Posts by tag: I-4

BMW May 10, 2018 posted by

Stealth Tron Bike – 1991 BMW K1

BMW offered its radical K1 in eye-catching ketchup and mustard or a Michigan fan's navy and gold livery, but is occasionally seen in a grown-up grey or black.  This one is fan-owned and looks excellent.

1991 BMW K1 for sale on eBay

BMW was looking to inject some pizazz into its inline engine menu, and equipped the K1 with a four valve engine which was limited to 100 hp but capable of more.  The bodywork cheated the wind to a cD of .34 - a new low for a production machine.  Contrary to their usual practice of building most everything in house, Marzocchi forks and Brembo brakes were used to complete the BMW Paralever's work.  Always a safety innovator, the company made ABS standard on the K1.

Bone stock with just over 10,000 miles, this K1 whispers the name where most examples shout.  With complex bodywork made since 1988, this '91 likely has all the adjustments made by the factory to address heat control and fit issues.  From the eBay auction:

This example is an all original K1 with no modifications.  The bike has been recently serviced and has a new battery.   Powered by a 1000CC/100 hp engine that runs smooth and strong.  Transmission shifts flawlessly through all gears.   The factory graphics on the gray K1 were subtle and only across the base of the fairing. The bike needs nothing but a new home.  Odometer has just kilometers; above distance ridden is listed in miles because kilometers are not offered.   The K1 is a very nice collectable bike that will be a valued addition to any collection.   Bike is sold on a clear Florida title in my name.

The K1 attempted to bridge the sport-touring divide with an interesting result.  A sporty engine concealed an annoying secondary vibration, and the sleek design required special soft luggage.  Wet weight and wide turning radius made it an experienced rider's machine, which I guess the MSRP did as well.  This is a super example for a fan or collector without a taste for the garish 90's graphics...

-donn

 

Stealth Tron Bike – 1991 BMW K1
Kawasaki April 20, 2018 posted by

Un-Green – 1990 Kawasaki ZX7 H2

Kawasaki threw a spanner into the manufacturer ID-by-color system with this black and gray metallic harlequin.  The green was for guys who wanted you to know they were on an H2 Ninja, a lower-cost challenger to the RC30 in the race-on-Sunday-sell-on-Monday sweepstakes.  This example had a couple of close shaves but has been studiously rejuvenated.

1990 Kawasaki ZX7 H2 for sale on eBay

The ZX7 was Kawasaki's passport to the AMA Superbike Championship with the RR variant, but the base model H2 had great power with the 748cc four supplying 107 hp.  The CAD designed twin spar chassis was massive and supported fully adjustable Uni-track monoshock and the last year of 43mm right-side-up forks.  The flex tubes supplied fresh air to the updated engine, and countless vacuuming jokes.

The owner has put improved running with a jet kit, and battled the NLA demons of the water pump, bodywork, and exhaust shields.  Each repair found a way forward, looking good except for the exhaust which cries out for a NOS Muzzy.  From the eBay listing:

Given the bike's age and mileage it has survived exceedingly well. The finish on the alloy parts, the painted engine cases and wheels and, of course, on the plastics is very nice. There is a small, chafed area in the paint atop the tank; aft and to the right. It is responding to hand polishing with Maguire's #6 Polish/Wax and gets better every time I go after it. There's one of those clear adhesive paint savers on the back of the tank which seems to have protected the paint as it shows some scratches. Every time I walk up to the bike, it puts a smile on my face; it is a very handsome motorcycle and I'm sure I'll miss it when it's gone. As seen in the pictures, all the original pieces are there; windshield, grips, levers, reflectors, exhaust, solo seat cowl, tool kit and Owner's Manual. The guy who owned the bike before me obviously cared for the bike, (despite the drop...but it's happened to all of us, right?) while not being shy about riding the thing; it looks like a much lower-mileage bike.

Doug Chandler and Scott Russell combined for four AMA Superbike crowns in the 1990's, the road machine close to the racer at least with precise handling, a tough riding position and hard suspension.  The overall stock appearance works in this Ninja's favor, and the monochrome livery is a quiet attention-getter.  The owner states that the ask is just that, and the Make Offer button is ready...

-donn

 

 

 

Un-Green – 1990 Kawasaki ZX7 H2
Suzuki March 30, 2018 posted by

Sling Blade – 1983 Suzuki GSX1100S Katana in Canada

A world away from the usual design-by-committee UJM, Suzuki's original Katana set the stage and riding position for a new generation of road-going sportbikes. This largely original survivor is just across the northern border.

1983 Suzuki GSX1100S Katana ( Canada ) for sale on eBay

 

Designer Hans Muth spent the 1970's bringing aerodynamics and attitude to BMW's R90S and R100RS, and left to form Target Design with partners Hans-Georg Kasten and Jan Fellstrom.  The designers' first commissions were for Suzuki, the GS550M and GSX1100S.  The 1100 brought 4 valves per cylinder and 111 hp to the party, and the Katana's wedge fairing made 137 mph possible.  Changes for 1983 included forged connecting rods and progressive rear springs to accompany the anti-dive forks.  Competition formulas of the day didn't have a place for 1100's, but the Katanas sold well on Suzuki's other successes, and the model name was used until the mid-2000's in the U.S.

 

Waiting for spring in Montreal, this Katana shows 20,000 miles, super clean and factory bodywork in great condition.  Wheels and exhaust have been updated.  From the eBay auction:

Beautiful Katana 1100 with lots of care given to it.  Paint is perfect.  Engine runs super smooth.  New tires.  Original seat in perfect condition.  New exhaust system.  And wider aluminum rims.  (I do not have the stock wheels and exhaust).

 

Largely eclipsed by the GSX-R line-up, the Katanas soldiered on in the showroom providing options for those less track-oriented.  Kind of the Hayabusa of its day, the 1100 Katana was Cycle World's fast machine for 1983, using a half-mile yardstick.  The design got high marks for stability once the stiff suspension was backed out to minimums.  The riding position calling for speed, this Katana could certainly be on the road, but with a little attention could be shown as well...

-donn

Sling Blade – 1983 Suzuki GSX1100S Katana in Canada
MV Agusta March 27, 2018 posted by

Papa-Paparazzi – 2005 MV Agusta F4 Tamburini #256 of 300

Like a director's cut of your favorite movie, a special edition sportbike named for the designer will be a memorable experience.  The Tamburini signature F4 is the second 1000cc special edition, and number 256 of 300 has been upgraded and cared for by a notable collector.

2005 MV Agusta F4 Tamburini for sale on eBay

 

The F4 was introduced in 1999 as a 750cc, and the Tamburini is a bit of a return to the original Oro edition where carbon was used extensively.  The Ferrari-designed heads have the valves arranged on the domed top of the combustion chamber for theoretical optimum flow and power, but complicating the head with valves splayed slightly in three dimensions.  With multi-point fuel injection the 998cc four is rated at 173 hp, and the torque curve is helped by the newly introduced Torque Shift System, which shortens the intake runners substantially as rpm's approach 10,000.  Presuming a skilled rider, electronics can help slow the throttle curve and limit power, but there is no traction control or ABS.

 

Somehow this F4 has amassed 14,800 miles, but looks quite excellent.  Along the way the wheels were replaced with BST carbon fiber, the exhaust changed to the factory racing set, and front brakes upgraded to carbon-ceramics, which alone save around 3 lbs of unsprung weight.  Other upgrades are described in the eBay auction:

The original owner went crazy with upgrades and it has BST full carbon-fiber wheels, a performance slipper clutch, carbon ceramic rotors and Brembo mono-blok calipers.  Also has  Ohlins shocks nice adjustable rear set and numerous other things.   All in all I see well in excess of $20,000 spent on upgrades.
The bike comes with an extra seat, the racing exhaust (installed) as well as the street exhaust.  I am including two keys, the rear paddock stand, the cover as well as a few spares like the original license plate frame, grips, levers and clutch.  Bike has the original invoice as well as service records from new.
The original wheels do not come with the bike but I understand they are available if you choose to take off the $10,000 wheels that are currently on the bike.  
I have just had the bike serviced and it runs fantastic.  The brakes are absolutely amazing!   I had all fluids replaced, valves adjusted and the radiator upgraded with a popular reinforcement (weak link on these bikes) All in service cost $1,600.   
I purchased the bike from Guy Webster who is very well known as a collector of rare Italian motorcycles.  The bike still has his signature "Motoguy" stickers on the bodywork, easily removed. 

 

Guy Webster is a rock band photographer whose bike collection was part of the "Art of the Motorcycle" show in 1998 and got a neat write-up in the Robb Report.  From the looks of it the F4 may have just been too new to really fit in.  My back-of-the-napkin math shows a pretty serious discount from the original purchase price to the buy-it-now, compounded by some dollar-intensive upgrades.  Hopefully a fan will step in and give this distinctive MV a permanent home...

-donn

Papa-Paparazzi – 2005 MV Agusta F4 Tamburini #256 of 300
Honda March 24, 2018 posted by

Order of Magnitude – 1998 Honda CBR900RR

Honda developed their Fireblade with an eye on the ruler and the scale, keeping size and weight down so the 893cc engine could provide open-bike performance. Though often seen in white/blue/red or black/purple/yellow livery, the pearlescent yellow on this CBR has a less trendy but outstanding appeal.

1998 Honda CBR900RR for sale on eBay

Honda developed a new inline four for the CBR900RR, nearly as compact and weighing just thirteen pounds more than it's 599cc brother.  Engineers optimized mid-range torque for the new engine, resulting in 65 ft.-lbs. at 10,000 rpm and 122 hp available.  The 45mm Showa dual-adjustable forks and fully adjustable Showa/Pro-Link rear were judged overly taut for the real road, but this set has been professionally adjusted for a full size adult.  At 296mm the front disks aren't oversized, but with four-piston calipers they can get the job done.  The compact package turns sharper yet with 16-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels.

Evidently having only three owners, this CBR looks way better than its 24,000 miles normally would.  Mods were all done recently, and mostly don't detract from the CBR's good looks, which would be easier to mess up with the monochrome paint.  Turn signal smoothing and tail-tidying are fairly personal, and the factory parts are included for the new owner.  From the eBay auction:

This bike has a few tasteful upgrades.  All of which I did myself.  When I purchased this bike, it was 100% bone stock OEM condition.  So I have all of the stock parts too that I will include in with the purchase as I have no use for them. Here is a list of the upgrades I did to it:

- Micron polished slip on exhaust ($350)
- Front & rear suspension re worked by Race Tech suspension ($1,200)
- Zero Gravity dark smoke tinted windscreen ($50)
- Pro Grip carbon fiber tank pad protector ($20)
- New Bridgestone Battlax tires w/ about 300 miles on them now ($300)
- Smoke tinted LED tail light w/ integrated turn signals ($45)
- Rear fender mud guard removed & license plate raised up
- LED license plate light
- Front LED turn signals hidden inside front grill inlays ($30)
- Black brake & clutch levers ($25)

The 893cc CBR was just the first generation, and for 1994 the transmission was updated to improve shifting.  The succeeding years brought three increased engine sizes and fuel injection, but kept the core principles of compactness, light weight and mass-centralization.  Project leader Tadao Baba was a factory worker and veteran test rider, but not a designer or engineer.  His vision gave the CBR900RR a multi-year head start when compared to rival open-class machines.  This updated survivor looks like it wasn't ridden hard or put away wet, and it'll be interesting to see where bidding goes...

-donn

Order of Magnitude – 1998 Honda CBR900RR
Suzuki March 6, 2018 posted by

Low Mile Lookalike – 1979 Suzuki GS1000E Wes Cooley

I had expected an "S" with the GS1000 badge on this sparkling Wes Cooley commemorative, but the differences between the -E are minor and hardly detract from the aggressive looks of this AMA Superbike commemorative.

1979 Suzuki GS100E Wes Cooley for sale on eBay

Suzuki and Yoshimura joined forces and were almost instantly successful on the AMA Superbike trail.  Lightness was given priority, which helped the air/oil-cooled four's 90 hp move things in the right direction.  Pneumatic rear shocks were replaced with regular hydraulics on the -S, though forks remained air-charged.  The solid triple disks could handle the heat but not a light touch, squeaking around town.  Suzuki nailed the chassis geometry and came away with a quick-handling package that could accept a 1000cc engine's power.

Not many miles has elapsed for this GS1000, replica paint still shines, and aluminum castings made before today's miracle coatings look good.  Period Kerker is polished nicely.  Might be nice to try the rear quarter view without the luggage rack.  From the eBay auction:

Purchased in 2005, bike had approximately 5K miles on it

2005 - installed after market rack and rear tire; had front and rear tires rebalanced, and professional valve adjustment

2014 - new clutch and speedometer cable installed

2016 - new battery

No disappointments in running condition; bike runs as good as she looks! Bike has always been garaged and well maintained. This bike had the after-market Vance & Hines exhaust system (4 into 1) when I purchased it, so I do not have the original stock pipes.

Bike as you see it is exactly as I purchased it in 2005; has not been altered or repainted. The only addition / change I made to it was the after-market rack, rear tire and mechanical items (as mentioned above).

Lifting the bikini fairing from BMW's R90/S gave designers the excuse to fit a lower handlebar, receiving a sporty riding position as part of the bargain, helping high speed stability.  Suzuki played a little catch-up with the -S, it was originally just offered in Europe, but stateside dealers clamored - after all, it was the AMA winner !  Which might explain the -E instead of -S, maybe a dealer-done special or early example.  A close look at the rear wheel might divulge, the -S had an 18-inch rear.  Maybe a knowledgeable reader will have the whole story, meantime we will just have to enjoy...

-donn

Low Mile Lookalike – 1979 Suzuki GS1000E Wes Cooley