Posts by tag: Sport Touring

Ducati March 14, 2017 posted by

Odd Duck: 1982 Ducati Pantah 600TL for Sale

Pantah Week continues with this very rare, and very oddly-styled machine. When you say “Ducati” to pretty much anyone, it conjures up images of sleek, exotic, often uncomfortable machines designed to win at all costs on track and inflame the desires of motorcyclists all over the world. What you wouldn’t normally imagine is something like this basically brand-new Ducati Pantah 600TL…

While the sport-touring oriented bodywork of the 600TL may not be to everyone’s taste, there’s nothing wrong with the components under the skin: it’s motivated by the same 583cc, two-valve v-twin and five-speed gearbox as the 600SL sportbike. It uses the same as well, so handling should be excellent, although it is less stable at high speeds than its sportier brother and the top speed is lower. That funky black front fender looks like a replacement item, but period ads and photos suggest that this is in fact the original part.

 

Obviously there have been a few styling misfires from Ducati over the years: their Giorgetto Giugiaro-styled 860GT was certainly not well-liked when new, although time and a general love of all things bevel-drive have seen values of even that much-maligned machine steadily increasing in value. And sportier 600SLs languished in unloved obscurity until recently, when prices have begun to rise, along with bikes like yesterday’s 750 F1. Will time be as kind to the the 600TL? It may be too soon to tell, but this particular bike has virtually no miles on it and is basically a museum-piece, so it might be a good place to start for weird Ducati speculators.

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Ducati Pantah 600TL for Sale

This is a brand new 1982 600TL.  It has 2.9 miles on it.  It comes with book, tools and parts manual.  I bought this bike from the stocking Ducati dealer in Ohio.  He told me that in 1982 30 600TL came to the US and that this is one of them.  The bike has never been driven, the battery has never had battery acid in it.  It has a Conti muffler, 36 Din Delorto carbs.  This bike has all custom papers and duty paid for Canada, but the US title is still on hand.  This bike is extremely rare, it may be the only new one in the world!

Normally rare, zero-mile bikes are a recipe for a static display. But in this case, all the parts you’d need to get it roadworthy should be readily available. You could probably even slot in a much larger, more powerful version of the venerable L-twin with a bit of work… The starting bid is set at $8,250 with no takers as yet although there is still plenty of time left on the auction. I’ve never seen one for sale before, and it’s very rare here in the USA, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll ever really be worth all that much to collectors, except as an oddity.

-tad

Odd Duck: 1982 Ducati Pantah 600TL for Sale
MZ November 23, 2016 posted by

Iron Curtain: 2005 MZ 1000S for Sale

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Looking a bit like Aprilia’s Falco, the MZ 1000S was a high-end sport-touring motorcycle from a largely forgotten East German manufacturer that was powered by a big-bore parallel-twin engine. What could possibly go wrong? Well, not much really: as the seller mentions, parts to maintain the 1000S are available online, they’ve got a good reputation for reliability, and are apparently relatively easy to service. If you’re looking for something quirky and practical, with real-world performance, this might be worth a look.

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Unfortunately MZ or Motorrad und Zweiradwerk is relatively unheard of outside vintage biking circles and fans of weird 90’s bikes powered by Yamaha singles. And even if you know the name, you might associate it with agricultural-grade, commuters and smoky two-strokes, which is hardly the image they were trying to present with this upmarket machine. More likely, they’d want you to remember their racing roots, and the fact that MZ two-strokes developed by Walter Kaaden basically set the standard for two-stroke performance and dominated the smaller racing classes between 1955-1976. The Japanese really only broke their stranglehold when racer Ernst Denger defected and took the brand’s racing secrets to Suzuki…

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Parallel-twin engines aren’t found in too many premium motorcycles these days: they’re reliable and very compact, but tend to vibrate badly as displacements increase. Just ask Norton and Triumph… But with modern balance-shafts, vibration is manageable, and parallel-twins offer up the character and midrange of a v-twin without the packaging challenges, and the MZ’s engine was backed by a six-speed cassette gearbox. Made for just three years before disappearing, along with the rest of MZ, the bike received positive, if not glowing reviews.

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

You are bidding on my 2005 MZ 1000S “sport touring” bike. This bike is in great condition with very low mileage, a little over 2,000 miles,and ready for thousands more. This bike is totally stock with no mods, and really a steal for what you are getting. There are many “Chinese” bikes going for this price, but you get real German engineering/quality with this one. Here are the details:

This bike is in great shape, and I just had the following done within the last month. All oil/filters changed to factory spec Silkolene products, as well as brake & clutch fluids. Battery replaced at the same time, so this bike is ready for many miles. Starts right up,and runs though the 6-speed cassette transmission with no issues. Previous owner swapped out the gearing from factory original 17/43 sprockets to Vortex 16/45 sprockets to aid in upper end tractability. I do not have the original; sprockets, but they are easily obtainable on eBay if desired. The original turn signals were replaced by the previous owner, and I do not have the originals.

Cosmetically the bike is in great shape with a small amount of scratches in the factory paint here & there, but by no means rough. Hard to actually photograph to be honest.

Parts are easily obtainable from Grahams Motorcycles in the UK, and a lot of the the consumable items such as sprockets, brake pads,filters are readily available on eBay. Original factory owners manual included. Clear title ready to transfer.

Overall a really nice bike that will not get “lost in the crowd” of also ran sport bikes. Please ask questions, as all sales are final, and shipping transport must be completed within 2-3 weeks unless prior arrangements made. A Paypal deposit of $250.00 due within 48 hrs of auction’s end, and full payment within 7 days. Also, please make sure you clear it with your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend /dog/cat before bidding. Thanks!

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The Buy It Now price is listed at $4,499.99 which, aside from looking like it belongs in the window of something on a used-car lot, is a pretty screaming deal, considering the performance and rarity. It’s not going to offer cutting-edge performance, but that was never the intent. Instead, it’s a mature sportbike you can ride to the twisties, then through the twisties, without needing a chiropractor at the end of the day.

-tad

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Iron Curtain: 2005 MZ 1000S for Sale
BMW September 21, 2016 posted by

Brave New World Squared – 1990-91 BMW K1

Mid-1980’s BMW was already planning around the end of the air-cooled era, and developed the 1-liter straight four for the K100.  Marketing naturally wanted pizazz, and the response was the 16-valve K1, with bodywork achieving an unheard-of 0.34 drag coefficient.  Controversial as all ground-breaking designs are, the K1 was fast if not quick, and gave BMW an updated and sporty image.

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1990  and 1991 BMW K1 for sale on eBay

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The rather car-like longitudinal four used in the K100 and K1 at least had the advantage of keeping the heavy parts low in the frame.  With lighter crankshaft and connecting rods, the 100 hp K1  suffered less from secondary vibrations which were a nuisance for the K100.  The bike used conventional front forks and an updated monoshock shaft drive rear.  Brakes were sized for the mission, with dual 305mm front disks and single 285mm rear.  Customary for the time, a 17-inch front tire helped turn-in with the 18-inch rear.

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But of course the elephant in the showroom was the 7-piece fairing set, for once not black with white pinstripes, but RED with yellow suspension and accents, also a nice Sapphire or Prussian blue or black with yellow graphics, and you could get gray with white graphics.  For sure a love-hate affair, the fairings did have some integral storage and allowed the K1 to achieve nearly 150 mph.

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Evidently a trade-in and given a good going over by the northeast flagship dealer, the “McDonalds” K1 looks great and should be ready to double or triple its 10,545 miles.  From the eBay auction:

Exceptionally clean and rare 1990 BMW K1 in Marrakech Red! This bike has low miles and is ready to ride. We did an extensive amount of work to this bike upon taking it in on trade. Paint is in beautiful shape. There are 2 small cracks along the lower front fender, common area to see on this particular model bike. Aside from that, the bike is in excellent shape, both mechanically and cosmetically.

Below is a list of work performed, for additional details, please contact us:

(1) PERFORM SAFETY CHECK INSPECT FLUID

(2) MIKE PUT 300 MILES ON IT

(3) RENEW INPUT SHAFT SEAL

(4) RENEW PINION SHAFT SEAL

(5) INSPECTION OF FLASHERS NOT WORKING

(6) RENEW FRONT BRAKE RESV SEAL

(7) INSPECTION OF INTAKE BOOT

(8) RETORQUE PIVOT BEARINGS

(9) RENEW FRONT AND REAR BRAKE FLUID

(10) RENEW MASTER CYLINDER

(12) RENEW ABS PUMP WITH CUST SUPPLIED PUMP

(13) REBUILD BRAKE CALIPERS

(14) RENEW FORK SEALS

(15) RENEW MAIN BEARING

(16) RENEW TIRES, FRONT AND REAR W/ MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 3

(17) RESEAL FRONT COVER; LEAKING

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This grey edition was also recently refurbished by a long-time fan.  Rather a rider with 45,000 miles, it has some classic BMW mods, such as conspicuity lights and fork gaiters.  From the eBay auction:

1991 BMW K-1. I purchased this K-1 last year and planned to keep and ride after doing a considerable maintenance. However, at my age 72, I have found the aggressive riding position is not fun for me. This K1 was not ridden much by the previous owner in the past ten years and needed some maintenance when I bought the bike. 

Some of the work completed:

Front and rear brake master cylinders were rebuilt.
All brake lines were replaced with Spieglier Stainless lines.
Both tires were replaced.
All fluids and filters replaced including the engine coolant, and fuel tank filter.
Spark Plugs replaced.
All engine and drive splines cleaned and lubed.
Rubber engine breather tube replaced.
Equipped with Throttle Meister throttle lock. Also has modification that activates the rear turn signals with the brake lights. Photo blaster front lights and Hyper rear brake lights.

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BMW was reigning in the power, fearing aggressive legislation, else the K1 could have had more than 100 ponies to play with.  The competition was unconcerned with staying under 100 hp, and produced machines that were lighter, more powerful, and way less expensive.  Still, the flagship K1 accomplished its goal, getting attention and drawing folks into the showroom, where the stealth colors, ABS, factory luggage, and tasteful graphics made more sense.  Sidling over toward sportier touring, plenty of K1’s have seen lots of miles, and paved the way for racier machines with marque race series like the R1100S.  These K1’s are again ready to carry the flag, at least in a classic-sport way…

-donn

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Brave New World Squared – 1990-91 BMW K1
Laverda August 18, 2016 posted by

Throwback Thursday: 1983 Laverda RGS1000 for Sale

1983 Laverda RGS1000 R Front

While many of the 80s bikes we’ve featured recently look relentlessly forward, spending their lives on the bleeding-edge of sportbike design, other manufacturers were necessarily stuck in the past, limited by budgets and working to maximize the potential of existing, sometimes moribund designs like today’s Laverda RGS1000. Laverda had certainly earned its fair share of laurels in the 1970s with their SFC endurance-racing machines but, fueled by strong sales, the Japanese manufacturers’ experimental output exploded in the mid-to-late 1980s. We saw everything from big-bore inline fours to two-stroke, V3 race-replicas and the European manufacturers were left trying to shift some suddenly very obsolete machines.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 L Rear

Laverda’s manly 981cc three-cylinder Jota of the late 1970s was in every way a sport bike: uncompromised by comfort or practicality, obsessed with speed, power, and loud noises: it was rare, exotic, and required real commitment to ride, especially if you were under 5’10”. But keeping pace with the Japanese in terms of outright performance meant developing a new engine, something that the small company could not afford.

So Laverda wisely cashed in on their brand’s racing history and Italian sportbike credentials to recast their top-of-the-line sportbike as something more of a racy sport-tourer with a revised frame and fully-enclosed bodywork. The fuel door in the front of the fairing is an interesting detail and speaks to the bike’s new mission. Could the RGS keep up with the latest and greatest machines from the Land of the Rising Sun? Certainly not, at least on the race track, but handling was excellent and that big engine was no slouch. By pitching their revised RGS at a well-heeled clientele less likely to buy a bike based on some ever-changing performance-per-dollar ratio, Laverda targeted a premium segment and attempted to stave off the inevitable. Unfortunately, the bike was good but it was also expensive.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Cockpit

Although the cognoscenti typically prefer the earlier Laverda triples with their raucous 180° “one up, two down” crankshaft to the later, much more refined 120° bikes, don’t think that the RGS is some shrinking violet. “Refinement” is a relative term, and an RGS with a free-flowing exhaust is one of the best sounding motorcycles I’ve ever heard, even if the sound is snarling out of the pipes of a somewhat awkward-looking machine. Today’s example isn’t perfect, but appears to have been sympathetically maintained and it certainly hasn’t been left to slowly rust away in a shed somewhere, based on the miles its covered…

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Engine Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Laverda RGS 1000 for Sale

Good condition, strong runner. Has no mechanical issues. Recently gone through by noted Laverda experts Wolfgang and Chris Haerter. Many parts replaced including, but not limited to. Wheel bearings, drive chain and sprockets, tires, entire exhaust, brake lines, cam chain, engine oil, fuel lines, carburetors ultrasonic, DMC ignition, Dyna coils, Foot control linkages, all rubbers, mirrors. Has no leaks starts very well and sounds amazing. 

A very good example of a well looked after daily rider. 

1983 Laverda RGS1000 R Side

There are 86,000 miles on the bike, but these engines are very well built and, assuming the maintenance has been done as indicated, there should be plenty of life left in this beast still. Obviously, if your heart pumps premix and your riding boots all have their toes ground off, this probably isn’t the bike for you. But if a classy gentleman’s express appeals and you want something far sexier and more exotic than a BMW twin, the RGS can provide you with the traditional Jaguar values of grace, pace, and space.

-tad

1983 Laverda RGS1000 L Fairing

Throwback Thursday: 1983 Laverda RGS1000 for Sale
Ducati April 29, 2016 posted by

Tour-y Sport – 2004 Ducati ST4S/ABS

Note: likely a private sale, this auction was ended just before post time… 

Since the ST’s inception in 1998, the sport touring side of the Ducati line was a lot more sport than touring.  Right from the ST2 the bikes went well and looked better without the bags than with.  2001 saw the 996cc  desmoquattro applied to the trellis frame, and 2004 had a nice re-design of the fairings and seat.  Even with commemorative paint the sales slowed to a trickle, not helped by finicky electrical systems and marginal cooling, and 2007 was the last year for the performance-oriented ST range.

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2004 Ducati ST4S/ABS for sale on eBay

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50mm throttle bodies and Marelli fuel injection helps the 996 engine achieve 117 hp, a high water mark for sport-touring machines.  2004 was the last year for the traditional dry clutch, and the grey with red a fine tribute to F1 driver Ayrton Senna.  The suspension has Showa forks with nitride coating and Öhlins rear monoshock.  Gold-line Brembo brakes are ABS-controlled with big 320mm front disks.  Plastic fairings are updated for ’04, with separate high and low beams, and a new dash with some digital functions.  Carbon hugger and Marchesini 5-spoke wheels round out the modern look.

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Farkled within an inch of its 7,500-mile life, the list of upgrades to this ST4S is really too long to re-print here.  There are a lot of Ducati Designs and DesmoTimes parts, some billet and carbon – even the forks and shock have been upgraded and tuned.  Way ahead on maintenance, this Duc has been pampered.  From the eBay auction:

  • Valves adjusted at 4,140 miles and checked again at 7,030 miles (absolutely no movement from when set to LT Snyder specs at 4,140 miles
  • Greased swingarm bearings
  • Cam belts changed at 4,140 miles and tension re-checked at 7,030 miles
  • TPS set and throttle bodies synced at 4,140 miles and again at 7,030 miles
  • Fuel filter replaced at 4,140 miles
  • Internal fuel lines replaced at 4,1,40 miles with fuel injection hose specified to not degrade with use of ethanol gas
  • Fresh Mobil 1 15 – 50 synthetic oil and K&N filter 
  • Fresh Engine Ice coolant
  • Fresh brake and clutch fluid.
  • NGK Iridium spark plugs added at 4,140 miles
  • Pirelli Angel GT tires installed at 4,140 miles.  Luv these tires…

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Often ticking off a lot of highway miles, ST4S are rare in this kind of shape and only one belt change.  The fairing and lighting upgrade in 2004 was worth waiting for.  Senna colors are gorgeous in an understated way, and it only takes one ABS actuation to make you a believer.  This owner has lavished professional attention on this one, and though it might not be the sportiest bike in the stable, it’s surely the sportiest tourer…

-donn

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Tour-y Sport – 2004 Ducati ST4S/ABS
Laverda February 26, 2016 posted by

Italian BMW – 1984 Laverda RGS1000

An old joke about European heaven and hell ( in heaven the French do the cooking, the Italians romance, the British are the police, and Germans run the trains – you know what happens in hell ) came to mind when I read a review of the Laverda RGS1000, owners were so impressed by the build quality they termed it the Italian BMW.  Coming at the beginning of the end for Laverda, the RGS1000 was an inspired sport heavyweight that kept the brand alive and still has a following today.

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1984 Laverda RGS1000 for sale on eBay

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Based on the 981cc triple from the 1970’s Jota ( itself an evolution of the 750cc twin ) the RGS engine uses a 120-degree crankshaft, inherently smoother than the Jota but subject to a secondary vibration requiring rubber engine mounts.  The triple Dell’Orto carbs help the engine toward 83 hp and 57 ft.-lbs. torque.  Suspension is all Marzocchi, air assisted, and triple Brembo 280mm disc brakes.  A very low 30-inch seat height allow the upper-only fairing to protect the rider at the 137 mph top speed.  Chockablock with neat details, it has a beautiful mono seat fairing, Vitaloni mirrors and a tank ready for a magnetic bag ( fuel filler is on the fairing ).

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Coming out of Toronto, this RGS1000 looks excellent and shows only 6,600 kms.  Pictures aren’t hi-res, but once right side up ( how did that happen ? ) they show a clean un-hacked classic.  Nothing about repairs or maintenance, which is acceptable considering the low mileage.  From the eBay auction:

1984 Laverda RGS 1000.  6600 KMS.  Mint condition.  Comes with factory original mint exhaust as well as the three into one Laverda racing exhaust.  Both exhausts are mint as is this particular RGS 1000.  A true all original unmolested survivor. 6600 KMS from new!  A rare opportunity to purchase a true gem. None finer and not a restoration.

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Almost a cult at this point, Laverda owners have several clubs and stay in close touch.  Just as well since despite the hand-built craftsmanship, the RGS requires valve clearance checks every 3000 miles, requiring removal of the fairing and fuel tank.  When carefully maintained, the smooth triple can have a long lifetime.  Though the bike is a portly 550 lbs., the fairing lends excellent fuel economy, and the RGS reviewed as a stable, invigorating ride.  Rare by any definition, only 250 or so of the 2500 total production made it to the states.

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In the end, the gorgeous heavyweight sport tourer made by a small, family-owned Italian firm could only delay the inevitable, and Laverda shortly entered the throws of bankruptcy before being bought and retired by Aprilia in 2000.  But well-made bikes like the RGS1000 live on.  In Laverda’s strange alternate universe, maybe Ducati would be making dual-sports and BMW sportbikes…

-donn

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Italian BMW – 1984 Laverda RGS1000
Laverda February 8, 2016 posted by

Gentleman’s Express: 1983 Laverda RGS1000 for Sale

1983 Laverda RGS1000 R Front

Laverda’s big-bruiser RGS1000 comes from an era when the European brands were struggling in the face of the Japanese Big Four’s onslaught. To keep pace required serious levels of financial and manufacturing muscle, and most of the European brands just could not compete.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Tank

Some, like BMW hung on to a niche market, with loyal sport-touring fans continuing to buy up their durable flat-twins, even as the company continued to innovate, building new triples and fours. But companies like Triumph struggled to update already obsolete machines and stave off their inevitable doom.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Clocks

Laverda, a tiny company compared even to Triumph, took a different path. They started with their powerful and chest-thumpingly manly 981cc three-cylinder engine and five-speed combination, then wrapped the package in modern, fully-faired bodywork, creating something new out of something old, a bike that wasn’t really trying to compete.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Engine

Although it was decidedly old-tech, the new sport-touring mission of the bike meant it wasn’t even trying to compete in the rapidly-escalating sportbike wars against the Japanese, and the bike, while not very light at 550lbs, offered Laverda’s famous stability, impressive midrange power, and reasonable comfort. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 L Front

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Laverda RGS1000 for Sale

I bought this beautiful Laverda RGS 1000 about five years ago from a Laverda collector in California. He was selling it and other bikes after suffering serious injuries in an accident. He had owned it for a number of years when he decided that he wanted more “oomph” so he wisely sent it to Scott Potter, Laverda engine builder and restorer par excellence for some high-compression pistons. The bike was in good condition and did not need restoration, but since the engine was coming out anyway, why not take advantage?

And well, here is Scott’s work order:

RGS 2029 Disassemble the machine down to every last nut and bolt. Send out all chrome components to be replated . Strip frame, center stand and rear fork to bare metal. Fabricate gusset plates to strengthen headstock. Powdercoat frame and rear fork gloss black. Renew headstock bearings and rear fork bearings. Disassemble engine. Clean sand cast engine components. Bead blast as necessary. Follow with hot tank wash and clear out all passages with compressed air. Polish all alloy covers. Replace wearing components as necessary. Lighten clutch basket and pressure plate. Machine true and lighten clutch drum. Send out cyl head for 3 angle Serdi seat cut. Reassemble engine to factory tolerances. Check valve timing to published specs. Disassemble, clean and inspect starter clutch. Reassemble with new springs, plungers, and rollers. Refit to engine. Refit engine to chassis. Disassemble front forks and clean. Check fork tubes for straight and true. Polish fork tubes. Fabricate adapters for cartridge emulators. Modify damping rods for cartridge emulators Reassemble with new seals and oil. Refinish yokes and instrument mount. Refit forks to chassis. Renew rear damper assemblies with custom Works Performance units. Disassemble brake hydraulics. Clean and reassemble with new kits, pads and pistons. Remove rotor surface area of iron oxide. Mount rotors to hubs with new fasteners.Install new black sheathed stainless brake and clutch hoses. Bleed all hydraulics with fresh Castrol GT LMA DOT 4 fluid Fit new sprocket and renew sprocket locking tabs. Refit wheel assemblies to chassis. Fit new drive chain. Polish footrest plates. Clean adjustment discs and assemble with antiseize compound Install new bronze bushings in shift and brake levers and hone to fit. Install new type designation plate Fabricate new mounts to fit Mikuni RS36 carbs to utilize stock airbox connectors Fit carb assembly to engine. Install new push pull throttle quadrant. Clean and repair/modify wiring harness as necessary. Install Witt/DMC ignition unit and Mitsu coil assembly Refit wiring harness and switch gear to chassis.

As you can see it is a comprehensive rebuild, but not a complete restoration as the original durable Laverda paint was in great condition still. The owner was able to put only a few miles on the restored bike before his accident. Since I bought it from him, I have put about 1200 miles on it. I treated it as a new bike and carefully broke it in. I then changed the oil (Mobil 1), re-torqued the head and adjusted the steering bearings. I have changed to the shocks to Ikons from Wolfgang as the Works Performance shocks were a little soft. The only negatives that come to mind are the tire-changing marks on the rims and the older tires that have plenty of tread but should be replaced before any serious cornering takes place. It starts and runs well with plenty of power. The clutch action and shifting are great- better than any of the Lavs I have owned. It is an imposing bike in looks and sound and it makes a decent sport-tourer with the bags attached. I am including some pics of the rebuild and one of me riding it on the Dragon. I forgot to mention that this RGS has the dealer installed Executive package which consists of the hard bags, higher handlebar, and additional wind protection for the hands.

Bidding is up to $8,500 with the Reserve Not Met and a Buy It Now price of $14,500, which seems pretty on-the-money for a nice RGS. Although this uses the later, 120° crankshaft and was pitched towards a more “civilized” audience, these are still pretty raucous if you’re used to something like a modern Speed Triple.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Front Wheel

They’re very rare, with just 250 imported to the US and if you want a classic Laverda to ride and enjoy, these are stylish, durable and, with the fitted luggage included with this bike, make great sport-touring mounts. And, in case you’re wondering: yes, that little door in the front right fairing does in fact hide the fuel filler cap. Obviously you’d need to find a good mechanic, or be handy with a wrench, considering the age and rarity. But the Laverda community is close-knit, and many owners take great pride in wrenching on their own machines.

-tad

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Ride

Gentleman’s Express: 1983 Laverda RGS1000 for Sale
BMW January 12, 2016 posted by

Time-Capsule Space Ship: 1993 BMW K1 for Sale

1993 BMW K1 L Side Front

A flawed motorcycle that nevertheless succeeded in its intended mission, BMW’s radical K1 was tasked with changing public perception of the slightly stodgy brand and, although it didn’t actually sell particularly well, it certainly managed to send the brand off in a new direction. A bit too futuristically-styled, and possibly a bit too ambitious in terms of technology, it certainly shook things up for BMW, and it also helped them prepare for stricter emissions requirements that were in the pipeline, something their airhead flat twin wouldn’t be capable of meeting. The K100’s liquid-cooled inline four and offshoot triple found in the K75 would make that much easier, and a sportier version for the four found its way into the K1.

1993 BMW K1 R Side

While a liquid-cooled inline four sounds pretty conventional, BMW of course had to do it their own way, and the long-stroke, Bosch-injected, longitudinally-mounted engine was laid-over on its side to keep the center of gravity low. This generally has the disadvantage of a pretty long wheelbase and the de rigueur telelever shaft drive is pretty heavy, but this was intended as a sport-touring machine, not a pure sportbike: with 516lbs to pull around, that torquey motor made for a bike that was reasonably fast, but certainly no road-burner.

1993 BMW K1 Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1993 BMW K1 for Sale

This bike came from the factory as pictured – special order Silk Blue with no K1 decals. This machine was professionally stored in a collectors climate controlled warehouse for over 20 years. I purchased the bike with 976 miles on it in January 2015. I have only put about 250 miles on the bike.

This machine is nearly perfect. One small V shape crack is shown on the pictures below. The ABS sensor also needs to be reset.

This is really a one of a kind motorcycle that is just about new in every sense.

1993 BMW K1 Rear Suspension

Unable to compete in the changing landscape of Japanese supersports in the early 90s, the bike was discontinued in ’93. It’s a bit of an odd duck today: it doesn’t offer much that appeals to traditional BMW enthusiasts with its inline four and very limited cargo capacity. The fairing panels are subject to cracking and the limited airflow means those bits of plastic can get very, very hot. And it’s not really very sporty compared to Japanese or Italian bikes of the period.

1993 BMW K1 Front Brakes

These certainly aren’t display pieces and, with prices relatively low, a nice K1 could make a pretty neat alternative for riders obsessed with quirky. However, with under 1,200 miles on the clock and a starting bid of over $10,000 this example is for collectors only. Most of the bikes were painted up in some pretty lurid red/yellow paint schemes, but this particular example is a very restrained, traditional blue that will probably help it appeal to BMW enthusiasts looking to complete their collections.

-tad

1993 BMW K1 L Side