Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Bimota July 13, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1993/1994 Bimota DB2 for Sale

The Bimota DB2 isn't the fastest or even the rarest bike to wear the Bimota name, but it is among the most successful and helped pave the way for the raft of DB models that followed: we're currently up to the DB13 or something. By their nature, Bimotas are mutts, with proprietary frames and bodywork, but outsourced engines and that may be why used 1990s Bimotas are relatively affordable, considering how exotic they are. It also might be their unreliable reputation: light and fast they may be, but the 90s models especially have a reputation for kit-bike quality. Somehow, the air-cooled Ducati-engined models have managed to avoid that notoriety, so perhaps the Italian electrical gremlins of both marques cancel each other out?

The original DB1, the first Bimota to be powered by an Italian engine, sold well enough [approximately 600 units] that it basically saved the company from ruin. For the DB2, Ducati supplied their six-speed-backed, 904cc air and oil-cooled v-twin. Any bike powered by the two-valve Pantah engine needs to be light if it's going to be fast, and the DB2 is very light. At a claimed 373lbs dry and with beefy Paioli RWU forks and adjustable Öhlins suspension at the rear, the svelte Bimota can make the most of its 86 claimed horses.

It's the perfect canyon-carver with nimble handling and a punchy motor tuned for midrange. The fact that it's one of Bimota's best-looking efforts doesn't hurt either, with swoopy, fully-enclosed or half-faired bodywork, a tubular trellis frame similar to the original Ducati part in terms of looks but not geometry, and a tubular swingarm to match. Period reviewers complained about the Yamaha-sourced headlight but it's less obvious now and fits the lines of the bike perfectly.

Some DB2 graphics are a bit too close to some sort of "urban camouflage" for comfort, but this simple white and red design look great, while also being very 90s in the best possible way. Confused about why this one is listed as a 1993/1994 model? The seller explains in more detail but basically: the VIN indicates a 1993 bike but the title lists it as a 1994.

From the Seller: 1993/1994 Bimota DB2 for Sale

The VIN of this bike ZES1DB214PRZES001 shows it being the first US bike of the first year of production.  The VIN's 10th character is a "P" which means it's a 1993, the VIN sticker says it was made 6/93.  But for some reason the title states 1994.  It is one of 408 in the world.  I tried to contact Bimota to get and understanding of what being number 1 really means, they didn't reply. I doubt it's the FIRST DB2.  But whatever it is cool.  Currently the bike has 1921 miles.  I've had the bike about a year, I bought it from a collector in San Diego.  While I've owned it I've gone over the bike from top to bottom, I've listed the work and the parts out below.  I've ridden her about 300 miles and she goes as good as she looks.  This bike really needs nothing except maybe some lines to replace the unsightly (but functioning) blue Kevlar lines.  I have more pictures of the bike if you have questions about something or a certain area I can send them to you. 

Work:

  • Cleaned carbs
  • Replaced belts
  • Check valves (in spec)
  • Replace tires (still have originals)
  • Replaced windshield (still have crack original)
  • Changed all fluids (brake, clutch, engine)
  • Repaired minor scuff on tail
  • Serviced battery
  • Re-powder coated wheels
  • Replaced brake and clutch levers
  • Replaced some minor bits of hardware with matching zinc plated parts

Asking price is $12,500. Contact Jay by email.

Around 400 DB2s were built, which is pretty much volume production for Bimota. They don't come up for sale often, but are typically in immaculate condition as they were always collectible. The question is: how do folks own these bikes and only put 300 miles on them?! At least the seller has taken exceptionally good care of the bike while it's been in his possession, and the low mileage means the next owner can put a few more on without adversely impacting its value!

-tad

Featured Listing: 1993/1994 Bimota DB2 for Sale
Honda July 12, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Pristine: 1985 Honda VF1000R with 442 Miles for Sale

When you mention Honda’s endurance race replicas, most folks are likely to think of their iconic RC30 or RC45 machines, some of the best-looking bikes of their era, or maybe the smaller NC30 if they’re more budget-minded. But the VF1000R had endurance-racer styling and a host of sophisticated features to homologate them for competition. Possibly the bike has languished a bit forgotten as it hails from an in-between period of sportbike design, as the formula was still being established. It’s bulkier and heavier than you might expect for a sports-oriented bike, at 600lbs wet. But 125hp and a spread of V4 torque meant a top speed of almost 150mph and, in keeping with the endurance-racing theme, it could charge along at that speed all day long.

So why was this racing-styled beast so heavy? The typical Honda tendency to over-engineer everything: fairings on the bike featured spring-loaded flaps to vent hot air, and the rear brake actually has a vented disc. Torque-Reactive Anti-Dive Control forks were designed to reduce brake dive and featured quick-release axles, adjustable bars meant ideal setup for a variety of riders, and modular Comstar wheels were wrapped in radial tires, a relatively new development for motorcycles. At the heart of the machine was a 998cc V4 with gear-driven cams that gave precise timing and that distinctive whine.

The VF1000R is not exactly an agile machine, but handling is stable and good wind protection combined with those adjustable ergos mean reasonable comfort. This particular example appears to be in pristine condition, as you'd expect with just 442 miles on the odometer. The only possible downside is that slightly less-desirable single, US-market headlamp. Interestingly, Honda developed that configuration just in case the Euro twin-lamp [behind a single lens] set up didn't pass regulations here. They needn't have worried, apparently, but typical Honda thoroughness won out and luckily both treatments look good.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Honda VF1000R with 442 Miles for Sale

Up for sale is my 1985 Honda VF1000R from my collection and it is in pristine condition and is listed with an astonishing 442 miles. The bike sat indoors for 27 years but that a full refresh has already been completed (details below).

Honda’s enthusiasm for the V4 engine layout in the early 1980s was such that by 1984 the VF range comprised six models and the fastest and most glamorous was the VF1000R: a limited-edition super-sports machine that was created, with little expense spared, to dominate production racing in the way that the straight-four CB1100R had done three years earlier.

Refresh details:

  • Flushed brakes, add stainless steel braided brake lines, rebuilt rear master cylinder
  • Lubed and adjusted throttle and clutch cables
  • Flushed cooling system
  • Torqued and checked all chassis fittings and fasteners,  check/tighten steering head bearings,
  • Replaced shock (rear) with Hagon coil-over upgrade, shock was valved and springs for me being a 180 lb. solo rider optimum.
  • Replaced battery, NGK spark plugs,
  • Performed compression check and full tune, including clean and synch carbs, flush fuel tank and add 1 gallon bath metal rust remover, replace petcock assembly (leaking).
  • Added engine top-end oiling kit from Daughtry Motorsports (early VF1000's were reported to suffer top end oiling deficiency and this kit addresses that fully).  Includes oil filter with adapter for top-end oiling kit.
  • Replaced original tires (old and cracked) with brand new Bridgestone Battlax BT45's.  Went to 150/70/17 rear (stock was 140) and 120/80/16 front (stock size).

Starting bid for this listing is $12,000 with no takers yet plenty of time left. These have been selling for shockingly low sums up until very recently, considering their rarity and specification, but collectors appear to have finally gotten wise to this forgotten gem. The seller is looking for big money, but I'd expect you're looking at the nicest, lowest-mileage example in the US. I'm not sure how much time it will take before that looks like a bargain, but I have the feeling it won't be all that long...

-tad

Pristine: 1985 Honda VF1000R with 442 Miles for Sale
Ducati July 10, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 2009 Ducati Sport 1000 for Sale

Ducati's line of SportClassic retro-inspired motorcycles generated plenty of buzz when they were released in 2006, marrying retro styling cues and modern performance. The original Sport 1000 and Paul Smart/1000S versions were solo-seat only, but got revised rear suspensions and exhaust systems that allowed for a dual-seat option, keeping costs down compared to the limited-release models and widening their appeal. But demand tailed off quickly for the whole range and they were discontinued after just a few years, although the more practical GT1000 hung on a couple years after the others. Today, however, these things command prices as high or even higher than new, with many examples appearing to be in very well-maintained shape and, as is common with Ducatis, have been upgraded with expensive aftermarket bits, like today's Featured Listing Sport 1000.

There's not much to be said about the SportClassic that hasn't been said before: it's a solid, if uninspiring performer, with good handling, tons of style, and decent reliability, a "mature sportbike" suitable for everyone from backroad scratchers to urban posers. If that sounds like "damning with faint praise" I don't mean it to be: the 92hp available from the air/oil-cooled, two-valve v-twin doesn't seem all that impressive when compared to the latest and greatest superbikes, but considering the bike's very reasonable weight and decent suspension it's plenty to have fun with and adequate for probably 90% of the riding public. Even today, those numbers are right on par with the new Thruxton R, with comparable power and lower weight.

This particular bike avoids one of the major pitfalls of the model: this era's Ducatis often used plastic tanks that don't respond well to ethanol and can swell over time. Ducati was replacing the tanks but with the same plastic tanks, so this could be an issue for folks looking to pick them up second-hand. Here, the plastic parts have been replaced by aluminum which, as you may or may not know, does not swell when exposed to ethanol... The aluminum parts have been clear-coated. Personally, I like the look of raw aluminum, but I'd go with gold graphics over black for this bike. Maybe black paint with the Ducati logo left in bare aluminum? The new owner will get a set of tank decals that haven't been applied.

From the Seller: 2009 Ducati Sport 1000 for Sale

This is a very unique bike! A Sport Classic 1000 w/aluminum tank and seat cowl (not the stock plastic stuff), OZ Cattiva magnesium wheels, Spark stainless steel exhaust (great sound!), slipper clutch, flashed ECU, and more. Comes with original OEM parts plus a spare seat (without a cowl on it). Stock tank and seat cowl are black with a white racing stripe. 18.4K miles. One of the coolest Ducatis you'll see on the road. A true cult bike. Well cared for and dealer maintained. I am reluctant to sell it, but I have one too many sport bikes.

$12,000 - Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Interested parties can contact the seller here: charlesdoane@comcast.net

That black tank-protector shown is nice as well and included with the sale. It covers up the shapely tank, but prevents damage and offers up easy mounting for a tank bag. The original spoked wheels are gone as well, replaced by lighter, stiffer magnesium bits. The owner notes a significant improvement in handling as a result. If you don't like the changes, all the original parts are included to change it back to stock. The seller also helpfully includes a clip from Tron: Legacy featuring a Black Sport 1000 in case you've not seen the movie or would like to see a similar bike in action. The asking price for this example is $12,000, and it's currently located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Miles aren't collector-bike low, but Ducati's two-valve twin is a pretty durable engine when properly maintained and these SportClassics certainly look like they're holding their value.

-tad

Featured Listing: 2009 Ducati Sport 1000 for Sale
Moto Guzzi July 10, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Too Soon: 1991 Moto Guzzi 1000S for Sale

Looking very much like a mid-1970s 750S, this Moto Guzzi 1000S was retro before retro was cool. In possibly the most Moto Guzzi-ist move ever, the company beat the classic styling craze by decades simply out of necessity. Faced with an outdated product line, Guzzi needed a sporty machine to fill the gap before the introduction of the Daytona in 1992, so the company slapped their big, longitudinally-oriented 90° v-twin and shaft-drive combo into the long-serving Lino Tonti frame, fitted modern brakes and some 18" wheels and called it done. Unfortunately, the concept was a bit too far ahead of its time and some sat unsold at dealers for years.

Power from the 949cc two-valve, air-cooled motor was unremarkable, even in 1991. But the twin's 82hp came with a very beefy 76 ft-lbs of torque, enough to push the 1000S to just a shade under 130mph. There was certainly nothing wrong with their proven Lino Tonti-designed frame, other than that it was nearly twenty years old in 1991 and the Guzzi combines long, low looks with decent cornering clearance and stable handling.

Triple Brembo brakes meant the 475lb machine could pull up pretty short, and the bike used Guzzi's linked braking system that had the brake pedal operating the rear caliper and one front caliper, with a proportioning valve to distribute pressure. The other front brake was operated by the the right bar-mounted lever. Purists have often complained and some have even de-linked their brakes, but the system has always worked very well.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Moto Guzzi 1000S for Sale

Welcome! You are looking at a very stock and original 1991 Moto Guzzi 1000S with the big valve engine and green stripes and frame. This bike started life on the east coast and was bought by a friend of mine a few years ago from the original owner. My friend moved out here and looked me up to help him service the bike. I have been servicing, restoring, collecting and preserving Guzzi's for many years. The bike was a bit rough but was very stock. Short story is, I purchased the bike last year to preserve it and to get it back on the road as the loving beast it is.

I completely went through the entire bike. The heads were completely rebuilt with new valves, guides, etc. They were in great shape but I like to be safe with the intention of making sure someone is getting a great solid bike. All seals, gaskets, hoses, bearings, and rubber bits were replaced including intake boots. I also replaced the timing chain tensioner, timing chain, and oil pump sprocket. Carbs were completely rebuilt with new everything. The clutch had been replaced at one point but was in great condition so I left it alone. Rear drive was rebuilt and shimmed as was the trans. It is sporting a brand new pair of Pirelli Sport Demon tires. She also has a set of Dyna coils along with a brand new Dyna ignition. The original owner had rat holed away the original exhaust, seat, and chrome bits so they have very few miles on them and look great. The bike also has a brand new Duracell motorcycle specific battery and also has a brand new Valeo starter. It is rare to find one with all the original bits on it. This thing is running so good! I just re torqued the heads for the final time and gave it a good tuning.

She is a runner with an awesome personality. Cosmetically the bike has allot of honest riding wear from running up and down the east coast most of its life. The paint on the side covers is worn through and paling off in many places. I have another 1000S here I am looking after for a very good friend that has the same type of wear from being ridden allot too. Overall though, the bike just has a very cool character and loves to be ridden. Plus its not so nice you don't want to ride it! The decals and even new side covers are readily available if one wished to repaint a set. I am a stickler for keeping things as original as possible though. I will include a near new complete Lafranconi Competzione exhaust with head pipes and crossover. I will also include the stock points set, reflectors, and jets.

This example uses, as the seller mentions, the "big valve" version of the v-twin engine. The 1993 bike used smaller valves for improved midrange torque and better emissions, but it was down on top end power as you'd expect, with 71hp at 6,800 rpm versus 82 at a surprisingly high 8,000. The bikes came stock with wire wheels, with cast wheels as an option that are featured on this example. Just a few hundred of these were imported to the US in 1991 and 1993, making this one of the rarest Guzzis of the the "modern" era. The Buy It Now price for this bit of retro-performance is $15,000 which seems pretty on-the-money for a nice 1000S these days. Guzzis certainly don't appeal to everyone but if you're a fan, and looking for classic looks with modern-ish performance, they don't get much nicer than this.

-tad

Yamaha July 7, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Two-Stroke Hooligan: Cali-Titled 1989 Yamaha TDR250 for Sale

This bike got me excited because Practical Sportbikes has been doing a project Yamaha TDR250 over the past few months, and up until I saw it, I had no idea the bike even existed. You say it's not a sportbike? I say if it's in Practical Sportbikes, it qualifies! So what exactly is a TDR250? Well basically it's the parallel-twin from the TZR250 in a supermoto-style machine, with different tuning to suit the bike's new mission.

Weight was right in line with the TZR at just a shade north of 300lbs dry, and the claimed 50hp is pretty close as well, helped by the same Yamaha Power Valve System. The supermoto set up means you'd probably lose out to a TZR on track, but the TDR would probably be faster just about everywhere else. Certainly, the riding position would be a damn sight more comfortable than the racer-crouch required for the TZR...

This particular example has obviously been enthusiast-owned, and the listing includes details of recent engine work, updates to the suspension, wheels and brakes, although he doesn't mention where he got that banana swingarm. It's not really necessary here with the undertail pipes but it does look pretty cool. Maybe it came from the RS250 that donated the rear wheel? This TDR is not perfectly original or in pristine cosmetic condition, so it won't be of much interest to anyone looking for a museum-quality collectible, but these really aren't all that valuable yet anyway in the rest of the world. The main thing driving the price for this one is likely the novelty and that very desirable California title.

 

From the original eBay listing: Cali-titled 1989 Yamaha TDR250 for Sale

Engine is parallel twin TDR250 (TZ250)case induction 2-stroke 50+ hp.6-speed

  • Low mile bottom end (under 5k mi) pressure tested, excellent condition.
  • New pistons, rings, clutch plates, petcock, YPVS bushings, gaskets.
  • RZ500 cylinder barrels-standard bore (newly run in, just over 50 miles presently on new hone).
  • Relocated YPVS actuator to center RZ500 position with stock housing/adjustment.
  • RZ500 kick start arm
  • TDR250 head tuned by Stan Stephens in the UK.
  • Standard exhaust with black chrome powder coated guards and custom spigot covers.
  • Pre-mix injector pump installed,adjusted and in good working order,but currently 40:1 Motul racing synthetic, premixed as a personal preference.Easy to mix in and good insurance.

Chassis

  • Aprilia RS250 road racer front and rear wheels and complete rear Brembo brake caliper/mount.
  • GSX-R K6"limited" UD forks with black nitrided sliders/anodized caps and tuned springs
  • Machined and heat powder coated K6 Radial front brake caliper.
  • Custom Goodridge steel braided brake lines front and rear.
  • New non O-Ring gold chain (less drag).
  • New front and rear sealed wheel bearings.
  • New Michelin Pilots
  • Vintage Pro -Taper bars
  • Brembo front master cylinder.
  • NC30 tail light and rear fascia.
  • Extensive powder costing.
  • New yellow stock seat cover with Yamaha labeling included.
  • 2 spare rear sprockets (1 aluminum,1 stock steel) included.
  • Full work shop manual (copy) with original sales brochure included.

Body is standard in good condition as shown, showing minor decal issues (pictured) and some repairs on interiors from an older repaint. Rider quality. Bicycle speedometer is only fairly accurate but legal. Turn signals aren't blinking. (I think the led fronts need bulb style) Finger actuation only for now! Suspension mods have stabilized high speed handling without sacrificing all important "flick ability".

Bikes cylinders are freshly broken in, first kick every time, running great and ever improving, very strong pull with improved head by Stan Stephens.Perfect stock jetting, no plug fouling ever and runs cool, never past just center of coolant gauge even when in powerbaband getting flogged, clutch plates and synthetic oil for perfect "butter"shifting with no slippage. Quiet stock exhaust allows you to rev it with out to much undesirable attention. NO DISAPPOINTMENTS!

Bike is for sale locally, so l reserve option to end at anytime BEFORE reserve is met. Super Rare and desirable model in the U.S.Very collectible and appreciating. Please ask any and all questions, answered ASAP! Japanese and Canadian market bikes, never imported to the states, a lot have ended up in the United Kingdom where new parts and spares are readily available.

Bidding is up north of $5,000 with just about 48 hours left on the auction. In one of its home markets, I doubt it'd ever make near what it looks like it will sell for here, but I bet two-stroke junkies are leaping at the opportunity to pick up this very funky little machine, especially in California where little smokers have a pretty rabid following and road-legal grey market bikes from this era are hard to come by.

-tad

Two-Stroke Hooligan: Cali-Titled 1989 Yamaha TDR250 for Sale
Honda July 6, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Endurance Racer: 1982 Honda CB1100R for Sale

Update 7.24.2017: Interested parties can email the seller directly: mrcbx@att.net

Built in small quantities between 1981 and 1983 and very rare sight here in the US, the Honda CB1100R was created to homologate the big, four-cylinder machine for endurance racing. Based on the CB900F and powered by a 1062cc air-cooled inline engine, it featured the usual raft of upgrades to engine internals, frame, and suspension to make those parts eligible for competition. Unlike the CB900F, the engine was mounted rigidly in the frame to act as a stressed-member, improving handling at the expense of additional vibration.

Power was rated at 115hp and the bike weighted in at 520lbs dry, which may sound heavy in a modern context but meant the CB1100R was on par with period rivals. The bike was fast and very stable, and Honda's first use of dual-piston brakes up front with vented discs meant stopping power was considered excellent at the time. There were TRAC anti-dive forks up front with adjustable units at the rear. Gold ComStar wheels are stiff and light, but a pain to rebuild if yours are damaged and a composite fairing means replacements for broken parts could be very expensive...

These don't come up for sale very often, especially here in the USA where they were never officially available. So how small were the "small quantities" produced? 1,050 were built for 1981, with 1,500 for 1982 and another 1,500 for 1983. That may not be Bimota levels of exclusivity, but this is still one rare motorcycle, especially for a Honda. Values will only be going up on bikes of the era and I expect that all those affordable 1980s bikes you can generally find on eBay will soon be a thing of the past.

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Honda CB1100R for Sale

This is a nicely preserved CB1100RC.  If you are looking at this ad, then you should know what this is.  One of only about 1500 bikes produced by Honda to be able to compete in the pro-am series races in Europe and Australia.  Unique and incredibly rare in the USA. There is not even a 1982 RC at Barber Motorcycle museum, there is only a 1983 RD...

I have gone through this bike to make sure all is functional, it is still an exciting bike to ride even 35 years after it was made!  It is on recent Michelin tires, and everything works as it should. This bike has some personalized period-correct modifications, the original exhaust has been replaced by a Cowley 4 into 1 system, some of the parts on the bike have been polished and chromed, but it shows very well and is mostly original.  It was imported into the US by Larry Conlin, who sadly passed away a couple of years ago; at that time it had not been running for some time, and it did not have a US title.  Since then it has been properly imported, and recommissioned for use.  I have copies of the original UK paperwork, the VIN is correct for a 1982 CB1100RC, so this is the real thing!

The bike can be heard running in this clip provided by the seller. So what is something like this worth? In other markets, they sell in the neighborhood of $20,000 but I'm not sure if it can command the same price here in the US. Currently, bidding is up to just a shade north of $12,000 with a couple days left on the auction.

-tad

Endurance Racer: 1982 Honda CB1100R for Sale