Posts by tag: parallel twin

Featured Listing November 7, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula for Sale

Sort of an homologation special for a company that wasn't planning to actually go racing, the Laverda 750S Formula used premium components to upgrade the company's existing fully-faired sportbike. After falling on hard times in the 1980s, Laverda was resurrected in the 1990s, with production centered in the town of Zanè, so you'll sometimes see these referred to as "Zane-era Laverdas" to differentiate them from the 1970s classics. The revitalized company managed to make very nice sports motorcycles with limited resources, and the Formula took their  750S and added some of the very best components available at the time to create something they hoped would give them the kind of reputation and attention Ducati enjoyed with their Tamburini-designed superbikes.

Laverdas of the period used either a steel trellis or an aluminum beam frame that apparently shared the same geometry, which was a very good thing. The Nico Bakker-designed beam frame, polished as seen here on the Formula, gave the 750S an excellent foundation, and Paioli suspension kit at both ends just sweetened the deal: every period review I've seen raved about the bike's handling. Unfortunately, they also noted the bike's performance deficit, compared to the Ducati 748.

These days, parallel twins can be made to be very smooth and refined with balance shafts and other trickery, but at the time, the only real reason Laverda chose that configuration was practicality: they already had one. Dating back to the 1970s Alpino, the existing air-cooled 500cc unit had its carburetors replaced with Weber-Marelli fuel injection for more modern performance, and was enlarged to 668cc, then again to 747cc. Along the way, it gained liquid cooling, although you can still see the cooling fins once the fairings are off.

Claimed peak power was on par with the competing Ducati 748, but the reality was that, although handling was possibly even superior to the Ducati, the engine was not. It was peaky, a bit thrashy, and it loved to rev, although you really had to work the six-speed gearbox to keep up with a 748. That shouldn't bother prospective buyers today: either bike would get murdered by a modern 600. And while the 748 is a design classic, it's almost too familiar, a cliché. The Formula, on the other hand, is a very exclusive machine, with around 600 examples built. It's also more comfortable, if you care about that, and while the Formula is not as pretty as the 748, it is very striking in these black-and-orange colors.

From the original eBay listing: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula for Sale

1999 Laverda 750 Formula S. 750CC  (6790 ORIGINAL MILES)  $12,500

Contact the seller here: sennaducati79@gmail.com

This is a 2 owner bike, part of a very rare large collection now being offered for the first time via the web. Current owner is an avid collector of pure, rare Automotive and motorcycles. This concourse conditioned bike has all the correct lightweight carbon parts and pieces. Never been on a track, abused or laid down. In a private heated collection, never seen rain. This investment will only increase over time and you will be very hard pressed to ever see another one, clearly not like this with these miles.

Laverda’s Formula S is essentially a factory built special edition of the basic Formula, with extensive engine tuning and even more special chassis componentry. The original Formula was a 650, built in 1996, with the Formula 750 following a year later in 1997.

The engine work was more extensive than most factory specials, and took the Formula almost to a race tune straight from the showroom. Updated cams, revised fuel injection settings and carbon fiber Termignoni mufflers all boost top end power to an impressive claimed figure of (92BHP)- almost as much as the Ducati 748. The chassis also compares to the Ducati being considerably lighter and with suspension and braking components every bit as impressive.

Fully adjustable Paioli Upside Down forks and monoshock. Fully floating Brembo racing brakes and lightweight Marchesini wheels all play their part in giving the Formula impeccable manners for the street or track. The polished aluminum beam frame looks much more impressive than the Ducati’s thin steel tube!! A single seat race style fairing incorporates stylish cooling louvers and twin endurance style headlights, and is finished in Laverda Orange, the firm's racing colors.

This is your chance to stand out and be different with a stunning example of Italian heritage.

I've lusted after these for a while now, and this appears to be a very clean, low-mileage example that should appeal to collectors with a taste for the exotic. The mirrors appear to have been removed and the standard exhausts were carbon fiber, but these Termignoni parts are a desirable extra. Certainly, the name "Laverda" has a great deal of cachet with collectors and this bike represents a missed opportunity for the brand: it's a good, if flawed bike, and really did offer an interesting alternative to the Ducati. Parts for Zane-era Laverdas can be tricky to source, depending on what you need, but I expect this one will end up leading a pampered life in a collection somewhere and won't rack up enough miles to matter very much.

Contact the seller here: sennaducati79@gmail.com

-tad

Featured Listing: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula for Sale
Yamaha September 29, 2018 posted by

Swimsuit Issue – 1977 Yamaha RD400

Mid-seventies the two-stroke era was winding down, most manufacturers were looking for ways to tie their new mid-size four strokes to their smoking forebears.  Yamaha stretched it out, keeping the RD-400 in the line-up until 1980.  For 1977 they offered cast wheels, all disk brakes and 14-second 1/4 miles.

1977 Yamaha RD400 for sale on eBay

In today's era of jamming a lot of complication into a small engine, Yamaha's air-cooled twin is a statement of simplicity - 44hp from 398cc without fuel injection, overhead valves, counterbalance shafts, etc.  It still requires a poke with the right leg to start, though at least oil injection is standard.  Light construction helped the RD make a quick getaway, the twin downtube frame, suspension and brakes are all right-sized for the mission and keep the fully-fueled weight well under 400 lbs.  Historically noisy, Yamaha did what they could with the generous mufflers and airbox to quiet things down.

Looking a few years old rather than its decades, this RD has been carefully stored, and recently returned to rideability.  This required rebuilds of the carburetors, oil injection pump, and brakes - refreshingly OEM parts are still available.  What wasn't required were cosmetics, which are excellent and original.  From the eBay auction:

This is a 1977 Yamaha RD400 VIN # 1A1304892    Verified by Libby's in New Haven, Conn.
In dry storage for 18 years.
Full disclosure right front fender is scratched. The front brake lever has been replaced.
The right muffler does not have any damage. 
The gas tank has a minor dent in the pin stripe. There is no rust or paint chipping.  
tank inside is perfect, no rusting no tank treatments . also new petcock valve OEM.
New chain and sprockets.
New front and rear brake calipers.
Rebuilt front brake master cylinder.
New rear brake master cylinder.
New tires.
New clutch cable.
Rebuilt carburetors
New TDR reed valves.
All new vent and fuel hoses.
New battery.
Rebuilt auto injection pump.
Too much to list. Original bodywork, pipes etc...
Starts 1st kick every time.

The RD400 was skinny all over - seat, tires, and powerband.  But a blast if you stayed in the envelope, as reviewers claimed if it wasn't lifting the front wheel in second gear, there was something wrong.  As the other big three were in transition to lumbering four strokes, it out-performed the competition and undercut them on price.  An unrestored bike of this age is unusual, as is this RD's alternate color, interesting as Yamaha later adopted blue for their race teams...

-donn

Swimsuit Issue – 1977 Yamaha RD400
MZ August 31, 2018 posted by

Have Your Cake: 2005 MZ 1000S for Sale

Clean, low-mileage examples of the MZ 1000S pop up for sale from time to time and, since most were silver, I always have to dig back through our archives to see if it’s one we’ve featured recently. Also, I get the feeling they’re hard to shift and the same listings seem to pop up again and again for sale, which is a shame considering how competent a motorcycle it is.

After a moderately successful attempt at a comeback in the 90s with a range of practical, accessibly sporty motorcycles based around Yamaha’s five-valve 660 single, MZ decided that, if you’re going to go low-volume, you should probably go upmarket. The striking MZ 1000S was the result, but the only exotic vibes were the ones produced by the unusually large parallel-twin engine, and performance wasn’t really backed up by the bike’s angular looks. Neither the 1000S nor its half-faired stablemate the 1000SF "Streetfighter" sold very well.

For an exotic sportbike, the 999cc parallel-twin that powers the 1000S is an odd choice, as is the relatively pointless cassette-style gearbox. The chief benefit of a cassette gearbox is quick gearset changes to suit different tracks, and I really don’t think many people were racing these… Although maybe MZ figured it’d be easy to service higher-mileage examples? Considering the bike's more practical mission, that does make sense.

It's almost like MZ was undone by their pragmatic roots: the parallel-twin engine was easy to package and offered up the chunky midrange required for a good road bike, and the 1000S was very comfortable for such an otherwise sporty machine. But people buying exotic sportbikes are generally looking for an experience, not a practical form of transportation. Especially here in the US, they usually have several other bikes for that job, and there's no real glamour or cachet surrounding the MZ name, either. Unless you're a big fan of classic motorcycle racing.

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

I am the original owner of this 2004/2005 MZ1000s. It has 7,320 miles on it. It comes with the owners manual, warranty book, most of the on-board tool kit, Sebring exhaust, lever upgrades, passenger seat eliminator (AKA hocker), Mototeknic frame sliders, power commander, O2 eliminator, Vortex stand. It comes with the original parts and an additional front fairing.

Starts right up!

Truly an awesome bike I will miss forever. Cervical radiculopathy has kept me from riding. It's time to part with it.

I purchased all the parts in Germany on a NATO training mission. I found the receipt. That's $1200+ in additional parts. Any questions please ask.

I love me some brutally uncomfortable sportbikes, even with my aging joints. You have to suffer for art, after all... But if you can have your cake and eat it too, why not? I do understand why the 1000S wasn't a big success. Or any success really: production was discontinued after just three years. But although they were considered to be too pricey when new, they seem to be pretty good used value. Although this one might be a bit too pricey, with no takers yet at the $6,800 Starting Bid. Still, the 1000S has distinctive looks, good performance, and even solid reliability: put concerns about servicing the bike aside, since parts supposedly aren’t difficult to source and the bike is easy to work on, even for mechanics not particularly familiar with the brand.

-tad

Have Your Cake: 2005 MZ 1000S for Sale
Yamaha August 23, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

Update 8.28.2018: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Although two-stroke sportbike production continued well into the 1990s in much of the world, here in the US the Yamaha RZ350 was pretty much the end of the line. Blame stricter emissions laws and progressively bigger and faster four-strokes in a country with very liberal licensing laws and no taxes on bigger bikes. Today's Featured Listing RZ350 has classic black-and-yellow King Kenny Roberts graphics and aftermarket Spec II bodywork that gives it a more modern look, compared to the bikini-faired original.

The aftermarket full-fairing does more than provide style and wind-protection: it moves the mounting points from the bars to the frame to improve stability as well. The solo tail in particular looks like something from the later Yamaha sportbikes. It suits the bike, although the big 18" wheels and skinny tires give the bike's age away. The RZ really did bridge the gap between the old and the new, coming as it did between bikes like the old-school RD-series and the later, more modern FZRs.

The bike was sold in the US from 1984-1985 and followed Yamaha's famous RD-series, adding liquid-cooling and Yamaha's game-changing YPVS powervalve system to the mix. The 347cc parallel-twin made 52 claimed horses and weighed in at a svelte 370lbs wet, making it loads of fun on a winding road, although the two-stroke power delivery requires commitment to extract, since it peaks at 9,000rpm, redlines at 9,500, and is pretty much dead below 6,000.

This example is in excellent condition with very minor cosmetic flaws well-documented by the seller in the pics below. The bodywork is obviously not original, but the bike has been thoroughly maintained and thoughtfully updated.

From the Seller: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

1984 Yamaha RZ350 2 Stroke 

VIN # 00854

Engine # 00854

This low serial number RZ350 was purchased in Southern California two years ago. It has been garaged in the area since that time. It has the original engine and transmission plus many upgrades.

Just over 8000 miles on original engine.

Recently completed was a mechanical restoration and engine top-end rebuild by renowned RZ Oracle Cary, owner of RZ's Unlimited. I have all receipts for the work done which are available via email upon request.

The bike has just 200 miles since restoration and must be broken in. I have all instructions from RZ's unlimited for you to break in the engine. Rest easy knowing that your RZ was broken in properly.

Everything works on the bike and it starts up right away. 

The bike runs like a dream.  

Videos:

This RZ has the Spec II full fairing, Spec II exhaust pipes, and one-piece seat/tail section, clip-ons and aftermarket rearsets.

Tail section was hand-painted by Gerod, owner of Valley Kustoms: that is not a decal.

There is a small quarter-sized dent in the right side of the tank as well as a few small touch-up paint spots. The right side pipes have 2 small dents / dings which are pictured. 

Great bike; ready to eat R1s all day long.

RZ's Unlimited Work invoices available on request for serious buyers only

--------------------------------------------------

Bike is located at Iconic Motorbikes. Please direct any inquiries there and stop by to check out the bike.

4161 Lincoln Blvd
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
424.228.4148

Iconicmotorbikes.com

Prices seem to be all over the place for RZ350s a the moment, but decent examples are still pretty affordable. The aftermarket bodywork may turn off purists, but anyone looking for a very solid bike with some mild performance modifications should give it a careful look. This RZ350 is located in Los Angeles at Iconic Motorbikes and is the very definition of a practical classic: performance is good enough to keep up with modern bikes on the road, and parts are relatively easy to source if you want to use it regularly.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale
Laverda August 18, 2018 posted by

Objet d’Art: 1974 Laverda 750 SFC for Sale

Wow, two Laverda 750 SFCs in one week, both with very serious pricing. Although, of the two, this one appears to be more original and is in much nicer, if less patina-d condition and appears to... what the hell, it's decorating a New York City apartment?! Oh well, I guess if I had the money for real estate in NYC with a stylish freight elevator, I'd probably do exactly the same thing...

It has no real bearing on its quality but, since I don't get to see most of these bikes in the flesh, I do appreciate some decent photography, and the SFC is certainly a deserving subject. I realize that orange isn’t likely to be too many people’s first choice for their fantasy motorcycle, but it just looks so right on a Laverda: it’s a brash color on a purposeful bike. These really were road-legal race bikes, the ultimate development of Laverda’s rugged parallel-twin platform before their switch to the triple, and the SFC had a history of racing success.

Laverda got their start making agricultural machinery, and their natural tendency to overbuild everything to increase reliability extended to their motorcycles. The two-cylinder engine had five main bearings and the very highest-quality components were used wherever possible: Ceriani provided the suspension, Bosch the ignition components, and Nippon-Denso the starter. Introduced as a 650cc machine, the displacement was quickly increased to 750cc so it could compete against bikes from Triumph, Norton, Ducati, and Moto Guzzi.

The SFC or "Super Freni Competizione" was named for its enormous magnesium Ceriani four leading-shoe front brake, although the later machines used a more effective dual disc setup as seen here. The 1974 model also featured improvements to the frame to make it lower and lighter, and suspension was updated as well. Engines were far from standard, and the bikes produced between 71 and 80hp.

The seller mentions that the sale is motivated by a move to the West Coast. New York City seems to an outsider like it'd be an amazing place to be a biker, and the traffic means motorcycles make huge practical sense. But road surface quality that wouldn't look out of place in Berlin at the end of World War II and traffic that more closely resembles gladiatorial combat than any sort of cooperative endeavor combine to make motorcycle riding in NYC less fun than it should be. Traffic in much of California is pretty awful as well, but legal lane-splitting, beautiful roads, and year-round riding weather would have me reconsidering a sale of this one if it were on display in my living room...

From the original eBay Listing: 1974 Laverda 750 SFC for Sale

Original 1974 "17000 series" Laverda SFC #17093 in perfect unrestored condition. If you don't know the history of these extremely limited and hand-built racers, just Google them.  She is the best time capsule in existence for sure. She has not been on the road since the late 70's.  Previous to my purchase as third owner, she was in a private collection for 30+ years in the Southwestern USA. I purchased her from the second owner as he was selling his collection due to his advanced age and he wanted her to go to a collector who would hopefully leave her untouched. This SFC also has its original "2-into-1" exhaust pipe that I removed as the original "2-into-2" exhaust pipe looks better when the bike is on display.  The original "2-into-1" pipe is included in the sale. I have turned over the engine every other month over the last few years. She still has all of her original fuel lines, taps and all hardware as included from day one. The only missing item is the original battery... lol. She has 2,930 miles and still has her original tires. I have a collection of over 20 motorcycles of which this is my clear favorite. She resides in my home office in New York City and I get to admire her every time I work at home. Time for her to find a new home as I am downsizing my collection as we are planing a move to the West Coast. I believe she deserves to reside in a museum or as any new owner seems fit. Re-commision her and take her to the track! I have often thought of re-commsioning her and taking her out as she should be ridden; but I never seem to be able to remove the original fuel lines and tires, etc. to make that happen. These time capsules are original only once in its life, and she remains that way to this day. I am happy to answer any questions.  f you would like to see any particular pictures, just ask. The bike can be seen by appointment in New York City. Deposit due within 24 hours and final payment by wire or bank check. If by bank check, bike does not leave my possession until the funds are cleared.  Good Luck!

This example is basically a museum piece, less a living document and more of an archival record, although the owner does "turn the engine over." I think he means "by hand" so I'm sure it will still need recommissioning if the new owner plans to ride it. It has a the full dash with both a tachometer and speedometer, something relatively rare among the SFCs I've seen for sale in the past few years: like many exotic bikes and cars of the period, they were a bit like snowflakes, and no two were exactly alike. With fewer than 600 produced during the entire run, the SFC is one of the most desirable sportbikes of the 1970s, and prices have obviously been increasing as a result. What's it worth? Well last week's was obviously a bridge too far for our readers, but this one, while still a very expensive proposition, is slightly less of one: the Buy It Now is only $135,000! Perhaps the nearly perfectly-preserved condition helps justify the asking price, although the last couple examples we featured were less than half that and in very nice condition...

-tad

Objet d’Art: 1974 Laverda 750 SFC for Sale
Laverda August 10, 2018 posted by

Blue-Chip Classic Friday: 1974 Laverda 750 SFC for Sale

Back in the 1960s and 1970s you could buy race cars and race bikes that were basically road-legal, vehicles you could actually drive or ride to the track and reasonably expect to be competitive with pretty minimal changes. Of course, those days are long gone: race machines often share very few components with their road-going counterparts and frequently bear little resemblance to any sort production vehicles whatsoever. But today's Laverda 750 SFC was a machine from the tail end of that earlier era and was very much a race bike with some lights and signals slapped on to make it vaguely road-worthy.

I mean, just take a look at that taillight: was it thoughtfully integrated into a specially-designed cut-out? Nope, it was literally bolted to the sloped rear face of a solo tail section that was obviously designed with a number-plate in mind. The instruments are basically just a tach, ignition barrel, and indicator light bolted to the inside of the fairing: this thing is the epitome of crude, at least in terms of creature-comforts and finish. Speedo? Who cares? Just figure out what revs approximate which highway speeds in top gear and assume you could just outrun cops of the period anyway.

But forget refinement: the mechanicals are where it's at, and the bike has those in spades. Early models used a huge alloy drum brake, and later machines like this one a pair of discs, giving the bike it's name: "Super Freni Competizione" or basically "Super Braking Racebike." Laverda used the very best components available everywhere they could, and the basic parallel-twin was overbuilt and very durable, making it ideal for endurance racing.

Ceriani forks, Bosch ignition, and Nippon-Denso electrical components, and that 744cc parallel twin with five main bearings, backed up by a five speed gearbox that put the bike's claimed 75hp to the rear wheel. This example isn't some museum-piece and the seller mentions it's done quite a bit of track time. How much? Who knows: like many SFCs, this one lacks a speedometer, and therefore an odometer. The tach looks non-standard, although I've seen several different types fitted to the original bikes. It's hard to tell from the pic, but maybe it's a Scitsu unit?

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Laverda 750 SFC for Sale

Am 76 and it's time to let go of my collection. Started collecting about 50 years ago and the main objective was to buy one owner high end cars and motorcycles for pleasure and investment. I won't bore you repeating the history of the 750 SFC Laverdas - If you are reading this you already know of the Laverda 750 SFC's iconic competition accomplishments, background and rarity. Hand built by a small number of employees, there were only 100 of these limited production Laverda 750 SFC competition motorcycles manufactured in 1974. Recently brought out of storage, it is an authentic two owner (I am the 2nd owner) matching numbers factory original survivor. I purchased it from the gentleman who bought it new at a dealership in Florida. He raced it on every motorcycle race track East of the Mississippi up until around 1984, when he found out he had terminal cancer and put the bike in storage. He did not want to sell it but had to liquidate his holdings. It is a beautiful piece of art. The engine had a complete overhaul from a company called Megacycle in California after it's last race and is in fresh like new original condition. Runs perfectly. What a sound. An exhilerating deep throbbing sound that can only come from a Laverda 750 SFC. It has been cleaned and the brakes rebuilt. It is in it's original racing condition complete with period stickers, as it came off the last track. The engine mount tab is indeed stamped "SFC" from the factory. My collection included many motorcycles but I kept this one for the last and had no intention of ever selling it - but to be realistic it needs to move along to another caretaker. I have framed photos of it being raced at different tracks and the original 1974 owners manual. Please read the complete description so you will understand all conditions and any issues. THERE IS NO TITLE - Sold on a Georgia bill of sale and Georgia Sheriffs Department inspection certificate. I will answer all email questions and consider offers.

Just 549 total were built between 1971 and 1975. So the Buy It Now for this race-bred classic? A mere... $195,000?! Well, maybe that's a mistake. I mean, it is eBay after all. So the starting bid is... $150,000?! Wow, I guess he is serious. Well I'll be curious to see if anyone bites. Seems like a major auction might be a better bet for something like this, but who knows? Certainly the SFC is one of the most valuable and collectible bikes of the era, and prices are certainly headed in that direction.

-tad

 

Blue-Chip Classic Friday: 1974 Laverda 750 SFC for Sale