Author Archives: Donn

Buell July 5, 2020 posted by Donn

Secret Weapon – 1995 Buell S2 Thunderbolt

Early in the Buell / Harley-Dave relationship, the racer and design engineer was thought to be the icon’s entreé into sportbikes.  This immaculate S2 has access to plenty of thunder, and every update imaginable.

1995 Buell S2 Thunderbolt for sale on eBay

The S2 had production versions of most of the ideas Erik Buell had been incubating for several years, the quick-steering tube frame, Uni-Planar engine mounts, underslung rear shock and muffler, and extra-large diameter single front disk – all surrounding Harley’s torquey 1203 cc motor.  WP supplied upside-down forks and the unusual monoshock which extends as the chassis compresses is from Showa.  H-D production engineers fitted their belt drive and put their manufacturing expertise into the sculptural exhaust system.  For a bike with planned production of 300 units per year, the frame-mounted fairing, tank and seat console flow together very well.

Obviously owned by a real fan, this Buell looks excellent an has been carefully updated with choice parts, addressing many of the model’s foibles.  As much as the tank bra breaks up the lines of the bodywork, the next owner will appreciate all the scratches the tank doesn’t have.  The auction shares a – video – and says it’s by the previous owner, which indicates that most of the pictures are as well, so a question or two there.  A long list from the eBay auction:

Work and upgrades:
• Borla muffler  
• Piggyback kickstand plate (prevents the motorcycle from leaning too much to prevent a fall)
• Updated ISO’s all around (Buell redesigned the ISO mounts in 2001)
• Updated exhaust hanger (Buell redesigned the muffler hanger mount in 2001)
• Updated primary tensioner (HD/Buell update to all Sportsters and Buell in 1999)
• Updated shifter detent plate 
• Updated crank seal 
• Bronze oil pump gear 
• All new James top end gaskets with jug pigtails 
• KT Performance heat shield 
• Shorai Battery (Lithium light weight battery)
• Original Rear Shock rebuilt by RaceTech 
• Original Front Shocks rebuilt by Lance Kuglar (St. Paul HD)
• Corbin Seat Recovered by Baldwin
• Under seat tote and fairing bags 
• Screaming Eagle CDI Box 
• New signal light control box
• Zero gravity smoke windscreen 
• Updated/late style front rotor (Buell redesigned the front brake rotor in 2001)
• Newer continental tires 
• Jim’s Mega-nut on bead blasted and sealed front pulley 
• CV Performance Carb Kit  
 
Accompanied with the bike:
• Rising road service and parts manuals
• Sales brochures (with some pricing scribbles from 95)
• Borla brochure
• Buell sticker and postcard from the period
• Owner’s manual
• Stock muffler in like new condition
• Rubber stock foot pegs 
• Additional lower belt guard

The T-Bolt sold better than expected right away, and the two companies had several good years together, but eventually applied for an uncontested divorce.  Even though the S2 is on the softer side of sports-biking, the turn and squirt ( maybe even shift ) ride got great reviews.  It’s a strong starting bid for the first real production bike from Erik Buell and friends, but it is a sharp example with all the right upgrades.

-donn

Secret Weapon – 1995 Buell S2 Thunderbolt
Featured Listing July 3, 2020 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – 1976 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans with Under 2,000 Miles !

Sale fell through, back on eBay. Links updated. Good luck to buyers and seller. -dc

Just the “next thing” at the time, Moto Guzzi’s 850 LeMans turned out to be a dynastic European sportbike, with legs that ran until the 2006 V11 version.  RSBFS reader Scott’s example is a first-year model with just 1,825 miles on the clock !

1976 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans for sale on eBay

Based on the ’71 V7 Sport, itself a little sportier than BMW’s of the day, the LeMans expanded the longitudinal V-twin to 844 cc’s with 10.2:1 compression and 81 hp.  A robust backbone frame cradled the engine and 5-speed trans, with an automotive-style clutch and shaft drive.  Beside being healthily-sized at 300mm front / 242 mm rear, the brakes were innovative with the rear brake pedal also actuating the right front disk, claiming a dramatically shorter stopping distance from 62 mph.  Lowish seat and clip-ons accommodated may riders and the now-classic bikini fairing at least kept the wind and rain out of the Veglia instruments.

Scott’s LeMans was basically a barn find, having been in a Tulsa dealership’s warehouse from 1976 to 2007.  Though Scott had to go through the fuel system and replace several rubber items, the years in storage were kind to his LeMans, with not so much as a scrape to show for it.  Since then it’s been a once-a-year affair, wry comment on the New Hampshire riding season.  Scott’s comments from the eBay auction:

You are looking at one of my favorite bikes in my collection. It’s a 1976 Moto Guzzi 850 Lemans with less than 2,000 original miles. I purchased the bike from Atlas Cycles in Tulsa Oklahoma in 2007 with roughly 1,000 miles on it. I was told Atlas sold it new in 1976 to a customer who then traded it back in six months later claiming it was too much motorcycle for him.

The owner of Atlas really liked the bike so put it in storage at the dealership. He was selling the dealership in 2007 and I was able to acquire it. It needed a good cleaning, some rubber parts replaced, new tires, carbs cleaned, and fluids changed. Since then she’s been in my collection, started once a year, ridden occasionally hence the 2000 miles. I just had her serviced, new battery, carbs cleaned, and fluids changed so she’s ready to go.

As the tires are thirteen years old, I would put a new set on if you plan to ride the bike. Other than this all that is needed is a good cleaning/detailing. Because the original seat is very fragile and hard to come by, I stored it when purchased and bought a Corbin, it comes with both. The bike is a blast to ride, smooth, lots of low end grunt, great brakes and entertaining. It’s pretty amazing for a forty four year old bike.

In pre-Covid times this Guzzi would’ve been at a Bonhams or Mecum stadium auction, but Scott welcomes your best offer on the eBay auction – here –  and offers this walkaround video –

The LeMans put Moto Guzzi firmly in the superbike sweepstakes, at least for a while.  It reviewed as going well, stopping pretty well, and the dual crossover exhaust is like music.  Weight at 435 lbs. dry isn’t out of line for an almost-liter of the era.  Mk. 1 LeMans, aren’t getting any easier to find, and after tires, Scott’s could be a rider.  At least for one day a year, before re-joining your collection.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1976 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans with Under 2,000 Miles !
Bimota July 2, 2020 posted by Donn

Dragon West – 1999 Bimota DB4 Tri-Colore

Bimota’s fourth Ducati used the tried-and-true ( if not overpowering ) 904cc desmodue, but was a lightweight handler.  This owner hasn’t belabored the cosmetics, but from the looks of the tires has used it as intended – on the wickedly technical Palomar Mountain Loop.

1999 Bimota DB4 Tri-Colore for sale on eBay

The DB4 design was no exception for Bimota, who typically stayed out of a factory mill and finagled their own intake and exhaust.  In this case they specified 38mm Mikuni carburetors instead of the factory fuel injection, and claimed 80 hp and 60 ft.-lbs. torque.  The race kit on this example includes flat-slide carbs and single muffler Corse exhaust.  A large part of Bimota’s art is in the alloy chassis, split between the sharp handling geometry and gorgeous CNC work and welding.  Premium components are also part of the story, with 43mm Paoli forks, Öhlins monoshock and generously-sized Brembo brakes.  Not sure if the Italo-centric livery was a special edition, but DB4’s are rarely seen without it.

The owner has a long-term relationship going here but doesn’t tell recent maintenance history.  From the overall condition and start-up – video – it might be best to factor in a valve adjustment, and of course tires.  The buy-it-now would be a lot easier to see if the seller had buffed this baby up a bit.  From the eBay auction:

1999 Bimota DB 4 with ” race kit “.
Kit consists light weight Corsa exhaust, flat slide carbs, and Ohlins rear shock. 
 
Will install new tires at Buy It Now price. 
Current tires a bit old but usable. See pics.
 
Overall good shape, with minor scrape on right lower due to lean angle. ( Was not down )
I removed lower when I rode it and put back on to sell.
 
Has been run on Palomar Mountain, but not a track since I have owned it.
Put about 1500 miles on it with a ride to L.A. and running Palomar. 

At the time, Bimota was struggling with their own engine in the V-Due, and needed every success, even with the air-cooled supersport engine.  The DB4 was that victory, and tided Rimini over to the SB8 superbike.  While this DB4 could use a little TLC, it’s from a less complicated time, when an lightweight 900 could carve a Supersport-sized niche in a legendary road.

-donn

Dragon West – 1999 Bimota DB4 Tri-Colore
Ducati June 30, 2020 posted by Donn

Non-Virtual – 2002 Ducati 998S Bayliss Edition #310 of 400

With only 400 worldwide, the 998S Troy Bayliss commemorative in InfoStrada livery is a pretty rare sight.  This California example sports just 825 miles and includes all manner of swag.

2002 Ducati 998S Bayliss Edition for sale on eBay

The last in a long line of 916 derivatives, the 998 has the classic lines, but the more modern narrow-head engine.  136 hp are available, made almost usable for the road by Marelli electronic fuel injection.  Gold anodized forks, monoshock and steering damper are all by Öhlins, and lighter 4.5mm thick brakes by Brembo.  Not shouting about it under the red paint, the fairings are carbon fiber.  The steel tank has Troy’s autograph and the monoposto seat shows race number 21.

Viewed in the back room at Marin Speed Shop, this 998S looks stunning and stock.  On display since almost new, no mention of maintenance is made, presuming a continuing duty in a collector’s diorama.  Goodies include the authenticating plaque.  From the eBay auction:

2002 Ducati Bayless replica all stock unmolested! only 825 miles included is the cover, original tool kit, shirt, jacket and plaque!  Bike is number 310 out of 400 produced. 

For whatever reason, WSBK machines suited Troy Bayliss better than his stint on the factory Ducati MotoGP mount, and he returned to SuperBikes to win championships in 2006 and 2008.  Though in 2006, he became the first rider to win WSBK and MotoGP races in the same year, replacing injured Sete Gibernau at the final GP in Valencia, after the end of the WSBK season.  Likely bidding will go stratospheric over the next week, even then no guarantee it will meet the reserve.

-donn

Non-Virtual – 2002 Ducati 998S Bayliss Edition #310 of 400
BMW June 28, 2020 posted by Donn

Uber Kollectible – 2004 BMW R1100S Boxer Cup Replika with 92 Miles !

BMW brought the Boxer Cup to the showroom with the track-oriented Boxer Cup Replika.  This owner invested in all the dealer-installed upgrades and then parked it after just 92 miles, but has photographed it beautifully for the next owner.

2004 BMW R1100S Boxer Cup Replika #202 of 300 for sale on eBay

BMW had a nice success going in their 1085cc -S, though even with its final twin-spark engine, the original 98 hp was on tap.  The three part chassis used the engine as a stressed component, with Telelever hung out front and Paralever driveshaft aft, both using Öhlins dampers.  Somewhat counter-intuitively, the Cup gained speed using taller suspension to gain ground clearance and allow more lean angle on the race course.  BMW had developed a servo-assisted brake system for early 2000’s road bikes, but used their legacy brakes on the Replika, with 320mm front disks, 4-piston calipers and braided lines.  Just below the carbon valve covers, an optional belly pan shows sponsors from the race series, which was primarily European but ran Daytona in 2003 and 2004.

This Pennsylvania fanatic went all in on blue, adding all the carbon farkles BMW had, replacing the upgraded Öhlins with Racetech shocks, and pulling the Laser exhaust in favor of a Two Brothers titanium system.  Otherwise it’s merely spectacular, and though new rubber and liquids are required, the new owner might hang on to those OEM tires for the next collector.  From the eBay auction:

BMW full carbon kit – headlight surround, front fascia, tank strap, rear hugger and multiple smaller pieces, Two Brothers titanium exhaust, Racetech adjustable suspension…again, the best of the best, in that day. This bike has been in on stands and under cover all of it’s life. It sits on it’s original tires, even. I see this as a collector’s item. If you intend to ride this, you will want to mount new tires and have the fluids changed, at a minimum. My loss is your gain. This is likely the lowest mileage 2004 Boxer Cup Replica on the planet. I also have an entire box of memorabilia and related collectibles that go with the bike, including original CD still in the wrapper, Certificate of Authenticity, numbered badges with location template (never installed), Dealer locator, BMW atlas, key-ring, tire pressure gauge, hard bound BMW motorcycle history book and more.

Sporty as it is, the Replika took demerits for its high seat, stiff suspension ( the owner addressed these issues with bar risers ), and the 500-plus dry weight.  But there were no sportier BMW’s then, and the fan base is deep.  If a time machine is desired, and you’ve been quite successful investing the money you saved not buying a BCR back in the day, this one might have a new rider in a little over six days.

-donn

Uber Kollectible – 2004 BMW R1100S Boxer Cup Replika with 92 Miles !
Ducati June 25, 2020 posted by Donn

Silver Bird – 1998 Ducati 900SS/FE #287 of 300

In the 1990’s, Ducati’s SuperSport could be all things to some people – before the Monster and ST2 arrived, it could be an ok commuter and passable sport tourer.  This Final Edition has had some choice upgrades and considering the mileage looks very good.

1998 Ducati 900SS/FE for sale on eBay

The FE used the 904cc L-twin that had inhabited the SuperSports throughout the 90’s, air-cooled with 84 hp but peak torque at just 6,400 rpm.  The inverted forks and alloy swingarm were suspended by Showa, with Brembo supplying their gold-line 320mm brakes and cast iron rotors.  FE’s had a re-designed body with scoops to help cool the rear cylinder, and all were monoposto’s with a seat fairing courtesy of the earlier Superlight.  A new charging system brought 520 watts via a three phase alternator, and exhausts were swept high.  Carbon mudguards complimented the black alloys, and the dash was carbon as well.

Sounds like this owner is a knowledgeable SuperSport fan, and this FE has some key updates and neat NOS parts.  The Keihin flat-slide set-up appears to pre-date the seller and is tuned for Santa Fe (6,500 ft.) so chances are the carbs will have to be re-jetted for the new owner.  A few marks over the 17,000 miles, which is hard to confirm since the dash is new.  From the eBay auction:

The fork seals have just been replaced. 
It has a new Oberon clutch slave as the original was leaking. Works great.
It has brand new (NOS) front brake discs. These are unobtainium and super expensive when found – around $900!
It has a new factory windshield. $$
 
The gauge needles were faded as many vintage 900SS do over time. While hunting for less faded gauges I found another bit of unobtainium in the form of a complete NOS dash complete with gauges specifically for the FE with the carbon surround. It’s beautiful. Unfortunately, I can’t find my original speedo – I was going to include it in the sale for mileage history. I’m worried it got sold last year when I was clearing house of old used parts. It was in the mid 17000 mile range.
 
The bike is original except for the Keihin FCR41 carb set-up. This is a very popular upgrade that transforms the performance of the bike.  It runs great! There is no choke on these carbs – so the choke lever has been disconnected but is still there. I live at 7000 feet and the carbs are jetted for our high altitude. It may run a bit lean if you are close to sea level. No way to tell until the bike reaches it’s final destination. It has an open top airbox meaning it has a aftermarket frame that holds the K&N filter in place. It really helps the bike at our altitude as well.
 
The high mount Termignonis are beautiful. Sound great and the best period correct option for these. These are pricey if you can even find a set.
 
The Battlax tires have plenty of tread left front and rear. The belts were replaced by the prior owner about a year before I bought the bike. They are now around two years old.
 
It has a new fuel level sender ($250!). I have not put fuel back in the tank since replacing it, figuring if I sell the bike as planned, some shippers prefer empty tanks.

The 904 SuperSports were made from 1991-98 so you have to pick your spots for rarity, but the later SuperLights and FE’s fit the bill.  Not sure that seat is an all-day affair, but the riding position got high marks from reviewers.  Unusual to see such limited production with so many special parts on a no reserve auction, and it’ll be interesting to see where this FE winds up.

-donn

Silver Bird – 1998 Ducati 900SS/FE #287 of 300
Ducati June 22, 2020 posted by Donn

Blue Light Special – 2007 Ducati-NCR New Blue 1100

Ducati’s stateside managers saw an opportunity for celebration in 2007, and commissioned NCR to re-imagine the Ducati 750SS which won the Daytona Superbike round in 1977.  Number 4 in an edition of 50, this New Blue race bike is hand-built in a 21st century way, and shows just 45 miles.

2007 Ducati-NCR New Blue Racebike for sale on eBay

Named for – Old Blue –, a 750SS racer campaigned by Cook Neilsen ( at the time editor of Cycle magazine ), the New Blue is also air-cooled, but that and the paint color might be all they share.  Based on Ducati’s Sport 1000S, the engine is massaged heavily by NCR to 1100cc displacement and 116 hp.  Typically excellent components are supplied by Öhlins and Brembo, with an Apt slipper clutch, full titanium Zard exhaust, and BST carbon wheels.  Since Poggipolini and NCR joined forces in 2002, the company has used projects like this to showcase their Ti and Al alloy fabrication skills, with rearsets, clutch cover, triple clamps and clip-ons shown here.  The goal of weight reduction has been met with the scales showing only 319 lbs., a feather for a liter-plus thunderbike.

Shown with replaceable race fairings, later pictures show the factory nose and seat fairings with fawn suede seat, either way it’s a magnificent kit.  Destined for show, but built for go.  From the eBay auction:

Exclusive handmade bike , number 4 of only 50 built.

Developed jointly between NCR and Ducati North America, the “ready to race” New Blue is made in limited number and exclusively for the track

116HP driving 319lbs (116hp/145kg) the New Blue has 40% more power than its street base Ducati Sport 1000S

The NCR One Shot 1100cc powerplant and gearbox, Brembo monoblock brakes, full NCR electronics, full racing titanium 2-1-2 exhaust weighing only 8.8lbs made by Zard, Ohlins front and back tuned by NCR
Frame: tubular trellis in steel Ducati
Clutch System: NCR Corse by Apt custom slipper clutch system
Gearbox: 6 speed
Front Brake: 2 x 300mm Breaking WAVE disc – 4 -piston 2 pad Brembo Racing caliper from billet
Front Suspension: Ohlins 43 mm upside-down fork with Tin surface treatment, adjustable off-set
Rear Suspension: progressive linkage with fully adjustable Ohlins monoshock with length adjustment
Exhaust System: new custom all NCR titanium exhaust system 2-1-2 produced by Zara
Wheel Set: BST carbon fiber wheels set for NCR
Dashboard: AIM MXL
Electronic: NCR Corse wiring system with automatic Remapping System (ARS) by on-board CPU
Front Tyre: Metzeler Racetec Slick 120/70 R 17
Rear Tyre: Metzeler Racetec Slick 190/55 R 17
Bolt & Fasteners: completely produced in Titanium by Poggipolini Titanium
Seat: Leather seat by Schedoni
Special parts: NCR al7075/Titanium footrest kit; NCR Al7075/Titanium fuel cap; NCR Titanium clutch cover; NCR Titanium Al7075 clip on set; NCR triple clamps kit in aluminum from billet; NCR Corse bottom bracket in aluminum from billet; NCR camshaft and Magnesium NCR clutch and alternator case Poggipolini Group production

Cycle World and Neilsen debuted the New Blue at AHMRA’s Daytona meet in early 2007, with shoe Larry Pegram and CW editor Nick Ienatch aboard, article still available from CW archives – here –.  The New Blue still appears on NCR’s website in road or racetrack form, which also states that whatever your wishes for your own Sport 1000S, NCR could help out.  If more current racing is your interest, NCR’s Millona racebike ( also based on the air cooled Ducati twin ) has racked up Supertwins podiums around the world.  But that would make this now-vintage New Blue look positively budget-conscious.

-donn

 

Blue Light Special – 2007 Ducati-NCR New Blue 1100
Honda June 20, 2020 posted by Donn

Cleaniac – 1996 Honda RVF400R / NC35

Honda’s lightweight RVF400R has had a bit of a resurgence here on RSBFS lately, suspension updates making it the ultimate small V-4.  Here’s a Houston edition that looks unfettered and super clean.

1996 Honda RBF400R for sale on eBay

Honda couldn’t do much to improve the 399cc’s power and stay within the law, and the chassis dimensions, remain the same as the VFR400R.  Still carburetted with four 30mm Keihin’s fed by the fresh air tubes from in front of the mirrors.  The tires got a little wider and are both 17’s, and forks are now upside down, with a hair less trail than the VFR.  Bodywork was modernized, with fox-eye headlights that were more Fireblade than RC45.

Just a little history on this RVF, though it evidently hasn’t been ridden on the road by the seller.  Very sharp for almost 11,000 miles and a quarter century.  From the eBay auction:

Excellent condition all stock original condition with few minor blemishes from normal use.  It have 17,520 Kilometers runs and shifts great with smooth and powerful V4 Honda race engine.  Those are rare superbikes and this bike was imported from Japan and I did not ride it much since it was part of my little Honda collection and it was never abused, red-lined, raced or tempered with.  I changed the battery (Yuasa) changed oil (fully synthetic) and new Honda filter.

Can’t take anything away from the current small-sport singles, some are even racier and lighter, but lack the symphony of gear-driven cams, 360-degree crank and 14,500 rpm redline.  No fairing mounted speakers required for these tunes, just a twist of the wrist.  Without the usual wear and dirt, the buy-it-now per pound is pretty high, but might be worth pursuing.

-donn

 

Cleaniac – 1996 Honda RVF400R / NC35