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Finally a super sports bike that fits more into my budget...

Unfortunately (for me) due to the number of design patents it infringes, both Ducati in the body and Honda in the engine, it can only be sold in China.
For a moment, I wondered where that "500RR" came from. If only they could innovate as well as they emulate.
 

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Tanker Clown
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Discussion Starter · #982 ·


ZRX1200R. Made from 2001 to 2005 these were a modern interpretation of the classic UJM of the 1980s. Always wanted one, never had room for one. Not in my garage and not in my budget.

As the used market goes, the value of these is climbing. Not that I’d buy one for an investment but if you want one, seek one out now before they become really collectible.

There have been a couple on Bay Area CL in the last few weeks in varying degrees of condition. A close to mint one with fairly low mileage sold in the mid $6Ks. Currently, there is a low mileage, cosmetically challenged example for just $3900 in the North Bay.
 
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In full Lawson regalia. Big. Heavy. Powerful. It could have benefited from USDs and better shocks, but...
 

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Tanker Clown
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Discussion Starter · #984 ·
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Vehicle brake


1995 GSXR 750. If you find yourself wondering why this makes it to the BOD for today, I’ll attempt to explain.

Two things to know up front. 1st, the 1995 GSXR 750 ad copy from Suzuki boasted of “Over 40 Improvements” with a picture of a bike with the same paint job as this pic. 2nd, this was the last year for this architecture.

In 1996, the SRAD GSXRs came along. Completely new frame and engine. So much for the “Over 40 Improvements” advertising.

Compared to the others in this generation of GSXRs it was in fact lighter and more powerful than either of the previous 2 model years. And that’s kinda the thing with this “tweener” generation. They were only around for 1993,94 and 95.

The 1993 bikes were the first of the water cooled bikes. Thing is, all Suzuki did to make that happen was to add a water cooled cylinder head to the same basic oil boiler engine that came before it.

The frame is recognizably different as the upper frame rails have a beveled upper edge. All but identical in appearance to the upper frame rail on a 2nd gen SV. Otherwise it is still the same double cradle affair as every GSXR since 1985.

Essentially every part could be swapped over to any other year GSXR, and most engine parts could be swapped over on to any Katana or Bandit of the era up to the mid Y2Ks.

except of course for the water cooling stuff. Even that stuff lived on in the RF600 and 900s.
 

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Tanker Clown
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Discussion Starter · #985 ·


1999 Laverda Formula 750 SF.
Just before being sold to Aprilia in 2001, Laverda got in on the modern (for the time) Sporting twin game. What started life as a liquid cooled 668cc parallel twin in 1996 was bored & stroked to 747cc in 1997.

The liquid cooled 750 Formula engine made around 92 hp @ 7500 rpm. In comparison to the 748, it’s only competition in the 750cc twin category it didn’t do poorly. The main drawbacks being its weight, and archaic engine architecture.

Curb weight was 445 lbs while the engine was decidedly old tech by the mid 1990s. Its original design was from the 1960s and displaced 500cc as an air-cooled parallel twin that powered the Laverda Alpino from the 1970s.

The original Laverda company went bankrupt in 1980s and this era bike is oft referred to as “Zanè” Laverda by the purists. This (at least to me) is a down the nose barb to point out the fact that it was built after the Laverda family had left the building.

After being rescued from bankruptcy for the third time the Laverda company was henceforth labeled I.Mo.La. SpA. A new factory, a new strategy and direction was needed. The company was moved to a new, smaller facility 6 miles away in Zanè. Using the previously developed Nico Bakker frame with an updated 668cc twin, a new Sportbike was built to enter the market.

The frame was a masterpiece but it was mated to an outdated engine. Even punching it out to 747ccs wasn’t enough. Laverda added liquid cooling and fuel injection too but it literally took the factory race tuning the engines to make the 92 hp it needed to be competitive.

Don’t be fooled by the gold anodizing, the suspension is Paioli rather than Öhlins. Not that it’s a bad thing. Combined with the stellar frame it made for sweet handling. A common praise given to the Formula. Brembo brakes were top shelf as fitted to all Ducatis and Aprilias of the same era.

I got to check the bike out, in person at Laguna Seca in 1998. Laverda had a full display area complete with test rides and all. One thing I’ll say up front is, the bike looks amazing in person. But that’s as far as it goes.

Lots of rough edges give the game away. The sound from the carbon Termis is awesome. The clatter from under the fairing less so. Just swinging a leg over and settling in to the seat feels weird. Not that the seating position is more or less comfortable than a Ducati Superbike.

It’s a weird feeling I guess. A seat of the pants thing that says to you, this thing isn’t what it appears to be. As you take in all of details you begin to notice a lack of quality control in places you wouldn’t normally notice such things.

Like paint blemishes where the wouldn’t and shouldn’t be such things. Then fidgety gimmicky things like the fuel filler under the solo tail piece. Why is the faux tank shaped so square where it meets the rider? It’s just an airbox cover and could be shaped as ergonomically as desired.

Then there was the asking price. As I recall, Laverda was asking the equivalent of a 996 for one them or damn close to it. $16K is the figure that sticks in my mind and it was $16K flat. I think at the time a base model 996 was $17.5K
 
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Border Kong
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It is also weird that it has the chain on the opposite side to the one that is normally found on the chain of 99% of motorcycles...
 
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It is also weird that it has the chain on the opposite side to the one that is normally found on the chain of 99% of motorcycles...
That's how some old school makers did it. I have an ancient Yamaha 305 twin with the chain on the right. The Laverda, as I recall, was a 180º twin and thus sounded blatty. The 500 Zeta was the genesis of this, I believe.
 

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Tanker Clown
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Discussion Starter · #988 ·


Aprilia Mille SP. Only made for one year, these are fairly rare. If you’re a long time member and are thinking “That looks just like your Mille R” you’d not be wrong.

The differences are both subtle and stark at the same time. The paint is all but identical. Look closer you’ll note that the Brembo calipers are red rather than the gold lines of the later “R” spec bikes. Also, the wheels are the 5 spoke Brembo cast wheels rather than the trick forged alloy OZ wheels that came stock on the “R”

If you look really close you’ll see the swing arm pivot has a replaceable plate which allows for an adjustable pivot height using different plates to raise or lower the pivot point.

What you don’t see is the engine. A single plug head design from Cosworth. The “R” bikes and others that follows all have twin plug heads. The Cosworth design made more power at lower RPMs. As in more power than the twin plug head design made. Beginning at lower RPMs too.

Those differences aside, the rest is identical. As this was Aprilia’s homologato for entry into WSBK racing they only as many as were required for entry at that time. 150 is the figure that’s been stated in some corners of the interwebz. 500 is more in line with homologation rules at the time. Either way it’s a rare beast.
 
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street triple 675! which my friend just sold. man this thing sounded great, love that three cylinder. personally modern bikes are a bit too wide for my tastes, and from what my friend describe a huge pain in the ass to work on. that being said i've been lusting after daytonas recently...
 

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Tanker Clown
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Discussion Starter · #990 ·
The 675 is surprisingly narrow in the middle. Skinnier than most Twins. My Ducatis and Aprilia included
 
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a bike that i recently discovered and am obsessing over, honda's rc166! 250 cc, 6 cylinders, 18k redline, and soooooo ridiculously gorgeous






great lil article here that i'm stealing pictures from. other 6 cylinder bikes, honda's cbx, and the more modern bmw k1600.
 

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Moderating: Fair & Just
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A 250 with 6 cylinders? Those would have to be lawnmower size cylinders. o_O
 
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Any Lotto winner can buy an RC166. So, how about building your own, with a few engine changes?
 
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Tanker Clown
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Discussion Starter · #995 ·
Any Lotto winner can buy an RC166.
Yeah, nope. That was a Grand Prix machine in its day. It isn’t like Honda made a few thousand….or even a few hundred. They made a few…for the works team. There are only a handful in existence. I’ve heard one run, and seen it in person at Laguna Seca some years ago. Spine tingling is an apt response to how it sounds running.
A 250 with 6 cylinders? Those would have to be lawnmower size cylinders. o_O
As I remember reading, each piston was about the size of a quarter. The cylinder displacement was a little over 40ish ccs each….like 41.5 or something.
 

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Tanker Clown
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Discussion Starter · #996 ·
I know your post was about 6 cylinder bikes but in the realm of 1960s “screamers” (that 250 revved to 18,000 rpm!) that leaves out its 2 stable mates.

There was also a 5 cylinder 125 and 50cc twin (the world championship had both the tiddler class at the bottom of the displacement category as well as a 350cc class between the 250 & 500 class) both of which revved to an astonishing 21,000 rpm. In the 1960s! Harley, Triumph, BSA & Norton….even Vincent only revved to around 7,000 rpm before valves floated and/or springs broke.

You can read about them more here:
 
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I know your post was about 6 cylinder bikes but in the realm of 1960s “screamers” (that 250 revved to 18,000 rpm!) that leaves out its 2 stable mates.

There was also a 5 cylinder 125 and 50cc twin (the world championship had both the tiddler class at the bottom of the displacement category as well as a 350cc class between the 250 & 500 class) both of which revved to an astonishing 21,000 rpm. In the 1960s! Harley, Triumph, BSA & Norton….even Vincent only revved to around 7,000 rpm before valves floated and/or springs broke.

You can read about them more here:
oh my god, 5 cylinder 125 and 50cc twin, so freaking cool. can't believe they got those sort of rpms in the 60s, that's bonkers. what a great rabbit hole to dive into, thank you for sharing!
 
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