Author Archives: Donn

Yamaha April 10, 2017 posted by Donn

Race Developed – 1985 Yamaha RZ500

Developed to capitalize on a 500cc GP championship, the RZ500 promised the world and then delivered.  For all its street equipment, it was a close to a Grand Prix machine as a generation would get.  Thanks to careful updates and maintenance, a new generation might now experience this 500cc machine with liter-bike power.

1985 RZ500 for sale on eBay

The RZ500 was known abroad as the RD500LC, Race Developed Liquid Cooled.  Beside 88 hp on a mid-400 lbs. package, the RZ500 was a technical marvel.  The short list - V4, twin crank, servo-controlled exhaust ports, close ratio cassette transmission, anti-dive forks, horizontal monoshock and alloy swingarm - all things found on Kenny Roberts' YZR500.  The fact that it never was imported to the states has only increased its cachet, and this example has current California title.

More of a survivor than hangar queen, this RZ500 is mostly stock and very sharp for 30-plus years and 13,000 miles.  Carburettors and exhaust have been updated, but oil injection remains as well as un-restored fairings.  The owner says it sports a vanity plate, but the pictures don't divulge.  From the eBay auction:

1985 Yamaha RZ500 original paint, It has 28mm TM carbs and expansion chambers on it runs very good, Oil injection intact and working as it should, All lights work, New chain, New battery, Tires are 80%, The front forks have the normal clear coat going away problem on the anti-dive valves, But you have to remember its 32 years old other than a few spots it is a very nice looking motorcycles also some stress cracks on the fairing lowers nothing that can't be repaired but I decided to leave it alone as it still has the original paint.

Current California registration with personal plate that is very cool, I have stock exhaust and carbs also the air box and original cables and brackets, I have a complete set of rings and some gaskets, Also have at least ten motorcycle magazines with RZ500 articles, Also two sales brochures, I also have at least three sets of brake pads and a couple of brake rotors and some other parts, Yamaha service manual also, The bike has 21,326 kilometers on it a little over 13,000 miles, For sale in the USA only!!!! Always draws attention wherever I ride it.

Some compromises were made to road duty, like the wet clutch and engine's balance shaft.  Period wheel sizing - 18" rear with 16" front, requires care when riding and shopping.  But it's closer overall to the track than the street.  Most of the RZ500's here made their way down from north of the border, though they were exported down Oz way and sold at home.  The road ready condition of this RZ might keep the price out of the stratosphere, but the left coast title, well considered updates and mostly stock presentation should spell a smashing ride for the next owner...

-donn

 

Race Developed – 1985 Yamaha RZ500
Yamaha April 7, 2017 posted by Donn

Silver Fox – 1989 Yamaha FZR 1000

Yamaha's FZR1000 was their flagship from 1987-1995 and named "the bike of the decade" by Cycle World in 1989.  This European import is a second generation machine with the EXUP electronically controlled exhaust collector, but is also in a classy color scheme rarely seen stateside.  The mileage indicates a well-loved FZR, and a couple of foibles and faux pas might keep this superbike on budget.

1989 Yamaha FZR1000 for sale on eBay

Capable of 0-60 mph in under 3 seconds and the 1/4 mile in just over 10, the FZR1000 was a capital-S Superbike.  The 1989 update brought major engine and chassis revisions, the 5-valve 1002cc challenging the quicker-handling GT with 145 hp.  The alloy Deltabox frame carries the engine from the top only, and uses it to increase rigidity.  The formerly 18" rear wheel is now a -17, matching their gyroscopic forces.  With fresh air intakes under the dual headlamps, the fairing works as well as it looks.

The importer but not the original owner, this EXUP fan has brought this example through almost 31,000 miles, and looking pretty swell.  He discusses the limited edition paint in the eBay auction:

The fine silver was offered for one year only and sold in limited numbers, it was never offered in the US.  In the UK the nine digit VIN for '89 started with number 3LG000101.  As can be seen from the listing, this imported motorcycle is number 18 of that year for the UK.  I brought her in as it was always my favorite bike and it took me two years to find one in decent shape.  Attrition over the years has taken its toll on the remaining numbers.  She rides like she's on rails and runs smooth but I noticed when I started her earlier today she may need a carb balance as she coughed slightly. The mirrors are 1994 but I have the originals ( most people used the 94's ).  The screen is a replacement zero gravity in smoke and I have the original.

Reviewed as a fitting 2nd generation, the FZR1000 won quite a few endurance races and was the basis of the truly exotic Bimota YB6.  As too much garage time will do, the carburettors need adjustment, electric petcock repaired, and a rub here or there could be smoothed out.  But the geometric paint scheme will be worth the effort,  the three shades of silver metallic coolly telling about the long haul...

-donn

 

Silver Fox – 1989 Yamaha FZR 1000
Ducati April 5, 2017 posted by Donn

Bananagram – 2002 Ducati 998

Interspersed among the legion of red bikes, Ducati has always had an alternate or special paint available, sometimes black or grey, in limited editions tri-colore or green, and more recently white.  Variously called speed, Ferrari, or fly yellow, the paint on this nicely updated 998 jumps right out in the Arizona sun.

2002 Ducati 998 for sale on eBay

The 998 was the first production Ducati with the testastretta engine, and the last of the 916 folded-nose dynasty.  The narrow-head engine brought 40mm intake valves at less of an angle to the piston tops, helping the 998 make 123 hp, a 10 percent increase over the 996.  The iconic chassis design makes that power as usable as can be on the road.  As well as being top components, the gold anodized Brembo brake carriers, nitrided Showa fork sliders and Öhlins monoshock provide accents to the yellow scheme, as the gray Marchesini alloys do for the silver trellis frame.

With a little over 4,000 miles, this 998 has current maintenance, Termi's and ECU, and new rubber.  That's the way to start the riding season.  A couple of rubs are pictured, but not bad for 15 years.  The hidden rear signals clean things up so much that the fronts should be next.  From the eBay auction:

All maintenance is current and all work has been done by certified Ducati techs.  I am the second owner and purchased the bike with 1300 miles on the clock over 2 years ago.  Everything works as should on this bike.  It needs nothing.

The bike has a full Termignoni exhaust with the Ducati performance ECU.  I have had a Oberon clutch slave cylinder installed to smooth out and make gear changes easier.  There are a set of after market foot pegs with serious grip for your boots.  A tail tidy has been affixed that has the rear turn signals inside of the seat cowl.  When you signal they flash thru the mesh air vents in the rear.  Pretty cool.  All of the original parts (pegs, clutch slave cylinder, rubber air restrictors, etc.) are included in the sale so if you want you can take it back to as it left the factory.
Of the 916/996/998 bikes, this is the engine you want.  Most power and torque.  And most reliable.  Look on Ebay right now and you will see almost no other 998 for sale.  Especially a yellow one.  This bike turns heads everywhere I ride.  No disappointments.  I have a clean title and both sets of keys.  Brand new Pirelli tires.
The 998 reviewed as outstanding performance with better quality control, maybe the result of Monster money rolling in, or the new private-equity stockholder's insistence.  15 years on, it's nice that the build quality competed with the design in those years.  Combined with the previous owners' care of this uncommon 998, it should reward the new owner.  The fairings, nicely smoothed out with less venting, have a tiny note "testastretta" under the Ducati name.  For the impact on the 998 and the succeeding testas, it should've been 8 inches tall...
-donn
Bananagram – 2002 Ducati 998
Suzuki April 4, 2017 posted by Donn

Slabbie Import – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition

The first few years of GSX-R750 production had a simple race-derived seat fairing and refreshing performance.  The 1986 update included a lengthened swingarm to tame the handling, and introduced a Limited Edition homologation special with dry clutch and solo seat.  This Japanese import is in rare Yoshimura colors and just under 8,000 miles.

1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition for sale on eBay

Thirty-odd years ago, the GSX-R750 broke a lot of new ground and was pretty close to an endurance racer with lights.  The air/oil-cooled 749cc's were good for 100 hp, and the small-tube alloy frame helped keep the wet weight within a gallon of 400 lbs.  18-inch wheels, 310mm brakes, and Full Floater monoshock combined to spell capability.  Fiberglass seat console and full fairing with dual headlamps had a no-nonsense look.

The year after introduction, the Limited Edition had all the nice things the race department wanted to use, dry clutch, 41mm forks with Suzuki's New Electrically Activated Suspension ( NEAS ) anti-dive system, remote reservoir shock, wider rear wheel, and a host of lightened assemblies.

This Northwest GSX-R is a special import, the red and brown Yoshimura colors jangling a bit with the black seat and exhaust, and gray engine paint.  The VIN indicates a machine for the Japanese market, as does the lack of reflectors, tinted turn signals, and lack of heat shield on the muffler.  The overall condition shows that it must have been ridden very carefully and stored or displayed with a curator's care.  From the eBay auction:

All of the body panels are in excellent condition, there no cracks or major nicks anywhere. The original Suzuki exhaust is in excellent condition with no scratches or dents anywhere, The wheels are also in excellent condition with good paint and no major chips anywhere. Even the windscreen is original and in great condition. Basically the motorcycle is a 9.5 out of 10 cosmetically.  Mechanically the bike runs and rides perfect, there are no oil leaks anywhere and all of the engine paint still has the original GSXR shine with out any major dings or chips. All of the electrical components work as they should; lights, blinkers, horn, speedo, tach, fuel gauge, all work properly. The bike just had a full service tune up including new tires, all fluids were changed, and mechanically everything was inspected and replaced if necessary with original Suzuki parts.

Offered by a vintage parts house, the story of how this LE came to be isn't told in the auction, so bidders will have to send a query or go on wondering how so few parts appear to indicate use or even to have aged.  Maybe the preservation or restoration question doesn't even matter much, but as the auction goes on and the "reserve not met" sign remains lit, someone will want to know...

-donn

Slabbie Import – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition
Ducati March 31, 2017 posted by Donn

One Mile per Month – 2002 Ducati MH900E

The past few years have gone by like a flash, but even more so for this very mint Ducati special. Built just in 2001 and -02, the retro-tech Mike Hailwood commemorative began Ducati's Sport Classic phase.  Hard to believe the concept was shown in 1998 and the run of 2000 sold out within hours via the interweb.

2002 Ducati MH900E for sale on eBay

   

Pierre Terblanche kept the priorities straight when sketching the MH900E, pretty good performance from the air-cooled desmodue, showing it off with the sculpted fairing and belt covers echoed on the tank.  Long and low, the MH900E was more at home on a fast sweeper than a twistie, though it did have fine Marzocchi forks and remote reserve Paoli monoshock.  Red as the fairing, the trellis frame and swingarm show off the manufacturer's art.  The exhaust makes its way under the seat to a pair of seemingly too long mufflers, extending well past the finned seat fairing.

   

This owner has the bug bad, and has preserved the original numbered shipping crate for the bike.  Though it has new tires and cam belts, the originals are saved just in case.  - Here - is his walk around video, which has a little of the blatty exhaust and dry clutch music.  The engraved open clutch cover is new to me, and the owner says this in the eBay auction:

This particular example #1003 is believed to be the first one released to the public as the first two went into museums and it only has 129 original miles making #1003 the lowest mileage one in the country and perhaps the world in this 1000 series. It was ridden less than a mile a month to keep the fluids-engine-drivetrain-suspension in working order. I just serviced it with new fluids, new Pirelli tires, new cam belt (kept the originals) and both batteries. Please take a minute to look at the hi res pics and how detailed/clean it is, I'll post the video walk around and start/run as well. To preserve the museum quality it comes with the original date coded tires with the nibs still on them, original cam belt, 2 sets of keys, original books, original decals in place, original clear protector on the swing arm and the one off factory display stand. The rarest and best part of it all is it comes with the original shipping crate and the number #1003 from the factory hand painted on it !

   

In honor of Mike Hailwood, the MH900E recalls his 1978 Isle of Man victory.  Reviewed as just as much fun to ride as look at, most have languished on the dais, and regularly show up with low mileage, but not low like this.  And I suppose it's deserved, the MH900E's design is way over on the show side ( versus go ) and we can't blame the owner for wanting to keep it nice.  Bidding is quite active and has made back MSRP with almost three days to go.  Likely it will end up on display again, but here's hoping the new owner doubles the mileage beforehand...

-donn

 

One Mile per Month – 2002 Ducati MH900E
BMW March 28, 2017 posted by Donn

For a Beemer – 2004 BMW R1100S

After a 20-year break since the R100/S, BMW's re-entrance to the more sporting side was thoughtfully  considered, with lots of new engineering, and as they approach classic status, a great success.  This nicely-updated R1100S looks excellent and fans of the brand would say, just broken in with 22,000 miles.

2004 BMW R1100S for sale on eBay

The R1100S arrived with concepts new to sportbikes - the four-valve 1085cc boxer, Telelever  front and Paralever rear suspension with shaft drive, single-plate clutch, ABS, and some things newer to BMW - clip-on handlebars and underseat exhaust.  BMW kept their vaunted build quality and usual Bosch fuel injection, but tried to leave the weight behind.  The engine is a stressed member of the aluminum chassis, and the supersport fairing flows from the beak, over the tank to the pillion cover.   Great power at 98 hp with 72 ft.-lbs. torque, and with a dry weight of 505 lbs. it's light for a BMW.

Offered by an Illinois dealer, this R1100S looks well taken care of and has the optional grey / orange checkerboard.  A more sporting build since the ABS, centerstand, and heated grips were left off.  The owner has upgraded to Ohlins dampers on both ends, and added conspicuity lights on the fork legs.  The bags look like they just came out of the closet where, handy as they are, they should be returned.  From the eBay auction:

This 2004 BMW R1100S has only 22,370 miles and has had all of its maintenance performed by Cycle Werks in Barrington, we are an authorized BMW dealer.  This bike comes with BMW Saddle Bags, Ohlins suspension, Aux. Driving Lights, and much more!

For a BMW it's sporty, light, and this one with low miles, and though succeeded by the R1200S, the R1100S is regarded as the better track machine.  The bike was the source of many years of the Boxer Cup, a single marque support series, resulting in the special edition Boxer Cup Replica.  But you can find an R1100S at almost any track day or racing school, just look for the guy with no trailer, he'll be riding it home...

-donn

 

For a Beemer – 2004 BMW R1100S