Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Suzuki June 23, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Blunt Force Trauma: 1990 Suzuki GSX-R1100 for Sale

For a flagship superbike, the Suzuki GSX-R1100 looked relatively primitive on paper: oil/air cooled engine, twin cradle frame, five-speed gearbox… But the sledgehammer personality of the early GSX-R1100 makes it more collectible today, next to comparatively polished in-era competition from Honda and Yamaha. It may not have been the most sophisticated bike, but it did the job, and the engine is famed for being durable and responsive to tuning, with a wealth of go-fast expertise out there for anyone looking to build a big, bruising retro sportbike. It’s a handsome beast as well, with old-school looks and more tasteful graphics than the later Gixxers, combined with more modern running gear like those 17″ wheels that allow for riders to fit modern, grippy rubber.

The air and oil-cooled inline four was always the star of the show. It has dual overhead cams and sixteen valves, but stuck with what is basically air cooling, which does seem like a strange choice. But in the wild days of the 1980s, motorcycle designers were experimenting with all sorts of technology to maximize power and minimize weight. Japanese sportbikes were suffering from no deficiency in the former department, but weight was still a bit of an issue. So in developing the various GSX-Rs, Suzuki took a page out of Colin Chapman’s book and decided that keeping things simple meant fewer parts to fail, less of them to weigh the bike down, and a whole type of fluid the bike wouldn’t need. Namely: coolant.

To keep the bike operating within the appropriate temperature range, Suzuki employed a high-capacity oil pump, a dedicated oil circuit for the cylinder head, and oil jets for the bottom of the pistons. The system was dubbed “SACS” for Suzuki’s Advanced Cooling System, and it featured on the Gixxer lineup from the bike’s introduction until 1993. The GSX-R1100K introduced in 1989 bumped displacement to 1127cc from the original bike’s 1052cc and featured a set of 38mm Mikuni “Slingshot” semi-flat slide carburetors for a claimed 143hp and 75lb-ft of torque. Compared to today’s cutting edge superbikes, the GSX-R1100’s 462lb dry weight is still pretty portly and this version of the bike wasn’t especially successful in international racing, but the bike’s fat powerband meant the bike was a highway blaster par excellence and it was a popular choice for drag racing and all-around hooliganism here in the US.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Suzuki GSX-R1100 for Sale

11,225 ORIGINAL miles, bike is in exceptional condition for a 29 year old machine. Untouched, original and exceptionally clean, but not perfect. Bike has been garaged since new. I had not started it or ridden it in about a year. I installed a new battery and drained the fuel bowls and it runs like new. Title is in my name and there are no back fees on registration.  Please feel free to ask me any questions.

Bidding on this clean, original example is up to $7,100.00 with several days left on the auction. This is one of my favorite sportbikes of the period, and this one looks like the perfect candidate for someone who wants a collector they can actually ride: condition appears to be good, but not perfect, and miles are low, but high enough to encourage the new owner add a few more. Suzuki sold lots of these when they were new, but very few remain in anything approaching collectible condition.

-tad

Blunt Force Trauma: 1990 Suzuki GSX-R1100 for Sale
Bimota June 22, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

A Better Italian Twin? 2000 Bimota SB8R for Sale

Update 6.20.2019: We last saw this bike in March of 2018 and bidding ended just shy of $10k. It’s back on eBay with a buy-it-now of $17,875. Links updated. -dc

Ducati has come a long way in terms of service costs and reliability. The four-valve Bologna twins have always offered good power and a bulging midrange, sure. But you really had to pay for it in the era of the 916. These days, 15,000 mile intervals between major services help keep costs down and the bikes on the road instead of in the shop but, back in the late 1990s, if you wanted a sports v-twin you could ride every weekend, you were probably looking at something like the Suzuki TL1000R. The duck-billed styling may not have appealed to everyone, the bike was a bit porky, and handling was a bit variable, owing to the rotary damper, but the engine was powerful, flexible, and made the right thumpy big-twin noises with a set of aftermarket cans fitted. That fact wasn’t lost on Bimota when they went looking to build the SB8R their own v-twin superbike, although I’d bet it was more likely that Ducati wasn’t interested in selling them any 4V twins, since I doubt Bimota was really worried much about reliability and cost…

Of course, for a while there, it seemed like the liquid-cooled, four valve, 996cc Suzuki v-twin was the small-block Chevy of the era, since it was used by Suzuki, Cagiva, and Bimota, and probably even a few others I’ve forgotten, and got stuffed into everything from sportbikes to roadsters to sport-touring bikes. Backed by a six-speed gearbox, the 138hp engine was plenty powerful and very reliable, especially compared to the charismatic, but sometimes temperamental Ducati unit. The biggest issues with the TL1000S and TL1000R were their slight weight problem and the packaging problem “solved” by an innovative but underdeveloped rotary rear damper that had a tendency to overheat and stop damping, leading to the lethal reputation of the earlier TL-S.

Bimota solved both problems. Reducing weight was pretty simple, since that’s always been Bimota’s thing anyway. It helped that the rear subframe didn’t need to be engineered with a passenger in mind, and the bike was otherwise liberally sprinkled with lightweight materials. Of course, their other thing has always been frames, and this one is deserving of the Bimota name: it’s an exotic composite unit, assembled from aluminum beam and carbon fiber elements for maximum strength and minimum weight. That new frame allowed a traditional shock to sit alongside the engine, like a Panigale, and solved the packaging issues. Styling is… different. One of the trademarks of a sports v-twin is the overall narrowness of the package, a result of having only two pistons. Sure, one of them is usually thrashing away at 4,000 feet-per-minute, pointed at your crotch, but that’s a small price to pay for for torque, aerodynamics, and character. But somehow the SB8R is positively bulbous, although it does make much better use of the original Suzuki headlamp. It’s a good-looking bike, but those intake tubes that snake over the tank from their inlets at the top edge of the fairing completely block your view of the controls, so new riders may fumble around a bit and errantly honk, cancel turn-signals, or shut the bike off until they memorize their location.

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Bimota SB8R for Sale

Limited-production track ready motorcycle. #3 of around 150 produced total. Aluminum & carbon fiber frame. 1,000cc engine producing 135hp and 5 speed manual transmission. 3,245 miles shown, but the title is mileage exempt

“1,000cc engine producing 135hp and 5 speed manual transmission. Revs kinda high on the freeway, but it’s Italian!” Obviously, this is a dealer reselling the bike, but you think they could at least get the basics right… Anyway, aside from the fact that we’re apparently missing a gear in the gearbox, it’s mostly what you’d expect from a 3,245 mile bike, and includes a set of Arrow carbon cans, along with a few anodized accessories of dubious taste. The broken turn signals are a bit of a concern, since they appear mismatched, are non-standard, and could easily have been repaired before posting the bike up. It’s a minor issue, but it suggests that maybe this bike isn’t quite as carefully preserved as it appears. Bidding is up just north of $7,000 with another day left on the auction. Mid to late 90s Bimotas are currently at a low ebb in terms of value, so if you aren’t afraid to buy a bike that might need a bit of attention to turn it into something that really performs as it should have straight from the factory, or if you’re just looking for some very cool garage jewelry on the the [relatively] cheap, now is the time to buy.

-tad

A Better Italian Twin? 2000 Bimota SB8R for Sale
Honda June 20, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Sweet Little V4: 1988 Honda VFR400R for Sale

Sold in 1987 and 1988, the NC24 version of Honda’s VFR400R could easily be overlooked for the gem that it is. Styling is subdued, although the single-sided Pro Arm swingarm hints at something special underneath. This was a V4 sportbike for the masses, instead of an expensive, difficult-to-obtain homologation bike, like the RC30.

As you’d expect, the engine was just a shade under 400cc and the bike made a claimed 59hp, although that lines up with a sort of gentleman’s agreement the Japanese manufacturers had regarding the 400cc class, so I’ve no idea what they really made. A bit of tuning could definitely unleash more! The bike was under 400lbs dry and had a top speed of around 130mph, accompanied by the distinctive whine of the gear-driven cams.

Interestingly, the NC24 had a conventional 180° crank, with evenly-spaced firing intervals instead of the RC30’s 360° “big bang” configuration, although the later NC30 adopted a 360° setup. They also wisely moved the exhaust to the other side for the NC30, to better show off that cool swingarm. The 18” rear wheel, held in place by four nuts instead of the RC30’s sexy single mounting point, is matched to a 16” front that compounds the challenge of finding good tires to shoe this little beast.

It looks like the seller just copy/pasted the bike’s description from an online source that refers to the VFR400R as a “sport touring bike,” which it really isn’t. Later VFR’s certainly became that, but the early Honda V4s were built to go racing. See: Honda’s VFR750R RC30, homologation bike.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda VFR400R for Sale

The Honda VFR400 NC24 model is a sport touring bike manufactured by Honda. In this version sold from the year 1987, the dry weight is 165.0 kg (363.8 pounds) and it is equipped with a V4, four-stroke motor. The engine produces a maximum peak output power of 59.00 HP (43.1 kW) @12800 RPM and a maximum torque of 39.00 Nm (4.0 kgf-m or 28.8 ft.lbs) @10000 RPM. With this drive-train, the Honda VFR400 NC24 is capable of reaching a maximum top speed of 210.0 km/h (130.5 mph). Regarding the chassis characteristics, responsible for road holding, handling behaviour and ride comfort, the Honda VFR 400 NC24 have a Aluminium Twin Spar frame frame with front suspension being 41mm Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped, rebound damping force air adjustable (8psi-11psi) and in the rear suspension it is equipped with Pro-Arm Mono shock, fully adjustable. Stock tire sizes are 100/90-H16 on the front and 130/70-H18 on the rear. As for stopping power, the Honda VFR400 NC24 braking system includes double disc. Nissin 2 pot caliper size 296 mm (11.7 inches) at the front and Single disc. Nissin 1 pot caliper size 220 mm (8.7 inches) at the rear.

This un-restored and stock condition VFR400R is in an excellent running condition with only minor bodywork/paint defects/scratches. (Very rare for this vintage Japanese motorcycle)

Mileage: 20,229 KM (12,600 miles)

Vermont registration.

Starts and run perfectly.

Good battery, chain, sprockets, and tires.

This motorcycle was imported from Japan and is offered with original Japanese title, sales brochure and original Honda Factory Parts Manual.

The early NC24 VFR400 is pretty rare here in the USA. They were never officially imported and lack the “baby RC30” twin-lamp styling of the later NC30s that make them so appealing. But that just means prices are much lower, and the $4,995.00 Buy It Now price seen here seems like a pretty good deal, and the bike looks much more aggressive with the Rothmans graphics. It’s always worth doing your homework when considering a Rothmans Replica, since it’s popular to fit more common models with aftermarket bodywork from China. But from what I can see, the bike is in pretty excellent condition otherwise, so it could be the real deal. Experts should feel free to chime in in the comments!

-tad

Sweet Little V4: 1988 Honda VFR400R for Sale
Honda June 13, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Rothmans Replica: 1991 Honda NSR250R SP for Sale

Many Japanese bikes aren’t intentionally sexy, in the way that a Bimota or MV Agusta often is, and they often fall flat stylistically when they do try to put style ahead of function. Italian machines are almost gratuitously beautiful, full of details that don’t enhance the bike’s performance, they just make the parts more interesting to look at. But Honda’s two-stroke NSR250R SP isn’t that kind of bike. Introduced in 1988, the MC18 version of the bike was motivated by a liquid-cooled, two-stroke 90° v-twin with a cassette-style six-speed gearbox, with the SP or “Sport Production” version adding a dry clutch and Magtek magnesium wheels, along with fully-adjustable suspension.

At its heart, a motorcycle is lean and elegant, and should include nothing that doesn’t absolutely need to be there. That’s especially true for a lightweight machine like Honda’s NSR250R, where every extra ounce is an enemy of speed. Instead of swoopy fairings with exposed carbon fiber details like you’d see on something else, it just has simple, elegant bodywork to enclose the hard parts, channel air to the radiator, and improve the aerodynamics.

Instead of an Aprilia’s organic, sculptural frame, it’s just a pair of extruded aluminum beams with cast sections, light and strong. A cool “gull-arm” swingarm allowed clearance on the right-hand side for the exhaust and expansion chamber to tuck in close to the bike for improved cornering clearance. And all that elegant simplicity adds up to one of the best-looking bikes of the era. It just looks right.

Of course, the “elegant simplicity” goes right out the window with the Rothmans Replica. Subtle, it isn’t, but it works, and this is one of my favorite sportbikes of any period. Obviously, I’m not alone, and the NSR250R and Rothmans Replicas in particular are highly sought after, especially clean, low-mileage examples like this one.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Honda NSR250R SP Rothmans Replica for Sale

You are bidding on a 1991 NSR250 MC21 with the Rothmans Blue/White livery paint scheme. I purchased this motorcycle from Moto2 Imports in February of 2017 with 8,050 kilometers (5,002 miles) on the odometer. Moto2 Imports brought the NSR250 in from Japan and completely refurbished it. In the 27 months I have owned it I have only put 335 kilometers on the bike and all those miles were mainly for dialing in the correct jetting for my high-altitude riding in Colorado. The NSR250 is in perfect condition and has been stored in my heated garage along with all my other motorcycles. In addition, I installed a 3M clear bra on the upper and lower fairings. All the fluids are fresh and the battery is in great condition as it is hooked up to a trickle charger/conditioner that also desulphanates the battery. I have reluctantly come to the decision to sell my NSR250 for two main reasons, 1) My knees just can’t take the relatively cramped riding position, and 2) I have 4 other motorcycles competing for my limited riding time in the summer months and the NSR250 just won’t get ridden much and it is just doesn’t make sense to me to own a great motorcycle like the NSR250 if it is not going to be ridden as I am not one to just have a motorcycle to look pretty on stand in my garage.

Please note the NSR250 is titled in the state of Colorado and it is also currently registered in the city of Denver. It is the winning bidder’s responsibility to check with their local state, county and city of residence to ensure the NSR250 can be registered there. I will be glad to answer any questions or provide any additional photos if desired

The winning bidder is responsible for all shipping charges, but I will be glad to assist with the pick up on my end. I can recommend a couple of motorcycle transport companies I have had good service from in the past if desired.

This example is in very good condition, and has covered only 5,210 miles from new. As the seller mentions, you should check with local laws if you plan to register this for road use, as they vary pretty wildly from state-to-state. It’s good that the seller is selling because he isn’t interested in a display bike, as these machines were built to be ridden. But I think we can all agree that, if you did want a bike to adorn your garage or living room with some two-wheeled art, the Rothmans Replica would make a great candidate!

-tad

Rothmans Replica: 1991 Honda NSR250R SP for Sale
Aprilia June 7, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Silver Bullet: 1996 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

Two-strokes are among the purest expression of the sports motorcycle. They’re incredibly light, packed with innovative technology, and have none of the electronic frippery of today’s cutting edge machines. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate ABS and traction control and rain-modes and a dozen different throttle maps and ride-by-wire, it’s just that those bike need them to harness the excess power they make. There’s not much excess of any kind on a two-stroke sportbike like this Aprilia RS250.

Aprilia didn’t design their own engine, they simply rebadged and slightly modified Suzuki’s excellent RGV250 engine and slotted it into their gorgeous aluminum frame, with an asymmetrical “banana” swingarm to match. As with most other bikes in the class, it was liquid-cooled, two-stroke, 249cc 90° v-twin. At 56×50.6mm, the bore and stroke were much more oversquare than rival Honda’s 54×54.5mm. Unfettered by the government regulations that strangled Japanese-market bikes, Aprilia claimed some possibly unrealistic crankshaft power figures. But a well-tuned bike should make very similar power to an unrestricted and properly set up RGV, NSR, or TZR.

Forgoing the wild graphics of Japanese competitors, the RS250 was pretty simple, and even their race-replica designs were surprisingly classy and subdued. It doesn’t have any distinguishing stylistic flourishes, other than that sensual frame, it just looks right, the epitome of 90s sportbike-ness, stretched over smaller, leaner mechanical components.

From the original eBay listing: 1996 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

Nearly flawless 1996 Aprilia RS250 with only 3,197 kilometers (1,986 miles). Purchased from the original owner, who meticulously cared for it and it shows. Bike is ultra clean. Bike runs as good as it looks and comes with fresh tires front and rear. Bike will come with new fluids and fresh carb cleaning. Bike is completely stock except for the HID headlight system. All fairings are 100% genuine Aprilia factory OEM. This RS250 will come with a Utah state title and is titled as a street bike for road use. 17 digit VIN.  Please text 801-358-6537 for more pictures and questions.

As the seller says, the bike really does look “ultra clean.” And it should, with just under 2,000 miles on it! I’m a huge fan of the silver color. Silver can be kind of bland, but the RS250 is such a good-looking bike, it seems a shame to cover it up with garish graphics. The HIDs may not be to everyone’s taste, but do improve the bike’s visibility to other, often highly distracted drivers. First generation bikes seem pretty hard to find, and the price on this one is just $9,500! But move fast, since there are just a few hours left on the auction…

-tad

Silver Bullet: 1996 Aprilia RS250 for Sale
Featured Listing June 6, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1994 Honda NSR250R MC28 for Sale

If you’re a fan of four-stroke motorcycles, two-strokes like this Featured Listing Honda NSR250R MC28 can be a little… underwhelming, the first time you see, and especially hear one. I mean, even with aftermarket pipes, they make an oddly weedy sort of zing as they rev, and generally sound like you’ve strapped a couple of leaf-blowers with fueling issues to your bike. But fans know that’s the sound of a pure, simple, and utterly focused bike that emphasizes handling over brute power. And the MC28 was probably the most sophisticated of the breed and, until recently, very hard to get a hold of here in the USA.

The mechanics of a two-stroke are inherently primitive, and not very eco-friendly, since lubricant is mixed with the air and fuel in a constant-loss system that will spew heavy, oil-rich smoke from the tiny exhaust cans. But that simplicity means a two-stroke engine is incredibly light weight, and makes pretty spectacular power for a given displacement. If you come from a four-stroke mentality, a 250cc sportbike sounds very unimpressive, but bikes in the class weighed in at around 300lbs and could make as much as 55hp at the wheel when properly tuned, or even a bit more if you didn’t mind the occasional engine seizure…

The original NSR250R MC16 was introduced in 1987 and laid down the pattern the others would follow, with a 249cc 90° v-twin that featured an RC powervalve, and PGM electronic ignition, and a six-speed gearbox, wrapped by an aluminum beam frame. The final MC28 version of the bike seen here debuted in 1993 and added a slick ELF-designed Pro-Arm single-sided swingarm and trick PGM-IV electronic ignition system to the mix, making it one of the most advanced sportbikes of any displacement available at the time.

Today’s example has incredibly low miles and has had the wheels painted white to match the bodywork for an extra dash of 90s style. It’s currently located in British Columbia, but shouldn’t be too hard to register here in the US, depending on where you live. California residents, as always, should visit their local DMV with a sack of unmarked, non-sequential bills and a bottle of good scotch…

From the Seller: 1994 Honda NSR250R MC28 for Sale

Up for sale is a beautiful 1994 Honda NSR250R MC28 with only 1,000km  (622 miles). Bike is almost in mint condition. It had a stress crack on the right upper cowling around the blinker that has been professionally repaired. You can see the repair from the inside of the fairing but the outside looks perfect. All fairings are genuine Honda 100%. Bike is completely stock, like it was on the Japanese dealership floor in 1994. No dents on the tank (the tank itself was professionally cleaned and rust-proofed in 2018), one tiny chip in the paint. Wheels were professionally refurbished in 2018 and converted from red to white, which as a personal preference, was a game changer for how the bike looks. A brand new OEM rubber chain guide is included in the sale. Only a few handling marks not worth mentioning. Bike looks awesome. Just serviced with new fork seals (2017), new battery (2018), new engine fluids (2019), and Dunlop Sportmax Q-14’s installed front and rear in 2017. Runs like the day it was new.

This NSR was purchased from a dealer in USA in 2017 and can easily be returned to the USA market. I’m happy to deliver this bike to Blaine, WA 98230 to provide an easy loading point for any USA-based buyer. Bike is currently titled as a streetbike for road use in BC, and had similar title in USA. Thank You For Looking. Call 250-588-8775 for more photos or questions.

Well, the completely stock condition might mean you’re stuck with Japan’s government-mandated 45hp, but the MC28 version is much harder to de-restrict than earlier versions and originally required a hard-to-obtain HRC ignition card to unleash the full power. For collectors, it means that the stock electronics and wiring harness haven’t been monkeyed with, and 45hp is still plenty of fun in a 300lb package, if the new owner plans to ride it. Aside from the minor fairing damage the seller describes and the non-original paint on the wheels, this thing should be immaculate, given the mileage.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1994 Honda NSR250R MC28 for Sale
Benelli May 23, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Across the Pond: 2003 Benelli Tre Novacento for Sale

It’s always interesting to see the disparity in terms of bike values, depending on market. It seems like you can make a decent living, finding bikes where they are cheap and plentiful, and shipping them to places where they ain’t… In Japan, the 250cc two-stroke sportbikes of the 80s and 90s are relatively cheap, although they obviously have an enthusiastic following. Here in the USA? They were never officially imported and, until certain models recently cleared the 25-year import restrictions, were extremely rare. I haven’t looked recently, but many classic Laverda models are much less expensive in Europe than here as well. Looking at the £3,650.00 asking price for this very cool Benelli Tre Novocentro, it looks like the same holds true for these stylish and quirky machines, since that works out to just $4,623.00 in US currency.

Obviously, the Tornado has rarity going for it, along with distinctive Italian looks. But it’s also a pretty functional motorcycle, with a solid 140hp from the 898cc three cylinder, good handling, and quality braking and suspension components. A six-speed cassette-style gearbox is probably overkill on a roadbike, but the slipper-clutch with an adjustable engagement point is pretty cool, as is the frame that’s glued-together using aerospace-grade adhesives. It lacks the radial-mount calipers and eyeball-flattening power of today’s fastest bikes, but these have more than enough performance to keep even expert riders entertained.

I’d take great pains to stay in front of other riders, to keep them confused looking up the tail of the Tre to see bright yellow cooling fans under the tail. With the underseat-mounted radiator, the engine could be mounted further forward in the frame for better handling. Parts are likely the biggest issue for any Benelli, although there were some minor issues with reliability, as you’d expect from a brand-new, low-production, high-performance Italian sportbike. Nothing that can’t be handled by the patient owner, but still a headache if you’re not prepared.

So what happened? Why wasn’t the revitalized brand a bigger success? Well partly it was the unknown of a newly-reborn brand flogging an expensive, top-shelf sportbike. But the bike’s original 900cc displacement was meant to allow it to be homologated for racing, and the bike was a victim of changing World Superbike rules that basically made 900cc triples obsolete, since the bike would have been uncompetitive in it’s original form. Later machines bumped displacement to over 1100cc, but that just made it a more effective roadbike as it was too large to race.

From the original UK eBay listing: 2003 Benelli Tornado Tre Novocentro for Sale

Here we have my truly iconic Benelli Tornado TRE 900                                                                       

These bikes made quite a stir back in the day – for some good and some bad unfortunately but now when you have one with all the modified bits dealt with and niggles ironed out they truly are an absolute brilliant thing to be out on when the sun comes out… My example is as expected – equipped with what was back then some top notch equipment and even by today’s standards it’s still quite trick 

The engine has had the cam chain replaced (June 2018) before the manuals suggest as this is very important – also the valve clearances done then too as these engines naturally sound tappety. The infamous recall mods – Z25 gear on the alternator shaft and clutch bolt all inspected and are fine. The suspension and brakes are from the best makes along with a titanium Arrow exhaust system – all original equipment…

The bike is in what’s arguably the best colour scheme of silver and green with black accents here/there and of course the rear yellow under seat fans. These bikes are really something else and the triple cylinder 900cc engine loves to be used – the sound up the revs is amazing and just puts a smile on my face EVERY TIME I take it out. The bike is 100% mechanically spot on – does everything expected of it and needs nothing doing. Please do all your research required online as these bikes were all made 2003-2004 so don’t be fooled by the late registered bikes for sale as they are all the same! 

Factory fitted alarm/immobiliser.

MOT until sept 2019 – only 16k miles…

I have documents – manuals – keys – history – receipts – V5 

The honesty part… The bike has a small crack along side the r/h front indicator as per pics due to being pushed into something in my garage and the tail unit has some mark where an item fell onto it… Neither are of any issue but want to point out faults also… My cars/bikes are only being sold due to an impending house move this summer and I need to downsize somewhat so please only genuine interest is wanted as were always busy.

Thanks for looking.

As stated before, the price is shockingly reasonable for a bit of functional Italian exotica, although maybe that’s considered expensive on the other side of the Atlantic? The 16,000 miles aren’t all that low, but the bike appears to have had considerate ownership by a knowledgeable enthusiast, and my understanding is that these Benellis are pretty robust mechanically, once you get your head around some of the unconventional engineering and idiosyncrasies. Parts availability would be the big unknown here, and I’d expect OEM bodywork to be nearly unobtainable. If there are any owners out there, we’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments!

-tad

Across the Pond: 2003 Benelli Tre Novacento for Sale
Aprilia May 20, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Loris Reggiani Replica: 1996 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

I found this little gem while searching the “Other Makes” section of eBay. I was hoping to find something truly offbeat to share, but a first-generation Aprilia RS250 in this kind of low-mileage condition is always worth a post! If the seller is reading this: I’d recommend you list this under the “Aprilia” category, as you might get a bit more attention over there… “Other Makes” seems like the place where listings go to get lost among weird off-brand scooters and die these days… Anyway, don’t let that put you off, as this looks like a very clean machine!

All of the RS250s are slick little sportbike, but I prefer the earlier style bodywork, particularly the more traditional gauge cluster seen here, with surprisingly restrained graphics for a race-replica. It’s not quite as distinctive as a Ducati 916 or a Honda RC45, but it somehow embodies all the best styling bits of the 1990s in one little sportbike.

Whichever version you prefer, the bones are basically the same: an utterly gorgeous aluminum and magnesium beam frame with a matching swingarm, wrapped around Suzuki’s RGV250 two-stroke and six-speed gearbox. Aprilia made a wise choice here, as the liquid-cooled v-twin is highly tuneable with plenty of power to motivate the lightweight machine.

From the original eBay listing: 1996 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

At 75 and primarily due to the passing of a family member, as well as for other reasons, I have begun liquidating my small collection of motorcycles. I’m willing to consider all offers and to work with a capable buyer absent any prolonged negotiating drama. Can provide loading help. Bike is in excellent condition, ran strong when last ridden two years ago. Has always been kept indoors in temp and humidity controlled storage.

No rust or corrosion. Paint and graphics are excellent. No dings/scratches/cracks/chips. Good tires, engine, trans, brakes, clutch, electrical, gauges, etc. She is in excellent all around condition for a 23 year old lady. However, she has been sitting and will need to restart up attention and a new battery.

I just no longer want to play around with doing so, although I would like both buyer and seller to be happy with this sale transaction she is being sold as is, where is, no returns. I’m the second owner. Has a 17 digit VIN number so she can be registered in California for road use. Two-cycle, v-twin, liquid-cooled (70hp?) engine, auto oil injection. Comes with an original, printed out in English, factory-issued workshop edition service manual. Has a clear open title for your use. Your prior inspection is welcome, and your questions are always welcome. Opportunity is knocking. Thank you.

Aside from some scuffing on the end of the brake lever, this looks to be in extremely good condition, with the original exhaust and turn signals, parts that don’t often survive on bikes this old. Mileage is listed at 9,033, but the speedometer reads in kph, so I’d assume it has 5,612 actual miles, making this a very low mileage bike for the $9,200 asking price. Move fast as I don’t think this one will be around too long.

-tad

Loris Reggiani Replica: 1996 Aprilia RS250 for Sale
Aprilia May 15, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 2003 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

Gary in Utah has several bikes Featured on RSBFS right now. Check them out too:

Good luck to buyers and seller! -dc

It’s no secret that motorcycles are more powerful, and packed with more technology than ever. But weight is inevitably the enemy of performance, and the enemy of fun. And while modern machines pile on the horses with glorious abandon, they aren’t the lightest sportbikes that have ever existed. There is another way. Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s philosophy for going faster was “simplify, then add lightness,” and the 250cc two-stroke class took this approach to motorcycle performance, as embodied by today’s Featured Listing Aprilia RS250.

With just 250cc to play with, there really was no other choice, even given the relatively high relative output of a two-stroke. If you wanted to go fast, you needed to be light, and bikes in the class generally weighed in at around 300lbs. Quoted power is often just 45hp which, given the low weight, means these bikes aren’t exactly slow, but that’s hardly an inspiring power-to-weight ratio. However, many of the famous two-stroke sportbikes in the class were limited by Japanese regulations to, you guessed it: 45hp. Obviously, bikes originally sold in other markets could be shipped in a higher state of tune, or “de-restricted” by new owners in other countries. The RS250 wasn’t a Japanese market bike, so the claimed 72hp might make it sound wildly more high performance than something like a Suzuki RGV250.

But of course it wasn’t. In fact, the RS250 used the Suzuki RGV250’s engine and transmission to motivate the little two-stroke ripper. Supposedly, it was modified for the application by Aprilia but, aside from slightly different tuning, those modifications mostly seem to extend to the Aprilia logos cast into the engine cases. That really is a bonus though, since maintenance and tuning parts for the RGV250 are pretty easy to track down, compared to other low-volume, high-performance Italian motorcycles.

The rest of the bike was where Aprilia really made their mark, and the aluminum/magnesium alloy beam frame used in the RS250 remains one of the most beautiful examples of industrial art I can think of. The swingarm is sculpted to match, and the bodywork, while not having any specific stylistic gimmick or theme to speak of, manages to somehow incorporate the very best shapes of the era’s sportbikes, while still looking distinctive. I prefer the first generation bikes, but there’s no arguing that the second generation restyle seen here is a stunner as well.

The last completely legal two-stroke sportbike available in the US was the Yamaha RZ350 from the 1980s, although these Aprilias have trickled in via various routes long after that, and ridden on the road where legal. Plenty have found their way through the DMV, as they did have titles and complete VINs.

From the Seller: 2003 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

2003 Aprilia RS250 with only 14,961 kilometers (9,296 miles). Bike is in mint condition with just a few minor flaws. Bike is gorgeous and appears to have never been down. There is a light/shallow one inch long scratch on the gas tank. There are rub marks on the lower left cowling in the rainbow decal and there is a very tiny rub mark that has been touched up with touch up paint on the upper right side. Looks like the garage was a very scary place for this little RS, lol. All the fairing are 100% genuine OEM Aprilia. The bike is completely stock except for the HD headlight system. Bike runs excellent and will come with new fluids. Comes with a Utah title and is titled as a street bike for road use. 17 digit vin. $11,500 will take this Aprilia home.

Feel free to contact me at 801-358-6537 or by email: rmurangemasters@aol.com

Some might find the HID headlights abominable, but they can be useful, not to improve visibility for the rider, but to improve the bike’s visibility. Yes, aftermarket HID setups that use the original reflector and lens can be annoying to other drivers, but that attention-grabbing brightness can be a plus when you’re on a bike. Miles aren’t museum-piece low, but still pretty low. Great news if you’d like to add a few of your own and don’t want to harm the bike’s collectible value too much. Keep in mind that parts to rebuild the Suzuki powerplant shouldn’t be too hard to track down

-tad

Featured Listing: 2003 Aprilia RS250 for Sale