Posts by tag: Liquid Cooled

Yamaha June 28, 2017 posted by

New York State of Mind: 1984 Yamaha RZ500

I will freely admit – having been born and bred in SoCal – that I have absolutely no idea what a New York state of mind might be. However I imagine it a series of dichotomies; hot and humid summers, cold and snowy winters, and the world’s most crowded (and motorized unfriendly) city. That pretty much conjures up the images I have, intending NO offense intended to our East Coast denizens. However in my palm-tree infested world devoid of rain, I have a hard time thinking about how rare hardware survives. This bike does little to change my impression, although it may not be entirely fair to blame the locale.

1984 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on eBay

As I’m certain you have heard before, the RZ500 is the most populous of the rare, big two strokes. Encompassing a V-4, twin crank two stroke in a mild steel perimeter frame, the RZ was akin to a GP racer for the street. It was not the most hardcore of the bigger smokers (that honor falls to the Gamma), but it was both approachable and readily available; provided you lived somewhere other than the US. There are plenty of examples available, mostly coming from north of the US border; our two-stroke friend, Canada. Given the location of this bike, that is the most likely point of import.

From the seller:
Up for sale is a 1984 Yamaha RZ500 Motorcycle. Clear Title. Frame Number 47X-002434. I will get the engine number Soon and update the listing. Previous Owner had Bought the bike in 2007, He had put on new Tires, When though the Carburetors, changed the Kilometer Speedometer out for a MPH Gauge. Original reads 19,651. He had put a used MPH gauge on so mileage should be around 20,000. He had kept the original Kilo gauge, see picture, reads 34,454. The bike has a new battery. Fires right up and sounds great, no leaks or noises. Goes through the gears fine, clutch feels good. Inside of the gas tank was previously lined and is now starting to Bubble, so will need to be cleaned out. Front and rear brakes work as should. Headlight/ Taillight work. Has rear blinkers, Front blinkers are missing. It has a Jolly Moto exhaust system. Plastics have some cracks and slight repairs, but looks great! Expect normal wear and tear for a bike its age. Little to no rust. Would make a great Rider! Rare motorcycle, Clear Title/ Toolkit and cowl for seat. Please see all pictures before bidding. Bike is sold as is.

The seller shares some good information about the bike, but it seems unlikely that these words are the whole story. Not only has the speedo been changed out, but so too has the temp gauge. Were these items damaged in a crash (evidenced by the numerous scars on the bodywork), or was there another reason? Was overheating an issue? Where did all of the rust come from? Where are the front turn stalks? There are so many questions that I would want to ask on this one, not the least is why are all of the puke tubes hanging out in non-stock locations? The Jolly Moto pipes are a good score, but great pipes attached to some questions only really amplify the queries. Was the steering damper added after the fact? I could go on, but I’ll stop here.

It should be no surprise to less geographically-challenged individuals than me that this bike is located near Syracuse, only a short doughnut’s throw over the border to Canada. The swapped speedo makes sense from a federalization perspective, but the rest of the issues nag at me. Far from the near-perfect $20k smokers and exotica you tend to see on RSBFS (like this Kawasaki H2R or this ultra rare Kawasaki KR-1R), this RZ500 is a bit of a work in progress (as soon as the new buyer starts making progress). That could be a good thing if the price is right. The fly in the ointment here is that the opening ask is one buck short of ten grand. Yes, that is $10,000 USD. While a clean and well-sorted RZ500 can be a $15k machine (and $20k for a time capsule example), this one is far from that. Check it out here, and let us know what you think; does the DIY approach make any fiscal sense here, or is this one simply trying to ride the bubble? Good Luck!!

MI

New York State of Mind: 1984 Yamaha RZ500
Yamaha June 23, 2017 posted by

Original Fizz: 1990 Yamaha FZR600

Before the haters and the interweb know-it-alls pipe up, we all know that the FZR600 – while a great bike in its day – is not rare. So what the heck is it doing here on RSBFS??! I can sum it up with one word: Condition. These bikes are not really collector material; Yamaha simply made too many, and they were really nothing special from a tech perspective. Fast forward nearly 30 years, though, and 98% (or more) of these bikes have been through about 6-7 owners, raced, hooned, crashed, trashed and rebuilt – and look like it. Here we have what amounts to a “nearly new” Fizzer 600 with enough miles on the clock not to be a garage queen (approaching 12,000), but clean enough to eat off of. The parts are original, and the bike looks it. This example is the 1% that had no chance to be special when released, but because of the preservation has become a unique find.

1990 Yamaha FZR600 for sale on eBay

Yamaha introduced the FZR600 as an update to the FZ series. Born of the Genesis ideology, the liquid-cooled inline four is canted forward notably in order to shift weight onto the front of the bike. Unlike the 750 and 1,000cc Fizzers, the 600 makes due with only four valves per cylinder, not five; that makes it like the 400. Unlike the 400, however, the Delta Box frame on the 600 is steel, not aluminum. This was a cost move on the part of Yamaha. Another cost-saving move was the relative lack of updates to the bike over its 10 year run; aside from colors and graphics, only minor cosmetic changes were introduced to the lineup. Again, I’m damning the FZR600 with faint praise; it is nothing particularly special, yet somehow does most things right.


From the seller:
1990 FZR 600 – Immaculate condition. I hate to do this but I am finally willing to sell one of the best bikes in my collection. The reason for my decision is because I am older and my back is not like it was. In my opinion this has to be one of the nicest (if not the nicest) 1990 FZR 600’s in the entire country. The bike has all its original plastic that is in amazing condition. This bike has been garaged and babied it’s entire life. When I purchased the bike I took a year to replace any and all tiny little trim pieces that get worn overtime using ONLY new “out of wrapper” OEM parts to do so. This bike has brand new tires (less then 20 miles), a new battery, a brand new OEM fairing stabilizer bar (try to find one of those) and a new windshield that even includes the factory OEM rubber trim around it. Even the seat is like new on this bike. The bike runs like NEW and starts right up. Clutch is perfect and shifts like new. The engine has only 11,800 original miles on it. There are only two major aftermarket parts on this bike. The first is a one piece “period correct” Vance and Hines four to one exhaust system which sounds great and the other is a “Stage One” jet kit. You will be amazed at how nice this bike is. This bike turns more heads then most because young kids don’t know what it is and old people (like me) haven’t seen one in 20 years (ha). As I said, I hate to see it go but someone should be riding this!!!! The price includes a real wheel stand.

I challenge you to find a FZR600 that looks like this. Hit up the GoogleTube and do your worst. What you will end up with is a bunch of rat bikes, “naked” stunters, abandoned rust buckets and possibly even some tenable, high-mileage used bikes. If you want a period correct FZR600 – one that you can ride and one that shows well – THIS is your option. The bummer here is that the price is rather steep. The 600cc Fizzer was always a bit of a budget bike during the day; you could spend more with Honda, Kawasaki or Suzuki, but you didn’t necessarily get more bike. Yamaha was smart about their trade-offs, and built a competitive bike on a budget. This particular FZR600 – while about the best we’ve seen in a long, long time – breaks the bank with a $4,900 Buy It Now option. There is also an auction underway with a $4k opening bid plus reserve (no takers yet). Sadly, this is the best FZR600 that we have seen, and it is not likely to be sold at these prices. A good bike? Most certainly. Great condition? Undoubtedly. Overpriced for a non-collectable model? Sorry to say, but true. Check it out here, and then share your experience with the most versatile of the 1990s 600cc set! Good Luck!!

MI

Original Fizz: 1990 Yamaha FZR600
Aprilia June 22, 2017 posted by

Tiny Tiddler: 2009 Aprilia RS125

Go figure, but these Aprilia RS125s are extremely popular on RSBFS. Nowhere near liter bike territory, the little Rotax-powered chicken chaser is the grey-market equivalent of a Honda Grom – only much, much cooler. With a single cylinder two stroke motor, lights and turn signals to make it almost legal in most states and a reputation for handling, this Aprilia will let you take the fight to those pesky Ninja 250Rs and Honda CBR250s for top title in the small bike class. Got a local track that is tight and twisty? Here is your answer. Addicted to anything that requires premix? Here is your answer. Got a few bucks laying around and hankering for a new toy? Here is your answer.

2009 Aprilia RS125 for sale on eBay

The world is changing, and we are drawn along with it – willingly or not. Gasoline and diesel are the targets of EV automobiles. Our beloved two strokes are already in their graves; four strokers have taken over everything from GP machinery to scooters. What is left but the past? This RS125 is a perfect reminder of the past. Conjuring up the glory days before Moto3, the RS125 hearkens back to an era of 125cc, entry-level GP racing. This is where pimply-faced teens cut their teeth before becoming heroes: Rossi, Biaggi, Criville, Capirossi, Locatelli, Pedrosa, Dovizioso, Luthi, Bautista, Di Meglio, Marquez. I mean, what do these guys know?

From the seller:
2009 Aprilia RS125. Purchased new, all original except tidy tail, exhaust bracket and solo seat. Factory wiring harness with no cuts/splices. Street legal, licensed and titled in my name (17 digit factory vin number). The solo seat was a factory Aprilia part (fiberglass). Bike has clear title in my name, never down or dropped, needs nothing.

Aprilia made the brave move to bring the RS125 into the US for a scant few years. Those individuals that purchased them bought well, as these are wonderful (if not small) sporting motorcycles. Keeping one on the pipe can be a mental exercise, but isn’t the mental aspect what we we really seek when riding or racing? Gone is the basement torque you may expect from your Ducati. Gone is the safety net of big horsepower when you blow your corner entry and get dogged on the following straight. Small bikes are all about focus, corner speed and planning. The RS125 plays this game well with a rev-happy motor, strong brakes and decent suspension. This is a viable trainer for the younger set, and a noteworthy toy for the, uh, more mature riders (and readers) among us. If, when you step on the scale, you double the displacement of this little scoot, you will be forgiven if you pass. But you’re still missing out.

Located in Tennessee and with 3,433 on the clock, this US titled bike looks to be in great condition. The seller is asking for some pretty big dollars, and already has a few bids on the hook; This RS125 is up to $4k with more to come. Check it out here, and then jump back to our Comments section for the real test: would you be able to ride a RS125, or is something, er, a little “larger” more preferable? This is a great bike for some – check it out and Good Luck!!

MI

Tiny Tiddler: 2009 Aprilia RS125
KTM June 18, 2017 posted by

Alternative: 2013 KTM 1190 RC8R

The mighty RC8R was started as an internal pet project wtihin KTM R&D. This was no mere “sporty bike” project. Rather, the RC8 lineup was designed with racing in mind – Superbike competition and more. The culmination of that project was the “R” model RC8 – with top-shelf components and exclusive performance that rivaled the best of what the world had to offer. It was raced in competition with limited success, but paved the way for what is now KTM’s MotoGP project. You’d be forgiven if you missed the RC8R in competition; most American buyers seemed to completely miss out on the RC8R in the showrooms too. With only a few hundred sold per year (tops), KTM eventually pulled the plug on this mega street bike. Today, the only SuperSport in the KTM lineup is the RC390.

2013 KTM RC8R for sale on eBay

The backbone of the RC8R is a tubular lattice frame of high-strength chrome-molybdenum steel. This is a page out of the early Bimota handbook, and resembles the handiwork of Ducati frames (except for the color, of course). On to that solid foundation KTM fitted a massive swingarm with adjustable pivot points. Suspension is WP on both ends, completely adjustable, naturally. In fact, adjustability might just be the RC8R’s calling card: foot pegs and controls, seat height, and levers are all adjustable to help best adapt the bike to the rider. That is race bike level of detail, and certainly helps the rider control the 173 HP booming out of the 75 degree angle V-twin. Stopping this just-over-400-pound (dry) beast are Brembo radial mounts attached to lightweight, Marchesini aluminium die-cast wheels. All in all, a very formidable package.

From the seller:
2013 KTM 1190 RC8R White/Orange Only 1,400 Miles
Can’t be told from new – Full Service History / Climate Controlled Storage
Original Books’ Service Manual Keys & Tool Kit
Private Party Sale Title in hand Ready to transfer. No Paypal Game Cash or Bank check Only
Exterior Color:
White/Orange
Engine:
1195 cc
Title Condition:
Clear

The KTM RC8R does not quite have the supermodel good looks of the Ducati Panigale, but that keeps it from being a “me too” type of machine. Poised – as if ready to transform into something else – the KTM looks raw, mean and fast. These are wonderful bikes indeed, and the later year variants (such as this 2013 example) are free from the minor hiccups and teething that plagued the first year models. This is a solid, reliable, and confidence-inspiring mount, sure to make a statement when you arrive. Even sitting still it has a unique – exclusive – quality.

This particular example has only 1,400 miles on the clock; that helps explain why it looks so clean. There will be those that question a bike that has been ridden so few miles, but one man’s garage queen is another man’s nearly new motorcycle. And since you cannot get an RC8R any longer, wouldn’t you rather get the newest one you can? Bidding starts high on this one: $12,995 is the opening ask, with a reserve in place. It may be too soon for these oddball quasi-Ducs to appreciate, as they were only recently discontinued (due to poor sales). In time, I would have to think the collecting world would come to appreciate this bike somewhat differently. Check it out here, as there are plenty of great pics of this steed. Then just back to our Comments section and give us a piece of your mind on this KTM: Is it a current superbike, a flash in the pan, or a future collectable? Good Luck!!

MI

Alternative: 2013 KTM 1190 RC8R
Kawasaki June 17, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1989 Kawasaki KR-1R!

It may take you a little bit to pry yourself away from this first picture. It’s OK, I’ll wait a moment. Yes, that is an honest-to-God, freaking *original* Kawasaki KR-1R. The rarest of the rare of the quarter-liter smoking set has arrived, and this is your chance (and likely your only chance) to score one of these “what lies at the end of the rainbow” sort of machines. KR-1 examples are few and far between these days. The “R” spec – as it does with all other mega cool bikes with sporting intent – kicks things up a notch into crazy uber collectable mode. With KR-1 models coming across our pages so infrequently, it should be no surprise that the one and only KR-1R seen here on RSBFS was over 6 years ago (and based in England). Today, we are thrilled to bring you what must be one of only a handful of KR-1Rs that live here in the US – and this one is titled for street use.

You might wonder what’s the big deal about the KR-1R. Visually, it differs little from the lesser KR bikes. They all share the same parallel twin, reed valve inducted 250cc two stroke power plant. This motor, while not the trendy v-twin variety, has the distinction of being the most powerful of the 250cc smoking set. When it comes to bragging rights, the Kawasaki hits hard. Fun fact: A KR-1R holds the speed record at Bonneville for 250cc production motorcycles. The KR-1S is slightly different from a base KR-1 by color scheme and wheels. There are also bits that you cannot easily see, such as improved suspension components and chassis modifications (all KR models have an aluminum chassis, naturally). Take the KR-1S, add larger carbs for even more power, bolt on a close ratio gearbox and stronger clutch springs and you have one of the approximately 180 KR-1R Kawasakis in the world. It goes without saying that the KR-1R has a unique paint job with its nomenclature very, very clearly stated. All “R” model bikes were domestic (Japan) only machines.

From the seller:
The bike came from a Kawasaki collector in Japan. Motor is all stock. Stock carbs,
stock airbox, stock heads, ect all confirmed OEM Kawasaki. Fairings 100% OEM.
Windshield appears to be OEM. Two Keys.

Previous collector has cosmetically customized this KR-1R with Kawasaki OEM green
front fender, Beet rear sets and Beet exhaust and mufflers. Some suspension
components have been polished.

The bike has been professionally resprayed. Being a Kawasaki dealer with ties to
Japan, I was able to source OEM decals and correct paint codes. The paint job was done correctly. You may notice, The lower air vent was not blacked in like you see other KR-1R’s on the internet. The green and black paint lays over the air vent with a 50/50 split like it came from the factory.

All three brake calipers were sent to Powerhouse in England for complete
refurbishment. Powder coated, new seals, pistons, pads, ect. because they were old
looking. I have all the original brake parts that go with the bike.

More from the seller:
Bike has newish tires, Dunlop GPR’s, new brake fluid, new coolant, new oil, new
battery. Bike runs flawless at sea level and a little rich at my 4500ft elevation.
Bikes runs perfectly.

Bike comes with Utah title and is titled as a street bike for road use. I am looking
for offers over $20K – highest offer wins the bike. Potential buyers can contact me via email with offers. Only 180 bikes were made and this one is a very low serial number. Complete Serial number won’t be published.

Price: Accepting offers over $20,000

Deadline: July 1, 2017

Contact: rmurangemasters@aol.com

If some of the pictures look familiar, you will notice this is indeed the same Utah collector (and Kawasaki dealer) that recently thinned out a number of exotic machines (some purchased by RSBFS readers!). Gary states that this KR-1R was a crown jewel in his collection, but it is time to move on. There are A LOT of pictures, and I’ve included as many as possible. If you are serious buyer and there is something that you want to see, ping Gary for more details. Word from our readers is that Gary is great to work with and the purchased hardware shows up looking as advertised. That is good to know, especially when dealing with what may be the only US-based KR-1R with a street title.

Values are hard to come by when so few examples change hands, but I can assure you that $20k is a bottom dollar bargain number when it comes to a clean and sorted KR-1R (if you can even find one). This bike looks fantastic, and is one of the more rare models you might hope to see on RSBFS this year (or the next). So if you have a spare kidney laying around that you’re not really using, NOW is the time to reach out to Gary (rmurangemasters@aol.com) and make a deal. Good Luck!!

Featured Listing: 1989 Kawasaki KR-1R!
Suzuki June 15, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250V Lucky Strike!

Update 7.30.2017: Seller has notified us that this bike is now sold. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

In the glorious 1990s, big tobacco made motorsports run. Cigarette sponsorship was everywhere, and every major series and team was titled by a cancer stick hawker; The Winston Cup, The Camel GT series (as well as the Camel AMA Supercross and Camel Trophy events), Marlboro McLaren, Marlboro Ferrari, Marlboro Penske, Mild Seven Benetton, Rothmans Williams, Benson & Hedges Jordan, John Player Lotus, 555 Subaru Rally, Silk Cut Jaguar Group C just to name a few. On the bike front, you cannot ignore the Rothmans Hondas, Skoal Suzukis, Smokin’ Joes Hondas, Gauloises Factory Yamahas, and many, many others. Of course in the world of RSBFS, the one that really matters is the partnership of Lucky Strike and Suzuki. Which brings us to our bike: An original 1996 Suzuki RGV250V VJ23 Lucky Strike.

The RGV series was a popular and successful one for Suzuki. Using a liquid cooled v-twin to replace the earlier, parallel twin RG models, the RGV provided more power in a slimmer package. The results were impressive on the racetrack (so much so that Aprilia licensed the VJ22 powerplant for use in their own bikes), and translated tolerably well to the street. Suzuki RGV models are some of the most popular of the import two-strokes we see on these pages. So while RGVs may not be uncommon, this specific variant – the factory Lucky Strike livery – is very rare indeed. Just over 100 of the VJ23 “V” series were released for export as Lucky Strike models. There were an additional ~240 LS “T” models created for the domestic home market. To find a clean example that is not a fake Lucky Strike (cheap body panels are available) is a tough chore. Buyers need to be very careful, scrutinizing chassis numbers, SAPC versions, and other details such as exhaust chamber part numbers to ensure that they have 1) a VJ23 to begin with, and 2) the holy grail of the RGV lineup, the Lucky Strike Edition.

From the seller:
1996 (97 model) Rgv250v
Factory Lucky Strike
One of 119 in this scheme, these were the last of the vj23 line.
This was originally exported to China and is one of three that I own.
The full power bikes were quoted at 55ps in the sales brochure not 70.
This is unrestored except for the fact I’ve renewed all chassis/wheel brgs and consumables like carb rubbers.
Brakes and forks have been overhauled.
Engine is fine and has perfect compressions
Only non or parts are the carbon cans/nitron shock/brake lines
All oe parts are included,;seat/rear pegs/original shock/hoses/OE cans
Recent chain/sprockets
This bike needs nothing.

Price: £16,000 (plus shipping)

Like most Japanese bikes, there are a couple different variants of each model depending upon the intended market. Japanese home market bikes will always be restricted to a lower output due to licensing regulations. Bikes destined for Western Europe (specifically Germany and Italy) had a mid-grade output specification. Bikes headed to Canada and Australia usually were full-power examples, and where the higher HP numbers were quoted.

This seller is extremely knowledgeable in this model. While doing some research in the past, I came across some of his wisdom on a RGVs site, and I refer to it now and again. This is a good thing when it comes to very rare machinery; with Lucky Strike fakes pretty common, nobody wants to plunk top dollar down for any less than genuine. Fortunately, this looks to be a verifiable article from the factory. It is the last gen of the RGVs and probably the most desirable of the models. As such, it can command market price. The seller is looking for 16,000 GBP, which equates to approximately $20,400 USD at the current exchange. Drool over the pictures a little bit; your computer won’t mind.

Featured Listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250V Lucky Strike!
Honda June 10, 2017 posted by

On the fence: 1990 Honda NSR250R SE

In the hardcore world of RSBFS, two strokes rule and four strokes drool (oil). The simple reason is power to weight: Take this 1990 NSR250R as an example: a 250cc v-twin producing approximately 45 HP in Japanese restricted configuration, has only only 290 lbs of bike to move. Similar four strokes have 10-15 less HP (even without home market restrictions) and are heavier by at least the same amount. An unrestricted 250cc smoker is a 60+ HP machine, tilting the numbers even more in favor of the two stroke. When it comes to ultimate performance, it is very hard to beat the sounds, smells and snot of a popcorn popper.

1990 Honda NSR250R SE MC21 for sale on eBay

The MC21 edition of the NSR was a considerable step forward for the NSR line. Featuring a 90° liquid-cooled 249cc v-twin with a trick, six-speed cassette gearbox (making ratio changes possible without pulling the motor and gearbox), asymmetrical “gull-arm” swingarm for maximum cornering clearance (tucks the right side pipe up in tighter) and adjustable suspension, the MC21 is a proper sporting motorcycle. The dry clutch with its “race rattle” is another nod to the intentions of this NSR. An estimated 16,000 were produced for Japanese home markets and as exports to the Pacific Rim and Europe, but sadly America was never a recipient.

From the seller:
1990 HONDA NSR250R SE MC21 DRY CLUTCH
The bike is imported from Japan.
Not registered yet in the U.S.
This bike is sold without title. (NO TITLE)
We don’t know how to get a titile. Please ask DMV
Start engine.
Aftermarket Cowl but Tank is original.
Not original color
Race Foot pegs.
Some scratches So look carefully all pictures and video.
Turn signals don’t work.
This motorcycle is 27years ago .Sold as is.
24150km (15006mile)
Engine Number MC16E-1222422
Sold as is with NO warranty NO refunds NO return.

This is one of those listings that gives a RSBFS staff writer pause for thought. One one hand, this is a freaking MC21 edition of Honda’s acclaimed NSR250 series. The fact that it is an import, reasonably rare in the US, a two stroke and undoubtedly a sport bike ticks most of the right boxes on our checklist. On the other hand, the lack of seller knowledge with regards to title (i.e. it currently sits in CA where you cannot get one for this bike) and the overall condition (i.e. not stock, less than pristine with unknown history) make for a bike to avoid posting. In the end the candor from the seller and the rattle of the dry clutch in the video won me over. It may not be perfect, but throw in some elbow grease and you may have a winner (provided you don’t live in CA).

Which brings us to the bottom line: the opening ask for this auction is a fairly unrealistic $4,200. I think that the initial bid is high enough to scare most bidders away, even though it may be in the pricing ballpark. While the bike is rare, there are certainly other NSRs available. A really good MC21 can fetch $7,500 – $9,000 (just check out some of our past Featured Listings), but I think this one will end up in more conservative territory. Check it out here, and then be sure and jump to the Comments section to share your thoughts. Does this bike belong on RSBFS, or should Mike be lashed with a wet noodle soaked in castor oil for the post? Good Luck!!

MI

On the fence: 1990 Honda NSR250R SE
Honda June 8, 2017 posted by

Super Low-Mileage Super Hawk: 1998 Honda VTR1000F For Sale

In the mid-1990s when Ducati was dominating World Superbike racing and the all-important bedroom-wall-fantasy-poster competition, it seemed like everybody wanted to get into the v-twin market and “beat Ducati at its own game.” It shouldn’t have been that hard, right? I mean, Ducati made fast bikes, but part of why they were so successful in WSB could be dismissed as them simply exploiting rules that gave an advantage to v-twin motorcycles: obviously, 750cc twins can’t compete directly with 750cc inline fours in terms of outright power, and the rules allowed a displacement advantage to keep racing relatively equal. But it wasn’t as easy as all that, and the short-lived competitors to the Bolognese twins like the Suzuki TL1000R/S and Honda VTR1000F Super Hawk are proof of that.

On paper, it looked like a recipe for success: the Super Hawk was powered by a 996cc 90° v-twin that featured liquid-cooling and four valves per cylinder, so it really was closer in spec to Ducati’s 916 but priced closer to their air-cooled 900SS. The half-fairing resembled the Super Sport as well, although the slick side-mounted radiators made it clear this was an altogether more sophisticated machine and of course it used an aluminum beam frame instead of Ducati’s signature trellis.

But the problem was a distinct lack of focus: where the 916 was an uncompromising racing machine barely tamed for the road, the VT1000F was much more road-biased. Back when these were new, before Honda introduced the much more aggressive SP1 and SP2, folks did try to take the Super Hawk racing, but it was never really designed for that. The frame was designed to allow controlled flex for better roadholding while cranked over, but it was a bit too limp for racetrack use without significant modification.

Of course, the fact that the Honda Super Hawk wasn’t a big sales success doesn’t in any way mean it was a bad bike. In fact it was a pretty great bike, aside from the bland styling and stupidly small fuel tank that combined with mediocre mileage to limit range. Fit a set of aftermarket exhausts or run it dead stock, strap a jerrycan to the passenger seat, and just ride the wheels off it! Of course, the big selling point of today’s machine is the incredible time-capsule condition, sporting a showroom-new 355 original miles, so this is either a great opportunity for a collector, or for someone who regrets not buying one new and wants to rectify that error now…

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Honda VTR1000F Super Hawk for Sale

Here is your chance to buy a new bike at a used bike price. I have for auction a 1998 Honda VTR1000F Super hawk, with only 355 total miles! Bike was ridden by the original owner for just a few hundred miles, then stored in his living room. Bike is in excellent condition, with only a few minor scratches (as pictured). New battery, with carbs and tank inspected and it runs great.

Part of the appeal of the Super Hawk is the famed Honda reliability and the Honda practicality, so it’s a shame about that tiny tank, but considering the low prices these have been commanding for years, you’re still looking at a lot of bike for the money. You might not get Ducati looks, but you get throaty v-twin sounds, excellent road-biased handling, decent comfort, and good reliability. This is a no reserve auction and bidding is pretty low so far, but active and creeping steadily upwards so I’ll be curious to see where the bidding stops.

-tad

Super Low-Mileage Super Hawk: 1998 Honda VTR1000F For Sale