Monthly Archives: January 2021

Bimota January 30, 2021 posted by

Why Be Anything Else? 1991 Bimota YB8

Bimota – a significant and famous portmanteau for motorcycle enthusiasts. Named after a combination of the three founder’s last names (Bianchi, Morri & Tamburini), Bimota started life out as a small design firm creating chassis and bodywork kits for racing. By replacing the spindly frames from production motorcycles, Bimota found that they could engineer a bike with much better performance than stock – even while using otherwise stock components such as wheels, brakes, engines and transmissions. This led to building street bike kits, until eventually Bimota became a full-fledged builder of complete motorcycles. Other than a brief foray into building their own engine (the ill-fated V-Due), Bimota has always relied upon donor engines and transmissions for their creations. And such it is with today’s beautiful Bimota YB8, which takes its heart from the mighty Yamaha FZR1000. Bimota supplies nearly everything else, given the bike its soul.

1991 Bimota YB8 for sale on eBay

The YB8 is not just another pretty face. Naysayers may look at a Bimota and see it as a rebodied or rebadged Yamaha. This could not be further from the truth. From the big beam aluminum chassis that exploits stiffness and mass centralization, the YB8 starts out life as a completely different motorcycle than the donor FZR. Bimota is very particular about their engineering and design; what is on the bike belongs on the bike, and nothing more. From the gorgeous frame plates to the svelte rear wheel eccentric adjuster, the components on a Bimota exude class. So too does the lightweight fiberglass bodywork; it has style and aero to compliment its utter lack of weight. And there is genius in the simplicity; one piece of bodywork comprises the entire tail section and tank cover, and one piece comprises the entire rest in a clamshell design.

From the seller:
I purchased this bike from Bob Steinburgler at Bimota Spirit. It was one from his personal collection just like the Vdue 500 I bought from him . One of the pictures is the bike at his shop before shipping it to me .YB8 is mint there’s no stress cracks on the body it is perfect so is everything else. Low mileage as well. If you’re looking for a collectable one this is it. Please feel free to message me if you have any other questions. Thank you very much.

As the Bimota brand is about uncompromising performance and style, it should not surprise the reader to discover that they are not about easy maintenance or access. Removing the lower bodywork is a stress test as these areas are known for cracking the thin gel coat. Components are very tightly packed together to centralize weight. Headers wrap very tightly against the engine and cases to provide minimalist dimensions overall, but make tasks like changing the oil a chore. In some Genesis-powered models, the engine needs to be lowered from the frame to adjust the valves. Is all that hassle worth it? You bet!!

Bimotas are rare and special bikes that are largely hand-built. They are designed and assembled by motorcycle enthusiasts that are willing to compromise some areas to ensure important aspects (again, performance and style) are enhanced. These are not mass produced, and numbers are relatively few. Parts for the Fizzer power plant and tranny are plentiful, making the YB series a pretty good way into the Bimota range. Power and performance is more than adequate, and the styling is off the charts. Nice touches like the Bimota-branded binnacle cluster show fit and polish that distance this bike from its kit-bike roots. This rare and wonderful machine is being offered up by the same seller that has brought us a recent stash of ultra-cool bikes (V-Due, OW01, YZF-SP, Superlight, 851…), and looks to have been maintained as is deserving of its pedigree. Check out all of the photos and details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Why Be Anything Else? 1991 Bimota YB8
Ducati January 29, 2021 posted by

WSBK Flashpoint: 1989 Ducati 851

NOTE: The seller has indicated that this particular example is a standard 851 with SP3 front suspension. Post has been updated from the original publishing to reflect the changes.

Ducati has often been described as a racing company that sell street bikes on the side. While this tongue-in-cheek description is intended to be humorous, it is also basically true. Case in point, consider todays gorgeous 1989 Ducati 851. Sure it has lights and signals and a horn – after all, it is a licensed street machine. But the purpose of the bike was to update the traditional Pantah motor to make it more competitive. And with one fell stroke Ducati added liquid cooling, a four valve Desmo cylinder head, and fuel injection; the modern Ducati Superbike was born, and the racing world would never be the same.

1989 Ducati 851 for sale on eBay

The basis for the 851 goes way back to 1973 when Massimo Bordi – then but a student – developed a desmodronic 4-valve head as part of his university thesis. Fast forward a decade or more and the student was now the master – in the form of Ducati Technical Director. With an influx of cash from new owner Cagiva, Ducati could properly invest in a modern platform and Bordi saw his thesis become reality. At the end of the day it was only natural that the team developed a bike suitable for racing, and the 851 started a long line of very successful WSBK competitions machines, right through to this day. If you are missing the significance of the 851, realize that the 916 would never have come to pass without this milestone machine.

From the seller:
1989 Ducati Superbike ( fuel injection) bike has 8,300 miles . Bike is near mint condition with the real rare Ohlins front forks/ suspension. Please message me if you have anymore questions on the bike. This bike I purchased from the original owner . CA titled . Thank you very much.

By modern standards the 851 has some interesting traits. The cockpit is tight and tidy – perfect for tucking in tight as the revs wind up. And speaking revs, the 851 was able to rev higher and quicker than any Ducati twin previously developed, with a 10,000 RPM redline. There is decent torque down low, but nothing like the 2-valve machines; the 851 was built to breathe at higher revolutions, and comes alive in the upper half of the tach. The chassis is extremely stiff, and the big Brembo binders are effective. But somehow all of the updates and technology simply made the experience more Ducati-like; the visceral experiences, noises and vibrations that make riding a Duc special all remain. The fact that this is an ultra-rare Sport Production variant (read: homologation) takes all that goodness and ramps it up several notches.

Today’s particular example is a beautiful example of the 851 breed. With just over 8,000 miles this bike appears to have had a pretty easy life considering it is well into its 30s. Longevity of these machines doesn’t really need to be called into question, provided that normal maintenance is performed as per schedules. That primarily means oil changes and belts, although relatively frequent valve adjustments are an important factor with this model. In the early years the standard Strada made due with Marzocchi suspension bits front and rear, while the SP was offered with upgraded Ohlins suspension. This one is available in sunny California, and is yet another rare and classic sport bike being sold off from a collection (see the Vdue, OW01, the YZF-SP, Superlight and more – all from the same collection). If you are interested in the bike that ignited Ducati’s dominance in the modern era of WSBK check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

WSBK Flashpoint: 1989 Ducati 851
Ducati January 28, 2021 posted by

Classic Vinyl: 1993 Ducati 900 Superlight #681

The move from analog to digital in the audio world brought with it clarity, reliability and portability. Many things now became possible, including loss-less copies, sharing and remote delivery. What was lost was not immediately clear – but soon became recognized as fidelity. As rudimentary and basic as it was, analog audio had tone; it had feeling and soul. The Ducati Superlight was a LOT like analog audio – it was bested in many categories of performance, reliability and value, but delivers a tonal note and visceral feel unlike anything more modern. The Ducati 900 SS Superlight is a rare and special bike that continues to be a collector – and rider – favorite.

1993 Ducati Superlight #681 for sale on eBay

Starting out life as a plain Jane 900 Supersport, the Superlight brings a number of unique tricks to the party. First off, the SL is based on the higher spec SP model, which offers adjustable front suspension and wider rear wheel/tire combination. The Superlight adds to that by reducing weight through carbon fiber front and rear mud guards and very special composite Mavic wheels. The bodywork is different than more ordinary Supersport models as the solo tail section hints at the focused sporting intent of the model, as does the high-swept exhaust. The Superlight essentially offers more by providing less. Wrapped in an exclusive white frame/yellow bodywork livery and uniquely numbered ID plaque on the headstock, the limited edition Superlight is instantly recognizable and very bankable.

From the seller:
Almost new 900SS Superlight # 681 with 1100
Miles. I purchased this bike 9 years ago from the original owner in Colorado. One of the best part of this hobby is meeting new friends and building on relationships, networking with other collectors. Like Gary aka Utah Gary or Greg in Seattle so many more people.with that being said this bike is mint like brand new ( CA titled). I have never seen another one like it. It took me along time to hunt one down and this is the one. Thank you very much

Today’s bike is about as clean and low mileage as any Superlight we have ever seen. With just over 1,100 miles on the clock it has obviously been ridden, but the miles are low enough for this to be considered a nearly new motorcycle. And while some readers may have negative thoughts on people who don’t ride their bikes tens of thousands of miles, the seller is obviously a collector and has many, many motorcycles. It is always thrilling to discover someone who has a cache of unicorns, and if you are a regular reader you will start to see how extensive this individual’s collection might be (spoiler alert – there is more great stuff to come).

This bike looks to be very original, with the exception of the FBF carbon fiber cans. These are very period correct, and I’m sure really add to the legitimate L-twin soundtrack. The rest of the bike looks to be extremely clean and *exactly* what you would look for if you were in the market for a Superlight (and let’s be honest, who isn’t?!). Check out the pictures closely, and be sure and look at some of the other very interesting offerings from this seller. Jump to the auction for this very rare 1993 Ducati 900 Superlight right here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Classic Vinyl: 1993 Ducati 900 Superlight #681
Yamaha January 27, 2021 posted by

Uncompromised – 1989 Yamaha FZR-750R – OW01 with 2,900 Miles !

Metric tons of ink have been spilled concerning Yamaha’s FZR-750R – code named OW01 – and other homologation specials built for the first few years of the Superbike World Championship.  Rare as they are, this Californian is striking with very low miles and a spare set of bodywork.

1989 Yamaha FZR-750R – OW01 for sale on eBay

Yamaha added just the bare requirements to make their FZR-750R ready for the road, lower compression pistons ( still 11.2-to-1 ), the EXUP automatic exhaust tuner, mirrors, reflectors, and a few lights.  The rest is how a superbike team would like to see it, a seriously oversquare four, with 38mm Mikuni flat slides looking right down into the five-valve head, and 109hp before the racekit and tuner worked their magic.  Titanium connecting rods are topped with short-skirted pistons, light to achieve the 12,500 rpm ceiling of the powerband.  A Deltabox frame triangulates light alloy stampings right to the headstock, welded to cast frame connectors which hold the Monocross rear and Öhlins shock.  Conventional forks are up front hung with 320mm Nissin brakes, with a smaller single rear.

Collectors come and go, but judging from recent auctions, apparently thinning the herd in this case.  The OW01 has some compatriots in the garage full of 20th century superbikes, but is set apart at least by the scoops delivering cold air and 916-style folds in the fairing.  Thirty-plus years on, with not enough miles to worry about the history, it looks remarkably tidy.  Not that someone would have to go through it carefully if it was going out on the track, but a carpeted stand is more likely.  Comments from the eBay auction:

Rare FZR 750R OW01.  Bike is a JDM version and in mint condition like the rest of my collection.  Bike will come with a spare upper fairing and I have a lot of miscellaneous NOS parts for it as well. Bike has 4,800 kilometers.

Feedback from race teams was included in new designs, and it was practically a miracle when models survived three years.  The OW01 was superceded for 1993 but soldiered on in private and semi-private hands – like Eddie Lawson’s 1993 Daytona victory.  Many 750R’s found their way onto the racetrack, but that time has passed for this almost perfect specimen.  A singular bike from a special time, anxious for a new home or at least a new offer.

-donn

Uncompromised – 1989 Yamaha FZR-750R – OW01 with 2,900 Miles !
Ducati January 26, 2021 posted by

Factory Race Bike: 1999 Ducati 748RS Corse for Sale

Back in the 90s, it was pretty clear that Ducati was a racing company that made roadbikes, not the other way round, and this 748RS is an example of that ethos. Today, Ducati’s R-designated bikes are typically homologation machines, designed to make certain components legal for production-based racing series. They’re generally in a higher state of tune than the regular or S-designated motorcycles, but are most definitely roadbikes. That’s not the case for Ducatis with an “RS” in their name and this 748 was built from the ground up to be a race bike. It wasn’t even issued with a title!

The Ducati 748 was intended to compete in World Supersport and AMA classes, maximizing the permitted displacement advantage to match the power of the screaming 60cc inline fours favored by the Japanese manufacturers. An extra 148cc wasn’t enough on its own, and the RS featured a raft of internal modifications required in order to produce the 124hp Ducati needed.

Radical cams, valves specific to the RS, a 54mm Termignoni exhaust, a close-ratio gearbox, high-spec suspension combined with lightweight bodywork and a simplified wiring loom to increase performance in every dimension. Today, these are sought-after collectibles, and often have extensive racing history. That’s certainly the case here, as this bike happens to have won an AMA Championship in the Pro-Thunder class!

From the original eBay listing: 1999 Ducati 748RS Corse for Sale

Ducati enthusiasts! I’m starting to list many bikes from my Ducati collection… This one is a very rare opportunity to own a piece of history… a Ducati race bike that actually raced and WON a AMA event!

This is a TRUE factory built race bike. This bike was 1 of 100 built in 1999 and one of only about 40 that were imported to the USA. It was purchased directly from the factory in Bologna Italy along with 3 others for the HMC Ducati Racing Team. This bike was 1 of 2 bikes prepared and used by Shawn Conrad. He rode both bikes to win the 1999 AMA Pro-Thunder Championship. Yes that’s correct… this bike was raced and won! 

He beat some big name guys such as Jeff Nash, Tom Montano, and Monte Nichols. 

The machine as it sits, is effectively new. The owner prior to me had it rebuilt from the ground up and any part not 100% has been replaced. The engine was rebuilt by Chris Boy’s team at Motocorse Ducati in Fort Lauderdale and has few miles and little time on it. Everything has been refurbished except the side panels which are original and “as raced”. This is again, a factory race bike and ready for your living room or to take racing or for track days. 

I have ridden the bike minimally just to keep it happy 🙂 Otherwise idled regularly. 

As with any pre-owned bike, you would want to do your own safety/mechanical checks before use.

And yes there are nicks and scratches as expected from a bike that was raced. 

No kickstand.

There is no title as this is a factory race bike. Ebay makes seller choose title status so I chose Clean. But again, factory race bikes didn’t come with titles. But I will create a bill of sale that transfers ownership and lists VIN/engine and description.

VIN and engine numbers correlate to the factory race bike history.

Here are some specs and parts as I’ve been told and researched. I’m not a mechanic, just a fanatic for the sight and sound of these bikes. Happy to take close up pics or look for specific things to answer your questions.

  • Full “Corse RS” spec motor with cams, ti rods, and factory installed slipper clutch
  • Superbike style wiring harness, keyless ignition 
  • Full Carbon Kevlar bodywork by Carbo-Tech
  • Dymag magnesium wheels
  • Harris fully adjustable rearsets
  • Full Termignioni 50mm exhaust
  • Brembo 18×20 radial front master cylinder 
  • EBC Pro-Lite full floating rotors 
  • ITG airfilter

Everything on the bike that matters is carbon fiber, underseat oil breather box, undertail plate, one piece airbox, air runners, large intake upper fairing.

This is a collectors item. It really is a piece of American Ducati Racing history!

Here is more info from online about this era…

The Ducati 916/748 was the poster child for performance motorcycles throughout its production, with the same sort of ubiquity the Lamborghini Countach enjoyed in its heyday. With so many of them made over such a long timeframe, it’s easy to forget how huge an impact the bike had when it was new: Tamburini’s creation may have been uncomfortable, temperamental, and expensive, but Ducati sold streetbikes so they could go racing, not the other way around. This makes today’s 748RS one of the purest Ducatis you can buy… aside from a used World Superbike machine.

The 748 was the baby-brother to the 916 and came in standard, S, R, and RS flavors. Naturally, the RS was the trickest of the bunch, a pure factory racebike with plenty of trick parts and a highly-strung engine with maintenance requirements to match. The 748cc v-twin was pitched against 600cc inline fours and the displacement bump allowed by World Supersport rules helped the Ducati compete, but heavily-revised internals were also required to keep them on relatively equal footing. Wild cams opened RS-specific valves needed to make the claimed 124hp, while a 54mm Termignoni exhaust ferried exhaust gasses to the undertail “mufflers.”

Happy to assist with your chosen shipper but cost and insurance is your expense. Happy to provide a video of bike starting and running. Please be respectful and only inquire with serious interest.  Located in Monterey, CA area.

Thanks!

The seller is asking $17,900 for this 748RS. That’s a bit more than the last one we featured, although this example is extremely clean, features a fully rebuilt engine, and has an AMA title to its name. If you’re a well-heeled Ducatisti, this would make a pretty great classic racebike, or an extremely cool trackday ride.

-tad

Factory Race Bike: 1999 Ducati 748RS Corse for Sale
Bimota January 25, 2021 posted by

Maybe Be My Always – 2000 Bimota V-due 500C

Seeming to have made a silk purse from a nasty old two-stroke 500, Bimota had just about set the moto world on its ear when reality intervened.  This V-due has carburetors set up by a Bimota cognoscenti and proves that there really are unicorns among us.

2000 Bimota V-Due 500C for sale on eBay

With its two stroke v-twin, the V-due was able to match 105 hp with a dry weight of just under 400 lbs.   Electronic fuel injection ensured low emissions and 50-state compliance.  Sergio Robbiano designed a signature chassis, with alloy extrusions connected by Rimini’s exquisite billet machinings.  A large diameter Paoli fork set is fully adjustable, as is the horizontal Öhlins monoshock.  Swoopy and angular bodywork is executed in carbon fiber, with a single seat and dual expansion chambers.

This V-due looks immaculate and shows just 212 miles on its almost bespoke dash.  Due to poor running and more major issues, the first examples were recalled by the factory and many were converted to carburetors by a factory engineer.  Even then they required careful tuning, this time done by a North Carolina Bimota shop / museum.  Spare NOS fairings are seriously unobtanium.  Very little history to tell, but comments from the eBay auction:

Bimota V-due 500C. This was One of Bob Steinbugler’s bike from his collection Bob from Bimota Spirit I purchased this bike from him about 3 -4 years ago. Bike runs great this is the carburetor model which he serviced and tuned for me . The bike will come with a NOS set of spare fairings still in the wrapper. Upper fairing and left and right side fairing.

The conversion to carburetors indicated that more was amiss than just the fuel injection system, and the inconsistent power delivery was traced to under-engineered crankshaft seals ( each bay of a multi-cylinder two stroke has to be independently sealed to make induction vacuum ).  Unfortunately, at that point Bimota had run through their funding and had to shut the doors until new investors revived the company.  As individual as any Bimota is, the V-due might be their rarest and most exotic model.  And right here in our own back yard.

-donn

Maybe Be My Always – 2000 Bimota V-due 500C
Honda January 24, 2021 posted by

A Tale of Two Turbos: 1982 Honda CX500T (x2!)

With attribution (and apologies) to Charles Dickens, this was the best motorcycle, this was the worst motorcycle. This was an age where technology soared, yet this was an age where average triumphed. This was the time of lag, this was the time of boost. This was the Spring of hope, this was the Winter of despair. This was the early 1980s, and this was the Turbo era.

Forced induction has paved a long and storied road in the automotive world. For motorcycles, it represented more of a novelty cul-de-sac. And although started by Kawasaki farming out the Z1R TC model to a tuner and selling it in showroom without a warranty, the first fully-fledged, factory created and supported Turbo bike came from Honda: the 1982 CX500T. Utilizing the robust CX500 twin platform, Honda did some minor bottom end beef-up and some major electronics engineering on a computerized fuel injection and delivery control module to ensure engine longevity. The result is the space-ship resembling, very heavy, long turbo-lag inducing unicorn that you see here. Sadly, despite all of the technological innovations that Honda threw at the CX-T model, public interest in the beast never took off. And neither did values for these models, although that is definitely changing. Read on about these two bikes!


1982 Honda CX500T #1

From the seller:
CX500 Turbo Has Been On Display For 17 Years In My Climate Control Museum.
It’s Been Pulled Off The Display Floor And, Over Last Month, As Time Permitted I Have Had The Following Service Items Performed By My Master Mechanic –
-Storage Fuel removed and replaced with Non-Ethanol Premium Fuel.
-New AGM Battery Installed
-New Oil & Filter Change
-Both Front And Rear Brake Calipers Serviced – Disassembled Cleaned & Brake Fluids Flushed From The Long Time sitting Idle While On Display
-New front brake pads on both sides. The OEM ones were hard squeaked some and we have everything apart already.
-Both fuel Injectors Professionally cleaned by Mechanic
-Air filter check and was OK
-New OEM spark plugs installed

This bike looks absolutely awesome, and has been bid up to nearly $10k as of time of writing with the reserve still in place. There are a lot of bidders, and even more watchers. The activity is certainly pushing the envelope in terms of price point for these rare bikes (which should represent a *very* welcome trend for Turbo collectors), and this one may end up a new high-water mark for the model.


1982 Honda CX500T #2

From the seller:
1982 Honda. Condition is “Used”.
I’m Selling my CX500Turbo because I have to many bikes and someone needs to enjoy this one.
Bike is in immaculate condition for a 39 year old machine.
Only 3100 miles
All original paint
Original tires
Runs and drives perfect
Recent work completed includes all master cylinders and calipers rebuilt, injectors sent out and cleaned, new fuel pump, oil and filter changed.
I can take more photos if needed. Also have a video I can text of bike running with a walk around.
Chance to own a very rare motorcycle that has been climbing in value.

This particular example has very few miles for the age, and looks to be in good shape overall. There appears to be some paint cracking on the front fairing, and the original tires would make me nervous as a rider. This one has a bit longer to go at auction, with no reserve and the latest bid at over $7k at time of writing. Again, this is elevated territory for these techno-wonder machines, and we might see this one climb even higher before the auction ends.


Dickens closed out his famed novel (A Tale of Two Cities) with: “It is a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done…” Looking back at the monumental moment when Honda rolled out this amazing motorcycle, you can forgive the Engineers if they thought along the same lines. This was truly a remarkable undertaking, and endures as the most complex and technological effort of the Turbo era. To see not one but two great examples available at the same time – and being bid up to the current prices – bodes very well for these machines in the future. Check out the pics and videos for 1982 Honda CX500T example #1 here, and jump to 1982 Honda CX500T example #2 here. Enjoy, and Good Luck!


1982 Honda CX500T example #1 gallery

1982 Honda CX500T example #2 gallery

MI

A Tale of Two Turbos: 1982 Honda CX500T (x2!)
Yamaha January 23, 2021 posted by

Why Not the Best ? – 1994 Yamaha YZF-750SP with 3,251 Miles !

While a WSBK title wasn’t in the cards, Yamaha’s 750cc FZR built on the OW-01’s designs and homologated newer ideas for next year.  If you see one it will likely be a gray import, but this rare SP has an MPH speedo and is in sparkling condition.

1994 Yamaha YZF-750SP for sale on eBay

Yamaha packed a lot of tech into the new FZR-750, with 5-valve heads, 11.5-to-1 compression, and the EXUP exhaust management resulting in 125 hp – hard to beat in a 750.  The SP had updated cams, 39mm Keihin flat-slide carburetors, and a close ratio gearbox the superbike racers needed.  Suspension on the SP was fully adjustable and somewhat stiffer, plus it shared the scary-good 6-piston 320mm brakes with the R.  The SP only came in a monoposto, and the seat subframe was quickly replaceable. 

Seeming to be ready for its next display spot, this SP is surprisingly free of even shelf wear.  A good deal of work awaits a riding collector, but it certainly looks worth the effort.  From the eBay auction:

Very rare , and collectible 1994 YZF 750SP.  Bike is mint, museum quality with all the factory warning label stickers still on it.  Only 20 of the SP version were ever brought to North America.

Heaps of competition from the other big three in those days, though the YZF did well in endurance racing, and the quality build helped many privateers riding affordable machinery in the later 1990’s.  This one has seen none of that, and hardly looks to have even done the miles on the odometer.  The ask has me wanting to title the post Fund Factor, but maybe a reader can propose an offer and we’ll keep our fingers crossed.

-donn

Why Not the Best ? – 1994 Yamaha YZF-750SP with 3,251 Miles !

Subscribe by Email

Get every post delivered by email! Your information will never be sold or spammed.

FB Like Box

Support Our Sponsors!



  • 1999 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet
    Sometimes less is more. Just because you can throw everything on the car, doesn’t mean you should. At a point, there are too many designs…
  • 1984 Audi 4000S
    Back in July, I took a look at a pair of Audi 4000Ss, the easy-to-forget lightweight brother of the 4000 quattro and Coupe GT: Double…
  • 1995 Mercedes-Benz S500 Coupe
    I often wonder what comes of the W140 Mercedes-Benz coupe. They certainly aren’t as striking or stately as the previous generations, but they are extremely…
  • 1977 Aquila
    Kit cars don’t get much love on these pages. Well, to be fair, they don’t get much love, period. But kits cars do offer something;…

Archives