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Ducati July 13, 2018 posted by

Little SPO: 1993 Ducati 888 SPO for Sale

To me, the very names for cars and bikes are simple, to the point. Leganza? What the hell's a Leganza? Or a Spectra? But a GTO, or... a GTO? That just sounds cool. Thunderace sounds kind of silly, but R1M? That just exudes confidence. Even with a naturally cool-sounding language at their disposal, the Italians know that simpler is usually better, and that the sexiest motorcycles don't need silly, made-up names: simple, blunt, alpha-numeric designations suggest a no-need-to-brag confidence. It's like a special code, and Ducati 888 SPO is basically shorthand for speed.

An evolution of the earlier 851, the liquid-cooled, four-valve 888 was the epitome of "truth in advertising." Displacing 888cc, Ducati's big v-twin was meant to take the fight to the Japanese Big Four in production-based racing, move them into the modern era, and allow them to compete at top levels of the sport. Sure, the Pantah provided the foundation four the new liquid-cooled engine, but there's no way a two-valve, air-cooled v-twin was going to have a ghost of a chance against the inline fours in World Superbike and AMA racing, and Ducati's success in those series brought them back to prominence on the world stage.

Over in Europe, they got the standard 888 Strada and the higher-performance 888 SP5. But the SP5 wasn't road-legal here, so we got a sort of halfway step between the two that was dubbed the SPO or Sport Production Omologato. It was distinguished by the solo tail, high-mount exhaust, and an Öhlins shock with adjustable ride-height. Unlike the SP5, the SPO used a steel subframe instead of a lightweight aluminum one.

Look, if you've been waiting since my first paragraph to tell me how I'm wrong and that some cool bike names exist, go right ahead. It's not like I'm going to disagree that exceptions exist: Superleggera springs immediately to mind. But I still say that 888 SPO is a name that is aging better than Fireblade. On that note, it is kind of odd that here in the USA, land of the Vortec V6 and the Blue Flame Six, we got the CBR instead of the Fireblade and the YZF1000R instead of the Thunderace... So I guess we like our car-related names silly but our bike names [mostly] serious.

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Ducati 888 SPO for Sale

This is a near mint 888 SPO 1993 model. Needs nothing, belts and service were done, starts and rides wonderfully, new battery, just downsizing my collection. One flaw on the number one decal. Runs like new, good tires, needs nothing. It needs to go to a 888 lover. Pics say everything. About 13,000 miles which may change if I decide to take a hop. I reserve the right to cancel the auction the bike is for sale locally in the Fort Worth, TX area.

Cash sale, no endless emails or pen pal questions... This is the real deal and a great bike!

Thanks for looking

Aside from that first image, the photos are uniformly terrible, and the usual top triple shot showing the Limited Edition plaque is missing, as is any verification of the mileage. But that doesn't seem to be deterring bidders. Previous SPOs we've featured have sold for right around $10,000 but it appears values have risen in the past year: bidding on this example is up to $12,000 with several days left on the auction. That's not really a surprise: the 851 and 888 were pretty undervalued for a while, but collectors have definitely started to notice them and recognize their significance as the original modern Ducati superbike.

-tad


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Featured Listing July 12, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1991 Suzuki RGV250Γ VJ22 for Sale

Today's Featured Listing 1991 Suzuki RGV250Γ has styling cues very much like the four-stroke GSX-R of the period, and help the bike stand out as a Suzuki among the other bikes in the very competitive 250cc two-stroke class, even without their traditional blue-and-white graphics. Of course, if you're missing out on shouty graphics, there's still the RGVΓ, SAPC, and Made with the Grand Prix Spirit logos. This is actually a VJ22, the second generation of the little Gamma, and features a number of changes from the earlier VJ21.

The RGV250Γ followed the 250 two-stroke class template: a light and stiff aluminum beam frame, with an asymmetrical "banana" swingarm that allowed clearance on the right side for the twin "shotgun" expansion chambers in the case of the later VJ22 version seen here. The engine was a liquid-cooled, 90° two-stroke v-twin that eventually found its way into the Aprilia RS250 as well, along with Suzuki's six-speed gearbox. The Suzuki version used "SAPC" or "Suzuki Advanced Power Control," an electronic power valve and ignition timing system to boost the Japanese-market RGV's out put from 45hp all the way to... 45hp. Yeah, these were restricted in their home market. Export models got more like 55-ish horsepower from the 249cc twin.

Combined with the bike's sub-300lb dry weight, the bike offered plenty of performance for anyone willing to put in the effort to extract it. But straight-line power isn't the point with any quarter-liter two-stroke: the RGV is all about corner speed and eats twisty roads for breakfast. The earlier VJ21 used a 17" front and 18" rear wheel like other bikes of the era, but the VJ22 used matched 17" wheels front and rear, making it easier to fit modern rubber. Overseas, the RGV was a very popular little thrasher and fairly common, but these can be difficult to find. It's ironic that, here in the USA anyway, the Suzuki-engined Aprilia RS250 seems much easier to find than the RGV250Γ that donated its engine.

From the Seller: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22 for Sale

Very rare in North America the Suzuki RGV 250 is a close as you get to a street legal bike from the golden era of GP racing. This example was imported from Japan and has Utah street legal title. The bike is runs well and was recently serviced with all fluids changed. This bike is un-restored and has several scratches and scrapes but for a bike of its age its in good condition. All mechanical parts function well. The bike has 8837 miles on the gauges. Comes with a set of brand new Bridgestone tires that have never been mounted. $7,000 + buyer pays shipping.

Contact Stephen with your interest: stephen@stephenwclark.com

The bike seems honestly presented and is in good, if not perfectly original condition. The seller mentions the 8,837 miles on the odometer, but I think that's actually kilometers being displayed, so we're looking at about 5,491 miles. The levers, grips, rearstand spools, and brake lines aren't stock and the color choices aren't particularly subtle, but that's fine, since you'd end up replacing them anyway if you're going to ride it, or if you're restoring it. The minor cosmetic flaws should be easily rectified without having to tear the bike down, and it would make a great, usable example.

-tad

Featured Listing July 12, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing – 1980 Kawasaki KZ1000 “Goose” Tribute

Update 7.12.2018: Price dropped to $10,500. Good luck to buyers and seller! -dc

Rather than the bloated KZ1000P CHiPs workhorse, Mad Max's not-so-distant future police bike was more of a café racer with lights.  And a siren.  This owner gave a down-on-its-luck Z1000 LTD a makeover right up Goose's alley.

1980 Kawasaki KZ1000 "Goose" Tribute

The LTD turns out to be a nice choice for the Main Force Patrol build, with its slightly smaller and more responsive Mikuni carburetors with accelerator pump.  The 1015 cc's on the stock machine made 86 hp and 61 ft.-lbs. torque, though the PMC exhaust fitted here may release a few extra ponies.  Most of the LTD's other attributes are cosmetic, except for the 16-inch rear wheel which has been corrected to an 18.  Elsewhere it's standard Z1000 - endless torque, three big stainless disk brakes, and just a hint of secondary vibration.

Owner / builder Dave kept an eye on usability during the work, though it is the spitting image of the movie machine.  Airtech's decision to manufacture the bodywork was a key motivator.  The chassis and drivetrain were gone over, and only altered in terms of the imported PMC exhaust.  Execution is sanitary and graphics are spot on.  Bespoke rearsets led to rear brake updates and handlebar controls were modernized.  Dave says  this about the work:

Many components have been upgraded in the process and in and effort to make the bike as close to the film version as possible.

First off the 16” LTD rear wheel was tossed in favor of the correct 18” variety. This was sourced from a 1984 GPz 750 and completely refurbished with new bearings, spacers, paint, polish and clear coat.

The existing rear brakes were worn out and not worth saving, so the rear caliper is now a 1985 KZ1000P,  connected to a rear master cylinder from a 1996 ZX600, as required by the custom, billet rear sets from PDM Fabrication.  

The exhaust is a very rare, PMC 4-2 crossover system from Japan, that is a flawless recreation of the system that was on the movie bike. It also sounds brilliant. The carbs have been completely gone through, cleaned thoroughly and jetted properly for the exhaust and airbox combo.

Front wheel is the correct 19” factory mag, completely refurbished as well and sporting new bearings and spacers.

As stated, all the body work came from Airtech and was painted locally by Anthony at Bridge City Cycles

The matching Airtech seat pan was covered by Shelby Schafer and is a perfect fit over the tail section.

All the handle bar controls are 1996 ZX600 parts.  This isn’t screen accurate, but the quality is so far ahead of the vintage stuff, it’s worth it to have a slight inaccuracy. Also with a nod towards modern technology, the front master cylinder is from a 06 Yamaha R6 and the clutch perch is from the same ZX600.

The "Max" movies launched a fan cult that continues almost forty years on, and there are kits of MFP bodywork to fit 1/12 scale models of the Z1000, as well as Jim "Goose" action figures.  But this one you can actually ride.  Restoration and upgrades have resulted in a much safer and better-running Z1000.  It's sure to be the hit of any show, though younger riders might have to google MFP.  Dave asks $12,000 for the Goose tribute and can reached at (503) 348-1138 or emailed - here -.

-donn

Ducati July 12, 2018 posted by

DesmoNue – 1993 Ducati 900SS

Ducati has carved out an enormous niche in the super-sport area, with some compromises on the sporting intentions of their superbikes, but often more versatile and plenty of fun.  This 900SS was parked after a year or so of use and recently re-incarnated, a happy beginning to its next chapter.

1993 Ducati 900SS for sale on eBay

A descendant of the 851 and Paso, the 900SS uses the 904cc desmodue, with belt driven cams.  Mikuni carburetors were less fiddly and helped deliver 84 hp.  Adjustable Showa dampers were a nice upgrade and ergonomics were relaxed a bit.  The full fiberglass fairing has the classic Ducati lines.

This Cali SS looks unblemished by its 5,049 miles or the long nap.  Though it's not a limited edition or racy example, refreshed it looks like a new 1993.  The owner shows off the clean in un-faired photos.  From the eBay auction:

Found this in a garage in Lafayette California. And hadn't been run since 1995
Replaced Timing Belts
Flushed the tank, cleared the lines, New Fuel Pump and filter
Rebuilt the Carbs with OEM parts
New Tires, Battery, flushed the brake lines, oiled the cables
Soaked the Chain and Re-oiled
Cleaned, Cleaned and CLEANED AGAIN!!
It Runs and Performs AMAZINGLY!!! AND FAST!!!!

Reviewed as an all-day performer, the 900SS had classic good looks and at the time was called Ducati's best ever.  Maybe a memory lane trip for the next owner, or picking up dad's bike ?  Obviously not new new, but instead of 25 this one looks just a few years old...

-donn

 


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BMW July 11, 2018 posted by

One for the Road: 2009 BMW HP2 Sport for Sale

These days, when someone says "BMW sportbike," two things happen. First, the squinty, asymmetrical S1000RR immediately springs to mind. Second, you don't immediately burst into a fit of laughing: not long ago, "BMW sportbike" would have been something of an oxymoron. But people forget that, sandwiched in between the sporty-toury R1100S and the game-changing S1000RR, BMW introduced the very trick, limited-production HP2 Sport.

It was really intended to set the stage for the S1000RR, to show that BMW could be taken seriously as a sportbike manufacturer, that they had the technological chops to make a world-class machine. Of course, in the case of the HP2 Sport, they were applying that technology to a platform that would seem to be the anti-sportbike at first. It uses the same basic layout as the R1100S: horizontally-opposed twin with a longitudinal crankshaft, shaft drive, and BMW's Telelever front end that used a traditional shock and A-arm set up, along with some fork tubes that aren't actually fork tubes.

That setup has some advantages over a conventional fork, but is generally heavier and more complicated. It also makes the location of a radiator difficult, something that's not such an issue here, since the flat-twin is oil and air-cooled. Speaking of that classic BMW engine: in the HP2, a whole catalog of exotic parts have been thrown at it to increase performance. New dual overhead cam heads, radial valves, and titanium connecting rods all add up to a claimed 128hp, and a 9,500rpm redline you could chase with the very first-ever, factory-equipped quickshifter.

In an R1100S, that power might not be much to shout about, but the HP2 has added lightness: carbon-fiber panels, a self-supporting carbon-fiber subframe, and a generally Lotus-like attention to detail meant a claimed dry weight of 392lbs. Not especially impressive in the sportbike world, but the package was sufficiently light to legitimately compete in terms of handling. And that was another surprise: the BMW Telelever system doesn't always "feel like it should" and is sometimes criticized for offering vague front-end feedback, but a sportier front shock from Öhlins seems to have cured that. Unlikely layout aside, the HP2 was an excellent handler, and the Brembo monoblock calipers provide ferocious retardation for the lightweight machine.

From the original eBay listing: 2009 BMW HP2 Sport for Sale

For auction is my 2009 BMW HP2 Sport. It is in very good condition with 20,532 miles on the clock. It is a great running machine and has been maintained well. It has no known mechanical defects and needs nothing. It has been ridden as it was meant to be, but never abused or track ridden, but has not been stored in a living room. If you want a museum piece with zero mileage then this particular bike isn’t likely for you. If you do however wish to own and ride the ultimate BMW boxer sport bike then this bike is for you and at about half the price of new or some recently posted here on eBay. This machine is serial number 79 as seen in the photos. No one really seems to know for sure how many HP2 sports were produced for the world market, much less the USA market, but it seems about 250 or so. This is the last of my collection of seven BMW motorcycles that I have decided to sell. I have accepted a new job in another state and so all but one of my bikes and cars are going to be sold in the next two months. I work a lot of hours and weekends as well so I don’t have time to ride any of them. These bikes need to be ridden, as opposed to sitting here on a trickle charger gathering dust. I have been on eBay for many years and have great feedback and represent things as they are. Thanks for the interest and I will try to respond to questions as quickly as possible.

There are actually several HP2s up for sale at the moment, but while most are treated like museum pieces, this one has been ridden extensively, although mileage is still low for a BMW twin. Keep in mind that the service schedule calls for those titanium connecting rods to be replaced at 30,000 miles, but at least engine access is easy and you're only looking at a pair of them... There isn't much time left on the auction, and bidding is up to about half what HP2s usually go for. It looks like it's in excellent condition and would be a great choice for a BMW fan looking to ride the ultimate twin in the way it was really intended.

-tad


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