Author Archives: Donn

Ducati December 31, 2020 posted by Donn

Starting Off with a Bang – 2008 Ducati 1098R #117 of 450

If you’re ready, the first ride of the new year could be on a rather special Ducati.  Many 1098R’s have more accessories than miles, but someone enjoyed this one enough to farkle sensibly and keep maintenance is up to date.

2008 Ducati 1098R for sale on eBay

Ducati returned to the side-by-side headlights in 2007, with a perceptible cat-eye composition.  The -R was meant for the racetrack, with many advanced components which had to be on board to allow them on the factory’s racers.  A high-horsepower testastretta engine, trellis frame, single-sided swingarm, and underseat exhaust are found on every 2008 Ducati superbike.  But the -R homologates the sand-cast 1198cc engine of 180 hp, with twin fuel injectors pointing down each 64mm elliptical throttle body.  The Öhlins twin-tube monoshock allows ride height to be set independent of pre-load, and the fork ends are cast to receive Brembo’s monoblock 330mm brakes.  Marchesini Y wheels speak lightness as does the generous use of carbon on the bodywork.

Offered by an enthusiast in eastern Pennsylvania, who states it has 4,356 miles, but doesn’t show the dash lit up.  Rizoma levers, clutch cover and rear sets are sharp, and no damage is apparent.  Photos are good but not exhaustive, and either way a pre-purchase inspection is in order.  Just a couple of comments in the eBay auction:

1098R #117 of 450. Clean, well maintained. Never raced, never abused. Never wrecked. Pristine example. Choice Rizoma controls and bits. Serviced for belts and valves last year. No issues, ready to go collector’s piece.

With its modernized electrical and cooling systems, the 1098 was almost a practical superbike.  Traction management and a data-analysis dash pushed it well into the 21st century.  The semi-trellis frame lends an accessibility to the 1098R, that riders of previous superbike generations can appreciate.

-donn

Starting Off with a Bang – 2008 Ducati 1098R #117 of 450
Ducati December 27, 2020 posted by Donn

Holiday Colors – 1986 Ducati 750 F1B

A touchstone to Supersport fans, the F1 was lightly built but had the innovative 750cc L-twin.  Offered by a classic specialist in Santa Monica, this F1B shows just over 8,000 miles in Km, but looks much better.

1986 Ducati 750 F1B for sale on eBay

The F1 packed a lot into its smallish envelope, chassis and swingarm were chromoly tubing, cradling the 75 hp engine from above.  Both cylinders exhaust toward the front, with a short intake tube allowing the forward Dell’Orto some cool air.  Forcella 40mm forks and a Marzocchi monoshock handled suspension duties, and 280mm disk brakes used just a single set of opposed pucks.  A 16-inch front wheel reduced gyroscopic mass, easing turn-in without an extreme geometric solution.  Aluminum fittings are billet-cut, but precede any Bimota-style brightwork.  The F1B was also available with a dual seat, but the monoposto offers a more authoritative spot to the rider.

At nearly 35 years of age, the longer history almost doesn’t matter, since this F1 was on display and recently tuned up for the next owner.  Blinkers are more modern but less obtrusive than the originals, otherwise its light preparation has an honest look.  From the eBay auction:

This F1B comes from a private collection of sport bikes and remains to its original specification apart from a change of indicators. From static display, the bike has had life breathed back in it with fantastic results. The recommissioning was minimal, and the bike now starts easily on the button and revs freely with a thunderous soundtrack. The bikes stops and goes around corners as well as the fabulous Tri-colore livery looks.

In very good condition, the bike shows minimal wear conducive with 8,000 miles and 33 years of enjoyment. A brilliant ‘80s ride and collectible piece of Ducati history.

The water cooled and four-valve 851 succeeded the F1 after a few years, arguably Ducati’s first superbike.  But bridging the air-cooled desmo through a change in ownership ( and thankfully not a name change ), gave the F1 an important place in the list of models.  The three circuit-named special editions gave testament to the TT heritage, and though they might be the most collectible, an unadorned F1B has its own, how do you say je ne sais quoi in Italian ?

-donn

Holiday Colors – 1986 Ducati 750 F1B
Ducati December 24, 2020 posted by Donn

Re-Gifting – 1996 Ducati 900SS

My chance to wish RSBFS fans wonderful Holidays and a great New Year !  – donn

Nearly 25 years down the road, Ducati’s venerable SuperSport still has a lesson or two for riders who haven’t had the chance, and a little nostalgia for those who have.  Despite some substantial miles, this 900SS looks to have  been cared for well enough to display or ride.

1996 Ducati 900SS for sale on eBay

The late eighties – early 1990’s Supersports were based on Ducati’s new engine, with two valves per cylinder and belt driven cams.  84 hp are on tap, everything visible through the trellis frame and kept in contact with the tarmac by Showa dampers.  320mm Brembo brakes were praised for their honest feel.  The lack of new-fangled or optional equipment kept the power-to-weight ratio up there – no glove boxes in the fairing, no anti-dive, no shaft drive, and just the smallest underseat tray for a tire plug kit.  Adherence to the basics also kept the out-the-door price under control and let owners pick their own farkles. 

The offering dealer has an interesting stable of bikes, but generally offers no history.  This 900SS shows just over 33K miles, and likely has some re-finishing in its past.  Rarely seen at this kind of age, this SS is stock right down to the factory aluminum mufflers.  The next owner can weigh the lack of apparent damage and super-cleanliness with the maintenance that might be required.  Comments from the eBay auction:

FACTORY-ORIGINAL WITH OEM EXHAUST SYSTEM AND ALL ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT. NEVER CRASHED, GREAT SHAPE. STARTS AND RUNS PERFECT, FUEL AND OIL DRAINED FOR COLLECTOR DISPLAY

First envisioned in 1974, the SuperSport has held down the desmodue side of the showroom until recently, delivering a return to basic motoring values poo-pooed by many value engineers.  Yes, you can add soft bags and tour, heated gear and ride there, even carbon components by the ounce.  Or not, and take the back roads on a sunny afternoon – destination: an entirely non-virtual experience.

-donn

Re-Gifting – 1996 Ducati 900SS
Benelli December 21, 2020 posted by Donn

Red Sled – 2007 Benelli TNT 1130

Designed during one of Benelli’s more European revivals, the super-naked 1130 won a small but enthusiastic fan base.  This owner had a garage-full at one time and offers one of the nicest at no reserve.

2007 Benelli TNT 1130 for sale on eBay

Benelli’s 1130 is a triple, using Walbro fuel injection and 11.2-to-1 compression to pump out 129 hp.  The fabricated tube chassis holds the engine from the top, with cast connectors locating the beefed up swingarm.  Marzocchi supplied the upside-down forks and monoshock, with Brembo bringing their excellent 320mm brakes.  A distinctive arrangement of radiators and fans inhabit transformer-ish fairings which also carry the front turn signals.  The headers are exposed but the exhaust works its way up under the seat, with one of the neatest factory license plate mounts ever.

The back roads of eastern Penn. are just the place for this TNT, but between the two owners just under 6,500 miles have elapsed.  Though it’s hard to keep a naked bike nice, this one looks excellent.  Just the exhaust has been updated to a two muffler set-up, which might have necessitated the change to the rear turn signals.  Notes from the eBay auction:

These 1130’s, like this one, are pretty solid with Walbro injection. They run very well. 

I got this one in 2015.  It was then serviced at Distefano’s Performance Center in Imperial, Penna.  Joe was the regional tech rep for Benelli back then.  Its been part of my collection since.

I only put about 100 miles on it.  I never run ethanol and its stored indoors, mostly in my heated basement.

This one has performance slip on mufflers and relocated rear turn signals.  I do have the original muffler (its a single can) and the original tail.  I also have the manuals on CD.

It runs and looks as nearly new.  The battery is fresh, the title is in my hand.

Having a whole corporate history from 1911 until rough times came in the 1980’s, Benelli then had some fits and starts which produced their memorable Tre’s.  Since Qianjiang took a controlling interest the focus has shifted to smaller bikes.  Still the brand has a lot of interesting bikes in the stable, the Tornado Naked Tre being one of their sportiest.  This owner chose carefully and preserved his 1130 for the long term, which will benefit the new owner.

-donn

Red Sled – 2007 Benelli TNT 1130
Suzuki December 18, 2020 posted by Donn

! obruT – 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo

Suzuki’s entrant to the turbo sweepstakes was sportier than the green or red models, still more of a GT all in all.  This Oregon example has been ridden some, displayed some, and made ready for the next rider.

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo for sale on eBay

Suzuki designed a special engine for the turbo, only 673cc and 7.4-to-1 compression, but nicely oversquare with a 10,000 rpm redline.  Full injection ensures smooth running across the range and the advanced oil cooling system used squirters to cool the pistons.  The forward leaning chassis used twin downtubes, anti-dive forks with a 16-inch front wheel and Full Floater monoshock rear.  A little Katana-style goodness made for a distinctive fairing with sportier clip-on handlebars and footpeg location.

Any curator would be happy if their XN85 was in this kind of shape, undamaged and shiny pretty much everywhere.  The owner states he’s only the second, and it’s been in “his” museum for the last twelve years.  That might be worth looking into if you’re local to Portland.  Links to a few comprehensive videos are in – the eBay auction – interspersed with the owner’s comments:

The XN85 Has Been On Display For 11-12 Years In My Museum.

It’s Been Pulled Off The Display Floor And, Over Last 3+ Months As Time Permitted I Have Had The Following Service Items Performed By My Mechanic –

-New AGM Battery Installed

-New Oil & Filter Change

-Both Front And Rear Calipers Serviced – Cleaned & Brake Fluids Flushed From The Long Time sitting Idle While On Display

Recently un-mothballed in a loving fashion by my master mechanic.  The fuel system flushed with non-ethanol premium fuel.  Installed a new battery along with a new battery tender hook-up.  It started up in less then 2 seconds and runs great!  There are no fuel leaks. It idles perfectly.  It’s fuel injected. It Revs & Restarts fine.  It is ready to go and needs nothing  to go riding.  And/or it’s ready to go straight into another Museum.

Though a great engineering exercise, the fuel crisis passed, insurance companies got wind of the power vs. displacement issue, and none of the models survived to see 1986.  The XN85 was relieved for the ’84 model year in the U.S., but was sold abroad for a couple of more years.  Time has confirmed that Suzuki’s ideas about handling and de-tuning the turbo were correct, as the model has consistently reviewed well in the fun-to-ride and reliability departments.  Evidently the victim of a failed BAT auction, this particular XN85 would’ve been a bargain at that strike price, but likely this and XN85 owners everywhere are hoping for better.

-donn

 

! obruT – 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo
Bimota December 15, 2020 posted by Donn

Performance Kit – 1984 Bimota SB4S

Early on, Bimota sold kits to incorporate the buyer’s own drivetrain into their chassis and fairing designs.  This unicorn was professionally prepared and has only seen the light of day for 1,800 miles since.

1984 Bimota SB4S for sale on eBay

Bimota specified the 1075cc air-cooled engine from the GSX-1100, and shares its formidable 112 hp.  Rimini made their own four-into-two exhaust, and of course their chromoly semi-cradle chassis, with billet aluminum sideplates.  Components are a history lesson of their own, with Ceriani forks and DeCarbon monoshock.  Looking bigger in the 16-inch wheels, brakes are all 280mm disks, with four-piston calipers up front.  Lightweight fiberglass is stretched over the hippy package, baring only the three-piece alloy wheels.

Showing clean but maybe not museum storage, this SB4S appears original right down to the tires, and complete.  The GSX engine was evidently blueprinted before sliding it into the Bimota kit.  A slick detail and maybe re-finish the front fender and it might look more like the rarity it is.  Comments from the eBay auction:

This bike is super rare, with only 100 or so of the S versions with the full fairing being made. The other 200 or so SB4 models had a 2/3 fairing that did not go under the engine.

This is one of the last (Chromoly) steel framed Bimota made before going to aluminum frames. It is also one of the last kit bikes they sold. This particular bike was ordered and assembled by The Performance Works of Canoga Park, CA. The original build sheet is included with the bike. Details include:
  • Brand new Suzuki GS1100 engine as a starting point
  • Yoshimura pistons, 2mm oversize
  • Vance & Hines clutch basket
  • Welded crank
  • Heavy duty cam chain
  • Carb work
  • Only 1,800 miles!

This bike has just been serviced with new Mobil 1 oil change, OEM oil filter, NGK plugs, and a new battery. It fires right up and sounds great.

Along with the original build sheet, there is the factory sales flyer and a copy of the parts list for the entire bike. The VIN for this bike is SB400127 (#127 out of the 300 or so SB4 and SB4S total bikes built).

So close I could be there in a half hour, but ’tis no longer the season for a test ride.  No worries about getting out of the air stream, any rider under six feet will be stretched out on the tank just to reach the clip-ons.  Geared tall and set up for higher speeds, wide open two-lane would be a lot more fun than errands around town.  Not that this collectible is liable to see a whole lot more of either.

-donn

Performance Kit – 1984 Bimota SB4S
Ducati December 13, 2020 posted by Donn

Family Superbike – 2000 Ducati 996 Biposto

After the 916 set the world alight, the two-seater 996 allowed a close friend to sit by the fire with you.  From a collector’s almost-empty garage, this biposto has had recent maintenance for the long term.

2000 Ducati 996 Biposto for sale on eBay

Looking almost as svelte as a 916, the 996 sports 112 hp, sent through its dry clutch and 6-speed.  Dual exhausts join forces behind the right footpeg, unhindered by the single-sided swingarm.  Showa provided the dampers, partially offsetting the cost of the new Marchesini wheels.  Four-piston stoppers from Brembo look as serious as the 160 mph top speed.  2000 brought an updated charging system to the 996, though the cooling system still struggles in traffic.  The body-colored pillion promises way more sport than touring.

Fairly low miles for a twenty year-old Duc, and the condition looks excellent.  Mods are limited and performance-oriented.  Even better, the owner hasn’t scrimped on service, so the new owner should have a fine honeymoon with the new bike.  In between the all caps and exclamation points in the eBay auction :

This bike has been recently serviced by Cross Country Ducati in Metuchen, NJ where over $3,000 was spent on a FULL Desmo service, in addition to other items that needed to be addressed, simply due to the age of the classic superbike.  You can be 100% confident in this extreme machine with what you are getting, it’s fun and safe to ride.  I sold all my other Ducs over the last 3 years and this is the last one to go.  I am selling this icon because I simply do not ride her anymore.  She sits on stands in my garage with ONLY 7,4XX original miles.  This 996 is mostly still as she was when she came out of the factory.  The only upgrades are a Full Termi exhaust system, Corbin seat and some minor additions like fully adjustable rear sets, levers etc.

Most collectible superbike auctions focus on the single seat and racier replicas, but it’s nice to see more of a rider preserved so well.  The ask is up there and the owner says what he says, but the make offer button is available.  Might be worth a shot for an excellent classic superbike.

-donn

Family Superbike – 2000 Ducati 996 Biposto
Bimota December 9, 2020 posted by Donn

All Red and Green ( and White ) – 2000 Bimota BD4

In livery looking a bit like an xmas ribbon candy, this sweet DB4 claims just 325 miles, minty fresh and some nice factory accessories.

2000 Bimota DB4 for sale on eBay

Bimota borrowed Ducati’s 904cc desmodue for the DB4, replacing its fuel injection with Mikuni carburetors and of course their own exhaust system.  An identical 80 hp were the result, though torque improved a bit.  As always, the chassis is the real story, with an alloy space frame and swingarm, a skwosh smaller than the donor machine.  Premium Paoli forks and Öhlins monoshock are part of the package, as are 320mm Brembo Gold Line brakes.  Though it has a full fairing, it’s lightly built and carbon accessories keep the riding weight under 400 lbs.

Not really enough pictures to answer any question, but this DB4 looks every bit as good as 325 miles might suggest.  No word on why the forks are Öhlins rather than the expected Paoli, but it’s a happy circumstance.  The front brake lever’s end has been removed, but no sign of any other damage.  Not a huge money bike, but a pre-purchase inspection and engine run might be worth every inconvenience.  Limited notes from the eBay auction:

Here is your chance to own a very low mileage rare bike! The Bimota DB4 is in very good condition and will include the factory cover as well as the stand. This bike was part of a collection and was serviced. It has a brand new battery and starts right up. Grab this one of a kind beauty at the lowest price online currently.

Bimota concentrated on Japanese power trains early on, and took advantage of Ducati’s L-twins starting in 1986.  Since then it’s been a series of winners, with success meaning a few hundred copies.  The brilliant 904 combined with the lightweight chassis made for a twisty road sweetheart.  Not sure a classic Bimota with not even break-in miles will ever find its way to the road again, but like a winning Powerball ticket, it would sure be nice to try.

-donn

 

All Red and Green ( and White ) – 2000 Bimota BD4