Tagged: track bike

Last of the Air-Cooled Racers: 1972 Yamaha TD-3 for Sale

1972 Yamaha TD3 L Rear
Racebikes tend to have an unmistakably spare aesthetic, a mechanical pragmatism sadly hidden behind often garishly-painted plastics. And the endless march of progress sees older machines facing obsolescence continually updated, evolving to meet the threat of newer, faster machines. That’s the case with this 1972 TD-3, the last of Yamaha’s air-cooled, two-stroke production racebikes before the TZ series was introduced.  Yamaha actually pulled their factory 250cc World Championship machines out of competition after 1969, but the smaller machines were well supported by incentives and popular among privateer racers.

1972 Yamaha TD3 L Front Fairing

The TD-3 replaced, naturally, the TD-2 as Yamaha’s production 250cc racebike. Introduced in 1971, the bike featured a new dry clutch, lightweight frame, and six-speed gearbox. Slightly less oversquare bore and stroke of 54mm x 54mm matched the 247cc of the previous bike, with revised inlet and transfer ports to increase power. Producing almost 50hp, with just 231lbs dry to drag around, the TD-3 was plenty quick, with a top speed of over 140mph, depending on gearing and, of course, the rider’s weight…

1972 Yamaha TD3 Tank

From the original eBay listing: 1972 Yamaha TD-3 for Sale

This is a 1971 or 1972 Yamaha TD-3. The production racer years of production were not very accurate, but the TD-3 replaced the TD-2 in Motorcycle Grand Prix racing in 1971. By 1973, the TZ came out, which was a TD-3 with liquid cooling. This is a beautiful race bike which I raced for about 10 years. From about 1997 to 2006. I won the WERA Mid-Atlantic Championship with this bike in 2002. I have the trophy as proof! After 2002, work got in the way of racing and I could only participate in 3-4 races a year, so I was not able to garner enough points to be a contender, but the bike was very competitive. In 2006 I started the season, I only did a pre-race practice at Summit Point and decided to hang up my leathers. I had gained too much weight so that I did not fit comfortably in my leathers and was too heavy for a 250 class bike anyway. But, I had prepared the bike for the season in 2006 with new race compound Avons and I had put in next size new pistons and had lowered the ratios with a slightly smaller pinion as I felt that I was not getting enough power out of slow turns and my top speed was as high or higher than the Honda 4-stroke 350cc twins that were the main competition. Note: This was and probably still is a WERA Vintage 2 class race bike. The motor has chrome cylinders and the rebuild consists of installing the next size pistons and rings. I have a new pair of pistons and rings for the next size which I will include. A set of pistons and rings for this bike probably go for a pretty penny these days, if you can find them. This bike was racing relatively recently, so there have been class legal improvements made that the original race bikes did not have. It has a Penton PVL magneto ignition system which replaced the original Hitachi system, which I think I still have laying around. The bike does not need a battery. It has Works Performance rear shocks and an Italian Laverda SF front drum brake (Super Freno or Super Brake in English) and additional frame gusseting (to stiffen it) compared to the original. You will see a “MyLaps” lap timing transponder on the left fork leg which I think can be assigned to a new racer. The TD-3 has a dry clutch which you can see in the photos and a new set of friction discs were installed in 2006 and are unused except for a practice lap. As with most racers, the oil pump has been removed and it runs on mix. I have always used Silkolene Castorene. It will need a carburetor cleaning as the mix in the bowls will have varnished up, but it is out of the box ready to race. I have notes regarding jetting and the last jetting was for high humidity summer racing in the Mid Atlantic region. It has been stored in a dry trailer. 

 Mileage is unknown but an estimate is 10 laps at 3 miles for 6 average races a year = 1,800 miles plus practice = 2,500.
1972 Yamaha TD3 Engine
No display piece this, I only wish the seller had bothered to roll it out of his box trailer to take some nicer pictures! But even lurking in its cage, this little beast is obviously in good cosmetic condition and in excellent mechanical condition, with some upgrades that aren’t period-correct but should increase performance and reliability: the CDI ignition fitted to the TD-3 caused detonation problems when the bike was new, but this machine has a different setup. And that Laverda front brake is pretty state-of-the art, at least in terms of drum brake technology, and should provide impressive stopping power for this lightweight machine.

1972 Yamaha TD3 Front Wheel

While it is sad to see consumables being… consumed, it’s also great to see machines designed for racing actually being raced, instead of hidden away in garages. Racing a vintage motorcycle is obviously more about the sense of community and history than outright speed, since there are much cheaper ways to go fast. But if you’re looking to spend some time on track and like to tinker, a machine like this could be a lot of fun.

-tad

1972 Yamaha TD3 On Track

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

Little Nipper: 1977 Honda MT125R Race Bike for Sale

1977 Honda MT125R R Side

When you’re looking to go racing, it’s easy to lust after exotic, high-performance machinery. But most of us need to think in terms of real-world practicality and consider things like “tires” and “maintenance” and that’s where bikes like this Honda MT125R fit in. Simple and cheap, it wasn’t the fastest thing out there when new, but was designed for competition and was easy to keep running.

1977 Honda MT125R Cockpit

Built for just two years, from 1977 to 1978, the Honda MT125R was a two-stroke, production racer. Parts for this little 169 pound Frankenstein-ian Monster were largely derived from other production motorcycles in Honda’s stable, with just the frame and bodywork being unique to the MT125. The engine, notably, was from the proven and durable CR125 off-road model, making parts especially easy to come by.

1977 Honda MT125R R Tank

That little 123cc two-stroke, air-cooled single put 26bhp through a 6-speed gearbox. Interestingly, Honda did produce a liquid cooling kit that could be fitted to the bike, including a new cylinder and head, water pump, and accessories.

While 26hp is real power in such a featherweight bike, it’s all up at the top of the tach, and the bike required a brutal launch technique with screaming revs and lots of slip. First-generation bikes had a cable-operated front brake, although this one sensibly features a later hydraulic unit, here fitted with a braided line.

1977 Honda MT125R R Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Honda MT125R for Sale

Nice Honda MT125R classic racer. AHRMA Formula 125 eligible. All there, good compression. I have “dry” installed a Jerry Lodge hydraulic front brake conversion (uses a early 2000 Yamaha DT125r or TTr125 caliper and master). The fairing is a bit cracked here and there but I installed it for illustration and it would protect the bike if it is shipped. You can get new from Airtech etc..

This looks more like a bike for someone interesting in vintage racing, not simply collecting, as the bike does feature some practical upgrades and is not in absolutely perfect condition. Bidding is almost ridiculously low at just $1,225, a screaming deal for all the track-day fun you’d have with this little nipper.

-tad

1977 Honda MT125R L Side

Big Green Race Bike: 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Racer

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Race Bike R Side

Up today is a very beautiful and functional Moto Guzzi V7 Sport race bike that’s seen some success on track in recent years. There’ve been quite a few vintage racers coming up for sale recently, but none that had me as excited as this one. I’m surprised I’ve never actually seen a vintage race Guzzi at the events I’ve attended, considering the variety of marques generally represented. Maybe they just make such good roadbikes, owners can’t bear to convert them for track use…

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Race Bike L Side Front

In spite of the shaft drive, Guzzis are relatively light and handle very well, make good power, and are fundamentally very durable. This example features a wealth of race goodies, including a big-bore motor, straight-cut gearbox, and flat-slide carbs. It’s also safety wired up and is about as green as it’s possible for a bike to be, with hints of the red, Telaio Rosso-styled frame peeking out from underneath the vivid bodywork.

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Race Bike Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Racer for Sale

model year 1973
This is a bike very well known in Italy, it costed a fortune to build and was on podium, 2nd, at the 1997 Daytona classic series with a max speed of 256 kms/h!
Specs are massive: 980cc Scola engine, straight cut gearbox, Kehin CR carbs, ultrarare 38mm Marzocchi magnesium forks, steering head modifided to adjust the rake, etc.
Race and collect!
Bulletproof investment.
Bike is currently located in Italy, 33080 Roveredo in Piano (Pordenone) but i can get them delivered all around the World at cost, no problem.
We can supply US contact as reference.

If you don’t feel like doing the math on this one, 256kph is just a whisker under 160mph, a pretty serious turn of speed for an air-cooled, pushrod v-twin with a design from the 1960’s and barn-door aerodynamics, albeit updated with a bigger displacement.

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Race Bike Engine

There is plenty of time left on the auction, and the reserve has not yet been met. No surprise, considering how rare and nicely prepared this is. Obviously, the originality of the V7 Sport has been sort of destroyed, but it’s been transformed into something truly one-of-a-kind and would make a really cool vintage race bike if you’re not afraid to wreck something this singular, a great attention-grabber for shows, or the coolest living room decoration of all time.

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Race Bike Rear Wheel

It’s very easy to make fake V7 Sports, so if you’re looking at this as a collectable, make sure you do some homework before bidding. Fakes may look, feel, and perform like the originals, but don’t offer quite the same investment potential…

-tad

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Race Bike L Side

Vintage Race Bargain: 1969 Suzuki Hustler T250 Road Racer

1969 Suzuki T250 R Side

Well, it’s the dead of winter, and good bikes have been a little thin on the ground of late. Interestingly, some nice vintage track bikes like this Suzuki “Hustler” T250 have been popping up. Maybe racers just plan a bit further ahead than other motorcyclists, clearing out their garages in preparation for the upcoming season?

1969 Suzuki T250 Front

The T250 was launched in 1969 and, in spite of the “Hustler” name that conjures up images of supersonic Cold War bombers, isn’t really the most exotic model. But don’t let the workmanlike mission of the bike fool you into thinking this is some stamped-steel cheapie step up from a scooter: as was typical of Japanese motorcycles from the period, even this relatively basic motorcycle featured a pretty high-level of specification, with the world’s first production motorcycle six-speed transmission and automatic oil-injection for the air-cooled two-stroke.

1969 Suzuki T250 Engine Detail

That sweet six-speed allowed the rider to make good use of the narrow, stroker powerband and could push the 247cc bike to almost 100mph. Although the bike had little punch down low, it could pull smoothly through the lower part of the rev range until things got more exciting.

1969 Suzuki T250 Dash

This one has been converted to a racing machine which, although it seems an unlikely choice at first, makes plenty of sense upon reflection. These were raced when new with reasonable success when new, and the lower-specification and relatively unstressed nature of the motorcycle means less maintenance during the season. It may not be the fastest little thing on the track, but it should be reliable, and while “win-or-crash” riding can be great to watch on TV, it’s consistency that wins championships: you have to actually finish races to earn points…

1969 Suzuki T250 L Side Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1969 Suzuki T250 Road Racer for Sale

Suzuki T250 racer. Last raced MidOhio Vintage Days 2014. Bike runs great, has good power, shifts flawlessly and handles well. Tires not new, but still good for racing. Has been raced in Ahrma and WERA.  Not the fastest bike out there, but will hold its own. Also a great bike to start vintage racing. Selling due to old age, me not the bike. Time to move on to a more sedate hobby.  With slight modification to pipes Yamaha DG pipes will work.  Runs great as is never exceeds decibles allowed. Engine is basically stock, rotor windings have been removed and bike runs total loss. Battery is under the seat hump. Bump start only, but fires right off. Has not been raced alot, but has been to Daytona and Mid Ohio a couple of times. 

1969 Suzuki T250 Gauge

With just a couple days left on the auction, there are plenty of people watching this listing: a $1,500 Buy It Now seems like a steal for such a ready-to-go little machine. Not the most illustrious model, but it’s prepared for the track and in really great shape, considering it’s difficult to find any models from the 1960’s in this kind of condition.

And if you’re a road-only type of rider, I don’t think it’d be too hard to track down a charging system and some lights to return it to road use.

-tad

1969 Suzuki T250 L Side Front

Show or Go: 1972 Honda CL350 AHRMA Racebike for Sale

1972 Honda CL350 Race Bike on Track

While race and track bikes tend to be built with “go” rather than “show” in mind, even at the highest levels, vintage racing is sometimes a different story. While there are plenty of lashed-up, rattle-can bikes on the classic circuit, there are also some really nicely prepped machines that look like they’d be at home on a custom build show, and this Honda CL350 definitely has one foot in both of those worlds.

Honda’s CL350 was introduced in 1968 and, much like the new Ducati Scrambler, was meant more as a fun, versatile streetbike than a real offroad machine. Americans love their dirtbikes, so the CL350 sold very well at the time, and its basic reliability means there are plenty of nice ones still around. They’re rugged, make decent power, and have a very classic look, making them popular today in both stock form and as the basis for café-style rebuilds.

1972 Honda CL350 Race Bike L Rear

Powered by a 325cc parallel twin with a chain-driven overhead cam, the CL350 put out about 33hp in stock trim. But there was plenty more to be had and the engine was both lightweight and very tough, with much of the bike’s overall weight coming from heavy-duty offroad-capable parts. This means that there’s plenty of weight to lose when building a dedicated streetbike or a roadracer like we have here.

1972 Honda CL350 Race Bike Engine Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1972 Honda CL350 AHRMA Racebike for Sale

The bike was built to a very high standard using the best components and lots of Italian “bling.” It uses the preferred CL350 frame (reinforced) which like the Honda CB350 version – has competitive advantages compared to the SL350 model frame.  It was also remarkably reliable. No DNSs and no DNFs during its one full season of competition! Add fresh fuel, battery and rubber and you’re ready to go racing with a very competitive mount!

I also used this bike myself to pass AHRMA’s Fast and Safe road-racing school at NOLA. This is an excellent track day bike! Or – a unique exotic for the collector who wants a special bike with real race “cred” that was built to an aesthetic level rarely seen on racing machinery.

Would be a great conversation piece as a static display for any private collection, restaurant or coffee shop …but I would prefer that this bike is acquired by someone who plans to continue its distinguished racing career.

This is a special bike that goes as good as it looks. Draws a crowd wherever it appears!

This is an well-maintained machine. The assembly / paint was expertly done in 2013. Beyond that, it does have the honest patina of actual racing action. It will require new rubber and a fresh battery.

Frame

Honda CL350 (high pipe, street-bike) was selected as the basis for this build. The frame (merely spot-welded at the factory) was “fully” welded during our build. All joints, attachments, pressings, perimeters, etc. were completely welded together for maximum rigidity.  Extraneous brackets were removed.  The steering head bearings were replaced with tapered roller bearings (All-Balls).  Swing-arm is stock.  Paint is urethane single-stage (no clear coat).

Brakes

Front brake was extensively tweaked by Vintage Brake. They did all their magic turning, backplate service and brake shoe matching magic to build these serious binders.  Front has Ferodo shoes.  Rear is NOS Honda CL350.

Suspension

Many thanks to Race Tech for their help, support, design & guidance.  Front forks are 1981 35mm Yamaha 650 twin with Gold Valve emulators and 80kg/m fork springs.  SL350 Honda triple clamps are used for the (larger) 35mm fork size.  Rear shocks are custom, fully adjustable Race Tech shocks.  They did the math based on the build sheet dimensions and superbly constructed them. Steering damper by Shindy Daytona.

Engine

Most internal parts are from Bore-Tech.  Racing Cam is from Megacycle along with their valves springs & lighter retainers.  New guides were installed.  A big bore, high compression piston kit from Bore-Tech was installed.  Stock crank (roller bearings).  Cappellini needle bearing / overhead oiling / oil filter setup to eliminate running the hardened cam in plain aluminum carriers. Cappellini supplied the trick oil cooler as well.  Degreed the cam according to Megacycle specs. Ignition is electronic and run off the crank versus the cam end.  Stock Honda clutch and gearset.

1972 Honda CL350 Race Bike R Side

The “SL350” the seller mentions in the first paragraph was introduced in 1969 and used a heavier frame more in keeping with legitimate off-road riding, but that obviously makes it less suitable for a track bike. This example uses the lighter CL/CB frame intended for street duty. The smaller Honda twins are, in general, very popular in vintage roadracing: they’re rugged as all get-out and are still very affordable, with maintenance and tuning parts readily available. Although it is possible to spend ludicrous amounts of cash building one to this level, that’s not really necessary, and you can still have a blast on something less polished.

1972 Honda CL350 Race Bike Tank Detail

As you can see from the close-up shots, this is a beautifully-prepared bike and, although the $8,900 Buy It Now price is very high for a Honda CL350-based anything, it’s probably worth that, considering the fabrication and care that’s gone into this build. As is often the case, you’re left with a bit of dilemma: do you risk trashing something this nice on track?

-tad

1972 Honda CL350 Race Bike Engine Parts

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

Working Class SFC: 1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike for Sale

1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike R Front

If you’re looking for an involving way to go fast, or to determine the results of your mechanical tinkering in the crucible of racing, vintage race bikes like this Laverda 750SF would allow you to test your mettle against like-minded folks and provide you with access to a fraternity of biking enthusiasts who want to do more with their machines than polish them and argue about who has the most original tires…

1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike L Rear

Old Ducatis are great, but with even the most common bevel-drive models rapidly appreciating in value, they don’t leave much budget left over for tires, trailer, travel, and other expenses associated with racing. And I don’t think there are any old Tonti-framed Guzzi’s left: they’ve probably all been turned into café racers by Ton-Up Boys wannabes at this point, and genuine V7 Sports and LeMans are too valuable to thrash on a race track.

So where does that leave you, if you’re looking for vintage track action and want something a bit different?

1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike Dash

When new, Laverda’s 750cc parallel twin made an ideal endurance racing powerplant: with five main bearings and reliable German and Japanese ignition and electrical components, it was very durable, with a broad spread of useable power. Overbuilt in every regard, the complete bike was on the heavy side, but very stable at speed. Eventually superseded by the 1000cc triple, the SF’s have begun to increase in value in the last few years, but can still be had for much less than contemporary Ducatis.

There aren’t many shops that specialize in old Laverdas, but they’re fairly easy to work on and parts to keep them running are available.

1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike L Engine Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike for Sale

This is a Laverda 750 SF race bike up for auction that’s been in my collection for about two years.   According to the previous owner it was raced around 15 years ago. The fairing and windscreen were damaged when she fell over in the garage last year.  It will need a new battery and some gas to get it back on the road.  The gas in the tank and carbs were drained last year when I put her away.  The surface rust on the front disks is normal due to them being made cast iron. Once you get it on the road it will clean up. Front and back brakes work fine and are not stuck.  The exhaust is a genuine Laverda SFC system. The tank has a dent on the top side and could use some work.  This is a very cool bike that can be easily converted back to street use.  When I rode it last year it sounded very good and pulled very hard without any funky sounds or smoke coming from the engine.  Has Paoili clip-ons, a Telefix fork brace and steering damper.

1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike L Rear Wheel

This SF is not perfect or completely original, but that’s beside the point here. It would be perfect for someone looking to live out SFC fantasies for one-tenth of the cost and will certainly sound the part, with that SFC two-into-one exhaust. Even if I could afford a real SFC, I’d rather race, and possibly wreck, a bike like this and save the genuine article for well-heeled collectors.

An ideal choice for do-it-yourselfers looking for on-track excitement who want something a bit different than another run-of-the-mill Norton or Triumph twin.

-tad

1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike R No Fairing

Fast Classic: 1971Laverda SF Race Bike for Sale

1971 Laverda SF Racebike L Rear

Well two Laverdas in one week is cause for celebration, although these are at opposite ends of the spectrum. The previous SFC was a collector’s item, a racebike in road trim that might be too rare and special to use as nature and Laverda intended: by thrashing it to within an inch of its life on a racetrack. This one is a road bike that’s been heavily modified to match the performance of an original SFC.

1971 Laverda SF Racebike L Fairing Detail

Of the two, I personally find bikes like this one much more interesting. Obviously, the collectability is lower as is the price, which is perhaps part of the appeal. But it’s also really fascinating to see how someone’s perfect ideal motorcycle has been achieved, parts added, things removed.

This is a relatively period-correct replica that captures the spirit and performance of the real thing, but without all that “don’t crash an historic race motorcycle” distraction. Although even SF’s are pretty rare, so it’s basically impossible to avoid some heartache if you break this one too badly…

1971 Laverda SF Racebike L Side Detail

If you’re not familiar with the SFC, it was an homologation special built on Laverda’s SF “Super Freni” parallel twin that originally featured their powerful, proprietary drum front brake and later, a pair of discs. The SF was famous for its durability and the bike made an ideal foundation for the roadracing SFC. With only about 550 SFC’s built in several years of production, they are very rare and, although they came with lights, signals, and complete instrumentation, they make pretty uncomfortable road bikes.

1971 Laverda SF Racebike R Side Detail

From the very comprehensive original eBay listing: 1971 Laverda SF Roadracer for Sale

This bike was based on a 750 SF, assembled around eighteen years ago and casually raced at Loudon, NH twice and tested at a track day. Subsequent to this a family situation stopped my ability to campaign the bike and I just parked it to look at over the years. I am now downsizing and must sell my house and let go of items that I can no longer store, including the bike.

The frame was modified by removing all non-essential fittings and brackets. The whole bike weighs around 365 lbs which is amazing considering what it started off at. The headstock was cut and realigned to be perfect. I have a GMD Computrack frame analysis with the paperwork. It is painted in enamel in order to touch it up as needed as opposed to maintenance-poor powder coating.

The front fairing is based on a Ducati 750 SS. There is a crack on the lower right wing caused by an idiot house painter moving things around in my garage. I will be putting some clear 3M tape on this for now. I have a can of the paint used for the body work that I kept for potential repairs. There is also a small crack under the USCRA sticker.

The Laverda  tank is very similar to the production model but has smoother edges and is more attractive. The seat is a SFC replica.

The top end was all new with SFC cam, valves and guides. The work was done by Import Machine in Framingham, MA, about the best place around here for head and machine work. They have decades of experience with vintage and modern motorcycle and auto race work and has been the go to place for Porsche PCA members forever. A new chain and roller were also installed at the time as well as new pistons. The crank was found to be within original spec and was left unaltered except for cutting off the flywheel end. The carbs are 38mm Mikunis.

There’s much more over at the eBay listing. Often, I’m shocked at how little sellers include. I mean, a reprint of the bike’s history is probably pointless, but some notes about how long you’ve owned it, what’s been done to it, what’s been fixed, etc…

1971 Laverda SF Racebike Parts

That’s definitely not the case here: the seller is obviously very knowledgeable and, while this bike will need a bit of work to get it ready to run, you’re starting with something that’s very well-developed, with a ton of time and money invested in getting it right. Basically an entire vintage race bike set up including a ton of spares. Just add trailer.

-tad

1971 Laverda SF Racebike R 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