Author Archives: Donn

Yamaha June 24, 2022 posted by Donn

A Mild Thump – 1987 Yamaha SRX250

Yamaha wanted to extend the success of their singles and developed 600, 400, and more rarely 250 variants.  Though references to US imports are hard to find, this excellent example has an MPH speedometer.

1987 Yamaha SRX250 for sale on eBay

Even though there were similar Yamaha 250 singles, the SRX engine was its own animal with 10-to-1 compression and a four-valve head.  Its 32 hp were more than the dirtbike and quad engines, if not more than  enough.  Just about all the double downtube frame is visible, in red on the 80’s-era sports livery.  Even though it’s lightly built with a single front disc and economical with the drum rear brake, the sporting intent is evidenced by the staggered 16-inch front / 18-inch wheels.  A small frame-mounted fairing is accompanied by a chin scoop which hides the exhaust.

Evidently tucked away in Vermont garage for a while, this SRX has amassed 15,641 miles but looks like less.  Brake fluid has bubbled the paint on the reservoir and the owner’s keyring has scored the triple tree, but otherwise it looks a few years old and not 35.  Thinking the seat has been recovered but only because it looks that good.  Noted from the eBay auction –

This bike is very rare. This bike was only made for one year. This bike is in great condition for a 1987. See pictures, they will tell the story. Last fall I put on a new Petcock, rebuilt the carb, and disc brake caliper. Last week I had a professional mechanic tune it up and install a new Yuasa battery. The tank was sealed years ago. Everything works on the bike, lights, blinkers, horn. The speedometer is slightly foggy which I don’t understand because it’s always been kept in a heated cellar or heated garage.

Maybe not the thumpiest single out there, The SRX250 was more of a domestic market sport style for Yamaha fans who needed a 250.  For RSBFS readers, maybe a good starter or pit bike with impeccable taste.  Plenty of bids but hoping the reserve isn’t out of this world.

-donn

A Mild Thump – 1987 Yamaha SRX250
BMW June 20, 2022 posted by Donn

Lucky 13 – 1994 BMW R1100RS Battle of the Legends Racebike

Pro race bikes don’t often change hands, and with BMW’s only occasional presence on the grid, even rarer with the rondel.  Today’s single marque racer is an R1100RS which evidently used to have Dave Aldana’s race numbers and still has his signature

1994 BMW R1100RS Racebike for sale on BaT

AHMRA folks close to BMW proposed a support race series for 1992, starting during bike week in Daytona and visiting classic tracks like Loudon, Mid-Ohio and Sears Point.  The R1100RS was the second bike used in the series, with 90 hp ( in street trim ) and four valve heads.  Then-new Telelever front end reviewed better than the shaft drive and Paralever rear, but both became BMW standards.  The fairing folded over the adjustable clip-ons and provided the rider a healthy amount of personal space.  – Lowers – were available as a factory option but not to the Legends racers.

With the same custodian since 1995, this RS might still be on its first post-race owner.  Certain real-world changes have been made, with bar-end mirrors, luggage rack, bags, and Corbin seat.  These oilheads don’t need much but at least the fluids ( if not the tires ) were changed.  For a race-used 30 year-old, the condition is amazing.  Standardized descriptions get priority over owner comments on BaT, but check out more pictures – here -.

Organizers drew the -70’s riders back with all expenses paid and matching bikes, even race leathers.  Aldana was one of the top riders in the series, and won two of the three weekends at Daytona in 1994.  The series had a four year run, and showed the new Beemer in a sporty light.  The warm silver paint is distinctive even without the series graphics.  A great riding collectible for fans of the brand and Dave Aldana.

-donn

Lucky 13 – 1994 BMW R1100RS Battle of the Legends Racebike
Moto Guzzi June 15, 2022 posted by Donn

Medium Rare – 2003 Moto Guzzi V11 Sport

Moto Guzzi’s V11 Sport constituted the lion’s share of their bikes from 1998-2006, and came with various names, colors, and small fairings.  Though not a special edition, today’s 2003 is more designer vanilla bean than plain vanilla, and looks very good with a small wind deflector and heat wrap on the pipes.

2003 Moto Guzzi V11 Sport for sale on eBay

The V11 Sport could be described as big all over, with pictures dominated by the 5.4 gallon tank and each cylinder displacing 532 cc’s.  It’s 91 hp is merely generous, but the 69 ft.-lbs. of torque make their case at just 6,000 rpm.  40mm of Marzocchi have a massive look, with a nifty front fender design to protect the extending USD fork legs.  Located by the cast red frame connectors, the shaft drive and monoshock try to hide behind the XL Lafranconi silencers. Even the seat looks like it could almost hold two without uncovering the pillion.

Liking the head guards and K&N filters a lot more than the wrapped headers, but it’s true the wraps do contain some of the heat.  Even if there is hell to pay when they finally come off, the total polishing time will probably be about the same as if they had never been.  Otherwise it’s very tidy, just moderate miles and no apparent damage.  Bar end mirrors sharpen up the looks a bit, but a new ( and matching ) front tire would really make the sale go.  Notes from the eBay auction:

Exceptionally nice condition, pre-lambda (O2 sensor) model and has one of the rarer color combos available. The bike has never been down or knocked over but do expect to see normal wear from use. The headers are lava wrapped to keep some heat off your legs. The rear tire is new but expect to replace the front in 1,000 miles or so. Grips have been upgraded along with the mirrors on the bar ends. All service is up to date and everything works on the bike from front to back so turn key and ride on!

For all the current Guzzi models and branching into the cruiser segment, they’re still an occasion when sighted and wear their quirks in honor.  Luckily the brand was supported and continued by the Piaggio conglomerate.  A nice round number for the buy-it-now, not overly priced these days, but the Make Offer button might get a push before that.

-donn

 

Medium Rare – 2003 Moto Guzzi V11 Sport
Ducati June 11, 2022 posted by Donn

Sortalight – 1993 Ducati 900SS Superlight #874

Ducati made a some purely sporting mods to the 904cc Supersport which eliminated the pillion and a added a few lighter components.  A previous owner undid some of the weight savings but this is still a quite original and very good example.

1993 Ducati 900SS Superlight for sale on eBay

With all the goodness built in from the 900SS, the Superlight’s single seat and higher exhaust were the icing on the cake.  Air-cooled 78 hp accompanied improved braking and adjustable Showa suspension bits, and Marvic wheels with aluminum rims married to magnesium hubs reduced mass in the right places.  Carbon mudguards and clutch cover imparted extra lightness.  Sure can’t argue with the race number prep on the tailcone and edition number plaque on the triple tree.  Chrome yellow paint controverted Ducati rosso purists.

With a shade under 30 years and just over 26K miles, this Superlight has a few imperfections, but looks all together and original in places where many aren’t.  Presuming the previous owner wanted wider rear rubber, the next owner will want to keep an eye open for a correct rear wheel to go with new tires.  Notes in the eBay auction wander a bit but hit all the important points –

I’ve had it for a few years and barely rode it, I mainly just stared at it. LOL   This is a beautiful bike and an absolute head turner when it’s out. They are rarely seen out and about.

Here’s the service history since I’ve had it, all work done by one of the great Ducati 900SS experts in the country, Bobby Weindorf. He has extensive experience from working at Pro Italia and as a mechanic and curator for the Moto Talbot collection and more. 

June 2021

  • -Check valve clearances- all good
  • -Install new belts, check tensioners and rollers 
  • -Flush and bleed brakes
  • -Flush and bleed clutch
  • -Replace spark plugs
  • -Clean and adjust carbs, clean jets, clean out idle circuit

June 2022

  • -Disassemble carbs, cleaned all jets
  • -flush front brake system, installed braided steel lines

Fairings are in really great shape and yes they still have the black spongy lining on the inside. I believe this lining is original. This stuff is so brittle it flakes off to the touch, I’m not kidding, it’s a mess when you touch it, but I’m not removing it because I understand some collectors want that intact for originality.

Some of the bolt holes on the seat fairing have “spiderweb” cracks from a prior owner over-tightening. See pics. Common but unfortunate. I’ve seen body/paint shops lightly touch these up to hide them. I’ll leave that up to you.

Tank looks gorgeous, no dents dings or scratches, one very small touch up paint spot.  Probably a few minor nicks here and there, as expected for a 30 year old bike.  The engine/metal parts could use a thorough cleaning with some q-tips and a good cleaner to get into the crevices.

The front wheel is the original Marvic. The rear wheel is not. Previous owner swapped for a wheel off a 1997 916. You may be able to find an original replacement on eBay or overseas, I’ve seen them come up for sale.

Bike fires right up, I mean really fires up! First touch of start button! I’m happy to send you a video.

Probably the Make Offer will get some action on this Superlight, with its miles, recent maintenance and appearance asking for a bit more attention.  Superlight worldwide production looks to have been just over 1,300 in 1992, then a little over half that in 1993-95.  Since the profit engineers stepped in after the first year, earlier bikes are choice.  This example checks a lot of boxes and hopefully the next owner will buff it up to a high lustre.

-donn

Sortalight – 1993 Ducati 900SS Superlight #874
Suzuki June 9, 2022 posted by Donn

Think Small – 1987 Suzuki RG250 Gamma

Most often we find the junior two-strokes in a much sadder state, but this one has been given some recent attention.  This Canadian example might be a good entrée into the smoky side of sportbikes.

1987 Suzuki RG250 Gamma for sale on eBay

Suzuki seems to have had a 247cc two stroke twin in the line-up forever, but the RG250 and Gamma took the model to sportier places.  For 1986-7 the Mk. 3 Gamma used a power valve – Automatic Exhaust Control in marketing lingo.  49 hp was a slight increase but the width of the power band was the emphasis.  Revised brakes were dual four-piston affairs, and the forks included an anti-dive circuit.  The Full Floater monoshock had made its way over from the motocross side and allowed the shock to be positioned further forward, centralizing mass, and the fully adjustable shock could be shorter and use lighter springs.  16-inch front /18 rear tires have -80’s stagger, but with a 100mm section not much width.

Though not quite a full resto, this owner has done more than just paint work and gives some options to the next rider.  Some rubber hole plugs and a bar-end mirror might slip this 250 through the air easier, and as problematic as they can be, some lower profile front blinkers seem to be in order.  The white wheels are the next cosmetic item, or they could go black and pretty badass.  With new tires, brakes and battery, more improvements could be made without taking it off the road.  A short – video – is offered, along with notes from the eBay auction:

Numbers matching engine and frame and the bodywork is original – not aftermarket.  Original Canadian Bike.
 
The bike was originally the two tone blue and white but was repainted in the factory correct 1987 colour red/black and white (it just looks better with this livery)
 
Sounds great – tons of power for the size and razor sharp handling with the aluminum twin spar frame (it was known as the first street legal race bike)
 
Parallel Two Cylinder with Suzuki’s AEC system – Automatic Exhaust Control – power is about 50 hp and weight is under 300 pounds! Full Floater Suspension, Six Speed transmission.
 
– Brand new tires
– Brakes fully rebuilt
– Brand new battery
– New upholstery on seat

Only the reserve will tell whether this owner considers this a finished piece or a nice rider with a few details to address, and of course repairs which any 35 year-old bike can expect.  Many RG250’s are shown without the lowers, and the factory fairings are a strong positive.  At this point in their lives, most have less miles but more corrosion on the exposed aluminum.  A lot of pluses and minuses to weigh over the next few days.

-donn

Think Small – 1987 Suzuki RG250 Gamma
Honda June 6, 2022 posted by Donn

Special Projects Office – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30

Though RSBFS mostly posts carefully tended originals, some models will attract major league attention no matter the condition.  Today’s subject is a venerable RC30 which was apparently parked and forgotten after just 62 miles !

1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30 for sale on eBay 

Not sure what else can be said about the RC30, already the subject of much attention and well-deserved interest.  It was made in just enough numbers to homologate the build for the Superbike World Championship, which it won the first two years.  Using HRC-designed parts for most major components, it had very little in common with the rest of the VFR line-up, and at $15K in 1990 it was well out of most riders’ reach.  Many of the details wouldn’t have been considered for a more sales-oriented machine, like the titanium connecting rods, camshafts running in needle bearings, the oil cooler sending heat to the engine coolant, and the single nut retaining the rear wheel.  Even with all that, a race kit was available which gave an alternative exhaust, radiator, gearsets, race wheels, brake calipers, axles and steering damper.

Though it might be fascinating to hear how this RC30 came to be parked so soon, the NY inspection and Florida location will have to do for now.  For all the inattention, it looks excellent with no apparent damage and only a minor amount of corrosion.  Every system that ever had liquid in it ( and some that didn’t ) await the next owner’s attention.  The original accessories are a great addition, being otherwise unavailable.  Notes from the eBay auction –

Yes, only 62 miles. The motorcycle has been in storage for the past 30 years and is located in South Florida. One owner, all original, no aftermarket accessories or modifications. Note that the motorcycle has not been touched or cranked over in 10 years. At that time, it was running until all the gas was out. All documentation and everything that it came is included such as the race stand, tools and New York State title.   Noted issues (not all inclusive) –
  • Pitting on both forks
  • Scratch by the back seat rest
  • Scratch on gas cap 
  • Gas cap will not unlock

While that fork corrosion wouldn’t normally be worth tending to, in this case the forks will probably be disassembled and re-finished.  It’s easy to predict a full restoration for this RC30, but harder to say whether it will ever turn a wheel afterward.  Too bad because just the sound of the 360-degree crankshaft engine would be worth it.  Seems like each one of the estimated 4,885 RC30’s ever made has at least the potential for a spot in a museum or stadium auction.

-donn

Special Projects Office – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30
Honda June 4, 2022 posted by Donn

Wet Look – 1983 Honda CB1100F

Honda offered a few different flavors of the CB1100F, and North America got one of the nicer packages.  No denying the restoration done on this CB1100F, but appears faithful with some rare factory parts.

1983 Honda CB1100F for sale on eBay

As the ultimate update to the CB750, the 1100 had internal and external updates to let it cope with 108 hp.  Four 34mm Keihin carbs handled the fuel mixing, which required premium gas for the 9.7-to-1 compression ratio.  Dual 296mm disk brakes, TRAC anti-dive forks and needle bearings for the swingarm kept the F’s composure under way.  New tubeless alloy wheels were staggered sizes, but the UJM way with – 19 up front and an 18-inch rear.  The handlebars were slightly higher than Euro models, tucked in behind the sharp bikini fairing, and four-into-two exhausts were presented in black chrome.

Not sure if the West Palm shop presenting this CB1100F worked on the restoration ( stated to be 12 years ago ), but presently appears to be more of a resto-builder on the scrambler end of things.  The 980 miles showing on the clocks has apparently been since the restoration, when a NOS dash was installed.  A close-up of the right sidecover looks to be in original condition, and shows how well the paint work was done.  The seat might have been plumped up and the tail tidied, but the factory signals are still there.  Maybe that flat black exhaust could go visit the Cera-Kote guys, but there’s always time for that in the winter.  A cold start – video – is available, and here’s just a bit of the comments from the eBay auction:

EVERYTHING functions as it should, brakes, lighting, engine have been sorted, and came from a previously very loving home (a personal friend of mine). This gorgeous example received a cosmetic restoration about 12 years / 976 miles ago, and received the last known NOS dash in the world, which is in lovely shape and no fading or cracks.

The seat is in wonderful shape, with no cracks or tears. The tank is perfect, and the inside is clean and shiny. Avon Roadrider tires were fitted at the time of restoration and have plenty of meat with 95% tread left. The inside of the gas tank in nice, clean, and shiny.

This model has been fitted with the period correct Yoshimura Exhaust System, and sounds wonderful.

The original exhaust system and center stand are included with sale (see photos). The original mirrors are in very nice shape and included as well.

For all its successes, the CB1100F would soon be retired with the V4 generation taking center stage.  Seems like when things just can’t get any better, big changes might be on the way.  No bids on this classic air cooler just yet, but it’s such a pleasure to look at I’ll be checking occasionally.

-donn

Wet Look – 1983 Honda CB1100F
Honda June 2, 2022 posted by Donn

Detail Oriented – 1992 Honda VFR400R / NC30

From down the block the VFR400R looks every bit an RC30, and though disappointment might flash when you see it’s the 400, the careful way it’s put together is a joy.  Today’s NC30 is an Ontario resident and in super nice original shape.

1992 Honda VFR400R / NC30 for sale on eBay

Honda had several years of VFR construction in their memory banks, and gave buyers just what they needed.  The four gear-driven cams sing their song, and 59 hp are delivered smoothly with the power band beginning at 7,000 revs.  TRAC anti-dive was on earlier VFR400’s, but less unsprung weight was more desirable.  Likewise a hydraulic clutch was saved for another bike – can’t beat a cable for feel or simplicity.  The full but diminutive fairing with twin headlights had the RC30’s likeable expression.  Honda deemed race-bike geometry really wasn’t in their customers’ best interest and the NC30 reviewed as the most approachable of the class.  To show off the ELF designed single-sided swingarm with its 18-inch wheel, the single muffler was moved to the near side.

For 30 years and 20.5K miles, this VFR is a special survivor.  Seeming to be a UK transplant, it has an MPH speedo ( with a rogue scrape on the bezel ) and the ginormous blinkers.  But that’s the only mark to be found, even the heel guards look like they haven’t seen a boot.  Workshop photos from a valve adjustment show the beauty is more than skin deep.  Comments from the eBay auction:

AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THE PICTURES IT HAS BEEN VERY WELL MAINTAINED AND RUNS EXCELLENT. 
NO EXPENSES SPARED, IF IT NEEDED SERVICE OR REPLACEMENT IT HAS BEEN DONE.
ALL ORIGINAL EXCEPT FOR THE SCORPION EXHAUST SYSTEM – THAT SOUNDS AMAZING WITH THE COMBINED GEAR DRIVEN CAMS. 
GENUINE HONDA FAIRINGS STILL INTACT AND IN EXCELLENT SHAPE. 
COMES WITH ORIGINAL OWNERS MANUAL AND SERVICE MANUAL. THESE BIKES ARE SUPER RARE IN THIS CONDITION AND ARE IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CATEGORY COMPARED TO THE GREY IMPORTS.

Rare to see any street bike in this kind of shape after 30 years, and extraordinary considering it was intended for more junior riders.  Still no free lunch, and the heady starting bid might be keeping those mouse buttons from clicking.  European models were spared the speed governor, though it’s unclear how far past 110 mph a NC30 might go in real life.  Too rare for a steady series of comparable sales, this owner seems to have picked a good year and even time of year make a move.

-donn 

Detail Oriented – 1992 Honda VFR400R / NC30