Posts by tag: parallel twin

Featured Listing May 14, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing -1988 Yamaha TDR250

Yamaha saw an opportunity in the late 1980’s to use their TZR250 two-stroke drivetrain and possibly show up on – ABC’s Wide World of Sports’ The Superbikers ( well, maybe just during a commercial break ).  A longtime friend of RSBFS, Moto2 Imports offers this recent import with just over 14,000 miles and U.S. title.

1988 Yamaha TDR250 for sale at Moto2 Imports

More of a supermoto than dual sport, Yamaha sought to transfer the 50 ponies and light weight of the TZR to a motard.  The parallel twin was tuned for better torque and a few less peak hp at 46, as well as painted silver.  Like on the TZR, timing is computer-controlled and uses 28mm flat-slide carbs and reed induction.  The hefty steel chassis could handle tarmac and jumps, and crossover exhaust stayed out of the way.  Air-charged front forks had 160mm travel, and the Monocross rear coped with 150mm.  Seeing far into rally bikes’ future, the Ultimate Dual had an integrated seat, tank and fairing with a high windshield.

Moto2 gives every import a thorough going over, but favors originality, selecting better candidates for import rather than doing more restoration.  It this case the TDR looks excellent with barely even a boot scuff, and Moto2 tests everything for proper operation.  Comments from correspondence and – their website –

Yamaha’s dual-sport adventure bike features a TZR250 derived two-stroke 250 engine specially tuned for the TDR. Bike has 14,000 miles (22,667km) and is in excellent cosmetic and mechanical condition. New Dunlop tires. Will come with US title.  Asking $7,999

Excellent condition example. Engine is in good running condition with all lights, horn, blinkers working properly. Dunlop tires in nearly new condition. Weighing under 300lbs with 50hp on tap, Yamaha’s two-stroke dual sport 250 is a blast on and off road. Video available on request.

While a little off RSBFS’s beaten path, the TDR is a close relation to the racy TZR.  It pre-dates the European super motard craze, and would’ve been a hit here but for the twilight of two-stroke emissions.  A gem for a fan of the brand, or maybe just a wild pit bike, Moto2 requests offers on (844) 44-MOTO2 or via email – here –.

-donn

Featured Listing -1988 Yamaha TDR250
Featured Listing May 11, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S C2 for Sale

As rare as the 250cc two-stroke sportbikes are on these shores, the Kawasaki KR1-S is the rarest of them all, limited edition models of bikes like the NSR250R SP aside. Considering Kawasaki made some of the hairiest two-stroke sportbikes of the 1970s, it’s surprising that Kawasaki seemed largely uncommitted to the class, making just enough to satisfy the demands of the Japanese market. Only 10,000 KR-1s were built during the bike’s entire production run from 1988-1992. Compare that to the more 100,000 NSR250Rs that were built, and you can see why these so rarely come up for sale.

There were no significant updates to the KR-1 during its lifespan, but this was no half-hearted attempt from Kawasaki: the quarter-liter two-stroke class was ruthlessly competitive during this period and there’d have been no point in even participating if that had been their attitude. Instead, it seems like the bike was good enough to go head-to-head with the NSR, TZR, and RGV right out of the box.

Specifications were similar to other bikes in the class: a liquid-cooled parallel twin displacing 249cc making the expected 45 government-mandated horses was hung beneath the beams of the aluminum frame, with only the airbox in between the spars. Keep in mind that this, unrestricted example should make significantly more power. Kawasaki’s proprietary KIPS powervalve system helped widen the powerband and the little smoker was backed up by the de rigueur six-speed gearbox. The complete package was claimed to weigh in at a gossamer 270lbs dry.

Three versions of the KR-1 were available: the base KR-1, the KR-1S that included wider wheels at the front and rear, and a few hundred examples of the KR-1R featuring larger carburetors and a close-ratio gearbox. From a performance standpoint, the entire 250cc class was separated by the thinnest of margins, but all were extremely competent motorcycles. Of course, each emerged with a slightly different character, and the Kawasaki KR-1S was the fastest of the bunch, with a tested 139mph top speed that’s very impressive for a 250cc machine even today and lively handling that made the corners interesting as well!

From the Seller: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S C2 for Sale

1990 Kawasaki KR-1S C2. I am relisting and selling another bike out of my prize collection. Journalist called the KR-1S the most exotic and fastest of all the 250 2 stokes of that era. This KR-1S is a UK model. Which means UK CDI power box, mile per hour speedo. Non-restrictive. Always been in street bike form. Not a converted back race bike. This is truly a rare bike. Unlike NSR’s, TZR’s and RGV’s and even Aprilia RS’s that come up for sale now and then, you very rarely see one of these for sale especially in the states. I have owned this bike for over 12 years. I have spent many of thousands of dollars on upgrades. I mean many! I installed a pricey set of Dyna mags magnesium rims. The old KR-1S aluminum rims came with a 17” front and an 18” rear. These are 17” front and back. Light weight magnesium and make sporty tires more available. I have put on a set of Michelin pilot sport tires. Green D.I.D.  O-Ring chain with gold aluminum sprocket. Beautiful high end custom steering damper. Then I had made a JMC fulling braced swingarm with eccentric adjustment. Beautifully polished. I was told at the time that this was the only top braced swingarm that JMC has ever made for the KR-1S. I installed a huge custom made “Pace” radiator made for the KR-1S. This radiator is huge, and solves the problem of any overheating. If anything I have to tape of part of the radiator when it’s cool out. But a nice position to be in. Silicone radiator hose are used. Then I purchased a nice new set of Jolly Moto pipes with Carbon silencers. Bikes sound great and pulls better. I had the rear shock rebuilt and the shock spring powder coated green to match the bike. Front forks have been recently rebuilt with all new bushings, oil and seals. Rebuilt both the front and rear calibers with new stainless pistons, bolts, and seals. I had them powder coated too. Custom made steel braided brakes lines with aluminum fittings. They look like new. I also installed new light weight disks front and back.  Have a fortune in light weight titanium, stainless, and aluminum bolts throughout.  All the lights and switches work. The bike has about 16,600 miles on it. So a far as I know the motor has never been touched.  I had plans to rebuild the motor and including all the parts to do it.  I have everything needed to build it included. But now I have gotten old and don’t have time for this project. I recently have tuned it up, changed all the fluids. Adjusted the power valves, etc. Bike does still run strong but mileage is getting up there for 29 year 2 stroke. The original bodywork on the bike is not too bad for its age but not perfect either. I had a few tabs and small cracks repaired. The tank has a couple tiny little chips, but is in remarkably in good shape for its age. No dents. The tank is clean inside without rust. The body panels have a few scratches and touched up spots.  Still not all that bad for its age either. Please refer to the pictures for more details. I am including the stock rims with a brand new fresh powder coat on them. The stock pipes, radiator, manuals, and various other parts as seen in my list and pictures. Lots of stuff.

The following is a list of some of the parts that are included with the bike, but not complete. No much to list. Please refer to pictures.

  • 4 brand new piston sets, including, rings, pins, clips, and small ends
  • Complete set of crank seals and crank bearings, plus new rod sets. Everything needed to completely rebuild the crank like new.
  • 3 gaskets set, plus one extra head gasket
  • New Water pump part set
  • New carb sets including floats
  • Power valve seals
  • New billet aluminum power valves and power valve wheels
  • 1 extra new front disk
  • Numerous new seals and bearing that go into the motor
  • Stock pipes in good condition
  • Stock swingarm with fresh paint and new bearings and seals. Like new
  • Stock radiator in excellent condition
  • Stock wheels with fresh powder coating, sprocket,  and cush drive
  • All the old wheel bearing, wheel spacers, front and back disks, sprockets, brake lines, and caliber parts. The old original nuts and bolts that were replaced with titanium and stainless, aluminum

The bike is sold without any warranty or guaranties. Buyer assumes any risk of purchase. Any crating, shipping is the responsibility of the buyer. I will assist if possible. Also available to visit and examined in person. Bike comes with a current California registration (Good until May 2020) and title!  Bike is located in Southern California. Has all the correct serial and engine numbers, but is listed as a 1980 instead of a 1990.  Only cash or certified cashier’s cheque, Bank Wire from US bank accepted. Please don’t make me a low ball offer. You might think that wow I am asking way too much for this bike? I say “fine, don’t buy it then”. What I can say how often you see one of these for sale in this condition, with all these extras and titled too? Try to find another in the states? These bikes are only going to increase in value as time passes. History has shown this. Plus I am including thousands of dollars in extra parts.

Selling Price is USD $17,500. Serious buyers feel free to e-mail for more pictures and information. mr2stroke@usa.net 

These do show up from time to time, but clean ones are very rare here in the US, and they almost never have valid California titles, making this one quite the unicorn! The seller is open about the fact that it might be getting about time for a rebuild, but the bike includes everything you’d need to do that. Just add labor! The originality is great for collectors, and the stash of extra parts is appealing for anyone looking to keep this rare, Japanese-market bike on the road for years to come. It won’t come cheap, but this has clearly been owned by a knowledgeable enthusiast and that makes a big difference for a bike like the KR-1S.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S C2 for Sale
MV Agusta April 20, 2019 posted by

Hypothesis: 1976 MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi

In the way cool archives of rare bikes there are undoubtedly some weird and wonderful ones. There are always surprises and bikes not many people have heard of, and there are always some real gems hiding behind the uber popular homologation crowd. Today’s find, a 1976 MV Agusta 350 is the perfect of example of the weird and wonderful. Looking a bit like a single (it’s a twin), a bit like a two stroke (it’s a 4-cycle) and a bit like a much larger bike, it is clear that this MV Agusta is all Italian by the “nothing extra is needed here” style.

1976 MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi for sale on eBay

The Ipotesi is a small scale parallel twin. It has an overhead cam (only one) to operate the two valves per cylinder. A pair of small Dellortos handle the intake side of things, while a pair of chrome pipes take care of the exhaust. At 350cc this is hardly a powerhouse. but with air cooling and appropriately sized components, it is hardly a heavyweight. With 30-ish HP on tap (comparing reasonably to the current crop of small-bore bikes), the little 350cc engine is pushing only 350 pounds of bike. Brakes look tiny (those are 220mm rotors all around), but with less weight and speed comes less need for larger, heavier hardware. Clip ons are low and tight; perfect to practice that aerodynamic tuck!

From the seller:
This 1976 MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi was purchased by me from the original owner in the U.K. in the late 1990’s. It has about 6,500 km on it but not long ago I had the speedometer repaired and it was reset to zero km. The current speedometer reading of 394 km is from my riding of the bike after the repaired speedometer was returned to me. This motorcycle has a California title and current California registration. The bike is an easy kick starter and I ride it frequently around San Francisco and the Bay Area. The bike is fully sorted and needs nothing: you can get on it and ride it and enjoy it! The motorcycle is entirely correct and original and unrestored. There are some minor paint touch up areas on the tail section behind the seat. The most noticeable paint flaw is the touched-up area on the rear edge of the front fender, shown in one of the photos. I wanted to keep all of the paint on this motorcycle original, so I did not repaint the entire front fender. Some of the paint on the instrument panel is worn, but I wanted to keep that paint original and have not touched it up. There is a photo attached of the instruments and the surrounding panel. Other than these paint issues, the bike is in extremely good original condition. The Heidenau tires are nearly new, but they are the correct size per original. You won’t find a better Ipotesi for sale in the US or another Ipotesi for sale in the US: MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi motorcycles were never officially imported to the U.S. so any here now would have been privately imported. Therefore, there are very few here. Of the few MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi motorcycles in the US, I doubt too many are fully sorted and have current registration and are being ridden such as this one is.

We don’t see many pre-F4 MV Agustas in the States, much less anything that displaces less than 500cc. This Ipotesi is a fantastic looking motorcycle. It seems impossibly narrow, yet retains the classic proportions of a much larger bike. The paintwork shines in the sun, and the odd elements of what make up this little 350 blend together to make something special. It’s far from museum perfect, but it still looks great anyway. Value? Too rare in the US to really put a number on it; we simply have no historical data on which to base an assumption. The seller is asking for $11k OBO – that might seem high for a 350 scoot, but not a lot of dosh for a very unique MV Agusta. Check it out here, and then jump to the Comments section and share your thoughts on this cool little bike. Good Luck!!

MI

Hypothesis:  1976 MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi
Laverda April 16, 2019 posted by

Repli-Racer: 1972 Laverda SFC Replica for Sale

Largely forgotten now, especially by modern sportbike enthusiasts, Laverda was once a serious player in the Italian sportbike scene of the 1970s. In terms of reputation, anyway, if not in actual production numbers. Their big-bore parallel-twin was supposedly heavily “inspired” by Honda’s parallel twin design of the period, and Laverda’s grown-up engine was heavily overbuilt and basically all-around heavy. It wasn’t nimble, but it was durable and stable, the perfect bike to use as the basis for a production-based endurance racer, and the SFC or “Super Freni Competizione” was the result.

Laverda’s aim was to use the very best parts available on their road and race bikes, and included Italian suspension components, Japanese electricals, and German ignition components. The early bikes used a huge, magnesium Ceriani four leading-shoe front brake, with later machines switching to an improved twin-disc setup. In both cases, stopping power was superlative for the era. Engines were heavily massaged, and made between 71 and 81hp, depending on the year. A significant overhaul for the 1974 model year made changes to the frame to make it lower and lighter, and the suspension was improved.

With the very rare SFC out of reach for most collectors, a replica obviously makes practical sense, since it was basically a hot-rod 750 SF. It’d probably be relatively easy to take an otherwise stock SF1 and just slap on a fairing and tail-section, but the builder of this bike appears to have gone the extra mile. I’m a Laverda fan, but not enough of an anorak to be able to point out the minor differences that would mark this out as a fake. It probably doesn’t help that the fewer than 600 or so SFCs that were built varied a bit in terms of specification, and sometimes incorporated different components in what seems to have been the “whatever we’ve got on the shelf” kind of way typical of Italian manufacturers of the period.

From the original eBay listing: 1972 Laverda SFC Replica for Sale

This Laverda 750 SFC Replica was converted from a SF1 over a period of two years, essentially everything except the interior of the motor is new or reconditioned or modified. Estimated milage of the 1972 donor bike was 6,600 miles +/-. The conversion has been ridden approximately 150 miles and has been on static display in a climate controlled facility for the last five years. The following is an accounting of some of the components that make this such a special conversion:

  • Correct Ceriani 35mm forks w new internals
  • Correct Ceriani rear shocks
  • New Tommaselli clutch and brake lever assemblies w new cables and switch assemblies
  • Rebuilt Smiths “Laverda” Tachometer, new (NOS) Smiths “Laverda” speedometer
  • New SFC fairing, brackets and headlight assembly
  • SFC replica tank (lined against ethanol affect) and petcocks
  • SFC rear seat and pad
  • SFC inner fender
  • SFC front fender
  • All new paint on all painted parts
  • All new wiring tucked up under bodywork, all electronics moved up under seat pan
  • Carbs are correct Dellorto PHF36AS/AD and are in perfect order w Malosi bellmouths
  • SFC left and right side rearsets and mounting plates
  • Motor cases are polished and cut out as per SFC specifications
  • 2-into-1 custom tuned exhaust, sounds incredible, not for the introvert
  • All misc. hardware was replaced and zinc plated, all chrome was new, aluminum parts polished

This is a beautiful example of a Laverda Type SFC, one of the ultimate vintage sport bikes that will get attention everywhere it goes. Display it, ride it, you won’t be disappointed. Of course there is no warranty, implied or guaranteed, it is a vintage bike even though it certainly doesn’t look its age… Please look at the pictures closely, the bike is located in the Denver area and we will assist with shipping as buyer arranges. Clear title, $1000 deposit within 24 hours of winning bid, balance within seven (7) calendar days via wire transfer.

It may not be the real thing, but looks very clean in the pictures, with the desirable drum front brake that gave the bike its name. Individual SFCs varied from bike to bike in terms of the details, and I doubt anyone but a Laverda expert would realize it was a replica at a glance, although it’s almost too nice to be the genuine article. There are just hours left on the auction, and there’s been little interest in the bike so far. Bidding is up to just $10,300, which is cheaper than a nice, stock SF1 these days Obviously, this isn’t going to command the nearly six-figure prices of the best SFCs, but would be a great way to live out your Walter Mitty-style racing fantasies if you can’t cough up that kind of coin, but want an authentic SFC experience.

-tad

Repli-Racer: 1972 Laverda SFC Replica for Sale
Laverda April 10, 2019 posted by

Budget Exotic: 1998 Laverda Ghost Strike 668 for Sale

I’m a huge Laverda fan, so it’s disappointing their attempted resurrection in the 1990s didn’t work out. It wasn’t that bikes like this Ghost Strike weren’t any good: the beam frames were designed by the famed Nico Bakker and handling was generally considered excellent, even superior to Ducatis competing in the same segments. The standard Ghost used a trellis frame similar to the ones that underpinned the Ducati Monster, although the Strike featured a beam frame using identical geometry that was shared with the fully-faired 750S and Formula models. Suspension was fully-adjustable, with a set of beefy Paioli forks at the front. There was some very forward-thinking in the layout as well, as you’ll notice that the “gas tank” is actually an airbox, with the actual filler-cap hiding under the lockable pillion pad. The fuel cell was centrally-located for better balance, a feature seen on many modern motorcycles.

The biggest weak point of the design was the engine. Based on the positively ancient 500 that had been around since the Alpino of the late 1970s, it was fairly sophisticated when it was introduced, with dual overhead cams, a balance shaft to smooth the parallel twin’s vibration, and a six-speed gearbox. Of course, that wasn’t much to brag about by the time the mid-1990s rolled around. For the Ghost and Sport, Laverda punched the twin out to 650 and then 668cc, then later added water-cooling for the fully-faired 750S and Formula models. It made decent-enough power and liked to rev, but was considered a bit agricultural, and not as strong as options from Ducati, as the 904cc v-twin in the Monster had much more torque and the four-valve Ducatis were just more refined.

It’s doubtful the Laverda Ghost will ever be worth very much, at least not in the near future. It’s appeal is primarily one of novelty, since it’s not an especially noteworthy motorcycle and the brand has ceased production. But the low market values, quirky design, and good performance make it very appealing for budget-minded enthusiasts. Power is modest, but the handling is excellent, and you certainly won’t see another at your local bike hangout.

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Laverda Ghost Strike 668 for Sale

1998 Laverda Ghost Strike. Very stock and clean “no stories” survivor bike with low 11,000 km (~7000 miles). This has a clean California title and it is currently running fabulously. The previous adult owner used it sparingly. Tires, battery and fluids are all good. There is no crash damage.

The Ghost is the probably most approachable of the Zane Laverdas- its simplified air cooled engine is more dependable than the water cooled Formula 750s. It has a modern twin spar frame and top shelf suspension, brakes and other components. It’s easy to ride, service and enjoy. These bikes will only increase in value over time.

I also have a small of collection of spares for Zane Laverdas as we have parted a few of them out… including one other another clean Ghost Strike. Message us for details.

You can pickup in San Francisco Bay area. I can also transport this to the Los Angeles area inexpensively. I can also ship this with Forward Air in teh US for $780  to most major airports with a Forward Air Terminal. Message me for details.

This example looks very complete and the mileage is low, although it’s hard to really tell from the washed-out pictures just how nice it is. It’s important that the bike appears to be very complete, and the spares he mentions are especially nice since, since finding parts for a relatively low-volume Italian sportbike that had little-to-no presence here in the US could prove problematic. There appears to be some oxidation on the engine and some wear on the top triple-clamp, but otherwise looks pretty nice. If the Reserve is anywhere near the $3,399.99 starting bid, this could be a fun little choice for a collector with a love for weird Italian exotica, or someone looking for a characterful bike on a limited budget.

-tad

Budget Exotic: 1998 Laverda Ghost Strike 668 for Sale
Yamaha April 5, 2019 posted by

Punching above its weight: 1976 Yamaha RD400

The 1976 Yamaha RD400 came out screaming in 1976, a mag-wheeled exclamation point on Yamaha’s range of popular, fast-paced two strokes. To make sure the message landed, Yamaha re-tooled its factory to build the RD400’s parallel twin, which was more than just a rebored version of the RD350’s mill. A longer stroke necessitated new crankcases, which meant the factory needed new tooling. That was a gutsy move, as even then street two strokes had fully entered their sunset years.

1976 Yamaha RD400 for sale on eBay

The little beast knocked out 45-ish horsepower, and had a slightly flexy steel frame and a delicious tendency to pull the front wheel on acceleration. By most accounts, the single-disc front and rear brakes were terrifying, which made the 106 mph top end seem that much more astronomical.

This 1976 Yamaha RD400 has had a fairly recent restoration, which featured a rebuilt engine, new paint, new tires and tubes, new touch points and rebuilt carburetors. It’s ready to look and play the part this riding season. The reserve has not been met, but the seller says he is open to offers.

From the eBay listing:

This is a very clean matching #’s RD 400. Rebuilt engine , new tires & tubes. Fresh paint & decals.
Rebuilt carbs. New grips. Nice clear gauges. Good controls. Original mirrors. Aftermarket OEM style signals. Good chrome with slight patina. All stock with the exception of the seat & paint. Very clean rider for the summer.
Open to offers.

A $750.00 Non- Refundable Pay Pal deposit is due within 48 hours. Full payment via bank check or wire transfer due within 7 days and before you come to pick it up. Funds must clear before pick up. NO PAY PAL FOR THE BALANCE!!!! Pick up due with in 30 days. I have the necessary paperwork to transfer ownership. You must have 10 or more recent feedback. Bidders with less then 10 feed back will have to contact me before bidding or be canceled. If you are the winning bidder. Please plan on completing the transaction. Sold as is.

On first blush, the RD400 looks like just another soldier in the legion of UJMs that were spat out in the 1970s, but it carries some extra panache and a bunch of extra punch. Two strokes of its ilk are a slice of life from a time before strict emissions regulations, and a window into motorcycling’s truly wild years.

Punching above its weight: 1976 Yamaha RD400
Kawasaki February 28, 2019 posted by

Lean and Green: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale

The entire class of 250cc two-stroke sportbikes has alwasy been forbidden fruit for US-based sportbike enthusiasts. The last real road-burning stroker was the RZ350, a bike that can certainly hang with much more modern machines and punch well above its weight, but the 18” wheels and bikini-fairing mark it out clearly as a bike from a much older era. In recent years, it’s become pretty common to see NSRs, RGVs, TZRs, as well as the much less common Kawasaki KR-1S up on eBay, as importation laws here allow bikes and cars older than 25 years to be brought in and used on the road, although state laws regarding actual registration vary wildly.

Overseas, and especially in their home market of Japan, the quarter-liter sportbike class was hotly contested and although, in principle, a two-stroke is mechanically relatively simple, these little machines ended up being at the cutting edge of motorcycle design, as each manufacturer tried to eke out any small advantage over the others. But despite Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha’s serious interest in small two-stroke sportbikes, Kawasaki chose to mostly sit the whole thing out, producing just 10,000 KR-1s during the entire run from 88-92, and the bike saw no significant updates during four years of production, nearly an eternity by standards of the class.

Maybe that’s because they got it very right the first time, and the bike certainly wasn’t lacking performance, with a class-topping 139mph tested top speed from a KR-1S. It was fast, with excellent, if slightly twitchy, handling. Claimed weight was 270lbs dry, and the liquid-cooled, 249cc parallel-twin slung beneath the aluminum beam frame made the expected… 45hp, as required by Japanese regulations, although it was obviously capable of much more and was highly tuneable. A six-speed gearbox helped riders make use of the available power and a KIPS powervalve system helped make the available power a bit more accessible.

Three versions of the bike were produced, the KR-1, KR-1S seen here, and the extremely rare KR-1R. The S model had wider wheels at both ends, compared to the regular KR-1 and, unlike other bikes in the class, the R model didn’t feature magnesium wheels, a dry clutch, or much else in the way of fancy accessories, although it did have larger carburetors and a close-ratio gearbox. Just a few hundred were supposedly produced.

Note that the bike is currently located in La Chopera, Spain, so be prepared to deal with shipping if you’re not currently enjoying your vacation home in Madrid…

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale

Well preserved. Some minor scratches and fairing defects.

The seller also includes the usual copy/paste specifications, if you’re interested, although some history might be nice. Has it been serviced? Is it ready to run? Good information to have, since parts for these are pretty scarce, considering the age and low production numbers. There’s not much time left on the auction, and bidding is only up to $2,550, so maybe take a chance and see if he’ll take a lowball offer?

-tad

Lean and Green: 1990 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale
Laverda February 14, 2019 posted by

Rhymes with Orange: 1979 Laverda Formula 500

We tend to think (often and fondly) of Laverda building big bikes. With triples. The Jota, the RGS and the Mirage, for example. But before those, Laverda created smaller bikes too, such as the 500cc parallel twin. And in the hit-and-miss world of European bikes in the 1970s, the Laverda 500 – while extremely competent – was never a contender; a too small dealer network inhibited expansion, and a too high price prohibited widespread adoption. While technologically sound and a major step forward in the middleweight class, the 500 was not the sales success that was envisioned. Stuck with a slow selling model and hungry for image, Laverda re-worked the 500 into the Formula – a one make race bike. What you see here is just such a rare machine.

1979 Laverda Formula 500 for sale on eBay

Starting with the bones of the street bike, Laverda stripped off all of the road going concessions such as lights, signals and horn (although these came in a box when the bike was purchased new). In all, the feature deletions resulted in a savings of 35 pounds from the already svelte 500 machine – tipping the scales at a scant 337 lbs dry. And with a DOHC 8-valve parallel twin (air cooled) pumping out just over 50 horsepower (thanks to revised cams and higher compression pistons over the standard 500), the Formula was relatively potent. Bespoke rear sets and clip on bars were added, as was the incredible bodywork. With this bike, aspiring racers (no professionals allowed) were able to join the Coppa Laverda (Laverda Cup), with Laverda providing technical support and available spares. The race series ran in Italy, and was a huge success from 1978 to 1981. It was even duplicated in other parts of Europe – notably Belgium and Germany – and convinced Laverda to race it professionally. The Laverda 500 was successful in such endurance races such as the 24 hours of Montjuich as well as the fabled Isle of Man.

From the seller:
Very rare Laverda Formula road registered,100% original, unrestored conditions, the bike has raced 3 races in 1979.

Only 200 Formula was been made and only 20 was been registered for road use

As with all smaller Italian builds, numbers vary. Estimates of rarity range between a low of 175 units, to a high of 210. That is not very many. Plus it was a race bike – and we all know how difficult preserved longevity can be for old racers. They are generally handed down, modified, wrecked, rebuilt, modified again, and the cycle continues. Add to the fact that these were for a European only series, and you will be hard pressed to find one outside of Italy. And as far as the street bike status goes, all Formula machines were sold new with the electrics and bits to make them road worthy, AND they had a street title (!). While not many Formulas found their way onto the streets, we should all rejoice that some (such as this one) did.

There is not too much info on this particular machine, although there are some decent (but low res) pictures. This is an extremely rare Laverda, and undoubtedly has some interesting history behind if if those pieces could talk. This looks to be a Series II model, as the original builds had a one piece tank/tail section. The latter variants had a two-piece setup that allowed for easier access to the engine and components. This bike is located in Italy – but given it’s rarity I didn’t think you would mind. Bidding action has been VERY slow for such a find, with ZERO bids on a $15,900 opening ask. That does not appear terribly out of line with current values today, as this Formula would make a wonderful addition to any collection. Check it out here before it’s too late. Good Luck!!

MI

Rhymes with Orange: 1979 Laverda Formula 500
Laverda December 28, 2018 posted by

Bet on Black: 1998 Laverda Black Strike Cafe Racer for Sale

As Laverda rose from the ashes of the 1970s, they saw Ducati as a natural rival, inspiration, and target. Yes, I know that Laverda continued to produce new motorcycles into the 1980s, but those were just 1970s engines wrapped in new clothes, a pattern that would continue when the company was reborn in the 1990s… So as the 750S was intended to target the Ducati 748, the Boys from Breganze needed something to compete with, and hopefully sell as well as, Ducati’s parts-bin success story, the fabled Monster. Enter, the Laverda Ghost Strike.

The original Ghost used a trellis-style frame apparently intended to mirror the Ducati Monster, although the restyled Strike version seen here used a beam frame designed by the famed Nico Bakker, along with restyled bodywork and a twin-headlamp setup in a handlebar-mounted bikini fairing. Interestingly, the Ghost was available with both trellis and aluminum beam frames concurrently to suit different stylistic tastes. Fortunately, geometry and weight are identical, so the bike’s excellent handling was unaffected.

High-quality components like Paioli suspension and Brembo brakes spoke to Laverda’s serious intent, and the bike was one of the first production motorcycles with a centrally-located fuel cell. In this case, the aluminum cell is fitted behind the engine, leaving the “gas tank” to be an airbox, possibly to the confusion on new riders and onlookers since there is no gas cap, just a blank expanse of plastic. The actual filler cap is in the tail, under a plastic panel or a pillion pad, depending on what mood you’re in that day.

It was the engine, a development of the 500cc parallel twin first seen in the Alpino and introduced way back in 1977, was always the Zanè-era Laverda’s Achilles’ heel. It wasn’t a bad starting point, as it already had dual overhead-cams, four valves per cylinder, and a six-speed gearbox. For this more modern application, the air and oil-cooled parallel twin was punched out to 668cc and fitted with Weber-Marelli fuel injection for a claimed 70hp.

Viewed in isolation, the engine did a fine job: it was naturally compact, liked to rev, and made decent power. Unfortunately, it was up against the torquier, two-valve Pantah in the Monster and needed to be worked harder for the same result. The engine later gained a few cubes and liquid-cooling for the Sport models like the Formula, but that bike was pitched against the Ducati 748 and, while handling as as good or better, the Laverda’s 1970s roots were unfortunately showing by then.

Overall, the Ghost’s styling is… distinctive. It’s not a pretty bike, but looks aggressive and purposeful, a worthy competitor to the Monster. However, while both are designed to provide an Italian bike experience for the proles, the Monster looks like its own thing, but the Ghost hasn’t aged quite as gracefully and doesn’t hide it’s parts-bin origins as well.

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Laverda Black Strike Cafe Racer

If you are looking at this auction, you probably know what this is. This is a Zane Laverda Black Strike Café Racer 650/668. This is an extremely rare motorcycle. Only 50 total were built and only a few made it to the United States. Of these, this one has only 1 true mile on the odometer.

The black strike edition was a kind of a one-off within the Zanè-era lineup and incorporated all the top shelf goodness of the Laverda marque at the time; a Nico Bakker designed frame, 3 sets of Brembo brake calipers, Marchesini wheels and a letterbox gas tank that reduces the center of gravity (which is still pretty advanced after 14 years). And the fact that you can still get a Zanè-era Laverda for reasonable money whereas a lot of Breganze-era bikes have begun to appreciate beyond the reach of us mere mortals is another plus.

The air-cooled 668 engine and Nico Bakker designed frame were from the 668 Sport model, while the seating and gauge clusters where from the the 668 Ghost.The 668 Black Strike was also the first model with the lighter plastic gas tank, straight exhausts without the restricted collector box and also offered a few bits of optional carbon fiber such as exhausts and optional front fender/mudguard.

The Black Strike model was produced in 1997/98 at the number of 50 units and since Laverda is now a mothballed marque within Aprilia Piaggio this is definitely a rare bike.

The story behind this bike supposedly is, that Laverda brought a handful of bikes to Laguna Seca in 1997 to have them tested and rideen by the press. After a couple bikes were crashed by journalists, Laverda pulled the remaining bikes, but instead of sending them back to Italy, they passed them on to selected dealers. This is one of these bikes. 

Original owner. Bike purchased from Space Coast Cycle in Coco Beach. It was started by the dealership when bought and never started  again.  

Other Zanè Laverdas for sale: 1999 Formula and 1998 Legend. Inquiries welcome.

Some specs: 

  • Air/Oil cooled parallel twin, four stroke, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, Electronic Fuel Injection
  • 6-speed
  • 668cc Bore x Stroke 78.5x 68.8mm 
  • Compression 9.0:1 
  • 70HP @8,000 rpm  – 61Nm@ 7250 rpm

Buyer to make arrangements for shipping/pick-up

Bike is located south of Cleveland, Ohio.

I’d never actually heard of the Black Strike Café Racer before seeing this, which makes sense since they only made 50 of them, according to the seller. A good Monster offers Italian looks, sound, and performance potential with much better parts availability, but the big appeal of any Zanè-era Laverda is rarity: I ran into a nice, yellow Ghost Strike here in SoCal and my riding buddies had absolutely never heard of the damn thing. All “murdered out,” this Black Strike does have a very sinister 90s vibe that I like and, if being different is your thing, you sure as hell won’t see another one at your next bike night. If anyone knows a good Laverda mechanic, feel free to share in the comments…

-tad

Bet on Black: 1998 Laverda Black Strike Cafe Racer for Sale