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KTM August 24, 2019 posted by

Priced to Move: Low-Mileage 2008 KTM RC8 for Sale

Considering they never sold all that well when they were new, the asking prices for used examples KTM’s RC8 superbike have been pretty shocking. They were always extremely competent bikes, but just a step behind in terms of outright performance, and they lacked the top-shelf tech of Ducati’s 1098 and BMW’s S1000RR and the Japanese offerings. But reading between the lines, it always seemed that reviewers wanted to rank it higher, the mark of a charismatic superbike. And, if we’re being honest, that’s a truly important consideration for most of us who don’t get paid to win races.

Not that the thing was slow, by any means. Obviously, KTM had been around for a while when the RC8 was introduced in 2008, and their offroad and hooligan machine credentials were well-established. They’d even been doing multis for a while, with their 990 SuperDuke and Supermoto leading the charge to establish the brand as a premier builder of entertaining roadbikes. But somehow, the pleasingly simple character of the thumping v-twin didn’t sell bikes to brand-conscious superbike buyers.

In it’s original incarnation, the liquid-cooled 75° v-twin displaced 1148cc and produced a stout 151hp and 85ft-lbs of torque. It wasn’t stout enough, and the bike lost out in the spec-sheet wars to the Ducati 1098 so in 2010 displacement was bumped to 1195cc for the updated RC8R version. Power jumped to 175hp with 90ft-lbs, which was on par with the regular 1198 and 1198S. Unfortunately, the RC8 wasn’t any less expensive than the Ducatis, and not many people wanted to take a chance on the Austrian brand so the bike soldiered on with very few updates until 2013.

If the the bike didn’t have class-leading horsepower numbers or cutting-edge technology, why buy one now? Well, first of all, take a moment to look at it. Are you horrified by the sheer angularity and garish colors, are you worried you’ll cut yourself if you lean on it? Well, move along to something less dangerous-looking. The styling is wild and that’s down to personal preference, but considering the design was introduced way back in 2008, the thing could have been built yesterday and it would still look fresh. For a superbike, the ergonomics are surprisingly humane and are adjustable: the seat moves, as do all the controls, making it especially appealing to tall riders, which you’d expect from an Austrian company… It’s also relatively simple to service, almost like KTM planned for owners to do their own basic maintenance. Reviews then and now talk about how easy the RC8 is to live with and how, contrary to the wild image, it’s a superbike that’s surprisingly easy to live with.

This particular RC8 is being offered for what seems to be a much more reasonable sum, and it’s not clear why, since it looks like nothing at all is wrong with it, the bike is barely broken-in, and it comes with a wealth of quality bolt-on extras. Perhaps the seller is just reasonable, or is looking for a quick sale? Ideally, you’d probably want the later, more refined RC8R, but this still offers plenty of performance for the money.

From the original eBay listing: 2009 KTM RC8 for Sale

Mint condition 2009 KTM RC8 with less than 800 original miles and beautiful KTM color combination! Properly broken in, serviced and minimally ridden. Only Motorex lubricants and ethanol free premium fuel with Star Tron stabilizer have ever been used! Stored covered 24/7 in climate and humidity controlled garage, never ridden in the rain or off road. Wiped and polished after every ride! It is in like new! Original tires! Extras include:

  • Power Commander V fuel and ignition tuner.
  • LSL bar riser and clip on kit imported from Sweden!
  • Air suction valve and O2 bypass kit.
  • PUIG tinted screen. 
  • Throttle tamer.
  • JC custom exhaust with interchangeable baffles, original exhaust included.
  • WPS dry cell featherweight battery.
  • Larger rear sprocket, factory KTM.
  • Tank protector, factory KTM.
  • Tail tidy with LED blinkers, original included.
  • Goodridge front brake lines.
  • Clean title, all original keys and owner manual. 

Bike was over $19000 new and has $3000 in extras! Please ask any questions you might have prior to placing a bid! This mint condition 2009 KTM RC8 is the closest to a new bike one could possibly find! It has less than 800 miles and is minimally ridden just to maintain the proper mechanical condition. Battery tender installed and included, together with the factory original tail light assembly, exhaust, keys, owner manual. Bike is located in Park City UT and buyer is responsible for pick up or shipping. Please check the 2007 Yamaha FJR1300 recently sold and my feedback. Video of the bike is available upon request. Cashiers check, bank wire transfer or cash in person is accepted and the clean&clear title will be signed over and mailed only upon completion of payment. $500 NON REFUNDABLE PayPal deposit due within 48 hrs of placing the winning bid! Thank you and have a nice day!

The seller is asking just $8,000 for this example, thousands less than the others I found while looking on eBay. There’s been a bit of a glut recently… Admittedly, those more expensive examples were the improved R version and I prefer the orange/white ones, but there’s no denying this is a pretty great price on KTM’s contrarian superbike. The title is claimed to be clean, the bike is pretty much perfect, with all the modifications easily reversible with the included original bits. I don’t know if these will ever be properly collectible, but they’re wild-looking with plenty of analog performance to keep even expert riders entertained.

-tad


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Buell August 23, 2019 posted by

Eleventh Hour – 2008 Buell 1125R

Erik Buell finally convinced his overseers at H-D to use the turn-key Rotax twin, and it became the basis for Buell’s most modern sportbike.  Unfortunately, a new management team saw the brands as diverging, and pulled the plug a couple of years later.

2008 Buell 1125R for sale on eBay

As an engineer, Buell stressed three themes in all his designs – lighter weight, mass centralization, and chassis rigidity.  The 1125R makes strides in each of them, with a stamped and welded aluminum frame which also serves as the fuel tank.  The 1125cc V-twin is an integral part of the chassis, providing the swingarm pivots and supporting the underslung exhaust, not to mention 146 hp.  The classic Buell Zero Torque Load front brake is larger than life at 375 mm, with the eight piston caliper mounted inside the rotor.  Harley pioneered use of belt drive instead of a chain, and it saves the 1125R a few pounds and quite a bit of maintenance.  The adjustable Showa suspension and alloy subframe could accommodate a theoretical passenger.

Like so many fairly extreme superbikes, this 1125R has been ridden just 2,674 miles and barely personalized, with only a license plate mount and levers to show.  Luckily the chain-driven cams of the Helicon engine don’t suffer much during long rests, and should require just an oil change before setting off.  The matte blue frame and wheels accent the black bodywork nicely, and all look undamaged.  From the eBay auction:

This 1125R is stock with the exception of a license plate re-locator to tuck it closer to the rear fender and the levers have been replaced with shorter (and more comfortable) machined aluminum, black anodized – see pics.
Everything is 100% functional and in excellent condition.  There is a new cover included.

With a low starting bid, the new owner will get a big helping of superbike for the money, though support might be the elephant no longer in the room.  The drivetrain should be service-able by any indie with Aprilia experience, with special parts needing a little searching.  But you can only pick two, as the old adage says – performance, economy, or reliability.  Too bad the mother ship didn’t find a buyer for their very sporty fledgling.

-donn


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Honda August 21, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1986 Honda VFR750F

Update 8.31.2019: This bike has SOLD to an RSBFS reader! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Even legends have parents. They don’t often get lauded for their offspring’s exploits, but their influence is indelible, and without their genes, what would our heroes be? The 1986 Honda VFR750F is a minor legend in its own right, but its offspring — the Honda RC30 and RC45, are the beasts everyone remembers. But in 1986, Honda was hungry to catapult itself past the other Japanese marques in the sportbike arms race, and to cure its new V4s reputation for weak valve trains.

The VFR750F delivered. Under Fred Merkel, Wayne Rainey and Bubba Shobert, the bikes cleaned up in AMA. And under a crew from Cycle World that included Nick Ienatsch and a motley crew of racers and journalists, blew the ’86 Suzuki GSXR750’s 24-hour speed record out of the water by nearly 20 mph. Follow the link to that story at the end of this writeup. You won’t regret it. The red-white-and-blue beasts achieved the feat thanks to an improved 105-horsepower 750cc V4 that represented a 20-horsepower gain over the Magnas and fixed reliability questions. The bikes were also something like 40 pounds lighter than the previous model.

Coupled with a roadrace-worthy suspension and wide, sticky tires, the VFR had the goods to take it to Yamaha and Suzuki.

This 1986 Honda VFR750F is in impeccable, low-mile shape, with a long list of recent mods and maintenance to make it even tastier. It sports a Yoshimura exhaust and an RC30-style front fender, among other improvements. Seller Joe spent a long time on his description, so we’ll let him take it away:

1986 Honda VFR750F

Honda collector for over 30 years. My recent focus has been V4 bikes of the 80s/90s, including both RC30/RC45. This is my second 1986 VFR750F, which I purchased in 2016. I bought this bike because of its low mileage and overall survivor condition. Plus, I really wanted one with a pipe. The videos don’t do the sound of this Yosh pipe justice. The bike has 11,357 miles. As you can see from the title, I’ve put less than 100 miles on the bike while freshening up a few things. I have over 20 bikes and like to work on them, but I don’t ride them enough, so it’s time for someone else to enjoy it.Upgrades – all done within the last 18 months: New Honda fuel pump (specific to this bike and $200 for part alone); New fuel filter; New choke cable; New Yuasa AGM battery; New Honda grips; New Metzeler rear tire (Metzeler front matches but older – see code); New DID x-ring chain with rivet; re-zinc’d rear sprocket; Cut down front fender to match race bikes/RC30, and painted to match (includes uncut stock front fender); Valve adjustment and carbs disassembled and ultrasonic cleaned and sync’d (see video – work done by Joe Nelson of VFR Dreams); Fresh oil and filter; New brake fluid front and rear; New clutch master fluid; Known blemishes: 20-25 tank “pimples”appeared over this last winter. Odd, because always stored in a heated garage. Scrapes on left rear cowl/tail. A few very small scratches on windscreen. Hairline crack on LH fairing (3/4”). Normal cracking on mirror arm. Clear title in my name. Includes factory shop manual. I do not have factory owners manual. 2 keys, including original stamped key and a Honda duplicate. Multiple videos show carb sync, cold start, fast idle, fast idle warm up with two other of my bikes. Asking $4000.

Located in Milwaukee, WI 53207

Shipping is solely the buyer’s responsibility. I can assist with the shipper of your choice. I have used Haulbikes.com and JJ Bagwell Shipping.

VFR750F 24-hour world record recap: https://www.motorcyclistonline.com/hondas-1986-vfr750f-interceptor/

While later sport-touring RC36 VFRs don’t command the same coin (somehow) as the earlier bikes, VFRs are still a bargain compared to a slab-side Gixxer in similar shape. For such a jewel of a machine in such gorgeous condition, the $4,000 asking price is almost a no-brainer.

Yamaha August 21, 2019 posted by

What’s in a Name – 1997 Yamaha YZF1000R Thunderace

Never a champ in the showroom, the YZF1000R bided the factory’s time until the R1 was ready, and is a smashing buy on the used market.  This one is in rather special condition with just 9,000 miles.

1997 Yamaha YZF1000R Thunderace for sale on eBay

Yamaha offered the liter-sized YZF offshore for several years while we had the comparable but heavier FZR.  For one year before the R1 appeared, the Thunderace showed the refinement of the Genesis and EXUP systems in a ergo-friendly package.  Part of the refinement was weight control, tipping the scales at 430 lbs. dry.  Reputed close relations to the YZF750R gave great handling, and the 20-valve engine reported 145 hp.  Analog 38mm Mikuni carburettors were helped by electronic ignition with throttle position sensors providing another data point to the EXhaust Ultimate Power valve, which alters exhaust collector volume to increase flow.

With only two owners over 22 years, this YZF looks excellent.  If the new owner is a rider, new rubber will be required.  From the eBay auction:

1997 YZF1000R in beautiful, extra clean condition. Never crashed. Very original stock motorcycle except for installation of a Yoshimura Stainless Steel Exhaust.  Lockhart tank bra, original tool kit and aftermarket rear stand included.

9,000 original miles on the odometer. Recent carburetor rebuild and carb synchronization. New air filter installed. Bike runs excellent, very fast and tons of torque. No leaks anywhere. Can provide video of cold start and engine running if desired.
Lights, blinkers, horn and gauges all work as expected. Good battery. Brakes in good condition. Tires are OK but should be replaced soon.  This YZF is an excellent, well kept example of a very unique and rare motorcycle. All original factory installed labels and stickers are still in place. Very nice bike for a Yamaha collector.

The YZF1000R was the transition model between the FZR1000 and the venerable YZF R1. Although Yamaha manufactured this model from 1996 thru 2002 for the European market where it was sold as the Thunder Ace, it was available in the United States for only one year in 1997 and was marketed and sold as the YZF1000R.

Yamaha claimed a drag coefficient of just .29 for the roomy fairing, but reviewers groused about the right wrist affecting gas mileage.   The torquey powertrain offered smooth acceleration from 2,000 to 11,500 rpm and 100 mph in second gear !  This model never had a chance to develop a following here, but became a distinctive Euro sport-tourer.  A good value for the buy-it-now, this example could go back to two-lane two-up, or be shown as a mint single-year rarity.

-donn


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Featured Listing August 20, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1982 Honda CX500 Turbo!

In 1982 Honda fired a technological missile, the implications which were heard and felt around the world. Overnight Honda had changed the game (again), offering the promise of liter power in a mid-sized package with the first full factory Turbo motorcycle. With futuristic styling, wild colors and TURBO emblems screaming mystical propulsion methods, the CX500 Turbo made a bold statement before the key was even turned. Once the bike fired up, there became an interesting dichotomy between the low boost tractability and comfort of the Dr. Jekyll side around town, and the wild Mr. Hyde nature of the bike on boost. In 1982 this was the most technically advanced motorcycle you could purchase, and despite the performance it was built with typical Honda quality and reliability.

Featured Listing: 1982 Honda CX500 Turbo!

Starting with the rather pedestrian CX500 standard/cruiser power plant, Honda introduce forged pistons into the the Moto-Guzzi like transverse vee. Unlike most vee configurations, this one splayed 80 degrees rather than the usual 90. This engine already had liquid cooling and four valve heads (operated by pushrods), and was already at that time known for being overbuilt. The chassis was sturdy and equipped with shaft drive and monoshock rear suspension. It was an easy – if not overly inspired – choice to be the foundation for something much, much greater. The basic engine package was beefed up, Honda bumped the compression slightly, and then bolted on an IHI turbocharger built to Honda specifications. At it’s peak, the turbocharger pumps out 19 psi before the wastegate opens to slow the party down.

Simply bolting on a Turbo is not enough to engineer a working, reliable motorcycle. So Honda introduced digital (programmed) fuel injection – a world’s first for motorcycles. This system contained redundancy to protect the engine; fail safe circuits ensured fuel delivery while a separate ignition system protected the more highly stressed engine from potential meltdown. Rarely utilized or needed, these fail safe measures show the level of planning that Honda put into the CX500 Turbo. Management of these redundant systems was completely automatic, the rider being made aware of any potential failures via a comprehensive and well-laid out instrument panel. “Cockpit” might be a better description for the gauge cluster, as in addition to the usual tach, speedo, fuel and temp gauges there also exist a number of warning lights, a fuel system failure warning light, and of course a centrally located TURBO BOOST indicator.

From the seller:
In 1977 Honda began their Turbo powered motorcycle project…which would become the world’s 1st ever, from the ground up…purposeful built, turbocharged motorcycle and Honda’s 1st fuel injected bike. When finally released in 1982 it was described as “a technological tour de force”…”a milestone in motorcycle history”…”one of the most futuristic motorcycles of it’s time”…”one of the most influential motorcycles of the decade”. Now some 37 years later all that still rings true!

The project was a combined effort of Honda’s R&D folks, IHI Turbo America and Italian automotive stylist, Giovanni Michelotti, one of the most prolific & influential designers of the 20th century. Michelotti created the innovative and curvaceous fairing and body work.

Two years pre-production, in 1980… Honda in a bold and unprecedented move…put their CX500TC/Turbo on display at the Cologne International Motorcycle Show. This was probably no more than a “finger wag” at Yamaha…as the 2 giants, from the Land of the Rising Sun, were in a fierce battle for market supremacy. “Turbo Wars” soon followed.

Honda’s platform would be their tried and true…bullet-proof V-Twin / 4-Valve / CX500 motor. Every aspect of the bike was considered. Not only designing a motor that would be capable of handling the rigors of turbocharging but a frame to work with the stresses and a suspension to complement it all. Block castings were made thicker. A stronger crankshaft, connecting rods and clutch were employed. Honda’s first specific forged pistons were used. Larger end & main bearings installed. Over 200 new patents were created to build this motorcycle.

An improved futuristic liquid-cooled / digitally fuel injected motor…pushing those (up to) 82 ponies through a modern shaft drive to the rear wheel…with TRAC Anti-Dive forks up front and a Pro-Link rear suspension handling duties at the rear…twin piston brake calipers in place to haul it down…beautiful redesigned gold Comstar wheels fore & aft…a comprehensive dashboard…all that wrapped in a wind tunnel designed Michelotti fairing & body panels. A motorcycle with superb ergonomics & smoothness. A rolling piece of art!

More from the seller:
This example has been well cared for with only 16,904 miles. A fine example of this rare, 1 year only production, motorcycle at this price point. Three known owners…with the last 2 being in their late 60’s. Private collection offering. All pictures are recent and more are available as needed. I do have quite a number of pictures showing the cleanliness of the undercarriage.

A new stator & stator connector had been installed along with cam seals & water pump seals and all associated O-rings, seals & gaskets (previous owner). All this is called a “Triple Bypass”. An excellent factory spec re-spray of the body and motor was done also at that time. This bike shows quite well! Runs and shifts as it should. Turnkey bike w/no known issues.

> Matching Dunlop D404T tires are in excellent condition
> Battery was replaced and is excellent
> Seat was recovered to factory spec
> A “Visual Instruments Inc” voltmeter has been added
> Brakes are excellent
> Coolant flushed & replaced
> Castrol 4T/Full synthetic oil & WIX filter done @ 16,830 miles
> Rear shaft spline & ring gear correctly lubricated
> Stock tool kit & owner’s manual with bike
> Factory Shop Manual with bike
> Extra set of keys

Your chance to own a rare example of “Motorcycle History”! These rarely come up for sale. Be the only person w/one of these at your local cycle rally or cruise-in! Located near Binghamton NY


Asking Price: $6,750

Contact Joe: jshuta@hotmail.com or 607-343-9019 (9am to 9pm EST)
Live calls only, please – no text messages

Nestled between some truly interesting hardware in the Honda showroom – including the CB1100R, the GL1100 GoldWing, the CBX, the VF750 and the simple FT500 Ascot – the CX500T was competing for attention and customer wallet share. And it required a bigger share of the customer’s wallet than most of the bikes on the floor (MSRP $4,898). As a result, not many of these one year only models were sold. With sportish-touring bodywork, a wide seat and higher bars, the CX500T is a comfortable place to rack up the miles. Roll on torque – the real strong suit of the Honda Turbos – fits nicely into the highway cruiser persona. At 550+ pounds these were never destined to be racers, however they are fabulous riders and far more reliable than a 37 year old technological wonder has a right to be.

This bike looks to be absolutely gorgeous. With 16,000+ miles on the clock it has been ridden, but we all know that nothing deteriorates faster than a hangar queen. Regular use is positive for the mechanicals, the seals, the electrics and the turbo system. This one has the right number of miles to be carefully used, without being beaten up or at the end of its service life. History has proven that these Honda Turbo bikes have very few weaknesses – the key being the stator. The fact that this one has been changed is a real plus, as there are another estimated 20k-25k miles to be enjoyed before this should become a concern. Otherwise all of the pieces are here, and the general handling shows the care that went into the stewardship of this rare factory Turbo; it is not often that we see such a clean first-year example. Located in New York, this one is going for a very reasonable asking price. Give Joe a call (607-343-9019 – no texts please) or drop him an email and start the conversation. It only takes one experience on boost to know that Turbo ownership is worth everything that was promised. Good Luck!!

MI

Ducati August 17, 2019 posted by

Venti­quattro: 1993 Ducati 888

The follow-on evolution of the wildly successful 851, the Ducati 888 had a short, but equally productive life span. Championed by Doug Polen on the world’s SBK stage Ducati was victorious in both 1991 and 1992 campaigns. As a street bike, the 888 continued on through 1994. However by 1993 the SPO models in the lineup were already powered by the next revolution in Ducati firepower, the 916cc desmoquattro engine (as was the SBK racer). However the 888 was still a very stout street bike, and the overall update to the 851 made this an outstanding platform in its own right. Often overlooked as simply the bridge to the 916, the 888 is worth a serious look if you are a riding enthusiast.

1993 Ducati 888 for sale on eBay

Born from the punched out sports production (i.e. homologation) 851 model, the 888 featured the larger displacement engine that the nomenclature on the fairing might suggest. And the engine was not the only updates piece of the 888 puzzle. Notable designer Pierre Terblanche (yes, of the 999 infamy), reworked the styling of the 851 to lengthen the lines and produce an evolved shape. In many ways, this makes the 888 look physically bigger than the 851, yet it is equal or smaller in the most significant dimensions (wheelbase, overall length, height, etc). These longer lines are echoed in some of Terblanche’s other designs, including the Supermono. Overall, the 888 is a visually striking machine. Aurally, the fuel injected, liquid cooled, 4-valve per cylinder with desmodronic action L-twin remained a booming beast, offering low down torque and an intoxicating higher RPM rush. Formidable on the racetrack as well as the street, the 888 was the middle child that never seemed to get the accolades of the younger or older siblings. It is, on the whole, the rarest of the 851/888/916 trio.

From the seller:
This is a nice 888 with 14026 miles. It needs nothing and was just serviced. It starts and runs good with everything in good working order.

The 888 that Ducati imported into the US was an SP0 model. Note that this was during a tumultuous period in Ducati’s history, before they hit it big and really made strides in consistent manufacturing. Record keeping was marginal, and many models changed mid-year simply due to parts on hand. That being said, the 888 came to America to go racing – in AMA Superbike. Thus, all of the US imported (i.e. federalized) 888s are homologation machines. You can check the VIN number in positions 4-6: “1” for street bike (versus race only), “H” for homologation (versus super sport, super bike, monster, etc), and letters for variation on street bike (i.e. A,B,C), or numbers for the racers. A reported 200 units were imported in 1993, and about half that number in 1994. Of course by the end of 1994, nobody wanted a 888 anymore. The 916 had arrived. That makes the SP0 a rare example – and one to hold on to.

There is not much info about this particular bike, nor too many pictures. It has apparently just had a service (good), and seems to have been thoroughly enjoyed given the mileage (14026). The 851/888 models are far more comfortable than the 916 series that followed, and the engines have proven to be extremely durable provided that the usual belt/valve/oil change services have been completed regularly. Parts are still available, and performance is more than adequate for any para-legal street activities. Best of all, the bidding starts at a reasonable $7k. You get the sound and the status of Ducati ownership, along with the visceral presence of the bike and the rarity of the US homologation model. Win win win. Check it out here and Good Luck!!

MI


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Featured Listing August 16, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1971 Norton Dunstall 810 Sleeper

By the early 1970s, if you were a roadracer or a cafe rat with a few extra shillings and a penchant for Nortons, tuner Paul Dunstall’s name was never far from your mind. A retired racer, Dunstall started knocking out performance exhausts for Nortons in his family’s scooter shop, before buying a raft of leftover Norton racing parts and building spec engines for customers. His tweaks were the stuff of legend by the end of the 1960s, and in 1971, Norton commissioned him to build a few factory-tuned bikes around the Commando platform.

The result was the 125-mph, 70-horsepower 1971 Norton Dunstall 810 Sleeper, a parallel twin monster sporting a tiny fiberglass fuel tank, bored out jugs and bigger cams and carburetors than the stock bike. CycleWorld hustled their tester to the magazine’s first-ever sub-12-second quarter mile. On the street, the bike would knock down the 0-60 run in less than five seconds. Heady stuff at a time when motorcycles were either Dennis Hopper’s Harley Davidson or Brian Wilson’s groovy little Honda.

This 1971 Norton Dunstall 810 Sleeper is a factory-built superbike, not one of the dozens of modified Commandos that followed the factory run. It has had a recent restoration, which included a new steel fuel tank to replace the ethanol-damaged fiberglass original. The steel tank is a great addition if you plan to ride this bike, but it would be a great idea to have the fiberglass unit restored all the same. In its 48 years, the bike hasn’t managed to crack 3,000 miles.

From the seller:

You are looking at a rare 1971 Norton Dunstall 810 Sleeper model. They say that less than five percent of advertised Dunstalls are true factory bikes, rather they are regular Nortons with added Dunstall parts. This is the real deal, an unrestored factory produced bike with 2,100 original miles. It’s in amazing original condition with great patina. It comes with incredible documentation, original bill of sale, correspondence between the original owner and Paul Dunstall, shipping forms, customs forms and more. It really belongs is a Norton collection or a museum as it’s a true time capsule.

The Sleeper model was designed to look like a regular Commando but run circles around them. This one includes the following options verses a regular Sleeper, 810 kit, Mk 4 Cams, a rare Quaife five speed transmission, high performance Dr. Gordon Blair exhaust and an electronic ignition.

The bike was just recommissioned by Jaye Strait of Britech New England, a well known British Bike expert. New carbs, coils, fuel lines, gas tank, etc. The tank was replaced due to ethanol having its way with the original fiberglass one. The new steel tank was painstakingly modified to look like the original, including reproducing the original decals and rear tank mounts. The original which is included can be repaired but we decided to go with steel for riding the bike but keep the original for collecting. The bike runs great pulls like a race horse smoothly through all gears and idles beautifully once warmed up. It’s very entertaining to ride for an almost fifty-year-old bike. However, if you are going to ride it new tires are needed as the set on the bike is very old.

I’m happy to answer any questions and supply more photos. I will also work with your shipping company, but you are responsible for shipping. No low ball offers or tire kickers please.

The bike is located in Concord, NH, and is listed on eBay with a starting bid of $15,000. If early English monsters are your thing, it’d be tough to find a cooler one.

Bimota August 16, 2019 posted by

Thoroughly Italian: 1986 Bimota DB1 for Sale

The DB1 wasn’t Bimota’s first bike, but it perfectly embodies the company’s philosophy of taking a well-developed engine from an outside manufacturer and putting it into a package that was lighter, sleeker, and better-handling. That wasn’t really all that difficult to do when you’re looking at beasts like the Suzuki GSX1100: just take the good stuff and ditch the rest, then replace it with better, stronger, lighter components. But Ducati’s bikes were already a good bit lighter and more agile to begin with. They had to be, with smaller engines and fewer cylinders.

The DB1 was Bimota’s first Ducati-powered model, and used the two-valve, air and oil-cooled Pantah engine that included a pair of toothed rubber belts to drive the single overhead cams. The arrangement that was still pretty unusual at the time, since most bikes were still using traditional chains in 1985. A 352lb dry weight was claimed, which is pretty outrageously light for a sportbike of the era. Marzocchi suspension meant the light, compact machine would handle and 16″ wheels at both ends that exaggerated the already large front brakes to nearly pie-plate dimensions that were clamped by four-piston Brembo calipers.

Bimotas are famously hard to work on, with the frames so closely wrapped around the mechanicals to save weight, centralize mass, and improve aerodynamics: everything is optimized for performance. The SB3 actually had a frame that unbolted and separated into two sections to free the drivetrain for servicing! Jokes about Italian reliability aside, every single motorcycle will need regular servicing, and removing the fairings of a sportbike is often needlessly tedious. But they make up for that by at least being easy to strip clean of bodywork. Note that the entire tank cover and tail section is just one piece, held in place by just a few fasteners!

So was it really better than the Ducati F1 that donated its engine and five-speed transmission? Probably not, unless you were going racing. As with more modern Bimotas, it was much more expensive with minimal benefits for the average rider, compared to the donor bikes. But the DB1 was impossibly compact and futuristic, with the incredible detailing that Bimota has always been known for. I particularly love the brake and clutch reservoirs incorporated into the tops of the fork tubes.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Bimota DB1 for Sale

1986 Bimota DB1, 5 miles AS New, Very rare-one of 400

First Ducati powered Bimota.

This spectacular DB1 has 5 miles from new, these miles could be factory dyno or road test miles as the bike is new and in brand new condition. Everything is original and untouched, bike has always been in heated storage and shows almost no signs of aging.

This DB1 is nearly flawless, the only flaws I could find is a slight rub mark on the rear of the solo cowl near the tail light (see pic). Second flaw is a super small green paint dot on top of the solo cowl (see pic), this looks like a factory flaw. Other than that the bike is perfect and new.

I am the second owner.

For an indication or reference of value see last picture. That bike had mileage and has been slightly restored. 

This bike is number 203 of 400 produced.

There are no bids yet at the $25,000 opening bid, and there’s a long way to go before the $32,000 asking price. The original listing includes an ad from Bimota Spirit for a similar bike with price of $29,000 and it appears the seller is assuming or hoping that the much lower mileage of his bike will bring a higher price. Unfortunately, although bikes like the DB1 and the original Tesi are rare and desirable, Bimota values in general have remained pretty flat and it looks like the seller may be jumping the gun here slightly, given the overall lack of interest.

-tad

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