Posts by tag: parallel twin

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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
Yamaha December 18, 2018 posted by

Not Museum (but could be?): 1985 Yamaha RZ350

If you are a regular reader of RSBFS (if not, sign up for our email service so you never miss out on a great find), you will know two things: Number one, the RZ350 is a very popular model of semi-rarity her in the United States; and number two, sellers have been classifying “reasonably good” bikes as Museum Quality since the beginning of eBay. That leads to many examples of collectible motorcycles being represented as perhaps slightly better than they are. Even so, we revel in finding the rare and the unusual and try to bring it to your screen with an open view as to what it is and what it is worth. As such, we find this second red/white RZ350 in a week (see the first one here), and are all too happy to share what looks like an original example of the breed.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

From a collector standpoint, originality counts. And on an RZ, while aftermarket expansion chambers are period correct and aid in addressing two major exhaust faults of the bike (namely weight and performance), they are not original. Original means the basic black – but very trick – two stroke exhaust that incorporate catalytic converters and air injection to ensure as clean a burn as possible. Mr. EPA required said trickery in order to make the RZ an officially imported bike back in 1984 when the model was first brought to our shores. So effective were those cats that the small-but-mighty RZ even made it into California for one year! Today these are very difficult to find, and very expensive to replace. But they make the bike original. Original may not be the fastest configuration, but it is the best bet to earn every dollar possible on the resale of a classic motorcycle. Although not super-rare in the world, the RZ is most certainly a classic sport bike when it comes to American riders. So when you find a classic model in original condition, you have something special.

From the seller:
I HAVE HAD THIS BEAUTY IN MY COLLECTION FOR A FEW YEARS NOW AND TIME FOR A NEW PROJECT. IT’S BEEN A GREAT BIKE THAT IS USED REGULARLY AND IS RUNNING EXCELLENT. THIS IS A FINE EXAMPLE OF THE KENNY ROBERTS SPECIAL THAT IS IN VERY NICE UNRESTORED CONDITION RIGHT DOWN TO THE CATALYST CHAMBERS WITH WORKING ALARM.

THE ORIGINAL PAINT AND TANK IS NEAR PERFECT. NO DENTS OR RUST, TANK LOOKS NOS. CARBS HAVE BEEN RECENTLY SONIC CLEANED AND SET. ALL NEW OIL AND FUEL LINES INSTALLED, BRAKES, AND OIL INJECTION TANK FLUSHED. ENGINE IS ORIGINAL NUMBERS MATCHING WITH NO LEAKS. NEW FORK SEALS INCLUDED BUT NEED TO BE INSTALLED….THEY ARE LEAKING A BIT. TIRES ARE A BIT OLD BUT HAVE LOTS OF TREAD AND NO CRACKS. IT LOOKS LIKE THE FRONT COWL MAY HAVE BEEN RESTORED AT SOME POINT BUT I’M NOT SURE.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR WANT MORE PICTURES PLEASE DON’T HESITATE TO CONTACT ME. PLEASE VIEW THE PICTURES CLOSELY AS THEY SHALL GIVE YOU A LOT MORE INFORMATION THAN WORDS CAN. I WILL HELP WITH INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING IF NEEDED AT THE NEW OWNERS EXPENSE. DON’T LET THIS ONE GET AWAY YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED!!

BIKE IS IN CANADA, NIAGARA FALLS AREA.

The seller has done a good job describing this particular bike, and provided the video to boot. As a 1985 model, King Kenny’s signature adorns the fairing (it was only on the yellow/black models in ’84), and said fairing looks good. So does the tank. The aforementioned boat anchor cats are well and truly in place (and operational, according to the over-temp alarm comment), although they *might* have been resprayed by the look of the finish. Of course time and heat cycles might have done that just as easily. There is some evidence of use and wear on the bike, but then again it does have 12,000 miles and change. Corrosion is not the dominant color scheme, which is always a good thing. Overall, this is a solid bike by my eye.

So this is what it comes down to: a rather well kept, reasonably presented, original bike with some of the faults and foibles you would expect from a used bike. And unlike our previously posted RZ, this one comes with a more realistic price tag: $8,995 if you buy it right now. Like the previous post, this seller is also open to offers. The days of the $2,500 RZ are long gone. The days when you thought $7,500 was a stupid-high number for a used bike are also seemingly gone. The RZ350 is popular; it was widespread enough to have parts availability, and it is unlike nearly any other machine offered then or since. There is something about it that tugs at heart strings, even though we know it is not the rarest or the fastest. But regardless of what tugs at your desires, do your homework and find the best possible example before you pull the trigger. Check out this clean example here, and see if you can’t snag yourself a little Christmas present before the end of the year. Thumbs Up & Good Luck!!

MI

Not Museum (but could be?): 1985 Yamaha RZ350
Laverda November 7, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula for Sale

Update 12.12.2018: The seller has notified us that this bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

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

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.

-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