Author Archives: Donn

Ducati August 26, 2019 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – 1998 Ducati 916 SPS #830

Update: Email link corrected: dan@gravitycavity.com

As much as the original 916 set the superbike world on its ear, the last year 916 SPS was worth waiting – or changing horses – for.  The new 996cc engine, enhanced suspension, and lightweight wheels made the SPS an homologation special worthy of the name.  As presented by RSBFS reader Dan, number 830 ( of a around 1,000 ) is immaculate and shows just 5,674 miles.

1998 Ducati 916 SPS with just 5,674 Miles!

Ducati jammed a lot of WSB goodness into the new 996 engine cases – the bigger bores, bigger valves and downpipes conspired with 11.5:1 compression and two fuel injectors per cylinder to report 134 hp.  Camshafts capitalized on desmoquattro experience to deliver a wide torque band.  While the trellis frame was unchanged, improved 43mm Showa forks and Öhlins monoshock were multi-adjustable.  Front brakes were fully floating Brembos for 1998.  The now-iconic good looks of the Tamburini design were rendered in Anniversary red with white number areas.

Dan picked his SPS up after it had sat for a year or so, and beside going through the fuel system, did quite a bit to return it to super-nice condition.  Recent tune-up parts, Michelins, and fairing lowers, and a mammoth amount of detailing, as the unfaired pictures show. 

Dan’s comments about the bike:

It would not start when I bought it due to the fuel pump being all gummed up. I replaced all the fuel system parts that are in the fuel tank. I also put some marvel mystery oil in each cylinder and spun it over before starting it. I have all the receipts for the parts that were replaced.

I also think the bike must have been dropped (not crashed, just dropped) at one time due to the scratches on the original body work. The bike came with a factory new replacement upper fairing and I purchased both left and right side panels new from Ducati shortly after I bought it. That is what is on the bike now. Everything else on the bike is original, except for the ECU (see below).

After getting it running, I replaced all the fluids, spark plugs, air filters, and timing belts. I also put a new set of Michelin Pilot Power 3 tires on it. The original owner claims a full service with valve adjustment was done on the bike at around 2500 miles.

The bike is wicked fast and everything works flawlessly on it. In the five years I have owned it, I have ridden it only a few hundred miles a year. Just enough to keep it rideable and it has been carefully maintained and garaged during that time.
I did have one issue with it back in 2017. It started cutting out and shutting off intermittently when riding it. After much trouble shooting I wound up replacing both ignition relays (the two that are under the seat) and the ECU and that 100% fixed the issue. I have put about 500 miles on it since then and it runs flawlessly. I still have the original ECU and the stock EPROM that came with the bike.

More from the seller:

For those that have never ridden one of these wicked machines, I must say the experience is heart pounding! When you grab a handful of throttle you better have it pointed where you want it to go because the torque and power delivery is explosive and it pulls extremely fast and hard all the way up to the 11,000 RPM redline. I rarely take it that far just because of how explosive the mid range torque is. You are doing triple digit speeds in no time just short shifting it. The sound of the Termi exhaust with the tuned EEPROM is intoxicating and the chassis and brakes are phenomenal. Riding this bike always reminds me of those glory days of seeing Anthony Gobert and Ben Bostrom racing in AMA superbike and of course Carl Fogerty, Troy Bayliss, and Troy Corser in World superbike. I loved watching them race the big twin Ducati’s and hearing how different the bikes sounded from everything else.

A game-changer for superbikes, the 916 led riders to expect complex underseat exhausts, steering dampers and single-sided swingarms on premier models.  With five Superbike World Championships in six years ( 1994-99 ), the model continues to define beauty in the superbike sense.  Dan is asking $19,900 for number 830, and can be reached by email – here –.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1998 Ducati 916 SPS #830
Buell August 23, 2019 posted by Donn

Eleventh Hour – 2008 Buell 1125R

Erik Buell finally convinced his overseers at H-D to use the turn-key Rotax twin, and it became the basis for Buell’s most modern sportbike.  Unfortunately, a new management team saw the brands as diverging, and pulled the plug a couple of years later.

2008 Buell 1125R for sale on eBay

As an engineer, Buell stressed three themes in all his designs – lighter weight, mass centralization, and chassis rigidity.  The 1125R makes strides in each of them, with a stamped and welded aluminum frame which also serves as the fuel tank.  The 1125cc V-twin is an integral part of the chassis, providing the swingarm pivots and supporting the underslung exhaust, not to mention 146 hp.  The classic Buell Zero Torque Load front brake is larger than life at 375 mm, with the eight piston caliper mounted inside the rotor.  Harley pioneered use of belt drive instead of a chain, and it saves the 1125R a few pounds and quite a bit of maintenance.  The adjustable Showa suspension and alloy subframe could accommodate a theoretical passenger.

Like so many fairly extreme superbikes, this 1125R has been ridden just 2,674 miles and barely personalized, with only a license plate mount and levers to show.  Luckily the chain-driven cams of the Helicon engine don’t suffer much during long rests, and should require just an oil change before setting off.  The matte blue frame and wheels accent the black bodywork nicely, and all look undamaged.  From the eBay auction:

This 1125R is stock with the exception of a license plate re-locator to tuck it closer to the rear fender and the levers have been replaced with shorter (and more comfortable) machined aluminum, black anodized – see pics.
Everything is 100% functional and in excellent condition.  There is a new cover included.

With a low starting bid, the new owner will get a big helping of superbike for the money, though support might be the elephant no longer in the room.  The drivetrain should be service-able by any indie with Aprilia experience, with special parts needing a little searching.  But you can only pick two, as the old adage says – performance, economy, or reliability.  Too bad the mother ship didn’t find a buyer for their very sporty fledgling.

-donn

Eleventh Hour – 2008 Buell 1125R
Yamaha August 21, 2019 posted by Donn

What’s in a Name – 1997 Yamaha YZF1000R Thunderace

Never a champ in the showroom, the YZF1000R bided the factory’s time until the R1 was ready, and is a smashing buy on the used market.  This one is in rather special condition with just 9,000 miles.

1997 Yamaha YZF1000R Thunderace for sale on eBay

Yamaha offered the liter-sized YZF offshore for several years while we had the comparable but heavier FZR.  For one year before the R1 appeared, the Thunderace showed the refinement of the Genesis and EXUP systems in a ergo-friendly package.  Part of the refinement was weight control, tipping the scales at 430 lbs. dry.  Reputed close relations to the YZF750R gave great handling, and the 20-valve engine reported 145 hp.  Analog 38mm Mikuni carburettors were helped by electronic ignition with throttle position sensors providing another data point to the EXhaust Ultimate Power valve, which alters exhaust collector volume to increase flow.

With only two owners over 22 years, this YZF looks excellent.  If the new owner is a rider, new rubber will be required.  From the eBay auction:

1997 YZF1000R in beautiful, extra clean condition. Never crashed. Very original stock motorcycle except for installation of a Yoshimura Stainless Steel Exhaust.  Lockhart tank bra, original tool kit and aftermarket rear stand included.

9,000 original miles on the odometer. Recent carburetor rebuild and carb synchronization. New air filter installed. Bike runs excellent, very fast and tons of torque. No leaks anywhere. Can provide video of cold start and engine running if desired.
Lights, blinkers, horn and gauges all work as expected. Good battery. Brakes in good condition. Tires are OK but should be replaced soon.  This YZF is an excellent, well kept example of a very unique and rare motorcycle. All original factory installed labels and stickers are still in place. Very nice bike for a Yamaha collector.

The YZF1000R was the transition model between the FZR1000 and the venerable YZF R1. Although Yamaha manufactured this model from 1996 thru 2002 for the European market where it was sold as the Thunder Ace, it was available in the United States for only one year in 1997 and was marketed and sold as the YZF1000R.

Yamaha claimed a drag coefficient of just .29 for the roomy fairing, but reviewers groused about the right wrist affecting gas mileage.   The torquey powertrain offered smooth acceleration from 2,000 to 11,500 rpm and 100 mph in second gear !  This model never had a chance to develop a following here, but became a distinctive Euro sport-tourer.  A good value for the buy-it-now, this example could go back to two-lane two-up, or be shown as a mint single-year rarity.

-donn

What’s in a Name – 1997 Yamaha YZF1000R Thunderace
Featured Listing August 12, 2019 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – 1994 Kawasaki Ninja 600R (ZX600C)

It takes something special to stand out in the middleweight sportbike segment, especially in the used market when a goodly number join the fray each year.  The seller spotted this back-of-the-garage find a few years ago and returned it to the road with several major service items.  As delivered in period black and turquoise livery, this 600R is a great survivor and affordable classic.

1994 Kawasaki 600R ( GPX600 ) with just 6,900 miles !

Though there isn’t much radical engineering in this profitable corner of the showroom, the Ninja 600R does boast more than 100 hp per liter at 84, thanks to 11.71-to-1 compression on the twin-cam four.  Kawasaki’s Electronic Suspension Control ( ESCS ) compensated for front end dive under braking, and their Uni-Track with adjustable monoshock tamed the rear end.  The frame-mounted fairing cut a hole in the wind for rider, and vinyl tank panels offered good grip.

Likely purchased new by a fledgling rider, this 600R was parked soon afterward, and re-commissioned by the new owner after almost 20 years on the lam.  Since the drivetrain is pretty much bulletproof, the rehab involved all liquids, new rubber, carb rebuild and a thorough cleaning of the fuel system.  The seller has these comments about the bike and its return to service:

I acquired this bike back in 2016 with approximately 2,500 original miles and it was completely original down to the tires. It still has the original owner’s manual, tool kit, factory key, and is completely stock right down to the exhaust.

I replaced all the fluids, installed new spark plugs, a new UNI air filter, a new battery, and had new Bridgestone Battleax BT tires fitted. The tank has been removed and professionally cleaned, given a new petcock valve, and I had all four carburetors professionally rebuilt at the same shop that the tank was cleaned.

The bike has since been ridden 4,500 trouble-free miles over the past three years, and at the time of writing has about 7,000 miles, however, this number will go up every weekend as I like to ride it to keep the carbs in shape. Minor cosmetic blemishes include light scratches on the tank, two small scratches on the left rear cowl, mild corrosion on the coolant drain plug, and small bits of rust starting to surface on the exhaust.

You never see these anywhere anymore and this all original example is the best I’ve seen for sale in years. Even if you’re not a collector, this Ninja 600R is a fun, reliable survivor that gets attention from onlookers that know, and is a terrific and inexpensive way to enjoy a classic sportbike.

Asking price is $3,500 and offers are requested by text message at (757) 806-9296

Having served a generation of daily riders, The seller is right that they are rarely seen in this condition these days, and the best way to maintain a fuel system is to use it occasionally.  Maybe this all original model was your brother’s favorite bike, or a friend needs a down payment-sized entrée into the sporty side, either way this 600R looks ready to please a new owner.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1994 Kawasaki Ninja 600R (ZX600C)
Featured Listing August 8, 2019 posted by Donn

Featured Listing: 1977 MV Agusta 750S / 850SS America

Update 8.8.2019: This seller has decided to upgrade to a Featured Listing and is also available on eBay. Thanks for supporting the site, Jamie, and good luck to buyers! -dc

The mid-seventies saw MV Agusta floundering after the founder’s death, and about to accept an offer they couldn’t refuse from the Italian government.  U.S. importers persuaded the company to try and revive their fortunes with a special 750, a monoposto bristling with premium parts.  This rare example returned to Italy for a mid-stream model upgrade before sale.

1977 MV Agusta 750S / 850SS America for sale on eBay

Before almost every big bike was an inline four, MV Agusta had a history of air-cooled DOHC Grand Prix machines.  For the 750S, displacement was increased to 788cc’s, heads re-designed and 26mm Dell’Orto carburetors were specified.  Though the cams are driven by a gear train between cylinders two and three, the alternator is behind, resulting in a trim crankcase.  Shaft drive indicating its more GT purpose, most MV 750’s came with front discs and a drum rear brake.

Not enough to be one of 500 or so, this MV was upgraded by the factory to an 850SS, which the factory did to just a few dozen leftover machines to make them more enticing.  A little history from the eBay auction:

“The Ferrari of Motorcycles”

Up for sale is a stunning 1977 MV Agusta 850SS. This is pretty much the quintessential late-70s Italian sport bike and the last, highest spec iteration of MV’s factory-built four cylinder sport bikes. Less than 500 Americas were made from 1975-77, and this 750S-to-850SS factory conversion is one of just 19 (or 27, or 35, or 42, depending on your source) total 850SSs made. Just to be clear, all MV Agusta 850SSs were conversions from 750S machines; some were done by the factory, some were done by dealers based on instructions from the factory.

The bike in question is a 2800-mile example in excellent overall condition. It features factory-optional cast wheels, Lafranconi exhaust, and its original suede covered seat. Frame and engine numbers match; not all do. There are a few nicks here and there, as you would expect from any 40+ year old machine, and the finish on the front edge of the instrument binnacle is separating (see photos), but the bike is whole and has obviously never seen any hard use. It has a wonderful, honest overall appearance. It starts, run, shifts, and stops, but with such low mileage and limited use in the last few years, it could probably benefit from a more fulsome recommissioning, including carb tuning/cleaning, before any serious road riding. A video of the bike in action can be sent upon request.

750S to 850SS conversion: Factory records during this period in MV history can be inconsistent, if they are available at all. 1977 was the final year of factory-produced MV Agusta motorcycles, and the factory was fast and loose with some things, including specifications from bike to bike. They were also having a hard time selling new 750S Americas in a crowded field of ever larger and more powerful Japanese machines, which could be had for a fraction of the MV’s $6500 sticker price. So, an uprated variant of the 750S, the 850SS, was cooked up as a way to move leftover or unsold 750S machines. In late 1976, MV recalled 19 unsold new 750S machines from distributor stock (including this bike) back to the factory in Italy for conversion to 850-spec. They also instructed dealers/distributors in how to convert other 750S machines to 850SS spec. Fortunately, this bike’s journey is well-described in both factory and distributor documents. The bike is first described in factory documents from 1975 and early 1976, as a “1976 model 750cc ‘S’ America”. Later documents from 1977 list it (by serial number) among 19 bikes that were recalled in late-1976 to the MV factory in Italy for conversion to “850S” specification. Additional documents from 1977 pertain to the re-importation of the bike by the US distributor, Garville, now as an “850S” with “86hp” (vs 75hp in standard 750S trim), and allocation to Champion Motorcycles in Costa Mesa, California. The bike has 750S sidecover emblems; these may have been left on the bike at the factory or re-installed later during a refinish (easily remedied by removal of the emblem and replacement with an “MV” decal, which is what the factory did on some 850SS machines). It has the factory optional and 850SS-correct EPM cast alloy wheels with triple disks and Brembo calipers. 850SSs typically used 27mm carbs unless bound for the US, like this one, which then used the standard 26mm Dellorto carbs of the 750S America.

All original documents relating to this bike are included in the sale, both when it was a “1976 750S” and after conversion to 1977 850SS (see pix), with the exception of the document listing this bike among the 19 recalled to the factory for 850SS conversion. That particular document belongs to the records of another of my MVs, but I will provide a copy/scan of that original document to the new owner as well. The sale also includes a commissioned hardcover photo-book of this particular machine, by Ian Falloon.

Values on these bikes are hard to pin down…but at much less than the price of a 1974 Ducati 750SS “Green Frame”, which was produced in significantly greater numbers than the MV 850SS and by a manufacturer of less racing pedigree than MV Agusta, values of the late-spec MV classics seem destined to close the gap to their Italian brethren. Imagine this red stunner in your garage/mancave/lair next to your 275GTB or 365 GTB/4 Daytona or 365BB! These bikes rarely come up for sale, outside of major auctions, where buyer and seller can be expected to pay as much as 12-20% in combined fees on top of the hammer price. Consider this bike instead.

42 years on, the 850SS shows no particular wear, but chips and aging paint and plating of a real classic.  Despite the outstanding components from Ceriani, Tomaselli, and Brembo, the factory thought having the LaFranconi mufflers black would be sporty.

Already playing catch-up to the new Japanese imports, Agusta didn’t have the time or resources to engineer a new lightweight model.  At over 500 lbs. dry, the 750 and 850S reviewed as a better ride for moderate speeds but did so in style.  The factory wound down shortly and was offline for ten years before being revived by Cagiva.  Seeming more appropriate for a white glove auction than online, this 850S is a history lesson in 1970’s design and manufacturing.

-donn

Featured Listing: 1977 MV Agusta 750S / 850SS America
Bimota August 7, 2019 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – 1991 Bimota Tesi 1D

CMG Motorcycles has two motorcycles on RSBFS right now, a 0 mile VDue and a brand new Bimota Tesi! Check them both out! -dc

1990 saw the designer who succeeded founder Massimo Tamburini depart, and a new engineer arrive. Pierluigi Marconi presented a clean sheet design with inherent anti-dive and the 904cc Ducati desmoquatro. This piece of Bimota history is offered with zero miles and ready to display.

Inside the Omega-shaped alloy frame, the water cooled L-twin pumped 113 hp via a six-speed transmission and chain drive.  Outside the frame were two similar swingarms, with hub-center steering in front, suspension and steering mechanically separate, and brakes could be applied without drastically affecting the tire loading and balance.  Typical Bimota appointments included top Marzocchi dampers and Brembo brakes.  Peculiar looking when bare, the Tesi 1D has a not-so-unusual monoposto fairing and riding position.

Coming from the client side of a New Zealand multi-line dealer, this Tesi has been on display since new.  For a fan, it seems like too many appear without even break-in miles, but an unridden creampuff is great for the buyer.  Transport from Oceana will have to be considered by the new owner, but is worth the effort in this case.

With all the CNC machined parts and pull-rod controls, the Tesi was expensive to build and many prospective buyers couldn’t accept the radical looks.  Only a few hundred were built and many had just a short ride before retirement.  And though two successive generations were introduced in the 2000’s, the 1D Tesi makes the original statement.  CMG Motorcycles asks $43,990 USD for this example, and requests inquiries be sent to Brad by email  – here –.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1991 Bimota Tesi 1D
Ducati August 6, 2019 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – 2005 Ducati Monster S4R

8.20.2019: Sold in just 14 days. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Jamming superbike performance into a standard package, Ducati brought more excitement to the Monster corner of the showroom with their water-cooled S4’s.  For 2005 the S4R used the four-valve 996 engine tuned for 113hp.  From the Carolinas, this blue example has been nicely accessorized and maintained.

At the top of the Monster range, the S4R used premium suspension components are from Showa, with Ti nitrided fork legs and fully adjustable monoshock.  The sculptural single-sided swingarm is templated from the MH900e showcase.  Brakes are semi-floating Brembos, super(bike) sized at 320mm.  The classic trellis frame is in body color, which camouflages some of the surface mounted plumbing and electrical.  The bikini fairing and carbon accents keep the eyes moving, and the 996cc engine runs cooler without the usual fairing.

Longtime RSBFS reader Ryan chose well as the previous owner had started with a good year (2005’s have a steel fuel tank and no ethanol issues), specified the option paint, and added 2-into-2 Termignoni exhaust, Speedymoto bar risers and Pazzo levers.  Ryan made his own mechanical and appearance mods, and has these comments-

I serviced all the fluids, installed Pirelli Angel GT tires, and a new EVR sintered clutch pack, blue STM clutch pressure plate, Oberon slave cylinder and Speedymoto open cover to showcase the dry clutch. At 16,000 miles it received valve adjustment, belts, fuel filter, new EK chain, 14 tooth front sprocket, Ducati Performance Touring seat, CRG bar end mirrors, Rizoma front signals, and integrated tail light. The ECU was sent out to Houston Superbikes for software flash and disabling of the immobilizer.  The bike runs flawlessly, has clean title, never taken to the track, great condition with only a few minor paint chips and faded carbon fiber heel guards. This year it’s had fluids serviced, new coolant hoses, rear brake pads, and new timing belts. Including original seat, front and rear stands with sale.

Ryan’s S4R has 22,795 miles but looks much less, especially with the maintenance history.  Some find a certain beauty in the complexity of a 996, and this silver, black and blue Monster makes it look as good as ever.  Asking $5,000 for the pleasure,

-donn

Featured Listing – 2005 Ducati Monster S4R
Featured Listing August 5, 2019 posted by Donn

Featured Listing – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30

Update 8.1.2019: Joe has renewed his Featured Listings. Check out all of Joe’s bikes for sale on RSBFS! Many thanks for choosing us to help move your collection! -dc

Even if not fans, RSBFS readers will acknowledge Honda’s long history of success in motorcycle production and racing.  These days, Honda seems to have the engineering chops ( and resources ) to do almost whatever they put their minds to – witness their Formula 1 winning V6’s for Williams and McLaren, several years as CART’s engine of choice, and more recently the HondaJet aircraft ( with turbofans developed by Honda and GE ).

The VFR750R/RC30 from 1987-1990 is just one more example, where engineers and designers pulled a winning concept together, and the manufacturing side of the company executed beautifully, about 3,000 times.  As testament, the factory team won the inaugural WSBK season in 1988.  This rare example has been in a collector’s display since new, and occasionally exercised, turning under 1,200 miles.

As their homologation special for the Superbike World Championship, the RC30 really was the mythical race bike with lights.  From the sharp-steering alloy chassis to the 296mm front disks to the single-sided Pro-Link swingarm, the RC30 provided the racers what they needed.  Shocks and forks on the single seater were only adjustable for preload, since the race teams would be putting their own special parts.  The compact V-4 looked similar to the preceding VFR750F, but shared almost no internal parts.  Even the exhaust note with the new 360-degree crank was specific to the RC30.

Resting in the motorcycle wing of a large auto collection, this RC30 has received excellent care and not even break-in miles.  The pictures show an apparently new machine, even though a generation has passed since it was built.  The owner tells of a mid-life cosmetic refurbishment:

In general, I do believe super rare Italian motorcycle of the 1970s and 1980s are the future Ferrari of motorcycle collecting. We all know what has happened to Ferrari.

An exception would have to be my super low (under 1,200) miles, almost perfectly like-new 1990 Honda RC30.

Yes, there are a few exceptions to what I call my Italian collecting rule and one of those would be the 1990 Honda RC30. This 1990 Honda RC30 needs no introduction or explanation by me as it is such a famous Honda, that the only thing you need to know about an RC30 is if you are getting a good one or a really great one or one of the very best.

The RC30 in this listing was purchased for the collection several years ago and is an extremely low mileage bike. It was absolutely 99% perfect, however, some of the detail parts that were white rubber or painted white had become slightly discolored. At that time, almost ten years ago, Honda was still had these parts in stock and we purchased each and every part to bring the cosmetic looks of the bike back to 99%. This 1990 Honda RC30 has not been raced or abused or messed with in any way. It currently looks like new, runs just as it should and is kept on a trickle charger and is exercised thoroughly during the spring, summer, and fall; and again it has never been raced or abused (most have been!).

As you may already know, there is nothing more exciting nor handles better than the Honda RC30. The looks, graphics, and colors of the bike need no apology either. They are absolutely a stand-out in any crowd of motorcycles. Most RC30s were extensively raced and it is very hard to find one that has not been modified or raced. You are looking at one that has not been abused in that way shape or form. This bike is always kept on a trickle charge and ready take a trip to any bike show at a moment’s notice. This is truly a bike for a serious collection and it would be a shame to abuse it. Oh yes, it comes with a new Honda rear wheel stand still in the box.

All my bikes are kept in climate controlled storage and on trickle chargers when not in use so they are always ready to take a day’s ride at a moment’s notice.

Honda might be accused of an obsession with the V-4, which brought it multiple WSBK titles along with TT and endurance racing wins.  After Superbike rulesmakers made a short dalliance with the V-twin an offer they couldn’t refuse, Honda returned to the four with the RC212V.  But for road riders, the RC30 was a moment when you could buy something very special from the local dealer, even though it cost twice as much as the nearest competitor.  That moment is reflected in recent asking prices even for fairly well-used examples.  But in this case, we have an RC30 that has been in a collector’s hands from day one, without damage history and in impeccable shape.  Please contact Joe for more information at 847-774-4857.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30