Posts by tag: 500cc

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
Bimota December 2, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing – 2001 Bimota V-Due Evoluzione Corsa with Zero Miles !

1.15.2018: The owner has informed me that this bike has sold! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

What could have been the Bimota BB-2 was called the V-Due and had Bimota’s own engine, a modern two-stroke, fuel-injected 500cc twin.  However the army of engineers Bimota didn’t have allowed the project to proceed with a faulty crankcase and caused a recall which virtually bankrupted the company.  In the throes of it the factory developed a race series and released a number of machines in racing trim, as the Trofeo, and then as customer Evoluzione Corsa machines, of which this example is presented with zero miles.

Bimota originally envisioned the V-Due as a GP racer, but sold road-ready machines to keep the lights on or homologate the design.  Powered like a liter-bike but weighing in like an F2, the new-technology 500 could have been a game changer.  Behind the upper edges of the endurance fairing were the oval aluminum tubes of the perimeter frame, suspended in front with 46mm Paoli forks, and in the rear by Ohlins monoshock.  The slippery monoposto was brought to a halt by 320mm Gold Line Brembo brakes.

The V-Due Evoluzione Corsa was delivered without signals or mirrors and with lights faired over, and carbon used liberally to keep the weight well under 400 lbs.  Twin Dell-Orto carburetors replaced the fuel injection, decals declared Evoluzione on the fairing.  The expansion chambers wind their way under the seat fairing and circle back to the twin carbon mufflers.  Antera designed and produced 17-inch alloys especially for the build.

Having never been fueled or started, this Evoluzione is in a display-ready class by itself.  While many have been ridden and worked on to address running issues, careful storage and preservation has resulted in a virtually perfect example.  Here are the owner’s comments:

2001 Bimota Vdue 500 Racing (Evoluzione Corsa), as new and never been run. Complete with original stand, cover, mirrors, spare keys (still joined as from factory), owners handbooks and import/delivery literature. This bike has been carefully stored in climate controlled surroundings since import to South Africa in 2004. Before taking delivery, the seller sent her Ducati South Africa for a full run-through, hand turn, and check of everything. She has been prepared for storage, and remained in this state since. This is the Vdue to own, the 135hp version without the FI engine issues/peaky power delivery, numbered tags/vin (can be registered), and in my opinion the prettiest livery in motoGP guise – with the headlight blank, those race pipes and that digital dash – Rare, pure 90’s exotica.

Bimota suffered a short shutdown after the V-Due saga but regained their stature as a developer of exotic sports and racing motorcycles.  The company is currently focused on Ducati engines, and offers their Tesi frame as well as a more conventional sportbike and a city-sport.  With reports earlier this fall of another plant closure, Bimota’s amazing story may need to be continued by a new investor.  The V-Due holds an interesting spot as Bimota’s only bike with their own powerplant.

Justin’s V-Due continues to be stored in South Africa, and he asks $39,000. 

Featured Listing – 2001 Bimota V-Due Evoluzione Corsa with Zero Miles !
Moto Guzzi August 7, 2017 posted by

A Bottle of White – Moto Guzzi V50 Monza

In the late 1970’s Moto Guzzi created a line of smaller-displacement machines based on the classic 850 Le Mans, and though they have largely been forgotten, they’re still a great lightweight – especially for fans of the marque.  This Quebec-based model has been given a rider’s restoration and has a nice patina.

1983 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza ( Canada ) for sale on eBay

 

The V35 Imola and V50 Monza incorporated many family Guzzi features such as the longitudinal V-twin, air cooling, shaft drive, and linked triple-disk brakes.  The chain-drive single overhead cam engine used a novel Heron head, where the combustion chamber is largely carved out of the machined piston and the head itself is quite flat.  This saved manufacturing dollars though it’s not the best for intake and exhaust flow.  The engine was also somewhat easier to service than the V7, the oil filter being more readily accessible and the clutch was a lighter design.  Otherwise the 353 lbs. junior, with star alloys and handlebar fairing, walks and talks like part of the venerable Moto Guzzi lineage.

 

Professionally converted to a white/black scheme, this V50 has just under 14,000 miles and except for the seat, looks great for a 35 year-old.  With its low-maintenance drivetrain and fresh cosmetics, some new foam and vinyl is all that’s in the way of a sweet ride.  Some notes from the eBay auction:

I bought the bike many years ago from a local mechanic, who had the bike and it had been dropped and scratched the gas tank severely.  The bike also had had the fairing removed and a round light was installed. I bought a NOS front light system and a fairing imported from Italy by MG Cycle in Wisconsin.  Had the bike rebuilt top to bottom and a complete impeccable body job and paint redone by the mechanic before giving it to me.  It turned out as you can see really beautiful. The original color of the bike was red and black, and I had it painted white and black, and bought original decals for it.  It’s a professionally done body job and looks factory!

It has spent it’s last winter in a professional bike dealership who have an amazing garage, I just picked it up exactly one month ago (July 1 2017)  and had many things done to it including:

  • Cleaned flushed & tuned the whole system carb system out (changed the carbs from the original Dellorto to Mikuni)
  • Flushed the gas tank
  • Oil change
  • Changed the spark plugs
  • Complete cleaning
 
Truth be known, the V50 Monza was a little more economy than sport, and Guzzi boutique prices soon put it on the back burner.  But it’s an interesting data point on a manufacturer who has been there from the beginning.  None other than Billy Joel said in a 2011 edition of Motorcyclist, that he rode a V50 Monza around Manhattan for many years, and the bike was responsible for his ongoing interest in Moto Guzzis.  While the factory pursued the global smaller displacement market for several years, they didn’t last long here and are quite rare now.  This one has had a nice rejuvenation, never losing sight of reality.  It would be just the thing for a Le Mans or V11 owner, many of whom appear to be bidding in ernest !
-donn
A Bottle of White – Moto Guzzi V50 Monza
Yamaha April 10, 2017 posted by

Race Developed – 1985 Yamaha RZ500

Developed to capitalize on a 500cc GP championship, the RZ500 promised the world and then delivered.  For all its street equipment, it was a close to a Grand Prix machine as a generation would get.  Thanks to careful updates and maintenance, a new generation might now experience this 500cc machine with liter-bike power.

1985 RZ500 for sale on eBay

The RZ500 was known abroad as the RD500LC, Race Developed Liquid Cooled.  Beside 88 hp on a mid-400 lbs. package, the RZ500 was a technical marvel.  The short list – V4, twin crank, servo-controlled exhaust ports, close ratio cassette transmission, anti-dive forks, horizontal monoshock and alloy swingarm – all things found on Kenny Roberts’ YZR500.  The fact that it never was imported to the states has only increased its cachet, and this example has current California title.

More of a survivor than hangar queen, this RZ500 is mostly stock and very sharp for 30-plus years and 13,000 miles.  Carburettors and exhaust have been updated, but oil injection remains as well as un-restored fairings.  The owner says it sports a vanity plate, but the pictures don’t divulge.  From the eBay auction:

1985 Yamaha RZ500 original paint, It has 28mm TM carbs and expansion chambers on it runs very good, Oil injection intact and working as it should, All lights work, New chain, New battery, Tires are 80%, The front forks have the normal clear coat going away problem on the anti-dive valves, But you have to remember its 32 years old other than a few spots it is a very nice looking motorcycles also some stress cracks on the fairing lowers nothing that can’t be repaired but I decided to leave it alone as it still has the original paint.

Current California registration with personal plate that is very cool, I have stock exhaust and carbs also the air box and original cables and brackets, I have a complete set of rings and some gaskets, Also have at least ten motorcycle magazines with RZ500 articles, Also two sales brochures, I also have at least three sets of brake pads and a couple of brake rotors and some other parts, Yamaha service manual also, The bike has 21,326 kilometers on it a little over 13,000 miles, For sale in the USA only!!!! Always draws attention wherever I ride it.

Some compromises were made to road duty, like the wet clutch and engine’s balance shaft.  Period wheel sizing – 18″ rear with 16″ front, requires care when riding and shopping.  But it’s closer overall to the track than the street.  Most of the RZ500’s here made their way down from north of the border, though they were exported down Oz way and sold at home.  The road ready condition of this RZ might keep the price out of the stratosphere, but the left coast title, well considered updates and mostly stock presentation should spell a smashing ride for the next owner…

-donn

 

Race Developed – 1985 Yamaha RZ500
Honda May 24, 2016 posted by

Confidence, Man – 1985 Honda VF500F

Honda’s V-Four development team found a sweet combination of chassis specifications in the mid-eighties, and the resulting VF500F was a legendary handler.  As nicely as the carburetted double overhead cam engine ran up its 70 horses, the air-assisted dampers at both ends of the Interceptor soaked up the realities of the road and allowed the frame geometry to work.  Recently serviced but showing only 1,593 miles, this collector looks new but unlike the current owner, the winning bidder might ride it home.

20160524 1985 honda vf500f right

1985 Honda VF500F Interceptor for sale on eBay

20160524 1985 honda vf500f left front

20160524 1985 honda vf500f dash

Developed from the domestic market VF400F, the 498cc V-4 is seriously oversquare and revs to 12,000 rpm, with maximum power at 11,500.  The compact crank and chain-driven cams transmit just a little burble to the bars and pegs, comfortable at sane cruising speeds.  The Showa forks incorporate Honda’s TRAC ( Torque Reactive Anti Dive ) controlling compression under braking, and the Pro-Link rear uses a cast aluminum swingarm and Kayaba monoshock.  Brakes are triple 255mm disks, great for the day with four-piston front calipers.  Fairings are limited to the frame-mounted upper and chin scoop, though the tank/side panel/seat combination is very well done.

20160524 1985 honda vf500f right front

20160524 1985 honda vf500f left rear

Very collectible without even break-in miles, this VF500F hasn’t been ridden by it’s present owner ( he has another ).  The right side engine cover was scraped somehow, and the right footpeg console could be re-finished, but otherwise it looks more than excellent.  From the eBay auction:

This is a very low mile , near mint condition Interceptor. I have never rode this bike. It has been in my collection for about 4 years. It’s in near mint condition except trans cover and rear frame piece that could be repainted. Damaged in shipping at one time. See pictures. Other than that, she is in fantastic shape.
I just spent $1K at Honda cleaning the carbs, oil change, new battery, and inspection to make sure she is ready to ride. Starts right up, sounds fantastic! I have a second 1985 Interceptor that I ride, so I now how much fun they are to ride.
The manager at Honda rated it at 98.5. I’m more picky so I would give it a solid 96.
This bike also comes with the original tool kit (very hard to find), owners and shop manual.

20160524 1985 honda vf500f right engine

20160524 1985 honda vf500f right peg

The Interceptors used steel frames and beefy crankcases, so it’s hardly even a middleweight for a mid-size.  Some interesting compromises were made, like the  front 16-inch wheel which helps turn-in.  The high pegs allow big deck angles though it’s not a long distance riding position.  But the lead story is handling, the low center of gravity helping the rider find the fun in racking the bike over.  This VF500F has been saved from street riding and low-speed mistakes, and with a nice detail could be even more special than a thirty-plus year-old bike that’s run only five tanks of fuel…

-donn

20160524 1985 honda vf500f right

Confidence, Man – 1985 Honda VF500F