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Bimota DB 5 Prototype

1978 Laverda Jota America 1200 for Sale

Posted on September 24, 2012 by tad

I’m a huge fan of the Laverda twins and triples.  They’re weird, tough, handsome, and rare.  And usually very, very orange.  But not this one.

  Laverdas have an enviable reputation for durability and reliability.  Very few shops specialize in them, but the community is well known for a do-it-yourself mentality: the bikes are overbuilt and fairly simple to work on.

The biggest problem is finding one , but luckily, I’m here to help : see the original eBay listing.

The Laverda 3C was the three cylinder follow up to Laverda’s 750 SF twins.  Introduced in 1973, the bike displaced 981cc’s, made about 80hp and ran to 130mph.  Named for a Spanish dance, the Jota was basically a hot-rod version of the 3C developed in by Slater Laverda in England and introduced in 1976.  The original bikes used a 180 degree crank, with pistons oriented “one up, two down”.

  In 1982, the motor was given a 120 degree crank and the bike had a much smoother character as a result, but lost some of its hard edge.  The 1200cc was an evolution of the bike that moved even further away from its wild and wooly roots, but made it a better daily ride.

 A helpful clip of the bike running and riding by.

The original eBay listing suggests a knowledgeable seller: he mentions the desirable longer-throw clutch arm to ease the achingly stiff clutch pull and some upgraded braking from a BMW K1200…

Engine: Found to have high, even compression– did not even go inside. Runs strong. Engine was not removed during restoration, frame paint was shiny original. Fresh oil of course.  Miles are original.

  I’d suggest checking timing chain and valve tolerances before extended riding. 

Body/Frame: Fresh candy red paint over small gold metalflake, clearcoat. Fantastic finish– color was matched from the original paint on the bike. NOS stripes on top of clearcoat. New sidecover badges, restored tank badges.

I had to get the Jota America decals made, as they were not available. Seat is the original cover, has a tear pointed to; I could not justify replacing an original cover for that. Fenders are clean and straight. New Jota handlebars on 1″ risers. Magura grips.

It has a conversion kit for a japanese sidestand. The oem stand was crap. This kit required the cutting of the centerstand foot nub; worth it to get a good sidestand. New grab rail. Gorgeous bike.

Transmission: Shifts great. It’s on the right, brake’s on the left. I installed the longer clutch engagement arm for a real difference in ease of clutch pull. New clutch cable.

Sprockets and chain cleaned and lubed, in super condition.

Carbs: Rebuilt with complete kits. New throttle cable. New fuel lines.  New filter and airbox.

Exhaust: New stainless steel pipes and mufflers. Collector box very solid, just painted it.

Gauges, Controls: Both gauges work perfectly. New Venhill cables.

Brakes: Rebuilt front and rear master cylinders. Original Brembo rotors are thick and true. Rebuilt rear caliper. Front calipers are more modern 4 piston calipers taken off a running K1200LT– why not?

Pads are all good. Custom stainless steel brakelines, all three lines, with stainless steel fittings.

Suspension: Cerriani forks have new seals and fluid- straight and clean. Rear piggyback Marzocchi shocks work as lovely as they look.

Wheels: I did not even paint the wheels, the finish was fine. Greased the hubs, new tubes and Kenda tires. Sourced a replacement speedo drive.

Electrical: Has the later, better coils. Strong spark, new plugs. Has a BMW gel battery, older, but they last a while. Has a battery tender terminal.  New reproduction turn signals, new stems.

New Voxbell horns- best sounding horn, to my ears. All lights and switches work as they should.

Honestly, I prefer my Laverdas bright orange, but this candy apple red on this bike is very vivid and evocative.  It’s a gorgeous bike in impressive shape, although that price makes one pause, considering it’s not one of the early, ferocious 1000cc bikes.  As rarely as Laverda triples come along, this one is worth a serious look.


1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport for Sale

Posted on September 20, 2012 by tad

The V7 Sport was the beginning of Moto Guzzi’s long-lived line of racy big-twin bikes, using an innovative frame to combine the ultra-low center of gravity of the sporting singles and the thumping big twin of the V700.  Reducing the bore slightly to reduce the displacement from 757cc to 748cc, bumping compression, and tuning led to 52hp, measured at the wheel.

From the original eBay listing: 1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport for Sale

This bike I bought from Moe at Cycle garden November of 2010. This Guzzi was from his private collection! Cycle Garden did a full restoration on this bike in 1998.

At which time a big bore kit was installed which bumps it up to a 955cc, together with a LMIII style camshaft makes this motorcycle much tourqier and faster then the original!

The motor was rebuilt 2002 and now has 6,000 miles on it. Right before I bought it from Moe he had repainted the tank and side covers with BASF paint and 30 clearcoats! It looks like a new bike!

This model is setup with early european style brake and shifter. *Shifter on right side and rear brake on left.

Since I have owned this masterpiece of a motorcycle, I have replaced the headers and crossover pipes with new OEM parts! Both carburaters have been rebuilt ,gas tank flushed,cleaned petcocks,replaced fuel hoses,retorqued heads and adjusted valves. I added new rubber fuel tank bumpers and installed rear tank holddown strap.

New rubber bumpers were installed under seat as well.

Bimota DB 5 Prototype

He also provides a nice video of the bike starting from cold.

This is one of the earlier bikes produced, although not one of the cast-from-pure-unobtainum Teliao Rosso bikes that featured higher-spec components and sand-cast engine parts.  Later V7 Sports featured a twin-disc brake set up at the front, but this has the very handsome and reportedly effective drum brake of the earlier machines.

Interestingly, the last time I wrote about one of these, a commenter called me out on part of my article, saying that the V-twin drivetrain had never been used in a military tractor as I’d described at all.

Luckily, another commenter came to my rescue, posting that he was quite sure the “three-wheeled mule” existed: he’d ridden [driven?] one while stationed in Italy.

A very cool way to be validated, but I was pretty sure I was correct already: page 8 in my copy of Mick Walker’s Illustrated Moto Guzzi Buyer’s Guide shows a very nice image of the thing.

Actually, this particular image:

And here’s a page featuring some slightly awkward English, but very cool information and photos of the ugly little thing in action.

Whatever its origin, the 90degree twin was clearly built to last and was developed into a successful sporting machine.  And if the motor came from a tractor, at least it was an Italian tractor…


I’m Your Turbo Lover: Kawasaki Z1R Turbo

Posted on September 19, 2012 by Buck

“Then we race together. We can ride forever. Wrapped in horse-power, driving into fury. Changing gear I pull you tighter to me.”  Is it just me or does it sound like Rob Halford was singing about the Kawasaki Z1r Turbo from 1978?

I have only known about these bikes for about two years which seems like a disservice to me. I mean, shouldn’t somebody tell you these bikes exist when you buy your first bike or something? Maybe it’s the fact that I was born in the early 70′s and played Atari 64′s but there is something so perfect about the paint, turbo, 1000cc’s, the classic wheels and the squarish body work.

 This is not a perfect museum piece so maybe somebody can afford it.

1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo for sale on eBay

Here’s what the seller has to say.

Have you ever had a 550 lbs bike do a power wheelie. Me neither. Maybe this bike would let you sign that off your bucket list. If you’ve read any of my previous posts you may remember I own a 1977 KZ1000.

My bike is very quick and I’ve had people on modern 1000cc bikes say they were wide open to keep up with me. The Z1r Turbo has 10 more horse power, a little more torque and does the 1/4 mile almost a whole second faster. Well, that’s according to the stock specs of both bikes.

Kawasaki wisely added a dual disk set up to the front of the bike to help you stop all that weight and power. For me, this is one of the top ten Japanese bikes of the 1970′s. I can’t be alone in that thought because these bikes catch a hefty price tag. I have seen numbers in the $30,000 range.

Maybe this will be low enough for you to scoop it up, yes, you.

Bimota DB 5 Prototype
Bimota DB 5 Prototype
Bimota DB 5 Prototype

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