Author Archives: Donn

Honda February 28, 2021 posted by Donn

Shiny Side Up – 2003 Honda RVT1000R / RC51

Honda built the RC51 to access the displacement advantage afforded two cylinder Superbikes in the FIM World Championship, and Colin Edwards went right out and snapped it up. Here’s a lightly ridden and slightly tarted up SP2 from the mid-Atlantic area.

2003 Honda RVT1000R / RC51 for sale on eBay

Honda’s L-twin packed a real punch with 136hp, thanks to 10.8-to-1 compression and two fuel injectors looking down each 62mm intake.  Cooling air had an easier time getting to the engine bay since the water radiators were side-mounted, this also sent heated air out of the fairing.  HRC had a lot of design input on the twin spar alloy frame,  adjustable cartridge forks and Pro-Link monoshock.  Wheels and brakes are Honda’s own, 320mm front disks and light-looking 5-spoke alloys.  Form follows function on the bodywork, with room sculpted into the fuel tank for knees and bars, and the pillion all but forgotten.

This owner likes things clean, with not a mark on this RC51.  Almost got out of hand with the polishing, but the chainguard and heel guards are easily returned to stock , not so sure those are the factory wheels though.  No list is provided, but evident are a two-into-one exhaust, Corbin seat, adjustable levers, tinted Zero Gravity windscreen, new tires, low profile front turn signals, and rear turn signals in the tail light.  Just a comment or two from the eBay auction:

The bike has 9,317 miles on it. Runs strong with no problems.

RC51 has stock sprockets, heavy duty chain.  Also has a two into one exhaust pipe.

Hard to notice – Small crack in the plastic just under the seat on the right side.

While Honda won their first season with the RC51, Ducati answered with a new testastretta engine for the 996R in 2001, though it took the entire season for Troy Bayliss to clinch the championship.  Honda responded with the SP2 for 2002 and won nine out of the last ten races ( five events ) for the roses.  Honda sent their factory race yen in another direction for 2003, and returned to a four-cylinder, even though the RC51 stayed in production until 2006.  Some of these mods might not be to every fan’s liking, but the year, low miles and outstanding condition might make this bike worth looking into.

-donn

Shiny Side Up – 2003 Honda RVT1000R / RC51
Ducati February 26, 2021 posted by Donn

Digital Effect – 1999 Ducati 900SS/CR

1999 was the first year for Pierre Terblanche’s re-style of the venerable Supersport, which despite a comprehensive set of upgrades, polarized prospective fans.  This Minne example looks excellent and surprisingly as-delivered.

                  

1999 Ducati 900SS/CR Supersport for sale on eBay

Ducati’s dual-spark 900 was all new, and though the 80 hp was just alright, the spot-on Marelli fuel injection and two plugs per cylinder provided excellent usable power in a wide band.  The charging system was updated, and the air-cooled engine loved the upper-only fairing.  Nicer components with USD Showa forks and adjustable monoshock, and Brembo P4 brakes with four piston calipers.  The gold trellis frame states its case from behind the fairing that, love it or hate it, is designed by one of the best.

Evidently presented by a recovering bike nut, this CR looks excellent with just middling miles at 11,967.  A pair of Giannelli silencers is included, not sure why they were un-mounted.  Two spots of paint damage are shown in detail, but can’t be detected in a wider shot.  The owner posted a cold start – video – and has this to say in the eBay auction:

Amazing original and all stock condition. The bike starts right up with its strong battery, and it pulls strong and clean through the rev range. Shifts are solid and smooth. There are 2 minor cosmetic blemishes that occurred during transport, and the 2 areas are clearing pointed out in 2 of the photos. 1999 introduced fuel injection to the Supersport range of bikes, and this example is the rare half-faired CR model. The bike comes with the set of Giannelli slip-on high mount exhaust that were on the bike when I purchased it. The original exhaust were included in the sale, so I put them on the bike. Bike received full Desmo service 2 years and 1000 miles ago. 4 months ago, a new fuel pump, fuel line and filter installed along with fresh oil and filter.

The new Supersport could’ve been a game changer but the styling changed more minds than the engineering, and the model took the down escalator.  Along the way the powertrain was upped to 800 and 1000cc dual sparks, both also quite rare – but the 900 is a classic Supersport displacement.  No bids yet, but even at the buy-it-now this one will provide the new owner a lot of sport for the money.

-donn

Digital Effect – 1999 Ducati 900SS/CR
Yamaha February 25, 2021 posted by Donn

Out of Towner – 1986 Yamaha RZ350

Since the RZ350 was sold here until 1986, it’s relatively rare to see the fully faired rest-of-world edition.  Though this example isn’t currently operational, it shouldn’t take much to bring it back to the living – not to mention California title !

1986 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

For 1986, the RZ350 used Yamaha’s 347cc parallel twin with their electrically controlled power valve, and revised porting and combustion chamber helped make 59 hp at 9,000 rpm.  The lightweight rode on 18-inch alloys with air-adjustable forks and monocross rear.  A perimeter chassis and swingarm were executed in steel tubing, with triple disk brakes.  The full fairing was new for 1985, but 1986 saw a revised tail fairing which perhaps looked sportier in its simplicity.

Not seeming to be a dealer, this owner invites inspection at their home.  The RZ shows very well, with 14,403 km’s or a hair under 9,000 miles.  Finishes and plating indicate inside storage.  Nicks and dings keep it from being a real show bike but once it’s back on the road, it would be a smashing rider or riding resto.  Comments from the eBay auction:

The bike is the full fairing Canadian model that was imported here in the US and it comes with a clean CA title and non-op registration.  The motorcycle is in excellent condition and has approximately 14K Kilometers which is equivalent to just under 9K miles. As shown in the photos, the bike is in excellent cosmetic condition with only minor blemishes to the paint as shown in the last photo. 

The bike has been stored and was drained of fluids, so it will need a light service to get running including but not limited to a new battery, fresh fluids, and possibly a carb cleaning.  The motor kicks over with great compression, the throttle turns, clutch and brakes are working, inside of gas tank is clean, electrical is working, etc. so it should not take very much to bring the bike back onto the road. 

For anyone considering this bike as a collectors item or investment, the bike is a numbers matching (Vin to Engine) vintage motorcycle in mostly all original factory condition, this bike has not been restored but rather it has been on display and preserved for most of its life.

Can’t pretend to understand the RD / RZ / LC confusion, but the actual bike has made more incremental changes over the years and across continental divides.  Meanwhile the two stroke Yamaha fun factor is un-parallelled.  Bidding seems serious in this auction, with more than three days yet to run.  The new owner will have a distinctive RZ350, and will get a chance to know it better during the re-commissioning.

-donn

Out of Towner – 1986 Yamaha RZ350
Moto Guzzi February 22, 2021 posted by Donn

Sharp Foreground – 1998 Moto Guzzi V10 Centauro

It’s a good indication when Moto Guzzi applies a “V” to a motorcycle’s model, as all have been classics in their own way.  The V10 Centauro was Guzzi’s muscle bike and this Coachella valley example is beautifully presented by a shop specializing in the brand.

1998 Moto Guzzi V10 Centauro

The Centauro used the Daytona’s four valve 992cc V-twin, and gave it a robust backbone chassis with subframes that supported it front and rear.  Just forward of the air-cooled heads, the cam belt housings are easier seen on the Centauro.  10.5-to-1 compression made 95 hp possible and required an oil cooler in the body color chin scoop.  De rigueur for a Guzzi, power is transmitted by a 5-speed and shaft drive, and WP handles suspension duties.  The bodywork is complex considering there’s not really a fairing, but flows beautifully from headlight to license plate.

Presented by a shop that concentrates on vintage Guzzi’s, this Centauro looks great in black, with grey engine cases and carbon mufflers.  The GT luggage rack / grab handle almost disappears in body color and goes well with the Corbin seat.  Just over 11,000 miles and nice sound in the seller’s – video – which suggests that new tires might be in order.  Comments from the eBay auction:

11K original miles, like new body and frame paint, we just did a tune up and replaced the timing belts.

Current California Non-Op so easy registration.

Great Guzzi for a daily driver, super fast and fun to ride, smooth motor and easy to handle!

Designed by the Marabese design house, Centauro’s have their own owner’s group and were built from 1997-2001, with total production under 2,000 machines.  Reviewers gave everything but the sidestand good marks, though gravity had its usual comment on Guzzi’s hefty build.  Some thought it was Lario’s answer to the Ducati Monster, but with a $20K price tag, even special edition S4’s had a price advantage.  The reserve on this auction should be around half original MSRP, making this Centauro a nice deal for a fan looking for a rare four-valve Goose.

-donn

Sharp Foreground – 1998 Moto Guzzi V10 Centauro
Moto Morini February 20, 2021 posted by Donn

Now, K2 – 1984 Moto Morini 350 K2

Though unlikely to win any races but a mileage contest, Moto Morini’s 350 V-twin is still a lightweight 6-speed exotic.  Coming out of Texas, this low-mileage example looks original and excellent.

1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 for sale on eBay

Morini made a foray into mid-sized motorbikes in the early 1970’s, and developed the compact 72-degree pushrod twin with the innovative Heron cylinder head, which made a righteous 35 hp.  The chassis was quite conventional  with Marzocchi forks and shocks, but boasted six forward speeds and staggered 16- and 17-inch wheels.  Appropriately-sized triple disk brakes and cast alloy wheels completed the running gear, and bodywork included a headlight fairing and engine spoiler, with side covers that flowed the line from tank to seat fairing.

Seeming to be for sale by the owner, this K2 shows no damage and just over 8,000 miles.  Very little crazing on the bare aluminum parts, and what look to be recent footpeg pads and grips.  Notes from the eBay auction:

Purchased by current owner in 2013. Bike has a clean Texas title.

Bike is very original apart from cam drive belt, tires and battery.

Bike has some minor chips. No actual dents or damage to any bodywork or exhaust.

Starts immediately and idles readily.

Bike is ready to ride.

Moto Morini has a surprisingly storied competition history, with a four cylinder 250cc 1963 World Championship runner-up and a certain Giacomo Agostini who started out on their 175cc racer.  The K2 and its 500cc stablemate are from a more Euro-centric time, before the usual late 20th century difficulties.  After a 2005 revival and recent sale to a Chinese firm, Morini’s website shows the unusual combination of e-bikes and 1200cc twins.  The small V-twins weren’t a bargain when new, but now are looking like a nice deal for an Italian bantam-weight.  Quite a few bidders are engaged with almost three days left to run !

-donn

Now, K2 – 1984 Moto Morini 350 K2
Aprilia February 16, 2021 posted by Donn

Dream Weaver – 2004 Aprilia RSV1000R Nera

Aprilia made a stab at the boutique superbike segment in 2004 with the magnesium engine and carbon fairing Nera.  This wine country example looks excellent and comes at a substantial discount to MSRP.

2004 Aprilia RSV1000R Nera for sale on eBay

It was the first year of the second generation of Aprilia superbikes, and though outwardly similar, the RSV1000R and the Nera had some nice updates.  Evolved from Aprilia’s 60-degree dry sump V-twin, titanium fasteners and CNC matching of the throttle bodies to the intakes allowed the Nera to claim 139 hp.  Magnesium is used for the clutch cover, and hides the Pneumatic Power Clutch slipper unit.  The new chassis and swingarm are fabricated from alloy stampings and finished in a gold tint evoking titanium.  Wheels are forged in magnesium, and the radial-mounted Brembo brakes include an early adoption of the radial master cylinder, providing better feel under hard decceleration.  Full fairings are executed in glossy carbon fiber, and incorporate a fresh air intake and a sharp integrated taillight design.

Nera’s are rarely offered and the few we’ve seen are barely ridden.  This one is in very nice shape and the owner states it’s run just 1,300 miles, though the odometer isn’t correct.  The Akrapovic cans came with the Nera but are not the titanium units sometimes shown.  Just a bit of storage wear is mentioned but can’t really be seen in the inadequate photos.  Not sure what is meant by the black rubber tank mentioned in the eBay auction-

2004 Aprilia Nera, one of only 200 made worldwide. This one is serial number 50. I believe less than 40 came to the United States, but I’m not 100 percent sure.

 

This bike is all original, including the tires. The bike has the carbon fiber gas tank that was included in the original purchase, but I do not have the black rubber tank that came stock on the bike. It is also missing the stock rear carbon fiber license plate holder and the exhaust that came on the bike from the factory. The full Akrapovik exhaust that came in a box with the original bike purchase is what is installed.

 

The bike has been sitting in my house for a while. The bike is not mint, but is very close to mint. There is not one knick or scratch on the magnesium wheels. All body work is very very nice. There is a very small crack in the lower bottom fairing, but it is hard to see. Otherwise, the bodywork is close to mint.

 

In 2004/2005 Aprilia’s, the odometer resets if the battery dies or is replaced, such as the case with this bike. I would just like to let that be known since the odometer has reset. If I had to guess, this bike has less than 1,300 original miles. The tires have plenty of tread and they are the original tires. The bike runs well overall. I do think the battery is discharging when parked. However, I just never got around to investigating to determine if that is true. This bike would need very little work to be considered a 10.

Plunking down thirty-nine large on a Nera put one in touch with a Dream concierge in Italy who coordinated a factory tour, a set of Dainese leathers, Aprilia helmet, and a VIP trip to a MotoGP event.  Even as rarely as they have surfaced, the market hasn’t made a winning investment out of a new Nera.  But whether this auction ends on a bid or buy-it-now, it might be a very rideable collector for the new owner. 

-donn

Dream Weaver – 2004 Aprilia RSV1000R Nera
Laverda February 14, 2021 posted by Donn

Complements Orange – 1984 Laverda RGA 1000 Jota Special

With input from their U.K. importers, Laverda’s RGA hoped to excite some new fans and it was positioned just below the RGS super tourer.  This medium blue metallic seems to have been a Laverda color but perhaps not that year.

 

1984 Laverda RGA 1000 Jota Special for sale on eBay

Laverda began manufacturing motorcycles after WWII, and focused on air-cooled four-stroke engines.  The 981 cc triple was the big gorilla, with 97 hp courtesy of electronic ignition and 32mm Dell’Orto carbs.  Three big cylinders made plenty of torque and the 120-degree crank timing imparted more rumble than vibration to the rider.  The chassis was set up for stability, and the air-adjustable Marzocchi suspension was fairly traditional.  Light alloy 18-inch wheels and single puck Brembo brakes were typically high quality Euro componentry.  The RGA was available with an upper-only or 3/4 fairing made by Sprint in England.  A conventional fuel filler was fitted, eliminating the expense of the remote fuel door on the RGS.

Shown on RSBFS back in 2017, this Jota Special looks excellent and part of a large collection, shows the same 13,776 miles.  Many owners had the engine blueprinted with higher compression pistons and better cams, with the half-a-hot-V6 sound.  Comments from the eBay auction-

Super rare and beautiful bike, fairing by Sprint for Three Cross  Motorcycles, including engine upgrades. 13,770 original miles. Runs perfect with no issues. Sounds like a small Ferrari, no issues, these bikes originally were orange – this has had a color change. They were made with  the intent to capture some of the performance and looks of the original iconic Jotas.

Though still making interesting bikes, Laverda was marginalized by the new machines from Japan, and limped along with a couple of attempted re-starts before the Piaggio group closed the doors in 2004.  Rather sportier than the touring RGS, an RGA makes a quite European statement and no apologies.  Though the reserve hasn’t been met, many bids indicate that this rare and excellent Jota will tempt a fan that already has some orange paint in the garage.

-donn

Complements Orange – 1984 Laverda RGA 1000 Jota Special
Ducati February 13, 2021 posted by Donn

Triplo Otto – 1993 Ducati 888 SPO

Sporting a big number one for Doug Polen’s World Superbike Championships, the 888 came to us in rosso intenso.  This example is at a Florida dealer and shows very well.

1993 Ducati 888 SPO for sale on eBay

A natural progression of the 851, the 888 also was a fuel injected, water cooled desmoquatro with a nice round 100 hp on tap.  Go for the non-ethanol premium gas with 11.0-to-1 compression, and the 6-speed will have you challenging 160 mph before you can get comfortable.  Thanks to EPA, the stateside SPO engine had a single fuel injector for each cylinder, but USD Showa forks and Öhlins monoshock were the same as the European SP5.  Big Brembo brakes and wide 17-inch rims were shared between the continents as well.

Sitting in the lucky Fort Lauderdale sun, this 888 looks great with seemingly undamaged fairings, recent tires and carbon Termis.  The triple tree has been enhanced with a carbon beauty cover, but an SPO numbered badge should be available.  Mileage is a low 7,822, and the comments say it hasn’t been ridden since a major service late 2019 and a little paint work last April –

-888 SPO 1993 with low miles 7,822 to be exact.
-Nice upgrades that you can see on the pictures, pretty much new Dunlop tires, Termignoni Carbon exhaust.
-Left handle switch is missing the button cover (cosmetic only) but as a USA model lights are on all the time.
-Major service done Dec. 2019 and April 2020, bike has not been ridden since then.

Asking major money without the make offer button, spring may have come early to south Fla.  But after receiving a few more pictures and maybe the SPO dash plaque, a bidder may result.  The 888 has a tough kind of beauty – which segue-ed right into the ’94-98 Supersports – but sure looks good in red.

-donn

Triplo Otto – 1993 Ducati 888 SPO