Author Archives: Donn

Ducati April 25, 2018 posted by Donn

Insignificantly Rare – 2005 Ducati 1000SS/DS

Ducati developed a new dual-spark desmodue engine for the 1000SS and it is revered among Ducatista.  Its first platform was the Terblanche-styled SS which was fighting a losing showroom battle.  In hindsight it's a great SuperSport and classic Ducati.

2005 Ducati 1000SS/DS for sale on eBay

Engineers made many changes to the new DS engine, the lower valve angles, shortened exhaust ports and up-to-date fuel injection making for a more reliable, even tempered mill.  The 85 hp from the air-cooled 992cc's leave the water-cooling system behind, relying on air and oil cooling to contain temperatures.   Elsewhere, it's classic SuperSport, a fairly aggressive riding position, complex fairing, trellis frame, and room for a passenger.

This SS is offered by an eBay dealer with quads, bikes, and campers on their roster, and the Senna gray with Ferrari red wheels look excellent for their 17K miles.  For some reason the clutch cover is not present, something should be there to protect the rider and keep the rain out.  The mirror booties need adjustment, likely they were folded, but appear to be the stock item.  From the eBay listing:

Fuel Injected

17,031 Miles

Marchesini Red Wheels

Factory Tool Kit

Zero Gravity Smoke Windshield

Brembo Brakes

Red Key

CLEAN AND CLEAR TITLE !

Tested and Inspected, Ready to Ride Now !

Normal wear and tear, open dry clutch assembly with common Ducati Clutch Plate noise

New Harley Davidson Dealer Trade In !

Very Clean Original Bike !

The SuperSport would only survive another year, starved for customers in a showroom with SuperBikes, Monsters, ST3's and 4's, the MultiStrada.  The love-it-or-hate-it body design probably didn't help matters, though the drivetrain would live on in Monsters, Multis, and the new Hypers and SportClassics.  Earlier SuperSport fans will love the new engine, and the handling will bring back memories.  Bar risers are still available to move the grips up and back a little, and the Make Offer button is there to move the bid down and forward a little...

-donn

 

Insignificantly Rare – 2005 Ducati 1000SS/DS
Kawasaki April 20, 2018 posted by Donn

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 18, 2018 posted by Donn

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 !
MZ April 15, 2018 posted by Donn

von Zschopau – 2005 MZ 1000ST with just 16 Miles

With everything from two-stroke racers to sidecars in their century-long repertoire, state-owned MZ ( Motorenwerke Zschopau ) went private in 1990 and was sold to Malaysian investors in 1996.  These were their salad days, with lots of new smaller-displacement models and their first original four-stroke engine for the MZ1000S.  This ST variant has the S frame and is tuned for more torque, but more importantly was dealer-owned and on display since new.

2005 MZ 1000ST for sale on eBay

Sometimes known as MuZ, the company designed a 998cc parallel twin for their new machine, in sport touring tune showing 117 hp and 71 ft.-lbs. torque.  Components were up to date with Marzocchi forks, Sachs monoshock, and Nissin brakes.  The twin spar frame is a double-tube design similar to the Aprilia Falco, but this time in chrome-moly steel.  The angular fairing knifes through the air with a slightly bug-eyed expression up front.

A few thousand NOS parts flying in formation, this MZ has never been registered, and is seemingly undamaged by years of display and storage.  It's a bit monochromatic in silver, gray and black but in staggering condition.  Luggage was part of the original package but is not pictured, either way it can stay on the shelf.  From the eBay auction:

This bike is in essentially brand new condition. Being sold by a former MZ motorcycle dealer. This bike was kept as a show / display bike. It has been regularly maintained, washed and only ridden from the store to the owners home and around the dealership. It has approximately 16 miles on it. Its never been tagged and has been stored in a climate controlled environment. It was started recently and fired right up, the battery is still great, tires are excellent, seat is in like new condition. Shows very minimal sign of age considering it is 13 years old. There is some slight rust on the rear side of the exhaust, see pictures. This should come off with some elbow grease. 

MZ was unconstrained by years in the liter-bike market and the 1000S reviewed as a fresh look at some issues, the twin compact if not underweight.  The company battled the demons of international trade until 2009 and tried but never returned to motorcycle manufacture.  For a fan of the brand or maybe Saxony, this rare example looks worth a shot...

-donn

 

von Zschopau – 2005 MZ 1000ST with just 16 Miles
Honda April 13, 2018 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – 1969 Honda CB750

Update 4.25.2018: eBay notes a sale at $25,600 and seller has confirmed the bike is SOLD. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Even legends take a few baby steps - Honda’s landscape-changing big four was originally manufactured on low-production tooling, known as “sand-cast”.  The smooth 67 hp model sold over 50,000 units the first year, and went on to around 400,000 sales, a lifetime achievement for any other manufacturer.  This early production CB has had a white-glove  restoration using period correct parts and techniques.

1969 Honda CB750 for sale on eBay

Known as the original superbike, the big CB750 was designed with some simplicity in mind.  Low-friction plain bearings are used throughout the engine, and the cylinders are undersquare with a longer stroke than bore, partly in order to limit crankcase width.  The cam chain and intermediate drive share the middle of the one-piece crankshaft for strength.  The switch to disk brakes had just begun but Honda cast theirs in rust-resistant stainless to ensure the clean look stayed nice.  The twin tube steel frame might’ve been the most traditional and not-over-engineered part of the package.  Early on a kickstarter was included though electric start was standard.

Subject of a three-year restoration completed in 2014, this CB was built with NOS parts for the engine and cosmetics.  An NOS wiring harness and exhaust system were sourced for the build, as few survive at their age.  A crucial un-restored tank was found in Candy Blue Green, though it post-dates the sand-cast era.  With the pebble-surfaced cases that "sand cast" refers to, the engine was rebuilt by Honda specialist Mark McGrew in Minnesota.  The complete package is easy on the eyes, the chrome rear fender echoing the front, and the quartet of headers making their way down and back.  Looking head-on shows the lightness and surprising ground clearance available.  Moto Borgotaro is located in Brooklyn, NY - here is a short excerpt from their complete offering which you can view - here - :

“Sand cast” guru Andy Morris of Hampton Bays, New York built this bike. Morris has worked on 15 “sand cast” CB 750s and nearly 50 later versions – he is so good that he can correctly assemble one of these Hondas from a tub of parts without reference to any manual – and he remembers buying # 2659 from a shop in Pennsylvania in the late 1990s. Its restoration took him three years and he used only OEM NOS replacement “sand cast” parts except for the rear rim which he had to have re-plated. All the fasteners, the spokes, the wiring harness, the four exhaust pipes, and other components came out of Honda parts boxes.

www.motoborgotaro.com

For all intents a "new" 1969 motorcycle, this CB750 has turned only 756 miles since completion.  It just looks like fun waiting to happen, at least to riders of a certain age.  My intro to the model was my buddy's CB550 in 1974, and even that seemed endlessly powerful compared to the trail bikes and vertical twins that were more my speed.  Though the standard layout had a self-limiting effect on top speed, it could do almost anything and torque was  always available.  It was also another chapter in the Honda quality story, the single cam engine being eminently reliable.  Strangely enough, the introductory model was also the most powerful, as horsepower figures waned through the emissions legislation and gas crisis years.

Honda used the pre-production molds to cast around 7,000 engines, which would be a successful year for most manufacturers and a full lifespan for more exotic models.  But as usual Honda was looking over the horizon, to around 40,000 machines each year with total production over 400,000.  This museum quality CB750 could be the opener for a collection of Honda superbikes, or the capstone for a history of earlier Hondas.  Moto Borgotaro can be contacted - here -.

Featured Listing – 1969 Honda CB750
Ducati April 12, 2018 posted by Donn

More Than the Sum – 1993 Ducati 900SS Custom

Ducati's iconic 900 SuperSport has everything you need and nothing you don't.  The early 90's edition inspired this retro-faired monoposto, where even more of everything is out in the open.  The custom frame, tank and fairing hang together very well, looking like a Friday afternoon ride into the hills waiting to happen.

1993 Ducati 900SS Custom for sale on eBay

The 900SS goes way back to 1975, but belt drive unburdened the engine in 1988 and the conversion to Mikuni carburetors in 1993 freed up 84 hp.  Big brakes from the 851 provided ample stoppage, and fully adjustable Showa suspension were a nice improvement.  Dry weight was under 400 lbs.

As built by Union Motorcycle Classics, this SuperSport might be under 400 lbs. with half a tank, though the trip odometer might want to be used as a gas gauge.  Perhaps the wafer-thin seat atop the revised subframe would remind the rider to take a break, though the aluminized Ferracci exhaust and Fox rear shock say go.  From the eBay auction:

Introducing a one-of-a-kind professionally built 900SS. Everything on this beautiful motorcycle shows attention to detail and mechanical craftsmanship. (search "custom 900SS" on google and this will be one of the top 5 motorcycles that appears in images.)

The one-off hand crafted tank is a merging of a 900SS tank and a late 80's 750 Sport. Beautifully done. You will see throughout the build are custom manufactured brackets and period race parts, with all work performed by Union Cycles.

Likely the builder didn't change the frame geometry, not messing with one of the best handling SuperSports of the day.  Union has beautifully reduced the 900SS to its cafe' racing denominator, as Hunter S. Thompson described in his original Cycle World review of the bike.  With the limited seating position, rider endurance might be even lower.  But cafe's aren't that far apart these days, and the new owner will likely be having extended Q&A at coffee stops, with spirited blasts in between...

-donn

More Than the Sum – 1993 Ducati 900SS Custom