Author Archives: Donn

Moto Guzzi March 12, 2017 posted by Donn

Meaty Beauty, Big and Bouncy – 1996 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100

With apologies to the Who, this cheesecake of a sportbike is one of Guzzi's greatest hits.  The design was based on the Daytona and shown in fall 1993 as a 1994 model.  One of the last carburetted Guzzis, the 1996 model had fully adjustable suspension front and rear, and the company's torquey 2-valve L-twin.  This higher-mile example has been well-loved and presents well.

1996 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport for sale on eBay

No denying the 1100 Sport tends toward the traditional, with the slightly oversquare air-cooled mill and 5-speed shaft drive.  But a new frame design began the updates, W-P provided the outstanding forks and monoshock, and un-linking the brake system was a nod toward sportier riding.  The riding position and fairing compare to other supersports of the day, and the company eagle soars over a nicely finished machine, this time in the deep red.

This owner's mods show the sportier side, the factory's catalyzer traded for a full Termignoni exhaust, and the airbox removed in favor of foam air filters, which also gives a good view of the rear shock.  Fork tube cozies and head guards are a nod to the realities of road riding.  15 years and 30,500 miles on, the owner has been in for the long term and provides a maintenance update in the eBay auction:

I've decided to part with this beauty after owning her for 15 years. I've owned 2 of these up until a few years ago. I bought this one at Meyers Ducati/Moto Guzzi in Asheville (since closed). I've always considered these to be one of the sexiest Italian V twins of the era. I've read there were 215 of this year produced. Not sure if that's accurate. They are getting rare these days and are destined to become more valuable. This Sport 1100 is equipped with a few extremely hard to find after-market performance parts including Termignoni stainless exhaust full system and Marvic wheels, UNI Pod air filters (air box was removed before I got it). It runs strong and starts easily. It's always had good maintenance, regular valve adjustments, and primarily full synthetic oil. I only run ethanol free premium fuel. Most recently serviced at HCV Motorsports in Asheville NC. 

A regular in supersports and thunder-twin race series, the race-developed frame was shared with the 1100 Sport.  The weight can't be erased but the biked tested as good to hold a line once turned in, and strong torque numbers make the back roads unwind.  No worries about the longevity of the drivetrain, and with a fan's updates and up-to-date care, this might be a good entrée into a classic sportbike...

-donn

Meaty Beauty, Big and Bouncy – 1996 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100
Honda March 8, 2017 posted by Donn

Carts and Horses – 1990 Honda CBR250RR MC22

With the sporty styling of its better-endowed siblings, the CBR250RR was a new rider's showroom dream in 1990's Japan.  The sweet-handling lightweight was rarely exported from the island by the factory, which makes it a fine entrant to the rarity sweepstakes elsewhere.  Though many have come to us by way of a hard life down under, this gem is undamaged and boasts a Washington state title.

1990 Honda CBR250RR for sale on eBay

The RR had the right numbers of everything, if just a bit smaller.  The 249cc inline four had four tiny Keihin carbs, alloy perimeter frame, twin front disks.  Gear driven cams deliver a quite healthy 45 hp with 350 lb. wet weight equaling almost unequaled responsiveness.  The full fairing had a pretty chiseled nose, great factory graphics, and a handy sandwich compartment under the pillion seat ( for which, ironically, there are no footpegs ).

Listed by a parts re-seller, this CBR shows just over 9,000 miles and looks better than 9/10ths.  A lot of glamour shots and this description in the eBay auction:

All of the body panels are original and in good condition, there are no major cracks or major nicks anywhere just some light scratches here and there. The wheels are also in excellent condition with perfect paint and no major chips anywhere. Even the windscreen is original and in great condition. Basically the motorcycle is a 9 out of 10 cosmetically.

Mechanically the bike runs and rides perfect. All of the electrical components work as they should; lights, blinkers, horn, speedo, tach, temp gauge, all work properly. The bike just had a full service tune up including new tires, mechanically everything was inspected and replaced if necessary, all fluids were flushed.

Though the factory was busy racing the two stroke RS250, the light four cylinder was a winning solution for the road, and re-affirming their faith in light sports, the factory commissioned a new CBR250 twin last fall.  The auction has a surprising number of bids, and while the bidding hasn't gotten crazy give it time.  This CBR might be hard to catch in the twisties and harder yet at auction...

-donn

Carts and Horses – 1990 Honda CBR250RR MC22
Buell March 6, 2017 posted by Donn

Captive Animal – 1990 Buell RS1200 Westwind

Erik Buell's creations have almost always been over on the wild side, and this later 1200cc Westwind is no exception.  Built in quite limited numbers, it had several innovations, and a big Harley twin which booked more ft.-lbs than hp.  The Kansas example has low miles and appears un-fettered, should clean up nicely.

1990 Buell RS1200 Westwind for sale on eBay

For the day, the RS1200 was a technical leader, with engine mounts constructed to limit vibration, Marzocchi forks with anti-dive, horizontally mounted rear shock, and mass centralizing short exhaust.  The supersport fairing allowed the 5-speed to achieve 124 mph and had generous dual accomodations.  Bespoke alloy wheels are behind the big dual disk brakes, since the RS pre-dates Buell's perimeter or zero-torque brake.

With just over 10,000 miles, this Buell has spent some time out of the limelight, but looks mostly stock and complete.  Thunderstorm heads should bring power to the 90 hp vicinity.  A Corbin seat has been installed and Performance Machine brake calipers, along with an easier to clean rear shock cover.  From the eBay auction:

Here is your chance to get one of the rarest Buell bikes.. 1990 RS1200 Westwind. Only 90 bikes built in 1990!
It is just a garage queen, I never ride it anymore... has thunderstorm twin plug heads, PM wheels, PM brakes... nice super clean original bike!... could use a set of fork seals, and there is currently no battery in it.-- I didn't want one to leak, or corrode, so I just took it out. Bike runs great, though (for a Harley-lol).
With its compact package, the RS1200 reviewed as good handling, as it had much in common with the Buell Battletwin, itself derived from the Barton Road Warrior race bike.  Chained to the back of the garage too long, this Buell looks like an easy return to riding status, and a rare and notable bike, with a familiar sound...
-donn
Captive Animal – 1990 Buell RS1200 Westwind
Bimota March 2, 2017 posted by Donn

Sweet Air – 1991 Bimota YB9 Bellaria in Italy

Seen only a couple of other times at RSBFS, only a handful of the 145 total YB9 Bellarias ever made it to the states.  Bimota's only two-seater is based on the Yamaha FZR600 drivetrain, with a few extra horses from intake and exhaust work.  Re-painted as many were in reaction to the factory's ice blue color scheme, this Bellaria is offered in Italy, but would be worth a side trip from Venice if you are headed that way.

1991 Bimota YB9 Bellaria ( Italy ) for sale on eBay

Framed in Bimota's usual twin alloy spars with billet connectors, the YB9 was quite compact for a 600, even more so for a biposto.  Handling with the Marzocchi suspension front and rear reviewed better than the FZR, though the bikes were really for different markets, the Bimota being more of an exotic.  Oversize Brembo brakes and tires, plus 4-2-1 exhaust system insure function follows form.  Riding position is fairly relaxed with elevated clip-ons and roomy seat.  The air intakes make an outstanding visual statement crossing the frame and the lines are echoed in the seat console and belly stripe.  Early digital dash looks clean but was hard to read.

 

While the fairing on this Bellaria appears original, the usual stepped dual seat has been replaced with a sportier mono-plus, maybe a knowledgeable reader knows the origin of this mod.  Now in white with what seems to be the factory steel blue trim, shows low miles and looks good save the alternator cover.  The auction indicates a salvage title which would have to be investigated.  From the eBay auction:

BIMOTA BELLARIA YB9 RARE MODEL ONLY 142 EXEMPLARY PRODUCTS, THE MOTORCYCLE IN QUESTION HAS THE NUMBER OF CHASSIS 112.
THE MOTORCYCLE 'marching, COUPON HAS MADE ONLY 6350 KM (3900 MILES) PLEASE NOTE AS' WAS CHANGED BACK,
FOR ALL INFORMATION AND VIDEO OF THE MOTORCYCLE FUNCTIONING, CONTACT,
SHIPPING WORLDWIDE THROUGH COURIER SPECIALIZED.

 

Bimota claimed 95 hp from the 599 cc four, and weight was nicely under control at 385 lbs. dry.  Named for and built to cruise the coastal towns near the factory's home, the Bellaria was easy on the eyes if not the checkbook.  Impossibly rare here, winning the auction would just be the beginning of a story involving travel and paperwork, and with luck a sweet ride in the last chapter...

-donn

Sweet Air – 1991 Bimota YB9 Bellaria in Italy
Kawasaki March 1, 2017 posted by Donn

Commemorative Replica – 2003 Kawasaki ZRX1200 Custom

Extending the run of the ZRX1100 ( itself a harkening to the 1982 Eddie Lawson Replica KZ1000R ) the ZRX1200 wound the series down as only a carburetted 1200 cc naked superbike could.  This 30K-mile ZRX is the subject of a tasteful customization with a lot of heavy work done.  If a naked super / show bike has ever tickled your  fancy, this one deserves a look see.

2003 Kawasaki ZRX1200 Custom for sale on eBay

The ZRX1200R was kind of the ultimate Universal Japanese Motorcycle, with steel frame, four Keihin carbs, twin shocks, conventional riding position, but 122 hp and almost 83 ft.-lbs. torque.  Water cooling was an oughties concession to noise and emissions.  The headers on the  four-into-one exhaust were black from the factory.  With the added power came some weight however, and the handling was more sport-touring than sport, though an easy 5-speed to ride with all that torque.

As re-imagined by someone in the road racing business, this ZRX has a more European flavor, with Öhlins front and WP rear suspension.  Brembo calipers over Galfer rotors.  The Akropovic exhaust system is polished save the carbon muffler.  Relieved of the bikini fairing, the Kawi racing green paint does it justice in a way the original metallic green couldn't.  Too much to list, as they say, but here's a section of the eBay auction:

As a former race mechanic, now in my late 50's, I built this bike in the spirit of a superbike road racing machine.  I bought the bike off the ZRXOA forum last summer and it was fairly close to stock. The bike has cost me just over $20K and that is doing all the work myself. I am selling the bike because I want to start another custom build, this time on a Z1.

The bike has no known faults whatsoever and runs perfectly. It is a 2003 ZRX 1200 with 30,078 miles. I have only put 140 miles on it in 8 months, just riding locally. All the below parts were fitted less than 40 miles ago, and as you will see from the build list, only the finest available components were used. The bike is located in Hollister, CA. Clean and clean CA title in my name. CA registration through June. The bike has three keys (keys fit all locks) and toolkit.

Although the motor is stock, the addition of Yoshimura TNR-MJN 34 flat slide carbs has transformed the response and midrange. The bike power wheelies very easily in first and second. Naturally the handling and braking have also been transformed with new suspension, lighter wheels, Brembos calipers and master cylinders, Spiegler brake lines, sinter pads and Galfer discs.

Going in my books as a light custom, this ZRX retains all the muscle-bike attributes and only improves the suspension and braking.  The updated carburettors is something only an experienced wrench would do, and the new owner would be advised to find filters for them if riding is the plan.  Not expecting a sky-high price since it is a 30K-mile bike, and might take a few rides on eBay before enough riders see it.  But the overall vibe is very enjoyable, not heavily personalized, and respectful of the original concept, a now 35 year-old ( ! ) replica of Fast Eddie Lawson's 1981 AMA Superbike winner...

Donn

Commemorative Replica – 2003 Kawasaki ZRX1200 Custom
Ducati February 26, 2017 posted by Donn

Not Particularly – 2007 Ducati Monster S4RS

With a boatload of compromises made to accommodate the 998 cc Superbike engine, the list of things that the Monster S4RS isn't is longer than those it is.  All a matter of priorities, as the water-cooled testastretta with top of the line components has a way of re-aligning priorities toward the moment.  This example from Colorado has been comprehensively farkled and looks ready to try and stop time.

2007 Ducati Monster S4RS

Not easy to show everything a water-cooled engine needs and have it look good.  Things that are normally hidden are polished, dressed, aligned, and straightened, with an occasional carbon fiber guard.  The SR4S sports the deep-V sump and curved radiators required by the 130 ponies, and has twin cooling fans that even the superbike didn't get. The red paint of the trellis frame captures the eye and is complemented by the red racing stripe, but the tubular single-sided swingarm was left black.  Forged Marchesini snowflakes in white beckon the microfiber towel and cleaner wax.

The previous owners have been all over this Monster, and customized or updated nearly everything.  Euro-3 emissions required a catalyzer, but that was binned in favor of the Termignoni system.  Rizoma and DucaBike upgrades are everywhere, with SpeedyMoto, Samco, ASV, and assorted carbon accents.   With the exception of holes left from the rear blinkers, it hangs together pretty well, and almost gets a red, white, and blue theme going here and there.  From the eBay auction:

Up for sale is a 2 owner Ducati Monster in perfect condition. It has over 20k in upgrades. New tires less than -100 miles.
Full Termignoni Exhaust 
Termignoni ECU
Open Airbox
Extra gas tank
Speedy Moto bar risers
Rizoma bars 
Rizoma grips
Speedymoto clutch slave cylinder
CRG lanespltter mirrors 
Smoked windshield
Rizoma front blinkers
Integrated rear tailight 
Carbon Fiber front fender
Carbon Fiber rear fender
Carbon Fiber tail fender
Carbon Fiber chain cover 
Carbon Fiber cam belt covers
Carbon Fiber heel guards
Ducabike oil plug
Ducabike front sprocket cover
Ducabike rear sprocket carrier
Ducabike timing cover
Quick change lightweight rear sprocket
Gold DID chain
Re-geared front sprocket
Samco coolant hoses
Rebuilt front forks less than 200 miles ago
Cox radiator guard
Cox oil cooler guard
Rizoma clutch cover
Rizoma clutch pressure plate
Rizoma clutch springs & retainers
Motovation Frame sliders
Clutch & brake reservoir caps 
ASV clutch and brake levers
Blue Anodized adjustable fork dampers

The S4RS isn't a racking up the miles type of bike, and this one has some nice rides in store before the next major service.  Seems like a pro detail would be worth it, though this level of color and carbon will attract attention no matter what.  While other bikes better suited to long hauls and track days, the testastretta Monster is a pretty extreme choice for hacking around.  The quality components, factory and aftermarket, will be beneficial whether you're going across town or for the whole afternoon...

-donn

Not Particularly – 2007 Ducati Monster S4RS