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MV Agusta April 20, 2019 posted by

Hypothesis: 1976 MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi

In the way cool archives of rare bikes there are undoubtedly some weird and wonderful ones. There are always surprises and bikes not many people have heard of, and there are always some real gems hiding behind the uber popular homologation crowd. Today's find, a 1976 MV Agusta 350 is the perfect of example of the weird and wonderful. Looking a bit like a single (it's a twin), a bit like a two stroke (it's a 4-cycle) and a bit like a much larger bike, it is clear that this MV Agusta is all Italian by the "nothing extra is needed here" style.

1976 MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi for sale on eBay

The Ipotesi is a small scale parallel twin. It has an overhead cam (only one) to operate the two valves per cylinder. A pair of small Dellortos handle the intake side of things, while a pair of chrome pipes take care of the exhaust. At 350cc this is hardly a powerhouse. but with air cooling and appropriately sized components, it is hardly a heavyweight. With 30-ish HP on tap (comparing reasonably to the current crop of small-bore bikes), the little 350cc engine is pushing only 350 pounds of bike. Brakes look tiny (those are 220mm rotors all around), but with less weight and speed comes less need for larger, heavier hardware. Clip ons are low and tight; perfect to practice that aerodynamic tuck!

From the seller:
This 1976 MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi was purchased by me from the original owner in the U.K. in the late 1990's. It has about 6,500 km on it but not long ago I had the speedometer repaired and it was reset to zero km. The current speedometer reading of 394 km is from my riding of the bike after the repaired speedometer was returned to me. This motorcycle has a California title and current California registration. The bike is an easy kick starter and I ride it frequently around San Francisco and the Bay Area. The bike is fully sorted and needs nothing: you can get on it and ride it and enjoy it! The motorcycle is entirely correct and original and unrestored. There are some minor paint touch up areas on the tail section behind the seat. The most noticeable paint flaw is the touched-up area on the rear edge of the front fender, shown in one of the photos. I wanted to keep all of the paint on this motorcycle original, so I did not repaint the entire front fender. Some of the paint on the instrument panel is worn, but I wanted to keep that paint original and have not touched it up. There is a photo attached of the instruments and the surrounding panel. Other than these paint issues, the bike is in extremely good original condition. The Heidenau tires are nearly new, but they are the correct size per original. You won't find a better Ipotesi for sale in the US or another Ipotesi for sale in the US: MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi motorcycles were never officially imported to the U.S. so any here now would have been privately imported. Therefore, there are very few here. Of the few MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi motorcycles in the US, I doubt too many are fully sorted and have current registration and are being ridden such as this one is.

We don't see many pre-F4 MV Agustas in the States, much less anything that displaces less than 500cc. This Ipotesi is a fantastic looking motorcycle. It seems impossibly narrow, yet retains the classic proportions of a much larger bike. The paintwork shines in the sun, and the odd elements of what make up this little 350 blend together to make something special. It's far from museum perfect, but it still looks great anyway. Value? Too rare in the US to really put a number on it; we simply have no historical data on which to base an assumption. The seller is asking for $11k OBO - that might seem high for a 350 scoot, but not a lot of dosh for a very unique MV Agusta. Check it out here, and then jump to the Comments section and share your thoughts on this cool little bike. Good Luck!!

MI


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Ducati April 19, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1985 Ducati Mike Hailwood Replica

In 1978 Mike Hailwood won the Isle of Man TT riding a Ducati. This was 11 years after his last motorcycle race, the previous period during which he was firmly on the Honda payroll. Everything about the event spelled disaster - an old timer long past his glory years on a make of bike nobody really associated him with - and nobody believed he would be competitive. But this was the stuff of heroes; and heroes always win. Hailwood went on to win what can only be considered the comeback of the century. This cemented the legend of Mike "the Bike" Hailwood's connection with Ducati, and provided for some wonderful bikes. Today's Featured Listing - a 1985 Ducati MHR - is one such factory offering that celebrated the success of Mike Hailwood.

Featured Listing: 1985 Ducati Mike Hailwood Replica!

The Ducati MHR is a bike built in the tradition of homage; it was built to celebrate the famous TT win. But given that the TT was for street-based machinery, the factory replica was not simply a graphics package. Yes, Hailwood won in 1978. Yes, the Pantah (which introduced the next generation belt-driven cams vs. bevel-driven) was introduced way back in 1980. Then why, you might ask, was a MHR being built in 1985 and based on the older hardware? The answer is that Ducati, still a relatively small company, focused on bevel drive for the big bikes (750 - 1000cc), while the Pantah was initially offered in 600cc and below variants. The bevel-drive motors were still very much in the forefront during this time, even though they may seem slightly archaic today. So the MHR is based on the "square case" 900SS of the day - which was a capable machine in its own right. But why still offer a homage bike in 1985 when Hailwood won the TT back in 1978? Simple: the public demanded it. While the MHR was a very limited edition, it was a tremendously successful marketing effort and a strong model for Ducati. Today's seller has some good details about this bike, so I will let him take it over from here:

From the seller:
1985 Ducati Hailwood Replica

You should know that I am a serious collector, with a large motorcycle collection. I decided to sell some of the most valuable motorcycles in the collection. These motorcycles represent some of the most iconic motorcycles of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Those motorcycles are now being offered up for sale one by one. These motorcycles were targeted by me for my collection many years ago when the best of the best were available and that is what I purchased.

In general, I do believe super rare Italian motorcycle of the 1970s and 1980s are the future Ferrari of motorcycle collecting. We all know what has happened to Ferrari.

More from the seller:
The Ducati Hailwood Millie shown here was made in two series. The first one being a short fairing and only 900 cc with a kick starter and this model, the Hailwood Millie (1000 cc) with the electric starter and the large fairing; one is one of the most beautifully designed fairings ever. It is a big bike not meant for the meek. Of course, it has the electric starter and exhaust note that will thrill any motorcycle enthusiast. It is in absolutely near perfect condition. It is always on a trickle charger and ready to give you a thrill of a lifetime as you wind through the gears and open it up on an open road. This is another Italian bike that, in our opinion, can be classified as the Ferrari of bikes of the future.

This is certainly a bike for the serious collectors. For those that don’t know all the details, the internet is just loaded with information. I can only suggest that you scrutinize the pictures and decide for yourself if this is another rare Italian collector bike that will eventually become as iconic as a Ferrari. Ten years ago, I spent a long time looking for the best Hailwood Millie and believe me this was the beat of the best, hands down.

Prefer phone calls 847-668-2004. Thanks for looking at one of the best!

These second generation MHR machines are truly beautiful motorcycles. Whereas the original offering utilizes a fiberglass cover over a stock SS tank, the latter bikes use a tank that is unique to the model. The rest of the bodywork is all MHE, evoking the spirit (and the livery) of the racer. And while the underpinnings are SS items, some performance items such as the Conti exhausts are model specific. The solo seat is a non-race item; in reality it is a rear pillion cover, making this a two-seater and enhancing the usefulness of the bike. But people who lust after a MHR are not concerned with practicality - they want the booming V-twin soundtrack and the waves of torque that have made Ducati victorious and famous. You may not be able to ride with the effortless agility of Mike Hailwood, but you can still rock the livery and the sound while paying homage to the great man with this stunning 1985 Ducati Mike Hailwood Replica. Interested parties should give Joe a call at 847-668-2004. Good Luck!!

MI

Featured Listing April 19, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1974 MV Agusta 750 S America

Back in 1974, there was no other bike to have, really. Regardless of what you were able to shop for, the MV Agusta 750S America was the bike you wanted. First of all, it was Italian, and red, which meant it had that little something extra that nobody else had. Temperamental, yes, and expensive to be sure, and perhaps not even the fastest thing on two wheels, but none of that mattered. It would more or less keep pace with the cruder, brawnier two strokes, and it would go around corners without killing you. Then there was the noise.

Whether you're listening to a Colombo V-12 at full song, or the rorty throb of a Lancia Fulvia's V4, or the percussive pop and rattle of a Ducati 900 SS/SP, the Italians long ago mastered the art of the proper internal combustion sound. The 750 S America may have them all beat, with a rhythmic, tachycardic and slightly uneven throbbing at idle cracking into a full-chested wail at higher revs. It's quite the song and dance for 90 horsepower, but in its day the MV's voice was the siren song of speed.

This 1974 MV Agusta 750S America is in magnificent shape, and appears to be all or almost all-original. The classic red-and-gold livery is without blemishes, and the bike's numerous nooks and crannies appear to be clean enough to eat off of. The condition is thanks in large part to a fastidious seller, who has kept the bike stored in a heated facility and made sure that it remains ready to run.

From the seller:

You should know that I am a serious collector, with a large motorcycle collection.  I decided to sell some of the most valuable motorcycles in the collection.  These motorcycles represent some of the most iconic motorcycles ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s.  Those motorcycles are now being offered up for sale one by one.  These motorcycles were targeted for by me for my collection many years ago when the best of the best was available and that is what I purchased.

In general, I do believe super rare Italian motorcycle of the ‘70s and ‘80s are the future Ferrari’s of motorcycle collecting.   We all know what has happened to Ferraris.

For many people the MV Augusta American is like the Ferrari of motorcycles.  It is a typically great Italian design that when new cost an unthinkable amount of money and has been held in the highest esteem since it was produced.

In the world of motorcycle collecting it is one of the most prestigious Italian bikes that you can have in your collection.   This bike, as far as we know, is entirely original.  It runs perfectly, and, is, without question, one of the best sounding motorcycle that were ever made and yes, it is kept in fully heated storage when not in use.   It is always kept on a trickle charger. It is ready to travel 500 miles on the first day.

If you ever heard of Ferrari GTO run through the gears you will know that the 1974 Augusta MV 750 S America has a very similar melodic sound of authority which is just music to the ears.

This is a very expensive bike for serious collectors.  It is a very limited production bike.  By searching the Internet, you can read all the accolades that have accumulated over time for this particular breed, this is for serious future collectors.

They are only original once.

I would suggest that you check out the other rare cycles that I am offering for sale by clicking on “other items for sale” in the upper right corner to see the other bikes being offered from my collection.

Prefer phone calls 847-774-4857

Thanks for looking at one of the best!

Back in '74, these things were the most expensive bikes on the street, with a raft of super-expensive parts keeping them out of the hands of you average grocery bagger. With just 550 or so MV Agusta 750S Americas built, the story is more or less the same today. If you have the means ...

Moto Guzzi April 19, 2019 posted by

Idiosyncratic – 1987 Moto Guzzi Le Mans 1000SE

The Le Mans' long history included a run of just 100 Special Editions for 1987, in classic red and white.  This NorCal example is in surprising condition for its age and miles.

1987 Moto Guzzi Le Mans 1000 SE for sale on eBay

The Le Mans was already venerable in 1987, having been introduced in 1976, and the 1000 SE was essentially a Mk. IV design with a few DeTomaso-era details.  Based on the square-head Le Mans III, the 948cc longitudinal twin pushes 81 hp at a modest 7,400 rpm.  The crankshaft sits low in the traditional downtube frame, the long chassis providing a stable platform, made a little snappier by the 16-inch front wheel.  Classic eighties livery is making a high speed pass when parked.

Having somehow survived 30-plus years and almost 28,000 miles, this SE has just a few scrapes to show for it.  K&N filters, head guards, and Corbin seat are signature updates.  Not much maintenance history in the comments but the compromise handlebars are admitted in the eBay auction:

This bike is all original except that the stock clip-on handle bars have been replaced by a standard handle bar. The handle bar now on the bike makes for a more comfortable riding position. Very good condition, fully sorted, runs well, needs absolutely nothing. I ride this bike frequently around the San Francisco Bay area. California title and current registration. The only obvious cosmetic flaw is a small scratch on the left rear seat bodywork, shown in one photo. The bike is entirely unrestored with all original paint, decals, and seat. A Corbin seat also comes with the bike and is shown in one photo.

The Le Mans 1000 reviewed as a European thoroughbred, not at the leading edge of technology but a torquey bullet.  Some may find it a bit of an ask for such a rider, but as they say, no more are being made.  Despite its rubs and chips, this one is complete, nearly correct, and operational.

-donn


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Featured Listing April 18, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SFC-Spec SF2 Race Bike for Sale

This is an unusual opportunity to buy a rough-and-tumble, forged-in-fire vintage racing Laverda. If you're searching for a display piece to adorn your Manhattan loft, you should probably look elsewhere. This SFC-spec SF2 was made to run, and run hard. It's all killer and no filler, built to race. Period. The original SFC is one of the most desirable and iconic sportbikes of the 1970s, with a stylish half-fairing, bright orange paint, and solo tail. The 744cc parallel twin was supposedly heavily influenced by Honda's CB77 Superhawk engine, and Laverda built their bikes to last, with five main bearings in the engine, electrical components from Nippon-Denso, ignition components from Bosch, and a Verlicchi frame, and suspension from Marzocchi.

The result was the perfect basis for an endurance racer, and Laverda whipped up a hand-built factory special to capitalize on that potential. The SFC or "Super Freni Competizione," which translates to "Super Competition Brakes." The engine featured the usual race-oriented updates: a lighter crank, polished connecting rods, bigger valves, and high-comp pistons. 36mm carbs fed the high-performance engine and produced as much as 80hp, depending on the year, while a two-into-one exhaust made sure everyone within miles could count every one of them.

The original SFC was technically a road-legal bike, but it was stiffly-sprung, over-carbureted, and generally temperamental. Many that have come up for sale have their road-legal parts in a box that comes with the bike, since they really were a bit of an afterthought anyway. Even that solo tail is specifically shaped to include a round numberplate, as you can see. The bike was a literal "racebike for the road" in a way that you just don't really see anymore. Or maybe it's just that all serious sportbikes are racebikes for the road, but they're just not really all that much of a compromise now, with 200hp, a gel touring seat, and heated grips...

This particular bike isn't an authentic Laverda SFC, it's a high quality replica built from the ground up using a regular production SF2 with many trick parts, and uses the powerful twin-disc front brake setup from the later bikes that should work much better on track than the earlier drum, although it doesn't look quite as sexy. Speaking of the track: this started out as a regular road bike, but it's been converted to race duty and campaigned for years by Larry at New York City Motorcycles [who is also selling his Harley Davidson XR750 here on our site], who is currently based, ironically, in Venice, CA.

His original eBay listing tells a great story about how the bike came to be: 1974 Laverda SFC-Spec SF2 Race Bike for Sale

Where to begin...

Gorizia, Italy (on the Northeast corner of Italy 1km from Slovenia). July 2012.

That is when this Laverda came into real life, from the pages of every conceivable magazine and poster since childhood.  In fact the first time I laid eyes on a Laverda 750SFC was at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City in 1998, at its renowned exhibition, Art of the Motorcycle. If I wasn't already hooked, now I was obsessed.

In the years since that life changing show, I was always on the "lookout".  Sorta like John Walsh chasing fugitives!  I can recall being wide awake at 3am looking in remote places, the mideast, japan and of course the US and Europe.

I couldn't believe my eyes in the summer of 2012.  In fact, I couldn't understand the Italian listing on eBay Italy, either.   When the sun rose the next morning I was at my neighbor's door, an Italian.  Within hours we had the bike's owner on a conference call.  I had a million questions.  My neighbor just wanted to go to work.

I learned that the motorcycle was built to race throughout Italy by an engineer who also owned a genuine SFC.  Too precious to race, he saw no obstacle to making an exact clone, particularly the specification of the motor:

  • 10.8:1  Compression
  • Carillo Rods
  • SFC Crank
  • SFC Cams
  • SFC Pistons, valves and porting
  • 36 mm Dell'Ortos

The rest is simply bodywork... on an SF2 frame. Other than the factory 750SFC’s VIN series and frame insignia depicting that its a factory SFC, this bike is exactly the same in specification and appearance of a 1974 (Disc brake front) 750SFC.

The last thing I thought about doing when I bought, imported and titled it in the US, was racing it. So it was cosmetically and exhaustively restored as a streetbike. Laverda's are known to have indestructible motors. And this was no exception. When it cleared customs it set off car alarms a quarter mile away...

My good friend Kenny Cummings, the owner of NYC Norton had been taking care of another parallel twin of mine, a Norton Commando. And every few weeks Kenny would be "gone racing." So it's technically his fault. I caught the bug. And became just as obsessed about racing as Laverdas. 

I raced two years before I became obsessed with the Laverda for a different reason. Though it was exhilarating to ride as a streetbike (outside of New York City where I lived), I soon learned this was a motorcycle that was designed, built and wanted to race. Long story short(er), that's what it became.

The Laverda’s trophies include AHRMA National Series 5th Place in Formula 750 in 2015, 3rd Place AHRMA Pacific Crown, and various podiums at some of the most storied racetracks in America.

Recent marriage and move to Japan has put new goals on the horizon. Its time for my beloved Laverda to go from my back burner into the hands of someone whose passion picks up where mine leaves off.

The fuel tank is a Wolfgang Haerter special edition alumnium tank. 

As mentioned, it has never crashed. It could benefit from some TLC ie, valves adjusted, carbs rebuilt. A simplified wiring harness - though what's on the bike now is perfectly functional for its current set up as a racer.

So much to list, these are the key pluses and minuses:

*The windscreen is cracked - it was “stitched” together with zip ties and continued racing. I always thought it adds character 🙂

  • One Sidecover flew off the bike at Willow Springs during competition. It was recovered but in a mangled condition (see photo)
  • Starter and generator (included; sprag gear is worn and should be replaced) were removed for racing; running a “total loss” set up
  • Needs a new battery
  • Missing the ignition key: bypassed
  • Runs an EMC electronic ignition (excellent) from Wolfgang Haerter
  • Slight weep from gas tank rubbing the frame. New Owner should either have the seam rewelded or coat the tank with Caswell
  • YSS Shocks in rear and Works Performance Springs in Front - Original Marzochi shocks included
  • Powdercoated frame completed 2014
  • No rust anywhere
  • 2 into 1 Conti exhaust
  • New York Title in my name
  • Street faring, street seat, tachometer included
  • Set of rear sprockets included
  • Uses an SFC’s shop manual, not an SF2’s.  Reproduced copy included
  • New racing foot pegs
  • Original Laverda clubman bars
  • Other extras all included

The motorcycle is sold as is, where is, and there are no warranties expressed nor implied. Judge the photos and make your own assessment of the bike's condition, rather than rely on my opinion and/or description. Questions and clarifications are encouraged. These are my personal opin Bidders must be certain of their commitment before bidding, as once its submitted. If you win it, you bought it. No time for nonsense please. Bidders with less than 10 or any negative feedback must contact me prior to bidding or else expect your bid to be cancelled and removed.

This motorcycle requires thorough inspection and recommissioning before running or riding. Know what you are buying before you bid. If you don’t have the expertise and/or the budget, with all due respect, this is not the bike for you. 

New York City Motorcycles (nycmc dot com) is reasonably well known in the vintage motorcycle community and this is not the only platform for offering the bike. Therefore please consider not waiting until the final seconds of the auction to bid. Because while you're waiting to pull the trigger, if a fair offer arrives from elsewhere and there is not a comparable bid here, the auction will instantly disappear from your watched items.

Multiples of the start price has been invested in this motorcycle. It was a privilege to lose money on this fabulous machine. Boyhood dreams fulfilled and then some 🙂

Motorcycle is located in Venice, CA. I will work with your shipper but its your responsibility.

On a personal note, I've come across this bike and owner before: I bumped into him at a 2014 AHRMA event in South Jersey, where I took the picture above. He was wrenching on this bike under a popup tent and, when I came over to babble excitedly about the Laverda, he stopped what he was doing to fire it up for me, a gleeful grin on his face. To me, that says about all you need to know about his passion and enthusiasm. The bike obviously isn't a "real" SFC, but it is a real Laverda, and the engine specifications are, as he describes, SFC-spec. With real SFC prices headed into six-figures, they're less and less likely to be raced as intended. Real or not, this Laverda won't be cheap to buy or run, but is your best bet if you want to actually ride one of these fire-breathing Italian twins in anger.

-tad

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