Posts by tag: homologation

Ducati June 11, 2015 posted by

Under the Skin: 2005 Ducati 999R for Sale

2005 Ducati 999R L Side

Enough ink has been spilled complaining about the design of the Ducati 999, but two things are clear: it is a far more practical, useable motorcycle than the classic 916, with ergonomics that at least took actual human physiology into account and the controversial looks of the bike are aging well. To be honest, as much as people fawn over the 1098 as "the bike that should have followed the 916," I find its styling way too derivative. I love the headlamps and nose, but overall, it just looks like a bike designed by someone terrified to screw up, rather than a bold new statement. The 999 may never be considered beautiful in the way that the 916 was, but function has a beauty all its own, and you'd never mistake it for anything else.

2005 Ducati 999R R Side Naked

But beauty is more than skin deep, and while a 999S is really just a 999 with some bells and whistles, the 999R is another beast entirely and was intended to meet requirements for Ducati's assault on the AMA Supberbike class. Internally, the R shares little with its less-aggressive stablemates: it features a completely different bore and stroke, 104mm × 58.8mm vs.100mm × 63.5mm. The 999R actually displaces exactly 999cc, whereas the regular 999 has 998...

2005 Ducati 999R Fairing

With 12.5:1 compression, titanium rods and valves and a knife-edged crankshaft spinning in sand-cast cases, the R was good for a legitimate 150hp at the crank, a big number for a twin in an era before all the electronic trickery found on today's top-tier sportbikes.

2005 Ducati 999R Tank Detail

Today's example shows just why it's so great to be bike fan shopping for a used Ducati: extremely low mileage, fastidious care by an enthusiast owner, and only the best quality components thrown at it. And while the price won't be cheap, the 999R is certainly one of the most desirable models of the period.

From the original eBay listing: 2005 Ducati 999R for Sale

VERY RARE Ducati 999R, unlike NO other! sold to me as a trophy bike by eBay seller "lambo19752009" Bought as an investment not to ride. However, as a Ducatista she called me to ride. Current milage is 4758- I will stop before 4999. I have had a 999 before, the 999R is a different world! Research the 999R. Condition is excellent. Minor road wear is now visible. Nothing has happened in my care other than ADULT driven 434 miles so far. Tires tell the story no abuse. Why sell? I have another Duc and need to free up loss your gain. From the photos to reality you will see pegs & kickstand paint wear plus a spot of gold 3M wrinkled on the engine cover. Otherwise drop dead gorgeous. Handle bars just adjusted by Dunbar Ducati, will not go to lock but are perfect alignment. Grips are black not gold as in some photos.

2005 Ducati 999R L Front

Pop on over to eBay if you want to see the laundry list of bolt-on moto-bling that's been thrown at this bike. Honestly, I'd sell off half of it and get the bike back a little closer to stock-looking: I love Rizoma as much as the next guy, but these things start to look like they've got some gold-anodized skin condition when people throw the whole catalog at them. And apparently, other people are using the term "Rizoma'd" as well. I met a guy over the weekend who was mourning the loss of his 848 Streetfighter that was "all Rizoma'd out."

In any event, this is a very low mileage, apparently pampered bike that'd be easy to get back to stock condition if you prefer. And while some Special Edition Ducatis are just "paint and tape" jobs with some upmarket suspension that offers questionable improvement over the stock setup, the 999R is the real deal: a true homologation special.


2005 Ducati 999R R Side

Under the Skin: 2005 Ducati 999R for Sale
Honda January 21, 2015 posted by

Big-Bang Theory: 1996 Honda RVF400 for Sale

1996 Honda RVF400 R Front

Introduced in 1994 to replace the VFR400R, the RVF400 used a smaller, 399cc version of Honda’s gear-driven V4 powerplant with a 360° firing order. The updated model featured a revised fairing with cat-eye headlamps replacing the earlier bike’s round units, distinctive air tubes leading from the fairing to the front of the tank to feed the carburetors, although the airbox was not pressurized by any sort of ram-air system. Running gear saw a change to more modern upside-down forks and a 17” wheel replaced the earlier bike’s 18” item.

1996 Honda RVF400 Rear Suspension

Honda's homologation V4 engines featured a “big-bang” firing order that has all of the combustion events taking place relatively close together, instead of spaced evenly. This naturally increases engine vibration, but creates distinctive pulses in the power delivery that allows the rear tire to momentarily regain traction in between during on-track moments at the edge of adhesion, aiding handling and increasing tire life.

There’s also the undeniably subjective benefit in terms of sound: the “big-bang” engines often have the rawer, more charismatic sound generally associated with V4 engines compared to more conventional “screamer” motors with evenly-spaced firing intervals.

1996 Honda RVF400 L Side

From the original eBay listing: 1996 Honda RVF400 for Sale

1996 Honda RVF400 NC35. This bike is in very good condition. Bike has 9589 km = 5753 miles. Engine runs fine, no problems. There is a crack in the seat "see pictures". The passenger seat covers the crack so you don't see it. You don't see many RVF400 in this condition anymore. Bike is original, not restored. I have a clear California title for the bike.

1996 Honda RVF400 Dash

Sold officially only in Japan, all RFV400’s are grey-market imports. The seller is based in Japan, although this bike is supposedly in the US and has a clear California title. There is plenty of time left on the auction, with no takers yet at the $9,000 starting bid.

While these are obviously not as desirable as their bigger RC45 siblings, the RVF400 is prized by collectors for its motorsports heritage. And while the stock bike’s claimed 53hp is underwhelming on paper, the little RVF is reportedly a brilliant-handling bike, a “brains-over-brawn” bike for riders who like gear-whine that drowns out the stock exhaust.


1996 Honda RVF400 R Side

Big-Bang Theory: 1996 Honda RVF400 for Sale
Honda January 13, 2015 posted by

Exotic Heavyweight: 1985 Honda VF1000R Interceptor for Sale

1985 Honda VF1000R L Side

Some more 80's Honda action this week, only this time the bike is in much better condition and has all of its parts included! Modern sportbikes often obsessively address issues of weight while clawing at ever-higher horsepower numbers, worshiping at the temple founded by Lotus founder Colin Chapman and his philosophy that, “adding power makes you faster on the straights, subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere.” Today’s Honda VF1000R is a substantially-engineered motorcycle that lives by the first part of that axiom, but falls down a bit on the second…

1985 Honda VF1000R Nose

Looking much like a scaled-up GSX-R, the fully-faired, monoshock VF1000R was designed to homologate a number of features for Honda’s endurance-racing efforts, but was actually noticeably heavier than the sport-touring VF1000F at over 600lbs wet. The 998cc V4 replaced the F’s timing chains for the gear-driven cams that would eventually become an Interceptor calling-card, while anti-dive front suspension, quick-release axles, vented rear brake disc, and distinctive Comstar modular wheels fitted with radial tires rounded-out the exotic package.

1985 Honda VF1000R Rear Tire

All-in-all, the VF1000R was a bit of a disappointment as a roadbike, but that was never really the objective anyway: like most homologation machines, it was built to allow specific included parts to be used in much higher-performing, production-based racebikes. And it paved the way for Honda’s all-conquering RC30 and RC45, although I understand those were also fairly disappointing in road trim. Spare me your anger and flame in the comments section: I freely admit I’ve never ridden either of them, but I’ve read plenty of period reviews that were less than impressed, especially considering those bikes’ price tags then and now. Once again: road performance wasn’t really the point of those bikes, either.

1985 Honda VF1000R Tail

This particular example from ’85 has been upgraded with the dual-headlight setup from an ’86 model and looks to be in pretty spectacular shape, considering the bike’s age and the fact that it has seen a reasonable amount of road use, as opposed to a pampered life in a collection. For most of us, that just makes it sweeter, and means that it’s a runner, not a display bike. The included D&D pipes should make this bike a real howler: among Ducatisti, D&D is known for making pipes that exchange volume for anything resembling subtlety…

1985 Honda VF1000R Exhaust

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Honda VF1000R for Sale

Super Clean 1985 VF1000R, dual headlight upgrade over the original single one, clean paint, like new tires, smooth idle, it’s a Honda all the way!!! I hate to part with it, but I destroyed my left shoulder in Afghanistan and just can't take the lean forward any more 🙁 ... She is garage kept, and the pics don't do it justice... I will include a set of D&D pipes to the winning bidder as well! Any Questions just ask, I'm listing an Aprillia 1000R in a few more days as well.

Thanks for looking

The biggest challenge with many Japanese bikes from the 80’s and 90’s was their mass-produced affordability: people bought them, rode them hard, and exploited their famed reliability. That means in spite of higher production, tracking down nice examples of bikes like this can be just as difficult as finding a more exotic Ducati or Bimota that was produced in much smaller numbers, but has led a much more pampered life.

1985 Honda VF1000R Dash

There are still a few days left on the auction and bidding is active, although the reserve has still not been met at just north of $3,000. Much more a “GT” and less of a “back-road-burner” by today’s standards, this should make for a pretty cool road tool for Honda fans and that V4 soundtrack, complete with gear-whine, will make any bike fan smile.


1985 Honda VF1000R R Side


Exotic Heavyweight: 1985 Honda VF1000R Interceptor for Sale
Yamaha December 30, 2014 posted by

Exotic Yammie: 1989 FZR750R OW01 in New Zealand

Update 12.30.2014: This OW01 is back on eBay with a buy-it-now of $20k. If you missed it the first time, this is a very reasonable buy! -dc

Because the specs and overall silhouette for the Yamaha FZR750R are misleadingly similar to the regular FZR750 and don't feature an exotic engine configuration like the Honda's RC30's gear-driven V4, it might be easy to overlook the OW01 as simply a warmed-over FZR. But it's every bit as exotic as its rivals, boasting pure racing guts and high-spec bits throughout.

1989 Yamaha FZR750R OW01 L Side

In fact, with only 500 made between 1989 and 1991, it’s fair to say that the OW01 is even more rare and desirable than the RC30, although it was not nearly successful in racing as the Honda.

1989 Yamaha FZR750R OW01 Frame Plate

Because while it might look like a fairly standard FZR, everything about the OW01 is “bespoke”: castings of magnesium, internals of titanium, bore x stroke not shared with any other production Yamaha, flat-slide carbs to fed fuel, and even the frame, while looking stock, was made from higher-quality aluminum. The bike featured Yamaha’s signature five-valve heads and midrange-fattening EXUP valve that gave the motor a surprisingly street-friendly drivability, assuming you kept in mind that the flat-slide carbs couldn’t just be whacked open at low revs…

1989 Yamaha FZR750R OW01 Rear Wheel

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Yamaha FZR750R OW01

The OW01 was Yamaha’s answer to the Honda VFR750R RC30 and is much rarer and exotic. When launched for 1989 in the UK the OW01 cost a staggering £12,700, more than twice as much as an FZR1000, with the optional race kit adding £2,415 to the price. Just 197 made their way to the UK, and only 88 were road registered, many of which went straight into collections. By way of comparison, the Honda RC30 cost £8,499 but its race kit was considerably more extensive and expensive. (Yamaha included much more race-orientated trickery as standard, hence the difference). To put all that into perspective, the 2014 list price of a Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike is just £12,399 .

We bought this example in Tokyo and it is frame #648. It is in excellent condition and has travelled just 4,700 miles or 7,600 kilometers. The OW01 is super collectible, we have another example on display in our Auckland showroom which has travelled just 2,800 kilometers. The OW01 is better than stocks or money in the bank we think.

1989 Yamaha FZR750R OW01 Tank

The 119hp output seems pretty lukewarm by today’s standards, but this was state-of-the-art in 1989, a barely-tamed animal for the road that existed only to enable Yamaha's World Superbike racing efforts, although the EXUP valve did make it reasonably usable on the street. Just keep in mind: like most homologation specials, these require much more maintenance to keep them running than the everyday FZR on which it was based.

1989 Yamaha FZR750R OW01 Dash

It is designed for the track, although tragically, most have ended up in living rooms. They didn’t have the winning record of Honda’s RC30, but sheer rarity and exotic specifications make this a blue-chip collectable of the first order. Bidding is up to $15,000 US with just one day to go. Keep in mind that this bike is in New Zealand if you're looking to bid!


1989 Yamaha FZR750R OW01 Shock

Exotic Yammie: 1989 FZR750R OW01 in New Zealand
Suzuki December 22, 2014 posted by

Move Fast: 1986 GSX-R750 Limited Edition

Note: We've seen this one before, but it's been a couple years and Tad has a fresh perspective to consider. -dc

1986 Suzuki GSXR LE R Front

We generally try to stay away from modified machines at this site, but this GSX-750R LE is exactly the type of motorcycle I love: a bike that shows evolutionary change, a gradual improvement to more closely match the needs of the owner and address performance shortcomings from the factory. I'm sure the spoked wheels will generate a bit of controversy here, but they do look pretty sharp, and the listing includes his reasons for the swap. Most importantly, it should make the bike much more usable: the original 18" items don't have much in the way of high-performance rubber available these days...

The GSX-R was introduced in 1985 and featured a 750cc four-cylinder that eschewed water-cooling in an effort to save weight. The bike basically set the pattern still being followed today, with an aluminum beam frame, four piston calipers gripping triple-disc brakes, and monoshock rear suspension.

1986 Suzuki GSXR LE Carbs

This “LE” or “Limited Edition” version of the Gixxer was intended to homologate parts for racing, specifically the distinctive vented dry clutch, aluminum fuel tank, and anti-dive forks that were an electronic alternative to Honda’s mechanical system. The swingarm was lengthened for 1986, although this example uses the shorter item from the 1985 model for a shorter wheelbase and quicker steering.

1986 Suzuki GSXR LE Dry Clutch

The description includes a pretty detailed account as to the changes that were made and why, and they all do make plenty of sense in context. He also includes a video clip of the bike starting and running, although the sound quality is pretty horrendous. It’s nice to see that the bike starts up quickly and settles into a nice idle, but if you’re curious about the dry clutch sound, you’re best off clicking around YouTube for another video.

1986 Suzuki GSXR LE Rim

It’s also interesting to note that, although regulations in Europe concerning noise can be very strict, he was granted an “exception” for his modifications, which seems so strangely… reasonable. It’s pretty impressive that the German equivalent of the DMV has folks on-hand knowledgeable enough to make that sort of determination!

1986 Suzuki GSXR LE Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition

I am offering up for sale a very unique bike. I have outfitted this bike myself and have used it on the roads in Germany, before moving to the USA. I have all the German registration documents and those from the original owner. I have owned or ridden most every GSXR and a fair number of other bikes, this bike by far is the best road going sport bike I have ridden. The wheels I had special made by WIWO in Germany, they are numbered and dated 1994. They are 3.5 x 17 F and 5.5 x 17 rear The tires are 120/65/17 and 180/55/17 I have run Metzlers without any problem. The wheels are certified tubeless. The rims are AKRONT. There is no damage to these wheels and they run true. This bike is outfitted with the short 1985 swingarm giving it a 55 inch wheelbase. There has never been any wobble or shake at speed. 260kph seems to be the top speed and it is quite a joy to ride at any speed. The motor is on the original bore, however the cylinder head was fitted with Yoshimura 1mm oversized valves and a Serdi blended 3 angle valve job performed to correct the factory valve jobs which were not very accurate. The ignition box is a Yoshimura item. The difference is night and day. The engine will rev to 12,000rpm. The hit at 7000rpm is quick. The exhaust is a 4-2-1 stainless system custom made to fit this bike by Shaefer Racing in Germany. I had the bike on a Dyno outdoors. At 7000rpm the shreak from the carbs drove everyone for cover. It is louder than the pipe. 

At some point you will ask, 'Why spoke wheels?'....When this bike was being drawn up, the fastest bikes were all examined in great detail. One of the fastest bikes at that time was a TZ750. If you look at the two bikes they share the same basic shape. Since the first TZ had spoke wheels I had a set made up for this bike. They are TUV certified. At the time I could get magnesium wheels but they were not allowed for road use. Aftermarket aluminum wheels were not widely available. The Mitchel wheel from Lockhart was an option, however they are heavier than the spoke wheels. These wheels run perfect true and none of the spokes has ever needed adjustment! This bike will accept any standard 3 spoke GSXR wheel from the first or second generation bikes. Remember that the original Limited Edition has a 15mm front axle and is more prone to flex. The small amount of frame flex in the 750 seems to be ideal for road work. The Akrapovic end can was added to keep the bike road legal. All modifications have been signed into the brief. The process of doing this is a story in itself. I first went to the TUV engineer and asked to have the airbox removed. Stock exhaust, stock engine, dry clutch. Since the dry clutch made more noise than either the exhaust or the intake (before engine tuning) I was granted an exception. I had the exhaust fabricated and the road legal Akrapavic end can installed. Back to TUV and another modification signed into the brief. I have the original swing arm, which is quite long, and the original footpegs in perfect condition. I do not have the original exhaust, wheels or forks and triple clamps. .This bike has never been crashed or dropped!

With just one day left and a starting price of $7,500 and no bids so far, it looks like the seller may be aiming a bit too high. That’s the problem with making changes to the bike to suit your personal preferences: they may not match anyone else’s! Plus, the missing fairing lower may be putting casual browsers off as, at a glance, this looks like just another well-worn Slabby.

1986 Suzuki GSXR LE Headstock

I'd find a fairing lower and paint to match, but this is otherwise a very cool resto-mod that seems to be very much in the spirit of the original bike. Note that the seller does not have the original fork or wheels, so be prepared if you plan to buy this and return it to stock appearance. All-in-all, this is definitely not a bike for collectors, but for folks looking for something that evokes an earlier, simpler era of riding but has a few nods to advances in technology.

Or ex-Ducati owners who miss the rattle of a dry clutch.


1986 Suzuki GSXR LE R Side

Move Fast: 1986 GSX-R750 Limited Edition
Ducati November 28, 2014 posted by

Overachieving Little Brother: Nearly New 2005 Ducati 749R

2005 Ducati 749R L Side

So here’s a bold statement: if the Ducati 916 had never existed, the 999, along with its little brother the 749, would be considered a masterpiece.

It’s a superlative machine in almost every way, and was possessed the typical Ducati virtues: a thumping v-twin with a wide powerband, stable handling, and glorious noise. But it had the added benefit of almost humane ergonomics by Italian sportbike standards, a definite improvement over the 916. But it was the style, not function that caused problems and, although I do think that Pierre Terblanche’s design lacks some sex appeal: it’s maybe a bit too modern, to ruthlessly un- 916. But it is a very interesting design and striking, with lots of cool details to appreciate.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that this Ducati 749R is just another of the never-ending list of “special editions” that featured suspension bling, race-rep colors, festooned with carbon doodads.

2005 Ducati 749R R Front

But the 749R is not simply a lower-spec machine with some bling-y Öhlins suspension bits and a carbon-fiber mudguard thrown at it, and a couple extra horses freed up by a $3,000 Termignoni titanium exhaust. Designed to homologate the bike for racing, the R featured heavily revised engine internals: bore was increased, and stroke decreased to keep displacement legal and allow for a higher rev ceiling. Cases received the lightweight treatment as well: the cam covers are magnesium (clearly visible in the photos) of the bike and the belt covers are, of course, carbon-fiber. It all added up to a claimed 121hp.

A long-overdue slipper clutch kept the twin’s engine braking in line, a vital addition for a powerful twin designed to see track time and there were radial brakes up front to slow it all down. The fuel tank was specific to this model, and had an increased capacity.

The headstock is adjustable for rake and the ergonomics feature a surprising amount of adjustability as well, with seat moving fore and aft. Footpegs actually had less adjustability than lower-spec bikes: the mounts on the R were designed to allow additional clearance for bigger exhaust tubing.

2005 Ducati 749R L Fairing

From the original eBay listing: 2005 Ducati 749R for Sale

2005 Ducati 749R homologation special!

Super rare and hard to find in this condition. Acquired from a significant collection last year and fully serviced with new fluids and a battery this race-based motorcycle would make a superb addition to someone's collection. It has been kept in a climate controlled private automobile gallery and is available for viewing by appointment.

Less than 200 miles!

2005 Ducati 749R Dash

While 749 Dark and “S” versions were made in large enough numbers that they will likely never be exceptionally collectable, the “R” models are rare, with serious performance upgrades that were more than skin deep, designed to make the bike more capable on-track. It’s just a shame this one is probably destined to never turn a wheel in anger. There’s plenty of time left on this auction if you’re looking to see how Black Friday deals shape up before throwing your hat into the ring, and with the Buy It Now set at $16,000 there are no takers as yet. That’s a pretty steep price, but with under 200 miles on the clock, the bike is basically brand-new, ready to be mothballed for the day these finally start to appreciate in value.


2005 Ducati 749R Front and Rear

Overachieving Little Brother: Nearly New 2005 Ducati 749R