Author Archives: Tad Diemer

KTM September 29, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Superbike Alternative: Low Mileage 2014 KTM RC8R for Sale

KTM's booming orange RC8 was a bit flawed when it was introduced, but still represented a hugely impressive effort by the first-time superbike maker. They'd worked out some of bugs of the new 75° v-twin using their earlier 990 Superduke that was a bit of a half-step between the supermoto Duke and the superbike RC8. KTM had plenty of experience winning races, but developing a new, large-displacement v-twin and gearbox is always tricky business, especially when you're used to building offroad singles. Getting Honda-levels of polish, a must in this market, was always going to be a challenge. Unfortunately, the RC8 launched with a crunchy, relatively unrefined gearbox and a slight power deficit. It was expensive as well, and it seemed that few buyers were willing to give an untested product from the upstart Austrians a real chance.


The design was striking and angular, with typically KTM styling touches like the bright orange frame, available orange-and-white color scheme, a weird, orange-tinted LCD gauge cluster and, wonder-of-wonders, humane ergonomics, even for riders over six feet tall! And if you didn't like the set up, you could always move things around to suit: the bars and pegs and even the seat were adjustable. Performance was on par with the Ducati superbikes of the period, but it lacked their hard edge and sophisticated [for the period] electronics. The high cost of the RC8, combined with a perceived lack of prestige, kept sales disappointingly slow. It's a shame, as the potential was clearly there, and the problems with the original RC8 were largely ironed out by the time the RC8R was introduced in 2009, with more power from the larger, dual-plug version of the engine that gave a claimed 175hp and an updated gearbox.

Unfortunately, KTM's management has declaimed superbikes as "having no place on public roads," ironic considering their wild Superduke R and its attendant "Ready to Race" tag line and promotional videos... They have publicly stated that the company will not produce a successor to the RC8R, which is disappointing, considering the performance and handling of their Superduke R. A modern RC8R based around that platform would be an impressive machine. It is possible to retrofit the 1290 engine into an RC8, but not an easy job for a do-it-yourselfer...

This particular example is basically brand new. Somewhere out there, I'm sure someone has a new-in-crate RC8R, but I very much doubt there are too many of these running around with miles as low, and in such nice condition: many period reviews praised the RC8's balance of comfort and superbike performance, so it's easy to see them being used as intended, instead of as garage ornaments.

From the original eBay listing: 2014 KTM RC8R for Sale

You are bidding on what may be the lowest mileage 2014 RC8R in the world. Loaded with upgrades and standard factory performance of the "R" model this is an exceptional sport bike you just don't see at every show, track day or cycle cruise. With only a little over 500 miles I found this brand new less than a year ago, however it was damaged in the shipping crate but never started, in fact it still had the factory shipping wax on the chain. I purchased this from the dealer and all it needed was replacement bodywork, I registered it in my name as the first owner and now its still under factory warranty! I also had the bike dealer prepped and fully serviced this year for its maiden voyage however Ive found that I have too many bikes to ride and although I love to walk by and look at it, maybe its better you ride it and enjoy. Its never been raced, been to the track, dropped and is just finished the break in mileage so its good to go whenever your'e ready, in fact the miles are so low you can still read the continental tire stamp in the tread.

 Original MSRP was $16,499 and this model year came with the slipper clutch plus 173 hp!

UPGRADES
Carbon fiber bodywork
Carbon fiber wrap
Pazzo levers
Billet quick action gas cap
Puig smoke wind screen
Competition Werkes fender eliminator
Jester 68 stainless exhaust (sounds great)
Luimoto custom seat
Etc, etc, etc. 
 
Bottom line, I purchased it with no mechanical issues, Zero (0) miles and only having cosmetic damage from inside the crate so Im passing the great deal I got on to you. I encourage you to come check it out as its near flawless to show or just ride. I like my toys super clean, they come with 3 keys, owners manual and service manual.With the upgrades there would be about $20K in this spectacular sport bike but I'm offering it for much less. If you need help shipping I can help facilitate that with your shipper, payment is your responsibility.
The seller obviously isn't revealing an actual asking price since the auction is still active, but the bidding is up to almost $8,000 at this time. The RC8 may have lagged slightly behind sportbike rivals at the time in terms of outright performance, but not by much, and the humane ergonomics made it a sensible alternative to bikes like Ducati's 1198. KTM doesn't quite have the superbike racing success or sex appeal of an MV or Ducati, but I think we're looking at a future classic and, as the seller indicates, this is one of the nicest, lowest-mileage examples available anywhere.
-tad
Superbike Alternative: Low Mileage 2014 KTM RC8R for Sale
Yamaha September 28, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Jersey Titled Two-Stroke: 1992 Yamaha TZR250 3XV for Sale

During the 1980s and early 1990s, the Japanese manufacturers engaged in heated competition in the quarter-liter class, creating some of the most exciting small-displacement motorcycles of all time. They were lightweight, highly-developed, and looked great. Unfortunately here in the USA, we didn't really get to experience them at the time, as ever-tightening emissions regulations effectively pulled the plug on roadgoing two-strokes by the mid-80s. Luckily, time has passed and now many of these bikes have passed the 25 year mark, making it feasible to import them from countries where they were originally sold. While it's not too hard to find decent, US-titled Honda NSR250Rs, Yamaha's TZR250 is much less common, especially this later 3XV version.



That makes a certain amount sense: the NSR was the best selling 250 at the time and, although it's pretty exotic here, was relatively plentiful in Europe and especially in Japan. While competitive in terms of performance, this final version of the TZR250 that was built between 1991 and 1996 was never officially available outside Japan, although some did find their way to other markets, due to grey market or "parallel import" laws. The previous 3MA was relatively radical, with a "reverse head" parallel twin engine that saw the carburetors fitted at the front of the engine, allowing the exhausts a straight shot out the tail, with the expansion chambers inside the tailpiece by the rider's thighs. The additional complexity apparently paid no significant dividends so Yamaha followed the "if you can't beat them, join them" philosophy and switched to a compact v-twin for the 3XV with a bore and stroke of 6mm x 50.7mm 90° that gave 249.7cc .

The 3XV followed the same formula as the NSR and RGV, with a six-speed gearbox, YPVS power valve, "banana" swingarm for improved cornering clearance, and an aluminum beam frame, in this case an evolution of Yamaha's sculptural Deltabox unit. Weight was right on the money: 278lbs dry and the government-mandated 45hp, although more was available with de-restriction. How much? Well how long do you want your engine to last? The seller of this particular machine makes no mention as to whether or not it has been de-restricted, but potential buyers should inquire and, if it has not, contact a two-stroke specialist to find out what that might entail.

From the original eBay listing: 1992 Yamaha TZR250 for Sale

1992 TZR 250 clean title with very low miles. All original in excellent condition. Currently titled, registered and insured. Carbs cleaned, synced and tuned. fresh fluids (brake, coolant, trans oil and 2T oil) motul products. Fairly new dunlop GP300 tires (150 miles) and EBC brake pads. Front forks and rear shock need to be serviced.

I'd personally prefer this bike in the traditional Yamaha red-and-white "speedblock" bodywork, but the black--and-teal-and-white pattern seen here looks very restrained and classy, something that can't often be said for any paintjob involving teal... There's plenty of time left on the listing, and the seller is asking $8,500 for the bike, which is pretty much par for the course, considering the relative rarity of the 3XV here in the US. This bike is right on the limit for the 25 year cut off, but that Jersey title is a positive sign, as the NJDMV isn't the most permissive... Honestly, NJ is a bit more strict than even California's DMV in some ways, as they actually have a vehicle inspection requirement [for cars anyway] that goes far beyond a simple emissions sniff test: your car can fail for having a non-operative parking brake! What does that mean for this TZR? Possibly nothing, but at least we know that the owner had to likely jump through a few hoops and file the correct paperwork to make this legal at least.

-tad

Jersey Titled Two-Stroke: 1992 Yamaha TZR250 3XV for Sale
Suzuki September 26, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

JDM Gixxer: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition

Honda's famed RC30 was basically designed from the ground up for competition, and seemingly only sold to the public to satisfy production-based racing requirements. That's one way to go about it, but if you don't have Honda's practically endless resources, how do you create a machine that will help your racers to compete at the top levels of production-based racing? You build something like this Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition. In recent years, "Limited Edition" has come to refer to things like luxury trim packages for Toyota Corollas, somewhat watering down the cachet of the term. But in this case, it was truth in advertising, with just a few hundred made to satisfy the regulations.

The regular GSX-R was already a pretty impressive machine and, considering that the Limited Edition was the most expensive Japanese sportbike of 1986, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the performance of this rare and exotic version is underwhelming. But the changes were designed to allow their inclusion on race machines, not make for a better roadbike. The LE was just six pounds lighter than the standard bike, most likely a result of the fiberglass solo-seat tail section. Power was very similar as well, since the engine internals were virtually identical to the stock GSX-R750, and flat-slide carburetors are great for producing maximum power, but they're not really suited to everyday use. Fortunately, the LE's lightweight vented dry clutch should produce enough rattle to drown out the supposedly noisy carburetor slides... Aside from those notable and very expensive upgrades, the bike also featured a revised swingarm for improved stability and the electronic, anti-dive forks from the GSX-R1100, although I wonder if many race teams actually used those. Photos of our recent GSX-R AMA Superbike suggest that at least some of them did...

So out of the box it didn't necessarily perform any better than a stock bike, and was hideously expensive. But honestly, most manufacturers of homologation specials probably weren't too concerned about selling them: I'm pretty sure the rules only required that they build the required machines, so if they sat in showrooms for a few years, manufacturers wouldn't lose any sleep over it. Collectors and enthusiasts with the money to buy them still did so, regardless of cost, but the main goal was to get the right parts legalized for the racers.

From the original Craigslist Post: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition for Sale

1986 GSXR-750 Limited Edition in Japanese Domestic Model Specification
Suzuki only produced 500 units world wide of the GSXR750 Limited Edition

The bike is imported from Japan.
Not registered yet in the U.S.
This bike is sold without title. (NO TITLE)

Start engine! Runs well
Flat slide carburetors
Dry clutch
Original FRP rear seat cowl

24,374 km (15,145 miles)
Engine Number R705-125561

$13,800

The last Limited Edition GSX-R750 we featured on the site was also a Japanese import in similar colors that were intended to celebrate Suzuki's success at the 8 Hours of Suzuka, but this appears to be a different bike entirely. First-generation "Slabbie" Gixxers are already increasing in value, and nice Limited Editions are starting to command premium dollars. The lack of a title could prove to be a hassle, but many people considering a purchase will be looking to collect or display, not actually ride it, so that may not be all that much a problem. The $13,800 asking price seems in line with recent LE prices, but I wonder if the lack of title will have any impact on its value.

-tad

MZ September 24, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Cheap and Fun: 1995 MZ Skorpion Replica for Sale

Very much a sportbike designed for the masses, the MZ Skorpion Replica has everything you need, and nothing you don't. Included is a sophisticated frame, adjustable suspension front and rear, sleek bodywork, and a flexible, simple, reliable, and easily-serviced engine. What it doesn't have is expensive, difficult to maintain technology, or an excess of power that most riders really don't need anyway. A true sportbike with a simple, humble powerplant, it's a shame they weren't able to sell very many when new.

If you're not familiar with MZ, they were an East German motorcycle manufacture most notable for completely dominating two-stroke racing in the 1950s using Walter Kaaden's revolutionary expansion-chamber tuning. Factory rider Ernst Denger defected to the west, and gave the technology to Suzuki which effectively ended the dominance of MZ, then known as MuZ. The reborn MZ of the 1990s was a bit like Triumph of the same period: both built an entire family of motorcycles around the same basic frame and engine. MZ's frame was actually a bit more sophisticated than the Triumph's, and they used Yamaha's torquey 660cc five-valve single and five-speed gearbox. The result? A brace of sportbikes, a sport-touring machine, a dual-sport, and even a supermoto.

The Replica really was a high-spec machine, aside from that relatively pedestrian engine. 50hp and a wet weight of just over 400lbs don't offer scorching straight line performance, but that wasn't the point at all. The Skorpion was still capable of an honest 110mph and those triple-disc brakes, with Brembo Gold Lines up front, should bring things to a halt quickly. When new, motorcycleonline.com claimed it "was one of the best handling bikes we have ever tested" helped no doubt by the light weight, the well-developed frame, and the adjustable WP suspension. 

From the original eBay listing: 1995 MZ Skorpion Replica for Sale

For Sale, my 1995 Replica, number 87.  A little over 3200 miles on the odometer.  It is silver and charcoal and has several chips on rear upper cover. The bike has never crashed, everything works.  It comes with tools, owners manual, good battery and good tires. It is currently registered and ridden.  This bike does not need any repairs. Sold “as is” the bike is in Rhode Island and is available to be viewed prior to purchase.

This particular MZ Skorpion Replica has very low mileage, is in excellent condition, and looks great in a very appropriately German silver color. Bidding is up to just over $3,000 although there is plenty of time left on the auction so I'm curious to see where this ends up. Regular Skorpions generally go for surprisingly low prices, but the Replica might generate a bit more attention: just 16 made their way to the US in 1996. Skorpions have become pretty popular with Sound of Singles racers of late, although this one seems way too nice and unusual to chop into a race hack. Instead, it'd make the perfect partner for embarrassing much faster machines on fast canyon rides.

-tad

Cheap and Fun: 1995 MZ Skorpion Replica for Sale
Bimota September 23, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1999 Bimota SB8R for Sale

Update 10.12.2017: SOLD. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Update 9.23.2017: Back on eBay with fresh pictures and a buy-it-now of $9,000. Seller note: Open to trades, would consider a trade up or trade down on a RC30, RC45, NC35 and possibly an Ow01 or Ow02, already have an NC30 so I’m good there. Yes, I realize the RC’s and OW’s are quite a bit more but if the offer is fair, I’ll make up the difference in cash. Would also consider a Hypermotard (only bike I miss after I sold and want another one soon!). Open to all trades I suppose, just has to be interesting and not run of the mill… Good luck to buyers and seller! -dc

Two nice Bimotas in one week! Today's SB8R Featured Listing that can also be found on eBay doesn't bother with a traditional Italian powerplant like the DB2, but does stick with a v-twin, in this case the liquid-cooled, 996cc unit from Suzuki's TL1000R. The TL-R may have been flawed as a sportbike, but there was surely nothing wrong with that engine, and Suzuki supplied it to Bimota and Cagiva to power their Raptor line as well. The engine was largely stock, although Bimota used different fuel injectors to bump power to a claimed 138hp. It's reliable, sounds great, and offers up plenty of performance in this lightweight machine.

Styling certainly isn't as svelte as the Ducatis it was pitched against, but the look is distinctive, with lots of exposed carbon on the bodywork and frame. Of course, that frame really is the centerpiece of any Bimota and the SB8R uses a sophisticated, composite design that uses aluminum spars and carbon fiber side plates, a design inspired by the one found on Cagiva's Moto GP bike. That curvy tail is made of carbon as well, and is self-supporting. Up front were beefy Paioli forks and a traditional Öhlins rear shock replaced Suzuki's troublesome rotary rear damper. These components helped shave nearly 50lbs compared to the TL-R and improve both the power-to-weight ratio and handling of the SB8R.

Suzuki donated the headlight and the gauges as well. They don't look quite as special as you might hope for on a pricey Italian exotic, but they also actually work, something that wasn't guaranteed on other 1990s Bimotas, so it's a sensible choice. Those huge carbon intake tubes may hearken back to a late 1980s Kawasaki ZX7, but that beautiful top triple they frame really shows the incredible details found on Bimotas of every era: innovative frames, trick bodywork that removes with just a few fasteners, machined from billet frame parts, footpegs with eccentric adjusters, and top shelf components. If you don't like what you see at first, just look a little bit closer.

From the Seller: 1999 Bimota SB8R for Sale

This example is number #18 out of 250 ever produced, with just 50 SB8Rs officially imported into the USA.  Hand built Italian super bike weighing in at around 380 lbs dry and 135 HP. This Bimota is truly stunning, especially considering it's 18 years old!  The red paint is a vibrant red, white is very clean and the carbon work is amazing.  The only imperfections that are all quite minor are the barely functional mirrors (look good for display though) and a tiny little crack in the "carbon tube base" where it meets the fuel tank (I pointed it out in the picture with my finger) but even that would be a very easy touch up, if you even noticed it.
 
The bike is pretty much stock other then a carbon Arrow Exhaust, 6 pot ISR calipers (rebuilt in 2016 with receipt), aftermarket kickstand (stock ones are known to collapse) and adjustable rear sets.  I have the stock exhaust and a few other things in a box.  Bike starts right up as it should with the choke engaged and is currently sitting in our warehouse under a soft cover.  Will need tires pretty quick though if you're planning to ride.  If you want to fly in and ride it back, I'd be willing to have new tires installed prior to your arrival at your cost of course...the labor would be free though.
 
I've been a huge Bimota fan since they first came out but back then they were out of my budget and just a poster bike.  The workmanship with the beautiful gold forks, CNC'd fork legs, carbon fiber frame and beefy swing arm are truly Italian Art.  The reason the SB8R is one of my favorites is that it utilizes the TL1000R motor which means you get the Italian style and an exceptionally easy motor to work on whereas some of the other models are belt driven Ducati's and much more expensive to keep running.  This is one of the few collector quality motorcycles that you can actually ride.  It's not a small bike by any means (I suspect it may be large for anyone under about 5'10) but it's exceptionally well planted on the freeway, excellent torque, fantastic brakes / suspension and much more comfortable then many of my prior bikes.
 
I've been shopping for one for years but they were not the condition I was looking for or perhaps I didn't trust the source.  So why sell after a short stint of ownership?
 
My son had went down on his Daytona 675 last year (see it on my other ebay auction), he's saved up enough for a new ride so we stopped to see a pretty special bike on the way to Laguna Seca last week.  Turns out, he has my UNICORN of motorcycles...the one bike that I've never been able to get my hands on, a beautiful condition RC45!  He also has the CBR400 my son was looking for.  Here's the catch, he's getting up there in years and cleaning house.  He will only sell me the RC45 if I take all 7.5 of his bikes (the .5 is a  rolling chassis)...  I've never really wanted a large collection, just a handful at the most, not to mention I just picked up some classic sport bikes in the trailing weeks to fix up with my son.  SOOOO.. seeing that I can't pass up this RC, looks like I'll be selling some of these others once I get through all the paperwork and figure out what I want to keep (tough life I know...HAHA).
 
Bear in mind, I'm not letting the Bimota go for cheap, if it doesn't find the right owner then I'll focus on selling some of the others.  Fact is, this SB8R is in such great shape, I feel bad to ride it... just too hard to find bodywork and I'm not the kind of guy that just looks at my bikes. The RC45 comes with 2 set of bodywork which is perfect for taking her out and new skins for showing it off :).
 
Thank you again Frank, my son and I are very excited about the new arrivals!!  I know you watch the 'Rare Sportbikes for Sale" site daily as we try too so you'll undoubtedly see this post.
 
Title is clear, in my name and CA registered.  If you want to ship, no worries.  I use Federal Transport (owned by Allied Van Lines), great guys!
 
PS.  This bike has had a few owners, as such you can search SB8R and see some of the prior postings as well as many other pics.  Last owner was a great guy!  He babied the bike and just sold it to get something that was a little more of a daily rider.  I've already waxed it as well so she's looking spiffy!
The SB8R was one of Bimota's most successful models, a much-needed win for the financially troubled company. With a starting bid of $8,000 and several days left on the auction, there's still time to pounce on this bit of Italian exotica, so head on over and bid at eBay if you're interested! This example has been thoughtfully upgraded with six-pot calipers and a set of classic Arrow cans, as indicated by the seller. There are just over 7,000 miles on the clock, which is low enough for collectors, but not so low you'd be afraid to put on a few more riding your handbuilt superbike.
-tad
Featured Listing: 1999 Bimota SB8R for Sale
Moto Guzzi September 20, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Racy Goose: 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona for Sale

Guzzi is generally thought of these days as a purveyor of weirdo touring rigs, butch nakeds, and alterna-Harley cruisers, all with their big v-twins turned 90° from the expected orientation and the cylinder heads sticking out by the rider's knees. But in the 1950s and 1970s, Moto Guzzi made genuine sportbikes and competed successfully in various racing series. They attempted a comeback in the early 1990s with this Daytona, the first Guzzi in decades to use something other than the Lino Tonti designed frame that was introduced on the original V7 Sport way back in 1971... Which tells you just how excellent that frame was to begin with, but also speaks to Guzzis very limited development budget.

When the time came to develop a new sports motorcycle, Guzzi actually turned to privateer Dr John Wittner for input, an American dentist who successfully campaigned a Guzzi in AMA Pro Twins racing during the 1980s. The new machine that resulted was built around a "spine" frame with distinctive side plates that featured holes where it was apparently joked that you could stash a sandwich... The powertrain featured Guzzi's familiar five-speed gearbox, automotive-style clutch, and shaft drive, but the engine featured a significant update in order to produce competitive power: four valve cylinder heads.

The updated 992cc engine was designed to squeak in under the 1000cc limit for various racing classes and is claimed to be overhead cam as well, but it's really more "high-cam" as the heads do each have a cam, but the valves are actuated via pushrods and rockers, and the bike lacks liquid-cooling. Power was a respectable 92hp and with high-quality WP suspension the bike did handle well, although significant weight compared to other sportbikes meant fast riding was hard work. That longitudinal engine layout means you do still get some torque reaction accelerating out of a corner, but it's relatively minor and something that you adapt to quickly.

 

 

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona for Sale

My understanding is Moto Guzzi Built 150 Daytona's in 1993. They imported 50 into the US.  Bike has been serviced & ready to ride. New tires, All fluids changed, valves adjusted, fuel tank was cleaned & sealed.

Significantly, this Daytona features the European-market trapezoidal headlight instead of the more common rectangular unit like the one seen on last week's Sport 1100. I'm a huge fan of these Guzzis in general, and the headlight makes a huge difference to me in terms of looks: a later 1100cc Daytona with the headlight seen here has a place in my dream garage. This bike also features a desirable pair of Termignoni exhausts that should liberate a glorious boom from the Italian twin. It's a bad sign when it's easier to do valve adjustments than oil changes on your motorcycle, but that's probably the case with Guzzi's longitudinally-mounted engine. Even as late as the V11 Sport, you had to drop the pan to change the filter, It appears that the bike has an aftermarket, external oil filter adapter fitted: you can see it at the front of the engine. It's not mentioned by the seller, so maybe it was added by a previous owner? In any event this is a practical addition, and suggests that maintenance has been a priority for this bike. Overall, the bike's condition is very good, and mileage is just 3,473 from new. There's been no interest so far at the $10,000 starting bid but, with just 1000 or so built and Italian good looks, these are definitely collectible.

-tad

Racy Goose: 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona for Sale