Posts by tag: V4

Honda June 20, 2019 posted by

Sweet Little V4: 1988 Honda VFR400R for Sale

Sold in 1987 and 1988, the NC24 version of Honda’s VFR400R could easily be overlooked for the gem that it is. Styling is subdued, although the single-sided Pro Arm swingarm hints at something special underneath. This was a V4 sportbike for the masses, instead of an expensive, difficult-to-obtain homologation bike, like the RC30.

As you’d expect, the engine was just a shade under 400cc and the bike made a claimed 59hp, although that lines up with a sort of gentleman’s agreement the Japanese manufacturers had regarding the 400cc class, so I’ve no idea what they really made. A bit of tuning could definitely unleash more! The bike was under 400lbs dry and had a top speed of around 130mph, accompanied by the distinctive whine of the gear-driven cams.

Interestingly, the NC24 had a conventional 180° crank, with evenly-spaced firing intervals instead of the RC30’s 360° “big bang” configuration, although the later NC30 adopted a 360° setup. They also wisely moved the exhaust to the other side for the NC30, to better show off that cool swingarm. The 18” rear wheel, held in place by four nuts instead of the RC30’s sexy single mounting point, is matched to a 16” front that compounds the challenge of finding good tires to shoe this little beast.

It looks like the seller just copy/pasted the bike’s description from an online source that refers to the VFR400R as a “sport touring bike,” which it really isn’t. Later VFR’s certainly became that, but the early Honda V4s were built to go racing. See: Honda’s VFR750R RC30, homologation bike.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda VFR400R for Sale

The Honda VFR400 NC24 model is a sport touring bike manufactured by Honda. In this version sold from the year 1987, the dry weight is 165.0 kg (363.8 pounds) and it is equipped with a V4, four-stroke motor. The engine produces a maximum peak output power of 59.00 HP (43.1 kW) @12800 RPM and a maximum torque of 39.00 Nm (4.0 kgf-m or 28.8 ft.lbs) @10000 RPM. With this drive-train, the Honda VFR400 NC24 is capable of reaching a maximum top speed of 210.0 km/h (130.5 mph). Regarding the chassis characteristics, responsible for road holding, handling behaviour and ride comfort, the Honda VFR 400 NC24 have a Aluminium Twin Spar frame frame with front suspension being 41mm Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped, rebound damping force air adjustable (8psi-11psi) and in the rear suspension it is equipped with Pro-Arm Mono shock, fully adjustable. Stock tire sizes are 100/90-H16 on the front and 130/70-H18 on the rear. As for stopping power, the Honda VFR400 NC24 braking system includes double disc. Nissin 2 pot caliper size 296 mm (11.7 inches) at the front and Single disc. Nissin 1 pot caliper size 220 mm (8.7 inches) at the rear.

This un-restored and stock condition VFR400R is in an excellent running condition with only minor bodywork/paint defects/scratches. (Very rare for this vintage Japanese motorcycle)

Mileage: 20,229 KM (12,600 miles)

Vermont registration.

Starts and run perfectly.

Good battery, chain, sprockets, and tires.

This motorcycle was imported from Japan and is offered with original Japanese title, sales brochure and original Honda Factory Parts Manual.

The early NC24 VFR400 is pretty rare here in the USA. They were never officially imported and lack the “baby RC30” twin-lamp styling of the later NC30s that make them so appealing. But that just means prices are much lower, and the $4,995.00 Buy It Now price seen here seems like a pretty good deal, and the bike looks much more aggressive with the Rothmans graphics. It’s always worth doing your homework when considering a Rothmans Replica, since it’s popular to fit more common models with aftermarket bodywork from China. But from what I can see, the bike is in pretty excellent condition otherwise, so it could be the real deal. Experts should feel free to chime in in the comments!

-tad

Sweet Little V4: 1988 Honda VFR400R for Sale
Honda June 12, 2019 posted by

Rumble and Whine: 1990 Honda RC30

Trying to come up with something new and interesting to type about Honda’s [insert superlative] RC30 is like trying to tell a budding car nut something they don’t know about a Ferrari F40. The specs are available with a single Google query. The original and retrospective road tests drip with corn syrup-sweet praise for the torquey-but-temperamental V4, the obviously hand-made body panels, the wet weight that was 10 percent down on its rivals, the quick-but-forgiving handling and on and on and on.

1990 Honda RC30 for sale on eBay

On top of all that, the 1990 Honda RC30 is beautiful. The livery is perfect, the single-sided swingarm — a revolution at the time — distinctive, eye-catching and purposeful and the snow-white wheels subtly flashy and fully on display. Nothing about this bike says “take it easy today, fella.” This hype is to thank for the bikes’ recent and sharp uptick in value. In the last year, we’ve seen decent ones go for around $30k, but a couple of auction sales and more Internet forum gushing seem to have pushed that north.

This 1990 Honda RC30 is a fantastic example of the breed, with a tick over 5,000 miles on its analog clock. The fairings appear to be the original pieces with some scratches and evidence of paintwork to show for their 29 years. There is also some dust and dirt here and there, but the bike appears to be devoid of any real dirt or corrosion. As the seller says, those old Metzelers will need to go if you plan to ride this thing. Mechanically, it appears mostly stock, with the exception of a ridiculously rad period HRC exhaust.

From the eBay listing:

Fewer than 5,300 miles and from long-term ownership

1990 Honda VFR750R RC30 

Frame no. JH2RC3000LM200087

  • Legendary 16-valve gear-driven DOHC 90-degree V4 engine
    • Reportedly fewer than 3000 produced
    • Long term ownership as part of a fantastic car and motorcycle collection
    • Fewer than 5,300 miles from new

One of the modern era’s few immediately collectible classics, the Honda VFR750R – better known as the ‘RC30′ – was created for just one reason: to win the World Superbike Championship, a feat it achieved in the nascent series’ first two seasons of 1988 and 1989. And while American Fred Merkel was bringing Honda its first two WSB crowns, Britain’s Carl Fogarty used an RC30 to win the TT F1 World Championship in 1988 and 1989, and the equivalent FIM Cup in 1990.

No mere short circuit scratcher, the RC30 and its derivatives proved durable enough to win a hat-full of Endurance Classics too. That this latter requirement was also part of the design brief may be determined from the fact that a quick-release front fork and single-sided swinging arm – essential for speedy wheel changes – were part of an unrivalled specification that included a twin-spar alloy beam frame, 16-valve V4 engine with gear-driven cams, close-ratio six-speed gearbox and four-pot front brake calipers.

All of which did not come cheap: at the time of its launch in 1988 an RC30 cost near double that of other super-sports 750s. Despite the passage of time and progress of motorcycle technology, the RC30 remains a match for the latest generation of sports bikes but possesses an exclusivity that none of them can approach. ‘No other bike from the late-Eighties is lusted after like the RC30’, reckoned Bike, and few would disagree. And then there’s the exhaust note – loud, of course, but soulful enough to bring a pit crew to tears.

This RC30 was only very recently liberated from long-term ownership as part of a very discerning collection of cars and motorcycles. Regularly maintained since new, the bike runs and rides exceptionally well.

This legendary machine is offered in excellent condition throughout. The engine starts readily, though a little cold-blooded, idles smoothly and has an abundance of power. AN ABUNDANCE! The clutch is silky-smooth and brakes and suspension are near perfect. I would opt for a new pair of tires before serious road use and am happy to negotiate your tire choice and installation in to the price.

There are a few scratches in the paint finish around the bike, and I suspect the bottom of the fairing was repainted, likely because of scratches – 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, spare keys, books/manuals, original rear track stand, and a full set of completely untouched tools.

This is a rare opportunity to acquire a motorcycling icon of performance and a must-have for a discerning collection.

For additional information and photos, please visit ClassicAvenue.com

At almost $37,900, the asking price for this RC30 is about in line with the market. We have seen other low-mileage RC30s change hands for a few thousand dollars more, but with the bodywork and imperfections, this bike is a notch below the upper echelon.

Rumble and Whine: 1990 Honda RC30
Aprilia June 4, 2019 posted by

Update: New photos and price! Featured Listing: 2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory

Update 6.10.2019: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller!

Praise for the 2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory pounded down in torrents in early ’13 when the thing broke cover as a celebration of Max Biaggi’s 2012 World Superbike championship. It was fast beyond the limits of the mortal brain. It stuck to corners like a gecko on a concrete wall thanks to front and rear Ohlins suspension. It had helpful, intuitive, non-invasive electronics that helped non-racers go fast and keep the bike on its forged aluminum wheels. It lagged a little behind the Ducati Panigale 1199R in pure horsepower, but with a naturally torquey V4 and trick fueling, it delivered more or less electric punch.

Now, since the RSV4 Factory is just six years old, it’s not exactly rare, and it isn’t quite aged enough to be our usual fare, but it is definitely special, and any track-focused, 184-horsepower weekend weapon of this caliber deserves a place on our page. And this one has a few little modifications and a tight maintenance regimen to make sure it’s more than ready for the next owner to fully exploit. Mods include an Akrapovic slip-on exhaust system, GP shift rearsets and a hardwired bullet camera.

From the seller:

2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC ABS SBK SE, 8450 miles, original owner. Very, very clean condition. This is truly the best superbike of any configuration that I’ve ever ridden. There is a reason the RSV4 has won Fastbike Magazine’s Sport Bike of the Year so many times since it was launched in 2009 against formidable competition like the S1000RR, Panigale, and all the others. It’s a sublime combination of being fast and potent, while being predictable and easy to use. It’s surprisingly comfortable (for a superbike) and easy to live with as a street bike, and both fast and confidence inspiring as a track day weapon. And the soundtrack from the V4 through the Akrapovic exhaust sounds about as close to MotoGP as you can get with a license place. You’re right if you’ve figured out that I think these bikes are special. Even if you don’t buy mine, if you are a sportbike enthusiast, or just one to appreciate highly developed and highly capable motorcycles, you owe it to yourself to own an RSV4 at some point. They are that good. Back to my specific example…modifications from stock include:
Akrapovic carbon slip on system with factory Aprilia race map (with both catalytic and straight link pipes; the straight pipe is fitted)
EvoTech fender eliminator
EvoTech radiator and oil cooler guards
15T countershaft sprocket
Pipercross air filter
Flyhammer GP-style shifter
RoadHawk Ride bullet camera, wired to switched power (auto on/off with ignition)
Currently has Dunlop GPA-Pro tires. Battery was recently replaced (with a stock Yuasa YT12A-BS), front pads were just installed (Vesrah RJL XX) and brakes recently flushed (DOT 5.1). Typical RSV4 issues have been addressed… Stator replaced a few times under warranty due to oil wicking up to rectifier connector; I rerouted the harness and it stays bone dry now. Original tank was replaced under warranty due to paint bubbling and the surface bulging/rippling, I subsequently bypassed the EVAP and routed the tank vent to atmosphere and since then the second tank still looks like new. Has done a few track days at Laguna Seca, but has never been dropped, over-revved or damaged in any way. Except for some stone chipping on lowers behind the front tire, and two small scrape marks on the bottom rear end of the lowers on the right side (grounding through the second half of the Corkscrew at Laguna), it looks as new; these marks are visible in their entirety in the photos. Comes with the following in a box: passenger seat and pegs, stock shift lever, original rear fender, original exhaust, original air filter, original 16T countershaft sprocket, catalytic link pipe and dB killer insert for Akrapovic exhaust. Will work to get the bike to a freight company if the buyer wants to arrange shipping at their own cost. Will bring to a shop of the buyers choosing in South/Central Orange County for a pre-purchase inspection (at buyers expense and arrangement) if desired. $10k.

Seller Ruben says he’s not in a huge rush to sell this beast (Who would be?), but will move it along if the buyer and price are right.

Update: New photos and price! Featured Listing: 2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory
Featured Listing May 10, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1998 Honda RVF400R NC35 for Sale

Gary in Utah has several bikes Featured on RSBFS right now. Check them out too:

Good luck to buyers and seller! -dc

Update 5.15.2019: Now on eBay!

As prices of Honda’s V4 homologation bikes climbing ever higher with every 0-mile example that crosses the auction block, the only way for ordinary folks to get a taste of these classic Japanese superbikes is by picking up one of their smaller siblings. Sure, with just 399cc to play with, the VFR400R NC30 and the RVF400R NC35 aren’t as powerful, but they could easily be mistaken for their larger, more expensive stablemates and use the same engine configuration.

1998 Honda RVF400 for sale on eBay

I still think it’s a shame that bikes like this no longer exist. While electronic safety aids and engine management systems have continued to evolve, most bikes under 600cc have just one or two cylinders these days and are tuned for midrange power and reliability, not screaming revs. But there were no compromises with the NC35 and, while the claimed 59hp is obviously not going to scare anyone weaned on a modern 600, you have to work to access it: most of the power lives up around 13,000rpm, accompanied by the characterful drone of the “big-bang” firing order created by the 360° crank.

The very nature of the powerplant is uncompromising: a V4 is great for aerodynamics, power, and weight distribution, which is why the format is used by a number of modern superbikes and is common in MotoGP. But they tend to be a bit heavier than an equivalent inline-four and are a pain to work on because everything is so densely packaged. Contrary to appearances, the NC35 does not have ram-air, although the prominent intake snorkels do feed fresh air to the airbox. Gear-driven cams also speak to the engine’s racing intent, and the bike is still popular among track-day junkies as an entry-level superbike because of its sublime handling.

And while it might look like a reskin of the earlier NC30, the bike was heavily updated in other areas and they share very few major components. Styling continues the “baby superbike” theme, with a pair of smaller, cat’s-eye lamps in place of the RC45’s larger, round units, and the rear tire is skinnier. The NC35 used upside-down forks and switched to a 17″ rear wheel, which should save modern riders the headache of sourcing 18″ rubber. Thankfully, the NC35 used a conventional 17″ front wheel, instead of the RC45’s oddball 16″ hoop.

From the Seller: 1998 Honda RVF400R NC35 for Sale

Second up is this 1998 NC35. It is a very honest solid bike. I concentrated on trying to find low mileage, unmolested original bikes. They are getting very hard to come by. This NC35 has 8,667 miles (13,947 kilometers). I bought it from a dealer in Tokyo. They did a full service for me on the bike before taking delivery. The fairings and components are all Genuine Honda OEM except for the rear sets and the custom red tape on the wheels. The fairings are mint and the fuel tank is as well. The only flaw is the rub mark on the left rear cowling. The wheels and front brake rotors have mild corrosion on them and could use a good cleaning and powder coating. The bike is in original unrestored condition with no body or paintwork. Looks very nice as is sits but would make an excellent candidate for restoration since there are no cracks in the fairings or dents or scrapes in the gas tank. Bike runs just like new and is ready to ride. Bike will come with Utah state title and is titled as a streetbike for road use. Comes with one key.

I’d like to see $10,900 or best offer for this example.

Feel free to contact me at 801-358-6537 or by email: rmurangemasters@aol.com

The Honda RVF400R was only available in the US via grey-market imports from overseas or Canada, and the usual registration headaches can apply if you’re in a state with stricter laws, so be sure to do your homework. This example is being sold by the very knowledgeable Gary in Utah with a Utah title, looks very sharp, with low miles and a tempting price. Yes, these are much more expensive than they were just a few years ago, but $10,900 gets you a very cool bit of Honda history in a practical, reliable package. Honestly, I’m a huge fan of the NC30/35 and it’s one of the few Japanese sportbikes I would love one in my garage… Assuming I could get a CA registration for it.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1998 Honda RVF400R NC35 for Sale
Yamaha April 6, 2019 posted by

Sorted: 1986 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

Compared to a modern superbike, the fire-breathing performance of vintage two-stroke race replicas maybe isn’t quite as wild as their reputation would suggest. At the time, they were light and very powerful, but weren’t exactly at Grand Prix extremes of either even then. Modern machines have levels of rigidity, suspension response, and electronic assistance an old smoker like this Yamaha RZ500 could only dream of, back in the hazy 1980s. But an RZ500 still has the goods to be hustled along a canyon road, and this example has had a couple of updates to the running gear to help it hang with newer bikes.

Also known as the RD500LC in Europe and the RZV500R in Japan, the RZ500 was powered by a a liquid-cooled 50° two-stroke V4 that featured twin cranks, a pair of YPVS power valves, a balance shaft to smooth things out, and magnesium components to reduce weight. Lubrication for the two-stroke was handled by Yamaha’s Autolube oil-injection and the transmission had six speeds. At the front was a 16″ wheel and a set of anti-dive forks matched to an underslung rear shock and an 18″ hoop out back, limiting a modern rider’s access to good performance rubber.

The Yamaha RZ500 made a claimed 88hp and weighed in at 436lbs wet, while a 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 of the same period made a claimed 106hp and weighed 465lbs wet, so performance was pretty similar on paper. However, the character of the two bikes couldn’t be more different. With heavy two-stroke smoke dripping out of the four exhaust tips and the crackle and zing of the engine, you have to work the RZ500 much harder, in spite of a pair of power valves designed to improve midrange response.

Interestingly, the Japanese market bikes received an aluminum frame to offset the reduction in power required by government restrictions. I always wonder why, since this was a premium sportbike to begin with, they didn’t just fit the aluminum frames to all of them. Certainly, if you wanted to build your dream RZ500 and throw originality to the wind, that’s what you’d probably do. This particular bike follows the path of “thoughtful evolution” and includes some components from later machines that should help the bike’s cornering prowess.

It’s maybe not a purist’s museum piece, with the later YZF750 front end and 17″ wheels. But, while the RZ500 was commendably light and agile by mid-80s standards, an update to the fork and brakes should help bring the bike closer to modern feel, while the ZX6 wheels will make tire choice much simpler, and give the new owner access to modern levels of grip.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

We are a Yamaha dealer selling this bike for a 2 stroke collector’s estate. This is a great example of a 1986 Yamaha RZ500. It has a clear Pennsylvania title (has been here since at least 2006) but was originally sold in Canada. VIN is JYA52X007GA007150. The odometer reads 73 miles but since the KM speedo was replaced the actual odometer is aprox. 7500 km with about 1000 km since rebuild.

Cosmetic condition as you can see in the pics is excellent. Bodywork is all OEM including solo cowl. We’ve included a owner’s manual and service manual – all in good shape. There is 1 original factory key and 1 copy. Frame up restoration done in 2006. At that time, all seals were replaced, cylinders honed (std bore)

We’ve had our resident two-stroke tech go through the bike after a short storage. Air cleaner was replaced, tank drained, carbs removed and thoroughly cleaned, etc. Plugs replaced, fresh trans oil. Bike started easily and runs well with no clutch slippage. Left fork seal has slight seep and as any two stroke, it could take more fussing to get carburation perfect. Trans shifts very well but clutch pull a bit heavy (upgraded springs?). Brakes solid and chatter free. This is a well sorted RZ.

Upgrades and mods include but are not limited to:

  • YZF750 complete USD front end and brakes.
  • JMC custom polished swingarm
  • Penske remote reservoir rear shock
  • Alex Mayes chambers – Rare!
  • Carbon Tech low tension reeds (porting is stock)
  • ZX6 wheels (both wheels powder coated red)
  • Magnesium left engine cover
  • Braided brake lines
  • Hindsight mirrors
  • MPH speedometer
  • Zero Gravity windscreen
  • Carbon fiber meter panel

There is NO reserve or buy-it-now price on this item

Other RZ brochures and some parts are available but are not included with this bike.

Pick up at our dealership in Pennsylvania (19512) has no charge of course, but delivery by truck or international shipping is the responsibility of the buyer. 

As the seller describes it, “this is a well sorted RZ,” a daily rider that captures the feel of an earlier era of performance, with a couple modern touches. Unfortunately, there are no takers yet at the $13,000 starting bid, with just a few hours left on the auction. Is it too early in the season? Were the modifications just a bridge too far? Has the interest in two-strokes plateaued?

-tad

Sorted: 1986 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale
Featured Listing March 8, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1986 Yamaha RZV500R in South Africa

The 1986 Yamaha RZV500R was the neighborhood knee dragger’s chance to ride the machine that carried Kenny Roberts to three world titles and helped Giacomo Agostini break MV Agusta’s ridiculous streak of 17 Grand Prix titles. It was billed as a 500cc GP machine with headlights and blinkers, though the similarities were actually pretty tenuous. The engine was the bike’s closest similarity, a two-stroke, twin-crank 500cc V4, but it was laden with concessions to rideability and emissions. With the right tweaks, though, it would still push out the best part of 90 horsepower.

The RZV500Rs were a Japanese-market special, and came with an aluminum perimeter frame that made them a decent stretch lighter than European and Australian models. This one has had its engine “uncorked,” and wears a set of OEM de-restricted exhausts, Boyesen reeds, an overbore and new gaskets and seals. The engine rebuild was part of a more extensive restoration, which included new paint and brake and suspension modifications. Despite having 35,000 kilometers on the odometer, the bike appears to be in excellent cosmetic and mechanical shape.

From the seller:

This pristine aluminium framed 1986 YAMAHA RZV500R, 2 stroker, lovingly restored by its current owner to its original condition.

Engine : professionally rebuilt – cranks, seals, genuine gaskets, Boyesen dual stage reed valves,

Over bored (0,5) with new Mitaka PTFE coated piston kits.

Fully de-restricted (with standard, de-restricted pipes)

Suspension and brakes upgraded.

New, period correct tires.

Professional paint job.

Runs like a train !

Even though it is no longer a rarity to come across grey market two stroke sportbikes on these shores, this bike stands out from the crowd. We see very few RZV500Rs, and a lovingly restored and de-restricted model is a real prize. The seller is asking $17,900, and can be reached at boss@bolandbikes.com

Featured Listing: 1986 Yamaha RZV500R in South Africa
Honda March 2, 2019 posted by

A Nordic Natural: 1988 Honda VFR750R RC30

The multiple motorcycle auctions in Las Vegas in January each year are somewhat of a bellwether for prices overall. Sure, pricing is a bit over-inflated due to peer-pressure, bidding competition and the general excitement of the auction atmosphere, but what sells high at these auctions will generally do well on the open market. If you’ve never been, you should definitely consider going – at least once. The lights, the noise, and the thousands of bikes that cross the block over multiple days and multiple auction houses are a sight to behold. It also gives you an appreciation for what is hot, and what has cooled off (or failed to make the cut). But you didn’t need to attend – or even follow – this year’s auctions to know that the RC30 is hot. Possibly the most collectible of the 80s vintage homologation racers, the VFR750R tops the bucket list of many, and remains on a rocket ship trajectory in terms of value. If you want one you will have to stand in line, and bring your wallet.

1988 Honda VFR750 RC30 for sale on eBay

The RC30 is known for good looks, sharp handling, and glorious sound. The latter comes courtesy of a mass-centralized V4 engine, utilizing gear-driven cams for precise valve control – which contributes to that legendary and iconic whine. The flatter sound of the RC30 exhaust is the result of a 360°crankshaft. The approach results in greater traction due to the more widely distributed power cycles (when compared with a conventional 180° crank). Everything that makes beautiful noises also helps with the sharper handling; pull the bodywork off of an RC30 and you quickly realize how packed in tight everything is. Mass centralization is the real deal, and the more you can concentrate weight centrally and down low, the easier the bike will be to flick from side to side, etc. And while those who are lucky enough to see an RC30 in its naked form will call that magical V4 beautiful, the good looks really come from the beefy aluminum twin spar frame and endurance racing inspired bodywork. The twin headlamps are straight out of the 80s, and they went straight into the book of classic looks. The single sided swing arm completes the package, and proved its worth during wheel changes at the racetrack – especially during those endurance events.

From the seller:
Selling my rc30 vfr750r, very low mileage (3553km) and extremely well take care of. 100% working order. Been standing in the living room as eye candy since bought in 2002.
Got first bought in Germany by the original owner,then driven to Monaco and back, after that parked in his office. I then later purchased it. (2002)

The bike is located in Norway (Sarpsborg).
Contact me for more info/pictures.
Price is 500,000 nok (Norwegian Kroner)
We can help with shipping.

Most RC30 we find these days are collector bikes. It is pretty rare indeed to find a RC30 thrasher, and few are regular riders. This particular bike has but 3,500 KM (2,200 miles) and appears to be in complete, original order. Which brings us to problem #1: as RC30 enthusiasts are not limited to North America, this wonderful example is located in Norway. US-based buyers might want to start consulting shipping and importation guides now. Problem #2: RC30s are no longer $15k, $20K, $25K or even $30k. The asking price on these models continues to rise. This particular example is asking well neigh on $60k. And the worst part for those that have a hankerin’ for homologation is that the asking price is not really out of line with where the market is going. We have seen higher asks – much higher – and not just at auction. Check it out here. Look over the pictures. And then decide if you want to board the RC30 price elevator. We have seen nothing but up for these models with nary a dip in valuation over the years. If you want in, you best commit before these are $75k and then $100k bikes. Good Luck!!

MI

A Nordic Natural: 1988 Honda VFR750R RC30
Featured Listing February 21, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 2017 Suter MMX500 for Sale

Update 2.21.2019: Price has been dropped to $95,000USD and includes a large and generous spares package. Good luck to buyers and seller! -dc

So, I’m going to have to try not to gush uncontrollably here, because this is one of the coolest bikes we’ve featured recently. A real, live Suter MMX500, a “what if” race-replica from a parallel universe where MotoGP racing never made the switch from two-stroke to four-stroke power. A labor of love built by Eskil Suter of Suter Racing and a bunch of guys who never got over their addition to premix fumes.

Forget all of your shed-built Grand Prix homages with RZ500 engines stuffed into R6 chassis and painted up in Marlboro racing colors. No disrespect intended, but this is what you’re looking for, the ultimate paean to the snarling, lethal machines that carried Rainey and Schwantz and Mamola to greatness.

The looks may be stealth-fighter modern, especially in this example’s matte carbon finish, but the spirit of those older machines is still there, married to absolutely state-of-the-art racing technology. It’s powered by a compact, fuel-injected two-stroke V4 with a pair of counter-rotating cranks based on the Swissauto/MuZ500 raced by Suter in 1998 and 1999. Apparently Suter “had a few crankcases kicking around from the 500cc V4 design,” and frames are, obviously, their specialty.

I’m always fascinated by how two-strokes can be mounted in the frame: a lack of cams, cam-drives, or valve gear means they’re ludicrously compact, and often oriented in ways not at all intuitive for someone weaned on four-strokes. In this case, the engine is laid over on its side, rotated 90 degrees from what you’d expect, facing forward. So more like a >4 really, at least if you’re looking at it from the left-hand side…

The bike may be tagged as a 500, but it actually displaces 576cc, with an undersquare 56 x 58.5mm bore and stroke in an effort to deliver a bit more midrange and help the bike avoid racebike service intervals. Suter acknowledges that most of its customers are skilled enthusiasts, not win-or-crash racers, and the changes to the formula make for a more manageable ride that still captures the feeling of a two-stroke MotoGP machine, but is less likely to spit a rider off in an evil highside when they get in a bit over their head…

Modern electronics and fuel injection help there as well, while offering improved rideability and a better spread of power. Of course, the delivery is still two-stroke abrupt and, with 195hp at 13,000rpm pushing just 280lbs, power-to-weight is still fairly astonishing, so the two-stroke GP character is intact, just slightly more refined.

Head on over to the original listing for the bike, as there are plenty of additional photos for you to drool over.

From the Seller: 2017 Suter MMX500 for Sale

SUMMARY

Model: Suter MMX 500

Origin: Switzerland

Engine: Suter

Last Service: 490 km

Colour: Carbon

Suspension: Ohlins

Brakes: Brembo

OZ 17″ wheels

Availability: Immediately in our store of USA

MODEL INFORMATION
Bike in good condition and ready to race. Extra parts included with the bike: rear stand, pistons, rings, reeds gaskets, fiber+steel clutch plates, plugs + caps, filters, front stand, windscreen, seat, engine stand, service manual, owner manual, cover.

Spares list:

Pistons, rings, carbon reeds, gaskets, and o-rings; enough for 2 complete rebuilds

fiber/steel clutch plates

plugs & caps

Spare seat #5 of 99

Engine stand, front & rear service stands

Parts, service & dash manuals

bike cover

This is the very first Suter MMX500 I’ve seen for sale. With just 99 made, I’m assuming they were all snapped up before they were even finished by well-heeled track day and racing fans. If you’ve got $115,000 $95,000 lying around and decide to buy this, please let me know what track days you’ll be attending, because I need to see an MMX500 in action. The craftsmanship and passion that went into its creation are impressive, as you can see from the images. Of course, the price is shocking, but this is a very rare opportunity to purchase one at any price, so refinance your home, sell that sailboat, or sell that kidney, and pounce before someone else does.

-tad

Featured Listing: 2017 Suter MMX500 for Sale
Honda December 25, 2018 posted by

Christmas Bonus: 1989 Honda VFR750R RC30 for Sale

Long before “mass centralization” became a popular marketing buzzword for sportbikes, Honda was investing its bubble economy-inflated budget in a bike that took advantage of that very concept, the exquisitely-engineered VFR750R, otherwise known as the legendary RC30. Honda was so invested in sportbikes at the time that it actually sold an I4 and a V4 range of bikes concurrently, with their CBR and VFR filling slightly different niches. But when it came to their homologation bikes, Honda took their hard-won knowledge from the street-oriented V4 bikes and used it to develop the bike seen here, the VFR750R.

If you’re passingly familiar with Honda’s roadbikes, “VFR” probably evokes images of practical and engaging sport-touring bikes that lean on the sport end of the spectrum. This is not one of those bikes. The RC30 was developed to win production-based racing classes, specifically the then-new World Superbike Championship, although the ELF-designed single-sided swingarm hints at the bike’s endurance racing capabilities as well.

At the heart of the bike is obviously a compact V4 engine with a relatively narrow frontal area for good aerodynamics and very centralized mass, gear-driven cams for extremely precise valve control, and a 360°crankshaft that improved traction at the rear wheel, compared to a more traditional 180° unit. The concept of the 360° crank is that the combustion events are clustered close together, instead of spaced evenly throughout each engine revolution to allow the rear tire to “recover,” increasing traction and improving tire life. It also gives the bike a flatter powerband and a distinctive soundtrack that can be appreciated, even if your skills don’t extend to tire-spinning corner exits. The downside of a V4 is generally increased weight compared to an inline-four and tight packaging, especially with a 90° v-angle, as used here. Stripped of its fairing, the RC30 looks very dense and packed with mechanical bits, and V4s can be a bit of a bear to work on.

Reviews then and now describe it as an easy bike to take full advantage of, a bike that rewarded finesse, a bike that just did as it was told and allowed the rider to get on with winning. Power was unremarkable, weight was average, and nothing about the bike screamed “race winner.” But win it did, even against stiff opposition from Ducati, Bimota, Suzuki, Yamaha, and Kawasaki, and Honda only abandoned the V4 formula when it decided that rules in WSBK favoring v-twins were onerous and biased. So they built a v-twin and showed everyone they could win with those as well, but it was clear their hearts would always belong to the V4…

The RC30 is a handsome bike, with nearly perfect proportions and a wealth of amazing details, although it doesn’t have the easy wow-factor of something from Italy. It’s not often you can accuse Ducati of cribbing styling elements, but the 916’s taillights and distinctive single-sided swingarm look awfully similar to what you can see here. And unlike those Italian machines, every single component is carefully thought out to work as part of a complete package, and engineered to near-perfection.

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda VFR750R RC30 for Sale

  • Long term ownership and fewer than 5,000 miles
  • 1989 Honda VFR750R RC30
  • Frame Number: 2100129
  • Engine Number: 2100162
  • Legendary 16-valve gear-driven DOHC 90 degree V4 engine
  • Reportedly fewer than 3000 produced
  • Single owner since 1990
  • Fewer than 5,000 miles from new.

One of the modern era’s few immediately collectible classics, the Honda VFR750R – better known as the ‘RC30′ – was created for just one reason: to win the World Superbike Championship, a feat it achieved in the nascent series’ first two seasons of 1988 and 1989. And while American Fred Merkel was bringing Honda its first two WSB crowns, Britain’s Carl Fogarty used an RC30 to win the TT F1 World Championship in 1988 and 1989, and the equivalent FIM Cup in 1990. No mere short circuit scratcher, the RC30 and its derivatives proved durable enough to win a hat-full of Endurance Classics too. That this latter requirement was also part of the design brief may be determined from the fact that a quick-release front fork and single-sided swinging arm – essential for speedy wheel changes – were part of an unrivaled specification that included a twin-spar alloy beam frame, 16-valve V4 engine with gear-driven cams, close-ratio six-speed gearbox and four-pot front brake calipers.

All of which did not come cheap: at the time of its launch in 1988 an RC30 cost near double that of other super-sports 750s. Despite the passage of time and progress of motorcycle technology, the RC30 remains a match for the latest generation of sports bikes but possesses an exclusivity that none of them can approach. ‘No other bike from the late-Eighties is lusted after like the RC30’, reckoned Bike, and few would disagree. And then there’s the exhaust note – loud, of course, but soulful enough to bring a pit crew to tears.

This RC30 was only very recently liberated from its second and very long-term owner. Purchased in the UK in 1990, fewer than 5,000 miles have been put on the bike since it was new. Not long after acquisition, the superbike was taken to the Isle of Man where it was driven around the race track, but not actually raced. In 1991 the machine was brought stateside. Regularly maintained since new, the previous owner reports that the RC30 was taken to the local Honda dealer for a pre-sale service within the last couple of months.

Fresh from nearly three decades of single owner care, this legendary machine is offered in excellent condition throughout. The engine starts readily, idles smoothly and has an abundance of power. The clutch is silky-smooth and brakes and suspension are near perfect. I would opt for a new pair of tires before serious road use and am happy to negotiate your tire choice in to the price.

This is a rare opportunity to acquire a motorcycling icon of performance and provenance and a must-have for a discerning collection.

For additional information and photos go to ClassicAvenue.com

V4s are all the rage these days, but Honda really pioneered them for modern motorcycle applications. Because who the hell else would want to design around such a packaging headache? Obviously, Honda has a history of doing things just because they can, practicality be damned: their oval-pistoned racebikes grew out of a staunch refusal to adapt to the changing technology of the Grand Prix scene and simply build a competitive two-stroke. And although that particular experiment was a failure, it shows the lengths to which Honda will go when they believe in an engineering concept. Luckily, the V4 wasn’t quite so complex and was ultimately vindicated by both in-period success and by the legacy it left behind. This example has very low miles and appears to be in very nice, original condition with an asking price of $44,900 and just one more day on the listing, so if you didn’t get what you wanted for Christmas this year and happen to have a bit of your holiday bonus left lying around…

-tad

Christmas Bonus: 1989 Honda VFR750R RC30 for Sale