Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Ducati December 28, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Something Special: 1989 Ducati 851 Factory Superbike Prototype for Sale

1989 Ducati 851 Race Bike R Side Front

1987 saw the introduction of a new four-valve, water-cooled L-twin engine in Ducati’s new 851. While the air/oil cooled two-valve motor was and continues to be a motor with impressive tuning potential and durability, it had hit its performance limit in racing, and something new was needed to compete against the four-cylinder bikes from Japan. The liquid-cooled twin was based generally on the air/oil cooled motors: the clutch covers are even interchangeable. But the new engine could rev higher and breathe better, and this meant that Ducati could once again compete on the world stage. Displacing, strangely enough, 851cc’s and producing nearly 100hp in roadgoing trim, the bike challenged the high-winding fury of the fours with a thundering midrange, while the narrow engine allowed for slipperier aerodynamics.

1989 Ducati 851 Race Bike R Side Rear

Some bikes look great, no matter what paint scheme, like Ducati’s 916: in nearly any color or race-rep scheme, it always looks terrific. Some are best as roadbikes, like the Triumph Daytona 675: the missing headlights on track bodywork give the bike a sort of blank look to replace the smirking catlike face of the stock machine. Other bikes look much cooler in track bodywork: I really dislike the design of recent GSX-R’s in roadbike trim, but somehow that bulging fairing center that replaces the headlight on an aftermarket fairing gives the bike an aggressive, shark-like aspect.

With slab-sided bodywork and rectangular headlight, I always feel like the 851 just looks dated as a road bike. As a race bike though, it looks brutal and purposeful and this example is much, much more than just some battered privateer 851 racer…

1989 Ducati 851 Race Bike L Side Stripped

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Ducati 851 Factory Superbike Prototype for Sale

Fresh from over 20 years of ownership by Mario Calonaci is this Ducati 851 works SBK 1990 prototype. He was a works Ducati mechanic for Giancarlo Falappa, season 1990, 1991, 1992 (and later in SuperSport with Gia.Ca. Moto Ducati 748 with Casoli) but his experience is impressive! He was partner of Segoni and was the mechanic for all his bikes through all the Endurance competitions in the 70’s, then 2 years in Formula One, etc… Unbelievable…

The bike is amazing even if conditions are a little scruffy (stored since 1991, untouched!) as from every detail you see it is a real prototype- hand built!

It has many AMAZING details…such as the casting of the engine cases is marked 1987!!! Please note that production of 851 started in 1988, these are proper early prototype cases (you see also from other details).

Very rare front brake calipers like only the 1990 works (the 1989 were same shape but more gold)-magnesium Marchesini wheels-only works 1989/1990 magnesium yokes made by Marchesini forged (this one marked 20) the following ones were production made by Ohlins-MagnetiMarelli/Weber elettronics with Raychem (f1 silver cables) wiring with position of the CPU on the back, from 1991 they were in front close to the dashboard-all bottom of engine cases machinered for lightning reasons (!!!)-engine cases casting 1987 as only the first racing serie bikes had-amazing unique prototype swingarm!-rear metal subframe, only 1989/1990 works, from 1991 was alluminium-alluminium Termignoni silencers, from 1991 works were carbonfibre- 1989 works clutch -handstamped VIN (with also the homologation code, SBK rules!) as only the first Racing had, later ones were different stamping-as you can see the heads inside are machinered and unused-spring on the rear brake master cylinder as i the works 1989

1989 Ducati 851 Race Bike Brake Detail

There are plenty of other quality photos at the original listing, and are well worth a look. The listing also includes a letter from previous owner Mario Calonaci that describes a bit of the bike’s history. The starting bid is $27,500 so you’re looking at a hefty chunk of change for an 851, although even bone-stock examples are steadily increasing in value. This is a very cool machine, although it will probably need a bit of [expensive] love before it’s ready to terrorize your local race track, as it’s been sitting for a while. So buy it and leave it as-is to display it, or get it ready to go as well as it shows and expect to answer a whole lot of questions when you arrive at the track.

-tad

1989 Ducati 851 Race Bike L Side

Something Special: 1989 Ducati 851 Factory Superbike Prototype for Sale
Suzuki December 22, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Move Fast: 1986 GSX-R750 Limited Edition

Note: We’ve seen this one before, but it’s been a couple years and Tad has a fresh perspective to consider. -dc

1986 Suzuki GSXR LE R Front

We generally try to stay away from modified machines at this site, but this GSX-750R LE is exactly the type of motorcycle I love: a bike that shows evolutionary change, a gradual improvement to more closely match the needs of the owner and address performance shortcomings from the factory. I’m sure the spoked wheels will generate a bit of controversy here, but they do look pretty sharp, and the listing includes his reasons for the swap. Most importantly, it should make the bike much more usable: the original 18″ items don’t have much in the way of high-performance rubber available these days…

The GSX-R was introduced in 1985 and featured a 750cc four-cylinder that eschewed water-cooling in an effort to save weight. The bike basically set the pattern still being followed today, with an aluminum beam frame, four piston calipers gripping triple-disc brakes, and monoshock rear suspension.

1986 Suzuki GSXR LE Carbs

This “LE” or “Limited Edition” version of the Gixxer was intended to homologate parts for racing, specifically the distinctive vented dry clutch, aluminum fuel tank, and anti-dive forks that were an electronic alternative to Honda’s mechanical system. The swingarm was lengthened for 1986, although this example uses the shorter item from the 1985 model for a shorter wheelbase and quicker steering.

1986 Suzuki GSXR LE Dry Clutch

The description includes a pretty detailed account as to the changes that were made and why, and they all do make plenty of sense in context. He also includes a video clip of the bike starting and running, although the sound quality is pretty horrendous. It’s nice to see that the bike starts up quickly and settles into a nice idle, but if you’re curious about the dry clutch sound, you’re best off clicking around YouTube for another video.

1986 Suzuki GSXR LE Rim

It’s also interesting to note that, although regulations in Europe concerning noise can be very strict, he was granted an “exception” for his modifications, which seems so strangely… reasonable. It’s pretty impressive that the German equivalent of the DMV has folks on-hand knowledgeable enough to make that sort of determination!

1986 Suzuki GSXR LE Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition

I am offering up for sale a very unique bike. I have outfitted this bike myself and have used it on the roads in Germany, before moving to the USA. I have all the German registration documents and those from the original owner. I have owned or ridden most every GSXR and a fair number of other bikes, this bike by far is the best road going sport bike I have ridden. The wheels I had special made by WIWO in Germany, they are numbered and dated 1994. They are 3.5 x 17 F and 5.5 x 17 rear The tires are 120/65/17 and 180/55/17 I have run Metzlers without any problem. The wheels are certified tubeless. The rims are AKRONT. There is no damage to these wheels and they run true. This bike is outfitted with the short 1985 swingarm giving it a 55 inch wheelbase. There has never been any wobble or shake at speed. 260kph seems to be the top speed and it is quite a joy to ride at any speed. The motor is on the original bore, however the cylinder head was fitted with Yoshimura 1mm oversized valves and a Serdi blended 3 angle valve job performed to correct the factory valve jobs which were not very accurate. The ignition box is a Yoshimura item. The difference is night and day. The engine will rev to 12,000rpm. The hit at 7000rpm is quick. The exhaust is a 4-2-1 stainless system custom made to fit this bike by Shaefer Racing in Germany. I had the bike on a Dyno outdoors. At 7000rpm the shreak from the carbs drove everyone for cover. It is louder than the pipe. 

At some point you will ask, ‘Why spoke wheels?’….When this bike was being drawn up, the fastest bikes were all examined in great detail. One of the fastest bikes at that time was a TZ750. If you look at the two bikes they share the same basic shape. Since the first TZ had spoke wheels I had a set made up for this bike. They are TUV certified. At the time I could get magnesium wheels but they were not allowed for road use. Aftermarket aluminum wheels were not widely available. The Mitchel wheel from Lockhart was an option, however they are heavier than the spoke wheels. These wheels run perfect true and none of the spokes has ever needed adjustment! This bike will accept any standard 3 spoke GSXR wheel from the first or second generation bikes. Remember that the original Limited Edition has a 15mm front axle and is more prone to flex. The small amount of frame flex in the 750 seems to be ideal for road work. The Akrapovic end can was added to keep the bike road legal. All modifications have been signed into the brief. The process of doing this is a story in itself. I first went to the TUV engineer and asked to have the airbox removed. Stock exhaust, stock engine, dry clutch. Since the dry clutch made more noise than either the exhaust or the intake (before engine tuning) I was granted an exception. I had the exhaust fabricated and the road legal Akrapavic end can installed. Back to TUV and another modification signed into the brief. I have the original swing arm, which is quite long, and the original footpegs in perfect condition. I do not have the original exhaust, wheels or forks and triple clamps. .This bike has never been crashed or dropped!

With just one day left and a starting price of $7,500 and no bids so far, it looks like the seller may be aiming a bit too high. That’s the problem with making changes to the bike to suit your personal preferences: they may not match anyone else’s! Plus, the missing fairing lower may be putting casual browsers off as, at a glance, this looks like just another well-worn Slabby.

1986 Suzuki GSXR LE Headstock

I’d find a fairing lower and paint to match, but this is otherwise a very cool resto-mod that seems to be very much in the spirit of the original bike. Note that the seller does not have the original fork or wheels, so be prepared if you plan to buy this and return it to stock appearance. All-in-all, this is definitely not a bike for collectors, but for folks looking for something that evokes an earlier, simpler era of riding but has a few nods to advances in technology.

Or ex-Ducati owners who miss the rattle of a dry clutch.

-tad

1986 Suzuki GSXR LE R Side

Move Fast: 1986 GSX-R750 Limited Edition
Honda December 20, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Old School Endurance Racer: 1985 Honda VF1000R

1985 Honda VF1000R L Side

Honda’s VF1000R was from a fascinating transitional period in sportbike design, as companies moved away from racebikes based on big, heavy roadbikes like the Wes Cooley Suzuki and Kawasaki ELR to bikes like the lithe and lightweight GSX-R and ZX-7. This hulking brute has the monoshock rear and fully-faired look of those later bikes, but scaled up to almost epic proportions. Clearly meant for endurance racing, the VF1000R was a technological tour de force that showcased Honda’s technical brilliance, but ended up being less than the sum of its parts.

1985 Honda VF1000R R Side Detail

Powered by a 998cc V4 that made 117 claimed horses that could push the bike to almost 150mph, the bike was built to homologate bits for Honda’s endurance-racing bikes, and included revised heads that chucked the “F” version’s cam-drive chains for a set of precision gears. Other race-oriented bits included Honda’s Torque-Reactive Anti-dive Control that used a mechanical system to increase damping under hard braking and prevent the “dive” associated with telescopic forks. Wheels were modular Comstar items that were, in Europe at least, fitted with new-to-motorcycling radial tires. Axles featured a quick-release system for faster tire changes during races, the rear disc was vented, and the bars were adjustable.

1985 Honda VF1000R Tank Detail

Unfortunately, the changes added up to a significant weight increase over the sport-touring VF1000F, and the bike weighed in at over 600lbs with fluids. 1985 models used a rectangular headlight designed to meet expected US safety standards that never materialized, and the 1986 bikes used the intended, dual-round unit set up that is generally better-looking and more desirable.

1985 Honda VF1000R L Side Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Honda VF1000R for Sale

One owner! In great shape! 9600 original miles.

This bike is not only a great looking machine, but it runs very well too.  Recent  regular service, oil/filter change/plugs/ect, has been well cared for and is a one owner machine.   Always stored indoors and is not rusted or modified.  Controls, gauge, lights, ect are in good shape as the pictures will show.

An overview of this machine:  The VF1000r was patterned after the FWS “Works Bike” that Wise, Baldwin & Spencer used to race regularly.  This was Honda’s effort to homologate an endurance racer. Full fairing (in fiberglass not plastic) with a single headlight lens and small vents on either side and two cute round tail lights out back, 16″ front wheel & 17″ rear wheel were of the NS/NSR style “Comstar” bolt together wheels, not cast (hub an rim where connected via bolted on struts), endurance racer spec. quick release forks, with the obligatory TRAC mechanical anti-dive mechanisms. Single rear shock w/ 2 sided Alloy swingarm, Gear driven cams, 4/2 exhaust. Color was typical Honda HRC colors – White base with lots of red (in fairing and on the front fender and forks) a small blue stripe and black wheels.

This is definitely a must have for your collection!

These show up on eBay from time-to-time, but are rarely in such quality, original shape. An eminently useable superbike, VF1000R’s aren’t the fastest things on the road, but they feature a wealth of 80’s-tech details for Honda geeks and should offer plenty of real-world riding performance, accompanied by a howling V4 soundtrack.

-tad

1985 Honda VF1000R R Side

Old School Endurance Racer: 1985 Honda VF1000R
Aprilia December 18, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Track Day Monster: 2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APX

Update 12.18.2014: The seller has added more information on this bike, enough to refresh our post. The listing ends, coincidentally, on Christmas day. Happy Holidays to buyers and seller! -dc

2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory SBK R Front

Wow. Well, I’m not even sure where to begin with this one: a full-factory Aprilia RSV4 Superbike. From the specification, to the upgrades, to the asking price, this is all well into jaw-dropping territory.

Introduced in 2008 and powered by a 65° V4 engine that just squeaks in under the 1000cc mark, the bike has won more races than hearts: in spite of very positive reviews from the start, the RSV4’s sales haven’t exactly set the world on fire, in spite of continual improvements. While the Aprilia RSV4 may not be the sexed-up media darling the Panigale is, it’s a hugely competent motorcycle on both road and track, winning Fast Bikes Magazine’s Sport Bike of the Year award the past three years running.

2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory SBK R Side

On paper, the RSV4 doesn’t necessarily impress: it doesn’t make the most power, it isn’t the lightest in its class, and doesn’t have the highest top speed. But a complete package that includes compact dimensions and an emotional, flexible engine combines with Aprilia’s cutting-edge APRC electronics suite to make a good machine even better, and put nearly race-spec electronics and traction control in the hands of ordinary riders.

But of course, the price gap between “nearly race-spec” and “race-spec” is huge…

2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory SBK Rear Suspension Detail

The list of specifications for this machine is incredible, and reads like the cost-no-object checklist. Probably because it is a cost-no-object checklist. From the original eBay listing: 2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APX SBK for sale

About Aprilia Racing (Noale, Italy)
On the 22nd February 2008, Aprilia unveiled the RSV4 ‘Race Machine’. With 4 cylinders, a displacement of 1000cc and over 200 bhp. The excellent work done at the Noale based racing department has enabled Aprilia to win seven world championship titles in six years. It’s not by chance that, in just ten years, Aprilia has won 28 of its 54 world titles and the Piaggio Group has taken a total of 32 world titles in just a decade. This makes it one of the most victorious brands on a global level in motorcycle racing. Many recent prominent racers have raced and won with Aprilia such as Biaggi, Capirossi, Rossi, Melandri, Simoncelli, Stoner and Lorenzo. Aprilia’s 54 world titles, hundreds of wins on tracks worldwide are proof of the technical skills and winning attitude at the racing department that deserve the public attention of the premier motorcycle racing World Championship (MotoGP), which Aprilia will enter next year. This premier eighteen-race series visits fourteen countries, four continents and includes pan-global television coverage.

APRILIA RSV4 FACTORY APX SBK
100% RACE READY

Engine Configuration
Aprilia SBK-R EVO 1.1 Race engine designed in compliance with FIM SBK race regulations.
Tuned by Aprilia Racing, including test bench activities for engine validation.
Engine and components designed to be used for race track competition only.
*All documentation, chassis/engine number(s) available to verify authenticity*

Vehicle Management
Possibility of fast parameter modification with Aprilia Racing Palm system and handlebar switches.
Vehicle management strategies via APX2 control unit include:

MAX engine speed limiter which can be configured for each individual gear
Pit lane speed limiter (programmable)
ETC (Electronic Throttle Control)
VTP (Variable inlet Trumpet Position)
TCS (Traction Control System)
Adaptative TCS (Adaptive Traction Control System)
Distance Based (parameters configuration system based on distance)
Engine Braking (gear by gear programmable engine brake)
Power Reduction (gear by gear power reduction system)
Wheelie Ctrl (wheelie control system)
Launch Ctrl (assisted starting system)
Backlash Ctrl (backlash control system)
Quick gearshift (assisted quick shift system)
Lap time detection (with the use of an optional finish line on the bike)

Data Management
Acquisition of engine and vehicle working parameters for optimized vehicle management and strategies.
The FIM 7-channels data acquisition system includes:

Gas (OEM sensor)
RPM (OEM sensor)
Water temperature (OEM sensor)
Front brake pressure (optional sensor)
Front suspension (optional sensor)
Rear suspension (optional sensor)
Lambda (optional sensor)

APRILIA RSV4 FACTORY APX | SBK Specifications
(S) = Standard equipment installed at Aprilia Racing Factory-Noale
(U) = Upgraded equipment installed in the U.S

Aprilia V4 SBK-R EVO 1.1 Race Engine (S)
APX2 ECU with 7 Channel Data Recording & ABM Base Software (S)
Aprilia Racing Engine Setup Palmtop Computer (S)
Aprilia Racing Dashboard (S)
WSBK Aprilia Left Handlebar Push-Buttons (S)
WSBK Aprilia Handlebar Grips (S)
SBK Billet CNC Ergal 7075 Adjustable Clip-Ons (U)
Billet Ergal T6 PTFE Coated Race 1/4 Turn Throttle (U)
SBK Plexiglass Windscreen (S)
WSBK Aprilia Carbon Upper + Lower Fairings (S)
WSBK Aprilia Carbon Rear Hugger (S)
SSTK Aprilia Carbon Rear Fairing (S)
SBK Carbon Air-Intake Ducts (S)
SBK Carbon LH Heel Guard (S)
SBK Crash Pads (S)
WSBK CRT Ohlins 110mm Steering Damper (S)
23L SBK Aluminum Racing Fuel Tank (U)
Aluminum Race Subframe (U)
H2O Performance SBK Racing Radiator + Oil Cooler (U)
Akrapovic Full Titanium 4:2:1 Exhaust System with SBK Carbon-Titanium Silencer (S)
WSBK Swingarm from the Official APRILIA RSV4 World Superbike (S)
WSBK Swingarm Linkage (S)
WSBK Swingarm Chain Tensioner (S)
Ohlins Racing Upside-Down Adjustable Forks equipped with TTX25 Pressurized Ohlins Racing Cartridges (U)
Ohlins Racing TTX36 Rear Shock (U)
Brembo Racing GP Billet Radial Brake Master Cylinder 19×18 (U)
Brembo Racing SBK Front Brake Discs 320x6mm Narrowband (U)
Brembo Racing GP Billet Monobloc Narrowband Front Brake Calipers with Titanium Pistons (U)
Brembo Z04 Racing Compound Brake Pads (U)
SBK SS Front Brake Lines (U)
WSBK Brembo Billet Rear Brake Caliper (S)
SBK Brembo Narrowband Rear Brake Rotor (S)
WSBK Brembo Rear Brake Master Cylinder + SS Brake Line (S)
Aprilia Racing Rear Wheel Speed Encoder (S)
Aprilia Racing Gear Shift Sensor (S)
WSBK Aprilia Footrests/Rearsets + Shift-rod Linkage (S)
Pulse P2 Race Battery (U)
STM Slipper Race Clutch (S)
Regina Racing 520 SBK Drive Chain (S)
AFAM SBK Rear Sprocket (S)
Marchesini Forged Aluminum 7-Spoke Wheels (S)
Dunlop N-TEC Superbike Slicks (U)

Note: **New N-TEC SBK Slicks or other race tire of your choice will ship with the bike**

2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory SBK Dash

Honestly, I want to like the RSV4 more than I do: it’s fast, exotic, and has maybe the best-sounding exhaust note available at any price. But the styling bugs me: in typical Aprilia style, the details are overwrought and fussy. The stubby tail is very cool and minimal, but what are those little blades on the top for? And why three headlights? But the simplified fairing of the race bike looks much better, and in Alitalia replica colors, even the roadbike looks good…

2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory SBK R Side Rear Wheel

The asking price is $149,000 and that’s a huge amount of money to pay for a motorcycle. But this represents a rare opportunity to buy a full factory Superbike and, for the price of a nice Mercedes, you can live out your late-career Max Biaggi fantasies. Just add race fuel, and skill.

-tad

2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory SBK L Side

Track Day Monster: 2013 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APX
Ducati December 17, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Classy Twin: 1993 Ducati Superlight for Sale

1993 Ducati Superlight R Side

In 1992, Ducati introduced a limited-edition of their air/oil-cooled 900SS called the Superlight that featured distinctive Marvic composite wheels, cast-iron front rotors, a vented clutch cover, bits of carbon fiber bodywork, a solo tail section, and high-mount pipes to increase cornering clearance. Unfortunately, there was no engine performance increase as delivered. Available in yellow or red most years, depending on what part of the world you were in.

The “manufactured rarity” and a negligible performance increase weren’t really enough to spark much interest at the time. It wasn’t even all that rare, with 861 made in 1993 alone. Later years lost some of the lightweight bits, changing to the standard wheels and regular rotors on the front brakes, making it even less special, and turning the Superlight into a solo-seat SS with high pipes.

1993 Ducati Superlight Front

The older 900cc engines certainly won’t set the world on fire in terms of performance and they do tend to run out of breath long before redline, but that midrange boom more than makes up for a lack of high-rev histrionics. And if 75-ish rear-wheel horsepower doesn’t sound like enough, Ducati’s two-valve twin does respond well to basic tuning, and there are big-bore and high-compression kits available to boost power significantly. The engine has been in production, in one form or another, since the early 1980’s and is, in spite of Ducati’s temperamental reputation, extremely durable when properly cared for.

With too many made to be particularly collectable, too little power to really impress, and later models missing the actual super-light parts, the Superlight suffered from a “manufactured collectability” that has kept values relatively low, although I’d expect prices of nice examples like this one to be next in line for a price spike among Ducati collectors.

The biggest draw of the Superlight is that many were purchased at least partly as investments and have been correspondingly well-maintained, making them some of the best-looking and best-cared-for 90’s Ducatis available.

1993 Ducati Superlight R Side Front Wheel

There are some additional pictures over at the original eBay listing: 1993 Ducati Superlight for Sale.

But unfortunately, there is virtually no information about the bike’s history listed, just some reprinted specifications. There are a few minor scratches and scuffs as shown in the pictures, but nothing you couldn’t live with, or easily repair if you wanted the bike to be perfect. I’d probably just fix the little tear in the seat and leave the scratches alone, since I’d plan to ride rather than show the bike. I’d certainly leave the color alone: the 900SS is one of the very few bikes that look good in yellow. In fact, I actually prefer it for this era’s style, especially with the very slick half-fairing found on the CR models.

1993 Ducati Superlight Top Triple

With just over 6,000 miles on this particular bike, mileage is low enough to be very desirable, but not so low you’d be afraid to ride it, or need to put tons of money into replacing bits that have gone south from sitting for too long. Although the Superlight isn’t quite the limited-edition that Ducati implied, they’re definitely less common than the high-mileage SS and CR’s that tend to litter eBay and Craigslist, and early bikes with genuine lightweight bits should be plenty of fun strafing back roads with your riding buddies.

-tad

1993 Ducati Superlight L Side

Classy Twin: 1993 Ducati Superlight for Sale
Moto Guzzi December 14, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Gentleman’s Express: 1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS

1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS L side

Moto Guzzi is famous for manufacturing quirky, long-legged sports machines like this Daytona RS. The Daytona featured Guzzi’s 992cc four-valve, SOHC engine that was also found in the bizarrely-styled Centauro. Fans fast Moto Guzzi’s from the 1990’s are probably most familiar with the Sport 1100, the lower-spec, lower-cost version of this machine that was fitted with the bigger two-valve pushrod motor. The fuel-injected engine had a higher, 9,000rpm rev-limit as shown on the white-faced tach but the powerband reportedly featured a frustrating flat-spot at 5,000rpm, right where you’d expect to find yourself on the road. This flat-spot was exacerbated by the standard, not-particularly-slick Guzzi five-speed gearbox that made it difficult to simply ride around the problem.

1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS Dash

While the frame and chassis were big improvements compared to earlier Moto Guzzis, by the late 90’s, the rapid pace of sportbike evolution had left them in the dust and the Daytona was too heavy, too clunky, and too slow to keep up with the new kids on the block. Ducati’s sadomasochistic sex appeal and cornering poise allowed it to compete against the Japanese but, compared to its direct rivals, the Daytona RS was really a “slow, old bus.”

With stable handling, good brakes, high-end suspension components, and a generally epic engine, it wasn’t a total loss though. Dripping with character and blessed with a booming exhaust, the Daytona RS was more of a GT and less of a raw sportbike. A flawed masterpiece for sunny morning rides through the canyons while you hold the bike a gear low to keep the revs ahead of that annoying flat-spot, riding a bike that makes you feel special.

1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS R side Engine

This Daytona isn’t perfect, but looks to be well cared-for example and includes some interesting features, and the fact that it needs a bit of cosmetic attention wouldn’t bother me, as it’d be a chance to go back to a more traditional eagle logo on the tank. While the bike originally was available with a passenger pad and pillion pegs, this bike’s solo tail is possibly for the best: passenger accommodations were supposedly very poor…

The bike features head-guards, although I’ve never seen this particular, abbreviated style before. On two-valve Guzzis, these actually do more to protect the spark plug leads than the heads themselves, allowing victims of low-speed crashes to get back on the road running on both cylinders. The four-valve engine’s plugs are more recessed, but the guards should still protect the heads themselves in a crash.

1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS L Termi

The sound of any uncorked Guzzi twin is truly epic, and the genuine Termignoni pipes fitted should give this Daytona the ability to shatter windows from blocks away.

I’m curious about those front brakes: they look like six-piston calipers. The bike was originally equipped with the standard package of Goldline four-piston Brembos common to many Italian bikes of the era, although the Italians are notorious for fitting non-standard bits partway through a production run, so perhaps these are original?

1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS FI Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS

1536 original miles, clean title with paper work, I was told by a collector that only 308 were made. The bike is in very nice condition, runs extremely strong, but will need to be repainted due to the fact it was dropped over in the back of a truck and has some scratches and 2 indentations in the tank. The turn signal are tucked under the tail fairing, but are still there. This is the solo seat version with a dual Termignoni carbon fiber exhaust system. The motorcycle has just been serviced and will be getting new fork seals before this auction is over.

There are two days left on the auction with no takers yet at the $6,000 starting bid. While the $12,000 Buy It Now price might seem steep for a 90’s Guzzi, this bike shouldn’t be confused with its more common two-valve sibling: the Daytona RS is really the ultimate incarnation of the spine-framed Guzzis. Although this example has a few minor cosmetic issues, the low miles and general quality of the bike make it a tempting place to start if you’re looking to complete your collection with one of the best-looking Guzzis of the era.

-tad

1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS R side

MZ December 6, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

The People’s Sportbike: 2001 MZ Skorpion Sport Cup

2001 MZ Skorpion Cup L Front

If you’re looking for something a bit different that won’t break the bank to buy or maintain, the MZ Skorpion offers something different for folks who don’t mind being on the receiving end of the occasional double-take, a 660cc sportbike with just one cylinder… Built from 1994 to 2004 and a very popular choice for club racing in “Sound of Singles”-style classes these days, they offer handling and versatility in an unintimidating package that stresses finesse over raw power.

2001 MZ Skorpion Cup L Rear

MZ, formerly known as “MuZ” was an East German company that dominated two-stroke racing, until defecting racer Ernst Denger fled to the west, taking their expansion-chamber tuning secrets with him to Suzuki…

There’s a bit of “people’s bike” DNA still here, and the entire MZ range of the time featured the same Yamaha 660cc five-valve single, here wrapped in fully-faired sporbike bodywork. Instead of chasing top speed and horsepower numbers, a single-cylinder sportbike offers useable midrange performance, reliability, and character.

2001 MZ Skorpion Cup Dash

Like some Communist dream of a sporting motorcycle for the proletariat, the MZ is good-looking, handles well, and fast enough to challenge all but the best riders, assuming their egos can cope with the mere 48hp produced by the thumping single, a bike with racy looks and a working-class heart.

From the original eBay listing: 2001 MZ Skorpion Sport Cup

The MZ Skorpion Cup is a very unique and super fun alternative to all the other 600 sport bikes out there. This one is a super clean version and sure to bring a smile to your face everytime you throw a leg over it and go for a ride…….street or track? You decide……..these things make great lightweight road race bikes or can be the perfect track day bike!! And your buddies will not be riding one! This bike is ready to go with all new fluids and brakes and perfect Michelin Pilot tires. You will not be disappointed!!!  Why be NORMAL when you can ride an MZ Skorpion cup bike?

Yamaha XT660 single engine
Grimeca Brake with new Dunlop Race pads
Factory steel braided brake lines
Michelin Pilot tires
Factory adjustable rear sets
Factory Clip ons
Rare Yellow color
Solo seat and rear passanger seat included
All fluids just changed

The seller also includes a picture of the included passenger seat to replace the solo cowl, and a nice aftermarket M4 slip-on that should make a pretty cool, thumpy dirtbike snarl when fitted. Because of course you’ll be fitting that: there’s really no point in trying to be subtle when you’re riding a bright yellow sportbike.

2001 MZ Skorpion Cup L Rear Wheel

This bike isn’t perfect, but it is in excellent, road-ready condition with very low miles. And while a Buy It Now price of $4,000 is on the high side for these, it’s still well within the impulse-purchase range. With a very unusual combination of rarity and bulletproof reliability, this is the ideal bike for the rider who wants to be different, but lacks any interest in designer-brand namecheck tomfoolery, the kind of rider who also probably drives an old SAAB 900 when their VW Bug is laid up for the winter.

Someone who appreciates the funky.

-tad

2001 MZ Skorpion Cup R Front

The People’s Sportbike: 2001 MZ Skorpion Sport Cup
Suzuki December 2, 2014 posted by Tad Diemer

Nut-and-Bolt Restoration:1986 Suzuki GSX-R 750 for Sale

1986 Suzuki GSX-R 750 L Side Front

This is about as close as you’ll get to a time-capsule GSX-R750 in a daily-rider package. It’s been fully-restored after a life on the road, making it ideal for someone who wants the very best Gixxer they can find, but is looking for something to ride rather than a bike to simply park up and admire.

Suzuki made plenty of GSX-R’s, but few survive in anything like this kind of condition. It’s one of the most significant sportbikes ever built, and represents a real paradigm shift: before the Gixxer, most racy road bikes were replicas of race bikes that were based on road bikes. The GSX-R basically took the last part out of the equation: it was a road bike based on a race bike, a production endurance racing machine for the masses.

1986 Suzuki GSX-R 750 R Side

Introduced in 1985 and nicknamed the “Slabby” for its slab-sided styling, the original GSX-R came in one flavor only: 750cc’s. The engine eschewed liquid-cooling to keep weight down and the bike used an aluminum beam frame, state of the art brakes, and a monoshock rear suspension. It looks so familiar today because it basically invented the formula still being used for today’s sportbikes.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 GSX-R750 for Sale

The cleanest and most correct 86” GSXR 750 around! Every part on this bike has been cleaned and refurbished or replaced with OEM direct parts! I have every Suzuki label from the parts put on to prove it along with all of the parts and maintenance receipts. Direct OEM new and NOS parts are VERY expensive for these bikes. I have over $12k invested in parts alone.

1986 Suzuki GSX-R 750 R Side Front

For more details, check out the original listing: the seller includes a pretty detailed list of what went into the restoration. The fairing has been treated to high-quality work to make it better than new, and both solo and dual seats are included. The engine was completely rebuilt and he does have a NOS OEM exhaust available if you don’t like the Vance & Hines pipe on there currently. Basically, that seems to be the story here: if you see something that doesn’t look stock, he probably has the original part, in better-than-new condition to go with the bike. He even has a spare set of tires to fit the 18″ wheels.

Here’s hoping the seller isn’t trying to recoup his investment in terms of the reserve price: one day, bikes like this may be very valuable, but they’re not quite there yet. No reason listed as to why he’s selling it after investing so much time and energy in the build, but his loss is your gain: unless you’re looking for a zero-mile time capsule still in the shipping crate, or want to hold out for a blue and white one, then this is your ride. Or this is your “sit in your living room and admire.” Or your “seal up in a temperature-controlled, hermetically-sealed vault.” Whichever.

-tad

1986 Suzuki GSX-R 750 L Side

Nut-and-Bolt Restoration:1986 Suzuki GSX-R 750 for Sale