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Ducati February 7, 2018 posted by

Improving Perfection: 2005 Ducati 999R for Sale

Many people assume that whatever dusty, badly-lit, low-resolution photographs they’ve taken will be enough sell their valuable motorcycles and include almost no additional information. But it’s easy to head in the other direction and go full-on used car salesman, which the listing for this Ducati 999R has done, going so far as to describe it as being “built like a MotoGP bike…” Hyperbole is fine: I obviously indulge in stylistic excess regularly. But comparing an homologation superbike to a pure prototype racing machine suggests someone who is more of a salesman than a knowledgeable enthusiast.

Considering that the 999R has basically little in common with a MotoGP machine other than the Ducati name and the fact that it has two wheels and an engine, "built like a WSBK bike" would be much more accurate, and much closer to the original point. So if the 999R, even a “custom” one, is really nothing like a MotoGP race bike, what exactly is it?

Well unlike the 999S that was basically a spiffed-up version of the standard 999 with nicer suspension and some carbon-fiber farkles for "weight savings," the 999R was intended to homologate the bike for competition, AMA Superbike racing in particular. Titanium rods and valves meant less reciprocating mass, a completely new cylinder head design meant better breathing, and bore and stroke were completely different than the standard bike, much more oversquare, to increase the bike's appetite for revs: 104mm × 58.8mm versus 100mm × 63.5mm for a displacement of exactly 999cc, instead of the 999's 998cc... Compression was higher and the crank knife-edged where it lived behind the sand-cast engine cases, all of which added up to 134 rear wheel horses and 76.6 lb-ft of torque.

The seller suggests that this customized 999R is even more desirable than a completely original bike, and lists everything that's gone into it. The main issue here is that in hyping up changes that supposedly make the bike "more bad-ass," he's missing the real point of the 999R’s value. Originality is often critical in establishing the desirability of limited-production bikes like this and, as the listing describes the “custom” touches, I’m imagining the value dropping in the minds of potential buyers. That’s not to say that the changes are bad, mind you, and the modified engine definitely could prove to be enticing to buyers who actually plan to use their purchase for track or fast road work. But I'd definitely want someone other than the person who wrote the listing to tell me about the build in more detail.

From the original eBay listing: 2005 Ducati 999R for Sale

UPGRADED - CARBON WHEELS

THIS IS IT! The Ducati 999R - Motorcycle History. If you are looking for one the baddest bikes ever made - this is it. Pure Ducati. Period!

When owning one of the rarest bikes in the world is not enough we invite you to take a look at our custom 2005 Ducati 999R. This is your once in a lifetime opportunity to own a piece of motorcycle history. This bike is in perfect condition with very low miles. Truly breathtaking! This 999R is highly upgraded:

- $10k Engine Rebuilt with Lighter Titanium Rods by Ducati Race Technician
- BST Carbon Fiber Rims
- NCR Rear Sets Custom Made
- Brembo Brakes and Master Cylinders
- Custom Seat
- NCR Race Gas Cover
- STM Dry Clutch
- EVR Cylinder
- Dark Upgrade Windshield
- New Rear Brake and Turn Signal
- 6112 Miles on Bike Overall (After Engine Rebuild Less than 1000 miles)
- Garage Kept
- Bike Has Never Been Down

There’s no other way to describe the Ducati 999R than as a race bike with lights; it really is that close to the real thing.

Breathtaking quickness—0 to 60 mph comes in less than three seconds—is matched by the bike’s Brembo brakes. The Ducati 999R is built like a MotoGP bike so it’s dripping with exotic parts. The Desmodromic motor is packed with titanium, specially coated alloys and magnesium. Many carbon fiber parts and the exhaust heat shield is from a carbon/ceramic composite.

Mileage is pretty low and the bike does look very sharp, helped by some high-quality, professional photography. Of course, all of the 999 models had dry clutches, so the listing is probably referring to an STM slipper clutch [and cool slotted housing], and I'm pretty sure the bike had Brembo brake and clutch masters originally, just not the radial units seen here. Also, when did "Dark Upgrade Windshield" become a selling-point for a rare and collectible superbike? Are the original parts, especially the wheels, included? At least any missing peripherals can likely be cheaply sourced at the moment to get it closer to stock condition. The $19,880 Buy It Now is on the higher end for an original R, but the question remains: do the changes made to this particular bike increase or decrease the value?

-tad


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Ducati February 6, 2018 posted by

178 Miler: 2002 Ducati MH900e

I know it is early in the year, but I'm going to go out on a limb and proclaim this advert as one of the top 5 worst presentations of 2018. Fortunately, the bike is a MH900e - the Terblanche-designed internet wunderbike that put Ducati collectables on the map. Sold in limited numbers and online only, the Y2K re-interpretation of the Mike Hailwood replica classic is a little bit of eye candy artwork, a little bit of a modern torture rack and a little bit of a parts bin special. It is also a great investment vehicle for those who don't like to ride.

2002 Ducati MH900e with 178 miles on eBay

Based around the ubiquitous Ducati L-twin, the MH900e started life out as a 900 Supersport. With air cooling, two valve desmodue heads and dry clutch the MH900e exudes all the coarseness of the lower echelon Ducatis. The rest of the bike is pure Terblance, with stylish extremes at every angle. From the front the circular headlamp and fairing calls to mind the late 70s and early 80s Ducatis that were so successful on the track. At the rear the offset rear shock draws the eye to the unique swing arm, the shotgun exhausts and the wheel that seems to hang out in space. Even the splash of colors combine with the chrome accents to stand out. The presence of the bike is amazing, making the MH900e one of the most popular bikes NOT to ride.

From the seller:
Part of a collection. Rare 2002 Ducati MH900e. Well babied from day one. Never raced, abused or even wet for that matter.

Between the lousy pictures and the non-existent text, it does not appear that this advert was created by an enthusiast. It is listed as "Ducati Sport Touring" and the listing has no VIN number. How about one or two pics in focus? It is too hard to actually move the bike to a point where you can take a decent photo? What is the history of the bike? What collection is it part of? Why is the collection being sold off / liquidated? When was the last time this bike ran? A picture might be worth a thousand words, but a poor pic simply prompts a thousand questions.

According to the limited info in the advert, this particular example sports but 178 miles. That is closer to being new than many we have seen. However it is interesting in that mileage does not really seem to affect the MH900e values; perhaps it is because so few MH900e models actually accrue road yardage (rumor has it that they are too uncomfortable to ride much), or perhaps it is simply because these are rare bikes that always have a market. Regardless, this example appears to be a well-cared specimen that is looking for a new home. The starting ask is Canadian $18,000 (approx $14.5k USD), which is well-below market value. There is a reserve in place, and you can expect the seller to be looking for somewhere in the $20k USD neighborhood. Check it out here and then let us know if you would like one of these in your collection - and why. Good Luck!!

MI


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Aprilia February 4, 2018 posted by

400 Miler: 2009 Aprilia RSV 1000R Factory

I never really understood "new in the box" type of people. As I kid I did not hang out with the action figure collectors who liked to look at their as-new packaged Star Wars figures. I prefered to use my toys, breaking them occasionally. As I grew up, little changed (except maybe the frequency of breakage). Fast forward many years and I do not regret the immediate satisfaction over using that which I wanted; be it what is now a collectable toy or - much more importantly - a collectable motorcycle. Ownership to me implies ultimate control, and the ultimate luxury of doing what you want; and I've always prefered to ride rather than to ogle, to risk damage rather than participate in stagnation, and to get things dirty rather than spending all of my time cleaning. That's why this advert jumped out at me. Here you have a 2009 Ape RSV 1000R Factory that was new in the box - and this seller decided to open the box and take it for a spin or two. I say Bravo to him!

2009 Aprilia RSV 1000R Factory with only 400 miles!

The Aprilia RSV 1000R is well known as a v-twin torque monster. The 60 degree, liquid cooled cylinders are fueled by computerized fuel injection and a proprietary ram air system. Four valves are operated by DOHC, and engine cases are a combination of aluminum and magnesium to save weight. Expect approximately 145 HP from one of these beasts; more than enough to keep your riding buddies in sight during spirited canyon carving. And it is during canyon carving (or on the race track) that the Factory bits really come into play. The Factory is essentially an upper spec RSV, containing fully adjustable Ohlins forks, rear shock, and steering damper. Specialty forged aluminim wheels (designed through finite analysis to produce the strongest wheel with the least amount of weight) reduce unsprung and rotational weight. The alumimun frame and swingarm are standard RSV bits, although the Factory augments the visuals via anodizing and polishing various pieces. Topped off with carbon fiber bodywork pieces to further reduce mass, the Aprilia RSV 1000R Factory is as well put together as any bike you are likely to find in the class. They were not cheap to start with, but the attention to detail makes the difference.

From the seller:
09 Aprilia rsv 1000 R factory with 400 miles. I purchased the bike new in the box and about 2 years ago i took it out the box and registered it and ever since it's been in my climate controlled garage, The condition is what you would expect from a motorcycle with 400 miles.

I must admit that I would really love to know more about how the seller came across a crated Factory and the circumstances aound the purchase. Did he agonize at all about cracking the seal and devaluing a zero mile example by 35% or more just by uncrating it? My guess is that any anxiety felt was instantly replaced by sheer joy at the booming twin exhaust and the sound of the bike on full song. But at only 400 miles, this particular model is not even broken in. I can only guess that the 400 miles travelled have not been excessively hard on the bike. And the condition seems to agree. The pictures show a clean example of a great motorcycle - as you would hope. No telling if the crate is still available, but given that this one has been ridden at this point, the collector value for a zero mile bike with all the fixin's is gone. So how much for a truly awesome model Aprilia that appears to be in excellent shape? The seller is looking for $9,800 - which is a bit dear for a used motorcycle. Thankfully the seller is open to offers, so there may be some opportunity for this Factory model yet. If you are in the market for a used Ape and looking for the best you can find, this very low mileage, nearly-new example might just fit the bill. Check it out here, and then share your thoughts in the Comments section whether you would have unboxed this monster or left it wrapped up like an action figure. Good Luck!!

MI


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Moto Guzzi February 3, 2018 posted by

Best Foot Forward – 2002 Moto Guzzi LeMans V11

The wide Guzzi V-twin is instantly recognizable, the big air-cooled heads only lately fuel-injected and in this case protected by tipover guards.  The longitudinal crankshaft machine has a history going back to 1976, long and stable, if not a lightweight.  This V11 has some miles but looks undamaged and well cared-for.

2002 Moto Guzzi LeMans V11 for sale on eBay

Rather than ground-breaking, the V11 is reverent to Guzzi's past, the layout the same though the frame now supports the engine from the top.  Magnetti Marelli digital ignition and injection help deliver 91 hp and 69 ft.-lbs. torque.  Various wheel sizes have been used on past LeMans, settling on 17-inch front and rear for the V11.  The addictive torque keeps the signature shaft drive 5-speed transmission in the game.

 

The Idaho owner has kept this Guzzi extra nice for the miles, with a Corbin seat and forward foot controls, an unusual but worthwhile mod for those with adult knees.  From the eBay auction:

Excellent condition, Needs nothing, This past spring ( 200 miles ago ) all fluids changed- including brake & clutch, valves adjusted, new spark plugs, new air & fuel filters, throttle bodies & injectors professionally cleaned, Guzzi Tech reflashed the ECU, Eurocycles adjusted the TPS & sync the throttle bodies, Avon tires in very good condition, shifter spring up-date is done, paint is in excellent condition, Moto Tech foot controls, Factory MG Tank Bag, & center stand.

 

A little more GT than SuperSport, up-to-date fuel injection and premium components have made the LeMans V11 is a winning continuation of a venerable model.  The early 2000's found Guzzi making many special models, but the LeMans is just classic.  With very little in the way of applied graphics, the grays and candy red work wonders.  The owner has done some nice mid-life maintenance on the bomb-proof V-twin, and this looks like a great way to catch the European strain of the sportbike affliction...

-donn


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Suzuki February 2, 2018 posted by

Big Style, Modest Power: 1991 Suzuki GSX-R400 GK76 for Sale

I ran into a nice young rider the other weekend while I was eyeing his flat grey EBR 1190RX. We talked about the bike and all its neato Buell-y features, and he asked me what I was riding, so I introduced him to my Daytona, which also happens to be grey... "Aren't you a little big for that?" He asked.  Obvious "that's what she said" jokes aside, it highlighted a common misconception, at least here in the USA: smaller sportbikes are "learner" machines, and serious riders should move up to a "real" bike as soon as possible. Of course, bikes like today's Suzuki GSX-R400 are an argument that maybe smaller is just fine, and that there's plenty of fun to be had on a motorcycle that offers serious handling, but only modest straight-line performance.

Strict licensing and taxes on displacement mean that bigger bikes can be flat out impossible in many overseas markets, no matter your experience or skill. In those places it was often the 400cc class that was hotly contested throughout the late 80s and early 90s: witness the fact that the FZR600 was the lowest-spec bike of Yamaha's sportbike range with a glaring, low-tech difference: it used a relatively heavy steel frame instead of a lighter aluminum unit as seen on the 400cc and 1000cc models. In fact, the very first GSX-R was actually a 400cc model, and Suzuki applied the lessons learned to their smash-hit GSX-R750, although many aren't aware that the earlier bike even existed.

The third iteration of the evergreen Gixxer is also currently the least desirable, and this GSX-R400 is styled to match its bigger siblings. Not only does this generation still exist in that nether region between classic and modern, the bikes were generally heavier than the bikes they followed, with less performance. The Gixxer was peakier and a bit cruder than competitors like the CBR400, and as a result it was a bit of an also-ran, although it should still offer plenty of bang for your buck. Weight for this version of the GSX-R400 was 367lbs dry and the little 398cc inline four made 59hp at 12,500rpm.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Suzuki GSX-R400 for Sale

Up for No Reserve auction we have a 1991 Suzuki GK76 GSX-R400. This bike sports slick OEM graphics, and is quite a good looking machine. It has recently been tagged and registered in Tennessee and is ready for the road. On the performance front I feel the carbs would benefit from a good cleaning. With that said, the bike starts up easily enough, idles, and runs right on up to redline. These are rather difficult to come by, and this one will make a nice addition to someone's collection.

Considering how popular Suzuki's sportbikes have been worldwide, it's surprising we haven't seen more of these up for sale here in the US, now that they can be legally imported. They certainly weren't the the best 400s but, being a Suzuki, plenty were sold. The seller includes a nice little video of the bike being zapped up and down a backroad, and it's nice to see that the bike is a solid runner, because it's not in showroom-perfect condition: aside from some scratches and plastic bits that have naturally discolored with age, the end can looks to be in pretty sorry shape and the non-standard turn signals are small and unobtrusive, but their fake-y "carbon" finish isn't very tasteful and originals might be difficult to source, depending on whether or not they're exclusive to this model... But all of that can be overlooked if the price is right, and with just two days left on the auction, that price is a mere $2,225 which could make it a screaming deal of a little screamer, if the bidding stays low.

-tad


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