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
Kawasaki July 23, 2014 posted by Marty

Gobsmackingly Green: 1979 Kawasaki KH400 with Dyson superbody

NOTE:  This bike probably belongs over on the RSBFS sister website, Classic Sportbikes for Sale.  Also, its an eBay classified ad, not an auction.  But its so amazing that I just I had to ask Dan to post it here -Marty

Imagine for a moment you are at a local bike night/meet up. Probably some classic and recent bikes are in attendance, perhaps there is even some Italian exotica.  And then this pulled up.  No doubt your reaction will be the same as mine; a sudden disconnect between your brain and your mouth causing you to stutter "W..W...W"  as you trying to form phrases such as "Whats THAT?!", "Wow!", "Whoa!", "Wicked!", and finally "Want IT!!!!"

kawasaki kh5

1979 Kawasaki KH400 with Dyson Superbody

IT is a 1979 Kawasaki KH400 equipped with a Dyson superbody kit.  I will admit I had to spend some time on the web to learn about this bike but from what I have been able to find out, the Kawasaki KH400 was a bonkers bike to start with; engines were air-cooled, three-cylinder, two-strokes.  Can you just imagine what that would sound like?

kawasaki kh3

And to top that off  there is the Dyson bodywork.   Back in the mid 70's Designers Ian and Tony Dyson began designing and selling racing-style-but-street-legal fairing/bodywork kits, which they preferred to call "Superbodies”.  The most common and famous of these was a kit built for the middle weight Kawasaki triples.

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Now before you begin checking your bank balance, take a few deep breaths and consider the following;  the bike is located in the UK, which for those of us here in the US would mean paperwork and fees.   Also, its difficult to find any sales history for bikes like this so a realistic price is tough to come up with but given its outstanding condition, rarity of the bodywork kit and low indicated miles/kilometers there is probably not going to be much negotiating room with the dealer who is selling it.

But can't you just image the fun it would be to be the one who rides up with this awesomely green three cylinder two stroke making the noises a real motorcycle makes and sees all the jaws drop?  I know I can.

-Martin/dallaslavowner

Gobsmackingly Green:  1979 Kawasaki KH400 with Dyson superbody
Buell July 19, 2014 posted by Marty

Serious Collectors Only: 1991 Buell RS1200 with only 111 miles

Join us in the comments for a discussion on what criteria should be considered for bikes to appear on RSBFS. Thanks for the post Marty! -dc

Let me say up front that I struggled a bit with submitting this bike, given the fact that its big, slow, is powered by a 1200cc air cooled engine more appropriate for a paint shaker than a sportbike and the comments on the last one of this brand posted weren't exactly positive.  But if this site is truly about rare sportbikes then it shouldn't really matter if they are first generation survivors like the GSX-750 LTD, unobtainum dreams like the Ducati Supermono, or weird techno efforts that missed the mark such as the Bimota V-Due or BMW K1.  The qualifications are whether it was trying to be a sportbike and whether its rare.

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1991 Buell RS1200 for sale on eBay

Here is the bike, a 1991 Buell RS1200 with only 111 miles.  The saga of Erik Buell and Harley Davidson is pretty well known but for anyone not familiar it can be summarized as the following: decide to build an American sportbike (in this case using a Harley Davidson engine), achieve some success, sell a large portion of the company to Harley, struggle in the Harley "image-comes-first" structure, get shut down during the financial crisis and finally restart all over again with a new company.

The RS1200 used a compact. lightweight and extremely clever chassis to hold the big HD V-twin from the Sportster range.  Also,the  forks had Buell’s devised anti-dive system which uses solenoid valves operated by the front brake lever to cut the forks’ air volume, effectively increasing the springs’ rising-rate just when it is most needed.  A full techno review of the bike can be read here.

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So does it belong here on RSBFS?  Well it was an expensive, small-volume sportbike that  didn’t sell in great numbers but lots of bikes on RSBFS are like that.   Perhaps most importantly, the RS was a truly professional attempt at building an American sports bike and it  was the machine that laid the foundations for Buell Motorcycles’ success in subsequent years.  It can even be considered to be part of the evolution of Buells excellent new 1190 EBR models.

This particular model has insanely low mileage which the seller seems to think will justify a price quite a bit above KBB values. Personally, I think this bike will only move to a collector who wants to build out a bit of his american sportbike collection...I can see it parked next the VR1000 and Roerh perhaps...

Note:  The seller is also selling a very nice 1975 HD RR259 Daytona Road Race Bike  and a 1974 Ducati GT 750 so perhaps a deal could be struck.

-Marty

Serious Collectors Only:  1991 Buell RS1200 with only 111 miles
Suzuki July 18, 2014 posted by Marty

Red Raider: Red & White 1990 Suzuki GSX-R-750 in Texas

One thing I have noticed about rare sport bikes is that you wont see a bike for sale for a long time and then suddenly multiple versions pop up either within months or at the same time.   One of my first posts to to RSBFS was when three Red Bull KTM RC8's came up for auction on ebay at the same time, which made me think a guy named Beelzebub was breaking out the ice skates.   Recently we had multiple posts of Harley VR-1000's and earlier this week there were multiple Ducati MH900e's available at the same time.

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1990 Suzuki GSX-R 750 for sale on eBay

We had an almost identical 1990 GSX-R 750 on RSBFS  earlier this year (click here to see that listing).  Just like that bike, this one is located in Texas and is in the rarer but to my eyes better looking red, black and white color scheme instead of the traditional gsx-r blue and white .  EDITORS NOTE:  I am located in Texas myself so I may be biased towards any bike that is in the colors of a local university team (go Red Raiders!)

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This particular example has higher mileage than the one from earlier in the year.  The seller is a dealer but includes over 50 pics which provide a pretty good way to assess the bikes true condition.

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From what I can see in the pictures attached to the auction, it has some very light scuff marks in the clear coat on the riders left side which makes me think it had a low speed slide at some point, probably onto some grass.  Also  the front forks are a little rough but look serviceable and it has a few small non-stock items including a D&D pipe and a tank cover.  Overall it looks very pristine to me but I am not an expert on these bikes so perhaps others can comment.

While KBB lists these bikes at a retail value of under 3k, I think that price is well below the current value being placed on these bikes.  Due to the mileage and condition this one will likely not go for the price of the one earlier this year but this could be a way for anyone who missed out on that auction to add this bike to their personal collection.

-Marty

Red Raider:  Red & White 1990 Suzuki GSX-R-750 in Texas
Ducati July 15, 2014 posted by Marty

1993 Ducati 888 SPO with 712 Miles available in British Columbia

Here is a blast from RSBFS founder Dan Crouch's past.   Last seen in July of 2008 on the Dan Crouch Blog (a predecessor of RSBFS) this is a 1993 Ducati 888 SPO with just 713 miles since new.  The last of the 851/888 line up before the introduction of the legendary 916 platform, the 888 remains iconic to Superbike fans everywhere.

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1993 Ducati 888 SPO for sale on eBay

Here in the States, (road legal) 888s were sold in '93 & '94 with the '93 US model known as the 888SPO. Like a 996, 888s were built with racing in mind  and so a prospective buyer would need to look for obvious stuff like head and base gasket leaks.  Also, like  any other Ducati, a prospective bike would have to have updated & fresh belts tossed in and of course, the same goes for valve adjustments, etc.

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This particular bike has some non-standard graphics but the bike looks exceptionally clean and the seller includes over 100 photos which can be accessed here.

Marty

1993 Ducati 888 SPO with 712 Miles available in British Columbia
Moto Guzzi July 14, 2014 posted by Marty

Doc’s Daytona: 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona, euro spec

In the face of increased competition its not really surprising that some motorcycle manufacturers are forced to focus on their strongest products and let their racing efforts "fall to the wayside".  Harley Davidson is probably the most well known brand to do this but on the Italian side, there is Moto Guzzi.  Moto Guzzi is actually the oldest European manufacturer in continuous motorcycle production and claims it has over 1000 racing victories including 14 world speed titles, 22 world records and 11 Tourist Trophies.  While most of the Moto Guzzi victories came well over 40 years ago, in the mid 1980's an American named Dr John Wittner decided to try something different and go racing using Moto Guzzis'.

Wittner may have been a dentist by trade but was an engineer at heart, and in the 80's he began modifying and racing a series of Moto Guzzi's in the American national endurance championship.  After his bikes won both the 1984 and 1985 U.S. Endurance Championship, Wittner was made an offer he couldn’t refuse - to help Moto Guzzi develop a new world-beating superbike.  Wittner went to Italy to work for Moto Guzzi and many of the ideas from his race bikes were incorporated into the next generation of Moto Guzzis, including the "Daytona".  (The Daytona was revealed at the 1989 Milan show but in typical Italian fashion it took until late 1991 to go into production).

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1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona for sale on eBay

While the Guzzi Daytona may look like someones attempt to merge a Ducati with a Boss Hoss, it was a significant technological change for the company.  A detailed explanation of all the technical changes in the bike can be read here. Simply put the Daytona was the most powerful road-going Guzzi to that date, returning a top speed of 145mph and recently ranked by Guzzi fans as one of the top 3 most desired Guzzi models of the last 50 years.

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This particular Daytona looks exceptionally clean and well maintained and the seller has also done some euro-spec updates, including:

  • Stage B Termignoni headers
  • ECU chip and cans
  • A European fairing with built in crescent headlamp
  • White Veglia clocks/instruments
  • White wheels

guzzi daytona 3

The seller indicates some other items included in the sale:

"will include the original shop manual, an oil filter, fuel filter, custom stand built for this bike by Freeman Cycles at time of delivery, and a key fob that says of all things “Moto Guzzi” without any happy faces or bottle openers. And an oil pan gasket I think.  There’s also a can of moly specifically to be added to the differential when servicing it. That crap is messy."

These bikes are known for retaining their value so if this one is on your bucket list, this might be the one for you.

Marty

Doc’s Daytona: 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona, euro spec
Yamaha July 12, 2014 posted by Marty

1985 RZ 350 Kenny Roberts in California

I will admit that my first real exposure to SportBikes started in the late 1980's with fast Freddy Spencer so I didn't really get to appreciate what people like Kenny Robers did for motorcycling.   King Kenny, applying a dirt track racing style to 500cc racing circuit, became the First American World Champion, and to commemorate his success, Yamaha produced a Kenny Roberts edition RZ350 in 1984 with his signature on it.

These bike are always popular on RSBFS, not only due to their commemoration of King Kenny but also because they were one of the last street legal two stroke bikes brought into the USA. It is also important to recognize that the RZ350 had had some advanced technology for the times: the RZ350 was the first Yamaha street bike sold with a perimeter frame, was the first bike with a catalytic converter for California emissions, and introduced Yamaha's variable exhaust power valve which helped balance torque and power.

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1985 Kenny Roberts RZ350 for sale on eBay

Based on the gold rims and the California location, this particular model appears to be a RZ350NC2, which was a California only bike.   Price seems to be quite a bit above recent sale prices but the seller lists a lot of recent work including the following

  • Stripped and professionally rebuilt by RZ's Unlimited in Glendale California.
  • Body work was prepped painted and had the RZ' unlimited graphics kit applied and a deep mirror like clear coat applied over it.
  • Engine was completely gone thru with only OEM parts installed, all internals were balanced and the crank was welded and trued.
  • Front fork has the upgraded internals to prevent brake dive and bottoming.
  • Brakes have the stainless braided Galfer lines  installed.
  • New pipes installed
  • A Fox rear shock with remote reservoir.
  • All the body grommets were replaced
  • A high output headlamp was installed
  • New hoses, all the fluids done
  • New clutch and basket.

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The seller has even indicated that he will install a new set of Avon Venom tires on it before delivery.

Price for the Kenny Robers RZ350 seems to be less than the opening price for this but as the seller says "if you want a perfect running unmolested RZ this is your bike you won't be sorry."

MG

1985 RZ 350 Kenny Roberts in California