Author Archives: Mike

Sport Bikes For Sale June 7, 2011 posted by Mike

Go big or go home: 1985 Yamaha RZ500

For Sale: 1985 Yamaha RZ500

OK two stroke fans, I have two words for you: California Title. Excited yet? Called out to us by sharp-eyed reader Ian, these bikes usually belong over on sister site CSBFS - but seeing how we need some great hardware to fight the influx of Ducatis posted here recently, I'm quite happy to show it off on RSBFS. Besides, The big RZ has lots of company on this site, as it continues to be a very popular model coveted and searched out by readers (check out some of the previous RZ500 listings by clicking on this RSBFS search link).

This has got to be one of the best pics in all of motorcycling: With the color-matched solo seat cover over the upper two of the four exhaust pipes and just a hint of license plate cleavage poking out from below, this just says "ready for business!"

From the seller:
You are bidding on a beautiful 1985 Yamaha RZ500 with only 27500 Km’s (17087 Miles), it is not show/display quality but as you can see from the pictures it is a stunning daily rider, it is in standard configuration (not tuned) and has the original exhaust pipes, auto lube and air box, the bike has been fitted with longer lower suspension arms to raise the back of the bike up by 1” to give it a more modern look, (the original arms will be included).

When I bought the bike the tank and fairings had been re-painted in original Yamaha white but had no graphics, so I decided to replace all of the graphics with high quality hand cut vinyl and as you can see it looks amazing.

No expense has been spared on the up keep and maintenance of this RZ500 and it starts and runs like new, it has never had any issues with water, fuel or oil leaks and the gear box does not use a single drop of oil.

The RZ has new Bridgestone BT45 tires, zero gravity windscreen and Gorilla alarm and as you can see from the pictures many of the parts have been powder coated, the wheels are flat black and all of the other parts have been powder coated satin black

With 17,087 miles showing on the odometer (that's 27,500 kilometers for the metric set), this bike is in rare condition indeed. The apparently unmolested engine, intake and exhaust speak to a well-cared for machine that was not abused mercilessly. The repaint is striking - although questions on the reasons behind the repaint are probably in order. As always, we recommend asking lots of questions and requesting lots of pictures and information before committing hard cash on a bike unseen.

Thankfully, the seller has been quite forthright in what is not perfect on the bike:

From the seller:
Small piece of plastic missing from behind the front right turn signal
Fairing cut around the right side engine cover
Could use some paint touch-up on the engine (if you’re a perfectionist)
Crack on under side of belly pan (can only be seen from underneath belly pan)

All in all, this is not a bad list considering we are talking about a rare, gray-market import bike that is 26+ years old! And perhaps you missed another key aspect - this bike has a coveted CA title and plates (which may not mean much to the inhabitants of the other 49 states - or our foreign and overseas RSBFS readers - but is a BIG DEAL where bikes like these are coveted yet not able to be titled by mere mortals).

So how much for a rare beauty like this one? The current bid at auction is only $6,800, with reserve still in place. Bidding has been spirited, and the bike is showing a lot of interest. These are $9k+ bikes when found titled and rideable condition, so there is still plenty of opportunity to get in on the action. To check out all of the pictures, read more from the seller and possibly even bid on this great machine, . Good luck to the bidders, and thanks again Ian for pointing this one out!


Sport Bikes For Sale June 6, 2011 posted by Mike

As seen in Motorcyclist magazine! - as seen in Motorcyclist magazine!

Those into sport bikes read Motorcyclist magazine, so this might not be a surprise to our regular readership. But in case your reading backlog has prevented you from cracking open the June 2011 issue, let us be the first to point out that RSBFS has been featured in Tim Carrither's excellent "Smart Money" section. You will find a link to the online version of the article below.

The Smart Money column is a regular feature which outlines used bikes (usually in the sport bike realm), the pros and cons of particular models, and a few competitors in the same space. This is a great place in the magazine to go each month to do some pricing research or just learn something you might not have known about a great bike from the past.

Motorcyclist Executive Editor Tim Carrithers approached RSBFS prior to this issue to do some research and pick the RSBFS brain trust on some great homologation bikes - including the 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited, 1990 Honda RC30, 1996 Kawasaki ZX-7RR and 1989 Yamaha OW-01 - all covered in this month's feature. In the final, printed version, he was kind enough to call out the RSBFS contributors who provided assistance.

From the Motorcyclist article:
Dan, Phil, Doug and Ian at know semi-attainable sporting erotica. Their site is great for shopping or ogling.

Well said, Mr. Carrithers. Thanks for the shout-out, and come back as often as you'd like to peruse and ogle the semi-attainable sporting erotica draped across the pages of RSBFS!

Here is a link to the complete Smart Money article, courtesy of Motorcyclist magazine.


Sport Bikes For Sale June 4, 2011 posted by Mike

After the chase: 1977 Ducati 900 Super Sport

All too often we are about the chase - always looking for the next rare bike, the next unobtainable this or that - and we tend to miss out on some of the best aspects of collecting: not just the search, but the find, the deal, the anticipation, and ultimately the experience of actually riding the bike.

This post is about one lucky owner, Brett, who was kind enough to follow up on his acquisition of this awesome Ducati.

SOLD! 1977 Ducati 900 Super Sport

Back in December, RSBFS posted this absolutely stunning example of a classic Ducati bevel drive. It was noted then that the bike, while not strictly original, had the kind of curb appeal guaranteed to stop passerbys in their tracks; gawking, staring and drooling was sure to become the normal experience for the new owner.

And while some commenters were to decry the lack of orginality, Brett saw differently:

From the new owner (April 2011):
Great to here all the arguing about what I consider to be one of the finest examples of a 900Ss I have seen – which is why I bought it. When it arrives in Australia it will be ridden on a weekly basis just like my 73 sport , 74 Laverda 750 SFC and my 84 MHR. Let’s see who paid too much for these types of bikes in 10 years time. Ride them , don’t store them.

Brett continued to follow up with updates on the purchase and process. Given that he was importing the bike to Australia, there was a significant delay in his actually laying hands on the bike.

From the new owner (April 2011)
The previous owner has told me how he spent most of his time arguing with the originality nazis but the reality is if you are going to ride these bikes like the deserve , they need to be updated to suit the times. It always make me laugh at how we love modern Ducatis that are highly modified but then don’t want any changes to the older bikes. Bike should be here in 2 weeks. Can’t wait.

Finally in late May we heard from him again - this time with the bike all present and accounted for!

From the new owner (May 2011):
Picked the bike up last week from the shipping company. A bit dusty but very impressive condition. A good wash , oil change and battery charge and it started second kick. I was too excited to wait until I got it registered so I took it for a quick blast around a local industrial estate near where it is kept. Wow. This is without a doubt the best bevel twin I have ever ridden. Sure it’s not the most original but I can tell you it has been put together by a very smart mechanic. Will give more impression after I ride it further. I will probably get the frame painted back to original silver though – way too shiny.

Congratulations to you, Brett. And thanks for sharing the journey with RSBFS readers. That is one beautiful bike, and I'm sure anybody fortunate enough to be on the street as you ride by will agree! Enjoy your stint as the next caretaker of this wonderful machine!


Ducati June 2, 2011 posted by Mike

1990 Ducati 750 Supersport

For Sale: 1990 Ducati 750 Supersport

This is what one might refer to as Ducati's "awkward years." Between the baby-cute 1970 Supersports and the razor-sharp 916 era of the late 1990s comes the teenage stage where, when looking back in perspective, bikes evolved in some ways but not in others. In this case, the design of the bike does not look 1990, but rather closer to early 80's, if not downright end-of-70's. Performance of the Pantah-based engine, however, was well ahead of its earlier counterparts.

Don't get me wrong - these are still fantastic looking bikes, and they offer classic Ducati features known and loved the world over. The cockpit looks the same as any next generation Supersport. The trellis frame is clearly evident. The "rubber band" motor, first introduced in the Pantah back in 1980, continues in evolutionary form to this day. The aesthetic look, however, reaches backwards rather than forwards (reference this older Ducati TT, which carries the same look). It is hard to believe only a couple of years separate this 750SS with the next generation such as this Superlight.

From the seller:
Here is a great opportunity to own a rare classic Ducati, my understanding is that there were less than 1300 units produced of this bike in 1990, and only a few hundred were shipped to the U.S. I purchased the bike from the second owner who claimed the bike has never been in an accident, and being a motorcyclist and Ducati mechanic I went over the bike thoroughly and found absolutely No Damage, with the exception of a missing rear blinker lens and aftermarket bar end mirrors, Amazingly the bike was is great condition except for the years of neglect. The previous owner purchased the bike from Mountain Motorsports in Ontario Ca. with 3401miles indicated on the original Ca. title. He had the bike serviced at Pro Italia and had it fitted with new tires less than 2 years ago. Unfortunately there is no service work history to back up what has been done, but in speaking with him he knew the name of the mechanic who worked on the bike, and I can confirm that it was done by a reputable service technician. I purchased the bike with 4892 original miles and proceeded to do a complete clean up, and went through everything to get her back on the road.

Now, readers might start thinking that I'm not down with this Desmo - but that would be wrong. These 750cc desmodue bikes are fantastic additions to any collection. This one just happens to be one of the last models of the previous generation Supersport - spanning the 80s and 90s - and looks a bit more dated than the "1990" model year might suggest. That is not said to take away from its performanceor desirability, but this bike is stuck between some pretty fantastic eras for Ducati and might not get the attention it deserves.

Bidding on this bike has helped prove my point. At the time of this writing, only 4 bids have come through, pushing the auction up to $3,050 with reserve not yet met. Now, this is never going to be an extremely high dollar motorcycle, but depending upon where the reserve is set this could be an extremely affordable classic. Consider this 750SS posted last year here on RSBFS: The asking price was $5,495.

For more information, more pictures, and to get yourself into the bidding for this one, . Good luck!!!


Honda June 1, 2011 posted by Mike

Small package, big fun: 1989 Honda CB-1

For Sale: 1989 Honda CB-1 / CB400F / NC27

The Honda CB-1 was meant to be the spiritual successor to the heralded CB400F Supersport of the 1970's. As such, it is a cafe racer sports bike with a small displacement, four cylinder engine. This time around, however, techology has improved such that the bike is liquid cooled, and sports a 16-valve head as opposed to the 8-valve, air cooled original.

The CB-1 is not an grey-market import bike - even though it is rare enough to be considered one. The truth is that smaller-displacement motorcycles have traditionally not sold very well in the US; Americans tend to think of anything below 750cc as an entry level motorcycle. That is a real shame, as the 400cc class of bikes available today are quick, lightweight, agile and surprisingly affordable fun.

Although they are not well known, this is not the first time that we have posted a CB-1 on RSBFS. Check out this CB-1 that was posted by Doug. You can also check out this cool site for some more info on this particular model.

From the seller:
The Honda CB-1 is a small and light naked sportsbike with a straight-four 399 cc. The Honda model code is NC27. In contrast to all other models of the Honda CB series, the name is written with a hyphen. In some countries it was sold as Honda CB400F as an attempt to connect the model with the original CB400F of 1975, with which it has nothing else in common.

The bike was first introduced in 1989 and built until the end of 1990. Originally developed for the Japanese market, the CB-1 was also officially sold in the USA and Canada. Lots of additional information about this bike can be found by doing a search on the internet.

This bike runs great and rides even better! New EBC front brakes and Dunlop Qualifier tires. It is in very good condition. It does have a small ding in the tank and one in the tail that were touched up. It has fresh oil and is ready to go!

The CB-1 offers about 55 HP and a dry weight in the 370 lb range. Mix in a short wheelbase, and you have the capability of a real monster when the going gets tight and twisty. And while the CB-1 does not have the ultimate top-end rush of the FZ400, it does offer significantly greater mid-range usable power.

This particular bike has approximately 18,000 miles on the clock, and is sporting a Kerker slip-on. It is not clear from the seller what other modifications have been done, and the seller has noted the minor damage to both the tank and the tailsection. There is also some key rash on the top of the triple clamps, which is likely commensurate with the miles on the bike.

So how much for 400cc fun? This auction is going on now, with a current bid of $1,575 and reserve still in place. The BIN is $2,395. The only other CB-1 we have posted on RSBFS was closer to $2k, and it had lower mileage. Depending upon where the reserve is set, there is still a good deal to be had. Interest has been moderate.

For your chance to snag this great little bike, . Good luck!!!


Bimota May 27, 2011 posted by Mike

Vintage Bimota: 1984 Bimota KB3

For Sale: 1984 Bimota KB3

After all of the comments on the Buell BattleTwin I last posted, I figured this time around I'd better find something equally rare and significant, but significantly more beautiful. Mission accomplished! Feast your eyes, RSBFS reader, on this gorgeous Bimota KB3.

Like the KB2 we posted here on RSBFS last month, the KB3 features a chrome-molly perimiter trellis frame wrapped around a stock Kawasaki powerplant. In the case of the KB3, power is delivered by a 1000cc engine, as opposed to the GPz 550 mill in the KB2. While overall size is up a bit, so is the power.

And unlike the Buell referenced earlier, this Bimota is draped - in typical Italian style - with drop-dead gorgeous bodywork meant to be both aerodynamic AND stylish. I doubt anyone would question whether or not they succeeded in those goals.

From the seller:
This 1984 1000cc Bimota KB3 has very low mileage and is in start-up, ready-to-ride condition. The bike, a rare example, is one of only 112 produced. Introduced in 83, the KZ 1000 J model engine is surrounded within a beautiful frame that is both strong and light. Many of its design features and materials are copied on today's current sport bikes.

This KB3 has been maintained carefully on a regular basis. The details are stunning and the paint work and metal finish are exceptional.
See it running and being ridden recently this past week on a youtube posting.

The gas tank been properly rust proofed. The fuel valve is new. A new battery was installed prior to posting. The controls show very little wear from use.

What good is a picture of a beautiful Bimota if there is no sound? Here is a short video offered by the seller.

Keep in mind that these early Bimotas were kit bikes; Bimota supplied the frame, forks and fairing, and the buyer supplied a donor motorcycle from which was taken the electrics, switchgear, engine and trans. And while just over 100 of these kits were produced by Bimota, every bike is different depending upon the whims of the owners who put them together. This makes this a rare bike, and a one of a kind motorcycle all at the same time!

This auction is going on now, and bidding has been moderate. The current bid is just over $12,000, with the reserve still in place. The KB3 is a very desireable, and ultimately collectable bike. Engine parts are very easy to find - thanks to the Kawasaki KZ heritage - making this a collector that can be ridden without total fear of damage.

The current price is WAY under the book value for this bike, and I would expect this to hit an easy $20k before the reserve comes off. For more info, more pictures and to get in on the bidding, . Good luck, and tell 'em you saw it on RSBFS!