and a V4 range of bikes concurrently, with their CBR and VFR filling slightly different niches. But when it came to their homologation bikes, Honda took their hard-won knowledge from the street-oriented V4 bikes and used it to develop the bike seen here, the VFR750R.

If you’re passingly familiar with Honda’s roadbikes, “VFR” probably evokes images of practical and engaging sport-touring bikes that lean on the sport end of the spectrum. This is not one of those bikes. The RC30 was developed to win production-based racing classes, specifically the then-new World Superbike Championship, although the ELF-designed single-sided swingarm hints at the bike’s endurance racing capabilities as well.

At the heart of the bike is obviously a compact V4 engine with a relatively narrow frontal area for good aerodynamics and very centralized mass, gear-driven cams for extremely precise valve control, and a 360°crankshaft that improved traction at the rear wheel, compared to a more traditional 180° unit. The concept of the 360° crank is that the combustion events are clustered close together, instead of spaced evenly throughout each engine revolution to allow the rear tire to “recover,” increasing traction and improving tire life. It also gives the bike a flatter powerband and a distinctive soundtrack that can be appreciated, even if your skills don’t extend to tire-spinning corner exits. The downside of a V4 is generally increased weight compared to an inline-four and tight packaging, especially with a 90° v-angle, as used here. Stripped of its fairing, the RC30 looks very dense and packed with mechanical bits, and V4s can be a bit of a bear to work on.

Reviews then and now describe it as an easy bike to take full advantage of, a bike that rewarded finesse, a bike that just did as it was told and allowed the rider to get on with winning. Power was unremarkable, weight was average, and nothing about the bike screamed “race winner.” But win it did, even against stiff opposition from Ducati, Bimota, Suzuki, Yamaha, and Kawasaki, and Honda only abandoned the V4 formula when it decided that rules in WSBK favoring v-twins were onerous and biased. So they built a v-twin and showed everyone they could win with those as well, but it was clear their hearts would always belong to the V4…

The RC30 is a handsome bike, with nearly perfect proportions and a wealth of amazing details, although it doesn’t have the easy wow-factor of something from Italy. It’s not often you can accuse Ducati of cribbing styling elements, but the 916’s taillights and distinctive single-sided swingarm look awfully similar to what you can see here. And unlike those Italian machines, every single component is carefully thought out to work as part of a complete package, and engineered to near-perfection.

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda VFR750R RC30 for Sale

  • Long term ownership and fewer than 5,000 miles
  • 1989 Honda VFR750R RC30
  • Frame Number: 2100129
  • Engine Number: 2100162
  • Legendary 16-valve gear-driven DOHC 90 degree V4 engine
  • Reportedly fewer than 3000 produced
  • Single owner since 1990
  • Fewer than 5,000 miles from new.

One of the modern era’s few immediately collectible classics, the Honda VFR750R – better known as the ‘RC30′ – was created for just one reason: to win the World Superbike Championship, a feat it achieved in the nascent series’ first two seasons of 1988 and 1989. And while American Fred Merkel was bringing Honda its first two WSB crowns, Britain’s Carl Fogarty used an RC30 to win the TT F1 World Championship in 1988 and 1989, and the equivalent FIM Cup in 1990. No mere short circuit scratcher, the RC30 and its derivatives proved durable enough to win a hat-full of Endurance Classics too. That this latter requirement was also part of the design brief may be determined from the fact that a quick-release front fork and single-sided swinging arm – essential for speedy wheel changes – were part of an unrivaled specification that included a twin-spar alloy beam frame, 16-valve V4 engine with gear-driven cams, close-ratio six-speed gearbox and four-pot front brake calipers.

All of which did not come cheap: at the time of its launch in 1988 an RC30 cost near double that of other super-sports 750s. Despite the passage of time and progress of motorcycle technology, the RC30 remains a match for the latest generation of sports bikes but possesses an exclusivity that none of them can approach. ‘No other bike from the late-Eighties is lusted after like the RC30’, reckoned Bike, and few would disagree. And then there’s the exhaust note – loud, of course, but soulful enough to bring a pit crew to tears.

This RC30 was only very recently liberated from its second and very long-term owner. Purchased in the UK in 1990, fewer than 5,000 miles have been put on the bike since it was new. Not long after acquisition, the superbike was taken to the Isle of Man where it was driven around the race track, but not actually raced. In 1991 the machine was brought stateside. Regularly maintained since new, the previous owner reports that the RC30 was taken to the local Honda dealer for a pre-sale service within the last couple of months.

Fresh from nearly three decades of single owner care, this legendary machine is offered in excellent condition throughout. The engine starts readily, idles smoothly and has an abundance of power. The clutch is silky-smooth and brakes and suspension are near perfect. I would opt for a new pair of tires before serious road use and am happy to negotiate your tire choice in to the price.

This is a rare opportunity to acquire a motorcycling icon of performance and provenance and a must-have for a discerning collection.

For additional information and photos go to ClassicAvenue.com

V4s are all the rage these days, but Honda really pioneered them for modern motorcycle applications. Because who the hell else would want to design around such a packaging headache? Obviously, Honda has a history of doing things just because they can, practicality be damned: their oval-pistoned racebikes grew out of a staunch refusal to adapt to the changing technology of the Grand Prix scene and simply build a competitive two-stroke. And although that particular experiment was a failure, it shows the lengths to which Honda will go when they believe in an engineering concept. Luckily, the V4 wasn’t quite so complex and was ultimately vindicated by both in-period success and by the legacy it left behind. This example has very low miles and appears to be in very nice, original condition with an asking price of $44,900 and just one more day on the listing, so if you didn’t get what you wanted for Christmas this year and happen to have a bit of your holiday bonus left lying around…

-tad

Christmas Bonus: 1989 Honda VFR750R RC30 for Sale
MV Agusta December 1, 2018 posted by

Classic Italian Superbike: 1975 MV Agusta 750S America for Sale

I’m sure everyone who bought F4s, back when seemingly every version of that bike was a limited edition of one kind or another, was hoping to capture a bit of what  the MV Agusta 750S America offered: exclusivity, collectiblity, and ever-increasing values. It didn’t necessarily offer class leading performance because, while MV was famous for its racetrack successes, their roadbike was relatively tame: power was average and the bike was fairly heavy, with performance-sapping shaft-drive.

Shaft-drive was a viable, and far more reliable alternative to chain-and-sprocket setups back in the 1970s, and both the Moto Guzzi LeMans and BMW R90S managed to be competitive machines in spite of the performance handicap of shaft drive. But MV supposedly included shaft-drive on their roadbike specifically to limit performance, so privateers couldn’t simply buy a 750S and compete against MV’s factory efforts. The new bike really embodied a shift in the motorcycle market, away from the practical, small-displacement machines MV was producing for road use in the 1950s and towards more powerful, expensive four-cylinder machines exemplified by the Honda CB750 and Kawasaki Z1.

The complete 750S was relatively heavy and engine was designed to be durable, to suit the bike’s more grand touring mission statement. But its racing heritage shone through and the powerplant was pretty narrow, with gear-driven cams, exotic-looking sand-cast engine cases, and a complete lack of any filtration for the quartet of Dellorto carburetors. The original version displaced 742cc, made 69hp, and had drum brakes to haul the 560lbs wet machine down from the 130mph top speed. That sounds pretty unimpressive now, but was par for the course at the time among four-cylinder superbikes.

The 750S America that followed, known as the 800 Super America in parts of Europe, increased displacement to 787cc for a bump in horsepower and torque. It also moved the gearshift to the left-hand side in an effort to appeal to the US buyers, which makes sense considering it was marketed as the “America.” This later version was still burdened with that heavy driveshaft, but Arturo Magni, who worked with MV Agusta’s racing team during their heyday, manufactured a chain-drive conversion for the 750S. Magni is still in business, and maybe they can be persuaded to whip up another one for you, if you’re so inclined.

From the original eBay listing: 1975 MV Agusta 750S America

Most of you know the history of MV Agusta, with their 37 world championships with the likes of Read, Surtees and Agostini. The story of this bike is that it was conceived by the U.S. importer, Chris Garville, as a limited-edition (200 for the 1975 model year) sport bike for the American market based on the existing 750 Sport; that bike became known as the 750S America.

This 1975 750S America was one of the earliest models imported into the US, with engine number 221012 and frame number 221009.

First of only two owners was the importer, Garville Corporation, where it was used in displays, shows and magazine tests: as featured in Cycle, Big Bike and Motor Cycle World to name a few. Ownership was then transferred to Peter Garville (brother of importer Chris) in where it stayed in his possession until 1990.

Included with the motorcycle is a large collection of: Factory correspondence to support its provenance, magazine articles specific to this particular motorcycle, period brochures, and spare parts.

For further information please see the recently featured May/June 2018 edition of the American magazine Motorcycle Classics –

https://www.motorcycleclassics.com/classic-italian-motorcycles/classic-mv-agusta-motorcycles/1975-mv-agusta-750s-america-zmwz18mjzhur

As second owner, I acquired the bike from Garville in 1990 by way of famed restorer Perry Bushong (one of the first MV Agusta dealers in the US). Perry and I have had a life long friendship and working relationship. When he heard that this bike was coming up for sale he knew that this bike was for me. When I heard the sound of the 4 into 4 exhaust I was hooked and that is when it became mine. In 1994 I had the opportunity to meet John Surtees at Daytona and he was kind enough to autograph the fuel tank. After that the bike was ridden sporadically, mostly at bike events, rallys and shows until 2014 when I took it back to Perry to ask him to do the restoration, which was completed in the Fall of 2016. We added the curved racing exhaust built by Dave Kay in England, something I had always wanted to do as it looks fantastic and sounds like no other motorcycle on the road!

Sadly in 2017 both Perry and Mr. Surtees passed away within one week of each other.

The 750S was $6,500 when new, the equivalent of around $40,000 in today’s dollars. The starting bid for this one is $75,000 with no bids as yet, but plenty of time left on the auction. Fortunately, this machine has gracefully curved four-into-four exhaust pipes instead of the straight megaphones seen on earlier bikes that look good and sound better. There’s a reason Yamaha’s cross-plane crank has made such a big splash in recent years: traditional flat-plane crank inline fours are powerful, but can be a bit bland. But if you’re expecting the sanitary rustle of a modern four here, you’ll be shocked by the 750S America’s shrieking exhaust note and the bike has thoroughbred handling to match, in spite of the weight.

-tad

Classic Italian Superbike: 1975 MV Agusta 750S America for Sale
Honda November 21, 2018 posted by

Sweet Spot – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30

Beside being a regular on RSBFS, Honda’s VFR750R / RC30 has explored the high peaks of performance and auction prices, from its inaugural Superbike World Championship in 1988 to a never-started example at this year’s Bonhams auction which returned $92,000 !  This Florida bike is more middle of the road, with some 7,000 miles and nice condition.

1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30 for sale on eBay

 

Honda got the balance just right on the RC30, reviewed as a superbike that was not difficult to get great performance from.  Not fire-breathing with 102 hp, but built strong with some titanium hard parts, and a 12,500 rpm redline.  Never the lightest at just over 500 lbs. wet, the center of gravity was fairly low and centralized, easing turn-in.  Honda wasn’t looking to build a tech showcase, but equipped the RC30 with some endurance racing finery like the ELF single-sided swingarm and quick-release front axle.

 

About to acquire just its third owner, this RC30 looks excellent and has a nice spares collection.  Photos aren’t exhaustive but the owner advises it has been displayed indoors for the past 15 years.  From the eBay auction:

Includes: 
  • factory stand
  • owner’s manual 
  • tool kit
  • brochures, 
  • extra factory exhaust (new) 
  • some spare bits
  • gaskets
  • bulbs
  • two keys
  • Florida vanity plate “Bol d’Or”
  • Joey Dunlop Arai helmet, limited edition (800) worn twice

 

Honda lavished even more of their excellent build quality on the VFR750R, and priced it accordingly, about double what most mid-sized sportbikes were at the time.  The starting bid here is somewhat north of what the model has fetched lately, but an eBay auction can be just the beginning of a longer discussion.  RC30 buyers, and more numerous non-buyers, have often been admiring the model for quite a while…

-donn

 

Sweet Spot – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30
Honda November 17, 2018 posted by

Grey and Gold – 1988 Honda CBR400RR

For a few years in the late 1980’s – early 90’s, Honda had double coverage in the 400cc segment with two 4-cylinder 4-strokes, the V-4 VFR and the straight four CBR400RR.  Marketed somewhat differently, the CBR400RR really only made it to the western hemisphere as a grey import, where it has recently shined.  This one comes out of a collection and despite some miles, has been nicely prepared for a future life.

1988 Honda CBR400RR for sale on eBay

Around mid-life for the 400cc model, the NC23 built on past successes and styling from its larger cc brothers.  The nicely oversquare 399cc four has gear driven cams, and a pre-ordained 59 hp are available.  Air-adjustable forks and dual 4-piston disk brakes are up front, with Honda’s beefy Tri-Arm monoshock out back.  Tire sizes are staggered 17 and 18 inches, and exhaust goes 4-into-1.

This owner has brought several bikes forward recently, and has taken some flack for his optimistic assessments.  This CBR though, looks better than advertised with fresh cosmetics, and the long list of mechanical freshenings take some of the concern out of the mileage.  An in depth walk-around is available – here –.  From the eBay auction:

1-Entire new Stainless Steel Exhaust System back to the OEM Can with all new donuts & mounting hardware.

2-Installed new fuel petcock

3-Rebuilt BOTH Front Calipers and the Rear Caliper – Repainted Honda Gold

4-Installed new brake pads front & rear

5-Installed New Gold Chain and new sprockets

6-Rebuilt all 4 carbs using only Honda OEM parts

7-Carbs all Digitally Sync to perfection

8-Installed New Tapered Head Bearings both upper and Lower

9-Installed New OEM Air Filter

10-New Spark plugs

11-Valves adjusted (Shim under bucket) – see pics of valve train and condition of the cam shaft lobes.

The cam lobes show almost ZERO wear!!! Installed new OEM valve cover gasket

12-Installed New rubber cushions in the drive hub

13-Installed new radiator – water pump – thermostat – radiator cap and coolant hoses

14-Installed NEW Rear Shock – big upgrade over the stock one

15-Rebuilt Front forks – new seal – dust caps and used 15w fork oil

With its slightly higher CG and different frame geometry, the CBR didn’t get the handling raves that the VFR did, but it’s a couple of gallons lighter and lives for the twisty bits.  Owner-readers will be able to spot discrepancies, but no one can quibble about the sound of the cam train.  The owner has elected a no-reserve auction, which seems undervalued with two days to run.  Plan ahead for spring !

-donn

 

Honda November 3, 2018 posted by

Collectible Classic: 1990 Honda VFR750R RC30 for Sale

For all the accolades it’s received, the Honda VFR750 RC30 is a subtle machine. To the uninformed, it doesn’t look all that special, especially now that single-sided swingarms have become fairly common. The proportions are good, it’s very compact, and the colors are classy: it’s a handsome bike, but doesn’t appear to be much more than another Japanese sportbike, although one that just looks right. And the spec sheet doesn’t really do much to give the game away either, although hints about that this is a very special machine…

The bike weighed in 458lbs with fuel, coolant, and oil, with power quoted at 118hp, good for a top speed just a shade north of 150mph.  It wasn’t especially lightweight, even at the time, and the power-to-weight looks decidedly tame now. Of course, numbers don’t tell the whole story. They never do. They’re just a useful metric, a way to compare apples to apples. I’m not good enough to test an RC30 against its peers and come away with anything useful to say, other than “that was cool.” And nearly thirty years later, I’m sure it’d be hard to understand the impact of a bike like this when it was introduced if you’re used to riding modern motorcycles, bikes that all learned a trick or two [or ten] from this one.

The RC30 might represent peak Honda: everything is perfectly engineered, and reviewers have always gushed about just how easy it was to get the most out of. As Pirelli says, “Power is nothing without control” and the RC30 was, by all accounts, an easy bike to ride fast, a bike that flatters the rider. The proof is in the pudding, as it were, and the bike won innumerable victories in Superbike and endurance racing. For a racebike, it had a surprisingly long shelf life, and was popular with both factory teams and privateers.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Honda VFR750 RC30 for Sale

  • VIN JH2RC3009LM200170, engine # RC30E-2200324 – matching numbers
  • only 642.8 street miles, never raced, one private owner from 1998
  • unmarked original paint, decals and finish
  • a 49-state ‘no smog’ L-model, one of approx. 316 to US-market spec.
  • climate controlled storage
  • clean, transferable Ohio title

118hp at 11,000rpm, red-line 12,500rpm, 51lbft torque at 7,600rpm, dry weight 400lb, over-square water cooled V4 DOHC, 6-speed, top speed quoted at 153mph

The RC30, a modern classic if ever there was one, was created solely to win the World Superbike Championship, a goal it met in the nascent series’ first and second years, 1988 and 1989. And while American Fred Merkel aboard his Team Rumi-sponsored purple and black RC30 was bringing Honda its first two WSB crowns, Britain’s Carl Fogarty used another RC30 to win the TT F1 World Championship in those same years, and the equivalent FIM Cup a year later in 1990. No mere short circuit scratcher or TT rocket ship, the RC30 proved strong lasting enough to win a bag-full of Endurance Classics, too. ‘That this latter requirement was also part of the design brief may be determined from the fact that a quick-release front fork and single-sided swinging arm – essential for speedy wheel changes – were part of an unrivaled specification that included a twin-spar alloy beam frame, 16-valve V4 engine with gear-driven cams, close-ratio six-speed gearbox and four-pot front brake calipers. All of which did not come cheap: at the time of its launch in 1988 an RC30 cost near double that of other super-sports 750s.’

Despite the passing of 30 years the RC30 remains a match for the following generation of superbikes but possesses an exclusivity that precious few of them can approach. ‘No other bike from the late-Eighties is lusted after like the RC30’, reckoned Bike. ‘And then there’s the exhaust note – loud, of course, but soulful enough to bring a pit crew to tears.’

This RC30 is a beautiful street example that is in stunning, as new, un-raced condition, showing 600-odd miles on the odometer. The original dealer was Cycle Sport Center, Inc. of Cridersville, Ohio. They sold it to Steve Bennett of Domi Racer Distributors, Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio who rode the 600+ miles gently on the street, and then sold it, with a new set of tires, in late 1998 to the current seller, the first private owner. The bike has been meticulously stored unridden and maintained from then on. It comes with the original owners manual, unused tool kit, and the factory key.

A likely never-to-be-repeated opportunity to acquire an ‘as new’ RC30.

This bike, hidden away for 20 years, is in superb condition, so it can justify the label “museum quality.” It re-defines ‘as new.’ Its VIN tag, shown here, illustrates just how clean this bike is.

To maintain the RC30’s original finish, complicated by the use of several colors and many stick-on decals and stripes, it behooves the caretaker to take great care when moving it for photography and preparing it for sale. Remarkably, this bike has had the kid glove treatment from day one.

Foreign sales are invited. The buyer must pickup the bike from the seller. The seller can help with arranging third-party domestic and/or international transportation upon request, at the buyer’s expense. Pickup must take place within 21 days of the payment clearing the bank. Thereafter, storage will be charged at $10 per day.

Contact the seller via email in the first instant. Questions are invited.

Well, I think it’s always a good sign when the seller invites questions and the bike appears to be extremely clean, as you’d expect from a bike with just 600 indicated miles. Experts should feel free to chime in with opinions in the comments, and I’d love someone to fill me in on the signature that is visible on the tail section. I’m guessing it’s Bubba Shobert, who raced 500GP bikes for Honda, but the seller doesn’t seem to mention that little bit of trivia.

-tad

Collectible Classic: 1990 Honda VFR750R RC30 for Sale