Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Honda September 16, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Rothmans Replica: 1993 Honda NSR250R SE for Sale in Cali!

The gearhead culture in Southern California never ceases to amaze me. Sure, all kinds of weird and wonderful cars and bikes and the folks that love them can be found all over the country, and all over the world. But the intensity of it here is something else: you almost get blasé about it, since any weekend drive in the Los Angeles area will expose you to a veritable parade of exotic cars, vintage bikes, rat-rods, and all manner of weird, is-that-even-legal-here machinery. Oh look, was that Jay Leno driving a pre-war, aero-engined race car? Yes, yes it was... The irony is that the CA DMV is among the most draconian in the country, largely a result of a famously bad smog problem caused by vehicle emissions during the 60s, 70s, and early 80s. Which is why something like this Honda NSR250R SP Rothmans Replica with a clean California title is something of a unicorn!

The NSR250R was the definitive quarter-liter sportbike of the period, and featured Honda's 90° liquid-cooled 249cc v-twin with a six-speed cassette gearbox that allowed gearsets to be quickly and easily swapped to suit different race tracks. Fuel was delivered via carburetors, but the ignition system was Honda's sophisticated PGM-III that controlled the bike's ignition based on throttle-position, revs, and gear selection. Note that the seller refers to this as an "SE" but the fairing proclaims it an "SP." I'm assuming it's the former, and the SP is there to match the Rothmans livery. The SE generally didn't come with the Magtek wheels, but this one has them, bringing it up to SP spec, since both the SE and SP had the dry clutch, versus the regular NSR250R's wet clutch.

I have seen a few late 80s and early 90s grey market two-strokes running around the Malibu canyons on the weekend, but still an MC21 done up in Rothmans livery is something to celebrate, especially in such sharp condition. From the description, it looks like the bike has undergone a cosmetic restoration, and looking at some of the photos, that restoration appears to have been more than just skin-deep. Appropriate maintenance has been taken care of for the new owner as well, and the bike appears to be ready to roll.

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Honda NSR250R SE Rothmans Replica for Sale

This is a beautifully restored 1993 Honda NSR250 SE Rothmans Replica MC21. This bike has the factory dry-clutch and adjustable suspension along with the Magtek wheels. This low 4490 mile (7226 Klm's) NSR has just undergone a cosmetic restoration, as in: new bodywork, new wave-rotors, brake pads. 

Add-on's include, a Tyga, GP style rear brake caliper hanger and a Brembo billet rear brake caliper, along with clear turn-indicators and tail light (adds a nice modern touch along w/the wave-rotors).

Also, freshly powder-coated Magtek wheels, with new Pirelli Diablo SuperCorsa tires. All hardware  has been re-zinc or re-chromed. Other items refinished include, the mufflers, fork bottoms, top triple clamp, etc..

Forks rebuilt with new oil and seals. All other fluids changed or flushed. Recent tune-up with new plugs, air-cleaner. De-restricted ECU. (Full power). Small scratch and chip on gas tank, (no dents). Comes with clean transferable (in your name) California title and street registered. (lic. plate off now for photos) Can help with shipping, but up to buyer to make all arrangements. 
There's plenty of time left on the listing, but all my two-stroke LA peeps should pounce on this before it gets away! $11,500 seems a very fair price, considering the California title and the exceptional cosmetic and mechanical condition: many of the two strokes that populate the US eBay listings these days are recent arrivals from Japan where they've been affordable, thrashable, and often left out in the salty sea air for years, so surface corrosion and wear-and-tear are common, even on low-mileage examples. Obviously, the turn signals and tail light lenses seen here aren't actually the original bits, but those shouldn't be too hard to source if you're after something completely stock. Whatever shenanigans are normally required to register an NSR in California should be largely mitigated here, and this bike should quickly be ready to draw stares and thrash canyons for the new owner!
-tad
Rothmans Replica: 1993 Honda NSR250R SE for Sale in Cali!
Moto Guzzi September 15, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: Low-Mileage 1997 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport for Sale

Not too many motorcycles look good in screaming yellow, but I think the Guzzi 1100 Sport is definitely one of them. A two-valve version of the exotic Daytona that was developed by Dr John Wittner from his successful Battle of the Twins racer, the 1100 Sport was a very unconventional motorcycle. By the 1990s, sportbike convention dictated liquid-cooling, four valves per cylinder, six-speed gearboxes, full fairings, and chain final drive. Of course the 1100 Sport had none of these. Would it beat a CBR or GSX-R of the period on a racetrack? Of course not. But the Guzzi has charisma in spades, plenty of torque to punch you out of corners, and it makes up in stability what it lacks in agility.

The half-faired styling means that hulking engine and gearbox are proudly on display, with the two-valve cylinder heads sticking out into the breeze by the rider's knees, here fed by fuel injection, which replaced the Dell'Orto carburetors in 1996. In spite of the relatively low-specification suggested by the air-cooling, pushrods, and two valves per cylinder, the 1064cc engine put out an honest 90hp and 70ft-lbs of torque, with 82 ponies present-and-accounted-for at the rear wheel.

It seems like an odd choice for a powerplant, but the bike's long history goes some way towards explaining it. Some of the Guzzi's "agricultural" reputation comes from that honking big v-twin that rocks the bike to one side when you rev it, due to the longitudinal crankshaft arrangement, and the clunky five-speed gearbox. But it probably doesn't help that the package is often associated with an Italian military tractor that dates back to the 1960s, although even the earliest Guzzi V7 motorcycles apparently shared no mechanical parts whatsoever with that odd machine. Those origins may sound like an unlikely foundation for a fast, agile motorcycle, but Guzzi's V7 Sport and Le Mans were considered very capable sportbikes at the time.

Unfortunately, by the time of the 1100 Sport, the big Guzzi was probably more GT than actual sportbike, but that's just fine, considering that the majority of riders never actually use their bikes on track. And even then, most do so only occasionally. For weekend riding, the triple Brembo brakes can pull you up short to avoid errant deer in the roadway, while quality suspension means stable handling, but passenger accommodations aren't great, as no grab-rail is fitted.  Reviews of the 1100 Sport were generally very positive when the bike was tested in isolation, although the aforementioned gearbox and the bike's 490lb dry weight did come in for some criticism.

Unfortunately, this Goose never really had a chance when compared directly to rivals: the 916 was obviously lighter, more agile, and faster, as well as being the sexiest bike of the era. And Japanese machines were more powerful, cheaper, and user-friendly. But that's hardly the point here, and Guzzis have long been bikes you buy because you like Guzzis, not because they are quantifiably "better" than any other bike. And if you are a Guzzi fan, this particular 1100 Sport is in impeccable condition!

From the Seller: 1997 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport for Sale

For Sale: Rare and Low Mileage 1997 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport in Excellent Condition. I am the 2nd owner and bike came from California. There were only 1,314 of these produced in 1997 and approximately 450 units in Yellow. It has always been stored inside and very well maintained. It also has been stored, when not ridden on a bike stand. All service recently completed including:

* All oil and filters
* Full Tune-up
* Valve adjustment
* New Tires
* New brake pads
* New Battery - Lithium

You will be hard pressed to find one this clean and with low mileage. Bike starts up easily and rides and drives very good. As you will see in the pictures the bike is extremely clean and comes with original manual, repair manual, original brochure, a couple of magazines from1997/1998 featuring this bike, original and spare keys.

Bike comes standard with Brembo Brakes, Marchesini Wheels and all of the expensive Italian upgrades. 

The seller is asking $9,500 for this low-mileage example. Just a few years ago, a decent 1100 Sport could be had for half that, but values have been steadily rising and it's hard to find one with anywhere near this mileage. With solid performance, good reliability, and easy maintenance, this Guzzi can tackle winding back roads, attracts tons of attention wherever you stop, can even do a bit of light sport-touring, and will generally put a big smile on your face. 1100 Sports are odd and quirky and ergonomically-challenged, yet owners often rack up big miles on them, owing to the platform's soundness and the engine's reliability. And clutch-replacements aside, basic maintenance is a snap: the unusual engine configuration may have some ergonomic drawbacks, but this may be the easiest bike you've ever adjusted the valves on, and pushrods mean no rubber cambelts to replace!

-tad

Featured Listing: Low-Mileage 1997 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport for Sale
Bimota September 14, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Even Rarer than Rare: 1984 Bimota SB4S for Sale

You'd think that, with just 272 built during its run, the SB4 would be as rare as it gets for a production motorcycle. But no: Bimota actually offered an even rarer version of their Suzuki-powered race-bred machine, the even more limited-production-y SB4S. Just 34 of these thoroughbred machines were factory-built, with another 72 sold in kit form. That's right: Bimota used to make build-your-own superbikes!

These days, Bimota makes moto-jewelry, high-end fashion accessories that just happen to be incredibly fast motorcycles. But their creations used to be some of the fastest, best handling motorcycles available at any price. Unfortunately, modern manufacturers' products are not only reliable, but offer handling and refinement Bimota can't hope to significantly better, considering their limited resources. So modern Bimotas offer an unmatched level of craftsmanship and exclusivity, but minimal performance advantages, compared to the motorcycles that donate their engines and transmissions. But that wasn't always the case, and bikes like the SB4 are the perfect example of what Bimota did to earn their respected place in motorcycling history.

The rugged, air-cooled Suzuki engine that powered the SB4 displaced 1075cc and came equipped with four valves per cylinder, along with their TSCC or "Twin Swirl Combustion Chamber" technology that improved combustion efficiency. It made plenty of power, so Bimota left it largely stock. Instead, the Bimota's performance advantage came from improved suspension and much lighter weight: the SB4 shed almost 140lbs off the Suzuki's 535lb dry weight. The lightweight, one-piece tank and tail is attached by just a few bolts, and can be easily removed for maintenance.

The frame is a masterpiece, and a major contributor to the bike's improved handling. A hybrid construction of chrome-moly tubing with gorgeous machined aluminum side plates, it's a shame it's mostly hidden in the photographs. Wheels were modular 16" and fitted with radial tires, which were a relative rarity at the time.

So what made the SB4S more exclusive than the regular, pedestrian SB4? Well supposedly we'd be looking at a four-into-one exhaust, although this bike seems to have the regular SB4's dual exhaust. The S should also have an oil-cooler as well, but it's hidden behind the fairing in the pictures, if indeed it is present. This machine also features some pretty ugly turn signals fitted to the fairing, which is unfortunate as the stock bike would originally have had none. Not very safe, but much nicer-looking. Given the dual exhaust, I'm not even sure if this is actually an SB4S, so I'd be happy to get any input from any knowledgeable readers. Either way, it's still a very rare and exclusive Bimota, and bidding is pretty active, with several days left on the auction.

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Bimota SB4S for Sale

1994 Bimota SB4S, mint condition, very rare and beautiful, pearl paint, Campagnolo wheels, no issues, we at buyer's expense can ship worldwide.

As always, I'd like a bit more information about this motorcycle in terms of maintenance and history. It's a bit dusty in the photos, and it'd also inspire more confidence if the seller got the year right: it's listed as a 1994 model but I'm pretty sure Bimota, in spite of a pretty weird production history, wasn't still making the SB4 in 1994...  At the end of the day, a mechanical restoration shouldn't be too hard, as long as the frame, suspension, and bodywork are all intact, since the Bimotas of the era used many components, including the gauges and switchgear, from the donor Suzuki GSX1100.

-tad

Ducati September 13, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Classic Heavy Metal: 1980 Ducati Super Sport for Sale

Although it's date-stamped as a 1980 model, this Ducati 900 Super Sport is obviously a sportbike from an even earlier era: twin-shock suspension aside, the engine features vintage, half-faired style and nearly Victorian-era detailing on the engine. A bit of a throwback, this machine is nonetheless significant to modern sportbike fans, as it was the more commonly available update of the original 750 Super Sport that was Ducati's first foray into big sportbikes. These early Super Sports were basically ground zero for the company as it exists today, especially significant as we're now staring down the barrel of the end of Ducati's v-twin superbikes with the introduction of their MotoGP-aping V4.

The 900 Super Sport was introduced in 1975 as an evolution of their iconic, but very limited-production 750 Super Sport. It used an updated version of their overhead-cam, air-cooled v-twin, here punched out to 864cc and fitted with the restyled "square" engine cases to replace the "round" cases on the 750. Keep in mind that, up until the introduction of the rubber-belt Pantah engine, it was only the Super Sport models that had Ducati's spring-less Desmo valve actuation. Combined with a system of tower shafts and bevel gears to drive the cams instead of chains or belts, the "bevel-head" v-twin engine was more Swiss watch than propulsion system, and manufacturing costs were unsurprisingly high, a major reason for the switch to rubber belts.

Aside from the increased displacement, the 900SS featured a number of changes intended to broaden the bike's appeal for the US market, with modern cast aluminum wheels, a quieter exhaust [blasphemy!], improved kick start, and the gearshift redesigned for the left side of the bike. Earlier examples with left-foot shifter used a cumbersome linkage to convert the bike from its original right-foot shift and the new mechanism was much more precise. Originally, the bike came in classic silver with blue graphics, with the black-and-gold scheme seen here introduced in 1979. This particular example has aftermarket bar-end mirrors fitted that are obviously not period-correct, but pretty innocuous and easily removed if you're going for the original, mirror-less style. The engine also features a clear glass "Gear-Gazer" for the upper cylinder's bevel-drive gears, and aftermarket addition but one I'd probably want for myself, originality be damned.

 

From the original eBay listing: 1980 Ducati 900 Super Sport Desmo for Sale

17,066 original miles – Collector owned

Restored to Perfection in 2015

History:

After the round case twins 750 GT, Sport and Super Sport Desmo entered the scene, Ducati management found that the line-up lacked a super sport bike capable of competing with the Japanese superbikes with over 750 cc and the Ducati 900 Super Sport was developed to fill that gap.

Initially, Ducati opted for a more touring-oriented approach, with the 860 GT styled by Giugiaro, that unfortunately did not win the public’s favour. At the same time, however, the Bolognese manufacturer also introduced a sportier version, the 900 Super Sport, reminiscent of the sales success of the gorgeous 750 SS Desmo.
The 860 cc engine was derived from the original L-twin engine conceived for the 750 GT, however with a redesigned, more squared case.

Throughout its history, the 900 SS actually underwent few modifications, from the fuel tank to the light-alloy wheels, and was offered in a gold and black livery, in addition to the classic silver and electric blue colour scheme.

Asking Price: $35,500 obo.

The Buy It Now is listed at $35,500 and for that kind of cash, I'd like a little less "brief history that we probably already know" and more information on the who-what-where of the "restoration." Describing something simply as "restored to perfection" is the kind of thing that can mean different things to different people, although I'd expect that the seller would be happy to answer any questions, and the bike looks terrific in the photographs.

-tad

Yamaha September 12, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

A Little Fizzy: 1993 Yamaha FZR250R for Sale

While most small-displacement bikes these days are relatively simple, economical singles and twins, the Yamaha FZR250R spec sheet reads like a much bigger machine: aluminum beam frame, four cylinders, four valves per cylinder, dual 0verhead cams, an EXUP exhaust valve, and a six-speed gearbox. That adds up to a claimed 45hp and 18 ft-lbs of torque that could push the 310lb dry machine to a top speed of 110mph.

Unlike modern sportbikes with their flexible powerbands, the littlest FZR absolutely required you to chase that screaming 18,500rpm redline to make any sort of progress at all: the technical specs meant Yamaha could eke out every bit of performance possible from the diminutive displacement, but there's only so much that four cylinders and four valves can do with 249cc. So while that redline may be fun for a while, the downside is that you're revving the nuts off of it everywhere, all the time, and 10,500rpm at 70mph in sixth gear makes for some frantic freeway miles.

The FZR250R is a good-looking machine for sure, pink and white graphics notwithstanding but, aside from the novelty and that previously-mentioned shrieking redline, the question here really is: what's the point? The little FZR is nearly unheard of here in the USA: it was officially sold only in its home market of Japan, although many countries have a thriving grey market so they did find their way elsewhere when new to places with heavy taxes on displacements or tiered licensing systems.

Mostly though, they didn't: small-displacement sportbike junkies typically gravitated towards two-strokes like Yamaha's own TZR that were cheaper to buy and run, with similar weight and claimed power but a less-frantic powerband. It was much easier to extract additional performance from two-strokes as well, since the FZR was already pushing the envelope in terms of four-stroke tuning. Ultimately, the FZR requires big-bike maintenance with almost none of the payoff.

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Yamaha FZR250R for Sale

Up for auction to the highest bidder with NO RESERVE is a 1993 Yamaha FZR250R with only 25,499 kilometers (15,844 miles). The BEST thing about these little inline four cylinders is the 18,500 redline. These bikes love to be revved to the moon! This baby Fizzer looks good and has great curb appeal. There are several scratches and tiny chips in the bodywork from it's ride thru life but overall very clean. No dents in the tank and only two tiny cracks in the upper fairing on the left side around the front blinker and the mirror...... Small tear in the passenger seat and some corrosion that will clean up easily. This bike would make at candidate for restoration. Comes with a aftermarket muffler and clear blinkers. Everything else stock. Fairings are 100% genuine Yamaha. Bike runs flawless. New battery and fluids. Fun little bike to ride in the tight turns. Bike comes with Utah state title and is titled as a street bike for road use.

Bidding is up to just over $1,500 with very little time left on the auction. It's not in perfect condition, with some corrosion and scuffs and those non-standard grips and bar-ends, but is complete and the fairings are claimed to be original and it does have a US title. Obviously, pure performance junkies need not apply: power is very limited for wide-open American roads and, even though the handling is good, you're still looking at pretty basic, non-adjustable suspension bits on the FZR250R. But with light weight, you should be able to throw it around with abandon, and wringing that tiny inline-four's neck should provide hours of entertainment. Absolutely hammering a bike in all six gears with few legal consequences could make this a pretty fun toy for backroad riding, especially if you're not a fan of the noise and headache associated with two-strokes. Just make sure you live close to those backroads...

-tad

A Little Fizzy: 1993 Yamaha FZR250R for Sale
Bimota September 9, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1986 Bimota SB5 for Sale

Sept 9 Update: Due to some issues with eBay UK, the seller has relisted this amazing SB5. Links updated. -MI

The fifth Bimota powered by Suzuki engine, the SB5 was a development of their successful SB4, which is no bad thing: both bikes followed Bimota's formula of wrapping a solid, Japanese engine in a race-bred trellis frame and lightweight, swoopy bodywork. The style of the SB5 is very 80s sportbike, with a huge fairing and windscreen that should make trips to the 160mph top speed relatively comfortable. As with many Bimotas, the devil is in the details: notice how few fasteners hold that one-piece tank-and seat section to the bright red frame? And what's that there, hiding under the tail section? A passenger seat?! Yes, the SB5 was basically an SB4 with a longer wheelbase and passenger accommodation added in the form of a hidden seat and pegs that tuck away into recesses in the bodywork.

Most of the 158 SB5s made were fitted with the 1135cc inline four from the GSX-1100, but this ultra-rare example is apparently fitted with the similar, but slightly smaller unit from the Katana 1100 that displaces 1074cc. It lacks liquid cooling, but the engine was otherwise fairly sophisticated and incorporated dual-overhead cams and four valves per cylinder, along with Suzuki's TSCC or "Twin Swirl Combustion Chamber" that promoted faster and more efficient combustion, all fed by a quartet of Mikuni carbs and backed by a five-speed gearbox. Claimed horsepower for the standard SB5 was 119hp with 77lb-ft of torque. The Katana engine installed here doesn't seem to offer any performance advantages compared to the one from the GSX, but does add to the bike's rarity.

As was the style for high-performance sportbikes for a very short period at the time in the 80s, 16" wheels were fitted at both ends of the SB5 for nimble, if sometimes unstable handling. Bimotas may be famous for their light weight, but that's relative in this case: the GSX was definitely heavier, but the SB5 clocks in at a solid 513lbs full of fuel and lubricants. The bike featured triple Brembo brakes and quality suspension at both ends. Period reviews naturally praised the bike's handling and straight-line performance, although the SB5's high cost made it more dream bike than something a normal rider might seriously consider.

From the Seller: 1986 Bimota SB5 for Sale

1 of 5 factory build SB5 with the 1074cc engine

This 1986 Bimota SB5 is one of a handfull of bikes left from our collection which we have been dissolving this past year due to continued health related reasons which in turn require us to consolidate all our personal items and to scale back from multiple locations to just one.

This is not a 'normal' motorcycle in 'average' condition so the text describing it and this sale's particulars might be somewhat different than what one would normally see written in a listing here on Ebay. If you dont care for long descriptions, please feel free to just skip to the photo album link here below and enjoy the images. If those images raised your interest level i am sure you will take the time to read the remainder of our description as posted below.

There are really no guidelines as to what the value of this fairly rare Bimota SB5 in this exceptional, low mileage condition might be worth in the current international market place, so all we expect is a reasonable and fair offer that both, we as the seller and you as the buyer can be satisfied with and the motorcycle will be sold.

Details:

One of the last 10 Bimota SB5 build in the factory in Rimini in 1986, one of only 5 known to be delivered with the 1074cc Katana engine, due to homologation issues surrounding the later 1135cc engine in all other SB5 models in some marketplaces. Total production run of the SB5 was 158 units, 5 of which were these special 1074cc versions. This makes this one of the rarest factory Bimotas build in the 80-ies and fairly collectible

We bought it because we liked the look and have always favored Suzuki's 1074cc power plant. At the time we had the choice of buying the SB3 or this SB5 and we decided in favor of the SB5 because of the newly designed frame which incorporates an aluminum CNC machined centerpiece and because with only 158 bikes build and this being one of five special ones it seemed much more collectible than the SB3 which was build in over 400 units and didn't allow for a passenger to enjoy the great road handling as well.

As an added bonus this SB5 is in superb condition, with very low original mileage, all original with the correct Bimota wheels, Bimota stand, correct Magneti Marrelli mirrors (never installed) and small round black-body turnsignals with black aluminum stalks and the correct black chrome exhaust system

Having only been ridden some 14-thousand kilometers ( 8000 miles) from new it runs as good as it looks.

I do not think there is a need to go into extreme detail on every component on this motorcycle, the images in the photo album say more about what level of condition this motorcycle is in than words could ever do

As mentioned before, we have prepared such an online photo album showing this motorcycle in detail in more than 50 high quality images that might be of interest to a serious collector.

So it may have been an out-of-reach luxury machine when it was new, but what will it cost to put a Bimota SB5 in your garage today? This extremely nice example is listed on eBay's UK site with a price of £14,500, the equivalent of about $18,800, and is currently located in Germany. All-in-all a very exotic, very collectible motorcycle that could form the centerpiece of your Italian motorcycle collection or a very cool roadbike.

-tad