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Suzuki February 20, 2019 posted by

Slingshot, engage: Road-worn 1988 Suzuki GSX-R 750

Slingshot Gixxers have gained value over the last couple years on the strength of their reputation as basically the earliest available fully modern street legal sportbike. Short of an astronomically expensive RC30, a late '80s GSX-R is about as close as you'll get to a vintage bike that rides like something from this century. Beyond that, they carry a mystique born of their world-beating pace when new. The awe they inspired when they debuted has evolved into full-on legend status.

1988 Suzuki GSX-R 750 for sale on eBay

With the help of redesigned fairings and suspension, 17-inch rubber and a new rack of flatslide Mikunis, the '88 Gixxer burst on the scene with technology and pace that was unheard of at the time, especially for something so light. Back then, the lack of water cooling didn't raise any eyebrows, though Suzuki did have to get creative with oil cooling to keep the things running properly. The 750cc inline four commanded 112 horses in street trim, and the bodywork had been slickened to reduce the mill's effort.

This 1988 Suzuki GSX-R 750 is in unrestored, original condition, except for some exhaust and airbox mods. Whereas many of these bikes are either hammered or babied, this one strikes a nice balance of looking like a bike that was well looked-after, but ridden as it should have been and stored without huge regard for the cosmetics. If you're looking for a rider and you don't care about looks too much, seek no more. If you're looking for an easy restoration that doesn't require a nut-and-bolt re-work, here's your steed. The seller is quite proud that the bike rides on its original tires, but we'd have those suckers swapped out in a heartbeat.

From the eBay listing:

1988 GSX-R 750 Slingshot. This is a true Survivor, never been touched with the exception of the exhaust. Runs and performs perfectly. I do have the original air box also. Original tires that are in excellent condition for their age. The tires tell the story of this bike, it has been rode less than 500 miles a year. Some of the clear is peeling from decales (normal for the age of the bike). Right fairing has crack by lamp (see pic) and solo seat has small crack in rear, quick fix if you want but, I would leave it alone as bike is a survivor! Hate to see this bike go but, must make room and that is the only reason while it is going up for sale! I will listen to any reasonable offers!
Also bike comes with really nice matching Suzuki jacket cost was $550.00 when bought! Email any question you might have and also see another listing of mine on a 1989 Suzuki GSX-R 1100 that is also up for sale!

At $5,000, the asking price is right at what Hagerty says an excellent example should go for. With fairly low miles, great patina and rising interest in these machines, he might not be too far off.


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Ducati February 19, 2019 posted by

Top Gun: 1991 Ducati 851

I'm not sure you can overstate the importance of the Ducati 851 to the Italian brand's position at the top of motorcycling's desirability food chain. Get past the literally and figuratively square headlight -- the steel-framed 1983 dad glasses of illumination -- and everything else is focused, lithe Italic sin. The 851 took a pokey, dated bottom end, stuck big pistons, four-valve heads and water cooling on and paved the way for the next 20 years of Ducati twins. Bologna shoved the resulting 100-horse mill into a chassis that only just nudged past 460 pounds wet and set about gathering up the 1990 World Superbike Championship.

1991 Ducati 851 for sale on eBay

Though the family resemblance is under the skin, there would be no Ducati 916 if it weren't for the 851. As you might expect, the Ducati 851 is known for laser-precise handling, and the prodigious and immediate shove that big L-twins are known for. The beast makes its peak horsepower shy of 10,000 rpm, but that doesn't mean it's a lazy or ponderous engine. It's every bit as racy as the chassis and suspension that support it.

The 1991 Ducati 851 you see here appears to be in near-perfect shape, with just a small hole in the seat marring an otherwise flawless preservation. In the grand scheme of things, 1991 wasn't that long ago, yet the 851 is simple in a way that no modern machine can match. The dashboard is three dials. The body work is a thin carbon fiber skirt around a steel trellis. The paint on the front fender is so thin the weave is threatening to break through. It's perfect.

From the eBay listing:

Very nice condition 1991 Ducati 851, runs fine, had new belts a year ago, mostly stock except exhaust and rear fender hugger. Excellent paint, no damage. Tires new. All over very good +
condition. I bought it to ride but I'm 60 and cant take the riding position..otherwise I'd never sell.
Please E mail or call w questions..6193158428 Stu Thanks Have title ( clean ) in hand.

The bike has definitely seen some miles, with the clock showing 33,000 racked up in 28 years, but who can fault a guy for riding his Ducati? It does not appear to be too much worse for wear, and at $6,900 buy-it-now, it's a damn-near no-brainer.


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Honda February 18, 2019 posted by

OG Race rep: 1981 Honda CB1100RB

It’s hard to fathom exactly how far motorcycle design has come in the last 38 years without a concrete comparison. I could spill superlatives and adjectives for the next 600 words and still not touch it. Instead, please Google “Ducati Panigale V4R” and compare what comes up to the bike you see here. I’ll wait.

1981 Honda CB1100R for sale on eBay

With that out of the way, consider that these two machines are versions of the same thing, but separated by a generation. The 1981 Honda CB1100RB was, at its birth, the scariest thing your dentist could afford. With precious few concessions made to comfort or practical daily use, it was, as the Panigale is now, built for well-heeled enthusiasts to see how fast they could mess their leathers.

Even by today’s standards, the thing is pretty stout. The big, air-cooled four pushes out 115 horsepower -- as much as a late ’90s Honda Civic -- but weighs less than your fridge. On terrifying, narrow early-’80s rubber, there is absolutely no need for more. It will still out-handle, out-brake and out-accelerate your feeble mortal mind.

To earn its ‘R’ badge, the 1981 Honda CB1100RB eschewed a pillion seat, gathered a long list of lightened engine internals and bigger carbs, and got air-assisted forks and prodigious brakes. Modern reviewers still rave about how seamlessly the whole package works, and how eagerly the bike goes, stops, turns, and eats tires, chains, brakes and sprockets.

This example appears to be in excellent, clean condition, despite having close to 50,000 kilometers on the dial. The seller provides little detail, but says it runs as it should and retains its original exhaust.

From the eBay listing:

For sale

Honda CB1100R B type

very rare bike

very good condition, runs perfectly

Original exhaust

Recent service, New tyres and brakes

French registration

The asking price is a shade under $15,000, which is in keeping with similar models we have seen over the years. With fewer than 1,100 of these beasts produced, the price gets you a bike you will not see at Cars and Coffee or your local ride in.


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Triumph February 17, 2019 posted by

Mad About Saffron: 2000 Triumph Daytona 955i for Sale

This Triumph always makes me think of that classic Donovan song: "I'm just mad about Saffron, she's just mad about me, they call me Mellow Yellow [quite rightly]" Honestly, it isn't exactly mellow, but the Daytona 955i does look great in this pretty wild shade of yellow. It helps that the overall styling is simple and elegant, and there are no graphics to date the bike, but it's still hard to believe this thing is nearly 20 years old now, and I think it's one of the best-looking bikes of the period.

Designed as a road bike first and foremost, the 955i wasn't intended to go head-to-head with sports multis from Japan. Which is a good thing, because in the rigorous instrumented testing that has always been popular for comparison tests when bikes are new, they blew the Triumph into the weeds. But while bench-racing and dyno comparisons may help sell the latest and greatest sportbikes and do offer an unbiased way to compare different machines, they don't tell the whole story: then, as now, the Daytona is an excellent sportbike.

Back in the 90s Triumph made the calculated decision not to pitch their bike directly against the Japanese supertbike offerings. They knew they just didn't have the resources to develop a bike that weighed less than, make more power than, or would turn laptimes within 1/10th of a second of them, so they went ahead and just made a pretty great all-around sportbike oriented towards the road. It's a bit heavier, the riding position a bit more humane, the powerband more midrange-oriented, and the suspension just a little bit softer. All that meant the bike wasn't the greatest at turning a hot lap, but a higher build-quality and timeless looks mean it's a great bike for 95% of sportbike pilots, and those remaining 5% could ride the bike well enough

The original Daytona was available in three and four-cylinder versions, but only the triple got the nod for a redesign in 1997 seen here. It was redesigned in 2001 with a single, modern headlamp and a lighter, stiffer double-sided swingarm. That updated bike was much improved, but I prefer this earlier design, with the double headlight and the single-sided swingarm. This one appears to be in good condition, but miles aren't especially low. The bike has the very cool undertail exhaust that several companies made for these when they were new, although I understand the official factory performance exhaust upgrade was the way to go for real improvements across the board.

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Triumph 955i for Sale

This super bike is da BombDigity! It’s a real peach with only 21, 254 miles since birth. This machine is NOT for wimps or sissy-boys. When you grab the throttle on this 955cc, three cylinder throttle monster it’ll cause your ass to grab to seat OR… you just fall off. This monster comes with Triumph stock Brembo brakes on both tires. Speaking of tires these rubbers are brand new. Heck… wearing these rubbers just mike keep you safe in a Ron Jeremy movie starring Stormy Daniels. Remember what is was like to grab ahold of something and twist it and KNOW your day just got better? Well... This is the machine that will do that for you. This beast is fuel injected with an aftermarket Trident dual pipe under the seat. It already has the Battery Tender terminals attached to the batter so you can keep that battery fresh and ready to fire all year long. On a serious note though this example has never been track ridden and has only had two adult owners. This 2001 Triumph Daytona 955i is the bike that everyone wants to talk about and everyone loves to hear. 

This beast breathes through a larger, non-ram-air-equipped airbox with 46mm throttle bodies that feed a redesigned CNC-machined cylinder head featuring 1mm larger intake and 1mm smaller exhaust valves sitting at a narrow 23-degree included valve angle. New forged-aluminum pistons force a 12.0:1 compression ratio (over the previous 11.2:1 ratio), sitting atop stronger carburized connecting rods and a lighter crankshaft. This 955i pumps out somewhere in the neighborhood of 125 rear-wheel horsepower. On a dyno run that number bore with an impressive 128 hp at 10,500 rpm showing. The rear wheel is hung on a single-sided swing arm making for a killer look for sure.

The 955cc triple has no problem pulling the tall lower gears due to its stupendous amount of low and midrange torque. Big power starts at 4000 rpm (any lower than that requires a smooth throttle hand), launching the Daytona forward through the rev band like a locomotive on crystal meth; revs climb even quicker once the tach hits 7500 rpm, spinning up far faster than the old T595 ever could. The power continues to build up top, with the Triumph's distinct exhaust timbre accompanying the blurring scenery.

The Triumph Daytona 955i can make time with the best of Japanese track weapons through the curves; it just generates its acceleration in a slightly less frantic manner. Despite the claims of a lighter crankshaft, the 955i still has a lot of flywheel effect. This can be a boon for riders less accustomed to the precise throttle control and gearbox manipulation necessary with a typical four-cylinder. Throttle application isn't as critical, and sweeping turns where momentum is key allow you to showcase the Triumph's stomping midrange. 

The best part of this bike is its near V-twin torque and low/midrange grunt with a four-cylinder's screaming top end. The 955i is very deceptive in how it generates its speed. The gearing, especially in the lower cogs, is tall enough that the motor's relatively loping gait fools you into thinking you aren't really traveling that fast... until the next corner comes up. That tall gearing, however, when combined with the heavy flywheel effect, means care must be taken with downshifts during corner entries in the tighter stuff to avoid rear wheel hop.

If you’d like to come by and test ride this bike you must have in your possession a non-expired license with a motorcycle endorsement, you must have the full asking price of $5500USD in cash and you must let me hold the cash, your license and the keys to the vehicle you arrive in while you do the test ride.

Does anyone actually say "da BombDigity" anymore? Questionable taste in slang aside, this is a pretty great description of the bike, although the front brakes are Triumph-branded and not Brembo units. The seller does include the picture above showing damage to the tank with no explanation, and the scratch is gone in the other pictures, so it's worth a message to the seller before bidding, considering he's asking premium money for this one: the asking price is on the high side for a Daytona of this vintage at $6,500. Daytonas are especially appealing on the used market and offer pretty great value: they look great, have plenty of performance for all but the most hardcore road-racers, are reasonably reliable, and have been dirt-cheap for years now, although that's bound to change sooner or later.

-tad


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Kawasaki February 16, 2019 posted by

Old School Awesome: 1982 Kawasaki GPz 750

There comes a point and time when nearly everything becomes valued - nostalgically if not financially. Such just might be the case with today's find, a cherry 1982 Kawasaki GPz750. In the early 1980s the GPz was generally a top-dog kind of sport bike. Pitted against Honda's CB and Suzuki's GS models, the GPz looked and acted like a sportbike. With an air cooled inline four, double overhead cams and a brace of Mikuni constant velocity carbs, the 750 could pump out 80 HP - good for nipping into the 11s in the 1/4 mile. By today's standards this is all relatively tame - and old tech such as air cooling, carburetors and twin shocks seems laughable. But it was good enough to put a young fellow by the name of Wayne Rainey on the top step of the AMA Superbike championship on a Muzzy-prepped bike and cement the GPz as a sporting weapon with serious intent.

Old School Awesome: 1982 Kawasaki GPz 750 for sale on eBay

1982 was the first year of the 750, as both the GPz550 and GPz1100 were introduced a year earlier. 1982 was also a bit of a one year only model, based on the older architecture. Follow on years found a revised fairing setup (from quarter fairing to half), as well as the introduction to Uni-Trak, Kawasaki's rising rate linkage, single rear shock setup. Fuel injection was also on the horizon (the 1100 introduced it to the series), but liquid cooling would have to wait for the introduction of the revolutionary Ninja model. So while one can view the GPz as a mass-produced motorcycle and therefore likely never to become truly rare, the combination of a one year only configuration and the survivor status does elevate this one into something worth considering.

From the seller:
1982 KAWASAKI GPZ 750 , I have the original stock seat and rear shocks, this bike runs like new, I Just installed Michelin Pilots front and rear, the bike has been freshly serviced and a Dyno Jet carburetor kit installed to enhance the Horse power with the period correct Bassani exhaust. The bike has been kept in doors it's whole life and has zero cosmetic issue's. It gets attention where ever I ride. they made this model only 1 year so these are very rare to be seen in show room condition.

I bought brand new spare brake pads, clutch kit, gaskets, spare starter motor etc . these are included in the sale. every thing electrical works perfectly, I just freshened up the battery with a Yuasa OEM original. so it's ready to ride from California to New York.

Most GPzs have lived multiple lives. Purchased new by aggressive riders, many found their way to the racetrack in amateur and privateer formats. Those that stayed on the streets passed through a few owners, with the price likely dropping with each change. That quickly put these bikes into the financial reach of younger riders, driving up insurance rates everywhere. Not all were flogged and forgotten, but enough were to make finding a good example difficult today. And this particular example is no garage queen - with 20k on the clocks (eBay advert lists 18k) this bike has been ridden. But there is life yet in that robust motor, and all the appeal of the "arrest me red" paint still applies. It may be on the far side of 30 something, but viscerally this bike still has all its mojo.

Located in the sunny state of California (which bodes very well for issues such as rust and corrosion), this 1982 GPz750 is looking for a new home. The paint looks good despite the age, and there have been few modifications. The aftermarket exhaust is not stock, but a Bassani is not the worst pipe you could image for this application. There are a number of spares that come along with the purchase, which is a good thing from a maintenance point of view. Parts are still readily available for the mechanicals, although cosmetic trim might be getting scarce. Fortunately, all of those pieces are still attached. Check it out here. If you are of a certain age, you KNOW you wanted one of these. Maybe you had one (lucky bastard), and now miss it. Was this the bike you regretted selling all those years ago? Jump over to the Comments section and share your stories. Good Luck!!

MI


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