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MV Agusta June 10, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1999 MV Agusta F4 Serie Oro

The rebirth of MV Agusta in 1998 was a storied affair, a huge investment, and was centered around the introduction of the F4. The F4 was a single model that represented the direction of the new company, encompassing both style and substance. The style came from the Cagiva Research Center with legendary designer Massimo Tamburini (co-founder of Bimota and designer of the Ducati 916 series). The substance was a powerful one-two punch of history and performance. The result was phenomenal, beautiful, and utterly exclusive.

The first 300 F4s that were released worldwide were Serie Oro machines. The term "Oro" refers to the golden color of the components. But this was not mere paintwork or some marketing ploy. Instead, MV Agusta took the old-fashioned route and sculpted a bike out of unobtainium. The metal components that might be aluminum on other bikes were created in magnesium on the Oro. Magnesium is a magic material that is lighter in weight than aluminum, just as strong (or stronger in some cases), but more difficult to work with. It is an expensive, labor-intensive method to lose weight, and shows the extent of the craftsmanship that went into the launch of the F4. Components created in magnesium on the Oro include the striking wheels, frame side plates and the huge swingarm.

Exotic materials did not end with the metals. Carbon fiber usage is extensive on the Oro, including all of the painted and unpainted bodywork, the tail section and the entire gas tank. Today carbon fiber is ubiquitous - seen nearly everywhere. In 1999, this was still aerospace and F1 material, and the labor to produce these pieces was far higher than other mass production methods, including injection molded plastics (ABS) seen on many bikes of the era. The overall silhouette of the bike is familiar, yet unique. The F4 has earned many accolades as one of the most beautiful motorcycles ever produced, and it is easy to see why. It is the culmination of where Tamburini started with the Ducati 916; more aggressive in some places, yet rounder and softer in others. The MV Agusta colors of red and silver highlight the proportions wonderfully.

All was not simply style, however. For motivation, MV Agusta created an all-new 750cc powerplant. It is a 750cc inline four with DOHC, but there is much more here as well. Engaging with the engineering genius of the Ferrari F1 team, MV Agusta created a cylinder head with the valves arranged in a radial pattern for maximum airflow and combustion efficiency. To this they added electronic wizardry in the form of multipoint fuel injection and an induction discharge electronic ignition to complete the package. The organ pipe exhaust system (4-2-1-2-4) serves both as a powerful visual focal point at the back of the bike while also routing the exhaust plumbing up high out of the way, aiding in cornering clearance. The noise of an F4 at full song is beautiful music indeed.

On the chassis side, the six piston front calipers and the master cylinder were development updates from the Cagiva-Nissan partnership in 500cc GP racing. Both Pirelli and Michelin - at the behest of Tamburini - created special tires to suit the F4 model specifically. Suspension features include a MV Agusta-spec front fork built by Showa that includes quick release front axle clamps - yet another bit of attention to detail that shows the agonizing efforts MV Agusta went through to create the Oro.

From the seller:
1999 MV Agusta F4 Serie Oro
No 279/300
VIN ZCGF400AAXV000279
Mileage: 7800mi
Fantastic condition and ridden regularly. The only blemishes are a 3/16” scratch on the left side fairing (see close up fairing image) and there are some rock chips on the wheels that have been touched up (see wheel images).

7500mi service (including valve adjustment) recently completed and the rear wheel bearings were replaced as a pre-emptive measure at the same time (these are the two major maintenance items to watch out for on the early F4s).

Includes tool kit, owners manual, factory rear stand, both "gold” keys

I encourage prospective buyers to view the F4 in person if possible or ask any questions they may have via e-mail:

Contact: mvagustaf4oro@gmail.com

Price: Asking $36,000 OBO

MV Agusta was determined to return to the sport of motorcycling where they once dominated with an effort worthy of the name. In the Oro, they succeeded in building both a very special motorcycle and one that works exceptionally well. That takes time, and tremendous finances. The rumor is that the Cagiva 500cc GP program was killed to help fund the F4 development, freeing up both cash reserves and engineering staff. That's how serious the rebirth of MV Agusta was in 1998, and that is how much effort went into creating the Oro model.

The MV Agusta Serie Oro is a rare and special machine. These bikes were frightfully expensive when new, and this immaculate example looks to be priced right in the range for a well-loved Oro today. With extremely limited numbers in the US (estimated at approximately 60), each individually numbered bike has the identification that makes it exclusive and distinctive. Looking good while going fast will never be a problem on this F4; your exclusivity is virtually guaranteed. And thanks to bikes like this Serie Oro, the legend of MV Agusta lives on. Contact mvagustaf4oro@gmail.com for more details.

MI

Honda June 10, 2017 posted by

On the fence: 1990 Honda NSR250R SE

In the hardcore world of RSBFS, two strokes rule and four strokes drool (oil). The simple reason is power to weight: Take this 1990 NSR250R as an example: a 250cc v-twin producing approximately 45 HP in Japanese restricted configuration, has only only 290 lbs of bike to move. Similar four strokes have 10-15 less HP (even without home market restrictions) and are heavier by at least the same amount. An unrestricted 250cc smoker is a 60+ HP machine, tilting the numbers even more in favor of the two stroke. When it comes to ultimate performance, it is very hard to beat the sounds, smells and snot of a popcorn popper.

1990 Honda NSR250R SE MC21 for sale on eBay

The MC21 edition of the NSR was a considerable step forward for the NSR line. Featuring a 90° liquid-cooled 249cc v-twin with a trick, six-speed cassette gearbox (making ratio changes possible without pulling the motor and gearbox), asymmetrical "gull-arm" swingarm for maximum cornering clearance (tucks the right side pipe up in tighter) and adjustable suspension, the MC21 is a proper sporting motorcycle. The dry clutch with its "race rattle" is another nod to the intentions of this NSR. An estimated 16,000 were produced for Japanese home markets and as exports to the Pacific Rim and Europe, but sadly America was never a recipient.

From the seller:
1990 HONDA NSR250R SE MC21 DRY CLUTCH
The bike is imported from Japan.
Not registered yet in the U.S.
This bike is sold without title. (NO TITLE)
We don't know how to get a titile. Please ask DMV
Start engine.
Aftermarket Cowl but Tank is original.
Not original color
Race Foot pegs.
Some scratches So look carefully all pictures and video.
Turn signals don't work.
This motorcycle is 27years ago .Sold as is.
24150km (15006mile)
Engine Number MC16E-1222422
Sold as is with NO warranty NO refunds NO return.

This is one of those listings that gives a RSBFS staff writer pause for thought. One one hand, this is a freaking MC21 edition of Honda's acclaimed NSR250 series. The fact that it is an import, reasonably rare in the US, a two stroke and undoubtedly a sport bike ticks most of the right boxes on our checklist. On the other hand, the lack of seller knowledge with regards to title (i.e. it currently sits in CA where you cannot get one for this bike) and the overall condition (i.e. not stock, less than pristine with unknown history) make for a bike to avoid posting. In the end the candor from the seller and the rattle of the dry clutch in the video won me over. It may not be perfect, but throw in some elbow grease and you may have a winner (provided you don't live in CA).

Which brings us to the bottom line: the opening ask for this auction is a fairly unrealistic $4,200. I think that the initial bid is high enough to scare most bidders away, even though it may be in the pricing ballpark. While the bike is rare, there are certainly other NSRs available. A really good MC21 can fetch $7,500 - $9,000 (just check out some of our past Featured Listings), but I think this one will end up in more conservative territory. Check it out here, and then be sure and jump to the Comments section to share your thoughts. Does this bike belong on RSBFS, or should Mike be lashed with a wet noodle soaked in castor oil for the post? Good Luck!!

MI


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Sport Bikes For Sale June 9, 2017 posted by

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Sport Bikes For Sale June 9, 2017 posted by

British Beef: 1982 Hesketh V1000 for Sale

Today’s Hesketh V1000 is a bit older than we usually feature here on RSBFS, but it’s certainly rare, valuable, and exotic. By the time 1980 rolled around, the British biking industry was in bad trouble. Previously, they were known for their powerful engines and excellent roadholding, but the Union Jack been eclipsed by a Rising Sun… Bikes from the Japanese Big Four may not have handled quite as well but they were fast, dead-reliable, and very affordable. The Hesketh was developed to “save” the struggling British motorcycling industry, although who knows how an exclusive, handbuilt, high-performance motorcycle would ever have done that. Of course, Hesketh was already experienced building high-performance machines: readers may be more familiar with their Formula One racing efforts between 1973 and 1978 that featured driver James Hunt.

The new machine was built around a 992cc, four-valve, 90° v-twin motor and was up and running by the early 1980s. Unfortunately, the finished bike was overweight, very expensive, and unreliable, with the rear cylinder subject to overheating due to limited airflow. The company died its first death after building just 150 machines. Revived as a luxury sport-tourer with a full-fairing, the updated Vampire sadly didn’t improve much on the previous V1000’s weight and reliability issues, and just 40 were built before the company went under again, although they were subsequently revived and still make the occasional bike and parts to keep existing machines on the road.

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Hesketh V1000 for Sale

This is a very rare opportunity to purchase, probably the finest registered Hesketh in existence! Having only been discovered last year in a private collection an previously unregistered this bike is unique in its condition and mileage. It was manufactured in May 1982, Frame number 369, Engine number 176. Bodywork finished in Red with black lining, wheels finished in Gold. Mileage reads 146 miles. EN10 modification has been done.

Currently registered in the United Kingdom with all UK documents. Purchased in 1982 for the princely price of £5250 inc tax. The bike has been inspected by Hesketh club  officials 
and there is no doubt of it authenticity. We can assist with shipping to the USA but please investigate shipping costs and any import  taxes as this will not be included in the sale price. Although every assistance will be given.

The bike is currently in the UK, but anyone looking to purchase a Hesketh likely won't be put off by something as trivial as that, and the 1982 date of manufacture should at least make importation relatively easy. So what is something like this worth? Well a couple years back, there was one up for sale with a $20,000 Canadian asking price and this example is likely one of the nicest, lowest-mileage examples in existence. Unless you just bought one recently: shockingly, the last handful V1000 examples were only recently produced by the factory, although as you'd expect, no prices are listed on their website. Their current models use a narrow-angle, S&S-style v-twin with pushrods and two valves per cylinder, which probably simplifies production for the small company so they can focus on really cool pinstripes and snazzy polished aluminum bits. It seems like a step backwards for the very exclusive brand, but obviously performance will be better than the V1000 and I'm glad the change will allow Hesketh to continue producing motorcycles. For fans of the brand who prefer something more traditional, bidding on this one is up to about $15,000 with a couple days left on the auction.

-tad


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Honda June 8, 2017 posted by

Super Low-Mileage Super Hawk: 1998 Honda VTR1000F For Sale

In the mid-1990s when Ducati was dominating World Superbike racing and the all-important bedroom-wall-fantasy-poster competition, it seemed like everybody wanted to get into the v-twin market and "beat Ducati at its own game." It shouldn't have been that hard, right? I mean, Ducati made fast bikes, but part of why they were so successful in WSB could be dismissed as them simply exploiting rules that gave an advantage to v-twin motorcycles: obviously, 750cc twins can't compete directly with 750cc inline fours in terms of outright power, and the rules allowed a displacement advantage to keep racing relatively equal. But it wasn't as easy as all that, and the short-lived competitors to the Bolognese twins like the Suzuki TL1000R/S and Honda VTR1000F Super Hawk are proof of that.

On paper, it looked like a recipe for success: the Super Hawk was powered by a 996cc 90° v-twin that featured liquid-cooling and four valves per cylinder, so it really was closer in spec to Ducati's 916 but priced closer to their air-cooled 900SS. The half-fairing resembled the Super Sport as well, although the slick side-mounted radiators made it clear this was an altogether more sophisticated machine and of course it used an aluminum beam frame instead of Ducati's signature trellis.

But the problem was a distinct lack of focus: where the 916 was an uncompromising racing machine barely tamed for the road, the VT1000F was much more road-biased. Back when these were new, before Honda introduced the much more aggressive SP1 and SP2, folks did try to take the Super Hawk racing, but it was never really designed for that. The frame was designed to allow controlled flex for better roadholding while cranked over, but it was a bit too limp for racetrack use without significant modification.

Of course, the fact that the Honda Super Hawk wasn't a big sales success doesn't in any way mean it was a bad bike. In fact it was a pretty great bike, aside from the bland styling and stupidly small fuel tank that combined with mediocre mileage to limit range. Fit a set of aftermarket exhausts or run it dead stock, strap a jerrycan to the passenger seat, and just ride the wheels off it! Of course, the big selling point of today's machine is the incredible time-capsule condition, sporting a showroom-new 355 original miles, so this is either a great opportunity for a collector, or for someone who regrets not buying one new and wants to rectify that error now...

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Honda VTR1000F Super Hawk for Sale

Here is your chance to buy a new bike at a used bike price. I have for auction a 1998 Honda VTR1000F Super hawk, with only 355 total miles! Bike was ridden by the original owner for just a few hundred miles, then stored in his living room. Bike is in excellent condition, with only a few minor scratches (as pictured). New battery, with carbs and tank inspected and it runs great.

Part of the appeal of the Super Hawk is the famed Honda reliability and the Honda practicality, so it's a shame about that tiny tank, but considering the low prices these have been commanding for years, you're still looking at a lot of bike for the money. You might not get Ducati looks, but you get throaty v-twin sounds, excellent road-biased handling, decent comfort, and good reliability. This is a no reserve auction and bidding is pretty low so far, but active and creeping steadily upwards so I'll be curious to see where the bidding stops.

-tad


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