Monthly Archives: January 2015

Ducati January 25, 2015 posted by

It’s gRRRReat! 2005 Ducati 999R


The 999 model is a Ducati that folks either love or hate. Being somewhat bi-polar I love it AND hate it. I love it that it is instantly recognizable as a 999. Truthfully, the 748/916/996/998 series can all run together, and the occasionally MV Agusta may even slip in there without notice at times. This is as much a testament to Massimo Tamburini’s enduring design eye as it is his re-use of design elements. Pierre Terblanche had big shoes to fill when he took over Ducati design, and he was merciless in stripping out Tamburini from the canvas. To be fair, Terblance was not a design noob in the motorcycle arena. Anyone who has drooled over a Supermono has witnessed his genius. In the end, Terblance was successful in eradicating the ghost of Tamburini, and in doing so has often been vilified for his design.


2005 Ducati 999R in California on eBay


Design elements aside, the 999 was a huge step forward in terms of performance and – wait for it – comfort! No longer the torture rack of the earlier geometry bike, the 999 pushed the rider more upright while still providing advancements in power, suspension and weight. As with previous models, the “R” spec contains the most potent equipment available from the likes of Brembo and Ohlins. And as expected, carbon fiber body panels, mudguard, front tire hugger, heel guards, heat shields and ancillary bits are all part of the package. This particular model also includes and aftermarket NCR titanium clutch cover.


From the seller:
I am the 2nd owner of this adult owned and excellent condition Ducati. The only blemish is on the carbon heel guard next to the ceramic coated exhaust, which gets a little warm. This bike has minor cosmetic touches such as titanium covers on the brake/clutch reservoirs, an NCR open clutch cover, and carbon bits throughout. The Pirelli Diablos have approx 75% tread life left. I recently installed a new battery and had the front fork seals replaced as it appeared that they were seeping a little bit. I also have both black keys, the red key, code card, and the owners manual. This bike runs excellent, always turns heads, and will not disappoint.


The 999R is a value offering in R spec Ducati models. Perhaps because it is perceived as a bit of an ugly duckling among the Ducati faithful, prices are not as dear as the previous generation machines. Make no mistake; the 999 series is very potent on the street or on the track. And up close, the detail on these models is quite striking when simply parked outside of your favorite hangout. Check it out here and share your thoughts – love it or hate it? Good Luck!!



It’s gRRRReat! 2005 Ducati 999R
Bimota January 25, 2015 posted by

Already Appreciating: Bimota VDue in NL

Back in 1997 the VDue (pronounced “Vee-Doo-A”) was supposed to be the Bike that pulled Bimota out of debt and back on the map.  The idea was great; a fuel injected two stroke that offered riders the power of a 500cc two stroke without the peaky two stroke power issue.  But as anyone familiar with the VDue or regular readers of RSBFS know, exactly the opposite happened and the VDue was pretty much a disaster.

The VDue had several problems, including typical manufacturing quality issues from a small Italian company (including spares availability).   But the biggest problem was the Fuel Injector system never worked correctly.  The bike struggled to run smoothly and couldn’t pass USA EPA standards.  Bimota was forced to ditch the novel fuel injection system and offer bikes with carburetors, which kind of defeated the point of the motorcycle.


1998 Bimota VDue for sale on ebay (Netherlands)

Faced with another hit to their reputation (the preceding Tesi effort had also been a sales disaster), Bimota was struggling and then during the 2000 World Superbike season one of Bimota’s main sponsors disappeared while owing the company a great deal of money. The combination of events forced Bimota to file for bankruptcy and close their doors.  The remaining VDues were locked in the factory but eventually acquired and sold off to a combination of collectors and enthusiasts who continued to work to improve them.

Note:  An excellent write up on the VDue can be read on oddbike.


This particular VDue appears to be completely stock, which means it would likely still have the running issues the bike is known for.    The seller states that the bike only has 20 miles on it but unfortunately doesn’t include any pictures of the dash mileage indicator gauge so this would need to be verified.   The bike is located in the Netherlands so asking prices will be higher than places like the USA.


The asking price for this VDue is between 25-30 USD which while a lot, is actually in line with previous auctions.  Now I know that amount of money could get you something like the Yamaha R7 OW02 we listed earlier this week .  Also while this bike would not be able to be ridden right away.   So why would someone pick this over the OW02? Simple- based on the prices we have seen these listing for, these bikes are already starting to appreciate/values are going back up while bikes like the OW02 remain flat or are still declining.

The rise in asking/sales prices is probably due to several factors, including age and rarity.  But I have noticed that the VDue does seem to be a halo bike/”the-one-bimota-I want” for a lot of people (including Isle of Mann rider Guy Martin).  This is kind of interesting because since Bimota was restarted in 2003, their Ducati and BMW powered machines have gotten excellent reviews and parts availability/maintenance is no longer an issue.  Perhaps its a case of succeeding by failing first; the Bimota VDue failure made people believe that the company operates with an eye for passion as well as a desire for profitability.

Already Appreciating:  Bimota VDue in NL
Ducati January 23, 2015 posted by

Foghat: 2002 Ducati Monster S4 Carl Fogarty Edition


Of all the “limited edition” Ducatis marketed over the years, this one has me scratching my head the most (well, next to the Needless Markup 748, that is). There is no doubt that Carl “Foggy” Fogarty, demi-God to the knee dragging masses and Ducatisti faithful in general, deserves a limited edition tribute bike. But somehow one would think that Carl, the most successful Superbike racer of all times in terms of numbers of wins, would be honored by an honest to God, fire-breathing sport bike (emphasis on SPORT). While this Monster is pretty rare (only 300 stamped out) and has some good sporting creds, it seems somewhat lacking in race track credibility. Hell, Foggy could beat the world on a clapped out Ninja 250 if he wanted to, but I wouldn’t exactly line up to spend big bucks on a tribute model. Marketing. Sigh.


2002 Ducati Carl Fogarty Edition Monster for sale


From the seller:
This Ducati is still in near new condition with no dings, scratches or abrasions. It has been lovingly cared for, always garaged and maintained as detailed from the factory. Recently had scheduled maintenence done. Tires in very good condition. Very limited #135 of 300 built.

Am I being too hard on this bike? I can’t fault the seller who provided a nice number of quality pics, nor can I overlook his altar of Foggy worship. It’s all a good thing. What I can’t justify is the purpose of the bike, and whether I would want one in my garage. In full disclosure there IS a Monster varietal in my stable; I just don’t see the draw in this tribute model. Regardless, this is a rare and potent machine with the 916 Desmoquattro motor, carbon Termi cans and factory ECU upgrades. Check it out here, and revel in all things Fogarty. Then hit the comments and tell us if this qualifies for the site. Good Luck!



Foghat:  2002 Ducati Monster S4 Carl Fogarty Edition
Honda January 21, 2015 posted by

Big-Bang Theory: 1996 Honda RVF400 for Sale

1996 Honda RVF400 R Front

Introduced in 1994 to replace the VFR400R, the RVF400 used a smaller, 399cc version of Honda’s gear-driven V4 powerplant with a 360° firing order. The updated model featured a revised fairing with cat-eye headlamps replacing the earlier bike’s round units, distinctive air tubes leading from the fairing to the front of the tank to feed the carburetors, although the airbox was not pressurized by any sort of ram-air system. Running gear saw a change to more modern upside-down forks and a 17” wheel replaced the earlier bike’s 18” item.

1996 Honda RVF400 Rear Suspension

Honda’s homologation V4 engines featured a “big-bang” firing order that has all of the combustion events taking place relatively close together, instead of spaced evenly. This naturally increases engine vibration, but creates distinctive pulses in the power delivery that allows the rear tire to momentarily regain traction in between during on-track moments at the edge of adhesion, aiding handling and increasing tire life.

There’s also the undeniably subjective benefit in terms of sound: the “big-bang” engines often have the rawer, more charismatic sound generally associated with V4 engines compared to more conventional “screamer” motors with evenly-spaced firing intervals.

1996 Honda RVF400 L Side

From the original eBay listing: 1996 Honda RVF400 for Sale

1996 Honda RVF400 NC35. This bike is in very good condition. Bike has 9589 km = 5753 miles. Engine runs fine, no problems. There is a crack in the seat “see pictures”. The passenger seat covers the crack so you don’t see it. You don’t see many RVF400 in this condition anymore. Bike is original, not restored. I have a clear California title for the bike.

1996 Honda RVF400 Dash

Sold officially only in Japan, all RFV400’s are grey-market imports. The seller is based in Japan, although this bike is supposedly in the US and has a clear California title. There is plenty of time left on the auction, with no takers yet at the $9,000 starting bid.

While these are obviously not as desirable as their bigger RC45 siblings, the RVF400 is prized by collectors for its motorsports heritage. And while the stock bike’s claimed 53hp is underwhelming on paper, the little RVF is reportedly a brilliant-handling bike, a “brains-over-brawn” bike for riders who like gear-whine that drowns out the stock exhaust.


1996 Honda RVF400 R Side

Big-Bang Theory: 1996 Honda RVF400 for Sale
Yamaha January 21, 2015 posted by

Hamamatsu Hammer: 1999 YAMAHA R7 0W-02


In the world of street-going unobtainium, you are gawking at a unicorn. Built as Yamaha’s answer to Honda’s RC45, the R7 was homologated to the tune of just 500 units. With a potent 100+ HP in stock, street trim, this World Superbike contender could unleash 160+ snarling beasties when fed the right spinach and tickled by the right technician. This particular bike is said to sport the YEC goodies to unlock the second bank of fuel injectors – bringing about 140 HP to the party. With a frame designed with lessons learned in GP racing, top-shelf Swedish suspension units and pretty much the best of everything else available for the track in the day, the R7 looks as good as it performs. This particular bike has low miles and looks terrific. Who doesn’t want a pet unicorn?

1999 YAMAHA R7 0W-02 for sale on eBay


From the seller:
1999 YAMAHA R7 0W-2. The bike is perfect. has about 1800 miles on it. Full factory YEC racing kit installed.This includes the kit fuel injectors, ignition, radiator shroud/mod, titanium Promotive full exhaust so this example is making about 150 rear wheel hp. Also included are two boxes of unopened YEC kit parts. Currently has Marchesini wheels but will be sold with the perfect stock wheels with stock tires. This is the bike to show case in your collection. I have two of them so this one needs to find a new home.


The R7 was a $30k+ machine when it was new. The YEC race kit parts were not cheap either (seriously, when is racing *ever* cheap???). The limited nature of homologation street bikes means that this one is rare, rare, rare. Check it out here and try not to drool on the keyboard. Maybe not as universally well-loved as the RC30, the Yamaha OW-02 is in a special class of bikes that ooze respect. Come visit us in the comments and share your thoughts!


Hamamatsu Hammer: 1999 YAMAHA R7 0W-02
Ducati January 20, 2015 posted by

Never Been Kissed: Never-Titled 1985 Ducati 750F1A for Sale

1985 Ducati 750F1 L Front

The road-going Ducati 750F1 that was based on their 750cc-class racing machine was the very last bike developed before Ducati’s purchase by Cagiva, making it desirable for that reason alone. Earlier 600cc Pantahs were dominant in TT2 classes, winning championships from ‘81-’84, and although the larger 750 that followed in 1984 wasn’t nearly as successful in the larger F1 and TT classes, it was still a versatile competition machine and saw many victories in the hands of privateers.

Displacing 748cc’s that throbbed out a claimed 76hp, the Pantah-based F1 used a 16” up front and an 18” out back, making fitment of modern sticky rubber a bit problematic if you plan to use one in anger.

1985 Ducati 750F1 R Rear

Expensive to produce, the F1 was inevitably followed by the 750 Sport in 1988 that featured lower-spec suspension and changes to the frame to allow a change to the Paso’s troubled automotive-style Weber carburetor. The rear cylinder was also reversed to allow the intakes of both heads to be situated in the center of the vee, an arrangement that has been used on all subsequent Ducatis.

1985 Ducati 750F1 Tank

Ducati’s belt-driven Pantah engine has proven to be one of the most enduring and durable designs of all time. Although one could blame its longevity on Ducati’s perpetual financial trouble, the fact that this motor has ended up on so many “Best Of” lists, even in recent years, attests to its intrinsic goodness: it’s mechanically reliable, flexible, can be tuned to make good power, and is relatively easy to work on. It’s also one of the best-sounding engines of all time, with charisma to spare: even 600cc versions make that classic Ducati thunder and sound like much larger bikes.

1985 Ducati 750F1 Dash

While it’s cool to be a bike’s very nearly first owner, you’re going to pay a very high price for that privilege: collectors may prize extremely low-mileage examples, they often look much better than they run, as the seller points out.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Ducati 750F1 for Sale

The 1985 750F1A was also the last motorcycle Taglioni designed and what is considered the last ‘hand built’ Ducati produced prior to Cagiva purchasing the company in 1985.  Built prior to the Cagiva take over the ‘A’ is the important note, (593) were built and this is #499.  (In 1986/87 approximately 1,200 750F1B’s were built by Cagiva).

I believe #499 to be the most original Ducati 750F1A in the country (maybe the world) and only that has not been titled.  I’ve owned many F1’s and #499 will be the jewel of any collection and truly an appreciating asset.

#499 was originally delivered in Santa Monica California, the gentleman had ties to the motorcycle industry and was able to take delivery without first titling or registering it. After riding it 570 Kilometers, 361 miles he rode to his mother’s house who made him promise he would never again ride the bike.  Convincing, the bike was pushed into the rear of her garage on that day and where I learned of it parked in 2006 twenty years later.

With the motorcycle comes the original Ducati document – the Manufactures Statement of Origin – Photo included – This bike is most likely the only 1985 750F1A in the United States with this document and has never been titled.

It was my dream to put this bike into the rear of my garage and forget about it for the next twenty years.  When received the motor turned, the signage lights were dried and cracking as all do and removed.  There was still fuel in the aluminum tank that had clogged the petcock and some of the black coated items such as the exhaust and clip-ons had oxidation. A good service, minor refinishing and a good detailing would accomplish what I have in mind to make this the wonderful original example this is.

Selling a motorcycle that has not been run in 30 years did not sound good, so in the past weeks I lubricated the cylinders, removed the rotting K&N Filters, fueled the carburetors and got the motor to sputter to a start. The motor runs but the bike will require full serving, cleaning of the fuel system, tires, fluids, etc.

The reason for selling the bike, in the past three years I’ve had two children and the volume of bikes I have far exceed the time I have.

Although the hard parts are obviously all in good shape, this bike will require a complete teardown to get it into the condition the buyer is likely to want from something with a Buy It Now of $32,900: all those gaskets, seals, hoses will have deteriorated, brake calipers and master cylinders will be stuck, fork-sliders will be pitted…

1985 Ducati 750F1 R Rear2

The seller does quote a number of very glowing reviews of the 750F1 in his listing, but Ducati’s of the period were a bit unrefined when compared to the competition: potent in race trim, they were a bit “unfinished” as-delivered. For a long time, these were fairly cheap and unloved on the used market, although their rarity and racing history has seen a pretty large spike in their values in recent years. Later bikes were much improved, although obviously collectors often value early examples like this highly. All-in-all, this looks like one to restore and park up for display by someone who really, really loves 1980’s Ducatis or someone for whom money is no object.


1985 Ducati 750F1 R Side

Never Been Kissed: Never-Titled 1985 Ducati 750F1A for Sale
Yamaha January 19, 2015 posted by

No ka`oi: Yamaha RZ500 in Hawaii


I have to admit that when I started reading RSBFS I knew nothing about the RZ500.  I knew they were were always a reader favorite on RSBFS, but the origin of their popularity/exact reason why they were so desirable never seemed to be explained.  When this RZ500 popped up, I decided to do some research on the bike and share some of the info about the bike for other RSBFS readers.

Back in the early 1980s, sport bikes were just starting to become a major market segment and Yamaha decided to go into the market with an all-out performance machine.  The company wanted to offer a bike that was light, looked and rode like a true racing machine and of course, turn a profit.   Also, Suzuki was reported as being about to offer their own 500cc two stroke machine, the Gamma.

The result (after several years of development) was the 1984 Yamaha RD500LC, also known as the RZ500.  The Yamaha RZ500 was different than most bike “sport-segment-oriented-motorbikes” of the mid 1980’s: instead of a 4 stroke or v-twin, the RZ500 was powered by a 499-cc “square” four-cylinder two-stroke with twin cranks and liquid cooling.   This was significant because back in the 1980’s the three major classes of professional motorcycle racing were the 125, 250 and 500cc class, with the 500cc/nearly 200 mph two stroke monsters being the top tier bikes ridden by the highest level professional riders.  The Yamaha RZ500 was one of the first opportunities for everyday riders to own and ride something with basically the same equipment and power as professional racers.


At the time it was introduced, the RZ’s extraordinary performance and handling were actually considered to be too much for the average rider.   The bike was a potent weapon on the track, but tough to ride around town for people more used to the UJM bikes of the day.  Also, the two-stroke powerplant failed to meet emissions regulations for the US, so only the truly dedicated seemed to end up with one via import or a bit of DMV fudging.

So why is the RZ500 such a popular bike now?  Well it was only produced for a few years, had technology that handn’t been available to the public before, was one of the first true homolgation bikes for the masses, and still has a reputation for being something only skilled riders could handle well.  Its like what Julian Rider said in Faster; “Anybody who could ride a 500cc GP motorcycle really well is a hero because these things are the most evil devices…if your treat them wrong they will bite.”

Note:  For anyone not familiar with the film Faster! or Fastest!, I highly encourage you to obtain a copy.


1985 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on ebay (in Hawaii)

Okay, now lets turn our attention to this particular RZ500 which is located in lovely Hawaii.  The seller indicates that the bike does have a US title which is usually the major issue with these big two strokes.  The bike seems to be in good but not perfect condition, including a replacement speedometer.  Here are the highlights of the information:

  • Motor was rebuilt many years ago by “Lance Gamma”…fewer than 1000 miles since the rebuild.
  • Installed auxiliary radiator as well as a set of Tommy Crawford expansion chambers.
  • Air box is missing, there are now K&N filters attached to the “elephant ears”.
  • The bike was recently re-jetted, starts and runs great!
  • Transmission shifts excellent and the clutch works as expected.
  • Injection pump works fine and is full of Redline Synthetic 2-stroke oil.
  • Tires are in great condition, but old. I’d change them before riding the bike hard.
  • Brakes, forks and rear shock all work fine and have no leaks.
  • The gas cap sucks. I had to replace the original one and was told the one I was getting was the same but it’s not. It’s VERY close and from another model Yamaha, but it’s not the same.

While there aren’t as many pictures as I would normally like, the seller does include some youtube video links including a walkaround which is nice.


Previous posts of RZ500 on RSBFS seem to show an average price of 11-16k USD so the asking price of this one at 15k is right on targer.  There would be some issues with pre-sales inspection and shipping to the mainland but both of these could likely be resolved by interested parties without too much trouble.   So if an RZ500 is on your list for 2015 or you need an excuse to head somewhere warm for a bit, this auction might be for you.


No ka`oi:  Yamaha RZ500 in Hawaii
BMW January 16, 2015 posted by

Does the K stand for Kiwi? 1990 BMW K1


The BMW K1 is a controversial machine. Looking like Buck Rogers crossed with a “Pimp my ride” paint job, the K1 was produced in limited numbers and bought by even fewer buyers. Despite the fact that they were not sought after by the BMW faithful (or anybody else), those that have owned or ridden the K1 praise it for all the qualities you would expect from BMW: good fit and finish, high grade components, overall usability and lack of performance. For all of its spaceship good looks, the K1 was meant to maximize its use of 100 HP for cruising purposes. The bike is heavy (500+ lbs) and suffers some heat build-up as the result of the inline four buried under the multi-piece fiberglass bodywork. The K1 does sport the first instance of the BMW Paralever swingarm, which incorporates both the swingarm and the drive shaft in unison and removes much of the typical drive shaft jack that plagues earlier examples of the marque. In cruise mode the K1 is relatively efficient and within its design envelope, meant to eat miles all day long. If you don’t like attention when you ride, perhaps this is not the ride for you. For all others, these are relatively rare (fewer than 7,000 produced), and most have high miles and/or bodywork damage (after all, there is a LOT of bodywork). You’ll have to travel to NZ for this one; but if you are already close, it could be a great find.


1990 BMW K1 for sale in New Zealand


From the seller:
This is a 1990 BMW K1 in immaculate condition.

It has had two owners since new, both New Zealand Police Officers.

New in NZ it has travelled 22,300 kms (about 14,000 miles) and is in excellent condition. It has always been garaged and rarely taken out in the rain. Both owners are motorcycle enthusiasts and have used the bike sparingly to keep the miles down.

This bike is good enough to be a show piece in a BMW motorcycle dealers shop

I have original tools and owners manual, even have the original paint touch up kit.

I doubt you will find a better example anywhere.



Does the K stand for Kiwi?  1990 BMW K1

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