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Moto Guzzi March 10, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1976 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale

Update 4.15.2018: Now listed on eBay for $18,500. Good luck to buyers and seller! -dc

These days, Moto Guzzi is pigeonholed as the Piaggio Group’s resident bearer of the sporty retro banner, building the Italian equivalent of Triumph’s classic Thruxton, Speed Twin, and Bobber. Which is a damn shame, given Guzzi’s history of legitimately competitive racing machines in a wide variety of classes. Of course, they almost always seemed to have that classic “speed through comfort” thing going on, even with their single-cylinder racebikes. But with very nice, but unintimidating fare like the current V7 and brutish retro-crusiers like the Griso and El Dorado, it’s easy to forget that the original Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans was, at the time, a very serious sportbike.

1976 Moto Guzzi Le Mans for sale on eBay

With distinctive styling that looks a bit like some sort of sleek, antediluvian racing tractor, the Le Mans was an update of the earlier V7 Sport and 750S, and used the same Lino Tonti frame and longitudinal v-twin, here punched out to 844cc and fitted with high-compression pistons in chrome bores, along with a hot cam, bigger valves, and larger carburetors. The resulting 71 rear-wheel-horses were corralled by a five-speed transmission and routed to the ground via Guzzi’s now familiar shaft drive. Stopping was managed by a trio of disc brakes, and the Le Mans used a simple linked-braking system that sometimes causes sportbiking purists to turn up their noses, but is very effective in practice.

Obviously, “two-valve,” “pushrod” and “shaft-drive” aren’t words generally found in the description of a sportbike, but the Le Mans most definitely was one. It wouldn’t likely impress anyone used to modern performance bikes, but in 1976, a top speed of 130mph meant the Le Mans was a legitimate player in the high-performance world, and a direct comparison to the contemporary Ducati 900SS suggests the simpler, pushrod Guzzi motor is actually revvier and the Le Mans handles just as well.

In spite of the fact that Lino Tonti’s frame made for a very effective sport and street motorcycle for an impossibly long time, motorcycle frame design and suspension geometry have come a long way since the early 1970s and although the Le Mans is famously stable, it does, according to at lease one magazine article, “turn like a plank in a swimming pool.” But who cares about agility when you’re running tires this skinny and looking this good? Tonti-framed bikes are especially beloved of the cafe crowd due to their naturally low overall height, due to the jutting cylinders: even before you start modifying one, it’s already impossibly low and lean. The downside of the Le Mans’ widely-used frame and desirability is that they’re pretty easy to fake, with most of the unique parts pretty easy to source, so verifying that you’re looking at the real article is key before you make a purchase.

Moto Borgotaro did a pretty good job describing the bike themselves, as you can see below… The seat isn’t the original part, but that’s not really all that surprising, considering the originals used a newfangled closed-cell foam in their construction… that promptly disintegrated in many cases. This one looks like the earlier 750S style, so it certainly has the right character and seems a popular replacement part for Le Mans that have suffered catastrophic seat failures. Other than the modern, folding bar-end mirrors that some might not like, this thing is in pretty immaculate shape, down to the US-spec protruding headlight that is accurate, but something I’d personally try and swap out for the European version.

From the Seller: 1976 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale

THIS MOTORCYCLE’S STORY

— By Peter Boggia and Tim Parker

Tonti, essentially a “frame man” made a plan to meet De Stefani’s goal of “200 kilometers per hour, 200 kilograms, and five speeds.”

That’s 125mph, 440lb and 5-speeds in American. His plan was the V7 Sport first seen in 1971. Sure it met the goal but it was also a looker, and the frame was masterful, low, stiff and with good ground clearance, and tight to the engine – but with the lower frame rails removable. Watchword: balance.

“While the specially prepared Guzzi 750s were roaring round and round the Monza speed bowl in October 1969, breaking the records Moto Guzzi had set in June, Chief Engineer Lino Tonti, Managing Director Romolo De Stefani, and President Dore Letto were discussing how Moto Guzzi could follow up the new records.”

“Beautifully restored paint, original brakes, upgraded suspension, all original switch gear… this is a three owner Le Mans”

MOTO GUZZI 850 LE MANS 1 DETAILS:

  • VIN VE 070505
  • 19,781 miles
  • First year 850 Le Mans, not designated as the first series until the advent of the second series.
  • Repainted by current owner at 18k mi
  • Lafranconi exhaust 
  • FAC front fork upgrade
  • Velocity stacks
  • Excellent rims and newer tires 
  • Serviced 
  • Newer seat
  • All original switchgear in perfect working order 
  • Ikon shocks

www.motoborgotaro.com

Piaggio at least seems invested in Moto Guzzi’s success, but dreams of a modern sportbike like the one that was rumored in the 90s will have to remain on hold for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, bikes like the Le Mans are still around to rally the faithful and keep the dream of “what could have been” alive. Sadly, the Le Mans is no longer an affordable classic, although it still is a very practical classic, with the speed to comfortably keep up with modern traffic and parts available to keep one running. It’s a comment on Guzzi’s famous reliability that this 20,000 mile example could probably be considered “low mileage.” The crew at Moto Borgotaro aren’t the usual bike-flippers, or a modern dealer looking to liquidate an estate-sale collection: classic sportbikes are their stock in trade, and this Guzzi appears to have the expected quality.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1976 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale
BMW February 14, 2022 posted by

Featured Listing – 1982 BMW R65LS Custom!

Winning bid was $16,500. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Friend of the site and uncommon vendor of some amazing motorcycles, Peter brings to us today a very unique example of an interesting and rare motorcycle. You are familiar with Moto Borgotaro already, as Peter has listed Guzzis, Laverdas and Ducatis in the past, just to name a few (check out some of Moto Borgotaro’s work on RSBFS here). Every time Peter is involved, we see a beautiful bike, exquisitely presented with high quality photographs. Today’s specimen is no different, but it does have a twist. A tastefully hot-rodded oddity from BMW, Moto Bototaro brings us a 1982 BMW R65LS, reimagined and refined with power and elegance.

1982 BMW R65LS Custom For Sale!

Designed by Han Muth of Suzuki Katana and XN85 Turbo fame, the R65LS differed from the plane Jane R65 thanks to swoopy-yet-understated bodywork; a small bikini fairing (which is said to cut down on front end lift by 30%), and a tail section with aerodynamically integrated grab handles. The snowflake cast wheels, painted white, were also unique to the model (and later utilized elsewhere). The engine remained the same R65 “airhead” powerplant across the line; large pistons pushing through a relatively small stroke, two valves per head operated by pushrods and a central camshaft, and a dry clutch connecting the 5-speed transmission and final drive. The R65LS did have unique valve covers, but no difference in power or performance. In stock form, figure 50 HP pushing 450+ pounds of solid, overbuilt German engineering.

From the seller:
I acquired the doner bike from the second owner with only 6600 original miles on the clock, the frame was in near mint condition so, it made sense to refinish it. The paintwork was sent to Holt BMW (one of the best painters in the BMW community) He opened up his Glasurit paint code books and proceeded to make some tests for the final color you see here.

The motor has a brand new 860CC piston and cylinder kit from Sibenrock BMW, at the same time the heads were sent for complete refinishing, new seats, guides, and valves were fitted and the valve springs were checked for tolerance. At this time I also fitted the new Asymmetrical camshaft from Siebenrock.

The carburetors were completely rebuilt and ultrasonically cleaned, all airbox rubbers replaced and K&N air filter fitted. The exhaust is a special unit made by Cone Engineering. The original exhaust headers and crossover were ceramic coated in black.

More from the seller:
I upgraded the Ignition system & charging system, both from EuroMoto Electrics Now with the 450watt brushless alternator system and the Saches Ignition with a 9 curve adjustability. The ignition coil was upgraded to a Nology Engineering coil.

The brakes have been heavily upgraded, new Brembo FO8 calipers the stainless brake lines are made by Spiegler and carry a lifetime warranty, the brake rotors were sent to Spiegler at this time for Semi-Floating rotor conversion, I then finished this off with the highest quality Brembo brake pads.

Suspension, the front forks were completely rebuilt and the fork legs expertly powder-coated, at this time I installed Wurth front fork springs and Ikon rear shocks with custom spring rate.

Other details include, Ultrasuede reupholstered seat by long-time collaborator Via Meccanica, LED Moto-gadget turn signals, all rubbers replaced, new tires installed, wheels powder-coated, new wheel bearings, fuel line, misc parts refurbished or renewed.

There does not seem to be much that was spared in this refurbishment. Power – the big Achilles heel of the model – has been nicely addressed via the introduction of a big bore kit, updated ignition components, and a sweet exhaust system. But braking and handling have also been greatly enhanced, especially those trick floating rotors up front. The black wheels set off the whole package nicely, and helps to avoid the inevitable curse of the stock white wheels; namely, brake dust and staining discoloration. The black accents on the motor (front cover, valve covers) match the underside of the tank, and provide an eye-popping visual for that stunning paint. This bike just jumps out of the photos at you, and I would love to see it in real life.

Check out this cold start video provided by the seller. The bike looks great upon approach, you can hear that distinct click of the fuel petcock which just screams BMW quality. The engine fires right up, and idles nicely without any undue shaking or other indications of rough running. Look how quickly the choke can me disengaged! Throttle response sounds crisp, and those wonderful pipes put out just the right Bavarian sound.

And what about this helmet-mounted camera video highlighting a ride through town and some freeway. Both accentuate the integration of the build, as this bike appears to be in its element motoring through both scenarios. Often the hot rods will run fine on the highway, but display issues with in-town riding. Not so here!

This unique build is going under the Bring a Trailer hammer for a no-reserve auction. Some serious effort and expense was put into this bike, and whoever wins this one will have won something truly special. The R65LS is a fantastic platform that never quite had the “go” to match the show bike design. Using top-shelf components Peter from Moto Borgotaro has resolved those issues and created a striking machine that is just begging to be ridden into the sunset. Jump over to the auction before this Teutonic Retro Missile is gone!

MI

Featured Listing – 1982 BMW R65LS Custom!
Laverda January 23, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SFC for Sale

Update 6.18.2020: This bike is SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

We don’t post a ton of “classic” sportbikes here, but some motorcycles transcend the era in which they were built: the bevel-drive Ducati 900SS, the Moto Guzzi V7 Sport, Norton Manx, Vincent Black Shadow, Kawasaki ELR, Honda CBX, and this bright orange Laverda SFC are iconic enough that they fit in just fine among machines decades newer. Quite literally a race bike with lights, the SFC or “Super Freni Competizione” was a high water mark for the marque, and always makes me sad they’re not currently in business. I think the world has room for a stylish, overbuilt motorcycle with great handling and Italian charisma. I picture something like a Triumph Thruxton R with Ducati SportClassic style…

At the heart of the machine was an air-cooled, 744cc two-valve, overhead-cam parallel twin supposedly patterned after Honda’s CB77 Superhawk and built to last, with five main bearings. The SFC shared the same engine with the more street-oriented SF1, although the SFC included the usual period upgrades to improve performance: larger valves, head work, different cams, balanced and polished internals, bigger carbs… The result was somewhere between 71hp and 81hp, depending on the year. They were all hand-built and dyno-tested and rolled out pretty much ready to compete in endurance racing events. Just remove the lights and add a numberplate.

Unlike other Italian manufacturers of the period, Laverda’s goal was to use the very best parts in their motorcycles, regardless of origin. So while the suspension and frame were by Verlicchi and Ceriani or Marzocchi, respectively, they used Nippon-Denso electrics, and Bosch ignition components. It’s significant that Laverda named their bike after its braking ability: Super Freni Competizione basically means “super competition brakes” and the early machines featured a massive magnesium brake drum out front with a similar unit out back.

Later machines moved to twin discs out front, with a matching disc in the rear, but the result was the same and Laverdas stopped as well as they went. In 1974, the frame was updated to lower the center of gravity and reduce weight, and to improve handling with revised suspension geometry. Fewer than 600 SFCs were ever made, making this one of the rarest examples of an already exclusive marque.

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Laverda SFC for Sale

At only approx 541 units produced, the Laverda SFC is one of the best bikes for the buck you can collect and ride! this is a street legal factory race bike that pumps out approx. 70HP, it’s fun, fast and vicious– to me the SFC is the pinnacle of 70’s Italian sport bikes, it hits all the marks and its built like a tank. This is the closest bike in feel to a Lamborghini Miura.

At this point I can say with some authority, that I have owned, bought and sold more SFC Laverda’s then just about anyone in the US, if you look in previous sales, this bike is just 12 bikes later than the last SFC that came through the shop.

Every SFC is slightly unique, every bike has a story. This particular example has been in private ownership for the last 10 years, the current owner had the noted Laverda craftsman Scott Potter do a complete frame up rebuild with the intention to ride her on the beautiful California coastal roads. At this point a new Steel tank was acquired and paint matched to the rest of the bodywork, new parts were used as needed and the rear shocks were upgraded.

As the bike had been sitting, I decided to give her a once over and clean and replace the jets, set the points. After putting in some fresh fuel, this BEAST roared back to life. The time and money spent on the rebuild was obvious as the quick pull of the throttle felt the parallel twin whip the bike back and forth, the feel of the SFC is unmistakable. BUY, RIDE, COLLECT.

WORLDWIDE SHIPPING IS AVAILABLE

Feel free to call me 929-264-7212 or email via my website – motoborgotaro.com

1974 LAVERDA SFC DETAILS –

  • Frame #17160
  • Engine #17160
  • Dell’Orto PHB 36mm carburetors
  • Borrani aluminum wheel rims
  • Steel tank
  • Ceriani suspension * rear is Marzocchi
  • Electron rear hub and sprocket carrier
  • High quality aluminum replica gas tank
  • Nippon Denso instruments
  • Smaller European taillight

Original parts included * Original fiberglass tank and original pipes

If you’re not familiar with Moto Borgotaro, they’re a restoration shop over in Brooklyn, New York and have had a number of very nice Laverdas pass through their hands. This example looks basically perfect, with just 4,304 miles on it, and the seller is asking $58,000.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SFC for Sale
Ducati September 13, 2019 posted by

A New Era: 1981 Ducati Pantah 500SL for Sale

The Ducati Pantah 500SL was a watershed moment for the company, a bike that seems a little underwhelming at first, but actually launched them into the modern era, with practical updates to the classic v-twin engine and striking looks that are hard to date, if you’re not familiar with the bike. Compared to most Japanese sportbikes of the time, the styling is decidedly wild, and the silver/red/blue graphics would look great on a modern bike like the Panigale.

Ducati’s old bevel-drive v-twins were designed to perform and gorgeously hand-crafted, but were hideously expensive to manufacture, assemble, and service. Not exactly a design suited to a company wanting to increase their production significantly. The Pantah took the original two-valve, air/oil-cooled design and updated it with toothed rubber belts to drive the single overhead cams, something that was increasingly common in the automotive world at the time, but largely unheard of in motorcycle manufacture.

The Pantah was introduced in 1980 as the 500SL, but quickly grew to 583cc for the 600SL in 1981. Power produced by the 499cc twin was a modest 50hp, but engine loved to rev and the Ducati was light compared to rivals at under 400lbs dry. This switch to the cheaper construction actually brought Ducati’s Desmodromic valve actuation to the masses, since the older bevel-drive bikes mostly used traditional valve springs, and it was only the Super Sport models that featured the race-bred technology.

From the original eBay listing: 1981 Ducati Pantah 500SL for Sale

It has come time to sell the last of my collection and this one is it. I’ve owned this bike since about 1996 or 1997 and have meticouluslly restored the bike with all original parts or the best parts available. I use the word restored a bit lightly here. The only 2 parts that have not been restored due to there great condition is the main frame(original paint) and front forks(original paint). Everything else has been repainted, refinished, restored, etc..

First 2 pictures are from a amateur photo shoot with bike from about 2 years ago.. The rest are from last week.

I’m offering this auction at very low starting price with NO RESERVE and hope it goes to the best home possible. Title is clear.

  • New paint and decals.
  • New windscreen
  • Wheels have been power coated and restored with all new bearing etc..
  • Electrical system gone through and restored
  • Rear fender delete modification with round light. (original light included)
  • New Conti replica short style exhaust(have extra set of silencers and will include)
  • Rebuilt front and rear shocks
  • Rebuilt and painted front and rear calipers
  • New Tires
  • Gauges restored
  • Polished engine cases and linkage polished
  • New Battery
  • All new original grips and levers and boots and cables
  • New seat bottom leather and original seat back leather
  • Headlight restored

I know I’m leaving out a bunch of things but its just to much to list!

Motor has been completely disassembled and gone through adding all new gaskets and adjustments. All work on bike has been performed by Moto Borgotaro in Brooklyn New York and Moto Pistole (now North Motorcycle). Everything except the blue paint and decals were performed by them. You can check out there websites for there caliber of work. 

Anything and everything you can think of has been redone on bike. Please ask any questions.

I will include in sale many extra parts and original owners manual and service manual. Vintage magazine with Bike of the Year from 1981.

Here is a link of the start up and walk around. Also you can see my other vintage Ducatis that I sold in the last few years…

I reserve the right to end this auction early due to its for sale locally as well.

Shipping is the responsibility of winning bidder. I can assist within reason.. 

This one is about as nice as you’re ever likely to find, and values of these 1980s bikes are definitely increasing after years, but although this is a No Reserve auction, the starting bid of $11,498 is both oddly specific and very high for a Pantah..

-tad

A New Era: 1981 Ducati Pantah 500SL for Sale
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
Laverda June 6, 2019 posted by

The Other Woman – 1979 Laverda Formula 500

Known here mostly for bigger GT’s, Laverda tried to tap the European mid-size market in the 1970’s with a 350 and 500cc twin.  A single marque race series was developed to drum up interest, pre-dating the IROC and BMW Boxer Cup.  Surprisingly, the four year series generated only 200 or so racers, making it a rare bird indeed.

1979 Laverda Formula 500 Mk. 1 for sale on eBay

Laverda knew their way around a parallel twin and the DOHC motor with uprated cams and 10.5:1 pistons delivered 52 hp.  It has a six speed transmission with a tall first and closely spaced ratios befitting a racer.  Marzocchi provided forks and dual rear shocks, with Brembo supplying dual front disks, most surviving because of the requirements of the race specification.  Though a full fairing was added, road-worthy lighting and electrics were removed, keeping the dry weight to 338 lbs.  Menani clip-ons had a forward offset to stretch the cockpit as did the sand-cast alloy rearsets.

Though both Formula 500’s previously seen on RSBFS were overseas, this one was re-commissioned at Moto Borgotaro in Brooklyn and currently resides in SoCal.  Evidently this Formula was restored early on by the late Mike Waugh, owner of Montydons  in Britain and Laverda luminary.  It bears the bumps and scrapes of many moves but appears complete and correct.  A replacement for the cracked windscreen might have to be custom made but is very do-able.  Comments from the eBay auction:

This very Formula 500 is one of the two Laverdas pictured on the cover of the Brooklands book,”Laverda 500 Twins 1977-1983″.  The book is a compilation of reviews, company materials and magazine articles, one of which features this motorcycle.  The bike belonged to Mike Waugh, owner of MontyDons, a UK specialist restorer of Laverda 500’s.  Waugh was well-known in the Laverda community.   Quoting from the article written by John Colley, “Little is known of this Mark 1’s history.  It was discovered in Wales after being ‘laid up’ for many years, and is one of the very few [Mark 1’s] brought to the UK”.  Even fewer were shipped to the States.  Mike restored the bike.

In the close up of the photo of the Formula 500 Mark 1 on the bike’s cover and again in the article inside, note the additional holes drilled in the faring at the upper and lower bracket mounts.  These correspond exactly with the bike, as does the license plate mount and orange wheels.

This bike, identified by VIN in its entry registration, went to the Isle of Man in 1999.  It is not however, one of the six Formula500 (Mark II’s) Slaters entered in the 1980 Formula 2 TT, winning the Team Prize.   Included in the sale are the original race number 124 decals that were on the bike at the Isle of Man.  The decals were removed and preserved.
An extremely scarce set of original factory special tools for the Laverda 500 comes with the bike, as does the original shop manual, Brooklands book and original one-sheet marketing print.
I bought the bike in late 2014 from a PA collector who had owned (but never started) the Laverda for many years.  Soon after, I brought the bike to respected Laverda specialist Motoborgotaro, in New York City.   Peter Boggia thoroughly inspected, serviced and recommissioned – but did not restore – the bike.  The last time the bike was run, was in October 2015.

No sense challenging DMV with a time machine like this, it really belongs in the vintage races.  Reviewed as more 250 than 500 sized, a suitably classic rider might want to try it on before committing to purchase.  This could be a total gem with not much more than a large tube of elbow grease, though track preparation would be more involved.  Either way the Formula 500 might not be practical but sure is easy on the eyes.

-donn

The Other Woman – 1979 Laverda Formula 500
Ducati May 7, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1975 Ducati 750GT for Sale

It’s obvious that we’ll continue to see Ducati’s iconic “L-twin” for the foreseeable future, but the recent introduction of their V4 Panigale represents the end of the v-twin superbike era that really began with today’s Featured Listing Ducati 750GT. If you ask anyone to name the earliest Ducati v-twin, one of the Supersports is the one most likely to spring to mind. But this GT was actually the first, and possibly most significant machine to be powered by the elegant and desirable “Round Case” twin.

It’s difficult to overstate how important the v-twin was to Ducati’s present fortunes. Prior to the introduction of the 750GT in 1971, Ducati built single-cylinder road and race motorcycles, the most sophisticated of which used their now widespread Desmo heads that eschewed springs for a more precise and positive system of cams to both open and close the valves. But, singles, while profitable and popular in much of the world for their simplicity, economy, and light weight, would never have allowed Ducati to develop a real fan base in that largest and most lucrative of markets: North America.

The original incarnation of the roadgoing v-twin did not include Desmodromic valve actuation: until the Pantah, that was reserved for the Supersport models exclusively. However, it did use a system of tower shafts and bevel gears to operate the cams for very precise timing, and that clockwork masterpiece is a far cry from modern motorcycle engines that are often mercifully hidden behind fairings or a tangle of wires and hoses.

Performance for the 748cc engine was relatively modest by today’s standards, but this was a considered a serious machine and a 750GT can definitely keep up with modern traffic. Braking won’t be up to current standards, but the 60 claimed horses and 407lb dry weight meant a top speed of 125mph, so you can easily out accelerate most cars leaving a stoplight and handling was excellent.

Although only 4,000 or so 750GTs were actually built, they paved the way for Ducati’s big-bike ambitions and their current status as the premier European bike brand, with a balance of sales volume and exotic cachet that extends well beyond the enthusiast market and into the general population. This example is being offered by Moto Borgotaro, a Brooklyn-based shop that specializes in quality classic bikes, maintenance, and restorations.

From the Seller: 1975 Ducati 750GT for Sale

Bike is presented by Moto Borgotaro Inc. located in Brooklyn , N.Y. 

This is a fantastic 3rd production stage 750GT that has a lot touches from the earlier series 750GT’s — I would call this the ultimate rider as that how it was set up… Why? well lets start with the good… complete motor rebuild in 2009 by Mike Duzick of Mikmar Motors, Paxinos, PA. earlier 72′ tank and tins, completely rebuilt wheels (high lip Borrani style), frame re-done, chrome redone, new Conti pipes, updated electrical, low bars, newer Avon’s.. the works.

Close up, flaws etc… The bike is excellent in person, minor flaws as follows — dash is cracked (common) and it is the earlier style 3 light, scratch on underside of rt. hand pipe, you only see it if your looking for it, brake lever bent out a bit on the end. No it is not 100% original but frankly the bike is fantastic and Mr. Duzick’s motor and restoration is excellent… ride this bike.. this is the one. 

— There are more than 50 additional photos from restoration. 

DETAILS

  • Third production stage 750GT with earlier body work 
  • Engine # 756389
  • Engine crank on up rebuild in 2009 by Mike Duzick of Mikmar Motors, Paxinos, PA
  • 72′ GT tank and tins all re-done in black 
  • Restored seat 
  • New Contis 
  • New Chrome all around 
  • Complete rebuilt wheels 
  • Original shocks
  • Sold with a clean New Jersey title
  • Only 513 miles since restoration in 2009 
  • New Sealed battery 
  • New electrical, and electronic ignition 
  • Newer Avon Roadriders 

The 750GT was probably the most practical of the original v-twins, and this one looks like the perfect collectible, round-case Ducati to actually ride on weekends. I’m a fan of Moto Borgotaro’s recent offerings and this bike seems pretty representative of the kind of bikes they’ve had available in the past: not over-restored, cosmetically “perfect” museum pieces, but extremely clean, well-maintained bikes for collectors who also want to regularly use their acquisitions. Head on over to the eBay listing for some more info, or just to keep an eye on the auction: there are just a couple days left, and bidding is up north of $18,000.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1975 Ducati 750GT for Sale
Honda April 13, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing – 1969 Honda CB750

Update 4.25.2018: eBay notes a sale at $25,600 and seller has confirmed the bike is SOLD. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Even legends take a few baby steps – Honda’s landscape-changing big four was originally manufactured on low-production tooling, known as “sand-cast”.  The smooth 67 hp model sold over 50,000 units the first year, and went on to around 400,000 sales, a lifetime achievement for any other manufacturer.  This early production CB has had a white-glove  restoration using period correct parts and techniques.

1969 Honda CB750 for sale on eBay

Known as the original superbike, the big CB750 was designed with some simplicity in mind.  Low-friction plain bearings are used throughout the engine, and the cylinders are undersquare with a longer stroke than bore, partly in order to limit crankcase width.  The cam chain and intermediate drive share the middle of the one-piece crankshaft for strength.  The switch to disk brakes had just begun but Honda cast theirs in rust-resistant stainless to ensure the clean look stayed nice.  The twin tube steel frame might’ve been the most traditional and not-over-engineered part of the package.  Early on a kickstarter was included though electric start was standard.

Subject of a three-year restoration completed in 2014, this CB was built with NOS parts for the engine and cosmetics.  An NOS wiring harness and exhaust system were sourced for the build, as few survive at their age.  A crucial un-restored tank was found in Candy Blue Green, though it post-dates the sand-cast era.  With the pebble-surfaced cases that “sand cast” refers to, the engine was rebuilt by Honda specialist Mark McGrew in Minnesota.  The complete package is easy on the eyes, the chrome rear fender echoing the front, and the quartet of headers making their way down and back.  Looking head-on shows the lightness and surprising ground clearance available.  Moto Borgotaro is located in Brooklyn, NY – here is a short excerpt from their complete offering which you can view – here – :

“Sand cast” guru Andy Morris of Hampton Bays, New York built this bike. Morris has worked on 15 “sand cast” CB 750s and nearly 50 later versions – he is so good that he can correctly assemble one of these Hondas from a tub of parts without reference to any manual – and he remembers buying # 2659 from a shop in Pennsylvania in the late 1990s. Its restoration took him three years and he used only OEM NOS replacement “sand cast” parts except for the rear rim which he had to have re-plated. All the fasteners, the spokes, the wiring harness, the four exhaust pipes, and other components came out of Honda parts boxes.

www.motoborgotaro.com

For all intents a “new” 1969 motorcycle, this CB750 has turned only 756 miles since completion.  It just looks like fun waiting to happen, at least to riders of a certain age.  My intro to the model was my buddy’s CB550 in 1974, and even that seemed endlessly powerful compared to the trail bikes and vertical twins that were more my speed.  Though the standard layout had a self-limiting effect on top speed, it could do almost anything and torque was  always available.  It was also another chapter in the Honda quality story, the single cam engine being eminently reliable.  Strangely enough, the introductory model was also the most powerful, as horsepower figures waned through the emissions legislation and gas crisis years.

Honda used the pre-production molds to cast around 7,000 engines, which would be a successful year for most manufacturers and a full lifespan for more exotic models.  But as usual Honda was looking over the horizon, to around 40,000 machines each year with total production over 400,000.  This museum quality CB750 could be the opener for a collection of Honda superbikes, or the capstone for a history of earlier Hondas.  Moto Borgotaro can be contacted – here –.

Featured Listing – 1969 Honda CB750

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