Posts by tag: Penske

Suzuki August 2, 2019 posted by

Japanese Thunder: 2000 Suzuki TL1000R for Sale

The Suzuki TL1000R was famously underwhelming when released. It was a bit too fat, didn’t handle as brilliantly as the Italian competition, and while it looked appropriately Suzuki-ish, styling wasn’t considered a high point. Sort of like the designers were watching a lot of platypus porn while they were styling the bike… In fact, all of the would-be Ducati challengers basically fizzled, but several, including the Honda RC51 and the TL1000R, have since managed to become cult-classics. It certainly helped that their used values cratered, with lower prices making their flaws much easier to forgive.

Aside from the TL-R’s styling, which is always subjective, the biggest issue was handling. V-twins always present particular packaging challenges, particularly the transversely-mounted designs usually used in modern sportbikes. Obviously, a Harley-esque 45° angle between the cylinders is great for packaging in terms of length and width, if not height. But they vibrate like crazy at revs. Unless you want to add balance-shafts, a 90° twin is your best bet, but then the issue is the bike’s wheelbase: use an “L-twin” like Ducati and long swingarm for maximum traction, and the machine ends up with an unfeasibly long wheelbase. Rotate the engine backwards in the chassis to keep it shorter front-to-back, and you limit room for a rear suspension.

Suzuki went the second route, and got around space limitations by using an unusual rotary damper instead of a traditional linear unit. The concept is proven, but Suzuki’s unit was too small for the application and overheated under hard use. Strangely, aftermarket linear units from Penske and others can be swapped in with adapter kits, and Bimota used Suzuki’s v-twin in their SB8R, fitted alongside the heads and operated via a linkage, so the rotary damper was clearly a bit of a gimmick that backfired.

Handling issues aside, the TL-R was powered by a peach of an engine, a 996cc v-twin with liquid-cooling, four-valve heads, and 135hp. That engine, along with the six-speed box, could be found in a number of bikes from other manufacturers that lacked the resourced to develop their own. Away from the utterly ruthless nit-picking and hype surrounding them when new, odd-duck bikes like the TL1000R can now be appreciated on their own merits. All of the Suzuki’s flaws can be mitigated, or you can just enjoy it for what it is: a booming, easy-to-own supberbike at a bargain price.

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Suzuki TL1000R for Sale

Selling my Suzuki TL1000R, needs nothing, I was going to use it for track but change of plans. Bike has 15k miles, new tires, new brakes, rebuilt front forks, new fluid, flush brake fluid, coolant, fresh oil and filter change, new engine air filter, new spark plugs, rebuild clutch slave master cylinder, dual Yoshimura slip-ons and power commander, bike needs nothing and is road ready. I have the title.

Nothing flashy here, just a decent, well-maintained and largely stock bike, although the seller doesn’t mention whether the original tail section and passenger pegs are available. Miles are reasonable, and the upgraded Yoshi exhaust and PC setup is almost mandatory, since the Suzuki twin sounds great when allowed to breathe: deep and rumbly, without the additional layers of clutch and valvetrain noise of a Ducati. The $4,750 Buy It Now isn’t the cheapest we’ve seen, and suggests values continue to creep up, but that still represents a great deal for a very capable v-twin superbike. Just save up for a conventional shock conversion and ride this till the wheels come off!


Japanese Thunder: 2000 Suzuki TL1000R for Sale
Honda November 28, 2018 posted by

Royal Crown: 2004 Honda RC51

In the soda wars of the 1980s, Coca-Cola was the big dog. But others were keen to move in on the success of Coke, including Pepsi and RC Cola. Each had a slightly different take on the same theme, and competed for the same set of customers. Fast forward to the late 1990s and you could see the same situation developing in World Superbike racing. Ducati had the dominant platform with their legendary 916 (and 851 before that), winning 8 championships and effectively shutting out the other manufacturers. Given the rules and concessions afforded to twins in WSBK (displacement and weight, for example), other factories jumped on the copycat bandwagon. Honda in particular put their four cylinder screamers aside for a roaring v-twin designed to take the fight to Bologna. The bike that was developed became the very successful RC51. Winning the 2000 WSBK title the first year out with Colin Edwards, the RC51 also found success Stateside in the AMA under the guidance of one Nicky Hayden.

2004 Honda RC51 for sale on eBay

Officially known as the RVT1000R in the US, the RC51 was the spiritual successor to the RC30 and RC45; it was built to go racing and win races. And while four cylinder WSBK machines were limited to 750cc, twins were allowed up to 999cc – providing more torque and HP over a lower RPM limit. Designing a new 90 degree twin displacing 999cc, the RC51 featured four valves per cylinder, gear-driven cams and a unique twin injector per cylinder for better fueling across the rev range. And speaking of revs, the RC51 was somewhat limited on the RPM front to the 10k range in favor of longevity due to the large bore / short stroke arrangement. The chassis was pure Honda – aluminum twin beam – with striking side-mounted radiators. While this made for a wider arrangement than the 916, the side-mounted rads were effective and aerodynamic.

From the seller:
Solo seat, Santo pipes, Penske shocks, GPR steering stabilizer, Power Commander.

Very clean, runs great, sounds great, excellent condition. Title in hand. Ready to go.

An overall competitive package, the RC51 was met with great rider enthusiasm; this was partly due to the price. While uber-limited RC30 and RC45s sold new for $25k+, the “lowly” RC51 was a veritable bargain with MSRP one buck below ten grand. There was even a Nicky Hayden edition sold, consisting of cosmetic changes such as brushed aluminum frame and swingarm, number plates and stickers. There were two generations of this model, the SP1 offered from 2000 to 2001, and all others are considered SP2 editions with minor suspension and fueling updates and some geometry changes. By 2006 the twin-cylinder party was over for Honda – as was factory WSBK racing for the time being. When they reemerged from their WSBK absence the new platform was back to the old in-line four ways of the FireBlade. Thus the RC51 is not exactly homologation rare, but relatively low numbers were produced over a short period of time.

Like the cola wars that preceded it, there were many interpretations of the same flavor. The RC51 remains a unique example of Honda taking the fight to Ducati on their turf and for a brief moment, winning the war. The resulting bike was massively capable, with Honda’s penchant for reliability and build quality. While a bit porky from some angles, the RC51 is a mean racing machine, and remains a desirable mount for practically any type of riding. This particular example shows few miles (less than 6k), and has some nice add-ons such as tasty Sato exhaust, suspension upgrades and a Power Commander to aid in fueling/tuning. More importantly, it has all the elements of a Nicky Hayden Edition, although not noted by the seller. With an opening ask of $6,000 this bike is starting out in the fair money range, if not the upper side of that neighborhood. No takers thus far, but there is still a long way to go. Check it out here if you are looking to pick up an under-appreciated superbike with real racetrack creds. It may not be the most coveted of the RC set, but this one still looks, sounds and goes like an RC should. Good Luck!!


Royal Crown:  2004 Honda RC51
Harley Davidson July 3, 2014 posted by

Orange & Black Attack! 1994 Harley Davidson VR1000


Until the resurgence of a non-HD powered Buell (such as this awesome 1190RS), this was The Motor Company’s sharpest racetrack weapon ever offered. Given that EBR is now an independent, this may remain the very pinnacle of homologation in a Harley-Davidson world. But don’t let the turn signals and headlight fool you – AMA homologation rules stipulated 50 road legal examples, but no requirement as to where that road legality needed to occur. HD did some homework and found the path of least resistance was Poland. If you are in the US hoping for an easy DMV registration, this is not the bike for you.

1994 Harley Davidson VR1000 for sale on eBay


The VR1000 was a veritable buffet line of American components. Roush was consulted on the motor design (60 degree, 996cc, liquid cooled, fuel injected v-twin), Penske handled the suspension and Wilwood supplied the brakes. An impressive lineup of riders were also on the payroll: Miguel Duhamel, Doug Chandler, Chris Karr, Pascal Picotte, Tom Wilson and Scott Russell all plied their trade; despite their collective experience, nobody won a single race. Part of the problem was that the release target of the VR1000 was the 1990 season. Unfortunately, it didn’t hit the track until 1994 – at which point a bike that was competitive with 1990 specs was sorely outclassed. HD never managed to catch up with the competition, and finally threw in the towel in 2001.


From the seller:
Here’s a not only an extremely rare bike, it’s very possibly the only new (never been started) VR1000 on the planet! This auction is for a 1994 Harley Davidson VR1000 Superbike that has NEVER BEEN STARTED! It’s brand new. Only 50 VR1000’s were produced for AMA Suberbike racing. This model has all street legal (legal in Poland, Google it) components intact. The bike is in perfect condition, although slightly dusty for years in storage (heated) Please check out all pics.


We have seen a surprising number of VR1000s for sale on the pages of RSBFS. Most have very low mileage (i.e. a few hundred). This might be the first zero mile bike. It’s not unusual to see one sitting in a museum. It is a bona fide rare machine with a very interesting history. But would the RC30 be as sought after if it never won a single race? This bike has a $79,900 opening bid, reserve in place, and no takers as of yet. Check it out here. This is a great piece of history and certainly a great looking bike. What do you think? Be sure to hit the comments and let us know!



Orange & Black Attack! 1994 Harley Davidson VR1000
Ducati October 25, 2013 posted by

Modern Classic: 1990 Ducati 851 Superbike


When it comes to sport bikes, few manufacturers generate the kind of response as Ducati. For some, these machines are the mecca for the knee-dragging faithful. For others they are over-hyped, over-priced and over-represented on the pages of RSBFS. To be fair, both sides have merit. Ducati has made an indelible mark on the motorcycling world through performance and competition. They have also cheapened the “rare” motorcycle experience through endless marketing campaigns and gimmicky Limited Edition numbered bikes. Whatever side of that coin you fall, the 851 stands out as an iconic example of Ducati engineering.

1990 Ducati 851 for sale on eBay

Ducati made their name through a narrow, light-weight racebike, using a two valve desmo L-twin to produce good low end torque. But with advances in Japanese four cylinder machinery, famed Ducati handling was no longer enough to keep these air cooled machines competitive. The 851 was born out of competitive desperation, simultaneously adding liquid cooling, fuel injection and four valves per cylinder to produce a quantum leap in performance. Wrapped in flowing bodywork that looks current 23 years on, the 851 was a watershed bike for Ducati, and for sport bike fans.


From the seller:
I have a highly collectible, show-winning superbike for sale. I am the 4th owner of this fully documented bike with detailed maintenance logs. When I purchased this bike it had 1,800 original miles. Upon purchasing the bike, I took it to Ted’s BMW and the bike was given a complete maintenance check under the supervision of Adam Cecchini from Cecchini MotorSports. All maintenance recommendations by Ducati were competed at that time. Cecchini MortorSports did the most recent safety/maintenance check in Sept. 2013. The price reflects the care and maintenance lavished upon this bike as well as its collect-ability. You may find a cheaper 851 but you will not find a better 851.

All Original with the exception of added Staintune High Rise exhaust and Penske rear shock. I have all original parts to include Maintenance Manuals.


Ducati created a few different variants of the 851. There are the true homologation units (known as the SP series) that allowed Ducati to compete on the World Superbike stage, and then there are the more common Strada (literally “street”) models. This particular bike is the latter. Beneath the solo seat cover is a passenger pillion – although I note that the high-mounted Staintune pipes have necessitated the removal of the passenger pegs.


The 851 series has preserved value reasonably well. Mint bikes run the range from $7k – $10k, with an SP fetching a few grand higher. You can also find these bikes for much less if you are willing to look, willing to put up with a few more miles, and willing to take a risk on incomplete maintenance records. This looks to be a well-kept example of the breed, and the seller has a $9,500 BIN in addition to the auction. Check it out here and let us know what you think!


Modern Classic: 1990 Ducati 851 Superbike
Sport Bikes For Sale December 13, 2011 posted by

Euro Racer: 1990 Yamaha FZR400 track bike

For Sale: 1990 Yamaha FZR400

It really must be getting close to Christmas – because what other time of year can you find a super rare “must have” model (FZR400) augmented with carbon fiber everything and custom “go fast” race parts ready to mop up at your local A-level group track day? Now if only my skill level was up to the performance potential of this little rocket. Sigh. At least my leathers would match!

Does anything look better in the sunlight than the weave of biaxial carbon fiber? Well, not to me, anyway. Set up in full race configuration, this FZR400 – already considered a gem in the handling department – looks ready to do battle with liter bikes and two strokes alike. Bring ’em on – this is one Fizzer that appears qualified to take on all comers!

From the seller:
FZR-400RR 3TJ Race Bike

This is a race European model that was imported in boxes, assembled and used only for a few select track days by one of our wealthy customers. Oringinal engine & chassis build was done by BDK in the U.K.

The bike was dyno’ed at 86 hp by Speedwerks in Dover, DE. The bike was never raced, nor damaged and has very low hours. All while being kept in a climate controlled garage.

This bike cost over £16,000 (~$24K US)) to build, including shipping and import to the US.

This is a bike for a serious competitor who wants to win his class. You won’t find many bikes that come close to it’s performance, lightness and speed.

Just recently the bike has been professionally serviced, which included:
A rront fork service & new OEM seals
Complete carburetor cleaning and blueprint
Radiator flush
Oil and filter change

Here is a partial list of mods:
BDK Carbon Fiber Fuel Tank
BDK Carbon Fiber Seat unit incorporating aluminum sub frame
BDK Carbon Fiber Ram-Air System
BDK Carbon Fiber Front mudguard
BDK Carbon Fiber Fairing
BDK Carbon Fiber Carburetor Bell mouths
BDK Race Wiring Loom
BDK Adjustable Ignition Rotor Assembly
BDK Tapered Header Exhaust System (Stainless)(Titanium Race Can)
BDK Race Radiator
BDK Aluminum Triple clamp
BDK Aluminum Suspension Tie Rods
BDK Aluminum Fairing stays
BDK Aluminum Front Fairing Bracket/Clock Mount
Dymag Carbon Fiber Wheels (also including stock wheels)
BDK Race Generator System
Thumb operated rear brake conversion (by BDK)
Regina Race Chain
Taper Steering Head race bearings
Mini Front Brake Fluid Reservoir
Plastic-coating/anodizing of chassis parts etc
Handlebar grips
Lightened and Dynamically Balanced Crankshaft
ARP Connecting rods
1mm over-size Pistons/Rings
Race Camshafts to BDK specs
Big Valve Conversion (by BDK)
New oil pump internals
Race Kit Valve Springs
BDK Race Carburetor kit and mods
Electric starter
Custom Penske racing shock

So what will it take to put you atop race-grade hardware for the holidays? Surprisingly, not as much as you might think. This particular carbon-ensconced sleigh ride is up for auction with a $12,500 BIN – and the seller is open to offers. Sure, that is quite a bit higher than the best FZR400s we have seen on this site, but they were OEM stockers and lacked the carbon, the Dymags and the 86 ponies that make this such a beast.

If nothing else, checking out this auction is a bit like indulging in wretched excess. There is some fantastic detail on this bike, and I sure wouldn’t mind it in my garage. Sometimes it is fun to see what others with money will do – and building a bike like this is apparently one of those things. It may not be a hybrid two stroker GP replica, but I think it is pretty cool. Check out the details, and then let us know what you think!


Honda May 9, 2010 posted by

1991 Honda CBR400RR Titled & Registered In California

Another very nice CBR400RR has popped up in Northern California this time!  Located in Dublin, California is a titled and registered CBR400RR with no mileage listed.  This bike features a 2007 CBR1000RR front end with radial brakes, Penske rear shock, HRC ECU, and the regulator/rectifier modification.  This bike currently has the CBR front end but an RVF400 front end is also available at a different price.  The seller states that this bike is an exceptional example but, does feature some nicks and blemishes.  Service history includes:

Both front ends have recently been serviced, re-sprung and re-valved by Aftershocks. New DID x-ring chain. The tank has recently been cleaned. The carburetors have just been completely gone through by Donny Babb at Modesto Ducati. This bike runs perfect.

The asking price for the bike with the CBR1000RR front end is $6,500 and $5,500 with the RVF400R front end.  Personally, I would buy the bike with the RVF front end, save the money on the purchase and possibly upgrade to the CBR1000RR front end sometime in the future as the RVF front ends are only getting rarer and the CBR1000RR front ends are only getting cheaper.

When these CBR’s were available, they had all the features of a big CBR just in a smaller package.  They feature a DOHC, four valve per cylinder, transverse four cylinder, four stroke, producing 53hp and rev’ing to 14,500rpm.  An aluminum frame kept weight down to 163kg and they featured a Showa adjustable rear shock and flat-side carb’s .  This bike is just as exotic to us American’s as any other gray import but, features the dependability of a Honda four-stroke.  See the 1994 example Jay posted not too long ago here.  If you’re interested-and as always, you should be–see this bike on Craigslist here.

EDIT:  The bike was on Craigslist but, kept getting flagged.  The seller has posted it on BARF and it can be seen here.


Aprilia March 15, 2010 posted by

2001 Aprilia RS250 Aprilia Cup Track/Race Bike In California

We’ve seen a few Aprilia Cup bikes on RSBFS but here is another!  Located in San Francisco, California is a 2001 Aprilia RS250 which is still in Track/Race only condition.  This bike isn’t titled or registered.  We’ve posted around five pages of RS250s over our short time so it’s obvious that we’re happy to share these relatively–it wouldn’t appear so from our site–rare bikes!  Here is the summary of this particular example:

Tyga Exhaust, Barnett Clutch, Domino Quick Turn Throttle, Upgraded O-Ring heads- straight plugs w/ removable inserts, AF1 Top Triple, Samco Silicone Hoses, New- Penske triple clicker rear shock (3 track days on it cost $900), Re-valved stock front end- for 180 lb rider, Dunlop Slicks- 4 track days on them plenty of rubber left, Woodcraft clip-ons, Woodcraft rear sets, Sharkskinz Body work (slight damage from low side), 4 spare rear sprockets, Spare stock rear shock, A few spare front sprockets, spare stock exhaust, full rebuild kit ++ (new pistons in box + all other necessary parts for a top end) Engine completely rebuilt at Scuderia West by previous owner (less than 500 miles ago), GP Tech Fairing Stay, Marchesini Quick Turn Gas Cap, New FuenTubo Brake Lines front and Rear, Spare New Spark Plugs, Full RS250 Maintenance Manual, Aprilia Kit Manual, Rear Stand.

The seller states that this bike has been low-sided twice but looks to be in good condition compared to some track dogs!  The asking price is a fair $4,000; this is what we’ve usually seen these going for and this one has a very decent spares package included.  The bike has approximately 3,000mi.  Until the introduction of the RSV, Aprilia was known for their two-stroke race machines and this looks to be a very nice example of that history.  Spring is on the way and track days are near, see this bike on Craigslist here.


Harley Davidson February 6, 2010 posted by

Rare 1994 Harley Davidson on ebay

1994 VR1000 with only 120 miles is up for grabs on ebay.

Now, before you all go waving your arms and shout: “Harley don’t make sport bikes!”, please read up on the VR1000 as listed on the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame website.  Or check out another VR1000 listed on here previously.

With that knowledge in hand, I present you a :

The 1994 VR 1000 was the first pure racing motorcycle Harley-Davidson ever built. Every other Harley racer, from 1915 through 1993, had been a modified production machine. The VR was purpose-built from the ground up.

Milwaukee has never been comfortable with the concept of purebred competition machines. Eighty years earlier the founders had ‘been dragged mumbling into the racing game, convinced of its necessity only after Indian had captivated the sporting enthusiasts of the 1910s and 1920s.

But once installed in the Milwaukee hierarchy, the racing department proved itself a continuing resource of team spirit and public good will. People rode their motorcycles to the races, and supported their favorite riders and manufacturers.

Harley-Davidson had maintained its support of dirt tack, the traditional American fairgrounds racing, and built a few XR 1000 production-based roadracers. But nothing on Milwaukee’s menu suited the demands of Superbike racing in the 1990s. At the upper outposts of “street bike” competition, the track-wise roadsters weigh 375 pounds (170kg) and produce 150 horsepower. Handling and braking factors are tuned to millisecond response margins. All of which is enormously expensive to achieve.

With some money in the bank, Harley decided to build its second eight-valve racer, with an American engine, chassis and brakes. Engineer Steve Scheibe headed the team, and called in experienced help from NASCAR and Indy Car racing. The project took five years and produced a double-overhead-cam, 60-degree V-twin, with 4-valve heads, Weber-USA electronic fuel injection and liquid cooling. Power went by gear to a multi-disc dry clutch and through a 5-speed transmission.

The first bikes used a Penske inverted fork and Wilwood six-piston brake calipers. The road model carries an Ohlins fork with titanium-coated stanchions. The body work is constructed of carbon fiber, and the factory listed the dry weight at 390lb (176.9kg). The production schedule was set for 50 copies of the VR 1000, the price of each listed at $49,490.

The VR first appeared on the racetrack for the Daytona Superbike race in 1994.

There were few illusions about the early chances, and teething problems were anticipated, but the motorcycle handled remarkably well. Top speed was not at the level of frontrunners, though rider Miguel Duhamel turned in good results on some of the tighter circuits. Results for the 1995 season were disappointing, and rider Doug Chandler had difficulty coming to

terms with the machine. National dirt track champion Chris Carr was also on the team and showed a quick learning curve.

Rumors circulated during the offseason that management disputes in Milwaukee cast doubts on the future of the VR 1000. The factions split as they had a half-century before; the economic rationale perceives big-league factory racing as large expense versus small return. The sporting enthusiast segment says racing pays huge dividends in public relations, and puts the company logo on television. And wins hearts and minds.

This is a great example of 1 of the 50 motorcycles built to homoligate the VR-1000 for the AMA race circuit.

Now, I am probably one of the last Harley fans on earth, but I must say the VR1000 is one special Harley that I would not mind having – and I didn’t even know that only 50 were made! Any serious collector should have one of these in their collection (0r museum)!