Posts by tag: Restored

Kawasaki December 11, 2018 posted by

P.C. (Preposterously Clean) – 1973 Kawasaki H1 500 Mach III

It would have been almost impossible to find an H1 in this condition in the mid-1970's, Mach III's generally obscured by dirt accumulated in the oily mist coating the bike.  This one has had a nice restoration and the auction still has a couple of days to run.

1973 Kawasaki H1 500 Mach III for sale on eBay

Back in the day, the only way to approach 100 hp per liter was with a two stroke, and while Honda had moved on, Suzuki still had a competing 500.  The basically square cylinders ( 60 x 58.8 mm ) resulted in 60 hp at 7,500 rpm.  The chassis was unfortunately not up to the task, put in a lot of over-exuberant situations.  Brakes were the usual, that is to say wholly inadequate, but this owner has added a second front disk.

A sparkling restoration and though the owner doesn't divulge who did the work, the carefully detailed engine and wheels look great.  From the eBay auction:

The following services have been performed:
* Rebuilt Crankshaft, bearings, seals and gaskets 
* Pistons & rings (.50 over)
* Rebuilt Carburetors rejetted w/pods
* Fork tubes, seals & dust boots
* Stock rear shocks
* Triple tree bearings
* Controls, grips and mirrors
* Super bike bars
* New cables
* New signals & stems
* Polished: Engine covers, outer head fins, forks, rear hub
* Rebuilt calipers - Dual brake system with refinished rotors
* 5/8 master cylinder
* Stock brake lines
* original grab rail, brake pedal, shifter, front fender
* re-chromed fork ears, chain guard
* New Paint, decals
* Re-laced rims
* New tires & tubes
* Chain & sprockets 
* replacement clutch
* Original seat 
* Bill Wirges chambers

Reviews raved about the big triple, while things like mileage and changing spark plugs every other oil change were easily forgotten.  But no one's proposing the H1 as a daily rider in this day and age, especially looking like this.  Wish the owner had attached a video with the sound of those triple expansion chambers...

-donn

P.C. (Preposterously Clean) – 1973 Kawasaki H1 500 Mach III
Honda November 17, 2018 posted by

Grey and Gold – 1988 Honda CBR400RR

For a few years in the late 1980's - early 90's, Honda had double coverage in the 400cc segment with two 4-cylinder 4-strokes, the V-4 VFR and the straight four CBR400RR.  Marketed somewhat differently, the CBR400RR really only made it to the western hemisphere as a grey import, where it has recently shined.  This one comes out of a collection and despite some miles, has been nicely prepared for a future life.

1988 Honda CBR400RR for sale on eBay

Around mid-life for the 400cc model, the NC23 built on past successes and styling from its larger cc brothers.  The nicely oversquare 399cc four has gear driven cams, and a pre-ordained 59 hp are available.  Air-adjustable forks and dual 4-piston disk brakes are up front, with Honda's beefy Tri-Arm monoshock out back.  Tire sizes are staggered 17 and 18 inches, and exhaust goes 4-into-1.

This owner has brought several bikes forward recently, and has taken some flack for his optimistic assessments.  This CBR though, looks better than advertised with fresh cosmetics, and the long list of mechanical freshenings take some of the concern out of the mileage.  An in depth walk-around is available - here -.  From the eBay auction:

1-Entire new Stainless Steel Exhaust System back to the OEM Can with all new donuts & mounting hardware.

2-Installed new fuel petcock

3-Rebuilt BOTH Front Calipers and the Rear Caliper - Repainted Honda Gold

4-Installed new brake pads front & rear

5-Installed New Gold Chain and new sprockets

6-Rebuilt all 4 carbs using only Honda OEM parts

7-Carbs all Digitally Sync to perfection

8-Installed New Tapered Head Bearings both upper and Lower

9-Installed New OEM Air Filter

10-New Spark plugs

11-Valves adjusted (Shim under bucket) - see pics of valve train and condition of the cam shaft lobes.

The cam lobes show almost ZERO wear!!! Installed new OEM valve cover gasket

12-Installed New rubber cushions in the drive hub

13-Installed new radiator - water pump - thermostat - radiator cap and coolant hoses

14-Installed NEW Rear Shock - big upgrade over the stock one

15-Rebuilt Front forks - new seal - dust caps and used 15w fork oil

With its slightly higher CG and different frame geometry, the CBR didn't get the handling raves that the VFR did, but it's a couple of gallons lighter and lives for the twisty bits.  Owner-readers will be able to spot discrepancies, but no one can quibble about the sound of the cam train.  The owner has elected a no-reserve auction, which seems undervalued with two days to run.  Plan ahead for spring !

-donn

 

Kawasaki June 29, 2018 posted by

Outer Limits – 1974 Kawasaki H1F Mach III

Prehistorically speaking, Kawasaki came just behind the Honda CB750 in the nascent superbike sweepstakes, but just ahead in the 1/4 mile.  The lighter weight two stroke triple had a wheelie addiction, and a substantial power-to-weight advantage, if not being a dream to handle.  This H1 is an older restoration and comes to you with a few foibles but excellent cosmetics.

1974 Kawasaki H1F for sale on eBay

The H1 had a classic twin downtube frame but innovative two-stroke triple.  Three 28mm Mikunis fueled the engine and oil injection was automatic.  For a 500, a 12.5-second quarter was a revelation, but period single front disk and rear drum at least kept exuberance rational.  Improvements over the six years of production improved the Capacitive Discharge Ignition system and standardized the unusual N-1-2-3-4-5 shift pattern.

This late Mach III looks better than excellent with most metals looking almost new, and there's very little plastic aboard.  The Ohio owner divulges that the odometer is hopelessly optimistic, and colors are from an H2, but beside the K&N air filters it appears complete, stock, and un-muddled.  A steering damper is installed which appears stock but from an earlier year.  From the eBay auction:

Mostly stock bike with air intake pods, dual piston front brake caliper and aftermarket exhaust. Older restoration with paint and chrome in above average condition. Starts up on 2nd or 3rd kick and shifts through gears smoothly. No dents in tank, scratches or cracks in plastic. Tank has been lined. Oil injection system is complete. Gauges, lights and turn signals all in good working order. Seat and seat pan in excellent condition. Recently replaced drive chain. Mileage on speedo is not correct. Paint scheme is the H2 color, black/purple.

Reviews showed the chassis to be un-cooperative with mid-corner direction changes and rough roads in general, but once the inadequate brakes were planned for, the power slowed the passage of time.  In the better part of valor, a friend of mine in the late '70s sold his shortly after lifting the front wheel with his fiancé on the back.  Neither designed or built for longevity, few have survived in this condition, the restoration here done on a nicer example.  Bidders are off to find the reserve but the auction still has five days to run...

-donn

Outer Limits – 1974 Kawasaki H1F Mach III
Honda April 13, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing – 1969 Honda CB750

Update 4.25.2018: eBay notes a sale at $25,600 and seller has confirmed the bike is SOLD. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Even legends take a few baby steps - Honda’s landscape-changing big four was originally manufactured on low-production tooling, known as “sand-cast”.  The smooth 67 hp model sold over 50,000 units the first year, and went on to around 400,000 sales, a lifetime achievement for any other manufacturer.  This early production CB has had a white-glove  restoration using period correct parts and techniques.

1969 Honda CB750 for sale on eBay

Known as the original superbike, the big CB750 was designed with some simplicity in mind.  Low-friction plain bearings are used throughout the engine, and the cylinders are undersquare with a longer stroke than bore, partly in order to limit crankcase width.  The cam chain and intermediate drive share the middle of the one-piece crankshaft for strength.  The switch to disk brakes had just begun but Honda cast theirs in rust-resistant stainless to ensure the clean look stayed nice.  The twin tube steel frame might’ve been the most traditional and not-over-engineered part of the package.  Early on a kickstarter was included though electric start was standard.

Subject of a three-year restoration completed in 2014, this CB was built with NOS parts for the engine and cosmetics.  An NOS wiring harness and exhaust system were sourced for the build, as few survive at their age.  A crucial un-restored tank was found in Candy Blue Green, though it post-dates the sand-cast era.  With the pebble-surfaced cases that "sand cast" refers to, the engine was rebuilt by Honda specialist Mark McGrew in Minnesota.  The complete package is easy on the eyes, the chrome rear fender echoing the front, and the quartet of headers making their way down and back.  Looking head-on shows the lightness and surprising ground clearance available.  Moto Borgotaro is located in Brooklyn, NY - here is a short excerpt from their complete offering which you can view - here - :

“Sand cast” guru Andy Morris of Hampton Bays, New York built this bike. Morris has worked on 15 “sand cast” CB 750s and nearly 50 later versions – he is so good that he can correctly assemble one of these Hondas from a tub of parts without reference to any manual – and he remembers buying # 2659 from a shop in Pennsylvania in the late 1990s. Its restoration took him three years and he used only OEM NOS replacement “sand cast” parts except for the rear rim which he had to have re-plated. All the fasteners, the spokes, the wiring harness, the four exhaust pipes, and other components came out of Honda parts boxes.

www.motoborgotaro.com

For all intents a "new" 1969 motorcycle, this CB750 has turned only 756 miles since completion.  It just looks like fun waiting to happen, at least to riders of a certain age.  My intro to the model was my buddy's CB550 in 1974, and even that seemed endlessly powerful compared to the trail bikes and vertical twins that were more my speed.  Though the standard layout had a self-limiting effect on top speed, it could do almost anything and torque was  always available.  It was also another chapter in the Honda quality story, the single cam engine being eminently reliable.  Strangely enough, the introductory model was also the most powerful, as horsepower figures waned through the emissions legislation and gas crisis years.

Honda used the pre-production molds to cast around 7,000 engines, which would be a successful year for most manufacturers and a full lifespan for more exotic models.  But as usual Honda was looking over the horizon, to around 40,000 machines each year with total production over 400,000.  This museum quality CB750 could be the opener for a collection of Honda superbikes, or the capstone for a history of earlier Hondas.  Moto Borgotaro can be contacted - here -.

Featured Listing – 1969 Honda CB750
BMW April 8, 2018 posted by

Ab Fab – 1975 BMW R90S

Lots of young men had Farrah Fawcett posters on their walls in the mid 1970's, while those with the two-wheeled affliction might've had one of a sexy R90S.  The bike was BMW's return to /S machines and was made only for a few years, but won Daytona and the inaugural AMA SuperBikes championship in 1976 under Reg Pridmore.

1975 BMW R90/S for sale on eBay

A descendant of BMW's venerable R75, the R90 was bored out to 898cc's and the helpful addition of Dell'Orto carburetors brought home 67 hp.  The first production year retained the Type 247 engine's kickstarter, but the 1975 update deleted that and added drilled brake rotors and a strengthened crankshaft.  The R90S was an early design of Hans Muth, who went on to many machines at BMW and then for Target Design.

This Tennessee /S has been comprehensively restored, every part NOS or newly painted, polished, or plated.  The owner started with a tired example with a rusty tank and missing its fairing, but has achieved a rare level of mechanical and cosmetic completeness.  From the eBay listing:

Bike was completely taken apart down to the bare frame and ever component rebuilt, restored or replaced. The complete motor, transmission, forks, wheels and carbs were rebuilt by Guenther Wuest in Indiana. He is a well know BMW motorcycle restorer.  Almost ever part replaced was replaced with parts from BMW thru Max. I have all the receipts and most of the packaging they came in. 

The only parts that are not BMW are the rear shocks and exhaust. I have all the original parts that were removed and replaced including all fasteners and are included with the sale.  Bike did not have a fairing or mirrors and had some kind of custom seat pad when I received it.  It also only had three aluminum  blinkers with no internals. The original gas tank was rusted beyond use so I went searching for a tank and came across a complete set of Daytona Orange body parts including a fairing.  The parts were re-painted some time ago but are in very good shape.  There are a few small chips on the tank and a couple small cracks on the fairing.

Front wheel was rebuilt with a new rim from Max and stainless steel spokes. The rear wheel was replaced with an original rebuilt Weinmann wheel I bought from Guenther.  Tires are new and wheels are balanced.  Every cable, nut, bolt, clamp, hose, seat, blinkers, bulbs, wires and complete brake system including the master cylinder is new. Also found a NOS tire pump that is included along with some new BMW tools.  Bike has only been ridden maybe 2 miles since completion and it starts right up and runs very smooth.

The R90S reviewed as a great all-rounder - not the fastest or most powerful, but handled well and was comfortable to ride through the 6 gallons of fuel on board.  The bikini fairing was borrowed widely though most did not include the thoughtful clock and oil pressure gauge.  The design was soon superseded with fast-paced engineering updates leading to the R100S and RS.  Likely this one will be for show only, though the restoration has prepared it for the road as well...

-donn

Ab Fab – 1975 BMW R90S
Honda March 12, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing – 1986 Honda VFR700F

Update 3.14.2018: SOLD in 2 Days! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

VFR fans might remember this special 700F from last spring's write-up.  Over the past year just a few hundred miles and a new starter are of note. 

The VFR700F was an interim model which ducked under a tariff limit on engine size, making a huge difference in MSRP from the VFR750F.  Performance was comparable and the model received two updates even though it was only imported for two years.  This edition is a late 1986 F2, with the angular console inkeeping with the times.

The F2 was a significant re-design from the 1983 introduction, and the entire engine was new in response to the update to the cam lubrication problem.  The frame was now a twin-spar aluminum, adding a sixth speed, air-adjustable forks and revised Pro-Link monoshock.  Still it was 81 hp pushing just over 500 lbs. wet, though the racing team did wonders with theirs - Fred Merkel won the AMA Superbike 1984-86 and was the new WSBK champion 1988-89.

This particular VFR was a rescue but looks like a show dog these days.  Fairings were repaired by plastic welding but are factory original.  Nice touches like the bronze powder-coated engine cases and up-to-date black wheels compete with knowledgeable fan updates like the 17-inch front wheel and shortened and cored mufflers ( with correct jetting ).  A lightening trim to the front fender shows the restorer's expertise and sharp eye, and maybe a little nostalgia with the NOS tank emblem.  Check out the restoration blog - here - .

By now most VFR's have half-again or twice as many miles, as they are a rider's bike.  Most have never even heard about a restoration like this.  Renewed for another life, with its 2nd generation alloy chassis and stock paint and graphics, it could easily hold its own at a show or concours.  Owner Scott asks just $4,000.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1986 Honda VFR700F