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Ducati June 16, 2017 posted by

Carbon Capture – 2003 Ducati 999S

In the late 1990's Pierre Terblanche and Massimo Tamburini parted ways, the younger Terblanche following Ducati, and Tamburini staying with Cagiva.  The sea-change styling of Terblanche's 999 was too controversial to survive, though it did help win the Superbike World Championship in 2003, '04 and '06.  The 999S has upgraded suspension from an -R and a bit more oomph than a base model, and this 999S has a full carbon fairings, Ferracci exhaust, and very low miles.

2003 Ducati 999S for sale on eBay

The second Ducati road machine to use the testastretta engine, the 999S boasted 136 hp and 78 ft.-lbs. torque.  Marelli fuel injection gave smooth power delivery, and premium Öhlins suspension allowed the 6-speed drivetrain and Brembo brakes to live in harmony.  The love-it-or-hate-it fairing protected the rider better at higher speeds, and the canister muffler has been superceded by a Fast by Ferracci exhuast which likely deleted the catalyst.

Offered by a California collector, this 999S has carbon bodywork, fuel tank, and BST wheels.  A singular statement in grey and white.  Registration is non-opped and miles are under 1,000.  The owner has this to say in the eBay auction:

Beautiful 2003 Ducati 999S with a Full Carbon Fiber Body, Tank, & Wheels.  Custom Stainless Exhaust done by FBF.  Its has an addictive sound, you can feel.  It is a rocket, lots of torque and revs to 10,500.  Original mileage is 990 (now).  Never wet.  Never ever down.  Kept in my house.  Rode 4-5 times.  ( Have others, Hypermotard, 900SS, old BMW R75/7, not so low mileage ).  Had service & belts done a few years back.  Will take to Ducati dealer for PPI/service if sold.  Clean California title in hand.  On PNO now.

The 999S reviewed as a great rider, the fairing makes it feel like you're "in" and not "on", no chore to rack up the miles.  Weight is under control for a superbike and neutral handling makes the 999S less tiring to ride quickly.  Not sure if all that carbon is Ducati Performance, a rare special order if so.  If not, still a fabulous custom and in perfect shape, awaiting a spirited ride before loading up for the show...

-donn


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Honda June 16, 2017 posted by

Tariff Buster: 1984 Honda Nighthawk S

The 1980s were a crazy-good time for motorcycling. Every major manufacturer was exploring the boundaries of what was possible. Everyone was in search of the silver bullet for performance; be it at the racetrack or the showroom. This was a heady era for Honda, as they pumped out new motorcycle variants seemingly every year. From two strokes to turbos, singles to six-bangers, Honda tried nearly everything. One of the surprising successes during this time was the Nighthawk S. Intended as a sporty commuter (comfortable, reliable, low maintenance), the Nighthawk S impressed with it's power and handling prowess. Today, the Nighthawk S remains a beloved, bygone model.

1984 Honda Nighthawk S with 2,500 miles!

Between 1984 and 1986, the American motorcycle scene was a mess. Harley-Davidson, the only remaining American manufacturer at the time, was flirting with bankruptcy like it was a super model. Using patriotism as their platform, H-D convinced Congress (and then President, Ronald Reagan) to increase the tariff on imported motorcycles greater than 700cc. This 10x tariff increase ensured H-D - who only produced bikes above the 700cc threshold - could be price competitive. Enter the Nighthawk S: Originally designed as a 750, the Nighthawk's 700cc air-cooled, inline four cylinder featured 4-valves per pot and hydraulic valve lifters - a nod to reducing the maintenance interval. With a willing motor, a solid chassis, 16" GP-inspired front wheel, comfortable seating position with bikini fairing and shaft drive, the CB700SC (as it was formally known) became the do-it-all hot rod - equally home in the canyons as it was for commuting.

From the seller:
HONDA'S all-new "HOT-ROD", the title given in 1984 by the trade magazines and publications. The Honda CB700SC was produced specifically for the US market. It was during this period steep tariffs were levied by the US International Trade Commission on motorcycles with engines larger than 700cc, With this tariff Honda provided an America-style, shaft-drive sport-custom that honored another American custom, a hot-rodding machine. Take a look at the specifications provided by a Cycle Guide Magazine of February 1984, you will see then why it was Honda's Hot-Rod.

If you are a serious buyer looking for an exceptional-almost new condition, original no aftermarket modifications, with possibly the lowest mileage NIGHTHAWK S of less than 2500 miles, for sale by original owner, well then this is your bike.

Performs and runs like new, seeing is believing! Note: Original magazines as show in photos will be provided to buyer.

Although produced for only a handful of years, the Nighthawk S is not rare from a "limited edition" marketing perspective. In fact, it sold rather well during its years of availability; American riders loved the combo of sport and reliability (the opposite of what Harley was offering) and they voted with their wallets. However like many UJM machines, finding a loved and cared-for one some 33 years later is nearly impossible. These Hondas are as reliable as your average chunk of cement - and are about as prone to leaking (again, the opposite of H-D hardware from the time). They are also pretty economical as far as older bikes go, making them excellent "buy and hold" motorcycles.

The verdict is still out in terms of whether or not the NightHawk S will ever be a collector bike - but like all UJMs, anything 30+ years old with low mileage and this clean will always have a market. This auction starts at $4,999 with a reserve in place. The Buy It Now option is available for one buck shy of $7,500. That is a good bit more than the sub-$4k that this model went for new, but good luck finding another 2,500 mile example in this sort of condition. Check it out here, and then share your thoughts and experiences with the NightHawk S in our Comments section. Good luck!!

MI


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Suzuki June 15, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250V Lucky Strike!

In the glorious 1990s, big tobacco made motorsports run. Cigarette sponsorship was everywhere, and every major series and team was titled by a cancer stick hawker; The Winston Cup, The Camel GT series (as well as the Camel AMA Supercross and Camel Trophy events), Marlboro McLaren, Marlboro Ferrari, Marlboro Penske, Mild Seven Benetton, Rothmans Williams, Benson & Hedges Jordan, John Player Lotus, 555 Subaru Rally, Silk Cut Jaguar Group C just to name a few. On the bike front, you cannot ignore the Rothmans Hondas, Skoal Suzukis, Smokin' Joes Hondas, Gauloises Factory Yamahas, and many, many others. Of course in the world of RSBFS, the one that really matters is the partnership of Lucky Strike and Suzuki. Which brings us to our bike: An original 1996 Suzuki RGV250V VJ23 Lucky Strike.

The RGV series was a popular and successful one for Suzuki. Using a liquid cooled v-twin to replace the earlier, parallel twin RG models, the RGV provided more power in a slimmer package. The results were impressive on the racetrack (so much so that Aprilia licensed the VJ22 powerplant for use in their own bikes), and translated tolerably well to the street. Suzuki RGV models are some of the most popular of the import two-strokes we see on these pages. So while RGVs may not be uncommon, this specific variant - the factory Lucky Strike livery - is very rare indeed. Just over 100 of the VJ23 "V" series were released for export as Lucky Strike models. There were an additional ~240 LS "T" models created for the domestic home market. To find a clean example that is not a fake Lucky Strike (cheap body panels are available) is a tough chore. Buyers need to be very careful, scrutinizing chassis numbers, SAPC versions, and other details such as exhaust chamber part numbers to ensure that they have 1) a VJ23 to begin with, and 2) the holy grail of the RGV lineup, the Lucky Strike Edition.

From the seller:
1996 (97 model) Rgv250v
Factory Lucky Strike
One of 119 in this scheme, these were the last of the vj23 line.
This was originally exported to China and is one of three that I own.
The full power bikes were quoted at 55ps in the sales brochure not 70.
This is unrestored except for the fact I've renewed all chassis/wheel brgs and consumables like carb rubbers.
Brakes and forks have been overhauled.
Engine is fine and has perfect compressions
Only non or parts are the carbon cans/nitron shock/brake lines
All oe parts are included,;seat/rear pegs/original shock/hoses/OE cans
Recent chain/sprockets
This bike needs nothing.

Price: £16,000 (plus shipping)

Contact: tasswipe@icloud.com

Like most Japanese bikes, there are a couple different variants of each model depending upon the intended market. Japanese home market bikes will always be restricted to a lower output due to licensing regulations. Bikes destined for Western Europe (specifically Germany and Italy) had a mid-grade output specification. Bikes headed to Canada and Australia usually were full-power examples, and where the higher HP numbers were quoted.

This seller is extremely knowledgeable in this model. While doing some research in the past, I came across some of his wisdom on a RGVs site, and I refer to it now and again. This is a good thing when it comes to very rare machinery; with Lucky Strike fakes pretty common, nobody wants to plunk top dollar down for any less than genuine. Fortunately, this looks to be a verifiable article from the factory. It is the last gen of the RGVs and probably the most desirable of the models. As such, it can command market price. The seller is looking for 16,000 GBP, which equates to approximately $20,400 USD at the current exchange. Drool over the pictures a little bit; your computer won't mind. Then contact Alan at tasswipe@icloud.com if you are looking for a centerpiece for your collection. Good Luck!!

Ducati June 15, 2017 posted by

Low-Mile Monster: 1999 Ducati M900 Cromo for Sale

Nice first-generation Ducati M900 Monsters are getting very hard to find: they've been very affordable machines for the past few years and get used accordingly, ridden hard instead of being squirreled away in garages as collector items. Certainly, that's what I've done with mine... But if you're looking for a pristine machine to ride or if you're a speculator expecting them to increase in value, you can't go wrong with this very nice, low-mileage Monster Cromo... Assuming you don't get blinded looking at it!

The 1999 Monster was the end of the line for the carbureted engine, as it was followed by the 900ie in 2000 that featured fuel injection. Whether that's a plus or a minus is up for debate: purists might prefer the carburetors, but the fuel injection system used was a good one, and certainly makes maintenance simpler. It also used the frame originally borrowed from the 888, whereas later Monsters switched to an ST2-derived item that increased stability, but was claimed by critics to be less agile.

Basically, the Monster was a parts-bin special: a superbike frame that had seen plenty of racetrack development, an existing air-cooled two-valve engine for modest performance and tons of character, along with off-the-shelf, budget suspension that worked great for point-and-squirt antics and posing. Basically, the only new parts were the dash, the tank, and the tail. It was relatively affordable, stylish, fun, and simple. The parts-bin quality actually makes the Monster great for customizers, as many bits from other Ducati models will fit. In fact, today's Monster Cromo was one of Ducati's first attempts at a limited-edition, custom-style machine.

From the original eBay listing: 1999 Ducati Monster Cromo for Sale

Pristine, 1300 mile Ducati M900 Monster Cromo. Carbureted, only 101 imported into the U.S.

In 1999, Ducati released a special edition of the Monster. They called it the Cromo, and it was obviously named due to the distinctive tank, which was complemented by a carbon fiber rear seat cover and rear fender. It also got adjustable front forks and the high-po 74 horsepower engine.

This Monster Cromo is as nice as you will find. I bought it as a rider, finding out later how rare this model is. Should go to a Ducati collector. Besides a little age related fading on the carbon fiber fenders, this bike is almost showroom quality. A professional or dedicated detailing would bring it to that standard. Tank is gorgeous and blinding with no dents. no corrosion on the bike, seat is like new.

Starts, runs, rides, stops, shifts out like a 1300 mile bike. Not even broken in yet. When I got it I aired up the tires, flushed the hydraulic fluid in the clutch, cleaned, tightened and lubed the chain and rode it one time. Fires instantly, all electrics work as they should. Did not want to do anymore riding until I replaced the original tires and timing belts.

NOTE: I PULLED THE HORIZONTAL CYLINDER TO CHECK THE BELT TODAY (6/8) LOOKS LIKE NEW. SOFT PLIABLE, NO CRACKS, FRAYING, ETC.

This is a stunning motorcycle. Always garage stored.

Clear title in my name. Owners manual, Ducati service manual, both keys, original selling dealer folder. Also a quick release tank bag that mounts to the gas filler bracket and does not touch the tank when mounted. Wired for 12 volt accessories.

I'm assuming he means that he pulled the belt cover for the horizontal cylinder, not the cylinder... With just 1,900 miles on the odometer, this is an extremely nice Ducati Monster and is completely stock, including that famously awful rear fender, and the faded front and rear carbon mudguards are available from the aftermarket if their condition offends. The $7,999 asking price is very high for a Ducati Monster, but seems reasonable considering the rarity and quality. If the tank is a bit too much for your subtle tastes, you can always remove the chromed part and store it or sell it and replace it with a less... bling-y item. Maybe a carbon-fiber tank?

-tad


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Suzuki June 14, 2017 posted by

Fresh Off the Boat: 1988 Suzuki RGV250 VJ21A for Sale

The quarter-liter sportbikes of the 1980s and 1990s might look virtually identical on paper and offer very similar performance, but they all managed to have their own individual character, although that may have been down more to marketing and brand loyalty than any distinct differences. In any event, the Suzuki RGV250Γ had a reputation as a bit of a wild man and may been less refined than the Honda NSR250, but these little machines were all about snarling and snapping and adrenaline anyway. The VJ21 version of the bike seen here didn't have any of the usual acronyms on the fairing, but it does offer "REAL SPRINTER SLINGSHOT" performance. "Slingshot" typically refers to the GSX-R that used Mikuni semi-flat slide carbs that look like a slingshot in cross-section, although I've yet to find a good pic that really shows anything that looks like a child's toy hiding in there... I'm assuming the RGV used similar carburetors to earn that text printed on the tailsection.

Otherwise, the RGV stuck close to the class formula, with an aluminum beam frame, a liquid cooled, 90° two stroke v-twin with power valves and backed by a six-speed gearbox. The later VJ22 had the very desirable banana swingarm, although that also increased weight over the VJ21 seen here. Front wheel is 17" and the rear 18" as was common for the class at the time.  With a sub 300lb dry weight, the 50-ish horses are plenty to move the RGV along at a good clip, assuming you beat the little bike mercilessly.

And that's really the point of the RGV: it was an angry little machine that required and rewarded abuse to make good progress. Tiring for sure, but plenty of fun of fun and, if you love to attack the back roads, bikes like the RGV are your willing accomplice. This example has been freshly imported and is in original, slightly worn condition. The seller includes a video walkaround of the bike here.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Suzuki RGV250Γ VJ21A for Sale

The bike is imported from Japan. Not registered yet in the U.S. This bike is sold without title. NO TITLE. We don't know how to get a title: please ask DMV

Start engine. Original Cowl. Switches and lights working. Oil leak on front fork. No battery. Some scratches and rust  So look carefully all pictures and video. Some touch-up painting. This motorcycle is 29 years old. Sold as is with NO warranty NO refunds NO return. 20,456 km (12,710 miles)

Buyer responsible for vehicle pick-up or shipping to your location. You can check Your Shipping Cost. (Item in Carson, CA now. Our Zip code 90745)

If anyone wants to come see the motorcycle. Please contact me.

I can pretty much tell you what the DMV will say, at least here in California: "Sorry bub. No title for you. Have you seen the great number of very nice race tracks we have where you can ride your for-off-road-use-only motor vehicle?" Obviously, this is not a pristine, collector-quality motorcycle in its current state, but it is straight, with relatively low miles. It'll obviously need some attention if you plan to actually ride it on the road, but that shouldn't surprise anyone shopping for a 1980s motorcycle. We've see plenty of Honda NSR250s up for sale over the past couple years, but the RGV is still pretty rare around here. Is this slightly worn example worth the $3,500 starting bid? There's not much time left on the auction, so it might be a good time to jump in if you've been looking for an RGV and have bags of cash lying around to bribe that guy you know down at the DMV...

-tad


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