Author Archives: claudio

Kawasaki May 11, 2013 posted by claudio

Psychedelic Speed: Kawasaki H2 750 (France)

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Just a few days ago, I mentioned that France has proved to be “the place” where you should look for the “Mighty” Kawa 2 stroke triples. The one pictured below is the largest capacity of all: the 750cc:

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When Casey Stoner retired from Moto GP, he said he wished the championship would be more exciting. Like if a 250 hp machine isn’t enough, he mentioned he would come back if, for example, they’d introduce 2 stroke 750s. Clearly this ain’t what Casey had in mind, it is 40 years old to start with…Nevertheless, it is the excitement of the raw and untamed acceleration, that only a large capacity 2 stroke motor can deliver, that will get any rider wishing he had one of these in his garage.

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The high handlebar of the H2 should not fool you, this is a powerful bike. Actually, those wide and tall bars might help keeping your body attached to e motorcycle when the front wheel will take unexpectedly some air…To me, motorbike riding it’s all about two things:

1) freedom
2) excitement

Any motorbike in the world will give you 1) and that’s why I support the acquisition of any motorized 2 wheeler, regardless of brand, specs or image. But only few bikes will give you 2) in a continuative way. I mean, the brand new models that come out every year are sure better bikes than any previous ones, but you might be soon bored with them after a few months ownership. This s why, many of us look for the “special” ones, difficult to get, maybe rare, but most of all, the ones that make our blood boil.

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This beautifully restored purple colored triple is pure Seventies. That might not be to everybody’s taste, but let me tell you, it is the combination of that Mighty engine, the sub-dimensioned frame and brakes that will get you heart beat faster. Now walk into a vintage clothing shop, get yourself an open helmet, a short and very much used leather jacket and a pair of All Stars shoes and you ready to go…Just be careful and try not to crash, as that will hurt you…for real!

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Bids are coming fast for this one, so better follow up this closely !

Kawasaki H2 750 in France

Claudio

 

Ducati May 8, 2013 posted by claudio

Read Between The Lines: Ducati 916 SPA (UK)

Massimo Tamburini’s greatest creation, the Ducati 916 stormed the world of Superbikes. Using a motor that was effectively the evolution of the Desmo power plant of the 888, the 916 had otherwise a radical new design. This included the most sexy figure in motorbikes’ history, a single rear swing arm and under seat exhaust, to mention a few. I remember one interview with Valentino Rossi, mentioning what a huge leap forward was the design of the 916 versus the previous rather “boxed style” (yet effective) 888. And so, between the Terblanche designed 888 and 999, Ducati produced the highly successful 916, 996 and 998 series. Perhaps, the most iconic motorbikes Ducati will have in the history books, thanks also to the almost absolute dominance in World Superbike Racing. Among the rarest of samples, we can find the 916 SP America.

Ducati 916 SP America (955 SP) For Sale on eBay in the UK

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Produced in very few numbers to allow the entry into AMA races with a 955cc motor, the 916 SPA was a special among the already exclusive Sport Production limited versions. The SP featured a few carbon bits, a single seat unit and most notably an engine with important upgrades of intake, exhaust, pistons, con rods and cylinder heads. The SPA had in addition larger pistons and cylinders with a total capacity of 955 cm3. To recognize an authentic SP America, one would need to read the “ZDM955…” on the motor.

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The model found in the UK, seems to have the right credentials as it was imported from the US.

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At an asking price of 12000 £, this is one of the most expansive 916 you will encounter. But with less than 10000 km and provided this is a genuine SP America (you need to check the engine code) ,  it could be a rare find.

A few words from the seller:

DUCATI 916 / 955 SP A rare opportunity to own a stunning example of this prestigious machine.

 This is the SP model which has a 955cc SP engine

 Imported from the USA prior to first registration this bike was first destined for the American market but demand in the UK for Ducati was greater in the UK and it was common for imports from both the USA and Europe at this time.

 The bike has covered under 10k miles from new.

 The photos don’t do the bike justice and anyone viewing would be delighted I am sure

 I will put a fresh mot on the bike prior to sale.

 Unfortunately I do not have the owners handbook or service book for the bike but I do have some old mot certificates and service receipts, including complete engine refresh from Ducati, dyno sheet and testimony.

 The V5 / registration document is in my name

 please note if i think you question is dumb, if you suggest its worth 5k and your 95 fireblade please dont be surprised if you dont get a response.

 Viewing welcome.

 This would be a great investment as the prices of these bikes are rising steadily now.

Apparently only 50 of them were ever sold to the public !

Claudio

Kawasaki May 4, 2013 posted by claudio

Fear Not The Mighty Acceleration: Kawasaki S2 350 (France)

Kawasaki built its image on powerful and raw powered motorbikes. “Aggressive” was, and still is, the marketing theme. Back in the days, “green” wasn’t yet the symbol. Instead, it all started with the 3 cylinder two strokes power plants. Ranging from 350cc to 750cc, the Mach series were serious powerhouses. I love the original ad below:

Kawasaki S2 350  1

Besides the quite simple looking space suit, (notice the white rubber boots), the message here is twofold:

1) Kawasaki is a new brand that will take you to the future….FAST!

2) It’s all about performance and the Mach II 350cc has the strongest ACCELERATION.
This model found in France was originally imported from Canada:

S2 350_3

 Mach I and II are very popular in France. Thanks to the enthusiasts there, these legendary bikes live on nowadays. This Red coloured sample was totally restored after the import.

S2 350_2

The clock reports just above 6000 miles, equivalent to about 10000 km, but the engine is brand new. Pistons, segments etc. have only 500 km on their shoulders, which means that the motor is now ready to go.

S2 350_5

The work done here seems of high quality, given the absence of non original looking parts. The presence of the OEM manual under the seat, is a detail that shows the attention paid by he current owner. Starting bid is set at 5500 EUR. Here is a video of this actual bike !

www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=EH6hVk_YqN0

What a beauty, isn’t it ?

It only needs a brave rider who won’t be afraid to turn the throttle wide open as it deserves…he’ll be projected into the future…FAST!

Good luck to the bidders.

Kawasaki 350cc Mach II in France

Claudio

 

Ducati May 4, 2013 posted by claudio

What Is The Right Price ? Ducati 998 (Germany)

Tamburini’s masterpiece, the Ducati 916 became in its last evolution the 998.

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I don’t know why but the Ducati stickers on the tank are not present…

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The final version was deliberately called 998 FE = Final Edition. This, featured some nice and worthwhile components upgrades like the front Öhlins fork in addition to the standard 998 Öhlins rear shock. FE models are still available on the market and many of them in nice and clean conditions. Besides the R versions and the Bayliss and Bostrom replicas, the 998 FE are among the priciest 916 descendants. The model spotted in Germany is not an FE nor an S model, but it comes with a low mileage of less than 6000 km

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…and a few parts upgrade. These include most significantly: a slipper clutch:

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…a radial front brake lever (see first picture on top) and improved hydraulics for softer clutch action:

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In addition, a Titanium Termignoni set is available for an extra 500 EUR:

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The seller claims that this late registered (2001), 998 was never ridden in rain, it never fell nor it met any any stage the grippy tarmac of of a race track.

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While there are plenty of 998s around, is this low mileage enough to justify the starting asking price of 11000 EUR = 14500 $ ?

If interested click on the link below:

2001 Ducati 998 low mileage in Germany 

Claudio

 

Bimota May 2, 2013 posted by claudio

Rare BIMOTAs Continued: V2 500 in France

When it comes to rare motorbikes, there are a couple of manufacturers that have their full catalogue belonging in this category. Bi. Mo. Ta. is one of them. I reckon that in the future there will be more space for exotic, almost custom made sport bikes’ brands. I mean, look at the success of Vyrus. In the 80s and 90s, what Bimota did  was driven by pure passion. Nowadays, we see a process of “conformation” among the top brands. The global market and competition makes every OEM look at each other, sometimes take deliberate inspiration from one another. Look at Ducati, Triumph and Yamaha being in a frenetic race to “copy” the brilliant BMW R 1200 GS that is so successful sales wise. Look at Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki, all coming up with similar 250cc 4 strokes often manufactured in South East Asia. Obviously these are to some extent the rules imposed by commercial competition. With the exception of  Ducati’s Panigale with its frameless approach and Apirlia’s bold and loud V4 there is little creativity out there. Suzuki is even the only manufacturer left, to offer a 750 cc 4 cylinder sportster (thank you Hamamatsu !). For the individual and wealthy rider, even a Panigale R isn’t that “special” besides coming with a hefty price tag.

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In addition, OEMs should understand that the buyers of their top offerings are usually between 35 and 40 and ultimate performance, that you can’t use on the road, might not be the only aspect they look for, when investing their hard owned money.

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So, here we have what was a bold attempt, driven by passion and that resulted into the  financial collapse of Bimota. The 2 stroke V2 500cc:

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The development of this bike took so long (and therefore so many resources) because it was a totally new bike from the 2 stroke engine to the new chassis. The V2 is among the most hard to find Bimota and one that didn’t get trashed on track days is always a good find. here are its technical specs:

V2 500_spec

V2 500_2

 

This will not be cheap, nor it will be useful as a commuter. This will be the jewel in the crown of your garage. Starting price is set at 12000 EUR. If you are curious about how a V2 would sound check this out (video is not from the same sample as on the offer):

Let’s hear it also from the seller:

The motorcycle is in collection status. Piston segments, clutch and chain and soft compound tires are new (for safety)
changed to 9500 km (invoice available)
the bike sleeps in a heated garage. never rolled in the rain.
it was developed by a pro who knows these machines. replacement of defective electronic
at the start and recovery engine for reliability.
bench it is 10 torque 9900tr / m and 110 hp at the wheel.
I do is for fun. This is a dangerous motorcycle for those who want to be smart with.
she is very beautiful, very light.
This is a first hand obviously.
I separated because I have 5 disks damaged in the column and it’s not my age.
I do not want her in my garage, that if anyone is interested
it is a 2-stroke engine, bimota the last 2-stroke engine production
this bike is very rare for registered … a motorcycle gp rolling on the road.

The bike has 10000 km and looks to be in the right conditions even though pictures are not enough. Who knows where the reserve is ? To find out, you can start bidding on the eBay link below.

Bimota V2 500 2 strokes in France

 

Claudio

Gilera May 2, 2013 posted by claudio

Not 1, Not 2, But 3… Gilera Saturno Bialbero 500 cc (in Switzerland)


This Saturno Bonanza is available on sale as a block or individuals. Originally wished by the Japanese importer the Saturno was born with a 350 cc engine.

GILERA20SATURNO_3

For the European market, Gilera increased the capacity to 500 cc and add a second over head camshaft. Hence the Bialbero name. The owner of this collection has other interests now and is selling the 3 beauties. Two of them are in the classic red colors:

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Gilera Saturno in red with 33000 km is on sale for 4500 CHF (equivalent to about 3700 EUR). The second red has only 7000 km on the clock and therefore comes with the highest sales price of 7500 CHF (equivalent to about 6200 EUR).

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In my opinion the most deireanble here is the black Anniversary edition. With its classic black and gold colors and the old style fonts for the Gilera logo on the fuel tank it is the most rare.

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Gilera also produced an Isle of Mann TT special Saturno again for the Japanese market. This came also in black colors.

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Nevertheless, the anniversary is, I think the most beautiful one. So much so, that I have decide to take a train tomorrow morning and check this out myself. If you are also interested in these fun, lightweight, 50’s style mono cylinders, check out the private sale by clicking on the link here below:

3 Gilera Saturno for 14600 EUR or sold separately in Switzerland

Claudio

P.S. in addition to these, as if this wasn’t enough of a rare opportunity, there is also a brand new Anniversary model available here in Switzerland. This will take more of your cash and is aimed at collectors. If of interest let me know via your comments and I’ll post this as well…

Bimota April 25, 2013 posted by claudio

Taking the Bimota Fetish to the Extreme: YB 8 Furano (Switzerland)

Regular readers of RSBFS might know that I have a fetish for BIMOTAs. If you wonder why, just look at this:

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Do I need to say more ?

I am tempted to leave the rest of his article empty.

There is really not much to say here that your eyes have not already captured. A short time ago, there was some discussion on the blog about how special an MV Agusta F4 SPR 750 really is. I am not going to make comparisons. All I can say is that with about 14500 $ you have here an opportunity to acquire:

1) A beautiful and exclusive (by nature) Bimota
2) A very special and rare model within the Bimota production range
3) A hand built motorbike
4) A bike that featured the best components that a race team would have had access to in 1993
5) A bike with a full carbon fairing beautifully painted and all stock
6) A bike that had in 1993 a whopping 164 HP from the FZR 1000 power plant…that’s more or less like a bike of today with 250 hp (just like a factory GP)
7) A bike that is so sexy and unique that you wonder whether viewing it should not be allowed to non adults
8) A bike that you can take apart piece by piece and you will be left with a collection of the finest craftsmanship bits made of machined blocks of aluminum
9) A bike that had in 1993 a carbon fiber gear actuator lever
10) A bike that in 1993 was so light that you wouldn’t believe it (180kg = -30kg vs Yamaha FZR 1000)
11) A bike that today will still perform in any conditions
12) a bike that is the most advanced evolution of the YB4 which won a Formula 1 World championship in 1987

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With less than 10.000 km on the clock, this pristine piece of art is an object of desire…literally!

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Repeat after me: I want it….I want it…I want it…

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Here it’s not a matter of: “is there a buyer ready to pay 14500 $ cash for this”, it is a matter of “first come, first serve”….

1993 Bimota YB 8 Furano in Switzerland

Good luck to you all!

Claudio

Aprilia April 24, 2013 posted by claudio

Preserving The Future of Sport Bikes Customers: Aprilia RS 125 (Norway)

How will the market of Sport Bikes look in the future ? Who will be the target customers ? What should a new generation street motorbike deliver ? I guess this is what many OEM’s  R&D and marketing departments ask themselves regularly. What we know, is that we don’t know. We can only observe the economic development of the globalized market, look at the macro trends, make models…Some important changes have already happened:

– two stroke bikes disappeared and were replaced by heavier 4 strokes
– in urban environments, scooters replaced motorbikes
– Apple invented the iPhone and iPad, somebody invented Facebook and as a consequence, kids now dream of the latest tech gadget and spend their time in the semi-virtual and comfortable world given by social media

I was born in 1974 in Italy and when I was 16 I, like many other teenagers, dreamt of only one thing: a 125cc sport bike. Here I run the risk to become nostalgic and this is not the tone I want to set today. One thing is sure, in some parts of he world and at a given period of time, 125cc street bikes were a huge milestone in motorcycle’s industry and shaped the rider’s of today’s Superbikes. I was reflecting about this last night. Suddenly a rush of memories came to my mind and there is so much I want to say that I promise, I will write a dedicated feature on this topic alone. For the moment, I’ll limit myself by saying that 125cc 2 stroke bikes like the one spotted up North all the way in Norway (thanks Kjartan !) represent the actual boundary of the “real” motorbikes.

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They define the entry into proper sport bikes. In many ways they have nothing less than a 750cc or a thousand Superbike. They are only scaled down, have components dimensioned for their weight and have only one cylinder. This Aprilia RS 125 is one the latest produced. With over 30 hp stock (in countries were this was allowed), and with the possibility to extract an extra 4-5 horses with a bit of tuning, the RS is not a toy. This bike is fast enough to reach speeds above 150 km/h, it has a great chassis and powerful brakes. Put in the wrong hands of a novel rider, who didn’t ride 50cc before and you are potentially putting him at risk. With such a 2 stroke you will discover that trying to impress your mates by giving it a go at WOT (wide open throttle) will soon (well…once the engine speed has reached a certain RPM) catapult you into speeds that you didn’t expect and have never experienced before on your friend’s scooter. If you are not riding this as your very first street bike, then you might dare a bit more. You know that this is a capable little motorbike. You will maintain the engine spinning around the “sweet spot” and enjoy the handling of it by pulling moderate late breaking and huge lean angles into the corners to keep momentum. Riding a 2 stroke fast, is all about understanding the limited power band and exploiting the light weight. If you look at the former 125cc Moto GP bikes, they do not produce much more power than this RS, they are only a lot lighter and totally uncomfortable for anyone taller and heavier than a 12 year old child.

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Let’s go back to the Aprilia in Norway and let’s hear it from the seller:

Very rare opportunity!! One owner Aprilia RS 125 full power version for sale due to moving abroad. This bike is shipped from the factory with over 30 excitable HK and is registered as middleclass. Has been in possession of adult enthusiast and has only done 100 mil, there is not a lot of these. If you wish for a spiky middleclass,  try the same type of motorcycle that Valentino Rossi was first championship at the start of his career. Only serious inquiries. Price can be discussed at any prompt decision. I have some extra Aprilia equipment laying around.

(Translation provided by Kjartan’s human translator)

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The condition is practically new and the Arrow exhaust is a nice touch that will make the RS sound sharp and serious as it should be. It is available at the price of  … equivalent to about 3900 € and as the seller says, there could be more Aprilia staff for you in case of interest 🙂

For more details or if you are interested in having it in your garage, please click the link below:

Aprilia RS 125 (full power) in Norway

Claudio