Scott Redmond begins his ‘Breaking Bad’ series.
In the first of a new series, we look at real-world spares prices. First up, Scottie buys a Blade that’s worth more than the sum of its parts…
With certain motorcycles rising in price there’s a knock-on effect further down the line for used parts from tomorrow’s classics. It’s pretty obvious really why the older certain parts from classics get, the more expensive they become. The Fireblade family contains a Blade for every budget. The 1992 RR-N is the sought after one; it’s the first of the breed and it’s already an established modern classic. The Urban Tiger model is hot on its heels, but after that there are still bargain models if you want a carb-blade. This N-reg RR-T came my way from a chap who’d bought it to convert into a track day bike, he quickly realised that he’d bought the wrong motorcycle for his needs. We all do it! The bike had been seized last year because the owner had no insurance. Making his case worse was the fact that he’d taken the time and effort to find exactly the same model to clone! With a fake plate attached he’d ridden his Blade around illegally until the boys in blue caught him and took him to court and his Honda away from him. The bike was then sold on to a dealer and that’s where my man had purchased it, complete with its original ID. I paid £800 for it, but despite looking in a reasonable condition, it had plenty of evidence of having had a tough existence. The nasty bits were a bodged on carbon can that mated poorly to the bodged up downpipes. The bodywork was a mix of battered panels, but the top fairing was pretty tidy. The bike started and ran fine… I tried flipping it on within the trade, but the negatives far outweighed the limited positives. I didn’t even try to advertise it complete, I knew it would attract too many mess-me-abouters and I knew it was worth more in parts. I started by nibbling away the easy to remove parts; a bit here and a bit there in between the other things that I do on a daily basis. Imagine my surprise when I pulled back £75 for the nasty stumpy silencer. Next up was £100 for the set of clocks; what helped them sell other than the fact they were in good order was that they had a mph speedo, sold not too surprisingly to a guy with one sporting km/h items. With the front brake master cylinder, Goodridge
braided lines and fresh looking calipers next to be posted off I had by now recouped just over £300 without any serious effort. I opted to ping my parts on various Facebook selling pages. This allows me to offer parts cheaper than selling via ebay, simply because there’s zilch fees attached. Next up I took the aftermarket rear hugger off, and also removed the fairing. The lowers were pretty poor, and only one fairing middle panel was worth advertising. The top cowl though was the prize here. Other than a few really light marks on the widest parts it was more than presentable, and ready to fit. Removing the headlamp can often break away the fragile mounting lugs, but nevertheless using my favourite Phillips screwdriver I set about the task of liberating the lamp. Result! No broken parts, and also with the fox-eye lamp in my hands I could see it hadn’t seen any repairs, even better it was a Uk-spec/ dipping item. Back to Facebook with two new adverts and within a few hours I had recovered another £250 from my £800 outlay. I could’ve got more for the top fairing with hindsight, but at £125 I wasn’t being greedy. The headlamp was pushing the boundaries: I have never got £125 for any used headlight before. It wasn’t all good, some parts like the CDI, coils, and regulator failed to get any biters, a pointer to the fact 90s electrics just don’t go wrong, if they do (yup, Honda reg/rectifiers) there’s no shortage of cheap used parts online. Next up was to get the carbs off. The fact they were coming from a running bike would add some value: another £125 came back within a few days or advertising them. I was now in touching distance of recouping my £800 and I still had a stack of parts to sell. A good look at the rolling chassis revealed a few flaws. The ill-fitting silencer had badly gouged the swingarm, the original shock was in poor condition cosmetically and the forks had been polished in the past. On the plus side it had tyres that still had the bobbles on! I had by now got my starting money back, and was showing a modest profit, with other bikes coming and going in my garage the Blade got pushed behind the shed. We all know that this is never a good thing. Then by chance I had a chat with a fellow trader who was after some stock and a light bulb appeared over my head: “I’ve got a cheapy Blade project!” He arrived, took a look and gave me £500! In return I chucked in those manky fairing panels and kept the fuel tank for my RR-W daily rider! The scores on the doors at the end of the day revealed I had returned just under £700 in profit in my £800 outlay!
RR-T/VS: great bikes for the money.
Bodywork gone but no-one wants that 16in front!
Often the first thing dinged in a spill...
Gouges in the ally remove £s!