Posts by tag: air cooled

Moto Guzzi May 20, 2018 posted by

In White Satin – 1983 Moto Guzzi Le Mans III with 3,364 miles !

In remembrance of the Bal d'Or from 1971, when a Moto Guzzi 850 made a podium finish after 24 hours, came the Le Mans 850.  This Mark 3 has all the good stuff, revised heads with bigger valves, air-charged suspension, full-featured dash, and still wears its early 1980's emissions and noise regulation gear.  Complete as only a refurbished barn find can be.

1983 Moto Guzzi Le Mans III with 3,364 miles for sale on eBay

More often seen in the factory's favorite orangey red, this Le Mans is white with clean aluminum castings and black rubber, and original decals.  It has the newer "square" heads ( with tip-over protectors ) and the crankcase has its stiffeners on the outside.  Guzzi norms like shaft drive and linked braking system were an inside job.  Air suspension was new for the III but reviewed as too stiffly sprung.  God help you if you keep the turn signals on with the size of the reminders on that dash.

A recent restoration from Alabama, this Le Mans looks very close to NOS, but it's almost all original.  From the eBay auction:

I have recently changed all fluids- brake fluid, engine oil, transmission oil, final drive oil and replaced all rubber parts as well as all operating cables. The foot peg covers and bar grips had deteriorated with age. New Pirelli Sport Demons are installed as well as new brake pads that replaced the original pads. The valve lash has been set on all valves and the head torques checked. The carbs have been cleaned and tuned with mercury stix. Everything looks great and it runs like a dream.

All numbers are matching and it does not appear to have ever suffered any notable wreck damage. It has the stock air box intact as well as the totally stock exhaust system.

Still marching to their own drummer, Moto Guzzi has pinpointed the motorcyclist in many of us.  Fans of the brand are individualistic and self-reliant, and as the model reviewed - fast and stable.  This one is offered on a serious buy-it-now without the "make offer" button - independent perhaps to a fault...

-donn

In White Satin – 1983 Moto Guzzi Le Mans III with 3,364 miles !
Laverda May 16, 2018 posted by

Semi-Finalist – 1983 Laverda RGS1000

Laverda was already reeling from overseas competition in the early 1980's, but had the gumption for one more design project.  The RGS was based on their recent 1000cc air-cooled triple and rode more like a Beemer than a finicky Italian exotic.  This one has been enjoyed, but is quite original and well maintained.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 ( Canada ) for sale on eBay

For the RGS, Laverda civilized the 981 cc engine with rubber mounts and quieter exhaust, but the 83 hp didn't suffer.  Marzocchi  suspension is found front and rear, but triple 280mm Brembo brakes are a little undersized for a 135 mph streamliner.  Designer details like the Veglia dash, removable pillion fairing and the tank filler in the front ( out of the way of a tank bag ) are sweet period items.

Over the age of EPA, this Laverda should be an easy import from British Columbia.  Seems cared-for despite the mileage - though my back-of-the-napkin ( ok, google ) conversion shows 57,000 miles from 92,000 KM.  Making it sound like a recent acquisition, the owner isn't a slave to details, but says this in the eBay auction:

Hello, have my beautiful almost all orig RGS to sell.  Wolfgang recently went thru her before my purchase with full tuneup, fluids, tires, rejet, etc.  He has most history on it, has had top end done plus small items.  Most normal upgrades done with ignition, etc.  Runs very strong, and smooth.

After the Laverda family abandoned ship in 1985, the company was fits and starts until industrialist Francesco Tognon was nearly successful with a couple of new models in the 1990's, making the RGS almost the last design from an icon dating back to 1873.  Fast, quiet, and smooth, the Laverda was unfortunately slower, heavier, and more expensive than its Japanese rivals.  But if you're after a continental 1980's experience, the RGS is one of a very few...

-donn

Semi-Finalist – 1983 Laverda RGS1000
Ducati May 2, 2018 posted by

One Owner: 1993 Ducati Superlight for Sale

Prior to and even during the era of the 916, Ducati still needed to shift their relatively slow, old-tech 900SS. The 916 obviously grabbed headlines, handled like it was on the proverbial rails, and looked like sex. But it was also prohibitively expensive for the plebs to buy and especially to maintain, hideously uncomfortable for regular riding, and an all-around experts-only machine. The 900SS, on the other hand, was the everyman exotic, a real Ducati, but one that was based on slightly outdated technology. Today's Superlight helped stimulate a bit of fresh interest in the working-man's Italian sportbike by adding a bit of style, lightness, and shockingly yellow paint.

The fact that it's down a bit on straight-line performance doesn't mean it's a bad bike though, far from it. And "outdated technology" also means "simpler to maintain." Changing Ducati's toothed rubber cam-drive belts is a two-year or 12,000 mile service, whichever comes first. But the procedure is pretty straightforward and can be done by any competent mechanic. The valves on the two-valve engine aren't all that tricky either and the lack of liquid-cooling and the associated hoses and bracketry mean access isn't all that difficult. That is more work than a Japanese sportbike of the same period, but no one buys a now-classic sportbike thinking it won't need a bit of work, and at least here that work is pretty simple to do.

The Superlight was basically a 900SS with fully-adjustable suspension, a solo tail, open clutch, upswept exhausts pipes that increased cornering clearance, lightweight composite Marvic wheels with a distinctive polished rim, and the critically important numbered plaque on the triple clamp: just 861 were sold in 1993 so these are very rare, if not all that high-performance. Obviously, red is the traditional, and often preferred color for Ducatis, but it seems a shame that more aren't painted yellow like this example, since very, very few motorcycles look good in yellow. The handling of the 900SS was never in doubt, and the older Super Sport has much more comfortable ergonomics than the admittedly extreme 916. Just fit a more supportive Corbin saddle, throw on a backpack, and head out for a long day of riding, without concern that you'll need to down half a bottle of ibuprofen when you get back.

If eyeball-squashing acceleration is the only metric by which you judge a motorcycle, you're going to hate this bike. If you think a 170hp bike just isn't fast enough, this isn't your machine. But there's a reason that the two-valve, air-and-oil-cooled Pantah in its various iterations gets mentioned on every "best motorcycle engine ever" list: that sucker has character. I'm biased here: I think it's the best-sounding motorcycle engine of all time, especially with a bit of extra boom liberated by some carbon-fiber cans. But it also just has a great, punchy midrange that just kind of slings you forward after each shift. The 70-75 horses a good 900 makes at the rear wheel may not sound like much on paper, but it's plenty to whip you along a canyon road and legions of Ducati fans aren't just buying these because of some perceived mystique. I mean, of course some of them are just buying a name, the idea,  but the same is probably true of the majority of motorcyclists in one way or another.

This collector bike is more of a rider, though: it's a little scruffy, some of the panels have fatigue cracks around their mounting points, and it generally needs some attention to the details. But if the mechanical bits are all in good working order, you can do a bit of a rolling-restoration on it while enjoying the sound and feel of your vintage-ish Ducati. Starting bid is about half what a cleaner, lower-mileage Superlight might sell for, so if you're handy with the wrenches, this might be a great way to pick up an appreciating classic for cheap.

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Ducati Superlight for Sale

I’m the original and only owner. The Superlight was bought new in Austin, Texas and has a clear title. The yellow color was only available in the US. I’m a mechanical engineer and performed all routine maintenance myself. The bike has never been crashed. It is all original except the muffler brackets broke and were replaced and the rear wheel fatigued and was replaced with an appropriate Ducati Monster rear wheel. The bike is in fantastic condition with only some spider cracks in the body work in the usual places as shown in the pics. New Michelin tires, seat and windshield are in great shape, 26,041 miles. Comes with pictured rear stand. Runs, rides great.. You won’t be disappointed. 

Miles aren't as low as some other examples we've seen, but aren't anything to worry about: well-maintained Pantah engines can triple this mileage with ease. Just change the belts and adjust the valves, top off with oil occasionally between changes if the level gets low, and enjoy. The weak spots are well-known and relatively simple to sort out, parts to maintain them are widely available, and most everything on the Superlight is shared with the more common SS-SP and SS-CR versions. Aside from those Marvic wheels of course. It's a shame the rear wheel isn't the correct item, but with no takers so far at the $4995 opening bid, I expect this will be on the cheap side for a Superlight. Grab this one, pocket the savings, and prowl eBay for a matching rear.

-tad

One Owner: 1993 Ducati Superlight for Sale
Ducati April 25, 2018 posted by

Insignificantly Rare – 2005 Ducati 1000SS/DS

Ducati developed a new dual-spark desmodue engine for the 1000SS and it is revered among Ducatista.  Its first platform was the Terblanche-styled SS which was fighting a losing showroom battle.  In hindsight it's a great SuperSport and classic Ducati.

2005 Ducati 1000SS/DS for sale on eBay

Engineers made many changes to the new DS engine, the lower valve angles, shortened exhaust ports and up-to-date fuel injection making for a more reliable, even tempered mill.  The 85 hp from the air-cooled 992cc's leave the water-cooling system behind, relying on air and oil cooling to contain temperatures.   Elsewhere, it's classic SuperSport, a fairly aggressive riding position, complex fairing, trellis frame, and room for a passenger.

This SS is offered by an eBay dealer with quads, bikes, and campers on their roster, and the Senna gray with Ferrari red wheels look excellent for their 17K miles.  For some reason the clutch cover is not present, something should be there to protect the rider and keep the rain out.  The mirror booties need adjustment, likely they were folded, but appear to be the stock item.  From the eBay listing:

Fuel Injected

17,031 Miles

Marchesini Red Wheels

Factory Tool Kit

Zero Gravity Smoke Windshield

Brembo Brakes

Red Key

CLEAN AND CLEAR TITLE !

Tested and Inspected, Ready to Ride Now !

Normal wear and tear, open dry clutch assembly with common Ducati Clutch Plate noise

New Harley Davidson Dealer Trade In !

Very Clean Original Bike !

The SuperSport would only survive another year, starved for customers in a showroom with SuperBikes, Monsters, ST3's and 4's, the MultiStrada.  The love-it-or-hate-it body design probably didn't help matters, though the drivetrain would live on in Monsters, Multis, and the new Hypers and SportClassics.  Earlier SuperSport fans will love the new engine, and the handling will bring back memories.  Bar risers are still available to move the grips up and back a little, and the Make Offer button is there to move the bid down and forward a little...

-donn

 

Insignificantly Rare – 2005 Ducati 1000SS/DS
Ducati April 12, 2018 posted by

More Than the Sum – 1993 Ducati 900SS Custom

Ducati's iconic 900 SuperSport has everything you need and nothing you don't.  The early 90's edition inspired this retro-faired monoposto, where even more of everything is out in the open.  The custom frame, tank and fairing hang together very well, looking like a Friday afternoon ride into the hills waiting to happen.

1993 Ducati 900SS Custom for sale on eBay

The 900SS goes way back to 1975, but belt drive unburdened the engine in 1988 and the conversion to Mikuni carburetors in 1993 freed up 84 hp.  Big brakes from the 851 provided ample stoppage, and fully adjustable Showa suspension were a nice improvement.  Dry weight was under 400 lbs.

As built by Union Motorcycle Classics, this SuperSport might be under 400 lbs. with half a tank, though the trip odometer might want to be used as a gas gauge.  Perhaps the wafer-thin seat atop the revised subframe would remind the rider to take a break, though the aluminized Ferracci exhaust and Fox rear shock say go.  From the eBay auction:

Introducing a one-of-a-kind professionally built 900SS. Everything on this beautiful motorcycle shows attention to detail and mechanical craftsmanship. (search "custom 900SS" on google and this will be one of the top 5 motorcycles that appears in images.)

The one-off hand crafted tank is a merging of a 900SS tank and a late 80's 750 Sport. Beautifully done. You will see throughout the build are custom manufactured brackets and period race parts, with all work performed by Union Cycles.

Likely the builder didn't change the frame geometry, not messing with one of the best handling SuperSports of the day.  Union has beautifully reduced the 900SS to its cafe' racing denominator, as Hunter S. Thompson described in his original Cycle World review of the bike.  With the limited seating position, rider endurance might be even lower.  But cafe's aren't that far apart these days, and the new owner will likely be having extended Q&A at coffee stops, with spirited blasts in between...

-donn

More Than the Sum – 1993 Ducati 900SS Custom
Suzuki April 6, 2018 posted by

Salt Lake Slab Side – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R1100

In a bit of reverse mission creep, Suzuki began work on the GSX-R1100R by seeing how similar it could be to their winning 750. The air/oil-cooled machine achieved great power-to-weight and many long burnouts along the way.

1986 Suzuki GSX-R1100 for sale on eBay

Suzuki's 1056cc four uses a two-chamber oil pump with the high pressure side going to the engine, and hot oil coming back from the heads is pumped to the oil cooler by the low pressure side.  The system helps the 125 hp engine stay alive without the complication of water cooling.  The all-alloy chassis is a twin spar, with Full Floater rear monoshock and an electrically activated anti-dive system up front.  Even with full fuel the open class GSX-R stays under 500 lbs, making the back pad on the rider's seat more than an afterthought.

Offered by a Utah collector but not Gary, this GSX-R has a few mods but rather low miles at 9,600.  The Yoshimura-developed NACA ducts are period-correct but beg for the companion airbox, however the owner is using individual K&N filters.  The Supertrapp muffler looks small but can be adjusted for street or strip.  The deal evidently includes a tank protector and rare fairing bra from the way-back machine.  Notes from the eBay auction:

K &N filters and Supertrapp exhaust  makes a great sound , Yoshimura air ducts, 1986 was the first generation GSX-R1100.  Two plastic repairs one in the front fairing left by the windshield very common and in the low fairing right side a little crack was repaired look perfect.  Rest of the panels are original untouched, gas tank is very clean in and out, leather covers are included for gas tank and front fairing very rare.
Very strong engine and fast, runs smooth and steady, beautiful machine.
No noises or smog, fresh oil and new battery, Dunlop tires have plenty of life left.

The GSX-R1100 advertised its business with a tach that started at 3,000 rpm and had the handling to back it up.  The sub-11 second quarter removed any doubt.  Not babied but seemingly not abused, this example could be an exclamation point or the start of a beautiful friendship...

-donn

 

Salt Lake Slab Side – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R1100