Monthly Archives: May 2015

Moto Guzzi May 4, 2015 posted by

Quintessential Cafe – 2000 Moto Guzzi V11 Sport

The oldest European manufacturer in continuous production of motorcycles, Moto Guzzi has an impressive history, from their founding in 1921 by two Italian Air Force pilots and their mechanic, championship-winning 250, 350, and 500cc racing machines, to the present-day large displacement fuel-injected street bikes.  Long a technical innovator, the company developed a 500cc engine with one overhead and one side valve, a 500cc V-8 motorcycle, pioneered the rear swingarm, and was the first motorcycle manufacturer to build a wind tunnel.  The V11 Sport uses some of their most durable developments, the longitudinal V-twin and shaft drive.

20150504 2000 moto guzzi v11 sport right

2000 Moto Guzzi V11 Sport

20150504 2000 moto guzzi v11 sport right front

The booming twin displaces 1064cc and weighs almost 550 lbs. fueled, but a lightweight flywheel allows the air/oil-cooled pushrod twin to rev happily, though the wide torque band ensures some giddy-up is almost always available.  A revised 6-speed gearbox, fully adjustable suspension, and three big Brembo brakes make this a 21st century bike which hasn’t forgotten its roots.  The V-twin and shaft drive have been part of the lineage since the 1967 V7, and the bikini fairing recalls the 1976 850 Lemans.

20150504 2000 moto guzzi v11 sport right rear  20150504 2000 moto guzzi v11 sport left detail

Treated to a few nice updates, this Moto Guzzi has carbon mufflers, a power commander ( making fuel injection 1.0 and Y2K emissions better to ride ), braided brake lines, and bar-end mirrors.  Honey-where’s-our-bike paint with red frame and gussets.  Neat factory pillion cover.  Certainly a rider with 31,000 miles, the paint looks good and the bike appears mishap-free.  Forks and shock have been rebuilt.  Sporting a Moto Guzzi National Owner’s Club sticker is some reassurance the oil changes and valve adjustments haven’t been ignored.

20150504 2000 moto guzzi v11 sport cockpit  20150504 2000 moto guzzi v11 sport rear

20150504 2000 moto guzzi v11 sport right rear  20150504 2000 moto guzzi v11 sport left detail

From the eBay auction:

This is a very strong running exotic Italian V-Twin with 31,xxx on the clock located near Akron, OH. 
Well cared for, this Moto Guzzi is a work of art for pleasure riding as well as track day adventures. Like the idea of having the rumble of a Harley with the ride of a sport bike? Moto Guzzi is the answer.

20150504 2000 moto guzzi v11 sport left grip  20150504 2000 moto guzzi v11 sport under seat

Over on the cafe racer side of the sportbike universe, the classic look and sound of a V11 Sport have the makings of a fine weekend afternoon.


Quintessential Cafe – 2000 Moto Guzzi V11 Sport
Ducati May 3, 2015 posted by

White Elephant: 1988 Ducati Paso 750 Limited for Sale

1988 Ducati Paso Limited L Side

The Paso has long been the low-cost entry into Ducati ownership, an often overlooked bike maligned for its slab-sided styling. Shockingly different when introduced and unfairly shunned by the oddly conservative Ducatisti, sales were disappointing.

1988 Ducati Paso Limited Front

But in spite of its red-headed-stepchild reputation, the bike has the usual Ducati pedigree: it was designed by Massimo Tamburini, named after the famous rider Renzo “Paso” Pasolini, and powered by the classic Taglioni-designed belt-drive Pantah L-twin. The 748cc version in the Paso made a claimed 72hp and could propel the Paso to 130mph top speed. The Paso even has Ducati’s traditional trellis frame hidden under all that bodywork, although it’s welded up from square cross-section tubing and not particularly nice to look at.

1988 Ducati Paso Limited Dash

Unfortunately, Ducati owners Cagiva elected to use a Weber automotive-style carburetor in the Paso that caused no end of headaches. The 16″ wheels can also present a bit of a problem when selecting tires today. An upgrade to 17″ wheels is possible, but fairly involved, so if you like the Paso’s look but absolutely need top-shelf rubber, just go find a later, fuel-injected 907 IE that basically solved all the Paso’s mechanical quirks but kept the styling.

1988 Ducati Paso Limited Tank

Today’s bike is the “Limited” model that came with very 80’s white bodywork. It has a few minor cosmetic flaws and does need a bit of mechanical attention, but the mileage is very low and the work that needs to be done is very straightforward and can be easily tackled by a half-decent shade-tree mechanic.

1988 Ducati Paso Limited Lower Fairing

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Ducati Paso 750 Limited for Sale

TIMS has a very rare (only 50 imported into the us) 1988 Ducati Paso 750 Limited Edition for sale with only 5095 miles on it- this is the rarest of the US import Pasos made back in the day, a must for any  collector- the bike runs great and everything works-it is mostly original including extremely nice OEM pipes- it does have the tri color Corbin seat and i do not have the original seat-it also has the upgraded flat slide carbs on it so that gets rid of the terrible factory carbs that came on the bike-there are a couple issues that need to be addressed  -1 at around 6000 rpm the clutch starts to slip so it  needs new fiber  plates 2- there are  some cracks in both mid fairing vents as well as the front windscreen fairing but I’m including a like new front fairing  with the bike that only needs painting and you can source the mid fairing vents cheaply on eBay as well-the tires are like new and the chain and sprockets are in good condition also-the timing belts are 3-4 years old so they may need replacing in the near future  -TIMS will help with shipping any way we can at new owners expense-don’t miss this rare low mileage Ducati as they definitely don’t come up for sale often

First of all, let’s clarify: “the timing belts are 3-4 years old so they will need replacing in the near future.” Conventional wisdom says 2 years or 12,000 miles for these items and the job is fairly simple, but very important: the Pantah twin is very durable when properly maintained, but snap one of those belts and you’ll lunch the motor. The clutch plates are a very straightforward job as well. Parts should set you back just a couple hundred bucks, although replacing the steel plates at the same time would make sense as well while you’re in there.

1988 Ducati Paso Limited Rear Wheel

Also, those don’t look like the “OEM pipes.” Instead, they appear to be the F1 pipes that were a popular choice to replace the stock “Silentium” mufflers that unfortunately lived up to their name…

Flat-slides should fix that aforementioned carburetor issues and provide a nice boost to performance as well, although they usually end up deleting the choke and can’t just be whacked open at low revs. Many owners replaced the factory setup with a pair of Dell’Orto’s that should solve the rideablilty issues nicely and be a bit nicer for day-to-day use.

1988 Ducati Paso Limited Front Wheel

All-in-all, this is a rare, low-mileage Ducati from an overlooked era that just needs a bit of cosmetic TLC. I’ve always liked the Paso, and I think it’s aging pretty well and, considering what the earlier F1’s are currently trading for, now might be the time to snap up a nice example.


1988 Ducati Paso Limited R Side

White Elephant: 1988 Ducati Paso 750 Limited for Sale
Yamaha May 3, 2015 posted by

Can’t Miss It – 1992 Yamaha FZR-600 Vance & Hines Edition

1992 Yamaha FZR-600 Vance & Hines Edition


Oh the 90s….  Where no color was too bright and no color combination was off limits!  This 1992 Yamaha FZR-600 is certainly proof of that.  Back in the 70s, Terry Vance was a successful and popular drag racer.  It was there that he met engine builder Byron Hines and together they parlayed their drag racing success into a profitable performance company appropriately named Vance & Hines.  They eventually branched out into AMA SuperBike racing and would make it all the way to an official deal supporting the factory Yamaha AMA SuperBike team.   They signed Dave Sadowski as their rider and promptly went out and won their first race, none other than the Daytona 200.  That success continued to an eventual 600cc AMA Championship with Sadowski in the saddle.

Two years later, Yamaha released a limited run of just 500 FZR-600s in the unmistakable factory yellow and pink paint scheme.  There were no performance bonuses, other than the simple V&H slip on exhaust, it’s the colors that are the story here.  Love it or hate it, this bike represents a legitimate racing history and pedigree.  If you love AMA Racing and it’s history this is a worthy contender for a spot in your garage and the price is usually much lower than other collectable examples of the era.


This one appears to be well cared for with only minor modifications that could be returned to stock if you wanted to.  The seller lists them in his auction found here: 1992 Yamaha FZR-600 Vance & Hines Edition

Rare Survivor FZR 600 – Vance and Hines Limited Production Edition with FACTORY YELLOW And Pink Paint scheme. #316 of 500.
I purchased this bike in November of 2013, and have only started the bike up every month, and taken it out two times on short 50 mile trips on the local twisties on the occasional Sunday ride.

The bike runs excellent. I bought it from the 3rd owner whose brother previously owned it. Bike was serviced, new plugs, fluids etcand tuned ( I have docs)and windshield just before I bought it. So it runs like it should. Smooth as butter.
No issues. The bike did get all the looks each time I took it out to the bike spot. Probably due to the crazy color scheme. It was homage to Yamahas racing heritage of those years. Bike has the authentic Series #316 of 500 emblem in tact on the tank which proves its heritage. Tires are new, no rips in corbin seat. (nice touch) Yellow windscreen adds nice touch. Intergrated period correct for 90s’ signals (no, I do not have original signals, but they can be easily found on ebay. No I do not have

Upgrades from factory according to previous owner: Vance and Hines supersport exhaust ; FOX rear shock (fully adjustable and Rare these days) ; CORBIN Seat ( no I don’t have stock seat); New Perelli Angel GT Tires ( less than 100 miles) : Progressive front fork springs.

thank you for your interest.


Can’t Miss It – 1992 Yamaha FZR-600 Vance & Hines Edition
Yamaha May 2, 2015 posted by

Sensible Tribute – 1984 Yamaha RZ350 Rainey

20150501 1984 yamaha rz350 rainey right front

Looking for all the world like Wayne Rainey’s 1990 YZR500 GP bike, this sparkling tribute is a lot more streetable than an expert-only RZ500 race replica.  Based on a titled RZ350, this machine has been treated to a full race fairing from Air-tech Streamlining, as well as a comprehensive rebuild.  Appearing well-sorted and immaculately finished, this street legal race replica should be fun on the street or at the track.

20150501 1984 yamaha rz350 rainey right  20150501 1990 yamaha rz500 rainey

An AMA Hall of Fame inductee and fitting recipient for a fan’s tribute, Wayne Rainey won the 500cc GP Championships in 1990 through 1992 with the Team Roberts.  His riding career was cut short by a series of accidents in 1993 leaving him a paraplegic, but he continued as a team manager and race organizer, and is still racing in a hand-controlled superkart.

1984 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

20150501 1984 yamaha rz350 rainey left front  20150501 1984 yamaha rz350 rainey left rear

20150501 1984 yamaha rz350 rainey left front detail  20150501 1984 yamaha rz350 rainey right rear

With the YPVS electronically controlled exhaust port, the little 350 put out around 50hp and 32 ft-lbs. torque, the power curve less peaky.  An overall lightweight package at under 350 lbs., it has a six-speed transmission, adjustable suspension, and three 280mm disk brakes.  Some of the updates to this example include expansion chambers with carbon mufflers, steering damper, and braided brake lines.

20150501 1984 yamaha rz350 rainey binacle  20150501 1984 yamaha rz350 rainey nose

20150501 1984 yamaha rz350 rainey left front wheel  20150501 1984 yamaha rz350 rainey left rear wheel

From the eBay auction:

84 RZ, airtech fairing, custom paint, Suzuki Katana gauges,(and they actually all work) Jim Lomas pipes. Braided lines, fork brace, teleflex clip ons, steering damper, stock rear shock and swing arm, front forks pretty freshly rebuilt with progressive springs.

Engine has about 2,000 miles on it. Hot rod crank, trued and welded. Wiseco pistons, cylinders bored one over, milled head. Ports are stock, has TDR reeds, new clutch. Properly jetted, has a newish CDI from RZs unlimited I think.

Bike is setup with no battery, lossless, starts on 1-3 kicks, oil injection is still in place. Very well sorted and a lot of fun to ride and look at. A lot of time and money has been spent on it. Chain and sprockets in great shape, rubber is good, overall a very nice midly custom RZ, it is clean, looks great and is ready to ride.

20150501 1984 yamaha rz350 rainey left grip  20150501 1984 yamaha rz350 rainey right engine detail

20150501 1984 yamaha rz350 rainey right tail  20150501 1984 yamaha rz350 rainey taillight

Maybe a bit of a sheep in wolf’s clothing, but the power delivery of a 350 two-stroke is like a more modern 600, and lighter weight makes it easier to straighten out the corners.  With its up-to-date maintenance and excellent cosmetics, this RZ350 looks ready to achieve lots of fun, the ultimate goal of any bike !

Can’t really say it better than the owner:

Bikes like this make most people smile; even non motorcycle people. They make politicians, bureaucrats and other authoritarians cringe…so you know it’s something Good. Honest. Righteous.


Sensible Tribute – 1984 Yamaha RZ350 Rainey
Triumph May 2, 2015 posted by

1st of the 2nd: 1st gen Triumph T595 Daytona in yellow


1997 Triumph T595 (955cc) Daytona for sale on ebay

Here is a personal favorite of yours truly, a 1st generation Triumph Daytona T595.  Although these bikes carried a model designation of “T595”, the 1st generation of the reborn Daytona actually featured a 955 cc displacement three-cylinder engine designed in part by Lotus.   Along with the other triple-cylinder Triumphs, the Daytona helped to establish the newly reborn Triumph as a real alternative motorcycle manufacturer.

The big Daytona was the first serious big sportbike for the reborn Triumph but it couldn’t compete with the best the Japanese had to offer (especially when Yamaha brought out the R1 in 1998).  While the big Daytona wasn’t able to match the hardcore sportbikes from Japan, it was big, fast, smooth, comfy, able to do medium level touring while still looking great.  The big triple was often referred to as a British version of the Honda VFR and even though the bike couldn’t compete with the hyperbikes appearing out of Japan, reviewers were generally positive.

Here is an excerpt from

Judge the bike by its lap times and you’d have to agree; the T595 never matches the Japanese competition but the big Triumph does have two real aces. The first is personality which counts for an awful lot, much more to most of us than shaving fractions of seconds off lap times. In the Daytona’s case much of it comes from the Triumph three cylinder engine’s rough charm. The second ace is it’s a bike which works better on real roads than it does on a racetrack. It’s more stable and easy to use than the Japanese competition.


This 1997 Daytona T595 looks amazingly clean with only 9263 miles.  There are a few nicks in the paint but certainly nothing major and no evidence of the bike being down.

Here is what the seller has to say

  • 100% original ’97 Triumph Daytona T595 (955cc)
  • New TORS carbon low exhaust + updated to corresponding tune
  • Service done in the last 50 miles includes
  • Valve adjustment
    Entire intake tract cleaned. Spotless down to the valves.
    Injectors pro cleaned + flow benched
    New fuel pump, pressure regulator, fuel filter, hoses, + dry break fittings
    Coolant flush + fill w/ engine ice
    Flushed brakes
    New plugs, air filter, hoses, gaskets, o-rings, grommets, etc.

  • New AGM battery 1 year ago on float
  • Only non-triumph parts are the fuel pump + pressure regulator<
  • Only cosmetic flaws are ichip in the rear lens + few small paint chips on fender and tank.
  • Bike has been in the family since 1999. Tires should be replaced soon, lot of tread but old


Is this big Daytona worth the $3,800 asking price?  Well while the 1998 version in silver (when it was marked as the 955i) is the most popular among collectors, this is still a hell of a lot of bike for not much money. Overall I think this one is being offered at pretty close to the right price and may be a good opportunity for a “more experienced” rider who still wants a sportbike to have something that can do everything they need.


1st of the 2nd:  1st gen Triumph T595 Daytona in yellow
Suzuki May 1, 2015 posted by

Edgy Styling: 1982 Suzuki GSX1100S Katana for Sale

1982 Suzuki Katana L Front

Introduced in 1981, the GSX1100S “Katana” was styled by Hans Muth, formerly of BMW and appeared to have been sculpted by someone wielding its namesake. So much for “conservative German design”!

1982 Suzuki Katana R Front

The new bike was powered by Suzuki’s 1074cc, air/oil-cooled four-cylinder hung in a relatively conventional twin-shock frame. While the technology under the skin was far from cutting-edge [pun!], the look certainly was, with a slippery design shaped by wind tunnel testing, a relative rarity for motorcycles at the time. And in spite of it’s almost shockingly edgy style, it did sell well, and helped set the stage for every modern sport bike that followed.

1982 Suzuki Katana Dash


That fairing was designed for piercing the air, instead of protecting the rider, allowing for higher speeds. Even the gauges are compact, with dials that virtually overlap to save space in the dash that needed to tuck in behind the small screen.

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Suzuki Katana for Sale

I purchased this Katana in 2008 in a very sorry state.  The bike had sat outside for a long time, but it was mostly complete and only had 4535 miles.  The bike received a full frame up restoration starting in 2009.  The bike was disassembled completely, the frame was powder coated silver and the bike was reassembled – the fairing frame, side stand, fuse holder and other black parts were powder coated black.  The reassembly included numerous new OEM fasteners, and many new OEM parts including pegs, mirrors, grips, cables etc.  The engine was in excellent condition which was to be expected given the low miles – it received a valve adjustment, new external gaskets and carb insulators.  Oil and filter have been changed every season while I have owned the bike.  A ‘Big Crank’ AGM battery in the stock size was fitted.  The ignition and charging system is stock. The bike always starts easily and runs very well.  No nasty noises, smoke or leaks – it pulls strongly from low revs and is smooth at all speeds.  I would not hesitate to ride it any distance. The bike has never failed to start for me or ever left me stranded in the 7 years I have owned it.

1982 Suzuki Katana Rear Suspension

Take a look at that original eBay listing: the seller describes the bike in plenty of detail, and includes a video of the bike running. I happen to really like the wire wheels on this bike, and the seller is correct that there is a historical precedent: the factory GSX1100SXZ race bikes and road machines sent to New Zealand and Australia featured wire, instead of cast wheels.

1982 Suzuki Katana Tank Detail

Early Katanas are still available for very reasonable prices, but I can’t imagine that this will continue for much longer. While overshadowed by the later GSX-R, the Katana was a serious high-performance machine with a truly distinctive style that has stood the test of time. Even better than a time-capsule, all-original example, this ground-up restoration was built to be ridden, but still manages to stay true to the spirit of the bike.


1982 Suzuki Katana L Side

Edgy Styling: 1982 Suzuki GSX1100S Katana for Sale

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