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Moto Guzzi May 23, 2021 posted by

Sun Chaser – 2002 Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans

Moto Guzzi’s most recent Le Mans, the V11 is an interesting mix of brawn and refinement.  Today’s Arizona example has been well-loved and preserved for the next owner.

2002 Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans for sale on eBay

New owners Aprilia had sporting aspirations for the V11 and commissioned an up-rated two valve engine, claiming 91 hp and 69 ft.-lbs. of torque.  Marelli’s multipoint sequential fuel injection keeps the 9.5-to-1 compression responsive and EPA compliant.  The new six-speed trans had the advantage of shifting more smoothly, and a Paralever-style driveshaft limits the torque reaction of the final drive.  Under the tank there’s the usual steel spine chassis, stretched to a 1490mm wheelbase for stability.  Components are top shelf with USD Marzocchi forks and multi-adjustable Boge monoshock, with typically excellent Brembo brakes.  The upper-only fairing is one of the most protective on any Goose, and is well integrated with the 5.4 gallon tank and hideway pillion at the back.

Said to have been passed from friend to friend, this Le Mans has miles but looks excellent.  Beside fluid and filter changes, little doubt the recent service included a valve adjustment, all the hearty two-valve engine requires to keep on keepin’ on.  The light gold would stand out in greener pastures but wouldn’t raise a sunglassed eyebrow in brighter climes, and almost matches the headers’ patina.  Comments from the eBay auction:

This bike has a known history since new.  It was purchased in 2002 from AzSuperbike in Phoenix.  It has always been owned by 3 friends.   It has never been wrecked, raced or abused.  Cosmetically it is nice enough that I was asked a few weeks ago if it was new.  It’s not, it has some rock chips.  But the paint and cosmetics are very good.  The valve covers were painted gold and the word “LeMans” on the seat cowl has been painted red by a previous owner.  I never changed them as I think they look great. 

Mechanically it has 23,400 miles on the odometer which I believe to be correct.  Last week I took it to my mechanic to be checked out.  He gave it a clean bill of health.  Then I took it on a 250 mile shake down run.  Absolutely no issues.  The Pirelli Angel sport touring tires have less than 500 miles on them.  The Ferracci carbon mufflers sound awesome. The only known issue is the trip odometer: it turns, but does not engage.  Several extras are included: the original mufflers, a shop manual and a parts manual.

The Le Mans has endurance racing in its genes, but the company has moved on to a line of roadsters, muscle bikes, even an adventurer – so for the moment the V11 is the last Guzzi to refer to Le Mans.  Better suited to an afternoon ride on some scenic byways, the V11 Le Mans did review as quick when under the guidance of a skilled rider.  This one looks to have been carefully ridden and tended to, and has several watchers mulling over the reasonable buy-it-now.

-donn


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Moto Morini May 22, 2021 posted by

Little Italian: 1986 Moto Morini 350 K2

While not exactly the fire breathing homologation dragons usually befitting the pages of RSBFS, there is something unique and irresistible about the Moto Morini brand. And while the company produced a number of models over the years, it is the little 350cc v-twin that we see the most. These are beautiful bikes that lack the total exclusivity of a Bimota, lack the displacement of a Moto Guzzi, lack the high speed touring prowess of a Laverda, and lack the race track creds of a Ducati. Yet they have a place in the collector world, and are suitably rare in the United States.

1986 Moto Morini 350 K2 for sale on eBay

The Morini 350 (previously known as the 3 1/2) is a very approachable motorcycle – both from a rider as well as a collector perspective. With both electric and backup kick start available, the 72 degree, overhead valve twin certainly won’t hurt you. The vee angle produces some buzz at certain RPM, but otherwise these bikes are smooth and gentle. And while that Ducati or MV Agusta looks like it wants to spit you off while still on the stand, the Moto Morini chugs away delightfully, while oozing out an estimated 35-ish HP. Wrapped in a style that can only be evoked by the Italians, the 350 is a bike to ride. The collector aspect of the little Morini that could is just as clear: with few examples imported into the United States these are rare yet not terribly expensive. They are not overly complicated to work on, and represent a good entry point into the rare and wonderful.

From the seller:
1986 Moto Morini 350 K2 v-twin. Heron heads. Very original. Rebuilt DellOrto carbs w/ OEM carb kits and sonically cleaned. Replaced CAM belt less than 100 miles ago. Adjusted valves. Replaced electrical starter clutch with OEM part from Europe. Replaced solenoid fuel tap w/ manual fuel tap as I prefer manual petcocks – but still wired for solenoid (just uncover labeled wire cap if you so desire).

Replaced original air cleaner with tasteful cone filters from European supplier that make adjustments/inspections easier and frankly look better too. Original air cleaner goes with the bike if you want to go back to original. Small crack in left front mud guard where it attaches to fork . Glued fiberglass and holds nicely. Not really stressed and non issue. You could sand and paint but left it as functional. I also replaced original tires with new Avon Road Riders w/ tubes (less than 200 miles on them) that are superb for cornering/riding. Telepathic steering is how I describe the K2 – with butter soft gear changes up and down 5 gears. Electric start or kick – both work nicely and starts easily.

More from the seller:
I acquired this Moto Morini K2 from original owner in New York who bought it from US distributor Herdan. He chose to pick up at factory in Italy and rode it around Europe with Herdan group before Herdan imported it o US. During the Morini tour of a life time – he met his wife to be in France. Bike shows original mileage which now is 13714 miles – which is very low for Morini’s. They are just broken in at this point. I have only put on additional 200 miles or less during garaged and cosseted ownership.

If you know Morinis you might know this is the final iteration of the 350. Supurb balance and handling. A tasteful modern design with comfortable riding position and adjustable handle bars. Nice integrated fairing circa 1980s’s and originally supplied Italian rear rack I have never seen before. It is of light alloy and solidly constructed. Very cool.

Two sets of original keys. Manuals. Original tool kit. K2’s are rare. Probably most original K2 in U.S. Ride it. Enjoy it. Solid bike and feels much like my Moto Guzzi 850 LMIII but light and nimble.

The K2 is the final series of the model line, and as such is the most polished and evolved. This particular example looks to have been well cared for, and even has a cute story to tell (read the seller’s text). True, this is no homologation model, no two stroke, and probably left of center for what the core RSBFS audience mainlines, but RSBFS is all about the rare the the different and this one definitely fits in there somewhere. Would you want one in your garage? Check out all of the details here, and then let us know in the comments. Good Luck!!

MI


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Ducati May 21, 2021 posted by

MidiTwin – 2003 Ducati 800SS SuperSport

It’s rare to see an 800SS, though it had a thoughtful group of compromises, the Terblanche design took many years to be accepted.  Here’s an Iowan example which is a good year, in understated Senna colors, with several carbon updates.

2003 Ducati 800SS SuperSport

Ducati’s new 800cc L-twin was a desmodue, but engineered for a higher rev limit and made 74 hp at 8,250 rpm.  A six-speed was specified to capitalize on the peakier torque curve, and a wet clutch is behind that unusual closed cover.  The ’03 has an alloy swingarm, as well as multi-adjustable suspension, both of which fell to the auditor’s eraser the next year.  Expected Brembo brakes and Termignoni exhaust fill the bill, and the cast alloy wheels are nicely sized if not the lightest.  Full or upper-only fairings were available, and the tank came from the factory with a rubber belt buckle guard.

This seller doesn’t flesh out the maintenance history, but says it’s ready for cam belts.  The tires don’t look bad, but might have outlasted their use-by date.  The Sargent seat is a nice addition, and the carbon mudguards look great ( better than the carbon tank protector ).  Quite clean with just one scuff apparent under the near side grip.  Comments from the eBay auction:

Ducati Supersport in great condition.  It has a Termignoni exhaust, Sargent seat and plenty of CF added.  It is due for belts and the black key was bent at one point so is a little finicky.  Comes with the red master key which works without issue.

The 800 got high marks for its handling and braking, and had plenty of power if not supertwin torque.  The build quality was a high point for Ducati and the wet clutch proved easy to love.  With 620, 800 and 1000cc variants, there might have been too many choices in the SuperSport department, and most riders willing to spend $9k on the mid-size could spring for the liter.  But for someone wanting that happy-to-rev 800, this example looks very tidy and might be a perfect entrée into the air-cooled Ducati experience.

-donn


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Kawasaki May 20, 2021 posted by

Racetrack Weapon: 1996 Kawasaki ZX-7RR

Homologation machines exist to go racing. Sometimes it is the street bike that makes the race bike possible. Sometimes the street bike is the actual privateer race bike. In almost all cases, homologation machines are collector items because by nature they are limited in numbers. And of those numbers, many of the supply have been lost to the racing circuit (as might have been originally intended from the manufacturer). In almost all cases homologation machines exist to prove that certain features or components were included as stock with production motorcycles, thus providing factories an edge at the race track.

1996 Kawasaki ZX-7RR for sale on eBay

The Kawasaki ZX-7RR is no exception to the homologation game. Fully $3 grand more than the next highest spec ZX-7R, the RR sports the type of components that one needs in order to win a Superbike title. Or many, as the case may be. From a stronger bottom end bearing caps to better and more adjustable suspension front and rear, the adjustable steering head rake and swing arm pivot, to the tall-gearing of the close ratio six speed box to the oversized flatslide carbs (the latter two which incidentally don’t do very well on the street), the RR is really a starting point for teams to begin their tuning. From a “right off the showroom floor” perspective the lower spec Ninjas were better around town – and possibly all around – riders. But the RR was faster, meaner, sharper and far more exclusive.

From the seller:
Absolutely beautiful 1996 Kawasaki ZX-7RR. Stock pipe and not modified. Runs as good as it looks. Only 8000 miles.

For bikes that were meant to be raced – or at least to allow manufacturers to race – homologation machines in low mileage, clean condition are coveted. And rare. All told this is a serious motorcycle. The brand won 12 AMA Superbike championships, thanks to a few names you might have heard about: Eric Bostrom, Doug Chandler and Scott Russell for example. To find a bike this clean and cared for after all these years, to find one in stock, unmodified condition is really too much to ask for sometimes. But if you’re in the market – or in North Carolina where this bike is located – this one might be worth checking out.

This example is being listed as a Buy It Now classified – with pricing a cool $19,500. Looking through the RSBFS archives we find similar examples offered for more, and some for less. We don’t see these every day, and therefore the pricing spread is over a couple of years. That tells me that at least this one is priced in the ballpark. And given the rate at which collector values have been inflated in 2021, this may well be right on the money or even a bit low! Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI


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Ducati May 19, 2021 posted by

Quail Grail – 2001 Ducati 748R #839

One benefit of the tighter World SuperSport rule book was that since less could be modified for racing, the showroom specials sometimes came better equipped than their WSBK stablemates.  Here’s a Bay Area Ducati 748R whose great looks stretch the truth about its twenty years since new.

2001 Ducati 748R #839 for sale on eBay

Most of the 748R’s differences aren’t visible, like the titanium connecting rods and valves, allowing 12,000 rpm and 105 hp.  Lifting the tank and opening the carbon airbox will let you see the shower injectors and spacious trellis to accommodate.  More accessible are the Öhlins dampers, 320mm Brembo brakes, and light 5-spoke alloys.  The close-ratio gearbox helps you take advantage of that higher revving engine.  The fairing is a close match for the 996, though 748’s are often seen in speed yellow.

None of this 748R’s cosmetic defects are shown in the pictures, but they sound pretty minor.  The Micron exhaust is unusual with its blue-red fade design, but not seeing any other mods.  The interest is there as bids are over $9,000 but haven’t crossed the reserve threshold yet.  The owner reviews recent maintenance in the eBay auction:

Only 2,610 Produced of which 185 U.S. Models
Year 2001 only 100 shipped to U.S.
Only 5,168 miles
 
The Ducati 748R was produced from 2000 through 2002 as a homologation to compete in the World Superbike Championship Series.  This 748R is not only registered in California, has a clear Title.
 
Some may argue this is the holy grail of the 748 series because of the limited production, larger frame, overhead shower-injector arrangement.  This Race Homologation Model also has titanium rods, valves, crank and high compression pistons.
 
Bike has a 1.25 inch scuff mark located on the right side fairing and 1.5″ scratch on the on the right side of the headlight.  Rear wheel has brake fluid splatter on right side.  Aside from those flaws, the vehicle is very clean for being 20 years old.
 
This bike runs and rides excellent.  
4/11/21 Clutch fluid flush and oil change done myself
5/15/21 Serviced and inspected at Nichols Sportsbike in Milpitas, CA
-New set of Dunlop tires installed
-New timing belt  
-Brake fluid flush

The eminent Quail Motorcycle Gathering and Ride would have this been this month, just an hour or so ride for this 748R, but was cancelled again this year and will re-boot in 2022.  Perhaps more classic oriented than this 2001 race prep machine, there still might be room for a rare R-model with the venerable 916 nose.

-donn


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Honda May 18, 2021 posted by

Three Legged Race: 1985 Honda NS400R

The Wonderful World of Honda in the 1980s pretty much consisted of every possible engine arrangement, frame type, suspension system, across multiple models in the same segment. It was like Honda decided to shotgun the sporting world with as many options as possible. In truth, Honda was looking for an edge – both at the racetrack as well as the showroom. What transpired was a significant number of hits… and misses. The wonderfully weird NS400R is an example the falls right in the middle of the pile; it was not a monumental failure, but neither was it a runaway success. Today these remain very unique motorcycles.

1985 Honda NS400R for sale on eBay

While the rest of the two stroke world was playing with parallel twins, v-fours or square fours in 250cc or 500cc capacities, Honda threw that all out the window by marketing a 400cc v-three. Hondas ATAC exhast power valves were used on two of the three cylinders to aid in lower RPM torque. Tight and compact, the 400cc motor breathed through reed valves with carbs that were nestled inside of the vee. The configuration was for two cylinders to point forward with one upward, allowing for a very low and forward placement in the aluminum perimeter cradle chassis. The NS400R came equipped with a 16″ front wheel to lower gyroscopic steering effects, which was GP-level technology at the time. With 72 HP pushing 359 lbs of bike, performance was spirited.

From the seller:
PLEASE NOTE! THIS VEHICLE SHIPS OUT OF LAS VEGAS, NV. SHIPPING NATIONWIDE DIRECT TO PURCHASER’S RESIDENCE AVAILABLE. MILEAGE IS IN KILOMETERS, CONVERSION TO MILES WOULD EQUAL 28,980 MILES.

Wearing its factory-issue blue and white Rothmans livery, the replica racer is the largest-displacement, street-legal two-stroke road bike that Honda produced. The limited-production NS400R was only sold from 1985 to 1988, and this first-year model traces its lineage back to 1979. Honda was cleaning up in 500cc class motocross racing with two-stroke engines, but its four-stroke-powered World Grand Prix road bikes were lagging behind the competition. After internal deliberation over its four-stroke racing heritage, Honda pushed forward into two-stroke development and created an engine that was literally three times as good as its single-cylinder motocross performers. The water-cooled NS500 fused the power of three two-stroke motocross engines into a compact and lightweight V-3 configuration that produced 120 HP at 11,000 RPM. Freddie Spencer grabbed Honda’s first 500cc class win in 15 years on an NS500 in 1982, and then rode a lighter and more powerful NS500 to a 1983 500cc World Championship. The following year, Honda manufactured a limited-production version of the championship racer for privateers called the RS500 that was a near duplicate of the works machine without the specialized exhaust. Yamaha and Suzuki had already released street-legal replica racers, and Honda answered the challenge with the NS400R in 1985. The 387cc liquid-cooled two-stroke V-3 cranked out 72 HP at 9,500 RPM with triple flat-slide carburetors, and a 6-speed transmission wet clutch combination got the power to the ground. TRAC anti-dive front forks and a Pro-Link rear suspension joined a box section alloy frame and triple disc brakes with dual-piston calipers. The road-going replica racer was a street-legal facsimile of the NS500 V-3 that Fast Freddie rode past his 4-cylinder competition to become the youngest ever world champion at 21 years old. Honda discontinued the NS400R in 1988, and this two-stroke V-3 is a collectible waiting for a rider.

Although odd in design, perhaps the worst that can be said about the NS400R is that Honda didn’t make it a full-blown 500cc machine. With decent suspension (including cutting edge anti-dive front fork), full racer bodywork and typical Honda build quality, the NS-R was a formidable machine. But much like the RZ350 that lived in a world of middleweights, the Honda was always just a little bit less than the competition. It stands on its own as a smoking sports bike, handles sublimely well thanks to that low center of gravity and stiff chassis, and was generally regarded as a two stroke that you could live with even when you weren’t wringing it to redline with every gear change.

Today’s example is a very clean NS400R in the Rothman’s racing livery. It has seen a considerable amount of use (reread that statement about this being a two stroke you can live with, above), and that mileage might scare some buyers off. The seller doesn’t say anything about the history of this particular specimen, whether it has gone through a top end rebuild at any time, or when the crank seals were last changed. Aside from that, $13,995 will send you home with this beautiful bike. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI


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Suzuki May 17, 2021 posted by

Featured Listing – 1986 Suzuki RG500 with CA plates!

Update 5.17.2021: eBay shows this auction has sold at $28,500. Congratulations to the buyer and thanks again to Andy for support the site! -dc

There are few more iconic motorcycles than the mighty Suzuki RG500 Gamma. This bike is the essence of a 500cc GP machine when two strokes ruled the racing circuits. Never imported into the United States, the big twin crank, square four rocket remains a rare find for smoke hungry American riders. Today’s Featured Listing is not only a rare RG500, it has been breathed on by none other than Rick Lance (RIP) who is known to be the ultimate guru of these machines, it has been the subject of a complete and comprehensive refurbishment AND it carries with it a CA plate meaning that it can be legally owned and ridden on the street. This is not just a unicorn. This is a unicorn carrying a leprechaun while towing Santa’s sleigh. The seller is known to RSBFS readers thanks to a gorgeous ’87 Suzuki GSX-R Skoal Bandit replica that sold on these pages last year. You will find this 1986 Suzuki RG500 to be of the same high standards and quality.

Featured Listing – 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma!

From the seller:
This extremely rare and pristine RG500 completed a 2-year frame off nut and bolt restoration in June of 2019 and comes with a clean unobtanium California title in my name. The bike is currently registered and enjoys the odd sunny afternoon out in the California mountains. This is a Rick Lance bike built in his California workshop in the early 90’s. Before Rick sadly passed away, we were able to exchange several emails about the bike and talked at length on the phone, his passion for these bikes still evident after all these years. Originally imported from Canada, the bike was kept in an LA collection for most of its life and has extremely low miles. However it had lost much of its original bodywork and had been severely neglected, so the decision was made to give it a full OEM restoration while retaining its original period correct Lance Gamma modifications. The bike was stripped to the frame and every single component refurbished, painted or plated before reassembly. The engine when disassembled confirmed the low mileage, but was rebuilt with new components to ensure reliability and maximum performance. As with my other restorations this bike was built to ride and I’ve included a link to a recent canyon carving video as evidence of that. The bike handles beautifully with its more modern GSXR750 running gear, and the engine pulls strongly through the entire rev range, peaking with that heart pumping powerband you anticipate but are never really ready for. Alternatively you can just sit back and admire it as a piece of beautiful art and for the motorcycling history it represents.

Restoration Details:
Chassis/Suspension: Frame fully stripped, cleaned and all new bearings fitted. While the frame has the Rick Lance oil tank and battery box conversion within the original airbox location, I did convert the oil tank back to OEM with additional heat shields because I wasn’t a big fan of the oil level sighting tube and wanted the comfort of an oil level sensor. Its easy enough to convert back if you prefer. All running gear including forks, headstock, wheels, brakes and radiator were originally converted to 1990 GSXR750 by Rick. Forks were fully stripped and fitted with new seals. The rear is fitted with Rick’s iconic braced swingarm and period correct Fox Twin Click remote shock. Swingarm and front forks were re-polished to maintain period correctness.

Brakes: Front and rear calipers fully stripped, refinished & rebuilt with new seals/pads, rotors refurbished/refinished, all brake masters rebuilt with new seals. The 6-pot Tokico calipers are a little overkill for such a light bike, but stopping is not an issue! Wheels were fitted with new bearings, painted and shod with Diablo Rosso II tires. New chain and sprockets. All fasteners replaced with NOS or re-plated.

Restoration Details :
Electrics: Wiring loom gone through, rewrapped and in perfect working condition. Switchgear and gauges refurbished, speedo converted to MPH. Fitted Japanese OEM turn signals with smoked lenses, because they look cool! New battery.

Engine: Stripped to the cases, new seals, gaskets and complete top end rebuild (Cylinders still on their original bores, were honed and well within tolerance!). Rebuilt power valves and rotary intake valves, replaced clutch and reconditioned auto lube pump. Power valves and auto lube work exactly as they should from factory! Carbs ultrasonic cleaned, rebuilt with new gaskets, and Lance Gamma ball valves, then balanced. Lance Gamma jet kit and TriPod air filters. Bike has original Tommy Crawford chambers and has been tuned to give the best compromise between rideability and performance. Fuel tank petcock rebuilt, tank internals in excellent condition, zero rust.

Fairings/Body Panels: All OEM with the exception of the screen. No missing tabs, poppers or cracked mounting holes. All panels taken back to plastic and sealed with two stage primer. Traditional Suzuki Blue/White base coat from RS paints in the UK. New decals from RD decals. 3 Coats of clear, then 3 flow coats, wet sanded and polished for show quality. Seat and butt pad recovered.

More from the seller:
This could be one of the best examples of a Rick Lance RG500 in the country but you are more than welcome to see for yourself, I am located in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact me if you would like to view before the auction closes.

Restoration photographs and a running video can be found here

And if all of that detail, all of the photographs and the documented restoration is not enough, how about a little absolute proof in the way of an onboard ride-along? Check out the fun (and function) in this video of the actual bike:

As seen with the previous Skoal Bandit bike, the work done on this RG500 is impeccable. This is a man cave bike ready to soak up the views from inside, but equally prepared for some hard riding in the real world. It is rare, it is gorgeous, it is Rick Lance-ified, and it is street legal in the most forbidding of DMV bureaucracies, the state of California. The starting bid for this one is right in line with what it is and how it looks, and although early days the watchers are filling the bleachers to monitor the fireworks. Check out all of the details of the auction here, grab yourself a case of castor oil, and Good Luck!!

MI

Featured Listing May 14, 2021 posted by

Featured Listing – 1983 Suzuki Katana 1100

Found in New Jersey, today’s awesome 1983 Suzuki Katana is a throwback to what was the state of the art. Looking like a space ship – but rolling on caveman technology – the Katana made a serious statement to the world. This was a major score for Suzuki, and the entire world watched as the Hamamatsu manufacturer leapt to the front of the line with a string of successful models, including the forthcoming (and game changing) GSX-R. But in the first half of the 1980s it was the Katana making news and stealing the show.

Featured Listing: 1983 Suzuki Katana 1100 for sale on eBay

The radical lines of the Katana were penned by designer Hans Muth. They evoked a sense of motion with angular lines and a short, stubby windscreen. By all accounts the new Katana was not Gold Wing comfortable, but was no worse than the hyper sports bikes to come in the next decade (here’s looking at you, Ducati). Power came from an evolution of the big GS mill, with DOHC and four valve heads, but that is where brute force took over from technology. The big 72mm slugs displaced 1074cc, and slide in air cooled bores. These were fed by a brace of four Mikuni carbs, with the mixture squished to a compression ration of 9.5:1. All told, expect 110-ish HP from a stock unit (when new). The rest of the bike consisted of a steel double loop frame, and a twin shock swing arm arrangement. Brakes were big for the day, with 275mm disks up front and double piston calipers. When introduced ahead of the 1981 model year, Suzuki claimed the Katana was the fastest production motorcycle in the world.

From the seller:
1983 Suzuki GSX / Katana 1100. Listing for my father who has owned it since 1987. The engine was taken out and rebuilt in the 1990’s. It has a 1166cc big bore kit, Stage 2 port and polished head, megacycle cams, springs, and retainers, super hub clutch basket, 36mm mikuni RS carbs. Ohlins shocks, braced swing arm, powder coated wheels, large aftermarket performance machine front brakes, brand new Michelin tires, yoshimura header, dyna coils and MSD ignition box. We have most of the original parts for it including the original carburetors, shocks, seat, center stand, air box, swing arm, and a spare gas tank that is dented. Everything operates on the motorcycle except for the tachometer because of the MSD spark box. The box has an adjustable rev limiter. The motorcycle only has about 3000 miles on the rebuilt engine and has never been raced. Runs and stops great.

This particular Katana has benefitted from some very period-correct mods as well as newer technology. Read carefully through the seller’s description to find the deeper details, but essentially the GS motor responds well to a big-bore kit. This comes straight out of the dragstrip mentality of “bigger is better,” and by all counts the 1166cc upgrade is relatively conservative. The Yoshimura headers, the Kerker can, the braced swing arm, the upgraded carbs and the new cams are all old school trickery to make the Katana even faster (and thanks to upgraded brakes, it stops better too!); it all looks the part today. Even the MSD ignition seems to fit, itself a far better solution than the early-style, weak transistorized unit of the stocker. Sadly, said upgrade fails to communicate with the analog rev counter, making the tach inop. Many of the original parts are included in the sale, which is a plus for the collector.

The seller notes that this bike has been in the family for a long time – since 1987. That is great loyalty and longevity for what was initially thought of as a motorcycle oddity. Thankfully Suzuki experienced great success with the model, which spawned many variants including smaller capacities, different bodywork, and of course models crafted using similar design language (GS550 and XN85 Turbo, to name two). The Katana name was reused many times over the years as well, although never with such the impact as the original. This fantastic looking beast is prowling for a new garage or man cave to call home. And who wouldn’t want this sitting somewhere where it could be seen? Anthony can be reached by email here and is asking $15,000.

MI

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