Monthly Archives: March 2018

Honda March 24, 2018 posted by

Order of Magnitude – 1994 Honda CBR900RR

Honda developed their Fireblade with an eye on the ruler and the scale, keeping size and weight down so the 893cc engine could provide open-bike performance. Though often seen in white/blue/red or black/purple/yellow livery, the pearlescent yellow on this CBR has a less trendy but outstanding appeal.

1994 Honda CBR900RR for sale on eBay

Honda developed a new inline four for the CBR900RR, nearly as compact and weighing just thirteen pounds more than it's 599cc brother.  Engineers optimized mid-range torque for the new engine, resulting in 65 ft.-lbs. at 10,000 rpm and 122 hp available.  The 45mm Showa dual-adjustable forks and fully adjustable Showa/Pro-Link rear were judged overly taut for the real road, but this set has been professionally adjusted for a full size adult.  At 296mm the front disks aren't oversized, but with four-piston calipers they can get the job done.  The compact package turns sharper yet with 16-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels.

Evidently having only three owners, this CBR looks way better than its 24,000 miles normally would.  Mods were all done recently, and mostly don't detract from the CBR's good looks, which would be easier to mess up with the monochrome paint.  Turn signal smoothing and tail-tidying are fairly personal, and the factory parts are included for the new owner.  From the eBay auction:

This bike has a few tasteful upgrades.  All of which I did myself.  When I purchased this bike, it was 100% bone stock OEM condition.  So I have all of the stock parts too that I will include in with the purchase as I have no use for them. Here is a list of the upgrades I did to it:

- Micron polished slip on exhaust ($350)
- Front & rear suspension re worked by Race Tech suspension ($1,200)
- Zero Gravity dark smoke tinted windscreen ($50)
- Pro Grip carbon fiber tank pad protector ($20)
- New Bridgestone Battlax tires w/ about 300 miles on them now ($300)
- Smoke tinted LED tail light w/ integrated turn signals ($45)
- Rear fender mud guard removed & license plate raised up
- LED license plate light
- Front LED turn signals hidden inside front grill inlays ($30)
- Black brake & clutch levers ($25)

The 893cc CBR was just the first generation, and for 1994 the transmission was updated to improve shifting.  The succeeding years brought three increased engine sizes and fuel injection, but kept the core principles of compactness, light weight and mass-centralization.  Project leader Tadao Baba was a factory worker and veteran test rider, but not a designer or engineer.  His vision gave the CBR900RR a multi-year head start when compared to rival open-class machines.  This updated survivor looks like it wasn't ridden hard or put away wet, and it'll be interesting to see where bidding goes...


Order of Magnitude – 1994 Honda CBR900RR
Yamaha March 23, 2018 posted by

Me Too: 1982 Yamaha Seca 650 Turbo

While technically the 1979 Kawasaki Z1R TC was the first factory turbocharged motorcycle, that was more of a partnership and sales tool to move Z1R units - not a full production motorcycle. It was Honda who fired the first real salvo when it came to fully integrated factory turbos, with the intent that turbo power would become the future of motorcycling. The remainder of the Big Four jumped into the technology cauldron immediately, anxious not to be left behind. In the case of Yamaha, this reeked of a "me too" effort; the XJ650LJ had the necessary elements of a turbocharger and zoomy futuristic styling, but little else was new or noteworthy. Like all the factory turbos of the 1980s, the Seca quickly fell by the wayside as an expensive novelty. The world did not vote with their wallets, and all the manufacturers discovered that they already had better bikes of the normally aspirated variety on the showroom floor. The cost and complexities of turbo power did not immediately add up to the promise of a better future. Three decades later, bike such as this 1982 Yamaha Seca 650 Turbo remain rare and relatively unloved.

1982 Yamaha Seca 650 Turbo for sale on eBay

When it comes to approaches, Yamaha took no real risk in designing the Turbo variant of the Seca. Utilizing the existing Seca platform (four cylinder, air cooled, two valves, carbs), Yamaha engineers fitted a tiny 39mm Mitsubishi turbo behind the engine and below the tranny, just ahead of the rear wheel. This was nice from an overall packaging stance, but the long exhaust primaries to feed the turbine create some degree of dreaded turbo lag. The interesting exhaust piping doesn't end there; while the Seca has two mufflers, only the left pipe is normally in operation. The sole function of the right muffler is to vent gasses once the wastegate fully opens. And unlike Honda, which stuffed their turbo bikes full of computers and electronic hardware to manage the fuel injection and engine functions, Yamaha utilized blow-through carburetors and eliminated much of the computerized complexity. Air cooling maintains simplicity and helps to keep weight down, although The Seca Turbo weighs in some 65 pounds more than the normally aspirated XJ650 on which it is based. Air-assisted suspension provides a nice level of adjustability, but the rest of the package (including the brakes - and yes, that is a drum on the rear) is pure XJ650 Seca. With only about 7 PSI of boost available before the wastegate shuts the party down, the Seca remains one of the more mild factory Turbo bikes to ride.

From the seller:
1982 Yamaha Seca 650 TURBO
This motorcycle has been in a climate controlled museum for the last 10+ Years. There is no sun fading - It's a time capsule.
Comes with both Keys.

My Master Mechanic & I Un-Mothballed recently, Installed a new battery, Changed the Engine Oil & Filter, Flushed the Carbs & Fuel System (Which had been Drained and Oil Fogged) and 1/2 filled the gas tank with NON-Ethanol Premium Fuel. After a little cranking it came to life - but in checking everything out from sitting in a display mode for so long we noticed the turbo waste gate was partially stuck open - so - we removed the turbo. Instead of just cleaning everything up and putting it back together - we sent the turbo unit to G-Pop (see picture of the receipt) and had the Turbo totally Rebuilt - Cleaned - Balanced & Blue Printed before reinstalling it. I do not sell motorcycles out of my museum that do not operate mechanically correct for the new owners. The reserve will reflect this upgrade to the unit but is worth it for the service it will provide to the new owner.

More from the seller:
There are no fuel leaks. It idles with the choke off. It Revs & Restarts fine. If the plan of the new owner is to ride the bike - I'd recommend a general check over due to the time the bike has been idle. We haven’t driven it other than around the parking lot due to the age of the tires. If it goes back into another collection the tires won’t matter. It the new owner wants to drive it on the street etc. he’ll get to pick the tires of his choice. The bike is titled & licensed in Oregon.

Here is a You-Tube Link from the seller showing a walk around of the motorcycle and starting and running the unit:

This particular Seca 650 Turbo is coming out of a private museum. It has a few more miles on it that what would be expected from a museum example, but then again we should just be happy some of these odd bikes have been preserved. Overall this bike looks great for its age. The Alpinestars sticker and newer Yamaha logo on the right side of the lower chin fairing are flagrant non-stock items, but providing that these are not hiding some damage then no harm, no foul. The sticking wastegate is a normal issue for any turbo bike - regular usage alleviates these types of recurring problems. And regular riding is exactly what these bikes were designed for, turbo lag and all. Riders will find that the performance is not quite up to the hype, but even today these bikes offer a fun rush once the boost builds to its max. Heavier than contemporary 1100cc machines with performance nipping at the heels of the 750s of the day, the promise of a boosted future was put on hold after the 1983 model year (all 1984 examples are hold over units from '83). This bike appears to be in decent condition, is clean and presents well. Located in Oregon, check it out here. You don't see too many of these Seca Turbos any longer, so act quickly if you are interested. Good Luck!!


Me Too: 1982 Yamaha Seca 650 Turbo
Suzuki March 23, 2018 posted by

Two stroke restomod: 1986 Suzuki RG500

The problem with owning classic sportbikes is that even in their best shape, they perform like they would have 30 years ago, which can be a terrifying affair if you're used to modern suspension and tires. Couple that with a take-no-prisoners 500cc two-stroke powerband, and you're really playing with fire. This 1986 Suzuki RG500 has had those concerns addressed, with mods to allow it to run modern tires and reworked suspension and brakes.

1986 Suzuki RG500 restomod for sale on eBay

The work was done by renowned RG500 tech Rick Lance, and the seller says no stone was left unturned. The bike was taken down to the chassis and gone over from top to bottom. The forks have been rebuilt and the anti-dive bypassed, and the engine has been treated to a mild tune, including a rare set of aftermarket expansion chambers.

From the eBay listing:

1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma. Full Rick Lance Gamma build "resto mod" from the frame up, in excellent condition, mods inc 17 inch wheels, GSXR brakes, Fox remote shock, upgraded forks internals, anti dive block off, plus all the usual Lance Gamma mods, filters, taps, clutch. Rare Tommy Crawford expansion chambers, motor has stock bore with mild tune, lightweight bodywork with single seat with excellent stock style paint scheme, less than one thousand miles since full build including the engine, suspension, gearbox, etc etc, as you would expect from a Rick Lance build it runs and rides perfectly, carburation is spot on pulling cleanly from idle to the red line.

Hard to find these now especially in this condition with everything being practically new, gets lots of attention where ever it goes, sounds amazing, from an era when GP bikes were 2 strokes and four cylinders there will never be anything like it again, own a piece of history!

Clean GA title in my name, located in North Georgia USA Can assist with shipping

The price is an eye-watering $26,500, which is staggering even as the price of nice stockers is climbing. That said, if a modern-style two-stroke superbike is your thing, we doubt you could build your own for cheaper.

Two stroke restomod: 1986 Suzuki RG500
MZ March 22, 2018 posted by

Simple Pleasures: 1995 MZ Skorpion Sport for Sale

MZ's history is more significant than the average enthusiast realizes, especially if you're a fan of this site and/or grey market two-stroke sportbikes. "Why is that?" You might ask. Or more likely, "Who is that?" MZ, formerly MuZ was an East German manufacturer of two stroke motorcycles. Engineer Walter Kaaden actually pioneered the use of expansion chambers while working for Motorrad und Zweiradwerk to tune and increase performance of the dirty little smokers. But after factory rider Ernst Denger fled to the West, taking the company's secrets with him in a move to Suzuki [technically the East then] MZ's dominance ended and the company faded into the background. Later, they built a range of simple, very Soviet-looking bikes based around a Rotax single, but it wasn't until their mid-90s revival with bikes like this MZ Skorpion Sport that they really looked like a modern alternative to anything.

Like an East German version of Triumph's 1990s lineup, MZ's entire range was built around a common frame, and all the bikes used Yamaha's five-valve XT660 single backed by a five-speed gearbox. The frame was less top-heavy than Triumph's spine design, but the big thumper meant modern sportbike fans weaned on Japanese inline-fours were... confused, to say the least. The package made sense for the Mastiff supermoto or the Baghira adventure bike, but wasn't the ideal choice for the Traveller [guess what that one was supposed to be for] and the Sport, along with its Cup and Replica variants, and the bikes were never all that popular.

All the better for the rest of us! The Skorpion wasn't scorchingly fast in a straight line, but throw it into a set of corners and the bike was in its element: referred to the limited-production WP-suspended Skorpion Replica as one of the best handling bikes they'd ever tested. The lower-spec Sport seen here might not handle quite as well right out of the box, but the basic components are there and the bike just a cartridge kit and an updated shock away from similar results. There's a good reason people like to use them as the basis for affordable track and racebikes.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 MZ Skorpion Sport for Sale

Rare and nifty sport single! Yamaha, 5-valve, 660cc, liquid cooled, electric-start engine as used in Yamaha 660cc ATV's Quads. Chassis is unique English design and great handling! Manufactured in (formerly) East Germany. Stock except for Holeshot muffler. Clear title. Runs well, stops great and steers amazing! Please look at photos and ask questions. Local pickup or you handle shipping. Thanks!

At 26,000 miles, this is no garage queen, but it looks like it's in good cosmetic condition and the XT660 powerplant isn't exactly rare, so basic maintenance should be easy. Considering the bidding starts at just $1,799 with no takers yet, this should be on the short list of anyone looking to graduate from track days to racing, fans of affordable exotica, and basically anyone that's a lover of fun, honest, practical motorcycles.


Simple Pleasures: 1995 MZ Skorpion Sport for Sale
Ducati March 21, 2018 posted by

Distant Rumble – 2004 Ducati 1000DS SuperSport

Long and lean, Ducati's 1000 Dual Spark SuperSport impressed reviewers with stable handling and sensible seat height.  Its 85 air-cooled hp don't snap the bike upright but do just fine making the cars and bikes behind get smaller.  This 2004 model has miles but recent maintenance and a very factory appearance.

2004 Ducati 1000DS SuperSport for sale on eBay

Ducati used two sparks plugs ( and valves ) per cylinder to help increase power.  Similar 90-degree L-twins powered the Monster and Multi Strada, trading the stable temperatures of liquid cooling for the simplicity and lighter weight of air cooling.  Many updates were made to the heads to improve valve angles and gas flow.  The classic trellis frame provides a solid platform for the 43mm Showa forks and alloy swingarm with Öhlins shock.  The dry clutch is also all aluminum to save weight.  Gold line Brembo calipers are found over dual 320mm front disks and 245mm rear.

Despite 24,000 and 14 years, this 1000DS looks very good.  As a 2004 it has alloy swingarm, Marchesini wheels, and Öhlins rear shock that were later value-engineered into cheaper components.  It also has the rarely seen aluminum mufflers and factory turn signals.  I had thought that Ducati only offered the 1000DS SuperSport with full fairing, but maybe this example snuck in under that wire as well.  Maintenance history from the eBay auction :

Work at 17,000 Miles :

  • Valves Checked (No adjustment needed)
  • New Timing Belts Installed

Recent Work at 21,000 Miles :

  • New Brakes

Just Installed at 24,000 Miles :

  • Oil Changed – 100% Synthetic, with new mounts on the oil cooler
  • Ducati Air Filter
  • New Front and Rear Tires
  • New chain
  • Both sprockets (front and rear) are new, geared for the highway
  • New Battery
  • New Rubber Oil Cooler Mounts


Fans might differ on the complex Terblanche design, but the basic facts of a nicely faired 1000cc sportbike remain, with the fanfare of the big L-twin on approach.  Some afficionados recommend buying the very latest of whatever model you choose, but the 1000DS SuperSport is an exception, this 2004 being better equipped than later years.  Since the last year of the model was 2007, all major improvements are on board the '04.  The simplicity of the desmodue also lends itself much better to hobbyist maintenance than a new bike, and this well cared-for example is worth a look-see...


Distant Rumble – 2004 Ducati 1000DS SuperSport
Laverda March 20, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: Zero-mile Laverda 750S

When a mid-nineties Ducati just ain't cutting it as far as style, panache, build sheet, rarity and dubious build quality are concerned, it's hard to do better than a contemporary Laverda. Sure, you could go Bimota and snag Japanese reliability with the sex appeal only Italy can muster, but you couldn't be too much more obvious.

1998 Laverda 750S for Sale on

Today's Laverda 750S solves all of those problems, with a reputation for millimeter-perfect handling, pretty Paoli squishy bits and a proprietary, fuel-injected 750cc parallel twin. The bike appears to have covered just eight kilometers from new, and is supplied with nearly enough spares to make an entire new bike.

From the seller:

I’m interested in selling my 0 miles Laverda 750 S (the bike + spare parts of a 15.000 km sister bike: engine, electric system, forks, wheels. No frame, no fairings).

Top shelf components:

Brembo brake system;
Marchesini wheels;
Paioli forks.

Only two items aren't original: the carbon look mirrors, coordinated with other true carbon details, and the electric system (a more common and reliable Ducati Monster's electric system is on).

The bike has always been stored in a warm and dry garage, it's is maniacally well cared, the original tires weren't in good conditions, hence I switched them with the twin bike's 5.000 km ones. The bike is ready to roar tomorrow, then it would be a nice deal for collectors and/or users targeting not an ordinary ride. A gorgeous sound and the extreme rarity put the user under the spotlights even on a sunny day.

In case of further need of spare parts, I can put you in contact with "3C moto" company, managed by a former Laverda technician and big lover of the brand who withdrew all the original Laverda parts (or you can straightly contact

My target price is 5.600 euro (a bike and half, it seems a fair price for a ready-to-use exotica, isn't it?).

The bike is located in Varese, Northern Italy. I can arrange a worldwide delivery at the purchaser's cost (air or sea, according to buyer preference). Any precaution and delivery terms (insurance for the transport included) will be agreed according to the destination.

Contact Stephano with your interest:

The Laverda 750S represents a throwback to a time when there were still companies that very much felt like they were screwed together by dedicated enthusiasts in a small shop. Japanese bikes are great for obvious reasons, but they all carry just a whiff of their manufacturers' roots in heavy equipment manufacture.

If you can swing the 5,600 EUR pricetag and import fees, this is a great way to set yourself apart from the crowd.


Full size image gallery:

Featured Listing: Zero-mile Laverda 750S


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