Posts by tag: Grey Market

Yamaha December 5, 2018 posted by

Museum Quality: 1991 Yamaha TZR250 SP for Sale

Let's get this out of the way up front: the seller is asking $16,000 for this bike, and that's a big number for a Yamaha TZR250. But obviously, a thing is worth what someone will pay for it, and I'm not sure that the seller won't get what they're asking here, since prices have been increasing steadily on all two-strokes for the past few years. If you're a collector for whom a couple grand one way or the other really doesn't matter, and want the very best example for your collection, this TZR250 SP might just be what you're looking for. Sure, $16k is a lot to pay right now for a TZR, but that might seem like a bargain in just a few years.

There are three generations of Yamaha's two-stroke sportbike: the early parallel-twin 1KT/2MA, the reverse-cylinder 3MA, and the v-twin 3XV seen here. Personally, I love the style and general weirdness of the 3MA, especially that version of the gorgeous Deltabox frame, but the 3XV seems to be the most highly sought-after version of the bunch. There were a variety of different specification levels for the 3XV version, designated by the usual alpha-numeric gibberish: R, RS, RSP, SP, SPR. Wet and dry clutches were available, ignition and powervalves had different performance characteristics, and fairings were not always interchangeable between models. Ferreting out detail differences in these Japanese market bikes can be tricky, so experts are welcome to chime in in the comments.

The seller claims you can get 90hp from an unrestricted example which, from what I know, is theoretically possible, but at the expense of any pretense of durability. That's pretty much race-spec, a smoky grenade you should ride with your left hand covering the clutch. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 60hp is more reasonable for a highly-tuned streetbike, and doesn't really change the seller's point at all, that an unrestricted bike would be much more powerful.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Yamaha TZR250 SP for Sale

This bike is fantastic. It has 1800km (1100 miles) it is a Japanese Domestic bike which I imported personally. There is no bond or restriction from Customs you can get it on the road virtually anywhere if you wanted to street ride it.  As you prolly know the SP bikes were about halfway between a standard TZR and a customer-racing 250. Restricted it's 50hp and less than 300 lbs. It's a weapon - even after 28yrs!! I have been told that derestricted with basic mods you can get 90HP from these which is just insane, of course. Thanks for looking!  

From the photos and description, this thing is just about perfect, in very original condition. And that's maybe the only issue here: in stock, restricted form, the whole gang of quarter-liter two-strokes made a government-mandated 45hp. But it really depends on what you're looking for: a wicked weekend ripper or a perfectly preserved museum piece. And I get the feeling that a dead-stock example is the way to gamble if you're looking at investment potential.

-tad

Museum Quality: 1991 Yamaha TZR250 SP for Sale
Suzuki November 5, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1991 Suzuki RGV250Γ VJ22 for Sale

Update 11.6.2018: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Today's Featured Listing 1991 Suzuki RGV250Γ has styling cues very much like the four-stroke GSX-R of the period, and help the bike stand out as a Suzuki among the other bikes in the very competitive 250cc two-stroke class, even without their traditional blue-and-white graphics. Of course, if you're missing out on shouty graphics, there's still the RGVΓ, SAPC, and Made with the Grand Prix Spirit logos. This is actually a VJ22, the second generation of the little Gamma, and features a number of changes from the earlier VJ21.

The RGV250Γ followed the 250 two-stroke class template: a light and stiff aluminum beam frame, with an asymmetrical "banana" swingarm that allowed clearance on the right side for the twin "shotgun" expansion chambers in the case of the later VJ22 version seen here. The engine was a liquid-cooled, 90° two-stroke v-twin that eventually found its way into the Aprilia RS250 as well, along with Suzuki's six-speed gearbox. The Suzuki version used "SAPC" or "Suzuki Advanced Power Control," an electronic power valve and ignition timing system to boost the Japanese-market RGV's out put from 45hp all the way to... 45hp. Yeah, these were restricted in their home market. Export models got more like 55-ish horsepower from the 249cc twin.

Combined with the bike's sub-300lb dry weight, the bike offered plenty of performance for anyone willing to put in the effort to extract it. But straight-line power isn't the point with any quarter-liter two-stroke: the RGV is all about corner speed and eats twisty roads for breakfast. The earlier VJ21 used a 17" front and 18" rear wheel like other bikes of the era, but the VJ22 used matched 17" wheels front and rear, making it easier to fit modern rubber. Overseas, the RGV was a very popular little thrasher and fairly common, but these can be difficult to find. It's ironic that, here in the USA anyway, the Suzuki-engined Aprilia RS250 seems much easier to find than the RGV250Γ that donated its engine.

From the Seller: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22 for Sale

Very rare in North America the Suzuki RGV 250 is a close as you get to a street legal bike from the golden era of GP racing. This example was imported from Japan and has Utah street legal title. The bike is runs well and was recently serviced with all fluids changed. This bike is un-restored and has several scratches and scrapes but for a bike of its age its in good condition. All mechanical parts function well. The bike has 8,837 kilometers on the gauges. Comes with a set of brand new Bridgestone tires that have never been mounted. $6,500 + buyer pays shipping.

The bike seems honestly presented and is in good, if not perfectly original condition. The levers, grips, rearstand spools, and brake lines aren't stock and the color choices aren't particularly subtle, but that's fine, since you'd end up replacing them anyway if you're going to ride it, or if you're restoring it. The minor cosmetic flaws should be easily rectified without having to tear the bike down, and it would make a great, usable example.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1991 Suzuki RGV250Γ VJ22 for Sale
Honda October 3, 2018 posted by

Jersey Strong: 1991 Honda NSR250R SP for Sale

The New Jersey Turnpike, in spite of being the punchline for a million jokes, is actually a marvel of modern efficiency, an engineering feat that allowed commercial traffic to flow more easily through state to points north and south. But there are just too damn many cars in Jersey for the traffic to flow these days, and the engineered straight-line qualities that make The Turnpike a great commercial road make it a horrible road for motorcyclists, unless pinning the throttle to the stop is your thing. And today's Honda NSR250SP is pretty much the worst bike for that kind of riding.

With just 249cc worth of two-stroke power on tap, sustained high-speed runs, or high-speed runs in general are pretty much out of the question. Sure, it'll do 130mph flat out, but it's tiny and, at just 288lbs dry, it's pretty obvious the NSR250R wasn't designed for that kind of riding. Fortunately, you don't have to go very far in New Jersey to find the kinds of roads the little two-stroke is perfect for: it's not called "The Garden State" for nothing, and it can be a beautiful place, once you get clear of the seemingly ever-present congestion. And deer: they're everywhere. Luckily, this lightweight machine has triple disc brakes to pull the little NSR up quickly, should one of those things leap or just wander out into your path.

Power came from a slightly undersquare liquid-cooled two-stroke 90° v-twin with bore and stroke of 54 x 54.5mm. Two strokes are mechanically simple, obviously pretty dirty, and the bike still uses carburetors, but the NSR is in every other way a very sophisticated machine. Honda's PGM-III system controlled ignition advance and the RC valves based on information supplied by throttle and gear-position sensors. The six-speed gearbox was a cassette-type to ease gearset changes trackside, although that's more of a theoretical benefit than a practical one for most owners. The SP or "Sport Production" version seen here added a dry clutch and lightweight Magtek wheels, along with adjustable suspension at both ends. In between the standard R and the SP was the mid-level SE model that lacked the SP's magnesium wheels for a reduced cost.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Honda NSR250R SP for Sale

1991 Honda NSR 250 SP

9913 Miles clean New Jersey title 

Fresh fluids (coolant, gearbox, 2T and brake fluids)

Rust free tank

All original plastics

Bike does have some light scratches on the side fairings, broken tab on the belly pan and broken piece on the front upper fairing. Please take a close look on the pics for better description of the condition. Everything else is in really nice shape including the frame, subframe, fork, tank, wheels and tail piece. Please feel free to message me for any inquiries. Thanks for looking

The Buy It Now for this NSR250SP is $9,800 which seems reasonable, considering some of the more outrageous asking prices we've seen for NSR250Rs, especially the higher-spec Sport Production model. The bike isn't described as being perfect, but seems like a clean runner, and that Jersey title is a nice extra: when it comes to grey market bikes, The Garden State isn't the easiest DMV to navigate.

-tad

Jersey Strong: 1991 Honda NSR250R SP for Sale
Featured Listing September 19, 2018 posted by

Sponsored Listing: 1990 Honda CBR400RR NC29 for Sale

As the old saying goes, “It’s more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow.” That’s not to say it isn’t supremely fun to ride a fast bike fast, but let’s be honest here: most riders aren’t really capable of riding modern superbikes anywhere near their limit, even on a race track. And it also brings up the fact that today’s sportbikes are so fast, you can’t possibly access their full performance on the road without taking massive risks with your body and license. That’s not so much a problem with today’s Featured Listing, a Honda CBR400RR.

1990 Honda CBR400RR NC29 for sale on eBay

For most Americans, referencing the CBR400RR or “Baby Blade” just results in quizzical looks. But that’s no surprise, since the bike only recently became eligible for import here, and the CBR400 is still tricky to register if you have a strict DMV. Intended for the Japanese market, the bike has surprisingly sophisticated specifications for something with such a small engine.

It really is a miniature superbike: 399cc sixteen valve inline four with gear-driven cams and a six-speed gearbox. An aluminum beam frame, instead of the CBR600’s steel unit, with adjustable suspension front and rear. Power was 59hp stock, with another 10hp or so available with a bit of tuning and dry weight was a claimed 360lbs, so performance was pretty sprightly, in spite of the limited power. Interestingly, it was sold alongside the V4-engined VFR400R, so Honda had two different 400cc sportbikes available for sale at the same time.

This example is being offered up by our friends at Iconic Motorbikes in Marina Del Rey, California. I've seen it in person and, other than the surface corrosion visible on the fork legs and footpeg brackets, something common on Japanese imports and bikes exposed to the ocean air, it's complete and very sharp-looking.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Honda CBR400RR NC29 for Sale 

**NOT LEGAL FOR ROAD USE IN CA, TRACK ONLY!  OK FOR REGISTRATION IN MOST OTHER STATES**

Honda CBR400RR which is also known as an NC29.

These little 400's are very hard to find in the USA and even more rare on the road. The ones that you do find are typically REALLY rough or loaded with oxidation or aftermarket bodywork.

This little gem however only has less then 9,400 miles (15,063 km), all 100% stock and original and ready for a new owner.  She starts right up with a little bit of choke and has a smooth throttle curve thereafter. If you're looking for something that you'll likely never see pull up next to you on the road... this is your girl!

Quick note, notice the oxidation on the rearsets and fork legs.  Pretty much it's only major flaw but again, very common on Japanese imports and a super easy fix.  We have our own media blaster so we could essentially clean them up for the buyer if required but there's some shop time involved for pulling the forks and rearsets apart.  Either or 🙂

As the seller clearly indicates: if you live in California, don't even think about it, unless you are looking to build a small-displacement race bike, or just plan to display the bike. Bike currently has Arizona plates. Otherwise, this is one sweet little machine and would be plenty of fun on your local back road. The starting bid is $7,400 with no takers as yet, and a couple days left on the auction.

-tad

Sponsored Listing: 1990 Honda CBR400RR NC29 for Sale
Yamaha September 7, 2018 posted by

Street-Legal Stroker: 1992 Yamaha TZR250RS for Sale

Yamaha’s TZR250 doesn’t seem to command the same prices or attention as Honda’s NSR. Which is interesting, considering it's similar in terms of weight and performance, and the TZR is generally even rarer in every market outside Japan: both the 3MA and 3XV versions were officially sold in the Japanese market only, although plenty found their way to the UK, Europe, and Canada via “parallel import” laws.

Certainly, the TZR isn’t lacking in technology: the 3XV packs an electronic engine-management system to rival Honda’s PGM-IV that controls the ignition advance, the powervalve, and the carburetors’ fuel mixture. Yamaha’s Deltabox frame is light and stiff, and the RS version seen here adds a dry clutch, close-ratio box, and later models even included fully-adjustable forks. This example goes a step further and has been upgraded with Öhlins forks and a Nitron rear shock.

Ultimately, the package closely mirrored the rest of the class: 90° liquid-cooled two-stroke v-twin displacing 249cc, an aluminum frame, a six-speed gearbox, and the de rigueur powervalve to boost the two-stroke’s limited midrange. The seller is asking $11,500 for this updated, well cared-for example.

From the original eBay listing: 1992 Yamaha TZR250RS for Sale

You are looking at a super clean, well maintained and a hard to find TZR 250RS. The RS model comes with close ratio gear box, RS paint scheme, fully adjustable suspension and dry clutch. I upgraded the front forks with Ohlins components, Nitron R1 rear shock, Brembo calipers, Brembo pads, braided brake lines and full floating rotors. Maintenance was done which includes fresh Motul fluids (coolant, brake fluid and transmission oil), carbs been cleaned/synced. Bike is street legal, titled, registered and insured in NJ. Everything on the bike is OEM all original with the exception of the upgrades mentioned. You will never find another one in this condition. 

This one has been up for sale more than once in a couple different places, but appears to be very clean and comes with a New Jersey title, which is a nice bonus for anyone looking to ride their stinky little sportbike. The biggest question here is: has the bike been de-restricted? Collectors may not be too worried, but anyone looking to ride this anywhere outside a very tight, technical racetrack or a very twisty back road will want more than the government-mandated 45hp. The Japanese government, obviously: the US government regulates many, many things, but horsepower is not one of them.

-tad

Street-Legal Stroker: 1992 Yamaha TZR250RS for Sale
Yamaha August 7, 2018 posted by

One-Eighty: 1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA for Sale

It's been a while since we've seen a Yamaha TZR250 3MA for sale, and the bike is both very rare and also a sportbike, so we're posting this one, even though it isn't in perfect condition. I'm a huge fan of this particular iteration of the TZR, because of course I'm a fan of the weird, slightly less-than-successful version of any bike. With competition very fierce in the 250cc sportbike class and specifications so similar, Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, and occasionally Kawasaki were all looking for a competitive advantage. The bikes all had aluminum beam frames, liquid-cooled two-stroke twins, and power valves to boost midrange. Light weight meant incredible agility and the triple disc brakes were almost overkill for the 300lb machines.

Although two-stroke engines are very compact, routing the bulky de rigueur expansion chambers meant design compromises: the typical quarter-liter solution meant asymmetrical "banana" style swingarms that looked cool and allowed the expansion chambers to tuck in close to the centerline and maximize cornering clearance, but added weight.

Yamaha had a different idea. Why not flip the cylinders of their parallel twin around 180° so that the carburetors were at the front and the exhausts exited toward the rear? Since two-strokes lack camshafts or valvetrain, this was pretty simple to do for the 3MA version, and meant there were no worries routing the exhaust and expansion chambers around the bike's lower half. Instead, they went straight back and out through the tail, creating a slight bulge in panels just below the seat.

The concept was sound but the bike was produced for just two years and is generally considered a failure, although its reputation for mechanical unreliability is apparently a bit of an exaggeration. It was light and handled brilliantly, but the reversed-cylinders offered no real advantage. A failed experiment, the bike was only officially sold in Japan, although the bike did find its way to parts of Europe as a parallel import.

This little TZR is a complete machine and appears to be original, but is a little scruffy around the edges, although it's hard to tell from the pics. I'm seeing the typical corrosion and discoloration you'd expect on a Japanese bike of this era, especially one that likely spent it's first few years in the salt air of its homeland.

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA for Sale

1989 Yamaha TZR 250 3MA, no reserve
New tires, chain and sprockets, carbs rebuilt, fresh service
Very low kilometers, runs good, aftermarket exhaust chambers, bodywork is OEM
I can send running video, call me or text me 954-809-8596
My name is Mike

Hi, Mike! This isn't my favorite color combo for this bike, but you can't go wrong with basic black. The $5,500 opening bid is probably in the ball park, but I wonder what the reserve is. TZRs are rare, but seem to generally be less desirable than NSRs. Personally I love the look and general weirdness of the 3MA, but there was no performance advantage for the backwards cylinders, and I've read that parts are harder to source than for earlier parallel twins or later 3XV v-twin TZRs. Basically, it's a cool bike, but it's the oddity and style that appeal most, and this one is a runner, but in need of a bit of cosmetic TLC.

-tad

One-Eighty: 1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA for Sale