Monthly Archives: April 2015

Ducati April 11, 2015 posted by

Fresh Tricolore: Recently restored 1987 Ducati F1

f1 restored1

When considering buying an older sportbike, maintenance history is always a bit of a black box.  Sure pictures, videos and ebay seller feedback rating all help mitigate the risk yet you never actually know what could be lurking behind the bodywork.

However there is one way to help reduce the risk; looking for a bike that has been restored by a dedicated owner.   Depending on the owner’s level of obsession and willingness to purchase OEM parts, you can end up with a bike that is incredibly close to what it was when it left the factory.

This lovely 1987 Ducati F1B has undergone a major restoration from the frame up with OEM parts which means there shouldnt be any major maintenance related issues.

f1 restored3

1987 Ducati 750 F1B Tricolore for sale on ebay

For anyone not familiar with the Ducati F1B,  the bikes predecessor was the F1A which was released in 1985 and was essentially a street going version of the Ducati four time world champion TT2.   The F1B (this model) followed in 1986 after the purchase of the company by Cagiva and the major difference were cosmetic, with the F1B’s red wheels replacing the F1A’s gold and different script graphics along with some minor mechanical changes.

f1 restored4

This particular Ducati F1B tricolre looks incredibly clean.  The only thing that jumps out is the rear end fairing/bodywork but from what I have been able to learn this bodywork was the standard bodywork for the US-edition F1B  Tricolre.

Here is what the seller has to say.

  • Just completed frame up restoration. Almost impossible to find an example of this model with all original equipment still in place.
  • Stock motor new valve job, cylinders and side covers remove looks like new inside.
  • New belts.
  • New tires and battery.
  • Rebuilt kits replaced in brake hydraulics.
  • Parts usually not available are with this bike mirrors, turn signals,Brembo brakes, air box, 36 mm carbs,.dual seat, passenger foot pegs come with it.
  • All systems in working order. Available for inspection in Ft Lauderdale, Florida


f1 restored2

So whats this freshly restored 750F1B Tricolore worth?  At first the $22,000 USD Buy-It-Now price seems high given that recent versions of the tricolore have sold for around $17,500 USD.  The asking price seems more in line with the limited edition versions that were based on the F1B such as the Montjuich and Laguna Seca verions.

Then again, last year at the annual Las Vegas motorcycle auction a similar F1B tricolore was sold for over $20,000 and that bike had more miles than this one and hadn’t been through a full restoration.   Personally I think the price for this one is a bit high but not outrageously so and would be a good addition for any collector interested in the mid-80’s Ducati lineup.


Fresh Tricolore:  Recently restored 1987 Ducati F1
MV Agusta April 10, 2015 posted by

Hand-Built Masterpiece: 2006 MV Agusta F4CC for Sale

2006 MV Agusta F4CC R Side Front2

The MV Agusta F4CC might at first look to be something along the lines of Ducati’s endless, blinged-up “S” versions that slap on some carbon, slightly up-spec suspension, and call it a day. But the F4 “Claudio Castiglioni” is far from a paint-and-tape special edition. It is, without question, the ultimate incarnation of the first-generation F4 and incorporates the very best parts, cost no object.

It’s basically what you’d do to your own F4, given an unlimited budget.

2006 MV Agusta F4CC L Side Rear

Priced at a shocking $120,000 new in 2006, the bike looks basically the same as a stock F4, but 90% of the parts are handmade and constructed from better, lighter material wherever possible: the gearbox housing is magnesium, as are the frame sideplates and swingarm. Everything that can be made from carbon fiber is made from carbon fiber. Even the little vent mesh inserts are made from titanium instead of steel. All that attention to detail, while it will be overlooked by 99.9% of riders, costs money. Lots and lots of money.

2006 MV Agusta F4CC Rear Suspension

Inside, the engine featured a slipper clutch unique to this model that replaced MV’s unconventional system that held open valves on one cylinder to keep the rear wheel from hopping across the pavement on corner entry. Boosted to 1078cc and making 163.7rwhp the wailing inline-four is likely very close to the 200hp claimed by MV at the crank.

2006 MV Agusta F4CC Seat

From the original eBay listing: 2006 MV Agusta F4CC for Sale

This is a collector grade vehicle in stunning condition which can be enjoyed in the saddle or on a pedestal, it’s up to you to decide, but rest assured, at this highly depreciated cost, the value can only head one direction.

With only 198 miles , expect near  new condition on the F4CC. The howl of the inline four through the beautiful, sculpted, titanium organ pipes is intoxicating!

The bike comes with a cover, a  full titanium racing exhaust is installed and spare stock exhaust, a Corse rear wheel stand, disassembled shipping crate and a matching #76 Girard-Perregaux Evo3 Laureato watch ($10,000 value), Trussardi F4CC leather jacket  ($4000 value) certificate of Authenticity. The F4CC is the bike that MV Agusta President Claudio Castiglioni built for himself. 

The F4CC had an MSRP of $120k, making it the most expensive production bike at the time. Only 100 F4CCs have been built with less than 20 making it stateside.

2006 MV Agusta F4CC L Side

The increased displacement makes it ineligible for most forms of racing, but you probably wouldn’t want to track this anyway: even if you can afford to buy a $120,000 motorcycle, insurance generally doesn’t cover on-track mishaps, so you’re on your own if you take a tumble. “If you can’t afford to crash it, you can’t afford to track it.”

2006 MV Agusta F4CC Footpeg

So most of these have simply become collectors items, a true shame considering the potential contained in the bike. While the CC certainly commands a premium on the used market, they aren’t selling anywhere near the $120,000 list price. They do come up from time-to-time, with asking prices in the $50-$60k range, so this seems in line with current values. A lot of money for a bike, but maybe a small price to pay for one of the most beautiful, and beautifully detailed motorcycles of modern times.


2006 MV Agusta F4CC R Side

Hand-Built Masterpiece: 2006 MV Agusta F4CC for Sale
Suzuki April 10, 2015 posted by

Feeling Lucky? – 1997 Suzuki RGV250

1997 Suzuki RGV250 on eBay


Few things are as synonymous with the golden era of motorcycle racing as the now forbidden cigarette liveries.  This one has been painted up in the classic Lucky Strike scheme that will remind anybody of Kevin Schwantz and his 500cc GP World Championship in 1993.  Making over 70hp in it’s de-restricted state and weighing under 300lbs, this is a serious machine that will leave bigger bikes behind in the twisties and around the track.  While it’s not a bone stock museum piece, it does appear to be in great condition.  The paint looks flawless and the miles are reasonably low, showing just under 8,500.  This would make a fantastic addition to anybody’s collection.


The seller has a great deal of information about the RGV’s condition, modifications and extras that you can read about here: 1997 Suzuki RGV250 on eBay

These bikes are very rare and extremely collectable as they are the very last 2 stroke bikes produced by the 4 largest

Motorcycle manufactures. Their value has and will continue to increase as they were only produced for one year.

The condition of this fine 2 stroke GP race replica screamer is superior. It has been properly derestricted which has unleashed its full power..

Of the several RG500’s RGV 250’s I own / have owned over the years , this VJ 23 is the fastest , best handling 2 stroke I have ever ridden.

The absolute closet thing to a GP racer with some street manners ….

One of the things not mentioned is that the classic “banana swingarm” appears to come and go in the pictures, so that might be a question worth asking if you’re a serious buyer.

EDIT:  It has been pointed out to me that the banana swingarm is only like that on one side… learn something every day from our readers!


Feeling Lucky? – 1997 Suzuki RGV250
Yamaha April 9, 2015 posted by

V4 Victory – 1985 Yamaha RZV500R

After the late 1970’s domination of the 500cc Grands Prix by Yamaha and Kenny Roberts, and the ’80s comeback and 1984 championship with Eddie Lawson aboard, Yamaha introduced a racey 500cc two-stroke for the street.  Known variously as the RZ500 and the RD500LC, the bike was never available for U.S. dealers ( though many have found their way here ), this RZV500R being a Japan-only lightweight replica.

20150408 1985 yamaha rzv500r left

1985 Yamaha RZV500R for sale on eBay

20150408 1985 yamaha rzv500r right  20150408 1985 yamaha rzv500r left rear

20150408 1985 yamaha rzv500r right rear  20150408 1985 yamaha rzv500r left front

Deep in the fairing and DeltaBox frame is a V-4 500cc two-stroke, first ridden in the 1982 OW61 grand prix race bike.  Water-cooled and with Yamaha’s Power Valve System controlling the size of the exhaust port, it has the peaky 87hp of a much large engine.  Four side-draft Mikuni carbs turn into the top of the engine, with the front expansion chambers and mufflers sweeping back and the rears inside the seat cowling.  After kick-starting, the wet clutch from their 750cc bike transmits power to a tall first gear, leading to six closely spaced speeds.  Suspension is by Yamaha’s own forks and monoshock, and with three 2-piston brakes, which have vented disks.

20150408 1985 yamaha rzv500r front  20150408 1985 yamaha rzv500r rear

20150408 1985 yamaha rzv500r kickstarter  20150408 1985 yamaha rzv500r cockpit

The hand-welded frame of the Japanese market replica is somewhat lighter than the rest-of-world RD’s, and the total package is some 20 lbs. lighter at a little over 400 lbs. wet.  Originally de-rated, this engine has been released with larger exhausts, and a comprehensive engine re-build.  As the eBay auction states:

The 500cc engine has some torque to get you going, but really comes alive in the 6-10k rpm range. The engine was completely rebuilt in 2008 by well-known RZV/RD/RZ engine specialist Wilson Performance of Lee’s Summit, MO at a cost of $4000. It has done very little mileage since. I have receipts for the work, which included Wilson’s “Blueprint” rebuild plus “Phase 1” performance tuning. To see what is included in the work, click here. In summary, the performance build included new RZV Performance cranks, new Wiseco pistons, port and gasket matching, plus a lot more. 

20150408 1985 yamaha rzv500r left front wheel  20150408 1985 yamaha rzv500r right rear wheel

20150408 1985 yamaha rzv500r chin scoop  20150408 1985 yamaha rzv500r seat cowling

The 19,000 miles attest to regular usage, and has been the recipient of some restoration, appearing to be in very good shape.  From the eBay auction:

The bike has 30,533km (just under 19k miles) on the clock. The paintwork is very nice, although there are a few nicks, scratches, and rock chips; all decals are cleared into the paint, the base of which is a pearlescent white. The bike is clean, but not show clean. The stock magnesium wheels were professionally refinished and the Dunlop Arrowmax tires are in very nice condition. The oil tank leaks some from the fill cap. The upright foam seat bolster has some worn spots around the edges (see pix). There’s some surface corrosion on some bolts here and there. I have tried to describe and photograph anything that really stood out on the bike condition-wise, but this is now a 30 year old motorcycle with some light wear and tear, so I cannot be held accountable for every single scratch, chip, crack or ding. A new Yuasa battery is included in the sale.

20150408 1985 yamaha rzv500r right front

With bids meeting the reserve with four days to run, this rare bike deserves a look.  It’s so close by to me I might try to inspect it myself…



V4 Victory – 1985 Yamaha RZV500R
Honda April 9, 2015 posted by

Big Red – 1985 Honda VF1000R

1985 Honda VF1000R on eBay


Honda’s VF1000R was an evolution of the earlier 1000cc Interceptor (the VF1000F) and it was evident that Honda had it’s eyes on the racetrack.  While earlier Interceptors had a half fairing, the VF1000R got a full fairing, lower clipon bars, a larger fuel tank (for endurance racing), rearsets and a faux solo seat.  For a brief period of time it even held the crown as “The World’s Fastest Production Motorcycle” topping out at a respectable 150mph.  Unfortunately, much of this was overshadowed by the sheer size of the VF1000R as it was undeniably big and heavy, weighing over 600lbs.  While it might not have been the superbike that Honda was aiming for, they may have inadvertently built the best sport tourer of the 80s.


This particular one has it’s pros and cons.  The mileage is a respectably low 10,500 however it’s not without a few beauty marks.  The seller is upfront about the wear and tear, but is also including a nice stash of spares and extras in the auction.  The eBay auction, as seen here 1985 Honda VF1000R on eBay has a lot of details about the bike and is worth checking out if you’re interested.

From the seller:

This bike is 30 years old, it’s not a museum piece, but a really nice complete, original rider. It has a little patina, and a few stains and wear marks on the frame. Rear tire has about 10% tread left. The front tire is like new. It doesn’t leave any drops on the garage floor. The paint is glossy but there are a few scratches on the fairing, one small crack, and a small piece missing by the right front turn signal from the previous owner dropping it in his garage.  Since the fairing is fiberglass these are easily repairable.  The seat is in great shape.


Big Red – 1985 Honda VF1000R
Gilera April 8, 2015 posted by

Lightweight Italian: 1991 Gilera Saturno 350

1991 Gilera Saturno 350 R Side

Although forgotten now, Gilera was one a famous manufacturer of serious racing hardware, and this “Nuovo” Saturno was an attempt to revitalize the marque in the late 1980’s. Now owed by Piaggio, Gilera was originally founded in 1909 and had a long history of high-performance motorcycles.

1991 Gilera Saturno 350 L Side Rear

These sportbikes were often based around big singles, sort of like an Italian Norton Manx, although they were also famous for circumventing the significant cooling issues that surrounded multi-cylinder engines by producing a transverse four-cylinder that dominated 500cc GP racing through the 1950s.

1991 Gilera Saturno 350 R Side Fairing

The reborn Saturno was powered by a big, liquid-cooled four-valve single that put power through a five speed gearbox. Most markets got a 491cc engine, although a smaller 350 was available for Japanese customers. This simple, robust powerplant was suspended in a lightweight trellis frame with modern suspension and brakes front and rear, with lightweight Marvic wheels that provided an all-in weight of under 300lbs dry.

1991 Gilera Saturno 350 Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Gilera Saturno 350 for Sale

In the mid 80s Gilera collaborated with a Japanese company, C. Itoh & Co. Itoh produced a frame design and Gilera the powerplant. The frame was very similar to that of Ikuzawa. Gilera put the project in the hands of a gentleman called Sandro Columbo, who in the 1950s had been in charge of their race team.In August 1987 the bike was ready as a prototype and in March 1988 started the production. Two versions were built: a 350cc model only for the Japanese market and sold by Itoh, and a 500cc model for the rest of the world, sold through the Gilera network. The bike was by all accounts very expensive in its day and few were sold.

This is a 1991 example, which has travelled just over 5,100km or 3,100 miles and been very well cared for, and lightly modified with nice chrome high pipes and a bikini tail section. An rare opportunity not to be missed.

1991 Gilera Saturno 350 Engine

Very rare in any form, the Saturno is all about light weight and handling, with a look that, to me, is very purposeful and doesn’t appear “styled” at all. As the seller mentions, the dual exhaust on this one isn’t stock as they generally use a single exhaust on the right side of the bike, but it looks to be of high quality and does suit the bike.

1991 Gilera Saturno 350 R Side Tail

This bike is currently located in New Zealand, although the seller claims they also have a location in Texas. If you happen to live in New Zealand, or are able to register it in your state here in the US, this would make a great back-road bike. If not, this might make a very


1991 Gilera Saturno 350 L Side

Lightweight Italian: 1991 Gilera Saturno 350
Yamaha April 8, 2015 posted by

Survivor – 1989 Yamaha FZR1000

Originally showcasing the 5-valve head in 1987, the FZR 1000 enjoyed continued development in 1989 with the EXUP ( EXhaust Ultimate Power valve ) which tailored the header opening to RPM with an ECU-controlled valve.  Allowing a large header to flow high engine speeds, and providing linear low and mid-range power and torque, the system also quiets the exhaust at lower RPMs.  The result is smooth delivery of nearly 140 horsepower from any engine speed.  Similar setups were eventually used by Honda, Suzuki, and Triumph.

20150407 1989 yamaha fzr 1000 right

1989 Yamaha FZR1000 for sale on eBay

20150407 1989 yamaha fzr 1000 left front

With the 1002cc engine canted forward 35 degrees in the full DeltaBox cradle, the four 37mm Mikuni carburetors are semi-downdrafts, with air intake tubes from the front.  Front and rear suspension have adjustable pre-load, carried by 17 inch front and 18 inch rear wheels.  Braking is handled by dual front disks with 4-piston calipers and single rear.  Developed from their endurance racers, the 1990 fairing carries dual headlights.

20150407 1989 yamaha fzr 1000 left windshield  20150407 1989 yamaha fzr 1000 right windshield

20150407 1989 yamaha fzr 1000 right front  20150407 1989 yamaha fzr 1000 tank

A beneficiary of the dry Arizona weather, this FZR1000 has some service history and looks great.  Forward turn signals are missing in the first picture but appear in all others.  From the eBay auction:

A survivor from the 80’s where it was BIKE OF THE DECADE!
Beautiful bike that will continue to raise in VALUE!
Original tool kit included! Blinkers are installed(not in pictures).
10,167 miles with the last 5000 documented by previous owner. Bike is for sale locally and seller reserves the right to end auction at any time.
20150407 1989 yamaha fzr 1000 cockpit
A past heavyweight champ, the FZR1000 will still deliver an 11-second 1/4 mile and almost 160 mph.  Cycle World named it the “Superbike of the year” in 1989, one of their ten best bikes of the year, and eventually declared the 1989 model “the bike of the decade”.
Survivor – 1989 Yamaha FZR1000
Yamaha April 7, 2015 posted by

Win It or Bin It – 1999 Yamaha R7 on eBay UK

Rare 1999 Yamaha R7 on eBay UK


For many of us who remember the heyday of World Superbike racing, one of the indelible images will always be the maniacal “Win it or Bin it” style of Japanese madman Noriyuki Haga aboard his beautiful Yamaha R7.  Haga won almost as many races as he crashed out of.  While it was probably infuriating for the Yamaha Factory, it sure was entertaining to watch for the fans.


With the premise of World Superbike racing being that they were based (note: I said BASED) off of the same models you could buy from the dealer’s showroom, Yamaha was forced to sell at least 500 road-going R7s to the public.  Those lucky enough and wealthy enough to get their hands on an R7 would be rewarded with about 110hp (easily tuned to 140hp or more) pushing just 350lbs wrapped up in a gorgeous package who’s silhouette is not far from the legendary Yamaha YZR500 GP bikes


The telltale gold of the Ohlins suspension, dual filler necks in the aluminum tank, and solo seat are all very clear indicators of the R7s intended purpose and racing pedigree.  You can read a bit more about the OW-02 from the seller’s listing here – 1999 Yamaha R7 on eBay UK

YAMAHA YZF R7 OW02 2001 Covered 18,755 miles from new in immaculate condition fully original bike apart from after market Termignoni exhaust system fitted. Must be seen to appreciate condition, very rare classic, investment opportunity.


Win It or Bin It – 1999 Yamaha R7 on eBay UK

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