Author Archives: Mike

Aprilia July 30, 2017 posted by Mike

Where There’s Smoke… 2000 Aprilia RS250

It's always a wonderful morning when a quick perusal of "stuff for sale" nets a smoker looking for a good home. Makes me feel like I'm doing the world a real service, like finding foster homes for stray animals. In this case, the animal in question runs on premix and has the potential to scream like a banshee. Nice! Today's stray is an imported Aprilia RS250, brought to this country by a US military member (yet another reason to thank a vet for their service). It has very low miles and appears to be quite clean. It's also looking for a good home.

2000 Aprilia RS250 for sale on eBay

Aprilia created the RS250 series to celebrate their GP success in the quarter liter class. Streetable versions of the RS250 were built from 1995 - 2002, with minor cosmetic changes coming in 1998. And while Aprilia is a well-respected motorcycle manufacturer in their own right, they turned to Suzuki when it came time to build the RS250. Utilizing a Suzuki-sourced VJ22 V-twin, Aprilia made minor changes in the packaging, bolted on a RS250-specific set of chambers and updated the ECU to their own specs. Otherwise, you can expect similar sounds, feel and performance to the motive power of a RGV250. The rest of the bike is pure Aprilia, with a twin spar aluminum frame, upside down forks, a curved swingarm, and race-tuned aero bodywork.

From the seller:
This is a 2000 Aprilia RS250, street legal motorcycle that was originally imported by a US military person many years ago. I have owned it since 2008. It has a 17-digit VIN number, and is insured, licensed and completely street legal. I have always stored it inside a heated garage at my home. As you can see by the photographs, it is extremely clean and well maintained. It has 4,484 total miles and is in all original condition, including the original tires. The only non-stock part on it is a tinted windscreen. I have ridden it a couple of times a year since I've owned it, and I always drain the tank and fuel system between rides. I have always used Motul 710 full synthetic two cycle oil in the injection system. It has a few scratches on some of the bodywork and decals, and I was told that these scratches occurred during shipping to the US. I never doubted this explanation since the bike shows no signs of having ever been crashed. It is in excellent mechanical condition, and it runs and rides like a new motorcycle. All lights and instruments work as they should, and there are absolutely no problems or issues with anything. Included in the sale are the original toolkit and the rear passenger seat that came with the bike when new. I also have a new replacement windscreen that I will include in the sale. The one on the bike is scratched, and I bought a new one to replace it, but never installed it. This is one of my all-time favorite motorcycles, and I am only selling it to help fund the purchase of another rare motorcycle.

The RS250 is not exactly rare in the sense a RC30 or OW-01 is rare. However they are definitely on the "more buyers than available stock on hand" scale of supply and demand. Even so, they are not terribly expensive. This is true even though these may be some of the most modern (chassis, suspension, brakes, electronics) street-going two strokes available to US buyers. With a 17-digit vin and clear title, you'd be in like Flynn at your local DMV - California residents, as usual, need not apply.

This auction is just getting underway, with a current bid below $1,500. There is a reserve in place, so this bike may not be getting a new home any time soon; time will tell here. Meanwhile, readers are encouraged to search the RSBFS archives on these wonderful machines, given that we have seen quite a few pass through our pages. Doing your homework is the best way to ensure you chase after the right bike, for the right price. Check out this 2000 Aprilia RS250 here, and ping us back in the Comments section if you have one of these or have ridden one. Good luck!!

MI

Where There’s Smoke… 2000 Aprilia RS250
Yamaha July 30, 2017 posted by Mike

Bargain or Basket Case? 1985 Yamaha RZ500

** Not Actual Bike. For illustrative purpose only.

RSBFS is all about the rare machine in exceptional condition. This is NOT that kind of post. This is, shall we say, an experiment. As many of our readers exhibit extensive mechanical knowledge, how about a rare and desirable bike that requires a little bit of work? Put on your rose-colored "I can see the potential here..." glasses and dive into this 1985 Yamaha RZ500. Long a staple of US-based two-stroke desires, the big RZ is one of the more popular smokers in existence. With great examples capable of eclipsing $20k in today's market, does sweat equity mitigate the price or is this just another pile of parts? Read on before you make your decision.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Project Bike for sale

Known as the RD500LC in some markets, the RZ500 was Yamaha's repli-racer knockoff; having experienced tremendous success on the racetrack thanks to the exploits of Kenny Roberts and the PJ1-sponsored YZR500 GP machine, Yamaha hoped to parlay that into success on the showroom floor. Between 19854 and 1986, these 500cc, twin crank V-4 machines allowed street riders to exercise their inner Roberts or Lawson - everywhere but the US. Given the importance of the US market and the lack of EPA acceptance of anything as dirty as a two-stroke, the big RZ did not have a long model life span. Today it is considered rare and coveted by collectors. That is what makes this opportunity potentially (insert rose-colored glasses here) interesting.

From the seller:
1985 Yamaha RZ 500 in the works, I have most the parts (approx. 99.7%) including New Aftermarket Fairing kit with some new hardware (Tank cover not included). Windshield, Brakes, Tires, Chain/Sprocket, Wheel Bearings, Rims Powder Coated, Upgraded Hi Performance Ignition, Throttle Cables, Battery, Air filter, Gas Cap, Exhaust gaskets, Oil caps and plugs, Thermostat. Seat recovered. Some of these items have not been installed. Engine starts/runs but only been tested on cap full of fuel. Needs a bit more to assemble/finish YPVS needs setting up/repair. left handle bar cap missing, one mirror cracked. Need seat key/lock Fuel tank refinished in White Main photo of completed bike for reference only.

While the seller claims that the bike is mostly there, restoration experts would warn you that there can be a LOT missing in that final 0.3%. And that only refers to the parts list. Unless you have extensive experience assembling this model, have an original example that you can use as reference or are clairvoyant, you may find putting this puzzle together a bit more work than anticipated. And considering that this puzzle is good for speeds well over the ton, you had better ensure that the pieces are assembled correctly.

The general consensus is when collecting you should strive to find the best example of what you want; the cost of restoration usually exceeds the cost of what you could buy a better example for in the first place. Methinks this may be one of those cases, unless you are purchasing simply because you want a project. If you want a RZ500 to ride, my recommendation would be find one that is ready to be ridden. The seller is looking for $8,200 Canadian (works out to be $6,542 USD) or best offer. Cheap and interesting, or crazy and incomplete? Check it out here first, and then jump back and share your thoughts in the Comments section. Is this a project you would tackle? Good Luck!!

MI

MV Agusta July 27, 2017 posted by Mike

High Velocity: 2009 MV Agusta F4 1078 312RR

Speed is nothing more than distance over time. And time, as well all know, is money. Welcome to the rare MV Agusta F4 312RR - a bike designed to go as fast as it looks. In this case the "312" stands for kilometers per hour, which is the purported top speed of this sexy Italian scooter. For those of you less versed in the devilish complexity of the metric system, that would be approximately 194 mph in USA speak. Big numbers indeed. And being an MV Agusta, you can image that those numbers are only matched by the price.

2009 MV Agusta 1078 312RR for sale on eBay

Since we have seen quite a few MV Agusta F4s as of late (click here to Search), I'll spare you the "Tamburini left Ducati to head up the Cagiva Research Center and designed the follow-on to the 916 to herald the rebirth of the famed MV Agusta brand" story. Instead, I will remind you that the original F4 models were all 750cc bikes, with the 1,000cc machines introduced a bit later. Ferrari was indeed involved in the development of the cylinder heads, and these bikes utilize Formula 1 technology in the form of the TSS - Torque Shift System - a novel design that allows for varying intake length depending on RPM and throttle setting. The 312 was a rare model, but the 2009 1,078cc version (utilizing the power plant from the F4CC) was a notch above that. This is only the mid-grade of the 312 lineup, however, as there was a very, very rare F4 1078 RR 312 Edizione Finale, offered only in 2010.

From the seller:
Very Rare 2009 Mv Agusta F4 1078 312RR in perfect condition, 2297 km not miles bike is from North Carolina and has a North Carolina Title bike is in Canada but never registered so no duty, bike is hand made in Italy engine was made by Ferrari 190 hp fast is a understatement best handing bike ever. I didn't like the original seat so a changed it to red suede looks great and feels better. Too much to say I'm selling my baby and a few others in my collection. Serious buyers please, comes with all keys books. questions please ask. bike will sell. Can arrange shipping extra fee.

Funny thing about the 312 models: Other than MV Agusta claims, I have never seen evidence that the 312 could actually achieve the stated top speed. I'm sure for such an exclusive machine that is really perfunctory - even gauche - but I would hope the claims to be true. The bike certainly looks like it is good for 190+ mph just standing still, although the pictures could be more clear. Blame another dark parking garage and crappy cell phone camera for the blur effects, but low-res imagery doesn't do the seller any favors (or this bike any justice).

The opening ask for this Federalized, DOT-approved, US imported bike (which just so happens to be currently located in Canada) is a cool $10k, with no takers. That is actually not bad money for an exclusive F4 model - especially one that has fewer than 2,500 miles on the clock. Somebody could end up with a deal here, and not even have to hassle with importation problems related to title. The auction ends very soon, so this is a time-limited opportunity. Check it out here, and then ping us back on your favorite MV Agusta model. Good luck!!

MI

High Velocity: 2009 MV Agusta F4 1078 312RR
Suzuki July 26, 2017 posted by Mike

Featured Listing: 1990 Suzuki RGV250SP

I'm beginning to think Utah has been christened The Beehive State because of all the buzzing, two-stroke activity that goes on there. From that western state has emerged a collection of drool-worthy hardware that would make any grey-market enthusiast weak in the knees. And the well has apparently not run dry yet. Case and point: This 1990 Suzuki RGV250 Sports Production Gamma. This rare bike is being offered in a NO RESERVE auction.

1990 Suzuki RGV250SP for sale on eBay

The Suzuki Gamma needs no introduction, but let's revisit the basics to make sure we're all on the same page. Originally introduced as a parallel twin in 1983, the Gamma was renowned as a hyperactive sport bike from day one. By 1987 the writing was on the wall for the parallel twin format - Suzuki GP racers were already winning events with a new, slimmer 90 degree V-twin configuration. In 1988 Suzuki released the RGV250, a replica of the GP bike utilizing the new vee configuration. The RGV would go on to be one of the most successful smokers of the quarter liter club. The basics were so good that Aprilia licensed the power plant for their own 250cc machines.

The RGV250 Gamma series had a 10 year run, spawning the VJ21, VJ22, and the VJ23 (the latter which utilized a totally new 70 degree vee angle). All RGVs were released with pretty high-spec components, but the Sports Production edition was a step above. Intended for home market club racing, the SP edition of the RGV VJ22 did not bump the HP (reported as 63 in de-restricted markets), or offer any radical changes to the chassis. Rather, the SP focused on the clutch and transmission. Offering a dry clutch setup (lighter and less reciprocating drag) and a close-ratio gearbox, these few changes made for a more racetrack-friendly RGV.

From the seller:
This auction is very special! Collector alert! A very rare 1990 SUZUKI RGV250SP SPORTS PRODUCTION VJ22.

Up for auction to the highest bidder with NO RESERVE is a beautiful 1990 SUZUKI RGV250 SP (Sports production) with only 16,474 kilometers (10,236 miles). This RGV is completely stock except for chain and sprockets & the steel braided brake lines installed. Fairings, mirrors, windscreen, turn signals, exhaust and all other components 100% genuine OEM Suzuki. Bike is in very nice condition. It has a lot of curb appeal and looks gorgeous, however, the bike has a few small scratches, scrapes and tiny blemishes from its travels in life but all in all, his RGV250SP shows very well with lots of luster and shine. There are NO cracks in the plastic and there are no dents or dings in the fuel tank. Bike runs like the day it was new. The dry clutch sound awesome! This bike might not be museum quality but its a gorgeous rider that wont disappoint. Let the pictures tell the story! This RGV250SP comes with a Utah state title and is titled as a street motorcycle for street use.

Again, this is a NO RESERVE auction. Highest bidder wins in the end. Bike will be sold regardless of cost, loss or investment.

As with most of the 250cc smokers, none of the RG/RGV models were ever officially imported into the US - although we are lucky to see them individually imported from Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan on occasion. The SP model is a far more rare version of the RGV, as this was only released in the home market of Japan. Thus there are numerically fewer examples in existence, and fewer markets in which to locate one. Then you still need to deal with the importation issues; shipping, paperwork, and lots of waiting. With this bike, all of that work has already been done.

This particular RGV250SP looks great. It is not a perfect, concours specimen - but perfect as an enviable rider. Considering these are home market bikes intended for racing, to find one that somehow avoided the ravages of corrosion and competition and is still in stock condition some 27 years later is incredible. The seller is well known to RSBFS staff and readers, and we have heard nothing but positive feedback. This rare machine is going to a new home in a few days - will you be the high bidder? Drool over the pictures and don't miss out. Good luck!!

MI

Ducati July 25, 2017 posted by Mike

Big Green: 1974 Ducati 750 Supersport

When it comes to really famous, really collectable Ducatis, it is hard not to imagine the image of a green frame 750ss. Created by Ducati to celebrate the dominance of the 750cc race bikes, the Supersport has become THE streetable icon of a bygone era of brute mechanical setup and rider bravery. Devoid of electronics, slipper clutches, big brakes, sophisticated suspension or even modern tire technology, bikes of this time relied upon the skill of the rider to adjust to conditions - exactly what Paul Smart did to triumph at the 1972 Imola 200. The green frame 750 Supersport was intended as a tribute, but grew to be a tremendous success on its own. Today more people know about the street 750ss than the Italian race (and racer) that inspired it's creation.

1974 Ducati 750 Supersport for sale on eBay

In the early 1970s, Ducati really wanted to win - which is what the likes of Norton and MV Agusta were doing. In what is now familiar Ducati fashion, they did what any manufacturer would do: they threw piles of money at it (although much of this was sweat equity and ingenuity, as Ducati was still a small manufacturer). The 500cc racer's frame was developed by UK frame maker and famed GP racer designer Colin Seeley. Ducati developled the engines in-house, and shipped Seeley early prototype cases to help finalize the bike design. By 1971 - with test rider Mike Hailwood - it was determined that the Seeley frame was too light for the 750cc class. Fabio Taglioni, chief designer and technical director of Ducati, had already incorporated some of Seeley's design elements into a heavier, street bike frame. That was modified to become the legendary racer; yet victory was initially elusive. With mechanical failures having been sorted out in 1971 season (best finish was Phil Read's second to yet another Agostini win), Ducati pulled out all the stops. They fielded a total of EIGHT bikes for the 1972 Imola 200 race, and managed to pull off first and second against the likes of MV Agusta, Norton and Honda factory efforts. It was this victory that cemented Ducati's racing reputation - and the foundation for the street machine.

From the seller:
Genuine Greenframe . Exceptional condition . Currently in Great Britain . I will airfreight to Australia for the successful bidder . Prices are going nuts on these . Buy now or be priced out of the market forever .
Engine number 075318 DM750.1
Frame number DM750SS 075061

Note : Bike is for sale in Great Britain . Will sell to however meets my price .

It's the real thing and 99% correct, sold new in Germany and been there all its life until now, restored some years back and in a private collection for the past 20 years.
It’s very original with a few small details that aren’t correct but all the major components are in very good shape and correct like the rims, cases, frame and yes I think the glasswork is original but its difficult to be 100% sure on this as it could also be 30 year old repro stuff, but whatever it is it's certainly not new or fresh.

It's been re painted in the past. The parts that are non- original as far as I can tell are:
Later Tomaselli Daytona throttle.
Lefthand hi/lo/horn switch
Malossi inlet manifolds and later PHM 40mm Dell’Ortos
> I have bought one original carb so far .
Alloy mesh on original bellmouths
Drilled front brake discs
Later Marzocchi rear shock absorbers < I have a set of original shocks . Headlamp bracket painted green instead of satin black Both front fairing brackets cut down to take one bolt instead of two There is also a broken fin on the rear cylinder. Easy to repair . A front Brembo master cylinder fitted but the original Scarab comes with it. Mechanically its excellent and runs and rides superbly, the condition is very nice but you can see it's not a fresh restoration.

The 1974 Ducati 750 Supersport has often been referred to as one of the most beautiful motorcycles ever produced. The Gugenheim museum highlighted the green frame prominently in their exhibit "The Art of Motorcycle." And collector value for these bikes has soared - to what many consider unreasonable levels. Built by Ducati's race shop in limited numbers (401 is the generally accepted number), this was a true race replica. Sporting triple disk brakes (claimed to be the first street bike to offer this feature), and the cases right out of the racer, the 750ss street bike made concessions for the road; a strengthened crankshaft, provisions for an oil cooler (although none was originally fitted), and different carburetors. The green frame Ducati is said to be the only round case, bevel drive desmo bike produced for the street. The bike even retains the racer's semi-transparent stripe on the tank; a no-need-for-a-gauge solution to determining fuel levels.

This is collector-grade machinery, and with it comes a collector-grade price tag. The opening ask for this auction is a cool $190,000 USD - with a reserve in place. The bike was originally sold in Germany, however it now resides in the UK. At this price, only museums, small countries, or heirs to the Microsoft fortune need apply. But it is good to dream, right? To find a nearly original 1974 Ducati 750ss in this type of condition is a mega-rare event, and you can be assured it will not repeat any time soon. Check it out here and good luck!!

MI

Big Green: 1974 Ducati 750 Supersport
Ducati July 23, 2017 posted by Mike

Two Faced: 1986 Ducati F1B

The Ducati F1 series is considered by many the last of the very basic, Pantah-based steeds from Bologna. Consisting of a trellis frame, a rubber-band Desmo Due engine displacing 750cc and not much else, F1 bikes emulated factory competition bikes as much as possible - except they had lights and DOT hardware. As such, these are bare bones, thinly disguised racers of the old-school variety. No electronic trickery and little in the way of high-tech, but full of character and that classic, booming Ducati sound.

1986 Ducati F1B for sale on eBay

We see the occasional influx of F1B model Ducatis here on RSBFS; they pop up from time to time - in varying condition - showcasing their glorious tricolore livery of red, white and green. This one sports the same three colors, but utilizes asymmetry that is unique and polarizing. Like red? Step over here to the right side of the bike. Prefer green? Better stand on the left. Prefer the tricolore like it appears on the Italian flag? Best to position yourself ahead or astern this beast. The wheels remain F1 red as with the stock bikes, but the solo tail section is an add on.

From the seller:
Rare 1986 Ducati F1B. Super trap tail pipe, repaired gauge mount, last ridden Donner Pass Hwy 40 hill climb 2000. Fresh oil, new battery, petcock eliminated, runs good. Liquidating collection.

The F1 is the base model of this Ducati lineup, with a few extra special models slotting in on top: the F1 Laguna Seca and the F1 Montjuich. Still, a base F1 is a great bike that talks to you straight. The L-twin is a willing partner, with tons of low end torque and fantastic engine braking. With conventional forks, small disks and single piston calipers, nobody will confuse this with the latest hypercycle from Japan. But that is exactly the draw here; this is a bike that needs to be ridden - nay, to be commanded - in order to produce it's best. This is a visceral experience, and aural experience and a workout all in one.

Ducati F1s are fetching bigger dollars every year. This is definitely a model that is on the ascension, and from what we have seen there appear to be no signs of that abating anytime soon. Green frame 750 or a 900SS out of reach? The F1 may well be the next best thing - at least from the prices we have seen. This particular example is interesting in that it is not a stock machine, yet seems to exude the exact qualities that make these bikes desirable (although history and more details would be nice). If you can live with the bi-polar paintwork, the solo bodywork and the unknowns, this sub-7,000 mile specimen has a lot of life left to give. Bidding has been slow, and the reserve is still in place at $7,100 USD. Check it out here, and then break out your inner art critic and let loose with your thoughts on this tricolore interpretation. Good Luck!!

MI

Two Faced:  1986 Ducati F1B