Author Archives: Tad Diemer

Yamaha June 21, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Buzzy Little Bee: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

1985 Yamaha RZ350 R Front

Yamaha made a name for itself in the US building giant-killing two-stroke parallel twins that powered the RD and later RZ models like this 1985 RZ350. The 347cc engine reatured liquid-cooling and made over 40hp stock, with plenty more available with careful tuning. While Honda largely focused on their heavy, but very sophisticated two and four-cylinder CB motorcycles, Yamaha's whippy little two-strokes terrorized backroads and race tracks all over American and Europe, creating a cult following that persists to this day.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 L Side

Two-strokes have never lacked top-end power, but their light-switch power delivery left something to be desired for street riders and, in th 1980's Acronym Wars, the "power valve" was born. Yamaha's version was, of course, known as the YPVS that used a computer to adjust the exhaust ports. The "Yamaha Power Valve System" plumped up the midrange of the raspy little two-stroke, meaning you could have your cake and eat it, too. Assuming you didn't mind a little blue smoke in your eyes...
1985 Yamaha RZ350 Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

The 1985 Kenny Roberts Edition RZ350LC offered here is one of the quite rare leftover models with revised graphics that somewhat resembled the 1983 UK versions, but with gold rims and the Kenny Roberts signature, originally sold as an RZ350NC2 in California only from late 1985-6. It has been owned from new by only two enthusiasts and has been very tastefully modified with an original 1985 full fairing and Corbin Gunfighter single seat. Mechanically, the hugely desirable Pro-Design Cool Head was installed for increased cooling, and a Toomey exhaust.

The bike runs exceptionally well. It starts easily, idles well and has great power delivery. It shifts through all gears perfectly with a good clutch. Suspension feels taut and the brakes work very well, front and rear. Cosmetically the bike is in good condition with the usual scuffs of a bike with 17,000 miles, that is 32 years old.

The bike comes with a clean, clear California title and a substantial box of spare parts, including stock fairing, original exhaust pipes, turn signals, etc.

These are not bikes for the inexperienced or faint-hearted, with huge wheelie-popping performance on tap when the revs rise.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 Pipe

This particular RZ350 features a very stylish full-fairing that I've seen on several bikes for sale recently. I'm not sure if it was a factory option or not but, painted to match, makes for a very nice machine with light weight and bike-bike style. Parts availability to keep an RZ running should be no problem, but the included spare parts is just icing on the cake.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 Engine


A price of $6,900 means you're looking at the higher-end in terms of pricing for these, but it looks like you're getting a well cared-for, thoughtfully-improved, and very practical classic for your money.


1985 Yamaha RZ350 L Rear

Buzzy Little Bee: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale
Ducati June 20, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Weapons-Grade: 2014 Ducati Superleggera for Sale

2014 Ducati Superleggera L SideUnless you have access to one of NCR's Desmosedici-based bikes, there is quite literally nothing on the road like the Ducati Superleggera. The idea is simple: take the Panigale 1199R and take a cost-no-object approach to making it perform better. Basically one-off every mass-produced component, un-cut every corner.

2014 Ducati Superleggera R Side Front

I wonder if there's even any steel left on this bike: literally everything possible has been replaced with magnesium, aluminum, titanium, or carbon-fiber to pare down weight to the absolute minimum: even that little vestigial bit of frame that forms the airbox/headstock and attaches to the front cylinder [with titanium bolts, naturally] is made from magnesium. And the engine saw the same sort of internal changes, with Pankl rods, titanium valves, and even a crankshaft with tungsten counterweights that allow a massive 12,500rpm redline for the huge v-twin. 2014 Ducati Superleggera Tank

And it obviously worked. With a full tank of gas and all necessary lubricants, the Superleggera weighs in under 400lbs, including lights and mirrors, supposedly 30lbs less than the R, while producing almost 190hp at the rear wheel.

With a factory warranty.

2014 Ducati Superleggera R Side RearFrom the original eBay listing: 2014 Ducati Superleggera for Sale

 The most technically advanced 200 horsepower motorcycle ever featuring an 1198cc L-twin with 4 valves per cylinder, magnesium semi-monocoque frame, adjustable Ohlins suspension, magnesium ally wheels mounted on Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tires, selectable power and rider modes and weighing in at 341 pounds dry this is an incredible street legal race bike

I get annoyed by this kind of pointless hyperbole, mixed in with some random features chosen at random and used incorrectly. I mean, Ducati superbikes have had 4-valves per cylinder since the 851, and who cares about what tires you've got fitted? If you're trying to sell a $60,000 motorcycle, this is the kind of stuff to get right. Look guys, if you don't know that much about this stuff, just keep it simple and sexy:

This Superleggera is one seriously exclusive Ducati: just 500 made worldwide, and only 200 came to the US. It features the very best of everything and combines the most powerful, technically advanced v-twin engine ever with the lightest weight of any production superbike. Literally dripping with carbon fiber, magnesium, and titanium parts, this is the most exotic production motorcycle ever built. Throw your Rizoma catalog in the trash: you won't need it for this bike.

There, fixed it for you.

On the upside, the listing does include a bunch of very drool-worthy pictures and, since you've all probably read multiple articles on these anyway, that's probably what you really wanted anyway. 2014 Ducati Superleggera Rear ShockThis one has just 5 miles on the clock, but at least someone out there is riding these: walking home from the grocery store last week in Los Angeles, I got buzzed by one that was blasting down Santa Monica Boulevard. And if you were wondering, that red isn't really red, exactly. It's fluorescent red, like Dainese uses on some of their race suits. It's like half-way between regular Ducati red and the fluorescent orange you'd expect on a traffic worker's safety vest.

It's very striking, to say the least. It glows...

-tad 2014 Ducati Superleggera R Side


Weapons-Grade: 2014 Ducati Superleggera for Sale
Aprilia June 19, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Road-Legal Two-Stroke: 2001 Aprilia RS250

2001 Aprilia RS250 L FrontBuilt between 1994 and 2004, the Aprilia RS250 has justifiably developed a cult following among dedicated corner-carvers and track rats. It's the quintessential "giant killer," wrapping an impossibly lightweight frame and sleek bodywork around a very compact, 250cc powerplant yanked straight out of Suzuki's RGV250, with brakes designed to stop a much heavier motorcycle. That means you get sexy Italian bodywork and handling in a sub-300lb dry weight package, with Suzuki's vast engineering knowhow and easy parts availability. Which is great, considering you'll be needing new pistions every 6,000 miles or so...

2001 Aprilia RS250 NoseIt wasn't all that long ago that Grand Prix motorcycle racing at all levels featured dirty, dirty two-stroke engines. But with those emissions-unfriendly powerplants rapidly falling out of favor all over the world in favor of durable, eco-friendly four-strokes, the two-stroke has seen a rapid decline. And although track days are more popular than ever, most people buying sportbikes will never see a race track, making two-strokes pointless for those motorcycle fans as well.

2001 Aprilia RS250 DashBut it's a shame: although the wider powerbands of four strokes have given rise to a whole range of tire-spinning riding styles in Moto GP, two-strokes are notoriously difficult to master, and their explosive, Jekyl/Hyde power delivery gives riders the satisfaction of achieving speed through skill, instead of a heavy right wrist.

2001 Aprilia RS250 L RearThis one looks to be in very good condition, with only minor cosmetic blemishes, and includes the very nice set of carbon-kevlar Arrow pipes, tucked in close under the stylish "banana" swingarm designed expressly to improve cornering clearance for the expansion chambers.

From the original eBay listing: 2001 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

For sale is a very nice factory street legal 2001 Aprilia RS250. 5500 Miles, Mototek 316cc kit, Barnett clutch, Arrow Exhaust system. Comes with manuals, touch up paint kit, tank, side fairings and front fairing OEM decal kit. Other spare parts as show in the photos. Motorcycle runs great.

Minor cosmetic blemishes…Championship decal on tank is missing a small section (comes with OEM replacement decal). Right hand lower fairing decal is not perfect (comes with OEM replacement decal). Scratch on top of tank. Gouge on left side of swingarm probably from swingarm stand. Some scratching on the frame near kick start and left side. See photos.

2001 Aprilia RS250 PipesMany RS250's in the US are untitled track bikes, so the fact that this example is road-legal is an added bonus. Although really, unless you live next to some really twisty roads, you're probably better off trailering your RS250 to trackdays, rather than riding it around town where its potential is completely wasted.

2001 Aprilia RS250 L FairingAs I've stated previously, I actually prefer the looks, graphics, and more traditional gauges of the earlier bikes, but you can't argue with the function of Aprilia's forward-looking dash seen here that includes a lap timer. The later design is a bit of an acquired taste: it looks like a retro-futuristic 1980's movie, and the kickstart only adds to the vintage two-stroke race-rep charm.

2001 Aprilia RS250 TailThe Aprilia RS250 is on my short list, although I want a pure track bike, which will hopefully keep prices below this one. With only a couple days left, there are zero bids at the starting price of $8,700. While that's on the higher side for RS250's, it doesn't seem out of line, especially for a road-legal bike.

What do you think?


2001 Aprilia RS250 R Front

Road-Legal Two-Stroke: 2001 Aprilia RS250
MV Agusta June 12, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Nearly-New: 2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 AGO for Sale With 40 Miles!

2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 AGO R SideThe MV Agusta F4 1000 pretty much represents the bargain of the decade, with nice examples of the very sleek, and genuinely very fast F4 trading for right around $10,000.

Which is about what a nice 2013 GSX-R600 will set you back. 2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 AGO DashFor commuting or track days, that Gixxer is very likely the better choice: parts are everywhere, so you can scrounge up a new clip-on or shift lever if things go wrong in the morning and get back on track that afternoon. The GSX-R600 is an excellent bike, but almost as vanilla as it's possible for a sportbike to be. But if you want a motorcycle that makes you weak in the knees every time you go out to the garage to grab a beer, you really can't beat an F4, and the AGO is just that much more sparkly. 2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 AGO L FairingPowered by a 998cc, radial-valve four-cylinder with one of the prettiest stock exhaust systems in recent memory, the bike had the power, if maybe not the refinement, to go head-to-head with literbikes from Japan. The AGO isn't quite so affordable as the regular F4, but still represents a stunning value, especially when you consider what people likely paid for them new... 2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 AGO Rear SprocketThe AGO is named for famous rider Giacomo Agostini, considered to be one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time. Only 300 of these were produced, although they were basically just standard F4's with numbered plaques, along with some spiffier wheels and suspension bits. 2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 AGO RearsetInterestingly, with the Isle of Man TT in the news recently, Agostini was actually one of the track's most outspoken opponents, boycotting the venue after a friend was killed at the 1972 race and by 1977, the race was removed from the Grand Prix calendar.

From the original eBay listing: 2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 AGO

MV Agusta's legendary F4 1000 AGO, designed by the master of motorcycle designs, Mr.Tamburini. It is one of 65 units imported to North America. Extremely rare, collectible and next to impossible to find with such low miles. A letter from MV Agusta Italy, signed by Mr. Castiglioni to show it's authenticity and rarity! It comes with all the papers, brand new in box exhaust system + chip- which was supplied with this bike from factory when delivered, rear stand. 

In the future, this bike will further appreciate in value. It's not only a rolling art, but also an appreciating investment. These type of bikes are not repeatable again.

The extras are the CF exhaust, heel guards and the rear hugger which are all factory supplied. The fuel tank has been coated internally to prevent any rust or damages to the fuel system.

2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 AGO Rear SuspensionI think that the seller is correct that "this bike will further appreciate in value." But the question is: when? When these limited edition bike get released, speculators eagerly snap them up, expecting to turn a quick profit. But considering the AGO cost over £20,000 new, the bike still represents a pretty serious bargain at the moment. So buy this to enjoy it and hope that, one day, you can sell it to help fund your retirement. If not, it'll at least look damn good in the lobby of your retirement home.


2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 AGO R Side Front


Nearly-New: 2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 AGO for Sale With 40 Miles!
Ducati June 11, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Under the Skin: 2005 Ducati 999R for Sale

2005 Ducati 999R L Side

Enough ink has been spilled complaining about the design of the Ducati 999, but two things are clear: it is a far more practical, useable motorcycle than the classic 916, with ergonomics that at least took actual human physiology into account and the controversial looks of the bike are aging well. To be honest, as much as people fawn over the 1098 as "the bike that should have followed the 916," I find its styling way too derivative. I love the headlamps and nose, but overall, it just looks like a bike designed by someone terrified to screw up, rather than a bold new statement. The 999 may never be considered beautiful in the way that the 916 was, but function has a beauty all its own, and you'd never mistake it for anything else.

2005 Ducati 999R R Side Naked

But beauty is more than skin deep, and while a 999S is really just a 999 with some bells and whistles, the 999R is another beast entirely and was intended to meet requirements for Ducati's assault on the AMA Supberbike class. Internally, the R shares little with its less-aggressive stablemates: it features a completely different bore and stroke, 104mm × 58.8mm vs.100mm × 63.5mm. The 999R actually displaces exactly 999cc, whereas the regular 999 has 998...

2005 Ducati 999R Fairing

With 12.5:1 compression, titanium rods and valves and a knife-edged crankshaft spinning in sand-cast cases, the R was good for a legitimate 150hp at the crank, a big number for a twin in an era before all the electronic trickery found on today's top-tier sportbikes.

2005 Ducati 999R Tank Detail

Today's example shows just why it's so great to be bike fan shopping for a used Ducati: extremely low mileage, fastidious care by an enthusiast owner, and only the best quality components thrown at it. And while the price won't be cheap, the 999R is certainly one of the most desirable models of the period.

From the original eBay listing: 2005 Ducati 999R for Sale

VERY RARE Ducati 999R, unlike NO other! sold to me as a trophy bike by eBay seller "lambo19752009" Bought as an investment not to ride. However, as a Ducatista she called me to ride. Current milage is 4758- I will stop before 4999. I have had a 999 before, the 999R is a different world! Research the 999R. Condition is excellent. Minor road wear is now visible. Nothing has happened in my care other than ADULT driven 434 miles so far. Tires tell the story no abuse. Why sell? I have another Duc and need to free up loss your gain. From the photos to reality you will see pegs & kickstand paint wear plus a spot of gold 3M wrinkled on the engine cover. Otherwise drop dead gorgeous. Handle bars just adjusted by Dunbar Ducati, will not go to lock but are perfect alignment. Grips are black not gold as in some photos.

2005 Ducati 999R L Front

Pop on over to eBay if you want to see the laundry list of bolt-on moto-bling that's been thrown at this bike. Honestly, I'd sell off half of it and get the bike back a little closer to stock-looking: I love Rizoma as much as the next guy, but these things start to look like they've got some gold-anodized skin condition when people throw the whole catalog at them. And apparently, other people are using the term "Rizoma'd" as well. I met a guy over the weekend who was mourning the loss of his 848 Streetfighter that was "all Rizoma'd out."

In any event, this is a very low mileage, apparently pampered bike that'd be easy to get back to stock condition if you prefer. And while some Special Edition Ducatis are just "paint and tape" jobs with some upmarket suspension that offers questionable improvement over the stock setup, the 999R is the real deal: a true homologation special.


2005 Ducati 999R R Side

Under the Skin: 2005 Ducati 999R for Sale
Honda June 6, 2015 posted by Tad Diemer

Super Single: 2008 Honda CRF-Based Race Bike

2008 Honda CRF450R Race Bike L Front

So, this is one for the riders, not the collectors. This bike has no historical value whatsoever: it's a mongrel roadracing single-cylinder track bike based on Honda's four-stroke CRF450 dirt bike. But it's a very well put-together mongrel, and one that looks like it'd be a ton of fun at the track!

2008 Honda CRF450R Race Bike L Rear

This sort of thing has become popular in recent years, with a number of manufacturers making suspension, fairing, and rearset-control kits to create race and track day bikes to compete in Sound of Singles classes and the like.

Just add dirt bike.

Singles make ideal bikes for budding track day junkies: torquey, flexible, and reliable, with incredible light weight that stresses handling over power. Like a 250cc two-stroke, but easier to ride, and with much longer service intervals.

From the original eBay listing: 2008 Honda CRF 450R-Based Race Bike for Sale

The most amazing motorcycle ever!

511 big bore with 0 miles on re-build


Marchesini wheels

Catalyst Bodywork Audi Racing Blue Pro Paint with spare set new unpainted unmounted

Custom EVERYTHING from Race-Tech

I will throw in MANY SPARES inc piston ,cylinder, radiators, hoses, sprockets, cams, valve spacers, un-painted never mounted full set or race faring and many more extras

Well, I'd say that calling this "the most amazing motorcycle EVAR" is probably crossing the line into hyperbole just a bit, but we're looking at a nicely put together bike, with a spares package to keep you riding

The seller also includes a link to a very comprehensive walk-around of the bike that's worth a look if you've any interest in these bikes at all.

2008 Honda CRF450R Race Bike R Side

$7,000 isn't cheap, but I doubt you could replicate a bike like this for anywhere near the price. And while it isn't as sexy as an Aprilia RS250 or RGV, it will likely be far less of a headache to run, with no worries about binning a future classic!


2008 Honda CRF450R Race Bike Yo

Super Single: 2008 Honda CRF-Based Race Bike