Posts by tag: 500cc

Warning!

We have 15 years of archives. Please note that posts over a year old may have been updated to point to similar bikes available to bid on eBay.
Moto Morini May 28, 2022 posted by

Milan to Miami: 1982 Moto Morini 500 Strada

A bit off the beaten path and genuinely rare in the United States, this is a beautifully preserved Moto Morini 500. While not in the same performance league as the Ducati superbikes (or even Super Sports), and not in the high-speed transport business as Moto Guzzi, the other, other Italian V-Twin marque produced interesting – if not sporty – scoots predominantly in the 350cc and 500cc varieties. Built in low numbers overall, few were imported into North America – making this very clean 500 Strada (Italian for “street”) a rare gem to be admired and enjoyed. The seller has a lot of information about the marque and the bike, and I will let him pick up the story here:

1982 Moto Morini 500 for sale on eBay

From the seller:
Extremely original, low-milage machine. The finish does have it’s imperfections, and a light patina that reminds you that this is truly a 40 year old classic. The inside of the gas tank was professionally sealed, and looks great inside. The original La Franconi pipes are in great shape, with no holes. The Marzocchi suspension still feels nice and firm. All of the paint is 100% original

More from the seller:
The 500 was an obvious early manifestation of the Morini modular concept, using a larger bore and stroke to up the capacity of the original 344cc engine to 478ccs, producing more power and a relaxed ride. The longer wheelbase (the result of an elongated swing arm) gave a stable ride, and the longer seat suited two up riding.

The machine was first shown in prototype form at Milan in November 1975, started production in 1977 and was imported in to the UK from 1978. Originally the machine was produced with a 5 speed gearbox, allegedly due to concerns over the original box being unable to cope with the extra power. However, from 1981 a six speed cluster was fitted, resulting in the ”Sei-V” model, which also saw the introduction of a plastic chain guard, painted mud guards and mechanical rev counter, all designed to reduce production costs. Prior to this a Sport version had been offered which, unlike the 3½ was produced purely through changes to handlebars and footrests plus the appropriate badge!

More from the seller:
The 500 was an excellent machine for the longer distance rider (journalist Dave Minton rode one from Alaska to Mexico down the Trans-American Highway in the 1980s) but lacked some of the rider appeal of the 350s. The engine continued to be developed, and the later 501 motor (actually 507cc) was arguably the best of the ”air-cooled” twins, revving freely and used in later off road machines together with the custom bikes that saw out Morini production at the old factory in the early 1990s following the take-over by Cagiva.

More from the seller:
This model is the most original, low-milage example I could possibly find. It has been living in our climate-controlled museum in downtown West Palm Beach since I acquired it. With only 1,520 ORIGINAL MILES, and the ORIGINAL MSO certificate, this is a survivor-quality machine.

The electric start still works (although they we known for being less-than-great), and fitted with a brand new battery. The charging system has been tested and works great. The brakes operate flawlessly, thank to the rebuilt brake hydraulics. The Pirelli Sport Demon tires are like new, only fitted a couple hundred miles ago.

The original La Franconi pipes are in great shape, with no holes. The Marzocchi suspension still feels nice and firm. All of the paint on this fabulous example is 100% original. The finish does have it’s nicks, scratches, and overall patina that remind you that this is truly a survivor. The inside of the gas tank was professionally sealed, and looks great.

Despite many ups and downs, the Moto Morini brand prevails – today it calls the Chinese motorcycle and bicycle manufacturer Zhongneng Vehicle Group (Znen) as home. This is a brand that has come a long way over an extended period of years, endured the Second World War, rebuilt and produced some memorable competitive and street models. The 3 1/2 and 500 twins must surely be listed up there as iconic models of Italian style, even though they may lack the sharp edge of the more sporting models from other Italian companies. This beautiful 1982 Moto Morini 500 has only 1,500 miles on the clocks, and looks as good as any unrestored example we have seen. Priced as $12,500, this seller has provided some great pictures and is open to offers. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Milan to Miami: 1982 Moto Morini 500 Strada
Bimota August 23, 2021 posted by

Past Due: 1998 Bimota VDue

Better than a pension! That is the headline that screams from the ad for this 2 owner, 1,500 mile wonder. And it is a wonder. Part mythical beast and part utter genius, the VDue was the bike that turned Bimota from a kit bike maker and frame builder into a full-fledged motorcycle manufacturer. It also was the bike that utterly destroyed the company, caused the Italian government to step in, and sprung a cottage industry of tuners and parts mongers. This bike is the ultimate legend, largely for all the wrong reasons.

1998 Bimota VDue for sale on eBay

Let’s put the VDue in perspective. This is a 500cc v-twin GP racer for the street: that means Suzuki RGV250 / Aprilia RS250 size, weight and nimbleness with GSXR1100 power. Interested? So was the world. Throw in a solid decade of R&D to try to make a two stroke emissions friendly enough to past muster as a street bike and the GP dream takes a hard left at the end of pit lane. Bimota engineers developed a direct injection system for the VDue – an ingenious and ambitious solution – meant to cure the dirty elements of 2-stroke power and provide plausible fuel economy. Sadly, in the late 1990s the tech was not quite there and the resultant effort – while producing over 110 HP while it ran – was inconsistent, unreliable, and prone to failure. Of the 500 bikes proposed for the series, Bimota produced 340 – all which were recalled. This, coupled with the loss of a major sponsor in WSBK racing who owed them money, left the company in financial ruin. Today, Kawasaki has a majority investor stake in the company, which produces a single model (Tesi H2).

From the seller:
The very last of the legendary stink wheel generation before legislation finally killed off the two stroke engine! This incredible machine has earned its place in the hall of motorcycle frame for lots of reasons, not least of which is the styling which still looks fresh twenty years later, as well as all of the controversy and very Italian politics involved in the very limited production run. This means as you know that not very many were made and even fewer found their way to the UK, this makes them an incredible bike to own for exclusivity, the ultimate riding experience and how could you not agree that this would be a whole lot more enjoyable as an investment than a pension or ISA!!!

In a last gasp effort, Bimota reworked the VDue with Dell’Orto carbs and re-badged the bike as the “Evoluzione,” but in reality it was a step backwards in tech. Only 21 of these bikes made it out of the factory for road use. In the end, Piero Caronni (one of the Bimota engineers on the original VDue project) purchased the remaining bikes, all the spares he could get his hands on, and the rights to the VDue name. It could be said that most of these bikes that are running today are due to his fanatical efforts on this halo bike.

Today’s VDue is located in England – these marvelous machines were never officially imported into the US. There is no commentary as to what has been done, if it retains the original fuel injection (or, if swapped out to carbs, who did the work), etc. These are all questions that should likely be asked by a potential buyer. The bike looks new, as a 1,500 mile example should. By all accounts, a properly running VDue is a joy to ride, but be warned that between fuel consumption, high-end 2-stroke oil and frequent rebuilds these are not cheap to operate. But they are very, very rare, and very, very collectible. These were $30k when new, if you could find one. This one is listed in the UK for £24,999 – which nets out to about $34 large American greenbacks. Check out all of the details here and Good Luck!!

MI

Past Due:  1998 Bimota VDue
Moto Morini February 3, 2021 posted by

Italian Motoring: 1980 Moto Morini 500

Amid the hypercycles from Bologna, the geese that emanate from near the shores of Lake Como, the big triples from the North-East and the raucous and maniacal former kit bikes from Rimini, there is another Italian scooter that brings us full circle back to Bologna: Moto Morini. Started in 1937 and once under the mighty wing of Cagiva, Moto Morini went under in 2010 only to bounce back under a new owner. Today, Moto Morini continues to build motorcycles, scooters and ebikes under the Zhongneng Vehicle Group umbrella. But during the heyday, Moto Morini built some of the sweetest – if not a bit sedate – twins in all of Europe.

1980 Moto Morini 500 for sale on eBay

The Moto Morini 500cc engine is of 72 degree v-twin orientation. The narrow angle maximized space efficiency and balance and dictated the rest of the bike’s packagig. The capacity comes from punching out the cylinders of the 3 1/2 (350cc) model, itself a clever re-use of bits from the 125cc single that preceded it. Many pieces of the running gear are shared with other Moto Morini models. Reuse of components, and especially commonality of components (for example, the swap-able cylinder heads on the twins), betrays the thought process of the Moto Morini engineers; working on a budget as well as sticking with stuff that works. Speaking of stuff that works, Moto Morini was also well known for being an all-Italian brand. Everything on the bike came from Italy, for better or worse (and which is probably why a kick starter was included as backup to the electric start).

From the seller:
1980 Moto Morini Strada in very good condition. Starts, runs and shifts well. Bike has been refurbished and recently serviced with synthetic oil. Clean NH title. I just have too much stuff !

The Moto Morini 500 produced somewhere around 45 HP from its basic air-cooled design. The heads incorporated only 2 valves (operated by pushrods) but they were extremely efficient, resulting in a strong and flat torque band. And, as mentioned above, the heads were identical between the cylinders – making major reassembly that much easier. The rest of the bike was relatively simple, with a stiff frame, twin shocks and disk brakes. Handling was purported to have been the bike’s true strength and where this expensive Italian import beat up on the Japanese competition.

Examples of the classic 500cc Moto Morini are rare in the US. The company did not move very many units, and stuck with the same 3 1/2 & 500cc examples long after competitors moved forward with new models. Today these are very classic motorcycles, usually well loved and cared for. Today’s example shows the care, but it is difficult to get a great view of the bike in the crowded space. Still, what is there looks great and I’m sure the next owner will be the envy of many. This one is located in New Hampshire and is nearing the $5k mark with reserve still in place. That is still in the good money territory for “that other Italian v-twin” and interested parties should check it out here before it’s gone. Good Luck!!

MI

Italian Motoring: 1980 Moto Morini 500
Bimota January 25, 2021 posted by

Maybe Be My Always – 2000 Bimota V-due 500C

Seeming to have made a silk purse from a nasty old two-stroke 500, Bimota had just about set the moto world on its ear when reality intervened.  This V-due has carburetors set up by a Bimota cognoscenti and proves that there really are unicorns among us.

2000 Bimota V-Due 500C for sale on eBay

With its two stroke v-twin, the V-due was able to match 105 hp with a dry weight of just under 400 lbs.   Electronic fuel injection ensured low emissions and 50-state compliance.  Sergio Robbiano designed a signature chassis, with alloy extrusions connected by Rimini’s exquisite billet machinings.  A large diameter Paoli fork set is fully adjustable, as is the horizontal Öhlins monoshock.  Swoopy and angular bodywork is executed in carbon fiber, with a single seat and dual expansion chambers.

This V-due looks immaculate and shows just 212 miles on its almost bespoke dash.  Due to poor running and more major issues, the first examples were recalled by the factory and many were converted to carburetors by a factory engineer.  Even then they required careful tuning, this time done by a North Carolina Bimota shop / museum.  Spare NOS fairings are seriously unobtanium.  Very little history to tell, but comments from the eBay auction:

Bimota V-due 500C. This was One of Bob Steinbugler’s bike from his collection Bob from Bimota Spirit I purchased this bike from him about 3 -4 years ago. Bike runs great this is the carburetor model which he serviced and tuned for me . The bike will come with a NOS set of spare fairings still in the wrapper. Upper fairing and left and right side fairing.

The conversion to carburetors indicated that more was amiss than just the fuel injection system, and the inconsistent power delivery was traced to under-engineered crankshaft seals ( each bay of a multi-cylinder two stroke has to be independently sealed to make induction vacuum ).  Unfortunately, at that point Bimota had run through their funding and had to shut the doors until new investors revived the company.  As individual as any Bimota is, the V-due might be their rarest and most exotic model.  And right here in our own back yard.

-donn

Maybe Be My Always – 2000 Bimota V-due 500C
Norton July 3, 2019 posted by

Sponsored Listing: 1949 Norton International

Update 7.2.2019: We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Amatumoto Grand Prix Motorbikes for being a sponsor of RSBFS! This 1949 Norton International is available now for purchase. Contact Amatumoto today! -dc

The Norton International was the Yamaha R1M of the era surrounding WWII. Developed in the early 1930s as a road-going version of Norton’s fearsome Isle of Man weapons, it continually evolved until Hitler’s push into Poland stopped production at the end of the decade. Before The War, the 500cc Norton International Model 30 and its 350cc Model 40 sibling had been blessed with telescoping forks and an alloy head and cylinder.

When production resumed in the late ‘40s, the telescopic forks were still holding things together at the front, but the alloy engine had succumbed to postwar materials shortages. Still, even with almost a 20-year run under its belt at that point, the International was still pretty close to motorcycling’s nadir.

The 500cc four-stroke thumper was good for around 30 horsepower, which seems a little weak-kneed, until you consider that Royal Enfield can barely muster that out of their brand-new single-cylinder engines. That grunt pushed around just under 400 pounds and was routed through an entirely enclosed transmission. Fun fact: the gearbox in these things was stout enough that it remained unchanged long after the International was out of production.

This 1949 Norton International Model 30 is resplendent in black, red and high-polish livery and looks like it just rode out of a grainy black-and-white photo. The seller says this one packs the alloy top end, and can be had with a spare for an additional 1,500 Euro. It is in near-perfect condition, but sports the rough-hewn patina only a 70-year-old hand-built race replica can muster.

As beautiful as it is, this Norton is way off the ranch for us, as our usual fare ranges between 1985 and 2004. That said, it’s an important, special and very nice piece of motorcycling history that we just couldn’t ignore. It’s available in Madrid for an undisclosed price, but the seller can be contacted at info@gpmotorbikes.com, or on their website at www.gpmotorbikes.com.

Sponsored Listing: 1949 Norton International
Moto Guzzi April 1, 2019 posted by

Italian Sweetheart: 1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza

Moto Guzzi has a long and storied history in the annals of motorcycling. Among the oldest motorcycle manufacturer – and THE oldest if you consider the “…in contiguous operation…” caveat (simultaneously turning a blind eye to the few lean years where they were between owners and technically not in production) – the Guzzi trademark is really the splayed out V-twin look. Turning the cylinders across the bike rather than inline (like an Aprilia, Honda or H-D) allows the power to flow through the crankshaft and provides direct input into the transmission and final shaft drive without having to make any 90 degree turns. Much like a BMW with folded-up cylinders, Moto Guzzi has resolutely clung to this configuration as if nostalgia were the sole meaning of existence. Modern examples of
the transversal V-twin* (* official Guzzi marketing nomenclature) have introduced updated technology, but to this day the twin cylinder arrangement remains as an anchor feature of the M-G brand.

1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza for sale on eBay

The V50 Monza was the baby brother to the V7 and LeMans models. Displacing a modest 500cc and producing an even more modest 48 horsepower, the Monza configuration provided for bigger valves and different carbs over that of the standard V50. With a dry weight of 355 pounds, the Monza is no high performance scooter. But to compare quarter mile times (somewhat on par with a Toyota Prius) really misses the intent of the V50 platform. Intending to introduce an entirely new group of riders to the mystique and cachet of the Moto Guzzi brand, the V50 was an attempt to create a smaller, more approachable and more affordable slot in the Moto Guzzi lineup. Sadly the buying public did not line up to purchase the V50 (or its even smaller brother, the V35), making this an often overlooked motorcycle.

From the seller:
The Moto Guzzi V50 Monza’s were a real gem that is often overlooked. There are said to be only about 100 of them that were sold in the United States. They are essentially a baby LeMans, but their lower weight and smaller size make them a very nice bike for back roads or local cruising. They are smooth, dependable, reasonably fast, and the design is very attractive. You just have to love the alligator-patterned seat vinyl. No plastics (to speak of) and lots of beautifully cast aluminum.

I’ve had this 29,895 mile bike for 5 years and its one of my favorite drives. We have rebuilt the carbs and done all maintenance regularly. There are no mechanical or electrical or cosmetic issues. The tires are a few years old and have nearly all there tread. While the bike has a lot of miles, it is impeccable. There are no paint blemishes, wear, scratches, or fading of any sort. This is a pristine survivor. No excuses.

I’m not sure the silencers are OEM, but they came with the bike. It sounds great, The Guzzi sound is pretty unique. There is no other bike that sounds like these narrow sideways V’s. Sort of an Italian Harley sound. The bike made a fair amniunt of power for the day. The 45 hp motor was in part due to the fairly novel use of Heron heads. The other small bike of the era that used them was the iconic Moto Morini 3 1/2. Incredibly smooth ride due to the shaft drive (which is beautifully enclosed in the right rear swing arm).

My only additions to the bike was to install the beautiful Alberts bar-end mirrors, new tires, and a new OEM windscreen.

Time is said to heal all wounds, and eventually makes (nearly) everything valuable again (ever surf eBay for fun?). With 38 years and nearly 30,000 miles behind it, this 1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza looks pretty incredible. The colors are vibrant and the instrument cluster looks unblemished (and no rash on the top of the triple trees!). There is some discoloration and staining on the cases and cylinder heads which is simply an indication of normal use. From the pictures this looks like a time capsule, and with legendary Guzzi longevity this would be a bike to putt around on for decades to come. The current bid on this beauty is a paltry $3,200, with reserve still in place. Depending where that reserve is set, this baby Guzzi could be a bargain in the making. It’s hard to believe the seller would let it go for peanuts after lavishing such care on this Italian beauty, but as we see so few of these rare models come across our pages it is definitely worth a look. Into classic Moto Guzzi models? Check this one out here, and then be sure and jump back to the comments and share your thoughts and experience with this lesser known example. Good Luck!!

MI

Italian Sweetheart:  1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza
Kawasaki June 29, 2018 posted by

Outer Limits – 1974 Kawasaki H1F Mach III

Prehistorically speaking, Kawasaki came just behind the Honda CB750 in the nascent superbike sweepstakes, but just ahead in the 1/4 mile.  The lighter weight two stroke triple had a wheelie addiction, and a substantial power-to-weight advantage, if not being a dream to handle.  This H1 is an older restoration and comes to you with a few foibles but excellent cosmetics.

1974 Kawasaki H1F for sale on eBay

The H1 had a classic twin downtube frame but innovative two-stroke triple.  Three 28mm Mikunis fueled the engine and oil injection was automatic.  For a 500, a 12.5-second quarter was a revelation, but period single front disk and rear drum at least kept exuberance rational.  Improvements over the six years of production improved the Capacitive Discharge Ignition system and standardized the unusual N-1-2-3-4-5 shift pattern.

This late Mach III looks better than excellent with most metals looking almost new, and there’s very little plastic aboard.  The Ohio owner divulges that the odometer is hopelessly optimistic, and colors are from an H2, but beside the K&N air filters it appears complete, stock, and un-muddled.  A steering damper is installed which appears stock but from an earlier year.  From the eBay auction:

Mostly stock bike with air intake pods, dual piston front brake caliper and aftermarket exhaust. Older restoration with paint and chrome in above average condition. Starts up on 2nd or 3rd kick and shifts through gears smoothly. No dents in tank, scratches or cracks in plastic. Tank has been lined. Oil injection system is complete. Gauges, lights and turn signals all in good working order. Seat and seat pan in excellent condition. Recently replaced drive chain. Mileage on speedo is not correct. Paint scheme is the H2 color, black/purple.

Reviews showed the chassis to be un-cooperative with mid-corner direction changes and rough roads in general, but once the inadequate brakes were planned for, the power slowed the passage of time.  In the better part of valor, a friend of mine in the late ’70s sold his shortly after lifting the front wheel with his fiancé on the back.  Neither designed or built for longevity, few have survived in this condition, the restoration here done on a nicer example.  Bidders are off to find the reserve but the auction still has five days to run…

-donn

Outer Limits – 1974 Kawasaki H1F Mach III
Suzuki March 15, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing – Street-Registered 1986 Suzuki RG500 Racebike

Update 3.15.2018: SOLD IN ONE HOUR! Congratulations to buyer and seller. -dc

Please note: Ted from AutoManiaGP has asked us to open the comments on this post in the hopes that the RSBFS community can assist in determining what has been done to construct this bike. There was no accompanying documentation and we would appreciate your help by examining the pictures and commenting with any additional information you can provide. The text below is our first shot but we look forward to what else can be learned. Please forward widely and thank you for your help! -dc


Suppose you had been a racer, and owned a race team, over the years acquiring intimate knowledge of several different brands of factory race gear – what might you build as a street machine?  The few production years of Suzuki RG500 Gamma imprinted Mike Canepa of 10K Racing, and he put together a race-derived machine with Spondon Engineering chassis, with trackside details stem to stern, in race livery.

Suzuki RG500 For Sale at AutomaniaGP

Suzuki’s RG500 used a twin-crank square-four two stroke, with almost unmatched power-to-weight, 95 hp in factory street tune.  No doubt well above that with racing carburetors and exhaust.  Like any privateer’s racebike, specs are hard to come by, but this RG appears to have a Spondon chassis, an English specialty manufacturer with a long history of chassis development for major manufacturers and well-heeled weekend warriors.  The twin spars are at least twice the size of a road-going RG.  Later upside-down Showa forks are installed, with Nissin 6-pot front calipers radially mounted.  The swingarm is thought to be from a Yamaha TZ250, an asymmetrical fabrication with a massive right side but straight left side with a brace to allow the chain to pass through.  Fairings are quite like a later RGV-500, with air scoops just above the front fender feeding the four sidedraft carbs inside.

Unlike any actual racer, this RG500 is clean, polished, and road legal despite the Skoal Bandit graphics.  Trim carbon mudguards are installed, along with a full featured instrument cluster.  Conflicted as the four expansion chambers and turn signals, there’s a locking gas cap on the tank.  The fairing’s post-and-pin supports are safety-wired to keep the cotter pin around.  Consigning dealer Automania of Oregon has a great collection of pictures – here – and says this about the bike:

Mike Canepa, owner of race team 10-K Racing was in the later stages of building this race bike for the street when he passed. I had been hearing about it for over two years and unfortunately did not pay attention to what he was telling me at the time. Hind sight is 100%. The engine is V-4 Two Stroke out of a 1986 Suzuki RG500 according to the records we found, but everything else has been a guess or information others have offered up. It was not finished, but he had been riding it recently.

This motorcycle is based on a 1986 Suzuki RG500 but everything except the engine is either custom or race track sourced. The rear swing arm looks to be from a 1991 Yamaha TZ250, the front forks Honda RS250 and the frame appears to be a Spondon that had no identifying numbers or manufactures id on it. It has been titled with an assigned OR State VIN plate and the bike is registered for the street. I am open to anyone looking at the images and suggesting where they think the parts came from. Don’t be shy…

The selling price is $16,695. The VIN# is ORSPERG9G1003 and miles are unknown.

Hard to tally up the hours and dollars invested in this racer-with-lights, though the preparation is immaculate.  Likely the frame has a pedigree, and Spondon Engineering has quite a following, even a fan website for reference.  Power-to-weight is probably more important here than on a factory machine, and the weight should be closer to 300 than 400 lbs.  Evidently inspected by Oregon DMV, it is titled and has road registration, which speaks to how close to completion the bike is.  RG and RGV did well in the 500cc years of Grand Prix racing, accounting for four championships and seven constructor’s titles.  Automania invites knowledgeable comment and asks $16,995 for this one-of-one, and can be reached at (541) 479-8888 or emailed – here –.

Featured Listing – Street-Registered 1986 Suzuki RG500 Racebike