Monthly Archives: June 2015

Ducati June 7, 2015 posted by

The Start of Something – 1988 Ducati 851 Tri-Colore Strada

1988 Ducati 851 Tri-Colore Strada on eBay Italy


Here's one for our European visitors (or those ambitious enough to attempt the import process)...  an all original 1988 Ducati 851 Tri-Colore Strada up for auction in Italy.  The 851 was the introduction of Ducati's "desmodronic" four valve heads and a big leap forward in an attempt to catch the Japanese manufacturers.  The 851 featured the signature Ducati steel trellis frame, Marvic wheels, Brembo brakes and those funky side pod mirrors.  Ducati's work paid off quickly in the form of a World Superbike Championship in 1990 with Raymond Roche in the saddle and Ducati was officially back.  The 851 would be the forefather to the very successful 888 and 916 models.


Now, this one IS located in Italy, so our US readers might throw up their hands in frustration, but surely somebody in Italy is reading this and will give her a good home, no?

The seller is upfront in stating that the bike is in "average condition" with some typical wear and tear that's to be expected as it's nears it's 30th birthday.  So, again, this would either make a good restoration candidate or a really cool classic to actually get out and ride.  Check it out here: 1988 Ducati 851 on eBay in Italy

Bike is 99% original, paintwork is average as the general conditions, still with all the original rare parts as the 16" wheels, original silencers etc. 

Mechanically is very sound with just 25500kms from new (a lot of documentation to prove). Original UK sold bike, all history present.

Ride and collect!

Bike is currently located in Italy, 33080 Roveredo in Piano (Pordenone) but i can get them delivered all around the World at cost, no problem.



The Start of Something – 1988 Ducati 851 Tri-Colore Strada
Honda June 6, 2015 posted by

Super Single: 2008 Honda CRF-Based Race Bike

2008 Honda CRF450R Race Bike L Front

So, this is one for the riders, not the collectors. This bike has no historical value whatsoever: it's a mongrel roadracing single-cylinder track bike based on Honda's four-stroke CRF450 dirt bike. But it's a very well put-together mongrel, and one that looks like it'd be a ton of fun at the track!

2008 Honda CRF450R Race Bike L Rear

This sort of thing has become popular in recent years, with a number of manufacturers making suspension, fairing, and rearset-control kits to create race and track day bikes to compete in Sound of Singles classes and the like.

Just add dirt bike.

Singles make ideal bikes for budding track day junkies: torquey, flexible, and reliable, with incredible light weight that stresses handling over power. Like a 250cc two-stroke, but easier to ride, and with much longer service intervals.

From the original eBay listing: 2008 Honda CRF 450R-Based Race Bike for Sale

The most amazing motorcycle ever!

511 big bore with 0 miles on re-build


Marchesini wheels

Catalyst Bodywork Audi Racing Blue Pro Paint with spare set new unpainted unmounted

Custom EVERYTHING from Race-Tech

I will throw in MANY SPARES inc piston ,cylinder, radiators, hoses, sprockets, cams, valve spacers, un-painted never mounted full set or race faring and many more extras

Well, I'd say that calling this "the most amazing motorcycle EVAR" is probably crossing the line into hyperbole just a bit, but we're looking at a nicely put together bike, with a spares package to keep you riding

The seller also includes a link to a very comprehensive walk-around of the bike that's worth a look if you've any interest in these bikes at all.

2008 Honda CRF450R Race Bike R Side

$7,000 isn't cheap, but I doubt you could replicate a bike like this for anywhere near the price. And while it isn't as sexy as an Aprilia RS250 or RGV, it will likely be far less of a headache to run, with no worries about binning a future classic!


2008 Honda CRF450R Race Bike Yo

Super Single: 2008 Honda CRF-Based Race Bike
Kawasaki June 6, 2015 posted by

How bizzare, how bizzare: 1980 Kawasaki Mystery Ship


While at first glance this appears to be a customization run amock, it is actually something a bit more than that, a 1980 Mystery Ship.  The Mystery Ship was the brainstorm of Craig Vetter, founder of the aftermarket Windjammer motorcycle fairing company.  After Vetter sold Windjammer in 1978, he embarked on a new effort..a "streetable road racer, with all the right parts."  And what did Vetter decide to use as the basis of his bike?  Just one of the most powerful bikes of the day, a Kawasaki KZ1000 Turbo.

The KZ1000 turbo is by itself already a rare bike; a more expensive illegitimate brother of the standard KZ1000.  Interestingly, the KZ1000 turbo was not actually an official Kawasaki model; it was offered as an "official" bolt-on turbo kit that Kawasaki would install for buyers.   The turbo kit was developed by ATP with input from Kawasaki engineers but was not warrantied by Kawasaki so any engine blow ups were the responsibility of the owner.  And engine blow ups were apparently not unheard of, since the kit offered the ability to quickly adjust the turbo boost from 5-10 psi.

Price for the turbo equipped KZ1000 edition was almost 50% significantly higher than the non-turbo version and the original frame struggled to keep up with the power so its not really surprising that only 1600 were sold during the Turbo's two year life cycle.

Anyone wishing to read more about the KZ1000 turbo can click here.


original KZ1000 turbo

mystery ship with the turbo still visible

1980 Kawasaki Mystery Ship on ebay (New Zealand)

Vetter launched his new effort with a stated target goal of producing 200 units. The plan was to take the already powerful KZ1000 turbo and upgrade/modify the chassis, add magnesium racing wheels and Yoshimura exhausts and, of course, drastically restyle the bike with a new Vetter designed fairing/bodywork.

So what happened?  1st of all, the asking price for a Vedder was $10,000 USD, which was about three times the price of the unmodified non-turbo KZ1000.   More significantly, this price was still not enough to cover production costs.  The result was only 10 Mystery Ships are recorded as having been actually produced.


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

  • #6 of 10 Vedder Mystery Ships produced
  • Has not been ridden since new, only 2 original miles on the clock but some slight dis-coloration at the headers
  • Otherwise condition is exactly as it left the  factory.
  • Age has added some patina to paint work and switch blocks
  • Cracked sidewalls of the Tires/TT 100's (probably due to age)



So is this bike worth the $23,500 USD asking price?  Well it meets all 4 major criteria to be considered a rare sport bike; limited production, condition, location and technology but it just doesn't appeal to my collector instinct as anything more that an oddity.  I think it will take a very serious collector or perhaps a curator of a museum like the Solvang or Barber museum for this one to find a new home.




Note:  This bike is located in Auckland, New Zealand


How bizzare, how bizzare:  1980 Kawasaki Mystery Ship
Bimota June 5, 2015 posted by

Innovative – 1983 Bimota KB2 Laser S

One of the final Tamburini designs before he departed for Cagiva, the 2nd Kawasaki-powered Bimota delivers the company paradigm of chassis design and lighter weight using state-of-the-art powerplants.  Perhaps named for the laser the chassis fabricator wished he had when assembling the 44 frame members, which cradle the 543cc air-cooled Kawasaki inline four.  Because the engine is relatively narrow, the red frame holds both sides of the motor and allows the swingarm to pivot at the chain drive sprocket, keeping chain tension constant despite suspension movement.  Another innovation is the use of 16 inch wheels front and rear, reducing gyroscopic forces and turning in a little easier.

20150602 1983 bimota kb2 laser s right

1983 Bimota KB2 Laser S for sale on eBay

20150602 1983 bimota kb2 laser s left

Originally introduced with a 500cc engine, the "S" has the 550, delivering 65hp at 10,500 rpm.  A wet clutch is in the engine cases, and drives a 6-speed transmission.  Big 280mm disk brakes in front, with 210mm disk at the rear.  40mm front forks and rear monoshock are adjustable for preload and damping.  The full fairing is punctuated by small air openings and rounded edges, and uses flush fasteners.  Very neat cockpit has Brembo clip-ons and a full-featured instrument cluster courtesy of Kawasaki.

20150602 1983 bimota kb2 laser s binnacle  20150602 1983 bimota kb2 laser s right front wheel

20150602 1983 bimota kb2 laser s right rear wheel  20150602 1983 bimota kb2 laser s right grip

Seeming un-restored and very nice shape, this KB2 shows only a couple of nicks in the seat fairing.  Bimotas of any age are very rare, but the Kawasaki driveline can be comforting.  This example resides in England but is offered by a eBay dealer from Italy.

From the eBay auction:

Said to be Massimo Tamburinis personal favourite Bimota design and not without good reason with an excellent power to weight ratio and build quality second to none, due to its very high cost when new Bimota only managed to build and sell 177 of them so they very rarely reach the market this being the first we’ve ever seen in the shop, it’s an excellent un restored example with just under 14000 recorded KM’s believed to be genuine having had the same owner for the past 21 years.

20150602 1983 bimota kb2 laser s left front wheel  20150602 1983 bimota kb2 laser s right frame

This KB2 is a very neat design, very innovative, only 8,000 miles, appearing quite clean and original.  More of a TT than an envelope-pushing superbike, a rideable exotic ready for a look...


Innovative – 1983 Bimota KB2 Laser S
Yamaha June 4, 2015 posted by

Alloy-Framed Race-Rep: 1984 Yamaha RZV500R

1984 Yamaha RZV500 L Side Front

From a styling standpoint, motorcycles of the 1980's were going through a bit of an awkward, adolescent phase... But continuing with that analogy, major growth and changes were occurring under the skin, and Japanese race replicas like this Yamaha RZV500 featured all sorts of wild, innovative technology.

1984 Yamaha RZV500 R Side

Yamaha's GP bike for the road pulled out all the stops and featured liquid-cooling, 50° between the V4's cylinder banks, a pair of crankshafts, magnesium cases, a balance shaft,  YPVS powervalves to boost midrange power, and the obscene-sounding Autolube oil-injection system to keep the smoker spinning happily. The factory claimed 88hp from the cutting edge engine.

1984 Yamaha RZV500 Cockpit

The rest of the package was no less sophisticated, with a six-speed gearbox, anti-dive forks, and a rear shock slung under the engine to allow space for the rear cylinders' expansion chambers, with a 16" wheel up front and an 18" hoop in the back.

1984 Yamaha RZV500 L Side Rear

Designed to compete directly with Suzuki's RG500Γ, the RZV500 was never actually imported to the US because of the two-stroke engine's emissions output, but many have found their way down to us from our friendly neighbors up north across the Canadian border. This particular bike was originally the Japanese-market version that had the much lighter aluminum frame but was detuned to 64hp. Happily, the seller rejetted the bike and fitted the headers from the UK's version, the RD500LC.

And check out those vented brake discs! I wonder how hard it is to find replacements for those...

1984 Yamaha RZV500 Brakes

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale

Take that tax return and put it into something that’s going to go up in value while you ride it, like this 1984 Yamaha RZV500R! That’s right kids, this is a factory-produced GP replica street bike. Inspired by the dominating YZR500s of Kenny Roberts and Eddie Lawson, and manufactured during Lawson's 1984 World Championship-winning season, this 2-stoke, liquid-cooled, 500cc sport bike duplicates the configuration of the factory team's YZR500 Marlboro Yamaha GP machines.

This bike is a blast to ride. A firm kick and the mighty reed valve, GP-derived, twin crankshaft V4 fires instantly and settles into an idle that I can only describe as an army of angry hornets. Put on your favorite helmet and gear and next thing you know you’re channeling Roberts, Lawson, or Rainey while giving the beans to a genuine, GP-derived V4 2-stroker the likes of which will never be seen again. 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 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. 

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 Aeromax tires are in very nice condition. The oil tank leaks some from the level sensor. 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.

1984 Yamaha RZV500 R Tank Detail

Apparently, this bike was up for auction previously, and the seller indicates that the auction was ended early because he'd incorrectly listed the year of manufacture, although he also freely admits to having ended other auctions in the past due to a "change of heart." Well at least he's passionate about his bikes, and it sounds like he knows his stuff!

Like Suzuki's Gamma, these are very desirable bikes and, if you're looking for a bike that's likely to continue to appreciate in value, this one's a good bet. I'm not the biggest fan of the styling, although you can't argue with 500cc's of snarling, two-stroke V4: they ain't pretty, but it's hard not to love the truly epic cacophony of that engine...


1984 Yamaha RZV500 L Side

Alloy-Framed Race-Rep: 1984 Yamaha RZV500R
BMW June 3, 2015 posted by

Eurostar – 2003 BMW R1100S BoxerCup Replika

Introduced in 1999, the BMW R1100S re-introduced motorcyclists to the sportier side of BMW, and inspired a brand race series in Europe, which developed into a support race for MotoGP and the Daytona 200.  Signed by spokesman ( and AMA hall of fame member ) Randy Mamola, the BoxerCup Replika is the ultimate version of the oil-cooled BMW 1100cc twin.

20150603 2003 bmw r1100s bcr right

2003 BMW R1100S BoxerCup Replika

20150603 2003 bmw r1100s bcr cockpit  20150603 2003 bmw r1100s bcr rear

Applying evolution to the classic BMW twin, factory designers added a lot of new things to the R1100S - a new rear subframe supports the suspension ( rather than the transmission case ), underseat exhaust, aluminum fuel tank ( under the beauty cover), and clip-ons.  Front and rear fenders are carbon fiber, as are the valve covers.  Keeping the successful 4-valve heads and shaft drive ensured reliability and a solid 98 hp.  The traditional automotive-type dry clutch resides between the engine and the close-ratio six-speed transmission.  On a sportbike weighing in at 500 lbs., the 320mm front ( and 275mm rear ) disks will be tested.  Nice touches on the BCR optional on the the R1100S are the 5-1/2 inch rear wheel, Ohlins shocks, bellypan, braided brake lines, as well as pillion cover and clear signal lenses.

20150603 2003 bmw r1100s bcr right engine  20150603 2003 bmw r1100s bcr left rear wheel

Almost ready for its first oil change, this BoxerCup Replika has just 1,600 miles over 12 years.  No dusty barn find, this one looks basically new.  Naturally, not much said about repair or maintenance history, but new fluids and rubber would be expected before a serious ride. The owner states:

As stated I am the original and only owner of the bike. I really hate to part with it. It has been part of my bike family and like any family member I will miss it. Bike has been stored and maintained in a climate controlled environment and I would consider in mint condition.

20150603 2003 bmw r1100s bcr binnacle  20150603 2003 bmw r1100s bcr pillion cover

Though it was succeeded by the R1200S, and eclipsed by the HP2 and eventually the RR1000, the R1100S was a signature all-rounder, which could be ridden to and from a track day.  This BoxerCup Replika is a barely broken-in example of one of BMW's best S-bikes...


Eurostar – 2003 BMW R1100S BoxerCup Replika

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