Posts by tag: Survivor

Suzuki January 23, 2019 posted by

Quintessential – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750

From its U.S. introductory year, this Suzuki GSX-R750 looks and acts the upstart role.  This bad boy has been some rider’s favorite, with almost 33,000 miles and a tidy state of patina.

1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 for sale on eBay

Suzuki went all in on light weight and simplicity with the GSX-R750, and came up an air/oil-cooled winner.  The additional oil pump for the Suzuki Advance Cooling weighed less and avoided the complexity of a water-cooling system, even if the oil cooler is nearly as big as a radiator.  A nice round 100 hp was available, giving the lightweight alloy chassis a ruun for its money.  Suzuki’s own suspension was used, the Posi Damp Fork being adjustable with early anti-dive, and Full Floater monoshock rear.  The brakes are 310 mm with four pistion calipers, and the endurance template fairing has the serious twin headlight look.

This GSX-R comes out of Santa Fe, with easy access to miles and miles of two-lane, and has the odometer reading to show for it.  Aside from a right-side slip and fall, it’s in good shape, complete and substantially original.  The owner’s impressions from the eBay auction:

This is a bike that has been sympathetically preserved over the years as an original driver quality condition.

In other words, lots of patina but not unsightly.  I would hesitate to restore this one because it just has a loved/used but not abused quality to it.
I bought it not too long ago but just landed two more motorcycles that I am more passionate about and I need the room.
Runs great, stops, shifts and doesn’t leak! New tires! New fork seals and battery.
Uncut rear fender! Original upholstery! Solo seat cover!
All the fairings appear original with only the nose appearing to have been replaced with a high end replica nose professionally painted with a proper decal kit.
The lower right side fairing appears to have been professionally repaired on the “blister” portion – naturally from having fallen over. Seamless repair/paint from the outside but inside the fairing you can see where the crack once was.
Rare stock pipe has only a small bit of rash on the rear that could be buffed out as it is not severe at all.
I will include a stock set of proper OEM period correct Suzuki grips as the bike currently has the foam type and I wanted it to be 100% factory.
The rest appears all original and solid with areas of wear and chips in paint etc…
Not a museum piece but just as stunning to look at and ride without being a trailer queen that you have to worry about.

While a minty example would be cool, there’s a lot to be said for a classic you can ride – if not without a care, without panic.  Maybe a riding restoration – if you don’t have to pay extra for the patina.  A lot of improvements could be made without taking it off the road, and ride the benefits…

-donn

Quintessential – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750
Suzuki January 12, 2019 posted by

Use Your Boost to Get Through – 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo

Vying for additional power without displacement, the 1980’s saw major cycle makers attempt to tailor the excess heat and complexity of turbocharging to sport bikes.  Suzuki’s entry is the rarest and this one has ultra-low mileage, and just one tangle with the mischievous elves that tip stuff onto parked motorcycles.

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo for sale on eBay

Suzuki based their turbo on a 673cc inline four, and used electronic fuel injection to tailor the fuel delivery through the variable throttle / boost map.  85 hp are claimed, leading to the model designation.  An early adopter of innovations like Full-Floater rear suspension, air-oil cooling system ( with piston squirters ), and 16-inch front wheel, the XN85 was a bit of a tech showcase.  Kayaba provided the suspension, with anti-dive forks.  Triple disks are big but not oversize considering the 550 lb. ready-to-ride weight.  Angular fairing and sculpted tank owe royalties to the then-recent Katana.

Detailed photos should be part of an auction with a high falutin’ buy-it-now, which this eBay bike parts dealer probably knows.  Nothing a pre-purchase inspection can’t remedy, however.  Some history and service record(s) would be a help, even for a bike with so many years and so few miles.  Short and sweet from the eBay listing:

483 miles – all original except petcock, last ran in December 2018. Also, have Service Manual, and original title.
Right rear tail section has scratches that can be fixed.

Suzuki’s turbo was the sportiest of the big four’s litter, though even at that it’s more of a GT.  None were real showroom success stories, but maybe their role was more of leading edge glitterati for the dealer.  Under just the right conditions, the XN85 could woosh through the traps first, or just look great on the sidestand.  Either way the XN85 can provide liter-size performance from a boosted mid-size, and maybe the make offer button will let us know whether this is a survivor or museum piece.

-donn

 

Use Your Boost to Get Through – 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo
Honda December 13, 2018 posted by

Island Hopper – 1996 Honda CBR900RR

Pretty much the gold standard for ’90-s Superbikes, the CBR900RR ( aka FireBlade ) was a power-to-weight champion.  This one has the makings of a great value with excellent cosmetics, just over 4,000 miles, and reasonable starting bid.

1996 Honda CBR900RR for sale on eBay

 

Revolutionary in 1992, Revision 2.0 of the 900RR came in ’96, with a slight bore increase for the carburetted straight four resulting in 919 cc’s.  Improvements to the shifting internals got great reviews, and extrusions for the alloy twin-spar chassis were thinner and larger.  The riding position was incremented toward the street, and a change to the fuel tank shape helped the compact feel.  A race-derived front fender gave a little downforce to the front end and directed air up and into the fairing.

 

Hemmed in by Brooklyn and North Jersey, it’s easy to see how a superbike could wind up with low miles.  This CBR presents very nicely, substantially stock and showing just a typical rub on the fairing near the (left) grip.  Not sure what an easy touch-up that would be, but just replace the levers with your favorite and at least they’ll match, and you’re off.  From the eBay auction:

Bike has a little over 4000 miles and runs like new. This bike is in showroom condition. I purchased this bike a few years ago from the original owner. All scheduled maintenance has been performed religiously and on time. You will never find another bike of this vintage in this great of shape. Awesome bike to add to your stable and to really enjoy. You can feel as if you’ve just stepped back into the 90’s! Any questions don’t hesitate to ask. This bike is not a restoration! It is all original and perfect.

 

As Honda’s flagship, the FireBlade was gifted with outstanding build quality and attention to detail by their engineers. The owner seems realistic even though his claims of “perfect” and “showroom” might require an asterisk.  With its low miles and apparently limited damage history, bidding on a twenty year-old superbike might not be a leap of faith in this case.

-donn

Island Hopper – 1996 Honda CBR900RR
Suzuki October 4, 2018 posted by

Winter is Coming – 1982 Suzuki GS1100E in Canada

Suzuki had a bit of a horsepower dynasty going in the early 1980’s, their DOHC air-cooled fours having plenty of power and potential for lots more.  The GS1100E was their very sporty standard, years before naked superbikes became a thing.

1982 Suzuki GS1100E ( Canada ) for sale on eBay

Looking a little staid in the factory tan metallic, the GS1100E had a nice tank-into-seat flow that echoed the Katana.  The normal looking twin-downtube frame was beefier than usual, and the Kayaba forks and twin shocks look routine but are multi-adjustable.  Even the 1075cc engine could masquerade, until closer examination of the specs revealed a narrow valve angle and their Twin Swirl Combustion Chamber.  On the ES it was tuned for 108 hp and 63 ft.-lbs. torque.  For 1982 a slightly lower seat height and pegs a couple of inches back gave a sportier feel.  Though its stability and weight made the -E’s home on the boulevard and dragstrip, it got high marks on the back roads.

 

This GS was imported to Saskatchewan from the U.S. and should be an easy border crossing back, and while it doesn’t look pampered there is a garage.  A recent battery and tires are mentioned, though nice detail would do a world of good.  From the eBay auction:

Try to find one in this condition near you. It is rare in North America.

It is already an Antique and it’s probably only going up in price in the future.

I bought this bike a couple years ago in Boise / Idaho and brought it across.

I did all the paperwork and had the safety inspection for Saskatchewan done on it. A few minor repairs and two new tires and it was safe to drive.

Now the tires have maybe 500 km on them – that’s how little I actually drove the bike.

It has 27960 on the clock and I assume that this is in miles since the bike comes from the States.

The bike itself is in great condition I’d say. That’s what the mechanic told me when he got the bike ready for this season after winter.

The bike starts good and drives good, the lights are all working including signal lights. The battery is new from this spring.

I even have a short video how easy it starts cold – I could send it to you.

 

The early eighties were alive with variations on the UJM, and Suzuki had the market blanketed from the king-and-queen seat on the GL to the bikini fairing on the ES.  As a 1982, the -E was the best part of a Katana and could still blend into the background.  And then post an 11-second quarter.

-donn

Winter is Coming – 1982 Suzuki GS1100E in Canada
Honda August 4, 2018 posted by

Show or Go ? – 1995 Honda CBR900RR

The 1990’s were a good time for alt-color schemes and splashy sticker packages, and it seems like more Fireblades were made in purple and  yellow than Honda’s racing red.  This first-gen CBR900RR has high miles but you’d never know it.  Evidently detailed for display, it is has been refreshed for the road and is on a no-reserve auction.

1995 Honda CBR900RR for sale on eBay

Starting life as a 750cc development project, Honda stroked the engine out to 893cc, changing the overall dimensions very little but approaching shy-liter displacement and 122 hp.  Mass reduction and centralization likely came up at every design review, and the delivered machine weighed just 454 lbs. wet, around what most 600’s were weighing back then.  Forks and Pro-Link monoshock are by Showa and adjustable, and Nissin brakes have four-puck calipers on the 296mm rotors.  The torn paper graphics are pretty 90’s, as are the staggered 16-17 inch wheels, and “speed hole” arrays in the fairings.

The sparkling condition of this CBR fibs about its 32,000 miles, none of the usual wear seems to be on the fairings, cases, or Two Brothers slip-on.  Maybe the careful miles and fastidious cleaning were evenly spread over many years.  A puzzle is how the previous owner added the Euro parking light without changing the fairing.  The owner posts a pretty good – video – and says the bike was shown in his museum, unclear how long, but it starts and idles perfectly.  From the eBay auction:

The bike has the original Owner’s Manual AND Tool Kit that’s never been used !

– Two Brother’s Slip On – Dyno Tuned for proper jetting

– Color matched Stainless Steel brake lines

– Flush Mounted LED Turn Signals – Brighter than the OEMs (OEM units are still available from Honda if desired)

– Factory Paint Job Is in Perfect Condition Everywhere

RECENTLY – Tuning re-verified – It started right up – idles correctly – Drives correctly – No leaks etc.

Below are the items my Master Mechanic has done to prep this motorcycle for sale –

Engine oil & filter replaced

New Battery

New Tires

New Front & Rear Brake Pads installed (Done before putting on display in the Museum)

New Spark Plugs -(Done before putting on display in the Museum)

Valve Clearances Checked – all were in spec. (Done before putting on display in the Museum)

New coolant installed

New OEM Air filter installed (Done before putting on display in the Museum)

The book on the CBR900RR is to dial the dampers back, get small and enjoy the tight handling and light weight.  The third year of the gen-1 had better shifting and fox eyes.  Buying a 20-plus year old sportbike is gutsy baseball, and despite the mileage this Fireblade looks to have had the care for the long road…

-donn

Show or Go ? – 1995 Honda CBR900RR
Suzuki March 30, 2018 posted by

Sling Blade – 1983 Suzuki GSX1100S Katana in Canada

A world away from the usual design-by-committee UJM, Suzuki’s original Katana set the stage and riding position for a new generation of road-going sportbikes. This largely original survivor is just across the northern border.

1983 Suzuki GSX1100S Katana ( Canada ) for sale on eBay

 

Designer Hans Muth spent the 1970’s bringing aerodynamics and attitude to BMW’s R90S and R100RS, and left to form Target Design with partners Hans-Georg Kasten and Jan Fellstrom.  The designers’ first commissions were for Suzuki, the GS550M and GSX1100S.  The 1100 brought 4 valves per cylinder and 111 hp to the party, and the Katana’s wedge fairing made 137 mph possible.  Changes for 1983 included forged connecting rods and progressive rear springs to accompany the anti-dive forks.  Competition formulas of the day didn’t have a place for 1100’s, but the Katanas sold well on Suzuki’s other successes, and the model name was used until the mid-2000’s in the U.S.

 

Waiting for spring in Montreal, this Katana shows 20,000 miles, super clean and factory bodywork in great condition.  Wheels and exhaust have been updated.  From the eBay auction:

Beautiful Katana 1100 with lots of care given to it.  Paint is perfect.  Engine runs super smooth.  New tires.  Original seat in perfect condition.  New exhaust system.  And wider aluminum rims.  (I do not have the stock wheels and exhaust).

 

Largely eclipsed by the GSX-R line-up, the Katanas soldiered on in the showroom providing options for those less track-oriented.  Kind of the Hayabusa of its day, the 1100 Katana was Cycle World’s fast machine for 1983, using a half-mile yardstick.  The design got high marks for stability once the stiff suspension was backed out to minimums.  The riding position calling for speed, this Katana could certainly be on the road, but with a little attention could be shown as well…

-donn

Sling Blade – 1983 Suzuki GSX1100S Katana in Canada
Suzuki January 29, 2018 posted by

Bonkers – 1990 Suzuki GSX-R750

Hardly altering its good looks, Suzuki made several changes to the GSX-R750 for 1990 – beefier frame, 4-into-1 exhaust, and a lot of internal changes to the air/oil-cooled I-four.  This Texas example is nice overall, but the evil lurking on the garage shelves bit the tank pretty hard.

1990 Suzuki GSX-R750 for sale on eBay

 

Suzuki had tried their shorter-stroke race engine design in 1988-89 road machines, but returned to a torquier 70 x 48.7 mm bore and stroke for 1990.  Great efforts were made to help the engine rev more easily, with lighter pistons, threading connecting rods bolts right into the rods, with 38mm Mikuni carburettors and changes in the head to address cracks between the spark plug and valve seats.  The result was 115 hp at 11,000 rpm and 57.5 ft.-lbs. torque.  While ROW machines got new upside-down forks, they wouldn’t arrive here until 1991.

 

Having seen some use with 28,000+ miles, this GSX-R is quite stock, showing just the Carbon-Tech exhaust.  Hard to know the reason for the fading of the middle fairing section, perhaps it is a decal which hasn’t aged as well as the paint.  The parts and bikes dealer says this in the eBay auction:

All Original aside from the pipe
One Owner Bike
Only fault is a ding in the tank and a small rub on the lower left fairing as shown in the pictures
Recent refresh
Runs and Rides Great
You will be hard pressed to find another like this one
28k Miles
Clean Title and Ready to Ride

 

Suzuki hung on to the racey feel of the GSX-R, with a serious riding position and requiring a resolute hand at turn-in time.  The quality suspension and lighter weight make the bike, as Colin Chapman said, faster everywhere.  Complete and stock GSX-R750’s don’t pop up every day, and while the new owner will have to take care not to let any refurbishment blow up the re-sale value, this sure looks like a good candidate.

-donn

 

 

Bonkers – 1990 Suzuki GSX-R750
Honda June 29, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing – 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30

Update: Greg notes that this bike is sold! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Like real estate, they’re just not making any more V-four 399cc sportbikes, and every one that appears has some kind of history – used or abused, neglected or cared for.  This Ohio-registered NC30 looks nicely preserved and has survived 25 years with only a couple of plastic cracks and scuffs.

If you had your headphones in, you might mistake a passing VFR400R for its big brother 750.  The 9/10 scale fairings look every bit of the Honda flagship, but the smaller engine revs to 13,000 rpm, delivering 59 hp.  Upside-down forks were still for racier machines, so the VFR makes do with a conventional front end, with single-sided swingarm.  The dual front discs are 269mm in diameter, and period wheel sizes of 16″ front with 18″ rear put a nice edge on the handling.  The NC30 is toward the end of the VFR400R development, and has the best looking fairing of the line.

 

Offered by Ohio dealer and RSBFS sponsor Deftone Cycles, this NC30 has covered under 4,000 miles and has great factory graphics.  Clean and complete with a few rubs from its garage-mates, and the owner pictures the crack under the mirror mount.  Notes from the eBay auction:

3,979 Miles (6,405 Kilometers) What we have here is a Type 7 model with Type 1 Fairings. The fairings are factory Honda OEM. So you are getting the upgraded suspension that was offered on the type 7 with the look of the original type 1. Other than that it’s completely original and unrestored. More of a rider than for a collection. Bike needs nothing.  All fluids are fresh.  Shifts and revs to redline perfectly.  Starts effortlessly every time. Some of the mounting tabs are broken on the lower fairings, nothing that is visible from the outside. The upper fairing by the mirror has some cracks, the mirror hides most of the defect. Windscreen is aftermarket MRA. Awesome windscreen. The white on the top of the fuel tank has been re-sprayed with the Honda wings being replaced. Not perfectly done but very presentable. If I was keeping the bike I would be very happy with the paint. Included close up pictures featuring defects. Bike has Vin Matching State of Ohio Title.  NC30-1100*** “Buyer is responsible for their own State Requirements.”  Imported into the States through all legal channels. EPA and Declaration papers provided.

 

The owner’s knowledge of the type variations outpaces my own, but the NC30 was offered for three years before being superseded by the Fireblade-styled RVF400R.  Competition in the home market and other progressive licensing countries was heated, and the NC30 reviewed as the best all around, with strong if not leading edge chassis, and standout Honda build quality.  The starting bid is set at $6,800, and you can ask questions of Greg through the eBay auction – here –

-donn

Featured Listing – 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30