Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Kawasaki August 10, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Very Clean, Very Fast: 1992 Kawasaki ZX-11 for Sale

1992 Kawasaki ZX-11 R SideIt's not incredibly difficult to find a ZX-11 for sale and Kawasaki did make plenty of them at the time. But it is hard to find one that looks this nice, and nearly impossible to find one with the mere 7,700 miles on the clock this one has: dead-reliable and capable of massive speed all day long, these usually rack up far more hard miles than this one has.

1992 Kawasaki ZX-11 L Side Front

Also known as the ZZ-R1100 in some markets and built from 1990 until 1997, the ZX-11 was powered by a 1052cc inline four backed by a six-speed gearbox. That motor pumped out 150hp at the crank and, aided by one of the first production ram-air systems, was good for a genuine 175+ mph. Unlike so many of today's ultrabikes, it was no screamer: this was the Small Block Chevy of motorcycle engines, with power on top, power down low, and power in the middle.

1992 Kawasaki ZX-11 Cockpit

The ZX-11 was one of the most significant weapons employed in the Speed Wars of the 80's and 90's and, until Honda dropped their Super Blackbird into the mix, it was the fastest motorcycle in the world. And like that bike, the Kawasaki was never really meant to be a race-replica-style sportbike: at 600lbs fully-fueled, it's much more of a GT, the perfect bike for gobbling miles at supra-legal speeds, but one that's still agile enough to enjoy riding around [or terrorizing] your destination.

1992 Kawasaki ZX-11 Seat Detail

Because for all its weight and power, the ZX-11 has very neutral, forgiving handling and is pretty docile, as long as you respect that throttle and the power at your command. Be aware of the mass and short-shift it, and you can take it shopping on the weekend around town. But twist that grip and it will still squash your eyeballs, unless you're used to riding modern literbikes.

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

This is a rare opportunity to own a true iconic motorcycle.

You will never find one nicer than this... Looks like a 2015, hard to believe it's a 1992. Truly amazing condition.

Beautiful rare gloss black color.

The ZX11 is the original bad ass sportbike

All stock except for

Gen Mar 1 inch risers

D&D exhaust

Corbin seat have original seat with rear seat cowling cover. Shown in pic.

Purple piping on seat matches Ninja decals.

This bike runs as good as it looks.

Tons of raw power and handles like a dream.

No scratches, scrapes, or rust of any kind.

Collect it or ride it but don't let this amazing bike get away.

I have owned 2 ZX-11s before but this one is in amazing condition and runs as good as it looks

Look at pics and check my feedback... You will not be disappointed!

Aside from some slightly fuzzy pictures, this is one of the nicest ZX-11's I've ever seen, and is basically stock except for that single-sided exhaust that I think really cleans up the bike and modernizes the look. That Corbin saddle is also perfect for the bike's intended mission and should help the new owner munch miles for years to come.

If you're looking for a cool, reliable, potentially collectible bike you can ride the bejezus out of, but won't break the bank, this bike deserves a second look.


1992 Kawasaki ZX-11 L Side

Very Clean, Very Fast: 1992 Kawasaki ZX-11 for Sale
Yamaha August 8, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Tasteful Custom Stroker: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

1985 Yamaha RZ500 R Side Front

Well, last week's seemingly ham-fisted resto-mod Gamma went over like a lead balloon, so let's see how this one flies: a very bright and shiny Yamaha RZ500 fitted with some FZR bits!

1985 Yamaha RZ500 L Side RearJPG

Built from 1984 to 1986, the RZ500 was also known as the RD500LC in some markets. It was Yamaha's entry into the Moto GP replica wars and a direct competitor of Suzuki's equally wild RG500Γ Gamma, although most feel that the Gamma was ultimately the better bike. Due to emissions laws, the RZ500 was never officially imported to the USA, although some found there way here via Canada and, more recently, imported directly.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Cockpit

Like the Gamma, the RZ featured wild specifications: a liquid-cooled, 499cc two-stroke V4 with two cranks and 50° between cylinder banks. A pair of YPVS power valves and oil-injection. Even a balance shaft to quell vibration, and while this did improve the bike's ability as a street ride, the real advantage of the balance shaft was that it allowed the frame and other bits to be lighter. That light weight philosophy extended to the materials used, and the engine cases were made of magnesium. You know how I know that? It's got "MAGNESIUM" cast right there into the cases!

1985 Yamaha RZ500 L Side Engine

It isn't mentioned in the description, so I'll assume this bike has the standard steel frame. Japanese bikes actually had a desirable aluminum version of the frame that helped offset the detuned engine sold in that market. If you look, you can see the remote reservior for the rear suspension peeking out by the radiator: the rear shock was mounted Buell-style under the engine to make room for the rear pair of cylinders' exhaust. The original bike featured anti-dive forks, although those have been lost in the transition to the FZR front end, a loss I'd expect is more than acceptible, considering the other benefits of the swap.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 R Side Chambers

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

For sale is my 1985 Yamaha RZ500, 4 Cylinder Liquid Cooled Two-Stroke, Custom Painted to Kenny Roberts Replica Graphics. When I found this bike 8 years ago, I had to have it. I was (and am) a big RZ350 fan and then my buddy explained to me that Yamaha made a 4 cylinder version that was never sold in the U.S.A. I did some research and watched over a few years then saw this bike. Several things immediately drew me to it which might you too but high on the list was the Kenny Roberts Paint Job. For me (a person who is by far more drawn to stock) I just can’t stop looking at this bike. Then add to it the complete rebuild and modifications made with high dollar parts, there was no decision to be made.

When I got it, my buddy convinced me to take a ride to the local Indy Ducati Dealer which was holding an open house event and motorcycle show. As we pulled up, two guys from the Factory Ducati Semi heard the sound and ran up to ask me if this was really an RZ500… that felt good. I won 1st place at that show in the “Other Class”. I felt a little embarrassed as there was such a crowd gathered around the bike that most had never seen before. The same happens time and time again when I find the time to take it out for a cruise or to the Indy Moto GP… it just commands your attention.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 R Side Tail

The listing is pretty comprehensive and includes much more detail, along with some additional photos, so pop over for a look. With a Buy It Now price of $14,950.00 and just two days left on the listing, the seller is looking for premium money. But it looks like a premium bike, with those gorgeous expansion chambers, clean bodywork, thoughtful improvements, and a 17" wheel update that should make for improved handling. If you're okay with the updates, this is one sharp machine.

As always with these customized machines, expert opinions are welcome in the comments!


1985 Yamaha RZ500 R Side

Tasteful Custom Stroker: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale
Honda August 7, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Affordable V4: 1995 Honda RVF400 with Ohio Title

1995 Honda RVF400 L Side

Rare as hen's teeth here in the USA, Honda's little RVF400 [NC35] superbike made it into the country exclusively through grey-market imports, often via Canada. The RVF400 replaced the VFR400 in 1994 and used a smaller version of the bigger 750cc bike's gear-driven V4 engine.

Like the 750, the 400 used a 360° "big-bang" firing order to aid handling and increase tire life. The theory being that, when all of the combustion events occur close together instead of being spread out evenly, the rear tire is able to "recover" in between power pulses, making break away more predictable. Possibly superfluous with such a small displacement machine, but cool nonetheless, and big-bang bikes tend to sound better as well!

1995 Honda RVF400 Cockpit

Power is relatively unimpressive on paper: between 50hp and 60hp, depending on whom you ask, and that power is all up near the redline, so the bike needs thrashing to make progress, although you're rewarded with one of the best-handling chassis of all time. Kind of like a two-stroke 250 for people who think two-stroke motorcycles sound like chainsaws...

1995 Honda RVF400 Rear Wheel

The RVF400 looked very much like a miniature version of the RVF750, down to the updated cat-eye lamps and those giant, snorkel-like tubes to feed the engine fresh air, although the bike did not technically use ram-air to pressurize the airbox. The update also saw a change to upside-down forks and 17" wheel front and rear, which makes it easy to source modern, sticky rubber today, and many of these still see use in club racing.

1995 Honda RVF400 Fairing

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Honda RVF400 for Sale

I have too many bikes and not enough time. It's time to let a few go to new homes where they can be enjoyed and ridden. This rare Honda RVF400 is the V4 little brother of the RC45.  It's titled as a 1995, but the research I've done on the VIN and color scheme seem to indicate that it is actually a 1996 (the final year of production).  It small when compared to a 600cc sportbike but not super light like my Aprilia RS125.  It was originally marked only in Japan, so the small scratches you see in the pictures are probably no worse than a 20 year old CBR600 would be here in the states.  They probably weren't considered collector bikes in Japan at the time.  Considering that it's travelled half way around the world, I think it looks great.  I'd give it a 7-8 on a scale of 1-10.  There is a small paint discoloration between the headlights, a small crack on the right side of the rear fairing, a little road rash on the right mirror bottom and the left headlight has a little moisture in it.  The leather on the rear seat straps also has a small crack.  It's a really cool bike to ride and nobody in your town probably has one or may never have even seen one in the flesh.  The speedometer is in kilometers per hour and the odometer is in kilometers so I converted to miles for the listing.  Reserve is $7000. 

This bike has a few minor cosmetic scuffs, but the seller's reserve price seems very reasonable: if you want into the V4 Honda Club and funds are limited, this is going to be your best bet. And your investment is probably secure: in spite of their limited straight-line performance, their links to Honda's racing heritage, relative rarity, serious good-looks, and responsive handling make these very desirable to both riders and collectors.

-tad 1995 Honda RVF400 Speedo

Affordable V4: 1995 Honda RVF400 with Ohio Title
Yamaha August 6, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Second Coming: 1999 Yamaha YZF-R7 OW02 for Sale

1999 Yamaha R7 R Side Front

Introduced in 1999 and sold for just two years, the exotic Yamaha YZF-R7 OW02 was the long-awaited successor to the OW01 of the late 1980's, a barely-legal roadbike intended to homologate the R7 for World Superbike competition. But after just two years, Yamaha pulled the plug on the bike and their WSBK team as well. Was it because Yamaha felt their inline four couldn't be competitive in a series whose rules heavily favored v-twins? Possibly: even Honda gave up on their RC45 to run twins, a move which saw them achieve the success they'd been seeking, but unable to find with their V4 superbikes.

1999 Yamaha R7 Tank

Regardless, the R7 featured tiny details all over the bike that made it more than just another roadbike: the steering geometry could be changed to suit rider preference, with rake, trail, and the steering head all adjustable. The 749cc engine, as you'd expect, featured Yamaha's five-valve heads. Dead stock, the bike made a disappointing 106hp, but that was simply to appease emissions and safety legislation. Each bike has a second, dormant set of injectors that could be activated. Along with a race-kit and a carbon airbox that added a ram-air effect, the two sets of injectors unleashed the full race-spec 162hp.

1999 Yamaha R7 Tail

Of course, this led to a corresponding loss of reliability. Hardly a concern for race teams, but a bit of problem if you wanted to use your R7 on the road. Some owners just said "screw it" and fitted an R1 engine, which seems sacrilegious, until you realize the swap probably captures the R7 experience in terms of power, if not in terms of the original engine's appetite for revs...

1999 Yamaha R7 Radiator

From the original eBay listing: 1999 Yamaha YZF-R7 OW02 for Sale

The bike is in excellent mechanical and cosmetic condition with only 6490 Kilometers (4032 Miles). The Yamaha YZF-R7 OW02 is a race homologation motorcycle of limited production run of only 500 units. It was designed to compete in the Superbike World Championship and Suzuka 8 Hours endurance races.

The second set of fuel injectors have been activated (only 4 of 8 are activated from the factory), also included are the supporting YEC kit parts:
carbon fiber airbox
velocity stacks
throttle and cables
fuel pump
fuel regulator

I also have the OEM versions of these parts.

When the power is turned on to the bike, the oil light flashes 5 times, meaning the ECU supports
all 8 fuel injectors being activated.

This R7 had the crank recall done at Wilson Yamaha in Fresno California where the bike was originally purchased.

Also, this R7 is titled and plated in CA. There are no back DMV fees due, the bike is in non-operation status.

I also have the factory assembly manual and YEC kit manual.

1999 Yamaha R7 R Side Peg

As is so often the case, I'd love some better photographs: seriously, if you upload them and realize they're kinda blurry, you can go back and reshoot them. Especially if you're expecting top-dollar for your bike.

And with a Buy It Now price of $22,000 the seller certainly is. Although with some pretty serious bidding going on, it looks like the market isn't caring so much about those poor-quality photos...


1999 Yamaha R7 R Side

Second Coming: 1999 Yamaha YZF-R7 OW02 for Sale
Aprilia August 5, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Track Only Two-Stroke: 2002 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

2002 Aprilia RS250 Track L Side

Bike's like Aprilia's high-strung RS250 two-stroke is really this website's raison d'être: specifications that speak to an almost single-minded pursuit of speed, race-bred bodywork, rarity, and an exotic nameplate. The icing on the cake is that the RS250 is relatively attainable, if you are willing to accept the compromises inherent in such a focused design.

2002 Aprilia RS250 Track Swingarm

Powered by a modified RGV250 two-stroke v-twin tuned to about 60hp, with a dry weight of about 300lbs, the bike featured powerful brakes, a beautifully-sculpted "banana" swingarm, and virtually unlimited cornering-clearance. Power was typical two-stroke all-or-nothing and guaranteed intimate rider involvement if any sort of progress was required.

2002 Aprilia RS250 Track Front Wheel

This example is even more single-minded in that it makes no pretense of being road-legal. That may frustrate some, but the RS250 makes a pretty poor roadbike and the purity-of-purpose is appealing: the bike looks especially sharp with those fairings uncluttered by signals or a headlight, and with the waspish tail unmarred by tail lamp or plate.

2002 Aprilia RS250 Track Rear

From the original eBay listing: 2002 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

This bike is in very good condition has been sitting in the living room for most of its life. Track ready and prepped by Steve Biganski. If your looking for a dependable 2-stroke this is the one for you!

Hm... Well if it's been sitting in a living room most of its life, I'm not sure how dependable we can expect it to be...

The Buy It Now for this RS250 is set at $6,500 which seems on the high side for an untitled bike, but this does appear to be in spotless condition from what I can see, although I'd request a few more detailed before anteing up that kind of cash. The question is: will the next owner want to risk this unmolested machine on track?

Here's hoping the answer is "yes."


2002 Aprilia RS250 Track Tank

Track Only Two-Stroke: 2002 Aprilia RS250 for Sale
Ducati August 4, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Four-Valve Genesis: Pristine 1991 Ducati 851 for Sale

1991 Ducati 851 Front

Long forgotten in the wake of the 916, the Ducati 851 and 888 have seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, likely because they are seen as the genesis of Ducati's four-valve, liquid-cooled v-twin superbikes that may have reached its apex with the Panigale: Ducati is struggling in WSBK and there is talk of a move to a V4 format in the future, which would likely mean a V4 roadgoing superbike as well...

1991 Ducati 851 Tail

Ducati L-twins have always been fundamentally tough machines. Designed to handle the rigors of the track, the roadbikes were always relatively understressed, and while the air/oil-cooled two-valve engines can be tuned to make significantly more power for the track, they're still unable to compete against liquid-cooled, four-valve four cylinder engines.

1991 Ducati 851 Fairing

In order to stay relevant in racing and, by extension, in showrooms, Ducati needed a new bike to compete in the fledgling World Superbike Championship. The 1987 Ducati 851 was the result and while the skin was all-new and modern, it was what lay beneath that was most important. Based on the existing air/oil cooled engine, but now with four-valve heads and a radiator strapped to the front, the newly-dubbed "Desmoquattro" put out 93hp at the rear wheel along with the healthy midrange you'd expect from an Italian twin.

1991 Ducati 851 Clocks

The bike was successful and quite literally put Ducati on the modern performance map, going toe-to-toe with the best Japan had to offer on track and on the road. It was followed by the similarly-styled 888 that featured, surprise-surprise, an 888cc engine, before being replaced by the significantly redesigned and restyled 916.

1991 Ducati 851 Seat

This 851 is one of the nicest and definitely one of the best-photographed bikes we've featured recently. It's a stunning, low-mileage, one-owner bike that's largely stock, other than the slick, vintage Fast By Ferracci cans, making it perfect for collectors.

1991 Ducati 851 Pipe

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Ducati 851 for Sale

One owner! Brand new condition!
NO Dings, NO Dents, NO Scratches, NEVER Put Down!
Fast By Ferracci Exhaust!
Corbin Seat!
Bike is new... Nothing more to say!

1991 Ducati 851 Tank

With just two days left on the auction, bidding has been active so far, although well below the $11,999 Buy It Now price. That's certainly big money for an 851, buy you'd be hard-pressed to find a nicer, lower-mileage example: at just 3,500 miles, this thing hasn't even seen its first valve-check yet. And you'd easily spend that much to get a shoddy example into this kind of shape. If you're looking for a nearly perfect 851 to complete your four-valve collection, this is your bike.


1991 Ducati 851 R Side

Four-Valve Genesis: Pristine 1991 Ducati 851 for Sale