Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Kawasaki September 8, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Low-Mileage, Budget Blaster: 1992 Kawasaki ZX-11 for Sale

The ZX-11 Ninja was Kawasaki’s answer to the GSX-R1100, a big bruiser of a roadbike that lacked agility but more than made up for it in terms of ballistic performance from the honking inline four and slippery aerodynamics that, for a while at least, made it a contender in the “world’s fastest motorcycle” stakes. They sold plenty of these when they were new, but you'll have to look long and hard before you find one these days with just 2,500 miles on the odometer... Today’s big-power literbikes are often criticized for their highly-strung nature, with even Ducati’s v-twin Panigale needing real revs to make fast progress. But the big Ninja harkens back to an earlier era of big bike performance, where plus-sized sportbikes from the Japanese Big Four often happily made do with just five cogs in their gearboxes, a reflection of the bikes' torque-rich powerbands. The ZX-11 makes power all through the rev range, meaning serious acceleration is always just a twist of the wrist away.

Built between 1990 and 2001, then followed by the suspiciously-similar ZZ-R1200 that soldiered on with its blobby styling until 2005, the ZX-11 was motivated by a 1052cc four fed by one of the very first production ram-air systems, mated to a six-speed gearbox transferring the 150 crankshaft horsepower to the rear wheel. Top speed was somewhere slightly north of 175mph, with handling was that was stable and very neutral. Obviously the ZX-11 was never intended as a race-replica or canyon-carver: it’s almost 600lbs with a full tank of gas and came only in solid, classy color schemes unmarred by the era's over-dependence on garish graphics. A mature sportbike that could effortlessly trash rivals away from a stoplight or crush continents when fitted with soft luggage.

Considering how good they are at covering big miles in a short period of time, it’s shocking that this particular Ninja has covered just over 2,500 miles in its twenty-five years of life. Aside from a couple minor details, it's nearly stock as well, making it a good candidate if you’re looking to start or add to a collection of devastatingly fast 90s sportbikes. It's hard to find a bike that offers a better performance-per-dollar proposition, with a Buy It Now price of just $3,000.

From the original eBay listing: 1992 Kawasaki ZX-11 Ninja for Sale

Only 2,553 miles, bike runs and drives great... very fast bike.

Comes with original tool kit and owners manual and stock computer... bike has Vance and Hines PowerPak on it.

Bike can be shipped if needed.

ZX-11s pop up occasionally on eBay, generally in nice enough condition, but they typically have the high miles you’d expect of a big, reliable GT machine. This example is barely broken in and nearly stock, aside from those unfortunate, but easy to remove paint-splotch decals, chain guard, and purple mesh, and a period-appropriate Vance & Hines four-into-one exhaust. I personally prefer aftermarket four-into-one set ups, but collectors eyeballing low-mileage bikes are probably looking for originality. For riders in the 1990s the ZX11 was the very embodiment of speed, the Hayabusa of its time, and I expect collectible examples like this one will increase in value down the road. For now, they remain tantalizingly affordable and completely useable motorcycles.

-tad

Low-Mileage, Budget Blaster: 1992 Kawasaki ZX-11 for Sale
Ducati September 7, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Top Tier: 2005 Ducati 999R for Sale

Since the 916 series, Ducati superbike ownership has been about tiers. There's generally a "base" model for the hoi polloi, although those still feature adjustable suspension front and rear and a fire-breathing four-valve v-twin. Above that is generally the "S" version, with some bolt-on carbon that saves a few ounces on a 400lb-plus machine, a couple additional horses, and some bling-y suspension that likely offers minimal improvement in handling for the thousands extra it costs. But if you're serious about your Ducatis, it's the "R" model you generally want, at least post-SP5, SPO, and SPS, and the reasons for that are abundantly clear when you look closely at bikes like today's 999R.

Designed to compete in production-based AMA Superbike racing, the 999R was blessed with high-performance titanium valves and connecting rods, along with an entirely new cylinder head design. The internal dimensions are completely different compared to the standard and S models, with a bore and stroke of 104mm × 58.8mm versus the regular 999's 100mm × 63.5mm. Interestingly, the 999R actually displaces exactly 999cc, whereas the regular 999 makes do with just 998...

A 12.5:1 compression ratio, titanium rods and valves and a knife-edged crankshaft inside sand-cast cases meant the R was good for 134hp measured at the rear wheel, with 76.6 lb-ft of torque to punch the bike out of corners. Keep in mind: in some cases, a bike with wildly different and very rare engine internals might require shorter maintenance intervals e and parts could prove to be much more expensive as well, so keep that in mind if you plan to actually pile the miles on your bit of Italian exotica.

From the original eBay listing: 2005 Ducati 999R for Sale

(Multiple collectors are interested but I'm looking for the best deal.)

Wikipedia regarding the 999S:  "2005 Ducati 999S won the Maxisport category for the prestigious international Masterbike 2005 ... received critical acclaim ... MCN ... 'simply the best V-Twin on the planet'... Motorbikestoday.com, ... 'the most desirable, most exciting roadbike on the planet' in 2004. MotorcycleUSA.com ... 'stupendous' ... 'the epitome of V-Twin power.' Motorcyclist Online: "The 2005 Ducati 999, in particular, would represent the nameplate's height of critical acclaim."

This is not the 999S.  This is the superior, racing version, the 999R.

This is a piece of Motorcycle history.  Considered by some to be the finest bike EVER made.

The 2005 999R had a production run of 200 units.  That means there are only 200 of these bikes on the planet!  (The minimum number required to qualify the bike for use in production superbike races.)  This one has been kept in excellent condition by an experienced motorcycle enthusiast with multiple Ducatis.

The 999R model of the 2005 Ducati 999 has the most powerful Testastretta engine. It pumps out 150 horsepower and 86 lb-ft of torque; and it has larger intake valves, longer bore and shorter stroke. Each engine on the 2005 Ducati 999 is hooked up to a six-speed manual transmission. Due to its racing orientation, it is lighter than the other two models: 11 lbs. lighter, to be more precise. Each 2005 Triple Nine has a fuel tank that can hold up to 4.1 gallons (15.5 liters) with a 0.8-gallon (3-liter) reserve. With the 999S or 999R variants, the 2005 999 can go from zero to 62 miles per hour (mph) in under 3 seconds, and it can achieve a top speed of over 170 mph.

The 999R uses titanium valves both on intake and exhaust, as well as titanium connecting rods, and requiring Ducati to use special valve seats and guides.  This saves considerable weight.  Numerous changes have been made to every part of the bike making this model lighter, faster, and more powerful.  Forged aluminum alloy wheels, more sophisticated engine ECU, and much more.  From Ducati's press manual: "The Testastretta engine of the 999R ['05 because of the lighter weight]... MEP value... exceeds 14 bar.  Information is available for Serious Buyers."

My 75 yr old father who can no longer ride it after surgery says "this model is a lot revvier because of the titanium, and shortly after this year, Ducati started increasing the engine displacement of their superbikes, so this is one of the last of the 1000cc series."

I'm sure someone does consider the 999R the "finest bike EVER made" but that's a very crowded field. Hey, there's plenty of competition even if we're just talking about the finest Ducati ever made. Hyperbole aside, the R is a pretty trick piece of kit, and after languishing in the suberbike bargain basement for years, values for the 999 are rising across the board. Have they risen to the point where the seller's $24,000 asking price makes sense? We'll have to wait and see if the bike actually sells. The style may be polarizing, but the 999 is an excellent motorcycle, and an improvement in almost every way over the 998 that preceded it.

-tad

Top Tier: 2005 Ducati 999R for Sale
Yamaha September 4, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Unblemished: Original, Thousand-Mile 2000 Yamaha YZF-R1 for Sale

Obviously, the first-generation Yamaha R1 isn't particularly rare in terms of production numbers: this revolutionary sportbike turned the category on it's ear, offering big power in a middleweight package, and it sold well as a result. I'm posting this one up because, unlike most of the R1s you'll find on eBay and Craigslist, this one is almost completely stock, is pretty much perfect, and is barely broken-in, with a mere 1,138 miles on the odometer. Collectors take note: this thing is so clean you could basically eat off of it, and the chain still has the white grease on it that came from the factory!

It wasn't the first time a manufacturer had done something revolutionary in the sportbike world, but Yamaha definitely shook up the establishment with their follow up to the fast, but relatively heavy YZF1000 Thunderace when they dropped their YZF-R1 on an unsuspecting world. Introduced in 1998 and built through 2001, the R1 caught the other major manufacturers completely by surprise. It used an evolution of Yamaha's famous "Deltabox" aluminum frame and their five-valve "Genesis" inline four, now backed a six-speed gearbox with stacked shafts to keep the wheelbase short and maximize swingarm length, instead of the five-speed fitted to its ancestor.

With 150hp and weighing in at 419lbs dry, the bike featured the expected literbike power in a package as light as 600cc supersports at the time and it's still a compelling performer today, missing just twenty or so horses and the electronic aids required to manage it. Braking and handling were excellent, although the lack of a steering damper was a bit of an oversight, considering the power and handling available. Maintenance was a bit of a nightmare however: all that compact packaging meant plug changes and carb rejetting took more time on the R1 than they had on previous bikes. A small price to pay for such near perfection.

This particular bike has been lightly modified, but has just 1,138 miles on it. And it hasn't just been sitting in a corner, collecting dust on flat tires: it appears to have been lovingly maintained and is a very nice example in classic red-and-white "speedblock" Yamaha colors, although the R1 also came in a very striking blue.

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Yamaha YZF-R1 for Sale

Up for sale my all stock, unmolested, absolutely 1138 actual miles R1. If you're looking for a first generation show collector R1 this is the real deal... You're not going to hear what the bad things are because there are no bad things: it's stunning in every way. It's new really like off the showroom floor. It's been in a climate controlled environment with humidity controlled at around 35% at all times. It still has that new bike smell when it's running if you know what I mean.

Still has the stock tires on it (Dunlop Sportmax 207's) which are in perfect shape with no dry rot. Stock chain still has the white grease on it as shown in pics. Only thing not stock is undertail and turn signals done in 2001. If you look at pics you can clearly see the nuts and bolts are still in new condition to match the authenticity of what condition the bike is. Inside of fairings and underneath also matches authenticity. It runs flawless with no hesitation at all. It has been kept up with oil changes every year just for show/collector status and preventative maint. Same for gas only non ethanol every 6 months with 2oz. of sea foam added at every fill. Bike is truly I think probably the nicest you will find in the US.Maybe the world. No dents dings, no fairings are cracked no broken tabs nothing at all. I mean just looking at the key ignition area you can tell. Fires to life after first push of sta rter button every time. Charging system perfect. It's a new bike really just kept in a time machine literally. That's really all I can say about the bike it's the real deal folks. The bike still to this day people ask new bike and I say no it's a 2000, they're shocked.

My feedback should speak for itself so no worries. If it's not what you expected I will give your money back I'm that honest in my description. Shipping is at your cost not mine but I will help out anyway I can to accommodate your needs. You're more than welcome to come look before you buy as matter fact I encourage you to if you're local. You will be so glad you got it and very proud. Just hope someone takes good care of it. That's it really nothing else to say. Ask any questions you want I will answer. More pics just ask.

The seller doesn't mention the frame sliders, but a little protection is no bad thing, and those turn signals aren't original, but I'd expect they are easy to source and put back to stock. It's hard to get my brain around the fact that someone would buy such a competent, easy-to-use motorcycle and then just basically maintain it, but for those of us who missed out on these soon-to-be collectible motorcycles, this offers up the chance to basically buy one new, only 17 years later...

-tad

Bimota August 30, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1993/1994 Bimota DB2 for Sale

Update 9.18.2017: SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! Email information removed. -dc

Update 9.14.2017: Price drop to $9,000! -dc

Update 9.7.2017: Price dropped again for our readers to $9,900! -dc

Update 8.30.2017: Now on eBay with a major price drop to $10,500! Good luck to buyers and seller. -dc

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 $10,500 $9,900.

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
Yamaha August 29, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Rare Beast: 2006 Yamaha MT-01 for Sale

Most of the time, I try to walk the straight and narrow with my posts, sticking to highly-strung, fully-faired speed demons and racetrack refugees. But sometimes my obsession with the weird and rare gets the better of me and I just have to post stuff like this Yamaha MT-01, even if it's coloring outside the lines a bit from a strict “sportbike” point of view. The MT-01 is really much more a muscle bike in the vein of a Ducati Monster or Suzuki BKing than an out-and-out sportbike, but there’s much more going on here once you scratch the surface.

The drivetrain specifications definitely don’t scream “sportbike”: the air-cooled, four-valve per cylinder engine had twin spark plugs for optimal combustion across the face of the huge pistons and was originally found in Yamaha/Road Star Warrior, although in this installation, it featured a lightened flywheel and the first v-twin application of Yamaha’s EXUP valve. The long-stroke unit’s 97mm x 113mm gave 1670cc, good for 89hp and 112 lb-ft of torque, enough to hustle the 540lbs dry hunk of metal along pretty smartly, with minimal need to work the five-speed box. I've never actually heard one run, but reviews all praise the thudding, Harley-esque exhaust note.

If that’s not particularly inspiring to you canyon-carvers, note that the rest of the bike is more Mr Hyde to the drivetrain's Dr Jekyl: that huge lump of an engine was a fully-stressed member and the fully-adjustable upside-down forks and radial front brakes came right off the 2004-2005 R1. The MT-01 had 17” wheels at both ends so you can fit the very stickiest modern rubber and, if that’s not enough to clarify the bike's sporting intent, the 2009 version was available with full Öhlins suspension and Pirelli Diablo Rosso tires straight from the factory.

There's a school of thought that suggests fast road riding is best accomplished by not having to worry about shifting too much. That constant gear-lever-dancing, while fun, isn't as fast as simply surfing a wave of torque in one gear, especially on unfamiliar roads. On track, I'm sure it'd get murdered by a good 600cc supersport. On a winding back road? I bet that same 600 would have a hard time shaking this thing, and period reviews of the bike were very positive.

From the original eBay listing: 2006 Yamaha MT-01 for Sale

This torque monster is basically new. There are less than 400 km on this unit. The motorcycle was on the showroom floor and was never stored outdoors. The bike has no wear on its tires and the little nubs on the tires from manufacturing are still there. No accessories added or changed. The color is silver with blue accents. Very limited production on these bikes. 2006 was the first year of production. There is one imperfection or mark from the bike being moved in the showroom. This mark is in the pictures and is cosmetic. The reason I still have this awesome bike is just that. I was going to keep it but just don't have time to ride it. I owned the Yamaha dealership and kept this one for myself.

The MT-01 is an unusual machine, and that's a big part of the appeal.  Build-quality was very high, as the bike was a flagship model for Yamaha, although they haven’t really retained their value in their original markets, as the bike never really seemed to find the right audience. What’s one worth here in the USA? Good question, but this one appears to be in nearly perfect condition, and the seller is asking $12,000. If you could find a way to register it here [the bike is for sale in Canada] it'd make quite a conversation starter at your local bike hang out.

-tad

Rare Beast: 2006 Yamaha MT-01 for Sale
Suzuki August 28, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Classic Racer in a Box: Ex-Doug Polen Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale

Looking for a fun weekend project to keep you busy for a while? Well look no further than this ex-Doug Polen Suzuki GSX-R750 racebike. It's not exactly finished, but all of the really important parts appear to be there to get you started... Strangely enough, it seems like the AMA racebikes used many of the stock Suzuki components, even switching from the more exotic dry clutch to the standard wet unit, according to the seller. So that should help, right?

The introduction of the Suzuki GSX-R750 in 1985 was a seminal event in the history of motorcycling. It may not have been the first or only bike to use fully-enclosed, endurance-racer styling wrapped around a bulletproof, large-displacement inline four and monoshock aluminum frame, but it made that formula affordable and available to the masses, and led directly to the sportbikes we know and love. Later sportbikes would add liquid-cooling to the equation to help generate maximum power, but the Gixxer eschewed such frippery as too heavy for their pure speed machine: in spite of the visible cooling fins, it's oil that does most of the work. The oil-cooled powerplant utilized their SACS or "Suzuki Advanced Cooling System" that used a double-chambered pump and oil jets directed at the underside of the pistons to keep temperatures under control. Other than oil cooling, it followed modern designs and used dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder.

Obviously, as a race-spec machine for the street, the GSX-R750 spent plenty of time competing in various classes both abroad and here in the US. This particular bike was used in AMA racing and was ridden by Doug Polen. Polen was a world-class rider who got his start in AMA racing but left to compete in the World Superbike Championship, where he won the title on the trot in 1991 and 1992. He continued to compete in both international and American roadracing with success, netted a win at the Suzuka 8 Hour endurance race, and even dabbled in MotoGP.

There's additional information about the bike, its history, and the included photos over on eBay, so head over and take a look.

From the original eBay listing: Ex-Doug Polen Suzuki GSX-R750 AMA Superbike for Sale

I have researched the photo archives of Cycle World and Cycle magazines and obtained a number of unpublished photos from their records.  I've also bought photographs from freelance photographers that covered AMA racing in that year.  Special thanks to Larry Lawrence, of The Rider Files website.  I will provide these photos to the buyer with the proviso that they remain unpublished.

Each rider had two chassis.  The chassis and motors evolved constantly through the season and Doug probably got the good parts first, as he did better than Otter in the results, starting with the first race.  Their A bikes had all of the good parts at each race and the B bikes had more stock components.  You can clearly see in the photographs the progression of modifications during the season for all of the bikes and the lower spec of the B bikes.

The chassis is un-braced, with modified stock forks, Kosman Triple clamps, Kosman brake discs, AP calipers, a Fox shock and Marvic magnesium wheels.  The swingarm has been slotted, to allow for more variation in wheelbase.  Jim Lindemann worked with them on the shock valving, although he passed away a few years ago.  I have spoken to an ex-Fox engineer and he'd be happy to restore the shock but the records they had of those years were destroyed a few years ago.  Sandy Kosman now lives in Portland Oregon and the last time I talked to him, he was willing to get the discs reground on a Blanchard grinder, if desired.   One of the previous owners began the restoration years ago and the chassis, as pictured, is where he was when he sold the bike to the next owner.

The bodywork used was stock Suzuki plastic.  Early in the season it was raced in 1986 blue/white Suzuki colors; later in the season some of it was sporting the 1987 blue/white Suzuki stock colors.  A perforated metal filler panel was incorporated into the lower fairing V and the lower fairing panels had holes cut in them to allow for more ground clearance.

The motors were modified during the season and varied quite a bit.  They had Yoshimura (either kit Suzuki or Cosworth) pistons, different crank bearings, heads ported by Ron Scrima, Megacycle cams with Yosh retainers, a Tsubaki cam chain tensioner, and various carbs and exhausts.  At one point they obtained dry clutches and close ratio transmission gears but went back to running wet clutches and stock transmission ratios.  They may have run an ECU with a higher rev limit.  Ron Scrima passed away in 2011 but his company (Racing Engine Service) is still in business in Texas and the current owner was with Ron for about 25 years, so they might be my first choice for an engine refresh.  Another option would be Kelly Roberts, also in Texas.  I have never disassembled the motor, so I do not know what internal components are present.

I am interested in selling this project to someone that has the necessary resources and desire to restore it to an as-raced condition and to preserve it for the future.  It is a significant bike, as it was one of the highest placed privateer AMA superbike efforts of that era and was ridden by the rider that probably had more success in the USA racing the first generation Suzuki GSX-R than any other rider.  I would be willing to discuss this bike in more detail, via telephone, with any serious prospective buyers.  I am also willing to provide additional photos, a more complete listing of what components will come with the bike, and an approximate idea of what additional components will be needed to complete the restoration.

I have listed the mileage as 99999, as eBay requires that the mileage be listed for any vehicle sale.  The true mileage is unknown, as it was never recorded, which is not unusual for a race bike.

It also looks like the bike went through several iterations, giving you a bit of flexibility in terms of the color scheme you choose. If it were complete and in as-raced condition, this would probably be a very valuable motorcycle. As it stands, it's a valuable... basket case. How valuable? Well the But It Now price for this bit of American roadracing history is $4,950. This is going to need a lot of love, time, and money to finish, but I think this GSX-R deserves to be restored to its former functional glory.

-tad