Posts by tag: gear-driven cams

Honda June 20, 2020 posted by

Cleaniac – 1996 Honda RVF400R / NC35

Honda’s lightweight RVF400R has had a bit of a resurgence here on RSBFS lately, suspension updates making it the ultimate small V-4.  Here’s a Houston edition that looks unfettered and super clean.

1996 Honda RBF400R for sale on eBay

Honda couldn’t do much to improve the 399cc’s power and stay within the law, and the chassis dimensions, remain the same as the VFR400R.  Still carburetted with four 30mm Keihin’s fed by the fresh air tubes from in front of the mirrors.  The tires got a little wider and are both 17’s, and forks are now upside down, with a hair less trail than the VFR.  Bodywork was modernized, with fox-eye headlights that were more Fireblade than RC45.

Just a little history on this RVF, though it evidently hasn’t been ridden on the road by the seller.  Very sharp for almost 11,000 miles and a quarter century.  From the eBay auction:

Excellent condition all stock original condition with few minor blemishes from normal use.  It have 17,520 Kilometers runs and shifts great with smooth and powerful V4 Honda race engine.  Those are rare superbikes and this bike was imported from Japan and I did not ride it much since it was part of my little Honda collection and it was never abused, red-lined, raced or tempered with.  I changed the battery (Yuasa) changed oil (fully synthetic) and new Honda filter.

Can’t take anything away from the current small-sport singles, some are even racier and lighter, but lack the symphony of gear-driven cams, 360-degree crank and 14,500 rpm redline.  No fairing mounted speakers required for these tunes, just a twist of the wrist.  Without the usual wear and dirt, the buy-it-now per pound is pretty high, but might be worth pursuing.

-donn

 

Cleaniac – 1996 Honda RVF400R / NC35
Honda June 11, 2020 posted by

Vee Four: 1995 Honda RVF400R NC35 for Sale

Modern 400s are generally geared towards new or budget-minded riders, but can still be very capable sportbikes: I spent a session or two recently chasing one around Buttonwillow, and it turns out a Ninja 400 can work up a surprising turn of speed. In spite of that, they’re still pretty basic machines, specification-wise. But a couple decades ago, bikes like the Honda RVF400R NC35 gave nothing away to the most exotic roadgoing machines, other than a few cubic centimeters of displacement…

A race-bred V4 engine with a “big-bang” 360° crank, gear-driven cams, a distinctive single-sided swingarm and a rear wheel held on by a single large nut… there were no compromises on the NC35, other than those slightly tacky plastic snorkels jutting out of the tank that feed fresh air to the airbox. The 399cc only put out a claimed 59hp and most of the power is produced up near 13,000rpm, but what is available at lower revs is pretty usable and the bike won’t feel as sluggish as the meager power might suggest.

This example isn’t a particularly museum-quality bike: the tail section doesn’t look original, the no-name exhaust isn’t stock, and those polished wheels definitely aren’t going to be to everyone’s taste. The carbon intake tubes do look much nicer than the plastic originals, but again: not original. All of that also means the $11,990 asking price might be a bit on the high side for a bike that’s more an interesting rider than a really collectible example of Honda’s baby V4 sportbike.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Honda RVF400R NC35 for Sale

In 1994, Honda introduced the RVF400, or NC35. Successor to the VFR400 (not confusing at all), the NC35 was two things: a mini-me of the legendary RC45 and one of the greatest 400s ever built. Just like its 750cc big brother, the NC35’s fit and finish was top-notch, and the model had all the trappings of a full-size superbike in a potent 400cc package.

Odometer is in kilometers (16,209 kms or 10,075 miles)

Ride away at a price you’ll love. Our selection of pre-owned powersports are certified to the highest maintenance standards, ensuring that all of our customers are not only riding in style, but that they’re also riding with safety in mind. Since 2018, we’ve dedicated our efforts to guiding and advising our clients about the best units on the market. We offer a wide range of options, and our professional team is here for your every need.

The RVF400R is pretty uncommon here in the USA, but not impossible to find if you look around, or have the means to import one. If the seller is willing to negotiate on that price, it could be a pretty cool rolling restoration while you track down original bits from overseas, or a really fun project if you raid the Tyga parts catalog for bodywork and performance upgrades…

-tad

Vee Four: 1995 Honda RVF400R NC35 for Sale
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