Posts by tag: parallel twin

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Yamaha June 21, 2015 posted by

Buzzy Little Bee: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

1985 Yamaha RZ350 R Front

Yamaha made a name for itself in the US building giant-killing two-stroke parallel twins that powered the RD and later RZ models like this 1985 RZ350. The 347cc engine reatured liquid-cooling and made over 40hp stock, with plenty more available with careful tuning. While Honda largely focused on their heavy, but very sophisticated two and four-cylinder CB motorcycles, Yamaha’s whippy little two-strokes terrorized backroads and race tracks all over American and Europe, creating a cult following that persists to this day.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 L Side

Two-strokes have never lacked top-end power, but their light-switch power delivery left something to be desired for street riders and, in th 1980’s Acronym Wars, the “power valve” was born. Yamaha’s version was, of course, known as the YPVS that used a computer to adjust the exhaust ports. The “Yamaha Power Valve System” plumped up the midrange of the raspy little two-stroke, meaning you could have your cake and eat it, too. Assuming you didn’t mind a little blue smoke in your eyes…
1985 Yamaha RZ350 Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

The 1985 Kenny Roberts Edition RZ350LC offered here is one of the quite rare leftover models with revised graphics that somewhat resembled the 1983 UK versions, but with gold rims and the Kenny Roberts signature, originally sold as an RZ350NC2 in California only from late 1985-6. It has been owned from new by only two enthusiasts and has been very tastefully modified with an original 1985 full fairing and Corbin Gunfighter single seat. Mechanically, the hugely desirable Pro-Design Cool Head was installed for increased cooling, and a Toomey exhaust.

The bike runs exceptionally well. It starts easily, idles well and has great power delivery. It shifts through all gears perfectly with a good clutch. Suspension feels taut and the brakes work very well, front and rear. Cosmetically the bike is in good condition with the usual scuffs of a bike with 17,000 miles, that is 32 years old.

The bike comes with a clean, clear California title and a substantial box of spare parts, including stock fairing, original exhaust pipes, turn signals, etc.

These are not bikes for the inexperienced or faint-hearted, with huge wheelie-popping performance on tap when the revs rise.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 Pipe

This particular RZ350 features a very stylish full-fairing that I’ve seen on several bikes for sale recently. I’m not sure if it was a factory option or not but, painted to match, makes for a very nice machine with light weight and bike-bike style. Parts availability to keep an RZ running should be no problem, but the included spare parts is just icing on the cake.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 Engine

 

A price of $6,900 means you’re looking at the higher-end in terms of pricing for these, but it looks like you’re getting a well cared-for, thoughtfully-improved, and very practical classic for your money.

-tad

1985 Yamaha RZ350 L Rear

Buzzy Little Bee: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale
Yamaha March 16, 2015 posted by

Funky Sportbike Alternative: 2000 Yamaha TRX850 for Sale

2000 Yamaha TRX850 L Side

Designed as something of a poor-man’s Ducati 916, with a trellis frame clearly intended to evoke that more exotic bike, the Yamaha TRX850 is a rare and odd duck in the US. It’s far from beautiful, but possesses a chunky charisma, and although it was never imported to North America, these aren’t particularly rare overseas. With the internet as your resource, parts should be pretty cheap and easy to obtain.

2000 Yamaha TRX850 R Side Front

Built between model years 1995 and 1999 and powered by the same big, thudding 849cc engine that motivated the weird, jack-of-all-trades TDM, Yamaha’s unusual parallel twin utilized their signature five-valve head, with three inlet and two exhaust. The three smaller inlet valves allow for better breathing than would a two larger items, and this configuration featured on many Yamahas of the period. The engine also incorporated a “big-bang” 270° crankshaft that helped give the bike a character distinct from more common 360° designs. A five-speed gearbox may have been a bit lacking in ratios, but the torquey twin made that sixth gear superfluous.

2000 Yamaha TRX850 Dash

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Yamaha TRX850 for Sale

This is a beautiful motorcycle in great mechanical shape. It has a NYS inspection sticker, the tires / brakes are 80% new battery less then a year old, very minor imperfections on fork tubes but very clean other wise. It has after market pipes / jet kit, trellis frame and matching red belly fairing. The crank is factory set at 270 degrees so it fires like a v-twin for gobs of torque!

I’m selling this motorcycle for a good friend.  I’m a retired Ducati dealer and love to help get these rare models in the hands of folks that appreciate them.  The TRX was never imported to the USA.  This bike came from France and my friend bought it with a Michigan title.  The speedometer is in kilometers but has been geared for MPH so were guessing at the real mileage.  This bike may be the only one in US captivity. 

2000 Yamaha TRX850 L Side Rear

Always a bit of a poor cousin to more exotic twins like Ducati’s 916, this parts-bin special was more than the sum of its parts, with a big midrange, very good handling, reliability, and character. Unfortunately, pricing in Europe was high compared to its more exotic competition, so it never sold well and was discontinued after just a few years.

2000 Yamaha TRX850 L Side Engine

Bidding is almost criminally low, considering the condition and capability of the bike being offered here. This is definitely a cult-bike in the making, although here in the US you might be looking at a cult of just one…

-tad

2000 Yamaha TRX850 R Side

Funky Sportbike Alternative: 2000 Yamaha TRX850 for Sale
MZ February 16, 2015 posted by

V-Twin Alternative: 2005 MZ 1000 Sport for Sale

2006 MZ1000 Sport L Side

If you’re in the market for a practical exotic that will turn heads and won’t break the bank to buy or to run, this virtually new MZ 1000S deserves a closer look. As much as we’d all probably love a garage full of weird exotica, for budgetary and space reasons, many riders are forced to buy a do-it-all machine.

2006 MZ1000 Sport Dash

So what do you buy if you want a bike that’s sporty and practical for daily use, but one that’s also good for riding to the twisties and not just in the twisties, something with a bit of “get out of town-iness”. And what if you want something a bit out of the ordinary? Well, the Ducati ST2, 3, and 4 represent a pretty great bang for your buck, but were introduced before Ducati adopted much longer service intervals, and the four-valve L-twin can be pricey to maintain. The BMW R1100S and the Triumph Sprint are also pretty good choices, but not really all that exotic…

2006 MZ1000 Sport Front

Introduced in 2005 and powered by a big parallel twin that provided packaging advantages and midrange punch at the expense of top-end performance, the 1000S engine was an ideal powerplant for the road. Unfortunately, the lack of a truly prestigious brand name worked against the 1000S and was at odds with MZ’s quirky, grassroots image and the bike was discontinued after just three years. These are extremely rare in the US, although the ones that do come up for sale tend to be in excellent condition, and this one has just 16 miles on the odometer from new.

2006 MZ1000 Sport R Side Fairing Detail

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

The MZ 1000 Sport Touring bike is a museum quality motorcycle. Owned and sold by a former MZ Motorcycle dealer, this bike is one of a kind. It has only been ridden around the dealership to park it. It has been kept in a climate controlled environment on display in the owner’s various stores, from Michigan to Tennessee. This is truly a wonderful bike for the European motorcycle collector or for someone who is just looking to buy a piece of German history. 

Everything on it is original, everything is perfect like it would have been 20 years ago. Never titled, never tagged.

The bike listed for $11,000 in 2005.There were only 40 of these bikes imported into the USA. This bike is like new. Owned by the original dealer and sold by the original dealer. Fantastic bike.

Who ever is fortunate enough to become the new owner of this bike will become the proud owner of the last brand new MZ 1000 in the world.

It truly should be in a museum. 

2006 MZ1000 Sport Cockpit

In spite of the racy looks, the 1000S was really never intended as a pure sportbike, with handling biased towards the “comfort” end of the spectrum. But don’t let that fool you into thinking this bike can’t get a wiggle on when asked. It will function as a sporty, stylish everyday motorcycle that can munch miles and looks far less dated than many other bikes from the “straight edge” school of design.

2006 MZ1000 Sport Tank

If you really want a classy, competent machine that will leave onlookers scratching their heads or or nodding in sagely respect, something like the MZ 1000 Sport should do the job nicely, assuming you’re willing to take a bit of a chance on servicing and parts. These are reportedly very reliable, and easy to get serviced by non-MZ mechanics, but it’s still a bit of a leap of faith, buying an out-of-production sportbike that was never made in great numbers.

-tad

2006 MZ1000 Sport R Side Fairing

V-Twin Alternative: 2005 MZ 1000 Sport for Sale
Laverda February 3, 2015 posted by

Pair of Zané Laverdas for Sale: 1999 750S and 1998 Laverda Ghost Strike

 

1999 Laverda 750S L Side

Laverda was one of the unfortunate casualties of the Japanese onslaught of the 1970’s. Confronted by reliable, affordable multis from Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Honda, many Italian and British companies found themselves in dire straights, unable to compete in showrooms or on the street. And while many marques have seen short-term resurrections courtesy of well-heeled enthusiasts, most have quickly disappeared back beneath the waves after initial hype gave way to the reality of competing against the manufacturing might of the Japanese Big Four. Mondial, Norton, Excelsior-Henderson, Moto Morini have all seen revivals that met with various levels of success. But Italian firm Laverda, famous for their bright orange endurance racing twins and triples, actually met with some success during their 1990’s reincarnation, creating funky alternatives to Ducati’s established exotica.

1999 Laverda 750S Fairing

The early “Zané-era” Laverdas made in Zané, Italy used an evolution of the earlier air-cooled parallel twin displacing 668cc’s. Later bikes added water-cooling and increased displacement to 750 in an attempt to maintain some semblance of parity with Ducati’s 748. They were always down on power compared to Japanese 750’s and even the Ducati, but handled with the best of the era: a beam frame by noted designer Nico Bakker was matched with Paoli suspension and the same quality Brembo brake package that graced the Ducati 748. Fuel goes into the tail, under the passenger pad, and into a central fuel cell, which should provide some amusement when filling up…

1999 Laverda 750S R Rear

Interestingly, there are two different Laverdas available this week. First up is this very nice, brilliantly yellow 1999 Laverda 750S. The original listing is extremely spare, but worth keeping an eye on for the bidding:

This is a very nice Laverda 750 S.  Motorcycle has new tires, runs well and has been tuned-up.  Too many motorcycles. 

With a Buy It Now price of just $5,500 a nice 750S should provide a lot of bang for the buck. The styling is vaguely Suzuki RF, with those Ferrari-looking side strakes, but I bet this will generate loads of attention at any gathering of bikers. While I definitely prefer the orange-and-black Formula, this looks to be in extremely nice condition.

1999 Laverda 750S Dash

The second machine is a 1998 Laverda Ghost Strike, a competitor for Ducati’s Monster. Powered by the smaller, air-cooled 668cc engine, the styling hasn’t aged as well as either the Monster or the fully-faired Laverda 750S, but should provide the same quality handling and extremely distinctive styling should make it a hit at local bike nights, since many people won’t have seen one in the flesh. They’re the very definition of “budget exotic.”

1998 Laverda Ghost Strike L Side

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

Less Than 20K Miles!!!
This is a 98 Laverda GhostStrike. The displacement is 668cc.
This is your chance to own a bike a little more rare and less common than the mass produced hyper-bikes!
Recently rebuilt topend on engine.
New rear brake pads.
Tires are in good condition, front is Michelin Pilot, rear is Dunlop Qualifier.
The bike runs and rides well, if you can push-start.
The electronic starter is worn out. And will need to be replaced.
There are some scratches on the left side of the bike from when it was dropped, but no mechanical issues other than the starter.
Actual mileage is 19071. 

1998 Laverda Ghost Strike Rear Wheel

The Ghost Strike isn’t really in perfect condition, with some scuffs, scrapes, and the non-functional starter mentioned in the listing. But they’re pretty much impossible to find in the States, and getting this one on the road shouldn’t be all that difficult.

1998 Laverda Ghost Strike Front Wheel

So take your pick. Parts aren’t too difficult to source for these, although they won’t be sitting on the shelf at your local dealership. And Laverdas have always been famed for being durable and, while the Zane-era bikes aren’t quite so overbuilt, they have a good reputation for reliability, and are straightforward to work on for shade-tree mechanics.

-tad

 

 

Pair of Zané Laverdas for Sale: 1999 750S and 1998 Laverda Ghost Strike
Yamaha January 26, 2015 posted by

Purity of Purpose: 1981 Yamaha TZ250H

1981 Yamaha TZ250 R Front Naked

The 1981 Yamaha TZ250 more than just an evolution of their 250 GP machine, it was a complete reworking that shared almost no parts with the older bike. It included an entirely new engine designed around features from the proven TZ500 that were intended to increase both power and reliability.

1981 Yamaha TZ250 L Side

Keep in mind: the TZ250 is no production-based entry-level racer, and running one is not for the faint of heart or mechanically inept. “Improved durability” is a relative term: the TZ250 will still need rebuilds every few hundred miles, making it a very expensive hobby or a labor of love, depending on your level of mechanical aptitude… But the feeling you’ll get from riding a genuine race bike, combined with the emotional and historical link with famous riders who got their start on a TZ makes the cost and effort worthwhile.

1981 Yamaha TZ250 Dash

Racing motorcycles embody such an interesting duality to me, the contrast between the simplistic, almost primitive bodywork wrapped around beautiful mechanical bits. The sand-cast cases look very exotic if you know what you’re looking at, and that dry clutch adds another touch of race-tech bling. And those dull grey wheels? Magnesium.

1981 Yamaha TZ250 R Engine

The completely new 180° water-cooled two-stroke parallel-twin featured a shorter stroke than the earlier machine, reducing piston-speed and improving durability. Carburetors were generally Mikuni, although this bike features a set of period-correct Lectrons in their place.

1981 Yamaha TZ250 R Rear Naked

From the original eBay listing: 1981 Yamaha TZ250H for Sale

This TZ250 is a very good and complete survivor and is in a fantastic condition for a 34 year old race bike with corresponding frame and engine/motor numbers. The bike was in storage since 1990 and was started once a month and driven around the block by previous owner to circulate fluids. The bike has a new aftermarket fairing and the seat is a “New old stock (very old)” seat. Tank (original) and front mudguard (original) are in white primer ready for paint. The fairing and seat are in white gel coat finish. Tank has a few imperfections, but will take very little work to get it perfect. The tank does not leak!   This bike is fitted with a set of very rare lightweight Magnesium race wheels. The original full fairing and seat are included in the sale. The screen on the bike fits the original fairing, but is not a perfect fit for the new Airtech fairing and will have to be replaced by buyer for a better fit.

The frame was chemically stripped of all old paint and re-painted, see pictures. The wheels were also chemically stripped and now are in un-painted magnesium finish.

The bike is fitted with a set of racing LECTRON carburetors. The LECTRON manual is included with the sale.

1981 Yamaha TZ250 L Engine

Bidding is very active and is currently north of $6,800, with just 24 hours left on the auction. It could use some graphics to decorate those bare fairings. With so many cool parts on it, not the least of which those magnesium wheels and the Lectron carbs, this needs to be decked out in some vintage racing Yamaha racing colors, with maybe some period sponsor logos, then flogged mercilessly on track…

-tad

1981 Yamaha TZ250 R Side

Purity of Purpose: 1981 Yamaha TZ250H
Laverda November 17, 2014 posted by

Tangerine Dream: 1975 Laverda SFC for Sale

1975 Laverda SFC R Side

This Laverda SFC is bit of a throwback to another era, when you really could buy a motorcycle, ride it to the track, rip off the lights, and actually compete at the professional level. Sure, there are classes today that require bikes to be largely stock, but this Laverda is really more like the equivalent of a World SuperBike machine. With a headlight.

1975 Laverda SFC L Side Tailsection2

It’s just too bad that Laverda name-owners Piaggio don’t have room in their lineup for a revived Laverda. Their modern sporting range is taken up by Aprilia and their retro-sport line is all Guzzi, but I could see Laverda as a sort of Italian alternative to Triumph: practical, real-world sportbikes and standards with only a dash of nostalgia. It almost worked when they revived Laverda in the 1990’s. Unlike many of the other recent stabs at brand-revivification, the Zane-era bikes were actually affordable, and they still make for a pretty cool Ducati alternative. Down a bit on outright power, but with superlative handling.

1975 Laverda SFC Dash

Of course, you’ll get a lot of, “Laverda, who makes that?” at your local bike-night. But that’s okay. My personal experience is that only the very best kind of people know Laverda. I have a battered old Laverda t-shirt and it attracts attention everywhere I go. Random strangers approach me in restaurants, in the checkout line at the grocery store, even at IKEA to ask me about it.

So Laverda is gone, but not forgotten, and this 1975 SFC really helps to explain the love people have for the orange bikes from Breganze, Italy.

1975 Laverda SFC R Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Laverda SFC 750 “Elettronico” for Sale

VIN 18300 Engine 18300

This is “the real thing”, numbers on the register and it is the rariest and most desiderable model of the serie, the “Elettronico” of 1975. On top of this it has a works race history being raced by Giuseppe Uberti Foppa (works Laverda rider listed also in the SFC register book) at the 500kms of Monza in 1975, with certification signed by him.

The bike was restored in the Factory in the early 80’s and kept as a jewel since, totally original genuine parts, even the fiberglass body, throttle, all small bits, no repro’s or nos.

Bike is “on the button” with even new tyres, showroom conditions. The best i have seen in the last 20 years! Bulletproof investment. Bike is currently located in Italy, 33080 Roveredo in Piano (Pordenone) but i can get them delivered all around the World at cost, no problem. We can supply US contact as reference.

Built between 1971 and 1976, the SFC or “Super Freni Competizione” was an homologation-special with an engine full of race-spec parts that pushed power to 80hp and road-legal lights and signals tacked on as a nod to streetability. Many SFC’s show up for sale with those parts packed away safely in a cardboard box…

1975 Laverda SFC R Grip

Not especially light, but very stable, the Laverda parallel twins were renowned for their durability. The 750cc engine featured five main bearings and parts not built by Laverda were sourced, regardless of origin, for their quality: Ceriani suspension, Bosch ignition, and Nippon-Denso electrics.

Only 549 were ever produced, making this one rare and very desirable machine, and the signature on the tail section and pristine condition only make it more so.

-tad

1975 Laverda SFC L Side

Tangerine Dream: 1975 Laverda SFC for Sale
Benelli November 13, 2014 posted by

Classic Sportbike Recap: Benelli, Moto Morini, and a Dunstall Norton

If your biking interests occasionally run to the historical, take a look at some recent entries over at our sister site: Classic Sport Bikes for Sale. This week featured a Benelli Tornado, the Italian alternative to big-bore British parallel-twins, a jewel-like Moto Morini 350, and a rare Dunstall Norton Commando

1974 Benelli Tornado 650S L Front

With a 642cc parallel twin and a top speed of 117mph, you could be forgiven for thinking you were reading about a classic British roadster. But this 1974 Benelli Tornado had a short-stroke engine that loved to rev and, even stranger, was actually oil-tight… Read more over at classicsportbikesforsale.com

1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 L Rear2

With a jewel-like 344cc v-twin, this Moto Morini 350 K2 emphasized brains over brawn, offering brilliant handling and a wealth of innovative technical details. Moto Morinis have long been bargains of the vintage Italian bike world, but prices are finally on the rise and this one is in amazing shape… Read the full article over at classicsportbikesforsale.com

1969 Norton Dunstall R Front

The 1960’s were a golden age of motorcycling innovation, when ambitious and talented tuners could knock up machines in their backyard sheds and compete against the world’s best. Some, like Paul Dunstall managed to turn their success into a thriving business, making go-fast parts for a whole range of British bikes… Read more about the Dunstall Norton over at classicsportbikesforsale.com

Classic Sportbike Recap: Benelli, Moto Morini, and a Dunstall Norton
MZ August 16, 2014 posted by

Rare and Practical: 2005 MZ1000S

Most attempts to resurrect a defunct or struggling brand start with high-performance, limited-edition hypersports machines that inevitably get compared to the GSX-R1000, and generally not in a good way. So it was interesting when a revitalized MZ chose not to compete directly with hypersports bikes from Ducati and Aprilia, instead creating a classy gentleman’s express that they hoped would be judged on its own merits.

Produced between 2004 and 2007, the MZ 1000S represented a new era for formerly East German MZ. Known in classic circles as pioneers in the two-stroke revolution, their later range of bikes was powered almost exclusively by the 660cc Yamaha single. Great, practical everyman transportation, but MZ needed something to compete with more refined machinery.

2005 MZ 1000S L Side

Unfortunately, one of the reasons people create hypersports bikes in the first place is that folks with more money than skill or sense buy them as dangerous fashion accessories, and the MZ1000S disappeared with barely a ripple… In fact, this is the first one I can ever remember seeing for sale.

But don’t let that discourage you: reviews may not have been glowing in terms of track prowess, but then it wasn’t that sort of bike. It worked as intended, as a rideable, practical exotic that stands out in a crowd. And stand out it surely does.

2005 MZ 1000S R Side Garage

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

Gloss Black/Silver graphics Color scheme with Remus Slip on Exhausts made specifically for this bike – engine is bone stock – fuels beautifully – complete paper work from first owner and myself – factory tool kit – Digital service and owners manual in ENGLISH – parts readily available from Grahams In the UK – Pazzo Clutch and Brake levers (I do have OEM levers and they are in mint condition) Sprockets are Yamaha parts and oil filter is standard K&N item. Slight light scratches in clear coat on tail section, only noticeable up close and in full sun from first owner running soft luggage while sport touring. I do NOT have the stock exhausts.

Bike is an incredible sport bike, while she’s big sitting at rest and tall in the saddle (If you have a short inseam – this might not be the bike for you – I’m 6’0″ and I’m solidly on the balls of my feet at a stop.) But get it going and the size melts away – it is capable of staying with modern 600’s easily in really twisty tight mountain roads and the torque is simply addicting – come out of a corner and just roll it on – you are pulling away while everyone else is downshifting like crazy to match your drive out of the corner – and like a BMW K1200/1300 or Moto Guzzi sport bike – incredibly confidence inspiring and OMG easy to ride fast!

The MZ 1000S was powered by their in-house parallel-twin, bucking the v-twin sportbike trend that saw every niche market motorcycle powered by Ducati, Honda, or Suzuki v-twin engines. This choice certainly came with built-in limitations: parallel-twin engines are very compact and less expensive to produce, but vibrate like the dickens, especially in larger-displacement applications.

Just ask Norton and Triumph.

2005 MZ 1000S L Side Garage

And they really aren’t generally rev-happy engines, happier to punch out useable torque. Even with a balance shaft or two, you’re never going to get screaming revs out of 1000cc parallel twin. Also, there’s a certain bias against the configuration: the very advantages that speak to efficiency in manufacturing suggest a certain… pragmatism that is at odds with an exotic image.

But you will get character and packaging advantages galore, and a torquey powerplant ideal for the sports touring bike MZ had in mind.

Parts availability is a big question mark, although the seller mentions that servicing has never been a problem. This is the epitome of a “mature” sport bike and should be comfortable on both long rides and fast canyon runs on Sunday morning. This could be a really cool buy for someone looking for a bike that will really stand out from the crowd.

-tad

2005 MZ 1000S L Side Rear

Rare and Practical: 2005 MZ1000S