Posts by tag: 1991

Ducati March 29, 2017 posted by

Museum Piece: Low-Mileage, One-Owner 1991 Ducati 851 for Sale

For connoisseurs, the Ducati 851 is the Bolognese superbike to have: it’s not as obvious or uncomfortable as a 916, and it was the first of the four-valve breed, the speartip of Ducati’s new push to be relevant to the modern sportbike world. The air-cooled, two-valve Pantah may be a classic, charismatic engine, but it couldn’t possibly hope to compete against liquid-cooled, sixteen-valve inline fours in the brand-new World Superbike series that was meant to showcase the very best production-based motorcycles in wheel-to-wheel competition. So Ducati added four-valve heads and liquid-cooling to their venerable L-Twin and quickly found success: a displacement advantage helped to offset the outright power gap compared to the four-cylinder bikes, and handling was excellent.

Styling is more “functionally elegant” than “dripping with sex,” but that means humane ergonomics and less flash for Ducati fans more interested in performance than posing. And although the bike’s 93hp isn’t huge by today’s standards, it has the famous Ducati torque that’s gone missing from bikes like the 1199 as they’ve chased revs and horsepower to compete with the fours. The low-mount dual exhausts seem to sound much better than the 916’s undertail system, for some reason, and they’re also obviously much less likely to roast sensitive parts of your anatomy.

Early four-valve bikes like the 851 and 888 can get expensive to maintain if you don’t do some of the work yourself: frequent regular belt changes and valve-adjustments don’t require pricey parts, but are labor-intensive at standard shop rates. They can be fickle, but the slow evolution of these bikes’ hard parts mean spares shouldn’t be too difficult to track down. In general, the rule with Ducatis is: buy wisely or pay the price, as a “cheap” example can quickly become a very expensive proposition. Luckily, today’s bike avoids that by being fastidiously maintained and enthusiast-owned.

From the original eBay listing: Low-Mileage, One-Owner 1991 Ducati 851 for Sale

I purchased this bike in June of 1991 and have been the only owner since the bike was new.  I purchased the bike from Dunbar Motorsports in Brockton, Massachusetts.  The bike is currently located in Atlanta, Georgia.

The bike is in near-pristine condition, and is a desirable bike for a collection, or as a concours bike, or just as a daily rider.

Here is literally every flaw I could find, no matter how minor.  All of these minor bumps and bruises are shown in the photographs:

  • There is a very small chip in the fiberglass on the removable pillion cover that covers the passenger’s seat (see photo #8)
  • There is a very small area on the right muffler where it is rough (see photo #9).  I lent the bike to my brother soon after I got it, and he managed to drop the bike while just sitting on it (!).  The only things damaged were the right side fairing and right side mirror, a small area on the muffler and, of course, my brother’s pride.  He replaced the fairing and mirror with factory new parts (this was quite some time ago when it was still possible to get factory new parts), but the damage to the muffler was so minor that I couldn’t ask him to replace it.  Note that this was the only time in its life that the bike was dropped.
  • There is a VERY minor stress crack in the fiberglass on the front fairing (see photo #10).
  • There are 3 small parallel cracks in the paint on the frame near the right foot peg (see photo #11).
  • The rubber cover for the brake light switch is dry and starting to crack (see photo #12).

As I said, all very minor.  Other than these minor flaws, the bike is in pristine condition, and is exactly as it rolled off the showroom floor in 1991 — down to the original Michelin Hi-Sport tires which are still in good shape (though I might recommend changing them out if you plan to take many tight corners, as they are 26 years old!).  There have been no aftermarket modifications whatsoever.

The bike was completely serviced last fall by Ducshop in Marietta, Georgia (http://ducshop.com), including belts, fluids, battery, etc.  The bike has a clear Georgia title, is registered and insured, and ridden periodically to keep its legs stretched.  The bike runs perfectly, and is a real thrill to ride.

The bike comes with all of its paperwork, including the service records, original Owner’s Identification Card, original Purchase and Warranty Registration, original Bill of Sale from the dealer (the bike cost $12,350 in 1991), and the original Owner’s Manual.  The bike also comes with a race stand that the dealer originally included with the sale of the bike (the bike has never been raced or has even been on a track).

The bike is the Strada (street) model of the 851 Superbike.  Like all Superbikes, it has the 8-valve (4 per cylinder), fuel injected “desmodromic” engine (the valves are both opened and closed by a cam to eliminate any possibility of valve float at high RPM).

The 851 Superbike model was first launched in 1987.  With its powerful liquid-cooled, fuel injected, 8-valve V-twin desmo engine, its signature steel tube trellis frame, Brembo brakes and Marzocchi suspension, it heralded the start of the modern era for Ducati.  Built for the fledgling World SuperBike series, Ducati quickly won three World SuperBike crowns in a row 1990-1992, with Frenchman Raymond Roche aboard the 1990 851, and Doug Polen riding an 851 bored out to 888cc.

The unfortunate thing about a bike like this is that part of the value is derived from the low miles and originality, a shame since these are great riders’ bikes. In addition, that functional styling means a riding position that won’t outright murder your spine, so the low mileage is doubly tragic. In such sharp condition, I have no doubt this one will find a very happy buyer: bidding is already up to $8,950 with several days left on the auction.

-tad

Museum Piece: Low-Mileage, One-Owner 1991 Ducati 851 for Sale
Honda February 27, 2017 posted by

Rothmans Replica: 1991 Honda NSR250 SP for Sale

Racing fans naturally gravitate towards sportbikes that feature graphics and colors associated with their favorite racing teams. Since those designs are often chosen for their visibility over any concerns about taste, it’s rare that a design stands out for being both striking and classic. It’s a shame that some of the most memorable and iconic color schemes in racing history were those designed for tobacco products, but it’s hard to argue with the good looks of today’s Rothmans Replica Honda NSR250R.

This MC21 NSR250R was powered by Honda’s familiar 90° liquid-cooled 249cc two-stroke v-twin with a six-speed “cassette” style gearbox that allowed for quick gearing changes at the track. Obviously not something that’s all that useful on a roadbike, but still very trick and cool. The updated MC21 version of the NSR250 wasn’t just a restyled MC18, it was an extensively redesigned machine. It used a distinctive gull-arm swingarm to allow the expansion chamber on the right side of the bike to tuck in close for maximum cornering clearance, while the carburetors were controlled by Honda’s very sophisticated PGM-III system that used a three-dimensional map based on throttle-position, revs, and gear selection to adjust the RC valves and ignition timing for excellent flexibility compared to rivals.

Power output was bang-on the government-mandated 45hp, but that still gave the sub-300 pound [dry] machine plenty of pep and more is available with de-restriction. How much is available? Well, how much do you want to spend, and how long do you want it to last between rebuilds? This SP version added a dry clutch and an uprated rear shock to the mix for even more performance, exotic, rattling noises, and exclusivity: just 1,500 NSR250R SPs were sold during 1991, making this a rare machine in any market, let alone North America, and this one is in superlative shape.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Honda NSR250 SP for Sale

Immaculate 1991 Honda NSR250 SP w/ 5,000 miles from Moto2 Imports

Available only from Moto2 Imports, this fully restored 1991 NSR250 SP two-stroke is our nicest machine to date! Beyond a standard R model, this SP features fully-adjustable front and rear suspension, trick dry clutch, and a close-ratio gearbox. A complete service and safety check has been performed by our partner Speedwerks. The electronics have been de-restricted and the engine makes full power. All gaskets have been inspected and engine compression & leak down tests were performed with no issues. New tires, chain, battery, brake pads & spark plugs. Carburetors cleaned, rebuilt and re-jetted. Fuel, oil and coolant systems drained, flushed, & refilled. All other mechanical & electrical systems checked and operating properly. Fairing and tank were just resprayed and are of the highest quality – see Hi Res images. Expansion chambers have been ceramically coated and aluminum wheels freshly powdercoated (Magteks available). Bike starts/runs/operates flawlessly. Additional pics and video available upon request. You will not find a nicer NSR. With just 5,000 original miles, you can bid with confidence on this amazing machine.

All Moto2 bikes are legally imported and come with a clear US title with the proper 11 digit VIN (frame number and title match). Buyer will receive the US title, Bill of Sale, Customs and importation paperwork, and a copy of the original Japanese title. Feel free to ask any questions about this bike. Moto2 Imports provides post-sales support including spare parts for our bikes now and in the future. We sell and ship globally. Visit our website for more information.

The asking price of $9,299 seems very reasonable, considering the ever-upwards trend of prices for these grey-market two-strokes in general and the fact that is is both the coveted Rothmans Replica SP model and in exceptional condition. Sure, the paint isn’t original but, considering the apparent quality of the work, that might not be a bad thing, and the bike has obviously been extensively reconditioned. If you’ve been waiting to add one of these to your collection, you won’t find one nicer outside of a museum.

-tad

Rothmans Replica: 1991 Honda NSR250 SP for Sale
Bimota November 1, 2016 posted by

Nineties Flyer: 1991 Bimota YB8 for Sale

1991-bimota-yb8-r-side

With lightweight bodywork held on by just a few bolts [note the one-piece tank-and-tail unit] and a plastic fuel cell, the Bimota YB8 used plenty of tricks learned on the racetrack and was pretty far ahead of its time. Based on the previous YB4 and YB6 but powered by the larger FZR1000 engine, approximately 250 were produced between 1990 and 1994. Bimota claimed 149hp from the FZR1000 engine, up a bit compared to the stock bike due to Bimota ignoring the “gentleman’s agreement” of the time and applying the usual tuning tricks, and the inline four puts its power to the rear wheel through the Yamaha’s standard five-speed box. Top speed is a 173mph but, as always with Bimota, it’s the cornering that impresses the most.

1991-bimota-yb8-l-side

It’s hard to blame a small manufacturer if they wanted to recycle or slightly update an existing frame, especially if the donor engines slot in easily. Looking at the later YB11, the frames look very similar and, as was pointed out by one of the Commentariat, I wonder if a Yamaha R1 engine and transmission might slot in there without too much persuading… Somehow, that doesn’t seem to be as sacrilegious an idea as it would be for something like, say, a Ducati. The resulting bike should be a shade lighter than the original R1 if the manufacturers’ dry weights are to be believed…

1991-bimota-yb8-clocks

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Bimota YB8 for Sale

Very are super bike, mint condition, needs nothing, we ship at buyer’s expense can ship worldwide. Runs excellent, reasonable reserve, rare opportunity.

1991-bimota-yb8-r-side-rear

The listing doesn’t include much information and the bike is clearly part of a larger collection. That’s unfortunate although, obviously restoring that engine should be much easier than for some other obscure motorcycles. Bidding is up to just $5,200 with the Reserve Not Met, but Bimotas of this era seems to be going for around the $10,000 mark these days. Sure, for the price, you could buy a couple of nice Yamaha R1’s, but that’s hardly the point of this bit of Italian exotica.

-tad

1991-bimota-yb8-front

Nineties Flyer: 1991 Bimota YB8 for Sale
Honda October 7, 2016 posted by

Tiny Terror: 1991 Honda NSR250R MC21 for Sale

1991-honda-nsr250r-r-side-front

With a dry weight of under 300lbs and a responsive engine that rewards the skilled rider, Honda’s NSR250R MC21 is especially desirable here in the USA where two-stroke sportbikes died with the Yamaha RZ350 in the mid-1980s. They’ve cropped up pretty regularly recently, but are still difficult to find in good condition, as they were often ridden “enthusiastically” by their owners when new…

1991-honda-nsr250r-l-side-rear

At a glance, the MC21 continues the overall style of the earlier MC18 built from ’88-’89, but a closer look reveals that it was a nearly ground-up redesign of the earlier bike, and intended to keep pace with the rapid evolution of the class. The asymmetrical Gull Arm swingarm looks trick, and was intended to clear the bulging expansion chambers and allow maximum clearance for a bike that excelled at cornering. 17″ wheels at the front and rear means modern day riders have decent choice of rubber.

1991-honda-nsr250r-r-side-rear

Under the skin, the NSR250R was powered by a a 90° liquid-cooled 249cc v-twin backed up with a six-speed cassette gearbox, and the pair of carburetors used Honda’s electronic PGM-III to maximize performance although the bike was limited from the factory to 45hp, per Japanese government restrictions. As the seller mentions, the actual intended performance is easily found by de-restricting the bike.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Honda NSR250R MC21 for Sale

The best racer replica in its class! Even in Japan, It is hard to get this condition these days. Rare Japanese domestic model. NSR250 has not exported to any country officially. In 1988 Japanese government restrict power of 250cc motorcycle to 45HP. So Honda made this motorcycle to produce lower rpm torque than MC18 (previous model that I just sold last week). You can de-restrict MC21 easily, then it can output 65 to 70HP.
No title, bill of sale only. If you need title, additional $500 required. I do like this because in some states, it’s easy to register and in California it is hard.
This is used 25 years old motorcycle, so please check photos carefully. No warranty, as is. No return. Full payment in 7 days. cash or wire preferred.
 
Selling local also, so I may quit auction anytime. local pick up preferred but I can help to ship if the buyer arranged. Like bring to Forward Air terminal or other tracking company’s location in LA.
Bidding is up to just over $1,500 with a couple days left on the auction, but I expect this will end up somewhere well north of that: recent NSR250Rs have gone for between $6,500 and $8,500. The usual issues with titling and registration obviously apply here, but I’m sure there are plenty of enthusiasts out there that have the will and will find a way.
-tad
1991-honda-nsr250r-r-side
Tiny Terror: 1991 Honda NSR250R MC21 for Sale
Suzuki September 17, 2016 posted by

Forbidden Fruit: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22 for Sale

1991-suzuki-rgv250-r-side

Look, just to be clear: if you’re in California, you’re not getting this bike. The seller is most emphatic on that point. See below. It’s not that it’s completely impossible to find or to title a grey-market import Suzuki RGV250Γ in California, it’s just that you’re not getting this particular bike: apparently the seller tried but didn’t grease the right palms, or use the right combination of ancient incantations, so Title Compliance Overlords in Sacramento sent him a letter, clearly informing him he could not sell the bike to a CA resident. Bummer, but all you Golden State residents need to look elsewhere for your two-stroke fix. “But, but… I just wanted it as a for off-road-use-only track bike!” Sorry, buddy: you’re boned.

1991-suzuki-rgv250-r-side-rear

But what’s the big deal with the RGV250 anyway? Well, if this is your first time visiting Rare Sport Bikes for Sale, the RGV250 Gamma was Suzuki’s entry into the hotly-contested and not-available-in-the-USA quarter-liter sportbike class that saw 249cc two-stroke twins battling for supremacy on track and in showrooms throughout the 80s and 90s. The bikes all featured cutting edge performance and technology, but with additional smoke and a lawnmower soundtrack. Lightweight aluminum frames, six-speed, sometimes cassette-style gearboxes, high-strung powerplants, and electronic trickery were the order of the day, and Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and even Kawasaki all had bikes in play. Although Honda was the gold-standard in terms of quality and innovation, Suzuki was the wild man of the bunch and it says something that Aprilia cribbed the RGV’s powerplant for their RS250. Probably just that Suzuki was willing to provide them for a good price, but still: it’s a simple, powerful engine with endless tuning options, although by reputation it’s more fragile than the Honda NSR’s unit.

1991-suzuki-rgv250-dash

This VJ22 model seen here is distinguished by that classic “banana” swingarm that curved upward on the right side of the bike to allow the exhaust’s expansion chambers to tuck up close to the bike. It added weight but looks super-trick and should increase cornering clearance. Suzuki’s “Advanced Power Controller” power-valve controller and was introduced to the Gamma in 1991 and helped boost midrange power. The 60hp the seller claims the tiny v-twin produces is completely believable and, although that may not sound like much at first, keep in mind that the RGV250 weighs in at under 300lbs dry.

1991-suzuki-rgv250-exhausts

Feel free to check out the original listing: there’s plenty of information about the bike, as well as some very strongly worded political opinions…

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22 for Sale

This is a clean RGV250 VJ22 without the usual corrosion that so many of these import bikes have. I bought this about 18 months ago and did my best to try and title in here in CA. After 6 months of trying I realized that it’s not possible to title this here. It’s registered in Vermont and I just renewed it in August. Since it’s not legal here to ride it just sits in the garage. A few months ago I bought another RGV250 that was titled for a very long time in CA. so I finally have one to ride. I swapped the bodywork that I painted, white wheels and exhaust and put them on my new RGV.

So as to the details on the bike itself. Just did the top end with new pistons and made sure the power valves didn’t have any loose pins. Bike has 32,000 km, motor has just under 17,000, km (about 10,000 miles) Starts first kick just about every time and oil injection is set correctly and working. Bike has been de-restricted and has very clean 34mm carbs, full power 22D30 Power controller box and Jolly Moto chambers. OEM body panels that fit nice but have scratches here and there and a few minor cracks. I planned on painting this white with Pepsi decals but I need to spend what little free time I have putting a new roof on my garage before snow flies here. I live in the mountains at 6,250ft elevation and have not jetted this bike for this altitude.  One my other RGV I had to modify the airbox lid for more air and jet down 2 sizes on the needle jets, mains, and go up on the air jets to get it to run right here. I didn’t want to modify the airbox on this bike since it should work fine at lower altitude. The first thing you will need to do is jet this bike for your altitude, I left the jetting on stock sizes. If you don’t like tuning and working on your bike often, a RGV is not for you. When the weather changes your jetting that worked great before won’t even be in the ballpark. These are bikes for guys that like to work on their bikes often, that’s half the fun. The power valves are the weak point and it’s best to run Cougar Red power valves that don’t have the pin problem of stock valves. I run them on my other RGV and they even add a few HP too, Pricey at $500 but cheaper than destroying cylinders and pistons when a loose pin falls into the bore.

If you have never ridden one of these they are a hoot. Super light (under 300lbs with aftermarket exhaust) razor sharp handling, great brakes and 60hp on tap with a light switch power band. This one also has 6 pistons calipers from a GSXR, they will stop you. As for what the bike needs. It could use a paint job, don’t make the mistake of buying the Chinese painted body sets on eBay if you want a good panel fit. Front forks should be rebuilt and maybe re valve the GSX-R shock I added to replace the worn out stock one. Front rotors were replaced before I bought it but the rear should be changed. Frame is super clean and undamaged. Rear subframe is straight and I just had it powder coated. Most of the black small brackets were powder coated at the same time. Wire harness is nice with no splices…

If you’re a CA buyer I can’t legally sell you this bike. It’s in the system and there is no way you can title it in CA I tried believe me. These bikes are starting to get imported here now that the 91 and older GP 250 replicas like this are 25 years old. There quite collectible and going up in value. With a little work this bike can be super nice, no reserve so bid to win.

1991-suzuki-rgv250-frame-detail

It looks like this bike may have been featured on RSBFS awhile back, but with some parts swapped over to a different bike in the same owner’s collection. Regardless, there have been no takers yet at the $6,000 opening bid, and there’s just one day left on the auction. Certainly, that seems like a reasonable price for a solid, running RGV250, but the bike’s questionable legal status and lack of originality may be putting off buyers.

-tad

1991-suzuki-rgv250-naked

Forbidden Fruit: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22 for Sale
Yamaha April 10, 2016 posted by

No Titles, No Problem: Pair of Race 1991 Yamaha TZ250Bs for Sale

1991 Yamaha TZ250B R Front

Looking to start your own vintage race team? Well today’s brace of 1991 Yamaha TZ250s and a whole raft of included spare parts is ready to help you do just that, just add trailer.

And talent.

Sports two-strokes from the 80s ands 90s are very rare and desirable these days, with fresh imports from Japan making their way here regularly. And as always, the issue of titling them comes up. In some states, it’s easy to get grey-market bikes titled. In others, particularly California, it’s very difficult without spending years gathering incriminating information about prominent politicians or spending a small fortune to bribe public officials.

Fortunately, today’s pair of TZ250Bs solves that problem for us nicely by being pure racebikes that never had titles in the first place. Obviously, there are some rough similarities between the TZR250 and TZ250, but the TZR was a sporty roadbike meant to ape the real-deal, “closed-course only” TZ.

1991 Yamaha TZ250B L Front

Powered by what was basically half of a V4 from the TZ500, the 1991 TZ250B was the first v-twin powered TZ250: earlier bikes used a parallel-twin configuration, long after competitors from Honda and Suzuki had switched to v-twin engines. The B also featured upside-down forks for the first time and a distinctive banana swingarm to clear the right-side expansion chambers, something that wasn’t required on the “reverse-head” parallel-twin TZs from 1988-1990.

1991 Yamaha TZ250B L Side Rear

From the original eBay listing: Pair of 1991 Yamaha TZ250Bs for Sale

Rare opportunity: for sale two very nice Yamaha 250B’s, VIN#3YL000397 and 3YL000409. Both bikes are race ready and have two races on new top ends.

I do not know the miles on either bikes’ cranks but when I did the top ends they checked OK.

I have approximately $10,000 in spares, mostly new, not a bunch of junk. I will provide an inventory list upon request and I have included photos of them.

The bikes are sold on a BOS, there were no titles for these bikes. I had to put something in the eBay listing for title condition and miles.  

1991 Yamaha TZ250B Parts

These are very nice machines, I love the color scheme, and a big box of spares to keep a pair of obsolete racebikes running sounds like a peach of a deal… But at $30,000 Buy It Now for the pair, you’re looking at a lot of cheddar for this package.

-tad

1991 Yamaha TZ250B L Side

No Titles, No Problem: Pair of Race 1991 Yamaha TZ250Bs for Sale
Gilera March 31, 2016 posted by

Slippery Stroker: 1991 Gilera CX125 for Sale

1991 Gilera CX125 R Side Front

The impossibly exotic Gilera CX125 still looks futuristic today but, while the fully-enclosed bodywork and unusual suspension appeared radical when new, the underlying mechanical bits are surprisingly pedestrian. Sure the bike handled well, but the 125cc two-stroke single powering the CX is far from the exciting, sophisticated engine you’d expect, considering the bike’s striking design. The bike does have an electric start to get the bike snap, crackle, and popping so there’s at least a nod to sophistication…

1991 Gilera CX125 L Side

At 300lbs wet, the modest 28 rear-wheel horses certainly moves the bike along, but performance couldn’t be considered much more than “brisk,” with a top speed hovering around 100mph. Of course, straight-line performance wasn’t really the point.

1991 Gilera CX125 Dash

Single sided front and rear suspension mean that the bike appears to have no suspension at all when viewed from the right-hand side: the wheels just seem to float in space. The design of the front isn’t as ambitious as something like the Tesi or GTS1000. It’s basically just a telescopic fork with one leg missing and was developed by suspension specialists Paioli. It handles well, but that’s likely due to the bike’s light weight and sporty frame geometry: the advantages of this setup are mainly cosmetic, aside from the fact it should make for easy tire changes.

1991 Gilera CX125 Front

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Gilera CX125 for Sale

Located in Santa Ana, California. This bike has 3432 KM = 2059 Miles. I believe this bike is all original, but not 100% sure. I’m not a expert on these CX125s. Engine runs good, no problems. I think the bike is in good condition for it’s age. This bike is being sold with a bill of sale only. I don’t have a title for the bike and can not get one, so don’t ask. All stupid questions will not be answered. More info is available on our website. If you overseas or Canadian buyer, you will have to make your own shipping arrangements. I can help USA buyers with the shipping, or you can arrange your own shipper. Bike is being sold as is, no returns. Ask questions and look at the pictures carefully before you bid. Again, this bike is being sold with a bill of sale only, NO TITLE.

1991 Gilera CX125 Front Suspension

Oh god, right there at the end: “no title”! Such a shame, since a CX125 certainly isn’t much good for track work. Aside from some very minor imperfections, the bike appears to be in beautiful shape which is great because, unless you live in a state with a very permissive DMV, this bike is going to be on display in your home, not down at the local bike hang out…

1991 Gilera CX125 Rear Suspension

At a starting bid of $5,900 there are no takers yet. Certainly, you’re not buying performance here, but that price does seem like a pretty fair price for such a rare and interesting machine. Even if you’re forced to just look at it.

-tad

1991 Gilera CX125 R Side

Slippery Stroker: 1991 Gilera CX125 for Sale
Ducati October 6, 2015 posted by

Featured Listing: 1991 Ducati 851 SP3 for Sale in the USA!

Update 2.22.2106: Now listed with AMS Ducati Dallas. -dc

Update 10.6.2015: Price dropped from $32,000 to $27,500. Good luck to buyers and seller! -dc

1991 Ducati 851 SP3 L Front

If you’re an 851 fetishist, today’s Featured Listing Ducati 851 SP3 is a rare sight here in the USA. We first saw this particular example back in July from the same owner, but the bike is back now with seriously improved photography. Even if you have no interest in buying, it’s worth a few right-clicks on the images to add to your dream garage…

1991 Ducati 851 SP3 R Front Detail

At the time it was last posted, the RSBFS commentariat was pretty critical of both the pricing and the photography, but with the photography issue sorted, I think it’s clear why the seller has ambitious goals in terms of pricing: it’s a beautiful example of a very rare bike that is likely to become very valuable. The 916 is perhaps the most iconic modern Ducati, but the 851 laid the groundwork and although the 851 certainly isn’t as pretty or as elegant as its descendant, it has a brutal simplicity that is every bit as purposeful and effective.

1991 Ducati 851 SP3 Clocks

Originally introduced in 1987, the 851 was most significant for its introduction of four-valve heads, liquid-cooling, and fuel injection to the venerable L-twin engine, changes required to make the bike competitive in the then-new World Superbike series. It worked, and Ducati returned to the world performance stage in a big way.

1991 Ducati 851 SP3 Front Suspension

Good for a claimed 93hp and the usual fat midrange and lazy power delivery compared to four-cylinder rivals, the 851 was eventually superseded by the bored-out 888 that displaced, surprise surprise, 888cc.

1991 Ducati 851 SP3 L Rear

That bigger motor also powered the homologation SP3 and put out 111hp. Other changes to the SP3 included Öhlins suspension at both ends, a close-ratio gearbox, reinforced cases, and a few cosmetic carbon bits. The original bikes did have a set of Termignoni upswept pipes, although this bike features what appear to be Verlicchi megaphone exhausts. It’s a shame the originals are missing*, but I’ve seen a number of earlier 851’s with similar exhausts so they’re not completely inappropriate.

(*Note: I’ve discussed with the seller and he notes that he has identified a source for the originals but that it would require a trade for the current exhaust. Please contact the seller for further details. -dc)

1991 Ducati 851 SP3 Pipe

From the seller: 1991 Ducati 851 SP3 for Sale

I purchased this bike from The Silverman Museum Collection. It was serviced extensively prior to me purchasing it. I then had the fork seals replaced and the clutch and brake lines replaced along with a few other odds and ends (oil change, battery, etc.) I only rode the bike once (it scared me), I thought it was just beautiful to look at. I would put new tires on it if i planned on riding it a lot, but other than that, it’s in great shape.

I believe these pictures do the bike justice. I can provide a video of a cold start for anyone who is interested: it likes a little throttle when cold but after it’s warm it will idle without issue. It sounds phenomenal.

Keep in mind while the seller is asking some big money for an 851, this is an extremely rare homologation-special SP3 and even cooking 851’s are finally beginning to appreciate in value. While the Ducati Monster can be credited with saving Ducati in terms of sales, it was the 851 that gave the brand back the street cred on which the parts-bin Monster traded, and paved the way for the stunning 916 that graced a million bedroom walls.

-tad

1991 Ducati 851 SP3 L Side

Featured Listing: 1991 Ducati 851 SP3 for Sale in the USA!
Buell September 23, 2015 posted by

The Tools at Hand: 1991 Buell Westwind RS 1200/5 for Sale

1991 Buell RS1200 R Side

Given a clean sheet of paper and nearly unlimited resources, it’s no surprise when major manufacturers come up with good motorcycles. In fact, when you consider those factors, it’s shocking how often they get it wrong… But Buell had neither advantage in building his motorcycles and still managed to come up with some very interesting motorcycles. In fact, many of the most striking innovations in his early bikes like this Buell RS1200 were workarounds for the tall and heavy Harley powertrain he was using.

Too heavy? Save weight everywhere you can. Bulky non-unit engine and transmission? Centralize mass with a shock mounted under the engine. Vibey powerplant? Mount it using innovative heim joints that works like Norton’s “Isolastic” system to isolate the worst of the vibrations and allow a stiff package that doesn’t try to rattle the rider’s teeth loose. Worried about losing your girlfriend off the back? Don’t worry, the passenger seat cover doubles as a backrest!

1991 Buell RS1200 R Side2

Much of the bike’s detailing honestly looks custom up-close. If you didn’t know better, you’d swear those heim joints mounting the engine to the frame were aftermarket bits, but no, they were there from the factory, a measure of the quality components used to build these. Performance Machine is a brand often associated with Kustom Kruizer Kulture, but they make quality stoppers.

1991 Buell RS1200 Front Brake

And if the styling of this early Buell is, um… unconventional, the complete package exploits the antediluvian engine’s inherent power, torque, and character for a uniquely American take on a sport-touring motorcycle.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Buell Westwind RS 1200/5 for Sale

I am the original owner of this Beautiful Red California RS 1200/5 Westwind. Purchased in 1991 From Fremont Harley Davidson in FremontCalifornia, it has 5289 miles on it and is in very good condition. It has a small scratch on the tank and fender. It has a small crack on the fairing. It needs to have the fork seals replaced. It is bone stock expect for the screaming eagle Dyna ignition. It fires right up and runs like new. It has been garaged and covered since new.

I take for granted that most of you know this is one of the hand-built, low production models, before they were mass produced and cranked out by the thousands on an assembly line. This was when Erik Buell owned the company. It has a unique 5 digit VIN number acceptable to the DMV. Most vehicles have a 17 digit number.

1991 Buell RS1200 Dash

There are no takers yet with a starting bid of $5,500 but plenty of time left on the auction. Whether you love his motorcycles or hate them, Erik’s obvious passion for motorcycling and innovative mind shine through in all of his bikes, and it’s a shame he’s had so much trouble. But it’s a testament to his talent that people keep trying to give his ideas a home, so let’s hope this new guy in Asbury Park can give Buell the stability he needs to keep making interesting machines.

-tad

1991 Buell RS1200 L Side

The Tools at Hand: 1991 Buell Westwind RS 1200/5 for Sale