Tagged: racebike

Radical Racebike: 1975 Bimota YB1 350GP for Sale

1975 Bimota YB1 L Side

The Bimota YB1 wasn’t originally called the YB1 because it predated Bimota’s traditional naming conventions. Internally, it was known as the Yamaha-Bimota Gran Prix ’74, but later became known as the YB1, the very first Yamaha-engined Bimota. In fact, it was the very first series-production Bimota, if something built in numbers this small can be considered “production.” Powered by either the 250cc or 350cc version of the TZ’s liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine, just twelve of these distinctive and very fast little machines were built.

1975 Bimota YB1 R Side Naked

The bike’s racing success helped pave the way for Bimota’s later, more well-known racing and road bikes and helped to establish BiMoTa as a manufacturer. It’s quite literally possible that, without the YB1, there’d be no Bimota today at all and the face of motorcycling might look very different.

1975 Bimota YB1 R Side Front

Built between 1974 and 1975, the bike included Bimota’s signature racing touches: one-piece bodywork that allowed easy maintenance, a stiff and lightweight tubular frame, adjustable ergonomics, and even a clever eccentric chain adjuster.

1975 Bimota YB1 Tank

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Bimota YB1 350GP for Sale

VIN 12

This is an iconic superare YB1, the first race Bimota with Yamaha TZ competition engine. It was also the second Bimota race model ever built (the first was the unique Paton Bimota) and definitely the first “true” racing Bimota as this model was raced by important names as Lucchinelli, Riondato, Ceccotto, Gallina, etc. This frame was built to be fitted with both Yamaha options 250cc and 350cc, this one is a 350cc. Only 12 units were built making this model extremely rare, desiderable and collectable.

This bike was last paraded at the main Italian event in 2012, kept in collection completely dry since. The paddock stand in pics is coming with the bike.

Race, parade and collect!

1975 Bimota YB1 Engine

Another one from our new best friend “Gianluca” who always seems to have the very coolest bikes for sale! Bidding is up to just $4,550 with the reserve not met and several days left on the auction. I honestly don’t know what this little exotic really should be worth, but it’s one of just twelve built, looks wild, and as an early Bimota is certainly historically significant. The YB1 was available as a kit bike, and supposedly very few were sold with this distinctive bodywork, making this zero-mileage example even more of a unicorn, literally ground zero for the modern sportbike.

-tad

1975 Bimota YB1 R Side

Perfect Recreation: 1961 Norton Manx Replica for Sale

1961 Norton Manx Replica R Front

For many vintage motorcycle enthusiasts, the Commando is what first springs to mind when you mention Norton. But while that bike was stunning to look at and fast, its design wasn’t really cutting-edge, even when new. For vintage racing fans however, the name Norton probably conjures up images of this bike, the Norton Manx, a bike whose technical specification set the standard for privateer racing in a career that spanned 20 years, an almost impossible-to-imagine longevity in a sport where last year’s bike isn’t a classic, it’s just slow.

1961 Norton Manx Replica R Side Rear

The single-cylinder engine came in two flavors: 500 and 350cc’s. Both used reliable and precise bevel drive and tower shafts to work the dual overhead cams. But while the engine was sophisticated and reasonably powerful, it was just part of the picture and far from the bike’s defining characteristic. Instead, it was the bike’s “featherbed” frame that was the standout feature. The innovative frame was lightweight, stiff, and featured a swingarm rear for excellent roadholding that allowed it to compete against much more powerful machines.

1961 Norton Manx Replica Dash

Christened the Featherbed frame by racer Harold Daniel who described the experience of racing the bike like “riding on a featherbed.” That’s obviously a far cry from the “riding on a bedframe” experience of most motorcycles built when motorcycle frame technology was still in its infancy. But amazingly, the Manx was still winning races almost ten years later…

1961 Norton Manx Replica L Side Engine

So the bikes were stone-axe reliable, nimble, and made decent power, making them hugely versatile tools for the wide variety of events held during that period. In fact, the folks at Molnar will still be happy to build you a perfect replica of the original Manx today, if you have the cash…

From the original eBay listing: 1961 Norton Manx Replica for Sale

I have for sale here a “new” Norton Manx Replica.  This bike was built in the image of a 1961 Manx.  The bike is a re-creation, built to modern standards.  I am relisting the motorcycle with lower Buy It Now and lower reserve.  It was previously listed as a 1962 Manx Replica but Andy Molnar pointed out the single-sided brake is proper for 1961 and earlier, not 1962.

The bike’s features are:

  • New, never run, Molnar Precision Limited 500 cc. DOHC motor.  I have a copy of the original build sheet.
  • Believed new Mick Hemmings Quaife 5 spd. transmission.
  • New Molnar Precision Lightweight beltdrive
  • New Featherbed frame produced by Andover Norton
  • Newly strung alloy wheels, built by Buchanan on proper period magnesium hubs, all new bearings/axles
  • New Ken McIntosh oil and fuel tanks
  • New tachometer 
  • New Amal GP carburetor and Matchbox floatbowl
  • New controls including levers, throttle, rearsets and all cables
  • New seat
  • New exhaust pipe and megaphone
  • Number plates are alloy, not plastic, and new
  • All new nuts and bolts, proper Manx rifle-drilled where appropriate.  The number plate and fender bolts are aerodynamic stainless from Racing Norton
  • Rebuilt, period correct Featherbed forks, new internals, new rear suspension units
  • New alloy fenders
  • New fairing and windscreen

This bike has recently been professionally completed and as noted, has not been run, in respect for its “new” condition.  The Molnar motor was factory equipped with a PVL electronic racing ignition hidden in the stock magneto housing, and initial timing was set at the factory.  (NOTE:  If you intend to purchase this motorcycle to race in a class that prohibits electronic ignitions, I do have a newly rebuilt Lucas magneto that is available separately.)

Andy Molnar is well aware of this motor and will be pleased to discuss it with a purchaser.  The initial cost of the motor is roughly half the Buy It Now price.

An individual purchasing this motorcycle to display will be pleased with the beauty of the bike and the quality of construction and the fact that there has never been petrol or oil in the tanks (I believe this makes international shipping easier as well).  A racer acquiring the bike to compete will need to safety-wire as required by sanctioning bodies.

1961 Norton Manx Replica Shifter

Keep in mind that, in this case, “replica” is underselling it a bit. Molnar makes what are basically recreations of the original Manx bikes, similar to “continuation” Cobras. They’re the real deal in every way, except that they weren’t built fifty years ago. In many ways, this is actually more desirable to anyone who wants to use the bike in anger, since they won’t be risking an irreplaceable piece of racing history and will get a very authentic experience racing one of the most perfectly designed and executed motorcycles of all time.

-tad

1961 Norton Manx Replica L Side

Collectible Racer: 1973 Yamaha TZ350A for Sale

1973 Yamaha TZ350 L Side

Jeez, as often as these TZ’s have been popping up of late, you’d think they were common or something… Yamaha’s TZ350’s were pure racing motorcycles and had no roadgoing derivatives directly related to them. Which is a shame: “race bikes for the road,” while often very narrowly-focused, lousy for roadtrips, and entirely lacking in passenger accommodations for that cute girl you met at the bar last night, can be terrific Sunday morning canyon-dance partners, allowing owners to get more use out of them than they otherwise might when restricted to track-only riding.

1973 Yamaha TZ350 R Front

The affordable TZ350A introduced water-cooling to Yamaha’s over-the-counter two-stroke parallel twin GP machine, and the bike evolved progressively through to the final TZ350H model. “A” versions like the one for sale this week featured a dual-shock rear end, although later versions changed to a monoshock rear suspension.

1973 Yamaha TZ350 Dash

The twin made a smoking 64bhp and at under 300lbs dry, these were competitive right out of the box, although they were bikes without a class here in the USA and generally were forced to run against larger machines.

1973 Yamaha TZ350 Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1973 Yamaha TZ350 for Sale

Up for auction is a piece of Yamaha, Daytona, and AMA racing history! This 1973 Yamaha TZ350A was ridden by rookie expert Jim Evans to third place in the 1973 Daytona 200 for sponsor/owner/tuner/dealer Mel Dinesen. (Don Emde had won the 200 outright for Dinesen the year prior aboard a Yamaha TR3.) This privateer TZ350 finished the 1973 200 behind World Champions Jarno Saarinen and Kel Carruthers on Yamaha factory team TZ350s in what was the first major race for Yamaha’s new water cooled TZ family of GP series production racing bikes. The new TZ350s outpaced and/or outlasted both four and two-stroke machines of up to 750cc in that year’s contest.

The late Stephen Wright found and restored this bike in the early-90s, before selling it into two successive private collections. Wright is well known as having been curator/chief restorer for Steve McQueen’s motorcycle collection, starting with work for McQueen’s Solar Productions in the 1960s, as well as for his excellent books on motorcycles and motorcycle racing in the United States. His restorations are extremely well-regarded. 

Condition:

This TZ350A has been in two private (climate controlled) collections since being found and restored by Stephen Wright in the early 1990s. In the interest of full disclosure, there is some minor shelf wear (a few paint chips and a scrape along the primary side of the fairing from a tie down buckle during shipping), the rubber band mount for the oil temp gauge is split, and the Goodyear racing slicks show some dry cracking on the sidewalls, as you would expect from age. That said, the bike remains very clean. The paint finish is excellent and the colors are sharp. Take a look at the photos to see for yourself. The nice thing about the bike is that the 20+ years since the restoration have given the bike just the right amount of patina. Overall, this bike is stunning and beautiful; people gravitate to it.

The bike was mechanically and cosmetically restored to full working order and correct appearance, then prepared for collector ownership (i.e. all fluids were drained and the engine was fogged). Any attempt to run the machine should follow a full recommissioning. The brakes, clutch, and throttle all operate as they should.  

1973 Yamaha TZ350 L Rear

There are four days left on the auction, with bidding north of $15,000 and the Reserve Not Met. This is in absolutely gorgeous condition, considering it’s basically an ex-race bike. There are a few minor scrapes that, to me, don’t detract at all. And while discs are generally better and more reliable means for stopping, that huge front drum and drilled rear hub are beautifully sculptural.

It’s obviously not in ready-to-run shape, so if you’re looking for a bike to ride in AHRMA events, you’re better off looking elsewhere. If you’re looking for a beautiful collector’s item that has been properly prepared for a life on display, this could be your bike.

-tad

1973 Yamaha TZ350 R Side

Vintage Racer:1960 Moto Parilla 250 for Sale

1960 Moto Parilla 250 L Front

From one of our readers comes this very nice racebike, a 1960 Parilla 250 that’s also posted up on Orange County’s Craigslist. There isn’t much information in the listing, but there are some good photos that should give a good idea of what you’re in for.

I’m not a Parilla expert, but this looks like this one’s powered by their “high-cam” 250 that made approximately 26hp and was built for the US. Most countries settled for 175 or 200cc models, but here in the land of “bigger-is-better”, we got an extra large 250cc helping, which came with a side of fries and a large soda.

1960 Moto Parilla 250 R Front

Although it looks like an overhead-cam engine at a glance, it’s not: the chain-driven cam operates the valves via short pushrods you can see on the left side of the engine, where they’re protected by corrugated rubber boots. This configuration allowed the little pushrod motor to rev pretty high and made maintenance easier, since the head could be removed without disturbing the ignition timing.

1960 Moto Parilla 250 L High

Giovanni Parrilla [yes, there is a second “r” in his name] reportedly started the company on a bet, sitting around with his pals complaining about the current state of the Italian racing machinery, “Oh, so you think you could do better?” And he did. After studying the Norton Manx, he built his own single in 1946 and was very successful in racing until Japanese two-strokes dominated the class in the 1960’s, although the company sold bikes in the US as late as 1967.

1960 Moto Parilla 250 L Side

These are pretty rare in the US, and are very collectible. This one appears to be in excellent shape and it looks like a runner, but a bit of history would be helpful. Parts can be scarce for these, but the community surrounding Parilla is close-knit and should be able to help.

-tad

1960 Moto Parilla 250 R Rear

 

1975 Honda CR750 Yoshimura LeMans Endurance Racer for Sale

1975 Honda CB LeMans R Side

We say “one of a kind” perhaps a bit too often: it’s become hyperbole, like Guitar Center’s “once in a lifetime” events that happen bi-weekly.  But this stunning machine may really deserve the “once in a lifetime opportunity” tag.

1975 Honda CB LeMans L Engine

Designed for a racing effort that never materialized, the bike was built to amazingly high spec starting with a factory CB750, fitted with all the Honda racing hardware available at the time, then tucked away for safe keeping.  The specification is stunning: aluminum tank and seat, handbuilt oil tank, Ceriani forks and triple trees, Dresda swingarm, Koni shocks, magnesium wheels.  Basically, almost every single part of this bike is valuable or rare, and the sum is even more valuable.

1975 Honda CB LeMans Dash

Be sure to visit eBay and read the extremely detailed history of this bike.  An excerpt from the original listing: 1975 Honda CR750 Yoshimura LeMans Endurance Racer for Sale

Preserved and Dry Stored in Art Collection for 37 Years, Custom-built to Endurance Race the 24 Hours of Lemans and Bol d’Or, Multitude of Rare and Weapons Grade Period Parts, National Show Winner with 1st in Class at Mid-Ohio 2012, Recently Acquired by CB750 expert, Original Title

Racing machines are rarely preserved as new, having never seen the track they were destined for. They are built as a means to an end, a utility, and used as such. They are beaten up, repaired, rebuilt, reskinned. Only a few become truly sought after, the ones that made history through their victories. Ford GT40s, Ferrari Testarossas, Porsche 908s. The Honda CR750 was also one of those machines. And this example has been preserved almost exactly as it was built in 1975, believed to have only ever been ridden a few test miles.

1975 Honda CB LeMans Oil Tank

The collector who owned this bike for the last 37 years related to us that it was professionally built in 1975 from the frame-up by Yoshimura North, with no expense spared. It is believed that it was built on commission for a privateer race team that wanted to compete in the Bol d’Or 24 endurance race in France, as well as the Lemans 24 hour race. But the team’s efforts never materialized and the bike never went to Europe. Instead, the bike was immediately purchased by the aforementioned collector and drained of all its fluids. It went directly into his extensive art collection and was stored in his living room as a prized piece for the next 3 decades.

1975 Honda CB LeMans R Engine Above

I’ve no idea what something like this is really worth, but I think it’s safe to say that the bidding should to much higher than the current $7,400.  Definitely a collector, not a rider, but who’d want to risk wrecking a bike so rare anyway?  It seems a shame to condemn something so clearly bred to race to another few decades in someone’s living room, but it also seems a shame to risk smashing this perfect specimen to bits on road or track.

-tad

1975 Honda CB LeMans Yoshi Plate