Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Ducati November 21, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Low-Mileage Superbike: 2000 Ducati 996 for Sale

If you're looking to pick up one of Tamburini's iconic Ducati superbikes, now is the time. They appear to have hit bottom a while ago, and values are on the rise. I mean, we've seen 748s for as little as $3,000 so how much lower did you expect them to go before you were planning to buy in? But while they generally cost a bit more than a 748, a Ducati 996 falls nicely in between the bikes that bookend it: the collectible 916 and the highly-developed 998.

It's not the fastest of the breed, but it looks the part and has the series' famous handling and v-twin boom. The 996 offers a pretty great balance of power and handling, along with the iconic looks and a pretty affordable pricetag right now, if you're looking to pick up a bit of classic Italian exotica. Parking a 916, 996, and 998 right next to each other, you could be forgiven for thinking the only difference between them is the graphics change between the 916 and 996 era. But Ducati's superbikes of the period represent a constant evolution of the platform.

The 996 was introduced in 1999, after the 916 engine hit its practical limits: as World Superbike displacement for v-twins increased, it was discovered that the original cases effectively maxed-out at 955cc before things started to come apart at the seams. Literally. Sure, many parts can be swapped between the different generations, but the new machine was much more than a bored-out 916 and used a more road-friendly version of the heavily revised 996cc twin that debuted in the 916 SPS.

In this case, "road-friendly" means it used the older bike's camshafts for more manageable power delivery and 112 peak hp. Proper fuel metering for big twins can be tricky, and the 996 used a pair of injectors per cylinder for improved power and response, although early mapping wasn't really ideal.

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Ducati 996 for Sale

For sale 2000 model Ducati 996 with ONLY 3099 miles

One original owner, price new was $17,333 before tax and fees

  • Has full service with new belts and fluids.
  • Termignoni Titanium exhaust; original pipes included
  • Öhlins shock
  • Brembo brakes
  • Pirelli Diablo Rosso tires with Marchesini wheels
  • Carbon Fiber 996 tank cover included, never applied
  • Includes rear wheel stand; Marsee magnetic tank bag 
  • Garage kept under cover; cover included
  • Both keys; original papers and owners manual, toolkit

This motorcycle looks and runs like NEW! You will not find another iconic original Ducati 996 in this excellent condition with only 3099 miles!

I'm sure other bikes with mileage this low exist out there, but there's no arguing that, if you're looking for a 996, this one is seriously worth considering. The starting bid is $7,500 which should be right on the money for a clean example, and seems like a reasonable place to expect bidding to start. The seller refers to this as a 996, but it looks like this may be the higher-spec 996S as it has the Öhlins shock, instead of a Showa unit. I'm not clear whether or not we're looking at slip-ons, a full-system or a half-system, but if you've ever priced a Termignoni exhaust, that does sweeten the deal...

-tad

Low-Mileage Superbike: 2000 Ducati 996 for Sale
Featured Listing November 17, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 2018 Honda NSF250R Moto 3 Race Bike For Sale

For many years, Grand Prix motorcycle racing was dominated by two-strokes: 125s, 250s, and the hairy 500s that carried the likes of Schwantz, Rainey, and Doohan to victory. But as the popularity of two-strokes waned on the road, the formula was changed to allow four-strokes to compete, and ultimately all Grand Prix motorcycle racing machines transitioned to four-stroke power. The entry-level class was dubbed "Moto3" once the formula switched from 125cc two-stroke to 250cc four-stroke power, and today's Honda NSF250R was designed to compete in this fiercely-contested category.

They might sound a bit agricultural, but two-strokes are perfect racing motors: light, extremely compact, and relatively simple. Four-strokes are generally larger and heavier for a given displacement or output, since they include things like "cams" and "valves" in the package. Honda had to work hard to approach the standards of lightness and elegant simplicity set by the outgoing RS125R, but the results speak for themselves.

Single-cylinder four-strokes are traditionally the format of dirt bikes and economical commuters, but Honda packed plenty of tech into the relatively tiny package for the NSF250R. The dual overhead cam engine features a reversed cylinder head with the intake at the front, and the unit is rotated backwards in the chassis to fit between the frame rails and maximize space for the airbox. A cassette-style gearbox helps for quick trackside gearing changes, and the bike's dry weight is an impressively svelte 180lbs, so the 48 claimed hp offers serious performance for aspiring GP stars.

From the Seller: 2018 Honda NSF250R for Sale

Up for your consideration is this Honda NSF250R four-stroke race motorcycle from HRC (Honda Racing Corporation) I personally ordered it from HRC last November. Production was August 2018. Brand New, Never started, No fluids. Imported thru all legal channels. Located Cleveland Ohio. Included is the Option Parts Package (PGM-FI SETTING TOOL, MODE SELECT SWITCH, PIT ROAD SPEED LIMIT SWITCH) Seat pad included (not pictured) $18,000 USD OBO. Suitable trades will be considered. Contact: Greg 440.214.0954 deftonecycles@gmail.com

This one is being offered by our friends over at Deftone Cycles for $18,000. A brand-new NSF250R probably doesn't present too much of an investment opportunity, at least short term. But it does offer an aspiring racer the perfect platform on which to hone their skills, a blank slate on which a rider can write the first chapter of their career.

-tad

Featured Listing: 2018 Honda NSF250R Moto 3 Race Bike For Sale
Honda November 14, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1986 Honda NS400R for Sale

Update 11.15.2018: This bike has SOLD in less than a day! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Honda considered themselves to be a four-stroke company and had to be dragged, kicking and screaming into the two-stroke GP era. After the abject failure, at least in terms of race results, of their oval-pistoned NR500, Honda finally relented and applied their usual tenacity and innovation to the two-stroke NS500, and that machine provided the inspiration to today's Featured Listing, the road-going Honda NS400R.

Seen here in Freddie Spencer-inspired colors, the NS400R obviously differed from its Grand Prix sibling in terms of displacement. Why just 387cc, instead of something closer to the racing version's 498cc? Well Japan had regulations that led to much higher costs for 500cc machines that made them impractical for the vast majority of riders so, instead of creating two different versions of their bike for domestic and overseas sales, they created just one well-conceived and thoroughly-developed version.

The NS400R and its racing inspiration both had liquid-cooled, two-stroke V3 engines, but the roadbike reversed the racebike's asymmetrical cylinder layout, with two of the three cylinders projecting to the front and a single pointed up towards the underside of the tank, and the package produced 72hp in a very civilized package.

In addition to the unusual 90° V3 engine configuration, the NS400R used Honda's ATAC powervalve system and electronic ignition, a six-speed gearbox, TRAC anti-dive forks, a Pro-Link rear suspension, modular Comstar wheels, and radial tires, a relative novelty at the time. The entire package weighed in at around 400lbs wet and handling was considered to be the very best the era had to offer, although it's been unfairly overlooked for years.

From the Seller: 1986 Honda NS400R for Sale

Northern Beauty

Selling a 1986 Honda NS400R with 33,219 km. (20,641 miles). The bike has Ontario ownership (title), and there are no liens against it. The bike is located about 30 miles east of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was originally purchased at Esquire Honda in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in April, 1987. The current owner purchased the bike from the second owner in 2007 in Thunder Bay, Ontario. In its history it has received new tires, steering head bearings, new steering head damper and one fork stabilizer.

The bike experienced a driveway tip over about three years ago, which caused a scrape to the left side fairing lower. It was professionally re-painted to match the original, and is not detectable. Only a small scuff mark appears on the left side lower cowl. There is a small dent on the right side exhaust canister, as shown in the photos. There is a scuff mark on the kick stand, which has the painted fairing attached, and the mirrors, while original, have faded in colour. There are several tiny stress cracks around the windshield fasteners and on the seat cowl fasteners, but they are very small, and not noticeable unless you’re looking very closely. Other than the aforementioned blemishes the bike is in excellent condition, and only needs a new owner.

It starts eagerly, and I’d be happy to send a startup video to show its running ability.

The owner can assist with shipping and, for a fee the bike can be taken to the U.S. border crossing at Niagara Falls/Buffalo (90 miles) or the Ivy Lea crossing in upstate New York (120 miles).

$5500. USD

Honda's decision to go with a 400cc model may have cost them sales at first: the NS400R made less power than the competing RG and RZ, but it weighed significantly less as well, so performance was roughly similar. But being a 400, there was a perceived lack of credibility and, for a while, prices on the used market reflected that, although values of the NS400R have been rising quickly over the past few years. But not this one: the seller is asking just $5,500USD, although it is in Canada. If you've been looking for a clean example but have been put off by the asking price for recent offerings, rent, borrow, or steal a van, make sure your passport is up to date, and hit the road. Because you won't find another example at anywhere near this price.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1986 Honda NS400R for Sale
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
Laverda November 7, 2018 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula for Sale

Update 12.12.2018: The seller has notified us that this bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

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

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.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula for Sale