Author Archives: Mike

Sport Bikes For Sale May 15, 2017 posted by Mike

What We’re Watching – May 15, 2017

Welcome to What We're Watching. This feature highlights some of the auctions we are following - especially those that are about to close. Handy if you're curious about where values are going, or just want to snipe in at the last minute to score a deal!

This is what is HOT right now:


2002 Ducati 998R



Just over 24 hours left before this coveted 998R finds a new home. Comments from readers on RSBFS and our Facebook site indicate this is the real deal. Bidding stalled at $20k, but the value should be much, much higher. Check it out here as this one is going to set the 2017 benchmark for the model. Don't miss out on the last of the 916 lineage R bikes!


2005 Ducati 749R



It's the battle of the R bikes! This is the baby R, in 749 format. The styling is Terblance instead of Tamburini, but all the expected Ducati performance is there. In fact, this may be the more tolerable of the two from a riding perspective. Less than a day to go on this one, with bidding below $10k and below the reserve. Will it cross the threshold? Will someone score a bargain? Check it out and see!


1986 Kawasaki ZX600R Ninja



This sweet, early Ninja was highlighted to us by a reader. One look and you know this is a well-cared for example, claimed to be in "collector condition." Less pricey than many of the exotics normally listed - but no less cool - this 600 Ninja just might fit the bill as an affordable classic. Currently sitting below $3k and below reserve, this one will be gone by Wednesday morning.


If you like what you see, move quickly. Every auction listed above will closed by tomorrow - at the latest. Don't forget to sign up for our free email service, and never miss a great deal on a rare bike again. Good luck and happy sniping!

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Honda May 13, 2017 posted by Mike

Decisions Decisions: Honda NSR80 or NSR50?

In many ways, sitting in the plush, corporate headquarters of RSBFS is a dream job; hours spent searching for the best rare sport bike classifieds every day. On the other hand, it is a bit like hell; staring all day at bikes I would like to own if only the garage were larger and the weekends longer. I won't even go into the prohibitive cost factor of many dream machines. But today I get to post what I would best describe as some of the coolest toys imaginable; toys that won't completely break the bank, drain the 401k, and place marital status at risk. Brought to us by the Utah collector who is thinning the herd, today's find is a choice between a 1995 Honda NSR80 or a 1992 NSR50. Which would you choose? Read on!


The NSR 50 is obviously the smaller of the two bikes, potentially eliminating it for some of our, um, uh, more "buff" readers. It is, however, the Mick Doohan Repsol commemorative model NSR50 - which makes it cool in its own right. Heck, anything with a Doohan sig is pretty sweet in my book - although I do find it odd that Honda chose to commemorate a 5-time 500cc Grand Prix champion with such a diminutive machine.... But that is another story. Powered by a 50cc liquid-cooled two stroke, the NSR50 won't set any records for acceleration or top speed, but there is definitely enough there to make it fun; figure about 7 or so horsepower and a top speed in the 50 mph range.

From the seller:
The Repsol NSR 50 has 14,113 kilometers (8,769 miles). Two tabs are broken on the bottom of the lower fairing where the two lower fairings come together. This is an easy fix with zip ties or fastening brackets or plates installed. There are scratches, dings and scrapes throughout but the bike has good curb appeal. Bike will be serviced with a new battery & new fluids (engine oil and coolant) Radiator looks surprisingly in excellent condition. Bike runs excellent like the day it was new. Bike appears to be completely stock OEM condition.

It surprises me that any of these bikes live to see past a year, as they were normally presents for kids with parents who loved them more than mine did, or purchased by the teenage set who more easily fold into the tiny cockpits. These bikes were also commonly raced in minibike road races held at karting tracks, representing a cost-effective way to exercise your racing muscle. A commemorative edition bike likely escaped the "my first little motorcycle" syndrome, but any small bike like this is an invitation to hoon; as such, abuse in this size class is rampant. This one seems to have escaped the majority of teenage angst, although it is far from perfect.


The flip side of today's coin is a 1995 Honda NSR80. A bigger machine in stature and capacity, the NSR80 suffers from the same maladies as the 50cc version; small size and (relatively) cheap price made it an excellent platforms for beginners, teens and aspiring racers. Like the NSR50, the 80cc model is a single cylinder two stroke with liquid cooling. There is more power available than the NSR50 (an estimated 12 HP!), and performance parts availability seems to be more geared to the 80cc variant - if that helps sway any decisions.

From the seller:
The NSR80 has 2,256 kilometers (1401 miles). It has several dents in the fuel tank. There are scratches, dings and scrapes throughout but the bike looks nice and has good curb appeal. Bike will be serviced with a new battery & new fluids (engine oil and coolant) Bike runs excellent like the day it was new. Bike appears to be completely stock OEM condition.

This bike looks a bit rougher than the Repsol edition bike. The tank scars indicate some possible low side activity. Again, given the predominant use of these bikes (kids, first time riders, minibike racing), I am amazed that they survive at all. So while this is certainly not in "put up on a shelf to let the world adore it" type of condition, if the mechanicals check out it could be a blast as a rider.


Here is the novel bit about this auction: Both bikes are in the auction, but the winning bidder only gets to choose one. We don't see either of these bikes very often, so this is definitely a feast over famine situation. Which would you choose and why? No fair calling out an NSR50R or some other bit of super-rare race bike, but comparisons to the YSR model lineup are welcome. Good luck!!

MI

Decisions Decisions: Honda NSR80 or NSR50?
Ducati May 12, 2017 posted by Mike

Radical: 2002 Ducati 998R

Of all of sport bike manufacturers, Ducati seems to have been the only one that focused on a single concept: a luscious, 90 degree twin with desmo valve actuation. From that point onward, anything goes - and Ducati went truly radical in evolving the concept. From the original two-valve, air-cooled twins to the legendary 851, to the groundbreaking 916 series, Ducati invented - and then reinvented - their version of the superbike. And since 2000, the bike to have within the Ducati lineup has always been the "R" model. The R designates something special, some mad technical wizardry under the covers, and lots of carbon fiber. Once the stuff of aerospace, carbon has become the foundation on which fast motorcycles are born. Today's example is a 998R, the second "R" in the series (following the 2001 996R). This model is seen by the Tamburini faithful as the last of the 916-derived bikes. The oft-scorned (yet successful) Terblanche-designed 999 was waiting in the wings.

2002 Ducati 998R for sale on eBay

Unlike many badge-engineered models (i.e. branding and "limited edition" number plate), the R bikes are special; they vary drastically from the standard Ducati models. In the case of the 998R, that means a different set of engine cases with a deeper sump, a significantly different bore and stroke (104.0 mm × 58.8 mm - which actually displaces 999 cc), and trick titanium internals. This is the Testastretta engine evolution that would go on to power the 999R. Body panels are carbon (in addition to the front fender and entire tail section), and suspension components are heavily upgraded. In this case, you can expect nothing but fully adjustable Ohlins units front and rear. Wheels are Marchesini Corse, saving rotational weight over non-R pieces. Weight was down over the standard model, while power was up: expect about 403 lbs dry and 136 HP.

From the seller:
For offer here is a spectacular 2002 998R with 4400 miles.
There is tons of information and specs on this bike easily found - numbered, low production race-spec bike with Titanium Corsa internals, Carbon bodywork, etc. This is a an excellent example that is set up to ride with a Sargent seat and upright clip-on's. Other mods include a period Casoli Carbon tail section, Woorcraft clutch cover. Full Termignoni exhaust, Marchesini Magnesium wheels, Ohlins suspension. Bike has been fully serviced by ECS in Middletown NY - fresh tires, belts, fluids and needs nothing. Truly a beast - immense power and feather light chassis and handling makes for a totally unique ride. A few original parts accompany the bike - there are minor blemishes here and there, but overall excellent original condition.

This 998R looks pretty clean for its age. The mileage is not excessive, nor has it been a garage queen. Part of the mileage equation is likely due to the aftermarket risers, making what is normally a torture rack a bit more comfortable on the street. On the plus side the seller notes a full service, including belts. This is a big deal, as Ducati services are not cheap, and skipping the service cycle can result in very expensive noises. From the sounds of the ad, this bike is ready to hit the road (just make sure you find a nice, curvy one).

The last of the 916-era R bikes do not grow on trees. They do not pop out of the woodwork every day, nor are they cheap. Like all great homologation bikes, this R is rare...and expensive. Bidding is already up to $20,000 USD, and there does not appear to be a reserve in sight. How high will this one go? We won't know for a few days yet, but check it out here if you are interested. Good Luck!!

MI

Radical:  2002 Ducati 998R
MV Agusta May 11, 2017 posted by Mike

La Bella Donna: 2012 MV Agusta F4RR

Meccanica Verghera Agusta, the firm originally founded by Count Giovanni Agusta to produce airplanes way back in 1923 was reborn as MV Agusta in post WWII Italy to produce scooters and small motorcycles. As the 1940s and 1950s turned into the 1960s and 1970s, MV Agusta steadily increased the displacement and performance of their bikes, rivaling the best from Europe and Japan. However the company finances foundered and MV Agusta was to go through a dizzying array of receivers and buyers over the next few decades: From an independent motorcycle manufacturer to reorganization under public financial ownership, a purchase by Cagiva, a sell-off to Malaysian car maker Proton, a reorganization under Carige, investment by Harley-Davidson, a sell-back to Claudio Castiglioni, an investment by the AMG division of Mercedez-Benz and finally in 2016 with new financial troubles looming, a reorganization and refinance under international investment firm Black Ocean Group. Despite all of this, the MV Agusta motorcycles continue to tell an amazing story.

2012 MV Agusta F4RR for sale on eBay

The re-birth of MV Agusta under the Cagiva banner brought with it the fabled pen of designer Massimo Tamburini, who was working as part of the Cagiva Design Center (CDC). Father of the Ducati 916 series of bikes and the "Ta" in the legendary firm of Bimota, Tamburini created something that took the 916 to a different level. Often referred to as the most beautiful motorcycle in the world, the MV Agusta F4 never lacks in the looks department. And with a short-stroke inline 4-cylinder engine with central cam chain and radial valves (with influence from the engineers at Ferrari), the F4 has the motive power to back up the beauty. With just under 200 HP from the 998cc motor, the F4RR moves the 423 pound bike along nicely.

From the seller:
MV Agusta for sale I am the second owner incredible bike , part of an expensive Italian motorcycle collection top of the line ... this bike never see rain ...excellent condition

this bike is not for beginner

any question feel free to ask

Not much info from the seller; sparse text and few pictures. No mention of maintenance, modifications or the like. This bike is reported to have 9,000 miles on the clock, so it has definitely been used. Nice to know that those still riding on training wheels need not apply, but I would think that the $17,000 Buy It Now price might weed those out automatically. The seller is open to offers - and considering this is a $26k+ motorcycle new today, perhaps a deal could be struck. Check it out here, however it may not be moving too quickly. Jump back to the comments and let us know about your favorite MV-A from the modern era. Is this it? Good Luck!!

MI

La Bella Donna: 2012 MV Agusta F4RR
Suzuki May 10, 2017 posted by Mike

Time Machine: 1982 Suzuki Katana 1000

Grab your leg warmers and get ready to dial up your favorite Tommy Tutone number - we're going back to the 1980s! Hard to believe that Suzuki dropped the Katana on a flabbergasted world more than 35 years ago. With looks dominated by a big-block inline four and scantily clad with an itty-bitty bikini fairing, the Katana was as provocative as it was performance-oriented. Even today this bike stands out as something special; the design language still tells a powerful story as this bike looks mean and menacing just parked in the drive.

1982 Suzuki Katana 1000 for sale on eBay

Primarily a collection of existing parts, the Katana was not mechanically groundbreaking. Motivation comes from the GS model lineup, and the Katana 1000 is actually - GASP - less powerful than the GS1100 that donated the motor. But the sporting intent of the Katana is quite clear, and with a less-is-more philosophy overall the Katana made for a potent platform in the day. Today, archaic elements such as two valves per cylinder, air cooling and twin shocks make this look like it came from the caveman era. Yet this was built to go AMA Superbike racing (hence the 1,000cc vs 1,1000cc engine), and go racing it did.

From the seller:
This Katana is in very good condition, the fuel tank has a few small scratches and a shallow dent close to the filler cap. The bike shows 14939 miles looks to be original miles on the bike. The front reflector holders are missing on the bike. The exhaust system is new from MotoGP Werks. The inside of the fuel tank is clean. This bike looks like it has been taken care of during it life time. I was not planning on selling this bike as it is a great example of an original bike and it took a long time to find an original bike with out modifications. Realizing that I still have a number of projects ahead and needing the space I have decided to pass the bike on.

Katanas continue to be polarizing models today. Although the Katana name has been slapped on many a bike since 1982, it is really the original that one should bring to mind. Many examples have been rodded, rat-rodded, or simply abused to the point of salvage. Clean, original examples are very difficult to find. And while this one is not 100% original, it is closer to factory than many we come across. The seller has done a good job highlighting the known discrepancies, and would likely entertain questions should a prospective buyer have any.

This auction is live right now, and bidding has been moderate. The price is nearing the $8k mark at time of this writing, and the reserve is OFF. Get in while you can, because this bike is going home at the end of it all. Check it out here, and then jump back to the Comments section and wax nostalgic with us. Did you lust after a Katana when it was released? Did you actually OWN one? Were you even born yet? Good Luck!!

MI

Time Machine: 1982 Suzuki Katana 1000
Honda May 10, 2017 posted by Mike

Featured Listing: 1990 Honda RC30!

Update 5.15.2017: SOLD in just 5 days. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

When it comes to collecting, the Honda RC30 (i.e. VFR750R) is one for the ages. This is perhaps THE most collectable bike available insofar as modern machinery goes. With sensuous curves, striking paint and race-bred features, the RC30 is the ultimate homologation bike and the real deal on the street. Powered by a V-4 with gear-driven cams (oh, the music!) and titanium connecting rods, the RC30 was first released in Japan in 1988, followed shortly by a European version. Ultimately, this rare bit of unobtanium came to America as a 1990 model.

Released in order to qualify for the inaugural FIM Superbike racing series - where racing motorcycles are required to be based off of a street bike - the RC30 dominated the first season out. "Flyin" Fred Merkel had the piloting honors in 1988, and followed up with a repeat victory season in 1989. By that time, the legend of the RC30 had been secured. It seems that wherever the RC30 showed up, it won; be it the Superbike circuit, the Isle of Man TT, or the showroom. An estimated 3,000 bikes were produced, and carried the absurd price tag of approximately $15k USD. Today, that number seems like a bargain - if you can find one. This RC30 is being sold by a RSBFS reader and fan who found this bike right here on these pages. I'll let him pick up the story:

From the seller:
1990 RC30 - 49 state model - 3,540 miles. New battery, brake and clutch fluids. All original. Includes rear stand, tool kit, and 4 NOS Honda spark plugs. I also have the original tires, if you would like them for display purposes. This rare bird was last registered in 1994 in NY (there is a sticker on the left fork leg).

For some reason, it was put into long-term storage, then later sold to a man in Portland OR from whom I bought the bike. I have had the 30 for 5 years, but am moving and don’t have space for it in the next garage.

Study the photos - this machine is almost cosmetically perfect - it has a tiny chip in the paint on the fairing which I’ve photographed, a scratch on the bottom of the belly pan, and some slight discoloration at the bottom rear of the belly pan (I attempted to get it out using mirror glaze, but to no avail) - the discoloration is so minor I can’t get a decent photo of it. These tiny imperfections were present when I purchased the bike.

I put fresh fuel into it today, and it fired up immediately (see video). Now, the caveat - when it fired up, it also leaked some fuel due to a stuck float in one of the carburators (turn off the petcock and the leak stops - I cleaned the bike to remove any fuel residue). I’m a sorry excuse for a mechanic, and I’m not anxious to take this jewel to our local shop, so I’m selling it as it is, and the new owner will need to service the float.

Video of RC30 startup:

I am a Rare sports bike fan, and that’s how I found RC30 #37. I am hoping it goes to someone who will truly appreciate its originality, as I have.

RSBFS finds and posts the best sport bikes found for sale every day. But it's not every day that you come across as original and protected an example of "rare sport bike" as this beautifully cared for RC30. Yes, there may need to be some sorting out of the carbs (if you are keen to ride this unicorn) - but that seems to be proof that the bike really hasn't been fueled or run in a long time, and is all original as claimed. Gotta give props to full disclosure.

Tim is accepting offers on this beauty right now. Send him an email with your best shot (tmerrill@fulcrumlegal.com), and see if you can't add the most collectable modern sport bike to your collection. Good luck!!

Featured Listing: 1990 Honda RC30!