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Posts by tag: Massimo Tamburini

Ducati June 7, 2018 posted by

Eight Mile: Nearly New 2004 Ducati 998S Final Edition for Sale

By the time Ducati's 916 was retired, they'd wrung just about everything out of the bike there was to wring, and the sportbike world had moved on. From a stylistic perspective, the 998 was far too familiar after ten years and, while the design was still considered a classic, it was decidedly... classic. Of course Ducatisti felt the 999 that followed moved the style on a bit too far, but a significant mechanical overhaul was a good idea, and this 998S Final Edition represents the very end of the line for Tamburini's masterpiece of form and function.

The 998 looked pretty much like the original 916 with some updated graphics and wheels, was significantly evolved. Sure, some parts are interchangeable between the 916, 996, 998, and even the 748, but both the engine and frame changed significantly between the bike's introduction in 1994 and 2004, when the 998 was discontinued. The 998's frame was actually the same as the 996R, which allowed the 998 to use that bike's larger airbox and updated injectors for additional power: 123hp, up from the 996's 112. The new frame also allowed use of the 998cc Testastretta engine that was first used in the 996R, and bodywork was revised to wrap around the new frame and engine as well.

So while the 916 may be the original, the 998 is a much more thoroughly-developed package, with increased power and improved reliability from both the mechanical and electrical components. If you want to collect a Tamburini bike, you're probably looking at the original 916. If you're looking to ride your Ducati, the 998 is likely a better choice. Of course this 998S FE might be better left as a display bike: it has covered just 7.4 miles in total since it was built.

From the original eBay listing: 2004 Ducati 998S Final Edition for Sale

This is a new, never ridden 2004 Ducati 998S Final Edition.
It has the Testastretta engine, Ohlins shocks, Termignoni exhaust, and carbon fiber underbody.
It has never been licensed. I bought it thinking I would ride it later, and now I have lost interest in riding it. It has always been kept indoors and covered.
It had 7 miles on it when I purchased it from the dealer, and I have not added any more.

If you missed buying the most refined version of Tamburini's superbike new, this is just about the closest thing you're going to find now. It isn't one of the high-performance homologation models like the R or SPS, but that insane mileage makes it one of the rarest Ducatis around. Honestly, this is a collector and not a rider, and would probably need some work after basically sitting for the past 14 years if you wanted to actually use it, but if you want a museum piece, this is your bike. The seller is asking an eye-watering $25,000 for this one, which is stiff money for a 998. But how many are there in existence like it at this point?

-tad

Eight Mile: Nearly New 2004 Ducati 998S Final Edition for Sale
MV Agusta May 12, 2018 posted by

Limited Edition: 2002 MV Agusta F4 750 Senna #172/300 for Sale

As much as I love the MV Agusta F4 750 in the classic red-and-silver colors, it's nice to know that it also looks pretty good in basic black-and-grey. Or flat-black. Or silver-and-blue, or... Reportedly, the design for the MV Agusta F4 was originally intended by Massimo Tamburini as the replacement for the venerable Ducati 916. And I'm sure in retrospect, Ducati very much wishes it had worked out that way, considering the reactions to their Pierre Terblanche-penned 999...

When it was introduced, I was a little disappointed that the new MV was powered by an inline four, instead of a v-twin. But the F4's radial-valved engine has a much more exotic quality than other four-cylinder engines: they sound sort of generically inline-y as they go by, but the pilot is treated to a much more complex noise. Or maybe I'm just infatuated.

In any event, this particular F4 is powered by the earlier, 749cc version of the engine. A claimed 126hp meant the MV was making the right power to compete in the 750cc class, but there were really two problems. One, it was also a bit heavier than other bikes in the class. And two, interest in the 750 class basically evaporated right as the F4 was introduced. Sure, Suzuki still made a GSX-R750, but it lived in the shadow of the new superbike king, the GSX-R1000. And the F4 750 couldn't hope to compete against performance like that.

F4s show up regularly for sale with incredibly low miles, which reinforces the bike's reputation for a punishing riding position. It also points out that they get bought as display items more than actual bikes. Which is sad, because they're pretty great, rewarding sportbikes. If you're expecting this to flatten your eyeballs, you will be very disappointed, and the F4 is hard, and uncomfortable, and very serious. Handling is more stable than agile, but the potential is there for a seriously rapid bike, if you're willing to deal with the uncompromising ergos and bit of extra weight.

From the original eBay listing: 2002 MV Agusta F4 750 Senna #172/300

The MV Agusta F4 was the motorcycle that launched the resurrection of MV Agusta in 1998. The F4 model was created by motorcycle designer Massimo Tamburini at CRC (Cagiva Research Center), following his work on the Ducati 916. 

The F4 series bikes have a four pipe undertail exhaust, single-sided swingarm, large front forks (50 mm diameter) and traditional MV Agusta red and silver livery on the F4 Series Oro. The F4 model is also one of the few production superbikes to have hemispherical chamber 4 valves per cylinder engine.

After meeting and becoming friends, Formula One Racing Legend, Ayrton Senna and MV Agusta President, Claudio Castiglioni began a close collaboration. Borne of a mutual passion for speed, performance, and the painstaking quest for excellence, their friendship continued to grow. 

Today this spirit continues, embodied in the form of a very special motorcycle, the MV Agusta SPR SENNA. Based upon the SPR’s increased performance and capability, the SENNA edition is further distinguished by its limited production (only 50 imported into the USA) and exclusive black color, distinctive red accents, and SENNA graphics.

The SENNA was produced in a limited worldwide quantity of 300 units worldwide, with proceeds benefiting the SENNA Foundation. 

The SENNA Foundation was created to assist in improving the lives of over 300,000 Brazilian children and contributes 100% of its proceeds to the development and implementation of social programs.

The F4 750 Senna was released in 2002 and is rated at 0-60 2.9 quarter mile 10.7 @ 135. The Senna was a limited production run of 300 bikes like the orginal F4 Series Oro. The Senna shared the 136 hp (101 kW) engine of the Evo 02 but with a higher redline of13900 rpm, and top speed estimated at 175 mph (282 km/h) @ 12750 rpm . The Senna also had some suspension upgrades and some carbon fiber bodywork compared to other MVs. 

MSRP was $24,995 in 2002. Only 50 units of 300 produced worldwide arrived in the USA and this one with only 188 miles is arguably the finest Senna available anywhere!

As the seller mentions, this is a pretty rare bike, but considering this is really just a paint-and-graphics update to the F4 750, the $19,999 starting bid is pretty hard to swallow at this point in time. Even F4 Serie Oro bikes haven't gotten much higher than this in recent eBay auctions, so I think the seller is a few years ahead of the curve in terms of pricing.

-tad

Limited Edition: 2002 MV Agusta F4 750 Senna #172/300 for Sale
MV Agusta April 14, 2018 posted by

Evolution: 2002 MV Agusta F4 750 SPR for Sale

The MV Agusta F4 750 is so often referred to as "one of the most beautiful motorcycles ever created" that it's easy to forget it's actually a pretty good motorcycle as well. Sure, it's brutally uncomfortable and a little bit heavier than the competition, but the engineering is sound and it's an impressively refined piece, considering this was the company's first modern superbike, built from the ground up to compete against the very best sportbikes in the world. It fell a bit short of the mark, but not so far short you could consider it an actual failure, considering the bike's longevity.

The orignal F4 750 was introduced in 1999 and the later 1000cc version that followed in 2005 was basically the 750 with more displacement and some refinements, and every four-cylinder machine produced by the company was based on the same engine and frame, up until the complete redesign of the F4 for 2010. So you're looking at a pretty long-serving package, considering the normally rapid pace of sportbike development, and that second generation F4 introduced in 2010 is still used as the foundation for a mid-pack WSBK contender!

So what was wrong with the F4? Well basically, in a class where power-to-weight ratios are critical, the bike had just average power and about 50lbs too much weight. In any other motorcycle category, that would be pretty meaningless, but in the hyper-competitive sportbike world, it meant everything, especially when you consider the somewhat shocking cost of the F4. Ultimately, the F4 was just a step behind the leaders in a class that was now obsolete, as literbikes were suddenly the top dogs of the sportbike world. MV Agusta solved the power problems with their updated F4 1000 but the damage to their rep was done, and the bikes never really offered any performance advantage over a ZX-10 or GSX-R1000, with less reliability and a whole lot more cost.

The seller claims this is an SPR, but I was under the impression the SPR was introduced in 2004, the ultimate evolution of the F4 750 and is most commonly seen in flat black colors. Whether or not this is an SPR or an S, it's a later version of the bike and should be more refined and reliable than the first-generation examples. The included Power Commander is a nice touch: fueling on stock F4s is pretty terrible from the factory, lean through most of the rev range and then artificially rich at the top. It's especially noticeable on the 1000 but both versions benefit hugely in terms of usability from a fueling module and some dyno time. I've ridden a stock 1000 and a properly tuned example nearly back-to-back, and the difference is pronounced. The stock bike seems to almost bog when you whack the throttle open in the midrange, where as the tuned version pulls as you'd expect: like a freight train.

From the original eBay listing: 2002 MV Agusta F4 750 SPR for Sale

Need garage space, so newer bikes must go! This 2002 MV F4 SPR was one of two California-legal MVs, purchased from Grand Prix Motors, San Diego. Original owner was importer for MV Agusta in 1970s, Commerce Overseas Corporation. Designer of the MV750S America: pictured in the foreground with this F4. The bike comes with a ton of MV Agusta history accumulated by Commerce Overseas, including racing photos from MV glory days! With only 8,000 miles, this F4 SPR is in "as-new" condition. Equipped with rare MV factory racing exhaust, bike is tuned with a Power Commander. New tires, recent service. Stunning example of the F4 that was produced in SPR form after initial hiccups with early models.

The bike has 8,250 miles on it and there are no takers yet at the $10,000 starting bid. For the most part, it's pretty commonly accepted that the later 1000 is a better bike overall and that the 750 is underpowered and slightly overweight. It is the original though, and rarer, and should prove to be the better investment over time. Plus, an MV is still an MV, and none of them are actually slow. Try to think of them more as... mature, with just a little bit of middle-aged paunch over an athlete's build. Put it this way: if you're riding an F4 and someone is faster than you are on track or down a given stretch of back road, the problem probably isn't the extra 50lbs the F4 carries over a GSX-R... The problem is probably you.

-tad

Ducati April 13, 2018 posted by

Little Brother: 2001 Ducati 748R for Sale

If you're a sportbike fan, bikes like the Ducati 748R might seem like the poor cousin to the 916/996/998, a bike you only bought because your funds wouldn't stretch to the more expensive, larger-displacement version. But no "R" model Ducati really takes a back seat to anything: they were homologation specials, and the 748R was designed to allow the smaller-engined v-twin to compete in World Supersport racing.

The higher-spec powerplant in the 748R used lightweight titanium valves and connecting rods, fed by shower-type fuel injectors made possible by a two-part carbon fiber airbox. Space for the larger airbox necessitated a lightweight version of the 996 World Superbike's frame, and the result was a real-world 106hp and midrange torque 600cc inline four rivals could only dream of, with additional power waiting to be unleashed by race teams unconcerned by trivialities like "longevity."

The carbon airbox served two purposes: in addition to providing more air and fuel at the higher revs made possible by the lightweight internals, it also helped stiffen the frame for improved handling. Adjustable triple clamps and Öhlins suspension front and rear refined the 748's already impressive handling: purists actually claim the 748 is a better handling machine than the 916, with less weight and increased agility, no doubt helped by the narrower 180-section rear tire.

From the original eBay listing: 2001 Ducati 748R for Sale

Time to make some room in my garage so I'm going to part with this rare beast. Its an original 2001 Ducati 748R.  No. 711. Not many of these around anymore and this one's good some nice goodies. it has 11k miles (I do ride it here and there so there may be some more)

I am the second owner and the previous owner did all of the upgrades. The bike is in very good shape, not mint there are a couple light scratches on the tank, a small scuff mark on the right fairing and the foam around the instrument panel is a bit melted from the sun. (I think this was due in party to the double bubble windscreen magnifying it). The paint is in amazing shape. It has much more power than a regular 748 and the R has a more unique sound due to the differences in the motors. Maintained at Munroe Motors Ducati in San Francisco. Head were checked at 10,000 miles and rockers/valves had no signs of issues.

Heres a list of some of the upgrades (I'm probably leaving some things out)

  • Heads by Guy Martin (he makes some of the toughest and durable heads for Ducatis, they also increase power about 15-20%)  http://www.mbpducati.ca/
  • CycleCat fully adjustable rearsets
  • CycleCat fully adjustable clip ons
  • CRG adjustable brake and clutch lever
  • BrakeTech AXIS Cobra Stainless Steel Series Wave rotors
  • BrakeTech pads
  • STM Slipper Clutch
  • STM Clutch Slave
  • Gubellini Steering damper
  • Fast by Ferracci 54mm full exhaust (ceramic coated) sounds amazing!
  • Carbon Fiber exhaust shield
  • Marchesini forged wheels
  • Pirelli corsas
  • Carbon fiber intake cover (larger and smoother bore than the stock ones
  • Zero Gravity Windscreen
  • Sargent seat
  • Ohlins shock
  • Ohlins fork
  • Carbon keyless gas cap/filler

Tech Specs: The top of the range model was now the 748R, Ducati's racing homologation model produced only in very limited numbers. This engine was again a derivative of the SPS model but with more tuning. The main difference is that the R model has an overhead shower-injector arrangement compared to the 748E and S model's traditional throttle bodies, titanium connecting rods, titanium valves and more extreme valve timing.

As such, the 748R has a larger, two-part airbox and thus the frame was also different in order to accommodate this. The suspension choice was Ohlins for both the rear shock and front forks, although the very first models in 2000 used Showa titanium nitride (TiN) front forks and a Showa shock absorber. The engine included a very basic slipper clutch to ensure that this would then be homologated for use in racing, as well as an oil cooler.

The starting bid is $7,500 with no takers yet. That's a great deal for a 748R, but this one is no garage queen and collectors might turn up their noses at things like the aftermarket turn signals. The miles are still pretty low and the bike comes equipped with some choice components: the 748R was available from the factory with some nice parts, but it's a Ducati, so you can always find nicer ones to fit any budget, no matter how large. This one probably isn't for the collectors, given the clean, but well-used condition and highly-functional, but non-stock configuration. This is one for the riders, for folks looking for a bike they can take to the track and not worry too much about adding a few more scuffs and battle scars.

-tad

Little Brother: 2001 Ducati 748R for Sale
MV Agusta April 4, 2018 posted by

Signed by the Master: 2002 MV Agusta F4 750 for Sale

An MV Agusta F4 750 Senna "signed by the master" would normally mean that it was signed by its creator, Massimo Tamburini. In this case though, the "master" in question is Giacomo Agostini, the famous rider who rode MVs to victory in so many races during the marque's heyday. The F4 was to be their return to prominence, and the 750cc displacement of the original F4 introduced in 1999 would have allowed it to compete in World Superbike, a series with roots in production-based motorcycles, rather than Grand Prix racing.

Unfortunately the F4 suffered in comparison to much more affordable bikes from the Japanese Big Four but, even at the time, the biggest disappointment seemed to come from the bike's lack of any performance advantage compared to the benchmark GSX-R750 and its high cost, rather than any real flaw in the bike itself. Given the exotic looks and racing pedigree, they expected riding nirvana and they got... a perfectly competent, fast motorcycle with typically uncomfortable Italian ergonomics and suspect electicals.

The 750 wasn't actually slow, it just wasn't any faster than a GSX-R750 and really, why would it have been? Aside from a shocking price tag, the big problem was that the achingly beautiful exotic was launched as a 750cc machine just as the class was being made redundant by rules changes in racing and the new breed of literbikes that fit 1000cc power into 750cc packages. MV released their updated 1000cc version of the F4 within a few years, but the damage was done to the bike's reputation, and you still hear people refer to the 750 as if it's a bit of a dog.

Claimed horsepower was 136, with 118 real-world ponies finding their way to the ground, which was nearly identical to a GSX-R of the same period. Unfortunately, weights were not identical: the F4 clocked in at nearly 50 pounds more, full of fuel, and it seems to carry that weight up pretty high. The riding position is definitely uncomfortable and, compared to modern machines, it's awkward at low speeds and runs hot in traffic. But get into a groove and a well set up F4 corners beautifully: it may never have been the most agile bike in its class, but it's a testament to the soundness of the original design that the same basic machine was able to remain competitive for ten years, at least in terms of handling.

I've never been particularly excited by the sound of an inline four, and the F4 doesn't sound all that exotic riding past. But from the saddle there's a metallic rasp not found on other bikes, and the engine has a frantic quality that gives the conventional inline four wail an exotic quality that sets it apart. This particular F4 is the limited-edition [aren't they all?] Senna edition, named after famed racing driver Aryton Senna. Miles are collector-bike low ad the bike is sporting the aforementioned signature of the great Ago on the windscreen.

From the original eBay listing: 2002 MV Agusta F4 750 Senna for Sale

Extremely rare and beautiful. Part of a small collection of bikes purchased new by NHL Hall of Famer Sergei Fedorov. Bike has been personally signed by legendary MV Agusta rider/ champion Giacomo Agostini! This bike is number 192 of 300 built for worldwide production. MV reported that only 50 of these bikes were imported to North America. Inline 4 cylinder engine designed with cooperation from Ferrari produces 136hp at 13900 rpms. 0 – 60mph in 2.9 seconds. Quarter mile in 10.7 at 136mph. Lightweight and extremely fast. These bikes are legendary not only for performance and handling but for design and collectability!

Bike is in excellent cosmetic, running and riding condition at 3200 miles. The sale includes original owner’s manual, spare key, spark plug tool, and factory red rear wheel bike stand.

The bike appears to be in excellent cosmetic condition, although we really don't care about claimed horsepower for a bike that was famously unexceptional in that regard. The bike wasn't "lightweight" or "extremely fast" but it was definitely a very serious performance machine and it is still one of the best-looking motorcycles ever built. I prefer the F4 in standard colors, with the cool, yellow-faced tachometer, but it certainly looks very special in the black, grey, and red seen here. F4s can be surprisingly affordable to buy at the moment, but values of the very rare Senna are a good bit higher, and Ago's signature certainly adds to the cool factor. Bidding on this example is up to $13,000 with very little time left on the auction.

-tad

Signed by the Master: 2002 MV Agusta F4 750 for Sale
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