Monthly Archives: December 2017

Bimota December 30, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1980 Bimota SB3 for Sale

Update 3.27.2018: Contact Chris with your interest by email: cdavid@wddlegal.com

Most of our readers probably think of Bimota as a manufacturer of overpriced two-wheeled status symbols dripping with billet and carbon fiber and Italian style. But Bimota originally took its name from founders Valerio BIanchi, Giuseppe MOrri, and Massimo TAmburini. Yes, that Massimo Tamburini. And his genius is on display in this 1980 Bimota SB3 that was one of their earliest and most radical machines, considering it was based around the inline four cylinder engine from the very typical for the period Suzuki GS1000.

Japanese bikes of the 1970s and early 1980s, even those from factory racing efforts, had engines that were famously more advanced than their frames. Road bikes were often especially bad, with flexibility that meant some felt like they had an extra hinge in the middle, and into this handling void came Bimota. A tradition of boutique frame builders actually sprang up all over Europe and Great Britain to fill the need for bikes that went around corners as well as they ate up straight lines, and Bimota was one of the most successful.

It's a shame Bimota didn't make naked bikes during their heyday, since the tubular frame seen on the SB3 is a work of art, and incorporates innovative ideas like the concentric swingarm pivot that kept the geometry constant throughout the swingarm's travel and allowed the chain to be run with virtually no slack. The frame fit so tightly around the engine that it actually split to allow servicing, once the one-piece tail and tank-cover was removed.

Even without the handling improvements provided by the frame and suspension upgrades, the SB3 still would have been blisteringly fast: the air-cooled Suzuki four was lightly tuned, but the overall package was a staggering 79 pounds lighter than the stock machine. It was incredibly rare, incredibly exotic, and incredibly fast, although it was also incredibly uncomfortable: a torturous riding position and unforgiving suspension meant it was only at home on very smooth, curvy pavement.

From the Seller: 1980 Bimota SB3 for Sale

1980 Bimota SB3 #187 of 402 with spare unused factory fairing and windscreen.

Trades considered. - Items of interest - Ducati's or toys using Ducati 900ss engine, will accept or add cash for the right deal.

The SB3 had its debut at the Milan Show in 1979 and showcased some radical thinking; particularly in the frame design. The chromoly frame is assembled around the engine and uses aircraft style 'conical' joints to connect the front and rear halves. It also has a 'perimeter' swing arm, which pivots exactly at the transmission sprocket axis, eliminating the need for chain slack and geometry changes that go along with that. Modular bodywork, top-line (for the day) Italian components (Brembo, Marzocchi, Campagnolo,). Powered by Suzuki's bullet-proof GS1000 power plant, only 402 copies were made during its production.

Local Texas bike that has been ridden/enjoyed over the years. The bike has some wear from use which is listed below. The only upgrades are period correct Keihin CR 31 smoothbore carburetors, Dyna S ignition, and fresh coils.

Wheels have been brought down to bare magnesium and dye tested for cracks. After testing came back fine they were then properly primed and painted with color matched from an original color chip. Wheels have new bearings front and rear.

Bike comes with a spare fairing as the builder of the bike planned to use it as a race bike but never ended up doing so. Lately, I was able to source a spare original windscreen in clear so you have a color choice. Front and rear suspension rebuilt in 2016. Recent engine removal for valve adjustment.

Parts are able to be sourced online from BimotaClassicParts.com and your local Suzuki shop.

• Slight rash on right side fairing pictured from garage tip over.
• Some rock chips in paint on forks from road use as pictured.
• Some paint cracking and peeling around gas cap (damn ethanol). Inside of tank looks fine.
• Left fairing is shows bubbling under the paint. Use the new spare fairing while this is sent for repair.
• Odometer does not work as no speedo sending unit is installed. Currently a spacer is installed where a speedo sending unit would mount. I will include the Garmin wrist wearable GPS I leave on the upper fork brace I use to track speed and mileage.
• Swingarm under rear shock mount is missing some powdercoating and shows surface rust.
• Upper fairing has a slight crack on the left side near the petcock. Was like this from my first meeting the bike 25 years ago and has not grown.
• Petcock has been rebuilt. Does not use vacuum from carbs to operate so should be switched on and off and likely cause of above mentioned crack.
• Recent replacement of coils, wires, and upgrade to Dyna S ignition module.
• Magnesium wheels freshly dye tested and properly prepared (chromate treatment) before paint which was properly paint matched from original.
• Fresh spark plugs, caps and wires.
• Fresh tires, tubes and wheel bearings front and rear.
• New chain.
• Rear brake caliper recently rebuilt, parts on hand to rebuild front when required.
• Front forks and rear shock rebuilt in 2016 by 812 Suspension.
• Clutch cover freshly powder coated to match original engine color.
• No oil leaks.
• Engine has solid compression and all cylinders within 5% of each other.

The seller is asking under $15k for this mechanically very sound SB3 with a few clearly shown cosmetic imperfections. Certainly a good place to start for a restoration, or just ride it as-is! Even better, follow through on the bike builder's original intent and enter the bike in some classic races! Skinny tires and vintage power output aside, I'm sure it handles well and would certainly be in the true spirit of Bimota's original mission. Considering how impossibly stiff the stock machine was supposed to be, that might be the best use for it...

-tad

Featured Listing: 1980 Bimota SB3 for Sale
Honda December 30, 2017 posted by

Jersey-Titled Vee Four: 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

Prices of the RC30 have gone through the roof, and enthusiasts who want a taste of Honda's homologation specials have been forced to go elsewhere. Luckily, the less-desirable, less cubically-endowed, and equally exotic VFR400R NC30 manages to provide many of the qualities of its larger sibling at a greatly reduced cost. At a glance, it's pretty hard to tell the RC30 and the NC30 apart anyway, as both feature very similar styling with those distinctive twin round headlamps and the distinctive Pro-Arm single-sided swingarm. It's just as tasty under the skin, as both the 750cc RC30 and the 400cc NC30 are powered by V4s with gear-driven cams and 360° "big bang" crankshafts that gave the bikes a distinctive noise and a wide, accessible powerband that made them easy to fully exploit on road or track.

The NC30 had impressive handling to match it's bigger-engined brother, and although power was down compared to the RC30, so was weight: the NC30 clocked in at a claimed 313lbs dry versus 400lbs, and the little 400cc machine had a top speed of 130mph, a pretty impressive achievement. Sure, the NC30 only makes 59hp, but handling is the name of the game here, and revving the nuts off a bike to make good progress on a fast road is much more fun than loafing with the throttle barely cracked for fear of catapulting yourself into the weeds riding a 200hp liter bike.

Prices for the smaller V4 machine have increased significantly over the past few years, but examples like this very clean Honda VFR400R show that good deals are still available for the cost of a used R6. Keep in mind that these are all grey market imports here in the US: some have sneaked in from Canada, and more have been brought over from Japan in recent years. But a valid title, especially from a state with more stringent requirements like New Jersey as is the case here, adds plenty of value for anyone who actually wants to ride their little homologation specials on the road.

From the original eBay listing: 1992 Honda VFR400R for Sale

1992 Honda VFR 400 NC30 with 24449 miles. It will come with a clean New Jersey State title. Full maintenance service was performed including carb rebuild, new fork seals, new ngk ER9EH spark plugs, Motul Motocool coolant, motul brake fluid, Motul 300V oil, hiflo filter and new set of Michelin PRD3 tires. I also had the wheels and fork legs powder coated. Bike does have some minor scuffs all over from years of service. Fairings are all OEM but does have some scratches and fading on front fender. This bike is solid and ready to go! Please refer to the High Resolution pics attached.   

Bidding is slow so far, and up to just over $2,000, with a Buy It Now price of $7,800 that still seems like a relative bargain. That funky 18" rear hoop might make things a bit more difficult when the time comes to fit new tires. Fortunately, an increase in the popularity of classic racing means there have been more options recently, since a number of the late 1980s two-strokes share the 17" front and 18" rear combination seen here. Aside from a few scuffs and scrapes, this appears to be in very nice condition, the the seller is obviously an enthusiast.

-tad

Jersey-Titled Vee Four: 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale
Bimota December 29, 2017 posted by

Race History: Ex-Anthony Gobert Bimota SB8K for Sale

Both a flamboyant racer and a cautionary tale, Anthony Gobert was a hugely talented rider who fell from grace after a failed drug test. Several times, actually. Racing today is obviously a far cry from the wild days of the 60s and 70s, where playboy racers partied with stewardesses well into the night before getting up the following morning to risk life and limb while nursing a hangover. Today's riders generally treat racing as the serious profession it has become, instead of as a way for daredevils to travel and booze it up on someone else's dime. I'm sure Gobert's missteps would have been laughed off in another era, but a failed test for marijuana, of all things, ended his MotoGP dreams in 1997, although he continued to race in Superbikes events in a variety of classes. Somewhere along Gobert's slow downward spiral, he got a ride on this Bimota SB8K and managed to make an underfunded machine from a tiny manufacturer briefly competitive, a testament to his talent.

Bimota's SB8 was really the TL1000R that Suzuki wasn't able to build, and one of their most successful models. There's no doubting the liquid-cooled, 996 v-twin engine's prowess: it's been used in various iterations by Suzuki since 1997 to power both sports and touring models. More importantly, both Cagiva and Bimota saw the potential for the engine to power some serious sporting hardware, and just needed to work around the layout challenges posed by the v-twin. As can be seen by the Ducati Panigale's side-mounted rear shock, a transverse 90° v-twin is very long, making it difficult to package efficiently in a compact sportbike while simultaneously maximizing swingarm length. Suzuki used an innovative rotary damper with roots in Formula 1 to support the rear of their TL1000S and TL1000R. Unfortunately, while the concept was sound in theory, it didn't work so well in practice, as the undersized unit tended to overheat and cause handling to go from "stable" to "exciting" without much warning.

Bimota took that throbbing, 138hp lump of an engine and put it into a machine that could much more fully exploit its obvious possibility. As with all Bimotas, the SB8's real party trick was a state-of-the-art frame. While I'm a sucker for Ducati's classic trellis unit, the SB8 used a wild composite design based around stiff, lightweight aluminum spars with carbon fiber side plates and a self-supporting carbon fiber tail section. You can see Bimota's solution to that rear suspension issue, peeking out on the right side of the bike from behind the main frame spar. Ultimately, the SB8 weighed in at nearly 50lbs less than the TL-R, although the bike is uncharacteristically broad and bulky for a v-twin, ironic considering the amazingly slim design of the Ducati 996. It's exotic for sure, but not especially pretty, and the carbon air tubes on the original SB8R also meant you'd better know where those hand controls are without looking, or you'd be craning your neck awkwardly trying to find the high-beam switch or cancel the turn signals. Best not to use them.

Of course, the locations of headlight and turn signal switches matter little in this particular case, since this is the updated SB8K version that did away with the massive carbon tubes in favor of a more conventional intake system. And this bike doesn't have signals or lights anyway, since it's the very World Superbike machine that Gobert used to win at Philip Island in 2000, reminding everyone of his talent, if not his self-control. Many who worked with him feel he could have been one of the all-time greats, and flashes of his brilliance can be seen in results he achieved on the SB8K.

From the original eBay listing: Ex-Anthony Gobert Bimota SB8K for Sale

ex-Anthony Gobert, winning in Philip Island April 2000.

VIN: 00071

This is a legendary bike in a WSBK history for who remembers the victory in april 2000 in Philip Island when Fogarty ended his career... also it is an ICON for the Italian racing motorcyles enthusiasts and the Bimota collectors. 

Only 2 FACTORY bikes were built for the 2000 WSBK, frame #71 and frame #73. This is the only of the 2 fully preserved, complete (with telemetry) and owned by BIMOTA FACTORY from year 2000 to 2017. Full history know, fully untouched since the 2000 season ended.

The bike is fitted with SUZUKI FACTORY TL1000R magnesium/dry clutch engine but tuned then for Bimota by one of the TOP mechanics in the Italian motorcycling history, Franco Farne'... yes the Ducati legend! The bike comes with some spares: engine cases, 2 heads, spare rear wheel, box with bits and pieces.

Letter of verification by the FACTORY present.

Parade, race and collect!

Be sure to check out the photos in the gallery above. The shot of the injectors and one of the high-capacity radiator with the cutout for the front cylinder are especially cool. This is yet another ex-race machine being offered by the same seller as the YB4 racebike from a couple weeks back and, a bit of expected racing wear and tear and some significant discoloration on the swingarm, appears to be in very nice condition. There are several days left on the auction, and bidding is up to just under $9,000 with the Reserve Not Met.

-tad

Race History: Ex-Anthony Gobert Bimota SB8K for Sale
Featured Listing December 29, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1986 Yamaha FZR400

When it comes to imports, the 400cc welterweight class is the gem of the grey market set. With decent power at stratospheric redlines, these lighter, smaller sport bikes can run rings around middleweights (and even the big bikes) when the going gets tight. Sized for normal people, one need not be a practitioner of human origami in order to fit. Rare in the United States, yet more reliable than the buzzier two strokes that receive the lion's share of import press coverage, every stable should house at least one of these 400cc scalpels. And this Japanese home market 1WG model FZR400 in super rare blue might just be the one you need.

Unlike the rest of the Big Four, Yamaha actually imported the 400cc four stroke 1WG model into the US. US bikes began with 1988 the model year, although they were otherwise identical to the 1WG spec of the earlier Japanese models (the EXUP exhaust valve being a mandatory EPA fitment for CA bikes). US bikes showcased the red/white livery of Yamaha racing, and by the close of 1989 the party was pretty much over stateside. Often derided as the most common of the 400cc offerings, the FZR did offer real performance: Genesis DNA is evident in the engine configuration; liquid cooled cylinders tilted at an extreme angle to aid weight distribution, the four valve heads, four carbs with straight shots into the intake ports, and the four into one performance exhaust. On the chassis side, an aluminum "Delta Box" perimeter frame showcased the sporting intent of this model. If you didn't know better, you could easily mistake a naked FZR400 for a FZR600 or 1000. These are not starter bikes or toys - these are very capable road and track motorcycles that come by their reputation honestly.

From the seller:
1986 Yamaha FZR400 1WG.
Bike is minty. Rarer color. JDM bike. All fairings and components are 100% genuine
factory Yamaha. Bike is 100% stock. I have freshened it up a bit. I have replaced
the front master cylinder with new OEM. Engine covers (caps) have been replaced with
new OEM. New fuel petcock. New fork seals, new battery and new engine fluids. All
fairings, exhaust, and components not mentioned are original to the bike. No rust in
the tank. Runs and rides like new. Will install a new set of tires for the right
customer. Comes with Utah state title and is titled as a street bike for road use.

Asking $6900
Email Gary for details: rmurangemasters@aol.com

This particular FZR is a Japanese home market model and comes to us from well known collector and RSBFS follower Gary. You have seen many bikes in his collection pass through these pages (he has what must be the most lusted-after living room furniture we have seen). Feedback from those who have conducted business with him has been positive - he is an avid rider and collector. That shows in the presentation and condition of the bikes offered. This specimen appears to be very, very clean. Mileage appears to be approximately 6,150, based off of the odometer reading on the KM clocks. Strike a deal and this blue beauty rides off into the sunset with a fresh set of rubber, ready to attack the canyons.

FZR400s are interesting from a collector perspective. In some ways the FZR is almost passe - another mass-produced sport bike from the Big Four. But by the numbers it tells a very different story. It used to be that the unloved FZR400 was a bargain basement bike, picked up for a song and thrashed wildly on the street and track. Those days of "nearly free" Fizzers are behind us. The word is out and the market has spoken. Even officially imported US bikes are rapidly rising in value; we have seen asks approaching $10k. Now it is optimistic to expect a 1WG to approach the same velocity of appreciation as, say, an RC30, but there is no doubt that we are seeing a rise in pricing for FZR400 models. Some use is evident, but this particular example looks to be in fantastic shape for a model going on 32 years young. This bike is undeniably rare in color and form for US buyers, and is looking for a new home at a reasonable $6,900. Shop around a bit - but if you are looking for the right FZR400 you will be hard pressed to find another like this. Interested buyers should contact Gary directly. Good Luck!!

MI

Featured Listing: 1986 Yamaha FZR400
Featured Listing December 28, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 2007 MV Agusta F4 1000 Senna

To those of you who hang around this site enough, the MV Agusta F4 Senna should be a pretty familiar sight. We've covered a few of them this year, and breathlessly deliver the spec sheet and production numbers every time we get the chance. This example is number 87 of the total run of 300, and has covered about 7,500 miles over its life.

Though it is now approaching its 11th year, the Senna is based on the F4 1000R of the same era, which means you get tons of modern conveniences, including a trick engine braking assist system, smoothed-out powerband and mod cons like radial Brembos and adjustable suspension. Oh, and 174 horses from the 1,000cc inline four.

The Senna edition, named for MV designer Massimo Tamburini's good friend and F1 world champion Ayrton Senna, gets special paint and bodywork, Marchesini wheels, and an Alcantara seat to boot.

From the seller:

["For Sale - baby coming - literally!

2007 MV Augusta F4 1000 Senna.

Remarkably rare and clean.

Certified #087/300

7300 miles.

Lots of carbon fiber.

Priced to sell.

Threw on some Super Corsa race takeoffs so I could go knock the dust off. The stock tires were old and unridable. Personally I prefer the Super Corsa, it feels way better! But I can change the tires to what you prefer.

It's pretty obvious the bike has never been on a track.

$16,495 obo

Accepting Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash - will discount.

Location: Las Vegas

Call to discuss:

424-345-4333

Email: Webbasedmoney@gmail.com
Wire Secure Messenger: webbasedmoney

Steve

You read that right, if you want to be old-fashioned and do things with Long Green, that's perfectly fine, but you will get a discount if you plan to pay in Bitcoin. In today's money, one Bitcoin is roughly $15,000, though analysts predict the cryptocurrency could fluctuate between $6,500 and $22,000 per in 2018.

Featured Listing: 2007 MV Agusta F4 1000 Senna
Bimota December 28, 2017 posted by

Bitcoin level Bimota: Zero miles 1992 Bimota Tesi 1D in Switzerland

Here is a time capsule, a zero miles/NOS Bimota Tesi 1D SR that has never had fluids installed.  The 1st generation Bimota Tesi is already a bit of unobtanium and something every collector considers so this one is certainly one to take notice of...plus the color scheme is perfect for the holidays.

1992 Bimota Tesi 1D with zero miles in Switzerland

Thinking back on the late 1990's, it seems safe to say that the manufacturer that best embodied the period ethos of "throw-it-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks" was Bimota.   Part of that was due to its small nature/lack of multi-layered governance and part of it was also probably due to it being an Italian firm where a certain level of fla.ir is expected.  Regardless, Bimota was willing to bring unproven concepts all the way to market and while some of these never delivered as promised (cough-VDue-cough), the Tesi series actually did what it promised.

The Tesi promise was improved handling via a new suspension feature; hub-centered steering.  The Bimota hub centered suspension setup transferred braking force into the frame, not up into the headstock area like on a conventional bike.  Without the impact of braking on the forks, the front end was significantly more stable which made handling feather quick and rock stable.

NOTE:  A good write up about the concept of hub-centered steering and Tesi can be found here.

>

At the launch of the Tesi 1D Bimota said the plan was to build 300 but the actual production numbers are a bit vague.   According to sources I found, over 400 were produced between its launch and end in 1994 and this number is said to have included about 50 produced with 400cc for Japan as well as some "Final Edition" and SR models which came with a 904cc 851 motor (the seller indicates this is one of the SR editions).

Mounted in Bimota's beautiful "Omega" frame the 904cc Ducati powerplant worked with the hub-center handling improvements to deliver a bike incredibly nimble for its size.  So why didn't the the Tesi and it's hub-centered design become the future of motorcycling?  The main factor was probably price.  When introduced the Tesi was offered at the eye-popping price of $40,000 USD which made it the most expensive motorcycle on the market.   Also, the complexity of the bike scared away some owners, especially after reports surfaced that the futuristic electrics and digital dash board could suddenly shut down or give wrong readings.

>

Now lets look at this particular Tesi 1D.  According to the seller, the bike has essentially been a display piece since production.  Below is a summary of what the seller has to say:

  • Never ridden, never run, properly prepared for long term display.
  • Specifically ordered from the distributor without any fluids when new in 1992. Neither the hydraulic brake system front and rear, nor the cooling system nor the original battery have ever been filled with fluids.
  • All mechanical components inside the engine are still coated with assembly lube from the Ducati factory. The engine is filled with a light-weight oil to preserve internals, it has never been started or run.
  • Kept in a climate controlled environment without UV light present, so there has been no deterioration of any rubber pieces and no discoloration of any painted or coated surfaces. Of course there is no oxidation present on any metal surfaces or fasteners.
  • The protective yellow zinc plating on all three cast iron Brembo rotor surfaces is still present, the seat foam on the molded solo seat pad and backrest is still uncompressed. The tires mounted were specified to be racing tires when ordered new. Levers, grips, pegs, chain, sprockets as most everything else on this motorcycle are as new as they were in 1992.
  • Comes with all the original ownership documents, customs forms, the owners manual, the warranty booklet, copies of the parts manual and workshop manual and the original Tesi toolkit in duplicate.
  • The original early Tesi rear stand, the one off custom front stand (for displaying the bike with both tires off the ground) both mph and km/h dash boards (km dash & computer packed up, mph dash with protective white film still underneath, mounted in the fairing) and two original Weber Marelli P7 ECU computers, one chip'd for regular street use and the other fully open P7 ECU chipped for race use performance, are also included.
  • Multiple other original spares come with this bike. Of course the red Bimota cover is present and in its correct Bimota bag.

Note:  The seller also provides additional photos via an online photo album here.

Now for the real question - is this bike worth the current asking price of $150,000 USD?   Yes, you read that number right - $150,000 USD.   That's almost 4 times the original asking price which is a level of increase I don't think we have ever seen on RSBFS before.  To be honest, when I saw that asking price I thought this was possibly a test listing by the seller but after communication with them, this is in fact the actual Buy-It-Now asking price.  Since in most cases sellers expect offers with 10-15% of the BIN price, its seems safe to say this one is going to cost 6 figures US for any interested parties.

So is a zero miles 1D SR Tesi worth that much?  Personally I don't think so but the 1D and 2D series of the Tesi come up for sale so rarely I don't know what the current value is.   I do think the current ask price means it won't go to an investment oriented collector but it could draw interest from the zero miles/"crate-bike" crowd.   I guess we can only wait and see...but it would sure be a nice way to start the new year with it in your living room.

-Marty G/Dallaslavowner

Bitcoin level Bimota:  Zero miles 1992 Bimota Tesi 1D in Switzerland

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