Author Archives: Donn

Ducati March 17, 2015 posted by Donn

Sport Production (h)Omologation – 1993 Ducati 888 SPO

20150315 1993 ducati 888 spo left

For the 1991 World Superbike Championship, Ducati made a small increase to the bore of the modernized 851 engine, and introduced the 888.  Capitalizing on the 4 desmodromically actuated valves per cylinder, fuel injection, and water cooling in the 851, the bike brought Ducati the 1992 and ’93 WSBK championships under American Doug Polen and the AMA Superbike championship in 1994.  It was homologated for the 1993-94 model years, with around 300 SPO’s being sold in the U.S. in 1993, and only 100 in 1994.

1993 Ducati 888 SPO for sale on eBay

20150315 1993 ducati 888 spo right front

20150315 1993 ducati 888 spo left rear

A brilliant performer, the 888 has 104 hp and 59 ft-lbs torque available, transmitted through a 6-speed transmission.  Fully adjustable suspension front ( Showa ) and rear ( Ohlins ), and big 320mm brakes ( Brembo ) complete the controls.  The beautiful monoposto bodywork has air intakes either side of the headlight, and a large number 1 on the tailcone.  Known as the Strada overseas, these bikes were as much a WSBK as was available.

20150315 1993 ducati 888 spo binnacle

20150315 1993 ducati 888 spo front

Having been stored since 1997, not much history in the eBay auction:

Original 1993 spo …..purchased new and stored under blankets since 1997…this bike has not been started since 1997…parked and left under a set of blankets.

20150315 1993 ducati 888 spo right front wheel

20150315 1993 ducati 888 spo belly scoop

With incredibly low miles, some new seals, belts, and tires, this 888 SPO would be a rare sight street or track.


Sport Production (h)Omologation – 1993 Ducati 888 SPO
Honda March 10, 2015 posted by Donn

Unusual color and condition: 1989 Honda CBR600F

Honda’s first fully faired sportbike with inline 4-cylinder engine, the CBR600F began the generation.  Built from 1987-1990, it’s one of the best balanced and lightest 600’s of the time.  This example has unusual pearl white/silver paint with matching seat, tank protector, wheels, and mirrors.

20150310 1989 honda cbr600f left

1989 Honda CBR600F

Honda’s first City Bike Racer, the CBR was meant to commute and win races.  The seriously oversquare ( and reliable ) 598cc four puts out 85 hp and 44 ft-lbs. of torque.  Nissin 4-piston calipers grip 3 drilled rotors to provide great braking.  Frame design was an evolution of the VFR750, the air adjustable forks and monoshock rear provided agility with enough stability to achieve the 12-second 1/4 mile and 140 mph the soap-bar fairing make possible.

20150310 1989 honda cbr600f right front

20150310 1989 honda cbr600f centerline

Showing color-matched seat and tank protector, in the eBay auction the owner says:

Good condition, a few minor scratches and one tiny ding on gas tank however did not scratch or break paint. All original comes with matching tank bag and saddle bags. I am the 2nd owner my mother in law is the original owner.

20150310 1989 honda cbr600f speedo

20150310 1989 honda cbr600f rear tire

20150310 1989 honda cbr600f front tire

Though not high resolution, the photos show no obvious flukes, appearing adult-owned and garage-kept.  Without much detail about current use or maintenance, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect a tune-up, fresh tires and brake pads.

20150310 1989 honda cbr600f left garage

After 4 successors ending with the CBR600F4i in 2006, the CBR600F was re-introduced in 2011 as the Hornet.  But the smooth handling and slippery bodied 1987-89 model was the beginning of a great run.



Unusual color and condition: 1989 Honda CBR600F
Buell March 8, 2015 posted by Donn

Raw Awesome 1998 Buell S1 Lightning

From the S2 Thunderbolt of 1994-95, the Buell S1 Lightning was a decrease in model number and price, but an improvement in many ways.  Developed by Harley-Davidson engineer Erik Buell, the Buell bikes pioneered many innovative features but never denied their desire for the brute horsepower of the 1203cc Sportster engine.

1998 Buell S1 Lightning for sale on eBay

20150307 1998 buell s1 left

20150307 1998 buell s1 right

Adjectives like pure, naked and muscular are used on the Buell S1, some comparing its single-minded design to the Ducati Monster.  With the Buell features such as horizontal rear shock absorber, large diameter front brake disc, and isoplanar engine mounts, there is no denying the performance orientation of the 100 hp machine.

20150307 1998 buell s1 left engine

20150307 1998 buell s1 right engine

With under 1000 miles, this one seems mint.  From the eBay listing:

944 miles, one owner. To include new battery, original cylinder assembly with pistons, original heads, original air filter assembly (motor upgraded prior to delivery), plus original and Corbin seats. Bike properly stored in heated shop.

20150307 1998 buell s1 binnacle

There was a factory upgrade engine available in 1998, maybe that’s what was installed on this bike, though there are countless H-D 1200 upgrades available.  Also seen here is a cone filter instead of the factory Power Volume intake.  The owner has upgraded to a Corbin seat but includes the factory piece.  WP suspension, low maintenance belt drive, and Italian controls complete this innovative package.  Blue trellis frame and orange bodywork have a good-natured effect on this thunder bike.



Raw Awesome 1998 Buell S1 Lightning
BMW March 5, 2015 posted by Donn

Rejuvenated 1986 R100RS Tribute

The venerable BMW R100RS was designed by Hans Muth for the 1977 model year,  and based on a 980cc engine, an upgrade from the classic R90S’s 898cc.  Looking modern in the late 70’s the frame-mounted fairing allows all weather riding and increases stability to allow a top speed of almost 125mph.  The supple ride rewards smooth riding, tucked into the fairing listening to the quiet whir from below.

1986 BMW R100RS Tribute

20150303 1986-R100RS-Sport left front

20150303 1986-R100RS-Sport left

This particular machine was a mechanic’s love affair:

The bike started out as a 1986 R80RT, that was converted to an RS. The original motor was sold to help pay for the rebuild, and the builder started with a used 1978 R80 motor bottom end off our shelf.

The comprehensive rebuild included an engine with the RS’s larger valves, dual-plug heads, Nikasil cylinders, 40 mm Bings, and factory sport cam.  Additionally a stainless custom exhaust was fabricated.

20150303 1986-R100RS-Sport right cylinder

20150303 1986-R100RS-Sport right

20150303 1986-R100RS-Sport cockpit

Over 3 years, the mechanic upgraded and rebuilt every sub-system, replacing the clutch, upgrading the starter, and replacing all the bushings and bearings in the transmission and final drive.  Steering head and forks were rebuilt, and a new fork brace and rear shock installed.  Brake calipers were rebuilt and push EBC floating rotors.

20150303 1986-R100RS-Sport left front wheel

20150303 1986-R100RS-Sport left rear

The list of new parts is pretty surprising, and the fairing was not neglected, a bright yellow with well-coordinated stripes and lowers in black.  With distinctive Motorsport badges all around, it makes a splash.

20150303 1986-R100RS-Sport centerline

Again from the ad:

After turning 3700 miles, it was parked for a few years and has returned to the shop to have the carbs cleaned, fuel tank lined, and a general inspection.  A 1986 version of a model that went out of production in 1984, it will never be destined for a “collection”, this tribute to the ground-breaking design is a rider, and appears ready to go.


Rejuvenated 1986 R100RS Tribute
Kawasaki March 3, 2015 posted by Donn

Once a Champion – 1990 Kawasaki ZX-10

In the garage next to the previously posted Future Classic is this retired heavyweight world champ.  For 1988-90 the fastest production motorcycle capable of 165 mph, the ZX-10 was the Kawasaki flagship between the 1984-2006 GPZ-900R “Top Gun” and the 1990-1995 ZX-11.  Updates from the GPZ-900R include semi-downdraft carburetors and 11:1 compression.  137 hp and 541 lbs call for wide open spaces, but the triple discs helped record a quick 60-0 stop for Cycle World in 1988 of 107 ft.  Full fairing in black and red protects the rider and wraps the egg-shaped “e-box” aluminum frame.  Castings at the head and swing-arm mount are welded to the extrusions.

20150302 zx10 right front

20150302 zx10 left rear

The seller notes that :

“the bike is in good shape for a 1990, but it does have some marks on plastic and tank with small dent in tank, and I think it needs 2 bolts for plastic replaced as the ones in it are not OEM.”

20150302 zx10 dash

20150302 zx10 left tank

20150302 zx10 right seat

20150302 zx10 left seat

Hard to find in nice shape, this one has moderate miles and light patina indicating a small number of owners.  The seat will need a new cover, and a small dent in the left side of the tank could be massaged out.   Tires aren’t described but might want to be refreshed if you intend to try for the 1/4 mile in the 10 second range that the ZX-10 can do.


Once a Champion – 1990 Kawasaki ZX-10
Honda March 2, 2015 posted by Donn

Honda NS400R 1986 Rothmans Livery

In celebration of Freddie Spencer’s 1983 500cc championship (or was it the competing Suzuki RG50o and Yamaha RD500 ?), Honda developed a race inspired 400cc two-stroke triple.  The rare 90-degree ( center cylinder up, outside cylinders ahead ) was little wider than an upright twin, putting out a smooth but peaky 72 hp.  The ’85-87 models were never imported to the U.S., federalized one at a time or relegated to the track.

20150301 ns500r right

20150301 ns500r left front

20150301 ns500r left rear

Quick handling thanks to a short wheelbase and double cradle aluminum frame, all six speeds are required to keep the engine in the 7,000-10,000 powerband, but deliver 130 mph in top.  Dual front and single rear discs bring the modular wheels back to the speed limit.  Front suspension is  air-assisted with anti-dive, and rear shock has a remote reservoir.

From the eBay auction:

This bike sat for over 10 years covered – prior to my purchase. 

The Carbs have been cleaned and balanced. It has fresh Non-Ethanol Premium Gas in it and it starts & runs perfectly.

The bike now starts on the 1st or 2nd kick when cold. Note in the You-Tube video that the bike is started cold with the choke on – after about 30-40 seconds the choke is able to be turned off and the bike idles idles at 1,200-1,300 RPMs.

20150301 ns500r left front tire

20150301 ns500r right tank

20150301 ns500r cockpit

20150301 ns500r centerline

After 8,385 miles, this example is most of the way through re-awakening from a long rest, new battery and carbs cleaned, still waiting on rebuild kits for the fuel tank petcock and rear brake master cylinder.  16-inch front and 17-inch rear tires will also be required.  A few different liveries were available, this in the red, white, and deep metallic blue with Rothmans stickers, was replaced before the bike was parked and appears to be in excellent shape.


Honda NS400R 1986 Rothmans Livery