Monthly Archives: February 2018

Suzuki February 28, 2018 posted by

Very Rare Slingshot: 1989 Suzuki GSX-R750RK for Sale

Update 3.2.2018: My apologies, the links to the first RK we wrote up below led to bike now linked in this post, which is a second RK available from "whiteknuckle". Sorry for the confusion, I'll watch the VINs closer in the future. Good catch, James! -dc

Update 2.28.2018 This GSX-R750RK was first listed last month for $27,500 and is relisted for $24,900 buy-it-now or offer. Links updated. -dc

From the same era as last weekend’s OW01 and a direct competitor on the race track, this Suzuki GSX-R750RR is maybe the least well known of the period’s homologation specials, and it’s my personal opinion that this is the best-looking GSX-R of all time. But it’s also hugely rare, another case where they were supposed to build 500 for homologation purposes, but it’s unclear if that many were actually made. Certainly, they’re extremely hard to find here in the USA, although some did make it to Canada.

Why is the bike so rare? Well the general idea with homologation specials is for the basic platform to win races, so the manufacturers really didn’t care all that much about marketing them, and they were priced accordingly: the GSX-R750RR or “RK” as it was also known was actually a good bit more expensive than Honda’s RC30 and looked far less exotic to anyone not in-the-know. The rules only specified that you had to build 500 examples, not that you actually needed to sell the things.

Why is the bike so special? Well the RK was chock-full of trick, track-ready goodness. First of all, Suzuki used race-spec internals, along with different bore and stroke for the RK. But, counter to usual racing thought, they went from the standard Slingshot's 73 x 44.7mm back to the earlier bike's 70 x 48.7mm and used sand-cast engine cases, along with a brace of 40mm Mikuni CV carbs. Why go to a longer stroke engine? To regain some of the older bike's missing midrange torque, something the new bike was sorely lacking. The oil-cooler was updated [remember that these were oil-cooled], and a second unit was added to keep cylinder head temps under control. A close-ratio six-speed gearbox with an uprated clutch helped handle the abuse racers were likely to inflict. The swingarm was braced, the aluminum tank has a lower profile, the fairing has a revised shape and is made of lighter fiberglass compared to the stock plastic. The frame was revised as well, made thicker around the steering head, and there were updated suspension components at the front and back.

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Suzuki GSX-R750RK for Sale

Up for sale is a beautiful 1989 Suzuki GSX-R750RK GR79C with only 22,801 kilometers (14,168 miles). This rare RK is a homogilation bike from the racing division at Suzuki. JDM model. Very limited build. Bike is 100% stock except for the RUN stickers. All fairings and components are 100% genuine OEM Suzuki factory. Bike only has a few tiny scratches and handling marks from shipping. Rear butt pad is worn, however not bad but needs to be re-upholstered to be perfect. Engine is very clean, no corrosion present. No blistering in the paint. Bike appears to have never been down or crashed. This bike has a ton of curb appeal and presents itself as a bike with 1,400 miles, not 14,000. Runs like the day it was new. New battery and new fluids. Bike comes with Utah state title and is titled as a street bike for road use.

The Buy It Now price is set at $27,500 and there are still a few days left on the listing. Unlike many valuable homologation bikes, this one actually has a few miles on it. Certainly nothing to worry about and, if you plan to ride it on occasion, you at least know that it won't need a complete overhaul before you take it out for a brisk weekend ride. It's always tricky to judge from photos, but this looks to be as described and is in excellent shape for a nearly thirty year old bike... Resplendent in classic Suzuki blue-and-white with the signature red tail section, it's a great-looking machine, although the afterthought-level brake light could have been better integrated...

-tad

Very Rare Slingshot: 1989 Suzuki GSX-R750RK for Sale
Benelli February 28, 2018 posted by

Oh Sei can you see? Two Benelli SEI 750s on eBay

In striving to bring readers the best online classifieds every day, RSBFS writers are besieged by drought and deluge. Some rare machines might not be seen for months or more, only to arrive in pairs. Such is the case with today's 12-cylinder post; not one but two awesome Benelli 750cc six cylinder examples for your enjoyment. Widely known (pun intended) as the World's First production six cylinder motorcycle (despite the later attempts by Honda, Kawasaki and BMW), the Benelli was a technical and stylistic tour de force. Engineered by none other than Alejandro de Tomaso of Pantara fame (the sports car, not the band), the Sei persisted for more than 15 years until the ultimate merger of Benelli into Moto Guzzi. Interested in one of these ground-breaking machines? Read on!


1977 Benelli Sei 750 for sale on eBay

The first of the 750 Benelli Sei models were introduced way back in 1973. While Honda was busy wowing the world with their four-cylinder technological might, de Tomaso sought to one-up the Japanese by tacking two extra cylinders onto a copy of the Honda power plant. With that move, a 500cc four became a 750cc six - and history was made.

To keep the already portly engine block from becoming too unwieldy, de Tomaso re-positioned the alternator from the end of the crank (where it sat on the Honda) to behind the cylinders. This move not only narrowed the ultimate width of the engine, it also started a trend to centralize mass within the frame; a discipline followed to this day. Total power was not tremendous - rated HP was a mere 72 ponies.

From the seller:
Up for sale is this extremely rare 1977 Benelli 750 “Sei” (Italian for “six” – not “sex”!), one of the three vintage six cylinder bikes ever made. It is an un-restored original in excellent condition, With a clear title and only 10,463 miles, (16.742 Kilometers) this is one of the nicest survivors of only a thousand 750 Seis imported into the US from 1974 to 1978. And it’s a “rider,” not a trailer queen: driven once every month or two, and only in clear weather – has never been in the rain, nor been dropped or scraped. Only cosmetic flaw is a tiny chip on the tank.

In the year 1977 only 283, 750 Sei were made, making this year a very rare one. Breaks got a tune up and work just as well as a modern bike, all switches and gauges work as they should, gas tank received a coat treatment to prevent rust, it has new air filters, recently got carburetor tune up. This bike only has a small dent on one of the exhausts and very small paint chips on the gas tank(please see pictures).

I will include some spare parts, a copy of the owners manual, a copy of the shop manual, as well as a copy of the spare parts manual. Some magazines in which the bike was featured at that time. Previous owner kept this motorcycle in a museum. This motorcycle is only missing the tool kit and the rubber strap that holds the gas tank.

This particular 1977 example appears to be in great shape. Benellis of this era were not exactly known for robust reliability, so it is actually a huge benefit that this is a regular rider. Nothing ages a motorcycle like stagnation, and this one has thus far avoided the neglect that many of these complex machines have suffered. Check it out here, but be sure to bring lots of Lire - the starting bid for this one is a cool $19,000.


1979 Benelli Sei 750 with ZERO miles for sale on eBay

The Benelli Sei is as much an exercise in excess as anything you are likely to see. The frame is dominated by the huge engine and offset by six exhaust pipes. Nothing on this bike is subtle, nor was it meant to be. The visceral elements of the Sei were created by famed Carrozzeria Ghia (think of the VW Karmann Ghia or the Ferrari 212), the bodywork as striking as the mechanical elements. Benelli - under the guidance of de Tomaso - was going to make a statement: the Italians were the equal of Japanese technology and held all the cards in the styling department. At the end of the day, they surely succeeded.

Today the Sei continues to be more distinctive than anything short of a one-off, overwrought custom cruiser. To consider that this was a production model for sale publicly throughout the 1970s and 1980s is unbelievable. It is also pretty rare. Sei models were considerably more expensive than mass-produced counterparts; the dealer network was smaller than Japanese, German, or even other Italian marques.

From the seller:
1979 Benelli 750 Sei. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to buy a zero mile... yes , zero mile motorcycle. Here is the story as I was told when I bought it. This motorcycle was purchased new by a Florida collector, who at the time of his death (about 2 years ago) was 82 years old. The previous owner had amassed over 300 motorcycles, many of them being rare, high ticket items.

His widow sold 70% of his collection to a German collector, as a package deal. I managed to get a few of his other bikes, two of which were Benelli 750 Sei zero mile bikes. This collector, as described by his brother, was extremely eccentric, and not particular about the absolute care, and method of storage for his motorcycles. Consequently, although a zero miler, it does display various imperfections which are visible in the photos. Please feel free to contact me and we can do a video walk through closeup of the specifics. Included with the sale are, the original toolkit and manual.

1977 is listed as the final production year of the 750 model; the 900cc replacement version of the Sei entered as a 1978 model. However it is not uncommon for model year data to be based on the sale or registration of a given bike. It is also not uncommon for smaller European brands to have somewhat erratic record keeping, making exact determinations difficult. Regardless, this claimed ZERO mile example is certainly an albino of the Unicorn world. Low mileage specimens of low-volume production models will always perk the interest of collectors. There are lots of questions on this one - including the overall condition - but the seller seems open to answering them. Check it out here, and once again bring lots of Lire to the party: this one is $24,000 in a Buy It Now format, with the seller open to offers.


At the end of the 1980s Benelli was absorbed by Moto Guzzi. The name and rights were later sold to a Chinese company, and Benelli enjoyed a brief US revival in the early 2000s with the three cylinder Tornado and TNT models. Today Benelli - while still officially headquartered in Pesaro, Italy - is a Chinese company that partners with with DSK Group of India, producing smaller and middleweight motorcycles and scooters for those markets. There are Benelli imports into the US, but only officially through a third party (SSR Motorsports). The glory days of Benelli being a power house of style and technology are largely over. Better collect an old school example when you still can. Good Luck!!

MI

Oh Sei can you see? Two Benelli SEI 750s on eBay
Aprilia February 27, 2018 posted by

Ahem – 2003 Aprilia RS250 GP1

The Aprilia RS250's picture is next to "peaky" in Webster's - mumbling around town, just butting in to the conversation at 5,000 rpm, but singing all the way to 60 two-stroke hp at 11,900 rpm.  Just 309 lbs dry, the RS250 can be a riding lesson every time out and demands only regular attention to the gearshift and a quality full-synthetic two-stroke oil.

2003 Aprilia RS250 GP1 for sale on eBay

Aprilia's racing department successes are shared with the road bike engineers, like the special alloy frame and swingarm,  40mm upside forks and fully adjustable monoshock.  The learning curve of twin 298mm front disks made unplanned stoppies an issue for one reviewer.  Combination digital / analog dash gives the tachometer priority.  17" front and rear alloy wheels are almost invisible in black.  In case you forget its racing heritage, the kick-only starter, lightly padded seat, and just silly pillion are there to remind.

Regular readers will recognize Gary's impeccable taste and Utah location, and this Aprilia is no exception.  With just under 11,000 miles, it's well-presented and photographed, with just a few hints of a paint chip or fastener corrosion here or there.  The GP-1 decal celebrates Marco Melandri's 250cc championship the year before, stripes accented by the semi-gloss black fairings.  From the eBay auction:

Only 17,652 kilometers (10,968 miles). Bike is in mint condition with only a few very light scratches and handling marks. Bike appears to have never been laid down. All fairings and components are 100% genuine OEM factory Aprilia. Bike is completely stock. Just serviced with new Pirelli Diablo tires, new battery and new engine fluids. Bike runs like the day it was new. Lights, suspension, transmission operating as new from the factory. This is a premium bike that is very rare here in the United States. Bike has a 17 digit VIN and is titled in the State of Utah.

Aprilia's lightweights had super build quality and were priced accordingly.  The Suzuki-based engine is reliable for the highly-tuned segment, with easier parts availability.  Successful almost from their racing start in the early 1990's, Aprilia's championships continued until the two-stroke was wiped from the Moto3 rule book in 2012.  The shrinking market led Suzuki to cease production of the engines in the early 2000's, making this one of the last road-going smokers available, and a very nice example...

-donn

Ahem – 2003 Aprilia RS250 GP1
Laverda February 26, 2018 posted by

Hot Rod Italian: 1983 Laverda Jota for Sale

By 1983, Laverda was on a slow, downward slide as the company made incremental improvements to their charismatic, but outdated machines to keep them marginally relevant: by that point, the Japanese offered bikes with handling, power, and reliability, all at a significantly lower cost. They couldn't match Italian bikes like the Laverda Jota for style, but styling is subjective anyway, and it is really irrelevant if the bikes in question are out of your financial reach in the first place.

But in 1976 when the original Jota was introduced, Laverda was doing just fine. Their new three cylinder 3C that had been introduced a few years prior was fast, powerful, and handsome, on the cutting edge of performance at the time. But British shop Slater Laverda thought the 981cc triple had more to offer, and with new camshafts, high-compression pistons, and an exhaust their "Jota," named for a Spanish dance, was good for 90hp and 146mph, big numbers for the day.

The original Laverda three cylinder bikes, including the Jota, used a 180° crankshaft with the outside pistons rising and falling at the same time. The result has been described as running like a "four cylinder with a miss" due to the ragged, uneven sound and feel. At lower rpm, it almost sounds like a twin, although the extra cylinder adds an additional layer to the sound as revs build and it's a very raw, raucous powerplant. Later machines switched to a smoother, more conventional 120° crankshaft, but all Jotas sound way wilder than any modern triple, so if you're expecting the "neutered" 120° bikes to feel like a modern Triumph Speed Triple, you'll be sadly disappointed or incredibly thrilled, depending on your point of view.

Today's example from 1983 likely has the 120° crankshaft that was introduced in 1982, but with low-volume Italian bikes it can be hard to predict. The earlier, raw-er bikes are generally more desirable, but pretty much all classic Laverda triples have become very valuable at this point, especially Jotas.

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Laverda Jota for Sale

1983 Laverda Jota. All original and unmolested. This bike runs and drives like a new motorcycle. Has been fully serviced, needs nothing. I won't go into a long tirade, because if you're looking at this, you know exactly what you were looking for. Absolutely and confidently NO disappointments!

Well I know what the seller means, buy I'd argue semantics and say that an old Laverda in no way runs or drives "like a new motorcycle," which I think is really the point here. Modern motorcycles are dead reliable and deadly fast, but they basically do exactly what they've been asked to do: they start, they run, they go around corners. That's a little boring, and a Laverda Jota is anything but boring, even in more refined 120° form. A modern bike is basically a tool, and an old bike and especially an old Italian bike is more like a living thing: a lover or a temperamental spouse. The asking price for this particular mail-order bride? $32,000.

-tad

Hot Rod Italian: 1983 Laverda Jota for Sale
Honda February 25, 2018 posted by

Six-y Beast: 1980 Moto Martin CBX for Sale

You might initially be confused by what you're looking at here, but get past that riot of color and the swoopy bodywork, and the big aluminum brick of an engine could only be one thing: Honda's 1047cc, 24-valve straight-six CBX motor. But what about the rest of it? What exactly is a Moto Martin CBX?

Honda's original CBX was a bit of a missed opportunity. It seemed designed to capitalize on the six cylinder racing bikes of the late 1960s, but no real link between the two seems to have been made in advertising the bike. And certainly there was no obvious visual connection, either: the original machines were jewel-like, pure racing motorcycles, while the CBX was a sophisticated, premium machine clearly designed for the road. It was big, heavy, and pretty powerful for the day, but handling was poor due to a flexible frame and the bike's overall weight.

The main reason to own a CBX was always that huge brick of an engine with its cascade of exhaust pipes sweeping around and under it, the wild shriek of the engine, and its smooth power. But in its original iteration, that was pretty much the only reason to own one. They could be made to get around a race track: some great videos exist of them shaking a leg on track, but they weren't really suited to it. And styling was relatively bland as well, typically conservative 70s UJM, with just a small duck-tail spoiler at the rear t0 add a bit of zing.

The solution was pretty simple if you had a bit of money and the ability to twirl some wrenches: find a nice, clean CBX, remove the motor and electrical system, and basically ditch the rest. By 1980, the Japanese manufacturers had gotten a handle on the art of making their motorcycles go around corners, but the small frame builders that had sprung up during the 60s and 70s were still around, and the CBX was a perfect candidate for a custom creation. Certainly Frenchman Georges Martin thought so, and his Moto Martin-framed CBXs are often considered the CBXs to have.

There's no getting around the width of the inline six, and any replacement frame is going to have to figure out how to go over or under, since there's just no going around... The Moto Martin part hugs the back of the engine pretty closely, making the stock airbox pretty much impossible, and replaces the original twin-shock arrangement with a monoshock setup, with thicker forks up front. Interestingly, it kept the original bike's geometry, which was basically fine. A finished Moto Martin CBX was both lighter and stiffer than the original bike, with new bodywork, including a one-piece tail, kept the ducktail spoiler but gave the finished bike a much sleeker, more purposeful look, while twin round lamps gave it a bit of endurance racing cred.

From the original eBay listing: 1980 Moto Martin CBX for Sale

This is an extremely rare and highly desirable Moto Martin CBX built from a complete Moto Martin rolling chassis with all of the best equipment of the day as fitted by Moto Martin including: Moto Martin aluminium 18inch wheels, Marzocchi forks, Brembo brakes front and rear with drilled cast iron rotors, braided hoses, De-Carbon under tank rear mono-shock. It has been customised with a different bikini fairing and single piece fibreglass tank and seat unit as in the pictures (and has received a FB like from Georges Martin himself) but the original Moto Martin aluminium tank, fairing, fairing bracket, headlight bracket, seat unit, screen with a spare as shown, are also included in the sale.

The motor is very strong as befitting the bike and is fitted with Carrillo Rods and Arias 1168cc big bore Arias forged piston kit and has done very little mileage since the big bore kit was fitted (hence my reason for sale), being ridden by me only in a few exhibitions for historic motorcycles at our local racetrack.

All in great condition with a few marks and slight damage to the side cover as shown in the photographs. I am the third owner, the previous owner and I each owning the bike for over 15 years.

Your opportunity to own the rarest and most desirable bike in the CBX world!

Seller can help with shipping - I live in a city with a major port.

Like a Spondon or a Rickman, there's really no "standard" Moto Martin: they were generally sold as kits and built to the customer's specifications. As few as 50 may exist that are actually titled as Moto Martins, but more kits were probably sold. The listing shows this as a 1980 model, but I believe the Martin kit wasn't introduced until a bit later, so this might be titled as a Honda CBX, per the donor engine and transmission. The starting bid is $10,000 with no bids as yet. Depending on the reserve, this might be a good opportunity to get a very rare machine for a pretty good price, but note that this bike currently resides in South Africa, so keep that in mind if you're suddenly having fantasies of wheeling this beast past your local bike hangout.

-tad

Six-y Beast: 1980 Moto Martin CBX for Sale
Honda February 24, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: Mysterious 1989 Honda NSR250

Update 3.6.2018: Sold for $6,450. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

How's this for an accidental purchase? The seller of this 1989 Honda NSR250R-SP was on the prowl for an OW-01 or an RC30 (must be nice ...) and ended up with this bike through an online shopping error. Not a bad haul, but also not what he was after. Compounding that, he wasn't able to contact the seller, and so he couldn't nail down the bike's history.

I'll leave the rest of his story to be told in his words, but all he knows about the bike is that it runs beautifully and will never see a California license plate. Buyers in other states might have some luck with the 11-digit VIN, but the Golden State is off the table.

The bike needs a rearset, the turn signals don't work, the brakes need freshening and it could use some cosmetic fettling, but would otherwise make a great rider. Though California plates are off the table, it carries a clean Arizona title.

From the eBay listing:

This auction is for a 1989 Honda NSR250R-SP. I'm going to start off by being a 100% honest and throwing myself under the bus. I bought this bike completely by accident at the recent Mecum motorcycle auction in Vegas. I know..what a bonehead move but in my defense, I was there to buy two other bikes for my collection and that went great! However, I had to leave the auction Vegas Friday but there were still a couple of other bikes I was interested in over the weekend so I signed in for online bidding from home...getting ready for the usual suspects to pop up (an RC30, an OW and a certain Ducati) but somehow, I pushed the wrong damn button and bought this one...it was actually quite funny but WAY WAY too easy to buy things online so be warned!

Anyway, with the above said, I know next to nothing about this bike. The thing is..it's impossible to register 11 digit vin bikes in CA and 2 strokes...even that much worse so if you're in CA, don't even think about it, you will NEVER get this registered so unless you want it for the track or to restore and collect...move on.

The bad thing about Mecum, you have no chance to talk to the seller so I don't know a thing about the bike nor it's history. The only bikes I will ever consider at auction are ones I'm going to restore or have next to zero or super low miles so again, please don't ask me about maint history or...I'm sorry to say I have no clue!

I will say this though. I took it for a 20 minute ride today and it runs excellent! It's exceptionally quick, started on the very first kick and the motor seems exceptionally tight and healthy. I know that's vague but no leaks, the typical smoke at throttle, barely any smoke at idle and it's powerband feels exactly as it should...exceptionally strong even with my 200 lb's on her.

The negatives on the ride, signals don't appear to be working, headlight does though. The brakes are stiff but an easy sort as you know...likely just some fresh pads and a fluid flush / bleed...I can do this for you if you like, really not a problem. Positives....it ran amazing and the dry clutch felt perfect, grabbing just right and not dragging or any odd feel. Clutch sounded great too 🙂

Here's the only info that came with the bike. "Offered with AZ title, Factory HRC Dry Clutch, Fully Adjustable Front and Rear Suspension, MagTek Magnesium Rims and Factory Terra Racing Colors. That's it...that's all I know!

I'm very aware I'm going to lose my tail on this purchase but that's ok as it was my error and it was an expensive lesson. I have it for sale locally too so don't wait until the last minute or it may be gone.

As far as my check of the bike...Right rear set is cracked, looks like it happened when it fell over at some point as the right exhaust can has some gravel marks on it...doesn't appear to be from a lay down as there is no rash anywhere that I see but the rearset is cracked and that's supposed to happen as it's pot metal and better to break then hurt the frame. Steering stops look perfect, there's no excessive corrosion, fork tubes appear straight and no pitting or heavy oxidization. Tank looks fine and clean internally with no rust. Rims are in good shape with some small marks but nothing looks superficial and not structural although X raying Mag wheels is always a good idea if you're up to it. There are ZERO leaks and I mean none so that's great. Plugs look new but tires feel dry and could likely use a swap. Clip ons, triple, gauges, swingarm, subframe, etc all appear great with no damage or rash or tweaks. Bodywork is ok...looks nice from far and belly is in remarkably good shape as is nose and tail section but there are quite a few broken little fingers that hold the sides to the nose and some spider cracking around the main bolt stay on the left side panel. They are 100% fixable and since the paint is ok..it's more just some plastic welding and such as the paint and stickers would be fine if I were to keep it as a rider or track day bike.

I'd consider limiting my loses and restoring it but I already have 3 bikes in pieces that are a priority so this one has to go. You're more then welcome to come see it, ride it or.... It's a perfect bike for someone looking for a project bike as the "bones" look great...In fact, I'd say it's better then an NC35 that I'm restoring!

No additional parts, clean AZ title as I said and for the record, I paid $7000 plus buyers premium of $840 for her. Oh...and 85 doc fees, 385 shipping.... Is what it is...my loss is your gain!

PS. Actual speedo reads 21415 Kms which is 13,306 miles.

Though the seller is prepared to sacrifice his derriere to move the bike, it has seen plenty of active bidding thus far, and has several days left in the auction. Values of these things are near what he paid, so we wouldn't be surprised to see most of the coin recouped.

Featured Listing: Mysterious 1989 Honda NSR250

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