Posts by tag: turbo

Honda June 27, 2017 posted by

Oddity: 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo

Honda is well known as an engineering company. It’s where engineers thrive on unique challenges, novel solutions, and experimentation. It is what brought us such varied hardware as single cylinder 2-strokes and 4-strokes, twins in every conceivable combination and vee angle, V-3 2-strokes, V-4s, inline fours, horizontally opposed fours, and of course a wonderful mix of six cylinder machinery. Somewhere in all of that lies the very rare CX650 Turbo – a one year only model showcasing the pinnacle of Honda talent. Within a year – and with a whoosh – it was over.

1983 Honda CX650 Turbo for sale on eBay

With a longitudinal vee formation, the CX650T utilized liquid cooling, fuel injection and four valves per cylinder. You can think of it as a Moto Guzzi dragged kicking and screaming into the modern age. Honda was really up on their game with this bike, shown by the counter-rotating transmission to counteract the torque from lurching the bike to one side when the engine is rev’d (you BMW riders know exactly what I’m talking about). The cylinder heads are twisted in relation to the motors position by several degrees. This places the intake ports closer to the centerline of the bike and – most importantly – out of the way of the riders knees. Of course the big deal with the T model was the Turbo – a single IHI unit that produced a maximum of 16.5 PSI. This is lower than the predecessor’s (CX500T) 19 pounds of boost, but together with increased compression and different valve timing the lower max boost made for better on/off transitions and rideability. Honda created the Turbo line with programmable fuel injection and a multitude of redundant systems to maintain the life of the motor. Largely they succeeded; these things are pretty close to bulletproof.

From the seller:
1983 CX650 TURBO – YOU CAN EAT OFF THIS BIKE – SUPER MINT CONDITION.
HAS BEEN MAINTAINED IN A CLIMATE CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT GARAGE FULLY COVERED. THE BIKE HAS A NEW BATTERY, FORK SEALS, TIRES, AND ALL FLUIDS HAVE BEEN CHANGED. I HAVE OWNED THIS BIKE FOR MANY YEARS, HOWEVER, HEALTH ISSUES FORCE SALE.

With less than 1,800 worldwide, and only about 1,000 making their way into the US, the CX650 Turbo is a pretty rare bird. The problem is that of those 1,000 US bikes, half (or more, if stories are to be believed) wound up in the hands of schools who used the bikes for tech training. The reason for this is not because they made such great training platforms, but rather because they flat out did not sell. Honda dumped them, wrote them off the books and moved on. The Turbos were a big win for Honda “the engineering company” but a bad bet from a revenue standpoint.

Fast forward nearly 35 years and the supply of these magnificent beasts (all 600 lbs) has dwindled. While most were cared for, these Turbos fall into neglect easily. With no real market to speak of, bikes were dumped for a song and treated as disposable. Today, these are still cult machines that speak to certain individuals. Unloved 35 years ago, largely unloved today. That is a shame, as these are truly unique motorcycles. They pull surprisingly well for their size and weight, and have all the hallmarks of Honda quality. Bidding on this 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo is only up to $4k. There is a reserve in place, and a BIN of – ahem – $16,999 (!). While values for good examples are slowly creeping up to the $10k mark, this appears to be a bit optimistic – even for a super clean and low mileage bike like this. Hats off if the seller gets his price, but I think this unloved-beloved model will need to age a bit further before the market takes that type of notice.

MI

Oddity:  1983 Honda CX650 Turbo
Honda April 11, 2017 posted by

Hot Air: 1982 Honda CX500 Turbo

Imagine the scene in Honda dealerships back in 1982: Buck Rogers – your bike is ready. One can only imagine what the buying public thought of a futuristic, turbocharged rocket ship that offered liter-bike power in a 500cc format. Unfortunately, the reaction from the general public was not to immediately rip open their wallets and buy one. Complicated, heavy, expensive and more compromising than riders (and buyers) wanted, the Honda CX Turbo lineup survived only a few, short years before being closed down completely. Produced in very low numbers, these Turbos have half of the “supply/demand” equation on their side. Unfortunately, even fewer buyers seem to want these bikes today, making them an interesting investment conundrum. Relative scarcity does not automatically equate to “desired” – or valuable.

1982 Honda CX500 Turbo for sale on eBay

Public opinion be damned. These bikes are some of the finest produced by Honda during this era. These are cutting-edge bikes – including turbocharging, liquid cooling, computerized fuel injection – all during an era where the archaic, air-cooled GPz still hunted in the canyons. This was the promise of the future, delivered on a neon orange & pearlescent canvas, plenty of gold accents, yards of ABS plastic bodywork, and enough “TURBO” badges to make people think you went nuts with a J.C. Whitney catalog. It is different – very different. And that is both the glory as well as the failing of the Honda Turbo lineup. People want the same, only better. Honda delivered a sport touring bike (likely because it was impossible to package all of the tech in a sport bike sized machine) that was neither really sporty, nor really touring. It was an in-between bike that screamed loudly, but never really said anything that people wanted to hear. It was a monumental advancement, and an utter flop. And you will have to pry mine (a 650 model) out of my cold, dead hands.

From the seller:
Beautiful 8000 mile example of this cool turbocharged touring bike. I got his from the original owners estate sitting in the back of the garage. It had been sitting for years. I resurrected it and drove it several hundred miles and love it! but i’m a harley and triumph guy and although I like all bikes it really is not my type of bike. But more about the bike, it runs great and drives great has the original owners manual with the tire gauge and the only thing I did to get it going was replace the fuel pump and rebuild the petcock and it runs beautifully. All the gauges work great. It has a few scratches here and there but nothing too noticeable. Original paint!!

Today, everything said about the CX500 Turbo back in 1982 applies. It is big, heavy, complex and different. It’s still expensive, although time has not been supportive of the overall value. Prices on these models appeared to peak around 2010. It’s hard to believe that they will not still appreciate due to novelty and rarity, but one will likely need to another round of 1980s nostalgia to return before that happens.

This pretty (in the eyes of this beholder, at least) CX500 Turbo one is listed for $5,000 in a Buy It Now classified, with the seller open to offers. That is fair money for a 8,000 mile example of a rare bike, and far below the top dollar we have seen asked in the past. There is some damage noted to the hard to replace bodywork, so make sure you do your homework first. Check it out here, and then share your thoughts. Investment opportunity or just something different to own and ride around? Good Luck!!

MI

Hot Air: 1982 Honda CX500 Turbo
Honda January 19, 2017 posted by

Mr T: 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo

Time to jump into the Wayback Machine and make the trek back to the 1980s. Legwarmers are optional equipment here. What you are looking at is perhaps the most polished and complete of the factory Turbo bikes of the era. A technological tour de force of the time – along the lines of 2001: A Space Odyssey – the CX650 Turbo promised the next big direction for motorcycle motivation. Honda was experimenting with every engine configuration and size possible during these times, and the blown, traverse V-twin powering the CX series was but one of the contenders. The result of Honda’s engineering might made it all work surprisingly well: the CX650 Turbo was known as the roll-on king due to the power available on boost. Even by today’s standards this model pulls strongly through the gears and can shame modern machinery.

1983 Honda CX650 Turbo for sale on eBay

The problems with all of the Factory turbo bikes – weight, complexity, unpredictability and cost – were never really eliminated. The inexorable creep of time provided better advancements in different directions (think V45 Interceptor & Hurricane). It didn’t help that the Turbos were pricey machines in the showroom, and riders voted with their wallets; The dream of boosted power quickly fell by the wayside. An interesting step during a period of fantastic development, the boosted bikes from the 1980s are now becoming respected as potential collector items. Prices are very slowing inching upwards as finding a clean example becomes more difficult.

From the seller:
Here is a true survivor, all original, 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo motorcycle with 24,238 miles on it. From the factory this bike produced 100 horsepower and is capable of hitting 140 mph. This is a very rare bike because there was only 1,777 of them made and less than 1200 imported to U.S. and Canada. This bike ran the quarter mile in 11.95 seconds at 112.4 miles per hour and has average touring range of 243 miles. With in the last 150 miles I have done the following: new tires, brakes, starter, starter clutch, fork seals, springs and fork fluid. This bike has fresh oil and filter, new spark plugs, new differential fluid and cleaned the fuel system, and runs great, very fun to ride. This bike has not been painted and it good shape for its age. The bike has a minor oil leak and some minor body damage. The bike has clear title and is sold AS-IS, no warranty. The bike is available for viewing while it is up for sale. Shipping will be the buyers responsibility. This bike is not sold as a new bike, it is used and in good shape. There is scratches and some cracks in the plastic and stickers are faded. More pictures are available upon request.

All the Big Four Japanese manufacturers created Turbo bikes – and parts are scarce across the board. If you are in the market for Turbo, you’d be advised to purchase the most complete one you can find. As for Hondas, the ’83 650cc model is miles ahead of the CX500 Turbo in terms of performance and general response. Weakness are few; aside from the scarcity of parts (such as bodywork), these machines are known to eat stators. It is not common to find one that will not charge the battery while otherwise running fine. Replacement requires you to pull the engine, and with factory parts no longer available you will need to source an alternate. But that is really the only warning here.

This bike looks to be complete, and pretty good overall despite minor cosmetic damage. The seller has provided good information and numerous pictures. Mileage is above average for the collector set, but it is always nice to see a bike that has been run as intended. These motors are good for many, many miles so that is not a real worry. If you are in the market for something different, this just could be your ticket. Check it out here, as the bidding has been low thus far – you might just find yourself with a bargain Turbo. Whoosh!

MI

Mr T: 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo
Suzuki January 13, 2017 posted by

One Year Only: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo

The Eighties were a wild time in terms of motorcycle development. Manufacturers experimented with all types of engines, suspensions, chassis, materials and design. Like Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection, those bikes best suited to their environment survived; other, less fortunate machines fell to the onslaught of progress. This 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo is one such casualty. Offered only in 1983 (in the US at least – the model actually survived 3 total years of worldwide production), this rare bird is the rarest of the factory turbo bikes, and offers a terrific glimpse at how hard Suzuki was working at evolution.

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo for sale on eBay

Powered by an air-cooled inline four-cylinder displacing a mere 650cc, the addition of fuel injection and an IHI turbocharger maxing out at approximately 12 PSI of boost upped the ante considerably. Still, the XN85 is not the most powerful of the turbo set; while the “85” in the name is supposedly the horsepower figure, that was optimistically taken at the crank. Real world numbers are closer to 70 ponies at the rear wheel. Notably, the XN motor incorporates oil injection on the backside of the pistons – a feature that was enhanced to become the SACS system on the air/oil cooled first generation GSX-R750 models.

From the seller:
1983 Suzuki XN85 turbo. 14800 Original miles. The motorcycle has just come out of long term storage. All fluids changed and fully serviced. Runs beautifully. A few marks and dings on the tank, because the previous owner stupidly piled items haphazardly around and on the bike.

Outside of the novelty of the Turbo setup, the XN85 was also the first US street bike to incorporate a 16″ front wheel. This GP technology was based on the fact that the smaller diameter wheel developed a smaller gyroscopic force, enabling quicker handling. While this fad was later reversed due to better suspension, tires and frame geometry, the XN85 was considered one of the best handling sportbikes of the day. Wrap it all up in futuristic-yet-minimalistic bodywork and you have a rare piece of ride-worthy sculpture.

This bike is located in Florida and is looking for a new home. XN85 machines are not like other Suzuki products; parts are hard to come by, with many no longer in stock/available. If the foundation is good, the cosmetics can be repaired. Tire selection is quite limited these days due to the 16″ combination, but they can still be found. The Suzuki XN85 Turbo is an interesting machine in concept, a great looking bike in person, and a terrific machine to ride. Prices really have not risen much over the years, so this may be a future collectable as well. Check it out and let us know what you think!

MI

One Year Only: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo
Honda June 7, 2016 posted by

Under Pressure: 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo for Sale

1983 Honda CX650T R Front

With the other manufacturers building their exotic turbocharged 80s confections around more sophisticated four-cylinder designs, why did Honda base their CX650 Turbo on a bike that was so ugly, the British press dubbed it the “plastic maggot”? Well even though a simple, pushrod v-twin seems to go against the high-tech theme these motorcycles embodied, the reality is that to make big power with a turbo, it needs to be strong enough to handle the incredible pressures involved, especially in an era before electronics allowed high-boost engines to be more than just entertaining hand grenades. There’s a reason many turbocharged engines still use iron blocks instead of modern, all-aluminum construction…

1983 Honda CX650T L Side

The CX650’s engine specification may have seemed low-tech at a glance, but it was actually a very intelligent design, with thoughtful features like a transmission that rotated in the opposite direction compared to the crank to reduce the longitudinally-mounted engine’s torque-reaction, along with heads rotated to allow clearance for the rider’s knees, something Guzzi lovers would surely have appreciated. But most importantly for the Turbo, the 80° v-twin was built tough and the simple design left plenty of room for the complicated exhaust and intake plumbing required for a turbo, while liquid-cooling helped keep temperatures under control. The result was 19psi and 100hp from the 674cc engine, which was good enough for 140mph as tested, a pretty impressive number for a middleweight bike in the early 1980s.

1983 Honda CX650T R Rear

Wrapped in futuristic bodywork that disguised the bike’s plebeian origins pretty well. You’d never describe this or any of the other turbocharged motorcycles as “beautiful,” but they certainly look the part. Futuristic and sleek, they’re every bit the two-wheeled fantasy of young people who watched Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rodgers. The bike even included such forward-thinking elements as modular Comstar wheels and tubeless tires, an unusual thing to find on a street motorcycle at the time.

1983 Honda CX650T Headlight

Unfortunately, the dream of a middleweight bike with big-bike power was just that: a dream. The reality was that the turbo bikes added complexity and weight while offering power similar to big four-cylinder machines. And while the laggy boost of the era can be fun under the right circumstances, all of the Japanese turbo bikes make better quirky sport-touring bikes than they do back-road scratchers as a result of their unpredictable power delivery.

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo for Sale

ULTRA RARE!

…In 1983 only and back then only one thousend fifteen CX 650 TURBO-s found its way into USA… Even less went into private hands as many were designated for technical schools as an indication what future would bring. It was a very futuristic bike at the time.

This particular motorcycle of low, low mileage had only one owner before. It was stored indoors for many years. First titled in 1985 being sold as Honda dealership leftover since they were very expensive, costing more than a Civic hatchback! I have copy of original Title. It required a lot of attention, so after many hours of going thru details, we finally got this excellent engineering marvel back on the road. Having only 4,393 miles now, it is like barely broken in! Cosmetically, certainly not perfect (please see pictures), however for a 33 years old overall – presents itself as very nice and clean. Last thing I would like to point is that this CX650 T takes attention others even when is on the motion, not mention that every stop create people around.

The good: The engine runs smooth with no smoke, absolutely no issues or wrong sounds whatsoever (please see test drive You Tube Video) Clutch engages all 5 gears with no problem. Brakes are good, fuel pump, injectors are all in good working order as well as its electrical system. All plugs have factory white grease (no oxidation at all). Honda build quality back then was unbelievable and this shows three decades later. The turbo is nothing a like on the road today I had chance to ride on or to be able to compare to. Definitely very different experience. Lots of fun! Turbocharger starts whistling strong at approximately 4000 rpm, and will take off your front wheel up into the air if you open the throttle to hard…

The bad: This bike is not 100% complete. It is missing glove box door (we got the bike without it). RH side front turn directional blinker has broken lens (We rebuild it best we could, please see pictures).

Conclusion: A pure fun to drive, unique looks, quite rare now and therefore also likely to be valued as an investment and collectible. Depending on the local laws most likely eligible for low cost historic registration and insurance. It can be yours but for a realistic price only. Sorry I don’t have to sell it and low ball offers would not be considered as I rather keep it than give away at ¾ of an asking price!

We have not changed any parts on this motorcycle other than clutch cable and all fluids, filters, trying to keep it as original as possible. I do strongly recommend for the buyer to inspect this bike in person. Besides the bike we will include original Honda toolkit, owner’s manual, Honda tire pressure gauge, copy of original title and as the bonus: an official Honda Dealer Shop Manual for any future technical references. Tank bag seen on the picture NOT included.

1983 Honda CX650T Dash

The seller also includes a nice walk-around video of the bike running here. Turbo bikes are more complex and less reliable than their normally-aspirated counterparts, and the CX is no exception: starters and alternators can cause problems, although fixes are easily available and affordable if you can do the labor yourself, as both are engine-out jobs. But increased maintenance costs aside, the Turbo is still a pretty quick motorcycle, and can certainly surprise other riders out on a sweeping road. They’re also still pretty affordable considering how rare and exotic they are, although the seller is looking for pretty premium money: the Buy It Now is set at $10,200.00 for this particular bike. That’s on the high end for a CX650 Turbo, but the bike appears to be in good cosmetic condition and miles are very low, considering they make such interesting and relatively comfortable mounts.

-tad

1983 Honda CX650T R Side

Kawasaki June 6, 2015 posted by

How bizzare, how bizzare: 1980 Kawasaki Mystery Ship

myster3

While at first glance this appears to be a customization run amock, it is actually something a bit more than that, a 1980 Mystery Ship.  The Mystery Ship was the brainstorm of Craig Vetter, founder of the aftermarket Windjammer motorcycle fairing company.  After Vetter sold Windjammer in 1978, he embarked on a new effort..a “streetable road racer, with all the right parts.”  And what did Vetter decide to use as the basis of his bike?  Just one of the most powerful bikes of the day, a Kawasaki KZ1000 Turbo.

The KZ1000 turbo is by itself already a rare bike; a more expensive illegitimate brother of the standard KZ1000.  Interestingly, the KZ1000 turbo was not actually an official Kawasaki model; it was offered as an “official” bolt-on turbo kit that Kawasaki would install for buyers.   The turbo kit was developed by ATP with input from Kawasaki engineers but was not warrantied by Kawasaki so any engine blow ups were the responsibility of the owner.  And engine blow ups were apparently not unheard of, since the kit offered the ability to quickly adjust the turbo boost from 5-10 psi.

Price for the turbo equipped KZ1000 edition was almost 50% significantly higher than the non-turbo version and the original frame struggled to keep up with the power so its not really surprising that only 1600 were sold during the Turbo’s two year life cycle.

Anyone wishing to read more about the KZ1000 turbo can click here.

kz`1000

original KZ1000 turbo

myster5
mystery ship with the turbo still visible

1980 Kawasaki Mystery Ship on ebay (New Zealand)

Vetter launched his new effort with a stated target goal of producing 200 units. The plan was to take the already powerful KZ1000 turbo and upgrade/modify the chassis, add magnesium racing wheels and Yoshimura exhausts and, of course, drastically restyle the bike with a new Vetter designed fairing/bodywork.

So what happened?  1st of all, the asking price for a Vedder was $10,000 USD, which was about three times the price of the unmodified non-turbo KZ1000.   More significantly, this price was still not enough to cover production costs.  The result was only 10 Mystery Ships are recorded as having been actually produced.

mystery2

Here is a summary of what the seller has to say:

  • #6 of 10 Vedder Mystery Ships produced
  • Has not been ridden since new, only 2 original miles on the clock but some slight dis-coloration at the headers
  • Otherwise condition is exactly as it left the  factory.
  • Age has added some patina to paint work and switch blocks
  • Cracked sidewalls of the Tires/TT 100’s (probably due to age)

 

myster4

So is this bike worth the $23,500 USD asking price?  Well it meets all 4 major criteria to be considered a rare sport bike; limited production, condition, location and technology but it just doesn’t appeal to my collector instinct as anything more that an oddity.  I think it will take a very serious collector or perhaps a curator of a museum like the Solvang or Barber museum for this one to find a new home.

 

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

 

Note:  This bike is located in Auckland, New Zealand

 

How bizzare, how bizzare:  1980 Kawasaki Mystery Ship
Kawasaki May 13, 2015 posted by

Featured Listing: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC Turbo for Sale

Update 5.13.2015: First listing was a no sale at $20,800 reserve not met. Relisted now with a buy-it-now of $21,500. Good luck to buyers and seller! -dc

1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC L Side

Kawasaki’s Z1R-TC is the kind of bike they just don’t make anymore, mainly because repeat customers are so important and dead customers generally can’t buy anything. It was the product of a far less litigious age, when “DO NOT TAMPER WITH BOOST CONTROL” stickers and a “we’re not responsible if you die” forms signed before riders howled off in clouds of tire smoke, wastegates whistling were considered sufficient protection from lawsuits brought by widows and orphaned children.

1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC R Side Engine

Conceived as a way to move moribund Z1R’s before the introduction of the far more modern GPz, Kawasaki worked with the Turbo Cycle Company to slap a simple turbo and plumbing onto otherwise stock bikes. Oh sure, they recommended you install upgraded internals to handle the additional power, but it’s not like you could force anyone to do something like that. And I’m sure most wild-eyed horsepower junkies buying turbocharged hand grenades knew well enough to go easy on their new rides…

1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC L Side Rear Suspension

But while the crude technology employed and the minimal changes made to prepare the otherwise stock bike for 10psi of boost, because of course you haven’t messed with that wastegate like that sticker told you may have meant headaches when the bike was new, they only serve to increase the entertainment value today. The Z1R-TC was never going to be any good on the track, and no one expects a 35 year old motorcycle to be fast away from a stoplight, so you’ve got nothing to prove anymore. And mastering that laggy turbo and scary handling just makes things more interesting: apparently, the lag was so bad that a fast pass required the rider to drag the rear brake to control speed while holding the throttle cracked to build boost…

Obviously not ideal, but sometimes it’s fun to work around a bike’s limitations.

1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC Turbo Detail

Today’s bike looks to be in exceptional condition, and includes an engine built to remain intact for a long time to come and some uprated suspension bits to hopefully allow you to effectively use that newfound reliability.

From the original eBay listing: 1979 Kawasaki Z1R-TC Turbo for Sale

Here is your chance to own a rare vintage Japanese sports bike. There were only approximately 250 of these bikes in this particular color combo made. This bike has less than 6,300 miles on body / original engine. Currently has a rebuilt (1250cc) motor has very few, if any miles on it. I have owned this bike since 1980 when it had only 50 miles on it! This bike is in great condition for its vintage. It has been stored indoors for many years and fired right up when it was taken out of storage. Minor modifications were made to make this bike safer to ride, which includes an extended swing arm and upgraded rear shocks.

1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC Engine

Most of the turbocharged bikes of the period suffer in one way or another from lag that makes them less practical than a normally-aspirated machine. But their quirks and on-boost performance, combined with rarity and a hairy-chested reputation make them increasingly desirable to collectors, and the TC is at the top of that list.

-tad 

1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC L Side Engine

Featured Listing: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC Turbo for Sale
Honda May 8, 2015 posted by

Spool Me Up – 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo

1983 Honda CX650 Turbo on eBay

CXturbo_rightside

In the 80s, turbos were supposed to be the future of motorcycling.  The technology had been around for a little while, but was just starting to trickle into cars and motorcycles.  They promised liter bike power in a more compact package, so what’s not to love?  Honda’s 1982 CX500 Turbo was one of the flagbearers of the influx of turbo bikes and it was clear there were some issues.  While it was impressively fast on boost, it was tricky to control just when that boost happened as they suffered from serious turbo lag.  Honda addressed the issue with a bump in displacement, better computer tuning and gearing changes for the 1983 model, now known as the CX650 Turbo.

This is a machine that collectors go nuts for, so expect to see a lot of action on this one.  The CX650 Turbo was produced for just one year and they made less than 2,000 of them (rumored production numbers vary from 1500-1800).   The seller’s eBay ad leaves a bit to be desired, with just a few words and fewer pictures, but you can check it out here:  1983 Honda CX650 Turbo on eBay.  Somehow I think it will sell just fine regardless.

this bike is in unreal beautiful condition restored by a factory  certified Honda mechanic everything totally redone in mint condition has been in personal collection for many years has been in heated display garage. won several 1st pace trophies at high end classic motorcycle shows. bike is 100% complete and ready to ride or display. looks like it just rolled onto the showroom floor.

 CXturbo_engine

CXturbo_shaft

Spool Me Up – 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo