Posts by tag: Gen I

Featured Listing March 7, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R 1100

For those readers of a certain age, the 1980s were an amazing time to ride. Motorcycles were making quantum leaps in terms of performance, and technology was reshaping the design elements that we take for granted today. Take for example this wonderful 1986 Suzuki GSX-R1100. Only two years previous one of the top dogs of the sport bike world was the GPz1100 – an air cooled, two valve per cylinder dinosaur that had became technologically extinct. And while Honda went full bore into the world of liquid cooling (along with a size and weight penalty), Suzuki gambled with an innovative solution of air/oil cooling, saving precious weight and creating the lightest of the heavyweight hitters.

Featured Listing: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R 1100

The Suzuki Advanced Cooling System (SACS) employed two oil pumps, an enlarged sump to hold additional oil, and an oversized oil cooler. By employing the engine oil as both a lubricating medium as well as a cooling source Suzuki reduced the complexity of the GSX-R while also reducing weight. And this was no accident: Suzuki experimented and developed the concept in the revolutionary (and rare) XN85 Turbo. A close look at the early GSX-R engine cases and heads show the same fins as utilized by air-cooled motors, this being used as a secondary form of cooling (and both free and lightweight). The rest of the motor was closely based off of the original GSX-R750, but with larger bores and various changes to handle the additional stress. With four valves per cylinder fed by four Mikuni flat slide carbs, the big Gen I Gixxer offered 125 horsepower through a 5-speed transmission. That was enough for high 10s in the quarter and a top speed in the 155 mile per hour range. Heady stuff indeed.

From the seller:
COMING OUT OF MY PRIVATE COLLECTION IS MY 1986 SUZUKI GSX-R 1100. THIS BIKE HAS BEEN CUSTOM PAINTED A FEW YEARS BACK IN 1987 SUZUKI BLUE AND WHITE WITH AN ADDED RED STRIPE. THE PAINT WORK WAS DONE TO MUSEUM QUALITY STANDARDS BY THE PREVIOUS OWNER IN BIRMINGHAM ALABAMA. THE BIKE WAS ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF HIS COLLECTION UNTIL I ACQUIRED SOME YEARS BACK WHEN HE STARTED SCALING DOWN HIS AMAZING MINI MUSEUM.

THE BIKE WAS SET UP FOR A SLIGHTLY MORE UPRIGHT SEATING POSITION BY ADDING VINTAGE PERIOD CORRECT CLAMP-ON RISERS, RAISING THE BARS 60 MM. TO FURTHER ACCOMMODATE THE RISERS THE FRONT UPPER COWLING IS ALSO SLIGHTLY TALLER. IT IS A PERIOD CORRECT FIBERGLASS UNIT THAT FITS LIKE AN “OEM” COWLING. THESE 2 MODIFICATIONS MAKE THE BIKE MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE FOR US NOT 25 YEAR OLDS TO RIDE. THE 2 MODIFICATIONS COULD EASILY BE CHANGED BACK TO FACTORY STOCK. I HAVE EXTRA “OEM” CLAMP-ONS AND COWLINGS.

More from the seller:
THE ENGINE IS STOCK WITH THE ADDITION OF AN AMAZING SET OF 40MM KEIHIN CR FLAT-SLIDE CARBURETORS THAT MAKE THE ENGINE COME ALIVE. ALSO ADDED WAS AN IGNITION ADVANCER. THE ENGINE PERFORMS WITH AMAZING RESPONSE. IT IS IN NEAR PERFECT CONDITION COSMETICALLY AS THE ENGINE PAINT IS ALL ORIGINAL AND WELL PRESERVED.

THE FRAME IS IN AMAZING ORIGINAL CONDITION WITH NO BLEMISHES TO SPEAK OF. THE WHEELS ARE ALL ORIGINAL AND IN AMAZING SHAPE. SHE IS SPORTING A PAIR OF METZLER LASERS. STEEL BRAIDED BRAKE LINES HAVE BEEN ADDED TO IMPROVE BRAKING. THE SEAT IS ORIGINAL WITH NO RIPS AND HAS THE VERY HARD TO FIND SOLO SEAT COWL. THERE IS A SMALL REPAIR ON THE SOLO SEAT COWL. THE BIKE HAS A PERIOD CORRECT D&D EXHAUST IN PERFECT CONDITION. THE INSIDE OF THE TANK IS RUST FREE.

I JUST REBUILT THE CARBS AND SYNCED THEM. INSTALLED A NEW BATTERY, REPLACED THE SPARK PLUGS, OIL AND FILTER, AND FLUSHED NEW BRAKE FLUID THRU. SO THE BIKE IS READY TO BE DISPLAYED OR ENJOY RIDING HER. THE BIKE IS AVAILABLE WITH A RED SEAT INSTEAD OF THE BLUE ONE IF THE BUYER PREFERS. I HAVE A FEW PICTURES SHOWING HOW THAT LOOKS

More from the seller:
THIS BIKE IS SET UP JUST AS MANY OF THE 86-87 GSX-R 1100’s WERE BACK IN THE DAY. I HAVE BEEN FIXING, RIDING, RACING, AND RESTORING BIKES SINCE BEFORE GRADUATING FROM AMERICAN MOTORCYCLE INSTITUTE IN DAYTONA BEACH FL. IN 1980. I HAVE 6 OF THESE SO TIME TO PART WITH THE NICEST ONE FIRST.

DON’T MISS OUT ON A VERY SPECIAL PART OF HISTORY THAT WILL APPRECIATE EVERY YEAR.

While the GSX-R750 blazed the trail, the GSX-R1100 followed with subtle changes. The overall dimension of the bike was necessarily bigger. However the aluminum square-section frame was similar (thicker walls and different dimensions in critical areas) during a time when aluminum was space-aged, magical and mysterious stuff. The Full Floater single shock rear suspension was a massive upgrade over twin shock designs, and offered rebound adjustment and an eccentric rising rate linkage. Up front the 41mm forks offered electrically operated anti-dive which was a decided improvement over hydraulic units. Tires on both ends were 18 inchers, the trendy GP 16 inch hoops blessedly a thing of the past. Bodywork was straight off the starting line of an Endurance event, with large, flat side sections and dual headlamps (a massive distinguishing element back then). The four into one exhaust signaled the sporting intent of this machine, as did the triple disk brakes (twin four piston calipers up front, a dual piston caliper out back).

The early GSX-Rs are often referred to as “Slabbies” given the slab-sided nature of the bodywork. They are instantly recognizable and have become tremendously collectible. This particular example shows only 5,100 miles on the clock, and is extremely well kept. Many of these bikes found their way to the race track (these were fantastic club racers, along with the 750), or were thrashed, crashed and sold – repeat cycle as necessary. And while today’s bike is not wearing original paint, the paint that is there is attractive and subtle – looking close to a stocker, but with a little extra class. The rare solo seat cover is color matched. There is an upgraded pipe installed as well, making this a period correct and clean Slabbie versus a 100% original and NOS stocker. But that needn’t be a negative, as those who ride are more concerned with a clean and functional bike than a collectible garage queen. This is about as clean a Gen I rider that you could hope to find, has a cool history as described by the owner, and is near enough to stock to pass off as a wonderful example of the breed. Check it out here and drool over the pictures. These Gen I bikes are becoming more difficult to find; if you’ve been looking, it might be time to act. Good Luck!!

MI

Featured Listing: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R 1100
Moto Guzzi January 18, 2019 posted by

The Manly Ride: 1978 Moto Guzzi Le Mans

My knowledge of French comes courtesy of car manufacturer Renault (pronounced Run-Not) who marketed Le Car in the 1970s. It came with Le Tires, Le Hubcaps, and Le tiny little motor. But it was, according to Renault, a car. Popular Mechanics dubbed it a French VW Rabbit, low on style but practical and useful. Thankfully the Italians speak foreign languages better than we Yanks. And in Italian, Le Mans is not merely The Men, but rather a reference to a popular French vacation locale along the Sarthe river. Oh, and also the name of a pretty famous racetrack known for endurance competition. And unlike Le Car, the Le Mans is high on style, while still offering practicality and performance. Today’s find is a first generation 850cc example in Le Euro trim.

1978 Moto Guzzi Le Mans for sale on eBay

The Moto Guzzi Le Mans was introduced in 1976. Today we think of these as Gen I machines, however there was no such official nomenclature for the original release; that came with the introduction of the Gen II design. There were two different builds of this model, referred to as Series One and Series Two. The Series One bikes were the first (approximately) 2,000 examples, and the most rare. The Series Two bikes had some minor cosmetic changes (different seat, rectangular tail light, black fork sliders, etc), and numbered approximately 4,000. Either way you look at it, the first generation of the Le Mans is relatively rare today – especially one wearing original patina and remaining relatively stock.

From the seller:
1978 Moto Guzzi Lemans euro. I’ve owned and cared for this bike since early 2001.

It started it’s life in London,England, was moved to Los Angeles, where i purchased it, and now lives in Ohio where i now work. I have a bit of paperwork on the provenance of the bike. This Moto Guzzi is a very low mileage bike that is all original except for raask period rearsets and side covers. I have the original foam seat, front turn signals, and one of the original sidecovers. The right side cover was lost 20 years ago on a freeway. All of these items are included and in excellent condition.

The aftermarket seat was an item I purchased from Italy 15 years ago. It has proved to be a good looking, functional piece for this bike. This Guzzi runs like a freight train, like original, unmolested lemans should. Only Guzzi and Ducati savvy mechanics have touched this bike it’s whole life.

The euro models have non matching frame and engine numbers, all can be traced, and a short headlight frame, and no bright orange fairing paint job. This bike has an excellent original patina, no crashes, dents, etc. Engine is very tight, with only some minor weep dusting at the back. Makes you wonder why people ever had to restore these bikes. All gauges, electrical work as expected.

These early Moto Guzzis can be thought of as very similar to air-head era BMWs. The hardware layout of air-cooled twin with longitudinal crank, pushrod two-valve heads, inline transmission and shaft drive is the same – if you bent the Beemer’s cylinders upwards 45 degrees per side. Brakes on both are Brembos. Swap the Bing carbs for Dellortos and you have Le Guzzi! Blip the throttle and the torque roll is the same between the Italian and German machine. So too is the driveshaft reaction that causes the rear of the bike to raise under throttle, and drop when the throttle is cut. But resemblances end there. Unlike the Teutonic autobhan stormer, the Le Mans is just so, well, Italian. The Le Mans looks faster, offers a reasonably stout 80 HP thanks to high compression pistons, and offers the immutable “cafe racer” look before that look was a collector thing.

This particular bike started life across the pond, but now lives in the US. As a result it wears some cosmetic differences compared to officially imported examples. The owner(s) have also made some mods, all which look to be non destructive. The black side covers look period correct, but the originals were color coded to the bike (fun fact: not all Le Mans models were red/black). So this is not perfectly original as if it were parked in a museum since Day 1 – but you should age this well. At 41 years new, this bike is just hitting its mechanical stride, and is perfect for a rider. Prices are always hot for pre-80s Guzzis, and this one is starting right at the five figure territory (with no takers as of yet). Check it out here, and then hit the Comments for a compare and contrast: How do you take your vintage Guzzi? Would you prefer a plain V7, or the Le Mans? Let us know, and Le Good Luck!!

MI

The Manly Ride:  1978 Moto Guzzi Le Mans