Posts by tag: air cooled

Kawasaki July 21, 2017 posted by

I Survived: 1983 Kawasaki GPZ550 in NY

One of the most iconic sporting motorcycles ever made - and by most standards one of the most archaic - is the Kawasaki GPz lineup. Built during a time of massive experimentation, the pedestrian GPz was more akin to an appliance than a bike that would be fondly remembered by future generations. There is nothing groundbreaking here, and it wasn't particularly special back then. Kawasaki stamped these out by the thousands, making them about as un-rare as you can get. But once in a while we see bikes that have somehow survived the ravages of time, teens, tracks and thrashings. While not a perfect museum specimen, this does look to be in great shape for a 30-something UJM.

1983 Kawasaki GPZ550 for sale on eBay

Back in the early 1980s the middleweight class was considered capped below 600cc, and manufacturers were scrambling to produce something better than the competition. While Honda looked to technology for a solution (liquid cooled, 500cc V-4 Interceptor, for example) and Yamaha looked to the past (cubic inches with the FJ600 and two-stroke power with the RZ350), Kawasaki soldiered on with the tried and true: an air cooled, inline four with bright paint and a bikini fairing. Triple disks all around, the novel Uni-Trak rear suspension which phased out the use of twin-shocks, and painted mag wheels rounded out the "it looks like it should go fast" package. Overall, it worked quite well. The GPz was one of those all-arounder types of motorcycles; comfortable enough to ride up to the canyons, yet sporty enough to hold its own once you got there. With about 54 HP on tap, this would get eaten alive by the current crop of 300cc offerings, but it was a solid platform in its day and likely a decent rider today.

From the seller:
A very rare 1983 Kawasaki GPZ-550 in very god condition.All original except for grips and mirrors.Runs and drives excellent. Has a few flaws as shown in the pictures. Side cover has a crack. A ding in one exhaust pipe, and a very slight indentation in the tank. New battery and fresh service.

No reserve auction.

The fun thing about GPz collecting is that they are cheap to acquire and parts are readily available. No, this will NOT appreciate like a homologated special, an ELR, a K1 or any other truly rare bike produced by the Big K. However I suspect you will receive a great deal of appreciation from riders of a certain age when you show up with this retro red rod at your local bike night. Who cares if performance is not up to snuff with today's hyper-middleweights (and sub-middleweights)? If the only reason you ride is to ensure you are on the best/fastest/flashiest bike on the planet, you will need to update your wheels every 30 seconds or so. If you ride to enjoy the experience, then here is a cost effective way to indulge your senses.

Only a few days left on this one, with no takers as of yet. The opening ask is $1,500, which may well be the problem. A decent GPz is definitely in that ballpark money-wise, but it may be too much to ask potential buyers to start there. Auctions are funny that way; you may end up at the same final price either way, but when the opening ask is below market value you will always get more attention and more bidders. Given this is a NO RESERVE auction, you might just be able to snipe it for the opening ask. Besides, it has fewer than 10k miles! Check it out here, and jump back to the Comments section and share your thoughts. Are you of a certain age where a GPz lurks in your past? Let us know!

MI

I Survived: 1983 Kawasaki GPZ550 in NY
Bimota July 13, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1993/1994 Bimota DB2 for Sale

The Bimota DB2 isn't the fastest or even the rarest bike to wear the Bimota name, but it is among the most successful and helped pave the way for the raft of DB models that followed: we're currently up to the DB13 or something. By their nature, Bimotas are mutts, with proprietary frames and bodywork, but outsourced engines and that may be why used 1990s Bimotas are relatively affordable, considering how exotic they are. It also might be their unreliable reputation: light and fast they may be, but the 90s models especially have a reputation for kit-bike quality. Somehow, the air-cooled Ducati-engined models have managed to avoid that notoriety, so perhaps the Italian electrical gremlins of both marques cancel each other out?

The original DB1, the first Bimota to be powered by an Italian engine, sold well enough [approximately 600 units] that it basically saved the company from ruin. For the DB2, Ducati supplied their six-speed-backed, 904cc air and oil-cooled v-twin. Any bike powered by the two-valve Pantah engine needs to be light if it's going to be fast, and the DB2 is very light. At a claimed 373lbs dry and with beefy Paioli RWU forks and adjustable Öhlins suspension at the rear, the svelte Bimota can make the most of its 86 claimed horses.

It's the perfect canyon-carver with nimble handling and a punchy motor tuned for midrange. The fact that it's one of Bimota's best-looking efforts doesn't hurt either, with swoopy, fully-enclosed or half-faired bodywork, a tubular trellis frame similar to the original Ducati part in terms of looks but not geometry, and a tubular swingarm to match. Period reviewers complained about the Yamaha-sourced headlight but it's less obvious now and fits the lines of the bike perfectly.

Some DB2 graphics are a bit too close to some sort of "urban camouflage" for comfort, but this simple white and red design look great, while also being very 90s in the best possible way. Confused about why this one is listed as a 1993/1994 model? The seller explains in more detail but basically: the VIN indicates a 1993 bike but the title lists it as a 1994.

From the Seller: 1993/1994 Bimota DB2 for Sale

The VIN of this bike ZES1DB214PRZES001 shows it being the first US bike of the first year of production.  The VIN's 10th character is a "P" which means it's a 1993, the VIN sticker says it was made 6/93.  But for some reason the title states 1994.  It is one of 408 in the world.  I tried to contact Bimota to get and understanding of what being number 1 really means, they didn't reply. I doubt it's the FIRST DB2.  But whatever it is cool.  Currently the bike has 1921 miles.  I've had the bike about a year, I bought it from a collector in San Diego.  While I've owned it I've gone over the bike from top to bottom, I've listed the work and the parts out below.  I've ridden her about 300 miles and she goes as good as she looks.  This bike really needs nothing except maybe some lines to replace the unsightly (but functioning) blue Kevlar lines.  I have more pictures of the bike if you have questions about something or a certain area I can send them to you. 

Work:

  • Cleaned carbs
  • Replaced belts
  • Check valves (in spec)
  • Replace tires (still have originals)
  • Replaced windshield (still have crack original)
  • Changed all fluids (brake, clutch, engine)
  • Repaired minor scuff on tail
  • Serviced battery
  • Re-powder coated wheels
  • Replaced brake and clutch levers
  • Replaced some minor bits of hardware with matching zinc plated parts

Asking price is $12,500. Contact Jay by email.

Around 400 DB2s were built, which is pretty much volume production for Bimota. They don't come up for sale often, but are typically in immaculate condition as they were always collectible. The question is: how do folks own these bikes and only put 300 miles on them?! At least the seller has taken exceptionally good care of the bike while it's been in his possession, and the low mileage means the next owner can put a few more on without adversely impacting its value!

-tad

Featured Listing: 1993/1994 Bimota DB2 for Sale
Moto Guzzi July 3, 2017 posted by

Runneth Over – 2004 Moto Guzzi V11 Coppa Italia

More than just a model, Moto Guzzi's V11 was a nice collection of special editions made from 1999 to 2006.  The tri-colore Coppa Italia commemorates the firm's participation in the Italian naked bike championship in 2003.  This 2004 has been lightly ridden and upgraded and appears to want only a healthy owner.

2004 Moto Guzzi V11 Coppa Italia for sale on eBay

 

Moto Guzzi held the V11 back until the new engineering management from Aprilia had made their review, and the result was a classic Guzzi with up-to-date mechanicals and quality control.  The Coppa Italia came in the middle of the model run and capitalizes on the mature longitudinal V-twin with 91 hp.  Nearly 70 ft.-lbs. torque makes the road flatter for the 5-speed transmission.  The Öhlins upside-down forks and adjustable Sachs monoshock work well with the venerable shaft drive system.  The bikini fairing, tank and convertible solo seat fairing are finished in red, pearl white, and green stripes.

 

 

Presented by a Jaguar specialist, this Coppa Italia shows just over 7,000 miles and sports some piston-like hydraulic reservoirs as well as auxiliary oil pressure gauge and bar end mirrors.  Motratech lowers footpegs cope with the design's short-legged ergonomics.  Both the titanium exhaust and mufflers appear to have been jet-coated and looks like new.  From the eBay  auction:

I am offering my low mileage Coppa for sale.  It has 7,220 miles on it, has never been down or scuffed up.  It has the titanium exhaust and the racing ECU (re-flashed by Guzzi Tech).  There are no skips or stutters at any RPM.  The complete exhaust has been jet coated so there are no blue pipes.  It has:

  •  billet Rizoma clutch and brake reservoirs
  • CRG bar end mirrors
  • Roper plate
  • Motratech lowered foot controls (also originals)
  • Motratech oil pressure gauge
  • update on the Ohlins forks
  • some custom powdercoating
  • valve cover guards
  • 100w Piaa headlight bulb

 

 

Peak horsepower was never a Guzzi hallmark,  but the steady handling and good torque make it a worthy companion to other European super sports.  The big fuel tank requires a forward riding position, though the owner's lowered pegs will help.  The premium components and graphics pushed the showroom price over $14,000 and with only a few hundred imported, they're not often seen here.  With its careful and knowledgeable previous owner, this might be a good Guzzi to bid for...

-donn

Runneth Over – 2004 Moto Guzzi V11 Coppa Italia
Honda June 16, 2017 posted by

Tariff Buster: 1984 Honda Nighthawk S

The 1980s were a crazy-good time for motorcycling. Every major manufacturer was exploring the boundaries of what was possible. Everyone was in search of the silver bullet for performance; be it at the racetrack or the showroom. This was a heady era for Honda, as they pumped out new motorcycle variants seemingly every year. From two strokes to turbos, singles to six-bangers, Honda tried nearly everything. One of the surprising successes during this time was the Nighthawk S. Intended as a sporty commuter (comfortable, reliable, low maintenance), the Nighthawk S impressed with it's power and handling prowess. Today, the Nighthawk S remains a beloved, bygone model.

1984 Honda Nighthawk S with 2,500 miles!

Between 1984 and 1986, the American motorcycle scene was a mess. Harley-Davidson, the only remaining American manufacturer at the time, was flirting with bankruptcy like it was a super model. Using patriotism as their platform, H-D convinced Congress (and then President, Ronald Reagan) to increase the tariff on imported motorcycles greater than 700cc. This 10x tariff increase ensured H-D - who only produced bikes above the 700cc threshold - could be price competitive. Enter the Nighthawk S: Originally designed as a 750, the Nighthawk's 700cc air-cooled, inline four cylinder featured 4-valves per pot and hydraulic valve lifters - a nod to reducing the maintenance interval. With a willing motor, a solid chassis, 16" GP-inspired front wheel, comfortable seating position with bikini fairing and shaft drive, the CB700SC (as it was formally known) became the do-it-all hot rod - equally home in the canyons as it was for commuting.

From the seller:
HONDA'S all-new "HOT-ROD", the title given in 1984 by the trade magazines and publications. The Honda CB700SC was produced specifically for the US market. It was during this period steep tariffs were levied by the US International Trade Commission on motorcycles with engines larger than 700cc, With this tariff Honda provided an America-style, shaft-drive sport-custom that honored another American custom, a hot-rodding machine. Take a look at the specifications provided by a Cycle Guide Magazine of February 1984, you will see then why it was Honda's Hot-Rod.

If you are a serious buyer looking for an exceptional-almost new condition, original no aftermarket modifications, with possibly the lowest mileage NIGHTHAWK S of less than 2500 miles, for sale by original owner, well then this is your bike.

Performs and runs like new, seeing is believing! Note: Original magazines as show in photos will be provided to buyer.

Although produced for only a handful of years, the Nighthawk S is not rare from a "limited edition" marketing perspective. In fact, it sold rather well during its years of availability; American riders loved the combo of sport and reliability (the opposite of what Harley was offering) and they voted with their wallets. However like many UJM machines, finding a loved and cared-for one some 33 years later is nearly impossible. These Hondas are as reliable as your average chunk of cement - and are about as prone to leaking (again, the opposite of H-D hardware from the time). They are also pretty economical as far as older bikes go, making them excellent "buy and hold" motorcycles.

The verdict is still out in terms of whether or not the NightHawk S will ever be a collector bike - but like all UJMs, anything 30+ years old with low mileage and this clean will always have a market. This auction starts at $4,999 with a reserve in place. The Buy It Now option is available for one buck shy of $7,500. That is a good bit more than the sub-$4k that this model went for new, but good luck finding another 2,500 mile example in this sort of condition. Check it out here, and then share your thoughts and experiences with the NightHawk S in our Comments section. Good luck!!

MI

Tariff Buster: 1984 Honda Nighthawk S
Ducati June 15, 2017 posted by

Low-Mile Monster: 1999 Ducati M900 Cromo for Sale

Nice first-generation Ducati M900 Monsters are getting very hard to find: they've been very affordable machines for the past few years and get used accordingly, ridden hard instead of being squirreled away in garages as collector items. Certainly, that's what I've done with mine... But if you're looking for a pristine machine to ride or if you're a speculator expecting them to increase in value, you can't go wrong with this very nice, low-mileage Monster Cromo... Assuming you don't get blinded looking at it!

The 1999 Monster was the end of the line for the carbureted engine, as it was followed by the 900ie in 2000 that featured fuel injection. Whether that's a plus or a minus is up for debate: purists might prefer the carburetors, but the fuel injection system used was a good one, and certainly makes maintenance simpler. It also used the frame originally borrowed from the 888, whereas later Monsters switched to an ST2-derived item that increased stability, but was claimed by critics to be less agile.

Basically, the Monster was a parts-bin special: a superbike frame that had seen plenty of racetrack development, an existing air-cooled two-valve engine for modest performance and tons of character, along with off-the-shelf, budget suspension that worked great for point-and-squirt antics and posing. Basically, the only new parts were the dash, the tank, and the tail. It was relatively affordable, stylish, fun, and simple. The parts-bin quality actually makes the Monster great for customizers, as many bits from other Ducati models will fit. In fact, today's Monster Cromo was one of Ducati's first attempts at a limited-edition, custom-style machine.

From the original eBay listing: 1999 Ducati Monster Cromo for Sale

Pristine, 1300 mile Ducati M900 Monster Cromo. Carbureted, only 101 imported into the U.S.

In 1999, Ducati released a special edition of the Monster. They called it the Cromo, and it was obviously named due to the distinctive tank, which was complemented by a carbon fiber rear seat cover and rear fender. It also got adjustable front forks and the high-po 74 horsepower engine.

This Monster Cromo is as nice as you will find. I bought it as a rider, finding out later how rare this model is. Should go to a Ducati collector. Besides a little age related fading on the carbon fiber fenders, this bike is almost showroom quality. A professional or dedicated detailing would bring it to that standard. Tank is gorgeous and blinding with no dents. no corrosion on the bike, seat is like new.

Starts, runs, rides, stops, shifts out like a 1300 mile bike. Not even broken in yet. When I got it I aired up the tires, flushed the hydraulic fluid in the clutch, cleaned, tightened and lubed the chain and rode it one time. Fires instantly, all electrics work as they should. Did not want to do anymore riding until I replaced the original tires and timing belts.

NOTE: I PULLED THE HORIZONTAL CYLINDER TO CHECK THE BELT TODAY (6/8) LOOKS LIKE NEW. SOFT PLIABLE, NO CRACKS, FRAYING, ETC.

This is a stunning motorcycle. Always garage stored.

Clear title in my name. Owners manual, Ducati service manual, both keys, original selling dealer folder. Also a quick release tank bag that mounts to the gas filler bracket and does not touch the tank when mounted. Wired for 12 volt accessories.

I'm assuming he means that he pulled the belt cover for the horizontal cylinder, not the cylinder... With just 1,900 miles on the odometer, this is an extremely nice Ducati Monster and is completely stock, including that famously awful rear fender, and the faded front and rear carbon mudguards are available from the aftermarket if their condition offends. The $7,999 asking price is very high for a Ducati Monster, but seems reasonable considering the rarity and quality. If the tank is a bit too much for your subtle tastes, you can always remove the chromed part and store it or sell it and replace it with a less... bling-y item. Maybe a carbon-fiber tank?

-tad

Suzuki May 10, 2017 posted by

Time Machine: 1982 Suzuki Katana 1000

Grab your leg warmers and get ready to dial up your favorite Tommy Tutone number - we're going back to the 1980s! Hard to believe that Suzuki dropped the Katana on a flabbergasted world more than 35 years ago. With looks dominated by a big-block inline four and scantily clad with an itty-bitty bikini fairing, the Katana was as provocative as it was performance-oriented. Even today this bike stands out as something special; the design language still tells a powerful story as this bike looks mean and menacing just parked in the drive.

1982 Suzuki Katana 1000 for sale on eBay

Primarily a collection of existing parts, the Katana was not mechanically groundbreaking. Motivation comes from the GS model lineup, and the Katana 1000 is actually - GASP - less powerful than the GS1100 that donated the motor. But the sporting intent of the Katana is quite clear, and with a less-is-more philosophy overall the Katana made for a potent platform in the day. Today, archaic elements such as two valves per cylinder, air cooling and twin shocks make this look like it came from the caveman era. Yet this was built to go AMA Superbike racing (hence the 1,000cc vs 1,1000cc engine), and go racing it did.

From the seller:
This Katana is in very good condition, the fuel tank has a few small scratches and a shallow dent close to the filler cap. The bike shows 14939 miles looks to be original miles on the bike. The front reflector holders are missing on the bike. The exhaust system is new from MotoGP Werks. The inside of the fuel tank is clean. This bike looks like it has been taken care of during it life time. I was not planning on selling this bike as it is a great example of an original bike and it took a long time to find an original bike with out modifications. Realizing that I still have a number of projects ahead and needing the space I have decided to pass the bike on.

Katanas continue to be polarizing models today. Although the Katana name has been slapped on many a bike since 1982, it is really the original that one should bring to mind. Many examples have been rodded, rat-rodded, or simply abused to the point of salvage. Clean, original examples are very difficult to find. And while this one is not 100% original, it is closer to factory than many we come across. The seller has done a good job highlighting the known discrepancies, and would likely entertain questions should a prospective buyer have any.

This auction is live right now, and bidding has been moderate. The price is nearing the $8k mark at time of this writing, and the reserve is OFF. Get in while you can, because this bike is going home at the end of it all. Check it out here, and then jump back to the Comments section and wax nostalgic with us. Did you lust after a Katana when it was released? Did you actually OWN one? Were you even born yet? Good Luck!!

MI

Time Machine: 1982 Suzuki Katana 1000