Author Archives: Donn

Ducati January 15, 2017 posted by Donn

SuperShape – 1995 Ducati 900 SS/SP #229

Until the Monster arrived, the later SuperSport was Ducati's all-rounder, its torquey powerplant and sweet handling taking the racetrack and longer tours in stride.  Only offered stateside, the SP had a few nicer components and limited availability.  This Texas example is worth a closer look.

1995 Ducati 900 SS/SP for sale on eBay

The now venerable 904cc desmodue was a revelation at the time, almost 100 hp per liter in a simple air-cooled package, with nice torque band.  The factory switched to Mikuni carburetors in hopes of better tuneability, and introduced the hinged fuel tank to ease access.  Keeping the excellent Brembo brakes, the SP adds adjustable Showa suspension and an aluminum swingarm.  Front and rear mudguards are a significant carbon accent.

With mid-range miles of 17,051, this SP looks great and has been tuned with upgraded Mikunis and carbon exhaust with stainless brackets.  One of the multiple layers of auction packaging boasts of a custom fairing but it looks stock and pretty nice.  Return from mothball status could be negotiated with the Fort Worth dealer, who put these comments in the eBay auction:

Feast your eyes on this rare Ducati SP900 Desmodue Sport bike.  This is an amazing motorcycle that's been in a collection.  This bike was drained of fuel and has been in storage for 18 months.  This is not a cookie cutter sport bike for Friday nights.  Carbon fiber exhaust, carbon fiber fenders, carbon fiber seat pan, Mikuni TM Flat slide pro series carburetor's.  This bike is in amazing shape and would be a fantastic addition to anyone's collection.

Caught out in the early 1990's model name battlefield, Ducati's later SuperSports came in SS, SS/CR ( Cafe Racer ), SS/SL ( SuperLight ), and SS/SP ( Sport Production ) flavors - later there was even an ( SS/FE Final Edition ).  Like the SuperLight, the SP is a numbered edition and one of the best riding desmodues.  This 900 SS/SP has performance upgrades which enhance its sporty but stock appearance...

-donn

SuperShape – 1995 Ducati 900 SS/SP #229
Ducati January 11, 2017 posted by Donn

On the Dotted Line – 2007 Ducati PS1000LE Paul Smart

One could say that the vintage craze has crested, but the ground-breaking Ducati SportClassics are still more popular than when they were introduced. The Paul Smart commemorative is the pick of the litter and this signed example is spotless with low miles and recent maintenance.

2007 Ducati PS1000LE Paul Smart for sale on eBay

Using the now-classic DS1000 air-cooled engine, the Ducati SportClassic foretold the retro market that followed shortly.  The fuel-injected L-twin was good for 92 pretty reliable horsepower.  The Paul Smart wears the blue-green frame and silver fairing of the original 1974 Super Sport 750, and this one has the desirable fairing lowers.  Mechanically, the PS is pure oughties, with adjustable Ohlins and 320mm Brembo front brakes.  The monoposto seat keeps the rider focused on the task at hand.

 

Holed up for the winter in Boise, this LE is super-sharp with only 1250 miles.  Upgrades include Termignoni exhaust and LED brake and front signal lights.  Planning for the worst case, it comes with a spare fuel tank in case of swelling.  Again thinking ahead, the seat fairing was clear-coated after being signed by Paul Smart.  From the eBay auction:

-One-Off LED fleda brake light. 
-Flush mount blinkers 
-Paul Smart's Signature. (I have a photo of him signing the cowling). 
-The cowling was signed with a paint pen and then was professionally cleared coated. 
-Termignoni full exhaust and ECU. Dealer installed. 
-Lower #16 fairings. 
-I have ALL the stock parts including the exhaust and ECU to put this back to its factory original setting. 

 

For the rider, the flexible DS1000 powertrain and adjustable suspension are reigned in by the low clip-ons and monoposto seat.  Likely a little too nice to ride much, this PS1000LE seems destined for a collection.  It has a little of everything - reference to racing heritage, great retro colors, modern ( but vintage looking  ) mechanicals, and a brilliant design by Pierre Terblanche perfectly executed by the factory.  Hoping the reserve isn't too far over the horizon...

-donn

On the Dotted Line – 2007 Ducati PS1000LE Paul Smart
BMW January 8, 2017 posted by Donn

Feeling Feint – 2007 BMW R1200S

Not feathering the throttle in the twilight of the flat twin engine's development, BMW made a great re-design for their 4-valve boxer sport. The R1200S was more sport and less touring, and this mint example has done very little of either.

2007 BMW R1200S for sale on eBay

For 2007 BMW went more mainstream, shelving the cast aluminum backbone for a much lighter trellis frame, with the power unit providing support for the Telelever front and Paralever rear suspension.  The oil-cooled heads have four valves running off a single overhead cam with 122 hp being the result.  The usual outstanding brakes are available with a sport-oriented two channel ABS that also has a defeat switch.  Frame-mounted supersport fairing flows into the sculpted tank and seat fairing, above a couple of the nicest alloy wheels ever.

There's a sad part to the story of every 10 year-old sportbike that hasn't even made oil-change miles, but it's good news for a fan of the model.  This R1200S was also well-spec'ed with ABS, heated grips, and jazzy option paint.  Original tires would need a serious reality check before any kind of spirited riding.  The Georgia-based second owner says this in the eBay auction:

Complete leather box and key fob, pressure gauge etc. the manuals and brochures are as new. I have the original invoice. Bike has been in heated garage. Candy Cane Paint ($800 option) with BMW suspension and 5.5" rear wheel. ABS, heated grips, factory power plug, battery pigtail for charger. Leo Vince Carbon cylinder covers, Pitbull rear stand. Oil changed with factory oil. Brake purge and bleed. NO codes on my GS911. Original tires, appears as new, but stored out of the ultraviolet. This bike shows as new.

The R1200S with options went into the upper teens, and the auction has quite a few bids with the reserve still unknown.  Even though it reviewed as the sport tourer that didn't forget about the sport, expectations still have to be tailored to the realities of the big twin, which will dance a half-step to the right when you open the throttle exiting a corner.  But if you missed out on the 1200S ten years ago, this would be a good way to rewind and try a so-new-the-headers-aren't-blue, very luxurious, and rather rare super sport...

-donn

 

 

Feeling Feint – 2007 BMW R1200S
Honda January 5, 2017 posted by Donn

Local Hero – 1986 Honda VFR750F

Responding to spate of valve train failures in the original Interceptors, Honda made a new design for the engine and chassis, and produced a more powerful, lighter, and Cycle World's best 600-800cc streetbike for 1986.  It was also the basis for the AMA superbike ridden to the championship by Fred Merkel.  Pretty sharp for 40K miles, this 30-something looks to have been well cared for.

1986 Honda VFR750F Interceptor for sale on eBay

Honda's new design was an early adopter of the aluminum twin spar, with similar aluminum swingarm.  Almost every internal engine part was lightened, the reliable gear-driven cams helping bring 104 hp from the V-four.  The VFR750F was lighter than its predecessor but still has air-assisted forks with anti-dive, bigger tires and good-sized brakes.  Patriotic paintwork accents the full fairing, camouflaging the staggered 16-inch front and 18-inch wheels.

Sparkling despite the high miles, this Interceptor comes out of Florida looking great.  Some wear is seen on the crinkle-painted engine cases, but mostly its immaculate and stock down to the mufflers and factory pillion cover.  The owner states in the eBay auction:

Not to be confused with the far more common VFR700 "tariff cheater" bike. The 750 was a limited production homlogation special for AMA road racing but also a fun and fast everyday rider.

It was the first aluminum framed sport bike, first production Honda with gear drive cams, it set an FIM world endurance speed record in 1986 and won the Daytona 200 in 1988.
This example is a local bike that has been owned by friends or family since new. It is in mechanically excellent condition with minor nicks and dings as seen in the photos.

Reviewed as a bike that handles, steers, and stops like something half its size, the VFR750F still had class leading power, and everyday rideability.  All that shaving in the engine bay has led to long-lived powerplants, but they hardly ever look young like this.  A few bids, but the tempting buy-it-now makes it a great way to start in the hobby...

-donn

Local Hero – 1986 Honda VFR750F
Aprilia January 3, 2017 posted by Donn

Mark 1 – 1995 Aprilia RS250 Loris Reggiani Replica #275 of 500

The fact that it's offered by a SoCal preparation shop specializing in Suzuki might be a reminder that the Aprilia RS250 used the 249cc two-stroke twin from the RGV250.  As enhanced by Aprilia's intake, top end, and exhaust, the RS250 had power that put 4-strokes with triple the displacement to shame.   This first-year race replica has low miles, excellent cosmetics except for one faux pas, and a newly rebuilt engine.

1995 Aprilia RS250 Loris Reggiani Replica #275 for sale on eBay

Commemorating Aprilia veteran Loris Reggiani but capitalizing on Max Biaggi's string of MotoGP championships, the RS250 brought GP technology to the showroom floor with the sculpted aluminum-magnesium alloy frame and swingarm, and carbon fiber seat subframe.  Bigger-bike Marzocchi suspension and Brembo brakes alert you to the possible speeds.  The full fairing is sleek and completed by details like factory billet rearsets.

 

Another victim of too many bikes / too little time, this RS250 has under 6,000 miles and looks great except for the right seat fairing, which might be remedied with a decal kit.  Not sure it's the best thing on a low mile machine, but the fresh engine rebuild will require break-in and tuning, as the owner states in the eBay auction:

But probably the BEST THING about this bike is that it just had a full rebuild - crank, carbs rebuilt, pistons (rgv) new seal kit. Easy said and done over the internet  but i have photo's to prove.
The bike is supplied with full jollymoto pipes, but oem ones are included (seat,rear passenger brackets )
Owners books (both keys) and original loris poster with sales advertisement's
Bike does start but will need to be run in and maybe slightly tuned once its run in.

 

The small print for the RS250 included a powerband that doesn't begin until 8,000 rpm, so there might be a learning curve there.  Ready to ride at 350 lbs., handling is sharp and the brakes are world-class.  Aprilia's meticulous fabrication make the RS250, especially in the race replica, an exciting find...

-donn

Mark 1 – 1995 Aprilia RS250 Loris Reggiani Replica #275 of 500
Ducati December 30, 2016 posted by Donn

Streamliner – 1990 Ducati Paso 906

Backing away from a near mid-eighties bankruptcy, Ducati updated the Paso with a 904cc desmodue, water cooling and 6-speed transmission. The result was sporty and tourable, and this one appears stock and undamaged.

1990 Ducati Paso 906 for sale on eBay

The Paso, named for fallen rider Renzo Pasolini, broke a great deal of new ground in 1986, with its square-tube frame, single Weber carburetor, and all-covering soap bar body.  Famed designer Massimo Tamburini's first Ducati project, it revived the showroom at least enough to result in two substantial revisions.  The 1989-90 Paso 906 had 77 hp and 63 ft.-lbs. torque available, with Marzocchi suspension front and rear.  In step with the times, the 906 used 16-inch wheels to help the heavyweight turn in.  Some of the best faired turn signals ever and opaque windscreen give it a smooth futuristic look.

With just a handful of cell phone pictures, more investigation will have to be done on this particular 906.  Miles are on the low end with 14,000, and the distinctive blue paint looks good.  The Florida-based cycle parts dealer says this in the eBay auction:

This bike is in mint condition with low miles it runs and rides great also has a brand new front tire.

The 906 reviewed as a welcome update in the engine bay if still a challenge when pushed hard.  The final update in 1991 brought electronic fuel injection and 17-inch wheels, but for Ducati purists the package was a little too quiet - visually and aurally - and sales stalled out around 1000 per year.  The stealth bodywork attracts a lot of attention even now, and the blue makes it reactionary's Ducati.  For that nuanced rider, this Paso would be worth a look-see...

-donn

Streamliner – 1990 Ducati Paso 906