Posts by tag: parallel twin

Yamaha June 12, 2020 posted by

Can’t Quit – 1977 Yamaha RD400

Most running, driving bikes with 40-plus years on have taken some kind of rebuild, and this 1977 RD400 is no exception.  This recent completion has had soup to nuts attention with some nice upgrades.

1977 Yamaha RD400 for sale on eBay

Though regulators in the western hemisphere were already thinking of two strokes in the past tense, Yamaha had a world-wide market to consider, and put a lot of new engineering into the 1976 RD400.  New crankcases were required for the 44 hp twin, and without the counter-balancer required in a four-stroke, resulted in a lightweight power unit.  CDI ignition and rubber engine mounts civilized the new 400.  Chassis and suspension were pretty UJM, but disk brakes and cast wheels were a peek into the future for a small-bore.  Stylists used black mechanicals and chrome exhaust to highlight the tank color.

Offered by a southern Conn. restoration shop, this RD shows just 15,843 miles and recent rebuild of the engine and pretty much everything else.  The blacked-out fenders and yellow wheels update the looks quite a bit, and performance improvements from the DG expansion chambers, K&N filters and remote reservoir shocks can be anticipated.  Nice list of new or rebuilt components from the eBay auction:

This is a very clean custom eye catching RD400 The engine was rebuilt 2 years ago .50 over.  It has very little mileage since the build. Very Sharp. Very clean. It has some desirable mods for the street.  Tuned and timed. Very quick response, nice power band. 

New:  Custom paint & decals w/Matching rims. Very clear gauges. OEM style mirrors. Replacement controls. Grips. Cables. Tires & tubes. Clutch. Fork tubes, seals, dust boots and polished lower fork housings.

Polished heads. Chain and sprockets. Performance master cylinder and clutch levers. New calipers. Rebuilt rear master cylinder. Braided brake lines. Rear sets from HVC. OEM signals & rear tail light. Rebuilt carbs w/pod filters, new jets. Custom seat. RFY rear Nitrogen charged  gas shocks.

Very nice DG chambers – No road rash.  Note: Chain Guard will be installed after modification. 

Lighter than everything comparable, the RD400’s non-linear powerband made friends with reviewers at Cycle World, who called it one of the ten best in 1976 and covered it as recently as 1993.  Yamaha kept honing the two-stroke twin, going back down to a 350, adding catalysts and liquid cooling.  After the two-wheeler was retired in 1995, the powertrain lived on in the Banshee quad, and helped parts availability for RD owners.  This example has a few days to run and hasn’t met the reserve, but the sensible restoration looks good enough to get there.

-donn

Can’t Quit – 1977 Yamaha RD400
MZ June 5, 2020 posted by

German Exotica: 2005 MZ 1000S for Sale

Sadly overlooked now, the MZ 1000S is a seriously versatile bit of German exotica. The Motorrad und Zweiradwerk name may not be familiar to most, but the marque has plenty of racing history and pedigree. Unfortunately, most of it is in the distant past, and that fact likely hurt sales of the expensive motorcycle from a brand largely unknown by modern sportbike enthusiasts. Brief background lesson: MZ [then “MuZ”] two-stroke racebikes using pioneering expansion-chamber technology developed by Walter Kaaden dominated the smaller racing classes between 1955-1976, a streak that was really only broken when MuZ Ernst Denger defected and took the company’s racing secrets with him to Suzuki…

By the 1990s, the company was largely forgotten by modern riders, except as a producer of outdated, smoky machines really only suitable for sale in countries behind the Iron Curtain. A reborn company with a line of motorcycles built around a common platform and powered by Yamaha’s 660cc 5-valve single and 5-speed gearbox got good reviews and soldiered on for a few years, but the MZ 1000S was the company’s first real foray into big four-stroke motorcycles.

Conceived as a sport-touring machine, it looks far more exotic than most bikes that typically fit that job description. Chunky and very angular, the design doesn’t come across as overly busy or contrived. It just looks classy and confident, a little mature. It was well received by the motoring press, but the 1000S was expensive and maybe a bit too conservative for its price tag. Power came from a 998cc parallel twin that meant character and a meaty powerband, as well as compact dimensions. The expected vibration was quashed by modern balance shafts, and a six-speed cassette gearbox seems to have been included for bragging rights, since quick trackside gearing changes don’t otherwise seem to fit into the design brief.

The MZ 1000S, along with a pretty wild-looking naked version, were sold for just a few years before production ceased. Many have been well-maintained and are available for a fraction of what they cost new. This one has a shade under 2,400 miles and is fitted with some good quality if slightly gauche aftermarket exhausts, but includes the originals if these aren’t to your your taste.

From the original eBay listing: 2005 MZ 1000S for Sale

You are bidding on a 2005 MZ 1000S sportbike with extremely low miles, in great condition, and ready to ride. I have owned a couple of these in the past, and got this one back from a gentleman that owns 4 of them, whom I sold this one to about 4 years ago. The bike has only 2383 miles on her and is ready for the road. Here are the details.

As I mentioned, I sold this bike to a friend that has 4 others,and recently got it back from him. Unfortunately, I am trying to “thin the herd”, and need to concentrate on my other projects.

The bike has a new battery, all brake & clutch fluids were just changed, along with new synthetic motor oil & filter. Bike fires right up, and runs great though the 6-speed cassette transmission. These bikes are rated at 100HP, but really designed as a “sport tourer”, as opposed to a full on sport bike. Fully adjustable suspension both front & rear, as well as dual Nissin front disc brakes which makes for great handling & stopping. The previous owner installed the Jardine muffler set and they sound great! Have the original mufflers that will go with the bike.

Some minor nick ,and minor scratches in the paintwork here & there, but nothing major. Looks great all around. All lights,gauges work as they should.

There is a cult following for these worldwide, and a lot of the consumable parts are readily available (brake pads, oil filters, chains, etc.), and any model specific parts are available from Grahams Motorcycles in the UK. Over the years,anything I have needed to order for various other MZs, I have received from Grahams within 7-10 days. Fantastic German build quality, and craftsmanship for a reasonable price. There are a lot of Chinese bikes that cost more than this bike, and can’t hold a candle to it!

The bike has a clear title, original owner’s manual, and a copy of the factory workshop manual.

Overall, a really nice bike that needs to be ridden, as opposed to sitting in my garage while I work on other projects. Offered at a very fair “Buy It Now” price,or feel free to shoot me a serious offer.

Don’t be scared off by servicing or parts availability: these are supposed to be easy enough to work on, assuming you have a mechanic willing to deal with a bike they’ve never even heard of, and many components are still available from overseas. Look, you obviously won’t get a warranty with this bike, but miles are very low and At $4,350 you honestly should take a chance on this one if you’re a fan of practical sportbikes with rarity and tons of character.

-tad

German Exotica: 2005 MZ 1000S for Sale
Kawasaki March 7, 2020 posted by

Before Kris – 1988 Kawasaki KR-1

Update 3.7.2020: We first posted this KR-1 in September of last year. It’s back on eBay, this time with a buy-it-now of $8,400. Links updated. -dc

Kawasaki had a tiger by the tale in 1988, and for a season or two the KR-1 bested every RGV, TZR and NSR.  Coming out of a collection, this KR-1 looks to have missed the scrapes most 250cc two-strokes got caught up in.

1988 Kawasaki KR-1 for sale on eBay

Kawasaki’s 249cc two-stroke might have been furthest from a real race bike, as there wasn’t a factory presence in the 250 category.  Still the snappy parallel twin, with balance shaft, was eminently tuneable and the package very light.  The 55 hp produced by the Integrated Power Valve System worked beautifully with just 271 lbs. of dry weight.  The frame looked overbuilt but was a light alloy, and 41mm forks were up front with dual discs.  Out back there was the Uni-Trak monoshock and an 18-inch rear wheel.  Pillion accommodations put the lie to racey looking bodywork.

This Seattle owner has a few classic sportbike auctions going, and goes into detail about their KR-1:

Recently completely serviced and detailed with clear Washington state title. The KR-1 is considered to be the fastest and more lively two stroke 250 sports bike compared to all the other models in its class. The model was never imported in to the USA and is probably the rarest model in the 250cc two stroke sports bike category around the world. This particular Kawasaki KR-1 has just 8,298 miles, the bike is mostly all original and in exceptional preserved condition.

The body work is all original and is in very good condition, there are absolutely no cracks on any of the body panels but there are some minor nicks and scrapes. The wheels are perfect with no rock chips or scratches anywhere. The frame and engine have no major corrosion and are nice and clean. Overall cosmetically this bike is in very nice condition.

The bike runs and rides great, and shifts smoothly through all 6 gears. The carburetors were recently ultrasonically cleaned and adjusted, and a full service tune-up was performed which included new spark plugs, chain, air filter, brake pads, oil change, new tires, and fluids flushed. All of the lighting, switches, and electrical components work as they should.

These bikes were never imported into the USA, and very few were exported outside of Japan to any other countries so this is a very rare  Kawasaki model. 

Kawi and Suzuki traded the “fastest 250” back and forth a few times, with the KR-1S snatching it back before the factory decided to focus on their four stroke offerings.  Though Suzuki had staying power, the KR-1 stole the moment in the very late -80’s.  Early interest in the auction says the hammer might fall at a high price, but the new owner will have a sparkling and rare example.

-donn

Before Kris – 1988 Kawasaki KR-1
Laverda January 23, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SFC for Sale

Update 6.18.2020: This bike is SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

We don’t post a ton of “classic” sportbikes here, but some motorcycles transcend the era in which they were built: the bevel-drive Ducati 900SS, the Moto Guzzi V7 Sport, Norton Manx, Vincent Black Shadow, Kawasaki ELR, Honda CBX, and this bright orange Laverda SFC are iconic enough that they fit in just fine among machines decades newer. Quite literally a race bike with lights, the SFC or “Super Freni Competizione” was a high water mark for the marque, and always makes me sad they’re not currently in business. I think the world has room for a stylish, overbuilt motorcycle with great handling and Italian charisma. I picture something like a Triumph Thruxton R with Ducati SportClassic style…

At the heart of the machine was an air-cooled, 744cc two-valve, overhead-cam parallel twin supposedly patterned after Honda’s CB77 Superhawk and built to last, with five main bearings. The SFC shared the same engine with the more street-oriented SF1, although the SFC included the usual period upgrades to improve performance: larger valves, head work, different cams, balanced and polished internals, bigger carbs… The result was somewhere between 71hp and 81hp, depending on the year. They were all hand-built and dyno-tested and rolled out pretty much ready to compete in endurance racing events. Just remove the lights and add a numberplate.

Unlike other Italian manufacturers of the period, Laverda’s goal was to use the very best parts in their motorcycles, regardless of origin. So while the suspension and frame were by Verlicchi and Ceriani or Marzocchi, respectively, they used Nippon-Denso electrics, and Bosch ignition components. It’s significant that Laverda named their bike after its braking ability: Super Freni Competizione basically means “super competition brakes” and the early machines featured a massive magnesium brake drum out front with a similar unit out back.

Later machines moved to twin discs out front, with a matching disc in the rear, but the result was the same and Laverdas stopped as well as they went. In 1974, the frame was updated to lower the center of gravity and reduce weight, and to improve handling with revised suspension geometry. Fewer than 600 SFCs were ever made, making this one of the rarest examples of an already exclusive marque.

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Laverda SFC for Sale

At only approx 541 units produced, the Laverda SFC is one of the best bikes for the buck you can collect and ride! this is a street legal factory race bike that pumps out approx. 70HP, it’s fun, fast and vicious– to me the SFC is the pinnacle of 70’s Italian sport bikes, it hits all the marks and its built like a tank. This is the closest bike in feel to a Lamborghini Miura.

At this point I can say with some authority, that I have owned, bought and sold more SFC Laverda’s then just about anyone in the US, if you look in previous sales, this bike is just 12 bikes later than the last SFC that came through the shop.

Every SFC is slightly unique, every bike has a story. This particular example has been in private ownership for the last 10 years, the current owner had the noted Laverda craftsman Scott Potter do a complete frame up rebuild with the intention to ride her on the beautiful California coastal roads. At this point a new Steel tank was acquired and paint matched to the rest of the bodywork, new parts were used as needed and the rear shocks were upgraded.

As the bike had been sitting, I decided to give her a once over and clean and replace the jets, set the points. After putting in some fresh fuel, this BEAST roared back to life. The time and money spent on the rebuild was obvious as the quick pull of the throttle felt the parallel twin whip the bike back and forth, the feel of the SFC is unmistakable. BUY, RIDE, COLLECT.

WORLDWIDE SHIPPING IS AVAILABLE

Feel free to call me 929-264-7212 or email via my website – motoborgotaro.com

1974 LAVERDA SFC DETAILS –

  • Frame #17160
  • Engine #17160
  • Dell’Orto PHB 36mm carburetors
  • Borrani aluminum wheel rims
  • Steel tank
  • Ceriani suspension * rear is Marzocchi
  • Electron rear hub and sprocket carrier
  • High quality aluminum replica gas tank
  • Nippon Denso instruments
  • Smaller European taillight

Original parts included * Original fiberglass tank and original pipes

If you’re not familiar with Moto Borgotaro, they’re a restoration shop over in Brooklyn, New York and have had a number of very nice Laverdas pass through their hands. This example looks basically perfect, with just 4,304 miles on it, and the seller is asking $58,000.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SFC for Sale
Yamaha January 10, 2020 posted by

Winter Blues: 1984 Yamaha RZ350

As many parts of the United States are deep in the throes of falling frozen water, riding is an activity that must wait for warmer weather and more favorable road conditions. There are locales, however, where riding can commence year ’round. The southern states on both coasts serve as a great example. And it is from one of those states where we find this immaculate 1984 Yamaha RZ350, ready to ride. If you are snowed in and looking for that winter project that might require TLC and lots of mechanical know-how, stop reading now. This particular bike looks to need nothing but high RPMs and silly grins. If that is your idea of a winter project, read on!

The RZ350 is well known as the last of the factory 50-state street legal two strokes. Known as the RD350LC in other geographies, the RZ was the continued evolution of the parallel twin RD lineup, but with a healthy dose of modern tech thrown in. Sure the chassis was mild steel and not aluminum, but that did not stop the RZ from sharp handling. Brakes were triple disks, rear suspension was of the new-fangled single shock design, the venerable twin was now liquid cooled for tighter tolerances and greater power, there was a computer controlled bridge attached to the exhaust port to spread the notoriously peaky powerband around some, and the exhaust pipes were fitted with catalytic converters to help the dirty two-stroke meet EPA emissions. In most ways it was a toned down version of itself, but the beast within was woken up easily with a few common two-stroke tricks. The party only lasted two years, but it remains a very memorable party indeed.

From the seller:
1984 YAMAHA RZ350. Bike has less than 500 miles on a total renovation. Stripped to frame, wheels, bodywork all painted. Original exhausts go with the bike. Brand new Original CDI Spare also goes with the bike. The bike does not need anything. I never ride it anymore to many other things going on. Clear title, the bike is in ORMOND BEACH FL.

I have a reasonable reserve for this bike in this condition. Please do not message with silly offers. The bike sits in my climate controlled building and is available to view anytime. Everything works as you would expect. The gas cap area has been treated with an epoxy to resist any gas overflow from affecting the paint in the silly recess around the gas cap. (yes I have overfilled it) Not much more I can say. If you are looking for an RZ that requires nothing but a rider then you know what you are looking at.

There is a fair bit of interest in this particular RZ, and the eBay auction has a good number of followers. Bidding history shows the relatively quick escalation from $2k to the current bid of $7,400 – but we can be pretty certain it won’t stop there. The seller indicated that there was a reasonable reserve set for the bike, and that is clearly the case; the reserve has already been met. Whatever happens from this point forward, this bike is going home with somebody. Check it out here and let us know if this isn’t the cleanest RZ you have seen in quite some time. It has some aftermarket expansion chambers (great for waking up the beast) and the seller will even throw in the original pipes with the deal – which is great for someone looking for an original collector. The RZ is a constantly sought-after machine, and we anticipate prices to continue to rise. If you are in the market, best jump in while prices remain somewhat sane. Good Luck!!

MI

Winter Blues: 1984 Yamaha RZ350
Rickman December 28, 2019 posted by

Between Successes – 1974 Rickman Triumph 650 CR

Rickman-framed cafe racers have had a steady if not frequent presence on RSBFS, but mostly using Honda CB750 and Kawasaki Z-1 drivetrains.  Just before, they had produced but a few dozen Triumph powered CR’s.  This diamond in the rough has been in storage since just 3,000 miles, and is ready for a makeover.

1974 Rickman Triumph 650 CR for sale on eBay

Derek and Don Rickman made their name designing and fabricating beautiful and world-beating frames for the scramblers they loved, the lightweight and nickel-plated chromoly tubing being a usable showpiece.  They turned their attention toward the street starting in 1970, and provided the recently nationalized BSA-Triumph a market for their T120 twin of 46hp.  The twin carbs and factory 5-speed were good news, and Rickman added alloy rims and disk brakes, as well as large-diameter forks.  Careful fabrication was Rickman’s calling card, with lovely fiberglass work augmenting the frame.

Undeniably tired and ready for the next chapter, this CR appears substantially complete.  The pittance of miles will have to be swept away in a flurry of renovation, but the new owner will have a beautiful rarity when complete.  A thoughtful test rider or British specialist will be required with the right-side shifter, left foot brake.  Comments from the eBay auction:

RICKMAN CR TRIUMPH   1 0F 53 BUILT
BIKE HAS BEEN STORED FOR YEARS WITH LOW MILES
READY FOR RESTORATION
HIGHLY SOUGHT AFTER MODEL
ENGINE TURNS WITH GOOD COMPRESSION
ORIGINAL ALLOY CHAINGUARD IS INCLUDED
MISSING THE FRONT BRAKE MASTER CYLINDER (SAME AS TRIUMPH T140 SO EASY TO FIND)
TITLED AS A 1979 SPECIAL WHEN THE ORIGINAL TITLE WAS LOST IN 79

Rickman won the Queen’s Award to Industry for their exports in 1974, but had to change horses when Norton-Villiers-Triumph could not resolve their labor troubles and were forced into liquidation.  Before that the Bonnies had been a big success so basic mechanical parts for this CR should be easy to source.  With its long lost history it’s a soup-to-nuts project, but a worthwhile endeavor in this complete and seemingly undamaged example.

-donn

Between Successes – 1974 Rickman Triumph 650 CR
Laverda September 16, 2019 posted by

Double Espresso – 1998 Laverda 668 Ghost Strike

Update 9.16.2019: We first saw this Ghost Strike back in May of last year. It failed to sell then but is back on eBay and reserve is already met with a first bid of $2,750. Links updated to current auction. Thanks Donn, -dc

Though Laverda’s fortunes were largely in the 90’s rear-view mirror, the company breathed new life into its mid-size parallel twin, commissioning a sporty jack-of-all-trades.  The Ghost Strike had a fine chassis and premium appointments, and can’t be beat in the rarity dept.

1998 Laverda 668 Ghost Strike for sale on eBay

Laverda differentiated the Ghost Strike from their other multi-purpose machines with its Nico Bakker designed aluminum frame and WP suspension.  Motive force came from a DOHC parallel twin, expanded to 668cc and updated with Marelli injection and 70 hp.  Fuel is centralized under the seat and the airbox is in the “tank”.

Not much detail about this Houston-based Laverda, but it has only 12,000 miles and looks good.  Not sure about the non-standard appearing left side cover and dash fasteners though.  From the eBay auction:

Great looking 1998 Laverda Ghost Strike.  It starts, runs and drives well.  Paint and seat are in excellent shape.  Mileage on speedometer is in km, so I used a conversion for miles.  This is a unique classic motorcycle.  Have fun with it!

The 668’s tight handling and relaxed riding position won points, only to give them up for a notchy gearbox and too loud exhaust.  The name was soon to be retired after being purchased by Aprilia and then Piaggio, but the late Ghost Strike is a singular Euro machine perfect for the fan or collector.

-donn

Double Espresso – 1998 Laverda 668 Ghost Strike
Laverda July 4, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SF2 Cafe Racer

While an Italian cafe racer from the mid-1970s is somewhat outside of the usual focus of RSBFS, one look at this surviving hot rod told us that it belongs here. And after diving in a bit deeper, we are sure our readers will too. This is an awesome timepiece of a rare model that is often overshadowed by the competition-focused SFC offering. But the apple does not fall far from the tree as the saying goes, and the DNA that went into the SF and the SF2 largely made the SFC possible. Laverda was a powerhouse in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and continued to push the envelope of performance and displacement. These were endurance race bikes, with robust reserves to ensure longevity.

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SF2 Cafe Racer

The “SF” models from Laverda refer to Super Freni, which translates (roughly) into Super Brakes. On the original SF models, braking was via a technological double leading-shoe drum brake. While today drum brakes conjure up images of Fred Flintstone, the SF brakes were a definite step forward when it came to performance. As technology evolved, the implementation of disk brakes became the next big thing. Still leading the pack in terms of performance, Laverda created the SF2 and highlighted the world’s first production dual disk production street bike. No longer developed in house, braking duties were farmed out to famed braking icon Brembo. The rest of the bike was an SF evolution, the big 750cc parallel twin utilizing lightweight air cooling and a single overhead cam nestled in the 2-valve heads. In an interesting twist, electrics were a combination of Bosch and Japanese components, making Laverda one of the more reliable steeds when compared to either Italian or UK machinery of similar vintage.

From the seller:
974 Laverda SF2 cafe racer. Stylishly upgraded with Jota adjustable bars, Laverda solo seat

This bike has been in the previous owners hands for approx 7 years, when he first bought it from the previous owner (a collector of Laverda’s and other Italian bikes) he bought it to my shop (Moto Borgotaro Inc) for a going over. At this point the front suspension was re-freshed the clutch was upgraded to softer springs and a “easy clutch extended arm” the next round of repairs and upgrades were all functional, the wiring harness was completely remade with new fuse panel and micro relays, the original switches were kept in tact to keep the correct look. The generator was causing problems as most of the riding was happening in the New York, so we adapted a high output generator on to the existing sprag gear and pulley, it is very simple to put the stock generator back on, although the upgraded one puts out way more at lower RPMS…The mileage is low, but I don’t believe the OD is correct, the bike runs and rides great, but it is NOT restored, and to my knowledge the top end has NOT been rebuilt! —

Over the years it was ridden in and around the NY city area, proving the reliability of the Laverda. The paint was recently done, it has an almost new seat, almost new exhaust (small scrapes here and there) even has nice Conti clamps.

More from the seller:
This is not a show pony, she has been around the block and is still alive and kicking, waiting for a new owner ! A new set of Avon Roadrider tires are included in the sale*** not pictured

* New seat w/ key
* Newer complete exhaust
* Completely refreshed wiring
* newer paint job
* Upgraded charging
* Original shocks
* Original switches
* Complete recent service – oil, valves
* Jota Brevetto adjustable bars
* New Avon Roadriders
* Extended clutch arm, for softer clutch feel
* Airbox removed – set up with K&N filters
* Stainless brake lines

As if it needed any proof, this 1974 Laverda SF2 is a hardcore survivor. And like a great bottle of wine, it has somehow become better with age. Minor faults when new become character lines of a classic bike. And while the purist may claim to want a nearly zero mile, never been touched, ridden or ever been outside sort of bike for a collection, the experiences that this bike has under its belt makes it more of an enigma and that much more interesting. Intended as a rider, this SF2 sports some minor upgrades picked up along the way. There has been a considerable amount of work completed recently, and the deal will include a new set of tires. As the seller points out, it is by no means restored – but maintained as a cool piece of history, ready to rumble when you are.

Despite the iconic looks and the same bones as other Laverdas of this period, the SF2 is a bike that mere mortals can collect AND ride. This is a bike that gives you the feeling of actually riding, one that makes you look like a macho he-man even when tooling about, and sounding glorious with open carbs barking through chrome tapered pipes. It’s no wonder that this bike currently resides in New York, where it undoubtedly makes a statement. But you can make the same statement in your town – just check out the eBay auction and then give Peter a call. Then go out and do the ton. Good Luck!!

MI

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SF2 Cafe Racer