1. 1983 Yamaha XVZ 1200 Venture

120414-top-10-sub-2000-ebay-finds-01-Yamaha Venture 1200

1983 Yamaha XVZ 1200 Venture Royale

Since its introduction in 1985, the original Yamaha V-Max has had a reputation as being a badass muscle cruiser before that was even a thing. It all centered around its monstrous (for its day) 1200cc V-Four. Back up two years and you’ll see that same basic engine (detuned, of course) in a much more comfortable touring platform, called the XVZ 1200 Venture Royale, and that’s what we have here. For only $600, “linus10025” will hand over his first-generation Venture, seen above. Judging by the pictures, the Venture has seen a few miles, 56,000, to be exact, along with the wear and tear that comes with 31 years of touring. But check out that chain link graphic from front to back!

It starts and runs just fine, he says and, get this, even comes with a Sony tape deck in the fairing! Sure it could use some suspension, brake and body work, but if the frame is straight and it’s never been down as he claims, this seems like a good find for just $600.

  • GS1100GK

    Wow, the 1977 Yamaha XS360 Cafe Racer brings back lots of memories. I owned the exact same bike (sans the Cafe treatment) in 1979 and it was a blast. The bike was raw and fun. It even had a kickstarter as standard equipment which was good considering the only other way to get it started would be to roll it downhill and jump it since there was no electric starter. Thanks for the memories!

  • Rokster

    I have never seen a more horrific seat on any bike, dead or alive, than the one on the CB750. Wow…

    • hondasaki900 .

      Did you see the Magna seat?

    • F R Burdett

      I can NOT accept the claim that the seat was a “factory option” for that bike!!
      It MIGHT have been purchased thru the Dealership along with the bike…but NOT from ‘the factory’ …
      Otherwise, the bike does look pretty nice! I would have some “emotional conflict” over whether to keep it “historically original” [except for those OLD tires, of course!] or make a rocking Cafe’ bike out of it…

  • Jim Miller

    I’m not sure who failed high school geometry, but those are 90 degree cylinders.

    • artist_formally_known_as_cWj

      Oh, there are a couple signs in the above story that someone might have been doing a little late-night tipsy-typing.

      • Jim Miller

        agreed. I just didn’t want to spend two hours writing snarky corrections.

  • Jim Miller

    And Harley-Davidson never filed for bankruptcy. It was purchased from AMF by a group of investors led by Vaughn Beals, comprised mostly of former executives. It was circling the drain for a time, but never went bankrupt.

  • fastfreddie

    That venture royale looks ossum!Anyone of these bikes looks like a leap of faith mechanical wise.That CB750 may look nice,but sub $2000 it may be iffy…

    • TroySiahaan

      For $600, I’d be willing to take a chance on that Venture Royale.

      • fastfreddie

        I was checking my local used bike market,and there is indeed one for sale here in norway.It is 10 times more expensive,but I was sorely tempted to put in a bid until reason vetoed against it.Damn that boring,predictable trait;)

      • F R Burdett

        I was thinking the same thing, Troy… (-:
        It will cost close to $1,000 to RENT a bike of that size for a 2 week cruising vacation … so why not just BUY this bike, and freshen it up a bit, and a fresh tune-up … and cruise for as long as you want, and then park it in the garage!
        Put some ‘lizard lights’ on it, and a MODERN stereo. and just pull right up next to those $25,000 Hawgs at Bike Night!

  • Yak Stalker

    I own a 1982 Honda Magna just like the picture. Bought it last year for $1200. Best bike in the world.

  • fastfreddie

    How many of those bikes are sold now?

  • Rick Vera

    The Venture, Interceptor, old GL, and Magna all seem quite desirable, actually — nice finds! If I had some spare cash, I think out of all of the bikes on the list, the Magna would be in my stable.

    One little niggle though that I’ve seen come and go from time to time on this website: engine orientation. The orientation depends on the crankshaft’s position with relation to the vehicle¹. If the poles of the crank are along the vehicle’s direction, it’s longitudinally-mounted; if the poles of the crank are transverse of the vehicle’s direction, it’s transversely-mounted. It is not related to the dimension ratio (if the engine is wider than longer and vise-versa).

    We can all visualize a longitudinally-mounted V8 in a muscle car. If you remove 6 of the cylinders (three on each bank), you’d have a longitudinally-mounted v-twin².

    Honda’s GLs and ST/CTX1300 are also mounted the same way as the old Silver Wing, and as we can see, their website lists the CTX as longitudinally-mounted³. The old Silver Wing (CX) wiki entry even lists the bike as having a longitudinally-mounted engine⁴.

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longitudinal_engine
    2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-twin_engine#Longitudinal_crankshaft_mounting
    3. http://powersports.honda.com/2014/ctx1300/specifications.aspx
    4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_CX_series

    • Kevin Duke

      Yep, that’s the proper way to describe them!

  • Jack Meoph

    If the side cover on the VFR is any indication, yeah it’s been crashed. And the after market pipe may not just be for the HP bump.

    • SpaceMunkie

      the pipe is a fairly common upgrade, but it is 700 not the more desirable 750 (rusting exhaust pipes give it away)

  • Wayne Smith

    While my bike is not on eBay, it’s on Craigslist, it blows these bikes away for price vs. what you get. 2005 YZF 600 that looks great, just needs the small jets cleaned out. $1900


    • F R Burdett

      Bike looks GREAT, Wayne!
      I would love to purchase it myself… but I am still paying off an FZ1…
      I had a Kawasaki 650 years ago, and i enjoyed the lighter weight for daily use.
      Much better for dealing with traffic and stop lights. And the power was plenty for anything less than “hardcore” riding. Even plenty of grunt for riding a nice passenger on open country roads.
      But now, a lot of my riding is with “bigger dogs” on Blue Ridge Mountain roads — including The Dragon’s Tail” — and Track Days at Road Atlanta…
      But I really would enjoy having such a nice bike as yours as a ‘daily driver’ and casual bike…

  • artist_formally_known_as_cWj
  • Stephen Humphreys

    The Kawasaki 400 triple was not only produced in 1974-75. It was built for the
    USA until 1977 and continued production in other countries until 1980.

  • F R Burdett

    I had a RED 1973 model S3 350cc Mach II that was an absolute BLAST to ride!
    Only ‘major’ difference, other than the slightly smaller displacement, was that it had a drum front brake.. 🙁
    But I would be VERY willing to purchase this very-low-mileage bike and re-paint it to look like my ’73 … and add expansion-chamber pipes and change out the tiny coils for larger automotive coils. [a change told to me by the Factory, in order to stop fouling plugs and to get a stronger spark! And it WORKED Great! ]

  • Chris_in_Kalifornia

    I’m going on Ebay and see about that GL650. Had one a long time ago and sold it with something like 65,000 miles on it. Had just bought a CB700SC Nighthawk with less than 10K. Great bikes both of them. I doubt anyone’s going to find a decent CB700SC for less than 3K though. I’ve looked and looked.