Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Ducati November 13, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Heart Transplant: 1997 Ducati 916 SPS for Sale

Continuing our recent trend featuring flawed homologation specials comes this Ducati 916 SPS that is, quite tragically, missing its original engine. A truly original example would be pretty pricey, so that missing engine means it might be possible to pick this one up for a relative song. And that's no bad thing because there's more to an SPS than just the engine. There's that numbered plaque, for instance...

The problem is that the SPS engine was pretty trick, and responsible for the bike's fire-breathing character. That was the whole point of the SPS, after all. Simply bolting in another engine from the later 996 won't really do much except get you the correct displacement, and building something close to the original specifications will also be an expensive proposition, and won't restore the lost value.

As is typical for Ducati, it's a guessing-game as to whether or not the bike's numeric designation accurately reflects the engine's displacement. In this case, it most definitely doesn't: the 916 SPS was the first bike to use the 996's reinforced engine cases. The older 916 engine effectively maxed out at the 955cc often seen in early bikes with big-bore kits by Ferracci and others. But the new engine was significantly revised to take the bike closer to the 1000cc limit for World Superbike v-twins and included new heads, barrels, pistons, crank, injectors. The new engine was mated to a close-ratio gearbox shared with the company's 748.

The FG43 Öhlins FG43 fork on this bike is a significant upgrade over the original Showa unit, and the included radial Brembos should improve the already excellent stopping power. The SPS had an Öhlins shock as standard, so I'm not sure if this is the original part or an aftermarket upgrade. The rest of the changes are typical for a 916 and are of good quality, although it's not clear if the bike has a vented engine case, as indicated by the seller, or just the rather generic vented clutch cover seen in the pictures.

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Ducati 916 SPS for Sale

1997 Ducati 916 SPS #99. 1 of 50 imported to the US, 1 of 4oo worldwide. VIN & frame verified by Ducati HQ as authentic.  Engine is not an original SPS, it is a stock 916 motor. I do not know why it was removed or where it is now. Otherwise it would be $15k-$20k bike. This bike has the European headlight on/off switch, another feature unique to the SPS. 

VIN # -  ZDMH100AAVB000117 

Bunch of nice goodies on this bike. Clean and clear title. This bike is worth over $10k in parts alone. 

  • 14k miles
  • FG43 Forks and Radial Brembo Calipers
  • Ohlins Rear Shock
  • Marchesini magnesium wheels with brand new Michelin Power RS tires
  • Vented Engine case (clutch side) (WSBK style)
  • Samco Hoses
  • Yoyodyne Slave
  • Fast by Ferracci Clip Ons
  • Forza Exhaust
  • Aftermarket water pump cover
  • STM pressure plate
  • Harris Billet rear sets
  • Bigger gauge stator/rectifier wiring
  • New Chain
  • New Battery

Bruce Meyer's from BCM supposedly went through the stock motor to verify everything was good to go.

Fairings are all OEM Cagiva Ducati. But the side fairings could use some love (just paint) and the front fairing had some touch up paint sprayed on but a slightly different tint. But again, all original Cagiva fairings are on the bike.

Honestly, maybe the next owner can track down an original SPS engine someone has lying around, or build a 996 motor to SPS specifications and beyond. I'd guess the non-numbers-matching status will murder the value, although the seller doesn't indicate their reserve, so perhaps they're being realistic. Bidding is very active, but is only at $3,000 at the moment, so maybe someone will be able to pick up what amounts to a nicely upgraded, non-original 916 with that very tasty numbered plate on the top triple.

-tad

Heart Transplant: 1997 Ducati 916 SPS for Sale
Ducati November 10, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

As Intended: 2004 Ducati 749R for Sale

I'm always torn when considering bikes like the Ducati 749R: on one hand, they're rare and increasingly valuable and should be carefully preserved. On the other, there's really no point to them as roadbikes, since they're uncomfortable, high-strung, and obviously more valuable than a more common 749S that offers very similar performance with less of a headache. Meaning that they should be ridden, and hard. And although people have warmed to the looks in recent years, it's still considered a bit controversial and it's hard to argue that it's one of the best-looking Ducati superbikes...

Whatever you think of the styling, the 749R was a very special bike. It was designed to homologate the 999's little brother for Supersport racing, and rules were very tight to keep costs down for the competitors and encourage participation by as many teams as possible. This left little room for the teams to upgrade the stock bikes for competition so, in typical Ducati style, they simply upgraded the hell out of their homologation machines. The 749R is one of the trickest bikes Ducati ever produced for road use, and featured titanium engine internals, including bigger valves, lightweight magnesium components like the cam covers, and a more radically oversquare bore and stroke to increase the v-twin's appetite for revs. Horsepower was up significantly, from 108 to 121, but you pay for that in increased servicing costs if your bike doesn't just sit, collecting dust.

A slipper clutch helped keep the tire in contact with the road during aggressive downshifts, Öhlins suspension at the front and rear made the best of the excellent chassis, radial Brembo brakes were top-of-the-line, and, for the first year anyway, carbon-fiber bodywork kept weight to a minimum. Even the fuel tank was specific to the R model and had increased capacity. Interestingly, ergonomics for all of the monoposto Terblanche superbikes were adjustable, although the 749R was limited by the additional clearance required for the larger-diameter exhaust.

From the original eBay listing: 2004 Ducati 749R for Sale

This is special bike that has a great chance of becoming a collectable bike. This is bike # 219 from the first year (2004) of production and the only year that came standard with carbon fiber fairings. Bike was only made 2004-2006.

I am the original owner of this bike.  It is currently set up for track days*, with fiberglass body work, head light/tail light removed etc. Comes with all the original carbon body work, foot pegs, all original manuals, master cylinder, stock clutch cover etc., and a spare tail section/ carbon fiber exhaust cover (perfect).

Front forks upgraded by Peterson Pro Suspension (PPS), clutch upgraded to STM race clutch, 520 chain conversion, Dyno- power commander mapped, upgradeded Bremo mastercylinder, cycle-cat rear sets, Termingnoni upgraded -lighter exhaust, Carbon fiber hugger & exhaust guard, and Speedy Moto clutch cover, internal frame slider.  GP shift configuration. Also Internal frame slider.

Comes with spare Barnett clutch plates, spare front brake rotor, set of tire warmers, rear stand and the Bike-chuck the Motorcycle is in,in the photo, battery tender and motorcycle cover, tie downs and handle-bar canyon dancer for shipping (see below on terms).

Also will comes with a set of Doug Chandler's Carbon Fiber race body work.  (He raced a 749R (not this one) for Milwaukee Ducati in the AMA - google and it will come right up.)

Note in the main photo- the fairings are the 2004 carbon originals, but the nose is the fiberglass race - so this fit isn't perfect. when its all the fiberglass or all the carbon -  everything fits nicely.  (The original carbon nose needs to have some old tape removed).

* bike was never raced. I was a "street group" track day guy - so never pushed too hard. Just middle age weekend warrior.

A special bike for a collector or vintage track day enthusiast.

As the seller points out, the 2004 model does come with carbon fairings, and the bike has otherwise been purposefully upgraded to function better in the environment for which it was really intended: the race track. That it's been used on track really shouldn't put people off much, since the seller admits he's not pushed the bike too hard, and it was built to withstand the rigors of racing. So this isn't a pristine example for your climate-controlled garage/museum, it's a clean one that's been upgraded to actually perform better, losing originality and gaining function. The 749R is slightly less valuable than the 999R, but it's no less trick, making it the one to buy if you want to sample Ducati's homologation bikes or are looking for one you can ride without the worry of ruining an immensely collectible bike. For now, anyway...

-tad

As Intended: 2004 Ducati 749R for Sale
Featured Listing November 7, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula for Sale

Sort of an homologation special for a company that wasn't planning to actually go racing, the Laverda 750S Formula used premium components to upgrade the company's existing fully-faired sportbike. After falling on hard times in the 1980s, Laverda was resurrected in the 1990s, with production centered in the town of Zanè, so you'll sometimes see these referred to as "Zane-era Laverdas" to differentiate them from the 1970s classics. The revitalized company managed to make very nice sports motorcycles with limited resources, and the Formula took their  750S and added some of the very best components available at the time to create something they hoped would give them the kind of reputation and attention Ducati enjoyed with their Tamburini-designed superbikes.

Laverdas of the period used either a steel trellis or an aluminum beam frame that apparently shared the same geometry, which was a very good thing. The Nico Bakker-designed beam frame, polished as seen here on the Formula, gave the 750S an excellent foundation, and Paioli suspension kit at both ends just sweetened the deal: every period review I've seen raved about the bike's handling. Unfortunately, they also noted the bike's performance deficit, compared to the Ducati 748.

These days, parallel twins can be made to be very smooth and refined with balance shafts and other trickery, but at the time, the only real reason Laverda chose that configuration was practicality: they already had one. Dating back to the 1970s Alpino, the existing air-cooled 500cc unit had its carburetors replaced with Weber-Marelli fuel injection for more modern performance, and was enlarged to 668cc, then again to 747cc. Along the way, it gained liquid cooling, although you can still see the cooling fins once the fairings are off.

Claimed peak power was on par with the competing Ducati 748, but the reality was that, although handling was possibly even superior to the Ducati, the engine was not. It was peaky, a bit thrashy, and it loved to rev, although you really had to work the six-speed gearbox to keep up with a 748. That shouldn't bother prospective buyers today: either bike would get murdered by a modern 600. And while the 748 is a design classic, it's almost too familiar, a cliché. The Formula, on the other hand, is a very exclusive machine, with around 600 examples built. It's also more comfortable, if you care about that, and while the Formula is not as pretty as the 748, it is very striking in these black-and-orange colors.

From the original eBay listing: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula for Sale

1999 Laverda 750 Formula S. 750CC  (6790 ORIGINAL MILES)  $12,500

Contact the seller here: sennaducati79@gmail.com

This is a 2 owner bike, part of a very rare large collection now being offered for the first time via the web. Current owner is an avid collector of pure, rare Automotive and motorcycles. This concourse conditioned bike has all the correct lightweight carbon parts and pieces. Never been on a track, abused or laid down. In a private heated collection, never seen rain. This investment will only increase over time and you will be very hard pressed to ever see another one, clearly not like this with these miles.

Laverda’s Formula S is essentially a factory built special edition of the basic Formula, with extensive engine tuning and even more special chassis componentry. The original Formula was a 650, built in 1996, with the Formula 750 following a year later in 1997.

The engine work was more extensive than most factory specials, and took the Formula almost to a race tune straight from the showroom. Updated cams, revised fuel injection settings and carbon fiber Termignoni mufflers all boost top end power to an impressive claimed figure of (92BHP)- almost as much as the Ducati 748. The chassis also compares to the Ducati being considerably lighter and with suspension and braking components every bit as impressive.

Fully adjustable Paioli Upside Down forks and monoshock. Fully floating Brembo racing brakes and lightweight Marchesini wheels all play their part in giving the Formula impeccable manners for the street or track. The polished aluminum beam frame looks much more impressive than the Ducati’s thin steel tube!! A single seat race style fairing incorporates stylish cooling louvers and twin endurance style headlights, and is finished in Laverda Orange, the firm's racing colors.

This is your chance to stand out and be different with a stunning example of Italian heritage.

I've lusted after these for a while now, and this appears to be a very clean, low-mileage example that should appeal to collectors with a taste for the exotic. The mirrors appear to have been removed and the standard exhausts were carbon fiber, but these Termignoni parts are a desirable extra. Certainly, the name "Laverda" has a great deal of cachet with collectors and this bike represents a missed opportunity for the brand: it's a good, if flawed bike, and really did offer an interesting alternative to the Ducati. Parts for Zane-era Laverdas can be tricky to source, depending on what you need, but I expect this one will end up leading a pampered life in a collection somewhere and won't rack up enough miles to matter very much.

Contact the seller here: sennaducati79@gmail.com

-tad

Featured Listing: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula for Sale
Suzuki November 5, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1991 Suzuki RGV250Γ VJ22 for Sale

Update 11.6.2018: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Today's Featured Listing 1991 Suzuki RGV250Γ has styling cues very much like the four-stroke GSX-R of the period, and help the bike stand out as a Suzuki among the other bikes in the very competitive 250cc two-stroke class, even without their traditional blue-and-white graphics. Of course, if you're missing out on shouty graphics, there's still the RGVΓ, SAPC, and Made with the Grand Prix Spirit logos. This is actually a VJ22, the second generation of the little Gamma, and features a number of changes from the earlier VJ21.

The RGV250Γ followed the 250 two-stroke class template: a light and stiff aluminum beam frame, with an asymmetrical "banana" swingarm that allowed clearance on the right side for the twin "shotgun" expansion chambers in the case of the later VJ22 version seen here. The engine was a liquid-cooled, 90° two-stroke v-twin that eventually found its way into the Aprilia RS250 as well, along with Suzuki's six-speed gearbox. The Suzuki version used "SAPC" or "Suzuki Advanced Power Control," an electronic power valve and ignition timing system to boost the Japanese-market RGV's out put from 45hp all the way to... 45hp. Yeah, these were restricted in their home market. Export models got more like 55-ish horsepower from the 249cc twin.

Combined with the bike's sub-300lb dry weight, the bike offered plenty of performance for anyone willing to put in the effort to extract it. But straight-line power isn't the point with any quarter-liter two-stroke: the RGV is all about corner speed and eats twisty roads for breakfast. The earlier VJ21 used a 17" front and 18" rear wheel like other bikes of the era, but the VJ22 used matched 17" wheels front and rear, making it easier to fit modern rubber. Overseas, the RGV was a very popular little thrasher and fairly common, but these can be difficult to find. It's ironic that, here in the USA anyway, the Suzuki-engined Aprilia RS250 seems much easier to find than the RGV250Γ that donated its engine.

From the Seller: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22 for Sale

Very rare in North America the Suzuki RGV 250 is a close as you get to a street legal bike from the golden era of GP racing. This example was imported from Japan and has Utah street legal title. The bike is runs well and was recently serviced with all fluids changed. This bike is un-restored and has several scratches and scrapes but for a bike of its age its in good condition. All mechanical parts function well. The bike has 8,837 kilometers on the gauges. Comes with a set of brand new Bridgestone tires that have never been mounted. $6,500 + buyer pays shipping.

The bike seems honestly presented and is in good, if not perfectly original condition. The levers, grips, rearstand spools, and brake lines aren't stock and the color choices aren't particularly subtle, but that's fine, since you'd end up replacing them anyway if you're going to ride it, or if you're restoring it. The minor cosmetic flaws should be easily rectified without having to tear the bike down, and it would make a great, usable example.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1991 Suzuki RGV250Γ VJ22 for Sale
Honda November 3, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Collectible Classic: 1990 Honda VFR750R RC30 for Sale

For all the accolades it's received, the Honda VFR750 RC30 is a subtle machine. To the uninformed, it doesn't look all that special, especially now that single-sided swingarms have become fairly common. The proportions are good, it's very compact, and the colors are classy: it's a handsome bike, but doesn't appear to be much more than another Japanese sportbike, although one that just looks right. And the spec sheet doesn't really do much to give the game away either, although hints about that this is a very special machine...

The bike weighed in 458lbs with fuel, coolant, and oil, with power quoted at 118hp, good for a top speed just a shade north of 150mph.  It wasn't especially lightweight, even at the time, and the power-to-weight looks decidedly tame now. Of course, numbers don't tell the whole story. They never do. They're just a useful metric, a way to compare apples to apples. I'm not good enough to test an RC30 against its peers and come away with anything useful to say, other than "that was cool." And nearly thirty years later, I'm sure it'd be hard to understand the impact of a bike like this when it was introduced if you're used to riding modern motorcycles, bikes that all learned a trick or two [or ten] from this one.

The RC30 might represent peak Honda: everything is perfectly engineered, and reviewers have always gushed about just how easy it was to get the most out of. As Pirelli says, "Power is nothing without control" and the RC30 was, by all accounts, an easy bike to ride fast, a bike that flatters the rider. The proof is in the pudding, as it were, and the bike won innumerable victories in Superbike and endurance racing. For a racebike, it had a surprisingly long shelf life, and was popular with both factory teams and privateers.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Honda VFR750 RC30 for Sale

  • VIN JH2RC3009LM200170, engine # RC30E-2200324 - matching numbers
  • only 642.8 street miles, never raced, one private owner from 1998
  • unmarked original paint, decals and finish
  • a 49-state ‘no smog’ L-model, one of approx. 316 to US-market spec.
  • climate controlled storage
  • clean, transferable Ohio title

118hp at 11,000rpm, red-line 12,500rpm, 51lbft torque at 7,600rpm, dry weight 400lb, over-square water cooled V4 DOHC, 6-speed, top speed quoted at 153mph

The RC30, a modern classic if ever there was one, was created solely to win the World Superbike Championship, a goal it met in the nascent series' first and second years, 1988 and 1989. And while American Fred Merkel aboard his Team Rumi-sponsored purple and black RC30 was bringing Honda its first two WSB crowns, Britain's Carl Fogarty used another RC30 to win the TT F1 World Championship in those same years, and the equivalent FIM Cup a year later in 1990. No mere short circuit scratcher or TT rocket ship, the RC30 proved strong lasting enough to win a bag-full of Endurance Classics, too. ‘That this latter requirement was also part of the design brief may be determined from the fact that a quick-release front fork and single-sided swinging arm - essential for speedy wheel changes - were part of an unrivaled specification that included a twin-spar alloy beam frame, 16-valve V4 engine with gear-driven cams, close-ratio six-speed gearbox and four-pot front brake calipers. All of which did not come cheap: at the time of its launch in 1988 an RC30 cost near double that of other super-sports 750s.’

Despite the passing of 30 years the RC30 remains a match for the following generation of superbikes but possesses an exclusivity that precious few of them can approach. ‘No other bike from the late-Eighties is lusted after like the RC30’, reckoned Bike. ‘And then there's the exhaust note – loud, of course, but soulful enough to bring a pit crew to tears.’

This RC30 is a beautiful street example that is in stunning, as new, un-raced condition, showing 600-odd miles on the odometer. The original dealer was Cycle Sport Center, Inc. of Cridersville, Ohio. They sold it to Steve Bennett of Domi Racer Distributors, Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio who rode the 600+ miles gently on the street, and then sold it, with a new set of tires, in late 1998 to the current seller, the first private owner. The bike has been meticulously stored unridden and maintained from then on. It comes with the original owners manual, unused tool kit, and the factory key.

A likely never-to-be-repeated opportunity to acquire an ‘as new’ RC30.

This bike, hidden away for 20 years, is in superb condition, so it can justify the label "museum quality." It re-defines 'as new.' Its VIN tag, shown here, illustrates just how clean this bike is.

To maintain the RC30's original finish, complicated by the use of several colors and many stick-on decals and stripes, it behooves the caretaker to take great care when moving it for photography and preparing it for sale. Remarkably, this bike has had the kid glove treatment from day one.

Foreign sales are invited. The buyer must pickup the bike from the seller. The seller can help with arranging third-party domestic and/or international transportation upon request, at the buyer's expense. Pickup must take place within 21 days of the payment clearing the bank. Thereafter, storage will be charged at $10 per day.

Contact the seller via email in the first instant. Questions are invited.

Well, I think it's always a good sign when the seller invites questions and the bike appears to be extremely clean, as you'd expect from a bike with just 600 indicated miles. Experts should feel free to chime in with opinions in the comments, and I'd love someone to fill me in on the signature that is visible on the tail section. I'm guessing it's Bubba Shobert, who raced 500GP bikes for Honda, but the seller doesn't seem to mention that little bit of trivia.

-tad

Collectible Classic: 1990 Honda VFR750R RC30 for Sale
MV Agusta October 28, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Rare Colors: 2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 for Sale

Prices for the Massimo Tamburini-styled MV Agusta F4 are currently at a low point, so if you can put up with the bike's limitations and sometimes frustrating quirks, you can have what is arguably the best-looking sportbike of all time in your garage for the price of a used Suzuki. Most early F4 1000s you'll find are the classic MV Agusta red-and-silver, but occasionally, you'll see one of these silver-and-blue ones for sale.

It is a factory color combination, although you only rarely see them. I have a soft spot for this particular design, since the very first MV Agusta I had the opportunity to ride was in these colors. And, although everything you've heard about them is true, I was still smitten.

Issues with the first-generation F4 are well known: they're hideously uncomfortable and they run hot, especially in traffic, the rear hub is very sensitive to overtightening and can fail catastrophically if not properly adjusted. Or even if it is. The fuel injection is crude, and obviously parts can be a problem for a bike that's long been discontinued and was never produced in great numbers.

But if you're willing to take the plunge on an older MV, you can update the radiator and fans, a more robust hub kit is available, and when the injection is properly sorted with a Power Commander or stand-alone system, the 998cc inline four pulls like a freight train and the F4 handles like you'd expect of a thoroughbred Italian superbike. There's not a whole lot you can do to sort the cruel ergonomics, but adjustable rearsets and clipons might make it bearable, depending on your particular physique...

From the original eBay listing: 2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 for Sale

2005 Mv Agusta F4 1+1 well maintained super bike (recipients available) 

Unique and rare motorcycle for enthusiasts with great power and beautiful design.

Always garaged and adult owned, please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you

*update please note a small dent on the tank (see last picture)

If you want an icon in your garage and have limited cash, or just want to convince strangers you've got more money and taste than you actually do, here's your ride. The seller is asking just $6,900 for this one. Honestly, that's a sharp price, assuming it's been well maintained and doesn't have any history of mechanical problems: the F4 is generally pretty robust, aside from the aforementioned issues, but the electrics can be fickle and a neglected MV will be a nightmare to put right. The seller doesn't include much information in the listing, but claims it's been well cared-for, and the photos suggest it's a clean bike. The fact that he points out the small dent in the tank suggest that he's probably pretty meticulous...

-tad

Rare Colors: 2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 for Sale