Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Yamaha May 22, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Vintage Racer: 1970 Yamaha TR2 350 for Sale

Introduced in the late 1960s as an over-the-counter racebike, Yamaha's TR2 was based on the road-going R3, and was extremely popular among privateer racers of the period. At just 253lbs dry, the bike was lightweight and, with a nearly square 61mm x 59.6mm bore and stroke that worked out to 348cc, the little air-cooled, two-stroke parallel-twin put a claimed 55hp through a five-speed gearbox.

The huge drum brakes at both ends seen here were difficult to adjust correctly and are obviously not as effective as discs that would have likely been fitted to period racers as soon as they could get their hands on a set, but look very shiny!

From the original eBay listing: 1970 Yamaha TR2 350 for Sale

Restored to an excellent condition. Matching numbers. This very rare racebike have been completely overhauled with a lot of brand new parts as new cylinder barrels and pistons and an overhauled crankshaft, new Koni shock dampers, tires etc.

Transport can be arranged to most EU countries as I can deliver it by myself for actual costs for petrol and ferry tickets and, depending of distance, overnight costs at a cheap hotel. Transport outside Europe must be arranged by the buyer himself. I will make it ready for shipping with a crate and good wrapping.

Currently located in Sweden, this bike is in extremely nice condition, considering the age and the hard life most racebikes have endured, and appears ready to run or for display. Starting bid is $9,900 with no takers and very little time left on the auction, so move fast if you're living room needs redecorating!

-tad

Vintage Racer: 1970 Yamaha TR2 350 for Sale
Yamaha May 18, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1992 Yamaha FZR400RR 3TJ1 for Sale

We've spilled a lot of ink [pixels?] here on RSBFS about the Yamaha FZR400 so you're probably thinking if you've seen one, you've seen them all. But take a closer look at this little sportbike, especially the front: in place of the usual twin round lamps like you'd normally see on the FZR is a single, trapezoidal light that leaves the bike looking quite a bit like the two-stroke TZR. What we have here is a grey-market FZR400RR, a bike seldom seen outside its home market of Japan.

The RR was the slightly less extreme, less expensive, road-biased version of the very trick FZR400RR SP. It features a revised gearbox with a more street-oriented first gear compared to the SP, which means less clutch-slippage is required to get underway. It also has a dual seat on the off-chance your prospective passenger is proportioned like a 10 year old child, although it shares a committed riding position with its racy sibling. A 352lb dry weight and a lightweight aluminum frame mean confidence-inspiring handling and the RR has a 17" wheel at each end so modern rubber can be fitted, although the rear is a skinny-ish 160.

399cc might not sound like all that much, but a claimed 66hp, combined with exemplary handling, means plenty of thrills and fun to be had chasing the 14,000 rpm redline. Plenty of bigger machines rev just as high these days, but the FZR really only makes power near redline, so you'll need to keep the engine spinning to extract the available power. Or just find a nice FZR600 powerplant and slot that in: the FZR600 used a heavy steel frame and is generally much less desirable than the flyweight FZR400, but it's pretty simple to fit the bigger, punchier motor into the nimbler aluminum-framed FZR400 to create a bit of a canyon-carving hot rod.

From the Seller: 1992 Yamaha FZR400RR 3TJ1 for Sale

Up for auction is one of the best handling motorcycles ever made from Yamaha. The 1992 Yamaha FZR400RR 3TJ1 with only 3663 kilometers (2276 miles). This bike is in almost perfect condition. Still has the factory warning labels. I can only find a few flaws (for the boys in the cheap seats) The ignition switch decal has been carelessly rubbed off from extra keys on the key chain vibrating while the bike was being ridden. A little bit of sun fade on the left handlebar control switches. A couple of tiny paint dots (touch up) on the right side of the tank that don't show up in pictures but they are there. Original tires are soft but have cracks in them. This bike doesn't need much to be turned into a museum quality addition to any collection.

The bike is 100% OEM original Yamaha fairings and components. Original brake pads, chain and sprockets, tires, exhaust and components. This is a very nice unmolested collector quality FZR. This is a premium bike. A Utah state title will be presented to the lucky winner. This FZR400RR has been titled as a street motorcycle for road use.

Bidding on the auction is up to $2,370.00 at this point, with a few days left on the auction. This particular bike comes from a seller that's been unloading quite a few high-quality, quirky grey-market bikes in the past couple of weeks. This may not be the most valuable bike in his collection, but should be affordable and, like the other bikes that we've seen, is in very nice, if not absolutely perfect cosmetic condition: there is minor corrosion on some of the metal surfaces, but is generally very very sharp and the plastics look great considering the age. It also comes with a valid Utah title, which means you might just be able to ride it on the street if your local DMV is sympathetic.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1992 Yamaha FZR400RR 3TJ1 for Sale
Ducati May 18, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 2001 Ducati 996SPS for Sale

It's sometimes hard to get excited about the bike often referred to as "Tamburini's Masterpiece" these days: the 916 and its derivatives have appeared in countless forms in popular culture, everything from big-budget feature films to bedroom wall posters, where they're often depicted straddled by young ladies in outfits that would provide shockingly little crash protection. It doesn't help that Ducati made them for nearly a decade, in different displacements and levels of specification, from affordable road-going exotica like the base model 748 all the way up to over-the-counter race bikes designed to be competitive right out of the crate. But they all had the same DNA, and in most cases are just a few simple, but possibly very expensive, changes away from being real track and back-road weapons. Of course, some of them were just a bit more gifted from the factory in that regard, like today's Featured Listing, a Ducati 996SPS.

2001 Ducati 996SPS for sale AutoMania GP

Ducati have racing in their blood, and for many years it seemed like they were only selling their roadbikes as a way to pay for racing. Surely there can be no other justification for the inhumane ergonomics of Tamburini's creations. It's pretty clear they were designed from the off as competition motorcycles: the entire tail of the 916 flips up easily for access to the electronics, quick-release Dzus fasteners attach the bodywork, and early bikes didn't even have a provision for a passenger. The 851/888 that preceded it might have been slightly more practical roadbikes and were successful in World Superbike competition, but there's no denying that the 916 is a gorgeous machine that still looks incredible twenty years later. The 916 and the 996 and 998 that followed appear virtually identical at first, but represent a gradual evolution under the skin: frames were revised to allow different airboxes and adjustable steering heads, injection systems were improved, heads were revised, and deeper sumps were added.

The SPS or Sport Production Special as seen here was originally the top-of-the-line roadgoing 996, with lightweight Marchesini wheels, an adjustable steering head, and an uprated engine, although straight-line performance wasn't all that much improved. Cornering was a different story, as the year 2000 saw the addition of Öhlins suspension at the front and rear. 124hp might not sound that impressive compared to many of today's superbikes, but keep in mind that they are only really rideable because of sophisticated traction control systems that keep 200hp missiles like the Panigale from high-siding you into the treeline the first time you exit a corner and whack open the throttle to the stop. When new, the SPS was state-of-the-art Italian exotica, one of the fastest, best-handling bikes available at any price.

From the Seller: 2001 Ducati 996SPS for Sale

Mileage: 4,330 U.S. miles
VIN#: ZDM3H99S51B003808

One of the joys and dangers of being a motorcycle dealer is that you can buy and own anything that is offered by your franchise factory line to which they throw in stupefying financing with decades to pay it off. It becomes one of those almost addictive behaviors that for the most part society frowns upon except when it is for really nice stuff. Like a rare and exclusive motorcycle such as the 2001 Ducati 996SPS you see here. Not only that, because you have access to all of the trick goodies and parts that are offered for the model, you can add them to the package, making your bike even more ultimate and personal.

As part of the homologation process to race World Super Bike, the motorcycle was designed by Tamburini (also of MV fame) as the latest evolution of the 916SPS range of the water cooled, 4V 90 degree twins. Suspension was upgraded with full Ohlin’s front and rear along with thinner and larger tube diameters used in the frame for this track only motorcycle The engine was treated to titanium connecting rods, carbon fiber air box, P8 ECU, specific cam, higher compression heads, all hand assembled by Ducati putting out an additional 14 horse power over the same engine sized 916 SPS.

Hansen’s BMW Ducati was a dyed in the wool Ducati fanatic dealership, loved the bikes, loved the customers, loved everything about the bikes, the passion they exuded, the Italian design, everything about the line. This 996SPS, #1714, was the ultimate expression of Ducati in 2001 and the owners of the shop decided that they deserved to experience the bike as their own. Darn right! Being a fairly accomplished rider and ex-racer, the owner knew what parts could be added to enhance the performance and handling, especially where there were no irritating limits such as a budget.

First off, body work was ordered to allow street legal lighting including the nose cone holding the head light buckets. ASR runners allowing turn signal mounts and a larger, stronger front fender installed. Cycle Cat supplied the Side Stand, Rear Sets, Handle Bars, Triple Clamp and Frame sliders. Billet Mirrors, Turn Signals, Clutch Cover, Gas Cap and Sprocket Cover were added for their go fast values. Radial Adapters were placed between the upgraded Road and Track Öhlins front forks and the Brembo Calipers sliding past Brembo Floating Rotors. At the rear, a Titanium Rear Spring was added to the Öhlins Shock along with the Öhlins Steering Damper. At both ends, BST Carbon Fiber Wheels were spooled on along with a STM Slipper Clutch to control rear wheel hop during deceleration. The front brake is operated by a Brembo Radial Master Brake Cylinder matched by a Brembo Radial Master Clutch Cylinder on the other handle bar.

There was an early issue when the bikes were new with the rocker arms flaking off bits of material. As a preventive measure that only a dealer could pull off, all of the arms were replaced with the corrected part when the issue was first announced.

Within the past twelve months, the valves were checked, belts replaced and all fluids refreshed including engine, brakes and clutch. Internal Fuel Lines along with O-Rings were also replaced (we have a copy of the work order). The battery is almost new. Unfortunately many of the stock parts a have been misplaced. Among the parts that will come with the bike are the stock exhaust system and the upper triple plate number which has the “1714” number on it.

The selling price is $14,995. Contact Ted for further details: ted@automaniagp.com

$14,995 is a big number for a Ducati 996. But for an SPS with some of the very best parts and tuning thrown at it? You'd obviously not be able to duplicate this machine for anywhere near that, so the price seems very reasonable. Some might bemoan the compromise in collectiblity that comes with the changes, but all the replacement parts are of high quality and are designed to improve the bike's performance and handling. The cosmetic changes might not be to everyone's taste, but are easy to change with original parts or different aftermarket bits to suit the new owner's preferences.

-tad

Featured Listing: 2001 Ducati 996SPS for Sale
Honda May 13, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1992 Honda NSR150 SP for Sale

Intended for the Asian market, I'm not sure I've ever seen an NSR150 SP for sale here in the USA before. As with the bigger NSR250, this was not a budget commuter, and included plenty of high-tech components to match the Repsol race-rep paint job. Obviously, style is key for a first bike that will likely be purchased by a younger rider attracted to the sleek lines and evocative Repsol colors, but that doesn't mean everyone wants plastic tires and budget components that they will quickly outgrow.

It certainly has big-bike technology to match the big-bike looks, and is festooned with typical acronyms and cool-sounding names: the PRO-ARM single-sided swingarm is featured prominently, and the bike also includes a six-speed gearbox, Nikasil coated cylinders, and RC valves to improve the little 149cc engine's flexibility, as well as HECS or "Honda Evolution Catalyzing System" to help it meet rising emission standards. And in typical two-stroke form, the little NSR150 SP makes a big claimed 39.5hp and 19 lb.ft of torque, although that seems pretty ambitious and I've not seen any independent articles that confirm this output.

The package weighed in at just 268lbs dry, so this thing should be a bit of a rocket if you're expecting mere scooter performance and handling. It's probably not the ideal bike if you've got typically... American proportions but, if you're of smaller stature, this might make a very cool ride and a great conversation-starter, even if if offers only modest performance.

From the Seller: 1992 Honda NSR150SP for Sale

Very RARE in the USA, seldom ever seen 1992 Honda NSR 150 SP Repsol edition. 150cc two stroke single cylinder liquid cooled engine. My money says this is the fastest way thru a tight corner on two wheels, lol. Only one owner with only 740 kilometers (460 miles). This bike is in as new condition. As I like to say, It was loved as a child, lol. 100% original OEM Honda factory stock condition. Bike has new oil, coolant and filters serviced. Runs like the day it was new. Utah state title in my company name will be presented to the buyer. Premium museum quality.

As with the seller's previous bikes, there are a few minor cosmetic imperfections visible on exposed metal surfaces, but the plastics appear to be in excellent condition and the bike is basically ready for its next collector-owner. This may not have the pedigree of an RC30 or even an NC30 but it certainly is rare and exotic!

-tad

 

Featured Listing: 1992 Honda NSR150 SP for Sale
Honda May 11, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

A little brother in terms of displacement and a virtual twin in terms of style, Honda's NC30 packs the same technological punch as the famed RC30 in a smaller package. And like the RC30, the NC30 was designed to homologate a motorcycle for racing, although in this case it was for classes with a 400cc capacity limit. Here in the USA, the 400cc sportbike class is barely represented at all, with examples only occasionally appearing as the result of intrepid collectors or Canadian smugglers sneaking bikes in across our northern border. In the US, they were basically bikes without a racing class, and expensive ones to boot: they had all the complexity, and therefore cost, of their bigger 600 and 750cc brothers, without the straight line performance.

1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 for sale on eBay

Sure, they handled with all the agility you'd expect but, when a 600cc sportbike is considered "a great first bike" you're not going to find many takers for a 400. Of course, it was another story entirely outside the USA and especially in Japan, where tiered licensing and heavy taxes on bigger bikes meant a great deal of interest in the 400cc class as roadbikes and the relevant racing series, and bikes like the CBR400, GSX-R400, and ZXR400 competed fiercely.

So what are we looking at in terms of that reduced performance? Well you're not taking quite as big a hit as you might expect: the NC30 produced 59 claimed horses, versus the RC30's 118, 313lbs dry versus 400lbs, and a top speed of 130mph versus 153. So you've got a bike with almost half the displacement but with far more than half the performance, mostly due to that very light weight. What's possibly far more surprising than the performance differential between the two are the relatively low numbers for the famed RC30... Both machines featured six-speed gearboxes and the NC30 got a 360° "big bang" crank to match its bigger brother along with gear-driven cams, so you get the distinctive V4 soundtrack and wide powerband that helps make them such popular trackday bikes overseas.

From the seller: 1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

For your consideration is a GORGEOUS almost mint condition 1991 Honda VFR400R NC-30 with only 10,823 Kilometers (6,725 miles). Bike is very clean and well taken care of. Bike would be flawless except for the crack in the lower fairing under the bike. It has been repaired. Has a three tiny paint chip marks in the tank, and the left rear fairing has a rub mark on it from transportation & shipping (see pics.) This NC30 has 100% original OEM Honda fairings and components and is completely stock except for a few racing sponsor decals that can be easily removed. This bike would make an ideal candidate for restoration or enjoy it in its original condition... Bike has been serviced with new battery, new oil, coolant and filters serviced. Runs like the day it was new. A Utah state title in my company name will be presented to the buyer.

This particular machine appears to be in the same sort of condition as the seller's other offerings: not completely perfect, but in low mileage, extremely well cared-for condition. There are a couple of minor cracks in the fairing that are clearly indicated by the seller, and wear is limited to some minor surface corrosion and discoloration. Not museum-quality perhaps, but a very good-looking machine for someone who plans to occasionally ride the bikes in their collection. With the RC30 now out of the reach of ordinary enthusiasts, prices of the NC30 are on the rise as well and offer up a similar style and experience at an affordable price. For the moment at least.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1991 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale
Suzuki May 11, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: Suzuki TL1000R Racer/Track Day Special for Sale

In the 90s, Ducati captured the imagination of race fans and road riders alike with their exotic, race-winning v-twins, and the Japanese were forced to play catch up on track in in the showrooms, as they'd largely been relying on highly-developed, but less emotional inline fours in World Superbike and endurance racing. The rules of World Superbike certainly favored v-twins at the time, and the Japanese seemed to believe that was all there was to their success, "If a tiny little company like Ducati can do it, we can too!" Unfortunately, both Honda and Suzuki missed their opportunity to cash in, producing "Ducati-killers" that failed to understand exactly why people bought Ducatis in the first place. The Honda SuperHawk was a very good motorcycle cursed with a tiny gas tank and handling that was never really intended to measure up to the track-focused 916, with handsome but fairly bland looks. And Suzuki's TL1000R was a massive failure in terms of its Ducati-slaying ability as well. They'd already built their road-focused TL1000S, so the TL1000R should have been a no-brainer. But while the 916 was narrow, sleek, and very focused on speed, the TL-R was bulbous and heavy, with handling limited by the controversial rotary rear damper carried over from the TL-S. The rotary damper worked fine in theory, but overheated in practice, resulting in sometimes scary at-the-limit handling. Luckily, today's Featured Listing, a track-ready TL1000R goes a long way towards rectifying those shortcomings.

Why use a rotary damper in the first place? Well a bike with a 90° v-twin is generally very narrow [unless you're on a Moto Guzzi], light, smooth and torquey, but presents packaging challenges. Ducati's front cylinder lies nearly horizontal, making for a very long engine and a correspondingly long wheelbase. Suzuki rotated their engine back in the chassis, but that left little room for a traditional rear shock, and they used a compact rotary damper in its place. It was a proven concept, but the execution left a bit to be desired...

Although the TL1000R was considered a sales flop at the time, low prices and that absolute peach of a v-twin have made it a very appealing roadbike. Keep in mind that Suzuki used this engine to power a whole range of their own bikes, and it was used by plenty of other manufacturers as well. It is reliable, reasonably powerful, and sounds great with a set of aftermarket cans. The TL1000R was a fundamentally sound bike, with all of the elements to be the everyman v-twin Suzuki advertised, but the execution was flawed. Power is never going to rival modern Ducatis, unless you throw a ton of money at the engine. But pounds can be shed, and handling improved with a swap to a more traditional rear shock and good suspension set up.

Today's Featured Listing goes back to the TL-R's original stated intent and systematically fixes problems: a complete modern GSX-R1000 front end with a Brembo master cylinder, lightweight bodywork, updated rear shock by Penske, and an Aprilia RS250 solo tail that lightens the bike visually as well, making it the sleek machine it always should have been.

From the seller: TLR1000R Race Bike for Sale

TL1000R for sale, bill of sale, no title, was built frame up piece by piece. Specs follow:

Engine - stock internally, Sharkskinz airbox, M4 full exhaust - rear sections have been modified to pull the exhaust closer to the swingarm for cornering ground clearance, Power Commander III. Yes, I know it's not really a superbike with the stock motor, but the rest of the modifications mean it's not SS legal.

Chassis - LE rear link and Penske shock, 04 GSXR 1000 forke/triples - LE valved and lengthened, Woodcraft clipons, Vortex upper triple clamp, Ohlins steering damper, Sato rearsets

Brakes - Brembo radial m/c, 04 GSXR 1000 calipers with spacers to run 320mm TLR rotors, rear caliper is a Wilwood PS-1 in a captured spacer setup (Pro Fab did the swingarm modification and all the machined parts), Goodridge stainless lines

Body - Sharkskinz body with Honda RS250 tailsection. Rear subframe is all fabricated aluminum.

Misc - Wire harness has been thrifted and ECU has been relocated to the front in fabricated aluminum holder. Clutch m/c is a brembo radial. Throttle is from Yoyodyne, probably more little stuff that I'm forgetting.

$6500, located in Indianapolis

Email is best for me: motorsport.studio at geemale.com

I love the Aprilia RS250 tail section, and the Gulf Racing colors work for me too: I'd love to do a track Ducati 916 up like that! Honestly, $5,600 seems like a heck of a deal for such a fully-developed bike. I've no idea if it'd make a competitive racebike, but if you like twins but don't want to risk your precious 998R in the fast group at a track day, this might be just the ticket. I fully understand why folks would choose something like a GSX-R or R6 as a trackday ride, but it's the funky stuff like this that interests me.

-tad