Author Archives: Donn

Bimota August 19, 2017 posted by Donn

Spec-ial-ity – 2006 Bimota SB8K Santamonica with Under 1,000 miles !

Even among specialty manufacturers like Bimota there are favorites, where performance and style have somehow met in a synchronicity better than other models.  The SB8K is one such example, the first bike produced after the company was resuscitated in the early 2000's.  The fresh design, techniques, and materials were spot-on and even resulted in a couple of WSBK race wins.

2006 Bimota SB8K Santamonica for sale on eBay

Using the 996cc Suzuki TL-1000 mill, Bimota engineered their own and intakes and a moving fuel injector system which optimized the fuel delivery position relative to the throttle butterfly.  The resulting 143 hp had the big twin's wide torque band and was packaged in a lighter hybrid frame with aluminum beams and carbon fiber connectors.  The body and fuel tank were also carbon, finished to a level usually only seen on Bimota's billet aluminum components.  Oversize Öhlins forks are fully adjustable, as is the rear monoshock.  Radially mounted Brembo brakes, OZ wheels, and Termignoni exhaust complete the picture.

As you might expect from a bike with under 1,000 miles, things are stock and very clean.  Shouldn't be any maintenance issues with the hybrid chain and gear cam drive.  Likely the new owner could change the fluids and rubber and ride away.  From the eBay auction:

This bike has spent most of its life in living rooms, 866 miles. 

(kilometers shown in picture) Beautiful near perfect bike, built with a profusion of light alloys and carbon fibre.  Many parts meticulously machined from aluminum alloy.  The motor was taken from the Suzuki TL1000R and has been highly tuned by engineers to deliver more output and torque at all engine speeds.  The SB8K is the only production bike in the world to use Bimota's very own Radial Injection.  Some paint chipping by titanium panel chips on side fairings,(easily touched up) and some small scratches on lower fairing under bike, I assume from loading (not visible unless fairing is removed).  Runs perfect, pulls like a freight train.  Carbon fibre everything including parts of the frame, Has OZ Wheels, Ohlin struts and shocks, Brembo Monobloc calipers, 385 lbs. 134 horsepower!

The SB8K reviewed as a big machine, but sharp, with light weight and handling, and hard suspension.  Bimota's tune camouflages the Suzuki engine, and power delivery is linear.  The rarity and low miles will probably keep this Santamonica on display, but it could be pressed into service at any time.  Named for the Superbike World Championship track in Rimini, Italy ( and not the West Hollywood suburb ) the Santamonica was a great re-start for Bimota, and a great oughties exotic...

-donn

 

Spec-ial-ity – 2006 Bimota SB8K Santamonica with Under 1,000 miles !
Honda August 14, 2017 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – As New 1996 Honda NSR 250 SP !

Update 8.17.2017: We have been notified that this exceptional bike sold in just 48hrs! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Rarely can I sit for a 90-slide show, slowly fading between pictures. But our featured listing for today caught me doing just that, savoring each close-up of this museum-quality 1996 Honda NSR 250 SP.

 

Too recent to be imported to the U.S., the 249cc twin was intended for the home market, and the Sport Production variant for knowledgable fans of Moto GP and the marque.  The 249cc twin was made from 1984 to 1996, the final three years with PGM-IV electronic control of ignition and exhaust valve timing, and top speed regulation.  All MC28's had 40 hp,  dual 276mm front brakes, 17-inch wheels and Pro-Arm rear.  The SP had fully adjustable suspension, dry clutch, and magnesium wheels.  And of course the Repsol livery in celebration of Mick Doohan's championships.

 

The second owner has cared for if not curated this NSR, with just 1,900 miles, it looks better than showroom.  Since 2006 he's ridden just a few miles, but arranged Califonia road registration, a great value for the next owner.  Click - here - for the Photobucket Gallery, and the seller has this  to say about the bike -

Much of the graphics are decals can become brittle or blemished over time, should they get scratched or scraped they can easily peel or become permanently marked.  The decades I have been an NSR enthusiast I can’t recall a time I even heard of an MC28 in this condition for any price, with California registration on top of that.  With 1000 Repsol MC28’s produced they were for the domestic Japanese market only, the majority spend their time exposed to the elements in Japan.

Seeking a serious collector who is specifically looking to add this model to his or her collection in an exclusive transaction.

 

1996 found Honda in the midst of a five-year romp in the Moto GP 500cc class, and had won the 250's in 1991-92 with Luca Cadalora aboard.  A lot of the 250cc Grand Prix learning was transferred to the MC28, and while there was plenty of competition, the Honda reviewed as the best balanced and had better build quality.

 

Most often I lament that special bikes are left on the dais for only visual enjoyment, but in this case preservation seems the best course. 

-donn

Featured Listing – As New 1996 Honda NSR 250 SP !
Ducati August 14, 2017 posted by Donn

Recovered Racer – 1998 Ducati 916

After an 18-month refurbishment, this 916 has a fresh carbon fairings and race engine.  While a detail here or there might need attention, it has a long list of mods resulting in a nicely presented and special 916.

1998 Ducati 916 for sale on eBay

Relieving the 888, the 916 started a new dynasty and made a lot of 1994 best bike lists.  Much of the machine was derived from Ducati racebikes - trellis frame, single-sided swingarm, dry clutch, underseat exhaust, and instantaneous access to the engine.  The folded headlight fairing was designed by Massimo Tamburini and became a sportbike icon.  In the five years from 1994-98, the torquey 916 won four Superbike World Championships.

This is an ex-privateer's racebike, and for all the fun of turning a road bike into a racer, bringing a race machine back to the street can be tougher.  The owner answered the challenge of integrating all the great mods and beautifying the lot.  This bike has had some updates for the track, and some on the way back to the street.  With a built race engine, 1098 front end and race dash, the owner added a full carbon fiber body, including the fuel tank.  Here's one paragraph from the long description in the eBay auction:

This build was year and a half effort; acquiring the right mix of parts to make a Duc that I’ve never seen. This bike’s been to many events, and it is an original.  It has carbon fiber Ducati performance bodywork, fuel tank, air intakes, airbox, front fender, rear fender, foot guards, chain guard and Arrow exhaust.  The only major part that isn’t carbon fiber is the wheels; they are Marchesini 10 spoke forged magnesium wheels (3.50" x 17" Front and 5.50" x 17" Rear).  The Marchesini 10 spoke wheel weights with bearings front 6.04lbs, and rear 7.76lbs, very light, so I stayed with the 10 spokes.  The inside of the fuel tank has been coated with Caswell epoxy gas tank sealer to prevent leaks and protect the carbon fiber.

With this 916 coming up on 20 years old, a reliability comparison between stock and modified would be more of a pain management exercise.  This build might suit a tinkerer or an owner with access to a good repair shop, as when service is required, it won't quite be covered by the maintenance manual.  In return, the new owner will have a one-of-a-kind 916, race-engined with classic looks but many more modern components.  Located in a north Dallas suburb, arranging an in-person inspection by a friend or a shop might be a way to start...

- donn

 

Recovered Racer – 1998 Ducati 916
Ducati August 10, 2017 posted by Donn

Big Bevel – 1984 Ducati MHR Mille

A bit down on their luck in the late seventies and early 1980's, Ducati brought out a string of repli-racers celebrating Mike Hailwood's 1978 Isle of Man win. The ultimate was a 973cc desmodue, claiming 76 hp and and a new frame design. This collector bike has under 3,000 miles and would make an outstanding addition to any stable.

1984 Ducati Mike Hailwood Replica Mille for sale on eBay

Though largely a 900 Super Sport below the waterline, the MHR had the exciting full body and national paint, as well as Marzocchi suspension front and rear, triple Brembo disks, and gold Oscam 18-inch alloys.  The new liter engine used the bevel-gear-driven cams, plain bearings and had a healthy increase in torque to 62 ft.-lbs.

Apparently un-restored, this Mille still has the original rubber, and everything else.  Wafer-thin fairings look excellent, as do the option Conti mufflers.  The Texas owner says this in the eBay auction:

The Hailwood Mille is the final development of the bevel drive engine. This bike has only 4356 km, original condition with orig tires, Conti 2 into 1 exhaust system.  SS front brake lines.  This bike would make a great addition to any Ducati collection.

Riders of a certain age will recall Mike Hailwood as a great champion who drove Formula 1 cars as well as bikes.  Though earlier MHR machines celebrated his comeback TT win, later editions marked his untimely 1981 death.  Either way the MHR made up a healthy percentage of Ducati sales.  Cagiva's Castiglioni brothers liked Ducati's new belt-driven cam engine so much, they bought the company, and wound bevel production down as Ducati finished up development of the 750 F1.  Some collectors focus on a model's introductory years and some see value in later developments.  Often displacement increases are part of the development, in this case a great reason to look into this very collectible Mike Hailwood Replica.

-donn

Big Bevel – 1984 Ducati MHR Mille
Moto Guzzi August 7, 2017 posted by Donn

A Bottle of White – Moto Guzzi V50 Monza

In the late 1970's Moto Guzzi created a line of smaller-displacement machines based on the classic 850 Le Mans, and though they have largely been forgotten, they're still a great lightweight - especially for fans of the marque.  This Quebec-based model has been given a rider's restoration and has a nice patina.

1983 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza ( Canada ) for sale on eBay

 

The V35 Imola and V50 Monza incorporated many family Guzzi features such as the longitudinal V-twin, air cooling, shaft drive, and linked triple-disk brakes.  The chain-drive single overhead cam engine used a novel Heron head, where the combustion chamber is largely carved out of the machined piston and the head itself is quite flat.  This saved manufacturing dollars though it's not the best for intake and exhaust flow.  The engine was also somewhat easier to service than the V7, the oil filter being more readily accessible and the clutch was a lighter design.  Otherwise the 353 lbs. junior, with star alloys and handlebar fairing, walks and talks like part of the venerable Moto Guzzi lineage.

 

Professionally converted to a white/black scheme, this V50 has just under 14,000 miles and except for the seat, looks great for a 35 year-old.  With its low-maintenance drivetrain and fresh cosmetics, some new foam and vinyl is all that's in the way of a sweet ride.  Some notes from the eBay auction:

I bought the bike many years ago from a local mechanic, who had the bike and it had been dropped and scratched the gas tank severely.  The bike also had had the fairing removed and a round light was installed. I bought a NOS front light system and a fairing imported from Italy by MG Cycle in Wisconsin.  Had the bike rebuilt top to bottom and a complete impeccable body job and paint redone by the mechanic before giving it to me.  It turned out as you can see really beautiful. The original color of the bike was red and black, and I had it painted white and black, and bought original decals for it.  It's a professionally done body job and looks factory!

It has spent it's last winter in a professional bike dealership who have an amazing garage, I just picked it up exactly one month ago (July 1 2017)  and had many things done to it including:

  • Cleaned flushed & tuned the whole system carb system out (changed the carbs from the original Dellorto to Mikuni)
  • Flushed the gas tank
  • Oil change
  • Changed the spark plugs
  • Complete cleaning
 
Truth be known, the V50 Monza was a little more economy than sport, and Guzzi boutique prices soon put it on the back burner.  But it's an interesting data point on a manufacturer who has been there from the beginning.  None other than Billy Joel said in a 2011 edition of Motorcyclist, that he rode a V50 Monza around Manhattan for many years, and the bike was responsible for his ongoing interest in Moto Guzzis.  While the factory pursued the global smaller displacement market for several years, they didn't last long here and are quite rare now.  This one has had a nice rejuvenation, never losing sight of reality.  It would be just the thing for a Le Mans or V11 owner, many of whom appear to be bidding in ernest !
-donn
A Bottle of White – Moto Guzzi V50 Monza
Bimota August 6, 2017 posted by Donn

Big In Japan – 1988 Bimota YB7

Seen on RSBFS back in May, this YB7 is still available, links updated to current auction. - donn

Bimotas have always had a fan base in Japan, and the YB7 was dreamed almost specifically for their progressive licensing laws.  Just 399cc and 352 lbs. dry, it's a rarity with only 321 made over 1987-88.  The engine was well-mannered thanks to EXUP, and smooth handling made for a very rideable welterweight.

1988 Bimota YB7 for sale on eBay

 

From Bimota's billet period, the YB7 has gorgeous metal work, the big twin beam frame joined with machined connectors.  The triple tree is another art piece, as are the adjusters on the aluminum swingarm.  The monoposto bodywork is shaped and painted to recall the superbike YB4, which took the TTF1 honors in 1987 under Virginio Ferrari and had a shot at the WSBK crown !  Matched with oversized Marzocchi forks, Öhlins monoshock, and Brembo brakes, the YB7 did more than look the part.

  

Presented by a regular RSBSF reader, this very rare Bimota YB7 has but 6,000 miles and looks all original and very good.  The tank cover / seat console is unmarked save a corner of the foam seat, and the lightweight lowers show only a few stress cracks.  Engine side covers take the most abuse and could be refinished or replaced easily.  From the eBay auction:

Very rare Bimota YB7, 400cc Yamaha motor, never sold in USA, Japan bike only, very light and loaded with high performance goodies, hand built in Italy, very collectible and hard to find in USA, mine comes with IL clean title, was imported years ago from UK.  Bike is in very good condition, very little miles and use, been sitting indoors show room for few years now, took her out, cleaned the carbs, new battery and oil, starts and runs like a dream. Everything is original, no mods or alterations, tires were replaced few years ago, look like new but are a little old, has few scratches and nicks from normal use, some spider web cracks in the clear coat just like any other Italian bike from that era, the side motor covers are losing their finish and paint peels off but nothing too dramatic, one big scratch in the right fairing, one small piece of the seat foam broken off, I am sure there are more imperfections but this was a very light body hand molded and was never perfect from the beginning. Öhlins rear shock,  fully adjustable fork, light Bimota wheels, full floating rotors. 

 

The YB7 reviewed as one Bimota that was pleasant to ride in traffic and on the racetrack.  The well-balanced engine and chassis made it a great novice machine as well as a fine F3.  Almost above the big four's fray because of premium construction and pricing, the YB7 benefitted from Yamaha's excellent driveline.  Having recently been freshened up to ride, this YB4 needs just a couple of cosmetic details addressed to look really special as well...

-donn

 

Big In Japan – 1988 Bimota YB7