Posts by tag: AMA

Kawasaki July 21, 2021 posted by

Moto Madness: Mike Baldwin’s 1979 Kawasaki Factory Works Race Bike

Star power. It is what sells. Be it the star power of a famous race bike, a famous team, a famous rider, a famous win, or all of the above. This is what sets certain bikes above the rest. And today’s find is a wonderful reminder that the lime green team was once a very dominant force in racing other than WSBK. This bike is a claimed works Kawasaki factory KR750 racer, piloted by none other than Mike Baldwin.

1979 Kawasaki KR750 Factory Race Bike for sale on eBay

In the early to mid 1970s, there was a flurry of activity on the racing scene. Yamaha had brought out their TZ750 – which looked to dominate all and sundry on both the factory and privateer levels – and Kawasaki wanted a piece of that action. Having a successful two stroke in the form of the H1 triple style, Team Green acted quickly to assemble a factory racer that could bring home the gold. With lower restrictions regarding homologation, Kawasaki was able to make use of existing tech, massage it heavily into GP-level machinery, and unleash it upon the world. Utilizing a 750cc triple, Kawasaki offset and skewed both the intake and exhaust ports to narrow the now liquid-cooled motor significantly. A one piece crank simplified the overall engine arrangement (as opposed to the Yamaha, which utilized a series of intermediary shafts to drive the primary and ancillaries), resulting in a powerful, but lightweight package. Coupled with a six speed transmission, triple disk brakes, and what appears to be ancient dual-shock rear suspension, the KR750 nearly won the world championship with Gary Nixon aboard. But runaway success was not to be for Kawasaki, even though the KR750 showed immense potential.

From the seller:
Mike Baldwin was a record-setting five-time AMA Road Racing Champion and the all-time wins leader in AMA Formula 1/Formula 750 history. In all, Baldwin won 27 AMA national races – 17 in AMA F1/750 and 10 in AMA Superbike – and he is considered one of the top road racers America has ever produced.

More from the seller:
At Daytona in ’79, Baldwin appeared to be a real threat to win the Daytona Triple Crown (the Daytona 200, the Daytona Lightweight and the Daytona Superbike races). He was easily the fastest in Superbike and battled for top billing in the Daytona 200 and Lightweight qualifying. Unfortunately, Baldwin high-sided in practice on Thursday and broke his collarbone. Without racing in the qualifying race, Baldwin had to start from the back of the grid in the 200. The leaders had completed nearly three-quarters of a lap by the time the third wave of riders, of which Baldwin was in the back, was given the green flag. In spite of his huge disadvantage and riding in pain with the broken shoulder, Baldwin tore through the field on the factory Kawasaki KR750 and finished a strong fourth, giving him at least a moral victory. In addition to racing for Kawasaki in 1979, he also raced in Europe during the gap in the AMA schedule after Daytona.

More from the seller:
The bike was restored in 1993 by author Stephen Wright with help from Norm Bigelow at the Kawasaki Racing Dept. It has been shown at Del Mar in 1997 and at the Bedford Museum in “The Wild Ones” exhibit in 2003. Also, first place at the Wheelcraft Motorcycle show at Sears Point raceway in 2001. Current owner purchased the bike from Stephen Wright in 1999. Sold on bill of sale. Race notes and history come with the bike.

Race bikes are very difficult to judge when it comes to value. To be certain, factory racers are built and campaigned in limited supply, making them rare to begin with. Couple that with the numerous mods that occur organically over the course of several seasons (due to rules, additional performance, etc), plus the very real potential for crash damage and it is not too surprising to realize that not many of these bikes survive to be restored to this particular level. That is especially true with a well-known and respected rider, such as Mike Baldwin.

The Buy It Now ask for this green monster is a very cool $125k. There is no doubt the bike is historically significant. Sadly we cannot comp this to other sales given the scarcity of pristine Mike Baldwin KR750s on the market. The seller is open to offers and it looks like there are a fair number of watchers on this one, so we may yet see a sale. Let’s all hope it finds a good home, as bikes this rich in history deserve a spot of honor. Check out all of the details here, then start shopping for some green leathers and gear. Good Luck!!

MI

Moto Madness: Mike Baldwin’s 1979 Kawasaki Factory Works Race Bike
Honda July 8, 2021 posted by

Rare & Rarely Used: 2003 Honda RC51

We often like to claim milestone motorcycles were designed to “break all the rules” but in the case of the RC51, the bike was designed to the extent of the rules – quite literally. Known formally as the Honda RVT1000R, the RC51 was a significant departure from the earlier (and successful) RC30 and RC45 formats.

Whereas Honda homologation superbikes of the past were v-4 configurations, the RC51 genesis was a change in WSBK rules allowing twins a greater displacement. This had been exploited by Ducati to the tune of several world championships, so Honda figured if you couldn’t beat them you might as well join them. Enter the 90 degree V-twin displacing 999cc and pumping out a reported 133 HP. With an aluminum twin spar chassis that capitalized on the narrow format engine, nifty aerodynamic tricks such as the side mounted radiators, technologically advanced fuel injection and race ready components such as the close-ratio gearbox the RC51 was ready to hit the track.

It turns out the old adage was right – the bike won right out of the box with Colin Edwards in 2000, and again in 2002. Nicky Hayden won the AMA Superbike championship in 2002 as well, providing Honda with a trio of impressive trophies for their efforts. And while Honda pulled out of WSBK before the 2003 season, the RC51 continued to be offered as a street bike until 2006.

Today’s example has traveled but 795 miles in all its years. This is also a non-California bike, which means it is devoid of the complexities of additional emissions-related equipment festooned on Golden State models – yet it IS located in California. The pictures show a very clean, very original specimen. And with that pristine and awesome presentation comes a price tag: a Buy It Now of $19,500. That is big money. Fortunately the seller is open to offers. So check out all of the details here (including a lot more high res pictures), and Good Luck!!

MI

Rare & Rarely Used: 2003 Honda RC51
Honda May 28, 2021 posted by

TGIF: 1998 Honda CBR 600F3 Smokin Joes

How about a Friday quickie that isn’t closed yet? Check out this wonderful Honda CBR 600 F3 in full-blown Smokin’ Joe’s livery! Not terrifically rare in base model formats, the one year only yellow/purple livery celebrates Honda’s CBR dominance in AMA racing, and includes a thoughtful nod to hall of famer and multi-time AMA Superbike and Supersport champion, Miguel Duhamel. Instantly recognizable as a special edition, the Camel cigarettes sponsorship is not very PC today, but accurately represents the state of racing in the late 1990s.

1998 Honda CBR 600F3 Smokin Joes for sale on eBay

From the seller:
1998 Honda CBR 600F3. Smokin’ Joe’s Special Edition. Camel Racing. Includes owners manual, tool kit, and original exhaust pipe (and some replacement stickers). Purple, yellow, and white seat. Also included is a matching vintage HJC helmet. Great condition collector motorcycle. Some of the smaller vinyl graphic letters near the Dunlop sticker under the seat are missing. Also there are some very light scuffs in the purple on the lower right hand side just ahead of where your foot would go (see picture where I am pointing) and on the adjacent Honda Powered sticker. The battery probably should be replaced, otherwise this bike is ready to ride.

The Smokin’ Joe’s Replica – aside from the graphics – is essentially a stone stock CBR600. There were an estimated 1500 units produced in 1998, making this a reasonably rare motorcycle. Sadly there is little collector value over and above a clean and low mileage CBR of similar vintage. These are also easily faked with plastics and a sticker kit, so RSBFS readers are cautioned to always do your homework. I am told there is a VIN check for the SJR models related to the 6th, 7th and 8th digits (“253”) and the model listed on the VIN plate includes “SE,” but perhaps experts can chime in on the comments. This Buy It Now has a couple of days remaining, with an ask of $4,500. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

TGIF: 1998 Honda CBR 600F3 Smokin Joes
Kawasaki May 20, 2021 posted by

Racetrack Weapon: 1996 Kawasaki ZX-7RR

Homologation machines exist to go racing. Sometimes it is the street bike that makes the race bike possible. Sometimes the street bike is the actual privateer race bike. In almost all cases, homologation machines are collector items because by nature they are limited in numbers. And of those numbers, many of the supply have been lost to the racing circuit (as might have been originally intended from the manufacturer). In almost all cases homologation machines exist to prove that certain features or components were included as stock with production motorcycles, thus providing factories an edge at the race track.

1996 Kawasaki ZX-7RR for sale on eBay

The Kawasaki ZX-7RR is no exception to the homologation game. Fully $3 grand more than the next highest spec ZX-7R, the RR sports the type of components that one needs in order to win a Superbike title. Or many, as the case may be. From a stronger bottom end bearing caps to better and more adjustable suspension front and rear, the adjustable steering head rake and swing arm pivot, to the tall-gearing of the close ratio six speed box to the oversized flatslide carbs (the latter two which incidentally don’t do very well on the street), the RR is really a starting point for teams to begin their tuning. From a “right off the showroom floor” perspective the lower spec Ninjas were better around town – and possibly all around – riders. But the RR was faster, meaner, sharper and far more exclusive.

From the seller:
Absolutely beautiful 1996 Kawasaki ZX-7RR. Stock pipe and not modified. Runs as good as it looks. Only 8000 miles.

For bikes that were meant to be raced – or at least to allow manufacturers to race – homologation machines in low mileage, clean condition are coveted. And rare. All told this is a serious motorcycle. The brand won 12 AMA Superbike championships, thanks to a few names you might have heard about: Eric Bostrom, Doug Chandler and Scott Russell for example. To find a bike this clean and cared for after all these years, to find one in stock, unmodified condition is really too much to ask for sometimes. But if you’re in the market – or in North Carolina where this bike is located – this one might be worth checking out.

This example is being listed as a Buy It Now classified – with pricing a cool $19,500. Looking through the RSBFS archives we find similar examples offered for more, and some for less. We don’t see these every day, and therefore the pricing spread is over a couple of years. That tells me that at least this one is priced in the ballpark. And given the rate at which collector values have been inflated in 2021, this may well be right on the money or even a bit low! Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Racetrack Weapon: 1996 Kawasaki ZX-7RR
Honda April 29, 2021 posted by

Featured Listing – 2004 Honda RC51 Nicky Hayden

AMA Superbike champion. AMA Superstock winner – in both 600cc and 750cc classes. Formula Extreme winner. MotoGP rookie of the year. MotoGP world champion. Dethroned Valentino Rossi by interrupting his 5-in-a-row championship streak. Three time MotoGP winner and 28 time podium visitor. Scored at least one point in each of his 14 seasons in the top class. Won in WSBK. Inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of fame. When it came to racing, there was not much that Nicky did not accomplish. Known as a genial and affable persona, Nicky was a wonderful ambassador on the world’s stage, and brought the US back to the top step in international competition. The Kentucky Kid will be missed.

2004 Honda RC51 Nicky Hayden Edition

Honda created the RC51 in order to go Superbike racing. With ruling changes that allowed twin cylinder motorcycles a displacement advantage over four-bangers, Honda ditched the successful RC45 (RVF750R) for an all new effort to be known as the RVT1000R in the US and VTR1000 in other markets. The new 90 degree v-twin displaced just under the rule book limit of 999cc and thus was born a Japanese interpretation of a Ducati. And while the 130-odd HP twin is special in its own right, the packaging of the narrow motor within a sculpted wraparound twin-spar aluminum frame is what made the RC51 successful. So successful that it won the WSBK championship in 2000 – its first year out – with Colin Edwards at the helm. The RC51 then won a spectacular double championship in 2002, with Edwards taking WSBK honors and Nicky Hayden winning the AMA Superbike title in America.

From the seller:
This is a Honda RC51 or RVT1000R Nicky Hayden Special Edition, #69.

Contact: Keri: kroskill@gmail.com
Asking $12,000
22,703 miles

This racing bike has been heavily modified with track riding/racing in mind. Meticulously maintained this RC51 is meant to be ridden and enjoyed. Starting from the top down it has a Power Commander III professionally tuned by BMW’s race team. Engine mods to the airbox/emissions. Sato Racing high mount exhaust and rear sets. New sprockets and gearing changed to favor acceleration over top speed. Stainless brake lines. Suspension professionally set up for a 180 lb rider. Custom undertail with LED’s. The bike has been tracked but never been down. There is some small cosmetic damage with the left fairing in the sticker kit very minor. (check pictures).

Included in the purchase:
Rear passenger seat, travel bag that goes in place of the rear seat, original front signals, original tail and signals, stock exhaust, original clip-on bars, and original brake and clutch levers.

The Nicky Hayden Edition of the RC51 is a special tribute to a special rider. This one year only offering differed very little mechanically from the same year base RC51, but included a special brushed aluminum finish on the frame and swingarm, a white area on the front and tail sections for numbers, and a unique Nicky Hayden sticker kit as part of the #69 livery. The tank is also bestowed with Nicky’s signature and 2002 AMA Superbike Championship creds.

How about a video of this beast running? See below and turn up those speakers!

Today’s Feature Listing RC51 is a rare Nicky Hayden Edition with some tasteful performance mods. On the engine side, intake, fuel injection and exhaust have all been massaged thanks to a Power Commander module and those gorgeous Sato Racing cans. Running gear has also been upgraded in the way of improved gearing for the real world, and upgraded brake lines for even better stopping power. Visually the bike has been cleaned up with the undertail kit, and the trick adjustable levers serve double duty as good looking and highly functional. The Sato rear sets are a work of functional art in their own right. All in all, this bike appears to be well sorted and ridden as it was meant to be. The seller is asking $12k for this rare homage to the Kentucky Kid. Please send inquiries to Keri, and snag this rare beauty. Nicky would approve. Good Luck!!

MI

Featured Listing – 2004 Honda RC51 Nicky Hayden
Honda January 15, 2021 posted by

Have One Curated for You – 1993 Honda CBR900RR

Though designed more for the road than the racetrack, the CBR900RR FireBlade had a long and winning competition history.  This Oregon example was ridden initially, then displayed for many years, and is now ready for its next rider.

1993 Honda CBR900RR for sale on eBay

Design engineer Tadao Baba had a new kind of superbike in mind, and worked up a 750-sized chassis to fit a stroked engine displacing 893cc’s.  With four 38mm Keihin carburetors and double overhead cams, the almost-liter-bike engine delivered 122 hp.  Weight saving was always on page one, with an all alloy chassis and swingarm, and conventional Showa cartridge forks which were said to be lighter.  The 16-inch front wheel was a bit easier on the scale and turn-in effort, and areas of the fairings are perforated to reduce drag and maybe a gram or two.  The final tally was 454 lbs. ready to ride, startlingly close to the CBR600F2, and 65 or so lbs. lighter than the next lightest superbike.

Evidently coming out of a private or maybe dealer’s museum, this CBR is almost spotless and the “never down” claim is believable.  Even in the alternate livery, the colors are bright and the lowers are so shiny the tarmac’s reflection looked like a defect for a moment.  Just a few marks on the generator cover might touched up.  The owner has a good video walkaround – here – and some comments from the eBay auction –

1993 Honda CBR-900-RR – 1st Year – 

-Only 6 lbs. more than the CBR600RR of the same year

-This bike is in 9.9 out of 10 Excellent condition – never down/crashed etc. 

-I am the 2nd owner. Delivered from the factory in the rarest of the two multi-color options

It was perfectly mothballed before going on museum display about 10 years ago. I’m out of floor space in the museum.

-All OEM Bodywork in excellent condition

-Comes with OEM tool kit & owners manual

It’s been pulled off the museum display floor, and over the last month, as time permitted I have had the following service items performed by my mechanic –

-New AGM battery installed

-New oil & filter change

-Front & rear calipers serviced – cleaned & brake fluid flushed from the long time on display

-New non-ethanol fuel installed

The CBR900RR wasn’t a WSBK or AMA SuperBike weapon, but Honda saw that “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” brought customers in, where the FireBlade could win them over.  Winning ways in AMA Formula Extreme and GTO Endurance racing didn’t hurt.  Honda nudged displacement up slowly through the -90’s, and kept weight under control.  But the first year, when the bike was on everyone’s 10 best list, has an undeniable appeal.  This CBR is already attracting a lot of attention, at least bid-wise, and it’ll be interesting to see how the bids compare to the reserve.

-donn

Have One Curated for You – 1993 Honda CBR900RR
Moto Guzzi November 28, 2020 posted by

Cooking Goose: 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000 for Sale

Right after Thanksgiving, we have this Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000 that’s definitely no turkey! Bad jokes aside, it’s a shame that Guzzi is a part of the Piaggio Group these days, since it means bikes like the Daytona 1000 and Sport 1100 may very well be the last Moto Guzzi sportbikes, as it makes little financial sense for them to compete directly with their siblings over at Aprilia. You might scoff, but prior to the 1980s Guzzi made some very capable sportbikes and had a successful racing history.

By the 1980s, things were pretty dire, at least for the factory efforts. At least one privateer was having a bit more luck: Dr John Wittner, an American dentist, successfully campaigned a Moto Guzzi in AMA Pro Twins, so Guzzi tapped him to help develop a new sportbike and the Daytona was born. This new machine was built around a “spine” frame with distinctive side plates, and the bike was powered by an updated powertrain that featured Guzzi’s familiar five-speed gearbox, automotive-style clutch, and shaft drive. Most notably, the engine featured a significant revision in order to produce competitive power: four valve cylinder heads.

Interesting to note: these new heads did not use overhead cams. Instead, it uses a sort of “high cam” arrangement with a pair of cams operating a short pushrods and a set of rockers. The result approximated the performance of an overhead cam engine and the new 992cc setup produced 92hp without the benefit of liquid-cooling. The bike featured quality WP suspension and handled well, allowing for the usual torque-reaction of the longitudinal crank and driveshaft. The biggest problem with the Daytona and its descendants was always its 502lb dry weight, and it was never able to compete directly against rival sportbikes. That shouldn’t bother anyone who’s interested in this beast, since it offers distinctive looks, stable handling, and plenty of character.

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000 for Sale

93 Moto Guzzi Daytona (very rare) in excellent condition. Moto Guzzi stage 1 upgrade Termignoni full exhaust, intake system, (Computer Flash, I was told?) Bike was serviced by a professional. All fluids changed, tires, timing belts replaced, valves adjusted, new fuel pump, fuel lines, tank was cleaned & sealed by a professional in Florida. Bike was ridden approximately 30 miles last week. Runs & drives like it should. Odometer & speedometer is reads in kilometers. Pics available on request. All questions welcomed.

And did I mention the noise? With those Termi exhausts and the performance chip/ECU installed, this thing should make a satisfying boom and look great doing it! The bike appears to be in very nice condition, with several new hoses visible and the excellent European-market trapezoidal headlamp that looks far better than the usual rectangular unit. Bidding is up to $6,000 with the Reserve Not Met and just a few hours left on the auction, so jump in quick and get your Guzzi fix!

-tad

Cooking Goose: 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000 for Sale
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