Classic Sport Bikes For Sale Blog

Restored to Perfection: 1975 BMW R90S for Sale

1975 BMW R90S L Front

Today’s BMW R90S is the quintessential German sportbike: fast, stable, and reliable, but just a little bit uptight and unassuming. Or it would be unassuming, if not for that very vivid 70s paint job… By the 1970s, a major shift was well underway in the motorcycling world. Postwar shortages in many markets meant that, throughout the period immediately following World War II, cars were simply too expensive for many people to afford and motorcycles were often used as basic transportation in their place. But by the 1960s, the tide had begun to change and, more and more, motorcycles were seen as luxury items or toys, especially here in the US.

1975 BMW R90S R Rear

Generally stodgy image aside, BMWs had always been involved in racing but, by the 1970s, they felt they needed reach customers outside the lucrative, but steadily aging “old man” demographic. BMW’s traditional customers were aging out, and BMW wanted to reach out to a new crop of riders who were looking for something like a Ducati, but maybe with some comfort thrown in. The Germans may have been trying to create their own SuperSport with the R90S, but that practical Teutonic DNA comes through pretty strongly in both the form and the function.

1975 BMW R90S Dash

That dose of practicality in no way diminishes the performance available and the bike was very competitive in AMA racing immediately after it was introduced. High-compression pistons and performance carburetors meant that the proven pushrod engine, here bumped to 898cc, made 67 very flexible horses that could take the R90S all the way to 125mph, although braking power was never much to write home about.

1975 BMW R90S L Rear

Today’s example looks terrific and appears to be quite the labor of love. From the original eBay listing: 1975 BMW R90S for Sale

This is a perfect restored numbers-matching BMW R90S. Many collectors like a bike in original condition unrestored. This is perfect for somebody who put it in his man cave and enjoy looking at the bike or showing it to somebody. But after 40 years it would not be fun to drive it. All the rubber, bowden and seals and much more thinks getting dry brittle leaking and brake. This one is ready to drive and it is as new as it can be.

I am a 60 year old German engineer and be working on BMW’s my whole life as my hobby and for fun. I am selling this one because I have too many toys and I am downsizing for my retirement. This one is restored to perfection. Look at all the pictures it tells the story. I was working over 2 years on this bike and one thing lead in to another because as a perfectionist nothing is good enough.

Here is a list of what I have done. I am sure this list is not complete but you getting the idea:

  • Frame powder coated.
  • Wheels polished hubs bead blasted new stainless spokes.
  • Every screw on the bike is new and stainless.
  • All the rubber and I mean all what has any rubber in it or on it is new tires, seals, bowden, seat, footpegs and so on.
  • Wheel bearings and brakes are new
  • Every aluminum part on engine, gearbox and final drive is bead-blasted and assembled with new seals
  • Cylinder heads with lead-free valves
  • New pistons and oil rings
  • New clutch complete with spring plate
  • Carbs are overhauled and sealed for over $500
  • New seat complete with pan from Germany
  • Instrument cluster overhauled for over $600 and set to 0 miles
  • This was a low millage bike to begin with and in a very good shape
  • New paint and pin striped by a pro for over $2000.
  • New petcocks and fuel cap.
  • New exhaust system complete.
  • And so on…
  • It comes with the original toolkit, shop rag, metal air pump and manual
  • And I have a box full of receipts what I be afraid off to add up.
  • There is a lot of money in this bike.

1975 BMW R90S Parts

Bidding is very active on this bike and already north of $12,000, with plenty of time still left on the auction and the Reserve Not Met. That’s certainly premium money for an old BMW, but it sounds like you’re getting about as close to a brand-new R90S as is possible, barring a lifetime of tracking down NOS parts and building one from scratch. Certainly, the seller makes a great point: an unrestored, barn-find bike would likely require a ton of work to make it run correctly, or would require constant attention as the little bits mentioned deteriorate and fail. This bike is virtually perfect and ready-to-roll. If you have the cash to spend and want an R90S, this looks like a good choice!

-tad

1975 BMW R90S R Side

Sparkly Two-Stroke Terror: 1974 Kawasaki H1 500 Mach III for Sale

1974 Kawasaki H1 500 R Front

In the early 1970s, Kawasaki’s two-stroke triples like this H1 500 Mach III ruled the quarter-mile drag strips here in America. 60hp and a 115mph top speed may not sound like that much, but they were fairly light and lacked any of the modern electronic trickery designed to keep riders [mostly] on two wheels and away from the hedges, ditches, and telephone poles that seem to leap out of nowhere. Those horses also came on in a brutal, two-stroke rush that had the front wheel pointed skyward in an eyeblink, while sometimes unpredictable handling and a feeble front brake meant corners and stopping were best planned far in advance, a real challenge when the horizon was a simple flick of the wrist away.

Although the handling may have been primitive, the two-stroke triple and five speed gearbox that drove the beast was powerful, relatively reliable, and the perfect tool for tearing up the straight-line racetracks here in the USA, where they sold like hotcakes, since the scary cornering performance, dismal fuel consumption, and inadequate brakes barely mattered for most riders.

1974 Kawasaki H1 500 L Rear

The upside to the handling faults of many period motorcycle is that it allowed a whole cottage industry of frame-builders and tuners to exist: without bikes like the H1, we’d have no Bimota, and the world would be a sadder, emptier place. But the real question to me is why, since frame-builders of note had been around since the 1960s, didn’t Japanese manufacturers simply contract them to provide improvements? Especially since the issues that affected the H1 are relatively straightforward: frames lacking in stiffness, spindly forks that flexed, and primitive shocks. It’d be simple to dismiss those flaws as acceptable limitations for production-based motorcycles, but many racebikes of the period seem to have been similarly afflicted, so it seems like a pool of knowledge wasn’t being exploited.

1974 Kawasaki H1 500 R Rear

The H1 500 Mach III and the H2 750 Mach IV were both notoriously dangerous bikes that required skill and daring to ride quickly, although the H2 was significantly improved in terms of handling, a good thing considering the additional 50% in displacement… Interestingly, while the H2 was introduced after the H1, it was sold alongside its older, hairier brother for several years. Bidding for this example is just north of $4,000 and far short of the $7,500 Buy It Now price, although there’s plenty of time left on the auction.

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Kawasaki H1 500 Triple for Sale

Completely restored less than a year ago!
VIN BL353836
Open MA title
7806 miles
Dual disc front end braided steel lines
Rebuilt engine, less than 1000 miles ago
Powder-coated frame and wheels
Denco pipes
Custom Pearl Paint with candy color
Stainless spokes, powder-coated rims, extra chrome
Three small dents in rear of front fender (cannot be seen).
Runs and sounds awesome!

H1 and H2 prices have seen a dramatic increase in recent years, although values do seem to have leveled off a bit recently. That may be due to the fact that these were made in volume and, although pristine ones are pretty rare, it’s not all that hard to find a decent H1 if you want one. Although the seller claims that the bike has been “restored,” it’s important to remember that term does seem to mean different things to different people… This bike has obviously not been restored to some sort of “as-new” standard: the original bikes certainly didn’t have the painted triple clamps, the headlight ring is blacked out, the dash appears to have been painted, and the gauge faces are pretty faded.

1974 Kawasaki H1 500 Dash

That being said, the Denco pipes and the dual disc front end are certainly desirable updates, and the bike is very clean and shiny, with bright brightwork and chrome-y chrome. The paint, while not original, is definitely appropriate for a Kawasaki and, overall, this bike is more “resto-modded” and less “restored.” So while this bike may not be a good choice for collectors who prize originality, it might make a great bike for someone looking for a bike to ride, as long as the seller recognizes that the bike should command a lower price than a concourse-quality restoration when considering offers.

-tad

1974 Kawasaki H1 500 L Front

Black Gold: 1978 Ducati 900SS for Sale

1978 Ducati 900SS R Side Front

While I appreciate modern design and efficiency, there’s something so timeless about Ducati’s 900 SuperSport, especially in black with gold pinstripes as seen here. Sure, the silver and blue might more strongly evoke Ducati’s improbable Imola victory, but the black bikes just look so elegant and sinister…

1978 Ducati 900SS R Side Engine

Although far more common than the original, 750cc SuperSport that was intended to commemorate Ducati’s 1972 Imola win, the updated 900SS featured improved performance and general refinements intended to appeal to a broader market. The shifter was revised to more easily allow the bike to use a left-side gearchange, something that was important for customers in the USA. Cast-aluminum wheels replaced the earlier spoked items and the bike also used the updated “square-case” engine that was bumped to 864cc and designed to match the angular, Giugiaro-styled 860GT.

1978 Ducati 900SS Cockpit

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

For Sale is this Beautiful very rare Black/Gold 1978 Ducati 900SS. This bike runs fantastic, engine’s strong and sounds fantastic. The transmission shifts smooth in all gears, there is no issues. Can not confirm speedometer mileage. Fairing and side covers are aftermarket, the Gustafsson windscreen NOS without cracks or scratches. 

Small paint chip on rear fender and there’s a small hairline crack on fairing near mount screw (see photos). Cowl compartment and seat zipper is in excellent working condition. Campagnolo 5 spoke wheels are Gorgeous. New Dellorto’s PHM 40’s, Tommaselli throttle and adjustable clip-ons, Aprilia headlight bezel with Jute light. Brake systems operate great.

Overall this bike is gorgeous.

The Kentucky title’s clear, in hand and in my name.

Frame number 87593

Engine number 87853

 Included with bike is a new wiring harness purchased from Bevelheaven supplied by oldracingspareparts in Italy. Original wiring harness is rough but the headlight, running light and switches operate, both brake light switches work.

This bike is being SOLD-AS-IS, there is NO WARRANTY. Buyer is responsible for all shipping costs and arrangements. Bike is located in Louisville Ky 40219 when checking shipping costs. The bike is being advertised for sale locally, I reserve the right to end this auction at any time.

1978 Ducati 900SS L Detail

The seller also includes a video that can be found here. From the description, it sounds like this is a very clean, very solid-running motorcycle that’s just a few very minor cosmetic blemishes away from being a “10” although that new wiring harness might be worth installing, just for peace of mind…

The Buy It Now price is set at $35,400 which seems pretty high for a 900SS. And with very little interest in the listing so far, other than looky-loos, it appears that I’m not the only one who thinks the price is a bit unrealistic…

-tad

1978 Ducati 900SS R Side

Origin of the Species: 1973 Yamaha TZ750 Prototype Road Racer #001

1973 Yamaha TZ750 L Side Front

The second of three very rare Yamaha TZ750 race bikes available this past week, this 1973 model is claimed to be a rare prototype machine. Fans of both ClassicSportBikesforSale.com and RareSportBikesforSale.com have proclaimed all three of these machines to be overpriced, but you can’t argue that they are very cool and very valuable motorcycles regardless of their asking prices. Yamaha’s TZ750 was all brawn and no brains, a power-mad beast of a bike that packed 140hp into a sub-400lb package good for 185mph, with basically terrifying handling when it was introduced. But that power came with reliability, and the TZ dominated AMA racing for years in spite of its lethally bad manners.

1973 Yamaha TZ750 L Side Engine3

This example is supposedly a “prototype” numbered #001, although I’d definitely want to consult with a TZ750 expert before plunking down my hard-earned cash. It’s certainly in impressive cosmetic condition and will undoubtedly look amazing on display. Early TZ’s used a twin-shock rear suspension as seen here, although later bikes moved on to a more modern monoshock set up that vastly improved handling from “scary” to “less scary” as the bike struggled to cope with increased power from the significantly revised powerplant that went from 700cc’s in early bikes to the full 750cc’s in the name.

1973 Yamaha TZ750 Bare Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1973 Yamaha TZ750 Prototype #001 for Sale

This is the rare only one built by the Yamaha Race department. It was finished in 1973 for Kel Caruthers to inspect and make final changes for the completion of the production TZ700/750 for release in 1974 for Daytona and European distribution.

What you see are some of the salvaged parts that were intercepted on the way to the crusher and torch. The main part being the frame and swing-arm stamped 409-100001.

This bike remained in the hands of factory rider Sadeo Asami until it was returned to Yamaha USA in the late 70`s. 

I sat in storage until 2012 when I was able to purchase the parts. A good friend and I spent 3 years bringing it back to as last race condition and another year to where it is now.

This is the bike that changed racing history.

1973 Yamaha TZ750 L Side Engine2

I would be curious, and I’m sure the seller can tell you, whether or not it runs. From the description, it sounds as if it does. This would obviously make a beautiful display piece and centerpiece to a collection, but racing machines I feel should always be kept in running condition, even if it’s only for parade laps and demonstrations. The Buy It Now price is set at $78,000 which, as stated previously, is very high for a TZ750. They’re pretty rare, but 600 were made and, even accounting for the attrition that naturally occurs during racing, it’s possible to find these regularly circling tracks in vintage racing events.

Regardless, I’m happy to see the bike offered up for sale, so we can all drool over it and think about how many extra kidneys we’d need to grow in order to be able to afford it….

-tad

1973 Yamaha TZ750 L Side

Bee Sting: 1975 Yamaha TZ750B for Sale

1975 Yamaha TZ750 L Front2

Looking like the world’s angriest bumble bee, complete with four stingers, this Yamaha TZ750B race bike is ready for a new life, terrorizing tracks in vintage racing classes. And “terror” is probably the right word: with as much as 140hp, the TZ750 was very fast and exceptionally reliable, although the concept of handling was still in its infancy and a “good-handling bike” was any motorcycle that exhibited cornering or straight-line behavior that didn’t involve a terminal death-wobble.

Early TZ750s may not have qualified…

1975 Yamaha TZ750 R Naked

The earliest liquid-cooled two-stroke fours look suspiciously like they were built up from a pair of 347cc parallel-twins to make the TZ700. The later 750cc engine that debuted in 1975 supposedly shared no parts at all with the smaller machines and was essentially a bored-out 500 Grand Prix engine. Power predictably overwhelmed the bike’s rudimentary handling and primitive tires. Early machines used a twin-shock rear, although the frames were eventually updated to a more modern monoshock design as seen here: this particular bike was obviously ahead of its time and uses a rare Kanemoto frame, according to the seller.

1975 Yamaha TZ750 L RearFrom the original eBay listing: 1975 Yamaha TZ750B for Sale

Show Winner – Fresh Rebuild – Race Ready. Very Unique Early TZ750; C&J Mono-Shock Frame equipped, Raced in the 1976 and 1977 Daytona 200!

C&J made 4 special TZ750 mono-shock frames for Erv Kanemoto in the mid 1970`s. They were ridden by Gary Nixon, Freddie Spencer, and Gary Fisher. This particular unnumbered chassis was built using a 1975 TZ750B donor bike, and made it into the hands of AMA Pro rider Cory Ruppelt; he finished in the money in the 1976 Daytona 200 Roadrace on this bike.

Original period equipment includes: Morris Magnesium wheels, Lockheed front calipers, early Vesco fairing, and silenced crossover chambers. 
Modern KR series Dunlop racing tires, D.I.D. endless chain, and Boysen reeds make it track-worthy.

Rebuilt motor has 1 hour track time; tear-down inspection just completed. Un-numbered cases. Genuine TZ750D Master Cylinder just installed – carbs, ignition, controls, forks and C&J modified bodywork are original TZ. The bike is near exactly as raced in the 1970’s including paint. Has been preserved for 30 years on display before being brought back to a rider. Unrestored from the 1970’s, in “as-raced” condition.

The seller also includes some on-track video of the bike doing some parade laps here.

1975 Yamaha TZ750 L Rear Naked

Many classic racebikes are non-running display pieces with too much history for the owners to risk a crash, or because they cannot afford the upkeep on a rare, non-production machine more than forty years old. Luckily, this particular bike comes with period looks, unrestored paint, and a refreshed motor that looks like it’s ready to rock.

-tad

1975 Yamaha TZ750 R Front

Barely Legal Moto-Porn: 1972 Harley Davidson XR750 for Sale

1972 Harley Davidson XR750 R Side Front

We don’t normally get to feature Harley Davidsons on this site because The Motor Company really didn’t make many bikes you would normally categorize as “sport bikes,” and the ones they did build are extremely rare. Although the Harley Davidson XR750 was originally intended as a flat-track racer, today’s example has been reborn with roadgoing equipment and I’ve decided it qualifies, since it’s supposedly powered by an ex-racing engine and I bet it could would eat most of its roadgoing rivals from Triumph or Norton for lunch.

1972 Harley Davidson XR750 L Side Rear

The race-ready XR750 is considered one of the most successful racing motorcycles ever, winning 29 of 37 AMA Grand National Titles between 1972 and 2008. Yeah, you read that correctly: the XR750 was competitive in flat-track racing for over 30 years. It was powered by a 748cc pushrod v-twin with aluminum heads from 1972 on that improved cooling, compared to the earlier iron heads. Certainly that engine featured primitive architecture, and yeah, it was only competitive considering the specific ruleset that governs flat-track racing. But let’s be real here: all racing is governed by rules that artificially limit development to help keep performance of competing machines somewhat comparable, so that in no way diminishes that impressive record of wins.

1972 Harley Davidson XR750 L Side Engine

Today’s machine is claimed to have a genuine racing engine with some very impressive history slotted into the frame. Although it was originally a race-only machine, this XR750 has been fitted with lights and a license plate, meaning it might just be road-legal where you live…

From the original eBay listing: 1972 Harley Davidson XR750 for Sale

Surprisingly well preserved Harley XR750 flat track bike with 1972 engine.

Street legal in most states, and WITH TITLE! MATCHING NUMBERS on both engine and frame!

This particular bike’s engine is reported to have been ridden in 1972-73 by Cal Rayborn, Mert Lawwill and Scott Brelsford. Harley racing royalty then and now. Of all years of HARLEY XR750, 1972 is probably the hardest to find, since they were very popular, in short supply, and were either used up or supplanted by later year engines with more power.

This bike does not have an odometer or a speedometer, so I have no ideas how many miles it has run.

1972 Harley Davidson XR750 Rear Suspension

What kind of flat tracker has dual front brakes? Or any front brakes, for that matter?! Well whatever the engine and frame’s original provenance, they’re part of a bike with roadgoing intent now, and the stopping power afforded by those dual calipers will be much appreciated, considering the potential speed on tap.

The Buy It Now price is listed as $29,495.00 with very little time left on the auction. That’s a great deal of money for a motorcycle, but considering that XR750’s don’t usually offer you the opportunity to terrorize your neighborhood, it’s really like you’re getting two bikes in one!

-tad

1972 Harley Davidson XR750 R Side

Improving Upon Perfection: 1967 Vincent Egli Vincent 1000 for Sale

1967 Egli Vincent R Front

Today’s 1967 Egli Vincent is a very rare machine, with just 200 ever built. In the 1960s, motorcycle frame design was still something of a black art, and a whole cottage industry sprung up to support the folks looking to make their motorcycles handle better. Companies like Rickman, Spondon, and Dunstall set up shop, sometimes literally in a shed in the backyard, to construct stiffer, lighter frames than the factories seemed able to produce.

1967 Egli Vincent L Rear

Fritz Egli, a former motorcycle racer started out by creating his first re-framed Vincent from his very own racebike. That bike was designed to compete in hillclimbs and was used to win the Swiss Open Class Championship in 1968. Adding a frame to the Vincent Black Shadow might seem like a retrograde step, considering the “C” models were basically frameless. But Egli’s design added stiffness and kept weight down, while allowing the use of a more conventional telescopic front fork.

1967 Egli Vincent R Engine

Girder front forks are theoretically an improvement over a telescopic design, but the original Vincent parts have a reputation for instability, likely because period dampers hadn’t yet reached the required level of sophistication. Certainly, a conventional telescopic unit would allow the bike to be more easily set up for racing and the fitment of more modern brakes, both of which would be priorities for a racing machine like the original Egli Vincent.

1967 Egli Vincent Dash

More than 3,000 Egli-framed bikes were produced in total, but very few feature Vincent’s iconic and very beautiful 50° v-twin. Some of his most stunning creations were based around Laverda and Ducati powerplants but those bikes generally handled pretty well straight from the factory. Like other frame builders, Egli found the most financial success building new frames for the affordable and powerful Japanese fours, although he also built frames for the six-cylinder CBX and even the wild-and-wooly Kawasaki two-stroke triples.

From the original eBay listing: 1967 Egli Vincent 1000 for Sale

A fantastic opportunity to buy an ICON. Fitted with desiderable HRD serie B engine, Black Shadow speedo, touring set up, centre stand for easy starting, this is the perfect bike for the rider. It is just serviced and UK registered as 1967 Egli Vincent.

Ride, parade and collect! Bulletproof investment.

1967 Egli Vincent L Engine

Interestingly, Egli is still in business today, and apparently can still be convinced to knock up a new frame from time to time if you ask nicely and bring a suitcase full of crisp Euros…

There are a couple days left on the auction, with bidding north of $20,000 and the reserve not yet met. This is far less than you’d likely spend on an original Vincent and it possesses all that bike’s character and charm in what is likely a far more usable package, with additional rarity thrown in as a bonus.

-tad

1967 Egli Vincent L Side

Racing Replica: 1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale for Sale

1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Rep R Front

Egret, Falcon, Goshawk, Bunting, Skylark, Condor… Leave it to the Italians to give their machines evocative but somehow whimsical names. And while this Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale may not have been named for the most beautiful of birds, the name is certainly apt.

1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Rep L Engine

Condors aren’t pretty, but they’re eminently practical animals, able to eat almost anything and able to stay aloft for hours, searching for their next meal. Moto Guzzi’s road and race singles of the 30s, 40s, and 50s were also very effective motorcycles, famous for their long-legged and very frugal nature. They often won races against much more powerful machinery: even racebikes could achieve 45mpg or more, and the horizontal single with its distinctive external flywheel gave impressive, long-legged torque, stable handling, and a small frontal area.

1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Rep Cockpit

The Condor was introduced in 1938 as an over-the-counter racebike and was very successful in competition, often winning races against much more powerful machinery. The “Stradale” was obviously the roadgoing version of the machine, but both road and race versions are very rare, as production was unfortunately cut short by the beginning of World War II.

1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Rep R Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Replica for Sale

The Condor was intended for production racing and a much more sophisticated machine than its working class brethren from Moto Guzzi.It had alloy cylinder head and barrel and magnesium (electron) crankcases along with lighter steel frame componentry, bigger brakes and wheels. They were only made for 2 years with only 69 units being produced. They were extremely successful before the outbreak of war halted competitive motorcycling. They were good for approximately 28 hp and a legitimate 100mph. Due to their rarity and the nature of their use, very few original examples exist. Seldom if ever do they become available. Offered here is a faithful recreation and tribute to one of the most remarkable manufacturers and models in history. This machine was built with no expense spared by well known Moto Guzzi authority Franco Dall’aglio in Italy. This is a magnificent machine worthy of any collection or museum. The bike could not be built for as low as its asking price due to the high level of craftsmanship and use of rare and custom reproduction race parts. An original specimen will cost approxamitely four times the figure. This motorcycle is gorgeous.

1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Rep R Detail

Obviously, this is a rare and beautiful motorcycle. But replicas are always tricky: no matter how much craftsmanship has gone into their creation, a big selling point of the real thing isn’t the actual performance or appearance, but the subjective value of a historic item and the intangible links they provide us to a bygone era. No matter how accurate a replica, it somehow isn’t the real thing. And obviously, the seller isn’t expecting real-thing-money. But with just a couple days left on the auction and no takers yet at the $30,000 starting bid, it’s obvious that potential buyers aren’t quite sure what to make of this.

It’s unfortunate, because someone has obviously gone to a lot of effort to create this roadgoing race bike replica.

-tad

1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Rep L Rear

Brains Versus Brawn: 1977 Moto Morini 3½ for Sale

1977 Moto Morini 350 L Side

Today’s Moto Morini 3½ offers up classic Italian style from a forgotten brand. Or they would be forgotten, if it’s possible to forget something you never knew in the first place, and I’d expect that very few Americans have any idea the brand ever existed. A relaunch was tried a few years back, with the usual range of sporty nakeds and adventure-touring bikes. But they were never available in the US and while those bikes were throbbing and dangerous, they didn’t offer up anything new to buyers, except a nameplate with dubious cachet. Those bikes also seemed to lack the traditional Morini virtues as well, as the brand typically stressed handling over brute power.

1977 Moto Morini 350 R Side Detail

Motorcycling history is filled with bikes specifically built for the American market. They were often powered by newer, larger versions of existing engines and these updated powerplants were apparently intended to help us conquer the wide-open spaces of the West. There’s a reason Harley has the big bike market cornered here, and it stems from the kind of riding we do and the kind of roads we have, since many people have to drive quite a ways to find a twisty section of asphalt to enjoy. But either through hubris or simple economic necessity, Moto Morini never developed a bike bigger than the 500cc version of their 72º v-twin: the oddly-named “3½” was basically a 350 and would have been classed as a “middleweight” at the time.

1977 Moto Morini 350 Dash

Instead, they focused on handling, and Moto Morini twins are famously enjoyable to hustle through the canyons, with a surprisingly sophisticated rubber belt-driven camshaft, Heron-heads, and a six-speed transmission. In 1977, many bikes made do with just four gears, and that six-speed would have been a very exotic selling point.

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Moto Morini 3½ for Sale

For sale is a red and black 1977 Moto Morini 3 1/2 has 8,499 miles that has been well-maintained. This Italian sports bike in a great original bike in good condition with matching numbers. This bike is all factory stock down to the twin factory pipes, paint and all of the informational stickers applied by Moto Morini. This bike has a V-Twin engine, 344cc motor and a 6 speed transmission. Carburetors were recently rebuilt.  It is a low maintenance bike.

The exterior is red and black paint with hand pin striping.  The paint is in excellent condition with just one minor ding in the right hand side of the gas tank by the seat.  The black leather seat is comfortable and in excellent condition with no rips or tears.

This is a great bike to commute on, or blast around on a curvy road, or as a sport tourer. It is a great original bike in good shape.

1977 Moto Morini 350 R Side Engine

With less than 10,000 miles on the odometer, this is a pretty clean little motorcycle. Bidding is up to $3,750.00 and is very active, with the reserve met. Values on Morinis have seen a rise in the past year or two, but they’re still incredible bargains, compared to basically any Ducati and most Guzzis. This 3½ is stylish, sophisticated, easy to maintain, and a great choice if you’re looking to buy a classic Italian motorcycle and want something just a little bit different.

-tad

1977 Moto Morini 350 R Side

Beautiful MaSheene: 1979 Suzuki GS1000S Ex-Barry Sheene Race Bike for Sale

1979 Suzuki GS Barry Sheene R Front

Today’s Suzuki GS1000S was touched by the hand of a master, the late Barry Sheene. In an era of sullen, sanitized superstars, it’s easy to forget that there used to be some really charismatic racers, folks who not only seemed to enjoy racing, but enjoyed life. But you certainly can’t expect guys barely out of their teens to have fully-developed personalities, and “early-to-bed, early-to-rise” is the name of the game so riders can stay in peak physical condition because racing is big business, and these guys are professionals.

1979 Suzuki GS Barry Sheene L Side

With so much money on the line, modern riders are endlessly coached: it’s pretty difficult to remember to name-drop all those sponsors without practice. And it’s especially difficult to remember that long list just thirty seconds after competing in a grueling, dangerous race.

1979 Suzuki GS Barry Sheene Fairing Detail

But back in the 60s and 70s, some of the most high-profile racers on two and four wheels were basically party animals… Chief among them was Barry Sheene. He was a popular character both on and off track and an outspoken champion of rider safety. He partied with notorious driver James Hunt, married a Penthouse Pet, and eventually succumbed to cancer, a likely result of his years of smoking: he once famously had a hole cut in the chinbar of his helmet so he could smoke before a race…

1979 Suzuki GS Barry Sheene Dash

While much of his career was spent on purebred two-stroke racing machinery, today’s bike is a highly modified GS1000S prepped by “Pops” Yoshimura.

From the original eBay listing: 1979 Dunstall Suzuki GS1000S Ex-Barry Sheene Race Bike for Sale

The machine offered here for sale was raced by Barry Sheene at the August bank holiday meeting at Oulton Park 1979. UK importer Heron Suzuki was interested in promoting production-based racing and asked Paul Dunstall to enter a Yoshimura prepared factory GS1000s Suzuki in TT Formula One events in 1979. Barry Sheen was the Texaco-sponsored Heron Suzuki teams number one rider in Grand Prix and his dislike of racing heavyweight four strokes was well known, once referring to them as ‘muck spreaders.’ Nevertheless Barry acquitted himself with distinction in his one off ride at Oulton Park, Finishing a close 2nd to Honda mounted Ron Haslam. Indeed the Suzuki star might have one had he not been balked by a back marker on the final lap For its first foray into Formula 1 racing Suzuki adopted a relatively cautious approach to tuning the GS1000S roadster. 

The machine offered here for sale was raced by Barry Sheene at the August bank holiday meeting at Oulton Park 1979. UK importer heron Suzuki was interested in promoting production-based racing and asked Paul Dunstall to enter a Yoshimura prepared factory GS1000s Suzuki in TT Formula One events in 1979. The machine was sent from Japan to Pops Yoshimura in California where the engine received special cams , larger inlet and exhaust valves , high compression slipper pistons, self generating ignition, close ratio gears and a stronger clutch basket , The crankshaft conrods and bottom end being left in stock . Retaining the standard 28 mm carburettors a Formula One requirement. The 1000cc tuned GS produced around 114 bhp with a wide spread of usable power .

As well as other additions to inside the engine which were a Kawasaki KZ 1000 idler wheel fitted into the cylinder head below the intake cam and an inverted stock GS 750 idler roller was installed into the GS 1000 cylinder head to help keep the cam chain under control when revs were 10,000 RPM plus, reduced valve stems and enlarged valve seats, 10.5 -1 high compression slipper pistons, confirming this is an original Yoshimura race tuned F1 engine (by Pops Yoshimura). Changes to the chassis included a shorter Peckett and mcNabb swinging arm and RG 500 fork yokes. Period photographs of the Sheene Suzuki racing at Oulton Park show it equipped with only a cockpit fairing , whereas photographs taken later in the season show the type of full fairing that it also wore. It can also be seen that this machine was equipped with a right foot gearchange as were many of Barry Sheene’s bikes.

The Dunstall Suzuki teams regular riders were Steve machin and Bob Smith but Sheene’s 2nd place at Oulton park would be its best result in 1979. The Ex-Sheene Suzuki was later sold by Tony Robinson (who was involved in the running of the Suzuki Dunstall team) to Martin Jones of Muswell Hill London then sold it to Mike Ryan of Cheltenham in April 1998 then purchased by Richard Ford in June 1999, since 2002 the Suzuki has been on display in the Lake land motor museum . This Suzuki has not been run since being loaned to the museum but has just recently been recommissioned by Dyna tech and the present owner, only requiring new tyres to be able to race this one off classic machine .

Believed the only Japanese  four -stroke ever raced by the late ex-world champion  (he did race a Seeley Norton in 1970 retiring with gearbox problems). This is very rare ex-factory production racer is now offered with various bills of sale and period press cuttings tracing its history back to  Tony Robinson with a bill of sale and internal engine photo’s previously sold by Bonhams as the original bike raced by Barry Sheene.

1979 Suzuki GS Barry Sheene R Rear

What’s it really worth? Well, this is a one-of-a-kind machine that appears to be in perfectly-preserved condition, and and is ready to race. Just add tires. Sorry: “tyres.” And while it certainly isn’t as desirable as one of Barry’s two-stroke race bikes would be, it was ridden by the man himself in competition, and looks great in Heron Suzuki livery: he rode for Heron Suzuki until after the 1979 season and his famous battle with Kenny Roberts at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone would have been on a bike with these colors.

A beautiful piece of racing history and touched by the man himself.

-tad

1979 Suzuki GS R Side