Author Archives: Donn

Ducati June 20, 2017 posted by Donn

Outasight – 2008 Ducati-NCR Mike Hailwood TT

Since its formation in 1967, NCR motorcycles has been Ducati's de-facto competition arm, developing and producing race bikes based on Ducati themes.  For the 30th anniversary of Mike Hailwood's 1978 Isle of Man TT victory ( on an NCR-built Ducati 900SS ), the company produced a very short run of super light, no-holds-barred commemoratives, with titanium frame and 1120cc air-cooled desmo engine.

2008 Ducati-NCR Mike Hailwood TT for sale on eBay

With the founders ready to retire in 2001, the owners of Poggipolini, a titanium manufacturing specialist, took an interest in NCR, and the Mike Hailwood TT became a showcase for advanced techniques, with a full titanium trellis and exhaust system.  Internal to the 130 hp V-twin is a billet crank, while the carbon fairings and wheels are easier to appreciate.  4-piston Brembo billet calipers and Öhlins MotoGP forks are leading edge, while the nostalgic twin rear Öhlins shocks at least leave room for the exhaust headers.

A number of the NCR Mike Hailwoods were delivered at the 2009 Isle of Man race, where the factory website says they were raced, though it may have been in an exposition part of the event.  The Vegas owner has added a couple of nice extras, and has this to say in the eBay auction:

THIS BIKE WAS $130,000.00 NEW EXCLUDING THE TI SWINGARM AND TI BIKE STAND.

AS YOU SEE IN THE PHOTOS ABOVE SWING ARM AND REAR STAND ARE STOCK DUCATI STEEL.

I HAD NCR MAKE ME A ONE OFF TITANIUM SWINGARM AND TITANIUM CUSTOM NCR STAND AT THE COST OF 7K PLUS. SWINGARM IS HALF THE WEIGHT OF THE STEEL ONE

PLEASE CONTACT ME THRU EBAY IF YOU NEED MORE INFO AND I WILL CALL YOU. THERE ARE LOTS MORE STORIES TO TELL

ULTRA LIGHT...... ULTRA FAST...... ONE OFF

Though the next owner will be a rare collector, the auction has a dozen bids, with $50K not hitting the reserve.  NCR's ( and Poggipolini's ) credibility is above reproach, and the 300 lb. machine is one of just a dozen or so.  Though one could quibble that these machines are built to be ridden, this TT likely will never see that third mile...

-donn

Outasight – 2008 Ducati-NCR Mike Hailwood TT
Kawasaki June 19, 2017 posted by Donn

Top Gun Outlaw – 1986 Kawasaki GPZ900R

The now-venerable 900 Ninja was Kawasaki's 1984 foray into the world of water-cooled four-valve performance.  The works team went right out and won their class in the Isle of Man TT, and the bikes did well in the showroom.  With low miles for its age, this GPZ900R has great survivor looks and some interesting updates.

1986 Kawasaki GPZ900R for sale on eBay

The 908cc engine harkens back to the Z-1 glory and delivers 115 hp at 9,500 rpm.  Water cooling irons out engine temperature spikes and reduces noise.  The engine is a stressed member of the steel chassis, and for the day, the GPZ900R had great handling and braking.  Just over 500 lbs. dry, it's of course more GT than SBK.  The fairing has minor updates from the movie star bike, and changes in paint colors, but it still looks great  to riders of a certain age.

The photo backgrounds teasing us with the rest of his collection, the Arizona owner must have expert knowledge or serious help with the enhancements to this Ninja, as well as a late model GSXR-750 on hand.  Presumably spring rates were changed for the heavier GPZ, or perhaps just handled with preload.  Can't go wrong with adjustable handlebars.  He says this about the work in the eBay auction:

The modifications to the bike are as follows - 2006 Suzuki GSXR 750 front forks ( Kayaba 43 mm (1.7 in) Inverted telescopic forks with DLC coating, spring preload, rebound and compression adjustment ), brakes ( dual 300 mm (12 in) semi-floating stainless discs and Tokico 4 piston radial mounted calipers ), Suzuki steering damper and wheel, 2006 Suzuki GSXR 750 rear wheel, YSS MX506-325HRCL-08-X remote-reserve rear mono-shock, KOSO RX-2 GP Style digital dash display and multi-way adjustable handlebars for better riding comfort.  The engine has the upgraded cam chain tensioner and cam chain rear guide, lower temperature thermostat (97 degree), 1.1 bar radiator cap, performance aluminum radiator fan, these engine mods have been done in line with the recommendation of GPZzone.co.uk, a well known source of technical information and parts for the GPZ 900R.  The original seat upholstery is in beautiful condition with no rips, tears, or cracks.

With great power, the suspension and brake improvements can only help the Ninja.  Standardizing wheel sizes will slow turn-in a bit, but makes things easier at tire time.  Might be worth a side trip for a test ride if possible.  This owner picked a sharp candidate for the transplant, just needs the belly pans freshened up and a new red stripe for the front wheel.  Often it's said that if the bikes of the past could only stop and turn like newer machines, they'd be around forever.  This updated GPZ900R might be a step in that direction...

-donn

Top Gun Outlaw – 1986 Kawasaki GPZ900R
Ducati June 16, 2017 posted by Donn

Carbon Capture – 2003 Ducati 999S

In the late 1990's Pierre Terblanche and Massimo Tamburini parted ways, the younger Terblanche following Ducati, and Tamburini staying with Cagiva.  The sea-change styling of Terblanche's 999 was too controversial to survive, though it did help win the Superbike World Championship in 2003, '04 and '06.  The 999S has upgraded suspension from an -R and a bit more oomph than a base model, and this 999S has a full carbon fairings, Ferracci exhaust, and very low miles.

2003 Ducati 999S for sale on eBay

The second Ducati road machine to use the testastretta engine, the 999S boasted 136 hp and 78 ft.-lbs. torque.  Marelli fuel injection gave smooth power delivery, and premium Öhlins suspension allowed the 6-speed drivetrain and Brembo brakes to live in harmony.  The love-it-or-hate-it fairing protected the rider better at higher speeds, and the canister muffler has been superceded by a Fast by Ferracci exhuast which likely deleted the catalyst.

Offered by a California collector, this 999S has carbon bodywork, fuel tank, and BST wheels.  A singular statement in grey and white.  Registration is non-opped and miles are under 1,000.  The owner has this to say in the eBay auction:

Beautiful 2003 Ducati 999S with a Full Carbon Fiber Body, Tank, & Wheels.  Custom Stainless Exhaust done by FBF.  Its has an addictive sound, you can feel.  It is a rocket, lots of torque and revs to 10,500.  Original mileage is 990 (now).  Never wet.  Never ever down.  Kept in my house.  Rode 4-5 times.  ( Have others, Hypermotard, 900SS, old BMW R75/7, not so low mileage ).  Had service & belts done a few years back.  Will take to Ducati dealer for PPI/service if sold.  Clean California title in hand.  On PNO now.

The 999S reviewed as a great rider, the fairing makes it feel like you're "in" and not "on", no chore to rack up the miles.  Weight is under control for a superbike and neutral handling makes the 999S less tiring to ride quickly.  Not sure if all that carbon is Ducati Performance, a rare special order if so.  If not, still a fabulous custom and in perfect shape, awaiting a spirited ride before loading up for the show...

-donn

Carbon Capture – 2003 Ducati 999S
Suzuki June 11, 2017 posted by Donn

“A” for Effort – 2001 Suzuki TL1000R

Hard to fault Suzuki ( and Honda ) for trying to follow Ducati's "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" strategy - with a big twin superbike which took advantage of WSBK rules and had torquey street performance.  The TL-1000R had some unusual innovations and great power and sound.  Though it didn't result in a long term model for Suzuki, the TL-R has the makings of a cult classic, and this is an excellent example with Yoshimura exhaust and Power Commander.

2001 Suzuki TL1000R for sale on eBay

The L-twin in the TL-1000 has an engaging sound because of the hybrid chain/gear cam drive.  And the booming twin exhaust.  Internals slightly updated from its sister TL-1000S, the -R claims 135 hp.  Since the vertical cylinder took the spot usually used by a centerline monoshock, the beefy twin-beam chassis has a side-mounted spring and a rotary damper, a space saver but problematic once temperatures went up.  Brakes are superb 6-piston Tokico, and the fairing has fresh-air intakes and a Hayabusa-like pillion cover.

Having covered only 6,600 miles, this TL-1000R looks stock and unblemished in the factory's racing blue and white.  Seems quite original except for the polished exhaust system, the increased flow compensated by an fuel injection box from Dyna-Jet.  Not much on recent maintenance, and appears almost ready for new rubber.  From the eBay auction:

This bike is the nicest you will find out there.  Bike was babied, truly a garage gem, 6550 miles of pamperedness... never down, always cleaned and polished after every ride, well maintained.  Not a scratch on it!  All fairings are perfect, no scratches, no rust, no corrosion, no dents (not even a ding) or cracks of any kind, there is a small discoloration on the left midfairing on top, but it's barely noticeable...  Even the rims are perfect!  Aftermarket YOSH exhaust that sounds amazing....dynajet performance (130hp/78ftlbs TQ stock!)...  Bike runs and shifts smooth but make no mistake it's a beast...  There are NO more out there like this...  Comes with the back seat and stand as well...  I have the title in hand!!  Don't miss out, it just might be your day to take it home for an awesome deal.

The TL-1000R gained a reputation for quirky handling, and acquired a steering damper in response.  Build quality was at a high level for Suzuki, and the TL-R is well appointed and finished.  Maybe because the Superbike wins didn't come, the bikes were slow sellers and the model wasn't re-newed for 2004.  Still, it's an interesting take on the big twin and though the owner has an optimistic ask, the condition and performance of this TL-1000R  just might result in offers...

-donn

“A” for Effort – 2001 Suzuki TL1000R
Moto Guzzi June 7, 2017 posted by Donn

2002 Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans Tenni with 1,204 miles !

Commemorating Omobono Tenni, a Guzzi racer who gave the factory many victories in the 1933-48 era ( and died in a crash during GP practice ), the Le Mans Tenni is a brilliant and subtle styling exercise using the recent V11 base.  This Tenni is badged number 114 of 170, and has been preserved with only first-oil-change miles.

2002 Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans #114/170

Helped by Aprilia's development lire, the V11 used the venerable air-cooled V-twin which reported 91 hp and nearly 70 ft.-lbs. torque.  Signature shaft drive is helped by a torque arm, and Marelli fuel injection makes starting and running easy.  Top components from Öhlins and Brembo, and improvements like the hydraulic clutch and oil cooler bring the big machine into the 21st century.

Owned by an Illinois collector, this Tenni is dead stock and almost unused.  The suede seat was a fair-weather option and a vinyl seat is also included.  Just a few dings on the seat fairing detract, but should correctable.  From the eBay auction:

Original owner of a rare, low mileage, unmolested Moto Guzzi LeMans Tenni, number 114 of 170 worldwide.  I purchased this motorcycle new in December 2003 from Motorsports Inc. in Wichita, KS.  I have kept the bike in a climate controlled space, and have not performed any alterations whatsoever to the engine or body.  Periodic cleaning, oil changes, and engine starting, with a occasional ride around the block!  Hence the very low miles.  Bike comes with an original Tenni sales brochure, owners manual, shop manual, parts manual, two keys, tool kit, MG bike cover, extra gasket set, and two seats (black vinyl and brown suede).

With weight approaching 550 lbs. wet, the V11 quickly becomes a lot of work to push quickly.  More suited to less twisty bits, the rock solid handling inspires confidence, and great torque makes for a fun ride.  The V11 has a mature powertrain, and the Tenni has premium appointments and an attractive take on racing green.  For a Guzzi fan, it's a very low-mile example, 1 of 170 total of a single-year commemorative, with the late Le Mans half fairing, a modern and nice-riding machine to boot...

-donn

2002 Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans Tenni with 1,204 miles !
Ducati June 4, 2017 posted by Donn

Pantah Cub – 1992 Ducati 400SS

Midway through Cagiva's management, Ducati addressed the junior rider markets, and developed SuperSports based on the 750SS, cylinders sized for 398cc.  The factory saw the folly of shipping them to regions without progressive licensing laws, so they never arrived stateside.  Performance didn't start a grey market-frenzy however, and a 400SS sighting is a singular experience.  Appearing complete and original, this junior Ducati might be a great collector.

1992 Ducati 400SS for sale on eBay

Mostly aimed at Japan and U.K. ( with Italy getting a 350SS ), the 400SS was almost all of the larger SS, with gold trellis frame, recent belt-driven desmosdromic valve train, upside-down forks, and 6-speed transmission.  The air-cooled two-valve engine is carburetted and claims 42 hp.  A skwosh larger than most 400's, the Ducati has more adult ergonomics and  a bit more weight than a scaled down junior.  Expenses were spared on the Marzocchi suspension, and most specifications show the 400SS having a  single front brake, but this one has been equipped with dual disks.

Though it's unclear whether this machine was ridden after being imported, it looks very good considering the 24,000 miles shown in the auction ( might be kms ? ).  Road title will have to be arranged, and some front turn signals sourced, but it has had recent valve maintenance.  Carburetion woes have been addressed with Keihin replacing the factory Mikuni's.  The owner says this in the eBay auction:

This bike was only sold in Japan in the early 1990's and was imported to the US some time later. This bike runs and rides good, is lightweight, and sounds amazing!! The bike has new grips, speedo cable, Keihin racing carbs, K&N filters, good tires, Termignoni carbon fiber exhaust. Had heads rebuilt and valves shimmed and new belts less then 1000 miles ago. There are some minor blemishes in the paint, nothing major, still runs and rides fine. I have the clear Japanese paperwork on the bike, no US title yet as it just became old enough to get one (25 years old). This is a great show piece, I doubt you will ever see another one in North America, even at rare bike shows. This is a great piece for any Ducati collector!

The engine and brake modifications indicate this may have been a fan's bike even before its boat ride, and may be a much better performer than a stock 400SS.  A winner if it runs as it should and registration can be arranged.  Rarity is off the scale and fun factor right up there.  A little freshening up of the cosmetics and you'll have an interesting page from Ducati history...

-donn

Pantah Cub – 1992 Ducati 400SS