Author Archives: Donn

Suzuki February 12, 2018 posted by Donn

Carte Grise – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750R Limited Edition in France

Spanning the globe, as Wide World of Sports used to say, in this case to bring you the thrill of a Limited Edition lightweight GSX-R750R.  In oddball JDM red and brown, the LE is a standout with only a few hundred made to homologate it for AMA Superbike racing.  This French-registered GSX-R looks great and has correct Yoshimura exhaust.

1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition ( France )

1986 was the second year in GSX-R750 history, with just a few tweaks from the introductory model.  Though the alloy Full Floater swingarm was extended, the aluminum frame and air/oil-cooled 100 hp engine were hallmarks of the design.  The Limited Edition had a couple of nice updates from the base model, New Electrically Activated Suspension ( NEAS ) anti-dive forks and big brakes from the GSX-R1100, along with lightweight dry clutch and close-ratio transmission.  The solo seat and fairing were quite a bit lighter than the biposto.  The entire package was around 400 lbs. dry, weighing less than most 600 cc machines of the day.

Housed in a Paris suburb, this LE appears complete and undamaged save a scratched area on the left fairing.  The owner states it has matching numbers and is registered on a grey card - indicating standard registration, which may ease import and re-documenting.  Not too many pictures and almost no history, so bid accordingly and make this your excuse to visit Paris for a pre-purchase inspection.

Surprisingly light and expensive, the Limited Edition wowed reviewers and race machines were immediately successful in endurance events, but had to wait until 1989 for Jamie James to grab the AMA crown from Honda.  A bit of a grail at this point, the LE's rarity is worth pursuing and some travel might be part of the fun.  Though "Pops" Yoshimura passed away in 1995, the company is still run by his sons with a location in Chino, California, and manages Suzuki's AMA Superbike and Supercross racing efforts.

-donn

 

Carte Grise – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750R Limited Edition in France
Ghezzi-Brian February 11, 2018 posted by Donn

Gutsy Ghezzi – 2002 Ghezzi-Brian Furia

In operation just since 1995, Ghezzi-Brian has capitalized on Moto Guzzi's long history beginning with the SuperTwin race bike.  Their naked-sport Furia served fans of the brand with a lighter street package which just happened to be a looker as well.

2002 Ghezzi-Brian Furia for sale on eBay

For '02 the Furia used Moto-Guzzi's oversquare 1064cc engine, with 87 hp, 5-speed transmission and shaft drive.  The backbone frame from Moto-Guzzi is updated with Paioli forks and G-B's own monoshock swingarm.  The front end has a Buell-esque rim-diameter disk brake, and the muffler is crafted to echo the silhouette of the oil pan.

Coming out of Virginia, this Ghezzi-Brian has under 6,000 miles and looks complete and undamaged.  The owner states that this particular bike is a pre-production machine, perhaps it was the importer's demo to entice dealers.  From the eBay auction:

-Exotic Italian design, totally stock from Moto Guzzi 1100cc shaft drivetrain
-Lightweight components: naked sport frame, perimeter front rotor, Ohlins shock, carbon fender, hand welded fuel tank & muffler, projector beam headlights
-This 2002 Furia was the prototype & the first model in the U.S. (production began in 2003)
-Velocity Motorcycles received this Furia & one Sport Twin

A long runner in the bespoke European segment, the Furia is still in Ghezzi-Brian's catalogue, and is even available as a kit for an owner to modify their own Guzzi.  The fuel-injected drivetrain and strong chassis are known quantities and a good choice for a custom.  Ghezzi-Brian motorcycles have undeniable rarity, and some neat low-volume touches.  Just the thing for a Guzzi fan with exceedingly good taste.

-donn

 

Gutsy Ghezzi – 2002 Ghezzi-Brian Furia
Ducati February 9, 2018 posted by Donn

Lookalike – 2001 Ducati 996 with 2,057 miles !

For six out of the eight years Carl Fogarty rode Superbikes for Ducati, he either claimed the championship or came in second.  That sustained championship riding ( 1992-2000 with 1996 spent on Honda ) has led to countless sticker kits and many factory tributes.  This 996 has updated -S components and a race-look decal set, but more importantly has never been registered and spent most of its life on display.

2001 Ducati 996 for sale on eBay

 

Ducati updated the successful 916 in response to twins from Suzuki and Aprilia, keeping most of the package except for improvements in the power area - the 80 additional cc's helping deliver 122 hp and 69 ft.-lbs. torque.  Two fuel injectors per intake ensure outstanding response at WOT, but some mere mortals had the system modified to improved part-throttle running.  Brembo produced new and improved Gold Lines for the 996, and the -S had Öhlins adjustable dampers and Marchesini alloys.

 

Evidently a showroom display, this 996 barely has break-in miles and looks great except for needing a nice detail.  Beside the correct Öhlins and wheels, pair of Micron mufflers and Corbin seat are the main enhancements, and the race livery is a good likeness.  From the eBay auction:

This motorcycle is a former Ducati dealership owners personal motorcycle that has never been registered. Bike has only 2057 miles on it and is in excellent condition.  The motorcycle has carbon fiber Micron exhaust. Along with many other carbon fiber items. This bike has the dealer installed Fogarty decal kit. This can be removed for a non race bike look. All Ohlins suspension, including steering stabilizer.

 

No matter how low the mileage, cam belts, tires and fluids will have to be done, though deferring the valve clearances could be debated.  That's presuming that the next owner is a rider, which seems appropriate for the not super-rare 996.  If care is taken not to get stuck in traffic and over-tax the cooling system, the 996 with S updates can do more than look fast.  Though the starting bid is set high, it's certainly showable, and riding to the show would be the way to go...

-donn

Lookalike – 2001 Ducati 996 with 2,057 miles !
Moto Guzzi February 3, 2018 posted by Donn

Best Foot Forward – 2002 Moto Guzzi LeMans V11

The wide Guzzi V-twin is instantly recognizable, the big air-cooled heads only lately fuel-injected and in this case protected by tipover guards.  The longitudinal crankshaft machine has a history going back to 1976, long and stable, if not a lightweight.  This V11 has some miles but looks undamaged and well cared-for.

2002 Moto Guzzi LeMans V11 for sale on eBay

Rather than ground-breaking, the V11 is reverent to Guzzi's past, the layout the same though the frame now supports the engine from the top.  Magnetti Marelli digital ignition and injection help deliver 91 hp and 69 ft.-lbs. torque.  Various wheel sizes have been used on past LeMans, settling on 17-inch front and rear for the V11.  The addictive torque keeps the signature shaft drive 5-speed transmission in the game.

 

The Idaho owner has kept this Guzzi extra nice for the miles, with a Corbin seat and forward foot controls, an unusual but worthwhile mod for those with adult knees.  From the eBay auction:

Excellent condition, Needs nothing, This past spring ( 200 miles ago ) all fluids changed- including brake & clutch, valves adjusted, new spark plugs, new air & fuel filters, throttle bodies & injectors professionally cleaned, Guzzi Tech reflashed the ECU, Eurocycles adjusted the TPS & sync the throttle bodies, Avon tires in very good condition, shifter spring up-date is done, paint is in excellent condition, Moto Tech foot controls, Factory MG Tank Bag, & center stand.

 

A little more GT than SuperSport, up-to-date fuel injection and premium components have made the LeMans V11 is a winning continuation of a venerable model.  The early 2000's found Guzzi making many special models, but the LeMans is just classic.  With very little in the way of applied graphics, the grays and candy red work wonders.  The owner has done some nice mid-life maintenance on the bomb-proof V-twin, and this looks like a great way to catch the European strain of the sportbike affliction...

-donn

Best Foot Forward – 2002 Moto Guzzi LeMans V11
Kawasaki January 30, 2018 posted by Donn

Say it Ain’t So – 1988 Kawasaki KR-1 / KR250B

Dan would have to weigh in on how many bikes Gary has listed and sold on RSBFS, but suffice it to say the past year has been a great success.  Saving the best for last would be a debatable and bittersweet claim, maybe there's another container of gray-market wonders back there ?  Better to relish the KR-1 presented here.

1988 Kawasaki KR-1 KR250 for sale on eBay

Not actually derived from or intended to be a race bike, the KR-1 had a meteoric rise and quick retirement just a few years later.  The parallel twin pushed 55 hp, but peaky like no one's business, making power just between 6,000 and 11,000 RPM.  Never offered stateside, it thrilled young riders in the U.K. and the Pacific rim, and has only occasionally found its way here.  The super-light under 300 lbs. machine was over-equipped with dual disks, adjustable suspension, and 17-inch front / 18-inch rear wheels.

Gary has made presentation of gray market specials look easy, but this one is different.  Rather than doll up someone else's issues, this KR-1 was brought over restored, low miles, just about perfect.  As always, it's ready to run with legal title and registration.  His comments from the eBay auction:

Up for sale is a 1988 Kawasaki KR-1 with only 20,640 kilometers (12,825 miles). Bike is in mint condition. The collector whom I purchased it from in Japan did a full frame up restoration. Complete engine, front forks, front and rear brakes, drive train, rear suspension, custom paint restoration. I don’t normally buy bikes like this but when I saw that no expense was spared to make this bike look and run new, I just had to have it. Bike looks gorgeous and is in mint condition. There are only a few very light scratches and handling marks. All fairings and components are 100% Genuine OEM Kawasaki factory. All replacement parts used in the restoration were genuine OEM parts. Bike is completely stock. Bike runs like new. Comes with new battery and new engine fluids.

I’ve saved the best for last. The last is here.

Kawasaki saw the writing on the wall early and focused on four-strokes for 1993.  But the power delivery, quick steering, and riding position of the KR-1 are legend.  Hopefully an adult rider can keep it out of the tank slappers it destined novice riders to experience.  In a era where a successful design could be considered 100 machines ( Buell or Bimota ), or a thousand ( Ducati or Moto Guzzi ), Kawasaki saw the future on the other side of 10,000 KR-1's.  But for a fan of the green and white, there was never such a lightweight.

-donn

Say it Ain’t So – 1988 Kawasaki KR-1 / KR250B
Suzuki January 29, 2018 posted by Donn

Bonkers – 1990 Suzuki GSX-R750

Hardly altering its good looks, Suzuki made several changes to the GSX-R750 for 1990 - beefier frame, 4-into-1 exhaust, and a lot of internal changes to the air/oil-cooled I-four.  This Texas example is nice overall, but the evil lurking on the garage shelves bit the tank pretty hard.

1990 Suzuki GSX-R750 for sale on eBay

 

Suzuki had tried their shorter-stroke race engine design in 1988-89 road machines, but returned to a torquier 70 x 48.7 mm bore and stroke for 1990.  Great efforts were made to help the engine rev more easily, with lighter pistons, threading connecting rods bolts right into the rods, with 38mm Mikuni carburettors and changes in the head to address cracks between the spark plug and valve seats.  The result was 115 hp at 11,000 rpm and 57.5 ft.-lbs. torque.  While ROW machines got new upside-down forks, they wouldn't arrive here until 1991.

 

Having seen some use with 28,000+ miles, this GSX-R is quite stock, showing just the Carbon-Tech exhaust.  Hard to know the reason for the fading of the middle fairing section, perhaps it is a decal which hasn't aged as well as the paint.  The parts and bikes dealer says this in the eBay auction:

All Original aside from the pipe
One Owner Bike
Only fault is a ding in the tank and a small rub on the lower left fairing as shown in the pictures
Recent refresh
Runs and Rides Great
You will be hard pressed to find another like this one
28k Miles
Clean Title and Ready to Ride

 

Suzuki hung on to the racey feel of the GSX-R, with a serious riding position and requiring a resolute hand at turn-in time.  The quality suspension and lighter weight make the bike, as Colin Chapman said, faster everywhere.  Complete and stock GSX-R750's don't pop up every day, and while the new owner will have to take care not to let any refurbishment blow up the re-sale value, this sure looks like a good candidate.

-donn

 

 

Bonkers – 1990 Suzuki GSX-R750