Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Ducati July 5, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

The Original: 1995 Ducati 916 for Sale

Considering it's one of the most iconic motorcycles of the modern era, prices of Ducati's 916/996/998 are almost shockingly reasonable, although there are plenty of dogs and ex-race bikes out there that should be avoided unless you're handy with a wrench or have lots of room on your credit card. There's something for everybody, from higher-mileage riders to low-mileage garage queens and everything in between. The later bikes obviously offer more performance and even better handling, but it all started here, with Ducati's 916.

Under the skin, the 916 was an evolution of Ducati's successful 851/888 machines. The skin, however, was pretty much sex on wheels, with a slim waist, underseat exhaust pipes, and a distinctive single-sided swingarm that added weight but looked trick and made for easy wheel changes for anyone endurance-racing their bike... The 114 claimed horses seem pretty modest today considering a new Yamaha R6 is supposedly packing 122, but the Bolognese Bullet produces much more torque and makes all the expected Italian exotic noises.

Today's example is one of the nicest, most original bikes you're likely to find and is claimed to have been hand-built in Varese as a result of a fire at the Bologna facility that caused production to be temporarily shifted. I've no idea if that really makes it worth all that much over a Bologna-built bike, but the fact that it's a low-mile, original machine certainly makes it one for collectors, although the asking price is steep. I happen to like the older graphics as seen here, compared to the very plain font used on the 996 and 998 that followed.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Ducati 916 for Sale

A beautiful Ducati 916 in fantastic condition and extremely low miles. One of the closest to OE you can find. Comes with lots of extras, including carbon fiber bodywork and exhaust system. Minor imperfections include a vertical scratch on the right side of the tail (pictured) and very small scratches on the front of the lower left fairing.

Already one of the more rare and iconic Ducati motorcycles, this bike is one of the 2,663 916's to be hand built in the Varese factory due to a fire at the assembly line in Bologna. The 916 led Ducati to 4 World Superbike Championship victories in '94, '95, '96 and '98

While prices for the 916 have been relatively low for the past decade or so, that obviously can't continue indefinitely, and prices for pristine, low-mileage, or historically significant examples have been on the rise. How long will it take for values to reach the $18,590 Buy It Now this seller is asking? Hard to say, but I can bet that, at some point, folks are going to be wishing they'd picked up a nice example and put it on display in their living room...

-tad

The Original: 1995 Ducati 916 for Sale
Kawasaki June 27, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2R for Sale

Sometimes, bikes are meant to be accessible, and offer real-world riding fun and performance. Sometimes, they're just meant to showcase potential, to flaunt a manufacturer's capability, to kick sand in the face of competitors. The H2 and H2R fall into this category. Does anyone actually need a nearly 300hp track-only motorcycle? Of course not. Reviews of the bike regularly use phrases like "mind-blowing" and "I needed to change my shorts." Sure, it's really too heavy for a track bike, doesn't fit into any race-legal category, makes too much power to be practical, and will probably cause nearby dB meters to melt but, as a statement of what's possible, you can't beat the Kawasaki H2R.


Named after the fabled two-stroke triple of the 1970s, the new H2 is a much more well-rounded beast: it's got actual brakes and a frame that doesn't hinge in the middle, for example. It's heavy, at 475lbs full of fuel, but that just helps add a bit of stability to keep the supercharged engine's power from looping it over backward at every opportunity. That's certainly something it has in common with the old two-stroke: shocking performance. And striking looks: the older bike was fairly conventional-looking but came in some wild, 70s colors. The new machine is seriously evil-looking with a bright green trellis frame and mirrored bodywork that looks stunning in person.

To clarify, if you've seen one of these on the road, you were most likely looking at the road-legal H2 version of the bike. That makes do with around 200hp and comes with a headlight, taillight, and  rear-view mirrors. The H2R ditches all of the DOT-required frippery and replaces the mirrors with a set of evil, mantis-forelimb-looking winglets made of carbon-fiber that will set you back a cool $1,500 a piece if you tip the bike over... The slick-shod R also comes with 35psi of boost and somewhere near 300hp that's accompanied by an ear-splittingly loud exhaust. Seriously, you won't be able to ride this track-only bike at any race track that has a dB limit, and British journalists weren't even able to test the bike on their home turf because it is too loud for most tracks there.

So what is the H2R? It's an indulgent track day toy, a living room showpiece, a collectible motorcycle that's likely to appreciate in the future. Today's featured listing is several years old but is basically a brand new motorcycle, and comes with all the factory goodies.

From the seller: 2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2R for Sale

H2R! Yes! For sale, real! You can buy it today! Not wait for 8 month from the factory just has 99 miles on it without any issues, the bike looks like brand new. (May ride it more until time of sale.) I can  modify this bike for street legal also, the headlight, mirrors, turn signals, number plate holder, tires, must change. I can do it for $1500 for you. But as I heard it is not able to register in CA still. Registration will be by you. I do just technical job. 

It comes with:
Great 400 page service manual, owner's manual 
OEM tools
Great NiNJA coffee table book (Value $800)
Front and rear OEM H2R Kawasaki Stands (value $1800)
Tire warmer (value $900)
The bike imported and ready to register in your name 
Can ship all over the world for just $3000 (include insurance) in 3-5 days.
As the custom Tax in importing countries may be high, we can make the bike as CKD (remove fairings, wheels, forks, tank and pack in as parts) for free!
H2R made just 20 in 2015 and 20 for 2016. no 2017 production anymore.  

you may find more pictures and movie in this link: https://www.cycletrader.com/listing/2015-Kawasaki-NINJA-H2R-121673996

The H2R sold for $53,000 when it was new. This one is basically new, with barely 100 miles on the odometer, and the seller is asking $49,000. For the second year, the frame was changed from the lurid, metallic green seen here to a silver to match the bodywork. It's classier and more subtle for sure, but I think that sort of misses the point. This bike exists to be outrageous, to shatter eardrums, to overwhelm, to offend. The "regular" H2 might have been at least on the same planet as more familiar machines, but the H2R is on another level altogether.

-tad

Featured Listing: 2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2R for Sale
Honda June 25, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Ride or Restore: 1993 Honda NSR250R SP MC21 for Sale

Some motorcycle enthusiasts are looking for a perfect, time-capsule example of their favorite bikes. Me? I'm glad perfect examples are out there for collectors, but I want something I can ride and enjoy without being worried that a tip-over or low-side or just a few extra miles on the odometer will destroy the value of some pristine collectible. Today's Honda NSR250R SP is a little rough around the edges, with some scratches and scuffs, but it seems like an honest bike, and very solid mechanically.

The NSR250 featured Honda's familiar 90° liquid-cooled 249cc v-twin with a six-speed "cassette" gearbox that allowed owners [or pit crews] to rapidly swap out gearsets to suit different race tracks. Obviously not all that useful on a road bike, but still pretty slick. The NSR may have sucked fuel through a set of carburetors, but it used a very sophisticated PGM-III system that controlled the bike's ignition based on throttle-position, revs, and gear selection.

This particular NSR250R is the desirable MC21 version of Honda's agile two-stroke, as indicated by the asymmetrical "gull-arm" aluminum swing arm that curves on the left-hand side to clear the exhaust's expansion chambers to maximize cornering clearance. The swingarm looks very trick, but helps make the MC21 a little bit heavier than the MC18 that preceded it. Dry weight is still under 300lbs, so even the bike's artificially-limited 45hp will move the bike out smartly, although I'd definitely check with the seller to see if the bike has been de-restricted, as anyone outside Japan will want the bike's full-power available.

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Honda NSR250R SP MC21 for Sale

20,441 Miles (32,898 Kilometers) This is a Very Rare only 900 made Last Model MC21 SP. Mostly original and unrestored.  Perfect opportunity for a budget minded MC21 SP for restoration. All fluids are fresh.  Shifts and revs to redline perfectly.  Starts effortlessly every time. OEM Fairings have hairline scratches and cracks. upper fairing has a broken section near the mirrors and the lower fairing has a section cut out near the expansion chambers along with a couple dents on the fuel tank near the stay, included close up pictures featuring defects. The Red on the tail fairing doesn’t match each other exactly also. No respray or rattle can. Red Magtek wheels are in excellent condition. Otherwise straight from the factory.  Bike has Vin Matching State of Ohio Title as a 1992 model MC21-1070*** “Buyer is responsible for their own State Requirements.”  Imported into the States through all legal channels. EPA and Declaration papers provided.

Bidding is up to $6,500 with about 24 hours left on the auction. If it stays in that neighborhood, it's on the low side for an MC21, but that's in keeping with the less-than-perfect condition. This example is obviously not perfect as described by the seller, but is claimed to be mechanically in good working order. If you're buying one of these and worried about sourcing parts, that may be a weight lifted. Even if you end up on a quest for a perfect set of original bodywork, you can at least ride your machine in the meantime, and this looks like it'd be pretty nice from ten feet, certainly a good place to begin for a restoration. Personally, I'm okay with replacement bodywork, as long as the frame and everything else are clean and straight. Get a decent set of Rothmans replica bodywork from the internet, spend the weekend fitting it, and then ride your little smoker with no fear of destroying a priceless, pristine collectible.

-tad

Ride or Restore: 1993 Honda NSR250R SP MC21 for Sale
Suzuki June 21, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Clean, Low Mileage, All-Original Gamma: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

For a very brief period in the mid-1980s the Grand Prix racing fans were able to sample two machines of singular purpose: Yamaha's V4 RD500LC/RZ500 and Suzuki's wild, square-four powered RG500Γ "Gamma." Each was intended to showcase the style, performance, and feel of a two-stroke GP motorcycle in a road-legal package, although they went about it in different ways. Of the pair, Suzuki's was closest to the true spirit of a "race bike for the road" and is generally considered more valuable than the Yamaha, although the RD/RZ has its fans as well, and prices for both are steadily climbing.

Part of the reason the Gamma is so desirable is that Suzuki never made that many of them in the first place, the other is that it might be one of the most authentic race replicas ever made, with a twin-crank, two-stroke, square-four engine that wasn't shared with any other motorcycle in their lineup. Although, like the similarly exotic Desmosedici that shared no parts with its MotoGP inspiration, Suzuki's powerplant merely aped the configuration of their 500cc Grand Prix machine, but was more much more road-oriented. So it may not have exactly been a detuned race bike, but it's as close as you're likely to get.

With around 100hp pushing almost 400lbs wet, the RG500 isn't the quickest thing around at this point, and it wasn't even the fastest thing going in 1986. But it was lightweight for the time, and the whole package was so exotic: two-stroke sports twins were the order of the day, so a twin-crankshaft, square four cylinder with the same eye-opening power delivery, only even more so, must have made the RG feel like it rolled right off a race track, with an experience of speed and agility that far outstripped the measurable performance.

If you're searching for a Gamma, today's example is about as good as it gets, unless you're looking for one that's been modified with more modern suspension, brakes, and wheels.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

Up for auction is my 1986 Gamma. This bike is completely stock with only 3,711 original km or roughly 2,300 miles. This bike has never been rebuilt, is all original and is by far the nicest Gamma I have ever seen. The bike has lived inside my house for the last five years. Originally a Canadian bike stored in a climate controlled environment I imported the bike legally and it now has a Maryland state title.  I just trailered it to the shop for a new battery and fresh plugs and it starts right up on the first or second kick.

 In the time I have owned the bike I can't make myself ride it. Its just too nice. It really belongs in a museum or in someone's private collection or take it to shows which I have done. First place winner every time. Unless you find one still in a crate somewhere you'll not find a nicer Gamma anywhere.
I'm willing to work with the buyer as far as shipping but cost will be their responsibility. I can also take as many pictures as you need and am willing to talk with any serious buyers. I also have another RG 00 with 8000km and a California title in amazing condition as well that is going to be auctioned next.
Gammas are perennially popular, and only going up in price these days: the starting bid for this one is $30,000 although there are no takers yet. Many are in nice condition as a result of those increasing values, but these are thirty-year-old motorcycles and a large percentage have been restored or modified at this point. As they say, "it's only original once" and this one is claimed to be that. Certainly, most have far more than 2,300 miles on them. Gammas are very cool bikes, but this example is sadly very likely to end up in a collection, instead of being properly thrashed on a track or canyon road.
-tad
Clean, Low Mileage, All-Original Gamma: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale
Ducati June 19, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE for Sale

Unlike some retro-styled motorcycles that sacrifice performance for style, Ducati's SportClassics really allow you to have your cake and eat it too: they look great, with a nice blend of classic and modern styling cues, excellent handling, and enough power to satisfy the more mature riders that might have remembered the original bikes that inspired these modern interpretations. After a great deal of initial buzz, demand fell off pretty quickly and the SportClassics were discontinued after just a few years, but demand on the used market remains high, especially for the original Sport 1000 and Paul Smart 1000LE as seen in today's Featured Listing.

The blue and silver colors and half-fairing are obviously meant to evoke the machine that won the Imola 200 in 1972 and basically put Ducati's v-twin motorcycles on the map and the 1000DS that powered the Paul Smart and the larger, 1100 version that followed represent the pinnacle of Ducati's oil and air-cooled v-twin. Faced with tightening emissions controls and increased demands for power, Ducati decided to create a twin-plug version of their two-valve engine: those big pistons mean that for efficient combustion, two spark plugs are better than one, and the performance increase required a less comprehensive overhaul of the engine than a change from two to four valves would have. Power claims of 92hp are modest but, coupled with very respectable torque and a flexible midrange, it makes an ideal road bike engine.

Quality suspension and geometry of the SportClassic line made that power easy to exploit, although the wire wheels are much more a fashion statement, as they're obviously heavier than is necessary, and the Pirelli Phantoms originally fitted were grippy enough, but fitted mainly for style as well as their tread pattern was designed specifically to mimic older tires. This bike has had a replacement set of Diablos fitted, which should be much more in line with the suspension's sporting capabilities. It's largely stock, except from some bolt-on dress up items that are of generally high quality. I personally prefer Zard's slightly wilder exhaust option for the solo-seat Sport 1000 and Paul Smart, but you can't go wrong with a classic set of Termis!

From the Seller: 2006 Paul Smart Limited Edition #1668 of 2000 for Sale

US Bike located in Vancouver Canada.

9,300 miles

Absolutely mint with all OEM parts included with a few tastefully installed aftermarket parts including:
-Termignoni Shotgun Exhaust
-HDESA Clutch Spring Cap
-Speedymoto Open Clutch Cover
-Speedymoto Frame Sliders
-Sato Rearsets
-Luimoto Suede Seat and Tank Belt
-Regulator rectifier relocation

All maintenance done. New battery. New Pirelli Diablo tires.

$23,000 USD
Jacky Wang
jacky_wang99@hotmail.com
Will not accept Paypal. The bike can easily be exported to USA as it is a US bike with the speedometer in miles. Can help to arrange shipping but you need to visit in person and pay in cash.

So the seller is asking $23,000 for this very nice example. That might seem like a ton of money for a ten year old, 92hp motorcycle but it's in line with what we've seen lately for the Paul Smarts, and the very nice images give a good idea of the attention that appears to have been lavished on the bike. These have, unfortunately, rapidly escalated to the point where owners might be afraid to ride their investment. Which is a shame because, uncomfortable ergos aside, the 1000DS engine makes for a great ride. Hopefully, the new owner will take this one out for regular exercise!

-tad

Suzuki June 18, 2017 posted by Tad Diemer

Full Power: 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP VJ23A Export Model for Sale

The history of the quarter-liter sportbike seems to be one of convergent evolution: twins obviously make sense given the size and capacity, or even triples, if we go back to the 1970s and consider a Kawasaki S1 a "sportbike." But early bikes could be powered by parallel or vee configurations, and by the time the early 1990s rolled around, Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki were all using  90° v-twins backed by six-speed gearboxes. But when the 70° v-twin powered RGV250 VJ23 came along in 1996, it was packing a 70° unit with a dry clutch [and an electric start!], presumably because it's more compact and doesn't increase vibration significantly, compared to a 90° unit with theoretically better balance.

The VJ23 was pretty much the final word in two-stroke performance: the Suzuki-powered Aprilia RS250 continued in production alongside, but used their earlier 90° v-twin engine. Honda's NSR250 was still in production as well, but their MC28 was introduced in 1994 so the VJ23 really does represent the very last generation of two-stroke performance

I'm not a huge fan of the swoopy curves of the VJ23 model, although plenty of two-stroke fans love the very 90s styling. Maybe the graphics aren't helping: the VJ23 definitely looks much cooler in Lucky Strike colors. But you certainly can't argue with the performance available: today's example is claimed to be the full power "export" model, meaning it's not limited per Japanese market rules that restricted power to 45hp on models intended for sale domestically, and 60 claimed horsepower should make this little bantamweight a real rocket, with handling to match.

Experts may want to chime in here: these were supposedly extremely rare in any form, and I'm not clear if this has simply been de-restricted or if it came from the factory with all the horsepower present and accounted for.

From the original eBay listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP VJ23A for Sale

Rare 2 stroke bike from Japan!! Suzuki RGV250SP

VIN: VJ23A-1020**
Year: 1996
Mileage: 24,325 km
Condition: Running very well.
It is 60ps of export model!! It was overhauled an engine, brakes, front forks when 20,000km of mileage. It has some scratches, tiny cracks at body work, tiny dent at left under side of gas tank. But still GOOD condition. Belly pan is aftermarket product. Other cowlings are original.

Shipping : We'll put it into the wooden crate and ship by surface. We'll enclose Japanese original title, and also Sales Certificate and Bill of Sales issued by us in English. Shipping cost: The bid price includes shipping cost to overseas, and it's charged from our office in Japan to the nearest port to your address. We expect you'd pick it up at the port and arrange the land transport to your address by yourself. The other cost, such as the handling cost, duty fee, tax, etc. which will be charged in your country, they're not included there.

The Buy It Now price is listed at $9,400 which would seem very reasonable if the bike was here in the USA, considering what nice NSRs are going for these days. Obviously, the fact that this bike is currently in Japan means the buyer will have to deal with all the importation and titling hassles. If you're in a permissive state, that might not be too much of a headache, but for many of us, it remains out of reach, considering the year of manufacture means it's still a few years short of the 25-year mark. Depending on your local DMV, there might be some shenanigans you can pull to get it on the street, but I'd expect this makes the most sense as a collectible or occasional track day ride.

-tad

Full Power: 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP VJ23A Export Model for Sale