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Author Archives: Donn

Suzuki May 13, 2018 posted by Donn

Grown-up Hooligan – 1996 Suzuki GSX-R1100

Most buyers' guides advise to purchase the latest edition of a particular model, capitalizing on improvements and technical advances.  First built in 1986, the GSX-R1100 spanned twelve great sportbike years, and those interested in the model can choose from very different rides depending on the letter code.  This late model has been hidden away with under 2,000 miles and despite 20-plus years appears complete and undamaged.

1996 Suzuki GSX-R1100 for sale on eBay

Always a speed demon's machine, the 1986 model came with 137 hp and after a major engine re-design in 1989 and the adoption of water cooling in 1993, the 1996 machine had 156 hp on tap.  Frame stiffness advanced as well with the use of 5-sided tubing, and an earlier banana swingarm was superceded by a fabricated and braced swingarm for 1995.  More sculpted than the earlier endurance racing derived bodies, the 1996 model streamlined its way to nearly 170 mph.  As ever, weight increased as the model grew up, cresting 500 lbs. dry for the 1996 year.

No word in the auction about how this GT came to have so few miles, but does give an unfaired peek-a-boo.  Just a monthly ride up the Palisade Parkway from Englewood to Bear Mountain would have put a lot more on the odometer than its 1,675 miles.  Freshly detailed with a fancy Corbin saddle, it has somehow outsmarted the garage elves, except for the left rear turn signal.  From the eBay auction:

1996 Suzuki GSXR 1100 

1674 ORIGINAL MILES 

VERY LOW MILES FOR ITS YEAR AND IT'S IN PERFECT CONDITION

1 OWNER 

CLEAN TITLE

D&D EXHAUST

OFFERS ACCEPTED TOO

I would trade for a supermoto

As always, I defer to sharper-eyed experts and welcome the model year and graphics debate.  Pictures can fib, so until a real inspection is made, condition is an open question.  New fluids, seals, rubber, four carburetor rebuilds, and some tuning are all on the menu for returning this GSX-R to the road.  What can't be denied is a 156 hp superbike without advanced electronics, and the way time will slow for the next owner on some late summer day...

-donn

Grown-up Hooligan – 1996 Suzuki GSX-R1100
BMW May 10, 2018 posted by Donn

Stealth Tron Bike – 1991 BMW K1

BMW offered its radical K1 in eye-catching ketchup and mustard or a Michigan fan's navy and gold livery, but is occasionally seen in a grown-up grey or black.  This one is fan-owned and looks excellent.

1991 BMW K1 for sale on eBay

BMW was looking to inject some pizazz into its inline engine menu, and equipped the K1 with a four valve engine which was limited to 100 hp but capable of more.  The bodywork cheated the wind to a cD of .34 - a new low for a production machine.  Contrary to their usual practice of building most everything in house, Marzocchi forks and Brembo brakes were used to complete the BMW Paralever's work.  Always a safety innovator, the company made ABS standard on the K1.

Bone stock with just over 10,000 miles, this K1 whispers the name where most examples shout.  With complex bodywork made since 1988, this '91 likely has all the adjustments made by the factory to address heat control and fit issues.  From the eBay auction:

This example is an all original K1 with no modifications.  The bike has been recently serviced and has a new battery.   Powered by a 1000CC/100 hp engine that runs smooth and strong.  Transmission shifts flawlessly through all gears.   The factory graphics on the gray K1 were subtle and only across the base of the fairing. The bike needs nothing but a new home.  Odometer has just kilometers; above distance ridden is listed in miles because kilometers are not offered.   The K1 is a very nice collectable bike that will be a valued addition to any collection.   Bike is sold on a clear Florida title in my name.

The K1 attempted to bridge the sport-touring divide with an interesting result.  A sporty engine concealed an annoying secondary vibration, and the sleek design required special soft luggage.  Wet weight and wide turning radius made it an experienced rider's machine, which I guess the MSRP did as well.  This is a super example for a fan or collector without a taste for the garish 90's graphics...

-donn

 

Stealth Tron Bike – 1991 BMW K1
Laverda May 8, 2018 posted by Donn

Double Espresso – 1998 Laverda 668 Ghost Strike

Though Laverda's fortunes were largely in the 90's rear-view mirror, the company breathed new life into its mid-size parallel twin, commissioning a sporty jack-of-all-trades.  The Ghost Strike had a fine chassis and premium appointments, and can't be beat in the rarity dept.

1998 Laverda 668 Ghost Strike for sale on eBay

Laverda differentiated the Ghost Strike from their other multi-purpose machines with its Nico Bakker designed aluminum frame and WP suspension.  Motive force came from a DOHC parallel twin, expanded to 668cc and updated with Marelli injection and 70 hp.  Fuel is centralized under the seat and the airbox is in the "tank".

Not much detail about this Houston-based Laverda, but it has only 12,000 miles and looks good.  Not sure about the non-standard appearing left side cover and dash fasteners though.  From the eBay auction:

Great looking 1998 Laverda Ghost Strike.  It starts, runs and drives well.  Paint and seat are in excellent shape.  Mileage on speedometer is in km, so I used a conversion for miles.  This is a unique classic motorcycle.  Have fun with it!

The 668's tight handling and relaxed riding position won points, only to give them up for a notchy gearbox and too loud exhaust.  The name was soon to be retired after being purchased by Aprilia and then Piaggio, but the late Ghost Strike is a singular Euro machine perfect for the fan or collector.

-donn

Double Espresso – 1998 Laverda 668 Ghost Strike
Cagiva May 5, 2018 posted by Donn

Have Blue – 1987 Cagiva Alazzurra 650SS

Cagiva re-badged the Pantah for 1985 and tried on their own badging and design features.  The Alazzurra had toned down its testosterone content a bit, but was improved in some good ways.  This 1987 example has been a labor of love for its present owner, who has made some long term investments in the bike's future.

1987 Cagiva Alazzurra 650SS for sale on eBay

The belt driven cams of the desmodue help the Alazzurra push 55 hp and 36 ft.-lbs. torque.  Right side-up 35mm forks and dual Marzocchi shocks are appropriately light weight, as are the 260mm dual disk brakes.  The supersport fairing flows sweetly and it looks like there is beaucoup ground clearance.

 

The Virginia owner has  made several improvements to the Alazzurra, without indulging in any sort of bling - well, maybe the red brake lines.  Here is his rundown from the eBay auction:

Since I've owned it, I've done the following:

1- fixed a leaking base gasket ($100 + labor)
2- adjusted the valves to the perfect spec. ($150 + My Labor)
3- replaced the belts ($40 + My Labor)
4- new chain and custom rear sprocket ($80 + My Labor)
5- upgraded stainless steel brake & clutch lines and hardware with speed bleeders ($180 + My Labor)
6- rebuilt the ignition sensor wires ($30 + My Labor)
7- powder coated the exhaust ($100 + My Labor)
8- brand new battery ($65 + My Labor)
9- rebuilt the carbs ($60 + My Labor)
10- rebuilt the key ignition switch. ( + My Labor)
11- replaced the leaking petcock and fuel hoses. ($130 + My Labor)

I've REALLY enjoyed working on and riding a true Italian cult bike. I don't have to sell it, but it's time to move on. 

There is also a cold start video - here -.

Cagiva soon realized that tossing out a well-known name and competition history was folly, leaving the friendly Elefant in a tough position.  Luckily this Alazzurra has weathered that storm and looks ready for a long weekend on the Blue Ridge Parkway, perhaps as the new owner takes her north or south and home again...

-donn

Have Blue – 1987 Cagiva Alazzurra 650SS
Triumph May 3, 2018 posted by Donn

Better Late – 2006 Triumph Daytona 955i with 2,510 miles !

The owner of this 2006 Daytona bought it as a long-term leftover in 2014, from the unlikely sportbike haven of Denmark.  Since then his travel schedule has only allowed 2,510 miles, presenting the auction winner with a virtually new Triumph liter bike.  2006 was the last model year for the 955i, and it has some nice upgrades from earlier Daytonas.

2006 Triumph Daytona 955i for sale on eBay

An assault on the sportbike establishment in 1997, the later Daytona was a more mature GT, the fuel injected triple good for 149 hp.  The double-tube cradle frame is now black, but the same aluminum alloy.  Extra-large 45mm forks and 320mm brakes are Triumph's own design, and 2003 saw a return to the single-sided swingarm.  A nice re-design of the fairing and headlight was done in 2005, and black was introduced as a color choice.

Currently residing in Delaware, this Daytona had a bath for the occasion and looks excellent.  A carbon and polished exhaust has been added, but not much else in the way of personalization.  From the eBay auction:

Bike has straight papers, currently registered in Delaware.  Numbers are straight.  Bike had zero miles when I got it in 2014.  Only have 2510 miles ridden since and clearly looks the part.
Bike was manufactured at the end of the production run in 2006.  Has the gorgeous split headlamp, the preferable single sided swingarm and a number of other improvements made over the earlier years of the models.
Bike has the beautiful carbon factory high level exhaust which sounds heavenly.  Also has a rear seat cowl and a passenger seat as well.
Condition is 99% perfect.  Almost no flaws to speak of.  The clear coat on the carbon infills could be redone.
I installed a cell phone holder that holds my phone very well, that's included.
The legendary Triumph triple is a blast to ride and an absolutely unique machine.

Revitalized by John Bloor, Triumph proved itself a sportbike force with the Daytona.  It offered a different perspective for riders reacting to the vanill-ish offerings from the big four, and bonus points if one felt buying European was important.  The company soon made the 955i redundant to focus on the middleweight market, so the 2006 is the end of an era.  This example has spanned the globe to bring the new owner a smashing experience...

-donn

Better Late – 2006 Triumph Daytona 955i with 2,510 miles !
Ducati April 30, 2018 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – 2005 Ducati 749R #0074 with 774 miles !

Update 5.21.2018: SOLD to an RSBFS reader. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Ducati doubled down on the World SuperSport series in 2003, hotting up their 999-styled 749 for the private team market. The modification rules were more restrictive in WSS than in SuperBike, compelling Ducati to make a very advanced -R available in the showroom. This example has turned only 774 miles with all the homolagation components plus a couple of nice upgrades.

Starting in the engine room, a more oversquare ( 94mm stroke x 54mm bore ) was used, combining with exotic materials in the rotating parts to make an easier-revving engine good for 121 hp.  High-strength aluminum pistons, titanium valve gear, lightweight crank, and magnesium valve covers were all on board, as well as a factory slipper clutch.  Continuing to the suspension, Öhlins are found all around ( including steering damper) and the box-section swingarm is shared with the 999R.  Though many of the small guards and covers are carbon, it plays less of a part than on the 2004 edition, the bodywork being presented in a high strength polymer.  The 2005 nose is a little less busy with only two openings for intake air, and the 749R came with a nice enduro length 18 liter fuel tank.  Adjustability is the key word, with seating position, foot pegs, steering head, and of course suspension set up for the rider.

The present owner added Sato rearsets and a Paulimoto clutch cover before putting just 774 miles on number 0074.  It has the gloss of a brand-new bike and appears undamaged by road or garage mishaps.  Regular RSBFS advertiser Automania says this about the 749R:

This bike, number 74 of at least 500 produced to meet FIM homologation regulations. Along with the retail cost of $21,995, the owner then opened up his wallet for a set of Sato Rear Set and a Paulimoto Vented Clutch Cover. The exhaust is stock Ducati, most likely the only stock muffler on a Ducati in the world.

What we have here on the showroom floor is one of the best handling Ducatis ever produced, renowned for it's super precise, nimble handling. Adjustable Steering Head rake angle, great top end power with Race Exhaust, quiet and smooth with Stock Exhaust. It has an amazing transmission, gorgeous body work with original paint. It is arguably the greatest middleweight twin ever made, fantastic fun as a street bike or track day bike. The best part is that coming from a private collection, showing 774 miles from new.

Of the several hundred 749R's made, many were sold to team owners, riders, and collectors, with relatively few ridden much.  The buyers got a nice package because of the competition rules, and likely to be a unicorn on the road.  As a track day machine, it's an immersive experience without advanced electronics.  The Terblanche design has gained popularity over the years and this 749S would continue to be a great show machine.  Automania's asking price is $10,595, and their own page on the bike is - here - .  They would be happy to discuss the possibilities on (541) 479-8888, or by email - here -.

Featured Listing – 2005 Ducati 749R #0074 with 774 miles !