Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Aprilia January 8, 2021 posted by Tad Diemer

Delivery Miles Only: 2002 Aprilia RSV Mille for Sale

Aprilia has been a major player in the superbike class with their RSV4, but it all started right here, with their Rotax-powered RSV Mille. Wisely eschewing the costs and development headaches associated with a proprietary engine, Aprilia turned to the Austrian specialists to produce a powerful, robust, and very compact powerplant.

It was designed to go head-to-head with v-twin superbikes, specifically the Ducati 998, but the RSV Mille wasn’t afraid to innovate. A vacuum-actuated “Pneumatic Power Clutch” mimicked the function of a slipper clutch to keep the rear wheel from skipping across the pavement during downshifts, and the v-twin’s unusual 60° configuration meant a more compact design for a longer swingarm within a shorter wheelbase for improved traction. And the new Aprilia even featured a new innovation for an Italian superbike, something called “ergonomics…”

The bodywork obviously wasn’t as elegant or as pretty as the 998, but it looked strikingly modern and the components were absolutely gorgeous: Öhlins suspension, an Öhlins steering damper, and forged aluminum wheels combined with tasty carbon bits all over the bike. And that frame, the gorgeous aluminum beam frame and swingarm combo that manages to make most other efforts look crude and industrial.

From the original eBay listing: 2002 Aprilia RSV Mille for Sale

2002 Aprilia RSV 1000 R Mille Troy Corser 2001 World Championship edition Race replica. Condition is “Used.” It was keep on a shelf for 18 years. In 2019 it registered and was rode 298 miles. Bike is super clean and very rare. Please contact with any questions.

You are probably wondering: what’s the asking price for this basically showroom condition example of the original Aprilia superbike? Well hold onto your hats, because it’s $10,995. That’s the priciest Mille I can remember seeing, and pretty much spoils what I love about them: their status as low-cost exotica. I think that these will someday be legitimately collectible, but this seller is jumping the gun a bit.

-tad

Delivery Miles Only: 2002 Aprilia RSV Mille for Sale
Moto Guzzi December 22, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

None More Black: 2002 Moto Guzzi V11 Scura Sport for Sale

“Scura” is Italian for “dark,” making this V11 Scura Sport Moto Guzzi’s answer to the eternal question: “How much more black could it be?” And the answer in this case is, “None. None more black.” The flat black treatment can look sinister or cheap, and sometimes both, but I think it works well here, showing off Guzzi’s massive, nearly automotive-looking v-twin lump.

And before anyone decides to scoff at Guzzi’s sporting credentials, keep in mind that they made very successful, if unconventional, sportbikes up until around 1980 and can claim many racing successes. That being said, their glory days were long past by the time the late 1990s rolled around, and Moto Guzzi wanted to do something about that with the introduction of an almost modern sports motorcycle. Enter the V11 Sport.

The styling was modern and retro at the same time, particularly if you opted for the absolutely lurid green and red color scheme that was meant to evoke the “Telaio Rosso” V7 Sport of the 1970s. I think the bike looks great in those colors, but it’s not for shrinking violet types… Suspension was of good quality and adjustable at both ends, aided by an updated frame design. The biggest news was the new six-speed gearbox that may not have been absolutely necessary in a nearly 1100cc v-twin package, but was necessary in order for the bike to be taken seriously and offered significantly improved shift quality for the shaft-drive powertrain.

The V11 is fairly heavy for a sportbike, but it carries its weight well and handling is excellent, once you get used to the shaft drive and longitudinal crank’s torque reaction. Unfortunately, Guzzi’s famous stability didn’t help at least one previous owner of this example: note the rash and dings on the right-hand exhaust and the fact that the right muffler is pushed noticeably inboard when viewed from the rear. At a glance, none of it looks too serious, but probably worth a closer look if you’re interested in this bike.

From the same Las Vegas dealer as this week’s Aprilia RS250: 2002 Moto Guzzi V11 Scura Sport for Sale

It’s a divisive topic, but I personally don’t mind heat-wrap on an exhaust, especially a murdered-out hot rod-styled bike like this one. But if you’re asking nearly $7,000 for a V11 Sport, it behooves you to at least make sure it looks presentable: that bit of flapping wrap on the right-hand side looks pretty terrible. The carbon looks dark and shiny, but there is some serious damage/wear on the red frame plates. The turn signals aren’t stock at either end, but are relatively tasteful and unobtrusive, and easily changed to match the new owner’s taste. The exhausts are Guzzi-branded performance parts and so should be throaty without being obnoxiously loud. Overall, a pretty high price to pay for a decent but slightly shabby example of a quirky-yet competent roadster.

-tad

None More Black: 2002 Moto Guzzi V11 Scura Sport for Sale
Aprilia December 19, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

Dealer’s Choice: 2001 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

There’s nothing wrong with knowing your strengths, and Aprilia certainly knew theirs then stuck to them when they created the RS250. They crafted the gorgeous aluminum beam frame, swingarm, and the curvaceous bodywork, but left development of the engine to an outside party. That’s right, this little bit of flyweight Italian exotica is powered by a Suzuki two-stroke v-twin from the RGV250Γ. Hey, outsourcing engines worked for DeTomaso, Iso, Bizzarrini, and half the British sportscar manufacturers of the 60s and 70s…

Originally introduced in 1995, this bike wears the second-generation styling introduced in 1998. One of the few quarter-liter two-strokes officially available outside Japan, the RS250 also remained in production much longer: Yamaha TZR250 production ended in 1995, Honda’s NSR250R in 1996, and the Suzuki RGV250Γ held out until 1998. The bike was on par with those machines, with excellent handling and superlative brakes: the exact same triple Brembo setup was the same as the one found on the much heavier Ducati 916.

You’d be forgiven for thinking Aprilia worked some magic and breathed on the little v-twin: there is some “Aprilia” branding cast into a number of engine components, and the RS250’s claimed 70hp suggests a much higher state of tune than the donor Suzuki’s paltry 45hp. But there are a couple simple reasons for that: those Italian horses are probably a bit optimistic and measured at the crank, while Japanese market regulations required that bikes in the class produce a maximum of 45hp. Many probably made at least that at the wheel, and all could be tuned to make much more “for offroad use only.”

The very clean and thoroughly photographed example is being offered by a Las Vegas motorcycle dealership. So tell me: do you feel lucky? Well do ya, punk? I realize I’m mixing my Vegas references with my Harry Callahan, but you’re definitely gambling a bit with this example. I understand that dealers may not know all that much about the bikes they’re selling, but it’d be nice if they at least went through the motions: this listing includes nothing other than the dealership’s boilerplate legalese, and can be found here: 2001 Aprilia RS250 for Sale.

This particular RS250 appears stock, except for the carbon/kevlar-weave mufflers, although I’d personally hold out for one of the earlier Loris Reggiani replicas if I were in the market for an Aprilia. So what will it take to put this 15,404 mile bike with no indicated history in your garage? Well the dealer is asking $14,995 for it. Aprilia RS250 prices have continued to climb steadily in recent years, but that seems pretty steep. Luckily, I’m sure our commenters will chime in below and let me know.

-tad

Dealer’s Choice: 2001 Aprilia RS250 for Sale
Ducati December 4, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

The Real Thing: Ex-Bayliss 2003 Ducati GP3 for Sale

It’s not often real examples of top tier motorcycle racing machinery are made available for sale to the general public, but here we are. Got some coin to spend? You can have Troy Bayliss’ Ducati GP3 decorating your living room, which is pretty impressive when you have company over. I only know of one other guy who can make that claim…

Ducati had been very active in World Superbike since its inception, but absent from Grand Prix and later MotoGP competition, which had been dominated by two-stroke technology since the 1970s. Ducati of course was famous for their four-stroke v-twins and likely didn’t have pockets deep enough to develop prototype racing motorcycles with no roadgoing application, and weren’t contrarian enough to mirror Honda and their sisyphean attempts to make a competitive four-stroke.

Luckily, MotoGP rules changes in the early 2000s suddenly gave a huge advantage to bikes running four-stroke engines, and Ducati decided it was time to dive in with both feet. Knowing a v-twin would need an outrageously extreme bore/stroke and high revs to produce the power to be competitive, they opted to create a V4 that was effectively a pair of v-twins, with a “Twin Pulse” crankshaft that had pairs of pistons rising and falling at the same time. Ducati even referred to it as a “double L-twin.”

Sixteen valves were operated by Ducati’s signature desmodromic system and led to the “Desmosedici” name. Later machines flirted with exotic carbon-fiber frames and eventually a beam frame design, but this original GP3 uses a traditional and effective Ducati steel trellis by Verlicchi. This machine is in pretty stunning condition, but I’ll let the photos speak for themselves…

From the original eBay listing: 2003 Ducati GP3 MotoGP TB1 for Sale

2003 Ducati GP3 MotoGp ex-Bayliss
The beginning of the Ducati MotoGP history.
Frame TB1
Complete and fully overhauled, on the button, ready to be paraded.
Rare opportunity to acquire a piece of motorcycling history.
Private negotiation. OF COURSE IT’S NOT THE PRICE LISTED!
Bike can be inspected in the UK.
gianluca@stileitaliano.com

Wait, the listed $999,999 shown isn’t the actual price?! Dammit, I thought I had a shot at this one… It’s been a while since I’ve posted up a bike from Gianluca, but his history of offering the coolest bikes you can’t afford clearly continues with this one. The bike is currently located in Italy, but I’m pretty sure anyone seriously considering this won’t be remotely concerned by that.

-tad

The Real Thing: Ex-Bayliss 2003 Ducati GP3 for Sale
Ducati November 30, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

Elemental: 1993 Ducati Superlight #838 for Sale

Until pretty recently, Japanese sportbikes were subjected to a pretty ruthless program of focused evolution, with significant updates to styling and mechanical components every two years. European sportbikes, on the other hand, often hung around well past their sell-by date, and special editions like the Ducati Superlight were often used drum up a bit of interest in a moribund model.

Put simply, the Superlight was a lightly modified 900SS. The engine was bone-stock, but weight was saved through the use of carbon fiber sprinkled here and there and a solo tail section. The biggest performance increase can probably be attributed to a set of Marvic composite wheels that contributed the lion’s share of the 15lbs saved, compared to the stock bike. It wasn’t especially fast then or now, but the 900SS is a simple, charismatic bike with excellent handling.

This particular example looks to be complete, with the lightweight wheels, open clutch, upswept exhaust, and numbered plaque, although the carbon has faded noticeably and the mufflers don’t appear to be original. The bigger issue is the nearly 40,000 on the odometer. That’s no problem for a 900SS, but I can imagine collectors might balk, considering the $9,000 asking price…

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Ducati Superlight #838 for Sale

Limited Edition Number 838. Outstanding condition, and just a bit of weathering, but overall very presentable and nice with 39,767 original miles. In 1992, Ducati took their 900 Supersport and added several choice extras to create a limited edition called the Ducati Superlight – 953 examples were built over 2 years. Unfortunately, for reasons unknown, in 1993 they removed almost all the extras, leaving just a fully floating rear brake to differentiate the limited edition from its less exclusive brother. We are proud to have a beautiful example of one of those ’93 models.

It’s easy to see why cynics scoffed at the Superlight a bit at the time it was introduced, since it was basically a just a 900SS with some bolt-on parts that saved a bit of weight. There wasn’t much of the package that was really all that special, other than the numbered plaque and the Ducati DNA already present in the Supersport. Personally, I think these look great, but I’d probably just find a nice yellow 900SS/CR and fit improved suspension so I wouldn’t have to worry about riding a depreciating asset every weekend.

-tad

Elemental: 1993 Ducati Superlight #838 for Sale
Moto Guzzi November 28, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

Cooking Goose: 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000 for Sale

Right after Thanksgiving, we have this Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000 that’s definitely no turkey! Bad jokes aside, it’s a shame that Guzzi is a part of the Piaggio Group these days, since it means bikes like the Daytona 1000 and Sport 1100 may very well be the last Moto Guzzi sportbikes, as it makes little financial sense for them to compete directly with their siblings over at Aprilia. You might scoff, but prior to the 1980s Guzzi made some very capable sportbikes and had a successful racing history.

By the 1980s, things were pretty dire, at least for the factory efforts. At least one privateer was having a bit more luck: Dr John Wittner, an American dentist, successfully campaigned a Moto Guzzi in AMA Pro Twins, so Guzzi tapped him to help develop a new sportbike and the Daytona was born. This new machine was built around a “spine” frame with distinctive side plates, and the bike was powered by an updated powertrain that featured Guzzi’s familiar five-speed gearbox, automotive-style clutch, and shaft drive. Most notably, the engine featured a significant revision in order to produce competitive power: four valve cylinder heads.

Interesting to note: these new heads did not use overhead cams. Instead, it uses a sort of “high cam” arrangement with a pair of cams operating a short pushrods and a set of rockers. The result approximated the performance of an overhead cam engine and the new 992cc setup produced 92hp without the benefit of liquid-cooling. The bike featured quality WP suspension and handled well, allowing for the usual torque-reaction of the longitudinal crank and driveshaft. The biggest problem with the Daytona and its descendants was always its 502lb dry weight, and it was never able to compete directly against rival sportbikes. That shouldn’t bother anyone who’s interested in this beast, since it offers distinctive looks, stable handling, and plenty of character.

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000 for Sale

93 Moto Guzzi Daytona (very rare) in excellent condition. Moto Guzzi stage 1 upgrade Termignoni full exhaust, intake system, (Computer Flash, I was told?) Bike was serviced by a professional. All fluids changed, tires, timing belts replaced, valves adjusted, new fuel pump, fuel lines, tank was cleaned & sealed by a professional in Florida. Bike was ridden approximately 30 miles last week. Runs & drives like it should. Odometer & speedometer is reads in kilometers. Pics available on request. All questions welcomed.

And did I mention the noise? With those Termi exhausts and the performance chip/ECU installed, this thing should make a satisfying boom and look great doing it! The bike appears to be in very nice condition, with several new hoses visible and the excellent European-market trapezoidal headlamp that looks far better than the usual rectangular unit. Bidding is up to $6,000 with the Reserve Not Met and just a few hours left on the auction, so jump in quick and get your Guzzi fix!

-tad

Cooking Goose: 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000 for Sale
Laverda October 31, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

Bright Orange Breganze Beast: 1977 Laverda Jota for Sale

Just in time for Halloween comes this bright orange Italian beast. We usually tend to stick with bikes from the 80s, 90s, and 00s, but a classic Laverda Jota is just too cool not to post. Named for a Spanish dance in triple time as a reference to the bike’s three cylinders and the syncopated rhythm of its 180° crankshaft, the Jota was a specially-tuned version of the company’s less sexily-named 3CL and was the fastest bike of the era, with a ripping 140mph tested top speed.

It’s interesting to note that the Jota was not a factory bike. Slater Brothers Laverda in the UK saw the performance potential of the regular 3CL and upgraded the already pretty fast machine with high-compression pistons, higher-lift camshafts, and a freer-flowing exhaust to create what was basically a hot-rod version. The modifications resulted in 90hp, up from around 80hp and the bike had a dry weight of nearly 500lbs. Those are big numbers, but luckily the Jota had triple disc brakes to help overcome the force of both.

The early Jotas like this one were powerful, but a bit unruly: a 180° crankshaft meant the outside pistons rose and fell at the same time and led to much more vibration than you’d expect if your experience with triples is limited to the modern three-cylinder bikes from Triumph or Yamaha. Laverda later switched to a smoother-running version with a 120° crank, but those are generally considered far less desirable than the original, fire-breathing bikes.

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Laverda Jota for Sale

1977 Laverda Jota, 5136.

The bike’s history:

Recognizing the performance of these machines, Lance Weil imported a number of the “silver bullets” into SoCal for resale. Lance, inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame in 1971, was no stranger to performance motorcycles. He sold this machine, one of a batch of three, in Albuquerque where it remained until 2010. Its sister motorcycles, one higher numbered VIN, one lower, are part of the Laverda scene today.

I have a photo of the bike when it was about a week or so old alongside what I understand to be Lance Weil’s personal bike, and a letter from Slater confirming that this is a bona fide Jota. This genuine Jota was originally supplied by the Laverda factory to the Slater Bros concessionaire in England. In 1977, only Slater’s offered the Jota, as it was an in-house model. The Jota name was not used by the factory until a couple of years later, and you understand early Jotas like this one were fitted with the cams and high compression pistons of the 1974/5 endurance racers along with a nearly open free-flow exhaust system. Italian combustion chamber music at its very finest!  

On 21 August 1976 Motor Cycle magazine clocked a Jota at 140.04mph at the MIRA test track, noting it was “easily the highest recorded top speed for a road-going production motorcycle.” While the phrase “the Lamborghini of motorcycles” – especially in Lamborghini Arancia (orange) like this one – is appropriate, it is also quite fitting to see the Laverda Jota as the Brough Superior or Vincent Black Shadow of its time. 

Very extensive down-to-the-last-nut-&-bolt engine & frame rebuild by Scott Potter, at a mileage reading of 27,600.

The objective became: build something very special, changing/replacing/fixing whatever was needed, while preserving original parts wherever possible:- 

  • Full engine rebuild – everything including bottom end, pistons, honed bores, valve & seats, transmission, clutch etc.
  • Powder coated frame is Sonic Silver; a high metallic content silver very close to the Jota hue but with a bit more sparkle in the sun. Tank & side covers are Lamborghini Ishtar Arancio with clear coats
  • Some rechroming
  • Buchanan’s shouldered Excel rims (2.15 front & 2.50 rear) w/stainless spokes, using an SF2 front hub & and a Suzuki rear hub
  • Race Tech cartridge emulators; new shocks
  • New forged Jota-spec pistons along with one of Clem’s copper head gaskets & Axtell-spec camshafts
  • New kits for masters & cylinders along with new pistons, pads and hardware
  • Rebuilt gauges with new faces
  • DMC ignition
  • Keihin full stainless exhaust, headers & mufflers, weighs nothing and sounds truly magnificent, pure music
  • Custom made 3C-style solo seat retaining the tilting feature of the 3CL seat
  • Many other little details such as Kellermann’s stupid-expensive but beautiful halogen indicators – tiny but very bright.

The bike has been featured here:  https://www.bikeexif.com/laverda-jota

Bike of the Year 2011 on the Laverda Forum: https://www.laverdaforum.com/forum/index.php/topic,83684.msg186476.html#msg186476

Details of restoration: http://www.motolaverda.us/alex.htm

I have more photos and entirely too many receipts. Some of the photos show the bike with a left side gear change, rear-sets and clip-ons.

The seller references Lance Weil several times in his post and, for those not familiar, he was the preeminent Laverda tuning guru in the US for many years but was tragically killed in a shop accident in 2006. There are no takers so far at the $16,500 starting bid, which seems a very fair asking price for a bona fide Jota in what appears to be excellent condition.

-tad

Bright Orange Breganze Beast: 1977 Laverda Jota for Sale
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