Author Archives: Donn

Kawasaki October 18, 2018 posted by Donn

The Namesake – 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV

Like Chevy's Z28 Camaro, the H2 is a model that creeps back into Kawasaki's line-up occasionally, but here we have the pre-historic beast that made the name.  The fire-breathing two stroke triple lasted only a few years before being regulated out of existence, but memorable enough that H2 is only applied to the most extreme green offerings.  The Florida example has somehow escaped the overcooked wheelies and tank slappers that claimed so many of its siblings.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV for sale on eBay

 

Coming hot on the heels of the 500cc H1, the Mach IV used the same successful formula - acceleration above all.  The 74 hp available were jammed into the upper reaches of the powerband, and weight was kept to a minimum at just 450 lbs. topped off.  Period single front disk and rear drum were adequate, as was the double cradle chassis, unless they were hopelessly out-gunned by the right wrist.  With a 19-inch front and 18-inch rear wheel, straight line stability was favored in the handling compromise.

 

This H2 is returning to the road at a ripe old age, and looks very good for its 30K miles.  Though not mentioned, the paint might be a little too nice and spell an older restoration.  The owner has gone over it carefully maintenance-wise, and provides this list in the eBay auction:

installed air filter box with a new (genuine) 3 way rubber manifold,
and a new (unknown manufacturer) upper snorkel.
needs internal filter element as I have none left.
drained and put new brake fluid in front cylinder, shoes and pads look good and all cleaned.
reset timing, cleaned and re-gapped pickups.
pistons are very recently installed (you can still see the cylinder honing marks) virtually no carbon build up.
cylinders are still at factory standard bore of 71mm - great compression.
complete new carb internals and set to factory standard.
crank seals and gearbox were inspected, all sweet.
3 x new NGK B9HS Japanese plugs.
new battery.
gas tank cleaned and new complete fuel tap seal kit installed.
no center stand installed but I can (if interested) supply one with bike that needs minor work,
a clean and a return spring.
clutch stripped/inspected and rebuilt, working great with no slippage.
as new bridgestone spitfire tires fitted and rims balanced.
all new fuel/vacuum lines installed.
the seat cover is perfect, the pan has no rust but the original foam will soon start making the dust particles.
exhaust is totally solid with very minor scuffs/dents but the chrome is starting to get tiny blistering on the lower middle pipe and would need to be re chromed to be show quality but is great as a daily driver.
new cylinder exhaust gaskets were fitted, center seals were checked and good,
all baffles are present and the only place you see two stroke fumes are coming out of the back end 🙂
I left the engine casings with the original patina on them as I know some people think polishing reduces value, so I have left that choice to the new owner.

 

Kawasaki had their eyes on the new Formula 750 race series and went racing in 1973 with the likes of Yvon DuHamel and Gary Nixon, but had more success rubbing Honda's nose in it on the road.  The quickness and low price of the H2 glossed over a lot of irrational rider exuberance, and though subsequent model years smoothed out the power delivery and handling a bit, the early models are legend.    The 900cc Z1 was introduced in 1972 and though the two models existed side by side for a couple of years, time marched on and showed the H2 the exit...

-donn

The Namesake – 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV
Honda October 13, 2018 posted by Donn

No Reservations – 1993 Honda CBR900RR Fireblade

Even sportbike fans with kids the age of this CBR900RR rever the lightweight model, and the competitive 1990's era which produced so many influential machines.  This one has been brought out from the back of an Oregon tuner's shop and made quite ready for riding.  Despite a dented fuel tank the winner of the no-reserve auction should ride away happy.

1993 Honda CBR900RR Fireblade for sale on eBay

In a period departure, big red assigned the design lead to factory test rider Tadao Baba, who stroked a mid-size power plant but kept weight under tight control.  The resulting not-quite-a-liter 893cc inline four generated 122 hp, in a package which weighed hardly more than competitive 600's.  Helped by an all-alloy twin spar chassis and Pro-link swingarm, the 45mm right-side-up Showa forks and multi-adjustable monoshock made the Fireblade flickable.  Turn-in was sharpened by the 16-inch front wheel, where the compact riding position telegraphed the rider's intentions.  Close gearing gave away 10 mph top speed to other open-class GT's but made the CBR faster everywhere else.

This Fireblade is offered by a suburban Portland independent shop, has just about 19,000 miles, and looks substantially stock save a D&D muffler.  Comments say it was the owner's personal ride, and the D&D is on the quieter side.  The damaged fuel tank is the elephant in the room, and though it should be repairable, a good condition replacement might pop up.  A nice servicing was done before putting it on Ebay's auction block:

-Full Service: Valves checked, new spark plugs, fresh coolant, fresh oil/filter, brake fluids flushed
-New Jet Kit, carbs rebuilt, cleaned, new Factory Pro 2.0APK intake kit/jetting installed
-New Front fork seals and servicing
-New 520 Chain and sprockets
-New Bridgestone BT Tires
-New EBC HH Brake pads front and rear
-New oem turn signals
-New Lithium light weight oem battery
-New Fuel petcock
-New fuel filter

Most bikes cross into GT territory when displacement approaches 1000cc, but the CBR900RR's light weight left room for all the sportiness most riders can handle.  They're at the age where they appear with some regularity, but in wildly differing conditions and asking prices, and with two days to go the auction has just reached the bottom of my expectations.  The new owner has options from a concours restoration to a tank bra, but at the very least it's maintained, complete and un-remuddled...

-donn

No Reservations – 1993 Honda CBR900RR Fireblade
Suzuki October 13, 2018 posted by Donn

Bird of Prey – 2000 Suzuki GSX-1300R Hayabusa

Named for its technique of high speed dives hunting for ( Honda ) blackbirds, the Hayabusa was Suzuki's bid for the limelight and production model speed records.  This unrestricted example brings low miles and a rare stock appearance to a straightaway near you.

2000 Suzuki GSX-1300R Hayabusa for sale on eBay

First produced in 1999, the 'Busa threw 1298cc displacement at the issue, along with the SRAD ram air system, to boast 175 hp.  A gear driven counterbalance was used and allowed the engine to be secured directly to the frame, increasing chassis strength.  A robust twin spar frame supported fully adjustable forks and monoshock.  Aerodynamics ruled most of the fairing and openings, which wasn't immediately popular but achieved the goal of high speed stability.  The bike was pretty big all over, but still under 500 lbs. with half a tank.

This Ohio owner has resisted the customization urge and preserved his Hayabusa beautifully.  No mention of maintenance, but in this condition and under 6,000 miles, anything but fluids and tires would be a surprise.  From the eBay auction:

Selling a beautiful 2000 Suzuki Hayabusa. It has 5721 adult ridden miles on her. Comes with a set of Yoshimura slip ons. This bike is an unrestricted model capable of nearly 200 MPH! This is a true Japanese classic that is getting difficult to find in this condition, with under 6K miles on the clock. You may pick her up locally, or I will assist with shipping.

Not messing with success, Suzuki didn't make much except graphic revisions to the Hayabusa until 2008's big revision.  The early model was a favorite of drag racers and customizers who did everything the factory would never do.  As flagship it was blessed with excellent build quality, and reviewers also praised the rather necessary excellent brakes.  The press urged riders not to battle it out in the twisties, but wait until the right wrist could be exercised and pass at will...

-donn

Bird of Prey – 2000 Suzuki GSX-1300R Hayabusa
Buell October 6, 2018 posted by Donn

Imminent Departure – 2009 Buell 1125CR

Buell's last model under the H-D umbrella was the 1125CR, a space-age café racer with a high-tech Austrian V-twin.  Despite the prominent scoops to cool the radiators, the 1125CR makes room for Buell's many innovations.  This two-owner example seems cared-for and maintained.

2009 Buell 1125CR for sale on eBay

With its up-to-date gear-driven double overhead cams and fuel injection, Buell's choice of Rotax-based power got them to the 150hp doorstep.  Water cooling also brought the engine under current noise regulations.  Buell fans will recognize the frame with 5-plus gallons of fuel tankage, zero-torsion-load front brake, mass-centralized underslung muffler, and maintenance-free belt drive.  High-end Showa suspension was specified, with fully adjustable 47mm forks and monoshock.  A vacuum-actuated slipper clutch helped keep things organized when downshifting.

 

No apparent damage on this Long Island native, with an on-the-low-side 13,500 miles.  An upgraded charging system is a mod with value, and the carbon headlight fairing adds some more visible interest.  Otherwise stock with recent battery and tires.  From the eBay auction:

Second owner and owned for the past 4 years, meticulously maintained, with tasteful aftermarket additions, garage kept its whole life. 135xx miles. Dunlop Q3's installed last fall with 500 miles on them. Have spare key and buyer is welcome to whatever parts/accessories I have specific for this bike including: Castrol 4T 20W-50 synthetic oil (6 qts?), oil filters, o-rings, washers, and anything else I find around.  Bike is in excellent used condition.

Aftermarket parts include:
- Ricks Motorsport Stator
- EBR Oiling Rotor
- Factory ECM with race map programmed
- Clubman handlebars
- HID low beam
- Fender eliminator
- New Deka battery this year
- Carbon fiber front cowl which adds an obvious 57whp

I have taken the bike on 250 mile trips to upstate NY and it has never missed a beat.  Any charging issues the 2009 1125's were known for are resolved with the installed stator and rotor.  I have receipts for the stator, rotor and new rotor nut purchase, I did the installation.   Passenger sets are not installed, but are included.  Only selling as I am getting a new bike and I have learned from past experience to keep the seat to arse ratio at 1:1.

 

Reviewers found the -CR's fuel injection much better than the introductory 1125R's, and despite its light weight and tight dimensions, handling with the top-shelf Showa dampers was composed.  The design might take a little getting used to, but not the performance.  A more modern V-twin was a change-up for Buell, but the experience no doubt helped EBR after Harley retired the Buell brand late in 2009.  A serious Buell statement, and the buy-it-now attempts to address long term concerns with Buell and EBR both retired...

-donn

 

Imminent Departure – 2009 Buell 1125CR
Suzuki October 4, 2018 posted by Donn

Winter is Coming – 1982 Suzuki GS1100E in Canada

Suzuki had a bit of a horsepower dynasty going in the early 1980's, their DOHC air-cooled fours having plenty of power and potential for lots more.  The GS1100E was their very sporty standard, years before naked superbikes became a thing.

1982 Suzuki GS1100E ( Canada ) for sale on eBay

Looking a little staid in the factory tan metallic, the GS1100E had a nice tank-into-seat flow that echoed the Katana.  The normal looking twin-downtube frame was beefier than usual, and the Kayaba forks and twin shocks look routine but are multi-adjustable.  Even the 1075cc engine could masquerade, until closer examination of the specs revealed a narrow valve angle and their Twin Swirl Combustion Chamber.  On the ES it was tuned for 108 hp and 63 ft.-lbs. torque.  For 1982 a slightly lower seat height and pegs a couple of inches back gave a sportier feel.  Though its stability and weight made the -E's home on the boulevard and dragstrip, it got high marks on the back roads.

 

This GS was imported to Saskatchewan from the U.S. and should be an easy border crossing back, and while it doesn't look pampered there is a garage.  A recent battery and tires are mentioned, though nice detail would do a world of good.  From the eBay auction:

Try to find one in this condition near you. It is rare in North America.

It is already an Antique and it's probably only going up in price in the future.

I bought this bike a couple years ago in Boise / Idaho and brought it across.

I did all the paperwork and had the safety inspection for Saskatchewan done on it. A few minor repairs and two new tires and it was safe to drive.

Now the tires have maybe 500 km on them - that's how little I actually drove the bike.

It has 27960 on the clock and I assume that this is in miles since the bike comes from the States.

The bike itself is in great condition I'd say. That's what the mechanic told me when he got the bike ready for this season after winter.

The bike starts good and drives good, the lights are all working including signal lights. The battery is new from this spring.

I even have a short video how easy it starts cold - I could send it to you.

 

The early eighties were alive with variations on the UJM, and Suzuki had the market blanketed from the king-and-queen seat on the GL to the bikini fairing on the ES.  As a 1982, the -E was the best part of a Katana and could still blend into the background.  And then post an 11-second quarter.

-donn

Winter is Coming – 1982 Suzuki GS1100E in Canada
Suzuki October 2, 2018 posted by Donn

Rolling Art – 1984 Bimota SB4S

Back on eBay with some new pictures after last year's - RSBFS post - and auction which did not meet the reserve - Donn

Massimo Tamburrini was still at Bimota when the ground-pounding SB4S was introduced, using the 1,075cc Katana air/oil-cooled engine.  Though power is similar between the Suzuki GSX-1100S and the SB4S at around 112hp, Bimota holds a clear advantage in weight and top speed.  The northwest-based SB4S has recent maintenance and no apparent damage.

1984 Bimota SB4S for sale on eBay

Bimota's artwork begins with the complex trellis frame, continues to the milled side connectors, and is covered by the full fairing and flowing tank/seat console.  With the tuner's airbox and 4-into-2 exhaust, the overhead cams for Suzuki's big four hulk behind the bodywork.  Classic Ceriani right-side-up forks and DeCarbon monoshock are adjustable and support 16" Campagnolo wheels.  Not expected to be all that light as an unlimited GT, the SB4S is still 75 lbs. lighter than the Katana, and long gearing allows a top speed increase to 155 or so.

This SB4S's kmh odometer translates to just under 10,000 miles, and provided the recent service included carburetor cleaning, appears to need nothing more than a spa day, and tires.  The pearl white fairings with red graphics look undamaged, and the rest looks complete and original.  From the eBay auction:

1984 Bimota SB4S.  Very rare full fairing, tube frame, one of 106 ever made, beautiful white pearl paint, new battery recent tune up and fluid change, bike runs perfect, no issues.  This is a pristine example of a early tube frame Bimota.  It’s a jewel.

At this stage in Bimota's life the SB4 was also available as a kit, with the buyer supplying a GSX1100S for parts.  Seeing a home-built SB4 might be just as rare, but the factory-built SB4S is one of just a couple of hundred, rarer still with full fairing.  Not to mention cherry pearlescent paint.  The 16-inchers lend a funny look to the SB4S, but the fairing is roomy and can take the rider as far ( or farther ) than common sense allows...

-donn

Rolling Art – 1984 Bimota SB4S




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