Posts by tag: custom

Warning!

We have 15 years of archives. Please note that posts over a year old may have been updated to point to similar bikes available to bid on eBay.
Ducati September 19, 2022 posted by

Polyphemus – 2005 Ducati 999R

Before its recent resurgence as a classic, even a 999R could come under the customizer’s gaze.  The air and eye flow more easily over this ultimate Ducati offering from 2005, beautifully presented by a leading northwest dealer.

2005 Ducati 999R for sale on eBay

Quite a bit more than the sum of its parts, the 999R was a portfolio of red and carbon, exquisite drivetrain engineering and special components.  The R is set apart from the rest of the line by the even more oversquare engine, with titanium rods and valves plus knife-edged crank.  The chassis has an adjustable headstock, and the beside hand and foot control adjustments, the seat console can be moved a little closer or further from the bars.  Glitter from Öhlins, Brembo and Marchesini were ti-coated, radially mounted, and forged.  2005 brought a revised swingarm but deleted the number plate on the triple tree.

No info on ownership history, maintenance, or how the modified nose came about, but the rest of the bike looks excellent for its reported 11,135 miles.  The fairings and other carbon bits appear complete and undamaged, with other mods including a bar-end mirror, streamlined turn signals, fuel filler and stripes that are somewhere between the Xerox or Desmosedici.  The exhaust looks to have been coated, and the tail-ectomy deserves a closer look since the brake light can be a tricky detail.  Evidently paying by the word in the eBay auction –

Superbike with solo headlight fairing, Termignoni exhaust, and just 11K miles on the odometer.

Most collectors would take off points ( and dollars ) for almost every change from the factory original, but this 999R is asking over $20K so we’ll have to see how it goes.  The overall condition doesn’t seem like a totaled bike could’ve been the catalyst for the nose job, but that question is going to come up eventually.  The single headlight solution holds together well, and might lead the next owner to blast out even more miles.

-donn

Polyphemus – 2005 Ducati 999R
Kawasaki August 18, 2022 posted by

Backdated – 2007 Kawasaki ZX-10R

About halfway between Doug Chandler’s team Muzzy AMA championships and Jonathan Rea’s string of WSBK titles, Kawasaki was making their way back to superbike fame in the mid oughties.  Here’s a 175 hp ZX-10R with a slick 90’s livery and lightweight side exhaust.

2007 Kawasaki ZX-10R for sale on eBay

Kawasaki had developed the ZX-10R from the 9oo a few years before, but the 2006 update focused on racing success, with a smoother transmission, slipper clutch, and better brakes thanks to individual brake pads for each caliper piston.  The dual mufflers needed extra volume and hung outboard of the pillion.  Twin alloy spars hold the engine from above and behind, keeping the package as slim as possible.  43mm is the dimension of the four throttle bodies as well as the inverted cartridge forks.  Super-clean conformal turn signals might have been a designer’s thesis project.

Most often seen in your choice of primary colors with black trim, this ZX-10R has sharp retro paint that riders of a certain vintage will appreciate.  Often a custom begins with some damage history and a close look at the throttle side shows some support for that possibility.  Not seeing any other particular marks, and the tail is lightened considerably by the single Mass Moto exhaust.  Normal for EuroCycle in Vegas, comments or history will have to be had over the phone.

Rather more modern than an actual 1990’s Kawi, the ZX-10R still pre-dates any electronic conscience, so with 175 hp the rider should know their stuff.  Even more so when concave tank almost invites the rider to tuck in behind the windscreen and push it a little.

-donn

Backdated – 2007 Kawasaki ZX-10R
Ducati May 10, 2022 posted by

Gloriously Excessive: Carbon Framed Ducati 996

Everyone knows that the Ducati superbike market is on fire right now.  Amazing low mileage examples are bringing huge numbers at auctions.  Collectors are hunting for the best of the best and paying up for the chance to add one of these beautiful machines to their garages.  As with most things collectable, originality is the primary focus.  Gurus are consulted for information on tiny details in the endless pursuit of perfection.  The bikes not snapped up by collectors are often enjoyed out on the road by owners that want to have the experience of this era motorcycle.  But the often overlooked custom market offers some really unique and interesting items.

The work custom in the collector market can be both scary and polarizing.  Many have seen poorly slapped together projects called custom builds, and rightfully shy away.  Often the modifications do not have a meaningful improvement on the performance.  They often would cost a substantial amount of money to replace with the correct OEM parts.  Those fears are not justified on a bike like this.  Today’s bike is one of those “money no object” builds that rarely trade hands.  Just take a look at the lengthy list of over the top parts that were used to build this bike.

From The Seller’s eBay Listing:

This special Ducati is for the collector who demands perfection, and something spectacular.

Rare, one of a kind, Ducati Superbike.
Up for sale: the “You Wish” 1036CS built by Alex Ortner which took 1700 man hour to build.

The “You Wish” bike as published in the Ian Falloon’s article in Two Wheels magazine.

Quick synopsis of the bike:
-342lb wet (no gas)
– 155hp with just under 100ft-lb of torque
– Ti, Mag, and CF everything
– 1700hr of build time, many one-off parts

The bike has been gone over and completely sorted by CommonWealth Motorcycles, over the 12-years I have owned it. Also, the motor was rebuilt to a much higher spec than Alex had it by CommonWealth motorcycles and tuned by Doug Lofgren (to the tune of $12,000.00 invoices attached). The motor is now putting out 155hp and just under 100ft-lbs of torque. Also, the motor has roughly 100mi since the rebuild.

The bike has also had a certified independent appraisal done by Mark Mederski of Mederski Vintage Motorcycle Services for $205,000.00

Attached:

*Copy of “You wish” article

*Full Independent appraisal by Medershi Vintage Motorcycle Services

*copies from Common Wealth Motorcycles of the work they have done on the 1036CS since purchased.

*the 1036CS will be sold with a fresh service by Common Wealth Motorcycles for the new buyer so it is ready for the track or road upon delivery.

The trouble with this type of bike is that they are extremely challenging to value.  Do you take the cost of the build?  How do you factor into the fact that some of these period parts are no longer available?   Does the price of the underlying stock bike matter?  Or do you just pick a number that you are comfortable with and tell yourself that you only live once and that life is too short to miss out on an amazing bike like this?

Bidding is already over $15k and the seller is hinting at six figure evaluations.

Gloriously Excessive:  Carbon Framed Ducati 996
Yamaha May 4, 2022 posted by

Red Shift – Original Owner 1989 Yamaha FZR1000

For 1989 Yamaha packed a host of updates into their 5-valve FZR-1000, making it a very performance-oriented liter.  This San Diego owner had a custom design done by a notable painter, and then parked it for a generation.  Looks to be ready for a new rider !

1989 Yamaha FZR1000 for sale on eBay

Yamaha added the EXUP power valve for 1989, stretching an already prodigious powerband.  145 hp are on tap, making even its 520 lbs. ride-away weight disappear.  The engine was rotated back 10 degrees to “sporten” the wheelbase, and multiple changes to the engine made it more compact, lighter, and more powerful.  The engine bolts into the Deltabox chassis, strengthening both.  43mm forks are single adjustable, while the Monocross rear has a remote reservoir and rebound adjustment.  Ports in the full fairing send fresh air though the spars to the airbox.  Mirror are big and wide enough that you might be able to see what’s quickly receding.

This original owner FZR was professionally repainted early on, and more recently renewed in every way.  The period Telefix fork brace and Supertrapp muffler are the mechanical mods, while a solo-look Corbin makes the rider more comfortable.  Just 8,280 miles over 33 years, and the seller has made it ready for the next contestant.  Comments from the eBay auction:

Painted by Dennis Wells in San Diego in 1991, the paint is in excellent condition
Bike has been recently gone through after having sat in my garage for 25 years.
 
Following work and parts have been installed –
All new fluids, including fork oil, brake fluid, engine oil, & coolant.
Front and Rear brake master cylinder and calipers completely rebuilt
with new seals and EBC brake pads.
Stainless Steel brake lines on front wheel
Clutch Master Cylinder rebuilt
with new Yamaha clutch slave cylinder & new stainless steel clutch hose installed
Fork Rebuilt with new seals
Brand new Dunlop Q3’s front and rear
New DID 530 VX3 Chain 
Rebuilt petcock, new fuel filter, new fuel lines, and new fuel pump installed
Carbs rebuilt
Caswell Tank Sealer installed
New NGK Spark Plugs 
New Yuasa Battery
K&N Air Filter 
SuperTrapp Slip-On Exhaust which retains EXUP valve 
Wrapped Headers
Telefix Fork Brace
Custom Corbin Matching Solo Seat
Original Seat Included

Bimota was taken with the Genesis engine(s) and commissioned 400, 750 and 1000cc YB’s in the late -80’s.  Yamaha’s own models were a little longer, a little heavier, and about 1/4 of the MSRP.  Quite a bit less rare it’s true, but this FZR1000 seems to be one of a kind.  No bids yet but it’s early in the week.

-donn

 

Red Shift – Original Owner 1989 Yamaha FZR1000
Bimota February 24, 2022 posted by

Whitehouse Custom: Bimota Tesi 1D Forgore Bianca

The rampant excess of the 1990s is a glorious time period to look back on.  For those with the available funds, the sky was the limit.  Nothing seemed out of reach and few places embodied that ethos like Japan.  There were many shops offering custom upgrades to rare and exotic motorcycles.  Tuning companies  were more then willing to help customers spend their money and create unique and wonderful machines.  One such creation that is sure to be at the top of the heap is the WhiteHouse Bimota Tesi 1D Forgore Bianca, or White Lighting.

For the time, many viewed the Tesi 1D as about as outlandish and unique as one could get in two wheeled form, but WhiteHouse offered a laundry list of upgrades, changes and modifications to let buyers take things to the next level.  WhiteHouse already had a history of offering similar services on other more standard motorcycles for the local market.  They still offer parts and services to this day.

Customers could choose almost anything they wanted.  They got to pick the materials the custom bodywork was created from, the paint colors and even got to offer some feedback on the overall look.  The changes were more then just skin deep as well.  Options like FCR racing carbs to replace the weber fuel injection, high flow exhausts, and uprated suspension were also available.  None of this came cheap, with rumors of $50,000 builds are common.  Data is limited, but most agree only a handful of the 417 Tesi 1D got the treatment.

From The Seller’s Listing:

Regarding the vehicle you referred to, the engine has been confirmed to be movable at present, and although there are small scratches and small rust due to normal use (see detailed photo), it will be a base vehicle in good condition.

295 Km

Small oil leak

This bike was for a very specific type of owner when new, and that has remained constant.  Currently offered in Japan with a price tag of $49,500.  Listing is lacking details on exactly what specifications it was built to, or what options were selected.  No indication of service history, but some mention of needed tires and other small jobs.

The market is very strong for period correct high end modified vehicles.  A couple of weeks ago a RUF 911 from the early 00s sold for the better part of a million dollars.  Many view the $30-50,000 price mark as the end of the earth for motorcycles, but when viewed through the lens of cars it is an amazing bargain.  You get all of the experience, style and history for a fraction of the buy in cost.

If you have ever dreamed of creating a custom motorcycle with something like a Bimota Tesi 1D as a base but lack the funds of fortitude to dive into a project like that, maybe it best to dip a toe in the water with a model instead.

Whitehouse Custom: Bimota Tesi 1D Forgore Bianca
Ducati July 5, 2019 posted by

City Slicker – 1985 Ducati 750 F1 Race Replica

As if a 34 year-old Ducati race replica weren’t rad enough, this 750 F1 has been improved in just about every way to be an up-to-date race shop’s rep.  Developed in NYC and now just a few clicks north, this sparkling 1985 model would be a hit in any concours or vintage race.

1985 Ducati 750 F1 Race Replica for sale on eBay

Ducati was taking on water in the early 1980’s, but had four consecutive F2 championships in the TT series which competed with FIM Grands Prix.  Some privateer successes with F2-based 750cc machines led the factory to developed its own F1 race bike, and the Pantah-engined 750 F1 road machine.  The F1 brought a host of firsts for Ducati – first trellis frame for the road, first monoshock, first floating brake rotors, first 2-into-1 exhaust, first alloy tank.  Though not scary powerful or all that lightweight, it was very sporty for the time and a great basis for a race team’s mods.

Long time previous owner and TT maven Lou Saif curated the long list of updates to this now dedicated race machine.  Suspension was modernized, wheel sizes normalized, and tweaks copied from factory endurance racers.  Soon to be ex-owner Gregory Rathe had these comments on – bikeexif.com –

Lou owned this 750 F1 for almost 20 years, and developed it as a replica of Marco Lucchinelli’s factory bike. “Lou’s intention was to make this bike a street racer, and as light and reliable as possible,” says Rathe. So the motor is mostly original except for the cams, Supermono lightweight gears, and a (very loud) titanium exhaust. The wheels are 17″ x 4.5″/6″ magnesium, and Lou shortened the tail and replicated the lights of the works bikes. The front fairing is also in the racing style, and the headlights are quick release—like those used for night racing. The bike is sprinkled with titanium hardware, and weight was removed from everywhere possible—so it now tips the scales at only 305 pounds. Isn’t it just gorgeous?

The 750 F1’s popularity led to three special editions named for challenging race venues – Montjuich, Laguna Seca, and Santa Monica, and some F1 racers which did well in the Italian TT series.  Meanwhile the new Cagiva management reconsidered their plan to absorb the brand and Ducati rose to the occasion.  An interesting snapshot of the end of an era, and a museum-quality treatment of the subject.

-donn

 

City Slicker – 1985 Ducati 750 F1 Race Replica
Buell May 27, 2018 posted by

Bigtime Makeover – 1998 Buell M2 Cyclone

The Buell M2 Cyclone was their more vanilla model, a little heavier than the Lightning and without Thunderbolt touring gear.  This insider hotrod was featured in Cycle World and has an even torquier engine, Euro gearing and later bodywork.

1998 Buell M2 Cyclone for sale on eBay

The big Sporty engine aboard the M2 was already a torque monster, but comprehensive mods to this one’s motor pushed displacement to 1426cc’s ( or as U.S.-centric big twin fans like to hear it, 87 cubic inches ) with 106 hp and 92 ft.-lbs. torque at the rear wheel.  A firm grip on the mid-rise bars would be advised to keep the rider with the chrome-moly tube frame under acceleration.  Dual-adjustable suspension is by Showa, right-side-up forks and underslung pull shock.  The signature Buell attributes are all there, oversize single front disk brake, mass-centralizing muffler, and belt drive.  The headlight fairing at least makes a dent in the wind, and the generous M2 console is a couch compared to the seat on the Lightning.

 

Evidently in the collection of the engine developer since the build, this M2 shows only 9,492 miles and has been carefully stored.  Beefier rear swingarm and front brake caliper appear to have been upgraded to Mk. 2.  The motor work done is truly too much to list, but the owner reviews the project in the eBay auction:

We decided to modify a Cyclone as a test bike for a Cycle World magazine article.  I wanted to use the European transmission geared version because of superior gear ratio spacing; Erik sourced one for me with about 8,500 miles on it, and the transformation was on.   Current mileage is 9,500.

The decision for this project was made in the ‘98 year, so I worked mainly on the engine. When I was done, Erik’s crew updated the chassis to ’99 specs, and updated the body panels to “Reactor Yellow” over the “Nuclear Blue” frame.

I also changed the front engine mount to make the mount bolt perpendicular to the engine rotation point at the rear of the transmission/swing arm pivot, resulting in a much smoother ride experience.

The bike has been carefully garaged in a climate-controlled building; and covered to prevent dust accumulation.  Clear title.

 

Like so many listings, this one required a closer look and has only one day to run.  A sleeper like this appears over-priced but for some will be a signed one-of-one, and might require another round on eBay to be successful.  The Buell tubers are revered for their raw simplicity, and the M2 is a nice balance, this one with an uncompromising powerplant and professional build quality.

-donn

Bigtime Makeover – 1998 Buell M2 Cyclone
Ducati April 12, 2018 posted by

More Than the Sum – 1993 Ducati 900SS Custom

Ducati’s iconic 900 SuperSport has everything you need and nothing you don’t.  The early 90’s edition inspired this retro-faired monoposto, where even more of everything is out in the open.  The custom frame, tank and fairing hang together very well, looking like a Friday afternoon ride into the hills waiting to happen.

1993 Ducati 900SS Custom for sale on eBay

The 900SS goes way back to 1975, but belt drive unburdened the engine in 1988 and the conversion to Mikuni carburetors in 1993 freed up 84 hp.  Big brakes from the 851 provided ample stoppage, and fully adjustable Showa suspension were a nice improvement.  Dry weight was under 400 lbs.

As built by Union Motorcycle Classics, this SuperSport might be under 400 lbs. with half a tank, though the trip odometer might want to be used as a gas gauge.  Perhaps the wafer-thin seat atop the revised subframe would remind the rider to take a break, though the aluminized Ferracci exhaust and Fox rear shock say go.  From the eBay auction:

Introducing a one-of-a-kind professionally built 900SS. Everything on this beautiful motorcycle shows attention to detail and mechanical craftsmanship. (search “custom 900SS” on google and this will be one of the top 5 motorcycles that appears in images.)

The one-off hand crafted tank is a merging of a 900SS tank and a late 80’s 750 Sport. Beautifully done. You will see throughout the build are custom manufactured brackets and period race parts, with all work performed by Union Cycles.

Likely the builder didn’t change the frame geometry, not messing with one of the best handling SuperSports of the day.  Union has beautifully reduced the 900SS to its cafe’ racing denominator, as Hunter S. Thompson described in his original Cycle World review of the bike.  With the limited seating position, rider endurance might be even lower.  But cafe’s aren’t that far apart these days, and the new owner will likely be having extended Q&A at coffee stops, with spirited blasts in between…

-donn

More Than the Sum – 1993 Ducati 900SS Custom