Posts by tag: air cooled

Laverda January 22, 2021 posted by

A Winning Formula: 1979 Laverda Formula 500

Imagine you are a motorcycle manufacturer and need some publicity. What is the best way to make a splash? Racing is the traditional route to make some noise, but comes with the risk of being beaten (sometimes badly) by the very competition you wish to minimalize in the market. One make race series are a great way to drum up some business – regardless who wins, it will always be your bike. A few manufacturers have attempted this over the years, with the BMW Boxer Cup being the most recent on the big bore side, although the KTM RC390 series that ran with Moto America also applies. A lesser known (at least in the US) series existed in Europe, known as the Coppa Laverda (Laverda Cup).

1979 Laverda Formula 500 for sale on eBay

Formula 500 bikes were developed to drum up interest in Laverda’s smaller lineup of motorcycles – in this case the 350cc and 500cc models. These were air-cooled parallel twins that looked to capture a market outside of the big twins such as the 750 SFC and even bigger triples such as the 1000cc Jota & RGS. The bikes were marketed in the US as the Zeta platform. The race bike (track only, with no lights or other street legal accessories) was essentially a stripped down version of the 500cc street bike. Mild tuning netted about 53 ponies, and the whole shebang was wrapped in beautiful fiberglass bodywork. Laverda provided technical support to the racers, who were all privateers (no professionals allowed). And while the race series was a success in terms of participation and action, Laverda was purported to have lost money on every small bore bike sold.

From the seller:
Sold on Bill of sale. No title. Not for street. Mileage unknown, no odometer.

This is the motorcycle that was reviewed in Motorcycle Classics March/ April 2014.
I acquired it to race in AHRMA, but change of plans.

This bike was restored by the leading Laverda experts here in the U.S. and has not been ridden since it’s latest refresh 18 months ago. Besides the original exhaust that is installed, I have a custom made exhaust that will work with the Montjuic body kit (I do not have), or with the original body kit with a slight mod to the headers to fit under the original fairing.

New spare tires also included. No paperwork available as the collector I bought it from did not pass along any he had. I will pass the collector name to the buyer so he / she can try to get any available. Also the original restoration photo CD of the bike should be available from the expert who did it.

By modern standards these Formula 500 bikes are vestiges of the Stone Age. Air cooling, two four valves per cylinder, small-ish disk brakes and twin rear shocks – all very adequate but nothing that screams “cutting edge.” But the race bikes were successful and competent machines, and today they are quite rare (numbers are uncertain, but are likely in the low 200 range of total units).

I’ve been tracking this example for a bit as it makes its way through the usual relisting process. To be honest, I’m not really sure why the lack of interest by the market in general although the opening ask may scare off some bidders. This bike has gone through a relatively recent restoration, however it sounds like some recommissioning may be in order before running this bike in anger. Rear shocks look to have been replaced with more modern units, and the seller indicates some extra pieces are available. The bike looks clean, and the starting bid of $16,500 is market correct (even if the Buy It Now is rather high). This would make a fantastic collector, vintage racer, or track-day standout. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

A Winning Formula: 1979 Laverda Formula 500
Featured Listing January 14, 2021 posted by

Featured Listing – 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000

Often a classic motorcycle’s history has a major part to play in its future.  This two-owner Daytona was owned by an eminent architect / engineer, and mostly on display for many seasons.  RSBFS fan Gavin has made it ready for the next owner to ride or show.

1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000

Wanting to live up to their storied competition history, Moto Guzzi commissioned a four-valve head for their 1000cc V-twin.  Gentleman racer John Wittner helped design the package, with 95 hp and a ready-to-ride weight of 502 lbs.  Electronic fuel injection and catalyst amidships kept the Daytona legal.  An advanced linkage kept the shaft drive from over-reacting, with a Koni monoshock and Marzocchi forks.  The long tank and integrated fairings provided seating and protection for one and a close friend.

Gavin is based in Conn. and had a well-regarded shop prepare his Daytona for the next owner.  Beside cam belts, tires, all fluids and expendables, the work included fork seals, brakes, the fuel pump, and some electrical system work.  Easy on the eyes if not the ears, the Staintune exhaust of course does away with the catalyst.  Though coming up on 12K miles, it looks and has components of a much younger machine.  Here are Gavin’s thoughtful comments –

This extremely rare Daytona has been meticulously maintained and serviced, and garaged in the living room of my house.  It has been very lightly ridden for the past 15 years and was completely mechanically renovated in December 2020 by Jim Hamlin and team at authorized Moto Guzzi dealer Hamlin Cycles in Bethel, Connecticut. It has 11,706 miles.
 
 
I am the second owner of the bike.  I bought it in 1999 from the original owner, my friend and riding buddy Michael Czysz who was quite the motorcycling visionary and legend.  See the Cycle News article – here – .
 
This Daytona is a superbike of sound and fury.  The roar through the Staintune pipes is not just throaty but has the edge of a passing  jet plane. It has all the torque and power you’d expect from a big V Twin and is an awesome open road bike.  As mentioned it is very, very rare, very uniquely styled, and extremely muscular – turns heads wherever it goes.
 
Gavin asks $14,995 for his Daytona and welcomes offers by email – here – .

As collectible as most Guzzi’s are, the Daytona is a real prize with engineering and performance way over on the sporty side of the range.  The four-valve heads were retired for many years after the Daytona’s sunset, and total production barely exceeded 1,000 total.  Dr. John Wittner and his disciples had good luck with the Daytona’s inspiration, in the thunder twins classes.  Gavin’s Daytona has an interesting history and expert service to back up the excellent cosmetics.  Contact Gavin by email – here – .

Featured Listing – 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000
Moto Guzzi January 9, 2021 posted by

Mile High Goose – 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000

Just east of some of the best snow sports in the world, there’s a classic and very sporty Moto Guzzi waiting for spring.  This Denver example looks quite original and very good for its 13,048 miles.

1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000 for sale on eBay

Midway through the DeTomaso administration, Guzzi was looking to generate some attention, and the leap to four valves did just that.  The liter V-twin pushed 95 hp, and used a single belt driven cam in the north side of each head.  The chassis didn’t contain the engine so much as help it locate the steering head and swingarm.  17-inch wheels with conventional forks from Marzocchi and WP monoshock are sporty running gear, as is 320mm stopping gear from Brembo.  The upper-only fairing flows from nose to monoposto seat fairing.

Offered by the enthusiast owner, this Daytona is sharp and up to date maintenance-wise.  Looks like a regularly ridden superbike with the Supertrapp.  Comments from the eBay auction:

This Italian-made machine was largely the work of an American dentist-turned-engineer, Dr. John Wittner.  In the late 1980’s, Dr. John produced special Moto Guzzi race bikes that were very successful.  The Daytona is a production version in honor of those race bikes, with a four valve per cylinder engine.  Note that like the Vincent, the Daytona does not have a frame. Instead,it uses a box section “spine”.  The original exhaust system has been replaced with a SuperTrapp system. 13,048 miles, fresh service, new belts, very clean.

The eight valve engines must’ve been a budget buster, and though the engine was retired after 1999, BMW may have analyzed the almost-overhead cam’s geometry while their R1100S was in development.  Dr. Wittner and his interns did well in thunder twins racing, and the Daytona remains an aptly named flagship.  This one is having its own endurance challenge, racing toward a third decade’s finish line and new rider.

-donn

Mile High Goose – 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000
Honda January 7, 2021 posted by

More Polishing Hours than Miles – 1979 Honda CBX

Showing just 3,784 miles, this CBX show bike’s condition is hard to believe.  The third and present owner rode it once or twice but found being a museum docent on every ride was a reminder that this CBX is just too nice.

1979 Honda CBX for sale on eBay

Already a world sales leader, Honda wanted to demonstrate their engineering chops, and found a venue in the double overhead-cam inline six.  Even the small 64.5 mm bores made for a wide package, and provided 105 hp at 9,000 rpm.  Honda kept the center of gravity low, disguising the mass of package.  Period UJM features like air-adjustable forks and the 19-inch front wheel are featured, and there’s a nod to the 600 lbs. riding weight in the 296mm rear brake disk – larger than the 276mm fronts.  The six-into-two exhaust needed its own bottle of chrome polish.

The Florida owner tells most of his CBX’s history, which is surprisingly short.  The level of polish is way over the top, but very little about the CBX isn’t.  For all the dirty flat black Comstar wheels out there, these laboratory examples are a beacon of hope.  From the looks of the tank, the fuel was drained for most of the display years.  The seat fairing looks original but the owner says no, and it’s hard to argue with someone who puts a rag down under the centerstand in the eBay auction:

Three owner bike.  Brief history 1st owner, from Oklahoma, purchased new and  kept the bike in his house until 2002 and bike was sold to a collector in Ohio, 2nd owner never rode the bike and sold to me in 2020.  The CBX was refreshed by the 2nd owner and stored in a climate controlled building with his collection of vintage motorcycles.

Refresh of the CBX was done by a shop in Georgia that performed the following – new tires, chain and sprockets, fork oil and seals replaced, original exhaust chromed to show quality, complete tune up, coils, spark plug wires, carbs rebuilt, wheels and side cases polished and new paint job.  2nd owner likes his bikes “over restored”.   $,$$$ were spent and the bike was placed back in the collection. I purchased last year and just recently decided to start and ride the CBX–after changing all fluids, adding a fuel filter, bike was started and taken to a local shop to check/synch the carbs.  Bike ran great with all 105 horses on tap it was a pure joy to ride – rode 65 miles.  It has been painstakingly taken care of for 41 years and should continue to be.  Not many in this condition left.  Living in Florida, I wanted a nice UJM bike to ride during the winter months – this bike is too rare and collectable.  Took 45 minutes just to get gas as many people wanted to see and talk about it – do not see these driving around in this condition.
All lights – head, tail, turn signals, dash lights, horn function as new.  Tach, speedo and volt gauges are original – not restored.  The tach started to have a whining noise so it was disconnected.   Inside of tank looks new and is not coated.  The bike appears to have all its original parts except for the tail section.  Original tool kit and owners manual are like new.  Original shop manual along with many magazine articles and Honda brochures included with the sale.

 

Honda’s six was more successful than either the earlier Benelli or later Kawasaki, but still only survived four model years.  But during that time, it served as a dealer showpiece, occasional endurance racer, and collector’s icon.  This one has less miles but might be less original than some.  The eye-watering starting bid might be offset by the show-ready appearance, at least for some buyers.

-donn

More Polishing Hours than Miles – 1979 Honda CBX
Ducati December 27, 2020 posted by

Holiday Colors – 1986 Ducati 750 F1B

A touchstone to Supersport fans, the F1 was lightly built but had the innovative 750cc L-twin.  Offered by a classic specialist in Santa Monica, this F1B shows just over 8,000 miles in Km, but looks much better.

1986 Ducati 750 F1B for sale on eBay

The F1 packed a lot into its smallish envelope, chassis and swingarm were chromoly tubing, cradling the 75 hp engine from above.  Both cylinders exhaust toward the front, with a short intake tube allowing the forward Dell’Orto some cool air.  Forcella 40mm forks and a Marzocchi monoshock handled suspension duties, and 280mm disk brakes used just a single set of opposed pucks.  A 16-inch front wheel reduced gyroscopic mass, easing turn-in without an extreme geometric solution.  Aluminum fittings are billet-cut, but precede any Bimota-style brightwork.  The F1B was also available with a dual seat, but the monoposto offers a more authoritative spot to the rider.

At nearly 35 years of age, the longer history almost doesn’t matter, since this F1 was on display and recently tuned up for the next owner.  Blinkers are more modern but less obtrusive than the originals, otherwise its light preparation has an honest look.  From the eBay auction:

This F1B comes from a private collection of sport bikes and remains to its original specification apart from a change of indicators. From static display, the bike has had life breathed back in it with fantastic results. The recommissioning was minimal, and the bike now starts easily on the button and revs freely with a thunderous soundtrack. The bikes stops and goes around corners as well as the fabulous Tri-colore livery looks.

In very good condition, the bike shows minimal wear conducive with 8,000 miles and 33 years of enjoyment. A brilliant ‘80s ride and collectible piece of Ducati history.

The water cooled and four-valve 851 succeeded the F1 after a few years, arguably Ducati’s first superbike.  But bridging the air-cooled desmo through a change in ownership ( and thankfully not a name change ), gave the F1 an important place in the list of models.  The three circuit-named special editions gave testament to the TT heritage, and though they might be the most collectible, an unadorned F1B has its own, how do you say je ne sais quoi in Italian ?

-donn

Holiday Colors – 1986 Ducati 750 F1B
Ducati December 24, 2020 posted by

Re-Gifting – 1996 Ducati 900SS

My chance to wish RSBFS fans wonderful Holidays and a great New Year !  – donn

Nearly 25 years down the road, Ducati’s venerable SuperSport still has a lesson or two for riders who haven’t had the chance, and a little nostalgia for those who have.  Despite some substantial miles, this 900SS looks to have  been cared for well enough to display or ride.

1996 Ducati 900SS for sale on eBay

The late eighties – early 1990’s Supersports were based on Ducati’s new engine, with two valves per cylinder and belt driven cams.  84 hp are on tap, everything visible through the trellis frame and kept in contact with the tarmac by Showa dampers.  320mm Brembo brakes were praised for their honest feel.  The lack of new-fangled or optional equipment kept the power-to-weight ratio up there – no glove boxes in the fairing, no anti-dive, no shaft drive, and just the smallest underseat tray for a tire plug kit.  Adherence to the basics also kept the out-the-door price under control and let owners pick their own farkles. 

The offering dealer has an interesting stable of bikes, but generally offers no history.  This 900SS shows just over 33K miles, and likely has some re-finishing in its past.  Rarely seen at this kind of age, this SS is stock right down to the factory aluminum mufflers.  The next owner can weigh the lack of apparent damage and super-cleanliness with the maintenance that might be required.  Comments from the eBay auction:

FACTORY-ORIGINAL WITH OEM EXHAUST SYSTEM AND ALL ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT. NEVER CRASHED, GREAT SHAPE. STARTS AND RUNS PERFECT, FUEL AND OIL DRAINED FOR COLLECTOR DISPLAY

First envisioned in 1974, the SuperSport has held down the desmodue side of the showroom until recently, delivering a return to basic motoring values poo-pooed by many value engineers.  Yes, you can add soft bags and tour, heated gear and ride there, even carbon components by the ounce.  Or not, and take the back roads on a sunny afternoon – destination: an entirely non-virtual experience.

-donn

Re-Gifting – 1996 Ducati 900SS
Ducati December 16, 2020 posted by

Social Media Star: 2001 Ducati MH900e

The Ducati MH900e was an internet sensation when it dropped on the Google-Tube in the magical year 2000. Designed as a futuristic homage to the Mike Hailwood replicas of the past – but devoid of the Hailwood name in order to avoid royalty payments (later paid to the family retroactively) – the Evoluzion is perhaps Pierre Terblance’s best known design. Today this bike still looks amazing and modern, despite a couple of decades having passed. This bike continues to make a statement to the riding public. Sadly, many of these bikes were not ridden, but instead hoarded away as collector machines. And while museum pieces allow future generations to adore old-new motorcycles, it subsequently robs the current generation of the pleasure of riding. It also tends to drive the prices up, which we are seeing here.

2001 Ducati MH900e for sale on eBay

In many ways, the MHe accomplishes a fine steak dinner outcome starting with cheeseburger basics. At the end of the day you might just see a plain-Jane air cooled Supersport under all of that fancy dress. But oh, such a fancy dress it is! From the gorgeous asymmetrical swingarm that is art in and of itself, to the high-rise shotgun exhaust sticking out the tail section, to the totally-unique-to-this-model bodywork that is both cutting edge and retro, the MHe screams style. And thanks to evolutionary updates to the redoubtable desmodue twin, torque is abundant and outright power is adequate. In all, you take what has already worked for the past 20 years, and make it look newer and edgier. And it works astoundingly well, even today.

From the seller:
The Ducati MH900e was produced between 2001 and 2002 as an homage to Mark Hailwood’s race at the Island of Man TT in 1978. The MH900e was designed by none other than Pierre Terblanche who made a special visit to the Larz Anderson Auto Museum shortly after the creation of this now rare, limited production motorcycle, for the landmark Art and Design of an Italian Motorcycle talk. Powered by a Supersport 904cc air-cooled L-Twin engine. Only 2,000 units were ever made and the sale of these motorcycles defied norms, selling directly to the consumer from the Ducati website, with 1,000 selling out in only 31 minutes. This particular one owner motorcycle has led a pampered existence. Clean as a whistle and in pristine condition because the bike has never ever been registered! In fact, it has only been exhibited as a fine piece of Italian sculpture in the original owner’s residence. This is not a garage queen! No, this one is essentially, for all practical purposes, new! With less than 10 miles on the odometer and showing no flaws whatsoever in the Ducati Rosso paintwork, as expected with a machine of this caliber, it is remarkable to take in.This MH900e is highly suitable for the discerning collector. Original shipping crate, with corresponding shipping markings included, as well as race stands and full documentation. A must see! All proceeds benefit the Larz Anderson Auto Museum. Accepting bids beginning at $25,000. This is listed on multiple platforms and the listing may end at any time. This is a rare opportunity – don’t wait!

There is a time in nearly every collector bike’s lifetime when it can be had for sticker. Often, a few years from new, it can be had for less than sticker. Then – if the bike is desirable enough and rare enough and in demand – prices will rise. I can already hear the “I remember when you could buy one of these for $10-12k” comments in the making. Sadly those days are gone, and prices have been steadily climbing. This seller is asking for a very steep $25k minimum for this almost new (10 miles claimed, never registered) beauty. And look at the pics – it has been well taken care of in a “I’ll never ride it but just look at it” sort of way. I congratulate people that can do that. I am simply not that strong.

The collector market continues to be strong for MH900e models; these are all individually numbered, and the production run was limited to just 2000 bikes across 3 or so years. A fun fact is that Bimota was tagged to build these bikes, but thanks to the vDue implosion and subsequent Bimota bankruptcy, Ducati was forced to build it themselves. Hand-built in Bologna, the MHe was announced in late 1999 as a 2000 model, while actual production started in 2001. These are interesting, if not uncomfortable, sport bikes that have a pretty stout following and a strong based of demand. We do see them for sale from time to time, but it is rare to find such a low mileage, one owner example. If you are looking to add to your stable of bikes, this could be the blue chip investment you seek. Check out all of the details and images here. Stay safe, and good luck!!

MI

Social Media Star: 2001 Ducati  MH900e
Yamaha December 14, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing: 1979 Yamaha RD400F Daytona Special

Update 12.14.2020: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Before race bikes had to have fairings, custom suspension, and forged rearsets, they looked a lot like streetbikes with number plates, and the 1979 Yamaha RD400F Daytona was among the best. Lighter by half than most of the 750cc and 1,000cc superbikes of the time, the RD could run inside outside and around just about any of its peers. Usually, that means you sacrifice something in acceleration or top speed, but the RD’s parallel-twin 400cc two-stroke mill damn near made up for that.

With ~43 horsepower to push around just 365 pounds, the little RDs were darlings on the street, too. Their modern equivalent is probably something like the Yamaha FZ07, practical, lithe, fast enough to scare you and still accessible enough for a commuter.

This 1979 RD400F Daytona is a beautiful example of the brand, in the classic red/white/gold livery. It’s not perfect, but it isn’t that far off. It’s easily nice enough to put on a stand in your basement and stare at, but I wouldn’t be scared to take it out for a few nice weekend rides, either.

From the seller:

Canadian model 1979 RD400 F Daytona Special sold for only 1 year.
Bike is all original stock.
Low 8100 Miles.
Starts, runs and rides amazing for a 40 year old bike, no issues.
Numbers matching. Low number #403
Matching locks for all 3 – tank, ignition, and seat.
Rust free gas tank, no liner, truly in great shape inside.
Bodywork and paint in very nice shape,
Side covers in great shape very clean no brakes.
All electrical working and no cuts or repairs to wiring loom.
All chrome in great shape including the forks are clean no pits or rust, and gas cap.
Has tool OEM kit.
Things to note the Canadian model received a different crank, electronic ignition, as well as separate carbs similar to the earlier model (that doesn’t have the goofy carb tops and rubber accordion boots that came with the mechanical synchronizing system. Other changes from US model is the exhaust pipes, and have larger diameter for the header and inlet to the exhaust cigar pipes. The Canadian exhaust system also don’t have the butterfly valve.
Huge list of work done including,
Full tune up,
Carburetors just meticulously overhauled.
All work done by red seal mechanic.
140 PSI compression left and right cylinders. Can’t get better than that!!
Many fresh 0km OEM parts.
New air filter.
New spark plugs.
New neutral switch seal.
New shift shaft seal.
New clutch push rod seal.
New seat cover.
New fuel tank rear mounting rubbers.
Petcock rebuilt with new parts.
New exhaust pipe rubber joint gasket.
New black rubber fuel lines.
Fresh Motul trans oil.
Rear brake caliper rebuilt
Fresh brake pads, front and rear.
Bike roles very freely when brakes release.
1 season old battery.
Low km chain and sprockets.
Low km tires.
Probably more just can’t think of it at the moment. many months of love, sweet and work has gone into freshening up this nice original Daytona Special
I would rate this bike as a solid 8.5 out of 10.
Small deficiencies;
1 handle bar mounting bolt is not a match.
Black paint on wheels is starting to fade. comes back nice and black with a little mag product and work.
Front brake is a bit spongy from 40 year old rubber line, looks great, no cracks or splits just flexes more than I like. Yes I’m that picky.
Small marks on fuel tank.
Headlight ears have the dreaded RD400 creases.
Scratches and small weld repair on right exhaust pipe near passenger peg.
Tail fairing underside around mounting bolts has a small piece missing, can not be seen from outside.

Asking price is $7,500$6,995 US
Location: Vancouver, Canada

This one is a Canadian model, which means it’s a little harder edged than the versions we got in the U.S. At $7,500 $6,995, it’s not exactly a bargain basement collector’s piece, but it’s definitely one you should want to own.

Featured Listing: 1979 Yamaha RD400F Daytona Special