Online Find eBay Edition - 80s Turbo Bike WeekLike I’m sure many of you do, I look at eBay and Craigslist a lot like the Sports Illustrated swimsuit...
Like I’m sure many of you do, I look at eBay and Craigslist a lot like the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue; I know I don’t have a chance with any of the bikes/women pictured, but it doesn’t stop me from ogling.This week on eBay, there seems to be a bumper crop of 1980s factory turbo bikes at affordable prices. It’s like running into the just divorced homecoming queen 20 years later, now working at Walmart.
Back in the Turbo Era (roughly 1980-1985) these bikes were hot stuff, combining the power then current liter bikes, with the weight and handling of a middle weight. This week you can take your pick of Japanese factory turbo bikes, as long as you don’t want a Suzuki XN85. None of these are in perfect condition, but all of them appear to be easy enough fixes so you can be up and riding before summer is out.
Yamaha Seca Turbo - First up is a 1983 Yamaha Seca (650cc) Turbo in Forest Lake, Minnesota with just 10k miles on it (but it has been sitting for years.) The good news is that the original owner kept it mostly inside, and the current owner seems to have recently acquired it and has no real interest in making a mint off of this flip. Ending Saturday 6/13, the current bid is just $102.
The turbo version of the Seca shared much of the rest of the Seca’s features, with shaft drive, air cooling and a very conventional chassis. The tiny 39mm turbo produces less than 8lbs of boost, which is good because it is pressurizing an airbox and blowing through carburetors. Still, Yamaha claimed 90hp at 9,000 rpm for this 517lb bike. For historical perspective, that is just 5hp less than the Yamaha XS1100 of the era.
Yamaha only applied the word TURBO to this bike in 5 places, but it does have a boost gauge and 80s style mystery buttons on the instrument cluster (which Sean Connery used for some sort of rocket boost in Never Say Never Again).
Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo - Next up is a pair of 1985 Kawasaki GPz750 Turbos, a runner and a parts bike, in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Also ending next Saturday, the current bid is just $999. It seems the biggest problem with the running bike is a leaky fuel tank, and unfortunately, the parts bike doesn’t have a good one either. The pictures are tiny, so here is a factory promo.
The Kawasaki GPz bikes at the time were great handlers, having moved to a modern monoshock rear suspension. The turbo bike put out just 8hp less than the big GPz1100, while weighing about 50lbs less. Many people consider this to be the best factory turbo bike, partially because Kawasaki had already discovered fuel injection years before adding the turbo system. Kawasaki pushed nearly 11lbs of boost into this poor primitive air cooled 4 cylinder, and the EFI kept it from leaving engine parts all over the road.
The Kawasaki only has the word TURBO displayed four times, but it does have a digital LCD boost gauge to up its 80s-ness.
Honda CX500 Turbo - The Honda CX500 Turbo is both the best CX500 ever and the most indicative 1980s graphical treatment of any motorcycle. This one in Lincoln, Nebraska has just 10k miles on it, runs great, and is at $1500 with a week of bidding to go. It appears to be an all original, cared for bike, with just minor cosmetic blemishes.
Honda chose to turbo charge their CX500 because it had water cooling, plus it 4 valve cylinder heads so it ought to breath great. They added fuel injection, set the turbo for maximum boost of nearly 18lbs and the CX500 made about 100hp at 8,000 rpm. It was claimed to be quicker than the Suzuki GS1000 in freeway roll on testing. Keeping it in the family, the CX500 Turbo was down just 5hp to the 6 cylinder 1000cc CBX, and has 5 more than the CB900F, while weighing less.
Honda wins the TURBO award hands down with it written twice on each side, plus once on the front and back, and of course on the light up red LED boost gauge. Also extra 80s points for the day-glow orange accents.
So which will it be? Or are you not yet nostalgic for 80s turbo weirdness? The ad text follows:
Seca Turbo – “Attention motorcycle collectors, here is a 1983 Yamaha Seca Turbo with 10,061 actual miles! The only one for sale on eBay! One owner bike I acquired from the original owner locally. Bike has been sitting inside and outside for a few years. The title has been lost several years ago, I can pass along contact information of a title company that can acquire a new title for the winner of the auction.
These bikes are super-fast, motor turns over when pushed in gear, throttle is free, tranny shifts through the gears, clutch lever pulls in, key is missing, front brake doesn't work rear does, the carbs might need cleaning before bike will run, the mufflers are unbolted, there are some small nuts and bolts missing here and there and or other everything I have for the bike is in the pictures”
GPz750 Turbo – “I am selling an 85 Turbo, and parts bike, and assorted parts that are in picture. I purchased both of these bikes in January with intentions to build one decent classic bike, but I have done nothing with them due to finding a complete running bike. Bike that is complete has a leaking fuel tank that will need to be fixed or replaced. Parts bike I really do not know what to say about that one, but has a lot of decent parts. I do know that the fuel tank on the parts bike is not a turbo tank probably came off of a GPZ 750 as the petcock is on the opposite side. Complete bike does not have a title as I purchased it with bill of sale only and copy of sellers old registration paperwork in order for me to get it registered but I have not done anything with either of the bikes. Parts bike does have a title.”
CX500 Turbo – “I put a tremendous amount of time and effort into the CXT platform, please be respectful of my time as I will be of yours. Nice rider, clean bike... Hard to find them this clean!
See details for all the work that has been done including fuel system, brakes, ignition, tires, forks seals, new tires, etc. Scratches on both sides of fairing, normal wear for 10,000 mile bike. Starts and rides as it should. No battery included.
Let me know if you need additional pictures, or have questions. Bike is sold AS-IS and must be picked up in Lincoln, Nebraska”
Seca Turbo - 23 bids, sold for $380!!! Someone scored
KZ750 Turbo - 4 bids, $1,035 did not meet reserve
CX500 - 27 bids, $2,900 did not meet reserve