Posts by tag: grey market import

Yamaha December 11, 2019 posted by

1/2 Liter Superbike – 1987 Yamaha RZV500

While the roadgoing two-stroke era ended here in 1979, it continued for several more years around the globe, a few makers templating their Grand Prix bikes for the showroom.  This example looks under used and has a super-clean stock appearance.

1987 Yamaha RZV500 for sale on eBay

The RZV was destined only for Japan, and differed from the rest-of-world RZ500LC mainly in its alloy chassis.  The compact V4 is actually two upright twins which are geared directly to the clutch, and the lack of a central jackshaft left room for a smoothing counter-balancer.  Two pairs of 26mm Mikuni carburetors look to the sides, and expansion chambers leave from the front and rear of the V.  Forks are air-adjusted, have anti-dive and hold dual 267mm brakes and a 16-inch front wheel, while the 18-inch rear is mounted to an alloy monoshock.

The Seattle dealer showing this RZV500 has had a few other classic sportbikes on eBay ( and RSBFS ) along with a boatload of parts.  The RZV has just under 6,000 miles and looks excellent in several high-resolution photos.  Not sure exactly what to expect in the sticker department on a JDM machine, so expert readers will have to weigh in.  Comments from the eBay auction:

The body work is all original and is in very good condition. The paint work is in nice good condition with no major scratches anywhere, and wheels are in great shape with no major rock chips or corrosion. The frame does not have any corrosion and is nice and clean. The original exhaust is in nice condition with the exception of one dent on the right side muffler as can be seen in the pictures. But overall cosmetically this bike is in very nice condition.

The bike runs and rides perfect, and shifts smoothly through all gears. The carburetor was recently ultrasonically cleaned and adjusted, and a full service tune-up was performed which included new spark plugs, chain, brake pads, oil change, new tires, and all fluids flushed. All of the lighting, switches and electrical components work as they should.

With almost 200 hp per liter ( when de-restricted ), the RZV was too fast to live and production ended in 1988.  Several anachronisms flying in formation, it’s a two stroke, kick start, and weighs just over 400 lbs. dry.  Likewise, maybe you are more comfortable in your helmet and knee sliders than business casual, and would like to get in on the bidding.  It’s just eclipsed $13K but hasn’t yet met the reserve.

-donn

1/2 Liter Superbike – 1987 Yamaha RZV500
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 June 25, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing – 2000 Honda RVF400 NC35

Honda’s second generation small V-4 took the successes of the VFR-400R / NC30 and modernized them for the late 1990’s.  Having never been sold new here, all are gray market imports with metric speedos.  RSBFS reader Jae has this super-clean example tuned for the high country.

Sticking with the winning formula, Honda made evolutionary changes for the NC35’s 1994 introduction.  Carburettors were updated to a 30mm semi-flatslide design, with velocity stacks aimed down the intake.  Rake and trail were unchanged but the frame was re-designed.  Inverted forks were installed, and the single-sided swingarm recieved a major update.  17″ wheels are found front and rear, easing tire choices for the future.  The styling templates the iconic RC45, and the riding position is more relaxed than some other small sports.

With just under 11,000 miles, Jae and the previous owner have been careful custodians of this NC35 if not long distance riders.  Most of the mods are deep under the fairings:

– Current and clean Colorado title and registration (registered & titled as a “2000 Honda NC35”.
– VIN is: NC351103563
– 17,400 km (10,800 miles)
– Motor has fresh oil, oem air filter, recent valve adjustment
– Bigger capacity upper radiator
– new Samco radiator hoses (fresh coolant last summer)
– Penske shock (emulsion version with ride height adjustment)
– 5.5″ Kosman widened rear wheel (fresh new tire)
– Dymag magnesium front wheel (new tire)
– JHA shotgun full exhaust system from Japan (with new exhaust gaskets)
– Tyga steering damper (sorry, stuck on a few Ohlins stickers but no real Ohlins parts…)
– Solo rear cowl (stock passenger seat included)
– new gold chain, rear sprocket (520)
– Titanium nuts/bolts sprinkled throughout (rear spindle pincher, rotor bolts)
– Braided steel brake lines front & back (newer RC51 gold Nissin front calipers w/HRC pads)
– Magura HC1 radial brake master cylinder
– Jetted for Colorado elevation
– As far as I know, I am the 2nd owner in the states. Previous owner (~2008) was a Porsche mechanic from Denver)
– misc small box of spares (passenger pegs, oem brake master, original rad, etc)
– I can throw in a spare set of oem wheels (powercoaded white) if full price is paid
– shipping (or pickup) will be have to be paid/arranged by buyer…

* Needs nothing to ride as is, perfect to start the summer!

Jae asks $10,000 USD and can be contacted – here –

Originally presented as a junior sportbike in markets with progressive licensing, the RVF-400R’s wide powerband, crisp handling, and distinctive engine sound gained the attention of cognoscenti worldwide, and it’s a sought after track day machine.  Thankfully Jae’s hasn’t been subjected to that, it’s been nicely updated and maintained.  Not to mention being an RC45 lookalike without the vacation-home pricetag !

-donn

Featured Listing – 2000 Honda RVF400 NC35
Honda May 4, 2019 posted by

Winter is Coming – 1988 Honda NSR250R

Almost never without a 250cc two-stroke, Honda kept updates coming at a good pace.  The MC18 was the 1988 revision ( after just one year of the MC16 ) and followed GP developments.  This South African example looks very good and shows just under 4,000 miles.

1988 Honda NSR250R ( South Africa ) for sale on eBay

The MC18 brought the PGM II card-controlled 32mm carburetors and 45 hp, serious for 249 cc’s.  The engine was mounted lower in the alloy twin spar chassis, with 41mm and revised swingarm.  Tires are a smidgen wider with six-spokes rims in 18″ rear and 17″ front stagger.  Not much external change, save the twin tail lights.

In the color saturated photos, this NSR looks very clean and complete, though not subject to a big restoration.  The owner has these comments in the eBay auction:

Partly restored
True 6,000km from new (4,000 miles)
All original including tool kit
Rides as well as it looks
Licensed and road tax up to date
Two-stroke heaven

1988 saw Honda in seven of the top ten 250cc MotoGP teams, with Spaniard Sito Pons taking the crown.  The MC18 was superseded after just two years, but the model continued until 1996.  Depending on your location, this NSR might be worth the expense of shipping and nuisance of importation.  Rather than a museum piece, this NSR could be enjoyed indoors and out.

-donn

Winter is Coming – 1988 Honda NSR250R
Yamaha March 31, 2019 posted by

Fall Clearance Sale – 1992 Yamaha TZR250R-SP

Pictured in a lush garden, this barely used TZR250R-SP is actually old enough to import without EPA scrutiny.  Up for sale at the end of summer in Cape Town means a close-up inspection might be a project, but this example is at least a great what if ? – conversation starter.

1992 Yamaha TZR250-SP for sale on eBay

TZR250 production started in 1986 with a parallel twin engine, and was upgraded to a V-twin when the model was re-designed for 1991.  Some sources says the -SP used a larger carburetor, and all models used Yamaha’s Power Valve System to stretch the torque band.  45 hp was mandated in Japan, but once released from its electronic bonds, the engine is capable of a reliable 60 hp.  It’s got a small copy of the DeltaBox alloy chassis, and an early adoption of upside-down forks.  A few different swingarms were used, this one the asymmetrical, allowing the rear exhaust to pass under the bike.

Good export histories from these years are hard to come by, but most TZR’s were for the JDM, with occasional exports around the Pacific.  Sport Production seems to be limited to 500 units.  No word on the history of this particular machine, but the mileage is seriously low and condition appears excellent.  Aftermarket exhaust and budget shipping are noted in the eBay auction:

Rare superb condition 1992 TZR250R-SP  (3XV-5).

One of only 500 produced.
Original factory body panels and paint. 
Low mileage 2554Km (1576 miles).
The buyer has a choice between the original exhaust silencers or the aftermarket Dog Fight R silencers which are depicted in the photos.
 
Worldwide shipping is available!
Shipping cost to any port of entry in:
North America : $950

Yamaha’s 1/4-liter machines are rarely seen, though the sunset of their emissions requirement has brought more recent imports of the later 3XV’s.  Never cheap, their quality and tech gave Big Red a run for their money.  The buyer will have to determine whether this example has been de-restricted, and if there are any long past secrets.  If yes and then no, this TZR will still be expensive but might be worth it.

-donn

Fall Clearance Sale – 1992 Yamaha TZR250R-SP
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
Yamaha March 3, 2019 posted by

Engine Contract – 1985 Yamaha RZ500

Sold before we went to press, still worth a look –  Donn

Like buyers of a Gulfstream business jet refer to their Pratt & Whitney engine maintenance agreement that just happened to come with an airplane, the Yamaha RZ500 was built around their smashing V-4 two-stroke.  This one has some miles but looks to be in special condition.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on eBay

Yamaha had some very good years in the 500cc MotoGP days, and the RZ500 ( known elsewhere as the RD500LC ) used a lot of race-derived ideas.  The engine is a masterpiece with the clutch gear-driven from twin crankshafts.  The Yamaha Power Valve System tailors exhaust port position electronically, helping widen the power band and lower emissions on the way to 88 hp.  The airbox surrounds the engine feeding four side-draft Mikunis, and water cooling is used to stabilize temperatures and limit noise.

The race bikes had gone to an aluminum DeltaBox frame, but the RZ kept the steel chassis, with semi-adjustable suspension on both ends, even anti-dive forks.  Strong tire stagger of 16-inch front and 18-inch rear should make turning in just a thought exercise.  A pillion is offered, but likely the painted cover doesn’t get removed often.  Starting is kick only, engaging the rider right off the bat.

Appearing pretty stock, there’s no readily apparent damage, but with the 1999 registration sticker inactivity might be an issue.  The ask is up there but in the middle of recent sales.  The senior rider from Michigan gives a few thoughts in the eBay auction:

All original. Never messed with. Been in my collection, stored inside with all fuel drained. Miles are 22,691, odometer as you know reads kilometers as these were never imported into the U.S. due to the EPA. She’s a great ride and gets lots of attention. Time to let her go as I am turning 70 soon and have been letting a few of my prized bikes go. Tires are great.

After being built for only a few years and selectively marketed, the RZ has an outsized reputation and a has had nice amount of import activity.  Yamaha stayed with the 500 two-stroke racer until 2002 when the FIM made them an offer they couldn’t refuse.  It would’ve been nice to see more years of development in the street machine as well.

-donn

Engine Contract – 1985 Yamaha RZ500