Monthly Archives: September 2018

Yamaha September 29, 2018 posted by

Swimsuit Issue – 1977 Yamaha RD400

Mid-seventies the two-stroke era was winding down, most manufacturers were looking for ways to tie their new mid-size four strokes to their smoking forebears.  Yamaha stretched it out, keeping the RD-400 in the line-up until 1980.  For 1977 they offered cast wheels, all disk brakes and 14-second 1/4 miles.

1977 Yamaha RD400 for sale on eBay

In today’s era of jamming a lot of complication into a small engine, Yamaha’s air-cooled twin is a statement of simplicity – 44hp from 398cc without fuel injection, overhead valves, counterbalance shafts, etc.  It still requires a poke with the right leg to start, though at least oil injection is standard.  Light construction helped the RD make a quick getaway, the twin downtube frame, suspension and brakes are all right-sized for the mission and keep the fully-fueled weight well under 400 lbs.  Historically noisy, Yamaha did what they could with the generous mufflers and airbox to quiet things down.

Looking a few years old rather than its decades, this RD has been carefully stored, and recently returned to rideability.  This required rebuilds of the carburetors, oil injection pump, and brakes – refreshingly OEM parts are still available.  What wasn’t required were cosmetics, which are excellent and original.  From the eBay auction:

This is a 1977 Yamaha RD400 VIN # 1A1304892    Verified by Libby’s in New Haven, Conn.
In dry storage for 18 years.
Full disclosure right front fender is scratched. The front brake lever has been replaced.
The right muffler does not have any damage. 
The gas tank has a minor dent in the pin stripe. There is no rust or paint chipping.  
tank inside is perfect, no rusting no tank treatments . also new petcock valve OEM.
New chain and sprockets.
New front and rear brake calipers.
Rebuilt front brake master cylinder.
New rear brake master cylinder.
New tires.
New clutch cable.
Rebuilt carburetors
New TDR reed valves.
All new vent and fuel hoses.
New battery.
Rebuilt auto injection pump.
Too much to list. Original bodywork, pipes etc…
Starts 1st kick every time.

The RD400 was skinny all over – seat, tires, and powerband.  But a blast if you stayed in the envelope, as reviewers claimed if it wasn’t lifting the front wheel in second gear, there was something wrong.  As the other big three were in transition to lumbering four strokes, it out-performed the competition and undercut them on price.  An unrestored bike of this age is unusual, as is this RD’s alternate color, interesting as Yamaha later adopted blue for their race teams…

-donn

Swimsuit Issue – 1977 Yamaha RD400
BMW September 28, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 2009 BMW HP2 Sport

Update 1.2.2019: The bike has SOLD! -dc

There is no other way to put this: If you must have the ultimate expression of BMW’s iconic two-cylinder boxer engine, the 2009 BMW HP2 Sport is your only option. The engine has been in rafts of special, technologically perfect, desirable machines, but it was never so focused, powerful and manic as here. It took the line’s venerated torque curve, refinement and unique Germanness and turned it into a race bike engine. Around that mill, which was the first of its breed to have dual overhead camshafts, BMW draped carbon fiber by the sheet and a World Superbike-spec datalogger (no, seriously) dashboard. They kept the whole thing moving in the right direction with Ohlins suspension on both ends.

The bodywork was all carbon fiber, as were the valve covers, and the bike rocked forged wheels, fully adjustable footpegs and a quickshifter. it has taken the rest of the superbike world until now to come close to catching up with the blingy, technical prowess of this nine-year-old Bavarian.  The list goes on to include forged triple clamps and a bunch of other special parts, but the list of superlatives is getting exhausting.

Perhaps the best part of the HP2 is that it was never really meant to be much of a racebike. The telelever front end is heavy, the heads limit cornering clearance, and, what’s more, it debuted as the S1000RR came on the scene. It was pure engineering obscenity, the expression of the wildest fantasies of some seriously nerdy German gearheads.

This one is an immaculate, 7,000-mile example with a bunch of tasteful aftermarket bits, including an uninstalled Power Commander 5. All the stock pieces (except the original battery) come with it.

From the seller:

Rare opportunity to own a 2009 BMW HP2 SPORT. Only about 250 HP2 Sports were ever brought to the US.
One of the most beautiful examples of a supersport motorcycle ever produced.
This motorcycle came with some of the best equipment from the factory:
MotoGP inspired 2D data logging dash
Quick shift
Full carbon fiber bodywork
Carbon fiber heads
Full Ohlins suspension
Forged wheels
Added:
Bar end mirrors with custom mirror block offs (have the stock mirrors)
Mini front turn signals (have the stock turn signals)
Shorai Lithium battery
Including the PitBull stand
Have all the paperwork, pink slip in hand, registered till Nov 2018, owners manual, PC5 never installed, will come with the BMW
This bike has been stored in my dining room and painlessly cared for.
Text if interested

The bike is located in Garden Grove, California, and is listed at $16,500 on Craigslist and CycleTrader.

Featured Listing: 2009 BMW HP2 Sport
Buell September 27, 2018 posted by

Last Yankee Superbike: 2012 Erik Buell Racing 1190RS

There really isn’t a way to describe quite how sad it is that Buell went the way of the dinosaur, but here we sit, with just a few examples of some truly American, truly brawny world-beating machines kicking around the Internet to remind of what once was. The wild, slightly redneck, fully awesome creations of an enterprising Harley-Davidson engineer, the bikes proved that there is life beyond cruiser for American muscle, wrapping taught frames around torquey, big-inch mills from Milwaukee. They were grassroots two-wheeled hot rods with factory backing. As American as burnouts and illicit Saturday night drags.

2012 Erik Buell Racing 1190RS for sale on eBay

The bikes may have had a rep thanks to their roots, but they turned and stopped with the best of them, and were prized for walking the walk as well as looking the part. Sadly, the company closed its doors in 2009, when Harley backed out of its 51 percent ownership stake. Shortly thereafter, Buell reformed into Erik Buell Racing, which kicked out the epic machine you see today. The 2012 EBR 1190RS was the carbon fiber-decked track-focused update of the 1125R, the company’s comeback bike.

They made just 100 of the 1190RS, which could be had with a race exhaust system and ECU that dropped its weight to just 397 pounds with a full tank of gas. That mass was propelled by an absolutely maniacal 1190cc v-twin that made 175 horsepower. When tested by CycleWorld, the street legal 1190RS outpaced the 1125R that the company had been campaigning in AMA Superbike.

The example you see here is, as you might imagine, flawless, and has covered less than 25 miles. As much fun as it would be to crack down a backroad with the big twin at full chat, this bike probably belongs in a museum or a quiet private collection.

From the eBay listing:

Beautiful 2012 EBR 1190RS Vin 0051. One of less than 100 made! This bike was a factory race bike, straight out of the crate race ready. Carbon Fiber, Ohlins Forks.

This Erik Buell Racing EBR 1190 RS motorcycle is sold with a title.

NEW! Local pickup in Grand Rapids, MI 49525.

Or shipping can be arranged for an additional $500-$600 in the US.

Despite the scant description, the bike is a collector’s dream that ought not be missed.

Last Yankee Superbike: 2012 Erik Buell Racing 1190RS
Suzuki September 27, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1994 Suzuki RGV250Γ VJ22 for Sale

Update 11.3.2018: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

By the time the early 1990s rolled around, four-stroke performance motorcycles like Suzuki’s GSX-R750 had gotten more powerful, more refined, and much heavier. Seriously, the GSX-R1100 of 1993 weighed in at 560lbs wet! Luckily, two stroke sportbikes at least remained pretty svelte. Although a little bit heavier than the original versions from the late 1980s, they still hovered right around 300lbs, which gave bikes like this Featured Listing 1994 Suzuki RGV250Γ excellent handling and decent acceleration, in spite of the limited power from the dirty little v-twin.

The RGV250Γ Gamma naturally used a twin-spar aluminum frame as was common in the class, along with a 249cc, liquid-cooled two-stroke 90° v-twin controlled by Suzuki’s own electronic power-valve and ignition control system they dubbed “SAPC,” an acronym for “Suzuki Advanced Power Control.” The result was around 55hp in de-restricted form, although the original Japanese market bikes were limited to just 45hp.

This VJ22 is the second generation of the bike that followed the original VJ21 and was eventually superseded by the VJ23 that had very different looks and used an entirely new 70° two-stroke v-twin. Style for the VJ22 was similar to the earlier VJ21, but featured a distinctive braced swingarm and 17″ wheels front and rear, instead of the 18″ rear found on the VJ21.

Today’s bike offers up retina-searing graphics that might have been considered dated and unfashionable until recently, but waves of nostalgia for 90s sportbikes have made this style cool again. Or at least have made it okay to admit that you always thought these vibrant colors were cool. It can be tricky to judge condition from photos, but this bike appears to be in exceptional shape, especially considering the age of the bike. Aside from that, it’s been thoughtfully modified, properly maintained, and appears to be ready to go terrorize the local canyons or your local bike night with ring-a-ding noises and heavy two-stroke smoke.

From the Seller: 1994 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22 for Sale

  • Australia model 17 digit VIN
  • 34mm carbs
  • De-restricted SAPC
  • Box original bodywork 
  • Racetech suspension 
  • Bike is fully serviced: carb clean and sync 
  • Oil pump bleed 
  • Fresh 2t Motul 710 
  • New spark plugs 
  • Idaho plates
  • Located in Redondo Beach, California.
    $9,500 obo

Well the 17-digit VIN should make it a bit easier to register in some states, which makes this one appealing to folks who want to ride their bikes and not just collect, display, or track them. Yes, it already has an Idaho registration, but I’m not sure how strict the Idaho DMV is and some states might still give you trouble without the right number of digits in your VIN. The asking price for this little two-stroke? $11,000. It’s not one of the famous race-replica editions, but this example is ready-to-ride and looks very 90s with those neon graphics.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1994 Suzuki RGV250Γ VJ22 for Sale
Honda September 27, 2018 posted by

Cutting Edge: 1985 Rothmans Honda NS400R for Sale

Not too long ago, all kinds of weird and wonderful sportbikes from the mid-1980s were available for reasonable sums. Until recently, they weren’t really old enough to be considered classics in terms of styling, and they weren’t even close to modern machines in terms of outright performance or handling. It probably didn’t help much that they’re just plain weird to modern sensibilities: consider Honda’s NS400R, with its two-stroke V3, anti-dive forks, odd middle-of-the-road displacement, and the slightly awkward, upright styling common to bikes of the era.

The 80s saw the Japanese brands finally come into their own and race and showroom success, combined with a strong economy, saw experimentation across the industry. Not all of it worked, of course, but that’s beside the point. The bodywork of the NS400R seen here hid a liquid-cooled, 90° two-stroke V3 engine meant to evoke Honda’s Grand Prix racing machines that used a similar configuration. The bike featured a six-speed gearbox, Honda’s ATAC powervalve system, electronic ignition, TRAC anti-dive forks, a Pro-Link rear suspension, Comstar wheels, and radial tires that were considered very cutting-edge at the time.

Weight was very light, at just a shade over 400lbs wet and the bike’s claimed 72hp means performance is a match for the RG and RZ, in spite of the NS400R displacing just 387cc. Why the smaller displacement, when an NS500R would have made for a more authentic Grand Prix experience? Well, regulations in the bike’s home market meant significantly increased costs for 500cc machines: Suzuki actually sold an RG400 for Japanese two-stroke fans, and Yamaha detuned their RZ500 to meet power restrictions. Faced with the prospect of a detuned 500 or the need to sell two different models, Honda simply created one, very refined machine with their NS400R, but the perceived performance deficit hurt sales.

It’s a shame: handling was superlative and the bike is often mentioned as a forgotten gem of the era. Of course, prices for bikes like the Suzuki RG500Γ have been rising rapidly over the past few years, dragging Yamaha RZ500 prices along with it, and the NS400R has been sucked into their wake. Two strokes are long dead and gone, and fans of smoky, lightweight sportbikes have been snapping them up quickly, especially really nice, low-mileage examples like this one.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Rothmans Honda NS400R for Sale

Very nice condition. Runs great. 1509 original miles [2429 kilometers]

This is not 100% OEM. The two main items that are not OEM include the:

  1. Bodywork: brand new aftermarket bodywork (OEM bodywork included)
  2. Brand new Jim Lomas expansion chambers (OEM exhaust included).

Carbs ultrasonically cleaned, rebuilt and jetted. Also synced with Motion Pro carb balancer.

When fitting the Lomas chambers I pulled the cylinders to inspect them. No issues and still see cross-hatching in the Nikasil.

  • New base and head gaskets and ATAC gaskets.
  • New clutch (metal and friction plates)
  • New chain/sprockets 
  • New air filter
  • Fresh antifreeze
  • New spark plugs
  • New rubber boots from air box to carbs
  • Rebuilt fuel petcock
  • New regulator rectifier
  • Tires are in great shape

Everything works like it should. No leaks at all.

I’d be curious about the condition of the original bodywork, if it’s not the stuff in the picture shown off the bike. If it was an original Rothmans, why the replica bodywork? I’m not implying anything shady on the part of the customer. Honestly, I’ve said forever that if I got something weird or rare, I’d personally source aftermarket panels and paint them up, then store the originals safely away, but it’s not clear that this is what the seller has done. Either way, it looks damn nice, and the seller helpfully includes a recent video of the bike. And, while the NS400R was sort of languishing, forgotten and a bit unloved compared to the Gammas and RZs for a while there, prices have begun to move steadily upward, and the seller is asking a $7,700 Buy It Now price for this one.

-tad

Cutting Edge: 1985 Rothmans Honda NS400R for Sale
MV Agusta September 26, 2018 posted by

Teppista – 2012 MV Agusta Brutale 1090RR

Naked-sports wouldn’t want to be left out of the absurd-power sweepstakes, and MV Agusta showed how it’s done with the Brutale 1090RR.  While the theoretical top speed is more fun to discuss, the torque available from the big four is what makes it a joy on the road.  This example is nicely accessorized and offered by Miami’s MV Agusta dealer.

2012 MV Agusta Brutale 1090RR for sale on eBay

 

While it is the largest engine in the MV Agusta range, the 1090 is actually a 1078cc, with the company’s usual ( but amazing ) radial valve arrangement.  Plumbing is more evident on the near side, with the coolant and headers vying for room under the chro-moly trellis frame.  Appointments are outstanding, with 50mm Öhlins forks, Sachs monoshock with high and low speed damping adjustments, and Brembo’s monobloc brakes which have four-piston calipers front and rear.  With 158hp you’ll want nanny along, in the form of eight-level traction control.  Radiator shrouds are integrated into the design, making the RR more of a superbike with very small fairings.

 

Having logged but 666 miles, it’s not your average used bike.  The suede parts of the seat look to have had the worst time over the years, with just a smudge here and there.  Otherwise the paint and metals are pretty mint, with the normally black wheels having been brightened at the powder-coating shop.  Notes from the eBay classified:

Features:
CRG ARROW BAR END MIRRORS
RIZOMA TURN SIGNALS
AFTERMARKET REARSET
SILVER RESERVOIR CAPS
CARBON FIBER UPPER CHAIN GUARD
CARBON FIBER KEY GUARD
CARBON FIBER REAR HUGGER
SILVER POWDER COATED RIMS
EVOTECH TAIL ELIMINATOR
MV AGUSTA RACE HEADERS WITH STOCK MUFFLERS

 

Seeming to have found the secret to paying the rent on sales of an exclusive line of sportbikes, MV Agusta’s closely-held parent company bought back their outstanding shares at the end of last year.  They are even planning to return to MotoGP in the 600cc Moto2 class next season.  Offerings from Varese are regularly reviewed as a singular experience, the avant-garde design and premium build speaking to MV’s long history on two wheels.  The 1090RR is on Agusta’s un-faired pinnacle, though peculiarly the model no longer appears on the Euro-side website.  The eBay offering is a classified without the distraction of an auction or make offer button, and seems to be a nice bargain at just over half the MSRP…

-donn

 

Teppista – 2012 MV Agusta Brutale 1090RR
Kawasaki September 25, 2018 posted by

Superbike gold: 1983 Kawasaki KZ-1000R Eddie Lawson Replica

Before he ripped his way to four 500cc Grand Prix World Championships, Eddie Lawson had become a hero to legions of American kids on the back of his lime green and electric blue AMA Superbike Kawasaki KZ1000Rs. The series was huge at the time, with riders pulling down proper pro athlete salaries, and the street replicas of Eddie’s bike were the top of the street bike heap in their heyday.

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR for sale on eBay

This 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R Eddie Lawson Replica is an unrestored original, which is insane given how nice it is. Sure, it carries some patina here and there, but it’s an honest, well-cared-for rider, and the all-important green-white-blue paint scheme looks flawless. It also comes with the original owner’s manual and tool kit, and an extra set of original wheels, which are, as you might imagine, nigh on impossible to get.

Remarkably, the bike has just over 10,000 miles on it, which means it spent most of its time waiting for the right moment to rip. According to the seller, everything, from the electronics to the drivetrain to the brakes, works as it should. We’d expect nothing less given the condition of the rest of the bike, but the assurance is a nice bonus.

From the eBay listing:

Really nice example of a 1983 Kawasaki Eddie Lawson replica. ELR. This bike has spent most of it’s life in storage. Only 10,974 original miles in 35 years. The extra set of wheels was picked up years ago, and are included with the bike. The owners manual and tool kit are also included. This is a rare bike. It has a clean Indiana title. The bike starts, runs, shifts, and rides great. The gas tank is clean. The brakes and all the electrical work fine. The Dunlop tires only have a few miles on them. This motorcycle sounds incredible. This bike is ready to ride right now. They are only original once. You can restore it or have one of the few originals left. Local pickup only. We will assist in loading it on your truck. Buyer will be responsible for all shipping arrangements. Thank you for looking.

Given this bike’s rarity, originality,  condition and position among the elites of AMA Superbike lore, the $18,500 buy-it-now isn’t half bad. There are fewer of these around every year, and they won’t get any less desirable.

Superbike gold: 1983 Kawasaki KZ-1000R Eddie Lawson Replica
Bimota September 24, 2018 posted by

Unobtainum alert: 2011 Bimota DB8 Oro Nero with 5 miles

2011 Bimota Oro Nero with 5 miles on ebay

Back in the early days on RSBFS there was an ongoing debate about what made a bike a true rare sportbike and  was mostly centered around Bimota models such as the SB6 which seemed to be available on eBay pretty much constantly.  Some  claimed that any bike that was readily available couldn’t be a rare sportbike while the other side claimed availability wasn’t as big an issue as factors such as technology or condition.   While I can’t remember who got the final word, a set of criteria did result that I often use to evaluate whether a bike is truly a rare sportbike.  These criteria are

► extremely low availability/production numbers
► technological or historical significance 
► location 
► desirability 
► condition
► high original price, especially compared to other models in the same manufacturers lineup

Obviously not every bike posted on RSBFS has all these criteria but the more of these criteria that a bike has the more it seems to qualify as a rare sportbike.  Perhaps most importantly, if a bike has ALL the criteria listed above then its considered to be “unobtanium” and definitely worth a post.  Today’s post is a 2011 Bimota DB8 Oro Nero, a bike that seems to meet all the unobtainum criteria.

Let’s run through the criteria starting with availability.  According to Wikipedia, only 10 Oro Nero were built.  The seller indicates this Bimota Oro Nero is #11 of 11 produced which seems odd at first but the seller has a plausible explanation for this which can be read on the Bimota forum (link here) and anyone who has dealt with the Italian manufacturers knows how a few extra models tend to appear here and there based on supplies.

As for technology, the Bimota Oro Nero wasn’t just a pretty carbon-fiber face; it was actually  the first production bike to offer the combination of a carbon fiber frame, subframe and swingarm.

Location?   It’s currently located in California, the heart of sportbike country in the USA.

Desirability?  Well if you are like me and you like the pure carbon fiber look then damn this thing is sexy.   The pics provided by the seller aren’t the best (they seem to  indoors and don’t give a full walk around on the bike) so I reached out to the seller and they were kind enough to share some additional video links along with pictures on the ebay listing, see below

Vid 1 – coming home in the sun

Pic 1 – Upper frame in carbon

Video 2 – Walkaround

Pic 2 – Rear swingarm in carbon

Video 3 – rolling it into the garage

As for condition/maintenance, with 5 miles since new there isn’t a lot to talk about on this one.   The pics the seller includes on the ebay listing do seem to show recent maintenance (not sure where/when this was done though) and I think I spot a new tire sticker in the last video.  The fluid in the brake reservoir does look its due for a change though.

The last criteria for being a rare sportbike is OEM price.  The Oro Nero was originally offered for $80,000 USD so the sellers Buy-It-Now price of $91,000 USD isn’t as outrageous as it might first seem (and the ebay auction indicates that offers will be considered).

Now that we have reviewed this bike’s unobtanium qualifications we arrive at the final question – is this this bike something to put on your collection list?  $80,000 USD is still a fair chunk of change for a bike that has a plastic gas tank cover and what appears to be a phantom pillion seat pad (no footrests for a passenger).  Also the full carbon look isn’t really exclusive to the Oro Nero; other options include the Aprilia Nera, the Kawasaki H2 carbon or if money is really no object there is the MV Agusta F4cc.

Even though the Oro Nero is definitely worthy of a post here on RSBFS it doesn’t seem likely it will appreciate much in the near future.   It seems like its more of a long term investment that will appeal to a deep pocketed and patient collector or perhaps to a Bimota collector looking to complete their lineup.   While it will probably never ellicit a reaction like an RC30 or Desmosedici whomever buys it will be able take comfort in the fact that have something that even the famous Barber and Solvang museums don’t have.

Martin G/Dallaslavowner

Unobtainum alert:  2011 Bimota DB8 Oro Nero with 5 miles

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