Author Archives: Donn

NCR December 26, 2017 posted by Donn

1978 NCR-Ducati 900SS

Along with serving as Ducati's skunk works and occasional racing department, the N.C.R. motorcycle design studio and fabrication shop made ( and continues to make ) some very special road machines. This commemorative of Mike Hailwood's 1978 TT win is located in Italy and seriously collectible.

1978 NCR-Ducati 900SS for sale on eBay

So rare that this might be a unicorn or one of just a handful, this N.C.R. was evidently built in the early 1980's on a 1978 900SS donor, using the aircooled 864cc bevel-drive engine.  Race fabricator DASPA built the frame, with bespoke suspension, Brembo single-puck calipers, N.C.R. exhaust, and fairings from a factory 1979 MHR.  The cockpit is race-derived with only a rev counter under the windscreen, clip-ons and rearsets.

From an Italian eBayer showing some Ducati parts and fine watches, this N.C.R. fibs about its age, the bodywork having rich color and many aluminum parts polished up.  From the eBay auction:

This pristine example underwent the works of Nepoti & Caracchi Racing in the early 80's, using an original 900SS as base platform, to become a street version of the NCR race motorcycles that were racing those days.  1979 model tank-seat and fairing, original, original paint ( fairing has been retouched recently to correct small issues like chips here and there not from falls ).  DASPA frame. Campagnolo magnesium rims ( recently checked and repainted ).  NCR racing exhaust 2-into-1.  Dell'Orto carbs. mild cams.  Veglia tacho is original from period not recent replica, and has both kick and electric starter, which was a common combo for "endurance" configurations at those time.  Everything works perfectly on this Ducati, motor sounds great, no strange noises, no smoke, no oil leaks.

Started in only 1967 by Bolognese founders Nepoti, Caracchi and Rizzi, the R stood for racing after Luigi Rizzi parted ways with the company.  Since then they have built and managed the racing of many Ducatis the corporation didn't have time for, and more recently created some exquisite designer road machines.  Likely a side project for a special client, this 900SS is an interesting mix of late 70's and later MHR hardware, with a nice helping of N.C.R. unobtanium.  It has turned a km or three in the past and wouldn't hurt to be ridden a bit on its way to the display stand...

-donn

1978 NCR-Ducati 900SS
Triumph December 20, 2017 posted by Donn

More or Less – 2003 Triumph Speed Four

Triumph's Speed Four was introduced in 2002 alongside the 955cc Speed Triple, the Four incongruously displacing only 599cc.  Reaching back to the 1938 Speed Twin for its name, the Speed Four used the TT600 sportbike frame and drivetrain and boarded the naked / streetfighter express.

2003 Triumph Speed Four for sale on eBay

 

With the exception of the less peaky cams and ECU maps, the 98 hp Speed Four used the TT600 engine, and the quick-tuning frame was the same except for spring rates.  The result was shootout-winning handling and decent 375 lbs. dry weight.  Outstanding brakes from the TT are retained.  Styling of the floating fly shield and fresh air intakes is well, provocative - though the mechanicals have been nicely dressed for nakedness.  The public-works orange paint demands attention.

 

Offered by an eBay-mostly dealer with 624 ( ! ) bikes available, there's no history available but it looks very well cared for.  Modifications appear to be limited to signals and bar-end mirrors, and with a lower 9,000 miles the danger is limited.  Certainly worth a phone call to see what maintenance was done when they received the bike.  Not exactly rare, the Speed Four was only built for four years and most led a much harder life.

 

Reviewers puzzled how John Bloor & Co. were able to deliver so much of their TT600 brand new for just $6500, and though the seller offers free shipping over $5,000, I'm thinking the reserve is somewhat below that.  Like most recent fuel injected machines, the 600's running at light throttle settings can be helped by a fuel nanny.  The naked has been tuned into a non-compete clause with the TT, but still has plenty of fun to offer, and should have a good smile-per-dollar ratio...

-donn

More or Less – 2003 Triumph Speed Four
Buell December 18, 2017 posted by Donn

Fundamentally – 1996 Buell S1 Lightning with 23 Miles !

When introduced in 1996, the S1 Lightning was a little easier on the bank account and slightly improved in the power-to-weight department.  Way back to basics, this all original Lightning has just 23 miles and needs only a new collector.

1996 Buell S1 Lightning for sale on eBay

Buell's second production motorcycle, the S1 incorporates some usual Buell features like the 1203cc Sporty engine with belt drive, patented isoplanar engine mounts, tube frame, with horizontal pull-shock and muffler.  The later rim-diameter front disk brake is hinted at but this single disk is more conventional.  Undersized bikini fairing, fuel tank, and passenger seat all indicate a short-haul fun machine, and the 101 hp / 95 ft.-lbs. drivetrain made shifting the 5-speed more or less optional.

Right down to the rarely seen plastic rear fender, this Buell really is new-old-stock.  The owner indicates it was originally in the collection of Robert Petersen, publisher of Hot Rod, Motorcyclist, and many other magazines.  Pictures show it to be spotless through the glare.  From the eBay auction:

This is the cleanest Buell you will ever find. It has just 23 miles on yes 23 it had 11 on it when it left the Peterson museum and was serviced and they test rode it for 12 miles. I have not started it but the factory battery still has a charge. The fuel was drained. This bike is as it left the factory. Not a mark on it anywhere and the paint is as bright as it was at the day it left the factory as its never been outside.

Buell had their ups and downs, but a surprisingly long and innovative run from the Battletwin to the 1125R some 22 years later.  The S1 was only made for a few years, and around 5,000 examples.  Outdated when introduced, the S1 vibrated to the potato-potato beat, and was somewhat overweight for being naked.  But beloved by some for its brawny basic-ness.  No doubt there is a H-D dealer or collector who'll want this first-year S1 for the display stand...

-donn

Fundamentally – 1996 Buell S1 Lightning with 23 Miles !
Aprilia December 15, 2017 posted by Donn

Special Order – 2001 Aprilia RSV Mille R

As good as Aprilia's first superbike was, the R-spec variant was worth stretching the budget for.  This RSV Mille R is in an eye-catching color not often seen in 2001, and impeccable condition.

2001 Aprilia RSV Mille R for sale on eBay

Aprilia was showing off their design and manufacturing chops on the RSV Mille, the box tube perimeter frame elements aren't box-like but sculpted triangular, welded to cast frame connectors and steering head.  Similar construction for the banana swingarm which allows the out-sized exhaust to climb out from underneath.  Carbon mudguards, fairing vents, and hand deflectors are the real deal.  Big changes for the -R are full Öhlins suspension including steering damper, and forged Marchesini seventeens.

Apparently in private ownership after a stint in Meguiar's Car Care collection, this RSV has just under 3,100 miles and is awfully nice for its age.  The owner says this in the eBay auction:

one of a kind Aprilia RSV 1000R, custom ordered from the factory by the Meguiar's car polish family's private auto collection in 2001.  Although it has been in their collection since new it has been ridden and maintained so it has some mileage on it.  At only 3000 miles and not a scratch.

All the paint color is bright and vibrant, all of the fluids and manufacturer recommended scheduled maintenance is followed by the book.  This bike is as new as you can get in the way it looks and runs just like the day it rolled off the manufacturer's floor.  This bike has all oem parts just the way it was ordered from Aprilia factory with upgraded Öhlins front and rear suspension and all carbon fiber fairings and fuel tank. 

The bike has brand new factory brand tires with aftermarket rim tape for cosmetic appeal.  I was honored that they sold me this bike and have had a real blast owning it and showing it off.  I own a number of exotic bikes and am an avid sport bike enthusiast.  Letting go of a couple of my bikes to make room for a brand new bike.

The RSV reviewed as a little overweight, but the torquey, trouble-free drivetrain makes up for a lot.  This monoposto is more of a special order than a custom, a low-mileage creampuff with the desirable -R equipment.  Bidding is quite active and it'll be interesting to see where it goes...

-donn

Special Order – 2001 Aprilia RSV Mille R
Yamaha December 10, 2017 posted by Donn

1 Liter, 1 Owner, 1 Mile – 2006 Yamaha YZF-R1 LE

Yamaha dreamed up a 50th birthday present for them and us in 2006, and made only 1000 copies. Serial number 002 was put in storage without even a celebratory ride and is available as new.  It's a show and go affair with Roberts-era racing colors and 174 hp.

2006 Yamaha YZF-R1 50th Anniversary #002 for sale on eBay

The R1 was first introduced in 1998, and improved over the years with fuel injection, underseat exhaust, more aerodynamic fairing, and 2006 was the last model year to use the 5-valve Genesis engine.  For this year the reinforced swingarm was extended, and a factory slipper clutch system added.  The commemorative edition has Ohlins front and rear, forged Marchesini wheels, and a data-logging race dash.

 

Presented by a Las Vegas specialty dealer, this LE looks showroom new.  No history to speak of, but they did say in the eBay auction:

Please enjoy viewing this 2006 Yamaha  R1 anniversary Limited edition.  It has been professionally "mothballed" in order to store it without damaging the bike. It has never been ridden and has 0 miles on it.  This is #2 of 500 made and #1 is in the Yamaha museum.  Included with this bike is everything that came with the bike along with a special tool kit only made for this bike.

 

Likely the mileage and low serial number will be of more interest than the late R1's reputation as a forgiving superbike, ready to rack up the miles.  The 50th anniversary is also a milestone as for 2007 Yamaha returned to a more typical 4-valve head.  Fun to think that a skilled rider could take this ten year-old superbike right out and ( after a stop at the tire dealer ) turn a 10-second quarter mile...

-donn

1 Liter, 1 Owner, 1 Mile – 2006 Yamaha YZF-R1 LE
Honda December 8, 2017 posted by Donn

Veteran of Foreign Wars – 1988 Honda CBR250R

Our fans have recently been treated to a fairly steady stream of small-sports, most often nice and sometimes in mint shape.  But what if you could pick up a high-mileage rider and restore it on your terms ?  This former daily driver didn’t garner any bids last time out and is up again with a sensible reserve.

1988 Honda CBR250R for sale on eBay

 

Honda introduced the in-line four 250 in 1986, and the peppy mill revs to 18,000 rpm on its way to 40 hp.  Gear-driven cams provide a vintage whine, as well as low maintenance.  Updates for 1988 included dual headlights, single-disk front brake, and a revised fuel pump.  Despite its 350 lb. ready-to-ride weight, the CBR250R has relaxed middleweight ergonomics.

 

Almost certainly the victim of too many owners, this MC19 has no major damage, but wear, corrosion and rash in every quadrant.  Not extreme but fairly high miles, some new parts but needing much more.  From the eBay auction-

JDM 1988 Honda CBR250R with 33k kilometers (20,400 miles). New rear tire, windscreen, levers, rear brake pads, intake manifolds. Scratches, paint chips, small dents consistent with being 29 years old. See photos for details.

Yes! It has a clear California title in my name, ready to transfer to a lucky Honda fanatic. You aren't going to get many chances to own and experience one of Honda's most amazing little street bikes, so grab it while you can.

There are forums for these bikes, with a lot of available parts in Australia and Japan. Aftermarket bodywork kits are available from Hong Kong for less than $500 delivered in the US.  I bought new intake manifolds for less than $20 and a new windscreen for less than $25 delivered! The bike runs cool all the time and has no leaks anywhere.

 

Not being the best year or condition, it does appear complete and its Cali title might be its best feature.  Though it would be easy to blow the budget, it might be a feasible restoration if the new owner did most of the work and wasn’t a stickler for factory parts.  If you look back at my archives you know I’d rather review a mint oddball than a tired legend, but this CBR250R has great possibilities...

-donn

 

Veteran of Foreign Wars – 1988 Honda CBR250R