Author Archives: Donn

Yamaha November 8, 2015 posted by Donn

Firsts, Lasts – 1984 Yamaha RZ350

At least in the USA, the two-stroke engine was winding down in the mid-1980’s, as the State of California ratcheted down emissions, and the Federal Government applied the fleet concept to motor vehicle manufacturer’s emissions.  The final few years were a hodgepodge of catalysts and evaporative emissions canisters, but the sweet handling bikes were quite memorable in their light weight and peaky powerplants.

20151108 1984 yamaha rz350 left

1984 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

20151108 1984 yamaha rz350 right front

20151108 1984 yamaha rz350 right rear

One of the first perimeter frame motorcycles, the RZ350 has no center backbone, the frame tubes follow and support the bottom of the fuel tank as they progress back toward the swingarm pickup points.  The 347cc engine is cradled in between the bottom tubes and generates 60 hp.  At the small end of the Yamaha line-up,  the RZ350 had plenty beside the 9500 rpm redline to interest experienced riders.  Yamaha’s Power Valve System has motorized control of the exhaust port height, extending the torque band substantially.  Fairly conventional front suspension with monoshock rear.  Brakes are triple 265mm disks, and tires are the same front and rear – 4.10 x 18.  But the low weight is what helps all those features work better, with half fuel the bike weighs just 371 lbs.

20151108 1984 yamaha rz350 binnacle

20151108 1984 yamaha rz350 left engine

30 years old with just over 2,100 miles, this survivor is in amazing shape.  Original turn signals are still there, along with plastic trim and reflectors on the radiator, and filler panels below the front of the fuel tank.  The single seat looks great, though the dual seat fairing is also included.  From the eBay auction:

What an incredible time capsule! Runs flawlessly. Look at close up of carburetors, still has the factory idle screw setting.
I have only owned this bike a short time but I did have the brakes flushed, tires changed and cable lubed. I have decided not to
ride this bike because the mileage IS so incredibly low (2135).
I have the original tires (pictured) and I have the dual seat cover (pictured). The only flaws are tiny and there are two of them on the tank (pictured).
Inside the tank is a baffle, it has slight rust on it. This one has the red frame! Not sure how many came with the red frame.
I believe even though it does not have the signature on the cowl it is still the Kenny Roberts special RZ.

20151108 1984 yamaha rz350 right front wheel

20151108 1984 yamaha rz350 right rear wheel

Identical to the Kenny Roberts signature edition in every way except the paint ( and signature ), the red, white and blue model has its own appeal.  At this age new caliper seals and brake lines would have to be considered, as would checking the wheel and steering head bearings.  But if you were inclined to continue this beauty’s modeling career, they could stay as they are…


Firsts, Lasts – 1984 Yamaha RZ350
Moto Guzzi November 5, 2015 posted by Donn

Improving the Breed – 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000

A dentist turned Moto Guzzi racer, Dr. John Wittner won several titles in the mid-1980’s, and lent his hard-earned expertise to the factory during the development of the 1000cc Daytona.  Along with some consulting from Raceco ( an English racing tuner that had worked on the exciting Daytona racing prototype ),  the collaboration produced the 4-valve 992cc V-twin along with a new frame design, and resulted in the Daytona 1000.

20151104 1993 moto guzzi daytona 1000 left

1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000

20151104 1993 moto guzzi daytona 1000 right front

20151104 1993 moto guzzi daytona 1000 right engine

Using four valves per cylinder but single overhead camshafts, the new Guzzi engine almost broke the 100 hp per liter mark with 95 hp, but electronic fuel injection ensures great flexibility under way.  Nice two-into-cat-into-two exhaust.  The new chassis connects to Marzocchi fully adjustable forks and progressive-linkage White Power monoshock rear.  With 64 ft-lbs. torque there’s no need for more than a five-speed transmission to turn the archetypal shaft drive.  Brakes are industry standard Brembo, 320mm dual front disks and 260mm rear.

20151104 1993 moto guzzi daytona 1000 left tank

20151104 1993 moto guzzi daytona 1000 right rear wheel

With only 4,400 miles, this Daytona has led a quiet life at the back of the garage, and looks great for it.  Substantially stock except for the Corbin solo seat, the owner also has a rare set of fairing lowers, though they are not pictured.  From the eBay auction:

For selling consideration i am offering my absolute favorite Moto Guzzi, 1993 Daytona V4, #26, purchased from the second owner, i had the bike in my possession for a while and recently i decided to sell, full serviced with new belts, fluids, oil but on original tires. This bike had seen minimum use and always kept indoors, is in Excellent condition and shows minimum wear , has the period correct LaFranconi pipes but original are mint and included with the sale. I have the manual and tools kit, service manual and most important the bike comes with lower fairings, unobtainable, these fairings were made by DeAgostini in Italy and are a perfect match, was told only 2 sets were ever made, not sure if is true but i have never seen another set. Bike starts easy and runs very well, everything works, i kept the bike on original tires but if someone would be interested to do some serious riding i’d recommend to replace with fresh rubber.

20151104 1993 moto guzzi daytona 1000 binnacle

Re-incarnating the long, stable Le Mans under the Daytona name, the 4-valve engine was discontinued after only a few years, but the nice-handling Daytona helped carry the marque to the turn of the century and the 1100cc engines.  The torquey drivetrains are long-wearing and this bike should be great to return to service.  Or you could leave the original tires on it, put it on display again, and preserve it for the next owner.  Either way, put those fairing lowers on and send us a picture…


Improving the Breed – 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000
Ducati November 4, 2015 posted by Donn

Smooth Consistency – 2007 Ducati 1098S ( Racebike )

Not often you see a sorted current racebike on the market, especially one cosmetically restored.  A Ducati 1098S, generally regarded as too much for the street, was the basis for this build which took place last winter.  The bike competed in the nine-weekend Championship Cup Series in Florida and placed very consistently to win the CCS SuperTwins Championship in the Florida Division and took the CCS SuperTwins Race of Champions honors as well, congratulations Seth !

20151103 2007 ducati 1098s race right

2007 Ducati 1098 Racebike for sale on eBay

20151103 2007 ducati 1098s race right rear

Only built in 2007-09 before another increase in WSBK displacement was allowed, the 1098S is a great start for a racebike.  A re-designed cooling system and return to a single-sided swingarm are friendlier to track operations.  The alloy steel trellis frame holds the Testastretta engine which in stock form is capable of 160 hp.  Innovative elliptical throttle bodies improve throttle response.  State-of-the-art Ohlins suspension is used front and rear, as are Brembo brakes with 330mm front rotors, 245mm rear.  Marchesini forged rims were standard on the S, but racers change their wheels and tires like sneakers.

20151103 2007 ducati 1098s race left swingarm

20151103 2007 ducati 1098s race front  20151103 2007 ducati 1098s race cockpit

Improved in almost every way for the track, this 1098 has a fresh engine built before the last event of the season, and the claims 172 hp, a substantial increase from the factory number since it’s taken at the rear wheel.  There’s a long list of improvements, from ECU mapping to customized swingarm.  Bodywork by Moto Fairings has a Xerox-ish bar code theme and looks good, though racers have a combat-ready appeal that’s quite different from nice road bikes.  Way too much to list as they say, but here’s the intro from the eBay auction:

This bike was built in the beginning of 2015 to race CCS Florida and at Daytona at the ROC. Built from the frame up, every piece has been powder coated, painted or replaced. It is in impeccable condition and looks brand new. The motor only has 200 miles on it since rebuilt for the race of champions. The paint job has two weekends on it. There are a ton of parts on this bike and would cost over 42k to build as I did this year. I am selling it to build something new for next season, nothing is wrong with the bike at all. Best of everything and well put together. 172hp on C12. The bike has more mods that I can list here so serious buyers call for more details. Heavyweight, Unlimited and Super twins Legal. Can run on pump gas and is track day reliable.

20151103 2007 ducati 1098s race dyno

20151103 2007 ducati 1098s race binnacle  20151103 2007 ducati 1098s race rear

The 1098 is in that funny age group, old enough that newer bikes like the Panigale are quite different, and are not quite a classic ( yet ).  Club racing like CCS is a great place to start or re-join the fray, and their parent American Sportbike Racing Association has a path to pro racing.  Improving your skills on the track pays great dividends when you ride on the road, a much more dangerous arena.  Can’t hardly call the 1098 an entry-level racer, but maybe you are looking to step up to the SuperTwins or similar class.  The comprehensive preparation and recent rebuild on this 1098 might make it just the ticket…


Smooth Consistency – 2007 Ducati 1098S ( Racebike )
Kawasaki October 30, 2015 posted by Donn

Hey Nineteen – 1996 Kawasaki ZX-7R

Way back when, in ’97 – no actually 1996, Kawasaki transitioned from the ZXR750 to the ZX-7R, and incorporated the steady evolution and innovation from the factory and AMA Superbike race teams.  Though the model continued until 2003, the 90’s were good years for the ZX-7R, Scott Russell winning the AMA Superbike in 1992 and WSBK in 1993, and Doug Chandler winning the AMA in 1996 and 1997, both on factory-supported Team Muzzy machines.

20151029 1996 kawasaki zx-7r right

1996 Kawasaki ZX-7R for sale on eBay

20151029 1996 kawasaki zx-7r left front

Based on the 748cc DOHC inline four, the ZX-7R has 112 hp available.  Ignition is electronic and the four carburetors are 38mm.  The twin aluminum spars look massive but are light in weight, and the rake and trail numbers ensure stability.  The rear swingarm is also alloy, with fully adjustable monoshock.  The 43mm inverted forks are also fully adjustable.  Good size brakes – 320mm front disks with 6-piston calipers, and 230mm rear.  The angular endurance fairing is great looking and provides ram-air to the engine.

20151029 1996 kawasaki zx-7r binnacle

20151029 1996 kawasaki zx-7r tank

Offered by a closet collector, the ZX-7R was bought because it was super nice and then restored pretty much to perfection.  Centered around the bodywork, the colors, and the decals are smoothed into the clear coat.  Not quite sure about the originality of the paint scheme or whether that’s even important, but it does look great.  The bike appears to have a -RR tail fairing, but perhaps the single seat was an option in ’96.  Neat color-matched Arai is part of the deal.  Other details are mentioned in the eBay auction:

I have a detailed list (several pages) of all the restorations performed for the new owner.  As a multiple Sport Bike purchaser, I am EXTREMELY picky when it comes to the exterior fuel tank condition.  This tank is 100% dent-free.  The in-laid and clear-coated “Ninja” decals are flawless and their color is vibrant and brilliant.  Other upgraded items include complete frame-up painting, cowling-matched painting, decal clear-coating, powder-coating, overall restoration, tire-hugger kit, numerous carbon fiber components including frame sliders and handlebar column cover, rear fender eliminator kit, integrated rear blinker kit, cowling-integrated front turn signals, ZX7R handle grip sliders, smoked windshield, Pro Grip Carbon Fiber “look” tank protector, carbon fiber top tank protector, checkered flag graphics on underside cowling, and upgraded Yoshimura RS-3 Stainless exhaust.  The tires are brand-new Dunlop Sportmax (Front 120/70ZR-17 and Rear 190/50ZR-17) that have less than 47 miles on them.

20151029 1996 kawasaki zx-7r right fairing

20151029 1996 kawasaki zx-7r left tank

The cosmetic and mechanical restoration work hidden by the fairing is also detailed, and is comprehensive:

The parts break-down for the restoration included disassembling the cycle to the bare frame for painting and powder-coating, engine modification services, shaving holes in the tail section for the blinker elimination kit, re-building the carbs, re-finishing the frame/swing-arm/rear sub-frame, sand-blasting, re-painting and re-finishing the front and rear wheel assemblies, re-finishing the rear brake holder, fork tubes, foot rest brackets, and sub-links, re-finishing the tail-section, adding the rear tire-hugger package, installing new battery, replacing all 4 spark plugs, adding a new “quick acceleration chain and sprocket, timing chain, timing chain guide, engine mount nuts and bolts, 16 new valve seals, cylinder head gasket cover, O-ring heads, clutch cover gasket, transmission cover gasket, oil pan gasket, spring-leaf, oil cooler rotator pump, rotor pump, oil pump body, oil filter O-ring, breather cover gasket, various seals, wheel bearing kits both front and rear, and mounting and balancing wheels.  Lastly, the entire engine was inspected and rebuilt with new cylinder base gaskets, new cylinder head gaskets, and piston ring sets.

20151029 1996 kawasaki zx-7r left front wheel

20151029 1996 kawasaki zx-7r left rear wheel

The signature of Scott Russell ( on both frame beams ) is a cool addition to a nice collector bike.  Well used at some point in its 21,000 mile history, though it’s hard to see it now.  While it would be sweet to put this 19 year-old back into service, an occasional ride to a show or fan corral might be a better choice.  Probably’d make the previous owner a lot happier too…

20151029 1996 kawasaki zx-7r right seat


Hey Nineteen – 1996 Kawasaki ZX-7R
Yamaha October 29, 2015 posted by Donn

Purely Sporty – 1989 Yamaha FZR-400

Applying technology from the bigger bikes in their line-up for the Japanese domestic market, the big four started a friendly competition among smaller bikes that spread back across the oceans where the big bikes ruled.  The Yamaha FZR-400 did well in roundups of the racey smaller bikes, lightweight but not twitchy, suspension compliant but in control, the EXUP-equipped 400 with a 14,000 rpm redline but wider torque band.

20151028 1989 yamaha fzr400 right

1989 Yamaha FZR-400 for sale on eBay

20151028 1989 yamaha fzr400 left front

Introduced in 1986, the FZR-400 received the electric EXhaust Ultimate Power valve in late 1988, electrically changing the collector volume to enhance flow and stretch the midrange power.  The 16-valve inline four was good for 60 hp and 29 ft-lbs of torque, great numbers per liter.  Two aluminum DeltaBox girders support the engine, with 41mm  forks and aluminum swingarm with monoshock at the rear.  Brakes are oversized 298mm front and 210mm rear.  Endurance-racing styled full fairing has monoposto hard cover for the pillion seat.

20151028 1989 yamaha fzr400 binnacle  20151028 1989 yamaha fzr400 front

Looking nicely cared-for with its nearly 16,000 miles, this FZR boasts new chain, sprockets, tires, and battery.  Byline of the auction says the fairing are not perfect but the imperfections are not apparent.  Just a few modifications, low-profile front signals, and it looks like pillion footpegs have been excessed.  Period Yoshimura muffler.  From the eBay auction:

I have owned this bike for 15yrs and have ridden it very little,  It has always been garaged.  New parts: new tires,   Battalax 090 150x60x18 & S 20 110x70x71,  new Progressive fork springs with new seals.  I have changed to steel braids on front brakes, pads are at 50%.  Zero Gravity dark windscreen.  Chain and sprocket upgrade to 520. brand new battery.  Oil and filter and air filter serviced. changed coolant.  Yosh slip-on,EXUP model.

20151028 1989 yamaha fzr400 left rear  20151028 1989 yamaha fzr400 left rear wheel

The FZR-400 was beautifully executed, and buyers paid a 20% price premium over the competition.  That penalty has evaporated over time, but the Yamaha is still the class of the smaller sportbikes.  Sized to that almost any rider can get on, and performing so that experts and novices can appreciate it, the FZR-400 is a great starter or keeper.  This one appears to have been well loved and maintained.  The reserve has already been met with several bids and 5 days to go…


Purely Sporty – 1989 Yamaha FZR-400
Aprilia October 28, 2015 posted by Donn

Zoombaaahhh – 1999 Aprilia RS250 Cup

Not your mid-morning workout, but a race-prepared two-stroke with a 12,000 rpm redline.  Recently brought out of storage and re-bodied, this bike has spent its entire life at the track, and though well used, still has a lot of fun left in it.

20151027 1999 aprilia rs250 cup right

1999 Aprilia RS250 Cup for sale on eBay

20151027 1999 aprilia rs250 cup left

Meant for racing and likely never titled, the RS250 Cup is missing lighting and reflectors for the road. The 250cc v-twin from a Suzuki RGV-250, after preparation by Aprilia, is good for 73 hp at 11,900 rpm.  The small machine appears to have a bigger bike’s twin-spar aluminum frame, with asymmetrical aluminum swingarm.  The front fork is inverted 40mm, fully adjustable, as is the monoshock rear.  Plenty of stopping power provided by the 298 mm front disks, and 220 mm rear.

20151027 1999 aprilia rs250 cup binnacle

20151027 1999 aprilia rs250 cup front

Presented by MotoGPWerks a California preparer, not much history is shown in the auction, though the odometer shows just over 7,000 miles.  There is no cruising at the track, but this bike shows just a few scrapes on the swingarm.  Re-bodied with fiberglass from Airtech, this RS250 looks fresh, and the engine has only a few hours on it.  Nice spares kit.  From the eBay auction:

Fairings have been replaced with airtech GP style
Pistons and rings were done 10-12 hours ago (old pistons in the spares)
Overall the bike goes very well,
Been in storage for 2 years so the carbs were rebuilt,new battery and brake fluid as well as quick look over .
-always ran 800t motul
– old school quick shifter
-EGT in both exhausts
spares include, pipes, gaskets, sprockets, jets, airbox, fender and so on as per photos
setup notes and manual also

20151027 1999 aprilia rs250 cup left front wheel

20151027 1999 aprilia rs250 cup right rear wheel

There are a lot of good reasons to have your go-fast fun on the track rather than the street ( it’s safer to go all-out at the track than 7/10th’s on the street ), and your road bike will appreciate it as well.  The RS250 has a long history on tracks all over the world, and counts many MotoGP riders as alumni.  While it would be nice to have a creampuff in race replica decals, you can add more as you go.  This RS250 Cup might be a better way to get into racing or track days…


Zoombaaahhh – 1999 Aprilia RS250 Cup
Kawasaki October 27, 2015 posted by Donn

A Look Back at A Look Back – 1993 Kawasaki ZR-1100

In the early 1990’s, Kawasaki had a nostalgic feeling for the 70’s, when the ground-pounding Z-1 ruled the tar pits.  Standard bikes ( now called naked ) had a short-lived resurgence in the 550, 750 and 1100 cc models, with a 400 cc Japan-only variant.  An editor at Sport Rider went through an orange/burgundy 1100 from stem to stern, blueprinting and releasing captive performance as he went.  20-plus years on and again available, this ZR-1100 is a super-quick trip back to the future.

20151026 1993 kawasaki zr-1100 right front

1993 Kawasaki ZR-1100 for sale on eBay

20151026 1993 kawasaki zr-1100 left rear

20151026 1993 kawasaki zr-1100 right rear

Starting with the DOHC but 2-valve 1100, 1 mm was milled from the cylinder head, increasing the compression ratio to 10.5 to 1.  This led to a flurry of hot-rodding with slightly larger carburettors, ported and polished valve head, re-ground cams, and Kerker exhaust.  Unfortunately, they did not publish dyno results, but an epilogue to the build tells of the engine being bored and sleeved to 1197 cc and claimed 113 horses with a more restrictive Motad exhaust.  Handling was also addressed with a comprehensive rebuilding of the forks and Works Performance shocks in back.  As with any hot rod, a wider rear tire was desired, so the wheel was widened 1″ by a San Francisco specialist.

20151026 1993 kawasaki zr-1100 left engine

20151026 1993 kawasaki zr-1100 binnacle

The proud owner has included the article from Sport Rider magazine, and says in the eBay auction:

This amazing bike has a cool history. At one time this was part of a private collection/bike museum in Nashville TN. As you will see in the photos this model was featured in Sport Rider magazine. Please refer to the articles for all the details. The last one that you see has all the info about the upgrades that were done to this bike. 

Motorcycles are supposed to be fun and this one simply oozes with it! A joy to the eye and a thrill to ride. A labor of love, this bike represents countless hours expended by many skilled craftsmen. Over $10,000 were also spent on the enhancements alone to this rare and unique piece. A truly collectible bike, it is open for bids to the discriminating buyer. Don’t miss your chance to own this piece of history.

It has been well cared for and loved. The tires are newer as well as the battery. Everything works and it runs perfect. Video available for interested buyers.

Included extras: Custom Corbin Jump seat. Matching helmet.

20151026 1993 kawasaki zr-1100right front wheel

20151026 1993 kawasaki zr-1100 right seat

Looking fabulous, this retro-rocket is ready for the boulevard.  Heavy and challenging to aim, nice chrome though, including the full exhaust and very 1973 front fender.  K&N filters are good for freeing up the intake and look cool.  There appear be two Corbin seats, one with ZR embroidery and one with passenger backrest, a good thing with all that torque.  An Arai helmet with coordinated adult graphics is part of the deal, too.  For the price of a stock creampuff you could have a professionally customized bike.  Known as the Zephyr in some markets until Ford’s copyright lawyers got wind of it, the ZR-1100 is a better name.  Calling it the Zephyr would be just too retro…

20151026 1993 kawasaki zr-1100 left side cover


A Look Back at A Look Back – 1993 Kawasaki ZR-1100
Ducati October 24, 2015 posted by Donn

Red ‘n’ Ready – 2003 Ducati 999R

Ducati was ready for a fresh approach to styling after the 916/996/998 successes, and while they got their wish in Pierre Terblanche’s 999, the new look was always controversial.  Though the WSBK team had a great many wins and three championships, after four years the factory returned to a more reminiscent design for the 1098.  The 999 look was a short interlude in Ducati design but the performance of the bikes, especially the -R editions, cannot be denied.

20151021 2003 ducati 999r right

2003 Ducati 999R for sale on eBay

20151021 2003 ducati 999r left front

20151021 2003 ducati 999r left rear

Peculiar to the 999R’s, the seriously oversquare 999 cc engine ( 104mm bore x 58.8mm stroke ) rates 146 hp, thanks in part to titanium valve gear and forged pistons.  The bike tested at a 10.6 second quarter-mile and damn near 175 mph.  The two-into-one exhaust has an angular canister muffler under the seat.  Fully adjustable Ohlins are at both ends.  Brakes are Brembo 320mm front ( 4-piston with radial mounting ) and 240mm rear.

20151021 2003 ducati 999r right cockpit

20151021 2003 ducati 999r right seat

Stacking the headlights allowed the fairing a little more height, and a mid-size rider can tuck into the bike and escape some the wind.  In the case of the 999R, the full fairings are carbon fiber, as are the number-plated seat fairing and fender.  Typical adjustments to the handlebars and footpegs are augmented by the ability to move the seat / tank console to accommodate the rider.

20151021 2003 ducati 999r right front wheel

20151021 2003 ducati 999r right muffler

As ready as the 999R came for the track, this particular bike has had more preparation.  Upgrades to the engine, exhaust, suspension, clutch and brakes have all been completed, and a full set of track-day bodywork is available.  From the eBay auction:

Like other R models, the 999 comes with a more powerful modified engine design that includes numerous upgrades including titanium valves, conrods, lightened crank and forged pistons. The frame was modified to meet homologation requirements for World Superbike. It comes from the factory with a stock exhaust canister and an off-road canister for track use. The R model also includes fully adjustable Ohlin shock and forks, forged aluminum Marchesini wheels and a complete OEM carbon fiber body in red.
Upgrades included with the sale of this bike: a full titanium Termignoni exhaust kit (lighter, large diameter header) including air filter and ECU, upgraded Ohlins factory valves for shock and forks, Surflex slipper clutch, Ducati Performance rear-sets, and Braketech floating rotors.
Great cosmetic and mechanical condition. The bike shows minor wear typical of age and mileage. The stock body was removed and put in storage and the bike wore the gunmetal race body for most of the mileage. Dunlop Sportmax Q3 tires are near new with less than 500 miles. Major service including valve adjustment and belt replacement was performed ahead of schedule. Chain, sprockets, battery all recently replaced.

20151021 2003 ducati 999r left grip

20151021 2003 ducati 999r right cfootpeg

Ludicrously speedy for the road, this machine would seem to demand a track club membership or maybe a dry summer at Bonneville.  Not unused with 9,000 miles, it looks well cared for.  Hard to say what the bidders will say since the 999 doesn’t always produce reverent Ducatisti, but this is a quite rare machine well prepared for some very high performance endeavors…


Red ‘n’ Ready – 2003 Ducati 999R