Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Ducati May 2, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Simple Pleasures: 1996 Ducati 900SS SP for Sale

Ducati’s two-valve “Desmodue” may not be the most powerful engine, or the lowest-maintenance, but there’s a reason it’s stuck around from the 1980 Pantah all the way through to today. Besides the obvious budgetary reasons: some of that tooling is probably long paid off… Joking aside, today’s Desmodue is heavily evolved, compared to the original version, now punched out to 1100cc and packing dual plugs per cylinder and modern electronics. But the qualities of the original are still there, and make for a very entertaining ride. Ducati’s mid-90s 900SS SP may not have been a powerhouse and was handily outclassed by every Japanese sportbike available at the time, but the aging thoroughbred still offered stable handling, good brakes for the period, a punchy midrange, and plenty of dry clutch rattle.

At the time, the 916 was making headlines for its ferocious performance on and off track, but the Supersport of the same period was a much better motorcycle to actually live with. Compared to the painfully focused 916, the 900SS almost felt like a sport-tourer. Along with the Monster it gave Ducati a range of bikes with real racing heritage, but without the expensive maintenance, high-strung histrionics, and performance most riders didn’t really need anyway, especially on the road.

By 1996, the 900SS was available in two flavors: the cost-cutting 900SS CR that generally came with a stylish half-fairing, and the higher-spec 900SS SP seen here. The engines were the same, but the CR used non-adjustable forks from either Showa or Marzocchi on later machines, while the SP had a carbon front fender and three-way adjustable suspension up front and at the rear. There were other minor details as well, like a narrower 4.5″ rear wheel on the CR, versus a 5.0″ hoop on the SP. If you’ve got a CR, don’t despair: suspension swaps between models and even years is pretty simple, and upgraded valving kits for the Showa forks are available. Unfortunately, the famously horrible Marzocchi units on the later CR models are pretty much best abandoned in the wilds to be savaged by wild dogs.

Ownership isn’t necessarily as much of a headache as you’d expect. In spite of their reputation, the two-valve Ducatis are generally pretty bomb-proof, and you’ve got to be riding like a bit of an idiot to overrev one. First of all, no valve springs means no valve float! And second of all, in spite of an indicated 9000rpm redline, any remotely standard carbureted 904cc Ducati engine runs out of puff way before that. Power was a claimed 80hp with a pair of Mikuni CV carbs, and 75hp at the wheel from a strong example. More is available via head work and tuning, since these were originally built to race, although performance gains won’t be particularly cheap.

As for Ducati’s infamous lack of reliability: the valves do require regular maintenance, although they tend to stay in spec after the first couple adjustments. The toothed rubber timing belts require biennial replacement to prevent an expensive transformation from motive force to paperweight, but many competent home mechanics find these tasks aren’t too difficult to tackle. Italian bike electrical components, however, generally deserve their poor reputation, and it’s worth regularly checking connections and using a bit of dielectric grease to make sure your lights light and your starter starts.

From the original eBay listing: 1996 Ducati 900SS SP for Sale

Excellent Condition, always well cared for, Ducati Limited Edition  500 SS SP SUPERLIGHT.  Low production number 47 of 500 made.

Full fairing, floating cast iron rotors and original factory oil temp gauge. New tires, carbon fiber mufflers. Includes owners and shop manuals, Hand written previous Owner records of services dating back to 8/12/97 with 2363 miles. 

Fresh timing belt, starter relay. Runs excellent sounds even better. Also have stock pipes to go with sale. This is a beautiful , air cooled, dependable, dry clutch classic example that will put a smile on your face.

Bike is currently on consignment at local Dealer in S.F. Paperwork to be  handled by them upon sale. 

The 900SS used to be an amazingly affordable entry into Italian bike ownership, especially if you’re fairly handy with basic tools. The only cheaper Ducatis are the original Monsters, but both have started to climb in value, especially for nice, low-mileage examples. This one has 13k or so on the clock which, if it’s been maintained by the book, means it’s barely broken in. Higher-resolution pictures would be nice but, from what I can see, it looks to be a very clean example. Get one now, while they’re still fairly cheap, since clean examples are getting hard to find.

-tad

Simple Pleasures: 1996 Ducati 900SS SP for Sale
Ducati April 27, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Good Things In Small Packages: 2004 Ducati 749R for Sale

With the general level of competence from modern sportbikes, along with rules that don’t seem to favor limited-production homologation bikes, it’s easy to forget just how special some of them are. Bikes like the Yamaha OW01 might have looked nearly identical to the regular production machines from ten feet, but were often hand-built to a much higher quality, with high-performance engine internals, hand-welded frames, and other small changes that were intended to help the bikes perform in production-based racing clases. Ducati’s 749R is one such machine, and its superficial similarity to the regular production 749 and 749S belies just how much of a hot rod it was.

Not to say that the 749S wasn’t a good motorcycle. It was, and carried on Ducati’s less is more trend that started with their sweet-handling 748 that had just the right amount of power and superior agility, compared to the bigger 916/996/998. Much of that was down to the narrower 180-section rear tire, but it was a bit lighter as well, and the 916’s midrange torque made the bike faster than it looked on paper and race versions like the SPS could be a bit overwhelming.

Why was the 749R so trick? Well it was out of necessity: the 999 competed in various Superbike championships that generally allowed a degree of latitude in modifying the road platform for racing. The smaller 749 was destined for World Supersport against 600cc inline fours. Intended as a much more entry-level class, the rules were very strict to keep costs carefully controlled and allowed very limited modifications: even OEM wheels were required!

Basically, in WSS, if you wanted it on your racebike, you pretty much needed it on your roadbike. And to compete in terms of power output with a grid full of screaming fours, Ducati had to throw the whole catalog of performance updates at the 749R. Built between 2003 and 2006, the 749R had bigger valves made of titanium, high-compression pistons, a lightweight crank, and magnesium cam covers. Bore was up from 90 to 94mm and stroke was down to 56 from 71mm for a total of 749.5cc, with power climbing from 108hp to an eye-opening 121hp, although it’s obviously going to cost a bit more to service.

As you’d expect, suspension was top of the line Öhlins at both ends, and radial Brembo brakes offered the best available stopping power and feel. A slipper clutch was included for rapid downshifts free of drama and the bike uses a double-sided swingarm patterned after the World Superbike 999’s stiff, lightweight unit. Other details included a set of lightweight Marchesini wheels, an adjustable steering head, and carbon-fiber bodywork on the early bikes. All were solo-seat models, and so had adjustable ergonomics. But the R had a smaller range of adjustments, as the larger-diameter race exhaust took up some of the available space and, as previously mentioned, rules specified very minimal changes to the roadbikes, so the roadbike subframe needed to match the racebike’s.

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

This is your chance to have one of the ultra limited collectible Ducati Superbikes for a fraction of what it cost new.
The bike is a 2004 Ducati 749R. Only 2348 miles
Almost all original including the stock tires. If you want to ride the bike you will need to replace the tires.
I just had the belts and fluids changed from a Ducati Master Tech. Bike has a new battery. Bike hasn’t been used at all since service was done. I only changed everything to make sure nothing would be needed other than tires if someone wanted to ride bike.
One small blemish on left lower fairing that has been touched up so really hard to see in photos but is there. Could easily be repaired and bike would show nearly perfect. Rear swing arm has small flaws from rear stand rubbing on black paint. The seat is doing the normal thing where the cover sticks to the base and looks a little weird. Normal on this generation of Superbikes.
Bike has no owners manual.
Has red key and one black key

There’s an $8,500 starting bid with no takers yet and plenty of time left on the auction. The 749/999 may be the least desirable Ducati superbikes, but they’re still Ducati superbikes, with all the performance, heritage, and style you would expect, and the 749R is one of the most collectible versions. This example looks bone-stock and very clean, with less than 2,400 miles on it. These were pretty trick bikes, straight from the factory, and would probably cost a small fortune to duplicate if you planned to build your own, so why not just pick this up, and save yourself the trouble?

-tad

Good Things In Small Packages: 2004 Ducati 749R for Sale
Ducati April 23, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE for Sale

After the flak generated by the controversial 999, the Sport Classic line was a definite win for motorcycle designer Pierre Terblanche, and the bikes effectively combined modern technology with vintage design cues. But although the performance wasn’t up to the standards set by the very best sportbikes of the period, the Sport Classics weren’t aimed at that market. First and foremost, they were meant to look good. And the Paul Smart 1000LE, as seen in today’s Featured Listing, definitely did that, with a blue-green frame and silver bodywork to evoke Ducati’s first v-twin racebikes, one of which won Imola in 1972 with the eponymous Paul Smart at the controls.

But although the Paul Smart looks like it’d be best for posing, it’s almost as if Ducati couldn’t help themselves, and this stylish machine has the handling goods to run with the best. Pricey Öhlins bits adorn both ends, and the traditional trellis frame is wrapped around their proven two-valve, air-cooled Desmo twin, here with two plugs per cylinder in their “Dual Spark” configuration, since apparently Alfa Romeo already trademarked “Twin Spark…” Twin plug heads are especially useful for a v-twin like this, since the two plugs allow more even combustion across the surface of the large pistons.

The quoted output is underwhelming on paper, but the flexible, torque-rich powerband is the perfect choice for a road bike. And keep in mind, the 92hp may have been modest, even by the long, long ago standards of 2006, but the bike is a development of the classic, race-bred Pantah engine that predated the four-valve Desmoquattro. It’s fun, tunable, and surprisingly reliable when properly cared for. Modest power aside, there were some other concessions to style: the spoked wheels aren’t as light as cast or forged items would be, even though they look plenty evocative, and the Phantom tires were designed specifically by Pirelli to complete the classic look with that very vintage tread design. They’re supposedly reasonably competent tires, but you can find stickier rubber for much cheaper.

Of course, the owner of this Featured Listing isn’t worried about tire choice. Or oil or gas. Or even registration. This immaculate machine has turned only three miles since new, making it a time-capsule example of a modern classic Ducati, like an insect perfectly preserved in amber.

From the Seller: 2006 Ducati SportClassic Paul Smart 1000LE for Sale

This gorgeous Paul Smart has only 3 miles and is in perfect stock condition. Comes with both style fairings a $2000. dollar option. All three keys. Never registered. Certificate of origin from the purchasing Ducati Dealer – Eastern Cycle Ducati, Located in Beverly, MA. This bike has been inside my house since purchasing it in 2006. Periodically pushed in gear to keep engine moving and cylinders fogged for lubrication. No fuel inside gas tank. No dents, dings, or scratches. Ready to be a new piece of art in your collection or ridden.

An instant classic and one of the most collectible motorcycles of the last 15 years.

“Want it for Paul’s achievement, want it for Ducati’s heritage, want it for how it looks”. Bike magazine. This Paul Smart 1000 Limited Edition Ducati has never been ridden, and is in excellent condition. It has spent its whole life pampered inside!

Smart’s famous victory in the 1972 Imola 200 riding what would become the 750SS was instrumental in establishing Ducati as a high-performance brand for the modern era. So what better way to celebrate the Bologna marque’s heritage than a limited edition model in the spirit of the iconic, bevel-drive, ‘green frame’ 750SS? And why not duplicate the rest of the original bevel-drive twins line up while you’re about it? That was Ducati’s reasoning behind the launch of its new ‘Sport Classic’ range in 2005. However, none of the three models Paul Smart 1000 LE, Sport 1000 and GT1000 – is in any way a ‘replica’; all are thoroughly modern motorcycles with only the styling and color scheme(s) acknowledging the past. 

The Paul Smart 1000 LE uses the belt drive, desmo, air-cooled, fuel injected, electronic ignition 1000DS (dual spark) 90-degree v-twin engine 992cc, two-valves, a quoted 92bhp at 8,000rpm and enough torque to surprise its four-valve superbike brethren – as found in a number of other Ducatis. All this modern technology is housed in the Italian firm’s trademark trellis frame in a striking shade of ‘green frame’ green – the latter complemented by some top-quality Öhlins suspension, Brembo brakes, a wet clutch, a six-speed gearbox, a curvaceous two pipe exhaust on the right side in black, and wire-spoke wheels beneath a swoopy silver half-fairing and tail hump. ‘After 20 miles I was totally sold on the bike, as I had been after five minutes of looking at it. Exclusivity, style, power, handling… what else could I want?’ queried Bike magazine’s tester at the PS 1000 LE’s launch. A production run of only 2,000 units was planned and few motorcycles of modern times have become as instantly collectible.

As the seller mentions: the entire first run of Sport Classics became instantly collectible, and all of them command shocking prices on the used market, especially when you compare them to Ducati’s 1098 of the same era, a bike that offers far more performance. But obviously, the nods to Ducati’s racing history struck a chord, and values remain high. The asking price for this showroom-quality example? $39,000. There’s obviously not much of a service history to discuss. In fact, there isn’t any service history at all, since the bike has never turned a wheel in anger. This bike is pretty much bone-stock, excepting the lower fairing. The original bike had a half-fairing that matched Ducati’s production 750SS, but the full-fairing was a popular modification and suits the lines of the bike, although it does seem a bit of a shame to cover up that classic, air-cooled engine. Contact Kris with your interest here: knopfkris@yahoo.com

-tad

Featured Listing: 2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE for Sale
Featured Listing April 18, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SFC-Spec SF2 Race Bike for Sale

This is an unusual opportunity to buy a rough-and-tumble, forged-in-fire vintage racing Laverda. If you’re searching for a display piece to adorn your Manhattan loft, you should probably look elsewhere. This SFC-spec SF2 was made to run, and run hard. It’s all killer and no filler, built to race. Period. The original SFC is one of the most desirable and iconic sportbikes of the 1970s, with a stylish half-fairing, bright orange paint, and solo tail. The 744cc parallel twin was supposedly heavily influenced by Honda’s CB77 Superhawk engine, and Laverda built their bikes to last, with five main bearings in the engine, electrical components from Nippon-Denso, ignition components from Bosch, and a Verlicchi frame, and suspension from Marzocchi.

The result was the perfect basis for an endurance racer, and Laverda whipped up a hand-built factory special to capitalize on that potential. The SFC or “Super Freni Competizione,” which translates to “Super Competition Brakes.” The engine featured the usual race-oriented updates: a lighter crank, polished connecting rods, bigger valves, and high-comp pistons. 36mm carbs fed the high-performance engine and produced as much as 80hp, depending on the year, while a two-into-one exhaust made sure everyone within miles could count every one of them.

The original SFC was technically a road-legal bike, but it was stiffly-sprung, over-carbureted, and generally temperamental. Many that have come up for sale have their road-legal parts in a box that comes with the bike, since they really were a bit of an afterthought anyway. Even that solo tail is specifically shaped to include a round numberplate, as you can see. The bike was a literal “racebike for the road” in a way that you just don’t really see anymore. Or maybe it’s just that all serious sportbikes are racebikes for the road, but they’re just not really all that much of a compromise now, with 200hp, a gel touring seat, and heated grips…

This particular bike isn’t an authentic Laverda SFC, it’s a high quality replica built from the ground up using a regular production SF2 with many trick parts, and uses the powerful twin-disc front brake setup from the later bikes that should work much better on track than the earlier drum, although it doesn’t look quite as sexy. Speaking of the track: this started out as a regular road bike, but it’s been converted to race duty and campaigned for years by Larry at New York City Motorcycles [who is also selling his Harley Davidson XR750 here on our site], who is currently based, ironically, in Venice, CA.

His original eBay listing tells a great story about how the bike came to be: 1974 Laverda SFC-Spec SF2 Race Bike for Sale

Where to begin…

Gorizia, Italy (on the Northeast corner of Italy 1km from Slovenia). July 2012.

That is when this Laverda came into real life, from the pages of every conceivable magazine and poster since childhood.  In fact the first time I laid eyes on a Laverda 750SFC was at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City in 1998, at its renowned exhibition, Art of the Motorcycle. If I wasn’t already hooked, now I was obsessed.

In the years since that life changing show, I was always on the “lookout”.  Sorta like John Walsh chasing fugitives!  I can recall being wide awake at 3am looking in remote places, the mideast, japan and of course the US and Europe.

I couldn’t believe my eyes in the summer of 2012.  In fact, I couldn’t understand the Italian listing on eBay Italy, either.   When the sun rose the next morning I was at my neighbor’s door, an Italian.  Within hours we had the bike’s owner on a conference call.  I had a million questions.  My neighbor just wanted to go to work.

I learned that the motorcycle was built to race throughout Italy by an engineer who also owned a genuine SFC.  Too precious to race, he saw no obstacle to making an exact clone, particularly the specification of the motor:

  • 10.8:1  Compression
  • Carillo Rods
  • SFC Crank
  • SFC Cams
  • SFC Pistons, valves and porting
  • 36 mm Dell’Ortos

The rest is simply bodywork… on an SF2 frame. Other than the factory 750SFC’s VIN series and frame insignia depicting that its a factory SFC, this bike is exactly the same in specification and appearance of a 1974 (Disc brake front) 750SFC.

The last thing I thought about doing when I bought, imported and titled it in the US, was racing it. So it was cosmetically and exhaustively restored as a streetbike. Laverda’s are known to have indestructible motors. And this was no exception. When it cleared customs it set off car alarms a quarter mile away…

My good friend Kenny Cummings, the owner of NYC Norton had been taking care of another parallel twin of mine, a Norton Commando. And every few weeks Kenny would be “gone racing.” So it’s technically his fault. I caught the bug. And became just as obsessed about racing as Laverdas. 

I raced two years before I became obsessed with the Laverda for a different reason. Though it was exhilarating to ride as a streetbike (outside of New York City where I lived), I soon learned this was a motorcycle that was designed, built and wanted to race. Long story short(er), that’s what it became.

The Laverda’s trophies include AHRMA National Series 5th Place in Formula 750 in 2015, 3rd Place AHRMA Pacific Crown, and various podiums at some of the most storied racetracks in America.

Recent marriage and move to Japan has put new goals on the horizon. Its time for my beloved Laverda to go from my back burner into the hands of someone whose passion picks up where mine leaves off.

The fuel tank is a Wolfgang Haerter special edition alumnium tank. 

As mentioned, it has never crashed. It could benefit from some TLC ie, valves adjusted, carbs rebuilt. A simplified wiring harness – though what’s on the bike now is perfectly functional for its current set up as a racer.

So much to list, these are the key pluses and minuses:

*The windscreen is cracked – it was “stitched” together with zip ties and continued racing. I always thought it adds character 🙂

  • One Sidecover flew off the bike at Willow Springs during competition. It was recovered but in a mangled condition (see photo)
  • Starter and generator (included; sprag gear is worn and should be replaced) were removed for racing; running a “total loss” set up
  • Needs a new battery
  • Missing the ignition key: bypassed
  • Runs an EMC electronic ignition (excellent) from Wolfgang Haerter
  • Slight weep from gas tank rubbing the frame. New Owner should either have the seam rewelded or coat the tank with Caswell
  • YSS Shocks in rear and Works Performance Springs in Front – Original Marzochi shocks included
  • Powdercoated frame completed 2014
  • No rust anywhere
  • 2 into 1 Conti exhaust
  • New York Title in my name
  • Street faring, street seat, tachometer included
  • Set of rear sprockets included
  • Uses an SFC’s shop manual, not an SF2’s.  Reproduced copy included
  • New racing foot pegs
  • Original Laverda clubman bars
  • Other extras all included

The motorcycle is sold as is, where is, and there are no warranties expressed nor implied. Judge the photos and make your own assessment of the bike’s condition, rather than rely on my opinion and/or description. Questions and clarifications are encouraged. These are my personal opin Bidders must be certain of their commitment before bidding, as once its submitted. If you win it, you bought it. No time for nonsense please. Bidders with less than 10 or any negative feedback must contact me prior to bidding or else expect your bid to be cancelled and removed.

This motorcycle requires thorough inspection and recommissioning before running or riding. Know what you are buying before you bid. If you don’t have the expertise and/or the budget, with all due respect, this is not the bike for you. 

New York City Motorcycles (nycmc dot com) is reasonably well known in the vintage motorcycle community and this is not the only platform for offering the bike. Therefore please consider not waiting until the final seconds of the auction to bid. Because while you’re waiting to pull the trigger, if a fair offer arrives from elsewhere and there is not a comparable bid here, the auction will instantly disappear from your watched items.

Multiples of the start price has been invested in this motorcycle. It was a privilege to lose money on this fabulous machine. Boyhood dreams fulfilled and then some 🙂

Motorcycle is located in Venice, CA. I will work with your shipper but its your responsibility.

On a personal note, I’ve come across this bike and owner before: I bumped into him at a 2014 AHRMA event in South Jersey, where I took the picture above. He was wrenching on this bike under a popup tent and, when I came over to babble excitedly about the Laverda, he stopped what he was doing to fire it up for me, a gleeful grin on his face. To me, that says about all you need to know about his passion and enthusiasm. The bike obviously isn’t a “real” SFC, but it is a real Laverda, and the engine specifications are, as he describes, SFC-spec. With real SFC prices headed into six-figures, they’re less and less likely to be raced as intended. Real or not, this Laverda won’t be cheap to buy or run, but is your best bet if you want to actually ride one of these fire-breathing Italian twins in anger.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SFC-Spec SF2 Race Bike for Sale
Triumph April 17, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Big British Bruiser: 1999 Triumph Daytona 1200SE for Sale

After years of “close, but no banana” attempts to out-inline-four the Japanese with their 600cc TT600 and Daytona, Triumph finally hit one out of the park with their slim, agile, and characterful Daytona 675, a bike capable of holding its own against the world’s best, while offering a unique blend of flexible power, torque, and a soundtrack to differentiate it from the typical inline four and v-twin sportbikes. This Triumph Daytona 1200SE represents the path not taken: with no analogue in their current lineup, Triumph’s four-cylinder Daytona was ultimately a dead-end for the company, as the smaller three-cylinder proved more popular and led the way forward for the company. But if you’re in search of something cool, classy, affordable, and fast, this one might just tick the boxes for you.

When Triumph was reborn in the 1990s, modular design allowed them great flexibility to refine their offerings and minimize the risks associated with new or niche models. Individual bikes were slightly compromised by frames and engines designed with versatility and not maximum performance in mind, but this kept the company light on its feet and and able to quickly respond to industry trends. The Daytona 1200 slotted their biggest, most powerful engine into the spine frame, added the best suspension in their arsenal and fitted some very effective brakes. It was Triumph’s big stick of their lineup and, even though it was discontinued after just a few years, that doesn’t mean the four-cylinder Daytona 1200 isn’t a great motorcycle.

When new, it was considered a bit of an also-ran, since it was compared directly to Japanese rivals like the Suzuki GSX-R1100 and Kawasaki ZX-11 in that all-important top-speed metric while costing a good bit more. With 147hp from the 1180cc engine to haul 550lbs of wet weight around, power-to-weight compares favorably with the last generation of Suzuki’s GSX-R1100, while offering an extra cog to make even better use of the flexible engine. That may seem unimpressive by today’s ludicrous power levels, but the 85lb-ft of torque is paired with real-world gearing that emphasized performance street riders could actually use, instead of hypothetical top speeds they couldn’t. With stock gearing, a 1200 Daytona could easily embarrass a ZX-11 from 40-100mph, before running out of puff at a mere 160mph.

And like the ZX-11 and the later GSX-R1100, the Daytona wasn’t a sport-touring bike, it was a big GT, a sportbike with comfortable ergonomics suited to mature riders who wanted to occasionally do very immature things on their motorcycles. A GSX-R with wild graphics and neon colors would blast to triple-digit speeds, strafe canyons, but had very boy-racer pretensions, for better or worse. But if you’d aged out of that, but still wanted to scare the bejesus out of yourself without needing to pretend you were hitting LeMans the following weekend, the Daytona was available in elegant black, classic British Racing Green, or a rich yellow. The styling was simple and unadorned by crass graphics, and the bike exudes class from nose to tail.

From the original eBay listing: 1999 Triumph Daytona 12oo for Sale

Helping a family friend clear out an estate. Two Owner bike, Was adult owned its whole life, most recently by an avid motorcycle enthusiast in his 60’s for the last 15 years. Clean and Clear title ready to go and two sets of keys.

Limited edition 1999 Triumph Daytona 1200 in very nice condition. This is a rare bike they do not come up for sale often. limited production Only 250 made, this is bike #175.

She has been sitting in storage for the last 2-3 years or so, fuel was drained before storage. Pulled it out, new battery, gave it a wash, put fresh gas in, fresh oil change, and she fired right up and sounds amazing. Tires have good tread left, the bike brakes and handles amazing, its very fast! This bike has been very well taken care of and well maintained by owners. No leaks of any kind.

Paint is nice, always garaged. there are a few blemishes that I noticed, some scratches on the right side fairing isolated to about 2″x2″, and a hairline crack and some nicks up by the left mirror(see pics)

Modifications that I noticed: 

Micron carbon fiber slip on exhaust

Hella headlights, very bright, turn signals

Nology profire coils

Windscreen?

Very clean for being 20 years old, a few things I have noticed that I want to mention for full disclosure: 

  • Bike hesitated a little  before it took off when I drove it, I would recommend a fuel additive to clean out the carbs and fuel system for the first few tanks of gas since it has been sitting
  • Temp gauge was working intermittently

Don’t let this rare opportunity pass you by!!

With a Buy It Now price of just $5,500 this is a ton of bike for the money, and it looks clean and relatively unmolested, with just 15,000 miles on the odometer and a set of Micron carbon cans to liberate a bit more growl, as you can hear in the included video. It’s unfortunate the seller doesn’t know more about the history, but is pretty thorough in presenting what is there. It’s not quite perfect, with some scratches, flush front signals, and the frankly awful rear turn signals, but looks complete and all Triumphs of the era still represent a seriously fast chunk of classic sportbike for a pretty minimal outlay of cash.

-tad

Big British Bruiser: 1999 Triumph Daytona 1200SE for Sale
Laverda April 16, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Repli-Racer: 1972 Laverda SFC Replica for Sale

Largely forgotten now, especially by modern sportbike enthusiasts, Laverda was once a serious player in the Italian sportbike scene of the 1970s. In terms of reputation, anyway, if not in actual production numbers. Their big-bore parallel-twin was supposedly heavily “inspired” by Honda’s parallel twin design of the period, and Laverda’s grown-up engine was heavily overbuilt and basically all-around heavy. It wasn’t nimble, but it was durable and stable, the perfect bike to use as the basis for a production-based endurance racer, and the SFC or “Super Freni Competizione” was the result.

Laverda’s aim was to use the very best parts available on their road and race bikes, and included Italian suspension components, Japanese electricals, and German ignition components. The early bikes used a huge, magnesium Ceriani four leading-shoe front brake, with later machines switching to an improved twin-disc setup. In both cases, stopping power was superlative for the era. Engines were heavily massaged, and made between 71 and 81hp, depending on the year. A significant overhaul for the 1974 model year made changes to the frame to make it lower and lighter, and the suspension was improved.

With the very rare SFC out of reach for most collectors, a replica obviously makes practical sense, since it was basically a hot-rod 750 SF. It’d probably be relatively easy to take an otherwise stock SF1 and just slap on a fairing and tail-section, but the builder of this bike appears to have gone the extra mile. I’m a Laverda fan, but not enough of an anorak to be able to point out the minor differences that would mark this out as a fake. It probably doesn’t help that the fewer than 600 or so SFCs that were built varied a bit in terms of specification, and sometimes incorporated different components in what seems to have been the “whatever we’ve got on the shelf” kind of way typical of Italian manufacturers of the period.

From the original eBay listing: 1972 Laverda SFC Replica for Sale

This Laverda 750 SFC Replica was converted from a SF1 over a period of two years, essentially everything except the interior of the motor is new or reconditioned or modified. Estimated milage of the 1972 donor bike was 6,600 miles +/-. The conversion has been ridden approximately 150 miles and has been on static display in a climate controlled facility for the last five years. The following is an accounting of some of the components that make this such a special conversion:

  • Correct Ceriani 35mm forks w new internals
  • Correct Ceriani rear shocks
  • New Tommaselli clutch and brake lever assemblies w new cables and switch assemblies
  • Rebuilt Smiths “Laverda” Tachometer, new (NOS) Smiths “Laverda” speedometer
  • New SFC fairing, brackets and headlight assembly
  • SFC replica tank (lined against ethanol affect) and petcocks
  • SFC rear seat and pad
  • SFC inner fender
  • SFC front fender
  • All new paint on all painted parts
  • All new wiring tucked up under bodywork, all electronics moved up under seat pan
  • Carbs are correct Dellorto PHF36AS/AD and are in perfect order w Malosi bellmouths
  • SFC left and right side rearsets and mounting plates
  • Motor cases are polished and cut out as per SFC specifications
  • 2-into-1 custom tuned exhaust, sounds incredible, not for the introvert
  • All misc. hardware was replaced and zinc plated, all chrome was new, aluminum parts polished

This is a beautiful example of a Laverda Type SFC, one of the ultimate vintage sport bikes that will get attention everywhere it goes. Display it, ride it, you won’t be disappointed. Of course there is no warranty, implied or guaranteed, it is a vintage bike even though it certainly doesn’t look its age… Please look at the pictures closely, the bike is located in the Denver area and we will assist with shipping as buyer arranges. Clear title, $1000 deposit within 24 hours of winning bid, balance within seven (7) calendar days via wire transfer.

It may not be the real thing, but looks very clean in the pictures, with the desirable drum front brake that gave the bike its name. Individual SFCs varied from bike to bike in terms of the details, and I doubt anyone but a Laverda expert would realize it was a replica at a glance, although it’s almost too nice to be the genuine article. There are just hours left on the auction, and there’s been little interest in the bike so far. Bidding is up to just $10,300, which is cheaper than a nice, stock SF1 these days Obviously, this isn’t going to command the nearly six-figure prices of the best SFCs, but would be a great way to live out your Walter Mitty-style racing fantasies if you can’t cough up that kind of coin, but want an authentic SFC experience.

-tad

Repli-Racer: 1972 Laverda SFC Replica for Sale
Laverda April 10, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Budget Exotic: 1998 Laverda Ghost Strike 668 for Sale

I’m a huge Laverda fan, so it’s disappointing their attempted resurrection in the 1990s didn’t work out. It wasn’t that bikes like this Ghost Strike weren’t any good: the beam frames were designed by the famed Nico Bakker and handling was generally considered excellent, even superior to Ducatis competing in the same segments. The standard Ghost used a trellis frame similar to the ones that underpinned the Ducati Monster, although the Strike featured a beam frame using identical geometry that was shared with the fully-faired 750S and Formula models. Suspension was fully-adjustable, with a set of beefy Paioli forks at the front. There was some very forward-thinking in the layout as well, as you’ll notice that the “gas tank” is actually an airbox, with the actual filler-cap hiding under the lockable pillion pad. The fuel cell was centrally-located for better balance, a feature seen on many modern motorcycles.

The biggest weak point of the design was the engine. Based on the positively ancient 500 that had been around since the Alpino of the late 1970s, it was fairly sophisticated when it was introduced, with dual overhead cams, a balance shaft to smooth the parallel twin’s vibration, and a six-speed gearbox. Of course, that wasn’t much to brag about by the time the mid-1990s rolled around. For the Ghost and Sport, Laverda punched the twin out to 650 and then 668cc, then later added water-cooling for the fully-faired 750S and Formula models. It made decent-enough power and liked to rev, but was considered a bit agricultural, and not as strong as options from Ducati, as the 904cc v-twin in the Monster had much more torque and the four-valve Ducatis were just more refined.

It’s doubtful the Laverda Ghost will ever be worth very much, at least not in the near future. It’s appeal is primarily one of novelty, since it’s not an especially noteworthy motorcycle and the brand has ceased production. But the low market values, quirky design, and good performance make it very appealing for budget-minded enthusiasts. Power is modest, but the handling is excellent, and you certainly won’t see another at your local bike hangout.

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Laverda Ghost Strike 668 for Sale

1998 Laverda Ghost Strike. Very stock and clean “no stories” survivor bike with low 11,000 km (~7000 miles). This has a clean California title and it is currently running fabulously. The previous adult owner used it sparingly. Tires, battery and fluids are all good. There is no crash damage.

The Ghost is the probably most approachable of the Zane Laverdas- its simplified air cooled engine is more dependable than the water cooled Formula 750s. It has a modern twin spar frame and top shelf suspension, brakes and other components. It’s easy to ride, service and enjoy. These bikes will only increase in value over time.

I also have a small of collection of spares for Zane Laverdas as we have parted a few of them out… including one other another clean Ghost Strike. Message us for details.

You can pickup in San Francisco Bay area. I can also transport this to the Los Angeles area inexpensively. I can also ship this with Forward Air in teh US for $780  to most major airports with a Forward Air Terminal. Message me for details.

This example looks very complete and the mileage is low, although it’s hard to really tell from the washed-out pictures just how nice it is. It’s important that the bike appears to be very complete, and the spares he mentions are especially nice since, since finding parts for a relatively low-volume Italian sportbike that had little-to-no presence here in the US could prove problematic. There appears to be some oxidation on the engine and some wear on the top triple-clamp, but otherwise looks pretty nice. If the Reserve is anywhere near the $3,399.99 starting bid, this could be a fun little choice for a collector with a love for weird Italian exotica, or someone looking for a characterful bike on a limited budget.

-tad

Budget Exotic: 1998 Laverda Ghost Strike 668 for Sale
Yamaha April 6, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Sorted: 1986 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

Compared to a modern superbike, the fire-breathing performance of vintage two-stroke race replicas maybe isn’t quite as wild as their reputation would suggest. At the time, they were light and very powerful, but weren’t exactly at Grand Prix extremes of either even then. Modern machines have levels of rigidity, suspension response, and electronic assistance an old smoker like this Yamaha RZ500 could only dream of, back in the hazy 1980s. But an RZ500 still has the goods to be hustled along a canyon road, and this example has had a couple of updates to the running gear to help it hang with newer bikes.

Also known as the RD500LC in Europe and the RZV500R in Japan, the RZ500 was powered by a a liquid-cooled 50° two-stroke V4 that featured twin cranks, a pair of YPVS power valves, a balance shaft to smooth things out, and magnesium components to reduce weight. Lubrication for the two-stroke was handled by Yamaha’s Autolube oil-injection and the transmission had six speeds. At the front was a 16″ wheel and a set of anti-dive forks matched to an underslung rear shock and an 18″ hoop out back, limiting a modern rider’s access to good performance rubber.

The Yamaha RZ500 made a claimed 88hp and weighed in at 436lbs wet, while a 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 of the same period made a claimed 106hp and weighed 465lbs wet, so performance was pretty similar on paper. However, the character of the two bikes couldn’t be more different. With heavy two-stroke smoke dripping out of the four exhaust tips and the crackle and zing of the engine, you have to work the RZ500 much harder, in spite of a pair of power valves designed to improve midrange response.

Interestingly, the Japanese market bikes received an aluminum frame to offset the reduction in power required by government restrictions. I always wonder why, since this was a premium sportbike to begin with, they didn’t just fit the aluminum frames to all of them. Certainly, if you wanted to build your dream RZ500 and throw originality to the wind, that’s what you’d probably do. This particular bike follows the path of “thoughtful evolution” and includes some components from later machines that should help the bike’s cornering prowess.

It’s maybe not a purist’s museum piece, with the later YZF750 front end and 17″ wheels. But, while the RZ500 was commendably light and agile by mid-80s standards, an update to the fork and brakes should help bring the bike closer to modern feel, while the ZX6 wheels will make tire choice much simpler, and give the new owner access to modern levels of grip.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

We are a Yamaha dealer selling this bike for a 2 stroke collector’s estate. This is a great example of a 1986 Yamaha RZ500. It has a clear Pennsylvania title (has been here since at least 2006) but was originally sold in Canada. VIN is JYA52X007GA007150. The odometer reads 73 miles but since the KM speedo was replaced the actual odometer is aprox. 7500 km with about 1000 km since rebuild.

Cosmetic condition as you can see in the pics is excellent. Bodywork is all OEM including solo cowl. We’ve included a owner’s manual and service manual – all in good shape. There is 1 original factory key and 1 copy. Frame up restoration done in 2006. At that time, all seals were replaced, cylinders honed (std bore)

We’ve had our resident two-stroke tech go through the bike after a short storage. Air cleaner was replaced, tank drained, carbs removed and thoroughly cleaned, etc. Plugs replaced, fresh trans oil. Bike started easily and runs well with no clutch slippage. Left fork seal has slight seep and as any two stroke, it could take more fussing to get carburation perfect. Trans shifts very well but clutch pull a bit heavy (upgraded springs?). Brakes solid and chatter free. This is a well sorted RZ.

Upgrades and mods include but are not limited to:

  • YZF750 complete USD front end and brakes.
  • JMC custom polished swingarm
  • Penske remote reservoir rear shock
  • Alex Mayes chambers – Rare!
  • Carbon Tech low tension reeds (porting is stock)
  • ZX6 wheels (both wheels powder coated red)
  • Magnesium left engine cover
  • Braided brake lines
  • Hindsight mirrors
  • MPH speedometer
  • Zero Gravity windscreen
  • Carbon fiber meter panel

There is NO reserve or buy-it-now price on this item

Other RZ brochures and some parts are available but are not included with this bike.

Pick up at our dealership in Pennsylvania (19512) has no charge of course, but delivery by truck or international shipping is the responsibility of the buyer. 

As the seller describes it, “this is a well sorted RZ,” a daily rider that captures the feel of an earlier era of performance, with a couple modern touches. Unfortunately, there are no takers yet at the $13,000 starting bid, with just a few hours left on the auction. Is it too early in the season? Were the modifications just a bridge too far? Has the interest in two-strokes plateaued?

-tad

Sorted: 1986 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale
Honda March 30, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Low Tech, Big Fun: 1997 Honda CBR600 F3 for Sale

When the original “jellymould” CBR600F Hurricane was introduced in 1987 the enclosed, sleekly aerodynamic fairing hid a dark secret: a steel frame. While racier competitors had switched to lightweight aluminum construction, the simple, effective CBR600 F3 stuck with the less expensive material until the CBR600 F4 was introduced in 1999. Although the styling was hyper-modern, it also helped Honda save money on manufacturing and development costs. Instead of a finished frame and engine cases, or carefully routed wiring and hoses, the whole functional mess could all just be hidden behind relatively cheap, sleek plastic. So while pragmatism may have driven the design and the ingredients were, on their own, not very exotic, the complete package was a world-beater when it was introduced.

Produced between 1995 and 1998, the F3 was an evolution of the earlier CBR600 F2. Compared to that bike, it offered adjustable cartridge forks, a Pro-Link rear, and and ram-air to feed the engine. The result was a few more ponies from the 599cc inline four and a 454lb wet weight. That might sound heavy for a 600, but it was just a couple pounds heavier than a ZX-6R or GSX-R600 of the same period, and actually a good bit lighter than the aluminum-framed YZF600. At a claimed 105hp, peak power wasn’t best-in-class either, but the CBR offered a smooth spread of power with no real dips or flat spots, the perfect balance in a road engine and pretty handy on track as well.

The CBR600 was always pitched as a more versatile mount than competitors from Suzuki and Kawasaki, a bike that was at home in the canyons, in the city, and could even do a bit of commuting or light touring. The CBR600 was never really about the numbers, it was about the complete package, a sort of Goldilocks solution to the Supersport problem. It didn’t make the most in-class horsepower. It wasn’t the lightest. It didn’t have much in the way of headline-stealing innovation. It didn’t even have any acronyms plastered across the fairings!

It also made a perfectly good foundation for a racebike, winning multiple AMA SuperSport Championships, and didn’t seem to suffer at all for its relatively ordinary underpinnings. Eventually, the entire class became more and more track focused, and led to the development of the CBR600RR that was sold alongside the CBR600 F4i as a direct alternative to the high-strung offerings from Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Yamaha. But for a while, Honda’s versatile CBR meant you really could have your cake and eat it too.

This particular machine needs a bit of maintenance before it time-warps you back to your youth, but the miles are shockingly low for such a practical machine, and it looks to be in exceptional cosmetic condition. It may never be as desirable as a CBR900, but I these are certainly functional classics and much more attainable, since prices for the bigger machine are currently spiraling upwards and nice examples are hard to find.

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Honda CBR600 F3 for Sale

Hello, up for sale is my 1997 Honda CBR600F3 with 2,916 orig miles.  Clean title in hand in my name. Bought it 4 years ago and spent lots of time and money trying to make it near perfect (it’s the same model, year and color as what I had in college so it was me trying to relive my youth). Sadly, my bad back in combination with it being too dangerous for a slow, fat guy like myself to ride in Vegas forces the sale.  I have all receipts and replaced parts baggies/boxes for every OEM part I put on it. I saved the old parts to prove it wasn’t wrecked. Feel free to contact me to see it in person 850-five 86-38two8.  Not showroom perfect but damn nice for a 1997! PS: front chock included!

The bad: carbs need to be cleaned. Ran fine in 2014 and I did drain bowls before tear down but no luck in getting it started. Needs battery too as no point in buying one and letting it rot.

The good: over $1,000 in brand new parts. No cracked fairings at all!

  • Brand new oil and filter
  • Brand New Dunlop Q3s with not 1 mile on them – $285 mounted
  • New Ariete 90degree valve stems in gold – $29
  • Powder coated rims in gold – $175

The following all new OEM parts

  • Front lower chin – $35
  • Left side lower fairing – $374
  • Alternator cover and gasket – $69
  • Parts below over $400
  • Various OEM decals still new in OEM packing for spares – $149

The CBR600 may have been anything but exotic, but that was exactly the point: it was an everyman sportbike, and it was damn good at being that. The shape has aged pretty well I think, and the non-standard gold-painted wheels really flatter the Erion Racing-inspired colors. It’s a shame that this attempt to capture the seller’s youth has been put up for sale, but his loss is your gain! Can you really put a price on reliving the dreams of your youth? Apparently you can, and those dreams are going to cost you $3,950.00. That Buy It Now price is obviously on the high-end for an F3, but if this one is as nice in person as it looks in pictures, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a better example with so few miles.

-tad

Low Tech, Big Fun: 1997 Honda CBR600 F3 for Sale