Monthly Archives: June 2018

Bimota June 12, 2018 posted by

Naked Italian Supermodel: 1998 Bimota YB11 for Sale

Look, I’ll get this out the way up front: the Bimota YB11 does not “look way cooler with the bodywork off.” Since the missing bits appear to be included, I’m going to assume, for the purposes of this post, that a lack of taste is the actual reason the bodywork isn’t currently in place. Don’t get me wrong, I love Bimotas shorn of bodywork: the minimalist frame, the simplified construction, the elegance. But with that headlight and tail sections in place and the rest missing? It just looks unfinished. It might run cooler though… Anyway, differing aesthetic opinions aside, the YB11 is certainly an affordable way to get into quirky Italian exotica: we’re obviously comparing apples and oranges here, but you can generally pick up 90s Bimotas for the price of a new Ducati Scrambler.

Stripped of much of its bodywork, this YB11 looks like it might have more in common with an Aprilia Tuono or a KTM Super Duke than a modern liter-class superbike. The 145 horsepower claimed by Bimota for their mildly-tuned version of Yamaha’s five-valve Genesis inline four means the YB11 is closer to “supernaked” than “superbike” in terms of power, as well. Certainly, the 1002cc displacement means it isn’t eligible for superbike racing classes.

But just as bikes in the supernaked class are less powerful, but sometimes more fun than full-blown superbikes, top-end horsepower might impress when you’re comparing stat sheets over a beer, or railing at 10/10ths on a race track, but it doesn’t necessarily translate that well to the real world. Take a look at the YB11’s 80 lb-ft of torque and 400lb dry weight: the Genesis engine has a famously fierce midrange and the bike is claimed to start pulling savagely from below 4,000rpm. Modern superbikes do make much more top-end horsepower, but also weigh a bit more and produce very similar amounts of torque, so you can imagine that a YB11 will still make for a very exciting ride.

Obviously, this old-school superbike comes from a much simpler time, something that’s easy to see once the bodywork is removed. One look under the skin of a YB11 alongside something like Ducati’s new V4 Panigale and you can see just how complicated modern superbikes have become, since modules and wires and hoses pack every available nook and cranny. It’s a good thing the new Panigale has a heavily truncated frame, since I’m not sure where you’d fit a regular one. So no, an old beast like this Bimota isn’t as good as something truly modern. But you also shouldn’t worry too much about more modern bikes running away from you out on the road.

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Bimota YB11 for Sale

A beautiful work of art that looks like it was designed by Michelangelo, this bike is super-light (Superleggera) + excellent handling with 51mm front fork tubes (largest ever put on a production cycle!) + Brembo brakes front +rear, carbon fiber everywhere/ high perf. ARROW exhaust system/ 145H.P. with 12:1 lightweight forged pistons in a 1002cc Thunderace Yamaha engine with lightened quick-rev. crankshaft. Bodywork is off presently cause it looks way cooler with it off, but I do have all the parts that go with the bike.

I’m not clear from the seller’s description whether the “12:1 lightweight forged pistons… with lightened quick-rev. crankshaft” are components from some sort of engine rebuild or if he’s suggesting they were included in the original YB11. I’m pretty sure that Bimota made no internal changes to the stock powerplant and if the engine was rebuilt or otherwise modified, I’d love some more detail regarding what was included and why it was done. Bidding is active with a few days left on the auction, but only up to a bit more than $4,000 at this point. Aside from the missing bodywork [it is included in the sale as you can see below], this bike does look like it’s in very nice shape, but Bimotas of this vintage are still a tough sell, so someone still might get a good bargain.

-tad

Suzuki June 11, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1997 Suzuki RGV250 VJ23

Update 9.14.2018: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Representing maybe the only way to smoke, be cool and rep Lucky Strike, this 1997 Suzuki RGV250V is one of just 120 export-model RGVs in Kevin Schwantz-aping Lucky Strike graphics. The export models got smaller rear sprockets, different airbox lids and exhaust cans and were de-restricted to around 50 horsepower, up from the JDM 40.

The last of a long line of reliable, light, simple and terrifying Japanese two-stroke sportbikes, the RGV250 VJ23s rocked a 70-degree v-twin that is rumored to have been capable of 70 horses when full uncorked. With just 300-ish pounds to push around and the breed’s characteristic on/off powerband, RGs are not mounts for faint-of-heart novices.

Even though this 1997 example is a ‘V’ model, which indicated it was destined for export, seller and friend of the site Alan says he imported it to England from Japan in 2012. It got a refresh in 2013, and has been used since then. Despite the miles, it is in excellent to immaculate condition, with just one minor blemish near the taillight.

From the seller:

For sale

My last rgv250v
This is a factory lucky strike and and is completely stock
This example was imported from Japan myself in 2012 and is unrestored and in superb condition.
Nothing needs doing to it and the usual consumables have been replaced.
It has currently been winterised and is showing 19001km
The vin run for these is as follows
Vj23a-102099 thru to 102218,just 119 bikes that’s it.
This bike is 102164.
It has a tiny mark on the rear edge of the LH rear panel,but that’s it.
It’s fitted with new conti sms.
This bike has been used since I recommissioned it in 2013,and is not a museum piece.
Look at the pics,any questions I’ll do my best to answer them.
Compression on both pots is around 145psi, and included with the bike is a complete spare top end kit and all the handbooks/sales leaflet.
Price is £14k firm plus shipping.
I’ve sold two others this last year for similar money ,not many left bog stock in this condition.

The asking price for this beast is breathing on $20,000, and that is before the cost of shipping it and importing it to the U.S. It’s a steep ask, but the Lucky Strike-liveried VJ23s are rare beasts and should climb some in value.

Featured Listing: 1997 Suzuki RGV250 VJ23
Honda June 9, 2018 posted by

Once Smitten – 1990 Honda VFR-750R / RC30

If there was to be sportbike bubble, the grail-like Honda RC30 might be leading the way, prices rising as you watch, with collector auctions drumming up some truly outlandish numbers.  Still it is a venerable model which stood the WSBK universe on its head for a few years – lightweight, powerful, easy to ride, and just a few thousand exist.  This one has low miles, few modifications, outstanding condition, and a knowledgeable owner.

1990 Honda VFR-750R RC30 for sale on eBay

Bred and born for superbike racing, the RC30 has the goods, sometimes well hidden.  Titanium connecting rods and 360-degree crankshaft timing help make a torquey flexible 102 hp.  The single-sided swingarm is novel for the era, and quick-release front axle is also race-derived.  Rideability is enhanced by the factory slipper clutch, and the endurance racer fairing protects the monoposto up to its 149 mph top speed.

Careful enough that he raked the gravel in the photo shoot area, this might be a unique previous owner.  Evidently having owned a few RC30’s over the years, this one was preserved and carefully modified with just a polished exhaust and matching 17-inch wheels from an RC45.  It certainly shows beautifully, even without the fairings, making the pictures a must-save for RC30 fans or owners.  From the eBay auction:

As you can see from the pics, the bike is in exceptional stock OEM condition and has no period performance modifications other than the wheels and exhaust noted above. The bike still wears its original paint, and it is in very nice condition for its age. As best I can tell, all of the original Honda warning stickers and decals are still in place and looking good. There are a few very minor nicks and scuffs here and there, but you have to examine the bike very closely to find them. The most notable are on the lower fairing chin (see pics) and a scuff on the right side of the original windshield (see pics). Some of what you see on the fairing chin is actually the clear plastic chip guard lifting around the edges and trapping a bit of dirt, but there are a couple of chips at the very nose of the “chin” (it is not cracked through anywhere to my knowledge). There are also a few areas around mounting points that show some minor stress cracking in the paint which is quite common for an RC30 with any mileage, but these are minor enough that I could not get them to show in the photos. The front of the lower forks also have some discoloration in a few spots which is also very common for these bikes (see pics). The above said, the overall appearance of the bike is excellent. 

 

The RC30’s balance and powerband led it to a long career at the Isle of Man and under endurance racing privateers.  Reviews said it was light handling and Honda-easy to maintain.  Prices had been in the mid-twenties until recently, in varying levels of miles and restoration.  A couple of zero-miles examples have popped up this year, one selling at Bonham’s for over $90K including commission.  Nothing like that here, but this is a great specimen that it wouldn’t hurt to ride once in a while.  That is what it’s all about, isn’t it ?

-donn

Once Smitten – 1990 Honda VFR-750R / RC30
Aprilia June 8, 2018 posted by

The Anti-Duc: Low-Mile 2002 Aprilia RSV Mille for Sale

For a while, World Superbike rules favored v-twins, thanks to the… um, influence of Ducati. Soon everybody wanted to get in on the act: Honda switched from a V4 to a twin for their RC51 and Aprilia’s first big bike fit a Rotax v-twin into a revised version of their gorgeous aluminum twin-spar beam frame. Unfortunately, their efforts to distance themselves from Ducati also extended to the new bike’s styling and, while the hyper-modern techno looks of the RSV Mille were certainly different, it’s definitely not a classic design.

Instead of a 90° v-twin that is generally pretty hard to fit into a modern sportbike chassis, since it’s very long front-to-back, Rotax used a much more compact 60° configuration for their 998cc twin and kept the increased vibrations in check with a pair of balance shafts. The result was a bit more “agricultural” than Ducati’s engine, but it had plenty of character to go with its competitive power output, along with famous reliability.

Ergonomics of the RSV were a nice change from Ducati’s race-track serious riding position, and the new Aprilia was an all-around more user-friendly machine. It’s got character to spare though and, combined with the bike’s reliability and currently very affordable prices, has made the Mille something of an oxymoron: an affordable, reliable Italian superbike. Which means today’s example is particularly odd, since it has just 2,000 miles on it.

From the original eBay listing: 2002 Aprilia RSV Mille for Sale

Selling my 2002 Aprilia RSV Mille. I acquired this through any estate sale with only 300 miles on it. The engine was properly broken in, raising the rev limiter according to mileage, and it currently only has 2k miles on it. This is essentially a brand new bike wearing the original tires that still have the nubs on them.

I changed out the starting circuit with a more robust starter, starter relay, and wiring, replacing weak OEM setup. It comes with factory racing exhaust and race chip installed, and OEM street pipe and chip as well. Perfect, showroom condition.

I purchased this bike because of the bullet proof Rotax 60° V-twin engine in that beautiful Italian GP frame, intended to convert this into a track bike, but its just too pristine. I’ve seen these engines raced hard with 70k miles on them with no rebuilds!

There are NO prefect condition RSV Mille bikes left out there.
This is a cash only sale and I do not need any assistance in selling it.

“There are NO perfect condition RSV Mille bikes left out there”? That’s a pretty bold statement, and one I’m sure we can trust, since he’s trying to sell a bike… It is pretty unlikely that there are all that many with miles this low, but I’m sure there are at least a few out there, particularly the R version, bought by people with an eye towards future values. And that’s the real issue here: this RSV in basically perfect condition, with a couple of nice, factory extras, but it’s not a collectible version of the bike. It’s a supremely competent bike, even in stock form, but not especially valuable yet: these regularly trade hands for far less than the $5,750 the seller is asking. If you’re a collector willing to pay premium dollars for an RSV, I’d think you’d hold out for an R. If you’re a fan of funky, budget exotica… You’ll probably just pick one with more miles up for less money.

-tad

The Anti-Duc: Low-Mile 2002 Aprilia RSV Mille for Sale
Ducati June 7, 2018 posted by

Eight Mile: Nearly New 2004 Ducati 998S Final Edition for Sale

By the time Ducati’s 916 was retired, they’d wrung just about everything out of the bike there was to wring, and the sportbike world had moved on. From a stylistic perspective, the 998 was far too familiar after ten years and, while the design was still considered a classic, it was decidedly… classic. Of course Ducatisti felt the 999 that followed moved the style on a bit too far, but a significant mechanical overhaul was a good idea, and this 998S Final Edition represents the very end of the line for Tamburini’s masterpiece of form and function.

The 998 looked pretty much like the original 916 with some updated graphics and wheels, was significantly evolved. Sure, some parts are interchangeable between the 916, 996, 998, and even the 748, but both the engine and frame changed significantly between the bike’s introduction in 1994 and 2004, when the 998 was discontinued. The 998’s frame was actually the same as the 996R, which allowed the 998 to use that bike’s larger airbox and updated injectors for additional power: 123hp, up from the 996’s 112. The new frame also allowed use of the 998cc Testastretta engine that was first used in the 996R, and bodywork was revised to wrap around the new frame and engine as well.

So while the 916 may be the original, the 998 is a much more thoroughly-developed package, with increased power and improved reliability from both the mechanical and electrical components. If you want to collect a Tamburini bike, you’re probably looking at the original 916. If you’re looking to ride your Ducati, the 998 is likely a better choice. Of course this 998S FE might be better left as a display bike: it has covered just 7.4 miles in total since it was built.

From the original eBay listing: 2004 Ducati 998S Final Edition for Sale

This is a new, never ridden 2004 Ducati 998S Final Edition.
It has the Testastretta engine, Ohlins shocks, Termignoni exhaust, and carbon fiber underbody.
It has never been licensed. I bought it thinking I would ride it later, and now I have lost interest in riding it. It has always been kept indoors and covered.
It had 7 miles on it when I purchased it from the dealer, and I have not added any more.

If you missed buying the most refined version of Tamburini’s superbike new, this is just about the closest thing you’re going to find now. It isn’t one of the high-performance homologation models like the R or SPS, but that insane mileage makes it one of the rarest Ducatis around. Honestly, this is a collector and not a rider, and would probably need some work after basically sitting for the past 14 years if you wanted to actually use it, but if you want a museum piece, this is your bike. The seller is asking an eye-watering $25,000 for this one, which is stiff money for a 998. But how many are there in existence like it at this point?

-tad

Eight Mile: Nearly New 2004 Ducati 998S Final Edition for Sale
Ducati June 6, 2018 posted by

Garaged Every Night – 2007 Ducati SportClassic Sport 1000 Biposto with 1,180 Miles !

As much as fans cringe when another nearly unused special hits RSBFS, mint examples naturally have the interest of buyers.  This lightly updated SportClassic was used as a display article for a garage customizing company, and is ready for a riding owner.

2007 Ducati SportClassic Sport 1000 Biposto for sale on eBay

Designed by Pierre Terblanche, the SportClassics didn’t break much new ground technologically, but tapped into the fuzzy good memories of past motos.  The DS1000 engine was a revelation, a winning combination of updated desmo valve angles, air/oil cooling, fuel injection, and updated electrics which provided a reliable 92 hp and sweet sound.  Suspension looked forward with 43 mm upside-down forks, and back with dual remote reservoir shocks.  Memories of cleaning spoked wheels must have faded since they are back aboard the SportClassic, and in alloy they complete the retro look.

With a lot of niceties from Rizoma, this monochromatic Sport 1000 looks almost new.  Cam belts are uncovered but guarded, and the wet clutch precludes the normal open cover.  Slightly shorter rear turn signal stalks are the perfect mod.  Having been wheeled in and out of the display garages for the past ten years, this Sport 1000 could use new belts, though valves should be ok and tires would be optional.  There should be a pillion seat under the café cover.  From the eBay auction:

This 2007 Ducati is in great condition and has been properly maintained and kept in my climate controlled garage. It has primarily been used in our RaceDeck Garage Flooring marketing/shows and  the occasional cruise in the canyons. The condition of this show-stopping motorcycle is like it was in a time capsule. Has never been dropped, runs fantastic and a great ride. 

As you will see in the photos, this Ducati Sport Classic is not only a show stopper, it is outfitted with the best accessories, such as Termignoni sport exhaust, Rizoma mirrors, Rizoma grips, numerous other Rizoma accessories, radiator guard, tank coat, Speedymoto, recessed taillights and license plate, Ducati Motorcycle cover, etc.

Looking good in garages of a certain age, the Sport 1000 reviewed as a quality all-rounder, and a rise in the handlebar height for ’07 was welcomed.  Most likely a second or third Ducati for the lucky ones, the SportClassic’s statement is in its non-aggression pact.  No race pace or sponsor ads, the Sport 1000 is just here for the good times…

-donn

Garaged Every Night – 2007 Ducati SportClassic Sport 1000 Biposto with 1,180 Miles !
Moto Guzzi June 5, 2018 posted by

Muscular Classic: 1976 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale

These days, Moto Guzzi “sportbikes” really need the quotation marks I’ve included here. Ducati managed to develop their signature 90° v-twin format and stay competitive among the current crop of tech-heavy rockets, but it’s unlikely that, even given a pretty large budget to attempt something like that, Guzzi could have stayed true to their longitudinal twin and shaft drive and expected to remain relevant. And even if they’d been allowed to produce the much more radical 72°, liquid-cooled and overhead-cammed, chain final-drive package they’d been working on, a purchase by Piaggio permanently locked Guzzi into the retro-roadster limbo where they’ve languished ever since. I’m glad they’ve managed to survive into the modern era, but it’s sad that that they only do so as a bit of a self-parody, since they were fully capable of building legitimate racebikes like their impressive, but unsuccessful V8 Grand Prix entry and versatile sportbikes like today’s 850 Le Mans.

Often referred to as a “Mark I” Le Mans, that’s obviously a name that was coined after the fact to differentiate it from the bikes that followed. An evolution of the earlier V7 Sport and 750S, the new 850 Le Mans sportbike even continued with Lino Tonti’s excellent frame, wrapped around a bored-out engine with chrome-lined cylinders, high compression pistons, and a set of 36mm Dell’Orto carburetors. The result was 71 rear-wheel horsepower and a top speed of 130mph. To make sure the rider could safely slow the machine from those heady speeds, the bike used triple disc brakes and a rudimentary but very effective linked-brake system.

It’s easy to dismiss the Guzzi for being a “tractor” and the chunky, slightly angular style, massive-looking engine, shaft drive, and simple, pushrod v-twin do lend themselves to agricultural comparisons. But although the spec sheet doesn’t seem cutting edge now and really wasn’t even when the bike was new, it’s the overall package that impressed then, as well as the brute motive force supplied by the 850cc engine. The noticeable torque-reaction caused by the longitudinal crankshaft aside, handling was excellent, and the engine was revvier than you might expect. Much more rev-happy, in fact, than the contemporary Ducati bevel-drive v-twin. But it wasn’t a high-strung machine and had a nice blend of exotic looks, torquey power, and practicality that saw Guzzi eventually shift from sportbike to sport-touring as they were unable to compete with the relentless pace of cutting-edge motorcycle development in the 80s and 90s.

From the original eBay listing: 1976 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale

Bike restored in 2016 and only 1600 miles added since… A true beauty with only natural flaws, this is a bike to be ridden.

Bike was completely gone through in 2016 by the team at world famous CYCLE GARDEN in Huntington Beach over $20k spent on restoration , tank was left with original paint . Bike looks exactly as an original 1976 should . There is not a better one to be found anywhere, this is a rare opportunity to own a true piece of motorcycle history.

“Now acknowledged as one of the great sporting motorcycles of the 1970’s, the Le Mans was a Masterpiece ” -Ian Fallon

 

A very nice video of the bike by Cycle Garden is included that shows the bike in motion and goes over some aspects of the restoration. An old Triumph or bevel-drive Ducati might have more vintage looks, if you’re into chrome or polished metal, but the same qualities that have characterized Guzzis from the beginning are present here, and the first-generation Le Mans is about as good as it gets for a practical classic sportbike: it’s got stable handling and the flexible motor can even keep up with more modern bikes without much trouble. The powertrain is reliable and the whole bike is pretty easy to get parts for, considering the mere 6,000 or so that were built between 1976 and 1978. Unfortunately, these are no longer the bargains they once were, and the seller’s $24,979 Buy It Now price gives a pretty clear indication of where things are headed.

-tad

Muscular Classic: 1976 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale
Moto Guzzi June 4, 2018 posted by

Some Assembly Required – 1998 Moto Guzzi V10 Centauro Sport

Moto Guzzi cross-pollinated their 1990’s unfaired sport model with the newly developed 992cc four-valve V-twin, the result being the V10 Centauro.  Calendar-girl bodywork surrounds the air and oil-cooled beast within, tuned down from the Daytona 1000’s peak but still happy to rev to the 8,400 rpm limit and crank out 95 hp.  This one has been rendered a little more naked than usual, but the auction includes all the stock parts and some neat touring accessories.

1998 Moto Guzzi V1 Centauro for sale on eBay

This era of Guzzi combines their recent overhead cam engine with premium components and styling by the late Luciano Marabese.  The powerplant is the star of the show, Weber fuel injection helping push 78 ft.-lbs. through the 5-speed and out to the natural shaft drive.  Top-of-the-line suspension from WP, Bitubo steering damper, brakes from Brembo, and wheels by Marchesini set the scene for a undeniably European experience.  Old enemy gross weight is present but held low in the picture and handling is helped by a rigid chrome-moly backbone chassis.

Evidently in between plans, this Centauro has had the bikini and engine fairings removed, and except for the oil cooler hanging out there, looks just as well for it.  Possibly making ready for a tour, as a couple of different seats are included as well as a set of Hepco-Becker bags, which from my BMW days are without equal.  Not mentioned but it might be an aftermarket exhaust or cat bypass.  Pictures aren’t high resolution, but the owner does offer these comments in the eBay auction:

One owner, excellent original condition with 8,620 miles. Always garaged. Only in the rain three times and has zero damage.
Comes with all its original parts including the following three which were removed when it was brand new: Headlight/dash cover with clear air foil, Oil cooler bezel and catalytic convertor.
Also comes with following new parts: Luggage rack with mounts, Hepco Becker Junior 40 liter Hard bags with mounts, Hepco Becker Junior 40 liter rubber liner set, one pair original grips.
In addition, comes with following used parts: Original tires,  Factory seat, Factory seat with extra passenger padding. All original hardware, computer chip, Original owners manual, Shop manual, Parts manual.

Looks like the new owner will have all the options – a new-looking machine with choice of seats, and factory fairings or not.  Luggage, well, if you must.  Reviewed as eager to run and needing firm direction, the modern twin can propel the Centaur to more than enough speed to make the auction winner consider replacing the windshield fairing.  Stock or updated, local or long distance – which direction to take this rare and quintessential Guzzi…

-donn

Some Assembly Required – 1998 Moto Guzzi V10 Centauro Sport

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