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Ducati June 2, 2021 posted by

Like a Weed: 1990 Ducati 851

The year 2021 has declared open season on the Ducati 851! I can remember few times when so many of these Bologna beasts have come to market – and all in such clean and low mileage condition. This is really a buyer’s market as we have seen a windfall of these liquid cooled, fuel injected, Desmoquattro Superbikes. Check it out yourself by searching the RSBFS archives on the model.

1990 Ducati 851 for sale on eBay

The 851 was Ducati’s entry into the true Superbike category. It was to cement the company as a full-fledged player in the sport bike game, and catapult them atop the rostrum in WSBK. It was really the trifecta of liquid cooling, fuel injection and the 4-valve heads – each a first for the company – that created the big bang event that was to become the 851. But often overlooked was the evolutionary aspect; the base motor was created on Pantah DNA, the trellis chassis has roots into the 1970s, and the bodywork and style was very iterative of the MH machines. All together, this was much more the sum of its parts. The 851 began a new era for Ducati that continues to this day.

From the seller:
I am selling a few bikes from my private collection. This is nearly showroom museum quality, Low mile, clean, and in perfect running order. All original all the way down to the took kit. I Drive this bike once a week about 10 miles for a leisurely cruise to keep things fresh. This bike remains at one of my studios and gets cleaned weekly. I have several Ducati’s and have enjoyed the visual beauty of this classic in my sight almost daily. This specific bike and year was a major turning point for the brand and a must have for any Ducati enthusiast.

More from the seller:
It does have a few minor imperfections shown. It does have the original tires on it , and work well for the driving i do with it. The only mod i have done is the exhaust , which i ordered from Italy 🇮🇹. Fluids and all maintenance has been performed. This bike is registered and insured with a clean CA title in my name. This bike will deliver with the original chrome exhaust that came with it in almost perfect condition if you prefer that it can easily be changed in 15 min. Please feel free to ask any questions as I love motorcycles and am happy to talk about them. Thank you and good luck:)

This particular bike is from a private seller in CA – and shows only 6125 miles on the clocks! That is pretty darn “near new” when it comes to a thirty-something hypercycle. And better yet, it is mostly stock and not heavily modified as some we have seen. There is some minor damage noted, but otherwise appears to be a well-loved and pampered example of the breed. The white frame and white wheels really pop on these earlier 851s, and this appears to be a good find for anyone in the market for one of these amazing machines. There are zero bids on an opening ask of $12k, so there is still all to play for here. The ask is not outrageous for the bike, but the higher starting price might be scaring off potential bidders. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI


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Ducati May 30, 2021 posted by

Instant Café – 2006 Ducati Sport Classic 1000

Ducati stylists must’ve had a poster of the 1973 750 Sport on the wall when they were preparing the Sport Classic 1000 for production.  Today’s example shares the 1973 color, low bars, unfaired monoposto formula, but with a generation’s newer engine and components.

2006 Ducati Sport Classic 1000 for sale on eBay

Though the bevel driven cams of the ’73 were iconic, the new dual-spark 992cc engine has been called one of Ducati’s best ever.  The two-valver has electronic fuel injection and claims 91 hp, plus 67 ft.-lbs. torque.  Ducati classic designs like the trellis frame and dry clutch are only natural, but current suspension and brake technologies were safety-related.  Spokes hold the 17-inch alloy rims, and truncated single seat fairing ends way before the long dual exhausts and fender.

This Canadian auction has just a few pictures and a short comment, but luckily the Sport Classic itself carries the day.  Bar risers are a nice addition, and the stainless pipes look great.  Belts are new and it’s hard to imagine a mechanic-owner not setting the valve clearances.  Tires might need to be addressed before the end of the season.  From the eBay auction:

Excellent condition and owned since new by adult mechanic –

Ducati bar risers (20mm) and Keihan exhaust (sounds amazing).

The three Sport Classic varieties had a limited run, and actually came to be better appreciated after it ended in 2010.  Not sure there’s much support for this starting bid, but a seller has to start someplace.  Somewhere in between the Paul Smart commemorative and the two-up GT1000, the Sport Classic 1000 had the makings of a  perfect Sunday morning.  Some would say the stratosphere is no place for a Sport Classic but it’s another thing they’re not making any more of.

-donn


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Ducati May 29, 2021 posted by

Plated in Place -2002 Ducati MH900e #552

-Editors pointed out this MH900e had been on RSBFS back in 2019, with new location and new pictures, worth a new post.  – donn

Polished in places most bikes don’t give a second thought, Ducati’s Mike Hailwood tribute was way more show than go. Except for aftermarket grips, this D.C. example is startlingly original.

2002 Ducati MH900e for sale on eBay

Looking futuristic and retro at the same time, Pierre Terblanche’s late 20th century design used Ducati’s 904cc air-cooled engine, tuned for 75 hp.  The cam belt covers have a passing resemblance to the bevel-drive shaft covers on Hailwood’s race bike, and perforated chrome guards the exhaust on its way by.  It was only natural to design a red trellis frame, with modern forks and one of the most sculptural single-sided swingarms ever.  No sense messing with anything but up-to-date Brembo brakes, inside the bespoke cast rims.  The monoposto cockpit is protected by a generously sized fairing which flows to the tank cover almost seamlessly.

Like so many MH900e’s this one is barely broken and for being almost 20 years old, is in breathtaking condition.  It has the rarely seen factory clutch cover plus stock exhaust.  The mirror delete makes sense for display and grips are of course the at rider’s discretion.  Some belts and tires might be in order in the unlikely event this was to be ridden extensively.  Comments from the eBay auction:

Dated July 2001 and number 552 of 2,000 built during the two-year production run. It shows approximately 1,100 miles. Designed by Pierre Terblanche as a tribute to Mike Hailwood’s 1978 Isle of Man TT-winning NCR 900, the Evoluzione is powered by a fuel-injected 904cc L-twin paired with a six-speed gearbox. It features a steel trellis frame, single-sided swingarm, Brembo brakes, and Marchesini wheels. This one-owner example was sold new at a major DC area Ducati dealer. Recent service includes fluid change and new batteries in preparation for the sale.   Reversible Mods:   The original mirrors and handgrips are removed, and are included in the sale.   The license plate carrier has been tailored to fit the smaller US size plate.    This MH900e is now being offered with an owner’s manual, seat housing tool kit, and a clean Maine title.   There are no scrapes, dents, or cracks, only the slightest evidence of wear based on the very low mileage.  The plexiglass fairing screen has two half inch long surface abrasion marks from road sand or similar.   

Maybe Ducati’s corporate overlords weren’t impressed with the MH900e, but riders and collectors were.  Evidently Terblanche did some of the test riding since it helped to be tall to reach over the long tank.  The edition of 1,000 was extended to 2,000 after the first grouping sold out in hours, on the internet of all things.  Since then, they’ve led a private life, on display, ridden only occasionally, as part of a larger stable.

-donn


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Honda May 28, 2021 posted by

TGIF: 1998 Honda CBR 600F3 Smokin Joes

How about a Friday quickie that isn’t closed yet? Check out this wonderful Honda CBR 600 F3 in full-blown Smokin’ Joe’s livery! Not terrifically rare in base model formats, the one year only yellow/purple livery celebrates Honda’s CBR dominance in AMA racing, and includes a thoughtful nod to hall of famer and multi-time AMA Superbike and Supersport champion, Miguel Duhamel. Instantly recognizable as a special edition, the Camel cigarettes sponsorship is not very PC today, but accurately represents the state of racing in the late 1990s.

1998 Honda CBR 600F3 Smokin Joes for sale on eBay

From the seller:
1998 Honda CBR 600F3. Smokin’ Joe’s Special Edition. Camel Racing. Includes owners manual, tool kit, and original exhaust pipe (and some replacement stickers). Purple, yellow, and white seat. Also included is a matching vintage HJC helmet. Great condition collector motorcycle. Some of the smaller vinyl graphic letters near the Dunlop sticker under the seat are missing. Also there are some very light scuffs in the purple on the lower right hand side just ahead of where your foot would go (see picture where I am pointing) and on the adjacent Honda Powered sticker. The battery probably should be replaced, otherwise this bike is ready to ride.

The Smokin’ Joe’s Replica – aside from the graphics – is essentially a stone stock CBR600. There were an estimated 1500 units produced in 1998, making this a reasonably rare motorcycle. Sadly there is little collector value over and above a clean and low mileage CBR of similar vintage. These are also easily faked with plastics and a sticker kit, so RSBFS readers are cautioned to always do your homework. I am told there is a VIN check for the SJR models related to the 6th, 7th and 8th digits (“253”) and the model listed on the VIN plate includes “SE,” but perhaps experts can chime in on the comments. This Buy It Now has a couple of days remaining, with an ask of $4,500. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI


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Benelli May 28, 2021 posted by

Six for the road – 1983 Benelli 900 Sei

Might have sold outside eBay since it went NLA overnight, but still worth a look see…  MI

There is always a surge of nostalgic excitement when a big Benelli crosses the block. These were the worlds first production six cylinder motorcycles, predating the Honda CBX and the Kawasaki Z1300 by five and six years respectively. And while the Japanese variants were arguably better known and more technologically advanced, the Sei was no slouch in its own right. And being Italian, it comes by its super model good looks honestly.

1983 Benelli 900 Sei for sale on eBay

The original 1973 Sei displaced 750cc, and was essentially two additional cylinders tacked onto a Honda CB500. And while imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the De Tomaso company (which included Moto Guzzi as well) improved upon the packaging, relocating the end-of-the-crankshaft alternator behind the cylinders and narrowing the overall package. This is a move that was subsequently copied by both Honda and Kawasaki. Although the Kawasaki power unit was liquid cooled, Benelli stuck with air cooling for the duration of the bike’s model run. Models were produced from 1973 – 1989, but only a few thousand of the 900cc variants were ever produced, worldwide.

From the seller:
I bought this bike from the second owner in 2009. I soon changed the 22mm Dellortos (USA spec) for 24mm Dells (rest of the world) as part of a needed tune-up. I followed that with a rebuild of the rear Brembo F09 (pistons and seals). I was disappointed in the sound of the bike so I sourced the beautifully-made and incredible sounding six-into-six GP exhaust from Spain.  Expensive, but worth every penny!  I checked the valve clearances- all in spec.  Changed to Bridgestone BT45s. Two batteries and several oil and filter changes. That’s it for the 800 or so miles I have put on it. not many, but I have too many bikes and I am getting old!  This Benelli is an original bike in very nice condition.  It is not perfect.  Study the pictures. It starts, runs well through all the gears and rides well.  It is 38 years old though, so there is no warranty or guarantee expressed or implied.

Today we know the Sei as a Benelli, and represents the iconic form of the Benelli name. However during the design period of this bike, it was to be marketed as a Moto Guzzi. Imagine how different the brand histories would have been with that decision! Ultimately it was the sheer excess and cost that put the nail in the Sei coffin. These were big, exclusive European motorcycles in an era where the Japanese were winning the race to the bottom; for the $3995 MSRP of a Sei a savvy buyer could purchase 3 or more Japanese standards and sport bikes.

The seller has included a video of this bike, showing a cold start, idle and ride off. Those six-into-six pipes look and sound the part!

The Italian firm not only created a bombshell with the first ever production six cylinder motorcycle, but they also shook up the style game with a new angular design language which was very different than the flowing lines of the Japanese at the time. This helped the Benelli stand out even stronger against the competition, and the lines continue to stand out cleanly today. This example looks great for its age. The miles are low, the paint looks bright and serviceable, and the presentation is excellent. These 900cc Sei models are justifiably rare, and continue to be expensive – just like when new. No takers on the $12k opening ask as of time of writing. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI


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Yamaha May 27, 2021 posted by

Get Your GP On: 1985 Yamaha RZ500

Hot on the heels of the big Gamma we posted earlier this week, it only seemed fair to post the other 500cc competition – the Yamaha RZ500. Seeming more readily available than the Gamma, the RZ500 is another of the GP replica two strokes that were never officially imported into the United States. Today these smokers bring big bucks when presented in decent condition, and it’s easy to see why: Rare, fast and very exclusive, the Yamaha RZ500 was the closest you could come to channeling your inner Roberts, Lawson or Rainey on the street. And who didn’t want to do that?? Today, 35+ years removed, the world of ever-tightening emission and noise restrictions make these screaming banshees icons of a past era, never to be seen again. But today’s example shows that these icons can live on in the used bike market.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on eBay

Unlike Suzuki’s square four arrangement, Yamaha lined up their GP replica in a 50 degree, V-4 formation. Both brands utilized a twin crank setup – more out of two-stroke necessity than anything else. That meant that this is actually two twin-cylinder engines powering the bike, rather than one bigger four banger. Power from the two engines is harnessed and consolidated in the clutch & gearbox areas, making the whole thing seamless to the rider. The rest is pure two stroke wizardry, with reed valves, exhaust power valves and four individual tuned-length pipes for maximum HP (approaching 90 HP when new and stock). The chassis is a rather pedestrian mild steel affair. The Japanese home market offered a power-restricted version with alloy frame – the RZV – which shaved about 20 pounds off the total dry weight – but those are even more rare than the rest of the world model we see here. The swing arm for both models is aluminum. As per the fad of the times, the front hoop is a mere 16″ to reduce the gyroscopic effect and speed up transitions.

From the seller:
Also known as the Race-Developed 500cc Liquid-Cooled motorcycle or RD500LC, the RZ500 was produced in limited numbers from 1984-85 as a road legal production version of the YZR500 2-stroke V-4 Grand Prix factory racer. This rarely seen replica racer was not sold in the United States, and the1985 RZ500 stands as one of the most collectible road-going motorcycles of its era.

Very rare V4
Light and powerful
2 stroke Sports Bike
Liquid cooled, 6 speed
High performance with speed of 148 mph
499 cc
Odometer: 26604 km (16530 miles)

Bike is all stock and original, with the exception of the upgraded exhaust system (stock exhaust system will be included with the bike purchase). Original paint; see picture for a few minor flaws.

Bike is in excellent running condition with everything working.

Given the rarity of these bikes in the US and considering the short life span they had in market when new (model years spanned 1984 – 1986), it should be no surprise that prices on these big smokers are wafting up like the blue smoke they create. Still, these are a pretty good bet for long-term value appreciation since they are popular, approachable, and in limited supply. I don’t see any of those factors changing in the foreseeable future, although the availability of spares might become an issue at some point.

Today’s bike looks pretty good for an older girl (even with low-res photos). There are some unfortunate nicks and cracks in the plastics, but everything appears to be in place. The JL exhaust out of the UK is a nice addition, and the seller notes that the stock pipes come with. Definitely a bonus for the collector. The red handgrips look to be aftermarket, but the rest comes across as an honest example of the breed. With 16,530 miles on the clock this is not a garage queen, so somebody please buy it and get out there and ride! Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI


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Suzuki May 26, 2021 posted by

Canadian Delicacy: 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma

The mighty Suzuki RG500 is well known on the pages of RSBFS. Derived as an homage to the RG500 GP racers developed in the 1970s, the Gamma is probably as close to the GP bike as you can get when comparing it across the other big factory two strokes. Utilizing the same twin crank, square four configuration as the racer, the street going Gamma was big, powerful and menacing. It was also fast and quite exclusive – especially if you lived in one of the 50 states that did not officially import this smoker across their borders. Enter the Canadian connection. Our closest border to the north, most of the forbidden fruit known as grey-market bikes came this route. Today’s example is a step further removed, in that it still resides in its native Canada.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma for sale on eBay

From the seller:
1986 RG 500 4 cylinders- THE MOST POWERFUL of the ORIGINAL 2 stroke Motorcycles! and 90lbs lighter than a std RZ 500.. Include current Canada, Quebec Clean title/ownership in my name with SAAQ/CarProof vehicle history and odometer reports from new. + r.d.p.r.m. no liens Certificate

And I can include a Quebec saaq inspection sticker to be road legal here (if sold in my province)…easy to pass the inspection because the bike is run &drive and everything work great

Immaculate condition and excellent example of a 35 years old collectable bike ( one similar in perfect condition like this one…just sold for $ 34000 in Canada!) .*** very good compression steady on all 4 cylinders!

More from the seller:
Only imperfections I could see are inside the OEM front right middle fairing with 2 smalls cracks but PROFESSIONALLY repaired (please look these repairs at the 2 last pictures..the exterior fairing is PERFECT). And I can’t see any aftermarket parts(except top forks valves caps and fuel hoses..that are brand new …with new battery and new carbs kit). ***previously, gas tank always drained + a thin layer of oil inside for no rust spot…please see the picture

The (mostly low-res) photos show a clean and well sorted RG500 that appears to be stone stock. There was some minor bodywork repair that is evident from the back side of the panel, but the outward facing paintwork and graphics appear to be good. There is no service history noted beyond general condition, and it would be interesting to know if the crank seals have been replaced. Two strokes are notorious for seizing (usually at the worst possible moment), and the most common reason for that failure is a lean fuel mixture due to an air leak in the bottom end. The lean condition is doubly catastrophic as the air:fuel ration creates a tremendous amount of heat AND since two strokes mix oil in the fuel to lube bearings, etc, the high temp situation is exacerbated. That is why a leak-down test is paramount before wringing the neck of a 35 year old bike in anger.

Bidding has been pretty constant on this one, and while the bidding is in Canadian dollars, the US equivalent is sitting just below $20,000 USD with reserve still in place. There are still days left to go for this low-mileage wonder bike, which should give you plenty of time to arrange for transport over the border. Bikes this old can skate under DMV restrictions in some states, so best do your homework. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI


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Yamaha May 25, 2021 posted by

Blue-Grey Smoker – 1989 Yamaha RZ350

Today’s RZ350 is the fully-faired F2 model which was never imported to the U.S.  Looks like a very nice survivor which should be an easy import.

1989 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

Water cooling let the RZ350 make better power with 63 hp, than its air cooled predecessor, the RD400.  And the YPVS power valve stretched the power band, though reviewers reported a big character change at 6,000 rpm.  Expansion chambers were factory equipment, as were multi-adjustable forks and pre-load adjustable MonoCross rear.  Triple 260mm disks were appropriately sized and 18-inch wheels were cast in black aluminum.  The full fairing had the same big side vents as the older brother RD500.

The RZ looks quite stock with astounding paint, if it’s indeed original.  Details of the faux pas seems to be attributable to a single incident.  Both blue and black seats have been seen with this livery, so this one might be factory, though most RZ350 rims have a polished edge so they may have been sprayed.  Guess a magnetic tank guard will be a little late to the party but will cover those nicks.  Comments from the eBay auction:

Legendary two stroke Yamaha bike in very good original condition (they are only original once as they say).

–  Numbers matching – original motor, never taken apart – original tool kit

–  Collector owned, stored in indoor heated space. Running and riding bike – has been out for use in 2021

–  11,000 original km (6835 miles)

–  Oil injection functional (no need to mix gas/oil)

–  Runs great – lots of power

–  Canadian spec model – 2nd last year of production

–  Great colour scheme – never available in the USA (Canada’s run of RZ350 went from 1983 to 1990 whereas the USA only got them 1983 and 1984)

–  Front brake rebuild 2021

–  Tires are in good condition – needs nothing to pass safety certificate

Even though is was only here for a couple of seasons, the bikini-faired RZ was pretty popular, so imports aren’t all that common.  The full bodywork hides the water-cooled mill and looks pretty racy to boot.  It’s high ( reserve ) season, so we’ll have to keep an eye on where this auction goes.

-donn


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