Author Archives: Donn

Ducati October 24, 2015 posted by Donn

Red ‘n’ Ready – 2003 Ducati 999R

Ducati was ready for a fresh approach to styling after the 916/996/998 successes, and while they got their wish in Pierre Terblanche's 999, the new look was always controversial.  Though the WSBK team had a great many wins and three championships, after four years the factory returned to a more reminiscent design for the 1098.  The 999 look was a short interlude in Ducati design but the performance of the bikes, especially the -R editions, cannot be denied.

20151021 2003 ducati 999r right

2003 Ducati 999R for sale on eBay

20151021 2003 ducati 999r left front

20151021 2003 ducati 999r left rear

Peculiar to the 999R's, the seriously oversquare 999 cc engine ( 104mm bore x 58.8mm stroke ) rates 146 hp, thanks in part to titanium valve gear and forged pistons.  The bike tested at a 10.6 second quarter-mile and damn near 175 mph.  The two-into-one exhaust has an angular canister muffler under the seat.  Fully adjustable Ohlins are at both ends.  Brakes are Brembo 320mm front ( 4-piston with radial mounting ) and 240mm rear.

20151021 2003 ducati 999r right cockpit

20151021 2003 ducati 999r right seat

Stacking the headlights allowed the fairing a little more height, and a mid-size rider can tuck into the bike and escape some the wind.  In the case of the 999R, the full fairings are carbon fiber, as are the number-plated seat fairing and fender.  Typical adjustments to the handlebars and footpegs are augmented by the ability to move the seat / tank console to accommodate the rider.

20151021 2003 ducati 999r right front wheel

20151021 2003 ducati 999r right muffler

As ready as the 999R came for the track, this particular bike has had more preparation.  Upgrades to the engine, exhaust, suspension, clutch and brakes have all been completed, and a full set of track-day bodywork is available.  From the eBay auction:

Like other R models, the 999 comes with a more powerful modified engine design that includes numerous upgrades including titanium valves, conrods, lightened crank and forged pistons. The frame was modified to meet homologation requirements for World Superbike. It comes from the factory with a stock exhaust canister and an off-road canister for track use. The R model also includes fully adjustable Ohlin shock and forks, forged aluminum Marchesini wheels and a complete OEM carbon fiber body in red.
Upgrades included with the sale of this bike: a full titanium Termignoni exhaust kit (lighter, large diameter header) including air filter and ECU, upgraded Ohlins factory valves for shock and forks, Surflex slipper clutch, Ducati Performance rear-sets, and Braketech floating rotors.
Great cosmetic and mechanical condition. The bike shows minor wear typical of age and mileage. The stock body was removed and put in storage and the bike wore the gunmetal race body for most of the mileage. Dunlop Sportmax Q3 tires are near new with less than 500 miles. Major service including valve adjustment and belt replacement was performed ahead of schedule. Chain, sprockets, battery all recently replaced.

20151021 2003 ducati 999r left grip

20151021 2003 ducati 999r right cfootpeg

Ludicrously speedy for the road, this machine would seem to demand a track club membership or maybe a dry summer at Bonneville.  Not unused with 9,000 miles, it looks well cared for.  Hard to say what the bidders will say since the 999 doesn't always produce reverent Ducatisti, but this is a quite rare machine well prepared for some very high performance endeavors...


Red ‘n’ Ready – 2003 Ducati 999R
Muzzy October 22, 2015 posted by Donn

Uno – 1997 Muzzy Raptor SB850

By now the Formula USA / Xtreme race series of the late 1990's is a distant memory, when factories and privateers brought pretty much their wildest dreams to the track and went head to head.  Rob Muzzy was merely a legendary race tuner and team manager back then, and after many year preparing Kawasakis for AMA Superbike icons like Scott Russell and Doug Chandler, Muzzy developed his own ZX-7R-based machine.  Expanding the displacement to 835cc and making substantial changes to the chassis, the Muzzy Raptor was made in homologation quantities only, instantly successful, and now almost unobtainable.

20151022 1997 Muzzy Raptor

1997 Muzzy Raptor SB850 for sale on eBay

20151022 muzzy raptor logo

A brand new ZX-7R disassembled at the Muzzy facility in Bend, Oregon, the bike would be treated to gear-driven cams, titanium connecting rods, and a lightened crank.  The bespoke engine made in the vicinity of 165 hp.  The Kawi swingarm was replaced with an adjustable single-sided magnesium casting, and Ohlins shock added.  Up front Muzzy's own adjustable triple clamp held 48mm KYB forks, again tuned by Muzzy.  Brakes were updated to 320mm A-P disks with 6-piston calipers in front, 270mm rear.

Borrowing the reptilian expression of the ZX-7R, Muzzy's design for the carbon bodywork improved the ram-air inlet and reduced drag.  The Marchesini magnesium wheels are wide, 3-1/2 inch in front and 6 inch rear.  Exhaust was replaced by a 4 into 2 titanium system into 1 carbon muffler.  Without fuel the bike weighed only 355 lbs.

The auction has only one photo, and states that this is chassis number 0001, and the bike has been on display since 1,200 miles.  From the eBay auction:

This is a great opportunity for a motorcycle collector. This machine is the first production MUZZY Raptor and was featured in many magazines and television shows. It has been kept in Rob Muzzy's private collection and now available for the first time. This bike features the adjustable swing arm pivot and steering head pivot as the race bikes. It also features the Magnesium single sided swing arm. The engine is the full kitted 850cc. Don't miss out on this opportunity.

20151022 rob muzzy

Not really for the road and certainly not for a less than expert rider, this is the real deal, requiring more of a team concept to set up and run seriously.  While better documentation would have been nice, the mechanical basis is well known, and this unicorn has been in so many of our bedtime stories that we have a good idea what to expect.  Hard to say how many of the possibly 50 bikes have survived, but the company is collecting information about a possible ZX-12 based Raptor here.  Rob Muzzy's next project was drag racing, a no-nonsense arena brutal on the equipment, where his teams have won multiple championships.   An appreciable amount of information about the Raptor is available, but any collector seriously considering this bike will likely send his mechanic out to Bend to take a look.  And maybe come home with a trophy, numbered 0001...


Uno – 1997 Muzzy Raptor SB850
Ducati October 21, 2015 posted by Donn

Red Revival – 1990 Ducati Paso 906

On display for the past few years, this Ducati Paso 906 might be ready for revival.  With just about 5,000 miles, some rubber, belts, and maybe a seal or two should be all that's required for some nice riding.

20151020 1990 ducati paso 906 right

1990 Ducati Paso 906 for sale on eBay

20151020 1990 ducati paso 906 left

20151020 1990 ducati paso 906 right rear

Penned by Massimo Tamburini for the 1985 show season, the Paso model was introduced as a 750, and a major upgrade came in 1989 with 906 engine ( peculiarly displacing 904 cc ), water cooling and 6-speed transmission.  A strong square-tube frame is beneath the bodywork which conceals all the mysteries.  Marocchi forks and Ohlins rear monoshock are accompanied by Brembo brakes.  In the GP fashion of the time, 16-inch Oscam wheels are fitted.

20151020 1990 ducati paso 906 left above

20151020 1990 ducati paso 906 cockpit

Looking excellent in the many good pictures, this Paso has only a couple of mods, a Corbin seat and Ferracci mufflers.  Pretty sure these came with a center stand but I'm not seeing it.  The tank is signed, but the auction doesn't divulge by whom.  Loving those faired round mirrors.  From the eBay auction:

There is good chance that my Paso 906 may be the best one you'll ever find in its original condition on eBay.  Only 100 Paso 906s were imported to the US back in the difficult days of Ducati.  This one has served me only for its good looks in my office as a Massimo Tamburini art-piece and later in our TV room along my other Tamburini Ducatis as a show-bike.  I have not driven it in 3.5 years.  I had it completely serviced before I put it up for display.  It needs a battery.  The tires are all original from 1989 when it left the Ducati factory. Drive it or show it.  No damage whatsoever.

20151020 1990 ducati paso 906 seat

20151020 1990 ducati paso 906 right rear wheel

While time in the gallery is not deducted from a bike's life span, a comprehensive service would be required to return this Paso to the road.  It would be worth doing, though early Paso's suffered rideability squawks due to their single carburetor, these were ironed out with the 906.  Underneath the bodywork are Ducati's excellent frame design and handling, and top quality components.  If the soap-bar styling of the Paso speaks to you, this would be a great bike to bring home from the museum shop...

20151020 1990 ducati paso 906 rear


Red Revival – 1990 Ducati Paso 906
Honda October 17, 2015 posted by Donn

Winter Project – 1984 Honda NS250R

In the first year of a varied run that lasted until 1996, the Honda NS250R was a race replica 2-stroke that was related to a caped crusader over at Honda Racing Corp.  Capitalizing each year on developments made to the 250 Grand Prix racer, the NS250R improved each year and was presented in many different commemorative liveries.  With Rothman's colors here is one of the first, and while it's been hidden away for quite a while, it could be a perfect winter project.

20151015 1984 honda ns250r right

1984 Honda NS250R for sale in eBay

20151015 1984 honda ns250r cockpit

Housed in an aluminum cradle, the 249cc V-twin makes a surprising 45 hp at 9,500 rpm.  The 6-speed transmission is almost a requirement for the peaky engine.  The exhaust routes the front cylinder down by the left footpeg and the rear winds its way under the seat.  Front forks are air-adjusted, with TRAC anti-dive, and the rear has Pro-Link monoshock.  The triple-disk brakes are almost gratuitous on the 250.  Full fairing hides some of the works up front, and the dual seat has large side panels underneath.  The 17 inch wheels are assembled, star hubs riveted to the rims.

20151015 1984 honda ns250r left no fairing

20151015 1984 honda ns250r right engine no fairing

But the real story is the powerplant - this year's model saw the electrically controlled exhaust chamber system ATAC employed on the front cylinder only, helping stretch out the torque band.  But from zero to 10,500 rpm there are a lot of different conditions, and the NS250R reviewed as a challenge to modulate, more fun to ride out where you could open it up than in traffic.  But if you could keep it in the power band, there was fun to be had in the light weight and crisp handling.

20151015 1984 honda ns250r right rear wheel

In storage for some years, this NS250R will require a thorough going over.  However, the owner verified a running engine, as he states in the eBay auction:

Up for bid is a NS250R Rothman's edition Honda. It has a clear U.S. title, it has been in storage for several years, The mileage is 22639 kilometers {14,000 miles}   I put  a battery in it and bottle fed some gas to it and it fired on the 3rd. kick. I let it run a few minutes and shut it off. This bike should have all fluids checked and serviced as with any bike that has been in storage. All of the signals ,lights and horn work. The exhaust pipes have some scrapes on the covers, the gas tank has a few small dings, the plastics have some scuffs, and the upper fairing has a broke piece by the mirror.

20151015 1984 honda ns250r under seat

Looks like it's all there, even the little triangular kickstand fairing.  Bravely showing the bike without its fairings, the photographs show the work to be done.  However, it doesn't look insurmountable for even a skilled hobbyist with a friend at the Honda parts counter.  Maybe you have that kind of time and attention to detail.  Or might know someone who does, and who'd like to be attacking the corners next spring at just under 9,000 rpm...

20151015 1984 honda ns250r left engine no fairing


Winter Project – 1984 Honda NS250R
Ducati October 15, 2015 posted by Donn

Later than Late – 2007 Ducati 800 SuperSport

With its last major refreshening in 2003, the Ducati Supersport waited out the inevitable without much fanfare.  Concentrating on the 1000cc variant, even Ducati's own model archive doesn't show the 800 SuperSport after 2004.  Lightweight and simple compared to the SuperBikes, the SS models are great riders and the sculptural Pierre Terblanche design is still a head-turner, especially in red.

20151014 2007 ducati 800ss left

2007 Ducati 800 SuperSport for sale on eBay

20151014 2007 ducati 800ss right front

Built around a steel tubing trellis frame, this time also in red, the 800SS has 43mm Marzocchi forks and adjustable Sachs monoshock underneath.  The  air-cooled 2-valve V-twin generates 75 hp and a nice 50 ft-lbs. torque.  This generation was also fuel injected and had wet clutch and 6-speed transmission.  Upswept exhaust has been upgraded with Leo Vince carbon slip-ons.  Brembo brakes front and rear, 320mm and 245mm respectively.

20151014 2007 ducati 800ss left front fairing

20151014 2007 ducati 800ss rear

Controversial at introduction, the complex fairing design is interesting without getting overly busy, the lack of carbon details being almost refreshing.  The dual seat fairing has had the designer's attention as has the NACA duct-looking windshield.  The fuel tank has a integral protective pad, something every Ducati could use.

20151014 2007 ducati 800ss front

20151014 2007 ducati 800ss right tank

Offered by a big retailer in New Hampshire, this 800SS has almost 4,000 miles and looks super, almost too many studio photos.  The only mods appear to be the mufflers and a battery charger cable, and the front tire is mentioned as being almost ready to replace.  Helpfully, they offer to take trades and provide a 90-day warranty, and a copy of a title / damage record search ( 3 owners, no reported damage ).  From the eBay auction:

This beautiful low mileage Ducati 800 Supersport has been upgraded with a Leo Vince Slip-on exhaust that makes fantastic sounds. This excellent handling bike is powered by a 800cc air cooled twin with 75 horsepower making it a great option for a mid weight sports bike.

20151014 2007 ducati 800ss left fairiing

20151014 2007 ducati 800ss right front wheel

Unfortunately, the design and engineering poured into the SuperSport couldn't overcome the futuristic glare from the water-cooled side of the showroom, and a series of marque races never gained momentum.  The factory ceased production in 2006, and stocks were sold out in 2007.  The 1000DS engine lived on in the SportClassic and MultiStrada.  The last generation SuperSport tested well, a good handling torquey bike with better than expected reliability.

20151014 2007 ducati 800ss left seat

20151014 2007 ducati 800ss right rear tire

This SuperSport is a real looker with red over the red frame and appears unscuffed.  Pretty rare bike especially at this late year and low mileage.  Racey ergonomics make bar risers a possibility for longer trips.  Cam belt maintenance will have to be determined.  Slightly different than a private sale ( and maybe higher reserve ), this full service retailer has inspected the bike and offers a service contract.  This just might reduce the risks in buying an older Ducati...


Later than Late – 2007 Ducati 800 SuperSport
Moto Guzzi October 14, 2015 posted by Donn

Il Classico – 1985 Moto Guzzi Le Mans 1000

The Mark IV Le Mans increased displacement to 949 cc, and made few other updates to the venerable cafe racer that would take it into the 90's and see the development of the 1100 cc engine.  A neat closing chapter to the long Le Mans history, the big twin was fast if not super quick, a strong stable platform for the golden eagle.

20151013 1985 moto guzzi le mans 1000 right

1985 Moto Guzzi Le Mans 1000 for sale on eBay

20151013 1985 moto guzzi le mans 1000 left

Capitalizing on the substantially redesigned engine for the 850 cc Mark III, the 1000 cc engine uses the square-fin cylinder head delivering 81 hp.  Updates include 40mm carburettors and a performance camshaft.  Plenty of torque available, the shaft-driven 5-speed being capable of 140 mph.  Never a lightweight, the Mk. IV crept over 500 lbs., making the three 270mm front disks seem just adequate.  Guzzi's linked braking system is used, helping provide better control.  1985 brought a 16-inch front wheel to the Le Mans, which helped the big twin turn in.

20151013 1985 moto guzzi le mans 1000 cockpit

The bodywork is a delight on the 1000, a well-coordinated set of angular fairings and deflectors, including chin scoop.  Red is the message here, with some frame tubes, forks and wheels also in paint.  Sculpted side covers lead to the dual seat, with integral hand-holds for the passenger.  Great dash with giant Veglia rev counter.

20151013 1985 moto guzzi le mans 1000 front wheel

Not overly documented, this Mark IV looks very good, with just over 5,000 miles.  Chrome pipes appear to be an upgrade from the factory black exhaust.  Grips, levers, pegs and mirrors all look original.  From the eBay auction:

1985 Le mans 1000, very good condition, 5121 miles, runs well. These bikes will, or are, going up in value.

Obviously there's a lot of rest time in a 30 year-old bike with 5,000 miles.  Rubber and a seal or two might want replacement, and the fuel system might want some attention.  Thankfully no cam belts in the Guzzi though.  More pictures, some maintenance history, and maybe a visit to St. Louis are in order...


Il Classico – 1985 Moto Guzzi Le Mans 1000