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1937 Moto Guzzi PE 238 for Sale

1937Moto Guzzi PE238 L Side

At the dawn of time, back before Honda made multis for the masses, the single was the epitome of motorcycling perfection. Certainly other companies did make twins and exotic four-cylinders, but the big single provided the ideal motorcycling powerplant: simple and compact, with a torque-rich powerband that made for ease-of-use on the road and flexibility on the racetrack.

Moto Guzzi was almost exclusively associated with this configuration for the first forty years of production, until the introduction of their iconic v-twin in the 1960s. Their distinctive “horizontal” singles kept weight almost impossibly low and provided excellent access to cooling airflow for the head as can be seen in this Moto Guzzi PE238.

1937Moto Guzzi PE238 L Side Engine

Along with that distinctive laid-over engine, Guzzis of this era were notable for their exposed, “salami-slicer” flywheels. This configuration allowed Guzzi to keep the weight of their engine castings down, since they didn’t actually have to enclose the relatively large, heavy flywheel that smoothed power-pulses and provided locomotive-style torque! Valves on this smaller, 250cc example were operated by exposed, “hairpin” valve springs that can be seen in the photo above.

1937Moto Guzzi PE238 Cockpit

And while “Italian” has come to be synonymous with the “expensive,” “exotic,” and “temperamental,” it’s important to remember that, in the post-war era, manufacturers were primarily concerned with getting the population to work on time. Most Italian bikes of the era were designed to function as transportation, not as expensive lifestyle-accessories and, while Moto Guzzi was very active in competition, their bikes were famously reliable, frugal, and flexible.

1937Moto Guzzi PE238 R Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1937 Moto Guzzi PE238 for Sale

This is a very nice example of an older restoration in italy.  Recently imported to the states.  A few scratches on the tank decal.  Paint chips in rear fender, but otherwise looks nice.  Unknown running condition, but I have imported bikes from this dealer and will need some going through, but otherwise will likely run.  Super neat and rare bike.

Bidding is active on this bike, but is only up to $6,200 with the reserve not met and five days left on the auction. While a bike like this is certainly not “entry level” classic by any means, and performance of a 1930’s 250 is certainly not up to modern levels, old Guzzis are famous for their usability making this pretty practical for its vintage.

That torquey single is famous for being able to lug from single-digit speeds in top gear so, allowing for the ultimate limits of the power and braking, these old Guzzis can be used on the road, and I’m sure any classic road rally or event would be ecstatic to have something like this in attendance!

-tad

1937Moto Guzzi PE238 R Side

 

 

 

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The Perfect Cafe Racer: 1966 Norton Atlas for Sale

1966 Norton Atlas Cafe R Side Front

At first glance, the tank shape suggests that this is a classic Norton Commando, but the upright engine reveals the truth: this is a very well put-together Norton Atlas café racer. When building the perfect café bike, many builders prefer the more sleekly-canted engine from the later Commando that supposedly improved center of gravity, but likely just looked cool and created additional space for carburetors. Redesigning the engine for the Commando was easy for the same reason it’s very easy to mix-and-match parts from these bikes: the pre-unit gearbox.

1966 Norton Atlas Cafe L Side

While an obviously outdated design, even when new, Norton made it work well, and their parallel-twins were the bikes to beat on both road and track: the “Featherbed” frame gave famously sharp handling and the engines could tuned to be very powerful, yet the package remained relatively lightweight.

1966 Norton Atlas Cafe Dash

The seller’s description mentions significant engine work that stresses balancing and lightening, a great idea, since the 750 twin did have some issues with vibration. The original Dominator was powered by a 500cc version of the engine, but successive increases in displacement exacerbated the vibration inherent in a parallel-twin design. The 650cc Atlas was the last of the line before the famous “Isolastic” system was designed for the Commando, intended to keep that bike from literally shaking itself to pieces.

1966 Norton Atlas Cafe L Side Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1966 Norton Atlas 750cc Café Racer

I am the second owner. I have owned and ridden this classic for 7 years, I ride it mostly on weekend rides ( about 1200 miles since purchased) and it always brings a smile to my face. It has always been stored indoors, only seen dry weather and has never to my knowledge been dropped.

No expense was spared in creating a beautiful café racer typical of the late 60’s/early 70’s; the detailing is superb. This bike uses real original café parts, not reproductions.

Slimline featherbed frame; alloy Real “Lyta” short circuit tank; polished alloy oil tank; frame, swing arm, primary cover, etc. powder coated; alloy parts are all polished; Commando forks; hard chromed stanchions; triple clamps machined from aircraft Dural (aluminum); Akront stainless, flanged wheels; stainless spokes; lightened hubs; rare, magnesium racing Lockheed front brake and master cyl. with drilled front disk; all fasteners are stainless steel; stainless fenders.

Engine dynamically balanced and head flowed; lightened and polished valve gear; genuine Dunstall camshaft; 850 oil pump with modified flow to head and spin-on filter modification; Superblend bearings; magneto ignition; new Amal 930 Concentric carbs (installed by Brian Slark); g’box also with Superblend bearings and all new gears and bushes; chain-driven Barnett clutch. Many more features.

As with all pre-Commando, primary chain Nortons, weeps some oil out of the primary case, but is otherwise oil tight. Starts first kick (usually), handles and stops as you would expect from a featherbed frame/disk brake classic. Acceleration from 4,500 rpm is exhilarating. This is a bike you can ride and enjoy!!!

The engine work should go a long way towards making this bike smooth on the road. I’d imagine this still isn’t great for touring, but I doubt anyone looking at these plans to use it for that, or would care much if they did.

1966 Norton Atlas Cafe Oil Tank

That oil tank is an especially beautiful piece, the color choice is classic and simple, and the single mirror is a very nice, authentic café-racer touch although, for US roads, I think I’d move it to the left-hand bar…

My fantasy garage definitely includes a 60’s British parallel-twin, and this is exactly the type of bike I’d want. Bidding is active and up to $9,000 with less than one day to go on the auction, so jump in quickly!

-tad

1966 Norton Atlas Cafe R Side

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She’s Just the One You Want: 1975 Laverda 3C for Sale

1975 Laverda 3C R Side

Many of the bikes I post up here on the site are ones I admire, or recognize as being beautiful, or significant, or well-built, or just interesting. Some represent the bikes I’d actually like to have in my own garage. Even fewer are ones I actually intend to own.

This Laverda 3C is one of those.

1975 Laverda 3C R Side Front

I may have written ad nauseam about Laverda’s three-cylinder motorcycles, but they do seem to be cropping up pretty often lately. I just hope that when the time comes that I have both the cash and the space to buy one of these. Laverda just encapsulates so much of what I love about motorcycles and design: they’re fast, sexy, loud, brash, sophisticated, and very rare. This one even has clear green fuel lines!

1975 Laverda 3C L Side Engine

And it isn’t just me: my battered black Laverda t-shirt has started more random conversations than any other piece of moto-gear I’ve ever owned, like the restaurant owner excited to share the story of how he and his brother were Laverda importers in the 1970’s. Random people have stopped me in the grocery store, in IKEA, on the street, just to ask me about it. It seems like just about every time I leave the house wearing it, I come home with a new story.

1975 Laverda 3C Dash

But as much as I love bikes like the SFC, I can’t really see myself owning one. Even if I could afford one, I’m not likely to have one just to display it and they’re historically significant enough that I’d feel really guilty about wrecking one on track. And the SF’s are really classy, but parallel-twins are sort of everywhere, and they’re so workmanlike. Triples are just more inherently exotic, I think. A little bit ragged, a little bit uneven.

1975 Laverda 3C L Rear Wheel

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Laverda 3C for Sale

Very correct and original: recently completed restoration by long-time Laverda enthusiast. Matching numbers: 1000*2713.

Odometer shows just over 8500 miles – probably not correct, but whole machine has been fully rebuilt as outlined below, so the actual mileage is pretty much academic.

Less than 100 miles on rebuilt motor. Stripped down to cases and carefully inspected: everything was in very good condition and nothing seriously required replacement, but cylinders were deglazed, and new ‘Jota’ pistons were fitted. New stock A12 cams were installed as well as a new cam chain, new valves and valve guides. Witt ignition and higher-output alternator coils were also installed.

The slightly higher compression together with original cam timing and more progressive ignition timing provided by the Witt ignition make for a very sporty but also very streetable combination —altogether a marked improvement in both rideability and reliability over the original set-up with Bosch ignition.

Anything else on the bike that wasn’t 100% was replaced and/or upgraded.
All replacement parts came from Wolfgang Haerter (except tires and horns). Thanks again, Wolfgang!

New and/or updated items include:
New Brembo calipers, brake pads, with braided stainless steel brake lines.
New Bridgestone Battlax tires front and rear (Wolfgang’s recommendation).
All new stainless spokes, front and rear – original Borrani rims fully cleaned up and polished.
New wheel bearings all round.
Telefix front fork brace.
New headers – German repro – better chrome than the originals.
New 180 mm headlight rim.
New switchgear and upgraded wiring with Bosch relays for lights, horns,
New CEV tailight and turn signals all round.
Fiamm twin-tone horns – very loud!
Frame was fully stripped and powder coated.
Tank and side covers professionally repainted in Laverda orange.
New single seat. Original dual seat (fully reconditioned) is also included.

This looks like a very nicely turned out bike. I’m not slavishly devoted to originality, although I certainly respect that school of thought. Honestly, the whole “resto-mod” philosophy suits me best: old vehicles with thoughtful, tasteful improvements to style, performance, reliability, and handling that still maintain the feel of the originals. While Laverda was famous for having reliable electrical components, a lot has changed since the 1970’s and the updated ignition components included in this build should seriously improve rideability.

1975 Laverda 3C L Side Rear

It’s also confidence-inspiring to see the Aston Martin in the background: it suggests that the seller is familiar with taking care of exotic machinery!

The modern day equivalent to this bike would be something like Triumph’s Speed Triple, a bike with a big, meaty motor, stable handling, and simple good looks. A rugged, do-it-all sporting machine in brilliant tangerine paint.

-tad

1975 Laverda 3C L Side

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Best of Both Worlds: 1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe L Side

When is a vintage Guzzi not really a vintage Guzzi? When it’s a combination of the old and the new, like this Moto Guzzi LeMans café bike. The relatively slow pace of development among many smaller manufacturers is at times very frustrating, and bikes at the end of a glacially slow production cycle can seem like dinosaurs.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe R Side Rear

But that same slow change can pay dividends down the road: long periods of slow improvement mean that those same dinosaurs are pretty well-developed by the time they’re finally replaced, and many updated components can be retrofitted to earlier machines, allowing a modern builder to take the best of each era and combine classic looks with improved reliability and performance.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe Dash

This is definitely true of the Tonti-framed Guzzis of the 70’s and 80’s, and the builder of this example has combined the classic look of the original LeMans with the updated, square-head motor from the donor LeMans III, here bored out to over 1000cc’s and fitted with twin-plug heads.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe L Side Engine

The word “agricultural” gets thrown around a lot with Guzzis but, in this case, that’s no bad thing: the tractor-like torque this nearly 1100cc motor should put a big smile on your face. And don’t assume that the pushrod valvetrain makes this thing a low-end-only proposition: a number of comparisons I’ve read between the LeMans and the Ducati 900SS comment on the fact that the Guzzi is actually the revvier of the two motors.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe Front Brakes

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Café

True cafe racer and not only in looks. This bike was built in California with little expense spared. Based on a 1984 Lemans III, Allegedly over $10k spent on the engine, 1060cc, extensive twin plug head work, reworked gear box with silky smooth shifting, heavy duty starter, Olin shocks, twin floating front discs, single floating rear, Alloy tank from the Tank Shop in Scotland, Lemans I faring and Agostini tail piece, new Mikuni slide carbs w/chokes, wire rims, open exhaust, frame powder coated, battery moved to bottom of bike for better balance. I am selling this for a friend and although I have not ridden it I have ridden with him/it and BEHIND it, which is not  a common position for me and my modified BMW R1100s. It is a very fast bike. And I think for an experienced rider, in my opinion.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe Shock Detail

I’m not the biggest fan of the tail section on this bike, but that could easily be changed by the new owner, and the aluminum tank makes up for it in any case. There is a very minor dent as shown in the photo, but slight imperfections are part of the charm of a part like that.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe Tank Detail

I’d say if this goes for anywhere near the starting price of $6,000 it’s a good deal, considering the development that’s claimed to have gone into it, although at some point I’d want to see more documentation of exactly what went into the engine build.

-tad

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe L Side Front

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Complete Package: 1973 Yamaha RD350 Cafe

1973 Yamaha RD350 R Front

Another really nice little Yamaha RD350 with some subtle custom touches that can be easily reversed if a potential buyer would prefer something a bit more stock… I love a nice, subtly modified bike that enhances the bike’s original strengths and this is very simple, but still looks like the original article. This build includes an uprated engine and suspension updates that should provide excellent handling.

1973 Yamaha RD350 L Side

While Kawasaki was busy building hairy straight-line rockets and Honda was busy making bikes Swiss-watch internals at everyman prices, Yamaha was creating its own niche, building middleweight two-strokes that provided a very complete package that included that elusive quality: handling.

1973 Yamaha RD350 Dash

The RD series of bikes epitomized that philosophy, with a 347cc two-stroke parallel twin that put a real-world 40hp through a six-speed gearbox that made the most of the relatively narrow powerband. A powerful front disc allowed the lightweight bike to stop quickly, and frame geometry derived from the TZ race bike gave the bike very nimble handling. Concessions to day-to-day use included Yamaha’s “Autolube” oil-injection system that made fill-ups at the gas station much simpler, since the rider no longer had to carry around two-stroke oil…

1973 Yamaha RD350 L Front Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1973 Yamaha RD350 Cafe for Sale

This 1973 YAMAHA RD350 has fewer than 200miles since rebuild. starts easy and has that awesome two-stroke sound coming out of the spec2 chambers! EVERYTHING was completly disassembled, rebuilt, painted or polished. The crankshaft was rebuilt, stage 2 porting, larger RZ intakes,32mm mikuni vm jetted for pre-mix, I have the work orders from spec2 with all the details. Franks fork tubes with racetech springs and cartridge emulators up front and works performance shocks out back. the rolling chassis went to G.M.D. computrack to check alignment, yup… it handles awesome! Fuel tank is N.O.S. 77 yamaha SX, along with a ton of nos,oem, and performance rd parts.I have just over $10,000.00 in receipts, they will go with the bike for future reference of suppliers used for the build.

1973 Yamaha RD350 L Side Rear

With a $3,200 starting bid and just two days left with no takers, I’m a little surprised. I’m not an expert on these so I can’t speak to its originality, but it seems to be a very well-prepared little bike that really captures the spirit of the era. Luckily, I don’t have a spare $3,200 lying around to buy another bike, but I’ve been aching to buy into the two-stroke club, and this looks like one that would tempt me.

-tad

1973 Yamaha RD350 R Rear

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Some Assembly Required: 1984 Laverda Triple Project Bike

1984 Laverda RGA R Frame

I wouldn’t normally include someone’s unfinished project like this Laverda Jota RGA here on CSBFS: too many questions, too little information, usually not enough photos to even get a good idea what you’re getting. And what you’re getting is usually in pretty sad shape: boxes of rusty, seized parts, battered bodywork, and grungy, hacked-up wiring. Claims that the project is “85% complete,” with those missing 15% comprised of completely unobtainable bits…

1984 Laverda RGA Engine

Plus, you’re all coming here to drool over the coolest old bikes on the internet, and it’s sometimes hard to get excited by an unfinished project. It’s like looking at a countertop covered with flour, eggs, and blocks of baker’s chocolate, trying to get excited about the cake that could be made from those ingredients…

But when the ingredients are as nice as this, it’s hard not to imagine that the finished article would be spectacular, so use a bit of imagination and join me in fantasizing about what could be!

1984 Laverda RGA Tank

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Laverda Jota RGA Project for Sale

At auction is a 1984 Laverda Jota RGA, Orange,120 degree triple, project bike, disassembled into major components and sub-assemblies, in 15 boxes. Includes new Sprint full lower fairing, unpainted. I have owned this bike for about 10 years, bought fully assembled and in extremely original but tired condition. After acquiring, an orderly disassembly proceeded, frame was powdercoated, along with bracketry, handlebars, all aluminum (sideplates, Etc.) polished and boxed, many special stainless fittings and fasteners from Motalia included. Carbs disassembled and vapor cleaned, includes all new parts. Rebuild kits for Brembo brakes included, Speigler lines included. Tires are new Dunlop tt100’s and tubes mounted on newly powdercoated wheels. New stainless exhaust system included, fully polished. New Witt electronic ignition included. All new spares included with the bike, generally sourced from Wolfgang Haerter in Canada or Motalia in England. Everything has been stored in heated/ air-conditioned storage, no sunlight. All seat parts and upholstery are unmarked, no cuts or tears.

Laverda’s Jota was basically a hot-rod version of their 981cc 3CL. Powered by an overhead-cam triple, the bike was very fast right out of the box. But UK tuners at Slater Laverda saw that there was even more potential in the engine, and developed the Jota using high-compression pistons, wilder cams, and lots of very orange paint…

Jotas do vary in specification, depending on where they were sold, with US versions notable tamer than the original UK bikes. And after 1982, the triple featured a revised crankshaft that smoothed power but also tamed the beast slightly, making the earlier bikes more desirable. Although this is not the original, 180° “true” Jota, all the variations of Laverda’s three-cylinder motor are packed with character and performance.

1984 Laverda RGA Carbs

The RGS that followed was an attempt to recast the big Laverda in a more civilized light and the RGA was a slightly less expensive version of the bike that featured a slightly awkward bikini fairing, instead of the fully-enclosed bodywork. I’d probably leave that bit off if this were my project… Although painted up, the included Sprint lower fairing could make for a very cool look as well: it features a classic, dual-round-headlight look that is much more stylish than the standard RGS square unit. When finished, it could look something like this bike we featured a while back: Laverda RGA Sprint for sale.

1984 Laverda RGA Bodywork

This basically looks complete, with all the hard work done. It’s a shame the seller never got the chance to complete this project, but this looks like a very good project for a handy individual to build a snorting Italian sport-touring motorcycle from the ground-up!

-tad

1984 Laverda RGA Fairing

 

 

 

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King of the Hill: Restored 1972 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV for Sale

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 L Front

Nothing the Europeans produced had quite the same character as the big two-stroke triples from Kawasaki. Produced first in H1 500cc form, and then later in S2 and S3 sizes, the H2 750 Mach IV was king of the hill in terms of power and displacement. With a short wheelbase and power that came on like a 2×4 to the back of the head, these developed a reputation for killing their owners, although, unlike the earlier Mach III with its bendy-riffic frame, this was likely a result of new riders not really being prepared for the experience of the two-stroke’s savage powerband.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 L Rear2

When the Japanese began their manufacturing onslaught, they were often perceived/portrayed as simple imitators, producers of budget crap that was great, if that’s all you could afford. But as their products eclipsed those produced by European manufacturers in terms of quality and reliability, they became less imitators and more innovators. And while bikes like Honda’s and Kawasaki’s big four-cylinder bikes allowed them to compete in the world motorcycle arena, they were still playing the game that had already existed, just playing it better.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Engine Detail

But the two-stroke performance motorcycles from Japan ushered in a new era of motorcycle performance, and mirrored the musclecar virtues of cheap speed, with frightening fuel economy to match: figures below 20mpg are possible with a heavy throttle hand. While Suzuki’s two strokes were often tamed for the road to smooth the power delivery, make them more four-stroke-like in character, Kawasaki embraced the gnarly character of the stroker, and their killer rep led to success in the showroom.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Dash

Considering the power on tap, these never sound all that menacing in person: the crackle and pop of even a big, highly-tuned two-stroke still sounds like the world’s angriest lawnmower to me. But until recently, the fastest motorcycles in the world were 500cc two-strokes that left an angry, buzz-saw wail in their wake.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Exhaust

From the original eBay listing: 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 for sale

This is a 1972 Kawasaki H2 that has been restored to as new condition. The engine number is 22221 and the frame number is 22118. It is a museum quality restoration of every single piece. If the original piece could not be brought back to as new it was replaced with NOS. The seat, pipes, and front foot peg rubbers are reproduction(I installed the foot peg rubbers without realizing they were not NOS and I’m too lazy to change them). All of the metal parts were taken down to bare metal and either re-plated or painted. The painted parts have 2 coats of zinc-chromate primer, 1 coat of sandable primer, one coat of sealer and the correct paint. The hardware is all NOS as is most of the rubber pieces. It was painted with as close a match as I could find for the original Kawasaki Candy Blue, it’s 2 coats of silver-white pearl with 4 coats of candy blue, the decals and then 2 coats of clear. Every single date-coded part that came on this bike is still on it and so are the steel plugged handlebars. The crank has been rebuilt with slotted rods and the pistons are from Wossner pistons, rings and pins. The original CDI’s that are pictured in the bike are not in it now but will be included. I have a Lakeland box installed. It has Continental tubeless tires with tubes installed. The gauges were done be Don Fulsang. This bike is as new right down to the inside of the switch houses and including the original wiring harness. I have installed a lithium ion battery instead of a wet-acid battery. It’s a numbers matching bike and I have put 400 miles on it since the restoration and all the bugs are worked out, it’s ready to show or ride. This bike is tuned beautifully and runs like it should, scary. If you want a new 1972 Kawasaki H2 this is as close as you will get. The only flaws are the candy blue pooled a bit on the top of the side cover so when the seat is up you can see it. After you ride it hard and park it the transmission will leak a couple of drops and quit, I must have roughed up the transmission shaft seal when I installed the shaft, and the tool kit strap is incorrect although a NOS Kawasaki part, it’s the battery strap. If it bugs you it’s an easy fix. I did all the work on this bike myself, it took me 9 months to build and I could not count the hours. I built it because I wanted a new 1972 H2 and this was the only way to get one. I now have other triples to restore and don’t have time to ride this so it’s for sale. This bike has no disappointments. I don’t think you can buy one nicer.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Electrics

The seller mentions that the color isn’t a perfect match for the original paint, but I think he’s being hypercritical: this is a really gorgeous bike, with a price tag that matches the preparation. I wouldn’t normally include a picture of the wiring, but you can see just how nice this example is. These have been steadily increasing in value for quite a while now and, while this is near the top of the range, the price doesn’t seem all that outrageous, since you could practically eat off the engine, it’s so clean.

-tad

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 L Rear

 

4

The Hammers of Hell: 1972 Harley Davidson XRTT

1977 Harley XRTT L Side Front

When I see the state of Harley’s current lineup of overweight retro-sleds, it makes me sad to see that they’ve no interest in building bikes like this beautiful Harley XRTT anymore, as clearly evidenced by their shoddy treatment of Erik Buell. Their original Sportster was a genuine alternative to bikes like Triumph’s Bonneville but, while the current Bonneville is possibly the ideal “modern classic”, today’s Sportster is compromised in virtually every way, the epitome of “form-over-function.”

1977 Harley XRTT Dash

Now obviously, this isn’t hurting sales any. But it’s a shame that Ducati and Triumph can both create a range of bikes that celebrate their heritage while still providing modern performance and safety, Harley can’t or won’t, when they produce more motorcycles annually than Triumph and Ducati combined.

But they’re obviously happy to rest on the laurels of bikes like this one.

1977 Harley XRTT L Side Rear

When Harley decided to go roadracing in the 1970’s, they started with what they knew best: dirt-track racing. The 1972 bikes featured a significantly updated motor that used aluminum heads and barrels. The 45° twin’s compact design still featured pushrods, but the compact design had many of the same advantages of the famous small-block Chevy: perhaps not the most modern or best-breathing configuration, but the compact design and light weight allowed for a potent package

1977 Harley XRTT Front Wheel

Careful preparation let the simple engines rev to over 8,000rpm and pump out 90hp from 750cc’s. A four-speed box and a huge them rev over 8k and they made 90 plus HP. A 4-speed box put the power to the ground while a huge Ceriani drum brake up front and a disc at the rear provided very effective stopping.

1977 Harley XRTT Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1972 Harley Davidson XRTT for Sale

1972 Harley-Davidson XRTT Racing bike. The engine was redone by Carl Patrick less than three months ago and the engine is documented with the Harley-Davidson time cards. This bike is in flawless condition and was on display at Harley-Davidson. There are no current fluids in the bike. This is a once in a life time opportunity!

It’s a shame that this bike hasn’t been used as intended, buy the upside is that it’s in spectacular shape, and I’m sure it could be made to run if that’s your interest, since the engine was just rebuilt. The chin-pad on the tank is a particularly cool detail although, given the 45° twin’s reputation for vibration, it might not be the most practical place to rest your head while tucking in behind that screen…

1977 Harley XRTT L Side

Starting price is $55,000 with no bids so far. While that’s a ton of money for a motorcycle, I’d expect that’s perfectly fair, given the bike’s rarity: opinions vary, but less than 25 were ever made, and very few of those are in this sort of condition.

-tad

1977 Harley XRTT R Side

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Super-Clean Custom: 1977 Yamaha RD400 for Sale

1977 Yamaha RD400 R Side Front

So hands up if you think the whole cafe racer thing is played out! I do love the democratic nature of the café racer movement, the democratic nature. You can spend as much or as little money as your imagination allows, and build your dream using any brand machine you want. But the thing that makes is so cool is the exact thing that makes it so cliché: everybody with a battered old bike, a hacksaw, and some flat-black spraypaint can get in on the action.

But, every once in a while, a bike comes along that shows just how the whole thing got legs again. And this cool, relatively simple Yamaha RD400 is one of those bikes.

1977 Yamaha RD400 R Side Tank

By the late 1960’s, Japan had proven that it had the engineering expertise to take on the established brands from Europe and America and was busy crushing them under their heel in terms of sales. They were inexpensive, featured sophisticated engines, and were much more reliable than their rivals. But the one area where they generally couldn’t compete was handling: bikes like Kawasaki’s Z1 were very fast in a straight line and merely competent in the corners, while their H1 earned a reputation for being downright treacherous. For most street riders, that was fine, and Harris, Spondon, and Rickman could whip you up a new frame if you really needed to go around corners.

1977 Yamaha RD400 R Side Engine

But there were some notable exceptions to this, and Yamaha’s line of middleweight two-strokes combined playful, two-stroke punch in a lightweight package that made it the ride of choice for backroad-burners and aspiring racers: while heavier than the track-only TZ, it featured that bike’s racy geometry, strong brakes, and a six-speed gearbox. Worry-automatic oil-injection helped keep two-stroke hassles to a minimum.

1977 Yamaha RD400 Tank

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Yamaha RD400 Custom for Sale

This 1977 Yamaha RD400 custom is a real head turner!  People will stop you all the time to ask about it!  This was professionally built by Motohangar in Vienna VA.     The bike was completed in June of this year.  Bike is a total, ground up restoration and performance modded machine.  It was a feature story on the Pipeburn website on June 16th 2014.    It was also featured on Yamaha USA’s Facebook page where they called it “a masterpiece.”  If you search it online you will see that it has been re-posted to dozens of enthusiast websites around the world.  Take a minute to check out the feature story on Pipeburn where the builder details the build process and there are lots more photos.    

Bike has fewer than 100 miles on it since rebuild and is absolutely immaculate.  Starts beautifully and sounds like two-stroke heaven due to the hand built Jim Lomas race pipes. Pat at Motohangar has built a number of show stopping bikes over that last few years, including the best in show “Honduki” bike.

This bike has been described as a 70’s LeMans style resto mod due to its stunning paint and graphics.  Everything was completely disassembled and rebuilt and repainted–engine cases are beautifully detailed, frame is freshly painted, wheels were blasted and painted, new seat pan and tail section custom built (oil filler relocated to top of tail section)  custom LED tail light fabricated, neutral and oil warning lights relocated into top triple.

Vintage Smoke rearsets–which include a Brembo rear caliper, Jim Lomas pipes, clip on’s, Frank’s fork tubes, new Dunlop tires, new Assault rear shocks, new chain, new brakes, cross drilled rotors– the list goes on.  This bike is far superior to a brand new RD.

This bike is very fast and responsive to the throttle.  It will put a smile on your face every time!  It sounds like a crazed pack of hornets coming down the road!  Seller has current Virginia title.

1977 Yamaha RD400 R Side Rear

Very clean and striking, this is the kind of custom that emphasizes the original bike’s style, while doing its own thing. The taillight is very cool and nicely done, if a bit overstyled, and I love the warning lights integrated into the top triple. I assume the “MH” on the engine is for “MotoHangar”, although I could do without that particular detail…

1977 Yamaha RD400 Tail

At $6,300 with the reserve met and a couple days to go, I’m very curious to see what this goes for. If this stays anywhere in that range, someone’s getting a serious bargain for a very classy, one-of-a-kind motorcycle.

-tad

1977 Yamaha RD400 R Side

2

The Littlest Superbike: 1976 Honda CB400F

 

1976 Honda CB400F R Front

Introduced at a time when “middleweight” machines almost exclusively featured single and twin-cylinder engines, Honda’s little CB400F was really a “because we can” middle finger in the face of the competition, a demonstration of engineering mastery. Out of the box, it offered no performance advantage over twins, singles, and two-stroke alternatives: the increased weight of the package was only partly offset by the additional power that higher revs allowed.

1976 Honda CB400F Dash

But that was hardly the point. Introduced in 1975 and built until 1977, this was really a more sophisticated alternative to those bikes that offered a smooth, silky 408cc four-cylinder powerplant and a six-speed gearbox when bikes from Britain generally had only four speeds…

1976 Honda CB400F Tail

Unfortunately, that same complicated specification led to relative high prices for the class, and that resulted in poor sales. If you wanted cheap speed in a package that handled, Yamaha’s RD bikes were the ticket. But Honda’s little four offered a much more refined package. With a distinctive four-into-one header that clearly advertised the bike’s specification, the rest of the bike was relatively conservatively styled.

1976 Honda CB400F L Tank

While these weren’t especially fast right from the factory, legendary Honda durability allowed tuners to wring some fairly insane power from these for the race track… Tuner Kaz Yoshima built CB400’s to compete against much larger bikes and his could hit 130mph!

1976 Honda CB400F R Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1976 Honda CB400F for Sale

I’ve reluctantly decided to sell my 1976 CF 400F Super Sport. A recent total shoulder replacement and a dangerous increase in local traffic have curtailed my riding pleasure. In an effort to accurately describe this motorcycle, this description may get a little tedious, but I would rather give interested parties an in depth look than leave out any important details. If I left out any information, please let me know.

History: I purchased this bike in September 2005 from the original owner’s family in Tennessee. It currently has 11,008 miles, it has a clear South Carolina title, and the engine and frame numbers match. It has never been laid down. It is in very good to excellent mechanical and cosmetic shape. When I acquired the bike it was obviously very well cared for and the previous owners kept detailed records since the original purchase. During my ownership I have kept up regular service and maintenance, and always stored in a climate controlled garage. Documentation includes original written sales receipt from dealer, most maintenance records, original owners manual and warranty booklet (in original plastic pouches). Also included is original toolkit that appears to have 10 oil drain bolt washers still sealed in a plastic bag. Also from the previous owners is a binder that contained a xeroxed copy of a shop manual along with the maintenance records and parts purchased in it. There were a lot of OEM items supplied with the motorcycle when I bought it that I cannot find receipts for, but they were in OEM marked sealed bags. Some were used in subsequent maintenance described below.

Items Not Original: The battery is about 7 months old and sale includes a hardwired battery tender with quick connect. The original tires were replaced by my local Honda dealer at 10,890 miles, so they have 120 miles on them. The new tires are Bridgestone Battlax BT-45’s. I also had the original chain and sprockets replaced at the same time, all OEM replacements. The previous owners had replaced the master brake cylinder/reservoir (OEM). Included with my purchase of the bike was a new starter/kill switch assembly as the starter button had an intermittent short, a very common issue on these bikes. After installing it, the new assembly (and brake reservoir) did not match the patina of the old turn signal assembly on the left-side of the handlebars. In an effort to make them all match (they look like they have a bronze/black anodized coating), I replaced the left-side turn signal assembly (OEM) again with parts I acquired with the bike. The brake and clutch handles look more like a pewter finish so they didn’t need replacing, they are original and still have the original heavy plastic coating and rubber tips. I still have the old left and right assemblies that are included with the sale, but not the master brake cylinder.

1976 Honda CB400F Nekkid

The listing includes lots of additional history and detail. Keep in mind the “numbers matching” issue that the seller mentions in his listing, although it looks like this really won’t be any problem for a potential buyer. Bidding is pretty active, so it seems like buyers aren’t being scared off.

At $2,949 and a couple days left on the auction, this looks like a good deal for such a shiny, original machine with only 11,000 miles on the clock. This is another one of those bikes that I’d love to pick up, if I only had the space to keep one. A great introductory classic, or a bike for someone who wants to spend more time riding than wrenching!

-tad

1976 Honda CB400 L Front

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