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Ducati December 27, 2020 posted by

Holiday Colors – 1986 Ducati 750 F1B

A touchstone to Supersport fans, the F1 was lightly built but had the innovative 750cc L-twin.  Offered by a classic specialist in Santa Monica, this F1B shows just over 8,000 miles in Km, but looks much better.

1986 Ducati 750 F1B for sale on eBay

The F1 packed a lot into its smallish envelope, chassis and swingarm were chromoly tubing, cradling the 75 hp engine from above.  Both cylinders exhaust toward the front, with a short intake tube allowing the forward Dell’Orto some cool air.  Forcella 40mm forks and a Marzocchi monoshock handled suspension duties, and 280mm disk brakes used just a single set of opposed pucks.  A 16-inch front wheel reduced gyroscopic mass, easing turn-in without an extreme geometric solution.  Aluminum fittings are billet-cut, but precede any Bimota-style brightwork.  The F1B was also available with a dual seat, but the monoposto offers a more authoritative spot to the rider.

At nearly 35 years of age, the longer history almost doesn’t matter, since this F1 was on display and recently tuned up for the next owner.  Blinkers are more modern but less obtrusive than the originals, otherwise its light preparation has an honest look.  From the eBay auction:

This F1B comes from a private collection of sport bikes and remains to its original specification apart from a change of indicators. From static display, the bike has had life breathed back in it with fantastic results. The recommissioning was minimal, and the bike now starts easily on the button and revs freely with a thunderous soundtrack. The bikes stops and goes around corners as well as the fabulous Tri-colore livery looks.

In very good condition, the bike shows minimal wear conducive with 8,000 miles and 33 years of enjoyment. A brilliant ‘80s ride and collectible piece of Ducati history.

The water cooled and four-valve 851 succeeded the F1 after a few years, arguably Ducati’s first superbike.  But bridging the air-cooled desmo through a change in ownership ( and thankfully not a name change ), gave the F1 an important place in the list of models.  The three circuit-named special editions gave testament to the TT heritage, and though they might be the most collectible, an unadorned F1B has its own, how do you say je ne sais quoi in Italian ?

-donn


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Ducati December 24, 2020 posted by

Re-Gifting – 1996 Ducati 900SS

My chance to wish RSBFS fans wonderful Holidays and a great New Year !  – donn

Nearly 25 years down the road, Ducati’s venerable SuperSport still has a lesson or two for riders who haven’t had the chance, and a little nostalgia for those who have.  Despite some substantial miles, this 900SS looks to have  been cared for well enough to display or ride.

1996 Ducati 900SS for sale on eBay

The late eighties – early 1990’s Supersports were based on Ducati’s new engine, with two valves per cylinder and belt driven cams.  84 hp are on tap, everything visible through the trellis frame and kept in contact with the tarmac by Showa dampers.  320mm Brembo brakes were praised for their honest feel.  The lack of new-fangled or optional equipment kept the power-to-weight ratio up there – no glove boxes in the fairing, no anti-dive, no shaft drive, and just the smallest underseat tray for a tire plug kit.  Adherence to the basics also kept the out-the-door price under control and let owners pick their own farkles. 

The offering dealer has an interesting stable of bikes, but generally offers no history.  This 900SS shows just over 33K miles, and likely has some re-finishing in its past.  Rarely seen at this kind of age, this SS is stock right down to the factory aluminum mufflers.  The next owner can weigh the lack of apparent damage and super-cleanliness with the maintenance that might be required.  Comments from the eBay auction:

FACTORY-ORIGINAL WITH OEM EXHAUST SYSTEM AND ALL ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT. NEVER CRASHED, GREAT SHAPE. STARTS AND RUNS PERFECT, FUEL AND OIL DRAINED FOR COLLECTOR DISPLAY

First envisioned in 1974, the SuperSport has held down the desmodue side of the showroom until recently, delivering a return to basic motoring values poo-pooed by many value engineers.  Yes, you can add soft bags and tour, heated gear and ride there, even carbon components by the ounce.  Or not, and take the back roads on a sunny afternoon – destination: an entirely non-virtual experience.

-donn


8 Responses.
Moto Guzzi December 24, 2020 posted by

Live From New York: 1978 Moto Guzzi Le Mans

‘Tis the season for Guzzi here on RSBFS, and I couldn’t be happier. In general these are nostalgic way-back machines, using large displacement and low RPM to provide motivation to a long-wheelbase platform. The whole package is a lot heavier and a lot less sporty than more contemporary motorcycles, but in the day these were relatively fearsome machines with true street and track creds. Today these are also eminently collectible.

1978 Moto Guzzi Le Mans for sale on eBay

The Le Mans came into existence during the DeTomaso years (of Pantera fame – the car not the band), and represented a new, sporty and stylish direction for the brand. All the classic Guzzi elements were already there, but they needed shaping to create one of the most iconic motorcycles in modern history. Retaining the traverse 90 degree V-twin cylinder arrangement bored out to 850cc and paired with a longitudinal crank plus shaft drive, Guzzi was taking it to the likes of BMW and their R90S – who just so happen to have won the 1976 AMA Superbike class in America with Reg Pridmore aboard. And while the Le Mans was a popular bike for racers, it was also a huge success in the showroom, spanning multiple variants and lasting through the latter half of the 1990s.

From the seller:
1978 Lemans 1 – excellent 22,615 miles.
original seat
original shocks
complete tool kit
original paint (except for fairing)
newer gel battery
complete service
everything works

In today’s world, there is very little here that represents a sport bike. Not the weight, not the long wheelbase, not the tiny disk brakes, not the paltry 71 HP, and not the skinny tires on 18″ wheels. But put in context of the cataclysmal technology revolution that was the 1980s, this simple and solid, hewn-from-solid-rock feeling motorcycle was confidence inspiring and reliable. By today’s dollars, these Mark I bikes appear to be a pretty good investment. And with 22k on the odometer, this is an investment that you can ride and enjoy without fear that a few extra miles will detract from future value.

This particular Moto Guzzi Le Mans is a Series II version of the Mark I bike. The original 1976 models can be identified by the round taillight, and represent only the first couple of thousand bikes. After that we see the square lights in the rear as shown by this 1978 model. These also had upgraded headlights to meet American standards, as well as the funky side reflectors. Today’s example can be found in New York, and is listed for $18,500. It has lots of original patina, and does not appear to be a rapidly-restored and flipped model. Of course you are looking at an unrestored 42 year old motorcycle, so expect some character lines. You can check it all out here. Happy Holidays, stay safe, and good luck!!

MI

Yamaha December 23, 2020 posted by

Almost Famous: 1985 Yamaha RZ350

How much does star power help with motorsport sales? It helps if the figure connected with the sale is related to the vehicle in question. And in the case of the RZ350, the connection is very, very good. Sporting the signature of “King” Kenny Roberts, the RZ350 came emblazoned with the bumble bee livery that made Yamaha famous on the race track. As the last factory two stroke to be imported into all 50 US States, the RZ350 is held near and dear as a truly special bike from a bygone era.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

For those that have been living in a cave without AOL dial-up, let’s go over the basics: Take the spiritual heart of a RD350/RD400 – namely the two stroke parallel twin – and throw go-fast technology at it in the form of liquid cooling and a computer-adjustable exhaust port that enhances the typically peaky two-stroke power curve (YPVS). For those that like to breathe, the RZ came with an exhaust system that incorporated catalytic converters and air injection to prevent mosquito fogging the street/canyon/track with bllue smoke where these bikes played. The rest of the gear was fairly conventional, including a mild-steel frame, a single shock rear suspension system and triple disk brakes.

From the seller:
1985 Yamaha RZ 350 Kenny Robert’s edition. The most desirable year of the most desirable color combination Yamaha RZ 350. Very low original 6809 miles. Runs well, idles perfectly, fires up first kick. Stock oil injection system remains intact. Stock carbs, rejeted for the Toomy pipes and 2 into 1 K&N air filter. It is stock bore with new high performance pistons. I pulled the top end just to inspect and check everything, replaced the pistons because I had an extra set.

This bike came from The American Pickers in LeClaire, Iowa and was on of their shows. It was purchased locally by a motorcycle collector, and I purchased it from them. I have the bill of sale from Iowa.

The bike is in over all in decent rider quality condition, it has the normal nicks and dings as it is a 35 year old motorcycle. This bike would be a great candidate for an easy restoration or enjoy as is.

Like most RZs, this particular example has shed it’s restrictive, heavy catalytic converters in favor of some old-school expansion chambers. That is one way to really wake up an RZ. The air filter mod – in conjunction with the exhaust swap – requires changes to jetting, since the motor is now able to flow more air. Racers usually disabled the oil injection system in favor of mixing oil right into the gas (again, old-school), but street riders will appreciate the ability to fill up the tank without the use of a mix-rite cup.

This particular bike was apparently featured on the TV show “American Pickers.” I’m not really sure if that adds any value, but does prove that many people think the RZ is cool. Pictures show a bike in pretty good condition. This is not a meticulously spotless museum piece by any means, but nor is it a thrashed, crashed and trashed example asking for an outrageous price. With no reserve and a single bid at time of writing, this RZ is in the $6,500 zone – which is close to where you might expect. There are a significant number of folks watching on, though, so you might see some last minute activity on this auction. Check out all of the details here, stay safe and good luck!!

MI


3 Responses.
Moto Guzzi December 22, 2020 posted by

None More Black: 2002 Moto Guzzi V11 Scura Sport for Sale

“Scura” is Italian for “dark,” making this V11 Scura Sport Moto Guzzi’s answer to the eternal question: “How much more black could it be?” And the answer in this case is, “None. None more black.” The flat black treatment can look sinister or cheap, and sometimes both, but I think it works well here, showing off Guzzi’s massive, nearly automotive-looking v-twin lump.

And before anyone decides to scoff at Guzzi’s sporting credentials, keep in mind that they made very successful, if unconventional, sportbikes up until around 1980 and can claim many racing successes. That being said, their glory days were long past by the time the late 1990s rolled around, and Moto Guzzi wanted to do something about that with the introduction of an almost modern sports motorcycle. Enter the V11 Sport.

The styling was modern and retro at the same time, particularly if you opted for the absolutely lurid green and red color scheme that was meant to evoke the “Telaio Rosso” V7 Sport of the 1970s. I think the bike looks great in those colors, but it’s not for shrinking violet types… Suspension was of good quality and adjustable at both ends, aided by an updated frame design. The biggest news was the new six-speed gearbox that may not have been absolutely necessary in a nearly 1100cc v-twin package, but was necessary in order for the bike to be taken seriously and offered significantly improved shift quality for the shaft-drive powertrain.

The V11 is fairly heavy for a sportbike, but it carries its weight well and handling is excellent, once you get used to the shaft drive and longitudinal crank’s torque reaction. Unfortunately, Guzzi’s famous stability didn’t help at least one previous owner of this example: note the rash and dings on the right-hand exhaust and the fact that the right muffler is pushed noticeably inboard when viewed from the rear. At a glance, none of it looks too serious, but probably worth a closer look if you’re interested in this bike.

From the same Las Vegas dealer as this week’s Aprilia RS250: 2002 Moto Guzzi V11 Scura Sport for Sale

It’s a divisive topic, but I personally don’t mind heat-wrap on an exhaust, especially a murdered-out hot rod-styled bike like this one. But if you’re asking nearly $7,000 for a V11 Sport, it behooves you to at least make sure it looks presentable: that bit of flapping wrap on the right-hand side looks pretty terrible. The carbon looks dark and shiny, but there is some serious damage/wear on the red frame plates. The turn signals aren’t stock at either end, but are relatively tasteful and unobtrusive, and easily changed to match the new owner’s taste. The exhausts are Guzzi-branded performance parts and so should be throaty without being obnoxiously loud. Overall, a pretty high price to pay for a decent but slightly shabby example of a quirky-yet competent roadster.

-tad


8 Responses.
Benelli December 21, 2020 posted by

Red Sled – 2007 Benelli TNT 1130

Designed during one of Benelli’s more European revivals, the super-naked 1130 won a small but enthusiastic fan base.  This owner had a garage-full at one time and offers one of the nicest at no reserve.

2007 Benelli TNT 1130 for sale on eBay

Benelli’s 1130 is a triple, using Walbro fuel injection and 11.2-to-1 compression to pump out 129 hp.  The fabricated tube chassis holds the engine from the top, with cast connectors locating the beefed up swingarm.  Marzocchi supplied the upside-down forks and monoshock, with Brembo bringing their excellent 320mm brakes.  A distinctive arrangement of radiators and fans inhabit transformer-ish fairings which also carry the front turn signals.  The headers are exposed but the exhaust works its way up under the seat, with one of the neatest factory license plate mounts ever.

The back roads of eastern Penn. are just the place for this TNT, but between the two owners just under 6,500 miles have elapsed.  Though it’s hard to keep a naked bike nice, this one looks excellent.  Just the exhaust has been updated to a two muffler set-up, which might have necessitated the change to the rear turn signals.  Notes from the eBay auction:

These 1130’s, like this one, are pretty solid with Walbro injection. They run very well. 

I got this one in 2015.  It was then serviced at Distefano’s Performance Center in Imperial, Penna.  Joe was the regional tech rep for Benelli back then.  Its been part of my collection since.

I only put about 100 miles on it.  I never run ethanol and its stored indoors, mostly in my heated basement.

This one has performance slip on mufflers and relocated rear turn signals.  I do have the original muffler (its a single can) and the original tail.  I also have the manuals on CD.

It runs and looks as nearly new.  The battery is fresh, the title is in my hand.

Having a whole corporate history from 1911 until rough times came in the 1980’s, Benelli then had some fits and starts which produced their memorable Tre’s.  Since Qianjiang took a controlling interest the focus has shifted to smaller bikes.  Still the brand has a lot of interesting bikes in the stable, the Tornado Naked Tre being one of their sportiest.  This owner chose carefully and preserved his 1130 for the long term, which will benefit the new owner.

-donn


3 Responses.
Aprilia December 20, 2020 posted by

Futurama: 2001 Aprilia RST Futura

One of the most underrated platforms of the sport touring set is the Aprilia RST Futura. Built only across the years 2001-2004, the Futura should really be considered a serious sport bike with hard bags – and a bargain. Today’s example is a mere $3,995 or best offer. That is a very short stack of cash for something motivated by essentially the same powerplant as the RSV Mille (with DNA from Troy Corser’s WSBK entry), and includes all you would expect of a sport bike plus comfort amenities you might not have known you needed. Poor sales and overall softening of the Aprilia business led to it’s (early) demise.

2001 Aprilia RST Futura for sale on eBay

To build a Futura you start with the same 60-degree, fuel injected, liquid cooled Rotax v-twin displacing a nominal 1000cc. Different throttle bodies provide a flatter torque curve for the touring side of the sport tourer, but with 113 reported ponies on tap, little has been given away on the top end. The high-mounted, under seat exhaust both makes the bag mounting easier as much as highlighting the sporting intent. A stout Showa upside down fork takes care of the nose, while rear single-sided suspension – like with nearly all the Aprilia models – is provided by Sachs. This is bolted to an aluminum twin-spar frame, and halted by excellent Brembo 320mm disks up front (255mm in the rear). Wrap it all up in bodywork that mimics the future Tesla Cyber Truck, and you pretty much have the complete package.

From the seller:
Stock #:U000100
Exterior Color:GREY
Interior Color:GREY
Mileage:17,541
Title Condition:Clear

Dry weight on this beast is a relatively svelte 465-ish pounds. That made it competitive with the Honda, BMW and Triumph peers of the day – and none of them looked like this! The Futura design can be very polarizing (much like the Ducati 999), which likely did not help with sales. Today this bike continues to stand out, and it is difficult to imagine that this bike is 19 years old already!

The seller (a dealer located in Las Vegas, NV) provides very little information about this particular example, but does provide a number of decent pictures. I think that this bike look awesome in silver, and from the photos it looks reasonably unscathed. With only 17k on the clock there are a lot of miles remaining in this future-retro beast, so if you are looking for something different that also has a bit more protection from the elements, you might what to check this out. View all of the details here, stay safe and good luck!!

MI


6 Responses.
Aprilia December 19, 2020 posted by

Dealer’s Choice: 2001 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

There’s nothing wrong with knowing your strengths, and Aprilia certainly knew theirs then stuck to them when they created the RS250. They crafted the gorgeous aluminum beam frame, swingarm, and the curvaceous bodywork, but left development of the engine to an outside party. That’s right, this little bit of flyweight Italian exotica is powered by a Suzuki two-stroke v-twin from the RGV250Γ. Hey, outsourcing engines worked for DeTomaso, Iso, Bizzarrini, and half the British sportscar manufacturers of the 60s and 70s…

Originally introduced in 1995, this bike wears the second-generation styling introduced in 1998. One of the few quarter-liter two-strokes officially available outside Japan, the RS250 also remained in production much longer: Yamaha TZR250 production ended in 1995, Honda’s NSR250R in 1996, and the Suzuki RGV250Γ held out until 1998. The bike was on par with those machines, with excellent handling and superlative brakes: the exact same triple Brembo setup was the same as the one found on the much heavier Ducati 916.

You’d be forgiven for thinking Aprilia worked some magic and breathed on the little v-twin: there is some “Aprilia” branding cast into a number of engine components, and the RS250’s claimed 70hp suggests a much higher state of tune than the donor Suzuki’s paltry 45hp. But there are a couple simple reasons for that: those Italian horses are probably a bit optimistic and measured at the crank, while Japanese market regulations required that bikes in the class produce a maximum of 45hp. Many probably made at least that at the wheel, and all could be tuned to make much more “for offroad use only.”

The very clean and thoroughly photographed example is being offered by a Las Vegas motorcycle dealership. So tell me: do you feel lucky? Well do ya, punk? I realize I’m mixing my Vegas references with my Harry Callahan, but you’re definitely gambling a bit with this example. I understand that dealers may not know all that much about the bikes they’re selling, but it’d be nice if they at least went through the motions: this listing includes nothing other than the dealership’s boilerplate legalese, and can be found here: 2001 Aprilia RS250 for Sale.

This particular RS250 appears stock, except for the carbon/kevlar-weave mufflers, although I’d personally hold out for one of the earlier Loris Reggiani replicas if I were in the market for an Aprilia. So what will it take to put this 15,404 mile bike with no indicated history in your garage? Well the dealer is asking $14,995 for it. Aprilia RS250 prices have continued to climb steadily in recent years, but that seems pretty steep. Luckily, I’m sure our commenters will chime in below and let me know.

-tad


7 Responses.

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