Monthly Archives: January 2015

Suzuki January 14, 2015 posted by

Setting the Standard for Performance: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R 750 Limited Edition

Update 1.14.2015: First posted in October last year, this LE is back on eBay. Previously a no sale with bids reaching $7,200, this time the bid is at $7,500 at current and reserve is not met. Links updated. -dc

1986 GSX-R750 LE L Front

Prior to 1985 and the introduction of the GSX-R 750, Japanese sport and race bikes were all about more. Even Suzuki’s own GS1000S was a huge lump of steel and aluminum to hustle around a track in Superbike racing. While watching riders wrestle these beasts around a track made for great entertainment, lighter is always going to be faster and, with few exceptions, lightweight speed at the time was owned by the two-stroke brigade: four-stroke refinement came burdened by additional weight and bulk.

1986 GSX-R750 LE R Rear

Other bikes like Kawasaki’s GPz’s stuck their toes into the water in an effort to give riders a complete package of power, agility, and handling, but it wasn’t until the Suzuki’s GSX-R750 that the rules for streetbikes were really rewritten.

Unleashed in 1985, the original “Slabby” GSX-R came with a 750cc, air and oil-cooled engine to save weight compared to water-cooling. An aluminum-alloy beam frame, four-piston calipers and a monoshock rear completed the package, setting the pattern that sportbikes would follow up until today. Despite being nearly thirty years old, only the 18” wheels really give the bike’s age away.

1986 GSX-R750 LE Dash

1986 saw a revised swingarm and other minor changes to the regular production model, but the LE featured here was a different beast altogether. An homologation special, it came with a very desirable dry clutch, lightweight aluminum tank, and a solo seat, along with Suzuki’s electronic anti-dive forks.

This particular bike that’s been hiding up in the great white north of Canada isn’t perfect, but could be with just a little bit of work.

1986 GSX-R750 LE R Engine Dry Clutch

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R 750 Limited Edition

Rare limited edition with the dry clutch, magnesium covers, electronic forks, rear shock with remote reservoir, hand laid fiberglass tail sections, no passenger seat on this bike, 1000 made worldwide, this bike is all original with only 22,000 kilometers runs good and sounds awesome, clutch works as it should.

This bike had a storage tipover and there is a dent on the tank, left side on the R note there is no scrapes shoing it wasn’t moving the front fender flexed and the paint flaked off in places.

Some scrapes on the bellypan sides.

1986 GSX-R750 LE R Front

This one currently sits at $5,600 with just a day left and the reserve not met. With just north of 13,000 miles on the clock, and just 200 of these imported to satisfy AMA Superbike requirements, they were rare even when new. Since many led a hard life on race tracks, it’s especially hard to find one as nice as this. It’s not perfect, but that could just keep costs down. If you’re looking for a first-generation GSX-R, this could be your bike.


1986 GSX-R750 LE R Side

Setting the Standard for Performance: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R 750 Limited Edition
Moto Guzzi January 14, 2015 posted by

Guzzi Racers: Moto Guzzi MGS-01 in Japan vs Moto Guzzi Daytona in US



As we have posted before, Moto Guzzi is the oldest European manufacturer in continuous motorcycle production and has over 1000 racing victories including 14 world speed titles.  However most of the Moto Guzzi victories came well over 40 years ago.  Guzzi has made the occasional attempt to recognize and even revisit their racing history and this post is about two of these efforts, a 1993 Guzzi Daytona available in the US and an uber-rare 2004 MGS-01 for sale in Japan.


1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona for sale on ebay

First is a 1993 Guzzi Daytona located in the states. We have posted a few of these here on RSBFS but for those unfamiliar with the Daytona edition, in the mid 1980’s an American named Dr John Wittner decided to try something different and go racing using a Moto Guzzi.  Witnner’s Guzzi efforts resulted in wins in both the 1984 and 1985 U.S. Endurance Championship and Wittner eventually went to Italy to work for Moto Guzzi.  One result of his efforts was the Guzzi Daytona edition, which had an updated engine that was in a new spine frame based on Dr. John’s race bike design, including a monoshock under the seat and Brembo four-pot calipers with 300mm dual discs (two-pot/260mm rear) provided stopping power.  The result was a significantly improved ride over other Guzzis of the era, with power available whenever you open the throttle.  A detailed explanation of all the technical changes in the bike can be read here.

While the Daytona was a big move forward for Guzzi, it was still essentially a big Guzzi, more of an homage to Wittner’s Guzzi racing success than a pure racer.  As reviewers noted;

The Moto Guzzi Daytona isn’t a real race-replica, it is instead more of an homage, a traditionalist’s GT-class machine. It excels everywhere by not doing anything wrong; the suspension offers a good balance of compliance and control. Mid-corner throttle changes have almost no consequence whatsoever on the chassis. Whacking open the throttle while leaned over makes the rear end squat slightly, just like a chain-drive bike which is amazing considering the shaft drive.


The buyer includes a fair amount of info about the bike, including the following:

  • Single owner since new
  • Everything on the bike is stock including the Stage 2 Moto Guzzi upgrade kit.
  • The original tires were on the bike, but were just replaced out of safety concerns.
  • All of the fluids have been just changed by the owner and a new battery installed.
  • Mileage is listed at a low 7,126 kilometers/4,427 miles

Overall the condition looks to be very good except for some surface rust on the rear rotor which is probably due to climate and what appears to be an aftermarket exhaust.  It is interesting to note that like other US buyers of the Daytona, the buyer wasn’t happy with DOT mandated changes and had the dealer convert the headlight to the European specs which included the head light assembly and upper fairing.

guzzidaytona14 guzzidaytona16

Okay, now usually in these posts this is where I post the “so whats it worth part?”  The Daytona isn’t a bad bike in any way, is always popular among people who like good engineering and want something that isn’t a torture to ride.   Prices for these seem to vary between 8,000-11,000 USD depending on condition.  These bikes are known for retaining their value so if this one is on your bucket list, this might be the one for you.

But what if you wanted a true Guzzi race machine?  Well there was an actual short-lived effort by Moto Guzzi to produce a true race machine.  Moto Guzzi was acquired by the Aprilia motorcycle company in 1999 (Editors note: along with my beloved Laverda) and Aprilia was at this time working hard on large displacement bikes including their RSV Mille.  It was during this period that Moto Guzzi produced the uber-rare and non-street going MGS-01 pictured here.

guzzi 1

2004 Moto Guzzi MGS-01 for sale in Japan on goobike

The MGS-01 (Moto Guzzi Sport model number one) was intended to be the future of Moto Guzzi. It was fast, beautiful, exclusive, expensive, basically you typical piece of Italian exotica. A detailed explanation of the MGS-01 can be read here but to suffice to say that when bike was introduced it caused a sensation.  Sadly, only 150 of the MGS-01 managed to make it out the door before new owners of Aprilia the Piaggio group shut down production in 2005 to focus on more profitable ventures.  Efforts continue to keep the idea alive via the Millepercento group but those aren’t official Guzzi products.

guzzi carbon

This particular MGS-01 is located in Japan and there is almost no info provided about the bike other than a few pictures.   Perhaps a RSBFS reader located in Japan could get more info for us.  Asking price of 42,000 USD is actually in line with the few that have been posted on RSBFS before. With only 150 of these being built and some undoubtedly being used as true race bikes, the chances of acquiring one of these will probably only decline going forward so serious collectors should take note.

In conclusion, while from a styling standpoint its hard to believe only 11 years separated the 1993 Daytona and the 1994 MGS-01, they are both modern motorcycles and each one has their own type of appeal.  I suppose the Daytona would be easier to own and enjoy while the MGS-01 is certainly a true piece of unobtanium.  Perhaps some lucky Moto Guzzi fan will be able to acquire them both and enjoy the Daytona as a regular ride and the MGS-01 as living room art.


Guzzi Racers:  Moto Guzzi MGS-01 in Japan vs Moto Guzzi Daytona in US
Yamaha January 13, 2015 posted by

Flying Dutchman: 1980 Yamaha TZ350 with Nico Bakker frame


If you have been an avid reader of RSBFS for some time, you are likely thinking to yourself that this bike looks familiar. Perhaps. Perhaps not. There has been a Bakker framed TZ350 floating around eBay for years at this point, and it has been written up more than once on Rare (check it out HERE and HERE). This listing appears to be a completely different bike, although many of the specs are the same. For those that require the introduction, Nico Bakker is a fabled motorcycle designer based in Holland. Best known outside of Holland as a small bore racer type of builder, Bakker Framebouw continues to build racers and street specials alike. His racing frames have garnered multiple victories over the decades, and Nico has been consulted on many factory projects (including the BMW telelever design, as well as the most recent reboot of Laverda).


1980 Yamaha TZ350 with Nico Bakker frame


From the seller:


The price being asked for this example is in line with the other Bakker-framed TZ350; it will be interesting to see if this auction draws more attention than the previous Bakker TZ which has been off and on eBay for several years. Check it out here and be sure and share your thoughts in the comments. Good Luck!!


Flying Dutchman: 1980 Yamaha TZ350 with Nico Bakker frame
Honda January 13, 2015 posted by

Exotic Heavyweight: 1985 Honda VF1000R Interceptor for Sale

1985 Honda VF1000R L Side

Some more 80’s Honda action this week, only this time the bike is in much better condition and has all of its parts included! Modern sportbikes often obsessively address issues of weight while clawing at ever-higher horsepower numbers, worshiping at the temple founded by Lotus founder Colin Chapman and his philosophy that, “adding power makes you faster on the straights, subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere.” Today’s Honda VF1000R is a substantially-engineered motorcycle that lives by the first part of that axiom, but falls down a bit on the second…

1985 Honda VF1000R Nose

Looking much like a scaled-up GSX-R, the fully-faired, monoshock VF1000R was designed to homologate a number of features for Honda’s endurance-racing efforts, but was actually noticeably heavier than the sport-touring VF1000F at over 600lbs wet. The 998cc V4 replaced the F’s timing chains for the gear-driven cams that would eventually become an Interceptor calling-card, while anti-dive front suspension, quick-release axles, vented rear brake disc, and distinctive Comstar modular wheels fitted with radial tires rounded-out the exotic package.

1985 Honda VF1000R Rear Tire

All-in-all, the VF1000R was a bit of a disappointment as a roadbike, but that was never really the objective anyway: like most homologation machines, it was built to allow specific included parts to be used in much higher-performing, production-based racebikes. And it paved the way for Honda’s all-conquering RC30 and RC45, although I understand those were also fairly disappointing in road trim. Spare me your anger and flame in the comments section: I freely admit I’ve never ridden either of them, but I’ve read plenty of period reviews that were less than impressed, especially considering those bikes’ price tags then and now. Once again: road performance wasn’t really the point of those bikes, either.

1985 Honda VF1000R Tail

This particular example from ’85 has been upgraded with the dual-headlight setup from an ’86 model and looks to be in pretty spectacular shape, considering the bike’s age and the fact that it has seen a reasonable amount of road use, as opposed to a pampered life in a collection. For most of us, that just makes it sweeter, and means that it’s a runner, not a display bike. The included D&D pipes should make this bike a real howler: among Ducatisti, D&D is known for making pipes that exchange volume for anything resembling subtlety…

1985 Honda VF1000R Exhaust

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Honda VF1000R for Sale

Super Clean 1985 VF1000R, dual headlight upgrade over the original single one, clean paint, like new tires, smooth idle, it’s a Honda all the way!!! I hate to part with it, but I destroyed my left shoulder in Afghanistan and just can’t take the lean forward any more 🙁 … She is garage kept, and the pics don’t do it justice… I will include a set of D&D pipes to the winning bidder as well! Any Questions just ask, I’m listing an Aprillia 1000R in a few more days as well.

Thanks for looking

The biggest challenge with many Japanese bikes from the 80’s and 90’s was their mass-produced affordability: people bought them, rode them hard, and exploited their famed reliability. That means in spite of higher production, tracking down nice examples of bikes like this can be just as difficult as finding a more exotic Ducati or Bimota that was produced in much smaller numbers, but has led a much more pampered life.

1985 Honda VF1000R Dash

There are still a few days left on the auction and bidding is active, although the reserve has still not been met at just north of $3,000. Much more a “GT” and less of a “back-road-burner” by today’s standards, this should make for a pretty cool road tool for Honda fans and that V4 soundtrack, complete with gear-whine, will make any bike fan smile.


1985 Honda VF1000R R Side


Exotic Heavyweight: 1985 Honda VF1000R Interceptor for Sale
Bimota January 12, 2015 posted by

Unobtanium Alert: 1987 Bimota DB1SR New in The Crate!

1.12.2015: Originally we first saw this DB1 SR available in October of last year. It failed to meet reserve reaching just over $31k. Now back on the market, just after the Vegas auctions, it is listed with a $45k buy-it-now. Thanks for all those who emailed with the heads up. Links updated.-dc

Here is some true unobtanium; a still in the crate 1987 Bimota DB1 SR.


For motorcycle collectors, there are two main types of bikes; the survivor and the New Old Stock (NOS). Survivor bikes can be bikes that weren’t popular in their time but are now desired such as the Honda CX turbo editions . They can also be bikes that that were popular but are now hard to find in good condition such as a 1st generation GSX-R 750 slingshot.

New old stock/NOS bikes are quite a different matter; they seem to either be something a dealership had tucked away or something a collector bought and are usually in pristine condition with very low mileage. While NOS bikes ares rare, we do see them reasonably frequently here on RSBFS. But within the NOS segment there is an even rarer sub-group; bikes that are still in their original crates. There have been less than 10 NOS Crate bikes on RSBFS since this sites inception, so this Bimota DB1 SR is really something quite special.


1987 Bimota DB1 SR new in crate for sale on ebay (Canada)

The Bimota DB1 was offered between 1985 and 1990 and was designed by Bimota’s Technical Director and ex-Ducati engineer, Dr. Frederico Martini. The DB1 stands for Ducati Bimota One which makes sense since it was the first Bimota powered by a Ducati engine.

The DB1SR is an even higher performance version of the “standard” DB1. The SR model came with 4-piston front calipers, 41 mm carburetors instead of the standard 36mm, freer 2-into-1 exhaust and more radical cam shafts. The SR model was only made between 1987 and 1989 and in performance it was frequently compared to Ducati’s Laguna Seca/Montjuich/Santa Monica models of the 750 F1s. Confusingly, many of the ealy DB1SRs are labeled “DB1RS” on the fairing. Later models were styled a bit differently with a rear red number plates and correctly labeled “DB1SR”. The DB1SR was successfully raced in Italy by Tiziano Bombardi, winning the 1987 Italian Sport Production Twins Championship, finishing on top of the podium in 8 of the 9 races, with one second place finish.


Here is a portion of what the seller has to say:

This DB1SR is quite possibly one of only two still in their original shipping crates. When the current owner received this bike, he raised the crate top off the platform for only the second time since its departure from Rimini, Italy; the first time being at Canada Custom when it first arrived in our country.

It’s still mounted to the crate base and still shows some floor dust on the tires from the manufacturer wheeling it across the floor to be crated. The current owner simply couldn’t bear to have this beautiful Italian gem hidden in the crate, so he carefully removed the top and packaging so the bike could be displayed still strapped to the base. The crate top and packaging have been carefully stored.

In 1987 only 153 DB1SR motorcycles were made – and of these, most went to Japan. Although I’ve seen a pair of the later SR Serie Finale in North America, I’ve not seen one of these on our shores. This amazing piece of performance art was originally imported by the legendary Frank Romanelli – who indicated that this unit was destined for the market in France and should by all accounts, not have been directly exported to Canada.


So of course now we come to the big question, what’s it gonna take to get it? Well the DB1 is pretty rare by itself. The few previous DB1’s that have appeared on RSBFS have all gone for between 30-40k USD and given the fact that this is a still-in-the-crate bike, I would expect the ebay reserve to be at the upper end of that range. It is certainly an amazing opportunity for a serious collector to acquire a rare bike and given the recent decline of the Canadian dollar, might even be available at a bit of a discount.


Post Script: The same seller is also offering a nice 1986 Ducati BOTT Racer which can be seen here.

Unobtanium Alert:  1987 Bimota DB1SR New in The Crate!
Cagiva January 11, 2015 posted by

Mellow Yellow: 1986 Cagiva Alazzurra 650/GT


Cagiva Alazzurra models have long since been considered bargain Ducatis. Much as Nissan is to Datsun (hopefully I haven’t lost our younger readers), Cagiva was the parent brand to Ducati following bankruptcy of the Bologna manufacturer back in 1985. But even before then, Cagiva purchased engines directly from Ducati for some models of their line-up. By the late 1980s, Cagiva decided that the Ducati brand was stronger outside of Italy, and the US distribution of Cagiva models dried up. While Cagiva shared Ducati componentry, the bikes themselves were manufactured in separate facilities. Thus the Cagiva/Ducati tie-ins can be confusing. Since Cagiva owned Ducati, used many of the same components and were built under the same parent company, perhaps Fiat – Ferrari would be the better comparison. Regardless, the pedigree is there and these are indeed unique Italian machines generally at a price point below that of a commensurate Ducati model.

1986 Cagiva Alazzurra 650 GT for sale on eBay


From the seller:
1986 Cagiva Alazzurra 650/GT

Very well maintained and restored piece of Ducati History for the price of a run of the mil Japanese sport bike. Only around 200 of these were imported into the United States. This is a 650 cc, proven L twin Ducati motor in a Cagiva Alazzurra frame. Equipped with Marzochi forks and shocks. Brembo disk brakes front and rear and great sounding buds exhaust. This bike need nothing and is ready to ride.


This late model Alazzurra looks great in full bodywork. The seller has included only a few, artsy pictures. I must admit the black/white/yellow pics look sharp, but I want to see more! This striking bike is located in Oregon, and has the BIN set at $4,500. The auction is currently sitting at less than half of that, with reserve still in place. Check it out here and be sure and let us know what you think!


Mellow Yellow: 1986 Cagiva Alazzurra 650/GT
Ducati January 10, 2015 posted by

Tipping Point: 1991 Ducati 851 Strada


The Ducati 851 was the evolution of the Pantah-based “rubber band” motor series that paid out most handsomely for Ducati. Simultaneously adding liquid cooling, a 4-valve desmo head and fuel injection, the 851 significantly raised the performance game for the Italian brand and launched a new all-out attack into Superbike racing. This evolutionary series laid the core foundational roots for the bikes to follow: 916/996/998/999/1098/1198. Only the Panigale (with its all new “superquadro” powerplant) breaks with the formula started by this iconic machine, the 851.


1991 Ducati 851 with 3,526 miles for sale on eBay


From the seller:
only 3,526 miles. virtually spotless original bike. looks factory/showroom brand new. never raced, dropped or ridden in the rain. new tires, tune up, belts, and all fluids changed.

Ferracci slip-on pipes
Ferracci Chip
Ferracci Airbox Mod
Zero Gravity Windshield
Corbin Seat

included are the original pipes, seat and windshield, plus a new rear side panel, shop manuals, box of oil and filters

wicked fast, adult owned. needs a home where it can be appreciated.
none nicer, this is a near perfect bike.


Ducati 851 models are booming L-twins with a rev range much higher than the air-cooled desmo-due mills that came before. Torque is plentiful, but real power is pushed higher up the power band. Yet for all the performance, these are still very tractable and reliable machines. Taller riders might want to try the cramped cockpit on for size – all others would likely find this to be a comfortable ride. The Strada model is the base, and offers two-up capability under the faux single seater tail cover. While the least collectible of the models, there is plenty of performance and good looks to go around (not to mention the Strada examples are far less expensive than homologation examples). This 851 has but some 3,500 miles on the odometer – barely broken in by Ducati standards – and has enjoyed a recent service including belts. The seller is asking a pretty high $11,500 BIN, but appears open to reasonable offers. Check it out here. Good Luck!


Tipping Point: 1991 Ducati 851 Strada
Honda January 9, 2015 posted by

Some Assembly Required: 1986 Honda NS400R

1986 Honda NS400R R Side

Honda’s NSR400R was a snarling, two-stroke middleweight from an era of unprecedented experimentation; a three-cylinder, triple-piped sportbike with cutting-edge specifications. The 1980’s must have been a very discouraging time for European and Italian manufacturers. While they were barely hanging on by their fingernails, Japanese manufacturers were in the throes of an era of funky, experimental technologies, trying out new formulas, and nothing was off-limits: unusual engine configurations, turbos, and active suspension were all tried, with varying degrees of success.

1986 Honda NS400R R Rear Suspension

The NSR400R wasn’t lacking performance or technology: the rattling heart of the little monster was a liquid-cooled, 90° V3 that put 72hp through a six-speed transmission. Power-valve technology beefed up the midrange power while water-cooling increased power and kept mechanical noise to a minimum, although the snarl from the pipes is undeniably that of a two-stroke. Anti-dive forks and modular wheels wrapped in radial tires completed the package.

1986 Honda NS400R Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Honda NS400R for Sale

This is a rare Honda NS400R Rothman’s edition 2-stroke. We got this jewel  from a retired motorcycle mechanic. Bike is not running and engine will need to be redone according to him. Honda appears to be complete with a couple of things missing like keys, exhaust, mirrors, gear shifter lever, kick start lever, and coil cover.  Paint and fairing is nice with some scratches. Mileage is really low at  4,741 Km. Bike has a small decal with Japanese writing and No. 301 If someone can tell me the year or more info please feel free to do so and I will update the auction.  BIKE IS SOLD WITH A BILL OF SALE BUT If winning bidder wants a title we can obtain it at additional cost  just contact us.

1986 Honda NS400R L Fairing

Just two days left on the auction, with bidding just over $3,000 and the reserve not met. While this bike isn’t 100% complete, the bike is in cosmetically good shape, and the parts missing are fairly straightforward to replace. Those missing pipes might be difficult or possibly expensive to source… So why not go all-out and, since you’re going to have to rebuild the engine anyway, just have someone whip up a set of pipes with custom expansion chambers, all out of titanium while you’re at it?


1986 Honda NS400R L Side

Some Assembly Required: 1986 Honda NS400R

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