Latest Posts

Benelli March 15, 2017 posted by

Italian Week Continues: 1983 Benelli SEI 900

We seem to be celebrating an Italian theme on RSBFS this week. That is not too surprising, as pound-for-pound the Italians produce more lust-worthy hardware than most. I'm not discounting the ruthless efficiency of German machines, nor the bright spots in the Japanese flood of scooters; however if you tally up the total number of bikes produced by a given nation and identify what makes you drool, one small country stands out above the rest. Why? A unique combination of passion and performance would be the likely answer. Can we name a few brands that we might like to own? The list is long and glorious: Ducati, Bimota, Moto Guzzi, Moto Morini, Cagiva, Laverda, Aprilia and MV Agusta. That doesn't even count the bespoke builders of dreams: Mondial, Morbidelli or Ghezzi-Brian. Have I missed one? Probably more than a few. Nobody but the Italians are able to artfully blend the focus of performance with visceral good looks and color. Today's example is this gorgeous Benelli SEI 900.

1983 Benelli SEI 900 for sale on eBay

Look past the miles-deep pool of red paint. Shield your eyes from the sparkle of the chrome. Ignore the mags, the quarter fairing, the set and the stance. Strip everything away and go back to basics. In this case it is a fabulous 900cc inline six banger. The first to release a six cylinder into production - originally a 750 - the Benelli SEI 900 utilized a larger bore & stroke to provide additional motivational might. With a quarter fairing evoking a period Laverda or Moto Guzzi, the SEI was a technological, aural and visual bombshell of the time. Eschewing the 750's six-into-six exhaust in favor of a six-into-two, the SEI looked more like a normal motorcycle from the side, although from the front it was all but impossible to hide the width. This seller obviously cares about this bike and it's history, so we'll let him pick up the story.

From the seller:
There is a good article that says this is probably 1 of approximately 80 Seis 900s imported to the US. “By the end of production in 1989, fewer than 2,000 examples of the 900 Sei had been built; some sources claim no more than 80 of them made it to the U.S. market.” (Motorcycle Classics, May/June 2015).

1983 BENELLI SEI 900
Built June 1982, titled 1983
VIN: ZBNB0AB00DP011261 Engine No: BGB011248

History:

Original owner (name unknown) bought and rode the bike a little over 9000 miles and then parked the bike in his collection. No significant changes were made. In 1987, second owner (Sterling, MA) bought part of the collection including this Sei 900. The second owner was told it did not run so he stored it in a shop intending to restore it, but never rode it. He sold it to me in mid-2014. I cleaned the carbs, etc. and it started!

I did a complete 1 year effort to do a ground up restoration; inspecting and replacing anything needed except one thing: it has the ORIGINAL BODY PAINT!

Mechanically inside this bike looked like new, still crosshatches on cylinders, great compression, good shifting, etc. Fortunately, the tank was very clean. Outside it had some rust on the frame, wheels, and rear drive chain.

Key restoration items include the following:

- Powder coat the frame and wheels
- All new wheel bearings and brake seals/pads
- Replaced the starter gear and shaft and 2 bearings in the transmission
- Honed cylinders and light valve grind
- New seals and gaskets throughout
- New fork tubes and dampers
- Rebuilt carburetors
- 1 new badge (original missing)
- New seat cover, fuel cocks, and rubber parts
- Re-chromed original exhaust system and other chromed parts

Majority of these parts were original Benelli replacement parts bought from Benelli-Bauer GmbH in Germany.

Upgrades not original style parts include:

- New complete electronic ignition system
- New regulator/rectifier system (original alternator like new)
- New rear shocks
- New rear drive chain and sprockets
- New tires and battery
- K & N air cleaners
- Some new stainless steel hardware

It had 9,272 miles on it when I bought it; it has 10,008 miles now.

Runs and rides absolutely GREAT! Starts instantly, although a bit cold blooded (needs a few miles to warm up). Pulls evenly and shifts fine. And yes, it is as smooth as the books and reviews say.

Sure, in comparison to some Japanese, upgraded-spec, chain-saw razor with pipes and slicks, this SEI is a flat dog. If your idea of riding involves pre-mix and a quarter liter of squish band, feel free to look away. But somehow I doubt a true enthusiast can look at this and not be in awe - even a little - at what Benelli has created. Once owned by the legendary DeTomaso namesake, you can be sure that performance (such as it may be defined) exists within. This seller has done a tremendous job on the restoration of this machine, as well as the presentation. There is strong interest in this auction, and I'm sure a new owner will be celebrating the arrival of a dream very soon. If you're into Benelli (or even if you've only just discovered these marvelous machines), act quickly. Very few SEIs came stateside, and very, very few are in this level of condition. Check it out here, and let us know what you think. Viva Italia indeed!

MI


One Response. Join the Discussion!
Ducati March 14, 2017 posted by

Odd Duck: 1982 Ducati Pantah 600TL for Sale

Pantah Week continues with this very rare, and very oddly-styled machine. When you say "Ducati" to pretty much anyone, it conjures up images of sleek, exotic, often uncomfortable machines designed to win at all costs on track and inflame the desires of motorcyclists all over the world. What you wouldn't normally imagine is something like this basically brand-new Ducati Pantah 600TL...

While the sport-touring oriented bodywork of the 600TL may not be to everyone's taste, there's nothing wrong with the components under the skin: it's motivated by the same 583cc, two-valve v-twin and five-speed gearbox as the 600SL sportbike. It uses the same as well, so handling should be excellent, although it is less stable at high speeds than its sportier brother and the top speed is lower. That funky black front fender looks like a replacement item, but period ads and photos suggest that this is in fact the original part.

 

Obviously there have been a few styling misfires from Ducati over the years: their Giorgetto Giugiaro-styled 860GT was certainly not well-liked when new, although time and a general love of all things bevel-drive have seen values of even that much-maligned machine steadily increasing in value. And sportier 600SLs languished in unloved obscurity until recently, when prices have begun to rise, along with bikes like yesterday's 750 F1. Will time be as kind to the the 600TL? It may be too soon to tell, but this particular bike has virtually no miles on it and is basically a museum-piece, so it might be a good place to start for weird Ducati speculators.

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Ducati Pantah 600TL for Sale

This is a brand new 1982 600TL.  It has 2.9 miles on it.  It comes with book, tools and parts manual.  I bought this bike from the stocking Ducati dealer in Ohio.  He told me that in 1982 30 600TL came to the US and that this is one of them.  The bike has never been driven, the battery has never had battery acid in it.  It has a Conti muffler, 36 Din Delorto carbs.  This bike has all custom papers and duty paid for Canada, but the US title is still on hand.  This bike is extremely rare, it may be the only new one in the world!

Normally rare, zero-mile bikes are a recipe for a static display. But in this case, all the parts you'd need to get it roadworthy should be readily available. You could probably even slot in a much larger, more powerful version of the venerable L-twin with a bit of work... The starting bid is set at $8,250 with no takers as yet although there is still plenty of time left on the auction. I've never seen one for sale before, and it's very rare here in the USA, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it'll ever really be worth all that much to collectors, except as an oddity.

-tad


No Responses Yet. Join the Discussion!
Ducati March 13, 2017 posted by

Middle Child: 1986 Ducati 750 F1 for Sale

Until pretty recently, Ducati's 750 F1 was the redheaded stepchild of the Ducati family: it wasn't a bevel-drive and so wasn't really considered worthy of being considered a "classic" Ducati, didn't have the reliability [cough, cough] of the modern two-valve twin, or the performance credentials of the liquid-cooled four-valve superbikes. But values have been rising rapidly in recent years, and the F1 represents an important bridge between two eras of Ducati sportbikes.

The 750 F1 was built around their proven trellis frame and a 749cc version of the Pantah two-valve L-twin, tuned to produce 76hp and was wrapped in bodywork designed to resemble the successful TT1 racing machines. Wheels were the height of 80s fashion, with a tiny 16" hoop up front and 18" at the rear. This was the very last Ducati produced before Cagiva took over and it uses a pair of carburetors configured like the older bevel-drive bikes instead of the later machines that nestled both units in the engine's vee. Not the most efficient from a packaging standpoint, with those air cleaners jutting out bodywork.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Ducati 750 F1 for Sale

Original surviving example with 3850 original miles. Runs very well indeed. Its tight and everything works. Toolkit and owners manual included. Will need tires if ridden aggressively. An uncompromising street legal Italian thoroughbred.

Bidding is up above $10,000 with the Reserve Not Met and very little time left on the auction. These are the very last Ducatis before the modern era that was ushered in by Cagiva, and that gives them a special place in Ducati's history, and the uptick in values reflects that. This example looks very clean and is in excellent condition, with low miles and the seller even includes a short video of the bike roaring up the street!

-tad


7 Responses. Join the Discussion!
Moto Guzzi March 12, 2017 posted by

Meaty Beauty, Big and Bouncy – 1996 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100

With apologies to the Who, this cheesecake of a sportbike is one of Guzzi's greatest hits.  The design was based on the Daytona and shown in fall 1993 as a 1994 model.  One of the last carburetted Guzzis, the 1996 model had fully adjustable suspension front and rear, and the company's torquey 2-valve L-twin.  This higher-mile example has been well-loved and presents well.

1996 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport for sale on eBay

No denying the 1100 Sport tends toward the traditional, with the slightly oversquare air-cooled mill and 5-speed shaft drive.  But a new frame design began the updates, W-P provided the outstanding forks and monoshock, and un-linking the brake system was a nod toward sportier riding.  The riding position and fairing compare to other supersports of the day, and the company eagle soars over a nicely finished machine, this time in the deep red.

This owner's mods show the sportier side, the factory's catalyzer traded for a full Termignoni exhaust, and the airbox removed in favor of foam air filters, which also gives a good view of the rear shock.  Fork tube cozies and head guards are a nod to the realities of road riding.  15 years and 30,500 miles on, the owner has been in for the long term and provides a maintenance update in the eBay auction:

I've decided to part with this beauty after owning her for 15 years. I've owned 2 of these up until a few years ago. I bought this one at Meyers Ducati/Moto Guzzi in Asheville (since closed). I've always considered these to be one of the sexiest Italian V twins of the era. I've read there were 215 of this year produced. Not sure if that's accurate. They are getting rare these days and are destined to become more valuable. This Sport 1100 is equipped with a few extremely hard to find after-market performance parts including Termignoni stainless exhaust full system and Marvic wheels, UNI Pod air filters (air box was removed before I got it). It runs strong and starts easily. It's always had good maintenance, regular valve adjustments, and primarily full synthetic oil. I only run ethanol free premium fuel. Most recently serviced at HCV Motorsports in Asheville NC. 

A regular in supersports and thunder-twin race series, the race-developed frame was shared with the 1100 Sport.  The weight can't be erased but the biked tested as good to hold a line once turned in, and strong torque numbers make the back roads unwind.  No worries about the longevity of the drivetrain, and with a fan's updates and up-to-date care, this might be a good entrée into a classic sportbike...

-donn


6 Responses. Join the Discussion!
Ducati March 11, 2017 posted by

Rebuilt Racer: 1999 Ducati 748RS for Sale

The Ducati 916/748 was the poster child for performance motorcycles throughout its production, with the same sort of ubiquity the Lamborghini Countach enjoyed in its heyday. With so many of them made over such a long timeframe, it’s easy to forget how huge an impact the bike had when it was new: Tamburini's creation may have been uncomfortable, temperamental, and expensive, but Ducati sold streetbikes so they could go racing, not the other way around. Which makes today’s 748RS one of the purest Ducatis you can buy, aside from a used World Superbike machine.

The 748 was the baby-brother to the 916 and came in standard, S, R, and RS flavors. Naturally, the RS was the trickest of the bunch, a pure factory racebike with plenty of trick parts and a highly-strung engine with maintenance requirements to match. The 748cc v-twin was pitched against 600cc inline fours and the displacement bump allowed by World Supersport rules helped the Ducati compete, but heavily-revised internals were also required to keep them on relatively equal footing. Wild cams opened RS-specific valves to make the 124hp needed, while a 54mm Termignoni exhaust ferried exhaust gasses to the undertail “mufflers.”

As you’d expect, the bike features a close-ratio gearbox, high-end suspension, and extensive use of lightweight materials, including bodywork and a simplified wiring loom, as this was never intended to be used on the road and obviously didn’t need connections for lights and other legal requirements.

From the original eBay listing: 1999 Ducati 748RS for Sale

A motorcycle like this only comes up for sale once in a blue moon. This is a completely rebuilt 1999 Ducati 748RS (Corsa) factory race bike. This particular machine was used in the AMA Pro Thunder Championship which was won by Shawn Conrad. The machine as it sits, is effectively new. It has been rebuilt from the ground up and any part not 100% has been replaced. The engine was rebuilt by Chris Boy's team at Motocorse Ducati in Fort Lauderdale and has zero miles, zero time on it. Everything has been refurbished except the side panels which are original and "as raced". This is again, a factory race bike and ready for your living room or to take racing or for track days. There is no title as this is a factory race bike.  The Ducati factory can confirm it is as stated. I can assist with shipping but the costs are all to the buyers account.

Those of you without deep pockets, beware: this is no tarted-up roadbike converted to track duty, and parts can be very expensive, even if you're used to Ducati's regular belt changes and valve-adjustment: rumor has it, you'll be swapping out those valves [and rockers!] out every 750 km or so. The bike is listed with a $13,499 starting bid, no takers and several days left on the auction. That’s big money for a 748 but seems pretty reasonable for an RS, especially one with legitimate race history, a complete rebuild, and a bit of as-raced patina. From the seller’s description, this one’s basically ready to race or display!

-tad


One Response. Join the Discussion!

Search

Subscribe by Email

Get all our new posts delivered to your email automatically. Spam free! Enter your email address:

Featured Listings

Do You have a special sportbike that should be listed on our site? Sell your bike with a Featured Listing for just $59. We seek out 1985-2002ish model years that are near perfect and in original condition, that would appeal to collectors and enthusiasts. Our readers help sell another bike every 2-3 days! Email me to get started!

FB Like Box

Historically Significant MotoGP Artwork at MotoDeity.com

Archives