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
Benelli November 10, 2016 posted by Marty

Quick Fix? 2005 Benelli Novocento in need of some care

Most of the bikes we post on RSBFS are in pristine condition or if not, are so rare as to make their condition less of a concern.  This one is somewhere in the middle...a 2005 Benelli Novocento with what appears to be light cosmetic damage.

Before proceeding further with this post, I have to admit that in the past I have had a bit of bias against the newer Benelli bikes, mostly due to the fact that the triple engine was originally designed to be the new power plant for my beloved Laverda marque (a pox on your house, Francesco Tognon!)  But as any smart collector or US/UK voter knows, allowing your emotions to influence decisions can cause you to do/not do things that you end up quickly regretting.  Therefore we present this 2005 Benelli Novocento in need of some light care/restoration for your consideration.

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2005 Benelli Novocento on for sale eBay

The history of Benelli has been well chronicled on RSBFS, with an especially good write up done here, but suffice to say the company has gone through the trials and tribulations that are typical for a small Italian motorcycle manufacturer.  Right now primary ownership seems to be Chinese with a major brand focus on scooters but parts for this model do appear to be available.  This is important because this bike does show evidence of being lightly down but the seller is quite honest about this with lots of details/pics and the damage looks to be cosmetic.  Best of all the price seems to have been adjusted to reflect the current condition so this might be an opportunity to pick up one of these at a discount.

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Reviews by owners of the 900cc Benelli were very positive, although the seat height is apparently fairly high and apparently the OEM mirrors are basically worthless.  It may not be the fastest bike but it looks and sounds awesome and it certainly isn't something you are likely to see at your local bike night.

Here is a video review from Motorvision.

Mileage on this one is at 6,155 which means it has been broken in.  The seller does indicate that all the issues associated with the early Benelli bikes have been addressed, including the factory warranty replacement of the clutch basket.

Here is an overview of what the seller has posted in the ebay listing

  • Upon bringing the bike home, I ordered all of the updated parts it required from a Benelli dealer in Germany.  This includes updated clutch basket and bearings, z25 gear, alternator drive cup and cushions, z25/alternator driven shaft, bellville washer and bolt, side cover gasket, as well as a few other pieces.
  • All original parts will be included in sale.  
  • Oil has been changed every season (less than 1000 miles) with AMSoil full synthetic and hiflofiltro filter (one filter will be included with the sale).
  • The only upgrades from stock have been a Leo Vince sbk titanium slip on exhaust, and a top notch Rk gold chain.
  • Comes with a benelli branded ,fitted cover.
  • I will be including many extra parts, some used, some new, including stock exhaust, cover, full shop manual in english, extra carbon fiber mount for the Leo Vince exhaust if you want to delete the passenger pegs, extra coil sticks

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The seller seems to be quite honest about the condition and includes additional pics in listing via a link to google drive.  There are also a fair number of questions with seller responses embedded within the eBay listing , which seems to indicate an honest seller.

Note - I emailed the owner about the missing riders right mirror, he indicates this is not included in the sale.  However research on owners has indicated the mirrors on this bike are one of the more commonly replaced items due to the standard ones poor effectiveness.

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Now for the question - should you consider acquiring this bike?  Well as stated previously it is in need of some love to bring it back to OEM condition but most of the effort seems to be cosmetic.  The level of detail provided by the seller is good so I don't think this one has been abused, probably just unlucky.  And the current opening bid price of $5000 is much less than the average $9500 prices we have seen for these previously on RSBFS so even with the cost of any repairs/restoration you might end up ahead.

I think this bit of green and silver triple powered Italiana is a good opportunity for someone who is reasonably comfortable with light restoration.  Personally I would consider this bike as an acquisition if the seat height was a few inches less.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Quick Fix? 2005 Benelli Novocento in need of some care
Ducati October 28, 2016 posted by Marty

851 with extra grunt: 1993 Ducati 888 SPO

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1993 Ducati 888 SPO for sale on eBay

Back in the late 1980's/early 1990's, Ducati was turning things around.  The bologna-based company had developed its 851 engine back in 1987 and the fuel injected L-twin engine was powerful, reliable and had brought Ducati something it had not had for many years; racing success.  But the Ducati bosses recognized that even though their 851 machines were doing well on the track, something more powerful was needed to keep pace with the competition, especially since the big Japanese firms had decided to focus development on not only power but also improved handling and light weight.   The simplest solution for Ducati was to increase the bore size to 888 while working on their next gen bike, the epic 916, hence the Ducati 888 series was born.    This post is for a SPO version, which was the 1993 edition (the 1994 edition was designed as the 888 Limited Edition).

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The 888SPO was a bit of a band-aid bike for Ducati. The company originally intended to bring its race replica SP5 bike into the US but couldn't get them past D.O.T requirements.  So for the US market Ducati took their European 888 Strada which was basically just an 851 with an 888cc engine in it and added some top shelf SP5 components such as a single seat, up-swept exhaust system and upgraded Ohlins shock system to create the 888 SPO for 1993.  According to the Ducatiforums, approximately 290 were built for the US market

NOTE: For 1994 the 888 got even more top shelf goodies and was named the 888 Limited.  According to the Ducati forums, only 100 888 Limited editions were imported for the US market.

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What was the 888 like to own/ride?  Here is a review by Visordown

"By far the best were the Öhlins-kitted SPs, culminating with the best-of-the-bunch SP5 in 1993. But like anything exotic and Italian, getting the best out of an 888 requires experience, knowledge, patience and money. The factory's base suspension settings were all over the shop making a good 888 class-leadingly stunning and a bad one worse than a poorly rebuilt write-off with flat tyres, square wheels and a chocolate frame.

But the key to the 888s celebrity status isn't the fact that it's drop-dead gorgeous, vastly fast, or rewarding to ride. It can indeed be all of those things, granted, but because the factory produced so few by today's mass-manufacturing standards, it's the 888's scarcity that adds volumes to its value and appeal. The 888 is the biking equivalent of a Ferrari 250GTO, and that dear reader, is why you want one."

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This particular 888 looks to be in great shape with the only non-OEM item I am seeing being the tank scratch/bump pad.  Also I think the rear license plate mount might have been cut down a bit/"profiled".

The seller includes good information regarding maintenance in the ebay listing, which is always a good sign.  Here are the highlights of what the seller has to say:

  • For sale is my beloved 1993 Ducati 888 Sport Production (h)Omologation (SPO).  Maintained to be a daily driver but only used when sunny and dry.
  • Factory original bodywork and never been dropped or repaired, every switch and lever works as intended from the factory.
  • Belts, timing and all fluids serviced within the last 1000 miles.
  • I believe I am the third owner after purchasing from a close friend who cared for her similarly. All original with the exception of the following:
    • Fast by Ferracci carbon fiber exhaust
    • Fast by Ferracci power chip
    • Fast by Ferracci carbon fiber front fender (identical to 1994 888 SPO LTD)
    • Fast by Ferracci fuel cap
    • Fuel tank lined and sealed
    • Fuel tank pad
    • Lithium battery (Feb2016)
    • Performance silicone blue brake and clutch lines
    • Profiled rear fender
    • European high power headlight
    • Battery tender quick release plug

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So what is this lovely redhead worth?   The entire 888 series is pretty rare, with slightly less than 400 brought into the USA over the two year run, so its going to be of interest to both investment-oriented collectors and fans of the period.  The near OEM condition of this will also likely impact the price.  The only concern would be that mileage is about 16,000 which can be an issue if the bike hasn't had proper maintenance but the info provided by the seller should make this one has been taken care of.

Prices for the Ducati 888 SPO's and Limiteds we have posted previously on RSBFS  seem to show a current market value of about $10,000 USD, more for bikes that have had some upgrades.  The current bid price on this one is at $7,300 USD and the reserve has been met so this one will definitely be moving on to a new owner after the auction ends.   Overall, this seems to be an opportunity for a relatively safe acquisition of a limited edition Ducati that will probably appreciate over time.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

851 with extra grunt:  1993 Ducati 888 SPO
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.

motocompo3

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.

motocomponumber2

Here is the second one, located near Los Angeles

motocomponumber3

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).

MOTOCOMPO

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