Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Ducati August 18, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Coffee Table Bike: 2001 Ducati MH900e for Sale

One of the most strikingly-styled bikes of the modern era, the Ducati MH900e looked backwards and forwards at the same time, celebrating their racing history and interpreting classic design cues in a very modern way. Looking at it, it's almost hard to tell exactly when it was first sketched by noted and occasionally infamous stylist Pierre Terblanche: the overall colors and shapes clearly recall the NCR racebikes of the 1980s and the chrome bezeled, white-faced gauge and the "Mike Hailwood" reference in the name are very 1970s, while the undertail exhausts, 17" wheels, and swooping curves are much more 2000. But the bigger question is whether or not this is more an art object, or a functional motorcycle.

Obviously, looking at the heart of the MH900e, you could be forgiven for thinking it's an actual motorcycle: that elegant tubular trellis frame surrounds one of the great street powerplants of the modern era: Ducati's air-cooled, two-valve v-twin. It's no powerhouse, with just 75hp at the rear wheel, but makes plenty of torque and sounds terrific, more emotive than Ducati's four-valve, liquid-cooled engines. The suspension is top-shelf and the overall package is lightweight so the bike has excellent handling, should you ever decide to venture out on a racetrack or backroad on one.

But the riding position is brutal, and clearly dictated by style as opposed to function. It does handle well, but plenty of great-handling roadbikes have reasonably humane ergonomics. Perhaps it's just as well then that the bike has an almost impossibly tiny gas tank that holds just 2.2 gallons. Oh you thought that huge thing behind the fairing held fuel? Surprise! It's an airbox! A larger tank is available from California Cycleworks but, unless you've got one of those, the stock unit wasn't good for much, even considering the twin's relatively good fuel economy. Maybe take a page out of the Harley guys that run peanut tanks on their bikes and sling a bit of gas in a thermos over your shoulder in case you run out before reaching the next gas stop.

From the original eBay listing: 2001 Ducati MH900e for Sale

I purchased 0037/2000 five years ago and it has been on display in my office in Los Angeles for that entire time. My understanding is that the original owner lives in Colorado. The second owner lives in Florida and I believe he owned the bike for only a year or two and is the one that put the mileage on the bike. I am the third owner and bought the bike in 2012 with 1204 miles on the odometer. To the best of my knowledge this bike is complete, original and unmodified. Sale includes all manuals plus a workshop manual with binder, the boxed plaque, T-Shirt, and two keys with key code.

The following items are included but are not attached to the bike: mirrors, kick-stand, and steering damper all of which are in excellent condition (see photos).

The bike is now 16 years old; rubber and some plastic parts are beginning to deteriorate (as they do on all vehicles). Several small plastic wire clips are missing. As a display bike I did not get any service work done and was reluctant to start it for fear of the timing belt breaking or other such issues. The cylinders have been oiled with a spray and the engine rotates freely.  If you are planning on riding 0037 it is going to need comprehensive service and new tires.

The final four photos show the flaws. A leak at the petcock allowed gas to seep down the cylinder and on to the engine cases. The gas stained the paint and in trying to remove the stain I removed some paint (see photo). I have read on several forums that there are products that will remove these stains. Small dark spots show on the bottom castings. Since taking the shots I have able to remove or lighten most of them. The foam piece on the rear shock rod is broken. And finally the rear tire has been cut in places. I have no idea when or how this happened. This may have gone unnoticed when I took delivery of the bike. The stand is also badly scratched from raising and lowering the bike over the years and owners.

The batteries were removed and will need to be replaced. Clear California Title.

It's a shame all that the available performance is wasted in this case, since the bike hasn't turned a wheel in years, but not really a surprise, since many of these limited-production machines were snapped up by collectors and are only occasionally ridden. If you do plan to ride your investment, this will obviously need some work, but the hard parts of the MH900e should be simple to restore, since that same engine found its way into plenty of Monsters and SuperSports and parts to maintain, repair, or upgrade them are readily available. Or maybe even track down one of those larger fuel tanks, fit a later 1100cc DualSpark engine to create a faster, more usable machine, and put the original engine on display in your office!

-tad

Coffee Table Bike: 2001 Ducati MH900e for Sale
Yamaha August 17, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1987 Yamaha TZR250 for Sale

Today's Featured Listing Yamaha TZR250 comes to us from our neighbors to the north in Canada. This 1KT/2MA/2ME was the very first iteration of Yamaha's little sportbike, and helped to define the 250cc class. If you're not familiar, these little quarter-liter sportbikes were packed with big-bike technology. In the US market, a 250 was an economical commuter, a learner bike, or a dirt bike. But overseas,  tiered licensing and heavy taxes on larger displacements meant many young and enthusiastic riders were simply unable to buy "big" bikes. You know, like a 600cc supersport... So the class that included the NSR, RGV, KR, and today's TZR have all the development and even better handling than many of their bigger-engined counterparts.

The TZR was the follow up to Yamaha's RD line of two-stroke sporting motorcycles, but added liquid-cooling to the 250cc parallel twin and an extra gear in the gearbox for a total of six speeds. Yamaha's YPVS power valve added midrange to help plump up the compact engine's claimed 50hp. The beam frame was made from lightweight aluminum and 17" wheels were fitted at both ends meant impressive handling. A single disc brake up front may seem low-tech for a sportbike, but the bike stops just fine with this set up, considering the 282lb dry weight and I'm sure things would be improved with some modern compound pads.

From the Seller: 1987 Yamaha TZR250 for Sale

1987 Yamaha TZR250 2ME Canadian Bike.

One of very few originally from the Canadian Market. Very clean and well running bike. Motor rebuilt less than a thousand KMs ago along with fresh paint and powder coated wheels. Alberta registered 2017. Bike is well sorted and in excellent condition. Does not suffer from corrosion issues seen on Japanese imports. Will continue to be ridden. This came to me as a mostly complete motorcycle that appeared well cared for and is NOT a parts bin special.

The TZR is essentially a 2/3 size RZ350 with a proper modern aluminum spar frame. It handles incredibly well and is a ton of fun to ride. Light, nimble and quick. The most fun motorcycle I have ridden which includes RZs, RDs, Kawasaki Triples and NS400Rs.

Completed around 35,000km:

-New paint and reproduction decals (clear coated decals)
-Powder coated rims (more modern white compared to original red)
-Tires in good shape
-Rebuilt motor
-JDM taillights
-Aftermarket pipes with Aprilia RS250 carbon silencers
-Sintered front brake pads and stainless brake line
-Stock oil pump running as it should
-Everything works and rides better than new
-Runs excellent, pulls to 10k
-Ti rear sprocket nuts
-Rare solo cowl. All fairings OEM plastic (not Chinese)

Motor
-Replacement cases (original 2ME cases had hole in bottom case due to piston failure, cases are repairable and are included in sale)
-Cylinder barrels on stock bore
-New pistons/rings

-Crank rebuilt, new bearings and rod

-New seals/gaskets throughout (inc. power valves and crank) and bearings inspected or replaced
-Uprated (F3) clutch springs and new plates

Comes with:
-Original engine cases
-Stock radiator (currently running RZ350 radiator, no mods to frame or other)
-Stock tail lights

-Stock pipes in great shape
-clip on riser spacer (currently removed)
-Original brake pads and brake line (running braided with sintered pads)

This is well sorted and rare Canadian TZR250. This is not an import from Japan on the UK.

THE BIKE COMES WITH STOCK PIPES INSTALLED AND DOES NOT COME WITH THE AFTERMARKET PIPES ON THE MOTORCYCLE.

For anyone out of the city or province, I have 60 pictures I can send over for more details. Happy to take a video if requested.

Willing to help with shipping within reason.

Contact Evan by email with your interest.

This bike is currently in Calgary, Alberta and the seller claims that it is an original Canadian-market bike, not a grey-market Japanese import. Asking price is $5,200 USD, which is a very nice price, considering how desirable these small displacement two-strokes are at the moment. Miles are on the high side, but the motor has been recently rebuilt, and the bike appears to otherwise have been well-maintained. Assuming it's been carefully stored, that should mean less of the surface corrosion and general fading that seems to be common on examples that have been recently imported from Japan. The paint isn't completely original, but OEM plastics were used and, unless you're a stickler for a perfectly-preserved, factory-fresh collectible, I'd bet you'd be hard-pressed to find a nicer example to actually ride in North America.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1987 Yamaha TZR250 for Sale
Honda August 16, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Single-Sided Sportbike: 1987 Honda VFR400R NC24 for Sale

The later NC30 version of Honda’s VFR gets most of the attention, due to the fact that the style and specification so closely mimics the iconic RC30 at about half the cost, but this earlier VFR400R NC24 still makes for an appealing and attention-grabbing ride. The NC24 was sold in 1987 and 1988 and featured a 399cc V4 with gear-driven cams, although it had a more conventional 180° crank instead of the later bike’s 360° “big bang” firing order that helped give that later bike its distinctive character.

The 60hp produced by the V4 was modest but very flexible and the gear-driven cams added a characterful whine to go with the precise cam timing that prompted their inclusion. The VFR400R was light at around 350lbs dry and handling was predictably excellent. The bike's endurance-racing design brief is clearly reflected in that ELF-designed Pro-Arm single-sided swingarm, here secured by four nuts [hidden by a plastic cover] instead of the later NC30's genuine single nut.

Styling is fairly conventional, apart from that swingarm and high-mount exhaust. The bike has a single trapezoidal headlamp instead of twin round units found [for most markets at least] on the later NC/RC30's, making this earlier VFR a bit of a bargain, considering the engineering and heritage on display here. This one is a fairly recent import from Japan and comes with a Washington State title!

From the original eBay listing: 1987 Honda VFR400R NC24 for Sale

Directly import from Japan, BDS Auction.
Honda VFR400R
1987 year
First generation with: single rear Pro-Arm system.
Model NC24-10006460
9526km- approximately 6500 mile original!
Excellent condition , new battery, oil filter, spark plugs.
Has clear WA Title!!!
No Trade!
We are a licensed dealer and importer of Japanese vehicles.
Have been importing since 1996!

The seller also includes a video walk-around and startup of the bike. The little V4 seems to fire up pretty easily, once the cameraman remembers the choke, and the bike makes a nice, exotic whir. $5,900 seems reasonable for this bit of Honda history: everything works and, although there is some of the expected surface corrosion on a Japanese import, the bike looks very complete, with low miles and tons of cool engineering detail.

-tad

Single-Sided Sportbike: 1987 Honda VFR400R NC24 for Sale
Suzuki August 15, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Fierce Little Pup: 1986 Suzuki RG250 Walter Wolf for Sale

Looking very much like someone washed an RG500 in hot water, Suzuki's RG250Γ "Gamma" featured two fewer cylinders and half the displacement, but was still packed full of race-bred technology and performance. Built between 1983 and 1987, the quarter-liter Gamma was never officially imported to the USA, but some have found their way here over the years from Canada, and their age means that more are now finding their way here in shipping containers to feed starving hordes of US two-stroke enthusiasts.

Performance available belies the mere 247cc displaced by the liquid-cooled parallel twin, as the government-mandated 45hp had its midrange boosted by Suzuki's Automatic Exhaust Control power valve system, with even more available in markets outside Japan. Skilled pilots could exploit that limited power by working the six-speed gearbox to keep the engine in the meat of the narrow two-stroke powerband, and stopping power from the triple-disc DecaPiston four-piston brake setup was excellent. Anti-dive forks were probably more useful to the marketing team than to riders, but the bike did have excellent handling and a light weight of 286lbs dry, thanks in part to the aluminum frame, although grip from the skinny 80s tires will be limited if you're used to wide modern radials.

"Walter Wolf" may sound like the name of a James Bond villain, but in reality he was simply an eccentric businessman who made his fortune in the Canadian oil business and used that fortune to sponsor several Formula 1 racing teams in the late 1970s, followed by touring cars in the early 1980s, as rich folks are wont to do. The color scheme was an unusual choice, but I happen to think the dark blue-and-red race replica colors are the most flattering for the slab-sided Gammas, although the traditional white-and-blue obviously has many fans as well.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki RG250 Walter Wolf Replica for Sale

Very original 1986 Suzuki RG250 Gamma Walter Wolf import that has not been running in a while.  I am a collector and imported it from Japan.  Appears to be an original Walter Wolf, not a clone. The only parts that seem not to be original are possibly the brake and or clutch levers and the clip-ons or handle bars.  Over all in good original condition for its age, minor dings, scratches, not running.  Turns over and feels like good compression. Will need going thru, tires, carb kit, brake work, battery, etc, my gut says that with battery, carb rebuild and fresh gas you will have a runner.  I do have both mirrors, one off now for easier storage.  Happy to send more photos and or video.  Prefer buyer to come see in person so they see what they need to see.  Seat has small cut and tank small dings.  Overall the body panels are in nice shape and someone put plastic sheet protection tape on areas to protect paint, etc. Clock reading 9130km. Florida title.  I can help arrange shipping, have worked with a few shippers recently.  All payment funds must be fully cleared before shipping. RZ TZR NSR RGV KR1 NSR250 RGV250 TZR250 Gamma.  Questions welcome.

Very original import that has not been running in a while. The only parts that seem not to be original are possibly the brake and or clutch levers and the clip-ons or handle bars. Appears to be an original Walter Wolf, not a clone. Over all in good original condition for its age, minor dings, scratches, not running. Turns over and feels like good compression. Will need going thru, tires, carb kit, brake work, etc, my gut says that with battery, carb rebuild and fresh gas you will have a runner. Happy to send more photos and or video. Prefer buyer to come see in person so they see what they need to see. Seat has small cut and tank small dings. Overall the body panels are in nice shape and someone put plastic sheet protection tape on areas to protect paint, etc. Clock reading 9130km. Florida title 

I believe some markets made do with stock Suzuki gauge faces, but the blue and red Walter Wolf items are a good indicator that this is the real thing. Obviously, this one will need some refurbishment, but nothing outside the ordinary for a bike of this age. The cosmetics aren't perfect, but the bike looks complete, and is claimed to be very original which counts for much among collectors. And if you're not into math, that kilometers reading on the odometer means the bike has just 5,673 miles on it. With a Buy It Now price of $4,750 the seller seems to be realistic about what this bike is worth, considering the worn cosmetics and non-running condition, so if you want an 80s two-stroke sportbike and your finances won't stretch to an RG500, this might scratch that itch.

-tad

Fierce Little Pup: 1986 Suzuki RG250 Walter Wolf for Sale
Moto Morini August 11, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Quirky, Pint-Sized Italian: 1986 Moto Morini 350 K2 for Sale

The Moto Morini 350 K2 was, in theory at least, a contemporary of the Suzuki GSX-R750 and Kawasaki GPz900 in terms of cost and mission. In reality, it was light years behind those bikes in terms of outright performance. By the mid-1980s, the Italians were already unable to keep pace with the Japanese manufacturers' relentless technological development and the Morini was a bike you bought because you were a fan, not because it made any practical sense.

That's not to say that the little Italian twin was completely outclassed in every way: handling was always a strong point and the bike was light at just 330lbs dry. The 344cc 72º v-twin was air-cooled and used pushrods to actuate the valves, but was otherwise pretty sophisticated: the pushrods were driven by a toothed rubber belt and the engine featured "Heron" heads that helped gave great fuel economy and simplified manufacturing. Heron heads have a nearly flat surface, with small recesses for the valves and spark plugs, shifting the combustion chamber from the heads themselves to the dished top of the piston. The resulting 35hp and six-speed gearbox could push the little bike to more than 100mph, impressive for an air-cooled 350.

Styling is subjective, but the little K2 has origami good looks and simple graphics that give it a strong dose of 1980s class, and you're certainly unlikely to mistake it for anything but an Italian bike. Earlier Moto Mornis' classic looks always seemed at odds with the angular design of the powerplant, and this updated bodywork seems to gel better as a whole. I think I prefer the style of the older 3½ in general and yes, for some reason, Moto Morini called its 350cc machine a 3½...

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Moto Morini 350 K2 for Sale

This is my last Morini . I had this bike quite a while runs rides and handle like an Italian bike should this is a very collectable bike, just selling my collection. Probably less than 10 in the USA.  ASK questions there are a few small scratches in the paint. But I rode it hundreds of miles . It's NOT new but it could be New to you. Clear Texas title in my name.Ship anywhere in the world at buyers cost.

Moto Morinis fell into the "cheap, but hard to find" category for a long time, but values in recent years have basically exploded, although that generally applies to the earlier, classic-style bikes. Miles are very low at 2,392 and it isn't perfect but appears to be in very original condition, which is great because sourcing missing bits on a rare, relatively "affordable" classic can quickly erase any bargain pricing. Bidding on this example is up just north of $2,000 with the Reserve Not Met and very little time left on the auction.

-tad

Quirky, Pint-Sized Italian: 1986 Moto Morini 350 K2 for Sale
Honda August 10, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

In the Beginning: 1984 Honda NS250R MC11 for Sale

The mid-1980s were a transitional time for sportbikes, and some of these seminal machines are a bit less graceful than their descendants. Today's Honda NS250R MC11 certainly fits that description: it's nowhere near as sleek and purposeful as the later NSR250, but certainly much sportier than the earlier MVX250F that preceded it, with fully-faired style and that cool exhaust that exits through the tail. Unlike other small-displacement sportbikes of the era that generally used compact and economical parallel-twins, the NS250R was powered by a 90° v-twin with Nikasil-lined bores that made the class-limited 45hp at 9,500rpm.

The rest of the NS250R was high-tech as well, with TRAC “Torque-Reaction Anti-Dive Control” forks and the engine had Honda’s ATAC “Automatic Controlled Torque Amplification Chamber” to boost midrange by adjusting the volume of the front cylinder’s exhaust. The bike was very light at 317lbs dry, helped by liberal use of aluminum in the frame and swingarm, while modular Comstar wheels accepted tubeless tires, a relatively unusual feature for the period.

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Honda NS250R MC11 for Sale

The bike is imported from Japan. Not registered yet in the U.S. This bike is sold without title. (NO TITLE) We don't know how to get a titile. Please ask DMV

Start engine. Original Cowl. Switches and lights working. Some scratches and cracks but very clean. So look carefully all pictures and video. No Mirrors. Need to fix the tank under the decal.

Engine Number MC11E-1116589 15,197km (9,442 miles) Low miles

This motorcycle is 33years old. Sold as is. Sold as is with NO warranty NO refunds NO return. Buyer responsible for vehicle pick-up or shipping to your location. Item in Carson now. If anyone wants to come see the motorcycle. Please contact me.

Thank you.

The seller also includes a video of the bike starting [on the first kick] and running. It's not in perfect condition, with missing mirrors and other imperfections, but is complete and is claimed to have the original bodywork, even the funky flap on the sidestand. There is a "Moriwaki" sticker on the tank that is supposed to be covering some cosmetic issues but it appears there's not dent, just damaged paintwork. No takers yet at the $2,500 asking price, but these are pretty cool and definitely rare in the states. Although performance won't be on par with the later NSR250, it may be easier to register here in the US due to age.

-tad

In the Beginning: 1984 Honda NS250R MC11 for Sale