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
Suzuki September 27, 2016 posted by Marty

Unobtanium Alert: 1986 Suzuki GSX-750R LE with only 6 Kilometers in Australia

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1986 Suzuki GSX-750R LE with 6k on ebay australia

Yes, you read that right: 6 kilometers, essentially 4 miles,...since new,...30 years ago!  And its the LE version, which means its a homologation bike. For anyone who doesn't know what that means, here is a bit of history:

Back in the mid 1980's the heads of professional motorcycling decreed that race bikes had to be based on something the public could actually buy.  The idea was that this would keep racefans interested and help drive both interest in the race series and sales for the manufacturers.   But this presented a dilemma for the manufacturers - their bikes would have to be able to be setup to be competitive on the track but also not end up killing any noobs who bought one and rode it on the street.  Many manufacturers quickly realized the best way to resolve the dilemma was not to try to make a "one-size-fits-all-bike" but instead offer two bikes; a standard bike that looked like the racer and had about 70% of the performance, and a"limited edition" bike that was pretty much an actual race bike except it came with lights and license plates.  While the limited editions would be sold through the same dealers, prices would be very high and production would be extremely limited.  The resulting series of homologation bikes included the Suzuki GSX-750R LE, Honda RC30, Yamaha OW01, and Kawasaki ZX7RR.  Even Harley Davidson got into the act, producing 50 street versions of their VR1000 racebike. While some of the homologation bikes were considered sales failures at the time of their introduction, the have all pretty much become highly desired items for most collectors and true sportbike fans.

Even though the GSX-750R had only been introduced the previous year and was already nearly 50 kilos lighter than the competition, in 1986 Suzuki produced 500 'limited edition' models.  The GSX-750R LE offered true race-bike technology, including different brakes, new/anti-dive forks, an upgraded shock, dry clutch, factory fiberglass solo seat, lightweight aluminum gas tank, and a revised swingarm.

Here is a link to a retrospective on the LE.

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Given the mileage, there isn't much to talk about regarding condition/service history.   Instead here are a few of the pics from the eBay listing but don't blame me if you end up suddenly realizing you are drooling!

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So what is it going to take to add this to your collection?  Short answer - a lot.   These were pricey to start with, cost about 50% more than the standard GSX-750 of the same year.  Also there just weren't that many produced and many that were ended up being raced and crashed.  From what I have been able to find, a handful went to Europe, Canada and Japan, so the location of this one in Australia means you probably won't find another one in this condition in the area anytime in the near future...if ever.

The few previous ones of these that we have had on RSBFS seem to have gone for $16,000-$19,000 USD and those had either higher mileage or weren't completely stock.   I would not be surprised to see this one require a price of over $25,000 USD to go to a new owner.  While that is a lot of  money, this is one that I feel confident saying that will continue to appreciate if its kept in the same condition it is now.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Unobtanium Alert:  1986 Suzuki GSX-750R LE with only 6 Kilometers in Australia
Honda September 22, 2016 posted by Marty

Admit it, you want one: Honda Motocompo units (3) for sale on ebay.

motocompocombine3Let me begin this post by saying I expect some fans of this site may dispute whether a Honda Motocompo should ever appear on this site.  Some will probably even suggest I have  managed to place my head in the vicinity of my prostate.   But the typical qualifications for a RSBFS post are usually some combination of the following factors; technology, condition, numbers/years produced, location and/or historical significance and the Motocompo certainly meets as many of these conditions as a lot of other bikes we post here on RSBFS (ex: 3rd gen GSXR750, Kawasaki ZX6).  Obviously it isn't going to be fast, but damn it looks like a hell of a lot of fun.

Sold for only 3 years , the Honda Motocompo came with a "peppy" 50cc Honda motor but the real appeal of the bike was its folding design with the handlebars, pegs and seats folding into the body, leaving a unit able to fit into the trunks of small Honda/"city" automobiles.  I guess the idea was for places where traffic was incredibly bad (like Tokyo) you park your car at a train station or carpark and then ride this the rest of the way to office.

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Sales were actually pretty good with an estimated 53,000 being sold by the end of production in 1985.  However the Motocompo was never offically imported into the US so having 3 for sale at the same time on ebay us in the US is pretty unusal.

Note:  For a lot of people, the bike is best remembered for its marketing campaign that included advertisements featuring the 1980's band Madness, perhaps best remembered here in the states for the song "Our House".

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Here is the first one, located in Oklahoma of all places.

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Here is the second one, located near Los Angeles

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And here is the third one, located in southern california too.  This one has a link to lots of pictures embedded in the ebay post and there is even a video of the third bike running (embedded below).

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Okay, so now the question - what  is a bike that seems to exist to remind people of Scooter from the 1980's GoBots cartoon actually worth?   Well this is the first time we have put a Motocompo up on RSBFS and were never sold in the US so historical prices are a bit of a guess.  The only other info I found was an ebay listing from back in April of this year with what looks to be a successful bidding price of about $2,000 USD.   Note - it may be that one of these bikes is that bike again, being flipped by the previous buyer

The current bidding/Buy-It-Now prices for these three are all over the place, with the first and second both being offered with prices over $4500 but having Make Offer options.  The third is being sold as an auction with a price as of writing this post of around $1,500 USD...

Personally I think this bike looks like it would be a total hoot to have around the garage/workshop.  Yes I know the chances of it appreciating in value are about as high as Jen Aniston and Brad Pitt getting remarried but collectors are a funny bunch sometimes and you never really know what might pop in value down the road.   Also something like this might be a fun way to introduce a youngster to riding...or maybe cruise around campus...heck, it might even make a good joke to pull on a teenager who has been nagging their parents about owning a bike (Parents: "We bought you a bike!"  Child: "Wow, you guys are the coolest!"  Parents: "Here it is!"  Child: <crickets>).

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Admit it, you want one:  Honda Motocompo units (3) for sale on ebay.
Ducati September 14, 2016 posted by Marty

Red Head, Tamburini Style: 1995 Ducati 916 with 3300 (ish) miles

We seem to be on a bit of a Ducati theme here at RSBFS of late but before we move off, here is one more...a lovely Ducati 916.  For those of a certain age, it was proably the first bike that ever caused feelings of motorcycle-based lust without any knowledge of performance or racing heritage. Today's example is the standard/strada version with a mere 3310 miles as of this post and best of all, fresh maintenance.

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When the Massimo Tamburini designed 916 arrived in America in 1995 it was a sensation, with quite a few young fans drawn by the lithe proportions that made other bikes of the era look bloated (I'm looking at you, Honda CBR1000).  Best of all the 916 sinuous form was matched by function; it really did handle and go well.  It was smaller and more powerful than the preceding 888 model, and while power was less than some of the Japanese competition of the day, at 114 bhp it was no slouch (NOTE: And anyone who wanted a bit more power, there was the SP model which looked the same but a more powerful engine).

Downsides?  Well the riding position was kind of brutal, and required belt maintenance was very pricey...but the design was so iconic it continued on in the 996 and 998 and still appears in lists of important designs in motorcycle history by authorities like the Guggenheim Museum.

As Motorcyclist magazine wrote in their recap of the 1990's - "1994: Ducati 916 debuts. Did anything else happen that year?"

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1995 Ducati 916 with 3300 miles on eBay

Condition of the this 916 strada looks to be very good and pretty much all OEM.  There is an odd crack in the upper fairing and some small paint chips and I am not sure if the exhaust is the Termignoni without stickers or something else but other than that it looks really really good.

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916-damange

Here is what the seller has to say:

The bike was gone through top-to-bottom by MCC in Villa Park on 7/5/2016 and had the following done (see picture of receipt for all the specifics):

  • Oil Change
  • Brake Fluid Change
  • Coolant Change
  • Michelin Pilot Power Tires (F&R)
  • Chain Replaced
  • Belts Replaced
  • Rear Brake Pump
  • Voltage Regulator Replaced
  • Upper & Lower Chain Sliding Shoes

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So is this low mileage, Massimo Tamburini penned red head worth the current asking price of $7,499 USD?   If it was one of the top shelf/unobtainum SP versions maybe but given that this is the strada version, I would say probably not.  Even though Massimo Tamburini passed away back in April of 2014 and some of his creations are already climbing in value, I don't think this 916 strada will appreciate much over time.

The last few of these on ebay seem to have gone for between around $5,700, + 500.  Given the condition of this one together with the low mileage and recent service and I would think a fair price would be between $6,000 and $6,400.  It might make a nice addition to anyone building a Tamburini inspired collection, perhaps parked between the Bimota SB2 and the MV Agusta 750 SP-01.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Red Head, Tamburini Style:  1995 Ducati 916 with 3300 (ish) miles
Ducati September 5, 2016 posted by Marty

Classic or Crock?: 1998 Ducati 900CR

The 900CR is a bit of a forgotten Ducati.  Offered as part of the late 1990's Ducati range, the 900CR and its sister 900SS weren't objects of lust like the Ducati 916/996/998 but also weren't the companies sales leader like the "standard" Monster series.  The 900 series was targeted towards non-hard core sport rider, a smaller market segment that wasnt as interested in having the latest tech or bolt ons. The result was that the 900 series bikes were never the most technologically advanced bikes in the Ducati lineup nor did they have the most aftermarket bits/offerings created for them.  Furthermore, most buyers at the time seemed to prefer the full fairing look of the 900SS so the CR is a bit of a rarity.

While the 900CR didn't enjoy huge sales success back in the 1990's, nowadays it is enjoying a bit of a resurgence in popularity.  This is probably due its exposed/cafe racer style aging better than the bulbus 900SS and the fact that CR's are a bit less common.

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1998 Ducati 900CR for sale on ebay

The genesis of the the CR is that back in 1989 Ducati engineering boss Massimo Bordi set up two separate production lines; one for the liquid-cooled, four-valve, fuel-injected 851 range and the other for air-cooled, 600/750/900cc two-valve carburetor twins. This was done because while the 851/888 range was the one that formed the basis of the companies racing efforts and future tech, the air-cooled twin powered bikes were actually what kept the coffers full/were the most popular selling Ducati's.

For 1998 the Ducati 900 SS/CR series came with a pair of 38mm Mikuni CV carbs, an aluminium swingarm to shorten the wheelbase, Showa shocks and forks and 320mm Brembo discs.  None of this technology was revolutionary at the time it was introduced nor was it discontinued after the bikes production run ended.  The benefit of this is that the 900SS/CR series are easier to live with than their liquid-cooled brethren.  Simply put, the 900 series are a way to have the Ducati experience without breaking the bank.

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This particular 900CR looks to be in good condition but isn't pristine.  There are some aftermarket parts (exhaust, seat, bar ends?) and the fluid reservoir caps look to be either replacements or have had the paint come off due to fluid leaks.  Mileage is approximately 18,000 and the maintenance info is very limited with the seller indicating only that "maintenance locally at an established Motorcycle Dealership here in Nashville, TN" so there might be some belt replacement costs for the desmo engine. The seller also indicates that the bike went down at 15mph which is perhaps why the pictures don't show the other side of the bike?

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So is this Ducati 900CR a future classic or a future crock? Sure the 900SS/CR series will never be as desirable as other Ducati's such as the Supermono, Desmosedici or even 916, but prices for the late 1990's 900 series bikes do seem to be creeping up in value. Bidding for this one is currently at $2500 USD with the reserve not met and previous listings of these on RSBFS have shown prices slightly under $5000 USD.

Perhaps if this one interests you an email and then phone discussion to the seller would be a logical next step.  Personally I think this one is a bit of a gamble; it might be a future "classic" or it might be a "crock"...perhaps some of our more experienced readers will share their opinions in the comments section.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Classic or Crock?:  1998 Ducati 900CR
Sport Bikes For Sale August 14, 2016 posted by Marty

The best one: 2001 Triumph Daytona 955i with 866 miles

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2001 Triumph 955i in silver on Ebay USA

When the Triumph motorcycle company was reborn back in 1991, the company's initial lineup included a big-bore Daytona model powered by an inline 4 cylinder engine. The 1st generation Daytona editions showed that the reborn company could produce a well built bike and have actually become quite collectible, with ebay prices for the 4-cylinder models rising quite a bit recently.  After a few years and in part due to heritage as well as cost, Triumph decided to stop producing the 4-cylinder powered Daytona model and focus primarily on triple/3-cylinder bikes.  A new Daytona series was designed as the signature big-bore bike for the Hinckley-based company, with power coming from a 955cc 3-cylinder/triple powerplant.

When it was launched in 1999, the new triple powered Daytona was a huge jump forward from the previous generation, incorporating the new engine, a single sided rear swingarm and a much more modern look and feel.  However sales were lower than expected, in large part due to the bike being positioned against lightweight 900-1000cc machines like the CBR900/Fireblade and Yamaha R1.   Also the 1st year bikes came with an odd naming convention of T595, which designated the 5th engine series designed by the company but made some people assume the bike was a 600cc machine.

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Sample pic of the T595 badged edition

Reviews of the new Daytona were mostly very positive and stated that while the bike couldn't match the performance of its Japanese rivals, it was still quite appealing and made an excellent all around sport machine.

"Judge the big Triumph by its lap times and it never matches the competition but it does have two things the competition does not;  the first is personality, which is often more important to most riders than cutting seconds off lap times, and the second is the fact that it works better than the competition for daily riding.  This is due to its being more comfortable, especially now in its second incarnation.  

It’s got top notch finish and fit too, which means its looks will hold up while rivals will likely start to look rough after just a few years use."

A gentle revamp was done in 2001 which included a re-badging to the 955i moniker as well as re-positioning the big Triumph against similar all around sport machines such as the Honda VFR and Yamaha FJ series.  The result was a strong improvement in sales but the 955i was never a huge success.  Yet the 955i is still very popular among sportbike fans who want something different/distinctive that is also usable on an everyday basis.

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I have to admit I lusted after these when they came out; I loved the way they looked with the organically rounded/flowing bodywork and the single sided rear swing arm.  Sadly the next generation moved away from this style to something with more sharp angles that while popular at the time, actually made the bike look less distinctive/more like every other bike on the market and hasn't aged as well.

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Sample pic of the following generation style...snore..

This particular 2001 Triumph Daytona is extremely clean but given its ultra low mileage of 866 miles thats not totally surprising.  The only non stock items I see are an aftermarket exhaust and a rear tail unit setup (which could probably be easily sourced on ebay if desired).  The seller appears to be a dealer and doesn't include any maintenance history but the fluids and rubber do look fresh.  Of course that could just be good photography... but yow I think this bike look great.

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merged 955i

So what is this lovely (and basically new) 955cc 3 cylinder bit of British engineering worth?  Well there are currently a few other Triumph Daytona 955i's for sale on ebay right now from the same generation and prices for those seem to be right around $2,800 USD.   This even includes another "Aluminum Silver" edition for sale, although the mileage for the other one is a lot higher and the ownership situation seems a bit odd.

So $2800 USD to take this one home, right?  Nope - the bidding on this one already exceeds the Buy-It-Now price of some of those other same-generation 955i models currently listed on ebay and reserve is still not met. Why?  Well the seller is apparently a dealer which always makes the price ask a bit more and the mileage/overall condition are obvious impacting the price.  But its also important to note that the Aluminum Silver style of this generation has become THE preferred model and color scheme for a lot of collectors.  Monochrome/single color bikes  seem to become quite desired over time (ex: the 1st gen all white Honda VFR), so it should not be surprising that this bike with its all silver bodywork and matching wheels is considered to be the one most likely to appreciate in value by investment-oriented collectors.  The last one of these we had on RSBFS sold incredibly quickly for $4,000 USD and that one had over 10,000 miles, so I would expect this one to go for something above that.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

The best one: 2001 Triumph Daytona 955i with 866 miles
Honda August 8, 2016 posted by Marty

They seem to come in waves:
Another 1994 Honda RC45, this one with under 900 miles

We just had a nice RC45 here on RSBFS last week and given the rarity of these it's a bit of a surprise that another one has popped up for sale so soon.  While the previous bike was a gray import bike offered by a dealer in Florida, this one looks to be a US bike currently owned by a collector.

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1994 Honda RVF750R/RC45 in Texas USA

As noted in the post from last week, the RVF750R (also known as the RC45) was introduced in 1994 as the successor to the epic RC30 and was a true homologation bike.  The RC45 came with a 749cc V4 engine containing titanium rods, ceramic-lined cylinder walls and gear driven cams, as well as a new fuel injection system and a race-ready single-sided rear swingarm.

The RC45 was a good bike on the track, being ridden to championships in 1997 and 1998.  But reviewers/riders found the bike a bit of a letdown on the street, mostly due to it being tuned to only produce around 110bhp for the U.S. version and the race gearbox having a very tall 1st gear. Consider the following review from motorcyclenews:

"Like the race version, Honda's road-going RC45 doesn't quite hit the spot, but it's still an impressive piece of exquisite engineering. As the ultimate ‘90s Superbike, the Honda RC45 lacks the pure focus of a Yamaha R1, the visceral punch of a Ducati 916 or the exotic edginess of a Bimota SB6R. Also, people might think your Honda RC45 is a Honda RVF400 NC35 from a distance..."

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Mileage on this one is a low 877 according to the seller.  Unfortunately no other maintenance info is provided.  Based on the dust and color of the clutch reservoir fluid, I would bet that the bike has been standing for quite a few years and would require a thorough refresh including tires.

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By the pics provided the bike looks to have been part of a serious collection.  Initial bid price is $40,000 USD with reserve not met. That price seems to be inline with what we have seen these go for in the past, even with the expected additional cost of a freshening.  Also given the rarity of these bikes, I wouldn't expect the price to drop below the opening bid.

It seems like the RC45 doesn't ring the emotional bells for a lot of collectors in the same way the RC30 did.  This one is certainly in excellent condition and is probably a good investment for a serious collector, but I wish there were a few more pics and comments by the seller.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

They seem to come in waves:</br>Another 1994 Honda RC45, this one with under 900 miles