Posts by tag: grey market import

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We have 15 years of archives. Please note that posts over a year old may have been updated to point to similar bikes available to bid on eBay.
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 10, 2020 posted by

Dust Bunny – 1992 Honda VFR400R / NC30

Not born on a construction site, but this vintage VFR400R may have acquired permanent resident status.  Propose to this beauty and whisk her away to the country ( roads ) of your choice.

1992 Honda VFR400R / NC30

A staple in the domestic market, the 400 cc VFR got great attention from Honda and the model was produced from 1986-1993.  For the third generation NC30, a 360-degree crank was introduced, and the redline raised slightly to 14,500 rpm.  Unrestricted power is closer to 68 hp, more inkeeping with the Nissin brakes and staggered 16 and 18-inch wheels.  The alloy twin-spar chassis accepts the right-side-up forks and the race-derived single sided swingarm.  Twin headlights in the RC30 lookalike fairing fool many a fan until they’re close-in.

Looks like this owner has carved out a spot in a larger garage to work on his VFR, and while not without some miles, it looks very good.  Just a couple of comments accompany the eBay auction:

1992 Honda VFR400R NC30, 18,000km or 11,000 miles, new tires, new brake pads, new fork seals all original fairings, de-restricted. Vermont registration, can be registered in any state in USA 

Bike runs very well

The VFR400R wasn’t sold far and wide, but along with its track manners and geared cam soundtrack, has a loyal following.  The ask is up in superbike territory, but a V-4 400 is rare and getting more so.  This Honda red example looks worth pushing the Make Offer button, at least to start a conversation.

-donn

Dust Bunny – 1992 Honda VFR400R / NC30
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
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