Posts by tag: air cooled

Bimota June 16, 2019 posted by

Air Male – 2008 Bimota DB5R

Happy Father’s Day to all once and future Dads !

Emerging from the shadows of bankruptcy, Bimota introduced a supersport based on Ducati’s air cooled dual-spark engine, penned by Tamburrini disciple Sergio Robbiano.  This second generation DB5R has the 1078cc engine, premium appointments, and an exciting and award-winning design.

2008 Bimota DB5R for sale on eBay

The core of the DB5R is Ducati’s 1078cc L-twin, with Marelli fuel injection tuned for Bimota’s exhaust good for 95 hp and a nice 76 ft.-lbs. torque.  The lines of the chro-moly trellis frame echo through the seat sub-frame and fabricated swingarm.  Frame connectors show off Bimota’s CNC machining as the bodywork and accessories showcase their carbon fiber technique.  Premium Öhlins and Brembo components complete the luxurious but sporty picture.

Straight out of Silicon Valley, this DB5R is engaging even with the signs of a minor low side, the seat console more easily corrected than the scratched engine case.  Not many miles but the new owner might be in for belts and tires.  The aftermarket mirrors aren’t a bad match but stock would be my choice, plus a little reflector-ectomy.  The first order of business would be more pictures.  Comments from the eBay auction:

Original owner, bought from Scuderia West SF ( no longer sells Bimota but they can service it ) and original cost was around 40K.

It’s a beautiful and great winding road machine, but selling it as I don’t have much time to ride, and feel sorry for the machine.

Only rode casually around the Saratoga Mountain.

4046.8 Miles

Ducati 1100DS engine ( any Ducati shop can service it )

Updated with STM slipper clutch, Carbon mirrors ( so you can see the back )

‘DB5R’ number plate

Minor scratches on tail cover and engine cover. Repaired areas on edge of tail cover.

‘Service Required’ indicator always on ( the dealer could not figure out how to turn it off )

Comes with the owner’s manual, racing stand, and a battery tender.

The DB5R reviewed as a fine handler even if the dual-spark 1100 wasn’t too exotic.  A pair of tank pads might be in order, as the winged tank was maybe a little too skinny for a good grip.  Each Bimota model has its place on the peacock – rhinoceros spectrum, and the DB5R seems to be right in the middle, with a very together design built on a modern but uncomplicated powertrain.  With just a few hundred sprinkled over the globe each year, you won’t see yourself coming and going.  Just right to ride to the bike show, collect a ribbon, and ride home.

-donn

Air Male – 2008 Bimota DB5R
Ducati June 12, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing – 1993 Ducati 900SL Superlight #826

Everyone has their personal definition of what’s essential and what’s superfluous, but for many, the early 1990’s Ducati SuperSports had everything you needed and nothing you didn’t.  The 900SL Superlight had one less seat and several kg.’s less weight thanks to some carbon appointments and Marvic composite alloy wheels.  RSBFS reader Steve has similarly added nothing to his Superlight that isn’t required, but made a few choice upgrades.

Ducati introduced the 900SS in 1990, and though it was a solid seller, Ducati took the opportunity to make a limited edition.  Planning to release 500, the factory bowed to the market and eventually produced over 900 Mk. 1 examples, just a couple of hundred destined for our shores.  The air cooled 904cc L-twin had newer Mikuni carburettors and scored 78 hp and 62 ft.-lbs. torque.  Upside-down Showa fork and rear monoshock were both fully adjustable on the Superlight.  Floating rotors differentiate the 320mm Brembo front brakes, with Gold Line four piston calipers.  Innovative Marvic wheels used an aluminum rim and magnesium centers.  Carbon mudguards and alloy swingarm walked the weight reduction walk.

Steve has eased the 904’s breathing with a K&N air filter and Staintune exhausts.  A Corbin seat firms things up for the rider, and braided lines do the same for braking performance.  Cosmetics are excellent and belie the 16,589 miles.  A few not-installed ugrades and NOS parts are included as Steve notes in his comments:

1993 Ducati Superlight #826

This is the cherished Superlight MK1, of which only 952 were made worldwide, 200 for the U.S. market. If you’re familiar with this bike and model year, you’ll know that it’s meant to be well ridden and properly cared for as there are not many left in this condition. The bike is in great condition and still has many original parts, unless otherwise noted.

The bike is located in Northern California, always garaged and covered. The previous owner was a collector located in Texas. The bike was serviced by AMS Ducati out of Dallas, TX during that time. No significant modifications have been made, keeping it in original condition. Some minor changes are as follows:

Open airbox (see photo)
Staintune Slip-on Exhaust
Braided brake lines
Yoyodyne Clutch Slave
Corbin Seat
Motobatt Battery

Comes with a few extras:

OEM Blank Key
NOS Handgrips
NOS Seat
Upgraded CA Cycleworks Coils (Unused, not installed)

Also have some performance parts that will be made available to the buyer as well. Ohlins shock and FCR41 carbs, not included with sale.

Asking: $13,000 USD  –  Please contact Steve – here –

Going on twenty-five years old, the Superlight had the friendly handling of the SuperSport line, but with nicer appointments and a number on the triple tree.  Though second fiddle to the 916 back in the day, the Superlight’s tractable power and limited numbers have made it a very sought after SuperSport.  Steve’s has been nicely preserved and wants only a caring new owner.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1993 Ducati 900SL Superlight #826
Laverda June 6, 2019 posted by

The Other Woman – 1979 Laverda Formula 500

Known here mostly for bigger GT’s, Laverda tried to tap the European mid-size market in the 1970’s with a 350 and 500cc twin.  A single marque race series was developed to drum up interest, pre-dating the IROC and BMW Boxer Cup.  Surprisingly, the four year series generated only 200 or so racers, making it a rare bird indeed.

1979 Laverda Formula 500 Mk. 1 for sale on eBay

Laverda knew their way around a parallel twin and the DOHC motor with uprated cams and 10.5:1 pistons delivered 52 hp.  It has a six speed transmission with a tall first and closely spaced ratios befitting a racer.  Marzocchi provided forks and dual rear shocks, with Brembo supplying dual front disks, most surviving because of the requirements of the race specification.  Though a full fairing was added, road-worthy lighting and electrics were removed, keeping the dry weight to 338 lbs.  Menani clip-ons had a forward offset to stretch the cockpit as did the sand-cast alloy rearsets.

Though both Formula 500’s previously seen on RSBFS were overseas, this one was re-commissioned at Moto Borgotaro in Brooklyn and currently resides in SoCal.  Evidently this Formula was restored early on by the late Mike Waugh, owner of Montydons  in Britain and Laverda luminary.  It bears the bumps and scrapes of many moves but appears complete and correct.  A replacement for the cracked windscreen might have to be custom made but is very do-able.  Comments from the eBay auction:

This very Formula 500 is one of the two Laverdas pictured on the cover of the Brooklands book,”Laverda 500 Twins 1977-1983″.  The book is a compilation of reviews, company materials and magazine articles, one of which features this motorcycle.  The bike belonged to Mike Waugh, owner of MontyDons, a UK specialist restorer of Laverda 500’s.  Waugh was well-known in the Laverda community.   Quoting from the article written by John Colley, “Little is known of this Mark 1’s history.  It was discovered in Wales after being ‘laid up’ for many years, and is one of the very few [Mark 1’s] brought to the UK”.  Even fewer were shipped to the States.  Mike restored the bike.

In the close up of the photo of the Formula 500 Mark 1 on the bike’s cover and again in the article inside, note the additional holes drilled in the faring at the upper and lower bracket mounts.  These correspond exactly with the bike, as does the license plate mount and orange wheels.

This bike, identified by VIN in its entry registration, went to the Isle of Man in 1999.  It is not however, one of the six Formula500 (Mark II’s) Slaters entered in the 1980 Formula 2 TT, winning the Team Prize.   Included in the sale are the original race number 124 decals that were on the bike at the Isle of Man.  The decals were removed and preserved.
An extremely scarce set of original factory special tools for the Laverda 500 comes with the bike, as does the original shop manual, Brooklands book and original one-sheet marketing print.
I bought the bike in late 2014 from a PA collector who had owned (but never started) the Laverda for many years.  Soon after, I brought the bike to respected Laverda specialist Motoborgotaro, in New York City.   Peter Boggia thoroughly inspected, serviced and recommissioned – but did not restore – the bike.  The last time the bike was run, was in October 2015.

No sense challenging DMV with a time machine like this, it really belongs in the vintage races.  Reviewed as more 250 than 500 sized, a suitably classic rider might want to try it on before committing to purchase.  This could be a total gem with not much more than a large tube of elbow grease, though track preparation would be more involved.  Either way the Formula 500 might not be practical but sure is easy on the eyes.

-donn

The Other Woman – 1979 Laverda Formula 500
Bimota May 19, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 2007 Bimota DB6 Delirio Azzurro

When it comes to motorcycle manufacturers, none seem to offer the combination of performance, artwork and mystique than iconic builder Bimota. Originally known for their frames and eventual frame kits for various engine makers, Bimota made the leap to become a full-blown motorcycle manufacturer utilizing Ducati power plants exclusively (with the exception of the ill-fated, in-house Vdue project). And by standardizing on a family of engines, Bimota was able to hyper-extend their focus on the art of performance. This maniacal frenzy of artistic and mechanical expression is best seen on the lesser-clothed machines – and this rare DB6 Delirio Azzurro is the perfect case study.

Featured Listing: 2007 Bimota DB6 Delirio Azzurro

All in all, there are seven different variants of the DB6 platform. All enjoy the same gorgeous trestle frame with aluminum side plates, Brembo binders, Marzocchi suspension (Ohlins for the R bikes) and air cooled, Ducati desmo engine. The earliest of the models – including today’s Delirio Azzurro – utilized the fuel injected 992cc dual spark mill, while later DB6 models were uprated to the 1100 (actually 1078cc) format. The Azzurro is one of the more rare versions of this already rare bike, offering some exclusivity due to the graphics and purpose. As the story goes, Bimota created this version of the DB6 as a tribute to the Italian soccer team for winning the World Cup. Football – or soccer as it is known in the US – is a very big deal throughout most of Europe, South America and Australia. World Cup winners are heroes in their home country, and being Italian the 2006 World Cup winners received a special edition Bimota. A total of 23 bikes were produced in this striking livery with a only a few being offered to the public. Grazie!!

From the seller:
This bike is one of 23 ever made and was given as a gift from the Italian government to one of the 2006 Italian World Cup championship players. A New York collector bought this bike and stored it in his climate controlled garage. I purchased the bike from him when he was relocated back to Europe and have displayed it in my office in my home ever since. This bike has less than 1000 miles on it. It is number 8 of 23.

Price: $ 25,000
Contact: tonybosi@gmail.com
or 201.206.4572

Artfully executed from frame to swing arm, polished and anodized to show striking contrast, fitted with top-notch components throughout with performance on tap thanks to light weight and Ducati torque, the DB6 Delirio Azzurra is a sharper, crisper, rarer Monster. It retains all of the rideability traits of the naked bike – upright seating, low weight and simply less clutter and farkles, but loses none of its potency when the going gets twisty. With miles of ground clearance, compliant suspension, boat-anchor brakes and exclusivity that only a hand-built, limited production machine can bring this is the bike you want to be on to show the world you’ve made it in style.

With fewer than 1,000 miles on the analog/digital clocks, this particular example has spent more time being seen than being ridden. But when you have artwork that looks like this, one might just have to reconsider the other side of the equation. Certainly the value with any collector piece such as this relates to condition, and lower miles simply equate to the perception of better condition. Mechanically sympathetic readers might cringe at “hangar queens,” but there are many facets to the hobby; the artistry that goes into a Bimota makes for collector appreciation even while static. This uber-rare Bimota is looking for a new home. If you are a riding fan, a Bimota fan, a Ducati dual spark desmo fan, a football fan (or even a soccer fan), or a fan of all things Italiano, this is something you should be checking out. Interested readers can give Tony a ping via phone or email. Good Luck!!

MI

Featured Listing: 2007 Bimota DB6 Delirio Azzurro
Honda May 12, 2019 posted by

Hold On: 1979 Honda CB900F DHOLDA

Rare bikes are, well, rare. The whole point of RSBFS is to highlight those unique rides that exist in only limited numbers. And while the world is a relatively large playground, it is not unusual to see repeats on especially rare offerings. Today’s Bol d’Or 24 hour endurance replica Honda CB900F is one such example. Last seen on these pages over two years ago, this interesting offering is the product of Belgium racing family D’Hollander. Constructed in the spirit of the racers that competed in such events as the aforementioned Bol d’Or 24 hours, DHOLDA-prepped bikes were also competitive at the 1000 km at Mugello, the 24 hours of Francorchamps (Spa) and the 24 hours of Barcelona.

1979 Honda CB900F DHOLDA for sale on eBay

Being that this is a 1979 machine from a bespoke builder, it is impossible to tell what has gone into the engine from simply sitting on the sidelines. Even if we had a build sheet, the likelihood of a 40 year old machine remaining truly as delivered when new is pretty scarce. Still, as recounted in our earlier article from 2017 on this exact bike, DHOLDA was known for building hot rods that could go the distance – and this one continues to accumulate the miles.

From the seller:
Jean D’Hollander “Dholda” Racing of Belgium raced and won the Bol d’Or in 1978 and 1979 on a modified Honda EU-spec CB900F bored out to 1000cc. D’Hollander created replicas of this race bike and sold them to the public, calling them Dholda. Bike is currently registered and inspected in Vermont with a clear Vermont title. Has recent Michelin Pilot tires, battery, and full service showing some $1653.54 in work done.

Not sure exactly what was done to the engine by D’Hollander but it is very fast and sounds amazing through the 4-1. The mechanic noted he estimated hp in 120bhp range but has not been dynoed. I imagine there is a race cam and porting with race carbs and velocity stacks, perhaps a lightened and balanced crank. Does anyone know more? Valve covers have a “220” stamp, which maybe is the compression ratio. Euro spec KPH speedo showing 13,554 km or 8,422 miles. Bodywork in excellent condition with one small spider crack on the fairing lower. Local bidders are welcome to inspect in Vermont. I can email service records and previous emails from Dholda Racing. Carbs rebuilt, and new fork seals installed.

*During my last ride I noted the indicators are flashing together only and the lights work under flasher but not high/low. I expect a switching problem for both but have not looked closely yet. All bulbs are getting power and light up, just not through the correct switch circuit as normal. Tires were new 2017 but have a slow leak at rim-bead and need tubes or remount.

eBay records show that this bike sold back in January of 2017 for $5,300 – well below the $11,900 Buy It Now number. The sale number seems to be impossibly low given the history of the tuner, and the shape this CB900F is in. But that is always the problem with extremely rare and one-off motorcycles; there is just not enough sales history on which to nail a value (or even a prediction). This example now has one recent sale (eBay 2017) and just 161 additional miles. The pictures are all new, and thus should be considered as the bike in current condition. There is also the video (see above) to show you how the bike sits today. Finally, there is the service receipt, which shows some care and maintenance. The Buy It Now figure on this rare model is set at a mere $5,900 – which still feels like a bargain for such a unique niche machine. Check it out here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Hold On:  1979 Honda CB900F DHOLDA
Yamaha May 11, 2019 posted by

Never Say Never – 1982 Yamaha XJ650 Seca Turbo

Someone bought-it-now Friday afternoon – a reader ?   -donn

It was a short bandwagon but early 1980’s was the time for early turbo systems, and Yamaha developed the XJ-650 Turbo but resisted the urge to break the bank.  This Phoenix example is quite clean with just a couple of foibles and barely 10,000 miles.

1982 Yamaha XJ650 Seca Turbo for sale on eBay

Using a relatively low-tech two valve four as a base, the blown 650 used carburetors instead of injection and was rated for 90 hp and 60 ft-lbs. torque.  The YICS intake control system capitalized on the speed of the charge air to improve combustion.  Air cooling limited boost to 7.7 lbs., adding a gentler push than some of the competition.  Exhaust is simplified with one muffler dedicated to the wastegate, emissions kept quieter in the other single muffler.  Despite the higher speeds and weight of the turbo bike, brakes weren’t upgraded from the normally aspirated model.  Styling was one area where the Seca Turbo excelled, with and integrated fairing with a sport touring windscreen and locking glove boxes.

Averaging nearly 20 years for each of its two owners, this XJ650 Turbo has been only occasionally ridden, and looks very good.  The undamaged fairings, pipes, and cases far outweigh the worn stitching and tired trim shown in the owner’s video – here –.  Comments from the eBay auction:

I’m selling my 1982 Yamaha XJ650LJ Seca Turbo.  Low Miles, 10,100  Miles.  Excellent Condition.  2nd owner.  This is the same type used in the James Bond Movie never say never.  Recently serviced.  Runs great!  I also created a video of it running and  a walk around.

James Bond’s stunt double shredded a Turbo in a chase scene early in 1983’s – Never Say Never Again – but the real Seca had a less sporty rep.  The turbo era fizzled shortly afterward, along with a drop in fuel prices.  But each solution had their good points – Yamaha’s showed how 25% more power could be achieved with relative simplicity.  As presented, it’s a lot of bike for the fan, and for the buy-it-now.

-donn

Never Say Never – 1982 Yamaha XJ650 Seca Turbo
Featured Listing May 3, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1981 Honda CB900F2B Bol d’Or for Sale

By the early 1980s, inline four engines went from being exotic and relatively rare to being widely available, even ubiquitous, at least among the Japanese manufacturers. Inline fours have more moving parts and that adds weight and complexity, big no-nos for motorcycles that historically relied on simplicity to keep weight down and minimize parts that could fail. But Honda’s original CB750 forever shattered that paradigm and started the superbike arms race that led to the Honda CB900F2B Bol d’Or seen here.

If you’re not familiar with the Bol d’Or, it’s a 24-hour endurance race held in France. The name translates to “golden bowl,” and Honda was obviously trying to add a bit of a sporty image by associating it with endurance racing. The CB900F2B is a bit of an odd duck, in that it lives in between the classic and modern sportbike eras, as I’m arbitrarily defining them anyway. Early 1980s bikes in general were the last hurrah for dual-shock frames and air-cooled engines, right before the stylistic and performance upheaval heralded by machines like the Suzuki GSX-R750 that set the template for sportbikes moving forward.

Built between 79-83, the CB900 was an improvement over the earlier four-valve, air-cooled DOHC CB750F, with an updgraded frame, larger diameter air forks, and triple disc brakes with dual-piston calipers up front. The updated inline four used an “undersquare” 64.5 x 69mm bore and stroke that gave 95hp, enough the push the 530lb wet machine to a claimed 135mph, although period tests saw 125-130. All of that is pretty underwhelming by today’s standards, but the bike was known for excellent handling at the time and it was enough to go head-to-head against bikes with more displacement and the long-stroke engine’s torque gave it a muscular midrange.

The F2B or Bol d’Or version of the bike had an even shorter run than the regular CB900F, and was made between 1981 and 1982. With its angular, multi-piece fairing, I get the feeling it was really a way to pump a bit of new life into an old model, since it’s basically the CB900F with some extra plastic. But the old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies here, and reviews of the bike at the time were very positive.

Call me a pedant [just make sure you look it up before you do], but I’m way more comfortable buying a car or motorcycle from a seller who can at the very least spell the name correctly, and the seller of this rare Bol d’Or even gets the lowercase “d” and apostrophe correct, so we’re off on the right foot!

From the Seller: 1981 Honda CB900F2B Bol d’Or for Sale

45,454 mi – $6999.00


Check out this rare 80’s Honda Supersport This was a Europe and Australian market only model referred to as a Bol d’Or model. This one originated out of England, its original owner brought it here to Seattle when he relocated in early 80’s. The current owner purchased it in February 1986 with about 17K miles on it. It has a good paper trail of services performed over the past 30 years along with the $2100 work order we just completed bring it out of a 10 year hibernation.

The bike is not perfect but it is in very good condition and running order for a 38 year old machine. The current owner told us that when he purchased it there was a round 2 inch dent on the top of the tank, it bugged the heck out of him, something must of been dropped on the top by original owner. He decided to have a local restoration center do the repair and also clean up the tail piece from previous boot scuffs. In our eye it looks like the white stripe angle is a bit out of alignment with the fairing stripes. We understand that for some this may be a deal breaker, so we have not priced it as if it was a 9 or a 10 collectible Honda.

Here is what we took care of to prepare for sale

  • Replaced tires and valve stems
  • Replaced fork and dust seals with OEM parts
  • Rebuilt carburetors, properly cleaned all OEM jets and internals, replaced all rubber bits.
  • Rebuilt front & rear brake master cylinder, new cup and lid on front and full system flush
  • Checked compression (145 across the board), inspected valve clearance, replaced valve cover gasket and rubber bolt cushions
  • Completed minor service to take care of the basics

This is from a Honda enthusiast website which also verifies this bikes credentials

Honda CB 900 F2B

  • Period: February ’81 – February ’82
  • Engine number: SC01E-2206870 – 2225154
  • Frame number: SC01-4000342 – 4011049
  • Power: 95 PK/70 kW
  • http://www.hondaboldor.nl/cb900f2b/

Here is some more information on this model we found:

For many, however, the CB900F was the perfect ‘Universal Japanese Motorcycle’ (UJM), the ubiquitous, Japanese, across-the-frame four. Although blighted by the perennial Honda cam chain problem, these were steady, undistinguished motorcycles that improved gradually every year. Updates for 1980 saw needle roller swingarm bearings and an air-assisted front fork. Further improvements for the 1981 CB900FB (pictured here) included a larger-diameter fork (37mm) and dual-piston brake calipers from the racing CB1100R.

Among the other 31 improvements for ’81 were a stronger cam chain tensioner and different valves. Also available was the CB900F2B with a 16-piece, three-quarter fairing and leg shields, housing a clock and voltmeter. Although the CB900F lasted until 1983, by then it had been overtaken by the CB1100F. Where the CB900F excelled was as an everyday riding machine. Motorcycles were less specialized in the early 1980s and the Bol d’Or was forgiving, working well as a high-speed sportster, yet delivering the goods in the city or as a tourer.

The suspension and riding position provided a perfect compromise between sports riding and comfort. Factor in exceptional finish and reliability, all for around three grand, and you can see why the Bol d’Or was a success. It may have been bland but, as a representative of the era of the universal motorcycle, the Bol d’Or was one of the best.

Credits cards accepted, up to $150 documentation charge may be added.

Seattle Used Bikes
4905 Aurora Ave N.
Seattle, WA 98103
dave @ seattleusedbikes.com
Closed Sun/Mon Find us on Facebook, Instagram and the Web

1980s superbikes have long been extremely affordable, but that’s not the case so much anymore, as you can see from the $6,999.00 asking price for this CB900F2B. But that makes sense, since the original CB750s haven’t been cheap for years, and now these later 80s icons are starting to appreciate. This Bol d’Or is certainly one of the rarest, and I was unfamiliar with the model before this one popped up. Miles aren’t particularly low, but this appears to be in excellent condition, and the seller seems very knowledgeable as well, which always a good sign! Classy and reliable, with real-world performance and comfort, this would make an excellent practical classic.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1981 Honda CB900F2B Bol d’Or for Sale
Moto Guzzi May 3, 2019 posted by

Talk to me Goose: 1986 Moto Guzzi Lemans IV

The LeMans series is a legendary model in the Moto Guzzi lineup. Originally designed as a sportier V7 model way back in 1976, the LeMans went through a series of updates and changes throughout its life span. From a small-fairing enhanced V7 of the Gen I to the larger sport-touring (and half-faired) look of the Gen II, to a back-to-basics look with small fairing of the Gen III, and then finally the decade-long run of the De Tomaso influenced Gen IV machine, the LeMans has had a number of facelifts. Today’s example is a Gen IV bike. Let’s explore some of the key differences.

1986 Moto Guzzi Lemans IV for sale on eBay

At the heart of the LeMans IV is a full liter of v-twin torque. Upgraded from the 850cc power plants that preceded it, the Mark IV version of the LeMans was bigger in nearly every dimension – except the front tire. Utilizing a 16″ front wheel which was in vogue at the time on GP racers and hyper sport bikes, De Tomaso sought to re-image the LeMans as a sportier machine than it was. Unfortunately without chassis geometry changes, the LeMans IV simply became a bigger, more angular machine with a smaller front end. Handling remained stable – as is the Guzzi tradition – but there was some edginess lost as the LeMans grew older, and performance was nearly on par with the previous generation 850s.

From the seller:
1986 Lemans, totally sorted out. Runs and rides perfectly, very well looked after. New tires, new clutch, ceramic coated Bub exhaust sounds amazing. Very strong running bike. Everything works as it should. Not a show bike, but a very, very nice rider. Needs nothing. I have sold several bikes here and my feedback tells the story. Thanks for looking.

While it is easy to deride the later generation LeMans offerings as being uglier than their predecessors, the LeMans of any configuration is still a good looking motorcycle. Purists may discount the De Tomaso years, but the resultant machines were modern, reliable and long lasting. This particular 1986 example has 58,000 miles on the clock…but certainly does not look like it. These are classic motorcycles to ride for the joy of riding. You are not likely to beat many peers in your riding group on a LeMans, but if you are looking at this that probably isn’t your goal. Pictures are relatively few and there have been some noted modifications, but the auction is currently at a paltry $2,550 at the time of this writing with reserve in place. This could be a sweet bargain Guzzi in the making depending upon where the reserve is set. Check it out here, and then jump back to the Comments and share some LeMans stories. Which generation is your favorite, and why? Good Luck!

MI

Talk to me Goose: 1986 Moto Guzzi Lemans IV
Ducati May 2, 2019 posted by

Simple Pleasures: 1996 Ducati 900SS SP for Sale

Ducati’s two-valve “Desmodue” may not be the most powerful engine, or the lowest-maintenance, but there’s a reason it’s stuck around from the 1980 Pantah all the way through to today. Besides the obvious budgetary reasons: some of that tooling is probably long paid off… Joking aside, today’s Desmodue is heavily evolved, compared to the original version, now punched out to 1100cc and packing dual plugs per cylinder and modern electronics. But the qualities of the original are still there, and make for a very entertaining ride. Ducati’s mid-90s 900SS SP may not have been a powerhouse and was handily outclassed by every Japanese sportbike available at the time, but the aging thoroughbred still offered stable handling, good brakes for the period, a punchy midrange, and plenty of dry clutch rattle.

At the time, the 916 was making headlines for its ferocious performance on and off track, but the Supersport of the same period was a much better motorcycle to actually live with. Compared to the painfully focused 916, the 900SS almost felt like a sport-tourer. Along with the Monster it gave Ducati a range of bikes with real racing heritage, but without the expensive maintenance, high-strung histrionics, and performance most riders didn’t really need anyway, especially on the road.

By 1996, the 900SS was available in two flavors: the cost-cutting 900SS CR that generally came with a stylish half-fairing, and the higher-spec 900SS SP seen here. The engines were the same, but the CR used non-adjustable forks from either Showa or Marzocchi on later machines, while the SP had a carbon front fender and three-way adjustable suspension up front and at the rear. There were other minor details as well, like a narrower 4.5″ rear wheel on the CR, versus a 5.0″ hoop on the SP. If you’ve got a CR, don’t despair: suspension swaps between models and even years is pretty simple, and upgraded valving kits for the Showa forks are available. Unfortunately, the famously horrible Marzocchi units on the later CR models are pretty much best abandoned in the wilds to be savaged by wild dogs.

Ownership isn’t necessarily as much of a headache as you’d expect. In spite of their reputation, the two-valve Ducatis are generally pretty bomb-proof, and you’ve got to be riding like a bit of an idiot to overrev one. First of all, no valve springs means no valve float! And second of all, in spite of an indicated 9000rpm redline, any remotely standard carbureted 904cc Ducati engine runs out of puff way before that. Power was a claimed 80hp with a pair of Mikuni CV carbs, and 75hp at the wheel from a strong example. More is available via head work and tuning, since these were originally built to race, although performance gains won’t be particularly cheap.

As for Ducati’s infamous lack of reliability: the valves do require regular maintenance, although they tend to stay in spec after the first couple adjustments. The toothed rubber timing belts require biennial replacement to prevent an expensive transformation from motive force to paperweight, but many competent home mechanics find these tasks aren’t too difficult to tackle. Italian bike electrical components, however, generally deserve their poor reputation, and it’s worth regularly checking connections and using a bit of dielectric grease to make sure your lights light and your starter starts.

From the original eBay listing: 1996 Ducati 900SS SP for Sale

Excellent Condition, always well cared for, Ducati Limited Edition  500 SS SP SUPERLIGHT.  Low production number 47 of 500 made.

Full fairing, floating cast iron rotors and original factory oil temp gauge. New tires, carbon fiber mufflers. Includes owners and shop manuals, Hand written previous Owner records of services dating back to 8/12/97 with 2363 miles. 

Fresh timing belt, starter relay. Runs excellent sounds even better. Also have stock pipes to go with sale. This is a beautiful , air cooled, dependable, dry clutch classic example that will put a smile on your face.

Bike is currently on consignment at local Dealer in S.F. Paperwork to be  handled by them upon sale. 

The 900SS used to be an amazingly affordable entry into Italian bike ownership, especially if you’re fairly handy with basic tools. The only cheaper Ducatis are the original Monsters, but both have started to climb in value, especially for nice, low-mileage examples. This one has 13k or so on the clock which, if it’s been maintained by the book, means it’s barely broken in. Higher-resolution pictures would be nice but, from what I can see, it looks to be a very clean example. Get one now, while they’re still fairly cheap, since clean examples are getting hard to find.

-tad

Simple Pleasures: 1996 Ducati 900SS SP for Sale