Tagged: 1980

Blue-and-White Bullet: 1980 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley Replica for Sale

1980 Suzuki GS1000S L Side Front

Suzuki’s blue-and-white bullet, the GS1000S was, in spite of the hulking style, dual shocks, and bulbous fairing, really more of an all-rounder than its looks would suggest. It was originally intended to appeal to European riders but, while road riders here in the USA prize straight-line stability and torque over handling, racers saw the appeal, and the GS1000S became the basis for Suzuki’s AMA Superbike racing machines.

1980 Suzuki GS1000S Engine Detail

Compared to the Kawasakis and Hondas of the same era, the Suzuki wasn’t as quick, but it made up for its power deficit by being nimble, with a stiff frame and excellent brakes. None of these bikes were really featherweights, but the difference was noticeable both on and off the track.

1980 Suzuki GS1000S R Front

Race bike building was handled by the iconic “Pops” Yoshimura and ridden to victory by Wes Cooley, both of whom transitioned from Kawaskakis. The relationship was beneficial to everyone involved, and Wes won the AMA Superbike Championship two years running. The GS1000S was never officially associated with Wes Cooley, but riders in the States dubbed them “Wes Cooley Replicas” after the fact and the name stuck.

1980 Suzuki GS1000S Dash

Specification-wise, the bike isn’t particularly exciting: a two-valve, 997cc air-cooled four putting 90hp through a five-speed box, 525lbs wet weight, and a 130mph top speed. But it’s really the package that made this work and the proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

1980 Suzuki GS1000S Rear Suspension

From the original eBay listing: 1980 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley Replica for Sale

If you had the resources to rebuild a classic, limited production Superbike and fit it with every upgrade available back in the era when this bike ruled the streets, this is what you would have.

NOTE: This is a 1980 Wes Cooley Replica. It was produced for only the years 1979 and 1980 with production numbers estimated to be in the 750 range for 1980. The factory rear-set foot controls fitted only to the 1980 version makes this a one-of-a-kind frame as all of the other GS1000 standard chain drive bikes had the same frame. The 1980 version cannot be “faked” because of its unique frame, unlike the ’79 version that used an ordinary frame.

This bike was a frame-up rebuild which included the following:

ENGINE:

– New Valve Job 

– Freshly honed cylinders with brand new OEM Suzuki rings

– Valves adjusted

– New Mobil One synthetic oil and Fram oil filter

– New NGK spark plugs

PERFORMANCE EXTRAS:

– Dyna Tech electronic ignition

– Dyna 3 Ohm (green) coils

Taylor ignition wires (brand new)

– Yoshimura Replica stainless steel exhaust (cost $750 shipped here on eBay)

– Aftermarket wire wheels with stainless spokes – wider than stock

– Aftermarket Rear sets. Especially rare as these only fit this one exact year/model bike

– Braided stainless brake lines with clear covering (that won’t scratch paint)

– Adjustable Clutch Lever and dogleg front brake lever

There’s more information about the build over on eBay, so pop over for a look. The Buy-It-Now price is set at $12,000 which honestly seems like a very nice price for a bike with this much work put into it. Yeah, you can find a decent Wes Cooley for less, but they’re appreciating in value, and this one has been comprehensively restored and tastefully upgraded. These are extremely rugged motorcycles as well, and that makes them especially appealing to collectors who want to actually ride and enjoy, rather than display their pride and joys.

-tad

1980 Suzuki GS1000S R Side

The Wes Cooley-ist: 1980 Suzuki GS1000S for Sale

1980 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley R Side

Today’s blue-and-white Suzuki GS1000S “Wes Cooley Replica” is a throwback to another era of racing, an arms-race by Japan’s Big Four as they built bigger, better big fours.

Twins and singles are generally limited in terms of absolute displacement, barring balance shafts and other, more modern trickery: get much bigger than 500cc’s, and a single will likely shake your motorcycle to pieces, and twins often have similar problems. But manufacturers began adding more cylinders, smoothness improved, and displacements soared. For a time, that additional power made attempts at weight savings superfluous, and pounds were added along with the horsepower. That weight helped to increase stability as manufacturers worked out how to make these bellowing behemoths handle.

1980 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley L Side2

Watching jockey-sized pilots wrestle with 600lb superbikes in the 1970’s was thrilling, although Suzuki included handling in the mix as well. The 998cc GS1000S may not have had the straight-line speed of other bikes, but it could also go around corners and, with engines developed by “Pops” Yoshimura, it saw significant success in the hands of rider Wes Cooley.

1980 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley Speedo

Although it was primarily designed for the European market, Wes’ success led to the GS1000S bike being referred to as the “Wes Cooley Replica.” Just about 1200 were made: 500 in 1979 and 700 in 1980. 1980 models like this one originally featured electronic ignition, a stepped seat, slotted brake rotors, and other cosmetic changes.

1980 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley R Side Fairing

From the original eBay listing: 1980 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley Replica for Sale

Nice rare bike less than 1000 sold in the United States from what I can find out. Clear Tennessee title in hand.

Bike has been owned by a good friend of mine for over 20 years, always dry inside storage (until I got it June 6th, it is still on the trailer under a cover, haven’t had time to make a spot in the garage for it). Last was started about 2 years ago, not sure if or how far he may have rode it. I have not tried to start it, petcock is leaking, I am sure the carbs need to be cleaned, front brakes do not work and the battery is dead. The ignition switch is missing the lock cylinder but I do have a key that fits the gas cap and seat lock.

Has escaped the normal Krylon paint job, appears to be all original paint, does have a couple of dings in the tank, the fairing has some road rash on the upper left. The inside of the tank appears to be in good condition from looking in the gas cap area, no tank sealer to clean out. Chain guard is cracked. The instrument cover is damaged as shown in the photo and a gauge cover is cracked. No idea of why the seat and tail section alignment is so bad, I can’t see anything that looks badly bent or broken.

Has 2 seats, one with the optional Elvis velour insert and it has a very small surface rust area on the base. Have another seat not on the bike and that seat base has rust issues and the seat cover is torn.

Pipes are from a 1000L model and have rust on the head pipes.

I have tried to show all of the damage I can in the photos. if you have a specific area you have more questions about or need more photos just ask.

I do have a new NOS windshield, NOS upper fairing mounts and a pair of NOS mirrors.

1980 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley Fairing

There are just a few hours left on this auction, with bidding up to just north of $1,600 and the reserve unsurprisingly not met. Obviously, this one needs a bit of work before you head off to relive superbike fantasies, but it looks like most of the work is cosmetic or well within a competent garage mechanic’s abilities.

-tad

1980 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley R Side Panel

Last of the Breed: 1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator R Front

While plenty of Rickman motorcycles have graced this site, this one’s a first for me: a CRE 1000 Predator. Rickman made their name building lightweight, nickel-plated frames to wrap around existing powertrain packages. Their bikes often featured internal oil-passages to eliminate the need for external oil tanks and coolers, saving weight. They exemplify the do-it-yourself spirit of 70’s motorcycling: there’s technically no such thing as a “stock” Rickman, since they were built up individually to customer specs or built by the customers from a kit, generally using donor bikes from Honda, Kawasaki, or Triumph.

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator Fairing

Japanese frame and suspension technology on their streetbikes had largely caught up by the 80’s, pushing companies like Rickman to the side, Rickman continued to make their Predator, a sport-touring machine, up until about 1984 that used a 1000cc Kawasaki engine. Rickman-framed Hondas, Kawasakis, and Triumphs show up for sale fairly regularly, and often at very reasonable prices, considering their performance advantages over the standard Hondas and Kawasakis from which they borrow their running gear.

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator Pegs

From the original eBay listing: 1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator

Model year 1980

Super rare model, 2 owners from new The first owner ran the Rickman owners club for many years

Bike has extensive history file, frame was supplied to Maitland Racing who built the bike and supplied a tuned engine. Engine Z1000J motor fitted with a Wiseco 1105 big bore kit, electronic ignition, Goodrich oil cooler, full build sheet & dyno chart included. Dyno’d at 118bhp.

Converted to mono shock and 17″ wheels.

Starts and runs with no smoke or rattles, only known fault is the speedo requires attention currently fitted with a Sigma digital speedo.

Correctly registered (English documents) as Rickman.

Ride and collect! Bulletproof investment.

Bike is currently located in Italy, Roveredo in Piano, but i can get them delivered all around the World at cost, no problem.

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator Rear Suspension

Although the frame is the big story with any Rickman and the key to their success, it’s hard to overlook the striking bodywork that includes a distinctive duck-tail unit and monoshock rear suspension, while 17″ wheels should make for a great selection of grippy high-performance modern rubber.

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator Cockpit

If you’ll notice, the speedo is currently stuck, hence the fitting of the little digital unit. But that shouldn’t really present much of a problem to solve, considering the fact that the unit itself is a stock Kawasaki part. Or just go with an aftermarket gauge: considering the quirky 80’s style of the bodywork, I’m sure no one would mind the fitment of a modern, digital dash.

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator Tail

All-in-all, a very distinctive vintage sportbike you can enjoy on a daily basis, and it doesn’t get much better than that!

-tad

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator L Side

It’s Pantah-stic! 1980 Ducati 500SL Track Day Racer

 

1980 Ducati 500SL Race Bike R Side2

In the late 1970’s Ducati introduced their best-forgotten parallel twin motorcycles in an attempt to broaden their appeal and cut manufacturing costs. But while the bike handled well, reliability was an issue and the looks did not appeal to Ducati’s fanbase: the bike was a massive flop.

After the debacle that the 500GTL parallel-twin represented, Ducati needed to get back in the saddle quickly, and the 500SL Pantah was the right horse for the job. The four-valve, water-cooled superbikes get all the glory nowadays, but the Pantah-derived engine has been the air-cooled, Desmodromic heart of Ducati’s breadwinners for over 30 years now, providing the motive force for SuperSports, Monsters in a dozen shapes, sizes, and displacements, Hypermotards, Pasos, and every other darn bike that rolled out the door, basically keeping the company afloat.

1980 Ducati 500SL Race Bike R Side Engine

The updated motor dispensed with the expensive-to-produce bevel-drive and tower-shaft system and replaced it with simple rubber camshaft belts. These needed regular replacement, but saved the company significant costs during manufacturing and assembly.

1980 Ducati 500SL Race Bike Tank Detail

This one features very stylish NCR-replica bodywork and paint, although the effect is somewhat spoiled by that unpainted front fender. That’s pretty easily fixed though. And these smaller twins sound plenty strong and could easily be mistaken for a bike of much larger displacement. You may not get the top-end scream out of a bike like this that you would from a modern 600, but this will punch you out of corners, handle well, and put a big smile on your face

1980 Ducati 500SL Race Bike Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1980 Ducati 500SL Vintage Track Day Racer

HERE IS A GREAT EXAMPLE OF A BUILT 1980 500SL VINTAGE TRACK DAY RACER.
HAS  NCR/AIRTEK BODYWORK
38MM MARZZOCI FRONT FORKS( TUNED BY ACCELERATED TECHNOLOGY IN CANADA)
BITUBO REAR SHOCKS(NEED REBUILD) LITTLE LEAK
WAS TOLD BY PREVIOUS OWNER IT HAS A BIG BORE KIT. (THE BIKE IS FAST AS HELL)
36MM DELLORTOS (REBUILT)
SPA DESIGN TACH/SPEEDO (JUST RETURNED FROM SPA FOR REPAIR)
AVON  AM23 130/65/18 REAR NEW (OLD REAR TIRE COMES WITH BIKE STILL GREAT SHAPE)
AVON AM22  100/80/18 FRONT NEW
THIS IS A RACE BIKE WITH NO LIGHTS AND TOTALLY REWIRED ELECTRONICS FOR RACING WITH 2 TOGGLE SWITCHES AND PUSH BUTTON START
IT IS CURRENTLY REGISTERED IN CT WHICH THERE IS NO NEED FOR A TITLE UNDER 1981 YEAR
FRESH OIL CHANGE AND PLUGS
I CURRENTLY STREET DRIVE THIS AWESOME BIKE AND ITS A BLAST ON THE STREET
THE END OF THE UPPER FAIRING ON THE LEFT BY THE GAS TANK IS BROKE OFF. CAN EASILY BE REPAIRED
THE PAINT IS NOT PERFECT AND THERE IS SCRATCHES

The simple, air-cooled two-valve Ducatis have been around for a long time, and have proven very reliable and responsive to tuning. Looked after, the belts are very reliable, but they need replacement every two years or 12k miles, something that every Ducatisti knows is cheap insurance. The job itself is relatively simple and requires less know-how than adjusting the Desmo valves, so potential buyers shouldn’t be put off by Ducati’s exotic reputation. This one is obviously no trailer-queen, excepting trips to the race track and the photography leaves a bit to be desired, but it looks like this bike has been well-maintained and is ready to go.

1980 Ducati 500SL Race Bike Front Brake

The one-piece NCR bodywork may not be the most elegant, but it embodies tons of racing history and certainly is distinctive. There’s been no activity on this auction and time is almost up, but at $4,500 it looks like it’d be a great tool for track day fun at a pretty budget price.

-tad

1980 Ducati 500SL Race Bike R Side

1980 BMW R100 Cafe Racer for Sale

1980 BMW R100 Cafe R Front

As often as people hack “cafe racers” together these days, it’s surprising how often such a simple idea goes wrong. In an era when the aftermarket was in its infancy, and not much was available to increase the speed of your bike, or to make it look more like the bikes your idols were racing, you often took things off your motorcycle.

To go faster, simplify and add lightness.

1980 BMW R100 Cafe L Side Rear

And while the original “Ton-Up Boys” built their bikes for speed, current café racers are, let’s face it, more concerned with image than outright performance. If you want to go fast and don’t have much cash or have a do-it-yourself mentality, you’re much better off buying a well-used GSX-R and thrashing the hell out of it on road or track.

1980 BMW R100 Cafe L Front

So bikes like this are really about owning a cool old bike that looks and sounds right, that mixes vintage feel with some modern concessions to function: clip on bars halfway between the top and bottom triple may look pretty tough, but who the hell wants to ride that?

1980 BMW R100 Cafe Dash

This bike though, gets things mostly very, very right, with very classy ivory white paint and a and I’m not sure that classic half-fairing has ever looked so right on a motorcycle. This is based on either the R100/7 or the sportier R100S, although the ad doesn’t specify. Both were powered by BMW’s sporty, reliable 980cc horizontally-opposed twin that was flexible and basically vice-free.

1980 BMW R100 Cafe L Side Engine

If you’re building a bike to meet those criteria, the BMW “airhead” models are the perfect foundation: they’re mostly very affordable, much more reliable than a British twin, parts are readily available, they handle well for a classic machine and, maybe most importantly, supply a classic look and feel of a big twin clattering away beneath you.

From the original eBay listing: 1980 BMW R100 Café Racer

Turn-key bike, ready to ride now, and was just serviced by licensed BMW dealer. Very nimble and fun to ride, and has great visual presence.
Bike starts up easily, runs well, and sounds awesome.
Prior owner did the following work:

  • Ivory White paint with black pin striping, 3-4 coats of two-part clear coat.
  • New BMW badges for tank.
  • SuperTrapp Dual Exhaust, tremendous sound, clean, no rust.
  • Original seat pan, with custom shaped and covered seat done professionally, with brushed aluminum trim kit.
  • Cafe Racer Half fairing (small crack at bottom, barely visible).
  • Windscreen by Zero Gravity.
  • Clip-on bars.
  • New rubber grips.
  • New rear tire, front has 80% + tread.
  • Valves and end play adjusted.
  • Forks cleaned, lubed, and rebuilt.
  • New Transmission fluid, brake fluid.
  • Splines lubed.
  • New oil and oil filter, along with oil pan gasket and valve cover gaskets.
  • Bike has Mikuni carb upgrade.
  • Bike is gorgeous, but this is not a concourse example.
  • Mileage is in my opinion greater than that reflected on odometer.

If you can sit through the overproduced, Ken Burns-style slideshow [or just skip it], there’s some good riding footage of the bike in there to give you a feel for the bike’s character:

If you’re building a bike that needs to be ridden every day, sound good, and look right, the BMW “airhead” models are the perfect foundation: they’re mostly very affordable, much more reliable than a British twin, parts are readily available, they handle well for a classic machine and, maybe most importantly, supply a classic look and feel of a big twin clattering away beneath you.

1980 BMW R100 Cafe R Side Petcock

Aside from the plastic bezels and dash sourced from the original bike and those slightly questionable “BMW R100” badges, I really like this bike, and I think it would make a great daily-rider. Bidding is active on this one, but at just $4,050 and with The Reserve Not Met, I think this one has a ways to go, since a bone-stock example would likely fetch that.

-tad

1980 BMW R100 Cafe L Side

 

Low Miles, Low-Buck Exotica: 1980 Moto Morini 500 Sport for Sale

1980 Moto Morini 500 Sport L Front

For those of you who thought Italian exotica were far out of reach, check out this very nice 1980 Moto Morini 500 Sport.  Postwar Italy saw a boom in two-wheeled motorcycle manufacture: the population of a country devastated by war was eager to get back to work and was hungry for cheap, stylish transportation. Obviously, many manufacturers of scooters, mopeds, and motorcycles came into existence and quickly disappeared during this period, but a few survived into the modern day, or have been resurrected, like zombies in Armani suits.

1980 Moto Mornini 500 Sport Dash

Moto Morini was one of the latter, a company that actually began before World War I, then faded after a purchase by Cagiva in the late 1980’s, only to be brought back again during the late 90’s as a sort of brutish Ducati rival, a shame considering their earlier history of making smaller-engined sporting machines. In fact, Morini’s insistence on not catering to the American market by creating larger-displacement bikes may have sealed the company’s doom: the 500 Sport shown here was as big as they got.

1980 Moto Morini 500 Sport R Side

But don’t let the relatively small engines fool you: these are serious sporting machines with revvy and sweet v-twins that made useful power and returned excellent fuel mileage, capable of embarrassing much more powerful machines in the corners and on the brakes. With a very rare for the period six-speed gearbox and a compact 72° engine with a rubber belt to drive the cam and Heron heads, Morinis were technologically advanced, brains-over-brawn machines.

1980 Moto Morini 500 Sport L Engine

Of course, no Italian bike of the period would be complete without some sort of mechanical foible. In Morini’s case, it was the fitting of a kickstart lever as well as a generally useless electric start. While it is possible to find bikes with the electric starter in good working condition, they’re far from reliable and most Morini owners seem to just ignore them when they fail and use the kick start.

1980 Moto Morini 500 Sport L Rear

From the original eBay listing, which includes more of the seller’s history with the marque than of the bike itself: 1980 Moto Morini 500 Sport for Sale

I was witness to the entire history of this particular machine from when it left Herm Baver’s (Herdan Corp.) Dealer/Distributership to the present time. Sometime in the early eighties I bought my 1980 3 1/2 Sport Morini from my friend Jason who was a real Morini fancier and who had bought a number of machines from Herm. I was living on the Lower East Side of Manhattan at the time and my neighbor Ira, who was riding an old Triumph Bonnie then, liked my 350 Morini enough that he bought this 500 Sport from Jason soon after. Both these Moto Morinis, it should be noted, had only the mileage registered that’s required to ride them from Port Clinton, Pa (the home to this day of Herdan Corp.) to Jason’s house in Greenwood lake, N.Y. They were barely broken in.

Anyway, the city’s a tough place to have a really nice motorcycle and Ira was never comfortable leaving it any- -where so he sold it to an Englishman I’d sold some other bikes to and went back to his old Bonnie. Soon after, John, the Englishman, went back to Jolly Old leaving the bike with me and here it jolly well is(still in Ira’s name) ready for a new “la Strega” transfer (included with the bike) on the saddle tailpiece and probably a set of tires, as the mint originals are maybe getting a bit wooden after 34 years. Aside from that there’s a hairline crack in one of the side covers and a scratch at the back of the tank near the saddle (see photos). Otherwise it’s the thing of beauty “time capsule” you see here.

Funny, I’ve been referring to my Ducati as “la Strega” since I got her. For those of you not fluent in Italian, “Strega” translates directly as “witch”, although my Italian buddy also reliably tells me it’s also used as a synonym for “bitch.” In either case, probably not the best nickname for such a fun little bike! The seller doesn’t include all that much detail regarding the actual maintenance history, but you can probably infer from his background and the cosmetic condition that it’s been pretty well cared for.

1980 Moto Morini 500 Sport Clocks

These bikes have been climbing in value for a while now: 7 or 8 years ago, when I was bike shopping for budget Italian machines like this, they could be had for $2,500, if you could actually find one. They are typically well-loved, but also generally well-used and patina’d bikes in keeping with their low-cost exotic status. But this may be the very nicest example I’ve seen for sale, although perhaps that’s just the really nice, high-resolution photos talking!

Bidding is active, but the reserve has not been met at just over $4k with about six days to go on the auction.

1980 Moto Morini 500 Sport L Side

The Morini name may not have the cache of Ducati or MV Agusta, and their smaller-displacements and slightly forgotten status has kept prices comparatively low. The bikes are reliable, and maintenance parts are generally available for them if you don’t mind doing a bit of research. If you’ve always fancied a classic Italian, but thought they were out of reach, keep an eye on this one!

-tad

1980 Moto Morini 500 Sport L Front Close

1980 Moto Morini 3½ Sport for Sale

1980 Moto Morini 350 L side

With even the unlovely Ducati 860GT and Mark II and III Moto Guzzis rapidly escalating in value, riders on the hunt for budget Italian exotica may finally be turning to Morini to get their fix.

Either because of a lack of development budget or sheer stubbornness, Morini never got caught up in the frenzy to develop larger machines for American buyers that afflicted… Well just about every other major manufacturer. They stuck with their middleweight philosophy that stressed handling and light weight, and the 3½ [344cc] was the little brother to their 500, but was in no way de-contented or stripped-down: it was a legitimate sportbike that could easily embarrass larger machines with an experienced pilot at the helm.

1980 Moto Morini 350 Dash

The 72º v-twin was compact and smooth, and made the most of its respectable 37bhp [in Sport form] with a rare-for-the-period six-speed gearbox. This innovative engine featured traditional pushrods, but used a toothed belt to drive the camshaft and featured Heron heads that gave excellent fuel economy.

This particular example features an angular full fairing that, until recently, I hadn’t seen before on a Morini. Does it work? Probably. Is it particularly good-looking? Well I’m not a fan, but if you love early 80’s Guzzis, this might be right up your alley. It’s likely easy to remove and reinstall if you ever intend to sell it.

1980 Moto Morini 350 R Bar

From the original listing: 1980 Moto Morini 3½ Sport for Sale

Offered for sale, a fully-sorted Morini 3 1/2 Sport (yes, a real Sport, has the “S” stamp on the engine, see pics). 

Was owned (we believe original owner) by a motorcycle collector who unfortunately cannot ride anymore due to injuries from a car accident, then acquired by long-time Italian motorcycle specialist in 2012. All issues sorted out and is now turn-key, unlike a couple other vintage Morini’s that have popped up here recently. Had posted this here a few times and decided to throw some more maintenance items at it before re-posting. 

Original paint and tires

Factory fairing and lowers

Modified mufflers with re-packable inserts.

Electric tach and starter working fine

Cracked red turn signal reflector, right rear, repaired poorly

Bike is being ridden daily, mileage may change. Just put 200 miles on last weekend, no problems.

The seller mentions that the starter is working fine, which is definitely notable, since it wasn’t exactly reliable, even when new. No worries though: the bike also featured a kick-start and that’s generally how people get them going these days.

1980 Moto Morini 350 Front

The listing also features a very nice video of the bike being started and revved.

These are popular bikes among fans of classics who like to use their bikes, and parts are available to keep these on the road. Honestly, these have always been hard to find, but prices have been almost embarrassingly low for far too long and are slowly on the rise. Grab one now and stash it in your garage, or show up at bike nights and impress with your eclectic taste.

-tad

1980 Moto Morini 350 R Side

Black and Gold, Part II: 1980 Ducati 900 Super Sport

1980 Ducati 900SS L Side Front

The street-racer sibling of the Ducati Darmah featured earlier this week and even decked out in the same colors, this 900SS represents the logical evolution of the SuperSport line that began with the 750SS in 1974.

The original 750 SuperSport was built to celebrate Ducati’s surprise, David versus Goliath victory at Imola in 1972 and helped cement Ducati into the minds of motorcycle fans as a builder of performance twins. With only 401 of those built, they remain well out of reach for most enthusiasts.

1980 Ducati 900SS Cockpit

A much better proposition for folks who want to ride, and not just stare at, their bikes for fear of wrecking a valuable bit of history, the 900SS was introduced in 1975 and featured the restyled “square-case” engine displacing 864cc’s. The 900 also came with improved or modified features to improve performance and make the bike more appealing to US buyers, including a modified shift mechanism to make the left-side shift required a less Rube Goldberg-ian proposition, and quieter stock mufflers. Which hopefully have been canned for some glorious open Conti pipes by now!

1980 Ducati 900SS R Side Rear

In 1979, Ducati fitted cast-aluminum wheels to the SS and the bike was available with the classic black with gold-stripe paint scheme. This bike lacks the cast wheels, but that’s not necessarily a change from original: bikes of the period tended to blur the lines a bit, and this may actually have been an earlier bike that wasn’t titled until 1980… Or maybe they just stuck on a set of wire-wheels they had lying around. Or maybe a previous owner fitted them.

1980 Ducati 900SS Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1980 Ducati 900 Super Sport

This bike is proudly wearing all its original paint and decals, some of which are showing signs of age and a few chips. The gold paint on the included original wheels, especially the chain side of the rear, has not held up too well. There is a dent in the r/h Conti, under the foot peg, that was there when I got the bike. There are a few other scuffs and marks that should show in the pictures, that are from normal use. This is typical for the original finishes on Ducatis of this era. That said, this bike is in beautiful condition and has a real presence. It never fails to attract attention and complements where ever its ridden. It is 100% ready to ride.

The seller also includes this clip of the bike being fired up.

This particular example is unrestored, and it’s important to remember that, like so many other classic Italian machines, the fit and finish on these from the factory was far from perfect. A meticulously [over] restored example might be a thing of beauty, but examples like this are far more likely to capture the real experience of these bikes. But this is no beater: just look at what’s hiding under the bodywork in the picture below!

-tad

1980 Ducati 900SS Naked

 

 

1980 Ducati Darmah for Sale

1980 Ducati Darmah L Side

Resplendent in black with gold lettering and striping, this Ducati Darmah was one of the last of the bevel-drive v-twin Ducatis, before the introduction of the belt-drive Pantah series. Introduced in 1977 after the 860 failed to ignite the loins of Ducatisti, the Darmah was styled relatively conservatively, but handsomely. It also included the usual evolutionary developments, including an electric starter.

1980 Ducati Darmah Dash

A bike for real roads, not the racetracks most of these bikes will, let’s be honest, never see, the Darmah is sexy and practical in ways a SuperSport is not. As gorgeous as the SS may be, you can’t really deny the appeal of a bit of comfort, style that isn’t trying too hard to convince, and the ability to carry a sexy young thing on the back. Or a sexy old thing, if you happen to have one of those on hand.

1980 Ducati Darmah Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1980 Ducati Darmah for Sale

Up for auction is a beautiful 2 owner 1980 Ducati Darmah SD900. I believe it to actually be a 1979 that was first sold and registered in the US in 1980. This is based on the engine number and the the stamp inside the storage compartment at the rear of the bike as seen in the last picture. This original, unmolested, matching numbers motorcycle runs and rides perfectly. It has the original paint which is flawless on the tank and has only a couple of minor scratches on the top of the side covers. This is not quite a show bike as it has some minor surface rust on a few nuts and bolts however it is a super clean example of this model that could be brought up to concourse condition easily. Comes with the original owners manual.

Currently registered in California through the end of June 2014.
Original Speedline wheels in perfect condition.
Brand new NOS Conti pipes. Also comes with original Silentium pipes.
36mm Dell Orto carbs.
Brand New Avon Road Rider tires.
Brand New battery.

1980 Ducati Darmah Conti

Bidding is up to $10,000 with three days left. This one looks like it’s ready to ride, with fresh tires and a new battery. For a while, Darmahs were pretty affordable, as far as bevel-drive twins went. But no more: with a bit more cache than the 860, they’re really just a rung or two below the 750GT and, like all bevels, increasing in value.

This is actually my favorite era of Ducati graphics. The current logo leaves me very cold, but this parallel-line design is so classic, sporty, and clean. I personally love modern Ducatis done up in this style.

-tad

1980 Ducati Darmah R Side

1980 Suzuki GS1100E for Sale in Denver

1980 Suzuki GS1100E L Side

Machines like the Suzuki GS1100E have been rare in the US of late, where motorcycles are most often owned and flaunted by weekend warriors: lifestyle accessories don’t need to be rideable for more than a few miles at a time, so you’re free to buy shrieking, peaky race-reps or 900 pound feet-in-the-breeze Barcaloungers, whichever fits your personal taste without regard to practicality.

Suzuki’s GS series bikes were do-it-all machines, the epitome of the UJM or “universal Japanese motorcycle”: four cylinders, twin shocks, no fairing. Bikes that were reliable and frugal enough for daily use, handled well enough for weekend scratching, and comfortable enough for distance work.

The GS-designation described a huge range of motorcycles built over almost forty years and powered by singles, twins, and four-cylinder engines of varied displacements. The GS1100 was powered by Suzuki’s durable air-cooled, 8-valve and later 16-valve, dual overhead-cam engine slung into a stable chassis.

It made for a blank canvas that could be turned into just about anything you wanted: the famous “Pops” Yoshimura turned the earlier 1000 version into a successful racebike that spawned the Wes Cooley race replicas that sometimes show up on this site for sale.

This example is the much more basic “E” model and as such would have been nothing much special at the time. But the curse of the ubiquity and reliability of the UJMs was that they were treated like the appliances they resembled: used and often discarded, left to rust and rot by less than sympathetic owners. You couldn’t own a Triumph or Norton unless you were ready to get your hands and garage floor dirty, unless you were invested. But anyone could [and did] buy bikes like the Zook, and they were often used as intended, so nice examples are getting harder and harder to find.

From the original Craigslist listing: 1980 Suzuki GS1100E – $2995

1980 Suzuki GS1100E in very nice condition. Almost bone stock except for “crash bars” and cruise control, both easily removable. 30K miles. Just completed a full going over by former service manager of large local dealership that specializes in working on 70’s/80’s/90’s vintage bikes. Runs PERFECTLY. Starts, idles and everything works.

1980 Suzuki GS1100E R Side

This one’s in the Denver, Colorado area. Nearly $3k is pretty serious cash for an old GS, but makes more sense when you think instead that that’s pretty small price to pay for reliable, do-anything transportation. Not too many cars or trucks that can give you this much entertainment AND reliability and cost so little to run.

Not a glamorous bike, but perhaps the perfect tool for a trip down memory lane for someone who remembers just how good these really were at being motorcycles. Don’t bother shipping it: just show up with your riding gear, bungee your duffle bag onto the tail, and ride it home.

-tad