Posts by tag: V-4

Honda June 20, 2020 posted by

Cleaniac – 1996 Honda RVF400R / NC35

Honda’s lightweight RVF400R has had a bit of a resurgence here on RSBFS lately, suspension updates making it the ultimate small V-4.  Here’s a Houston edition that looks unfettered and super clean.

1996 Honda RBF400R for sale on eBay

Honda couldn’t do much to improve the 399cc’s power and stay within the law, and the chassis dimensions, remain the same as the VFR400R.  Still carburetted with four 30mm Keihin’s fed by the fresh air tubes from in front of the mirrors.  The tires got a little wider and are both 17’s, and forks are now upside down, with a hair less trail than the VFR.  Bodywork was modernized, with fox-eye headlights that were more Fireblade than RC45.

Just a little history on this RVF, though it evidently hasn’t been ridden on the road by the seller.  Very sharp for almost 11,000 miles and a quarter century.  From the eBay auction:

Excellent condition all stock original condition with few minor blemishes from normal use.  It have 17,520 Kilometers runs and shifts great with smooth and powerful V4 Honda race engine.  Those are rare superbikes and this bike was imported from Japan and I did not ride it much since it was part of my little Honda collection and it was never abused, red-lined, raced or tempered with.  I changed the battery (Yuasa) changed oil (fully synthetic) and new Honda filter.

Can’t take anything away from the current small-sport singles, some are even racier and lighter, but lack the symphony of gear-driven cams, 360-degree crank and 14,500 rpm redline.  No fairing mounted speakers required for these tunes, just a twist of the wrist.  Without the usual wear and dirt, the buy-it-now per pound is pretty high, but might be worth pursuing.

-donn

 

Cleaniac – 1996 Honda RVF400R / NC35
Honda June 10, 2020 posted by

Dust Bunny – 1992 Honda VFR400R / NC30

Not born on a construction site, but this vintage VFR400R may have acquired permanent resident status.  Propose to this beauty and whisk her away to the country ( roads ) of your choice.

1992 Honda VFR400R / NC30

A staple in the domestic market, the 400 cc VFR got great attention from Honda and the model was produced from 1986-1993.  For the third generation NC30, a 360-degree crank was introduced, and the redline raised slightly to 14,500 rpm.  Unrestricted power is closer to 68 hp, more inkeeping with the Nissin brakes and staggered 16 and 18-inch wheels.  The alloy twin-spar chassis accepts the right-side-up forks and the race-derived single sided swingarm.  Twin headlights in the RC30 lookalike fairing fool many a fan until they’re close-in.

Looks like this owner has carved out a spot in a larger garage to work on his VFR, and while not without some miles, it looks very good.  Just a couple of comments accompany the eBay auction:

1992 Honda VFR400R NC30, 18,000km or 11,000 miles, new tires, new brake pads, new fork seals all original fairings, de-restricted. Vermont registration, can be registered in any state in USA 

Bike runs very well

The VFR400R wasn’t sold far and wide, but along with its track manners and geared cam soundtrack, has a loyal following.  The ask is up in superbike territory, but a V-4 400 is rare and getting more so.  This Honda red example looks worth pushing the Make Offer button, at least to start a conversation.

-donn

Dust Bunny – 1992 Honda VFR400R / NC30
Honda May 20, 2020 posted by

Fox Eye Lady – 1999 Honda RVF400R / NC35

In many ways a template of the Superbike RC45, the middleweight RVF400 ( NC35 ) had its own character and predatory facial expression.  This Wisconsin rider looks very good despite some prodigious miles.

1999 Honda RVF400R / NC35 for sale on eBay

Honda made a substantial update to the VFR400R, with a new chassis, inverted forks and 17-inch wheels front and rear.  Changes to the carburetors and valve timing could improve the torque curve but power was legislated to be 59 hp.  Air scoops and tracts over the handlebars deliver fresh if not ram air.  Forks and monoshock are adjustable for pre-load and rebound, and 269mm brakes are Nissin branded.  From down the block, the styling could fool you into an RC45 sighting.

Though it has seen 37K miles, this RVF shows nicely and has just a few wear marks to show for it.  Un-faired photos show the beauty to be more than skin deep.  From the eBay auction:

Clean and titled low-mileage 1999 Honda RVF400 (NC35). Registered and plated in Wisconsin. Clean title on hand. Some history on this bike: This bike is the little brother to the legendary RC45. The NC35 is a classic for collectors or exotic bike enthusiasts. As an evolution to the VFR400 (NC30), the NC35 comes with upside forks and 17” rear wheel for improved handling. Other unique features include a lightweight aluminum frame, and single-sided swing arm. Not to mention Honda’s V4 bullet-proof gear-driven engine with its distinctive rev whine. I purchased it from a private collector and have ridden it regularly. Bike starts right up and runs flawlessly. This bike has only seen non-ethanol fuel.

It is currently kept on battery tender and Pitbull front and rear stands. Cosmetically in great shape. OEM fairings show signs of age, but was very well maintained. The paint/decals throughout are still glossy. A couple of minor blemishes from prior ownership: tank has a small chip which was touched up. Details shown in ad photos. No other cracks or blemishes that I am aware of. Again, I rode this bike for many years. It is not in pristine show room condition. I’m happy to provide additional pictures if desired. Minor modifications I added to the bike – steel braided brake lines, CRG levers and a carbon fiber pipe (original canister available). Overall bike condition is very clean and well cared for; with some normal signs of wear for twenty-one year-old bike. It is a blast to ride and a conversation starter as many have never seen this bike.

The NC35 might’ve been considered a beginner’s bike here, but it was offered only in Japan and made its way around the globe in the gray market.  Lighter race riders have embraced its handling and build quality.  Unlike the racy singles being proffered today, the RVF400 has an exotic V-4 engine with a soundtrack provided by gear-driven cams.  While a collector could keeping shopping for less miles and patina, a rider might be happy it’s not perfect.

-donn

Fox Eye Lady – 1999 Honda RVF400R / NC35
Honda May 8, 2020 posted by

Unequivocal – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30

Having graduated from nascent collectible to crazy-to-ride museum piece, Honda’s pre-eminent VFR750R / RC30 continues to appear for auction with exotic car-level reserves.  This Michigan example appears in a collector’s warehouse and looks superb.

1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30 for sale on eBay

Sharing V-4 engine architecture with the roadgoing VFR750F, the -R was mostly different inside the cases and pushed 118 ponies.  Titanium connecting rods greatly reduced rotating mass and defined unobtanium.  Crank and cams were geared to provide a power pulse every 360 degrees, improving rideability at racing rpms.  The all alloy chassis and peeks out behind the fiberglass fairing, holding 41mm right-side-up forks and ELF’s single-sided swingarm.  Trailing throttle torque was tamed by the factory slipper clutch.  Single seat and five gallon alloy fuel tank had their focus on the race course.

Said to be hosted by only its second owner, this RC30 looks outstanding and reports 7,037 miles.  If the new owner elects to ride there will be time to go over any needed repairs and recent maintenance, but they aren’t discussed in the eBay auction:

  • One of the modern era’s few immediately collectible classics
  • The RC30 was created for one reason – to win the World Superbike Championship! 
  • The seller is the second owner of the bike
  • First owner was Nick Helyer who purchased it in Orlando, FL in 1990
  • Nick was a British gentleman that apparently did some WEC racing in the late 1970s, early 1980s
  • The bike notably includes the owner’s manual, tool kit and two keys

Success came early and often to the RC30, taking the two first Superbike World Championships under Fred Merkel, as well as Formula TT wins with Joey Dunlop and Carl Fogarty aboard.  Not to mention a handful of World Endurance Championship wins and AMA Superbike victories.  Though this is “merely” the streetable VFR750R, it would make a singular afternoon.  Hopefully the next custodian will be able to arrange it.

-donn

Unequivocal – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30
Yamaha May 1, 2020 posted by

Formation Flight – 1985 Yamaha RZ500 with 4,600 miles !

With a pair of 250cc engines driving a common output shaft providing two power strokes on every revolution, Yamaha’s RZ500 pushed nearly 200 hp per liter, even in street trim.  This sharp Michigan example has been in storage but was recently freshened up for riding season.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on eBay

The RZ’s engine is almost a cube, with four 26mm Mikuni carburetors looking out to the side-mounted airboxes from the valley of the 50-degree V.  Individual expansion chambers wend their way back, with the upper cylinders’ pipes tucked into the seat fairing.  88 hp was available at a wailing 9,500 rpm, with the torque band was stretched by the YPVS power valve system.  The chassis was steel tubing and the forks were right-side-up, though the monoshock was underneath the engine to make room for the exhausts.

With just over 4,600 miles, this RZ had to be in storage before the present owner.  Just some stress cracking on the chin scoop is apparent, with none of the usual garage rash and corrosion.  The seller waited seven years to re-commission it for the road, and has the following comments in the eBay auction:

New Battery
New Tires
New Chain
New Wheel Bearings
New Tapered steering head bearings
Changed transmission Oil
Cleaned float bowls on carbs
New Shut off valve for fuel
New front Brake Pads
Amsoil Dominator Synthetic injector oil
New fork seals, Race tech Springs, Gold valves, Modified damper rods (per Race Tech) 20 wt oil
With modifying damper rods the Anti Dive units are inactive (left them for stock appearance)
 
This is a very nice mostly all Original RZ, Starts first kick most every time hot or cold, shifts and clutches fine, pulls all the way to redline.
 
All lights work, horn, blinkers, brake light, gauge lights

The RZ500 waited more than 10 years to hit the streets after the YZR500 race machine’s 1973 introduction, but by then the U.S. and a good part of Europe had declared two-strokes unwelcome.  So every RZ500 seen will be a gray market import with limited history, and a KMH speedo with MPH sub-titles.  This one’s about as nice as they come without claims of a collection or museum, and the auction’s at $11K with five days to run.  With recent sales in the low $20’s, a lot of us will just be watching, at least to see where the reserve is set.

-donn

Formation Flight – 1985 Yamaha RZ500 with 4,600 miles !
Honda April 22, 2020 posted by

Band of Horses – 1996 Honda RVF400R / NC35

Honda’s diminutive V4-400 has almost a cult following here, and it was never actually offered for sale anywhere but Japan.  This fine example looks to have just a fraction of km’s showing on the odometer.

1994 Honda RVF400R for sale on eBay

As the last in a long line of small V4’s, and had the commensurate goodies on board – in addition to 59 ponies, the gear-driven cams brought music to every twist of the throttle.  The alloy chassis had upside-down forks up front and 17-inch wheels at both ends.  Nissin brakes are right-sized at 269mm, with black calipers matching the black painted alloy wheels.  Graphics took their cues from the RC45, though the more modern fox eye headlamps were particular to the RVF.

Sounds like this RVF owner picked a nicer example and worked to keep it that way, a couple of stress cracks but find another lightweight sportbike from a past generation without them.  Kudos for using the ignition key without the house keys, and the red wheel reflectors look great day or night.  Comments from the eBay auction:

As for this bike. I purchased it from a private collector last summer, and have ridden it regularly for about 500 miles on short weekend rides. Bike was fully prepped and all fluids replaced prior to my ownership. Bike starts right up and all mechanicals function flawlessly. Currently ridden on non-ethanol fuel only, and kept on battery tender. Miles will go up marginally with the occasional warm up.

Cosmetically in great shape. No dings on tank, OEM fairings with no rash or touch up paint, no signs of bike ever been down, and very glossy paint/decals throughout. A couple of minor blemishes from prior ownership: tank extension has small scratch on upper right corner, minor stress crack on upper left cowl, and small stress cracks on lower side fairing and tabs (reinforced with plastic cement on inside). Details shown in ad photos and I’ll be glad to provide additional pictures or videos if desired. Minor modifications that came with bike: silver bar ends and steel braided brake lines. Reflective wheel tape added for night-time safety. Overall bike condition is very clean and well cared for; with some normal signs of wear for twenty-four year-old bike.

As a baby superbike, the RVF400R had a lot of differences with its big brother RC45, but shared the family build quality.  Pretty racy for the segment, the high MSRP warded off the bean counters and the really junior riders for which it was theoretically intended.  This one has been taken care of nicely and will reward the next owner with plenty of power for its low all-up weight.

-donn

Band of Horses – 1996 Honda RVF400R / NC35
Honda March 26, 2020 posted by

Sex and the Single Owner – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30

Lately more appropriate to a Bonhams or Mecum stadium event than an online auction, the very collectible RC30 appears here claiming just one previous owner and 4,809 miles.  The sparkling condition and reasonable* asking price makes it possible this listing will end early.

1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30 for sale on eBay

Honda built the 748cc V-4 with the Superbike World Championship in mind, and the big bang 360-degree crank opened an interval for correction mid-corner.  A generation before traction control and 3-axis reference systems, the factory slipper clutch eased downshifts.  Showa provided adjustable forks with quick-release axles, and matched the single-sided swingarm’s quick tire changes.  Brakes are right-sized at 296mm, and the rear caliper has linkage designed to reduce wheel hop.

Not sure where this RC30 has been all these years, but it’s shown with Oregon tags by an eBay specialist with a bunch of other neat bikes on offer.  Spotless and seemingly original right down to the DOT reflectors on the front forks.  Comments from the eBay auction:

This RC30 hailed from a small, but discerning collection of cars and motorcycles. The original owner covered a mere 4,800 miles in just about 30 years. Regularly maintained since new, the bike runs and rides like new.

This legendary machine is offered in excellent condition throughout. The engine starts readily, idles smoothly and has an abundance of power. AN ABUNDANCE! The bike is fast with a long first gear, that doesn’t launch you from a standing start, but winds on power for what feels like an age. The clutch is silky-smooth and brakes and suspension are near perfect. Tires are in very good condition.

There are negligible blemishes in the paint finish around the bike, mainly at the bottom of the fairing, and there are no dings. All body panels are original, and the tank is totally free of blemishes and scratches/dents. Seat is excellent as is the rest of the bike. The bike is accompanied by a clean, clear title, books and manuals, spare key, and a full set of completely untouched tools. There is also a matching hand-crafted tank bag.

Honda took the first two years of the championship with Fred Merkel, and three if you look at the manufacturer’s ranking.  Most of us will just have to wonder what it was like, to be in the points so consistently, on a Castrol purple machine.  Lightness, power, and build quality all played their role.  The motoring press ran out of superlatives almost as soon as the limited edition was gone.  Cherry though not a museum piece, the next owner could sample the RC30 experience before the spotlights beckon.

-donn

Sex and the Single Owner – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30
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