Shopping for a Virago and Stopping by the Portland Historic Races

This blog post could also be titled, “How to Get an Awesome Sunburn on a Perfect Sunday in July”… Who would’ve guessed that not wearing suntan lotion on a partly-cloudy July afternoon and being in the direct sun for about 5 hours (at least) would do any more than add a little color. You’d think I was 14 or something.

Part 1

I started the day by driving the S2000 up to Portland (top up actually) to meet friends who were shopping for their first motorcycle. I was coming up to help out with the test ride and once over for overall condition. Twist my arm right?

{Mark 10:00am: Dropped the top after a quick stop for a bottle of water.}

Danno wanted a beginner bike that was somewhere between a standard and a cruiser. We went to look at a 92 Honda Nighthawk 750 and an 82 Yamaha Virago 750. To be honest, the Nighthawk looked pretty promising in the ad and I was secretly pulling for this one over the Virago — mostly because it’s newer, I know a guy who’s put a ton of miles on one, and it’s more familiar in terms of the riding position I’m used to.

Unfortunately as is the case with many Craigslist sourced leads, those re-sized (and generally crappier) photo’s they host for you make it difficult to tell just how nice the bike really is. In short, the Nighthawk was generally not well cared for. Maintained just enough that all systems worked ok, but in general needed a thorough service front-to-back to be right. At $2000 it didn’t feel right to me. One sentence review of riding experience: Even though it’s power is pretty good for it’s age, the bike didn’t feel well balanced and in fact felt pretty heavy and a bit awkward during transitions.

So we decided to consider this bike as a ‘maybe’ and decided to break for a quick breakfast since it was still only mid-morning at this point. A quick stop by was needed at Fat City Cafe in Multnomah Village, where we were quickly served a great breakfast. Now we were ready to check out the next potential ride.

Next up was the Virago which was actually in Vancouver across the river. We met a nice retired man who had probably 6 Japanese bikes of this vintage in his garage, all in mostly good condition. Initial impressions were really good as the bike had obviously received some recent care with good tires, new starter, and very clean overall. Compared to the Nighthawk that had a brutally filthy chain, peeling paint, and a leaky caliper, this bike was ready for sale: clean, similar miles at under 15K, and was priced at only $1200. Granted it’s ten years older and power was no comparison to the Nighthawk, it was really easy to ride. It can’t weigh much and dipped into corners with ease. The riding position was somewhat new to me and I actually put my feet on the rear pegs the first time I sat on it. But after riding it for 15 minutes, I see the appeal. It’s totally relaxing and I’ll be damned if those vents on the front of your jacket don’t work 100% better when air is actually hitting them head on instead of getting the leftovers just above the tank!

My advice was to sleep on it and offer $1000 the next day. Danno replied, “I’ve got a thousand on me right now…” and then walked back to the front door and made a deal. We’re going back next week to get it. Congratulations guys, it’s a great first bike!

Part 2

Then I continued top-down in the Honda to the racetrack for the Portland Historic Races around 1pm. This is a great event in our own backyard, and Bob and Joe from Sports Car Shop were racing as well. I was looking forward to putting the 70-200 F4 L into the field again and the weather was perfect.

Sports Car Shop got a great spot for their team and was in the parking lot just behind the clock tower. Plus their close friend decided to add to the general Feng Shui of their pad with his recently acquired Ferrari F430! Beautiful car!

I then puttered around the paddock and club parking areas while grabbing a quick bite to eat before Joe and Bob went out in back-to-back sessions between 3 and 4pm. Once they were out, I grabbed my favorite spot at the track even though the light was facing me. Nonetheless, it was worth the full frontal sun assault considering some of the resulting pictures:

Leaving PIR with the top up, I washed up in the bathroom before hitting the road and when I saw myself in the mirror, my cheeks were definitely a little pink, but not bad. But now that I’ve cooked dinner (on the BBQ outside, doh!) and sat down to edit photos and blog about the day, I’ve gone from pink to full on red — all over. Like an idiot I failed to remember, like I do every year after the first good drive with the top down, that when the top is down = you’re outside and getting burned. Maybe I’ll remember next year…

dc

Partial Gallery of 2010 Portland Historic Races Sunday Afternoon

It’s Been Quiet Around Here, But It’s Been Going Off Over at RareSportBikesForSale.com

I know my personal blog has really been neglected this summer, but I’ve been very busy consulting. And when I’m not helping out moto-clients with web services consulting, I’m working with a great team to really dial up the Rare Sportbikes For Sale site. Check out some of the sweet rides this week alone: MC28 NSR250 SE, CBR250R Hurricane, Huge Teaser for some OW01’s, VF1000R, Bimota YB9, and well you get the idea.

VFR1-300x225NSR7c-150x150ducati-01DSC05544-13n03k23m35O15Qe5R999e6d8ba8dc07ff16e9-150x150!B,i8Cqg!Wk~$(KGrHqUH-CsEqtbPDy2fBKr8+hwOHw~~_12YB94

If you’re in a shopping mood, I’d subscribe as the best deals are always had in the fall and early winter.

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Catching up with RareSportBikesForSale.com and GermanCarsForSaleBlog.com

Forgive me: I’m guilty of cheating on this blog with a number of other blogs. But before we get too far ahead, let’s get caught up on some great looking German Cars and Rare Sport Bikes that have been listed for sale over the past several weeks.

1983 BMW e21 320i Black Beautiful 1983 BMW e21 320i For Sale in Oregon – Paul went so far as to say he was almost considering buying this car himself, but was instead inspired to continue the work on his own classic BMW after seeing Richard’s car! Considering he’s only asking $3200, someone should snap this up cheap!
1983 Alpina B9 1983 Alpina B9 #312 For Sale in Florida – The $14.5k buy-it-now option seems like a pretty good deal. There are very few real Alpina’s in this country anyway, and this one still has almost all of it’s original details. While I’m not an experienced collector, I have to imagine that 5-10 years from now, this car will have appreciated considerably. Then again, with over 100k miles and an approachable entry price, maybe it would be better to enjoy immediately. Can you imagine the response at your next BMW club day when you roll up in this?!
1985 Honda VFR400 NC24 Rothmans 1985 Honda VFR400 NC24 – First things first, this is not an 85. According to this Wikipedia article, the NC24 wasn’t introduced until 1987, and this bike definitely sports all the important features of the later NC24 model. But when I first saw the listing as an 85, it made me wonder if the 25 year rule works the same way it does for classic cars in the U.S. – no import or registration issues with models not previously imported. Anyone know for sure? Also, was there a Rothmans edition of the NC24? It’s a cool bike for $3500 either way though!
1967 Porsche 912 in Irish Green Irish Green Porsches for St. Patrick’s Day – As you can probably gather by now, I think the 912 is definitely the better value; especially at $15k! Of course a 912 is not a substitute for a 911. But it’s also not to be dismissed as anything less than a fantastic sports car. Add the fact that this one has an expensive rebuilt motor assembled with such focus and dedication, you can tell that this car is at least 85% of the experience of a 911 of the same era.
1995 BMW e36 M3 Lightweight Two Very Low Mileage M3’s, $60,000 Each! – Not to play that overused ‘economy’ angle yet again, but these seem like high prices to me in today’s market. On the other hand the owners clearly know the rarity of their cars and are counting on educated and wealthy buyers. Who knows when we’ll see examples like these for sale again.
1986 GSX-R 750R Limited (GSXR750 RG) 1986 GSX-R 750R Limited (GSXR750 RG) – Don’t you just love homologation specials?! The very best of everything and no expense spared. And when they’re nearly 25 years old and never raced, AND hardly even ridden, they’re truly a rare find. This one is currently at $12k (appears reserve has been met) with about 4 days to go.
1988 BMW e30 M3 in Diamondschwartz 1988 BMW e30 M3 in Diamondschwartz – The owner even has a picture of him doing a compression test on the motor. Assuming the car needs a few things here and there and you had to drop two or three grand into it right away; could be a a really nice car in a pretty desirable color.
1991 BMW e30 M3 Alpineweiss Lovely and Original Alpine White 1991 BMW e30 M3 For Sale with 64k miles – You know me, I’m a sucker for low miles. Make sure the maintenance has been tended to with a thorough pre-purchase inspection by a qualified BMW technician. This car is already over $17k, reserve not met. With 3 days to go, make your predictions!
1993 Honda CBR400RR 1993 Honda CBR400RR For Sale in San Fran Area – It has the all important title, but with that kind of mileage is $5k too high? Leave a comment with your experience.
1999 Porsche Carrera 911 Black BBS Porsche 996 Prices are Dropping – It’s no secret the 996 is not one of my favorite Porsche 911’s. That said, I’m a big fan of the Boxster of the same generation; and when the the 996 and Boxster suddenly share the same price point, well let’s be serious, which would you really rather have? My thoughts exactly.
1985 Yamaha RZ500 1985 Yamaha RZ500 with Clean U.S. Title – Wouldn’t hurt to have a description on this listing, especially with the high opening bid of $12,500. This one is a bit higher than other RZ500’s listed on this blog, but the pictures sure do look good! 4 days left, bid now!
Wes Cooley Replica GS1000S Not 1, Not 2, But 3 Wes Cooley Replica GS1000S Suzuki’s For Sale! – $4900 doesn’t really seem that bad for such a cool and historic bike. I got up close and personal with a GS1000S at the Barber Motorsports Park Museum earlier this year, and it was a standout for sure!

Stay tune for some more sweet news about where I’ve been hanging out other than on dancrouchblog.com…

dc

The German Car and Rare SportBike Blogs Round-Up For Early December

Here are my picks for early December from RareSportBikesForSale.com and GermanCarsForSaleBlog.com:

1968 Porsche 912 For Sale in Bahama Yellow: The owner of this car has dropped the price $1100 in less than a month’s time and would seem to indicate a motivated seller. While the motor isn’t the original, it is rebuilt. And this isn’t going to be a concours car anyway. His website has many articles on the model and the classified ad on Pelican Parts is refreshingly honest. Personally if I were buying, I’d keep it as is if the rust was livable and drive the balls off it!
1989 Honda VFR400 NC30 in Alabama: Interesting for sale posting to say the least. But the bike looks really sharp and clean. He goes on to explain that it’s titled and tagged in Alabama.
1991 Porsche 964 Carrera RUF RCT Conversion: A really rare opportunity without question. But only serious collectors are likely to get excited considering the $69900 buy-it-now listed on the ad.
1989 Yamaha FZR 400 For Sale in Vegas: The FZR400 has an aluminum frame compared to the steel frame of the FZR600, which is cheaper and heavier. Many FZR400’s were snapped up by club racers and never to be seen on the street again. But apparently there are more out there ready for street duty than I thought!
1999 Alpina B12 6.0 For Sale in Spain: The BMW e38 really is a fine platform and I can only imagine what the Alpina version brings to the table. According to the Alpina Archive website entry on the B12, it’ll do a standing quarter mile faster than a Ferrari 355!
Beautiful and Original 1986 Suzuki GSX-R 750 For Sale: The red and black is a really stunning combination and I can’t say the last time I saw an 86 this clean and original. And it’s not like these are going to become easier to find…
1988 BMW e28 M5 For Sale with only 41k Miles!: In the U.S., the e28 M5 really is more rare than the e30 M3. Can you imagine what a 44k mile e30 M3 would have for an asking?!
1998 Ducati Superbike 996RS: They Don’t Get Much More Rare Than This!: Collector race cars and bikes are not really an arena I’m well versed in, but one thing is for sure: It’s a very rare machine anyway, and it’s been ridden by Troy Bayliss. It’d look great parked under the Christmas tree I’m sure!
2000 BMW e39 M5 For Sale with only 4k Miles!: I’m just saying, if my lotto ticked gets punched this week, I’d take this over the newest version. If I remain mortal without the winnings, I might still think a well looked after used e39 M5 might be in the cards considering they now hover in the low 20’s for asking price.
Two Porsche 944’s For Sale: Less Than 50k Miles Combined!: I realize the prices are steep, but the pictures really seem to demonstrate two really clean and original cars. Those interior pictures could be from a brochure. Considering these cars are practically new, they could be considered a cheap means to nearly new Porsche ownership compared to the MSRP of today’s new Porsches!

German Cars and Rare Sportbikes, For Sale Round-up

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update on other rides for sale that I post elsewhere. Here’s a recap from the past couple weeks.

I hope you enjoyed the summary and thanks for reading!

dc

GermanCarsForSaleBlog and RareSportBikesForSale Weekly Summary

Another great week as we get deeper into fall and more examples come up for sale at the end of the season. And as the popularity of these two blogs increases, more and more enthusiasts are finding their way to these blogs on a regular basis and the conversations have been great. Many great comments are coming on posts about model history, previous ownership, and value discussions.

Thanks to all those who have been leaving comments with suggestions and insight for other readers!

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Weekly Wrap-up Of Rare Sportbikes and German Cars For Sale

I’m a little late on this summary, but there were way too many great examples to miss last week.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s picks. If you have a car you’d like me to keep a look out for, just leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to look out for you!

dc

Announcing the MotoringBlogs Automotive and Motorcycling Blog Network

First I want to say how much fun I’ve had bringing readers at dancrouchblog.com the diamonds in the rough over the past 4 years. I have really enjoyed connecting with like minded enthusiasts and I look forward to making that experience even more meaningful moving ahead.

Now it is time to take my career more seriously, and that means making a transition from passive enthusiast to eventual full-time automotive and motorcycling, web and blogging specialist. I’m a bit premature in the announcement of this plan, but I want to keep dancrouchblog.com readers in the loop!

The most immediate and visible change is that I am splitting the topics that are most popular at dancrouchblog.com into their own blogs: German Cars For Sale Blog and Rare SportBikes For Sale. If you’re a fan of dancrouchblog.com, you’ll love these two blogs! They both follow the familiar “best of for sale” listings and resource guides you’re used to at this site, but both have much nicer .rss and email subscription options than I have utilized before. I hope you’ll consider subscribing. If not, don’t worry, I’ll still be highlighting these new blogs on dancrouchblog.com on a regular basis.

These two blogs are the first to be part of my new automotive blog network, MotoringBlogs. My hope for the network is two fold:

  1. Provide greater focus and detail to the automotive and motorcycling niche that the enthusiast searches for. The ability to provide more than a highlight reel or summary of information, and instead cater to the intense and educated enthusiast with detailed and opinionated editorial blog content.
  2. Build a network of authors, websites, and enthusiast readers that grow together to gain access and knowledge via an entertaining and informative blogging style to address sports cars, motorcycles, amateur motorsports, and the latest in breaking industry news.

The MotoringBlogs concept is in it’s infancy, but will grow quickly. More details will follow in the coming months. I will of course keep dancrouchblog.com readers informed first!

I hope you’ll find MotorBlogs to be an even better resource than dancrouchblog.com has been and I welcome your feedback in the comments below.

dc

Chowdah Run to the Rogue Brewery

Chowdah Run

Brad beat me to the punch posting the ride the 8 of us took this past Saturday. A great time and good group of riders. Here’s the route we took:


View Larger Map

Brad’s post handles the summary pretty well so check it out. Bikes included my Ducati 750SS, 94 Honda CBR1100XX, DR-Z 400, Triumph Thruxton, Brad’s Triumph, Yamaha FZ1, and Paul’s VFR750.

Great day, nice ride, and fantastic weather. Thanks for organizing Brad!

dc

Motorcycling Trips to be Remembered: Sonomafest 1995

We attended the AMA Superbike races at Sears Point 13 years ago when we made a week long trip down to Sonoma to catch Sonomafest. If I recall correctly, we decided on this trip after reading the recent Cycle World magazine, which features our favorite automotive and motorcycle journalist, Peter Egan and his account of the trip the previous year. Sitting on the porch (the tiny concrete pad in front of door) of my duplex, we once again let beer decide, and we were going. Unfortunately we didn’t meet Peter that year, but did pull a great motorcycling and camping trip that we haven’t really duplicated since. Recently our motorcycling trip to the Olympic Peninsula was our chance to relive that trip.

Suddenly it seems like an eternity ago (see, there it is again), but years ago our trip began by suiting up for our 2 day trip to the bay area from Corvallis, Oregon. Looking back, I was hardly prepared for such a trip, but that naive and youthful nature is what makes the trip even more special to remember.

{Note: time stamp on photos is incorrect.}

dan and bikes and 145 wagon before roadtrip

posing with the bikes before the trip

When we arrived for Thursday evening practice, tent camping inside the racetrack hadn’t opened yet. We were pointed to another track campground called ’40 acres’. Turns out this was only a mowed field that served as overflow parking for the NASCAR event to accommodate the 100k+ fans that turn out for their biggest weekend of the year at Sears Point. Or in other words, no services, including honey buckets. We were the only fans to show up that early and had the entire field to ourselves in fact. All the other early fans stayed in Sonoma a few minutes away. Needless to say, our budget working pizza jobs didn’t accommodate such luxury. It was actually just us and our tiny tent, and a half rack of Coors Light, whom we later decided had sponsored our camping weekend. Amazing the creativity of 21 year olds with a marker and a stack of beer cans!

sonoma road trip camping 40 acres

katana sonoma loaded up with coors

bikes and tent at sunrise

Best I can recollect, we made the trip in 1995 when Sears Point legend Miguel Duhamel was still the man to beat at that track. Upcoming stars that year included Ben Bostrom, Nicky Haden, and my favorite, Australian Anthony Gobert. Here’s a pic with Doug Polen, Miguel Duhamel, and a very young Nicky Haden. In the very back it might be Eric Bostrom. Either the Superbike or SuperSport class. Hard to know without notes and help from the internet. I tried though. If you can help, please comment below!

sears point camping view

That shot was taken from the campground when campsites were still located in the middle of the track in the carousel complex. You would literally wake to the sound of the street sweeper and then the first run group at 8:00AM every morning. Ready or not, here come 30-50 high strung motorcycles, all screaming around the back of your head. Talk about a wake up call! I distinctly remember wishing I hadn’t smoked so many cigarettes the night before!

Here are some more shots of us that weekend:

setting up the new campsite at the track

fzr and katana at sears point

There are many more memories from that trip, like the massive Cycle World group ride that rode more like a GP race and resulted in Editor Edwards getting a fat ticket! But really it serves as a reminder that sweet road trips have been few and far between since graduating college. I’m going to have to make some changes to tour more often, on two wheels or four. A great memory awaits that won’t be experienced from the couch.

dc