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Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Suzuki May 15, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Sharp Slabbie Survivor: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale

Suzuki's GSX-R750 brought endurance racer performance to the masses. It may not have been the first bike to use a full fairing wrapped around lightweight aluminum monoshock frame and a four-cylinder engine, but it was the first bike to make that formula accessible to ordinary mortals, and it popularized the format. Prior to the GSX-R's introduction in 1985, you needed to be looking at something from a boutique manufacturer like Bimota if you wanted that kind of package, and those were far out of financial reach of most enthusiasts.

In a step that seems retrograde at first, the GSX-R used oil cooling instead of water. But this actually meant for a lighter, simpler package that was also easier to work on, meaning the potential loss in maximum power was a good trade off. A high-capacity oil pump and a system of oil jets dubbed SACS or "Suzuki Advanced Cooling System" helped keep things cool and that, along with dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder, helped the bike produce a genuine 100hp.

This 1986 example would have been from the first year the bike was actually imported to the USA. Slim, right-way-up forks [with anti-dive!], 18" wheels and very skinny tires clearly date the bike, but it otherwise appears pretty shockingly modern, considering it is 32 years old. It does have a few minor blemishes and small cracks in the fairing mounts, but is otherwise about as perfect as you're likely to find outside a museum.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale

For all those searching for an original, early GSX-R that wasn’t beat to hell or “modified” by some 18 yr old, here it is. All original everything in amazing condition. Miles are correct- no replaced speedo or set back to 0 after rebuild. Previous owner said the tires were original. Some scuffs, scratches and your typical stress cracks around the fairing bolts (as typical with these old Slabbies). Tank is beautiful, dent free and unlined. Exhaust/heat shield is perfect- (probably worth 2k in exhaust and tank alone if you can find them in this condition). A surface scratch approx 4-5” long on right side of tank (probably can be buffed out) and a few mm gouge on decal stripe on right tank side. Have a new tank decal kit if you’re going for museum quality restoration. Small (approx. 1/8”) plastic piece cracked on tail section cover, left side bottom shown in photo 17.  Some clear coat wearing off due to age near headlight cowling decals, photo 13. I tried to show everything, including flaws in the photos. In general, the paint is amazing. I took these photos in bright sunlight so some of the distortion you see is reflection. And I didn’t clean the bike and bathe it in armor-all for the photos. What you see is how it is after taking the cover off after several years. Never saw road salt or cinders- was previously a FL bike. 

I purchased this bike nearly 3 years ago, rode it approx 200 feet after it left the shipping truck, and parked it. Battery was removed and bike hasn’t been run since then. I just noticed some crusty brake fluid buildup that weeped from the front reservoir when taking these photos (4/23/18). Brakes should be bled, fluid replaced. I should have drained the carbs (but didn’t), so they may have to be cleaned.  

I bought a new GSX-R750 in '86, sold it when the military had me for 4 years, and purchased this one for more $ than what I paid new in 86’. If you want one of the nicest examples of the first true street -legal production race bike, and something that will hold its value, here’s your chance. More fun than a 401k too. I’m selling because after hitting the big Five-O mark, I’m more into dirt riding and the race replica style ergonomics don’t agree with my back and neck any more. Sold my Kawi triple, my GS1100, and Yamaha 2 strokes, and this is the last to go. PA antique title in my name. (Last owner was also older,  so bike was never abused).

Photos are part of the description ( **and no, the Shelby Cobra and KTM in the pictures aren’t included). I tried to include all the good and bad. If there’s any questions about things I may have missed, feel free to email and I’ll gladly answer. No outside CONUS shipping unless discussed prior to sale. I won’t crate and ship but I will work with your shipper. Bike located near Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA. Have your finances in order: if your bid wins, it’s yours. Non-refundable Pay Pal deposit due after auction. Bike and title won’t be released until all payments clear. Less than 10 positive transactions contact me first before bidding. In person examination can be arranged if desired. No low-ball offers please. Don’t waste my time or yours. I don’t need the cash, so if I can’t get what I’m asking, I’ll just keep it. If you can find one nicer and all original, go for it.  Thanks for looking.

Relisted because I ended it early due to not wanting to sell it the first time. My wife promptly changed my mind.

The asking price? $7,500 which is obviously on the high-side for a Slabbie right now, but not really out of line, considering the condition and originality. It wouldn't be all that hard to find a cheaper one, but minor blemishes aside, this one's in pretty exceptional shape.

-tad

Sharp Slabbie Survivor: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale
MV Agusta May 12, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Limited Edition: 2002 MV Agusta F4 750 Senna #172/300 for Sale

As much as I love the MV Agusta F4 750 in the classic red-and-silver colors, it's nice to know that it also looks pretty good in basic black-and-grey. Or flat-black. Or silver-and-blue, or... Reportedly, the design for the MV Agusta F4 was originally intended by Massimo Tamburini as the replacement for the venerable Ducati 916. And I'm sure in retrospect, Ducati very much wishes it had worked out that way, considering the reactions to their Pierre Terblanche-penned 999...

When it was introduced, I was a little disappointed that the new MV was powered by an inline four, instead of a v-twin. But the F4's radial-valved engine has a much more exotic quality than other four-cylinder engines: they sound sort of generically inline-y as they go by, but the pilot is treated to a much more complex noise. Or maybe I'm just infatuated.

In any event, this particular F4 is powered by the earlier, 749cc version of the engine. A claimed 126hp meant the MV was making the right power to compete in the 750cc class, but there were really two problems. One, it was also a bit heavier than other bikes in the class. And two, interest in the 750 class basically evaporated right as the F4 was introduced. Sure, Suzuki still made a GSX-R750, but it lived in the shadow of the new superbike king, the GSX-R1000. And the F4 750 couldn't hope to compete against performance like that.

F4s show up regularly for sale with incredibly low miles, which reinforces the bike's reputation for a punishing riding position. It also points out that they get bought as display items more than actual bikes. Which is sad, because they're pretty great, rewarding sportbikes. If you're expecting this to flatten your eyeballs, you will be very disappointed, and the F4 is hard, and uncomfortable, and very serious. Handling is more stable than agile, but the potential is there for a seriously rapid bike, if you're willing to deal with the uncompromising ergos and bit of extra weight.

From the original eBay listing: 2002 MV Agusta F4 750 Senna #172/300

The MV Agusta F4 was the motorcycle that launched the resurrection of MV Agusta in 1998. The F4 model was created by motorcycle designer Massimo Tamburini at CRC (Cagiva Research Center), following his work on the Ducati 916. 

The F4 series bikes have a four pipe undertail exhaust, single-sided swingarm, large front forks (50 mm diameter) and traditional MV Agusta red and silver livery on the F4 Series Oro. The F4 model is also one of the few production superbikes to have hemispherical chamber 4 valves per cylinder engine.

After meeting and becoming friends, Formula One Racing Legend, Ayrton Senna and MV Agusta President, Claudio Castiglioni began a close collaboration. Borne of a mutual passion for speed, performance, and the painstaking quest for excellence, their friendship continued to grow. 

Today this spirit continues, embodied in the form of a very special motorcycle, the MV Agusta SPR SENNA. Based upon the SPR’s increased performance and capability, the SENNA edition is further distinguished by its limited production (only 50 imported into the USA) and exclusive black color, distinctive red accents, and SENNA graphics.

The SENNA was produced in a limited worldwide quantity of 300 units worldwide, with proceeds benefiting the SENNA Foundation. 

The SENNA Foundation was created to assist in improving the lives of over 300,000 Brazilian children and contributes 100% of its proceeds to the development and implementation of social programs.

The F4 750 Senna was released in 2002 and is rated at 0-60 2.9 quarter mile 10.7 @ 135. The Senna was a limited production run of 300 bikes like the orginal F4 Series Oro. The Senna shared the 136 hp (101 kW) engine of the Evo 02 but with a higher redline of13900 rpm, and top speed estimated at 175 mph (282 km/h) @ 12750 rpm . The Senna also had some suspension upgrades and some carbon fiber bodywork compared to other MVs. 

MSRP was $24,995 in 2002. Only 50 units of 300 produced worldwide arrived in the USA and this one with only 188 miles is arguably the finest Senna available anywhere!

As the seller mentions, this is a pretty rare bike, but considering this is really just a paint-and-graphics update to the F4 750, the $19,999 starting bid is pretty hard to swallow at this point in time. Even F4 Serie Oro bikes haven't gotten much higher than this in recent eBay auctions, so I think the seller is a few years ahead of the curve in terms of pricing.

-tad

Limited Edition: 2002 MV Agusta F4 750 Senna #172/300 for Sale
Ducati May 9, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Tasteful Upgrades: 1988 Ducati 750 F1 for Sale

Designed to resemble their race-winning TT1 machines and the very last bike built before a buyout by Cagiva, the Ducati F1 was a bit rough around the edges but, in spite of a kit-bike feel and build quality, was a true thoroughbred. The F1 and its variants languished in obscurity for a while, since it wasn't quite a classic and didn't offer a more modern Ducati's refinement or parts availability.

The F1 used a version 749cc Ducati's air and oil-cooled two-valve Pantah motor, tuned to produce 76hp. With just over 400lbs to push around, performance wouldn't give the inline fours from Japan much trouble in a straight line, but it could handle with the best of them.

The two-valve engine was caged by a trellis frame by Verlicchi and wrapped in bodywork that was decidedly old-school, compared to more modern machines like Suzuki's "Slingshot" GSX-R. Ergonomics were clearly an afterthought, with even the air-cleaners sticking out from the bodywork, waiting  to foul the rider's knees.

It's not the most collectible version of the F1, but comes with some very nice extras. F1s had a 16" front and 18" rear wheel combination, but the Oscam parts fitted to this example both appear to be 16". They definitely look trick, with the polished rim and modular construction. The seller includes plenty of information about this bike, as you can see below, and it looks like the bike is ready to go.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Ducati 750 F1 for Sale

1988 Ducati 750 F1, only 19,411 miles, many Monjuich upgrades, great condition

Details:

  • 1988 Ducati 750 F1 (ZDM750R/2)
  • only 19,411 miles, Monjuich upgrades
  • very rare in this condition
  • selling for senior friend who is second owner
  • never raced but has taken part in a few track days
  • V2, 4-stroke, 70HP, Desmo
  • air cooled, 5-speed, chain drive
  • dual front disc brakes, single rear disc
  • only 416 lbs, very quick, not a beginner bike!
  • one key, factory owners manual and 750 Montjuich shop manual
  • fully street legal once you remount the turn signals (all wiring there)

Upgrades and extras:

  • 2-into one Ducati Montjuich pipe
  • Second Ducati Montjuich tailpiece with seat reworked by Sargent
  • Montjuich fender
  • Oscam wheels (very rare)
  • Throttlemeister-style throttle lock
  • rear paddock stand

OEM parts included:

  • Stock front and rear wheels
  • Factory F1 pipes, very solid with minor surface ticking, great candidate for blasting and repainting
  • Factory centerstand and OEM swingarm
  • Factory chainguard
  • four turn signals and pigtails, all need new stalks

Cosmetic:

  • Overall cosmetics are very nice, paint glossy, no rash on panels
  • small garf in belly pan, top edge of fairing, and spot where tailpiece meets seat
  • few rubs on rear subfender
  • few jacket scratches on tank 
  • seat in very good shape
  • no dents in tank
  • few oxidized spots on Oscam wheels but nice shape overall

Mechanical:

  • tires have zero miles: Michelin A59X and M59X
  • tires are 2004 and 2005 build date but were properly stored in heated shop so still soft
  • bike starts easily, runs, rides and brakes well
  • fresh oil and K&N filter, brake fluid flush, clutch fluid flush
  • front calipers and master cylinder put thru ultrasonic and rebuilt
  • carbs ultrasonic treated and rebuilt with kits installed
  • new brake pads
  • new timing belts
  • valves set
  • new fuel taps (Bevel Heaven) and fuel lines
  • new engine cover seals
  • repacked steering head bearings
  • lubed cables
  • horn feeble at times and not working others
  • turn signal circuits all there and work but no signals mounted
  • tripmeter reset works but not hard mounted
  • sidestand has been shortened

Well, 19,000 miles on a well-maintained Ducati Pantah isn't anything to be scared of, but sure isn't museum-piece low or anything to brag about... But it does appear to have been sympathetically owned, very well maintained, and sensibly updated. The seller also includes a short clip of the bike idling and revving, along with plenty of additional pics. Bidding is very active and up to $9,000 with a few days left on the auction. Folks are asking for north of $20,000 for Laguna Secas and Montjuichs, although basic F1s seem to be much more modestly valued. Given the upgrades and the amount of time left on the auction, I expect this one to go a good bit higher before the auction ends.

-tad

Tasteful Upgrades: 1988 Ducati 750 F1 for Sale
Ducati May 7, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1975 Ducati 750GT for Sale

It’s obvious that we’ll continue to see Ducati’s iconic “L-twin” for the foreseeable future, but the recent introduction of their V4 Panigale represents the end of the v-twin superbike era that really began with today’s Featured Listing Ducati 750GT. If you ask anyone to name the earliest Ducati v-twin, one of the Supersports is the one most likely to spring to mind. But this GT was actually the first, and possibly most significant machine to be powered by the elegant and desirable “Round Case” twin.

It’s difficult to overstate how important the v-twin was to Ducati's present fortunes. Prior to the introduction of the 750GT in 1971, Ducati built single-cylinder road and race motorcycles, the most sophisticated of which used their now widespread Desmo heads that eschewed springs for a more precise and positive system of cams to both open and close the valves. But, singles, while profitable and popular in much of the world for their simplicity, economy, and light weight, would never have allowed Ducati to develop a real fan base in that largest and most lucrative of markets: North America.

The original incarnation of the roadgoing v-twin did not include Desmodromic valve actuation: until the Pantah, that was reserved for the Supersport models exclusively. However, it did use a system of tower shafts and bevel gears to operate the cams for very precise timing, and that clockwork masterpiece is a far cry from modern motorcycle engines that are often mercifully hidden behind fairings or a tangle of wires and hoses.

Performance for the 748cc engine was relatively modest by today’s standards, but this was a considered a serious machine and a 750GT can definitely keep up with modern traffic. Braking won’t be up to current standards, but the 60 claimed horses and 407lb dry weight meant a top speed of 125mph, so you can easily out accelerate most cars leaving a stoplight and handling was excellent.

Although only 4,000 or so 750GTs were actually built, they paved the way for Ducati’s big-bike ambitions and their current status as the premier European bike brand, with a balance of sales volume and exotic cachet that extends well beyond the enthusiast market and into the general population. This example is being offered by Moto Borgotaro, a Brooklyn-based shop that specializes in quality classic bikes, maintenance, and restorations.

From the Seller: 1975 Ducati 750GT for Sale

Bike is presented by Moto Borgotaro Inc. located in Brooklyn , N.Y. 

This is a fantastic 3rd production stage 750GT that has a lot touches from the earlier series 750GT's -- I would call this the ultimate rider as that how it was set up... Why? well lets start with the good... complete motor rebuild in 2009 by Mike Duzick of Mikmar Motors, Paxinos, PA. earlier 72' tank and tins, completely rebuilt wheels (high lip Borrani style), frame re-done, chrome redone, new Conti pipes, updated electrical, low bars, newer Avon's.. the works.

Close up, flaws etc... The bike is excellent in person, minor flaws as follows -- dash is cracked (common) and it is the earlier style 3 light, scratch on underside of rt. hand pipe, you only see it if your looking for it, brake lever bent out a bit on the end. No it is not 100% original but frankly the bike is fantastic and Mr. Duzick's motor and restoration is excellent... ride this bike.. this is the one. 

-- There are more than 50 additional photos from restoration. 

DETAILS

  • Third production stage 750GT with earlier body work 
  • Engine # 756389
  • Engine crank on up rebuild in 2009 by Mike Duzick of Mikmar Motors, Paxinos, PA
  • 72' GT tank and tins all re-done in black 
  • Restored seat 
  • New Contis 
  • New Chrome all around 
  • Complete rebuilt wheels 
  • Original shocks
  • Sold with a clean New Jersey title
  • Only 513 miles since restoration in 2009 
  • New Sealed battery 
  • New electrical, and electronic ignition 
  • Newer Avon Roadriders 

The 750GT was probably the most practical of the original v-twins, and this one looks like the perfect collectible, round-case Ducati to actually ride on weekends. I'm a fan of Moto Borgotaro's recent offerings and this bike seems pretty representative of the kind of bikes they've had available in the past: not over-restored, cosmetically "perfect" museum pieces, but extremely clean, well-maintained bikes for collectors who also want to regularly use their acquisitions. Head on over to the eBay listing for some more info, or just to keep an eye on the auction: there are just a couple days left, and bidding is up north of $18,000.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1975 Ducati 750GT for Sale
Laverda May 6, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Alternative Twin: 1999 Laverda Formula 750 for Sale

It's a shame that the second incarnation of Laverda was gone by the end of the 1990s, before the recent interest in classic styles and older nameplates. I can imagine that a modern take on their big, burly triples would have gone over pretty well if they'd survived into the present. Apparently, a new triple was developed for Laverda, but it was ultimately used to power Benelli's Tornado and TNT instead. The new triple never happened for them, so Laverda's "Zane era" really culminated with this Laverda 750 Formula.

Saved from the ashes of their 1980s collapse, Laverda needed a new sportbike to draw attention to the reborn company. As always, the small Italian factory was working with a severely limited development budget, and that meant they couldn't design a brand new engine to compete against the class benchmark, Ducati's 748. The air-cooled, 668cc parallel-twin intially used in the new machines was actually an evolution of the old, 500cc unit from the 1970s Alpino, but Laverda injected new life by fitting... fuel injection, bigger pistons, and eventually a radiator, although you can still see the engine's cooling fins leftover from its earlier incarnation. Or you would be able to see them, if the seller had included any decent pics of the bike with the fairing off...

It may have been intended as a competitor for the Ducati 748 but the engine was less refined and the bike was not as fast in a straight line. Where it really excelled was in the handling department, and the Formula took the already superlative Nico Bakker-designed aluminum beam frame and added excellent Paioli suspension and lightweight wheels to the package. You'll notice that the "gas tank" is no such thing, as there's no fuel filler there. The fuel door is actually a hinged panel on top of the tail, and the cell itself is more centrally-mounted for better balance. The result was a bike period reviewers found frustrating, as the bike would have been truly world-class but for that agricultural powerplant.

I'm not really that big on the regular 750S in solid red, yellow, or black but somehow I love it in the Formula's garish, Halloween-looking combination. Yeah, that dual headlamp makes it look like an Italian take on a late 1980s GSX-R, but I'm a huge fan anyway. I'd prefer some higher-resolution images of this particular bike, since it's really hard to see what kind of cosmetic condition we're really dealing with, but it looks pretty good from what you can tell from the included photos.

From the original eBay listing: 1999 Laverda Formula 750 for Sale

Laverda built this bike as direct competition to Ducati. In doing so, it built it with the highest quality components it could find. For starters, it went to Nico Bakker to design the twin spar aluminum frame. Laverda increased the displacement of the 668cc engine to 750, added water cooling in addition to oil and tune it to develop 93HP. To handle all that power, Laverda added Paioli fully adjustable upside-down forks, rear shock, Marchesini wheels, and Brembo brakes. All wrapped in FRP bodywork to keep it as lightweight as possible. The result is a machine that can handle with the best of them.

Not many of these were imported into the US and fewer still are available for sale. Here is one with 1,668 kilometers (about 1000 miles). This bike is in an amazing condition and it is ready for it's new custodian. The motorcycle can be seen at our dealership in Bellevue, WA

As much as I like Laverda's 750 Formula, there's really no question that the Ducati 748 is a better-looking, more iconic machine. Of course, rarity counts in the collector bike world and, while you can still pick up a good 748 for relative peanuts, these have gotten steadily more expensive. Is the Formula a good bike? Well the handling is exceptional, power is adequate for the class, reliability is decent, and looks are... subjective. Is it a better bike than the 748 it was pitched against? No, but if you're a Laverda fan and want something reasonably modern to ride, or have an aversion to trellis frames, a 750S or Formula are basically your only choices! Or I guess you could buy one of those aforementioned Benellis and just stick some Laverda badges on it.

-tad

Alternative Twin: 1999 Laverda Formula 750 for Sale
Gilera May 4, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Days of Future Past: 1991 Gilera CX125 for Sale

It's always fun to see older cars and bikes that were meant at the time to embody the designs of tomorrow, even if that future never actually came to pass. Somehow, even though the world this wild Gilera CX125 embodied only exists in some sort of alternate reality, at least it doesn't rely on vaporware to actually function: radical styling aside, the underpinnings were the tried-and-true two-stroke engine and six-speed transmission from their existing Crono, and that single-sided front end is really just a conventional telescopic fork with one leg...

The single-sided front end matches the ELF-designed single-sided swingarm and makes it look like the bike is simply floating above its wheels when viewed from the right, like an artist's sketch made real. Developed by Paioli, it's not actually an alternative swingarm front end like Yamaha's RADD or the Bimota Tesi, but there's no downside to it in terms of function. In fact, that's really the biggest disappointment here: the radical styling that was clearly inspired by the ELF racing machines is just that, styling. There's no futuristic technology or exotic powerplant. It's just a sporty, economical two-stroke dressed up with stylish bodywork.

In fact, the most futuristic technology found on the CX125 was the engine counterbalancer that contributed to the bike's exceptionally smooth-running character and the electric starter. The simple bones underpinning the sleek body mean the CX125 works pretty well, taking into account the minuscule displacement of the tiny two-stroke. The 300lb wet weight meant the 125's 28 rear-wheel horses could push the little machine up to a top speed of around 100mph, but the question really is: at whom was this machine really aimed? 125 two-strokes are, even in Europe, learner bikes or commuters. And although the technology of the CX125 was decidedly modern, the futuristic styling wouldn't really have been a priority for practical types, and 16-year-olds looking for sportbikes were probably interested in something much more race-replica-y.

Although it wasn't priced much higher than its much more conventionally-styled stablemate, performance was slightly less and the bike didn't sell very well at the time. This particular example is complete and appears to be in decent condition, although some cracks in the bodywork are visible and there is some plastic discoloration, as well as a bit of rust and the usual cosmetic issues that arise when a bike sits for any length of time. The biggest issue is the lack of a title.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Gilera CX125 for Sale

1991 Gilera CX125 located in Santa Ana, California. This bike is in very good condition for it's age. Gauge shows 3684 KM = 2210 miles. There are a few cracks in the plastic body parts, "see pictures". This is a very common problem with these bike. Engine runs great, no problems. The CX125 is a very rare bike here in the USA. More info is available on our website. Bike is sold with a bill of sale only. I don't have a title for the bike and can't get one here in California.

There are no takers yet at the starting bid of $7,995. These aren't exactly cheap for the performance they offer, but a CX125 would make a hilarious weekend ride in Southern California, where originality is at a premium. Honestly, I love these, so it's a shame that it wouldn't be easy to legally register one here.

-tad

Days of Future Past: 1991 Gilera CX125 for Sale