Monthly Archives: July 2019

Yamaha July 6, 2019 posted by

Kentucky Bourbon: 1985 Yamaha RZ500RN

How is this for international intrigue? Take a smoking two stroke iconic super bike built in Japan. Export said bike outside of the home market into Europe, the Pacific Rim or Canada. Later years on, that bike finds its way into the US and now lives in the state of Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark and Buffalo Trace. OK – so maybe not mysterious, but the migratory path of this particular example of Yamaha’s last big street going two stroke is certainly circuitous, and part of its appeal. Since Yamaha never imported the RZ500 into the US (with riders desperate for the GP bike with lights), dreams and schemes ensued to liberate these models from our fortunate norther neighbors. Today’s example shows the fruits of those importation labors.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on eBay

Need we go deep on the RZ500 details? Although this crowd undoubtedly already knows, the RZ500 was a V-4, 500cc two stroke meant to invoke Yamaha’s legendary 500 GP machines ridden by the likes of Roberts and Rainey. History will show that these bikes were not quite as sharp as the silhouette would suggest, but it was still a very potent motorcycle for the day. Dichotomies exist throughout: While utilizing a GP-inspired 16″ front wheel to quicken steering inputs, the RZ500 makes due with a mild steel (not aluminum) frame and contained a passenger pillion. Hardly GP level stuff. Still, the twin-crank V-4 configuration made decent power (estimates put a stock bike in the 85+ HP range) and with Yamaha power valves in the exhaust ports the powerband was wider than the traditional, peaky two stroke. Weight was a seemingly portly 450+ pounds – “seemingly” only because of today’s standards. At the time, this was 10-15 pounds lighter than the Kawasaki GPz550, which was down more than 20 HP on the big RZ. That should give you some indication of how hot the RZ500 was in the day.

From the seller:
1985 Yamaha RZ500R. This bike has 15730 original Kilometers and runs great. This bike has a Clear Ky Title in my name. This bike has been well taken care and was stored for a few years. This bike has never been Modified or worked on other than regular maintenance. It does have some corrosion-rust here and there The carbs and fuel system have been cleaned. The brakes have been serviced with new brake pads. This bike starts right up, idles and runs perfect. Transmission and clutch shift smoothly. All lights, Horn and signals work as they should. Inside of the gas tank is rust free. The tank has a couple marks on it. The Plastic is new aftermarket. (The OEM Plastic has some damage and is included in this auction). Please Ask Questions. I have plenty of pictures if need.

Today’s example is relatively mild on the scale of what we have seen. Mods are few, and this bike has apparently seen nothing in the way of hop ups; only usual maintenance items have been covered. Plastics are aftermarket, which makes this unrestored specimen appear to be much newer and cleaner than the rest of the bike. Some corrosion is evident – and not unremarkable for a bike of this age. The seller claims the bike starts and runs without issue, and has had some recommissioning by way of the required carb and fueling system cleaning – again, no surprises there given the rancid state of today’s gasoline formulation. Possible concerns include the reasons for the replacement bodywork (the seller indicates the original pieces will come with the bike), and the state of the (presumed original) internal engine seals after sitting for an extended period of time. Two strokes will develop air leaks (air gets sucked into the crankcase) as seals age, resulting in a lean running condition, increasing the temperature as well as the potential to seize. An air pressure test would be recommended prior to wringing the neck of this beautiful beast, as the condition is most detrimental at high RPM.

The market for RZs has been a bit all over the place lately. We have seen crazy asks in the $30k range for perfect examples, and bargains well below market value. This particular bike appears to be most original – which is a great foundation for a collector. However the step from 34 year old original motorcycle to a 34 year old restored motorcycle is a big one indeed. This particular bike is priced based on the original condition – with a $9,100 opening ask. We have seen much cleaner examples in the $12-15k area, but given the lack of bidding on this one thus far it would appear it may struggle to break the $10k barrier. It’s a runner – which is a plus – and you won’t have to undo somebody else’s mods to get to where you want to go with it, so as a resto project this might be the perfect start. There is still a long way to go on the auction so check it out here, and then let us know what you think. Good Luck!!

MI

Kentucky Bourbon: 1985 Yamaha RZ500RN
Ducati July 5, 2019 posted by

City Slicker – 1985 Ducati 750 F1 Race Replica

As if a 34 year-old Ducati race replica weren’t rad enough, this 750 F1 has been improved in just about every way to be an up-to-date race shop’s rep.  Developed in NYC and now just a few clicks north, this sparkling 1985 model would be a hit in any concours or vintage race.

1985 Ducati 750 F1 Race Replica for sale on eBay

Ducati was taking on water in the early 1980’s, but had four consecutive F2 championships in the TT series which competed with FIM Grands Prix.  Some privateer successes with F2-based 750cc machines led the factory to developed its own F1 race bike, and the Pantah-engined 750 F1 road machine.  The F1 brought a host of firsts for Ducati – first trellis frame for the road, first monoshock, first floating brake rotors, first 2-into-1 exhaust, first alloy tank.  Though not scary powerful or all that lightweight, it was very sporty for the time and a great basis for a race team’s mods.

Long time previous owner and TT maven Lou Saif curated the long list of updates to this now dedicated race machine.  Suspension was modernized, wheel sizes normalized, and tweaks copied from factory endurance racers.  Soon to be ex-owner Gregory Rathe had these comments on – bikeexif.com –

Lou owned this 750 F1 for almost 20 years, and developed it as a replica of Marco Lucchinelli’s factory bike. “Lou’s intention was to make this bike a street racer, and as light and reliable as possible,” says Rathe. So the motor is mostly original except for the cams, Supermono lightweight gears, and a (very loud) titanium exhaust. The wheels are 17″ x 4.5″/6″ magnesium, and Lou shortened the tail and replicated the lights of the works bikes. The front fairing is also in the racing style, and the headlights are quick release—like those used for night racing. The bike is sprinkled with titanium hardware, and weight was removed from everywhere possible—so it now tips the scales at only 305 pounds. Isn’t it just gorgeous?

The 750 F1’s popularity led to three special editions named for challenging race venues – Montjuich, Laguna Seca, and Santa Monica, and some F1 racers which did well in the Italian TT series.  Meanwhile the new Cagiva management reconsidered their plan to absorb the brand and Ducati rose to the occasion.  An interesting snapshot of the end of an era, and a museum-quality treatment of the subject.

-donn

 

City Slicker – 1985 Ducati 750 F1 Race Replica
Yamaha July 4, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: Never-started 1987 Yamaha FZR750R

This 1987 Yamaha FZR750R is the result of a Herculean act of self-control, as it has remained entirely unmolested, unstarted and unridden for its entire 32-year life. For a bike with a sweet-handling Deltabox frame, state-of-the-art for the time handling and a smooth, reliable and hugely capable 750cc 20-valve Genesis inline four, we’re not sure how that’s possible. The odometer shows just 1.2 miles, which is low enough that they could have been accumulated over 32 years of moving the thing around.

The 1987 Yamaha FZR750R is the middle kid, lighter than the all-conquering FZR1000, but slightly slower, but a slightly stouter mount for those who thought the 600 was a tad anemic. True to the rest of the line, the middleweight FZR was blessed with fluid and predictable handling to complement the superb engine. Early brakes apparently left something to be desired, though on a bike this pristine, we doubt that is a concern. Still, with 106 horses at the ready, this thing would be incredibly tempting to give a once-over and hit the road.

To add to the mystique, this bike is one of just 200 of its kind sent to the U.S. in 1987 to homologate the brand for the AMA Superbike series. Suffice it to say, with the scant mileage and low production, the chances of running across another any time in the near future are not good.

From the seller:

This is a Yamaha FZR750, one of only 200 made in 1987. Has never been ridden and kept in climate controlled storage for the last 30 years and is a beautiful collector piece. Everything is exactly the way it came from Japan. This bike is being sold as is as it has never been started. I have all paperwork, located in northern Indiana and can answer any questions.

Contact: Mark, 574-226-8333
Price: $18,000

In part because it has never so much as fired up, the bike is being sold as-is. It is located in Northern Indiana at an $18,000 asking price.

Featured Listing: Never-started 1987 Yamaha FZR750R
Laverda July 4, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SF2 Cafe Racer

While an Italian cafe racer from the mid-1970s is somewhat outside of the usual focus of RSBFS, one look at this surviving hot rod told us that it belongs here. And after diving in a bit deeper, we are sure our readers will too. This is an awesome timepiece of a rare model that is often overshadowed by the competition-focused SFC offering. But the apple does not fall far from the tree as the saying goes, and the DNA that went into the SF and the SF2 largely made the SFC possible. Laverda was a powerhouse in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and continued to push the envelope of performance and displacement. These were endurance race bikes, with robust reserves to ensure longevity.

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SF2 Cafe Racer

The “SF” models from Laverda refer to Super Freni, which translates (roughly) into Super Brakes. On the original SF models, braking was via a technological double leading-shoe drum brake. While today drum brakes conjure up images of Fred Flintstone, the SF brakes were a definite step forward when it came to performance. As technology evolved, the implementation of disk brakes became the next big thing. Still leading the pack in terms of performance, Laverda created the SF2 and highlighted the world’s first production dual disk production street bike. No longer developed in house, braking duties were farmed out to famed braking icon Brembo. The rest of the bike was an SF evolution, the big 750cc parallel twin utilizing lightweight air cooling and a single overhead cam nestled in the 2-valve heads. In an interesting twist, electrics were a combination of Bosch and Japanese components, making Laverda one of the more reliable steeds when compared to either Italian or UK machinery of similar vintage.

From the seller:
974 Laverda SF2 cafe racer. Stylishly upgraded with Jota adjustable bars, Laverda solo seat

This bike has been in the previous owners hands for approx 7 years, when he first bought it from the previous owner (a collector of Laverda’s and other Italian bikes) he bought it to my shop (Moto Borgotaro Inc) for a going over. At this point the front suspension was re-freshed the clutch was upgraded to softer springs and a “easy clutch extended arm” the next round of repairs and upgrades were all functional, the wiring harness was completely remade with new fuse panel and micro relays, the original switches were kept in tact to keep the correct look. The generator was causing problems as most of the riding was happening in the New York, so we adapted a high output generator on to the existing sprag gear and pulley, it is very simple to put the stock generator back on, although the upgraded one puts out way more at lower RPMS…The mileage is low, but I don’t believe the OD is correct, the bike runs and rides great, but it is NOT restored, and to my knowledge the top end has NOT been rebuilt! —

Over the years it was ridden in and around the NY city area, proving the reliability of the Laverda. The paint was recently done, it has an almost new seat, almost new exhaust (small scrapes here and there) even has nice Conti clamps.

More from the seller:
This is not a show pony, she has been around the block and is still alive and kicking, waiting for a new owner ! A new set of Avon Roadrider tires are included in the sale*** not pictured

* New seat w/ key
* Newer complete exhaust
* Completely refreshed wiring
* newer paint job
* Upgraded charging
* Original shocks
* Original switches
* Complete recent service – oil, valves
* Jota Brevetto adjustable bars
* New Avon Roadriders
* Extended clutch arm, for softer clutch feel
* Airbox removed – set up with K&N filters
* Stainless brake lines

As if it needed any proof, this 1974 Laverda SF2 is a hardcore survivor. And like a great bottle of wine, it has somehow become better with age. Minor faults when new become character lines of a classic bike. And while the purist may claim to want a nearly zero mile, never been touched, ridden or ever been outside sort of bike for a collection, the experiences that this bike has under its belt makes it more of an enigma and that much more interesting. Intended as a rider, this SF2 sports some minor upgrades picked up along the way. There has been a considerable amount of work completed recently, and the deal will include a new set of tires. As the seller points out, it is by no means restored – but maintained as a cool piece of history, ready to rumble when you are.

Despite the iconic looks and the same bones as other Laverdas of this period, the SF2 is a bike that mere mortals can collect AND ride. This is a bike that gives you the feeling of actually riding, one that makes you look like a macho he-man even when tooling about, and sounding glorious with open carbs barking through chrome tapered pipes. It’s no wonder that this bike currently resides in New York, where it undoubtedly makes a statement. But you can make the same statement in your town – just check out the eBay auction and then give Peter a call. Then go out and do the ton. Good Luck!!

MI

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SF2 Cafe Racer
Buell July 4, 2019 posted by

Carbonated: 2013 EBR 1190RS Carbon Edition

Today – of all days on the calendar – it seemed appropriate to post this magnificent Erik Buell Racing 1190RS Carbon Edition beauty with nothing but delivery miles on the counter. Claimed to be crated (not sure what that means as there is no crate in sight in the pics), this is as close to a brand new EBR that you can buy without dealing directly with Erik himself. And as far as brand new EBRs go, the 1190RS was the ultimate form of Buell street bike greatness, made right here in the land of hot dogs, baseball and fireworks. Yee Haw!

2013 EBR 1190RS Carbon Edition for sale on eBay

As written elsewhere, the EBR 1190Rs took its roots from the 1125 race bike. The Rotax-sourced mill was bored out in Michigan and fitted with components made right here in the states. This was a homologation machine for the aspiring racer, and would certainly have been a serious player on the SBK scene had the Buell business model not tucked the front under trail braking, while diving to the apex of the tricky series of hairpins best known as the corporate investment partners complex. When the hero angel investor pulled out of the deal (no hero, indeed), momentum and traction were lost. EBR chalked up a stunning DNF as a business, and ceased to exist.

From the seller:
Crated 2013 EBR 1190RS Black

The Carbon Edition bikes were the final of the final editions of the final EBRs ever made. Only 100 of the 1190RS units were ever planned, and records are uncertain as to whether or not that number was accomplished. A much smaller number of these 1190RS models were to be decked out in full carbon regalia, making the 1190 RS a rare bird. Even more rare is the fact that this one sports only THREE accumulated miles. Forget the nearly 180 horsepower, the race-spec Ohlins gear front and rear, the multi-adjustments available to the professional rider and everything else that makes this bike a missile in the making. You could PUSH this bike the three lousy miles it has traveled. And while I’m sure Erik Buell would see the cruel irony in one of his creations becoming a collector item, my understanding of the man was he thrived on problem solving; the 1190RS solved the problem of American-born speed in an amazing fashion. Priced right in line with other offerings we have seen, you can light the fuse on this new EBR for just over $25k (or best offer). Happy Fourth of July everyone, and Good Luck!!

MI

Carbonated:  2013 EBR 1190RS Carbon Edition
Kawasaki July 3, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1989 Kawasaki ZX-7

Update 9.9.2019: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Every once in a while it’s nice to see a clean, honest and awesome sportbike come across our screens that would be as comfortable as garage art as it would be on your morning commute and in the mountains, and this 1989 Kawasaki ZX-7 might just be that bike. It’s not particularly rare, but it’s an early iteration of a sporting icon and a link between Kawi’s beastly GPzs from the 1980s to the modern Ninjas.

1989 Kawasaki ZX7 for sale on eBay

With the best part of 100 horsepower on tap and a reputation for being a sweet handling street bike, this early Ninja has a ton of upside for the right sportbike rider. We love that this bike is in the stealthy, classy black and silver color scheme. More often than not, we see these things with Kawasaki’s trademark green and blue paintwork, but the black looks just as good and you don’t see as many of them.

This 1989 Kawasaki ZX7 is mostly stock, but has a couple of modifications to aide rideability. There’s an Ohlins shock and a 1990 ZX7 swingarm out back, along with titanium chain adjusters and the carbs have been jetted to cure the stock flat spot. Past that, it’s as it left the nest.

From the eBay listing:

1989 ZX-7 up for sale in beautiful riders condition. No major damage other than a few normal road scratches from age. I ride this bike to work several times a week and it runs great, no issues, selling only to raise funds to purchase a house. Very rare Ohlins rear shock, upgrade to 90′ ZX7 swingarm, shorter suspension dogbones, new fork seals and chain. Factory Pro stage one jet kit. Stellar handling, braking and side to side transitions. I had an 07′ R1 awhile back and this bike is more fun. Would make a great addition to any collection or daily rider. Shipping at buyers expense but I will deliver for free if you live in SoCal. Or, if you live close contact me for a test ride.
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/t1Nggxx34VY

Price: $4,800

If you’re looking for something to stick on track stands and ogle instead of enjoy on a backroad, this probably isn’t your bike. The marks are mostly superficial, but lower-mileage and cosmetically perfect examples are out there. This bike should go to someone who will ride the hell out of it like Kawi intended.

Featured Listing: 1989 Kawasaki ZX-7
Norton July 3, 2019 posted by

Sponsored Listing: 1949 Norton International

Update 7.2.2019: We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Amatumoto Grand Prix Motorbikes for being a sponsor of RSBFS! This 1949 Norton International is available now for purchase. Contact Amatumoto today! -dc

The Norton International was the Yamaha R1M of the era surrounding WWII. Developed in the early 1930s as a road-going version of Norton’s fearsome Isle of Man weapons, it continually evolved until Hitler’s push into Poland stopped production at the end of the decade. Before The War, the 500cc Norton International Model 30 and its 350cc Model 40 sibling had been blessed with telescoping forks and an alloy head and cylinder.

When production resumed in the late ‘40s, the telescopic forks were still holding things together at the front, but the alloy engine had succumbed to postwar materials shortages. Still, even with almost a 20-year run under its belt at that point, the International was still pretty close to motorcycling’s nadir.

The 500cc four-stroke thumper was good for around 30 horsepower, which seems a little weak-kneed, until you consider that Royal Enfield can barely muster that out of their brand-new single-cylinder engines. That grunt pushed around just under 400 pounds and was routed through an entirely enclosed transmission. Fun fact: the gearbox in these things was stout enough that it remained unchanged long after the International was out of production.

This 1949 Norton International Model 30 is resplendent in black, red and high-polish livery and looks like it just rode out of a grainy black-and-white photo. The seller says this one packs the alloy top end, and can be had with a spare for an additional 1,500 Euro. It is in near-perfect condition, but sports the rough-hewn patina only a 70-year-old hand-built race replica can muster.

As beautiful as it is, this Norton is way off the ranch for us, as our usual fare ranges between 1985 and 2004. That said, it’s an important, special and very nice piece of motorcycling history that we just couldn’t ignore. It’s available in Madrid for an undisclosed price, but the seller can be contacted at info@gpmotorbikes.com, or on their website at www.gpmotorbikes.com.

Sponsored Listing: 1949 Norton International
MV Agusta July 3, 2019 posted by

Respect the GOAT: 2005 MV Agusta F4 AGO #75/300

MV Agusta. Giacomo Agostini. Greatest of all time? Individually, these are storied names with a rich and successful history of racing at the top level. Together, they were an unstoppable force – allowing MV Agusta to exit the racing scene while still on top, and providing Agostini the platform on which to rack up an incredible number of wins and record number of championships. This bike – the 20005 MV Agusta F4 AGO series – was the first of the 1000cc F4 models to be produced, and it was released in very limited numbers. Today there are a lot of fake AGOs with the #1 number plate on the side (i.e. sticker), but these are not true collector models. The real AGOs are serially numbered as proof of authenticity, complete with the signature of the great one himself.

2005 MV Agusta F4 AGO #75 for sale on eBay

The F4 was the reboot of the famed MV Agusta brand in 1999. Initially released as a 750cc model, a punched-out 1 liter was offered by 2005. Utilizing the same hemispherical radial valve head and variable trumpet style intake (as designed by Ferrari F1 racing engineers), the bigger bike was burlier in most dimensions: 40 additional horsepower and 20 lbs of additional weight over the original F4 750 Oro – a known lightweight machine. When compared to the standard 750S model, the F4 AGO actually weighs *less* than the 750! Front forks are Marzocchi units, while the rear shock was originally a Sachs model – however this has been swapped out by the previous owner (see below). The rest of the AGO is pure graphics and the serialized number plate. Only 300 of these models were originally produced and distributed.

From the seller:
I am downsizing my motorcycle collection and this beautiful Italian stallion is up for sale. I’m sad to see it go but bikes like this are meant to be ridden and this one has spent the last few years being admired for its beauty more than appreciated for its performance. This is your chance to own a piece of MV Agusta history and motorcycle racing history as this bike celebrates the racing career of Giacomo Agostini. Google him if you don’t know who he is.

I obtained this motorcycle from Guy Webster of the Guy Webster Italian Motorcycle Museum in Ojai, CA after he started to liquidate the museums inventory. This bike was on display in Guy’s museum for many years. His “motoguy” sticker is still on the tank and can be easily removed, but in honor of the late motorcycle enthusiast I had decided to leave it in place. Guy had fitted an Ohlins rear shock. The original Sachs shock comes with the bike. The original red paddock stand is included. Certificate of authenticity is included. Comes with 2 keys. Bike is registered to me in the state of California, and is current and has a clear title. With 10,936 adult ridden miles the bike has been well cared for. Still has the original RG3 Arrow exhaust which sounds magnificent. Tires are in good shape.

Bike will also come with a Berzig center stand fitted specifically for this bike. Main oil pan gasket likely needs to be changed and one will be included with the bike. I will also include an oil filter and oil for your first oil change.

The rebirth of MV Agusta brought some fantastic Italian hardware to our shores. And while the numbers of units shipped did increase a fair amount, F4 models are still less plentiful than similar Ducati models, for example. That makes the F4 reasonably rare. The AGO model is known as a 300 unit production only – making it a rare model. Perhaps the most rare of all? This bike has over 10k on the clocks, meaning it is not a garage queen museum piece but an actual rider. It is not often we see these bikes with actual miles on the odometer, and it has nothing to do with the reliability or longevity of the bike. These are modern and well-engineered machines with top quality components throughout – and can take the miles and a fair bit of abuse. But given the cost, many see these as a bike to protect and save, rather than collect miles. This one was saved from that fate, but there is some regular wear apparent on the tank and fairing.

Located on the Central Coast of California, this F4 managed to get out on its fair share of sunny days. Devoid of snowfall or significant inclement weather, it looks like this bike lived where it could be used as intended. The problem is that makes a difference in resale value. An AGO model F4 1000 didn’t start out life as a cheap bike. The upside for collectors is that AGOs have not really made the turn in terms of value appreciate as of yet. And while a very low mileage museum dweller might set you back about $23k or more these days (still way below original MSRP, by the way), this slightly more used example is priced at a more reasonable $15k. Now that price is probably more in line with a nearly new base model F4 – but for the dosh you get the cachet of the rarer AGO model. In the long run the AGO is certainly in a better position to rise in value, just based on the numbers and historical fact. Check it out here, and then be sure and share your thoughts on MV Agusta F4s, and the pull of the AGO commemorative model. Good Luck!!

MI

Respect the GOAT: 2005 MV Agusta F4 AGO #75/300

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