Posts by tag: 1977

Yamaha October 23, 2017 posted by

Historic Stroker: 1977 Yamaha TZ750 for Sale

Update 10.23.2017: We first saw this TZ750 for sale in March 2016 with a buy-it-now of $95k. It is now listed for $62k. Good luck to buyers and seller! Links updated. -dc

1977 Yamaha TZ750 R Side

It’s pretty much raining Yamaha TZ750s this week, with no less than three of these valuable and iconic racers available for sale, of the 600 or so that were built throughout production. It’s a bit older than the bikes we normally feature here on the site, but I think we can make an exception in this case. If you’re not familiar, the TZ750 was Yamaha’s two-stroke roadracing machine that was dominant in AMA racing during the 1970s.

1977 Yamaha TZ750 L Side Tank

Early bikes put out around 90hp but that jumped to 140 by the time 1977 had rolled around. That may not sound like much by today’s standards, but combined with the bike’s light 345lb weight and the primitive frame, suspension, and tire technology of the time, it was a true test of a rider’s skill to keep the beast pointed in a straight line, to say nothing of the curves…

1977 Yamaha TZ750 R Side Lower Fairing

The first bikes actually displaced 700cc and were reportedly built up from a pair of Yamaha’s racing 350s, a rumor borne out by the fact that some of the early TZ700s appear to have “347” stamped into the cases. But the later machines that debuted in 1975 shared no parts at all with the parallel twins. Apparently based around a bored-out 500cc Grand Prix engine, the TZ750 eventually moved from a twin-shock to a monoshock rear suspension for vastly improved handling. In any case, they were the bikes to beat throughout the 1970s, with both power and reliability. They just needed brave and skilled riders able to exploit them.

1977 Yamaha TZ750 R Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Yamaha TZ750 for Sale

This is the 1977 Vesco/Romero/Busch Beer TZ750. Lots of history.

The engine cases in the bike now are an early spare. The original cases have just had a repair to the shift fork rod support boss and are ready to go back in the bike.

The original engine was also used as the rear engine in the Vesco land speed record streamliner.

Bike is sold as is and with Bill of Sale.

Some spares will also be included in the sale.

1977 Yamaha TZ750 L Side Engine

With a Buy It Now price of $95,000 I’d hope that “all the spares” would be included in the sale. Or that the seller would include a few more details regarding exactly what spares: when you’re trying to keep a forty year old racing machine running, every bit helps. That’s obviously a lot to pay for any motorcycle, but I’ve no doubt this thing is worth some serious cash, given its rarity and racing history.

-tad

1977 Yamaha TZ750 R Side Rear

Historic Stroker: 1977 Yamaha TZ750 for Sale
MV Agusta March 24, 2017 posted by

Flashback Friday: 1977 MV Agusta 800 Super America for Sale

Most factory racing efforts are intended to raise the company profile and sell more bikes, or are used to develop and test new technology that filters down to and improves road-bike performance. But the early road-legal efforts of Ferrari and MV Agusta were basically afterthoughts, and sales of these vehicles were simply intended to help fund the companies’ racing teams. In fact, MV Agusta didn’t even make a serious sporting multi-cylinder roadbike until 1967’s 600 4C, a notoriously half-arsed attempt at a production machine. Luckily, the follow up 750S and 800 Super America rectified that problem, although there were some pretty obvious indications that Count Agusta was uncomfortable putting his company’s hard-won knowledge into a bike that was available to the public…

First of all, there’s the literal elephant in the room: that 560lb wet weight. Sure, the MV Agusta carried that weight well once on the move, and plenty of other sport bikes of the late 1970s were heavy beasts, but considering the 750S cost an eye-popping $6,500 new, you’d think they could have put at least a modicum of effort into weight-reduction. The other component hamstringing the four-cylinder MV’s performance was that strange contraption stretching from the back of the gearbox to the rear wheel: a driveshaft. Supposedly, it was decided that the bike for sale to customers would swap the normal lightweight drive chain for a shaft in order to prevent customers from simply racing their roadbikes. It means maintenance is less messy, but I doubt many of these were ever going to cover the mileage for that to matter. The specialists at Magni made a chain-drive conversion for these bikes, so it might be possible to track one of those down if you have extra coin to spend.

The original 750S made 75hp which was respectable at the time, considering the output of bikes like the CB750 and Ducati SuperSport, but nothing to write home about, then or now. The later 750S America or, as it was known in some parts of Europe, the "800 Super America," bumped displacement to 788cc and swapped the gearshift across to the left side to appeal to riders in the USA although, considering the low numbers produced for all markets, I’m not really sure why they bothered with that…

So if the 800 Super America is basically fat, slow, and expensive, then what’s the point? Well if you equate “inline four” with “sanitized and boring” then prepare to have your eardrums shattered. The beautiful sand-cast, dual gear-driven overhead cam engine with a four-into-four exhaust makes a sophisticated shriek likely unknown to motorcyclists familiar with modern machines. It's narrower than a period Honda CB400 and it does handle, you just have to respect the weight and the monetary value. Which makes it pretty much ideal for the modern rider: a genuine race-replica would probably just be a pain to own, and you'd hate to crash something so valuable, so you're likely to ride at a fairly reserved pace anyway. Perfect for enjoying the play of sunlight along the tank on a beautiful afternoon and the sound of the engine bouncing off the canyon walls.

There's some good information from the seller in the listing, although describing the unloved 600 that preceded the 750 and 800 as "suffering from an identity crisis" is diplomatic in the extreme. Basically, the thing was so pug-ugly it was as if MV had extended their mechanical hobbling to include the style...

From the original eBay listing: 1977 MV Agusta 800 America for Sale

This is a very, very low mileage 4,629km/ 2,876 original miles bike! This example (VIN: 2210507) has 4,629 km was imported from Japan last year and previously was imported to Japan in 1990 and had one owner since then. It’s gorgeous and sounds amazing (refer to running video at link below) – what more could you want? Bike is an original and an un-restored example with great, great patina. This bike needs one thing to ride - GAS! Bike is fully commissioned and ready to ride.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1us90cevf2xp765/mv%20america.mp4?dl=0

Comes with US Customs import docs so that it can be registered/titled easily in the US.

Feel free to contact me for more information, or for more pics. I can assist with worldwide shipping. I ride and collect and I am always happy to connect with new owners who have the same passion as I do. Oh, and I did put this little bike show on last year... https://petrolicious.com/art-of-the-italian-two-wheel

Frame# 221-0507 Engine# 221-0300

75 bhp, 789.3 cc DOHC four-stroke transverse inline four-cylinder engine with four Dell’Orto carburetors, five-speed mechanical transmission, oil-immersed multi-plate clutch, front hydraulic telescopic fork suspension, rear swing-arm telescopic shock suspension, and front double-disc and rear single-disc brakes. Wheelbase: 1,390 mm

Originally a helicopter manufacturer, MV began manufacturing motorcycles in 1948. The company eventually went racing in earnest, and its dual overhead-cam singles, triples, and four-cylinders dominated international racing from the 1950s through to the 1970s.

John Surtees won his first world championship in the premier 500 cc class in 1956, followed by three successive world titles in 1958, 1959, and 1960. Surtees then turned his attention to Ferrari sports and Grand Prix cars, and to this day, he remains the only world champion on both two and four wheels. The torch was passed to Gary Hocking in 1961, then to Mike Hailwood in 1962, 1963, 1964, and 1965. That indomitable championship run was followed by Giacomo Agostini, who racked up an incredible seven world championships for MV from 1966 to 1972.

Driven by its dominance on the track, the MV, designed by the engineer Remor, was a major success. The beautiful DOHC inline four-cylinder engine was a genuine wonder, and MV thought it best to produce a road-going version for the public. The 600 “Quattro Cilindri” was unveiled at the Milan Motorcycle Show in November 1965. Innovative as it was, however, the 600 was not a major success. Suffering from an identity crisis, it was too expensive and not sporty enough to remind buyers of the MV Agustas ridden by the legendary Surtees, Hailwood, and Agostini. In 1969, increased displacement of 750 cc paved the way for top-level road-going performance.

The ultimate version came in response to requests from American importers. The 750 S America was unveiled in 1975 and produced until 1980. Its displacement was further increased to 790-cubic centimeters. The company had finally produced an exceptional motorcycle worthy of both its name and its fabled history.

The styling is pure Italian and the MV exudes character that few bikes can match. The 750 Sport America is on every serious collector’s shortlist, of which this MV is one of the finest.

The fact that this is no show piece, but a ready-to-go motorcycle just adds to the appeal. Shaft drive or no, these are incredibly desirable motorcycles, and probably the most valuable road-going MVs of all time. Performance obviously won't impress today and wasn't even really top of the class when new, but it was and is a chance to own a genuine bit of the MV Agusta racing mystique from an era that saw them as a dominant force in racing. Bidding is up past $35,000 with the Reserve Not Met, no surprise since previous examples of the 750S and 750S America have been listed with starting bids in the $55,000 to $75,000 range, depending on year.

-tad

Flashback Friday: 1977 MV Agusta 800 Super America for Sale
Suzuki February 18, 2017 posted by

Game-Changer: 1977 Suzuki RG500 Grand Prix Race Bike for Sale

Update 2.17.2017: Last posted in August of last year, this bike reached $34,101 reserve not met. Back on eBay and closes on Sunday. Links updated. -dc

1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike R Side

Prior to the RG500, two-strokes were found only in the smaller racing classes, and Suzuki was breaking new ground with this bike: no one had ever really built a two-stroke to challenge bikes in the premier class. Launched in 1974, Suzuki’s RG500 racing machine was impressively successful: with a Manufacturer's Title in 1976, the bike dominated Grand Prix racing for the next decade. That success drove the move to two-strokes for any manufacturer who wanted to remain relevant in Grand Prix racing, and two-strokes were the only game in town until rules changes for the 2002 season made four-strokes competitive again.

1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike L Side Tank

Power was no problem for the new, liquid-cooled engine, and the same lessons learned racing smaller bikes were scaled up for the square-four. But while four-strokes generally deliver their power in a smooth, progressive manner, two-strokes are notoriously on/off devices: a stumbling mess when “off the pipe” with an abrupt powerband like a jagged, lethal spike, characteristics only exacerbated by the dramatic displacement increase: early bikes ate chains, tires, and other consumables at an alarming rate, although development eventually cured these problems.

1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike R Side Engine

Early motors produced 110hp and used front and rear banks of cylinders that were the same height, but the later bikes saw the front bank a bit lower than the rear for the “stepped” motor that gave 124 hp for the 238lb machine. This 1977 machine is probably of the earlier type, although it's hard to tell for sure with the fairings in place. Either way, this is a very light, very fast motorcycle. And that's really always been the appeal of the two-stroke: simplicity, extreme light weight, and massive power for a given displacement.

1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike Dash

With the introduction of the new Suter MMX500, two-strokes have been heavily featured in the motorcycle press recently, and it's been interesting to read how many mechanics and riders loved preferred them to four-stroke machines: riders loved them for their light weight and challenging nature, mechanics for their simplicity and tunability.

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike for Sale

Suzuki RG500 GP MK2 ex-Newbold, model year 1977, VIN 110077

An ICONIC RG500 version 1977 in the best paintwork scheme ever. It is an ex-John Newbold bike with all the correct standard original bits plus some works parts (tank etc). The bike was campaigned by Newbold in the Shell Sport 500 TT races beetween 1979/1981 and North West 200. It was completely restored by John Mossey who bought it in 1995 from a gentleman in Cardiff and sold then in 1997. It was just kept as showbike in collection since.

1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike Throttle

Bidding on the last couple of RG500 race bikes got up to between $26,000 and $44,000 although those were later bikes, and an individual bike's race history can make a huge difference in terms of value. Bidding for this one is up north of $22,000 with plenty of interest, but very little time left on the listing. Sitting in a collection means it's in amazing physical condition, although it will probably need extensive work if you plan to use it in anger...

-tad

1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike L Side

Game-Changer: 1977 Suzuki RG500 Grand Prix Race Bike for Sale
Harley Davidson May 29, 2015 posted by

Italo-American GP Machine: 1977 Harley-Davidson RR250 for Sale

1977 Harley Davidson 250GP L Front

Today's Harley-Davidson RR250 may be new to most of you. We don't get the opportunity to feature Harley-Davidson motorcycles on this site too often, unless we're talking about throbbing pushrod v-twins hiding in quirky Buells. And all the "boat-anchor" jokes aside, Harley has plenty of racing heritage, although mostly outside of what interests most of us: roadracing. But back in the 1970's, Harley took advantage of its partial ownership of small-bore specialist Aermacchi to mount a successful Grand Prix racing program.

1977 Harley Davidson 250GP R Side

These bikes were basically a pair of Yamaha dirt bike engines welded up, and that kept running costs very reasonable and should make parts relatively easy to source today. The resulting motorcycle was actually lighter than the Yamaha's TZ machines and proved to be very competitive: starting in 1973, Harley-badged Aermacchi two-stroke parallel twins won three 250cc championships in a row, and bikes were raced as late as 1978.

1977 Harley Davidson 250GP L Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Harley-Davidson RR250 for Sale

Harley Davidson RR250

Gran Prix Year 1977

Bimota Frame

Water cooled

Twin Cylinder

Ex-Official Machine

Fully restored

1977 Harley Davidson 250GP R Front

The listing is obviously very spare, and doesn't tell us much about the bike. Does it run, or is it intended as a display piece? If it's an "ex-official machine," were there any notable riders or successes?

The bike is located in Rimini, Italy, but that's no surprise, since there weren't too many opportunities for these bikes to race in the US. And since it's never going to be registered for road use, importing it shouldn't be too difficult. Regardless, it looks like it's in excellent physical shape, so collectors can be sure it'll look great displayed in your living room.

-tad

1977 Harley Davidson 250GP L Side

Italo-American GP Machine: 1977 Harley-Davidson RR250 for Sale
Ducati January 31, 2015 posted by

Winning Ways: 1974 Ducati 750SS Daytona Superbike

1977 Ducati 750SS Daytona R side2

Well here's a one-of-a-kind opportunity, if ever there was one: for sale is the actual Ducati motorcycle that won at Daytona in 1977 and helped to cement Ducati's reputation in America. These days, Ducati has their hand in virtually every style and at every level of motorcycle racing, although their Moto GP efforts have been only sporadically successful. With such a strong presence at the highest level of production-based and prototype competition, it's easy to forget that, prior to the 750SS in the early 1970's, Ducati’s racing efforts centered around smaller classes and, until the advent of the L-twin, they only produced single-cylinder models.

1977 Ducati 750SS Daytona L side Track

Even the famous win at Imola 1972 that launched generations of Super Sports was most notable for being so unlikely and untested. What would have been an amusing footnote for a company like Honda became the cornerstone of Ducati's reputation, a sort of “remember the Alamo” rallying cry. And even this bike was almost a privateer, an under-funded effort that was basically a hot-rod 750 Sport.

1977 Ducati 750SS Daytona Track Front

The original 400 or so 750SS built are among the most valuable Ducatis of all time because of their obvious rarity and the fact that they embody the plucky spirit and love of racing that still shows through in the far more calculating corporate world of today. This bike is quite literally a piece of Ducati history, a continuation of the same spirit that led to the Imola win, transported across the pond to US roadracing.

1977 Ducati 750SS Daytona L Magazine

This is the actual motorcycle that won at Daytona in 1977 and helped to cement Ducati's reputation in America. Based on a production 1974 750SS, and built without factory support by a couple of very talented motorcycle journalists, this bike represents one of the most important motorcycles in Ducati's racing history. The original listing includes plenty of detailed history and is worth a read if you're not familiar with this one-of-a-kind machine.

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Ducati 750SS Daytona-Winning California Hot-Rod

This important racing Ducati has been in a private collection for around twenty years and is located in New Jersey. It is still in perfect condition and comes with the Goodyear slicks from the 1977 Daytona Superbike race and Cook Neilson's original California registration and license plate. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to secure a piece of American motorcycling history. I am happy to answer all questions and for more information here is an edited extract from my "Book of the Ducati 750 Super Sport 1974."

The road-going 750SS was built to commemorate [or capitalize] on Ducati's underdog victory at Imola and was the first street Ducati twin to feature their now ubiquitous desmodromic valve-actuation. Bidding is almost to $130,000 with several days left on the auction and active bidding. No surprise there: this is one for race fans, Ducati fans, and motorcycle fans of all types, a bike that's sure to appreciate in years to come, a piece of living history.

-tad

1977 Ducati 750SS Daytona R side Rear

Winning Ways: 1974 Ducati 750SS Daytona Superbike
Ducati April 2, 2012 posted by

1977 Ducati 900SS Exclusively at CSBFS

Here is a fantastic 1977 Ducati 900SS sent to us by long time reader Rory who asked us to list his bike exclusively. Being prior to 1985 we put it up over at ClassicSportBikesForSale.com but wanted to share with all the RSBFS readers as well.

1977 Ducati 900SS For Sale

Good luck with the sale Rory!

dc