Author Archives: Mike

Featured Listing February 22, 2018 posted by Mike

Featured Listing: 2015 Norton 961 Commando PLUS 1967 Norton Atlas!

Update 5.21.2018: SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

When you think of the most storied marques in motorcycling history, what do you think of? The Japanese Big Four have certainly been dominant on the racing scene as of late, with Italy holding their own throughout the ages. But it was the English brands that led the way to greatness, with the great Norton conglomerate - initially launched in 1898 - standing as the iconic representation of what a performance motorcycle should be. From the cafe racer scene to the mighty TT street races to doing the ton, Nortons have been the mainstay of cool and an unmistakable status symbol for those in the know.

Surviving through the rapid changes of the 1950s and 1960s - changing hands to become Associated Motorcycles (AMC - including brands AJS, Matchless, Francis-Barnett and James) in 1953, Norton thrived through the 1960s and into the 70s and even took over BSA and Triumph in an all-British consolidation move. Unfortunately, the bottom dropped out of the UK motorcycle market shortly thereafter, driving Norton (as well as the Norton-Villers-Triumph company) under. Through the 1990s the Norton name was kept alive by enthusiasts and restoration shops, changing hands a few more times. US-based restorer Kenny Dreer created the first iteration of the 961 Commando, but the Norton name was eventually re-aquired and launched in the UK with the resources to make a difference. This Donnington-era version of Norton placed the fantastic 961 Commando into solid production, a beautiful recreation of the Norton glory days faithfully updated with current, cutting edge components. Today's special featured listing is a 2015 Norton 961 Commando, but also includes a well-preserved 750 Atlas model from 1967.

Featured Listing:
Buy a 2015 Norton 961 Commando
and get a 1976 Norton 750 Atlas for free!

Let's start out with the modern bike first: 2015 Norton 961 Commando. The roots of the 961 Commando starts across the pond in the US with Kenny Dreer, a famed Norton restoration expert. As the rights to Norton moved back to the UK, the 961 was evolved and redesigned (virtually every part, so they say). And lest you think this was just the offshoot of a backyard dreamer, post 2008 variants of the 961 involved serious design and development; none other than Pierre Terblanche (of Ducati fame) counted his name on the Norton employee roster.

Powering the Commando is an air-cooled parallel twin with 270-degree crank pins. Bores are Nikasil coated to improve sealing, ensuring power and longevity. The feel and sound emulate the past, but the power delivery through a modern 5-speed tranny is all of the current day. Top shelf Brembos shed velocity, while Ohlins take up suspension duty front and rear. With about 80 HP on tap, this reincarnated Commando holds its own against the Monster or Suspersport lineup from Ducati while exuding more than a little British soul.

This was a $20k machine when new; exclusivity goes hand in hand with a high price tag.

From the seller:
2015 Norton Commando SE 1 of 50, only 566 miles, just in from California, beautiful condition, Dominator pipes, recalibrated ECU, all recalls and TSBs performed.


Putting aside the new Commando, let's step back some 50+ years; that is when the Norton Atlas first came into being. Acting as a precursor to the Commando of the late 1960s, the Atlas featured a 750cc parallel twin housed in a fabled featherbed frame. What makes the Atlas most interesting is the target market: America. Initial units were exclusively developed for export to the US. For the day, the Atlas was a significant motorcycle - all 55 HP, four-speed trans, limited suspension and drum brakes of it. Today these capabilities seem modest, but there is clear DNA in those bones.

This particular Atlas has but 8,000 miles, has been restored to what appears to be a very good standard, and has some star power as formerly being in the collection of Ewan McGregor. Not too shabby as far as a two-fer goes!

From the seller:
1967 Norton Atlas 750, restored and in very nice condition, 8K original miles, runs and rides and is well sorted. Former Ewan McGregor private collection bike.

So here is the deal: Buy the ultra rare 961 Commando, and get the Atlas for free. Offers around $25,000 USD to be considered. The seller is willing to break up the pair for the right buyer, but is offering a pretty good discount for both. Drop Corey a note if you are serious: coreyallan01@hotmail.com Good Luck!!

MI

Featured Listing: 2015 Norton 961 Commando PLUS 1967 Norton Atlas!
Laverda February 13, 2018 posted by Mike

Seeing Things: 1982 Laverda Mirage 1200

Update 2.13.2018: We first posted this Mirage last April and it was bid to $11,500 and then relisted and removed. It is back on eBay with a different seller and current bid is $7,700 reserve met. Links are updated. Thanks Donn! -dc

On the block today is one of Laverda's best kept secrets: The Mirage 1200. Created as a bit of a parts-bin special, the Mirage fills a distinct niche in the Laverda triple lineup, providing a naked cruiser, a half-faired sport-cruiser, and the full-blown TS sport touring edition (which we see here) all from the same basic bike. The Mirage is powered by the familiar 180-degree triple, but punched to 1200cc and fitted with a different cam profile from the other models. Jota bits are utilized throughout - such as the Jota-spec exhaust - but some items like the handlebars and seating position are unique to the Mirage.

1982 Laverda Mirage 1200 TS for sale on eBay

The engine modifications move the Mirage away from the raucous, sporting intent of the Jota, and the overall effect is a more civilized "Executive Express" type of feel. The large fairing provides decent wind protection, and gives the Mirage TS a polished look - much more so than the brutish, bare-bones fighters Laverda built their name on. This was to be a Laverda that you could go out and ride - often and far. Unfortunately, triples are inherently imbalanced (even the 180 degree motors), and vibration at speed was a persistent fly in the Mirage's high-speed transport ointment. The new additions came at another cost: weight. There are over 30 lbs added to a similar spec Jota in order to create a Mirage, which tips the scales at a burly 542 lbs. With only 73 HP available, performance is more inferred than experienced.

From the seller:
Here we have a 1982 Laverda Mirage 1200 TS with only 24k miles. This is a late 1200 series 2 and one of the last with the wonderful 180 degree crankshaft, giving this bike a lopey idle and great sound. If you're not familiar with this crankshaft configuration, the outer pistons rise and fall together while the center piston is offset at 180 degrees. This example is a South African market bike and was originally sold by Roma Guzzi LTD, in Johannesburg South Africa and it was imported to the US in 1993. While in the US it's lived all of it's life in hibernation while stored in a detached garage in Ohio until just last month.

More from the seller:
Upon possession of this exotic motorcycle I immediately began the resurrection process. The carbs were completely rebuilt and new O-rings, float valves and seals were installed. The Brembo brake calipers and master cylinders were completely overhauled and new seals, O-rings and pistons were installed. This bike got a thorough inspection and what was not roadworthy was replaced with new or NOS parts. The ignition pick-up wires were so bad that they turned to dust with the most gentle touch (something common on these bikes). These wires along with the outer silicone sleeve were replaced. The front forks also received new seals and fluids. This bike did not receive a frame-off restoration and it is not a trailer queen, it is meant to be ridden. Front and rear tires look good and they don't show any cracking, however, they are the original Metzelers it wore when it left South Africa and are over 24 years old. Bike shifts through all the gears and it brakes work as they should. Throttle response is very good and crispy. The clock currently shows 40,067 Km which is a little over 24k miles. The serial numbers are matching frame and motor #3444.

The seller has done a decent job describing this machine. True, it is not exactly the loving, original owner putting his baby up on the market. Still, there has been some work done to make this bike as presentable as it is, and plenty of decent photos. This is not a new machine, and there are some rough edges to some areas of the bike - certainly expected after 35 years of use. But it is also a reasonably rare machine, especially here in the US (you will note that the gauges are primarily in KMs). There appear to be a few slight modifications over the years as well - the oil pressure gauge does not appear to be OEM, and the Mirage originally came with a 3-into-2 exhaust, not the single pipe currently fitted.

Pricing on a Mirage model is difficult, at best. We have only featured one other such model on the pages of RSBFS, and that was a half-faired, non-TS model. Valuation should be comparable with a similar age Jota, or even RGS. There has been enough interest in this auction to pull the bidding above the $8k mark, with reserve still in place. Given the rarity of the model in the US, this one could go much, much higher. Curious to hear from our RSBFS sharpshooters on their thoughts - I know some of you are Laverda experts and might have more to share. Check it out here, and then jump back to the Comments section to let us know what you think!

MI

Seeing Things: 1982 Laverda Mirage 1200
Suzuki February 13, 2018 posted by Mike

Featured Listing: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R712

Update 2.20.2018: SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Update 2.12.2018: The GSX-R712 has been kept warm all winter in the living room and is ready to ship and run at your house this spring. Price has been dropped to $9,750.


The 1980s were a watershed era for sport bikes. This was a period of constant escalation between the Big Four manufacturers out of Japan. Amidst the fighting came many new innovations and a quantum leap in performance. And none epitomized the arms race quite like the revolutionary GSX-R from Suzuki. A winner in the showroom and a clear favorite for amateur and professional racers alike, the air/oiled cooled GSX-R was a definitive game changer for riders everywhere. Fast forward 30+ years later, and while the 80's era GSX-R is still striking, performance has not kept up with modern machinery. That is where this owner stepped in, creating a vintage 80s hot rod with performance enhancements to bridge the gap. This is an amazing build that we know RSBFS readers can appreciate; this one-of-a-kind machine has the stance and the history to give it serious street creds, but with updates to back it up in the canyons.

So how do you build a GSX-R712? Start with a good 1986 example of a GSX-R750 - well regarded as the best chassis of the day. Remove the 750cc engine and replace it with a second generation GSF1200 Bandit motor. Purists will note that the 1200 Bandit was an evolution of the GSX-R1100 engine, which makes this a perfect fit from a lineage perspective. Once that epic change has been completed, you then turn your attention to, well, everything. Rebuild the front end with new and upgraded components. Work over the swing arm and rebuild everything connected to it. Replace and upgrade braking components. Anything still stock must be completely refurbished. With the mechanicals in perfect shape, you then turn your attention to cosmetics. This is where little changes can make a huge impression. Source new lightweight bodywork and make subtle alterations to clean up the classic lines. Dress up the wheels and powdercoat to suit. Apply paint and graphics that act as an homage to the original, but modernize as well. Then step back and behold the glory of what you have created: a GSX-R712.

From the seller:
1986 GSXR750 complete Moderation 396 lbs semi wet
• Probolt Titanium hardware throughout 97% moto
• GSRX1100 rear wheel & casting markings removed
• wheels powdercoated Vegas gold
• new sealed wheel bearings
• custom billit wheel spacers
• Avon Roadrider tires
• forks serviced with new seals & bushings, powdercoated text black
• steering head bearings serviced
• clip-ons powdercoated texture Black
• performance fork springs, ..90
• swing arm powdercoated texture Black, new bearings complete
• Fox Shox serviced by Cogent Suspension
• 500lb spring powdercoated Red
• all calipers powdercoated with new seals and boots, titanium bleeds
• custom HEL brake lines front, rear and clutch
• rebuilt clutch slave cylinder
• new Brembo master cylinders, Front brake & clutch
• new CRG adjustable levers & mirror and adapter
• rear brake rotor SV lightened
• Pit Bull 520 chain conversion, EK chain Blue
• new LTD replica chain guard
• new NRC engine covers
• gauges fully restored inside & out, Perfect
• new Shorai battery LFX14L5-BS12
• Gen 2 Suzuki GSF1200 motor
• new Suzuki fuel petcock
• new Suzuki headlamp relays
• Stage 3 Dynojet
• Uni pod filters
• Delkevic SS header
• Danmoto Carbon Fibre muffler
• Air Tech light weight body custom made, thanks Dutch
• Probolt Aluminun body fasteners
• RD decal set, installed by Adam Stevenson @ AccuGraphix
• Jarrell Paint works Paint & prep work
• Zero Gravity smoke windscreen
• gas cap cerikoted
• super light led tail light
• seat pan modified, lightened
• Mikes Upholstery recovered seat, Blue
• TrailTech switches
• abbreviated wiring harness

Price $10,250 $9,750


For More Information:
Contact Edward Hessel at stathome@bellsouth.net
Text or call: 502.541.5253




Bikes like this amazing GSX-R Rod do not come along often. This is mainly because this is a very expensive, time-consuming process requiring patience and know-how. Most riders lack both the cash and the skill to create something this stunning, but would not hesitate to drool over it (and lust for one). A bike this good makes a personal statement that tells the world that you have great vintage taste and yet you also worship at the altar of performance. It is also likely a losing proposition for the seller; I could easily see $10k worth of parts in this rocket, not counting paintwork or specialized labor.

Slab-sided Gixxers are HOT right now - we see both collectable as well as pretty rough examples on a semi-regular basis. And we see the occasional Limited Edition unicorn - with prices in the stratosphere. This particular example takes the basic slabbie form and uses it as the foundation for a real hot rod superbike. Think of it as a higher performance slabbie with the cache of an L.E., but without the price tag. There is no doubt that this is a special bike - something the entire RSBFS staff agrees upon. The conversion is super sano, the lines are amazingly clean, and yet the whole package retains the classic looks of the original GSX-R. Check out the large number of very high-res pictures. I dare you not to fall in love with this bike. Once you do, reach out to the seller (stathome@bellsouth.net). You cannot build this bike for the asking price, and you will never see another like it again. Good Luck!!

MI

Featured Listing: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R712
Sales Report February 12, 2018 posted by Mike

Sales Summary – October 2017

The Fall of 2017 was as strong as the summer months with some great rare bikes and some interesting bargains. Whether you are a collector or simply interested in values, let's take a look back at October 2017 and see what sold and for how much. Links to the original post on RSBFS included.


SOLD Bikes


2000 Bimota SB8R - SOLD as a Featured Listing! (pricing data not available)


1991 Ducati 851 - SOLD for $6,600


1980 Ducati 900 SS - SOLD as a Featured Listing! (pricing data not available)


1998 Ducati 900SS Final Edition - SOLD as a Featured Listing! (pricing data not available)


2002 Ducati 748S - SOLD for $7,500


1979 Honda CBX - SOLD as a Featured Listing! (pricing data not available)


1990 Honda CBR400RR - SOLD for $3,500


1992 Honda VFR400R NC30 - SOLD as a Featured Listing for $8,600!


1978 Kawasaki Z1R - SOLD for $17,766


1986 Suzuki GSX-R 1100 - SOLD as a Featured Listing! (pricing data not available)


1986 Suzuki RG500Γ Gamma - SOLD as a Featured Listing! (pricing data not available)


1989 Suzuki RGV250Γ - SOLD for $5,750


1997 Suzuki TL1000S - SOLD for $3,000


1988 Yamaha FZR400 - SOLD for $5,500


1989 Yamaha FZR750R / OW01 - SOLD for $23,000


1992 Yamaha FZR600 Vance and Hines - SOLD for $1,600

Unsold Bikes


1992 Bimota YB8 - listing ended early by seller


2006 BMW K1200S - No sale at $9,000


2007 Buell XB12 Super TT - No sale at $6,250


1982 Ducati 900 Mike Hailwood Replica - No sale at $30,000


1995 Ducati 900SS/SP - No sale at $5,990


2006 Ducati Paul Smart - No sale and no bids at $24,000


2008 Ducati 1098 R#154 - No sale at $25,000


2008 Ducati 1098 R #212 - No sale at $30,000


2014 Ducati 1199 Superleggera - No sale at $45,890


1985 Honda VF1000R - No sale with bids up to $3,250


1986 Honda NS400R - No sale at $5,800


1989 Honda GB500 TT - No sale at $6,500


1990 Honda VFR400R - No sale at $12,500


1992 Honda NC30 - No sale at $7,500


1994 Honda NSR250R MC28 - No sale; listing ended early by seller


2002 Honda CBR1100XX - No sale at $4,500


2003 Honda RVT1000R / RC51 - No sale at $8,700


1989 Kawasaki ZXR250A - No sale at US $5,000


1955 Moto Guzzi 8C - No sale at $56,100


2000 Moto Guzzi V11 Sport - No sale and zero bids with a $4,800 opening ask


2000 MV Agusta 750 F4 Oro - No sale with bids up to $21,800


1974 Norton Commando Fastback - No sale at $16,500


1980 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley - No sale (buyer dropped out and bike was relisted)


New 1985 Suzuki RG500 - No sale at $68k AUD (which is roughly $52k USD)


1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited - No sale at $20,000


1987 Suzuki GSX-R 750 - No sale with zero bids and a $6,300 opening ask


1995 Triumph Speed Triple - No sale with bids up to $1,575

1977 Yamaha TZ750 R Side
1977 Yamaha TZ750 - No sale with bids up to $42,200


1985 Yamaha RZ500 - No sale with bids up to $13,533


1990 Yamaha FZR400 - No sale at $5,900


1993 Yamaha GTS1000A - no sale with listing ended early by seller

Ducati February 6, 2018 posted by Mike

178 Miler: 2002 Ducati MH900e

I know it is early in the year, but I'm going to go out on a limb and proclaim this advert as one of the top 5 worst presentations of 2018. Fortunately, the bike is a MH900e - the Terblanche-designed internet wunderbike that put Ducati collectables on the map. Sold in limited numbers and online only, the Y2K re-interpretation of the Mike Hailwood replica classic is a little bit of eye candy artwork, a little bit of a modern torture rack and a little bit of a parts bin special. It is also a great investment vehicle for those who don't like to ride.

2002 Ducati MH900e with 178 miles on eBay

Based around the ubiquitous Ducati L-twin, the MH900e started life out as a 900 Supersport. With air cooling, two valve desmodue heads and dry clutch the MH900e exudes all the coarseness of the lower echelon Ducatis. The rest of the bike is pure Terblance, with stylish extremes at every angle. From the front the circular headlamp and fairing calls to mind the late 70s and early 80s Ducatis that were so successful on the track. At the rear the offset rear shock draws the eye to the unique swing arm, the shotgun exhausts and the wheel that seems to hang out in space. Even the splash of colors combine with the chrome accents to stand out. The presence of the bike is amazing, making the MH900e one of the most popular bikes NOT to ride.

From the seller:
Part of a collection. Rare 2002 Ducati MH900e. Well babied from day one. Never raced, abused or even wet for that matter.

Between the lousy pictures and the non-existent text, it does not appear that this advert was created by an enthusiast. It is listed as "Ducati Sport Touring" and the listing has no VIN number. How about one or two pics in focus? It is too hard to actually move the bike to a point where you can take a decent photo? What is the history of the bike? What collection is it part of? Why is the collection being sold off / liquidated? When was the last time this bike ran? A picture might be worth a thousand words, but a poor pic simply prompts a thousand questions.

According to the limited info in the advert, this particular example sports but 178 miles. That is closer to being new than many we have seen. However it is interesting in that mileage does not really seem to affect the MH900e values; perhaps it is because so few MH900e models actually accrue road yardage (rumor has it that they are too uncomfortable to ride much), or perhaps it is simply because these are rare bikes that always have a market. Regardless, this example appears to be a well-cared specimen that is looking for a new home. The starting ask is Canadian $18,000 (approx $14.5k USD), which is well-below market value. There is a reserve in place, and you can expect the seller to be looking for somewhere in the $20k USD neighborhood. Check it out here and then let us know if you would like one of these in your collection - and why. Good Luck!!

MI

178 Miler: 2002 Ducati MH900e
Aprilia February 4, 2018 posted by Mike

400 Miler: 2009 Aprilia RSV 1000R Factory

I never really understood "new in the box" type of people. As I kid I did not hang out with the action figure collectors who liked to look at their as-new packaged Star Wars figures. I prefered to use my toys, breaking them occasionally. As I grew up, little changed (except maybe the frequency of breakage). Fast forward many years and I do not regret the immediate satisfaction over using that which I wanted; be it what is now a collectable toy or - much more importantly - a collectable motorcycle. Ownership to me implies ultimate control, and the ultimate luxury of doing what you want; and I've always prefered to ride rather than to ogle, to risk damage rather than participate in stagnation, and to get things dirty rather than spending all of my time cleaning. That's why this advert jumped out at me. Here you have a 2009 Ape RSV 1000R Factory that was new in the box - and this seller decided to open the box and take it for a spin or two. I say Bravo to him!

2009 Aprilia RSV 1000R Factory with only 400 miles!

The Aprilia RSV 1000R is well known as a v-twin torque monster. The 60 degree, liquid cooled cylinders are fueled by computerized fuel injection and a proprietary ram air system. Four valves are operated by DOHC, and engine cases are a combination of aluminum and magnesium to save weight. Expect approximately 145 HP from one of these beasts; more than enough to keep your riding buddies in sight during spirited canyon carving. And it is during canyon carving (or on the race track) that the Factory bits really come into play. The Factory is essentially an upper spec RSV, containing fully adjustable Ohlins forks, rear shock, and steering damper. Specialty forged aluminim wheels (designed through finite analysis to produce the strongest wheel with the least amount of weight) reduce unsprung and rotational weight. The alumimun frame and swingarm are standard RSV bits, although the Factory augments the visuals via anodizing and polishing various pieces. Topped off with carbon fiber bodywork pieces to further reduce mass, the Aprilia RSV 1000R Factory is as well put together as any bike you are likely to find in the class. They were not cheap to start with, but the attention to detail makes the difference.

From the seller:
09 Aprilia rsv 1000 R factory with 400 miles. I purchased the bike new in the box and about 2 years ago i took it out the box and registered it and ever since it's been in my climate controlled garage, The condition is what you would expect from a motorcycle with 400 miles.

I must admit that I would really love to know more about how the seller came across a crated Factory and the circumstances aound the purchase. Did he agonize at all about cracking the seal and devaluing a zero mile example by 35% or more just by uncrating it? My guess is that any anxiety felt was instantly replaced by sheer joy at the booming twin exhaust and the sound of the bike on full song. But at only 400 miles, this particular model is not even broken in. I can only guess that the 400 miles travelled have not been excessively hard on the bike. And the condition seems to agree. The pictures show a clean example of a great motorcycle - as you would hope. No telling if the crate is still available, but given that this one has been ridden at this point, the collector value for a zero mile bike with all the fixin's is gone. So how much for a truly awesome model Aprilia that appears to be in excellent shape? The seller is looking for $9,800 - which is a bit dear for a used motorcycle. Thankfully the seller is open to offers, so there may be some opportunity for this Factory model yet. If you are in the market for a used Ape and looking for the best you can find, this very low mileage, nearly-new example might just fit the bill. Check it out here, and then share your thoughts in the Comments section whether you would have unboxed this monster or left it wrapped up like an action figure. Good Luck!!

MI

400 Miler: 2009 Aprilia RSV 1000R Factory