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Ducati November 29, 2017 posted by

Factory Prototype: 2000 Ducati MH900e for Sale

Ducati built just 1,000 of the stunning MH900e in 2001 and 2,000 the following year, making this one obviously a bit interesting right out of the gate. It's apparently a pre-production prototype, with some clear differences between it and the regular production version, although the original flat-black pre-production bodywork has been replaced with a set of very sexy carbon-fiber Ducati Performance parts as seen in the photos.

Pierre Terblanche's redesign of Ducati's 998 superbike may have been controversial, but he was on-point here with this Mike Hailwood tribute. The styling of the MH900e wraps a modern-ish two-valve v-twin powertrain, stiff trellis frame, and quality suspension in bodywork that manages to be both futuristic and retro at the same time. There are hints of NCR's racebikes, the Ducati Pantah, Hailwood's TT machine, and the undertail exhaust suggests the 998.

Power from the 904cc air and oil-cooled twin was modest, with a claimed 75hp at the rear wheel, although the engine's flexibility and torque mean that there's more performance on tap than meets the eye when pushing the 410lb machine. Ergonomics were pretty cruel and the seat very tall, but at least the tiny stock 2.2 gallon fuel tank meant plenty of chances to stretch when you pause to fill up: even allowing for the Ducati's good fuel mileage, you're still looking at just 90 miles or so between stops.

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Ducati MH900e Factory Prototype for Sale

For sale a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire the real factory prototype of the DUCATI MH900e.

Here below a little description of this particular model:

The MH900e began as a concept created by the Ducati designer Pierre Terblanche in homage to Mike Hailwood's 1978 win of the Isle of Man TT. Giving way to the model designation "MH".

In September 1998 the sketch was presented to the general public at the Intermot Show in Munich and met with rave reviews. Due to the enthusiastic response from the press and public, Ducati decided to post a questionnaire on their website to test the true interest of the MH900e fans. 300 Ducatisti responded positively. With this information, Federico Minoli and Massimo Bordi (General Manager of Ducati) decided to take the risk and produce a limited run of two thousand hand-built bikes. The first one thousand bikes would be produced in 2000 and the second thousand would be produced in 2001.

The sale of the MH900e was as unique as the bike itself. Ducati made the decision to sell the new bike directly to the consumer exclusively via the Internet in a form of e-commerce known as B-2-C (Business to Consumer). This was a first for any motorcycle manufacturer. It was a risky move, but the result could not have been any better

The Ducati website opened for orders on January 1, 2000 at 00:01am GMT at a price of 15,000. The first 1000 units were sold out in 31 short minutes. The remaining bikes were sold over the next few weeks. Individuals made purchases from 20 different countries. The estimated breakdown of the sales was 30% from Europe, 30% from the US and 39% from Japan.

This particular bike was used by Ducati Experience Department to control all assemblies, parts and components, to make sure everything was fitting and operating properly before production started. Many components are "one-off", and many were pre-production pieces. the battery holding frame is unique, showing a different position of the battery with respect of the production bikes. also the front fairing frame is a bit different than production ones. All of these parts were carefully kept to maintain the originality of the bike, and to show the real spirit of this amazing prototype. like the top fork tee which was left raw instead of being polished like the production ones.

On the gas tank there are signatures and dates, possibly showing various stages of testing and different phases of assembly. every single piece on this bike is authentic and original Ducati for this model, nothing has been altered or manufactured to complete it.

The bike was acquired from Ducati with a non-production plastic body, painted flat black like the rest of the bike, including frame and swingarm. the exhaust was also custom-made, clearly an assembly try-out, yet perfectly working.

We did a "conservative" restoration on the bike, taking it completely apart, making sure every original bit and piece was kept and restored to obtain this amazing piece. we also decide to maintain the black look that sported when we got it, just upgraded it a bit with proper carbon body and custom-made graphics (Ducati made them for us).

the frame and swingarm are pre-production original and authentic DUCATI MH900E, with correct ZDM homologation number, properly and correctly stamped on the neck, with frame serial number being 0000001. everything legit and correct. fully documented with invoice showing frame and motor number.

Some minor parts like clutch, oil tank, and front brake tank aluminum holders, or the steering damper, are not installed but will be in a short time. Everything works perfectly as it should on this amazing piece. A solid investment for any collector or Ducati aficionados, this is the kind of bike that, few years down the line, will be popping up at auctions. Don't loose the opportunity.

Shipping worldwide properly crated. Bike is located in Modena, Italy.

There are no takers yet at the $50,000 starting bid, but there's plenty of time left on the listing. Regular production bikes already command prices of just under $20,000 or so, so I expect that the right collector would pay more for this museum piece. Certainly, it'd be criminal to run it on the road, considering its historical value, even if you could legally register it for road use...

-tad


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Ducati November 28, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: Very Clean 2001 Ducati 748S for Sale

Update 11.27.2017: The seller has renewed the Feature Listing for this very clean 748S and has dropped the price to $4,950. Thanks for helping to support the site Brett and good luck to potential buyers! -dc

2001 Ducati 748S R Side Glamour

America is the land of Golden Corral, the endless buffet, a place where "more is better" and we often shop by the pound. Do we really need an endless pizza buffet? Of course not, but wow, what a deal! And in that world, a bike like the Ducati 748 makes little sense. I mean, for just a couple grand more, wouldn't you rather have the 916? If you finance it, it's just like $40 more per month. But people who subscribe to that reasoning really will never understand the 748.

2001 Ducati 748S R Naked

It’s a situation where less really is more. Sure, the 916 came first, and the 996/998 are definitely more powerful. But the frame and suspension were identical, and the 748 came with a narrower rear tire that gave the bike sharper handling and better turn-in while that smaller engine was sweeter, revvier, and still made a solid 95hp. The bike needed to be worked just that much harder to get the most from it and, since the entire 916 series was a complete disaster when not being properly caned, it’s not like you’re really missing out on a relaxed experience the package never provided anyway.

2001 Ducati 748S Engine

Today’s featured listing isn’t some zero-mileage garage queen, and about 13,000 miles have rolled under the wheels since 2001. But while there may be examples out there with fewer miles on them, there aren’t too many that are cleaner. And even better, this one is yellow.  I realize that many purists will disagree, but I actually prefer yellow to the more traditional red. There aren’t too many motorcycles that look good in yellow, but this is one of them.

2001 Ducati 748 Rear Clutch

From the seller: 2001 Ducati 748S for Sale

While it may not be as collectable as a 748 ‘RS,’ or ‘R,’ - it is in excellent shape.  And the 748 S, while not sporting a number badge, is a series of Ducati that can be hard to find nowadays,  if you’re looking for a lower mileage, supremely clean, professionally maintained, and nearly OEM example.  There are plenty of monopostos out there, but not as many actual ‘S’ series – with the proper TiN Showa suspension, adjustable steering head, grey frame, and grey 5 spoke Marchesini wheel upgrades. 

The Termignoni exhaust is a professional repack and has under 500 miles – the canister carbon is in amazing shape.  A lot of the carbon on the Termis turned amber from years of heat.  Not this set.  These are now very hard to find in good shape.

Also: Carbon fiber clutch cover, cowl, and rear wheel hugger. 

Like the 749R that you provided the featured listing for, this cycle has been ridden constantly, about 850 miles per season. Never in the rain, never on a track. Dedicated mechanic. Kept in a heated garage. 

Timing belt replacement and complete tune and safety inspection less than 1000 miles ago by ECS in Middletown, NY.  Less than 500 miles on Michelin Power Pilots.  Cover and Pit Bull stand would go with the cycle.

2001 – 13,200 miles.

Asking price is $4,950 and the owner can be contacted by email: Brett.Demello@kregtool.com.

2001 Ducati 748 Exhausts

As the seller mentions, the S model isn’t as collectible as the more desirable R, but you do get the very nice Showa suspension front and rear, including the titanium-nitride forks, along with very stylish five-spoke Marchesini wheels that I prefer to the earlier three-spoke items. And you can’t go wrong with the glorious noise generated by a classic set of carbon Termignoni cans.

Certainly, you can find a 748 for less than the seller is asking, but you probably won't find one better and I think this represents a very good opportunity for fans of the Tamburini superbikes.

-tad

2001 Ducati 748S R Side

Laverda November 28, 2017 posted by

Collector Alert: 1998 Laverda 750SF/Formula with updates (UK)

Note:  This listing was removed from ebay (sold?) while in the queue for posting here on RSBFS but the post contains some interesting info so we decided to put it up anyway.  If we hear from the seller as to what price it went for, we will update in the comments.

Here is a zane-era Laverda 750 Formula which is probably the most collectible model of the later Laverda models.  Only produced in 1998 and 1999, the Formula was the top shelf bike in the lineup during the brief-rebirth of the Laverda marque.  This one is especially rare due to its having the updated/Type 3 crank installed of which less than 100 were produced.

1998 Laverda 750SF/Formula in the UK

For anyone not familiar with the zane-era of the Laverda marque, its a typically Italian motorcycle manufacturer story.  In the mid-to-late 1980's Lavera was a small motorcycle company that didn't have the financial resources to do continuous development.   Instead, designs were evolutionary, focused on the parallel twins and triple engines the company was known for.  In 1992 a new series of sportbikes were designed and ready to launch when the the company hit yet another financial problem which this time proved un-resolvable with creditors.  The result was Laverda filed for bankruptcy in late 1992 but after a multi-year trip through the courts local businessman Francisco Tognon bought the marque and re-started production.  The purchase included the designs for the "new" bikes but this meant that when the Laverda relaunched in 1994/1995 their bikes designs were already about 3 years old.

Note: The motorcycles produced in this post bankruptcy period are often referred to as zane-era Laverdas.  This is due to the fact that while the prior production was at the old factory in Breganze, the new bikes were built in a new factory located less than 6 miles away in Zane Italy.

The new lineup included a 650cc trellis framed bike known as the Ghost that was very similar to the Ducati Monster.  Another offering was a 650cc sportbike known simply enough as the 650 and a top shelf racer called the 650 formula that came with a new beam frame designed by Nico Baker.   Regardless of the model, the entire lineup came with the same basic engine (although the formula had upgraded cams and ecu mapping).    The reason for this was that Laverda had decided to follow the business model established by John Bloor's reborn Triumph motorcycles; offer a series of model options all based around a common engine architecture.  This business model means that no single model can break the company (cough-Bimota VDue-cough) and the monies from these early bikes could keep the lights on and also go into the development of new designs.   The business model actually worked for a bit with updates to the 650 air cooled engine being implemented in 1996 and capacity bumped slightly to 668cc's.  A new water cooled 750cc parallel twin engine was launched in in late 1997 and the modular philosophy continued with a standard bike known as the 750 Ghost, a street oriented sportbike known as the 750S and finally a "top shelf" 750cc Sportbike known as the Formula or 750SF.  All the new 750cc machines came wrapped up in lots of top shelf goodies including the beam frame design by Nico Baker, Paoli shocks, Marchesini wheels and lots of carbon fiber bits.  The 750SF/Formula edition got some extra bits including hotter cams, revised ECU mapping for better top end performance and termignoni exhausts as an option.

The 750 Laverda Formula was a solid competitor to the Ducati 748 of the era, down on power due to its older engine design but making up for it with better handling due to better suspension, braking and a neat letterbox fuel tank system that lowered the center of gravity of the bike as the fuel tank emptied.   Reviews were positive but not outstanding, with most comments saying the new 750cc model was equal to or slightly better than its Italian competition and a good step forward but not a world beater.

Sadly, even with the positive reviews and moderate sales success, Laverda was still a small European maker trying to compete against the well-funded Japanese and a resurgent Ducati (which had just gotten a large influx of private equity investment).  Development of the long-awaiting 3 cylinder engine dragged on and by early 1999 Laverda was again struggling financially.  New financial partners came in with the condition that Franciso Tognon relinquish his majority control.  Tognon instead decided to exit the concern completely, selling his interest but somehow managed to take the rights for the design of the new triple engine with him (which became the new powerplant of the reborn Benelli Tornedo Tre 900) and within a year the entire Laverda concern was bankrupt yet again in 2000.   A brief flicker of hope for a rebirth occurred when Laverda was acquired by Aprilia in 2001 with Aprilia even showcasing a new Aprilia powered SFC model in 2003 but Aprilia soon ran into its own financial difficulties.  The entire Aprilia group, which also included Moto Guzzi, was soon acquired by the Piaggio Motors who quickly made the decision that Laverda was the weakest brand of the 3 and in 2004 the Laverda marque was mothballed.

Ok, now that we have covered the history, what does all this mean to prospective collectors?   Its simple; the 1998-1999 750SF/ Formulas can be thought of as the last official development by Laverda, the model that contains all the final updates.  Bikes that represent the last of a marque are sometimes referred to as a "legacy" model and are usually a good investment opportunity, especially if they look as good as the Formula does.

As for this particular Formula, mileage is approximately 12,500 kilometers but the seller indicates it hasn't run in a few years so a reconditioning might be required.   Condition looks to be good with all the carbon bits in place and while I did notice that some bolts appearing to be non-OEM I don't see any major damage.  The seller indicates it does come with the optional Termignoni exhaust system including the chip but probably the most important aspect of this bike is the fact that it comes equipped with an updated/Type 3 crank.  This is important because depending on how they were ridden and maintained, the zane-era Laverdas could experience lower bearing failures/oiling issues which could cause engine failure by 25,000 miles.   These problems were most pronounced in the earlier 650/668 air cooled engines and while the risk of this could be partially prevented by an update to a stainless oil filter system and regular maintenance, the company did redesign the crank for the later 1998 and 1999 models to further reduce the chances of this issue occurring.  The seller indicates this bike has been equipped with one of the updated factory cranks which is quite rare and an important value add for the bike.

So now to the question - what's this bit of turn-of-the-century-possibly-tempermental-carbon-fiber-accented-Italian goodness worth?   Well its a 1998 model which means it not quite as desired by collectors as the final edition formulas from 1999 that came in a truly beautiful blue/orange or silver/orange color scheme.   Parts will be a bit of concern, although several suppliers are available and there always seems to be a 750s model being broken on ebay.uk.com.  Givn that only an estimated 600 formula editions were built over the two year model run and the fact that this one has had the crank issue resolved, I would say this is a solid opportunity for a collector.

I would guess reserve somewhere around 4500 GBP/6000 USD.  Value won't probably shoot up, it will be more of a slow gainer but its still a rare sportbike and probably a solid long term investment opportunity.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

 

Addendum:  I feel its only fair to note that I personally have a zane-era laverda collection and make a bit of money on the side selling parts/doing restorations/helping people mechanic their issues.


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Aprilia November 27, 2017 posted by

Biaggi Replica: 1996 Aprilia RS250

Things were coming up Max Biaggi in 1996, as the Roman was in the middle of a string of three 250cc Grand Prix world titles and his storied rivalry with Valentino Rossi was still nearly half a decade in the future. The Italian claimed his trophies aboard Aprilia's fantastic RS250GP, so the factory threw some special paint at a handful of the road-going bikes to celebrate.

1996 Aprilia RS250 for sale on eBay

The bike's Philip Morris paint scheme wouldn't pass muster with today's post-tobacco lawsuit advertising rules, making this 1996 Aprilia RS250 a slightly more interesting piece of racing lore. It's pretty clean and sorted, with just a little decal deterioration on the tank by the right clipon. It has covered fewer than 5,000 kilometers and has undergone a recent basic tuneup.

From the eBay listing:

Up for grabs is this beautiful, all original and mint condition 1996 Aprilia RS250 Chesterfield Max Biaggi scheme. This bike is currently titled, insured and registered in New Jersey. I acquired this awesome machine not too long ago from another collector that had too many toys but not enough time to enjoy them. i did went over the bike and performed maintenance such as new plugs, coolant flush, brake system bleed, gear oil flush and carb cleaning. all fluids were replaced with motul products. here is your chance to own a very clean and hard to come by chesterfield rs250. please message me if you have any questions and i will do my best to answer them. Thanks for looking.

The bike is listed at $9,500, which is almost $2,000 over the very sorted RS we featured back in September. The cool paint job is a nice touch, so it will be interesting to see what this bike ultimately moves for.


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Honda November 27, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing – 1995 Honda RVF400R Restored by Speedwerks

As profiled in the 1984 edition of Cycle World's occasional "Forbidden Fruit" column, the RVF400R / NC35 was a world-beating junior but accompanied the legendary RVF750R / RC45 only to the home market.  RSBFS sponsor Speedwerks has given this example a new lease on life.  The 399cc V-4 has been comprehensively freshened with new fluids and filters, seals and tires, chain and titanium exhaust.  With Ohio title, it's ready for a new rider.

The NC35 had several nice updates to the earlier VFR400R, mechanical in the 41mm upside-down forks, Pro-Arm rear monoshock, 17" wheels front and rear, and cosmetic in the cat-eye headlights.  61 hp is available at a lofty 12,500 rpm, the gear-driven cams whining their way to the beat of the "big bang" crank timing.  Build quality and reliability was above the rest of the junior market, though the price was a dry weight of just under 365 lbs.

Speedwerks has been restoring and preparing sportbikes for more than 20 years, and the results of their experience are apparent here.  Painted and plated parts are correctly colored and finished, rubber parts renewed, and the aftermarket fairings have factory livery.  After the carb rebuild and new exhaust, a tuning session on the dyno was done.  Here are Steve's notes from the build:

Honda RVF400RR NC35. 33K miles, Clean US title, Fully Serviced and dyno tuned, runs and rides as new.
Demon titanium exhaust. Mobil 1 synthetic with Hi-Flo filter, Antifreeze flushed/filled,
Steel braided brake lines, bled with Castrol fluid and fitted with new Ferodo pads.
EK chain, Carbs rebuilt and jetted, new fuel lines and filter, NGK ER9EH plugs.
New Bridgestones fitted, RS10 soft front, S20 dual rear. Fresh fork oil and seals.
Bodywork is aftermarket and shows well, the paint is very nice.
This RVF is a good reliable rider, ready for a good home. Personal delivery available.

Speedwerks is asking $8999, contact Steve by email (steve@speedwerks.com) or visit their Facebook page.

-donn

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