Posts by tag: parallel twin

Kawasaki April 21, 2018 posted by

Rare Colors: Cali-Titled 1989 Kawasaki KR-1S in Zeus Blue for Sale

They're relatively rare here in the US, even in states with lax registration requirements, but late 80s and early 90s quarter-liter two-strokes were pretty widely available elsewhere in the sportbiking world, considering their narrowly-focused role and limited audience. Kawasaki was largely absent from the intense class rivalry during that period, though. Their earlier KR250 was out of date compared to something like the original TZR and they didn't have a real competitor ready until 1988 when the Kawasaki KR-1 and the sportier KR-1S were introduced.

The KR-1 was discontinued in 1992, without any significant updates and well before the others in the class. Just 10,000 were built, making it a pretty rare sight outside Japan these days: Honda constructed more than ten times as many NSR250Rs! But although Kawasaki as a company didn't seem like they'd gone all-in on the idea of going head-to-head against Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha, it wasn't as if the KR-1S itself didn't measure up.

Like most of its rivals, the KR-1S was powered by a liquid-cooled two-stroke parallel twin and backed by a six-speed gearbox to exploit the razor-thin powerband although, also like its rivals, the Kawasaki did feature power-valve technology, here dubbed "KIPS," to boost the midrange. Modern bikes with their ever-larger engines and horsepower numbers are increasingly equipped with electronic up-and-down shifters and autoblippers, but they really don't particularly need them on the road, considering the available power. A quickshifter/autoblipper would get plenty of use on one of these, had they been available: there's only so much you can do with just 249cc and the bike's government-mandated 45hp, so dancing on the gear lever is a required, not optional activity when riding a little two-stroke.

The frame was the typical aluminum beam unit of the class and the suspension was good but, compared to other bikes in the class, the KR-1 was a bit... raw. Handling was "lively" and the bike managed a best-in-class tested top speed of 139mph. An engine balance shaft driven by the 180° crankshaft seems like it was the only concession to civility, and even that was probably justified as preventing vibration damage to the minimalist frame, rather than as a means to refine the experience of riding the wee beastie.

From the original eBay listing: Cali-Titled 1989 Kawasaki KR-1S in Zeus Blue for Sale

The KR1S model here in the USA is one of the most rare of the Japanese 250 racer replica two strokes. If one can be found, it will usually be the green, white, and yellow bike. Sometimes the black and green bike, but never a factory genuine JDM Zeus Blue bike. These bikes were very limited in production. The factory Zeus Blue bikes differed from the export models in a few ways: indicators, mirrors, calipers, rotor center color, wheel color, all ID by the frame number. California titled and plated to its original VIN# Rare. Call Tim @714-746-5087 for more details.

When I purchased the bike a few years ago, I went onto the forums and found only a handful of original Zeus Blue KR1S models all overseas: one in Australia, one in the Netherlands, and one in the UK. I would go so far as to say this is the only one in the USA, and I know it’s the only one with a California title. This is THE rocking horse unicorn bike. To whomever buys the bike, you would be INSANE to remove the California title from the bike. That makes this bike so desirable. These bikes were ONLY JDM models never for export which is what makes them so rare. I have owned many many 2Ts (TZR, SPR, MC21, Rothmans, MC28, VJ23, V Model, Lucky, etc). These parallel twins really are amazing bikes. Having owned the four big Japanese manufactured bikes, to me there is no question Kawasaki is the most fun to ride. They literally are mad scientists and I LOVE IT! The KR1S was the fastest of all the 2T racer replicas. And if you know Kawasaki, they just built it and let it rip. Yamaha, Honda have their rev limiters, credit card ignitions, etc. Not Kawi. This thing will go all the way if you were to wind it out all the way. The sound of the parallel twin motor is simply the best. The cackling of the pipes. This bike has only had Motul 710 in it, runs fantastic, starts first kick, and purrs at idle. 18k miles on the clocks, float, gaskets, float valves all done, carbs serviced and cleaned, has Uni foam filter, new plugs, steering damper, factory toolkit, original key, etc. Clear California title in hand and current registration ‘til Jan 2019. Bike is for sale locally so the auction can end at any time. Thanks. Enjoy the ride…

Personally, I prefer my wild-haired Kawasakis to be vibrant green, and not the more civilized, metallic green they've been using on their modern, more sophisticated offerings. No, I want that lurid, fluorescent green of old. But this color scheme is exceedingly rare here, and that does count for something. Not to mention that it does look pretty sharp! The 18,000 miles indicated may not be stored-in-your-livingroom low, but the bike does appear to be you-could-eat-off-it clean and is in immaculate condition, with the very desirable California registration. And yes, the seller is correct that re-titling it in another state is absolutely a bad move financially: legitimately-titled two-strokes of this era are difficult to come by here, and there are plenty of well-heeled enthusiasts willing to pay extra for something they can legally ride.

-tad

Rare Colors: Cali-Titled 1989 Kawasaki KR-1S in Zeus Blue for Sale
MZ April 15, 2018 posted by

von Zschopau – 2005 MZ 1000ST with just 16 Miles

With everything from two-stroke racers to sidecars in their century-long repertoire, state-owned MZ ( Motorenwerke Zschopau ) went private in 1990 and was sold to Malaysian investors in 1996.  These were their salad days, with lots of new smaller-displacement models and their first original four-stroke engine for the MZ1000S.  This ST variant has the S frame and is tuned for more torque, but more importantly was dealer-owned and on display since new.

2005 MZ 1000ST for sale on eBay

Sometimes known as MuZ, the company designed a 998cc parallel twin for their new machine, in sport touring tune showing 117 hp and 71 ft.-lbs. torque.  Components were up to date with Marzocchi forks, Sachs monoshock, and Nissin brakes.  The twin spar frame is a double-tube design similar to the Aprilia Falco, but this time in chrome-moly steel.  The angular fairing knifes through the air with a slightly bug-eyed expression up front.

A few thousand NOS parts flying in formation, this MZ has never been registered, and is seemingly undamaged by years of display and storage.  It's a bit monochromatic in silver, gray and black but in staggering condition.  Luggage was part of the original package but is not pictured, either way it can stay on the shelf.  From the eBay auction:

This bike is in essentially brand new condition. Being sold by a former MZ motorcycle dealer. This bike was kept as a show / display bike. It has been regularly maintained, washed and only ridden from the store to the owners home and around the dealership. It has approximately 16 miles on it. Its never been tagged and has been stored in a climate controlled environment. It was started recently and fired right up, the battery is still great, tires are excellent, seat is in like new condition. Shows very minimal sign of age considering it is 13 years old. There is some slight rust on the rear side of the exhaust, see pictures. This should come off with some elbow grease. 

MZ was unconstrained by years in the liter-bike market and the 1000S reviewed as a fresh look at some issues, the twin compact if not underweight.  The company battled the demons of international trade until 2009 and tried but never returned to motorcycle manufacture.  For a fan of the brand or maybe Saxony, this rare example looks worth a shot...

-donn

 

von Zschopau – 2005 MZ 1000ST with just 16 Miles
Featured Listing March 20, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: Zero-mile Laverda 750S

When a mid-nineties Ducati just ain't cutting it as far as style, panache, build sheet, rarity and dubious build quality are concerned, it's hard to do better than a contemporary Laverda. Sure, you could go Bimota and snag Japanese reliability with the sex appeal only Italy can muster, but you couldn't be too much more obvious.

1998 Laverda 750S for Sale on eBay.it

Today's Laverda 750S solves all of those problems, with a reputation for millimeter-perfect handling, pretty Paoli squishy bits and a proprietary, fuel-injected 750cc parallel twin. The bike appears to have covered just eight kilometers from new, and is supplied with nearly enough spares to make an entire new bike.

From the seller:

I’m interested in selling my 0 miles Laverda 750 S (the bike + spare parts of a 15.000 km sister bike: engine, electric system, forks, wheels. No frame, no fairings).

Top shelf components:

Brembo brake system;
Marchesini wheels;
Paioli forks.

Only two items aren't original: the carbon look mirrors, coordinated with other true carbon details, and the electric system (a more common and reliable Ducati Monster's electric system is on).

The bike has always been stored in a warm and dry garage, it's is maniacally well cared, the original tires weren't in good conditions, hence I switched them with the twin bike's 5.000 km ones. The bike is ready to roar tomorrow, then it would be a nice deal for collectors and/or users targeting not an ordinary ride. A gorgeous sound and the extreme rarity put the user under the spotlights even on a sunny day.

In case of further need of spare parts, I can put you in contact with "3C moto" company, managed by a former Laverda technician and big lover of the brand who withdrew all the original Laverda parts (or you can straightly contact www.3cmoto.it).

My target price is 5.600 euro (a bike and half, it seems a fair price for a ready-to-use exotica, isn't it?).

The bike is located in Varese, Northern Italy. I can arrange a worldwide delivery at the purchaser's cost (air or sea, according to buyer preference). Any precaution and delivery terms (insurance for the transport included) will be agreed according to the destination.

Contact Stephano with your interest: da3112.sa0202@gmail.com

The Laverda 750S represents a throwback to a time when there were still companies that very much felt like they were screwed together by dedicated enthusiasts in a small shop. Japanese bikes are great for obvious reasons, but they all carry just a whiff of their manufacturers' roots in heavy equipment manufacture.

If you can swing the 5,600 EUR pricetag and import fees, this is a great way to set yourself apart from the crowd.

-Aaron

Full size image gallery:

Featured Listing: Zero-mile Laverda 750S
Kawasaki January 30, 2018 posted by

Say it Ain’t So – 1988 Kawasaki KR-1 / KR250B

Dan would have to weigh in on how many bikes Gary has listed and sold on RSBFS, but suffice it to say the past year has been a great success.  Saving the best for last would be a debatable and bittersweet claim, maybe there's another container of gray-market wonders back there ?  Better to relish the KR-1 presented here.

1988 Kawasaki KR-1 KR250 for sale on eBay

Not actually derived from or intended to be a race bike, the KR-1 had a meteoric rise and quick retirement just a few years later.  The parallel twin pushed 55 hp, but peaky like no one's business, making power just between 6,000 and 11,000 RPM.  Never offered stateside, it thrilled young riders in the U.K. and the Pacific rim, and has only occasionally found its way here.  The super-light under 300 lbs. machine was over-equipped with dual disks, adjustable suspension, and 17-inch front / 18-inch rear wheels.

Gary has made presentation of gray market specials look easy, but this one is different.  Rather than doll up someone else's issues, this KR-1 was brought over restored, low miles, just about perfect.  As always, it's ready to run with legal title and registration.  His comments from the eBay auction:

Up for sale is a 1988 Kawasaki KR-1 with only 20,640 kilometers (12,825 miles). Bike is in mint condition. The collector whom I purchased it from in Japan did a full frame up restoration. Complete engine, front forks, front and rear brakes, drive train, rear suspension, custom paint restoration. I don’t normally buy bikes like this but when I saw that no expense was spared to make this bike look and run new, I just had to have it. Bike looks gorgeous and is in mint condition. There are only a few very light scratches and handling marks. All fairings and components are 100% Genuine OEM Kawasaki factory. All replacement parts used in the restoration were genuine OEM parts. Bike is completely stock. Bike runs like new. Comes with new battery and new engine fluids.

I’ve saved the best for last. The last is here.

Kawasaki saw the writing on the wall early and focused on four-strokes for 1993.  But the power delivery, quick steering, and riding position of the KR-1 are legend.  Hopefully an adult rider can keep it out of the tank slappers it destined novice riders to experience.  In a era where a successful design could be considered 100 machines ( Buell or Bimota ), or a thousand ( Ducati or Moto Guzzi ), Kawasaki saw the future on the other side of 10,000 KR-1's.  But for a fan of the green and white, there was never such a lightweight.

-donn

Say it Ain’t So – 1988 Kawasaki KR-1 / KR250B
Kawasaki January 11, 2018 posted by

Cali-Titled Two-Stroke: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale

During the 1980s and early 1990s, the vibrant quarter-liter two-stroke class saw the NSR, RGV, and TZR go at it with knife-fight-in-a-phone-booth intensity. Notably missing from much of the action was Kawasaki. It didn't help that Kawasaki didn't start building a two-stroke sportbike until 1988 and abandoned the class in 1992, before the other Japanese manufacturers and, as a result, the Kawasaki KR-1S is a bit of a holy grail for two-stroke fans in the USA. They're really nearly impossible to find in any market, as Kawasaki produced less than 10,000 examples in total, and they were obviously never sold here in the US.

If all you've done is glance at the spec sheets of the class competitors, you could be forgiven for thinking the bikes in this class were pretty much the same, with two-cylinder, liquid-cooled two-strokes, aluminum beam frames, six-speed gearboxes, and a suspiciously identical 45hp output. In fact, sometimes only a catchy acronym for the power valve gives the manufacturer away, although KIPS, ATAC, SAPC, and YPVS all performed basically the same basic function. But period road tests and two-stroke enthusiasts claim that each has a distinct character that seems line with corporate sterotypes: Honda's NSR was sophisticated and refined, while Suzuki's RGV was a bit of an unruly wild-child, fast and a bit fragile. But although Kawasaki joined the party late and left early, they left an indelible impression and their KR-1S was claimed to be the fastest, the easiest to tune, and have the hairiest handling of the bunch.

The KR-1S was powered by a liquid-cooled 249cc parallel-twin with a 180° crankshaft that also drove a balance shaft to improve smoothness, and put power to the back wheel through a six-speed gearbox. The "S" model seen here featured wider wheels at the front and rear, and tested top speed of 139mph. An "R" model was also available, but is nearly impossible to find, with fewer than 200 built. Interestingly enough, last month's Practical Sportbikes features an article that discusses the rebuild of a KR-1R in detail.

Like yesterday's ZX-7R, this KR-1S is slathered in green, white, and blue graphics that suit the bike's brash personality. Happily, the seller also includes images of the bike with the fairing removed, as it shows off the very slick aftermarket expansion chambers and another odd detail: the engine sits almost entirely below the frame! That of course keeps the bike relatively narrow, but seems strange that most of the engine is suspended beneath the frame, rather than nestled between the frame spars.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale

1990 Kawasaki KR1S C2. I am relisting and selling another bike out of my prize collection. Journalist called the KR1-S the most exotic and fastest of all the 250 2 stokes of that era. This KR1S is a UK model. Which means UK CDI power box, mile per hour speedo. Non-restrictive. Always been in street bike form. Not a converted back race bike. This is truly a rare bike. Unlike NSR’s, TZR’s and RGV’s and even Aprilia RS’s that come up for sale now and then, you very rarely see one of these for sale. I have owned this bike for over 10 years. I have spent many of thousands of dollars on upgrades. I mean many! I installed a pricy set of Dyna mags magnesium rims. The old KR1S aluminum rims came with a 17” front and an 18” rear. These are 17” front and back. Light weight magnesium and make sporty tires more available. I have put on a set of Michelin pilot sport tires. Green D.I.D.  O-Ring chain with gold aluminum sprocket. Beautiful high end custom steering damper. Then I had made a JMC fully braced swingarm with eccentric adjustment. Beautifully polished. I was told at the time that this was the only top braced swingarm that JMC has ever made for the KR1S. I installed a huge custom made “Pace” radiator made for the KR1S. This radiator is huge, and solves the problem of any overheating. If anything I have to tape of part of the radiator when its cool out. But a nice position to be in. Silicone radiator hose are used. Then I purchased a nice new set of Jolly Moto pipes with Carbon silencers. Bikes sound great and pulls better. I had the rear shock rebuilt and the shock spring powder coated green to match the bike. Front forks have been recently rebuilt with all new bushings, oil and seals. Rebuilt both the front and rear calibers with new stainless pistons, bolts, and seals. I had them powder coated too. Custom made steel braided brakes lines with aluminum fittings. They look like new. I also installed new light weight disks front and back.  Have a fortune in light weight titanium, stainless, and aluminum bolts throughout.  All the lights and switches work. The bike has 16,600 miles on it. So a far as I know the motor has never been touched.  I had plans to rebuild the motor and including all the parts to do it.  I have everything needed to build it included. But now I have gotten old and don’t have time for this project. I have tuned it up, changed all the fluids. Adjusted the power valves, etc. Bike does still run strong but mileage is getting up there for 28 year 2 stroke. The original bodywork on the bike is not too bad for its age but not perfect either. I had a few tabs and small cracks repaired. The tank has a couple tiny little chips, but is in remarkably in good shape for its age. No dents. The tank is clean inside without rust. The body panels have a few scratches and touched up spots.  Still not all that bad for its age either. Please refer to the pictures for more details. I am including the stock rims with a brand new fresh powder coat on them. The stock pipes, radiator, manuals, and various other parts as seen in my list and pictures. Lots of stuff.

The following is a list of some of the parts that are included with the bike, but not complete. No much to list. Please refer to pictures.

  • 4 brand new piston sets, including, rings, pins, clips, and small ends
  • Complete set of crank seals and crank bearings, plus new rod sets. Everything needed to completely rebuild the crank like new.
  • 3 gaskets set, plus one extra head gasket
  • New Water pump part set
  • New carb sets including floats
  • Power valve seals
  • New billet aluminum power valves and power valve wheels
  • 1 extra new front disk
  • Numerous new seals and bearing that go into the motor
  • Stock pipes in good condition
  • Stock swingarm with fresh paint and new bearings and seals. Like new
  • Stock radiator in excellent condition
  • Stock wheels with fresh powder coating, sprocket,  and cush drive

All the old wheel bearing, wheel spacers, front and back disks, sprockets, brake lines, and caliber parts. The old original nuts and bolts that were replaced with titanium and stainless, aluminum

Bike comes with a current California registration and title!  Has all the correct serial and engine numbers, but is listed as a 1980 instead of a 1990. You might think that wow I am asking way too much for this bike? I say “find don’t buy it then”. What I can say how often you see one of these for sale in this condition, with all these extras and titled too? Try to find another? These bikes are only going to increase in value as time passes. Plus I am including thousands of dollars in extra parts.

So the $17,500 asking price is big money for a two-stroke sportbike, but I'm betting it will find a buyer: if that California title is valid, I know a couple folks who'd love to snap it up, and it's really not all that far off what folks have been asking for pristine NSR250s recently. It isn't completely stock, but all of the upgrades described by the seller are clearly intended to thoughtfully boost performance and handling. All-in-all, it's one of the coolest bikes we've posted recently.

-tad

Cali-Titled Two-Stroke: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale
Norton January 3, 2018 posted by

Players Club: 1974 Norton John Player

Reaching back a bit further than regular RSBFS fare, today's bike is a great example of a rare, motorsports-themed repli-racer. Sure, it's nearly 44 years old, but an iconic model of a legendary marque will always have a home in a collector's heart. In this case, a Norton-Villiers era British twin celebrating success in the death-defying Isle of Man TT, sponsored by a well known brand of cigarettes, John Player. Put all of these fun facts together into one bike, and you have a the very limited production John Player Norton of 1974.

1974 Norton John Player Special for sale on eBay

Based on the successful Commando model, Norton attempted to go racing with a bespoke factory effort. Success was limited, although Peter Williams managed to win the Formula 750 Isle of Man TT in 1973 on a semi-monocoque framed Norton emblazoned with John Player sponsorship. This bred the idea for a limited edition replica, and in 1974 the JPS Norton was born. Only 200 examples of this bike were built, with the distinctive dual headlight fairing mimicking the racer's Peel Engineering-designed unit. While the livery and aero bits resembled the racer, the road going JPS model was much closer in DNA to the 850 Commando. Sadly Norton was unable to compete financially given the rise of the Japanese and the onslaught of the Italians, and racing exploits ceased as British motorcycle companies consolidated to avoid total insolvency. Norton joined forces with BSA and Triumph, forming Norton-Villiers-Triumph. The oddity that is the JPS Norton is a classic remnant of the time.

From the seller:
Rare chance to own an original, unrestored,numbers matching, 3 owner Norton JPN with 6,411 original miles. One of approximately 200 built to commemorate Norton winning the world championship with Peter Williams aboard. Current owner has owned over 25 years. Bike has always been garaged. Bike was last ridden 11 years ago, and was prepped for long term storage. Beautiful bike. Age and health forces sale.

We don't see too many of these JPS models moving at auction. This is partly due to the one year only, limited production of the bike. It is also due to the age of the bike in question; we tend to see older bikes as strictly collectors (rather than riders), and as a result they change hands much less frequently. The history and mileage of this example supports the theory: 44 years old, only 3 owners and 6,411 miles. This particular bikes is available in the US, and looks to be complete. Pictures are not the greatest we have seen, but there is enough there to get the basics (interested buyers should contact the seller for more details). The best part of this JPN auction is the price: the BIN is only $14,500 (which is definitely in the ballpark, re-commissioning costs notwithstanding), and the seller is open to offers. Check it out here, and start the New Year with a ghost of Christmas past. Good Luck!!

MI

Players Club: 1974 Norton John Player