Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Sport Bikes For Sale October 25, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

South African Smoker: 1996 Honda NSR 250 SE MC28

1996 Honda NSR250R R Side Front

The NSR250R was the road-legal version of Honda’s NSR250 race bike, and includes the requisite lighting, mirrors, and speedometer/warning lights generally required for use on the street. Detuned for road use, the 250 two-stroke v-twin produced about 45hp, but could easily be de-restricted for significantly improved power. With as much as 60hp pushing a sub 300lb, typically featherweight stroker sportbike, these are not learner bikes and pack razor’s-edge handling and power delivery no one weaned on sporty, small-displacement four-strokes is likely ready to handle, and include some very high-end features like that sexy single-sided swingarm and an aluminum beam frame.

1996 Honda NSR250R R Side Rear

With a crackling, popping exhaust that sounds evil and crude at idle and just plain evil at full-chat, two-stroke sportbikes like this require commitment to access their relatively narrow band of performance, especially on the road, and their addictive high-strung manners make them favorites of budding racers and wannabe track heroes the world over, and their motorsports legacy makes them the favorite of race fans and collectors.

1996 Honda NSR250R Tools

Often, these show up on RSBFS in race-replica livery like the classic “Rothman’s” blue, white, red, and gold or the more familiar “Repsol” colors. This particular example is decked out in very period jagged and garish Honda paint that may make some feel nostalgic and others vaguely nauseous…

From the very sparse original eBay listing: 1996 Honda NSR 250SE MC28 for Sale in South Africa

Standard original condition. Collectors item.
Shipping can either be arranged by seller or buyer depending on the buyers preference. 

With three days left on the listing and no takers as yet at the $8,500 Buy-It-Now price, it might behoove the seller to include more information and some additional pictures if he/she decides to relist it. While this looks to be complete, it’s hard to tell from the description if it’s a runner or not. Depending on how this shakes out in terms of price, this might be a great, useable example of the breed

As it’s coming in from Cape Town, South Africa, make sure you check with local laws before bidding if you plan to register it for road use. Otherwise, put that road-equipment in a box in your garage and hit the track!


1996 Honda NSR250R R Side

South African Smoker: 1996 Honda NSR 250 SE MC28
BMW October 22, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Quirky, Low-Profile Fun: 2007 BMW R1200S for Sale

2007 BMW R1200S R Side

The term “sportbike” isn’t really one that has an absolute definition. It’s more of a loose set of parameters intended to capture an idea, and while most of us generally understand what we all mean when we use the word, there’s still plenty of room for interpretation. Ducati thinks a sportbike should be something ruthlessly dedicated to speed, a track and race machine with only the barest concessions to road use: if your Sunday morning canyon road is more than thirty miles from home, better invest in a gel seat and a good masseuse. Bikes like BMW’s R1200S take the idea of a sporting motorcycle in an entirely different direction.

2007 BMW R1200S R Side Rear

Until the S1000RR came along, BMW had a bit of a different philosophy for their sportbikes. Like Ducati, they wanted to keep their trademark powerplant, in this case a big, horizontally-opposed, air-cooled twin. Unlike Ducati, they felt that comfort should be a part of the equation. What they came up with was what seems at first like an oxymoron: a “practical sportbike”. While you can argue that a GSX-R750 is also extremely practical and reasonably comfortable, it wasn’t available with ABS, doesn’t quite have the character of a twin or the more mature, low-profile image. Let’s face it: “crotch-rockets” definitely attract more heat than less squidly rides. And when you’re out on the road, trying to avoid being hassled by The Man, keeping a bit of a low-profile can be a good thing.

And you really can’t get a whole lot more low-profile than a silver BMW.

2007 BMW R1200S L Side Head

I actually prefer the dash on the earlier model, but this restyle gives the bike a more butch, angular look. I remember when the first-generation R1200S was introduced, some artist or other whipped up a bunch of alternative paint schemes I saw posted in a bike magazine that incorporated some great WWII warplane motifs and iconography, which would have looked even more appropriate on this second-generation bodywork.

From the original eBay listing: 2007 BMW R1200S for Sale

For Sale is a rare, Fun BMW R1200S. Only brought into the US for one year! It's comfortable, Sporty and can keep up with most sportbikes. It has the Full Remus Exhaust, an MWR Racing High Efficiency Airfilter and a Bazzaz Z-fi Fueling controller (She dyno's at a nice 115 hp!!) Also installed a C2 Slipper clutch to keep the rearend under control along with R&G Racing Axle and Swingarm sliders along with Carbon/Kevlar Engine sliders and a nice tidy tail to slim up the rearend. Also has a Hyperpro RSC Steeering damper.  Has fresh brake pads and Dunlop Q2's on it with only about a sixth of thier life used. Odometer is sitting at about 17,000 miles. last service was at 12,000 miles (Due again at 18,000). Also included are all the Specific tools you need for general up keep and a GS-911 Diagnostic tool (Bluetooth!!! Works with your iPhone or Android phone!!). I also have a set of Drop in High Compression pistons I never installed that I will include for an additional Amount. This model has the Showa Suspension. It does not have ABS. (ALL THE BETTER TO DRIVE MY DEAR!!)  There are a couple small scratches in the Paint on the body work on the tail. The windscreen has spots on it from Brake fluid. The only other thing worth mentioning is the small chips in the finish of the rear wheel (pictured in the last photo).

This particular example does not have ABS which, to my mind is probably a mark against it: most riders can benefit from that additional safety margin everywhere except the track [where it can be switched off], an environment for which this bike isn’t particularly suited anyway. It’s a bit too heavy, and BMW’s Telelever front suspension has been lauded for its stability under braking but often criticized for a lack of front-end feel. I’ve only ever ridden one BMW with this suspension, a big K1300S, and the movement of the bars was weirdly light, like a sports car with overboosted power steering.

2007 BMW R1200S Exhaust

This R1200S does have a steering-damper, an aftermarket slipper-clutch, and a single-outlet Remus exhaust that looks very cool and should give the bike some much-needed aggression. BMW’s twins have more of a flat drone than other sporty twins, but it’s distinctive and should sound very authoritative as it goes past. 115hp is nothing to sneeze at, since it should be backed up by plenty of midrange as well.

$10,000 does sound pretty steep for one of these, but I haven’t been pricing them lately. There are still a few days left on this listing, so make an offer! All-in-all, a pretty cool, unusual sportbike with all-day comfort for people who plan to do most of their riding on the road.


2007 BMW R1200S L Side

Quirky, Low-Profile Fun: 2007 BMW R1200S for Sale
Yamaha October 20, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Smoking Smoker: 1980 Yamaha TZ350 with Nico Bakker Frame for Sale

1980 Yamaha TZ350 R Side

I seem to be headed backwards in time with my recent posts… This Yamaha TZ350 is a little bit older than I’d normally write about here, but was too cool to pass up.

Yamaha’s water-cooled TZ bikes were pure production roadrace motorcycles with no direct street versions. Weighing in at about 250 pounds [dry] with about 65hp, they were produced between 1973 and 1981. The TZ350 went through a number of iterations, coded “A” through “H,” with constant improvements to keep them competitive.

In 1976, the first major revisions to the frame appeared, and used a monoshock rear suspension that replaced the early dual-shock version. This particular bike, however, does away with the factory frame and substitutes a very cool piece from Danish specialist Nicco Bakker.

1980 Yamaha TZ350 R Side Unfaired

Interesting, while the Nico Bakker frame is a rare, high-performance accessory, it may also have been necessary: the “F” and “G” model TZ350’s apparently had a tendency to fail around the headstock, due to the thinner-gauge tubing used, requiring reinforcement or replacement.

In either case, Nico Bakker is well-known for his racing efforts, although he had a hand in developing the Zane-era Laverda roadbike frames as well, and while those bikes do have their flaws, the frame is definitely not one of them.

1980 Yamaha TZ350 L Side Unfaired

From the original eBay listing: 1980 Yamaha TZ350 with Nico Bakker Frame for Sale

This bike won the Latino American Championship 1980 Rider Eduardo Aleman
Special frame “Nico Bakker” Holland-made, the best aftermarket complete frame for TZ250/350 in this years.
Special Yamaha TZ350 engine, very fast, 6 transfers [a reference to the 6-port cylinders that were introduced on the 1979 model? -td]
Special Krober ignition and Krober electronic tachometer
Special Yamaha big radiator for better cooling and more power
Special 18” magnesium wheels “Campagnolo and 3 aluminum Zanzani floating disc brakes with Yamaha magnesium calipers and Brembo front radial pump.
Special pipes.
Very light bike: 75% Poggipolini titanium and ergal bolts.
This bike was rebuilt with new seals, bearings, rings, etc. Ready to race.
We also have other same bike and frame, no speical parts $13,999USD+ shipping worldwide

I normally try to reprint the original eBay listing as posted, but the editor in me couldn’t keep from making some updates/translation to make it readable...

There are a few days left on the listing, and the bike is being offered at $15,999. If you’re looking for a classic racer to actually ride, this might be the ticket: with just enough racing history to be cool, and lots of cool go-fast bits.


1980 Yamaha TZ350 L Side

Smoking Smoker: 1980 Yamaha TZ350 with Nico Bakker Frame for Sale
Ducati October 17, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Low-Mileage Italian: 1988 Ducati 750 F1 for Sale

1988 Ducati 750F1 L Side

Okay, so here's the thing: all of my early opinions about the 750 F1 were informed by Mick Walker's Illustrated Ducati Buyer's guide where the bike got one freaking star. I’m not sure where I put my copy, so don’t crucify me if I got that bit wrong, or if you have an updated edition where he revised his opinion, but it really stuck out in my mind.

The review absolutely hated the F1: “uncomfortable, extremely unreliable, and slow,” were words I remember being applied, with a big heaping of distain…

1988 Ducati 750F1 Dash

Powered by a 750cc version of Ducati’s air-cooled, two-valve Desmo v-twin, the F1 was styled after the TT1 and TT2 race bikes. The Pantah engine is eminently tunable to make serious power, and many of the criticisms leveled at the bike can be rectified. Early bikes were definitely down on power and quality, but gradual improvements improved the package, and the 1988 bikes are generally considered to be the best of the bunch.

1988 Ducati 750F1 L Front

These occupy a very interesting place in Ducati history, as they form a bit of a bridge between the older BatBike-looking Pantah models and the much more modern 900SS bikes. In addition, the bike’s rarity has caused values to skyrocket in recent years: for a long time, you could get one of these for less than the price of a good 900SS/CR. But looking at the asking price on this example, you can see just how much that’s changed.

1988 Ducati 750F1 L Grip

The original eBay post reads a bit like a poetry slam and includes lyrics from Chris deBurgh’s “Lady in Red” [seriously]. Excerpted from the full listing: 1988 Ducati 750 F1 for Sale

another RARE beast
that came to AMERICA!!!
the beloved F1

3188 original miles
original dated (dot) coded tires to prove it
close to MINT


fluids have been drained for
about SIX years. seafoam creeper
used in tank and pumpers. this was also the
last time it was running. what's it sound like.....
exactly like a 427 corvette
NO KIDDING-ask the neighbors

missing bits and pieces, but very, very original.
wrong exhaust (but i love em)

It’s great that the seller is so passionate about the bike. But what "bits and pieces are missing"? And what extras are included? He also may be overstating the "stunning Italian craftsmanship" a bit in ALL CAPS and, as a carbed, air-cooled Duck owner, I'm not sure if calling the bike “high-maintenance” is a good selling point, or even true. Definitely a case where grinning, hard-sell enthusiasm may be getting in the way of important details…

1988 Ducati 750F1 L Engine

There's something a bit crude about the F1, something sort of clunky-looking, but these do make a staggering bellow when breathing through open pipes: I saw one at a track day recently with a pair of oval high-mount pipes and fresh paint that looked and sounded the business.

With 5 days left on the listing and a $24,500 asking price, this seems very high, even considering the 3,200 miles on the clock. Although with plenty of lurkers… sorry, I mean "watchers," who knows what this will go for and what the seller might accept as a best offer.


1988 Ducati 750F1 R Side

Low-Mileage Italian: 1988 Ducati 750 F1 for Sale
Honda October 14, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Fresh From the Crate: 1989 Honda RS250

1989 Honda RS250 R Side

Here in the good ol’ US of A, 250cc motorcycles are generally lumped in with scooters in terms of the respect they get. And while scooters may be fun to ride, no one wants to be seen doing it. And two-strokes? Emissions legislation killed those by the early 1980’s so most Americans’ experience with smokers involves knobby tires and Renthal bars.

But if you’re a racing fan, or grew up in Europe, bikes like this Honda RS250 would have you drooling like a squid over a turbocharged Hayabusa with a ghost flame paint job. At a recent track day, I came across a beautiful Rothman’s NSR250R that attracted plenty of attention, although everyone gawking at it seemed to be speaking with a funny accent…

1989 Honda RS250 Engine

1989 Honda RS250 for sale on eBay

Make no mistake, the RS250 is no joke. It’s no learner bike, or inexpensive track ride: it’s a pure racing motorcycle, and needs the upkeep you’d expect of a GP machine. Powered by a nearly square 54x54.5mm two-stroke v-twin that snarled out over 90hp and weighed 223lbs dry.

1989 Honda RS250 Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda RS250 for Sale

A truly unique opportunity!

This is a brand new, never ridden Honda RS250 Grand Prix bike from 1989. It has been kept in one owners collection on display from new. As the photographs show it is in exceptional condition apart from some age-related deterioration (tyres cracked etc.) and fading at places on the fairing where at some point it had stickers. The build quality of these GP Honda's is stunning and as would be expected everything is totally original down to the original Japanese factory warning stickers!

This is sure to be a great investment as prices for GP 2-strokes continue to rise.

1989 Honda RS250 Clutch

While on paper it seems like this RS250 be comparable to more familiar RGV or TZ, the Honda is generally considered to be less privateer-friendly because of its very high state of tune, with a harder edge and a less-forgiving nature.

Of course, you may not be worried about riding this one, since riding it would basically ruin the fact that it’s basically a brand-new motorcycle from 1989…

1989 Honda RS250 Airbox

Bidding is up over $17,500 with a bit more time left on the auction. It’s located in the UK, but the seller is ready to ship the bike anywhere in the world.


1989 Honda RS250 L Side

Fresh From the Crate: 1989 Honda RS250
Moto Guzzi October 10, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Italian Thunder: 1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100

1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 R Side

The story of Guzzi’s 1100 Sport is a bit like the story of Judas Priest and Tim “Ripper” Owens, but with motorcycles. It’s the story of an unlikely amateur being asked to join the big boys on stage, and in this case the "unlikely amateur" was former-dentist-turned-endurance-racing-guru Dr. John Wittner.

Wittner’s heavily-modified Guzzis were very successful in the mid-1980s, running endurance and ProTwins series events in the United States. Asked by Guzzi to develop a new top-of-the-range superbike that incorporated what he’d learned about engines and suspensions during his time in the trenches, Wittner’s Daytona featured the first use of Guzzi’s new-ish four-valve engine and spine-frame that proved a worthy successor to the Tonti-framed bikes that preceded it.

1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 L Side Rear

By the mid-90’s the bike was followed by the lower-spec, lower-priced Sport 1100 powered by Guzzi’s 1064cc two-valve engine that I’m going to insist is longitudinal, not transverse, since the crankshaft runs longitudinally. I don’t care what Wikipedia or Guzzi’s own website says.

1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 Dash

Often criticized for being "agricultural", Guzzis can be an acquired taste: if you're used to clinical precision, you might hate this bike. And while shaft drive is durable and low-maintenance, it contributes to an overall heavy bike. The motor makes a respectable 90hp but, more importantly, a mountain of torque. Which is a good thing, since the gearbox has only 5 speeds and isn’t exactly famed for being pleasant to use…

1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 Front and Rear

Best to just stick it in third or fourth and worry about clipping apexes. Excellent suspension components lend confidence and stability, if not agility, and top-of-the line period Brembos give solid, predictable stopping, although weight hampers the overall performance. The shaft-drive torque reaction is a little weird at first if you're not expecting it, but you quickly get used to the slightly asymmetrical  feeling in corners.

Get a Guzzi into a fast road groove and it can keep up with much lighter, higher-strung machines. With plenty of cornering clearance, stability, and long legs, the Sport 1100 is really more of a GT and less of a race-replica.

1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 Front Wheel

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport for Sale

Here is a very clean 1997 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport. Comes with the original owner’s manual and a clean title ready to go.

The bike has just a little over 31000 miles on it, it is all checked over, and has a brand new battery, fuel pump and fluids. Very nice carbon fiber exhaust sounds excellent as well.

I was used to old Guzzi 850's before this one and man these 1100's are fun.  Very high performance oriented, this Guzzi even looks fast. A very good handling machine, tons of life left in her and the value will only increase. This bike is the fuel injected model and is very nice!

I am very busy with all of my vintage builds and have decided to let a pair of these modern 1100's go to someone who will enjoy them.

I love these bikes, and I love how the half-fairing shows off that hulking engine and transmission. Two-valve Guzzis are very tough bikes, and valve adjustments are a snap, with those cylinder heads sticking out in the breeze! As a bonus, those carbon cans should make a seriously stunning roar: Guzzi twins make a truly epic noise when uncorked. Unfortunately, this example does feature the US-spec headlight. I really love the 1100 Sport, but I’d be scrounging up a trapezoidal Euro unit as soon as possible if I had this in my garage.

Only problem I see here, aside from that headlight, is that Guzzi eagle on the tank: my buddy has a Guzzi, and people keep asking him "what kind of Harley is that?"


1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 R Side Rear

Italian Thunder: 1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100