Tagged: sport touring

Executive Express: 1982 Honda CBX for Sale

1982 Honda CBX R Front

I’ve written a number of times about Honda’s mighty CBX, with its straight-six and cascading wall of exhaust pipes. They’re glorious monuments to excess: relatively heavy, with too many cylinders, too many exhaust pipes, and too many carburetors, with plenty of power and a truly silken, exotic exhaust note.

1982 Honda CBX L Engine

Introduced in 1979, the bikes struggled a bit with their identity. The straight-six itself was shared with no other models and was really intended to evoke Honda’s GP race bikes of ten years prior. But while those racing machines were jewel-like exotics of staggering complexity and miraculous packaging, the CBX let it all hang out, and with the butch 1047cc powerplant on full display, the bike was anything but lithe and sleek. Although the six wasn’t really much wider than Honda’s 750 four-cylinder, it certainly looked that way, and the whole package was pretty heavy. Nearly 600 pounds of weight, combined with relatively indifferent suspension, made the bike more of a sport-touring machine.

1982 Honda CBX L Rear

Early CBX’s featured classic “UJM on steroids” styling, with twin shocks, a little duck-tailed seat unit, and nothing up front to hide the imposing engine. But in 1981 the bike’s mission changed and the bike was developed into a monoshock sport-touring machine. The angular 80’s fairings may not be to everyone’s taste, but the redesign actually suits the bike’s original mission very well: eating up miles in class and comfort.

1982 Honda CBX Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Honda CBX for Sale

I am the second owner for the past 24 years. The bike has lived a sheltered life, always indoors where it was has been loved and respected. Never wrecked or abused. Keeping this rare-limited bike to original specs and condition was always my goal and passion. Original 13, 340 miles. Untouched pearl white paint with black/blue stripes. Minimal paint scuffs on right rear saddle bag from passengers getting on and off through the years. One small minor 3/8″ scratch on left front side of gas tank. Original owner called it a “birthmark” since new from shipping. It was elected to leave it rather then to fix it.

All original decals an information tags still on the bike and in perfect condition. Current a leather Corbin seat for comfort, original seat is in perfect condition and included in the sale. Bike runs and rides excellent, no issues. No rust in gas tank. Everything works as it should. Highway pegs added when new by original owner – not drilled. Tires were replaced 22 years ago, no rot. Front tire in very good condition, rear is wearing down. Approximately 11,000 miles on tires. I have a brand new set of tires never used, original to the 1982 CBX are also included with the sale.

Front fork seals replaced, carbs were synchronized once. Replaced full exhaust with last known set of Honda line original exhaust 20 years ago for $2,000 is still in like new condition and replaced rear air shock due to leaking for $680 with last known Honda line original.

1982 Honda CBX Front

Folks who love to travel on their motorcycles seem to love full-dress Harleys. I’ve never ridden a full-dress Harley, so I can’t really speak to the experience, but I do know that they’re extremely heavy, relatively slow, and handle poorly. I hear they have killer stereos though… That seems to suit most people, but I’ve never understood why you can’t have comfort, speed, and sophistication. This CBX provides all three, and I think I’d prefer that wailing straight-six for a soundtrack, since I’m pretty bored with classic rock.

With bidding just above $5,000 it’s no surprise the reserve has not been met. This bike looks to be a very nice example of a late CBX. One of the few Japanese bikes of the period that have really always been pretty collectible, CBX values are definitely on the rise, although early bikes remain more desirable. Which is great if you actually want to use your bike to tour, since you get that truly epic motor in a much more usable package.


1982 Honda CBX R Side

Lightning Strikes Twice: 1984 Laverda RGS1000 for Sale

1984 Laverda RGS 1000 Silver L Side

Wow, another RGS for sale, this time in silver!

Laverda’s RGS was basically a set of new clothes and a new mission for their rough-and-ready three cylinder engine. Earlier triples were famed for being brutal, “manly” bikes: some race-prepped examples apparently featured multiple steering dampers to keep them properly under control! Thrown around by the scruff of their neck, the Jotas and 3C’s that ventured onto the race track ground down ancillary covers and generally terrified riders and competitors alike.

1984 Laverda RGS 1000 Silver R Side Engine

But, unable to really keep pace with the merciless progress of the Japanse Big Four, who had begun to put something called “handling” into their street bikes, Laverda headed in a different direction. They capitalized on the perceived style and sophistication and their Italian racing heritage to create a machine that didn’t try to compete directly with the sometimes boring perfection coming from Japan…

1984 Laverda RGS 1000 Silver Dash

I spent the weekend baking in the heat and humidity of South Jersey, watching vintage motorcycle raceing, so I have Laverda on the brain today. I post these up whenever I find them, but they really are actually pretty rare. This one looks very well maintained by a knowledgeable owner: I know there are mechanics out there that can be counted on to do good work on these, but you can’t argue with the Slater name when it comes to Laverda!

1984 Laverda RGS 1000 Silver R Side Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Laverda RGS1000 for Sale

I’ve owned this Laverda for several years, and am unable to give it the riding time it deserves as I have several other motorcycles as well.  This motorcycle is currently registered in my name in the state of California.  It is really in excellent condition and I cannot find any dents, dings, or scratches.  There are no known mechanical issues with the bike.

The following upgrades have been done to this bike that now has 16,181 original miles:

Wolfgang Haerter slip-on mufflers – sounds great! (I have original mufflers)
DMC ignition
530 chain and sprocket conversion (have originals)
Stainless steel brake lines
Ikon shocks (have original Koni’s)
Gustafson windscreen (have original)
Odyssey battery always on a tender
Front brake rotors have recently been machined within tolerance and there’s no pulsating.
I have a shop manual for this model, along with the owner’s manual and tool kit.

It’s had, within the last 250 miles, a major service done by a mechanic who used to work with Slater’s in England.  This included:

Valve adjustment using new shims
Complete rebuilding of carburetors
New cam blocks
Brakes bled
Oil change
New cavis fuel lines
New intake manifolds
New head gasket
New choke cable
The cam chain was checked and found to be well within spec.

This is as close to a new RGS as can be found after 30 years, and truly runs very well.  Please pm me if you’d like any additional detailed photos.

1984 Laverda RGS 1000 Silver L Side Engine

Perhaps a bit too subtle for me in what looks like nearly flawless silver, but it’s very classy, has been very well cared-for, and features sensible upgrades that should enhance reliability and long-distance capability. Except for the mufflers: those are, I’m sure, intended as a safety feature…


1984 Laverda RGS 1000 Silver R Side

Fast and Classy: 1984 Laverda RGS 1000 for Sale

1984 Laverda RGS R Side

With most of the places I’d actually want to go on a motorcycle currently at least an hour away, the advantages of sport-touring and grand touring motorcycles are becoming more and more appealing. And you might think that “Italian exotic” and “touring” would be mutually exclusive concepts, but Laverdas typically incorporate the very best components, and are famed for being overbuilt and well-engineered, if slightly heavy.

1984 Laverda RGS L Side Rear

This durable quality means they were fast and stable, if not particularly nimble when used in anger. The early twins did well in endurance racing, and the SFC of the early 1970’s is one of the most collectible bikes of its era. The triple that followed was originally an unruly beast, with a funky, uneven firing order that made for exciting power and a howling exhaust note, but wasn’t so good for the feeling in your hands and feet, or the fillings in your teeth…

1984 Laverda RGS Engine Detail

Later Laverdas like this one are considered a bit tame by those standards, but are still far more emotive than glassy-smooth modern triples. The RGS introduced in the early 1980’s was an attempt by Laverda to recast their slightly moribund powerplant as an exclusive gentleman’s grand touring bike. It was really the perfect way to justify a performance deficit when compared to cheaper, newer Japanese bikes: “How fast is it? Well I’ve never felt the need to prove anything to anyone. I’ve certainly never raced it… And anyway, just listen to it!”

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Laverda RGS1000 for Sale

This is a 1984 Laverda RGS 1000 rare motorcycle. The motorcycle runs well, however this classic beauty would be best in the hands of an experienced motorcycle rider who is familiar with this type of bike. The motorcycle is sold as is with a good title and NO RETURNS. There is no warranty and buyer accepts the bike without guarantee. The buyer should know that the motorcycle is intended for motorcycle aficionados familiar with Italian made bikes and in particular Laverda’s.

1984 Laverda RGS Front wheel

A starting bid of $10,000 seems about par for the course for these. The price seems fair, but demand for these is limited and the seller may have to wait a while for the right buyer. The paint looks a bit faded, but the images are very washed out, so that may just be poor photography, not a flaw with the bike.

It would, of course, look better in classic Laverda orange.

It may not be as sexy as a 1970’s Laverda, but it’s still very distinctive and usable, both excellent qualities to have in your classic steed.


1984 Laverda RGS L Side

1975 BMW R90S for Sale

1975 BMW R90S L Front 2

BMW bikes traditionally combine quality engineering, innovation, and real-world performance. While not as sexy as machines from Italy or Great Britain and not as refined as bikes from Japan, they offer a sort of quirky, mature Germanic style that generally ages well and has always had a cult following.

1975 BMW R90S Dash 2

BMW’s flat-twin R-series bikes have been around for what seems like forever, so they’ve made quite a few examples. The machines evolved slowly, adding disc brakes and improved performance, so if you’re okay with one of the less desirable models, you can pick one up for relatively cheap.  And if you’re not into synching your carbs while idling at a stoplight, or trying to translate Italian websites while looking for random parts, BMW’s offer quirky design, quality construction, and very usable performance.

But while the relative abundance of the various BMW flat twins is keeping prices relatively low, one model is rapidly gaining in value: the R90S.

1975 BMW R90S R Engine 2

Introduced in 1974, the R90S was released in 1974 and was designed as a range-topping model. It featured iconic BMW features, including a bigger version of the highly developed “air-head” flat-twin engine, durable, shaft drive, and a sporty fairing. All of this combined to create a bike for well-heeled, real-world riders. Although it was no slouch on track either: it placed first and second at the very first AMA Superbike races held in the US.

1975 BMW R90S Gauges 2

From the original eBay listing: 1975 BMW R90S for Sale

The bike is a Southern California bike purchased at Johnny’s motorcycle Co. (established in 1956 and a BMW dealer) in Bakersfield, CA. on July 26, 1975 and has had one owner, Bob M. Crooke who bought in new on July 26, 1975. An interesting note: Johnny Kokinos, (owner of the Bakersfield dealership) reputedly built one of the first successful BMW R90S AMA race bikes campaigned on the national circuit.

This R90S was stored the last 10 years or so with little activity after the owner died, but it was still run regularly and kept in a heated, garage by his surviving daughter. The bike has a current CA title and original blue California issued license plate (in nice condition, with all the year stickers stacked up on it). The bike currently is on “non operational” status with the CA DMV.

This bike has (cloisonne’) tank and cowl badges; complete factory tool roll, air pump (with cap), Riders manual, factory three key set and rare original BMW hand towel. The actual total accumulated mileage on this bike is 12,295 (US miles) as of this date.

The tank & seat cowl have original installed (cloisonné) enameled, BMW adhesive type badges. The fairing has the two controversial holes on the underside (typical of the 1974 and many 1975 models that were fitted with early tooled components).

The motorcycle has survived with all the original components and paint in excellent condition. There is no active corrosion on the bike. This bike never had any modifications or changes to the electrical system. It was never wrecked or tipped over to the best of my knowledge.  After the following service work listed below, was completed, this bike now looks like a three or four old R90S that has been ridden, well looked after with owner pride and serviced as recommended by BMW.

1975 BMW R90S Underseat 2

This particular example has low miles for a bike this capable of covering distance and looks to be in excellent shape. From the description, everything is working correctly and the bike is in original condition: note his mention of the pinstriper’s initials on the underside of the tank. The listing describes fastidious care and the seller appears to be very knowledgeable, which is always confidence-inspiring when you’re spending your money on a bike sight-unseen.


1975 BMW R90S R Rear 2

1981 Honda CBX for Sale

1981 Honda CBX R Front

Designed ostensibly to capture the glamour of Honda’s six-cylinder racing bikes, it seems strange that the CBX to evolved into the angular, faired monoshock machine you see here. But the bike never really did have any real links to the GP machines, aside from the engine layout, and the CBX certainly couldn’t hang with the true scratchers of the day on back roads.

1981 Honda CBX Engine

Introduced in 1979 and, in spite of appearances, it was supposedly only a bit wider than Honda’s 750 four. The 1047cc, 24 valve, straight six was powerful and made a fantastic sound, but the sophisticated design was offset by its nearly 600 pounds and typically primitive suspension.

1981 Honda CBX Dash

Recast in 1981 with a full fairing and monoshock rear suspension, and hard bags, the CBX became a sophisticated sport-tourer, a role that perhaps suited the platform better. Luckily, the imposing engine and its headers remained on display, leaving no doubt as to what powered this bike.

From the original eBay listing: 1981 Honda CBX for Sale

This is a nice original 1981 honda cbx, there are some minor paint chips here and there, normal wear . The gas tank has a small bubble at the bottom right side of tank, the right side cover decal has a small scratch in it . The tires have been on the bike since 1992. the exhaust is in rough condition and has been repaired where the pipes meet the mufflers, this was due to water build up in the lowest part of the exhaust after sitting for a few years. The side bags are missing. This bike was last on the road in the state of New Jersey in 1992. It was repossessed about two and a half years ago for reasons I don’t know and a friend bought it from the holding company and traded it to me. The carburetors were professionally done out in California at a cost of $1,000. I had to rebuild the starter because one of the brushes was stuck in its carrier. I turned the armature, replaced the brushes and the brush springs. I installed the carburetors and the new air box plenum. Put fresh gas in it and fired it up, runs good, goes through all gears smoothly, all brakes work. Chain should be replaced as well as the tires, brake fluid and fork oil should be changed. This bike has been sitting for some time, it only has 5,787 miles on it.

1981 Honda CBX Detail

These aren’t especially cheap to buy or run but, when properly cared for, they can provide typically Honda durability. I prefer the earlier, simpler CBX’s without the fairing and hard bags, although there’s something about these big, Goldwing-esque machines that appeals as well. In spite of the low mileage, this one isn’t really in collectable shape, but that might just make it a great candidate for customization or upgrading. Or it might mean you can get that wonderful engine on the cheap, and do some traveling to spread the Gospel of the Straight Six to far-flung corners of the continent.


1981 Honda CBX L Rear

1978 BMW R100RS for Sale

1978 BMW R100RS R Front

The Germans have such a singular way of blending practical and sporting elements into their cars: the BMW’s 3-series sedan is historically so practical, but full of quality engineering and responsive rear-wheel-drive handling. The VW GTI is a box on wheels, but truly one of the most iconic real-world sporting cars of all time.  Even Porsche’s 911 can be considered relatively practical, when compared to cars from Ferrari or Lamborghini. German motorcycles are built along the same, very conservative lines: I love how these are so upright and dorky, efficient, practical, aber sehr sportlich. 

Although you can’t hide that monstrous engine behind a bulbous fairing: it seems to stick out everywhere, bulging like an overstuffed wurst.

1978 BMW R100RS L Rear

The R100RS was BMW’s flagship sport-touring model at the time. Introduced in 1977, it made 70hp and had a top speed of 108mph, which could be achieved in relative comfort, thanks to the wind-tunnel-designed wrap-around fairing that made the machine an unruffled, all-weather device designed to cover big distances at high speed.  Handling was extremely stable, rather than nimble, as befits its intended mission.

The original ad is straight and to-the-point, written so efficiently as to leave out things like lowercase letters. Luckily for you, I had a few moments to translate the original listing into something that is a bit easier to read. From the original eBay listing 1978 BMW R100RS for Sale

This is a beautifully restored R100RS with 67,000km/ approx 41,000 miles

  • European bike headlight on/off switch
  • Longer front fender
  • Powdercoated wheels
  • Upgraded forks with new seals
  • Resr [reservoir?] shocks [they appear to be Ohlins]
  • New brakes with stainless brake lines
  • All fluids changed
  • Carbs cleaned and balanced
  • New Odessey battery and electronic ignition
  • Cafe reverse cone mufflers sound great
  • Runs great looks great, everything works as it should
  • Rear bag mounts shown but not included

1978 BMW R100RS L Rear Wheel

In spite of the relatively minimal information, the ad does include a video of the bike.  I love videos! And those mufflers sound pretty great.

I have to admit: dorky as these are, there’s something so cool about them, that practical sportiness that infuses German cars and bikes. And some of these 70’s BMW’s are still really cheap. The earlier “toaster tank” models are getting pricey but, if you’re not scared off by the mileage these accumulate, they’re pretty darn affordable, and very practical as far as classics go. Find a set of those vintage, briefcase-y hard bags, pack up the missus, and head out on the highway, looking for adventure, or whatever comes your way.

Look, I’ve seen Easy Rider a few times, and hardtails look like a pretty terrible choice if you plan to ride across the country…


1978 BMW R Rear