Posts by tag: inline four

MV Agusta February 20, 2022 posted by

Classic Italian Superbike: 1975 MV Agusta 750S America for Sale

Update 2.20.2022: We originally put this post together in Dec 2018 and it’s back on eBay with the same $75k opening bid. Links updated. -dc

I’m sure everyone who bought F4s, back when seemingly every version of that bike was a limited edition of one kind or another, was hoping to capture a bit of what  the MV Agusta 750S America offered: exclusivity, collectiblity, and ever-increasing values. It didn’t necessarily offer class leading performance because, while MV was famous for its racetrack successes, their roadbike was relatively tame: power was average and the bike was fairly heavy, with performance-sapping shaft-drive.

Shaft-drive was a viable, and far more reliable alternative to chain-and-sprocket setups back in the 1970s, and both the Moto Guzzi LeMans and BMW R90S managed to be competitive machines in spite of the performance handicap of shaft drive. But MV supposedly included shaft-drive on their roadbike specifically to limit performance, so privateers couldn’t simply buy a 750S and compete against MV’s factory efforts. The new bike really embodied a shift in the motorcycle market, away from the practical, small-displacement machines MV was producing for road use in the 1950s and towards more powerful, expensive four-cylinder machines exemplified by the Honda CB750 and Kawasaki Z1.

The complete 750S was relatively heavy and engine was designed to be durable, to suit the bike’s more grand touring mission statement. But its racing heritage shone through and the powerplant was pretty narrow, with gear-driven cams, exotic-looking sand-cast engine cases, and a complete lack of any filtration for the quartet of Dellorto carburetors. The original version displaced 742cc, made 69hp, and had drum brakes to haul the 560lbs wet machine down from the 130mph top speed. That sounds pretty unimpressive now, but was par for the course at the time among four-cylinder superbikes.

The 750S America that followed, known as the 800 Super America in parts of Europe, increased displacement to 787cc for a bump in horsepower and torque. It also moved the gearshift to the left-hand side in an effort to appeal to the US buyers, which makes sense considering it was marketed as the “America.” This later version was still burdened with that heavy driveshaft, but Arturo Magni, who worked with MV Agusta’s racing team during their heyday, manufactured a chain-drive conversion for the 750S. Magni is still in business, and maybe they can be persuaded to whip up another one for you, if you’re so inclined.

From the original eBay listing: 1975 MV Agusta 750S America

Most of you know the history of MV Agusta, with their 37 world championships with the likes of Read, Surtees and Agostini. The story of this bike is that it was conceived by the U.S. importer, Chris Garville, as a limited-edition (200 for the 1975 model year) sport bike for the American market based on the existing 750 Sport; that bike became known as the 750S America.

This 1975 750S America was one of the earliest models imported into the US, with engine number 221012 and frame number 221009.

First of only two owners was the importer, Garville Corporation, where it was used in displays, shows and magazine tests: as featured in Cycle, Big Bike and Motor Cycle World to name a few. Ownership was then transferred to Peter Garville (brother of importer Chris) in where it stayed in his possession until 1990.

Included with the motorcycle is a large collection of: Factory correspondence to support its provenance, magazine articles specific to this particular motorcycle, period brochures, and spare parts.

For further information please see the recently featured May/June 2018 edition of the American magazine Motorcycle Classics –

As second owner, I acquired the bike from Garville in 1990 by way of famed restorer Perry Bushong (one of the first MV Agusta dealers in the US). Perry and I have had a life long friendship and working relationship. When he heard that this bike was coming up for sale he knew that this bike was for me. When I heard the sound of the 4 into 4 exhaust I was hooked and that is when it became mine. In 1994 I had the opportunity to meet John Surtees at Daytona and he was kind enough to autograph the fuel tank. After that the bike was ridden sporadically, mostly at bike events, rallys and shows until 2014 when I took it back to Perry to ask him to do the restoration, which was completed in the Fall of 2016. We added the curved racing exhaust built by Dave Kay in England, something I had always wanted to do as it looks fantastic and sounds like no other motorcycle on the road!

Sadly in 2017 both Perry and Mr. Surtees passed away within one week of each other.

The 750S was $6,500 when new, the equivalent of around $40,000 in today’s dollars. The starting bid for this one is $75,000 with no bids as yet, but plenty of time left on the auction. Fortunately, this machine has gracefully curved four-into-four exhaust pipes instead of the straight megaphones seen on earlier bikes that look good and sound better. There’s a reason Yamaha’s cross-plane crank has made such a big splash in recent years: traditional flat-plane crank inline fours are powerful, but can be a bit bland. But if you’re expecting the sanitary rustle of a modern four here, you’ll be shocked by the 750S America’s shrieking exhaust note and the bike has thoroughbred handling to match, in spite of the weight.


Classic Italian Superbike: 1975 MV Agusta 750S America for Sale
Kawasaki February 18, 2022 posted by

Was (Not Was): 1985 Kawasaki GPz750

With apologies to David Weiss and Don Fagenson, it’s time to walk the dinosaur – the 1985 Kawasaki GPz750. The younger generation reading this – who did not grow up with cassette tapes, never had a mobile that didn’t have a camera, and has never watched ALF (no loss there, really) – probably won’t understand how cutting edge this bike was in the day. The older generation, who cut teeth on RDs and H2s realize that this was likely the last gasp of a particular era of sport bikes. And the numbers show that this was never rare then, and is still not in that collectible category today. But time wages its inexorable battle with elements, abuse and damage, dwindling the supply of good examples of everything, making even a very mass-produced Japanese sport bike rare by circumstance.

1985 Kawasaki GPz750 for sale on eBay

The 1985 model of the GPz was completely evolutionary, with DNA stretching back to the KZ models of the late 1970s, and even some hints of the great Z1. Bodywork grew from the original bikini fairing in 1982 to the larger main fairing with lowers as seen on this 1985 model. The inline four cylinder displaced an actual 738cc, was air cooled and breathed through two valve heads. Power was a modest 87 HP at the crank, utilizing a 5-speed transmission and chain final drive to propel the 530-ish pound (wet) GPz to a mid-12 second quarter mile time. But the GPz was no drag bike; this was a do it all, drag your knee on Sunday, commute to work on Monday motor scooter.

From the seller:
1985 Kawasaki GPZ 750 (ZX750A3)
USED item, near mint condition.

Clean title. 5,200 Miles.
Extremely low miles. All shown on pictures. Runs and drives great.

Around $1,000 spent on the carbs: fully disassembled, powder coated, reassembled, and synchronized.
Front and rear master cylinders rebuilt. The three calipers also rebuilt with new brake pads (EBC).

The GPz existed from 1982 – 1985. But by the time the 1985 model bowed, the revolutionary GPz900R Ninja obliterated the category of bigger bore sport bikes. This made the GPz750 outdated as it sat on the showroom floor. It became a victim of the very performance arms race it helped to create. Resale prices dropped, and most GPz examples were used, abused and sold, with rinse and repeat the order of the day. The bikes were reliable and robust, and held up well mechanically to these antics. But cosmetically the black chrome look did not hold up well to neglect, meaning that an old GPz usually looks like an old GPz.

Today’s example is a 5,200 mile specimen that looks amazing. We are talking about a 37 year old sport bike here, potentially older than many of our readers. That condition is what makes this bike worthy of the “rare” moniker, as despite the numbers of bikes produced by Kawasaki Heavy Industries during this time period, few remain in this sort of shape. So if you lived through this era and are mired in some serious nostalgia, this might just be the bike for you. New in showrooms the GPz750 was listed for approximately $5,600. This beauty is being listed for slightly more in a Buy It Now format, with the seller open to offers. Check out all of the details here, then grab that Swatch watch, jump into the DeLorean and head back to the future! You’ll be walking on sunshine. Thank you for your support!


Was (Not Was): 1985 Kawasaki GPz750
Honda January 31, 2022 posted by

1990 HONDA CB-1 For Sale w/ only 12,194 miles

1990 HONDA CB-1 For Sale on eBay!

Location: Hagerstown, Maryland
Make: Honda
Model: CB-1
Displacement: 400cc
Mileage: 12,194
Price: $4,250 RNM

1990 Honda CB-1 excellent condition 12,194 original miles newer Michelin tires no issues

WOW! 32 years old and looking damn fine if I do say so myself!

Not me, silly- the CB-1! Besides I’m sitting squarely in my fif. . . I mean my mid-life crises stage and will be placing a bid on this one as soon as I finish babbling on about it.

Let’s a take a serious look at this one- shall we?

I’m still in awe of this little CB-1. I’m guessing it’s because we regularly see so many neglected machines with 500 miles look dirty AF.
I see a little oxidation on the side panels, but again, we see a lot more on than this on a regular basis. Hopefully I don’t need to remind you of the fact you’re looking at what appears* to be an un-restored 32 year old machine.

These weigh in just a touch under 400#’s, produce 56ish HP, a paltry 27 lbft of torque and utilize a single front and rear disc to keep all that power and torque in check. I know it’s a little heavy for being a small displacement motorcycle, but it wasn’t built or intended to burn up the race track. These were built for and are perfect commuter bikes with a comfy riding position.

These hit the showroom floor with a MSRP $4,299 and as you can imagine, they went over like a Led Zeppelin. Even though it didn’t make a splash back in the 90’s the little CB-1 has and myself to keep it’s flickering flame alive and well.

Any other CB-1 fans out there? If so, do not click through this link because I’ve set it up to take you straight to one of those unspeakable websites 😉



1990 HONDA CB-1 For Sale w/ only 12,194 miles
Honda January 27, 2022 posted by

Holy Bat Signal! 1993 Honda CBR900RR Fireblade

If you’ve been following any of the CBR-RR craziness lately, there have been a few that recently crossed the auction block on Bring A Trailer (BaT) for BIG money. Like 50 Large Grovers (as in Grover Cleveland, not Grover the Muppet) big money. Like always, these were pristine, relatively low-mileage examples of the breed. They also shared the same Red, White & Blue livery – which might make one speculate that this is THE color to have. Other completed auctions on the same site of the same bike but different livery did not fare so well. To be fair, some of those were not original, had much higher mileage and/or showed some level of damage. Today’s find, a 1993 Honda CBR900RR Fireblade is now running the gamut on the BaT site. What needs to be discovered is whether this Black/Red livery can live up to the hype brought on by the earlier sales.

30 years ago (yes, you read that right) the double R made its debut. Designed by legendary Honda Engineer Tadao Baba, the CBR900RR followed all the same recipes as the milestone performance steed that have come before: stuff the biggest motor you can into the smallest, stiffest suitable frame, drizzle liberally with hi-po components and wrap it in something sexy. Like Kawasaki did a decade earlier with the original 900 Ninja, Honda redefined the big-bore category by offering a true hyperbike with dimensions closer to a 600 than the 10000cc machines of the competition.

To say the RR was hit is an understatement. A dedicated following developed, and today these remain revered and climbing up the collector want list. Like most sequential series, the first generation models lead the way in terms of pricing. $50k seemed like a bit of an anomaly when it first happened in December. But within the same month it happened again. That was clearly an indication of direction, if not an outright trend (yet). Since that time we have not seen quite the same heights, but nor have we seen as clean an example. Today’s 1993 Honda CBR900RR sports 14,000 miles and looks relatively untouched save for the Yosh pipe.

There may be those that don’t understand the collectability of the 900RR model, but one cannot argue about the performance. These were truly cutting-edge sport bikes and demanded full rider concentration. By comparison to modern rockets this might be a bit tame, but that might just make it the perfect platform for some personalization. Personally I really like the look of this half fairing option. What do you readers think? It might be sacrilege to consider modifying such a clean, stock bike such as this, but wouldn’t that look pretty unique in a world of 90s plastic? Good Luck!!


Holy Bat Signal! 1993 Honda CBR900RR Fireblade
Honda January 4, 2022 posted by

Ooh La La! 1982 Honda CB1100R in France

Behold the mighty Honda CB1100R – designed for Europeans as an homage to European-style endurance racing. That makes this bike’s location in Europe – the southern area of France, to be more specific – all the more fitting. For it was here that Honda participated in the 6 and 12 hour events that begat this homlogation machine, along with victories in the Southern Hemisphere events in Australia and New Zealand. The CB1100R was built for a purpose, and from those homologation roots rapidly developed into a stunning street bike.

1982 Honda CB1100R for sale on eBay

There were three distinct models in the CB1100R line, one for each of the three years the bike was in production. This is a “C” spec machine, as the “B” was released in 1981, and the “D” model in 1983. And while the CB1100R line appears to be the same across the years, there are many differences and several non-interchangeable parts between series. Such is the pace of race bike development. While the original model had but a half fairing and exposed engine, the “C” model (as seen here) and “D” model had full fairings and aluminum fuel tanks. But even then the fairings were not the same, and were not interchangeable. The dash layouts were different, and incorporated different mounting elements as well. To find an original CB1100R in stock spec that is correct for its year can be difficult – especially considering the few numbers produced (just 1500 worldwide in 1982).

From the seller:
New service including carbs cleaning

Despite being designed as a racer, the CB1100R is no featherweight. Expect the reported 115-120 HP to push at least 515 pounds (dry) of weight around. That number goes up considerably with the addition of enough oil to fill the large sump, and just shy of 7 gallons (!) of high octane fuel. With 10:1 compression and an aggressive cam, this bike relies on good fuel. Engine bits that are gold in color are actually painted magnesium to save weight, and the whole package rides on 18″ Comstar wheels with period technology dual “piggyback” shocks in the rear. This was a tour-de-force in the day, and remains a classic collectable today.

Based in France, this 1982 “C” model CB1100R is looking for a new home. There is not a ton of detail from the seller, but the pictures show a very well presented example of the breed. The ad states “11,300” for mileage, but it appears from the photos that the odometer shot shows 20,000+ KMs. That should equate to 12k and change in miles, if the maths work out correctly. We don’t see these all that often, and when we do come across one they seem to be a RSBFS fan favorite. So check this one out here, and then jump back to the comments and let us know your thoughts. Does this one get a “Vive La France” from you, or is it just stinky cheese? Good Luck!!


Ooh La La! 1982 Honda CB1100R in France
Kawasaki January 1, 2022 posted by

K-Battle – 1993 Kawasaki ZXR400 Ninja

It’s a long while between ZXR-400’s here in the U.S.A., so we took a trip to the U.K. to find this well-used but renovated small sport.  Today’s is an L3 from the middle of the model run, with a super spec sheet and weighing barely 400 lbs.

1993 Kawasaki ZXR400 Ninja ( England ) for sale on eBay

Since it was Kawasaki’s entré into national F3 racing, the ZXR400 was sold primarily on the island, with intermittent exports to England and other Pacific rim markets.  The inline four had 2-1/4 inch bores and revved to 14,500 rpm, with max power at 12,000.  Extrusions for the alloy chassis have chamfered corners and are welded to the cast headstock and sideplates.  USD forks, slipper clutch and fresh air intakes were there to help the race team, but paid off on the street.  Dual 300mm brakes could be found on a larger supersport, with 17-inch rubber at both ends.

Probably a lot that only a ZXR cognoscenti will see, but this one looks like a pretty good starting point.  Plenty of miles, but a bunch of work done recently.  The seller restricted power for its intended licensee, though it sounds easily reversed.  Requisite tail-ectomy, blue windscreen, and too small exhaust – paintwork isn’t mentioned but except for the mirrors, looks way better than the miles would allow.  Notes from the eBay auction:

  • Just had following work done at local bike shop
  • -full safety check after purchase
  • -All carbs fully stripped, cleaned and balanced
  • -A2 restrictor kit fitted to 47hp (plate inside carbs)
  • -restricted ecu limited to 10k rpm ( have got standard ecu aswell) 
  • -Brand new uprated chain and rear sprocket gold X link
  • -new spark plugs
  • -new oil and filter
  • -new air filter
  • -new fuel tap rebuild kit fitted
  • -coolant flushed and replaced
  • -new A16 titanium moto gp exhaust
  • -real carbon tank pad
  • -real carbon fuel filler cap cover
  • -real carbon top yoke cover
  • -real carbon clocks cover
  • -real carbon plastic fairing cover
  • -tail tidy fitted 
Bike, engine and gearbox run smooth
pulls strong in all gears always starts on the button 
Body work has some age related marks but otherwise in good condition
Comes with full service manual

Hopefully the new owner will have better weather than the seller, who had to wheel the ZXR out in a spritz to photograph.  The ask is at the lower end of the spectrum, though shipping and working through DMV will run into some money.  The ZXR reviewed as fairly comfortable and torquey for the segment, with just a few chassis adjustments needed.  Probably more things will need doing, but still find you ahead in the long run.


K-Battle – 1993 Kawasaki ZXR400 Ninja
MV Agusta December 21, 2021 posted by

Vegas, Baby! 2010 MV Agusta F4 1000 R

Take a Ducati 916, sex it up with even racier bodywork and update the running gear, components, and motive power. What does that get you? The MV Agusta F4 1000R. Penned by the same talent that designed and developed the 916/996/998 model run for Ducati, the MV F4 is another Massimo Tamburini masterstroke. And while the master himself has left us, his gorgeous creations remain.

2010 MV Agusta F4 1000 R for sale on eBay

The launch of the F4 – originally a 750 – helped re-birth the MV Agusta brand back in 1999. The 1000cc models of the F4 line were not introduced into a ready market until 2005. Both the 750 and 1000 models were initially released as Limited Edition “Ago” models, honoring Giacomo Agostini. The standard version of the 1000cc F4 R was not released until 2007. But don’t let that “standard” or “base” moniker fool you. Good for 166 HP when originally released, sources indicate a further 20 ponies eeked out of the 998cc mill by the 2010 model year. Pair that with the 423 pound dry weight and you have the makings for some of that you-might-go-to-jail-soon type of fun.

From the seller:
2010 MV Agusta F4 1000 R
Stock #:V001083
Exterior Color:RED / SILVER
Interior Color:RED / SILVER

Such was the level of detail of MV Agusta that even the base level bikes enjoyed a high standard of components. The upside down Marzocchi fork is a full 50mm unit, and holds up the large 320mm disks and those gorgeous, radial mount Brembo calipers. Out back the single-sided swing arm is held up by a fully adjustable Sachs spring/damper unit, and is also adjustable for height. Fully electronic fuel injection with moveable air trumpets in the intake section help squeeze power from the inline four, which breathes through the often touted radial valve arrangement of four per cylinder. The exhaust system is a +2 over the original 916, shoving all four pipes under the seat in an organ pipe arrangement.

These reborn MV Agustas have always been priced at the premium end of the spectrum. They are also holding value relatively well. There are a LOT of different limited edition models and specs available, with collector pricing starting high and going up from there. With even the lowest spec F4 being very competitive with contemporary peers, the MV Agusta is a good choice for those who want to go fast and look great doing it. This example is listed as an F4 1000 R, but appears to me to be the later based model “F4.” Non standard elements appear to be the added on frame sliders as well as a tail tidy of some sort. This particular low mileage example is located in Las Vegas. Take a trip, win some money at the tables, and then ride this bad boy home. Sounds like a great vacation plan! Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!


Vegas, Baby!  2010 MV Agusta F4 1000 R
Kawasaki December 2, 2021 posted by

Somewhere in Time: 1985 Kawasaki GPz550

Rare (adjective)
1. (of an event, situation, or condition) not occurring very often.
2. (of a thing) not found in large numbers and consequently of interest or value.
3. unusually good or remarkable.

Before the flaming starts, I thought I’d hit up the olde Oxford Dictionary and set the ground rules for discussion. Nobody in their right mind (or even their left one) would confuse the scarcity of a model – say an oval piston NR750 – with a mass-produced, run of the mill middleweight such as a GPz550. But if RSBFS was simply about listing model names, we could accomplish the goal without photos and just publish a spreadsheet. Not much fun in that! Instead we search for the best of what’s out there on any given week, and try to highlight things that jump out at us. And what jumped out at me is one of several tens of thousands of a not so rare model belting out it’s best Gloria Gaynor: I will survive.

1985 Kawasaki GPz550 for sale on eBay

I know that many RSBFS readers are of an age when the GPz was the shiz. Maybe you had one (or several). Maybe you simply lusted after one from the pages of Cycle or the seat of a moped. For our younger readers, the GPz550 was mainstay of the middleweight battles in the early 1980s, and represented a serious sport bike for the masses. Kawasaki brought out the big guns when it came to the most popular GPz, providing the basic 2-valve, aircooled inline four with a competent chassis and cutting edge Uni-Trak rear suspension and anti-dive front forks. With bodywork and styling that mimicked the treatments offered to the GPz1100 and GPz750, the 550 included the same swoopy graphics, a similar racy fairing, miles of black chrome accents and new techo gadgetry such as the LCD display on the tank.

From the seller:
1985 Kawasaki GPZ550. A super low mile original survivor almost impossible to find in this condition.
A real collectors item. It has stood unused for many years on display so will need recommissioning if you want to actually ride It.

While the basic platform of the GPz550 was fairly bulletproof, the nearly disposable nature of the market did the overall model no favors. These were not the most expensive bikes in the showroom, making them popular with riders – especially the younger set. Countless examples have been thrashed and trashed from inner city exposure to track adventures. Many of the cutting edge features did not hold up well either (i.e. partially functioning LCD displays), and the black chrome finish was always on the verge of being one day away from looking faded and tarnished. To find a mid-’80s example of the vaunted GPz550 in fully stock condition without the accumulated battle scars of a daily commuter or canyon squid simply must fit into the Oxford definition of rare. Did you notice the mileage? Yup, that is fewer than 1,500 miles of asphalt under the keel of this time capsule. The lower bar work is the only item that looks like an add-on – any GPz aficionados online to comment?

We at RSBFS have often highlighted how the condition of a bike – of any bike – will help it rise above the financial station of its peers. This 1985 GPz550 is no exception to that rule, although as this has spent most of its life as a static display it may not be a simple “ride off into the sunset” affair for the new owner. Additionally, while it will continue to be worth more than the clapped out mongrels we often see on eBay, CL, etc, this remains a mass-market bike that will never have the collector appeal (i.e. price bubble) of something like an RC30. But it is the best GPz we have seen in a long time, and it is worth checking out here. Did you dream of a GPz – or did you ride one back in the day? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Good Luck!!


Somewhere in Time: 1985 Kawasaki GPz550