Posts by tag: Unrestored

BMW November 15, 2018 posted by

The Venerable – 1976 BMW R90S

BMW attempted to put some pizazz in their stodgy 70's reputation with their first S-bike in a while.  The R90S had an improved powertrain, the usual excellent BMW build quality, and design by the up-and-coming Hans Muth.  This example looks original but has had the works restored.

1976 BMW R90S for sale on eBay

Wanting to thrill and retain their existing customers, BMW stuck with the flat twin and bored the engine to 898cc's and built cylinders for 9.5:1 compression resulting in 67 reliable hp.  38mm Dell'Orto carbs helped breathing through the two-valve heads.  A second hydraulic front disk was added with the master cylinder still under the tank, and a steering damper is mounted on the triple clamp.  A comfortable ride was afforded by the long chassis with typical shaft drive.  After many years of black with white pinstripes, the factory "smoke" paint highlights were a revelation.

This S looks to be complete and pretty original, with 43K-plus miles there's some patina, but more desirable than a new almost correct re-paint.  The crash bars are a bit much but the engine and chassis re-build is what makes this a standout.  A neat two-into-one exhaust, oil temperature and pressure gauges are a nice addition.  Not mentioned in the notes, I think the cast wheels are a period update.  From the eBay auction:

The bike is offered in excellent mechanical condition, fresh from service to ready the bike for sale. At 41,000 miles the bike was thoroughly mechanically restored. A full engine rebuild was undertaken with lightened flywheel, oversized pistons, new valves and guides, and dual plug heads were fitted. A deep oil sump was also installed. For added reliability a Dyna3 electronic ignition system was added with new upgraded coils.

The front suspension was rebuilt and progressive shocks were installed at the rear. The steering head bearings were replaced and a new steering damper fitted. The brakes were overhauled as well, rebuilding the master cylinder in the process. The electrical system was gone through and new switchgear installed on the right, powered by a fresh battery. Even the clock works! Heated grips were installed for some added comfort.

The original paint shows some blemishes here and there, most noticeably on the tank where the wearer’s jacket zipper has made contact and rubbed through a small patch. The paint is good, though, and showing nice patina rather than needing restoration. The side panels aren’t correct. The whole bike has an air of a super well-maintained and cherished machine, with no signs of neglect or abuse.

Revered for the boxer's smoothness, the R90S had sporting aspirations and the importer's race team took it all the way to the AMA Championship in 1976.  Most were ridden more gently and burnished the reputation for reliability.  Because of updates to the crankshaft and block, and drilled brake disks, the '76 model was worth the wait.  The combination of condition, originality, and maintenance might make this the R90S to go for...

-donn

The Venerable – 1976 BMW R90S
Yamaha September 29, 2018 posted by

Swimsuit Issue – 1977 Yamaha RD400

Mid-seventies the two-stroke era was winding down, most manufacturers were looking for ways to tie their new mid-size four strokes to their smoking forebears.  Yamaha stretched it out, keeping the RD-400 in the line-up until 1980.  For 1977 they offered cast wheels, all disk brakes and 14-second 1/4 miles.

1977 Yamaha RD400 for sale on eBay

In today's era of jamming a lot of complication into a small engine, Yamaha's air-cooled twin is a statement of simplicity - 44hp from 398cc without fuel injection, overhead valves, counterbalance shafts, etc.  It still requires a poke with the right leg to start, though at least oil injection is standard.  Light construction helped the RD make a quick getaway, the twin downtube frame, suspension and brakes are all right-sized for the mission and keep the fully-fueled weight well under 400 lbs.  Historically noisy, Yamaha did what they could with the generous mufflers and airbox to quiet things down.

Looking a few years old rather than its decades, this RD has been carefully stored, and recently returned to rideability.  This required rebuilds of the carburetors, oil injection pump, and brakes - refreshingly OEM parts are still available.  What wasn't required were cosmetics, which are excellent and original.  From the eBay auction:

This is a 1977 Yamaha RD400 VIN # 1A1304892    Verified by Libby's in New Haven, Conn.
In dry storage for 18 years.
Full disclosure right front fender is scratched. The front brake lever has been replaced.
The right muffler does not have any damage. 
The gas tank has a minor dent in the pin stripe. There is no rust or paint chipping.  
tank inside is perfect, no rusting no tank treatments . also new petcock valve OEM.
New chain and sprockets.
New front and rear brake calipers.
Rebuilt front brake master cylinder.
New rear brake master cylinder.
New tires.
New clutch cable.
Rebuilt carburetors
New TDR reed valves.
All new vent and fuel hoses.
New battery.
Rebuilt auto injection pump.
Too much to list. Original bodywork, pipes etc...
Starts 1st kick every time.

The RD400 was skinny all over - seat, tires, and powerband.  But a blast if you stayed in the envelope, as reviewers claimed if it wasn't lifting the front wheel in second gear, there was something wrong.  As the other big three were in transition to lumbering four strokes, it out-performed the competition and undercut them on price.  An unrestored bike of this age is unusual, as is this RD's alternate color, interesting as Yamaha later adopted blue for their race teams...

-donn

Swimsuit Issue – 1977 Yamaha RD400
Suzuki August 13, 2018 posted by

Summer Fling – 1987 Suzuki GSX-R400

For 1987 Suzuki left the GSX-R400 substantially unchanged from '86, but thankfully returned to the twin headlight fairing.  In a catchy single-year iteration of Suzuki blue and white, Deftone Cycles has brought this GK-71F with low km's and Ohio title.

1987 Suzuki GSX-R400 for sale on eBay

Suzuki had introduced the 400 Gixxer in 1984 and made steady improvements over the years, the '86-87 models using water, oil, and air cooling to keep temps down.  Since it was a JDM progressive license machine, horsepower was stuck at 59 by statute.  Still the topped-off weight of just 365 lbs. made the most of the available ponies.  An interesting concept was the Deca Brake system, with a separate brake pad for each caliper piston, ten in all, hoping to work around some unhelpful disk brake dynamics.  New vents on the endurance fairing help draw heat out of the fairing and away from the rider.

As very few GSX-R400's were exported by Suzuki, most recent arrivals have some cosmetic issues from long storage.  Deftone has gone over the bike to insure trouble free running, but doesn't try to gloss over the truth.  A short cold start video is available - here -.  This is a low-mile fighter that could easily be a lover with some TLC.  Greg's comments from the eBay auction:

8,484 Miles (13,653 Kilometers) Completely original and unrestored.  Four stroke, transverse four cylinder, DOHC 4 valves per cylinder. One-year color scheme. Mechanically Sorted.  All fluids are fresh.  Shifts and revs to redline perfectly.  Starts effortlessly every time. Very Honest Bike. Very few scratches overall. Left lower fairing is where most of the issues are. Please see Images. Fuel tank is Rust Free.

Having stayed mostly in the home market, Suzuki's 400 gave ground in the period shoot-outs, but had their usual simpler, stronger, lighter cards to play.  Now rarer, they often don't have their original price advantage.  But this one is more affordable, if there was ever a 400 to doll-up as you learn to ride a lightweight, this might be it...

-donn

Summer Fling – 1987 Suzuki GSX-R400
Suzuki May 13, 2018 posted by

Grown-up Hooligan – 1996 Suzuki GSX-R1100

Most buyers' guides advise to purchase the latest edition of a particular model, capitalizing on improvements and technical advances.  First built in 1986, the GSX-R1100 spanned twelve great sportbike years, and those interested in the model can choose from very different rides depending on the letter code.  This late model has been hidden away with under 2,000 miles and despite 20-plus years appears complete and undamaged.

1996 Suzuki GSX-R1100 for sale on eBay

Always a speed demon's machine, the 1986 model came with 137 hp and after a major engine re-design in 1989 and the adoption of water cooling in 1993, the 1996 machine had 156 hp on tap.  Frame stiffness advanced as well with the use of 5-sided tubing, and an earlier banana swingarm was superceded by a fabricated and braced swingarm for 1995.  More sculpted than the earlier endurance racing derived bodies, the 1996 model streamlined its way to nearly 170 mph.  As ever, weight increased as the model grew up, cresting 500 lbs. dry for the 1996 year.

No word in the auction about how this GT came to have so few miles, but does give an unfaired peek-a-boo.  Just a monthly ride up the Palisade Parkway from Englewood to Bear Mountain would have put a lot more on the odometer than its 1,675 miles.  Freshly detailed with a fancy Corbin saddle, it has somehow outsmarted the garage elves, except for the left rear turn signal.  From the eBay auction:

1996 Suzuki GSXR 1100 

1674 ORIGINAL MILES 

VERY LOW MILES FOR ITS YEAR AND IT'S IN PERFECT CONDITION

1 OWNER 

CLEAN TITLE

D&D EXHAUST

OFFERS ACCEPTED TOO

I would trade for a supermoto

As always, I defer to sharper-eyed experts and welcome the model year and graphics debate.  Pictures can fib, so until a real inspection is made, condition is an open question.  New fluids, seals, rubber, four carburetor rebuilds, and some tuning are all on the menu for returning this GSX-R to the road.  What can't be denied is a 156 hp superbike without advanced electronics, and the way time will slow for the next owner on some late summer day...

-donn

Grown-up Hooligan – 1996 Suzuki GSX-R1100
Kawasaki January 31, 2016 posted by

Candidate – 1986 Kawasaki Ninja 600R

Back in the pre-interstate days of family car-trips, New England was peppered with small museums devoted to cars, trains, airplanes, trolleys, and occasionally motorcycles.  One such museum just east of Hartford, Conn. has an almost pre-historic Ninja up for sale, and while it's not running, it looks substantially original and might be a good choice for restoration.

20160130 1986 kawasaki ninja 600r right

1986 Kawasaki Ninja 600R for sale on eBay

20160130 1986 kawasaki ninja 600r left

20160130 1986 kawasaki ninja 600r right rear

Updated in 1985 from the GPz-550, the Ninja 600R ( known as the GPz-600R in some markets ) employed a 16-valve head and had 75 ponies on tap.  Engineers at Kawasaki also re-oriented the alternator to slim the engine, and employed their first perimeter frame, though in steel tubing.  Suspension was air-assisted both ends, 37mm front forks with anti-dive and monoshock rear.  Triple disc brakes were good for the day, and 16-inch wheels helped handling.  The full fairing was primarily plastic which helped keep the weight under 400 lbs.

20160130 1986 kawasaki ninja 600r left grip

20160130 1986 kawasaki ninja 600r right rear wheel

Listed by a long-time repair and restoration shop also housing a museum, the bike looks complete but ready for some TLC.  Thankfully no major surgery has been done, just low-profile front turn signals, SuperTrapp mufflers, and tinted windscreen.  From the eBay auction:

·        Turn Signals Work
·         Starter Works engine turns over and has compression
·         Needs New Coil Pack
·         Rated for 12.7 Second Quarter Mile Time at 125mph
·         Slip-On SuperTrapp Exhausts installed
·         Tinted Wind Shield installed

20160130 1986 kawasaki ninja 600r binnacle

20160130 1986 kawasaki ninja 600r right front wheel

Evidently needing ignition help ( which might lead to a carburetor cleaning ) this Ninja might be a nice bargain.  With some fresh fluids, seals and brake pads, this Ninja could return to the road and display the performance and handling which launched a dynasty.  Or if those classic good looks strike you, a full restoration and back to the gallery or bike show...

-donn

20160130 1986 kawasaki ninja 600r rear

Candidate – 1986 Kawasaki Ninja 600R
Yamaha September 1, 2015 posted by

So Fresh and So Clean: Unrestored 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Unrestored R Side Front

Yamaha's RZ500 was known in some markets as the RD500LC, but by any name, it was one of the weirdest and wildest sports machines ever built. The twin-crank, liquid-cooled two-stroke V4 featured a set of torque-boosting YPVS powervalves and standard Autolube oil-injection so riders could worry less about premix and more about handling what was one of the most heart-attack serious bikes of the period.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Unrestored Lower L Fairing

A six-speed gearbox put power to the 18" rear wheel that had its motions damped by a rear shock mounted under the engine, Buell-style, because the rear expansion chambers needed somewhere to live.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Unrestored R Side

Forks of course used an anti-dive system that seemed to be required equipment for virtually every 1980's Japanese sportbike to help keep the front wheel in contact with the road.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Unrestored Clocks

Although power-to-weight ratio meant the bike was For Professionals Only, the RZ was surprisingly civilized: the engine used a balance shaft that was intended to reduce vibration and allow the frame and brackets to be more lightly constructed, saving weight, but also had the side-effect of making the RZ smoother than Suzuki's RG500. Unfortunately "civilized" sort of defeated the purpose of the whole exercise, and performance nuts generally prefer the wilder RG.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Unrestored Rear Wheel

The seller claims that this is "probably one of the nicest you'll find," and from photos it certainly looks that way. Head on over to the original listing for additional photos and plenty of close-up shots.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

Selling my 1985 Yamaha RZ500. I am the first registered owner. This bike was purchased new by JO-CO Motors Yamaha in Overland Park Kansas for one of there employees. They had to pick it up in Canada since the RZ500 wasn't sold in the US. He put 4,450 miles on it before he parked it in 1988. I bought it from him in 2009. He had never titled it. I went thought the necessary steps to get a clean MO. title in my name. So I am the first registered owner. He told me the motor would have to be torn down and inspected sense it hasn't been started in 21 years. The upper crank bearing sits dry and could seize from not being oiled. I contacted Bill at Wilson Performance an expert with RZ500 and he said the same thing. I took the motor to him on 11/09/2010 and he did a top to bottom rebuild. There was nothing wrong with the motor other than the upper crank bearing. I have receipts for all the work he did. He finished the motor on 8/18/2011. Bill was very helpful getting it dialed in. It start's on the first kick and run's perfect.

Now on to the bike:

It's probably one of the nicest 500 you'll find. This bike is "unrestored". Nothing has been refinished or repainted. There is no rust in or on the tank. Even the tires are original. It shows 7566 KM which is 4698 miles. I have the original exhaust, Manuals and spare parts. It has a rare steering dampener and the fox shock on the rear end. 

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Unrestored Lower R Fairing

Having just seen one for the first time in the flesh over the weekend, I was surprised how small they are. The styling is pretty bulbous when seen in photos, but it's all very compact and purposeful when viewed in person. And while the Yammie may have lost out when directly compared to the Suzuki RG500 in terms of outright peformance, these are still extremely collectible and have very dedicated fans. More refined, but still pretty raucous when compared to modern four-stroke fours, the RZ offers up plenty of performance and thrills for fans of 1980's hardware.

If you're a Yamaha fan, or a vintage racebike fan, you should head on over to ClassicSportBikesforSale.com and check out the TZ750 currently listed there.

-tad

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Unrestored L Side

So Fresh and So Clean: Unrestored 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale