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Events May 10, 2017 posted by

Brrrrr…Britten! Quail Motorcycle gathering 2017 (UPDATED)

UPDATE:  The linked FLICKR album now contains pictures of the 2017 winners.

Quail Motorcycle Gathering - May 6 2017

Here at RSBFS we have certain criteria for what makes a great RSBFS candidate.  But what are the criteria that makes for a great motorcycle event?  How about a concourse-level gathering where you can see some unobtanium up close, such as Britten V1000 or Mondial dustbin racer? Or maybe its a meet with a wide variety of brands and types in different conditions?  What about crowd size - some events can be truly massive and you meet people from all over the world, others are quite small and focused on a particular type of bike.  How about having someone famous attend and speak to the crowd or having good food and/or music, do these impact what makes a great motorcycle event?

Personally I think its a combination of all of these criteria and I am pleased to let our faithful RSBFS readers know that the Quail Motorcycle gathering last weekend met all the above.

The event is held in Carmel California which is about 2 hours south of San Francisco. (Note- for anyone attending next year, bring a good coat, it can be surprisingly cold in California in May). Tickets were $85 online and $95 on site which is pricey but included a really nice lunch and the cost does cut down keep the crowd size down so you can actually interact with the bikes on display. The Quail event has been going on for about 9 years and this year was celebration of Norton. Sadly there was no new Norton V4 but there were lots of other great bikes, good food and Kenny Roberts Sr was onsite for a meet/greet.

For 2017 there were over 250 entries, ranging from unobtainum like the aforementioned Britten to beautiful restorations such as the Brough Superior pictured above.  There were also regular bikes like a nice Honda 600 F2 and numerous Ducati's.  Sadly there were only two of my beloved Laverda's but I guess that means if I enter one of mine next year I won't have to worry too much about the competition.

Award categories included the following:

  • Best of Show - presented to the most significant motorcycle on the field in terms of presentation and historical significance.  Last year this went to a 1925 BMW R37.
  • Spirit Award - presented to the motorcycle that best represents the true spirt of motorcycling.  Last year this went to a 1964 MV Agusta.
  • Industry Award - presented to a factory produced "groundbreaking" motorcycle.  Last year this went toa 2009 Ducati Monster "Leggero".
  • Design and Style Award - presented to the motorcycle based on its industry leading design, concept and style.  Last year this went to a 1960 Velocette.
  • Innovation Award - presented to the most innovative motorcycle on the field in terms of technology.  Last year this went to 1973 Vincati 1200cc (a Vincent engine in a Ducati frame!  More info here)
  • Significance in Racing - presented to the motorcycle that best exemplified the essence of racing.  Last year tis went to a 1957 Harley Davidson KR.
  • Historical Vehicle Associate (HVA) Preservation Award - presented to a historically significant motorcycle.  Has to be scrupulously preserved and be an examply of our cultural past/national heritage.  Last year this went to 1910 Pierce Four

Other award classes included American, British, Italian, Japanese, Other European, Antique, Competiton On-Road, Competition Off Road and Custom/Modified

Here are a few more pics

  • BSA, beautiful restoration

Couple of nice Honda's, including a custom and a garage queen RC30 (tags say registration of 2008)

Nice Ducs

There was really something at the show for everyone.  Oh and did I mention the parking lot?   Walking up to the main entry of the event I saw numerous Ducati 851's and specials (including the one signed by Danny Pedrosa pictured above), Honda Turbo's, a Moto Guzzi Norge, a Ducati Superlight...I could go on and on.  Suffice to say I will definitely be going back again and think this event should be on every motorcycle collectors bucket list.  Main link to the event is here, feel free to ask any questions in the comments and I will try to answer.

Marty/Dallaslavowner


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Ducati May 10, 2017 posted by

Moving On – 2005 Ducati 999R

Despite its great racing record, the 999 was never a fan favorite - as the Pierre Terblanche design was a bit ahead of its time.  But a super-fast R-model with ridiculous horsepower makes its own introductions.  This well-ridden and maintained 999R appears ready to ride and has an unused set of carbon fairings available.

2005 Ducati 999R for sale on eBay

Ducati planned a return to AMA Superbike in 2005, and homologation rules didn't allow much powertrain work, so the 999R is very close to a racer's machine.  The narrow head engine has "titanium inside" and claims 150 hp to push a just-over-400 lb. machine.  The specs read like many late Ducatis but suspension, wheels, and brake components are the finest, and every parameter adjustable, including steering head angle and seat position.

 

Though high-end superbikes are often seen with just break-in miles, this one of 200 has almost 10,000 miles and was treated to a top end rebuild in 2012.  Stock overall condition looks excellent with just a scrape on the lowers and maybe a nice detail required before a show.  The owner promises an unused set of bodywork with a buy-it-now which seems like the makings of a bargain.  From the eBay auction:

This bike was the first 2005 sold by Motocorsa Portland.  This model was the last Ducati to come with full carbon fiber body work(except plastic tail piece).  Of all the bikes I've owned this by far gets more attention than any.  2005 was the first year of the deep sump 999r 150 rwhp motor and the big swingarm.   The following year came in that hideous xerox paint scheme and the previous year came with the weaker motor and wimpy swingarm.

In 2012 at 6721 miles, I had the top end freshened with new pistons, rings and cylinders re-nikasiled.   Runs great and handles as good as anything out there.  Dunlop Q3's are fresh.

 

The 999 had RE-vo looks to match the E-vo engine, and base models languished in the showrooms.  That and the high list price made it hard for aftermarket suppliers to get involved.  Performance was off the charts but was harder to enjoy on the road.  The high windscreen provides exceptional protection for the rider at speed.  Somehow this owner has kept the average mph up enough to lighten the handgrips and keep riding.  Nice work if you can get it...

-donn


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Honda May 9, 2017 posted by

Tiny Four: 1988 Honda CBR250R MC19 for Sale

"When it rains, it pours" seems to apply to cool motorcycles. Haven't seen a GSX-R750LE in a long time? Suddenly, four or five examples come up for sale. I'm not sure why: maybe it's that folks hoarding them with an eye towards eventual sale suddenly see a demand for them and want to get in on the action? Or maybe individuals who've stashed them away from new are all of a certain age and are looking to liquidate their collections as they get older and less able to ride? Whatever the reason, we've seen a number of small displacement, grey-market sportbikes like this Honda CBR250R MC19 come up for sale recently in excellent condition, so if you've a hankering for tiny fours, take a look!

250s have long been associated here in the USA with learner bikes and hypermiling commuters. Generally powered by economical twins and singles, they offer low cost and high reliability, with racy styling, garish graphics, and names that link them to bigger, more capable sportbikes. But in countries where engines with greater displacement are disproportionately expensive to purchase heavily taxed, or limited by licensing laws, small inline fours like this one wrote a fascinating, if short, chapter in motorcycling history.

At a glance, the specifications look like they could come from a typical race-replica: liquid-cooled inline four, six-speed gearbox, 337lb dry weight... Then you get to that displacement: 48.5mm x 33.8mm for just 249cc. The claimed 40 horsepower is shockingly respectable although the 18,000rpm redline speaks to how hard you'll have to work to access it. This example has a bit of wear around the edges, but nothing you wouldn't expect from a well cared-for, but nearly 30 year old motorcycle.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda CBR250R MC19 for Sale

For those of you that missed the Kawasaki ZXR250 sale, you get another chance for an exciting 250cc grey market Honda sport bike. This will be the last 18,000 RPM screaming 250cc inline four I will be selling. From the Honda room, comes a very special 1988 Honda CBR 250R MC19. This CBR has an inline four cylinder engine that revs to the moon and redlines at 18,000 RPM's. Its a blast to ride! This CBR is a one owner bike with only 310 kilometers (192 miles). Completely stock condition just like the day it rolled off the assembly line. Every fairing and component is 100% original stock Honda. Bike has never fallen over or been down. This CBR has a few scratches here and there from moving around the garage but shows like new. Bike is in very nice original condition and shows light patina throughout.   Bike has been serviced with new oil, coolant and filters have been serviced. Runs like the day it was new. Bike comes with Utah title in my company name and will be presented to the new owner.

With just 192 miles on the odometer, this one is certainly worthy of being put on display. Bidding is up to about $2,400 at the time of writing, with plenty of activity. The usual titling issues may apply if you're in a state with a strict DMV, so do your homework if you plan to do more than display this sweet little machine.

-tad


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Laverda May 8, 2017 posted by

1999 Laverda 750S with under 1,000 miles !

In the late 1990's Laverda was re-incarnating their past glory and made some of their best big upright twins and triples, before being purchased and then shuttered by Aprilia.  Presented here is a rare yellow and very late 750S, sparkling with only 994 miles.  Could be the nearest thing to a brand new Laverda out there.

1999 Laverda 750S for sale on eBay

 

The basis of the 750S is the company's signature twin, but updated with 4 valves per cylinder, a balance shaft, fresh air intakes and Weber fuel injection.  The powerplant inspired reviewers to put the excellent twin-spar alloy frame through its paces, and the premium Paoli suspension was worthy.  The company was known for not scrimping on components, as the gold line Brembo brakes and Marchesini wheels testify.  The fairing favors the solo rider with a snug seat and step up for the pillion, and the upturn of the dual exhausts is delayed to accomodate the rather rear-set pegs.

 

Evidently on display almost since new, this 750S still needs its break-in miles.  You'll have to lift the seat to add fuel, since the 750S was an early convert to underseat fuel and high airbox.  Finishes are unmarked and somehow the bike escaped the garage elves that usually plot a tipover or dent.  The seller relates that he is the second owner, and keeps it simple in the eBay auction:

1999 Laverada 750S with 994 original miles (1598 Kilometers) in like new condition no damage ever. Temperature and humidity controlled environment, on battery tender and covered. Starts and runs strong. Everything works, no leaks. Pictures speak for themselves.

 

At the time, European manufacturers were reeling from eastern competition, and couldn't hope to turn the clocks back.  Like many, the Laverda response was reverential to past glories, and a competent if not class-winning performer.  Great design and top components make for a worthwhile experience, though at this point one would have to be mindful of the parts availability question.  But if you have the bug for a classic Italian, why not pick one that looks showroom new ?

-donn


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Bimota May 7, 2017 posted by

California Dreaming: 1997 Bimota YB11

In the wonderful world of Bimota, the first letter of the bike designation always represents the manufacturer of the engine. In the case of this YB11, it is Yamaha. This is the 11th model of Yamaha-powered Bimotas, one of the most potent bikes Bimota has developed, and the last of the Yamaha-Bimota series ever produced. In the world of Bimota, the Yamaha dials go up to 11, but not to 12.

1997 Bimota YB11 for sale on eBay!

The Yamaha in question is the powerful 1,000cc, five valve per cylinder Genesis evolution. You can expect on the order of 145 HP from this magnificent lump, which has earned Yamaha all sorts of accolades for tractability, reliability and longevity. It's not often that you can heap "power" and "works well for a long time" in the same sentence referring to the same motor, but that is really how good this unit is. Bimota took all that was right with the Thunder Ace power plant, and shaved a significant amount of weight from the similarly powered YZF1000R - some 40 odd pounds wet(!). With an aluminum twin-spar frame derived from the successful YB6, multi-adjustable Paioli-supplied suspension front and rear, Brembo brakes all around, a custom ram-air intake and bespoke four into one exhaust, the performance of the YB11 obliterated the original donor bike from Yamaha by a good margin.

From the seller:
1997 BIMOTA YB11 , NEAR MINT CONDITION ,RUNS EXCELLENT ,EVERYTHING WORKS ,CLEAN CALIFORNIA TITLE ,RECENT SERVICE AND NEW BATTERY

Bimotas of this era are hand-built and lovingly assembled. They are lightweight and horrendously impractical by most standards. The hand-laid fiberglass is impossibly thin and prone to cracking; the move to carbon helps significantly in this area. Access to engine and components for maintenance purposes is marginal at best, tortuous in any case. The riding position is uncompromising and decidedly lacking in the thick padded seat department. But who really cares about that useless stuff? This is the most potent Yamaha-powered liter bike you are going to find from this era; it begs to be ridden hard. The most difficult aspect of owning a bike like this is wiping the smile off of your face every time you ride it, park it, wash it, or simply look at it.

This bike is available in California, where it also happens to be titled. Woo Hoo - score one for the most restrictive DMV state! It has a fair amount of miles on the clock (more so than we normally see for a Bimota), but that is not a problem at all for the running gear. If the bodywork and ancillaries check out, this one is good to go for a long, long time .... and it will probably begin to appreciate in value along the way. Check it out here, and then jump back to the comments and share your thoughts on either the Yamaha five valve motor, or the YB series of Bimotas. Good Luck!!

MI


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