Author Archives: Donn

Laverda March 26, 2017 posted by Donn

Fast Waltz – 1982 Laverda Jota 1000

Laverda introduced a three-cylinder engine based on their air-cooled 750 in 1973, and refined the concept for the 1976 Jota.  An exotic superbike, the Jota was for a time the fastest production motorcycle, and was a major presence on the European endurance racing calendar.  Ongoing improvements made the 80's Jotas smoother and more reliable.  This recent import from Italy pushes all the right buttons.

1982 Laverda Jota for sale on eBay

After making their triple with 180-degree crankshaft timing for several years, the 1982 model was the first with 120-degree spacing between the crankshaft lobes, and a smoother running engine.  Along with a newly designed head, the triple Dell'Ortos had new mountings to isolate them from the engine heat.  With ongoing ignition and alternator improvements, the bikes were a lot easier to enjoy.  1982 also brought improved Marzocchi suspension, which helped the heavy-steering supersport hold the line once turned in.  Also new was the hydraulically actuated clutch which complemented the Brembo brakes.

With mileage just under 14,000, this Jota looks great in the company's favorite paint and boasts California title.  Very original, as the owner says in the eBay auction:

This Euro-Spec Laverda was purchased from a collector in Italy and recently imported to California. 

Very low original mileage with only 22K kilometers. (13,670 miles. Bike has odo and speedo in kilometers and kph)

Overall cosmetic condition is excellent, showing very minor weathering and no significant flaws or faults.

Paint, bodywork, seat, wheels, chrome, instruments, tires etc. all in nice shape.

This bike is completely original aside from it getting an original replacement ignition at one point. 

Completely maintained and recently fully serviced, starts, runs and rides like new. 

A rare casualty of Piaggio's consolidation, Laverda's big supersports couldn't compete abroad or at home, and the company was subject to a series of re-financing tries until the brand was retired in 2004.  But the brand has instantaneous recognition among riders and their sound still catches the ear, with or without orange paint.  This Jota has momentarily stopped time for those lucky enough to view, and when it rides "like new" for its new owner, they'll likely experience an interruption in the aging process...

-donn

Fast Waltz – 1982 Laverda Jota 1000
Kawasaki March 24, 2017 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – 2000 Kawasaki ZX-12R with under 1,300 miles !

Update 4.08.2017: The seller has notified us that this bike has sold to one of our readers. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

When Honda and Suzuki responded to the "world's fastest" ZX-11 with the Blackbird and Hayabusa, Kawasaki doubled down with the ZX-12R, pushing 178 hp and 188 mph. This first year ZX-12R still has - and needs - the break-in warning sticker on the tachometer.

A technical showcase as bikes at the top of the range tend to be, the ZX-12R has the first monocoque chassis on a production motorcycle.  The stamped thin-wall "hull" supports the steering head and holds the air filter, with velocity stacks and frame connectors built in.  Completely invisible once the bike is assembled, it provides the big horsepower machine a rock-steady base of operations.  The ZX-12R got a fair bit of wind tunnel time also, with a protruding ram-air scoop and dive planes just forward of the clutch and alternator housings, it still had a low .33 coefficient of drag.  The subdued metallic green maturely recalls the bright racing greens of the past.

This ZX-12R has had two careful owners but not even oil-change miles.  A serial ZX-12R fan, the current owner has taken care of any maintenance or long-term storage concerns, and says this about the bike:

2000 Kawasaki ZX-12R with 1,287 miles. Runs and drives perfect. In very very good condition. I am the second owner and bought the bike with 1,175 miles. The first owner was a gentlemen who bought the bike brand new from Sun Kawasaki in Denver and obviously rode the bike very little and kept it stored indoors. The bike is located in Colorado Springs and has a clear Colorado title.
Within the last month had these brand new parts installed:
Michelin Pilot Power 2CT tires
Walbro GSS242 fuel pump
Injectors professionally cleaned, balanced, and calibrated by RC Engineering (flow chart provided)
Lightweight lithium battery
NGK spark plugs
Smog block-off plates
Coolant flushed
Brake fluid flushed
Oil changed

The owner also provides this video walk-around - https://youtu.be/QzYEOQGIO2o - and cold start.

Starting in 2001, Kawasaki built the ZX-12R to threaten the 200 mph barrier, the perceived threat of regulation caused the major manufacturers to back away from that milestone, agreeing to keep top speeds a bit under.  In return, buyers got a better all around motorcycle in the ZX-12R, with all-day comfort if not fuel capacity, and an outstanding power-to-weight ratio with greater stability.  With careful storage and maintenance to ensure as-new performance, this ZX-12R is as close to a brand new Y2K flagship as one could hope. And being a 2000 model year, this one has no top speed restriction!  The ask is $6,500.

-donn

Featured Listing – 2000 Kawasaki ZX-12R with under 1,300 miles !
Ducati March 23, 2017 posted by Donn

Soft Baggage – 1998 Ducati 900 SS/CR

Every so often a future classic pops up, but with too many niggling questions to be worth pursuing.  A lightweight air-cooled desmodue, the 1998 Ducati 900 SS/CR is a pending collectible and great rider.  With not much of anywhere to hide mysteries, this CR appears free of damage and the long-past salvage title might make it possible.

1998 Ducati 900 SS/CR for sale on eBay

  

1998 was the last year of the carburetted and square headlight supersports.  The 85 hp 904 cc twin was mated to a 6-speed trans and nicely equipped with Showa inverted forks and monoshock, and generously sized Brembo brakes.  The Cafe Racer had the upper-only fairing with an un-cramped riding position and raised clip-ons.

  

Treated to the 944 cc pistons and accompanying engine work, this Texas Ducati has an unusual 41mm carburettor upgrade as well.  These changes should result in close to 100 hp, and has recent maintenance, as the owner relates in the eBay auction:

Clean, well maintained 1998 Ducati 900SS CR.  Owner since 2004.  Bike has roughly 1000 miles on Fast by Ferracci 944cc high compression overbore kit.  Carburetors have been upgraded to Keihin 41mm FCRs.  Vance and Hines carbon fiber exhaust completes the package.  This bike sounds mean and has the performance to back it up.  The bike has been recently serviced with all fluids changed, ignition system upgraded, racing plugs and wires installed, and a fresh set of Michelin Pilot Powers mounted.  Receipts available.  The bike does have a salvage title.  The previous owner bought the bike at a police auction and restored it cosmetically.  To my knowledge, this bike has never been down or sustained any major damage.  The bike has been in my care for the past 12 years.  This beautiful bike is ready for some lucky buyer to take her home...

  

Under attack by the Monster and with a re-design coming, only a few hundred Supersports were brought this way in 1998.  This CR has had the benefit of a long-term owner, and shows nicely for just over 11,000 miles.  An afternoon with our friend Nev-R-Dull and a sticker-ectomy would only complement the rugged good looks and performance.  After inspection, it would be worth checking with DMV about the implications of a salvage title in your state, but it might put an otherwise out-of-reach machine back in the ballpark...

-donn

Soft Baggage – 1998 Ducati 900 SS/CR
Yamaha March 20, 2017 posted by Donn

Naked Ambition – 2001 Yamaha FZ-1

The Yamaha R1's likeable cousin, the FZ-1 was known as the Fazer offshore.  With its smaller carbs stretching the torque curve, more compliant suspension, and accomodating riding position, the FZ-1 was a bit of a sleeper with 143 hp.  Some of that friendliness has been dyno-tuned out of this example from Michigan, with airbox delete, exhaust and re-jetted carburettors.

2001 Yamaha FZ-1 for sale on eBay

The Fazer model began as 600, but with the R1 right across the showroom, requests for the 998cc four in a plain wrapper became too numerous for Yamaha to ignore.  The FZ takes advantage of the Genesis five-valve heads and EXUP exhaust, which tailors the dimensions of the exhaust collector to engine speed.  Brakes are similar to the R1 but use a larger rear disk in anticipation of a passenger.  Frame mounted fairing is a little bigger than your average bikini, and echoes the R1 beak.

The FZ-1 was only offered in age-appropriate color schemes and this one is basic black with the steel frame in silver-gray.  The owner has deleted the frame-mounted mirrors and the blue anodized covers look good with the levers and brake caliper pucks.  But the stock mirrors will have to go back on unless the new owner picks some bar-ends, which are not part of the deal, as stated in the eBay auction:

Originally a slightly detuned version of the R-1 this is a torque monster. This bike is not detuned. It has a full stage 3 modification from Fast Bikes in Grand Rapids. He now works at Fox and does all the engine tuning and dyno testing. This bike pulled 136 HP at the REAR WHEEL. A huge grin to ride. And comfy enough to ride all day long.
It pulls like a jet from 30 to 110 and I have seen 154 on the speedometer. 
All the original parts go with it. I did think it was a bit plain so put vinyl accents on it. Also the tank bag, soft bags go with it. The soft bags had lousy rain covers so I had some made from Sunbrella waterproof covers.
It has plug covers where the original mirrors were. I have the original mirrors I had trouble seeing behind me with the stockers. So I put very pricey bar end mirrors on it. I am keeping them. All stock parts except the original pipe go with the bike.

The FZ-1 was a good seller, so while rarity wouldn't be in the cards, this unusual level of tuning might be worth looking into.  The FZ-1 reviewed as a real-world R1, and while compromises in the chassis and weight can't be denied, you can hack around town most of the afternoon and still have the energy for a quick jaunt on a back road.  This one has some neat professionally done mods and looks well cared for...

-donn

Naked Ambition – 2001 Yamaha FZ-1
Honda March 18, 2017 posted by Donn

Pinnacle – 2007 Honda CBR1000RR Nicky Hayden Edition

Celebrating Nicky Hayden's 2006 Moto GP Championship, the Repsol-liveried CBR1000RR was also its own high point in liter-bike performance. This very clean example has just a few updates, and new rubber.

2007 Honda CBR1000RR Nicky Hayden Edition for sale on eBay

Coming out of the American flat track scene and making his way to an AMA championship in 2002, Nicky Hayden arrived at the big Moto GP show and rode for Honda 2003-08.  Hayden helped develop the RC211V, and many of the innovations made their way to the CBR1000RR.  The engine architecture was new, with the transmission countershaft more above than behind the main shaft, shortening the engine and allowing a more compact package.  A die-cast alloy frame was used, with an electronic steering damper, and the fuel tank was more centrally located behind the tank cover.  The long swingarm leads to a more stable feel despite the whopping 172 hp.  The fairing and seat console are busy aerodynamically and the complex Repsol graphics package keeps up.

  

Apparently babied by its Tennessee owner, this CBR has just a few scuffs, but Galfer brake lines, Corbin seat, and GPR exhaust.  Though not well pictured, the signal lights have been re-done in LED, and the license plate tucked away.  From the eBay auction:

Rare Nicky Hayden Edition Repsol in great condition. 3 minor scuffs on bike, included in pictures. Added Galfer front and rear brake lines, Corbin seat, G.P.R. exhaust, oem rear seat cowl (Repsol blue), integrated brake light with signals along with led flush mount front signals, led license plate mount (under seat), and new Michelin Pilot tires. Bike also comes with both original seats (excellent condition) along with all other parts that have been replaced with upgraded parts. Bike is clean and ready to go.

  

Making the most of his share of good luck, the Kentucky Kid reached the summit in the 2006 championship, and the bike has several #1 decals.  A local boy's signature under the Moto GP wreath makes this a rare and desirable machine, almost as much of an attraction as the high tech and exquisite production of the steady-handling superbike.  All the better with the succession of tough breaks that followed.  A singular team effort from the manufacturer, racing team, and rider made this a special year for the big CBR...

-donn

Pinnacle – 2007 Honda CBR1000RR Nicky Hayden Edition
Ducati March 16, 2017 posted by Donn

One Rider – 1990 Ducati 750 Sport

Acknowledging the short Canadian riding season, this pretty 750 Sport was photographed some fine un-wintry day.  But if a classic carburetted desmodue is up your alley, plan for spring's eventual arrival and check this auction for a low-mile Ducati which has only been ridden by its first owner.

1990 Ducati 750 Sport for sale on eBay

Ducati was in the swim if not cresting a wave in the late 1980's, and their product managers knew how to shave development costs.  The frame for the 750 Sport was a lightly modified F1 chassis, and the drivetrain came from the controversial Paso.  But the lightweight fairing showed off the trellis frame nicely and had eye-catching sunburst livery.  Power nudged the magical 100 hp / liter mark, and the sound was pure desmodue.  With weight under control, the 750 Sport reviewed as a competent handler, with an un-cramped riding position.

An Ontario native, this Sport was only ridden 6,000 or so miles by the original owner, has changed hands and the new owner hasn't returned it to riding status.  Save a tired turn signal, it appears excellent and original.  So the auction winner will been looking at new belts, rubber, fluids, and possible a seal or two.  From the eBay auction:

The bike is extremely original, meaning, original paint, no modifications, original muffler,  and was only driven by 1st owner.  The first owner ordered the bike from the only Ducati dealership in Toronto, Continental Motorcycles Inc and took delivery of bike in May of 1991.  I have the original bill of sale and the ownership is still in the original owner's name.  The bike runs and shifts nicely, but hasn't been started in a while.  With the sale comes the original bill of sale, the owner's Manual, workshop manual and four magazines featuring the bike (Cycle World, Cycle Canada, Cycle).  This is a rare bike in very nice condition.

Rideability issues with the original two-barrel Weber carburetor are well documented and many owners have tuned them out or changed to Mikunis or Dell'Orto carbs.  16" wheels are a bit of a period item, but tire options are actually better now than they were in the 1990's.  The factory black exhaust are rarely seen on a running 750 Sport, and speak to the bike's originality.  So long as the reserve is sensible, this desmodue should have a much longer happy life...

-donn

One Rider – 1990 Ducati 750 Sport