Author Archives: Donn

Ducati November 22, 2020 posted by Donn

Red Friday – 2008 Ducati 16RR Desmosedici

Seasonal shopping officially kicks off this week, and here’s a suggestion for your wish list – the 409th Desmosedici, built in 2008 with just 93 original miles !

2008 Ducati 16RR Desmosedici for sale on eBay

It’s a bit of a stretch to call the 16RR a street machine, though you could ride it to the racetrack to exercise it.  The V4 uses desmosdromic valve actuators, and has a near-diesel compression ratio of 13.5-to-1.  Car-like power ( and sound ) of 200 hp peaks at 13,800 rpm.  Components are naturally the best that Öhlins, Brembo, and Marchesini could dream up, and the data analyzing dash can download your track day for later review.  The silhouette echoes the GP6 of the day, with lights at the corners and quick-release rearview mirrors.

No history to speak of, with 93 miles it looks surprisingly fresh.  Reporting from a suburb north of Buffalo, so close to the Can-Am border it might actually be from across the Niagara.   Not sure what exhaust part is pictured, maybe the un-muffled race kit exhaust is installed.  The limited comments from the eBay auction:

93 Miles!!!!  The Ducati Demosedici RR is a limited production road-legal version of the Desmosedici MotoGP racebike.  In 2004, Ducati announced at the Misano circuit at the World Ducati Week that a low volume road replica of the Desmosedici would be available for Reservations beginning in June 2006. With Ducati only making 1,500 models for public purchase.   This bike will go down in history as the first ever true road replica of a MotoGP racing bike!!!!
Though a few earlier Moto GP replicas come to mind, this might be the first one from the liter era.  Given how much of the GP6 Ducati had to re-engineer for the 16RR ( such as the engine which had to go from a dry sump to a wet sump design ), it’s surprising they persevered and how well it turned out.  Way above most realities, serious watchers and collectors will note the starting bid well below recent prices, and already wrapped in a festive cover !
-donn
 
Red Friday – 2008 Ducati 16RR Desmosedici
Suzuki November 19, 2020 posted by Donn

Loose Cannon – 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma

Almost ten years after developing their RG Γ 500 Moto GP bike, Suzuki introduced the road-going version, and even with required street equipment the performance was beyond the norms.  Like this one, many were imported on the left coast, but not all have had such careful stewardship over the years.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma for sale on eBay

The Gamma shared engine dimensions with the race machine, but had a shock damper between the twin crankshafts and the clutch, and claimed “just” 95 hp ( racers were estimated at 120 hp ).  A factory cassette gearbox is fitted, allowing at least a theoretical quick change of ratios.  Two strokes of the time used moving exhaust ports to stretch the power band down to 5,000 rpm, and the RG’s are controlled by the Suzuki Automatic Exhaust Control system, in concert with the ignition.  Anti-dive forks and Full Floater monoshock took care of the staggered 16-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels.

With just enough photos to wet a buyer’s whistle, the owner can expect a message and visit from any really interested party.  Still this RG looks very stock and undamaged, with mostly nice finishes left on the alloys and paint.  Hyperbolic comments and specs ( reviewed top speed 147 mph, wet weight 386 lbs. ) from the eBay auction:

Street legal MOTO GP bike from the 2 stroke good old days!!  Legally registered in the state of Washington (now with collector plate) and was registered in Oregon.  BONE STOCK with just less than 19,667 kilometers on the speed-o (12,220 miles).  This is a 200 MPH insane 250 lbs. Rocket!!  that I just can’t seem to open up in my area of WA (too many cops).  So my baby just sits in a heated garage/shop.  Bike has ALWAYS been in a garage, and never used in bad weather!!  My loss your gain – first $37,500 gets it!!  Also comes with some extra parts to update it, if you so desire. Katana wheels, modern swing-arm, passenger seat, extra forks, NEW euro front turn signals, shop manual, and some other bits and bobs.

The RG500 had a limited market, was expensive to put together, and up against the new GSX-R’s – so in hindsight its green/white/checker run was no surprise.  In contrast, the racing RG and subsequent RGV-500 had a ten year run on the circuit.  Total production was under 10,000 units, but its only North American import was north of the border, so it’s a rare sighting here.  More study is required at this sort of ante, but the owner seems open to offers.

-donn

Loose Cannon – 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma
Benelli November 17, 2020 posted by Donn

Sei You Will – 1983 Benelli 900 Sei

The 900 Sei was a natural evolution of the 1974 750, which was an engineering masterpiece.  Here’s a 1983 example with rather low miles and superb looks.

1983 Benelli 900 Sei for sale on eBay

Just reviewing the numbers, the Sei might not thrill – the 80 hp are nothing dramatic for a 900, and the three 24mm Dell’Orto carburetors are a good compromise but don’t incite a fire-breathing riot.  Magic carpet torque made the 5-speed perfectly adequate, and the Sei’s smoothness made the high-ish cruise rpm acceptable.  The six-into-two exhaust didn’t photograph like the 750’s six megaphones, but certainly helped keep the weight down.  Bodywork flowed from the cockpit fairing to the integral tank and sidecovers, which Honda’s CB900F seemed to reference the next year.

Offered by a Miami classics ( everything from a fire truck to an Africa Twin ) dealer, this Sei shows just over 12,000 miles and has fawned-over if unrestored cosmetics.  No word on maintenance except to say that it’s a runner.  Turn that O’Neal logo on the left grip to the underside and away you go.  Limited comments in the eBay auction:

A rare Original bike in fantastic condition with extremely low miles.

They don’t come up often.  Collector quality.  Starts, runs and drives excellent. 

With DeTomaso’s help, Benelli took an early lead in the 1970’s, but was a boutique brand compared with the Japanese competition.  Still their ideas inspired copycats plus some design reverence, and more recent Indian and Chinese partners have kept the engineering offices in Pesaro while moving production further east.  The buy-it-now is about all any Sei could muster, but the Make Offer button could be the start of a conversation.

-donn

Sei You Will – 1983 Benelli 900 Sei
Featured Listing November 15, 2020 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – 1978 Kawasaki KZ1000 Z1R

As the icing on the 1970’s superbike cake, Kawasaki’s KZ1000 built on the 900 Z1’s formidable reputation.  Bob’s Z1R-D1 has quite low miles and a curatorial owner who emphasizes correctness for finishes and mechanical updates.

1978 Kawasaki KZ1000 Z1R for sale on eBay

It’s easy to see the lineage from earlier Kawasaki’s early -70’s four cylinders, even though the factory stylists put a great set of bodywork on the Z1R.  Inside, the 1015cc mill had a heavier crankshaft and the four Mikuni carbs had slightly larger bores.  The new four-into-one exhaust let the 94 horses loose and weighed less too.  Headstock gussets and firmer rear shocks shored up handling, and three big disk brakes – drilled up front – slowed the 18-inch alloys with authority.  The angular café design is resolved from nose to tail and even takes in the rectangular fuel cap.

Look into the background of Bob’s pictures and you’ll see many Z1R’s, other period superbikes, and blue ribbons – as he says, this one won’t disappoint.  The engine and chassis have been given new gaskets and fasteners but keep their original looks.  Period upgrades like V&H exhaust and K&N filters accompany the rebuilt carburetors and new Avon tires.  The silver blue metallic paintwork has been refinished, but is virtually indistinguishable from new.  Some of Bob’s comments from the eBay auction:

THIS IS AN AMAZING UN-RESTORED EXAMPLE THAT HAS NEVER HAD THE FRAME OR ENGINE PAINTED. SOME OF THE HARDWARE WAS REPLACED WITH OEM OR “NOS” PARTS, BOLTS, SCREWS, NUTS AND WASHERS ARE NEW OLD STOCK AS I HAVE A VERY EXTENSIVE “NOS” INVENTORY, ALONG WITH COUNTLESS OTHER PARTS. 
 
ALL THE PERIOD CORRECT MODS ARE BOLT ON ITEMS THAT CAN EASILY BE CHANGED BACK TO THE ORIGINALS. SO IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR AN ALL ORIGINAL Z1R THIS IS A GREAT BIKE TO START WITH AND I WOULD BE HAPPY TO HELP THE NEW CUSTODIAN SOURCE THE NEEDED PARTS.
 
THE BODY WORK WAS PAINSTAKINGLY RE-FINISHED TO A DEEP LUSTER SHOW QUALITY FINISH USING THE METALLIC STARDUST SILVER.
I THOROUGHLY INSPECTED AND RE-SEALED THE OUTER COVERS/SEALS AS NECESSARY WITHOUT REPAINTING THE ENGINE SO NO OIL LEAKS ON YOUR CARPET. THE ORIGINAL CARBS WERE ULTRASONICALLY CLEANED AND REBUILT, RE-JETTED, AND SYNCED  WITH ALL NEW SEALS AND GASKETS. THE PERIOD CORRECT VANCE & HINES EXHAUST WAS DISASSEMBLED, STRIPPED AND RE-CHROMED TO BETTER THEN NEW SPECS (NOT AN INEXPENSIVE TASK).
 
THE WHEELS ARE ALL ORIGINAL AND IN PERFECT CONDITION. SHE IS FITTED WITH AVON TIRES “SEMI PERIOD-CORRECT”. THE BRAKES WERE COMPLETELY OVERHAULED. THE SEAT IS A CUSTOM SEAT FROM THE 70’s AND IS IN AMAZING PERFECT CONDITION. THE WINDSCREEN AND SEAL ARE “NOS” AS ARE THE LEVERS AND MORE COMPONENTS THEN I CAN LIST. A NEW RK CHAIN AND SPROCKETS WERE INSTALLED. 
THE FRAME HAS NOT BEEN REPAINTED. THE FRONT FORKS HAVE BEEN REBUILT WITH THE LOWER LEGS PROPERLY REFINISHED TO OEM STANDARDS. THE REAR SHOCKS ARE PERIOD CORRECT PROGRESSIVE UNITS. THE TANK AND SIDE COVER EMBLEMS ARE NEW OLD STOCK. THE ORIGINAL OWNERS MANUAL AND KAWASAKI POUCH ARE INCLUDED. THE BIKE HAS THE ORIGINAL LION HEAD KEY. LIKE ALL MY BIKES THIS WILL BE A BIKE THAT WON’T DISAPPOINT.
 
WITH ONLY 9,200 ORIGINAL MILES THE BIKE STARTS IDLES RUNS AND RIDES LIKE IT DID IN 1978

The KZ1100 and Z1R went a lot of places, of course it liked a good straightaway and did well at the drag strip.  When race-prepared they were a force in superbike racing – AMA and all over the world.  Compared with its contemporaries, it struggled against newer designs from the other Japanese manufacturers and got gigged for the smallish fuel tank.  But for many owners, the bulletproof mechanicals and sharp fairing give the Z1R a head start.  Bob’s auction has a $12,000 starting bid and buy-it-now of $17,900 and he can be contacted through the eBay auction.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1978 Kawasaki KZ1000 Z1R
Ducati November 13, 2020 posted by Donn

Choucoune – 1997 Ducati 900 Supersport

Ducati’s 1990’s Supersports were some great all-around bikes and only relinquished that honor to the new Monster. This late SS is over on the sporty side with the CR’s half-fairing and looks better than excellent.

1997 Ducati 900 Supersport for sale on eBay

The 900SS took styling cues from the 907 Paso, but with the 84hp air cooled desmodue.  Appointments were contemporary with 6-speed, 17-inch wheels and inverted Showa forks, and the drivetrain wasn’t left behind with newer 38mm Mikuni carburetors.  Trellis frame and silhouette fairing helped keep the weight under 425 lbs. wet.  Nicer components like aluminum swingarm, lighter wheels and carbon rear mudguard moved around on the range but are readily available.

This SS hails from Florida and The half-fairing with engine scoop looks better than its just over 10,000 miles.  Just a couple of mods evident, Sargeant seat, carbon clutch cover and tinted windscreen.  A word about recent maintenance might help some prospective buyers weigh the rebuilt title.  From the eBay auction:

Show quality!  It is so clean that you could eat off the engine. Look closely at the photos and you will realize that this is a very special motorcycle. It has only 10,179 careful  miles on it.  That makes only 442 miles per year of its life. It has been lovingly cared for during its entire life. It starts, idles, runs, shifts, brakes, and handles like the day it was made.  It also looks  like  new. Both tires are excellent. 

It has an amazingly comfortable Sargent seat and dual carbon slip ons that sound great!  It has absolutely no issues and is ready to go anywhere. You will not be disappointed.

It has a “Rebuilt” title because of cosmetic damage when it was knocked over in my garage. The engine was not even running and the bike was stationary.  Now there is not a scratch on it and it is not possible to tell that it had any repairs.

SS’s had roles as varied as racebike and sport tourer among their owners, and the design and better quality suspension made it possible.  Even with clip-ons the riding position was a good compromise and reviewed well.  The classic sound and appearance will make new fans even now.

-donn

Choucoune – 1997 Ducati 900 Supersport
Moto Guzzi November 10, 2020 posted by Donn

On My Mark – 1984 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans Mk. III

The third revision to the Le Mans had many technical updates, many setting the stage for the 1000.  This Cali example has miles but is in nice shape with a few special touches.

1984 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans Mk. III for sale on eBay

A child of the -80’s but thinking earlier, the Mk. III has bigger valves and NiguSil coating on the cylinder walls, helping net 76 hp from the longitudinal twin.  More responsible thinking went into the quiet intakes and exhaust, though the 36mm Dell’Orto carburetors were equipped with an accelerator pump.  Air adjustable forks and dual rear shocks reviewed as needing less psi than recommended for the best handling, and the shaft drive and linked brakes had their well known quirks.  The frame-mounted secondary spoiler picks up air from the cockpit fairing and further slices the Le Mans through the air.

Almost 40 years old now and in such nice condition, the Le Mans’ past is almost a non-issue.  Presented by a Guzzi specialist in Indio, CA, it’s quite clean with special gold anodized alloy wheels, new tires, and apparently un-filtered velocity stacks.  Fans will like the billet fork brace and head guards.  From the eBay auction:

Made in 11/83 – 29K original miles, motor #VF019393 frame #VF150037, like new motor and tranny. 850cc 76HP motor. This bike came with Rare Astralite gold anodized wheels, and we just put new Avon Roadrunner tires, front and back,  We pulled the motor and transmission, fixed all leaks, and replaced a clutch disc, and intermediate plate.

We installed a new timing chain tensioner, fixed the integral brakes, and new battery.

 Great Guzzi for a daily driver, Super Fast and fun to ride smooth motor and Easy to handle!

 

Oddly enough, Moto Guzzi’s attempts to modernize were met with even more reverence for the older Le Mans, though the 1000 had nearly a ten year run.  The 850’s were just a hair lighter but the smaller fairings had a sportier vibe.  Those gold wheels look sharp on the white / black background, and hopefully the reserve isn’t too optimistic.

-donn

On My Mark – 1984 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans Mk. III
Yamaha November 9, 2020 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – 1986 Yamaha SRX600

Update 11.9.2020: This bike has SOLD to an RSBFS reader in just 5 days! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Practically looking like a custom from the factory, Yamaha’s SRX600 has been the basis for club racers, knobblied flat-track lookalikes, and some cafe racers that make the showroom version look cushy.  RSBFS fan Lee’s survivor is a great starting point for Yamaha’s original ideas or maybe yours.

1986 Yamaha SRX600 for sale on Bend, OR Craigslist

Almost looking to out-simplify the 1960’s British singles, the SRX came to the U.S. with just a kickstarter, and a 96mm bore thump which ran smoothly to 6,500 rpm ( and 45 hp ) thanks to its balance shaft.  Dual front disks and alloy wheels were up to date, the 5-speed relied on a generous torque curve, but dual rear shocks seemed more for show than go.  The very visible chassis and poured-in-place tank and sidecovers show a clear adherence to the design mission.

Lee’s SRX has 13,250 miles, looking good despite the years.  Helping the four-valve 600 breathe freely is almost a requirement, and this one has the Supertrapp exhaust.  Some patina, but nothing unexpected makes it look like a great resto-rider with a good collection of spare parts.  Lee’s comments from his – Craiglist post –

The ultimate cafe bike. Only imported into the US in 1986. Single cylinder 600cc kick start only. All original 13,250 miles with Supertrapp exhaust. Just serviced with new petcock, valve adjustment and oil change. Shorai lithium battery, new seat cover. Spares include unique 2-1 intake manifold for Mikuni carb. Great platform for making yourself a rare cafe bike. If you know motorcycles then you know you don’t see a bike like this.

Lee asks $3,200 for his SRX600. Lee is the US Importer for the Austrian glove brand RACER and can be found here, – racerglovesusa.com –

Yamaha followed their fans back to the basics of motorcycling, but it didn’t result in many sales outside of the home market, where there were 400 and 250cc variants.  The 600 didn’t show up on 1987 U.S. line cards, but soldiered on in Europe for a few more years.  Reviewers and owners praised the honest engine, light weight and crisp handing – and took the kickstarter and single cylinder as badges of motorcycling honor. 

-donn

Featured Listing – 1986 Yamaha SRX600
Ducati November 6, 2020 posted by Donn

A Different Animal – 2007 Ducati Monster S4RS

As tough as it was to make the water-cooled engine look beautiful, the four valve testastretta ( and 130 hp ) was worth it.  Here’s a powerful creampuff with under 1,000 miles and a veritable mountain of farkles.

2007 Ducati Monster S4RS for sale on eBay

The S4RS was a certain pinnacle of Monster engineering, with the superbike’s 50mm throttle bodies tucked under the fuel tank.  It’s geared more for the stoplight to stoplight contests than the GP course, and excels in traffic.  Öutstanding Öhlins dampers are front and rear, as are wide 17-inch rims.  Ergonomics accommodate the long engine and might require a lean over the tank, and the smooth dry clutch will tone up your left grip.

Out of dry Palm Springs, this S4RS looks better than new, with carbon a major element.  Depending on who did the installation, the upgrades might’ve challenged the purchase price.  Comments and a list from the eBay auction:

Purchased new in 2007 and been garage kept ever since. Only 939 Miles from new. 3 keys. Clean title in hand. Detailed serviced history and all manuals included. Perfect condition. Never been dropped and only adult ridden, in the dry. Has over $15k in extras added on to this motorcycle, no expense has been spare on this bike. All work has been done by either a Ducati dealership or a Ducati Certificated Master Technician. Sorry no test rides.
 
Items Include: 
  • Termignoni full race exhaust system with ECU
  • Ducati Performance slipper clutch w/ red pressure plate and black springs
  • Ducati Performance Garmin Zumo 590 GPS
  • BST Carbon Rims with Pirelli Diablo Rossa Corsa tires 
  • Custom rear sets from Pro Twins (Ducati dealership in the UK)
  • Black powder-coated passenger foot-pegs w/ carbon fiber heel guards
  • CNC Racing rear sprocket cover and flange bolts in black
  • Ducati Performance carbon fiber chain guard (front & rear pieces)
  • Ducati Performance carbon fiber tail unit
  • Ducati Performance rear view mirror set with built-in turn signals
  • Hyperpro 140 mm steering damper (frame-mounted)
  • Rizoma NEXT fluid reservoirs w/ clear tubing
  • Brembo radial brake master cylinder + lever
  • Brembo radial clutch master cylinder + lever
  • Ducati Performance front & rear turn signals
  • Ducati Performance carbon fiber front mudguard
  • Rizoma open clutch cover
  • DID 525 final drive chain
  • CNC Racing clutch slave cylinder
  • Ducati Performance carbon fiber rear hugger
  • Ducati Performance carbon fiber radiator covers
  • Ducati Performance aluminum gas cap in black
  • Ducati Performance carbon fiber front sprocket cover
  • Evotech bar-end weights
  • Zero Gravity black fly screen.
  • Renthal 42-tooth rear sprocket
  • K&N air filter
  • Shift Tech carbon fiber plate surround
  • HID main headlamp bulb
  • Renthal 14-tooth front sprocket
  • Pro Grips
  • Custom Paint Protection Film on all fairings and tank
  • Front and rear paddock stands
  • Custom indoor cover

Though jamming the 916 engine into the 2001 Monster S4 wasn’t a wild leap, down the road it led to some seriously super naked bikes – right down to this year’s 1200S, with three electronics packages to tame the 147 hp twin.  But the round headlight S4RS has a different feel, with the main computer just north of the helmet chin strap, and the desmoquattro engine quite similar to the World Superbike Ducati from that year.

-donn

A Different Animal – 2007 Ducati Monster S4RS