Monthly Archives: March 2018

Bimota March 31, 2018 posted by

A Better Italian Twin? 2000 Bimota SB8R for Sale

 

Ducati has come a long way in terms of service costs and reliability. The four-valve Bologna twins have always offered good power and a bulging midrange, sure. But you really had to pay for it in the era of the 916. These days, 15,000 mile intervals between major services help keep costs down and the bikes on the road instead of in the shop but, back in the late 1990s, if you wanted a sports v-twin you could ride every weekend, you were probably looking at something like the Suzuki TL1000R. The duck-billed styling may not have appealed to everyone, the bike was a bit porky, and handling was a bit variable, owing to the rotary damper, but the engine was powerful, flexible, and made the right thumpy big-twin noises with a set of aftermarket cans fitted. That fact wasn't lost on Bimota when they went looking to build the SB8R their own v-twin superbike, although I'd bet it was more likely that Ducati wasn't interested in selling them any 4V twins, since I doubt Bimota was really worried much about reliability and cost...

Of course, for a while there, it seemed like the liquid-cooled, four valve, 996cc Suzuki v-twin was the small-block Chevy of the era, since it was used by Suzuki, Cagiva, and Bimota, and probably even a few others I've forgotten, and got stuffed into everything from sportbikes to roadsters to sport-touring bikes. Backed by a six-speed gearbox, the 138hp engine was plenty powerful and very reliable, especially compared to the charismatic, but sometimes temperamental Ducati unit. The biggest issues with the TL1000S and TL1000R were their slight weight problem and the packaging problem "solved" by an innovative but underdeveloped rotary rear damper that had a tendency to overheat and stop damping, leading to the lethal reputation of the earlier TL-S.

Bimota solved both problems. Reducing weight was pretty simple, since that's always been Bimota's thing anyway. It helped that the rear subframe didn't need to be engineered with a passenger in mind, and the bike was otherwise liberally sprinkled with lightweight materials. Of course, their other thing has always been frames, and this one is deserving of the Bimota name: it's an exotic composite unit, assembled from aluminum beam and carbon fiber elements for maximum strength and minimum weight. That new frame allowed a traditional shock to sit alongside the engine, like a Panigale, and solved the packaging issues. Styling is... different. One of the trademarks of a sports v-twin is the overall narrowness of the package, a result of having only two pistons. Sure, one of them is usually thrashing away at 4,000 feet-per-minute, pointed at your crotch, but that's a small price to pay for for torque, aerodynamics, and character. But somehow the SB8R is positively bulbous, although it does make much better use of the original Suzuki headlamp. It's a good-looking bike, but those intake tubes that snake over the tank from their inlets at the top edge of the fairing completely block your view of the controls, so new riders may fumble around a bit and errantly honk, cancel turn-signals, or shut the bike off until they memorize their location.

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Bimota SB8R for Sale

Limited-production track ready motorcycle. #3 of around 150 produced total. Aluminum & carbon fiber frame. 1,000cc engine producing 135hp and 5 speed manual transmission. 3,245 miles shown, but the title is mileage exempt

"1,000cc engine producing 135hp and 5 speed manual transmission. Revs kinda high on the freeway, but it's Italian!" Obviously, this is a dealer reselling the bike, but you think they could at least get the basics right... Anyway, aside from the fact that we're apparently missing a gear in the gearbox, it's mostly what you'd expect from a 3,245 mile bike, and includes a set of Arrow carbon cans, along with a few anodized accessories of dubious taste. The broken turn signals are a bit of a concern, since they appear mismatched, are non-standard, and could easily have been repaired before posting the bike up. It's a minor issue, but it suggests that maybe this bike isn't quite as carefully preserved as it appears. Bidding is up just north of $7,000 with another day left on the auction. Mid to late 90s Bimotas are currently at a low ebb in terms of value, so if you aren't afraid to buy a bike that might need a bit of attention to turn it into something that really performs as it should have straight from the factory, or if you're just looking for some very cool garage jewelry on the the [relatively] cheap, now is the time to buy.

-tad

A Better Italian Twin? 2000 Bimota SB8R for Sale
Suzuki March 30, 2018 posted by

Sling Blade – 1983 Suzuki GSX1100S Katana in Canada

A world away from the usual design-by-committee UJM, Suzuki's original Katana set the stage and riding position for a new generation of road-going sportbikes. This largely original survivor is just across the northern border.

1983 Suzuki GSX1100S Katana ( Canada ) for sale on eBay

 

Designer Hans Muth spent the 1970's bringing aerodynamics and attitude to BMW's R90S and R100RS, and left to form Target Design with partners Hans-Georg Kasten and Jan Fellstrom.  The designers' first commissions were for Suzuki, the GS550M and GSX1100S.  The 1100 brought 4 valves per cylinder and 111 hp to the party, and the Katana's wedge fairing made 137 mph possible.  Changes for 1983 included forged connecting rods and progressive rear springs to accompany the anti-dive forks.  Competition formulas of the day didn't have a place for 1100's, but the Katanas sold well on Suzuki's other successes, and the model name was used until the mid-2000's in the U.S.

 

Waiting for spring in Montreal, this Katana shows 20,000 miles, super clean and factory bodywork in great condition.  Wheels and exhaust have been updated.  From the eBay auction:

Beautiful Katana 1100 with lots of care given to it.  Paint is perfect.  Engine runs super smooth.  New tires.  Original seat in perfect condition.  New exhaust system.  And wider aluminum rims.  (I do not have the stock wheels and exhaust).

 

Largely eclipsed by the GSX-R line-up, the Katanas soldiered on in the showroom providing options for those less track-oriented.  Kind of the Hayabusa of its day, the 1100 Katana was Cycle World's fast machine for 1983, using a half-mile yardstick.  The design got high marks for stability once the stiff suspension was backed out to minimums.  The riding position calling for speed, this Katana could certainly be on the road, but with a little attention could be shown as well...

-donn

Sling Blade – 1983 Suzuki GSX1100S Katana in Canada
Honda March 29, 2018 posted by

Reserve met: Pristine 1996 Honda CBR900RR

The Honda CBR900RR is a bucketlist bike for me. Everything about the machine speaks to me, from its status as a genre-definer to the styling and panache that come from being built when Honda was still an innovative powerhouse.

1995 Honda CBR900RR for sale on eBay

The '90s were still heady times for Big Red, as the marque spat out mind blowing racing machines and sold facsimilies thereof to the general public. When the CBR900RR came along, it didn't betray the family tradition, bringing 600 supersport size and literbike power.

This 1996 Honda CBR900RR wears the iconic Erion Racing livery, celebrating the team's success aboard race-kitted versions. It still has its original Bridgestone tires on, and the torque marks on the rear axle show the tires have never been off. If you want one of these for your collection, this is your machine.

From the eBay listing:

I'll tell you right up front, It's a pretty good bet that this is the most original, lowest mileage CBR900RR in the US. Others may say it, but this IS THE REAL DEAL. It's in unbelievable condition on top of being graced with the highly desirable Erion Racing scheme of US Honda's 90's racing dynasty. It was a dream bike for me after having a 1995 new back in '95, and just months later wishing I had waited a few months after they released the Erion scheme with the larger motor of the '96.

Completely original and never molested! This is as close to the condition it left the factory in December 1995 as you may ever find in your life time. While others may glaze over their mileage, aftermarket exhausts or modifications, there will none of that. No tricks like professional studio type photos or 100+ hours of complete disassembly and detailing to make up for what it cant offer.

Having only 2,905 miles helps cut through the smoke and mirrors of elaborate photographic and detailing exercises. Zero incidents, no tip-overs, just an honest bike in unbelievable condition. No excuses...you WILL NOT find a nicer original bike than the one I am offering to you today.

You can know this bike has only seen 2,905 miles since it's still on it's original Bridgestone BT56 Battleaxe tires Honda installed in Japan when it was built in December 1995. Note the tire picture showing the 1995 date codes (9501 = first week of 1995) as well as it still having unbroken axle torque proof marks from when they were installed at the factory. While the tires are not something you would want to hit the road on, they go to the bikes authenticity so you can feel 100% confident this is a true survivor and the mileage is legitimate. If plan to collect and to store / display her, you are golden.

Other rarely seen items you may note in the photos of this gorgeous bike outside its obvious condition which speak to originality:

It's factory exhaust
Full fender with matching VIN decal
All warning decals.

Essentially you are looking at a time capsule from the mid 90's heyday of sportbikes when the CBR was king of hill. It turns heads today like it did over 20 years ago. I have been asked more than once if it's new from those unfamiliar with the 900rr's.

I'm the third owner and have had it for several years. All owners were older. Now that several years have past, health and age have changed, so I have to be honest that my original plan to have it forever is not realistic for my situation. As hard as it is, I hope someone else will enjoy the opportunity to get that dream CBR they've always wanted.

Disclaimers:
Please ask questions, and If you are local, feel free to set up a time to see her in person. It shows beautifully in the photos, though its nicer in person due to using a standard older camera. I hesitate to say mint as its so over used, but its pretty darn close. The only flaw I am aware of is a pinhead chip in in the small red decal on the front fairing and small scratch in the white 'o' decal that is part of the 'Honda' name on the bottom fairing. It comes with an original correct OEM Honda red upper decal should someone wanted to change it (few minutes). I did not in order to present it as authentically, but I bought it years ago just in case they ever stopped being available. The tank pad is a Honda original accessory applied by the dealer in 1996 at the request of the original buyer.

The bike may be offered locally, I reserve the right to terminate the auction for local sale.

 


The reserve has been met at $5,400, so this bike will sell. If the bidding stays anywhere near that price, this CBR will be a cheap, high-pedigree addition to someone's collection.

Reserve met: Pristine 1996 Honda CBR900RR
Suzuki March 28, 2018 posted by

Worth the Trip: 1983 Suzuki RGB500 for Sale

This time of year, really interesting sportbikes can be a little thin on the ground, so our online searches naturally take us farther afield. In this case, all the way to Japan for a 1983 Suzuki RGB500 that was the Grand Prix racing inspiration for the two-stroke RG500Γ. This Mk8 version was highly-developed, although the earliest iterations of the bike were notoriously brawn-over-brains machines, with plenty of power but sometimes terrifying high-speed handling...

Suzuki's initial foray back into Grand Prix competition in the early 1970s was built around a production-based, water-cooled parallel twin borrowed from their T500 Titan, which saw limited success. Something different was needed if Suzuki wanted to win, and that meant the development of a brand-new four cylinder engine that featured a pair of cranks, disc valves, and the now famous square-four architecture. The new four-cylinder machine was first competed in 1974 and won its first Manufacturer's Title in 1976, then went on to dominate Grand Prix racing for years, and actually drove the shift from four-stroke machines to smokers: if you wanted to compete, you made the switch. That change defined prototype motorcycle racing up until 2002, when rules changes specifically intended to allow four-strokes to compete on more equal footing were introduced.

The original design for Suzuki's new square-four used front and rear cylinder banks that were the same height and made 110hp, although later versions used the more familiar "stepped" arrangement familiar to fans of the Gamma and made even more power. Suspension and tire technology took a while to catch up with the engine's brutal performance: 120hp may not sound like much today, but two-strokes deliver that power in a famously abrupt manner, and the early machines ate tires and chains with startling regularity. By 1982, the bike weighed 238lbs and produced over 120hp, with top speeds of up to 170mph and the RGB500, helped along by talented riders like Barry Sheene and Randy Mamola, was a dominant force in top-level motorcycle racing throughout the 1980s.

From the original Yahoo! Japan listing: 1983 Suzuki RGB500 for Sale

Racer RGB 500 I-MK 8 Works specifications. (Marco Rukkinelli player in Japan has riding)

Frame engine · swing arm Other than Works parts · Exterior manufacturer original.

(Engine) Works Mechanic · Full Overhaul (Replacement of new parts such as expendable parts)

It is running for 2 hours including a mustard and test course.

Basically present car verification. On... examination can receive person hope, in any case present condition delivery no claim.

A bid please those who can understand old racers · those who can understand by image.

Since cancellation of a bid can not correspond, please bid carefully under self-responsibility.

Those who can withdraw to Saitasa city, or if you can arrange for land transportation by yourself as a guideline after about a week after a successful bid

If it is BAS, we will bring it to Kashiwa depot for 5000 yen.

BAS Please bear the shipping fee from Kashiwa Depot by the highest bidder

Please, no jokes about the listing: I ran this though Google Translate so the original seller isn't responsible for any atrocious syntactical mistakes. Although I'm really interested in "a mustard and test course." Obviously, potential buyers won't be worried about the need to register their purchase, since this isn't a street bike. You'd just need to figure out whether to to race or display this bit of history.

-tad

Worth the Trip: 1983 Suzuki RGB500 for Sale
Suzuki March 27, 2018 posted by

Turn of the Century nudist: 20-mile 1999 Suzuki SV650

On its face, this bike is neither rare nor a sport bike. Suzuki made somewhere north of one billion SVs between 1999 and 2008, and if you include the Gladius and the newly-minted SV, those numbers take another jump skyward. Still, their versatility, low price, buttery, non-threatening torque curve and not-too-shabby performance figures have meant SV-650s have been club race and new rider darlings since their inception.

1999 Suzuki SV650 for sale on eBay

This 1999 Suzuki SV650 has to be the lowest-mileage, cleanest example of its breed on the market, having covered just 20 miles since its birth 19 years ago. With a new set of tires, this thing will be as fresh and ready to roll as it was when Limp Bizkit's "Nookie" ruled the airwaves and you could still buy an Oldsmobile. The seller says it got something of a refresh when it was awakened, and it sits ready to go to a new home.

From the eBay listing:

This bike has been sitting in the garage for 18 years. It was dusted off and has a new battery, carburetors were professionally cleaned and it is ready to go to a new home. It is running like a new bike and the body work is clean and not oxidized. The paint looks great. It is fast and loud. Look at the pictures.

Somehow, the bike has not attracted any bids at a pretty attractive $3,800 opening. We expect that will change as the few remaining days wind down, and it will be very interesting to see what the bike finally enters the 21st century for.

Turn of the Century nudist: 20-mile 1999 Suzuki SV650
MV Agusta March 27, 2018 posted by

Papa-Paparazzi – 2005 MV Agusta F4 Tamburini #256 of 300

Like a director's cut of your favorite movie, a special edition sportbike named for the designer will be a memorable experience.  The Tamburini signature F4 is the second 1000cc special edition, and number 256 of 300 has been upgraded and cared for by a notable collector.

2005 MV Agusta F4 Tamburini for sale on eBay

 

The F4 was introduced in 1999 as a 750cc, and the Tamburini is a bit of a return to the original Oro edition where carbon was used extensively.  The Ferrari-designed heads have the valves arranged on the domed top of the combustion chamber for theoretical optimum flow and power, but complicating the head with valves splayed slightly in three dimensions.  With multi-point fuel injection the 998cc four is rated at 173 hp, and the torque curve is helped by the newly introduced Torque Shift System, which shortens the intake runners substantially as rpm's approach 10,000.  Presuming a skilled rider, electronics can help slow the throttle curve and limit power, but there is no traction control or ABS.

 

Somehow this F4 has amassed 14,800 miles, but looks quite excellent.  Along the way the wheels were replaced with BST carbon fiber, the exhaust changed to the factory racing set, and front brakes upgraded to carbon-ceramics, which alone save around 3 lbs of unsprung weight.  Other upgrades are described in the eBay auction:

The original owner went crazy with upgrades and it has BST full carbon-fiber wheels, a performance slipper clutch, carbon ceramic rotors and Brembo mono-blok calipers.  Also has  Ohlins shocks nice adjustable rear set and numerous other things.   All in all I see well in excess of $20,000 spent on upgrades.
The bike comes with an extra seat, the racing exhaust (installed) as well as the street exhaust.  I am including two keys, the rear paddock stand, the cover as well as a few spares like the original license plate frame, grips, levers and clutch.  Bike has the original invoice as well as service records from new.
The original wheels do not come with the bike but I understand they are available if you choose to take off the $10,000 wheels that are currently on the bike.  
I have just had the bike serviced and it runs fantastic.  The brakes are absolutely amazing!   I had all fluids replaced, valves adjusted and the radiator upgraded with a popular reinforcement (weak link on these bikes) All in service cost $1,600.   
I purchased the bike from Guy Webster who is very well known as a collector of rare Italian motorcycles.  The bike still has his signature "Motoguy" stickers on the bodywork, easily removed. 

 

Guy Webster is a rock band photographer whose bike collection was part of the "Art of the Motorcycle" show in 1998 and got a neat write-up in the Robb Report.  From the looks of it the F4 may have just been too new to really fit in.  My back-of-the-napkin math shows a pretty serious discount from the original purchase price to the buy-it-now, compounded by some dollar-intensive upgrades.  Hopefully a fan will step in and give this distinctive MV a permanent home...

-donn

Papa-Paparazzi – 2005 MV Agusta F4 Tamburini #256 of 300

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