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Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Ducati August 11, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 2008 Ducati 1098R for Sale

After the relative failure of the 999 series of superbikes, Ducati needed a win, badly, and they got one with the 1098. The design was much more conservative than the Terblanche-penned 999, but it shared stylistic elements with the 916 and had a recognizable “face.” But for serious riders, the changes under the skin were more important, and today’s Featured Listing 1098R is one of the rawest ways to experience Ducati’s two-cylinder fury.

It’s not that the Panigale that followed the 1098 and 1198 wasn’t even lighter, more aggressive, and more powerful. It obviously was. But the 1098 and especially the 1098R came at the tail end of the era of the truly analog sportbike. In fact, the 1098R is significant in that it represents an actual bridge between the pure, undiluted sportbikes and the proliferation of multi-level traction control, anti-wheelie systems, cornering ABS, and ride-by-wire.

Many of Ducati’s pre-Pani superbikes have power outputs that seem… tame. The famously beastly SPS? Just 124hp. Of course, those earlier bikes were still deceptively fast, and had huge torque figures and fat midranges, compared to inline fours. But by the time of the 1098R, you were still seeing a peak of nearly 190hp and 99ft-lbs of torque with the included race ECU and exhaust. That's a terrifying prospect in a bike that has only the most primitive form of electronic traction control.

And the R was a landmark bike in that it was the first roadbike to include a traction control system designed to allow the rider go faster, to help the rider tame the nearly race-bike levels of performance for both increased safety and better lap times. The DTC was deactivated on the bike as delivered, but installation of the included race ECU and Termignoni exhaust switched it on. Not that anyone would do that on the road, of course... The Testastretta Evoluzione v-twin fitted to the 1098R had the usual raft of titanium engine parts to save weight and help the bike spin up quicker, and the 1198.4cc was at the very limit for WSBK homologation purposes. A factory slipper clutch and the Öhlins TTX36 twin-tube shock helped keep things under control at the rear of the bike, and top-spec Öhlins forks and Brembo brakes did the same up front.

From the original eBay listing: 2008 Ducati 1098R for Sale

Race ECU and full Termignoni exhaust. No modifications. Always garaged. Not ridden in rain. Super clean. Maintenance up to date. Tires have plenty of tread left. Selling this and a couple others to make room for older bikes. I bought this 1098R from original owner/collector in 2012 when it had 1062 miles. Just relisted. Lower reserve. Lower Buy it Now price. Clear title in hand.

I believe all of the 1098Rs shipped with the Race ECU and Termi exhaust, but they weren't installed because, [cough, cough] they were "intended for offroad use only" and weren't anywhere near legal. Having heard one of these up close, I'd say it's pretty clear they didn't even bother trying to make the Termignoni exhaust meet noise standards... Anyway, mileage is low on this one, and the Buy It Now price of $17,700 is right in the ball park, if not a teeny bit on the low-side.

-tad

Featured Listing: 2008 Ducati 1098R for Sale
Laverda August 10, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Blue-Chip Classic Friday: 1974 Laverda 750 SFC for Sale

Back in the 1960s and 1970s you could buy race cars and race bikes that were basically road-legal, vehicles you could actually drive or ride to the track and reasonably expect to be competitive with pretty minimal changes. Of course, those days are long gone: race machines often share very few components with their road-going counterparts and frequently bear little resemblance to any sort production vehicles whatsoever. But today's Laverda 750 SFC was a machine from the tail end of that earlier era and was very much a race bike with some lights and signals slapped on to make it vaguely road-worthy.

I mean, just take a look at that taillight: was it thoughtfully integrated into a specially-designed cut-out? Nope, it was literally bolted to the sloped rear face of a solo tail section that was obviously designed with a number-plate in mind. The instruments are basically just a tach, ignition barrel, and indicator light bolted to the inside of the fairing: this thing is the epitome of crude, at least in terms of creature-comforts and finish. Speedo? Who cares? Just figure out what revs approximate which highway speeds in top gear and assume you could just outrun cops of the period anyway.

But forget refinement: the mechanicals are where it's at, and the bike has those in spades. Early models used a huge alloy drum brake, and later machines like this one a pair of discs, giving the bike it's name: "Super Freni Competizione" or basically "Super Braking Racebike." Laverda used the very best components available everywhere they could, and the basic parallel-twin was overbuilt and very durable, making it ideal for endurance racing.

Ceriani forks, Bosch ignition, and Nippon-Denso electrical components, and that 744cc parallel twin with five main bearings, backed up by a five speed gearbox that put the bike's claimed 75hp to the rear wheel. This example isn't some museum-piece and the seller mentions it's done quite a bit of track time. How much? Who knows: like many SFCs, this one lacks a speedometer, and therefore an odometer. The tach looks non-standard, although I've seen several different types fitted to the original bikes. It's hard to tell from the pic, but maybe it's a Scitsu unit?

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Laverda 750 SFC for Sale

Am 76 and it's time to let go of my collection. Started collecting about 50 years ago and the main objective was to buy one owner high end cars and motorcycles for pleasure and investment. I won't bore you repeating the history of the 750 SFC Laverdas - If you are reading this you already know of the Laverda 750 SFC's iconic competition accomplishments, background and rarity. Hand built by a small number of employees, there were only 100 of these limited production Laverda 750 SFC competition motorcycles manufactured in 1974. Recently brought out of storage, it is an authentic two owner (I am the 2nd owner) matching numbers factory original survivor. I purchased it from the gentleman who bought it new at a dealership in Florida. He raced it on every motorcycle race track East of the Mississippi up until around 1984, when he found out he had terminal cancer and put the bike in storage. He did not want to sell it but had to liquidate his holdings. It is a beautiful piece of art. The engine had a complete overhaul from a company called Megacycle in California after it's last race and is in fresh like new original condition. Runs perfectly. What a sound. An exhilerating deep throbbing sound that can only come from a Laverda 750 SFC. It has been cleaned and the brakes rebuilt. It is in it's original racing condition complete with period stickers, as it came off the last track. The engine mount tab is indeed stamped "SFC" from the factory. My collection included many motorcycles but I kept this one for the last and had no intention of ever selling it - but to be realistic it needs to move along to another caretaker. I have framed photos of it being raced at different tracks and the original 1974 owners manual. Please read the complete description so you will understand all conditions and any issues. THERE IS NO TITLE - Sold on a Georgia bill of sale and Georgia Sheriffs Department inspection certificate. I will answer all email questions and consider offers.

Just 549 total were built between 1971 and 1975. So the Buy It Now for this race-bred classic? A mere... $195,000?! Well, maybe that's a mistake. I mean, it is eBay after all. So the starting bid is... $150,000?! Wow, I guess he is serious. Well I'll be curious to see if anyone bites. Seems like a major auction might be a better bet for something like this, but who knows? Certainly the SFC is one of the most valuable and collectible bikes of the era, and prices are certainly headed in that direction.

-tad

 

Blue-Chip Classic Friday: 1974 Laverda 750 SFC for Sale
Yamaha August 7, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

One-Eighty: 1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA for Sale

It's been a while since we've seen a Yamaha TZR250 3MA for sale, and the bike is both very rare and also a sportbike, so we're posting this one, even though it isn't in perfect condition. I'm a huge fan of this particular iteration of the TZR, because of course I'm a fan of the weird, slightly less-than-successful version of any bike. With competition very fierce in the 250cc sportbike class and specifications so similar, Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, and occasionally Kawasaki were all looking for a competitive advantage. The bikes all had aluminum beam frames, liquid-cooled two-stroke twins, and power valves to boost midrange. Light weight meant incredible agility and the triple disc brakes were almost overkill for the 300lb machines.

Although two-stroke engines are very compact, routing the bulky de rigueur expansion chambers meant design compromises: the typical quarter-liter solution meant asymmetrical "banana" style swingarms that looked cool and allowed the expansion chambers to tuck in close to the centerline and maximize cornering clearance, but added weight.

Yamaha had a different idea. Why not flip the cylinders of their parallel twin around 180° so that the carburetors were at the front and the exhausts exited toward the rear? Since two-strokes lack camshafts or valvetrain, this was pretty simple to do for the 3MA version, and meant there were no worries routing the exhaust and expansion chambers around the bike's lower half. Instead, they went straight back and out through the tail, creating a slight bulge in panels just below the seat.

The concept was sound but the bike was produced for just two years and is generally considered a failure, although its reputation for mechanical unreliability is apparently a bit of an exaggeration. It was light and handled brilliantly, but the reversed-cylinders offered no real advantage. A failed experiment, the bike was only officially sold in Japan, although the bike did find its way to parts of Europe as a parallel import.

This little TZR is a complete machine and appears to be original, but is a little scruffy around the edges, although it's hard to tell from the pics. I'm seeing the typical corrosion and discoloration you'd expect on a Japanese bike of this era, especially one that likely spent it's first few years in the salt air of its homeland.

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA for Sale

1989 Yamaha TZR 250 3MA, no reserve
New tires, chain and sprockets, carbs rebuilt, fresh service
Very low kilometers, runs good, aftermarket exhaust chambers, bodywork is OEM
I can send running video, call me or text me 954-809-8596
My name is Mike

Hi, Mike! This isn't my favorite color combo for this bike, but you can't go wrong with basic black. The $5,500 opening bid is probably in the ball park, but I wonder what the reserve is. TZRs are rare, but seem to generally be less desirable than NSRs. Personally I love the look and general weirdness of the 3MA, but there was no performance advantage for the backwards cylinders, and I've read that parts are harder to source than for earlier parallel twins or later 3XV v-twin TZRs. Basically, it's a cool bike, but it's the oddity and style that appeal most, and this one is a runner, but in need of a bit of cosmetic TLC.

-tad

One-Eighty: 1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA for Sale
Honda August 3, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Unconventional NC30: 1992 Honda VFR400R for Sale

Purists and Honda fans might want to avert their eyes now... Styled like a baby RC30, the VFR400R NC30 has long offered Honda V4 thrills and character in a more affordable, less intimidating package. Of course, the steady rise in RC30 prices means that values for the NC30 are on the way up as well, as the bike has always been like a gateway drug for folks craving a Honda V4 rush. But because the NC30 was made in greater numbers and the bike has been pretty affordable, the bike can be considered less sacred, and is more likely to be subjected to modifications...

At a glance, you could easily confuse an NC30 for an RC30. The design is intentionally very similar, although the NC has smaller headlights and looks overall a bit like an RC that's been through the wash in hot water. It shares the RC's beam frame design, Pro-Arm single-sided swingarm, and V4 configuration. And the difference in displacement and overall performance is mitigated by a substantial weight disparity: the NC weighs 401lbs wet, compared to the RC's 488lbs wet.

We've gotten used to 200hp road missiles but, with sophisticated electronics needed to help manage these beasts, I think we sometimes underestimate just how much fun a pure, unadulterated 60hp motorcycle can be when it's this light and this thoroughly developed.

The rise in prices will also likely lead to purists being more offended by bikes like this one. Honestly, the modifications, although fairly extensive, are pretty tasteful, carefully thought out, and easy to miss at first since the bike retains the iconic HRC colors. Personally I'm kind of a fan of endurance-racing squinty-eyed headlamp setups like this. Airtech makes some neat ones for the GSX-R and ZX-7 and it makes a great, but maybe too-familiar design look fresh.

Head on over to eBay for a whole bunch of additional pictures of this little resto-mod.

From the original eBay listing: 1992 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

This bike has been a project to build a very cool VFR400 I have worked on over the last couple years after I purchased it from a friend who owned it for quite a few years. This bike has been in the US for many years, it does not suffer from much of the corrosion issues that many new Japan NC30 imports are plagued with. This bike has a 17 digit VIN, which is how I bought it. Currently titled and reg'd in Arizona this bike IS LEGAL TO REGISTER IN CA with the 17 digit VIN. 

This NC30 is turn key, ready to ride, track day or display in your collection. EVERYTHING is new or fresh.

The following is BRAND NEW in last few weeks:

  • Complete fresh paint and bodywork $3500
  • Brand new Bridgestone S21's front and back, no miles  $350
  • Brand new Tyga Full exhaust System $800
  • New Tyga fork adjusters and re-freshed forks $300
  • Freshly powdercoated wheels front and back $300
  • New Thermae upper and lower oversized radiators $600
  • NC35 17" rear wheel $350
  • Full service front to back, oil, filter, coolant brake fluid front and back.

You can probably not build an NC30 like this for less... and I have more in it than I am asking for!!!

This is a 1992 VFR400. It is wearing a Tyga Suzuka Style cowling with an NC35 solo style tail section. The bodywork has just been freshly professionally painted in RC30 style classic Honda tri colors.

  • The bike is on an NC30 3.5x17" front wheel with NC35 rotors, the rear wheel is an NC35 17".
  • Wheels freshly powdercoated and wearing brand new Bridgestones. 
  • Tyga Performance Full Stainless exhaust system with carbon can. 
  • Tyga Performance rear sets
  • Tyga Performance fork caps with Full rebound adjustment
  • Ohlins rear shock
  • Thermae Oversized race radiators
  • HRC rear brake reservoir
  • Samco hoses
  • Braided brake lines

This NC30 is very clean and well sorted, it has a rare Ohlins rear shock, the NC35 17 inch rear and looks incredible with the Suzuka style bodywork. The bike is very clean for its age, please look at the photos with the lower bodywork removed. No leaks or mechanical problems, carbs recently cleaned, jetted for exhaust. Everything works, currently the bike does not have front blinkers installed, but I have a Tyga set that can go with the bike and be installed at your discretion. 

All other electrical works as it should, and it has an updated reg/rec, so no issues with the stock Honda ones that often fail. This bike is also equipped with an aftermarket top speed de-restrictor to get around the JDM 180 kph limit.

Not a stock NC30 by any means, but I think it has all the right mods, looks incredible and will make someone VERY happy... and you will NOT see another one like it at your next bike night!

Please check out all the pictures, contact me with ANY questions or if you need more photos!!!

So it's not completely original, and it isn't even close to stock, but the seller is obviously a knowledgeable enthusiast. Modifications like the NC35 rear wheel make plenty of practical sense and, if you're looking for the V4 experience on a budget and have an irreverent streak, that $10,500 Buy It Now price represents a screaming deal.

-tad

Unconventional NC30: 1992 Honda VFR400R for Sale
Ducati August 2, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Sponsored Listing: 2000 Ducati 996 Biposto for Sale!

Iconic Motorbikes is the Premier Sponsor for RSBFS. Thank you for supporting the site, Adam and team! -dc

If you have the Desmodromic Flu, the guys over at Iconic Motorbikes have the cure! And it's a very, very yellow pill to swallow! The whole range of Ducati's Tamburini-designed superbikes are likely at a low-ebb in terms of values, so if you've ever wanted one, now's probably the time to buy in. From the 916 that was introduced in 1994 through the end of production with the 998 in 2004, the package evolved constantly with improvements to the frame, engine, and fuel system. But the looks stayed largely the same, and the Ducati 996 offers up some pretty good value at the moment.

2000 Ducati 996 Biposto for Sale at Iconic Motorbikes

The 996 is obviously the middle-child of the line: it's not the collectible original or the best-developed of the bunch, but has improved power and reliability compared to the 916 and prices are generally lower than the 998. Handling for all of them was superlative, and if you really think you're a good enough rider that you'll "get bored" with the 996's mere 112hp, more power to you. But somehow I still think there are guys who can lap faster than you on a nice R6...

Its ergonomics are famously uncompromising, but the aftermarket Corbin seat seen here which should help somewhat, and the dash is wonderfully simple: just speedo, tach, temp gauge, and a row of idiot lights. None of which should probably be completely trusted, since this is a Ducati after all. The exhaust on this one isn't original, but I personally wouldn't want a 996 with the stock cans and Ferracci's bits were apparently rebadged Arrow or SilMoto parts, both of which were of good quality.

This example has under 13,000 miles on it and has been well-maintained. There are a few minor blemishes, as described, and it looks like the battery vent tube came loose at some point and a bit of acid damaged the clutch cover, but it's mostly hidden behind the bodywork. As I've said before, very few bikes look good in yellow, but the Tamburini superbikes somehow pull it off, in spite of the relatively unbroken slabs of bodywork. To me, that's always been the genius of this design: those side panels are huge and basically flat, barring a few small vents and bulges, and yet the bike still appears lithe and elegant.

From the Seller: 2000 Ducati 996 Biposto for Sale

Fully Serviced & Ready to Go! Amazing Condition!

Very few motorcycles look good in yellow, but the Ducati 996 is one of them! Pure Italian style and beautiful in person, this example is one of the cleanest we’ve come across.

Maintenance is absolutely critical for four-valve Ducatis, and this 996 has had a complete service: belts, fluids, tires… It’s literally perfect mechanically and is ready to go. As far as the body is concerned, it is in amazing condition indeed, with only 12,741 miles on the clock. Many of these 996s have a little hazing or discoloration in the headlights, but not this one: they’re crystal clear, just like new. The motor was tuned by a well-known Ducati expert, and more info is available to interested buyers. Tires are brand-new and still have the nipples, so you’re good there too!

There is one mark on the back of the tank, perhaps caused by some leathers or a jacket rubbing. But it’s a raised mark, so I’m thinking we can polish it out. I took some Mothers Cleaner to it, but it still needs a little more work. The clutch cover shows some very minor stains, as you can see from the one picture, but most people replace them anyway to expose the dry clutch and help it run cooler.

The bike is fitted with a set of carbon fiber Fast by Ferracci cans and a Corbin seat which is a must-have, as the original seats may as well have been made of wood… They are brutal.

Want to see her in person first? Fly into LAX, we’ll come get you as we’re only about 15 minutes from the airport.

The asking price is $7,390 and, although you can find examples of the 996 for as low as $4,500 you could very easily end up spending the difference to make it right. I've seen this bike in person and it is exactly as described: it's not technically perfect, but it is tastefully-modified, very clean, well-maintained, and ready to go. Basically, it's what you'd expect from a bike that's been owned since new by a well-heeled collector who regularly rides his bikes.

-tad

Sponsored Listing: 2000 Ducati 996 Biposto for Sale!
Triumph July 28, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Tuned Triple: 1995 Triumph Daytona Super III for Sale

In the 90s, it was foolish to take the Japanese Big Four head on: they were on a roll, and if you wanted to compete, you needed to offer something else, something different. They had the high-tech theme down cold, but no one can be all things to all people, and there has always been room in the margins for players with something unusual to offer. And a reborn Triumph had just such a machine with the Daytona Super III.

Sheer economic necessity dictated the design. The bike's spine frame meant versatility and the same basic component could be used as the foundation for a series of bikes with vastly different missions: sportbike, roadster, tourer, cruiser. But the downside was inherent compromise: that configuration carried weight high up and meant that the resulting bikes were generally heavier than more focused rivals.

Engines had the same issues: Triumph’s three and four-cylinder designs were versatile, but they could never be as light or as powerful as something designed for screaming revs and maximum aggression. But although inline fours are powerful, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha’s reliance on them to power sports motorcycles during this period made the whole class a bit same-y, which likely explains some of Ducati’s contrarian appeal.

Freed from the need to fit into displacement restrictions imposed by racing classes, Triumph was able to create a sportbike focused for the road. The Daytona came in two flavors originally, one powered by the three cylinder and one by the four. The triple was lighter and ultimately more popular, but was very outclassed in the performance stakes compared to Japanese rivals. So Triumph introduced the Super III to at least close the gap and make the bike a viable alternative to more focused sportbikes.

Cosworth tuning increased power from 98 to 115hp and gave the bike a 140mph top speed, along with six-piston brakes. Performance was at least within shouting distance of other sportbikes, but the Triumph offered that charismatic and torquey three-cylinder that had great midrange punch, stable handling, reasonable comfort, much higher build quality and paintwork, along with classic styling that was a complete 180°, compared to the wild graphics and lurid colors found on bikes like the GSX-R750.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Triumph Daytona Super III for Sale

Between 1992 and 1997 Triumph produced the much appreciated but ultimately underpowered 3 cylinder Daytona 900. This bike was a successor to the original Daytona 750 and boasted a more acceptable riding position designed to increase its sporting ability. But the power to weight ratio was still a problem, especially when compared to other bikes at the time such as the GSX-R and the ultra-light Fireblade/CBR. So for the 1994-96 model years Triumph produced the Daytona Super III, and exported a very limited production run of ~150 bikes to the USA (numbers are approx 1000 worldwide).

Having been bitten by the Triumph triple bug, I searched for 2 years for a Super III and was ecstatic when I came across this extremely clean and well cared for example. Sadly, priorities have shifted and looking to thin the herd. This is not a divorce sale, baby sale, or other emergency sale. I'd like this to go to someone who will appreciate it as I have.  

Bike details: 8779.3 miles although that may go slightly up. 1 season old Michelin Pilot Power tires with less than 1k miles. Forks serviced at the end of last season with fresh oil, seals, and .95kg springs. Everything on the bike is OEM except for e-code halogen headlights for better night vision. All bodywork and paint is original. All factory carbon fiber parts are present, original, and unbroken.  

Extras: extremely rare Sprint Fox Fairing and custom made carbon fiber fill pieces. Comes with an extra fairing mount. Sudco FCR39 carbs (true triple carb setup for the 885, not a re-rack). Spare seat for re-upholstering. Can include some German basketweave vinyl (60's Porsche restoration supply) if desired. It is very similar to the 60's Triumph seat covers, albeit much higher quality.  

Very minor cons: small scratches on each muffler, less than 2". Right side lower fairing has a few light scratches. Some chipping on fairing V behind front wheel.  

This is one of the lowest mileage original Triumph Super IIIs in existence. Extras worth $2,500 alone. Will not separate at this point.  

Japanese sportbikes of this era are old enough that the splashy graphics and DayGlo colors have become cool again, but the simple lines of this bright yellow Super III still appeal. These are very rare and certainly the most valuable of the early Daytonas, but still pretty affordable compared to other exotic machines. The $6,500 asking price is pretty high for a Super III, but the bike appears to be in superlative condition and has been enthusiast-owned, with low mileage, and comes with some very desirable extras. Speaking of: the seller mentions "Sudco" carbs, but I'm assuming they're actually Keihin flat-slides, since Sudco doesn't actually make carburetors, they just sell them.

-tad

Tuned Triple: 1995 Triumph Daytona Super III for Sale