Posts by tag: Sport Production

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
Honda October 8, 2018 posted by

Very Polished: 1988 Honda NSR250R SP Rothmans Replica for Sale

You are not looking at a Honda NSR250R Rothmans Replica. Sure, it's shaped like an NSR250R, but if you look a bit closer you'll notice something a bit... off. Someone's gone a bit crazy with the metal polishing wheel and, in the process, created something that will surely inflame the comments section. Please try to be polite...

The stock NSR250R frame is welded up from cast and extruded sections, and the main spars are a bit shiny, compared to the cast bits, but they generally don't have this bike's mirror-like sheen. And the swingarm and fork lowers don't generally look like they came from the JC Whitney parts catalog. In the 80s and 90s, polished frames were a bit of a thing, and plenty of Japanese sportbike owners added a personalized touch to their rides by adding a bit of bling. Bikers like shiny things... Unfortunately, collectors are a different breed, and tend to like their bikes very stock.

All NSR250s were powered by Honda's liquid-cooled two-stroke v-twin, and the lightweight Magtek wheels suggest this is a genuine SP, although I can't see a dry clutch in the pics. Certainly a real SP or "Sport Production" Rothmans Replica would be at the high-end in terms of desirability for the NSR250, but all that polishing is going to be tough for many two-stroke fans to swallow.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda NSR250R Rothmans Replica for Sale

This Is a 2-stroke race replica v-twin made for the Japanese market and sold in Japan. It runs perfectly, doesn't leak any fluids, and functions as it should. Starts on 1 or 2 kicks hot or cold. Oil injection works. Leakdown is excellent. All lights and gauges work. Speedo is in km and reads 36072. There is no horn. All fluids have been changed. All wear items,(brake pads, chain, sprockets, tires) are in excellent condition.

 It has been heavily optioned/modified with the following: 

  • JHA pipes
  • Real Balance rearsets 
  • Steel braided brake lines
  • NHK steering damper
  • HRC De-restrictor box 
  • Complete wiring, coils, PGM II ECU out of MC21 model
  • Curved larger radiator from MC21 model
  • Shorai lightweight battery
  • Carbon fiber clip-ons
  • Billet upper triple clamp
  • Front forks rebuilt with cartridge emulators

Buyer pays shipping, will help with crating and delivery to a local shipper for a reasonable fee.

The seller has a starting bid set to the tune of $9,000 and... I have a bad feeling he's not going to get many takers: too many unanswered questions. While many purists may balk at all the bolt-on farkles, they don't bother me. They're not my taste either, but easy to change: you can either spend a bit of time tracking down factory, or at least period-correct bits. Or just some anodized black bits. But however solid the bike is mechanically, it's going to take a particular buyer to overlook that frame, since you're going to have to do some pretty serious work to get it looking stock.

-tad

Very Polished: 1988 Honda NSR250R SP Rothmans Replica 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
Ducati July 13, 2018 posted by

Little SPO: 1993 Ducati 888 SPO for Sale

To me, the very names for cars and bikes are simple, to the point. Leganza? What the hell's a Leganza? Or a Spectra? But a GTO, or... a GTO? That just sounds cool. Thunderace sounds kind of silly, but R1M? That just exudes confidence. Even with a naturally cool-sounding language at their disposal, the Italians know that simpler is usually better, and that the sexiest motorcycles don't need silly, made-up names: simple, blunt, alpha-numeric designations suggest a no-need-to-brag confidence. It's like a special code, and Ducati 888 SPO is basically shorthand for speed.

An evolution of the earlier 851, the liquid-cooled, four-valve 888 was the epitome of "truth in advertising." Displacing 888cc, Ducati's big v-twin was meant to take the fight to the Japanese Big Four in production-based racing, move them into the modern era, and allow them to compete at top levels of the sport. Sure, the Pantah provided the foundation four the new liquid-cooled engine, but there's no way a two-valve, air-cooled v-twin was going to have a ghost of a chance against the inline fours in World Superbike and AMA racing, and Ducati's success in those series brought them back to prominence on the world stage.

Over in Europe, they got the standard 888 Strada and the higher-performance 888 SP5. But the SP5 wasn't road-legal here, so we got a sort of halfway step between the two that was dubbed the SPO or Sport Production Omologato. It was distinguished by the solo tail, high-mount exhaust, and an Öhlins shock with adjustable ride-height. Unlike the SP5, the SPO used a steel subframe instead of a lightweight aluminum one.

Look, if you've been waiting since my first paragraph to tell me how I'm wrong and that some cool bike names exist, go right ahead. It's not like I'm going to disagree that exceptions exist: Superleggera springs immediately to mind. But I still say that 888 SPO is a name that is aging better than Fireblade. On that note, it is kind of odd that here in the USA, land of the Vortec V6 and the Blue Flame Six, we got the CBR instead of the Fireblade and the YZF1000R instead of the Thunderace... So I guess we like our car-related names silly but our bike names [mostly] serious.

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Ducati 888 SPO for Sale

This is a near mint 888 SPO 1993 model. Needs nothing, belts and service were done, starts and rides wonderfully, new battery, just downsizing my collection. One flaw on the number one decal. Runs like new, good tires, needs nothing. It needs to go to a 888 lover. Pics say everything. About 13,000 miles which may change if I decide to take a hop. I reserve the right to cancel the auction the bike is for sale locally in the Fort Worth, TX area.

Cash sale, no endless emails or pen pal questions... This is the real deal and a great bike!

Thanks for looking

Aside from that first image, the photos are uniformly terrible, and the usual top triple shot showing the Limited Edition plaque is missing, as is any verification of the mileage. But that doesn't seem to be deterring bidders. Previous SPOs we've featured have sold for right around $10,000 but it appears values have risen in the past year: bidding on this example is up to $12,000 with several days left on the auction. That's not really a surprise: the 851 and 888 were pretty undervalued for a while, but collectors have definitely started to notice them and recognize their significance as the original modern Ducati superbike.

-tad

Little SPO: 1993 Ducati 888 SPO for Sale
Ducati January 20, 2018 posted by

Too Much of a Good Thing – 1995 Ducati Supersport SS/SP

Drumming up business sometimes involves a round of badge engineering, which Ducati succumbed to in the early 1990's with their SuperSports.  The normally venerable Sport Production designation was a bit diluted but the all-American model was graced with some carbon components and Showa adjustable suspension.  Still it's a significant and low-production Ducati, and number 349 is from Colorado, boasts under 10,000 miles and has enjoyed factory service since it is or was owned by a Ducati dealer.

1995 Ducati 900 SS/SP #349 for sale on eBay

 

Positioned in between the Cafe Racer and Super Light, the Sport Production had the best of each, alloy swingarm, 17-inch wheels, dual seat with low-swept mufflers.  Performance was standard Super Sport with 84 hp pushing a dry weight of just about 400 lbs.  The warm silver trellis frame went well with the silver engine and swingarm, as well as the matching wheels and silver and gold decals on the red fairing.

 

Relatively low miles and no apparent damage show on the classic SS, though the discoloration of the carbon mudguards and clutch cover is puzzling - perhaps over-enthusiastic cleaning.  Surprisingly stock, this 900SS will require no un-updating by the new owner.  From the eBay auction:

This bike is one of the classic SuperSport that has a timeless look !  It starts right up and runs and sounds so good ! Bike has 9,729 miles on it.  Carbon fiber mufflers.  And is in great condition !  Bike was Senior owned by a former Ducati dealership owner.  All service was performed by his factory trained Ducati mechanics.  Feel free to ask me any questions about this motorcycle.  I am selling it for the owner and am also a Ducati factory trained mechanic.  This bike will put a smile on your face every time you ride it !  Bike is serialized number 349.

 

The 91-98 SuperSport reviewed as a two-wheeled Swiss army knife and has been successful in racing and sport-touring alike.  With not much you don't need, the performance was crisp with the only niggle being somewhat ponderous low-speed steering.  The opening $3,800 bid hasn't enticed anyone yet, but eventually someone will see that a new owner and proper detailing is the only thing between this SS/SP and a continued very sporty tour.

-donn

 

 

Too Much of a Good Thing – 1995 Ducati Supersport SS/SP
Honda June 25, 2017 posted by

Ride or Restore: 1993 Honda NSR250R SP MC21 for Sale

Some motorcycle enthusiasts are looking for a perfect, time-capsule example of their favorite bikes. Me? I'm glad perfect examples are out there for collectors, but I want something I can ride and enjoy without being worried that a tip-over or low-side or just a few extra miles on the odometer will destroy the value of some pristine collectible. Today's Honda NSR250R SP is a little rough around the edges, with some scratches and scuffs, but it seems like an honest bike, and very solid mechanically.

The NSR250 featured Honda's familiar 90° liquid-cooled 249cc v-twin with a six-speed "cassette" gearbox that allowed owners [or pit crews] to rapidly swap out gearsets to suit different race tracks. Obviously not all that useful on a road bike, but still pretty slick. The NSR may have sucked fuel through a set of carburetors, but it used a very sophisticated PGM-III system that controlled the bike's ignition based on throttle-position, revs, and gear selection.

This particular NSR250R is the desirable MC21 version of Honda's agile two-stroke, as indicated by the asymmetrical "gull-arm" aluminum swing arm that curves on the left-hand side to clear the exhaust's expansion chambers to maximize cornering clearance. The swingarm looks very trick, but helps make the MC21 a little bit heavier than the MC18 that preceded it. Dry weight is still under 300lbs, so even the bike's artificially-limited 45hp will move the bike out smartly, although I'd definitely check with the seller to see if the bike has been de-restricted, as anyone outside Japan will want the bike's full-power available.

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Honda NSR250R SP MC21 for Sale

20,441 Miles (32,898 Kilometers) This is a Very Rare only 900 made Last Model MC21 SP. Mostly original and unrestored.  Perfect opportunity for a budget minded MC21 SP for restoration. All fluids are fresh.  Shifts and revs to redline perfectly.  Starts effortlessly every time. OEM Fairings have hairline scratches and cracks. upper fairing has a broken section near the mirrors and the lower fairing has a section cut out near the expansion chambers along with a couple dents on the fuel tank near the stay, included close up pictures featuring defects. The Red on the tail fairing doesn’t match each other exactly also. No respray or rattle can. Red Magtek wheels are in excellent condition. Otherwise straight from the factory.  Bike has Vin Matching State of Ohio Title as a 1992 model MC21-1070*** “Buyer is responsible for their own State Requirements.”  Imported into the States through all legal channels. EPA and Declaration papers provided.

Bidding is up to $6,500 with about 24 hours left on the auction. If it stays in that neighborhood, it's on the low side for an MC21, but that's in keeping with the less-than-perfect condition. This example is obviously not perfect as described by the seller, but is claimed to be mechanically in good working order. If you're buying one of these and worried about sourcing parts, that may be a weight lifted. Even if you end up on a quest for a perfect set of original bodywork, you can at least ride your machine in the meantime, and this looks like it'd be pretty nice from ten feet, certainly a good place to begin for a restoration. Personally, I'm okay with replacement bodywork, as long as the frame and everything else are clean and straight. Get a decent set of Rothmans replica bodywork from the internet, spend the weekend fitting it, and then ride your little smoker with no fear of destroying a priceless, pristine collectible.

-tad

Ride or Restore: 1993 Honda NSR250R SP MC21 for Sale