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Benelli April 3, 2021 posted by

With Papers: 1983 Benelli 900 SEI

Kicking this post off with a provocative statement, I’m not sure the world realized what a tremendous talent we had in the form of Alejandro de Tomaso. While the Italian started life out as a racer (having participated in the echelon of F1), De Tomaso rapidly evolved into a business man with an eye for style. He formed his own car company, and was responsible for such hits as the Pantera and the Mangusta, as well as producing a F1 car for Williams. He acquired names and assets from defunct businesses, eventually owning coachbuilding companies such as Vignale and Ghia (later sold to Ford). His holdings extended across automobile and motorcycle boundaries, at one time controlling Innocenti (producing Lambretta scooters and BMC products under license), Maseratti (later sold to Fiat), Moto Guzzi and Benelli. Which brings us to today’s bike, a 1983 Benelli 900 SEI.

1983 Benelli 900 SEI for sale on eBay

Benelli, under the guidance of De Tomaso, was the first motorcycle manufacturer to put a six cylinder bike into production. That was way back in 1973, with the bones of the 750cc machine containing a lot of Honda four cylinder DNA. And while the six banger was never a huge seller – after all it was a bit exotic and very expensive for the time – Benelli continued to refine it and evolve it through the final year, 1989. In between it grew from 750 to 900cc, and gained poise, polish and reliability. Today these are interesting machines from an engineering perspective, but especially from a styling perspective. These are quintessential Italian style and flair.

From the seller:
This is a 1983 Benelli 900 SEI. The vehicle runs great and is mainly used for auto shows.

Superb example of this rare sport bike. Runs great, sounds awesome. Recent full service (receipt for $6300). Updated levers (have originals). Lots of manuals/product documentation regarding the bike is included. Only selling as I now have 6 bikes and need the room.

Today’s example is a 1983 model in 900cc. It has fewer than 12,000 miles on the clocks, and appears to have a fair bit of documentation and various manuals. This is a plus for a brand which no longer exists in the same manner as it did in the past. While Benelli retains an HQ building in Italy, the brand is wholly owned and all bikes are manufactured by the Qianjiang Group in China. Gone are the big sixes, and gone is some of the hand-built exotic nature of these mighty machines. This was truly the pinnacle of classic Benelli, and we are not likely so see the likes of it again. That is what makes today’s bike special. It is available for auction with a starting big of $17,500, and a Buy It Now number of a cool $22k. Those are big numbers, but this bike carries with it some significant history, and intrinsic rarity. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!

MI


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Ducati April 1, 2021 posted by

Wouldn’t Start – 2004 Ducati 998S FE with 2 miles !

Always dressed in red, Ducat’s 998S Final Edition celebrated the tenth anniversary of the iconic 916 generation.  This very special order waited in its shipping crate until a few years ago, and since its factory road test, hasn’t seen a battery, gas, or oil.

2004 Ducati 998S FE for sale on eBay

Some specs show the 998S power as 100Kw, a nice round number and 136hp.  The cases were different than a base model, and had a deep oil sump to ensure the pick-up didn’t run dry.  Adjustable Öhlins dampers are all around, with 43mm forks and a progressive rocker arm for the monoshock.  Dry clutch and single seat naturalemente, with 320mm Brembo brakes and 17-inch Marchesini forgings.  The FE’s aren’t numbered but have a Final Edition plaque on the triple tree, right below the temperature gauge, which required some attention since the cooling system hadn’t had a major update to cope with the increased power.

This FE showed the same two miles on RSBFS – back in 2018-, and has had one or two more owners since then, who also ( wisely ) declined to bring it from display to riding duty.  So far all the owners have been collectors, including racing driver Graham Rahal.  The seller’s comments comments from the eBay auction-

Limited production Final Edition model that has reportedly never been ridden. The bike was removed from the factory crate with 2 indicated miles in 2017, when Indy driver Graham Rahal acquired it for his private collection. It has not been started since, or had fuel or a battery put in. Factory equipment includes Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes, Marchesini wheels, and a graphics package specific to the FE. Power is supplied by a 998cc Testastretta L-twin paired with a 6-speed gearbox, and the original protective film remains on the engine covers and frame. The bike was acquired by a dealer in late 2018 from from Mr. Rahal’s collection.  I purchased the bike in January 2019.  Since I have owned the bike, it has been sitting in my garage as eye candy.

Both factory keys, the original tool pouch, and owner’s manuals are included with the sale.

The collector’s realm might be foreign to a weekly rider, not being able to hop on and enjoy.  Could be there are other diversions.  The 998S FE with its angular nose, air intakes, single-sided swingarm, and underseat exhaust might deserve to be saved for a future rider.  Or collector.  Looking forward to hearing from the new owner.

-donn


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Featured Listing March 31, 2021 posted by

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda 750 SFC

In case you thought race replicas were a recent innovation, Laverda set the world on it’s ear some 50 years ago, with its 750 Super Freni Competizione, first in endurance racing, and then on the road.  Presented by a Seattle area restorer, this 750 SFC has been restored to museum quality and is ready for its next display.

1974 Laverda 750 SFC for sale

A development of Laverda’s 650cc parallel twin ( itself a template of Honda’s 305 ), the 750 SFC immediately did well in competition, and was made in rather small lots from 1971-75.  For 1974, the factory blue-printed engine with two 36mm Dell’Orto carbs and 9.9-to-1 compression made a reliable 75 hp with Bosch electronic ignition.  The classic nickel plated chassis held the engine from above as a stressed member, stabilizing the 38mm forks with their Super Freni ( Super Brakes ) 280mm disks.  Orange was adopted as Laverda’s competition color at some point in the early 1970’s, and the small seat and long range tank on the SFC appear to have been the inspiration more than one generation of café racers.

Evidently a previous owner started the restoration using all factory Laverda parts, and Duncan has these notes about the SFC and this example in particular :

A Production Racer For Sale

Laverda 750 SFs achieved notable endurance racing success in 1970, including a win of the 500km of Monza, a 1-2-3 podium sweep at the 24 Hours of Oss in Holland, and a third and sixth in the Bol d’Or in France. These bikes improved incrementally, but so did the competition. By the end of the year, Massimo asked Luciano Zen to think about a production racer version of the Laverda 750 SF.

In May 1971, the Laverda 750 SFC, for (Super Freni Competizion) was launched. Compared to the 750 SF, the engine was extensively modified. The reworked cylinder head had bigger valves and a new cam profile (designated 2/C), rockers were polished and 36mm Amal concentric carbs replaced the 30mm Dell’Ortos. A close-ratio five-speed was fitted, and the crankshaft and rods were carefully balanced and polished. Power output was rated at 70hp, and each engine was dyno tested to ensure output. The frame was strengthened with gussets and the front brake was either standard Laverda item or an optional Ceriani four-leading-shoe unit. The bikes ran on Dunlop K81 TT100 tires.

Bodywork was also new, with a 23-liter (6.1 gallon) handmade aluminum gas tank, a single seat with fiberglass tail section and a half fairing, all painted in the now-famous bright orange, a color selected to make the bikes easy to spot on the track, especially at night. It was also chosen to please the Dutch importer, Jan Raymakers, orange being the national color of the Netherlands.

Laverda 750 SFC models were produced in small batches between 1971 and 1975. The first batch, built in May 1971, numbered about 20 bikes, all intended for factory competition. SFCs were hand built by a small team and with little regard to cost. They were built to meet exceptional standards of performance, and in particular were intended to excel in endurance races, where bulk and a relative lack of nimbleness would not be so much of a handicap and where their great strength and robustness would give them a competitive advantage.

In their first official race in 1971, the Six Hours of Zeltweg, SFCs finished first and second. That year, SFCs also placed first, third and fourth in the 24 Hours of Montjuic in Barcelona, first and third in the 24 Hours of Oss, and first in Vallelunga (Italy). They also placed second at the Bol d’Or in Le Mans, first and second at Imola, and finished first and second in the 500km of Modena. Not bad for the first year.

In November 1971, 80 more SFCs were produced, and some were sold to the public. The aluminum gas tank was now fiberglass (the alloy ones had a tendency to crack), and the bikes had revised gearbox ratios and exhaust systems. They also had a new Laverda drum brake, with the more effective Ceriani a popular option. Another batch of SFCs were produced in early 1972, with slight changes to the shape of the fairing and seat and a new exhaust with a crossover pipe.

By this time, the Japanese had made significant progress in the development of their machines, and while there were SFC victories in 1972, they did not match the stellar performance of 1971. Only three 750 SFCs were made in 1973, and these served as test beds for radical changes like magnesium crankcases, new cylinder head designs and even lighter crankshafts. The results were not impressive, the bikes becoming more fragile and difficult to ride.

1974 would see the largest single-year run of SFCs. For the first time, the Laverda 750 SFC was considered part of the normal product range offered to the public and was no longer reserved solely for racing. The SFC was promoted as a “Production Racer,” similar to Ducati’s 750SS or Norton’s Commando-based production racers, and the changes were numerous. The bodywork was improved, and the zinc-plated frame was lowered and modified with revised steering geometry, larger front forks, and triple 280mm Brembo disc brakes. A new, strengthened close-ratio gearbox was fitted and the engine was enhanced by a lightened crankshaft, slim, polished connecting rods, a new camshaft (5/C), a higher capacity oil pump, new 36mm Dell’Orto carbs (without accelerator pumps), modified valves and valve springs, a new exhaust system and higher, 9.9:1 compression ratio. Power was now rated at 75hp at 7,500rpm.

A total of 222 SFCs were built in 1974, with slightly less than half of them going to the U.S. To comply with federal regulations, U.S. models had turn signals, bigger taillights, side reflectors, adjustable handlebars and Nippon-Denso speedometers and tachometers. Even though the bike was being sold to privateers in 1974, factory-prepared racers were performing well in the national production class races.

During the 5 year production run, a total of 549 were made. The SFC being offered is one of only 100 SFCs made for the North American market in 1974. According to well-known SFC expert Marnix van der Schalk (in correspondence with the previous owner), the factory records state it was shipped to the USA on July 8, 1974.

The last version of the SFC was the 1975 Laverda SFC Elettronica, its name reflecting its Bosch electronic ignition. It had a new cylinder head, revised valve angles, re-shaped combustion chambers and a new, optional high-lift cam with 10.5:1 compression ratio. A contemporary magazine test produced a 12.5 second quarter mile at 180kph (top speed over 220kph). A final batch of 33 SFC Elettronicas featuring five-spoke cast-alloy wheels were built in 1976.

The following is a list of much of the work commissioned by the previous owner and performed by Ron Small in 2002-2003, with the invoices totaling nearly $6,000.  Previous owner noted that all replacement parts used on the bike were authentic Laverda SFC parts purchased from Wolfgang Haerter at Columbia Car and Cycle in British Columbia, Canada (receipts totaling $1,000).

Motor:

Re-sleeved cylinders

bore and size cylinders

valve job

new valve springs

new valve guides

new cam chain

new cam tensioner

new guide wheel

new rings

blast and clean heads

Cam and timing set correct.

 

Other items:

new gas tank

sealed new tank 

paint new tank

new fork seals

new swing arm bushings

paint swing arm

rebuild brake master cylinders

new clutch cable

new throttle cables

new tires

new brakes

Subsequent to the work being completed at Maximum Effort, the previous owner only rode the bike 900 miles. The current owner has ridden it less than 100 miles. It has spent the past 13 years on display in a climate-controlled garage. 

There is no knowing if the 6753 miles showing on the odometer is the actual mileage, but the condition of the bike, combined with the minimal miles ridden by the current and previous owner in the past 20 years would lend credibility to that number. 

There is a small amount of surface rust on center stand.

Recently recommissioned for the road, it has a new battery, new fluids, top end adjust and inspection. Carburation adjustments and tune. Bike has had complete nut and bolt, safety inspection and test ridden. 

Tires are 15-20 years old.  They are not dry rotted, but if the bike is going to be ridden, changing them would be a good idea. 

For at least the past 20 years, this SFC has been adult owned, never down, always maintained by marquee knowledgeable technicians. Makes big noise and runs flawlessly.

Being offered at $49,950 in US Funds. Will assist on Worldwide Shipping.

 Email sennaducati79@gmail.com your contact numbers for an immediate return call. 

Duncan asks $49,950 and reminds readers – This bike is absolutely correct, adult owned, never down, never abused, maintained by the best techs, riders in the business. Makes big noise and runs flawlessly.  He can be reached via email – here –.

Early in the 1970’s the orange bikes sometimes captured multiple podium spots at championship events like Bol d’Or and Suzuka 8 Hours, but increasing competition from the east made it more of an occasion as the decade wore on.  Mostly made a handful at a time, production peaked at 222 in 1974, and total production is said to be 549.  As happens to race bikes, few survive to be restored, and just 100 of the federalized SFC’s were said to be imported in 1974.  But the SFC put Laverda in the exclusive company of a leading motorcycle manufacturer.  Duncan requests offers via email – here –.

-donn

Featured Listing March 29, 2021 posted by

Featured Listing: 1983 SUZUKI GS750ES

The 1980s: A period of rapid and wild development that set the motorcycling course for the next several decades. It seemed for a time that every innovation was rapidly made defunct by the next quantum leap in engineering – or experimentation. From the end of the 1970s right into the 1990s the world saw massive jumps in suspension tech, chassis engineering, internal combustion enhancements, clutch and transmission improvements, and aerodynamics. Some of the innovations worked and became mainstream. Others were fated to be “one year wonders” as manufacturers rapidly pivoted to something new. In between the extremes some absolutely amazing motorcycles were created. Today’s Feature Listing is one such model: the 1983 Suzuki GS750ES.

Featured Listing: 1983 SUZUKI GS750ES

The Suzuki GS750 first bowed to the world in 1977. At that time it was more of a UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle), or what would be better known as a standard motorcycle. This was a response to Honda’s dominant expertise in the inline four game, and at which Suzuki was playing catch up. But catch up they did, steadily evolving the GS750 into an absolute gem of a sport bike; the ’83 ES variant enjoying a 16-valve DOHC head with Suzuki’s trademarked Twin Swirl Combustion Chamber (TSCC), a greatly updated chassis which included the cutting-edge Full Floater single shock setup in the rear, and trick anti-dive forks up front. And rather than the 18/19 inch combo front and rear carried by predecessors, the ES model now carried a 17 incher out back and a GP-inspired 16 inch wheel up front. The smaller front wheel did turn out to be a short-lived fad, but the reduction in rotational weight and gyroscope tendencies helped the smallest and lightest of the GS750 lineage turn and track like no other.

From the seller:
Completely stock, unrestored, unmodified and un-faded
Classic 80’s sport bike style
Two adult owners from new, 3,000 miles believed correct
As close to a showroom-new GS750ES as you’re likely to find
Original tool kits come with bike
Regularly and recently ridden

Price: Mecum Auction Lot F67 April 28 – May 1

Contact: Bob (superhawk65@gmail.com) or visit the Mecum Auction site

The 1983 Suzuki GS750ES was the last of this particular lineup; the economy stalled any further development and unsold units were sold off as 1984 models (unchanged). By 1985 H-D began the Great Tariff War and capacities were dropped to 700cc to avoid additional taxation. That makes this 1983 Suzuki GS750ES the last of its kind, and in about the best shape we’ve seen one of these retro machines. With 70-ish HP on tap and relatively modern components, the GS750ES is a great pick for anyone wanting to pick up some nostalgia – and who also wouldn’t mind riding it around. Suzuki did crank out a large number of the GS750 models (a definite best seller for the Hamamatsu manufacturer), but today few of them survive in this kind of condition.

Today’s Featured Listing will be enjoying the limelight at the Mecum auctions in Las Vegas, April 28 – May 1. With very few miles and sitting in stock, original condition, this bike will certainly catch the eyes of collectors. Interested parties might want to chat with Bob ahead of the auction to learn more. This bike is an incredible time capsule of the pinnacle of the pre-GSXR world, and will certainly be grabbing attention wherever it shows up. Whether you were there and had one, missed out but always wanted one, or just learning about the era now, this 1983 Suzuki GS750ES is worth the effort. Good Luck!!

MI

Suzuki March 29, 2021 posted by

Gammarosity – 1987 Suzuki RG500 Gamma

Prior to the turn of the century, 500cc bikes were the ultimate Grand Prix class and Suzuki were regularly on the podium and occasionally the top step.  Here’s an RG that has been more carefully tended than most bikes, and pushing 190hp per liter.

1987 Suzuki RG500 Gamma for sale on eBay

Suzuki had won back to back championships in 1981-82 with the RG500 racer, but didn’t introduce the replica until 1985.  It was worth waiting for, with a complex rotary-valve square four engine claiming 95 hp.  28mm Mikuni carbs look into the engine from the side, and there’s only a kickstarter.  Suzuki’s automatic exhaust control tailors the downpipe volume to rpm, widening the torque band.  Though the chassis tubes are small section, they’re beefy and connect up to a massive steering head, all alloy.  “Deca” brakes have ten pistons, per bike – eight on the 260mm front discs and two on the 210mm rear.  Solid looks are partly due to the wide powerplant and tall 90 series tires.

From the garage background, this gulf coast owner is a real Suzuki fan, with a passel of dirtbikes thrown in.  The RG500 is in exceptional condition, with only one short fairing crack in its original good looks.  Naturally a grey import, but no ownership or maintenance history is offered in the eBay auction:

7,906 miles all original. Runs great. Speedo is in Kilometers.
Tail fairing has 1 small crack above left exhaust pipe.

Suzuki bowed out of a factory effort in 1983, but still supplied RG500 developments to the H-B and Heron teams.  U.S. rider Randy Mamola had been on the podium in the last few races of 1982 with H-B, but factory riders Uncini and Reggiani went to H-B’s first string for ’83.  At this point in race replica, square four, or two-stroke road bike history, the time to watch and wait may be behind us.  Just three bidders are testing this auction for the reserve, and if you intend to make some history with an RG500 this looks like a great example. 

-donn


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Aprilia March 27, 2021 posted by

Sadly Underutilized: 2002 Aprilia RSV Mille for Sale

Just a few hours left on this one, so I’ll keep it short. I’m actually wondering if this is the same bike we featured back in January. I mean, just how many fluorescent yellow 2002 Aprilia RSV Milles are there running around, or not running around, with just three hundred miles on the odometer? The language of the two posts is pretty different and this one looks like it’s been hanging out at a dealership its whole life, instead of in a garage next to a Cadillac, but who knows?

Either way, this Mille derives its name from the Rotax-developed v-twin powerplant’s approximately 1000cc displacement. The innovative design was compact, yet smooth and powerful, owing to the 60° layout and balance shafts. Power was 113hp at the rear wheel. Instead of a slipper clutch, the RSV used a “pneumatic power clutch” that used a vacuum-actuated system to perform the same function and help with rapid downshifts.

Styling certainly wasn’t as elegant as what was found on the bikes being offered by Ducati, but the components were at least the equal of the 998 and build quality was better: the Mille has an enviable reputation for reliability, something that generally cannot be said of Ducati’s beautiful superbike confections…

From the original eBay listing: 2002 Aprilia RSV Mille for Sale

COLLECTORS!

2002 Aprilia RSV1000R Mille – 2001 World Championship -Troy Corser – Race Replica Motorcycle with 300 ORIGINAL miles !

This motorcycle is in BRAND new condition and was stored and displayed properly at a local New Haven dealer for 19 years. Has been cared for and runs perfectly and is in 100% complete original condition with all books and keys.

Don’t miss your opportunity to own one of the most iconic motorcycles in history.

The seller might be stretching things a bit, describing the Mille as “one of the most iconic motorcycles in history…” Maybe “distinctive” is more apt? In any event, these are great bikes to ride, although part of the appeal to me has been their relatively low cost, and this one has an asking price of $8,500. I think that’s probably very fair price if you’re putting together a collection of Italian superbikes or are just a fan of the marque, but that same money will buy you a bunch of other very nice machines.

-tad


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Honda March 26, 2021 posted by

Performance Redefined: 1998 Honda CBR900RR

In 1992 Honda lit the world on fire with the introduction of the FireBlade. The original project was headed up by legendary designer/engineer Tadao Baba, with the design goal of reducing or removing every ounce of weight possible while also ramping up horsepower. The 900RR was to the current sport bike world what the original Suzuki GSX-R750 was during the previous decade. It redefined what a sport bike should be, sharpening all of the inputs and edges until what existed was practically a new category: the lightweight superbike. It helps to think of the FireBlade design as a scaled up 750, rather than a liter bike on a diet. Imagine adding 4 pounds and nearly 30 ponies to a CBR600F2 and you have the general idea.

1998 Honda CBR900RR for sale on eBay

From the seller:
This 98 Honda CBR900RR is in excellent condition with no signs of damage. The bike has 29K miles on it and runs great. Very strong and crazy fast! Just installed a brand new racing clutch and battery last week. Also did an oil change. The tires are both brand new. Aftermarket red C&C levers, red CBR engraved foot pegs, red chain. This bike has been very well kept. Please contact me with any questions and/or offers. Thank you!

Honda evolved the FireBlade continually during the next decade, upping the displacement and power while adhering to the hyper-light-superbike idea. Based on the year of manufacture, today’s example appears to be a 4th gen RR, making it a 919cc model (Honda continue to punch out the power plant, first to 929cc then to 954cc before debuting the 1000RR in 2000). There are not too many pictures of this bike, but the few that are posted show a clean, used bike. Legendary Honda build quality applies here, and the nearly 30k of mileage should not be a huge concern if scheduled maintenance was performed. The FireBlade was never on the collector list quite like more exclusive homologation machines, but today these are fantastic motorcycles that retain a bit of mystique. It is likely that values will appreciate in time, especially for the first-gen bikes. Check out all of the details here (such as they are) and Good Luck!!

MI


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Aprilia March 25, 2021 posted by

In For a Pound – 2007 Aprilia Tuono 1000R Factory

Aprilia superfans looking for a multi-purpose bike found their wish come true in the Tuono 1000R Factory.  Today’s Tuono looks great but could use more background information.

2007 Aprilia Tuono 1000R Factory for sale on eBay

Some manufacturers might have programmed a little less power and a wider torque curve for their super-naked, but Aprilia used the same 60-degree liter as the Mille superbike, with Factory oversized exhaust valves and collectors.  139 hp are on tap, thanks to ram air from under the headlight.  The dry sump engine sits low in the alloy basket, with Öhlins dampers front and rear.  Brembo Gold four-piston calipers get the attention of 320mm front disks, hauling down the very light looking 17-inch rims.  On the Factory, sidecovers, front mudguard and belly pan are replicated in glossy carbon.

The seller hasn’t made any history available, but one picture shows the odometer with 4,376 miles, so while the tires look good they might have aged out.  A couple of blisters on the tank are apparent, but with no collateral damage they could be something spilled on the tank or other non-riding mishap.  The auction indicates this is an as-is sale, with a commensurate discount expected.  An in-person look see is recommended though the seller does offer a live video walkaround if you call.

The Tuono Factory lived up to its thunder and often won the super-naked shootout, thanks to its uncompromising chassis and epic power.  For an advanced rider, the late oughties edition might be the way to go, before electronics started minding the store in 2012.  A handful of bidders are making most of the bids on this Tuono, and hopefully the reserve will be low enough to make it worth some of the past mystery.

-donn


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