While today’s Harley Sportster sells mainly on the basis of it being a Harley, that wasn’t always true. The original Harley Davidson Sportster was introduced in 1957 to stem the growing tide of British bikes that offered lighter weight and better handling than what HD was building at the time. These British machines offered a challenge to the American company on both road and track, with fierce rivalries being born as Harley, Triumph, Norton, and BSA all competed on dirt tracks across the country.
Unlike today’s Sportster, the new machine was right in the mix, and offered good power and nimble handling to match the imports. The engine was decidedly old-tech: nicknamed the “Ironhead” motor, it featured all-iron construction and overhead valves, but 883cc’s gave it great bottom-end torque. The “H” in XLCH denoted the “hot” version of the engine that included higher-compression pistons.
The rest of the bike was more progressive: unlike period Triumphs and modern Sportsters, engine and gearbox featured unit construction, with the engine and transmission sharing a single set of cases. This powertrain was mounted directly to the frame for a more rigid platform with improved handling, with the added benefit that it offered improved numbness for the rider’s hands and feet… Weighing in at about 500lbs wet, the bike was good for a top speed of about 115.
Fast, stable, and reasonably reliable, it sold well and took the fight to those pesky imports. At least until the Japanese crashed the party and basically put everybody out of business…
From the original eBay listing: 1960 Harley Davidson XLCH Sportster
A very nice and recently restored classic 1960 Harley Davidson XLCH Sportster with Hi-Fi Blue and Birch White paint scheme. Fully rebuilt and run in motor and transmission with matching lower case numbers and high pipe exhaust. Correct alloy wheels, solo seat, and 1038 CP hardware with correct finishes and more. Recently judged and scored in the high 90% range at the 2014 El Camino Classic Motorcycle Event in So. California. Ready for show or go!
Located in Southern California.
NOTE! This motorcycle is selling with a clear title.
With three days left on the auction bidding is active and up to $8,000 with the reserve not met. That’s no surprise: this looks like a very sharp, very nice example with the higher-performance “CH” engine and matching numbers.
Here’s a bit of an odd duck: a cherished Honda CX500 Turbo! For a period in the early to mid-1980s, all of the major Japanese motorcycle manufacturers flirted with forced-induction, although it seems to have been a bit of a fad. The main advantage of a turbocharged motor is efficiency: some wasted exhaust energy is scavenged and repurposed to the production of more power, and obviously you can get much more volumetric efficiency with a turbo than you can with normal aspiration. But the benefits of forced-induction in a motorcycle are outweighed by the additional complexity they bring to the table, especially when a simple bump in displacement or revs might, at least in a motorcycle, provide the same power increase.
But in the automotive world, the word “turbo” was all the rage, and bike manufacturers didn’t want to be left behind. Many of these early attempts were fairly crude, and while turbo lag and a big hit of power can be a rush in a car, they’re especially dangerous qualities for a bike. Porsche’s early 911 Turbo developed a reputation for lethality because mid-corner boost from the primitive turbocharging combined with tricky lift-throttle handling to surprise more than a few owners, testing their cars’ build-quality and crash durability as they headed off the road backwards.
Now imagine that same dynamic, on a bike leaned over at 45° on 130-section tires…
When Honda joined in on the craze, they did it with typical refinement, although their choice of a platform might seem odd at first. Instead of a signature sophisticated and smooth four-cylinder, they chose their almost retro-tech, slightly ungainly CX500 v-twin. But while the spec sheet for the CX500 looks low-tech, it was actually a very sophisticated design, with many thoughtfully designed aspects designed in: the pushrods were required by a slight twist to the angle of the heads so the carburetors didn’t try to occupy the same space as a rider’s knees, and the transmission spun counter to the longitudinal crankshaft to minimize torque-reaction to the shaft-drive rear.
Most importantly, the engine was liquid-cooled and could easily handle the additional heat and pressure that the turbo would add, and the simplicity of the 80° twin left plenty of space for intake and exhaust plumbing. The resulting package was far from pretty, but with 19psi, the little 487cc motor put out 82hp and could push the bike north of 120mph. The bike also featured modular ComStar wheels and tubeless tires, a relative rarity at the time.
From the original eBay listing: 1982 Honda CX500 Turbo for Sale
Well, you found it! My pride and joy. And if you are looking at this listing I can pretty much guarantee you already know alot about this motorcycle. Its super rare and hard to find. It has been in my possession since around August 2005. It appears by paperwork I have in the shop manual that I am the third owner and that it was originally purchased in CT.
This bike is in original condition with a few exceptions. I replaced the front brake lines with Galfer SS lines just this past weekend. Along with the new lines I did a complete rebuild of the front calipers, polished caliper pistons, new piston seals and dust caps, new pads, master cylinder rebuild, and of course new fluid. Also shortly after I got it the paint on the exhaust was chipping off on the “TURBO” shields. I removed the paint with intentions of painting it back black and never got around to it. Besides that this bike is stock and unmolested. Adult active duty military owned, kept in a climate controlled garage and was the Queen of all the bikes, always covered up and sheltered from the elements.
However, this bike is not perfect. It does have imperfections and most of them common to this model. A paint chip in the front fender, a scratch here and there, the crack in the right side fairing that is common due to the heat off the exhaust, a small crack in right front turn signal (cant see it unless your looking for it), Small imperfection in the windscreen, etc. Remember this bike is 32 years old!!! Also the bike was laid over in the garage by previous owner and probably contributed to the crack in the fairing. The left side battery compartment cover was cracked real bad when I bought her. I replaced it with an original equipment one soon after I bought it. There is a piece of gauge cluster foam gasket material that has slid down on the tachometer. It does not affect the function of the tach and I was going to replace but am scared to take it apart that far. I’ve tried to take pictures of all her imperfections and am representing the bike to the best of my ability.
Thats the bad, now the good. Bike has a new battery, original owners manual, shop manual (which I used to rebuild brakes), and runs like a top! I just rode this bike this past weekend with my dad and it still makes me grin ear to ear when the boost kicks in and the turbo gauge ramps up to max psi! It is definitely like no other bike I have ever had and I hate to see her go and hope the next person will appreciate her and take care of her as well as I have.
The CX500 was produced for only one year, and was followed by the more refined, slightly bigger CX650 Turbo. While ultimately a technological dead-end for motorcycles, the flirtation with turbocharging has led to a few very funky, affordable collector bikes, and many can be found in very nice condition if you poke around.
There are still a couple days left on the auction, although the reserve has not been met at about $3,000. It looks to be in very nice, original shape: the cracks are unfortunate, but speak to the originality of this machine and the bike is in otherwise very nice shape. The stainless front brake lines are a welcome touch and the bike appears to have had very careful maintenance.
Turbocharged bikes were a bit of a gimmick at the time, but can be a real blast on the road: that lag and boost can be a bit of a pain if you’re looking at lap times. But on a back road, that rush of power can be a whole lot of fun! And modern technology that smooths power delivery, reduces lag, and improves safety might see the return of forced-induction to motorcycle manufacturing… Fun, collectible, reliable, and affordable, snap one of these up before prices shoot up: 80’s bikes are still a bit uncool, but these things tend to be cyclical [pun!] and interest is on the upswing.
One of my favorite double-take bikes, the Honda CBX can appear at first glance to be simply just another 1970’s motorcycle. But even out of the corner of your eye, something looks off. A second look, and it all becomes clearer:
“Hmmmm… That’s an awful lot of engine up there.”
The 1047cc straight-six looked massive but was, in reality, not a whole lot wider than Honda’s 750cc four. But where that engine just about tucks into the complete package, that extra bit of CBX just hangs out on either side, a huge aluminum brick just barely surrounded by a motorcycle. With no radiator in front to block the view, the 6-into-2 exhaust is on full display, a polished metal pipe-organ monument to excess.
While the straight-six GP bikes that inspired the CBX were light and lithe and packed their impossibly tiny, Swiss-watch mechanicals behind sleek bodywork, there was nothing subtle or sprightly about the CBX. Nearly 600lbs ready-to-roll with typically mediocre Japanese big-bike suspension, the bike shared nothing but engine configuration with its racing cousins. It was possibly this confused message that ultimately made the bike such a hard sell: a heavy, expensive bike inspired by racing but with absolutely no racing pretensions whatsoever? People did buy the bike, and lucky for us, treated them with care and respect, but they were not huge sellers at the time.
Eventually, the CBX was updated with slab-sided styling and a monoshock rear suspension. It was less elegant, but much more suited to the bike’s real forte: fast touring.
From the original eBay listing: 1979 Honda CBX for Sale
Original 1979 Honda CBX, excellent condition with 17k miles. Original Paint and parts, there are aftermarket mirrors and an oil pressure gauge currently on it but I have the original mirrors and cap that go with the bike. Bike has never sat unused or in non running condition, it starts up easily and runs smoothly and perfect. No leaks, drips, or issues. That is the original seat and exhaust on the bike, there is one small rust spot on the left side exhaust, right side looks clean. There are no splits in the seat, all tabs on the side covers are intact. Bike is in excellent condition but it is 35 years old so not perfect. There is a small scratch on the back of the fender and a rub mark on the rear seat cowl. I am selling the bike for the original owner who is now 84 years old and can no longer ride. I personally rode the bike approximately 80 miles in the last couple weeks and it is an absolute joy to ride. I have the bike and clear title in hand. Bike is for sale locally, inspections are welcome and I will cancel this listing if the bike sells.
Interestingly, these were some of the first Japanese bikes to attain classic status. They were never really treated as the appliances,which makes sense: while Japanese sportbikes were typically marketed to, shall we say, less-than-sympathetic owners who used the machines’ mechanical excellence as an excuse to beat the living hell out of them, then forget them in a shed, the CBX was always a high-end, luxury grand touring bike.
With 17,000 miles on the clock and a Buy It Now price of $11,900, this seems like a pretty decent price for what appears to be a very good CBX: the black is a little bit faded, but the bike looks very sharp and original.
While the nearly $12,000 asking price might seem like a lot of cash, the value of these has remained relatively flat, while bikes like the Kawasaki H1 and Z1 have increased significantly over the past few years. I wonder if, with the CBX, we’ve hit that intersection between rarity and value, or if they’ll spike upwards again. I’m hoping not: they’re on my list of bikes to own.
Looking like a grownup version of a Schwinn bicycle, all the Hurricane X75 needs to be full-on childhood dream embodied in steel is a sparkly vinyl banana seat. A sort of proto-factory chopper originally designed BSA, the extroverted styling was a bit of an overreaction to the original design of the bike, which was thought to be too much like the plain-Jane Bonneville for the wild-eyed, long-haired hippies over in the USA.
So Craig Vetter, no stranger to unconventional designs, was called in to do a bit of a makeover, and his signature one-piece tank-and-tail style is on display here, although you might have missed it if you were looking at the right side of the bike… With the unusual single-sided three-into-three exhaust looking like it might make rides into one, long right-hand turn.
From the original eBay listing: 1973 Triumph X75 for Sale
CLEANING HOUSE !!!!!!! Selling my Hurricane and several other bikes. Realistically priced to sell. Happy to answer all questions. Bike is a very low mileage machine from Canada. Absolutely one of the nicest you will find. It has not run in 2 years but the fuel and carbs were drained prior to putting it on display and the engine has been turned regularly. I have all the Canadian import paperwork but no title. I’m more than happy to get a title for an additional $500 to cover the fees for this machine or I can give you all the Canadian paperwork and you do it yourself.
When BSA went out of business, just 1200 three-cylinder engines were put aside and the X75 was rebranded as a Triumph. These are very collectable these days, and it’s easy to see why: right out of the box, they look right and have plenty of performance.
Bidding is very active on this bike, with a couple days left on the auction and the Reserve Not Met at $17,200. I’d prefer a few more high-res photos of the bike, considering the price bracket we’re playing in here, but that close-up of the stamped engine serial number suggests that the bike is pretty clean. I’ve seen asking prices much higher than this, and it looks very solid, so worst-case scenario sees a paint job and a light mechanical refresh.
So depending on where this ends up when the hammer falls, you could think of it as a bargain!
I’ve only recently become an acolyte in the Church of Smokers. Growing up, I mostly heard them in the context of dirt bikes ripping up and down our street, and the angry, mechanical-insect noise isn’t really the sexiest… But I’ve opened my mind to the antisocial little things, and this bike might make a great introduction to two-stroke ownership.
Sold between 1984 and 1985 in the US, the Yamaha RZ350 was powered by a liquid-cooled, two-stroke parallel-twin that displaced 347cc’s. This long-serving powerplant was introduced in 1983, with variants finding home in select Yamahas until 2006.
Evolved from the RD350, the RZ added liquid-cooling and Yamaha’s torque-enhancing power-valve technology dubbed, originally enough, “YPVS.” Can you guess what that stands for? This computer-controlled system helped to smooth out the traditionally peaky power delivery of the two-stroke, plumping the mid-range for improved street usability.
A terror on back roads of the time, the RZ350 was literally one of the best-handling bikes you could buy at any price. Remember, this was before the GSX-R750 was introduced, and while many bikes made more power, they were usually correspondingly heavy and unwieldy: the RZ was light and nimble, with a powerband that needed chasing and a gearbox that rewarded the rider for doing so, a real enthusiast’s motorcycle.
From the original eBay listing: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale
Fresh Paint about 5 years ago
Frame was powder coated
Couple of chips in front fender and a couple of nicks in stickers but otherwise paint is sparkling. Looks like a new bike!
DG – Pipes
K&N Air filter
Aluminum battery box
In the family since 1990
Bidding is active and there are just a couple days left on the auction, with the Reserve Not Met at $3,900. These can really run the gamut in terms of quality and state of tune. This one is largely stock and has been repainted, but ridden, which is as it should be.
The RZ is the epitome of a “useable classic:” these are fun to ride, with plenty of power. They’re striking to look at with a strong community of experts and amateurs to help you keep your little bumblebee buzzing. Parts availability is excellent and includes a wide range of updated parts, owing to the long production run of these two-strokes into the modern era, with many parts easily retrofitted to improve reliability and performance.
If you’ve got a spare kidney, there’s a very nice Ducati 750GT in Ontario that’s looking for a home. Bevel-drive Ducatis continue to appreciate in value and, with the SS and Sport models out of reach for the average enthusiast, the more pedestrian GT is the only shot at round-case action for most people. While the only v-twin Ducatis to get the famous Desmo valvetrain were the SuperSports, the GT still had a very precise bevel-drive and tower-shaft arrangement that help give these bikes their classic style and sound and maintenance bills…
Interestingly, the GT is also the most practical of the v-twin Ducatis: while it lacks the racy clip-ons and solo seat of the Sport and the sleek fairing of the SS, ergonomics designed with human beings, instead of hellbent-for-leather track monkeys, means that owners with the dosh to afford these can actually enjoy them, even if their monkey days are far behind them…
Ducati’s line of 750cc twins got a cosmetic make-over in 1974 that featured a more rectilinear look for the engine cases. Purists greatly prefer the more rounded-style of the earlier bikes, and it’s easy to see why: in the same way that the Triumph Bonnevile epitomizes the look of a classic British twin, the 750 Ducati captures the best of Italy during this era of motorcycling. While the new cases were much more “modern” at the time, they pointed the way forward into the more slab-sided, altogether less elegant and more slab-sided 70s and 80s.
From the original eBay listing: 1973 Ducati 750GT for Sale
I have added more pictures of the stuff that comes with the bike.
1973 Ducati 750GT round case. A true collectors motorcycle, certainly one of the most beautiful motorcycles ever produced.
Engine number 751XXX DM750, Frame number: DM750S 751XXX, 2nd series. North America
Carbs are 32mm Dellorto’s (PHF 32AD, PHF32AS), K&N filters, the original 30mm Amal carbs are included, with original air boxes and hoses.
OEM Tommaselli twin pull throttle and controls.
Engine has never been apart since I have owned it. Always lovingly tuned and maintained.
The finish on the motor is authentic and unrestored. It’s always looked like that since I’ve owned it.
While the bike has not been restored in the purest sense, It has been brought back to as close to its original condition as possible.
Correct Borrani flanged rims (RM014403, RM014626/1)
Original front hub. The bike had a single Lockheed disk brake and caliper. At some point in my ownership I borrowed the master cylinder for another project, figuring I could always come up with another when the time comes. I searched high and low for a single Lockheed master cylinder with no luck. I did find a Lockheed master with 2 rings on it indicating a double disk set up. Now if you think finding an original rare master was difficult, try finding a second disk and an even more rare, mirror image Lockheed calliper. I did find a pair from a later model and that is what is on the bike now. Has Earls stainless braided lines – braking is much improved. OEM Single disk included.
The front end is OEM Marzzocchi leading fork. Excellent chrome, pinch bolt has been overtightened, cracked and will need attention, (see photo)
Exhaust pipes, and balance pipe are original and cleaned up nice, mufflers are Bub replicas. I can find one of the original Contis, the other must be around somewhere, they are painted black and not nice.
Seat has been reupholstered to match original pattern and is really nice. Small 1/8″ tear, (see photo). Original seat included.
Fiberglass tank and side panels painted to original spec and tank sealed and lined. Really nice.
Frame was painted red! by original owner at some time and then the coat of black paint on it now looks presentable.
The bike had been in dry storage for 20 years, periodically turned over with oil in cylinders. Protective coating on cycle parts. Cleaned up excellent. Changed oil, new battery and started after 4 kicks!
The listing includes a comprehensive account of many parts used to recondition the bike. While the dual front brakes may not be original, I’m sure there aren’t too many people who will mind that update very much! Especially since the paired Lockheed calipers are period-correct. Originality is cool, but considering the reputation the original Scarab calipers have, those might be best left for museum pieces…
Asking price is $23,000 with about 24 hours left. All-in-all, a very nice bike, at a price that’s definitely less than a well-optioned Hyundai Elantra. I know that if I were cross shopping those two vehicles which I’d choose…
1964 Velocette Venom Clubman Veeline. Now that’s a real mouthful of a name, but it just sounds so British. And it is, designed around a classic single-cylinder engine and built by hand by a family-owned company based in Birmingham, UK.
These days, singles are most often associated with offroad and enduro-styled machines, or with practical, budget-minded learner bikes and commuters. But for many years, single-cylinder machines were a mainstay of the motorcycle industry. They played to the basic strengths of the configuration: fewer moving parts meant simplicity, which in turn led to reliability, light weight, and a practical spread of power. And Velocettes were anything but cheap and cheerful: they were famous for their quality construction and innovative designs characterized by gradual, thoughtful evolution and craftsmanship, as opposed to mass-produced revolution as favored by the Japanese manufacturers.
Displacing 499cc’s, the Venom’s aluminum overhead-valve engine featured a cam set high in the block to keep pushrods short. It put about 35hp through a four-speed box that included one of Velocette’s innovative features: the first use of the “positive-stop” shift.
From the original eBay listing: 1964 Velocette Venom Clubman Veeline
For sale is my 1964 Velocette Venom Clubman Veeline frame# RS17215 engine #VM5634. It has the Lucas manual racing magneto, Thruxton seat, Thruxton twin leading shoe front brake, 10TT9 carb.
I bought the bike earlier this year out of the Mike Doyle collection at auction. I don’t have much previous info on the bike, overall it is in great shape. The fairing has some nicks and scratches, and a crack underneath but presents well. To get it going, I changed the fluids, adjusted the clutch, brakes and installed a new 6V battery. After learning “the drill” the bike runs magnificently. I’ve put about 100 miles on it. The clutch works properly and it shifts fine. The TT carb is a challenge to tune and be civil around town so I’m in process of bolting on a new monobloc. The TT comes in a box. It does weep some oil out of the clutch while running so it comes with a new o-ring seal and felt gasket along with a few other bits and bobs like new rubber grommets for the cables and shock bushings.
This is a very complete and highly original bike showing 6229 miles. I have a California title and it’s currently registered in my name. No reserve, happy bidding.
Update 10/7 – Finished installing the Amal monobloc and the bike runs and idles great, was able to take it for a putt. It doesn’t need a choke so I left it off, but comes with the choke parts and a new cable. I’ll post a video of the bike running on Saturday. One other item to note is that the decompression lever and cable are missing.
The “Clubman” designation indicated higher-performance specifications, including higher compression and a bigger carburetor, along with a sportier riding position and a closer-ratio gearbox. The “Veeline” featured the optional fairing, making this particular example relatively rare.
Velocettes make ideal collectable British singles, owing to their high-quality construction and relative reliability. With several days, bidding is up to $7,800 with the reserve not yet met. I’m relatively unfamiliar with the current value of these, but this appears to be in very nice condition, and that fairing, will not especially sleek, is very distinctive!
Ironically, while the styling of the Vincent Rapide and Black Shadow v-twins is now considered iconic, by 1954 it was starting to look dated to buyers of the period. So an update was needed to stimulate interest. Already one of the fastest bikes on the road, the Black Prince that followed was purely a functional and stylistic upgrade to the already stunningly advanced machine.
The design brief was “four-wheeled Bentley” and changes were made that would, theoretically at least, allow owners to ride their bikes to work in their natty three-piece suits.
How very John Steed.
To this end, a small fairing and leg shields were added, along with a conveniently hinged rear cowling that enclosed the rear wheel. A new center stand could be actuated by the rider while still on the bike, improving practicality. Top speed was down slightly from the leaner Rapide, but the bike otherwise performed like a Vincent.
Built between 1954 and 1955, the bike was not particularly successful, although this has made the bike correspondingly rare and increased values above that of even the famous Black Shadow…
This particular example comes in kit form, with some assembly required. Once finished, it should look something like this:
From the original eBay listing: 1955 Vincent Black Prince Project for Sale
The motorcycle has undergone a complete Mike Parti engine rebuild and many other items are completed and ready for assembly. The motorcycle is a recent restoration project that the owner lost interest in bike and wantes to move it along in it’s current condition and state of affairs.
The Prince is an all numbers matching motorcycle with the VOC documentation as well as an earlier British registration booklet. I also sent off all information to the leading authority on the D Series bikes in the UK and he has also authenticated the bike as well as sending us some past history on it. This bike was actually the eighth motorcycle built in 1955 and the fourth Black Prince off of the line.
This bike was sent over to the US about twelve years ago all in one piece needing a full restoration. As mentioned, the motor just came out of Mike Parti’s shop and is completely done at the tune of $16k invested to make it right. The frame sections are restored as well as a number of sub components such as newly painted forks and the like. The wheels are restored and relaced new with stainless steel spokes. The fiberglass body components are in very good to excellent shape. They have not been painted as of yet. Since the work has been halted, I am now offering it up for sale in its current condition or it can be completed by us on a time and material basis contracted separate from the auction sale.
With regard to the price of the bike, I see no down side at the reserve set, it is a very good deal especially when you compare it to the shoddy basket case Prince that recently sold at the Bonhams auction in the UK for $157k USD.
The listing also includes a comprehensive list of the included parts and their condition.
Bidding is active and up to $29,000 with two days left on the auction. Considering much of the heavy lifting appears to have been done, this could be a great opportunity for someone to get a serious investment at a relative bargain.
Small bikes are big business these days, especially when the words “Ducati” and “race bike” are involved, and this little Ducati 250 F3 might be at the top of the heap. While Ducati’s improbable victory at Imola cemented their big v-twin in everyone’s mind as the bike to have and gave them credibility in the eyes of the American market with their insatiable hunger for moar powah, much of their racing and street history is built around bikes like this single cylinder machine.
In fact, the first bike to feature their signature spring-less Desmo system was a single cylinder bike. Which makes sense, since the primary advantage of the system would have been most pronounced in the 1950’s, during the era when “hairpin” valve springs were still prevalent in motorcycle engines and metallurgy of the time reduced spring performance at the screaming revs that gave race winning power on track.
These days, single-cylinder racing is generally a budget endeavor, a stepping-stone for newer racers to show their stuff on a relatively level playing field that allows their skill and ruthlessness to shine. But racing singles from this era are anything but budget, regardless of the spec sheet: the racing 250 shared virtually no parts with the street version. Bikes like the F3 had their own frames, engines, suspensions, and brakes with basically no parts interchangeability with roadgoing models.
From the original eBay listing: 1964 Ducati 250cc F3 Corsa for Sale
I AM INTERESTED IN TRADING OFF THIS DUCATI FOR A 1972 OR LATER HARLEY DAVIDSON XR750TT OR OTHER INTERESTING RACE OR CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE OR VINTAGE FORMULA CAR!
Very rare one of only a few true F3 250cc that Ducati produced. Professionally restored and documented by Altinier Motorsports Treviso Italy. This is a beautiful motorcycle that would make an excellent addition to any garage or collection.
Well known sportbike manufacturer Ducati has always been deeply immersed in motorcycle roadracing, and its premier engineer, Fabio Taglioni, was a talented designer of fast motorcycles. In the 1950’s, Ing. Taglioni developed an overhead cam lightweight with desmodromic valves that became the bike to beat in international lightweight racing. Later versions of this bike came with double overhead cams. Many of the world’s top rider rode a Ducati lightweight at some point in their careers.
Walter Villa was one of the most famous GP racers of the Sixties and Seventies. Winning four GP titles in the 250 and 350 classes in 1974, 1975 and 1976. It is believed that this 250 is his personal mount, based on an inspection by his brother. Both the engine and frame have significant differences from other motorcycles built by Ducati.
NOTE: THIS IS NOT A BUILT UP 175cc!!
Located in Southern California.
NOTE! This motorcycle is selling on a BILL OF SALE ONLY! There are no titles on factory race motorcycles!
These are extremely rare, with very few 250’s being built. According to a previous auction of this bike through Bonhams, there may have been as few as five or six ever built. There are so many cool details on Ducatis of this period: that little cut out in the bottom of the tank for the carburetor bellmouth and the little clips that hold on what I suspect is an inspection cover on the left-hand side of the engine case. Any owners want to chime in and tell me what’s hiding behind that?
While it’s still possible to find sporty Ducati singles on a reasonable budget if you’re looking to participate in events like the Moto Giro, this probably isn’t one you’d consider: a previous auction of this very bike in 2012 netted $81,000… With plenty of time left on the auction and bidding only up to around $12,000 I’d expect we have a long way to go yet!
Café racer-style conversions often result in bikes with more style than actual function: below-the-triple clamp clip on bars look really cool but they’re murder on the rider. Rearsets can be cramped, and those thin seats don’t have very much padding… So, if you’re looking for a classic ride that’s more accommodating for your, uh… classic joints, then maybe a “musclebike” like Kawasaki’s Z1 is really more your speed. And with the return of bikes like Yamaha’s XJR1300 to the US, your choice could even be considered “trendy…”
With an upright riding position, wide bars, and a smooth, torquey inline-four, hot-rods like the Z1 set the standard for performance in the 1970’s. While the owners of European motorcycles had to make do with abstract qualities like “handling” and “brakes”, the big four-cylinder bikes from Japan had it where it really counted on the straight-line streets of America. Something you could easily measure with a stopwatch, or in tire-smoke as you pulled away from every stoplight on a Friday night.
Introduced in 1973, the Z1 might seem like a belated response to Honda’s CB750, but it was in fact developed concurrently. But when Honda’s bike was first to market, Kawasaki went back to the drawing board, and took a page from the Hot Rod Handbook, deciding that there was no replacement for displacement: the Z1’s 750 was punched out to 903cc’s, made 82hp, and could reach a top speed of 130mph.
From the original eBay listing: 1975 Kawasaki Z1 for Sale
This Z1 has low original miles of 18,381 and is in superb running condition. Lights, turn signals etc., are in good functioning order.
This is a remarkable original factory numbers matching bike, with some light restoration to round it out. The original factory paint is nice and glossy and has only minor stone chips in the left underside of the tank. Much of the rear wheel was restored with fresh chroming of tire rim and correct new brass nippled spokes.
New sprocket tire and chain were added as well.
The exhaust has factory stamping but the left upper exhaust pipe is a DOREMI.
The valve cover has been polished not chromed the rear fender and front fender were disassembled and re-chromed as new!
The seat is a new reproduction seat and pretty much that and the one pipe are the only reproduction parts on this Z1
No surprises here just and honest original survivor nothing has been repainted!
Unfortunately, the Kawi’s appliance-like reliability meant that riders didn’t need to cherish them, and they didn’t inspire the kind of devoted care that the more idiosyncratic European brands enjoyed. With no need to join the Cult of Desmo or learn the Mysteries of the Isolastic, riders were free to use and abuse their bikes to their heart’s content, stopping only to top off with gas and replace rear tires. Eventually, many of them ended up with an accidental Mad Max aesthetic before they were parked up and discarded.
Now, as interest in bikes of this era increases, nice examples are very rapidly escalating in value. Not long ago, you could pick up decent Z1’s for a song, but those days are gone and even basket-cases are commanding real money. This bike certainly isn’t perfect, but represents what many buyers want to see: a bit of period patina with a light refresh.
So buy it and ride it, or park it up and fire up GoogleTranslate and head over to the Sanctuary website for some exotic resto-mod parts! Bidding is very active with very little time left, so jump in quick!