Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Yamaha February 27, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Deltabox Racer: 1992 Yamaha TZ250D for Sale

Racebikes are different than other bikes we feature on RSBFS. Where the goal for many collectible roadbikes is absolute originality, or at least limited, period-correct updates, the whole point of a racebike is that it’s a rough-and-tumble artifact, a bit of living history, and battle scars are okay. If the machine in question is historically significant, that goes double. But race bikes are more like living organisms than ones trapped in amber, and some have evolved over time, especially if they're still being used in competition, like today's Yamaha TZ250D.

Note the missing "R" in the name: this isn’t simply a TZR250 with the lights removed. While people did use the TZR250 road bike as the basis for competition machines, the TZ250 was Yamaha’s pure competition machine, available over-the-counter to racers. Both the original TZ and TZR were powered by parallel twin engines, but Yamaha eventually began experimenting with a v-twin engine to keep pace with competitors in Grand Prix raxing, and the YZR250 used what was essentially half of the YZR500's two-stroke V4. For a number of years, Yamaha produced the two machines in parallel: the v-twin powered YZR250 seen in Grand Prix and the parallel-twin TZ250.

1991 saw the introduction of a completely new version of the popular TZ250 racing platform, incorporating the v-twin configuration from the YZR250, along with upside-down forks, a banana-swingarm to clear the expansion chamber on the right side, a wider 5.25" rear wheel, and a set of 38mm Mikuni carburetors. The "D" model that came along in 1992 featured a significant reworking of the rear suspension that meant the rear subframe could be made extremely light, with just one job: provide a perch for the rider. The new package worked well, taking the fight to Honda, and was popular among privateers.

Of course, this being a racebike and not a warmed-over streetbike brings its own set of problems. Racebikes generally aren't designed with durability as a top priority, and two-strokes, although mechanically simple, are pretty maintenance-intensive. It’s also the nature of racing two-strokes, especially 125s and 250s, that they need gearing or jetting changes need to be made to suit the track, temperature, and altitude, to perform at their best. The trade off is incredible light weight and handling from the spartan machine, as well as racebike engineering to drool over. Honestly, I think Yamaha's Deltabox designs of the era are some of the most beautiful frames ever created, and I think I'd just want to ride it around with the bodywork off, although I'd prefer the original finish in place of the polished part seen here.

From the original eBay listing: 1992 Yamaha TZ250D for Sale

1992 YAMAHA TZ250D

One of a kind with a beautiful polished frame!!

  • All new bearings (swing arm, steering head, and wheels).
  • Suspension rebuilt will new oil, bushings, and seals, set up for 185 lb. rider.
  • .8 kg/mm fork springs 8.5 kg/mm shock spring
  • Rebuilt Shindy Daytona Steering Damper
  • 120 mile Rick Schell crankshaft (crank is a work of art, lightened and polished flywheels and rods)
  • 120 mile top end (pistons, rings, bearings)
  • Roland Cushway 8.0cc heads
  • 96' cylinders and pipes with 2.5mm pipe spacers per Roland Cushway
  • New plugs and caps
  • New reeds
  • New gaskets throughout
  • Dual EGTs
  • Daytona digital water temp gauge
  • New clutch and pressure plate
  • Every bearing in cases replaced with new (trans, case, water pump, balance shaft)
  • New EBC HH brake pads
  • GP tech thumb brake
  • Custom rear sets and foot pegs
  • Vortex Clip-ons
  • New DID x-ring chain
  • EBC Prolite rotors
  • Professional Paint
  • Airtech Aerotail w/anti Draft Shield
  • New Center front stand by Battle Factory
  • Original Rear Stand
  • New Multi-Temp Chicken Hawk Tire Warmers

Shipping to arranged and paid for by the buyer. I will assist the shipping company as needed. 

This Yamaha TZ250 has no racing history of note, so interested buyers will likely focus on race preparation and spares, since I'd assume they're planning to use it in anger, and sourcing some parts for these now obsolete two-strokes is only going to get harder. No mention is made of any spares package, so a quick email to the seller might be in order to see if there are any available. That aside, this looks like a killer track bike or race bike for someone with the skills or friends or money to keep it running, and the Buy It Now price is set at $12,500 which seems reasonable, considering the preparation that's gone into it.

-tad

Deltabox Racer: 1992 Yamaha TZ250D for Sale
Ducati February 23, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Putting the R in Race Replica: 2009 Ducati 1098R Bayliss for Sale

Created to celebrate his 2008 WSBK title win for Ducati, this Troy Bayliss Replica 1098R features the Aussie’s racing number, along with livery matching the bike he rode during the very last race of his career, sans sponsor logos. Ducati’s status as a sort of “Ferrari of Motorcycles” puts them in a tricky position. MV Agusta might be the much more appropriate bearer of that title for all the reasons obvious to the enthusiast community, but if you say “Ferrari” to anyone, even a non-enthusiast, they know exactly what you mean. They know it’s Italian, they know it’s fast, they know it’s expensive. And probably red. The same holds true for Ducati. If you say “MV Agusta” to your average non-rider, and all you’ll likely get are blank looks.

That sort of association is great for marketing and image, but it means the bike are under a lot of pressure, not only to perform, but to look the part. It’s a tough balance to manage, and Ducati has learned the hard way that sometimes form needs to take precedence over function. That was clearly the case with the Ducati 999 that was introduced to replace the 998. It was a radically new bike, and threw every design cue, aside from a transverse v-twin’s natural wasp-waisted silhouette and Ducati’s signature trellis frame, out the window. The style was aggressively modern, with a futuristic stacked projector beam face, fairing winglets to guide air around the bodywork, adjustable ergonomics and, horror of horror: a double-sided swingarm!

And it backfired.

So Ducati took a stylistic step backwards and introduced the 1098, a bike that continued to develop the Desmoquattro engine and their superbike platform, but incorporated a style more familiar to fans of the brand. Out went the stacked, cyclopean headlights and in came a slit-eyed face that still reminds me of a great white shark. It remains my favorite element of the design. Out went the odd, technical, unequal-length two-into-one undertail exhaust and in came twin exhaust cans clearly meant to evoke the 916. I still hate them, especially the stock parts. And back, much to the relief of the Ducatisti, was the iconic single-sided swingarm.

The homologation 1098R offers up prodigious performance and specs that are still eye-opening today: almost 190hp and 99ft-lbs of torque with the included race ECU and exhaust. That’d be terrifying without some form of safety net, and the 1098R was revolutionary for offering eight-level traction control in the form of DTC, or Ducati Traction Control. Assuming of course that you had the above-mentioned race ECU and exhaust installed, since they were required for the DTC to function. The traction control was crude by today’s standards, but was the first of its kind, a system designed to improve lap times, not provide all-weather safety, and a DDA Ducati Data Analyzer meant you could do a detailed trackday postmortem on your home computer, something of a revelation for sportbike pilots.

The R’s Testastretta Evoluzione was larger than the stock bike’s, displacing 1198.4cc, right on the WSBK limit for v-twins, and had titanium internals, twin injectors per cylinder, along with a slipper clutch to keep the rear tire under control during hard downshifts. Suspension was state-of-the-art with an Öhlins TTX36 twin-tube shock out back and a 43mm Öhlins fork up front. Brembo Monobloc calipers were the best available at the time.

From the original eBay listing: 2009 Ducati 1098R Bayliss Replica for Sale

Up for auction (or trade for collector cars) is a very rare 2009 Ducati 1098R Troy Bayliss bike. These bikes are limited production, only 500 made in total and 150 imported to the United States. This bike is unmolested, and it has 450 actual miles. I bought it because I love Ducatis and this example, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful bikes they have made. I do not have any of the original take-off parts, t-shirt, placard, etc. This bike is actually an 1198 engine, putting out 180hp@9750rpm and 99.1ft-lbs of torque. The bike has no issues, is ready for a collection or ready for use. I don’t need to sell the bike but would like to free the $ up. It is located in Sarasota, FL.

"Unmolested"? Well, let's be honest here: it has been molested. Luckily, the farkles [except for the red swingarm] can be removed and original parts sourced, but it says something about the previous owner that he'd add those godawful grips and multi-color bits, and Ducati collectors can be snobs about stuff like that... I get it: you were trying to replicate the bike's multicolor style, but just because there's blue in the design doesn't mean you can just use any color blue to... nevermind. Otherwise, this might be a great bike for collectors, with just 450 miles on the odometer. But that's a double-edged sword, since neglect is the worst thing for any Ducati. Interestingly, a bunch of these Ducati 1098R Troy Bayliss Replicas have cropped up for sale recently, which is odd, since just 500 were made, and the seller is asking $23,198.00 for this example. Obviously, if you plan to ride the bike, you'll need to go through it completely and do all the services, unless the seller can provide documentation. And then you might want to do them anyway, just to be safe.

-tad

Featured Listing February 21, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 2017 Suter MMX500 for Sale

Update 2.21.2019: Price has been dropped to $95,000USD and includes a large and generous spares package. Good luck to buyers and seller! -dc

So, I'm going to have to try not to gush uncontrollably here, because this is one of the coolest bikes we've featured recently. A real, live Suter MMX500, a "what if" race-replica from a parallel universe where MotoGP racing never made the switch from two-stroke to four-stroke power. A labor of love built by Eskil Suter of Suter Racing and a bunch of guys who never got over their addition to premix fumes.

Forget all of your shed-built Grand Prix homages with RZ500 engines stuffed into R6 chassis and painted up in Marlboro racing colors. No disrespect intended, but this is what you're looking for, the ultimate paean to the snarling, lethal machines that carried Rainey and Schwantz and Mamola to greatness.

The looks may be stealth-fighter modern, especially in this example's matte carbon finish, but the spirit of those older machines is still there, married to absolutely state-of-the-art racing technology. It's powered by a compact, fuel-injected two-stroke V4 with a pair of counter-rotating cranks based on the Swissauto/MuZ500 raced by Suter in 1998 and 1999. Apparently Suter "had a few crankcases kicking around from the 500cc V4 design," and frames are, obviously, their specialty.

I'm always fascinated by how two-strokes can be mounted in the frame: a lack of cams, cam-drives, or valve gear means they're ludicrously compact, and often oriented in ways not at all intuitive for someone weaned on four-strokes. In this case, the engine is laid over on its side, rotated 90 degrees from what you'd expect, facing forward. So more like a >4 really, at least if you're looking at it from the left-hand side...

The bike may be tagged as a 500, but it actually displaces 576cc, with an undersquare 56 x 58.5mm bore and stroke in an effort to deliver a bit more midrange and help the bike avoid racebike service intervals. Suter acknowledges that most of its customers are skilled enthusiasts, not win-or-crash racers, and the changes to the formula make for a more manageable ride that still captures the feeling of a two-stroke MotoGP machine, but is less likely to spit a rider off in an evil highside when they get in a bit over their head...

Modern electronics and fuel injection help there as well, while offering improved rideability and a better spread of power. Of course, the delivery is still two-stroke abrupt and, with 195hp at 13,000rpm pushing just 280lbs, power-to-weight is still fairly astonishing, so the two-stroke GP character is intact, just slightly more refined.

Head on over to the original listing for the bike, as there are plenty of additional photos for you to drool over.

From the Seller: 2017 Suter MMX500 for Sale

SUMMARY

Model: Suter MMX 500

Origin: Switzerland

Engine: Suter

Last Service: 490 km

Colour: Carbon

Suspension: Ohlins

Brakes: Brembo

OZ 17" wheels

Availability: Immediately in our store of USA

MODEL INFORMATION
Bike in good condition and ready to race. Extra parts included with the bike: rear stand, pistons, rings, reeds gaskets, fiber+steel clutch plates, plugs + caps, filters, front stand, windscreen, seat, engine stand, service manual, owner manual, cover.

Spares list:

Pistons, rings, carbon reeds, gaskets, and o-rings; enough for 2 complete rebuilds

fiber/steel clutch plates

plugs & caps

Spare seat #5 of 99

Engine stand, front & rear service stands

Parts, service & dash manuals

bike cover

This is the very first Suter MMX500 I've seen for sale. With just 99 made, I'm assuming they were all snapped up before they were even finished by well-heeled track day and racing fans. If you've got $115,000 $95,000 lying around and decide to buy this, please let me know what track days you'll be attending, because I need to see an MMX500 in action. The craftsmanship and passion that went into its creation are impressive, as you can see from the images. Of course, the price is shocking, but this is a very rare opportunity to purchase one at any price, so refinance your home, sell that sailboat, or sell that kidney, and pounce before someone else does.

-tad

Featured Listing: 2017 Suter MMX500 for Sale
Triumph February 17, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Mad About Saffron: 2000 Triumph Daytona 955i for Sale

This Triumph always makes me think of that classic Donovan song: "I'm just mad about Saffron, she's just mad about me, they call me Mellow Yellow [quite rightly]" Honestly, it isn't exactly mellow, but the Daytona 955i does look great in this pretty wild shade of yellow. It helps that the overall styling is simple and elegant, and there are no graphics to date the bike, but it's still hard to believe this thing is nearly 20 years old now, and I think it's one of the best-looking bikes of the period.

Designed as a road bike first and foremost, the 955i wasn't intended to go head-to-head with sports multis from Japan. Which is a good thing, because in the rigorous instrumented testing that has always been popular for comparison tests when bikes are new, they blew the Triumph into the weeds. But while bench-racing and dyno comparisons may help sell the latest and greatest sportbikes and do offer an unbiased way to compare different machines, they don't tell the whole story: then, as now, the Daytona is an excellent sportbike.

Back in the 90s Triumph made the calculated decision not to pitch their bike directly against the Japanese supertbike offerings. They knew they just didn't have the resources to develop a bike that weighed less than, make more power than, or would turn laptimes within 1/10th of a second of them, so they went ahead and just made a pretty great all-around sportbike oriented towards the road. It's a bit heavier, the riding position a bit more humane, the powerband more midrange-oriented, and the suspension just a little bit softer. All that meant the bike wasn't the greatest at turning a hot lap, but a higher build-quality and timeless looks mean it's a great bike for 95% of sportbike pilots, and those remaining 5% could ride the bike well enough

The original Daytona was available in three and four-cylinder versions, but only the triple got the nod for a redesign in 1997 seen here. It was redesigned in 2001 with a single, modern headlamp and a lighter, stiffer double-sided swingarm. That updated bike was much improved, but I prefer this earlier design, with the double headlight and the single-sided swingarm. This one appears to be in good condition, but miles aren't especially low. The bike has the very cool undertail exhaust that several companies made for these when they were new, although I understand the official factory performance exhaust upgrade was the way to go for real improvements across the board.

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Triumph 955i for Sale

This super bike is da BombDigity! It’s a real peach with only 21, 254 miles since birth. This machine is NOT for wimps or sissy-boys. When you grab the throttle on this 955cc, three cylinder throttle monster it’ll cause your ass to grab to seat OR… you just fall off. This monster comes with Triumph stock Brembo brakes on both tires. Speaking of tires these rubbers are brand new. Heck… wearing these rubbers just mike keep you safe in a Ron Jeremy movie starring Stormy Daniels. Remember what is was like to grab ahold of something and twist it and KNOW your day just got better? Well... This is the machine that will do that for you. This beast is fuel injected with an aftermarket Trident dual pipe under the seat. It already has the Battery Tender terminals attached to the batter so you can keep that battery fresh and ready to fire all year long. On a serious note though this example has never been track ridden and has only had two adult owners. This 2001 Triumph Daytona 955i is the bike that everyone wants to talk about and everyone loves to hear. 

This beast breathes through a larger, non-ram-air-equipped airbox with 46mm throttle bodies that feed a redesigned CNC-machined cylinder head featuring 1mm larger intake and 1mm smaller exhaust valves sitting at a narrow 23-degree included valve angle. New forged-aluminum pistons force a 12.0:1 compression ratio (over the previous 11.2:1 ratio), sitting atop stronger carburized connecting rods and a lighter crankshaft. This 955i pumps out somewhere in the neighborhood of 125 rear-wheel horsepower. On a dyno run that number bore with an impressive 128 hp at 10,500 rpm showing. The rear wheel is hung on a single-sided swing arm making for a killer look for sure.

The 955cc triple has no problem pulling the tall lower gears due to its stupendous amount of low and midrange torque. Big power starts at 4000 rpm (any lower than that requires a smooth throttle hand), launching the Daytona forward through the rev band like a locomotive on crystal meth; revs climb even quicker once the tach hits 7500 rpm, spinning up far faster than the old T595 ever could. The power continues to build up top, with the Triumph's distinct exhaust timbre accompanying the blurring scenery.

The Triumph Daytona 955i can make time with the best of Japanese track weapons through the curves; it just generates its acceleration in a slightly less frantic manner. Despite the claims of a lighter crankshaft, the 955i still has a lot of flywheel effect. This can be a boon for riders less accustomed to the precise throttle control and gearbox manipulation necessary with a typical four-cylinder. Throttle application isn't as critical, and sweeping turns where momentum is key allow you to showcase the Triumph's stomping midrange. 

The best part of this bike is its near V-twin torque and low/midrange grunt with a four-cylinder's screaming top end. The 955i is very deceptive in how it generates its speed. The gearing, especially in the lower cogs, is tall enough that the motor's relatively loping gait fools you into thinking you aren't really traveling that fast... until the next corner comes up. That tall gearing, however, when combined with the heavy flywheel effect, means care must be taken with downshifts during corner entries in the tighter stuff to avoid rear wheel hop.

If you’d like to come by and test ride this bike you must have in your possession a non-expired license with a motorcycle endorsement, you must have the full asking price of $5500USD in cash and you must let me hold the cash, your license and the keys to the vehicle you arrive in while you do the test ride.

Does anyone actually say "da BombDigity" anymore? Questionable taste in slang aside, this is a pretty great description of the bike, although the front brakes are Triumph-branded and not Brembo units. The seller does include the picture above showing damage to the tank with no explanation, and the scratch is gone in the other pictures, so it's worth a message to the seller before bidding, considering he's asking premium money for this one: the asking price is on the high side for a Daytona of this vintage at $6,500. Daytonas are especially appealing on the used market and offer pretty great value: they look great, have plenty of performance for all but the most hardcore road-racers, are reasonably reliable, and have been dirt-cheap for years now, although that's bound to change sooner or later.

-tad

Honda February 13, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

Affordable Cult Classic: 1988 Honda Hawk GT for Sale

Styled like a Japanese Ducati Monster, Honda's Hawk GT actually beat that bike to market by several years. It may have lacked a bit of sex appeal, but offered incredible versatility, reliability, and even some steering lock... The Hawk could scratch, commute, do some light-duty touring and, with a bit of work, made a great basis for a race bike. They've been extremely affordable for a while now, since they never really found an audience here in the US and are a bit too practical to be considered sexy, but fans love them, and low mileage examples like this one are pretty hard to find.

It was built around a simple, reliable 647cc 52° v-twin engine with liquid-cooling and three valves per cylinder. It was so reliable, in fact, it would go on to power thousands and thousands of Honda's shaft-drive Revere and Deauville touring bikes. Hardly the most inspiring legacy, but it could push the little Hawk GT, also known as the NT650 in some markets and the Bros 650 in Japan, to a top speed of 107mph.

But the Hawk GT, aka NT650 aka Bros 650 had another designation: the RC31 and Honda's competition legacy is visible if you look. Out back is the bike's party piece, a Elf-Racing Pro-Arm single-sided swingarm. The front end had just one disc brake, but the bike's relatively light 393lb dry weight meant stopping was adequate outside a race track, and a CBR600 front end with adjustable forks and an extra front disc and caliper is a popular swap.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda Hawk GT for Sale

1988 Honda Hawk 650 Low miles in mint condition. The Honda Hawk is the perfect choice for a low cost, fun good looking and reliable motorcycle. Single sided swing arm like its more expensive brother (RC30) and an excellent reliable power plant that is sure to give you more than ample power for every day use. You will be hard pressed to find a cleaner example of a bike that is 30 plus years old. Please feel free to call with any questions or for more information on this great machine.  Call  215 630 5952

It's unfortunate the seller doesn't include more pictures, but they are at least of high quality. There's plenty of time left on the auction, with no bids yet at the $3,500 starting bid. These can typically be had for that number or less, although condition and the mere 4,000 miles mean this might still get snapped up by Honda collectors, since that's still peanuts to pay for such a fun, reliable bike.

-tad

Affordable Cult Classic: 1988 Honda Hawk GT for Sale
Ducati February 9, 2019 posted by Tad Diemer

#388 of 400: 2002 Ducati 998S Bayliss Replica for Sale

Ducati's lineup of superbikes has long included three main tiers: the "entry-level" exotic standard version, the S-version that generally includes some trim and suspension updates, and the homologation R-version, that is sometimes a step up from the S, and sometimes an altogether different beast entirely... The most desirable bikes are most often the R-version, but when you make 400 examples of the Troy Bayliss replica 998S, you create something that combines the power and dynamics of the very best of the 916 era bikes with racing heritage.

The 998 was the end of the line for the iconic Tamburini-designed four-valve superbike that began with the 916, itself an evolution of the earlier 851 and 888. And although there is some parts interchangeability between the 916, 996, and 998, they represent a pretty significant evolution of the platform that's much more than skin-deep. Bodywork appears largely unchanged, although subtle massaging of the shape between generations is noticeable if you look closely. In the 998, it was redesigned to fit the new frame originally used in the 996R, and allow different airflow to the reworked cooling system.

Most significantly, the 998 saw the widespread introduction of the narrow-angle "Testastretta" engine originally seen in the 996R for a big boost to performance. "Narrow-angle" doesn't refer to the angle between the cylinders, which remained at Ducati's traditional 90° for perfect primary balance. Instead, the Testastretta engine featured new, more compact and efficient cylinder heads with a reduced included valve angle of 25°, down from 40°, along with bigger valves, larger pistons, more aggressive cams, and shower-type fuel injectors. The result was a claimed 123hp in the regular 998, up from 112 in the 996, with an increase to 136 for the 998S.

From the original eBay listing: 2002 Ducati 998S Bayliss Replica for Sale

Offered for sale is this stunning 2002 Ducati 998S Baylis #388 of only 400 made.

Built as a tribute to Troy Bayliss' 2001 WSB Championship, this 998S is in incredible condition and recently serviced.

Only 2200 miles!

Virtually stock with an Arrow exhaust, levers, Sargent seat, integrated turn signals and open carbon clutch cover with pressure plate.

A rare opportunity to own a classic. These 998's are as amazing in person as they looks in pictures.

Clean title as always.

Bayliss was a popular rider, but this particular race-replica graphics scheme is a bit bland to my eye, the kind of thing you could replicate on a box-stock 998 with Photoshop and a good quality printer. It's almost too authentic race-bike, in that it's a rolling billboard first and foremost. 916s and 996s have dipped pretty low in terms of values and seem to be on an upswing, but the 998 was never really very cheap. It was still being produced when the... controversial 999 was introduced, and many people seem to have been aware that they'd eventually be considered collectible. This one's $17,450 asking price is more in line with one of Ducati's R-model bikes, but extremely limited production and low miles make it a very desirable bike.

-tad

#388 of 400: 2002 Ducati 998S Bayliss Replica for Sale