Posts by tag: Liquid Cooled

Ducati August 30, 2021 posted by

Year of the Duc: 1991 Ducati 851

Unsold at a significantly higher asking price earlier this year, this beautiful 851 has been relisted at $13,999 OBO. Links updated.

The year of 2021 needs to officially be renamed as the Year of the 851. I cannot recall ever seeing such an inventory of these milestone machines (check out a search of the RSBFS archives here). So what is so special about the 851? In a nutshell, the 851 contains 3 separate technologies that were a first for the Bologna manufacturer: 4-valve heads, fuel injection and liquid cooling. This combo kicked off a winning spree in WSBK and solidified Ducati’s approach of being a race team that occasionally builds street bikes. Today’s find is an exceptional 1991 model, which includes the popular white frame and wheel combination. I won’t go into the gory details of the model – check out the link above for that – but will simply remark that this is a well-represented version of this model and year.

1991 Ducati 851 for sale on eBay

From the seller:
Beautiful and well-maintained 1991 Ducati 851 Superbike for sale by owner. Have all of the original paperwork and maintenance records, as well as 2 original keys. Iconic and classic motorcycle in mint condition. The bike is all original parts and works flawlessly. Timing belt replacement and valve adjustment have both been done in the past few months. New tires were also fitted 6 months. Always kept indoors in a temperature controlled space. It hurts me to let go of this beautiful piece, but it is time to sell to someone who has the time to care for this motorcycle.

Today’s bike shows a few more miles than some of the museum want to be machines that we have seen previously, but it is obvious it has enjoyed some care and feeding deserving of the breed. Belts and valves are critical for this model, and both have been addressed recently. That means that this beauty is ready to ride off into the sunset right now. Both seat and windscreen look to be aftermarket, but neither should be considered deal killers. The rest looks to be completely stock, right down to the stock cans and stock clutch cover. The asking price on this one is a seemingly high $17,000 (now $13,999), but the seller is open to offers. Check out all of the details here, and let us know what you think: Is 2021 the Year of the 851? Good Luck!!

MI

Year of the Duc: 1991 Ducati 851
Yamaha August 28, 2021 posted by

Decisions Decisions Decisions: 3 different Yamaha RZ350s

In the topsy-turvy world of collecting, there are often times when very little that is interesting is actually available. Then there are times when everything is available at once. You just cannot predict what will become available and here at RSBFS we do what we can to bring you the best we can find. And just like earlier in the year when Ducati 851 models were springing up like weeds, there are other bikes that appear in numbers – such as today’s example of three different red/white RZ350s. Best known as the last officially imported two stroke into all 50 states of the US, the parallel twin successor to the late RD series offered liquid cooling and introduced the concept of an exhaust power valve. While none of these nearly 40 year old bikes will be first in line for an indoor parking spot at the Barber Museum, they still represent a desired milestone machine worth collecting. Let’s look at our contestants! In no particular order:


Bike #1 – 1984 Yamaha RZ350 – starting bid $6k

From the seller:
Beautiful 1984 Yamaha RZ350. Have not seen many of these around on here or locally.
Early build date of 1/1984.
Matching Engine and Frame numbers: 003191 (shown in photos).
7,750 original miles.
2-stroke, liquid cooled, very fun and unique sounding bikes.

Bike runs and drives as it should – carburetors recently cleaned, general maintenance performed.
Bike is mostly original, however it does have aftermarket pipes, air filters, rear directionals (oem appearance), mirrors.
The windshield does have a few minor scratches, and there is also a scratch near the fuel shutoff (see photo).
The tank had minor repair underneath as it had a small pinhole leak. The inside was sealed with Tank Kreem fuel tank liner.
The bike is not 100% perfect showroom condition, but it is close, and in overall great shape. The bike was in dry storage for 25 years.

Located in Maine, this particular RZ has traveled fewer than 8,000 miles according to the clocks. There is the usual form of usage and neglect apparent, although the seller has done a good job of cleaning up the bike. The photos show a bit of corrosion, and some of the expected mods – namely the replacement of the heavy and performance-robbing catalytic converter pipes in favor of proper expansion chambers. If done correctly in conjunction with airbox and jetting changes, this is the #1 performance mod to really wake up the RZ with no harm in longevity. For a museum collector this is a destructive mod that kills the value, but for a rider-quality example the rideability gain is a definite benefit. The seller claims it was in storage for 25 years, and no maintenance records are listed. Opening bid is $6,000 – which may sound like big money if you remember when you could snag a project bike for less than half of that, but those days are long gone my friend. The best part of this auction is that it has no reserve. Check out the details on this one here.


Bike #2 – 1984 Yamaha RZ350 – starting bid $5k

From the seller:
Running & Currently Registered, fires right up whenever I get a chance to use it. Sounds & shifts as it should.
– The motorcycle has 23,000 miles on it
– I bought this bike a few years ago planning on doing a cosmetic restoration. I’m no mechanic but the bike does not need anything major.
– The past owner had recently gone through the motor and it runs strong, has Factory Pipe Products aftermarket exhaust (Expansion Chambers) and is re-jetted for the exhaust system.
– The past owner also put on the current gas tank (dented a shown in pictures) because the original tank had rusted/leaked as so many RZ gas tanks did.
– I have some spare parts that I have collect that will go with the bike including a set of rear turn signals (current right rear is taped).
– Comes with a Yamaha Service Manual

Continuing our New England romp, this second RZ350 lives in Connecticut and has traveled a credible 23,000 miles. By the pictures one can conjure up a story of hard use, which is not uncommon with the model. Like the first bike, this one sports aftermarket exhaust chambers coupled with carb mods to maximize performance. Judging by the conditions shown in the photos, this is no museum bike. The tank tells a story of a bike being down – on both sides. The seller claims the tank was added later, which is plausible. Still, the non-stock side cover on the right speaks to potential damage replacement. The cylinder block is not painted, which could mean replacement or modification (i.e. bore and/or ported). With luck, the previous owner replaced crank seals during the rebuild process. A bit of a mystery, this RZ has a starting bid of $5k and no reserve. Check out all of the details here.


Bike #3 – 1985 Yamaha RZ350 – starting bid $7999

From the seller:
This 1985 Yamaha RZ350 is an original. The owner has had it for 1 year. The vehicle runs great and is mainly used for weekend rides.

This bike runs beautifully and has the smoothest shifting transmission I have ever seen on a Yamaha. Clutch is fairly new. Has some cosmetic defects but nothing major for an almost 40 year old bike. All gauges work as they should as well as instrument lights. Turn signals have been removed. Oil injection system works correctly. Bike maintains temperature as it should. You would be hard pressed to find a 1985 RZ350 bike that is mechanically better than this one.

Of the 3 bikes shown, this 1985 model is the most confusing. Early 1985 models had the red/white scheme that mimicked the black/yellow. There was a late 1985 California model that shared the earlier paint scheme and shipped with gold wheels, but all 1985 models had the Kenny Roberts signature on the fairing. Given the cosmetic condition of this one, it is likely that the fairing was replaced along the line (the tank shows evidence of a handlebar hit, scuffed cases, etc). The MRA marking on the cylinder block is another mystery – as best guess would indicate the Motorcycle Racing Association out of Colorado. But other than the exhaust tips, I don’t see any safety wire. I also don’t see a side stand. The stock pipes have been swapped out for expansion chambers, but I am not able to make out the brand. Showing 34,700 miles on the clocks, this looks to be a survivor with a hard past. Opening bid is $7,999. Check out all of the details here.


So which would you chose? Bachelor/Bachelorette #1, #2, or #3? The smart money says to get into the RZ game sooner rather than later, as the overall model series continues to gain in value with each passing year. And if you are looking for a pristine example, you already know these are not it. However a museum example will be asking more than double of this lot – which is a lot. Amidst this trio, I would first consider what my goals would be for the bike (i.e. realistically, a presentable rider). From there, I would look at each bike critically, searching for originality and completeness. If I was spending my dollars, I would put aside a few bucks as any of these three would require a leak-down test to check for compromised seals, as well as a contingent for general maintenance. But if I had to choose from those listed here, I’d likely chose them in order of presentation, even though Bike #2 is initially offered at a lower price. Simply put, Bachelor/Bachelorette #1 appears closest to stock, has the fewest miles and the least amount of overall damage. It will be interesting to follow these auctions to see where they end up. What are your thoughts? Is the RZ market one you might like to get into? Let us know in the comments!

MI

Decisions Decisions Decisions: 3 different Yamaha RZ350s
Bimota August 23, 2021 posted by

Past Due: 1998 Bimota VDue

Better than a pension! That is the headline that screams from the ad for this 2 owner, 1,500 mile wonder. And it is a wonder. Part mythical beast and part utter genius, the VDue was the bike that turned Bimota from a kit bike maker and frame builder into a full-fledged motorcycle manufacturer. It also was the bike that utterly destroyed the company, caused the Italian government to step in, and sprung a cottage industry of tuners and parts mongers. This bike is the ultimate legend, largely for all the wrong reasons.

1998 Bimota VDue for sale on eBay

Let’s put the VDue in perspective. This is a 500cc v-twin GP racer for the street: that means Suzuki RGV250 / Aprilia RS250 size, weight and nimbleness with GSXR1100 power. Interested? So was the world. Throw in a solid decade of R&D to try to make a two stroke emissions friendly enough to past muster as a street bike and the GP dream takes a hard left at the end of pit lane. Bimota engineers developed a direct injection system for the VDue – an ingenious and ambitious solution – meant to cure the dirty elements of 2-stroke power and provide plausible fuel economy. Sadly, in the late 1990s the tech was not quite there and the resultant effort – while producing over 110 HP while it ran – was inconsistent, unreliable, and prone to failure. Of the 500 bikes proposed for the series, Bimota produced 340 – all which were recalled. This, coupled with the loss of a major sponsor in WSBK racing who owed them money, left the company in financial ruin. Today, Kawasaki has a majority investor stake in the company, which produces a single model (Tesi H2).

From the seller:
The very last of the legendary stink wheel generation before legislation finally killed off the two stroke engine! This incredible machine has earned its place in the hall of motorcycle frame for lots of reasons, not least of which is the styling which still looks fresh twenty years later, as well as all of the controversy and very Italian politics involved in the very limited production run. This means as you know that not very many were made and even fewer found their way to the UK, this makes them an incredible bike to own for exclusivity, the ultimate riding experience and how could you not agree that this would be a whole lot more enjoyable as an investment than a pension or ISA!!!

In a last gasp effort, Bimota reworked the VDue with Dell’Orto carbs and re-badged the bike as the “Evoluzione,” but in reality it was a step backwards in tech. Only 21 of these bikes made it out of the factory for road use. In the end, Piero Caronni (one of the Bimota engineers on the original VDue project) purchased the remaining bikes, all the spares he could get his hands on, and the rights to the VDue name. It could be said that most of these bikes that are running today are due to his fanatical efforts on this halo bike.

Today’s VDue is located in England – these marvelous machines were never officially imported into the US. There is no commentary as to what has been done, if it retains the original fuel injection (or, if swapped out to carbs, who did the work), etc. These are all questions that should likely be asked by a potential buyer. The bike looks new, as a 1,500 mile example should. By all accounts, a properly running VDue is a joy to ride, but be warned that between fuel consumption, high-end 2-stroke oil and frequent rebuilds these are not cheap to operate. But they are very, very rare, and very, very collectible. These were $30k when new, if you could find one. This one is listed in the UK for £24,999 – which nets out to about $34 large American greenbacks. Check out all of the details here and Good Luck!!

MI

Past Due:  1998 Bimota VDue
Ducati July 31, 2021 posted by

Up and Coming: 2001 Ducati 748S Monoposto

Hot on the heels of the original Italian supermodel, the Ducati 916, came a smaller sibling: the 748. At the time there were a lot of writers who could not understand the exorbitant cost of a 750cc sport bike that could almost run with the 600s of the day. Think of this as a slightly quieter, a little less powerful, just marginally less expensive 916 – keeping in mind that all the rest of the 916 goodness is baked right in – and you might start to see the 748 in a different light. Every bit as capable as the milestone 916 in the corners, equal on the brakes, it is really when you whack the throttle open that the differences are clear. Otherwise, the 748 is the spitting image of the bigger bike, with advantages when it comes to ownership.

2001 Ducati 748S Monoposto for sale on eBay

Let’s get it out in the open: The L-twin powering the 748s as pictured was good for just shy of 100 HP when released. It tipped the scales at 430-ish pounds dry. Compare and contrast the same year Honda CBR600 inline four, and you will find 110 HP pushing a mere 370 pounds. It’s no wonder that many folks did not understand the 748. Even the “S” model as we see here did not receive a performance gain, but rather upgraded suspension, adjustable steering geometry and snazzy wheels. But what this bike does – and it does it all day long – is look damn good. And even if you’re not reeling in your buddy on the straights, there is simply no sound like a desmoquattro hammering out to redline. It’s the kind of soundtrack that sticks with you, the experience that you remember, and the feeling that you are always going fast, even if you are not.

From the seller:
DUCATI 2001 748S MONOPOSTO RARE YELLOW!

This is a gem of a motorcycle. Great opportunity to own a very good example of ducati heritage. Very low miles. Runs fantastic with no known issues. Never been raced. Minor cosmetic defects which are all to the best of my ability listed in the photos. This is a very eye clean motorcycle and shows gentle wear for its age. Considered in very good used condition. Selling to fund another project. Starts immediately and I’ve never had mechanical issue. NO LEAKS! Maintained by Ducati Corse Portland. New Diablo Rosso III tires with 50 miles use. New OEM hand grips. New OEM Front and Rear sprockets and chain installed. All lights and signals work. Very Low miles on this bike with plenty of miles left as a daily rider or an addition to your collection. Amazing sound of the duel carbon fiber TERMIGNONI Exhaust. Small fogging to the head light lenses, very common for these bikes. Your dealer can easily remove but it will re-accumulate slowly over time. Motorcycle is sold as is. You will not be disappointed with this motorcycle. The pictures speak for the bike. The Pitbull stand IS included in the sale. The ducati garage mat IS included in the sale. Happy to answer all reasonable questions. Very reasonable reserve price.

There are some drawbacks to 748 ownership, but these should not be deal killers. If you are a street rider with a lot of stop and go during your commute, you will find that the race ready cockpit stretches you out into a neat aero package that puts a ton of weight on your wrists at slower speeds. Maintenance is a bit more involved on the 748 than on 2-valve Supersports or Japanese machinery, as there are now four valves to adjust in each head, and getting to the belts means moving more stuff out of the way first. Still, these are not as fragile or temperamental as you might expect from an Italian exotic.

The early Tamburini-designed 916 models are starting to command big money these days. It is clear that this is where the collector world is going. The 748 – a little less loved and without the ultimate performance mantle – will take a little bit longer to get there. That is good news if you are looking for one today. Find it, ride it, enjoy it, and watch it appreciate in value in the wake of the 916/996/998 series. Today’s example has fewer than 14,000 miles on the clocks, has some minor farkles which are common to the model, and otherwise looks to be in fine shape. Best of all, bidding is still below $5k with only a couple of days remaining. More rare than the bigger bikes, these 748 models are a kick to ride. And we all know that yellow Ducatis are the fastest…. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Up and Coming: 2001 Ducati 748S Monoposto
Honda July 29, 2021 posted by

Featured Listing: 1989 Honda VTR250

Update 7.31.2021: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

If you spend your free time scurrilously poring over our pages, chances are you are intimately familiar with Honda’s three-years-only VTR250 Interceptor. But in case you aren’t: The 1989 Honda VTR250 Interceptor was Honda flexing its manufacturing might on an entry-level bike just because it could.

The littlest Interceptor was approachable, but packed enough punch to interest more seasoned riders, and enough weird details to keep collectors entertained 31 years later. The most striking oddity is its inboard front disc brake, an experiment that didn’t pan out for Big Red, but one that helps further separate the VTR250 from other small bikes. Couple that with a 90-degree liquid-cooled v-twin that made about 30 horsepower, deft handling from a featherweight chassis and a top speed approaching The Ton, and you have the makings of a cult classic.

This one wears a livery so garish and awesome that it could only have been produced in the decade of excess, and is in very nice preserved shape. The odometer, set into a very period set of square dials next to a 13,500 rpm redline tach, shows just over 13,000 miles.

From the seller:

This is a 1989 Honda VTR250 – Honda’s high tech pocket rocket. Released to the learner market, the VTR250 was way more advanced than most other 250cc bikes at the time – a liquid cooled 90 degree V Twin, with twin cam 4 valve heads and twin downdraught carbs, with a 6 speed transmission. It’s light, nimble and fast, and is a cult classic for lovers of small sport bikes. Producing a touch under 30 bhp, and coupled with light weight and a beam frame it matches bigger bikes in the corners, and revs out to 13,500rpm with useable power all the way off idle. To add to the fun, there is a second power band around 9000rpm and when you get there it takes off again. I’ve had plenty of riders on bigger bikes stop me after I have tailed them relentlessly on twisty roads and ask just what the heck the bike is that I am riding.

This example is very close to stock and has been lovingly maintained by the owner. It has a Goodridge front brake line and just had an oil and filter change in September. Coolant was exchanged last year. The reg/rectifiers on these are famous for failing, so this one has an upgraded one from a Honda VF500. Tires and brakes are in good shape with plenty of life left, and the inboard ventilated disc was serviced last year. Engine inlet rubbers were replaced in September with new ones from Japan, where the VT250 is still in production and spares are plentiful there.

It comes with the official Honda workshop manual, the owners manual, and spare front/rear brake pads/shoes.

Mileage is now 13,325, and I had the local Honda dealer supply and fit the optional genuine center stand.

For just $1,800, this awesome little 250 is begging to join a stable of bigger bikes and watch them turn green with envy as they get passed over for weekend jaunts and blasts around town.

Featured Listing: 1989 Honda VTR250
Honda July 26, 2021 posted by

Featured Listing – 1989 Honda CBR600 Hurricane

Update 7.26.21: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

From the classics section of milestone motorcycles comes the wonderful Honda 600 Hurricane. Officially known as the CBR600F when introduced in 1987, the Hurricane was Honda’s wash and wear tuxedo for the ultra-competitive middleweight class; this was a bike that could do everything well. With a raspy liquid cooled inline four that was completely enclosed by bodywork, the Hurricane made a statement that set it apart from the rest of the crowd. During this time, full bodywork was an actual thing, with Bimota (DB1) and Ducati (Paso) leading the trend. Honda’s entry was vastly different than the other Japanese Big Four offerings and resulted in a runaway showroom success that spawned many variants. Up through 1990 these became known as the first series bikes (CBR-F1, if you will), and what followed were the F2, F3 and F4 models.

Featured Listing – 1989 Honda CBR600 Hurricane

As the magazine adverts at the time stated, even the Ninja fears the Hurricane. And that was not too far from the truth. The CBR pumped out 85 ponies at the crank – plenty of motive force to push what was described as the lightest and quickest middleweight of the time to the top of the timing sheets. With air-adjustable anti-dive forks and a rising rate rear linkage with preload settings, the Honda could handle with the best of them. Our seller Jim is an obvious fan of the model. He has provided a ton of detail on this bike, and I will let him pick up the story here:

From the seller:
Lordy, I hate selling my motorcycles. This 1989 Honda CBR 600 “Hurricane” caught my eye the minute I saw it on Ebay a few years back. All I’ve done in my ownership is to ride it, enjoy it, and maintain it (like my other bikes). I’m a collector but everything must be ridden! I’ve put a thousand miles on it (odo is now 26,517) and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. As far as I’m concerned the custom red/white/blue seat puts it over the top. It’s been stored properly and tendered during the entire time I’ve owned it. The bikes starts and runs smoothly and everything works! It’s also been freshly serviced.

When the “jelly mould” styling came out in 1987 everyone was a fan of the styling but I just simply loved that full enclosure bodywork back then. That full enclosure bodywork hides a steel frame, an inline four cylinder engine of 598cc with twin cam, 16 valves and 85Bhp. Did I mention it runs great? In 1989 this bike was the quickest and most powerful middleweight ever built, but it was it’s the complete user-friendly nature of the bike that make the bike what it is—-super, all day comfortable yet still la great handler.

More from the seller:
CBR stands for “City Bike Racing” and Honda’s idea was to create a bike that could take you to work and back five days a week and then win races on at the weekend. I get it—-30+ years later it still performs its mission well.

For the 1989 model year the hugely successful CBR600 got upgraded with minor tweeks. It looked the same jelly mould bike but underneath it got higher compression (11.3:1, up from 11:1), the cam timing was revised, bigger carbs fitted, new ignition and a beefed up clutch. It also got adjustable rebound damping. Power was increased from 85Bhp to 93Bhp and, apparently was a noticeable difference.

Performance
0-60mph 3.5 secs
0-100mph 7.7 secs
Top Speed 137mph
Fuel consumption 45mpg

More from the seller:
The CBR600F1 had a nice set of clocks that I still think look great today with their red details and markers. These clocks always looked great at night with their orange/red glow. There is just something about a set of needles, gently illuminated from below as you ride into the twilight. OK, maybe that’s a bit too poetic but you get the picture. This is a great vintage bike in very good condition.

Nit-pick items? One of the mirrors is a little faded so it’s a slight creamy white. It looks like one of the red decals is peeling up just a hair on the tank. The bike is not perfect but it’s in damn good condition and is surrounded by admirers wherever I ride. You won’t be disappointed. Be prepared to ride all day!

Price: $3,600 $3,300 USD

While never particularly rare in the day (this was a very popular model for Honda dealers), we do not often see these wonderful machines in such fantastic condition. Quite simply, most have been abused, dropped, stunted, raced, crashed and resold for scrap. This bike looks great, comes from a RSBFS enthusiast who has taken care of the beast, and is now offering up this example of a legendary model for a mere $3,600 $3,300. With typical Honda engineering and build quality, this is a bike that will last a lifetime of use when properly maintained. You are not likely to find anything that will turn heads – or put a bigger smile on your face – for that small of an outlay. It even has period correct F1 slip ons!

MI

Featured Listing – 1989 Honda CBR600 Hurricane
KTM July 24, 2021 posted by

Euro Speed: 2010 KTM RC8R

If you are looking for a great open class sport bike that does not go the way of the Japanese Big Four or that Italian V-twin factory – in other words if you want something different – smart money might just put you on a KTM RC8. But today’s example is not just a vanilla RC8, but rather the high end, punched out, lightweight R model. As with Ducati, the R spec in the KTM world equates to a formidable piece of near-race ready machinery.

2010 KTM RC8R for sale on eBay

Unlike the base model with it’s measley 1148cc, the 75 degree Rotax V-twin on the R model is punched out to a massive 1195cc. With a lightweight valve train which includes materials such as titanium, the big K bike can spin to above 10,000 RPM where power peaks at a stunning 170 crankshaft HP. This twin has a lot of bang, in part due to it’s extremely high compression ratio of 13.5:1. Keihin fuel injection helps feed the monster, and beneath the angular bodywork hides a massive radiator to keep things cool. The chrome moly frame is built in-house, but like Ducati many of the ancillary components (wheels, suspension, brakes) are farmed out to reputable manufacturers of note: Marchesini, WP and Brembo monobocks, respectively. Tipping the scale at 400 lbs, the RC8R is a powerful weapon in the hands of a good rider.

From the seller:
You are looking at an adult owned KTM RC8* R version. The bike is in immaculate condition and turns heads whenever it is ridden. The bike is in great condition with little to no wear. The bike is unmolested engine wise and sports several tasteful cosmetic upgrades. One of is a 100% authentic Alcantara seat. Other modifications include shorty levers, carbon fiber front fender, fender eliminator, swing arm sliders, and other minor misc parts. The bike rarely gets driven (once a week to the my gym) and back to my performance shop. All the maintenance on the bike is up to date and should not need servicing for about 3k. The RC8 is a super rare bike, but the RC8 R (which this is) is even more rare. This is a superbike and it not meant for 1st time riders or those who do not have experience riding motorcycles. The bike is ready for a new home and for someone to enjoy the sounds and beauties of a v twin!

One piece of the puzzle that many riders do not consider is comfort. How well you fit on a bike determines how well you can ride said machine. In this area, KTM shines beyond any other bike of the era with the sheer number of components that can be adjusted. A short list: Both levers are adjustable, handlebar adjustable for height, seat and rear subframe adjustable for height, Footpegs, shift lever and rear brake lever, front forks, rear shock, and rear ride height. And if that wasn’t enough, the clever LCD gauge package contains several different functions and views, including a track mode and lap timer.

The RC8R was a monumental performance boost over the RC8, and a monumental price boost as well. Buyers could expect to shell out $20 Large for one of these very rare bikes. And sadly in just a few short years KTM removed themselves from the big-bore street bike game altogether in the name of public safety. That helps with the rarity and maintains the uniqueness of the model. This particular bike looks to be well cared for, has some minor mods, but otherwise appears stock-ish. The asking price is just over $10k as a Buy It Now, which represents a 50% savings over new. These bikes have not yet earned their due on the collector market, and are very likely to be a target for value appreciation in the coming years. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Euro Speed: 2010 KTM RC8R
Kawasaki July 21, 2021 posted by

Moto Madness: Mike Baldwin’s 1979 Kawasaki Factory Works Race Bike

Star power. It is what sells. Be it the star power of a famous race bike, a famous team, a famous rider, a famous win, or all of the above. This is what sets certain bikes above the rest. And today’s find is a wonderful reminder that the lime green team was once a very dominant force in racing other than WSBK. This bike is a claimed works Kawasaki factory KR750 racer, piloted by none other than Mike Baldwin.

1979 Kawasaki KR750 Factory Race Bike for sale on eBay

In the early to mid 1970s, there was a flurry of activity on the racing scene. Yamaha had brought out their TZ750 – which looked to dominate all and sundry on both the factory and privateer levels – and Kawasaki wanted a piece of that action. Having a successful two stroke in the form of the H1 triple style, Team Green acted quickly to assemble a factory racer that could bring home the gold. With lower restrictions regarding homologation, Kawasaki was able to make use of existing tech, massage it heavily into GP-level machinery, and unleash it upon the world. Utilizing a 750cc triple, Kawasaki offset and skewed both the intake and exhaust ports to narrow the now liquid-cooled motor significantly. A one piece crank simplified the overall engine arrangement (as opposed to the Yamaha, which utilized a series of intermediary shafts to drive the primary and ancillaries), resulting in a powerful, but lightweight package. Coupled with a six speed transmission, triple disk brakes, and what appears to be ancient dual-shock rear suspension, the KR750 nearly won the world championship with Gary Nixon aboard. But runaway success was not to be for Kawasaki, even though the KR750 showed immense potential.

From the seller:
Mike Baldwin was a record-setting five-time AMA Road Racing Champion and the all-time wins leader in AMA Formula 1/Formula 750 history. In all, Baldwin won 27 AMA national races – 17 in AMA F1/750 and 10 in AMA Superbike – and he is considered one of the top road racers America has ever produced.

More from the seller:
At Daytona in ’79, Baldwin appeared to be a real threat to win the Daytona Triple Crown (the Daytona 200, the Daytona Lightweight and the Daytona Superbike races). He was easily the fastest in Superbike and battled for top billing in the Daytona 200 and Lightweight qualifying. Unfortunately, Baldwin high-sided in practice on Thursday and broke his collarbone. Without racing in the qualifying race, Baldwin had to start from the back of the grid in the 200. The leaders had completed nearly three-quarters of a lap by the time the third wave of riders, of which Baldwin was in the back, was given the green flag. In spite of his huge disadvantage and riding in pain with the broken shoulder, Baldwin tore through the field on the factory Kawasaki KR750 and finished a strong fourth, giving him at least a moral victory. In addition to racing for Kawasaki in 1979, he also raced in Europe during the gap in the AMA schedule after Daytona.

More from the seller:
The bike was restored in 1993 by author Stephen Wright with help from Norm Bigelow at the Kawasaki Racing Dept. It has been shown at Del Mar in 1997 and at the Bedford Museum in “The Wild Ones” exhibit in 2003. Also, first place at the Wheelcraft Motorcycle show at Sears Point raceway in 2001. Current owner purchased the bike from Stephen Wright in 1999. Sold on bill of sale. Race notes and history come with the bike.

Race bikes are very difficult to judge when it comes to value. To be certain, factory racers are built and campaigned in limited supply, making them rare to begin with. Couple that with the numerous mods that occur organically over the course of several seasons (due to rules, additional performance, etc), plus the very real potential for crash damage and it is not too surprising to realize that not many of these bikes survive to be restored to this particular level. That is especially true with a well-known and respected rider, such as Mike Baldwin.

The Buy It Now ask for this green monster is a very cool $125k. There is no doubt the bike is historically significant. Sadly we cannot comp this to other sales given the scarcity of pristine Mike Baldwin KR750s on the market. The seller is open to offers and it looks like there are a fair number of watchers on this one, so we may yet see a sale. Let’s all hope it finds a good home, as bikes this rich in history deserve a spot of honor. Check out all of the details here, then start shopping for some green leathers and gear. Good Luck!!

MI

Moto Madness: Mike Baldwin’s 1979 Kawasaki Factory Works Race Bike