Author Archives: Donn

MV Agusta September 4, 2017 posted by Donn

Rhymes with Orange – 2008 MV Agusta Brutale 910R

Happy Labor Day !  ( hope you got the bike out over the long weekend ! ) - donn

A naked like nothing else, the MV Agusta 910R was built with an exciting powertrain, premium components and a nice Castiglioni Research Center badge.  The almost-liter inline four is derived from the F4 superbike, and makes 139 hp, thanks in part to hand-polished intake ports.  The eBay dealer doesn't share much history, but it has under 7,500 miles and a clean stock appearance.

2008 MV Agusta Brutale 910R for sale on eBay

 

On the rebound from their short Malaysian ownership by Proton, Agusta developed the Brutale as an exciting luxury-naked.  Its wide trellis frame envelops the transverse engine and bolts to cast frame connectors.  State-of-the-art 50mm Marzocchi forks are fully adjustable and the monoshock has separate adjustments for high and low-speed movements.  Similarly, the brakes are the best available, 320mm disks with radially mounted monoblock calipers.  The sloped headlight and signature winged fuel tank give way to a solo seat with removable pillion cover.

 

The previous owner added a mini windscreen and bar end mirrors, but otherwise it's as delivered.  Most reviews reference Brembo brakes and Sachs monoshock, but Nissin brakes from the F4 and an Ohlins shock are pictured.  Likeable upgrades all around.  Beside a ding in the left bellypan, some water-spotting is visible in the photos, possibly the bike was left to air-dry or washed with something too aggressive.  Maybe a pre-purchase inspection wouldn't be a bad idea.

 

The Brutale is smaller than one would expect from the displacement and name, it's low and almost diminutive, but the engine and exhaust put the lie to that straight away.  Super quick and capable, attention areas on the Brutale include chain tension and coolant level, not too much of either avoids problems.  Dealers aren't in every town, but the engine has a good reputation.  The current Brutale now has 1090cc, with an 800cc little brother.  The 910R fits right between and though I know it's the wrong question, isn't 140 hp is enough for an unfaired bike ?

-donn

Rhymes with Orange – 2008 MV Agusta Brutale 910R
BMW September 2, 2017 posted by Donn

Little Red – 2007 BMW R1200S

In the late 2000's, BMW was most of the way through development of the WSBK-oriented S1000RR, but the flat twin R1200S had a couple of more seasons to play out.  The R1200S was lighter and more powerful than the previous R1100S, and this one was nicely ordered and custom-painted in a Corvette red.

2007 BMW R1200S for sale on eBay

New pistons and cylinders gave the R1200S a little more displacement than it predecessor, and a substantial increase in compression helped increase power to 122 hp and torque to 83 ft.-lbs.  The cast backbone was replaced by a steel trellis, saving a good deal of the 29 lb. weight reduction.  The bike retained the BMW-centric Telelever front and Paralever rear suspension, not light but relatively dive-resistant up front and the shaft drive virtually maintenance-free.  Brakes are massive, EVO servo-assisted and have ABS, but in a nod to sport, are un-linked and the ABS has an override.  The monoposto fairing / tank / seat combo is pretty radically sculpted, the stubby nose housing the oil cooler.

With low miles for a BMW, this is about the only red R1200S around, custom painted since the factory's red was a candy-stripe option.  The owner has somehow kept up with the exhaust polishing, and sheltered it from the accessory dealers as well as the scratch-and-dent garage elves.  The owner shows off his writing chops in the eBay auction:

Only 17,840 miles. 2007 (only year sold in US, only about 348 imported) BMW R1200S.  Just serviced.  ABS, heated grips.  Never wrecked.  Previous owner had the bike professionally painted to match his red corvette.
Looks and rides like a sport bike, but comfortable enough to do 300 miles rides.  Goes from zero to holy crap in just a few seconds.  She pulls like a freight train with all that Boxer torque and when you hit the power band at 5000 RPM and blow past... well, lets just say it brings a smile to your face and a warm feeling in your loins.
Only 410 lbs dry with 121 hp stock.  Very good condition.  Mechanically a 10 out of 10, cosmetically a 9 out of 10.

Occupying the luxe end of sport segment, the R1200S raced occasionally ( mostly in HP2 spec ) but never achieved the privateer racing successes of the R1100S.  Reviewers praised the relaxed riding position and steady handling, the Paralever and EVO brakes had the side effects worked out, and it's great for covering miles quickly.  The option Öhlins dampers would be a nice, if not cheap upgrade.  Good for three seasons with the heated grips and ABS, might be a thought as summer draws to a close...

-donn

 

 

Little Red – 2007 BMW R1200S
Honda August 30, 2017 posted by Donn

Show, Ride or Hide – 1984 Honda VF1000F

Following the introduction of the 750cc Interceptor in 1983, Honda upped the ante for 1984 and bored the V-4 out to 998cc.  With its chain-driven cams and silver painted steel frame, the VF1000F was more of a GT than superbike, but the best balanced and sportiest feeling of the FJ / GPZ / Jota / K100 group.

1984 Honda VF1000F for sale on eBay

The big Interceptor has four valves per cylinder and 122 hp is available.  With good torque of 66 ft.-lbs., only a 5-speed is required.  Triple 276mm disks seem a little light for the 550 lbs. fueled weight.  Period wheel sizes of 16" front and 17" rear help turn-in.  The supersport fairing breaks some of the wind for the rider but a review wished for more protection since the bike was capable of a ton and a half.

Evidently a two-owner bike, this VF1000F has 19,000 and change on the clock and looks very good.  Some puzzling roughness and re-paint of the left side alternator cover is detailed, but no other damage is apparent.  The owner says this in the eBay auction:

First year of production.  19K miles, runs, rides and handles like new.  The first owner was a nuclear engineer and did ALL the service and maintenance.  I purchased the bike 3 years ago and have put less than 1000 miles on it.  None to be found on eBay, just parts from wrecked bikes! Show it, ride it or hide it!  This bike will only go up in value! 

Not quite sure how prevalent the camshaft oil supply malady was on the VF1000F, but it did have a major effect on the 750cc bikes and they were built from similar castings.  In a rare event, the company addressed the issue by ending all the chain-driven cam V-4's ( except for the 400 and 500 which were a different design ) after 1984, in favor of gear-driven cams.  Still, many bikes are unaffected and run like, well, Hondas.  Ride reviews found the bike confidence-inspiring, stable and powerful.  Even for a fan the asking price for this VF1000F seems optimistic, but the make offer button is enabled...

-donn

Show, Ride or Hide – 1984 Honda VF1000F
Suzuki August 26, 2017 posted by Donn

OMGamma – 1997 Suzuki RGV250

Suzuki gave the RGV250 a masterful re-design before the second-to-last year of production, with a new 70-degree two-stroke twin, and a lot of Grand Prix thoughts.  Never imported to our shores, the RGV250 was a domestic and progressive-license machine, and in its Sports Production variant, a race replica.  This owner has legalized and re-furbished his Gamma with modern forks and Lucky Strike graphics.

1996 Suzuki RGV250 for sale on eBay

The final development in the ten year series, the '96-97 RGV250 looked like it could've taken a much larger engine, with its massive box aluminum frame, banana swingarm, and 300mm brakes.  The ram-air scoop on the left fairing ducts right through the frame and into the airbox.  Unlike many juniors, it came from the factory with upside-down forks, and Suzuki's Full Floater rear monoshock.  Wheel sizes are 17 front and 18 rear, in an effort to provide the lightweight a bit more stability.  Limited to 40hp in the home market, most have been de-restricted to 60-70 hp.

Having enlisted an experienced race-prep shop to do the heavy lifting, the New England owner spec'ed a full rebuild, most everything refinished plus the fork update and the Jolly Moto exhaust with the most welds ever.  Wish the owner had shared the dyno sheet !  Comments from the eBay auction:

Suzuki RGV250 VJ23 very rare and de-restricted.  Totally stripped down and redone nothing over looked.  Frame and swingarm powder coat along with wheels all bearings replaced.  K-Tech rear shock, 2015 GSXR 1000 forks with Matt Madlin triple clamps K-Tech steering stabilizer Jolly Moto exhaust custom paint and decals.  All fluids changed along with air filter, tires, chain, and misc.  Bike was jetted and dyno tuned - nothing overlooked.  All work was performed by Speedwerks in Delware.  Bike is currently registered.

Not sure whether this is an SP, though some sources indicate all 1997's were.  The presence of a dry clutch would confirm.  The peaky 249cc took some skill to ride quickly, with rated power available only from 8,000 - 11,000 rpm.  Although it reviewed well, the model never retrieved a Moto GP Championship for Suzuki, but somehow Aprilia had great success with the engine and their modifications.  Production was winding down and total 1997 SP production is reputed to be only in the low hundreds.  The model was retired with a whimper but roars on as a vintage or show machine, with the "blender full of lug nuts" sound as the revs go up and down...

-donn

 

Harley Davidson August 24, 2017 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – 1994 Harley-Davidson VR1000 AMA Superbike

Update 9.5.2017: SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc
Update 8.24.2017: Back on eBay and with a big price drop to $55k buy-it-now. Good luck to buyers and seller! -dc
Update 5.9.2016: eBay listing updated with buy-it-now of $65,000. -dc
Update 2.15.2016: Now on eBay. Good luck to buyers and seller. -dc

20160205 1994 harley davidson vr1000 left

20160205 1994 harley davidson vr1000 right

In the late 1980's, Harley-Davidson was in a bit of a resurgence - bought back from AMF by Willie G. and out of the motorhome business, the company had recently introduced the softtail chassis and was concentrating on its core market, the big-displacement twin, retro-styled cruiser.  Their long competition history gave headquarters the notion to develop a factory superbike to fly the flag on the AMA circuit.  The VR1000 project was an astonishing string of achievements, but stretched over too many years, leaving a hand full of racebikes and fifty homologation specials as its legacy.

1994 Harley-Davidson VR1000 for sale on eBay

20160205 1994 harley davidson vr1000 left front

Most of Harley's racing success had come at long dirt ovals, on machines developed from production models.  The VR1000 stepped into new territories of AMA Superbike racing, bespoke racebike development, and use of engineering contractors, all at the same time.  With a 1000 cc 60-degree bottom end designed, the company hired the expert who had worked on the engine at Roush Racing to complete development of the 4-cam heads, and the bike had about 150 hp on tap when it took the grid at Daytona in 1994.  The massive aluminum perimeter frame held Penske suspension and Wilwood brakes, and handled well for Miguel DuHamel before an engine failure early on.  Fits and starts dogged the effort, and though the bike was in the top five often in 1996 and on the podium once, the factory reduced support to the teams in 1997, and ended the effort in 2001.

20160205 1994 harley davidson vr1000 left front wheel

20160205 1994 harley davidson vr1000 left rear wheel

On consignment at Automania in Oregon, the #60 race machine was campaigned by Mike Canepa and 10-K Racing in 1996-97.  Automania has a comprehensive history of the bike, and the package includes plenty spares to return the bike to the vintage racing circuit, even a spare chassis and zero-time engine.  Here is a short excerpt from Automania's outstanding history:

Mike had 3 race prepped bikes that were ridden by both riders. The last time #60 was raced was at Sears which won the Sound of Thunder race in 1997. Along the way, the factory rebuilt the engines and updated everything except the frame and cases. The oil pump was changed, cams, pistons, rods, a 6 speed Gear box, anything the factory built Mike had within a week while Harley was involved. In 1996, Harley gave Mike an extra chassis (included with the sale) which had been raced the previous season by Chris Carr, the one that he won the pole at Pomona with. When Harley closed up shop, they offered Mike the last reiteration of the engine which has not been run and all of the latest electronics, factory quick shifter, the factory built the engine in bike along with the engine on the stand included with the bike.

The bikes have all factory race stuff. This bike has a carbon carbon AP Slipper Clutch. There is another slipper clutch in the spares. The carbon slipper clutch was one of the best slipper clutches ever at cost of $10,000 each. It has PI System 3 Plus acquisition system, same as the factory bikes. Mike told me he bought every update the factory had during his time running his team. The lower cam drive has been changed to a gear drive. The bike has the AP rotors. The rear sub frame and front sub frame are new for 97. Body work is from the original to the last version, all made by Gemini. The last set is Carbon Fiber and has not been drilled or painted. It has a Penske shock installed but a FOX shock is included as a spare.

20160205 1994 harley davidson vr1000 right frame20160205 1994 harley davidson vr1000 right engine

The story might have been much different if development had stayed on schedule and the VR1000 had taken the Daytona grid in 1991, but the delay allowed the other factories' more dedicated efforts to eclipse Harley's gains.  As an epilogue, the company retained the engineering done for the water-cooled 60-degree 1000, and after some massage by Porsche, used the engine as the base of their very successful V-Rod and pro-stock drag racing team.  In that light, the amazing VR1000 and its race development live on.

20160205 1994 harley davidson vr1000 right front

Complete details and pictures can be found on the Automania website.

Donn

Featured Listing – 1994 Harley-Davidson VR1000 AMA Superbike
Ducati August 23, 2017 posted by Donn

An Elefant’s Memory – 1988 Ducati Paso 750

Shortly after the Castiglioni family took controlling interest in Ducati, they commissioned Massimo Tamburini with a new and competitive sportbike, fully faired and built tough underneath. The Paso didn't result in a dynasty, but is a sporty and interesting chapter in Ducati's history.

1988 Ducati Paso 750 for sale on eBay

Fully enclosing an air-cooled engine would generally raise some flags, but the Paso handles the heat with two ducted oil coolers, and the bodywork helps answer intake and valvetrain noise concerns.  The 73 hp have a healthy torque complement, and testers found the 5-speed acceptable.  Marzocchi suspension and Brembo triple disks are par for the course, and the 16-inch tires help the slightly overweight bike turn in.  Another innovation on the Paso was a single two-barrel Weber carb, which like the hidden mechanicals saved lira, but caused some adjustment difficulties.  Some have been converted to dual Mikuni's and some still run fine.  Jumping on the big soap bar was a new experience, but most found the built-in mirrors, signals and ergonomics excellent.

With rather low ( under 9,000 ) miles for the age, this tidy blue Paso has been waiting for a fan to come along.  Not ridden much by the current owner, it looks neither babied nor abused, but just biding its time.  Carbon silencers but hard to see any other updates.  From the eBay auction:

1 of 50 Blue bikes brought to the US 
I love the bike but I never ride it and am not into collecting for the sake of collecting
Bike is very low mile and has not been ridden much so should be tuned by a competent Ducati Tech before riding any distance
New Gel Battery 
Starts and runs great handles like a dream very quick and agile motorcycle 
In fact best handling motorcycle I have had the pleasure of riding 
I have the stock mufflers that go with the bike they are in excellent condition 
there is a small tear at the rear of the seat near the grab handle 
Also some spares
Clear title in my name 

Beside the Cagiva portmanteau, the company used an elephant mascot denoting strength and durability from their days in the luggage business.  The logo is found here and about on the Paso, almost fitting with its robust square-tube frame and desmodue.  The Castiglionis elected to stick with the better-known Ducati name at the last minute, else we'd still be seeing the little pachyderm everywhere.  The Paso evolved over its five years to a 900cc fuel-injected model, and the 750 has a good sporty-dollar ratio though its power-to-weight is a little less.  Seeming quite original, and with it's sensible opening bid, this edition may find the interested buyer out there...

-donn

An Elefant’s Memory – 1988 Ducati Paso 750