Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Honda June 13, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Big Bike Spec in a Small Package: 1990 Honda CB-1 for Sale

Performance motorcycles have gotten so powerful and fast that they're only even rideable by normal humans because of sophisticated electronics. If 99% of riders need traction-control just to keep their 190hp superbike on the road, couldn't it be argued that they're too powerful? ABS and all the other safety systems are amazing, but should be there just in case the rider gets it wrong, not to keep the rampant power under control. Are riders of these bikes actually having more fun? Maybe, but doesn't something like today's Honda CB-1 make much more sense for most riders?

Plus, if you do get dusted on a canyon road, you can always blame the machinery: "Hey look, this is a 400cc motorcycle! What do you expect?" If you're on a new BMW S1000RR, you really have no excuse for being slow, other than self-control and sanity. The 1990 Honda CB1 doesn't have that same problem, however, with good handling and modest power. The displacement screams "learner bike" but the specifications argue otherwise:

399cc liquid-cooled inline four, sixteen valves actuated by gear-driven overhead cams. Six speed gearbox. The combo was slightly detuned from the CBR400 for street duty, but it put out a respectable 55hp and could push the machine to 118mph, certainly plenty for the street and even a bit of freeway cruising. It lacked the CBR400's twin-disc brakes up front and uses a steel unit instead of the CBR's aluminum beam frame, but the engine is still used as a stressed member, increasing rigidity and keeping weight reasonably low.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Honda CB-1 for Sale

Overseas they have a tiered licensing system.  50cc, 125cc, 250cc, 400cc, 750cc, and above.  Most young men cannot afford above 400cc, so the 400cc market is full of hot rod bikes.  This is one such bike.  Water cooled DOHC 4 valves per cylinder, direct gear actuation of the cams, no cam chain, six speed transmission, red line at 13,500 rpm, power kicks in at 9000.  Top speed is over 100 mph.  The effect of the photography makes the paint look like it is robin's egg blue, but it doe not look like that in person.  The blue paint is a nice metallic finish.  Accessory windshield is quickly removable.  Heated grips have been added.  Accessory adjustable handlebars also.  All stock otherwise.  Very clean, except for some pollen on the gauges in the photo.  Was my wife's bike but she does not ride it enough to justify keeping it.

There are no takers yet at the $1,900 starting bid and there are just over 24 hours left on the auction. It looks like it's in good shape, although that windscreen needs to go. Like the Hawk 650GT, the CB-1 has developed quite a cult following and with very good reason: unlike the CBR400, the CB-1 was officially imported, but few were sold and they're hard to find now, although they still don't sell for all that much.  It's the Goldilocks of motorcycles: not too big, not too small. And the price is just right.

-tad

Big Bike Spec in a Small Package: 1990 Honda CB-1 for Sale
Sport Bikes For Sale June 9, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

British Beef: 1982 Hesketh V1000 for Sale

Today’s Hesketh V1000 is a bit older than we usually feature here on RSBFS, but it’s certainly rare, valuable, and exotic. By the time 1980 rolled around, the British biking industry was in bad trouble. Previously, they were known for their powerful engines and excellent roadholding, but the Union Jack been eclipsed by a Rising Sun… Bikes from the Japanese Big Four may not have handled quite as well but they were fast, dead-reliable, and very affordable. The Hesketh was developed to “save” the struggling British motorcycling industry, although who knows how an exclusive, handbuilt, high-performance motorcycle would ever have done that. Of course, Hesketh was already experienced building high-performance machines: readers may be more familiar with their Formula One racing efforts between 1973 and 1978 that featured driver James Hunt.

The new machine was built around a 992cc, four-valve, 90° v-twin motor and was up and running by the early 1980s. Unfortunately, the finished bike was overweight, very expensive, and unreliable, with the rear cylinder subject to overheating due to limited airflow. The company died its first death after building just 150 machines. Revived as a luxury sport-tourer with a full-fairing, the updated Vampire sadly didn’t improve much on the previous V1000’s weight and reliability issues, and just 40 were built before the company went under again, although they were subsequently revived and still make the occasional bike and parts to keep existing machines on the road.

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Hesketh V1000 for Sale

This is a very rare opportunity to purchase, probably the finest registered Hesketh in existence! Having only been discovered last year in a private collection an previously unregistered this bike is unique in its condition and mileage. It was manufactured in May 1982, Frame number 369, Engine number 176. Bodywork finished in Red with black lining, wheels finished in Gold. Mileage reads 146 miles. EN10 modification has been done.

Currently registered in the United Kingdom with all UK documents. Purchased in 1982 for the princely price of £5250 inc tax. The bike has been inspected by Hesketh club  officials 
and there is no doubt of it authenticity. We can assist with shipping to the USA but please investigate shipping costs and any import  taxes as this will not be included in the sale price. Although every assistance will be given.

The bike is currently in the UK, but anyone looking to purchase a Hesketh likely won't be put off by something as trivial as that, and the 1982 date of manufacture should at least make importation relatively easy. So what is something like this worth? Well a couple years back, there was one up for sale with a $20,000 Canadian asking price and this example is likely one of the nicest, lowest-mileage examples in existence. Unless you just bought one recently: shockingly, the last handful V1000 examples were only recently produced by the factory, although as you'd expect, no prices are listed on their website. Their current models use a narrow-angle, S&S-style v-twin with pushrods and two valves per cylinder, which probably simplifies production for the small company so they can focus on really cool pinstripes and snazzy polished aluminum bits. It seems like a step backwards for the very exclusive brand, but obviously performance will be better than the V1000 and I'm glad the change will allow Hesketh to continue producing motorcycles. For fans of the brand who prefer something more traditional, bidding on this one is up to about $15,000 with a couple days left on the auction.

-tad

British Beef: 1982 Hesketh V1000 for Sale
Honda June 8, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Super Low-Mileage Super Hawk: 1998 Honda VTR1000F For Sale

In the mid-1990s when Ducati was dominating World Superbike racing and the all-important bedroom-wall-fantasy-poster competition, it seemed like everybody wanted to get into the v-twin market and "beat Ducati at its own game." It shouldn't have been that hard, right? I mean, Ducati made fast bikes, but part of why they were so successful in WSB could be dismissed as them simply exploiting rules that gave an advantage to v-twin motorcycles: obviously, 750cc twins can't compete directly with 750cc inline fours in terms of outright power, and the rules allowed a displacement advantage to keep racing relatively equal. But it wasn't as easy as all that, and the short-lived competitors to the Bolognese twins like the Suzuki TL1000R/S and Honda VTR1000F Super Hawk are proof of that.

On paper, it looked like a recipe for success: the Super Hawk was powered by a 996cc 90° v-twin that featured liquid-cooling and four valves per cylinder, so it really was closer in spec to Ducati's 916 but priced closer to their air-cooled 900SS. The half-fairing resembled the Super Sport as well, although the slick side-mounted radiators made it clear this was an altogether more sophisticated machine and of course it used an aluminum beam frame instead of Ducati's signature trellis.

But the problem was a distinct lack of focus: where the 916 was an uncompromising racing machine barely tamed for the road, the VT1000F was much more road-biased. Back when these were new, before Honda introduced the much more aggressive SP1 and SP2, folks did try to take the Super Hawk racing, but it was never really designed for that. The frame was designed to allow controlled flex for better roadholding while cranked over, but it was a bit too limp for racetrack use without significant modification.

Of course, the fact that the Honda Super Hawk wasn't a big sales success doesn't in any way mean it was a bad bike. In fact it was a pretty great bike, aside from the bland styling and stupidly small fuel tank that combined with mediocre mileage to limit range. Fit a set of aftermarket exhausts or run it dead stock, strap a jerrycan to the passenger seat, and just ride the wheels off it! Of course, the big selling point of today's machine is the incredible time-capsule condition, sporting a showroom-new 355 original miles, so this is either a great opportunity for a collector, or for someone who regrets not buying one new and wants to rectify that error now...

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Honda VTR1000F Super Hawk for Sale

Here is your chance to buy a new bike at a used bike price. I have for auction a 1998 Honda VTR1000F Super hawk, with only 355 total miles! Bike was ridden by the original owner for just a few hundred miles, then stored in his living room. Bike is in excellent condition, with only a few minor scratches (as pictured). New battery, with carbs and tank inspected and it runs great.

Part of the appeal of the Super Hawk is the famed Honda reliability and the Honda practicality, so it's a shame about that tiny tank, but considering the low prices these have been commanding for years, you're still looking at a lot of bike for the money. You might not get Ducati looks, but you get throaty v-twin sounds, excellent road-biased handling, decent comfort, and good reliability. This is a no reserve auction and bidding is pretty low so far, but active and creeping steadily upwards so I'll be curious to see where the bidding stops.

-tad

Super Low-Mileage Super Hawk: 1998 Honda VTR1000F For Sale
Ducati June 6, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 2001 Ducati 996 SPS for Sale

6.6.2017: Price drop to $12,495! Good luck to buyers and seller! -dc

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 996 SPS.

2001 Ducati 996 SPS 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 $12,495. 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 996 SPS for Sale
Ducati June 6, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1987 Ducati 750 F1 Laguna Seca for Sale

Update 6.6.2017: Back on eBay and with fresh pictures. Links are updated. Good luck to buyers and seller! -dc

If you were looking to jump onto the Ducati 750 F1 bandwagon early with an eye towards making big money flipping one... That ship has sailed: these Pantah-powered race replicas now command some serious money. For years, these occupied the same place as the early Super Sport, in part because they straddle two generations of Ducatis, pre and post-Cagiva ownership, but don't seem to fully belong to either. They've got a slightly shed-built quality from the older era, combined with the "modern" Pantah L-twin and more 80s style. When new, build quality was criticized and suspension, as delivered, was a bit crude. But the potential was there from the beginning in bikes like today's featured 750 F1 Laguna Seca, it just needed a bit of development.

The 750 F1 used Ducati's characteristic trellis frame, designed in this case by Verlicchi and visibly wrapped around the lightweight aluminum tank. It was powered by a 749cc version of their air/oil-cooled, two-valve twin making a claimed 76hp and styled to look like the successful TT1 race bikes of the period. Dry weight was just 385lbs and the 16" front and 18" wheel gave nimble handling. The Montjuich, Santa Monica, and this Laguna Seca were all limited editions of the F1 that were priced higher when new and featured improved performance and a higher top speed.

For years, the F1 languished forgotten and relatively unloved, but the fact that it was conceived before the company's takeover by Cagiva and the perceived mass-production that followed seems to be the exact quality now driving the increase in prices. Looking closely, there's one obvious indicator that the F1 came before Cagiva's ownership: bikes that came later reversed the rear cylinder so that both carburetors could be fitted into the engine's vee for much more efficient packaging. Some F1s have awkward pod filters fitted that bulge out from behind the fairing, but this example doesn't bother with something as trivial as "air filtration" and just has mesh screens to keep out rocks, stray animals, and small children.

From the original eBay listing: 1987 Ducati 750 F1 Laguna Seca 'Lucky' Lucchinelli Replica for Sale

ZDM750LS-750139 / DM750L1-750238

Recently out of long-term collection in Japan - this Marco Lucchinelli Replica is a time capsule in beautiful shape with only ~2500km  / 1600 miles. Original paint and bodywork is excellent; red paint on the beautiful trellis frame very nice with some darkening on the upper surface of each tube. Clip-ons and muffler have visible surface corrosion. Runs great - bike starts right up, idles well and runs like it should. Original mirrors included in sale.

The F1 Laguna Seca, along with the Santa Monica and Montjuich, represented the pinnacle of the factory Pantah-based TT race-bikes. These hand-built race-replica bikes were closely based on the forks F1 racers with open-throat Dell'Orto carburetors, 10:1 compression pistons, bigger valves and less restrictive exhaust. Transmission uses straight-cut (like the works bikes) instead of helical primary drive gears. The Laguna Seca is fitted with Verlicchi aluminum swing-arm and solo seat.

Widely acclaimed when new - Cycle World stated, "They May Be Bargains. This last Ducati is a throwback in the spirit of the 750 SS of 1973, the F1's most famous predecessor. Like the 750 SS, the F1 is the Italian sportsbike of its era."

Mick Walker summarized in his 1989 Ducati Buyers Guide, "If you find, or already own, an F1 my advice is to hang on to it. If you are doubly lucky to have been able to afford one of the 'limited edition' models, then guard it with your life, for you have a real classic of the future. Any one of the Monjuich, Laguna Seca or Santamonica models is worth a full five stars, for they are both beautiful and rare."

This gem will make a fabulous addition to your collection. Offering with low reserve and reasonable buy-it-now. Currently on it's importation paperwork - Japanese de-registration certificate / English translation of certificate / NHTSA HS7 / EPA 3520-1 / CBP 7501 (stamped). Washington State title is available for $400 documentation fee approx. 5-week wait. WA state buyers responsible for Tax & License.

As the seller mentions, the bike isn't cosmetically perfect, but no bike that's thirty years old and in original condition is likely to be. Bodywork is very sharp, but some of the exposed metal parts have some surface corrosion but the paint on the bodywork looks very nice and mileage is extremely low at just 1,600. The seller is asking for $27,500 which seems fair, considering what regular F1s have been going for of late. As you may have guessed, this Featured Listing is being offered by the same seller as yesterday's RG400Γ and it is also a Japanese import, with paperwork that should allow the bike to be legally titled, depending on your local DMV.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1987 Ducati 750 F1 Laguna Seca for Sale
Ducati June 3, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

What’s In a Name: 1993 Ducati 888 SPO for Sale

There was a time when the alphanumeric naming of a motor vehicle actually meant something, a time when a BMW 535 was obviously a 5-Series car sporting a 3.5 liter inline six, or when you could tell just from the name that a Ferrari 360 Modena was powered by a 3.6 liter version of their screaming flat-plane crank V8. There's also something elemental about a vehicle with a number for a name, something that connotes a competitive intent, and that's certainly the case with the Ducati 888 SPO, a machine that actually displaced the advertised 888cc.

Ducati sticking "SPO" on the end is a bit like the original intent of car-dom's "GTO" in that it indicates the "omologato" status of this version, which means that it was intended to homologate the bike to compete in AMA Superbike racing, as the European SP5 wasn't road-legal in the US. For the most part, the engine was pretty standard Strada spec, but the suspension used some higher-end components from the SP5.

That engine was Ducati's Desmoquattro four-valve, liquid-cooled v-twin making around 100hp and the stout midrange for which the Italian twins are famous. The 888 and its predecessor the 851 which, coincidentally, displaced 851cc, were hugely significant for Ducati, being their first modern sportbikes that could compete on road and track against their Japanese counterparts. Sure, in the showrooms they were produced in far smaller numbers and at a much higher price, but owning a Ducati has never really been the most affordable proposition.

From the original eBay listing: 1993  Ducati 888 SPO for Sale

Production #63 very clean, kept garaged, all services current

Well, that's not very much to go on, and I think the listing could use a few more pictures, but the pictures that are included suggest that the bike is in better shape than you'd expect, considering its 19,000 miles. Clearly, this has been owned by a conscientious enthusiast and, as with all Ducatis, condition is much more important than mileage: the basic L-twin engine is reliable when properly maintained and, aside from electrical gremlins, should provide years of booming Italian fun before needing more than routine attention. Bidding is up to just $7,600 but there are six days left on the listing and bidding is active, so it will certainly go much higher be for it expires.

 -tad