0

The Other Bike from Bologna: 1953 Mondial 200 Sport

1953 Mondial 200 Sport R Side Front

History is littered with the corpses of car and motorcycle manufacturers that didn’t survive various economic crises and paradigm shifts and, unfortunately, boutique manufacturer Mondial is listed amongst the fallen. While we normally associate the failure of a manufacturer with the quality of their products, it’s generally far more complicated than that. The 1960’s saw a glut of cheap, incredibly well-engineered motorcycles from Japan flood a market formerly dominated by the European manufacturers that had grown by leaps and bounds in a postwar economy bolstered by the demand for inexpensive wheeled transportation.

1953 Mondial 200 Sport R Side Rear

Although the handling of these inexpensive machines was pretty far off the standard established by the racebred motorcycles from England and Italy, for most people, that hardly mattered, and quality, reliability, and even cheap speed trumped the cornering prowess of bikes from companies like Mondial.

Mondial built motorcycles from 1948-1979 and were very successful in Grand Prix racing during the 1950s. Although most Italian manufacturers of this period focused their efforts on practical, affordable transportation, Mondial was much more interested in building small-volume, high-quality motorcycles with a more sporting intent. Perhaps could be considered the Velocette of Italy. With handbuilt quality and performance, they could perhaps be thought of as the Italian equivalent of Italy and even designed and built a desmodromic cylinder head before Ducati, although it was never actually produced.

1953 Mondial 200 Sport L Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1953 Mondial 200 Sport

1953 Mondial 200 Sport in very nice restored condition. Everything has been redone. Motor was rebuilt in Italy and runs and shifts fine. Bike went through an extensive cosmetic restoration. All chrome has been redone and all aluminum has had many hours of polishing. Bike comes with a clean title. Any questions about the bike you can contact me directly. This is a super rare bike and a great opportunity to add to any bike collection.

Interestingly, the year 2000 saw a brief revival of the Mondial name and the creation of a Honda RC51 -powered superbike. This unusual engine choice was only possible because in 1957, Mondial provided Honda with one of their winning racebikes to use as inspiration. Honda wanted to repay the gesture and allowed the new Mondial superbike to use their engine.

1953 Mondial 200 Sport L Side

With its striking red and gold paint, this might easily be mistaken for a 50’s Ducati, although Mondial’s traditional colors were generally silver and blue. Bidding is active on this little Mondial, with just one day left on the auction. At $7,700 the reserve has been met, which seems a fair price for such a good-looking, unusual motorcycle.

-tad

1953 Mondial 200 Sport R Side

3

The OTHER Italian Twin: 1974 Laverda 750 SF2

1974 Laverda SF2 R Side

I always have to write up Laverdas when I find them: they’re often forgotten when talking about classic Italian sportbikes, overshadowed by their rivals over in Bologna. The 650cc parallel twin SF Laverdas were introduced in 1966 and quickly grew to 750cc, and featured the very best components available from around the globe: ignition components from Germany, electrical parts and gauges from Japan, with a frame, engine, and huge front brake manufactured in-house. The “SF” in the name referred to the large front brake: “Super Freni” basically translates to “super braking.” The engine was built to last, with five main bearings and the resulting motorcycle, while heavy, handled well and was successful in various endurance-racing events.

1974 Laverda SF2 L Rear

Front brakes on the SF were eventually upgraded to twin discs, although it’s interesting that this one still has the earlier huge front drum brake. The seller maintains that this is original setup, and that does make sense, with the usual Italian blurred-lines model year to model year designations and “whatever we had lying around” component philosophy. Or maybe a particular customer requested it? The bike also appears to feature an original Lance Weil two-into-one exhaust. If you’re not familiar: Lance Weil was a famous SoCal-based US Laverda tuner and racer, proprietor of Rickey Racer. He was tragically killed in a workshop accident in 2006, and many of the North American Laverdas that come up for sale bear his stamp in one way or another.

Although I’d expect he had nothing to do with the orange bits on this one…

1974 Laverda SF2 Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Laverda 750 SF2 for sale

Fresh custom restoration
Early 1974 drum brake Laverda SF2 sporty custom cafe with SFC C2 cams and Ross HP Racing pistons
Matching motor and frame #s 15578
35mm forks with drum brakes did carry over this early #74 it is stamp SF2 came with 35mm forks

New Avon Road Runner tires
Recent paint job in good shape
Frame painted base coat clear coat
Rebuilt Dellorto 36mm carbs
Adjustable clip-on OEM Brevertta handle bars
Points ignition
NOS Borrani rear wheel [I will include the new chrome spoke set]
Restored polished front Borrani w/German made chrome spokes
NOS front hub with brakes
Upgraded piggyback Marzocchi shocks
Vintage 2 into 1 megaphone
Fresh top end SFC cams and pistons
New valves and guides
All new cables and rubber parts
Dry cell battery

Needs:
Electronic ignition might be a good thing
Nippon Denso gauges are faded and could be restored

1974 Laverda SF2 L Front Engine

The SFC internals are very desirable on this machine: the parallel twins were built to handle abuse and should certainly be able to deal with the extra power. SF’s have increased in value significantly in the past ten years. With a $10,500 Buy It Now price, this is in the high range for SF’s, but the cool front drum will appeal to some, and the upgraded performance bits definitely add to the appeal, especially the Lance Weil exhaust.

1974 Laverda SF2 R Side Engine

In general, I think this bike has just a few too many accent colors, in terms of hoses, wires, and painted bits. The orange fork lowers and swingarm especially may not be to everyone’s taste, but all that should be pretty easy to fix, and this is an otherwise very nice example. I’ve noticed seller DB Cycles showing up on eBay regularly, and they always seem to have nice, solid examples of some really cool bikes, Laverdas in particular. Anyone have any experience with them?

-tad

1974 Laverda SF2 L Side

4

Supercharged 1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 Stanley Woods Replica

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 L Rear

Now this is a race-replica! No mere paint, decal, and clip-on conversion here, the seller has put some serious money into a vintage machine, fitting a supercharger to an early horizontal-single Moto Guzzi PE250. Most of the early Guzzi’s I’ve seen for sale have plenty of vintage patina, but this one looks better than factory fresh, with some hot-rod touches I’ve never seen applied to a vintage Guzzi.

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 L Side Front

Although current owners over at Piaggio have cast Moto Guzzi as their line of retro-riffic cruisers and neoclassic sporty machines that appeal to born-again-bikers and riders “of a certain age,” it’s important to remember their rich racing history, and this bike harkens back to that era, when Guzzi’s raced on the world stage and won.

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 Dash

Prior to the introduction of their iconic v-twin in the 1960’s, Guzzi’s successes were based around variations on their “horizontal single” theme. Singles were ubiquitous during the period, when simplicity equaled reliability and light weight in the motorcycling world. Guzzi laid their engine over on its side to keep the center of gravity as low as possible and stick the cylinder head out into the cooling breeze, although I do wonder about their insistence on exposed valvesprings with the head so vulnerable to debris and road grit… Their distinctive exposed flywheel was a better idea, and allowed them to keep the weight of the engine low, since the cases didn’t need to actually enclose the spinning mass of flywheel itself.

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 R Engine2

This configuration worked well on both road and track: the same simplicity that meant reliable, torquey race bikes made for durable, long-legged and easy-to-ride transportation during an era when ordinary people were just getting used to the idea of personal mobility. And later, the configuration meant for reliable transportation for a country reeling from the devastation of war.

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 L Side Front

From the original eBay listing: Supercharged 1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 Stanley Woods Replica

This is a replica of Stanley Woods 1938 Moto Guzzi 250 Supercharged.

We fired it up 4 months ago and it had a problem with being too large for the Supercharger. I gave up at that point and fitted the stock setup without the supercharger. I have all the parts for the Supercharger if you wish to fit it again. 

Much work has gone into the engine for use with the Supercharger. Feel free to call me and I can better detail these for you. ph.360-387-5038.

I have over $30K invested in the bike. Some special features are: alloy fuel and oil tank, front and rear fender alloy, alloy wheels, alloy brake and shift assy, Special light weight suspension springs and alloy bellypan for them and custom leather seat and pillion. Much more…

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 SuperCharger

There is still plenty of time left on the listing, and the Buy It Now is set at $26,000. The seller mentions that there were some teething problems with the blower and it’s currently not fitted to the bike. Never thought I’d actually be typing “blower,” writing for this site… I’m not sure what “a problem with being too large for the supercharger” means exactly or what running problems that issue caused. But it sounds like it was built with supercharging in mind, so if I had the money to buy this bike, I’d definitely be sorting that out!

A vintage 250 single with a supercharger? Sign me up!

-tad

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 R Front

2

Barely Broken In: 1975 Hercules W-2000 with ONE MILE for Sale

1975 Hercules W2000 R Side

It’s a bit of a tragedy that, in the evolutionary march towards efficiency, strange beasts like this rotary-powered Hercules W-2000 have become extinct. These days, with very few exceptions, we’ve got singles for durability and economy, parallel twins for commuters and the occasional nostalgia trip, v-twins for character, triples for torque and performance, and fours for pure efficiency and speed. With regards to sporting machines, we’re almost entirely limited to v-twins, triples, and fours.

While that seems like a pretty wide variety of configurations, it’s nothing like what was available in the 60’s and 70’s: we had two-stroke twins and triples in air-or liquid-cooled varieties, square fours, turbos, straight sixes, and even the occasional rotary thrown into the mix. At first blush, the Wankel rotary seems like an ideal fit for a motorcycle: the design provides incredible smoothness without the need to resort to balance shafts, and few moving parts for ease of manufacture and reliability. Rotary engines are very compact, and make excellent power for a given “displacement”, although it is difficult to compare relative displacements with reciprocating engines, and that actually helped doom the W-2000 from the start…

1975 Hercules W2000 Engine Detail

Today, thanks to Mazda’s RX-7, RX-8, and various shrieking racecars, the rotary has become associated with performance machines. But the Hercules W-2000 was really more a high-end commuter bike, like the modern-day equivalent of a Toyota Prius, only much cooler. With a six-speed gearbox and glassy-smooth power delivery, it was comfortable and reasonably quick. Lubrication was added, early two-stroke style, by adding oil to the fuel in the tank, although later “Injection” models had a separate oil tank.

1975 Hercules W2000 Tank

Unfortunately, that hard-to-quantify engine led to insurance companies to classify the W-2000 as a much larger machine than Hercules had expected, meaning that it was effectively priced out of competition. That, combined with notoriously short-lived apex seals common to early rotaries and relatively modest performance, condemned the Hercules to obscurity. Sales were very limited, although the technical specifications make them of interest to the kind of nerdy enthusiasts who also covet hydro-pneumatic Citroëns.

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Hercules W-2000 for Sale

Mileage: 1

Get bidding on your chance to own a piece of motorcycle history!
This would be a great piece for the museum.

We purchased this bike from the original shop that owned it.
It has never been titled but it DOES come with a statement of origin.

It is in very nice shape, with the exception of some deterioration on the grips and the rear luggage strap.
There are some minor cosmetic issues here and there.
A little clean up will go a long way!

We recommend a complete service before running.

Put a bow on this bike and you will be a hero!

1975 Hercules W2000 Dash

There are 4 days left on the auction and bidding is up to $6,600. With just one mile on the clock, this is the one to have if you’re only planning on displaying it… Which might be the best way to enjoy this curiosity: reviews suggest that W-2000’s are perfectly competent motorcycles, but ultimately more of a technological footnote than a practical motorcycling solution: Wankel engines look good on paper, but rotaries have increased cooling requirements and reduced reliability that cancel out the advantages inherent in having fewer moving parts.

1975 Hercules W2000 Carb

And while it’s a shame for enthusiasts that there are fewer choices today than there were in the era of classic motorcycles, keep in mind that these engines died off for a variety of very practical reasons: two-strokes are inherently dirty and not particularly practical as day-to-day machines, sixes are big, heavy, and expensive to produce and maintain. Turbos add unnecessary complexity, and square fours have cooling problems not found in more common inline-fours. Luckily funky little bikes are still out there for enthusiasts who want them!

-tad

1975 Hercules W2000 L Side

2

Wild Racing Replica: 1974 Egli-Kawasaki for Sale

1974 Egli Kawasaki R Side

This striking Egli-framed Kawasaki was built by yet another one of the small tuner/frame builders that proliferated in the 1960’s and 1970’s to provide a solution to a problem the major manufacturers seemed generally unable to deal with: frames that allowed bikes to live up to their full potential.

1974 Egli Kawasaki L Side Rear

Fritz Egli was a former Swiss motorcycle racer who opened his own shop in 1965, using his racing expertise to tune and improve his customers’ machines. He made his name building stiff, lightweight frames based on straight sections of tubing to fit Honda and Kawasaki engines, although he is perhaps most famous for his first bike, the stunning Egli-Vincent. Gotet Motorcycles in France is still allowed to produce a handful of frames per year for Vincent engines, and there are even a few Egli-framed Laverda triples running around, although I’ve never seen one of those for sale.

1974 Egli Kawasaki Dash

This particular machine was built into a replica of the French Godier/Genoud team that won the “Cup d’Endurance” championship in 1972. The preparation that’s clearly gone into this bike is impressive, and a quick look at the photos reveals a wealth of really cool period endurance-racing details, like the clear plastic tubing fuel gauge on the outside of the tank in the photo below.

1974 Egli Kawasaki Tank

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Egli Kawasaki for Sale

For sale in south of France, Egli Kawasaki built by Alain Genoud and Claude Dangoisse as a tribute to the famous Egli Godier Genoud 1974 World Champion bike . Fantastic looking and working condition, sounds like a real thunder!  The bike is not road registered, I sell it as a racing motorcycle only. Huge historic file with pics, details, parts… Bol d’Or Classic, Classic days etc… Very well known bike in the paddocks. The first who will see, smell and ear it will buy it believe me!

This bike is listed on ebay Germany too where you can look at my details if you want to contact me directly…

The bike is for sale at a fraction of the huge certified cost price… Some very good parts and a very interesting and complete file come with the bike, history, races pics, bills etc… 

I can ship the bike everywhere at cost and can help for perfect crating, wooden box etc…

1974 Egli Kawasaki Carbs

Currently located in St. Rémy de Provence, France, there are no takers so far at an opening bid of $23,000 which is a shame. That seems like a pretty small price to pay: it may only be a replica, but Eglis are rare in any form, and this is very much a one-of-a-kind machine. While it doesn’t have authentic racing history, it’s fully safety-wired, looks the business and should run with the big dogs, if you can bear to risk wrecking it on track!

-tad

1974 Egli Kawasaki L Side

0

Working Class SFC: 1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike for Sale

1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike R Front

If you’re looking for an involving way to go fast, or to determine the results of your mechanical tinkering in the crucible of racing, vintage race bikes like this Laverda 750SF would allow you to test your mettle against like-minded folks and provide you with access to a fraternity of biking enthusiasts who want to do more with their machines than polish them and argue about who has the most original tires…

1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike L Rear

Old Ducatis are great, but with even the most common bevel-drive models rapidly appreciating in value, they don’t leave much budget left over for tires, trailer, travel, and other expenses associated with racing. And I don’t think there are any old Tonti-framed Guzzi’s left: they’ve probably all been turned into café racers by Ton-Up Boys wannabes at this point, and genuine V7 Sports and LeMans are too valuable to thrash on a race track.

So where does that leave you, if you’re looking for vintage track action and want something a bit different?

1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike Dash

When new, Laverda’s 750cc parallel twin made an ideal endurance racing powerplant: with five main bearings and reliable German and Japanese ignition and electrical components, it was very durable, with a broad spread of useable power. Overbuilt in every regard, the complete bike was on the heavy side, but very stable at speed. Eventually superseded by the 1000cc triple, the SF’s have begun to increase in value in the last few years, but can still be had for much less than contemporary Ducatis.

There aren’t many shops that specialize in old Laverdas, but they’re fairly easy to work on and parts to keep them running are available.

1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike L Engine Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike for Sale

This is a Laverda 750 SF race bike up for auction that’s been in my collection for about two years.   According to the previous owner it was raced around 15 years ago. The fairing and windscreen were damaged when she fell over in the garage last year.  It will need a new battery and some gas to get it back on the road.  The gas in the tank and carbs were drained last year when I put her away.  The surface rust on the front disks is normal due to them being made cast iron. Once you get it on the road it will clean up. Front and back brakes work fine and are not stuck.  The exhaust is a genuine Laverda SFC system. The tank has a dent on the top side and could use some work.  This is a very cool bike that can be easily converted back to street use.  When I rode it last year it sounded very good and pulled very hard without any funky sounds or smoke coming from the engine.  Has Paoili clip-ons, a Telefix fork brace and steering damper.

1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike L Rear Wheel

This SF is not perfect or completely original, but that’s beside the point here. It would be perfect for someone looking to live out SFC fantasies for one-tenth of the cost and will certainly sound the part, with that SFC two-into-one exhaust. Even if I could afford a real SFC, I’d rather race, and possibly wreck, a bike like this and save the genuine article for well-heeled collectors.

An ideal choice for do-it-yourselfers looking for on-track excitement who want something a bit different than another run-of-the-mill Norton or Triumph twin.

-tad

1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike R No Fairing

5

White Line Fever: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC for Sale

1979 Kawasaki Z1R TC Turbo L Side

One of the things I love about vintage cars and bikes is their experimental quality: new ideas were implemented left and right, although some of those ideas were less well-developed than others. “Half-baked” even, you might say… While this may not have led to the most satisfying customer experience, it certainly made for an interesting ride.

The Kawasaki Z1R-TC is one such bike, a glorious nightmare of potential litigation: buyers signed waivers and were sternly admonished by a Very Serious Sticker not to adjust the wastegate and increase boost beyond factory settings. Designed as a stopgap to move product and stimulate interest in the obsolete Z1R before the introduction of the much more modern GPz, work on the turbocharged version was farmed out to the Turbo Cycle Company. Kawasaki simply bolted “fully-developed” turbo kits onto completed Z1R’s.

Note the quotation marks.

1979 Kawasaki Z1R TC Turbo R Side Detail

The TC was anything but fully-developed: lag was so bad on early turbo bikes that passing technique generally involved holding the throttle open to keep boost up while dragging the rear brake, waiting for an opening in traffic. Bolt-on turbo kits generally run very conservative boost to reduce the chances of grenading stock internals that were never designed to handle the hellish pressures generated by primitive turbochargers. The TC ran 8-10psi, certainly not a patch on modern systems running 30+, but more than enough to turn engine internals into externals.

1979 Kawasaki Z1R TC Turbo L Side Rear

Upgraded internals were available for purchase at the dealer, but most buyers didn’t bother, and that might have kept some riders from killing themselves by encouraging a gentler throttle hand. Which is not a bad thing: the Z1R wasn’t exactly well-endowed in the braking and suspension departments. Or the frame-stiffness department, for that matter: handling that was best described as “stable in a straight line, at least” only got worse with the addition of 50% more horsepower that came on in an unpredictable, laggy turbo rush.

Too much boost in a corner and you could do a really good impression of an extra in a Michael Bay action movie, highsiding into the trees while your motorcycle explodes.

1979 Kawasaki Z1R TC Turbo Booooooost

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R TC for Sale

1978 Kawasaki Z1R TURBO “TC”

NOT A CLONE!!!

Here is your chance to own a rare vintage Japanese sports bike. Opportunities like this do not come very often. There were only approximately 250 of these bikes in this particular color combo made. This bike has less than 6,300 miles on body / original engine. Rebuilt (1250cc) motor has very few, if any miles on it. I have owned this bike since 1980 with only 50 miles on it! This bike is in great condition for its vintage. It has been stored indoors for many years and fired right up when it was taken out of storage.

This bike is incredibly unique and is certainly an excellent example of a rare vintage sport bike. Paint and decals are all original and chrome is still looking great!

The photos will speak for themselves.

Great cruiser bike with enough power for low 1/4 mile ETs
This bike went through an $11,000 rebuild with a 1250cc engine right before it was put in storage.
This bike has a Cal-Fab Swingarm which is 3 1/2 inches longer
The original engine (1015cc) is included in this sale.
This bike features an American Turbo Pak turbo charger:
Model Number 370-F-40-A
Serial Number 00075935
Part Number TC-247-99
Original Engine Number (1015cc): KZT100DE 005674
Built Engine Number (1250cc): KZT00AE015961

This example has very low miles and, aside from the some rust on the chain, looks to be in excellent condition. The new motor should make even more power, but at least be able to not explode when it comes on boost. So likely the engine will last longer than an enthusiastic rider… That extended swingarm will do the handling no favors, but this thing never went around corners anyway, and it should help with straight-line stability and hard launches from stoplights.

1979 Kawasaki Z1R TC Turbo Rear Wheel

Aside from the obvious collector value and bike-night posing, that’s what this bike is really good at: burnouts and stoplight drag-races. Imagine the hilarity: buy some beater Z1 bodywork to stick on it, and go out superbike trolling on a Friday night.

-tad

1979 Kawasaki Z1R TC Turbo L Side Front

 

0

Baby Blue: 1975 Rickman-Metisse Triumph 650 CR

1975 Rickman Metisse 650CR L Side Front

Although I’m not a huge fan of the hazy edges of the photos, this blue Rickman Metisse Triumph 650CR looks gorgeous. Rickman started out making frames for offroad race bikes and later expanded into roadracing, and their distinctive nickel-plated tubular frames improved handling of the often floppy factory bikes of the era. These frames were designed to save weight and significantly improve stiffness, with the hollow frame tubes functioning to both store and cool engine oil on some models. Rickman’s bikes were generally sold in kit-form, with the customer supplying engines, transmissions, and wiring to complete the bike.

1975 Rickman Metisse 650CR R Cockpit

The company had a sense of humor as well: the name “Metisse” translates to “mongrel.” But, like most mongrels, the resulting creature is often healthier than the purebred animals that donated their DNA, and the Rickman Metisse attempted to combine the engineering of established manufacturers with the handling of a racebike, often with striking results.

1975 Rickman Metisse 650CR Dash

While later machines were often based around bikes from Japan, there was still room in their lineup for British machines, as this example shows. While a Triumph-powered sportbike may have been a bit moribund in 1975, this would still have turned serious heads. A Honda-powered Metisse probably would have been faster, but with a torquey parallel-twin and great looks, this combines the best of the era, wrapped up in bluer-than-blue bodywork.

1965 Rickman Metisse 650CR R Front

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Rickman Metisse Triumph 650CR

This is the last of 52 genuine Rickman-Metisse CR (Competition Replica) built by the Rickman factory in England. Rickman produced these as street-legal versions of their Isle of Man Production TT winning machine. Actual date of manufacture is September 1974. Registered as 1975 model. It is not a cobbled-together kit. Correct Rickman hubs, brakes, 41mm racing forks, all original hardware. Powered by a balanced and blueprinted Triumph T120R 650cc motor. Only 2700 original miles.

Original, unrestored, stunning. Nickel plating on frame showing some fading in some places, as expected over 40 years. Tiny ding on top of R/H silencer. A few minor chips in edges of fiberglass but not readily visible. Fuel tank showing some surface bumps/texturing in places, but was Caswell-coated inside by previous owner. I run VP110 ethanol-free gasoline in the bike. Starts first kick and runs/shifts perfectly. Handles incredibly well with new modern Avon tyres.

Please do not ask me my reserve. You find that out by bidding. You either hit it or you don’t. Clear California title in my name. Currently on non-op. No DMV back fees due. Blue California plate for display only and not associated with machine. I’ve described this beautiful bike to the best of my knowledge and ability. Sold as-is. Potential bidders welcome to make appointment to view in person, but no test rides. You will not be disappointed with its performance! The crown jewel to any British bike collection.

1975 Rickman Metisse 650CR R Engine Detail

The bidding is currently at $12,600 with active interest and a couple days left on the auction. This is a great-looking, well cared for machine. About the only gripe I have is with the obviously not-period-correct grips, although they are at least color-matched… A set of Tomaselli grips would be an inexpensive way to fix that and stay with a period look and brand.

-tad

1975 Rickman Metisse 650CR L Side

 

1

Same Owner from New:1975 Yamaha TA125 for Sale

 

1975 Yamaha TA125 L Side

The TA125 was Yamaha’s over-the-counter production roadracer built between 1971 and 1975. Prior to the TA, racers who rode Yamahas bought stock YAS1 or AS2’s and converted them to track specification using GYT factory race kits that included a comprehensive package of go-fast bits. But the finished bikes were ultimately limited by frames and suspension geometry designed for road use, and performance was not on par with class leaders.

1975 Yamaha TA125 Dash

The TA that followed wasn’t really a full racing bike like its bigger 250 and 350cc siblings, and was really a half-hearted effort: many parts were shared with the roadgoing AS3, making it a sort of “factory racing AS3” than a pure race bike, although this did make maintaining the TA125 a much less expensive proposition and the bikes were popular with privateers.

1975 Yamaha TA125 Rear wheel

This particular example is currently being offered for sale by the same family that has owned it from new. Like most bikes that have seen serious race track use, it’s not dead stock, having been upgraded during its racing career to remain competitive, although the upgrades are obviously period appropriate and designed to enhance racetrack performance.

1975 Yamaha TA125 Front Brake

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Yamaha TA125 for Sale

This motorcycle was one of two bought new by my father in 1977 from Twin-K Yamaha in Detroit Michigan. They were shipped to Venezuela where we lived. My brother raced it in the 1978 Venezuelan Grand Prix of the FIM World Championship qualifying 19th (first TA). I later rode it in AHRMA in the United States. I rebuilt/restored the bike about 10 years ago, rebuilt crank (new rods and bearings), new cases, pistons, rings, seals and rolled it into my dining room. It has a Fontana 4-leading shoe drum brake as was raced in the GP. The rims are not original, most everyone went with wider WM-3 rims to take advantage of the new Dunlops. It also has a box section swingarm and Koni shocks. I can’t remember who made the swingarm. The bike needs some odds and ends. Front brake lever and perch, plug cap, rear brake cable spring, shift link rod. Frame # 400-990258. When I did the motor I used a NOS set of cases I had. The matching number engine cases #AS3-990258, original front brake, and standard shocks will be provided. I have some fairings laying around.

1975 Yamaha TA125 L Side Engine

Interestingly, with just under two days left on the auction and a starting bid of $10,000 there are no nibbles as yet. While it may not have had a famous rider, it’s pretty cool that the entire history of the bike is known, and the guy selling it is the guy who raced it. But perhaps the price is a bit too rich? Or maybe they’re picking up on a “maybe I don’t really want to sell this bike” vibe from the seller? I know that it’d be hard to part with something like this if I’d put blood and sweat into competing on it…

Regardless, make an offer and maybe he’ll bite: this one is ready for display, or set it up for vintage racing.

-tad

1975 Yamaha TA125 Tail

5

Munch Miles in Style: 1984 Moto Guzzi Lemans III

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans III R Side

Guzzi’s LeMans III was the first Italian bike I fell in love with, a fake LeMans I someone made out of a III with the fairings stripped off and a simple, round headlight fitted. The square cylinder heads would be obvious to me now, but I still wouldn’t care: the low stance allowed by the Tonti frame makes it one of the coolest café-styled bikes out there, without compromising useability. It’s fast, reliable, tuneable, and makes an amazing noise.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans III L Engine Detail

Produced between 1981 and 1984, the LeMans III was a more thorough overhaul of the bike than the CX100 and featured a restyled cylinder head design and revised internals, along with the distinctive angular styling. In typical 1980’s era emissions-reducing form, compression was reduced, but vastly improved quality control at the factory actually improved performance, and the lower-compression engine made more torque than the older version.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans III Dash

And I always have to point out: see that little button underneath the row of idiot lights? That’s actually the key: it looks like a normal flat key in your pocket,but it folds as you see in the picture so you can slot it into the dash, and then you twist. Cool right? Just make sure you don’t loose it, since I’m not sure replacements are available…

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans III for Sale

I’ve owned this bike for 15 years.  It is solid and requires minimal attention.  It’s a GUZZI!  And a very, very good one.  I would not hesitate to head across the continent on this machine.  It has had all the right upgrades and runs EXTREMELY well.  Bike has no “issues” and is not a refurb.  This bike has always been on the road and excellently maintained.

Dyna electronic ignition, Dyna coils
Dellorto 40MM pumper carbs, Delran manifolds, Heads have been flowed
Bub head pipes, Lafranconi Competizione Wizzer mufflers
Heavy valve springs, Chrome Moly push rods (Raceco), Augustini cam
Lightened flywheel, Harpers outsider oil filter kit, Steel braided brake lines
Marzochi 38MM fork assembly, Tarozzi adjustable clip-ons, Fork brace, Koni adjustable shocks
Gaman seat, Euro Motoelectrics starter,  U-joints replaced, Front brake rotors and calipers replaced with new.
Lots of original parts included.

Note: Lemans III chin fairing is included.  I have it off the bike because I think it looks better without.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans III Front

Like so many Guzzis, this one isn’t strictly stock, but the modifications are thoughtful, subtle, and should improve the overall package. Also: the noise those cannon-like Lafronconi pipes make should be pretty epic. Mileage is at 55,000 although Guzzis are built to go the distance and this appears to have been very well maintained. The III is definitely not the most desirable of the LeMans bikes, but prices are on the rise: there are just two days left on the auction and bidding is at about $5,000 with the reserve not yet met.

-tad

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans III L Side

Pages ... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11