Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Kawasaki June 27, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Clean and Green: 1989 Kawasaki ZX-7 H1 for Sale

1989 Kawasaki ZX7 H1 R Side Front

Although the ZXR-750/ZX-7 H1 often gets overlooked in favor of the GSX-R from the same time period, the Kawasaki was a worthy competitor. The bike was powered by a 749cc inline-four that produced 105hp, a number that looks unimpressive in light of today's sport bikes, but was on par with the Gixxer and YZF.

1989 Kawasaki ZX7 H1 L Side

Interestingly, while Honda sold their purpose-built RC30 race bike in extremely limited quantities, Suzuki built their dry-clutch "LE" Gixxers, and Yamaha built their exotic-under-the-skin OW01, Kawasaki offered no comparable homologation-special edition of the ZXR. Instead, they offered a whole range of race parts owners could use to compete at virtually every level of racing, an unusually grassroots approach.

1989 Kawasaki ZX7 H1 Dash

Kawasakis of the period felt long and low, and were famed for their mid-corner stability and feel. Riding this today, you'd never mistake it for a modern sportbike: if the stretched-out position and low seat height weren't obvious, those HVAC-looking ram-air tubes would certainly give it away...

1989 Kawasaki ZX7 H1 Front

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Kawasaki ZX-7 H1 for Sale

I purchased this bike to bring to motorcycle shows and take out to local bike nights as a fun classic Superbike. If your looking at this listing you are probably already aware how rare and hard to find these 89 ZX-7 H1's are. It's very hard to let this one go, but I've decided to sell this motorcycle and channel the funds into another motorcycle project.


Only 20,559 miles

Very rare and collectable motorcycle.

Nice condition cosmetically. Not perfect, but very clean for a 1989.

Motorcycle runs and rides with no engine or transmission issues I can detect.

Newer Michelin Pilot Power tires. Less than 2 years old with very few miles on them.

Yoshimura exhaust that is period correct for the age of the bike.

Clean and clear title.

Original owners manual included.

This is a motorcycle that is becoming very collectable as a superbike over 20 years old. It is a survivor in good condition. The motorcycle does have some minor marks, wear, and scratches. The bike starts, runs, and rides. I have not gone through the bike thoroughly to inspect all mechanics. There may be some service necessary. Listing bike as accurately as possible based on what I know.

1989 Kawasaki ZX7 H1 R Side Rear

Aside from the "Alpinestars" decals and the questionably-located flush-mount signals, this is a very clean bike, and looks very original, just as the description indicates. These bikes were made to be ridden, and while it always seems a shame to spoil some pristine, low-mileage bike by actually using it, bikes like this one allow the owner to rack up the miles guilt-free, all the while enjoying the bike as Kawasaki intended.

1989 Kawasaki ZX7 H1 L Side Front

Not much time left on this listing, so move quickly if this strikes your fancy. The Buy It Now price of $5,500 it seems a bit on the high-side [pun!], but not outrageously so. These are seemingly thin on the ground recently, and are often in pretty shabby condition when you can find them. These have been increasing in value of late and, while they're hardly as rare as the Bimotas and Ducatis we often feature, Japanese sportbikes of this era have a very strong following among older riders who owned one new or wish they had, and young riders with a taste for lurid green paint jobs.


1989 Kawasaki ZX7 H1 R Side

Clean and Green: 1989 Kawasaki ZX-7 H1 for Sale
Aprilia June 27, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Two-Stroke Race-Rep: 2000 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

2000 Aprilia RS250 L Side

While Europeans have always been neck-deep in the whole Moto GP-thing as embodied by bikes like the Aprilia RS250, here in the US where flat-track and drag-racing are king, fans of whippy two-stroke race-replicas had to work a bit harder to get their fix, at least before the advent of the internet... But even US motorcyclists are generally familiar with the RS250, even if they've never heard of the Suzuki RGV250 that donated it's engine and transmission.

2000 Aprilia RS250 Front

Introduced in 1995 and styled to mimic Aprilia's dominant 1993 race bike, the RS250 was kick-start-only and powered by a two-stroke 90° v-twin cribbed from the aforementioned Suzuki, but tuned to produce a claimed 60hp. The powerband is short and spiky, even with modern two-stroke technology to plump up the mid-range, meaning you have to work the gearbox to make fast progress.

For those new to these little snarly beasts, it's important to remember that, while 60hp sounds unimpressive, that's coming from a mere 249cc's and motivating a bike that weights just 309 pounds dry. And it's that light weight, not the power that really makes the RS250 so much fun.

2000 Aprilia RS250 Dash

While many four-stroke bikes will leave you for dead in a straight line, the RS250 can run rings around them in the corners in the hands of a skilled rider, giving them true giant-killing potential. Everything on the bike is optimized for cornering. Take a look at that famous, funky "banana" swingarm: it was designed to allow room for the bulky exhaust expansion chambers to tuck in close and give good cornering clearance on the exhaust side of the bike.

2000 Aprilia RS250 Rear

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

I have for sale a ultra rare 2000 Aprilia RS250 , this is not a Challenge Cup bike, this one came from the factory roadworthy, 17 digit VIN, and clean title, this bike came from Japan to the U.S in 05/06 I have some history paperwork on it , from Japan , it then went to a museum in Wisconsin and that's where I got it from, any questions u can email or text or call 919-413-5185

The bike has 10000km/6000miles on it, brand new tires and chain.

The seat has a little tear in it, and one exhaust can has a scratch on it, and that's the only thing wrong on this bike.

It's worth noting all the cool stuff this seller also has in their collection, judging from what you can see in the background... holy hell, this guy has a Magni Sfidia! I'll wait while you all Google that. Wow, that's a serious bit of exotica, right there.

Anyway, back to the Aprilia.

2000 Aprilia RS250 Front Wheel

The bike isn't perfect, but looks just slightly used, not crashed: that scrape on the exhaust looks more like a moving accident than a low-side. Also, I'd be looking to replace those stock bits with some little carbon tubes anyway. The original listing also includes a couple pictures of the Japanese documentation. Obviously, it's a really good idea to check with your local DMV before purchase, to make sure there won't be any hassles

As I've stated in the past, I much prefer the earlier RS250's. The dual seat on this era bike looks awkward to me, incorporated into the downward-sloping speed-hump, and an RS250 is a pretty unlikely passenger-carrying bike anyway.


2000 Aprilia RS250 R Side

Two-Stroke Race-Rep: 2000 Aprilia RS250 for Sale
Ducati June 22, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Retro Looks, Modern Handling: 2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE

2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000 R Front

Just 500 of the classically-proportioned Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE bikes were imported to the US, with silver half-faired bodywork and a blue-green frame intended to recall the bike ridden to victory by Paul Smart at the Imola 200 in 1972, a win without which Ducati might not exist.

Modern retro-styled bikes often use their throwback looks to justify performance to match. Harley's Sportster is obviously the worst offender, but the Triumph Bonneville, while an all-around great motorcycle, is hardly a performer when the road gets twisty. The thing is, although the Ducati Sport Classics weren't cutting-edge sport bikes in terms of weight or power, they did feature top-shelf suspension and braking components so they are actually rewarding to ride quickly and use one of the most charismatic and long-serving engines of all time: Ducati's belt-driven, two-valve, air-cooled L-twin. In the Sport Classic, it displaces 992cc and uses twin-plug heads for more efficient combustion across the honking big piston surface.

2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000 L Rear

For your consideration today is this very nice Paul Smart 1000LE that features the truly lust-worthy Zard dual exhaust. Seriously, I want one of the original solo-seat Sport Classics just so I can fit one of those exhausts. They look cool as all get-out and sound amazing as well. I also love that very slick LED taillamp that cleans up the look of the rear and is almost invisible, while providing you with all the "hey I'm stopping" and turn-indicator-y-ness of the original units, but with less overtly retro styling.

2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000 R Engine

And let's not overlook those very trick Beringer front brakes, although I'm not sure the original Brembo units were actually lacking in stopping power...

2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000 Front Brake

Feel free to check out the original eBay listing if you like itemized grocery lists of aftermarket part prices and boring copy-paste manufacturer's spec sheets with, let's face it, relatively unimpressive [on paper] specifications...

2006 Ducati Sport Classic Paul Smart 1000 for Sale

As much as Terblanche's Sport Classics didn't sell all that well when new, once the initial rush of Ducatisti purchases was finished, they've held their value very well: bidding on this bike is over $18,000 with the reserve not yet met. Since new examples rang in at $14,000, that means that, unlike buyers of, say the MV Agusta F4CC, the original owners of the Paul Smart are just about breaking even now...

2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000 Seat

Most riders aren't actually capable of exploiting a 1299 or even an 899 Panigale, much as they might love the style and heritage. And you pay a pretty hefty price in terms of comfort, insurance, and maintenance if you choose the superbike style over the real-world performance of something like this.

A Sport Classic allows you to have your cake and eat it too, offering an effective blend of modern design and vintage styling cues, along with performance that is real-world fast, and enough handling to embarrass unsuspecting squids on a Sunday morning ride.


2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000 L Front

Retro Looks, Modern Handling: 2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE
Yamaha June 21, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Buzzy Little Bee: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

1985 Yamaha RZ350 R Front

Yamaha made a name for itself in the US building giant-killing two-stroke parallel twins that powered the RD and later RZ models like this 1985 RZ350. The 347cc engine reatured liquid-cooling and made over 40hp stock, with plenty more available with careful tuning. While Honda largely focused on their heavy, but very sophisticated two and four-cylinder CB motorcycles, Yamaha's whippy little two-strokes terrorized backroads and race tracks all over American and Europe, creating a cult following that persists to this day.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 L Side

Two-strokes have never lacked top-end power, but their light-switch power delivery left something to be desired for street riders and, in th 1980's Acronym Wars, the "power valve" was born. Yamaha's version was, of course, known as the YPVS that used a computer to adjust the exhaust ports. The "Yamaha Power Valve System" plumped up the midrange of the raspy little two-stroke, meaning you could have your cake and eat it, too. Assuming you didn't mind a little blue smoke in your eyes...
1985 Yamaha RZ350 Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

The 1985 Kenny Roberts Edition RZ350LC offered here is one of the quite rare leftover models with revised graphics that somewhat resembled the 1983 UK versions, but with gold rims and the Kenny Roberts signature, originally sold as an RZ350NC2 in California only from late 1985-6. It has been owned from new by only two enthusiasts and has been very tastefully modified with an original 1985 full fairing and Corbin Gunfighter single seat. Mechanically, the hugely desirable Pro-Design Cool Head was installed for increased cooling, and a Toomey exhaust.

The bike runs exceptionally well. It starts easily, idles well and has great power delivery. It shifts through all gears perfectly with a good clutch. Suspension feels taut and the brakes work very well, front and rear. Cosmetically the bike is in good condition with the usual scuffs of a bike with 17,000 miles, that is 32 years old.

The bike comes with a clean, clear California title and a substantial box of spare parts, including stock fairing, original exhaust pipes, turn signals, etc.

These are not bikes for the inexperienced or faint-hearted, with huge wheelie-popping performance on tap when the revs rise.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 Pipe

This particular RZ350 features a very stylish full-fairing that I've seen on several bikes for sale recently. I'm not sure if it was a factory option or not but, painted to match, makes for a very nice machine with light weight and bike-bike style. Parts availability to keep an RZ running should be no problem, but the included spare parts is just icing on the cake.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 Engine


A price of $6,900 means you're looking at the higher-end in terms of pricing for these, but it looks like you're getting a well cared-for, thoughtfully-improved, and very practical classic for your money.


1985 Yamaha RZ350 L Rear

Buzzy Little Bee: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale
Ducati June 20, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Weapons-Grade: 2014 Ducati Superleggera for Sale

2014 Ducati Superleggera L SideUnless you have access to one of NCR's Desmosedici-based bikes, there is quite literally nothing on the road like the Ducati Superleggera. The idea is simple: take the Panigale 1199R and take a cost-no-object approach to making it perform better. Basically one-off every mass-produced component, un-cut every corner.

2014 Ducati Superleggera R Side Front

I wonder if there's even any steel left on this bike: literally everything possible has been replaced with magnesium, aluminum, titanium, or carbon-fiber to pare down weight to the absolute minimum: even that little vestigial bit of frame that forms the airbox/headstock and attaches to the front cylinder [with titanium bolts, naturally] is made from magnesium. And the engine saw the same sort of internal changes, with Pankl rods, titanium valves, and even a crankshaft with tungsten counterweights that allow a massive 12,500rpm redline for the huge v-twin. 2014 Ducati Superleggera Tank

And it obviously worked. With a full tank of gas and all necessary lubricants, the Superleggera weighs in under 400lbs, including lights and mirrors, supposedly 30lbs less than the R, while producing almost 190hp at the rear wheel.

With a factory warranty.

2014 Ducati Superleggera R Side RearFrom the original eBay listing: 2014 Ducati Superleggera for Sale

 The most technically advanced 200 horsepower motorcycle ever featuring an 1198cc L-twin with 4 valves per cylinder, magnesium semi-monocoque frame, adjustable Ohlins suspension, magnesium ally wheels mounted on Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tires, selectable power and rider modes and weighing in at 341 pounds dry this is an incredible street legal race bike

I get annoyed by this kind of pointless hyperbole, mixed in with some random features chosen at random and used incorrectly. I mean, Ducati superbikes have had 4-valves per cylinder since the 851, and who cares about what tires you've got fitted? If you're trying to sell a $60,000 motorcycle, this is the kind of stuff to get right. Look guys, if you don't know that much about this stuff, just keep it simple and sexy:

This Superleggera is one seriously exclusive Ducati: just 500 made worldwide, and only 200 came to the US. It features the very best of everything and combines the most powerful, technically advanced v-twin engine ever with the lightest weight of any production superbike. Literally dripping with carbon fiber, magnesium, and titanium parts, this is the most exotic production motorcycle ever built. Throw your Rizoma catalog in the trash: you won't need it for this bike.

There, fixed it for you.

On the upside, the listing does include a bunch of very drool-worthy pictures and, since you've all probably read multiple articles on these anyway, that's probably what you really wanted anyway. 2014 Ducati Superleggera Rear ShockThis one has just 5 miles on the clock, but at least someone out there is riding these: walking home from the grocery store last week in Los Angeles, I got buzzed by one that was blasting down Santa Monica Boulevard. And if you were wondering, that red isn't really red, exactly. It's fluorescent red, like Dainese uses on some of their race suits. It's like half-way between regular Ducati red and the fluorescent orange you'd expect on a traffic worker's safety vest.

It's very striking, to say the least. It glows...

-tad 2014 Ducati Superleggera R Side


Weapons-Grade: 2014 Ducati Superleggera for Sale
Aprilia June 19, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Road-Legal Two-Stroke: 2001 Aprilia RS250

2001 Aprilia RS250 L FrontBuilt between 1994 and 2004, the Aprilia RS250 has justifiably developed a cult following among dedicated corner-carvers and track rats. It's the quintessential "giant killer," wrapping an impossibly lightweight frame and sleek bodywork around a very compact, 250cc powerplant yanked straight out of Suzuki's RGV250, with brakes designed to stop a much heavier motorcycle. That means you get sexy Italian bodywork and handling in a sub-300lb dry weight package, with Suzuki's vast engineering knowhow and easy parts availability. Which is great, considering you'll be needing new pistions every 6,000 miles or so...

2001 Aprilia RS250 NoseIt wasn't all that long ago that Grand Prix motorcycle racing at all levels featured dirty, dirty two-stroke engines. But with those emissions-unfriendly powerplants rapidly falling out of favor all over the world in favor of durable, eco-friendly four-strokes, the two-stroke has seen a rapid decline. And although track days are more popular than ever, most people buying sportbikes will never see a race track, making two-strokes pointless for those motorcycle fans as well.

2001 Aprilia RS250 DashBut it's a shame: although the wider powerbands of four strokes have given rise to a whole range of tire-spinning riding styles in Moto GP, two-strokes are notoriously difficult to master, and their explosive, Jekyl/Hyde power delivery gives riders the satisfaction of achieving speed through skill, instead of a heavy right wrist.

2001 Aprilia RS250 L RearThis one looks to be in very good condition, with only minor cosmetic blemishes, and includes the very nice set of carbon-kevlar Arrow pipes, tucked in close under the stylish "banana" swingarm designed expressly to improve cornering clearance for the expansion chambers.

From the original eBay listing: 2001 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

For sale is a very nice factory street legal 2001 Aprilia RS250. 5500 Miles, Mototek 316cc kit, Barnett clutch, Arrow Exhaust system. Comes with manuals, touch up paint kit, tank, side fairings and front fairing OEM decal kit. Other spare parts as show in the photos. Motorcycle runs great.

Minor cosmetic blemishes…Championship decal on tank is missing a small section (comes with OEM replacement decal). Right hand lower fairing decal is not perfect (comes with OEM replacement decal). Scratch on top of tank. Gouge on left side of swingarm probably from swingarm stand. Some scratching on the frame near kick start and left side. See photos.

2001 Aprilia RS250 PipesMany RS250's in the US are untitled track bikes, so the fact that this example is road-legal is an added bonus. Although really, unless you live next to some really twisty roads, you're probably better off trailering your RS250 to trackdays, rather than riding it around town where its potential is completely wasted.

2001 Aprilia RS250 L FairingAs I've stated previously, I actually prefer the looks, graphics, and more traditional gauges of the earlier bikes, but you can't argue with the function of Aprilia's forward-looking dash seen here that includes a lap timer. The later design is a bit of an acquired taste: it looks like a retro-futuristic 1980's movie, and the kickstart only adds to the vintage two-stroke race-rep charm.

2001 Aprilia RS250 TailThe Aprilia RS250 is on my short list, although I want a pure track bike, which will hopefully keep prices below this one. With only a couple days left, there are zero bids at the starting price of $8,700. While that's on the higher side for RS250's, it doesn't seem out of line, especially for a road-legal bike.

What do you think?


2001 Aprilia RS250 R Front

Road-Legal Two-Stroke: 2001 Aprilia RS250