Posts by tag: parallel twin


We have 15 years of archives. Please note that posts over a year old may have been updated to point to similar bikes available to bid on eBay.
Laverda June 8, 2014 posted by

1999 Laverda Formula 750S

Many of the machines featured on this site are pristine, beautiful examples, the best available anywhere. This is not one of those bikes. But it is rare, and it is a sportbike. And it’s worth looking at because it’s pretty hard to find Laverdas like this in any condition here in the USA.

1999 Laverda Formula R Rear

If you thought Laverda disappeared after the slab-sided RGS of the 1980’s, you’d be wrong. In the early 1990’s, a legitimate attempt to revitalize the brand was attempted and, following Laverda tradition, these “Zane era” Laverdas [produced in Zanè, Italy] utilized the best available components: the bikes featured a traditional beam frame, although beautifully detailed, with fully-adjustable Paioli suspension and hollow-spoked Marchesini wheels.

Powered by a parallel-twin engine that displaced first 668, then added water-cooling and a boost 750cc’s [747cc’s], the bike never really made the power to compete with the bike it was pitched against, Ducati’s 748. Interestingly, the Italian manufacturers were some of the first to adopt fuel injection for their motorcycles, and this Laverda features a surprisingly well-sorted system.

1999 Laverda Formula Front Crop

Period tests often criticized the lack of power, but they all had plenty of superlatives handy to describe the way it went around corners. Those Paolis were more than just window-dressing, and the Brembos up front provided some of the best stopping power available.

Unfortunately, by 2000 the new Laverda was sunk and sold to Aprilia, who seem happy to let the brand languish in obscurity for now.

1999 Laverda Formula Clocks

This particular example is obviously a bit… damaged, which is a real shame as these are very striking in black and orange. D&D pipes are evocatively loud, but Formulas generally came from the factory with a pair of carbon Termignonis, and I’m wondering where those got to…

From the original eBay listing: 1999 Laverda Formula 750S

Laverda 750s 1999 This is a very unique bike, it can be considered the alternative to the Ducati 748. Bike is a head turner not mention the sound. It has a very deep lope as it is a parallel twin and fires 180 from each other. The power comes best on the top end rather then a low end. If I have to say my favorite part of the bike besides its performance is the sound, the D&D pipes literally make the ground shake, and when the throttle is cracked your heart jumps.The bike feels very planted in the corners, front brakes feel awesome and the best ive feel ive felt compared to all the newer Japanese bikes. The power is comes in midrange and pulls hard to redline. This if defiantly a bike to take to the twisys. It has a lot of character, very raw and a sense of pride when riding the bike. Has a new pilot power 2CT and a new rear sprocket, tire has maybe 500 miles and is broken in. its been laid down on the left and the only physical damage you can se

these black plastic was installed by my friend, as this was my friends bike and then I purchased it for my collection,

Has new battery, just started yesterday sounds so cool and run very strong.

1999 Laverda Formula L Rear

Looking for all the world like a Latin-ized ZX7, the styling of the bike was a bit dated even when new, but I think has aged really well. Oh, and notice the smooth surface of the tank? It’s actually the airbox: the fuel-filler door is under that little, hinged pillion pad. While these certainly are hard to find, they really don’t command all that much in terms of dollars yet. They’re sort of lost in between eras: a forgotten marque, unless you’re a classic enthusiast, with late 80’s style, mediocre power, and questionable parts availability.

With a clear title and a Buy-It-Now price of $4,500, this could be a great chance for someone to pick up an Italian exotic at a bargain price. Probably not a great choice if it’s your only bike, but cheap enough to make a fun weekend blaster or occasional track day bike.


1999 Laverda Formula L Side

1999 Laverda Formula 750S
Laverda April 10, 2012 posted by

1999 Laverda 750S on eBay

Update: Originally listed in February 2010, this bike is back. Thanks for the hat tip Scott! Links updated. -dc

1999 yellow Laverda 750S for sale with low miles on ebay.

Probably not many people know of Laverda (a small italian brand founded in 1873), and those who have heard of it may know only of the legendary 750 SFC and Jota. So probably even fewer know about one of their modern sports bike, the parallel twin engined 750S:

If you are looking at this ad, you know what this is.

1999 Laverda 750 S in nice condition. Recent tires, chain and lower ratio sprockets (15 vs 16 tooth front), VeniVidiVroom SS oil filter. Runs great. Periodically the tach will stop then start again, the bike continues to run fine. The tach and ignition module is the same as was in my Ducati ST2. I think there is a loose wire in the tach. The gas cap is difficult to remove, the location doesn’t help. There are a few cosmetic scuffs from prior owner moving. Too many bikes and relocation force reluctant sale. This is a great back road bike with terrific transitional handling and a power band more like a multi than a Ducati twin. 12154 K Kilometers. Stock exhaust but D&D offers alternative slip-ons which would give it the bark it deserves.


“These bikes were outfitted with Weber-Marelli electronic fuel injection, Brembo Gold Line brakes, fully adjustable Paioli suspension (White Power on some models), state of the art hollow spoke Marchesini wheels and a modern beam or trellis frame. With 65 bhp (48 kW) available at the rear wheel and a very rev-happy engine, these bikes were nothing like traditional parallel twins. Within a year and a half, a larger, water cooled 750 appeared with a new engine in an aluminum beam chassis developed by frame specialist Nico Bakker, which boasted very fine handling and finish quality.”

Click HERE and HERE for some good background reading on the Laverda 750S.

If you want an Italian sports bike for not a lot of money (I’m guessing this one can be had for cheap) and are sick of seeing Ducatis, this yellow Laverda 750S just might be your ticket. The current price is at $2091 with 11 hours to go – I would be very interested to see what it fetches at the end of the auction.

Click here to see the listing on eBay.


Sport Bikes For Sale February 14, 2012 posted by

Mini Grand Prix Madness-Titled ’89 Yamaha TZR250 3MA

Location: Sutton, West Virginia

Mileage: 13,083

Price: Auction, currently $4,150

Another killer 250 two stroke. I love it when these pop up. RSBFS featured a good looking NSR250 MC18 a few days back and now we have this – an ’89 TZR250 3MA with the rare and awesome parallel twin, not a V. Still a 50 hp bike, but this set up has the cool exhaust out the tail, similar to the GP bikes of the era. Cool, cool and cool.

Here’s the information from the seller-

I have a rare reverse cylinder Yamaha TZR250 3MA with clear title for sale. This bike is completely stock in very nice original condition and runs great. The bike has no issues and is ready to ride. Stock, unmolested two stroke bikes are difficult to find, especially in such exceptional condition. 

The frame is nice, clean and straight as are the wheels and rotors, no evidence of crash damage on this bike.  The bike is not museum quality but very nice.

Feel free to call me for any additional information or photos.  I live in central West Virginia and have the bike for sale locally, so I reserve the right to end the auction early.

And photos for your viewing pleasure-

The seller is up front saying this is no museum piece. And that appears to be the case. It does have some mileage on it and appears to have the wear you would expect on a bike this age. The seller also states that the bike is completely stock and that is rare in any bike this age, but a two stroke is especially rare here in the U.S. The seller also lists a clear title.

So if you want something you can ride and something that is uber cool, you may be in luck here. Make up your mind then check the auction out!



Sport Bikes For Sale January 27, 2012 posted by

The Lost R1? Yamaha R1-Z 250

The Lost R1? Yamaha R1-Z 250

Where have these darn things been hiding?   What a solid looking bike: a two stroke twin wrapped in an eye pleasing package.  Simple yet sexy.  The RZ-1 is another in a line of Japanese domestic bikes that never saw the light of day on foreign shores.  That is kind of hard to imagine with the cult following the RZ350 has.  These were produced in 1991 and 1992 (I think) but would look  right at home in a dealership  in 2012.  Update the headlight, forks and swing arm and you are in business Yamaha.


This particular bike is located in the UK and has underwent a complete rebuild with custom paint.  There isn’t much to say, it just looks good.


From what I gather, the R1-Z uses the early  TZR parallel twin engine.  Being a domestic market bike they have the usual 45hp restriction.  I’m sure it could be unplugged with a little work.  Maybe without a fairing for protection you’d be happy with the 45hp.

To cut costs sometimes they’d go single disc upfront on these sort of models; not so with the R1-Z.


Come on Yamaha, work some overtime on direct injection and you are in business with this bike.  With the popularity of naked bikes and the built in RZ350 crowd I bet you couldn’t keep them in the showroom.

Damn, I like this bike!  Check this one out with a TZR swing arm and upside down forks.

Since you can’t count on Yamaha,  you might just have to snap this one up at auction.



Here is a Japanese test of a modded and standard R1-Z



Norton October 12, 2011 posted by

Calling All Players: 1974 Norton John Player Special

Calling All Players:  1974 Norton John Player Special

That ad is just oozing the 70’s.  Check out the marketing.  It isn’t trying to appeal to the race replica crowd for a second.  It is trying to reach the more sophisticated.  I’m loving the guy with the blond by candlelight.  They wanted you ( yeah you, Thurston) to get off this thing and have a gin and tonic and a Players  cigarette.

Fast forward a few decades and what feels like a century of motorcycle technology and here we are.  Fall is around the corner and it is time to starting thinking about a winter project.  With a production run of roughly 200 bikes,  I thought this 74  Norton John Player Special  might be a good candidate for such a project.  It is rough around the edges but with a tear down and complete freshening up should make a fine edition to a collection.

My you have big eyes.   The John Player Special was Norton’s take on a race replica.  To celebrate their  racing success at the Isle of Man they basically modified a  Commando and offered it to the public.  Not much different than a Lucky Strike RGV or Rothmans NSR.  Just different cancer sticks.  It is kind of interesting that they went with John Player instead of the more common name of the cigarettes; Players.

Now take a look at the actual race bike.

Wow, that thing is bad ass!  How about the monocoque frame?  Too bad they didn’t make an exact replica.

The bike for sale appears to be a mostly stock example.  The one thing that stands out is the red frame.  Obviously, at some point the bike was apart and the frame resprayed.  The shocks and forks appear to be a little different than the ones pictured in the ad, although I did see a couple of pictures on the net with the same forks.

Here is her story:

An authentic John Player Norton.  It is in good but not pristine condition. Odometer reads 15,635 miles, which is believed to be accurate.  The engine, frame and gearbox numbers match.   I purchased it in 2002 from a neighbor who owned it for about 10 years.  Bike has been stored since 2004.  It ran well when I bought it and runs well now, though a bit challenging to start.  At some point the frame was painted red, but is black underneath. The fairing has a scrape on the right side and the plexiglass windscreen has been broken and (poorly) glued back – see pictures.   Otherwise the bike is complete and in very good condition.


As with any project the price has to be right.  Some nice examples have sold in the $10,000 range.  Considering the semi rough condition you would want it for considerably less.  Anyone know how difficult it is to source old Norton parts?


You can just see it in the bottom right corner.  No electric starter here my friend.

To put your butt in the seat, click here.

Jay Leno owns one and his video is really worth a watch.  He points out a lot of the finer points of the bike and some unique features.   You can catch a glimpse of a WW Gamma in his garage as well.


Honda October 4, 2011 posted by

Barber Vintage Festival Weapon: 1963 Honda CR77 Replica

Barber Vintage Festival Weapon:  1963 Honda CR77 Replica

It is that time of year again.  The Barber Vintage Festival is just around the corner and I thought this little beast would get you in the spirit.  Even if vintage bikes aren’t your thing I really recommend attending.  This event will win you over.  There are so many different bikes circulating the track or on display that your head will be on a constant swivel.  If you are  on the fence the weather forecast for Saturday the 8th is a high of 79 and sunny: perfection.

Now that I’ve done my advertising for Barber lets look at this thing.  Let me start by asking anyone who is really in the know on vintage Honda’s to please comment and/or correct any errors.  For such an intensive project there is a serious lack of info in the auction.  The basics are that this is a replica of a 1963 Honda CR77.

What is a CR77?  They were 305cc parallel twin production racers.  Now, when most people see “production” they think available to the public.  From what I read CR77’s were never made available to the public (mostly sold to race teams) and were quite exotic for their day.  They appeared in couple of different engine and frame configurations.  They shared little, if anything, with  production CB’s.  Here is a great site on the subject of Honda racers of the day.

Classic lines.  Here is where I need help from the Honda men.  The seller states that this bike includes some parts from an RC77.  I’m not finding much of any info on the web about a RC77.  Was there a factory version of this bike that was an “RC’?  Or are we just mixing up “CR” and “RC”?

So what is real and what is replica?  I don’t have a freakin clue!  I wish the seller had provided more info on the build.  To my amateur eye, it looks like a build that no expense was spared.  Am I correct restorers?

1960’s era fuel injection: a carburetor.  Remember those?

More tech nostalgia,  drum brakes.

Basically I want you guys to chime in and tell me what exactly we have here.  Is this replica built from authentic CR77 parts or is it made from newly fabricated parts to look like a CR77?  Was their such a thing as a RC77?  Help me out here.  It is priced with a BIN of $25,000.  That price would make me think it is mostly fabricated parts.  Snap it up here and head off to Barber a happy man.



Sport Bikes For Sale September 2, 2011 posted by

Go Fast History: Team Vesco 1972 Yamaha TD3

Go Fast History:  Team Vesco 1972 Yamaha TD3

You really can find anything on eBay.  What a neat little piece of motorcycle racing history.  I had always associated Don Vesco with going real fast across the salt flats and not around a race track.  He was at the track and was associated with some very recognizable names.  You might remember Kel Carruthers and Cal Rayburn.  Click here and see  Team Vesco is still alive and going fast:  real fast.

I’d like to say I could give you a good description of a TD3 but my nose would be growing for some time.  They were a little before my time so I was off to the internets for help.  Basically,  think TZ before there were TZ’s.  They were apparently Yamaha’s customer race bikes.  The TD3 was a 250cc parallel twin and produced roughly 49hp.

Simple, huh.  Here is fun fact:  the TD2 (the 3’s predecessor) sold for $1,800.

Pre powervalves: well pre lots of stuff actually.

Here is the skinny on the bike:

TEAM VESCO YAMAHA TD3 Road Racer, Engine Number: DS7 – 990164, Frame Number: TD3 – 990164.BACKGROUND:
I bought this Yamaha 30 years ago. It was painted in the familiar yellow and black “bumblebee” colors and the only identification was a “Cincinnati Custom Cycles” sticker. At the time, it had no other known history. Included with the bike was a steel drainpipe containing the hand written words, “Vesco Carruthers TD3”. I then called Don Vesco who assured me that the drainpipe was used by his team to hold their spare cables. He also identified the bike by engine/frame number as the machine which was ridden by Mike Devlin in 1972. The following history and machine details were originally given to me by Don Vesco and in recent years by Mike Devlin, the rider.

Don Vesco ran a team of Yamahas from 1970 onwards for many years, starting with TD2B models ridden by Kel Carruthers and occasionally, Cal Rayburn. He followed with TD3 and TR3 models ridden by Dave Smith, Pat Evans, Mike Devlin, Ron Pierce and others, before acquiring the later water cooled machines. This Yamaha was ridden exclusively by Mike Devlin in 1972 AMA National events, starting with Daytona.

Vesco Fiberglass Seat.
Modified Swing Arm and Bushings.
Koni Shock Absorbers.
Modified Clutch Cover.
Cut Out for Chain Drive Sprocket.
Fairing Straps to hold the fairing in place if the fairing supports break. (original worn parts are available)
Foot Rest Rubber Grips secured with cotter pins through the metal tube and rubber.

#11 & #12 Show the straps to hold the fairing if the supports break.
#15 Cut out for Chain Drive Sprocket.
#16 Modified Clutch Cover.
#17 Modified Swing Arm.
#18 Mike Devlin at Daytona in 1972 for the first race.
#19 Mike Devlin during the 1972 Daytona race.
#20 Compare this recent picture with picture #18.
#21 Compare this recent picture with picture #19
#22 Team Vesco drainpipe for storing cables.
#23 Engine Number.
#24 Frame Number before the frame was repainted.

This is not a 100% restoration. The rubber grips on the footrests, gear lever, brake lever and handlebars have purposely been left unrestored to give the Yamaha a “used racing” appearance. However, the seat, fuel tank, front fender, fairing, frame and all other black parts have been prepared and painted to the highest museum quality. The screen is new. The stickers have been very carefully recreated from period pictures to exactly replicate their color and location on the fairing and seat, as seen when the Yamaha was first raced at Daytona in 1972 using race number 31.

The listed mileage is an approximation.
The bike has been stored in temperature controlled conditions for 30 years.
The bike was purchased as a used racer, but I have never had the engine running.
The cylinder bores have been oiled during storage.
Engine compression, gear selection and brake operation are normal.
The bike is not suitable for immediate use because the tires (Michelin 3.25 H18 & 3.50 H18) are 30 years old and the fasteners have not been torqued to spec.
There is no title.


I can only imagine the shriek from those pipes.  Might be worth getting it running to just here the music.

That must make a decent rattle itself.

Wow, how about that double drum brake?  Even though I had my head in the sand when it came to this model it appears it is a  common bike to collect.  A quick search revealed  quite a few restorations going on and parts available.

If you’d like to do a little time traveling click here.

A pristine example from the grand prix wars:

TR2 and TD3 in Yamaha’s race museum.  Looks like  quite a place considering what I see in the background.


Laverda August 22, 2011 posted by

Rare, Italian and not a Ducati: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula

Location: Carlsbad, California

Mileage: 10,000

Price: $7,500 or offer

These have been posted on RSBFS before but they are certainly not a bike you see rolling through the neighborhood that often (at least not my neighborhood). As mentioned before, the Formula was a hopped up limited edition version of the regular 750S. The upgrades included top notch Brembo four piston calipers and dual floating discs, along with lightweight Marchesini rims and a fully adjustable rear shock. All of this was powered by a 750cc parallel twin that cranked out 92 bhp.

Some more pics-

From the seller-

Up for reluctant sale is my 1999 Laverda Formula. This is a very special bike – it is a TRUE 1999 model and one of only a handful imported into the country, in all these years I have never seen another like it for sale. I am the founder of the Zanelist, the largest online support group for Laverda owners, and have owned the bike practically since new (2000), and put all relevant miles and service into the bike. This is a bike best sampled by the Italophile, these Laverdas were some of the last hand built motorcycles to come from an Italian motorcycle company still owned and operated by Italians. The character really shows and the fact that these bikes were built at the base of the Dolemites comes out in the way they perform in switchback mountain roads. These were the last bikes to be imported into the country before Laverda shut their doors, which happened just months after I bought the bike. 

Now, some history on this machine in particular: 

The bike has always received THE BEST oil (Motul 300V Double Ester), and has never been left sitting for too long.

Bike was in a low side accident several years ago and the lower fairings were repainted factory “Mediterranean” blue with factory decals. There are some small imperfections (dust) in the repainted fairings but they can only be seen upon close examination.

Factory race cans installed (Termignoni) and accompanying chip. Throttle response is perfect and the sound is incredible.

2000 Laverda Factory cams – these cams are the pinnacle of Laverda engineering and eliminate the notorious flatspot in the RPM range earlier Formula models exhibited. The bike responds smoothly throughout the rev range.

New Regina (OEM) chain installed (less than 1000 miles)

New Dunlop Q2 tires installed (less than 1000 miles)

Forks (Fully adjustable Paioli) rebuilt with new seals and oil (less than 1000 miles)

ALL fluids replaced (less than 1000 miles)

Shock replaced with new OEM (Less than 1000 miles)

Laverda Formula 668 Subframe (reduces weight/improves balance of machine – stock steel subframe is included with purchase)

New LiFeP04 Pulse battery (~10 lbs. lighter than stock battery).

New Fuel Pump (Upgraded ND Unit less than 1000 miles)

New Speedometer (Original was damaged in my accident and will be provided in sale for proof of mileage as stated.)

Factory Shop and Parts manuals included

As for why I am selling the bike, this Laverda is now at a point in its life where it would be best served by an owner who wishes to add something quite rare (and beautiful) to their collection. I have 2 other bikes, a sport tourer and an older air cooled Laverda, and I’m at a point where I can’t really justify an Italian exotic as I am now saving up for a house. It’s a captivating machine that exudes the essence of Italian motorcycling, like a 2 wheeled Ferrari F-40. Someone who wishes to own something really unique and characterful will have no regrets. 

PLEASE – serious inquires only. “Test Rides” only for those who provide cash in hand. That said, if you have any technical or vehicle history questions, feel free to ask away. 

Bike has approx. 10,000 total miles. Valves were adjusted less than 1000 miles ago. This bike runs perfectly. 

The seller is clearly a fan of the brand and seems to have covered the maintenance end of things very well on this bike. The seller does mention an older low side accident and the subsequent repairs. Also, there have been some modifications to the bike, although they seem to be smart upgrades. However, depending how into originality you are, you may want to take that into consideration. Otherwise it seems the bike is well cared for and the mileage doesn’t seem too high. The BIN price is $7,500, which seems about right, but the seller also allows offers.

There’s a lot of bikes out there, and something different is always welcome in my book. The Formula model has the kind of upgrades that makes the bike even more interesting. If you want to start or finish a collection of interesting Italian bikes, make the jump!