Monthly Archives: August 2017

Yamaha August 30, 2017 posted by

Mighty Mite: Warmed up 1988 Yamaha YSR 50

With a wheelbase just over three feet, Tonka truck sized wheels and a wet weight that sneaks in four pounds lighter than I am, the 1988 Yamaha YSR 50 set out to make the very most out of the smallest package possible. They were, for better or worse, glorified mopeds, albeit with proper clutches and five-speed gear boxes.

1988 Yamaha YSR 50 for sale on eBay

With working lights and turn signals, they were road legal from the factory, sort of like a 1980s Honda Grom; a nimble city bike that dared you to drag a knee at 30 mph.

This example is not the cleanest we have ever featured, but it packs a custom exhaust, 63-cc big bore kit and a hot carburetor. Those little hop ups should put the 50 mph top end listed on the white-faced speedo within the realm of possibility. Or at least imagination.

From the eBay listing:

Selling my 1988 YSR 50. Its the rare blue and yellow (some say rarer than the black and white one). i have had this bike for a loooong time. Super clean and runs like new. here is a list of mods:

50cc engine bumped to 63cc with mikuni carb and cylinder ported. Boyseen reed cage
Team Calamari Racing exhaust
Chrome frame and swingarm
Fox rear shock with remote reservoir
Team Calamari Racing second fork spring
1/4 turn throttle
Douglas aluminum wheels with Dunlop tires

I do have a bunch of original parts (like wheels, carb, airbox, etc.) that will go with the bike. Bike has clean title and is street legal. Bodywork is near perfect with the exception of the front upper fairing - one of my workers dropped it and cracked the fairing. I do have another original blue one that will go with the bike. You will not find another in this color in better shape. Send message with contact info for more pics and such. paypal is mike@revolutionspeed.com

I will help with shipping but retaining the carrier will be the buyers responsibility. i can get it on a palate and strapped down for shipping. If needs to be crated will be $200 extra

For a true collector, the upper fairing could use some work, but the seller says a good matching one is included. Added to that, the solid aluminum wheels aren't doing a whole lot for unsprung weight, such as it is, but they sure complete the look.

The auction only has a couple days left, so move fast if you want in. Ever ride one of these? Let us know the ins and outs in the comments below!

Mighty Mite: Warmed up 1988 Yamaha YSR 50
Bimota August 30, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1993/1994 Bimota DB2 for Sale

Update 9.18.2017: SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! Email information removed. -dc

Update 9.14.2017: Price drop to $9,000! -dc

Update 9.7.2017: Price dropped again for our readers to $9,900! -dc

Update 8.30.2017: Now on eBay with a major price drop to $10,500! Good luck to buyers and seller. -dc

The Bimota DB2 isn't the fastest or even the rarest bike to wear the Bimota name, but it is among the most successful and helped pave the way for the raft of DB models that followed: we're currently up to the DB13 or something. By their nature, Bimotas are mutts, with proprietary frames and bodywork, but outsourced engines and that may be why used 1990s Bimotas are relatively affordable, considering how exotic they are. It also might be their unreliable reputation: light and fast they may be, but the 90s models especially have a reputation for kit-bike quality. Somehow, the air-cooled Ducati-engined models have managed to avoid that notoriety, so perhaps the Italian electrical gremlins of both marques cancel each other out?

The original DB1, the first Bimota to be powered by an Italian engine, sold well enough [approximately 600 units] that it basically saved the company from ruin. For the DB2, Ducati supplied their six-speed-backed, 904cc air and oil-cooled v-twin. Any bike powered by the two-valve Pantah engine needs to be light if it's going to be fast, and the DB2 is very light. At a claimed 373lbs dry and with beefy Paioli RWU forks and adjustable Öhlins suspension at the rear, the svelte Bimota can make the most of its 86 claimed horses.

It's the perfect canyon-carver with nimble handling and a punchy motor tuned for midrange. The fact that it's one of Bimota's best-looking efforts doesn't hurt either, with swoopy, fully-enclosed or half-faired bodywork, a tubular trellis frame similar to the original Ducati part in terms of looks but not geometry, and a tubular swingarm to match. Period reviewers complained about the Yamaha-sourced headlight but it's less obvious now and fits the lines of the bike perfectly.

Some DB2 graphics are a bit too close to some sort of "urban camouflage" for comfort, but this simple white and red design look great, while also being very 90s in the best possible way. Confused about why this one is listed as a 1993/1994 model? The seller explains in more detail but basically: the VIN indicates a 1993 bike but the title lists it as a 1994.

From the Seller: 1993/1994 Bimota DB2 for Sale

The VIN of this bike ZES1DB214PRZES001 shows it being the first US bike of the first year of production.  The VIN's 10th character is a "P" which means it's a 1993, the VIN sticker says it was made 6/93.  But for some reason the title states 1994.  It is one of 408 in the world.  I tried to contact Bimota to get and understanding of what being number 1 really means, they didn't reply. I doubt it's the FIRST DB2.  But whatever it is cool.  Currently the bike has 1921 miles.  I've had the bike about a year, I bought it from a collector in San Diego.  While I've owned it I've gone over the bike from top to bottom, I've listed the work and the parts out below.  I've ridden her about 300 miles and she goes as good as she looks.  This bike really needs nothing except maybe some lines to replace the unsightly (but functioning) blue Kevlar lines.  I have more pictures of the bike if you have questions about something or a certain area I can send them to you. 

Work:

  • Cleaned carbs
  • Replaced belts
  • Check valves (in spec)
  • Replace tires (still have originals)
  • Replaced windshield (still have crack original)
  • Changed all fluids (brake, clutch, engine)
  • Repaired minor scuff on tail
  • Serviced battery
  • Re-powder coated wheels
  • Replaced brake and clutch levers
  • Replaced some minor bits of hardware with matching zinc plated parts

Asking price is $12,500 $10,500 $9,900.

Around 400 DB2s were built, which is pretty much volume production for Bimota. They don't come up for sale often, but are typically in immaculate condition as they were always collectible. The question is: how do folks own these bikes and only put 300 miles on them?! At least the seller has taken exceptionally good care of the bike while it's been in his possession, and the low mileage means the next owner can put a few more on without adversely impacting its value!

-tad

Featured Listing: 1993/1994 Bimota DB2 for Sale
Honda August 30, 2017 posted by

Show, Ride or Hide – 1984 Honda VF1000F

Following the introduction of the 750cc Interceptor in 1983, Honda upped the ante for 1984 and bored the V-4 out to 998cc.  With its chain-driven cams and silver painted steel frame, the VF1000F was more of a GT than superbike, but the best balanced and sportiest feeling of the FJ / GPZ / Jota / K100 group.

1984 Honda VF1000F for sale on eBay

The big Interceptor has four valves per cylinder and 122 hp is available.  With good torque of 66 ft.-lbs., only a 5-speed is required.  Triple 276mm disks seem a little light for the 550 lbs. fueled weight.  Period wheel sizes of 16" front and 17" rear help turn-in.  The supersport fairing breaks some of the wind for the rider but a review wished for more protection since the bike was capable of a ton and a half.

Evidently a two-owner bike, this VF1000F has 19,000 and change on the clock and looks very good.  Some puzzling roughness and re-paint of the left side alternator cover is detailed, but no other damage is apparent.  The owner says this in the eBay auction:

First year of production.  19K miles, runs, rides and handles like new.  The first owner was a nuclear engineer and did ALL the service and maintenance.  I purchased the bike 3 years ago and have put less than 1000 miles on it.  None to be found on eBay, just parts from wrecked bikes! Show it, ride it or hide it!  This bike will only go up in value! 

Not quite sure how prevalent the camshaft oil supply malady was on the VF1000F, but it did have a major effect on the 750cc bikes and they were built from similar castings.  In a rare event, the company addressed the issue by ending all the chain-driven cam V-4's ( except for the 400 and 500 which were a different design ) after 1984, in favor of gear-driven cams.  Still, many bikes are unaffected and run like, well, Hondas.  Ride reviews found the bike confidence-inspiring, stable and powerful.  Even for a fan the asking price for this VF1000F seems optimistic, but the make offer button is enabled...

-donn

Show, Ride or Hide – 1984 Honda VF1000F
Ducati August 29, 2017 posted by

Rare Original: 1995 Ducati 916 “Varese”

Update 9.19.2017: We've been contacted by the new owner to note this bike has been sold to a collector in Minnesota. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Ducati rocked the motorcycle world with the introduction of the 916 in 1994. Here was a machine that revolutionized the idea of how sharp a street-going motorcycle could be; it offered stunning performance with supermodel good looks. From every angle and by every measure, the 916 redefined the top tier of sport bikes. No longer an evolution of the 851/888 line, the 916 was essentially all new and was an instant hit for Ducati, leading to a huge rise in sales and a fine collection of WSBK trophies.

In case you have lived in a cave for the last 20+ and have not kept tabs on any major motorcycling milestones, allow me to fill you in. The vaunted 916 essentially made its way to the top of the "best sport bike of 1995" article from every single motorcycle publication. Maybe it was the allure of the flowing bodywork. Perhaps it was the statement made by the single-sided swingarm, laying the back wheel bare to the world. Maybe it was the under-seat exhaust, tucked away for cornering clearance and aerodynamics. Perhaps it was the 90 degree L-twin, the 4-valve heads, desmo valve actuation, fuel injected and liquid cooling. But most likely it was the total package, tipping the scales at just over 420 lbs, narrow and svelte like a 600, but pushing 114 HP at the rear wheel with enough torque to loft the front end handily. Handling was unmatched, braking was a similar affair. There was no single element that made the 916 revolutionary, but the complete collection of bits was unlike anything the world had seen.

There is an interesting wrinkle to the 916 story, and one that makes this bike even more special. In 1994 Ducati was ramping production of the 916 to meet with unprecedented demand (most 1995 bikes were build in the latter part of 1994) - the rumor is that every first-year 916 in the US was spoken for before it ever left Italy. The factory in Bologna was running at full song. But a tragic fire (which started in the paint shop) shut down the production line at an inopportune time. Scrambling to continue building the most important motorcycle in Ducati's history, manufacturing was relocated to the Cagiva-owned MV Agusta factory in the city of Varese. Here, approximately 2,663 Ducati 916s were assembled (predominantly by hand) to keep the dream alive. The Bologna factory returned online in 1995, and production was reestablished there for the remainder of the builds. In addition to the base 916 model, approximately 310 SP spec bikes were also assembled in Varese.

From the seller:
A beautiful Ducati 916 in fantastic condition and extremely low miles. One of the closest to OE you can find. Comes with lots of extras, including carbon fiber bodywork and exhaust system. Minor imperfections include a vertical scratch on the right side of the tail (pictured) and very small scratches on the front of the lower left fairing.

Already one of the more rare and iconic Ducati motorcycles, this bike is one of the 2,663 916's to be hand built in the Varese factory due to a fire at the assembly line in Bologna. The 916 led Ducati to 4 World Superbike Championship victories in '94, '95, '96 and '98

Although Varese-built machines do not differ from any other 1995 model year 916, they are considered a bit special because of the circumstances involved. Some believe that a Varese 916 is build a bit better, having been more "hand made." The truth is that Varese 916s are indistinguishable from their Bologna counterparts, but for the 11th digit of the VIN; 916s assembled in Varese during this period have a "V" in that position rather than the traditional "B." Otherwise, all other parts and components are completely interchangeable with Bologna 916s of the same model year. Does that make them more collectable?

1995 Ducati 916 Varese for sale on eBay

Putting the Varese complication aside, the 1995 model year 916 is an aspiring classic. This is perhaps one of the most recognizable motorcycles in the world. 20+ years later, this bike still looks fresh and new. Massimo Tamburini's masterpiece was a shot across the bow of all other manufacturers; Ducati was in the game to win. Sure, the Honda RC30 offered a single-sided swing arm years previous, and the oval-piston NR750 sported both that and the under tail exhaust - but neither bike was a mainstream build. The 916 took those elements and owned them for good. And today, these early 916s are gaining popularity - with prices following. This particular US-based Varese 916 has been on eBay for a bit, and is listed with a $18,590 Buy It Now. That is a bit higher than a clean 916 might bring, but the scant 2,265 miles, the claimed originality (although I spy with my little eye a non-OEM Evoluzione clutch slave cylinder), the impressive collection of spares, the FBF exhaust cans, the overall condition and the Varese connection might make this one worth it. Be sure to check it out, as the seller is open to offers. This is your chance to own what many consider to be "the most beautiful motorcycle in the world." Good Luck!!

MI

Rare Original: 1995 Ducati 916 “Varese”
Yamaha August 29, 2017 posted by

Rare Beast: 2006 Yamaha MT-01 for Sale

Most of the time, I try to walk the straight and narrow with my posts, sticking to highly-strung, fully-faired speed demons and racetrack refugees. But sometimes my obsession with the weird and rare gets the better of me and I just have to post stuff like this Yamaha MT-01, even if it's coloring outside the lines a bit from a strict “sportbike” point of view. The MT-01 is really much more a muscle bike in the vein of a Ducati Monster or Suzuki BKing than an out-and-out sportbike, but there’s much more going on here once you scratch the surface.

The drivetrain specifications definitely don’t scream “sportbike”: the air-cooled, four-valve per cylinder engine had twin spark plugs for optimal combustion across the face of the huge pistons and was originally found in Yamaha/Road Star Warrior, although in this installation, it featured a lightened flywheel and the first v-twin application of Yamaha’s EXUP valve. The long-stroke unit’s 97mm x 113mm gave 1670cc, good for 89hp and 112 lb-ft of torque, enough to hustle the 540lbs dry hunk of metal along pretty smartly, with minimal need to work the five-speed box. I've never actually heard one run, but reviews all praise the thudding, Harley-esque exhaust note.

If that’s not particularly inspiring to you canyon-carvers, note that the rest of the bike is more Mr Hyde to the drivetrain's Dr Jekyl: that huge lump of an engine was a fully-stressed member and the fully-adjustable upside-down forks and radial front brakes came right off the 2004-2005 R1. The MT-01 had 17” wheels at both ends so you can fit the very stickiest modern rubber and, if that’s not enough to clarify the bike's sporting intent, the 2009 version was available with full Öhlins suspension and Pirelli Diablo Rosso tires straight from the factory.

There's a school of thought that suggests fast road riding is best accomplished by not having to worry about shifting too much. That constant gear-lever-dancing, while fun, isn't as fast as simply surfing a wave of torque in one gear, especially on unfamiliar roads. On track, I'm sure it'd get murdered by a good 600cc supersport. On a winding back road? I bet that same 600 would have a hard time shaking this thing, and period reviews of the bike were very positive.

From the original eBay listing: 2006 Yamaha MT-01 for Sale

This torque monster is basically new. There are less than 400 km on this unit. The motorcycle was on the showroom floor and was never stored outdoors. The bike has no wear on its tires and the little nubs on the tires from manufacturing are still there. No accessories added or changed. The color is silver with blue accents. Very limited production on these bikes. 2006 was the first year of production. There is one imperfection or mark from the bike being moved in the showroom. This mark is in the pictures and is cosmetic. The reason I still have this awesome bike is just that. I was going to keep it but just don't have time to ride it. I owned the Yamaha dealership and kept this one for myself.

The MT-01 is an unusual machine, and that's a big part of the appeal.  Build-quality was very high, as the bike was a flagship model for Yamaha, although they haven’t really retained their value in their original markets, as the bike never really seemed to find the right audience. What’s one worth here in the USA? Good question, but this one appears to be in nearly perfect condition, and the seller is asking $12,000. If you could find a way to register it here [the bike is for sale in Canada] it'd make quite a conversation starter at your local bike hang out.

-tad

Rare Beast: 2006 Yamaha MT-01 for Sale
Suzuki August 28, 2017 posted by

Classic Racer in a Box: Ex-Doug Polen Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale

Looking for a fun weekend project to keep you busy for a while? Well look no further than this ex-Doug Polen Suzuki GSX-R750 racebike. It's not exactly finished, but all of the really important parts appear to be there to get you started... Strangely enough, it seems like the AMA racebikes used many of the stock Suzuki components, even switching from the more exotic dry clutch to the standard wet unit, according to the seller. So that should help, right?

The introduction of the Suzuki GSX-R750 in 1985 was a seminal event in the history of motorcycling. It may not have been the first or only bike to use fully-enclosed, endurance-racer styling wrapped around a bulletproof, large-displacement inline four and monoshock aluminum frame, but it made that formula affordable and available to the masses, and led directly to the sportbikes we know and love. Later sportbikes would add liquid-cooling to the equation to help generate maximum power, but the Gixxer eschewed such frippery as too heavy for their pure speed machine: in spite of the visible cooling fins, it's oil that does most of the work. The oil-cooled powerplant utilized their SACS or "Suzuki Advanced Cooling System" that used a double-chambered pump and oil jets directed at the underside of the pistons to keep temperatures under control. Other than oil cooling, it followed modern designs and used dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder.

Obviously, as a race-spec machine for the street, the GSX-R750 spent plenty of time competing in various classes both abroad and here in the US. This particular bike was used in AMA racing and was ridden by Doug Polen. Polen was a world-class rider who got his start in AMA racing but left to compete in the World Superbike Championship, where he won the title on the trot in 1991 and 1992. He continued to compete in both international and American roadracing with success, netted a win at the Suzuka 8 Hour endurance race, and even dabbled in MotoGP.

There's additional information about the bike, its history, and the included photos over on eBay, so head over and take a look.

From the original eBay listing: Ex-Doug Polen Suzuki GSX-R750 AMA Superbike for Sale

I have researched the photo archives of Cycle World and Cycle magazines and obtained a number of unpublished photos from their records.  I've also bought photographs from freelance photographers that covered AMA racing in that year.  Special thanks to Larry Lawrence, of The Rider Files website.  I will provide these photos to the buyer with the proviso that they remain unpublished.

Each rider had two chassis.  The chassis and motors evolved constantly through the season and Doug probably got the good parts first, as he did better than Otter in the results, starting with the first race.  Their A bikes had all of the good parts at each race and the B bikes had more stock components.  You can clearly see in the photographs the progression of modifications during the season for all of the bikes and the lower spec of the B bikes.

The chassis is un-braced, with modified stock forks, Kosman Triple clamps, Kosman brake discs, AP calipers, a Fox shock and Marvic magnesium wheels.  The swingarm has been slotted, to allow for more variation in wheelbase.  Jim Lindemann worked with them on the shock valving, although he passed away a few years ago.  I have spoken to an ex-Fox engineer and he'd be happy to restore the shock but the records they had of those years were destroyed a few years ago.  Sandy Kosman now lives in Portland Oregon and the last time I talked to him, he was willing to get the discs reground on a Blanchard grinder, if desired.   One of the previous owners began the restoration years ago and the chassis, as pictured, is where he was when he sold the bike to the next owner.

The bodywork used was stock Suzuki plastic.  Early in the season it was raced in 1986 blue/white Suzuki colors; later in the season some of it was sporting the 1987 blue/white Suzuki stock colors.  A perforated metal filler panel was incorporated into the lower fairing V and the lower fairing panels had holes cut in them to allow for more ground clearance.

The motors were modified during the season and varied quite a bit.  They had Yoshimura (either kit Suzuki or Cosworth) pistons, different crank bearings, heads ported by Ron Scrima, Megacycle cams with Yosh retainers, a Tsubaki cam chain tensioner, and various carbs and exhausts.  At one point they obtained dry clutches and close ratio transmission gears but went back to running wet clutches and stock transmission ratios.  They may have run an ECU with a higher rev limit.  Ron Scrima passed away in 2011 but his company (Racing Engine Service) is still in business in Texas and the current owner was with Ron for about 25 years, so they might be my first choice for an engine refresh.  Another option would be Kelly Roberts, also in Texas.  I have never disassembled the motor, so I do not know what internal components are present.

I am interested in selling this project to someone that has the necessary resources and desire to restore it to an as-raced condition and to preserve it for the future.  It is a significant bike, as it was one of the highest placed privateer AMA superbike efforts of that era and was ridden by the rider that probably had more success in the USA racing the first generation Suzuki GSX-R than any other rider.  I would be willing to discuss this bike in more detail, via telephone, with any serious prospective buyers.  I am also willing to provide additional photos, a more complete listing of what components will come with the bike, and an approximate idea of what additional components will be needed to complete the restoration.

I have listed the mileage as 99999, as eBay requires that the mileage be listed for any vehicle sale.  The true mileage is unknown, as it was never recorded, which is not unusual for a race bike.

It also looks like the bike went through several iterations, giving you a bit of flexibility in terms of the color scheme you choose. If it were complete and in as-raced condition, this would probably be a very valuable motorcycle. As it stands, it's a valuable... basket case. How valuable? Well the But It Now price for this bit of American roadracing history is $4,950. This is going to need a lot of love, time, and money to finish, but I think this GSX-R deserves to be restored to its former functional glory.

-tad

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