Posts by tag: shaft drive

Yamaha May 11, 2019 posted by

Never Say Never – 1982 Yamaha XJ650 Seca Turbo

Someone bought-it-now Friday afternoon – a reader ?   -donn

It was a short bandwagon but early 1980’s was the time for early turbo systems, and Yamaha developed the XJ-650 Turbo but resisted the urge to break the bank.  This Phoenix example is quite clean with just a couple of foibles and barely 10,000 miles.

1982 Yamaha XJ650 Seca Turbo for sale on eBay

Using a relatively low-tech two valve four as a base, the blown 650 used carburetors instead of injection and was rated for 90 hp and 60 ft-lbs. torque.  The YICS intake control system capitalized on the speed of the charge air to improve combustion.  Air cooling limited boost to 7.7 lbs., adding a gentler push than some of the competition.  Exhaust is simplified with one muffler dedicated to the wastegate, emissions kept quieter in the other single muffler.  Despite the higher speeds and weight of the turbo bike, brakes weren’t upgraded from the normally aspirated model.  Styling was one area where the Seca Turbo excelled, with and integrated fairing with a sport touring windscreen and locking glove boxes.

Averaging nearly 20 years for each of its two owners, this XJ650 Turbo has been only occasionally ridden, and looks very good.  The undamaged fairings, pipes, and cases far outweigh the worn stitching and tired trim shown in the owner’s video – here –.  Comments from the eBay auction:

I’m selling my 1982 Yamaha XJ650LJ Seca Turbo.  Low Miles, 10,100  Miles.  Excellent Condition.  2nd owner.  This is the same type used in the James Bond Movie never say never.  Recently serviced.  Runs great!  I also created a video of it running and  a walk around.

James Bond’s stunt double shredded a Turbo in a chase scene early in 1983’s – Never Say Never Again – but the real Seca had a less sporty rep.  The turbo era fizzled shortly afterward, along with a drop in fuel prices.  But each solution had their good points – Yamaha’s showed how 25% more power could be achieved with relative simplicity.  As presented, it’s a lot of bike for the fan, and for the buy-it-now.

-donn

Never Say Never – 1982 Yamaha XJ650 Seca Turbo
Moto Guzzi May 3, 2019 posted by

Talk to me Goose: 1986 Moto Guzzi Lemans IV

The LeMans series is a legendary model in the Moto Guzzi lineup. Originally designed as a sportier V7 model way back in 1976, the LeMans went through a series of updates and changes throughout its life span. From a small-fairing enhanced V7 of the Gen I to the larger sport-touring (and half-faired) look of the Gen II, to a back-to-basics look with small fairing of the Gen III, and then finally the decade-long run of the De Tomaso influenced Gen IV machine, the LeMans has had a number of facelifts. Today’s example is a Gen IV bike. Let’s explore some of the key differences.

1986 Moto Guzzi Lemans IV for sale on eBay

At the heart of the LeMans IV is a full liter of v-twin torque. Upgraded from the 850cc power plants that preceded it, the Mark IV version of the LeMans was bigger in nearly every dimension – except the front tire. Utilizing a 16″ front wheel which was in vogue at the time on GP racers and hyper sport bikes, De Tomaso sought to re-image the LeMans as a sportier machine than it was. Unfortunately without chassis geometry changes, the LeMans IV simply became a bigger, more angular machine with a smaller front end. Handling remained stable – as is the Guzzi tradition – but there was some edginess lost as the LeMans grew older, and performance was nearly on par with the previous generation 850s.

From the seller:
1986 Lemans, totally sorted out. Runs and rides perfectly, very well looked after. New tires, new clutch, ceramic coated Bub exhaust sounds amazing. Very strong running bike. Everything works as it should. Not a show bike, but a very, very nice rider. Needs nothing. I have sold several bikes here and my feedback tells the story. Thanks for looking.

While it is easy to deride the later generation LeMans offerings as being uglier than their predecessors, the LeMans of any configuration is still a good looking motorcycle. Purists may discount the De Tomaso years, but the resultant machines were modern, reliable and long lasting. This particular 1986 example has 58,000 miles on the clock…but certainly does not look like it. These are classic motorcycles to ride for the joy of riding. You are not likely to beat many peers in your riding group on a LeMans, but if you are looking at this that probably isn’t your goal. Pictures are relatively few and there have been some noted modifications, but the auction is currently at a paltry $2,550 at the time of this writing with reserve in place. This could be a sweet bargain Guzzi in the making depending upon where the reserve is set. Check it out here, and then jump back to the Comments and share some LeMans stories. Which generation is your favorite, and why? Good Luck!

MI

Talk to me Goose: 1986 Moto Guzzi Lemans IV
Moto Guzzi April 19, 2019 posted by

Idiosyncratic – 1987 Moto Guzzi Le Mans 1000SE

The Le Mans’ long history included a run of just 100 Special Editions for 1987, in classic red and white.  This NorCal example is in surprising condition for its age and miles.

1987 Moto Guzzi Le Mans 1000 SE for sale on eBay

The Le Mans was already venerable in 1987, having been introduced in 1976, and the 1000 SE was essentially a Mk. IV design with a few DeTomaso-era details.  Based on the square-head Le Mans III, the 948cc longitudinal twin pushes 81 hp at a modest 7,400 rpm.  The crankshaft sits low in the traditional downtube frame, the long chassis providing a stable platform, made a little snappier by the 16-inch front wheel.  Classic eighties livery is making a high speed pass when parked.

Having somehow survived 30-plus years and almost 28,000 miles, this SE has just a few scrapes to show for it.  K&N filters, head guards, and Corbin seat are signature updates.  Not much maintenance history in the comments but the compromise handlebars are admitted in the eBay auction:

This bike is all original except that the stock clip-on handle bars have been replaced by a standard handle bar. The handle bar now on the bike makes for a more comfortable riding position. Very good condition, fully sorted, runs well, needs absolutely nothing. I ride this bike frequently around the San Francisco Bay area. California title and current registration. The only obvious cosmetic flaw is a small scratch on the left rear seat bodywork, shown in one photo. The bike is entirely unrestored with all original paint, decals, and seat. A Corbin seat also comes with the bike and is shown in one photo.

The Le Mans 1000 reviewed as a European thoroughbred, not at the leading edge of technology but a torquey bullet.  Some may find it a bit of an ask for such a rider, but as they say, no more are being made.  Despite its rubs and chips, this one is complete, nearly correct, and operational.

-donn

Idiosyncratic – 1987 Moto Guzzi Le Mans 1000SE
Moto Guzzi April 1, 2019 posted by

Italian Sweetheart: 1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza

Moto Guzzi has a long and storied history in the annals of motorcycling. Among the oldest motorcycle manufacturer – and THE oldest if you consider the “…in contiguous operation…” caveat (simultaneously turning a blind eye to the few lean years where they were between owners and technically not in production) – the Guzzi trademark is really the splayed out V-twin look. Turning the cylinders across the bike rather than inline (like an Aprilia, Honda or H-D) allows the power to flow through the crankshaft and provides direct input into the transmission and final shaft drive without having to make any 90 degree turns. Much like a BMW with folded-up cylinders, Moto Guzzi has resolutely clung to this configuration as if nostalgia were the sole meaning of existence. Modern examples of
the transversal V-twin* (* official Guzzi marketing nomenclature) have introduced updated technology, but to this day the twin cylinder arrangement remains as an anchor feature of the M-G brand.

1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza for sale on eBay

The V50 Monza was the baby brother to the V7 and LeMans models. Displacing a modest 500cc and producing an even more modest 48 horsepower, the Monza configuration provided for bigger valves and different carbs over that of the standard V50. With a dry weight of 355 pounds, the Monza is no high performance scooter. But to compare quarter mile times (somewhat on par with a Toyota Prius) really misses the intent of the V50 platform. Intending to introduce an entirely new group of riders to the mystique and cachet of the Moto Guzzi brand, the V50 was an attempt to create a smaller, more approachable and more affordable slot in the Moto Guzzi lineup. Sadly the buying public did not line up to purchase the V50 (or its even smaller brother, the V35), making this an often overlooked motorcycle.

From the seller:
The Moto Guzzi V50 Monza’s were a real gem that is often overlooked. There are said to be only about 100 of them that were sold in the United States. They are essentially a baby LeMans, but their lower weight and smaller size make them a very nice bike for back roads or local cruising. They are smooth, dependable, reasonably fast, and the design is very attractive. You just have to love the alligator-patterned seat vinyl. No plastics (to speak of) and lots of beautifully cast aluminum.

I’ve had this 29,895 mile bike for 5 years and its one of my favorite drives. We have rebuilt the carbs and done all maintenance regularly. There are no mechanical or electrical or cosmetic issues. The tires are a few years old and have nearly all there tread. While the bike has a lot of miles, it is impeccable. There are no paint blemishes, wear, scratches, or fading of any sort. This is a pristine survivor. No excuses.

I’m not sure the silencers are OEM, but they came with the bike. It sounds great, The Guzzi sound is pretty unique. There is no other bike that sounds like these narrow sideways V’s. Sort of an Italian Harley sound. The bike made a fair amniunt of power for the day. The 45 hp motor was in part due to the fairly novel use of Heron heads. The other small bike of the era that used them was the iconic Moto Morini 3 1/2. Incredibly smooth ride due to the shaft drive (which is beautifully enclosed in the right rear swing arm).

My only additions to the bike was to install the beautiful Alberts bar-end mirrors, new tires, and a new OEM windscreen.

Time is said to heal all wounds, and eventually makes (nearly) everything valuable again (ever surf eBay for fun?). With 38 years and nearly 30,000 miles behind it, this 1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza looks pretty incredible. The colors are vibrant and the instrument cluster looks unblemished (and no rash on the top of the triple trees!). There is some discoloration and staining on the cases and cylinder heads which is simply an indication of normal use. From the pictures this looks like a time capsule, and with legendary Guzzi longevity this would be a bike to putt around on for decades to come. The current bid on this beauty is a paltry $3,200, with reserve still in place. Depending where that reserve is set, this baby Guzzi could be a bargain in the making. It’s hard to believe the seller would let it go for peanuts after lavishing such care on this Italian beauty, but as we see so few of these rare models come across our pages it is definitely worth a look. Into classic Moto Guzzi models? Check this one out here, and then be sure and jump back to the comments and share your thoughts and experience with this lesser known example. Good Luck!!

MI

Italian Sweetheart:  1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza
Moto Guzzi January 26, 2019 posted by

Italian Oddity: 1987 Moto Guzzi V65 Lario for Sale

Even if you’re an Italian bike fan, this one might have flown under your radar. But that’s what we do here at RareSportbikesforSale.com: let you know that interesting bikes like the Moto Guzzi V65 Lario exist. I especially love 80s Moto Guzzis because they’re generally pretty durable and very affordable. They won’t set the world on fire with their performance, but they’re quirky, stylish, and pretty good handlers, if you allow for the fact that it’s a 32 year old motorcycle on 16″ wheels.

The bike could work up a decent turn of speed, with 60hp and a five-speed gearbox that meant the bike could do an honest 110+ with good handling for the time. Oddly, Moto Guzzi’s 643cc “middleweight” was a more mechanically sophisticated machine than their big Le Mans. It was still air-cooled, but had four-valve Heron-style heads, with the four valves operated by pushrods and rockers, similar to the setup used in the later four-valve Daytona. Heron heads, if you’re not familiar, have flat surfaces instead of domed or hemispheric combustion chambers, with recesses cut for valves and spark plugs. Instead, Heron-head engines generally use dished-top pistons to allow room for the fuel/air charge. This means the heads are easier to produce, and Heron heads have been used in a number of automotive applications, including Jaguar’s V12.

Unfortunately, the 4-valve “small block” Guzzis have a reputation for catastrophic failures. Digging around the Guzzi forums, the problem likely stemmed [ahem] from the two-piece valves that tended to fracture, although the cam and valve springs have also been blamed. Who knows? You might get lucky and the bike will be fine, or a combination of softer valve springs, a set of Suzuki 250N valves, and careful use might see you through, but… caveat emptor.

Hopefully by now that’s either been an issue and rectified, or never will be a problem, but I do get a bit nervous when I see a low-mileage example come up for sale. Easy to check though, with those cylinder heads sticking out proud of the bodywork like that, and the owner may be aware of them being checked recently or repaired. Bottom line: if you buy one, try out the updated valves and springs recommended by the Guzzi message boards and ride it with your fingers crossed until it breaks, then see about finding a two-valve engine from a different model. I believe the 750cc Nevada engine is a popular choice for this, if you can find one.

I love the huge, white-faced Veglia tachometer on a bike that probably doesn’t even need a tach, the padded “safety” dash, and the button key. If you’ve never seen an original Guzzi key from the era, the fob basically folds over once the key is in place, forming a sort of knob you turn to switch on the ignition [see above]. Bodywork is swoopy and very 80s, but will provoke questions wherever you go. First and most common: “Moto Guzzi? Who makes that?”

This isn’t pristine, but is in very nice condition and should make a great, quirky weekend ride if you want something interesting and don’t have a ton of cash to splash. If you’re looking for a budget classic, the V35 and V50 are obviously not as fast, but sweet-handling and much more reliable. All-in-all, it’s a funky little bike, but there are reasons they don’t go for very much and have low miles. If you like to tinker, it might be worth a shot.

From the original eBay listing: 1987 Moto Guzzi V65 Lario for Sale

I bought this bike in 1993 and I am the second owner. Very low miles always starts up no problem, idle is a little rough when cold but fine when warmed up, carb balance is difficult to maintain on these even with the right tools. Previous owner had megaphones on it and said he had changed jets to suit, I put the original exhausts back on and messed with jets but couldn’t find any better set up than what it has now, it runs great accelerates very well  and it is pretty fast for an old 650.

The only issues I have had are leaking fuel lines and carb/intake connections, all of which have been replaced.

There are a few cosmetic issues that I tried to show in the photos, mainly with cheap plastic and paint. The fairing has a crack across it which has been repaired with a fiberglass patch across the back leaving a small step, this could be buffed and painted but the crack is only visible from the underside. The belly fairing also has a stress crack down the front; nothing has been done to it. Some of the engine paint is peeling under the carbs due to the fuel leaks and on the bevel gear housing; the front forks have a few scratches due to tag stickers and their removal. Some of the red wheel paint is flaking but this is an easy fix.

The air cleaner box has been removed and K&N filters installed and the seat replaced with a Corbin single. The only other mod was to replace the remote choke lever assembly with individual carb mounted levers. I have the remote assembly.

It has the original tool kit, a few spares, including the megaphones, at least two keys and a clear title.

I can deliver to a shipping point within 50 miles of Columbia SC.

The price is right, the bike is funky, and it makes Italian v-twin noises, although there’s more sound than fury. The biggest limiting factor could be the 16″ wheels: rear tires are particularly hard to find in the correct sizes, and some of the bigger Guzzis suffered handling issues when fitted with the smaller hoop. They look a little strange too. 18″ wheels supposedly fixed the bigger Gooses, so maybe that’s an option here, if you don’t like the way the Lario goes around corners. Parts may also be hard to come by, although these days you can probably get used bits from Europe via eBay.

-tad

Italian Oddity: 1987 Moto Guzzi V65 Lario for Sale
Moto Guzzi January 18, 2019 posted by

The Manly Ride: 1978 Moto Guzzi Le Mans

My knowledge of French comes courtesy of car manufacturer Renault (pronounced Run-Not) who marketed Le Car in the 1970s. It came with Le Tires, Le Hubcaps, and Le tiny little motor. But it was, according to Renault, a car. Popular Mechanics dubbed it a French VW Rabbit, low on style but practical and useful. Thankfully the Italians speak foreign languages better than we Yanks. And in Italian, Le Mans is not merely The Men, but rather a reference to a popular French vacation locale along the Sarthe river. Oh, and also the name of a pretty famous racetrack known for endurance competition. And unlike Le Car, the Le Mans is high on style, while still offering practicality and performance. Today’s find is a first generation 850cc example in Le Euro trim.

1978 Moto Guzzi Le Mans for sale on eBay

The Moto Guzzi Le Mans was introduced in 1976. Today we think of these as Gen I machines, however there was no such official nomenclature for the original release; that came with the introduction of the Gen II design. There were two different builds of this model, referred to as Series One and Series Two. The Series One bikes were the first (approximately) 2,000 examples, and the most rare. The Series Two bikes had some minor cosmetic changes (different seat, rectangular tail light, black fork sliders, etc), and numbered approximately 4,000. Either way you look at it, the first generation of the Le Mans is relatively rare today – especially one wearing original patina and remaining relatively stock.

From the seller:
1978 Moto Guzzi Lemans euro. I’ve owned and cared for this bike since early 2001.

It started it’s life in London,England, was moved to Los Angeles, where i purchased it, and now lives in Ohio where i now work. I have a bit of paperwork on the provenance of the bike. This Moto Guzzi is a very low mileage bike that is all original except for raask period rearsets and side covers. I have the original foam seat, front turn signals, and one of the original sidecovers. The right side cover was lost 20 years ago on a freeway. All of these items are included and in excellent condition.

The aftermarket seat was an item I purchased from Italy 15 years ago. It has proved to be a good looking, functional piece for this bike. This Guzzi runs like a freight train, like original, unmolested lemans should. Only Guzzi and Ducati savvy mechanics have touched this bike it’s whole life.

The euro models have non matching frame and engine numbers, all can be traced, and a short headlight frame, and no bright orange fairing paint job. This bike has an excellent original patina, no crashes, dents, etc. Engine is very tight, with only some minor weep dusting at the back. Makes you wonder why people ever had to restore these bikes. All gauges, electrical work as expected.

These early Moto Guzzis can be thought of as very similar to air-head era BMWs. The hardware layout of air-cooled twin with longitudinal crank, pushrod two-valve heads, inline transmission and shaft drive is the same – if you bent the Beemer’s cylinders upwards 45 degrees per side. Brakes on both are Brembos. Swap the Bing carbs for Dellortos and you have Le Guzzi! Blip the throttle and the torque roll is the same between the Italian and German machine. So too is the driveshaft reaction that causes the rear of the bike to raise under throttle, and drop when the throttle is cut. But resemblances end there. Unlike the Teutonic autobhan stormer, the Le Mans is just so, well, Italian. The Le Mans looks faster, offers a reasonably stout 80 HP thanks to high compression pistons, and offers the immutable “cafe racer” look before that look was a collector thing.

This particular bike started life across the pond, but now lives in the US. As a result it wears some cosmetic differences compared to officially imported examples. The owner(s) have also made some mods, all which look to be non destructive. The black side covers look period correct, but the originals were color coded to the bike (fun fact: not all Le Mans models were red/black). So this is not perfectly original as if it were parked in a museum since Day 1 – but you should age this well. At 41 years new, this bike is just hitting its mechanical stride, and is perfect for a rider. Prices are always hot for pre-80s Guzzis, and this one is starting right at the five figure territory (with no takers as of yet). Check it out here, and then hit the Comments for a compare and contrast: How do you take your vintage Guzzi? Would you prefer a plain V7, or the Le Mans? Let us know, and Le Good Luck!!

MI

The Manly Ride:  1978 Moto Guzzi Le Mans
BMW December 19, 2018 posted by

HP What ? – 2012 BMW K1300S HP

With mid-size car power and somewhat lighter weight, BMW’s K1300S jumped onto the bus headed for the dragstrip with the Hayabusa, ZX-14, VFR1200F, and Triumph Sprint GT.  The rare HP limited edition upped the ante with titanium Akrapovich exhaust, and everything that wasn’t electronically adjustable was carbon fiber.

2012 BMW K1300S HP for sale on eBay

For 2008, BMW increased the bore of their almost-1200cc inline four to arrive at 1293cc.  Double overhead cams, four valves per cylinder, and digital electronic fuel injection conspire to make 173 hp, with 103 ft.-lbs. torque peaking at 8,250 rpm.  It’s a long reach out to the adjustable handlebars, but the factory rear-set pegs are a help.  The Duolever front end and shaft drive are chapter and verse from the BMW hymnal, but you can select the mode for the HP’s ESA electronically adjustable suspension on the fly.  ABS and traction/stability control are on-off only, and tire pressure monitoring completes the car-like spec sheet.  Carbon is there for the mudguards, airbox ( i.e. tank ) cover, clutch cover, and seat console.

 

Coming out of Brooklyn, this K1300S has relatively low miles, seemingly undamaged and stock except for a gel seat.  Starting bid seems competitive for a bike with an original MSRP of $20K-plus.  Tank bag and choice of windscreen round out the accessories, and though there’s no BIN, maybe the rear stand and battery will come with.  From the eBay auction:

2012 K1300S HP limited edition number 215 out of 750 in excellent condition with only 9830 miles.  New Continental Sport Attack tires with 300 miles on them.  Comes with ESA, ASC and ABS.  Gear shift assistant-heated grips, BMW tank bag and clear and smoked wind screens.  Leather gel seat for those longer rides.  Akrapovic exhaust, radar detector (adaptive technology and the white powder coated wheels round out this great motorcycle.  Never been down.  I have the clean title in hand.  Buy it now and I will throw in a rear BMW wheel stand and a BMW battery charger.

 

The HP reviewed well, most of its mass vanishing once under way.  Hard to imagine how the platform could be developed further, and it didn’t find a home in BMW’s line-up after 2016.  Like its heavyweight counterparts, it only needs access to a nice open road and a major hole in the schedule.  Maybe that rider is out there watching this auction, with just one day to run…

-donn

 

HP What ? – 2012 BMW K1300S HP
BMW December 2, 2018 posted by

Fan Fave – 2003 BMW R1100S Boxer Cup Replika

While BMW’s wide-ranging catalogue didn’t justify a MotoGP campaign, their sport division had a proper bike and its own support race series.  With the brand ambassador Randy Mamola’s signature in paint on the fairing, this R1100S BCR has 20K miles and a spotless presentation.

2003 BMW R1100S Boxer Cup Replika for sale on eBay

 

BMW put its then most powerful engine in the R1100S as early as 1998, with a single cam for each cylinder actuating four valves, resulting in 98 hp at just 7,500 rpm.  The engine was a stressed chassis member, with front and rear subframes attached top and bottom.  The Telelever front uses a compact monoshock, as does the Paralever shaft-drive rear.  The staggered 17 and 18-inch wheels help the heavyweight turn in sharply.  Special parts for the later BCR include dual-spark heads, longer fork tubes for greater lean angles, Laser exhaust, and carbon head covers and mudguards.

 

Despite some miles, this Replika is in outstanding shape, and offered by a Bay Area dealer.  Pictures are mostly overall views but indicate none of the usual brushes with reality.  From the eBay auction:

This is a track version of the R1100S, (albeit this track machine is shaft drive and comes with heated grips) and is the mostly unadulterated BCR version of the R1100S and retains everything that makes it a fantastic sport tourer including an upright riding position that allows for the ample leverage needed to wrestle the heavy machine from side to side.

Aside from the blatant difference in livery, rear-solo cowl, and carbon fiber valve covers – complete with sliders – there aren’t many differences between the regular R1100S and BCR-spec models.  The Boxer Cup Replika (BCR) bikes were equipped with Ohlins suspension, a Laser exhaust, and a special paint livery with Randy Mamola’s signature. The BCR’s 1085cc twin makes 98hp at 7,500RPM and 71.5 ft-lbs of torque at 5,750RPM. A top speed of 140 mph is nothing too special, granted it does weigh in at just over 500lbs. A 31.5-inch seat height allows for surprisingly sporty riding (when you’re not scraping that ridiculously wide engine) and it’s 4.75 gallon fuel capacity is said to be good for a cool 150 miles.

 

Randy Mamola might be the winningest Moto-GP rider without a championship, having placed 2nd four times in the series and 3rd twice, all in the 500cc two-stroke formula.  He went on to test-riding and race broadcast commentary, and hosted BMW fans in the Grand Prix paddock for Boxer Cup races.  This Replika is a highlight, at least among fans of the marque, and is a nice example for the miles…

-donn

Fan Fave – 2003 BMW R1100S Boxer Cup Replika
MV Agusta December 1, 2018 posted by

Classic Italian Superbike: 1975 MV Agusta 750S America for Sale

I’m sure everyone who bought F4s, back when seemingly every version of that bike was a limited edition of one kind or another, was hoping to capture a bit of what  the MV Agusta 750S America offered: exclusivity, collectiblity, and ever-increasing values. It didn’t necessarily offer class leading performance because, while MV was famous for its racetrack successes, their roadbike was relatively tame: power was average and the bike was fairly heavy, with performance-sapping shaft-drive.

Shaft-drive was a viable, and far more reliable alternative to chain-and-sprocket setups back in the 1970s, and both the Moto Guzzi LeMans and BMW R90S managed to be competitive machines in spite of the performance handicap of shaft drive. But MV supposedly included shaft-drive on their roadbike specifically to limit performance, so privateers couldn’t simply buy a 750S and compete against MV’s factory efforts. The new bike really embodied a shift in the motorcycle market, away from the practical, small-displacement machines MV was producing for road use in the 1950s and towards more powerful, expensive four-cylinder machines exemplified by the Honda CB750 and Kawasaki Z1.

The complete 750S was relatively heavy and engine was designed to be durable, to suit the bike’s more grand touring mission statement. But its racing heritage shone through and the powerplant was pretty narrow, with gear-driven cams, exotic-looking sand-cast engine cases, and a complete lack of any filtration for the quartet of Dellorto carburetors. The original version displaced 742cc, made 69hp, and had drum brakes to haul the 560lbs wet machine down from the 130mph top speed. That sounds pretty unimpressive now, but was par for the course at the time among four-cylinder superbikes.

The 750S America that followed, known as the 800 Super America in parts of Europe, increased displacement to 787cc for a bump in horsepower and torque. It also moved the gearshift to the left-hand side in an effort to appeal to the US buyers, which makes sense considering it was marketed as the “America.” This later version was still burdened with that heavy driveshaft, but Arturo Magni, who worked with MV Agusta’s racing team during their heyday, manufactured a chain-drive conversion for the 750S. Magni is still in business, and maybe they can be persuaded to whip up another one for you, if you’re so inclined.

From the original eBay listing: 1975 MV Agusta 750S America

Most of you know the history of MV Agusta, with their 37 world championships with the likes of Read, Surtees and Agostini. The story of this bike is that it was conceived by the U.S. importer, Chris Garville, as a limited-edition (200 for the 1975 model year) sport bike for the American market based on the existing 750 Sport; that bike became known as the 750S America.

This 1975 750S America was one of the earliest models imported into the US, with engine number 221012 and frame number 221009.

First of only two owners was the importer, Garville Corporation, where it was used in displays, shows and magazine tests: as featured in Cycle, Big Bike and Motor Cycle World to name a few. Ownership was then transferred to Peter Garville (brother of importer Chris) in where it stayed in his possession until 1990.

Included with the motorcycle is a large collection of: Factory correspondence to support its provenance, magazine articles specific to this particular motorcycle, period brochures, and spare parts.

For further information please see the recently featured May/June 2018 edition of the American magazine Motorcycle Classics –

https://www.motorcycleclassics.com/classic-italian-motorcycles/classic-mv-agusta-motorcycles/1975-mv-agusta-750s-america-zmwz18mjzhur

As second owner, I acquired the bike from Garville in 1990 by way of famed restorer Perry Bushong (one of the first MV Agusta dealers in the US). Perry and I have had a life long friendship and working relationship. When he heard that this bike was coming up for sale he knew that this bike was for me. When I heard the sound of the 4 into 4 exhaust I was hooked and that is when it became mine. In 1994 I had the opportunity to meet John Surtees at Daytona and he was kind enough to autograph the fuel tank. After that the bike was ridden sporadically, mostly at bike events, rallys and shows until 2014 when I took it back to Perry to ask him to do the restoration, which was completed in the Fall of 2016. We added the curved racing exhaust built by Dave Kay in England, something I had always wanted to do as it looks fantastic and sounds like no other motorcycle on the road!

Sadly in 2017 both Perry and Mr. Surtees passed away within one week of each other.

The 750S was $6,500 when new, the equivalent of around $40,000 in today’s dollars. The starting bid for this one is $75,000 with no bids as yet, but plenty of time left on the auction. Fortunately, this machine has gracefully curved four-into-four exhaust pipes instead of the straight megaphones seen on earlier bikes that look good and sound better. There’s a reason Yamaha’s cross-plane crank has made such a big splash in recent years: traditional flat-plane crank inline fours are powerful, but can be a bit bland. But if you’re expecting the sanitary rustle of a modern four here, you’ll be shocked by the 750S America’s shrieking exhaust note and the bike has thoroughbred handling to match, in spite of the weight.

-tad

Classic Italian Superbike: 1975 MV Agusta 750S America for Sale