Author Archives: Mike

Kawasaki February 16, 2019 posted by Mike

Old School Awesome: 1982 Kawasaki GPz 750

There comes a point and time when nearly everything becomes valued - nostalgically if not financially. Such just might be the case with today's find, a cherry 1982 Kawasaki GPz750. In the early 1980s the GPz was generally a top-dog kind of sport bike. Pitted against Honda's CB and Suzuki's GS models, the GPz looked and acted like a sportbike. With an air cooled inline four, double overhead cams and a brace of Mikuni constant velocity carbs, the 750 could pump out 80 HP - good for nipping into the 11s in the 1/4 mile. By today's standards this is all relatively tame - and old tech such as air cooling, carburetors and twin shocks seems laughable. But it was good enough to put a young fellow by the name of Wayne Rainey on the top step of the AMA Superbike championship on a Muzzy-prepped bike and cement the GPz as a sporting weapon with serious intent.

Old School Awesome: 1982 Kawasaki GPz 750 for sale on eBay

1982 was the first year of the 750, as both the GPz550 and GPz1100 were introduced a year earlier. 1982 was also a bit of a one year only model, based on the older architecture. Follow on years found a revised fairing setup (from quarter fairing to half), as well as the introduction to Uni-Trak, Kawasaki's rising rate linkage, single rear shock setup. Fuel injection was also on the horizon (the 1100 introduced it to the series), but liquid cooling would have to wait for the introduction of the revolutionary Ninja model. So while one can view the GPz as a mass-produced motorcycle and therefore likely never to become truly rare, the combination of a one year only configuration and the survivor status does elevate this one into something worth considering.

From the seller:
1982 KAWASAKI GPZ 750 , I have the original stock seat and rear shocks, this bike runs like new, I Just installed Michelin Pilots front and rear, the bike has been freshly serviced and a Dyno Jet carburetor kit installed to enhance the Horse power with the period correct Bassani exhaust. The bike has been kept in doors it's whole life and has zero cosmetic issue's. It gets attention where ever I ride. they made this model only 1 year so these are very rare to be seen in show room condition.

I bought brand new spare brake pads, clutch kit, gaskets, spare starter motor etc . these are included in the sale. every thing electrical works perfectly, I just freshened up the battery with a Yuasa OEM original. so it's ready to ride from California to New York.

Most GPzs have lived multiple lives. Purchased new by aggressive riders, many found their way to the racetrack in amateur and privateer formats. Those that stayed on the streets passed through a few owners, with the price likely dropping with each change. That quickly put these bikes into the financial reach of younger riders, driving up insurance rates everywhere. Not all were flogged and forgotten, but enough were to make finding a good example difficult today. And this particular example is no garage queen - with 20k on the clocks (eBay advert lists 18k) this bike has been ridden. But there is life yet in that robust motor, and all the appeal of the "arrest me red" paint still applies. It may be on the far side of 30 something, but viscerally this bike still has all its mojo.

Located in the sunny state of California (which bodes very well for issues such as rust and corrosion), this 1982 GPz750 is looking for a new home. The paint looks good despite the age, and there have been few modifications. The aftermarket exhaust is not stock, but a Bassani is not the worst pipe you could image for this application. There are a number of spares that come along with the purchase, which is a good thing from a maintenance point of view. Parts are still readily available for the mechanicals, although cosmetic trim might be getting scarce. Fortunately, all of those pieces are still attached. Check it out here. If you are of a certain age, you KNOW you wanted one of these. Maybe you had one (lucky bastard), and now miss it. Was this the bike you regretted selling all those years ago? Jump over to the Comments section and share your stories. Good Luck!!

MI

Old School Awesome: 1982 Kawasaki GPz 750
Laverda February 14, 2019 posted by Mike

Rhymes with Orange: 1979 Laverda Formula 500

We tend to think (often and fondly) of Laverda building big bikes. With triples. The Jota, the RGS and the Mirage, for example. But before those, Laverda created smaller bikes too, such as the 500cc parallel twin. And in the hit-and-miss world of European bikes in the 1970s, the Laverda 500 - while extremely competent - was never a contender; a too small dealer network inhibited expansion, and a too high price prohibited widespread adoption. While technologically sound and a major step forward in the middleweight class, the 500 was not the sales success that was envisioned. Stuck with a slow selling model and hungry for image, Laverda re-worked the 500 into the Formula - a one make race bike. What you see here is just such a rare machine.

1979 Laverda Formula 500 for sale on eBay

Starting with the bones of the street bike, Laverda stripped off all of the road going concessions such as lights, signals and horn (although these came in a box when the bike was purchased new). In all, the feature deletions resulted in a savings of 35 pounds from the already svelte 500 machine - tipping the scales at a scant 337 lbs dry. And with a DOHC 8-valve parallel twin (air cooled) pumping out just over 50 horsepower (thanks to revised cams and higher compression pistons over the standard 500), the Formula was relatively potent. Bespoke rear sets and clip on bars were added, as was the incredible bodywork. With this bike, aspiring racers (no professionals allowed) were able to join the Coppa Laverda (Laverda Cup), with Laverda providing technical support and available spares. The race series ran in Italy, and was a huge success from 1978 to 1981. It was even duplicated in other parts of Europe - notably Belgium and Germany - and convinced Laverda to race it professionally. The Laverda 500 was successful in such endurance races such as the 24 hours of Montjuich as well as the fabled Isle of Man.

From the seller:
Very rare Laverda Formula road registered,100% original, unrestored conditions, the bike has raced 3 races in 1979.

Only 200 Formula was been made and only 20 was been registered for road use

As with all smaller Italian builds, numbers vary. Estimates of rarity range between a low of 175 units, to a high of 210. That is not very many. Plus it was a race bike - and we all know how difficult preserved longevity can be for old racers. They are generally handed down, modified, wrecked, rebuilt, modified again, and the cycle continues. Add to the fact that these were for a European only series, and you will be hard pressed to find one outside of Italy. And as far as the street bike status goes, all Formula machines were sold new with the electrics and bits to make them road worthy, AND they had a street title (!). While not many Formulas found their way onto the streets, we should all rejoice that some (such as this one) did.

There is not too much info on this particular machine, although there are some decent (but low res) pictures. This is an extremely rare Laverda, and undoubtedly has some interesting history behind if if those pieces could talk. This looks to be a Series II model, as the original builds had a one piece tank/tail section. The latter variants had a two-piece setup that allowed for easier access to the engine and components. This bike is located in Italy - but given it's rarity I didn't think you would mind. Bidding action has been VERY slow for such a find, with ZERO bids on a $15,900 opening ask. That does not appear terribly out of line with current values today, as this Formula would make a wonderful addition to any collection. Check it out here before it's too late. Good Luck!!

MI

Rhymes with Orange: 1979 Laverda Formula 500
Kawasaki February 12, 2019 posted by Mike

Puffed Up: 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R TC

In the 1970s the Kawasaki Z1 was the big dog of the sporting world. Long in the tooth as the decade neared to a close (the Z1 platform was introduced way back in 1972), Kawasaki introduced an updated model - the Z1-R. Largely a warmed-over refresh rather than an all new design, the R model had the looks to help it along in the showroom, but lacked the technology, refinement and performance that competitors were offering. Enter a unique partnership between Alan Masek and his newly formed Turbo Cycle Company and Kawasaki. Masek was a former Kawasaki executive - and knew that the Z1-R was faltering in the showroom. That meant there was a stockpile of bikes that Kawasaki couldn't sell. By marrying these unsold units to an American Turbo Pak kit and selling the bikes through the dealership network, Kawasaki was able to put itself back into the horsepower game with relatively low risk. Thus the Z1-R TC was born.

1978 Kawasaki Z1-R TC for sale on eBay

Beneath the sticker kit, the TC model was all Z1-R. Same brakes, suspension, controls, engine and trans. Outside of the bolt-on turbo and boost gauge, wastegate and associated piping, there wasn't much else. Your $1,400 premium to the already expensive Z1-R bought you graphics and outrageous horsepower. And voided your warranty. And while the Z1 platform was robust for its time, the lack of any engine controls (no fuel injection, no rev limiter, etc) meant that you were only one missed shift away from mechanical catastrophe. Keep in mind that all other engine internals were shared with the standard Z1-R. Therefore it was suggested that new owners upgrade to stronger valve springs, weld the crank and upgrade the clutch if the bike were to be used aggressively. Did I mention it also voided the warranty?

From the seller:
This 1978 kawasaki Z1RTC bike is one of 220 made and sold through kawasaki dealers. This bike is in good original condition and has had several new oem parts. Bike has been stored in climate control house garage. Lights and turn signals horn and other electronics work including the fuel and amp gauge. This bike has not been repainted. Worse thing on it is the fuel tank does have some light few chips in the paint by the neck. The engine cases are the original ones for the bike. It does have brand new correct size tires on it. New battery also. It is ready to ride. The motor has been rebuilt with new gaskets, seals and new paint on the cases. They are the only thing that has been painted. Has correct gas valve and wind screen. The seat is in excellent shape and comes with the hard to find kicker, the rubber is there for it but I do not have the bracket to hold it. Brakes have been all rebuilt front and back with hard to find parts.the turbo is in excellent shape also.

The wild paint scheme you see here was introduced on the second generation of TC bikes. These are identified by the "Molly Designs" logo on the tail section. Numerous small upgrades were incorporated on the Gen II bikes, including an upgraded collector and exhaust system, and a factory-limited wastegate (now set at 6 PSI, rather than adjustable). This was all in the name of making the bike more rider friendly, and to aid in the ultimate longevity of the mechanicals. And while the TC was certainly fast, it was by no means a showroom winner. Sure, it gave Kawasaki street creds and horsepower bragging rights - but it was a "for experts only" motorcycle that commanded a serious premium. Many were pressed into service as drag bikes - and endured a difficult life full of breakages and modifications. Today finding a totally clean and stock Z1-R TC is a rare sight.

This particular 1978 Z1-R TC looks to be in pretty nice shape. Wearing original paint and still holding onto the stock boost gauge, decals and info plates, the bike looks very close to original. The engine has been gone through (not surprising given the age and the history of the model), but no information as to any potential internal upgrades (i.e. welded crank, etc). With fewer than 10,000 miles, this forty-something year old wonder is looking for a new home. This is an iconic motorcycle in the annals of turbo charging, as it was the first TC bike that was officially offered by a major manufacturer (even if it was a partnership and not a full fledged in-house model). Prices for these bikes continue to rise, given the rarity and importance of the model. This particular one jumped quickly above $12k - with more to come and reserve still in place. Check it out here, and then jump back to the comments and share your thoughts on turbos. Good Luck!!

MI

Puffed Up: 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R TC
Aprilia February 9, 2019 posted by Mike

Do you Tuono? 2007 Aprilia Tuono R Factory

Often considered the newer, younger upstart to the Superbike scene, Aprilia dates back to the end of World War II as a manufacturer. Originally a builder of bicycles and mopeds in war-torn Italy, Aprilia leveraged a partnership with Austrian company Rotax and began to build bigger scooters - including a string of very successful 250cc road racers. Many well-known knee draggers - folks like Max Biaggi, Valentino Rossi, Loris Capirossi, Roberto Locatelli, Marco Melandri, Álvaro Bautista, and Jorge Lorenzo to name a few - achieved championship status on an Aprilia 250cc race bike. The connection with Rotax remained over the years, and in 1998 Aprilia launched the first of the big bore models - the RSV - based on a 1000cc Rotax 60 degree V-twin. As the years passed and Aprilia was acquired by Piaggio, the larger models continued, as did forays into racing in both WSBK as well as MotoGP. So clearly Aprilia knows something about building sporting motorcycles.

2007 Aprilia Tuono R Factory for sale on eBay

The Tuono is fundamentally a RSV sport bike sans clothes. Much like the Monster lineup from Ducati, the Tuono features a more upright seating position, wider bars and what is generally considered more adept at navigating in the city. Also in parallel with Ducati, the "R" spec of an Aprilia model offers tastier suspension bits, more carbon fiber, lighter weight and a higher level of performance. In the case of the Tuono, you are looking at approximately 9 lbs of weight carved off of the standard model, Ohlins suspension and top-notch Brembo binders. You also get a gold anodized frame - which doesn't add any performance but definitely gives you that bling factor. And while the Italians are known for their two-wheeled artistry, every once in a while they paint from a palate of colors not ordinarily found in nature; this seems to be one of those times.

From the seller:
Original owner - over 12 years. Rare bike. Factory edition with Ohlins front and rear, carbon fiber and forged OZ wheels in blue. I upgraded the stock steering damper to Ohlins as well. Akrapovic cans with PC 3 custom dyno tune - runs fantastic. CRG levers, Puig screen, tank grips and fender eliminator. Stock parts included. Recently installed new stator and regulator. Forks rebuilt within last 2500 miles. All major work done professionally at Eurosports in Pa. Newer Pirelli Diablos.

No doubt this is a striking, if not interesting looking bike. If you are concerned with becoming another "me too" Monster rider, this could be your escape vehicle. Rare by the numbers but not necessarily high on the collector list, this particular example has just over 17,000 miles on the clock. Not a lot of picture, but definitely a lot of bike. Located in New Jersey, you can check it out here. Do you Tuono? Let us know! Good Luck!!

MI

Do you Tuono?  2007 Aprilia Tuono R Factory
KTM February 7, 2019 posted by Mike

Teacup: 2016 KTM RC390 Cup Bike

Right here we have an interesting dilemma. Race bikes are definitely cool, but used machines really need to have some star power and proven history to have value. Track day bikes - also known as hacked street bikes - are relatively cheap but usually thrashed pretty hard. Brand new race-spec bikes are rare, and nearly always very, very expensive. But what if you could find a new and competitive race bike built for a current race series - but reliable and valid for use on practically any track day you might have in mind? And what if it was reasonably priced? Enter today's cool 2016 KTM RC390 Cup Bike, advertised as NEW.

2016 KTM RC390 Cup Bike for sale on eBay

The little KTM shares a lot of DNA with its bigger brother, the RC8. Sure, it's a smaller displacement bike - often mistakenly identified as "entry level" here in the US - but that does not mean that technology has passed it by. With a short, straight tube frame chassis in trademark orange, the RC390 features WP suspension including upside down forks. Motivation is provided by a liquid cooled, single cylinder four stroke with double overhead cams and four valves per cylinder. Figure approximately 44 HP nearing the neighborhood of 10,000 RPM (although the sealed race bikes may have slightly less), and more torque down lower on the rev range than any of the small bike twins. A slipper clutch is standard, as is the Brembo designed brakes and fly by wire throttle with fuel injection - certainly not entry level equipment. Dry weight for the standard machine is just about 300 lbs even.

From the seller:
2016 KTM RC 390 Cup Bike. Bike has never been titled and sells as a new bike.

Was $10,000 $ave over $4,000! The KTM RC Cup racebike, it is a track-only (NOT STREET-LEGAL) version of the RC 390. The race-prepared motorcycle is sold ready for competition, with over 40 KTM PowerParts and other improvements to enhance its racing performance. The engine of the bike comes sealed for use in the MotoAmerica series and it gets a performance exhaust by Akrapovic The racebike features fully adjustable WP inverted forks fork and WP racing monoshock with high-/low-speed compression and rebound damping, adjustable preload and adjustable shock length. It also gets a taller windshield with race style tail fairing and belly pan. Throttle response is a very important factor in racing, so the KTM RC Cup racebike receives RC8 R-like throttle assembly. Moreover, there are also CNC-machined race-spec rearsets and foldable levers on the bike, along with many other PowerParts, including front and rear trackstands.

The RC390 Cup machine is likely one of only a handful of turn key racers you could buy new in the past decade, fully set up out of the crate (the Moriwaki 250 and Aprilia 250 Cup are the others). Yes, it fits smaller riders better. Yes, to be fully qualified for MotoAmerica you need to be younger than 22. But adults can hoon on this all day long during track days, thanks to the proven reliability of these tough and quick thumpers. And isn't that what you want in a track day bike? A ready supply of spares, minimal parts that can be damaged in a crash, and reliability to ensure that you maximize your track time - all in an affordable package that is light weight and easy to handle. For those less selfish, you may even have an aspiring young racer in the house that is looking for a sponsored ride. Either way, the price of entry is a mere $5,995 Buy It Now - super cheap for a racer! Check it out here. I know it does not have three trillion horsepower, but this can carve a line far better than any GX Busja mega displacement streetbike. If a MotoGP bike is out of your price range, this MotoAmerica eligible racer might be a better fit. The only problem you will have is trying to wipe the smile off of your face. Good Luck!!

MI

Teacup:  2016 KTM RC390 Cup Bike
Ducati February 6, 2019 posted by Mike

Featured Listing: 2001 Parking Space Odyssey – NEW 2001 Ducati MH900e

Update 2.13.2019: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to Iconic Motorbikes for the buy and to our seller. -dc

Following a very eventful motorcycle auction weekend in Las Vegas we find this immensely collectible Ducati MH900e with zero miles and never-been titled MSO status. The internet darling of 1999, the Terblance-designed homage to the original Mike Hailwood edition has always been considered to be rolling artwork. Today's example shows just how much this bike resonated with the collecting community. Born at the turn of the century in numbers limited to just 2000, the MHe "evoluzione" was a radical design that remains unique to this day.

2001 Ducati MH900e with zero miles for sale on eBay

The underpinnings of the MHe are more pedestrian than the rest of the bike. Powered by a standard dual spark L-twin familiar to any SuperSport, Monster or Sport Classic rider, the MHe offers adequate performance along with that booming, traditional Ducati sound. But it is the details that make this pile of parts stand out. The frame is a straight-section trellis that have defined Ducati for decades - but it is linked to a single-sided swing arm of artistic proportions. The intricate layout of that piece of kit alone make the bike stand out. But combine the throwback cafe fairing and round headlight with that Buck Rogers tail section complete with high shotgun style pipes and a hybrid style emerges.

From the seller:
I purchased two of these MH900e's in 2002, I rode one for years and this one has been various living rooms as art for the past 17 years. This Ducati #20 came from the original internet purchaser in Ontario. It is still on the original MSO from Ducati (never titled) I had the bike un-crated and prepped for display at the now defunct Santa Rosa Ducati dealer. I still have the original crate sides with #20 on each side, If wanted I am happy to dig them out of my warehouse for you. This bike is as delivered, NO flaws, nicks, scuff, etc. Has not been exposed to sun, dampness, extreme heat etc. A pampered Wine country life since 2002...... All the extras are present, never worn XL T-shirt, Plaque, Stand, manuals, tool roll, optional Ducati cover, plus period launch Magazines. No disappointments, second only to one in a crate 🙂 lowest # (20) I have seen for a while. Inspections welcome, this bike is located in Sonoma, Ca.

Before you scoff and make some claims that the seller rode this with the odometer disconnected or similar, note that this intelligent individual purchased TWO bikes: one to show and one to go. That is either investment savvy or total Bologna commitment. Either way it provides for a brand new, never registered, zero mile example available to an entirely new crowd some 18 years after production has ceased. And given that the seller has all of the Ducati specialty items included with each bike this is really like purchasing a new MHe.

The fly in this "as new as a bike in a box" ointment is how much these bikes have risen in value over the years. The most recent MHe we posted was a mid-$20k ask, and the Las Vegas motorcycle auctions completed just last weekend showed even stronger pricing. Of all the Ducati Limited Edition models, the MHe may well be the most bankable. At the $35,000 Buy It Now, this may be the most expensive MHe we have seen yet - and proof of the continued earning potential of the model. Check it out here. The new status essentially means it has sat for 18 years, but my assumption is that the next caretaker already has a coveted indoor habitat identified. Review the pics and the details, and make the man an offer. It's not every day we find a brand new Ducati MH900e on our pages. Good Luck!!

MI

Featured Listing:  2001 Parking Space Odyssey – NEW 2001 Ducati MH900e