Posts by tag: gray market

Featured Listing May 12, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing – 1983 Honda CB1100R

Honda went endurance racing in the early 1980’s, to learn things there was really no other way to know, with long stretches of Wide Open Throttle for unlimited class machines.  RSBFS reader Par brought this homologation special home from Europe and has had it tuned to match the very nice cosmetics.

1983 Honda CB1100R for sale in Phoenix

Though it has passing similarities to the CB1100F and 900F, the CB1100R is engineered for long weekends at the track.  With 10:1 compression and upgraded cams, the 1100R would like premium or race gas to get to its rated 120hp.  The engine is rigidly mounted as a stressed part of the chassis, which helps handling but transmits more vibration to the rider.  The twin rear shocks and right-side-up forks denote the decade, both multi-adjustable.  Four piston calipers are fed by braided lines but the disks are more exotic, 296mm of cast stainless with internal venting.  Gold anodized Comstar wheels were wide for the day, at 2.5 and 3.0 inches.  Hand-laid carbon fiber was used for the fairings, and there is a theoretical pillion ( required for homologation ) under the tail fairing.

Par is a longtime fan of the CB1100R, and knows their strengths and foibles.  Surprisingly stock, right down to the black-finished muffler.  Along with its rarity and very good condition, the bombproof build and recent maintenance can give the new owner confidence in the ride.

Par’s comments on the CB1100R:

Very rare 1983 CB1100R for sale.  To my knowledge it’s the only one in the states.

I used to have one of these bikes that I bought new in 1983 and rode for several years and from that point on it has always been my favorite bike. I was over working in Europe last year and found this bike for sale and could not resist buying it. I was not disappointed, it still rides like a dream. The bike is not mint but in very good shape for a bike that is almost 40 years old. After I brought it back I had mechanics go through the bike very thoroughly and all I ended up having to do was having the valves adjusted properly, rebuilt/cleaned the carburetors and rebuilt the rear brake. It now runs and rides as new and is 100% stock. And has 92,400 kilometers on it.

Extremely Rare Classic Collectable.  Only 1500 full-powered CB1100R D series were built and none were imported into the U.S. The B and C series were only 100 hp.

The RD is painted in pearlescent red, white and blue. The engine covers are painted in gloss black, the gold covers received a much deeper color than the earlier models. The engine shares many parts with the CB1100F bike. The rear swing arm is made of rectangular steel painted silver.

“The ‘R’ bikes were produced in limited quantities from 1981 to 1983 to compete in factory endurance racing in Europe. They have been touted as “the ultimate peak of development for the DOHC, air-cooled, twin shock, across-the-frame four.” and dominated their racing class in 81, 82 & 83. To this day, they are considered comparable to many “modern” sport bikes. Only a few lucky people in the United States will be privileged to own a CB1100R-D as they were never officially made available for the U.S. market.”

Honda was very successful with these bikes in the famous Isle of Man TT races and they were piloted by legendary riders such as Wayne Gardner, “Rocket” Ron Haslam and Joey Dunlop.

Par asks $35,000 for his CB1000R and welcomes offers by email – here –.

Honda did well with the CB1100R, especially in Australian and New Zealand 6-hour events, the Bol D’Or and the Isle of Man.  The clock keeps ticking however, and Honda adopted their V-4 for 1984 and brought the VF1000R.  But even the homologation special wasn’t the “endurance racer for the road” that the CB1100R was, and 1981-83 models are a distinct moment in Honda history.  Par’s sorted example looks ready to bring that experience to the next owner.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1983 Honda CB1100R
Yamaha May 1, 2020 posted by

Formation Flight – 1985 Yamaha RZ500 with 4,600 miles !

With a pair of 250cc engines driving a common output shaft providing two power strokes on every revolution, Yamaha’s RZ500 pushed nearly 200 hp per liter, even in street trim.  This sharp Michigan example has been in storage but was recently freshened up for riding season.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on eBay

The RZ’s engine is almost a cube, with four 26mm Mikuni carburetors looking out to the side-mounted airboxes from the valley of the 50-degree V.  Individual expansion chambers wend their way back, with the upper cylinders’ pipes tucked into the seat fairing.  88 hp was available at a wailing 9,500 rpm, with the torque band was stretched by the YPVS power valve system.  The chassis was steel tubing and the forks were right-side-up, though the monoshock was underneath the engine to make room for the exhausts.

With just over 4,600 miles, this RZ had to be in storage before the present owner.  Just some stress cracking on the chin scoop is apparent, with none of the usual garage rash and corrosion.  The seller waited seven years to re-commission it for the road, and has the following comments in the eBay auction:

New Battery
New Tires
New Chain
New Wheel Bearings
New Tapered steering head bearings
Changed transmission Oil
Cleaned float bowls on carbs
New Shut off valve for fuel
New front Brake Pads
Amsoil Dominator Synthetic injector oil
New fork seals, Race tech Springs, Gold valves, Modified damper rods (per Race Tech) 20 wt oil
With modifying damper rods the Anti Dive units are inactive (left them for stock appearance)
 
This is a very nice mostly all Original RZ, Starts first kick most every time hot or cold, shifts and clutches fine, pulls all the way to redline.
 
All lights work, horn, blinkers, brake light, gauge lights

The RZ500 waited more than 10 years to hit the streets after the YZR500 race machine’s 1973 introduction, but by then the U.S. and a good part of Europe had declared two-strokes unwelcome.  So every RZ500 seen will be a gray market import with limited history, and a KMH speedo with MPH sub-titles.  This one’s about as nice as they come without claims of a collection or museum, and the auction’s at $11K with five days to run.  With recent sales in the low $20’s, a lot of us will just be watching, at least to see where the reserve is set.

-donn

Formation Flight – 1985 Yamaha RZ500 with 4,600 miles !
Honda December 29, 2019 posted by

What Could Be – 1986 Honda NS400R

With most riders expecting the best part of 200 hp per liter, later two-strokes of middling displacement are often treated like caged animals. This Honda V-3 doesn’t appear to have been babied, but does boast current California registration.

1986 Honda NS400R for sale on eBay

Honda acknowledged that the 500cc GP formula was not going to be won with the four stroke NR500, and returned to the podium with the NS500.  Wishing to capitalize on their success within Japanese regulations, they presented a 387cc race lookalike, which was brought stateside in a plain gray wrapper.  The surprisingly symmetrical triple had two forward cylinders and the third more vertical.  The bank of three 26mm Keihin carburetors are plumbed directly in from the top, with the outside exhausts riding underneath and the center taking a scenic underseat route to the license plate.  Even with Honda’s ATAC power valve, acceleration below 7,000 rpm is gradual, then a controlled explosion to the 9,500 rpm peak of 72 hp.

Thirty-plus years on, almost every bike will have some unknowable history.  This example has evidently received more attention on the mechanical side than to the out-front details that grab eyeballs.  Seems like doing about 10% of the required beautification would make a 90% improvement.  From the eBay auction:

Just serviced and ready to ride.  Has some cosmetic issues as can be seen in the pictures, but the previous owner installed a brand new engine which has less than 1,000 km or less than 600 miles on it, even though the odometer reads 26,296 km which is about 16,400 miles.  Odometer may change slightly as it is ridden occasionally to keep it in great running condition.  Starts easily and runs great, but needs new kill switch assembly.
Previous owner had installed a new engine, and we rode this bike a few times over the years, but with 60 bikes in the collection it did not get ridden very often. I had it completely serviced in August 2019 and new CDI units were installed (this bike uses two).  Just had the carbs cleaned last week so it is running fine.  The bike has a CA title and registration and I have it in hand.

The livery on this NS400R is similar to Honda’s GP works livery in the early 1980’s, when Freddie Spencer was quickly drafted from Honda’s AMA Superbike effort.  Spencer hit pay dirt in 1985, winning at Daytona as well as the 500cc and 250cc GP championships.  This NS400R has a lot of question marks – high mileage, engine change, and pictures that serve only to start a conversation.  But if some of those could be resolved, it might justify the owner’s reference to a high-dollar Mecum auction winner.

-donn

What Could Be – 1986 Honda NS400R
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 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 March 6, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing – 1990 Honda VFR400R / NC30 – Super Clean !

Update 4.16.2018: This bike is SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Long-time friend and regular around RSBFS, Greg at Deftone Cycles had some kind of luck with his last shipment of gray-market machines. This 1990 VFR400R has just about 14,000 km ( 8,500 miles ) but the condition is exceptional.  The third generation was certainly the charm for the petite Honda, as the NC30 variant had the widest torque band, least twitchy handling, and outstanding build quality.

1990 Honda VFR400 for sale on eBay

The NC30 was built for 4 years, an eternity in the fast-moving sportbike world.  Honda’s well-tested 399cc V-4 generates the nice whir of gear-driven cams, as well as 59 hp.  The NC30 re-introduced the 360-degree crankshaft, where pairs of cylinders fire together for a torquier delivery.  The chassis was revised for the 1990 model year and reviewed as the strongest and most stable of the 400-four stroke group.  House suspension is adjustable for preload and rebound, and triple discs are appropriately sized at 269mm.  Styled like its 750cc sibling, the VFR400 shows off the single-sided swingarm with a 4-2-1 left side exhaust.

Requiring very little refurbishment, this monochromatic VFR is stock except for the exhaust and without most of the usual corrosion.  Greg has this to say about the bike :

100 percent stock. Except aftermarket Header and Silencer.
Condition: Excellent.
Right side lower fairing stress cracks.
Small hairline fracture upper left.
Mileage: 8,647 / 13,917 Km

Though shoot-outs from the day accused Honda of resting on their laurels, the easier-to-ride VFR400 may have been the best solution for its intended fledgling riders, if not aspiring racers.  The drivetrain is more tractable than the usual pint-size, and the package is surprisingly capable for a junior – skilled riders will find their rewards.  Deftone Cycles asks $7,500 for the pleasure and Greg can be reached – here –

-donn

Featured Listing – 1990 Honda VFR400R / NC30 – Super Clean !
Honda December 8, 2017 posted by

Veteran of Foreign Wars – 1988 Honda CBR250R

Our fans have recently been treated to a fairly steady stream of small-sports, most often nice and sometimes in mint shape.  But what if you could pick up a high-mileage rider and restore it on your terms ?  This former daily driver didn’t garner any bids last time out and is up again with a sensible reserve.

1988 Honda CBR250R for sale on eBay

 

Honda introduced the in-line four 250 in 1986, and the peppy mill revs to 18,000 rpm on its way to 40 hp.  Gear-driven cams provide a vintage whine, as well as low maintenance.  Updates for 1988 included dual headlights, single-disk front brake, and a revised fuel pump.  Despite its 350 lb. ready-to-ride weight, the CBR250R has relaxed middleweight ergonomics.

 

Almost certainly the victim of too many owners, this MC19 has no major damage, but wear, corrosion and rash in every quadrant.  Not extreme but fairly high miles, some new parts but needing much more.  From the eBay auction-

JDM 1988 Honda CBR250R with 33k kilometers (20,400 miles). New rear tire, windscreen, levers, rear brake pads, intake manifolds. Scratches, paint chips, small dents consistent with being 29 years old. See photos for details.

Yes! It has a clear California title in my name, ready to transfer to a lucky Honda fanatic. You aren’t going to get many chances to own and experience one of Honda’s most amazing little street bikes, so grab it while you can.

There are forums for these bikes, with a lot of available parts in Australia and Japan. Aftermarket bodywork kits are available from Hong Kong for less than $500 delivered in the US.  I bought new intake manifolds for less than $20 and a new windscreen for less than $25 delivered! The bike runs cool all the time and has no leaks anywhere.

 

Not being the best year or condition, it does appear complete and its Cali title might be its best feature.  Though it would be easy to blow the budget, it might be a feasible restoration if the new owner did most of the work and wasn’t a stickler for factory parts.  If you look back at my archives you know I’d rather review a mint oddball than a tired legend, but this CBR250R has great possibilities…

-donn

 

Veteran of Foreign Wars – 1988 Honda CBR250R
Honda October 31, 2017 posted by

Box Cutter – 1990 Honda CBR400RR

Often overlooked since it wasn’t the raciest gray-market selection, the CBR400RR was available in Canada where this one lives.  The NC29 or Baby ‘Blade as it is sometimes known, was a lightweight solution with a free-revving gear-driven cammed four.  Despite limited information, it looks complete and ready for a light restoration.

1990 Honda CBR400RR for sale on eBay

Meant mostly for their domestic market, the CBR400RR was pretty racey for 399cc, with 59 hp, alloy twin spar chassis, and RC30 lookalike fairing.  41mm Showa forks and 275mm brake disks were sized for the mission.  Four-piston calipers, fresh-air intake tubing, and swingarm shaped to allow the 4-into-1 exhaust to pass underneath really look the part.

With only four pictures and not much in the way of notes, this CBR is not set up to be creampuff, but it doesn’t look like an accident victim either.  The owner says it ran last in 2014, which spells a cleaning for those 28mm flat slide carburetors.  Not seeing many mods but maybe some more familiar readers will corroborate.  Stateside registration will also have to be arranged.  For a running, driving CBR400RR ( though neither are claimed in the auction ) the ask is surprisingly low.

Reviewed as a dynamite bike for the better half while you’re on your RC30, the 400RR is a bit snug, rather light, and does exactly what you tell it.  You might have to train yourself to wind the musical engine up to 14,000 rpm, and to use the precise steering to your advantage.  Also the maintenance fund will have to be replenished more like a larger machine.  If you can do these things, and you’re a little on the lighter side, the rewards of the CBR400RR will be a rare and high performing junior.

-donn

Box Cutter – 1990 Honda CBR400RR