Posts by tag: air cooled

Laverda January 12, 2018 posted by

Relic: 1982 Laverda Jota 1000

Named after a Spanish dance conducted in triple time (triple, get it?), the Laverda Jota was an Italian superbike designed for high speed travel. Featuring a 1000cc inline three cylinder, the Jota line ran from 1976 through 1982 - and witnessed the inception of the downfall of this iconic motorcycle (and farm equipment) manufacturer. By the mid 1980s Laverda was in serious trouble. Relying upon the basic underpinnings of the Jota, Laverda attempted to reverse their fortunes with the RGS / RGS Executive and the nostalgically named SFC. When those models failed, Laverda submerged into receivership. They resurfaced a few times with attempts to rebuild the brand under new ownership, but ultimately sank from view completely. Today the brand is owned by scooter magnate Piaggio, who have shown no interest in furthering the Laverda lineup. As a result, this 1982 Jota could be seen as the last of the true Laverdas - the heyday of a bygone era.

1982 Laverda Jota 1000 for sale on eBay

The Jota enjoyed two distinct periods of existence related to crankshaft timing. The original 1000cc triple featured a 180 degree crank configuration - the center piston on the bottom of the stroke when the outer two were at TDC - giving the bike a distinctive lope at idle and a unique character while underway. It was not until the end of the run (the very final year) that Laverda introduced the 120 degree crankpin arrangement. Evenly spacing the 360 degrees of revolution, the 120 degree crank provided for a smoother idle and less vibration while underway. These were important elements, as Laverda was struggling to compete with the technology onslaught of the Japanese - especially the developing four cylinder examples.

From the seller:
This very original survivor Laverda Jota is a remarkable example of a special motorcycle. Considered the top European superbike of its day the Jota was a performance showcase for Laverda and had a very successful racing career. Rated at around 90hp, it could exceed 140mph, making it the fastest production bike of the era. Race versions went on to win the UK Production series in 1976, '78, '79 and '80

This Euro-Spec Laverda was purchased from a collector in Italy and recently imported to California. Very low original mileage with only 22K kilometers. (13,670 miles .. Bikes has odo and speedo in kilometers and kph). Overall cosmetic condition is excellent, showing very minor weathering and no significant flaws or faults. Paint, bodywork, seat, wheels, chrome, instruments, tires etc. all in nice shape.

This bike is very original. Has had an original replacement ignition at one point. Wheels correct but color not standard and cylinder casting appears to have been painted black, might have new rings. Completely maintained and recently serviced, runs and rides like new.

The original Jota is a terrific platform; it's a great bike that has raw, visceral appeal. It is a big block hot rod with the looks and noise and exclusivity that only a Italian thoroughbred can provide. The paintwork shines, the frame narrows the view to the engine, and well, the air cooled triple delivers. This is pure energy in a retro form. For a price. The Buy It Now is nearly 18 grand - $17,975 to be exact. That is not an outrageous number for a proper Laverda. We have also seen this bike before at auction, about a year ago. Back then, this one was bid up to $14k and change, failing to meet reserve. What will happen this time around with a BIN auction instead? The seller is open to offers, so there may be some room to move on this marvelous throwback - and I'm thinking somewhere between the ask and the last auction result is a good place to target. Check it out here for all the details, and then determine if you are a 120 degree or 180 degree sort of collector. Maybe you go both ways - in which case this one would fill a hole in your collection quite nicely. Viva Italia, and good luck!

MI

Norton January 3, 2018 posted by

Players Club: 1974 Norton John Player

Reaching back a bit further than regular RSBFS fare, today's bike is a great example of a rare, motorsports-themed repli-racer. Sure, it's nearly 44 years old, but an iconic model of a legendary marque will always have a home in a collector's heart. In this case, a Norton-Villiers era British twin celebrating success in the death-defying Isle of Man TT, sponsored by a well known brand of cigarettes, John Player. Put all of these fun facts together into one bike, and you have a the very limited production John Player Norton of 1974.

1974 Norton John Player Special for sale on eBay

Based on the successful Commando model, Norton attempted to go racing with a bespoke factory effort. Success was limited, although Peter Williams managed to win the Formula 750 Isle of Man TT in 1973 on a semi-monocoque framed Norton emblazoned with John Player sponsorship. This bred the idea for a limited edition replica, and in 1974 the JPS Norton was born. Only 200 examples of this bike were built, with the distinctive dual headlight fairing mimicking the racer's Peel Engineering-designed unit. While the livery and aero bits resembled the racer, the road going JPS model was much closer in DNA to the 850 Commando. Sadly Norton was unable to compete financially given the rise of the Japanese and the onslaught of the Italians, and racing exploits ceased as British motorcycle companies consolidated to avoid total insolvency. Norton joined forces with BSA and Triumph, forming Norton-Villiers-Triumph. The oddity that is the JPS Norton is a classic remnant of the time.

From the seller:
Rare chance to own an original, unrestored,numbers matching, 3 owner Norton JPN with 6,411 original miles. One of approximately 200 built to commemorate Norton winning the world championship with Peter Williams aboard. Current owner has owned over 25 years. Bike has always been garaged. Bike was last ridden 11 years ago, and was prepped for long term storage. Beautiful bike. Age and health forces sale.

We don't see too many of these JPS models moving at auction. This is partly due to the one year only, limited production of the bike. It is also due to the age of the bike in question; we tend to see older bikes as strictly collectors (rather than riders), and as a result they change hands much less frequently. The history and mileage of this example supports the theory: 44 years old, only 3 owners and 6,411 miles. This particular bikes is available in the US, and looks to be complete. Pictures are not the greatest we have seen, but there is enough there to get the basics (interested buyers should contact the seller for more details). The best part of this JPN auction is the price: the BIN is only $14,500 (which is definitely in the ballpark, re-commissioning costs notwithstanding), and the seller is open to offers. Check it out here, and start the New Year with a ghost of Christmas past. Good Luck!!

MI

Players Club: 1974 Norton John Player
Ducati December 19, 2017 posted by

Almost New: 1998 Ducati 900SS FE with 867 Miles for Sale

Hmmmmm, the text from the listing for this Ducati 900SS FE looks strangely familiar... One of the surprising things about having been writing these posts for the past few years is how often my words show up in sellers' listings. I probably shouldn't be encouraging folks to use my writing for free but, to be completely honest, I'm still more flattered than offended at this point. The main problem is that it means I have to come up with some other theme for my post...

Up until Ducati's most recent iteration, things were always pretty dicey for them financially and, on more than one occasion, they were reduced to trading on nostalgia to make ends meet. By 1978, Ducati's bevel-drive twin was massively outdated, but a lucky win at the Isle of Man TT by Mike "The Bike" Hailwood meant they could flog some fully-faired and gloriously red and green Hailwood-replicas  and keep the lights on. It's a very cool machine in retrospect, but on the eve of the GSX-R750's introduction, it looks like a dinosaur. A very cool dinosaur, but a dinosaur nonetheless. Similarly, by the late 1990s, Ducati's air and oil-cooled Super Sport bikes still had plenty of charm and charisma, but offered little to appeal to modern sportbike fans.

Even when new, the 900SS offered minimal handing advantages compared to a Japanese sportbike that would leave it for dead in a straight line. But Ducati obviously couldn't sell enough of their expensive, exotic liquid-cooled models to make ends meet, and the design soldiered on for riders who wanted to pretend they preferred the "mechanical honesty of a classic, air-cooled engine" [it does sound better than the liquid-cooled version] or those who were more honest about the fact that they were terrified of the four-valve Ducatis' expensive service requirements, but still wanted a genuine Italian motorcycle.

It's a bit disingenuous to try and capitalize on nostalgia for a bike that would obviously continue in a newer, better form. But right before the 1999 release of heavily-revised, fuel-injected version styled by Pierre Terblanche Super Sport, Ducati released the "Final Edition" of the earlier, chunky, rubber-cambelt v-twin sportbike to cash in on the looming demise of the well-loved but obsolete model before it was replaced. Although when you consider the critical reaction to the updated model, it makes a bit more sense. The FE featured a solo tail to save weight and allow the fitment of upswept exhausts for better cornering clearance. Adjustable suspension front and rear was decent, and the standard two-valve engine in standard tune was good for the standard 80hp. Ergonomics are very humane for anyone weaned on late model sportbikes, and the seemingly limited power is plenty to have fun with on canyon roads.

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Ducati 900SS FE for Sale

Time Capsule! Mint Condition, Torque For Days, Beautiful Ducati! Only 867 miles... yes you read that right. #288 of only 300 made

The 90s iteration of Ducati's famous SuperSport wasn't exactly a fast bike, even by standards of the day. And by the time the Ducati 900SS "Final Edition" rolled around, it likely appealed mostly to die-hard Ducati fans and collectors. Which is a shame because, although the 900SS didn't offer cutting-edge performance, it did offer plenty of charisma, great handling, and accessible real-world performance.

The chase for abstract performance numbers has always obsessed the world of motorcycles and cars. But the truth is that peak horsepower numbers are often pointless. Since these machines are only fully exploited by .01% of riders, and what works in ad copy isn't always all that useful on the road, it's not always the most powerful bikes that make the most rewarding bikes to ride, especially on the road. Look at the endless praise heaped on the K5 GSX-R1000 by modern reviewers and see how this year's Brutale 800 actually produces less horsepower than the previous version to make it a better roadbike, and it becomes easier to see why this Ducati might win your heart, even if it won't win any bench-racing sessions...

Powered by Ducati's long-lived two-valve Pantah engine, the FE featured a solo-seat tail that allowed upswept pipes for increased cornering clearance and some carbon-fiber parts ostensibly because of their light weight, although the savings on a front fender are probably negligible... With a claimed 80hp on tap and a big fat midrange these are very rewarding to ride stock and a huge range of aftermarket support means you can modify the bike to suit if that's more your thing.

This thing appears to be bone-stock, with under 1,000 miles on the clock, and bidding is up just north of $6,000 with very little time on the auction. It might have been laughable just a few years ago to consider the FE particularly collectible or desirable, but these have definitely increased in value in recent years, and this very low-mileage example should get the attention of collectors. It's sad that such a usable sportbike has been basically accumulating dust, but I'm glad examples like this exist for folks more interested in displaying their bikes than riding them.

-tad

Almost New: 1998 Ducati 900SS FE with 867 Miles for Sale
Ducati December 6, 2017 posted by

Smart Bargain? 2006 Ducati PS1000 LE

The world of Ducati is littered with factory limited edition models. Many of these editions are simply visual; a different color of paint or a splattering of carbon fiber accessories. But make them in few enough numbers, and they become far more rare and desirable than the standard model on which they are built. Consider, then, the Paul Smart commemorative model. Created by grafting homage elements of the 1970 green frame 750SS racer onto the new SportClassic platform, the PS1000 LE was a truly unique machine in both form and function.

2006 Ducati PS1000 LE Paul Smart for sale

Built one year only, the Paul Smart edition was created to celebrate the milestone of a certain 1972 Imola race. Hoping to cash in on the nostalgia of the iconic green frame bevel drive desmo, designer Pierre Terblanche started with a standard SportClassic Sport 1000 model and added the visual elements of sliver paint on the plastics and of course the green painted frame. Chuck in adjustable Öhlins suspension front and rear, a steering damper, and lower clip-ons (which are a bit of stretch for smaller riders) and you have a fair bit of distinction over other SportClassic models. Worldwide, the Paul Smart was restricted to just 2000 examples.

From the seller:
2006 Paul Smart Limited Edition, PS1000LE DUCATI, Rare and collectable. This is a factory-made sort-of replica of the Green frame Ducati that legendary Paul Smart made famous. Only a few thousand of these made, less than 1000 came to the USA. Great condition, low mileage. Fast and beautiful. I have the factory racing ECM, but did not install it as it is plenty fast already. Termignonis installed. Stock exhaust included. Speedimoto Belt Covers, bar end mirrors, New battery, Rebuilt title, cosmetic damage only, rebuilt by Paul Smart expert using factory parts.

The interesting thing about Ducati limited edition models is that they really work - both as a functional motorcycle as well as an investment vehicle. By and large, most recent LE models are worth more today than when originally sold. Just take a look at a clean SuperLight, the internet sensation MH900e, or any of the other numbered editions released by Bologna. Paul Smart has name recognition amongst the Ducatsi faithful, and these PS1000 LE examples are behaving in a very similar financial manner than the limited edition models that preceded it.

Paul Smart models have been chasing upwards from the high teens into the $20k region, and we have seen asks as high as $30k. Historically, Ducati PS-LE models are decent investment vehicles provided they are original and relatively stock. That is where caveat emptor enters the picture. Literally translated into "let the buyer beware," the ask for this very pretty Paul Smart edition is a relatively scant $13,500. The details are clearly missing, but the tell is the rebuilt title. No question that accident damage is the cause. The real question is if these models will become coveted enough to warrant investment in a bike with a black mark on its permanent record. Check it out there, and then let us know what you think: bargain or bad call? Good Luck!!

MI

Smart Bargain? 2006 Ducati PS1000 LE
Suzuki December 3, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: Suzuki Carbon Katana Resto-Mod!

RSBFS has long been the leader in bringing you the best classifieds found online every day. Typically we focus on rare, original machinery and stay away from bitsa bikes, rat bikes and customs. Generally we ignore anything that devalues a collector steed. But once in a while we come across a bike done so well that we feel we would be doing our readers a disservice NOT to post it. Such is the case with this incredible Katana resto-mod. Far from a whored out 'Busa or the like, this is a tasteful build that reflects the true spirit of the 1980s - a period correct homage, if you will - while also bringing the bike up to a more current spec.

Amazing Suzuki Katana Resto-Mod for sale!

As stunning as the stock Katana was when first introduced at the cusp of the 1980s, the shape remains effective today. This was (and is) an aggressive looking motorcycle. In fact, it's hard to believe that the Japanese farmed out the design work to a German company; regardless of how it happened, the Katana remains one of the most polarizing motorcycles of the modern era. And this build simply reinforces the amazing shape and purpose of the bike, introducing modern technology such as carbon fiber and combining updated components to the existing platform; the original clearly shines through the updates. There is so much going on with this bike, that I will leave it to the seller to help explain the details:

From the seller:
Darren Begg of dB Customs has quickly established himself as a leader in world-class restomod builds. His builds often retain the original silhouette and paint scheme of the vintage sport bike while upgrading the powerplant, suspension, brakes, and switch gear. The results are high-powered icons of yesteryear, brought fully into the modern age — the true spirit of the restomod.

More from the seller:
Ray Mancini of Xtreme Motorsports, in Tennessee, built the motor. A 1260cc 173hp (@counter shaft) (110 ft-lbs trq.) was created for this Carbon Katana. Ray used a MTC Block,Webcam cams (.370/256), long hard weld rockers, his Stage 1 ported head with 1mm oversized stainless valves, top end oiler, HD case studs, under cut transmission and a balanced crank. 10.5-1 compression pistons fed by 38mm RS Mikuni carbs and relieved by a JayGUI Racing Exhaust finish it off. A Powder coated frame, Carbon Fiber Fuel tank cover and Carbon body work sourced from Japan keep it black.

More from the seller:
The build includes Brembo brakes, Öhlins Racing AB suspension, Dynatek Electronics ignition, OZ Racing wheels. Michelin Pilot Power 2CT tires. Underbridged and modified Bandit 1200 Swingarm. Billet Triple Trees from Pulse Performance. Woodcraft Technologies rearsets, Speedcell battery, Koso gauge cluster, Yoshimura Japan Co.,Ltd. throttle and cables, GSXR 1000 controls. Rizoma Spy Bar Ends. Paint work by Sketchs Ink (all paint, no decals!). It is a one of a kind powerhouse bringing together the past and present! Titled in Arizona. Delivery available.

1980s Katanas remain a pretty hot item in the collector world. In 1981 this was the fastest street motorcycle available, bar none. But nothing introduced nearly 40 years ago can be considered in the same performance vein as anything remotely modern thanks to the inexorable march of technology. This is a bike that someone like Pops Yoshimura would have envisioned back in the day, had any of these parts been available. But this bike is more than just a sum of the parts. This phenomenal build takes the spirit and intent of the original Katana and multiplies it many times over.

There are many collectors in our ranks that own factory hot rods from a bygone age. And while in some areas these bikes can still deliver the goods, the inevitable truth is that performance benchmarks have not remained static over the years. Even something like an uber-rare oval piston NR750 will feel tame compared to today's crop of hyper 600s. Imagine being able to ride the dream machine from your youth, but with the power (173 HP!), suspension (Ohlins), brakes (Brembo) and handling that you've come to expect in today's world. That would be a true dream machine, and that is exactly what this Carbon Katana delivers. This is a one-off built by someone who did not pinch pennies; the results are obvious and the outcome is glorious. You could not replicate this for the asking price, making this both a dream AND a bargain. Check it out here, because this one will go as fast as it looks. What a build!!

MI

Featured Listing: Suzuki Carbon Katana Resto-Mod!
Bimota November 15, 2017 posted by

Hen’s Tooth: 1983 Bimota SB4S

Hailing from a time when Bimota had its pick of mass-produced engines to stick into lovely bespoke frames, this 1983 Bimota SB4S is a one-of-34 machine from a factory that wasn't exactly known for its production capacity. What makes this SB4 so rare is that it is fully faired, setting it apart from the other 200-odd SB4s built.

1983 Bimota SB4S for sale on eBay UK

Under the gorgeous red-and-white bodywork lies a Suzuki Katana 1,100 engine, which was about the baddest mill money could buy at the time, and brings the weight savings and simplicity of air cooling to the party. As mentioned, the bike sports a hand-welded frame of Bimota's own design and crafting, and the best suspension money could buy at the time.

From the eBay listing:

Super rare and stunning Bimota SB4 SS

Only 34 factory built full fairing bikes were made and this bike has been sat in a collection and never used

Powered by the incredible Katana GSX1100 engine and fitted with the best forks and brakes that money could buy this was the ultimate sports bike of its day

Terrific value and a solid investment to ride or collect

Making this bike even more special is the fact that it is a zero-mile machine. It was purchased and stuck in a collection, making it a truly unused and untested time capsule. The machine is available through eBay classifieds in the U.K. for £15,885, or about $20,000.

 

Hen’s Tooth: 1983 Bimota SB4S