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 25, 2014 posted by Marty

2.5 Supermono’s: Two Ducati Supermono’s and an Extra Engine

3supermonosThe Ducati Supermono is usually pure unobtainium, with only 65 units built between 1993 and 1995.  They seem to be mostly garage queens that get swapped between collectors and have appeared on RSBFS less than 10 times since the inception of the site.

As Tad D wrote back in June of this year,

"The Supermono may only have one cylinder, but it is one of the most valuable and collectible Ducatis of the modern era. And while the Supermono may lack in displacement somewhat when compared to what we’re used to seeing these days, it’s a heart-attack serious machine. With a dry weight of only 267 pounds and suspended with the best kit money could buy, including brakes from the 888, a much heavier machine. And those funny, army-green top triple clamp and the engine cases? They're magnesium of course. And at the heart of it all, a 549cc single that started out making 65bhp at 10,500rpm."

Supermonos usually trade around 100-150k and are more commonly seen at auction sites like Bonhams than on ebay or craigslist.  So the odds of two being for sale at the same time on the same website (Ebay) are pretty high.  Now add to that the odds of  a supermono engine also being up for sale at the same time on the same website and I think we should be looking for a Zamboni driven by a guy named Beezelbub to make an appearance sometime soon.  In any case, here they are in all their glory for us to enjoy and who knows, maybe be bought by a RSBFS reader!

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SUPERMONO #14 - Location, Italy


The first supermono is listed as a 1995 model with the 570 engine and is a very recent relist here on RSBFS.  It is located in Italy and the seller indicates it is number 14 and has never been started.  Interestingly, there do appear to be some small cracks around the bodywork.  It last sold for 145k USD but apparently the seller fell through.

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SUPERMONO#22 - Location, Dallas TX, USA



The second supermono is listed as a 1993 model but has a higher serial number (22) than the one in Italy which is a bit odd.  It is located in Dallas Texas and the seller indicates it has gone through a recent rebuild and includes numerous extra parts.     Price will probably be slightly less than the 145,000 for the one in Italy given that its had a rebuild but it I expect it still be north of 110k.

NOTE:  I am currently working up in DFW and will be going to see this bike this weekend.  This will be the 2nd Supermono I have had the opportunity to see in person, the other being out at FayMeyers in Colorado.   Gotta get my drool backet back out of storage I guess - Marty/Dallaslavowner

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supermon3 supermon31

Interesting, the same seller in Dallas TX USA of number 22 is also offering a supermono engine, most likely the original from the supermono being sold.  Seller indicates rebuild is complete but asking price is 55k (yikes!).  Then again if you are spending 100k+ on a motorcycle anyways, money probably isn't a big factor in your life and it might be good to have some stock parts tucked away.


2.5 Supermono’s:  Two Ducati Supermono’s and an Extra Engine
Honda September 22, 2014 posted by Marty

Instant collection: Honda-NS125R-NS250R-NS400R

honda collection 1

Like a lot of riders here in the states, my introduction to sportbikes began with bikes above 500cc.  But thanks in no small part to RSBFS I am getting more into the 400cc, 250cc and even 125cc range and have even convinced my girl to allow me to add a two stroker to my little collection when I find one I really like.

This particular auction is for a collection of smaller displacement Hondas from the late 80's, including several in the desirable Rothmans livery.

3 Bike Collection for sale on eBay: Honda 125R, 250R, 400R

honda collection 4

The 1st bike is a truly rare 1987 Honda NS125r.  While the color scheme may look custom, I emailed the seller and they stated that the Adriatico bodywork was offered on the 125R in Japan and Italy.  The Adriatico NSR125 also comes equipped with twin front discs instead of the standard single disc for the NS125 and the bike looks to be in excellent condition.  The seller does indicate it has non-stock painted wheels but is otherwise pristine and even has the factory warning stickers still on the bike.

honda collection 2

The 2nd bike is a 1986 NS250r with almost 12,000 kilometers on it (about 7300 miles) and comes with the rare Rothmans bodywork which the seller indicates is recently redone.    I have been researching these bikes for possible additional to my personal collection and from what I have learned its basically a track bike that can be ridden on the street but it still behaves like a track bike and doesn't really start going until you get to around 8000 rpm.  But hey, the bike looks great and would make that ideal two stroke sound.

honda collection 3

The 3rd bike is a 1986 NS400R with about 22000 miles.  These bikes are a little more common and rider friendly, as can be proven by it having the highest mileage of the three offered bikes.  The seller indicates they purchased this bike from Great Britain so a question regarding US Title would need to be addressed.  This one has the Rothmans bodywork too but the seller indicates he has several of theNS400r bikes if someone would prefer to have a different model other than the Rothman shown.
So whats this collection worth?  Well the condition looks excellent and the seller states that none of these bikes have been raced or have any safety wire.  The last Rothmans NS400R on RSBFS went for around 10k by itself so I think this collection is worth right around 17-22k.   It would certainly be a good opportunity for any honda collector to expand or complete their collection.


Instant collection:  Honda-NS125R-NS250R-NS400R
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.

ducati 8

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.

ducati 3

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.

gilera 4

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.

gilera 5

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


gilera 3

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.

strada 1

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.

strada 2 strade 3

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