Author Archives: Donn

Honda January 8, 2018 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – 1990 Honda VFR400R / NC30 – Super Clean !

Update 1.8.2018: Now on eBay, links added. -dc

Long-time friend and regular around RSBFS, Greg at Deftone Cycles had some kind of luck with his last shipment of gray-market machines. This 1990 VFR400R has just about 14,000 km ( 8,500 miles ) but the condition is exceptional.  The third generation was certainly the charm for the petite Honda, as the NC30 variant had the widest torque band, least twitchy handling, and outstanding build quality.

1990 Honda VFR400 for sale on eBay

The NC30 was built for 4 years, an eternity in the fast-moving sportbike world.  Honda's well-tested 399cc V-4 generates the nice whir of gear-driven cams, as well as 59 hp.  The NC30 re-introduced the 360-degree crankshaft, where pairs of cylinders fire together for a torquier delivery.  The chassis was revised for the 1990 model year and reviewed as the strongest and most stable of the 400-four stroke group.  House suspension is adjustable for preload and rebound, and triple discs are appropriately sized at 269mm.  Styled like its 750cc sibling, the VFR400 shows off the single-sided swingarm with a 4-2-1 left side exhaust.

Requiring very little refurbishment, this monochromatic VFR is stock except for the exhaust and without most of the usual corrosion.  Greg has this to say about the bike :

100 percent stock. Except aftermarket Header and Silencer.
Condition: Excellent.
Right side lower fairing stress cracks.
Small hairline fracture upper left.
Mileage: 8,647 / 13,917 Km

Though shoot-outs from the day accused Honda of resting on their laurels, the easier-to-ride VFR400 may have been the best solution for its intended fledgling riders, if not aspiring racers.  The drivetrain is more tractable than the usual pint-size, and the package is surprisingly capable for a junior - skilled riders will find their rewards.  Deftone Cycles asks $7,500 for the pleasure and Greg can be reached - here -

-donn

Featured Listing – 1990 Honda VFR400R / NC30 – Super Clean !
Ducati January 7, 2018 posted by Donn

Bella Varese – 1995 Ducati 916

Ducati's 916 was on the verge of success when fire at their shops in Bologna forced a move to their parent company Cagiva's facility in Varese.  The resulting year's worth of production were given more than the usual hands-on attention and have acquired a certain cachet among Ducatisti.  This collector-owned 916 has 10,000 miles and a sprinkling of SPS-related updates.

1995 Ducati 916 for sale on eBay

 

It feels gratuitous to even review the specs for the familiar and iconic 916, but it was Ducati's foray into the 100+ hp bracket with 114 hp.  66 ft.-lbs. torque helped put the racing version on the WSBK four times in five years.  It was somewhat lighter than the preceeding 888, with a compact riding position and tucked-in underseat exhaust.  Designer Massimo Tamburini sketched in an alloy perimeter frame before reverting to Ducati's trademark chrome-moly trellis, and the lines of the frame echo throughout the bike.

 

Having evidently had its own brush with oblivion early on, this 916 was repaired flawlessly and updated to a carbon SPS tail and rear mudguard.  The owner has had the nose painted as a SPS model and added many nice carbon accents, as well as an Öhlins steering damper.  From the eBay auction:

- Most modifications in the form of quality bolt-on autoclave carbon. No cheap chinese ill fitting parts. This includes ram air tubes, airbox, chain guard, sprocket guard, lower "v" radiator cover and front fender. 
The paint is all factory except for the SPS number plate scheme on the front that replicates the look of a SPS bike to match the tail.
- The paint is in excellent condition with no dings or dents in the tank. There might be the minor shoe scuff or scratch but so minor it is impossible to really capture on camera. Any such imperfections would just be considered patina from 23 year old bike.
- This year bike came stock with an Ohlins rear shock. It has an Ohlins front steering damper and the stock damper is included.
- It has a the expensive BMC air filter system in the airbox. Basically they are mini K&N style filters that slide into their own receptacles at each ram air tube opening in the airbox. See pictures.
Much better than the stock air filter system and high tech.
- It has a Forza (Fast by Ferracci) exhaust system and chip and sounds fantastic. New clutch pack at 8000 miles. Vented clutch cover in period correct factory 1/2 cover configuration.
The tires are visually perfect but are at the age where you should consider replacing if you plan to ride this bike aggressively.
- The previous owner literally kept a hand written diary of all work done. I've never seen such diligence. It reads like a journal. You also get all the receipts and service records. There is zero unknowns with this bike. The bike was maintained religiously. Full service and belts where recently changed in October 2016 with 10039 miles on the clock. All work done by Desmoto sport in San Francisco.

Almost goes without saying that the 916 was Ducati's landmark success, and the model's successors became a dynasty on the track and street.  Most nicer 916's are likely on display at this point, and though the 10,000 miles and rebuilt title could lead the new owner out on the road, it seems too nice for anything but an occasional ride to a show...

-donn

Bella Varese – 1995 Ducati 916
Aprilia January 1, 2018 posted by Donn

Downsizing – 2009 Aprilia RS125 Spain’s No. 1 Replica

Happy New Year !

Developed as a mid-size for countries with progressive licensing, 125cc race replicas are finding their way to collections here, and they're somewhat easier on the funding stream than the superbikes they are styled like. This fairly up-to-date Aprilia has low mileage and Penn. title.

 

2009 Aprilia RS125 Spain's No. 1 Replica for sale on eBay

 

Aprilia had a long post-war history in bicycles, but ventured into motorcycles in the late 60's and introduced the RS125 in 1992.  Aprilia won 9 titles in the 125cc class, which was succeeded by the 250cc four stroke formula in 2012.  The fourth generation RS125 was made from 2006-12 and is styled like the RSV 1000R.  The two-stroke Rotax single is carburetted and zings 28 hp to you at 10,500 rpm.  The formed and welded alloy frame is robust for the segment and  has a matching alloy boomerang swingarm.  The RS125 is fitted with nicer alloy wheels, inverted forks and radially-mount front disk brake.

 

 

Always imported as racers or track day machines, this RS125 has found its way to legality with some additional wiring, signals, mirrors, and horn.  The videos show it to be in nice shape except for a low side scrape on the right.  Even if the new owner keeps it on the track, tags might be a nice feature when it comes time to sell.  Some variants have underseat exhaust, maybe a knowledgeable reader can comment on which, and whether "Spain's No. 1" refers to Jorge Lorenzo's 2007 Moto GP 250cc championship or is part of some other ad campaign.  From the eBay auction:

I purchased in California in 2013 new from the dealer.  I did one track day at Laguna Seca.  It has 412 kilometers (about 260miles).

The bike is completely stock except the parts needed to make it street legal in the states:  European wiring harness, blinkers, lights, brake lights, horn, license plate mount, light above the plate to illuminate the plate, and a rear view mirror.  It is now plated and registered in PA and can be titled and plated in any state.  Also, because these are made and sold as street bikes in Europe, it has a passenger seat and is built for two-up riding.

It is an exceptionally fun track bike, very light and nimble, fun and quick.  Not to mention the beautiful sound it makes.  Since it's plated you have the option of using it as a fun little street bike too.  Good for a novice or anyone who likes light, small bore bikes that can out brake and out corner any other bike on the track.

 

 

The ask is a skwosh more than the new price 9 years ago, though a fair amount of work has been done legalizing the bike.  If you have a little room in your size large clothes, the accomodations on the RS125 might come as a surprise.  No reason a regular sized adult can't have a ball on the RS125, and if the track's call is heeded, the new owner will learn oceans about precision and body position.  As they say about smaller displacement "momentum" sports cars, you can't gain speed, you can only try not to lose it...

-donn

 

 

Downsizing – 2009 Aprilia RS125 Spain’s No. 1 Replica
BMW December 27, 2017 posted by Donn

Naked Aggression – 2007 BMW K1200R Sport

BMW's niche of performance, clientele, and MSRP has given even their dabbles a certain credibility.  A marque that has always had a standard in the line-up ventured into musclebike territory in the mid-2000's swapping some fuel economy for showroom excitement.  The owner of this mildly customized K1200R Sport gives a nod to the days when all BMW's were black.

2007 BMW K1200R Sport for sale on eBay

 

Early oughties BMW developed a canted 1157cc inline four and put it in three models, S, GT, and R.  The K1200R for 2007 pushed 163 ponies, right up there for a semi-standard.  The box L-frame carried the stressed engine and was supported by BMW's Duolever front end and Paralever shaft-drive rear, which had electronically adjustable suspension as an option.  Power-assist EVO brakes had ABS available but traction control was still just over the horizon.  The Sport model had a Supersport fairing which cut the wind and allowed a relaxed handlebar position.

 

Evidently curated by a knowledgeable Florida owner, this K1200R Sport was retro-modded to BMW black and has covered under 1,000 miles.  The usually bare engine has an aftermarket carbon fairing which is a nice improvement, as is the Puig windscreen.  From the eBay auction:

Response to Questions:
1. Original color was "White Aluminum Metallic M"
2. Factory options include: sport wheels, heated grips, white turn indicators, Integral ABS II
3. Original keys and manuals shown in updated photos are included
4. Original factory MSRP sticker has been added to photos
5. The tires are original
6. Bike starts, idles, and runs like new
7. Bike has all recalls completed by BMW in Orange CA. Work Orders provided
8. Factory tail light will be reinstalled prior to shipping.

The price is absolutely FIRM. This gorgeous 2007 BMW K1200R Sport is in perfect shape with less than 1000 original miles. It has spent 10 years on display in a motorcycle collection and it looks and rides like new.
The bike has been upgraded with gloss black paint (by local BMW painter), lower carbon fiber cowling, clear tail-light, raised bars, and Puig windscreen. Nothing else is needed on this incredible bike.

 

Collectability would be enhanced is this had been a factory special rather than a customer's design, but very few of the K1200R Sports were made, and this one is pretty special.  Vertigo-inducing pictures show it to be flawless except for the peeled-off reflectors, and great options save ESA.  The ask is a third more than the Sport cost new, which will be a challenge for a brand that prides itself on longevity almost above all else...

-donn

Naked Aggression – 2007 BMW K1200R Sport
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