Author Archives: Marty

Full Name: Marty G Website:
Info: owner, zanemoto zane laverda nutter, currently owning more than I should bit of a collector too
Laverda May 30, 2017 posted by Marty

WAUW: Cor Dees Laverda collection for sale (Netherlands)

I know this listing has already been posted on the RSBFS Facebook page and on other sites such as laverdaforum.com but this opportunity is too unique to not deserve a post here on the RSBFS mothership site - Marty

Late spring is usually the busiest time for RSBFS as people bring their bikes out of storage and decide they need to "thin the herd" a bit. A good example is the recent listings from seller Whiteknuckle in Springville, Utah who has been offering quite a wide variety of makes, models and conditions.   But over in the Netherlands another collection is up for sale that is truly amazing, the Laverda collection assembled by Mr. Coor Dees.  Apparently after 30+ years of collection Dees has decided to hang it up and the entire collection/museum is now up for sale with over 80 Laverda's as well as a huge amount of memorabilia such as cutaways of engines.  Also includes is a massive photo archive that tells the story of the Laverda marque decade by decade.

Laverda Motorcycle Collection/Museum in the Netherlands

Dees dedication to the Laverda marque has produced possibly the finest long term collection of the north-Italian Laverda marque.  He collected everything related, even artifacts and old machinery showing the agricultural roots of Laverda and his close friendship with the Laverda family allowed him to purchase many of the bikes and associated memorabilia directly from the Laverda factory.  Now, after thirty years of collecting, he feels that it's finally time to hand over the keys to his amazing collection.

The full list of the bikes that will be included in the sale is available via the link above but below are some some highlights of the offered machines.

*Laverda Racing models*
1973 Laverda 750 Side sidecar racer - factory SFC engine
1975 Laverda 750 SFC 1976 Belgium Champion
1975 Laverda 1000 spaceframe works endurance racer
1975 Laverda 1200 Franz Laimböck Monocoque racer
1978 Laverda 500 Formula Mk2 - one of 75 - Laverda Cup

*Laverda Prototypes*
1971 Laverda 1000 Milano EICMA motorshow - prototype
1986 Laverda OR 600 Atlas prototype
1986 Laverda 668 Cruiser prototype
1989 Laverda 668 Hidalgo prototype
1989 Laverda 700 El Cid prototype

*Laverda 650 & 750*
1968 Laverda 650 production number 17 - May 1968
1971 Laverda 750 SF
1972 Laverda 750 SF
1973 Laverda 750 GTF
1973 Laverda 750 SF1
1974 Laverda 750 Polizia Allessandria police
1974 Laverda 750 SF2

*Laverda 1000 & 1200*
1974 Laverda 1000 3C
1977 Laverda 1000 3CL
1980 Laverda 1000 Jota 180
1981 Laverda 1000 RGS Executive panniers & fairing
1982 Laverda 1000 Jota 120
1982 Laverda 1200 TS
1983 Laverda 1000 RGA
1989 Laverda 1000 SFC wire wheels - 2000 km

*Laverda Zanè production*
1995 Laverda 650 I.E.
1997 Laverda 668 Diamante
1999 Laverda 750 Formula

I have to admit I am personally happy to see some Zanè-era models also included as well as some prototypes I have never even heard of.  Amazingly even the original Laverda entrance sign of the old Breganze factory will be included in the sale (200 kg and 4m long, it was in the Laverda factory between 1952 and 2000).

Now before you begin looking through your checkbook, there are a few caveats with this offering.  Though the complete collection is for sale, Mr. Dees will (for now) keep the most significant specimen of Laverda engineering: the legendary Laverda V6.  After eight years of determination Dees has indicated he has almost completed the restoration of the 1991 V6 racer back to its 24-hour endurance race trim.  Dees has also indicated he wishes to continue working on the original 90-degree 1000cc Vee-Six prototype which caused a sensation during its presentation at the 1977 Milano Motorcycle Exhibition.

While not having these bikes in the sales of collection might disuuad some prospective owners, Dees has stated that once these two (of three!) existing Laverda 1000 V-Six machines come up for sale, the new owner of the collection will be given the Right of First Offer to purchase both machines as well as the remaining factory V6 spares and technical drawings.

Another caveat of the sales is that the collection has to be maintained.  This could be by being included in a museum or exposed as part of a larger collection of motorcycles but Dees also wants the collection to be based somewhere where there is a strong Laverda community, ideally near the companies home of Breganze, Italy.  Lastly he wants the collection open to the public so it can be admired on a regular basis by visitors from across the world.

It seems safe to assume the sale price for this amazing collection will likely depend on how closely the new owner is able to satisfy Dees requirements.  While Dees has stated he is ready to sell his collection at a very reasonable price if the next owner is a real enthusiast who is willing to exhibit the collection for the next decades, it has been my experience that when a lifetime-effort collection like this is sold what typically happens is the collection is parsed with the highest-end/most notable pieces being added to a major collection (possibly being rotated) while other categories are eventually sold off to collectors more oriented towards those aspects.

Given the size of this collection and the caveats on the sale, I don't think this one will be going to a private collector.  Perhaps it can be acquired by one of the big museums in Italy such as the Museo Nazionale del Motociclo.  If by some chance it does end up in private hands all I can say is hopefully whomever acquires this amazing collection will at least meet the final caveat of keeping the collection open to the public so fans of the marque can continue to enjoy these Northern-Italian lovelies.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

 

WAUW:  Cor Dees Laverda collection for sale (Netherlands)
Kawasaki May 21, 2017 posted by Marty

Featured listing: 1990 Kawasaki ZX750F Ninja

1990 Kawasaki ZX750F Ninja in red and black

Back in 1990 the 750cc configuration was still king on both the track and the sales floor.  Some major manufactures had dipped a cautious toe into offering track level performance as a separate model option (ex:  Suzuki GSX-750R LE) but the homologation era was still a bit away and overall the focus was still on bikes that could handle the all three of the major missions; street, track and light touring.  Sadly this philosophy and the 750cc class have pretty much faded into the pages of history so today's Featured listing of a Kawasaki ZX750R is quite a treat.

The seller of this is one is Gary in Springville, Utah who has been offering up lots of good stuff lately but to be honest, this one really jumps out for me.  Perhaps its the tasteful red and black paint scheme that a lot of the Kawasaki's of this period had, perhaps its the very pristine condition or maybe its just me getting old but I have to admit this one really brings back the memories of youthful hooliganism and makes me want to add this one to my collection.

As the pictures show, mileage is about 9100 miles but condition is pristine with very few marks anywhere.  Even the key/top yoke area looks pristine/scratch free..incredible.  As for equipment everything appears to be stock/OEM with the exception of  the front windscreen and the seller indicates fresh fluids and a new battery are included.  However no info is offered as to the age of the tires so there might be some cost there.  The only other point of attention I am seeing might be the front brake hoses which isn't a surprise given the bikes age and the fact that early 1990's Kawasaki's had a reputation for somewhat poor braking anyway.  Come to think of it, an upgrade to the braking system might be a good idea regardless of condition.

Here is what the seller has to say and some more pics.

For your consideration is a mint state 1990 Kawasaki Ninja 750 with only 9082 miles. The bike sold new in Hayward California on June 15, 1991 to a young lady who will remain nameless. This Ninja was taken care of and nursed all the days of its life. It is in perfect condition and looks like new. Looks like it has 900 miles on it, not 9,000.  Runs like the day it was new, has new battery and fresh fluids. Comes with Utah title, Kawasaki vehicle report, Kawasaki history report, owners manual and tool kit along with two keys.

A quick search through the RSBFS archives shows that while we do get see the mid 1980's 750 turbo and mid 1900's  ZX7/ZX7R fairly regularly, this model appears much less frequently.  While that's great from an exclusivity perspective, it makes it hard to figure out a price for this one.

Current price is $2,550 USD with the reserve not met and I would not be surprised if it goes up to nearly double that by the time the auction is finished.  I think this one is a great add for a someone wishing to relive a bit of their youth, a Kawasaki lineup collector or maybe even as a present from a spouse to someone approaching the big 4-0... maybe just leave the browser open where your spouse can see it... 🙂

Marty/Dallaslavowner

Featured listing:  1990 Kawasaki ZX750F Ninja
Events May 10, 2017 posted by Marty

Brrrrr…Britten! Quail Motorcycle gathering 2017 (UPDATED)

UPDATE:  The linked FLICKR album now contains pictures of the 2017 winners.

Quail Motorcycle Gathering - May 6 2017

Here at RSBFS we have certain criteria for what makes a great RSBFS candidate.  But what are the criteria that makes for a great motorcycle event?  How about a concourse-level gathering where you can see some unobtanium up close, such as Britten V1000 or Mondial dustbin racer? Or maybe its a meet with a wide variety of brands and types in different conditions?  What about crowd size - some events can be truly massive and you meet people from all over the world, others are quite small and focused on a particular type of bike.  How about having someone famous attend and speak to the crowd or having good food and/or music, do these impact what makes a great motorcycle event?

Personally I think its a combination of all of these criteria and I am pleased to let our faithful RSBFS readers know that the Quail Motorcycle gathering last weekend met all the above.

The event is held in Carmel California which is about 2 hours south of San Francisco. (Note- for anyone attending next year, bring a good coat, it can be surprisingly cold in California in May). Tickets were $85 online and $95 on site which is pricey but included a really nice lunch and the cost does cut down keep the crowd size down so you can actually interact with the bikes on display. The Quail event has been going on for about 9 years and this year was celebration of Norton. Sadly there was no new Norton V4 but there were lots of other great bikes, good food and Kenny Roberts Sr was onsite for a meet/greet.

For 2017 there were over 250 entries, ranging from unobtainum like the aforementioned Britten to beautiful restorations such as the Brough Superior pictured above.  There were also regular bikes like a nice Honda 600 F2 and numerous Ducati's.  Sadly there were only two of my beloved Laverda's but I guess that means if I enter one of mine next year I won't have to worry too much about the competition.

Award categories included the following:

  • Best of Show - presented to the most significant motorcycle on the field in terms of presentation and historical significance.  Last year this went to a 1925 BMW R37.
  • Spirit Award - presented to the motorcycle that best represents the true spirt of motorcycling.  Last year this went to a 1964 MV Agusta.
  • Industry Award - presented to a factory produced "groundbreaking" motorcycle.  Last year this went toa 2009 Ducati Monster "Leggero".
  • Design and Style Award - presented to the motorcycle based on its industry leading design, concept and style.  Last year this went to a 1960 Velocette.
  • Innovation Award - presented to the most innovative motorcycle on the field in terms of technology.  Last year this went to 1973 Vincati 1200cc (a Vincent engine in a Ducati frame!  More info here)
  • Significance in Racing - presented to the motorcycle that best exemplified the essence of racing.  Last year tis went to a 1957 Harley Davidson KR.
  • Historical Vehicle Associate (HVA) Preservation Award - presented to a historically significant motorcycle.  Has to be scrupulously preserved and be an examply of our cultural past/national heritage.  Last year this went to 1910 Pierce Four

Other award classes included American, British, Italian, Japanese, Other European, Antique, Competiton On-Road, Competition Off Road and Custom/Modified

Here are a few more pics

  • BSA, beautiful restoration

Couple of nice Honda's, including a custom and a garage queen RC30 (tags say registration of 2008)

Nice Ducs

There was really something at the show for everyone.  Oh and did I mention the parking lot?   Walking up to the main entry of the event I saw numerous Ducati 851's and specials (including the one signed by Danny Pedrosa pictured above), Honda Turbo's, a Moto Guzzi Norge, a Ducati Superlight...I could go on and on.  Suffice to say I will definitely be going back again and think this event should be on every motorcycle collectors bucket list.  Main link to the event is here, feel free to ask any questions in the comments and I will try to answer.

Marty/Dallaslavowner

Brrrrr…Britten! Quail Motorcycle gathering 2017 (UPDATED)
Yamaha April 17, 2017 posted by Marty

Collector Alert: 1989 Yamaha FZR750RR/OW-01 with 741 miles

1989 Yamaha FZR-750RR/OW-01 for sale on ebay

Most collectors of homologation bikes place the Yamaha FZR750RR/OW-01 near the top of their lists, along with the Honda RC30 and Kawasaki ZX7RR and...whats that you say, you don't understand all the fuss about homologation bikes?   Well I don't see any big blue police boxes or dogs named Peabody around so I guess I will just have to do my best to go explain the historical significance of these machines.

In the late 1980's race series organizers and major manufacturers agreed that it was in both of their interests if race bikes were more closely based on bikes that people could actually buy.  The thinking was this would keep fan interest, cut down on development costs and weed out money losing engineer flights of fancy (i'm looking at you, Norton rotary).  The adage of the day was "a win on Sunday equals sales on Monday".  But the major manufacturers engineer departments were still charged with winning and made the legitimate point that race bikes had very different performance needs from standard street machines.  In the end a compromise was reached; racebikes would still have to be based on a bike available for sale to the general public but the base bike could be a limited edition series that was equipped with the same components as the bikes that would be used on the racetrack, including racetrack level frames, engines and suspensions.  The limited edition bikes had to be able to be able to pass emissions and run legally on the street but could otherwise essentially be race bikes with lights and a license plate.  This agreement became known as the homologation rule and bikes from the era are referred to as homolgation bikes.


Okay, so they had some track-oriented tech, but you still don't see what's the big deal?  Consider this - a factory racetrack-level motorcycle has components that are hellishly expensive to develop and produce, the prices for one of these limited edition/homolgation bike was usually significantly higher than a standard street version.  The OW-01 had a list price of about $16,000 USD, which back in 1989 was equal to about a year of private college tuition.  And even with their high prices the street legal homologation machines were often unprofitable for the manufacturers so to cut down on losses the production run was typically a very small number of bikes.  For the FZR750RR/OW-01, production was 500 units over two years. But while Yamaha's 750cc powered machine was pricey and parts would always be a challenge, anyone who bought one did actually get something quite special: titanium rods, twin-ring pistons, an aluminum tank with a track ready fuel filler were all wrapped up in a beautiful hand welded frame. This was then combined with Ohlins suspension, magnesium brake calipers and quick detach sub-frame and axle release clamps.

And best of all, these track-oriented goodies weren't just for show. While not quite as successful as its main rival the Honda RC30, the FZR-750RR was used as the basis of multiple World Superbike wins, a British Sport Bike (BSB) title, set an Isle of Man TT lap record and was ridden to victory in the 1993 Daytona 200.

So in summary, homologation bikes were an opportunity for mere mortals to experience what a true race bike was like. They were also quite rare from a price and production number perspective and many were bought by privateer racers and then actually used on the track. This means that finding one today in pristine condition is quite a challenge and given that the primary rare sport bike criteria are condition, number produced, historical significance and technology, its only natural that the OW-01 always causes a fuss/is a big deal to collectors.

As for this FZR750RR/OW-01, a  quick look at the pictures in this auction show that the seller is a big fan on the late 1980's/early 1990's homolgation bikes.   The seller indicates a recent freshening of items which together with the low mileage means this one is a good option for someone building a collection.

Here is an overview of what the seller has to say

  • New battery,new fork seals and fork oil, new spark plugs
  • Fresh fluids including engine oil, new coolant flush, new brake fluid, and original air filter was serviced.
  • Carburetor jets and needles are original and still comes with the factory jetting set from the factory.  Runs a little rich at my elevation (Utah) but will need nothing if your going to run it at sea level. If your in a high elevation state it will need jets and fine tuning.
  • Still has the original factory tires, however there are age cracks in the sidewalls.
  • Still has its original chain & sprockets with factory safety wire, original brake pads and all original fairings and factory components.
  • Air breather hose was replaced since the original was hard and cracked.
  • Slight ripple in the muffler that does not show up in photos, you would never know it if I didn't mention it to you but its there.  Muffler was chromed and re-finished to repair the tiny ding in it that you cannot see now.
  • There is patina here and there as you would expect from a 28 year old motorcycle.  Also there was a scratch protection pad on the tank at one time, since been removed but has left a clear residue behind from adhesion.
  • The original fuel tank cap was replaced with a NOS OEM Yamaha fuel cap due to a rough edge from being dropped on the ground in the past we believe. Original fuel cap is included with sale.

?  

So, now for the price question- what is this bit of homologation era history going to cost?  While the listing has an excellent level of detail and some services have been done, the condition is not perfect (note the cracks in the dash foam) and there is a need for fresh tires.  Recent examples of FZR750RR/OW-01 on RSBFS  show a price range of between $16,000 -$25,000 USD so the sellers Buy-It-Now price of $27,500 seems to be a bit optimistic.

My person opinion is that the value of this one is right about $23,000 USD,  Current bid is at about $12,600 USD with about 5 days on the auction left.  Unless the seller has a significantly lower reserve than the Buy-It-Now price I don't think one will sell on the auction but any interested parties might want to follow the listing on Ebay and reach out to the seller after it ends.  Then again, Ebay can be a funny thing and part of being a smart collector is knowing when to pull the trigger so if this one is on your list, it might be time to move.

 

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Collector Alert:  1989 Yamaha FZR750RR/OW-01 with 741 miles
Benelli March 27, 2017 posted by Marty

Unobtanium Alert: 1982 Benelli Sei 900 with 52 miles

1982 Benelli 900 Sei with 52 miles on ebay

Back in the late 70's and early 1980's most motorcycle manufacturers were focused on one aspect of bike development: power or as the t-shirts used to be emblazoned, "no-replacement-for-moving-fast-down-the-pavement!'   This orientation towards higher and higher top speeds resulted in motorcycle manufacturers trying lots of different configurations, including turbochargers and 6-cylinder engines.  While the large manufacturers could afford to pursue both routes (example:  the Honda turbo CX and 6-cylinder CBX in the same lineup) , smaller manufacturers typically picked one or the other method.  But even with their larger lineups the large companies didn't always end up with the most desirable bike; consider the 6-cylinder Sei range from small Italian manufacturer Benelli.

Benelli was actually the first company to introduce a six-cylinder universal motorcycle way way back in 1972 with the 750 Sei (six in italian).  Somewhat ironically the 750cc Sei was actually conceived as a response to the Honda 500 Four series, except per ownership it had to "go big".  And go big it did, with six 125cc in-line cylinders fed by 3 separate 24mm carburetors. And while other companies 6-cylinder efforts where forced to look somewhat consistent with the rest of the bikes in the company's lineup, the Benelli operated under no such pretense.  The Sei was outfitted like a typical Italian machine of the period with gobs of chrome and dramatic Italian red paint.  Oh and it had one of the best exhaust systems ever produced, consisting of six separate trumpet/cone pipes stacked 3 to a side that made a truly epic sound (check it out here.).   Sadly this unit has the 3-into-1 units on each side which were offered by the company at the time but the triple pipes for each side are apparently available fairly easily.

When the Sei 750 was unveiled in 1972, the press was wowed, calling it "outrageous" and a "flashbike" but the pressure from the cheaper Japanese was unrelenting so in 1979 Benelli upped the displacement to 900cc.   A unique duplex drive chain was added, wire wheels were replaced with gold-colored Campagnolo rims and a rear disc brake replaced the former drum unit.   But even with these changes, the bigger Benelli was still hampered by a limited distribution network and the continuing Japanese onslaught.   By the end of production in 1989, fewer than 2,000 examples of the 900 Sei had been built.  It has been estimated that less than 80 of them made it to the U.S. market. (Motorcycle Classics, May/June 2015) so finding one here in the states in this condition and mileage is not something that will happen often.

As for condition, well the mileage kind of speaks to that.  The seller does include some decent pictures, although some more basic profile shots would have been nice.

Here is a summary of what the seller writes in the ebay listing.

  • all-original Benelli 900 Sei, never registered, only 80 kilometers total.
  • perfect chrome, polished alloy and rich Italian Racing Red paintwork, all the original/unique badges are in place and in as-new condition
  • original Pirelli tires, Campagnolo wheels, dual-link roller chain drive and Brembo brakes all in A1 condition
  • disc brakes are fitted to both of the gold finished Campagnolo rims
  • comes with complete Italian documentation

Now we come to the big (no pun intended) question - what is this six cylinder 1970's survivor going to cost you?  Short answer - it's not going to be cheap.  Previous listings on RSBFS for similar Benelli Sei bikes (mostly the 750 series) seem to range between $11,000 USD and $18,000 USD and I would expect this one to be somewhere near the top of that range.   NOTE:  Current bidding is already over $10,000 USD.

Given the limited production run and condition, the value of this one will probably continue to creep up especially if the mileage is kept down.  This pristine 1980's Italian big six will probably appeal mostly to someone seeking an investment/collector bike but I have to admit I would love to hear this one at a bike night, maybe with the triple pipes added and in an exhaust note competition against something like a Ducati Desmosdici...that would be truly amazing.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Unobtanium Alert:  1982 Benelli Sei 900 with 52 miles
Yamaha March 19, 2017 posted by Marty

Collector Alert: 1998 Yamaha R1 with 4395 miles

1998 Yamaha R1 on ebay

Ahh the Yamaha YZF R1...not just the bike that moved the motorcycle world beyond the legendary Honda CBR900RR/ Fireblade but also the template for pretty much every superbike that followed.   When it was introduced the YZF-R1 changed the expecation of what a street superbike could by packaging a power to weight ratio that had only seen on pure track machines with a bike comfortable enough to use everyday.  It shouldn't be a surprise the R1 was named as "One-Of-The-10-Sportbikes-you-have-to-own!" by Practical Sportbikes in their Oct 2016 issue.   As motorcycling editor Phil West wrote

"In producing the  YZF R1 (Kunihiko) Miwa and his team not only revolutionized sportbike design, they created the template for every superbike to this day."

For anyone unfamiliar with the R1 development history, in 1996 most inside Yamaha believed the market for super-sportbikes was static or decreasing.  Faced with this lack of growth Yamaha decided the only path was to get a bigger share of the market "pie".  Authorization was given to start working on a new superbike with a mandate that it had to position Yamaha for both race and sales success.  This was a tall order given that the competition included the legendary Honda CBR900/Fireblade.

Lead by Kunihiko Miwa, a team of Yamaha engineers undertook the project guided by thee major concepts; make it have the highest power, make it have the lowest weight, and make ii have the most compact dimensions.  The result was a design that shortened the length of the engine by vertically stacking the gearbox (an unheard of feature for a streetbike) and then joined it with a new lightweight frame developed around the concept of ultra-light weight and rider control/ergonomics.  New handlebars/clipons, one piece brakes and even LCD gauges were all incorporated into the design.

Upon its launch in late 1997 the R1 delivered 150ps while weighing only 177kg  (that's 148gbp and 390 pounds in Imperial).  Not only did the R1 dramatically exceeded the performance of the competition, it and reset the bar that had been established by the Honda CBR900RR/Fireblade earlier in the decade, it also seemed like it came from a different planet compared to the Thunderace it was replacing.

This particular R1 is in the first year blue/silver color scheme which seems to have been more popular than the white/red style.  Condition looks to be absolutely pristine and the seller does a very good job with the photos showing the bikes condition.   While service history/details aren't much that is to be expected given the very low mileage.

Here is what the seller has to say:

  • No scratches, only a few pin size marks from road dust
  • Mileage under 5000
  • Original exhaust changed when new, inever used and comes with the bike
  • Original paint, seats, tires and rear bike stand
  • Original books, keys, Bill of sale, copy of MSO, original title, service records and shop manual.
  • Bike has had only 2 collector owners in its 19 year pampered life.   Always stored in Heated and Air Conditioned Collector Garage

So what is this benchmarking blue beauty worth?  The current asking price for this one is at $6995 USD which is kind of high in my opinion but not out of line with what we have seen previously on RSBFS.  While this one is not in the red and white bodywork more currently prized by collectors, it is in amazing shape.  I think a fair price for this one is about $6400, maybe a bit more if the seller throws in fresh rubber or shipping.

One final note - I think is important to recognize that just a few years ago a 1st year Yamaha R1 wasn't high on the list of future classics for most collectors.  Everyone seemed to think it was a great bike, probably the final great sport bike of the 1990's, and yes it dethroned the Honda CBR900RR/Fireblade, but a future classic?  While these same collectors were probably still searching for a Ducati 916SP or Kawasaki Zx7RR or perhaps even a first year CBR900RR/Fireblade, prices for first year R1's were  starting to move up and are now no longer cheap.  The value will probably continue to rise over time so this might be a rare chance to get one before prices get out of reach.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Collector Alert:  1998 Yamaha R1 with 4395 miles