Posts by tag: RADD

Gilera May 4, 2018 posted by

Days of Future Past: 1991 Gilera CX125 for Sale

It's always fun to see older cars and bikes that were meant at the time to embody the designs of tomorrow, even if that future never actually came to pass. Somehow, even though the world this wild Gilera CX125 embodied only exists in some sort of alternate reality, at least it doesn't rely on vaporware to actually function: radical styling aside, the underpinnings were the tried-and-true two-stroke engine and six-speed transmission from their existing Crono, and that single-sided front end is really just a conventional telescopic fork with one leg...

The single-sided front end matches the ELF-designed single-sided swingarm and makes it look like the bike is simply floating above its wheels when viewed from the right, like an artist's sketch made real. Developed by Paioli, it's not actually an alternative swingarm front end like Yamaha's RADD or the Bimota Tesi, but there's no downside to it in terms of function. In fact, that's really the biggest disappointment here: the radical styling that was clearly inspired by the ELF racing machines is just that, styling. There's no futuristic technology or exotic powerplant. It's just a sporty, economical two-stroke dressed up with stylish bodywork.

In fact, the most futuristic technology found on the CX125 was the engine counterbalancer that contributed to the bike's exceptionally smooth-running character and the electric starter. The simple bones underpinning the sleek body mean the CX125 works pretty well, taking into account the minuscule displacement of the tiny two-stroke. The 300lb wet weight meant the 125's 28 rear-wheel horses could push the little machine up to a top speed of around 100mph, but the question really is: at whom was this machine really aimed? 125 two-strokes are, even in Europe, learner bikes or commuters. And although the technology of the CX125 was decidedly modern, the futuristic styling wouldn't really have been a priority for practical types, and 16-year-olds looking for sportbikes were probably interested in something much more race-replica-y.

Although it wasn't priced much higher than its much more conventionally-styled stablemate, performance was slightly less and the bike didn't sell very well at the time. This particular example is complete and appears to be in decent condition, although some cracks in the bodywork are visible and there is some plastic discoloration, as well as a bit of rust and the usual cosmetic issues that arise when a bike sits for any length of time. The biggest issue is the lack of a title.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Gilera CX125 for Sale

1991 Gilera CX125 located in Santa Ana, California. This bike is in very good condition for it's age. Gauge shows 3684 KM = 2210 miles. There are a few cracks in the plastic body parts, "see pictures". This is a very common problem with these bike. Engine runs great, no problems. The CX125 is a very rare bike here in the USA. More info is available on our website. Bike is sold with a bill of sale only. I don't have a title for the bike and can't get one here in California.

There are no takers yet at the starting bid of $7,995. These aren't exactly cheap for the performance they offer, but a CX125 would make a hilarious weekend ride in Southern California, where originality is at a premium. Honestly, I love these, so it's a shame that it wouldn't be easy to legally register one here.

-tad

Days of Future Past: 1991 Gilera CX125 for Sale
Yamaha December 12, 2017 posted by

Low Miles, Even Fewer Forks: 1993 Yamaha GTS1000 for Sale

Bikes today are faster, lighter, better-handling, and safer than ever before. But while there have been huge advances in terms of electronics and the materials used to build them, they use basically the same layout and suspension since motorcycle design became codified sometime in the late 1980s. The familiar telescopic forks are most definitely a compromise, but one designers and suspension tuners have become accustomed to working around. Simply put: when motorcycle forks compress under braking it upsets weight distribution and changes suspension geometry. So if you're developing a suspension system that gets around those issues, you'd think you'd create some sort of exotic hypersports bike to show off the advantages of your high-performance design, right? Well if you're Yamaha, you put your radical Omega Chassis Concept in a stylish, buy heavy sports-tourer like this GTS1000.

It's a shame, because the GTS might otherwise have made a great case for this alternative, swingarm front end: simply put, the design works very well.  Oh sure, there isn't any huge advantage over a conventional front end in a sport-touring application like this, but there's no real downside either. And the single-sided front end should make tire swaps a breeze, although the lack of a second front disc might give faster riders a bit of pause... At least it's vented and equipped with a six-piston caliper, and period tests don't complain about stopping power.

Yamaha licensed James Parker's forkless RADD front end to create their radical grand touring machine, and installed their five-valve, 1002cc inline four and five-speed gearbox, here tuned to produce a torque-rich 100hp. So the GTS was far too heavy and underpowered to be a legitimate sportbike, but limited fuel range and luggage options meant it leaned hard on the "sport" elements of sport-touring. Only available in the US from 1993-1994, the GTS1000 didn't sell very well, as the odd suspension, high price, and relatively limited touring capabilities scared potential customers away.

 

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Yamaha GTS1000 for Sale

Selling a very rare GTS1000A with a very low low miles. 

Bike is in a beautiful condition, kept in the garage for years , recently serviced with all new fluids and filters. New fuel pump. Left mirror has a small crack from moving in the garage, not even noticeable. Please feel free to ask me with any questions . 

New tires are needed. 

Treat yourself with a beautiful gift for the holidays. 

Bike starts and runs like new. 

The Buy It Now price is set at $6,500 which is pretty steep for a GTS1000 but, with just 4,400 miles on the clock, it's probably one of lowest-mileage examples in existence.  The problem is that, unless you're a collector of oddities, there's really no point: these things can rack up crazy miles so there's really no need to find one in such unused condition unless you plan to keep it as a museum piece. And that'd be a shame, since the GTS1000 is an amazingly competent mile-muncher.

-tad

Low Miles, Even Fewer Forks: 1993 Yamaha GTS1000 for Sale
Yamaha October 9, 2017 posted by

Rarity with unfortunate paint: 1993 Yamaha GTS1000A

The Yamaha GTS1000's front suspension is from an era when bike makers were getting into wild experimentation to eliminate the shortcomings of conventional two-legged forks. Bimota spat out its interpretation with the Tesi, John Britten tried with the Hossack design, and Yamaha licensed RADD, Inc.'s design.

1993 Yamaha GTS1000 for sale on eBay



Before we go any further, it has to be said that the GTS1000 is way more sport tourer than sport bike, but its rarity and innovative spirit make it worthy of a space here. Needless to say, the buying public didn't catch on to what engineers knew inherently, and bought bikes they could understand, which carried traditional front ends.

That left the GTS out in the cold, and few made it onto the streets.

The GTS you see here has, ah, been altered some from stock, and we can't say that is necessarily a good thing. To each their own, we suppose. It also has been sitting for the last decade, and will need the maintenance that comes along with that.

From the eBay listing:

ORIGINAL OWNER, 18,000 MILES. STOCK EXCEPT FOR CUSTOM PAINT IN 1997. HAS BEEN SITTING IN GARAGE SINCE 2006, SO NEEDS A NEW BATTERY AND PROBABLY FUEL LINES. STILL TURNS HEADS. INCLUDES OPTIONAL YAMAHA SADDLEBAGS. HEALTH FORCES SALE.

Though the cosmetics are polarizing, they have almost certainly lowered the cost of entry of this rare beast, and these things will certainly become more desirable the older they get. For the right price, it could be well worth snapping this one up and embracing the weird while you decide whether to take it back to stock.

Rarity with unfortunate paint: 1993 Yamaha GTS1000A
Yamaha October 7, 2014 posted by

1993 YAMAHA GTS1000

GTS_1

From the book of funny front ends comes this rare 1993 Yamaha GTS1000. Born of the James Parker "RADD" design and licensed by same, Yamaha added a bit of tour to the sport package and created a very interesting bike. In some ways, it is a bike looking for a purpose. It is clearly not a sport bike. It is clearly not a touring rig. It is a big, porky beast with a single sided swingarm front suspension. Is that, then, it's purpose - to look different? By de-coupling braking and pitch moments from suspension, the swing arm front end promised greater suspension efficiency and better chassis behavior. And while the GTS1000 is a great bike - robust power and faultless handling - Yamaha took the cautious approach to what was ground-breaking technology. The fact that it worked as well as a conventional motorcycle was not enough; the GTS failed to sell and was limited to one year of production. Rarity is often a simple case of nobody being interested at the time (think factory Turbos, RE5 Rotary, etc). These bikes are getting difficult to find in decent condition, and with fewer than 9,000 miles this looks to be a great example of the breed. Not much in the way of pictures or text, but what is there looks clean. Good Luck!

1993 Yamaha GTS1000 for sale on eBay

GTS_3

From the seller:
1993 YAMAHA GTS1000
EXTREMELY RARE FIND! There's nothing else like it . . .
In great condition with low miles

GTS_2

MI

1993 YAMAHA GTS1000
Yamaha June 26, 2014 posted by

Exotic Suspension for the Masses: 1994 Yamaha GTS1000

Only sold for two years in the US, the Yamaha GTS1000 was available from 1993-94. Styling is conservative 90’s Japanese, but without the garish graphics that often distinguish sportbikes of the era and the look is handsome, but so relatively unremarkable that it’s easy to miss the bike’s true standout feature: the forkless front end.

Almost missed that, didn’t you?

1994 Yamaga GTS1000 R Side Front

Conventional telescopic forks have well-known limitations: under braking, they compress and throw a motorcycle’s weight forward, upsetting weight-distribution, and this shift disturbs suspension geometry as well. In addition, the forces being channeled through and being amplified by the tubes means that triple-trees and  headstocks need to be very beefy, increasing weight.

1994 Yamaga GTS1000 L Front End

Plenty of alternatives have been tried since the dawn of motorcycle suspensions, but most have fallen by the wayside: they may improve in some areas, but usually at the cost of increased complexity or reduced steering feel, exactly the kind of things engineers were looking to avoid. They exchanging simple for complicated with no real upside, except as an exotic calling-card for owners of bikes like the Vyrus or Bimota Tesi who don’t mind the additional maintenance expense.

Interestingly, the suspension on this machine provides the best of both worlds: suspension compliance and braking stability as well as relative simplicity and reliability.

1994 Yamaga GTS1000 Dash

Yamaha's "Omega-Framed" GTS1000 was an innovative, ambitious attempt to bring exotic swingarm front suspension technology to the masses. Alternative suspension maverick James Parker, who is still hard at work developing this concept today, licensed his technology to Yamaha and the engine was from Yamaha’s FZR1000, a 1000cc five-valve four cylinder that was detuned for touring duty, although that’s likely easily changed to something approaching the donor bike’s 145hp without too much trouble. The bike also included a great deal of exotic technology like electronic fuel injection, anti-lock brakes, and a catalytic converter.

1994 Yamaga GTS1000 Frame

From the original eBay listing: 1994 Yamaha GTS1000 for Sale

Two words. RARE, Collector! This GTS1000 is in fantastic condition and yes, it's a pretty difficult find. The GTS was only available in the states from 1993 to 1994. It was still available in Europe until 1999. The previous owner took exceptional care of this. If you're a collector or an enthusiast, this would be a great bike. Not to mention, it's still a great bike to ride. For those of you who looked at this listing earlier, I did get the bags and the brakes. Please see pics. The only thing that is any concern is that the ABS is disconnected. I do have a box of all the parts for the ABS (see pics). The previous owner disconnected them as he didn't like ABS. Overall, this bike is in great condition and would be a wonderful motorcycle to have in any collection.

Reviews at the time suggest that the suspension performed as advertised. Unfortunately, while the bike was innovative, it was very expensive and the de-fanged powerplant combined with a surprisingly limited range to muddy the waters: exactly what was this bike for? The main advantages of this design were really wasted on a heavy sport-touring bike like this, and it seems odd to combine relatively primitive ABS with a suspension designed to provide increased braking ability at the limit.

Poor sales killed the bike after just two years, although it sold until 1999 in other markets. I’m not sure these are really any sort of huge investment opportunity, but they have a strong cult following and parts for the engine should be readily available, although bodywork and suspension bits could be a problem. As an affordable sport-touring mount, it’d be hard to beat, so if you’re looking for a weird bike with reliability and subtlety, this interestingly technical machine could represent an opportunity you never knew existed.

-tad

1994 Yamaga GTS1000 L Side

 

Exotic Suspension for the Masses: 1994 Yamaha GTS1000
Yamaha March 19, 2014 posted by

Strange New World: 1993 Yamaha GTS1000A

GTS_1

In the late 1980s and early 1990s it seemed that everybody was trying to improve upon motorcycle front suspension design. The working theory was that as front forks have to deal with multiple different forces (suspension, braking, steering), they needed to be extra beefy to handle them all. A better way might be to isolate some of the forces, enabling a better handling, safer motorcycle. Engineer James Parker developed the RADD concept, which was adopted by Yamaha for this rare sport-tourer: the GTS1000.

1993 Yamaha GTS1000 for sale on eBay

GTS_3

From the seller:
Right side has been down, plastics have been replaced, scratches on the frame and front swingarm

GTS_2

There were many interpretations of "funny front ends" during this era, including the Bimota Tesi and the legendary ELF racers (both of which experimented with alternate takes on the swingarm front end concept). Noted designer Tony Foale created one, and Dutch master Nico Bakker marketed an example as well. But for all the benefit of isolating braking, suspension and steering forces, the concept has yet to take off commercially. All of what adds up to make this GTS a rare bird.

GTS_4

This bike is far from perfect, but then we don't see many of them around. Prices are relatively cheap, and aside from the front end the rest of the bike is pretty standard Yamaha - meaning parts availability and mechanical reliability are what you would expect. Click here to check out all the pictures. Be sure and let us know what you think!

MI

Strange New World: 1993 Yamaha GTS1000A