Posts by tag: Massimo Tamburini

Ducati March 9, 2018 posted by

Not The End? 1998 Ducati 900SS FE #258

Touted as the end of the SuperSport era, the 900SS Final Edition of the venerable Ducati platform was both a beginning as well as an end. The last released model as designed by Massimo Tamburini, the FE was a numbered and exclusive marketing machine that represented the pinnacle of the air-cooled lineup. The next page of the new chapter of Ducati was written by a new character - the oft derided designer Pierre Terblanche - taking Ducati into new and interesting directions. The real sunset here is not the SuperSport lineup, but rather Tamburini's influence on the design... and ultimately Tamburini's effect on the platform. Today's example is #258 of the purported final 300 bikes targeting North America.

1998 Ducati 900SS FE #258 for sale on eBay

The second generation of the SuperSport platform rolled into the showrooms way back in 1988. With an updated Pantah-based motor, air cooled desmodue twin was a rough gem - it contained all of the basic DNA that you would want in a sport bike, with few of the amenities or polish found in Japanese contemporaries. The SS had style with a trellis frame, basic but good suspension, and a bit of Italian flair that made it unique. Ten years on the platform had aged relatively well, although performance would never be on par with 600s from the East. Carburetors fell by the wayside as fuel injection made an appearance (likely more for EPA reasons than for power or perceived performance). And while 10 years is a lifetime for a model, the bones of the SuperSport were so good that to this day these remain well-sorted motorcycles. Not the fastest, but characteristically Ducati.

From the seller:
have a 1998 Ducati 900SS FE #258 for sale. Bike has 4180 miles on it. Had been in storage for last 11 years. New cam belts, valves checked, oil changed, new air filter, carbs completely rebuilt, new fuel filter, strainer and tank hoses, new Michelin power pilot tires, forks rebuilt with new oil and seals. New brake fluid and clutch slave cylinder rebuilt with new piston assembly. Inside of gas tank is rust free. No cracks in frame or aluminum swing arm. Bike starts and runs good up high but has a hesitation between 2000 and 4000 rpm that I can't figure out. A couple of hours with a Ducati mechanic and it should be good to go. Nearest one to me is 5 hours away so it's not an option otherwise it would be done. Bike did fall over in the garage on left side and has a small ding in front of tank, scuff on lower fairing and small crack in lower fairing where support bar holds it. Also has a section on bottom back of left fairing where battery leaked from the hose and removed the paint, which has been poorly touched up. I believe the fairings were repainted at some point as they appear to be a lighter shade of silver than the headlight surround.

Outside of unique silver paint and a limited edition number riveted to the headstock, there is not too much more to a FE than a one year earlier 900 SuperSport. Still, the Boys from Bologna executed well; the majority of limited edition models pull in higher dollars than standard models at auction. We have seen a few FE models past through these pages, and they always raise some interest. This particular example is not exactly a museum piece, but it looks to be an honest specimen with relatively few miles. It would appear that the owner has done a lot of work on this one, which could be a bonus if all checks out. This buyer is looking for $6,000 in a Buy It Now auction format, which could end up being fair money depending on the ultimate condition of the bike. Check it out here and relive the glory of Tamburini's classic design. Good Luck!!


Not The End? 1998 Ducati 900SS FE #258
Bimota December 30, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1980 Bimota SB3 for Sale

Most of our readers probably think of Bimota as a manufacturer of overpriced two-wheeled status symbols dripping with billet and carbon fiber and Italian style. But Bimota originally took its name from founders Valerio BIanchi, Giuseppe MOrri, and Massimo TAmburini. Yes, that Massimo Tamburini. And his genius is on display in this 1980 Bimota SB3 that was one of their earliest and most radical machines, considering it was based around the inline four cylinder engine from the very typical for the period Suzuki GS1000.

Japanese bikes of the 1970s and early 1980s, even those from factory racing efforts, had engines that were famously more advanced than their frames. Road bikes were often especially bad, with flexibility that meant some felt like they had an extra hinge in the middle, and into this handling void came Bimota. A tradition of boutique frame builders actually sprang up all over Europe and Great Britain to fill the need for bikes that went around corners as well as they ate up straight lines, and Bimota was one of the most successful.

It's a shame Bimota didn't make naked bikes during their heyday, since the tubular frame seen on the SB3 is a work of art, and incorporates innovative ideas like the concentric swingarm pivot that kept the geometry constant throughout the swingarm's travel and allowed the chain to be run with virtually no slack. The frame fit so tightly around the engine that it actually split to allow servicing, once the one-piece tail and tank-cover was removed.

Even without the handling improvements provided by the frame and suspension upgrades, the SB3 still would have been blisteringly fast: the air-cooled Suzuki four was lightly tuned, but the overall package was a staggering 79 pounds lighter than the stock machine. It was incredibly rare, incredibly exotic, and incredibly fast, although it was also incredibly uncomfortable: a torturous riding position and unforgiving suspension meant it was only at home on very smooth, curvy pavement.

From the Seller: 1980 Bimota SB3 for Sale

1980 Bimota SB3 #187 of 402 with spare unused factory fairing and windscreen. 

Trades considered. - Items of interest - Ducati's or toys using Ducati 900ss engine, will accept or add cash for the right deal.

The SB3 had its debut at the Milan Show in 1979 and showcased some radical thinking; particularly in the frame design. The chromoly frame is assembled around the engine and uses aircraft style 'conical' joints to connect the front and rear halves. It also has a 'perimeter' swing arm, which pivots exactly at the transmission sprocket axis, eliminating the need for chain slack and geometry changes that go along with that. Modular bodywork, top-line (for the day) Italian components (Brembo, Marzocchi, Campagnolo,). Powered by Suzuki's bullet-proof GS1000 power plant, only 402 copies were made during its production.

Local Texas bike that has been ridden/enjoyed over the years. The bike has some wear from use which is listed below. The only upgrades are period correct Keihin CR 31 smoothbore carburetors, Dyna S ignition, and fresh coils. 

Wheels have been brought down to bare magnesium and dye tested for cracks. After testing came back fine they were then properly primed and painted with color matched from an original color chip. Wheels have new bearings front and rear. 

Bike comes with a spare fairing as the builder of the bike planned to use it as a race bike but never ended up doing so. Lately, I was able to source a spare original windscreen in clear so you have a color choice. Front and rear suspension rebuilt in 2016. Recent engine removal for valve adjustment.

Parts are able to be sourced online from and your local Suzuki shop.

• Slight rash on right side fairing pictured from garage tip over.
• Some rock chips in paint on forks from road use as pictured.
• Some paint cracking and peeling around gas cap (damn ethanol). Inside of tank looks fine.
• Left fairing is shows bubbling under the paint. Use the new spare fairing while this is sent for repair.
• Odometer does not work as no speedo sending unit is installed. Currently a spacer is installed where a speedo sending unit would mount. I will include the Garmin wrist wearable GPS I leave on the upper fork brace I use to track speed and mileage. 
• Swingarm under rear shock mount is missing some powdercoating and shows surface rust.
• Upper fairing has a slight crack on the left side near the petcock. Was like this from my first meeting the bike 25 years ago and has not grown.
• Petcock has been rebuilt. Does not use vacuum from carbs to operate so should be switched on and off and likely cause of above mentioned crack.
• Recent replacement of coils, wires, and upgrade to Dyna S ignition module. 
• Magnesium wheels freshly dye tested and properly prepared (chromate treatment) before paint which was properly paint matched from original.
• Fresh spark plugs, caps and wires.
• Fresh tires, tubes and wheel bearings front and rear.
• New chain.
• Rear brake caliper recently rebuilt, parts on hand to rebuild front when required.
• Front forks and rear shock rebuilt in 2016 by 812 Suspension.
• Clutch cover freshly powder coated to match original engine color.
• No oil leaks.
• Engine has solid compression and all cylinders within 5% of each other.

The seller is asking $13,500 for this mechanically very sound SB3 with a few clearly shown cosmetic imperfections. Certainly a good place to start for a restoration, or just ride it as-is! Even better, follow through on the bike builder's original intent and enter the bike in some classic races! Skinny tires and vintage power output aside, I'm sure it handles well and would certainly be in the true spirit of Bimota's original mission. Considering how impossibly stiff the stock machine was supposed to be, that might be the best use for it...


Featured Listing: 1980 Bimota SB3 for Sale
Ducati August 29, 2017 posted by

Rare Original: 1995 Ducati 916 “Varese”

Update 9.19.2017: We've been contacted by the new owner to note this bike has been sold to a collector in Minnesota. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Ducati rocked the motorcycle world with the introduction of the 916 in 1994. Here was a machine that revolutionized the idea of how sharp a street-going motorcycle could be; it offered stunning performance with supermodel good looks. From every angle and by every measure, the 916 redefined the top tier of sport bikes. No longer an evolution of the 851/888 line, the 916 was essentially all new and was an instant hit for Ducati, leading to a huge rise in sales and a fine collection of WSBK trophies.

In case you have lived in a cave for the last 20+ and have not kept tabs on any major motorcycling milestones, allow me to fill you in. The vaunted 916 essentially made its way to the top of the "best sport bike of 1995" article from every single motorcycle publication. Maybe it was the allure of the flowing bodywork. Perhaps it was the statement made by the single-sided swingarm, laying the back wheel bare to the world. Maybe it was the under-seat exhaust, tucked away for cornering clearance and aerodynamics. Perhaps it was the 90 degree L-twin, the 4-valve heads, desmo valve actuation, fuel injected and liquid cooling. But most likely it was the total package, tipping the scales at just over 420 lbs, narrow and svelte like a 600, but pushing 114 HP at the rear wheel with enough torque to loft the front end handily. Handling was unmatched, braking was a similar affair. There was no single element that made the 916 revolutionary, but the complete collection of bits was unlike anything the world had seen.

There is an interesting wrinkle to the 916 story, and one that makes this bike even more special. In 1994 Ducati was ramping production of the 916 to meet with unprecedented demand (most 1995 bikes were build in the latter part of 1994) - the rumor is that every first-year 916 in the US was spoken for before it ever left Italy. The factory in Bologna was running at full song. But a tragic fire (which started in the paint shop) shut down the production line at an inopportune time. Scrambling to continue building the most important motorcycle in Ducati's history, manufacturing was relocated to the Cagiva-owned MV Agusta factory in the city of Varese. Here, approximately 2,663 Ducati 916s were assembled (predominantly by hand) to keep the dream alive. The Bologna factory returned online in 1995, and production was reestablished there for the remainder of the builds. In addition to the base 916 model, approximately 310 SP spec bikes were also assembled in Varese.

From the seller:
A beautiful Ducati 916 in fantastic condition and extremely low miles. One of the closest to OE you can find. Comes with lots of extras, including carbon fiber bodywork and exhaust system. Minor imperfections include a vertical scratch on the right side of the tail (pictured) and very small scratches on the front of the lower left fairing.

Already one of the more rare and iconic Ducati motorcycles, this bike is one of the 2,663 916's to be hand built in the Varese factory due to a fire at the assembly line in Bologna. The 916 led Ducati to 4 World Superbike Championship victories in '94, '95, '96 and '98

Although Varese-built machines do not differ from any other 1995 model year 916, they are considered a bit special because of the circumstances involved. Some believe that a Varese 916 is build a bit better, having been more "hand made." The truth is that Varese 916s are indistinguishable from their Bologna counterparts, but for the 11th digit of the VIN; 916s assembled in Varese during this period have a "V" in that position rather than the traditional "B." Otherwise, all other parts and components are completely interchangeable with Bologna 916s of the same model year. Does that make them more collectable?

1995 Ducati 916 Varese for sale on eBay

Putting the Varese complication aside, the 1995 model year 916 is an aspiring classic. This is perhaps one of the most recognizable motorcycles in the world. 20+ years later, this bike still looks fresh and new. Massimo Tamburini's masterpiece was a shot across the bow of all other manufacturers; Ducati was in the game to win. Sure, the Honda RC30 offered a single-sided swing arm years previous, and the oval-piston NR750 sported both that and the under tail exhaust - but neither bike was a mainstream build. The 916 took those elements and owned them for good. And today, these early 916s are gaining popularity - with prices following. This particular US-based Varese 916 has been on eBay for a bit, and is listed with a $18,590 Buy It Now. That is a bit higher than a clean 916 might bring, but the scant 2,265 miles, the claimed originality (although I spy with my little eye a non-OEM Evoluzione clutch slave cylinder), the impressive collection of spares, the FBF exhaust cans, the overall condition and the Varese connection might make this one worth it. Be sure to check it out, as the seller is open to offers. This is your chance to own what many consider to be "the most beautiful motorcycle in the world." Good Luck!!


Rare Original: 1995 Ducati 916 “Varese”
Bimota August 9, 2017 posted by

Unobtanium alert: 2008 Bimota 3D Carbonio

Here's one that meets all the major RSBFS criteria, a 2008 Bimota Tesi 3D in the rare carbon bodywork.  Enjoy!

2008 Bimota Tesi 3D Carbino on eBay

Ah the Bimota Tesi evolution of an idea that began in 1991 with the 1D, continued with the 2D/Vyrus in 2005 and then reached its final form in the 3D in 2007.  The original Tesi was the work of Bimota founder and legendary designer Massimo Tamburini, the same person responsible for the Ducati 916 and MV Agusta F4 and a tesi is probably on every rare sport bike collectors "bucket list".

While the 3D certainly looks the business, in typical Bimota fashion the result didn't quite quite live up to the promise of the design concept.   It wasn't a major failure like the V-Due, but most reviews expressed a sentiment of it not being all that it could have been in large part due to the power limit of a 95 bhp Ducati engine.  Reviewers also noted a lack of front end feel which was no doubt due to the hub-centered front fork design.  But on the plus side, the same fork system offered improved braking due to no front-end dive and it still looks amazingly cool.

The seller indicates this is one of 29 Tesi 3D units.  While experience has taught us that any official production number information from Bimota should be taken as  leap of faith (cough-VDue-cough-SB6-cough) the Tesi is certainly something you don't tend to see at bike night.  Oh, and one additional note -  from what I understand, the carbon-skinned bodywork makes this a much rarer model.

This low mileage of this particular Bimota Tesi 3D seems to indicate it was a bit of a toy for the current owner.  As for condition, the seller indicates the standard Ducati belt service has not been done, the brake fluid looks dark and no mention is made of tire age so I am thinking this one has been standing for a while.   The seller does mention oil changes in the questions section of the ebay listing but overall I would expect to spend $1000 to put it back on the road and a few more thousand if the intent is to make it a concours-level machine.

Here is a recap of the info provided in the eBay post:

  • Mileage 4,355
  • Due for a timing belt/ inspection replacement
  • Has Zard carbon fiber slip-on's with the stock exhaust included
  • Last serviced in 2010 by Rockwell Cycles (dealer bike was purchased from) at approximately 2,500 miles.
  • I have personally changed the oil and filter several times since the initial dealer servicing.
  • Excellent condition except for small cracks in -pain at fuel tank fill (see photos).  Other than the paint crack near the tank it needs no other work and is basically a new motorcycle.

So let's just to the big question - is this bit of carbon skinned Italian goodness worth the current $30,000 USD Buy-It-Now asking price?   Well lets look at the positives and the negatives

  • Positives -  the Tesi 3D is probably the ultimate iteration of the hub-centered philosophy and given its low production number, this one will likely hold its value.  Also this is the carbon edition of which suposedly very few were produced and for collectors of factory offered carbon-skinned Italian exotics of this era, this is right up there with the Aprilia Nera, Benelli Tornado Tre and Ducati MH900e.
  • Negatives - the asking price is well above what we have seen other carbon Bimota Tesi 3D's go for on RSBFS. Furthermore, if the intent is to buy it as an investment, bringing it back to concours-level condition will probably involve a few more thousand in cost.

I have to admit that I am a fan of the 3D Tesi but I prefer the non-carbon version as it seems to be a more dramatic presentation of the hub-centered technology.  This carbon skinned Tesi 3D seems like it will appeal most to either a collector focused on Bimota's, someone who is already familiar with the Tesi/Vyrus lineup, or an investment oriented collector who is willing to put it into dry storage for a bit.

One additional note - the seller indicates offers are being accepted but I wouldn't expect to see any serious reduction from the asking price simply because even though its almost 10 years old, its still a damn cool bike.


Unobtanium alert:  2008 Bimota 3D Carbonio
MV Agusta July 27, 2017 posted by

High Velocity: 2009 MV Agusta F4 1078 312RR

Speed is nothing more than distance over time. And time, as well all know, is money. Welcome to the rare MV Agusta F4 312RR - a bike designed to go as fast as it looks. In this case the "312" stands for kilometers per hour, which is the purported top speed of this sexy Italian scooter. For those of you less versed in the devilish complexity of the metric system, that would be approximately 194 mph in USA speak. Big numbers indeed. And being an MV Agusta, you can image that those numbers are only matched by the price.

2009 MV Agusta 1078 312RR for sale on eBay

Since we have seen quite a few MV Agusta F4s as of late (click here to Search), I'll spare you the "Tamburini left Ducati to head up the Cagiva Research Center and designed the follow-on to the 916 to herald the rebirth of the famed MV Agusta brand" story. Instead, I will remind you that the original F4 models were all 750cc bikes, with the 1,000cc machines introduced a bit later. Ferrari was indeed involved in the development of the cylinder heads, and these bikes utilize Formula 1 technology in the form of the TSS - Torque Shift System - a novel design that allows for varying intake length depending on RPM and throttle setting. The 312 was a rare model, but the 2009 1,078cc version (utilizing the power plant from the F4CC) was a notch above that. This is only the mid-grade of the 312 lineup, however, as there was a very, very rare F4 1078 RR 312 Edizione Finale, offered only in 2010.

From the seller:
Very Rare 2009 Mv Agusta F4 1078 312RR in perfect condition, 2297 km not miles bike is from North Carolina and has a North Carolina Title bike is in Canada but never registered so no duty, bike is hand made in Italy engine was made by Ferrari 190 hp fast is a understatement best handing bike ever. I didn't like the original seat so a changed it to red suede looks great and feels better. Too much to say I'm selling my baby and a few others in my collection. Serious buyers please, comes with all keys books. questions please ask. bike will sell. Can arrange shipping extra fee.

Funny thing about the 312 models: Other than MV Agusta claims, I have never seen evidence that the 312 could actually achieve the stated top speed. I'm sure for such an exclusive machine that is really perfunctory - even gauche - but I would hope the claims to be true. The bike certainly looks like it is good for 190+ mph just standing still, although the pictures could be more clear. Blame another dark parking garage and crappy cell phone camera for the blur effects, but low-res imagery doesn't do the seller any favors (or this bike any justice).

The opening ask for this Federalized, DOT-approved, US imported bike (which just so happens to be currently located in Canada) is a cool $10k, with no takers. That is actually not bad money for an exclusive F4 model - especially one that has fewer than 2,500 miles on the clock. Somebody could end up with a deal here, and not even have to hassle with importation problems related to title. The auction ends very soon, so this is a time-limited opportunity. Check it out here, and then ping us back on your favorite MV Agusta model. Good luck!!


High Velocity: 2009 MV Agusta F4 1078 312RR
MV Agusta July 20, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing – 2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 Tamburini #192

Massimo Tamburini was a founder of Bimota, head of design at Cagiva, and designer of the legendary Ducati 916. The Castiglioni brothers commemorated Tamburini in 2005 with a special edition of the F4 1000. The very leading edge machine had variable-length intake runners, single-sided magnesium swingarm, and full carbon bodywork. The numbered edition of 300 packs a 173 hp wallop and shows how things could be done in billet and carbon.

Onboard the technology showcase, MV Agusta's Torque Shift System moved the intake horns to provide better low rpm response, in the style of Formula 1 cars of the era. Frame connectors are magnesium alloy and brakes are 6-piston Nissins. The company's Engine Brake System adds a bit of air and fuel to the intake on over-run, smoothing downshifts.

As though just 2,500 km and museum-quality storage wasn't enough, the owner claims the most original as-delivered set of artifacts and collectibles to be found. Hard to disagree, with a list like this:

In addition to the great state of vehicle ( exactly equal to new ) is probably the only complete F4 Tamburini that was delivered at the time of purchase:

This amount includes:
1) Delivery box (delivery of MV Agusta motorcycles to dealer)
2) Limited edition plate
3) Official MV Agusta stand/easel
4) Double keys
5) Handbook
6) Double booklet coupons
7) Original advertising for the SENNA model, that was delivered to all the Tamburini buyers
8) MV Agusta Corse  accessories book delivered with the purchase of the bike
10) Original Purchase invoice
11) MV Agusta official show rug
12) Double exhaust race and road legal...

Consider an MV Agusta and you open yourself to three or four times the cost of a comparable production sportbike.  But the engineers have been paid, the exotic materials purchased, the shops organized around a short run of special bikes.  Agusta trademarks like the 4-2-4 exhaust and winged fuel tank are accompanied by new techniques, materials, and electronics.  Fittingly pictured in a sculpture garden, it's hard to say the Tamburini's original owners didn't get their money's worth.  At the ask of €34,000, it looks ready for the next event.  The bike is in Italy and interested parties can contact Riccardo:


Featured Listing – 2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 Tamburini #192