Tagged: 1976

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

Succeeding with Excess: 1976 Benelli 750 Sei for Sale

1976 Benelli Sei 750 R Side

“If some is good, then more is better.” That pretty much sums up the philosophy in effect here. Benelli’s six-cylinder Sei wasn’t really faster than an equivalent four. It didn’t handle any better. And it certainly wasn’t any more frugal. But it was more. Six freaking cylinders more, at a time when the motorcycling world was just getting used to the idea of easily available four-cylinder machines, Benelli went and built this thing. In fact, the driving philosophy behind its creation seems to be, “Because we could.” Which is a great reason to build things, as far as I’m concerned.

Especially motorcycles.

1976 Benelli Sei 750 Engine

Introduced in 1972, the 750 Sei featured an inline-six engine that was enlarged to 900cc in 1978. While 71hp was nothing to sneeze at, the real advantage of the configuration was smooth power and a wide powerband. Certainly, the wide engine limited cornering clearance, and the bike wasn’t really suited to back road scratching. It was a sophisticated sport-touring machine, the classic “gentleman’s express.” Unfortunately, styling was a bit subdued, performance was a bit underwhelming even when bored out to 900cc, and the bike was naturally expensive to run. But six-cylinder motorcycles sound amazing and, ridden within their limits, are very enjoyable motorcycles.

1976 Benelli Sei 750 R Side Tank

This particular example is in very original condition, apart from the 6-into-1 exhaust. Certainly the look of the original system is more classic, although this set up will save plenty of weight and perhaps improve the limited cornering clearance issues.

From the original eBay listing: 1976 Benelli Sei 750 for Sale

Bike is complete. It has been stored inside for many years and the front forks, having no mechanical problem, are somewhat pitted and rusty. The chrome rear fender, headlight rim and front fender have some surface ‘stuff’ on them but they are not rusted. The rim itself isn’t perfect. Tires are new, battery isn’t.

This bike was purchased disassembled in 1985 from a dealer. All of the parts were new. After reassembly, the bike was ridden sporadically for 5 years and then stored indoors. It is currently in Birmingham Alabama, stored in a car enthusiast’s toy room. The bike is stock except for the Marving 6-into-1 exhaust system. The tires look new but they have been on the bike for over 20 years. The battery was changed about 5 years ago and charged occasionally. The electrics all work.

1976 Benelli Sei 750 R Side Rear

With a $7,000 Buy It Now price, I think the seller is aiming a bit high, considering the bike’s condition. Obviously, while the paint on the tank and bodywork are very original and shiny, much of the bits that rust have surface corrosion and pitting. This is a great starting point, but anyone looking at this bike should be planning for an extensive and probably expensive restoration to get this bike in working order. Is it worth it? Certainly not from a financial standpoint. But these are obviously rarer and more exotic than a CBX and have the same draw: a physically massive, silky-smooth six cylinder engine.

-tad

1976 Benelli Sei 750 R Side Panel

Italian Muscle: 1976 Moto Guzzi Le Mans I for Sale

1976 Moto Guzzi Le Mans R Front

The second Moto Guzzi of the week is this very nice, very original 850 Le Mans. These are often referred to as “Mark I” Le Mans, although that’s obviously a description retroactively applied to differentiate them from later bikes. Released in 1976, it was a logical progression from the V7 Sport in terms of styling and mechanicals. It featured the same basic frame and engine, but bored out to 850cc’s with bigger valves, carbs, and higher-compression, along with new, much more angular bodywork that still displays clear stylistic links to the earlier bike.

1976 Moto Guzzi Le Mans L Rear Detail

These changes gave 71hp at the wheel and a top speed of 130. It wasn’t the fastest bike of the period, but it was on par with the competition and included extremely stable handling in the mix. Sure it was quirky, and you can definitely feel the longitudinal crank’s torque-reaction in turns, but it’s easy to compensate for, once you acclimate, and has no negative effect on performance. And with that easily maintained engine and shaft drive, it was weirdly practical for an exotic Italian sportbike.

1976 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Clocks

Many Guzzis of the period used a mechanically simple, but highly functional linked-braking system. A squeeze of the brake lever operates one front caliper. The foot pedal operates the other front caliper and the rear as well, with lockup prevented by a proportioning valve. Surprisingly effective, although many have been converted to more conventional setups.

1976 Moto Guzzi Le Mans R Rear Detail

The listing doesn’t include much detail about this bike, and the photos are a bit washed out so it’s hard to get a good idea about the paint, other than that it has paint. But the mileage is extremely low for a Guzzi and it looks very complete and well cared-for.

From the original eBay listing: 1976 Moto Guzzi Le Mans I for Sale

Original paint.

Owners manual and tools, service records, clear title some minor scuffs and wear but too nice to restore.

They are only original once.

Only 6000 or so first-gen bikes were made from 1976 through 1978, but most that show up for sale have been well-maintained, and they’re pretty fundamentally rugged bikes. The starting bid is $14,999.00 with no takers as yet. That’s in the ballpark as far as Le Mans pricing goes, and I’d assume we’ll see some activity as we get closer to the auction close. Certainly there are prettier examples out there, but this one’s combination of low miles and completely original condition should make it pretty desirable to Guzzi fans.

1976 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Fairing

The only real cosmetic downside is the American market front headlamp that has a projecting ring around it to meet US safety regulations. The Euro part had a much better-looking, flush-mount design. One of those things you’d probably never notice, until someone helpfully pointed it out to you. Then it’s impossible to un-see. Your mind pokes at it, like a piece of food in your teeth you can’t stop prodding with your tongue…

You’re welcome.

While the price is certainly not chump change, it’s hard to argue that the Le Mans isn’t still a bit of a bargain in the collector bike world, especially considering that it’s a bike you can ride anywhere and still get parts for, a reliable vintage Italian exotic.

-tad

1976 Moto Guzzi Le Mans L Side

Cool In Ice Blue: 1976 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale

1976 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans L Front

I normally try to space out bikes of similar make and model, and we did just feature a very nice 850 Le Mans recently, but this one has a couple things going for it that that make it stand out from previous examples.

First, as the seller clearly indicates, is a very early example, built in December of 1975. Second, it’s painted in the very rare “ice silver”. While we all know that Italian bikes are generally required by law to be painted in blood red, with the exception of Laverda, and I believe they had some sort of government exemption… But this bluish-silver color really suits the bike’s angular lines while highlighting the orange “safety” stripe on the bikini fairing and was very rare: most Le Mans were red, although a handful were this metallic blue, with white ones as rare as hen’s teeth…

1976 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans Dash

This example features a number of quality modifications that should make even purists happy: timing gears replace the chain and should allow more precise tuning, with upgraded suspension to make the most of the bike’s stable handling and a mix of upgraded and rebuilt braking components to improve safety. The seller also helpfully includes a nice ride-by video.

1976 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans L Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1976 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale

Moto Guzzi 850 LM 1 #007 first series LeMans # VE *070007* Built December 1975 the 7th bike built on the first with US VIN tags.

Bub Hyper full exhaust system

38mm Strada forks

Dyna ignition

Deep-sump extender

Vented rear drive

Alloy timing gears

New Odyssey dry cell battery

Rebuilt 36mm Dellorto’s

Magura clip-ons 38mm

Koni shocks

Un-linked brakes

Upgraded Brembo master (Ducati 900SS)

Stainless brake lines

Rebuilt Brembo calipers and master cylinder

Later type switch gear

Newer Metzler tires

1976 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans L Engine Detail

The bike isn’t completely original and, perhaps in twenty or thirty years, some pedantic concours judge will subtract some points, but for folks in the here-and-now, the period-appropriate modifications make for a better ride. With the possible exception of the un-linked brakes: while purists generally prefer their front brakes controlled by hand and the rear by foot, by all accounts Guzzi’s linked system worked very well, so it’s more a question of taste than performance.

1976 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans R Detail

Tragically for those of us who fell in love with these ten years ago when you could still find a Le Mans for $6,000 or so, the Buy It Now price is listed as $18,999. That’s at the high-end for first-generation Le Mans I’ve seen lately, but reflects the rarity, relatively low mileage, and useability of this example.

-tad

1976 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans R Front

On Rails: 1976 Honda CB750 Bonneville Salt Flat Record Holder

1976 Honda CB750 Salt Flat L Side

Well, this Honda CB750 probably doesn’t fall under our usual parameters for “sport bike” but it is most definitely a “race bike” and how could we possibly exclude a machine that has successfully

Even if it doesn’t have a front brake. Or rear shocks…

1976 Honda CB750 Salt Flat Tank Detail

During the 1970’s and 1980’s the undisputed kings of the street and strip were the big four-cylinder bikes from Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Honda. Sure, Kawi’s two-stroke triples were entertainingly wild and punched well above their weight, but were hamstrung by typically peaky two-stroke powerbands, and the idle-to-redline shove of a no-replacement-for-displacement four made bikes like the CB750 the go-to choice for straight-line performance.

1976 Honda CB750 Salt Flat R Side Front

From the original eBay listing: 1976 Honda CB750 Bonneville Salt Flat Record Holder for Sale

Recently restored vintage record holder

Original built by Hollister & Cunningham

Drag raced in northern Nevada and northern Cali in the late 70’s

Restoration was done by me, mostly cosmetic. New aluminum “Excel” rims and stainless steel spokes laced to original hubs Paint on tank is original restored and re painted the tail section New cables, new chain, new tires. Restored and re painted the front fender Clean, rebuilt, and synchronized the carbs Flushed fluids from engine New fluids Hand build Mallory magneto RC Engineering 4 into 1 header No stater or rotor on left side of crank shaft After Boneville bike was drag raced in Northern Cal and Northern Nev Comes with the wheelie bar and stack of sprockets All documentation from Boneville Salt Flat records Bike starts and runs fine. Seriously fast!

1976 Honda CB750 Salt Flat Plaque

I’m not sure what a buyer would do with this machine, since it’s not a practical day-to-day machine. While the Excel rims weren’t on the bike at the time of its record run, they look great, although I always get creeped out at the thought of riding a bike with no front brakes on the street…

But with a Buy It Now price of only $6,500 I’d bet you won’t find a world record holder machine for any cheaper!

-tad

1976 Honda CB750 Salt Flat Engine1976 Honda CB750 Salt Flat Certificate

The Littlest Superbike: 1976 Honda CB400F

 

1976 Honda CB400F R Front

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

1976 Honda CB400F Dash

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

1976 Honda CB400F Tail

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

1976 Honda CB400F L Tank

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

1976 Honda CB400F R Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1976 Honda CB400F for Sale

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

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

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

1976 Honda CB400F Nekkid

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

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

-tad

1976 Honda CB400 L Front

1976 Moto Guzzi Convert

1976 Moto Guzzi Convert L Side2

For those of you that think early experiments with automatic-transmission-equipped bikes began and ended with the Hondamatic, this one might be news for you. A relative sales flop at the time, the Guzzi V1000 Convert was an innovative achievement that never really found an audience.

Introduced in 1975, the Convert’s name refers to the Sachs torque converter sandwiched between the transmission and engine, that allowed the rider to choose their level of involvement: the bike retained a functional clutch lever and featured Guzzi’s effective linked brakes that had the foot pedal operating the rear disc and one of the front calipers, so you could conceivably ride it around using the twist grip to go and the foot pedal to stop under everything but panic-braking situations.

Note, the Convert still has a conventional clutch, although it’s not strictly necessary for operation, and a two-speed transmission, with the torque converter’s external fluid hoses the only visible clue that this machine can be “shiftless” on demand. With fewer ratios to choose from, displacement was increased to approximately 1000cc’s to maintain parity with the traditional 5-speed bikes, and this newer engine was eventually adopted across the board by Guzzi.

1976 Moto Guzzi Convert R Side

The Convert had a revised dash that included a battery of safety feature warning lights, including a low-fuel light linked to the fuel gauge and a low-brake fluid level warning light. In addition, deploying the side stand triggered mechanical activation of the rear brake caliper to aid in parking on inclined surfaces.

The bike apparently rides much like you’d expect: like a giant, throbbing, v-twin scooter. The torque-converter masks some vibration and a portion of Guzzi’s shaft-drive reaction. It is slightly slower than the standard machine, but performance is very much in keeping with the bike’s mission.

1976 Moto Guzzi Convert Rear

From the original eBay listing, helpfully translated from the BRIGHT BLUE, ALL CAPS TEXT: 1976 Moto Guzzi V1000 Convert for sale

Italian classic made by Moto Guzzi, Convert 1000, Italian and Los Angeles Police Dept, used these at one time. Dual carburetor, no leaks, dings, garaged, and in very good shape, bidders familiar with these bikes, know what a great bike this is. Feel free to do some research on these bikes and you will like what you see. Automatic, just 1st and 2nd gear. Drives with great ease. Hoping it goes to a great owner, have another Moto Guzzi original solo, and pinion seat that I will also send. Three owner manuals, tires and battery in excellent shape. Battery just 6 months old, fresh plugs, oil, filter, etc. Buyer is responsible for all shipping arrangements, I will assist in making sure it is picked up and shipped properly.

This one’s a bit hard to place, price-wise. Five days left, asking price just under $6,000 with no bids seems pretty on-the-nose for a classic Guzzi cruiser if it’s in good shape. But I’m not sure if the rarity of the automatic transmission really adds value or subtracts it. Maybe it’s a wash? Guzzis are made to be ridden, and this might make touring a bit easier for a rider looking for a more mellow experience due to age or injury, or someone who really just can’t be bothered with shifting. Hopefully, it will find the right buyer, as the set up does give you the best of both worlds: shifting when you want it, scooter-like simplicity when you don’t.

-tad

1976 Moto Guzzi Convert L Side

1976 Benelli 750 Sei for Sale

1976 Benelli 750 Sei L Front

I’m a huge fan of the Benelli Sei, warts and all: there just had to be a more elegant way to communicate vital information than that instrument panel… [see: below]  And, while I’d prefer the bigger 900cc version, they’re rare enough you have to pounce when you find a good deal.  This might be just such an opportunity.

The Benelli 750 Sei is a rare beast, a relic of a time when the smallish Italian manufacturer, fresh off a purchase by controversial Argentinean Alejandro De Tomaso [see: Maserati], was looking to prove a point to the Japanese Big Four, that they could produce a world-class, technological tour de force to rival anything on the road.  Obviously, a six cylinder makes for some packaging issues, and mechanical complexity that can lead to expensive service costs, so Benelli wasn’t after a layman’s bike, or something that was much good for back road scratching.  They made a luxurious, smooth and fast “gentleman’s express.”

1976 Benelli 750 Sei R Front

And the Sei excelled at that role, although it never sold well enough to threaten the Japanese, it was relatively well-received.  Testers at the time praised the smooth motor and exotic exhaust note, but were critical of the limited ground clearance, limited fuel capacity, and expensive price.  The 750cc version being sold here made 71hp and had a 5 speed transmission.  With a dry weight of 485 lbs, the bike was capable of 126mph.

1976 Benelli 750 Sei Clocks

From the original eBay listing: 1976 Benelli 750 Sei for Sale

Legendary 6 cyclindar Benelli SEI. One of the most sought after collector bikes in the world.

  • Very Good condition, runs great. Ready to ride anywhere.
  • New Tires
  • Cleaned and adjusted Carbs
  • New Battery
  • All original, no junk replacement parts on this bike.
  • Not museum quality, but easily made that way.

I’d possibly challenge the statement that this is “one of the most sought after collector bikes”, but I do love that there are plenty of pictures posted and the bike looks very solid: for some reason, Benellis I find for sale seem to be photographed in a shed, at dusk, through a dirty window.  With cracks in it.

1976 Benelli 750 Sei R Side

There’s very little time left on the auction, and bidding is only at $5,000 with the reserve not met.  This bike looks solid and ready to ride, with simple and apparently minor cosmetic issues that you can work on while the bike is parked up for the winter.  I’m sure you won’t be sitting still much during the riding season…

-tad

1976 Benelli 750 Sei L Rear

Rotary-Powered1976 Hercules W2000 for Sale

1976 Hercules W2000 R Side

This is a weird one: there haven’t been very many rotary-powered motorcycles like this W2000, and Hercules is certainly a forgotten marque.

Producing a mere 32hp from its single-lobe rotary, the bike was more of a commuter than road-burner, although a six speed transmission and the rotary itself indicate that something more than simple efficiency were the goal here.  Parts of the design are fascinating: that little clear feed tube for the oil-injection system is a pretty cool detail and the large cooling fan at the front of the motor is distinctive.

1976 Hercules W2000 Engine

Unfortunately, the bike was plagued by poor finish, relative unreliability, and a motorcycling community that wasn’t sure what to make of it.  In addition, the typical rotary questions with regard to “how do you quantify displacement” reared their ugly head: insurance and taxation were [and generally still are] determined by displacement, as a relative measure of the power that can be generated.  But rotaries can’t really be classified in quite the same way as piston engines and, when insurers decided to categorize it as a much larger-displacement machine, it drove a final nail into the coffin of what was intended to be a technologically sophisticated, lightweight and economical commuter.

1976 Hercules W2000 Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1976 Hercules W2000 for Sale

This is a 1976 Hercules W2000 Rotary powered motorcycle in excellent condition.  It is an extremely rare motorcycle and very few 1976 W2000s were imported into the United States. This 1976 model has the oil injection system so you don’t have to premix the oil with gasoline like on the 1974 and 1975 models. This is one of a very few that is in excellent running and can be driven on a daily basis. 

The bike has new tires, battery, and transmission oil.   All functions on the bike work well. The bike looks new, the chrome shines brightly, and the seat is soft with no tears.

1976 Hercules W2000 Tank

The W2000 isn’t all that sporting a motorcycle, but it’s pretty darn rare, and also very classic.  From an engineering standpoint, a rotary engine makes perfect sense: very few moving parts and none of that jerky, up-and-down piston stuff that’s so inefficient.  But in the real world, manufacturing hasn’t caught up with the dream, and fragile apex seals remain the Wankel’s Achilles Heel to this day.  In the 70’s?  Things were much worse: in the automotive world, warranty claims on the stylish, but rotary-powered NSU Ro80 basically sank that company…

So, not very fast or practical, but pretty interesting and collectable.  And, from this video [not the bike for sale], pretty neat-sounding as well: Hercules W2000 start up and ride away.  Not much time left on this auction, so all you engineering-nerd types, go check your bank statements and get to bidding!

-tad

1976 Hercules W2000 L Side

1976 Laverda 3CL 1000 for Sale

1976 Laverda 3CL 1000 R Side

Hey look!  Another Laverda!  Well, this one isn’t quite ready to ride, but I’ll forgive it, since it’s a manly brute of a 70’s musclebike.  When people think of three cylinder Laverdas, they often remember the brassy, tangerine bomber named after a Spanish dance.  But the Jota, while very collectable and very orange, isn’t as practical or civilized as the more pedestrian 3C.

1976 Laverda 3CL 1000 Dash

The Laverda 3C was the three cylinder follow up to the 750 SF twin featured recently.  First available in 1973, the bike displaced 981cc’s, made 80hp and ran the bike up to 130mph.  Until 1982, Laverda used a 180 degree crank in the motor, with pistons oriented “one up, two down”.  This improved performance and gave the bike a distinctive, throaty roar, but wasn’t particularly smooth.  Later motors were given a 120 degree crank and the bike had a much more civilized character as a result, but lost some of its raw edge.

1976 Laverda 3CL 1000 R Front

While the triples were not quite as reliable as the earlier twins, they were very well built and durable bikes with few problems that can’t be solved with diligent maintenance and simple updates.

This one needs a little TLC: 1976 Laverda 1000 3CL for Sale

Laverda 1000 3CL for restoration.  The bike is complete and original except for the exhaust.  There are no dents in the tank, fenders or headlight.  It shows 11,036 miles on the odometer.  I can’t guarantee that the mileage is correct, but it may well be, as the bike has been in storage for a long time. 

The motor is free and the transmission shifts through the gears.  Of course the bike will need a service or rebuild of all the major systems, as you would expect of any bike that was parked for a long time.  There is no battery installed.  I removed the brake master cylinders and calipers a few years ago and disassembled them to start the restoration process.  That was as far as I got before life got in the way.  I have loosely reassmbled and reinstalled them so that you can see that they are all there and so that they can be shipped with the bike.

The bike was titled as a 1972 by the previous owner.  This may have qualified the bike for antique status.  Based on my research the bike has to be a 1976, ’77 or ’78 as those were the only years for this version of this model.  I have the title, signed over by the previous owner, in my possession.

1976 Laverda 3CL 1000 L Engine

So a few caveat emptor bits in there but, considering that the opening bid is $5,200 and there are no takers with two days left on the auction, this might be a great opportunity for a classic bike fan with a bit of know-how.

-tad

1976 Laverda 3CL 1000 L Side