Author Archives: claudio

Ducati April 22, 2013 posted by claudio

Own a Legendary Rider’s Replica – Ducati 900 MHR (Switzerland)

Red and green was the color of Mike Hailwood’s historic TT comeback with Ducati’s L 2 cylinder air cooled racer in 1978:

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To pay tribute to him, Ducati built a series of race replica bikes designated with the “MHR” = “Mike Hailwood Replica” badge. Last in series, was this 1987 model.

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With less than 20.000 km, this 17.700 $ dollar bike is worth the mention because of its complete stock conditions. With its red color, black front mudguard, gold rims, round headlight and full fairing, this is a proper a race replica style of the 80s.

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As the seller describes, not only it comes with the original exhaust, air intake filter etc, but it also includes the original booklet and service history and it’s factory toolbox in the blue (at the time) Ducati bag. These might seem details but for a 30 year old bike they are not. The overall condition looks top from what we can judge by these pictures.

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From the seller:

 

Last series Ducati Mike Hailwood 900, excellent condition for an almost 30 year old bike, only 19690 km run from new.

Tested new in August last year. Completely original as delivered, including the original air filter and exhaust.

Always garaged and well maintained. Starts immediatelyat the touch of a button and runs smooths after about one minute on choke. Blombe originals still exist under the engine, original driver’s manual and tool kit in the blue bag Ducati.

More pictures on request. The Ducati can be visited in Basel.

If you have questions we can be reached at 078-691-6207.

Thank you

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The price tag that comes with this one, is on the high side but probably lower than what you would pay if you would source this model through an agency.

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This beautiful 900 SS race replica is on sale in Switzerland on the border area with France. It is visible in the city of Basel.

For more details or to arrange an appointment, contact the seller via the ad below:

1987 Ducati 900 SS MHR

Claudio

Kawasaki April 20, 2013 posted by claudio

Is 4 better than 2 ? Kawasaki ZXR 400 vs Suzuki RGV 250 (Germany)

Since motorbike magazines exist, bikes have been put at tests and compared against each other, to help potential buyers in making the right choice for them. Today, the bike shops in some countries organize a couple of events in spring time, where they give the possibility to ride motorbikes of different brands in one single place…and all this is for free (so, cheaper than buying a paper magazine). By riding the bikes of your wishes, one after the other one and on the same stretch of road, you can appreciate their real differences. In technical terms, this is called “benchmarking”. Every year (with the exception of 2013, as somebody decided I shouldn’t ride for a while to learn how to drive slower next time), I do join all of these events in Switzerland where I live. They represent the ultimate bike reviews for a non professional in the industry. I hope that this form of marketing will be adopted in each country where you are. Now, as I mentioned in the beginning, if we exclude the “live” riding comparison experience, the only ways we have to compare bikes we’d like to buy,would be one or more of the following:

1) look for a magazine (paper or digital that is) that is publishing exactly the comparison we are looking for.

2) check the technical specs of the 2 bikes we are comparing. Confront horsepower/weight ratios, dimensions, reported performance, etc.

3) use our personal taste in terms of style and look at as many pictures as we can find (these are never enough).

4) walk to the nearest dealer of each brand and look at the bike for real, seat on it and talk to the “impartial” sales rep. On your way out, collect a brochure.

5) spend the rest of the week watching over and over those brochures and technical specs on the last page. Go on youtube to remember yourself how these bikes sound. Remember what others said about the models you dream of.

6) if the bikes are not new models and you don’t have a collection of motorbike magazines of the last 20 years at hand, nor Google library has yet included all bike magazines of all the world and all years, simply visit RareSportBikesForSale and do your search here 🙂

Today’s old style comparison is about 2 exciting small capacity super-sports. Before proceeding to the comparison, you need to know that they don’t make these any more !

So off we go: 1997 Kawasaki ZXR 400 (4 cylinder, 4 stroke) vs. 1992 Suzuki RGV 250 Gamma (2 cylinder, 2 stroke). Both bikes are available on eBay in Germany, see links at the bottom of the page.

Kawasaki ZXR 400:

$T2eC16J,!ygE9s7HHpYUBRbpfu3BSQ~~60_12

This late 400 Kawa ZXR model is undoubtedly in top conditions, hence the starting price set around 3000 EUR:

$T2eC16R,!)cE9s4PtH6kBRbpf+kFM!~~60_12

A few words from the seller:

Hello everybody, check out my beautiful and well-kept ZXR for sale, the bike is in very good condition.
The miles are real and verifiable, history booklet available.
Last year the carburetor has been overhauled.
New air filter, spark plugs in year 2012.New Brembo front and rear.
How you can see in the photos, there are two brand new tires of the brand Metzler M5 too.
Have serviced it last year in October, with oil filter, the oil has a mileage between  200 and 300 km.
Have fun bidding.

 

 

$T2eC16V,!zUE9s38+CfSBRbpf7EvDg~~60_12

$T2eC16V,!)0E9s37GG7nBRbpf)t,ig~~60_12

Suzuki RGV 250 Gamma:

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This Gamma is not in the same conditions, clearly more used. Apart form the vibration stoppers at the end of the handlebars and the polished frame, it looks in original trim which is always good and rare for these  models. The bike is yours with a mere 1900 EUR !

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Let’s hear it from the seller:

Very well preserved RGV 250 VJ22B to sell

The RGV is deregistered since Dec. 2000 final approval to Jan 2003, but in good condition.
Relatively low mileage of 18539km. Original engine.
Marks on the trim on the left and right but not broken (see pictures).
New oil change, battery, carburetor cleaned, jumps to …
! Please note that it is not a beginner bike!

– Trade Motorcycle possible –

Must see BEFORE bidding if possible and ask BEFORE motorcycle questions.
PLEASE no fun bidding!

Private sale: no guarantee, no warranty, no returns!
Phone 0176 / 61,565,405

 

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If you made up your choice, then click on the appropriate link below:

Kawasaki ZXR 400 (Germany) at a starting price of 3050 EUR

Suzuki RGV 250 (Germany) at a starting price of 1900 EUR

Claudio

Yamaha April 8, 2013 posted by claudio

Up For Grabs – Yamaha FZR 750R OW01 Track Bike (Switzerland)

The Yamaha FZR750R is one of the rarest production exotica of the 90s. Probably the most daring serial bike Yamaha ever built, it was assembled in small numbers (about half of Honda RC30 volumes).

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These bikes, also commonly known by their Yamaha racing bikes model code OW1, are either found in new condition in somebody’s collection or were raced.

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Clearly the sample available in Switzerland, belongs the category that saw more track tarmac than traffic lights. If you are a collector that’s not what you are looking for. Instead, if you either have already a street or track ready OW01 and want to have a full set of spare parts (otherwise hard to source), or always dreamed to turn up at the weekend track day and impress your mates with a real exotic piece of history, than this might be for you. With a very modest asking price of about 2000 EUR, this 1989 Yamaha former track tool is well worth it. With the old school riding position, low seat, low handlebar, large tank, up in front of your chest, the 24 year old special is undoubtedly very sexy.

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Personally I would give it a fresh fiberglass “suit” including a proper paint job, sort it out mechanically, (in case there is a need), and load it up on the trailer for the special occasions of some classic Superbike track event. Check out on this video not related to bike on sale how a FZR750R sounds (listen when it hits 6000RPM):

What would you do with this ? If this ad was available in the UK, I reckon it would sell within minutes. The bike comes with the original paperwork and is a clean one (no grey or black import). It was first registered in 1993. The owner doesn’t say much about it and I wonder if he has some of the original trim parts. That would make this deal an absolute steal. To find out, check out the link below:

1989 Yamaha FZR 750 R OW01 in Switzerland

Claudio

Kawasaki April 4, 2013 posted by claudio

Why less, can be more – Kawasaki ZXR 400 (Germany)


These days you can enter a BMW or Ducati dealership and without pledging your house against your new sport bike, ride out with a close to 200 hp missile. If you entered a Japanese OEM dealership you will be near these figures as well. But in the real world, made of commuting on public roads and at best, a weekend blast along your favorite canyon, will you ever get close to, let’s say, 80% of your new sport bike potential ? If you’re not called Hayden or Lorenzo, probably not.  In addition, is it more fun to ride a high tech bike knowing that you are actually just scrapping the surface, or take a less evolved machine close to its edge ? I personally had more fun riding a Ducati 748 R than my last attempt on modern bikes like the BMW S1000RR. Don’t get me wrong, the Beemer is a fantastic machine but too often I found myself looking up the sky when gearing in 3rd at 100mph. Do that on your way home from work and you’ll end up without a license for a few months (any reference to actual persons or myself is purely accidental). What you want, is something that involves your senses and won’t kill you or, get you in jail. A small capacity two stroker (RGV 250 or RS250) is a good example of a pure sport bike that you can, or better must, ride “like you stole it”. In the four strokes world, you’d be looking to a 400cc 4 cylinder, like this classic and affordable Kawasaki ZXR currently available on eBay in Germany.

$T2eC16Z,!yME9s5qHtKiBRO2ULZ3w!~~60_12

Try it on a twisty road, don’t change gear before you hit 13000 rpm, brake hard, shift down and accelerate again…now was that involving enough ?

$T2eC16R,!)EE9s2ugOmBBRO2UUYjFw~~60_12

With only a day left and a current bid of 1500 EUR, you might be able to get the deal of 2013.

$T2eC16N,!zoE9s5nd8,PBRO2UdHspg~~60_12

he bike had only one owner, registered for the first time in 2001, it has an after market exhaust and a couple of “normal usage” marks on its body.  Let’s read what the seller says (translated with Google):

 

Hello ebay friends

Offered with 65 HP Kawasaki ZXR400 firsthand.
Remus Viper exhaust (with Approval) + pillion seat cover.
The machine had little fall –
Scratches on the frame slider, pulpit and the exhaust plus a small crack under the lights.
The machine is clean and reliable.
At the moment the machine off the road.

New TÜV (German official vehicle revision test) !

 

If interested click on the link below to find more about it:


Kawasaki ZXR 400 in Germany

Claudio

 

Suzuki April 4, 2013 posted by claudio

Smart Money Gixxer – 1993 GSX-R 750 WP (Switzerland)

When the first water cooled GSX-R came on the market, it certainly had a fresh and modern style but failed to impress when put on the scale. With 15kg extra “fat” this could hardly be compensated by a few additional horses. When it comes to motorbike design, I am a big fan of the “lightweight philosophy” and believe that the right recipe is in this direction rather than in search of the extra power at extreme rpms. Nevertheless Suzuki have been brave in changing the design of the “sport bike par excellence” the original GSX-R and we need to give them credit. The new generation Gixxer was given a rock solid chassis that you wouldn’t be able to upset if you tried hard. In the effort of keeping a compact design, the cooling aid provided by water and it’s radiator was combined with the already present oil cooling. The model we have here, is a second generation W that hit production in 1993.

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Undoubtedly those double headlights covered with an additional mask (plastic for less weight in its second generation, glass in the first) for better aerodynamic are a good example of smart engineering. On one side you’d like to keep the aggressive looks provided by the double lights and on the other improve performance.

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The 1993 Gixxer is a well built motorbike with a lot of attention to details. The quality of every component is evident, from the aluminum frame to the instrument cluster and handlebar commands.

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The capacity of 750cc means that you’ll get your power toward the high end of the engine speed counter (on my 1994 model there was a dip of torque at about 4000 rpm), but this is the idea of a sport bike isn’t it ? With more than 100 hp, a distinctive style, lots of quality throughout, a comfortable position and all of this in a reliable package , this W sample is smart money. With less than 22000 km and in 100% original trim, the asked 2700$ are well worth it. I mean what do you buy with this money ?

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Here we are still talking about a Suzuki super sport, a bike that will easily hit 250 km/h and will always make you feel you are sitting on a race bread horse. The seller will get he bike tested and verified by the authorities at he time of purchase as an additional quality certificate for your purchase. Judging from the pictures there can’t be anything wrong with this. Winter is over and a new battery is the only thing you’ll have to budget on top. That will round nicely to about 3000 $.

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If you’d like to enter the super sport bike world for the first time  or just want to travel back in time and own once again your first dream bike, than go ahead and click on the link below. This 1993 pristine GSX-R 750 is available in Switzerland thorough the local auction site www.ricardo.ch.

Low mileage 1993 Suzuki GSX-R 750 W in Switzerland

Claudio

Kawasaki March 27, 2013 posted by claudio

Fearless: Kawasaki H1 500cc (Switzerland)

In the good old times of 2 stroke MotoGP, only the strong and brave would make it to the top class of motorbike racing. Things are different today. That is not to say that the rookies of today’s MotoGP aren’t as talented (just take a look at the practice lap times of Marquez), in fact I think they are even more, as modern days’ racers are also physically true top sportsmen. What I mean is that with the advent of electronics controlling power delivery, braking performance, general wheel spin, fuel consumption and …you name it, the modern GP bikes are very very fast, but do not resemble in the common viewer the feel of FEAR:

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(picture courtesy of Reuters)

Some of us who grew in the 70s-80s, remember the first ride on our older friend’s or cousins’ tuned up 2 stroke moped, dirt bike or street model. This was usually a straight line wide open throttle acceleration, where vision became blurry (or so we thought) also because there was much noise and smoke behind us, followed by a  a heartbreaking full-on deceleration, to avoid a crash at the ned of the straight. And don’t get me wrong, the heartbreaking experience wasn’t given by the breaking power of our friend’s bike, instead, quite the opposite, it was given by LACK of braking performance of the missile on which we where temporarily sat on. At this point, there were only two possible reactions to the first ride of our life:

1) I got bloody scared and will never ever do this again

2) that was freakin’ scary but so exciting. I need to get my own bike and I will learn how to master it…

If you belong the the category 2), this is for you:  (and by the way, they don’t make them any more :-))

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The Kawasaki H1. A 3 cylinder 500cc 2 stroke power bike. This sample is  the later model produced from 1974, with disc brakes. If you look at the type of tyres fitted, it will give you confidence that the owner really rode the bike despite the low mileage:

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The H1 was then followed by the H2 with a 750cc motor but not much else different. Why did I make all that fuss about fear when introducing this highly collectable sample ? Well, these bikes were notoriously very powerful (60hp stock), but had a chassis that let’s say… was not up to the standards of the power plant. Have a look at this:

(the video is of a Kawasaki H1 but it’s not related to this bike on sale)

Do you understand what I mean ?

Now again, this can go 2 ways: a) that bike is wobbling like it’s made of butter…b) wow that must be exciting, that amazing noise rush, the feel of speed growing without control once you pass the 7000 rpm,  and the need to make the next corner…somehow…

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The model we have here is in original conditions and has a low mileage as the seller describes:

“To sell the beautiful and legendary Kawasaki Mach 3 500 cubic cm 3 cylinder engine 2 TMPS. Superb collection of motorcycle in perfect condition. Bike very powerful driving sensation insured. Only 23728 km. Bike comes with full documentation of time (User Manual, Parts List, Workshop Manual, Brochures period) all also in a state of conservation exceptional.”

It is on sale on the Swiss auction site Ricardo with a starting price of about 11700 $ and a buy it now option of 14800 $.

This is a rare find in this conditions !

If you want to go back at the time when riding a sport bike was an act of courage and speed wasn’t for everyone:

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then you might want follow up by clicking at the link below (the bike is available near lake Geneva in Switzerland):

1975 Kawasaki H1 500cc in Switzerland

 

Claudio

P.S. even this poster of the first H1 in Japan gives away the fact that biking used to be for brave ones: look at the snow on the side of the street and yet the girl is wearing shorts. Ah, and that smile is only a nervous reaction, she isn’t even looking where they are going because that is too scary.  True motorbike passion !

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P.P.S. …actually when I looked closer at the picture i noticed the rider has one foot down…c’mon a bit of photoshop could help me to deliver the point here… .-)

P.P.P.S….and there we go, like this it is better (Muchas Gracias Alvaro !)

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Suzuki March 26, 2013 posted by claudio

XN-Fiction- Suzuki 85 Turbo (Belgium)

Every time I come across a Suzuki XN 85 I imagine scenes from a science fiction movie:

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It must be that original design, the details like the reverse TURBO writing on the front headlight fairing, the instrumentation cluster, or simply the fact that you know that there are some mysterious components hidden within the frame.

Suzuki XN 85_10

The XN was in production for 1 year only making the project a sure loss for Suzuki. Knowing that a lot of hours were spent in designing and making this motorbike work, at a price below 5000 EUR (current bis id 3500 EUR but reserve is not met) , this is already a good enough reason to acquire one.

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Suzuki XN 85_4

We can realistically assume that nothing like this will be tried again. While turbo assisted combustion engines are the future in the car world, there’s no real need to fit one of these on a motorbike. The CO2 reduction regulations in Europe, the general cost of petrol anywhere in the world and the associated need to reduce vehicles’ consumption, asks for more efficient powertrains and lighter cars. Motorbikes are light by default and have already good fuel consumption that you can easily control with the rotating twist grip on the right handlebar. As cars are heavy, they need torque to move around at low rpm values (fuel consumption is linearly proportional to rpm). Motorbikes on the other hand are designed for high power at high rpm so that you can use a smaller engine and get a lot out of it. In cars, there is a trend that is now referred to as “downsizing”. The concept is simple, use a smaller capacity engine (fuel consumption is obviously also linearly proportional to cylinders’ volume and number) and maximize its efficiency = fit one or two turbos (in case of 2 one is for low rpm output and one for high rpm) to a 1.5 to 2 liter 3 to 4 cylinder engine. Look into the details of any modern BMW and you will see what I mean.

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So why did the Japanese fit Turbos on their mid 80s motorbikes ? Well, from the simple physics’ point of view there was really no reason. I guess it was more a prestige thing. Coupling an internal combustion engine with what technically is a turbo gas machine (it compresses air using the exhaust gasses to run a compressor) was in the 80s a technological challenge. Showing this capability was a way to demonstrate to the world the engineering skills of a company. This would have been quite easy for Honda by leveraging on the highly innovative car department. (Honda is for the Japanese car industry what BMW, Alfa Romeo or Lancia were for the European car industry).

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But for a relatively small firm like Suzuki, this was a big step. And there we go, in the mid 80s Suzuki produced fine examples of engineering such as the first GSX-R, the bold German designed Katana and the XN-85. I reckon these 3 models are among the most significant motorbikes produced  by the Hamamatsu based company. So, if a piece of history at an effectively under cost purchase price is what you are looking for, this XN available in Belgium might be for you.

With just 17000 km the current bid of 3500 € is below the reserve. Looking at he pictures the bike seems in great shape. Produced in about 1000 samples theses are surely rare bikes.

Let’s hear it from the seller (translated with Google):

SUPERB SUZUKI XN85 TURBO – VERY RARE – + / – 1000 COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE – OUTSTANDING HANDLING – SUEPENSION AV ANTI DIVE – MONO SHOCK SUSPENSION AR TYPE VARIABLE FULL FLOATER FLEXIBILITY – FRONT WHEEL 16 INCH – 17 INCH REAR WHEEL – ENGINE 4 CYLINDER 673cc – ELECTRONIC INJECTION SUZUKI – COOLING SYSTEM RAM AIR – 17000 KM – MANY PARTS USED AND IMPLEMENTED THE MACHINE GRAND PRIX OF TIME.

NOTICE TO COLLECTORS AND PASSION

1985 Suzuki XN 85 Turbo on eBay

-Claudio

Ducati March 24, 2013 posted by claudio

Small Capacity For Collectors – Ducati F3 350 (Italy)

The Ducati F3 can be seen as a smaller version of the more prestigious F1. Produced for the Japanese market with an engine capacity of 400cc and for the Italian market with a 350cc. Both versions share a number of components with the F1 with the exclusions of the front fork which has smaller diameter stems. With about 40 hp when new, this is not a power bike. It is in style and exclusivity that the F3 earns his status. I mean isn’t this bike a beauty ?

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With the white and red colors and that F3 large logo on the squared tail it stands out not only versus other brands, but even within the Ducati catalogue of historic models. The 350cc version was produced only in 1986 and therefore can be regarded as the rarest among the small capacity Pantah derived sportsters. If you are looking for this model you probably do so because you’d like to add this to your collection. With a price tag of 8500 € this sample available in Italy on eBay (economic crises, where ??), won’t attract a casual rider looking for something exotic to impress his friends on the Sunday ride on the twisters nor to show off at the bar during aperitive time. It won’t be the dynamic performance of the bike that will make you spend this level of money.

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Nevertheless if you are curious about what it would be to actually ride an F3 the following video from Japan will give you an insight:

This L twin cylinder SOHC 350cc Ducati has currently 39000 km and was clearly regularly driven and maintained (last service and revision in 2012). This is good in my opinion, as bikes need to run to keep moving parts lubricated and in the right order.

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If you are a collector and look for a small capacity bike with a pedigree this could be for you. For more info or to place a bid (the seller wont accept anything below the asking price, so don’t bother if you are not serious about this) check out the link below:

Ducati F3 350 in Italy

Claudio