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Honda February 13, 2017 posted by

X-Rated! 1979 Honda CBX

In the world of bike porn, there are many shapes and sizes. And while most lust-worthy machines are built from the ground up to become a whole - frame, suspension, motor, bodywork - the outrageous, plus sized Honda CBX seems to be a machine totally built around the motor. The first gen CBX made no bones about what made it special - it was a naked bike showing off its wares to the world. Born from the engineering might of Honda during a time of great experimentation, this inline six-cylinder with DOHC and four valves per cylinder pumped out an impressive 105 brake horsepower. And while the motor looks impossibly wide when viewed from the front, Honda spent considerable effort to reduce the flare at the bottom end, stacking ancillaries such as the alternator behind the block.

1979 Honda CBX for sale on eBay

The CBX debuted in the latter part of 1978 and were badged as 1979 models. The first generation bikes actually developed more outright HP than the follow on models, although the later years did have overall improvements in torque and general responsiveness. Sold alongside the CB900F, the CBX was a bigger, badder and far more expensive machine. And while CBX sales were far better than other "experimental" bikes of the time (think the CX-series Turbos), it was handily outsold by the cheaper 900F.

The seller's text goes a long way to describing the CBX history, variances and qualities:

From the seller:
Introduced in 1978 as a 1979 model, the Honda CBX topped its competitors with a 6-cylinder dual overhead camshaft engine; however, it was not the first inline 6-cylinder from the Japanese-motorcycle titan. Honda developed a series of sophisticated multi-piston 4-stroke Grand Prix-racing entries culminating in the RC165 and RC166 250cc inline 6-cylinder machines. The engine was successful in 1966 and 1967, and was the precursor to the CBX. The fact the CBX engine has its roots in Grand Prix racing is not coincidental. Engineer Shoichiro Irimajiri developed the 6-cylinder Grand Prix engine and led the team behind the CBX powerplant. Six cylinders, 24 valves and chain-driven dual overhead camshafts help the 1,000cc Honda engine crank out 105 horsepower. Six Mikuni carburetors with an integral accelerator pump deliver the right combination of fuel and air into the cylinders. The CBX engine is integrated into the frame as a stressed member, and the absence of conventional downtubes makes for a clear display of all six cylinders and the exhaust. Honda pushed into the future with bold styling and innovative features on the Super Sport CBX. The sculpted tank blended into CBX-logo side covers and the kicked-up winged tail section looked fast at rest. Lightweight Comstar 5-spoke alloy wheels were equipped with dual front and single rear disc brakes to slow the CBX from velocity. In an effort to improve lagging sales Honda pushed the CBX away from pure sport into a sports touring direction in 1981-82. Full fairings and hard saddlebags position the earlier and more powerful CBX1000 Super Sport into a unique spot in collectible Honda history. This 1979 Honda CBX first and most powerful year of what was then the fastest production motorcycle in the world. This bike will thrill you with its smooth idle and fantastic power and the sound is unmistakable, go for a ride or just add to your collection.

While Honda did race six-cylinder machines in the 1960s, this was their first jump into sixes for the street. However they were not alone: Benelli had already come (and gone) with the Sei models, and Kawasaki was soon to follow with their excellent KZ1300 liquid cooled example. And while Kawasaki transitioned their naked bike into a full-blown touring bike, Honda elected to evolve the CBX into a sport tourer. They would re-enter the six-cylinder world with the dominating Gold Wing touring RV, but chose to drop the inline arrangement in favor of a boxer layout. Most recently BMW introduced the K1600, an inline six more narrow than some fours.

The CBX line has always been a visceral affair. These bikes have serious presence, amazing sound, and actually function as a terrific day-to-day rider. Being a Honda, they are well built and surprisingly reliable. Parts are still available for the model, making it an excellent collector choice. Prices have been on the rise with these machines - especially the earliest models - but nothing compared to an RC30, RG500 Gamma or D16RR. Interest in this particular bike is solid, with bidding up to $7,700 with reserve still in place. I, for one, will be watching this one. This bike is clean and looks very, very original. Check it out here, and then share your six-cylinder thoughts in our Comments section. Is a CBX on your bike porn bucket list? Good Luck!

MI


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Laverda February 12, 2017 posted by

Formula for Success: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula

While there is no guaranteed formula for success in the motorcycling business, there are some pretty basic tenets worth following. The first is to start with a decent brand name and reputation. Laverda - building performance motorcycles since 1949 - fits that bill perfectly. The second rule is that the bike has to look good; as we all know, style sells. The Formula edition of the 750S offers full bodywork rivaling the best Italy has to offer (Bimota and Ducati included). Rule number three is to engineer the heck out of it to ensure a solid platform. Laverda rang up legendary framemeister Nico Bakker who created the robust chassis. The next step is to ensure adequate power - Laverda punched out their 650cc parallel twin to 750cc and the Formula edition provided uprated cams, revised fuel-injection settings and carbon-fibre Termignoni silencers to boost top-end power to aclaimed figure of 92bhp. The last step is to drizzle liberally with the best components money can buy, which Laverda did with Termi exhaust, Brembo binders, Paioli suspension front and rear, Marchesini wheels and Weber-Marelli electrics. What emerged as the 750S Formula was a handsome, potent machine that totally failed to turn the tides of Laverda's fortune. The company went under for good a few short years later.

1999 Laverda 750S Formula for sale on eBay

There is much to like about the 750S Formula. The parallel twin loves to rev, giving it a completely different character than the primary Italian competition, the Ducati 748. Handling is reported to be extremely nimble, with the combination of Nico Bakker chassis and Paioli suspension working well together. This is a proper sport bike with serious potential, but sadly with few real-world credentials. These were simply not produced in enough numbers to make a dent in the market, or in Laverda's finances.

From the seller:
1999 LAVERDA 750S FORMULA ,RARE 1 OWNER MOTORCYCLE ,NO ISSUES ,RUNS FANTASTIC ,PERFOMANCE CHIP INSTALLED AT DEALER STOCK CHIP INCLUDED ,VERY BEAUTIFUL AND RARE WITHFULL FAIRING AND TERMIGNONI EXHAUST ,NEW BATTERY ,ALL MANUALS ,CLEAN TITLE

Located in sunny California, this 750S Formula is listed with 26,672 miles on the clock. In addition to the numerous performance mods from the factory, this one also sports an aftermarket ECU chip (the stock chip is included in the sale). Overall the bike looks to be in good condition. The left side Termi shows some scratching, which could signal a kickstand incident (these bikes are known to sit rather high on their side stands). It doesn't look major, but worth investigating. As with all bikes from defunct manufacturers, replacement parts are going to be an issue - but may not be an immediate concern for well-cared for machines. Check it out here, and enjoy the last gasp from this storied Italian marque. If you've got experience with these models, please share your thoughts in our Comments section. Good Luck!!

MI


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Ducati February 12, 2017 posted by

Your Tax Dollars at Work ? – 2007 Ducati Monster S2R 1000 with 31 miles !

Shoehorning the 992 cc dual-spark into the popular Monster frame, Ducati lined up the elements of a great naked sportbike.  With air-cooled desmodue, single-sided swingarm, and dual mufflers, the model held down the middle of the showroom between the basic M695 and the radical S4RS Testastretta.  This example has been stored since new, and could continue the beauty contest or be rare stock rider.

2007 Ducati Monster S2R 1000 for sale on eBay

Now nearly halfway back through the long and continuing Monster history, the S2R 1000 has a slightly overstuffed vibe but still supports the original concept.  Nicer components such as adjustable suspension, sculpted trellis swingarm, oil cooler, and Marchesini alloys set the scene.  The reliable 1000 DS lump has scores of internal improvements and was found at the top of the range in Ducati's SuperSport and MultiStrada line-ups.  And of course with the Monster it's all on display.

A display bike since new, this Monster has only 21 miles for its ten years, bone stock and virtually showroom.  From the eBay auction:

The back story:  This motorcycle along with a second unit where purchased by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on a research grant testing electric drive systems.  The first bike was the primary, and used for testing of the drive system.  This bike was the back up and went literally untouched.  Upon completion of the research grant both bikes where offered for sale which is how I got a hold of this rare find.  I've had the bike for almost 7 years.  Being my second bike I elected to keep it as a display piece.  I have relocated to Houston from New England and no longer have the space to store the bike.

Quick on its feet around town, the Monster can be a challenge on the slab with just its headlight fairing.  The S2R has a few carbon accents, but the black belt covers, exposed fuel vapor system and Euro-3 catalyst are waiting for the customizer's credit card.  Rather more rare than smaller top-selling Monster, this would be a  great platform for a caught-in-time retro, or for a fan, maybe it's the one that got away...

- donn


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Laverda February 11, 2017 posted by

Make Mine a Triple: 1984 LAVERDA JOTA

In the annals of what could have been sits the very underrated motorcycling firm of Laverda. Best known for their iconic three-cylinder machines, Moto Laverda was formed in 1949 by Francesco Laverda - to make motorcycles. This was a very different start than many other Italian manufacturers of the era - many who started in farm equipment or bicycles. Being a newer player, Laverda did not need to rebuild post-war facilities and return the company to civilian duty; they could just get on with the business of making motorcycles. And that is exactly what they did. From 1949 through the early 1990s Laverda continued to forge their own, independent path.

1984 Laverda Jota RGS for sale on eBay

But times were about to change for this Italian marque. Directly from the Laverda.com website: "In the nineties the company went through a rough period in terms of finances and the market, partially caused by a production diversification policy that did not achieve the expected results." Laverda went into receivership, and was acquired by the Aprilia Group. As of 2004 Laverda was part of the Piaggio Group, who has publicly stated that they have no interest in returning this storied brand back to market.

This 1984 Jota RGS (Real Gran Sport) was one of the bikes that kept Laverda afloat in the waning years. Powered by a one liter triple, the Jota was the performance bike of the Laverda stable. Given that this is a later example, the crank timing is the smoother 120 degree variant, versus the early model's 180 lumpy firing order. The RGS nomenclature (not to mention fairing design) designates high speed transport as a favorite pastime; when originally released in 1976 the Jota was the fastest production motorcycle in the world.

From the seller:
1984 LAVERDA RGA JOTA 1000CC TRIPLE VERY RARE ,RUNS LIKE A JEWEL ,RECENT SERVICE ,NO ISSUES ,NEW BATTERY,

Laverda triples were never made in the numbers that would put a blip on the radar of the Big Four. As such, they are always in limited supply. What makes this one interesting to US readers is that it is a federalized model - here legally. No gray-market import, this Jota rolled through US Customs with the blessings of DOT and the EPA. This means that there should be NO difficulty in registering it for use where you live. And this is a bike that you *should* use. Laverda triples have a feel and a rhythm that is unique. These are well-made machines, sturdy and strong in a brawny sort of way. Legal in the US and something you should ride: You don't see that every day on RSBFS.

This bike is available in California (but appears to have Colorado registration). The seller claims a clean title, which is always a good thing. This bike has a very interesting VIN (....0000010), but that does not usually greatly affect resale value. Still, it is a novel VIN which only adds to the allure of this particular example. Bids are up to $4k at the time of this writing with reserve still in place. How high will it go? Check it out here, and share your Laverda thoughts in our Comments section. Good Luck!!

MI


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Aprilia February 10, 2017 posted by

Practical Italian: 2000 Aprilia RSV Mille R for Sale

The engine of any motorcycle is its living, beating heart and the powerplant of Aprilia’s funky RSV Mille R was, at the time, as unconventional as the bike’s styling. A 90° v-twin is generally considered ideal for sporting applications, as the angle between the cylinders provides “perfect primary balance” where the unpleasant vibrations caused by the pistons punching in different directions, crankshaft counterweights, and other whirly bits generally cancel each other out. This provides smooth power and character for which Italian sportbikes are generally known. You can always get around a lack perfect primary balance by using a heavy flywheel or limiting revs, but neither choices are ideal for a sportbike. Unfortunately, the ideal 90° angle between the cylinders makes for an engine that’s difficult to package. In Ducati’s original v-twin powered bikes, a long wheelbase necessitated by the nearly horizontal front cylinder wasn’t really a problem as bikes of the period typically long wheelbases that aided stability. But modern sportbikes use shorter wheelbases to provide agility and a longer swingarm to increase traction.

That’s easy to do with an inline four, but very difficult with a transverse v-twin. You could go the route Guzzi chose and turn the thing sideways to give the bike a longitudinal crankshaft orientation, but then aerodynamics and ergonomics suffer, and you’re also stuck with the effects of the crankshaft’s rotation on the bike’s handling. Or you could try, as Suzuki did, to attack the problem by using an alternative rear suspension design, but their rotary damper created its own set of issues with handling. Aprilia and Rotax attacked the problem with its usual lack of ties to tradition and applied technology: a pair of balance shafts allowed them to use a 60° configuration for the 998cc twin that kept the engine’s dimensions compact but gave it a character that was still smooth enough for a sportbike. It’s generally considered a bit more “agricultural” than Ducati’s L-twin, but Aprilia’s engine is far more economical to run and the resulting bike handles better than any of Suzuki’s v-twin machines.

As with the oily, whirly bits, Aprilia had no tradition to cling to when styling the bike and created something that looked entirely new. The RSV Mille offers up the best of both worlds in terms of performance and character, if you can get past the design which is… “striking” if you’re being kind “functional” if you could care less about aesthetics. But you can't argue that it works, and that bulbous fairing with its Mickey Mouse headlight offers up better wind protection and comfort than many other sportbikes and it certainly looks like nothing else on the road.

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Aprilia RSV Mille R for Sale

2000 Aprilia Mille R.  Shes a beauty.  Really good shape. No missing parts pretty much all OEM.

V-Twin powered machine so she's torquey.  Fun bike, feels really balanced.  Moto runs really strong.  Trans shifts flawlessly in every way.  The Rotax engine is bullet proof, honest, and not needy at all.  She has the correct exhaust which in my opinion is the piece de resistance.  There have been other Mille R's posted on ebay that seem to always be missing the correct exhaust setup.  This exhaust is particular to the R model as are the below listed items:

  • Carbon Fiber Front Fender, Rear Hugger and Dash Cover.
  • Ohlins Adjustable Suspension Front and Rear
  • Ohlins Steering Stabilizer
  • Comes to a stop with Brembo Equipment
  • Light Weight OZ Wheels Front and Rear
  • Over Under Exhaust
  • Shorai Battery

Michelin Tires are good usable condition still have many miles of use left.  New Rear sprocket and Chain.  All 5 Cush drive rubber pieces of the rear OZ Wheel were replaced at time of sprocket replacement.  New black levers to match the color scheme, the OEM felt clunky and a lil too plain jane.  Shorai battery

17 Year old bike folks so there are tiny nicks scratches here and there which is to be expected for a moto of this vintage, however that being said it is a fine example of 17yo moto.  really good shape just look at pics.

This isn’t a garage queen, but 8,900 miles over nearly 17 years means the bike has seen sparing use and, although it’s not perfect, appears to have been very well cared-for. Taste may be subjective, but the RSV Mille is fast, handles well, is reliable, and offers up humane ergonomics compared to the sexy but uncompromising bikes from Ducati. Aprilia has become the maker of “the best motorcycles nobody buys” and while that's not great news for them, it is for sportbikers looking for bargain exotica that emphasize function over style. Prices for the first-generation RSVs are about as rock-bottom as you’re ever likely to get for such a competent machine, and bidding on this one is up to just $1,550 with the Reserve Not Met and very little time left on the auction.

-tad


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