Author Archives: Donn

Suzuki September 8, 2017 posted by Donn

Option Paint – 1995 Suzuki GSX-R750

A long-running model for Suzuki, the GSX-R750 has gone through many updates and evolutions, the 1995 model having a new fairing and headlight design, and the final iteration of the double cradle frame.  With recent upside-down forks and magnesium engine covers, the Suzuki was competitive with more refined light-heavyweights.  Typically seen in red or blue, this GSX-R is in the semi-subdued purple and black, and looks very good for its under 5,000 miles.

1995 Suzuki GSX-R750 for sale on eBay

Suzuki's workmanlike 749cc four lays down 112 hp without an exotic head or computer-controlled exhaust, the fins on the water-cooled engine relate how hard it's working.  The alloy frame was optimized one last time for lightness and steady handling.  Showa forks and Full Floater rear suspension were fully adjustable, and front brakes had 6-piston calipers.  Watching its weight for years, the GSX-R struggled to keep the pounds off, around 450 lbs. with half a tank.  The compact riding position translated into great cornering clearance, and the sharp new fairing helped the 1/4-mile time to just over 11 seconds.

Just the facts and not much narrative about the bike's history, but it has low miles, a tasteful set of blinkers, and mostly stock looks though the polished rims are an addition by subtraction.   From the eBay auction:

4621 original miles, new tires, new EBC rotors, rebuilt calipers with new pistons, rebuilt petcock, rebuilt forks with new seals, stainless braided brake lines, new bar ends, new mirrors, NOS left side fairing.

The not-race-replica paint might help in town, but the radar gun will see right through it.  Not quite sure about the second GSX-R and EBC sticker on the right fairing, perhaps a bump or scratch ?  Overall quite tidy.  A little slow to turn in, the GSX-R reviewed as a weapon for longer tracks, and the engine was eminently tuneable.  With the limited pictures more investigation will be required, but tucked away for a while with that low mileage, this GSX-R750 might be a great survivor...

-donn

Option Paint – 1995 Suzuki GSX-R750
Ducati September 6, 2017 posted by Donn

Underused – 2007 Ducati SportClassic 1000SE

In an unusual North America-only Special Edition, Ducati kept a low flame under interest in the SportClassic. The numbered edition of 100 is one to consider for fans of the model, with great retro looks ( spoked wheels and all ! ), 992 cc dual-spark power, this one with neat Zard exhaust.

2007 Ducati SportClassic 1000SE for sale on eBay

The SportClassic had been around since 2003, fuel injected with nice power at 92 hp from the 992cc air-cooled desmodue.  Great torque with 67 ft.-lbs., and cafe racer looks.  The side-mounted Sachs rear shock makes you think they're will be one on the other side, where the mufflers are.  The 43mm upside-down Marzocchi forks have a more modern look, as do the big dual-piston Brembo brakes.  Back to the past for the 70's Ducati logo and gold stripes over black, but it's cool.

A little dusty from its rest in the back office, the owner reports SE number 88 has seen less than 5,000 miles, and has a few nice mods, plus the red master key.  No word on maintenance but except for the valve adjustment and belt change, it's an easy annual affair.  Notes from the eBay auction:

Sport Classic SE #88 out of 100
Fat Duc emulator
Zard full exh. stainless
billet flywheel
i have the stock mirrors
i also have a 749s front end if someone wants to convert it over. with 4 piston calipers.

title is free and clear
has less than 5k miles on it.
super clean bike. i just do not use it. nor did i plan to use it.
lucky number #88 out of 100 made. i bought it specifically for that and now its just time to let her go. Always sat in my warehouse and was taken cared for.

The SportClassic line was a nice success story for Ducati and Pierre Terblanche, and used asking prices are routinely more than MSRP.  The starting bid for this SE is half-again as much as it was new.  Perhaps coincidentally, the model also ushered in the era of special editions, limited runs of colors and configurations, sometimes a few at a time !  More versatile than the occasional retro model, the special edition has become a major tool in the marketing department.  Allowing Ducati to tell the story of the mid-70's Darmah, the Special Edition SportClassic has great livery in a back-to basics package, guaranteed to push the buttons of at least 100 fans.  This one has the makings of a great ride...

-donn

Underused – 2007 Ducati SportClassic 1000SE
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