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Cagiva January 16, 2017 posted by

Some Assembly Required: 1989 Cagiva 500GP V589 for Sale

We don't normally post project or incomplete bikes here on RSBFS, but this one seemed too good to pass up: one of Cagiva's inspired but ultimately doomed series of 500cc GP machines, the V589. Battling against the established giants, Cagiva originally experimented with an inline-four configuration but eventually followed Suzuki's successful formula with a square four, before switching to a V4 in 1986. They may have struggled to win races, but if bonus points had been awarded for looks, the Cagivas might have stood a better chance, since they're considered by some to be the prettiest racebikes of all time.

Even if you don't agree, the specifications are certainly stunning: in an effort to keep up with the more established players, Cagiva experimented with some really wild technology, considering these were racing in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Extensive use of carbon fiber, traction-control, and electronic suspension were all tried to give Cagiva a competitive edge, although consistent success eluded them and they withdrew from competition at the end of 1994.

Earlier machines like this one had clear stylistic links to the Ducati 916 and Cagiva Mito which should be no surprise, as the V589 was designed by Massimo Tamburini. Some versions included a carbon fiber swingarm, although this one has the aluminum version. Much of this V589's bodywork is missing, but that's no surprise as those bits are pretty expandable on a race bike. Fortunately, it has the all-important frame, although it sounds like that will require some changes to re-orient the shock, as it was modified at some point to try an alternative configuration.

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Cagiva 500GP V589 for Sale

This is a genuine 1989 Original Factory Works Cagiva V4 500 Grand Prix race bike, as ridden by Randy Mamola etc. It is sold as an incomplete project and is for restoration.

The engine has been rebuilt recently and is fresh but I would still check it as it's stood for a little while. The factory records confirms the original build date of 23/06/89. The frame is chassis 4, it has a special fuel tank which was used to test the ignition in the tank area and also modified to try a top mount shock rather than the original horizontal fitting. The swing arm and shock are the original horizontal type so the frame would need reverting to take the horizontal mounts. There is a linkage arm, the shock is a special Öhlins 500GP unit made for Cagiva. The dash includes temp gauge, Magnetti Marelli ignition, rectifier, battery, PV controller. There is a radiator, coil packs, PV motor, magnesium wheels with front discs, sprocket, cables for throttle and pv, the complete triple clamp magnesium assembly, footrest hangers, rear master cylinder, cast water pipes, upper front fairing, belly pan with air box sections. There are exhausts and silencers but will need modifying to fit as they are later year. Some small parts also. So it is a very good basis. All the parts are original Cagiva GP but as the bikes changed constantly from race to race some parts are from varied dates and may need work to fit. Please study the photos to see what is included, everything is shown.

The main missing parts are fork legs (Marzocchi or Öhlins were used at various times) carburettors, brake calipers (Brembo or AP were used) seat unit, mid-fairing section, tacho, bars with levers and throttle, wiring, some other small parts.

I can put the buyer in touch with a collector who has other Cagiva parts to finish the bike.

The price for this one-of-a-kind bit of racing history? Just $55,000 but, considering the missing parts and what they will cost to track down or create, this is definitely an "experts only" proposition, but those of us with reasonable means can still look at the possibilities and dream...

-tad


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Ducati January 15, 2017 posted by

SuperShape – 1995 Ducati 900 SS/SP #229

Until the Monster arrived, the later SuperSport was Ducati's all-rounder, its torquey powerplant and sweet handling taking the racetrack and longer tours in stride.  Only offered stateside, the SP had a few nicer components and limited availability.  This Texas example is worth a closer look.

1995 Ducati 900 SS/SP for sale on eBay

The now venerable 904cc desmodue was a revelation at the time, almost 100 hp per liter in a simple air-cooled package, with nice torque band.  The factory switched to Mikuni carburetors in hopes of better tuneability, and introduced the hinged fuel tank to ease access.  Keeping the excellent Brembo brakes, the SP adds adjustable Showa suspension and an aluminum swingarm.  Front and rear mudguards are a significant carbon accent.

With mid-range miles of 17,051, this SP looks great and has been tuned with upgraded Mikunis and carbon exhaust with stainless brackets.  One of the multiple layers of auction packaging boasts of a custom fairing but it looks stock and pretty nice.  Return from mothball status could be negotiated with the Fort Worth dealer, who put these comments in the eBay auction:

Feast your eyes on this rare Ducati SP900 Desmodue Sport bike.  This is an amazing motorcycle that's been in a collection.  This bike was drained of fuel and has been in storage for 18 months.  This is not a cookie cutter sport bike for Friday nights.  Carbon fiber exhaust, carbon fiber fenders, carbon fiber seat pan, Mikuni TM Flat slide pro series carburetor's.  This bike is in amazing shape and would be a fantastic addition to anyone's collection.

Caught out in the early 1990's model name battlefield, Ducati's later SuperSports came in SS, SS/CR ( Cafe Racer ), SS/SL ( SuperLight ), and SS/SP ( Sport Production ) flavors - later there was even an ( SS/FE Final Edition ).  Like the SuperLight, the SP is a numbered edition and one of the best riding desmodues.  This 900 SS/SP has performance upgrades which enhance its sporty but stock appearance...

-donn


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Suzuki January 15, 2017 posted by

Slab vs sling: 1987 Suzuki GSX-R1100, 1988 Suzuki GSX-R750

This post is for two early edition Suzuki GSX-R's, a 1100 and a 750.  Both are in good but not perfect condition, have the desirable blue and white bodywork and similar mileage.


1987 GSX-1100R on ebay

The first bike is a 1987 GSX-R1100...a big beasty of a sportbike responsible for more than one type of skidmark for anyone willing to sling a leg over.  While the smaller displacement 750cc sibling is considered to be the first affordable, modern racer-replica suitable for daily road useage, the bigger GSX-R model actually sold better than its 750cc sibling.  This was in large part due to its being less effort to use on the road/less peaky and also because, well, "more POWAHHHH!!!" is always a big seller.

This particular GSX-R1100 is the first year "slab-side" version prized by collectors.  Condition is not perfect but all parts appear to be OEM with the exception of the windscreen (and the seller indicates he has that available).  Oddly there appears to be some front fairing damage that has been fixed via a set of 'stitches' which is not something I have seen before.  Also I can't really tell from the pics but the frame looks a bit shiny - perhaps some polishing has occurred.

Mileage is a respectable 14,186 in the pics and the seller indicates he has owned the bike for about 7 years.   The seller does indicate some idle issues which are probably due to gummed up carb needles.  Other general service info isn't provided so I would expect fresh fluids and tires to be needed.


The second bike is a GSX-R750 edition from a year earlier with similar mileage.

1988 Suzuki GSX-R750 on ebay

The 750cc GSX-R750 was initially the more desired of the the series, in part because the 750cc configuration was the dominant configuration in racing at the time.   Like the 1100 earlier in this post this one looks to be in good condition but not perfect with some bodywork issues, bits of rust on the exhaust canisters and fork oxidation.  Also the condition of the brake lines/front fairing area make me think that despite what the seller says this bike wasn't always garaged or perhaps was originally owned somewhere damp.

As for maintenance, the seller indicates a bit of rough running but on the plus side, it has fresh tires, battery and brake fluids and all parts appear to be OEM with the exception of some handgrips.

Here are a few more pics of the 750cc edition.

So, what are these worth?  Both have opening prices in the $5,000-$6,000 USD range which seems a bit high but not preposterous, especially given both bikes location in California where prices tend to be higher.   Finding first gen Suzuki's that have not been modified is getting to be tougher and tougher - you are more likely to see something like this which while cheaper, would probably end up costing more if the intent is to put it back into completely OEM condition.

From a collectors standpoint, the market for these seems to be demonstrated by the similar pricing of these two so I would not expect either of these to appreciate in price much.  Personally I think the 1100 would be more fun but both will probably appeal more to the nostalgia-oriented rider or restorer than the investment oriented collector.  Then again, market values can change fast so if a late 1980's GSX-R is on your list for your dream garage, maybe a trip to California to check both out would be in order.

-Marty/Dallaslavower


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Kawasaki January 14, 2017 posted by

Mechanics Special: 1974 Rickman Kawasaki CR1000

This is definitely not our usual material, but you may have notice Mike has returned to make regular contributions on the site. He's a bit of fanatic when it comes the tuner specials and felt inspired to write this one up. Let us know what you think in the comments! -dc

RSBFS does not normally post work in progress project bikes, basket cases, or "piles of parts" specials. But what if the motorcycle in question originally came that way? Because what you are looking at is a Rickman CR, offered to consumers in kit format. Provided with a frame, bodywork, suspension and wheels, the avid buyer needed to supply engine, tranny and electrical - usually from a donor bike. Thus, this is somewhat true to the original kit offered by Rickman. Does that make it fair game?

1974 Rickman Kawasaki for sale on eBay

The Rickman brothers created wonderful toys - think of them as the UK equivalent of Bimota. With handcrafted frames welded in stainless and evocative fiberglass bodywork that rivaled the best the Italians had to offer, Rickman kits were assembled into fantastic creations. And as the bodywork and the frame were the biggest pieces of the kit offering, this appears to be your chance to get back to the kit bike days and build one of your own. With no manual, instructions or parts list the risk is definitely on you - but Rickmans are not exactly available on a daily basis. This is rare indeed, although not as desirable as a clean, running example.

From the seller:
Here is your chance to own a rare Rickman Kawasaki CR. Mostly complete with tons of parts and upgrades. Like fresh orient express big bore kit, D ported GPZ head, original body work. The list goes on. All parts are in good shape and a great start for your vintage road race project. Sold with bill of sale. ((No Title))

This is NOT the bike for sale, but a good representation of what the finished product could look like:

This project could make for an awesome cafe racer - but you need your rose-colored glasses for best effect. There is much work to be done between the current state and the finished product, and there are a great many unknowns in between. If those chasms can be successfully negotiated, you would have yourself a rare bird indeed; if not, this remains a pile of parts. With a starting bid of $4,500 USD and a BIN of $6k, everybody must be wearing optimistic lenses these days. I can see the potential, but historic values might suggest this is priced closer to a runner than a collection of cool parts. Check it out here and let us know what you think!

MI


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Suzuki January 13, 2017 posted by

One Year Only: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo

The Eighties were a wild time in terms of motorcycle development. Manufacturers experimented with all types of engines, suspensions, chassis, materials and design. Like Darwin's theory of Natural Selection, those bikes best suited to their environment survived; other, less fortunate machines fell to the onslaught of progress. This 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo is one such casualty. Offered only in 1983 (in the US at least - the model actually survived 3 total years of worldwide production), this rare bird is the rarest of the factory turbo bikes, and offers a terrific glimpse at how hard Suzuki was working at evolution.

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo for sale on eBay

Powered by an air-cooled inline four-cylinder displacing a mere 650cc, the addition of fuel injection and an IHI turbocharger maxing out at approximately 12 PSI of boost upped the ante considerably. Still, the XN85 is not the most powerful of the turbo set; while the "85" in the name is supposedly the horsepower figure, that was optimistically taken at the crank. Real world numbers are closer to 70 ponies at the rear wheel. Notably, the XN motor incorporates oil injection on the backside of the pistons - a feature that was enhanced to become the SACS system on the air/oil cooled first generation GSX-R750 models.

From the seller:
1983 Suzuki XN85 turbo. 14800 Original miles. The motorcycle has just come out of long term storage. All fluids changed and fully serviced. Runs beautifully. A few marks and dings on the tank, because the previous owner stupidly piled items haphazardly around and on the bike.

Outside of the novelty of the Turbo setup, the XN85 was also the first US street bike to incorporate a 16" front wheel. This GP technology was based on the fact that the smaller diameter wheel developed a smaller gyroscopic force, enabling quicker handling. While this fad was later reversed due to better suspension, tires and frame geometry, the XN85 was considered one of the best handling sportbikes of the day. Wrap it all up in futuristic-yet-minimalistic bodywork and you have a rare piece of ride-worthy sculpture.

This bike is located in Florida and is looking for a new home. XN85 machines are not like other Suzuki products; parts are hard to come by, with many no longer in stock/available. If the foundation is good, the cosmetics can be repaired. Tire selection is quite limited these days due to the 16" combination, but they can still be found. The Suzuki XN85 Turbo is an interesting machine in concept, a great looking bike in person, and a terrific machine to ride. Prices really have not risen much over the years, so this may be a future collectable as well. Check it out and let us know what you think!

MI


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