Posts by tag: collectible

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Bimota October 16, 2019 posted by

A Good Fit – 1987 Bimota YB5

Even Bimota was not immune to the siren call of Yamaha’s 130 hp FJ1200, producing one of their only biposto models.  This example has been carefully preserved in South Africa.

1987 Bimota YB5 ( South Africa ) for sale on eBay

Yamaha had recently given their air/oil-cooled four a big displacement bump and tuned it for a torque band that made shifting almost unnecessary.  The massive lump was narrower than usual since the alternator was placed behind the cylinders rather than at the end of the crank.  At the front of the interesting cradle and spar chassis, Marzocchi supplied 42mm forks, and Bimota fabricated their own swingarm.  Wheels were eighteens front and rear, more of a GT solution, along with 280mm Brembo brakes.  The body-color pillion cover is easily removable should a volunteer turn up.

This owner has a couple of other very collectible bikes at auction, all looking excellent though a long boat or plane ride away.  Close-up photos show the finishes to be unblemished, with just under 10,000 miles the paint almost looks wet.  From the eBay auction:

Number 18 out of 208 units ever produced. 
Bimota YB5’s do not come up for sale often, so this is the perfect opportunity to add a prime example of one to your collection. 
She handles surprisingly well considering a dry weight of 210 Kg.
Apart from the turn signals, mirrors and windscreen everything else is still original. Even the factory paintwork has been preserved.
The YB5 has been part of my private collection for the past five years in which time the vehicle only accumulated less than 500 Km.
The tires were replaced about two years ago and a full service, including replacing the brake pads and the battery was completed three weeks ago.

Bimota couldn’t do much about the mass of that gorgeous drivetrain, though they reduced the dry weight to just under 500 lbs., and balanced the package to neutralize handling.  The YB5’s rake and trail numbers are substantially less than the donor FJ, lightening the handling and stipulating a steering damper.  Low profile tires were specified for the bike, which reduced the gyroscopic effect of the larger wheels.  The “skinny” 1200 slips into the sleek fairing and can take two for a wicked sporty ride.

-donn

A Good Fit – 1987 Bimota YB5
Laverda September 16, 2019 posted by

Double Espresso – 1998 Laverda 668 Ghost Strike

Update 9.16.2019: We first saw this Ghost Strike back in May of last year. It failed to sell then but is back on eBay and reserve is already met with a first bid of $2,750. Links updated to current auction. Thanks Donn, -dc

Though Laverda’s fortunes were largely in the 90’s rear-view mirror, the company breathed new life into its mid-size parallel twin, commissioning a sporty jack-of-all-trades.  The Ghost Strike had a fine chassis and premium appointments, and can’t be beat in the rarity dept.

1998 Laverda 668 Ghost Strike for sale on eBay

Laverda differentiated the Ghost Strike from their other multi-purpose machines with its Nico Bakker designed aluminum frame and WP suspension.  Motive force came from a DOHC parallel twin, expanded to 668cc and updated with Marelli injection and 70 hp.  Fuel is centralized under the seat and the airbox is in the “tank”.

Not much detail about this Houston-based Laverda, but it has only 12,000 miles and looks good.  Not sure about the non-standard appearing left side cover and dash fasteners though.  From the eBay auction:

Great looking 1998 Laverda Ghost Strike.  It starts, runs and drives well.  Paint and seat are in excellent shape.  Mileage on speedometer is in km, so I used a conversion for miles.  This is a unique classic motorcycle.  Have fun with it!

The 668’s tight handling and relaxed riding position won points, only to give them up for a notchy gearbox and too loud exhaust.  The name was soon to be retired after being purchased by Aprilia and then Piaggio, but the late Ghost Strike is a singular Euro machine perfect for the fan or collector.

-donn

Double Espresso – 1998 Laverda 668 Ghost Strike
Ducati August 29, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing – 1999 Ducati 996 SPS #481

Update 3.20.2020: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Ducati wanted to continue their WSBK winning ways, and presented an homologation special to legalize their 996.  Just a few hundred SPS were made in any year and they appear only occasionally.  This example has been returned to riding status after a long time on display and looks excellent.

1999 Ducati 996 SPS with 4,560 Miles !

The 996 added a new desmoquattro to the legendary 916 design, the increased bore bringing 123 hp to the track-oriented machine.  Pit lane features like quick-release fairings, flip-up seat, and single sided swingarm made service items easy to get to.  SPS buyers who were going right to the track needed the adjustable steering head angle, but all appreciated the lightweight Marchesini rims, adjustable Showa forks and Öhlins monoshock and steering damper.  Monoposto seat and red paint were part of the SPS package.

Over the 20 years this SPS has travelled under 5,000 miles, and looks very original.  RSBFS reader Chris has these notes:

– only 4,560 miles on odometer
– professionally gone through / got running / checked over
– new battery, belts replaced, new fuel pump, screen, filter, air filter, spark plugs
– tank cleaned, injectors and lines cleaned, oil change
– light weight, lots of carbon fiber
– only minor blemishes from years of sitting / storage, little riding, no major damage of any kind
Asking $12,990

As the 916 – 996 – 998 family progressed up the slippery slope of track-ability, street manners suffered with ergonomics and cooling systems that called for highway speeds at minimum.  But the 996 SPS is in a good spot on the timeline, and with a little judicious route planning and maybe a fan override switch, can make for an exhilarating morning off.  The extra power and lightness reviewed as worth the upcharge when new, and look like an absolute bargain these days.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1999 Ducati 996 SPS #481
Ducati August 26, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing – 1998 Ducati 916 SPS #830

Update: Email link corrected: dan@gravitycavity.com

As much as the original 916 set the superbike world on its ear, the last year 916 SPS was worth waiting – or changing horses – for.  The new 996cc engine, enhanced suspension, and lightweight wheels made the SPS an homologation special worthy of the name.  As presented by RSBFS reader Dan, number 830 ( of a around 1,000 ) is immaculate and shows just 5,674 miles.

1998 Ducati 916 SPS with just 5,674 Miles!

Ducati jammed a lot of WSB goodness into the new 996 engine cases – the bigger bores, bigger valves and downpipes conspired with 11.5:1 compression and two fuel injectors per cylinder to report 134 hp.  Camshafts capitalized on desmoquattro experience to deliver a wide torque band.  While the trellis frame was unchanged, improved 43mm Showa forks and Öhlins monoshock were multi-adjustable.  Front brakes were fully floating Brembos for 1998.  The now-iconic good looks of the Tamburini design were rendered in Anniversary red with white number areas.

Dan picked his SPS up after it had sat for a year or so, and beside going through the fuel system, did quite a bit to return it to super-nice condition.  Recent tune-up parts, Michelins, and fairing lowers, and a mammoth amount of detailing, as the unfaired pictures show. 

Dan’s comments about the bike:

It would not start when I bought it due to the fuel pump being all gummed up. I replaced all the fuel system parts that are in the fuel tank. I also put some marvel mystery oil in each cylinder and spun it over before starting it. I have all the receipts for the parts that were replaced.

I also think the bike must have been dropped (not crashed, just dropped) at one time due to the scratches on the original body work. The bike came with a factory new replacement upper fairing and I purchased both left and right side panels new from Ducati shortly after I bought it. That is what is on the bike now. Everything else on the bike is original, except for the ECU (see below).

After getting it running, I replaced all the fluids, spark plugs, air filters, and timing belts. I also put a new set of Michelin Pilot Power 3 tires on it. The original owner claims a full service with valve adjustment was done on the bike at around 2500 miles.

The bike is wicked fast and everything works flawlessly on it. In the five years I have owned it, I have ridden it only a few hundred miles a year. Just enough to keep it rideable and it has been carefully maintained and garaged during that time.
I did have one issue with it back in 2017. It started cutting out and shutting off intermittently when riding it. After much trouble shooting I wound up replacing both ignition relays (the two that are under the seat) and the ECU and that 100% fixed the issue. I have put about 500 miles on it since then and it runs flawlessly. I still have the original ECU and the stock EPROM that came with the bike.

More from the seller:

For those that have never ridden one of these wicked machines, I must say the experience is heart pounding! When you grab a handful of throttle you better have it pointed where you want it to go because the torque and power delivery is explosive and it pulls extremely fast and hard all the way up to the 11,000 RPM redline. I rarely take it that far just because of how explosive the mid range torque is. You are doing triple digit speeds in no time just short shifting it. The sound of the Termi exhaust with the tuned EEPROM is intoxicating and the chassis and brakes are phenomenal. Riding this bike always reminds me of those glory days of seeing Anthony Gobert and Ben Bostrom racing in AMA superbike and of course Carl Fogerty, Troy Bayliss, and Troy Corser in World superbike. I loved watching them race the big twin Ducati’s and hearing how different the bikes sounded from everything else.

A game-changer for superbikes, the 916 led riders to expect complex underseat exhausts, steering dampers and single-sided swingarms on premier models.  With five Superbike World Championships in six years ( 1994-99 ), the model continues to define beauty in the superbike sense.  Dan is asking $19,900 for number 830, and can be reached by email – here –.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1998 Ducati 916 SPS #830
Buell August 4, 2019 posted by

1992 Buell RSS1200 Westwind

Few riders could have foreseen the roller coaster ride Harley-Davidson in store for Erik Buell, but a previous owner of this RSS1200 Westwind saw a future classic in the big twin.  With just 1,800 miles this gem is very original and has been protected from life’s bumps and bruises.

1992 Buell RSS1200 Westwind for sale on eBay

Buell had recently started to specify the 1198cc Sportster powerplant, and used the new isoplanar engine mounts to tame the drumbeat of the 61 hp but very torquey engine.  The mill hung in the factory’s own ladder frame, using the engine case to locate the front of the underslung pull shock.  Up front the suspension was more conventional with upside-down WP forks, and the dual front brakes with six-piston calipers pre-date any Zero Torque Load patents.  Sharing space under the engine is a short Supertrapp exhaust, fairly inadequate but at least lightweight and centralized.  The monoposto seat is cleaned up substantially from the previous flip-up dual seat.

It looks like the second owner ( of three ) was the superfan, going through the comprehensive brake rebuild, fork swap, and fastener-level refinishing.  The seller has owned the RSS for 5 years, and kept the notes from the everything-but restoration:

Finished in Transparent Ruby Red. An original single seat bike, not converted from RS twin seat. This machine has been rebuilt over the last 4 years to original and as delivered condition from a very original low mileage bike. It is not a restoration, though in the interest of mechanical functionality tires, brake and fuel lines, chain, battery, caliper and shock rebuilds have been performed. 

All original decals are on frame, with original paint excepting side stand which was powder coated. All chrome has been redone to show standards, including truss head bodywork screws, and banjo bolts. All Wellnuts have been replaced. Fasteners used in the rebuild are zinc di-chromate where originally used, otherwise plating is bright zinc. This bike had a chrome chain guard which appears to be original and remains in place, though I cannot find any original photos with a chrome guard.

All bodywork is original and shows no signs of damage. The paint was buffed to a high gloss by a professional restoration painter, it was not repainted. Windscreen is the original Gustafsson piece, headlight cover was remade and drilled to fit the fairing in California by Cee Bailey Plastics. The fuel tank was cleaned and recoated inside with modern sealant not reactive to unleaded ethanol fuel. No gas has been put into tank since recoating. Electric solenoid fuel valves were removed, cleaned, new wiring spliced, new gas lines throughout. Napoleon mirror identification decals were made as original, as was the fuel reserve switch decal. 

Buell fans might be out there, looking to complete the pre-Harley section of their collection.  Or maybe this could just be a smashing occasional rider, its exhaust note, big fairing and unusual color certain to grab some eyeballs wherever it goes.  Either way, the mechanical and cosmetic work make it even better than new, and though the starting bid is up there it looks like it’d be worth it.

-donn

1992 Buell RSS1200 Westwind
Suzuki July 7, 2019 posted by

Under an Assumed Name – 1979 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley Edition

Most 1979-80 GS1000S’s we see have beaucoup miles on them – after all, they are eminently rideable.  And though presented in team colors, the model was never officially referred to as a special Wes Cooley edition.  Fans of the bike and rider took care of that for them.  This one has rather low miles and has been subject of a bare frame restoration.

1979 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley for sale on eBay

Suzuki used their formula of reliability and light weight on the GS1100S, with a two stage oil pump and large oil cooler as part of their Advanced Cooling System.  The big four pulled 90 hp and 62 ft.-lbs. on the dyno, not leading the class until “Pops” Yoshimura worked his magic.  Air adjustable forks were part of the GS line, but conventional hydraulic rear shocks were easier to adjust.  A second 295mm front disk was added to the -S in anticipation of higher speeds.  Lower handlebars served to keep the rider in the air pocket created by the BMW-esque cockpit fairing.

This is about as close to a new 1979 motorcycle as you’re likely to find, with every cosmetic and functional issue addressed.  No reason to open the legendary drivetrain at this point.  Higher resolution pictures would’ve been nice, but the owner’s list is comprehensive.  From the eBay auction:

8,000 Original miles. Clean Illinois Title in my name in hand. This Rare Super Bike has been restored beautifully from the frame up!

Frame Powder Coated
All Engine Covers Chromed
S Model Gauge Cluster (Perfect/Flawless)
All Bulbs in Gauge Cluster replaced
All Bulbs throughout Bike replaced
New Duracell Battery
Very Low Miles (8,000)
New Tires (Front & Back)
New Brakes (Front & Back)
Original Air Box (Inner & Outer)
Paint Flawless to Suzuki Factory Spec (3,000.00)
Seat is Perfect (No Tears)
Original Exhaust (Great shape for its age. Minor flaws)
Carburetors rebuilt (could be synchronized/fine tuned a little better)
Brand New Windshield (Have Original. It’s in good shape just faded slightly)
Every Gasket, Every Spring & Every Grommet replaced
New Plugs
New Oil & Filter
New Grips
S Model Mirrors (Perfect/Flawless)
Every Nut, Bolt, Washer and Screw replaced (If it wasn’t replaced, it was polished)
*Have Rear Foot-pegs (will be installed prior to Sale)
Way to much to list! This is a Concourse Restoration that has left no stone unturned. Nothing was missed. This Bike should be in the Suzuki Museum.

Yoshimura came over to Suzuki for the 1978 AMA season, running Cooley on the tricked out GS1000S.  Despite not winning a Superbike event in 1979, Cooley’s podium consistency gave him the championship.  1980 saw a three-way battle between Cooley, Freddie Spencer ( Honda ) and Eddie Lawson ( Kawasaki ), where it was up in the air until two late-season wins gave the Cooley the championship.  Though most owners will say it’s one their favorite bikes of all time, it’s probably better to find a rider or clone if that’s your intent, and save this example for the concours.

-donn

 

Under an Assumed Name – 1979 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley Edition
Sport Bikes For Sale March 19, 2019 posted by

RG Bargey – 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma

Suzuki developed the RG500 in the mid-1970’s as their Moto GP weapon, and the updated Gamma was offered in road trim only from 1985-87.  Here is a Canadian import that is in special condition and ready to ride.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma for sale on eBay

Based on the square four two-stroke first raced by British rider Barry Sheene, the RG500 Gamma has two crankshafts, with a gear driven clutch between them.  Except for a shock damper to protect the cranks from transient loads, the engine is very similar to the race machine, making 95 hp  at 9,000 rpm.  Looking between the fairing and the engine, you’ll see four low-profile 28mm flat slide carburetors, each connecting directly to the disk valve on the cylinder.  Suzuki’s SAEC automatic exhaust control tailors the header volume depending on engine speed and throttle setting, widening the 500’s torque band from 5,000 to its peak at 9,000 rpm.

The alloy chassis looks ahead with its massive triangulated steering head, though brakes seem smallish at 260mm, and the wheel sizes are the de facto -80’s standard 16 and 17 inches.  Single adjustable 38mm forks work in concert with the Full Floater monoshock.  The pillion is hidden under a faux-mono cover, and the rear exhausts sail out under the seat console.

Coming from a suburban Philadelphia independent, this RG has been stateside since 2000, and has just under 20,000 miles.  No more history in the comments but it has been re-commissioned after some downtime and has new tires.  From the eBay auction:

Cosmetic condition as you can see in the pics is excellent. There are some very minor nicks but on the whole the paint and decals are glossy and unmarred. While not quite concours ready, it is in exceptional rider condition. We’ve included a owner’s manual, service manual and set up manual – all in good shape. There are 2 original factory keys, as well.
We’ve had our resident two-stroke tech go through the bike after a prolonged storage. Air cleaner was renewed, fluids freshened, tank drained, carbs cleaned, etc. Bike started easily and runs well with no clutch slippage. Slight rotor chatter was felt on braking but otherwise rides and handles fine. Tires are brand new Avons mounted on what appears to be Dymag wheels. The anti-dive valves have been blocked off.

Suzuki campaigned the RG from 1974 to ’85, and then as a more modern RGV from ’86-2001.  But the short run of the road machine has honed its legend.  Reviews praised the quick steering, good suspension, and of course the power, which would happily take the engine right through 10,000 rpm.  This one is not an unused collector, and the starting bid reflects the very nice rider condition.  Going to be watching this one !

-donn

RG Bargey – 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma
Ducati January 7, 2018 posted by

Bella Varese – 1995 Ducati 916

Ducati’s 916 was on the verge of success when fire at their shops in Bologna forced a move to their parent company Cagiva’s facility in Varese.  The resulting year’s worth of production were given more than the usual hands-on attention and have acquired a certain cachet among Ducatisti.  This collector-owned 916 has 10,000 miles and a sprinkling of SPS-related updates.

1995 Ducati 916 for sale on eBay

 

It feels gratuitous to even review the specs for the familiar and iconic 916, but it was Ducati’s foray into the 100+ hp bracket with 114 hp.  66 ft.-lbs. torque helped put the racing version on the WSBK four times in five years.  It was somewhat lighter than the preceeding 888, with a compact riding position and tucked-in underseat exhaust.  Designer Massimo Tamburini sketched in an alloy perimeter frame before reverting to Ducati’s trademark chrome-moly trellis, and the lines of the frame echo throughout the bike.

 

Having evidently had its own brush with oblivion early on, this 916 was repaired flawlessly and updated to a carbon SPS tail and rear mudguard.  The owner has had the nose painted as a SPS model and added many nice carbon accents, as well as an Öhlins steering damper.  From the eBay auction:

– Most modifications in the form of quality bolt-on autoclave carbon. No cheap chinese ill fitting parts. This includes ram air tubes, airbox, chain guard, sprocket guard, lower “v” radiator cover and front fender. 
The paint is all factory except for the SPS number plate scheme on the front that replicates the look of a SPS bike to match the tail.
– The paint is in excellent condition with no dings or dents in the tank. There might be the minor shoe scuff or scratch but so minor it is impossible to really capture on camera. Any such imperfections would just be considered patina from 23 year old bike.
– This year bike came stock with an Ohlins rear shock. It has an Ohlins front steering damper and the stock damper is included.
– It has a the expensive BMC air filter system in the airbox. Basically they are mini K&N style filters that slide into their own receptacles at each ram air tube opening in the airbox. See pictures.
Much better than the stock air filter system and high tech.
– It has a Forza (Fast by Ferracci) exhaust system and chip and sounds fantastic. New clutch pack at 8000 miles. Vented clutch cover in period correct factory 1/2 cover configuration.
The tires are visually perfect but are at the age where you should consider replacing if you plan to ride this bike aggressively.
– The previous owner literally kept a hand written diary of all work done. I’ve never seen such diligence. It reads like a journal. You also get all the receipts and service records. There is zero unknowns with this bike. The bike was maintained religiously. Full service and belts where recently changed in October 2016 with 10039 miles on the clock. All work done by Desmoto sport in San Francisco.

Almost goes without saying that the 916 was Ducati’s landmark success, and the model’s successors became a dynasty on the track and street.  Most nicer 916’s are likely on display at this point, and though the 10,000 miles and rebuilt title could lead the new owner out on the road, it seems too nice for anything but an occasional ride to a show…

-donn

Bella Varese – 1995 Ducati 916