Posts by tag: Showa

Honda December 6, 2018 posted by

Right Said Fred: 1986 Honda VF1000R

Organizations have been using star power to move product since the beginning of time. The religious world has deities, the stick and ball sports have performance heroes, arts and entertainment circles have famous people, and even the social media world has some form of acclaimed personas (not that I would know who they are). Big names connect consumers with the idea of being like somebody famous. 90% of the population cannot dunk a basketball, but that doesn't slow down shoe sales. And so it is with no surprise that motorcycle manufacturers attached star power to help move models and drive consumers into the showroom. It was rampant in the 1980s, and continues through to this day. Sometimes the connection was blatant; witness Kenny Robert's signature on the fairing of the RZ350, or Nicky Hayden's script on bespoke RC51 models. And sometimes the connection is implied, such as with the 1979 Suzuki GS1000 - often mistakenly referred to as the Wes Cooley edition. So as we gaze upon this magnificent 1986 Honda VF1000R, the colors evoke HRC's racing livery and we assume this to be an homage to the great Freddie Spencer. Star power that is implied - but not overtly stated - is still star power. And it still moves product.

1986 Honda VF1000R for sale on eBay

Developed with the technology to win races, the VF1000R was a massive technological wonder when it was released in Europe; especially when compared to the rather bland "F" model sold in the US. Four cylinders arranged in a 90 degree vee formation, double overhead cams spun by gears (oh the glorious sound!) working four valves per cylinder. The frame was of the perimeter variety to cradle the motor, but tech extended to both ends of this machine: Honda’s Pro-Link rising-rate rear suspension (a massive upgrade over twin shock setups) and up front the Torque Reactive Anti-Dive Control (TRAC) anti-dive front fork with nifty quick change axle (a nod to the endurance heritage). With a 16" front wheel - just like the GP racers - and bodywork and dual headlamp evoking Honda's endurance racers from Europe, the VF1000R was everything the American buying public could want in a repli-racer. And much, much more. Especially in terms of weight. The "R" model looked the look, but tipped in at a very porky mid-500 pound range wet. It also came with a significant increase in price over the "F" model. But you can't really argue with the look. Let's pick this one up here from the seller:

From the seller:
1986 Honda VF-1000-R - Only 33K Miles - Also Called Honda's Autobahn Baby

- Mechanically this bike is a 9.5 Out Of 10 And Cosmetically It's a 9.25 out of 10
- Excellent condition for a 33 year old ICON in the Motor Cycle World.
- It'd be cool for it go to a collector who understands what it is and appreciates it's wonderful condition.

More from the seller:
Before going on display in the Museum the following was done - Not in any order . .

- Installed new fuel petcock
- Rebuilt Carbs with all Honda OEM Parts
- Carbs all Digitally Sync to perfection
- Installed new brake pads front & rear
- Installed New OEM Air Filter
- New Spark plugs
- Valves adjusted
- Installed New rubber cushions in the rear drive hub
- Rebuilt Front forks - new seal - dust caps and used 15w fork oil

More from the seller:
Recently After Being Pulled From Museum Display This Last Month - The Following Was Done

- Flushed entire fuel system/carbs with fresh Non- Ethanol fuel and filled gas tank with the same
- New Battery & Battery Tender Hookup - which can also be used to run Electric gear
- New front and rear brake fluids flushed and replaced with Honda Pro DOT 4
- New Hydraulic clutch fluids flushed and replaced with Honda Pro DOT 4
- Replaced engine oil & filter
- Tires have 150+/- miles on them in 4 rides.

Everything checked fine on these rides and the bike is a blast to ride especially listening to the whine of the gear driven cams at the engine's 11,000 RPM redline.

PLEASE NOTE - It has been recently un-mothballed in a loving fashion by my master mechanic. The fuel system flushed with non-ethanol premium fuel. Installed a new battery along with a new battery tender hook-up. It started up in less then 10 seconds and runs great! There are no fuel leaks. It idles perfectly with the choke off. It Revs & Restarts fine. It is ready to go and needs nothing to go riding. And/or it's ready to go straight into another Museum.

The seller has also included a video of the bike in question, including a walkaround and some facts and figures:

The seller claims this to be a museum example, and indeed the pictures do show the bike parked in like company. But what does it mean to be a museum display? Cosmetically, I would imagine it needs to be in good shape. Mechanically everything should work, although for a static display that is not really necessary. In this case, the video includes a startup and showing full functionality. This seller has gone the extra mile to show off the bike, and seems to know quite a bit about this model.

At the end of the day this looks to be a solid example of a well loved model from the 1980s. So what's not to like? If I had to pick nits, I would point to the 33,000 miles as one - although the bike does not look like it traveled that far, nor is there a longevity concern. I would, however, expect the miles to be reflected in the price. For true collectors the non-stock F1 cans might be an issue, though I concede I do not have any experience sourcing original parts for this particular model (i.e. might not be an issue). There is minor rash on the top of the triple trees, and the tank protector is also not stock. All small stuff. The real tire kickers here should not necessarily be the collectors, but those who are looking for something from an earlier time that they can ride. R model VF1000s are not exactly blue chip investment material; not too rare, not too valuable, and unlikely to appreciate in the manner of a RC30. But it is a wonderful machine to ride, enjoy, and fawn over until the next caretaker picks up the mantle and unlikely to plummet in the coming years. This NO RESERVE auction is going on right now, and this bike remains a bargain at the time of writing. Check it out here. This is not the fastest, not the best handling, and certainly not the most rare bike on our pages - but it will not fail to put a smile on your face. Can you beat that? If you missed the budget RZ, don't miss out on this one. Good Luck!!

MI

Right Said Fred: 1986 Honda VF1000R
Honda March 24, 2018 posted by

Order of Magnitude – 1998 Honda CBR900RR

Honda developed their Fireblade with an eye on the ruler and the scale, keeping size and weight down so the 893cc engine could provide open-bike performance. Though often seen in white/blue/red or black/purple/yellow livery, the pearlescent yellow on this CBR has a less trendy but outstanding appeal.

1998 Honda CBR900RR for sale on eBay

Honda developed a new inline four for the CBR900RR, nearly as compact and weighing just thirteen pounds more than it's 599cc brother.  Engineers optimized mid-range torque for the new engine, resulting in 65 ft.-lbs. at 10,000 rpm and 122 hp available.  The 45mm Showa dual-adjustable forks and fully adjustable Showa/Pro-Link rear were judged overly taut for the real road, but this set has been professionally adjusted for a full size adult.  At 296mm the front disks aren't oversized, but with four-piston calipers they can get the job done.  The compact package turns sharper yet with 16-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels.

Evidently having only three owners, this CBR looks way better than its 24,000 miles normally would.  Mods were all done recently, and mostly don't detract from the CBR's good looks, which would be easier to mess up with the monochrome paint.  Turn signal smoothing and tail-tidying are fairly personal, and the factory parts are included for the new owner.  From the eBay auction:

This bike has a few tasteful upgrades.  All of which I did myself.  When I purchased this bike, it was 100% bone stock OEM condition.  So I have all of the stock parts too that I will include in with the purchase as I have no use for them. Here is a list of the upgrades I did to it:

- Micron polished slip on exhaust ($350)
- Front & rear suspension re worked by Race Tech suspension ($1,200)
- Zero Gravity dark smoke tinted windscreen ($50)
- Pro Grip carbon fiber tank pad protector ($20)
- New Bridgestone Battlax tires w/ about 300 miles on them now ($300)
- Smoke tinted LED tail light w/ integrated turn signals ($45)
- Rear fender mud guard removed & license plate raised up
- LED license plate light
- Front LED turn signals hidden inside front grill inlays ($30)
- Black brake & clutch levers ($25)

The 893cc CBR was just the first generation, and for 1994 the transmission was updated to improve shifting.  The succeeding years brought three increased engine sizes and fuel injection, but kept the core principles of compactness, light weight and mass-centralization.  Project leader Tadao Baba was a factory worker and veteran test rider, but not a designer or engineer.  His vision gave the CBR900RR a multi-year head start when compared to rival open-class machines.  This updated survivor looks like it wasn't ridden hard or put away wet, and it'll be interesting to see where bidding goes...

-donn

Order of Magnitude – 1998 Honda CBR900RR
Ducati August 27, 2017 posted by

Remembrance: 2010 Ducati 848 Nicky Hayden Edition

Let me start out by making it clear: Ducati built this bike to celebrate Nicky's competitive streak and championship-winning skills while he continued racing for the Bologna squad - current tense. Today, we look at this very differently, and make quiet, respectful references in the past tense. This was not intended to be a remembrance model; tragic events turned it into that. Although Nicky raced for Ducati for 5 seasons in MotoGP, he was never able to duplicate his 2006 championship Honda form on the Italian machines. Yet in 2010 Ducati honored Hayden with a bespoke 848 Superbike showcasing the Kentucky Kid's signature and USA-themed styling elements. Only 150 were made world wide.

The Ducati 848 is the little brother to the 1098/1198, in the same manner as the 749/999 and 748/916 model pairings. In fact, the 848 benefits from many of the same components as the 1198, including oil cooler and radiator. With 134 HP pushing only 370 pounds of bike, the 848 is good for 160+ on the top end. But that is not the whole story. With 70 foot pounds of torque ready to assist you, the Ducati twin is very forgiving should you select a slightly higher gear than the situation calls for. That is one of the Ducati's (not so) secret weapons in the wet; tractable, usable power. The rest of the bike is pure Ducati. That is to say, finished to a high level of specification, including trademark trellis frame, aluminum single-sided swingarm, Showa suspension components front and rear, Brembo monobloc calipers, Termi pipes and Marchesini lightweight wheels.

From the seller:
2010 Ducati 848 NH (Nicky Hayden Edition). Great condition, no mechanical issues at all. Has been well taken care of and runs perfectly. Nothing to fix, ready to ride. Includes Bilt helmet, Sedici lambskin gloves, and full cover. Nicky Hayden autograph on gas tank.

Mechanically speaking, the real differentiation between the Nicky Hayden Edition of the 848 and the standard offering is graphical. There are no extra-sporty bits included with the NHE, unless the signature on the tank inspires you to greatness every time you ride in a manner that a plain red tank just doesn't manage. Otherwise, you are looking at more of a marketing exercise than a technical one; but as usual, Ducati pulled off another great looking bike (at a slight premium over the base model). This particular example looks reasonably well cared for (despite the 38,709 miles on the clocks - something of a record for most Ducati Superbikes), although I would like to know a LOT more about the maintenance history of this bike. There appears to be a license plate eliminator out back, and Nicky's signature is badly faded. Still, it presents decently well.

This 2010 Ducati 848 Nicky Hayden Edition is available on eBay as a Buy It Now classified. The asking price: $6,200. All in all, that is not too bad considering. This particular bike has a few too many miles on it to be a collector, but then again the NHE bikes haven't really appreciated in the same manner as other Ducati limited edition models (the 2000 MHe, for example). And it is too early to tell how the passing of the legend that was Nicky Hayden will play into the future value of these machines. But with only 150 created by Ducati, you can be sure there won't be another one on every corner you pass. Check it out here, and then share your thoughts in the Comments section. Good luck (and Godspeed, Nicky).

MI

Remembrance: 2010 Ducati 848 Nicky Hayden Edition
Honda August 17, 2017 posted by

Threesome: 1986 Honda NS400R

The Honda NS400R is a bit of an odd duck in the annals of rare bike collections. Bigger than a 250 but lacking the brutal thrust of the 500cc smokers, the V-3 two stroke is neither fish nor fowl. Nearly all other two strokes are apples to the NS400R orange. With typical Honda flair and technology, the NSR is finished to a very high standard and offers a more evolved package than the competition. Instead of focusing solely on the HP game, Honda polished the edges and created a softer sport bike. But make no mistake - the NS400R is quite capable of madness in the canyons when piloted by an experienced rider.

1986 Honda NS400R for sale on eBay

To make a NS400R, imagine taking a parallel twin and 90 degree V-twin power plant and stuffing them together in the same case. Retain two cylinders up front, and one in the rear (for packaging). Beef up the single cylinder moving parts to compensate for only having one piston rather than two (to quell vibration), toss in some power valve and exhaust chamber wizardry (ATAC system) and bolt it all to a six speed gearbox. Slide that contraption into a sweet aluminum perimeter frame, bolt up a trick TRAC anti-dive fork and Showa rear shock, and drape it in aerodynamic bodywork with intricate detail (even the kickstand has a freaking fairing!) and you've got another Honda masterpiece.

From the seller:
Up for sale is a very rare beast which was sold new in Calgary Alberta Canada and I am the second owner. This bike has sat in a collection for over 20 years and has been started regularly and kept up the way it should have been. I took bike out and have put 250 klms on the machine and worked flawlessly as it should. Everything is 100% and factory Honda not aftermarket ebay panels. These bikes are climbing in value extremely fast and are not going to stop that's for sure.

The only flaw in the bike is a small hairline crack forming by one of the bolts on the faring. I am putting this up for sale this one time for I have found a brand new on in the crate still. Bike is perfect needs nothing at all and is currently located in Alberta Canada with a clear title and can be crated up professionally to ship for an extra charge.

This two owner bike is definitely interesting. The seller does not note the model year, which I sussed is an '86 due to the "G" digit in the provided VIN (not to mention the big "1986" on the VIN plate). The bike looks clean and is claimed original, but no notes of maintenance or refresh on the running gear - a potential issue for a 31 year old bike with 15,534 on the all kilometer clocks. Certainly it has not set the interwebs on fire as of yet; only a few bids and far below $2k with a reserve in place.

If you are in the market for a NS400R - and there is really no reason you should not be unless you are no longer breathing - this could be your next ride. The bike is located in Canada, meaning that importation awaits US buyers. While that is a negative in this case, it should not be all that surprising considering that Honda never imported these to the States in the first place. You are past the 25 year mark at this point, so for states other than the one at the bottom left of most US maps, it might not be that big of a deal. Check it out here, and then jump back to the Comments section and share your thoughts: is the NS400R too big, too small, or just right? Good Luck!!

MI

Threesome: 1986 Honda NS400R
Honda May 5, 2017 posted by

Polished V4 – 1987 Honda VFR700F Interceptor

Honda took some lumps over the cam metallurgy on the early 1980's V4 engines, and re-introduced the engine in 1985 with gear-driven cams and impeccable quality control.  Almost a unicorn in its own right, the VFR700F was a de-stroked 750 staying out of a tariff scuffle.  This example has been refurbished to a level that will please the pickiest concours judge and make the rider happy on the way home.

1987 Honda VFR700F Interceptor for sale on eBay

Doubling down on the smooth and compact V4 engine, Honda did the heavy lifting that brought us the WSBK-winning RC30 and RC45, and transferred a great deal of the success to the carburetted 699 cc model.  The twin-spar frame is large section for the era, and the bike had adjustable Showa suspension, with Pro-Link rear.  Keeping with the times, there's a 16" front and 18" rear wheel, helping the slightly overweight bike turn in.  Very together Honda fairing design, and the angle of the frame is reflected in the seat console.

 

Seeming to have put the entire bike in a vibratory polisher, this VFR700F owner took things to a rare level, cosmetically and mechanically.  Keeping a basically stock look, the rear fender was cleaned up nicely.  Updates to the exhaust and front wheel size indicate a very knowledgeable owner.  Hard to believe it's an '87 with 22K miles.  The owner offers more high-res pictures - here - with comments and upgrades from the eBay auction:

Original bodywork restored and painted in matching original Pearl Crescent White, with black accents throughout the bike. Several desirable upgrades, 22,375 miles, mechanically and cosmetically inspected, cleaned, updated, replaced, repainted, repaired...anything needing attention was accomplished. This Interceptor is in excellent condition, no issues, no disappointments. The paint is new, the mechanics are correct, the tank is rust-free inside. The bike starts and runs perfectly hot or cold, runs straight and has a unique, modern vibe on a vintage bike.

- 17-inch front wheel from CBR600 (in place of OEM 16") with fresh Avon Road Rider
- Wheels finished in black (from original white) with white painted pinstripe
- Galfer stainless steel brake lines, front & rear
- OEM mufflers shortened 5 1/2 inches and painted black -- great sound, great look
- Carb jet kit
- Rear fender eliminator with original turn signal and seat lock mounts shaved from subframe
- LED rear turn signals
- Powdercoated engine covers in "Bronze Texture" -- clutch & alternator
- Seat recovered in marine grade vinyl
- Front fender reshaped for a lighter look
- NOS front turn signals mounted with shorter stalks to tuck the signals closer to the body
- Reproduction windscreen
- ODI hand grips
- New OEM fuel petcock
- Various rubber mounts, grommets, etc. replaced as needed
- Original owners manual
- Bike is completely cleaned and detailed

 

The quality and overall balance of the second generation V4's kept them on a lot of best bike lists through the late 1980's, though the 700 keeps a low profile.  Honda shortly returned to the inline four for their more sporting machines, but continued developing the V4 throughout the 90's.  With only a day to run, the bidding on this updated and beautified VFR is active but seems low.  There is still time to swoop in for this very rare Honda...

-donn

Polished V4 – 1987 Honda VFR700F Interceptor
Aprilia May 2, 2017 posted by

Legalities: 2000 Aprilia RS 250

Up for grabs today is a 2000 Aprilia RS250 - the most modern of the smokers we are likely to see on RSBFS these days. Sired by Aprilia during the dying days of 250cc GP racing, the RS250 is a street bike homage of the RSW250 GP racer. Using a Suzuki-derived twin based on the successful RGV250 series, an alloy chassis developed by Benelli and top-shelf suspension components (Showa, Sachs), the RS250 is a fitting end to the dominance of two-strokes in the smaller classes.

2000 Aprilia RS250 for sale on eBay

There are two versions of the RS250 to consider; the first is as we see here - a completely street legal bike with lights, instrumentation and all the other DOT niceties needed in order to obtain a title. The second version is the one-make racing series bike, the RS250 Challenge Cup example. We see many of the Cup bikes converted to street use, with varying degrees of completion. If you are intending the bike for street use, then the recommendation is to go with a model that started life out as a street legal machine. This one fits the bill.

From the seller:
2000 Aprilia RS 250 Amazing Original condition with clear Kentucky Title. 2 owner bike that has been in private collection since 2003. All fluids just changed and carburetors cleaned and services. Bike runs and ride like new. 100% original condition with 912 miles. These RS's and getting harder and harder to find in this kind of condition. The 2000 RS 250 had 72.5 HP @11,900 RPM and dry weight was 306 lbs. This one is ready for the street or the track, be the coolest rider at your track day or smoke those 600's on the back roads! It is in almost flawless condition with only 2 small spider type marks on the side fairing (shown in pictures) typical with the thin fiberglass fairing Aprilia use. Bike has never been dropped or down in any way. Come with full service manual and the original RS 250 Challenge service and repair manual. Here is your chance to own one of the coolest and highest HP 2 stoke 250's made. Or just buy it and stick in in your collection! Any questions let me know, I will do my best to answer them. John 860-810-332 or email. Good luck and happy bidding!

The seller has done a good job pointing out the highlights of this particular example of the breed. 100% original condition is a nice-to-know, as many of these bikes harbor modifications in search of additional speed (at the expense of originality or reliability). Only 912 miles means that this bike has not seen a lot of use or abuse - also a good thing. The cracks noted in the gel coat are (unfortunately) common; while they do detract slightly from the value, they do not necessarily indicate any issue, nor impede functionality. The only thing missing is commentary on services completed - while two strokes do not require the same care as a four stroke, seals do need to be tested due to age. A savvy buyer might figure on a bleed down test (at minimum) to ensure everything is healthy. Otherwise, well done by the seller.

Question for the Aprilia experts: The silencers on this one look suspiciously like Arrow units. Did these bikes come stock with something other than the brushed aluminum silencers, or have these been added after the fact?

This auction is pretty hot right now, with bidding above $8k and what looks like much more to come. These bikes are indeed becoming more rare as the world moves on to cleaner sources of motivation, and a good, stock RS250 is something that is only going to go up in value. Check it out here, and be sure and drop us a Comment. Have you owned or ridden a RS250? Share your thoughts and experiences. Good luck!!

MI