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 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.

90ss2

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.

Triumph Daytona 955i 02 1

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..."

rc453

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.

rc451

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
Honda August 2, 2016 posted by Marty

2nd Year But Still Classic: 1994 Honda CBR 900RR/Fireblade

cbr9007

1994 Honda CBR900/Fireblade on ebay

When we first started posting the CBR900RR on RSBFS a few years ago, some readers complained that it didn't belong on RSBFS.com.  The comments ranged from it not being rare enough because Honda made so many of them to the Yamaha R1 being a more pure interpretation of the small package/big power concept to it not being pretty enough and on and on. However in the last 4-5 years prices for pristine 1st gen CBR900RR/Fireblades have jumped dramatically, moving from the mid $4000 USD to over $15,000 USD, so perhaps we were on to something after all <wink wink nudge nudge>.

My personal belief is that price jump is occurring because many people are now recognizing how significant an impact the CBR900RR/Fireblade had on the sportbike world and also how rare these types of changes are to the world of sportbikes.  Prior to the Fireblade the 750cc class was the the most balanced class (the 1000+ sportbike class was more of the big power, big weight bikes).  The Honda 900RR delivered 1000+ level power in a package no bigger than a 750 and the impact was so significant that major new development in the 750cc class was essentially discontinued within a few years (except for the Suzuki GSX-750R).

The only other sportibikes I can think of that so redefined expectations of what you could buy are the Suzuki Hayabusa and Ducati Desmosedici, and while they are both epic bikes and probably future classics, neither resulted in the such a blurring of the classes like the Honda did.

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This particular CBR900RR is a 1st gen bike but is a 1994 which means its actually the 2nd year of  production.  From what I have been able to find the differences between the first two years were apparently just paint, so a buyer would in essence be getting a 1st year bike.

This particular Fireblade looks to be pretty much all OEM including the often removed turn signals and rear fender/taillight unit still in place.  The only non OEM pieces I notice are an exhaust canister/muffler and a Scotts steering damper.  Unfortunately the seller does not provide any service info or ownership history.  The bar ends appear to be a bit nicked up but I am not seeing any evidence of the bike being down, so perhaps this just paint flaking from north Texas temp changes or from where it was parked?   Regarding fluids or rubber, the front brake reservoir does look a bit dark so interested parties would be wise to send a note to the seller to get more info but given Honda's build quality in the late 1990's.  I wouldn't be too worried about engine function even if this bike is still on original fluids.

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So now we must consider, what is this 2nd year/1st gen CBR900RR worth?  Well we had a pristine 1st year model in the most desired Blue/Red/White go for $15k earlier this year.  This one probably won't fetch anything near that price but I wouldn't be surprised to see it go for around $5000 due to its low mileage.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

2nd Year But Still Classic:  1994 Honda CBR 900RR/Fireblade
Honda July 30, 2016 posted by Marty

Unobtanium alert: 1996 Honda RVF750R RC45

Back in the 1990's Honda introduced new technology to the sportbike world at a truly dizzying pace.  From 1990 to 1999, Honda USA introduced sportbike riders to the RC30, RC45, RC51, CBR600F2, VFR750, the legendary NR750 and the CBR900RR.  Personally I can't think of another manufacturer that launched so many top of class bikes over a similar length time frame.

While the Honda RC30 actually launched in 1987 in Japan, it didn't come to the USA until 1990  The RC30 was a techo tour-de-force that won a lot of races and developed a deep following.   The follow up RVF750R, also often referred to as just the RC45, wasn't as successful on the track but interestingly, for many collectors the RC45 is more desirable.

For anyone who is interested, an overview of all the differences between the RC30 and RC45 can be found here on Wikipedia.

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Introduced in 1994 and produced until 1999 but only imported officially into the US for 1994 with a 50 unit allocation, the Honda RC45 was a true homologation bike.  Right out of the box the bike came with a lot of top shelf components including an exotic DOHC 749cc V4 engine that had titanium rods, ceramic-lined cylinder walls and gear driven cams.  The RC45 also incorporated a new fuel injection system, lots of cast magnesium parts to reduce weight, a new aluminium twin-spar chassis and an exotic (for 1994) single-sided rear swingarm.

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1996 Honda RVF750R/RC45 on ebay

And yet despite all the new tech, the RC45 didn't have quite the same level of track or sales success as the preceeding RC30 and initially was considered to be a bit of a failure.  Part of this was due to the fact that the new powerplant in the street/homolgation version was tuned to only produce around 110bhp for the U.S. version/118 for the European version which wasn't a huge jump from what standard 750cc sportbikes of the same era were offering.  Also street riding on the RC45 first gear was reported to be kind of a pain due to a very tall 1st gear.

While the RC45 didn't find favor on the street, things were quite different when it was taken to the track.  In peak race form the bike was transformed with power reported as being nearly 190 bhp.  Track successes of the RVF750R included Miguel Duhamel wining the 1996 Daytona 200, John Kocinski winning the 1997 WSBK championship and Ben Bostrom winning the 1998 AMA Superbike Championship.

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As for this particular RC45, sharp eyed viewers have probably caught that this US-located bike is listed as 1996 with a VIN # well above 50 (NOTE:  This is assuming they can tear their eyes away from the art that is the perfect welds on this bike).  These issues are explained by the seller as being due to the fact that this particular RC45 was originally delivered/sold in Switzerland in 1996 and then imported into the USA.  While "gray-market" RC45's can be a pain to get registered, the seller also indicates they have a US title in hand.

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From the photos in the eBay listing, this particular RC45 looks to be completely original with only a few small nicks.  I guess the excellent condition should not be surprise given the listed mileage of about 2800 miles/4400 kilometers.  Personally my only concern is that the eBay seller has a zero feedback rating and some of the pics on this eBay listing look incredibly professional/like official promo pics instead of pics of the actual bike being sold.

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rc453

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Based on the listed phone number the seller appears to be a dealer located in Florida and while the maintenance/ownership history isn't as complete as I would like for a bike like this, the seller did provide the following service info.

  • "Recent" full service (quote marks added by me - Marty).
  • New Pirellis.
  • New fuel pump.
  • New Battery
  • Original stand included.
  • Spare ECU.
  • Spare complete period Micron exhaust included.

rc45cropped

So what is this bit of mid 1990's homologation goodness worth?  Well the RVF750R is current one of the top desired 750cc homolgation machines of the 1990's, the others being the Kawasaki ZX7RR and Yamaha OW01.  This particular RC45 looks good but there are some things I would personally follow up on, such as the VIN#/title situation and also, given the color of the brake fluid in the master cylinder, what exactly was meant by "recent" full service.

Previous postings of these seem to have gone for a price between $24,000 and $29,000 USD.  Assuming the title is clear, I would expect price to be somewhere in the upper part of that range band.

ADDENDUM:  Some of our frequent readers/comments of RSBFS such as RC45 and The Collector are more experienced with the RC45, hopefully we can get them to provide their input in the comments section.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Unobtanium alert:  1996 Honda RVF750R RC45