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Ducati July 30, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing: Air-cooled Ducati 749 hot rod superbike!

The phrase “Ducati superbike” is enough to strike panic into the hearts of most mortal bank accounts. Just breathing the name of the storied Italian marque conjures ghoulish visions of microscopic maintenance intervals, climbing cost of entry and woeful consequences should you play Devil-may-care with recommended services. Luckily, what we have before us is the exception to that rule. A Ducati superbike powered by an 1,100cc iteration of Bologna’s venerated L-twin, expertly hung in a thoroughly modern steel lattice chassis.

It’s a chicken-and-egg exercise to try and piece together what this bike started life as, so here’s what we know: Its mill is the stock engine from an 1,100cc Monster that has been treated to pod filters. The chassis is from a mid-aughts 749 Dark and the swingarm began life on a Monster S2R. The rest of the parts roster reads like a WSBK team’s grocery list, so we’ll let the seller describe it in a bit.

The result of all the trickery is a torquey, featherweight track weapon that looks and goes like nothing else. It eschews the usual superbike practice of stuffing five million peaky horses into an aluminum frame in favor of a sweet-handling, friendly torque monster. Fast and friendly is the name of the game. With 85 horsepower under your right wrist, you’re not likely to scare an R6 on the straights, but hold your nerve and momentum will carry the day.

From the seller:

I bought this bike in ’17 from the original owner who commissioned the build. Told Bruce Meyers put it together originally w/ 800 motor (hence the s2r swingarm). Chris Boy at Moto Corse then built and tuned it as it sits. Bike is 100% ready to ride.
749 Dark frame, modified for conversion / vin removed.
Stock 1100 monster engine, less than 2k mi, MWR Pod filters
749r subframe, custom front fairing stay.
S2r swingarm, 749 linkage.
Ohlins rear shock, stabilizer, & 25mm kit in 1098 forks.
Attack triples, 28deg offset.
M4 monoblocks, 320mm full floating rotors, progressive pads.
Yoyodyne slipper clutch and slave.
Woodcraft clip-ons, rearsets, lever guards, & clutch cover.
SC Racing oversized oil-cooler.
QD low-mount exhaust.
Microtec ecu, lightened harness.
Dynojet quickshifter, quick-turn throttle tube.
Shorai battery, Shorai charger included.
520 chain, Superlight sprocket & quick change carrier.
Carbon front fender, rear hugger.
Pirelli sc-1 slicks, ran 3 track-day sessions.
Sharkskin 749 bodywork, fresh paint, stickers over clear.
Plenty of Woodcraft spares and rear stand included.
Bike weighs 375lbs, 49.5%front 50.5%rear, 85hp & 71 ft/lbs at rear wheel.

Bad: Small blemish on fork slider but never blew seal or leaked. Extra 1098 forks (empty) included. Bodywork shows some damage through paint. Rear hugger tight clearance but still clears warmers. Stone chips and small nics, some rash (normal race bike condition).

All service work performed at Ducati Detroit. Belts 2 years old, valves adjusted w/ 1 track day. All fresh Motul fluids, MWR pods oiled, steering head bearings serviced, forks serviced. Fully safety wired.

Price is $7,500 firm. Buyer to arrange and pay for shipping. Located in Detroit Michigan. Contact me at ericfroh@gmail.com for more pictures or any questions. I kept up with built motors in AHRMA. I hope it goes to a good home, it was a dream bike.

Thank you, Eric

It’s clear that this machine has been well-loved over its life, and it deserves a next owner who can heap a similar level of care and attention on it. As track weapons go, it’s hard to think of something that will stand out the way this will.

Buell July 28, 2020 posted by

WannaBe(emer) – 2002 Buell S3T Thunderbolt

Marketeers at Buell must have looked longingly at BMW’s fanbase and wanted to access some of that longer-than-an-afternoon enthusiasm.  This S3T has all the last year of production improvements, light mileage, and excellent cosmetics.

2002 Buell S3T Thunderbolt for sale on eBay

Late in the Thunderbolt program, Buell had made a lot of updates to the S3T, like electronic fuel injection tailoring the mixture to 101 hp.  The long stroke of the 1203cc Sporty motor, with factory Thunderstorm heads, takes care of providing a healthy 66 ft.-lbs torque at 5,500 rpm.  The almost maintenance-free belt drive smooths out most driveline lash and is lighter than a chain.  Showa provided their multi-adjustable 40mm fork  and underslung rear shock.  Buell’s signature 340mm single disk is up front, with a six-puck caliper, mounted to a set of very pretty fabricated Comstar-type wheels.  The rear exhaust is tucked inside the frame of its way to the central muffler, and can’t get to your leg.  The seat shape was also improved over the years, and the fairing is a nice compromise between local and long distance.

No ownership history is provided, but this S3T has been cared for and shows beautifully.  Seems little needed to be done to improve on the factory’s ideals, with just an intake added.  Its chunky good looks visually prepare you for the 500 lb. riding weight.  The bags are enormous and aren’t an everyday on-off item like the BMW, so they can stay off until a long trip beckons.  Comments from the eBay auction:

Buell’s top of the line bike in 2002 with MSRP of $13,395
Equipped with the Deep-sized Detachable Color Matched Saddle Bags that
have fitted removeable luggage per picture.
Wheels are the factory optional Performance Machine Polished Aluminum.
Factory rated at 101 Horsepower and 90 ft-lbs of torque it is not for the timid.
Fuel Injected and with the Harley Belt Drive it is very low maintenance.
Being the last year of the Tube Framed Buell’s it is a future collectable
especially with the rare color combination. (Volcano Gray / Blaze Orange)
This bike is factory stock with the exception of the upgraded Uno air cleaner
and vinyl rim stripes.
Bike is in very good condition with some minor imperfections.
See scratch on front fender in picture five.
Right passenger saddle bag has a minor scuff on side.
Plastic fuel tank cover has some typical Buell air bubbles in the paint.

The S3T reviewed as a sport tourer that didn’t forget about the sport, with the big torquey lump that made the sections between corners disappear.  Quality control issues seem to have been largely put to bed this late in the game, though even with the isoplanar engine mount stuff wants to come apart.  This Thunderbolt looks unfettered and ready for another 20K miles.

-donn

 


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MZ July 27, 2020 posted by

Singular Simplicity: 1997 MZ Skorpion Sport

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

The Skorpion Sport doesn’t have those, however.

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

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

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

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

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

-tad


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Bimota July 26, 2020 posted by

The Purist: 1993 Bimota DB2 for Sale

The Bimota DB2 is a bit of an odd duck [pun!]: the company’s claim to fame was building high-spec, light weight, race-inspired sportbikes powered by Japanese engines. Those engines came from bikes that were overbuilt and often significantly heavy, so Bimota found a significant performance increase by building motorcycles as much as a hundred pounds lighter than the original machines that donated their powerplants. But Ducati, with a few exceptions, has always had the whole handling thing pretty much nailed, and the DB2 isn’t much lighter than the Ducati 900SS that donated its engine to the endeavor.

Bimota’s naming system flies in the face of motorcycling convention. You’d probably think a Bimota SB6 would be powered by a 600cc engine. It’s not. Instead, it’s packing 1100cc of Suzuki heat. “SB6” means the bike in question is the sixth Suzuki-powered Bimota. The number has nothing to do with displacement. Because Italy. The original Ducati-powered DB1 proved to be a big seller and, at around 600 units, qualified as nearly volume production.

Luckily, the DB2 was a bit lighter than the 900SS at a claimed 373lbs dry. The one-piece tank shroud and tail section was held in place by a few fasteners, and was wrapped around a plastic fuel cell, all of which helped keep things simple as well as light. It was powered by Ducti’s 904cc air-cooled Desmodue v-twin from the 900SS that produced 86 claimed horsepower. That charismatic engine was suspended in a trellis frame similar to the original Supersport unit, matched to a sexy tubular swingarm, with stout Paioli forks and an adjustable Öhlins shock out back.

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Bimota DB2 for Sale

1993 Bimota DB2 VIN#ZES1DB21XPRZES018. 408 DB2s were manufactured and this is one of the 285 full-fairing models. I purchased this bike in 2014 and have put less than 1,000 miles on it since then. After picking it up it was fully serviced by DucPond (Ducati Winchester, VA) with valves, belts, fluids and a new clutch basket and plates. Most recently in Feb 2020 it was back for belts and fluids at DucPond. Bike has the air cooled Ducati 2 valve motor in it. This is a very light bike with remarkable handling and great brakes – only bike I have ridden with true floating front discs. Reliable, easy to work on and tons of options available for it. It runs strong and pulls very nicely.

Everything works on the bike. The low fuel level light comes on and off regardless of the fuel level – common to these bikes I think. If I was keeping it I would put fresh tires on it (the ones on it are past their shelf life); change the brake fluid again; and replace the blinker relay with an adjustable one (they blink too fast). Bike charges fine and has a newish battery in it. No warranty expressed or implied – it is 27 years old, but I would happily ride this bike anywhere. As a 27 year old bike it is not perfect and has a few flaws which I have tried to highlight in the pictures. The paint is probably as good as the factory, but has blemishes in it. Clear title in my name.

Not on the bike but included are the steering dampener and original airbox. It comes with two sets of keys and the original books. Separately I have a lot of spares for this bike, that are not included with the sale here but I will consider a good offer on them from the purchaser of the bike. Bike shows 1978 miles and if the below is correct, then total mileage would be about 5,000 miles.

Prior to my ownership what the previous owner stated (these are not my words). There is a letter in the paper work indicating acceptance of the bike as a gift.

“This motorcycle was completely restored in 2001 when it had approximately 3000 miles and donated to the Larz Anderson Transportation Museum in Boston, who elected to auction it to focus on their older collection of pre-war cars.

Enhancements performed in 2001:

“944cc big bore kit, stainless steel engine studs, carburetor jet kit, new timing belts, carbon fibre belt covers, braided brake lines, polished wheels, mufflers, intake manifolds, new chain and sprocket, adjustable brake and clutch levers, tinted windscreen, Euro headlight, new speedometer and tachometer, painted frame.”

Bike is located in Northern VA.

Bidding is very active on this example, which is no surprise considering it hasn’t even cracked $10k yet. I have to be honest: the Bimota DB2 is one of my favorite Bimotas, but I’m not a huge fan of those graphics with their dripping paint/urban camo design. I’d happily live with them though, even in the garish white/purple [?!]/white scheme that was also available. It’s one of the purest expressions of Italian motorcycling, a light, nimble machine with striking looks and just enough power to be fun. The DB2 is easy to run as well, at least as far as the two-valve Ducati engine is concerned. Don’t be put off too much by the scary Italian reputation: a well cared-for Desmodue is good for 100,000 miles or more, and servicing isn’t all that expensive, or difficult for a handy home mechanic.

-tad


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Honda July 25, 2020 posted by

Entrée – 2002 Honda RC51 / RVT1000R

As the 20th century wound down, Honda needed a new tool to work on WSBK, and developed a fresh 90-degree V-twin, wrapped in a new aluminum twin-spar chassis.  This RC51 is a rider but looks very good with a conscientious maintenance history.

2002 Honda RC51 / RVT1000R for sale on eBay

Surprisingly close to the engine specs for Ducati’s 998 with 100mm bore and 63.6mm stroke, the Honda managed 136 hp in street trim, a skwoshe more than the 998.  Programmed fuel injection, two injectors per cylinder and gear-driven cams counted for a lot.  Fork and brake specs are identical to the 998, with multi-adjustable 43mm forks and 320mm disks grabbed by 4-piston calipers.  The RC51 exhausts make their way to the side of the swingarm, and weight is within a few pounds of the competition.

This mid-life owner has taken nice care in their ownership, though the RC51 isn’t without a past.  The Yoshimura mufflers look a lot lighter than stock, though the pipes are ready for another round of polishing.  From the eBay auction:

Very nice condition. All maintenance and service done, maint. log book included. I recently did the first valve clearance check and will include the valve shim kit I purchased for it. Engine is all stock and original except for the Yoshimura Exhaust. The “pair mod” and “intake air flapper” mod has been done, but I kept the original parts to put back to stock. The header is also stock and is in perfect shape. I have other original parts also including the like new original windscreen (Puig wind screen installed). Some other OEM decals and labels included. Has aftermarket undertail but has (what I think is) the original tail light included.

Also has aftermarket rear sets, Stainless Steel front and rear race brake lines (I have all original lines and hardware tagged and bagged) Newer brake pads (I kept part numbers and brand), newer Dunlop Q3’s. OEM Passenger seat pad included. Honda service manual, spare tail fairing in like new condition included. New chain and sprockets where installed as a matched set a few thousand miles ago. A few other parts included (see pictures). Flush mount LED turn signals. The non-oem stickers at the bottom of the fairing where added after a coat of wax so they can be easily removed (I’ll remove them for you if you prefer). New aftermarket adjustable levers.

A short cold start walk-around is shown – here -.

Honda won their first year with the RC51, Ducati replied, and Honda won again in 2002, both times with Colin Edwards aboard.  The benefit afforded twins of any brand lasted until the Jonathan Rea era began in 2015, and is awaiting its next resurgence.  If the reserve is set with the buy-it-now as reference, this might be a winning entry into the sportbike affliction.

-donn


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Ducati July 22, 2020 posted by

Smoky, Barely – 2006 Ducati 999S

Despite raves from the motoring press and racing victories, Ducati’s 999S and its then-radical design was only a moderate performer in the showroom.  This all black 2006 is tricky to photograph but shines past its smoke-damaged title.

2006 Ducati 999S for sale on eBay

The 999S is an omnibus of Ducati’s best thoughts on superbikes, their construction and components.  The S is a big engine and suspension upgrade from the base model, and in that era electronics were limited.  There are precious few differences over the 999S model years – for 2005 the testastretta acquired a deep sump, and references are variable on whether available power was more than the original ( and seemingly adequate ) 136 hp.  The double sided swingarm was fabricated rather than cast, an improvement directly from competition.  Some ventings were changed in the fairing, and minor changes to the aft section of the chassis, which was now shipped in matching paint.

Evidently this 999S was in a dealership which had a fire, and was part of a larger insurance settlement.  Most often bikes with salvage title are riders, but this one has been stored basically since new.  Unfaired photos show it to be as intended under the skin.  Hard to see any damage, though a pretty comprehensive service would be expected to bring it back to running condition.  Notes from the eBay auction:

1 mile from new. Mint condition, no issues. Runs perfect, new battery stored indoors in a heated hanger. Bike is gorgeous, it was in a Ducati dealership that caught fire, the bike was not touched dropped or damaged ever not even smoke. The insurance company declared everything a total loss. So this new perfect 999S has a salvage title, please see pictures to read insurance report. When was the last time you saw a 999S with 1 mile in perfect condition ??? Fantastic opportunity This bike has owner’s manual red and black keys. It is completely stock with no modifications from original.

Though it’s unfarkled without even a carbon detail, the blackout livery makes the 999S design even harder to read – though I wouldn’t kick this mass of reflections out of my garage.  Bidding is brisk but hasn’t met the reserve, showing even the seller wants to see a brighter future for this high MSRP rare black Ducati.

-donn


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Triumph July 20, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing – 1997 Triumph T509 Speed Triple

Update 7.23.2020: This bike has SOLD in just 3 days to an RSBFS reader. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Sharing little more than the letters on the nameplate with the namesake 1938 Speed Twin, fledgling Triumph Hinkley did have the same desire for the Speed Triple – to set the sales floor on fire.  The 1994 introduction did very well indeed and justified a comprehensive re-design for 1997.  RSBFS reader Todd offers his very sharp example in the single-year color Lucifer Orange.

1997 Triumph T509 Speed Triple with just 4,700 miles !

Despite the obscure T509 model designation, the Speed Triple used Triumph’s new modular 885cc engine which claimed 108 hp and 62 ft.-lbs. torque.  Sagem fuel injection was a significant improvement over the original carburetors, and a 6-speed helped keep the engine on the boil.  The updated chassis was alloy with a single-sided swingarm, though shares the rugged good looks of its steel predecessor.    Suspension and brake components were high-spec, with 45mm multi-adjustable Showa forks, with their matching adjustable monoshock, and Nissin 4-piston calipers over 320mm rotors.  The riding position is in keeping with its streetfighter image, and though early T509’s were equipped with clip-on’s, Todd’s has the mid-year conventional handlebar.

Todd is the second owner and has kept his Triple in phenomenal shape.  The powder-coated silver wheels look sportier, and the belly pan and binnacle fairing with its Euro parking light are nice touches.  Todd’s comments from his CycleTrader listing:

Lots of factory accessories on the bike: high mount carbon fiber “race” pipe, seat cowl, fly screen, carbon fiber tank protector, Tiger RS belly pan. Tail tidy and bar-end mirrors installed also. I had the wheels powder-coated silver when I bought the bike (they were originally black). Original mirrors, low pipe, passenger seat included. The bike will also include a Triumph pit stand.

Recent maintenance (done over this past winter to prepare the bike for sale):
-New injectors, fuel pump, fuel filter
-New spark plugs
-Rebuilt front calipers (pistons and seals)
-Front forks refreshed (new seals and oil)
-Coolant change
-Oil and Filter change

-Tires will need replacing soon

And here is a cold start / walk-around – video –

Todd asks $4,500 for his Speed Triple.

Triumph had a lot of competition in the muscle bike segment from the Yamaha V-Max to Ducati’s M900, but had their manufacturing ducks in a row and offered a European alternative at a sensible price.  Todd picked a very good year, accessorized nicely, and cared for this eye-catching T509 beautifully. 

-donn

Suzuki July 20, 2020 posted by

Devil in the Details: 1994 Suzuki RGV250Γ for Sale

If you love classic racing graphics on your sportbike, but feel guilty about supporting tobacco brands, this Pepsi-liveried Suzuki RGV250Γ could be just the ticket! Just try not to think too much about the obesity epidemic sweeping the country… Maybe the best bet is probably to find a defunct brand that won’t benefit from your cruising around on a sleek, rolling billboard plastered with their logo.

On paper, the Gamma and its 80s and 90s quarter-liter competitors from Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki all looked very similar: two cylinder liquid-cooled two-stroke powerplants, six-speed gearboxes, stiff aluminum frames, triple disc brakes, and wheels shod with the stickiest modern rubber. But they all managed to have their own individual character to appeal to brand loyalists and discriminating enthusiasts.

The Honda may have been the most refined of the bunch, but the Suzuki was the crazy one, with lively handling and a 90° 249cc two-stroke v-twin that was later borrowed by Aprilia for their RS250. All bikes in the class had some sort of power valve to boost midrange flexibility, and the RGV used Suzuki’s SAPC, an acronym for “Suzuki Advanced Power Control” that electronically controlled a power valve and the ignition timing. A distinctive asymmetrical “banana” swingarm provided clearance for the bulging expansion chambers on the right side of the bike.

From the original eBay listing: 1994 Suzuki RGV250 for Sale

1994 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22This very special bike was purchased from the renowned Pete Boccarossa collection. Visit Superbikeuniverse.com to see the listing. I’ve owned it for 3 years. He started the journey to build the ultimate RGV250, I finished it. From Pete’s original listing it was rebuilt with a new crank, pistons, and mild port work. Suspension upgraded with a 2013 GSXR 600 rear shock resprung for a 185 LBS rider, 2008 GSXR 1000 front end with forks resprung, front wheel, and radial mounted brakes. Custom rear brake hanger with brembo rear caliper. Katana 5.0 by 17 rear wheel. Tyga carbon fiber rear hugger. Lance Johnson painted a Kevin Schwartz Pepsi RGV livery that looks awesome. Upon acquiring the bike, I made addition upgrades including brand new Tyga stainless Steel GP expansion chambers with carbon fiber canisters, new Tyga triple trees, new Tyga rearsets, new Brembo front master cylinder, new front braided brake lines, new Michelin Pilot RS tires front and rear, new front brake pads, new fork seals, Suzuki kit 23d10 race SAPC, I sourced from Japan a very rare kit SP close ratio transmission, and complete SP dry clutch. Prior to install, I purchased all new OEM clutch plates and gaskets from the Tuning Works. Dyno used to assist jetting and dialing in carbs. I’m summary, it’s an amazing one of a kind RGV250 that runs as good as it looks. It has a clean Florida title and registration in my name. Sold as is. Inspection by appointment. Contact me with any questions. Full payment due 7 days at close of auction. Buyer responsible for shipping, I will help on my end. Good luck on bidding! 

There’s another day or so left on the auction, and bidding is up just above $10,000 with the Reserve Not Met. It looks very clean, but it’s not perfectly original, with lots of aftermarket parts, including those questionable turn signals that aren’t even aimed correctly… The kit gearbox is very nice, and the later GSX-R parts are good quality, but I can’t help but wonder whether or not the forks and radial front brakes might be overkill for a 300lb motorcycle. Overall, it seems like a very slick bike for the right buyer.

-tad


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