Posts by tag: 749

Ducati July 11, 2019 posted by

White Elefant – 1988 Ducati Paso Limited

New Cagiva managers enlisted Massimo Tamburini to design the next Ducati, and installed the desmodue 750 in the Paso.  Unfortunately it didn’t lead to a sales boom and a limited edition was issued to bump showroom interest.  This Virginia example is very stock and very, very clean.

1988 Ducati Paso Limited for sale on eBay

Ducati got their design dollar’s worth and the Paso looks like no other Ducati, with a square-section dual downtube frame, hidden under the all-encompassing soap bar.  The innovative 44mm Weber carburetor fed both cylinders and the engine bragged 73 hp with a wide torque band which made the 5-speed trans workable.  The Limited benefits from premium Marzocchi M1R forks and Öhlins monoshock.  Brakes are shared from the non-limited, but fine Brembo 280mm dual disks.  Nicer suspension and 16-inch rubber masked the 430 lbs. dry weight, which still cost performance versus the competition.

This owner has helped preserve his Paso Limited, even keeping the black chrome muffler and having a Corbin seat done which is almost indistinguishable from the factory sofa.  Comments from the eBay auction:

I have owned this Bike since 2005
Total original miles is Just under 5,900 miles
Only Fifty Paso Limited made
I just completed installing
New timing belts
New under tank gas filter
Plugs
Oil change
Brake fluid
Bike is totally stock with the exception of euro turn signals and polished grabrail
This bike actually has a Weber carb which is factory
I had a Corbin seat recovered to look exactly like stock seat, original seat included

The Weber carb doesn’t suffer neglect gladly but can be tuned to relative perfection.  Without much adjustment, the Paso’s riding position is relaxed enough for sport-touring and even some commuting.  Subsequent 900cc models addressed charging issues with a bigger alternator, stop-and-go cooling with water-cooled heads, and replaced finicky carburetion with fuel injection.  Styling continued to be a bugbear though, and the model struggled to break 1,000 sales each year.  For fans of the enclosed solution or just the transition to more modern engines, every Paso is a Limited Edition.

-donn

White Elefant – 1988 Ducati Paso Limited
Yamaha May 9, 2019 posted by

Lucky Luc – 1994 Yamaha YZF-750SP

Yamaha continued developing and racing the YZF750 after the hallowed OW-01 with good results, even though the -SP homologation special never made it here with a motor vehicle title, they showed up as race machines on a bill of sale.  This street registered Canadian example has around 25,000 miles but a newly rebuilt engine.

1994 Yamaha YZF750SP ( Quebec ) for sale on eBay

With revised cams and 39mm flat slide carburetors, Yamaha’s 749cc Genesis engine delivered 125 hp, great for the era.  The alloy chassis sports a monoposto alloy seat console, and fully adjustable suspension.  320mm brakes came with 6-piston calipers and reviewed as magical.  “Torn paper” graphics were all the rage and look complete despite a note in the listing.

Just a few pictures will require investigation, but it does look worthy of the time.  With Canadian registry, the owner had the engine done in suburban Montreal, but maybe the Vermont location suggests free delivery to our northern border.  Normally an owner would be advised against refreshing and engine just before a sale, but that makes it intriguing.  Comments from the eBay auction:

Yamaha YZF750sp 1994.

This is the only ONE registered in Canada.

Engine refreshed by Luc Lapièrre from Moto RL in Saint-Jude Quebec.

The motor has less than 1,000 km on it. (600 miles)

The bike has 40,000km and it is all ORIGINAL. (25,000 miles)

Testers gigged the SP for a balky powerband and turn-in that needed a firm hand.  Remembering that this bike was intended for private race teams to acquire and modify to the limits of the rules, it makes more sense.  Engines would be blueprinted to accommodate what the carbs were feeding, and race-tuning the suspension and slick tires made it handle as intended.  But carefully set up for the road ( and with evident engine work ) this one might be all you could ask in a mid-size superbike.

-donn

Lucky Luc – 1994 Yamaha YZF-750SP
Ducati March 5, 2019 posted by

Street Smart – 2004 Ducati 749S

Shopping for a road machine ?  Determined not to fall into the displacement arms race ?  Take a look at this Ducati 749S, a lot of good stuff and a limited amount of attitude.

2004 Ducati 749S for sale on eBay

The 749 looks and was built like the Pierre Terblanche designed 999, and the innovative design suffered the same short run.  The 749S had a niche though, the rev-happy 748cc engine had higher compression than the base model, and brought 116 hp to the game, with a surprising 61 ft.-lbs. torque.  Nicer Showa forks have nitrided fork tubes for less stiction, and forks and monoshock are multi-adjustable.  Variable seat and footpeg positions accommodate the rider, and steering head angle can be set for the track.  Stateside -S models were all single-seaters.

 

No word on the number of owners, but this 749S appears maintained and cared for.  Beside the requisite tail tidy, just seeing aftermarket levers and clutch cover.  Not sure what race exhaust is fitted, but likely the factory cat is no longer.  The owner has a new Duc coming, but must be of a certain age, “brakes are good – tires fair” echoing a fifties song Hot Rod Lincoln and the most popular version is from – 1971 –.   Recent maintenance is claimed in the eBay auction:

Very nice top of the line bike. Essentially a 999 with downsized bore and stroke. Adult owned and well maintained. 12.3:1 compression 110HP @10500 RPM. 6 speed. Showa fully adjustable TiN upside-down fork, progressive rear fully adjustable Showa monoshock. Steering damper. Adjustable headstock rake. 5 position footpegs. Adjustable levers. New chain. Seat/tank assembly adjustable 20 mm fore/aft. Carbon fiber tail and race exhaust. Open clutch cover. Cosmetically a 9 out of 10 minor nicks, no dents. Brakes are good – tires fair. Runs, shifts and stops as it should. Recent belts and valve check. Minor fairing repair (1 inch not visible in pics. Well done and hard to spot.). Enthusiast owned and never down.

The 749S is a good alternative to a liter-plus superbike, often more fun to ride in Dragon-like sections, and of course easier on the ways and means committee.  Long low ergonomics might be something to try before you buy, and starting and cooling systems should be under less stress than on the superbike.  The old question of whether Ducati was giving away the similarly built 749S or the not-all-that-much higher priced 999 is largely past for a 15 year old machine, and this should be an efficient entry into a real exotic supersport.

-donn

 

 

Street Smart – 2004 Ducati 749S
Suzuki January 23, 2019 posted by

Quintessential – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750

From its U.S. introductory year, this Suzuki GSX-R750 looks and acts the upstart role.  This bad boy has been some rider’s favorite, with almost 33,000 miles and a tidy state of patina.

1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 for sale on eBay

Suzuki went all in on light weight and simplicity with the GSX-R750, and came up an air/oil-cooled winner.  The additional oil pump for the Suzuki Advance Cooling weighed less and avoided the complexity of a water-cooling system, even if the oil cooler is nearly as big as a radiator.  A nice round 100 hp was available, giving the lightweight alloy chassis a ruun for its money.  Suzuki’s own suspension was used, the Posi Damp Fork being adjustable with early anti-dive, and Full Floater monoshock rear.  The brakes are 310 mm with four pistion calipers, and the endurance template fairing has the serious twin headlight look.

This GSX-R comes out of Santa Fe, with easy access to miles and miles of two-lane, and has the odometer reading to show for it.  Aside from a right-side slip and fall, it’s in good shape, complete and substantially original.  The owner’s impressions from the eBay auction:

This is a bike that has been sympathetically preserved over the years as an original driver quality condition.

In other words, lots of patina but not unsightly.  I would hesitate to restore this one because it just has a loved/used but not abused quality to it.
I bought it not too long ago but just landed two more motorcycles that I am more passionate about and I need the room.
Runs great, stops, shifts and doesn’t leak! New tires! New fork seals and battery.
Uncut rear fender! Original upholstery! Solo seat cover!
All the fairings appear original with only the nose appearing to have been replaced with a high end replica nose professionally painted with a proper decal kit.
The lower right side fairing appears to have been professionally repaired on the “blister” portion – naturally from having fallen over. Seamless repair/paint from the outside but inside the fairing you can see where the crack once was.
Rare stock pipe has only a small bit of rash on the rear that could be buffed out as it is not severe at all.
I will include a stock set of proper OEM period correct Suzuki grips as the bike currently has the foam type and I wanted it to be 100% factory.
The rest appears all original and solid with areas of wear and chips in paint etc…
Not a museum piece but just as stunning to look at and ride without being a trailer queen that you have to worry about.

While a minty example would be cool, there’s a lot to be said for a classic you can ride – if not without a care, without panic.  Maybe a riding restoration – if you don’t have to pay extra for the patina.  A lot of improvements could be made without taking it off the road, and ride the benefits…

-donn

Quintessential – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750
Ducati October 22, 2018 posted by

Textbook Case – 2005 Ducati 749R #172

Ducati took the SuperSport rule book back to Bologna and tailored the 749R to fit, and while it didn’t achieve a championship, regular AMA SuperSport points and podiums were a  great achievement.  Better still is this homologation special from 2005, a smashing middleweight and well appointed roadable edition.

2005 Ducati 749R #172 for sale on eBay

One of SuperSports’ paradigms is to contain costs by limiting allowable race preparation, allowing non-factory teams to be more competitive.  Ducati’s rulebook analysis made the 749R ready and adjustable for the racetrack.  The engine was developed for the R-model only, and liberal use of advanced materials like titanium valve train, magnesium head covers, and high-strength aluminum pistons allowed the 749cc engine to be tuned for a whopping 121 hp.  Similarly, the chassis shares a lot with the 999S, and has a linear monoshock linkage to improve high speed handling.  Headstock, seat position, and footpegs are all adjustable within a tight race-derived focus.  Premium components like Öhlins dampers, Brembo monoblock brakes, carbon accessories, and factory slipper clutch are all standard on the 749R.

Offered by a Florida tuner and parts dealer, not much info is given about this -R’s history, but looks excellent for it 17,000 miles.  Go-Pro mounts seem out of place but are easily corrected.  A few nice farkles are listed in the eBay auction:

Gilles Rear Sets
CRG Levers
Swing Arm Spools
Carbon Rear Hugger
Carbon Clutch Cover
Carbon Timing Belt Cover

Not quite sure why the 749S did pretty well in AMA SuperSport but had less luck in Europe.  Depending on your point of view, the 749’s roomy fairing  can be a plus or leave you wanting a more classic looking Ducati.  The starting bid is right up there for a mid-size with mid-life miles, but the condition warrants a second look.  If the maintenance history is great and the damage history is minimal, it could be a nice buy…

-donn

Textbook Case – 2005 Ducati 749R #172
Kawasaki October 18, 2018 posted by

The Namesake – 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV

Like Chevy’s Z28 Camaro, the H2 is a model that creeps back into Kawasaki’s line-up occasionally, but here we have the pre-historic beast that made the name.  The fire-breathing two stroke triple lasted only a few years before being regulated out of existence, but memorable enough that H2 is only applied to the most extreme green offerings.  The Florida example has somehow escaped the overcooked wheelies and tank slappers that claimed so many of its siblings.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV for sale on eBay

 

Coming hot on the heels of the 500cc H1, the Mach IV used the same successful formula – acceleration above all.  The 74 hp available were jammed into the upper reaches of the powerband, and weight was kept to a minimum at just 450 lbs. topped off.  Period single front disk and rear drum were adequate, as was the double cradle chassis, unless they were hopelessly out-gunned by the right wrist.  With a 19-inch front and 18-inch rear wheel, straight line stability was favored in the handling compromise.

 

This H2 is returning to the road at a ripe old age, and looks very good for its 30K miles.  Though not mentioned, the paint might be a little too nice and spell an older restoration.  The owner has gone over it carefully maintenance-wise, and provides this list in the eBay auction:

installed air filter box with a new (genuine) 3 way rubber manifold,
and a new (unknown manufacturer) upper snorkel.
needs internal filter element as I have none left.
drained and put new brake fluid in front cylinder, shoes and pads look good and all cleaned.
reset timing, cleaned and re-gapped pickups.
pistons are very recently installed (you can still see the cylinder honing marks) virtually no carbon build up.
cylinders are still at factory standard bore of 71mm – great compression.
complete new carb internals and set to factory standard.
crank seals and gearbox were inspected, all sweet.
3 x new NGK B9HS Japanese plugs.
new battery.
gas tank cleaned and new complete fuel tap seal kit installed.
no center stand installed but I can (if interested) supply one with bike that needs minor work,
a clean and a return spring.
clutch stripped/inspected and rebuilt, working great with no slippage.
as new bridgestone spitfire tires fitted and rims balanced.
all new fuel/vacuum lines installed.
the seat cover is perfect, the pan has no rust but the original foam will soon start making the dust particles.
exhaust is totally solid with very minor scuffs/dents but the chrome is starting to get tiny blistering on the lower middle pipe and would need to be re chromed to be show quality but is great as a daily driver.
new cylinder exhaust gaskets were fitted, center seals were checked and good,
all baffles are present and the only place you see two stroke fumes are coming out of the back end 🙂
I left the engine casings with the original patina on them as I know some people think polishing reduces value, so I have left that choice to the new owner.

 

Kawasaki had their eyes on the new Formula 750 race series and went racing in 1973 with the likes of Yvon DuHamel and Gary Nixon, but had more success rubbing Honda’s nose in it on the road.  The quickness and low price of the H2 glossed over a lot of irrational rider exuberance, and though subsequent model years smoothed out the power delivery and handling a bit, the early models are legend.    The 900cc Z1 was introduced in 1972 and though the two models existed side by side for a couple of years, time marched on and showed the H2 the exit…

-donn

The Namesake – 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV
Suzuki September 23, 2018 posted by

Hiding in Plain Sight – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750R Limited Edition

“Now why would somebody use this funky bronze paint on this GSX-R ?” you say, not the usual red/black or red/blue/white, but otherwise an -80’s GSX-R750.  But this is a not-available-here limited edition in Yoshimura racing colors.  With several factory go-fast goodies, the GSX-R750R conformed to KISS endurance racing principles, taking light weight and reliability to the winners’ circle.

1986 Suzuki GSX-R750R Limited Edition for sale on eBay

Suzuki capitalized on their air/oil-cooled experience and the new 749cc engine made 100 hp, hung in an alloy perimeter frame.  Despite having recently introduced the model, they extended the swingarm for 1986 by 25mm to calm the handling.  The Limited Edition features front suspension and brakes from the 1,100 cc model, including an electrically operating anti-dive system.  Other particulars include a monoposto seat and lightweight dry clutch.  18-inch tires are fitted front and rear, ostensibly to ease wheel and brake changes in the pits.

The outstanding condition of the paint on this LE initially had me thinking it was a U.S. model painted by the owner in Yoshimura colors, but apparently the mods are limited to the Öhlins monoshock and Cyclone muffler, along with some slightly oversized decals.  With 22.5K miles, a repaint is almost certainly somewhere in its history, but it is faithful to the original.  Not sure about the gold wheels, looking back shows them most often in white, but they look great.  From the eBay auction:

While I have changed a few things that does not mean you can not change it back. The Yosh stickers are noninvasive and have not damaged the stock paint. Yes, this is factory stock paint that was available in Japan. I installed and recently rebuilt Öhlins shock. The forks are polished and the brake lines are SS braided. I took a risk that, in my opinion paid off, by having the wheels powder coated gold. I wanted the bike to resemble a Yosh race bike from back then. The inside clutch side cover and Yosh covers were painted. The housing for the clutch actuator is NOS. I recently purchased it, removed it from the factory packaging and installed it on this bike. This bike has been gone through very thoroughly and it is ready to ride or store to admire. 

You can only pick two from the fast/reliable/cheap menu, and the GSX-R750R was expensive at the time, a result of low volumes of special parts.  Bidding has reached nearly $10K without nudging the reserve, so this will still be a pricey 750.  Maybe a more period-correct Yoshimura muffler in black could be found, but otherwise this is a pretty together and special example.  Guess you’re only allowed two from the golden-age sportbike menu, when the choices are a nice stock presentation, a special model, and a pretty good bargain…

-donn

Hiding in Plain Sight – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750R Limited Edition
Yamaha July 29, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing – 1988 Yamaha FZR750RU

Update 10.18.2018: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller. -dc

On the road to the OW-01, Yamaha made steady developments to the four cylinder FZR model, and for 1987 plugged the 5-valve Genesis engine into their Deltabox aluminum spars.  In time for the 1988 AMA Superbike season, the company made a few changes from the previous year, and brought the required 200 machines to their dealers.  This rare Yamaha has been treated to a high level of restoration and is now for sale.

1988 Yamaha  FZR750RU for sale in Portland, OR

The five-valve heads on the Genesis engine have great flow and combustion dynamics, and Yamaha’s rocker-less valve actuation provides more linear response throughout the power curve.  For the DeltaBox, the company developed their own welding robots to seam the thin-wall stampings into a strong frame.  Steering head and frame connectors are vacuum-cast aluminum.  Brakes are substantial for a mid-size at 320mm, and Kayaba forks and monoshock are adjustable.  As per the fashion, wheels are staggered with a 17-inch front and 18-inch rear.

The owner commissioned a comprehensive rebuild in addition to a great cosmetic refurbishment.  Most all rotating parts outside of the engine bay are new or rebuilt.  Though the Genesis engine sounds complex, it was executed in a very straightforward way, and outside of a very long extension for your spark plug wrench, there’s no reason to expect extra maintenance.  Here are Ethan’s comments on the FZR:

This bike starts without hesitation, idles perfectly, has extremely crisp throttle response, and rides beautifully. It is truly a joy to ride, handles incredibly well, and pulls strong.

  • 26,000 miles
  • Carbs rebuilt and balanced by Vicious Cycle in Portland, OR
  • Factory original bodywork: all plastic was restored and all imperfections are gone, all paint is new in the original Silky White with clear-coat (tank has clear-coat over the decals), and all decals are new and factory correct. All work done by the skilled Paul Gardner of Image Concepts in Bend, OR
  • New EBC clutch friction plates and clutch cover gasket
  • New EBC rotors
  • New clutch pushrod oil seal
  • New wheel bearings
  • New shock linkage bearings
  • New fork seals and oil
  • New OEM hardware and grommets for all bodywork
  • New water pump, impeller circlip and oil seal, and coolant hose o-rings
  • New Metzeler tires
  • Media blast and new powder coat on wheels, exhaust midpipe, and subframe
  • Factory rebuilt and polished vintage Yoshimura pipe, new baffle and packing

The focus Yamaha put on superbikes led their build quality to new heights and prices joined them there.  The championships would have to wait, but the bikes are the stuff of legend.  Thankfully there are thoroughly freshened examples like this and we don’t have to only read about it.   The asking price is $5,500.

Featured Listing – 1988 Yamaha FZR750RU
MV Agusta June 15, 2018 posted by

Naked Super Sport – 2005 MV Agusta Brutale 750S

MV’s 749cc Brutale was their first dabble in the naked sector after Cagiva’s investment, and the F4 sportbike without fairings has stood the test of time and a few engine updates.  Compared to more specialized Agustas, the 750S or Strada used little carbon or magnesium but imprinted a very sporty feel and sound on the rider.  This example has just under 11,000 miles and should prove to be a nice introduction to the MV world.

2005 MV Agusta Brutale 750S

Coming over from the F4 750 in a slightly less peaky tune, the Brutale’s engine still makes 127 hp at a lofty 12,500 rpm.  The chrom-moly trellis suspends the engine from above and is hung with 49mm Showa forks.  The 4-1-2 exhaust isn’t constrained under the seat and makes its exit across from the single sided swingarm.  The aluminum frame connectors, and plastic fender and covers were a small step down from the Serie Oro, but adjustable suspension and 6-piston Nissin brakes reflect the overall quality.

This Brutale has just a few modifications, includes a rear stand, and its original catalyst for a prospective Cali buyer.  Replacing the patina-ed ignition switch cover would be a quick way to improve things.  The Pennsylvania owner keeps it short in the eBay auction:

Garage kept, 3rd adult owner, never raced, never dropped.
Everything in pictures goes with bike, plus correct oil and filters.
Mid pipe installed, but CAT comes with bike
Non OEM mirrors installed, OEM mirrors also along with sale.
Rear tire has less than 100 miles.

Reviewed as sweet handling and smooth, it doesn’t have much of the cruel and ruthless the name implies.  It tackles the difficulties of hiding the plumbing and bracketry with a lot of style, and comes off a lot sportier in person.  This example seems about the middle of the pack, substantially stock but not fawned over, and unless the reserve is out of line, on target for a reasonable price…

-donn

Naked Super Sport – 2005 MV Agusta Brutale 750S