Posts by tag: Grand Prix

Yamaha April 30, 2017 posted by

Classy: 1978 Yamaha TZ250

When it came to Grand Prix racing, the Yamaha TZ250 was a class-leading act. Through the late 1970s and early 1980s, Yamaha was a force to be reckoned with, and the privateer racer was the prime beneficiary. Mere mortals – with some racing creds and a pile of cash – could purchase something very close to a factory race bike. Spares were available from your dealer. And the checkered flag was only a small investment away…. Fast forward to today, and the privateer factory GP race bike is all but extinct. Thankfully some still exist in preserved condition. Today’s model does more than that. This example gives you the full TZ250 experience, yet is licensed for the street (!).

1978 Yamaha TZ250 licensed racer on eBay

The 1978 model TZ250 was officially known as a “Series E.” What began in 1972 as an experiment in a water-cooled 250 racer blossomed into a multi-generation product run of a decade or more. The E model is relatively unchanged from the previous gen “D” spec (why fix what isn’t broken?), and touts 53 HP in stock configuration pushing a total package of 260 lbs. The result is certainly enough to get your attention, provided the tach has cleared 7,500 RPM or so. What this was NOT intended for is street bike usage. Regular TZ250 racers lack the electrical system (headlight, tail lamp, etc) and the instrumentation (i.e. speedo) necessary for street use. There are other considerations as well, including the need for an auxiliary radiator fan when stopped – race bikes are not normally designed to hang out at traffic lights.

From the seller:
1978 Yamaha TZ 250 Very rare to have a Title to a TZ250. Looking to sell a couple of my bikes to make space for something else. The TZ runs and rides good. Have a few extras that go with the bike such as pistons, piston rings, extra cylinder jug, another windscreen new, original Mikuni carbs. Any question please ask.

Not a lot of detail as to what went into this street conversion. The pictures definitely show a headlight and tail lamp, so the basics are met. Not sure how – or if – the electrical system was upgraded as a result. No turn indicators shown, so better get some practice in with your hand signals: Left arm straight out to signal left, left arm bent upwards at 90 degrees to indicate right, and middle finger waving way up high to indicate your love for DOT, EPA, and (most likely) the DMV.

Some pretty serious bidding is underway on this one, with the current price below $5k and below reserve. TZ250s are not exactly a dime a dozen these days, so there is some element of rarity right there. TZ250s that are plated for the street?! That is a whole new ball game of rare. Californians (and others in restrictive states) best do their homework first, but if you live in a state that allows it this could be the street bike to beat as far as unique might go. Check it out here, and then jump back to the Comments. Would you rock a GP racer on the street? Let us know!

MI

Classy:  1978 Yamaha TZ250
Honda April 13, 2017 posted by

On Track: 2000 Honda RS250R

Spring has sprung, and you all know what that means, right? Time to dust off those leathers, spoon some fresh rubber onto your favorite scoot, and hit the track. Nothing teaches you about riding consistently like a track day; think of it as your personal canyon road with no cops. And for those of you that long for an elevated track experience (or even to dip your toes into the racing world), you’re going to want a better starting platform than the commuter you currently have. Enter this fantastic RS250R. Honda introduced the RS250R model to be a production race bike – sold to privateers specifically for Grand Prix racing events. This is no converted streetbike; this is a serious track scalpel that was the pinnacle of 250cc racing technology (excluding the factory works Hondas, that is).

2000 Honda RS250R Racer for sale on eBay

Honda introduced the RS250R way back in 1984, and it enjoyed a long run – the last model was released in 2009. Between those years there were several changes. The most notable was to the engine. The original 250cc two stroke motor was a 90 degree twin. The 90 degree vee angle makes a lot of sense from a design perspective given that it provides for perfect primary balance, but the wide angle vee is difficult to package. Thus, in 1993 Honda introduced an updated 250 that utilized a 73 degree motor. This update allowed for the motor to sit (slightly) further forward for better weight bias.

From the seller:
2000 Honda RS250 for sale. Last year for the single sided swing arm.

The bike is well developed and has “0” miles on a completely rebuilt engine (including the gearbox). It has more spares than you can possibly imagine (see Dropbox link), including a spare crank with 500 miles on it. GMD rebuilt front forks, Penske rear shock, new EBC front disks & pads, new chain, etc. In addition, the spares include a complete ’96 engine with 600 miles including carbs/powervalve controller. Complete perfect swing arm with eccentric hub. The intake has been modified with a removable fiberglass snorkel, so that you can use the much nicer ’01-’03 bodywork (which is perfect, btw). The spares also include new ChickenHawk tire warmers, front/rear stands, spare wheels, rains, brand new replated cylinders (done by Millenium..when their work was quality). The RS also comes with AIM GPS, Mychron(5) dash with EGT sensors and the engine also has detonation counters – you can easily tune the jetting using the det. counter or EGT temps. The engine also includes new VHM heads set up to run leaded (C12 or MR12 – used to be MR8 oxygenated fuel). The MR8/12 gives you a little more on the top end, but it’s expensive. It also has brand new carbon fiber silencers on the pipes. You even get 2 Hiatco footpeg stands that came from Jason DiSalvo’s RS250 from 2001. New (few years old) Bridgestone softs are on the wheels which are good for practice, but not necessarily for race.

More from the seller:

I wouldn’t say that you’re getting a better-than-new race bike (though it is), but it’s very, very clean, completely sorted with spares that will last you a long, long time. The RS is located in upstate, NY, zip code 13740. It’s also listed locally, so, this auction will be closed if there is an offline sale. There is no title for a race bike, but you will get a bill of sale.

There are plenty of upsides to a racer. Nothing short of a full factory ride will handle like what you see here. You will need to recalibrate your brain when it comes to braking markers, apexes, and corner entry speeds. You may also have to recalibrate your conception of bike prep, as racers tend to have shorter lifespans between rebuilds. Fortunately, this seller has amassed a phenomenal collection of spare parts, setup hardware (i.e. gearing and the like) and wearable items. What is on the block is far more than just a Grand Prix 250cc racer, but rather an entire package of bike and support gear. This is practically a race team; just add rider.

RS250Rs don’t come our way all that often. If you have the bug (aka circuitous asphaltis rapidicus), you might want to check this one out. There are many more pics of spares and stuff linked off of the auction site, so head on over for all of the details. You might want to work on that brain recalibration while you’re at it. Good Luck!!

MI

On Track: 2000 Honda RS250R
Cagiva January 16, 2017 posted by

Some Assembly Required: 1989 Cagiva 500GP V589 for Sale

We don’t normally post project or incomplete bikes here on RSBFS, but this one seemed too good to pass up: one of Cagiva’s inspired but ultimately doomed series of 500cc GP machines, the V589. Battling against the established giants, Cagiva originally experimented with an inline-four configuration but eventually followed Suzuki’s successful formula with a square four, before switching to a V4 in 1986. They may have struggled to win races, but if bonus points had been awarded for looks, the Cagivas might have stood a better chance, since they’re considered by some to be the prettiest racebikes of all time.

Even if you don’t agree, the specifications are certainly stunning: in an effort to keep up with the more established players, Cagiva experimented with some really wild technology, considering these were racing in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Extensive use of carbon fiber, traction-control, and electronic suspension were all tried to give Cagiva a competitive edge, although consistent success eluded them and they withdrew from competition at the end of 1994.

Earlier machines like this one had clear stylistic links to the Ducati 916 and Cagiva Mito which should be no surprise, as the V589 was designed by Massimo Tamburini. Some versions included a carbon fiber swingarm, although this one has the aluminum version. Much of this V589’s bodywork is missing, but that’s no surprise as those bits are pretty expandable on a race bike. Fortunately, it has the all-important frame, although it sounds like that will require some changes to re-orient the shock, as it was modified at some point to try an alternative configuration.

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Cagiva 500GP V589 for Sale

This is a genuine 1989 Original Factory Works Cagiva V4 500 Grand Prix race bike, as ridden by Randy Mamola etc. It is sold as an incomplete project and is for restoration.

The engine has been rebuilt recently and is fresh but I would still check it as it’s stood for a little while. The factory records confirms the original build date of 23/06/89. The frame is chassis 4, it has a special fuel tank which was used to test the ignition in the tank area and also modified to try a top mount shock rather than the original horizontal fitting. The swing arm and shock are the original horizontal type so the frame would need reverting to take the horizontal mounts. There is a linkage arm, the shock is a special Öhlins 500GP unit made for Cagiva. The dash includes temp gauge, Magnetti Marelli ignition, rectifier, battery, PV controller. There is a radiator, coil packs, PV motor, magnesium wheels with front discs, sprocket, cables for throttle and pv, the complete triple clamp magnesium assembly, footrest hangers, rear master cylinder, cast water pipes, upper front fairing, belly pan with air box sections. There are exhausts and silencers but will need modifying to fit as they are later year. Some small parts also. So it is a very good basis. All the parts are original Cagiva GP but as the bikes changed constantly from race to race some parts are from varied dates and may need work to fit. Please study the photos to see what is included, everything is shown.

The main missing parts are fork legs (Marzocchi or Öhlins were used at various times) carburettors, brake calipers (Brembo or AP were used) seat unit, mid-fairing section, tacho, bars with levers and throttle, wiring, some other small parts.

I can put the buyer in touch with a collector who has other Cagiva parts to finish the bike.

The price for this one-of-a-kind bit of racing history? Just $55,000 but, considering the missing parts and what they will cost to track down or create, this is definitely an “experts only” proposition, but those of us with reasonable means can still look at the possibilities and dream…

-tad

Some Assembly Required: 1989 Cagiva 500GP V589 for Sale
Yamaha January 12, 2017 posted by

Tiny Two-Stroke Terror: 1994 Yamaha TZ125 for Sale

A tiny racebike with big performance, the Yamaha TZ125 was a pure racebike and should not be confused with the TZR series of sportbikes. Handling was thought to be on par with the Honda RS125 but the Yamaha was down slightly on power compared to its rival. At 56mm x 50.7mm bore and stroke, it was oversquare, compared to the slightly underquare Honda, and featured Yamaha’s “YPVS” to boost power. That little two-stroke single was backed by a six-speed gearbox with a dry clutch for extra lightness and improved rattle-osity. The owner’s manual claims 180lb with oil and a full tank of fuel which means you may not need a ramp to unload your bike at the track if you work out regularly…

The listing for this particular bike is very… um brief and doesn’t mention any spares, but several photos of parts are included, so I guess you can always email the seller if you want to know exactly what is included… Even if you’re very familiar with the TZ125, some idea of what you’re getting here would be a very good idea for the seller, especially since these are racebikes that need regular maintenance to keep them running and gearing/jetting changes to perform at their peak.

From the original eBay listing: 1994 Yamaha TZ125 for Sale

No title, no bill of sale, GP 125 for track, spares for a couple of seasons, ready to race. If you don’t know what you’re looking at. Don’t waste our time. This is not a TZR our some sort of race rep. See pics.

The price seems reasonable at $6,000 considering what folks have been asking for other TZ125s but, perhaps as a result of the lack of details, interest in this machine has been pretty limited up until now, with just about 24 hours left on the auction.

-tad

Tiny Two-Stroke Terror: 1994 Yamaha TZ125 for Sale
Honda January 7, 2017 posted by

Grand Prix Dreams: 1990 Honda RS125 for Sale

The second Honda RS125 that’s been up for sale in the past couple weeks, this looks like a more bare-bones offering than the last one we featured, although it still appears to be in decent shape. If you’re not familiar with the RS125, it’s no “race replica”: it’s an over-the-counter competition machine meant for racing, not a stripped-down roadbike. Weighing in at 160lbs with a half-tank of fuel, it is powered by a very slightly undersquare 124.4cc two-stroke single that is backed by a six-speed gearbox.

These tiny two-strokes aren’t for novices: the high-strung little engine makes a stunning 40+hp and that kind of power-to-weight means regular rebuilds, and shepherding the power from that tiny engine requires constant tuning and gearing changes to suit different altitudes, conditions, and tracks. It helps that the competition design means they’re relatively simple to work on, but these are serious Grand Prix motorcycles, and potentially a stepping stone to bigger, faster bikes and more prestigious classes.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Honda RS125 for Sale

Very rare Honda GP racer RS125, 125cc two-stroke single.
Very nice original condition.
1990 model legal to Vintage class racing.
Please see pictures for more detail.
Any questions please ask.
Will ship worldwide.

There’s not much bidding activity so far and no Buy It Now price is listed, so perhaps this bike just hasn’t found its audience yet, or maybe folks are looking for listings with more detailed descriptions? Is it the lack of extras? Spares for these little race bikes are very desirable, owing to the fact that they can be a pain to acquire and will be regularly needed if you plan to keep one running: 125s are often associated with cheap, reliable transportation, but the RS125 is a racing machine, and will require regular tuning and maintenance if the new owner intends to use the bike for its intended purpose.

-tad

 

 

Grand Prix Dreams: 1990 Honda RS125 for Sale
Honda July 22, 2016 posted by

Grand Prix in Miniature: 1993 Honda RS125 for Sale

1993 Honda RS125 L Side3

Growing up, my only experience with two-strokes was in leaf blowers: I didn’t ride dirt bikes, and two-stroke sportbikes were long gone by the time I got into motorcycles. A thudding v-twin sounds like sex, and the technology that allows a four to scream to 16,000rpm boggles my mind while the noise makes my hair stand on end. But the tinny snarl of a two-stroke engine? Basically it reminded me of Sunday morning hangovers…

But I’m an adult, and adults can admit when they’ve been wrong about something. And I really want a two-stroke race bike like this Honda RS125.

1993 Honda RS125 Rear Wheel

Of course, there are problems with my revised worldview. First of all, I’m a bit too big for something like this: an RS125 weighs something like 160lbs, meaning I weigh more than the bike, and my 6’2” height means it might be a little bit… Cramped, to say the least. That’s not so say that larger riders can’t ride them. It’s just that 180lb rider needs to be very careful about body positioning as their weight will more dramatically affect handling than it would for a smaller rider. In the plus column, their light weight means 125s crash better than heavier bikes…

1993 Honda RS125 L Side Rear

The RS125 wasn’t based on a road bike: it was a pure racing machine, an entry-level, over-the-counter tool that professionals and privateers could order from Honda to cut their teeth on in wheel-to-wheel competition. Powered by a liquid-cooled, two-stroke single with nearly square dimensions of 54mm x 54.5mm and backed by a 6-speed gearbox, the bike was good for 32hp and a 130mph top speed with the rider flat on the tank. Very, very flat on the tank…

Riders like Loris Capirossi and Dani Pedrosa got their starts racing RS125s, and if it was good enough for them, it’s good enough for you, or your kid to go racing.

1993 Honda RS125 Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Honda RS125 for Sale

Original Honda Grand prix racer RS125.

Hard to find and very fast !

Please see picture for more detail.

Bike runs, (not race ready Not race for 20 or more year)

Will ship worldwide.

1993 Honda RS125 Tank

The starting bid is $5,000 and there are no takers yet, with five days left on the auction. This example is a little rough around the edges, but those bare plastics just mean you can get wild with graphics, replicate your favorite historic racing team’s colors, or just leave them bare. The listing is very spare, which is a shame, since it’d be nice to know about the bike’s maintenance history and any parts that come with it. These are racebikes, and you’re unlikely to find what you need to tune and maintain them at your local Honda dealer, so included spares are a big selling point.

And that’s really the issue with two-stroke sportbikes of this era in general: spares are getting thin on the ground. I’d expect that, at some point, someone will start making parts for them as two-stroke sport bikes of this era are becoming more desirable but, until that happens, be sure to do your homework if you plan to do more than display your RS125.

-tad

1993 Honda RS125 R Side

Grand Prix in Miniature: 1993 Honda RS125 for Sale
Harley Davidson May 29, 2015 posted by

Italo-American GP Machine: 1977 Harley-Davidson RR250 for Sale

1977 Harley Davidson 250GP L Front

Today’s Harley-Davidson RR250 may be new to most of you. We don’t get the opportunity to feature Harley-Davidson motorcycles on this site too often, unless we’re talking about throbbing pushrod v-twins hiding in quirky Buells. And all the “boat-anchor” jokes aside, Harley has plenty of racing heritage, although mostly outside of what interests most of us: roadracing. But back in the 1970’s, Harley took advantage of its partial ownership of small-bore specialist Aermacchi to mount a successful Grand Prix racing program.

1977 Harley Davidson 250GP R Side

These bikes were basically a pair of Yamaha dirt bike engines welded up, and that kept running costs very reasonable and should make parts relatively easy to source today. The resulting motorcycle was actually lighter than the Yamaha’s TZ machines and proved to be very competitive: starting in 1973, Harley-badged Aermacchi two-stroke parallel twins won three 250cc championships in a row, and bikes were raced as late as 1978.

1977 Harley Davidson 250GP L Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Harley-Davidson RR250 for Sale

Harley Davidson RR250

Gran Prix Year 1977

Bimota Frame

Water cooled

Twin Cylinder

Ex-Official Machine

Fully restored

1977 Harley Davidson 250GP R Front

The listing is obviously very spare, and doesn’t tell us much about the bike. Does it run, or is it intended as a display piece? If it’s an “ex-official machine,” were there any notable riders or successes?

The bike is located in Rimini, Italy, but that’s no surprise, since there weren’t too many opportunities for these bikes to race in the US. And since it’s never going to be registered for road use, importing it shouldn’t be too difficult. Regardless, it looks like it’s in excellent physical shape, so collectors can be sure it’ll look great displayed in your living room.

-tad

1977 Harley Davidson 250GP L Side

Italo-American GP Machine: 1977 Harley-Davidson RR250 for Sale
Honda November 30, 2014 posted by

Start Small: 1994 Honda RS125 Race Bike for Sale

1994 Honda RS125 L Side

While it’s a hard pill to swallow for newly-minted track-day heroes with visions of tire-spinning corner exits, the best way to learn to be fast is by building good habits in an environment where every single pony counts. Hitting the track on a GSX-R1000 will allow a newer rider to lap at some mind-bending speeds, but you can be pretty lazy on a bike that powerful and still feel like you’re going fast. Then a rider who really knows what they’re doing sails past you on a 600…

So it may be a blow to the ego, but riders who want to learn how to go fast should start small. How small? How about Honda RS125 small?

1994 Honda RS125 R Side

Racing a 125 is about managing momentum and making the most of what very little horsepower is available. Shepherding that power is an endless game of charts and graphs, gearing and air density to maximize power in the garage, and a constant battle with the wind on track, minimizing air-resistance to maximize efficiency and speed.

Then there’s the pack of other riders to contend with, all battling for the same space on track, drafting you for that extra bit of speed.

Although a rider’s physical size does make a difference, don’t think that if you’re not built with jockey-like proportions, you can’t ride a 125. Bigger guys do need to be very careful with weight placement: with bikes weighing in at 160lbs dry, many bigger racers will outweigh the machines they’re riding. But this has a nice side benefit, as 125’s tend to do less damage to themselves when they crash, skimming along the ground instead of digging in and tumbling, shedding bits as they go…

1994 Honda RS125 Dash

The RS125 was introduced in 1988 and went through several iterations during its life. It was a pure racing motorcycle available to professionals, amateurs, and privateers, an over-the-counter race bike. 125’s are generally considered a “gateway drug,” a stepping-stone to bigger bikes: learn to be fast on these, then move up to 250’s and so on. Many World Champion Moto GP riders got their start on one of these little two-strokes, including Loris Capirossi and Dani Pedrosa, who each won the 125 World Championship on a 125 Honda.

Compared to the Yamaha TZ125, the Honda is generally thought of as being more user-friendly, better set up right out of the box. But while Honda’s 125 may be great for entry-level racers, don’t mistake “user-friendly” for “low-maintenance”: these are two-stroke GP bikes, pure racers, and pistons get replaced every 300 miles. Other parts last longer, but these bikes require more care and feeding than a modern four-stroke.

1994 Honda RS125 Carb Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1994 Honda RS125 for Sale

Very nice, clean and original Honda RS125 factory race bike. I bought this in the late 90’s in Japan from the original owner/rider.  It was run at the famous Suzuka circuit track(see tech inspection stickers in photos)  just a few times before being garaged and has not been raced since.  I have fired it up a few times over the years and drove it around my industrial complex to keep it in running order but mostly it has sat on a shelf in my office as a display/conversation piece.  It is very rare to find one of these in clean unmolested condition.  Most race bikes for sale have been abused, crashed or pieced together with a patchwork of different parts and not suitable for a collection or track day event.  The Honda RS125’s dominated the competition during this period winning 5 World Championship Titles from 1990-1996.  This bike has very minor scratches, a few track rock chips on the lower fairing and a 3″ crack on the right side of the windscreen (see pictures),but shows incredibly well for a race bike of this age.  Unless you find one of these new in the crate, this may be your best opportunity to pick one of these up in this condition.   Race bikes don’t have titles in California but will be sold with a bill of sale.

Buyer to pickup in Torrance, CA or I may be able to deliver to a local freight company (I will not crate or box due to fragility of fairing)

1994 Honda RS125 Cockpit

From the description, this is currently more of a display piece and is in very nice physical condition for a bike that was meant to be used hard, and it shouldn’t take much work to get it back into fighting shape. Bidding on this is active but is currently only up to $2,500 and the reserve has not been met, but you’d better move quickly if you’re interested: there are just a few hours left on this auction!

If you’re an acolyte at the Temple of Lean, handy with a wrench, and want to experience the thrill of a genuine race bike that won’t kill you if you look at it funny, this would be a great place to start.

-tad

1994 Honda RS125 L Side Front No Fairing

 

 

Start Small: 1994 Honda RS125 Race Bike for Sale