Well, this is always a pleasure to find: a classic bike in beautiful shape with clear photography and a detailed description. While other manufacturers found sales success in the US with the bigger-displacement machines that are so popular here, Ducati continued to plug away with its more European offerings that emphasized handling over outright power. The Diana featured very sophisticated specifications for such a small machine, including a “unit” design for the engine and gearbox, all-aluminum construction, and a overhead cam driven by a distinctive tower shaft that can be seen on the right side of the engine.
A combination of light weight and a broad spread of useable power meant that the tiny machine could compete with much larger bikes and still handle curves like an outright racer.
The natural light, detail shots do show some very minor imperfections, but that’s no shame as the seller freely admits to actually riding this little jewel. It’s also not completely original, as this particular example has basically been brought up to Diana Mark III spec with valve, carb, and cam upgrades that allowed power to be boosted at the expense of a narrower powerband, which was in turn mitigated by the extra gear in the transmission.
From the original eBay listing: 1963 Ducati Diana 250 for Sale
This is a rare, early Diana before the more common red/black MK III model. But the engine has been upgraded to the MK III specs with MK III Cam, SSI 27 carb, high compression piston, and 40mm intake valve, 36mm exhaust (I think, don’t remember for sure). Some features of this model and this particular bike:
7 rib early brake drums
Borrani WM1/WM2 rims
Painted spokes per original
Original tread pattern Chin Shen tires
Front brake Ferrodo linings, turned to fit drum per vintagebrake.com
Nimh 5 cell battery (no acid) and disconnect inside tool box
Clear title (states 1964, most Ducatis I have bought are titled the year following build)
Good kick start gears and upgraded spring
Seat carcass and cover newly made
Aluminum castings carefully cleaned to retain original finish, no bead blasting!
Has correct “stilleto” clutch and brake levers. Very cool and not PC.
Engine has been rebuilt with all new bearings, piston, guides, valves, etc. It hasn’t been run in 5 years but I squirted gas in the carb this morning and it fired right up! Tank is clean and dry. Does not leak oil, feel free to display indoors but it would be more fun to ride!
Things not correct with the bike:
No choke cable to carb. Doesn’t need it.
NOS muffler has same diameter as header pipe. SS tubing sleeve connects the two. (Reproduction muffler readily available)
High handle bars discarded for the lower ones on the bike. This model sometimes came with clip-ons which are readily available.
5 speed engine per explanation above. There is no visually apparent difference. 4 speed engine cases (included) match title.
Bidding is up to $6k with the reserve not yet met, but that’s no surprise, given the condition. This is one of those “if you’re looking for one of these, this is the one to buy” situations, and I’d expect any additional expense will be well worth it. Maybe not completely original, but it’s hard to argue with the results. Even the updated 5 speed box makes good sense, and the original 4 speed is included if you feel the need for that sort of authenticity.
The seller states that you should “feel free to display it indoors but it would be more fun to ride” and I heartily agree!
This 1987 Cagiva Alazzurra is a bit newer than most bikes we usually try to feature here. Bikes from the 80’s, while not quite yet considered classic, are definitely old… And they’re getting very close: 1987 was 27 years ago! I’d bet that 80′s sportbikes will be the next big thing in terms of classic bike trends, and before you know it, early “slingshot” GSX-R’s that haven’t been polished and stretched into cruise-night machines will be getting gobbled up for outrageous prices.
The Cagiva Alazzurra was a simple badge-engineering job from the period when Ducati was owned by Cagiva, a rebodied Ducati Pantah with the 650cc version of Ducati’s famous belt-driven, desmodromic v-twin cloaked in very chunky 1980’s styling. It was pitched as a sports-tourer with the emphasis on “sports.”
The smaller Ducati twins sound just like their bigger siblings with the right pipes on them, so if you’re worried about being seen on a “learner bike,” no one has to know. And even if they do, it’ll just make passing them on the outside at a trackday that much sweeter.
This bike deviates a bit from original, but I’ll let the seller tell you about it. After so many bikes recently featuring very little information, it’s very refreshing to see something as seemingly honest as this.
From the original eBay listing: 1987 Cagiva Alazzurra for Sale
The photos show that the standard instrument gauges have been replaced by a large tachometer. I purchased the motorcycle like this and therefore I do not know the exact mileage. I can tell you that the compression is strong at 160psi per cylinder. There is no ignition switch and so there is no key, the on off of the ignition system is controlled by a toggle switch mounted inside the headlight fairing which I can be seen pointing out in the photos. Both front brake calipers, rear brake caliper, front axle, rear axle, and oil filter are secured using safety wire. Has a very unique APE steering damper installed. The front and rear brake lines are all steel braided. The following services were all completed at Desert Desmo in February of 2014. Timing belts have been replaced, both carburetors have been rebuild, fuel lines replaced and fuel filters have been replaced. This bike originally came with unreliable ceramic style fuses. The fuse box has been replaced and now uses blade style fuses that are much more reliable. I have receipts and old parts. Engine starts and runs extremely well. Has Bridgestone Battlax tires front and rear that are about 1 year old with less than 300 miles on them. I have had the motorcycle stored indoors however the paint is probably around 20 years old and has many chips and cracks. The fuel tank has a few minor dents and the frame also has a few chips. The seat is starting to come open on the left side as can be seen in the picks.
The tachometer is original, but the speedometer, clock [?!], and idiot lights have been removed and replaced with a single bracket for the remaining instrument. It looks like the bike is well used, but also well maintained and updated. Learn to do the valve adjustments and belt changes yourself and these engines aren’t nearly as expensive to run as their exotic reputation suggests. Ducati’s two-valve twin can be very reliable when properly taken care of, and they seem to like it much better when ridden they’re ridden regularly. It’s when they sit idle that they seem to fall apart…
No danger of that with this one! It’s especially interesting that the bike has been safety wired for the track. On one hand, that may be an indicator of a hard life. On the other hand: track bike!
The paint isn’t original, but if you can handle the garish design, I think this could be a really unusual, low-cost way into Ducati ownership and you net a trackday bike in the bargain.
The Ducati 900 SuperSport inspired the moto-lust of many a young man in the 1970’s. Most of the advertising I’ve seen from the time features the same type of glorious excess imagery you would find in the 1980’s, complete with smug, rich bastards and women in various states of undress suggestively draped over the hardware. It was all blatantly aspirational, but somehow it seemed classier, more innocent, more afro-y.
In some ways, the 900 SuperSport was already nearly obsolete at the time it was introduced: the Honda CB750 and Kawasaki Z900 really pointed the way forward in terms of straight-line performance, and were just some frame-bracing and shock-revalving away from domination on both road and track. A hand-built, two valve twin just couldn’t compete with a big four that combined both low-end torque and a screaming top end.
But on the racetracks of the period, it was a different story, where the Ducati’s handling made up for a lack of outright power and was described as “the best ready-to-race production racer that money can buy” by period British racer Percy Tait.
With the purer, early 750SS rapidly becoming nearly unobtainable and priced accordingly, and the 900 has become the expensive, but more accessible choice. It was nearly the last of the line and benefited from the gradual updates and development that Ducati applied throughout the bevel-drive twin’s lifetime. And while it may have been a bit outdated at the time it was being made, that hardly matters now and the bedroom dreams of teenage racers can now be realized for the price of a well-equipped Honda Civic.
From the original eBay listing: 1977 Ducati SuperSport for sale
1977 900 Ducati SuperSport
All restored and correct.
Starts on first or second kick.
Rare 900 bevel twins with baroni wheels.
While most of the shots are out of focus, I had to feature this bike, since it’s been a while since we featured a nice Ducati SS here on CSBFS. And what’s that in the background? A Supermono?! And a couple MV Agusta F4′s, a 916, a 900SS Superlight, and what appears to be some sort of 750 F1-derivative.
This guy clearly knows his motorcycles, but unfortunately doesn’t seem to know his way around a camera: we’re lucky his thumb isn’t in the picture. There’s still some time left on this auction but, it looks like no one will be getting any bargains out of this particular collection: we’re up to $25k with active bidding and the reserve has not yet been met.
It’s been a banner week for vintage Moto Guzzi fans… If you missed it, I posted up a 1934 Moto Guzzi 500S yesterday. Today’s Astore or “Goshawk” was an update of the GTV, itself a development of the 500S, and was followed by the iconic and long-lived Falcone.
The Astore was produced until 1953 and featured an aluminum alloy cylinder head and barrel, enclosed rockers, and improved brakes. Also, note the upside-down telescopic front forks: how advanced! Like all Guzzi big singles, they were low-revving, hugely torquey machines that provided very reliable, accessible performance.
From the original eBay listing: 1950 Moto Guzzi Astore for Sale
I purchased this Guzzi from the Estate of the gentleman who purchased the bike from George Disteel’s estate. Basically, George bought the bike (it entered CA in 1956 and the last registration expired in 1957), moth balled it – not sure if it was chicken coop or not, then the next guy bought it at the Disteel Estate Sale in 1978- and kept it is his large collection until I bought it from his Estate Sale about 5 years ago. At first, I was excited to do a full restoration of the bike since it is in such incredible original condition and complete. Then as I was reviewing the old paperwork, I recognized the name George Disteel and thought “isn’t that the guy who went crazy and squirreled away Vincent Black Shadows, Two Guzzi’s and an Aston Martin in Chicken Coops on property he owned on the North Coast of California? As it turned out it was, then I even found photos of this bike from that era (I’ve included one and also a photo of George Disteel).
I have another Astore, so I didn’t bother restoring this one, it really doesn’t need it and the history is much cooler to preserve (In my humble opinion).
Again, the bike is complete and Probably has next to zero miles on it, never been torn down. I listed 1000 miles as you must list some sort of mileage, but Guzzi’s didn’t start having Tach’s and Speedo’s until the 60′s so I have no idea. Based upon my knowledge of George Disteel and then the second owner, I really think this bike has not been ridden much if at all in it’s 60 or so years. I think it would love to be ridden though. Vintage Guzzi’s are pleasures to ride.
The seller mentions that “it would love to be ridden” but does not mention if it actually is rideable… The bike is cosmetically pretty rough as well: I personally prefer bikes and cars to be at least a little bit shiny, although I’m not a fan of overrestoring them. However, bikes in original condition are very desirable, and many would call for my head if I suggested a restoration of something in such original condition…
So I will not suggest that. As they say, “it’s only original once.”
At the very least, an old Guzzi should be made to run, so hopefully this one does, or can be made to do so without too much trouble.
Not much time left on the auction, so go take a look!
Most motorcycling fans who are familiar with Moto Guzzi at all will most likely picture one of their famous v-twins when they hear the name, although fans of this site may well conjure up the older “big single” bikes with their laid-over engines and shiny, external flywheels. For those relatively new to the marque, it’s important to remember that Guzzi is one of the oldest motorcycle manufacturers still in existence, with roots going back to 1921.
The original company founders actually served together during the First World War. Guzzi’s big single was the very first engine to power the bikes and was their mainstay until the introduction of the twin at the end of the 1960’s.
Two-valve street machines featured a one overhead, one side-valve arrangement, although pure racing machines used a variety of higher-performance configurations. Different frames were used through the period, although this one appears to have the rigid frame and a friction-damped girder fork. The GTS model featured a sprung frame for improved roadholding, although the more basic model was more popular with buyers.
If you’ve never seen a Guzzi big single: yes, that is the flywheel by the left footpeg: the exposed arrangement allowed the flywheel to have the correct mass while keeping the engine cases compact and light. In the left front shot of the engine, it’s also possible to see the exposed hairpin valve spring used for the exhaust valve. The inlet of earlier models used a coil spring, although 1934 saw the redesign of the engine to paired hairpin springs. I’m not sure which side of the redesign is actually from so, as always, comments from any experts out there are welcome in the comments.
From the original eBay listing: 1934 Moto Guzzi 500S for Sale
Beautiful 1934 Moto Guzzi 500S.
Was restored in the 70′s in Italy.
Then moved to Switzerland – Then I brought it to California 15 years ago.
Runs well and is complete.
**Mileage unknown due to no tach and speedo on Guzzi’s of this era.
Pictures at twilight [or dawn!] are great for moody atmosphere, but not so great for showing off the details of the bike being offered and a couple more shots in bright sunlight would have been appreciated. The listing is pretty spare, but I expect the owner assumes potential buyers are already knowledgeable. This bike has tons of lived-in patina but the paint is still very shiny, a very characterful combination.
This particular machine is the oldest Guzzi I’ve ever come across for sale, and looks a great opportunity to get your hands on such an old machine in good running condition
My recent “blue” theme continues this week with a very, very clean 1973 Norton Commando Interstate. The different Nortons of this period are largely differentiated by cosmetic and ergonomic details: they all used the same 828cc engine although some models did feature a higher state of tune.
As Norton increased the displacement of their classic twin through the Dominator and Atlas models in order to keep pace with their competition, vibration of the parallel-configuration became an issue. Instead of rubber-mounting the controls and blunting feel, or redesigning the engine, which was not economically feasible, they ISO-lated the engine, transmission, and swingarm from the rider with their “Isolastic” mounting system.
ISO-late and e-LASTIC. Get it?
This system of rubber mounts works very well, and the bike displays excellent period handling and very good power, although it’s important to keep the system in good nick and set up properly: too tight and the twin’s characteristic vibration will rear its ugly head. Too loose and handling can deteriorate significantly.
Translated from the original Capital-ese eBay listing: 1973 Norton Interstate 850 for Sale
Wonderful 1973 Norton, 850cc Interstate Motorcycle
I am the original owner of this like show room wonderful piece of motorcycle nostalgia
The bike has 10 thousand miles, has been garage kept, is a wonderful royal blue color
Runs excellent- ready to ride
The listing may be pretty vague, aside from letting us know that this wonderful motorcycle is wonderful, but the pictures speak volumes. A couple are pretty dark, but the do show off the seller’s garage which, although slightly cluttered [Peek-a-boo, C4 Corvette!] looks to have a spotless floor. Which, as a Norton owner means he replaces the various gaskets weekly, has a full time cleaner for the floor, or the bike has never been started.
The bike is spotless as well and looks like it may have actually been licked clean prior to the photographs being taken…
But an original-owner bike, with 10k miles? It’s no surprise that the reserve hasn’t been met yet at $5,600. There’s three days left on this auction, and this bike surely deserves to fetch more than that.
During the 1960′s, Ducati struggled to sell bikes in the USA, left behind in an arms race that really required at least two cylinders to compete with popular machines from Moto Guzzi, Triumph, Norton, and Harley Davidson. Ducati’s roadrace heritage and sublime handling were considered to be of little value and horsepower was king in a country with so many miles of arrow-straight roads. Luckily, the famous 750 v-twin was on its way to salvage Ducati’s fortunes…
Until that v-twin put Ducati into the “superbike” game, they made do with a range of sophisticated single-cylinder machines with a variety of displacements. The regular 250 had a single overhead camshaft operating the valves via traditional springs: unlike today, only the sportiest Ducati singles of the era featured their now-ubiquitous Desmodromic springless valvetrain. All Ducatis did get the distinctive tower-shaft and bevel-drive arrangement to operate the single overhead cam. Driving power through a five-speed box, the bike offered a blend of usable power and sweet handling that was sadly overlooked in America.
From the original eBay listing: 1972 Ducati Single 250 for Sale
This bike is great condition and runs great. It has 2 significant upgrades. The plastic oil pump has been replaced with a metal oil pump that now makes the bike reliable. It also has the Power Dynamo 12 volt upgrade, which gives a solid state, maintenance free, full electronic ignition. Now you never have to worry about your battery going bad, as it eliminates the battery altogether. Just put fresh gas in it and kick it and you’re ready to ride. Also comes with brand new road tires, napoleon bar end mirror, and H4 headlight. The tank is in great condition with no dents, seat is in like new condition. Akront aluminum wheels with trials tires that are on the bike are actually very nice to ride on the street. This is a very reliable and fun bike to ride with very low miles. Clear title in hand.
It used to be that the non-Desmo and lower-spec, small-displacement Ducatis were still very affordable, and could still be found in restorable condition in barns and sheds. But that’s changing: lots of people snapped up Scramblers and other less-racey machines with an eye to converting them into replicas of the sportier models. Now, as vintage dirtbikes have come into vogue and Ducatis in general have risen in value, they’re being kept original as well.
The “trials” tires on this particular machine threw me when I first saw it, tricking me into thinking it was some sort of modified Scrambler. The seller is vague as well, mentioning only that it’s a 250, so I’m betting he doesn’t know either. It certainly looks to be in nice shape, with shiny paint and an intact seat, although I’m not sure if they match the bike or each other. The frame, gauges, and tank look like a Scrambler, but those side covers and the seat don’t match that model. So what are we looking at here? A Scrambler? A Mark 3?
Any of you vintage Ducati experts want to chime in in the comments? Am I looking at more than one bike here?
During the Horsepower Wars of the late 1960’s and 1970’s, while the European and American companies were busy penning their famous “No Replacement for Displacement” manifesto, the Japanese were headed in a different direction, and their two-strokes, while far from subtle and lacking a bit in terms of refinement, provided a bang-for-the-buck that couldn’t be beat.
While Yamaha managed to make snarly little machines that would actually go around corners, Kawasaki truly captured the spirit of the era’s musclecars, blasting from stoplight to stoplight in a haze of blue smoke, sucking down gas at a rate that could be tactfully described as “immoderate”. If you were being chased by one of Kawasaki’s fire-breathing triples, you only had one chance to escape: slam on your brakes and go around a turn.
The two-strokes triples developed a reputation for killing their pilots that would only be outdone when Porsche’s first 911 Turbo came along a few years later. The early 500’s had way more go than they had stop, and frames on the streetbikes lacked a certain… stiffness. And then Kawasaki went and introduced the H2 750…
From the original eBay listing: 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 for Sale
In 2011 the motor was completely rebuilt – Runs great – Like a 750 should. Frame repainted, bodywork repainted and in excellent condition – lwheels redone, new tires, new shocks. Seat perfect. Bike was completely taken apart and rebuilt. Starts easily – Hot or cold.
Aftermarket K + N air filters, later H2 model pipes. Pipes are in good shape but some chrome imperfections. The frame is in excellent shape as are the wheels. Please see pics.
Comes with owners manual (Riders handbook), Haynes manual, shop manual, and a few magazine road tests.
I think it looks like the seller is selling this a bit short: from the photos, it looks to be a very nice example of the rowdy seven-fiddy.
I still don’t think these Kawi’s are the prettiest classic bikes, but they’re known to deliver thrills well beyond the plain, brown wrapper. Kind of like Smith and Wesson’s .44 Magnum, if it were made in Japan and sounded like a gang of lawnmowers. The blue is very striking and flatters the lines, and while the chrome may not be perfect per the listing, the bike is shiny where it should be shiny and the bike sports those classic, asymmetrical exhaust pipes that shout “I can probably go around left turns faster than I can around right ones!”
Nice H2’s are starting to command some serious money, so it’s no real surprise this one’s getting some attention and the reserve is still not met at almost $9k.
Wow, two Moto Morini 3½’s in one week! These are cool bikes and can be hard to find, although prices have stayed relatively low, in spite of their rarity, and offer a great value if you’re looking for a classic twin and want something unusual to ride around on.
In case you missed the 3½ that was posted up here earlier this week, the number refers to the approximately 350cc displacement of this little v-twin from one of the forgotten Italian marques. Moto Morini is sort of still making bikes, but they’ve definitely gotten caught up in the “bigger is better” craze, and it’s probably much simpler to just buy one of these.
Their 1970’s bikes were sweet “middleweights”, with handling, class, and good fuel economy at a time when it wasn’t just the big boys that got some serious hardware. Morinis featured six-speed gearboxes, great suspension, and even an electric start. That generally didn’t work. But still…
From the original eBay listing: 1974 Moto Morini 3½ Strada for Sale
I bought this bike (for the second time) in 1994. Took it apart to fix some minor oil seepage in 1996, replaced seals, and didn’t put it back together until 2010 or 2011. Reassembled and briefly ran it to make sure I hadn’t lost any parts, then took it back apart intending a full restoration. Tore it back down. Had frame and pegs, engine mounts, etc powder coated. Painted tank and side covers (not a professional job, I’d rate it a good 5 foot paint job). Intended to replace pistons (useable, but not great) with Sport and also Sport cam. Changed my mind and put it all back together. Too many projects, too few resources (time/money), so I’m selling this to finance other projects. Last week, I put oil in it. It has a small weep at shift shaft. May be due to seals sitting dry since 1996 or maybe I dinged it putting it together. Put gas in it the other day thinking I’d fire it up and set the timing, but then thought I’d better not. I DID NOT clean the sludge trap in the crankshaft. After this many years idle, I think it would be too risky to run without doing so. Also, the timing belt looks good but is at least 20 years old. It has good compression and spark,and shifts through the gears but I won’t run it without doing those 2 things. It needs fork seals and wipers. I intended to replace the fork tubes. They have dings between the triple clamps. I suspect someone used a pliers on them at one time. The kickstart lever needs to be rechromed. Wheels are very nice for their age. To the best of my knowledge, mileage (in kilometers) is accurate. Has both the Strada and Sport seats, some spares I’ve picked up over the years, the few special tools needed for engine overhaul, and all three manuals- service, parts, and engine overhaul.
I realize that modern discs do a much better job stopping you, but there is something really appealing about the huge front drums on old Laverdas, Guzzis, and Morinis.
While this bike does need some work before it’s ready to demonstrate the handling for which it is so well known, the seller appears to be representing the bike fairly. He mentions a “reasonable” reserve, so this might be a great chance to find out if those cool Heron-style heads really are interchangeable front and rear! Bidding is at just under $1000 with the reserve not met yet. I’d say that, if you have a couple grand burning a hole in your pocket and some space in your garage, you should keep an eye on this one!
Looking to get into vintage racing, but don’t want to rescue some barn-find wreck? This very nice Aermacchi might fit the bill. Or you can just park it up in your living room and admire it.
By the early 1960’s Harley Davidson bought a stake in the Italian manufacturer of small-displacement road and race machines. They were looking to expand their model range to include something small and light, with European flair, and Aermacchi’s simple, reliable singles seemed a good fit. But then, as now, the Harley faithful didn’t really take to the idea of something that was actually sportier than a Sportster, and the relationship didn’t really end well…
While outclassed at the time by the escalating small-displacement power wars going on in the late 1960’s, the durable 350 was popular among racers then, and remains so today. This particular bike is extremely nice, and the photos, taken in bright sunlight show it off well.
From the original eBay listing: 1967 Aermacchi 350 Road Racer for Sale
For Collector or Racer. The motor on this 1967 Aermacchi 350 Road Racer has been rebuilt by Aermacchi specialist Feruccio (Frank) Giannini of Giannini Racing (check his web site). Fitted PVL electronic self-generating ignition. Dry clutch, 11:5 TI piston, and high torque cam. Race or show, these road racers still can be found in the winner’s circle. Sold with a Bill of Sale. the stand comes with it.
This motorcycle was recently purchased at Mecum Las Vegas Auction January/2014, but my racing days are over. You can find it in on their web site, lot 328.
I have used Uship or Haulbikes for shipping. Shipping is buyer’s responsibility, buyer pays all shipping. Must be picked up at my home in San Marcos CA
This one might need a bit of fettling, since it looks like it’s been more show than go for a while, but it sounds like the important prep work has been done here: just blow out the cobwebs and go. If you aren’t the fastest bike on the track, you’ll surely be on one of the sharpest-looking bikes: I love that dry clutch peeking out through the slotted cover!
If you’re thinking about going racing and don’t fancy trying to compete with a bunch of don’t-believe-they-can-die 19 year olds on shrieking, 180hp literbikes, this might be a great, hands-on way to get into competition with something you can easily wrench on yourself. Parts and advice should be readily available, as there is a strong internet community that revolves around these. Remember: it’s more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow!
I’d just fit one of those Vegia white-faced tachs I love so much and try not to think about how goofy my 6’2” frame might look hanging off this at speed…