Posts by tag: desmodue

Ducati August 17, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing: 1993 Ducati Superlight for Sale

Update 8.17.2020: This bike has SOLD to an RSBFS reader! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Putting a numbered plaque and some bling on your moribund sportbike is a time-tested method to generate some buzz. It works especially well if you’re a storied, but slightly skint manufacturer of moribund Italian sportbikes. But parts-bin engineering doesn’t mean the resulting product is necessarily bad, and this Ducati Superlight is proof-positive that the whole can be much more than the sum of the parts.

By 1993, well-heeled sportbike buyers knew that the 916 was right around the corner, and the then-current 888 offered much more performance potential. But that finicky, uncomfortable, and maintenance-intensive machine wasn’t necessarily practical, or all that much good on the road. Assuming you wanted to do more than bench-race or compare lap times, the long-serving two-valve Desmodue-powered 900SS made a great platform for a limited-edition sportbike, and the Superlight was just a 900SS with some bolt-on parts.

To be honest, the list of performance modifications to make a Superlight was pretty short: upswept exhaust pipes in place of passenger pegs that gave additional cornering clearance, a stylish solo tail section, and a few carbon dodads to “reduce weight.” Most significantly, the Superlight featured Marvic composite wheels: magnesium hubs and spokes bolted up to polished aluminum rims. Combined, the changes saved about 15lbs, compared to the stock bike. Considering the price then and now, a gym membership would be a cheaper and more effective way to increase performance. Of course, nobody really bought a Superlight for its performance potential anyway.

This particular bike is a bit different though, and offers a bit more than your run of the mill Desmodue: a tuned 944cc engine. 86hp might not sound like much, but the stock 904cc engine made a claimed and likely optimistic 80hp. Around 70hp at the wheel is more likely for a factory 900SS, so the big-bore kit installed in this Superlight and the corresponding 69lb-ft of torque to go with the 86rwhp is nothing to sneeze at.

Cosmetically, this is a very nice bike, as you can see from the photos in the listing. It’s not completely original, although the 944 kit and Staintune exhaust are certainly period-appropriate upgrades for the performance minded Ducatisti who plans to ride their new acquisition, rather than let it collect dust and appreciate as part of a stock portfolio. The seller is also including all the parts necessary to make the bike appear totally stock so a buyer can achieve stock show appearance if they wanted.

From the Seller: 1993 Ducati Superlight for Sale
1993 Ducati 900SS Superlight. Super clean exceptional performing and running correct (#789/953, Marvic magnesium/aluminum wheels, Brembo full floating iron rotors, carbon fiber front fender, rear inner fender, dash trim, countershaft cover, high pipes, solo tail) example. Excellent original paint, 2 owner bike. Built and tuned by Doug Lofgren. 86 rwhp (944ccc with big valves, headwork and Staintune exhaust – dyno sheet included). Suspension revalved and set up for 200lb rider.Freshly serviced by Ducati master tech (valve clearance check, belts, plugs, oil/filter, flush brakes and clutch). Full Staintune exhaust system, carbon fiber clutch cover, braided steel brake lines, 520 chain/sprockets, lithium battery with special charger. All original parts (except airbox lid) included, along with new belts, factory tool kit, owners manual and Haynes service manual. Tires have aged out and should be replaced, if the bike is to be ridden. ~19,700 miles. No cosmetic defects, except a few minor chips on upper,and front point of lowers behind the front wheel (touched up) and a small rash mark on the edge of the left muffler. Click here for 80 photos of the bike and scans of service and tuning, including close up photos of the mentioned defects.

$12,500 $11,500

I’ve included the majority of the Seller’s photos here, but there are additional images available at the link, including close ups of some minor blemishes, dyno sheets, and other documentation. I personally prefer Termignoni exhausts on my 90s Ducatis, but Staintune makes a very high-quality product so, aside from tires, this bike is ready to go. The seller includes a video of the bike starting up and running and the asking price is $11,500 which seems very much in line with prices we’ve seen recently. If what you want is a delivery-mile museum piece, this might not be the bike you want. But the would make a terrific bike to actually ride, and it’s pretty enough to park in your living room between weekend rides embarrassing modern sportbikes in the canyons.

-tad
Featured Listing: 1993 Ducati Superlight for Sale
Ducati August 3, 2020 posted by

Nice Surprise – 1988 Ducati Paso 750

Arguably the first modern Ducati, the Paso used an innovative design, and new belt-driven cams for its desmodue engine.  This Pennsylvania example has been beautifully restored, using at least a gallon of arrest-me red.

1988 Ducati Paso 750 for sale on eBay

Underneath Tamburini’s ground-breaking package was a familiar Pantah 748cc twin, this time with a single Weber carburetor and 73 hp.  A 5-speed was all the torque curve required, and Marzocchi suspension and 16-inch tires are found at both ends.  Triple Brembo disk brakes are nearly the same size all around, 280mm fronts and 270mm rear.  The soap-bar bodywork freed the designers to build the square tube frame strong and economical, and Tamburini honed the geometry and balance to make the Paso a sweet handling package.

The owner has a short eBay history but picked a lower-mileage Paso as a project, and made a beauty out of it.  Right down to the exhausts, it’s hard to find a modification to the factory’s ideal.  Alloy re-finishing came out better than new.  Pictures without the fairing might require some enhancement to really see the details.  From the eBay auction:

Purchased this classic Paso to perform a full restoration, but when we removed the body work, the chassis and componentry were in such excellent condition, we opted to focus on a cosmetic overhaul. The engine and chassis have been gone through and everything is in order. Valve adjustment and belts replaced within the last 1,500 miles. New tires, new battery, new oil pressure sending unit, new leather seat cover. All bodywork (fiberglass and ABS) was repaired prior to very high quality lacquer repaint. There is a blemish on the left side panel where the mounting point caused a crack after reinstallation (picture shown). Decals replaced and cleared over. Original Oscam wheels were stripped of the delaminated clearcoat and machine polished. There is likely not a Paso this clean outside of the Ducati museum.

The Paso’s styling wasn’t enough of a sure thing to generate more than a couple of thousand sales each year, though Honda came up with a very similar package for the late -80’s CBR600F.  The Weber struggled with heat in traffic, and an upgrade to fuel injection came with the last-of-the-line 907 i.e.  Paso’s do have their fan base though, who appreciate their moderately sporty riding position and protective aero.  Hopefully a RSBFS reader will meet the reserve on this cherry and let us know how it goes.

-donn

Nice Surprise – 1988 Ducati Paso 750
Ducati August 1, 2020 posted by

Lighter Makes Righter – 1987 Ducati 750 F1B

Ducati found its Taglioni-engined twins a good match for the fledgling Formula TT series, and produced road and track versions.  This California example has apparently never seen the road, and not much of the track as evidenced by the unfettered condition.

1987 Ducati 750 F1B ( Racebike ) for sale on eBay

The F1 refers to its Tourist Trophy class, the 600-750cc segment of the race series which got its start when FIM decided the Isle of Man was too dangerous a venue.   As presented for the street, the F1 claimed 63 hp, with two valves per cylinder and 36mm Dell’Orto carbs.  The artfully crafted chrom-moly chassis and swingarm had Marzocchi dampers front and rear.  Brembo brakes are not oversized at 280mm, and the six-spoke alloy wheel sizes were staggered at 16 inch front, 18 rear.  The sub-400 lbs. weight came through judicious use of lightweight materials and drilling everything else.

Hard to expect a full ownership and maintenance history for a find like this though the seller does posit an odometer issue.  Can’t tell all from the pictures provided, but the finishes look excellent and lack the patina that not much actual use would provide.  Carburettors have been upgraded to 38mm Mikunis, and fuel plumbing had to be changed to accommodate.  From the eBay auction:

1987 Ducati F1B that was never titled for the road. The speedometer has 4 miles. I don’t believe it to be original miles. The 750 F1 was a factory prepped track bike that saw very little use. The paint is in beautiful condition and as you can see in the photos. Bike is fitted with a harness for track, with out a left side headlight switch. The bike starts and runs flawlessly. Carbs are Mikuni race 38 mm flatslides. The bike would need little work to return it to a road bike but at the end it is a original factory 750 F1. The frame paint shows no use and is in beautiful condition without any damage or scratches. The bodywork has some small spider cracks on the mono seat, fairing is in beautiful condition. The plastic windscreen shows a small crack visible in the photos.

Ducati started out in Formula TT with their 600 F2 under Tony Rutter, who laid down 4 consecutive championships.  The 750 F1 wasn’t quite so lucky, but has become an iconic model.  Special F1 editions commemorating wins at Montjuich, Laguna Seca, and Santamonica may have put Ducati on the path to continuing limited editions.  This F1B is a classic piece of exotica and has the ask to match – but looks worth a daydream or two.

-donn

Lighter Makes Righter – 1987 Ducati 750 F1B
Bimota July 26, 2020 posted by

The Purist: 1993 Bimota DB2 for Sale

The Bimota DB2 is a bit of an odd duck [pun!]: the company’s claim to fame was building high-spec, light weight, race-inspired sportbikes powered by Japanese engines. Those engines came from bikes that were overbuilt and often significantly heavy, so Bimota found a significant performance increase by building motorcycles as much as a hundred pounds lighter than the original machines that donated their powerplants. But Ducati, with a few exceptions, has always had the whole handling thing pretty much nailed, and the DB2 isn’t much lighter than the Ducati 900SS that donated its engine to the endeavor.

Bimota’s naming system flies in the face of motorcycling convention. You’d probably think a Bimota SB6 would be powered by a 600cc engine. It’s not. Instead, it’s packing 1100cc of Suzuki heat. “SB6” means the bike in question is the sixth Suzuki-powered Bimota. The number has nothing to do with displacement. Because Italy. The original Ducati-powered DB1 proved to be a big seller and, at around 600 units, qualified as nearly volume production.

Luckily, the DB2 was a bit lighter than the 900SS at a claimed 373lbs dry. The one-piece tank shroud and tail section was held in place by a few fasteners, and was wrapped around a plastic fuel cell, all of which helped keep things simple as well as light. It was powered by Ducti’s 904cc air-cooled Desmodue v-twin from the 900SS that produced 86 claimed horsepower. That charismatic engine was suspended in a trellis frame similar to the original Supersport unit, matched to a sexy tubular swingarm, with stout Paioli forks and an adjustable Öhlins shock out back.

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Bimota DB2 for Sale

1993 Bimota DB2 VIN#ZES1DB21XPRZES018. 408 DB2s were manufactured and this is one of the 285 full-fairing models. I purchased this bike in 2014 and have put less than 1,000 miles on it since then. After picking it up it was fully serviced by DucPond (Ducati Winchester, VA) with valves, belts, fluids and a new clutch basket and plates. Most recently in Feb 2020 it was back for belts and fluids at DucPond. Bike has the air cooled Ducati 2 valve motor in it. This is a very light bike with remarkable handling and great brakes – only bike I have ridden with true floating front discs. Reliable, easy to work on and tons of options available for it. It runs strong and pulls very nicely.

Everything works on the bike. The low fuel level light comes on and off regardless of the fuel level – common to these bikes I think. If I was keeping it I would put fresh tires on it (the ones on it are past their shelf life); change the brake fluid again; and replace the blinker relay with an adjustable one (they blink too fast). Bike charges fine and has a newish battery in it. No warranty expressed or implied – it is 27 years old, but I would happily ride this bike anywhere. As a 27 year old bike it is not perfect and has a few flaws which I have tried to highlight in the pictures. The paint is probably as good as the factory, but has blemishes in it. Clear title in my name.

Not on the bike but included are the steering dampener and original airbox. It comes with two sets of keys and the original books. Separately I have a lot of spares for this bike, that are not included with the sale here but I will consider a good offer on them from the purchaser of the bike. Bike shows 1978 miles and if the below is correct, then total mileage would be about 5,000 miles.

Prior to my ownership what the previous owner stated (these are not my words). There is a letter in the paper work indicating acceptance of the bike as a gift.

“This motorcycle was completely restored in 2001 when it had approximately 3000 miles and donated to the Larz Anderson Transportation Museum in Boston, who elected to auction it to focus on their older collection of pre-war cars.

Enhancements performed in 2001:

“944cc big bore kit, stainless steel engine studs, carburetor jet kit, new timing belts, carbon fibre belt covers, braided brake lines, polished wheels, mufflers, intake manifolds, new chain and sprocket, adjustable brake and clutch levers, tinted windscreen, Euro headlight, new speedometer and tachometer, painted frame.”

Bike is located in Northern VA.

Bidding is very active on this example, which is no surprise considering it hasn’t even cracked $10k yet. I have to be honest: the Bimota DB2 is one of my favorite Bimotas, but I’m not a huge fan of those graphics with their dripping paint/urban camo design. I’d happily live with them though, even in the garish white/purple [?!]/white scheme that was also available. It’s one of the purest expressions of Italian motorcycling, a light, nimble machine with striking looks and just enough power to be fun. The DB2 is easy to run as well, at least as far as the two-valve Ducati engine is concerned. Don’t be put off too much by the scary Italian reputation: a well cared-for Desmodue is good for 100,000 miles or more, and servicing isn’t all that expensive, or difficult for a handy home mechanic.

-tad

The Purist: 1993 Bimota DB2 for Sale
Bimota July 2, 2020 posted by

Dragon West – 1999 Bimota DB4 Tri-Colore

Bimota’s fourth Ducati used the tried-and-true ( if not overpowering ) 904cc desmodue, but was a lightweight handler.  This owner hasn’t belabored the cosmetics, but from the looks of the tires has used it as intended – on the wickedly technical Palomar Mountain Loop.

1999 Bimota DB4 Tri-Colore for sale on eBay

The DB4 design was no exception for Bimota, who typically stayed out of a factory mill and finagled their own intake and exhaust.  In this case they specified 38mm Mikuni carburetors instead of the factory fuel injection, and claimed 80 hp and 60 ft.-lbs. torque.  The race kit on this example includes flat-slide carbs and single muffler Corse exhaust.  A large part of Bimota’s art is in the alloy chassis, split between the sharp handling geometry and gorgeous CNC work and welding.  Premium components are also part of the story, with 43mm Paoli forks, Öhlins monoshock and generously-sized Brembo brakes.  Not sure if the Italo-centric livery was a special edition, but DB4’s are rarely seen without it.

The owner has a long-term relationship going here but doesn’t tell recent maintenance history.  From the overall condition and start-up – video – it might be best to factor in a valve adjustment, and of course tires.  The buy-it-now would be a lot easier to see if the seller had buffed this baby up a bit.  From the eBay auction:

1999 Bimota DB 4 with ” race kit “.
Kit consists light weight Corsa exhaust, flat slide carbs, and Ohlins rear shock. 
 
Will install new tires at Buy It Now price. 
Current tires a bit old but usable. See pics.
 
Overall good shape, with minor scrape on right lower due to lean angle. ( Was not down )
I removed lower when I rode it and put back on to sell.
 
Has been run on Palomar Mountain, but not a track since I have owned it.
Put about 1500 miles on it with a ride to L.A. and running Palomar. 

At the time, Bimota was struggling with their own engine in the V-Due, and needed every success, even with the air-cooled supersport engine.  The DB4 was that victory, and tided Rimini over to the SB8 superbike.  While this DB4 could use a little TLC, it’s from a less complicated time, when an lightweight 900 could carve a Supersport-sized niche in a legendary road.

-donn

Dragon West – 1999 Bimota DB4 Tri-Colore
Bimota May 10, 2020 posted by

Phoenix Rising – 1994 Bimota DB2

Looks like this one found a buyer outside of eBay, but so rare it’s still worth a peek…  -donn

Bimota DB2’s make only an occasional appearance on RSBFS, expected with total production of just over 400.  The Tricolore is much more rare, and this rejuvenated example is in particularly nice shape.

1994 Bimota DB2 for sale on eBay

Bimota’s second cooperation with Ducati used their 904cc desmodue, good for 86 air-cooled hp.  Showing their usual fabrication skills, Rimini whipped up a lovely chrom-moly lattice frame and similar swingarm.  Nothing if not light, the chassis helped the DB2 stay under 375 lbs. dry.  Generously sized 320mm Brembo brakes seem to fill the 17-inch front wheel, hung in 41mm Paoli forks.  Out back the Öhlins shock does it without a complex linkage, relying on a progressive rate spring for control as forces increase.  Fiberglass fairings revealed more than the DB1, and kept things easy to get to plus light.

Sounds like this DB2 was on ice for a while and returned to service last fall.  The tail tidy looks good and retains most of the protection from the swingarm-mounted fender.  Not so sure about the lack of turn signals but they should be easy enough to replace if the new owner desires.  New master cylinders for brakes and clutch are a nice touch.  I’m almost thinking repaint but there’s no comment on such in the eBay auction:

Properly stored (fluids drained, cylinders fogged, etc.) here in the dry desert in Phoenix since 2013. This past fall, I decided to go through it and get it ready for our winter riding season. I had new timing belts installed and a valve adjustment performed by the well-known Tom Hull Ducati (Tom is a former Ducati race mechanic). I had Tom pull the top end for inspection and he replaced one intake valve and guide and pronounced everything else in top shape. I did a compression check once all was back together and my gauge says 160psi in both cylinders so very good compression. I also replaced the rear master cylinder with a stock Brembo unit as the old unit was in need of a rebuild, and it wasn’t much more to just buy a new one. Brake and clutch fluids are new (lines flushed) and a complete oil and filter change performed. Carbs were rebuilt with new diaphragms, needles, seats, etc. I also installed a new battery. Then I ruptured a disc in my back and have been unable to ride the bike comfortably since, so it’s time for it to go.  

The bike is mostly stock with a few tasteful and functional upgrades. These include radial Brembo master cylinders for the clutch and front brake along with billet reservoirs and Kevlar lines. The engine was treated to a vented clutch cover and carbon timing belt covers. Bimota offered carbon mufflers as an upgrade option, and I believe this bike came with them from the factory (they were there when I got it). Rear view mirrors were replaced with carbon look ones (a pair of stock ones that I sourced are included) and the rear fender/license plate assembly was replaced with a rear fender eliminator “kit” (both done before my ownership). The front and rear turn signals had also been removed but the wiring and connectors for them are still there if you want to add some back (I do not have the originals). 

The bike comes with its original Bimota keys for ignition, gas cap and seat lock. It also comes with its Bimota tool kit, Factory Owner’s Manual and factory rear stand (with both original thru pin and beautiful custom stainless side pins. I have copies of the original service and parts manuals for the bike as well. I also have a few spares including an extra headlight, an extra new K&N oil filter, and some miscellaneous bits and pieces. 

As with all Bimotas that are actually ridden, there is some minor spider webbing around some of the fastener points. There is also a small crack in the gelcoat next to the gas cap, but it is not structural and does not go through the fiberglass. (It got dinged when I had the tank/seat cover unit off for service.) If I were to keep it, I would replace the tires as they are the same ones it came with when I bought it some years ago. Other than that, the bike is “press the button, ready to go” and currently registered here in Arizona. It looks great and runs better! 

Early Bimotas are being snatched up now that there’s a ( green ) way forward, and seller references a 2016 DB2 auction which brought $17K and Bonham’s website confirms.  More important, you can ride this DB2, any worthy Ducati indy can work on it, and parts availability should only improve.  Reviewers praised the light weight, available torque, and rake of 23.5 degrees which made it a quick handler ( and required a steering damper ).  If the condition checks out it looks to be a very rare and nicely maintained winner.

-donn

 

Phoenix Rising – 1994 Bimota DB2
Ducati January 8, 2020 posted by

CitiSmart – 2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE

Arguably the pick of the SportClassic litter, the 2006 Paul Smart Limited Edition sacrificed practicality for the cool of a teal-framed monoposto.  This NYC example has moderate miles but is super clean.

2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE for sale on eBay

Ducati’s air-cooled dual spark engine was originally used in the Monster, but its relatively plumbing-free presentation made it perfect for the vintage looking SportClassics.  92 hp on tap make it more than a design exercise.  The frame color and fairing harken back to the 1972 Imola winner, and spoked wheels ping appropriately.  Appointments are first rate with big 320mm Brembo disks and Öhlins dampers all around.

Despite city life and 10K-plus miles, this PS looks undamaged and clean enough to put right in the garage.  Even the Termignoni megaphones fit the vintage look well, though a quick spritz on the header pipes would do wonders.  From the eBay auction:

The motorcycle has:
-Termignoni slip on exhaust with ECU
-new clutch pressure plate, springs, and cover
-Motobox fender eliminator and tail light
-frame sliders
– aftermarket oil fill plug
***All original parts that were taken off will come with the bike***
The bike has always been garage kept on a battery tender and a Ducati Performance dust cover.
The major Desmo Service had been done at 7,411 miles. 
The bike has had 4 oil changes since then. I used Motul 300v 15w50.

While a low or no-mile example might push the mid-twenties, this auction shows a starting bid of $18K, just above the original MSRP.  Harder to quantify is the total production of just 2,000, and then considering only 500 or so made it to our shores, a pristine example like this might be worth a second look.

-donn

CitiSmart – 2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE
Ducati December 20, 2019 posted by

By Any Other Name – 1992 Ducati 907 I.E. “Paso”

Massimo Taburrini penned the all-encompassing Paso in 1985, for the still-in-transition Cagiva and Ducati.  Not starting from a position of strength, the model fought the good fight for several years and culminated in a fuel injected 90 hp package.  Despite 35K miles and 27 years, it still looks great.

1992 Ducati 907 I.E. for sale on eBay

The 907 I.E. incorporated the best features from the Paso, revised some basics like the engine cases, and snuck in a few niceties from the 851, like the alloy swingarm.  With fuel injection, power was up to the 100 hp/liter benchmark and tractability wasn’t forgotten.  More standard 17-inch rims were a help as were 300mm front Brembo brakes.  The soap bar fairing was chockablock with inlets and vents, all in the name of flow.

The California seller appears to be an audiophile as well as sportbike enthusiast, and though not a long term owner, this 907 looks very tidy for 35K miles.  From the eBay auction:

This is a great running classic Ducati at very nice price. 

Purchased from the original owner last year. We did the following…
New tires front and rear
New drive belts
New plugs
Oil and Filter changed
New fork seals.
Coolant flush
New battery
She runs great and comes with the original seat as well as a Corbin seat.

The eastern juggernaut was not to be denied, but the decidedly classic 907 I.E. made a statement about a wide torque band and careful tuning.  Never exactly popular, the Paso gave way to Ducati’s ST series and resides in a fandom of backroad and sport-touring riders.  The generation gap between the 907’s introduction and today might be bridged by the sensible buy-it-now and very sharp condition.
-donn
By Any Other Name – 1992 Ducati 907 I.E. “Paso”