Author Archives: Donn

MV Agusta November 11, 2019 posted by Donn

Beyond Measure – 2002 MV Agusta F4 750S SP-01 Viper

Happy Veterans Day and thanks to all those who have served !  -donn

Though MV Agusta is the acknowledged king of special editions, it would’ve helped to already be a very good customer to even hear about the SP-01 “Viper” kit, available for your F4 750S.  Finished in Agusta’s blue and silver “special projects” livery, the bodywork and accessories are all carbon, and the kit included magnesium wheels, titanium frosted windscreen, alcantara seat, and Tamburini-signed airbox.

2002 MV Agusta F4 750S SP-01 Viper for sale on eBay

MV Agusta introduced the F4 750 in 1999, with Ferrari-aided head design, and four-into-four calliope singing about superbike power from 749cc’s, not to mention Massimo Tamburini’s swooping design. Electronic fuel injection made the high performance design usable day to day, and 49mm forks were fully adjustable as was the rear monoshock.  Bespoke Nissin front brakes were 310mm with 6-piston calipers, and the alloy star wheels still look unique.

With more miles than most very exotic Italians, this Viper still looks excellent.  The owner calls out some defects on the front rim, but they’re not visible in the pictures.  Alcantara is a great gripping material but not impervious, and the seat confirms the mileage.  Join my dissatisfaction with the photos, but good notes and description of the dealer-installed package are in the eBay auction:

This is one of the rarest contemporary kitted bikes to date with only 50 of these kits made for the world. As far as I was able to find out, 12 of these kits were slated for the US market, they have not been able to track them down to date. Truly The Art of the Motorcycle as MV says. It has Tamburini’s signature on the air box, a plaque of authentication, and an 18 karat gold corresponding number plate. The last one offered on the market was 8 years ago. There are some minor nicks in the paint as well as on the rim lips from tire changes prior to my acquisition. There is also a small ding or dent on the right lip of the front wheel, which was also as I purchased it but it does not affect the tire or ride-ability. I have not touched anything up to hide the minor flaws.

I took it to the 2012 Cafe Desmo show at Pro Italia where it took 3rd best in Italian superbike Class, beat out by two one off race bikes. They have the details. I purchased it with just over 24,000 miles and since I could not verify the service, it got a 100% service along with new Pirelli tires at 24,150. It was put on a California non-op in 2014 where it has remained in proper storage ever since. It was run twice a year to keep fluids clear. It has been a very rare privilege to have owned it these years, but time for someone to have something that almost no one else does.

The Corse Special Parts kit includes: silver/blue painted C.F. front faring, silver/blue painted C.F. air box with Tamburini’s signature, silver/blue painted C.F. fuel tank, silver/blue painted C.F. tail section, silver/blue painted C.F. left and right side fairings, blue painted C.F. lower fairing, silver painted left and right mirrors, blue painted left and right fuel panels, C.F. left and right air box panels, C.F. left and right air ducts, C.F. left and right wire harness covers, C.F. ignition cover, C.F. chain guards, C.F. exhaust guards, Titanium treated (blue) windscreen, blue Alcantara seat and bump stop, silver/blue painted magnesium 5 spoke wheels, 18k gold engraved number badge with kit number, limited edition certificate with kit number and wax seal.

With only fifty copies for the planet, no more than a dozen could have made it here.  Riding most of the miles, the original owner got their money’s worth.  Competition from the east wasn’t standing still, and after the introduction of the MV liter, the 750S was largely on the back burner.  Renewed interest in lighter weight and usable power has led MV ( and others ) back down the displacement ladder, with 675’s and 800’s occupying the sport category once ruled by liters.  With its exotic materials and sporty stature, the F4 750S with SP-01 might prove to have been looking into the future.

-donn

 

Beyond Measure – 2002 MV Agusta F4 750S SP-01 Viper
Suzuki November 6, 2019 posted by Donn

Superbad – 1990 Suzuki GSX-R750

Suzuki made some nice updates for the 1990 model year, but puzzlingly held a few from the U.S. version.  This one-owner time machine appears to have been ridden – but carefully, and nicely maintained.

1990 Suzuki GSX-R750 for sale on eBay

Suzuki introduced the GSX-R750 in 1985 and in the first five years made several minor changes and two comprehensive re-designs.  For 1990 the engine returned to a 4mm longer stroke design, which deepened and stretched the torque band.  Lighter weight pistons and connecting rods that were threaded to accept the rod bolts ( without nuts and washers ) lowered the mass of the rotating assembly and helped the 115 horses survive the  12,500 rpm redline.  The stateside edition kept right-side-up forks on the revised frame, but did get the adjustable Full Floater monoshock and wider rear wheel.

Pushing thirty, this Gixxer looks excellent considering.  Complete and very clean, just one bonk to the tank and some age-related discoloration.  Pictures are numerous if not high-res.  Comments from the eBay auction:

Such a bad ass bike!!  This bike is the real deal, one owner, never down and unmolested. No cracks in fairings, 100% stock and original. Starts instantly, runs and rides perfectly. Owned by retired airline pilot who purchased it new in 1990.

One small dent in right side of tank as seen in pics (can be repaired with paintless dent removal) other VERY minor blemishes as expected for 30 year old machine. Paint and clear coat are in excellent condition.  Right fork reflector missing in some pics but was replaced with original lens that had been knocked off in the shop.
New Battery
New oil
New Pirelli tires with less than 20 miles
New Renthal sprockets front and rear
New D.I.D chain
New fork oil, seals and dust boots
Carbs 100% disassembled, inspected, cleaned, rebuilt and tuned
Brake fluid flushed and calipers cleaned
Master cylinder rebuild
Original Suzuki tool kit
Notarized Arizona title ready to transfer
This Slingshot is super clean for the age and runs and rides like a new bike.  It is a very nice example of a rare GSX-R750 Slingshot that is worthy of a collection.
Reviewers portrayed a GSX-R that responded to strong ridership with speed, but this example appears to have had a gentleman owner.  Surprisingly free of damage, it’s also been kept ready for the next owner maintenance-wise.  The seller even offers flat-rate shipping to most of the western states.  Despite its bad boy vibe, this GSX-R has racked up some miles but kept its nose clean.  The unusual combination of nice condition, choice year, and low starting bid has led to some early activity – we’ll keep watching for the reserve.
-donn
Superbad – 1990 Suzuki GSX-R750
Ducati October 31, 2019 posted by Donn

Red Over Gold – 2006 Ducati Sport 1000

Ducati dressed early 2000’s technology in some of the best looks from the past, and had a little head start on the retro craze.  This Salt Lake Sport 1000 has been generously personalized but ridden only sparingly.

2006 Ducati Sport 1000 for sale on eBay

Pierre Terblanche incorporated the smashing dual-spark 904cc engine into his SportClassic lineup, capitalizing on Marelli fuel injection and six-speed trans.  Marzocchi’s latest 43mm fork is complemented by an adjustable Öhlins monoshock, holding the 2006-only gull swingarm.  The black frame is almost invisible in the shadows of all manner of plumbing and electrical.  Easier to see is the sculptural winged tank and seat fairing, especially in Corsa Rosso.  320mm Brembo brakes almost seem overkill for the mission, and appointments like the Alpina tubeless spoked rims are modern but evoke a vintage feel.

This owner has made a lot of the right moves with their Sport 1000, and sheltered it from harm in the meantime.  Mods and ’06-only features are discussed in the eBay auction:

The 2006 model, known as the monoposto (single seat) had a well gusseted 60 mm section asymmetric swingarm and a single upgraded Öhlins shock, with stacked Termignoni  exhaust on the right side, upgraded ’07 risers &  clip-on handlebars, and an open aluminum dry-clutch, which creates a sound that is music to my ears 🙂
Look close in all of the photos to see how well this collectable Ducati has been cared for and tastefully upgraded with the best accessories ( some of which you can no longer find. There are so many details to look over, such as – Extremely hard to find Termignoni stacked exhaust & ecu,  Öhlins shock. Rizoma parts , Caswell coated tank, Pazzo adjustable levels, grips, ’07 Ducati risers for more comfortable ride , tucked tail light, carbon fiber  hugger fender, Speedy Moto open dry clutch. Speedy Moto sliders, numerous OEM Spare parts, spare Rizoma risers and Hypermotard bars,  PitPal stand, CalCover bike cover ,  etc. and the list goes on.  This Bike is a Show Stopper!!!! not to mention extremely fun to ride.

It’s argued back and forth as to whether some Ducatisti’s glasses are misted up and out of focus, or the SportClassics are a return to what brought us to motorcycling in the first place.  Either way the Sport 1000, especially the ’06, reviewed as modern where it counted, and a better-riding retro than most.  A Sport 1000 is hardly ever a rider’s first or only Ducati, and are still more popular than when they first appeared.  This one has the right farkles, low miles and TLC, and it’ll be interesting to see if it attracts a bid that will meet the reserve.

-donn

Red Over Gold – 2006 Ducati Sport 1000
BMW October 28, 2019 posted by Donn

Just Broken In – 2004 BMW R1100S

Almost a lightweight by BMW standards, the R1100S was available without all kinds of bells and whistles.  Luckily for us, the owner of this example was thinking long term, and specified ABS, heated grips, and nice option paint.  Phenomenal for nearly 68,000 miles, this might lower the bar for a transition over from cruising or touring.

2004 BMW R1100S for sale on eBay

BMW showed the R1100S in late 1997, and it met a rousing reception as a ’98 model.  Not so many changes were required over the years, and the 2004 edition makes just under 100 hp using a novel single cam method to open four valves per cylinder.  Always pushing the suspension envelope, BMW equipped the R1100S with the Telelever front end, the fork tubes more of a locator with spring and damping done with a conventional-looking shock absorber.  The shaft-drive rear is classic BMW, via the Paralever monoshock.  The package is compact if not underweight, with a generous supersport fairing protecting the rider.

Looking like it might have done all those miles around a carpeted room rather than west Texas, this R1100S shows nicely.  Though photos without the bags would’ve been nice, there’s no evidence of scuffs from keyring, tankbag, or boots.  The selling dealer invites a look at the service records in the eBay auction:

This is a rare two owner BMW that is a remarkable find… it has been meticulously maintained… we have a maintenance log from the owners that will blow your mind…great color, immensely loved and ready for the road. The miles on this bike will fool you, you won’t believe how nice it is in person.

BMW’s first /S in many years did well, and had their own BoxerCup race series mostly in Europe.  Stateside they sportily piled on the miles, stable and comfortable, and signature reliable.  Part of my pre-purchase inspection would be a listen for any bottom end noises, since even BMW rod bearings don’t last forever.  But if the dealer hasn’t set the reserve too high and the new owner is handy, this R1100S could be a nice bargain and surprise the inspectors at the next coffee stop…

-donn

Just Broken In – 2004 BMW R1100S
Ducati October 26, 2019 posted by Donn

Delayed Gratification – 2000 Ducati MH900e #552

Almost twenty years on, every one of the 2,000 MH900e’s has a story to tell.  This one evidently took a long delay before being ridden just 1,200 miles, and with only a couple of mods, looks excellent.

2000 Ducati MH900e #552 for sale on eBay

Pierre Terblanche designed the showy desmodue in the late 1990’s, the air-cooled 75hp piped through a six-speed transmission.  Almost every bit of the trellis frame and bodywork are sculptural, even the single-sided swingarm being a work of fabrication art.  Crowd response to the show bike was such that a short production run was arranged, glossing over issues like non-adjustable forks and almost-waterproof instrumentation.  Still it reviewed well for a special model, the fuel-injected drivetrain providing a nice torque curve and the long wheelbase lending stability to the situation.

As most MH900e’s have been, this one appears babied, with a bar-end mirror replacing the frail wing mirrors.  Finishes are in top shape, and often-replaced items like the chrome clutch cover and tube mufflers are still stock.  Comments from the eBay auction:

  • I bought this MH 900e Hailwood new in 2002, and did not have a chance to commission and ride it for several years.   It is now ridden sparingly and kept indoors.
  • I am the original owner. The bike currently has a little over 1,100 miles on the clock (mileage may change as I do still take it out occasionally)  and is in almost perfect condition.  There are no scrapes, dings, dents, cracks, only the slightest and usual evidence of wear commensurate with the low mileage.  The clear plexi fairing has two tiny shallow scratches from road grit or similar.
  • Mods:  I removed the original mirrors and handgrips  ( all are included in the sale), and the license plate carrier has been tailored to take the American size license plate versus the larger European one.   All regular maintenance was done by the regional Ducati dealer.
  • The machine, number 552 of 2000, comes with a clear title, the original handbook, and other literature, the original keys, and a factory commemorative plaque.  It is fast, light, perfectly balanced, and looks wild, even after 20 years.

The 2000 examples sold out within hours of the start of the web-only introduction, but production couldn’t be arranged until mid-2001 for a 2002 model.  Most reside indoors, and not even in the garage – hallway and dining room displays abound.  Namesake Mike Hailwood’s family took issue with Ducati’s appropriation of the name, and arrived at a settlement some years later.  Now finding their way to another generation of collectors, an MH900e never fails to transmit the excitement of two wheels.

-donn

 

Delayed Gratification – 2000 Ducati MH900e #552
Honda October 22, 2019 posted by Donn

Right-sized – 1986 Honda VF500F Interceptor

Following the 750 Interceptor to the showroom but actually descended from the diminutive VF400F, the 499cc version was just about right for an intermediate rider ( or cognoscenti ) in the American market.  Most got ridden to a fair-thee-well but this New Hampshire example shows beautifully with just over 6,000 miles.

1986 Honda VF500F Interceptor

Honda had a world-beater in their new V-4, and the 500 was distinct from the 400.  The square-tube basket frame showed off the supersport fairing, and had air-adjustable suspension at either end.  Dual 255mm brakes are now period items as is the 16 / 18-inch stagger.  Weight was under control at just over 400 lbs. dry, refreshingly light for the time, all the better for the handling.

Shown in a gallery setting, this Interceptor appears excellent, with only the triple tree cover showing wear from the key ring.  The seller has this to say about their baby:

This is likely as close to a New 1986 Honda Interceptor 500 you likely to find.
Ultra low mileage ( 6,266 original  miles ) This bike belongs in a collection.
This bike has been professionally serviced including New Tires (Factory correct)
New Brakes, New Fork Seals, New O-ring Chain, New battery, Carbs completely rebuilt and synchronized
New sparkplugs, New fluids. This bike runs and drives as it should.

Honda kept a V-4 in the line-up before and after other manufacturers toyed with the idea.  Foreseeing the mass centralization paradigm, designers worked through the complex packaging issues.  The 500’s power-to-fun ratio made it a good pick that riders didn’t grow out of too soon.  This example post-dates the cam lubrication issue that forced a recall of earlier VF’s and Magnas, and seems an outstanding original.

-donn

Right-sized – 1986 Honda VF500F Interceptor
Bimota October 16, 2019 posted by Donn

A Good Fit – 1987 Bimota YB5

Even Bimota was not immune to the siren call of Yamaha’s 130 hp FJ1200, producing one of their only biposto models.  This example has been carefully preserved in South Africa.

1987 Bimota YB5 ( South Africa ) for sale on eBay

Yamaha had recently given their air/oil-cooled four a big displacement bump and tuned it for a torque band that made shifting almost unnecessary.  The massive lump was narrower than usual since the alternator was placed behind the cylinders rather than at the end of the crank.  At the front of the interesting cradle and spar chassis, Marzocchi supplied 42mm forks, and Bimota fabricated their own swingarm.  Wheels were eighteens front and rear, more of a GT solution, along with 280mm Brembo brakes.  The body-color pillion cover is easily removable should a volunteer turn up.

This owner has a couple of other very collectible bikes at auction, all looking excellent though a long boat or plane ride away.  Close-up photos show the finishes to be unblemished, with just under 10,000 miles the paint almost looks wet.  From the eBay auction:

Number 18 out of 208 units ever produced. 
Bimota YB5’s do not come up for sale often, so this is the perfect opportunity to add a prime example of one to your collection. 
She handles surprisingly well considering a dry weight of 210 Kg.
Apart from the turn signals, mirrors and windscreen everything else is still original. Even the factory paintwork has been preserved.
The YB5 has been part of my private collection for the past five years in which time the vehicle only accumulated less than 500 Km.
The tires were replaced about two years ago and a full service, including replacing the brake pads and the battery was completed three weeks ago.

Bimota couldn’t do much about the mass of that gorgeous drivetrain, though they reduced the dry weight to just under 500 lbs., and balanced the package to neutralize handling.  The YB5’s rake and trail numbers are substantially less than the donor FJ, lightening the handling and stipulating a steering damper.  Low profile tires were specified for the bike, which reduced the gyroscopic effect of the larger wheels.  The “skinny” 1200 slips into the sleek fairing and can take two for a wicked sporty ride.

-donn

A Good Fit – 1987 Bimota YB5
Honda October 13, 2019 posted by Donn

Wild East – 1988 Honda CBR250R

During the 80’s heyday, Honda showed a graduated selection of displacements with two- or four-stroke engines in various configurations.  The early CBR250R was destined for an upscale beginner and came to the U.S. only via the grey market.  This 1988 four cylinder 250 looks good and its black/gold livery doesn’t stretch the truth with racey graphics.

1988 Honda CBR250R for sale on eBay

When introduced in 1986, the CBR250R was at the high end of sporty convention with alloy spar chassis, Pro-Link monoshock and big front disk brake.  The 1/4-liter inline was nicely oversquare, almost a requirement when pushing the 2-inch pistons to 18,000 rpm.  With gear-driven cams and 4-into-1 exhaust, no trouble putting together the legislated limit of 45 hp.  For 1988 there were twin headlights on the full fairing, and pillion accommodation for a JDM teen from thirty years back.

This NYC owner has several classic sportbikes at auction, none with hi-res photos however.  Showing just over 4,000 miles with no particular damage or corrosion.  Though it’s shown without plates, the owner states clear title and good running condition, and in the eBay auction can’t argue with pretty clean:

PRETTY CLEAN 1988 HONDA CBR 250  MC19 WITH ONLY 4,123 ORIGINAL MILES (6,636 KM).  THIS BIKE RUNS AND DRIVES GOOD.  EVERYTHING WORKS LIKE THEY SHOULD.  IN MY OPINION THE BIKE IS IN EXCELLENT CONDITION FOR A BIKE OF THIS AGE.  HOWEVER, THERE ARE IMPERFECTIONS DUE TO AGE.  GOT A BUY IT NOW PRICE OF $8,500 OR WILL CONSIDER THE NEAREST BEST OFFER.  GOT A CLEAN AND CLEAR TITLE IN HAND.

Different than fire-breathing superbikes or more powerful smokers, this early CBR still has rarity on its side plus the gem-like engine.  The dual headlight look is classic and this one might be a nice rolling resto as cosmetics are tuned up.  Not much to compare it to, but the buy-it-now might be a little rich for 249 cc’s – however the Make Offer button is lit.

-donn

Wild East – 1988 Honda CBR250R