Posts by tag: 2005

MV Agusta November 28, 2016 posted by

Brutally Handsome: 2007 MV Agusta Brutale 910R for Sale

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MV Agusta’s Brutale represents the sane and reasonable option compared to their take-no-prisoners F4. Limited development budget meant the bike shared plenty of the fully faired machine’s DNA and it used a similar, if not identical frame, single-sided swingarm and wheels, along with a slightly detuned version of the radial-valved inline four. But the Brutale used a less ass-roasting shotgun exhaust set up, and dropped the gorgeous, Tamburini-designed fairings and clipons for a sleek headlamp and a tapered handlebar. Considering the brutal ergonomics of the F4, this is a good thing if you want to ride your exotic Italian, instead of just display it.

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The original 750 was considered by many to be a bit underpowered, although I suspect many of those people are size queens: the early Brutale was still plenty fast, considering the upright riding position and lack of wind protection… The later bikes like the 1078RR and 1090RR really might have been a bit too much, leaving the 910R like this one as the “just right” middle ground. Handling is excellent, with quality suspension at both ends, and the 136 claimed horses of the 910R will keep you very entertained.

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The Buy It Now price is listed at $6,700 for this example, which is on the high side for a Brutale but, considering the low miles and claimed condition, seems reasonable. If you’re looking for a good deal on a truly exotic nameplate, the Brutale represents a very good deal at the moment, at 2/3 the price of a comparable F4 but with ergonomics that will let you actually ride the thing without murdering your back or crushing your fingers against the fairing when you try to maneuver it at low speeds.

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From the original eBay listing: 2007 MV Agusta Brutale 910R for Sale

In like new condition under 4,600 original miles. The bike does not have one scratch, chip, dent or scratch, adult owned garaged and covered all its life, comes with a bit of carbon fiber, (solo rear seat cover and rear tire hugger) has frame sliders, battery tender lead, new tires Avon 3D super sport front and rear….also included is the single sided rear stand, stainless steal rear wheel nut and front axle nut removal socket, two keys, factory manual and tool kit, clear title on hand… you will not find a nicer or cleaner Brutale, won’t be disappointed.

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Like a great many Italian machines, these are beautifully designed but sometimes indifferently assembled. Get a good one, and you’ll be looking at a champagne motorcycle on a beer budget. Get a bad one and it will eat you alive, trying to keep it running, and with MV being in-and-out of solvency over the past decade or two, parts availability can be spotty. If something’s not in stock at your local dealer, assuming you have a local dealer, the wait for parts to ship from Varese could be long. Especially if you happen to need something during August, when the factory is likely to be closed…

-tad

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Brutally Handsome: 2007 MV Agusta Brutale 910R for Sale
MZ November 23, 2016 posted by

Iron Curtain: 2005 MZ 1000S for Sale

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Looking a bit like Aprilia’s Falco, the MZ 1000S was a high-end sport-touring motorcycle from a largely forgotten East German manufacturer that was powered by a big-bore parallel-twin engine. What could possibly go wrong? Well, not much really: as the seller mentions, parts to maintain the 1000S are available online, they’ve got a good reputation for reliability, and are apparently relatively easy to service. If you’re looking for something quirky and practical, with real-world performance, this might be worth a look.

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Unfortunately MZ or Motorrad und Zweiradwerk is relatively unheard of outside vintage biking circles and fans of weird 90’s bikes powered by Yamaha singles. And even if you know the name, you might associate it with agricultural-grade, commuters and smoky two-strokes, which is hardly the image they were trying to present with this upmarket machine. More likely, they’d want you to remember their racing roots, and the fact that MZ two-strokes developed by Walter Kaaden basically set the standard for two-stroke performance and dominated the smaller racing classes between 1955-1976. The Japanese really only broke their stranglehold when racer Ernst Denger defected and took the brand’s racing secrets to Suzuki…

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Parallel-twin engines aren’t found in too many premium motorcycles these days: they’re reliable and very compact, but tend to vibrate badly as displacements increase. Just ask Norton and Triumph… But with modern balance-shafts, vibration is manageable, and parallel-twins offer up the character and midrange of a v-twin without the packaging challenges, and the MZ’s engine was backed by a six-speed cassette gearbox. Made for just three years before disappearing, along with the rest of MZ, the bike received positive, if not glowing reviews.

From the original eBay listing: 2005 MZ 1000S for Sale

You are bidding on my 2005 MZ 1000S “sport touring” bike. This bike is in great condition with very low mileage, a little over 2,000 miles,and ready for thousands more. This bike is totally stock with no mods, and really a steal for what you are getting. There are many “Chinese” bikes going for this price, but you get real German engineering/quality with this one. Here are the details:

This bike is in great shape, and I just had the following done within the last month. All oil/filters changed to factory spec Silkolene products, as well as brake & clutch fluids. Battery replaced at the same time, so this bike is ready for many miles. Starts right up,and runs though the 6-speed cassette transmission with no issues. Previous owner swapped out the gearing from factory original 17/43 sprockets to Vortex 16/45 sprockets to aid in upper end tractability. I do not have the original; sprockets, but they are easily obtainable on eBay if desired. The original turn signals were replaced by the previous owner, and I do not have the originals.

Cosmetically the bike is in great shape with a small amount of scratches in the factory paint here & there, but by no means rough. Hard to actually photograph to be honest.

Parts are easily obtainable from Grahams Motorcycles in the UK, and a lot of the the consumable items such as sprockets, brake pads,filters are readily available on eBay. Original factory owners manual included. Clear title ready to transfer.

Overall a really nice bike that will not get “lost in the crowd” of also ran sport bikes. Please ask questions, as all sales are final, and shipping transport must be completed within 2-3 weeks unless prior arrangements made. A Paypal deposit of $250.00 due within 48 hrs of auction’s end, and full payment within 7 days. Also, please make sure you clear it with your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend /dog/cat before bidding. Thanks!

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The Buy It Now price is listed at $4,499.99 which, aside from looking like it belongs in the window of something on a used-car lot, is a pretty screaming deal, considering the performance and rarity. It’s not going to offer cutting-edge performance, but that was never the intent. Instead, it’s a mature sportbike you can ride to the twisties, then through the twisties, without needing a chiropractor at the end of the day.

-tad

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Iron Curtain: 2005 MZ 1000S for Sale
MV Agusta November 22, 2016 posted by

Limited Edition: 2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 Tamburini for Sale

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MV Agusta certainly got the basic components right when they introduced their exotic and achingly-beautiful F4 750, but it was down on power and a member of the suddenly superfluous 750 class. Luckily, they were easily able to bump their displacement to play in the liter-bike class, although the new MV Agusta F4 1000 was obviously much more expensive and no faster than bikes like the Suzuki GSX-R1000. It’s tough for small manufacturers to keep pace with the rapid development of companies like Suzuki, so while the big Gixxer went through four different iterations between 2005 and 2008, the F4 soldiered on with very little in the way of fundamental updates. So how to stimulate interest in the same old [blindingly fast, exotic, Italian] thing? Take the fundamentally good chassis and engine, swathe it in lightweight bodywork and distinctive paint, and call it a “numbered, limited edition.” In this case, the bike in question is named after the father of this machine and one of the most talented motorcycle designers of all time: Massimo Tamburini.

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Well, they also added a few cool gizmos to the engine, in addition to all that shiny carbon and paint. Interestingly, MV Agusta’s Torque Shift System and Engine Brake System are intended to improve rideability, not peak horsepower. Which makes sense since 174 claimed horsepower is really skirting the edge of controllable power anyway, for a bike lacking modern traction control systems. The Torque Shift System uses variable length intake runners to boost midrange power and keep the bike’s screaming top end. The Engine Brake System takes the place of a slipper clutch, basically leaking fuel and air into the engine on closed throttle to provide engine braking without locking the rear tire. Surprisingly, the system works very well.

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The result is a very fast motorcycle with stunning looks that still look modern more than fifteen years later. This particular Tamburini looks basically perfect. As it should be, considering the asking price and the low miles. These listed at a stunning $43,000 new, so today’s example could be thought of as something of a bargain…

From the original eBay listing: 2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 Tamburini #85 of 300 for Sale

“My Dream, My Bike” – Massimo Tamburini

One of the most exotic motorcycles ever built. The MV F4 was limited to only 300 made, only 59 brought in to the USA. The plaque on the triple clamp shows #85 of 300. Very rare indeed. Few would argue its beauty. And even if you never ride the Tamburini, looking at it might be enough. Gold-toned mesh covers the fairing vent holes, while forged aluminum wheels are gold anodized to continue the theme, just as with the 6 piston billet Nissin front brake calipers. The low-friction titanium-nitride coating on the 50mm Marzocchi inverted fork sliders jives nicely with the gold anodized uppers.

Aside from the fuel tank which is steel, the Tamburini’s bodywork is nearly all carbon fiber, finished to a very high standard. A nice touch is the F4 and CRC logo work on the fairing sides that lets the c-f weave “peek” through the high-gloss paint. Who needs decals when the underlying material itself is so nice you simply leave paint off? Sensual shapes and exotic materials set the Tamburini apart. Front axle carriers and brake calipers are machined from billet for maximum rigidity, while lower triple-clamp, frame sideplates and gorgeous single-sided swingarm are lightweight magnesium. And check out the carbon-fiber weave on the fairing panels!

Only 4,159 miles, adult owned and fully serviced. 

Arrow pipes and all booklets, plaque authenticating serial number, etc.

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Low-mileage, low-production run F4s show up for sale pretty regularly,  owing to the fact that they’re often bought as display pieces and objects of lust more often than they are as functional motorcycles. Which makes sense, considering how awkward and uncomfortable they can be to actually ride on the street… They obviously offer handling and straight-line performance on par with the rest of the class, but their outright expense, crippling ergonomics, and high maintenance costs mean these are best left as occasional weekend or track-day toys: you masochists out there using your F4s as daily transportation have my respect. Obviously, if you want the gorgeous lines and don’t have the $35,000 the seller is asking for this Tamburini, a more common F4 can be had for less than a third of the price and is just as stunning, if not ultimately as valuable.

Hell, I prefer the very stylish five-spoke wheels on the original F4 anyway…

-tad

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Limited Edition: 2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 Tamburini for Sale
Honda October 21, 2016 posted by

Flyweight Racer: 2005 Honda RS125R for Sale

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Racing machines are a bit like living living things and, by they time they reach old age, there might be very little left of the original creature except the bones: high performance parts are consumed and replaced regularly, worn out by at-the-limit use, and other parts are upgraded as time goes on to keep pace with the relentless march of competition. So if you’re looking for an office decoration, look elsewhere, since this Honda RS125R was built to race, and comes with the spares package to back that up.

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Powered by a slightly undersquare 54mm x 54.5mm two-stroke single backed by a six-speed gearbox, the mechanicals seem simple at first, but every single component is optimized for performance and light weight. Power can be north of 4ohp when tuned, which sounds pathetic until you consider the partially-dry weight of of under 160lbs. Still, the real shocker with a bike this small and light is in the stopping and the cornering: that single radial Brembo caliper looks absolutely massive and should provide more stopping power than you’ll ever need.

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The bike comes with bare, white bodywork, already for your choice of historic colors or sponsors’ logos. At a glance, I assumed this had been fitted with some sort of Tyga bodywork, but it looks more like Tyga got its inspiration for their aftermarket bodywork from the later RS125s!

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From the original eBay listing: 2005 Honda RS125R for Sale

The engine is freshly rebuilt. New crankcases, new cylinder, new crankshaft and a fresh piston in it.
Engine is setup with a VHM head with a 11.8cc insert for running unleaded fuel.

Current transmission gear setup: 1st: M1-P3 / C1-P3, 2nd: M2-P4 / C2-P4, 3rd: M3-P1 / C3-P1, 4th: M4-P1 / C4-P1, 5th: M5-P1 / C5-P1, 6th: M6-P1 / C6-P1

Equipped electronics consist of a HRC datalogger with HRC detonation counter, detonation and shift lights plus a front wheel speed sensor.

The chassis is equipped with a Honda NSF250R swingarm. Front brake system has been replaced with a new Brembo GP4-RR 32/36 monoblock caliper with titanium pistons and Brembo 16×16 billet radial brake master cylinder.

Typical basic spare parts included, such as jets, gaskets, clutch cable, reeds, engine shims, gaskets, seals, levers, variety of front and rear sprockets etc.

Other spares also included are a April System Powerjet controller, front and rear stands, front wheel with disc, front and rear Dunlop rain tires, spare used cylinder, new front fender, extra over the radiator airbox, HRC cylinder head (10.5cc for leaded fuel).

Extra transmission gears: C1/P2, M2, C1, C2, C3/P4, C4/P2 and main shaft.

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Obviously, this isn’t a fresh-from-the-crate collectible: it’s a hard-core racing machine in miniature, and the included parts should help get the new owner ready for a season of racing. The Buy It Now price is set at $11,000 but I’ve no idea if that’s a fair price or not: RS125s that have graced these pages are generally of much older bikes and those can be had for much less. List price was in the neighborhood of $13,000 new and, with the spares package, that seems to make this a pretty decent deal.

-tad

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Flyweight Racer: 2005 Honda RS125R for Sale
Honda September 21, 2016 posted by

Featured Listing: 2005 Honda RC51 for Sale with only 804 Miles!

Update 11.3.2016: The seller has notified us that this bike has sold. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

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Like other forms of racing, World Superbike is designed around a set of rules intended to create a relatively level playing field and encourage a variety of manufacturers to participate. Knowing that simple displacement limits would result in a field full of Japanese four-cylinder machines, the WSBK rules allowed for v-twin motorcycles of up to 1,000cc and triples of up to 900cc, whereas fours could only be 750cc, meaning the bikes made approximately equal power. But in an era before electronic traction control, twins had a big advantage in torque and traction, meaning they could come out of corners harder, and Ducati’s 916 was dominant in the early years. Enter Honda’s RC51.

2005 Honda RC51 for sale on eBay

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Many felt the rules for v-twins allowed Ducati an unfair advantage, and that this was done entirely to ensure their participation in the series. Whether or not that was true, Honda had gotten tired of struggling to make their RC45 competitive and switched to a v-twin engine for the VTR1000 SP-1, their follow up to the RC45. The bike was successful, although not as dominant as Honda might have hoped. But it really proved their point: given a level playing field, their bikes could go toe-to-toe with Ducati.

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As a roadbike, the original SP-1 had a few minor issues with handling. According to Dave Hancock, Honda’s factory test rider, the bike’s notorious understeer was a result of the bike being rushed into production. Introduced in 2002, the RVT1000 SP-2 featured simple changes that were made to banish the understeer, including tapered spacers to replace the flat ones used on the front wheel. These new spacers allowed some flex at lean and, along with other minor changes, made the bike handle the way fans had always expected it to handle. Power for the SP-2 was up slightly as well to 133hp, but the bike’s low-rpm fueling was never all that smooth, a result of huge throttle bodies that were great for making power at higher revs and wide-open throttle and not so great for puttering around town. Styling is obviously not quite as sleek as the Ducati 916 it was designed to beat, but the race version was ultimately successful, and that was really the point anyway.

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For sportbike fans, the SP-2 offers up sleek styling, Honda racing heritage, and big v-twin noise in a package that you can have serviced at your local dealer, a big plus in much of the US. And if that appeals to you, it will certainly be difficult to find a better example than today’s Featured Listing.

From the seller: 2005 Honda RC51 for Sale

Here we have the King of V-Twins… purebred Honda race history here…

2005 Honda RC51 VTR 1000, 804 miles, yes 804 miles, lived life inside climate controlled home.

Marchesini rims, Akrapovic full titanium 2-2 exhaust with carbon fiber cans, Scott steering damper, custom rearsets, custom dropouts, Power Commander, full stainless brake lines, new Dunlop tires installed one year ago… Much, much more.

All original parts boxed and included with sale (factory wheels, rearsets, etc.)

Serious inquiries only, this is quite possibly the lowest mileage RC51 in the world… for sure for sale.

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Many owners do like to draw the link between this and Honda’s other famous homologation specials by stressing the “RC51” designation, but it’s important to remember that these have nowhere near the rarity or exotic specification of their forbears. Obviously, VTR1000 and RVT1000 are the roadgoing versions of the Honda racing twins, but they’re far more common and likely will never achieve the same level of collectability as the RC30 and RC45. That being said, they are very competent motorcycles and I expect that very clean examples will certainly appreciate in the future.

If you’re planning to add one to your collection, the red-and-silver scheme may be more traditional, but this dark paint looks very sleek and flatters the bike’s somewhat bulky lines. The modifications seen on this example are functional, make use of high-quality components, and are easily reversible (the factory parts are even included) if you’re looking for absolute originality. Plus this particular RC51 has traveled just 804 miles and has led a charmed indoor life.

-tad

Featured Listing: 2005 Honda RC51 for Sale with only 804 Miles!
MV Agusta May 28, 2016 posted by

Track Day Exotic: 2005 MV Agusta F41000 for Sale

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Normally, the goal here on RSBFS is to feature rare, unusual, or quirky sport motorcycles and we generally try to stick to machines in good, stock condition or bikes that have been tastefully modified. But today’s MV Agusta F4-1000 track bike is exactly the kind of thing I’d love to put together myself, if I had money and was feeling particularly brave. In this case, a perfectly good piece of nearly useless motorcycle jewelry appears to have been built to tackle the tarmac as an expensive and very fast trackday bauble. Honestly, I’m not sure which racing classes it’d be eligible to compete in and an F4 would obviously be far more costly to campaign than a GSX-R1000 without offering any real performance advantage, but that doesn’t mean someone shouldn’t take the plunge.

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The adulation that surrounded the original F4’s introduction faded to polite applause once riders got to test it back-to-back against competing machines costing half as much: during the development of the exotic, radial-valved 750cc machine, the world lost interest in the class and literbikes had taken center stage, leaving MV hopelessly outclassed. Those bikes were much faster than the F4, at least in a straight line, weighed the same, handled almost as well, and cost less. MV Agusta left the beautiful looks alone, but addressed the lack of performance in stunning form when the F4-1000 was introduced a few years later. It was still more expensive than the Japanese literbikes and wasn’t really any faster, but at least those bullies couldn’t kick sand in its face anymore and it offered up a rawer, more committed experience for experienced riders.

Basically, the perfect choice for a track day monster!

2005 MV Agusta F41000 Clocks

From the original eBay listing: MV Agusta F4-1000 Track Bike

I am second owner, first owner is US servicemen, he bought this bike brand new from Pro-Italia and used for couple track days then deployed out of US, so he have to sale to me, this bike never register in DMV, I have all the papers word will including on this sale.

  • Please pick Option 1 or 2 only after you win my auction
  • 1:Red Marchesini Forged $2000 with Dunlop Ntec 211 tires cost $325 set
  • 2: Silver Marchesini Forged cost $2000 with Dunlop Ntet 212 tires cost $375 set
All the parts below will come with the bike:
  • Marzocchi 2009 RR312 Fork $850
  • Brembo M50 Calipers $550
  • Brembo clutch and 17mm brake master including both Reservoir $400
  • Ohlins TTX rear shock $1000
  • STM Slipper Clutch $1200
  • upgrade to shorai battery $190
  • upgrade Eprom $50
  • FBF rearset $375
  • FBF Exhaust $850
  • Power Commander PC3 $375
  • Power Commander Quick Shifter $275
  • Power Commander LCD $ 250
  • Arrow mid Exhaust $345
  • X-bike Fairing stay $325
  • Catalyst Composites track fairing $900 painted Professional $350
  • Brembo Rotors $300
  • Carbon Swingarm cover $250
  • Carbon hugger $175
  • 520 DID Chain front and rear sprocket covert $375
  • Set of Muzzy Aluminum Fan $160
  • Fresh Engine Ice Coolant
  • Top and Bottom Radiator guard $120
  • Quick Release Gas Cap SSR brand $120
  • Just Oil Change Motul 300v 15w50
  • Zero gravity clear painted red $90

Total parts I paid over $11k, I am sure missing couple more items.

While I do appreciate the seller listing all of the parts that went into the build, it always does seem a bit tacky to include the pricing. With that $8,500 starting bid, I’m sure he’s hoping to make a good chunk of that back, but he’s missing that important lesson discussed here on the site and in the comments section ad nauseam: throwing $11,000 in parts at a motorcycle will have very little impact on its value, other than to possibly make it more likely to sell than another machine in similar condition. And as these bikes become more and more collectible, all those expensive custom parts can actually make it less likely to sell… That’s certainly becoming true for early 916s.

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Here’s the other thing: aside from actual, professionally-prepped racebikes, track day motorcycles generally sell for a good bit less than their road-legal counterparts. The reasons are pretty simple: the market for track-only bikes is much smaller, they’re  guaranteed to have been thrashed, since that’s basically the whole point of the exercise, and quite possibly have been crashed a few times. Track day junkies are expecting to crash at some point, and crashes mean repairs. A simple low-side in a slow corner doesn’t necessarily mean an end your day or weekend, assuming you can throw a new clutch or brake lever and clip-on bar onto the bike, or borrow a spare rearset peg or shift lever. A bag full of spares and a package of zip ties can quickly get you back on track, once you clean all the grass out from behind your fairings…

2005 MV Agusta F41000 Swingarm

And in spite of the obvious quality of the parts and preparation that have gone into this motorcycle, the reality is that you can buy a decent, road-legal F4 for what he likely wants for this, and the bits on those aren’t exactly of poor quality to begin with. This is obviously a very high-quality motorcycle, but I think the seller may have a hard time finding a buyer at that price.

-tad

2005 MV Agusta F41000 R Side Naked

Track Day Exotic: 2005 MV Agusta F41000 for Sale
Ducati January 28, 2016 posted by

Track-Bred: 2005 Ducati 749R for Sale

2007 Ducati 749R L Side3

We generally try to feature pristine, all-original bikes here on RareSportBikesforSale whenever possible. But although it looks like the fairing and paint on this Ducati 749R aren’t original and the bike includes none of the standard road equipment, it seems a shame to exclude a bike simply for being used as Ducati intended. Because although the 749R may not be considered the beauty its older sibling was, it was a highly effective track tool, with plenty of details aimed at racers and track-day riders not found on even the up-spec’d S-model bikes.

2007 Ducati 749R L Rear

Italian manufacturers have become famous/notorious for slinging expensive Öhlins suspension and a few carbon-fiber bits at a bike, slapping a numbered plaque on the top triple clamp and calling it a “special edition,” but Ducati’s R-model bikes are a different breed entirely. Often featuring significantly revised engine internals, bore and stroke that differ from production models, and adjustable suspension geometry, they are homologation specials designed to compete in various race classes, or at least allow specific parts to be used by race teams.

The 749R certainly fits that description, with liberal use of titanium parts inside the engine, a larger bore and shorter stroke, and magnesium bits designed to keep weight in check. The bike finally included a slipper clutch, radial brakes up front, and even the gas tank is different [larger]. The changes resulted in a 121 claimed horses, up from 108 in the standard 749.

2007 Ducati 749R L Side

In a massive change in philosophy from the 916-derived bikes, the 749 was designed with the rider in mind, and the monoposto bikes even featured an adjustable seat that moved fore and aft to suit riders of different sizes. Interestingly, the R had slightly less adjustability in the footpegs than the standard bike, since they needed to clear the larger-diameter exhaust as it snaked up to the underseat muffler.

From the original eBay listing: 2005 Ducati 749R for Sale

You are looking at a track ready 749R, less than 1200 were made, this bike was custom made for AMA, lightweight swing arm, Leo Vince Exhaust, Ohlins suspension, race fairings, carbon fiber bits, the bike looks and runs amazing, I bought from a local dealer and have a title that says 1500 miles. It was recently serviced by a reputable Ducati shop here in town. The bike is ready to go track , racing or to look pretty in any collection. 

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The Buy It Now is set at $9,950 which, while pricey for a 749, is much less than folks have been looking at for more pristine examples. Really, unless you’re a collector just planning to store your 749R away for posterity, the 749R makes little sense as a roadbike anyway: the performance benefits over the 749S aren’t likely to be noticeable at remotely legal speeds and the more highly-strung engine and increased service costs don’t seem worth it, unless you’re a Ducatisti with a serious contrarian streak.

But if you’re not a fan of the Terblanche-designed looks, then this 749R might be the perfect race or track day machine: the traditional Ducati virtues are still there, you can’t really see the bodywork when you’re riding it, and you won’t feel like you’re violating priceless art if you crash!

-tad

2007 Ducati 749R L Fairing

Track-Bred: 2005 Ducati 749R for Sale
Honda December 30, 2015 posted by

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em… 2005 Honda RC51 RVT1000R for Sale

2005 Honda RC51 R Side

The Honda RVT1000 SP-2 might lack the drop-dead sex appeal of a Ducati, but Honda’s legendary reputation for build-quality and reliability offer up a charm all their own. Back in the mid-1990s, Ducati was seeing unprecedented success on and off track with Massimo Tamburini’s brainchild, the 916 and its derivatives. On-track, it could be argued that rules for v-twins gave the blood-red Bolognese bikes an unfair advantage, but success on the street was the result of styling that dripped sex.

2005 Honda RC51 Front

Of course, the Japanese manufacturers decided “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” and introduced their own v-twin sportbikes designed to trounce Ducati at its own game, with varying degrees of success. Suzuki’s TL1000S made a splash initially, although maybe not for the reasons they’d hoped, while the supposedly more racy follow-up TL1000R was a disappointment on all fronts. The Honda VTR1000F “SuperHawk” was introduced in 1997 to… crickets, mostly. Much more a sporty bike for the street than a serious racetrack refugee, it was cursed with bland styling and a tiny fuel tank that seriously curtailed the all-day backroad adventures the flexible twin and comfortable handling would otherwise have inspired.

2005 Honda RC51 Dash

But the SuperHawk was never really intended to beat the Ducati in terms of pure performance. That was left to the VTR1000 SP-1 that was far from the lithe design you’d expect for a supposedly Ducati-beating motorcycle, with a broad fairing and bulky styling. But the bike ditched the SuperHawk’s camchains for sexy gears, and the Honda is dead reliable, sounds sexy as hell, and can be serviced at your local dealer, a big plus in many parts of the country. Unfortunately, the handling wasn’t really all that sharp, and huge throttle bodies designed for top-end power made low-rpm fueling pretty chunky…

2005 Honda RC51 Pipe

By the time the RVT1000 [Argh! Acronyms! VTR, RVT… Make up your mind!] SP-2 rolled around in 2002, Honda had refined the formula and while power was up only slightly to 133hp, the bike was much smoother overall, and handling was significantly improved. Fuel range still sucked but, considering this was intended to follow the RC30 and RC45, that slight flaw can probably be forgiven.

2005 Honda RC51 Wheel

From the original eBay listing: 2005 Honda RC51 RVT1000R for Sale

Only 6361 miles
$7,000 in upgrades
Black and gray color, last model before the RC51 was discontinued in 2006.
Marchesini magnesium light weight rims front and rear
Sato High
Mount Bonzai exhaust with titanium mid pipes and carbon fiber cans
Dyno Jet Power Commander III with Dan Kyle map
Sato adjustable rear sets
CRG adjustable shorty brake & clutch levers
European rear tail section with led lights (cleanest looking one made)
New Michelin 2CT Pilot Power front & rear tires
New DID o-ring gold chain
Greggs flush mount front turn signals
Puig tinted racing windscreen
Front and rear bike stands
Bike cover
Battery
tender hookup
15 tooth counter sprocket (front)
Café mirror
Have stock parts
Garage kept
Never down
Never on track
2nd mature experienced owner
Just performed maintenance service: Repsol full synthetic oil, front and rear brake and clutch fluid service
Excellent condition
Super fast and expert riders only
Pink slip in hand
$12,200 / best offer

This particular bike looks very sleek in black, something that can’t quite be said for the more common red and silver scheme. Mileage is very low, and the bike has had some very tasteful and useful modifications thrown at it, although the $12,500 asking price seems very high.

2005 Honda RC51 Rearset

The RC51 is still very much a bargain sportbike, but they’re relatively rare and many have been lovingly cared for. Stone-axe reliability, solid handling, and big-twin boom make this a great bike and, if you can stomach the price, this might be a good one to sock away in hopes that it one day reaches RC45-levels of collectibility.

Hint: don’t bother. Just ride the hell out of it instead.

-tad

2005 Honda RC51 L Side

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em… 2005 Honda RC51 RVT1000R for Sale