Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Ducati October 24, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

Zero-Mile 1988 Ducati 851 Tricolore for Sale

The introduction of the 851 in 1987 was a watershed moment for Ducati. Their first liquid-cooled, four-valve engine displaced, naturally, 851cc and established a superbike formula that the company would follow until the introduction of their V4. The 851 didn’t need to rely on nostalgia to compete at the highest levels of racing and re-established Ducati as an object of lust among sportbike enthusiasts. The revised v-twin couldn’t generate the outright power of the inline fours produced by the Japanese manufacturers, but this Kit 851 Tricolore weighed in at around 363lbs dry and brought Ducati’s famed handling to the party, along with a fat wedge of midrange torque.

As is typical for Ducati, there were a couple different versions of the 851 available, a Strada or “street” version with 102hp, and the much higher specification Kit or Corsa version as seen here. With a claimed 120hp, the Kit bikes were intended to homologate the 851 for competition and were extremely rare, with just enough built to qualify them to race. At a glance, the two versions look almost identical but, as they say: the devil is in the details. The Kit version had a braced swingarm, close-ratio gearbox, race camshafts and ECU, magnesium wheels, and a number of other detail changes, including a dash with no speedometer. Because racebike.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Ducati 851 Tricolore for Sale

1988 Ducati Superbike Kit Tri Color Racer. Number 34 of 250. 250 per Homologation rules for World Superbike. Never been started since it was uncrated. The only tire wear is from factory shakedown. Absolutely in perfect (new) condition!

The $89,500 asking price is eye-wateringly high but, with 250 built and only 20 imported to the US, there can’t be that many 0-mile 851 Kits out there. If that’s your thing, I’m sure you’re prepared to spend outrageous sums for time-capsule Bolognese homologation specials like this one. The rest of us will just have to grouse in the comments about ridiculous asking prices…

-tad

Yamaha October 10, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

Rare Homologation Special: 1999 Yamaha YZF-R7 OW02 for Sale

The Yamaha YZF-R7 OW02 was one of the very last 750cc homologation specials and was available for just two years before Yamaha folded their World Superbike team and ended production. Utilizing the frame geometry from their GP YZR500, the OW02 featured many exotic components, as you’d expect from a bike like this. Unfortunately, in road-going trim, the engine put out a disappointing 106hp and its true potential could only be realized using one of several race-kits that included a carbon-fiber airbox that added a ram-air effect and activated a second, dormant set of fuel injectors.

The frame was a modified Deltabox II unit, with adjustable steering head and swingarm pivots, and fully-adjustable Öhlins suspension at both ends. Despite its lukewarm output as-delivered, you can see the potential in the engine, just looking at the spec sheet: a 72 x 46mm bore and stroke with 11.4:1 compression, titanium valves, forged aluminum short-skirt pistons that featured nickel-plated tops, titanium H-beam connecting rods, and a slipper clutch connected to a close-ratio six-speed gearbox.

500 were built for all markets, making these exceedingly rare. This example is located in Australia, and includes the very desirable “race kits” to get the bike into its intended fire-breathing 162hp form.

From the original eBay listing: 1999 Yamaha YZF-R7 for Sale

The bike is originally an Italian model brought into Australia 15 years ago. It is currently located in Melbourne, Australia. I am more than happy to assist with shipping at purchases cost of approximately US$1500-2000.
It comes with stage 1 and 2 kits as new from the factory. As you can see from the photos the bike is in very good condition with very low mileage (the speedo is currently in kilometres) I believe that they can be changed to miles and happy to answer any questions. 

Yamaha fans go bonkers for these, but I always thought the OW02 looked a little bit too much like an R1 with squintier eyes… However, there’s no denying the bike’s race-bred heritage and exotic components. Here in the USA, we received just 50 examples, and 10 of those were destined for the Yamaha factory teams. Starting bid for this one is $32,000AUS and might be worth a look, no matter what part of the world you’re in.

-tad
Rare Homologation Special: 1999 Yamaha YZF-R7 OW02 for Sale
Featured Listing September 30, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1991 Kawasaki ZXR750R for Sale

When you’re searching for very rare motorcycles in the very best condition, you sometimes need to cast a net that extends beyond local borders. Portugal might seem a bit too far for some but, if you’re interested in a bike like today’s Featured Listing Kawasaki ZXR750R, no distance is too great. Or maybe you’re reading this post at your home in Barcelona, and the bike is just a hop, skip, and a jump away…

Known here in the US as the Ninja ZX-7, the ZXR750 was Kawasaki’s entry in the hotly-contested 750cc superbike class war that was raging on track and spilling over into showrooms worldwide. At the time, literbikes were wickedly fast but a bit heavy, with unexpectedly reasonable ergonomics. They were more grand touring machines than roadgoing racebikes so, if you wanted the very best sportbike money could buy, it was the 750s that were the hot ticket for canyon carving and bench-racing sessions.

As was common at the time, manufacturers built limited-editions of their roadgoing machines to “homologate” certain changes to the engine and frame, or the inclusion of components that weren’t practical for mass-produced machines. These rare and exclusive machines were used as the basis for racing machines intended to compete in production-based racing series like World Superbike. The homologation ZXR750R differed from the standard ZXR750 in subtle but significant ways. 39mm Keihin flat-slide carburetors replaced the more road-friendly constant velocity units normally fitted. A lightweight aluminum fuel tank and solo tail helped the bike save a claimed 11lbs over the standard bike. There were higher compression pistons and an 800rpm higher redline, and different ratios in the six-speed box, with a tall first and closely-spaced after that. The fork had thicker [stiffer] stanchions and was fully-adjustable, and the rear shock had 20 clicks of adjustment.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Kawasaki ZXR750R for Sale

Kawasaki ZXR750R, K version. Mint Condition.

Very rare bike, R model.

Bike is all original.

R model comes with aluminium tank, flat Keihin carburettors, etc.

Year 1991 with 22972 km.

Portuguese documents.

Please feel free to ask me more pictures or videos.

Transport to the UK costs around £550 and it will be Chas Mortimer Logistic Ltd collecting this bike.

On the off chance that you don’t reside in Spain, it’s nice to have that shipping estimate from the seller. The 14,000 miles shown mean this isn’t a museum-piece, but a bike that’s actually been used as intended. That’s good news for the next owner, since adding a few more won’t do much to the bike’s value, and you’ll get to appreciate this homologation special for yourself.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1991 Kawasaki ZXR750R for Sale
Honda September 22, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

Some Assembly Required: 1989 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

If your budget doesn’t stretch to one of Honda’s famously rare and storied RC30s, you can find all of the exotic tech in a slightly smaller, much cheaper package with their VFR400R NC30. You get a V4 with a 360° crank and gear-driven cams, a sexy ELF-designed “ProArm” single-sided swingarm, and the twin-headlight, endurance-racing bodywork that is easily mistaken for the RC30 at a glance.

The NC30 is down on power, compared to the RC30, but it also weighs almost 100lbs less, and the 60hp on tap will move the 400lb machine along pretty smartly, with a wide spread of power. But the little V4’s real party trick was its incredibly agile and forgiving handling that made it the darling of the 400cc class both on the road and in racing.

Prices have increased in recent years, but you can still pick these up for very reasonable prices, considering how cool and exotic they are, with Honda reliability thrown into the bargain! This particular example looks solid and complete, but does need a bit of work as outlined in the original listing.

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale

1989 Honda VFR400R NC30 with 12,909 km, approx 7,745 mi, as shown on clock’s photo. This was recently imported from Asia, and i took it as a trade on another bike, so I do not have too much history. Bike looks good for its year, but it was painted in its past life. Plastic looks good as can be seen in photos, not sure if original plastics, but some repairs can be seen on inner side. It has a Vermont transferable registration, most states accept this, but please check with your local DMV. Bike starts and runs using a temporary fuel source, as it looks like its not getting fuel through the petcock, which seems to be a typical issue with these diaphragm petcocks. Bike will come with a new petcock rebuild kit from UK.

I would say this is an easy project completion bike for somebody with repair ability, I have not ridden it, and it is 31 years old but the previous owner noted they did substantial work to the bike, but please expect to correct and fix other items not described. I have other previous projects, so I’m moving this one on.

Here’s what I was told the previous owner completed recently, which looks about correct.

New screen, brace and mirrors. New battery with tender connection. Full service, air and oil filters, new oil and plugs. New radiators, hoses, replacement fan and fluid. New ignition and gas cap/keys. New throttle and choke cables. Carbs were removed, cleaned and rebuilt with new carb kit from Japan, including boot rubbers. Refurbished rear brake caliper and new pads all around with new fluid.

What I visually see that need’s to be corrected or finished, but I have not disassembled, is as follows.

General wiring needs to be checked and reconnected, like front and rear flashers, kill switch, radiator fan wiring, as fan was from a different model, but spins with power added, and general wiring. As i said, it turns over, and starts with temp tank, so looks like only general wiring to lights, flashers , gauges and sensors, etc, need a going through. Rev counter needle is partially broken, as can been seen in photo. Rear tire has some age cracking. Front tire is newer, but loosing air over time, maybe issue with wheel rim and seal. Rear Exhaust canister has some wear marks, as can be seen in photos, missing springs to pipe. Rear seat unit is missing lock unit, but new spare lock is included, but seat is east to open, I can send a video.

Bike comes with Haynes Manual and some spares like cables, carb kit, etc.

This is a 31 year old bike, with only the above history known, but with some good finishing, would make a nice collectible piece. But again, its a 31 year old bike, so expect some additional work for a vintage bike like this, if you purchase.

For a guy to claims not to know much about the bike, the listing is pretty comprehensive, and includes a long list of work that’s been done, as well as work that will probably need to be done. All-in-all, it seems like a fairly presented project with a reasonable asking price: $6,550. That’s a fair bit below what a good, running NC30 is likely to cost, and most of the work seems to be, as the seller suggests, relatively straightforward.

-tad

Some Assembly Required: 1989 Honda VFR400R NC30 for Sale
Honda September 10, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 2004 Honda RC51 Nicky Hayden Edition for Sale

Update 9.10.2020: This bike has SOLD to an RSBFS reader in just 7 days! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Unlike the earlier RC30 and RC45 that were pure homologation specials and built in very limited quantities primarily as the basis for Honda’s production-based racing efforts, today’s Featured Listing RVT1000R or “RC51” represented a change in their design philosophy. It was a bit less rare and exotic than past homologation bikes, but the cost was much lower and that made it much easier for Honda fans to get their hands on this piece of Honda’s legendary racing heritage, here enhanced by the Nicky Hayden commemorative graphics.

Honda’s RC51 was built to prove a point: that in racing, everything being equal, Honda could go head-to-head with Ducati and win. For years, Honda had campaigned V4 superbikes that were limited by World Superbike rules to 750cc against v-twin Ducatis that were allowed an additional 250cc of displacement. To sidestep what they felt was an unfair advantage, Honda simply  built a 90° v-twin superbike so they could play by the same rules as their Italian rivals. Ironically, things have now come full-circle and rules changes mean that Ducati have been forced to abandon their v-twin for a V4.

Stylistically, it looks nothing like a Ducati, but a more muscular design hides the usual Honda innovation: side-mounted radiators may bulk up the looks, but helped solve a problem Ducati constantly faced. A transverse a 90° twin is very narrow, but a long design front to back. If you want short wheelbase and a swingarm with the right length for optimal traction, you end up with no room ahead of the front cylinder for a radiator. The engine is covered with HRC-branded magnesium components and has Honda’s usual homologation-special gear driven cams. Snatchy low-rev throttle response is an unfortunate side-effect of the huge throttle bodies, but not something an enthusiast will likely mind…

From the Seller: 2004 Honda RC51 Nicky Hayden Edition for Sale

I am the second owner of this motorcycle and purchased it from a dealership here in Northern California a little more than a year ago. It is a incredibly well dialed in machine with many performance upgrades. It is my understanding that the suspension set up, exhaust system and Power Commander tuning was performed by Dan Kyle Racing. They are the RC51 experts historically. After purchasing the motorcycle, I added the CRG RC2 levers, Clear Zero Gravity Superbike windscreen, Stomp Grip, HRC Tank protector, HRC Wheel decals, Authentic Nicky Hayden 69 decals and New Dunlop Q3 tires which have roughly 700 miles on them now. Clean title in hand, California registration good until 8/2021. Current odometer reading is 10,959.

Additional Modification/Performance Upgrades include:

Full Ohlins suspension
Sato Racing Hi-Mount, Slip-on Exhaust
Sato Racing Rearsets
Sato Racing Titanium kickstand
Scott’s Steering Stabilizer
Moriwaki Carbon Fiber side radiator inserts, front fender and rear hugger
Flapper Valve and Soft Rev Limiter Mod Completed
520 Chain and Sprocket conversion. DID, Chain AFAM sprockets, 15/41 gearing which is ideal for the RC51
Steel braided brake and clutch lines
Billet rear brake reservoir relocated behind right side rearset for easier access
Rear Fender eliminator with LED’s inside of taillight
Proton LED turn signals
Battery is One Year Old
Full Dealership service completed at 9,019 miles

*I do NOT have any of the stock parts
*2nd Key included
*Owners Manual and Dealership Service Record Included.

The seller is asking $11,000 $9,999 for this very clean and tastefully-modded example of the RC51. From the start, Honda’s v-twin superbike was successful and won the WSBK championship in 2000, the very first year it competed, and again in 2002. Honda basically retired the bike after proving its point, and withdrew official support for it in 2003, although production of the the roadbike continued until 2006. The first-generation SP1 bikes had some minor handling issues, but the SP2 rectified them and both versions make excellent roadbikes, aside from dismal fuel economy and those side-mounted radiators that are susceptible to crash damage. Overall, the RC51 is the most affordable Honda homologation machine and is generally pretty painless to own, with excellent reliability and build quality.

-tad

Featured Listing: 2004 Honda RC51 Nicky Hayden Edition for Sale
Featured Listing September 2, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1990 Honda CBR250RR MC22 for Sale

We featured this grey-market Honda CBR250RR MC22 a while back. Here it is again over on Craigslist, with just a few more miles on the odometer to keep it in top running shape and some up-to-date images. If you’re not familiar, the CBR250RR was produced between 1986 and 1996 and was intended primarily for the Japanese market, where sophisticated, small-displacement motorcycles made financial sense.

In North America, bikes like the CBR250RR make very little financial and marketing sense due licensing laws, taxes, emissions and production complexity driving up costs. This means that sophisticated and relatively expensive 250cc sportbikes don’t make much marketing sense here. Not that there isn’t a market for them, since the spec sheet reveals they’re anything but entry-level, although the power they make can be categorized as modest, they still make around 200 horsepower per liter, right up there with the best sport bikes available today.

The aforementioned spec sheet suggests a serious sportbike: it may only displace 249cc, but it has four tiny pistons and sixteen valves operated by gear-driven cams, with a six-speed gearbox putting 40hp or so to the rear wheel. Triple disc brakes and an aluminum beam frame, combined with a 348lb wet weight mean the little RR can stop and turn with much bigger bikes as well. Best of all is the metallic shriek of the engine as it stretches towards a 19,000rpm redline, making you feel like a GP racer, as it rushes to it’s 110mph plus top speed.

From the Seller: 1990 Honda CBR250RR MC22 for Sale

Japanese Domestic Market Honda CBR250RR or MC22 to use the proper Honda designation. The bike is a 1990 model which is the most desirable of the CBR250RR line. It has 8,904 kilometers (roughly 5,400 miles) on it which is remarkably low for a 30 year old bike. As you can see in the pictures it is still in bone stock original condition. It has lots of little scratches and small areas of surface rust on some of the brackets and nuts/bolts. It runs and drives perfectly. The only known issue with these are that they are hard to start if they have been sitting for a while. The idling screw hole and idling jets are really small on these and they do tend to get a bit clogged up but if you drive it often and use ethanol free gas you are in good shape. However there is a workaround for the starting issue which I will explain to the prospective buyer. It develops 48hp at 16k rpm and revs to 19k rippems. It has a clean North Carolina title in my name and is ready to go to a new home. No disappointments and if you want references to others whom I know and whom have ridden the bike or whom I ride with, I can get you connected with them.

The seller is asking $7,800 for this little ripper, and includes a video of the bike starting and running from cold. It’s very complete and in good cosmetic condition, with some of the usual surface corrosion common to bikes that have spent time in salty sea air. More importantly, all of the bodywork is in good condition and the bike should be a great candidate for a rolling restoration if you want it to be absolutely showroom fresh. In the meantime, you can relish the screaming cam-gear whine as you wind it around to that 19,000rpm redline and beyond!

-tad

Featured Listing: 1990 Honda CBR250RR MC22 for Sale
Featured Listing August 31, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing and NO RESERVE: 1987 Suzuki RGV250Γ for Sale

It’s a shame that we never really got any of the incredibly focused quarter-liter sportbikes from Japan here in the USA. Luckily, a few have sneaked in over the years, followed by a veritable flood of Japanese market bikes that have been brought over in recent years, since most are now over 25 years old and much easier to import. The spec sheets would have you believe they’re all virtually the same bike, but each had its own unique character, and today’s Featured Listing Suzuki RGV250Γ was the wild-child of the bunch.

1987 Suzuki RGV250Γ for Sale on eBay

Introduced in 1987 as a 90° v-twin followup to the parallel-twin RG250, the new RGV250 “Gamma” went through VJ21, VJ22, and VJ23 iterations before disappearing. The liquid-cooled two stroke engine displaced the expected 249cc, with a bore and stroke of 56mm x 50.6mm, and was backed by the equally expected six-speed gearbox. The bike used a 17″ front wheel and an 18″ rear as was common in the class, although later models featured matched 17″ hoops.

The “Real Sprinter Slingshot” emblazoned on the tail sounds like the sort of technical jargon the Japanese are known for but, as far as I can tell, it’s just a bit of a tie-in to the four-stroke GSX-R of the period that featured “Slingshot” carburetors. Later bikes featured swanky asymmetrical “banana” swingarms and electronic power valves, all shoutingly-proclaimed in bright acronyms on the fairings. Those bikes were more developed and more refined but, at just 282lbs dry, the VJ21 seen here was the lightest and most powerful of the bunch, and perhaps the most pure as well.

From the original eBay listing: 1987 Suzuki RGV250Γ for Sale

NO RESERVE This model not sold in USA, Direct import Japanese Domestic Market bike, 62hp pre-restrictions model, lightest weight year. Pretty much 250GP bike with lights added, cassette gearbox, all the right stuff! This is my favorite bike I have ever owned, absolute joy to ride, moving to where there are no roads, so gotta part with it. Runs great, shifts great, rides great. Recent sticky Dunlop Alpha 13 dot race series tires. Current MD tags and title. Original front fender cracked, see pic small cracks on fairings nothing major. Includes racing replica plastics from Hong Kong. Includes lots of extras, complete good running and shifting spare black Walter Wolf engine (no carbs, shift lever or kickstarter), original white wheels (18 in rear.) Zeeltronic programmable ignition box/ exhaust valve controller, spare exhaust valve actuator. Only bad, fork seals leak therefore front brake pads are oily. 29,614 km, or 18,401 miles. Unrestricted first year production for the V2, year after these were made Japanese law limited engine HP output. Also advertised locally so if ended early, that’s why.

Note that the seller does have this listed as a 1987 model and it’s probably titled that way, but it looks like a VJ21 model from 1988. That may just be a quirk of titling and registration, or the bike was a very early production VJ21. This is obviously not a perfectly-preserved museum piece. It’s a rider, and comes with some spares to change the look, or just keep the bike running. Or maybe you just happen to have an engine-less Walter Wolf RG250 lying around and can use the included engine to get that project rolling. The aftermarket panels might not be remotely original, but I like the idea of installing the included aftermarket, race-replica bodywork for a bike that’s intended to be ridden hard, instead of being displayed in a hermetically-sealed garage.

-tad

Featured Listing and NO RESERVE: 1987 Suzuki RGV250Γ for Sale
Triumph August 28, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

Thug in a Tux: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale

Big nakeds have finally come of age here in the US, with trick, high performance options from all of the major manufacturers. They’re the perfect bikes for affluent, middle-aged folks who can’t handle the crippling riding position of hard-core sportbikes, but still have a taste for speed and the skill to appreciate thoroughbred handling. But in the early to mid 1990s, things were just getting rolling for that market segment in North America, and the Ducati Monster and Triumph’s original T309 Speed Triple were at the forefront.

Both of those aforementioned bikes were designed with the same philosophy in mind and built using a similar formula: take an existing platform, in Triumph’s case a variation of their modular spine frame and their proven three-cylinder engine and transmission, fit a simple dash, stick a round headlight on the front, and roll it out the door. The original Speed Triple was a bit more retro-looking than the Ducati Monster, but it was popular and profitable, helped to keep the newly reestablished Triumph afloat, and remains a mainstay of their production.

A claimed 98hp came from a liquid-cooled, four-valve per cylinder 885cc triple was backed by a five-speed gearbox, and the bike had adjustable suspension at both ends and beefy six-piston brake calipers up front. Unfortunately, the bike’s modular origins meant weight was carried too high, and the bike wasn’t really much of a handler. It all makes for a pretty ripping streetbike though, with retro-cool looks and plenty of performance for the road.

The bike shows 17,769 miles, which should be no problem if the bike has been sympathetically maintained, since the burly Triumph engines of the era were pretty durable. The carbon fiber wheels should go a ways towards both lightening the bike and improving handling, and the flat-slides, while less forgiving than CV carbs, should improve power and add another layer to the triple’s characterful soundtrack that’s already been enhanced by the full aftermarket exhaust.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale

Fast, fun, and reliable speed triple. Well maintained with many upgrades. Dymag carbon fiber rims. Taylor Made carbon fiber engine covers. Carbon fiber fenders. Keihin flat slide carbs. Staintune stainless and carbon full exhaust system. New tires 4 months ago with plenty of tread left.

Unfortunately, although this one has some tasty period extras, it’s not cosmetically perfect: there’s some surface corrosion on the pipes, wear on the tank pad, and the carbon fiber is pretty faded, considering the bike’s $5,750 reserve price. From what we’ve seen, that’s a pretty ambitious asking price for a first-generation Speed Triple, although the cosmetics could be cleaned up and the paint still looks very shiny. The first-generation Speed Triple is a collectible in the making, but so far prices have remained low. That’s great for fans of bargain exotics, but not so much for ambitious sellers ahead of the curve.

-tad

Thug in a Tux: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale