Posts by tag: Grey Market

Suzuki March 8, 2019 posted by

Get Lucky: 1996 Suzuki RGV250 SP VJ-23

For the Suzuki RGV250’s last few model years, Suzuki gave the popular machines a thorough redesign, with updated fairings and a brand-new 70-degree v-twin replacing the long serving 90-degree mill that helped make the bikes famous. In most trims, they were choked down to around 40 horsepower. But a limited number of Lucky Strike liveried V-Spec models left the home country with fully de-restricted engines that made closer to 70 horsepower. With just 345 pounds to move around when fully fueled, they were giant killers.

1996 Suzuki RGV250 SP for sale on eBay

The RGV 250 had a long history as a popular club racer and track day machine, as well as a sly way to satisfy tiered licensing requirements and still have some fun. They sold in their millions outside the United States, though, sadly, they never officially made it to these shores. Older models with U.S. street titles pop up pretty regularly, but anything newer than 25 years old will have some issues getting a road title. This 1996 Suzuki RGV250 lives in South Africa, so getting paperwork lined up to ride it here could be tricky, unless you’re willing to wait.

From the eBay listing:

Extremely rare Suzuki RGV250 SP VJ23 V spec model.
There were only 120 units produced for the export market of which this is number 89.
The vehicle is in an original mint condition and has had a complete engine rebuild ,including new crankshaft, cylinders, pistons and rings less than 1 500Km ago.
Included in the sale is the original screen, passenger rear seat and tool kit.
All the original factory fairing panels are in great condition and the fuel tank is rust free.

These rare limited edition full power Lucky Strikes do not come up for auction often so dont miss out on the opportunity to own a legendry piece of two stroke history.

Worldwide shipping is available!
Shipping cost to any port of entry in:
North America : $ 950
Europe : $ 875

Shipping cost includes insurance, crating and all other charges at the port of discharge.
Please note that the shipping cost does not include any additional customs duties at the port of entry.

Please contact me if you require any additional info.
Thanks for taking the time to view my auction listing.

According to the listing, the bike is all original and has had a full engine rebuild inside the last 1,000 miles. It appears to be in excellent condition, from the fairings to the frame and running gear. The pictures show it set up as a one-seater, but from the photos it looks like the pillion pad and tools come with it. If you’re looking for a very rare, very cool conversation piece that will be eligible for a street title in just two years, you may have found your steed.

Get Lucky: 1996 Suzuki RGV250 SP VJ-23
Kawasaki February 28, 2019 posted by

Lean and Green: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale

The entire class of 250cc two-stroke sportbikes has alwasy been forbidden fruit for US-based sportbike enthusiasts. The last real road-burning stroker was the RZ350, a bike that can certainly hang with much more modern machines and punch well above its weight, but the 18” wheels and bikini-fairing mark it out clearly as a bike from a much older era. In recent years, it’s become pretty common to see NSRs, RGVs, TZRs, as well as the much less common Kawasaki KR-1S up on eBay, as importation laws here allow bikes and cars older than 25 years to be brought in and used on the road, although state laws regarding actual registration vary wildly.

Overseas, and especially in their home market of Japan, the quarter-liter sportbike class was hotly contested and although, in principle, a two-stroke is mechanically relatively simple, these little machines ended up being at the cutting edge of motorcycle design, as each manufacturer tried to eke out any small advantage over the others. But despite Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha’s serious interest in small two-stroke sportbikes, Kawasaki chose to mostly sit the whole thing out, producing just 10,000 KR-1s during the entire run from 88-92, and the bike saw no significant updates during four years of production, nearly an eternity by standards of the class.

Maybe that’s because they got it very right the first time, and the bike certainly wasn’t lacking performance, with a class-topping 139mph tested top speed from a KR-1S. It was fast, with excellent, if slightly twitchy, handling. Claimed weight was 270lbs dry, and the liquid-cooled, 249cc parallel-twin slung beneath the aluminum beam frame made the expected… 45hp, as required by Japanese regulations, although it was obviously capable of much more and was highly tuneable. A six-speed gearbox helped riders make use of the available power and a KIPS powervalve system helped make the available power a bit more accessible.

Three versions of the bike were produced, the KR-1, KR-1S seen here, and the extremely rare KR-1R. The S model had wider wheels at both ends, compared to the regular KR-1 and, unlike other bikes in the class, the R model didn’t feature magnesium wheels, a dry clutch, or much else in the way of fancy accessories, although it did have larger carburetors and a close-ratio gearbox. Just a few hundred were supposedly produced.

Note that the bike is currently located in La Chopera, Spain, so be prepared to deal with shipping if you’re not currently enjoying your vacation home in Madrid…

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale

Well preserved. Some minor scratches and fairing defects.

The seller also includes the usual copy/paste specifications, if you’re interested, although some history might be nice. Has it been serviced? Is it ready to run? Good information to have, since parts for these are pretty scarce, considering the age and low production numbers. There’s not much time left on the auction, and bidding is only up to $2,550, so maybe take a chance and see if he’ll take a lowball offer?

-tad

Lean and Green: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale
Yamaha February 3, 2019 posted by

Smoky half-pint: 1991 Yamaha TZR250

Of the plethora of loud, high-strung Japanese two strokes that have come of age to be street registered in this country over the last couple years, the Yamaha TZR250 tends to enjoy a reputation as one of the friendliest and sweet-handling bikes of the bunch. They don’t come with the same banshee wail as a Suzuki RGV250, and they’re not the whole package like the Honda NSR250, but they fit a Goldilocks role, with comfy ergos, semi-friendly power delivery and Yamaha’s famous handling.

1991 Yamaha TZR250 for sale on eBay

In bottled-up street performance trim, the TZRs won’t set your pants on fire, but aftermarket exhausts, computers and jet kits are getting easier and easier to come by. There are myriad importers kicking around these days who will gladly sell you a pile of go bits if your two stroke isn’t buzzy enough.

This 1991 Yamaha TZR250 is in typical shape for a recently-imported grey-market machine that has had almost 28 birthdays. It has a few minor dents and a cracked tail fairing, as well as some spots of corrosion. Those would need to be addressed along with the paint on the wheels for this one to be called perfect, but it’s in very nice shape as-is for a rider. The seller says he never cleaned the carbs and the tires are old, so either get prepared to do that yourself of budget the repair into the purchase.

From the eBay listing:

This is an EXTREMELY RARE 2 stroke motorcycle that was not available in the US due to EPA regulations. This bike was originally a Japanese Domestic bike that was imported to the US and has a clean Florida title. This bike was ahead of it’s time in both technology & appearance. This is essentially early 90’s race technology. This is a NO RESERVE Auction and the bike will go to the winning bidder!

Mileage is 11747km which equates to 7129 miles

Recent service includes:
– Brake Fluid Flush (front & rear)
– Coolant Flush
– New Yamaha OEM petcock
– New UNI filter
– New Battery
– New Rectifier

Bike runs, but carbs were not yet cleaned/tuned. The bike has 2 small dings in the tank, which could be fixed by paintless dent repair, and a crack in the plastic. See pics. Bike has some minor oxidation here and there from being in Japan.

Bike will need tires. I do have a new set of Dunlop Sportmax tires I was going to install, if I kept it. I didn’t mount them, because people are usually very picky about their tires. The winning bidder has the option to add the tires in for the price I paid for them, if they choose, but they DO NOT come with the listing.

Why am I selling? I just bought a few of these Japanese imports & chose to keep a Honda NSR instead. What can I say? I’m a Honda Guy… I prefer to Ride Red.

Please keep in mind, I have this motorcycle for sale locally, so reserve the right to end the auction at any time, for any reason. If you would like to personally inspect, please feel free to make arrangements.

Though it most likely needs the carbs looked at, it’s wearing a host of new parts and looks like it was pretty well kept in its previous life. It’s listed on a no-reserve auction, with a starting bid just below $7,000.

Smoky half-pint: 1991 Yamaha TZR250
Honda January 6, 2019 posted by

Terra Racing Replica: 1989 Honda NSR250R SP for Sale

When you mention “race replicas” the phrase tends to conjure up images of lurid colors and graphics freed from any need for subtlety or adherence to an aesthetically-pleasing color palette. Or is that just me? Maybe just me. Anyway, as much as I personally don’t tend to be a huge fan of them, there are obviously exceptions: I love the Rothmans and Repsol designs, in spite of their unsubtle styles, and MV’s Reparto Corse graphics are pretty cool as well. Of course, the vivid colors and striking graphics obviously serve an important purpose: to help draw attention to what are essentially rolling billboards for the sponsors who pay big money to have their names and logos slapped on these speedy machines. This Honda NSR250R SP Terra Racing Replica is surprisingly subtle, however.

The NSR250R was Honda’s standard bearer in the two-stroke sportbike class that was hotly contested pretty much everywhere but the US, where vast distances, straight roads, emissions legislation, and licensing requirements [or lack thereof] meant that the class is virtually unknown to the mainstream biking community these days. The original MC16 version introduced in 1987 set the tone for the series, with a 90° v-twin, alloy twin-spar frame, RC powervalve, PGM electronic ignition, and giant-killing performance.

Of course, competition from Suzuki, Yamaha, and later Kawasaki were pretty killy as well, and the intense competition saw the bike quickly evolve into the MC18 in 1988 and the MC21 in late 1989, followed by the final MC28 that came along in 1993. This appears to be a late MC18 R6K, the middle-child version of the bike, since it lacks the larger headlight and distinctive “gull-arm” swingarm of the MC21, and the SP denotes the “Sport Production” version that came with a trick dry clutch and Magtek magnesium wheels, along with fully-adjustable suspension.

Power from the 249cc engine would have been rated at 45hp for Japanese-market bikes, but bikes intended for foreign markets and de-restricted versions can make much more. Even in restricted form, the NSR is pretty quick, with less than 320lbs wet to push around, although two-strokes require quite a bit of work to extract the available performance. If you’re interested, top speed is around 130mph, but that’s not the point of the bike. Find a tight racetrack or a set of canyon curves that would tie even a modern literbike in knots, make sure you eat a light breakfast to save a couple pounds, and spend a Sunday morning worshiping at the Temple of Lean.

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda NSR250R SP Terra Racing Replica for Sale

Up for your consideration is a 1989 Honda NSR250 SP TERRA RACING. This bike is all original minus the full Jha exhaust system, and stainless steel brake lines. From the factory the bike is equipped with a HRC dry clutch, magnesium wheels, and a fully adjustable suspension. The bike sounds amazing and starts first kick every time. The bike  has been fully deregulated and runs absolutely great and is extremely quick despite the cc size. All fluids have recently been serviced as well as two new spark plugs.  Please view all images as this is a 30-year-old original bike with minor imperfections.The bike was legally imported into the United States and I do have a clean and clear Arizona title as well as a full set of aftermarket stock plastics still in the bubble wrap. I do encourage all bidders to please come and view the bike in person, or send someone on your behalf to inspect and view the bike. Please don’t hesitate to email for more information as well as pictures videos of the bike running if needed. 

Bidding is currently up to $5,900 with the reserve not met and very little time left on the auction. There are some minor chips in the decals and paint, and some aftermarket farkles like the steering damper, brake lines, and the front brake rotor buttons are obviously not original and are of questionable taste, but simple enough to change or remove. Although they are surprising, considering the claimed [and indicated] miles. Regardless, it is a clean-looking bike and worth a look if the reserve is set at a reasonable point.

-tad

Terra Racing Replica: 1989 Honda NSR250R SP for Sale
Suzuki December 30, 2018 posted by

Last of Its Kind: 1996 Suzuki RGV250 SP VJ23 for Sale

For the most part, the RGV250 was a gradual evolution of the original beam-framed, two-stroke 90° v-twin machine introduced in 1987. But the VJ23 version introduced in 1995 was a significant leap forward, with an entirely new frame and engine to go with the swoopy bodywork. Unfortunately, with interest in the class waning, this final, and some feel best version of the RGV250 was never officially available outside Japan, making this little bit of forbidden fruit especially rare here in the USA.

That new engine featured a switch to a 70° v-twin that replaced the earlier 90° unit. Traditionally, sports v-twins have 90° v-angle because they’ve got perfect primary balance, but the advent of balance shafts and more precise engineering seems to have shifted things, and sport v-twins like the Aprilia RSV Mille used a very compact 60° engine.

Obviously, given the tiny pistons involved in a 250cc two-stroke and the relatively modest revs involved, I’d expect the additional vibrations of a 70° v-twin could easily be chalked up to “character,” and the more compact configuration should offer improved packaging and additional flexibility in placing the engine in the frame for better weight distribution.

In addition, the bore and stroke of the new engine measured 54 x 54.5mm, compared to the racier and more oversquare 56 x 50.6mm of the earlier bike so, although power was still limited to 40hp per Japanese laws and made similar power in de-restricted form, the package was much more flexible at lower revs and easier to ride. A functional ram-air duct added power at speed, and for the first time, an electric start made the bike easier to fire up, while the SP added a trick dry clutch to the mix.

The brakes on these little rippers would have been enough to stop a much bigger machine, weight was under 300lbs with fuel and oil, and there was real performance on tap, with 125mph top speed. But you still had to work for that speed, and that was pretty much the whole point of the quarter-liter class anyway.

From the original eBay listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250 SP VJ23 for Sale

1996 Suzuki RGV250 SP VJ23. 9900 miles (15,934 kilometers), very original and unrestored. Mechanically sorted. All fluids are fresh. Shifts and revs to redline perfectly. Starts effortlessly every time. Very honest bike. Small paint chip on fuel tank, left silencer has a dent, some touchup paint on lower nose fairing. Please see images. Fuel tank is rust free. Aftermarket lower controls (COECRE) and exhaust (SUGAYA). Has VIN matching State of Ohio title.  All bidders make NOTE: Vehicle is titled as a 1993. If this is of concern please don’t bid. “Buyer is responsible for their own State Requirements.” California and Hawaii sold with Bill of Sale only. Please email all questions. Thank you for looking.

Some of the images are relatively low-resolution here and leave a bit of detail to the imagination, but the seller does indicate some cosmetic imperfections that are visible in the detail shots. It’s rough around the edges, but it claimed to be mechanically solid, so maybe the perfect bike for someone who wants a rider or a bit of a project. For the right price, this could be a really cool bike, if lurid neon graphics, stinky smoke, and knee-down corner-carving are your thing.

-tad

 

Last of Its Kind: 1996 Suzuki RGV250 SP VJ23 for Sale
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