Posts by tag: inline three

Benelli May 23, 2019 posted by

Across the Pond: 2003 Benelli Tre Novacento for Sale

It’s always interesting to see the disparity in terms of bike values, depending on market. It seems like you can make a decent living, finding bikes where they are cheap and plentiful, and shipping them to places where they ain’t… In Japan, the 250cc two-stroke sportbikes of the 80s and 90s are relatively cheap, although they obviously have an enthusiastic following. Here in the USA? They were never officially imported and, until certain models recently cleared the 25-year import restrictions, were extremely rare. I haven’t looked recently, but many classic Laverda models are much less expensive in Europe than here as well. Looking at the £3,650.00 asking price for this very cool Benelli Tre Novocentro, it looks like the same holds true for these stylish and quirky machines, since that works out to just $4,623.00 in US currency.

Obviously, the Tornado has rarity going for it, along with distinctive Italian looks. But it’s also a pretty functional motorcycle, with a solid 140hp from the 898cc three cylinder, good handling, and quality braking and suspension components. A six-speed cassette-style gearbox is probably overkill on a roadbike, but the slipper-clutch with an adjustable engagement point is pretty cool, as is the frame that’s glued-together using aerospace-grade adhesives. It lacks the radial-mount calipers and eyeball-flattening power of today’s fastest bikes, but these have more than enough performance to keep even expert riders entertained.

I’d take great pains to stay in front of other riders, to keep them confused looking up the tail of the Tre to see bright yellow cooling fans under the tail. With the underseat-mounted radiator, the engine could be mounted further forward in the frame for better handling. Parts are likely the biggest issue for any Benelli, although there were some minor issues with reliability, as you’d expect from a brand-new, low-production, high-performance Italian sportbike. Nothing that can’t be handled by the patient owner, but still a headache if you’re not prepared.

So what happened? Why wasn’t the revitalized brand a bigger success? Well partly it was the unknown of a newly-reborn brand flogging an expensive, top-shelf sportbike. But the bike’s original 900cc displacement was meant to allow it to be homologated for racing, and the bike was a victim of changing World Superbike rules that basically made 900cc triples obsolete, since the bike would have been uncompetitive in it’s original form. Later machines bumped displacement to over 1100cc, but that just made it a more effective roadbike as it was too large to race.

From the original UK eBay listing: 2003 Benelli Tornado Tre Novocentro for Sale

Here we have my truly iconic Benelli Tornado TRE 900                                                                       

These bikes made quite a stir back in the day – for some good and some bad unfortunately but now when you have one with all the modified bits dealt with and niggles ironed out they truly are an absolute brilliant thing to be out on when the sun comes out… My example is as expected – equipped with what was back then some top notch equipment and even by today’s standards it’s still quite trick 

The engine has had the cam chain replaced (June 2018) before the manuals suggest as this is very important – also the valve clearances done then too as these engines naturally sound tappety. The infamous recall mods – Z25 gear on the alternator shaft and clutch bolt all inspected and are fine. The suspension and brakes are from the best makes along with a titanium Arrow exhaust system – all original equipment…

The bike is in what’s arguably the best colour scheme of silver and green with black accents here/there and of course the rear yellow under seat fans. These bikes are really something else and the triple cylinder 900cc engine loves to be used – the sound up the revs is amazing and just puts a smile on my face EVERY TIME I take it out. The bike is 100% mechanically spot on – does everything expected of it and needs nothing doing. Please do all your research required online as these bikes were all made 2003-2004 so don’t be fooled by the late registered bikes for sale as they are all the same! 

Factory fitted alarm/immobiliser.

MOT until sept 2019 – only 16k miles…

I have documents – manuals – keys – history – receipts – V5 

The honesty part… The bike has a small crack along side the r/h front indicator as per pics due to being pushed into something in my garage and the tail unit has some mark where an item fell onto it… Neither are of any issue but want to point out faults also… My cars/bikes are only being sold due to an impending house move this summer and I need to downsize somewhat so please only genuine interest is wanted as were always busy.

Thanks for looking.

As stated before, the price is shockingly reasonable for a bit of functional Italian exotica, although maybe that’s considered expensive on the other side of the Atlantic? The 16,000 miles aren’t all that low, but the bike appears to have had considerate ownership by a knowledgeable enthusiast, and my understanding is that these Benellis are pretty robust mechanically, once you get your head around some of the unconventional engineering and idiosyncrasies. Parts availability would be the big unknown here, and I’d expect OEM bodywork to be nearly unobtainable. If there are any owners out there, we’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments!

-tad

Across the Pond: 2003 Benelli Tre Novacento for Sale
Triumph January 16, 2019 posted by

Goldilocks: 1999 Triumph Daytona T595 for Sale

After the John Bloor resurrection of the Triumph brand and some experimentation with both three and four-cylinder engines, it became clear the triple supplied the right blend of weight, power, and perhaps most importantly, character that provided an alternative to the run-of-the-mill fours then dominating the sportbike scene. The original Daytona used a spine frame common to all Triumph models of the period that compromised weight distribution and handling, but the newly revised Daytona T595 introduced in 1997 used an all-new tubular cast-aluminum frame that lowered the center-of-gravity and improved handling.

The new Daytona was still a bit heavier than the Japanese 750s and less powerful than the 1000s and 1100s, but that was exactly what Triumph intended. It filled a similar niche as the earlier bike, with a bit of a Goldilocks mission statement: not to hot, not too cold, it was just right. Build quality and finish were, as before, higher than the competition, with ergonomics  that were still very sporty but more relaxed as suited the roadgoing mission statement.

Handling was good but the racy swingarm was clearly a stylistic decision, as the bike had no racing pretensions and single-sided swingarm is generally heavier than a conventional unit. Power was a claimed 128hp that gave a top speed of over 160mph. The original Triumph performance exhaust adds value here, as aftermaket parts can often exacerbate the 3,500rpm flat spot and the early Sagem fuel-injection apparently works best with this pipe.

The graphics proclaim this a T595, although 1999 saw the introduction of the 955i that displaced the exact same 955cc as the earlier version and was mainly intended to clear up the misconception that the Daytona was a 600cc machine. Assuming the year is correct, it’s likely from before the changeover to the new name. Black is always a classic choice, but the bike looks especially sharp in silver, or the retina-searing “scorched yellow” that somehow suits the otherwise elegant machine.

From the original eBay listing: 1999 Triumph Daytona T595 for Sale

99 Triumph Daytona for sale. Has been sitting in the back of garage for years. All fluids need to be changed and bike needs to be serviced. Bike needed a rectifier when put away. Deployments and life got in the way of enjoying this beauty. Any questions about the bike feel free to ask. GRD Cycle in White Plains MD swapped the frame for me due to a hairline crack. I have the paperwork of original purchase and frame replacement. Triumph carbon fiber accessories and trim included. Original Triumph pipe and high mount Triumph pipe included. (High mount pipe adds some hp & shows off single side swingarm wheel) Racing belly fairing, bike stand & passenger seat included also. Clear title in hand.

The Buy It Now price is set at a very low $2,499 with a starting bid of $1,499 and no takers yet, which might be a result of the bike’s current non-operational status, although a rectifier shouldn’t be too difficult to source. The title is claimed to be clear and the paperwork documenting the replacement frame should hopefully ease the fears of buyers, considering that this was a well-documented issue and a factory recall on the earlier bikes. It’s hard to get a good bead on the bike’s condition from the photos: black can be tricky to photograph effectively, but it appears to have suffered a bit in storage or had a minor tip over, with a couple scratches and damaged signals. The bike is also missing its belly pan in the photos, but is claimed to be included in the sale. It needs a bit of love, but the important parts are there and the miles are extremely low.

-tad

Goldilocks: 1999 Triumph Daytona T595 for Sale
Triumph July 28, 2018 posted by

Tuned Triple: 1995 Triumph Daytona Super III for Sale

In the 90s, it was foolish to take the Japanese Big Four head on: they were on a roll, and if you wanted to compete, you needed to offer something else, something different. They had the high-tech theme down cold, but no one can be all things to all people, and there has always been room in the margins for players with something unusual to offer. And a reborn Triumph had just such a machine with the Daytona Super III.

Sheer economic necessity dictated the design. The bike’s spine frame meant versatility and the same basic component could be used as the foundation for a series of bikes with vastly different missions: sportbike, roadster, tourer, cruiser. But the downside was inherent compromise: that configuration carried weight high up and meant that the resulting bikes were generally heavier than more focused rivals.

Engines had the same issues: Triumph’s three and four-cylinder designs were versatile, but they could never be as light or as powerful as something designed for screaming revs and maximum aggression. But although inline fours are powerful, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha’s reliance on them to power sports motorcycles during this period made the whole class a bit same-y, which likely explains some of Ducati’s contrarian appeal.

Freed from the need to fit into displacement restrictions imposed by racing classes, Triumph was able to create a sportbike focused for the road. The Daytona came in two flavors originally, one powered by the three cylinder and one by the four. The triple was lighter and ultimately more popular, but was very outclassed in the performance stakes compared to Japanese rivals. So Triumph introduced the Super III to at least close the gap and make the bike a viable alternative to more focused sportbikes.

Cosworth tuning increased power from 98 to 115hp and gave the bike a 140mph top speed, along with six-piston brakes. Performance was at least within shouting distance of other sportbikes, but the Triumph offered that charismatic and torquey three-cylinder that had great midrange punch, stable handling, reasonable comfort, much higher build quality and paintwork, along with classic styling that was a complete 180°, compared to the wild graphics and lurid colors found on bikes like the GSX-R750.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Triumph Daytona Super III for Sale

Between 1992 and 1997 Triumph produced the much appreciated but ultimately underpowered 3 cylinder Daytona 900. This bike was a successor to the original Daytona 750 and boasted a more acceptable riding position designed to increase its sporting ability. But the power to weight ratio was still a problem, especially when compared to other bikes at the time such as the GSX-R and the ultra-light Fireblade/CBR. So for the 1994-96 model years Triumph produced the Daytona Super III, and exported a very limited production run of ~150 bikes to the USA (numbers are approx 1000 worldwide).

Having been bitten by the Triumph triple bug, I searched for 2 years for a Super III and was ecstatic when I came across this extremely clean and well cared for example. Sadly, priorities have shifted and looking to thin the herd. This is not a divorce sale, baby sale, or other emergency sale. I’d like this to go to someone who will appreciate it as I have.  

Bike details: 8779.3 miles although that may go slightly up. 1 season old Michelin Pilot Power tires with less than 1k miles. Forks serviced at the end of last season with fresh oil, seals, and .95kg springs. Everything on the bike is OEM except for e-code halogen headlights for better night vision. All bodywork and paint is original. All factory carbon fiber parts are present, original, and unbroken.  

Extras: extremely rare Sprint Fox Fairing and custom made carbon fiber fill pieces. Comes with an extra fairing mount. Sudco FCR39 carbs (true triple carb setup for the 885, not a re-rack). Spare seat for re-upholstering. Can include some German basketweave vinyl (60’s Porsche restoration supply) if desired. It is very similar to the 60’s Triumph seat covers, albeit much higher quality.  

Very minor cons: small scratches on each muffler, less than 2″. Right side lower fairing has a few light scratches. Some chipping on fairing V behind front wheel.  

This is one of the lowest mileage original Triumph Super IIIs in existence. Extras worth $2,500 alone. Will not separate at this point.  

Japanese sportbikes of this era are old enough that the splashy graphics and DayGlo colors have become cool again, but the simple lines of this bright yellow Super III still appeal. These are very rare and certainly the most valuable of the early Daytonas, but still pretty affordable compared to other exotic machines. The $6,500 asking price is pretty high for a Super III, but the bike appears to be in superlative condition and has been enthusiast-owned, with low mileage, and comes with some very desirable extras. Speaking of: the seller mentions “Sudco” carbs, but I’m assuming they’re actually Keihin flat-slides, since Sudco doesn’t actually make carburetors, they just sell them.

-tad

Tuned Triple: 1995 Triumph Daytona Super III for Sale
Triumph October 11, 2017 posted by

Black-Clad Bruiser: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale

Triumph’s entire 1990s range of sport, sport-touring, retro, and naked machines like this original Speed Triple was built around a common spine frame and two engines, the 885cc inline triple seen here and a larger-displacement inline four. This allowed Triumph to quickly create new variations and mirror market trends without sacrificing quality, a strategy that led directly to today’s world-class motorcycles. But the company’s road to success was a difficult one. They were long gone by the early 1990s, a victim of the Japanese motorcycle industry’s massive growth in the 1980s. Triumph was able to hang on throughout the 1970s, trading on their handling and reputation for performance. But once the Japanese bikes’ handling caught up with their reliably powerful engines, it was all over but the shouting.

The reborn Triumph of the 90s knew that it could never hope to compete with the Japanese in terms of outright performance, so they focused instead on quality and capitalizing on the brand’s undeniable mystique. The new Triumph motorcycles offered real-world performance, decent handling, and surprisingly high fit and finish. It’s not the lightest or nimblest of machines: none of these first-generation John Bloor-era Triumphs were. But they were well-built and charismatic, just as intended.

T309 Speed Triples are definitely not track machines: a top-heavy weight distribution caused by the spine frame compromised handling, although there was a promotional one-make race series for them called the “Speed Triple Challenge” that must have been fun to watch. The rugged triple and five-speed gearbox may not offer performance that will set your hair on fire today, but the 98 claimed horses mean the Speed Triple is plenty fast for road use and the bike should sound great with the aftermarket three-into-one exhaust seen here.

The seller refers to the bike as “this original naked bike.” If he means one of the original naked bikes” then he’d be correct. The Speed Triple was introduced in 1994, but Italian rival Ducati’s Monster was introduced a year prior in 1993 and Honda’s proto-Monster Hawk GT was first available all the way back in 1988, although it was kind of a sales flop at the time. Nevertheless, the Speed Triple is one of Triumph’s best-selling bikes of the modern era and, much like the Monster, can probably be credited with the company’s current success.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale

Thanks for looking. This is a very good condition 1995 Triumph speed triple. It has recently had a top end overhaul and new timing chain and tensioner/guides. The bike fires on the 2nd crank every time and runs awesome. I am looking to sell to downsize my collection due to a growing family. 

I have and will include with the selling price, the original Triumph dual exhaust that is pictured in one photo. It is not installed but all hardware is there. 

Many spares are included as well which were given to me by previous owner. 

I have owned for the last 5 years and have had a blast riding this original naked bike. This bike was the first year the speed triple was offered in the USA. My offering is your chance to own a modern classic. 

There’s been no interest in the bike so far at the starting bid of $1,500 but there are still a couple days left on the auction. The first-gen Speed Triple is nearly a classic at this point, but modern enough you can count on it to start every day, and the build quality of the Bloor-era bikes is high. They’ve been pretty cheap for a while now, and many that come up for sale feature signs of neglect, but this one looks very nice, and supposedly comes with a bunch of additional parts, so it might be worth looking into as a future collectible.

-tad

Black-Clad Bruiser: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale
Sport Bikes For Sale October 23, 2015 posted by

Malaysian Exotic: 2003 Petronas FP1 for Sale

2003 Petronas FP1 R Front

The result of a project originally intended to develop a Moto GP bike, the Foggy-Petronas FP1 is basically the roadgoing homologation version of the World Superbike GP1. Interestingly, while 100 of the 150 bikes made should have been available for purchase, it turns out very few were actually sold to customers. Several years ago, a stash of bikes was found squirreled away in England, and legal wrangling is currently underway to get the bikes released into the wild, but this is currently one rare bird.

2003 Petronas FP1 L Rear2

But really, who cares right? After all, the Carl Fogarty and Petronas’ racing efforts were doomed from the start. Right after the bike began its career in 2003, the displacement limit was increased to 1000cc’s, leaving the 900cc Petronas largely uncompetitive. By 2006, after just three years, the plug was pulled and that was basically it for the bike.

2003 Petronas FP1 Tank Detail

But while its racing career was disappointing, this is still quite literally a race bike for the road, and every bit as special as the RC30 or OW01, with quality components and the nimble handling of a real thoroughbred. Powered by an 899.5cc three-cylinder with a counter-rotating crankshaft that produced 127hp and an ungodly wail. Videos of the roadbike do exist and this is one of those bikes that may be worth it for the sound alone. The exhaust note is very raw and the whole thing sounds like the internals are all made of titanium, or some other, even lighter material. Etherium maybe.

2003 Petronas FP1 L Rear

And as a connoisseur of tachometers, I really love this one: so many modern bikes have their tachs set low and out of the natural view of the rider, but this one sticks up into the windscreen bubble where you can keep tabs on the revs without looking away from the road.

From the original eBay listing: 2003 Petronas FP1 for Sale

You are bidding on an all original, very rare, 2003 Petronas FP1 motorcycle at no reserve. The bike comes originally equipped with rear view mirrors, odometer, blinkers, headlights, and taillights. As originally intended, the bike has everything you need to drive it one the road; however, this motorcycle is not street legal in the United States, due to regulations and further testing that needs to be completed.

This motorcycle is number 108 out of 150. It has around 70 factory miles on it and comes with all the accessories that were with the bike, would Petronas have decided to sell them, including:

  • Authenticity Certificate
  • Digital Service Manual
  • Digital Owner’s Manual
  • Digital Workshop Manual
  • Parts Catalogue: Chassis
  • Parts Catalogue: Engine

2003 Petronas FP1 Dash

If you’re not familiar with the bike’s recent legal drama, it’s worth a quick browse of the internet. Suffice to say, these were never going to be common, and examples in private hands, especially here in the USA are going to be very, very rare at the moment. The photos aren’t the best, but I’m still smitten. With those distinctive colors and the noise coming out of that three-lobed pipe might make it worth a purchase just for the noise alone.

With a starting bid of $52,000 and no takers as yet, the seller might be aiming a bit high. While this is every bit as exotic as Ducati’s Desmosedici, its mediocre racing history and relative obscurity are probably working against it here.

Also, aside from that self-supporting tail section and distinctive paint, it does look an awful lot like my Triumph Daytona from the front…

-tad

2003 Petronas FP1 R Rear

Malaysian Exotic: 2003 Petronas FP1 for Sale