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Bimota July 9, 2019 posted by

Classic Looks, [Nearly] Modern Performance: 1997 Bimota YB11 Superleggera for Sale

Superleggera means “super light” in Italian, and has been applied to everything from aluminum-bodied Ferraris to modern Ducatis. For the time, the Bimota YB11 offered pretty outrageous performance, compared to mass-produced open-class superbikes. In the YB11’s case, the claimed 403lbs dry is on par with something like a modern superbike, with a bit less power. Actually, performance should be right in line with something like a Yamaha MT10, which means it’s no slouch even by modern standards and shockingly fast for a bike that’s now 22 years old.

Like nearly all Bimotas, the YB11 was powered by an existing engine from an outside supplier. In this case, the 1002cc five-valve Yamaha Genesis inline four from the YZF1000, with airbox and exhaust tweaks to up the power just a bit from 145 to 150 claimed horses. The bike uses right-way-up forks, but they’re massive 51mm Paioli units with carbon-fiber lowers, and Bimota’s signature aluminum beam frame features gorgeous machined details.

As mentioned in our previous post, it appears that the six-speed gear cluster of a YZF750R does fit within the YZF1000’s cases, making it a pretty straightforward upgrade. As fast as it was, plenty of reviews bemoan the lack of a top cog: it doesn’t really need one, the bike just seems to want one. Since Bimotas use relatively ordinary engines and transmissions for motivation, it seems like that kind of modification would be well within the spirit of

As with other Bimotas the bodywork is lightweight and consists of just a few panels. The entire tail section and tank shroud is a single piece, which is obviously great when you need to strip one for maintenance, not so great if you have a minor crash. The riding position is pretty weird, with a long, stretched out reach to the bars, and pegs set uncomfortably high. I’d imagine there’s room for improvement in both areas if you plan to use one on the street and want to play around with adjustable bars and rearsets, although finding parts to fit could be a hassle.

Interestingly, many YB11s came fitted with a passenger pad and footrests, making it one of just a handful of Bimotas that can handle date-night duties. Of course, “superleggera” construction would suggest an aluminum subframe instead of steel to support the weight of an additional person, but apparently the super-light setup was strong enough. For better or for worse, this one lacks those pillion accommodations. That’s probably academic, since almost nobody actually uses passenger seats on uncomfortable exotic Italian superbikes, but it’s always nice to have the option.

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Bimota YB11 for Sale

Up for sale is my 1997 Bimota YB11 from my collection and it is in pristine condition and is listed with an astonishing 2850 miles (yes you read that right). The bike has always stored indoors for 22 years but that a full refresh has already been completed (details below).

Bimota produced only 600 example of this fabulous creation. Named the ‘Superleggera, or Super-light, the YB11 was a tiny 183kg, a full 15kg lighter than the Yamaha YZF1000R from whence came the 11’s engine. 

The Superleggera was spoilt in many way; a sophisticated Paioli rear shock developed specifically to suit Bimota’s new swing-arm design. Paioli also supplied the lightweight carbon-fibre front forks. Although the Thunderace Yamaha engine was unchanged internally, Bimota incorporated a larger ram-air box that together with their four-into-on exhaust and reworked carbys did increase horsepower to up around 150. The Superleggera achieved a power to weight ratio that no mass-produced bike could match.

  • Bimota
  • 407 lbs
  • 150 HP at 10,200 rpm
  • 20 Valve 1000 cc inline 4 from a Yamaha YZF1000R
  • Larger airbag and exhaust system from Bimota
  • High performance suspension
  • 600 Units produced world wide
  • 87 in the Unites States
  • $30,000 MSRP in 1996
  • Key included

Refresh details

  • Flushed brakes, add stainless steel braided brake lines, rebuilt rear master cylinders
  • Lubed and adjusted throttle and clutch cables
  • Flushed cooling system
  • Torqued and checked all chassis fittings and fasteners,  check/tighten steering head bearings,
  • Replaced shock chain
  • Replaced battery, NGK spark plugs, 
  • Performed compression check and full tune, including clean and synch carbs, flush fuel tank and add 1 gallon bath metal rust remover, replace petcock assembly (leaking).  

Added engine top-end oiling kit from Daughtry Motorsports (early VF1000’s were reported to suffer top end oiling deficiency and this kit addresses that fully).  Includes oil filter with adapter for top-end oiling kit.

Replaced original tires (old and cracked) with brand new Bridgestone Battlax BT45’s.  Went to 150/70/17 rear (stock was 140) and 120/80/16 front (stock size).

Not sure where the customer got those tire sizes, since the YB11 wore very ordinary 180/55-17 and 120/70-17 tires at the rear and front, respectively. Considering he also mentions “early VF1000s” I’m assuming he’s mixed up the text from a couple different bikes he’s posting on eBay. Regardless, this looks to be in very good, original condition, with low miles. I’m still shocked that there’s virtually no interest in these bikes, but that can’t last forever, so grab one now!

-tad


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Featured Listing July 8, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 2017 Suter MMX500 for Sale

Update 7.8.2019: We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Amatumoto Grand Prix Motorbikes for being a sponsor of RSBFS! From Amatumoto, “This 2017 Suter MMX500 at reduced price will not last long, so if there is someone out there that has been pining for a reliable 2-stroke GP500, they should act soon.” Contact Amatumoto today! -dc

So, I’m going to have to try not to gush uncontrollably here, because this is one of the coolest bikes we’ve featured recently. A real, live Suter MMX500, a “what if” race-replica from a parallel universe where MotoGP racing never made the switch from two-stroke to four-stroke power. A labor of love built by Eskil Suter of Suter Racing and a bunch of guys who never got over their addition to premix fumes.

Forget all of your shed-built Grand Prix homages with RZ500 engines stuffed into R6 chassis and painted up in Marlboro racing colors. No disrespect intended, but this is what you’re looking for, the ultimate paean to the snarling, lethal machines that carried Rainey and Schwantz and Mamola to greatness.

The looks may be stealth-fighter modern, especially in this example’s matte carbon finish, but the spirit of those older machines is still there, married to absolutely state-of-the-art racing technology. It’s powered by a compact, fuel-injected two-stroke V4 with a pair of counter-rotating cranks based on the Swissauto/MuZ500 raced by Suter in 1998 and 1999. Apparently Suter “had a few crankcases kicking around from the 500cc V4 design,” and frames are, obviously, their specialty.

I’m always fascinated by how two-strokes can be mounted in the frame: a lack of cams, cam-drives, or valve gear means they’re ludicrously compact, and often oriented in ways not at all intuitive for someone weaned on four-strokes. In this case, the engine is laid over on its side, rotated 90 degrees from what you’d expect, facing forward. So more like a >4 really, at least if you’re looking at it from the left-hand side…

The bike may be tagged as a 500, but it actually displaces 576cc, with an undersquare 56 x 58.5mm bore and stroke in an effort to deliver a bit more midrange and help the bike avoid racebike service intervals. Suter acknowledges that most of its customers are skilled enthusiasts, not win-or-crash racers, and the changes to the formula make for a more manageable ride that still captures the feeling of a two-stroke MotoGP machine, but is less likely to spit a rider off in an evil highside when they get in a bit over their head…

Modern electronics and fuel injection help there as well, while offering improved rideability and a better spread of power. Of course, the delivery is still two-stroke abrupt and, with 195hp at 13,000rpm pushing just 280lbs, power-to-weight is still fairly astonishing, so the two-stroke GP character is intact, just slightly more refined.

Head on over to the original listing for the bike, as there are plenty of additional photos for you to drool over.

From the Seller: 2017 Suter MMX500 for Sale

SUMMARY

Model: Suter MMX 500

Origin: Switzerland

Engine: Suter

Last Service: 490 km

Colour: Carbon

Suspension: Ohlins

Brakes: Brembo

OZ 17″ wheels

Availability: Immediately in our store of USA

MODEL INFORMATION
Bike in good condition and ready to race. Extra parts included with the bike: rear stand, pistons, rings, reeds gaskets, fiber+steel clutch plates, plugs + caps, filters, front stand, windscreen, seat, engine stand, service manual, owner manual, cover.

Spares list:

Pistons, rings, carbon reeds, gaskets, and o-rings; enough for 2 complete rebuilds

fiber/steel clutch plates

plugs & caps

Spare seat #5 of 99

Engine stand, front & rear service stands

Parts, service & dash manuals

bike cover

This is the very first Suter MMX500 I’ve seen for sale. With just 99 made, I’m assuming they were all snapped up before they were even finished by well-heeled track day and racing fans. If you’ve got $115,000 $95,000 lying around and decide to buy this, please let me know what track days you’ll be attending, because I need to see an MMX500 in action. The craftsmanship and passion that went into its creation are impressive, as you can see from the images. Of course, the price is shocking, but this is a very rare opportunity to purchase one at any price, so refinance your home, sell that sailboat, or sell that kidney, and pounce before someone else does.

-tad

Yamaha July 8, 2019 posted by

Grace, Space, and Pace: 1997 Yamaha YZF1000 Thunderace for Sale

I co-opted Jaguar’s old motto for that headline, but it does seem to apply to the short-lived Yamaha YZF1000. Known in some markets as the “Thunderace,” the YZF1000 was quickly superseded by the class-breaking R1, but it was an open-class motorcycle in the GSX-R1100 and ZX-11 mold, offering handling, reasonable comfort, and real-world performance. Weight and power figures aren’t attention-grabbing by today’s standards, but these days you can pick up this handsome and versatile motorcycle for very little cash.

The “Genesis” inline four engine had Yamaha’s distinctive, forward-canted design and an odd 1002cc displacement. It was packed with their signature performance-enhancing technology, including five-valve heads and an EXUP Exhaust Ultimate Power Valve that helped with midrange performance. Pretty much every modern sportbike has some kind of exhaust valve now, but Yamaha were the first to apply the concept to four-stroke engines. The package was good for 145hp and 164mph, which is plenty fast for any roadbike, unless your weekends involve illicit drag races top-gear roll-ons against modern superbikes with extended-swingarms and nitrous on deserted stretches of freeway…

As with some other open-class sportbikes of the era, the “Thunderace” had a five-speed gearbox, since the engine had an ample spread of torque, but the six-speed from a YZF750R apparently will fit into the cases. So you can always bolt that in, if you happen to have one lying around. An updated Deltabox frame from the YZF750R was wrapped around the engine and gearbox, and the Thunderace saw one of the first applications of Yamaha’s famous “blue-spot” calipers that saw use on the original R1.

Today’s example is exceptionally clean, even considering the low miles. As the seller indicates, there are a couple of very minor flaws in the bodywork, but that can be easily overlooked if you just plan to ride it, or corrected if you plan to squirrel it away deep underground in your private, climate-controlled collection.

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Yamaha YZF1000 Thunderace for Sale

1997 Yamaha YZF1000R “Thunderace” 1003cc motorcycle with 8,980 original 2-owner miles with all original plastics and paint. I purchased from the original owner in early 2018. The YZF1000R was last year Yamaha used its bulletproof FZR1000 EXUP engine, stuffing it into a 600cc superbike frame – and this bike was only imported to the U.S. for one year (sold in Europe from 1996-2003). The YZF1000R is the bridge between the FZR1000 and R1 models. 

Perfect addition for ANY collection or to ride for the next 100k miles if you’d like. This bike starts/runs like a sewing machine, dives into corners like a champion, stops on an absolute dime, and rides/feels/looks like a nearly new bike. Maintains operating temperature as she should, pulling hard toward to redline from any RPM and in any gear. The only non-original item I can find on this bike are the installed Helibars, which have completely improved the riding position.

Bike was recently serviced by a former Yamaha mechanic and FZR/YZF1000R expert. New fork seals and oil, carbs cleaned and tuned/adjusted, new spark plugs, EXUP valve serviced, new valve cover gasket, new thermostat, o-ring and coolant. Also, installed new NOS cleaner element, rebuilt clutch using only OEM Yamaha frictions, springs and clutch springs, new OEM Yamaha front and rear brake pads, new OEM Yamaha oil filter, new OEM Yamaha fuel tank petcock (under tank), fresh oil, coolant, brake and clutch fluid. New NOS radiator cap installed, new NOS windscreen recently installed. Tires are nearly new with less than 800 easy miles on them. I’d estimate with the shop rates and parts costs, I’ve got $2000.00+ in the bike over the past year. With that said, she needs nothing else mechanically done to her.

Zero issues with this bike (e.g., does not pop out of gear on hard acceleration, strong clutch lever and grip, does not use or drip oil, etc.). Cooling fan come up when bike reaches proper temperature; she does not overheat in the Texas summers. Has only been fed non-ethanol fuel for the past year + Sta-bill additive = zero carb. issues (I don’t run ethanol-blended fuel in either of my bikes). Two original ignition keys come with the bike.

Winner of the bike will get all the original paperwork from the original owner, including the original sales invoice and other documents. Incredible documented history!

The only cosmetic flaws (see photos) came from shipping the bike. Note the left cowl where it meets the fairing is cracked (repaired inside the cowl – repair is not visible), note the cowl is cracked under/behind the LH mirror, note the fuel tank has a small ding in the top. Also note the original exhaust can has a dent underneath/to the outside (photographed) and scome scratching near the head pipe where your RH boot would be.  

The seller also includes additional pictures here, and a video of the bike running here, along with a video of Richard Hammond’s review. With a starting bid of $4,500 I think the seller might be aiming a bit high with this one, in spite of the low miles and condition. The Thunderace was a bit of a lame-duck bike for Yamaha: with the class-redefining R1 on the horizon, the YZF was soon very obsolete and the bike was only in production a short while, especially here in the US where it was only available for one year. That makes them pretty rare, but rarity doesn’t always equal value. Personally, I really like them, but I think the seller is overestimating its value at the moment.

-tad


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Suzuki July 7, 2019 posted by

Under an Assumed Name – 1979 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley Edition

Most 1979-80 GS1000S’s we see have beaucoup miles on them – after all, they are eminently rideable.  And though presented in team colors, the model was never officially referred to as a special Wes Cooley edition.  Fans of the bike and rider took care of that for them.  This one has rather low miles and has been subject of a bare frame restoration.

1979 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley for sale on eBay

Suzuki used their formula of reliability and light weight on the GS1100S, with a two stage oil pump and large oil cooler as part of their Advanced Cooling System.  The big four pulled 90 hp and 62 ft.-lbs. on the dyno, not leading the class until “Pops” Yoshimura worked his magic.  Air adjustable forks were part of the GS line, but conventional hydraulic rear shocks were easier to adjust.  A second 295mm front disk was added to the -S in anticipation of higher speeds.  Lower handlebars served to keep the rider in the air pocket created by the BMW-esque cockpit fairing.

This is about as close to a new 1979 motorcycle as you’re likely to find, with every cosmetic and functional issue addressed.  No reason to open the legendary drivetrain at this point.  Higher resolution pictures would’ve been nice, but the owner’s list is comprehensive.  From the eBay auction:

8,000 Original miles. Clean Illinois Title in my name in hand. This Rare Super Bike has been restored beautifully from the frame up!

Frame Powder Coated
All Engine Covers Chromed
S Model Gauge Cluster (Perfect/Flawless)
All Bulbs in Gauge Cluster replaced
All Bulbs throughout Bike replaced
New Duracell Battery
Very Low Miles (8,000)
New Tires (Front & Back)
New Brakes (Front & Back)
Original Air Box (Inner & Outer)
Paint Flawless to Suzuki Factory Spec (3,000.00)
Seat is Perfect (No Tears)
Original Exhaust (Great shape for its age. Minor flaws)
Carburetors rebuilt (could be synchronized/fine tuned a little better)
Brand New Windshield (Have Original. It’s in good shape just faded slightly)
Every Gasket, Every Spring & Every Grommet replaced
New Plugs
New Oil & Filter
New Grips
S Model Mirrors (Perfect/Flawless)
Every Nut, Bolt, Washer and Screw replaced (If it wasn’t replaced, it was polished)
*Have Rear Foot-pegs (will be installed prior to Sale)
Way to much to list! This is a Concourse Restoration that has left no stone unturned. Nothing was missed. This Bike should be in the Suzuki Museum.

Yoshimura came over to Suzuki for the 1978 AMA season, running Cooley on the tricked out GS1000S.  Despite not winning a Superbike event in 1979, Cooley’s podium consistency gave him the championship.  1980 saw a three-way battle between Cooley, Freddie Spencer ( Honda ) and Eddie Lawson ( Kawasaki ), where it was up in the air until two late-season wins gave the Cooley the championship.  Though most owners will say it’s one their favorite bikes of all time, it’s probably better to find a rider or clone if that’s your intent, and save this example for the concours.

-donn

 


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Yamaha July 6, 2019 posted by

Kentucky Bourbon: 1985 Yamaha RZ500RN

How is this for international intrigue? Take a smoking two stroke iconic super bike built in Japan. Export said bike outside of the home market into Europe, the Pacific Rim or Canada. Later years on, that bike finds its way into the US and now lives in the state of Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark and Buffalo Trace. OK – so maybe not mysterious, but the migratory path of this particular example of Yamaha’s last big street going two stroke is certainly circuitous, and part of its appeal. Since Yamaha never imported the RZ500 into the US (with riders desperate for the GP bike with lights), dreams and schemes ensued to liberate these models from our fortunate norther neighbors. Today’s example shows the fruits of those importation labors.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on eBay

Need we go deep on the RZ500 details? Although this crowd undoubtedly already knows, the RZ500 was a V-4, 500cc two stroke meant to invoke Yamaha’s legendary 500 GP machines ridden by the likes of Roberts and Rainey. History will show that these bikes were not quite as sharp as the silhouette would suggest, but it was still a very potent motorcycle for the day. Dichotomies exist throughout: While utilizing a GP-inspired 16″ front wheel to quicken steering inputs, the RZ500 makes due with a mild steel (not aluminum) frame and contained a passenger pillion. Hardly GP level stuff. Still, the twin-crank V-4 configuration made decent power (estimates put a stock bike in the 85+ HP range) and with Yamaha power valves in the exhaust ports the powerband was wider than the traditional, peaky two stroke. Weight was a seemingly portly 450+ pounds – “seemingly” only because of today’s standards. At the time, this was 10-15 pounds lighter than the Kawasaki GPz550, which was down more than 20 HP on the big RZ. That should give you some indication of how hot the RZ500 was in the day.

From the seller:
1985 Yamaha RZ500R. This bike has 15730 original Kilometers and runs great. This bike has a Clear Ky Title in my name. This bike has been well taken care and was stored for a few years. This bike has never been Modified or worked on other than regular maintenance. It does have some corrosion-rust here and there The carbs and fuel system have been cleaned. The brakes have been serviced with new brake pads. This bike starts right up, idles and runs perfect. Transmission and clutch shift smoothly. All lights, Horn and signals work as they should. Inside of the gas tank is rust free. The tank has a couple marks on it. The Plastic is new aftermarket. (The OEM Plastic has some damage and is included in this auction). Please Ask Questions. I have plenty of pictures if need.

Today’s example is relatively mild on the scale of what we have seen. Mods are few, and this bike has apparently seen nothing in the way of hop ups; only usual maintenance items have been covered. Plastics are aftermarket, which makes this unrestored specimen appear to be much newer and cleaner than the rest of the bike. Some corrosion is evident – and not unremarkable for a bike of this age. The seller claims the bike starts and runs without issue, and has had some recommissioning by way of the required carb and fueling system cleaning – again, no surprises there given the rancid state of today’s gasoline formulation. Possible concerns include the reasons for the replacement bodywork (the seller indicates the original pieces will come with the bike), and the state of the (presumed original) internal engine seals after sitting for an extended period of time. Two strokes will develop air leaks (air gets sucked into the crankcase) as seals age, resulting in a lean running condition, increasing the temperature as well as the potential to seize. An air pressure test would be recommended prior to wringing the neck of this beautiful beast, as the condition is most detrimental at high RPM.

The market for RZs has been a bit all over the place lately. We have seen crazy asks in the $30k range for perfect examples, and bargains well below market value. This particular bike appears to be most original – which is a great foundation for a collector. However the step from 34 year old original motorcycle to a 34 year old restored motorcycle is a big one indeed. This particular bike is priced based on the original condition – with a $9,100 opening ask. We have seen much cleaner examples in the $12-15k area, but given the lack of bidding on this one thus far it would appear it may struggle to break the $10k barrier. It’s a runner – which is a plus – and you won’t have to undo somebody else’s mods to get to where you want to go with it, so as a resto project this might be the perfect start. There is still a long way to go on the auction so check it out here, and then let us know what you think. Good Luck!!

MI


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