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Honda March 12, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing – 1986 Honda VFR700F

Update 3.14.2018: SOLD in 2 Days! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

VFR fans might remember this special 700F from last spring's write-up.  Over the past year just a few hundred miles and a new starter are of note. 

The VFR700F was an interim model which ducked under a tariff limit on engine size, making a huge difference in MSRP from the VFR750F.  Performance was comparable and the model received two updates even though it was only imported for two years.  This edition is a late 1986 F2, with the angular console inkeeping with the times.

The F2 was a significant re-design from the 1983 introduction, and the entire engine was new in response to the update to the cam lubrication problem.  The frame was now a twin-spar aluminum, adding a sixth speed, air-adjustable forks and revised Pro-Link monoshock.  Still it was 81 hp pushing just over 500 lbs. wet, though the racing team did wonders with theirs - Fred Merkel won the AMA Superbike 1984-86 and was the new WSBK champion 1988-89.

This particular VFR was a rescue but looks like a show dog these days.  Fairings were repaired by plastic welding but are factory original.  Nice touches like the bronze powder-coated engine cases and up-to-date black wheels compete with knowledgeable fan updates like the 17-inch front wheel and shortened and cored mufflers ( with correct jetting ).  A lightening trim to the front fender shows the restorer's expertise and sharp eye, and maybe a little nostalgia with the NOS tank emblem.  Check out the restoration blog - here - .

By now most VFR's have half-again or twice as many miles, as they are a rider's bike.  Most have never even heard about a restoration like this.  Renewed for another life, with its 2nd generation alloy chassis and stock paint and graphics, it could easily hold its own at a show or concours.  Owner Scott asks just $4,000.


Ducati March 12, 2018 posted by

Live from Hollywood – 2005 Ducati 999R

Long ago when V-twin Superbikes made do with a mere liter, Ducati made a smashing revision to the 916 series.  Like some other revolutions, it was voted down - but the monoposto 999R is the apex of the short-lived Tamburini design.

2005 Ducati 999R for sale on eBay


Ducati produced just 200 of the R-spec for homologation purposes, and while not quite race-prepared, they had the equipment that the WSBK team wanted to be able to use.  For the 999R, that meant a slightly different engine with revised heads and a lot of titanium, resulting in 150 hp at a low 9,750 rpm, and a flat torque curve.  Headstock angle is adjustable, as is the seat console position.  Öhlins are found front and rear, fully adjustable with revised valving and nitride-treated fork legs.  Clutches were "free" or unconstrained by the rule book, so the factory was not compelled to add a slipper clutch, though the big twin calls for one.


Looking very stock and showing just under 10,000 miles, this 999R is apparently in the care of a specialty dealer in Florida.  Maybe not subject to the endless polishing and re-farkeling it would get at home, but very good shape with only one scrape, though how it got there without a lot of collateral damage is a mystery.  From the eBay auction:

This motorcycle is in excellent condition, and has been cared for properly since day one. Starts runs and drives perfectly. 2005 was the first year of the deep sump 999R 150HP motor, and big swing arm. The previous year came with a weaker motor, and less robust swing arm. It also has the full carbon bodywork.
There are a few tiny scratches, and a small bit of road rash on the underside of the belly fairing, but overall it is in amazing condition.


The base 999 has a lot of awe-inspiring details, and the -R has them as well, but executed in carbon or forged alloy, and often adjustable.  But turning some of these knobs requires some expert knowledge, besides open track time and a mechanic or two.  Like winning the lottery, it would be fun to give it a go.  Not sure if there is a "starter" 999R, but this might be it - ready for a valve adjustment, new rubber, a little paint work, and maybe a personalizing update or two.  The Make Offer button beckons...


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Yamaha March 11, 2018 posted by

All chassis: 1992 Yamaha TZR250R 3XV4

This 1992 Yamaha TZR250R 3XV4 is the last of a bunch in our buddy Gary's extensive collection of grey-market machines. He's right up front that this one looks good in a parking space, but shows its age up close. He notes that it has its fair share of scratches and cracks, and says that it looks like the tank has been repainted.

Be that as it may, the bike has had a mechanical once-over and is low mileage, which makes it a good candidate for just about anything. It would be easy enough to restore to showroom, or it could be ridden without a lot of worry.

And what a ride. The TZRs upheld Yamaha's long-standing reputation for sweet-handling steeds. The brakes are good, the bikes are light, and corner speeds can get hairy very quickly, provided you keep the revs up. Unfortunately, uncorked TZRs are rare beasts, as it takes more than a pipe and a jet kit to extract more than about 40 horsepower.

From the eBay listing:

Up for auction to the highest bidder with NO RESERVE is a 1992 Yamaha TZR250R 3XV4 with 15,214 kilometers (9,454 miles). Bike looks very nice and has great curb appeal but has scratches, scrapes and a crack in the upper left fairing. Appears the tank has been professionally resprayed. This bike would make a great candidate for restoration since it has such low miles. All fairings are 100% genuine OEM factory Yamaha. Bike is completely stock except for hand grips. Bike runs excellent and was just serviced with new tires, carbs cleaned, new battery, new fork seals and new engine fluids. This TZR has so much potential. Fairings are nice. There are no dents in the gas tank and the windscreen is very clear. Bike is solid. This is the last TZR250R I have. My collection is almost gone. Bike comes with Utah state title and is titled as a street bike for road use. $200 deposit due immeadiatly after auctions end thru PayPal. Remaining balance due within 5 business days by check, bank wire or cash in person. Please text 801-358-6537 for more photos and questions.

There's no buy-it-now set for this bike, so the auction will run its full course. Jump in early and stay in late to get your best shot at this little beast.

Moto Guzzi March 10, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1976 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale

These days, Moto Guzzi is pigeonholed as the Piaggio Group's resident bearer of the sporty retro banner, building the Italian equivalent of Triumph's classic Thruxton, Speed Twin, and Bobber. Which is a damn shame, given Guzzi's history of legitimately competitive racing machines in a wide variety of classes. Of course, they almost always seemed to have that classic "speed through comfort" thing going on, even with their single-cylinder racebikes. But with very nice, but unintimidating fare like the current V7 and brutish retro-crusiers like the Griso and El Dorado, it's easy to forget that the original Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans was, at the time, a very serious sportbike.

With distinctive styling that looks a bit like some sort of sleek, antediluvian racing tractor, the Le Mans was an update of the earlier V7 Sport and 750S, and used the same Lino Tonti frame and longitudinal v-twin, here punched out to 844cc and fitted with high-compression pistons in chrome bores, along with a hot cam, bigger valves, and larger carburetors. The resulting 71 rear-wheel-horses were corralled by a five-speed transmission and routed to the ground via Guzzi's now familiar shaft drive. Stopping was managed by a trio of disc brakes, and the Le Mans used a simple linked-braking system that sometimes causes sportbiking purists to turn up their noses, but is very effective in practice.

Obviously, "two-valve," "pushrod" and "shaft-drive" aren't words generally found in the description of a sportbike, but the Le Mans most definitely was one. It wouldn't likely impress anyone used to modern performance bikes, but in 1976, a top speed of 130mph meant the Le Mans was a legitimate player in the high-performance world, and a direct comparison to the contemporary Ducati 900SS suggests the simpler, pushrod Guzzi motor is actually revvier and the Le Mans handles just as well.

In spite of the fact that Lino Tonti's frame made for a very effective sport and street motorcycle for an impossibly long time, motorcycle frame design and suspension geometry have come a long way since the early 1970s and although the Le Mans is famously stable, it does, according to at lease one magazine article, "turn like a plank in a swimming pool." But who cares about agility when you're running tires this skinny and looking this good? Tonti-framed bikes are especially beloved of the cafe crowd due to their naturally low overall height, due to the jutting cylinders: even before you start modifying one, it's already impossibly low and lean. The downside of the Le Mans' widely-used frame and desirability is that they're pretty easy to fake, with most of the unique parts pretty easy to source, so verifying that you're looking at the real article is key before you make a purchase.

Moto Borgotaro did a pretty good job describing the bike themselves, as you can see below... The seat isn't the original part, but that's not really all that surprising, considering the originals used a newfangled closed-cell foam in their construction... that promptly disintegrated in many cases. This one looks like the earlier 750S style, so it certainly has the right character and seems a popular replacement part for Le Mans that have suffered catastrophic seat failures. Other than the modern, folding bar-end mirrors that some might not like, this thing is in pretty immaculate shape, down to the US-spec protruding headlight that is accurate, but something I'd personally try and swap out for the European version.

From the Seller: 1976 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale


— By Peter Boggia and Tim Parker

Tonti, essentially a “frame man” made a plan to meet De Stefani’s goal of “200 kilometers per hour, 200 kilograms, and five speeds.”

That’s 125mph, 440lb and 5-speeds in American. His plan was the V7 Sport first seen in 1971. Sure it met the goal but it was also a looker, and the frame was masterful, low, stiff and with good ground clearance, and tight to the engine – but with the lower frame rails removable. Watchword: balance.

“While the specially prepared Guzzi 750s were roaring round and round the Monza speed bowl in October 1969, breaking the records Moto Guzzi had set in June, Chief Engineer Lino Tonti, Managing Director Romolo De Stefani, and President Dore Letto were discussing how Moto Guzzi could follow up the new records.”

"Beautifully restored paint, original brakes, upgraded suspension, all original switch gear... this is a three owner Le Mans"


  • VIN VE 070505
  • 19,781 miles
  • First year 850 Le Mans, not designated as the first series until the advent of the second series.
  • Repainted by current owner at 18k mi
  • Lafranconi exhaust 
  • FAC front fork upgrade
  • Velocity stacks
  • Excellent rims and newer tires 
  • Serviced 
  • Newer seat
  • All original switchgear in perfect working order 
  • Ikon shocks

Piaggio at least seems invested in Moto Guzzi's success, but dreams of a modern sportbike like the one that was rumored in the 90s will have to remain on hold for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, bikes like the Le Mans are still around to rally the faithful and keep the dream of "what could have been" alive. Sadly, the Le Mans is no longer an affordable classic, although it still is a very practical classic, with the speed to comfortably keep up with modern traffic and parts available to keep one running. It's a comment on Guzzi's famous reliability that this 20,000 mile example could probably be considered "low mileage." The crew at Moto Borgotaro aren't the usual bike-flippers, or a modern dealer looking to liquidate an estate-sale collection: classic sportbikes are their stock in trade, and this Guzzi appears to have the expected quality.


Laverda March 10, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SFC

The 1974 Laverda SFC is the high-water mark for 1970s Italian sportbikes, representing the pinnacle of Laverda's race bike development and the final SFC offered in the states, as the US mandated left-side shift after September of '74.

The Laverda's big parallel twin made about 75 horsepower, heady grunt for an era where 100 ponies was still the stratosphere. Changes between '73 and '74 included new 36mm carbs and a dual-disk front brake setup.

Quite apart from the power, the Laverda was incredibly scarce, light suave. It is the antithesis of the Japanese race replicas, where weight and power hold sway over aesthetics.

This SFC has been updated tastefully and restored, and presents in near-showroom condition. Moto Borgotaro has a reputation for bringing the finest quality machines to market, and this SFC is no exception. The iconic orange paint, delicate and beautiful aluminum tank and signature bullet fairing are all without blemishes and the running gear is free of spots, stains or drips.

From the seller:


—By Ian Falloon (Falloon Report October 2014)

Although it was always a limited edition, even after 1973 when the factory stopped racing the 750 twin, the SFC continued, incorporating many of the developments learnt from three successful years of racing.

The 750 SFC was thus a true racing machine, built to the highest standards, that could be ridden on the street and a limited edition replica of a factory racer.

Racing experience during 1973 saw the development of a new frame and this made its way to the 750 SFC in 1974, further distancing this model from the production 750 SF2

Representative of the second US specification batch (with numbers between 17110-17166), we introduce you to #17148.
One of the most significant updates for 1974 was the pair of Dell’Orto PHB 36 carburetors, without accelerator pumps. A racing two-into-one megaphone (as on this example) accentuated the lean race replica profile, and the claimed power for the 1974 750 SFC was 75 horsepower at 7,500 rpm.

A two-into-one reverse cone exhaust system was an option on the 750 SFC. This exhaust system only fits the SFC frame.

Frame #17148
Engine #17148
Dell’Orto PHB 36mm carburetors
Borrani aluminum wheel rims
Ceriani suspension
Electron rear hub and sprocket carrier
High quality aluminum replica gas tank
Nippon Denso instruments
Smaller European taillight
Verlicchi twin cable throttle
Completely serviced

Visit Moto Borgotaro's site for details on how to inquire about this fantastic piece of race replica history.


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