Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Suzuki August 31, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing and NO RESERVE: 1987 Suzuki RGV250Γ for Sale

It’s a shame that we never really got any of the incredibly focused quarter-liter sportbikes from Japan here in the USA. Luckily, a few have sneaked in over the years, followed by a veritable flood of Japanese market bikes that have been brought over in recent years, since most are now over 25 years old and much easier to import. The spec sheets would have you believe they’re all virtually the same bike, but each had its own unique character, and today’s Featured Listing Suzuki RGV250Γ was the wild-child of the bunch.

1987 Suzuki RGV250Γ for Sale on eBay

Introduced in 1987 as a 90° v-twin followup to the parallel-twin RG250, the new RGV250 “Gamma” went through VJ21, VJ22, and VJ23 iterations before disappearing. The liquid-cooled two stroke engine displaced the expected 249cc, with a bore and stroke of 56mm x 50.6mm, and was backed by the equally expected six-speed gearbox. The bike used a 17″ front wheel and an 18″ rear as was common in the class, although later models featured matched 17″ hoops.

The “Real Sprinter Slingshot” emblazoned on the tail sounds like the sort of technical jargon the Japanese are known for but, as far as I can tell, it’s just a bit of a tie-in to the four-stroke GSX-R of the period that featured “Slingshot” carburetors. Later bikes featured swanky asymmetrical “banana” swingarms and electronic power valves, all shoutingly-proclaimed in bright acronyms on the fairings. Those bikes were more developed and more refined but, at just 282lbs dry, the VJ21 seen here was the lightest and most powerful of the bunch, and perhaps the most pure as well.

From the original eBay listing: 1987 Suzuki RGV250Γ for Sale

NO RESERVE This model not sold in USA, Direct import Japanese Domestic Market bike, 62hp pre-restrictions model, lightest weight year. Pretty much 250GP bike with lights added, cassette gearbox, all the right stuff! This is my favorite bike I have ever owned, absolute joy to ride, moving to where there are no roads, so gotta part with it. Runs great, shifts great, rides great. Recent sticky Dunlop Alpha 13 dot race series tires. Current MD tags and title. Original front fender cracked, see pic small cracks on fairings nothing major. Includes racing replica plastics from Hong Kong. Includes lots of extras, complete good running and shifting spare black Walter Wolf engine (no carbs, shift lever or kickstarter), original white wheels (18 in rear.) Zeeltronic programmable ignition box/ exhaust valve controller, spare exhaust valve actuator. Only bad, fork seals leak therefore front brake pads are oily. 29,614 km, or 18,401 miles. Unrestricted first year production for the V2, year after these were made Japanese law limited engine HP output. Also advertised locally so if ended early, that’s why.

Note that the seller does have this listed as a 1987 model and it’s probably titled that way, but it looks like a VJ21 model from 1988. That may just be a quirk of titling and registration, or the bike was a very early production VJ21. This is obviously not a perfectly-preserved museum piece. It’s a rider, and comes with some spares to change the look, or just keep the bike running. Or maybe you just happen to have an engine-less Walter Wolf RG250 lying around and can use the included engine to get that project rolling. The aftermarket panels might not be remotely original, but I like the idea of installing the included aftermarket, race-replica bodywork for a bike that’s intended to be ridden hard, instead of being displayed in a hermetically-sealed garage.

-tad

Featured Listing and NO RESERVE: 1987 Suzuki RGV250Γ for Sale
Triumph August 28, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

Thug in a Tux: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale

Big nakeds have finally come of age here in the US, with trick, high performance options from all of the major manufacturers. They’re the perfect bikes for affluent, middle-aged folks who can’t handle the crippling riding position of hard-core sportbikes, but still have a taste for speed and the skill to appreciate thoroughbred handling. But in the early to mid 1990s, things were just getting rolling for that market segment in North America, and the Ducati Monster and Triumph’s original T309 Speed Triple were at the forefront.

Both of those aforementioned bikes were designed with the same philosophy in mind and built using a similar formula: take an existing platform, in Triumph’s case a variation of their modular spine frame and their proven three-cylinder engine and transmission, fit a simple dash, stick a round headlight on the front, and roll it out the door. The original Speed Triple was a bit more retro-looking than the Ducati Monster, but it was popular and profitable, helped to keep the newly reestablished Triumph afloat, and remains a mainstay of their production.

A claimed 98hp came from a liquid-cooled, four-valve per cylinder 885cc triple was backed by a five-speed gearbox, and the bike had adjustable suspension at both ends and beefy six-piston brake calipers up front. Unfortunately, the bike’s modular origins meant weight was carried too high, and the bike wasn’t really much of a handler. It all makes for a pretty ripping streetbike though, with retro-cool looks and plenty of performance for the road.

The bike shows 17,769 miles, which should be no problem if the bike has been sympathetically maintained, since the burly Triumph engines of the era were pretty durable. The carbon fiber wheels should go a ways towards both lightening the bike and improving handling, and the flat-slides, while less forgiving than CV carbs, should improve power and add another layer to the triple’s characterful soundtrack that’s already been enhanced by the full aftermarket exhaust.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale

Fast, fun, and reliable speed triple. Well maintained with many upgrades. Dymag carbon fiber rims. Taylor Made carbon fiber engine covers. Carbon fiber fenders. Keihin flat slide carbs. Staintune stainless and carbon full exhaust system. New tires 4 months ago with plenty of tread left.

Unfortunately, although this one has some tasty period extras, it’s not cosmetically perfect: there’s some surface corrosion on the pipes, wear on the tank pad, and the carbon fiber is pretty faded, considering the bike’s $5,750 reserve price. From what we’ve seen, that’s a pretty ambitious asking price for a first-generation Speed Triple, although the cosmetics could be cleaned up and the paint still looks very shiny. The first-generation Speed Triple is a collectible in the making, but so far prices have remained low. That’s great for fans of bargain exotics, but not so much for ambitious sellers ahead of the curve.

-tad

Thug in a Tux: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale
Kawasaki August 24, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

The Danger Zone: 1985 Kawasaki GPz900R for Sale

Today’s Kawasaki GPz900R “Ninja” is one of the most iconic Japanese sport bikes of all time: the image of Tom Cruise racing a Tomcat along a runway, with just a pair of sunglasses, a bomber jacket, and his million-dollar smile to protect him from bugs traveling at 221 feet per second was burned into the minds of fans, cementing the Ninja’s place in motorcycling history as one of the coolest bikes ever. Unlike the film version, this example is slathered in classic Kawasaki green-and-white paint, making it just that extra bit 80s.

Elsewhere, the bike was known as the GPz900R, a clear evolution of the earlier GPz models. But here in the USA, it got a much more evocative name: “Ninja.” It’s clearly a bit silly now, naming your motorcycle after an ancient and heavily mythologized group of secretive assassins. But in the 1980s, ninjas were the height of cool, and the edgy styling of the bike certainly fit the name.

But the bike was sophisticated under that angular skin as well: the Ninja used one of the first liquid-cooled engines fitted to a motorcycle, and it eschewed the usual center-mounted cam-chain for one mounted on the end of the 16-valve engine to make it more compact. Today the numbers look decidedly sport-touring: 546lbs wet, with 115hp and a 151mph top speed. But at the time, the bike was pure sex and finding one this clean is pretty difficult today.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Kawasaki GPz900R for Sale

Up for auction is a rare opportunity to purchase a fully sorted and functional ninja 900R in the KAWASAKI trademark A2 export lime green. Thousands of dollars and thousands of hours went into the restoration/sorting of this motorcycle by a factory trained Kawasaki technician as a means of therapy. Believe it or not, it has $500.00 worth of OE o-rings in the cooling system and carburetors alone. Has had the mechanical work necessary for it to be right, whatever was needed was done or replaced (carburetor kits/cooling system complete overhaul etc.

This was the series of NINJA that started it all as the first water-cooled road-superbikes by Kawasaki. Restored by veteran motorcycle restorer that has been doing this since the 1980s. Valves adjusted to specifications, good cylinder pressures, pulls hard!  Valves lapped for optimum pressure. Good compression as would be expected with the low miles! New tires, chain, clutches pulled checked, counter-balance shaft chain adjusted. Replaced front wheel bearings because he did not like the way they felt in his hands. All new fluids in every system. This bike has standard drive sprocket ratios.

 This 617 LIME GREEN (this is not a lime green of a 1970 barracuda) it is a proprietary mixture color that can only be bought through authorized KAWASAKI dealers at $200.00 a quart retail. PPG DC-3000 premium clear.

Like most Japanese sportbikes, these depreciated to a point where they became nearly disposable, and many were thrashed, heavily modified, or written off. This one has obviously had a ton of attention lavished on it, and that paint! With just 10,500 miles on the odometer this is very clean and ready for anyone looking for a quick trip down that highway to the danger zone…

-tad

The Danger Zone: 1985 Kawasaki GPz900R for Sale
MV Agusta August 21, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: No Reserve 2007 MV Agusta F4 1000R for Sale!

Update 8.21.2020: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

It’s still amazing to me that bikes like this MV Agusta F4 1000R can be had for so little money. Sure, modern bikes blow them into the weeds, especially in terms of their usability: a 200hp motorcycle would have been considered terrifying and nearly unridable not too long ago. Today, it’s pretty much par for the course. But the F4 still offers something special and the bike has no rider aids whatsoever, so the experience is pretty visceral and raw.

2007 MV Agusta F4 1000R for Sale on eBay

After the release of the extremely limited-production F4 750 Serie Oro that was dripping in exotic materials, MV Agusta beat the odds and managed to get their stunning superbike into series production. Unfortunately the production 750 was, unfortunately, outclassed by much more affordable 750s that cost half as much. Then the whole 750 class was made basically redundant by the burgeoning 1000cc superbike class. Enter the MV Agusta F4 1000S designed to compete on level playing field with bikes like the GSX-R1000. The F4 1000S was followed by the 1000R in 2007 and it included a few tasty upgrades. Today’s example is one of the best you’re likely to find.

The R included a revised frame, new Brembo wheels that updated the style a bit, and Brembo Monobloc calipers, although the Nissin brake and cluth master cylinders were retained. A fully-adjustable Marzocchi fork and a Sachs shock out back gave the bike incredibly stable handling. Most notably, it included an improved version of the radial-valved, 998cc inline four that produced a claimed 174hp. The F4 wasn’t as agile, lightweight, or as user-friendly as inline-four competitors from Japan, but that boost in power was enough to push the bike to 180mph.

From the Seller: 2007 MV Agusta F4 1000R for Sale

I am selling my rather immaculate 2007 F4R. It has less than 1000 miles on the clock, completely original and has been with me for the last five years. “As new” is an understatement – the previous owner had a Ferrari dealership in Scottsdale and put the bike from new sitting on a plinth in the dealership entrance. He also threw the OEM carbon fiber options book at it. The only thing I have changed is the battery. Unfortunately it is time to sell as I have spent more time polishing than riding it!

Overall, the F4 1000R offered evolutionary improvements to MV’s flagship superbike. It wasn’t as exclusive as the extremely limited-production CC or Tamburini, but no version of the F4 is actually very common, and they never fail to draw a crowd when parked up. The seller is offering this basically perfect bike at NO RESERVE. You can find an F4 for less money, but if you’re a collector looking for a pristine example, this one deserves your consideration.

-tad

Featured Listing: No Reserve 2007 MV Agusta F4 1000R for Sale!
Suzuki August 17, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1983 Suzuki Katana 1100 for Sale

Update 8.17.2020: This Katana has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Introduced in 1981, Suzuki’s Katana looked so radical and futuristic that it polarized the motorcycling community. Since the GSX-R that followed a couple years later really set the standard in terms of styling for pretty much every sportbike that followed, the Katana ended up with a kind of retro-futurist vibe, a bike from an era that only really happened in the minds of the designer. The bones were very traditional, with a twin-shock rear suspension, a 19″ front wheel, and Suzuki’s well-developed but hardly cutting-edge inline four. There’s obviously nothing wrong with 111hp and wind tunnel tested aerodynamics, but those looks were the biggest attraction both then and now. And those looks are on display in this gorgeously restored example.

1983 Suzuki Katana 1100 for sale on eBay

The striking styling was done by BMW designer Hans Muth and Target Design, and aerodynamics developed using Science! gave a claimed 147mph top speed. Later bikes featured a pop-up headlight that was always intended for the bike, and I’ve always loved the compact gauge cluster that tucks in behind the minimalist screen. The rest of the bike was based on conventional, workmanlike components and proven technology from Suzuki’s vast catalog.

The engine was plenty stout and very reliable: an air/oil-cooled 1074cc dual overhead cam inline four with 16-valve heads and Suzuki’s Twin Swirl Combustion Chamber technology powered the beast, hung in a twin-shock cradle frame that provided stable handling for the hulking, 535lb wet bike. Anti-dive forks up front were a nod to modern technology, although they never worked all that well.

After its introduction in 1981, the bike made it to US shores in 1982 fitted with a 998cc version of the TSCC engine to qualify for Superbike racing, with the full-sized 1074 arriving in 1983. At the time, performance would have been quickly superseded by the GSX-R that soon followed, but those wild looks and musclebike performance make it a fast-appreciating collectible today.

From the Seller: 1983 Suzuki Katana 1100 for Sale

When I took on this project, I approached it as if I were the original owner maintaining the bike as a rider that was well cared for over the years. Trying to strike a balance on original finishes and as preserved as possible. The upper fairing, tank, side vents and side panels are new Suzuki parts. The upper and tank, not sold anymore, are NOS. The tank has never had gas in it. The bike was run with an external bottle prior to final assembly.  When the bike arrived in the shop, it had 19K on the odometer and was documented for title purposes at that time. Upon inspection, sometime around 1985 or so the original gauges were damaged and a Katana 750 set was installed and improperly hardwired on the bike. A new, complete wiring harness was purchased and installed. The proper replacement set of 1100 gauges from Japan were sourced that show 18,820 miles indicated. Title will reflect 19k, as the bike came in.  Bike last titled in 1987.  
Anything that had to come off the bike to be addressed was replaced or repaired to original spec (except carb jetting, K&N and V&H pipe). For example, the tires were replaced so, the wheels were powder coated and new bearings installed. The motor was not pulled from the frame, nor was the frame or swingarm painted. All original patina is present on the frame, including the fragile VIN sticker on the left side. I choose not to paint the frame and swingarm because it is original once. If the new owner wishes to paint the frame and swingarm, that would be their choice and can be handled in this shop. I have the original parts including the old gauge set that were taken off the bike, as well as the rear shocks.
New parts:
  • Michelin Pilot tires
  • Ohlins S36P rear shocks
  • Suzuki wheel bearings
  • Suzuki NOS tank and upper fairing
  • Suzuki side panels, left and right
  • Suzuki fuel petcock
  • Suzuki mirrors, pair
  • Suzuki OEM hand grips, pair
  • Suzuki switch gear left and right
  • Suzuki front turn signals
  • Suzuki Ignition coils
  • Suzuki rear master cylinder
  • Suzuki rectifier
  • Suzuki Igniter
  • Suzuki tail lens
  • Suzuki signal generator
  • Suzuki relays
  • Suzuki oil filter
  • Suzuki clutch lever
  • Suzuki clutch cable
  • Seat cover, replica
  • K&N air filter
  • EBC front pads
  • Replica front windshield
  • SuperSprox Chainwheels
  • RK Gold chain
  • Battery
  • NGK plugs
  • Vance and Hines Supersport exhaust
  • Rebuilt original carbs, all new O rings, gaskets, needle valves
  • Halogen bulb
  • Powder coated wheels
Clean Florida title in my name ready to go. Not built to reside in a museum, although it is not far from getting there. Built to ride. The front fork set up is original, no leaks, but not rebuilt. If the bike ends up with me, I will be replacing it with a GSX-R1100 USD unit and a 17in wheel. Runs very well, crisp throttle and ready to go. New Michelin Pilot tires, EBC brake pads
Asking $10,900    
I would consider partial trade for RG500 or RZ500 trades with cash from my side, for similar condition bike. If you need to know more about my work, check out gsxronly.com and look here as well. https://jalopnik.com/get-your-hands-on-an-early-suzuki-gsx-r-while-you-still-1794407221

Thanks for the interest.

The seller has posted bikes with us in the past, and all look to have been of the highest caliber, and this one is no exception: unless a pure, time-capsule museum-piece is your goal, you’re unlikely to find a first-generation Katana nicer than this one.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1983 Suzuki Katana 1100 for Sale
Ducati August 17, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

Featured Listing: 1993 Ducati Superlight for Sale

Update 8.17.2020: This bike has SOLD to an RSBFS reader! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Putting a numbered plaque and some bling on your moribund sportbike is a time-tested method to generate some buzz. It works especially well if you’re a storied, but slightly skint manufacturer of moribund Italian sportbikes. But parts-bin engineering doesn’t mean the resulting product is necessarily bad, and this Ducati Superlight is proof-positive that the whole can be much more than the sum of the parts.

By 1993, well-heeled sportbike buyers knew that the 916 was right around the corner, and the then-current 888 offered much more performance potential. But that finicky, uncomfortable, and maintenance-intensive machine wasn’t necessarily practical, or all that much good on the road. Assuming you wanted to do more than bench-race or compare lap times, the long-serving two-valve Desmodue-powered 900SS made a great platform for a limited-edition sportbike, and the Superlight was just a 900SS with some bolt-on parts.

To be honest, the list of performance modifications to make a Superlight was pretty short: upswept exhaust pipes in place of passenger pegs that gave additional cornering clearance, a stylish solo tail section, and a few carbon dodads to “reduce weight.” Most significantly, the Superlight featured Marvic composite wheels: magnesium hubs and spokes bolted up to polished aluminum rims. Combined, the changes saved about 15lbs, compared to the stock bike. Considering the price then and now, a gym membership would be a cheaper and more effective way to increase performance. Of course, nobody really bought a Superlight for its performance potential anyway.

This particular bike is a bit different though, and offers a bit more than your run of the mill Desmodue: a tuned 944cc engine. 86hp might not sound like much, but the stock 904cc engine made a claimed and likely optimistic 80hp. Around 70hp at the wheel is more likely for a factory 900SS, so the big-bore kit installed in this Superlight and the corresponding 69lb-ft of torque to go with the 86rwhp is nothing to sneeze at.

Cosmetically, this is a very nice bike, as you can see from the photos in the listing. It’s not completely original, although the 944 kit and Staintune exhaust are certainly period-appropriate upgrades for the performance minded Ducatisti who plans to ride their new acquisition, rather than let it collect dust and appreciate as part of a stock portfolio. The seller is also including all the parts necessary to make the bike appear totally stock so a buyer can achieve stock show appearance if they wanted.

From the Seller: 1993 Ducati Superlight for Sale
1993 Ducati 900SS Superlight. Super clean exceptional performing and running correct (#789/953, Marvic magnesium/aluminum wheels, Brembo full floating iron rotors, carbon fiber front fender, rear inner fender, dash trim, countershaft cover, high pipes, solo tail) example. Excellent original paint, 2 owner bike. Built and tuned by Doug Lofgren. 86 rwhp (944ccc with big valves, headwork and Staintune exhaust – dyno sheet included). Suspension revalved and set up for 200lb rider.Freshly serviced by Ducati master tech (valve clearance check, belts, plugs, oil/filter, flush brakes and clutch). Full Staintune exhaust system, carbon fiber clutch cover, braided steel brake lines, 520 chain/sprockets, lithium battery with special charger. All original parts (except airbox lid) included, along with new belts, factory tool kit, owners manual and Haynes service manual. Tires have aged out and should be replaced, if the bike is to be ridden. ~19,700 miles. No cosmetic defects, except a few minor chips on upper,and front point of lowers behind the front wheel (touched up) and a small rash mark on the edge of the left muffler. Click here for 80 photos of the bike and scans of service and tuning, including close up photos of the mentioned defects.

$12,500 $11,500

I’ve included the majority of the Seller’s photos here, but there are additional images available at the link, including close ups of some minor blemishes, dyno sheets, and other documentation. I personally prefer Termignoni exhausts on my 90s Ducatis, but Staintune makes a very high-quality product so, aside from tires, this bike is ready to go. The seller includes a video of the bike starting up and running and the asking price is $11,500 which seems very much in line with prices we’ve seen recently. If what you want is a delivery-mile museum piece, this might not be the bike you want. But the would make a terrific bike to actually ride, and it’s pretty enough to park in your living room between weekend rides embarrassing modern sportbikes in the canyons.

-tad
Featured Listing: 1993 Ducati Superlight for Sale
MV Agusta August 7, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

Subdued Sportbike: 2005 MV Agusta Brutale 750S for Sale

If you’re looking to sample MV’s four-cylinder wail but can’t contort yourself into the cramped riding position required of the utterly gorgeous F4, the Brutale 750S manages to pack most of that bike’s thrills into a much less painful package. Somehow, there are people out there who don’t like these, but I love the looks. It’s a testament to the design of the four-cylinder Brutale that it manages to look good in such bland colors. And stock exhausts generally look terrible, but aftermarket components have yet to better these elegant, slash-cut cans.

MV’s 749cc radial-valved inline four motivates the 750S, detuned slightly to a claimed 127hp. The same steel trellis that frames the F4 is reused here, although suspension isn’t quite as plush, with a 49mm Showa fork that still looks impossibly beefy today, mated to a Sachs shock, and the entire package weighs in at just over 400lbs dry.

Personally, the 750S is the Brutale I’d personally want to own: its 127 horses are plenty in such a nimble, unfaired motorcycle. This example isn’t in pristine condition: the Northeast weather has taken a bit of a toll on some of the surfaces, and it has its share of nicks and scratches. In the plus column, it comes with a veritable smorgasbord of upgrade parts and other bike-related stuff. It might almost be worth it to pick the whole lot up to use as spares for your own Brutale…

From the original eBay listing: 2005 MV Agusta Brutale 750S for Sale

For sale is a well ridden 2005 MV Agusta Brutale 750S with a clear NY State Title. I purchased the bike from its original owner in 2012 with just over 2000 miles on the clock and have lovingly cared for and ridden it since. There are currently just over 15k miles on the clock and several tasteful upgrades. Please note the dash was replaced a few years ago, so the new odometer does not reflect the original 5000 miles from the previous unit.

The Bike Includes:
Marzocchi 50mm front forks with Radial Mounts
Brembo M4 Monobloc Calipers
Brembo T Drive 320mm Rotors (Less than 1000 Miles)
EBC Sintered Brake Pads (Less than 1000 Miles)
Custom Braided Steel Brake Lines
Brembo RCS Brake and Clutch Master Cylinders
Decat Mid Pipe
Re-flashed ECU with custom fuel map by Eraldo Ferracci himself
Oberon Clutch Slave Cylinder
Oberon Rider Foot Pegs and Shift/Brake lever eccentrics
Upgraded Water Pump Impeller
Aluminum Fan 
New Pirelli Diablo Rosso 3 Tires (Less than 1000 Miles)
Dash Replaced 10k miles ago
New Headlight Assembly 
Rizoma Sport Handlebar
CRG Blindspot Mirrors
Motovation Bar End Weights/Sliders
Motovation Frame Sliders
Motovation Front Axle Sliders
Motovation Rear Axle Sliders
Rizoma Action Turn Signals
Custom Tail Tidy/Integrated Rear Turn Signals
Union Garage Plate Puller

Sale Will Also Include:
Original Front End
Original Braking System (Rotors/Calipers/Master Cylinders)
Original Front Axle
Original Owners Manual
2 Original Keys

Rear Stand
2 Quarts Motul 10W60 Oil
New Tech Spec Tank Grips
Full Service Records and receipts for the last 8 years
Whatever extra parts I have laying around..
This Bike was my daily ride for several years, and reflects the bumps and bruises of owning and riding a bike in NYC (including being knocked over while parked..). This bike has been meticulously cared for and maintained by Tyler Lunceford (Moto Pistole/North Motorcycle), Kerry Sano (Moto Velocita), Rockwell Cycles and Fast By Ferracci prior to their closure.

It’s nice that the seller includes the original front end and braking set up, but I’d be happy to keep the Marzocchis with those powerful Brembo calipers and matching radial master, thanks. Not that there’s anything wrong with the stock parts… Bidding is up just over $3,000 with about 24 hours left on the auction. I still think these are screaming deals, considering you get most of the looks and rarity of Tamburini’s F4 in a package that allows you to more fully use the available performance. Wind blast on the freeway sort of sucks, but these are a ton of fun everywhere else, and you won’t find a cooler bike for the money.

-tad
Subdued Sportbike: 2005 MV Agusta Brutale 750S for Sale
MZ July 27, 2020 posted by Tad Diemer

Singular Simplicity: 1997 MZ Skorpion Sport

The sad thing about being a serious motorcycle geek is that most people don’t really understand my obsession with and enthusiasm for weird motorcycles. Even other motorcyclists. I was thinking about this today as I was poring over the engine of a friend’s Velocette Venom, trying to suss out the function of the little cable-actuated device at the base of the pushrod tube [compression-release, we decided]. I mean, I happen to think bikes like this MZ Skorpion Sport are incredibly cool, but most motorcyclists are ignorant of their existence. That’s a shame, since [East] German brand MZ has a storied history and basically single-handedly ushered in modern two-stroke performance when they developed the first expansion chambers for their race bikes.

The Skorpion Sport doesn’t have those, however.

What the Skorpion Sport does have is Yamaha’s five-valve single that displaced 660cc, just 6cc short of being an engine of pure evil. As it was basically an off-road drivetrain repurposed for sportbike duty, a Yamaha five-speed gearbox transferred power to the rear wheel, and the package was suspended in a tubular steel frame. The engine and frame formed the foundation for a whole range of interesting and generally very competent motorcycles from MZ, from the Mastiff supermoto and Baghira dual-sport, to the Traveller sport-tourer, Replika, and the Skorpion Sport.

Overall, the bike is simplicity itself, the purest incarnation of a sports motorcycle you’re likely to find at this price point. Weight was a hair over 400lbs wet, and handling generally considered to be excellent. Styling looks a big like a Gilera Saturno and the bike does feature passenger pegs, although there’s no guarantee there is a pillion pad hiding under the seat cowl, or included with the bike. The 1990s were weird like that.

From the original eBay listing: 1997 MZ Skorpion Sport for Sale

Looks great. Runs Outstanding. Low mileage. I’ve taken it on several long rides with no problems at all. Yamaha reliability. Made in Germany. Designed in England. Lots of Italian bits. Buyer responsible for pick up. I’ll help get it on to the transporter. I have the unsigned registration papers, and original manual. New tires. Small scuff on right side of engine where someone dropped it. It’s in the pictures. I have the under-belly fairing, and the original muffler as well. I never registered it in CA. (DMV-phobia) Bill of sale only.

There hasn’t been much interest in this MZ so far, with bidding up to $2,300 and about one more day left on the listing. That’s on the low side, but Skorpions don’t go for much more money than that right now: they’re rare, but not especially collectible. What they are is great value, with an exotic nameplate, nimble handling, stone-axe reliability. With single-cylinder classes a popular way to get into racing on a budget, Skorpions often get snapped up to be converted into lightweight track-hacks. They’re good for that, but it does seem a little sad that such interesting machines

-tad

Singular Simplicity: 1997 MZ Skorpion Sport