Author Archives: Donn

Moto Guzzi June 7, 2017 posted by Donn

2002 Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans Tenni with 1,204 miles !

Commemorating Omobono Tenni, a Guzzi racer who gave the factory many victories in the 1933-48 era ( and died in a crash during GP practice ), the Le Mans Tenni is a brilliant and subtle styling exercise using the recent V11 base.  This Tenni is badged number 114 of 170, and has been preserved with only first-oil-change miles.

2002 Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans #114/170

Helped by Aprilia's development lire, the V11 used the venerable air-cooled V-twin which reported 91 hp and nearly 70 ft.-lbs. torque.  Signature shaft drive is helped by a torque arm, and Marelli fuel injection makes starting and running easy.  Top components from Öhlins and Brembo, and improvements like the hydraulic clutch and oil cooler bring the big machine into the 21st century.

Owned by an Illinois collector, this Tenni is dead stock and almost unused.  The suede seat was a fair-weather option and a vinyl seat is also included.  Just a few dings on the seat fairing detract, but should correctable.  From the eBay auction:

Original owner of a rare, low mileage, unmolested Moto Guzzi LeMans Tenni, number 114 of 170 worldwide.  I purchased this motorcycle new in December 2003 from Motorsports Inc. in Wichita, KS.  I have kept the bike in a climate controlled space, and have not performed any alterations whatsoever to the engine or body.  Periodic cleaning, oil changes, and engine starting, with a occasional ride around the block!  Hence the very low miles.  Bike comes with an original Tenni sales brochure, owners manual, shop manual, parts manual, two keys, tool kit, MG bike cover, extra gasket set, and two seats (black vinyl and brown suede).

With weight approaching 550 lbs. wet, the V11 quickly becomes a lot of work to push quickly.  More suited to less twisty bits, the rock solid handling inspires confidence, and great torque makes for a fun ride.  The V11 has a mature powertrain, and the Tenni has premium appointments and an attractive take on racing green.  For a Guzzi fan, it's a very low-mile example, 1 of 170 total of a single-year commemorative, with the late Le Mans half fairing, a modern and nice-riding machine to boot...

-donn

2002 Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans Tenni with 1,204 miles !
Ducati June 4, 2017 posted by Donn

Pantah Cub – 1992 Ducati 400SS

Midway through Cagiva's management, Ducati addressed the junior rider markets, and developed SuperSports based on the 750SS, cylinders sized for 398cc.  The factory saw the folly of shipping them to regions without progressive licensing laws, so they never arrived stateside.  Performance didn't start a grey market-frenzy however, and a 400SS sighting is a singular experience.  Appearing complete and original, this junior Ducati might be a great collector.

1992 Ducati 400SS for sale on eBay

Mostly aimed at Japan and U.K. ( with Italy getting a 350SS ), the 400SS was almost all of the larger SS, with gold trellis frame, recent belt-driven desmosdromic valve train, upside-down forks, and 6-speed transmission.  The air-cooled two-valve engine is carburetted and claims 42 hp.  A skwosh larger than most 400's, the Ducati has more adult ergonomics and  a bit more weight than a scaled down junior.  Expenses were spared on the Marzocchi suspension, and most specifications show the 400SS having a  single front brake, but this one has been equipped with dual disks.

Though it's unclear whether this machine was ridden after being imported, it looks very good considering the 24,000 miles shown in the auction ( might be kms ? ).  Road title will have to be arranged, and some front turn signals sourced, but it has had recent valve maintenance.  Carburetion woes have been addressed with Keihin replacing the factory Mikuni's.  The owner says this in the eBay auction:

This bike was only sold in Japan in the early 1990's and was imported to the US some time later. This bike runs and rides good, is lightweight, and sounds amazing!! The bike has new grips, speedo cable, Keihin racing carbs, K&N filters, good tires, Termignoni carbon fiber exhaust. Had heads rebuilt and valves shimmed and new belts less then 1000 miles ago. There are some minor blemishes in the paint, nothing major, still runs and rides fine. I have the clear Japanese paperwork on the bike, no US title yet as it just became old enough to get one (25 years old). This is a great show piece, I doubt you will ever see another one in North America, even at rare bike shows. This is a great piece for any Ducati collector!

The engine and brake modifications indicate this may have been a fan's bike even before its boat ride, and may be a much better performer than a stock 400SS.  A winner if it runs as it should and registration can be arranged.  Rarity is off the scale and fun factor right up there.  A little freshening up of the cosmetics and you'll have an interesting page from Ducati history...

-donn

Pantah Cub – 1992 Ducati 400SS
BMW June 2, 2017 posted by Donn

Capitalist Tool – 1982 BMW-Krauser MKM 1000 #130

In the 1980's, Michael Krauser was a leading manufacturer of motorcycle luggage and accessories, and ventured out on the slippery slope of motorcycle manufacture. Replacing the big-tube backbone frame of an R100RS with a Ph.D.-designed trellis saved 6 kg. and subsequently adding four-valve heads to the classic boxer liberated 12 hp. The result rode like a BMW but performed and was priced more like a Ferrari.

1982 BMW-Krauser MKM1000 for sale on eBay

With the bomb-proof boxer, five-speed, and shaft drive, the MKM1000 can certainly cope with the engine's 70 hp.  Dual front disks and forward riding position keep the rider in the game.  The generous fairing makes a nice hole in the 138 mph breeze, and the sleek tank-seat fairing hides a metal fuel tank underneath.  Bespoke production and pricing more than double an R100RS insured exclusivity.

Coming out of California, this Krauser is recently restored and not registered in well, a while.  From the eBay auction:

Rare 1982 Krauser BMW MKM1000

Only 237 Bikes build by Race team Owner Krauser with an incredible Trellis frame.

This Bike is # 130.

No body knows how many still exist, most of bikes got exported to Japan . Only few to US.

This bike was sold new by San Jose BMW in 1982.

Completely restored to original condition with only OEM parts including Fairing decals which were pretty expensive.

Newly rebuilt motor, carbs and tranny with new clutch.

Tank reconditioned and sealed, new pet cocks.

Comes with original toolkit and little supplement OEM instruction booklet and other collected Literature.

The bike hasn't been registered since 2000 and has current Non- Op status.

Bike runs and handles fantastic. Showed at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering.

Not appearing to be a 4-valve model, the engine in this MKM1000 will last much longer than the envelope-pushing arrangement of two valves per rocker arm.  Though this machine will likely spend most of its time on the display stand, it's good to know ( and some concours require ) it's operational.  Most went to Japan, and - one - owned by a certain financial magnate even made it to RSBFS, but only a few over two hundred were ever made.  With shapes and colors pushing forty, the Krauser is a thrilling opportunity for a collector, but for more fans, a vingette into a previous era, a look at how exciting the early days could be...

-donn

Capitalist Tool – 1982 BMW-Krauser MKM 1000 #130
Ducati May 30, 2017 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – 1997 Ducati 900SS/CR

6.26.2017: The seller has notified us that this bike has sold to one of our readers. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Subject of - this - RSBFS feature back in January, the new owner of this very mint CR has misgivings about putting miles on such a showpiece, and would like to make it available to a collector. A very special 900SS, this Cafe Racer has only 730 miles, and was a display item for most of its youth.  A powerful argument for back to basics motoring, the 900SS/CR has the brilliant desmodue engine, fully accessible under the half-fairing.

 

Engineered to be at the bargain end of the 900cc spectrum, the CR came to the showroom without carbon fiber bits or adjustable suspension, but had the chassis and lightness of the 900 desmodue, and nothing you didn't need.  Ducati hallmarks like trellis frame, dry clutch, and big Brembo brakes are on board, and the riding position is purposeful.  Most often seen in red, this CR scooped the yellow used on next year's SuperLight.

 

This 900 is in pretty special condition, the dusty gold frame matching the tempered stainless exhaust nicely.  Painted parts are unmarked, and I'm not seeing any aftermarket parts, most owners would have found a need to change something. The owner notes that even the original seat is included.  Even the stickers and decals haven't aged a bit.  The Florida owner had this to say in his discussions with RSBFS -

"I bought it because I fell in love with it at first sight. But it is so rare and unique, because of the ultra low mileage, that I hesitated to put any miles on it. I have had it for nearly 4 months and I have put 5.6 miles on it. I will give the opportunity for a serious Ducati collector to own it...

Price: $9900. Jacksonville, Florida"

 

One of the final years of the Tamburini style, the SuperSports would be rounded by Pierre Terblanche for 1999.  The angular and aggressive stance of the 90's SS matched the booming exhaust note and no-nonsense presentation.  Often said to be a future classic, at twenty years of age, the 900SS/CR might be about to arrive. 

-donn

 

 

Featured Listing – 1997 Ducati 900SS/CR
Honda May 25, 2017 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – BOGO 1987 Honda NSR50’s

Our Utah collector obviously has a soft spot for the NSR50 as this his his second two-bike offering. This two-for-one pairs a stock NSR50 with a 80cc four stroke conversion. Both have some miles, and are complete, ready for an easy restoration.

Almost always available in lookalike paint schemes of the more senior machines, the NSR50 is diminutive but flies the Honda colors on pit lane.  Rugged build indicates Honda knew they would live a hard life with young riders and/or be irresistable to full-size adults.  Mini but wicked cool with perimeter chassis, alloy wheels and disk brakes.

The black machine has been upgraded to a Honda 80cc four stroke, note the large(er) diameter exhaust.

Not often an owner will boast scratches, scrapes, cracks, dents and dings throughout, but props for the honest assessment.

From the eBay auction:

Two NSR's for the price of one. Up for auction to the highest bidder with NO RESERVE are TWO Honda NSR's. You get both bikes for one bid. Highest bidder wins both bikes. The RED NSR50 is completely stock with 6299 kilometers (3914 miles).

The BLACK NSR has a Honda APE 80cc four stroke engine professionally installed and odometer reads 8889 kilometers (5523 miles). Actual mileage on engine is less than 500 miles since it was installed. The black NSR also has upgraded front brakes and the upper has been painted.

Showroom novelty, pitbike or maybe for the kids, the NSR50 packs more than 49cc of fun into a tiny package.  The 80cc upgrade might tempt you to take it out on the road, but stick with minibike fun races in support of the privateers at your local track.  After restoration, they could be kept in the kitchen, hell maybe right up on the table !

-donn

Featured Listing – BOGO 1987 Honda NSR50’s
Suzuki May 24, 2017 posted by Donn

Contradictions – 1993 Suzuki GSX-R600 with 2200 miles !

Busy with the 750, Suzuki arrived late to the 600cc shootout, and stayed only for a couple of years before taking a break and then returning with a new generation.  The early GSX-R600 had a great deal in common with it's bigger brother and was a great favorite of budget conscious privateers.   Seldom seen in this kind of shape, this 1993 model has just break in miles and great light colors with red option wheels.

1993 Suzuki GSX-R600 for sale on eBay

Air-oil cooling was no longer cutting the mustard as the 1990's brought engines capable of well over 100 hp per liter, and the new water-cooled engine was installed in the GSX-R, the 600's slightly smaller bore and stroke still nicely oversquare.  Suzuki's alloy double cradle had heavy bracing for the steering head, with great access to the 36mm carburettors under the color-keyed side cover.  Evidence of the platform shared with the 750 is the weight in the late 400's.

Evidently spirited away early on, the owner doubled the mileage just this year.  Still basically new, save a past tipover.  From the eBay auction:

Bike purchased with accurate 868 miles on in 2017  (that's 36 miles average ridden per year since 1993)

The break in period was completed as per the Suzuki Factory repair manual (included in sale) specifications, at which point the engine was switched to Amsoil full synthetic.

Bike is 100% stock. Has split in fairing on left side. Probably fell at some point in it's 24 years.

As the FIM evolved the WSBK support racing classes, Suzuki went back to the drawing board and returned in the late 1990's with a SuperSport World Championship winner.  Limited pictures will require an in-person inspection, but no mention is made of running issues, a minor miracle for the four Mikunis.  Build quality of period Suzuki's can be variable, so it's fair to expect some projects as this bike approaches the  quarter century.  Might be a great example of a puzzlingly rare 600 sportbike...

-donn

Contradictions – 1993 Suzuki GSX-R600 with 2200 miles !