Posts by tag: FIve Valve

MZ March 22, 2018 posted by

Simple Pleasures: 1995 MZ Skorpion Sport for Sale

MZ's history is more significant than the average enthusiast realizes, especially if you're a fan of this site and/or grey market two-stroke sportbikes. "Why is that?" You might ask. Or more likely, "Who is that?" MZ, formerly MuZ was an East German manufacturer of two stroke motorcycles. Engineer Walter Kaaden actually pioneered the use of expansion chambers while working for Motorrad und Zweiradwerk to tune and increase performance of the dirty little smokers. But after factory rider Ernst Denger fled to the West, taking the company's secrets with him in a move to Suzuki [technically the East then] MZ's dominance ended and the company faded into the background. Later, they built a range of simple, very Soviet-looking bikes based around a Rotax single, but it wasn't until their mid-90s revival with bikes like this MZ Skorpion Sport that they really looked like a modern alternative to anything.

Like an East German version of Triumph's 1990s lineup, MZ's entire range was built around a common frame, and all the bikes used Yamaha's five-valve XT660 single backed by a five-speed gearbox. The frame was less top-heavy than Triumph's spine design, but the big thumper meant modern sportbike fans weaned on Japanese inline-fours were... confused, to say the least. The package made sense for the Mastiff supermoto or the Baghira adventure bike, but wasn't the ideal choice for the Traveller [guess what that one was supposed to be for] and the Sport, along with its Cup and Replica variants, and the bikes were never all that popular.

All the better for the rest of us! The Skorpion wasn't scorchingly fast in a straight line, but throw it into a set of corners and the bike was in its element: referred to the limited-production WP-suspended Skorpion Replica as one of the best handling bikes they'd ever tested. The lower-spec Sport seen here might not handle quite as well right out of the box, but the basic components are there and the bike just a cartridge kit and an updated shock away from similar results. There's a good reason people like to use them as the basis for affordable track and racebikes.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 MZ Skorpion Sport for Sale

Rare and nifty sport single! Yamaha, 5-valve, 660cc, liquid cooled, electric-start engine as used in Yamaha 660cc ATV's Quads. Chassis is unique English design and great handling! Manufactured in (formerly) East Germany. Stock except for Holeshot muffler. Clear title. Runs well, stops great and steers amazing! Please look at photos and ask questions. Local pickup or you handle shipping. Thanks!

At 26,000 miles, this is no garage queen, but it looks like it's in good cosmetic condition and the XT660 powerplant isn't exactly rare, so basic maintenance should be easy. Considering the bidding starts at just $1,799 with no takers yet, this should be on the short list of anyone looking to graduate from track days to racing, fans of affordable exotica, and basically anyone that's a lover of fun, honest, practical motorcycles.


Simple Pleasures: 1995 MZ Skorpion Sport for Sale
Yamaha March 14, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1989 Yamaha FZR1000 for Sale

Update 3.14.2018: Turns out this one sold faster than we could post it. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

A modern literbike is a relatively peaky beast: chasing horsepower without increasing displacement means ever-higher revs are required, and a six-speed box makes sense. It's telling that bikes like today's Featured Listing Yamaha's FZR1000, one of the cutting-edgy-ist sportbikes of its day, made do with just five and could still be considered fast now. Six-speed gearboxes had become the norm for motorcycles by the late 1980s, unless you were looking at cruisers, touring machines, or big-bore sportbikes. Why? Well, narrow, peaky powerbands require more gears to effectively exploit and the big-inch engines of the aforementioned six-speed exceptions had enough flexibility and torque to make them window-dressing: an extra gear just wasn't needed.

Considering that Yamaha's FZR1000 makes just 20 more claimed horses and weighs nearly 40 pounds more than a modern R6, you might think that these old-school machines would be no match for even a much smaller machine from today. But it's the 79 ft-lbs of torque from the FZR that makes it so effective: a modern literbike like the BMW S1000RR makes just a few more foot-pounds. So how did they do it? Well the GSX-R1100 obviously benefited from a few more cubes, but the smaller 1002cc FZR1000 combined Yamaha's five-valve Genesis head with their EXUP or "Exhaust Ultimate Power" valve to provide both low-end torque and high-end power.

Five-valve heads have pretty much disappeared these days, the theoretical advantages proving insufficient to outweigh the additional complexity required, but EXUP-style exhaust valves are ubiquitous, now that Yamaha's patents have expired, allowing other manufacturers to take advantage. By the late 1980s, servo-operated "power valves" were common on two-strokes, but this was the very first use of the technology in a four-stroke, and the result was a very flexible engine with a 170mph top speed.

Introduced in 1987, the 1989 redesign seen here looked similar, but included updates to the frame and engine: the original had a 989cc engine bumped to 1002cc and rotated backwards in the Deltabox frame for a shorter wheelbase. Later, the bike adopted a single headlight design to help modernize it, but you can't go wrong with a pair of big, round lamps. As you'd expect, performance and in particular handling improved throughout the bike's lifespan, but this particular model strikes a nice balance between classic superbike styling and the better performance and handling of the redesigned bike. I happen to prefer the looks of the earlier machines: the single-headlight version does look pretty sharp, but it just doesn't have the old-school round-lamp charm.

From the Seller: 1989 Yamaha FZR1000 for Sale

For being 28 years old the bike looks and runs awesome! It has less than 18k original miles, has never been dropped and has only a few minor cracks around the fairing mounting areas from the tightening of the bolts, which is normal for these older more brittle plastics (see near bolts in pics attached).

The 1989 version, crowned the "Bike of the Decade" by Cycle World, had 0-60 acceleration of 2.9 seconds, and a top speed of over 167 mph. I purchased one of these brand new in Miami Fl in 1989. I got on it and rode that bike all the way the Newline Vermont, 1460 miles in two days. It was a amazing adventure and the bike never missed a beat ripping off 700+ mile days with ease. This is truly a sports cruiser rather than a rep-racer R1. This particular dual headlight model was only produced one year, Yamaha went to the single (ugly) headlight in 1990. Anyway buy this unit, gas it up and head to for the opposite coast! We can deliver this bike anywhere in the United States for $500 enclosed and insured.

A few notes about the bike:

  • The bike was owned by 1 famous owner from new until when I bought it three years ago. It was a famous biker from the publishing world who collects bikes (Forbes magazine) and the bike was in Palm Beach all of its life until I got it. I have a copy of the title with his info on it that I can provide.
  • The bike was purchased from him for $4,500 and needed some TLC.
  • The bike had extensive work done to get the bike all up to modern running equipment. I spent over $4,500... All well documented (will provide) at Fast by Ferracci.
  • I also had a GPR slip-on imported from Italy (over $500) and it sounds awesome!
  • The carbs were also completely rebuilt, last summer 2016, and has all new gaskets - the engine runs amazingly well!
  • We over $9,500 invested in the bike. Went way overboard in its preparation. My loss, your happy smiles!

This does seem to be the version collectors will want, and in just a few years you may be kicking yourself for not taking advantage of the seller's $5,500 asking price. There are some minor cosmetic imperfections, small cracks and the like, but these are clearly documented and not unexpected on a Japanese bike from the 1980s: paint and finish were generally of a lower standard than on European bikes and they often age poorly, even when well-maintained and sparingly used. Luckily, the major servicing headaches have been taken care of and the bike is reportedly mechanically sound, meaning that this should be a great candidate for a rolling restoration, since collectors will likely want to replace that lighter, but non-original exhaust can and take care of the blemishes.


Featured Listing: 1989 Yamaha FZR1000 for Sale
Bimota December 13, 2017 posted by

Classic Superbike: 1988 Bimota YB4 Race Bike for Sale

It's fitting that the last couple of Bimota YB4s we've featured have been race bikes, since the YB4 was a competition machine first, and a road bike second. In fact, only a racing version was built at first, until World Superbike homologation rules required 200 roadgoing examples be built. The YB4 competed head-to-head with the best Japan could build, first in Formula 1, and later on in the new World Superbike series, an amazing feat for such a tiny manufacturer.

First produced in 1987, the YB4 was powered by Yamaha's 749cc five-valve "Genesis" motor and six-speed gearbox, which it ironically used to compete against Yamaha's OW01. Weight for the roadbike was 396lbs dry, and both versions used Bimota's stiff, lightweight aluminum beam frame and swingarm, so handling was predictably sublime.

Before their untimely demise, Bimota had become a manufacturer of expensive toys for well-heeled collectors or the occasional race team maybe looking for something to differentiate themselves from all of those very competitive Kawasakis and BMWs. There's nothing inherently wrong with recent Bimotas, but the Japanese Big Four and the Germans have caught up, and they didn't provide the kind of competitive advantage that bikes like the YB4 offered to racers and road riders of the 1980s.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Bimota YB4R for Sale

1988 Bimota YB4 Racing, ex-Steve Williams Team Fowlers Yamaha UK VIN: YB4*000027

4th overall in the 1988 World TT F1 (Superbike) Championship  - that year Fogarty won it, second Joey Dunlop, both on Honda RC30. This bike was also in the top ten results of TT IOM 1988 and 1989.

Rare opportunity to acquire a piece of the early Superbike era and of Bimota history. Bike is genuine, complete and working with the right patina, fitted with the correct carbs engine with magnesium sump.

Letter of verification by Dennis Trollope with the bike.

Parade, race and collect!

Bike is currently located in 33080 Roveredo in Piano, Italy but i can get them delivered all around the World at cost, no problem. I can supply US contacts for reference.

This example comes to us via a seller that should be familiar to RSBFS and CSBFS readers. I've never met him, but he obviously has great taste in motorcycles. There is very little time left on the auction, and bidding is up to just north of $5,600. Bimota values in general and pretty low right now, but this particular machine I'd hope would buck that trend: it's got racing history and plenty of patina. It's obviously a bit scruffy around the edges, but that's pretty much par for the course with well-used racebikes.


Classic Superbike: 1988 Bimota YB4 Race Bike for Sale
Yamaha December 12, 2017 posted by

Low Miles, Even Fewer Forks: 1993 Yamaha GTS1000 for Sale

Bikes today are faster, lighter, better-handling, and safer than ever before. But while there have been huge advances in terms of electronics and the materials used to build them, they use basically the same layout and suspension since motorcycle design became codified sometime in the late 1980s. The familiar telescopic forks are most definitely a compromise, but one designers and suspension tuners have become accustomed to working around. Simply put: when motorcycle forks compress under braking it upsets weight distribution and changes suspension geometry. So if you're developing a suspension system that gets around those issues, you'd think you'd create some sort of exotic hypersports bike to show off the advantages of your high-performance design, right? Well if you're Yamaha, you put your radical Omega Chassis Concept in a stylish, buy heavy sports-tourer like this GTS1000.

It's a shame, because the GTS might otherwise have made a great case for this alternative, swingarm front end: simply put, the design works very well.  Oh sure, there isn't any huge advantage over a conventional front end in a sport-touring application like this, but there's no real downside either. And the single-sided front end should make tire swaps a breeze, although the lack of a second front disc might give faster riders a bit of pause... At least it's vented and equipped with a six-piston caliper, and period tests don't complain about stopping power.

Yamaha licensed James Parker's forkless RADD front end to create their radical grand touring machine, and installed their five-valve, 1002cc inline four and five-speed gearbox, here tuned to produce a torque-rich 100hp. So the GTS was far too heavy and underpowered to be a legitimate sportbike, but limited fuel range and luggage options meant it leaned hard on the "sport" elements of sport-touring. Only available in the US from 1993-1994, the GTS1000 didn't sell very well, as the odd suspension, high price, and relatively limited touring capabilities scared potential customers away.


From the original eBay listing: 1993 Yamaha GTS1000 for Sale

Selling a very rare GTS1000A with a very low low miles. 

Bike is in a beautiful condition, kept in the garage for years , recently serviced with all new fluids and filters. New fuel pump. Left mirror has a small crack from moving in the garage, not even noticeable. Please feel free to ask me with any questions . 

New tires are needed. 

Treat yourself with a beautiful gift for the holidays. 

Bike starts and runs like new. 

The Buy It Now price is set at $6,500 which is pretty steep for a GTS1000 but, with just 4,400 miles on the clock, it's probably one of lowest-mileage examples in existence.  The problem is that, unless you're a collector of oddities, there's really no point: these things can rack up crazy miles so there's really no need to find one in such unused condition unless you plan to keep it as a museum piece. And that'd be a shame, since the GTS1000 is an amazingly competent mile-muncher.


Low Miles, Even Fewer Forks: 1993 Yamaha GTS1000 for Sale
Yamaha October 14, 2017 posted by

Extreme-ly LE – 1989 Yamaha FZR750R / OW01 with 1277 Miles !

An iconic product of the WSBK race series, the Yamaha FZR-750R or OW01 was an homologation special which sold for more than twice what a more streetable FZR-1000 fetched, and cost Yamaha zillions.  Rather than a tarted-up road machine, Yamaha built the race bike - poorly suited for the road actually - equipped it for DOT inspection, and sold it to race teams and collectors.  Pre-owned by the latter, this OW01 was imported but never registered, and has been ridden only 1277 miles.

1989 Yamaha FZR750R for sale on eBay

Yamaha was playing a little catch-up after the first WSBK season, and prepared the FZR750R for 1989 year.  Based on a proper race engine, the OW01 has Yamaha's signature 5-valve heads, titanium connecting rods, and low-friction pistons with short skirts and only two rings.  Their EXUP exhaust valve adjusts exhaust flow and improves running outside of the 9,000-12,000 powerband.  The light alloy DeltaBox frame is thin but wide, capped by an aluminum fuel tank.  43mm conventional forks lead an Ohlins monoshock, and 4-piston Nissin brakes are up front.  Riding position in the full endurance fairing is uncompromising.

This Oregon owner has been a fine caretaker of #427, with no apparent wear or damage.  Even the footpegs are pictured, virtually unmarked.  It's without a stateside title, but some preparation for registration has been done.  From the eBay auction:

Out of the crate this is part of what you got for your money.

1.       Titanium con rods with light weight, short-skirt, stepped-top pistons.
2.       Hand polished ports on a big 5 valve head.
3.       Handmade aluminum fuel tank and handmade aluminum Delta box frame, etc.
4.       Huge magnesium Nissin racing calipers and 320 mm discs provide race quality stopping power.
5.       More magnesium parts to reduce weight.
6.       Quick release axle clamps.
7.       Light weight fiber cowling/fairing.
8.       Close ratio 6 speed gears.
9.       Ohlins adjustable rear shock.
10.     43 mm forks with full range of adjustment.

The OWO1 has the perfect balance of light weight, agility and power. The OWO1 represents one of the best handling and most exclusive Japanese sport bikes of the era and in my opinion, is one of the sexiest looking motorcycle design ever to come out of Japan.

Now about my 1989 OWO1 #000427

This a Japanese domestic model OWO1 with 1277 miles/2044 kilometers. Mileage and initial registration is documented on the Japanese vehicle registration form (shaken-sho). The Japanese shaken-sho is up-dated every two years through a physical vehicle inspection by the Japanese DMV.

This OWO1 is guaranteed to have never been raced. It is a beautiful motorcycle that is 100% stock except for two things. The original owner changed the single horn to a dual horn set-up for safety reasons. He also added a little more heat shielding to protect the light weight fiber cowling/fairing.

This bike has never been registered here in the U.S. You will receive the following from me after purchase so that you can register the bike.

  1.   (CBP form 7501(04/05). This form tells the DMV that customs has been cleared and the bike is ready to be registered.
  2.   A bill of sale
  3.   Because this bike is over 25 years old no EPA or DOT documents are necessary for registration.

This bike has been in storage for a while, so I have done the following before the sale. I have put in a new battery, changed the oil, filter, coolant, brake fluid, and spark plugs.

This OWO1 is extremely rare and beautiful. It is very hard to find one in this kind of condition. But, please keep in mind that it is not a new motorcycle so there are some minor blemishes.

Most OW01's went racing, with a dealer's team or privateers, and a factory race kit which added a few thousand to the already astronomical price.  Finding an almost un-used FZR750R has become a odyssey for some, since only a few hundred were made each year.  Though it never resulted in a championship, the OW01 made a healthy mark on WSBK, and under Carl Forgarty held the absolute lap record at the Isle of Man TT for many years.  From an era when factories' engineering chops could be seen and felt, fans speak reverently of discovering the little-known secrets of the OW01...


Extreme-ly LE – 1989 Yamaha FZR750R / OW01 with 1277 Miles !
MZ September 24, 2017 posted by

Cheap and Fun: 1995 MZ Skorpion Replica for Sale

Very much a sportbike designed for the masses, the MZ Skorpion Replica has everything you need, and nothing you don't. Included is a sophisticated frame, adjustable suspension front and rear, sleek bodywork, and a flexible, simple, reliable, and easily-serviced engine. What it doesn't have is expensive, difficult to maintain technology, or an excess of power that most riders really don't need anyway. A true sportbike with a simple, humble powerplant, it's a shame they weren't able to sell very many when new.

If you're not familiar with MZ, they were an East German motorcycle manufacture most notable for completely dominating two-stroke racing in the 1950s using Walter Kaaden's revolutionary expansion-chamber tuning. Factory rider Ernst Denger defected to the west, and gave the technology to Suzuki which effectively ended the dominance of MZ, then known as MuZ. The reborn MZ of the 1990s was a bit like Triumph of the same period: both built an entire family of motorcycles around the same basic frame and engine. MZ's frame was actually a bit more sophisticated than the Triumph's, and they used Yamaha's torquey 660cc five-valve single and five-speed gearbox. The result? A brace of sportbikes, a sport-touring machine, a dual-sport, and even a supermoto.

The Replica really was a high-spec machine, aside from that relatively pedestrian engine. 50hp and a wet weight of just over 400lbs don't offer scorching straight line performance, but that wasn't the point at all. The Skorpion was still capable of an honest 110mph and those triple-disc brakes, with Brembo Gold Lines up front, should bring things to a halt quickly. When new, claimed it "was one of the best handling bikes we have ever tested" helped no doubt by the light weight, the well-developed frame, and the adjustable WP suspension. 

From the original eBay listing: 1995 MZ Skorpion Replica for Sale

For Sale, my 1995 Replica, number 87.  A little over 3200 miles on the odometer.  It is silver and charcoal and has several chips on rear upper cover. The bike has never crashed, everything works.  It comes with tools, owners manual, good battery and good tires. It is currently registered and ridden.  This bike does not need any repairs. Sold “as is” the bike is in Rhode Island and is available to be viewed prior to purchase.

This particular MZ Skorpion Replica has very low mileage, is in excellent condition, and looks great in a very appropriately German silver color. Bidding is up to just over $3,000 although there is plenty of time left on the auction so I'm curious to see where this ends up. Regular Skorpions generally go for surprisingly low prices, but the Replica might generate a bit more attention: just 16 made their way to the US in 1996. Skorpions have become pretty popular with Sound of Singles racers of late, although this one seems way too nice and unusual to chop into a race hack. Instead, it'd make the perfect partner for embarrassing much faster machines on fast canyon rides.


Cheap and Fun: 1995 MZ Skorpion Replica for Sale