Author Archives: Donn

Suzuki October 25, 2018 posted by Donn

2nd Life – 1983 Suzuki GSX1100S Katana

RSBFS normally shies away from buffed-up resto-mods, but this long term transformation is understated, very true to the original - and a looker.  This owner has polished where appropriate, but powder-coated in many cases, with a nice performance rebuild of the 1100cc four.

1983 Suzuki GSX1100S Katana for sale on eBay

 

On the radical side, the German firm Target Design penned their edgy 111 hp flagship, as the headlight fairing slashes its way toward 136 mph.  Suzuki's twin-swirl combustion chamber ( TSCC ) and forged engine internals made all that power more reliable.  Ergonomics are long and low, rake and trail numbers optimized for high speed  work.  Forks had anti-dive but were not adjustable, while dual rear shocks had five selections for preload and rebound.

 

Evidently restored by the original owner, this Kat has some serious mods in the engine and could be shown as a light custom.  Some normally bright parts have been powder coated black while forks and calipers ( and float bowls ! ) have been polished.  With stripes, the paint is celebratory compared to the original.  The owner says this in the eBay auction:

The bike starts and runs great, and has about 600 miles on it since being restored.
 
Engine assembled by Scott Horner / Heads Up Performance
 
Wiseco 1160 piston kit
Heads Up Performance ported and polished head
Yoshimura stage two cams
Crank rebuilt by Falicon
New OEM rods, oil pump
Vance & Hines Super Hub rebuilt by APE Performance
APE Billet clutch basket assy, Valve job w/ bronze valve guides, Undercut trans gears, Heavy duty cam chain,
Manual cam chain tensioner, Adjustable cam sprockets, cam chain guide
Vortex Overhead oiling kit
Dyna ignition, green coils, HT wires
Paint by AT. Markus
New GSXR front master cyl & OEM rear
Stainless brake lines/fittings
Powder coated frame and all brackets
Bolts stainless, new OEM or black oxide finish
EBC Pro-lite brake disks
Works shocks
Pirelli Sport Demon tires
Rizoma Blinkers and Grips
New seals/bearings
 
With four days to run, bidding is active and has almost reached the original MSRP, at a level now reserved for singles and scooters.  It's a lot of bike, with the forward riding position better for higher speeds.  The detailed restoration on this Katana shows well, and the engine upgrade backs the design up with plenty of oomph.
-donn
 
2nd Life – 1983 Suzuki GSX1100S Katana
Moto Guzzi October 23, 2018 posted by Donn

Rhode Island Red – 2003 Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans Rosso Corsa

2003 Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans Rosso Corsa for sale on eBay

Despite their wanderings toward the edge of insolvency, Guzzi managed to further develop the ngine for the V11, still air cooled and only slightly oversquare for great power and torque numbers of 91 hp and 69 ft.-lbs.  Updated Marelli fuel injection and a smooth 6-speed transmission brought them clearly into the new century, though the overall feel is reverential to past Le Mans.  Premium bucks for the time brought premium components from Öhlins and Brembo, along with staples like shaft drive.  The sporty aura is completed by clip-on handlebars, some carbon accents, and a monoposto-looking pillion cover on the tailcone.

Offered by a shop specializing in vintage Jaguar parts, this Rosso Corsa has been nicely updated and maintained.  The Rizoma reservoirs and Pazzo levers are easy on the eyes, and lowered foot controls help the older knees.  An insider mod is the Roper windage plate, which keeps oil from splashing around the crankcase and protects the engine at higher revs.  Recent Rosso paint looks excellent.  From the eBay auction:

This bike has been repainted to remove the decals that had lifting edges.  It has one small scuff on the right hand fairing in the clip on clearance area.
  • Mileage:  9,200
  • Clear Title in my name
  • New Michelin PR4 Tires
  • New Battery
  • Rizoma Fluid reservoirs
  • Motra Tech lowered foot pegs and levers
  • Pazzo control levers
  • Mistral CF Mufflers
  • "Race" ECU
  • New rear rotor and pads
  • Roper Plate
  • Fresh synthetic engine oil (Agip)
  • Fresh transmission and rear drive oil
  • Iridium spark plugs
  • Valves have been adjusted
  • Tool Kit
The bike runs very well and needs nothing.

Never meant to challenge the onslaught from the east, Guzzi stuck to their formula and has survived as Italy's oldest marque.  The V11 Le Mans reviewed as a nice all-day rider, fast and stable.  Judging from the boutique Jag offerings, this owner knows nicer things and has improved this already very good Le Mans with top-quality updates.  If the reserve can be met it should make the new owner quite happy.

-donn

 

Rhode Island Red – 2003 Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans Rosso Corsa
Ducati October 22, 2018 posted by Donn

Textbook Case – 2005 Ducati 749R #172

Ducati took the SuperSport rule book back to Bologna and tailored the 749R to fit, and while it didn't achieve a championship, regular AMA SuperSport points and podiums were a  great achievement.  Better still is this homologation special from 2005, a smashing middleweight and well appointed roadable edition.

2005 Ducati 749R #172 for sale on eBay

One of SuperSports' paradigms is to contain costs by limiting allowable race preparation, allowing non-factory teams to be more competitive.  Ducati's rulebook analysis made the 749R ready and adjustable for the racetrack.  The engine was developed for the R-model only, and liberal use of advanced materials like titanium valve train, magnesium head covers, and high-strength aluminum pistons allowed the 749cc engine to be tuned for a whopping 121 hp.  Similarly, the chassis shares a lot with the 999S, and has a linear monoshock linkage to improve high speed handling.  Headstock, seat position, and footpegs are all adjustable within a tight race-derived focus.  Premium components like Öhlins dampers, Brembo monoblock brakes, carbon accessories, and factory slipper clutch are all standard on the 749R.

Offered by a Florida tuner and parts dealer, not much info is given about this -R's history, but looks excellent for it 17,000 miles.  Go-Pro mounts seem out of place but are easily corrected.  A few nice farkles are listed in the eBay auction:

Gilles Rear Sets
CRG Levers
Swing Arm Spools
Carbon Rear Hugger
Carbon Clutch Cover
Carbon Timing Belt Cover

Not quite sure why the 749S did pretty well in AMA SuperSport but had less luck in Europe.  Depending on your point of view, the 749's roomy fairing  can be a plus or leave you wanting a more classic looking Ducati.  The starting bid is right up there for a mid-size with mid-life miles, but the condition warrants a second look.  If the maintenance history is great and the damage history is minimal, it could be a nice buy...

-donn

Textbook Case – 2005 Ducati 749R #172
Kawasaki October 18, 2018 posted by Donn

The Namesake – 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV

Like Chevy's Z28 Camaro, the H2 is a model that creeps back into Kawasaki's line-up occasionally, but here we have the pre-historic beast that made the name.  The fire-breathing two stroke triple lasted only a few years before being regulated out of existence, but memorable enough that H2 is only applied to the most extreme green offerings.  The Florida example has somehow escaped the overcooked wheelies and tank slappers that claimed so many of its siblings.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV for sale on eBay

 

Coming hot on the heels of the 500cc H1, the Mach IV used the same successful formula - acceleration above all.  The 74 hp available were jammed into the upper reaches of the powerband, and weight was kept to a minimum at just 450 lbs. topped off.  Period single front disk and rear drum were adequate, as was the double cradle chassis, unless they were hopelessly out-gunned by the right wrist.  With a 19-inch front and 18-inch rear wheel, straight line stability was favored in the handling compromise.

 

This H2 is returning to the road at a ripe old age, and looks very good for its 30K miles.  Though not mentioned, the paint might be a little too nice and spell an older restoration.  The owner has gone over it carefully maintenance-wise, and provides this list in the eBay auction:

installed air filter box with a new (genuine) 3 way rubber manifold,
and a new (unknown manufacturer) upper snorkel.
needs internal filter element as I have none left.
drained and put new brake fluid in front cylinder, shoes and pads look good and all cleaned.
reset timing, cleaned and re-gapped pickups.
pistons are very recently installed (you can still see the cylinder honing marks) virtually no carbon build up.
cylinders are still at factory standard bore of 71mm - great compression.
complete new carb internals and set to factory standard.
crank seals and gearbox were inspected, all sweet.
3 x new NGK B9HS Japanese plugs.
new battery.
gas tank cleaned and new complete fuel tap seal kit installed.
no center stand installed but I can (if interested) supply one with bike that needs minor work,
a clean and a return spring.
clutch stripped/inspected and rebuilt, working great with no slippage.
as new bridgestone spitfire tires fitted and rims balanced.
all new fuel/vacuum lines installed.
the seat cover is perfect, the pan has no rust but the original foam will soon start making the dust particles.
exhaust is totally solid with very minor scuffs/dents but the chrome is starting to get tiny blistering on the lower middle pipe and would need to be re chromed to be show quality but is great as a daily driver.
new cylinder exhaust gaskets were fitted, center seals were checked and good,
all baffles are present and the only place you see two stroke fumes are coming out of the back end 🙂
I left the engine casings with the original patina on them as I know some people think polishing reduces value, so I have left that choice to the new owner.

 

Kawasaki had their eyes on the new Formula 750 race series and went racing in 1973 with the likes of Yvon DuHamel and Gary Nixon, but had more success rubbing Honda's nose in it on the road.  The quickness and low price of the H2 glossed over a lot of irrational rider exuberance, and though subsequent model years smoothed out the power delivery and handling a bit, the early models are legend.    The 900cc Z1 was introduced in 1972 and though the two models existed side by side for a couple of years, time marched on and showed the H2 the exit...

-donn

The Namesake – 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV
Honda October 13, 2018 posted by Donn

No Reservations – 1993 Honda CBR900RR Fireblade

Even sportbike fans with kids the age of this CBR900RR rever the lightweight model, and the competitive 1990's era which produced so many influential machines.  This one has been brought out from the back of an Oregon tuner's shop and made quite ready for riding.  Despite a dented fuel tank the winner of the no-reserve auction should ride away happy.

1993 Honda CBR900RR Fireblade for sale on eBay

In a period departure, big red assigned the design lead to factory test rider Tadao Baba, who stroked a mid-size power plant but kept weight under tight control.  The resulting not-quite-a-liter 893cc inline four generated 122 hp, in a package which weighed hardly more than competitive 600's.  Helped by an all-alloy twin spar chassis and Pro-link swingarm, the 45mm right-side-up Showa forks and multi-adjustable monoshock made the Fireblade flickable.  Turn-in was sharpened by the 16-inch front wheel, where the compact riding position telegraphed the rider's intentions.  Close gearing gave away 10 mph top speed to other open-class GT's but made the CBR faster everywhere else.

This Fireblade is offered by a suburban Portland independent shop, has just about 19,000 miles, and looks substantially stock save a D&D muffler.  Comments say it was the owner's personal ride, and the D&D is on the quieter side.  The damaged fuel tank is the elephant in the room, and though it should be repairable, a good condition replacement might pop up.  A nice servicing was done before putting it on Ebay's auction block:

-Full Service: Valves checked, new spark plugs, fresh coolant, fresh oil/filter, brake fluids flushed
-New Jet Kit, carbs rebuilt, cleaned, new Factory Pro 2.0APK intake kit/jetting installed
-New Front fork seals and servicing
-New 520 Chain and sprockets
-New Bridgestone BT Tires
-New EBC HH Brake pads front and rear
-New oem turn signals
-New Lithium light weight oem battery
-New Fuel petcock
-New fuel filter

Most bikes cross into GT territory when displacement approaches 1000cc, but the CBR900RR's light weight left room for all the sportiness most riders can handle.  They're at the age where they appear with some regularity, but in wildly differing conditions and asking prices, and with two days to go the auction has just reached the bottom of my expectations.  The new owner has options from a concours restoration to a tank bra, but at the very least it's maintained, complete and un-remuddled...

-donn

No Reservations – 1993 Honda CBR900RR Fireblade
Suzuki October 13, 2018 posted by Donn

Bird of Prey – 2000 Suzuki GSX-1300R Hayabusa

Named for its technique of high speed dives hunting for ( Honda ) blackbirds, the Hayabusa was Suzuki's bid for the limelight and production model speed records.  This unrestricted example brings low miles and a rare stock appearance to a straightaway near you.

2000 Suzuki GSX-1300R Hayabusa for sale on eBay

First produced in 1999, the 'Busa threw 1298cc displacement at the issue, along with the SRAD ram air system, to boast 175 hp.  A gear driven counterbalance was used and allowed the engine to be secured directly to the frame, increasing chassis strength.  A robust twin spar frame supported fully adjustable forks and monoshock.  Aerodynamics ruled most of the fairing and openings, which wasn't immediately popular but achieved the goal of high speed stability.  The bike was pretty big all over, but still under 500 lbs. with half a tank.

This Ohio owner has resisted the customization urge and preserved his Hayabusa beautifully.  No mention of maintenance, but in this condition and under 6,000 miles, anything but fluids and tires would be a surprise.  From the eBay auction:

Selling a beautiful 2000 Suzuki Hayabusa. It has 5721 adult ridden miles on her. Comes with a set of Yoshimura slip ons. This bike is an unrestricted model capable of nearly 200 MPH! This is a true Japanese classic that is getting difficult to find in this condition, with under 6K miles on the clock. You may pick her up locally, or I will assist with shipping.

Not messing with success, Suzuki didn't make much except graphic revisions to the Hayabusa until 2008's big revision.  The early model was a favorite of drag racers and customizers who did everything the factory would never do.  As flagship it was blessed with excellent build quality, and reviewers also praised the rather necessary excellent brakes.  The press urged riders not to battle it out in the twisties, but wait until the right wrist could be exercised and pass at will...

-donn

Bird of Prey – 2000 Suzuki GSX-1300R Hayabusa