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Oooh, Shiny! 1974 Norton Commando Roadster

1974 Norton Commando R Side Front

Classic British motorcycles like this 1974 Norton Commando seem to have their devoted legions of fans for the same reasons American musclecars do: they’re relatively available, easy to tinker with and modify, and simple to make into a strong statement that reflects the individual owner, for better or for worse. Parts interchange between models and even brands, the basic engineering is solid, or at least straightforward to remedy, and there is huge aftermarket support.

Nortons of the period were a bit like the John Bloor’s resurrected Triumph of the 1990s: modular designs allowed the factory to tailor bikes to fit niche markets, like the Interstate that was clearly intended to speak to American fans. But after the 1973 shift from the 750 to the 850 version, they were all built around the 828cc engine in different states of tune.

1974 Norton Commando L Side Rear

They also featured Norton’s solution for the increasing vibration supplied by their ever-larger parallel twin. Parallel twins are compact and inexpensive to manufacture compared to a v-twin or multi. But while modern models use all sorts of balance-shaft trickery to prevent vision-blurring and hand-numbing vibration, bikes in the 1950s and 1960s relied on tricks like odd rubber footpegs [see: Benelli Tornado] or the sheer cussedness of the rider to combat fatigue.

1974 Norton Commando L Side Engine

Norton’s solution was the perfect example of plucky British workshed engineering: they basically used rubber mounts to isolate the engine, transmission, and swingarm from the rider. Those bits were left to vibrate happily while the rider racked up the miles in relative comfort. For such a simple concept, the Isolastic mounting system works very well but must be carefully maintained, as worn bushings can lead to vague and unpredictable handling.

1974 Norton Commando R Side

This particular machine’s classic looks actually suggest a 1950s machine to me, with all that bare, polished metal. But the builder has clearly spent a great deal of effort and money to update the bike functionally in as many ways as possible.

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Norton Commando for Sale

Custom build using the best parts available. I started with a 1974 frame and installed a 750 hi performance motor that I rebuilt for just such an occasion. Most if not all the parts are new or better than OEM replacements.

This is a partial list:
Engine # 20M3S 132501
New valves, springs, pistons and rings
High performance camshaft
Amal 32mm carbs
Dave Taylor head steady
Venhill braided Stainless rocker feed lines
“Big Bore” 1-1/2″ exhaust system
RGM Belt Drive Primary
Quaife polished gearbox case
Alton Electric start kit
Shorai Battery
Stainless steel transmission adjustment hardware kit
Jim Comstock hydraulic actuated clutch with Brembo Master cylinder
New drive chain with 21tooth countershaft sprocket
New polished Excel rims with stainless steel spokes and nipples
New Bridgestone tires
Hagon Shocks
Performance machine 4 piston caliper with Brembo Master cylinder
Baja Designs light switch / directional switch combo
Solid state charging system
Rebuilt gauges
Custom quartz headlight incorporating LED turn signals
RGM 3.5 gallon custom alloy gas tank
Custom alloy seat and Corbin gunfighter seat
New fork tubes, seals etc
Bucketloads of stainless steel hardware
New wiring harnesses

As you can see from the list, this is a serious amount of money invested in the parts alone. The Alton E-Start kit alone retails for $2495 and drives the crank directly without going through the primary so it spins the engine with very little effort. If you’re looking for something completely different, this is the one. I have ridden the bike to put some shakedown miles on it and everything is working well.

1974 Norton Commando R Side Rear

Oftentimes, it’s the perfectly preserved, completely original bikes that command the hearts and dollars of collectors. But the Commando seems to buck that trend, as long as the updates and modifications are the right updates and modifications… Bidding is currently up to $9,100.00 with the Reserve Not Met and a $14,995.00 Buy It Now option. Nortons were always easy to modify and lent themselves to tinkering, modifying, and improving. A bit like the MGB, you can just about build one from an aftermarket catalog, assuming you have a frame number to start with. This one seems to use the best of the old and the best of the new to create something that captures the classic British biking spirit.

It may not be to everyone’s taste, but it is very classic and the completed bike is very… polished.

-tad

1974 Norton Commando L Side

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Green Machine: 1977 Laverda Jarama for Sale

1977 Laverda Jarama R Front

Built by Slater Laverda in the UK, masterminds behind the original Jota, the Formula Mirage was powered by Laverda’s famously charismatic and durable three-cylinder engine. It featured a distinctive, one-piece fiberglass tank and seat unit that looked sleek, but significantly limited fuel capacity, which in turn reduced the range of the already thirsty triple. Several folks online also commented on the steeply-sloped seat unit that sees passengers steadily sliding forward into the rider. A bonus on a hot date, not so great if you’re give your buddy a lift to pick up his bike from the mechanic…

1977 Laverda Jarama L Rear

I generally prefer my Laverdas to be bright orange but, if I were in the market for one right now, I’d still have to give serious consideration to this very green Jarama. I always thought the Jarama was a European-only model, what with it being named after a Spanish race circuit that 99% of Americans have probably never heard of. But it turns out this was, in typical Laverda style, a US-only version of their 3CL. Certainly “Jarama” is a far sexier name than “3CL” but it’d probably help to have chosen “Sebring” or “Daytona” or even “Laguna” for an American model…

1977 Laverda Jarama Clocks

Powered by Laverda’s classic inline triple that displaced 981cc and featured the earlier, burlier 180° crank that had the outside pistons rising and falling together, the three-cylinder Laverdas are pretty imposing beasts. This unusual engine apparently produced more power than a traditional 120° crankshaft configuration, although it also produced far more vibration.

1977 Laverda Jarama Carb

The resulting sound and feel of the “four with a miss” engine are considered by fans to be superior to the later versions although, having heard both bikes in person, the 120° crank bikes are still pretty far from your average Speed Triple…

1977 Laverda Jarama R Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Laverda Jarama for Sale

This is an all original 1977 Laverda Jarama 1000 with only 8105 miles in original factory green. The bike recently received a restoration. The frame was sandblasted and painted gloss black. The chainguard was sent to the chromer for replating along with the headlight brackets, exhaust downpipes (headers), Brevetato Jota bars, Ciriani rear shock springs, foot peg brackets and other misc parts, nut and bolts.  My plater refused to do the mufflers but they are in great shape anyways. They have some small rust spots here and there but no dents or road rash.  The carbs were completely rebuilt and received vapor blasting and an ultrasonic bath. Carbs also got new seals and misc parts were replaced. As you can see in the pictures all the aluminum covers were polished. Front forks were rebuilt and got new seals.  The brake calipers and disc carriers were re-anodized in black.  Calipers then received new pistons and seals and so did the front and rear master cylinders.  All the nuts, bolts and washers were also cad and zinc plated plated. The bike runs amazingly well and is a blast to ride. and looks beautiful too. Not many Jarama’s in the US.  

Now the not so bad: I wanted to preserve the original paint so I left it as is. There are two small dents on the tank. One is on the right side and the other is on the left top edge. The left side cover is also cracked and so is the rear tail piece.  
1977 Laverda Jarama R Rear
Unlike most Laverdas of the period, the Jarama featured a left side gearshift and other minor changes to appeal to buyers in the American market, although it ultimately didn’t help sales much and the bike is very rare. In many ways, it’s like a Jota “appearance package” except that the base 3CL is still a pretty high-performance motorcycle and probably a better ride for most people than the high-compression, highly-strung Jota.

Bidding is active with plenty of time left on the auction. In very sharp condition and with such low miles, this looks like a great opportunity for someone who wants a classic Laverda, but can’t quite stretch to a Jota.

-tad

1977 Laverda Jarama L Front

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Burgundy Beauty: 1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport for Sale

1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport R Side Front

The original Moto Guzzi V7 Sport is one of our favorites, and it’s pretty easy to see why: while the modern café-racer and brat-style builders need to chop the living hell out of suspensions to get their creations to sit low, the V7 Sport had that look from the factory, and was one of the best-handling bikes of the era.

1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Tank

In fact the bike’s frame was redesigned from the V700’s “loop-frame” to lower the bike’s CoG: the new design switched from a generator to a compact new alternator and relocated it from the top to the front of the engine to clear up space for the frame’s top rails. And the new frame fit so closely around the engine that detachable lower rails were included to facilitate servicing.

1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport L Side Rear

The engine was more evolutionary and less revolutionary: a punched-out version of the V700’s longitudinally-mounted, shaft drive twin, it featured a five-speed gearbox and the usual carburetor updates, along with highly-adjustable swan-neck clip-ons for a custom fit.

1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Rear Suspension

As the seller indicates, the bike displaces more than the original 748cc’s. It’s pretty common to drop in larger pistons and different cranks from later versions of the bike, since it basically amounts to a factory big-bore kit. Cycle Garden is a SoCal-based Guzzi specialist and supplier of OEM and aftermarket parts, so it’s also reassuring to know that they’ve been involved: I’ve met a few Guzzi guys who speak highly of them.

1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport L Side Front

From the original eBay listing: Numbers-Matching Moto Guzzi V7 Sport for Sale

Restored numbers matching 1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport – Burgundy & Grey Foam.

Purchased from Moe at Newport CA Cycle Garden.

This is a 1998 restoration with 2002 miles on the odometer.  I have put less than 200 miles on the bike since I purchased it from Moe, and am selling it because I do not have enough time to ride.

Recently won “Best of Show” at the Go AZ Motorcycles antique bike show.  Trophy is included with the bike.

The bike is stunning as you will see from the pictures.  It runs perfectly, and has never given me a moment of trouble.  Starts immediately when engaged, and is very fast.

The bike has a European shift pattern (right shift, left brake), which makes it a little different from most newer Sports.

Moe added their 955 CC Big Bore Kit (T-3 Crank Shaft, 88 mm Pistons), new paint at the time of restoration, full wire harness, fuse panel, restored the dash, and added reproduction Silentium mufflers.

I have removed the bar mirror, but will include it with the sale.

1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Cockpit

Helpfully included are a pair of videos that can be found here and here.

There are no takers yet at the $18,000 starting bid, with just a couple days left on the auction. I’m a bit surprised because, although that’s not cheap, it seems to be relatively in line with V7 Sport prices of late. Maybe the non-original internals are putting off prospective buyers? Probably, if I were restoring a V7, I’d stick with the original displacement, but many LeMans are running bigger engines and that doesn’t seem to affect their prices negatively. Is it the color that’s deterring bidders? It’s certainly a very flattering color for the bike, although maybe collectors are holding out for a green or black one…

-tad

1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport R Side

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Ahead of Its Time: 1974 John Player Norton Commando for Sale

1974 Norton Commando JPN Fairing Front

You’d be forgiven for not realizing that this very strange-looking John Player Norton Replica is, under the skin, a Commando: buyers didn’t know quite what to do with this at the time, either. It’s a bit of an evolutionary “missing link” in terms of sportbike design, effectively bridging the gap between earlier bullet-like dustbin fairings and modern designs as seen on the first-generation GSX-R750. Cutting-edge design unfortunately cuts both ways: while theoretically new ideas should excite consumers, manufacturers always run the risk that their revolutionary machines will actually alienate their core audience. Take the Pierre Terblanche-styled Ducati 999 for example: the bike was, in virtually every way, an improvement over the beloved 916 and the design was a complete departure for Ducati. The 999 is finally, grudgingly being accepted as a classic design but when new it was too much of a departure, too new, too alien to be the follow up Ducatisti were waiting for. And sales were disappointing.

1974 Norton Commando JPN R Fairing

The John Player Norton Replica suffered a similar fate. Named after the famous British tobacco company, the few made didn’t find an audience at first and some languished unsold for years. Keep in mind that the whole concept of collectable motorcycles is relatively new, and few people were interested in race-replicas or limited editions. On the upside, if the odd styling captures your imagination, this should offer no real challenge to ride and maintain: aside from gearing changes to take advantage of the bike’s improved top-speed potential, the bike is basically a stock Norton Commando.

1974 Norton Commando JPN L Tank

It uses the 828cc version of Norton’s famous parallel-twin engine and four-speed box found in the 850 Commando. A short-stroke 750 was also available for buyers that planned to race their machines in the US, although I’ve never seen one come up for sale and I’m not sure exactly how many of the 200 total machines took advantage of this option.

1974 Norton Commando JPN L Seat

From the original eBay listing: 1974 John Player Norton Commando for Sale

Very, very nice John Player Special. These do not come up very often. Many, many more vintage motorcycle available…

The seller then goes on to list a number of other vintage machines they have available. Which is great, but a bit of that space could have been used to answer some questions about this machine: does it run? What work, maintenance, or upgrades have been done to the bike in question? Aside from the fact that it has 12,465 miles on it so we know it’s not been sitting its whole life, we’re left to guess. I’m sure the seller is probably expecting prospective buyers to ask appropriate questions. But although these are pretty rare, with just 120 shipped to the US, they’re not impossible to find, and many buyers want to do their initial research without having to reach out to the seller. It’d also be great to see some better pictures of this very distinctive machine, although the close-up shots do show some great detail and give a pretty good idea of the overall condition.

-tad

1974 Norton Commando JPN L Fairing

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Sexy Six: 1979 Honda CBX for Sale

1979 Honda CBX R Rear

In an era when a 750 was still considered a “big” bike, Honda’s six-cylinder, 1047cc CBX was very much a monument to excess. It was complex, expensive, wasn’t especially fast, and was too heavy and poorly suspended to really handle. And the lack of a fairing meant its sport-touring ability was relatively limited as well. But as an engineering statement it was without peer, and the smooth, exotic sounds made by that huge aluminum brick of an engine really had no equal in the motorcycling world either.

1979 Honda CBX R Front

In point of fact, the engine isn’t really all that wide: it’s not a whole lot wider than Honda’s own CB750 four. But on a naked bike, with nothing but the era’s bicycle-skinny tires and a fairly slim tank to give it context, it looks like an aluminum-finned wall. That cascading row of exhaust headers doesn’t help, and probably emphasizes the bike’s width. Fit a set of crash-bars and the organ-pipe six-into-six exhaust seen here, and you’re looking at a serious visual statement.

1979 Honda CBX L Side Pipes

Likely inspired by Honda’s jewel-like six-cylinder racing machines, a long gestation meant that, by the time the CBX was released, those sleek and impossibly delicate 250cc, seven and ten-speed Grand Prix bikes were long-forgotten by the general buying public. So the CBX was a bit of a footnote in terms of production numbers for a company like Honda. But they were often cherished by owners and many excellent examples exist today, although this one appears to be in especially nice condition.

1979 Honda CBX L Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1979 Honda CBX for Sale

I am listing my super rare unrestored 1979 Honda CBX with only a bit over 15,000 miles and it is probably one of the nicest if not the nicest unrestored CBX’s available anywhere. The paint and body work are flawless, fairing is aftermarket (and look great on the bike) and has been painted to perfectly match the factory paint.  No chips, scratches, dents and the best factory paint I have ever seen on an original bike and I have owned many. The engine still has all the original paint which is also mint and stock not polished cases or the like and it runs like new as well, and the non-factory exhaust still appear almost new themselves with no scratches or dents. I have never seen a CBX that even comes close to the original quality of this bike.

1979 Honda CBX Dash

I’m not normally a fan of bikini fairings like the one seen here, but it compliments the bike’s lines and likely improves the bike’s ability to cover long distances. Bidding is very active on this particular CBX and, although there’s just a couple days left on the auction, the reserve has not been met at $8,800. The Buy It Now price is set at $13,500 which is definitely at the top of the range for a CBX. But with prices of the six-cylinder Hondas headed upwards, and considering how much a restoration on one would cost, it seems like it might be worth it for someone looking to add a very original example of this appreciating classic to their collection.

-tad

1979 Honda CBX R Side

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Bevel-Drive with an NCR-Prepped Engine: 1978 Ducati 900SS for Sale

1978 Ducati 900SS R Front

Looking like it’s sitting in God’s living room, this very nice bevel-drive Ducati 900SS apparently has an NCR-prepped engine, although the seller doesn’t detail exactly what that entails. Which would help, as that could mean just about anything, from a simple rebuild or blueprint, up to and including a barely-streetable race engine.

1978 Ducati 900SS R Engine

Introduced in 1975 and powered by an 864cc version of Ducati’s iconic bevel-drive engine, the bike was really their first attempt at a global-market bike: along with a quieter set of stock mufflers, the shift mechanism was significantly redesigned to make relocation to the left side of the bike less of a cobbled-together affair and improve the action for riders in the US market. By now, many 900SS bikes have had the stock pipes swapped out for a set of appropriately-loud Contis, as seen here.

1978 Ducati 900SS R Rear

Obviously a bit less desirable than the original “round-case” bevels that were introduced in 1974, the “square case” 900SS shared much of its DNA with the far more practical Darmah. But the sex appeal of that half-fairing and clip-on bars, along with the undeniable links to racing mean that these will always be the most desirable Ducatis of the period, barring actual race bikes.

1978 Ducati 900SS L Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Ducati 900SS for Sale

Original Ducati 900SS engine prepared by NCR with NCR specification, two owners up to now, all history known. Excellent condition, runs perfectly.
NOS Tank

  • Original Veglia Borletti racing rev counter
  • 40mm Dell’Orto carbs
  • Original Conti exhaust (not rechromed)
  • Marzocchi shock absorbers
  • CEV 177 headlight
  • Greek documentSeller great Ducati collector

1978 Ducati 900SS Tach

They say that “presentation is everything.” And it never ceases to amaze me to see auctions for high-end motorcycles where the seller hasn’t even bothered to haul their $30,000 motorcycles out of the back of the shed into the light to take a few quality pictures. So it’s always nice when someone makes the effort to really show off their pride and joy, especially when it’s a beautiful, black-and-gold Ducati 900SS. This one obviously needs a quick trip down a windy back road to clean off those rusty brake discs, and it’s not in perfect cosmetic condition, with some minor surface corrosion and pitting and general wear. But it looks well cared-for and the listing suggests that it’s ready to run, a very important consideration when you look at what a mechanical restoration would cost for a bike that’s been sitting.

Also: genuine Veglia white-faced racing tachometer!

-tad

1978 Ducati 900SS L Front

2

Tea with Hot Sauce: 1967 Triumph Bonneville with Tracy Bodywork

1967 Trimph Bonneville Tracy R Front

While this Triumph Bonneville with Tracy bodywork is really more dirt-track than actual sportbike, but it’s cool and rare enough I thought it was worth a post.

1967 Trimph Bonneville Tracy L Engine

During the wild-and-woolly 1960s and 1970s, body kits could be found for all kinds of cars and bikes and change your workaday VW Bug or UJM into something much more individual. Some were complete garbage, and some were of very high quality. Tracy Nelson’s Fiberglas Works’ were of the latter variety. Based out of Santa Cruz and inspired by Craig Vetter’s creations, Tracy designed one-piece bodywork that replaced heavy steel tanks, side panels, and seat with one-piece replacements that both lightened the bike and lowered its center of gravity.

1967 Trimph Bonneville Tracy Dash

When Tracy kits turn up, they tend to be decked out with wild period paintjobs or metal-flake custom insanity and are sometimes grafted on to home-brew choppers of dubious quality. This example keeps things simple and is a very appropriate baby blue that really shows off the bodywork to good effect.

1967 Trimph Bonneville Tracy Rear Suspension

From the original eBay listing: 1967 Triumph Bonneville with Tracy Bodywork for Sale

Built by: B & D Cycles Triumph Restorations of Clinton, WI.

Cosmetically in beautiful shape as well. 

Tracy body is solid and finished in high quality “Team Triumph” blue/white. Tank was properly lined to resist ethanol fuel damage to fiberglass.

Not many of these Tracy bodies survived the ’70s in this nice of condition… or at all.

Stored in a climate controlled environment and ridden on a fairly regular basis.

Numbers matching T120 frame and motor. TR6 head (had to be used to fit the Tracy body kit). 

Engine was completely rebuilt a couple of years ago. 

Bike has Clubman bars, Bates headlight and Mighty Mite electronics with capacitor.

Reverse magaphone mufflers, ’68 front wheel and brake assembly laced to a Borrani Shoulder rim.

Tires and tubes are excellent. 

Bike is ready to ride and enjoy right now. No worries.

VERY STRONG RUNNER!! PLENTY OF POWER!!

A VERY cool, clean and unusual bike for not a lot of money. 

You will NOT park next to someone on another Triumph like this… period. 

1967 Trimph Bonneville Tracy L Tank

The seller also helpfully includes a walk around tour and a cold startup video. With just a couple days left on the auction and a starting bid of $4,650, I’m surprised there’s been little interest so far. It looks this might go for far less than a similarly stock Bonneville and offers up a bit of American hot sauce to spice up your Brit-bike Earl Grey.

-tad

1967 Trimph Bonneville Tracy L Rear

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Frisky Featherbed: 1965 Norton Atlas for Sale

1964 Norton Dominator L Side

Often overlooked in favor of the more rakish Commando and more famous Triumph Bonneville, the Norton Atlas offers familiar British twin strengths with its own particular charms. The parallel twin may be the perfect motorcycle powerplant. Compact, simpler, and easier to package than a v-twin or inline-four, smoother and more sophisticated than a single, the layout was used extensively by the British biking industry in the 1960s and 1970s. Unfortunately, the layout’s Achilles heel is vibration, especially in larger displacement applications.

1964 Norton Dominator Engine

Certainly vibration was an issue as Norton’s twins grew past 500cc, eventually necessitating the Commando’s innovative Isolastic frame, but handling certainly wasn’t a problem for the Atlas: it was fitted with the famous “featherbed” frame, so named after racer Harold Daniell described the 1950 racebike that originally used a similar design as being so smooth and comfortable it was “like riding on a featherbed.”

1964 Norton Dominator Dash

Today’s example has been well-maintained and features some appropriate, period-correct updates and modifications along with tons of character and patina.

1964 Norton Dominator Primary

From the original eBay listing: 1965 Norton Atlas for Sale

This auction is for a very good example of a great British motorcycle, don’t overlook the Atlas model: they are very sought after on the other side of the pond and my personal experience has been that it has out performed my other similar Brit twins, Triumphs and BSAs included.

It is still a low mileage mostly original bike even has  the std size factory dished top pistons for low compression are still in their noticed them when I decarbonized the top end also that is the original seat covering in place.

Here is a list of repairs and up-grades that I have done since I owned the bike and It probably has only covered 7k afterwards(other bikes to ride)

6 start oil pump drive, cam chain replaced, mag chain replaced, oil distribution seal for crank changed, gearbox sprocket  changed, solid state voltage regulator, Boyer dual coil, 1968 Commando distributor in place of magneto with electronic ignition now starts with key.

Bob Newby primary belt drive, best on the market, cost $780 eliminated oil leaks from the badly designed steel primary cover and as an added benefit bike has less vibration also changed to the newer laminated style stator. Norvil pushrod seal conversion insures clutch stays dry.

Clutch now has a sweet take up and very light lever pull. 

If you are a  collector the Frame and Engine numbers do match. 

This  motorcycle is a collectible model that won’t depreciate with its slim line “featherbed frame” really is a joy to ride, extremely stable for a classic bike and can handle  100 mile weekend  day rides in the summer months even on the highway with no over-heating!

1964 Norton Dominator Front Wheel

The seller also includes a list of some original parts that are included. It’s obviously been enthusiast-owned and well cared for, although with no takers at the $5,500 starting bid, the seller may be aiming high, even considering the condition.

-tad

1964 Norton Dominator R Side

1

All-Original GP Machine: 1982 Suzuki RGB500 Mk7 XR40 for Sale

1982 Suzuki RGB500 R Side

Ridden by such luminaries as Barry Sheene and Randy Mamola, the two-stroke Suzuki RGB500 was eventually developed into the dominant machine you see here, but it went through a significant evolution following its introduction in 1974. As you’d expect, the bike always had power to spare, but high speed handling was suspect at first…

1982 Suzuki RGB500 R Side Naked

By the time the 1982 bike rolled around, Suzuki had moved to a “square” 54mm x 54mm engine for a grand total of 495cc. It was far more reliable than previous iterations and featured the same stepped cylinders seen on the RG500 Gamma road bike that had the rear pair of cylinders raised up slightly higher than the front pair. With a dry weight of 292lbs and 120hp, the bike could reach speeds of up to 170mph, which is pretty terrifying considering the tire technology of the time.

1982 Suzuki RGB500 R Side Grip

Fascinating details seen in the photos include the square-four’s complex throttle cable assembly and the anti-dive front system on the front forks.

From the original eBay listing: 1982 RGB500 Mk7 XR40 for Sale

This is not a street bike folks, this is the real deal, A real factory Suzuki GP road race bike… This bike has the stepped square 4 motor with magnesium crankcases, magnesium carburetors, and dry clutch… The Chassis is loaded with magnesium, Titanium and Aluminum, stuff you would expect to find on a factory race bike… First year of “Full Floater” monoshock suspension… Chassis number 42 motor number 49… Bike is in unrestored, excellent condition, just as it rolled off the race track in 1982… This bike from part of the team Heron Suzuki stable, bike has been museum store in Japan since last raced… these bikes are tad more rare than a TZ750 and much more powerful… It is the perfect bike to dominate vintage racing and is eligible for the “classic TT” in Phillips island This is a rare opportunity to own a real factory GP bike, don’t let it slip by, you’ll be sorry if you do…

1982 Suzuki RGB500 R Side Front

With a beautiful period paint scheme and tons of rare, race-spec parts, this bike may not have been ridden by any famous racers to any notable victories, but it’s also available at a price much lower than you’d expect to pay for one of those machines. Bidding is just north of $25,000 there’s a ways to go until we hit the $65,000 Buy It Now price. It’s in impressively original condition and would make a stunning collector’s piece, but hopefully, the rise in popularity of vintage racing will see this bike returned to the track.

-tad

1982 Suzuki RGB500 L Side

3

Two-Stroke Racer: 1976 Yamaha TZ350 for Sale

1976 Yamaha TZ350C R Side

Although the RD400 was certainly popular with racers of the day, Yamaha’s track-only TZ350 was a definite step up in terms of performance, with water-cooling added to the engine to increase performance significantly. While the TZ bikes had certain general characteristics in common with their streetable cousins: two-stroke parallel-twin engines, twin-shock suspensions, they were pure, over-the-counter racing machines. And they were priced to sell: combined with the performance you’d expect of a track-ready racebike, the TZ250 and 350 were a dominant force in period roadracing.

1976 Yamaha TZ350C Cockpit

The 349cc, water-cooled two-stroke put out 60bhp and was matched to a 6-speed gearbox. Combined with a dry weight of just 250lbs, the TZ had impressive performance. Early bikes used a conventional twin-shock rear suspension and drum brakes, but the bikes continued to evolve throughout their production run. The later “C” models bikes, as seen here, used a monoshock rear for improved roadholding.

1976 Yamaha TZ350C Rear Wheel

Although the listing shows the bike as being in Portland, Oregon, the body of the listing clearly states that this machine currently resides in New Zealand, so anyone considering a purchase should start calculating shipping, taxes, duties, and whatever other headaches might be involved…

1976 Yamaha TZ350C R Bar

From the original eBay listing: 1976 Yamaha TZ350C for Sale

The “C” model, of 1976 was another matter entirely. Here was a radical departure chassis and running gear wise from the earlier TZ’s. Adjustable “mono-shock” (spring preload and rebound damping only) rear suspension, combined with twin piston front and rear disk brakes set the world on fire, with the new bikes selling like hot-cakes from Yamaha dealers worldwide. The retail price of around £ 1,550 including a comprehensive spares kit was incredible value for money and did no harm at all to sales. The clutch basket “boss” was improved by changing it’s method of attachment to a male / female spline system from the previous model’s “dog” type. The exhaust header picked up an additional o-ring and a new mounting system. Power jumped up slightly to 62bhp @ 10,000rpm.

NOTE: This Motorcycle is “Not” located in the USA it is located in New Zealand and can be shipped world-wide. Allow and additional $1200USD minimum for most countries. Exact shipping price will be by quotation.

This bike looks extremely clean, although no mention is made of its running condition: the tires look basically brand new, so it’s a bit hard to tell if it’s set up for display or as a runner. With an opening bid of $12,500 and no takers as yet it’s not the first time we’ve posted one of these and seen a relative lack of interest. This one’s a bit more expensive than previous examples as well, which is a shame considering the condition and potential performance available for vintage racing enthusiasts.

1976 Yamaha TZ350C Front Brake

Here in the US, where this bike most explicitly isn’t, the TZ350 was a bike with nowhere to call home: there were classes for 250 and 500cc machines, but the 350 ended up having to run in bigger classes where it was at a distinct disadvantage in terms of power. These days, things may be different and organizations like AHRMA may give the bike more of an opportunity to shine, but limited appeal at the time makes these exceedingly rare here.

-tad

1976 Yamaha TZ350C L Side

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