Posts by tag: V-4

Honda January 17, 2020 posted by

Head to the Cape: 1991 Honda VFR400R NC30

The iconic grey bike in the US, the NC30 – also known as the baby RC30 thanks to common family DNA – ranks as one of the sweetest of the 400cc set. There is nothing this models lacks: good looks, fantastic sounds (gear driven cams, don’t you know), razor sharp handling, adjustable suspension and all the performance you could expect from a bike of this capacity. Sadly never officially imported to our shores, these models have become more common in recent years as riders rediscover the joys of limited displacement motivation. There is a wealth of knowledge available, and parts are still in relatively decent supply. Rare in the US (and not that common elsewhere), a 400cc import could make a fine collector that is worth riding. Today’s example, while located in South Africa, ticks many of the right boxes and is worth a look.

1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 for sale on eBay

The VFR400R is the perfect example of the Honda philosophy. Whereas small-bore bikes were often the arena for starter motorcycles built on a tight budget, Honda jumped into the deep end of engineering. The chassis is a renowned twin-spar aluminum frame that holds a single-sided swing arm. This distinctive feature – taken from the all-conquering RC30 racer – originally was designed to facilitate rapid tire changes on the racetrack. With a single nut, the rear wheel can be exchanged quickly and without the need to readjust chain tension. Most of the rest of the bike follows that racetrack theme, including the bodywork and twin headlights that echo those of the endurance racer. Motive power is supplied by an oversquare V-4 featuring four valves per cylinder and driven by straight cut gears. That is part of the unique sound produced by these models. The rest of the soundtrack is the flat bark of the exhaust provided by the 360 degree big bang firing order. In all, figure 60 horsepower in this mid-300 pound package.

From the seller:
Thanks for taking the time to view my listing on this immaculate, low mileage example of an Honda VFR400R.
The pictures speak for themselves. It will be difficult to obtain one in this condition with such a low starting price and NO RESERVE!
All original body kit and paint.
The engine is in perfect condition and the fueling is spot on.
A full service was done recently which included the replacement of the fork seals and dust covers.
I have been involved with importing, selling and repairing NC30,s for the past 27 years and I have not seen a more perfect example than the one advertised in many years.

We have seen this particular seller before, and all the bikes look extremely clean. South Africa might not be the ideal locale for US-based buyers, but with just 11,000 KMs on the clocks it is not often we find such a nice example. The plastics look to be complete and serviceable, and the lack of obvious modification is a plus. Think about it: this bike was in the showroom nearly 30 years ago. Someone took good care of it for it to emerge in the shape it is today. Check out all of the details here, start planning your vacation, and Good Luck!!

MI

Head to the Cape: 1991 Honda VFR400R NC30
Yamaha December 11, 2019 posted by

1/2 Liter Superbike – 1987 Yamaha RZV500

While the roadgoing two-stroke era ended here in 1979, it continued for several more years around the globe, a few makers templating their Grand Prix bikes for the showroom.  This example looks under used and has a super-clean stock appearance.

1987 Yamaha RZV500 for sale on eBay

The RZV was destined only for Japan, and differed from the rest-of-world RZ500LC mainly in its alloy chassis.  The compact V4 is actually two upright twins which are geared directly to the clutch, and the lack of a central jackshaft left room for a smoothing counter-balancer.  Two pairs of 26mm Mikuni carburetors look to the sides, and expansion chambers leave from the front and rear of the V.  Forks are air-adjusted, have anti-dive and hold dual 267mm brakes and a 16-inch front wheel, while the 18-inch rear is mounted to an alloy monoshock.

The Seattle dealer showing this RZV500 has had a few other classic sportbikes on eBay ( and RSBFS ) along with a boatload of parts.  The RZV has just under 6,000 miles and looks excellent in several high-resolution photos.  Not sure exactly what to expect in the sticker department on a JDM machine, so expert readers will have to weigh in.  Comments from the eBay auction:

The body work is all original and is in very good condition. The paint work is in nice good condition with no major scratches anywhere, and wheels are in great shape with no major rock chips or corrosion. The frame does not have any corrosion and is nice and clean. The original exhaust is in nice condition with the exception of one dent on the right side muffler as can be seen in the pictures. But overall cosmetically this bike is in very nice condition.

The bike runs and rides perfect, and shifts smoothly through all gears. The carburetor was recently ultrasonically cleaned and adjusted, and a full service tune-up was performed which included new spark plugs, chain, brake pads, oil change, new tires, and all fluids flushed. All of the lighting, switches and electrical components work as they should.

With almost 200 hp per liter ( when de-restricted ), the RZV was too fast to live and production ended in 1988.  Several anachronisms flying in formation, it’s a two stroke, kick start, and weighs just over 400 lbs. dry.  Likewise, maybe you are more comfortable in your helmet and knee sliders than business casual, and would like to get in on the bidding.  It’s just eclipsed $13K but hasn’t yet met the reserve.

-donn

1/2 Liter Superbike – 1987 Yamaha RZV500
Honda November 28, 2019 posted by

Gym Buddy – 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30

Sport riders tend to head toward the lighter side when working on their skills or the racetrack beckons.  Now closer to thirty years of age than twenty, the NC30 is a perfect choice for a workout partner.  This grey import is even more unusual in the black / red livery.

1992 Honda VFR400R NC30 for sale on eBay

From across the four-lane it would be easy to confuse the NC30 with its 750cc sibling, but the general scale ( and 400R decals ) give it away.  The 59 hp are responsible for motivating only 364 lbs. dry, and it stays under 400 lbs. with full fuel.  Right wrist and gearbox will get exercise, since peak power is at just under 13,000 rpm.  Don’t miss shoulder day too often, since the compact package and 16-front / 18-rear wheel stagger will keep weight on the bars.  The last-gen NC30 had the 360-degree “big bang” crank, shows off the rear wheel courtesy of the left-hand muffler, and sports a 14,500 rpm redline.

A little light on pictures and description, this example calls for more information.  In the meantime we can enjoy the striking livery, new Battlaxes , and carbon muffler, and no evident damage.  From the eBay auction:

I have for sale a very rare color combination 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30, new tires , brakes, forks rebuilt, bike is in a good condition , has aftermarket exhaust , 18,000 kilometers (11,300 miles).

Comes with Vermont registration in my name which can be registered in any state.

Won’t need your headphones at this gym, just earplugs, as the gear driven cams will be music to your ears.  Reviewers advised that the NC30 had fallen off the sharp edge of the 399cc class, but the smooth power delivery, soft spring rates, and high build quality resulted in high overall ratings.  Even with its high ask, this one deserves further investigation.

-donn

Gym Buddy – 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30
Featured Listing November 24, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30

Update 2.16.2020: Joe has updated his remaining inventory with competitive pricing. Asking price for this RC30 is $53,000. Call Joe at 847-668-2004 -dc

Even if not fans, RSBFS readers will acknowledge Honda’s long history of success in motorcycle production and racing.  These days, Honda seems to have the engineering chops ( and resources ) to do almost whatever they put their minds to – witness their Formula 1 winning V6’s for Williams and McLaren, several years as CART’s engine of choice, and more recently the HondaJet aircraft ( with turbofans developed by Honda and GE ).

The VFR750R/RC30 from 1987-1990 is just one more example, where engineers and designers pulled a winning concept together, and the manufacturing side of the company executed beautifully, about 3,000 times.  As testament, the factory team won the inaugural WSBK season in 1988.  This rare example has been in a collector’s display since new, and occasionally exercised, turning under 1,200 miles.

As their homologation special for the Superbike World Championship, the RC30 really was the mythical race bike with lights.  From the sharp-steering alloy chassis to the 296mm front disks to the single-sided Pro-Link swingarm, the RC30 provided the racers what they needed.  Shocks and forks on the single seater were only adjustable for preload, since the race teams would be putting their own special parts.  The compact V-4 looked similar to the preceding VFR750F, but shared almost no internal parts.  Even the exhaust note with the new 360-degree crank was specific to the RC30.

Resting in the motorcycle wing of a large auto collection, this RC30 has received excellent care and not even break-in miles.  The pictures show an apparently new machine, even though a generation has passed since it was built.  The owner tells of a mid-life cosmetic refurbishment:

In general, I do believe super rare Italian motorcycle of the 1970s and 1980s are the future Ferrari of motorcycle collecting. We all know what has happened to Ferrari.

An exception would have to be my super low (under 1,200) miles, almost perfectly like-new 1990 Honda RC30.

Yes, there are a few exceptions to what I call my Italian collecting rule and one of those would be the 1990 Honda RC30. This 1990 Honda RC30 needs no introduction or explanation by me as it is such a famous Honda, that the only thing you need to know about an RC30 is if you are getting a good one or a really great one or one of the very best.

The RC30 in this listing was purchased for the collection several years ago and is an extremely low mileage bike. It was absolutely 99% perfect, however, some of the detail parts that were white rubber or painted white had become slightly discolored. At that time, almost ten years ago, Honda was still had these parts in stock and we purchased each and every part to bring the cosmetic looks of the bike back to 99%. This 1990 Honda RC30 has not been raced or abused or messed with in any way. It currently looks like new, runs just as it should and is kept on a trickle charger and is exercised thoroughly during the spring, summer, and fall; and again it has never been raced or abused (most have been!).

As you may already know, there is nothing more exciting nor handles better than the Honda RC30. The looks, graphics, and colors of the bike need no apology either. They are absolutely a stand-out in any crowd of motorcycles. Most RC30s were extensively raced and it is very hard to find one that has not been modified or raced. You are looking at one that has not been abused in that way shape or form. This bike is always kept on a trickle charge and ready take a trip to any bike show at a moment’s notice. This is truly a bike for a serious collection and it would be a shame to abuse it. Oh yes, it comes with a new Honda rear wheel stand still in the box.

All my bikes are kept in climate controlled storage and on trickle chargers when not in use so they are always ready to take a day’s ride at a moment’s notice.

Honda might be accused of an obsession with the V-4, which brought it multiple WSBK titles along with TT and endurance racing wins.  After Superbike rulesmakers made a short dalliance with the V-twin an offer they couldn’t refuse, Honda returned to the four with the RC212V.  But for road riders, the RC30 was a moment when you could buy something very special from the local dealer, even though it cost twice as much as the nearest competitor.  That moment is reflected in recent asking prices even for fairly well-used examples.  But in this case, we have an RC30 that has been in a collector’s hands from day one, without damage history and in impeccable shape.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30
Honda October 22, 2019 posted by

Right-sized – 1986 Honda VF500F Interceptor

Following the 750 Interceptor to the showroom but actually descended from the diminutive VF400F, the 499cc version was just about right for an intermediate rider ( or cognoscenti ) in the American market.  Most got ridden to a fair-thee-well but this New Hampshire example shows beautifully with just over 6,000 miles.

1986 Honda VF500F Interceptor

Honda had a world-beater in their new V-4, and the 500 was distinct from the 400.  The square-tube basket frame showed off the supersport fairing, and had air-adjustable suspension at either end.  Dual 255mm brakes are now period items as is the 16 / 18-inch stagger.  Weight was under control at just over 400 lbs. dry, refreshingly light for the time, all the better for the handling.

Shown in a gallery setting, this Interceptor appears excellent, with only the triple tree cover showing wear from the key ring.  The seller has this to say about their baby:

This is likely as close to a New 1986 Honda Interceptor 500 you likely to find.
Ultra low mileage ( 6,266 original  miles ) This bike belongs in a collection.
This bike has been professionally serviced including New Tires (Factory correct)
New Brakes, New Fork Seals, New O-ring Chain, New battery, Carbs completely rebuilt and synchronized
New sparkplugs, New fluids. This bike runs and drives as it should.

Honda kept a V-4 in the line-up before and after other manufacturers toyed with the idea.  Foreseeing the mass centralization paradigm, designers worked through the complex packaging issues.  The 500’s power-to-fun ratio made it a good pick that riders didn’t grow out of too soon.  This example post-dates the cam lubrication issue that forced a recall of earlier VF’s and Magnas, and seems an outstanding original.

-donn

Right-sized – 1986 Honda VF500F Interceptor
Honda July 25, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30

Update 7.24.2019: Paul has renewed his Featured Listing for this NC30 and dropped the price to $9,700. He also notes mileage has gone up slightly as he does ride it once a week. Good luck to buyers and seller! -dc

Often considered the baby brother to the RC30, the 400cc NC30 deservedly stands proud on its own right. The V-4 with ultra-precise gear driven cams delivers a powerful 60 horsepower soundtrack that is unique to this model – especially when the tach swings up toward the 14,500 RPM redline. This is partly thanks to the NC30s 360 degree crank, creating a “big bang” motor when compared to the NC21 or NC24 predecessors. With a race-bred twin spar aluminum frame, endurance-bred single sided swing arm, four-into-one exhaust and adjustable suspension, the underpinnings of the VFR400R were anything but cheap. Drape the whole package in a glorious shape that is as iconic as any of the sport bikes we hold in high esteem (RC30, 851, 916, F4), throw in typical Honda build quality and reliability and you have the NC30 in a nutshell.

Featured Listing: 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30

The seller knows quite a bit about this bike, and I’ll let him share detail on this example.

From the seller:
1992 Honda VFR400R NC30
Currently has 11’558 Km that’s about 7,100 miles, will go up as I do ride it at least once a week.
I just put on new tires front and rear, new brake pads front and rear, flushed and bled front and rear brakes. Had the rims powder coated as the original paint was peeling. I also noticed some of the smaller pieces were looking their age so I had them powder coated black also, instrument stay, Misc cable guides, fairing stays.

More from the seller:
I just serviced the forks, new seals and fluid, Valve check, replaced all o-rings in the carbs, they were starting to leak, flushed and replaced the coolant I got the bike 3 years ago from the original owner’s estate, he passed away. Prior to his passing he was doing a full restoration and had removed the original body work. He ended up getting Dementia and that was as far as he got. Over the years the original body work got lost. I wanted to keep this bike original so after much searching I managed to find Honda body work that had been in an accident. I had the crash damage repaired and repainted. It looks really nice. The bike runs amazing, starts easily cold or warm, smooth, powerful and quiet. It is the best handling bike I have ever ridden. I’ve owned it for about 3 years now I’m 6’1″ and 220 pounds. This bike was designed for someone 5’04” and 145 so as I am getting older I can only ride it for about 10 minutes due to the full racer tuck.

More from the seller:
The bike is not perfect but really nice and would make a perfect weekend canyon rider. If I were to keep it I would do the following:

– Paint the lower fork housings and the rear subframe
– remove all body work and detail the engine and frame.

Bike is located in Lake Havasu City, AZ. I have a clean and clear Arizona title with current registration till April 2020.

Asking Price: $9,700 (will consider reasonable offers)
Contact: baldyy@aol.com

I really like this seller’s approach to the bike; it is not a perfect zero-mile statue, but a well-cared for and maintained rider. After all, these 400cc rockets are meant to be enjoyed in their element (which had better include lots of corners). Parts of the bike have been selectively restored, reconditioned or updated which is what you would expect from a fawned-over 27 year old motorcycle. Devoid of the hyper-focused attention bestowed upon the bigger RC30, the NC30 is a bike you can ride and enjoy for what it is. Not so expensive to be an unaffordable collector, and not so rare and finicky not to be a regular rider – provided you fit. As the seller notes, this is definitely not a spacious and airy bagger; the crop of 400cc grey bikes definitely cater to a slightly smaller set. If you do fit, there are few bikes that collect the handling accolades of a VFR400R. With a jewel of an engine that purrs at low revs and snarls & shrieks through 14,500 RPM, the NC30 is positive proof against those who say Hondas lack soul. This example is clean and fully operational, and priced fairly for today’s market. If you think you are in the market for the gem known as the NC30, contact Paul for more information. We typically don’t see these bikes last very long in the market; act quickly before it’s gone!

MI

Featured Listing: 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30
Honda July 18, 2019 posted by

Plated in the Golden State: 1995 Honda RVF400 NC35

The Honda NC35 is one of those sweetheart machines that should be in every garage. Reasonably rare in the US thanks to the lack of official importation, great looks thanks to the DNA shared with the RC45, great sound thanks to that marvelous V-4 with gear-driven cams, and fantastic handling thanks to the smaller size and lower weight when compared to the bigger bikes. Collect it. Ride it. Show it off. This is a bike that is capable of checking off many, many boxes. And with typical Honda build quality, this is a bike that will last for the ages.

1995 Honda RVF400 NC35 for sale on eBay

The light middleweight classes have always been grounds for serious competition outside of the US. It is true that we yanks have started to see a small bike resurgence of sorts, but even the evolution of the 400cc baby Ninja and the newer Yamaha R3 the current crop of small bikes feel entry-level when compared to the hardware in a NC35. Where are the multi cylinders (i.e. more than one or two)? Where is the single-sided swing arm? Where is the identity that makes one more attractive than the other? Stray away from the “me too” sameness of the current crop and you KNOW what this NC35 is when you see it. Well, you might. You would be forgiven for mistaking it for the bigger RC45, on which it is clearly based. Paint a R3 lime green and it instantly transforms into a Ninja. Dare to paint this NC35 lime green and it instantly transforms into a NC35 with a funny paint job (and lost valuation).

From the seller:
This bike has been registered in CA nearly 20 years, I have a clean and clear CA title in my name and it is currently non-op with DMV right now and NO back fee’s. Bike has original 11 digit VIN. 19,750 miles. If you take this out of state, good luck getting it reg’d in CA again.

Since this RVF has been in the states since the 90’s it does not suffer from the usual Japanese corrosion. I have owned this bike about 5 years but am clearing out most of bikes as I am planning a move at the end of this year.

This is a very nice original RVF that has not been tracked or raced, not beat up and former owner before I got it for over 10 years was a female! Bike has some small bodywork flaws and everything is pointed out in the photos. Please email me if you have ANY QUESTIONS or need MORE PICTURES!!!

More from the seller:
I have recently done a complete full service on the bike front to back.
Brand new Bridgestone tires.
Forks just rebuilt with oem Honda Seals and fluid
Fresh oil and filter
Fresh coolant and brake fluid
Brand new battery
Carbs cleaned

Bike starts, runs and rides as it should. I cleaned the carbs but did not rebuild them, starts and runs and idles well but the bike sat for sometime before I did this work. It is fine now, but from past experience the carbs might need new seals in the not too distant future…same with the petcock…not leaking now, but my experience with them is that they all seem to fail pretty regularly. Or I am just really unlucky with 30/35 carbs and petcocks!!

More from the seller:
I had the right side lower cowls repainted because of some scuffs and marks on them from previous owner. All other bodywork is original and OEM. The small rubber o-ring around the trunk lock is missing. There is a small chunk missing from the tail T piece, some discoloration on the left lower and some fogging in the headlight. Minor ding/depression on left front of tank. All other bodywork and cosmetics are really pretty nice considering the age and mileage.

Bike has a nice Two Brothers Slip on exhaust, braided brake lines front and rear, mechanically otherwise stock. The front blinkers are aftermarket and should be replaced as one has a short I believe and they obviously dont’ look correct on the bike…I will leave that up to the new owner.

With over 19,000 miles on the all-metric clocks, this particular NC35 is not new. But for many, a rider is the ultimate expression of bike collecting, and this one is definitely used to that. Condition is not perfect, but appears to be original for the most part. If the mishaps noted by the seller are it – and there are no mechanical demons lurking – this no reserve auction might be a good way to pick up a 400cc slice of nirvana. This auction is going on right now with several bids but the price has not yet crossed over $2k. I would expect that to climb very rapidly as the auction end nears, so perhaps you should add yourself to the list of watchers (there are a lot of them). We don’t see NC35s in the US all that often, and this one goes over and above by offering the vaunted California title, registration and license plate. That addition is usually worth about a grand for smokers – or anything with a less than 17-digit VIN or a lack of Federalization papers. Time will tell what this will run up to, but it offers some unique attributes that make it worth checking out. Good Luck!!

MI

Yamaha July 6, 2019 posted by

Kentucky Bourbon: 1985 Yamaha RZ500RN

How is this for international intrigue? Take a smoking two stroke iconic super bike built in Japan. Export said bike outside of the home market into Europe, the Pacific Rim or Canada. Later years on, that bike finds its way into the US and now lives in the state of Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark and Buffalo Trace. OK – so maybe not mysterious, but the migratory path of this particular example of Yamaha’s last big street going two stroke is certainly circuitous, and part of its appeal. Since Yamaha never imported the RZ500 into the US (with riders desperate for the GP bike with lights), dreams and schemes ensued to liberate these models from our fortunate norther neighbors. Today’s example shows the fruits of those importation labors.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on eBay

Need we go deep on the RZ500 details? Although this crowd undoubtedly already knows, the RZ500 was a V-4, 500cc two stroke meant to invoke Yamaha’s legendary 500 GP machines ridden by the likes of Roberts and Rainey. History will show that these bikes were not quite as sharp as the silhouette would suggest, but it was still a very potent motorcycle for the day. Dichotomies exist throughout: While utilizing a GP-inspired 16″ front wheel to quicken steering inputs, the RZ500 makes due with a mild steel (not aluminum) frame and contained a passenger pillion. Hardly GP level stuff. Still, the twin-crank V-4 configuration made decent power (estimates put a stock bike in the 85+ HP range) and with Yamaha power valves in the exhaust ports the powerband was wider than the traditional, peaky two stroke. Weight was a seemingly portly 450+ pounds – “seemingly” only because of today’s standards. At the time, this was 10-15 pounds lighter than the Kawasaki GPz550, which was down more than 20 HP on the big RZ. That should give you some indication of how hot the RZ500 was in the day.

From the seller:
1985 Yamaha RZ500R. This bike has 15730 original Kilometers and runs great. This bike has a Clear Ky Title in my name. This bike has been well taken care and was stored for a few years. This bike has never been Modified or worked on other than regular maintenance. It does have some corrosion-rust here and there The carbs and fuel system have been cleaned. The brakes have been serviced with new brake pads. This bike starts right up, idles and runs perfect. Transmission and clutch shift smoothly. All lights, Horn and signals work as they should. Inside of the gas tank is rust free. The tank has a couple marks on it. The Plastic is new aftermarket. (The OEM Plastic has some damage and is included in this auction). Please Ask Questions. I have plenty of pictures if need.

Today’s example is relatively mild on the scale of what we have seen. Mods are few, and this bike has apparently seen nothing in the way of hop ups; only usual maintenance items have been covered. Plastics are aftermarket, which makes this unrestored specimen appear to be much newer and cleaner than the rest of the bike. Some corrosion is evident – and not unremarkable for a bike of this age. The seller claims the bike starts and runs without issue, and has had some recommissioning by way of the required carb and fueling system cleaning – again, no surprises there given the rancid state of today’s gasoline formulation. Possible concerns include the reasons for the replacement bodywork (the seller indicates the original pieces will come with the bike), and the state of the (presumed original) internal engine seals after sitting for an extended period of time. Two strokes will develop air leaks (air gets sucked into the crankcase) as seals age, resulting in a lean running condition, increasing the temperature as well as the potential to seize. An air pressure test would be recommended prior to wringing the neck of this beautiful beast, as the condition is most detrimental at high RPM.

The market for RZs has been a bit all over the place lately. We have seen crazy asks in the $30k range for perfect examples, and bargains well below market value. This particular bike appears to be most original – which is a great foundation for a collector. However the step from 34 year old original motorcycle to a 34 year old restored motorcycle is a big one indeed. This particular bike is priced based on the original condition – with a $9,100 opening ask. We have seen much cleaner examples in the $12-15k area, but given the lack of bidding on this one thus far it would appear it may struggle to break the $10k barrier. It’s a runner – which is a plus – and you won’t have to undo somebody else’s mods to get to where you want to go with it, so as a resto project this might be the perfect start. There is still a long way to go on the auction so check it out here, and then let us know what you think. Good Luck!!

MI

Kentucky Bourbon: 1985 Yamaha RZ500RN