Pick of the Ads: Good, Bad and Ugly - TZR250, ZX7R and R100RS

Author: Scott Redmond Posted: 19 Feb 2016

Each week we bring you three selected bikes from the online world of the classified ads and auction sites in the form of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Casting his expert eye over the internet for your benefit is Scott Redmond who has written for almost every classic motorcycle magazine in the UK and for over 25 years he's bought, sold and broken up motorcycles for parts. From doing deals in person under the streetlights of London to surfing the web and buying bikes on his phone he's purchased bargains, howlers and few he'd rather forget.

Here is this week's selection:

THE GOOD: Yamaha TZR250 3MA

Prices will only continue to rise for the 3MA, possibly the purist of the the TZR250's

In the late 80s and early 90s you couldn’t move for hot 250 two strokes. It was a prime time of motorcycling for those who liked their biking fix served up in a quart pot. The quarter litre cc machines that were officially imported into the UK at the time were trick, the RGV and KR1 variations all boasting alloy frames peaky engines and GP inspired looks.

The really trick machines though were for japs eyes only…

The TZR250 that we got officially delivered to the UK was always pretty much the bridesmaid from the bunch of 250s available down your local showroom, it was though far superior than the Yamaha RD350 YPVS, despite being less powerful.

This TZR250 is one of the prettiest motorcycles ever built. It takes its cue from the TZ250 race bikes, many bikes have been billed to be the closest thing to a GP machine, the 3MA is in my opinion up there, and in with a serious shout of being the purest.

The bike is constructed around the engine, the Deltabox frame cages an engine that many might say was too technical for its own good. With a restricted output of 45bhp to meet legislation in Japan, you might begin to question why Yamaha went to the bother of creating a reverse cylinder two stroke? Forget logic, I’m really pleased that they did. The reverse cylinder engine earned a reputation for not being to reliable, explaining its nickname of the ‘reverse seizure’

A quick trawl on a few two stroke forums revealed many owners who’ve had no bother from their 3MA machines, and also a few that had mechanical mayhem. Prices are only going to continue to go north, this model looks like a very honest example, and if it did decide to eat its pistons at least you’ll have a pretty bike to admire in your garage.

Anorak facts:

  • With a reworked CDI unit, it’s possible to get 60BHP from a 3MA.
  • There was a tricker SP version, this had a close ratio gearbox and other performance goodies fitted.
  • Reverse cylinder owners all insist you only use the best two stroke oil you can lay your hands on.

THE BAD: Kawasaki ZX-7R

For £1500 here's a '99 ZX-7R

The track day season looms, there’s still time to buy a motorcycle to convert into a summer track weapon but why would you when you can buy one that someone made earlier?

For £1,500 you could buy this 1999 Kawasaki ZX-7R. The ZX-7R was one of those rare models that was launched and then hardly fiddled with by Kawasaki over its lengthy stint in the Kwacker range.

They make a great track day tool. Parts are plentiful, which means they’re cheap. When you consider that £1,500 might just about buy you a set of posh leathers you realise what good value this green meanie is.

The seller lists its good points, it’s been well looked after and other than the dodgy seat unit it looks pretty straight. It would be perfect for someone who’s looking to buy their first track bike, if you discover the buzz of tearing around Brands Hatch is for you then you can always sell it on again, more than likely without losing too much dosh, and then you could buy something more modern, or put the funds towards some fancy leathers!?

Anorak facts:

  • The ZX-7R came with a 6.00 x 17 rear wheel, the first for a production 750 bike.
  • The ZX-9 B model engine will fit in a ZX-7R and is a popular conversion.
  • Kawasaki build quality lets this model down, check original exhausts for rot.


A 1978 barn find BMW R100RS on eBay

For decades BMW have churned out motorcycles powered by their trademark boxer twin cylinder engine. With various bores and strokes it turned up in all manner of sizes. The R100 series was one of their best selling family of bikes, they sold thousands of the things. This R100RS is a bit of a novelty, it was called the Motorsport model and it came with a funky paint job, but beneath the fancy clothes it was just another R100RS. If BMW experts online are to believed they only ever made 200 of the Motorsport version.  

You’d think that this would create a premium for the limited edition model? You’d be wrong. The seller of this bike didn’t even suss it was a M model when he originally bought it!

There’s plenty of love out there for these big old lumps of air cooled Beemer, and they’re extremely popular with cafe racer builders.

This example is perfect for a project, it looks complete and ripe for stripping down and rebuilding. How much of the original bike might live on is anyones guess, and you never know, someone might even want to restore it to its former glory, with these thoughts in mind it’s pretty safe to assume it’ll go to a loving home at auction end.

Anorak facts:

  • The fairing on the R100RS was designed in a wind tunnel by Pininfarina.
  • Fans of the Boxer engine are called air heads, a nod to the air cooled design of the punchy motor.
  • The R100RS could top 125mph, it would also return a healthy 50 miles to the gallon.

Any of these take your fancy?! 

Latest Advice
  • Yamaha YZF-R6
    Pick of the Ads: Good, Bad & Ugly - Yamaha YZF-R6
  • ZZR600 speedo
    Grand Designs part five - flying speedos and profitable exhausts
  • GBU
    Pick of the Ads: Good, Bad & Ugly - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale
  • ZZR600
    Grand Designs part four - unleashing some ponies with a £50 Micron