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Author Archives: Donn

Kawasaki December 21, 2015 posted by Donn

Ninja Survivor – 1992 Kawasaki ZX-7R

Wishing it were an RR or an L homologation from the WSBK-winning 1993 model year won't make it so, but best to appreciate a carefully maintained J2 for what it is - a 93 hp 750cc nicely equipped, with great 2nd generation styling and classic graphics.

20151221 1992 kawasaki zx-7r left

1992 Kawasaki ZX-7R for sale on eBay

20151221 1992 kawasaki zx-7r left front

20151221 1992 kawasaki zx-7r binnacle

First introduced in 1988, the ZXR-750 / ZX7 was a long runner for Kawasaki until 2003.  Peeking out from the endurance fairing is the frame that made it all possible, a double perimeter hybrid of stamped and cast aluminum, with similarly fabricated swingarm.  The engine had been updated for 1991 and was unchanged for 1992.  An early adopter of upside-down forks, these are 43mm.  The rear Uni-Track pushrod system sported a re-valved monoshock, reviewed as a big improvement from 1991.  Brakes are overbuilt if that's possible, with dual 320mm front disks and 240mm rear.  Now-classic bodywork has twin headlights leading the way, with air intakes below the mirror bases, providing cool air if not ram-air.

20151221 1992 kawasaki zx-7r front

20151221 1992 kawasaki zx-7r right frame

Not without miles at 27.5K, this J2 looks awfully nice, and though not described, there must've been a paint shop in its recent history.  Maintenance hasn't been ignored, with lots of new wear parts.  A spare color-matched seat is also supplied.  The owner says the only squawk is the broken speedo needle, an easy repair for an instrument shop.  From the eBay auction:

I purchased this zx7 with just under 18,000 miles around 5yrs ago, from california.  I rode it quite regularly for 2 summers and then just on weekends off and on the last 2 summers.  The bike has been well maintained.   I have service records from my local kawasaki dealer to show the work performed.
Recent work/parts:
New front tire
New front and rear sprockets
New chain
New cush drive
New fuel pump (2 summers ago)
New battery (last summer)
Front forks rebuilt this spring

20151221 1992 kawasaki zx-7r right exhaust

20151221 1992 kawasaki zx-7r right tank

Though our more knowledgeable and sharper-eyed readers will find other foibles, this Ninja seems to be a bargain route to the sportbike affliction, packing about 90 percent of the fun into a fraction of the possible spending.  Not registering much on the rarity meter, but most 90's Ninjas are a fright of frame sliders, half-completed mods and helicopter tape.  Maintenance records from five years are a welcome addition.  The lack of customizing and overall clean presentation make this ZX-7R worthy of a second look...


Ninja Survivor – 1992 Kawasaki ZX-7R
Sport Bikes For Sale December 20, 2015 posted by Donn

Last Day of Salon de la Moto 2015, Paris

The European vacation winds down at the Salon de la Moto de Paris - dc

First week of December, my wife and I tagged along with another couple who were shopping antiques in southern France and Paris, and I took a couple of time-outs to explore the motorcycle scene, at dealerships in Avignon ( about 100 miles north of the Mediterranean ) and thanks to RSBFS, scored a media ticket to the big French motorcycle show in Paris.  Mostly pictorial, I have a couple of observations about the European bike market and our own, please enjoy...

Thought we might make it to the show Friday evening, but real life intervened and we went Sunday, the last day of festivities.  Remind me to attend the media day next time, as the crowds made it alternatively joyeaux and unbearable.  We hobbled right up to Pavilion 8 which had the press office ( they supplied a nice lanyard and a rest stop ) and better yet the Ducati array.


Four of their new 400 Scrambler were prominently displayed and looked perfect for a Sunday morning.



MV Agusta was around the corner and showed their gorgeous WSBK replica 675 and 800 triples.




Due to progressive licensing, most full-line manufacturers have a 125 racey replica, and it was almost impossible to get near them.  Couldn't even get a picture of the Yamaha, reputed to be the best of the bunch.




Trending massively is the retro-naked, just about all manufacturers have jumped on this bandwagon, Triumph even has their own Scrambler, hooning Ducati though I suppose they did start it all back in 1964.  Their new twin looks old but is water-cooled and fuel injected, balance-shafted and disk-braked.  Maybe you can keep a sandwich in those fake Amal carbs.  Yamaha displayed their 125's from back in the day and last week.


Royal Enfield has been waiting 40-odd years for the Scrambler revelation.




A lot of just-retired and last year's race bikes to drool over.  I believe Moto 3 above and WSBK below.




Big and small makers showed electric machines, hoping the KTM's arrive stateside soon.  Most cost more than you would've thought, 15K Euro-ish.  Below, the Harley LiveWire.




Several different booths had air vests and jackets, some with lanyards and a few with accelerometers.  Could make a nice save I think.  The one below looks black by day but is retro-reflective under the flash.




Some wonderful bag solutions, and of course guards and such, Wunderlich and Touratech had full displays.  Bagster seemed to have re-focused on custom seats.




Customs were parts of many displays, ne pas toucher, S.V.P.





Peculiar by their absence were Piaggio entirely and the BMW G310.  Didn't see the Honda or Yamaha 3-wheelers but their displays were impossibly jammed, we could easily have missed them.  All the helmet manufacturers had beautiful displays, and BMW showed their System 6, which we'll likely never see here.  Hoped for a nice vendor area but there was very little cash and carry.  At the end of a long day we wandered back onto the streets and the show just continued...



Last Day of Salon de la Moto 2015, Paris
Sport Bikes For Sale December 19, 2015 posted by Donn

Stopped by a Couple of Dealerships in Avignon

As winter is upon us ( at least selectively ) and the sportbike scene takes a breather, RSBFS has a special feature or two in store, the first from across the pond. - dc

First week of December, my wife and I tagged along with another couple who were shopping antiques in southern France and Paris, and I took a couple of time-outs to explore the motorcycle scene, at dealerships in Avignon ( about 100 miles north of the Mediterranean ) and thanks to RSBFS, scored a media ticket to the big French motorcycle show in Paris.  Mostly pictorial, I have a couple of observations about the European bike market and our own, please enjoy...

Thurs. Dec. 4 - Searching for a Ducati Avignon shirt, I dragged my traveling  friends to a couple of bike shops yesterday.  No shirts save the same boutique we have in the states, but a couple of interesting stops.


Planete JMS Motors is a multi-line dealer with BMW, Ducati, Kawasaki, and Yamaha concessions and four locations.  We stopped at the Ducati branch and it was almost indistinguishable from a U.S. dealer, with a full display of 2016 models.  The accessories are a little different here, and though a lot of the gear here is available home, there are some funky items hard to see elsewhere, like a Stilo helmet with leather accents and a rallye driver's microphone, or a Caberg helmet with a sliding moonroof.


Considering their affection for bikes of all description, it's strange there is no French motorcycle manufacturer.  We popped into Masson-Richard, a Piaggio / Aprilia / Vespa dealer around the corner who had a few lines displayed, also a couple of offshore varieties.  According to Bike Magazine, Yamaha and Honda will introduce their leaning three wheelers this year, but Piaggio has had them for several years.  They're perfect for the urban market, standing at the ready but riding kind of like a bike.


The Avignon dealer had a full selection of accessories for the scooters, like this all weather tonneau with hippo hands.  The weather has been pretty changeable here, and though tourist season is over, we've had a few sightings of Harleys, a BMW K-1600 and GS or two, and TransAlps out on the road.  Dual-sports are predominant since roads can change to dirt just a mile from centre-ville.  Scooters of all description own the town.


Cage-wise, we were prepared for all manner of tiny cars and preposterously small work trucks, but maybe not a 2.2 liter diesel 6-speed Ford Ranger pickup.  Looking forward to a train ride to Paris in the morning, and hope to make it to the Salon de Moto in the afternoon...


Stopped by a Couple of Dealerships in Avignon
Ducati December 18, 2015 posted by Donn

Lite(r) Custom – 2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE

Lovely as they are, and sweet to ride, the 2006-only Ducati Paul Smart commemoratives are in a funny corner - too collectible to be riders, but the urge to customize can be irresistible.  Many times they appear after a few years on the display stand, generally asking serious bucks, this one with some premium bits and neat custom work.

20151217 2006 ducati ps1000le right

2006 Ducati Paul Smart PS1000LE for sale on eBay

20151217 2006 ducati ps1000le left

20151217 2006 ducati ps1000le binnacle

Styled by Pierre Terblanche  as part of Ducati's SportClassic retro collection, the PS1000 Limited Edition uses the 992cc 4-valve air-cooled motor generating 92 hp.  The beautiful sea green metallic trellis frame displays the dry clutch and two-into-two exhaust nicely.  Modern in the suspension department, it uses 43mm upside-down forks and rear monoshock ( on the left side of the double-sided swingarm ), both fully adjustable Ohlins.  Brakes are also worthy of the task with dual 320mm front disks and 245mm rear.  Retro spoke wheels have alloy rims.  Slim and not overweight, the long frame lends stability if not flickability to the equation, and the DS1000 injected engine makes it real-world rideable.

20151217 2006 ducati ps1000le right front

20151217 2006 ducati ps1000le left tank

Hidden away with only 1144 miles, this PS1000LE has been treated to a beautiful titanium exhaust, adjustable lever and foot pegs, LED turn signals and bar-end mirrors.  The body was not ignored, as a neat tail fairing with a Corvette tail-light is installed.  An aluminum tank was fabricated in response to the expanding plastic tank issue Ducati had in the 2000's, and the auction says it is available, seems to be pictured on the bike though not certain.  Also available are the fairing lowers with Paul Smart's number 16.  From the eBay auction:


  • Zard Italian made FULL TITANIUM exhaust (amazing sounding) - $3,200
  • Motor completely stock except for clutch cover (previously stated DS1100 heads was a mistake)
  • Eagle eye LED turn signals (stock included)
  • open dry clutch
  • Comfort windshield (stock included)
  • Lowering bracket for better stance (removable)
  • Carbon fiber chain guard (stock included)
  • Short "naked" fairings
  • GT front fender (stock included)
  • Speedymoto wheel sliders
  • Adjustable gold adonized hand controls (stock included)
  • Fully adjustable billet aluminum foot controls (extremely important, adjusts the bike to fit your height for comfort and control)
  • Reverse or Regular shifting
  • Tommaselli dark brown grips (I can throw in a set of retro light brown rubber grips as well)
  • All stock parts included except for rear cowl (easily found on ebay or from motowheels) and exhaust. 
  • Aluminum tank and seat with corvette taillight and carbon fiber full fairings are NOT included in sale, but available separately for an additional cost (see below)
  • Winner gets choice of titanium Zard exhaust or Termignoni dual slip-ons.

20151217 2006 ducati ps1000le right rear

20151217 2006 ducati ps1000le right peg

With starting bid at the low end of the usual for this model, if you're in the market a look-see at least is warranted.  A great strategy by Ducati, the SportClassics seem more popular now than when they were introduced.  One man's customization can be another's remuddling though, and most of the factory parts are included or available with this bike.  And though I can appreciate it, the idea of having a fairly current non-riding road bike doesn't really compute for me - this is a 2006 Ducati under all the retro and custom glow, it is likely a joy to take out.  Long and low bar position will make the PS1000LE a wonder out in the open but a chore around town, so the ride to the bike show must be planned accordingly.

20151217 2006 ducati ps1000le right grip


Lite(r) Custom – 2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE
Aprilia December 16, 2015 posted by Donn

Under the Tree – 2001 Aprilia RS50

Stylin' as a pit bike or unlicensed starter, the RS50 looks for all the world like the turn-of-the-century RS125, or if you squint, an RS250.  Not really built for serious fun, though it does have an aluminum frame and 17 inch wheels.

20151215 2001 aprilia rs50 right front

2001 Aprilia RS50 for sale on eBay

20151215 2001 aprilia rs50 left

Running an engine 0.3 cc less than the limit, the RS50 stays in the moped category.  Though generally restricted to 30 mph, unrestricted versions are capable of a little over 60 mph, better fun.  The Dell-Orto carburetor and disk brakes are hopeful for a larger machine in the future, but this one is perfect for the neighb or the pits.

20151215 2001 aprilia rs50 binnacle

20151215 2001 aprilia rs50 right fairing

Likely owned by a racer or an Aprilia fan, this RS50 is in nice shape with just a hint of hangar rash here and there.  Showing a low 1,700 miles, it's just hard to rack up the miles hugging the shoulder.  From the eBay auction:

2001 Aprilia RS-50 with only 1767 miles.

Completely stock and in mint condition. Oil injection.

New Pirelli's, tuned, and serviced.

No work needed: This is a turn-key bike with clean, clear, street-legal title.

Collector quality!


20151215 2001 aprilia rs50 left front

20151215 2001 aprilia rs50 right seat

Still warm enough for a test ride, only a couple of hours northwest of NYC.  Just the thing for the ( future ) sportbike nut on your Christmas list...


Under the Tree – 2001 Aprilia RS50
BMW December 13, 2015 posted by Donn

Reverential – 2008 BMW HP2 Sport

Living as we do somewhere between the bike and  the post, your editors at RSBFS always appreciate the effort to photograph a bike well.  Though they can try to hide mishaps, a good photograph is better at highlighting the lack of history, illustrating careful ownership.  So much the better if a special bike is shown well.  The pinnacle of BMW boxer development, the HP2 Sport is such a bike, here with a neat short focal-length treatment.

20151213 2008 bmw hp2 sport right front

2008 BMW HP2 Sport for sale on eBay

20151213 2008 bmw hp2 sport left

Holding down BMW's sport corner from 2008-12 ( at least as a figurehead after the S1000RR arrived ), the HP2's air/oil cooled engine brings home 128 hp and 80 ft-lbs. torque.  The HP2 has a chrome-moly trellis frame which uses the engine as a stressed member, and self-supporting seat subframe and fairing.  BMW's Telelever front and Paralever rear each use fully adjustable Ohlins dampers.  With the optional ABS, the rider can depend on the 330mm front disks and 265mm rear.  The design studio squandered their budget on the HP2, the fairing and appointments, like the full-featured LCD dash, are top notch.

20151213 2008 bmw hp2 sport front  20151213 2008 bmw hp2 sport tail fairing

20151213 2008 bmw hp2 sport rear  20151213 2008 bmw hp2 sport front fairing

Professionally photographed with under 4,000 miles,  it's a dreamboat.  Never tracked, a shame for the past owners ( and a benefit to the next owner ).  No damage history, from the eBay auction:

This is an amazing motorcycle!  The HP2 Sport was the first BMW R motor to used radial positioned valves on the historic engine that helped it produce more HP and Torque than any previous R-motor BMW.  Additionally, at the time it was the most expensive BMW motorcycle ever sold and I believe that to still be true.  The bodywork is all carbon fiber, half was painted white and the dark sections remain exposed carbon fiber so you and everyone else will know what it is made of.  The valve covers are even carbon fiber!

20151213 2008 bmw hp2 sport left front  20151213 2008 bmw hp2 sport right rear

There are higher horsepower motorcycles out there but this has as much torque as they do.  And, it comes in low in the rev range and pulls strong all the way to red line.  it is smoother and more comfortable than any other top tier superbike on the market and is a great collector piece.  I believe there were only 235 imported into he US in 2008 and 2009.  The option available we ABS and this bike has it.  Long term values on these make it a great place to put your motorcycle money.

20151213 2008 bmw hp2 sport right front wheel  20151213 2008 bmw hp2 sport right rear wheel

The wheels are made specifically for this motorcycle by OZ racing
The suspension is provided by Ohlins
The radial mounted brakes are from Brembo

20151213 2008 bmw hp2 sport dash  20151213 2008 bmw hp2 sport right rear shock

20151213 2008 bmw hp2 sport right cylinder  20151213 2008 bmw hp2 sport cockpit

Centrally located in Austin, a pre-purchase inspection should be easy to arrange.  A lot of BMW's work went into reducing weight, and the HP2 is under 4oo lbs. fueled, quite amazing when you consider its sport-touring ancestry and robust build.  As with the Porsche 911 flat six, there will likely always be a BMW boxer twin, and this is one of the best...


Reverential – 2008 BMW HP2 Sport