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
Ducati September 21, 2014 posted by Marty

Attn Collectors! 1990 Ducati 851 Time capsule

ducati 1.1

The Ducati 851 is literally the bike that saved Ducati from the scrapheap. Prior to the 851 Ducati was in serious financial difficulty and was producing odd bikes like the Paso. In 1985, Ducati was purchased by Claudio Castiglioni’s Cagiva group and shortly thereafter began making world class performance bikes, including the 851 and then the 888. That plus racing success re-established the brand as a top manufacturer and opened the door for injections of capital by investment group TPG which set Ducati up for growth into the 21st century.  Most recently Ducati was sold to the Audi group for slightly over 1 Billion dollars, so to say the 851 was a significant bike in the success, growth and continuation of the Ducati brand is putting it mildly.

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1990 Ducati 851 for sale on eBay

This particular 851 is listed as having an astonishingly low 590 miles since new.  The seller states that the bike has been in two collections for its entire life and has been kept in a conditioned environment the entire time.  While this statement is usually taken with a grain of salt, from the numerous hi-res pictures on the auction, it does appear to be owned by a serious collector (check out some of the other bikes and cars in the pics!) so this time the statement may be true.

Here are the pluses (+) and minuses (-) according to the auction.

+ Still has the delivery stickers in place and they are on great condition.
+ Outside of the Pipes and the brake lines are 100% stock and original condition.
+ The bike has never been buffed, paint looks great and is in excellent original condition.

- The tires are original, hence they are 25 years old.
- The tank has a small 10mm surface scuff above the Ducati sticker.
- The front faring at the bottom leading edge behind the front tire has a very small crack.
- Both aluminum Termignoni cans have small scuffs and scratches.
- The triangular plate at the rear axle bolt is the only part that has picked up a little patina.

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Interestingly, the seller indicates this particular bike is the 851 Ducati was on displayed as part of the "History of the Superbike" at the 2012 Red Bull Indianapolis Moto GP

So essentially you are biding on a time capsule bike. While its not a zero miles bike its about as perfect an 851 you are likely to find.  This bike would appear to be fairly valued at 9000 USD, especially if you are a collector looking to add one of the most important Ducati models to your collection.


Attn Collectors!  1990 Ducati 851 Time capsule
Gilera September 13, 2014 posted by Marty

I want it: Stock Gilera CX 125 in NorthWest Italy


For a short time back in the 80's, bikes with fully enclosed bodywork were all the rage.  Bimota had the Tesi, Ducati had the Paso, BMW had the big K1, Honda had the CBR/Hurricane, etc.  At the same time numerous european countries passed laws restricting the displacement of motorcycles that new riders could own.  These "learner" models often had race-replica sport-bike styling to appeal to the 17 year old who had just gotten their license and wanted to look fast, even if their machine couldn’t have more than 15bhp by law. Also, most of these learner specials shared styling with their larger parent bikes so you could get a mini YZF-R, CBR, or even Ducati 916 (via the Cagiva Mito).

There was, however, one notable exception, one manufacturer that went all in and gambled on producing a totally unique 125 design. Gilera produced what was possibly the weirdest 125 sport bike of all time – the short lived and radically-styled Gilera CX125, which had some of the most futuristic design to ever grace a “beginner” bike.

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1991 Gilera CX

The CX concept was unveiled at the 1989 Milan EICMA show but was scarcely believable as a potential production machine. Here was a tiny sport machine with fully enveloping bodywork that looked like something straight out of a sci-fi cartoon, with a remarkable single sided suspension on both ends. But unlike a lot of concept bikes, the CX  hit the market in 1991 as an honest-to-God working motorcycle that featured the same space-age styling and bonkers suspension that the 1989 prototype had introduced.

Gilera CX125 Motorcycle Suspension Chassis

However, even though the CX had a unique look the design is actually conventional. In the press the CX was well received but there was a strained quality to the reviews that showed the reviewer’s apparent disappointment with how ordinary the CX was on the road, like they were desperately trying to find a way to make it sound as cool as it looked. It’s not that the CX was wasn't a good bike, but it felt far more conventional than the styling suggested.

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While the CX garnered attention due to its radical styling, it performed like its sister bike (the Crono model) but was slightly slower and cost more money. It probably didn’t help that popular opinion of the CX varied between “incredibly cool” and “tragically ugly”. Thus production of the CX125 was discontinued after less than a year with only 1000 examples being made. Parent company Piaggio discontinued Gilera’s motorcycle production in 1993 so the only Gilera you can get now is a small displacement scooter.

Here is the listing translated from via google translate.

  • KM 15163


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The bike is located in Northern Italy with about 15,000 KM . Asking price is a cool 4000 3800 euro,which is about 5000 USD.   Is it worth that? Well its a bit rough with no rear mudguard and the chain looks a bit slack. But the only other one I have ever seen is currently on display at the Barber museum in Alabama USA and only 1000 were made for a single model year. Therefore, the price may be about right.  All I know is if I could figure out a sure fire way to  get it into my living room I would be bidding.



I want it:  Stock Gilera CX 125 in NorthWest Italy
Ducati September 7, 2014 posted by Marty

Stone the Crows: 1988 Ducati 851 Tri-colore in AUS

Back in the late 80's one of the requirements for racing was that a factory team race bike had to be based on a street bike/bikes available for the public to purchase.  This policy was known as the "homologation rule". The 1988 Ducati 851 was offered as both a standard 851 Strada and a ready to go racing 851 Superbike Kit.  For the standard 851 Strada, Ducati also offered a tri-colore option but this option was also a limited production, with only 304 manufactured in 1988 only.

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1988 Ducati 851 Strada Ti-Colore

I think its important to understand what a significant bike the 851 strada was to Ducati.  At the time it was introduced it was the only motorcycle with an open-loop fully-mapped electronic fuel injection system.  Also the 851 was where Ducati added liquid cooling, four valve desmo heads and fuel injection to the venerable L-twin. The changes paved the way for the future commercial success for Ducati and the basic engine design would live on in the 888, 916 and 996.

Even for the street bike version the specs for the 851 Superbike Strada were top notch for the time and included the following

  • Marvic and Akront composite wheels
  • Street ratio gear box
  • Street cams
  • Unbraced swing arm
  • Closed clutch cover
  • Full dash with speedo
  • Road legal mufflers

NOTE:  Photo above is from Ducati website showing a stock bike.  I included it as a basis of comparison against the photos from the seller.

This particular 851 Strada tri-colore is located in NSW Australia.   The bike seems to be mostly stock (although the wheels might have been polished at some point) but there does some to be wear and tear on the bike with engine paint flaking off and some small bodywork cracks.

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So whats it worth?  Well, the seller indicates a new set of tyres/tires and battery as well as the all important receipt for full service including new timing belts , all fluids and filters changed , valve clearances checked etc .   Based on previous RSBFS classifieds and a Bonhams auction last year, price for this would probably be around 21-26k USD.  Personally I think its worth that and a bit more.


Stone the Crows:  1988 Ducati 851 Tri-colore in AUS
Kawasaki September 1, 2014 posted by Marty

1st Generation: 1986 Kawasaki Ninja 1000R

With recognition to the great Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, I guess I should confess that I feel like I am starting to feel a bit old.  Maybe this is because it seems like every few years or so a story is published titled something like "20 things young people dont know about" which covers everything from cassette tapes to when MTV actually played music.  I think if they did one of these articles for sportbike fans, they would remark on how young people don't how big sportbikes didnt start out like the narrowly focused, specialized, hyperspeed cycles we have today.  Perhaps the article would then explain how most of the 1st generation sportbikes were actually designed to offer a balanced approach between performance, comfort and even some touring capabilities, how seating positions were more upright and pillion pads were actually comfortable,  how fairing gaps were filled in with plastic to reduce air buffeting against the rider, etc, etc.


1986 Kawasaki Ninja 1000R

One of the first big sportbikes to offer this balanced approach was the 1986 Kawasaki Ninja 1000r, also known as the GPZ1000RX. The GPZ1000RX was launched in 1986 and was actually supposed to be a replacement for the original big Ninja, the GPZ900R. But the GPZ900R (which was made famous by Tom Cruise in Top Gun) was so popular that it was continued on after the introduction of the 1000R and eventually outlived it.  In fact, the 1000 was only produced for 3 years, which is probably why we have never had one posted before here on


This particular 1000R looks to be in very good but not perfect shape.   According to the seller it has a very low 5100 miles but there is some evidence of fairing scrape and upper fairing damage which make me think it may have gone down a bit at one time and was then parked.  This wouldn't be a surprise because one consequence of the balanced bike philosophy tended to be heavy weight.

The asking price for this one is about $500 above suggest KBB retail but the low mileage and generally good overall condition makes me think the price is about right.  While its not a hyperbike or piece of italian exotica, it is a very early generation big ninja that would probably be able to provide good service for a more experienced rider/someone looking for a more balanced experience.



1st Generation:  1986 Kawasaki Ninja 1000R
Suzuki August 31, 2014 posted by Marty

8>enough: 1988 Slingshot GSXR 750

Collectors seem to come with a variety of mindsets; some only like zero mileage bikes/"trailer queens", some build collections consisting of a variety of brands/bikes that introduced major technological changes, some focus on personal favorites such as a single brand or even a single model within a brand that they find attractive, etc, etc.   Interestingly, the 2nd generation GSXR 750 series seem to be especially popular with multiple types of collectors, probably because low mileage examples still come up for sale occasionally, they were introduced the "slingshot" engine concept to the general public and they still look great.  Also, even with a steady increase in prices, these bikes are still pretty cheap and parts availability isn't yet impossible.

1988 GSX-R 750 Slingshot

This is a 1988 GSX-R 750 Slinghost that appears to be extremely clean and complete (the seller indicates he has the rear seat) and is in the attractive Red/White color scheme which seems to age particularly well.   Furthermore, the seller claims that their personal collection includes 8 similar models across a narrow year range so the chances of the seller actually have a bike that looks like this seems pretty good/no "bait and switch" risk here.


gscr 3 gsxr4The starting price for this particular slingshot is currently at 6k which is actually quite reasonable.  A pristine version with under 1000 miles sold earlier this year for about 8k to a RSBFS reader.  While this one has done about 18000 miles, the condition looks to be excellent and would make a good addition to any collectors garage or for someone who wants to have the slingshot experience.




NOTE: The 2nd generation GSX-R 750 has been posted here on RSBFS previously and anyone interested in learning more about why these bikes were special can simply review the previous posts.

8>enough:  1988 Slingshot GSXR 750
Kawasaki August 24, 2014 posted by Marty

H2 project: 1990 KAWASAKI ZX7 H2

kawasaki 1

Not so long ago you could tell a motorcycle brand simply by the colors of the bodywork.  Laverdas were orange, Ducati's were red, Suzukis were blue and white, and Kawasaki were always green.  Most motorcycle manufacturers have moved away from this signature color scheme philosophy so today you will see red Hondas, orange Kawasakis etc.  When I saw this 1990 Kawasaki ZX7 with the classic green/white/blue bodywork it piqued my interest and after reading the auction I found out not only was this a Kawasaki 750cc Ninja with a Muzzy exhaust system, it was an H2 model.

1990 Kawasaki 750 H2

The 1990 Kawasaki 750 H2 is becoming a highly collectable bike.  The H2 inherited most of the Racekit engine mods found on the ZXR-7 racebike so although the H2 looks very similar to the H1 (both had the ram air snorkel tubes), both engine and frame underwent a lot of changes and parts are often not interchangeable with the H1.

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This particular bike looks to be in good condition but there seems to be some evidence of roadrash on the lower fairings and frame.  According to the seller the bike was recently taken out of  5 years of storage so it will need to be tuned  and a full service before it is road ready.

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The good news is the seller says the exhaust is a full "muzzy" system with a stage 2 jet kit with k&n filter.  The seller also includes a good amount of high res pics and seems to be honest about the condition of the bike.

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The bad news is the seller indicates the front fairings were poorly repainted at some point in the past , the lower fairings have some scrapes, and the seat tail has a couple hair line cracks in it, also a seat rip.  There is also some rust on a few bolts in the pics and the mileage is at 26k so its been ridden a fair amount.  Then again, this bike is almost 25 years old so expecting it to be pristine are pretty low.

kawasaki 2

Also, KBB lists the retail value for one of these in good condition as about $2500 and the current bidding is close to that with the reserve not yet met so the seller may have unrealistic expectations on what its worth.

Basically it seems like an H2 in need of a light restoration but given the rarity of these bikes, this might be a value pickup for someone who enjoys wrenching and light restoring.




H2 project: 1990 KAWASAKI ZX7 H2