Posts by tag: air cooled

Ducati October 22, 2020 posted by

Super Right: 1992 Ducati 900 Superlight #860

The Ducati Superlight is one of the bikes that defined the mystique of the Italian brand. An interesting – if not revolutionary – offshoot to the popular Supersport line, the Superlight added lightness to the package via some specially chosen components, and weight to the legend via a sequential number plaque that ensured exclusivity. The Superlight was reasonably rare in the US during this period of time, and did not need to fight in the showroom with too many other “Limited Edition” models. The best part was the Superlight was modified for performance, and not simply a branding exercise to make it unique. The seller has a good bit to say about this model and this bike, and I will let him take it over from here:

1992 Ducati 900 Superlight for sale on eBay

From the seller:
Ducati 900 Superlight 1992 – (Bike was originally owned by Hollywood photographer & collector Guy Webster )
Limited Edition #860 of #952
Mileage 19082
California Clear Title

The 900 Superlight was produced by Ducati from 1992 to 1996 but only 952 examples of the MKI version were sold Worldwide. Available in either the traditional Ducati Red or the Fabulous Superlight Yellow. Only 300 Mk1’s were imported into the US, all were yellow and 100/300 of the US allocation were sold in California.

The Superlight came with a number of weight saving components that reduced the bikes weight by 25lb compared to the std 900SS. Vented clutch cover, solo seat, Ltd edition number plaque, carbon front fender and rear hugger, (pretty high tech in 1992) and this bike has the sought after and very light, composite Marvic/Akront wheels. All of these important parts are present and correct on bike #860.

More from the seller:
Ownership:
This bike has an interesting history. The original owner was World renowned Hollywood photographer Guy Webster. (See Robb Report Guy Webster ) Guy was without doubt one of the early innovators of rock ‘n’ roll/celebrity photography and die-hard bike fan.
While shooting album covers and billboards for groups like The Rolling Stones, The Mamas and the Papas, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, The Doors, Simon & Garfunkel and Chicago, he also photographed film legends like Rita Hayworth, Dean Martin and Natalie Wood.
Guy built a huge personal collection of rare and exotic Italian bikes at his home in Ojai California, which was on occasion opened up to the public.

The Superlight then changed hands to well-known Ducati/Guzzi restorer Ted Henry and in 2011 the current and third owner took possession, with 13989 miles on the speedometer.

This example is well presented in the rarer of the two colorways – Superlight Yellow. It has been very well maintained. Overall the paintwork is in excellent condition, the bike has never been dropped or crashed, fit and finish of the panels is excellent. There is a small scratch on front fairing to the left of the headlight and three very small marks on the rear single seat hump, both areas have been highlighted in the listing’s last photo.

Warning labels often removed by owners are in place on the tank, fairing and frame rails, and it’s obvious when you see the bike in person it has enjoyed a pampered life, only covering an average of 509 miles per year since 2011.
Mileage today at time of sale is 19082 miles. The bikes battery was recently replaced with a Shorai Gel battery, the air filter is clean, oil was replaced in March and the timing belt was changed at 10000 miles. Tires were replaced at 17700 miles.

There are a number of maintenance records available from the current owner. The bike does have a couple of subtle nonstandard upgrades, including lightly smoked screen (same shape as the original) and gorgeous carbon Arrow silencers that can be heard if you follow the short YouTube video link below.

And if you cannot hear the wonderful sound of the air-cooled, 2-valve Ducati L-twin just from the pictures, then feast your ears on the enclosed video. Yes, that is this particular bike, sounding like a million bucks.

Today’s beautiful 1992 Ducati Superlight looks very clean, appears to have a nice record of ownership, some limited star power in the name of Guy Webster (certainly no Rossi, Stoner or some rock star, but certainly better than no history at all), and the exclusivity built into the Superlight series when they originally launched. The current bid on this beauty is a mere $8,500 with a reserve still in place. This is way underpriced for a clean Superlight, and I would expect this one to climb quickly in the few days remaining. Ducati continued with both the “less is more” as well as the “more is more” philosophies in the years and models to follow, but today the Superlight continues to strike a unique balance between sport and art. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Super Right: 1992 Ducati 900 Superlight #860
Cagiva October 15, 2020 posted by

Alluring: 1985 Cagiva Alazzurra 650

In the twisted family tree that is the Italian motorcycle community, there are many merges and branches. One interesting area is the history of Cagiva and their relationship with Ducati. While Cagiva owned Ducati in the mid-eighties, they were initially a customer as they purchased engines & transmissions to create their own bikes. Today’s Cagiva Alazzurra is such a beast, utilizing a sourced Pantah-based motor for power. In many ways these were seen as a poor man’s Ducati in North America – more exclusive than contemporary Japanese bikes, but with less cachet than other Italian exotics. Today the Cagiva Alazzurra is but a strange footnote for US buyers; once Cagiva took over Ducati they adopted the Ducati name as the stronger brand and the Alazzurra was discontinued.

1985 Cagiva Alazzurra 650 for sale on eBay

The heart of the Alazzurra is very similar to the powerplant that drives the Pantah, such as this week’s 600 model. Ducati produced the Pantah in different displacements, including 500cc, 600cc and 650cc (there was also a 750cc unit built for racing). In many respects, the Alazzurra could be considered a later derivation of the Ducati Pantah, as the 650cc engine was the latest evolution of the unit, with a frame design that was extremely similar to the Ducati bike. With 55 HP pushing 424 lbs (dry) the Alazzurra offered respectable performance for the time, but was typically slower than similarly sized Japanese offerings.

From the seller:
Very good condition. Has collector plates so insurance in BC is 150 bucks per year.New cam belts, braided lines, seals, including crankshaft oil seal, valves checked, oil , filter and plugs replaced, new grips , l.e.d headlight

The legend of the Pantah design long outlived the Cagiva brand in North America. Today the Alazzurra is more an oddity than a true collector’s piece, although time has a tendency to create rarity all on its own. And with 35 years gone by, the pool of well-kept imported Cagivas is shrinking. But the big question is if that helps with appreciation of the model – or its value. This particular example is located in Canada, and is offered for approximately $3,424 USD. That is actually below the MSRP for the bike when it was new. But the Alazzurra does not have as strong a following as other Cagiva/Ducati models; it is seen by many as more of a novelty than an icon. Still for many riders this was a close to a Ducati as finances would permit during this time, creating a bit of nostalgia. Do any RSBFS readers fall into that category? There are not a lot of details available on this one, but you can check it out here. Let us know what you think about the Alazzurra, and good luck!!

MI

Alluring: 1985 Cagiva Alazzurra 650
Ducati October 14, 2020 posted by

Heavy Breather: 1983 Ducati Pantah 600

Behold the wonderous, the cutting edge (while at the same time, archaic) modern interpretation of the new Ducati era. The Pantah represented the next evolution of the already legendary Ducati L-twin, and would being the new phase of the rubber band motor era. Replacing the bevel drive with a toothed belt to drive the desmo valve train, the Pantah simultaneously provided an easier manufacturing solution, a quieter and more efficient mechanical solution, and greatly reduced maintenance requirements. Ducati chose to wrap that new tech in a brand new body style that is unmistakably Italian.

1983 Ducati Pantah 600 for sale on eBay

To be fair, there was nothing really wrong with the bevel-drive round case motors of the past. In fact, the bevel drive continued alongside the new Pantah configuration, available in the larger 900cc and 1000cc variants. However the rubber belt drive for the valve train made the engine easier to assemble and quicker to configure in terms of adjustment. Such an arrangement would continue to be a feature on all Ducati motors right up to the Panigale of late, although there was much technology that was yet to come. For now, the fabled Ducati twin breathed through two valves, fed by carburetors, and made use of simple and lightweight air cooling.

From the seller:
ORIGINAL, UNRESTORED SURVIVOR. ORIGINAL PAINT AND GRAPHICS, ETC. DUCATI’S FIRST DESMODRONIC V-TWIN. FOR SERIOUS DUCATI COLLECTORS ONLY.

This particular Pantah looks very nice, although it is sporting some patina that can split opinions. On one hand, a bike like this is only original once – therefore the original paint, flaws and all, represent originality. Those looking for a perfect specimen that has endured a nut and bolt restoration and fresh paint throughout might wish to look elsewhere. I will correct the seller in that this is not Ducati’s first Desmo twin – that honor came more than a decade previous. However the mistake is somewhat academic given that this was the first desmo twin Ducati where the valve actuation was driven by belt. Still a big deal, but definitely not the first Desmo.

Prices for these Pantahs has gone on the rise over the past years, but these are not Limited Edition models – or particularly rare. Time, however, does take its toll on available stock, and invariably helps with the supply-versus-demand equation. Still, these tend to be a rather affordable way to get into a (almost) classic Ducati. This particular bike looks original, but does show some wear and/or rash. The seller is asking nearly $13k – which is near the top of the range we have been seeing as of late. Check it out here, and good luck!

MI

Heavy Breather: 1983 Ducati Pantah 600
Suzuki September 19, 2020 posted by

Pre-Marketing Replica: 1980 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley

In the early days before serious motorcycle marketing, companies offered up “racer replicas” that often sported the race livery or the team colors of the manufacturer. These replicas were often quite anonymous, and did not utilize the star power available from team riders. Even the marketing juggernaut Ducati – who probably led the way with the Mike Hailwood themed bikes – offered up the green framed 750SS as a replica without a rider’s name attached. As the 1980s progressed, riders such as Hailwood, Roberts and Lawson started to appear on bikes in showrooms – and the tribute race was on! Today’s bike – a gorgeous 1980 Suzuki GS1000S – is often referred to as a Wes Cooley model due to the livery, however it was never marketed as such. Wes was a popular racer in Superbike and had some major success with Suzuki (AMA champion in ’79 and ’80), but failed to be honored with his own bike. Regardless, we still consider these models as Cooley replicas.

1980 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley for sale on eBay

The GS1000S was yet another evolution of Suzuki’s mainstay GS model. Climbing out of the ooze of the naked standard, the GS1000S showed its sporting intent with sophisticated air/oil front fork, and gusseted swing arm, and the requisite bikini fairing. But the real magic was in the steel connecting those pieces together. The frame was more robust than that holding up many contemporary bikes, allowing for better handing for what was not exactly the most powerful or fastest bike of the day. At the race track, this meant everything, and Pops Yoshimura breathed his magic on the motor to make up for the rest. In stock form expect the 997cc air cooled inline four to produce approximately 90 HP.

From the seller:
1980 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley replica
Motor and frame numbers correct as per registry.
Extremely low mileage.previous owner claims original but I have no way of verifying it.
Starts runs and drives perfectly.
I don’t have the original exhaust.
A rare bike.
Can ride anywhere.

This particular model GS – the 1000S line – was limited to a two year production run from 1979 to 1980. The blue/white paint was extra in the showroom, and the Cooley model was the most expensive GS offered by Suzuki for those years. There are some very subtle changes between the years, but the dead giveaways that are most visible are the stepped seat and the slotted rotors – those were 1980 model year items only. And while the original model offered a 4-into-2 exhaust, this one has been upgraded to a period correct (although not stock) 4-into-1. Otherwise, it looks clean and pretty much what you would want in a blue and white special from Suzuki.

This bike is located in Florida, and has a reported 9,900 total miles on the clock. It looks to be very clean, and must have been reasonably well cared for given the overall condition. The seller is not the original owner, but there does not seem to be anything wildly amiss here in the photos. There are some dedicated forums and clubs for this model, so those who are serious should do their homework. The seller has included the VIN which will help with research. Pricing for this Wes Cooley model is a pretty strong $14,000. The seller is open to offers, which might be a good idea given the pricing we have seen on these bikes in the past and the manner in which the market has been swinging. That being said, these are reasonably rare 2-year only models, and few with as low miles and clean in stature. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Pre-Marketing Replica: 1980 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley
Featured Listing September 18, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550

The early 1980s were a bad time for speed. With a very few exceptions, cars had spent the previous decade becoming wheezy, lumbering and compromised. Motorcycles were yet to fully cross the Rubicon from being either quirky runabouts or the steeds of tattooed heathens to the mounts of true enthusiasts. And then in 1981, Kawasaki decided they had had enough, and unleashed the GPz550 on the public.

Just in time for Eddie Lawson to take home his first AMA Superbike title and second AMA 250cc road racing title, the GPz550 carried on the fine tradition of Kawi’s two-stroke triples with staggering speed, but added what at the time was laser-precise handling. Imagine crawling to your office job in some horrible, oversprung, Naugahyde-upholstered slug only to have one of these come screaming past.

The little air-cooled four-pot produced a stout 55-ish horsepower, and exhaled through an evil-looking set of blacked-out pipes. The bikini fairing was enough to set the thing apart from the sea of CB750s, but Kawi made sure the message landed with scarlet paint set off by a pair of navy and silver stripes.

The power meant 12-second quarter mile runs and a top end damn near 120 mph. To give you some context: It would be another nine (9) years before a stock Chevrolet Corvette would drop back into the 12s.

This 1981 Kawasaki GPz550 shows well, but carries some signs of its age and use. There are spots of corrosion here and there, some paint chips and the fork seals reportedly leak. The carburetors apparently were recently cleaned and the clutch adjusted, so with some minor fettling it should be ready to go.

For the full litany, check out the auction on BringATrailer.  The auction is no-reserve, which means the high bidder goes home with this piece of sportbike history. Get in line while you still can.

Featured Listing: 1981 Kawasaki GPz550
Benelli September 15, 2020 posted by

Original Six Pack: 1983 Benelli 900 Sei

When Honda introduced the legendary CBX in the late 1970s many people did not realize that they were not the first to ship a production six-cylinder motorcycle. That trophy already went to Benelli, who introduced the original Sei (Italian for the number six) at motoring shows way back in 1973. Given, the original 750cc six cylinder was heavily based on Honda’s 500cc four cylinder with a pair of cylinders added, but it was the Italian manufacturer that beat the world to the six cylinder milestone. Today’s bike is a 900cc model – one of approximately 2,000 – the line having been incrementally improved as production inched along.

1983 Benelli 900 Sei for sale on eBay

This productive time in Benelli’s history can be attributed to DeTomaso’s ownership (which included Moto Guzzi at the same time). Both Benelli and Guzzi thrived in the late 1970s and early 1980s, thanks to the bold and ambitious approach taken by DeTomaso. One need only look at the Sei model run to understand the leadership. Yes the six cylinder had some Honda DNA, but touches such as relocating the alternator from the end of the crank to behind the cylinder bank reduced the width of the engine and made the inline six tolerable from a cornering perspective, was all Italian engineering. The power train was reported to be silky smooth, and styling took many cues from the Moto Guzzi Le Mans model – right down to the sport fairing. However the Sei was certainly the flashier of the two, and at $3,995 it was also more expensive. That $3,995 would not buy you very much today…

From the seller:
Rare in this original condition Benelli 900 sei 6 cylinder Italian super bike Great Original condition Numbers correct sold with clear clean title many up grades I have spent over 3k on reconditioning this bike in the past months ,it is head to toe ready to go !! new ignition system ,carbs rebuilt ,braking system rebuilt , front suspension re done new battery ,oil change and valve adjustment etc

Here is a video of the bike, as supplied by the seller:

Benelli sixes have turned out to be fairly robust, with a look and a sound like no other; time has treated the design fairly well. While nobody would mistake this as a new bike from this century, it continues to look recent and modern enough to stand tall in a parking lot full of plastic. DeTomaso’s ambitious gambled paid off in that respect, although the famed marque of Benelli has failed to remain among the living in terms of recent production. That makes this 900 Sei all the more collectible; in the law of supply and demand, there is no more supply. The seller in this case is asking $16,500 or best offer for this clean 1983 Benelli 900 Sei, which is pretty close to the trending line. Somebody please give this deserving bike a loving home – as this is a classic in the making already made. Check it out and then share your thoughts on this beast. Any Benelli experts able to share things to look for on these models? Good luck, and stay safe!!

MI

Original Six Pack:  1983 Benelli 900 Sei
Ducati September 14, 2020 posted by

In with Both Feet – 1979 Ducati 900SS

By the late 1970’s, Ducati’s 900 Supersport leaned heavily on its Taglioni heritage, but had several worthwhile updates.  This Connecticut example has a very original look but has been refreshed in some important areas.

1979 Ducati 900SS for sale on eBay

Ducati’s Supersports have a markedly similar feel over the course of the decade, with the forward canted L-twin and very light fairing.  Gear shift and rear brake had been normalized for the previous generation, with shifter action greatly improved.  The square-case engine still sported a kick-starter, but made room for bigger crank journals, improving reliability along a with more modern ignition system.  The spare good looks continued for 1979, but with cast wheels and an optional dual seat.

Hard to argue with the previous owner’s removal if you’ve seen the factory blinkers, and hopefully they had the good sense to backdate the carburetors to the 40mm Dell’Orto’s as well.  Like a lady of a certain age, it’s not sporting to ask about a 40+ year-old motorcycle’s relationship history, but it appears there was a long-term owner early on, with service records.  Engine and paintwork were refreshed just 1,000 miles ago, but seemingly almost 20 years in the past.  For some of us, the fan’s bevel-drive window never gets old.  Notes from the eBay auction:

This particular 900SS is just about perfect for the vintage motorcycle enthusiast who prefers a motorcycle that has been enthusiastically kept, cared for and ridden.
 
It includes an Ownership/maintenance binder with it’s history from July of 1980 though May of 2003 (covering 26,123 miles).   
These records include an engine overhaul by Desmoto-Sport in California at the 25,435 mark and a paint refresh(with the exception of the tank) and front directional delete(owners preference) at 24,320 (~1998).  (according to previous owners records)
 
This bike is really nice as you can see from the photos.  I have the original directional for the front and rear. 
 
All of the fiberglass bodywork appears to be original. However the windscreen is Gustuvsons.
 
Contis are nice, as well as all the switches and gauges.
 
The last time I rode the motorcycle it ran very well and carbs were adjusted perfectly (that was a few years ago).
 
There is a slight “tick” when it warms up that I can hear only at idle (it may need a valve adjustment).
 
Comes with a dual seat.

Whereas most manufacturer’s street machines were the basis for their racers, the 900SS reviewed as the other way round, and they finagled the regs to put their race bikes in the showroom.  Either way you can’t see much on a 900SS that’s not required for a grand day out.  Maybe you are ready to take the plunge into waters that are somewhere between classic and vintage depth ?  This 1979 900SS looks like a great choice.

-donn

In with Both Feet – 1979 Ducati 900SS
Moto Guzzi September 12, 2020 posted by

Red and Rare – 1983 Moto Guzzi Le Mans III

Back after a short break, Moto Guzzi’s Le Mans returned with a raft of updates from the Mk. II.  This Bay State native has been carefully kept in red, and has a couple of nice nods to reality.

1983 Moto Guzzi Le Mans III for sale on eBay

Though del Lario was never tempted by mere technology, the EPA cajoled Guzzi into a thorough re-design of the longitudinal V-twin, with an eye toward limiting intake noise as much as tailpipe emissions.  There was a lot new aboard the Le Mans III, right down to the Nikasil lining and outer shape of the cylinder heads, though the shaft drive and linked braking system kept it recognizable.  The fairing did a better job protecting the rider, having grown into almost a supersport affair.  Dry weight was in the mid-400’s but the big twin’s torque kept reviews positive.

Showing over 24,000 miles but looking much better, this Le Mans III has been lucky to have a fanatical owner.  Red fork legs are factory, though red head protectors are a little glitzy.  The handlebars look more relaxed than most Le Mans, but expert readers will have to weigh in.  Even the stock seat has an elevation change for the pillion, but the Corbin seems little too sculptural for the trim Guzzi lines.  Can’t argue with the spares or maintenance, however.  Comments from the eBay auction:

Always stored inside. Never seen rain. NO RUST. The bike is insanely clean. YOU WILL NOT FIND ANOTHER LIKE THIS.  All original (included oem seat). Runs and rides great!  Bought from an exotic motorcycle collector many years ago. This bike is beautiful and needs nothing! It is part of our family!  Always babied! Many parts included!!  This is the one! If you know what this bike is and what it represents, this is the ONE!  A beautiful, rare gem. Be part of the MOTO GUZZI LEGACY!! 

RECENT SERVICE/ PARTS INCLUDED-

  • Regularly serviced, Bridgestone Battlax tires, clean pipes, rebuilt carbs
  • Carb rebuild kits
  • Brembo rebuild kits
  • Battery straps
  • Many rubber parts – O Rings, clips, etc 
  • OEM hand grips
  • Original seat and Corbin seat 
  • Coils
  • Gaskets 
  • Badges
  • Brake lines
  • Switches
  • Piston rings and valves
  • OEM seat 
  • And many more parts included ! 

MAINTENANCE OVER PAST 2 Seasons-

  • Meticulous oil changes
  • Cleaned carbs
  • New tires
  • New battery

No fault of its own, the 850 Le Mans was shortly superseded by the 1000cc variant in 1984.  For every grinning twist of the wrist, there might be a wish that the bigger bike was just a little more nimble.  The Mk. III was a more modern ( in Guzzi’s way ) Le Mans, and helped keep the model in production until 1993.  Looking great in crimson, this 850 Le Mans is just in the middle of a long run.

-donn

Red and Rare – 1983 Moto Guzzi Le Mans III