Posts by tag: gear-driven cams

Honda April 22, 2020 posted by

Band of Horses – 1996 Honda RVF400R / NC35

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

1994 Honda RVF400R for sale on eBay

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

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

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

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

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

-donn

Band of Horses – 1996 Honda RVF400R / NC35
Honda February 12, 2020 posted by

Little Brother: 1989 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

If you haven’t seen Honda’s legendary RC30 in person, it’s easy to mistake the smaller, 400cc VFR400R NC30 for that iconic homologation machine. The smaller headlights of the more widely produced NC30 give the game away, although it shares very similar looks, like an RC30 that was put in the dryer on high heat for a little too long. Most importantly, it retains the distinctive single-sided Pro-Arm swingarm that looks trick and simplifies rear-wheel changes under racing conditions.

Both bikes share the same engine V4 engine configuration, with gear-driven overhead cams and the same 360° “big bang” crankshaft that improves traction at the rear wheel. The NC30 is physically smaller than its bigger sibling, but is also significantly lighter at about 400lbs wet, compared to nearly 490lbs for the RC30. That means that the NC30’s 60hp or so can still move the bike along smartly, and the bike is famous for its agile handling.

The non-standard muffler of this example does feature a cool carbon-kevlar weave pattern that looks pretty evocatively 80s, but also betrays a bit of grindage on the leading corner of the can itself, and on the bend of the pipe as it snakes around the rear wheel. Extremely exuberant cornering, or evidence of a minor low-side crash? It’s hard to tell from the pics, but it doesn’t look like there’s any other damage to the frame, fairing lower, or brackets to indicate what’s gone on here. There’s also a bit of corrosion on the front fork lowers, but that’s to be expected on a bike that’s spent most of its life in a salty, humid environment.

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

Rare bike from Japan! VFR400R NC30

VIN: NC30-1007049

Year: 1989

Mileage:  4,500km (2,795 miles)

Condition: There’s tiny scratch, tiny crack on cowling. There’s broken a little bit at back side of right side cowling.

But still looks VERY GOOD condition, Original paint. Muffler is aftermarket product. 

Of course, running very well. There is no American title. But Japanese registration, bill of sale and import documents are included.

We have more detail of pictures and movie for this bike. Please contact me feel free if you interested. This bike is currently stored in Florida, so there is no hassle to import in the United States. After a successful bid, go to Orlando, Florida to pick up and arrange a delivery. Please note that shipping fee will be charged separately.

This is newly-imported, and stashed in Florida, the very epitome of a permissive DMV. It just needs an enterprising new owner to brave the bureaucratic nightmare of their local DMV and give this sharp little bike a new home. I prefer the more common red/white/blue colors, but the miles are extremely low and the bike looks very clean, minor rash on the exhaust aside.

-tad

Little Brother: 1989 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale
Honda January 17, 2020 posted by

Head to the Cape: 1991 Honda VFR400R NC30

The iconic grey bike in the US, the NC30 – also known as the baby RC30 thanks to common family DNA – ranks as one of the sweetest of the 400cc set. There is nothing this models lacks: good looks, fantastic sounds (gear driven cams, don’t you know), razor sharp handling, adjustable suspension and all the performance you could expect from a bike of this capacity. Sadly never officially imported to our shores, these models have become more common in recent years as riders rediscover the joys of limited displacement motivation. There is a wealth of knowledge available, and parts are still in relatively decent supply. Rare in the US (and not that common elsewhere), a 400cc import could make a fine collector that is worth riding. Today’s example, while located in South Africa, ticks many of the right boxes and is worth a look.

1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 for sale on eBay

The VFR400R is the perfect example of the Honda philosophy. Whereas small-bore bikes were often the arena for starter motorcycles built on a tight budget, Honda jumped into the deep end of engineering. The chassis is a renowned twin-spar aluminum frame that holds a single-sided swing arm. This distinctive feature – taken from the all-conquering RC30 racer – originally was designed to facilitate rapid tire changes on the racetrack. With a single nut, the rear wheel can be exchanged quickly and without the need to readjust chain tension. Most of the rest of the bike follows that racetrack theme, including the bodywork and twin headlights that echo those of the endurance racer. Motive power is supplied by an oversquare V-4 featuring four valves per cylinder and driven by straight cut gears. That is part of the unique sound produced by these models. The rest of the soundtrack is the flat bark of the exhaust provided by the 360 degree big bang firing order. In all, figure 60 horsepower in this mid-300 pound package.

From the seller:
Thanks for taking the time to view my listing on this immaculate, low mileage example of an Honda VFR400R.
The pictures speak for themselves. It will be difficult to obtain one in this condition with such a low starting price and NO RESERVE!
All original body kit and paint.
The engine is in perfect condition and the fueling is spot on.
A full service was done recently which included the replacement of the fork seals and dust covers.
I have been involved with importing, selling and repairing NC30,s for the past 27 years and I have not seen a more perfect example than the one advertised in many years.

We have seen this particular seller before, and all the bikes look extremely clean. South Africa might not be the ideal locale for US-based buyers, but with just 11,000 KMs on the clocks it is not often we find such a nice example. The plastics look to be complete and serviceable, and the lack of obvious modification is a plus. Think about it: this bike was in the showroom nearly 30 years ago. Someone took good care of it for it to emerge in the shape it is today. Check out all of the details here, start planning your vacation, and Good Luck!!

MI

Head to the Cape: 1991 Honda VFR400R NC30
Honda November 28, 2019 posted by

Gym Buddy – 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30

Sport riders tend to head toward the lighter side when working on their skills or the racetrack beckons.  Now closer to thirty years of age than twenty, the NC30 is a perfect choice for a workout partner.  This grey import is even more unusual in the black / red livery.

1992 Honda VFR400R NC30 for sale on eBay

From across the four-lane it would be easy to confuse the NC30 with its 750cc sibling, but the general scale ( and 400R decals ) give it away.  The 59 hp are responsible for motivating only 364 lbs. dry, and it stays under 400 lbs. with full fuel.  Right wrist and gearbox will get exercise, since peak power is at just under 13,000 rpm.  Don’t miss shoulder day too often, since the compact package and 16-front / 18-rear wheel stagger will keep weight on the bars.  The last-gen NC30 had the 360-degree “big bang” crank, shows off the rear wheel courtesy of the left-hand muffler, and sports a 14,500 rpm redline.

A little light on pictures and description, this example calls for more information.  In the meantime we can enjoy the striking livery, new Battlaxes , and carbon muffler, and no evident damage.  From the eBay auction:

I have for sale a very rare color combination 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30, new tires , brakes, forks rebuilt, bike is in a good condition , has aftermarket exhaust , 18,000 kilometers (11,300 miles).

Comes with Vermont registration in my name which can be registered in any state.

Won’t need your headphones at this gym, just earplugs, as the gear driven cams will be music to your ears.  Reviewers advised that the NC30 had fallen off the sharp edge of the 399cc class, but the smooth power delivery, soft spring rates, and high build quality resulted in high overall ratings.  Even with its high ask, this one deserves further investigation.

-donn

Gym Buddy – 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30
Honda October 17, 2019 posted by

Spitting Image: 1989 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

Speaking of 400s… This grey market Honda VFR400R NC30 looks for all the world like it’s bigger, 750cc brother, the superbike homologation special VFR750R, also known as the RC30. The two machines can be pretty hard to tell apart, and just the smaller headlights and narrower real wheel give the game away without looking closely. Side-by-side, the NC30 is visibly smaller, but has the same sleek, 90s shape, beam frame, single-sided swingarm, and classic graphics.

Both bikes are powered by V4 engines with gear-driven overhead cams and a 360° “big bang” firing order that gives the bike its distinctive exhaust note, overlaid with the whine from the cam timing gears. That stunningly engineered Pro-Arm swingarm is heavier than a double-sided unit, but makes for quicker rear tire changes during endurance racing pit stops. The smaller engine also means much less weight, and the NC30 weighs just 400lbs wet, compared to the RC30’s nearly 490lbs.

Handling is brilliant and the bike is a popular track day mount overseas, although they’re a little too rare and a little too pricey to make much sense here in the US. Not that it would stop me from thinking seriously about it. It’s a very compact, lightweight machine, and the 60 or so horses feel stronger than you’d expect. I had the opportunity to take an extended spin on one, and it was plenty comfortable, although a guy my height does look a little like the proverbial “monkey humping a football.”

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

Pretty clean 1989 Honda VFR400 NC30 with only 8,021 original miles [12,909km]. The bike starts right up and runs and drives good. Everything works like they should, except for the missing seat lock and rear view mirrors. Got a Buy It Now price of $8,500 or will consider the nearest best offer. Got a clean and clear title in hand.

Please ask all questions and clear all doubts before bidding. It is the buyer’s responsibility to inspect the bike prior to bidding. Call 646 361 8452 to come inspect the bike. The bike is being sold “as is” with no warranties. All sales final with no refunds and no returns.

There are just hours left on the auction, and the Buy It Now price seems in line with the bike and its apparent condition. I’m generally much more interested in European exotica, but the NC30 is on my very short list of bikes to own.

-tad

Spitting Image: 1989 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale
Honda October 13, 2019 posted by

Wild East – 1988 Honda CBR250R

During the 80’s heyday, Honda showed a graduated selection of displacements with two- or four-stroke engines in various configurations.  The early CBR250R was destined for an upscale beginner and came to the U.S. only via the grey market.  This 1988 four cylinder 250 looks good and its black/gold livery doesn’t stretch the truth with racey graphics.

1988 Honda CBR250R for sale on eBay

When introduced in 1986, the CBR250R was at the high end of sporty convention with alloy spar chassis, Pro-Link monoshock and big front disk brake.  The 1/4-liter inline was nicely oversquare, almost a requirement when pushing the 2-inch pistons to 18,000 rpm.  With gear-driven cams and 4-into-1 exhaust, no trouble putting together the legislated limit of 45 hp.  For 1988 there were twin headlights on the full fairing, and pillion accommodation for a JDM teen from thirty years back.

This NYC owner has several classic sportbikes at auction, none with hi-res photos however.  Showing just over 4,000 miles with no particular damage or corrosion.  Though it’s shown without plates, the owner states clear title and good running condition, and in the eBay auction can’t argue with pretty clean:

PRETTY CLEAN 1988 HONDA CBR 250  MC19 WITH ONLY 4,123 ORIGINAL MILES (6,636 KM).  THIS BIKE RUNS AND DRIVES GOOD.  EVERYTHING WORKS LIKE THEY SHOULD.  IN MY OPINION THE BIKE IS IN EXCELLENT CONDITION FOR A BIKE OF THIS AGE.  HOWEVER, THERE ARE IMPERFECTIONS DUE TO AGE.  GOT A BUY IT NOW PRICE OF $8,500 OR WILL CONSIDER THE NEAREST BEST OFFER.  GOT A CLEAN AND CLEAR TITLE IN HAND.

Different than fire-breathing superbikes or more powerful smokers, this early CBR still has rarity on its side plus the gem-like engine.  The dual headlight look is classic and this one might be a nice rolling resto as cosmetics are tuned up.  Not much to compare it to, but the buy-it-now might be a little rich for 249 cc’s – however the Make Offer button is lit.

-donn

Wild East – 1988 Honda CBR250R
Honda July 25, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30

Update 7.24.2019: Paul has renewed his Featured Listing for this NC30 and dropped the price to $9,700. He also notes mileage has gone up slightly as he does ride it once a week. Good luck to buyers and seller! -dc

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: $9,700 (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 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