Tagged: 1983

The Turbo Kid: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo for Sale

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo R Side Front

Getting away from the race bike theme today, we’re headed back to the wild and wooly 1980’s with a nice Suzuki XN85 Turbo. Built for just one year in very limited quantities, with only about 1200 produced, the XN85 was an odd, developmental dead-end for Suzuki, and a very strange bike to produce with the iconic GSX-R750 likely already on the drawing board…

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo L Side Rear

But it gave Suzuki a player in the very weird Turbo Wars of the 1980’s, where every manufacturer needed a boosted model to remain relevant, and the word “turbo” became a byword for “cool,” even when you weren’t talking about cars or motorcycles. At least I’m assuming that the character named “Turbo” in the movie Breakin’ didn’t actually have a Mitsubishi TD04HL-19T in place of a heart…

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo L Side Engine

In any event, unlike what Kawasaki’s did with their Z1R-TC, Suzuki didn’t simply slap an aftermarket kit on a very dated platform, and the XN85 was very much state of the art, with clip-on bars, rearset pegs, 16″ front wheel, and a monoshock “Full Floater” rear suspension. The engine was a 673cc four cylinder that gave the bike the 85hp for which it was named…

And check out those 80’s-riffic LCD boost, fuel, and oil temp gauges!

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Suzuki XN85 for Sale

This is a one owner bike that was found in a barn.

Please Google Suzuki NX85 to read all about the bike.

We had gone completely through the bike and everything works like it should. It starts up with a push of the button and purrs like new.

Brand new tires with zero miles.

Inside of the tank is brand new.

The miles are correct and was never raced on a track which is what it was intended for. If you are competing in the vintage road course races this is a must have and you will not see another one.

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo R Side Rear Suspension

Although it is a little bit disconcerting that the seller calls it an “NX85” in the listing and talks about some non-existent racing heritage, this does look like a very nice example of a pretty rare motorcycle. In spite of their eminent usability and practicality, the prices for many early 1980’s Japanese sportbikes remain relatively low, and, assuming you’re okay with the so sharp you might cut yourself styling, these are very cool. Although “relatively low” ain’t what it used to be, with this example apparently bidding up to $8,500 at a recent Mecum auction.

Pick this up and you will likely generate lots of attention, although it will probably be from 50-year-old dudes coming up to you at bike nights, telling you, “I used to have one of those…”


1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo L Side

Fast and Green: 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R Eddie Lawson Replica

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR R Side

As long as there’s been motorcycle racing, there have been riders wanting their street bikes to look like the ones they’ve seen tearing around racetracks: from café racers to modern Rossi-replica paint jobs, street riders ape the style of their heroes, although the very best examples combine a helping of both form and function.

And while more modern race-replicas are often based on track-bred, fundamentally uncomfortable sportbike ergonomics, bikes like this classic Kawasaki KZ1000R “Eddie Lawson Replica” actually work pretty well on the road. That’s really a function of the bike being based on the road-racing AMA Superbike mount of rider Eddie Lawson, which was based on the plain-Jane KZ1000J, Kawasaki’s standard 1015cc air-cooled four cylinder machine.

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR Tank

De-stroked to 998cc’s to make it eligible for various racing classes, the R also featured an oil-cooler, 4-into-1 Kerker exhaust, upgraded suspension components, and adjustments to the steering-head angle to sharpen up steering. These relatively simple changes led to a bike that felt very different than the machine on which it was based. And although their more humble roots make them far more comfortable than modern race-replicas, bikes like the ELR pay the price in terms of handling: a 544lb dry weight makes them a real workout to hustle through the corners.

Of course, the bike’s actual performance is overshadowed a bit by a liberal application of Kawasaki’s lurid green paint and racing stripes!

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR Dash

While the description suggests this bike needs some work, looking at the pictures that have been included, I get the feeling the seller is a bit of a perfectionist, since this looks very clean and complete.

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR R Side Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R Eddie Lawson Replica for Sale

32,034 original miles. Last registered in July 1992. I purchased this bike with the intent of doing a total restoration. Having sat for 22 years I cleaned the carbs and changed the oil and filter.

Engine runs strong with no strange noises. All electrics work, lights, signals, horns, and gauges. I replaced the fork seals and fork oil and installed a new rear tire. I have cleaned and painted the wheels, foot peg mounts, battery box, forks, and other little parts. Besides needing a total restoration it is missing the chain guard, air box and needs a battery. I just don’t have the time needed to tackle a project of this size. It’s not perfect by a long shot but the basics are there to restore it to what it once was.

I encourage you to contact me directly with any specific questions that you may have about this bike or for additional pictures. Bike is available for viewing during the auction and is located in Northern California. Call and we can arrange a time. Bike is registered in California and title is clear and in my name.

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR L Side Rear

This isn’t a low-mileage garage queen, but the seller’s assertion that it “needs a total restoration” might be a bit of an overstatement: he mentions that everything works and the engine runs well. From the photos, it looks to be in great shape, and the missing bits shouldn’t be any problem: chain guard? Who needs that? And the airbox can simply be replaced with cool-looking, if somewhat controversial individual filters. These are already pretty collectable, with only 750 original examples built,  and are quickly becoming valuable, especially in such decent, original condition.

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR Fairing

I’m not obsessive about “patina” and I can appreciate restored and even-over-restored motorcycles with the best of them, but there is something cool about a bike that looks lived-in, one that looks like it’s been used as intended, but well cared-for. Has a few battle scars to show for its 32,000 miles. This bike sounds it just needs a couple weekends of work to make it roadworthy and provide plenty of miles and smiles before that “total restoration” is really necessary.


1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR L Side


Signed by the Artist: 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000 ELR R Side

Prior to bikes like the Suzuki GSX-R750, production-based racers from Japan were big, burly brutes. Engines were large four-cylinders and plenty powerful, fitted to stiff frames that provided stability at the cost of agility. Clip ons? What are those? Superbike racing in the early 1980’s must have been amazing to watch, with pilots wrestling huge, unfaired machines around: in photos, the riders often look like small birds clinging desperately to the backs of charging rhinos…

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000 ELR R Side Rear

This bike is one of the classic road-going race-replicas of the era, a Kawasaki KZ1000R, also known as the “ELR” or “Eddie Lawson Replica.” Eddie Lawson was spectacularly successful on his bright-green KZ in AMA Superbike championship racing during the early 1980’s and the ELR was built to celebrate that success.

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000 ELR Dash

The KZ1000R was based on the more common KZ1000J that was, in essence, and evolution of the original Z1. That engine had grown from 903cc to 1015 but was stepped down to 998cc for the KZ1000 to make it eligible for various racing classes that were limited to 1000cc.

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000 ELR Fairing

Typical hot-rod tricks were used for the KZ1000R to improve performance and the package included an oil-cooler, a slick Kerker 4-into-1 exhaust, and uprated suspension. A slight difference in frame geometry that increased the steering-head angle led to a pretty significant change in feel, and the “R” felt much sharper than its more pedestrian “J” cousin.

But, as stated, the bike was no lightweight at 544lbs dry…

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000 ELR Rear Suspension

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R ELR for Sale

I am selling for a friend a 1983 Super Bike Replica with low miles in which I have no reason to doubt. This is a new restoration due to the bike being outside for a few years. It has new tires and brake pads. The calipers and master cylinder have been rebuilt and bled with Dot 5 Synthetic brake fluid. Engine side covers have been re powder coated. Valve clearance has been checked and did not require shims. No engine oil leaks. New chain and sprockets.  I ran this on a shop I.V. bottle. The original petcock does not work and may need rebuilding. This will be shipped without fuel and battery. It has NOS hand grips and bar sliders. Complete tool kit and owners manual. The paint is high quality two stage urethane, the decal kit was NOS. Tail piece signed by the man himself. This would be a nice addition to anyone’s collection

1983 Kawasaki KZ1000 ELR Signature

With just 5,000 miles on the clock and only 750 examples built, it’s no surprise that the reserve has not been met at $7,400, especially since it’s been signed by Eddie Lawson himself! The repaint detracts from originality, but that should be balanced out nicely by that signature.

ELR’s are obviously not for shrinking-violets: the vivid green paint and all-around hooligan temperament make it an extrovert of a bike. These are very useable, so it’s a shame that this one will probably go into a collection and simply look cool, instead of being used to terrorize young punks on modern sportbikes in the canyons…


1983 Kawasaki KZ1000 ELR L Side

The End of the Line: 1983 Triumph Bonneville TSS for Sale

1983 Triumph Bonneville TSS Full Left

Reader Jess pointed out this Triumph Bonneville TSS the other day, so I thought I’d write it up for you all. A bit of a forgotten bike from the early 1980’s, it highlights both the best and the worst of what Triumph had to offer at the time. It’s also a fascinating snapshot of the state of the industry, and it was also the very last motorcycle Triumph produced until their rebirth in the Bloor Era.

1983 Triumph Bonneville TSS L Tank

It may seem like a cop-out that smaller manufacturers like Triumph, Ducati, and Moto Guzzi have relied on nostalgia in recent years for at least a good part of their appeal. But for the most part, these companies really are the scrappy innovators, struggling in the face of the overwhelming onslaught of much larger manufacturers, who can bring far greater weight of resources and engineering might to bear on problems. Still reeling from the sudden Japanese onslaught of the late 1960’s, the smaller European manufacturers were forced to improvise and introduce less expensive, creative solutions to stay competitive.

1983 Triumph Bonneville TSS SpeedoJPG

But work-arounds like Norton’s Isolastic frame will only get you so far, and Triumph knew it was going to lose the Horsepower Wars if it didn’t apply some real muscle to the problem: simply going with bigger pistons to boost performance was going to lead to increased vibration issues, and there’s a practical limit to just how big you can make your cylinders and valves before you run into problems with fueling.

Introduced in 1982 with an electric starter to compliment the traditional kick, the TSS featured a Weslake-derived 8-valve head originally designed for racing. Limited resources prevented a full-redesign of the engine, so the Weslake head basically bolted-onto a revised bottom end. It wasn’t a dual overhead cam engine, but used forked, pushrod-actuated rockers to operate two valves apiece for vastly improved breathing.

1983 Triumph Bonneville TSS Engine

These improved pushrods were now supported by head castings, making the whole assembly stiffer and more oil-tight to improve reliability. Extensive use of aluminum reduced the weight of the 748cc engine overall, and a much stiffer crankshaft significantly reduced vibration, allowing for a wide, smooth spread of power that peaked at a claimed 59hp and allowed a top speed of almost 125mph. The machine also featured five-spoke alloy wheels as well as an option for dual Lockheed disc brakes up front, providing a complete spectrum of performance improvements.

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Triumph Bonneville TSS for Sale

Garage find, rare 1983 TSS with low mileage. I bought this bike 10 years ago and rode it 3 times. Its been stored in my garage the entire time. I rode it 1 year ago and everything worked fine. I need to sell it soon for several reasons and have not had time to get a battery and try to start the bike. I have NO reason to believe that it would not start and run fine. The previous owner was a Rolls Royce technician and took very good care of the bike. If you are an enthusiast, you know that they only made about 185 of these for the United States. I hate to part with it but I must. It will not be a projest, just a battery, fresh gas and TLC.

The electric starter worked but grinded just like many do and is not recommended based on the poor design. The tank is original paint and looks great. The frame and all features are in very good original condition. If you have any questions please email. If you have offer, please keep them reasonable. I would rather keep it than give it away.

1983 Triumph Bonneville TSS L SideUnfortunately, while the design itself was sound, manufacturing problems plagued production and the new heads leaked oil badly, casting a dark shadow over the bike. Traditional oil-drips aside, the improved performance was not nearly enough to compete with bikes from Honda, who introduced their revolutionary V4 Interceptor that same year, and the two bikes are at such opposite ends of the spectrum it’s hardly fair to compare them. A total of 438 bikes were built before production ended in 1983, with even fewer making it to the US.

1983 Triumph Bonneville TSS L Side1983 Triumph Bonneville TSS Side Panel

But as with so many machines of the era, what was “outdated” then is often considered “classic” now. Unfortunately, a design that bridged the 1970’s and 1980’s still looks pretty clunky to me, more like some Honda twin aping an older Triumph than a classic in its own right.

But while styling may not have been Triumph’s best, it is very rare, and certainly noteworthy for being the end of the line for the original Triumph. In addition, if you do get a good, non-leaking example, performance should be pretty impressive for a 750 twin.


 1983 Triumph Bonneville TSS L Side Front

Know Your History: 1983 Mike Hailwood Replica MHR for Sale

1983 Ducati MHR R Side

If this machine looks vaguely familiar, it should: our banner image at this site includes the silhouette of Mike Hailwood’s original race bike, the machine he used to win the 1978 Isle of Man TT.

1983 Ducati MHR L Side Tank

Born Stanley Michael Bailey Hailwood, Mike “The Bike” Hailwood ranks up there with Agostini as one of the all-time motorcycling greats. He won multiple world titles during a ten-year career that stretched between 1957 and 1968, riding for Honda and MV Agusta. After retiring from motorcycle racing, he moved on to Formula 1 in the early 1970’s, once of very few to make that transition successfully.

In 1978, he returned to motorcycle racing at the Isle of Man TT, then and now the most dangerous event in the world, riding an unlikely machine from Ducati. Against all odds, he won, and cemented his place in Ducati’s racing history.

1983 Ducati MHR L Side Rear

He also got a bike named after him: the MHR or “Mike Hailwood Replica” bikes were basically full-fairings slapped on a largely-stock 900SS. Powered by the “square-case” version of Ducat’s 864cc v-twin and making about 72hp, the bike could hit almost 140mph. Although a cosmetic update to a long-in-the-tooth product at the time it was conceived, these have become very collectable.

1983 Ducati MHR R Side Detail

This particular example is no garage-queen and has covered a tick over 14,000 miles. To me, this is a good thing: nice bikes deserve to be ridden, instead of being condemned to slow decay in a museum or in someone’s garage under a tarp.

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Mike Hailwood Replica MHR

This is a Japanese edition built in late 1983 and purchased by a US military employee in Tokyo in 1984. We purchased from him last year. This is arguably one of the nicest 83 Hailwoods on the planet. Runs as nice as it looks. Comes with all paperwork and repair records back to the purchase from Muriyama Motors in Tokyo.

Tank and all bodywork in outstanding shape. Beautiful paint. All bright work looks incredible ( see photos).

New this year: Pirellis front and rear, new brakes, new cush drives, new battery hold down, tank hold down, battery tray. New rebuild on the rear master cylinder. New fuel lines (correct green) and clamps. New alternator harness. New steering head bearings. New turn signals. Petcocks reworked. Carbs looked over at Ducati Phoenix. The carbs were rebuilt by the Woods Bros in Cal in an earlier workup. Conti pipes.  All services just completed EFX clipons installed. Have original ones. This bike has the optional factory big cams.

There has been no engine work except for looking over and dialing in the carbs, oil change (Castrol GTX) and alternator harness replacement.  Factory seal on the cases still intact. We have put only 30 kilometers on the bike in the last 14 mos.

The seller also includes several videos of the bike, including a walkaround and a ride-by.

1983 Ducati MHR L Side Detail

Interestingly, the paint on the MHR was not intended to mimic the Italian flag. It was patterned after primary sponsor Castrol’s corporate color scheme. There are still several days left on this auction, and this looks to be a great bike for someone who wants to ride their acquisition!


1983 Ducati MHR L Side

1983 Moto Morini 500 Sport

1983 Moto Morini 500 Sport L Side

Looking for a sporty Italian classic with handling, rarity, style, and a reasonable price? One you can own, maintain, and ride without having to sell a kidney or two? Look no further: I’ve found your ride, a 1983 Moto Morini 500 Sport.

1983 Moto Morini 500 Sport R Engine

Moto Morini never developed a big motor to compete with rivals from Guzzi, Laverda, MV Agusta, and Ducati, which likely explains why they’re largely forgotten in this country. It certainly isn’t because they’re lacking in the technology department: compact 72º v-twin, interesting Heron-style cylinder heads, a six-speed gearbox, and electric start? Which one of those other manufacturers offered all that in one package?

And while these aren’t horsepower kings and won’t win too many drag races, you should catch the bigger boys in the corners: by all accounts, Morini’s are sweet-handling and very nimble. And keep in mind that, with 46hp, the 500cc version certainly isn’t slow.

1983 Moto Morini 500 Sport Dash

This particular example is claimed to start “on the button”, which is notable since Morini’s electric start is generally thought to be decorative…

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Moto Morini 500 Sport for Sale

Up for bid is a pristine 1983 Moto Morini 500 V Sport. I bought the bike with 460 miles and it has only 1300 now. The bike is in pristine condition as the mileage would indicate.

Under my ownership, I added stainless mufflers, billet V stacks for the Dellorto carbs (which were re jetted), CRG mirrors, metal/enameled tank, side cover and triple tree badges,stainless hardware throughout the bike, and rear sets from Wolfgang Tritsch. The rearsets required a modification to the kick-start lever and new shift lever linkage to be fabricated.

The bike starts on the button or will kick over and start on first kick. It runs flawlessly and is a joy to ride.

1983 Moto Morini 500 Sport L Engine

This later Morini lacks some of the classic styling cues of earlier versions, but on the plus side it has obviously been very well cared for and has almost impossibly low miles for a bike that must be very tempting to ride. Also note the vented clutch cover, with the dry clutch peeking out.

1983 Moto Morini 500 Sport L Wheel

Bidding is at $4,500 with the reserve not yet met and plenty of time to go. These used to be available at that price just a few years ago, when you could find them. It looks like values of nice Morinis are on the rise, although maybe that’s just inflation…


1983 Moto Morini 500 Sport R Side

Almost New:1983 Moto Morini 500

1983 Moto Morini 500 L Front

Unlike their other European competitors, Moto Morini never succumbed to the pressure to create bigger-engined motorcycles to compete for the American market. This 500cc machine is about as big as they got, and owners had to rely on “sweet handling” and “economical” and “six-speed gearbox” for bragging rights. Specifications were interesting, with a 72º v-twin that struck a good balance between smoothness and packaging, “Heron”- style heads that are probably worth an article all on their own, the aforementioned six-speed transmission, and a flexible powerband that peaked at 46hp.

1983 Moto Morini R Side Rear

This particular Morini 500 features a bar-mounted fairing. I’m not sure whether or not this is actually a Morini part or something aftermarket. In the early 80’s aerodynamics were clearly “in” and many manufacturers of sporty machines that couldn’t really compete with the Japanese in terms of outright performance began to repurpose their machines with a more sport-touring style.

Although Moto Guzzi had their very own wind tunnel to fine-tune their bodywork, most of these early factory efforts were trial-and-error and the results were aesthetically challenged at best… And those bikes that didn’t come from the factory with touring equipment could be fitted with all manner of JC Whitney-esque Windjammer fairings with dubious aerodynamic advantages.

1983 Moto Morini 500 Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Moto Morini 500 for Sale

This is a beautiful original Moto Morini.  Has been sitting in a museum for 10 years.  Will need the carbs cleaned and a new battery.  A few small scratches on the tank.  Look at photo.  Great opportunity to own a virtually new Moto Morini from 1983. 

What is it with Morini owners and their very thin descriptions? I guess they figure, “If you have to ask, you’re not the kind of person I want to sell it too, anyway…” But the listing has some photos that perhaps speak for themselves and it does mention that the bike has less than 500 miles on it, making this machine about as new and as sharp as you’re ever likely to find.

1983 Moto Morini 500 R Engine Detail

Bidding is currently at about $5,600 with active interest and several days to go on the auction. I’m not sure if that fairing is from the factory or aftermarket: most Morini’s I’ve seen are unfaired, until we get to the very cool little Dart that looks like a ¾ scale Ducati Paso…

Although Morini prices have risen over the past few years, they still represent a much more affordable way into classic Italian ownership than Ducati or Laverda and are much rarer than a Moto Guzzi.


1983 Moto Morini 500 R Side

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo for Sale


1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo R Fairing

A one-year-wonder, the Suzuki XN85 Turbo was an odd, stop-gap bike that Suzuki all but denies and, just a few years later, Suzuki set the sportbiking world on it’s ear with their GSX-R750.  That bike was a nearly perfect distillation of racing technology in a reliable, streetable package.  The XN85 was nearly the opposite: a quirky, unconventional machine, albeit with the same sporting mission: while other manufacturers’ turbo bikes were pitched towards the sport-touring or “gentleman’s express” end of the biking spectrum, the XN was a no compromise sports machine, with clip-ons, rearset pegs, and a monoshock rear: this was one of the first uses of the “Suzuki Full Floater” system that would feature on other bikes in their range.

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo L Engine Low

The name came from the factory horsepower figures for the force-fed 673cc four-cylinder: 85hp.  While the bike lacked horsepower compared to its rivals, it made up for that shortfall with exemplary handling.

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo Dash


Information is pretty minimal in the original eBay listing: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo for Sale.

You’re looking at a Suzuki XN85 Turbo motorcycle.  Only 1153 were made.  New muffler, new forks.  The bike originally came from Great Britain.  A really nice looking bike for its age.  Ask questions if needed.

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo L Engine

There’s not much time left on this auction, so move quickly if you have a hankering for some forced-induction exotica from the land of the rising sun.  Information about the XN is pretty scarce, with only about 1100 made and only 300 or so were imported to the US.  If you like the 80’s styling of funky turbo machines, the XN was definitely the handler of the bunch.  The downside, given the bike’s rarity, is that parts may be less available.


1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo R Rear

1983 Ducati 900S2 for Sale with ZERO MILES

1983 Ducati 900S2 R Side

Well this is something unusual.  A 1983 Ducati 900S2 that’s never been titled? Zero miles?  Never had gas in the tank?!  Who actually buys a road-burning Italian exotic, then immediately decides to tuck it away for the next thirty years?  Not me, but I’m glad someone does, so we have things like this to post.

The 900S2 was, excepting the Mike Hailwood “Mille”, the ultimate and final incarnation of the venerable half-fairing v-twin superbike.  Obviously, by 1983, the bevel-drive Ducatis were getting very long in the tooth, but funds were not there to develop a worthy replacement, so the process of development continued in an effort to keep pace with competing machines.

1983 Ducati 900S2 L Engine

Interestingly, these bikes did not have side-stands, only center-stands.  On earlier bikes, a folding handle was fitted to the left muffler carrier.  This machine has the later design, a simple loop in the carrier to aid in deploying the stand.  The fairing came from Ducati’s Pantah.

1983 Ducati 900S2 Dash

Really, the design was a compromise, a parts-bin special designed to offer something new and keep the wolves at bay.

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Ducati 900S2 for Sale



FRAME NO. – DM860SS092767

ENGINE NO. – DM860 095995










1983 Ducati 900S2 Tank

This is obviously a collector bike, not one to ride: it’d likely need significant work before it’d run well, and you’d destroy the whole “zero miles” thing immediately.  To me, it’s a curiosity, but collectors do dig on bikes like this that are perfectly preserved, not over-restored or resto-modded into something that appeals to more modern expectations for rideability and reliability: warts and all are preserved.

Or would be if, you know: you were actually going to ride it.

While at the time, the 900S2 was a last grasp at relevance for an obsolete sporting bike from a small, struggling manufacturer, it represents the nearly final incarnation of the iconic Ducati bevel-drive v-twin now.  I’m curious to see how this time-warp example will stack up against more classic 900SS styled machines when the dust settles.


1983 Ducati 900S2 R Engine

1983 Benelli 900 Sei for Sale

1983 Benelli 900 Sei Front

It’s really been raining Benelli the past couple weeks!  This week, there’s a very solid, but slightly neglected 1983 Benelli 900 Sei for sale in New Jersey.  The 900 was a development of the 750 Sei introduced in 1972 as a flagship model for Benelli, a sophisticated tour de force of engineering and style, a classic “gentleman’s express” of a motorcycle intended to show that Benelli could compete with the Japanese manufacturers.

The 750cc six-cylinder motor was supposedly heavily influenced by Honda’s CB550 four cylinder engine, with two cylinders grafted on to create the first road-going inline six motorcycle.  In 1979, displacement increased to 906cc and the single over head cam engine made 80hp.  While this wasn’t world-shattering performance at the time, the multi was extremely smooth with a wide powerband.

1983 Benelli 900 Sei L rear

Note the interesting duplex chain intended to handle the displacement/power increase of the larger motor.

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Benelli 900 Sei

This bike has not been driven in almost 20 years. Was running when I stopped driving it. I did not plan to stop driving it, and did not drain the carbs. It would need work to get it back to it’s former glory. It’s been siting in the back of a dry place and has little rust. This bike sounds like no other,I lent it to a friend once and had to chase him down for days and he left his new bike with me. It sounds that good. The bikes has a small rip in the fairing and the carbs need work so i am selling this as a non running bike. I’m sure in can be fixed, but if I fixed it I would drive it and I would be rite back on it again.

1983 Benelli 900 Sei Dash

There’s not much information here, and the seller refers to the bike as a “Sci” which doesn’t do much to increase buyer confidence.  With bidding still below $4,000, this might be a great way to pick one of these up at a bargain price, but anyone getting into a six-cylinder Italian exotic should be prepared to spend money putting a bike like this right.

With luck, a simple carburetor rebuild should get this classic machine back on the road.


1983 Benelli 900 Sei R Engine