Monthly Archives: June 2015

Bimota June 30, 2015 posted by

Blade Runner – 2007 Bimota DB6 Delirio

The late designer Sergio Robbiano's upright response to his Bimota DB5, the DB6 Delirio is a motard variant, an urban sportbike based on the Ducati 992 desmodue.  Factory-made but hardly mass-produced, the Delirio has inspired design, innovative solutions and superb components.

20150629 2007 bimota db6 delirio left

2007 Bimota DB6 Delirio for sale on eBay

20150629 2007 bimota db6 delirio left front

If the trellis frame of the Delirio appears unusually light, Bimota used chrome-moly tubing, showing off some of the thin edges.  The distinctive billet aluminum connectors for the frame and rear wheel complement the red frame.  The body is an angular combination of metal and plastic, complex without being busy.  Just 400 lbs. wet, the Delirio requires just a thought to change direction, the Marzocchi suspension always ready.  Braking by the Brembo 320mm wavy front disks and 4-piston calipers is outstanding.    The alloy Marchesini wheels are light and black to the point of invisibility.  The futuristic headlight fairing integrates the turn signals and has its own billet brackets.

20150629 2007 bimota db6 delirio left detail  20150629 2007 bimota db6 delirio binnacle

20150629 2007 bimota db6 delirio cockpit  20150629 2007 bimota db6 delirio right clutch detail

Asking nearly $30,000 when new, the DB6 is a design piece, every detail examined, drawn, tested.  On this one, only the exhaust has been upgraded to a Zard carbon system.  With just break-in miles since 2007, this bike looks perfect but will likely require new fluids, belts, and rubber.  From the eBay auction:

This is a beautiful Bimota DB6 Delirio in excellent condition.  Zard carbon exhaust.  Rare and exotic, incredible workmanship and detailing, just 1,787 original miles, a Ducati at heart, but much more!  Condition: Excellent-Bike shows like brand new.

20150629 2007 bimota db6 delirio left engine detail  20150629 2007 bimota db6 delirio right rear wheel

20150629 2007 bimota db6 delirio right exhaust  20150629 2007 bimota db6 delirio right rear

There are more rare and exotic Bimotas, even special Delirios, as there is an Azzurro model ( think blue ) and a Superlight with full carbon frame, but this "base" model has all the design elements, just about all the performance, and most of the exclusivity.  A dream compared to the wide majority of naked bikes.  Hoping those frame sliders never get used !



Blade Runner – 2007 Bimota DB6 Delirio
Ducati June 29, 2015 posted by

Italian Twin for Road or Track: 1991 Ducati 851 for Sale

1991 Ducati 851 R Side FrontWhile Ducati's MHE and 900SS may be collectible and iconic now, they were seriously long in the tooth by the time they were discontinued, and even the Pantah-engined SS didn't exactly offer cutting-edge performance when new. In order to keep their racing heritage alive in any meaningful sense, Ducati needed a top-shelf sportbike like the 851 that could compete successfully on track with the best bikes from Japan.

1991 Ducati 851 L SideIn 1987, Ducati released the 851, which took the proven foundation of the air-cooled two-valve 90° v-twin motor and added liquid-cooling and brand new four-valve heads for a serious performance upgrade. With chunky styling from Pierre Terblanche, the new Desmoquattro thumped out 93hp to the rear wheel along with a wave of torque when compared to the screaming fours favored by the Japanese manufacturers.

1991 Ducati 851 Tank DetailAnd it worked: the 851 paved the way for the 916 and helped return Ducati to the spotlight in World Superbike competition and showed that the Italian brand had value beyond nostalgia and "character."

1991 Ducati 851 L Side RearThis particular bike walks a nice middle-ground between "time-capsule original" and "race bike." If you're interested, the seller also includes a comprehensive list of the upgrades made to the bike. From the original eBay listing: 1991 Ducati 851 for Sale

Excellent Condition - Well Maintained - Ready to Ride or Vintage Race

I bought this Ducati about five years ago from a local neighbor that had taken it, and a mid seventies Corvette, in part exchange for his services, at the time it had approximately 5,800 miles.  The bike had been garaged in Westchester County, New York and had not been ridden for quite a while, but was in very nice original condition.

I had always admired the 851's and thought it would make a great vintage road racer, so I went through the bike with that goal in mind.  The following was done to the bike: new fuel pump, had the gas tank restored (the paint is beautiful), belts replaced, valves adjusted, throttle bodies synched, Ferraci race chip installed (all work was done by Razee's in Rhode Island), sent the forks to RaceTech for a re-valve and spring upgrade, upgraded the front wheel to the later model, larger diameter front axle, installed Pirelli Supercorsa tires, Sharkskinz solo seat.

Upon completion I rode the bike at a couple of track days, did the VRRA vintage festival at Mosport in Canada (it was a real treat to ride this Ducati on such a famous track), did the USCRA Vintage Festival at Loudon, New Hampshire and the AMA Vintage Festival at Mid-Ohio.  About a year ago, I decided to put the bike back on the street and registered it as a vintage motorcycle.  Since putting it on the street I have only ridden it less than 100 miles.  So all total, I would say I've really only put about 500 miles on the bike.

This Ducati is a blast to ride, looks great and always gets a lot of compliments.  The speedometer is not working as I needed to replace the metal tang in the front wheel and the front brake light is not connected.  It's probably one of the cleanest 851's you'll see and will not dissappoint.  All of the original 1991 body work is included, seat, side panels etc...  The 851's are now becoming sought after collectibles and are eligible for vintage racing with organizations such as AHRMA, VRRA, USCRA and the AMA.

There are plenty of 851's out there, but this one is particularly appealing to me, featuring a combination of thoughtful, real-world upgrades [as well as the original parts] designed for performance, not wow-factor or the typical Ducati bling you find on more recent bikes: this one is made to run, but is well cared for as well.

1991 Ducati 851 R Side Rear With all the hype surrounding the 916, the 851 and 888 definitely have been overlooked for a long time. Although there have been some hints that might change, we're still looking at a starting bid of $5,000 you could be looking at a collectible modern classic that offers track-day thrills for a reasonable price.


1991 Ducati 851 L Front - Copy

Italian Twin for Road or Track: 1991 Ducati 851 for Sale
Kawasaki June 29, 2015 posted by

Candleberry King: 1999 Kawasaki ZX11 with 7331 miles

We have posted about the ZX11/ZZR several times previously, about how Kawasaki's monster machine still gives us flashbacks to the scene in Spaceballs where they go to Ludicrous Speed.   The big Ninja was and still is a true "hyper-tourer", a 604lb monster machine with a cruise missile engine.

When it was launched in 1990 the big Kawasaski (known as the ZZR outside the USA) was able to hit top speeds of over 170 and was immediately the king of the hyper-touring market segment.  It ruled the segment for 6 years until being displaced by the Honda Blackbird and then finally, the Suzuki Hayabusa.

zx11 1

1999 Kawasaki ZX11, Candelberry red, only 7300 miles!

A large reason for the ZX11's phenomical speed was due to the use of a new concept (to most riders); a ram air induction system.  Although ram air had already been widely used in automobiles, the ZX11/ZZR was the first production motorcycle fitted with such a system.  Unlike other "fresh-air" systems of the time, the ram air system was sealed and produced a constant flow of pressurized, cool air to the carbs.

A technical description of the function and result of the ram air function can be found here.

zx11 3

But the Big Kawasaki wasn't just about top speed.  It was very civilized, with comfortable seating and convenience features such as luggage hooks, a full dash including a clock, outstanding fairing/wind protection, and even a centerstand!   Of course it kind of needed a centerstand, given that the ZX11/ZZR weighed a full 604lb/274 kilos when fueled.

I tend to think of the big Zed as an Aston Martin Vantage coupe of the same period; big, fast, civilized but still capable of blowing the door mirrors off most other things on the road.   And like the Aston Martin, I think the ZX11/ZZR's design, with its integrated turn signal indicators and monocromatic color scheme bodywork has aged particularly well.

zx11 4

This particular ZX11 has a truly astonishing low mileage of only 7331 miles....yes you read that right, only 7331 miles.   It looks to be complete stock except for an aftermarket windscreen and I see no sign of it being down at any time.   The only issue I am seeing is some some small wear/tears on the main seat which could easily be fixed or upgraded with a corbin replacement.  And I have to admit, I think it looks fantastic in my favorite color scheme of Candleberry wine red, much better than the other stock options (black, green, and dark purple).

zx11 2

Is this ZX11 worth the opening bid $3,000 USD price?   Yes, Yes!  YES!!!!....provided you understand what it is...a tall, heavy, powerful hyper tourer.   The ZX11 will never be described as "flicable" and it wont be a collectible but finding one in this condition is pretty much unheard of.  The last one of these we posted was down in Australia went from a bit more than this one is listed at and that one had which much higher mileage.  This big red Ninja seems to be a screaming bargain even when basic maintenance of fluids and fresh tires are factored into the price.

I think this is a great opportunity for someone who is wants something tasteful that can also do high-speed touring ...but I would advise that people under 5'8" consider carefully before acquiring this big beastie.


Candleberry King:  1999 Kawasaki ZX11 with 7331 miles
Ducati June 28, 2015 posted by

Man Up – 2008 Ducati Desmosedici

The road-going version their GP7 racer, the Desmosedici was a limited edition of 1500, but more limited by stratospheric pricing and long lead times.  Originally offered to only Ducati cognoscenti, the $72,500 cycle was way more than could be used on the road, the spec sheet having enough of everything for two or three sportbikes.

20150627 2008 ducati desmosedici right front

2008 Ducati Desmosedici for sale on eBay

20150627 2008 ducati desmosedici left rear

Sixteen desmodromic actuated valves give this bike its name, gears driving the cams on this 989cc V4.  The nearly 14,000 rpm redline resulted in 200 hp, four multi-injector throttle bodies making the power delivery manageable.  The rest of the specifications are over the top - steel trellis frame but chrome-moly steel, reptilian plastic bodywork but carbon throughout, 43mm upside-down forks but with remote reservoir, 4-2-1 underseat exhaust but all titanium and exits the top of the seat fairing, alloy wheels but forged and machine magnesium,  Brembo brakes but radial 4-piston calipers.

20150627 2008 ducati desmosedici left front

20150627 2008 ducati desmosedici tank  20150627 2008 ducati desmosedici exhaust

Well on its way to a fourth oil change, a surprising amount of miles for a machine like this.  From the eBay auction:

Ducati Desmosedici 16RR in great condition! Only 7387 miles. Comes with both keys, sticker kit, cover, and rear stand. All recalls done. New tires.

20150627 2008 ducati desmosedici right rear wheel  20150627 2008 ducati desmosedici right front wheel 7387 miles. Comes with both keys, sdone. New

20150627 2008 ducati desmosedici right detail

Badged number 69 out of 1500, it may well be rarer if the total production limit was never met.  Dazzlingly presented by a dealer in Thousand Oaks, Calif., there are forty auction "watchers" but for the same eye-candy reason the Porsche and Ferrari new car websites get such a workout, just 7 bids as of this writing.  Ducati's only V-4 road bike, the Sedici will only be more rare as they migrate to the gallery and away from the tarmac...



Man Up – 2008 Ducati Desmosedici
Kawasaki June 27, 2015 posted by

Clean and Green: 1989 Kawasaki ZX-7 H1 for Sale

1989 Kawasaki ZX7 H1 R Side Front

Although the ZXR-750/ZX-7 H1 often gets overlooked in favor of the GSX-R from the same time period, the Kawasaki was a worthy competitor. The bike was powered by a 749cc inline-four that produced 105hp, a number that looks unimpressive in light of today's sport bikes, but was on par with the Gixxer and YZF.

1989 Kawasaki ZX7 H1 L Side

Interestingly, while Honda sold their purpose-built RC30 race bike in extremely limited quantities, Suzuki built their dry-clutch "LE" Gixxers, and Yamaha built their exotic-under-the-skin OW01, Kawasaki offered no comparable homologation-special edition of the ZXR. Instead, they offered a whole range of race parts owners could use to compete at virtually every level of racing, an unusually grassroots approach.

1989 Kawasaki ZX7 H1 Dash

Kawasakis of the period felt long and low, and were famed for their mid-corner stability and feel. Riding this today, you'd never mistake it for a modern sportbike: if the stretched-out position and low seat height weren't obvious, those HVAC-looking ram-air tubes would certainly give it away...

1989 Kawasaki ZX7 H1 Front

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Kawasaki ZX-7 H1 for Sale

I purchased this bike to bring to motorcycle shows and take out to local bike nights as a fun classic Superbike. If your looking at this listing you are probably already aware how rare and hard to find these 89 ZX-7 H1's are. It's very hard to let this one go, but I've decided to sell this motorcycle and channel the funds into another motorcycle project.


Only 20,559 miles

Very rare and collectable motorcycle.

Nice condition cosmetically. Not perfect, but very clean for a 1989.

Motorcycle runs and rides with no engine or transmission issues I can detect.

Newer Michelin Pilot Power tires. Less than 2 years old with very few miles on them.

Yoshimura exhaust that is period correct for the age of the bike.

Clean and clear title.

Original owners manual included.

This is a motorcycle that is becoming very collectable as a superbike over 20 years old. It is a survivor in good condition. The motorcycle does have some minor marks, wear, and scratches. The bike starts, runs, and rides. I have not gone through the bike thoroughly to inspect all mechanics. There may be some service necessary. Listing bike as accurately as possible based on what I know.

1989 Kawasaki ZX7 H1 R Side Rear

Aside from the "Alpinestars" decals and the questionably-located flush-mount signals, this is a very clean bike, and looks very original, just as the description indicates. These bikes were made to be ridden, and while it always seems a shame to spoil some pristine, low-mileage bike by actually using it, bikes like this one allow the owner to rack up the miles guilt-free, all the while enjoying the bike as Kawasaki intended.

1989 Kawasaki ZX7 H1 L Side Front

Not much time left on this listing, so move quickly if this strikes your fancy. The Buy It Now price of $5,500 it seems a bit on the high-side [pun!], but not outrageously so. These are seemingly thin on the ground recently, and are often in pretty shabby condition when you can find them. These have been increasing in value of late and, while they're hardly as rare as the Bimotas and Ducatis we often feature, Japanese sportbikes of this era have a very strong following among older riders who owned one new or wish they had, and young riders with a taste for lurid green paint jobs.


1989 Kawasaki ZX7 H1 R Side

Clean and Green: 1989 Kawasaki ZX-7 H1 for Sale
Honda June 27, 2015 posted by

V4 Savior Survivor: 1986 VFR700 (not 750) in white

If you are in the US you are probably not too accustomed to seeing a VFR700, as the 750cc and later expanded 800cc and 1200cc "Interceptor" models have been produced in much higher numbers.  The 700cc edition was only build for a few years to comply with a fortunately short-lived tariff the U.S. imposed to protect US motorcycle manufacturers (cough-cough-Milwaukee V-Twin).


1986 VFR700 (not 750 or 800) for sale on ebay

Its important to note that the VFR700 was produced at a time when Honda was trying to recover from a significant corporate failure;  the early V4 "chocolate cam" debacle.   Back in the early 1980's most other major bike manufacturers were happy with air cooling and two valves per cylinder.   However Honda was pursuing new tech such as anti-dive forks, inboard ventilated disc brakes, Comstar wheels and perhaps most significantly, liquid-cooled 90° V4 engine layouts.

As a concept, the 90° V4 design has advantages including compactness, narrow width, and perfect primary balance which provides a silky smooth/nearly vibration-free experience.  However the 90° V4 is more expensive to manufacture and complexity in locating ancillaries and the exhaust system.   Perhaps the complexity of the 90° V4 is what appealed to Honda; as one reviewer famously noted at the time of the V4 introduction "if it's complex, costly, and difficult, this means its perfect for Honda.  They have a penchant for building industrial strength jackhammers for cracking a peanut."


Back in early 1984 a substantial number of VF owners started complaining that their bikes top-ends were starting to have serious issues, include complete failures.  This problem was eventually traced to a camshaft distortion issue which gave rise to the nickname of "chocolate cams" .   The reputation of Honda's V4 effort took an almost Lancia beta level battering but Honda remained committed to the V4 design and focused on making sure their next version was ultra-reliable while still incorporating new features.  Everything came together in the 1986 VFR750FG (Note:  The 700cc shown in this post is just a restricted version of the 750cc version).

When the VFR was released, everyone knew that Honda had put a lot of effort into making sure it was reliable.  But what really surprised people was just how good the bike was.  Consider the following review by MotoGp by Julian Ryder:

"I was at the bike's launch in Jerez and thought it was going to be a good bike.  Of course it had to be...Honda's V4 concept's cred was hanging by a thread so we knew they had put a lot of effort into fixing the reliability.  

At first we we were perplexed by the plain looks..why wasn't it a race rep like the GSX-R or FZ?  But after the first road tests we knew it was very good.  A year later we knew it was a classic; nothing that came out after it was as close, as well balanced."

The VFR would go on to win Motorcycle of the year repeatedly in the 1980's and 1990's and continue on for a multi-decade run.

An excellent explanation of why the VFR was so significant can be accessed here.


This particular VFR700 looks to be very clean.  The seller indicates its stock except for the hand grips and bar ends.   Mileage looks to be 14,692 but the seller indicates there may be a few more miles put on the bike prior to sale.

Here is what the seller has to say

  • Completely stock, no modifications except grips and bar ends.
  • Has 14,XXX original miles.
  • Was in storage for quite a while with the carbs drained.
  • Just installed a new battery and added fuel on 6/20/15 and it starts and runs great.
  • Tires are pretty new too.
  • Doesn't have the usual cracks around the mirrors as you can see.


Is this VFR700 worth the $3,900 USD Buy-It-Now asking price?   Well the next year 750cc version seems to be selling around $2,800 USD but this is the rarer 700cc version and it does look to be in good shape.  Also a lot of people seem to feel the white version has aged much better/is more attractive than the multicolor 750cc sibling.

Given the extreme reliability built into this bike, I think you could realistically assume this VFR700 just needs fresh fluids and possibly fresh rubber. This will allow the new owner to enjoy having something a bit rare/unusual that can still be used as an excellent daily rider/light tourer.


V4 Savior Survivor:  1986 VFR700 (not 750) in white

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