Monthly Archives: May 2015

Rickman May 18, 2015 posted by

Rickman, Round 2: 1978 Kawasaki Rickman CR900


If you wanted to get yourself a Rickman, but the last one we posted was either A) too ugly, or B) too far away (Italy), then here is another chance. Rather than a Predator CRE, this particular Rickman was the bread and butter of their street bike lineup. Powered by a 900cc Kawasaki drive train, the CR900 series is pure 70s vintage cool. We have seen several of these CR models in the past, and they are always striking machines. Sporting a nickle-plated frame (known as the Metisse) and bold, red fiberglass bodywork (most CR models seem to be finished in extraordinarily bright, fishing-lure type of colors), this bike looks to be finished to a very high standard. It is also readily accessible in California. A collectible that you can ride today, prices on the CR900s I have seen are all headed to the clouds. Is this your time to get in?


1978 Rickman CR900 for sale on eBay


From the seller:
You maybe looking at one of the rarest bikes on the planet. This bike is titled as a Rickman and not as a Kawasaki. The bike is titled as a 1978. The I.D. plate fixed to the steering neck indicates September, 1977 chassis and is the correct id plate for this bike.

Almost all of the Rickman CR900’s, of which few were built, were finished in green This bike has the orgiinal gel coat in red. The bike is original in color and I know of no other with this color. This is an original machine in pristine condition and rides like a rocket ship with the responsive and light frames built by Rickman powered by the Kawaski 900 cc motor. This bike performs as good as any modern bike today. The 900 cc motor number is Z1E 238xx.

This Rickman chassis was purchased in England by the original owner while vacationing there. The milage on this bike is less than 9,000. Most of these miles were accumulated prior to the motor being installed into the Rickman. Thus this Rickman frame has seen very limited use. The original rear sprocket shows virtually no wear. The saddle looks near new. The instruments are from the original Kawasaki and show the mileage covered by both the kaw and the Rickman chassis. If you are looking for an original colectable motorcycle that is sure to increase in value look no further. Rickman motorcycles, are extremely rare and have proven in the past to be highly desirable and with their limited production should continue to increase in value.


With only a handful of days left on this one, there have been *plenty* of watchers, but no takers (yet). That might be because the BIN for this beauty sits at $25,000, or best offer. That is pretty steep, but far from the high water mark we have seen for a clean and well-presented CR900. Check it out here and let the Rickman fantasies begin!


Rickman, Round 2: 1978 Kawasaki Rickman CR900
Suzuki May 18, 2015 posted by

Thinking long term: Pristine 1st year Suzuki Hayabusa


A Hayabusa here on RSBFS?  I know posting this bike will make some readers question whether I have lost my mind by submitting this as a Rare Sportbike but keep reading and I think I can convince you that this bike is something a serious collector should consider acquiring.


Anyone who has been involved in building a motorcycle collection has a few bikes that they regret not buying back when they were “cheap as chips”.   Usually these bikes were introduced with great fanfare but then became commonplace so no one thought of them as future classics until the price started to go up 10-15 years later.  Examples include the Ducati 916, 1st edition Honda CBR900RR/Fireblade, Suzuki GSX-750 “Slabbie” and “Slingshot” editions, etc.

Here we have a 1st year/1999 Suzuki Hayabusa 1300.  When the Hayabusa was introduced in 1999, it was Suzuki entry in the big bore horsepower war and offered speeds over 185 mph (thats over 300 kph for our non-imperial readers).   The Hayabusa not only dethroned the Kawasaki ZX12 as the fastest production motorcycle but a subsequent agreement between the Japanese and European manufacturers to limit their motorccycles to 186 mph/300 kph meant that that Hayabusa’s top speed title would be unchallengable until the agreement lapsed.  The Hayabusa remained the top speed champ for almost ten years, finally being dethroned in 2009 by the BMW S1000RR.


1999 Suzuki Hayabusa on ebay

Now while the Hayabusa has grown into a huge success for Suzuki and a favorite of customizers, it didn’t start out that way.  1999 was the first year of the Hayabusa bike and when it was introduced it actually didn’t sell that well.  Consider the following quotes from the Hayabusa entry on Wikipedia:

Typically, a new sportbike model sells well in its first year, and then sees its numbers decline every year as it grows older. The Hayabusa reversed this pattern, selling in greater numbers every year from the 1999 launch through the 2008 revision.  Sales in the United States have increased year after year since its release in 1999 and have gone  from just a few thousand units in 1999 to over 10,000 in 2006.


So in effect what we have here is a 1st edition/1st year of a bike that broke records, a bike that didn’t sell that well when it was introduced, and looks to be in pristine condition.   Mileage on the bike is a very low 3501 miles and condition looks to be perfect.  1st year/1st edition bikes in pristine condition are typically the most desirable for collector so I think this is something a serious collector should consider.


Now we come to the question of what is this 1st year Hayabusa worth?  The last one I saw like this had a Buy It Now went for $5,900 USD but had a bit less miles (NOTE:  That auction ended early so it may have gone for a bit less).  Current bidding on this one is already at $4,550 USD which I think is an outstanding price for what looks to be a bone-stock 1st year Hayabusa.

Sure its not going to win any awards at a bike show or draw much attention at bike night, but over time a pristine 1st edition could very well be something worth having in a collection.


Thinking long term:  Pristine 1st year Suzuki Hayabusa
Bimota May 17, 2015 posted by

Form and Function: 2008 Bimota DB7 Nera for Sale

2007 Bimota DB7 R Side

Introduced in 2008, the Bimota DB7 is yet another collaboration with Ducati and has been one of their most successful bikes in terms, not only of sales numbers, but in terms of function. While they’ve always offered on-paper advantages over the bikes from which they borrow their engines, many Bimotas, right out of the box, have actually needed quite a bit of fine-tuning before they’re ready to run with the brand-new top-shelf sportbikes. The DB7 actually offers up superior handling and comfort, compared to the 1098 with which it shares its running gear, although that’s not necessarily saying much, since it’d be difficult to create a bike less comfortable than a 1098…

Beneath the fairings seemingly designed by someone who really, really likes rulers and t-squares hides an exotic hybrid frame that combines an oval-tube trellis front section with billet aluminum side plates and a self-supporting carbon tail to provide a rigid foundation for high-spec suspension components.

2007 Bimota DB7 R Side Rear

Power comes from Ducati’s 160hp “Testastretta” L-twin, an almost ideal sporting motorcycle powerplant that offers up arm-stretching torque, high-revving power, and a strong dose of character completely in keeping with Bimota’s exotic design brief.

From the original eBay listing: 2008 Bimota DB7 Nera for Sale

This is one of the last Bimotas imported into the USA – a special version of the DB7 – the Nera (Black).  It has full clear-coated carbon fiber bodywork on a black and aluminum frame. This motorcycle is practically new – 520 miles and never titled – still on the MSO (Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin). The motorcycle is stock except for the silencer removal and the addition of MotoGP-exit style exhaust tips and a rear fender eliminator (see last photo).  It comes with a full manufacturer’s warranty.

The DB7 is one of the best motorcycles that Bimota ever built – featuring the Ducati 1098 engine.  When Cycle World compared the DB7 to the Ducati 1098R Bayliss in an article entitled “Sex on Wheels” – they said “The DB7’s ergos fit me nicely, I felt like I was down in it, nestled behind the bars.” “As for me, I actually went faster on the Bimota…the Bimota is easier to ride fast and ultimately a little more enjoyable.” “The Bimota…is a beautiful work of art, handles like a dream and has awesome real-world V-Twin power that makes it more accessible to more riders.”

The same Cycle World article the seller references actually praises the power delivery of the DB7 compared to the Ducati, a nice change of pace for a Bimota!

2007 Bimota DB7 R Side Exhaust

Tragically, in this era of bikes that are pretty great, even right out of the box, the question becomes: where does Bimota fit in? It used to be that they had a wealth of floppy-handling, underbraked bikes with over-engineered drivetrains to choose from. But these days, most Bimotas aren’t appreciably better than the bikes from which they crib their running gear, they’re just more expensive, more exotic. Which is valuable for those with the cash, but they’ve become more toys for the uber-rich rather than hardcore, purist-oriented road and track tools.

The DB7 looks gorgeous, is beautifully detailed, and handles like a two-wheels scalpel, but for the additional cost over a 1098, it’s hard to justify the cost. And, with Ducati abandoning frames altogether, where does that leave Bimota?


2007 Bimota DB7 R Side Front

Form and Function: 2008 Bimota DB7 Nera for Sale
Bimota May 17, 2015 posted by

Race Bike for Sale: 2014 Alstare Team Bimota BB3 for Sale

2014 Alstare Bimota BB3 R Rear

Bimota’s BB3 is only the third collaboration between the Bimota and BMW. This is likely because, for most of BMW’s history, Ze Germans produced engine and drivetrain combos not really suited to the sort of lightweight sportbikes Bimota generally builds.

2014 Alstare Bimota BB3 R Front

The BB1 was powered by BMW’s Rotax single from their and, like most Bimotas was a polarizing bike: handling was predictably amazing, but it vibrated enough to blur your vision at redline… The BB2 was basically a prototype, a showbike, and only one was produced. And while the S1000RR-powered BB3 has had some teething problems, the overall package should be very potent when properly set up: imagine an even more extreme S1000RR.

2014 Alstare Bimota BB3 Dash

But set-up shouldn’t be a problem for this particular bike, since it’s been raced this past year by Alstare Racing, one of the most experienced teams in World Superbike competition. Since their start in 1992, they’ve run Ducatis and were long associated with Suzuki before briefly switching back to Ducati to run a brace of really, really good-looking Panigales before moving on to Bimota this past year.

2014 Alstare Bimota BB3 Swingarm

From the seller: 2014 Bimota BB3 WSBK for Sale

The Alstare Team is selling a 2014 WSBK Bimota BB3. We had 4 bikes for sale. Two have been sold to collectors, one will go in our museum and one still for sale.

That left machine is the one which Christian Iddon used during the 2014 WSBK season. The brakes and suspensions are stock parts and the Motec data acquisition has been removed.

The BMW engine is quite new (1200 km) and revised. The bike is in a perfect state and ready to ride.

The price is 45,000 $ excluding tax and transportation.

With the bike, front and rear red Lightech stands and two authenticity certificates, one from the Bimota factory and one from the Alstare Team.

2014 Alstare Bimota BB3 Radiator

Interested in picking this up for your collection? Feel free to contact the seller at

Honestly, their $45,000 asking price seems pretty reasonable for a well-prepared bike competing at one of the top levels of motorsport. Parts and prep alone should probably see you close to that price, and the race history, although recent, should only add to that.

2014 Alstare Bimota BB3 Engine Detail

So the question is, should this be a track day monster for a well-heeled rider, or conversation-starting, spouse-annoying living room decoration? What ever you decide, can I come over and hang out?

-tad 2014 Alstare Bimota BB3 Track

Race Bike for Sale: 2014 Alstare Team Bimota BB3 for Sale
Aprilia May 16, 2015 posted by

Featured Listing: 1999 Aprilia RS250 Cup For Sale

20150516 1999 aprilia rs250 cup right

Forty some-odd years into Aprilia’s history they added road racing to their off-road program, with remarkable results – ten 125cc championships and nine in the 250cc class.  Bold names from this year’s Moto GP grids like Valentino Rossi, Marco Melandri, and Jorge Lorenzo all were 250cc champions for Aprilia.  Built from 1995 through 2002, the RS250 uses the Suzuki RGV250 engine, with Aprilia’s own intake, ECU, and exhaust.  This low-mile RS250 Cup is set up for the racetrack, though it’s too nice to have spent much time there.

20150516 1999 aprilia rs250 cup left

The massive aluminum box frame appears to belong to a much larger cycle, though the RS250 Cup weighs only a bit over 350 lbs.  A sculpted alloy “banana” swingarm allows the expansion chambers to inhabit the underside of the bike.  The 300mm front disks could also brake a larger machine, but on the track, you’re either wide open or hard on the brakes.  Fully adjustable suspension will allow you to tailor the ride to your style.  Multi-function digital dash has a built-in lap timer.

20150516 1999 aprilia rs250 cup right detail

The seller states:

Nothing like the sound and smell of a 2-stroke! This is a great, low maintenance track bike. Well cared for and at around 60 – 65 bhp it’s easy to ride. This bike is in exceptional condition and has been ridden conservatively by an older rider. A couple of small nicks and blemishes, but nothing obvious. Note: As a track bike this is sold without a title and on a Bill of Sale only.

20150516 1999 aprilia rs250 cup front  20150516 1999 aprilia rs250 cup rear

20150516 1999 aprilia rs250 cup right front wheel  20150516 1999 aprilia rs250 cup left rear wheel

20150516 1999 aprilia rs250 cup binnacle  20150516 1999 aprilia rs250 cup right rear wheel

Ready for track days, the RS250 Cup is large enough for an adult rider.  The 70hp supplied by the Suzuki is more lively between 9,000 and 12,000 rpm, so the neighbors will know you’re testing.  With 56 watchers, the auction has a lot of interest and a buy-it-now of $6,700.  Someone could have one hell of a father’s day !

Please see the eBay auction here or contact the seller via email.


Featured Listing:  1999 Aprilia RS250 Cup For Sale
Triumph May 16, 2015 posted by

Triple sec – Sweet 1995 Triumph Daytona 900 Super III

Revived by entrepreneur John Bloor after their final bankruptcy in 1983, Triumph Motorcycles engineered a family of engines using a 76mm diameter piston and established a manufacturing facility in Thailand.  The venerable brand celebrated it centenary in 2002 and has continued manufacture and now completes almost 50,000 motorcycles per year.  This particular bike is a nice example of one of their best machines.

20150515 1995 triumph 900 super iii left

1995 Triumph Daytona 900 Super III

20150515 1995 triumph daytona 900 super iii right front

Initially designed in 1989, the smooth-running 885cc triple underwent a major review in 1993 and with Cosworth’s help emerged with 115hp, and somewhat lighter thanks to pressure casting the engine cases.  Too busy trying to stay alive to enter into racing, modern Triumph cycles never experienced the weight loss racing requires, and the Super III carries 465 lbs wet.  But with the aluminum frame, 43mm forks, 310mm front disks, the entire package tests lighter than it should, a well-balanced handler.

20150515 1995 triumph 900 super iii cockpit  20150515 1995 triumph 900 super iii left tank

20150515 1995 triumph 900 super iii left seat fairing  20150515 1995 triumph 900 super iii left engine

The speed yellow fairing on this example appears better than excellent, the lower reaches of the classic shape protected from chips by automotive film.   The black monoposto seat looks cushy and in nice shape, the pillion seat under a fairing.  Very polished and very pretty 3-into-1 header with carbon muffler appears to be the only modification, and belies the 8900 miles the odometer shows.  Have to like it when someone’s been detailing the engine !

20150515 1995 triumph 900 super iii right engine detail  20150515 1995 triumph 900 super iii right rear wheel

20150515 1995 triumph 900 super iii tool kit  20150515 1995 triumph 900 super iii right engine

From the eBay auction:

Proudly kept and displayed indoors with only 8900 original miles. (That’s less than 450 miles/year)100% Original everything*. Perfect condition; no scratches, dents, or nicks of any kind. Carbon fiber everywhere. Aluminum 6.6 gallon tank.

As second owner, I’ve meticulously maintained the bike in every way. All questions will be answered immediately.

20150515 1995 triumph 900 super iii right rear

Though a revised 675cc engine has led to recent racing successes by a contingent of privateers, the Daytona Super III was developed before the racing program and is a smooth, powerful road bike, the 1995 being a nice update from the original design.  This auction looks to be for one of the very best of this model.

Triple sec – Sweet 1995 Triumph Daytona 900 Super III
Ducati May 15, 2015 posted by

THATS Italian! 1980 Ducati Hailwood edition


This one has been getting a lot of looks on ebay and I can certainly understand why.   While the Mike Hailwood replica is no stranger to RSBFS, this one is a bit special.  As Mike M wrote just a few weeks ago,

before there was a Carl Fogarty or a Troy Bayliss or a Casey Stoner championing the Ducati brand, there was Mike Hailwood.  Hailwood is one of the few men to ever stand on the podium for both a motorcycle Grand Prix and a Formula One Grand Prix (which is really amazing).  Hailwood won numerous Grand Prix championships throughout the 1960s and then decided to pursue a career in Formula One and WSC.  After being away from motorcycle racing for over a decade, he returned to win the Isle of Man TT at the age of 38.  Ducati repaid him for the win by releasing the MHR (Mike Hailwood Replica)

What a lot of people don’t know is that the Hailwood replica actually went through several iterations.   The earlier edition (1979) were a bit rough/unfinished, while 1983 and onwards seemed to be more touring oriented/grand turismo type motorcycles than true race replicas.  Fortunately, this Hailwood is one of the highly desirable 1980 editions.


1980 Ducati Hailwood for sale on ebay

The owner of this particular Hailwood provides a lot of interesting model history

This is a Ducati 900 Mike Hailwood Replica, series one (number 355 of the original 500). The first 150 produced were the 1979s. Whilst they are highly collectable they aren’t exactly beautiful, with a fiberglass cover over a 900SS gas tank and a seat that looked like it was cobbled together in 12th grade shop class.  The color scheme left a lot to be desired too. The red is more reminiscent of a flat brick red and the green looks like a military olive drab.

For 1980 model year came the cream of the crop in my opinion. A total of 300 were produced from frame number 201-501. Not only is the gas tank a proper item, but the seat and upholstery was better made. The color scheme and decals were also improved. With a bright glossy red and rich deep green and bold new graphics. It also included all they distinctive parts from the prior model year, like the super annoying one piece fairing. 40mm pumper carbs, and chip pan bellmouths. Gold line brakes, Conti silencers, and no side panels. In other words a true race replica.


The seller also provides good ownership history info as follows

This bike was purchased new from Mike Hailwood himself from his shop Hailwood and Gould on the first day of registration for the W plate 1980 model year. My friends late father was the original owner and left it to his son upon his passing. He kept it for a few years, and then sold it to me in 1996. I rode it in England before shipping it to the United States where it joined my collection. It is still registered in the UK. I have all the original tax discs and MOT certificates from new.


Condition of the bike looks to be good but not pristine/concourse level.   The seller indicates the bike has been stored for some time and will require some recommissioning (especially tires), but also indicates they will include some service parts like brake and carb rebuild kits.

Is this bike worth the $ 37,500 USD asking price?   That price is almost double what we have seen being asked previous hailwood posts on RSBFS, I think this bike offers a collector a very VERY rare opportunity.   While the later edition Hailwoods seem to pop up for sale reasonable regularly, these first editions are apparently the proverbial “hens-teeth”.

I have to say I don’t agree with the sellers statement that a series 1 Hailwood is every bit as collectable as a 74 green frame 750SS but I do think this one is worth more than your later generation Hailwood editions…I’m just not sure its worth the nearly double asking price.  Then again, Verizon just bought AOL so what do I know about the value of things….



THATS Italian!  1980 Ducati Hailwood edition
Suzuki May 14, 2015 posted by

Racer with lights – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition

After it was started in 1976, the AMA Superbike Championship became a way to reach the sporty segment of the American motorcycle market.  The 1983 rule change reducing maximum displacement to 750cc was the catalyst for a new approach, rather than racing road bikes, Suzuki tailored their racing machine for public use.  Their light weight and simplicity won the championship in 1989 and launched a thousand privateer race teams.

20150513 1986 suzuki gsx-r750 limited edition right front

1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition

20150513 1986 suzuki gsx-r750 limited edition left

Introduced in 1985, the GSXR-750 had an innovative alloy frame, and the bike was noticeably lighter than the competition.  An evolutionary engine, the micro-finned inline-4 is primarily oil-cooled, a large oil radiator behind the front fender.  The full fairing recalls the Suzuki endurance racers, and the riding position is decidedly racetrack oriented.  Updates for 1986 include a more stable 25mm-longer swingarm and radial tires.  Intended to homologate some components for the AMA championship, the Limited Edition had an alloy fuel tank, dry clutch, 310mm front disks, steering damper, electronic anti-dive, and remote reservoir rear shock.  Special badging and colors, gunmetal grey engine paint and blue wheels distinguish the Limited Edition.

20150513 1986 suzuki gsx-r750 limited edition left front wheel  20150513 1986 suzuki gsx-r750 limited edition headlight

20150513 1986 suzuki gsx-r750 limited edition binnacle  20150513 1986 suzuki gsx-r750 limited edition tank

With quite low miles and very stock, the previous owner did not mess with perfection, apart from a pair of conformal front turn signals and a little de-reflectorization.  Intact headlight fairing and the absence of more than a couple of nicks in the bodywork is encouraging.

20150513 1986 suzuki gsx-r750 limited edition left tank  20150513 1986 suzuki gsx-r750 limited edition left seat fairing

20150513 1986 suzuki gsx-r750 limited edition right exhaust  20150513 1986 suzuki gsx-r750 limited edition right engine detail

From the eBay auction:

This is the bike that started the homologation wars. If you are looking for something special to show up at bike night on, this is it!
Bike is from my private collection and has been stored in a climate controlled environment being ridden only once or twice a year.
Everything works perfect and the motor runs flawlessly. Dry clutch functions as it was designed as well. This example is very close to stock with the exceptions of the windscreen and front turn signals. It does come with the stock from turn signals and three of the four side reflectors (one of the front ones is missing. It does have the front headlight bubble which is no longer available and is removable if you choose. The rear helmet lock is missing too, but still has the stock exhaust in great condition.
There are some small chips here and there but nothing major and the bike has no scratches on the lower fairing bubble which is a sure sign the bike has been dropped. The pictures should speak for themselves and if I were to rate this from 1-10, I would give it a solid 9.

20150513 1986 suzuki gsx-r750 limited edition left rear wheel  20150513 1986 suzuki gsx-r750 limited edition right steering head

A simple lightweight racer, this is the second year of the Gixxer dynasty, a no-nonsense star on the track, which became an undeniable movement on the road.

Racer with lights – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition

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