Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Ducati September 11, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Gilding the Lily: 1999 Ducati 996SPS

1999 Ducati 996SPS R Side

Look, they made a lot of Ducati 916/996/998’s over the years, and while they're truly iconic machines, they’re also kind of cliché, especially in stock form. Not that I don’t love them to pieces. I have every intention of owning one at some point.

Part of the reason for their ubiquity is the fact that they adorned the walls of every adolescent petrol-head and had a spot in the fantasy garage of every adult biker, so images of them are pretty much everywhere, often with naked models draped over them in suggestive poses. But as many as they made, the entire production of Tamburini’s masterpiece is still just a drop in the bucket, compared to all the GSX-R’s and Ninjas that were built. So while the 916/996/998 may seem cliché, they’re still quite rare in actual fact.

1999 Ducati 996SPS L Rear

Unleashed onto a completely stunned world in 1994, the 916 redefined sex on wheels for a generation of bike-enthusiasts. With an uncompromising ass-up, head-down riding position that made absolutely zero sense unless you were hanging off at more than 50° lean, nearly graphics-free flanks not quite hiding the signature trellis frame that flew in the face of beam-framed homogeny, and tucked-under-the-tail exhausts that roasted your ass, but provided nearly infinite cornering clearance, the blood-red 916 looked like nothing else on the road.

It was, in fact, so iconic, that it completely doomed the 749/999 bikes that followed, in spite of their being completely excellent motorcycles, and far more comfortable than their predecessors. The follow up 1098 took a step backwards in terms of design, looking like a softened and modernized 916. Basically, it was Ducati ripping itself off.

1999 Ducati 996SPS Front

While standard 996’s are currently the bargain of the 916 range, this is much more than a standard bike. Short of the homologation “R”, the SPS was the highest-spec bike in Ducati’s stable at the time, with lightweight wheels, an uprated engine, improved suspension, and an adjustable steering head. The 996 featured the same engine as the earlier 916SPS that actually displaced 996cc’s [are you still with me?] but with less weight, it generally feels [and is] much faster than the listed power would suggest. In typical Italian style, power quotes vary a bit, but let’s say “more than 120hp with a fat wedge of torque.”

1999 Ducati 996SPS Front and Dash

This particular example is probably making even more than that…

From the original eBay listing that reads like a Ducatisti Christmas wish-list: 1999 Ducati 996 SPS for Sale

Up for sale is a super clean and un abused 996 with only 45 original miles most of which are from dyno tuning. However, this is no ordinary 996, this bike has been fully modified with all of the best parts money could buy. Bike was purchased and immediately transported to Fast by Ferracci to have the engine blueprinted and all of the best parts installed. below is a list of what is done to the bike (take note there will be a different auction resembling this one for its sister bike, do not confuse when bidding)

Engine was blueprinted and below parts were installed
Ducati performance RS camshafts
custom head gaskets to set squish
5angle valve job with ported and polished heads
Ducati performance Titanium valves
titanium connecting rods
Pistal racing high compression piston kit with matched nicosil coated cylinders
lightweight flywheel
micro polished lightened and balanced crankshaft
custom tuned chip for ECU/ignition advancer and retarder and performance plugs and wires
fast by ferracci full stainless exhaust
STM EVOLUZIONE slipper clutch
titanium bolt kit

carbon fiber parts include,
full airbox and intake velocity stacks (ducati performance MS Productions) very expensive.
intake runners
dash cover
key guard
air dam
undertail and plate hanger
swingarm cover
rear extended hugger/chainguard
front vented RS type fender
bike also has Ducati Performance Marchesini Magnesium wheels

title is free and clear and fuel pump and filter were just replaced with new belts and oil change.

this bike screams and is built by the best to run for a long time, engine build was the best mixture of performance and long life that could be bought.

1999 Ducati 996SPS Pipes

Starting bid for this is $15,000, with no takers as yet. Given the level of investment, this bike is probably worth it, although that price is more in line with the far rarer and more exotic “R”. This should be more than a mere “parts hanger” because, while Fast by Ferracci may have a somewhat spotty reputation as a dealer, their ability to build a race bike is unquestioned: it’s right there in the name! They’ve been racing Ducatis in various levels of competition for many years with quite a bit of success.

1999 Ducati 996SPS Airbox

What’s just a shame is the 45 miles the bike has covered since being built. Why spend the money to put something like this together, then let it sit and collect dust? But while the current owner may be missing out, you can throw a bid out there and get a seriously trick Italian superbike for the price of a new R1.

-tad

1999 Ducati 996SPS L Side

Gilding the Lily: 1999 Ducati 996SPS
Cagiva September 6, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Unicorn Sighting: 1995 Cagiva Mito with Cali Title for Sale

Introduced in 1989, the Cagiva Mito was restyled in 1994 by… Well you get three guesses. If, after a quick look at that front fairing and headlight arrangement, you guessed “Massimo Tamburini”, you win a cookie! Either that or you’re quick with a Google search…

1995 Cagiva Mito R Front Rear

Looking for all the world like a miniature, aluminum beam-framed Ducati 916, the Cagiva Mito was powered by a water-cooled 125cc two-stroke single that put 34hp through a 7-speed transmission. So it was a genuine miniature sportbike, not some feeble learner’s tool: this baby 916 actually gave Valentino Rossi his very first title, in the Italian 125cc championship.

1995 Cagiva Mito R Side Bar

With no power to mention below 8,000 rpm and a redline at 11,400, it needs all seven gears to keep the power flowing. The bike is extremely narrow and your knees can nearly touch. Like riding a very angry mountain bike…

With the typical American aversion to anything two-stroke or under 1000cc’s, these are exceedingly rare on these shores. In fact, the seller claims that only 25 were imported to the US, although I assume he’s referring to this specific model year.

1995 Cagiva Mito Front Wheel

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Cagiva Mito for Sale

Designed by the late Massimo Tamburini is a pearl white 125 Cagiva Mito with an Evo1 motor (7 speed). It's powered by a 2 stroke racing engine that makes it a light, fast and a extremely nimble bike with a California pink slip and registered with custom CA plates. The mito was rebuilt from the ground up, every bolt, nut, and part is either brand new or professionally refurbished to better than new.

1 of 25 imported to America!
CA plated and current registration
Italian made using the best European race parts available.
Digital dash
Aluminium frame
Steering damper or dampener
Upside-down Marzocchi forks
Four-piston Brembo front brake caliper
Super light race fiber glass bodywork
updated Evo 2 wheels
De-restricted from Europe
Engine has been tuned and serviced by CN racing

As the seller mentions, he’s updated this bike with Evo II wheels. This is a very cool little motorcycle, although why a bike from 1995 needed a “ground up” rebuild is something to ponder. These aren’t the sort of bikes one does big miles on... The pearl-white bodywork with minimal graphics looks great: the original featured a good bit more badging and racy sponsor-decals. And that Vapor digital dash is very slick-looking.

1995 Cagiva Mito Brake

But it does beg the question: why? Was it crashed? The title is listed as being “Clear” so that increases confidence somewhat, and the bike does feature a California title and registration, also big marks in the “Plus” column.

There's a nice start-up video as well:

Bidding is active, although remains a bit low, and the Reserve Has Not Yet Been Met. There’s a couple days left on this, so jump in if you’ve had a hankering to wind through seven gears and aren’t put off bit a bit of cosmetic updates to your miniature masterpiece!

-tad

1995 Cagiva Mito R Side

Unicorn Sighting: 1995 Cagiva Mito with Cali Title for Sale
Honda September 5, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Titled Two-Stroke! 1987 Honda NSR250R for Sale

The first year of Honda’s long-running two-stroke race-replica series, this NSR250R looks to be in very good, unrestored shape and has a valid title and is currently road-registered!

The NSR250R was powered by an ever-so-slightly undersquare 249cc, liquid-cooled two-stroke v-twin. It was fed by a pair of carburetors and featured Hondas ATAC torque-boosting system to plump up the little 90° twin’s midrange. Power went to the rear wheel through a cassette-type six-speed gearbox designed for faster gearing changes trackside, although it obviously makes transmission jobs easier for road riders…

1987 Honda NSR250 L Side

Unlike many small-displacement motorcycles, these are seriously high-performance machines, with modified versions capable of making well north of 50hp. Styled to closely resemble the successful RS250RF race bikes they featured an aluminum twin-spar frame, triple-disc brakes, and all the mass-centralization and weight-reduction tricks found on larger sports motorcycles.

1987 Honda NSR250 R Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1987 Honda NSR250 for Sale

This is a rare Honda NSR250R MC16 in excellent, original condition. I have owned this bike for 13yrs. It is a grey market motorcycle currently titled and registered in Colorado, USA.

It has all original undamaged body work and body stickers. The engine is a V twin, watercooled 2stroke with oil injection. The bike has only 6385km. (3950miles). Everything works as it should. It is fast and fun to ride. 

The rear tire and battery are near new. I rebuilt the master cylinder and installed a new original fuel petcock. The bike has never had an accident or damage. Included is a factory parts book and CD.

1987 Honda NSR250 Front

Titled two-strokes are very desirable things around these parts. They were never that common in the US in the first place, and emissions laws killed them off sooner here than over in Europe and Japan, where two-strokes were both more popular and road legal for longer.

1987 Honda NSR250 Tank

1987 was the first year of this little race-rep and red was the most often-seen color, although the bike was also available in less common blue or white. Asking price is $5,200 although the reserve has not yet been met and bidding is only up to about $2,900 as I write this. I realize that five grand buys a whole lot of motorcycle these days, but for something so cool, nimble and collectable, it seems a small price to pay.

-tad

1987 Honda NSR250 R Fairing

Titled Two-Stroke! 1987 Honda NSR250R for Sale
Suzuki September 4, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Slab-Sided Survivor: 1987 Suzuki GSX-R 750 for Sale

Today’s bike, a very nice GSX-R 750 definitely falls into the “rare in this condition” rather than “genuinely exotic”: Suzuki sold boatloads of these when they were new. And it’s no surprise the original Gixxer sold like hotcakes: the GSX-R 750 was the very first mass-produced race-replica of the modern era, a truly affordable bike that you could thrash at the limit on track, and then ride to work on Monday morning without missing a beat.

1987 Suzuki GSX-R 750 L Side Front

First-generation Gixxers are often referred to as “Slabbies” due to their very slab-sided styling. Engines featured air and oil-cooling that kept weight to a minimum but allowed maximum power and flat-slide carbs and a six-speed gearbox completed the package, helping the bike produce over 100hp in stock form. A lightweight aluminum box-section frame was state-of-the-art, although the bikes rolled on 18” wheels, making tire choice a bit limited today…

1987 Suzuki GSX-R 750 L Side Rear Wheel

Previous Japanese race-replicas like Suzuki’s own GS1000S were huge, heavy beasts that stressed power and durability over nimble handling. But the GSX-R had it all: power, light weight, handling, and rock-solid reliability.

1987 Suzuki GSX-R 750 R Dash

It basically set the stage for the two-year production-cycle wars between the Japanese manufacturers that continued until the market crash knocked the bottom out of the motorcycle market. The Euro gained ground on the Yen, making formerly out-of-reach exotics from Italy a far more affordable prospect at about the same time those manufacturers realized that people wanted to actually ride their motorcycles, not take them in for service every 6,000 miles or wait for backordered parts to arrive…

1987 Suzuki GSX-R 750 R Side Rear Pipe

From the original eBay listing: 1987 GSX-R 750 for Sale

Up for auction is a very well prepped and maintained 1987 GSXR 750.  By "well-prepped"- I mean, at close to thirty years old- I wanted to make it reliable and safe.  So, there are brand new chain and tires (Michelin Pilots) (less than 50miles on both).  All hydraulics were professionally disassembled, cleaned, new seals and new pads in calipers and rebuild kits on all master and slave cylinders.  Forks serviced with new wipers, dust seals, Race Tech bushings and 5W oil.  Wheels have brand new wheel bearings.  Carbs- again, professionally rebuilt, new genuine part fuel floats, tuned and balanced.  New-Old stock (period correct) Kerker full system, (as the rubber intakes get old and hard- new intakes and exhaust gaskets to prevent air leaks) and brand new (not just re-oiled 20yr old) K&N filters.  Brand new black kevlar brake lines.  New battery, fresh Motul oil change/filter, etc…

For being almost a "vintage" bike-  she starts, rolls, pulls, turns and grips probably better than she did when new.

Tank -you can see in the pics- is rust free, bike still has original factory wind screen -not some lockhart replacement.  Still has original grips, rear view mirrors (bright, not scratched) and passenger foot pegs.  Comes with solo cowl -which I understand are worth a good $ all by themselves.  Gauges you can see are clean and bright -probably only 25% fade on the orange needles.

Everything was cleaned and detailed- so you won't find 30years of chain grease and road grime under the sprocket covers.

The 1987 model year GSX-R introduced beefier 41mm forks and Suzuki’s New Electrically Activated Suspension [NEAS], along with a steering damper and a 21-liter fuel tank.

1987 Suzuki GSX-R 750 Front Wheel

By now, most Gixxers have been either been badly abused by several generations of squidly riders that followed the original owners, or are 0-mile collectables. While the 18" wheels may make tire purchases more of a hassle when the time comes, this one won't need those for a while, since the tires currently fitted still have the stickers on them! To find a first-generation GSX-R in this sort of well-used, but well cared for condition is really exciting if your goal is to use your new purchase as intended and terrorize local road and track. This one looks ready to go: the perfect usable, collectable sportbike.

-tad

1987 Suzuki GSX-R 750 R Side Rear

 

Slab-Sided Survivor: 1987 Suzuki GSX-R 750 for Sale
Honda September 1, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

For Display Purposes Only: 1994 Honda NSR250SP Rothman’s Edition

Originally posted in July, this NSR is back on eBay. Links updated. -dc

This is actually a very nice NSR250R SP in Rothman's livery, a road-legal version of Honda’s 250 race bike that obviously includes all the necessary lights and signals to keep you looking suitably responsible. The little 250cc two-stroke v-twin pumped out about 45hp as stock, but up to 60 when suitably de-restricted. Which, when pushing a bike that weighs under 300lbs dry, would make it quite the surprise for much bigger machines, considering the snarly little leaf-blower noises and heavy smoke dripping out of the pipes.

1994 Honda NSR250 Rothman's Edition for sale on eBay

rothmansrelist1

1994 Honda NSR250 Rothmans R Side

If you’re not familiar with the Rothman’s name, they were a premium tobacco manufacturer that sponsored Honda’s GP motorcycle racing efforts between 1985 and 1993. Their stable of brands also included Players and Dunhill, two other brands famous for their motorsports connections.

This is a very slick little machine, but presents a serious problem for someone like me. It’s way too nice to beat up on the track, and without a title there's not much chance of you using it on the street, unless you live in a state with a very permissive DMV. So this one looks to be a collector's item, forever doomed to sit in an office, garage, or museum, never to turn a wheel in anger...

1994 Honda NSR250 Rothmans tail nose

From the original eBay listing: 1994 Honda NSR250 Rothman’s Edition

The MC28 SP bikes represent the fifth generation of Honda 250 two-strokes.  They were significantly upgraded from the fourth generation MC21s throughout the bike. The memory card “key” is very slick, the bodywork also had been upgraded for sleeker aero dynamics, and better looks to match the all new single sided swingarm (PROARM).  While there were previous versions of the Rothman’s edition, the MC28 SP was the last, and only 1,500 were made. Finding a 1994 Rothmans MC28 SP is quite rare and expensive due to the limited numbers.  This is the real thing, not aftermarket bodywork on a plain 250.  Check the VIN as well as the official part label on the tail section in the photos.

Bike comes with a limited edition Rothman’s embroidered jacket; size 52 Euro.  It also comes with a 1994 NSR250SP Parts Manual (Original), Part # 11KV3RJ5 (in Japanese), code #; D 200.2005.01, 142 pages.  You can also see more information about NSRs and an English language service manual at nsr-world.com. 

1994 Honda NSR250 Rothmans Damper Detail

With no valid title, I’m curious as to how this picked up as many miles as it has. The laws regarding what constitutes "road legal" varies from state to state and who knows? Maybe you live in a state where this kind of thing might be doable. I’ve spent most of my life in New Jersey and California, and neither place has a very friendly DMV.

Honestly, I'd be tempted to buy this little dinger, put the beautiful original bodywork on the wall of my office, throw on some Airtech race plastics, put all the road equipment carefully in a box, and ride the living hell out of it.

-tad

1994 Honda NSR250 Rothmans Dash

For Display Purposes Only: 1994 Honda NSR250SP Rothman’s Edition
Triumph August 28, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

1990’s Budget Britbike: 1997 Triumph Daytona T595

Fast, classy, and just a bit different, this Triumph Daytona T595 represented a huge change in thinking for the recently resurrected company. Early on in Triumph's John Bloor era, cost-cutting measures that didn’t compromise reliability or quality were in full-effect, and basically all of their bikes were based around a common frame and two engines, which gave plenty of versatility to create new models by simply swapping parts around. So a 900cc triple or a 1200cc four could be slotted in, with different bodywork and suspension fitted to create a range of motorcycles that eventually included a dual-sport, a sport bike, a sport touring bike, and a naked roadster.

1997 Triumph Daytona R Front

The resulting motorcycles were never be able to compete directly with more pure and focused designs: multi-purpose engines and frames were always going to be too heavy, and not optimized for specific tasks. But the designs were modern and significantly improved on the reliability and usability of the older Triumphs, helping pave the way for the Triumphs of today.

And even though the bikes were generally not focused enough to really compete against dedicated sportbikes from Japan, they had far more character, good looks, were sized for larger riders, and were uncommon enough for folks looking for something different than the usual shrieking fours. The original Daytona came in both four and triple flavors, although the added weight of the larger four cylinder moved it even further towards the sport-touring end of the spectrum.

1997 Triumph Daytona R Rear

The second generation of the Daytona was a big leap forward in terms of both style and performance. While the unfortunately-designated T595 sounds like it should be packing a 600cc motor, it’s got a big, meaty 955cc triple that pumps out 130hp. Like the earlier Daytona, the T595 was a bit too heavy for serious track duty, but as a road-weapon it was hard to beat, with a comfortable seating position, excellent brakes, and plenty of torque. Very much a GT, the perfect bike for folks who wanted to buy British but also wanted a completely modern machine.

Some minor low-production-volume quirks aside, the Daytona delivered.

1997 Triumph Daytona R Side

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Triumph Daytona for Sale

Check out this super cool and hard to find bike!! 1997 Triumph Daytona T595 in Strontium Yellow. A real classic sport bike. Lots of performance and great styling to boot. The 955cc in line three cylinder engine with 130 horses and 74 foot pounds of torque makes this baby boogie. With almost a five gallon fuel tank, a six speed transmission, and a low weight of only 435 pounds you can great range and travel on this bike.  This bike has super low miles for the year with only 11,280 clicks on the odometer the Daytona has only averaged about 660 miles a year. Very clean bike and freshly serviced. Priced right and ready to roll today.

These aren’t especially rare, but they’re pretty hard to find in such nice original condition. I loved the styling at the time, especially in silver, and I think it’s aged pretty well. Too curvy by far to look modern, the proportions are very nice and a lack of outrageous graphics favored by Japanese manufacturers keeps things simple and elegant. This is one of those bikes that, like the GSX-R 1100, I’d love an excuse to buy: a long highway commute, or as a weekend getaway machine.

1997 Triumph Daytona L Rear

It’s unfortunate that Triumph doesn’t make a big-bore Daytona today: just take a Speed Triple and fit a fairing. It wouldn’t be competitive in  any eligible race classes, but neither was the old one. In today’s market, where “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” seems to be less and less of a concern and bikes with oddball-displacements like Kawi’s 636 and Ducati’s 899 offer additional choice and high performance in a very sporty package, it seems a no-brainer, especially considering the success and popularity of Triumph's 675 Daytona.

-tad

1997 Triumph Daytona L Side

1990’s Budget Britbike: 1997 Triumph Daytona T595