Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Ducati September 5, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Keep it Simple: 1998 Ducati 900SS FE for Sale

I appreciate simplicity. Simple HVAC knobs on a car's center stack. Black coffee. Bikes like the Ducati 900SS FE. Modern technology is great, but if you've seen the new Ducati Panigale V4 with the bodywork removed, you realize that the cost is massive complexity and the knowledge that, if something goes wrong once the bike is out of warranty, things could get expensive really fast... And while TCS and cornering ABS are really great ways to keep even experienced motorcyclists safe, some of these bikes are so powerful that you need electronics just to rein in the wild performance. But bikes like the 900SS manage to be both entertaining and very simple, suggesting that maybe we've gotten lost somewhere along the way.

"FE" stands for "Final Edition" and was obviously a way to sell a few blinged-up examples of the stone-axe simple Supersport before an updated version arrived in 1999 that used bronze in place of chipped flint. The bike is almost painfully basic: it's powered by Ducati's 904cc air-cooled two-valve v-twin, fed by a pair of Mikuni CV carbs and backed by a six-speed gearbox, now with extra Dry Clutch Rattle™. There are no variable power modes. There is no traction control, no ABS. No electronically-actuated exhaust flappers or phased variable cam lobes, heated grips, GI Joe Kung-Fu Grips, or cellphone charging ports.

What you do get is Ducati's charismatic 900SS with a solo tail, upswept exhaust pipes that increase cornering clearance, and a numbered plaque on the top triple clamp. Just to show that you're one of 300 very special people. Obviously, the 84 claimed horses aren't going to impress anyone these days, and honestly they didn't even when the 900SS was brand new. But the bike is relatively light, the geometry race-bred, the brakes relatively strong, and the engine flexible and fun. A bike like this is never going to win in a spec-sheet bang-for-your-buck competition, and anyone who dismisses this bike as being "overhyped and slow" is probably missing the point.

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Ducati 900SS FE for Sale

Ducati 900 SS FE, 1998. #193/300. 12,804 miles, bike is in excel cond. Serviced at Ducati Dallas, valves adjusted, timing belts, Motul oil and filter, fuel filter, K&N air filter, etc.

Bike has 3 spoke Marchesini magnesium wheels, braided stainless hydraulic lines, Termignoni carbon high mount mufflers, carbon tank protector.

These bikes are getting hard to find in this cond, this is a nice running and riding Supersport.

Crating service available.

This one appears basically stock, with the addition of magnesium wheels, stainless brake lines, and Termi pipes. All of which are things I'd want on my very own 900SS, and upgrades that are generally acceptable among collectors. Note that the pictures appear to show the stock FE wheels, which I don't believe were magnesium, as the owner claims. Miles aren't barn-find low, but very reasonable for a machine this old, and should give a new owner room to add some without decreasing the bike's value significantly. Because the point of this bike is to ride it.

-tad

Keep it Simple: 1998 Ducati 900SS FE for Sale
MZ August 31, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Have Your Cake: 2005 MZ 1000S for Sale

Clean, low-mileage examples of the MZ 1000S pop up for sale from time to time and, since most were silver, I always have to dig back through our archives to see if it’s one we’ve featured recently. Also, I get the feeling they’re hard to shift and the same listings seem to pop up again and again for sale, which is a shame considering how competent a motorcycle it is.

After a moderately successful attempt at a comeback in the 90s with a range of practical, accessibly sporty motorcycles based around Yamaha’s five-valve 660 single, MZ decided that, if you’re going to go low-volume, you should probably go upmarket. The striking MZ 1000S was the result, but the only exotic vibes were the ones produced by the unusually large parallel-twin engine, and performance wasn’t really backed up by the bike’s angular looks. Neither the 1000S nor its half-faired stablemate the 1000SF "Streetfighter" sold very well.

For an exotic sportbike, the 999cc parallel-twin that powers the 1000S is an odd choice, as is the relatively pointless cassette-style gearbox. The chief benefit of a cassette gearbox is quick gearset changes to suit different tracks, and I really don’t think many people were racing these… Although maybe MZ figured it’d be easy to service higher-mileage examples? Considering the bike's more practical mission, that does make sense.

It's almost like MZ was undone by their pragmatic roots: the parallel-twin engine was easy to package and offered up the chunky midrange required for a good road bike, and the 1000S was very comfortable for such an otherwise sporty machine. But people buying exotic sportbikes are generally looking for an experience, not a practical form of transportation. Especially here in the US, they usually have several other bikes for that job, and there's no real glamour or cachet surrounding the MZ name, either. Unless you're a big fan of classic motorcycle racing.

From the original eBay listing: 2005 MZ 1000S for Sale

I am the original owner of this 2004/2005 MZ1000s. It has 7,320 miles on it. It comes with the owners manual, warranty book, most of the on-board tool kit, Sebring exhaust, lever upgrades, passenger seat eliminator (AKA hocker), Mototeknic frame sliders, power commander, O2 eliminator, Vortex stand. It comes with the original parts and an additional front fairing.

Starts right up!

Truly an awesome bike I will miss forever. Cervical radiculopathy has kept me from riding. It's time to part with it.

I purchased all the parts in Germany on a NATO training mission. I found the receipt. That's $1200+ in additional parts. Any questions please ask.

I love me some brutally uncomfortable sportbikes, even with my aging joints. You have to suffer for art, after all... But if you can have your cake and eat it too, why not? I do understand why the 1000S wasn't a big success. Or any success really: production was discontinued after just three years. But although they were considered to be too pricey when new, they seem to be pretty good used value. Although this one might be a bit too pricey, with no takers yet at the $6,800 Starting Bid. Still, the 1000S has distinctive looks, good performance, and even solid reliability: put concerns about servicing the bike aside, since parts supposedly aren’t difficult to source and the bike is easy to work on, even for mechanics not particularly familiar with the brand.

-tad

Have Your Cake: 2005 MZ 1000S for Sale
Bimota August 29, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Nice Price: 1997 Bimota YB11 for Sale

It seems like most of the Bimotas that come up for sale these days aren't really for sale. I mean, if people wanted to actually sell them, the asking prices would probably be a bit lower... Bottom line: the Bimota YB11 is a cool bike and still pretty fast, even compared to modern bikes. But prices for 90s Bimotas in particular are at a low point right now. Honestly, I'd be very surprised if this continued indefinitely but, for the time being, these represent some pretty great bang for your collecting buck. Even if you end up not being able to source fork seals for the beefy, right-way-up Paioli forks on your Bimota YB11, you can always park this thing in your livingroom and no one will wonder why... Even if they think you're crazy for replacing your flat-screen with an Italian motorcycle.

The YB11 is pretty classic Bimota: the engine is from Yamaha's YZF1000R and basically unchanged, aside from being slotted into Bimota's own aluminum frame that hugs the Genesis engine closely. Perhaps too closely: more on that later. The lightweight bodywork is swoopy and dramatic, the riding position pretty odd, and the bike actually was available with pillion accommodations, although this one is missing the rear pegs.

They're elegant, exotic and, at least in terms of finding engine parts, pretty simple to keep running. Tales abound of strange little quirks that can keep them from being enjoyable: the weird, twin six-volt batteries in the nose of the SB6, the frames that block access to carburetors and prevent adjustment while they're on the bike or the engine is in the frame, iffy fuel pumps, and so on. But for a person who wants something truly different, these Bimotas are pretty hard to beat.

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Bimota YB11 for Sale

Emilia Motors is happy to offer this 1997 Bimota YB11, these Bimotas really show the attention to detail that the Italian motorcycle builders put into the design and suspension of the bikes they build. The Bimota is truly a handcrafted work of art and are a must for any real motorcycle collection, plus the beauty and design are second to none. This bike has new tires, battery and starts and runs top notch. Manuals, rear stand and Bimota cover are included. Please feel free to call with any questions thanks Anthony 954-540-8495

So what is the seller asking for this one? $9,000 or $10,000? Nope. Just $6,799 buys you a slick, low-mileage Italian exotic a mechanically competent enthusiast could keep running for peanuts. Just don't drop it: a whole new engine won't be hard to find or expensive to rebuild, but that bodywork will be pricey if you drop it. Which is why I'm hoping this one doesn't have damage on the right side, since the photographer couldn't be arsed to turn the bike around for some additional pics...

-tad

Nice Price: 1997 Bimota YB11 for Sale
Yamaha August 28, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1994 Yamaha FZR600R for Sale

Update 10.3.2018: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Introduced in 1989 today's Featured Listing Yamaha FZR600R slotted neatly into an entire range of four-cylinder sportbikes, bracketed by the FZR400 and the FZR750, with the FZR1000 at the top of the range. But you might be surprised to learn that the smaller FZR400 is actually a bit more sophisticated than the FZR600, and had an aluminum frame instead of the steel "Deltabox" frame used on the 600. So what's going on here?

1994 Yamaha FZR600R for Sale on Craigslist

Well the 600 class was originally more of a big deal here in the US than it was elsewhere: in Japan, the 400cc class filled the "supersport" niche, and all the major players had smaller versions of their popular sportbikes, hence the 600's relatively late arrival on the scene, compared to the 400 that was introduced in 1986. There was a GSX-R, a VFR, and a ZXR to give the FZR400 a run for its money. And they obviously all had 750cc sportbikes as well to scratch that "superbike" itch. But the US market was always very lucrative, and 600s were popular in the UK as well.

The FZR600 otherwise featured Yamaha's typical tech, including their EXUP exhaust valve and steeply canted Genesis engine block designed to lower the center of gravity. Unlike the 750 and 1000cc Yamahas, the 600 used a four-valve head, and the later R version seen here had a claimed 98hp. Constant evolution meant that, by 1994, the bike had four-piston brakes, revised frame geometry, and the swingarm was wider, although it retained the 18" rear wheel. Sure, the revised frame was still made from steel, instead of the lighter, more trick aluminum units Deltabox units. But the Honda CBR600, the FZR's direct competitor, used a steel frame as well, and that bike was considered an incredibly competent all-rounder!

This example is also featured over on Craigslist: 1994 Yamaha FZR600R for Sale

Are you ready for this nostalgic collectors dream?

This 1994 FZR600R is one of the classic bikes from the beginning of Sportbikes. The 1994 FZR600R was more radical, lighter and faster than previous years with new looks. The second generation of middleclass SuperSport was clearly targeted towards the feeling of track and competition. Many parts were derived from the YZF 750R, being the base for Yamaha superbike racing. The classic Yamaha dual headlights captures the nostalgic feeling of early 90's Sport Bikes.

With new chassis and completely new engine for 1994, a shorter stroke and increased power (96hp /11500rpm) the FZR 600 R qualified again for least compromise SuperSport in its class.

I purchased this FZR from the wife of a motorcycle collector in New Jersey who had sadly passed away leaving this bike and many others in storage for many years. I went through the bike from top to bottom and performed the following to get this collectors dream back on the road. New chain, battery, master cylinders, Bridgestone BT090 tires, fork seals and had the carburetors rebuilt and tuned by legendary Brad Matteis holder of 50+ national racing records with #2 National Championships in the IDBA.

This bike has only 4,386 original miles and was a garage queen for most of her life. If you have ever ridden an early 90's FZR you know how much fun these are to ride especially through the twisties on a sun day. This is the closest thing you will find to showroom condition. There are very few minor nicks or scratches from it being put into storage but the bike will come with a set of right side OEM full decals should you ever need them. All of the plastics are original to the bike which has never been laid down or even dropped in a parking lot. You can see in the pictures all original warning decals on the swing-arm, windscreen etc. are all still there from new and in great condition.

You must see this bike in person to appreciate this bike for what she is. Please feel free to call, text or email with any questions or comments. I do not need any help selling the bike, I am in no rush to sell her so please do not waste my time or yours with low ball offers.

Thank you...

Certainly, if you're looking for an affordable classic sportbike, you could probably find an FZR600 for less than the $4,250 the seller is asking. But most you'll find have been... well-used, to put it mildly: they've been pretty cheap for a long time and are likely to have been thoroughly trashed by now, so finding one as low-mileage and immaculate as this one could prove to be pretty difficult. The later R model seen here did feature some revisions to the aging platform that helped to keep it competitive, including a lighter, redesigned frame and revised tuning to the engine, so it's not your run-of-the-mill FZR, a bike that was already considered one of the best 600s of the era.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1994 Yamaha FZR600R for Sale
Yamaha August 23, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

Update 8.28.2018: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Although two-stroke sportbike production continued well into the 1990s in much of the world, here in the US the Yamaha RZ350 was pretty much the end of the line. Blame stricter emissions laws and progressively bigger and faster four-strokes in a country with very liberal licensing laws and no taxes on bigger bikes. Today's Featured Listing RZ350 has classic black-and-yellow King Kenny Roberts graphics and aftermarket Spec II bodywork that gives it a more modern look, compared to the bikini-faired original.

The aftermarket full-fairing does more than provide style and wind-protection: it moves the mounting points from the bars to the frame to improve stability as well. The solo tail in particular looks like something from the later Yamaha sportbikes. It suits the bike, although the big 18" wheels and skinny tires give the bike's age away. The RZ really did bridge the gap between the old and the new, coming as it did between bikes like the old-school RD-series and the later, more modern FZRs.

The bike was sold in the US from 1984-1985 and followed Yamaha's famous RD-series, adding liquid-cooling and Yamaha's game-changing YPVS powervalve system to the mix. The 347cc parallel-twin made 52 claimed horses and weighed in at a svelte 370lbs wet, making it loads of fun on a winding road, although the two-stroke power delivery requires commitment to extract, since it peaks at 9,000rpm, redlines at 9,500, and is pretty much dead below 6,000.

This example is in excellent condition with very minor cosmetic flaws well-documented by the seller in the pics below. The bodywork is obviously not original, but the bike has been thoroughly maintained and thoughtfully updated.

From the Seller: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

1984 Yamaha RZ350 2 Stroke 

VIN # 00854

Engine # 00854

This low serial number RZ350 was purchased in Southern California two years ago. It has been garaged in the area since that time. It has the original engine and transmission plus many upgrades.

Just over 8000 miles on original engine.

Recently completed was a mechanical restoration and engine top-end rebuild by renowned RZ Oracle Cary, owner of RZ's Unlimited. I have all receipts for the work done which are available via email upon request.

The bike has just 200 miles since restoration and must be broken in. I have all instructions from RZ's unlimited for you to break in the engine. Rest easy knowing that your RZ was broken in properly.

Everything works on the bike and it starts up right away. 

The bike runs like a dream.  

Videos:

This RZ has the Spec II full fairing, Spec II exhaust pipes, and one-piece seat/tail section, clip-ons and aftermarket rearsets.

Tail section was hand-painted by Gerod, owner of Valley Kustoms: that is not a decal.

There is a small quarter-sized dent in the right side of the tank as well as a few small touch-up paint spots. The right side pipes have 2 small dents / dings which are pictured. 

Great bike; ready to eat R1s all day long.

RZ's Unlimited Work invoices available on request for serious buyers only

--------------------------------------------------

Bike is located at Iconic Motorbikes. Please direct any inquiries there and stop by to check out the bike.

4161 Lincoln Blvd
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
424.228.4148

Iconicmotorbikes.com

Prices seem to be all over the place for RZ350s a the moment, but decent examples are still pretty affordable. The aftermarket bodywork may turn off purists, but anyone looking for a very solid bike with some mild performance modifications should give it a careful look. This RZ350 is located in Los Angeles at Iconic Motorbikes and is the very definition of a practical classic: performance is good enough to keep up with modern bikes on the road, and parts are relatively easy to source if you want to use it regularly.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale
Honda August 22, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

The Original: 1993 Honda CBR900RR for Sale

If you’re not really familiar with the significance of the first-generation Honda CBR900RR, it’s easy to dismiss it as being “just another 90s sportbike.” At the time, it wasn’t even all that high-tech, and could even be considered a bit of a step backwards: it used a controversial 16” front wheel and old-school right-way-up forks, and the motor was long-stroke and rich with torque, instead of a high-rpm screamer.

But there was a method to the madness. Project Leader Tadao Baba, often known by the honorific “Baba-san” wasn’t an engineer. He didn’t attend college or technical school. He was one of Honda’s test riders, with a background in racing and was the perfect choice to head up this new streetbike project that stressed subjective feel over any sort of racing aspirations, although it did occasionally compete, notably in the Formula Extreme series here in the US.

Racing homologation was covered by the V4 RC30 and RC45s, so the new CBR750RR was free to step outside 750cc class limitations and go big. To keep the package compact and light, stroke was increased and the resulting engine displaced 893cc. Of course, that was far less than other “open class” machines of the time and the bike naturally made less power. But the new “Fireblade” had an important trick up its sleeve: radically light weight.

Everything on the bike was designed to keep weight as low as possible. The “low-tech” conventional fork? Lighter than an equivalent upside-down fork, apparently. The result was a bike that weighed 453lbs wet, just a few pounds more than Honda’s own CBR600 and over 100lbs less than the ’93 GSX-R1100… It really was the very first bike to pack big bike power into a 600cc chassis and it set the tone of sportbike development, until the introduction of the Yamaha R1 that took the lessons taught by the CBR900RR but brought actual 1000cc displacement to the party and made the smaller-engined Honda obsolete.

The 16" front wheel that was apparently chosen to speed up steering and save weight is a bit of an issue here: handling was always considered pretty twitchy on the early bikes and the odd size makes it hard to fit modern rubber to a bike that definitely has the power and handling to exploit it. Other than that, the CBR is a typical Honda product: it's reliable, incredibly well-built, and now a modern classic.

Unfortunately, it's pretty hard to find nice once, since as is typical, Japanese reliability means they've been thrashed and crashed and generally neglected by now, unless enthusiast-owned and cherished. This one isn't completely perfect, but is one of the nicest you're likely to find.

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Honda CBR900RR for Sale

You are looking at a 1993 Honda CBR900RR - SC28 Fireblade. The 1993 CBR900RR is the first year of production of the CBR900.  At the time this was one of the lightest weight bikes in the superbike class. This particular CBR900 has 18400 miles, and the bike is mostly all original with the exception of the Yoshimura exhaust.  The bike is in great running condition. Please feel free to read more about the specifics of this bike and see the pictures for details. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. U.S. and International bidders are welcome to bid on this motorcycle but must arrange shipping themselves...

BODY:::

The body work is in good condition overall, but the right fairing does have damage under the right turn signal as can be seen in one of the photos. The tank has a slight bulge on the right side which can also be seen in one of the up close photos. The frame has some dent damage on the upper right side. The motor is in good looking condition with no corrosion.  The wheels are in good shape with no major scratches. Overall cosmetically this bike is in good condition with some blemishes on the body work and frame.

MECHANICAL:::

The bike runs and rides perfect, and it shifts smoothly through all 6 gears. The carburetor was recently ultrasonically cleaned and adjusted, and a full service tune-up was performed which included new, spark plugs, chain, air filter, brake pads, an oil change, and fluids flushed. All of the lighting, switches and electrical components work as they should.

CONCLUSION:::

This is a great opportunity to buy a very condition ride ready 1993 Honda CBR900RR. This bike is not museum quality but would make a great clean looking rider to enjoy out on the streets. If you need any additional pictures or have any additional questions please feel free to email us. Domestic & International buyers are welcome to bid but must arrange the shipping themselves. However we will be glad to assist with any loading of the motorcycle.  We have helped with the shipping of motorcycles across the country and overseas for other customers in the past. Please feel free to bid as long as you make the shipping arrangements.

The seller mentions the "frame damage" but that doesn't really look like anything to be concerned about, unless you're searching for an absolutely perfect example. And purists might be disappointed, but I love the period-correct Yosh exhaust. Basically, the seller sums it up pretty well: the bike isn't museum-quality, but a very nice bike to ride and enjoy. Bidding is up over $2,000 and there is a ton of time left on the auction, so it looks like there's plenty of interest in the bike.

-tad

The Original: 1993 Honda CBR900RR for Sale




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