Posts by tag: collector

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Ducati June 11, 2022 posted by

Sortalight – 1993 Ducati 900SS Superlight #874

Ducati made a some purely sporting mods to the 904cc Supersport which eliminated the pillion and a added a few lighter components.  A previous owner undid some of the weight savings but this is still a quite original and very good example.

1993 Ducati 900SS Superlight for sale on eBay

With all the goodness built in from the 900SS, the Superlight’s single seat and higher exhaust were the icing on the cake.  Air-cooled 78 hp accompanied improved braking and adjustable Showa suspension bits, and Marvic wheels with aluminum rims married to magnesium hubs reduced mass in the right places.  Carbon mudguards and clutch cover imparted extra lightness.  Sure can’t argue with the race number prep on the tailcone and edition number plaque on the triple tree.  Chrome yellow paint controverted Ducati rosso purists.

With a shade under 30 years and just over 26K miles, this Superlight has a few imperfections, but looks all together and original in places where many aren’t.  Presuming the previous owner wanted wider rear rubber, the next owner will want to keep an eye open for a correct rear wheel to go with new tires.  Notes in the eBay auction wander a bit but hit all the important points –

I’ve had it for a few years and barely rode it, I mainly just stared at it. LOL   This is a beautiful bike and an absolute head turner when it’s out. They are rarely seen out and about.

Here’s the service history since I’ve had it, all work done by one of the great Ducati 900SS experts in the country, Bobby Weindorf. He has extensive experience from working at Pro Italia and as a mechanic and curator for the Moto Talbot collection and more. 

June 2021

  • -Check valve clearances- all good
  • -Install new belts, check tensioners and rollers 
  • -Flush and bleed brakes
  • -Flush and bleed clutch
  • -Replace spark plugs
  • -Clean and adjust carbs, clean jets, clean out idle circuit

June 2022

  • -Disassemble carbs, cleaned all jets
  • -flush front brake system, installed braided steel lines

Fairings are in really great shape and yes they still have the black spongy lining on the inside. I believe this lining is original. This stuff is so brittle it flakes off to the touch, I’m not kidding, it’s a mess when you touch it, but I’m not removing it because I understand some collectors want that intact for originality.

Some of the bolt holes on the seat fairing have “spiderweb” cracks from a prior owner over-tightening. See pics. Common but unfortunate. I’ve seen body/paint shops lightly touch these up to hide them. I’ll leave that up to you.

Tank looks gorgeous, no dents dings or scratches, one very small touch up paint spot.  Probably a few minor nicks here and there, as expected for a 30 year old bike.  The engine/metal parts could use a thorough cleaning with some q-tips and a good cleaner to get into the crevices.

The front wheel is the original Marvic. The rear wheel is not. Previous owner swapped for a wheel off a 1997 916. You may be able to find an original replacement on eBay or overseas, I’ve seen them come up for sale.

Bike fires right up, I mean really fires up! First touch of start button! I’m happy to send you a video.

Probably the Make Offer will get some action on this Superlight, with its miles, recent maintenance and appearance asking for a bit more attention.  Superlight worldwide production looks to have been just over 1,300 in 1992, then a little over half that in 1993-95.  Since the profit engineers stepped in after the first year, earlier bikes are choice.  This example checks a lot of boxes and hopefully the next owner will buff it up to a high lustre.

-donn

Sortalight – 1993 Ducati 900SS Superlight #874
Suzuki June 9, 2022 posted by

Think Small – 1987 Suzuki RG250 Gamma

Most often we find the junior two-strokes in a much sadder state, but this one has been given some recent attention.  This Canadian example might be a good entrée into the smoky side of sportbikes.

1987 Suzuki RG250 Gamma for sale on eBay

Suzuki seems to have had a 247cc two stroke twin in the line-up forever, but the RG250 and Gamma took the model to sportier places.  For 1986-7 the Mk. 3 Gamma used a power valve – Automatic Exhaust Control in marketing lingo.  49 hp was a slight increase but the width of the power band was the emphasis.  Revised brakes were dual four-piston affairs, and the forks included an anti-dive circuit.  The Full Floater monoshock had made its way over from the motocross side and allowed the shock to be positioned further forward, centralizing mass, and the fully adjustable shock could be shorter and use lighter springs.  16-inch front /18 rear tires have -80’s stagger, but with a 100mm section not much width.

Though not quite a full resto, this owner has done more than just paint work and gives some options to the next rider.  Some rubber hole plugs and a bar-end mirror might slip this 250 through the air easier, and as problematic as they can be, some lower profile front blinkers seem to be in order.  The white wheels are the next cosmetic item, or they could go black and pretty badass.  With new tires, brakes and battery, more improvements could be made without taking it off the road.  A short – video – is offered, along with notes from the eBay auction:

Numbers matching engine and frame and the bodywork is original – not aftermarket.  Original Canadian Bike.
 
The bike was originally the two tone blue and white but was repainted in the factory correct 1987 colour red/black and white (it just looks better with this livery)
 
Sounds great – tons of power for the size and razor sharp handling with the aluminum twin spar frame (it was known as the first street legal race bike)
 
Parallel Two Cylinder with Suzuki’s AEC system – Automatic Exhaust Control – power is about 50 hp and weight is under 300 pounds! Full Floater Suspension, Six Speed transmission.
 
– Brand new tires
– Brakes fully rebuilt
– Brand new battery
– New upholstery on seat

Only the reserve will tell whether this owner considers this a finished piece or a nice rider with a few details to address, and of course repairs which any 35 year-old bike can expect.  Many RG250’s are shown without the lowers, and the factory fairings are a strong positive.  At this point in their lives, most have less miles but more corrosion on the exposed aluminum.  A lot of pluses and minuses to weigh over the next few days.

-donn

Think Small – 1987 Suzuki RG250 Gamma
Honda June 6, 2022 posted by

Special Projects Office – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30

Though RSBFS mostly posts carefully tended originals, some models will attract major league attention no matter the condition.  Today’s subject is a venerable RC30 which was apparently parked and forgotten after just 62 miles !

1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30 for sale on eBay 

Not sure what else can be said about the RC30, already the subject of much attention and well-deserved interest.  It was made in just enough numbers to homologate the build for the Superbike World Championship, which it won the first two years.  Using HRC-designed parts for most major components, it had very little in common with the rest of the VFR line-up, and at $15K in 1990 it was well out of most riders’ reach.  Many of the details wouldn’t have been considered for a more sales-oriented machine, like the titanium connecting rods, camshafts running in needle bearings, the oil cooler sending heat to the engine coolant, and the single nut retaining the rear wheel.  Even with all that, a race kit was available which gave an alternative exhaust, radiator, gearsets, race wheels, brake calipers, axles and steering damper.

Though it might be fascinating to hear how this RC30 came to be parked so soon, the NY inspection and Florida location will have to do for now.  For all the inattention, it looks excellent with no apparent damage and only a minor amount of corrosion.  Every system that ever had liquid in it ( and some that didn’t ) await the next owner’s attention.  The original accessories are a great addition, being otherwise unavailable.  Notes from the eBay auction –

Yes, only 62 miles. The motorcycle has been in storage for the past 30 years and is located in South Florida. One owner, all original, no aftermarket accessories or modifications. Note that the motorcycle has not been touched or cranked over in 10 years. At that time, it was running until all the gas was out. All documentation and everything that it came is included such as the race stand, tools and New York State title.   Noted issues (not all inclusive) –
  • Pitting on both forks
  • Scratch by the back seat rest
  • Scratch on gas cap 
  • Gas cap will not unlock

While that fork corrosion wouldn’t normally be worth tending to, in this case the forks will probably be disassembled and re-finished.  It’s easy to predict a full restoration for this RC30, but harder to say whether it will ever turn a wheel afterward.  Too bad because just the sound of the 360-degree crankshaft engine would be worth it.  Seems like each one of the estimated 4,885 RC30’s ever made has at least the potential for a spot in a museum or stadium auction.

-donn

Special Projects Office – 1990 Honda VFR750R / RC30
Honda June 4, 2022 posted by

Wet Look – 1983 Honda CB1100F

Honda offered a few different flavors of the CB1100F, and North America got one of the nicer packages.  No denying the restoration done on this CB1100F, but appears faithful with some rare factory parts.

1983 Honda CB1100F for sale on eBay

As the ultimate update to the CB750, the 1100 had internal and external updates to let it cope with 108 hp.  Four 34mm Keihin carbs handled the fuel mixing, which required premium gas for the 9.7-to-1 compression ratio.  Dual 296mm disk brakes, TRAC anti-dive forks and needle bearings for the swingarm kept the F’s composure under way.  New tubeless alloy wheels were staggered sizes, but the UJM way with – 19 up front and an 18-inch rear.  The handlebars were slightly higher than Euro models, tucked in behind the sharp bikini fairing, and four-into-two exhausts were presented in black chrome.

Not sure if the West Palm shop presenting this CB1100F worked on the restoration ( stated to be 12 years ago ), but presently appears to be more of a resto-builder on the scrambler end of things.  The 980 miles showing on the clocks has apparently been since the restoration, when a NOS dash was installed.  A close-up of the right sidecover looks to be in original condition, and shows how well the paint work was done.  The seat might have been plumped up and the tail tidied, but the factory signals are still there.  Maybe that flat black exhaust could go visit the Cera-Kote guys, but there’s always time for that in the winter.  A cold start – video – is available, and here’s just a bit of the comments from the eBay auction:

EVERYTHING functions as it should, brakes, lighting, engine have been sorted, and came from a previously very loving home (a personal friend of mine). This gorgeous example received a cosmetic restoration about 12 years / 976 miles ago, and received the last known NOS dash in the world, which is in lovely shape and no fading or cracks.

The seat is in wonderful shape, with no cracks or tears. The tank is perfect, and the inside is clean and shiny. Avon Roadrider tires were fitted at the time of restoration and have plenty of meat with 95% tread left. The inside of the gas tank in nice, clean, and shiny.

This model has been fitted with the period correct Yoshimura Exhaust System, and sounds wonderful.

The original exhaust system and center stand are included with sale (see photos). The original mirrors are in very nice shape and included as well.

For all its successes, the CB1100F would soon be retired with the V4 generation taking center stage.  Seems like when things just can’t get any better, big changes might be on the way.  No bids on this classic air cooler just yet, but it’s such a pleasure to look at I’ll be checking occasionally.

-donn

Wet Look – 1983 Honda CB1100F
Honda June 2, 2022 posted by

Detail Oriented – 1992 Honda VFR400R / NC30

From down the block the VFR400R looks every bit an RC30, and though disappointment might flash when you see it’s the 400, the careful way it’s put together is a joy.  Today’s NC30 is an Ontario resident and in super nice original shape.

1992 Honda VFR400R / NC30 for sale on eBay

Honda had several years of VFR construction in their memory banks, and gave buyers just what they needed.  The four gear-driven cams sing their song, and 59 hp are delivered smoothly with the power band beginning at 7,000 revs.  TRAC anti-dive was on earlier VFR400’s, but less unsprung weight was more desirable.  Likewise a hydraulic clutch was saved for another bike – can’t beat a cable for feel or simplicity.  The full but diminutive fairing with twin headlights had the RC30’s likeable expression.  Honda deemed race-bike geometry really wasn’t in their customers’ best interest and the NC30 reviewed as the most approachable of the class.  To show off the ELF designed single-sided swingarm with its 18-inch wheel, the single muffler was moved to the near side.

For 30 years and 20.5K miles, this VFR is a special survivor.  Seeming to be a UK transplant, it has an MPH speedo ( with a rogue scrape on the bezel ) and the ginormous blinkers.  But that’s the only mark to be found, even the heel guards look like they haven’t seen a boot.  Workshop photos from a valve adjustment show the beauty is more than skin deep.  Comments from the eBay auction:

AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THE PICTURES IT HAS BEEN VERY WELL MAINTAINED AND RUNS EXCELLENT. 
NO EXPENSES SPARED, IF IT NEEDED SERVICE OR REPLACEMENT IT HAS BEEN DONE.
ALL ORIGINAL EXCEPT FOR THE SCORPION EXHAUST SYSTEM – THAT SOUNDS AMAZING WITH THE COMBINED GEAR DRIVEN CAMS. 
GENUINE HONDA FAIRINGS STILL INTACT AND IN EXCELLENT SHAPE. 
COMES WITH ORIGINAL OWNERS MANUAL AND SERVICE MANUAL. THESE BIKES ARE SUPER RARE IN THIS CONDITION AND ARE IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CATEGORY COMPARED TO THE GREY IMPORTS.

Rare to see any street bike in this kind of shape after 30 years, and extraordinary considering it was intended for more junior riders.  Still no free lunch, and the heady starting bid might be keeping those mouse buttons from clicking.  European models were spared the speed governor, though it’s unclear how far past 110 mph a NC30 might go in real life.  Too rare for a steady series of comparable sales, this owner seems to have picked a good year and even time of year make a move.

-donn 

Detail Oriented – 1992 Honda VFR400R / NC30
Honda May 29, 2022 posted by

Market Rules – 1986 Honda NS400R

To have been in a 1986 showroom – Suzuki had the RG500 and Yamaha the RZ500, but Honda again went for a bit more lightness and made their GP replica a 400, which at least made sense in Japan.  This example from north of the border really shines considering its nearly 16K miles.

1986 Honda NS400R for sale on eBay

To keep up with the other race reps, Honda produced a fair likeness of  Freddie Spencer’s NS500 racer, with a peculiar V3 smoker, small pattern alloy chassis, and classic full fairing.  Three Keihin flat-slides are in the vee, making 72 hp available on an ATAC power valve-assisted torque curve.  Sleepy through 5,000 rpm, the screaming shortly starts and runs to 9,500 rpm and 125 mph.  Forks were air-assisted with TRAC anti-dive, and a Pro-Link monoshock was underneath.  Brake and tire sizes remind you that this a potent middleweight rather than a superbike.  Oil injection and all the street gear brought the fueled weight up to just over 400 lbs. wet, not bad though Spencer’s 500 weighed almost 100 lbs. less.

Offered by a private individual in Quebec, this excellent example looks complete and correct right down to the sidestand fairing.  Freddie’s signature is on the seat bottom, though present day etiquette would have it right on top of the tailcone.  A quick video is offered – here –.  We’ll let the comments from the eBay auction pick up the story –

1986 Canadian NS400R Freddie Spencer HRC EDITION with the signature – V3 cylinders – 2 stroke – very RARE: less than 400 sold in the whole America… never produced for USA market – 360 lbs dry weight (approx).  Includes current Quebec-CA Clean title/ownership at my name… Immaculate condition and excellent very rare example of a 36 years old collectable 2 stroke bike… only 25,330 km (15,740 miles)… a similar NS 400R like this one just sold for $25,300 this past January at Mecum auction in Vegas (You can see it on last picture).

Only imperfections I could see are a very small paint crack under right side mirror (professionally repaired)… you can see it on the zoomed picture with a green arrow. The brake hoses are not oem because the rubber was cracked in a few places on the previous ones… and it was hard to find an oem hose.

The rear top muffler guard are dismantled for a better look… but is in perfect condition like you can see in the picture.

Reviewers told of a street machine with clear racing lineage, though the power valve system civilized its manners more than most smokers.  None of the mid-size two strokes were offered in the USA, and though they’ve had some grey market presence here, all were retired by the end of 1987.  Maybe some hi-res pictures would help the puzzling lack of bids, but we’ll be watching.

-donn

Market Rules – 1986 Honda NS400R
Suzuki May 22, 2022 posted by

Clean Freak – 1985 Suzuki GS1150ES

Makers were working hard to stand out in the post-recessionary 1980’s, and Suzuki evolved their GS1150 into a GT that could pull a 10-1/2 second quarter mile.  Today’s GS looks excellent and has had some recent tune-up work.

1985 Suzuki GS1150ES for sale on eBay

Suzuki’s 1135cc mill was an incremental update from the 1100, air cooled with two cams and four valves.  114 hp were readily available, thanks to four 36mm Mikuni carbs.  A new square-tube chassis was commissioned, with air-adjustable Kayaba forks and a Full Floater monoshock.  Suzuki’s Positive Damping Force anti-dive system combines with a 16-inch front wheel to help in the twistier bits.  The distinctive fairing makes a generous hole in the windrush, helping win the 200-yard roll on contest with a 50-to-90 mph run.

Offered by a dealer that seems to pay the rent with a line of pressure-washing trailers, this GS shows under 8,000 miles and had me thinking re-paint, but the overall condition makes that more of a question.  Maybe the plastics had a rather liberal splash of protectant, but the metal finishes look like they haven’t spent much time in the hot Texas sun.  Love the black chrome mufflers.  The seller states they can broker the shipping and has a few comments in the eBay auction-

If you are old enough to remember the debut of the Suzuki GS1150 ES, you remember they were the King of the Hill.

These days these bikes are rare to find – especially in this condition!

This bike is an incredible, unmolested survivor with only 7,600 miles!

Complete recent service including ultrasonic carb cleaning. oil/filter change, new plugs and valve lash check.

Starts/run and stops like it should – everything works!

Beside external GPz/V65/FZR pressures, Suzuki had their own Katana and GSX-R1100 ready, and the GS1150ES was retired after 1986. Reviewers set the PDF forks on their lowest setting ( or disabled them entirely ), and squawked a mid-range vibration in the bars and pegs.  Drag racing success meant relatively few survived the long term in anything like the condition seen here.  Looking forward to seeing where the reserve is set !

-donn

Clean Freak – 1985 Suzuki GS1150ES
BMW May 16, 2022 posted by

Vintage Wrapper – 1991 BMW R100 Classic

Looking like a downtown version of Reg Pridmore’s 1976 Superbike, today’s Beemer is surprisingly rare if not the sportiest.  In classic black with white pinstripes, it presents beautifully and seems like a great fan statement.

1991 BMW R100 Classic

So rare most sources indicate few than 200 were made, specs for the R100 Classics often show a less classic shape for the tank and front fender.  980 cc’s of air-cooled twin are in front of your knees, with its 60 sea-horses made up for by the low peak-torque rpm of just 3,750 revs.  A bit hard to verify, but 40mm Bing carbs appear to have been used, as on a few other R100 variants.  All BMW’s of the era had 5-speeds and shaft drive, and it’s reportedly the last year for the Monolever rear.  Triple discs haul the mid-500 pounds back from the brink, and early cast alloys have a spare clean look.

BMW also had “classics” going in the RT and GS segments, and many pictures show the older style rounded valve covers, rather than the newer finned covers here.  This owner say they are just the second caretaker, and both appear have done a nice job protecting this R100 from the ravages of time.  Like the rest of this understated example, even the engine guards are hiding in black paint.  The factory seat looks too new but could be installed while the Corbin gets a new cover.  Notes from the eBay auction –

I’m very proud of this bike. It’s been ridden across the country, has been well loved, and has a neat history.
 
This one has been immaculately cared for, new Michelin tires, a fresh Duracell Ultra 30LA 12V 400CCA AGM Battery, and was just detailed from top to bottom. 
 
Lives up to the reliable airhead engine reputation. Always starts the first time and has been exceptionally reliable over the past six years. 
 
It’s the last year of the naked R100 monolever suspension. The engine is the 980cc boxer twin good for 60 horsepower and 58 foot-pounds of torque. 
 
Second owner, originally purchased 31 years ago from a local Chicago BMW dealership.
 
New engine cover/fairing (both OEM parts—notice the matching custom pinstriping on fairing).
 
Comes with original toolkit roll, Corbin seat (small scratch shown in photo) and passenger backrest along with mint condition original seat.
 
Color matched cockpit fairing, pinstriping and gauges, plus heated grips and engine guards. Two original hard saddle bags included—one needs a new latch which can be purchased for $35 on eBay.
 
Exclusively garage stored, always covered. Rock solid, always reliable.

BMW was just about to launch their oil-cooled four-valve R1100, and the classics may have been a case of parts bin engineering.  But there’s almost always room for one more of a popular model run, especially when you can plan on mostly home maintenance and a riding career’s worth of trouble-free miles.  The black with white pinstripes was retro thirty years ago, and should really reach back when garaged with a splashy new BMW or two.

-donn

Vintage Wrapper – 1991 BMW R100 Classic