Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Bimota November 27, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

The Origin of Species: Bimota SB2 for Sale Down Under

Bimota SB2 R Front

Sometimes, looking at older sportbikes, it’s hard for those raised on GSX-R1000’s and R1’s to understand what all the fuss is about. I mean, on paper, the Bimota SB2 is pretty unimpressive: 430lbs, 743cc’s making 75hp, and a 130mph top speed. But at the time, this bike was at the bleeding-edge of sports motorcycle design, combining the best ideas of the day in terms of aerodynamics, frame, and suspension design.

Bimota SB2 L Side

Although they’ve been in-and-out of bankruptcy for decades, Bimota is still the first name in exotic Italian motorcycles, and recent products reflect a less-focused diversity that includes something for everyone. And by “everyone,” of course I mean “rich people.”

The name “Bimota” is derived from the names of the three company founders: Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri, and Massimo Tamburini, who actually started their company to work on heating and air-conditioning systems. In 1973, they built their first motorcycle, designing a light, stiff frame around a Honda 750 four-cylinder to create the HB1 in 1973.

BImota SB2 R Side

With only one, notorious exception, Bimota used engines from established manufacturers in their bikes, although they generally improved power somewhat with revised exhausts and tuning, and the alpha-numeric names of the bike will give you a clue as to what powerplant is hiding within: “H” for Honda, “D” for Ducati, “Y” for Yamaha, “K” for Kawasaki, “B” for BMW, and “S” for Suzuki. Obviously. So the SB2 was the second Bimota powered by a Suzuki engine.

If you’re used to the Transformers-style angularity of current Bimotas, the swoopy curves of SB2 might be a bit of a shock. But Bimota built its reputation for innovation and cutting edge design with machines like this. Powered by Suzuki’s reliable GS750 engine and 5-speed transmission, the SB2’s beauty wasn’t in the powertrain, but in the exotic suspension and frame. Check out that swingarm pivot, designed to keep chain tension constant throughout suspension travel.

Bimota SB2 R Rear Naked

The SB2 was almost impossibly advanced for the time and featured a host of race-inspired details: the aluminum and fiberglass one-piece tank and tail-section is held on by simple rubber quick-release straps: disconnect the fuel line, unplug an electrical connector, and it’s off, allowing access to the engine and revealing more of the gorgeous trellis frame and monoshock rear suspension.

Bimota SB2 Rear Suspension

From the original eBay listing: Bimota SB2 for Sale

This motorcycle has been fully restored including an engine re-build. The re-build was completed by an experienced Suzuki trained mechanic. The engine was found to have a Yoshimura 850cc kit in it with high lift cams and larger valves with double valve springs. A previous owner may have lightly ported the intakes. The pistons, gearbox and clutch indicated an easy life but extensive carbon deposits pointed to a lot of slow use. New rings and bearings where needed were used.

The engine idles smoothly and runs quietly. The exhaust is a bit restrictive but will not cause registration problems. The front suspension may be soft for some heavy riders.

The rear de-carbon shock was rebuilt by SOS Sydney and the chassis, bodywork  and wheels were stripped and re-painted. The seat was done to original specs in NZ. The engine cases were stripped of paint and painstakingly cleaned before re-painting. The dash is NOS but a later one from the original which is available. An oil cooler and braided lines come with the bike but are not fitted.

Bimota SB2 R Rear

Interestingly, the listing does not mention the bike’s year of manufacture, although they were only made between 1977 and 1979. Reports vary as to how many were actually made, but supposedly no more than 140 SB2’s were built, making this extremely rare and very exotic. Parts to keep the nearly stock Suzuki GS750 engine and transmission should be very easy to come by, and plenty of hop-up parts exist for anyone looking to make a fast bike even faster.

There are six days left on the auction, with no bidders at the AU$20,000 starting bid. These are some of the most collectible and desirable Bimotas ever built, and I’d expect plenty of folks are waiting in the wings to bid on this one.

-tad

Bimota SB2 R Front Close

The Origin of Species: Bimota SB2 for Sale Down Under
Aprilia November 23, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Not Quite Stock: 2000 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

2000 Aprilia RS250 R Side

Aprilia's RS250 is well known to regular readers, and this particular bike, while not completely original, looks like it's in great shape and has relatively low miles on it. The RS250 was a lightweight machine with an aluminum frame, distinctive banana-shaped aluminum swingarm that allowed the bulging expansion chambers to tuck in for good ground-clearance, and basically the same brake set up as the much-heavier Ducati 916... Powered by a heavily-modified two-stroke v-twin from Suzuki's RGV250 that generated 60hp and required commitment to use effectively, the bike rewarded riding skill with sublime handling that is, for most riders, as close as they'll ever get to a true Moto GP experience, especially in a road-legal package...

2000 Aprilia RS250 R Side Front

Coming in at the very-tail end of the two-stroke sportbike era, road-legality of these does vary a bit by year and state. This particular example looks like it was originally a track-only bike, or had the standard fairing replaced with one intended for a trackbike. In the above picture, you can see the headlight tucked into the fairing. Very low-profile, but perhaps a bit too non-stock for the readers of this site...

2000 Aprilia RS250 R Side Rearset Detail

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

2000 Aprilia RS250 street legal bike, recently serviced, runs beautiful and has the look to match with very low miles, this bike is LIKE NEW. This very rare Italian bike has new JNL racing pipes, new marchesini magnesium rims, a big beautiful tank without any scraps or dents, gorgeous seat... lots of beautiful aluminum and carbon fiber fairings. Never been laid down, this bike looks even better than the pictures! Bike has been garaged it's life, and is still of course being garaged as you see in the photos.

As many motorcycle enthusiasts know, Aprilia is famous for winning 14 out of the 16 world championship races in 2003. No longer in production, this bike is admirable to look at with shiny, smooth fairings, the twin spar combo of aluminum, magnesium alloy frame and a swinging arm of the same material keep the bike solid but lighter than comparable bikes (can this bike even be compared?), and as anyone who's ever been lucky enough to ride one will tell you, its a dream drive! Sophisticated digital instrument panel and a chronometer that can remember up to 40 lap times will make this bike the envy of your friends!

2004 was the last production date for the Aprilia. This 2000 Aprilia model has a clear title and we can even arrange delivery within the west coast for $1.00 per mile. This is one of the most beautiful and rarest racing bikes we've be able to offer in our over 10 years of selling rare and vintage motorcycles and motorcycle parts on ebay.

There's plenty of time left on this auction and, at $2,100 the reserve is unsurprisingly not yet met. The seller mentions that this is street-legal, but the bodywork suggests that it may not have started out that way, so do a bit of homework if you live in draconian California and plan to register it for road use. While I do like the deceptively track-only look, I'm not sure that offset, blue-lensed headlight tucked into the fairing on the right side will be to everyone's taste. Luckily, that can be changed, although it would obviously be easier to go track-0nly, since sourcing an original headlight/fairing combo could be expensive... Those additional decals should probably go as well, but that is fairly easy to do.

2000 Aprilia RS250 Rear

While the Marchesini wheels do look to be wider than stock, that may just be the pics. Probably a question for the seller, since wider wheels and tires could make the RS250's famously nimble handling less so, and the extra rubber probably isn't necessary, considering the power on tap. They look pretty good and might be lighter than stock, but this bike is really about form following function.

-tad

2000 Aprilia RS250 L Side Front

Not Quite Stock: 2000 Aprilia RS250 for Sale
Ducati November 20, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 2006 Ducati SportClassic Paul Smart for Sale

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For all the grief he received for his redesign of Ducati’s superbike, it's still pretty clear that Pierre Terblanche had some great ideas for Ducati. Aside from the iconic but rare Supermono, he managed to evoke Ducati’s classic style in modern machinery with his line of SportClassics and, while the style of the original MH900e might have been a bit overwrought, there’s certainly no denying that it looks like nothing else on the road. Fortunately, the Sport1000, GT1000, and Paul Smart that followed were much more conservative, yet still striking and very elegant. After an initial rush of buyers, demand for the SportClassic line tapered off, and only the GT1000 is still in production today.

Today's Featured Listing is among the rarest of the breed: just 2000 of the 2006 Paul Smart Limited Edition bikes were built, and all featured silver half-faired bodywork and a green frame designed to evoke the bike ridden to victory by Paul Smart at the Imola 200 in 1972.

2006 Ducati SportClassic Dash

The SportClassic models were all powered by Ducati’s venerable air/oil-cooled, two-valve “L” twin 1000DS engine. The “DS” signified “DualSpark” twin-plug heads that allowed efficient combustion across the relatively large surface of the pistons and, in this configuration, the twin put out a claimed 92hp, although it’s not a motor known for top-end revs and generally runs out of breath well before redline. But with a fat midrange and charisma to spare, it’s a spectacular street motor and, obviously, valve-float is never a problem on a Desmo motor…

Original versions had a wild tubular swingarm with a shock/spring combo on the left side, like a twin-shock setup with one side missing. Shotgun pipes on the right balanced the look out. Unfortunately, this configuration precluded passenger accommodations and early Sport1000 and Paul Smart SportClassics are solo affairs.

Later versions changed to a dual-seat but lost the cool swingarm, going to a more conventional dual-shock set up at the rear. Wire wheels were a clear nod to style over performance, although they did feature tubeless Pirelli Phantom tires designed with vintage looks and modern performance in mind.

2006 Ducati SportClassic R Side Engine


From the original CraigsList posting:
2006 Ducati Paul Smart Limited Edition for Sale

Selling my 2006 Ducati Paul Smart Limited Edition - very, very, rare!

This bike is a two owner bike with only 1,000 miles. No stories, issues, accidents, etc. and has been stored in a heated garage. This bike is extremely rare and comes with the two best 'unobtanium' accessories:

- Factory lower side fairings (factory ~ not aftermarket knock off's)
- Termignoni 2x1 single exhaust with up map (black powder coated to match original look)

I've also installed the clear clutch and belt covers for an extra clean look. No other modifications of any kind and all factory parts (exhaust, chrome clutch cover and black belt covers).

If you are looking at this bike you know that they are extremely hard to find, especially given low miles and accessories. Please note that I'm not interesting in selling the lower side fairings or Termi separately

Perfect bike for the enthusiast / collector and in absolute pristine shape. Feel free to contact me at three one zero six nine nine seven three seven seven if you are interested. Please no low ball offers, scams, etc. or text messages.

Demand for the SportClassic line petered out after just a few years, but they have held their value extremely well and all versions command very good money on the used market. The seller is asking $22,500 for this Paul Smart, which is pretty big money for a SportClassic, but the bike does feature the factory side fairings that more closely resemble the ones on the original race bikes, along with a classic Termignoni exhaust. While I prefer the truly wild Zard two-into-two pipes for the early SportClassics, you can’t go wrong with Termi pipes on a Ducati.

In nearly-new condition with just 1,000 miles on the clock, this particular example is one of the best you’re ever likely to find, so if you are looking to add a SportClassic to your collection, you can’t go wrong with this one.

-tad

2006 Ducati SportClassic L Side

Featured Listing: 2006 Ducati SportClassic Paul Smart for Sale
Yamaha November 19, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Smokes-Branded Smoker:1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

1985 Yamaha Marlboro RZ500 L Side

A wild race-replica from the era of two-stroke Moto GP machines, Yamaha’s RZ500/RD500LC was a direct competitor to Suzuki’s RG500 Gamma. Never officially imported to the US because of emissions laws, many have found their way south across the Canadian border.

1985 Yamaha Marlboro RZ500 Tank

The bike was powered by a liquid-cooled 50° two-stroke V4 with twin cranks. Midrange torque was boosted by a pair of Yamaha’s YPVS power valves and lubrication was handled by Yamaha’s suggestively-named Autolube oil-injection. Interestingly, the engine featured a balance shaft to smooth out vibrations. This not only improved comfort for street riders, it also allowed the frame and other parts to be built lighter, since they didn’t have to endure as much shaking. Engine cases were magnesium, as you can tell by the fact that “MAGNESIUM” is cast into them.

1985 Yamaha Marlboro RZ500 Dash

A six speed box with a conventional wet clutch put 88hp to the 18” rear wheel. In most markets, the frame was steel, although Japan’s home-market RZV500R featured an aluminum version, with lighter weight offset by a detuned engine that produced 64hp. The rear shock was mounted horizontally under engine, clearing space for upper cylinders’ expansion chambers and the battery. The front end featured anti-dive and a 16” wheel.

1985 Yamaha Marlboro RZ500 Front Brakes

From the original eBay listing: 1985 RZ500 for Sale

Clean WI Title – Original Owner

Engine is stock with less than 100 miles since it was freshened up with NOS parts July 2013 18,650kms on the odometer @11,500 miles

Besides the standard bore original parts engine rebuild the bike was gone through in late 2013 with new parts everywhere else they were needed, wheel bearings, cables, brake calipers rebuilt, new brake pads, forks rebuilt w/ stiffer springs, oil pump & hoses replaced, new battery, new tires, etc. Starts, runs and rides great.

Non-original items listed: 
Brembo full floating front rotors – very rare (originally for FZ750)
Stainless brake hoses
Fiberglass solo tail section & seat
Rearsets have no provisions for passenger footrests
Samco coolant hoses & clamps
Shorai sealed battery
New O-ring chain & sprockets
Platinum Pearl white & Marlboro Racing red custom paint with UV stable clear coating. Stickers are on top of the paint.

1985 Yamaha Marlboro RZ500 Front

So, not completely bone-stock, but the upgrades are appropriate and should improve the functionality. I can personally vouch for the Shorai battery: I stuck one in my Ducati and the light weight and difference on starting compared to stock are pretty amazing. Although the Marlboro paint scheme might not be to everyone’s taste, I like it better than the factory style…

(puts on flame-proof suit)

There are 4 days left on this auction, with bidding up to $8,100 at the time of writing, so we'll see just how that vivid paint affects the price for this one!

-tad

1985 Yamaha Marlboro RZ500 R Side

Smokes-Branded Smoker:1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale
Laverda November 17, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Tangerine Dream: 1975 Laverda SFC for Sale

1975 Laverda SFC R Side

This Laverda SFC is bit of a throwback to another era, when you really could buy a motorcycle, ride it to the track, rip off the lights, and actually compete at the professional level. Sure, there are classes today that require bikes to be largely stock, but this Laverda is really more like the equivalent of a World SuperBike machine. With a headlight.

1975 Laverda SFC L Side Tailsection2

It’s just too bad that Laverda name-owners Piaggio don’t have room in their lineup for a revived Laverda. Their modern sporting range is taken up by Aprilia and their retro-sport line is all Guzzi, but I could see Laverda as a sort of Italian alternative to Triumph: practical, real-world sportbikes and standards with only a dash of nostalgia. It almost worked when they revived Laverda in the 1990’s. Unlike many of the other recent stabs at brand-revivification, the Zane-era bikes were actually affordable, and they still make for a pretty cool Ducati alternative. Down a bit on outright power, but with superlative handling.

1975 Laverda SFC Dash

Of course, you’ll get a lot of, “Laverda, who makes that?” at your local bike-night. But that’s okay. My personal experience is that only the very best kind of people know Laverda. I have a battered old Laverda t-shirt and it attracts attention everywhere I go. Random strangers approach me in restaurants, in the checkout line at the grocery store, even at IKEA to ask me about it.

So Laverda is gone, but not forgotten, and this 1975 SFC really helps to explain the love people have for the orange bikes from Breganze, Italy.

1975 Laverda SFC R Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Laverda SFC 750 “Elettronico” for Sale

VIN 18300 Engine 18300

This is "the real thing", numbers on the register and it is the rariest and most desiderable model of the serie, the "Elettronico" of 1975. On top of this it has a works race history being raced by Giuseppe Uberti Foppa (works Laverda rider listed also in the SFC register book) at the 500kms of Monza in 1975, with certification signed by him.

The bike was restored in the Factory in the early 80's and kept as a jewel since, totally original genuine parts, even the fiberglass body, throttle, all small bits, no repro's or nos.

Bike is "on the button" with even new tyres, showroom conditions. The best i have seen in the last 20 years! Bulletproof investment. Bike is currently located in Italy, 33080 Roveredo in Piano (Pordenone) but i can get them delivered all around the World at cost, no problem. We can supply US contact as reference.

Built between 1971 and 1976, the SFC or “Super Freni Competizione” was an homologation-special with an engine full of race-spec parts that pushed power to 80hp and road-legal lights and signals tacked on as a nod to streetability. Many SFC’s show up for sale with those parts packed away safely in a cardboard box…

1975 Laverda SFC R Grip

Not especially light, but very stable, the Laverda parallel twins were renowned for their durability. The 750cc engine featured five main bearings and parts not built by Laverda were sourced, regardless of origin, for their quality: Ceriani suspension, Bosch ignition, and Nippon-Denso electrics.

Only 549 were ever produced, making this one rare and very desirable machine, and the signature on the tail section and pristine condition only make it more so.

-tad

1975 Laverda SFC L Side

Tangerine Dream: 1975 Laverda SFC for Sale
Benelli November 13, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Classic Sportbike Recap: Benelli, Moto Morini, and a Dunstall Norton

If your biking interests occasionally run to the historical, take a look at some recent entries over at our sister site: Classic Sport Bikes for Sale. This week featured a Benelli Tornado, the Italian alternative to big-bore British parallel-twins, a jewel-like Moto Morini 350, and a rare Dunstall Norton Commando

1974 Benelli Tornado 650S L Front

With a 642cc parallel twin and a top speed of 117mph, you could be forgiven for thinking you were reading about a classic British roadster. But this 1974 Benelli Tornado had a short-stroke engine that loved to rev and, even stranger, was actually oil-tight... Read more over at classicsportbikesforsale.com

1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 L Rear2

With a jewel-like 344cc v-twin, this Moto Morini 350 K2 emphasized brains over brawn, offering brilliant handling and a wealth of innovative technical details. Moto Morinis have long been bargains of the vintage Italian bike world, but prices are finally on the rise and this one is in amazing shape... Read the full article over at classicsportbikesforsale.com

1969 Norton Dunstall R Front

The 1960's were a golden age of motorcycling innovation, when ambitious and talented tuners could knock up machines in their backyard sheds and compete against the world's best. Some, like Paul Dunstall managed to turn their success into a thriving business, making go-fast parts for a whole range of British bikes... Read more about the Dunstall Norton over at classicsportbikesforsale.com

Classic Sportbike Recap: Benelli, Moto Morini, and a Dunstall Norton