Tagged: 1978

Affordable Bevel: 1978 Ducati 900GTS for Sale

1978 Ducati 900 GTS R Front

After the unpopular, Giugiaro-designed 860GT, Ducati’s more practical sibling to the Super Sport got a makeover into the more conservative 900GTS. The engine was largely the same, but looks were changed from the radical, forward-thinking lines to something less threatening to hidebound Ducati enthusiasts. It was still considered a bit of a let-down in terms of looks but, like all Ducatis of the era, prices are steadily rising. It’s a shame the striking 860 never caught on, but the 900 is still a very classic, handsome motorcycle, and the beating heart of the bike is still Ducati’s classic, bevel-drive L-twin.

1978 Ducati 900 GTS L Side

Although Ducati’s entire range of modern motorcycles feature their signature “desmodromic” actuation system that uses cams to both open and close the valves, only top-of-the-line Super Sport models used it prior to the Pantah engine. So although the GTS does have a set of tower-shafts and bevel-gears to drive the overhead cams, it makes do with a set of ordinary valve springs to close the valves. Impact on performance is negligible and the bike still put out 65hp and plenty of midrange torque.

1978 Ducati 900 GTS Clocks

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

Today we are proud to offer this beautiful vehicle for your consideration. This is a terrific addition to any enthusiast’s collection. This Ducati is completely original and has been locally owned for the past 38 years in heated garages. Every electrical component such as headlights brake light, Turn signals and horn perform.  New tires along with new rims and wire wheels. Fenders and tank are original and without any dents. Electric start is immediate. This bike with the Conti exhausts sounds identical to the SS. It has amazing torque. Included are the following 2 bar end mirrors (new), 2 new chrome valve guides (current ones on bike are rusty), manual, tool kit with under seat compartment. A few service records are included. This vehicle is running properly. It performs wonderfully, whether you’re in-town or on the open highway, and exhibits excellent road manners at all speeds. This is a great previously owned vehicle. Overall the vehicle is very straight. The condition of the paint and body, is in overall good shape, see photos. This is a rare opportunity to own a legendary 900cc Ducati!

1978 Ducati 900 GTS Engine

Originality is very important to many collectors. As they say, “It’s only new once!” And although this Ducati is a little rough around the edges, it has tons of character and appears to have been well-maintained, even though the cosmetic aspects have suffered a bit from the ravages of time. The missing side-panels might be difficult to replace, although pattern parts should be available if you spend some time browsing the interwebs. The fact that all the basics work is key, considering that bidding is only up to $8,350.00 with the reserve met. Bidding is active, but if the price stays reasonable, this could prove to be an excellent candidate for a “rolling restoration,” a bike that you can either ride as-is or work on a bit at a time to make it look brand new.

-tad

1978 Ducati 900 GTS R Side

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

Orange Bang: 1978 Laverda 1200 America for Sale

1978 Laverda 1200 L Side

While I certainly appreciate an original or perfectly-restored motorcycle, I’m also okay with what have come to be known as “resto-mods” where the original spirit of the machine is kept intact, but electrical, suspension, braking, and sometimes wheels and tires are upgraded to more modern specification. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes the results look stunning, sometimes jarring. In the case of this Laverda 1200 America, I think it works really well.

At the time, a 1200cc motorcycle was considered pretty huge, and the fact that it was in a sports motorcycle that loved to rev and corner made it the Panigale of its day. Capable of 12 second quarter-miles and nearly 140mph, this was a very fast bike back when it was new and is deserving of respect even now. The 518lb wet weight sounds heavy in today’s world of 450lb literbikes, but it was comparable to the big Japanese four cylinders of the time.

1978 Laverda 1200 L Side Rear

What wasn’t comparable was the bike’s brutal, uncompromising nature: Laverdas were high-effort machines, with extremely heavy controls and very stiff suspension. But the payoff was a distinctive three-cylinder howl, excellent handling, and famously rugged construction: the 24,000 miles on this example should be no big deal, provided it’s been maintained as described. Big Laverdas aren’t all-day comfortable, they’re bikes for tearing up back roads, then collapsing in an exhausted heap when you arrive home, tingling with the aftershocks of adrenaline.

As with seemingly all Laverdas, the redline on the tach is deceiving: peak power actually occurs at the very top of the red band [7,500rpm], and the bike should obviously be safe for another 1,000rpm beyond that.

1978 Laverda 1200 Gauges

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Laverda 1200 America for Sale

Rare clean triple in very good condition. Build date 1977. Nothing major hidden, starts right away and runs strong. Clear Tennessee title, note the bike is located in NY, Long Island.

I bought the bike from a collector for my Italian collection, due to change of plans I do downsize a bit. It comes with very special upgrades, better brakes, adjustable handlebar and pedals, see pictures. The front end and brakes suggest it may be a Lance Weil prepared bike, it has also the very lightweight exhaust no baffles, likely the original exhaust from England, light as a feather. The previous owner stated cold compression is within 2 lbs of 157psi. Rare 4C stamped cams and likely but not confirmed special pistons. He said this was the fastest of all Laverdas he owned.

Very presentable rider, not a showbike but has the potential to be one. Not many more around and rarely seen for sale, great collectors bike.

1978 Laverda 1200 Front Brakes

The seller refers to this as an “Americana” but as far as I know, it was just the “America.” If this were a genuine Jota, perhaps the mechanical and cosmetic changes would be sacrilege, but the 1200 America was a bit of a compromise anyway, a bike designed to meet new American emissions laws with lower compression offset by bigger pistons to restore lost power compared to the 1000. I’d appreciate a few more photos with some better lighting, but all-in-all, this bike pushes the right buttons for me.

-tad

1978 Laverda 1200 Tank

Sturm und Drang: 1978 Ducati 900SS Bevel Racer in Germany

1978 Ducati 900SS Racer L Front

From the land of Vorsprung durch Technik comes a very low-technik Italian bike built for going very fast. Clearly based around a square-case, bevel-drive 900SS, this Ducati race bike currently resides in Germany but, since you’re never going to register it for road use, that shouldn’t worry anyone here in the US tempted to splash out the cash necessary to put this into their garage or foyer.

1978 Ducati 900SS Racer L Side

The 900 Super Sport was introduced in 1975 to follow up their 750SS and is far more common than that very rare motorcycle. It is easily identifiable by its revised square case engine that was restyled to work better with Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Ducati designs. While his GT bikes were certainly controversial in terms of style, the more angular look of the engine works just fine with the more traditional half-fairing on the SS bikes.

1978 Ducati 900SS Racer L Side Naked

Engine internals were similar to the 750 with the usual evolutionary changes and a displacement increase to 864cc, along with a change to a left-side gearshift designed for the important US market. Later 900’s featured cast wheels and while those are obviously more advanced, these earlier spoked wheels look the business and suit the bike far better, I think.

1978 Ducati 900SS Racer Cockpit

Complete with open bellmouths on the carburetors and a classy Gear Gazer for the rear cylinder, this isn’t the most original Ducati I’ve seen, but it’s one of the coolest.

1978 Ducati 900SS Racer R Engine Detail

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

You are looking for a Ducati racer. We have a special one:

Frame: Molybdenum
Pistons: 92 Pistonrace,
Carillo connecting rods,
dry clutch,
Valves: Mimonic,
Cucusan electronic ignition,
Dellorto race 41,
engine was prepared by Lauro Micozzi
Titanium muffler,
aluminium wheels,
racing shock absorbers

1978 Ducati 900SS Racer L Side Engine Detail

Bidding is only up to $12,000 with one day left on the auction. It’s a little rough around the edges, but this thing looks brutally fast and appears to be very well-prepared if your tastes run to the effective rather than the pretty. While it would obviously make a very impressive livingroom decoration, I get the feeling that this one would be much more at home hammering around a racetrack

Personally, I’d take this 900SS over a meticulously restored or pristine original example any day of the week and twice on Sunday, since everyone knows that Sunday is a Day of Riding.

-tad

1978 Ducati 900SS Racer R Side

Hang On For Dear Life: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo for Sale

1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo L Side

Today’s one-owner Kawasaki Z1R-TC is a potentially combustible combination of explosive power, unpredictable handling, and overtaxed mechanical components, a milestone in the Japanese motorcycling industry’s efforts to distinguish itself and find a truly distinctive voice. Turbo bikes were, in general, a bit of a dead end: the added complexity of turbocharging and non-linear response of a boosted engine didn’t outweigh the power gains.

The TC ended up being an exercise in self-control: keep the throttle pinned and the bike was hideously fast, but you’d also be almost guaranteed to be picking engine parts out of your chest. Because the ZR1-TC wasn’t a refined, heavily tested factory bike: it was a lash-up put together from stock machines sitting on showroom floors by a third-party turbo manufacturer. And without modern electronics to moderate boost and ignition, simply slapping a turbo onto an otherwise stock motor is a recipe for disaster.

1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo R Side Rear

But that’s what Kawasaki sold the public. Sure, beefed-up internals were available for purchase, even recommended… But how many buyers plunked down that extra dough for what amounted to a fully-built engine? Not many.

So you have an engine that will almost surely grenade itself if you actually, you know: use it. And Kawasaki’s safeguards to make sure you don’t mess with the technically adjustable boost setting? A sticker that says, basically: “Don’t adjust the boost level. No seriously: don’t. You’re thinking about it right now, aren’t you? Stop thinking about adjusting the boost level!”

1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo Dash

And an even bigger problem with adding 50% more horsepower to the Z1R was that the bike really couldn’t handle the original 90hp to begin with: the frame was outdated and notoriously bendy. The bike was heavy and clumsy, with handling that varied wildly, depending on tire choice, but at least it had triple disc brakes to try and bring the whole thing to a halt if things started to get out of hand.

When things started to get out of hand…

1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo L Side Detail

In the original listing, the seller suggests it’s a “TC1” but this looks like it’s a “TC2:” that stripey paint job and “spider” style header were both second-generation additions. First generation bikes were painted a very cool silver-blue color and has a much simpler exhaust.

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R TC for Sale

All original only one owner. Has new tires, chain and sprockets the entire exhaust system was just rechromed and added factory ATP water injection system. This bike will sell itself it is amazing shape never get to ride and enjoy as much as I would like anymore cause of health reasons. hate to sell but want someone to enjoy it. I still have every invoice and all paper work for any work done to the bike dated back to when I bought it. it has 14,650 miles motor has never been out of the frame. I’m the only person to drive this bike and still dives like I just bought it a week ago every thing works no issues. Oil has been changed every 500 miles and never been rode rough.

This Kawasaki is in very good shape for 38 years old. The bike shows its age on lower front end tubes but paint looks good to be original paint and speedometer has small crack but not very noticeable

1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo Engine

It’s very cool to see that water-injection system that’s been added, which should help keep the engine from blowing itself to bits when used enthusiastically. It’s obviously not perfect, but it’s very nice and, perhaps even more importantly, is all original.

Bidding is active with four days left on the auction and is north of $14,000 with the Reserve Not Met. While recent prices of many 1970s Japanese bikes have seemed a bit outrageous, considering how many were originally produced, this is one classic that is truly rare and very special, if slightly dangerous.

-tad

1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo R Side

Road-Going Ducati Special: 1978 Ducati 900 NCR for Sale

1978 Ducati 900 NCR R Side

NCR has been building Ducati specials and tuning parts since their inception in 1967, although today their complete bikes are more high-end exotic lifestyle accessories for one-upping your Bimota Tesi-mounted buddies: their M16 is actually a massively-lightened Desmosedici that weighs in at 319lbs before you gas it up and is worth about as much as a nice suburban house. Because that’s just what the Desmo needed: a better power-to-weight ratio. Or, if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to the M16, their air-cooled M4 weighs 286lbs with oil but without gas…

1978 Ducati 900 NCR L Side Front

But NCR also built the Isle of Man Ducati raced by Mike Hailwood, so their vintage credentials are bona fide: they’re far more than another titanium moto-jewelry manufacturer.

This massively-faired bike from 1978 includes an aftermarket but very cool “gear-gazer” clear cam cover that displays the gear-drive for the overhead camshaft on the rear cylinder in all its glory. And NCR’s signature one-piece tank-and-tail bodywork also features a distinctive unpainted strip on the side of the tank so the fuel level is clearly visible through the translucent fiberglass.

1978 Ducati 900 NCR R Side Tank

That enormous fairing looks like it will provide plenty of protection for high-speed runs, and the bike appears to be in excellent condition. The seller’s description of this road-biased bike is very spare, but luckily very clear photos are included. From the original eBay listing: 1978 Ducati 900 NCR for Sale

Incredible opportunity to own a real NCR. Stumbled on this bike, along with a 1974 Ducati 750 SS, while at a Mostra Scambio, in Rimini, Italy December 2001. Extensive top end work by one of the best bevel drive mechanics in North America

1978 Ducati 900 NCR L Side Engine

This would really be an excellent moment for the seller to do a bit of name-dropping: vintage performance circles are relatively small, and I’m sure buyers would love to know who had their hands on this one. And what does “extensive top end work” entail? Are we talking maintenance or performance work?

1978 Ducati 900 NCR Cockpit

While in many cases, a spare description of a motorcycle simply implies that the seller assumes prospective buyers will know what they’re getting into, that isn’t necessarily true of NCR bikes: to my knowledge, none of them are really “stock.” NCR was always a race bike and parts manufacturer, the very antithesis of standardization, making valuation of this machine difficult. Although assuming the parts are the real-deal, anything genuine NCR is valuable, on top of the already desirable bevel-drive, desmo-head Ducati drivetrain.

Bidding north of $15,000 with plenty of time left on the auction, so we’ll see where this ends up.

-tad

1978 Ducati 900 NCR Shop

Brains and Brawn: 1978 Rickman Kawasaki for Sale

1978 Rickman Kawasaki L Side Front

Vintage bikes often appeal to riders of “a certain age” who grew up with these bikes and have a nostalgic soft-spot for them: vintage bikers naturally relate to vintage bikes. Some are just riders who love to tinker, while others just love the quirky looks and accessible performance of the machines from a simpler times and want the feel of a vintage motorcycle without all the “leaking oil on the floor” and “having to adjust the carburetors while idling at a stoplight” malarkey that sometimes goes along with vintage Triumphs and Nortons, making something like this Kawasaki-powered Rickman the perfect solution.

1978 Rickman Kawasaki R Side Fairing

Don and Derek Rickman created a line of dirt-racing motorcycles in the 1950’s and 1960’s, packaging bespoke frames and suspension packages around engines and transmissions from other manufacturers. Their line eventually expanded to include roadcourse and street machines, and they’re most famous these days for their line of big-displacement four cylinder bikes built around engines from Honda and Kawasaki.

In the 60’s and 70’s, suspension tuning was something of a “black art”, and while Japanese motorcycles were famous for their refined engineering, their handling was generally not on par with the European brands. So companies like Rickman used took that existing engineering and improved it by creating a chassis that could handle the power effectively.

1978 Rickman Kawasaki Front

Bikes were generally sold in kit form: Rickman supplied a new, lightweight nickel-plated frame and aerodynamic bodywork, the buyer supplied engine, electricals, and other assorted bits to put the whole thing together. The results speak for themselves and combine the best of old-world British craftsmanship and racing expertise with powerful, reliable engines from Japan.

1978 Rickman Kawasaki Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Rickman Kawasaki for Sale

You maybe  looking at one of the rarest bikes on the planet.  This bike is titled as a Rickman and not as a Kawasaki. The  bike is titled as a 1978. The  I.D. plate fixed to the steering neck indicates September, 1977 chassis and is the correct id plate for this bike.  

Almost all of the  Rickman CR900’s, of which few were built, were finished in green This bike has the orgiinal gel coat in red. The bike is original in color and I know of no other with this color. This is an original machine in pristine condition and rides like a rocket ship with the responsive and light frames built by Rickman powered by the Kawaski 900 cc motor. This bike performs as good as any modern bike today. 

The  900 cc motor number is Z1E 238xx.

This Rickman chassis was purchased in England by the original owner while vacationing there. 

The milage on this bike is less than 9,000. Most of these miles were accumulated prior to the motor being installed into the Rickman.  Thus this Rickman frame has seen very limited use.  The original rear sprocket shows virtually no wear. The saddle looks near new. The instruments are from the original Kawasaki and show the mileage covered by both the kaw and the Rickman chassis. If you are looking for an original colectable motorcycle that is sure to increase in value look no further. Rickman motorcycles, are extremely rare and  have proven in the past to be highly desirable and with their limited production should continue to increase in value. I have the clear title in hand and can assist with shipping.

1978 Rickman Kawasaki Controls

Although I’d take issue with the seller’s statements that this is “one of the rarest bikes on the planet” and “this bike performs as good as any modern bike today” it is an unusual machine in superlative condition and will definitely handle better than the Z1 from which it borrows its powerplant. I’m not really sure exactly how many Rickman Kawasakis were actually produced: in many cases, these were sold as kits, not complete bikes, and a whole menu of upgrades were available, making history a bit hard to verify. These are very cool and desirable bikes, but I think the seller may be aiming a bit high with this one: there is plenty of time left on the listing with a Buy it Now price of $25,000.

-tad

1978 Rickman Kawasaki R Side

Evolution: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R for Sale

1978 Kawasaki Z1R R Side

Overshadowed by the obviously more exotic and suicidal turbocharged Z1R-TC, the Kawasaki Z1R was an evolution of Kawasaki’s Z1, a bike that is often overshadowed by the CB750 that was introduced first and stole all the “everyman’s multi” thunder.

1978 Kawasaki Z1R R Side Front

In fact, Kawasaki’s own 750 four was only a couple months behind the CB. But Kawasaki figured, that, if they couldn’t be first to market, they’d be first everywhere else, so they waited a couple years to introduce their own four-cylinder monster. With 903cc’s of  air/oil-cooled power, the Z1 blew the CB into the weeds in terms of outright performance. Along with the H1 and H2 two-strokes, the Z1 ensured that Kawasaki showrooms were fully of truly lethal machinery to kill the weak or foolish among the motorcycling fraternity…

1978 Kawasaki Z1R Dash

By the time the Z1R was introduced, Kawasaki’s basic platform was pretty outdated, with dual-shock rear suspension and heavy construction. The ice-blue paint compliments the angular, cafe-racer inspired styling and even extends to the rectangular fuel-filler cap. But although it was primarily a cosmetic update of the Z1, the Z1R’s evolutionary design featured meaningful mechanical changes as well. Cast wheels and a reinforced frame helped firm up the handling, and triple-disc brakes brought the heavy package to a stop consistently, even if performance is lacking by today’s standards. Power was largely left alone, aside from a displacement-bump to 1015cc. Which was just fine, considering Kawasaki’s place as the sand-kicking bully of the era.

1978 Kawasaki Z1R R Side Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R for Sale

Offered today is a great example of a original first year production KAWASAKI Z1R It is a original bike with all its original parts included notice the low production number , please watch you tube video of this rare and collectable machine !! 

This rare first year Kawasaki Z1R numbers matching original motorcycle ,its only original once !!!  a  vintage  collectable is a must for that kawasaki collector she runs and shifts  FANTASTIC  !!great  for those local jaunts, long rides or the infamous bike shows, a real winner.!!.

These bikes are hard to find ,expensive to get them correct ,  this bike is turn key and ready to go !!!! This condition is highly sought after great for the beginner and experienced collectors. A must have for anyone’s collection .GET ON AND RIDE turnkey bike .

As you can see from the photos this bike exudes quality and performance with that  70’s vintage look.

1978 Kawasaki Z1R L Side Front

There’s also a very nice, clearly narrated walk-around and startup video available here.

Interestingly, you can see the seller’s other Z1R in the background of his photos, which he states is a big reason behind the sale. I’ve never really understood the idea of collecting multiples of the same car or motorcycle. And to me, one of the coolest things about motorcycles is how relatively small they are, how little space they take up, at least compared to cars. So you can have more of them! There are so many cool modern and vintage machines out there, it’s hard to imagine why someone would want two of the exact same bike… But to each his or her own, and this one certainly looks like it’s in very nice condition, considering it’s supposedly original. Not flawless, but about as perfect as you’re likely to find this side of an expensive restoration.

While period reviews were positive about the changes made to the bike’s handling compared to the older versions, this is still pretty far from a canyon-carver. At almost 550lbs with a full tank of fuel they’re very heavy for sportbikes, but that powerhouse engine gives it straight-line performance and the weight might just help you keep the front end down as you blast away from stoplights…

-tad

1978 Kawasaki Z1R L Side

Iconic: 1978 MV Agusta 750S America

1978 MV Agusta 750S America L Front

Bikes like the MV Agusta 750S America make absolutely no sense on a performance-per-dollar basis. It’s the kind of motorcycle that today would have riders scoffing that they “could buy four GSX-R1000’s for that price…” But that’s obviously missing the point. MV Agusta’s raison d’être was always racing, and their road bikes of the era seemed designed deliberately not to sell: the original 600 was heavy, slow and, worst of all, it was ugly as sin. The 750 that followed was at least a handsome bike, but was burdened with a strange feature not generally found on sportbikes: shaft drive. Rumor has it that MV Agusta didn’t want their factory race teams to be challenged by privateers and fitted the heavy system to hobble them. Magni made a chain-drive conversion for the 750S, but most owners have kept them relatively stock.

1978 MV Agusta 750S America R Front Final

And honestly, there really wasn’t much to improve anyway, aside from that 560lb wet weight. They were compact and handling belied the bloat: on the move, the bike carried its weight well and the bike could be hustled through a set of bends. Ultimate limits weren’t racetrack-worthy, but that wasn’t really what this bike was about and with a price tag of $6000, it’s not like you’d want to push things too fast on the road anyway…

1978 MV Agusta 750S America Cockpit Final

The centerpiece, aside from the looks, fit-and-finish, and the name, was obviously that engine. Sand-cast and heavily-finned, with dual overhead cams, four cylinders, and a set of cam-timing gears in the center of the engine, it was ruggedly built, with a broad spread of power. Four-cylinder bikes are sometimes criticized for being bland and characterless, but this engine puts paid to that idea: induction, gear-whine, and the four individual exhausts combine into a complex, very expensive noise.

1978 MV Agusta 750S America Suspension Final

From the original eBay listing: 1978 MV Agusta 750S America

ONLY 1,112 Miles, original paint, excellent condition and VERY RARE. Believed to only be a 2 owner bike.

Comes with:
– 2 fairings
– 3 sets of exhaust pipes
– Original tool kit
– New battery
– Spare New Marzocchi Shocks
– Riders manual, shop manual, MV Agusta Super profile book & various related literature
– Street & Race Air Cleaners
– Brembo & OE front calipers

Clear title in hand. Bike is located in Atlanta. NO trades, No B.S. please.

1978 MV Agusta 750S America Tail

Interestingly, the 750S America is the very first MV I ever saw in the flesh. For several years, one sat in the showroom of The Garage Company in Southern California, in the days before the company’s modern incarnation and before the internet: until then, I’d been completely unaware that MV even made a roadbike at all. This is one of the rarest of the rare, an iconic bike with just 600 or so made in three years.  The seller mentions three different exhausts come with the bike, and I’d like to know if one is a set of those gorgeous, curved items generally seen in period photos… There’s just one day left on the auction, with the reserve not met, so move quickly if you happen to have a spare $76,000 burning a hole in your pocket.

-tad

1978 MV Agusta 750S America Rear Final

Sharp Vintage Racer: 1978 Yamaha TZ350 for Sale in Australia

1978 Yamaha TZ350 R Side2

Although Yamaha’s TZ bikes had certain broad characteristics in common with their RD line, they were far more than just hotted-up versions of those bikes: they were pure racebikes designed for Grand Prix competition, and had no roadgoing direct equivalent.

The introduction of water-cooling to the two-stroke twin in the TZ allowed for much higher outputs and, at a competitive price point, they were dominant when new. The bikes developed progressively from dual-shock “A” models to later, mono-shock “C” models and on through to “H” models, although some models featured more drastic changes than others.

1978 Yamaha TZ350 R Side Engine

The “E” model featured here included an updated frame and other, relatively minor changes before the introduction of the more radically-revised “F” that followed. By now, many examples with campaign history include elements from different iterations: racers of the period wouldn’t have been a very sentimental bunch, and fitted their older mounts with whatever updates they could afford to keep their machines competitive in the ruthless grind of racing.

With a claimed 64hp from the little smoker and tires that look like they’d be more at home on a bicycle, this should present some very entertaining challenges for track-junkies weaned on modern-day, 190-section tires and 4,000rpm-wide powerbands to pull them out of trouble…

1978 Yamaha TZ350 L Side

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Yamaha TZ350 for Sale in Australia

Yamaha TZ350 E is a beautiful and very fast light road race bike.  Highly sought after by collectors and racers alike. Yamaha made a very small batch of road race bikes each year for sale through selected dealers and the demand was always greater than supply. 1978 was the last of this particular chassis shape and featured a few modifications over prior years.

Fully rebuilt from the ground up to go racing in the 350cc Forgotten Era P5 class in Australia, F500 AHRMA and similar classes with other race organizations. New pistons, gaskets, seals, rebuilt crankshaft, OEM six speed close ratio transmission with air cooled clutch and self generating Motoplat ignition (mag).  It has not been run since the rebuild.  It does come with a few spares, a drum of 100 Octane race fuel and an Accu-Mix jug to get the right fuel to oil ratio.

Upgraded front forks with later model damper rods and Gold Valve Emulators. This is an excellent example of this model water cooled Yamaha production road race bikes.

Aluminum tank with high flow petrol tap and stock or later model fiberglass race seat.  Scitsu electric tachometer and Daytona digital temperature gauge comprise the instrumentation.  No digital dashboards back in the day.  This is a race bike built for the race track but would look at home in any private collection of period race bikes.

My son raced this bike for a few years with a later model fairing and TZ750A reed valve top end (available separately).  It is being rebuilt with stock 1978 fairing and pipes and the correct piston ported cylinders. The cylinder head is in the shop being machined to as-new condition and if the bores on the 350 barrels are less than perfect, a set of NOS 350 barrels and pistons will be fitted.  Most of the pictures are as it was raced and the last one is a borrowed picture, but that is basically how it will look before it leaves the shop. It comes with a few race spares including 250 and 350cc barrels. It will have the original OEM fairing with alloy belly pan as shown in the sample picture.  I think I have a spare original belly pan somewhere too.

The TZ350 is slightly forgotten here in the U.S. as there was no real category for them to run in, although they were obviously allowed to race in the larger classes.  In fact, the last couple I’ve seen for sale have hailed from Austrialia. This example is in Melbourne and, as a pure-racing machine, importing it to the States shouldn’t be too much of an issue, aside from the drum of racing fuel…

1978 Yamaha TZ350 On Track

Vintage roadracing bikes are a bit of a strange breed. When new, owners would have been riders looking for a speed-fix, and bikes would have been modified in any way possible to eke out a few extra horses to punch harder out of corners, or squeeze out a few more mph on the straights, originality be damned. But the collector market seems to prize perfectly preserved machines above all else, although obviously racing history and period modifications are acceptable and even desirable, depending on the bike in question.

Bidding is only up to around $2,200 right now, with what seems to be a reasonable reserve set at $10,000. I’d prefer a few more pictures, but the description suggests a well-maintained bike in great, appropriately updated condition.

-tad

1978 Yamaha TZ350 R Side