Monthly Archives: February 2017

Ducati February 28, 2017 posted by

Pantah-stic: 1981 NCR Ducati 600TT for Sale

Ducati's first motorcycle was the Cucciolo [or "puppy" in Italian], which was basically a simple engine strapped to a bicycle, an affordable tool to get the Italian population mobile and back to work after the end of World War II. Certainly a far cry from the frameless, race-inspired exotica they're famous for today. This NCR 600TT hails from the middle period of Ducati's history, and is powered by the grandfather of all their modern v-twin engines, the single overhead cam, two-valve Pantah.

They're famous for the format today, but Ducati didn't start out making v-twin sportbikes. Instead, once they graduated from producing simple, efficient people-movers, they built and raced single-cylinder motorcycles of various displacements, before eventually building their first v-twin. The hottest versions of those earliest v-twins featured Ducati's trademark Desmodromic valve-actuation that has become their engineering trademark. But they also used a complex and expensive-to-manufacture system of tower shafts and bevel gears to operate the overhead cams, and Ducati needed to increase profitability to stay afloat, so introduced a parallel twin that was much more compact and affordable to produce and assemble, much to the horror of famous engineer Fabio Taglioni.

That parallel-twin engine proved to be a massive flop, but Taglioni continued to develop the v-twin on his own, and the Pantah was the result. The revised v-twin swapped the tower-shaft and bevel-drive cam-drive of the earlier engine for a much simpler rubber belt arrangement. This meant the engine was less expensive to manufacture, but also meant owners needed to religiously maintain their bikes, as failure of the toothed rubber belt led to catastrophic engine damage. Today's Ducati engines are direct descendants of that original two-valve v-twin.

This particular Pantah-powered machine is literally a racebike with lights, and includes frame, bodywork, and preparation by NCR. If you're not familiar, NCR are best known today for their high-performance and obsessively lightweight Ducati parts, as well as for converting already expensive exotica into completely un-affordable, even more exotic exotica. But before that, they were originally a race team. The race team, in fact, responsible for Ducati's many racing successes until the creation of their in-house racing division, including Mike Hailwood's famous TT-winning bike, so they've been around the track a few times. Although the bike does include a headlight, a tail light, and turn signals, it appears that wasn't enough to get past rigorous TÜV certification and the bike couldn't be registered for road use in Germany where it was stored for many years. Maybe a new American owner will have more luck?

From the original eBay listing: 1981 NCR Ducati 600TT for Sale

The 1981 Ducati Scuderia N.C.R was one of the preeminent motorcycle racing teams of all time. They were the de-facto Ducati factory race team from the early 1970s until Ducati took it in-house with Ducati Corsa in 2000. They continued as privateers and had success with rider Ben Bostrom. The company was then sold and continues as a specialist builder of very high end motorcycles.

NCRs wins on the world stage are almost too numerous to mention. But Imola 200 winners Paul Smart, Isle of Man TT winners Mike Hailwood were all on the bevel drive NCRs. The string of wins by Tony Rutter on the belt drive TT2 were all Nepoti and Caracchi machines that made NCR a household name with their distinctive logo of a speeding helmet clad dog.

Nepoti and Caracchi Racing designed their own frame for the belt drive Pantah based series. This was the 600TT. It differs from the more common TT2, which was more of a Ducati design. A total of nine frames were made by Verlicchi and a further two by DM. All but two were racing frames. Of these two street bikes produced, this is the only one built with an alloy gas tank. Imagine a genuine NCR with a steering lock.

This bike has spent most of its life unused in Germany. The owner tried to convert his Pantah to a NCR framed machine, but the TUV would not allow it, due to their ultra-strict type certification. Throughout 1980s, 90s and 2000s it was in hiding. It re-surfaced in 2006 and was recommissioned. However the German owner was still not able to use it.

It came to America several years ago and has been in a private collection museum ever since. It has a US tile as the original donor Ducati Pantah.

Gas has been drained and battery removed for storage and display. We are selling this incredible machine for a client of ours and all technical questions will be answered as quickly as possible but may take time to get as he has limited access. Sold on a clean, mileage exempt US title.

VIN#DM500SL661261

Bidding is up to just north of $9,100 with plenty of interest and plenty of time left on the auction. In general, the earlier bevel-drive bikes are considered the most desirable and collectible Ducatis, but this is an exceptionally rare and cool motorcycle, considering the direct links to NCR and the fact that it's theoretically a roadgoing racebike. Obviously you should be careful to consult with your local DMV if you plan to register this machine for road use, but this one might be best used as the crown jewel in a collection anyway, considering it's status as just one of two ever built.

-tad

Pantah-stic: 1981 NCR Ducati 600TT for Sale
Honda February 27, 2017 posted by

Rothmans Replica: 1991 Honda NSR250 SP for Sale

Racing fans naturally gravitate towards sportbikes that feature graphics and colors associated with their favorite racing teams. Since those designs are often chosen for their visibility over any concerns about taste, it's rare that a design stands out for being both striking and classic. It's a shame that some of the most memorable and iconic color schemes in racing history were those designed for tobacco products, but it's hard to argue with the good looks of today's Rothmans Replica Honda NSR250R.

This MC21 NSR250R was powered by Honda's familiar 90° liquid-cooled 249cc two-stroke v-twin with a six-speed "cassette" style gearbox that allowed for quick gearing changes at the track. Obviously not something that's all that useful on a roadbike, but still very trick and cool. The updated MC21 version of the NSR250 wasn't just a restyled MC18, it was an extensively redesigned machine. It used a distinctive gull-arm swingarm to allow the expansion chamber on the right side of the bike to tuck in close for maximum cornering clearance, while the carburetors were controlled by Honda's very sophisticated PGM-III system that used a three-dimensional map based on throttle-position, revs, and gear selection to adjust the RC valves and ignition timing for excellent flexibility compared to rivals.

Power output was bang-on the government-mandated 45hp, but that still gave the sub-300 pound [dry] machine plenty of pep and more is available with de-restriction. How much is available? Well, how much do you want to spend, and how long do you want it to last between rebuilds? This SP version added a dry clutch and an uprated rear shock to the mix for even more performance, exotic, rattling noises, and exclusivity: just 1,500 NSR250R SPs were sold during 1991, making this a rare machine in any market, let alone North America, and this one is in superlative shape.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Honda NSR250 SP for Sale

Immaculate 1991 Honda NSR250 SP w/ 5,000 miles from Moto2 Imports

Available only from Moto2 Imports, this fully restored 1991 NSR250 SP two-stroke is our nicest machine to date! Beyond a standard R model, this SP features fully-adjustable front and rear suspension, trick dry clutch, and a close-ratio gearbox. A complete service and safety check has been performed by our partner Speedwerks. The electronics have been de-restricted and the engine makes full power. All gaskets have been inspected and engine compression & leak down tests were performed with no issues. New tires, chain, battery, brake pads & spark plugs. Carburetors cleaned, rebuilt and re-jetted. Fuel, oil and coolant systems drained, flushed, & refilled. All other mechanical & electrical systems checked and operating properly. Fairing and tank were just resprayed and are of the highest quality - see Hi Res images. Expansion chambers have been ceramically coated and aluminum wheels freshly powdercoated (Magteks available). Bike starts/runs/operates flawlessly. Additional pics and video available upon request. You will not find a nicer NSR. With just 5,000 original miles, you can bid with confidence on this amazing machine.

All Moto2 bikes are legally imported and come with a clear US title with the proper 11 digit VIN (frame number and title match). Buyer will receive the US title, Bill of Sale, Customs and importation paperwork, and a copy of the original Japanese title. Feel free to ask any questions about this bike. Moto2 Imports provides post-sales support including spare parts for our bikes now and in the future. We sell and ship globally. Visit our website for more information.

The asking price of $9,299 seems very reasonable, considering the ever-upwards trend of prices for these grey-market two-strokes in general and the fact that is is both the coveted Rothmans Replica SP model and in exceptional condition. Sure, the paint isn't original but, considering the apparent quality of the work, that might not be a bad thing, and the bike has obviously been extensively reconditioned. If you've been waiting to add one of these to your collection, you won't find one nicer outside of a museum.

-tad

Rothmans Replica: 1991 Honda NSR250 SP for Sale
Ducati February 26, 2017 posted by

Not Particularly – 2007 Ducati Monster S4RS

With a boatload of compromises made to accommodate the 998 cc Superbike engine, the list of things that the Monster S4RS isn't is longer than those it is.  All a matter of priorities, as the water-cooled testastretta with top of the line components has a way of re-aligning priorities toward the moment.  This example from Colorado has been comprehensively farkled and looks ready to try and stop time.

2007 Ducati Monster S4RS

Not easy to show everything a water-cooled engine needs and have it look good.  Things that are normally hidden are polished, dressed, aligned, and straightened, with an occasional carbon fiber guard.  The SR4S sports the deep-V sump and curved radiators required by the 130 ponies, and has twin cooling fans that even the superbike didn't get. The red paint of the trellis frame captures the eye and is complemented by the red racing stripe, but the tubular single-sided swingarm was left black.  Forged Marchesini snowflakes in white beckon the microfiber towel and cleaner wax.

The previous owners have been all over this Monster, and customized or updated nearly everything.  Euro-3 emissions required a catalyzer, but that was binned in favor of the Termignoni system.  Rizoma and DucaBike upgrades are everywhere, with SpeedyMoto, Samco, ASV, and assorted carbon accents.   With the exception of holes left from the rear blinkers, it hangs together pretty well, and almost gets a red, white, and blue theme going here and there.  From the eBay auction:

Up for sale is a 2 owner Ducati Monster in perfect condition. It has over 20k in upgrades. New tires less than -100 miles.
Full Termignoni Exhaust 
Termignoni ECU
Open Airbox
Extra gas tank
Speedy Moto bar risers
Rizoma bars 
Rizoma grips
Speedymoto clutch slave cylinder
CRG lanespltter mirrors 
Smoked windshield
Rizoma front blinkers
Integrated rear tailight 
Carbon Fiber front fender
Carbon Fiber rear fender
Carbon Fiber tail fender
Carbon Fiber chain cover 
Carbon Fiber cam belt covers
Carbon Fiber heel guards
Ducabike oil plug
Ducabike front sprocket cover
Ducabike rear sprocket carrier
Ducabike timing cover
Quick change lightweight rear sprocket
Gold DID chain
Re-geared front sprocket
Samco coolant hoses
Rebuilt front forks less than 200 miles ago
Cox radiator guard
Cox oil cooler guard
Rizoma clutch cover
Rizoma clutch pressure plate
Rizoma clutch springs & retainers
Motovation Frame sliders
Clutch & brake reservoir caps 
ASV clutch and brake levers
Blue Anodized adjustable fork dampers

The S4RS isn't a racking up the miles type of bike, and this one has some nice rides in store before the next major service.  Seems like a pro detail would be worth it, though this level of color and carbon will attract attention no matter what.  While other bikes better suited to long hauls and track days, the testastretta Monster is a pretty extreme choice for hacking around.  The quality components, factory and aftermarket, will be beneficial whether you're going across town or for the whole afternoon...

-donn

Not Particularly – 2007 Ducati Monster S4RS
Yamaha February 25, 2017 posted by

Clean Machine: 1988 Yamaha FZR400

Aluminum perimeter chassis. Aluminum swingarm. Inline four-cylinder power plant. Four valves per cylinder. 14,000 RPM redline. Racing-inspired bodywork with dual headlights. Solo saddle cover to look like a monoposto. Triple disk brakes. Competent, adjustable suspension on both ends. The list of included technology reads like our favorite recipe. The only difference is in the calories: We're not talking about a middleweight 600 or open class liter bike here, but rather the smaller 400cc rocket from Yamaha.

1988 Yamaha FZR400 for sale on eBay

The FZR was not the only 400cc class participant, but in the US it was the only game in town. Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki all offered some version of a tweener, each in some way more potent than the FZR. Yet the smaller Fizzer (although not the smallest Fizzer by any means) holds a loyal following among riders, and is generally praised as THE BEST handling sport bike to come out of the 1980s - and maybe beyond. Targeting more advanced riders, the FZR was neither the cheapest form of transport available nor was it really a beginner's bike. Unfortunately in the US, sub-500cc motorcycles are generally lumped into "first timer" categories, and many were purchased (with good intentions) as exactly that. If the bike was not abused at the hands of a newbie rider, it had a good chance of being flogged in competition, or just generally thrashed hard on the street. Not many pristine FZRs exist today, and those that do command a price.

From the seller:
ONE OF THE FEW NICE UNMOLESTED RED/WHITE FZR 400'S OUT THERE. All original except Supertrapp pipe and alarm. Manual, seat cowl, cover, original rear fender/turn signals. RUNS EXCELLENT !!

EXCELLENT CONDITION FOR THE YEAR a few minor cracks in plastic. The lower fairings having been cracked up but the bike never actually having been laid down !!!

This FZR definitely looks clean and pretty well cared for. It is well known that most of these bikes have lived a hard life - many of them on the racetrack. This one seems to have escaped much of that, but is not without some scars. The damage to the plastics is unfortunate, as these pieces are no longer available from Yamaha. And given the way the fairing scoops stick out, the damage to these areas is common. The remedies are not easy, but should be cosmetic only; this bike could still be an outstanding rider. And speaking of the riding experience, if the carbs have been rejetted properly for the exhaust then this could be quite the screaming little Fizzer.

The non-stock add-ons (signals, pipe and alarm) detract from the collector value of this bike, but some of the stock pieces are included with the sale. We don't see too many FZR400s - even though they were legally imported into the US - as these were not high-volume bikes in the day. The asking price for this one is a bit steep as far as Fizzers go, with an opening ask of $5k USD and zero takers thus far. The price is in the ballpark for a well-loved example , but probably a bit on the high side for an opening bid. Check it out here, and be sure to share your experiences with the FZR400 in the Comments section.

MI

Clean Machine: 1988 Yamaha FZR400
BMW February 24, 2017 posted by

Brains and Brawn: 2009 BMW HP2 Sport for Sale

Before the introduction of their conventional, but devastatingly effective S1000RR, BMW was known for their durable, quirky motorcycles and "old man in a Roadcrafter suit" image. But in the lead-up to the introduction of the RR, BMW attempted to revive their forgotten, but very legitimate sporting image with the limited-production HP2 Sport. BMW already had an inline-four engine that would, on the surface, have seemed like a more likely candidate for sportbike-ification, but BMW instead chose to base their sportbike on their iconic 180° flat-twin configuration. Did they choose the twin to clearly separate the planned inline-four superbike from their previous offerings? Or was the existing, longitudinally-mounted "brick" simply too heavy for sportbike duty? I'm not sure, but the resulting HP2 ended up being much more "nerd Ducati" and less "Teutonic Gixxer."

In terms of specification, the HP2 is surprisingly close to Ducati's L-twin-powered superbikes of the period: two cylinders, 128hp near the 9,500 rpm redline, and a claimed 392lbs dry weight is probably closer to the older 999 than the 1198, but the HP2 is still in the ballpark. That low weight looks especially impressive when you realize power reaches the rear wheel via a heavy driveshaft, and the BMW comes with a raft of high-performance parts to turn what might otherwise have been a bit of a sow's ear into the proverbial silk purse: dual overhead cam heads, radial valves, titanium connecting rods, adjustable ergonomics, and even a self-supporting carbon-fiber subframe. The lack of a slipper clutch is unfortunate, considering the rotational mass of the powertrain, but one is available if you have the time or money to drop the engine and install one.

The sometimes vague feeling often criticized by reviewers of BMW's "alternatively suspended" bikes is happily missing in the HP2, and handling is considered a high point, while Brembo monoblock calipers offer impressive stopping power well in excess of what might be required to rein in those 128 horses. The heads sticking out in the breeze do ultimately limit cornering clearance, but you'll need to be on a race track before it becomes anything more than an academic issue. Luckily, it comes fitted with plastic sliders... A bit of rear ride height helps, but dragging an elbow in corners might ultimately be impossible if you lack simian proportions.

From the original eBay listing: 2009 BMW HP2 Sport for Sale

Original adult owner purchased from Lone Star BMW in Austin Texas.  Carbon fiber body panels, forged aluminum rims, brembo antilock brakes, clutchless upshift, and ohlines suspension.  All warranty work done and service completed.  Replaced the fuel pump with a ethanol compatible unit. Never dropped, raced or crashed.  There is a blemish on the right lower fairing from a stone.  This is the ultimate boxer. With only approximately 115 ever imported to the US, you don't have to wait for this to become a rare classic - it already is!  Clear Texas title.  2016 miles.

Keep in mind that there's a price to be paid for all that exclusivity and high-performance technology: these weren't meant for casual owners and, when new, were priced north of $20,000. Maintenance costs are appropriate for a low-production exotic as well, and BMW recommends the titanium connecting rods get replaced at 30,000 miles, so start saving now. Hey, at least valve-adjustments should be a snap!

-tad

Brains and Brawn: 2009 BMW HP2 Sport for Sale
Yamaha February 23, 2017 posted by

North Star: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 in Canada

Perennial fan favorite, the RZ500 ranks among the top bikes viewed, watched, clicked on or lusted after on the pages of RSBFS. And it's no wonder why: with GP-inspired good looks, twin-crank V-4 two stroke power and a racing pedigree, the big RZ was all that riders could want from a sport bike in the early to mid 1980s. It made the right noises, had the go-fast credentials, and made one feel like King Kenny or Eddie Lawson right out of the box; as long as that box was not opened in the USA. Perhaps it is the forbidden fruit aspect of the big RZ that gets the blood pumping. Although readily available in most other world markets, the US was left wanting.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on eBay

Yamaha made two versions of this bike. For most of the world, they released what you see here: the RZ500. For the home market in Japan, Yamaha produced the RZV500. The RZV sports an aluminum chassis and weighs less than the RZ. However home market rules limited the HP, and thus the RZV was sold in de-rated condition. In stock form the RZ was the faster of the two bikes, although the hot combination is the RZV chassis with an RZ-spec (or greater) engine setup.

From the seller:
Awesome V4 2 stroke collector bike, less than 1000kms since engine was rebuilt, bike is in fantastic condition, sounds great with the Jolly Moto pipes which are worth 2k alone
comes with the original pipes in nice condition, original airboxes and mirrors
serious bidders only, no its not cheap for a collector item like this,
bike is located in BC Canada

shipping is buyers responsibility, i will assist whatever transport company you choose
dont ask me for a shipping quote, ask them

Since none of the RZ500s that landed in North America officially made it to the US, the quickest route to smoker glory came from our friends north of the border. Imported Canadian RZs have been fulfilling the fantasies of American riders ever since these beasts hit the showroom floor, and continue to offer a steady supply of ring-a-ding-ding to those with the desire and wherewithal. Shipping and paperwork not necessarily included.

With rare Jolly Moto pipes, some mods and a recent rebuild, this example could be a good find for someone interested in riding their collection in anger. It is not in pristine, stock condition - but appears to be holding up well. Nearly 30,000 miles have passed under the wheels of this bad boy, but it lacks the type of corrosion we typically see from bikes in this locale. Pity the pipes require rear bodywork changes, but it's probably worth it as the revs rise and bike comes on full song. Located in BC, Canada, this RZ500 could be your cure for the winter blues.

MI

North Star: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 in Canada

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