Author Archives: Donn

Honda November 27, 2017 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – 1995 Honda RVF400R Restored by Speedwerks

Update 12.20.2017: Steve has updated us that this bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! He also mentions that he has an even nicer one that will be ready in early January, stay tuned! -dc

As profiled in the 1984 edition of Cycle World's occasional "Forbidden Fruit" column, the RVF400R / NC35 was a world-beating junior but accompanied the legendary RVF750R / RC45 only to the home market.  RSBFS sponsor Speedwerks has given this example a new lease on life.  The 399cc V-4 has been comprehensively freshened with new fluids and filters, seals and tires, chain and titanium exhaust.  With Ohio title, it's ready for a new rider.

The NC35 had several nice updates to the earlier VFR400R, mechanical in the 41mm upside-down forks, Pro-Arm rear monoshock, 17" wheels front and rear, and cosmetic in the cat-eye headlights.  61 hp is available at a lofty 12,500 rpm, the gear-driven cams whining their way to the beat of the "big bang" crank timing.  Build quality and reliability was above the rest of the junior market, though the price was a dry weight of just under 365 lbs.

Speedwerks has been restoring and preparing sportbikes for more than 20 years, and the results of their experience are apparent here.  Painted and plated parts are correctly colored and finished, rubber parts renewed, and the aftermarket fairings have factory livery.  After the carb rebuild and new exhaust, a tuning session on the dyno was done.  Here are Steve's notes from the build:

Honda RVF400RR NC35. 33K miles, Clean US title, Fully Serviced and dyno tuned, runs and rides as new.
Demon titanium exhaust. Mobil 1 synthetic with Hi-Flo filter, Antifreeze flushed/filled,
Steel braided brake lines, bled with Castrol fluid and fitted with new Ferodo pads.
EK chain, Carbs rebuilt and jetted, new fuel lines and filter, NGK ER9EH plugs.
New Bridgestones fitted, RS10 soft front, S20 dual rear. Fresh fork oil and seals.
Bodywork is aftermarket and shows well, the paint is very nice.
This RVF is a good reliable rider, ready for a good home. Personal delivery available.

Speedwerks is asking $8999, contact Steve by email (steve@speedwerks.com) or visit their Facebook page.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1995 Honda RVF400R Restored by Speedwerks
MV Agusta November 25, 2017 posted by Donn

Private Dancer – 2006 MV Agusta Brutale 910S

Suppose you managed a specialty motorcycle shop and were smitten with particular exotic high-performance model ? Easy access to aftermarket enhancements and ready hands might result in a farkle-fest like this 2006 MV Agusta Brutale 910S.

2006 MV Agusta Brutale 910S for sale on eBay

 

MV Agusta's brilliant in-line four was an natural fit into the trellis frame for the boutique naked bike, the 908cc hemi providing 139 hp.  The Brutale came with a great deal of the performance and technology of the F4, but in a less showy and easier ergonomic package for use around town.  The 50mm Marzocchi forks and single-sided swingarm look right at home on the 910S, though making the plumbing look good on the fuel-injected, water-cooled standard must've been a challenge.

 

The Vegas-based owner of Bellissimoto hasn't had much time to ride this MV, but evidently bought it with a few updates, and made a bunch more.  Just to gauge the level of detail, the 6,000-mile bike is shown parked on a full-length mirror, and pictured on the cover of The Robb Report magazine.  Looking like a " what-if ? " wish list, here's the rundown from the eBay auction-

Carbon Fiber Upgrades:

Tail - Intake ducts - Upper frame covers - Key guard - Radiator guards - Underseat side panels - Front subframe/headlight bracket - Exhaust guards - Heel guards - Front fender (both pieces) - Rear fender - Upper and lower chain guards - Lower radiator surround

Hard Part Upgrades:

Scotts Steering Damper - Rizoma Handlebars - Rizoma Rearsets - Oberon Bar End Indicators w/ mirror mounts - CRG Arrow Bar End Mirrors - Domino XM2 Race Throttle with cables - MotoCorse Reservoir Covers - MotoCorse Adjustable Folding Levers - MotoCorse Billet Fender Eliminator - MotoCorse Turn Signals - MotoCorse Frame Plugs (complete kit) - LuiMoto Team Italia Seat Cover - Custom Headlight Fairing and Aluminum Mount with ZG Windscreen and custom paint - Full Titanium MV Agusta Racing Exhaust - Marchesini Forged Magnesium Wheels

 

The Brutale can seem smaller in person than it looks it pictures, and reviewed as a versatile canyon carver with great handling, that only needs a backpack since it's hard to strap anything on.  The auction shows a teaser starting bid, not even covering the upgrades - but as any shop owner will tell you, modifications are really an investment in the riding experience and won't return dollar for dollar.  This should be a great high-end rider, and the auction offers to mount new rubber at a discount for the new owner.  In this case, the most exotic naked bike has been fitted with highest-end updates, lightly used and practically a show bike.  Hardly what comes to mind when you say, " used motorcycle "...

-donn

Honda November 23, 2017 posted by Donn

Chickenhawk – 1989 Honda VTR250 Interceptor with 1,147 miles !

This auction ended as the post was being edited, but the pictures of this super example are still available.  Happy Thanksgiving !

In a rare maneuver, Honda sent the dainty VTR250 Interceptor to the U.S. - only and first - in part to keep Kawasaki's 250cc plans in check.  From 1988-1990 it was only here, a lightweight and fun way to embarrass bigger bikes around town or in tight quarters.  The 249cc V-twin cranked 25 hp via 14,000 rpm, with an Interceptor fairing and kooky inboard disk brake.

1989 Honda VTR250 Interceptor for sale on eBay

 

Specs for the early years can be hard to verify since the 2nd generation model was much improved, but the VTR250 did cage the V-twin in a light twin-beam frame, with conventional forks and Pro-Link rear.  The inboard front disk was a bit of a solution in search of a problem, but arguably better than the drum brake rear.  Integrated fairing looked the Interceptor part, though the usual white/teal/magenta livery with blue seat is a moment in time.

 

Still on its original tires, this VTR is a nice barn find.  From the eBay auction:

  • It is a one-owner, never abused, barely used example of these great little 250s which were introduced to compete with the Kawasaki Ninja 250s in production racing. It comes with the original tool kit and also the owner’s manual still in its vinyl “document bag”. The mileage is 1147 miles – all of them careful adult miles. It has never been to a track day or been raced and has never spent a night outside my attached, smoke free garage nor been ridden in the rain. The bike is very clean. The battery is only about a year old and is always on one of my battery minders.
  • Although all the lights, horn, etc. work fine, the turn signals are slow to begin working. I suspect the inside of the switch could use a cleaning although once they begin to work they work fine. I’m sure this would sort itself out if the bike was used regularly.
  • The bike is all original (except for the added fuel filter) which means the tires are as well. They look great – surprising for their age – and could be used to gently putter around now and then. But, if you intend to really RIDE the bike, you need to fit new rubber before then.

 

The second generation VTR250 was not sold in the U.S. and transformed into a naked Monster-esque lightweight, with trellis frame.  But the Interceptor bodywork has its appeal, and the largely maintenance-free drivetrain is easy on the budget.  With only 330 lbs. to push around, the smallish sport can be a joy everywhere but the wide-open road.  Not likely another example with this little wear will come up again soon...

-donn

Chickenhawk – 1989 Honda VTR250 Interceptor with 1,147 miles !
Honda November 9, 2017 posted by Donn

White Tornado – 1986 Honda VFR700F

From sunny Nevada comes this color-matched V-4 sportbike. Not unmarked but nicely neatened up, this 700 might be an economical path to the sportbike hobby.

1986 Honda VFR700F for sale on eBay

Honda went down an unusual path in the early 1980's developing a mid-size V-4 for road and race use.  After some cam reliability issues, the bikes were re-introduced with gear driven cams and other changes which bulletproofed the engines.  In the square-tube cradle, the 699cc four generates 81 hp up at 10,000 rpm, quietly with water cooling.  Showa dampers front and rear. the forks incorporating Honda's TRAC anti-dive.  Staggered tire sizes are 16" front and 18" rear, to help quicken handling.

 

From the looks of the clutch cover, this VFR700 had a close shave at some point, but survived.  The sunbelt gold and pearl white have been preserved and touched up as necessary.  Gray solo seat and re-covered white pillion somehow look better than the factory black vinyl.  From the eBay auction:

It's a 2 owner bike, super clean and very well looked after.
28000 original miles, seat has been recovered in silver and white and looks good.
Everything works on the bike, I have the original blinkers and licence plate holder, nothing has been cut.
Just put new tire and brake pads on the back, 
Battery is new.
Needs new grips and front tire soon.
Super fun bike to ride, handles great, sounds awesome.
This bike was way ahead of its time, would suit collector. Very hard to find in this condition.
Real head turner, people can't believe its 31 years old.

 

To re-affirm their engineering leadership, Honda over-engineered and built the second generation of V-4's, and though hefty, they run like the Energizer bunny. Smooth power and steady handling, the VFR700F was an early combatant in the tariff wars, and kept the VFR dynasty alive through the mid-eighties.  Looking for a great starter, or maybe hack-around bike ?  Even in the desert southwest the riding season's drawing to a close, and this one's liable to go for a low price...

-donn

White Tornado – 1986 Honda VFR700F
Aprilia November 3, 2017 posted by Donn

Working Girl – 2008 Aprilia RSV1000R Factory Race Bike

Aprilia's RSV1000R was built from 2004-10 though its roots go further back to 1998 and the RSV Mille superbike.  The 998cc magnesium-cased twin has gear-driven cams and has proved a reliable mill, this vintage producing 139 hp and 79 ft.-lbs. torque.  The race-only bike presented here was campaigned in '09 by Chaz Davies in the AMA Daytona Sportbike series, and has some neat "factory" and race-developed details.

2008 Aprilia RSV1000R Factory Race Bike for sale on eBay

Dollar intensive upgrades like Öhlins dampers for front, rear, and steering, and O-Z forged aluminum wheels set the Factory version apart, along with several carbon fiber details.  An Akrapovic exhaust was an option, but this RSV has a Leo Vince system.  Aprilia literature shows the Factory having gold anodized frame and wheels, but clear anodized frame and white wheels are on this bike.  Brakes are a strong point with Brembo's radially mounted calipers and braided lines.

Never anything but an AMA Pro racebike, this RSV1000R seems like it was spared any high sides, and shows a lot of carbon fiber, safety wire, and billet parts.  At least for this bike, Aprilia's choice of "Factory" as a sub-model has clouded the factory race bike issue.  Very clean overall, though a pro race bike is out there every week and some wear and tear is expected.  The list from the eBay auction:

- Bike weighs a tick over 370 lbs wet
- 2 oem spare tanks
- 1 kevlar race tank
- Spare rear wheel from Goeberts bike
- tons of new sprockets
- 2 sets of spare rear sets
- Moto R rearsets on bike now
- clip ons
- race fairing stay
- carbon ram air tubing (wsbk spec)
- air box mod
- Dynos 142whp/ 79 ftlbs on sunoco gtx
- Leo Vince full titanium exhaust
- New Yoyodyne slipper clutch, new fibers as well
- MT adjustable triples
- Ohlins R&T forks, 25mm superbike inserts
- Ohlins custom TTX shock
- Ohlins steering damper
- quick change rear wheel, captive spacers and ceramic bearings front & rear
- Brembo calipers and rotors
- Brembo 19x20 master with remote adjuster
- Brembo 18x16 clutch master
- Custom KWS radiator
- lightweight battery
- Kit lightweight harness
- start/ kill controls on left bar
- PC3 w/ gp quickshifter
- numerous, numerous other parts and details

In the mid-2000's Chaz Davies was a regular on the AMA circuit, rode for the factory-supported Aprilia team in 2009, which led to a factory Triumph World SuperSport ride and the championship for Yamaha in 2011.  Since 2014 he has ridden a Ducati for the Aruba.it team in WSBK, and has been a regular on the podium.  The 2008 edition is toward the end of the run for the RSV, as development of the V-4 was underway, and has all the best of the big Italian superbike.  A club-racing program is just a pleasant daydream for most of us, but this late Aprilia would be a nice choice for an expert rider...

-donn

Working Girl – 2008 Aprilia RSV1000R Factory Race Bike
Ducati November 2, 2017 posted by Donn

2004 Ducati 998S FE With Just 1,164 Miles !

Update 11.2.2017: Back on eBay, this FE previously reached $10,600 reserve not met in July of this year. Now it wears a buy-it-now of $22k. Links updated. -dc

Ducati's own commemorative of 10 years manufacturing the 916-derived superbike, the special order 998 Final Edition had a plaque on the triple-clamp and the new testastretta under the fairings.  This monoposto shows just over 1K miles and is pictured in front of the proverbial barn.

2004 Ducati 998S Final Edition for sale on eBay

Sporting the classic trellis frame and World Champion Superbike graphics on the tailcone, the FE has the powertrain and premium components to back it up.   The nicely oversquare testastretta knocks on silly power's door with 136hp at 10,200 rpm.  The standard Ducati rev counter doesn't show a redline, but many owners label 11,000 rpm with a "$$$" or "Bang!" as repair costs escalate exponentially.  As an -S, the FE should have the deep sump crankcase, though some claim differences between U.S. and Euro S/FE's.  Fully adjustable Öhlins are found front and rear, and Brembo four-piston front brakes and Marchesini alloys complete the picture.

Tucked away somewhere for most of its life, this 998 is a little dusty but unmarked, and appears factory original.  Most owners might have changed at least a couple of the brushed aluminum details to carbon if the bike was handy in their garage or foyer.  Most of the comments in the eBay auction are specifications and advertising, but there's also this -

1 of 112 Ducati 998 Final Edition Monoposto California's made. This bike was only available by special order, it was not available as a regular production model. Quite rare to say the least. I'd imagine this could be, the cleanest, lowest mile one in existence; as I have never seen a lower mileage 2004 998 FE pop up.

Check the pictures, flawless. Radiator is one of the a very reliable bellwether of use or lack there of: it looks almost brand new.  Colorado Title with original owner's name.

Since earth-shattering 999's were being prepared for shipment at the same time, one can imagine the misty eyes as the last few special-order 998's were wheeled out.  The tank decal recalls 8 championships and 115 race wins, a record deserving of a large number 1 in a wreath.  Rarity assured, as a final year edition of a beloved model, and barely used.  With 2-1/2 days to go, bidding is active but reserve is tbd.

-donn

2004 Ducati 998S FE With Just 1,164 Miles !