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Clueless seller

6341 Views 55 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  wmw
No interest on my part, but if you're looking for one, you won't find this one by doing a search.

FleaBay Ad "CBX Turbo"

Check out the description, Honda is so safety conscious it makes me feel all fuzzy.
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Anything else you try will be a futile attempt, a very expensive attempt, and the only thing you will accomplish in the end is to fuck up a perfectly good bike.
It's not as though these are a dime a dozen either; but to each his own. If I were him and insistent on this goal, i'd pull all the plastic work and mock up some fake plastic.
Intentionally killing an engine for a bike that is this rare (by sheer stupidity of will), is inexcusable.
And it sounds as if the only thing on this bike that will need to be stock is the bodywork and wheels. Likely rework the computer; different turbo; injectors etc.

Id have a spare 650 engine/turbo already torn down that I'd trade towards the complete bike: Plus I'd thrown in a 500T fairing. They could be installed on a 650E or GL650 frame for a better go at it. But; to each his/her own.

$1000 wasn't a steal; but it was on the lower side of it's value and it could have been swept up by others for another $800 and still been a good buy. So turbo owner wannabe's were sleeping.
vs = versus. Of all the bikes made, a large percentage are still out there. Is that clearer?

That's an unsupported guestimate. Your saying that there are over 850 CX650 T's remaining. I'm not sure how to substantiate that. When they tend to pop up in auctions, we all tend to notice them. But how many times do they pop up in auctions? Perhaps 10/yr?

A friend of mine has a '81/2 (I think) Virago 920 "E" version. It had a flatter seat; flat handlebars and a touring or european style. The production numbers were rediculously low. Somewhere around 500 or so if I recall correclty. It is so 'rare' that it was the only bike not represented by Yamaha at a recent parade of bikes for a Yamaha anniversary (or something like that)They could not find one. He (the virago club) has knowledge of less than 10 and estimates are that there may be as many as 50 or far less around.

He had advirtized it on the one forum without knowing it's rarity and had about 10 bites the first day. Then he realized that they weren't a dime a dozen and was offered twice his asking price.

I'd guess that there may be less than 500 650T's remaining intact and perhaps far fewer. And if someone grenades an engine; It might be possible to find another block; but then again it might not. And the possibilty of finding another complete engine to restore it back to street rideable condition would be unlikely.

Still plenty of them left to put in museums and showrooms; and some to ride out in the streets now and then; and as mentioned; to each his/her own. And also as mentioned; those who say that they are looking for one had a great chance with this auction.

I dont' expect their value to 'skyrocket' but they will likely keep their value with the pristine showroom bikes excalating for collectors.
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Part of the challenge of these things is finding better parts at a cheaper price. Honda CRF 250's had 78 mm pistons for many years and there are over bores as well. The Hayabusa uses 83 mm and there are some others too. Bearings are just a matter of finding a good parts man to match sizes. My dream combination would be a disc piston like the CRF and a steel or titanium rod to make up for the length. If I can figure out how to raise the rpm I will look at beehive valve springs and ti valves. If the ignition won't let me pull the rpm, there is no point. Jim L got 11,000 rpm without going to titanium or beehive valves, so 11,500 or 12,000 could be possible.

You guys need to listen to Turbo Tim. He is making some serious horsepower. When I drag raced cars in modified production in the 70's we ran 10.30 but only ran 132mph. He is hitting 135, that is a lot of hp for a 673 pushrod, twin. The only way he will find the limit is by occasionally losing an engine, but even then we learn something.

I am not sure of our ultimate configuration. The dyno and the wallet will decide (er...Paypal).

As to modifying bikes, I do have a stock RG500 Suzuki. It is a blast to ride and does pretty well stock. I do have one museum looking at it and may part with it, if we agree on things. But the point is I bought it to ride and have fun. During its time it terrorized GSXR's like nothing else. On our hilly, winding roads in the mountains, that little 500 does the trick. Now I hear it is worth about $12,000+ and I am scared to ride it.

Guys we are not in a rivalry. This not stocker vs. racers. Lets trade ideas, help each other with parts, help fix each other's bikes and supply those unabtainables that Honda can't provide. We will celebrate victories and console our buddies when they blow a motor or wreck. Save debates for Replicans vs. Democrats....

Ed H
I think high RPM/HP is the method for NA engines and 1/4 mile drag bikes. With a turbo charged engine I think some of those goals get discarded or minimized. Predetonation, timing, turbo mapping; Peak torque, head flow, boost level etc etc come into play equal to or greater importance than acheiving high RPM HP.

HP is just a mathematical function of measured torque. These 650's in stock trim made 80ft lbs from 4000-8000 RPM's. And that from a 40 cubic inch engine. That is where they got their acceleration rate. Not from being able to wind 60 ft lbs from 7000 to 12,000 and make bigger HP. A 650T will still accellerate with stock 600/750/900's crotch rockets of today, but top speed will be limited due partly to gearing.

Increasing torque by increasing boost while not inducing pre-detonation and altering gearing to allow that peak boost to get to the ground would be my personl goals. HP at higher RPM is just an RPM factor requiring lower gearing to maximize the torque available at that higher RPM.

I think the NA 500's and 650's are redlined for piston speed considerations and not neccessarily valve float. I think they also had some considerations for cam lobe configurations and cam ramp angle.

When they went to the 650 NA engine, they reduced the RPM due to the slightly longer stroke of the 650 which increased the piston speed.

You mentioned being afraid to ride your 12K bike and yet people ride 20-30K bikes on the road all the time. Thus your reluctance to ride your RG500 is not likely due to it's monetary value alone, but due to it's intrinsic value and rarity. But yet if you'd put another thousand in the 650 turbo bike as is, you'd end up with up to a 5 to 6k value (likely)and one that should be worth 12K also.

And it's likely as or more "rare" than your RG500.

The RG500's production numbers were approx 7500 in '85; 1500 in '86 and 500 in '87. Thus only if you have a '87 is your rarity greater than the 650 T that you have now.

From Wickipedia concerning the 650T

It is one of the rarest production Hondas ever, with only 1,777 built and fewer than 1,200 imported to the U.S. and Canada.[4] The rest were distributed around the world but not sold in the Australian market.

You can indeed do what you want with it; but it would be equally interesting and challanging to take a NA 650 engine and bike and install a turbo on it or modify it to it's maximum potential. You'd have to decide if the engine block and crank would take it. There are already several guys doing this with CX series bikes and thus you'd have company.

You stated that some of your goals would be to facilitate the fabrication of replacement and performance parts for the 650Turbo's. That and similar approaches have been found unmarketable and basically unwanted. Dan Topping discovered this perspective. There simply is not enough of the bikes manufactured and still remaining to mass market any type of performance upgrades. And most owners seem content with the performance for street riding as it is. If they wold want to spend 10,000 for performance upgrades AND for daily riding; they'd likely opt for a newer motorcycle also.

Many though would be appreciative though if stock replacement parts (such as sidecovers, pistons, bearings, fuel pumps etc) wouild be sourced and manufactured. But even those are resellable to a very limited number of people.

Only a few of those cabaple of affording extreme parts to modify a 650 Turbo would actually have an interest in doing so. So your likely in a world of a very few modifiers such as Tim the dragracer and yourself.

Someone had even made a intercooler for the turbo, but couldnt' get it dialed in. That would be another performance upgrade that may net 20 HP.??
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ed h' date='23 October 2010 - 01:57 PM said:
Tony G

I agree with much of what you say. My goal however is top speed alone. On any bike the top speed will be limited by the rpm's it can pull. If a 500t runs out of spark or fuel at 9,000 there is not much sense in building one to pull 11,000. It doesn't matter if you have 80 hp or 120, the rpm's will limit you. Gearing is our limiting factor with these bikes. True you can juggle trannies, drives and tire ratios, but that is about it in production racing. In the altered classes you can twist the engine and use sprockets to fine tune your gearing.
What your actually saying is that top speed is limited by gearing and torque; not engine RPM's. If you could add 3 gears to the gearbox, you would run out of torque to move the motorcycle through the wind at a certain speed. Your saying that it is easier to add RPM's to the engine than it is to add gears to the gearbox. But you have to factor in the reliability factor.

As to my RG500, it is pretty darn rare in the US. Rick Lance might have an idea how many there are, but I would be surprise if there are a hundred in the entire country, much rarer than any turbo bike. Most have been brought in from Canada (like mine) and we seldom see them in the south. I just do not want to butcher that bike as it is fun to ride as is and I do not intend to race it.
The production numbers for the 500 Gamma were from Wikipedia. Here they are again rounded off.

7500 in '85;

1500 in '86

500 in '87.

Total worldwide production over 3 years; about 10,000. Thus only if you have a '87 is your rarity greater than the 650 T that you also have now.

The reason they seem rare is that they were likely not imported to the U.S. at all due to emisssions laws and it being a 2 stroke.

The number of 650 turbos imported to the U.S. and Canada was less than 1200 and worldwide production for 1 year was 1777. That would likely be about 300 or so for Canada and 900 or so for the U.S. but that is just a ratio'd guess. There are only guesstimates of how many remain; but perhaps less than 500 worldwide. The 650T you have is much more rare (worldwide) than your 500 Gamma unless of course you have a '87 and base your rarity strictly on one model year. There is really no way to argue about facts; if indeed the worldwide production numbers for the Gamma from Wikipedia were accurate.

There are many owners or enthusiast of the 650 Turbos who feel the way about their turbos that you do about your Gamma (red letters above) and would not think of butchering or altering it because of how fun it is to ride as is and because of it's rarity.

At the recent turbo rally this summer, only 4 turbo's actually showed up (2 honda) even though there were about 15 turbo owners in attendance. Some did not wish to risk riding their turbo even to the rally.
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Just wondering if your reconsidering your racing project with the 650T due to our discussion.

In particular, wondering if you've changed your perspective of the rarity of the Gamma 500 in comparison with the 650T?
I will say again that I don't like the people who buy the bikes to speculate or just to try to run up the prices. Look what happened to Harleys in the 90's, it was just a game of hot potato as people bought marked up bikes and tried to resell them at even higher prices.
And there are several on the forum who find dislike for those who might purchase a rare bike and turn it into a racebike with likely no future possibiltiy of being returned to stock. Althouh not a speculator or trying to 'run the price up'; even those type are permitted to do with their bike what they desire.

There is likely a balance between those who dislike investors and 'stewards' of motorcycling history who keep them in riding or restorable order (even for someone else) and those who take such rare bikes and destroy them by racing them or parting them out.

The Harley phenomenon had little to do with rarity of bikes. Perhaps there were rare editions made, but even very few of these editions have collector value. It was done more on the status of owning a harley.

These are not peoples lives that we are talking about though and the importance of such material issues can sometimes get taken beyond its appropriate perspective.

I simply wished to expose to you the inconsistency of your felt value of your Gamma vs the 650T and correct you on your error of the rarity of the Gamma vs the 650T.
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I do wonder, however, where you are going to get rings?
I have a set of oem rings for a 650 turbo that could be used for patterns or measured for replacements. But, as Dan Topping related happened to him one-time, I'd not be interested in sending them out and then having the project shelved and the part lost.

What is smarter, to buy a clapped out bike and get it running again or to part it out and double your money? Or better yet, spend $6000 on it to make it a bike you can sell for $4000?
Smart and $$ isn't the only motivator for a motorcycle enthusiast such as yourself. You could likely spend $500 or so on that $1000 bike depending on what it needs and how well it was rebuilt and then sell it for $3500 or ride it on the streets and have people admire and enjoy the peice of motorcycling history that it is.

As to rarity how many RG500's have you seen advertised in the US lately? I see two or three 500Ts or 650's advertised virtually all the time on Craigslist or Ebay, yet seldom see an RG500. If the RG's are more common they must not trade very often and when they do it is always at a higher price than the turbo bikes. If there were a lot of RG's in this part of the world they would certainly sell cheaper.

In the U.S. the turbo's (especially whey you include the 500T's) are much more common than the non-imported RG's. We're not talking U.S. production and vin numbers for comparison as in the U.S. the RG's being non imported are much more rare. The RG's are very similar to a 650E that has been importe to the U.S.

We are talking about worldwide production numbers for comparison. There is no comparison when the worldwide production numbers of 650T's are compared with the worldwide production numbers of RG's. There are more than 5X's the amount of RG's as there are 650T's. It's just that the U.S. got about half of the 650T's and thus there are some that crop up from time to time. If you exclude the 500T's; the 650 T's crop up about once a month on average... maybe a little more. Half of those are likely resells from a previous year or two. The school bike that you got might be one of the last of those, though we keep saying that and they keep coming out of the woodwork from time to time.

Eventually, the 650T and other Japanese turbo bikes may be a sought after item. BUT bike collectors and restorers do not seem as plentiful as the car enthusiast and collector/speculator. The big money people seem more content in riding around in a rare car than they would be riding on a rare motorcycle.

The fact that you went over $2K for this bike without a title indicates that your possibly starting to realize their rarity and collector value. One thing that may be keep their price down is the thought complexity of the turbo unit and sensors and the issue of the stator; etc etc.

Will be in touch about the other turbo's.
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But it doesn't for some reason.

I saw one mediocre looking CX500E go for $4500.00 in the U.S. a couple of years ago, but Dan's perfect CX650E didn't sell for anywhere near that.

This always confused me about the E model. I paid $2500 for Cliff diver, and she needed a LOT of work. $1k purchase + $1k shipping for the one I'm still building for my wife, and it needs a LOT of work too.
I think the 500E is even more rare than the 650E. Would like to see pics of the one you got for your wife. It still puzzles me that she is faster on the E than on the gixxer.
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