Posts by tag: british

Honda May 21, 2016 posted by

TT Week – 1989 Honda GB500

In reverence to the nearly two weeks of racing along the 37-mile Isle of Man road course, Honda introduced a British-styled tribute thumper in 1985 and built it in a few displacements until 1992.   Called the Tourist Trophy and nicknamed the TT, the bike was a retro cafe racer with Honda engineering, and foretold many of the “classic style” successes to come.

20160521 1989 honda gb500 right

1989 Honda GB500 for sale on eBay

20160521 1989 honda gb500 left front

20160521 1989 honda gb500 right rear

Not a super sporting build, the GB500 is based on the single overhead cam engine from Honda’s dual-sport XL600, sleeved down to 498 cc’s and 33 hp.  Not taking it quite back to the 60’s, the TT engine has a gear-driven balance shaft and the hemispheric combustion chamber with valves in a radial arrangement.  It’s a willing and torquey thump, just 8.9:1 compression to ease kick starting.  The drivetrain is completed by a 2-into-1 exhaust, wet clutch and 5-speed transmission.  Brakes are true to form, a single 256mm front disk with rear drum.

20160521 1989 honda gb500 left

20160521 1989 honda gb500 dash

The TT is a stylistic success, the clip-ons and monoposto seat cowling complemented by the black-green paint.  The vintage vibe continues with the fork gaiters and dual rear shocks, chrome like the chain guard .  Gold pinstriping and plenty of chrome plating, along with spoked wheels complete the English landscape.

20160521 1989 honda gb500 right front

20160521 1989 honda gb500 under seat

This GB500 is the owner’s second, he rides the other one and has preserved this with only 425 miles.  A spot of hangar rash here and there, but amazingly original.  From the eBay auction:

I am selling my low-mileage 1989 Honda GB500.  I am the second owner, and when I bought it at 240 miles, I didn’t know if I’d like it.  By the time I hit 400 miles, I knew I loved it but I didn’t want to modify this one from stock with this low of mileage, so I bought another (Supertrapp, fairing, removed emissions controls etc and with a whole lot more miles on it – I call it my “beater GB”) and I ride that all the time, and this one never. 

I have not ridden it since 2010, but I have fired it up every year since.  It was last running at Barbers Vintage Festival last October (2015) and since then has been in my heated shed.  
It probably needs its carb cleaned and a new battery, and new tires & tubes, just due to its age and being run so rarely. Has 420 original miles.  There is a small scratch on the tank where my jacket zipper rubbed, and a scrape on the muffler which it came with from the first owner.  Otherwise, it is in near perfect condition (I can’t think of any other flaws, but with 425 miles on the clock there will be some little rock dings on forks and frame paint), and it is absolutely standard.  There are no cracks in any of the plastic panels or covers, and the seat has no holes.  The gas tank has no signs of rust, and nothing creaks! 

20160521 1989 honda gb500 right

20160521 1989 honda gb500 right rear wheel

This TT will need a little freshening up before any substantial riding, or it could by drained and detailed, and elevated to a pedestal.  With no bids but quite a few watchers, getting to the reserve might be a challenge, though is it basically new with a little shelf wear.  Engineered to be more of an around-town machine, it might be at home in the pits of a Honda team at this year’s Tourist Trophy, or take it down to pub to watch the tv coverage on your laptop

-donn

20160521 1989 honda gb500 rear

TT Week – 1989 Honda GB500
Triumph July 8, 2015 posted by

Silver Surfer: 2001 Triumph 955i in Silver

NOTE: This one sold while I was writing this post which isn’t really surprising because among fans of the Triumph Daytona series, this is one of the most desired.   Even though it has already moved to a new owner I think its still worthy of a post.

955i

I am a big fan of the early edition Triumph Daytona, I love the 1st gen bodywork style, the big 3-cylinder/triple engine and the trick single sided rear swingarm.   The Big Daytona was the first serious sport bike from the reborn Triumph motor company, but was oddly named the T595 in its first year.  The designation was meant to identify the engine series (T5) and then the displacement (955) but a lot of people though the Daytona was a 600cc bike.   In the 2nd year the bike was renamed as the 955i and offered with several limited edition boywork styles, including a luscious blue and the lovely solid silver seen on this bike.

Even though the 955i was their first serious sportbike, it wasn’t ever intended to be directly competitive against hyperbikes like the Yamaha R1.  The 955i is more of the British version of the excellent Honda VFR; able to handle daily street duty, excell at weekend canyon corner carving and comfortable enough for medium level touring.  While not a hyperbike the 955 was no slacker in the grunt department; the Daytona moves along incredibly briskly due to a  955cc displacement three-cylinder engine designed in part by Lotus.

955i4

2001 Triumph 955i in rare silver on ebay

Seriously, I love the look of this edition of the bike, it looks much more organic, more shapely that the later versions.   The next generation also ditched the single sided rear swingarm for a standard setup and were more sharply focused, with less weight and sharper rake.

The only issue I see with this one is the aftermarket exhaust which looks odd and shows some evidence of being down.  The seller indicates the exhaust was an ebay aftermarket purchase so perhaps it came like this

955i5

Mileage is a lower 10,xxx miles and condition looks to excellent.   The seller indicates that they are an older rider which probably accoutns for the excellent condition of the bike.

Here is what the seller has to say:

  • Bought this bike in the most “stock” condition I could find at the time
  • Bike has never been dropped, shifts smoothly
  • Only slight mods like bar-risers for comfort and a smoked screen for looks.
  • Carbon Pipe is Ebay Buy with a grind, not related to handling of the bike, just sounds too good to switch out.
  • Took Mirrors off for storage, but they are in excellent shape, and available.
  • Bike has been stored indoors for it’s life and it shows that way.
  • Comes with LSL rear sets which look trick.
  • Going on 51 years old, I don’t trash my bikes.  I also never go near the red line, no need to for my enjoyment.
  • Still breaks my heart to sell her, she has so much soul and character.  I remember very vividly when these came out, and I was in Love at first Sight!

955i2

Normally at this point I would be asking whether this lovely 955i was worth the $4,000 USD asking price but since it sold in less than 24 hours I guess we know the answer to that question.   I know KBB prices show a value below the asking price but this 1st edition/955i badged version seems to be the hot/collectible style.  

To be honest, I was seriously considering making an offer myself but it sold before I could get my act together.  I would suggest that any collector act fast if they see one of these become available near them, especially the 955i version in silver or the even rarer, all blue.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

 

Silver Surfer:  2001 Triumph 955i in Silver
Triumph September 27, 2014 posted by

A Pair of Threes: Two First-Gen Speed Triples for Sale

1995 Triumph Speed Triples

A plucky spirit and old-world charm were ultimately no match for the industrial might of the Japanese and Triumph was gone by the early 1980’s. The motorcycle landscape was changing rapidly, and they simply couldn’t keep up with the pace. So when construction magnate John Bloor changed his plans to raze the Triumph factory to build housing tracts and instead decided to resurrect the famed company, he knew something new was needed. In order to give the reborn company the versatility to create new models and respond to market trends, as well as create interesting, niche motorcycles with minimal risk, a new philosophy was needed.

The modular design resulted in a pair of engines mated to a versatile spine-frame that lent itself to a variety of configurations and eventually included supersports, adventure-touring, sport-touring, cruiser, standard, and café-racer styles. That café racer was the very first Speed Triple, and I just happened to find two prime examples this week: a very rare and very nicely prepared track bike and one of the best street examples I’ve seen in a very long time.

1995 Triumph Speed Triple Challenge Replica L Front

While the bikes that resulted from the modular design weren’t as refined as Japanese alternatives, they were successful, setting the stage for the company’s current line-up. Trading on character and heritage instead of outright performance, it’s no surprise that the 1200cc four-cylinder models were less successful, and the entertaining 900cc [actually 885cc] triple came to take center stage, a formula that’s worked so well for them since.

1995 Triumph Speed Triple Challenge Replica R Side

To promote the Speed Triple, the new bike was campaigned in a one-make race series name, originally enough, the “Speed Triple Challenge.”  The first bike is a replica of those track-only bikes, and features many difficult-to-obtain parts.

1995 Triumph Speed Triple Challenge Replica L Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Speed Triple Challenge Replica Track Bike for Sale

 I believe it has been said that these are fastest in Black.  It was and orange bike converted to all black just for color choice and not due to damage.  I have had this for a couple of years and have been converting to represent the Speed Triple Challenge series bikes. It has a serious amour of love, attention and $ put towards it. First of was finding all the black panels.  Bike has the Sebring/ factory race header with an Arrow titanium exhaust can, front end was ton through and re springer by Race Tech. Penske, $$$$, remote resivor rear shock. Keihin fcr39 race carbs installed and add a great intake sound. Specially sourced Sprint Steering Damper with proper brackets sourced new from UK.  Front and rear fenders are Carbon Fiber from the factory special Super III. The carbon has been professionally re surfaced and clear coated, will not fade in the sun like all the others. Six piston front calipers are also from a Super III and are an incredible performance option. Custom made carbon numberplate and tank pad. Wheels have been restored and painted in a grey metallic that just set off just right. Bike is set up for the strew with lights and bilkers. I have only used it 300 miles in two track days in the past two years. Tires are Pirelli Super Corsas and are still good – only 300 miles on them.  So, this is not your run of the mill early Speed Triple, it has thousands of dollars of rare and unobtainable rare parts, just try and find them.

1995 Triumph Speed Triple Challenge Replica R Tank

But according to most of what I’ve read about the early Hinkley bikes, trying to build one for the track is really like teaching a pig to rollerskate so, unless you like tilting at proverbial windmills, perhaps it’s best to look at an example that’s for use on the street.

Like this very, very clean and very, very orange example: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale

1995 Triumph Speed Triple R Side

Never restored, never repainted, never crashed first generation Speed Triple. I hunted for 2 years to get this one and secured it from a collector in Tucson AZ. Being dry climate and hardly used, it was cosmetically perfect, but had a bikini fairing and bar risers added. I had Cascade Classics of Portland OR completely go through it to get it back to stock, then started from there to refine it more. I have enjoyed riding her around Oregon backroads, sometimes taking my kids for rides, but now it doesn’t get used. When I have time for riding I use the Ducati or Aprilia sport bikes. My policy is: if I don’t ride it she has to go; hence selling the one bike I said I will never sell!

Features

Beautiful condition original Speed Triple that made the Hinckley bikes famous

Period 1995 Super III exhaust system. Tuned for this exhaust (much time/money here). Runs better than new (dyno charts prove it)

Invested $2,000-$3000 per year whether it needed it or not e.g. new rubber hoses on engine, flushed/cleaned radiator overflow tank, fitted new front brake pads with modern Triumph safety pins.

At oil/filter changes, oil comes out looking new. Uses no oil whatsoever. No rattles or noises. Silky smooth power

Never had engine apart, never crashed, never restored, never repainted, seat never recovered. Cam covers removed at 9,000 miles to check valve clearance; didn’t need adjustment.

What comes with bike: Woodcraft clip-ons, Triumph brand period bikini fairing, OEM mirrors, unpainted cowl, spare orange grab rail, race 3-1 headers, workshop plus owners manual, all original documents: DMV docs, service receipts, original 1996 bill of sale etc.

1995 Triumph Speed Triple Dash

The original Speed Triple can, along with the Ducati Monster, be credited with popularizing the naked sports machine trend. Other manufacturers may have gotten there first, but those bikes [CB1, Hawk GT, Bandit400, etc…] are relative footnotes. It’s easy to see the Speed’s charm: a powerful, throbby engine with just enough handling for a sporty morning blast through the twisties, and enough individuality and sex-appeal to make the rider feel special.

1995 Triumph Speed Triple R Side Engine

All the different era Speed Triple bikes have their charms, but the first of the line always has some extra bit of excitement about it. I really like these, especially their generally rock-bottom prices. It’s the kind of bike I’d never own as my only bike, but I’d love to have space in my garage so I could have one as a slick daily hack. That means neither of these are really the right bike for me. But if you’re looking for a collectible early Speed3, you are very unlikely to find one in better physical shape that hasn’t been sitting in a crate since the 90’s. Honestly, I am always trolling for these and they’re never this nice and only rarely this orange. It’s pricey, but you probably won’t find a better one.

And if you’re looking for a seriously one-of-a-kind track-day or race bike, your search is definitely over. Just don’t buy it if you don’t like answering questions about your ride: any time that thing is parked up, people are likely to wander over and ask about it.

-tad

1995 Triumph Speed Triple L Side

A Pair of Threes: Two First-Gen Speed Triples for Sale
Triumph August 28, 2014 posted by

1990’s Budget Britbike: 1997 Triumph Daytona T595

Fast, classy, and just a bit different, this Triumph Daytona T595 represented a huge change in thinking for the recently resurrected company. Early on in Triumph’s John Bloor era, cost-cutting measures that didn’t compromise reliability or quality were in full-effect, and basically all of their bikes were based around a common frame and two engines, which gave plenty of versatility to create new models by simply swapping parts around. So a 900cc triple or a 1200cc four could be slotted in, with different bodywork and suspension fitted to create a range of motorcycles that eventually included a dual-sport, a sport bike, a sport touring bike, and a naked roadster.

1997 Triumph Daytona R Front

The resulting motorcycles were never be able to compete directly with more pure and focused designs: multi-purpose engines and frames were always going to be too heavy, and not optimized for specific tasks. But the designs were modern and significantly improved on the reliability and usability of the older Triumphs, helping pave the way for the Triumphs of today.

And even though the bikes were generally not focused enough to really compete against dedicated sportbikes from Japan, they had far more character, good looks, were sized for larger riders, and were uncommon enough for folks looking for something different than the usual shrieking fours. The original Daytona came in both four and triple flavors, although the added weight of the larger four cylinder moved it even further towards the sport-touring end of the spectrum.

1997 Triumph Daytona R Rear

The second generation of the Daytona was a big leap forward in terms of both style and performance. While the unfortunately-designated T595 sounds like it should be packing a 600cc motor, it’s got a big, meaty 955cc triple that pumps out 130hp. Like the earlier Daytona, the T595 was a bit too heavy for serious track duty, but as a road-weapon it was hard to beat, with a comfortable seating position, excellent brakes, and plenty of torque. Very much a GT, the perfect bike for folks who wanted to buy British but also wanted a completely modern machine.

Some minor low-production-volume quirks aside, the Daytona delivered.

1997 Triumph Daytona R Side

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Triumph Daytona for Sale

Check out this super cool and hard to find bike!! 1997 Triumph Daytona T595 in Strontium Yellow. A real classic sport bike. Lots of performance and great styling to boot. The 955cc in line three cylinder engine with 130 horses and 74 foot pounds of torque makes this baby boogie. With almost a five gallon fuel tank, a six speed transmission, and a low weight of only 435 pounds you can great range and travel on this bike.  This bike has super low miles for the year with only 11,280 clicks on the odometer the Daytona has only averaged about 660 miles a year. Very clean bike and freshly serviced. Priced right and ready to roll today.

These aren’t especially rare, but they’re pretty hard to find in such nice original condition. I loved the styling at the time, especially in silver, and I think it’s aged pretty well. Too curvy by far to look modern, the proportions are very nice and a lack of outrageous graphics favored by Japanese manufacturers keeps things simple and elegant. This is one of those bikes that, like the GSX-R 1100, I’d love an excuse to buy: a long highway commute, or as a weekend getaway machine.

1997 Triumph Daytona L Rear

It’s unfortunate that Triumph doesn’t make a big-bore Daytona today: just take a Speed Triple and fit a fairing. It wouldn’t be competitive in  any eligible race classes, but neither was the old one. In today’s market, where “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” seems to be less and less of a concern and bikes with oddball-displacements like Kawi’s 636 and Ducati’s 899 offer additional choice and high performance in a very sporty package, it seems a no-brainer, especially considering the success and popularity of Triumph’s 675 Daytona.

-tad

1997 Triumph Daytona L Side

1990’s Budget Britbike: 1997 Triumph Daytona T595
Triumph June 27, 2014 posted by

Out of the Ashes: 1995 Triumph Daytona Super III

This was really where the modern Triumph began. Basically a mix-and-match of triples and fours stuck into a modular, steel spine-framed chassis that allowed the reborn British company maximum versatility to create different bikes on a common platform at a relatively minimal cost. The 900 in the Daytona was a three-cylinder and the same basic engine also powered the Thunderbird, Trident, Sprint, Tiger, Trophy, and Speed Triple.

1995 Triumph Daytona Super III for sale on eBay

1995 Triumph Daytona III Front Rear

Unfortunately, this modularity came at the price of increased weight. Handling isn’t ideal, and the bikes weren’t competitive in terms of ultimate performance when compared to the Japanese machines of the time. But they exuded character, were reasonably reliable, and allowed Anglophiles to “fly the flag” with pride.

1995 Triumph Daytona III Rear Speedo

While the bike as a whole may have been a bit heavy and slow-steering, the engine was, as the Brits say, “a corker.” Powerful, smooth, and relaxed, it would pull from low and wind out to redline, whichever struck your fancy. Too heavy for track work, it’s an excellent GT. A road-destroying tool for fast street riding, with a protective fairing and reasonable comfort, stable handling, combined with strong brakes and that peach of an engine.

1995 Triumph Daytona III R Front Wheel Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Triumph Daytona Limited Edition Super III

Bike is always garaged. It is a solid 9.5 out of 10. There is 1 tiny blemish a half an inch long on the tank but barely noticeable. The bike is one of 150 world wide. Special features include carbon fiber fender and sub-fender,flat side mikuni carbs, 6 pot calipers, and seat cowling. The motor is a 900cc triple, tuned by Cosworth (of rally car fame). The bike was fully serviced 30 days ago. It is started periodically but not driven to ensure the battery and motor stay in good working order. Tires are fairly new with 95% tread remaining. Though the bike retains all stock pieces (exhaust cans as well) with sale, some tasteful upgrades were made. Micron carbon pipes, handlebar risers, throttle meister cruise control and a beautiful Corbin seat. This is a rare bike in an important time in Triumph’s rebirth. It is sure to appreciate, and I will miss it.

I think the styling on these early Bloor-era Triumphs has aged particularly well. Like the Ducati 900SS, they comfortably straddle eras, with design cues both vintage and modern. I prefer the first-gen Speed Triple, but this bike looks great in yellow and would make an excellent get-out-of-town bike for long weekend rides.

-tad

1995 Triumph Daytona III R Tank

Out of the Ashes: 1995 Triumph Daytona Super III
Norton May 2, 2010 posted by

1976 Norton Ala Verda custom – ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!

1976 one-off Norton Ala Verda custom for sale on ebay for a cool $75,000.

Beautiful.  Stunning. Gorgeous. Brilliant. Splendid. Magnificent. Gob-smacking.  Bellisimo.  And I’m running out of words to describe this bike.  I have seen this in magazines and websites, but had never thought I would see it for sale on ebay! Even if you’re not interested in Nortons, you owe it to yourself as a motorcyclist to check the bike and try to appreciate the time, effort, and passion that went into the creation of it. .

Not that I can afford it anyway, but some lucky collector will have the chance to add this gem to his/her collection.  I’ll let the pictures so the talking:

THIS IS THE HOLY GRAIL OF NORTON CUSTOMS.

THIS IS THE MOST BEAUITFUL BIKE I HAVE EVER SEEN,

IT IS TIME FOR THE NEXT CUSTODIAN TO ENJOY!

THIS IS THE MOST PHOTOGRAPHED  &  PUBLICIZED NORTON EVER!

THIS BIKE IS IN JUST ABOUT EVERY COUNTRYS MOTORCYCLE MAGAZINES ,ON THE COVER

OR FEATURED  INSIDE .

THIS NORTON WAS A HUGE HIT AT THE 2008 CONCOURS  D” ELEGANCE IN HALF MOON BAY

CALIFORNIA. MOTORCYCLE ENTHUSIASTS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD WERE THEIR TO FEAST THEIR EYES ON THIS BEAUTY,THERE WERE CROWDS AROUND ALA VERDA ALL DAY LONG.

I WILL POST PICTURES,IF SOMEONE NEEDS MORE PICTURES I HAVE MANY,JUST E-MAIL AND I WILL SEND. I HAVE ALL KINDS OF MEMORABILIA,BUILD BOOK,MAGAZINES,CUSTOM GREEN BIKE COVER WITH #  53 ON COVER ECT.

IF YOU NEED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS BIKE JUST GOOGLE-NORTON ALA” VERDA,THERE WILL BE MORE INFO THAN YOU CAN HANDLE.

The “holy grail custom Norton customs” is a pretty big title to live up to, but looking at the painstaking attention to detail that went into the creation of this, I would say that title fits.  And not only is this the most beautiful Norton custom that I’ve seen – this has to be one of the most beautiful bikes ever. Period.

Here’s a video of a Norton 1975 MKIII being started – sounds nice, ain’t it?  The Ala Verda has a tuned 1976 engine it in and also has electric start.  And probably sounds even nicer with those tasty megaphones sticking out the back like that.

So what’s $75,000 for a piece of “motorcycling’s Picasso”?  Hand over that stack of lottery tickets please.

ph