Monthly Archives: April 2018

Kawasaki April 21, 2018 posted by

Rare Colors: Cali-Titled 1989 Kawasaki KR-1S in Zeus Blue for Sale

They're relatively rare here in the US, even in states with lax registration requirements, but late 80s and early 90s quarter-liter two-strokes were pretty widely available elsewhere in the sportbiking world, considering their narrowly-focused role and limited audience. Kawasaki was largely absent from the intense class rivalry during that period, though. Their earlier KR250 was out of date compared to something like the original TZR and they didn't have a real competitor ready until 1988 when the Kawasaki KR-1 and the sportier KR-1S were introduced.

The KR-1 was discontinued in 1992, without any significant updates and well before the others in the class. Just 10,000 were built, making it a pretty rare sight outside Japan these days: Honda constructed more than ten times as many NSR250Rs! But although Kawasaki as a company didn't seem like they'd gone all-in on the idea of going head-to-head against Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha, it wasn't as if the KR-1S itself didn't measure up.

Like most of its rivals, the KR-1S was powered by a liquid-cooled two-stroke parallel twin and backed by a six-speed gearbox to exploit the razor-thin powerband although, also like its rivals, the Kawasaki did feature power-valve technology, here dubbed "KIPS," to boost the midrange. Modern bikes with their ever-larger engines and horsepower numbers are increasingly equipped with electronic up-and-down shifters and autoblippers, but they really don't particularly need them on the road, considering the available power. A quickshifter/autoblipper would get plenty of use on one of these, had they been available: there's only so much you can do with just 249cc and the bike's government-mandated 45hp, so dancing on the gear lever is a required, not optional activity when riding a little two-stroke.

The frame was the typical aluminum beam unit of the class and the suspension was good but, compared to other bikes in the class, the KR-1 was a bit... raw. Handling was "lively" and the bike managed a best-in-class tested top speed of 139mph. An engine balance shaft driven by the 180° crankshaft seems like it was the only concession to civility, and even that was probably justified as preventing vibration damage to the minimalist frame, rather than as a means to refine the experience of riding the wee beastie.

From the original eBay listing: Cali-Titled 1989 Kawasaki KR-1S in Zeus Blue for Sale

The KR1S model here in the USA is one of the most rare of the Japanese 250 racer replica two strokes. If one can be found, it will usually be the green, white, and yellow bike. Sometimes the black and green bike, but never a factory genuine JDM Zeus Blue bike. These bikes were very limited in production. The factory Zeus Blue bikes differed from the export models in a few ways: indicators, mirrors, calipers, rotor center color, wheel color, all ID by the frame number. California titled and plated to its original VIN# Rare. Call Tim @714-746-5087 for more details.

When I purchased the bike a few years ago, I went onto the forums and found only a handful of original Zeus Blue KR1S models all overseas: one in Australia, one in the Netherlands, and one in the UK. I would go so far as to say this is the only one in the USA, and I know it’s the only one with a California title. This is THE rocking horse unicorn bike. To whomever buys the bike, you would be INSANE to remove the California title from the bike. That makes this bike so desirable. These bikes were ONLY JDM models never for export which is what makes them so rare. I have owned many many 2Ts (TZR, SPR, MC21, Rothmans, MC28, VJ23, V Model, Lucky, etc). These parallel twins really are amazing bikes. Having owned the four big Japanese manufactured bikes, to me there is no question Kawasaki is the most fun to ride. They literally are mad scientists and I LOVE IT! The KR1S was the fastest of all the 2T racer replicas. And if you know Kawasaki, they just built it and let it rip. Yamaha, Honda have their rev limiters, credit card ignitions, etc. Not Kawi. This thing will go all the way if you were to wind it out all the way. The sound of the parallel twin motor is simply the best. The cackling of the pipes. This bike has only had Motul 710 in it, runs fantastic, starts first kick, and purrs at idle. 18k miles on the clocks, float, gaskets, float valves all done, carbs serviced and cleaned, has Uni foam filter, new plugs, steering damper, factory toolkit, original key, etc. Clear California title in hand and current registration ‘til Jan 2019. Bike is for sale locally so the auction can end at any time. Thanks. Enjoy the ride…

Personally, I prefer my wild-haired Kawasakis to be vibrant green, and not the more civilized, metallic green they've been using on their modern, more sophisticated offerings. No, I want that lurid, fluorescent green of old. But this color scheme is exceedingly rare here, and that does count for something. Not to mention that it does look pretty sharp! The 18,000 miles indicated may not be stored-in-your-livingroom low, but the bike does appear to be you-could-eat-off-it clean and is in immaculate condition, with the very desirable California registration. And yes, the seller is correct that re-titling it in another state is absolutely a bad move financially: legitimately-titled two-strokes of this era are difficult to come by here, and there are plenty of well-heeled enthusiasts willing to pay extra for something they can legally ride.

-tad

Rare Colors: Cali-Titled 1989 Kawasaki KR-1S in Zeus Blue for Sale
Kawasaki April 20, 2018 posted by

Un-Green – 1990 Kawasaki ZX7 H2

Kawasaki threw a spanner into the manufacturer ID-by-color system with this black and gray metallic harlequin.  The green was for guys who wanted you to know they were on an H2 Ninja, a lower-cost challenger to the RC30 in the race-on-Sunday-sell-on-Monday sweepstakes.  This example had a couple of close shaves but has been studiously rejuvenated.

1990 Kawasaki ZX7 H2 for sale on eBay

The ZX7 was Kawasaki's passport to the AMA Superbike Championship with the RR variant, but the base model H2 had great power with the 748cc four supplying 107 hp.  The CAD designed twin spar chassis was massive and supported fully adjustable Uni-track monoshock and the last year of 43mm right-side-up forks.  The flex tubes supplied fresh air to the updated engine, and countless vacuuming jokes.

The owner has put improved running with a jet kit, and battled the NLA demons of the water pump, bodywork, and exhaust shields.  Each repair found a way forward, looking good except for the exhaust which cries out for a NOS Muzzy.  From the eBay listing:

Given the bike's age and mileage it has survived exceedingly well. The finish on the alloy parts, the painted engine cases and wheels and, of course, on the plastics is very nice. There is a small, chafed area in the paint atop the tank; aft and to the right. It is responding to hand polishing with Maguire's #6 Polish/Wax and gets better every time I go after it. There's one of those clear adhesive paint savers on the back of the tank which seems to have protected the paint as it shows some scratches. Every time I walk up to the bike, it puts a smile on my face; it is a very handsome motorcycle and I'm sure I'll miss it when it's gone. As seen in the pictures, all the original pieces are there; windshield, grips, levers, reflectors, exhaust, solo seat cowl, tool kit and Owner's Manual. The guy who owned the bike before me obviously cared for the bike, (despite the drop...but it's happened to all of us, right?) while not being shy about riding the thing; it looks like a much lower-mileage bike.

Doug Chandler and Scott Russell combined for four AMA Superbike crowns in the 1990's, the road machine close to the racer at least with precise handling, a tough riding position and hard suspension.  The overall stock appearance works in this Ninja's favor, and the monochrome livery is a quiet attention-getter.  The owner states that the ask is just that, and the Make Offer button is ready...

-donn

 

 

 

Un-Green – 1990 Kawasaki ZX7 H2
Ducati April 19, 2018 posted by

Trick Track Toy: Low-Mileage 2008 Ducati 1098R for Sale

To some, it might seem like sacrilege to take a gorgeous, expensive, limited-edition Ducati superbike and turn it into a trackday toy. But if you've got the money to spend on something you can afford to wreck and want the very best, you can't go wrong with today's Ducati 1098R track bike. Honestly, homologation-special Ducatis don't really make practical roadbikes anyway: their uncomfortable ergonomics, race-bred handling, and ridiculous power only makes sense in an unrestricted environment.

History I'm sure will be kind to the Terblanche-styled 999. But at the time, the successor to the storied 916 was a relative sales flop, in spite of it being better in virtually every way. Power was up, electronics were more sophisticated, and the solo seat models even offered adjustable ergonomics. Unfortunately, the restyle went just a bit too far for Ducati's conservative fan base, but Ducati quickly learned their lesson. The 1098 that followed was really Ducati walking back their radical mandate, at least in terms of styling. It's a good-looking bike, but obviously kind of derivative, which was really the whole point after all. It may be my least favorite Ducati superbike, but apparently I'm crazy because I know more than a few guys who love it unreservedly. And you can't argue with the performance: in ultimate, 1098R form seen here, the v-twin pumped out a claimed 180hp, a huge jump over the earlier bike.

A big bump in displacement certainly helped: the 1098R actually had a larger 1198cc engine to exploit the full displacement allowed by World Superbike regulations at the time, an interesting reversal of the more recent Panigale 1299R that displaces less for the same reason... Aside from the bump in displacement that resulted from a larger bore and shorter stroke, the R also used titanium valves and connecting rods to help the bike rev higher. And while the 180hp is basically the minimum required for entry into the literbike club these days, the massive 99 lb-ft of torque should be enough to widen eyes everywhere.

Possibly the most significant aspect of the 1098R, aside from its competition-derived engine, was a race kit exhaust and ECU "intended for off-road use only" that liberated an additional 9hp and also activated the revolutionary Ducati Traction Control system with 8 levels of adjustability. It was relatively crude, compared to today's systems, but was undeniably effective and was used on Ducati's MotoGP and WSBK machines of the time.

After all that, it's almost easy to overlook the bike's trick suspension that included an Öhlins TTX36 twin-tube shock at the rear and represented pretty much the very best roadgoing suspension money could buy at the time. Just 300 examples of the 1098R were imported to the US, priced at $40,000. This one is number 277 of a total 450 produced worldwide and has only 2,800 miles on it, although most of those have accumulated on closed courses, and track miles are kind of like dog years...

From the original eBay listing: 2008 Ducati 1098R for Sale

ONLY 2,800 MILES

#277 of 450

THIS BABY IS BAD!

PLEASE UNDERSTAND THIS IS A TRACK BIKE, NOT A STREET BIKE

The 1098 R is the ultimate Superbike. The most advanced, most powerful twin-cylinder motorcycle ever built. It is the product of a team of designers and engineers focussed on one objective only – to win.

The ‘R’ is a race bike, pure and simple. Its competition specification and superior components together with advanced electronics and race-proven chassis technology deliver a level of performance that empowers you with confidence and capability. On the road, it distinguishes you as a connoisseur of high-performance motorcycles. On the track it promotes you to a higher level of riding and closer to realising your dreams.

World Superbike rule changes mean that the road-going ‘R’ version is closer than ever to our factory race bike. The 1098 R is not a replica – it’s the real deal. An incredible 180hp L-Twin Testastretta Evoluzione engine in a race-winning Trellis chassis set-up tips the scales at an unbelievably lightweight 165kg (364lbs) and comes with a race kit that introduces Ducati Corse’s world championship winning traction control system.

Once again, Ducati raises the bar and sets the world standard for sport bikes while turning the heads and racing the hearts of enthusiasts throughout the world.

The 1098 R – Built to Win

If you have a need for speed, then this is your answer. 

This motorcycle was bought stock from the Ducati Dealership in 2012 when it had only 331 miles. The previous owner has upgraded numerous parts over the past few of years. I do have most of the original parts here in a box. The bike does have a couple minor scratches and chips (most have been professionally touched-up). Normal wear items for a track bike. This 1098 has always been serviced at the Ducati Dealership. Please understand; THIS IS A TRACK BIKE, not a street bike. 

The Buy It Now price for this low-mileage, race-ready homologation special is a reasonable $19,995. That's less than other 1098Rs we've seen, but of course it's likely to see a harder life than most and that's going to make it less desirable to collectors. 180hp and primitive traction-control seen here might not sound all that impressive, in this age of the cornering-ABS-equipped, up-and-down quickshifter-ed, traction-controlled, 206hp at-the-wheel Panigale 1299R Final Editions. But this 1098R most definitely is a very significant and collectible homologation-special Ducati from the dawn of the Electronics Era, when rider aids shifted [see what I did there?] from simply improving safety to making riders faster. If you've got the cash to splash, this is a pretty cool way to get your trackday kicks, and a race track actually seems a more appropriate place for a 1098R than collecting dust in some collection.

-tad

Trick Track Toy: Low-Mileage 2008 Ducati 1098R for Sale
Aprilia April 18, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 2009 Aprilia RS125

Nothing in American motorcycling circles screams "MEH" like a 125cc single cylinder beginner bike, even if it does have a paint job aping a world champion's race bike. That's a shame, really, as most of the motorcyclists on these shores end up missing the joys of light, flickable, surprising rides in favor of feeding the maw of the ever-escalating horsepower wars.

You end up missing things like this 2009 Aprilia RS125, a 275-pound flyweight two stroke that puts out almost as much power as legions of bigger, tamer four-stroke dual sports. True, it won't win a stoplight to stoplight contest, and its merits don't shine until you have clear road in front of you and you're near the top of the revs, but it will always reinforce the slow bike fast principle.

The seller has the bike plated in California, although it is on a non-op registration after it proved too much for his new-to-bikes wife and too little for his frame. Though the title is clear, it is entirely possible Cali will revoke the plates the next time it crosses the DMV's threshold. It should be good just about everywhere else, though, and is the perfect weapon to chase down clumsily ridden big bikes.

From the seller:

For Sale: 2009 California plated Aprilia RS 125 “Spains No. 1” edition. Price $4800, reasonable offers considered. Ready to ride.

Purchased in 2012 as a bike for my wife, we quickly realized that managing a two stroke 125 repli-racer as a learner bike wasn’t the best idea. That and the fact that this is a beautiful bike (and not wanting to have anything happen to it) I took the bike to ride. As the third owner, I put around 100 miles on it, mostly short trips to the Rock Store - one of our local bike hangouts. For my size, the bike was underpowered and undersprung, so it spent most of the time in our garage. I was told by the previous owner that the street components (harness, lighting, etc.) are factory Aprilia and all were installed by Aprilia technicians.

Ultimately, to make room in the garage, in 2016 fluids (coolant, fuel, engine oil and transmission oil) and were drained and bike was put in climate controlled storage. Recently, it was brought back, fluids refreshed, restarted and taken for a checkout ride.

Title: Bike has clean title with California plates, but is registered as PNO (planned non-operation) in 2014 since the bike was not being ridden.

Known issues: There is a slight blemish on the passenger seat and on the right hand side panel it there’s a ¼” mark in the sticker (see photos). What I would do if I were keeping the bike: Tires are serviceable for street riding, but for more lively canyon use, I’d replace them. Also, fork oil should be refreshed and the oil injector lines seem to be a little stiff so replacement will be in order at some point.

Rear view mirrors are removed but will be included with sale. No other accessories are included.

Bike is located in West Hills, CA

Price: $4,800 USD
Contact: paul@ifr1.com

At $4,800 it's most of the way to KTM RC390 territory, but is altogether more interesting, and for the right rider could be more fun. It's also worth noting that this bike truly is the top of the tech heap when it comes to two strokes, and is still cheaper than the older grey-market Japanese equivalents.

Featured Listing: 2009 Aprilia RS125
Ducati April 18, 2018 posted by

1986 Ducati MHR Mille with 397 Miles !

Quite possibly the ultimate bevel-drive Ducati, the Mike Hailwood Replica started out as a lightweight homolagation special, but finished as a 973cc superbike.  This fine example has some shelf wear but has logged only a few hundred miles.

1986 Ducati MHR Mille for sale on eBay

The late MHR had 76 torquey hp, and the big fairing in commemorative red and green livery with monoposto seat.  Trellis frame peeks out behind beefy air-cooled cylinders.  The 40 mm Dell’Orto carbs, five-speed and smallish Brembo brakes made for a dynamic package.

Hidden away in Dixie, this MHR appears complete and original with just a single faux pas at the windshield and the deteriorated turn signal stalks.  A comprehensive going over will be required to return it to riding status or the show circuit.  From the eBay auction:

nice original paint bike, with only 397 miles on it. the clear windshield is cracked on the left (see pics) and the turn signal stems are made of some plastic that just crumbled from age, turn signals are included.

I put a battery and gas in it, and it started and ran fine. I didn't try to ride it, as the brakes will need servicing, and the petcock leaks.

beautiful bike
as far as I can tell, its completely original.

feel free to ask any questions
all of these Ducati's listed are being sold from an estate, and all have been sitting a few years.

Budget concerns ruled the day and Ducati wasn’t able to follow Hailwood’s 1978 TT victory with a win, but wins in IOM Formula II generated showroom interest that kept shoppers coming in until the new belt-drive desmodues were ready.  The model was continued as a tribute after Hailwood’s death in a road accident, and became the most popular bevel.  A short restoration and a long career behind the velvet ropes await this MHR...

-donn

1986 Ducati MHR Mille with 397 Miles !
Bimota April 16, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1998 Bimota SB6R for Sale

Bimota's SB6R followed the earlier SB6, one of their best-selling models of all time, with approximately 1,200 made. The SB6R likely would have been produced in similar numbers, but for the debacle that was the radical, two-stroke VDue. That bike's failure pulled the whole company down into bankruptcy, and when the company was resurrected in 2003, the SB6R was not in the lineup, likely due to the discontinuation of the SB6R's GSX-R1100 powerplant with the demise of that model in 1998.

That GSX-R engine was famously powerful and bulletproof, and was backed by a five-speed gearbox that reflects the bike's freight-train character: the Bimota's claimed 156hp might not seem all that impressive, but the liquid-cooled inline four had a storming midrange and the SB6R was very light for the era. Paioli forks up front and an Öhlins shock round out a package that can still embarrass modern motorcycles in skilled hands, but a complete lack of electronic aids means it remains an "experts only" motorcycle.

The SB6R used the SB6's massive, aluminum "Straight Connection Technology" beam frame, with more modern, conservative bodywork that lost the SB6's swoopy looks and the exhaust hidden within the tail section. The styling elements of the updated SB6R may be derivative: fairing "speed holes" from a CBR900, a pair of undertail exhausts like a 916, and a trapezoidal headlight like an FZR... Okay, it actually was the headlight from an FZR. But somehow, even though the elements are familiar, the overall look was very much a Bimota. It's almost the anti-916: bulbous and curving instead of wasp-waisted and slab-sided, built around a beam-frame instead of a trellis, powered by an inline four instead of a twin...

This Bimota certainly isn't one of the best bikes of the era, but it is one of my personal favorites. This particular example is a rarity, a machine ready for the road that appears to have had the bugs worked out and only some very minor blemishes. It's also a very low serial number: 000023.

From the Seller: 1998 Bimota SB6R for Sale

I have come once again to your fine forum to move a jewel. I know you have featured a few of these, so I wont go through the Bimota propaganda and just get to the meat of what I have done. The usual Bimota story, well heeled individual purchased and rode very little, used more as a object d'art, rather than a mode of transportation for the majority of its life. She is now ready for riding. This thing rips, even with my 6'4", 220 pound, Yeti-like mass aboard.

  • Equipped  with the Bimota Corse Titanium exhaust
  • Kevlar brake lines
  • Michelins
  • Rebuilt carburetors, new needle valves
  • New NGK plugs
  • Oil and filter
  • New fuel pump from Bimota Classic Parts
  • New petcock from Bimota Classic Parts
  • All new Motion Pro fuel lines
  • New fuel filters
  • Cleaned fuel tank
  • The fuel system is now up to original Bimota factory spec.
  • This bike pulls like a freight train.
  • 2 small cracks in the gauge lens
  • Ridden and on the road
  • Every system functional
  • No issues
  • All paperwork in order.
  • 2 Original Bimota keys.

Price: $12,500
Contact Chris: gsxronly@aol.com or 407-492-5854

The seller is asking $12,500 for this SB6R, which is on the high-end, but the bike looks to be in highly functional condition, which is critical: Bimotas are often derided for their kit-bike quality when new, so set up is key. The fact that this one is claimed to be ready for the road is kind of a big deal, and mileage is pretty low as well. The Corse exhaust is a nice addition since it reduces weight from high up and at the tail end of the machine, and any Bimota with stock pipes is likely to stay that way at this point, unless you feel like having someone custom fabricate a set for you: just 600 were made so there isn't much demand for aftermarket parts.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1998 Bimota SB6R for Sale

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