Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Ducati July 12, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Super Single: 1993 Ducati Supermono for Sale

1993 Ducati Supermono 2

Well, this certainly isn't the best-photographed Ducati Supermono I've come across: those pics look straight out of some grainy newsreel footage from the 1940's, but it's still beautiful, and this is one of those bikes we always have to post when they come along. Perhaps the very best of Terblanche's futuristic designs, it looks obviously part of the Ducati family, and at the same time, like nothing else.

1993 Ducati Supermono 4

Designed to compete in the Sound of Singles series that supported World Superbike, the Supermono had, as you might expect, one cylinder. But while big singles produce whomping big spoonfuls of torque, they tend to be limited in terms of how high they can rev by the fact that they vibrate themselves to pieces. And even if the engines held together, the riders' bones would turn to dust and they wouldn't be able to see anything anyway.

But Ducati had a better idea. Basing their engine on their usual four-valve "L-twin," they simply blanked off the rear cylinder. Okay, simple enough so far. But then they fitted a dummy con-rod to help balance out vibration by simulating the forces generated by the missing vertical cylinder.

1993 Ducati Supermono 4

The result was a 549cc single that could wind around to 11,000rpm safely and produce 65hp while weighing in at under 300lbs dry. Fitted with brakes from the standard v-twin superbike, stopping power is never an issue, and the bike corners like a 250GP machine.

It's hard to see, but there are many bits like top triple clamp and engine cases that are suspiciously green. Why green? #becausemagnesium.

1993 Ducati Supermono 3

Also: I just love racing tachs like this. They're basically saying, "Look, this bike doesn't really even make any power there anyway, so what's the point of worrying about it? Let's just forget about those revs, okay?"

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Ducati Supermono for Sale

Up for auction is an extremely rare 1993 Ducati Supermono.
A must have for any Ducati collector.
#16 out of 67 worldwide
Barely used, looks brand new.
Runs beautifully! I have a video upon request.

Race bikes look so good because their form obviously follows function. They're beautiful like fighter jets are beautiful: there's sinister purpose in that shape, and that's the tragedy of any collectible race bike. They're obviously wasted, sitting in collections.

But just 65 Supermonos were produced between 1993 and 1995and they weren't cheap when new, so people tend to risk lesser machines for their racetrack outings. As the seller suggests, these are some of the most collectible modern Ducatis. it's a shame they never made a roadgoing version: you want a streetable Italian supersports single with racing credentials, you have to pick up a Bimota BB1...

-tad

1993 Ducati Supermono 1

Honda July 11, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

End of the Line: 1995 Honda NSR250R SP for Sale

1995 Honda NSR250R SP R SideLooking very 90's in Honda's traditional red, white, and blue (hey, wait a minute..) paint scheme, this Honda NSR250R SP will hopefully mollify the two-stroke fans who didn't like the older NSR we posted up earlier this week.

1995 Honda NSR250R SP Tank

The MC28 was introduced in 1993 and was up about 10lbs over the previous MC21. It was an obvious evolution of that bike, but the Pro-Arm single-sided swingarm seen on Honda's bikes of this era makes a bold styling statement, while the dry clutch adds a bit of rattle to go with the snarling and popping from the dinky little exhaust cans.

1995 Honda NSR250R SP Front and Rear

The little 90° 249cc two stroke v-twin made about 45hp stock but, suitably de-restricted, it could make significantly more and with a dry weight of just a shade over 300lbs, these are a far-cry from the small-displacement "sportbikes" many riders learned on. Designed to ape the look and feel of Honda's 250GP bikes, these are very serious motorcycles that provide thrills on par with much larger motorcycles, while stressing brains over brawn.

1995 Honda NSR250R SP FrameAt the other end of the spectrum from the guys who reprint the entire specifications-sheet for the bike they're trying to sell are folks like this, who keep it very, very brief.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Honda NSR250R SP for Sale

Here is an investment opportunity not to be missed. Up for sale is a 1995 Honda NSR250 SP(R3S) one of only 900 produced worldwide. Don't miss this opportunity to own one of the most desirable two strokes on the planet.

The bike is listed as being in Cape Town, South Africa at the moment, but the photos show signs on the walls that are clearly in Japanese. So I assume those were taken before the bike shipped? Is it actually in Cape Town? 1995 Honda NSR250R SP DashWhile meaningless spec sheets are definitely TMI, a bit of history for this particular machine is pretty key: you can clearly see the dash photo of Honda's very slick PGM-IV "ignition card" that replaces a key on these bikes. The card contains a set of tuning parameters for the engine and should theoretically allow racers to tune their bikes for different tracks by simply swapping in new cards. But this also has the downside of making PGM-equipped bikes somewhat difficult to de-restrict, if it hasn't been done already...

Regardless, wherever you plan to import this, do your homework if you plan to register it for road use.

-tad

1995 Honda NSR250R SP L Side

End of the Line: 1995 Honda NSR250R SP for Sale
Ducati July 10, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Bridging the Gap: 1990 Ducati 750 Sport for Sale

1990 Ducati 750 Sport L Side FrontThe Ducati 750 Sport was an interim model introduced in 1988 that followed on the heels of the F1. Ducati owners Cagiva hoped to capture the spirit and style of the vaunted 750SS, but buyers weren’t having it, and the bike was replaced by the long-running 900SS of the early 1990’s. 1990 Ducati 750 Sport R SideThe F1 was relatively expensive to produce and the 750 Sport was a definite attempt to cut costs. Lower-spec suspension, along with brakes and 16” wheels came straight over from the Paso and were a step backwards: by 1990, manufacturers were moving away from the 16” wheels towards 17” and this made it difficult to get the latest and stickiest rubber for serious riding. 1990 Ducati 750 Sport Tank1988 was the first year Ducatis featured the rear cylinder flipped around to locate both intakes in the center of the “vee” and allowed the use of the automotive-style carburetor arrangement that plagued the Paso. This required some revisions to the F1’s frame to accommodate the larger airbox and bulky carburetor. As with the Paso, this set up was not ideal and the conversion to a dual-carb set up as seen on this example is definitely a very desirable modification that should improve both rideability and power. 1990 Ducati 750 Sport CarbsThe bike does have a dry clutch with a vented cover, and it’s interesting to note the earlier location of the clutch slave on the right side of the engine.

Only 153 750 Sports were made in 1990 before the bike was replaced by the heavily revised 900SS the followed and remained in production until 1998.

1990 Ducati 750 Sport R Side Rear

There's not all that much information over at the original eBay listing: 1990 Ducati 750 Sport for Sale

 A 1990 Ducati 750 Sport it's a rare bike  great condition

$6,500 with just a couple days left and no bidders as yet. That's no surprise, as this really isn't the most desirable Ducati, but it is very rare and is in excellent condition. Parts should be relatively easy to source and the belt-drive Ducati twin is endlessly tuneable. If you want a relatively modern motorcycle that combines reliability with a more classic look and relative rarity, this might be the Ducati for you.

-tad

1990 Ducati 750 Sport L Side

Bridging the Gap: 1990 Ducati 750 Sport for Sale
Honda July 7, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

JDM Two-Stroke: 1987 Honda NSR250R for Sale

1987 Honda NSR250R R Side FrontWhile Honda does have a well-deserved reputation for technical innovation, they sometimes seem to intentionally eschew certain formats or technologies, only to swoop in and produce world-beating bikes late in the game, as if to say, "See? Weren't kicking your ass using a v-twin because we didn't want to..."

The same is true of two-strokes like this NSR250R.

1987 Honda NSR250R L Side RearBack in the late 1960's and early 1970's, the Japanese manufacturers' lightweight sportbikes were often two-strokes like Yamaha's RD400. Two-strokes lend themselves to this kind of bike, providing a good power-to-weight ratio and compact dimensions, along with a narrow powerband that rewards rider skill and involvement. During that same period, Honda's small and middleweight sporting motorcycles were sophisticated overhead cam twins and even four cylinder motorcycles like their CB400. 1987 Honda NSR250R L Tank DetailBut when Honda did begin producing two-strokes, they didn't so much dip their toe in as dive straight into the weird end, producing bikes like the MVX250F and later NSR400R that featured Honda's advanced torque-enhancing ATAC system for their weird little V3 two-strokes. 1987 Honda NSR250R FrontThe original MC16-version NSR250R was introduced in late '86 as an '87 model and was most commonly available in the red-and-white color scheme seen here, although blue-and-white bikes exist as well. Designed to ape the look of Honda's 250GP bikes, the bike used a 90° liquid-cooled 249cc v-twin with a six-speed cassette-style gearbox that made track-side gearing changes much easier for the highly-strung little sportbike. The bike used aluminum for its frame and swingarm, and weighed in at under 300lbs without fuel and oil.

1987 Honda NSR250R ClocksFrom the original eBay listing: 1987 Honda NSR250R for Sale

Just imported through US Customs this summer, this 1987 NSR250r comes with a US title ready to be transferred into your name in your state.

This NSR250 is showing just 11,146 original miles (17,937 kilometers) on the odometer so it is a clean, lower mileage bike but the sun has not been kind however as the bodywork is paint faded and the stickers, etc. faded too. A light color sanding or polishing compound will bring back the paint and plastic polish will restore the windshield so a little elbow grease will go along way with this NSR. The fairing bodywork is original and un-cracked and the seat is in good condition too. Newer tires front and back, triple drilled discs and a hidden dual seat option make for nice features on this bike. There are 2 small dings barely visible in the top of the tank (probably from a tank bag), I tried to get them to show up in the pictures but they are small so you really can't see them. All in all a very clean used 250R, I have 5 more pictures that eBay won't let me upload-send me your email address and I'll get them to you.

The seller also helpfully includes a video of the bike running. 1987 Honda NSR250R Lower FairingAlthough there is stunning performance potential in the NSR250R, many of these have been imported originally from Japan, meaning they would have initially been limited to 45hp. This one comes most recently from Canada, but it might be worth a quick email to the seller to verify that it's been de-restricted. 1987 Honda NSR250R R Side RearAs the seller mentions, this one needs a bit of cosmetic work to really make shine, although "that'll buff out" seems a bit cliché... Bidding is just north of $2,000 with the reserve met, with five days left on the auction, so this might be a good chance to pick up a nice, running NSR for a relatively low price, and then spend a bit of time getting the cosmetics up to snuff. Or just ride it!

-tad

1987 Honda NSR250R L Side Front

JDM Two-Stroke: 1987 Honda NSR250R for Sale
Honda July 3, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

5,000 Mile Time-Warp: 1993 Honda CBR 900RR for Sale

1993 Honda CBR900RR R FrontHonda's first-generation CBR900RR, known as the "Fireblade" in Europe, set the stage for today's bleeding-edge literbikes that see the most powerful engines ever stuffed into tiny, 600-class packages. Prior to the 900RR, it was the 750cc class that really defined the "big engine in a small chassis" philosophy, with 1100cc motorcycles designed more as GT machines, rather than light, flickable sportbikes. Sure, they made plenty of power, but they were generally much heavier and nowhere near as nimble as their smaller siblings. 1993 Honda CBR900RR L SideBut the Honda CBR900RR, introduced in 1992, turned the whole sportbike world on its ear. They built their new bike around a 750cc package, but stroked the motor out to 893cc's to give big bike torque, along with screaming revs. The machine weighed in at 453lbs soaking wet, which made it bang on for the 600cc class and within a few pounds of Honda's own CBR600. So what the bored-out 750 gave up a few horses to genuine "literbikes," it gained back in power-to-weight. 1993 Honda CBR900RR FrontObviously, no one would have considered the CBR "rare" back in the day. But most of these have been badly used and abused, crashed, modified, stretched, lowered, or repainted, making a very original, almost impossibly low-mileage example like this one very rare indeed.

1993 Honda CBR900RR Clocks

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Honda CBR900RR for Sale

This machine is super clean and in great mechanical condition.  It has super low miles (I can’t remember when I last saw one for sale with such few miles) and is completely original and stock (aside from things like the tires).  The machine has gone through a complete service which includes Carburetor service, new tires, new battery, etc..  There are no known mechanical issue with this motorcycle.   I ride it about once a month right now and did a 70 mile loop recently and it ran like new.

Fell free to reach out with questions at shezada@hotmail.com

Highlights:
100% Original and stock (including handgrips, turn signals, exhaust, seat, etc...)
Less than 6k miles.
Historical significance / important bike in the Honda line up
Collectible / Rare to find one that is original and in this condition.
No cracks or breaks in the fairing
Completed tune up and service
Brand new tires with less than 200 miles on them
New battery
Carburetor Completely cleaned
Runs excellent
Clean Title
Always stored indoors
Only selling because I have three other bikes and this one is the one I ride the least

Cosmetic Imperfections only (see pictures):
Small ding in gas tank
A couple scratches in fairing and decals
Paint on exhaust is coming off

Problems for today's rider? Not many: in typical Honda fashion, these are extremely durable and reliable bikes when cared for. And the 16" front wheel that was intended to speed up steering now makes tire choice a bit of a pain, although there are options available and you can always swap the 17" front from a VFR on, a switch that requires no modifications.

1993 Honda CBR900RR TankI happen to love this particular body style, although paint schemes are typically 90's lurid: you either love them or you hate them. I just wish they didn't hide the neat bodywork details, like the vents in the tail and those "speed holes" in the fairing. 1993 Honda CBR900RR R Rear

Currently, the bike sits at $4,500 with the Reserve Not Met. While the same cash will net you a whole host of other, probably weirder motorcycles, values on these early 900RR's are on the rise, and you certainly won't find a more practical sportbike for your money.

-tad

1993 Honda CBR900RR R Side

5,000 Mile Time-Warp: 1993 Honda CBR 900RR for Sale
Ducati June 29, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Italian Twin for Road or Track: 1991 Ducati 851 for Sale

1991 Ducati 851 R Side FrontWhile Ducati's MHE and 900SS may be collectible and iconic now, they were seriously long in the tooth by the time they were discontinued, and even the Pantah-engined SS didn't exactly offer cutting-edge performance when new. In order to keep their racing heritage alive in any meaningful sense, Ducati needed a top-shelf sportbike like the 851 that could compete successfully on track with the best bikes from Japan.

1991 Ducati 851 L SideIn 1987, Ducati released the 851, which took the proven foundation of the air-cooled two-valve 90° v-twin motor and added liquid-cooling and brand new four-valve heads for a serious performance upgrade. With chunky styling from Pierre Terblanche, the new Desmoquattro thumped out 93hp to the rear wheel along with a wave of torque when compared to the screaming fours favored by the Japanese manufacturers.

1991 Ducati 851 Tank DetailAnd it worked: the 851 paved the way for the 916 and helped return Ducati to the spotlight in World Superbike competition and showed that the Italian brand had value beyond nostalgia and "character."

1991 Ducati 851 L Side RearThis particular bike walks a nice middle-ground between "time-capsule original" and "race bike." If you're interested, the seller also includes a comprehensive list of the upgrades made to the bike. From the original eBay listing: 1991 Ducati 851 for Sale

Excellent Condition - Well Maintained - Ready to Ride or Vintage Race

I bought this Ducati about five years ago from a local neighbor that had taken it, and a mid seventies Corvette, in part exchange for his services, at the time it had approximately 5,800 miles.  The bike had been garaged in Westchester County, New York and had not been ridden for quite a while, but was in very nice original condition.

I had always admired the 851's and thought it would make a great vintage road racer, so I went through the bike with that goal in mind.  The following was done to the bike: new fuel pump, had the gas tank restored (the paint is beautiful), belts replaced, valves adjusted, throttle bodies synched, Ferraci race chip installed (all work was done by Razee's in Rhode Island), sent the forks to RaceTech for a re-valve and spring upgrade, upgraded the front wheel to the later model, larger diameter front axle, installed Pirelli Supercorsa tires, Sharkskinz solo seat.

Upon completion I rode the bike at a couple of track days, did the VRRA vintage festival at Mosport in Canada (it was a real treat to ride this Ducati on such a famous track), did the USCRA Vintage Festival at Loudon, New Hampshire and the AMA Vintage Festival at Mid-Ohio.  About a year ago, I decided to put the bike back on the street and registered it as a vintage motorcycle.  Since putting it on the street I have only ridden it less than 100 miles.  So all total, I would say I've really only put about 500 miles on the bike.

This Ducati is a blast to ride, looks great and always gets a lot of compliments.  The speedometer is not working as I needed to replace the metal tang in the front wheel and the front brake light is not connected.  It's probably one of the cleanest 851's you'll see and will not dissappoint.  All of the original 1991 body work is included, seat, side panels etc...  The 851's are now becoming sought after collectibles and are eligible for vintage racing with organizations such as AHRMA, VRRA, USCRA and the AMA.

There are plenty of 851's out there, but this one is particularly appealing to me, featuring a combination of thoughtful, real-world upgrades [as well as the original parts] designed for performance, not wow-factor or the typical Ducati bling you find on more recent bikes: this one is made to run, but is well cared for as well.

1991 Ducati 851 R Side Rear With all the hype surrounding the 916, the 851 and 888 definitely have been overlooked for a long time. Although there have been some hints that might change, we're still looking at a starting bid of $5,000 you could be looking at a collectible modern classic that offers track-day thrills for a reasonable price.

-tad

1991 Ducati 851 L Front - Copy

Italian Twin for Road or Track: 1991 Ducati 851 for Sale