Posts by tag: Survivor

Buell July 5, 2020 posted by

Secret Weapon – 1995 Buell S2 Thunderbolt

Early in the Buell / Harley-Dave relationship, the racer and design engineer was thought to be the icon’s entreé into sportbikes.  This immaculate S2 has access to plenty of thunder, and every update imaginable.

1995 Buell S2 Thunderbolt for sale on eBay

The S2 had production versions of most of the ideas Erik Buell had been incubating for several years, the quick-steering tube frame, Uni-Planar engine mounts, underslung rear shock and muffler, and extra-large diameter single front disk – all surrounding Harley’s torquey 1203 cc motor.  WP supplied upside-down forks and the unusual monoshock which extends as the chassis compresses is from Showa.  H-D production engineers fitted their belt drive and put their manufacturing expertise into the sculptural exhaust system.  For a bike with planned production of 300 units per year, the frame-mounted fairing, tank and seat console flow together very well.

Obviously owned by a real fan, this Buell looks excellent an has been carefully updated with choice parts, addressing many of the model’s foibles.  As much as the tank bra breaks up the lines of the bodywork, the next owner will appreciate all the scratches the tank doesn’t have.  The auction shares a – video – and says it’s by the previous owner, which indicates that most of the pictures are as well, so a question or two there.  A long list from the eBay auction:

Work and upgrades:
• Borla muffler  
• Piggyback kickstand plate (prevents the motorcycle from leaning too much to prevent a fall)
• Updated ISO’s all around (Buell redesigned the ISO mounts in 2001)
• Updated exhaust hanger (Buell redesigned the muffler hanger mount in 2001)
• Updated primary tensioner (HD/Buell update to all Sportsters and Buell in 1999)
• Updated shifter detent plate 
• Updated crank seal 
• Bronze oil pump gear 
• All new James top end gaskets with jug pigtails 
• KT Performance heat shield 
• Shorai Battery (Lithium light weight battery)
• Original Rear Shock rebuilt by RaceTech 
• Original Front Shocks rebuilt by Lance Kuglar (St. Paul HD)
• Corbin Seat Recovered by Baldwin
• Under seat tote and fairing bags 
• Screaming Eagle CDI Box 
• New signal light control box
• Zero gravity smoke windscreen 
• Updated/late style front rotor (Buell redesigned the front brake rotor in 2001)
• Newer continental tires 
• Jim’s Mega-nut on bead blasted and sealed front pulley 
• CV Performance Carb Kit  
 
Accompanied with the bike:
• Rising road service and parts manuals
• Sales brochures (with some pricing scribbles from 95)
• Borla brochure
• Buell sticker and postcard from the period
• Owner’s manual
• Stock muffler in like new condition
• Rubber stock foot pegs 
• Additional lower belt guard

The T-Bolt sold better than expected right away, and the two companies had several good years together, but eventually applied for an uncontested divorce.  Even though the S2 is on the softer side of sports-biking, the turn and squirt ( maybe even shift ) ride got great reviews.  It’s a strong starting bid for the first real production bike from Erik Buell and friends, but it is a sharp example with all the right upgrades.

-donn

Secret Weapon – 1995 Buell S2 Thunderbolt
Suzuki May 31, 2020 posted by

Unlimited Edition – 1987 Suzuki GSX-R750

Suzuki made a tsunami-sized splash with the 1986 GSX-R750, with 100 hp and a hair over 400 lbs. soaking wet.  This Florida example looks preserved rather than having just survived, and has been made ready to ride or show by just the 2nd owner.

1987 Suzuki GSX-R750 for sale on eBay

Introduced just the year before, the 1986 model’s biggest change was a 1-inch extension of the swingarm to bring the handling more to the street.  The air/oil-cooled 749cc’s pushed 10.6:1 compression and carried a performance car-like 6 quarts of oil but saved the weight of a water system.  The small-tube alloy chassis also saved several pounds, and held the 41mm conventional forks and Full Floater monoshock.  Wheels and brakes were closer to and endurance racer spec – matched 18-inch rims and 310mm dual front disks.  The full fiberglass fairing carried dual headlights and a cushy dual seat.

The seller picked an extraordinary example of this iconic bike and polished it like a gem, beside going through most of the systems and making things better than new.  Presents as very stock and the sprocket change is a great idea for a classic bike with a possibly vintage rider.  Comments from the eBay auction:

I bought from the original owner, the guy that walked in the showroom in 1987 and drove her home.  It needed carb cleaning, brake pads and calipers cleaned, new tires, new chain and installed 2 new sprockets (15T520P front and smaller rear to make the gears longer and it runs sooo much nicer with this ratio). The original solo seat cowl (which I have) has a crack on the side where it bolts to seat but I was able to find this blue replacement and simply bolted on the original pad however the sale comes with the original white cowl as well.  I bought her along with the original exhaust, which is included in sale($$).

She was garaged kept in a cool environment and the paint is original and looks like the day it came off the showroom floor since I buffed and polished fairings.  By the time I was done getting her tuned and dialed in and installing new chain and sprockets, new battery and fluids, and solid tune after carb removal and cleaning and rebuild, I honestly dropped about $1500 in parts and labor for the things I couldn’t do myself and it was well worth it the way she runs now. I even have the original bar ends in a box which I think would make her 100% stock.  There are some minor imperfections I will be happy to share with you if you are interested, but most are not visible and normal for a 32 year old machine.

I have been riding her just about every other weekend for 20 or 30 miles and only run ethanol-free fuel and she continues to turn heads and put a smile on my face.  It is one of the finest 100% vintage and authentic GSX-R750 I have ever seen – and is turn key, sitting in my garage, looking for a new home.  I have an extra set of plugs as well, the Title is clean and in house, and it has never, repeat NEVER been dropped or scraped .

Suzuki did well with GSX-R on the World Endurance circuit and TT-F1 races, but with Yoshimura managing in 1989, won the Daytona and AMA Supersport titles with Jamie James aboard.  It was just the first few chapters of a multi-volume history that is still being written, at least in North America – the model has been retired elsewhere.  Arguably the first endurance racer set up for the road, the early GSX-R750’s focus on light weight and handling made it special even without the Limited Edition’s homologation parts.  This looks like a well and carefully loved example.

-donn

Unlimited Edition – 1987 Suzuki GSX-R750
Kawasaki May 26, 2020 posted by

Too Close for Missiles – 1985 Kawasaki GPZ900R

Despite being a generation or so in the rearview mirror, the original GPZ900R Ninja had a lot of firsts for Kawasaki and big sportbikes in general.  Looking complete and mostly original, this example might be a good riding restoration.

1985 Kawasaki GPZ900R Ninja for sale on eBay

Beside being the first Ninja to our shores, the 908cc’s were liquid cooled, had four valves per cylinder, and a counter balance shaft in a compact architecture which kept the center of gravity low.  Four 34mm Keihin carburetors and 11.0:1 compression pushed the Ninja well over the goal line with 115 hp.  Super-high tech hadn’t quite made it to the steel chassis or pretty conventional suspension, but the triple drilled disk brakes were a plus, and linked to the anti-dive system.  At this point the lines are beyond classic, bringing visions of a drag race with an F-14.

Homing in on 28,000 miles, this GPZ900R has been around the world, but on silent more recently.  Appearing quite stock, it’s without damage unexpected for its age.  The owner is upfront about the work required to bring it back in the eBay auction:

Original except exhausts.  Very good condition, does have few nicks and imperfections as per photos Tank has some surface rust inside.  Ran well before I mothballed it around six months ago and now sits on top of my car lift with many others due to space constraints so plan to do the basics to recommission it for daily use.  It will also need a new battery and regulator/rectifier as it didn’t charge battery while riding.  A very easy candidate to turn into a full replica or take to top level.  Stating the obvious but this is same bike used in the Top Gun movie with Tom Cruise. Has become much more in demand since announcement of the new movie.  I know because I had 5 of them and since I started selling I have one left.

The GPZ900R was popular enough to fight off in-house challenges from liter-size successors, and had almost a 20-year run worldwide.  With the delayed opening of the Top Gun re-make, the new owner will have a chance to tidy this one up before donning a flight jacket and heading to a show.  The ask seems a shade more than the condition demands, but the Make Offer button is available.

-donn

Too Close for Missiles – 1985 Kawasaki GPZ900R
Honda May 20, 2020 posted by

Fox Eye Lady – 1999 Honda RVF400R / NC35

In many ways a template of the Superbike RC45, the middleweight RVF400 ( NC35 ) had its own character and predatory facial expression.  This Wisconsin rider looks very good despite some prodigious miles.

1999 Honda RVF400R / NC35 for sale on eBay

Honda made a substantial update to the VFR400R, with a new chassis, inverted forks and 17-inch wheels front and rear.  Changes to the carburetors and valve timing could improve the torque curve but power was legislated to be 59 hp.  Air scoops and tracts over the handlebars deliver fresh if not ram air.  Forks and monoshock are adjustable for pre-load and rebound, and 269mm brakes are Nissin branded.  From down the block, the styling could fool you into an RC45 sighting.

Though it has seen 37K miles, this RVF shows nicely and has just a few wear marks to show for it.  Un-faired photos show the beauty to be more than skin deep.  From the eBay auction:

Clean and titled low-mileage 1999 Honda RVF400 (NC35). Registered and plated in Wisconsin. Clean title on hand. Some history on this bike: This bike is the little brother to the legendary RC45. The NC35 is a classic for collectors or exotic bike enthusiasts. As an evolution to the VFR400 (NC30), the NC35 comes with upside forks and 17” rear wheel for improved handling. Other unique features include a lightweight aluminum frame, and single-sided swing arm. Not to mention Honda’s V4 bullet-proof gear-driven engine with its distinctive rev whine. I purchased it from a private collector and have ridden it regularly. Bike starts right up and runs flawlessly. This bike has only seen non-ethanol fuel.

It is currently kept on battery tender and Pitbull front and rear stands. Cosmetically in great shape. OEM fairings show signs of age, but was very well maintained. The paint/decals throughout are still glossy. A couple of minor blemishes from prior ownership: tank has a small chip which was touched up. Details shown in ad photos. No other cracks or blemishes that I am aware of. Again, I rode this bike for many years. It is not in pristine show room condition. I’m happy to provide additional pictures if desired. Minor modifications I added to the bike – steel braided brake lines, CRG levers and a carbon fiber pipe (original canister available). Overall bike condition is very clean and well cared for; with some normal signs of wear for twenty-one year-old bike. It is a blast to ride and a conversation starter as many have never seen this bike.

The NC35 might’ve been considered a beginner’s bike here, but it was offered only in Japan and made its way around the globe in the gray market.  Lighter race riders have embraced its handling and build quality.  Unlike the racy singles being proffered today, the RVF400 has an exotic V-4 engine with a soundtrack provided by gear-driven cams.  While a collector could keeping shopping for less miles and patina, a rider might be happy it’s not perfect.

-donn

Fox Eye Lady – 1999 Honda RVF400R / NC35
Yamaha April 14, 2020 posted by

Purple Rain – 1994 Yamaha FZR600R with 8,479 Miles !

In the 1990’s as today, the middle-weight segment was ruled by the bottom line, each model having ups and downs depending on the year, and 1994 was a nice year for FZR600’s – with a lot of improvements from earlier R6’s.  This example has been tucked away with low miles and few apparent scuffles.

1994 Yamaha FZR600R for sale on eBay

Yamaha tailored the findings of its Superbike department to the budget, and the 598cc engine got four valves instead of five, and the chassis was crafted of steel stampings instead of aluminum.  Still the engine and chassis were new for ’94, slightly more oversquare with lighter cam train yielding 99 hp.  Yamaha’s own suspension and brakes weren’t fancy but the brakes are right-sized at 298mm with the neat smaller leading brake puck.  The trapezoidal headlight was retired and the nose got an endurance racer’s rugged good looks.

This FZR looks good though the seller notes new rubber and a carb cleaning might await the next owner.  Hopefully nothing scary under the tank bra, and the paint has been protected by an armada of stickers.  From the eBay auction:

Good for new riders, or the experienced and seasoned rider who wants a small and nimble machine. Very good plastics, good tires (old). Starts easy, brakes tight, corners well. Does not overheat. New Fuel Filter. Clear Title. Has a very slight hesitation from idle, so it probably needs to have the 4 carbs synced. It rides fine as it is if you plan to hwy ride it and commute. It may clean up as you run fresh fuel through the carbs or run a carb cleaner through it. Gears shift well and hold well. Air filter like new, and the airbox is still setup stock. This is a stock bike except for the slip-on muffler. Sounds nice. New Battery. Under 8500 miles!

Trying to make sense of the international phase-in of the FZR600R didn’t clear things up much for me, with the North American market keeping this nose and fairing ? – maybe a resident expert could weigh in.  More often seen on RSBFS in the Vance & Hines chartreuse and mauve race livery, this 90’s evening wear might be coming back into style.  Not ready for – or looking for a change from – the liter+ supersport, when sorted this FZR will offer pretty fashionable performance.

-donn

Purple Rain – 1994 Yamaha FZR600R with 8,479 Miles !
Suzuki April 8, 2020 posted by

Dust-Off – 2001 Suzuki GSX-R1000

Suzuki returned to the liter-bike spectrum with the K1, an expanded and powerful upgrade to the GSX-R750R.  Released from the back of the garage, washed, and photographed, this Maryland example would like to help you spring forth.

2001 Suzuki GSX-R1000 for sale on eBay

An evolution of the long-developed GSX-R750R, the 2001 liter borrowed the 750’s engine cases, slightly bored and very stroked to 988cc and 160 ( ! ) hp.  The stroki-ness of the motor meant good torque could be expected, and it delivered 81 ft.-lbs. at 8,500 rpm.  The alloy twin spar chassis was lengthened a hair and extrusions thickened .5 mm, which for test engineers resulted in a 10% stiffer frame.  Kayaba provided some of their finest street bits, the upside-down fork sliders with titanium nitriding and the monoshock with a piggyback reservoir.  Tokico’s six-piston calipers ride 320mm floating disks providing plenty of stoppage, and area to mount DOT reflectors.  Riding position is aggressive but reviewed as do-able for a long day’s ride.

Sounds like this owner is the third, with not all that many miles for any of them at under 11,000 total.  As much as the roll-it-out-and-wash-it photo shoot bugs me, the bike looks excellent.  From the eBay auction:

Just under 11k miles, completely stock, no modifications, it has a Yoshi Slip on, but I do have the original exhaust, in mint condition, to go with bike.  Garage kept since birth.  Only 2 owners, both professionals.  Never raced, never abused.  Bike runs, drives, idles, like new.  I Have both keys and complete tool kit.  I do not have owner’s manual.  Bike needs nothing but fresh fluid changes for the season.

Suzuki’s big success in the -R1000 was weight control, with a ride-away weight more in line with a 750 than other flagships.  Handling reviewed as a nice balance, not quite up to Honda’s 929RR standard, and the torque took Yamaha’s R1 to task.  Suzuki and Mat Madlin were in the middle of running the AMA Superbike table, and the GSX-R1000 was in the showrooms on Monday, bigger and more comfortable than the 750, but every bit a Superbike.

-donn

Dust-Off – 2001 Suzuki GSX-R1000
Moto Guzzi March 11, 2020 posted by

Storm Trooper – 1983 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans III

Some lucky rider bought-it-now last night but still worth a look !  – Donn

Would that it were so all venerable GT’s could be shared among a group of like-minded owners as this 1983 LeMans.  With 50K-ish miles, it still looks sharp and raring to go.

1983 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans for sale on eBay

LeMans fans were left asking in early 80’s while Moto Guzzi re-designed their 844cc engine to meet emission regulations, and though the CX100 liter was available, the LeMans III’s return was eagerly awaited.  The angularized heads had bigger valves and more efficient cooling, and 36mm Dell’Orto carbs whispered through an intake silencer.  76 hp were on tap, with a single-disk dry clutch and of course shaft drive.  Suspension preload was air-adjustable though damping didn’t change, and the linked braking system worked better than most of its type.  Guzzi designed the modern fairing in their factory wind tunnel, and reviewers loved the way it cut through a cross-wind.  A large white tach dominates the binnacle, which relies on warning lights for everything else except MPH and Volts.

This example has been among friends, knowledgeable fans who took excellent care.  The paint and pipes look excellent, and I’d expect updated shocks as well.  From the eBay auction:

This is the last series for the 850 cc motor.  This particular bike has been sold and bought among a group of Pittsburgh area Moto Guzzi enthusiasts who are all aquainted with each other since it was new.  The odometer shows 12,000 miles but it actually has about 50 K on it, the odometer was replaced a number of years ago.  I have the original bill of lading from Italy from 1983.  I’ve owned the bike since 2005.  I had this serviced at Westmoreland Moto Guzzi before it went out of business a few years ago.  The dealership installed a new clutch assembly and I had them go over it back in 2007. The bike has a lighter flywheel than stock, clip-ons, newer tires and a new battery.  The Corbin saddle was added a number of years ago before I purchased it.  I installed lighter throttle springs, but I have the originals also if you really feel the need to exercise while you ride.  It was painted by a pro in 2009.

While Moto Guzzi re-grouped, several new players nailed down the mass-market, and the company segued into a niche sort of fan base.  Having relinquished the sporty ideals, the LeMans still provides a classic GT sound and enough fury.  Lucky for this particular bike to have fallen into the hands of these owners, and fortunate for the next rider as well.

-donn

Storm Trooper – 1983 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans III
Ducati December 20, 2019 posted by

By Any Other Name – 1992 Ducati 907 I.E. “Paso”

Massimo Taburrini penned the all-encompassing Paso in 1985, for the still-in-transition Cagiva and Ducati.  Not starting from a position of strength, the model fought the good fight for several years and culminated in a fuel injected 90 hp package.  Despite 35K miles and 27 years, it still looks great.

1992 Ducati 907 I.E. for sale on eBay

The 907 I.E. incorporated the best features from the Paso, revised some basics like the engine cases, and snuck in a few niceties from the 851, like the alloy swingarm.  With fuel injection, power was up to the 100 hp/liter benchmark and tractability wasn’t forgotten.  More standard 17-inch rims were a help as were 300mm front Brembo brakes.  The soap bar fairing was chockablock with inlets and vents, all in the name of flow.

The California seller appears to be an audiophile as well as sportbike enthusiast, and though not a long term owner, this 907 looks very tidy for 35K miles.  From the eBay auction:

This is a great running classic Ducati at very nice price. 

Purchased from the original owner last year. We did the following…
New tires front and rear
New drive belts
New plugs
Oil and Filter changed
New fork seals.
Coolant flush
New battery
She runs great and comes with the original seat as well as a Corbin seat.

The eastern juggernaut was not to be denied, but the decidedly classic 907 I.E. made a statement about a wide torque band and careful tuning.  Never exactly popular, the Paso gave way to Ducati’s ST series and resides in a fandom of backroad and sport-touring riders.  The generation gap between the 907’s introduction and today might be bridged by the sensible buy-it-now and very sharp condition.
-donn
By Any Other Name – 1992 Ducati 907 I.E. “Paso”