Author Archives: Donn

Ducati February 4, 2017 posted by Donn

The Next Step – 1990 Ducati 750 Sport

Backing away from the brink, Ducati needed a successor to the F1 and a second fiddle to the 907 i.e., and found it in the 750 Sport. The fully-faired desmodue was lightweight and used the Paso engine in the F1 frame.  Not an earth-shattering development, but gave the SuperSport department a chance to show their expertise.

1990 Ducati 750 Sport for sale on eBay

Sporting Weber's single carburettor between the cylinders, the 750 Sport had occasional driveability issues, but once sorted the 748cc air-cooled mill was a winner.  Staying on budget, Marzocchi supplied suspension for both ends, and likewise single-puck Brembo brakes.  16-inch rubber can be a test of a fan's dedication, but the options are much better today than when this bike was simply middle-aged.  Especially with the sun-ray graphics, the endurance fairing is sweet, but is more a fond glance over Ducati's shoulder than a look ahead.

This owner's second 750 Sport, this example has a little over 21,000 miles and a set of period slip-ons.  Good shape though scrapes and bumps almost suggest a trip to the paint booth.  The smashing factory paint scheme justifies freshening up.  It has new tires but recency of the cam belts would need to be determined.  From the eBay auction:

Runs great - excellent, not perfect, unrestored condition.  Tires and hoses are new.  Awesome nearly VINTAGE Ducati.  I bought one of these in 1990 and loved it.  This is my second one.   My Ducati book says only 150 were imported into the US.  Many of those went to the track and I have never seen another one on the street.

Similar to a PASO but cooler.  I have manuals and original Cycle World magazine where they tested the bike that will go with the sale.
The auction has several bids and the owner is refreshingly under no illusions of starting bids or reserves.  Likely to always be a rider, the new owner could have a nice one or with a little work, a gem to roll out.  An interesting chapter in the Ducati history book, frozen in trellis frame and desmodue...
-donn
The Next Step – 1990 Ducati 750 Sport
Cagiva February 3, 2017 posted by Donn

Snapshot – 1987 Cagiva Allazzura 650SS

Founded in 1950 and a relatively minor manufacturer, the Castiglioni family leveraged the Ducati brand in 1985, and though they had thoughts of folding it into Cagiva, only a few larger displacement bikes were produced before they acknowledged Ducati's greater name recognition.  The Alazzurra was a sporty mid-size with a Ducati-branded desmodue aboard, and had a lot in common with, and improvements to, the Pantah on which it was based.

1987 Cagiva Allazzura 650SS for sale on eBay

With its newly designed supersport fairing, the Alazzurra looked a little more modern than the Pantah it was intended to succeed.  The recently designed engine was a revelation, especially above 5000 rpm.  Moderately-sized Brembo and Marzocchi hardware acquitted themselves in the braking and suspension departments but were more sport-touring than race replica.  The relatively light weight and willing engine endeared the Alazzurra to reviewers.

Coming out of a Florida home, this Cagiva has been faithfully rejuvenated and updated by its most recent owner.  A lot of details in the eBay auction:

This survivor was purchased from the widow of a friend of mine several months ago.  The odometer shows 5200 miles and is probably accurate based on the condition of the instrument cluster, the wiring and in particular the black chrome head pipes ( these are almost always corroded).  The valves are in spec and the oil came out pretty clean with no metal bits. Engine runs very strong, clutch doesn't slip and gears  shift well.

Upgrades include 38 mm Marzocchi front forks ( probably from an 860 GT ), K-N air filters, Dyna coils, 280 mm Brembo cast iron rotors, as new Avon tires, adjustable steering damper, Brembo Goldline brake and clutch levers, black chrome Conti mufflers ( there is a small ding on the left Conti above the C ).  These things were on the bike when I got it this past fall.  I found and rebuilt the missing rear brake caliper, rear  master cylinder, replaced the droopy rear turn signals with shorter new old stock CEV's, replaced the leaking fuel petcocks with Bevel Heavens aftermarket items, installed new old stock Superbike bars, English high quality bar end mirrors, rebuilt carburetors, added alloy tops, alloy oil and ignition sight  windows, stainless steel brake lines front and rear, new Thomasselli throttle and cables, timing belts, oil and filter, fork oil, replaced ignition pick up lines with Bevel Heaven kit, repaired the rear turn signal wiring ( amazingly all the wiring except the PU's and the rear turn signals remain intact, soft and pliable ), installed a new fuse box from Moto Guzzi to replace the original ( which was missing the cover ).  All that to the tune of about $2000-- receipts included.  All the lights and gauges work, the  brakes are very strong, the clutch doesn't slip, forks don't leak, steers and tracks true.

Still, there are a couple of things to do before she goes out the door, but not seeming deal killers, and the the Alazzurra has a much-improved Corbin seat from the previous owner.

As project bikes go, this one seems about 90 percent complete, and though the ask might be a little high for an obscure almost-done, the work that has been done looks ok and there is the "make offer" button.  The Alazzurra reviewed as a little less racey but more friendly than the preceding Pantah, and got gigged for gas-crisis jetting but was otherwise a nice rider.  No arguing the rarity, and if you like the classic feel, this low-mile Alazzurra could be sweet Sunday morning bike...

-donn

 

Snapshot – 1987 Cagiva Allazzura 650SS
Ducati January 21, 2017 posted by Donn

Good Copy – 2006 Ducati 999R Xerox #243

Not winding down during its last year of production, the 999R for 2006 was an update, if somewhat cosmetic, from the the previous years.  And the design that brought Ducati three World SuperBike  Championships would have to serve for the 2007 season while rulesmakers fiddled.  In the livery ridden by Troy Bayliss on the way to a WSBK championship, this example has just break-in miles and a polished Zard exhaust.

2006 Ducati 999R for sale on eBay

 

The -R is a radical leg up from the introductory model, with a 26 horsepower gain from new heads and increased compression.  Aluminum valve covers have become magnesium and plastic belt covers are now carbon fiber.  Gear ratios are the same but Öhlins replace the Showa forks and monoshock.  Radially mounted Brembo monoblock brakes are shared, but the wheels are forged instead of cast.  The seat/tank console are adjustable, as are the bars and pegs.

 

Residing and occasionally riding in central Texas, this 999R appears barely used but ready for duty.  The owner says this in the eBay auction:

The 999R Xerox is a special series motorcycle with a wide range of features that distinguish it from the standard 999R model, such as Öhlins forks with black sleeves, anodized black footpegs and top yoke, Öhlins 'Racing' rear suspension with double damping adjuster in compression, aluminum body, counter-spring and spring pre-load setting.  The motorcycle is also fitted with radial-mounted front brake calipers with the red Brembo Racing logo, is decorated with "Xerox Replica" graphics and comes with a racing kit and extra adhesives.

I'm the second owner of this bike and own it for few years and hardly ride on it.  I always keep this bike in the garage and never ride it in the rain.

  

Though Ducati also campaigned the 999 in AMA SuperBike and won some races, the factory ceased their effort after the 2006 season, concentrating on WSBK.  The base 999 got great reviews for riding position thanks to the taller fairing design and adjustable controls, and engine torque, which increased as the testastretta developed.  Few riders will appreciate the improvements that the -R brought to the power and suspension, but they are there, along with the carbon fairings and race-replica livery.  This one appears a fine example of the ultimate variant of the last year of 999 production...

-donn

Good Copy – 2006 Ducati 999R Xerox #243
Kawasaki January 20, 2017 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R Eddie Lawson Replica

Update 2.2.2017: Seller has confirmed the eBay sale of $17,665. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Eddie Lawson rode the factory's Z1000R to the AMA Superbike Championships in 1981 and 1982. And though he got a better offer from Yamaha in 1983, Kawasaki continued for another year with the replica KZ1000R. With total production under 2000 units, the Eddie Lawson Replica is quite rare and a big, brash time machine of a ride. This example from the northeast looks like an easy return to ride or show status.

Starting as an idea from over in marketing to improve KZ1000 sales, the -R had slightly quicker steering geometry and a few more ponies courtesy of the dealer-installed Kerker exhaust.  The venerable air-cooled two-valve four made just over 100 hp per liter at 102.  An oil cooler was added to help ensure reliability, as was a wider rear rim and tire.  Damping rates in the Showa remote-reserve shocks and forks were adjusted just for the -R.  A two level seat helped the rider stay in position and Eddie Lawson contributed his own superbike bend for the handlebars.  Replica colors are as attractive now as they were then.

  

Almost every bike of a certain age has been with a few owners, and this KZ1000R looks to have escaped any abuse.  The 21,753 are about middle of the road for a rider, and it looks quite stock, with a nice Telefix fork brace and newer seat upholstery.  From the owner's eBay auction:

ORIGINAL OTHER THAN THE TIRES AND YELLOW IGNITION WIRES

IN EXCELLENT SHAPE, WILL NEED A CARB CLEANING AND TUNE UP

INSIDE OF TANK HAS ZERO RUST, I HAVE THE ORIGINAL KAWASAKI MIRROR (not on the bike in the pictures)
TWO SMALL COSMETIC AREAS:
1) SMALL CRACK ON THE UPPER RIGHT SIDE OF THE FAIRING BY THE WINDSCREEN (EASILY SEEN IN THE PICTURES) CAN BE FIXED EASILY
2) SCUFFS ON THE TAIL SECTION
THE BIKE HAS BEEN SPRAYED WITH SC1 PROTECTANT (SOME AREAS WET IN THE PHOTOS)

  

With water-cooling and V-4's being introduced, the winds of change were howling in the early 1980's, and KZ1000R's had to suffer a few years of benign neglect before the interest in retro or just-plain-superbikes took off.  Since then they have been raced, collected, and exported, with the net result of fewer of these special machines available.  The -R reviewed as a stiffly-sprung, torquey ball to ride - up until that last tenth, when the size and weight required an expert rider to push.  With a little elbow grease this Eddie Lawson Replica could be a great rider or with more attention, a powerhouse of a collector.  See the eBay auction - here - and the owner, Mike requests inquiries on  (774) 836-8507...

-donn

  

Featured Listing – 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R Eddie Lawson Replica
Honda January 17, 2017 posted by Donn

Survivability – 1995 Honda CBR900RR

Honda designers set their sights on a slighter, lighter superbike for the early 1990's and based the new model on a 750cc in-house prototype. With a new 893cc engine installed, the resulting package was just a tad heavier than Honda's own 600, and had a substantial weight advantage on other unlimiteds.

1995 Honda CBR900RR for sale on eBay

With Fred Merkel's '88-89 Superbike World Championships in the rearview view mirror, Honda executives wanted something new at the superbike end of the showroom.  New for 1992, the CBR900RR used the alloy twin-spar chassis, with aluminum swingarm.   For the 1994 update, Showa revised the spring rates for the cartridge forks and rear shock for the Pro-Link progressive rear.  The forks also had adjustable compression damping to help tame the quick front end with its 16-inch wheel.  A new nose for the fairing incorporated asymmetrical "fox-eye" headlights, another weight saver.

Under 10,000 miles and 20 years separate this CBR from the dealer's floor, and though it'd be hard to call almost any Honda rare, how many double-R's have been tucked away clean and stock ?  The Jersey-based owner keeps his comments spare in the eBay auction:

Very Rare Like New

Everything is original except D&D Slip-on

Peculiarly without a racing class since WSBK ruled a four-cylinder could displace only 750cc, the open-class CBR900RR set the world on its ear, with weight and handling from the class below, and power a match for any liter bike.  The angular and modern 1994 update remained true to the formula.  After that the inevitable weight gain and mission creep nudged the model toward daily driver or sport-touring realm.  For fans of the brand or the 'Blade, the 1994-5 model year is a great choice, and this example is unfettered with low miles...

-donn

Survivability – 1995 Honda CBR900RR
Ducati January 15, 2017 posted by Donn

SuperShape – 1995 Ducati 900 SS/SP #229

Until the Monster arrived, the later SuperSport was Ducati's all-rounder, its torquey powerplant and sweet handling taking the racetrack and longer tours in stride.  Only offered stateside, the SP had a few nicer components and limited availability.  This Texas example is worth a closer look.

1995 Ducati 900 SS/SP for sale on eBay

The now venerable 904cc desmodue was a revelation at the time, almost 100 hp per liter in a simple air-cooled package, with nice torque band.  The factory switched to Mikuni carburetors in hopes of better tuneability, and introduced the hinged fuel tank to ease access.  Keeping the excellent Brembo brakes, the SP adds adjustable Showa suspension and an aluminum swingarm.  Front and rear mudguards are a significant carbon accent.

With mid-range miles of 17,051, this SP looks great and has been tuned with upgraded Mikunis and carbon exhaust with stainless brackets.  One of the multiple layers of auction packaging boasts of a custom fairing but it looks stock and pretty nice.  Return from mothball status could be negotiated with the Fort Worth dealer, who put these comments in the eBay auction:

Feast your eyes on this rare Ducati SP900 Desmodue Sport bike.  This is an amazing motorcycle that's been in a collection.  This bike was drained of fuel and has been in storage for 18 months.  This is not a cookie cutter sport bike for Friday nights.  Carbon fiber exhaust, carbon fiber fenders, carbon fiber seat pan, Mikuni TM Flat slide pro series carburetor's.  This bike is in amazing shape and would be a fantastic addition to anyone's collection.

Caught out in the early 1990's model name battlefield, Ducati's later SuperSports came in SS, SS/CR ( Cafe Racer ), SS/SL ( SuperLight ), and SS/SP ( Sport Production ) flavors - later there was even an ( SS/FE Final Edition ).  Like the SuperLight, the SP is a numbered edition and one of the best riding desmodues.  This 900 SS/SP has performance upgrades which enhance its sporty but stock appearance...

-donn

SuperShape – 1995 Ducati 900 SS/SP #229