Posts by tag: turbo

Honda May 8, 2015 posted by

Spool Me Up – 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo

1983 Honda CX650 Turbo on eBay


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.



Spool Me Up – 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo
Kawasaki July 16, 2014 posted by

Sweet Ride, Man: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC for Sale

Here’s one I’d normally post up over at our sister site, but it’s rare and it’s a sportbike, so I thought this crowd could use a formal introduction to the Kawasaki Z1R-TC. If you’re one of those folks who equate “sportbikes” with “handling”, you may not be familiar with this hulking brute of a machine with a hand grenade for an engine and power to severely overwhelm the limited frame and suspension technology of the day. What’s more exciting than that? I mean, Russian Roulette counts as a sport, right?

In the car world of the 1980’s, turbos seemed like the perfect way to increase power and performance in a world suddenly obsessed with efficiency and air quality, and they were getting slapped onto just about everything, so it was only a matter of time before the obsession with boost spilled over into the two-wheeled scene, and Kawasaki was way ahead of the curve on this particular trend.

1978 Kawasaki Z1R TC L Side

The TC was conceived as a quick way to move some lame-duck stock out of showrooms and give Kawasaki a performance feather in their cap. Collaborating with the Turbo Cycle Company, Kawasaki simply converted complete bikes with a bolt-on kit running 8-10psi of boost. Upgraded internals were available for purchase separately but were generally not installed.

In what would be an almost comical nightmare of liability today, buyers simply signed off on powertrain warranty waivers before whooshing off into the nearest wall, or blew themselves up when they ignored the sticker clearly warning them not to tamper with the wastegate to increase boost. Now who’d wanna do something like that?

1978 Kawasaki Z1R TC L Side Low

And even if you didn’t detonate your engine or wheelie into a tree, the very crude turbocharging technology led to wild, on/off boost delivery and made riding this a bit more terrifying than exciting: bendy 1970’s frame and suspension technology combined with an engine that was already plenty powerful before you stuck a honking big turbo on it to give you the worst of both worlds, and a challenge fit for the manliest of motorcyclists…

This particular machine is technically not one of the original bikes and is, according to the seller, a “tribute” built up from a regular Z1R. But honestly this probably feels pretty authentic, since the original bikes were mostly cobbled-together from completed stock bikes.

1978 Kawasaki Z1R TC Dash

I really do wish these people would roll their bikes out of the garage to take some of these pictures, though. It will probably help if you imagine Matthew McConaughey reading this out loud as his character from Dazed and Confused.

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC for Sale

Truly awesome looking Z1R turbo with custom Molly graphics and recently painted black bodywork updates,powdercoated frame, many chrome parts on engine,kickstand,etc…very nice Z1R mag wheels,1 of a kind custom seat,early ATP turbo kit with log header pipe + “F” flow high volume compressor complimenting the 1200cc big bore motor  This is not a bike for the timid or in-experienced pilot….even with only 8-10 lbs. boost ,its very VERY fast!(of course you can ride it all day long without getting on boost,its all in your right wrist you know) This is a one of a kind bike with many tasteful updates + cool improvements…tires are in great is very stable at high speed with  front steering dampner,fork brace and fully adjustable Marzocchi rear shocks keeping things under control…

Look, let’s be clear here: I’m sure those rear shocks are an improvement, but there’s no way they actually tamed this beast. You think you’re all slick, using trail-braking out there, or using a bit of rear brake to settle the suspension? Try this for some fancy footwork: the power delivery for the TC was so laggy that fast passing on the road called for you to hold the throttle open to keep boost up, while dragging the brakes to keep the speed under control, waiting for an opening in traffic. Sort of like a rolling drag-strip launch…

1978 Kawasaki Z1R TC R Side Front

An exciting, hugely flawed stopgap before the much more modern GPz that followed, the Z1R-TC and the other turbo bikes of the era were an interesting footnote in motorcycling history. While not necessarily all that fast on a winding road, these are massively entertaining on the boost and could be a fun, point-and-hang-on-for-dear-life machine for scaring unsuspecting riders of modern bikes.

Ultimately, the turbo craze was a dead-end for motorcycles: they significantly increased complexity with no real upside: their power delivery was not really suitable bikes of the period and, in most cases, a simple displacement boost proved to be a more effective, reliable way of increasing performance. But whatever, man. Maybe people were just too square to get it.


1978 Kawasaki Z1R TC R Side

Sweet Ride, Man: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC for Sale
Honda April 29, 2014 posted by

Turbo Triple Play: 3 Honda CX500 Turbos for sale

It seems that just as soon as you call something rare and relatively hard to find you start to see them everywhere. Such is the case with factory Turbo bikes. One year only models which languished on showroom floors due to complexity and price, the Turbo era never really lasted. That is a shame, as the factory Turbo bikes are all unique in their own ways. Here are three examples of Honda’s technology showcase, the 1982 Honda CX500T. If you are in the market for one of these rarities now is a good time for a closer look. Prices are continuing to rise on these boosted machines.

#1. 1982 CX500T with complete restoration


From the seller:
A 3-year ground-up restoration was completed on this beautiful bike in 2010. Every part, grommet, nut and bolt was removed from this bike. Every part on this bike has been either plated, powder coated, painted, polished, restored or replaced. There are countless hours and thousands of dollars spent on this very complicated restoration. This is no doubt one of the finest CX500 Turbos on the planet.

This beautiful first generation Honda Turbo is priced at $9,500 OBO.

#2. 1982 Honda CX500T with only 600 miles


From the seller:
Purchased last year from a private collection. Clear CA title (license plate included, removed for pictures). 600.9 original miles (six hundred miles and 9/10) Likely one of the nicest low mileage CX500 Turbo motorcycles available. Stunning condition. Original. Clean. Near Mint.

This is a NO RESERVE auction, with the current bid sitting at a mere $3k. This might be a bargain in the making….

#3. Brand New 1982 Honda CX500T


From the seller:
100% All original brand new true survivor in mint showroom condition never been registered fully documented flawless time capsule. Includes original Dealer Packet, original Certificate of Origin, original Owner’s Manual, original Owner’s Card, (2) original Keys & spare, original Tool Kit w/ Air Pressure Gauge still sealed, & OEM factory Turbo Cover. This bike has never been down, scratched, rebuilt, or repainted. All original decals & gauges with no fading whatsoever. Kept in my climate controlled storage facility year round & hasn’t moved since the day I brought it home from the previous owner / dealership. 1.9 factory miles.

The reserve has come off on this bike, and the auction is winding down. Current bid is at $8k, and I suspect it will move up before the auction ends.

So there you have it. Three excellent examples of Honda’s technical mastery. These rare beasts are not easy to find in this condition, and any one of these would make a fine addition to any collection. Good Luck!


Turbo Triple Play:  3 Honda CX500 Turbos for sale
Suzuki March 10, 2014 posted by

How rare are these things?! 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo

Update 3.10.2014: This bike was first spotted in May of last year in Arizona and has now reappeared in Texas. I’m not clear if it’s the same seller but not many more miles have been accumulated. The new listing also has better pictures so make sure to check those out. Links updated. -dc


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. These things are rare. No, really – they are. These are, in fact, the most rare of the factory Turbo bikes of the 1980s, although you wouldn’t know it lately if you run a search of the RSBFS archives.


From the seller:
Here is a two owner,1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo. All original, unmodfied. Been stored for the last 20 years.Looks like it did in the 80’s. These were very limited production. Original license plate from California with the 1984 Sticker: MYXN85.Arizona titled,Box A original mileage.Tool kit is still in the padded XN85 marked tool pouch in the fairing storage compartment. Original Ignition and Fork Lock Keys. May be your last chance to find one as nice as this.


This bike has not really racked up that many miles. These XN85s are very robust motorcycles, and the engines are quite beefy. Boost in stock form is relatively low, and provided oil changes are done on schedule there is really not that much to go wrong. You might have to do some research to find a suitable tire for that 16″ front wheel, but that is all part of the fun. I just love the personalized license plate on this one!


This former California bike is available in the warm and sunny climate of Tucson, Arizona. No nibbles yet, but the open ask is a very fair $2,900. Click the link to jump over to the auction. As the saying goes, make hay while the sun shines. In this case, grab a Turbo when you can find it – you never know when this windfall of boosted bikes is going to dry up. Good Luck!



How rare are these things?! 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo
Honda January 11, 2014 posted by

Turbo City: 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo


Why don’t the Big Four (or any other manufacturer out there, for that matter) build boosted bikes anymore? The turbo bikes of the 80s made a terrific splash – and some very impressive horsepower – before dying an early death. 30+ years on, technology must have caught up enough to give it another go, right? So why not? Until then, we must be content to bask in the glory of what was, such as this 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo.

1983 Honda CX650 Turbo for sale on eBay


From the seller:
One of only around 1800 built, it is not known how many are still around and indeed how many are in this condition. This bike has some CX500 turbo parts, the rear axle and swingarm that give it higher gearing and therefore reduced revs on the freeway which makes for a more relaxing cruise. It has a fibreglass fairing and CX500T mirrors which look more sturdy than the original CX650T mirrors.

Please inspect the photographs of the actual bike I am selling, it is in truly excellent condition to be expected after only so few miles after restoration. Everything functions as it should, the brakes, electrics, suspension, everything is 100%. Bike starts and runs flawlessly and can be ridden anywhere.


Factory Turbo bikes can be wonderful and unique riding machines. They can also be a headache and a nightmare when it comes to repairs and spare parts. Fortunately, these CX650T models are practically bulletproof. There is a known issue with weak stators (around the 20k mark), but otherwise they are just fun to ride. This particular bike has the title of “restored” but the seller does note some non-standard changes. Click here to see all the pictures and details. Do your homework if interested. And don’t forget to tell ’em you found it on RSBFS!



Turbo City: 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo
Yamaha August 18, 2013 posted by

Rare Bird: 1982 Yamaha XJ650LJ Seca Turbo


If Rodney Dangerfield comes back to us reincarnated as a motorcycle, this would be his gig. All the right pieces, no respect. Built in the early 1980s and riding the fad wave of boosted power, the Seca Turbo simply never had a serious mission. Based off of the namesake Secas of the Yamaha lineup, these bikes were the poster children of the UJM. Whereas Honda followed the sport tourer route, Suzuki went for the sportbike and Kawasaki sought to own the strip with performance, Yamaha went the bland route and built the Seca. With the lowest boost and least performance of all the factory Turbo bikes, the Seca was a bit unloved.

1982 Yamaha XJ650 Turbo for sale on eBay


None of the factory Turbo bikes sold well in the showroom. Expensive and complicated, heavy and lacking performance, the Turbo hype could not match reality. Yamaha stayed in the game longer than any other manufacturer, and as such produced more bikes than the others. Unfortunately, finding a clean Seca Turbo is rare; these are all too often trashed and discarded as oddities. That makes this 1,250 mile example pretty special. Because once the hype of the Turbo era was over, the reality was that the Seca made for a reasonable mount. If you don’t expect Hyabusa power or Panigale handling, the Seca will offer a unique experience in its own right.


From the seller:
This is one of the nicest all original extremely low mileage Yamaha Seca Turbo motorcycles you may ever come across in excellent overall condition 9 of 10. Everything works as it should mechanically & electrically functioning 100% & is cosmetically as nice as I’ve seen outside the showroom in the 80’s. It has always been stored in a climate controlled environment. I am an avid car & motorcycle collector. This is the nicest riding of all the Turbo era bikes I have (all but the Suzuki XN85). It has never been down or damaged. The previous owner replaced the fork seals & tires due to age. Oil & filter recently changed and a battery tender plug-in has been added for ease of keeping on the tender in my building as I do all my bikes & cars. It has been tuned with new plugs, valve adjustment, needles & seals. The only issue I am aware of whatsoever is that if I don’t ride it on occasion, the check valve may stick which forces oil into the turbo and gets dumped out the wastegate left-hand side exhaust slight drips. Bike is always stored on the center stand with gas petcock turned off as recommended by the Yamaha Turbo Forums.


This bike is available via auction with a starting price of $3,495. Seca Turbos have not significantly risen in value over the years, and we have seen clean examples change hands in the $5-6k region. This particular bike looks to be in great shape, and the low miles and collector storage has certainly helped to preserve this example. Click the link to jump over to the auction and check it out. While you’re there, take a gander at some of the other cool stuff this seller has in his stable!


Honda July 30, 2013 posted by

Seeing double? 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo

Forget seeing double. I do think I am seeing triple. I AM seeing triple, and I have not even started drinking yet. If a Honda CX650T factory turbo is not rare enough, how about having a collection of THREE of them?! Wow. I love my CX650T, but one of these bad boys is enough for me! The good news here is that the owner of this Turbo trifecta is going to let one of the bikes go to a new home. If you are interested in these historical oddities, its time to perk up.

1983 Honda CX650 Turbo for sale on eBay


A one year only bike, the Honda CX650T is the only factory turbo to enjoy the benefits of a previous generation model. Widely accepted as a major step forward from the revolutionary CX500T, the 1983 650 model was a better bike all the way around. With plenty of power, plastic and weight (these are porky machines, to put it politely), the CX650T is a good looking bike that always draws a crowd.


From the seller:
A very rare and nice example of Honda’s best Turbo motorcycle from my collection with only 23,000 miles. Always garaged and never abused, and kept factory stock.


Factory Turbos are niche bikes at best. A curiosity for many, these are legitimately rare machines – and prices are starting to (slowly) reflect the exclusivity. This bike has more miles than most Turbos we see, but by no means is this a deal killer. These models have a tendency to eat stators at the 15-20k mark, turning the electricals into a total loss system, so if you are on the hunt be sure and check out the charging system. Replacement involves pulling the motor, so factor that fix into your planning.


Interest is high in this particular bike. The current bid is up to $6,325, and there are still a few days left to go. The price is in the ballpark for a well-kept example, and this appears to be a “ready to ride” auction for a collectable that you will enjoy riding. I think I want this bike just so I can look at the man cave that all these toys are stored in! Click here to jump over to the auction. Good luck!


Seeing double?  1983 Honda CX650 Turbo
Honda July 1, 2013 posted by

One For Your Honda Collection: 1982 Honda CX500 Turbo W/2 Miles

cx mileage cx rightFocus now, don’t let what is in the background distract you.  It might not be quite as exotic as an RC30 but this could be quite the find for a collector of Honda’s that has a space waiting for a CX500 Turbo.  The CX500 was a technological exercise for Honda and much more than just a turbo charged engine.  Like turbos from other manufacturers though, the model was short lived.  Of  those produced, how many do you think we tucked away in private museums?  Of those few that were, how many are for sale?  You get the picture. 

From the seller:

This particular motorcycle is being sold from the number one Japanese motorcycle collection in the US. The finest example of the CX 500 Turbo available outside of a museum, this only has 2 miles on the odometer and is in pristine condition. Stored in a controlled atmosphere and fuel tank has remained empty.

 Time has shown that this wasn’t just a ‘corporate statement’, but rather an important moment in the superbike evolution. It has an MSO title to enhance the provenance and add to the history of this beautiful motorcycle.   

I will gladly answer questions as expediantly as possible.

Enjoy the time capsule.

cx engine cx disc cx front 2 cx front cx seat


cx left

If you are watching Magnum PI or have Poltergeist stuck  in your VCR then maybe this 82 CX500 is perfect for you.

 On a side note,  who wants to see more of this sellers collection?  My hand is raised.

Bid here.