No Reserve: 1957 NSU Prima III Scooter

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This 1957 NSU Prima III was purchased from the collection of well known scooter restorers Tom and Anna Giordano. NSU began producing the Innocenti Lambretta under license beginning in 1950, then introduced the Prima as their own design in 1956. This Prima III was originally equipped with a 146cc engine but has been bored out to the 175cc displacement of the higher priced Prima V. It has been restored both cosmetically and mechanically using many NOS parts acquired by the Giordanos from a former NSU dealer, and remains in good condition.

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The scooter is in nice cosmetic condition with fresh paint in a period appropriate pastel green. The trim was restored with a combination of polished original parts and NOS pieces where available. Some of the trim between the two rear side panels is missing but there are no other significant flaws in the bodywork.

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The clock and speedometer have been restored. The scooter is equipped with an electric starter and all lights are in working order.

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The dual bicycle style seats for the rider and pillion passenger are in very good condition. The grab handle for the back seat rider is still in the protective plastic wrap.

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The frame was also cleaned and repainted as part of the restoration, as were the wheels. New tires were fitted.

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The mechanical components of the scooter were all refurbished, with the following work performed:

  • Fully rebuilt engine
  • Transmission disassembled with any worn parts replaced as needed
  • Rebuilt carburetor
  • Fuel tank cleaned out and new fuel lines installed
  • All cables replaced
  • Brake system rebuilt
  • Suspension rebuilt

The engine is a 175cc unit that starts easily and runs well, and with all the mechanical systems refreshed the scooter is said to ride nicely.

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The scooter is sold with a Washington state title. These German built NSU scooters are an interesting alternative to the more common Vespa and Lambretta scooters of the era. This example has been nicely restored with good attention to detail and is being offered at no reserve.

No Reserve: 1962 Sears Puch Compact D50 Scooter

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This 1962 Sears Puch Compact Scooter is an early model that has been preserved in near-original condition with 707 miles on the odometer. The scooter is unrestored in bright white with red seat and trim, and features its original 60cc two-stroke engine and three-speed transmission. Sears began carrying Puch scooters in 1961, and though these models can be confused with Sears Allstate brand scooters, they do not have Allstate badges or decals. The owner reports that this Puch starts on the first kick and runs well. The scooter recently received new fluids and is sold on a bill of sale.

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The seller rode the scooter during the Bikes & Blues Festival in Silver City, New Mexico in late May, and says it attracted just as much attention as the big Harleys. The seller notes he had the scooter up to 35 mph, but slowed when he remembered the tires and tubes are 54 years old.

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The paint, decals, seat cover and foam, rubber floorboard mats, chrome trim, and tires are all said to be original.

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Headlight, brake light, speedometer, and horn are said to work. Note the vintage Sears logo on the back of the seat.

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Although the scooter has been stored in a garage, some surface rust and paint damage are evident, particularly on the chain guard and the edges of the floorboards.

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The engine is a one-cylinder 2-stroke unit with a 3-speed gearbox. When new, the engine produced 3.9hp and was said to get 100mpg. It was reportedly capable of speeds up to 42 mph. Because these models were sold as a “50”, it was not subject to registration requirements, and therefore has never been titled. The seller believes the true displacement is 60cc.

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The VDO speedometer and odometer are said to function, and the imperfection in the speedo lens is actually an old spider web. Chrome trim surround shows light pitting.

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The model number can be seen on the plate above. The seller recently serviced the scooter by changing the transmission fluid, lubricating cables, and cleaning the fuel tank. He notes that the tires show no dry rot and were retained for originality, but should be replaced before the scooter is driven further. A set of believed original tools are marked as Made in Austria and can be viewed in the gallery below. They fit in a storage compartment under the seat and are included the sale.

1951 Ardie B-251

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This 1951 Ardie B-251 is an uncommonly seen two-seater runabout manufactured in Nuremburg during Germany’s post-WWII recovery period. An older refurbishment was reportedly carried out by an American expat in Germany, from whom the seller purchased it while stationed there. The motorcycle was then shipped to the US in 2010, where it has been stored under cover in a garage for the ensuing six years. The engine starts and runs but will need some attention as detailed below. Documentation includes parts invoices and the original owner’s purchase paperwork from Ardie-Werk A.G., and an Ohio title is included.

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Black paint still shines well overall but exhibits signs of wear including a handful of chips and a one-inch scratch on the fuel tank, and would likely benefit from a good polish. Pagusa seats, grips, fork bellows and other rubber items appear to be in good shape. A period rack and rearview mirror have been fitted, and chrome spoked wheels wear Metzlers with substantial tread remaining.

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Chrome is presentable but shows light pitting throughout, and the normally chrome headlight bezel has been painted black. Age-related patina is visible on badging, fork braces and other aluminum parts. The painted steel double-cradle frame appears largely devoid of corrosion in photos.

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Power comes from a 245cc two-stroke single which was last started and run in 2015 – starting is via a kick pedal and the motor runs on a 1:25 oil to fuel mixture. The carburetor will need to be cleaned, a tuneup performed and the battery replaced according to the seller. Peak power came at 5000 rpm and at just under 300 pounds, the B251 was supposedly capable of nearly 60mph when in good tune.

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A four-speed manual gearbox is mounted inside the ribbed engine case and sends approximately 10.5 horsepower to the chain-driven rear wheel. Drum brakes are fitted at both ends and suspension is via a standard telescoping fork in front and Jurisch-type plunger in the rear. The bike’s last service was in Germany when it was still being used regularly.

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After six years of storage the bike is being sold to help with a move to New Mexico for medical school. A handful of German service records are included in the sale, along with period technical manuals and the bike’s original German title.

No Reserve: 2003 Ducati Monster 1000 S

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This 2003 Ducati Monster 1000 Si.e. has covered just 2500 miles from new and is described as a garage queen in a relatively rare color scheme. Its seller purchased it in 2005 with less than 200 miles, then sold it to his best friend – it then passed through the hands of another mutual friend before eventually coming back in trade. Modifications are limited to a Corbin seat and Remus exhaust, and service records are included. The condition is described as excellent detailed as detailed in the gallery below, and the sale includes a clean New York title.

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Initially designed for 1993 by Miguel Galluzzi, the Monster helped usher in the popular “naked street bike” category and cosmetics remain largely unchanged today. This example features a relatively uncommon metallic grey with red three-spoked Marchessini lightweight wheels – its tank, frame, running gear and fasteners appear very clean and retain factory decals.

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Up top, a Corbin leather seat was installed by a previous owner – wide bars and adjustable control levers were standard. Few signs of use are present besides a deep scratch in the face of the 11,000rpm tach.

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The air-cooled 992cc desmodromic-valved twin was a new iteration for 2003. The Dual Spark injected motor provided roughly 84 horsepower in stock form and a fat torque curve to propel a 415-pound dry weight.

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Remus carbon fiber high pipes are the only other aftermarket addition and sound great according to the seller. Overall performance is described as near factory specification.

The video above shows a brief walkaround and demonstrates the engine being started up and how the Remus pipes sound when the bike is revved.

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Power is fed through a six-speed transmission to the chain-driven rear wheel mounted in a double-sided aluminum swingarm.

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Twin Brembo four-piston calipers with 320 mm discs provide stopping power, and the fully adjustable Showa fork and single-shock rear suspension work in concert with frame geometry designed for confident handling.

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Reportedly always maintained according to time increments rather than mileage, the bike’s last service was in fall 2015 and records are included.

No Reserve: 1990 Honda GB500 Tourist Trophy

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This 1990 Honda GB500 Tourist Trophy is a nicely preserved example of Honda’s tribute to the Isle of Man TT and has just 3,361 miles on the odometer. Imported to the US officially for just two years, these aircooled singles sold in limited numbers and predicted the rise of retro-styled bikes on the market today. This example remains factory-correct, has always been stored in a heated garage, and recently had its carburetor rebuilt. The bike comes with a clean Indiana title in the seller’s name.

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These large bore singles were meant to resemble Manx Norton and other single cylinder race bikes from the 1960s. The engine is derived from the 600cc unit used in the XL600 dirt bike, and appears largely similar, though with polished cases and a street bike-appropriate exhaust. The side panels on the GB500 were metal, rather than plastic as often used on bikes of this period.

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Honda dubbed the paintwork Black-Green, and from most angles appears black. Up close the green and metallic elements of the paint can be seen. Gold pinstriping and silver lettering show well, with no wear-through in the areas around the tank or the rider’s knees.

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Seat vinyl appears to be in good condition, and while the rear clamshell on the seat is removable the area beneath is too heavily sloped for 2-up riding. The seller collects cars and bikes and previously sold his 1952 BMW R68 on BaT last year.

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Instruments consist of a speedo and tach with a quintet of warning lights; four in the tach face and a side stand warning light below the speedometer. Metal, plastic and glass components all show well. 3,361 miles are shown on the 5-place odometer, and per the seller the bike has only been ridden about 25 miles in the eight years they’ve owned it.

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The engine is a 498cc single with split exhaust ports and four valves, and was good for a claimed 33 horsepower and similar torque when new. The seller’s mechanic recently rebuilt the round-slide carburetor and states the bike rode well on his test ride.

1966 BMW R50/2 and Duna Sidecar

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This 1966 BMW R50/2 motorcycle is a numbers-matching bike designed from the factory for sidecar use with sidecar mounting points built into the frame and an Earles fork. The seller purchased the BMW approximately 10 years ago and rode it for several years before sourcing a compatible Duna sidecar. He sent the sidecar to Wayne Carini’s F40 Motorsports for restoration and had it painted to match the BMW. Shortly after the restoration was completed the seller was involved in a serious accident on another motorcycle and hasn’t ridden since. The motorcycle and sidecar combo were never ridden, and four years later the seller has opted to sell so the next owner can enjoy them.

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The bike was restored prior to the seller’s purchase and remains in excellent cosmetic condition. The black paint is very nice with only minor patina and the dual Pagusa solo seats provide a great look. The chrome is in good shape with some minor wear around the speedometer trim ring.

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The sidecar is a Hungarian built Duna model from the early 1960s. The bodywork is aluminum for light weight and features distinctive “rocket-nose” styling. The bodywork and seat was restored to a high standard and remains in as-restored condition, having been in indoor storage since the work was done. While the sidecar is currently mounted to the bike the seller recommends it be taken to an expert before riding, as careful alignment is needed to keep the bike and sidecar stable.

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The 500 CC BMW flat twin is original to the bike, with matching numbers on the motor casing, frame, and data plate. The fuel tank is believed to be original as well. While the bike hasn’t been ridden in the past four years the seller runs it on a regular basis to prevent the fuel system from deteriorating due to lack of use.

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The bike shows 40k miles on the odometer, though there is no way to verify that the mileage is correct.

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The bike is sold with a bill of sale and the Connecticut registration, as the state doesn’t issue titles for vehicles more than 20 years old. The sidecar is attached but not set up or aligned for road use. The bike runs well but the combo will need some adjustment to be safe and usable.

I liked it so much I Bought my Own!

Limited resources are commonplace in today’s economy, and our new house in Oak Park, IL also has limited space to put bikes.  Since moving there, I’ve decided to add another bike to my stable, but in agreement with my wife who really didn’t want to look out the window at too many two-wheeled critters, I decided that one had to go.  I had “loved” the Ducati ST2 and ridden the heck out of it over the last 11 months, but I never “fell in love” with it.  I didn’t have a lot of remorse about parting with the bike — now it was time to choose what to replace it with.

The 86 LeMans that I’d looked at last year was still for sale, even cheaper.  My checkbook was out.  Too many subject matter experts said that it was in need of too much work.  Between that and the 2500 miles’ distance, I took a pass.  I looked at SPs, G5s, a couple of gorgeous T3s.  There was an incredibly low-mileage Quota in Joplin. There was a beautiful 1000s.  I was going to get a Guzzi.  Just didn’t know which one.

My spanking new 1200 Sport
My spanking new 1200 Sport

Jim Barron at Rose Farm Classics chimed in.  “Why don’t you buy a new one and start a relationship with something that nobody else has ridden first?” he thoughtfully pitched.  I know Jim wanted to sell me a bike, and he knew which one it was that I had spotted over the espresso machine in his showroom. I trust Jim, but, well, he’s there to sell bikes, too.

I started doing the math. A Guzzi has a two-year warranty.  My financial outlay on a new bike will be minimal.  I already have my “vintage” Guzzi, which isn’t a money-pit but does require a lot of maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape.  Guzzi’s don’t depreciate much, so, if I buy it right, I won’t be out much in three years or so if I want to sell it then.  So I’m already sold.  Jim knew it before I did. Continue reading I liked it so much I Bought my Own!

Moto Guzzi Breva 1200 Sport — 1000 plus miles, back to the factory!

This is the ninth in a series of posts about the Moto Guzzi Breva 1200 Sport. The previous posting is here.

Nine Days, 1080 miles

After nine days and more than 1000 miles, I possess a really good idea of what it’s like to live with the Breva 1200 Sport.  I’ve previously given reasons for why someone might want to purchase it, but I’d also like to give my observations with respect to what worked for me and how my riding style altered as I reeled in the miles.

1000 miles in less than 10 days, you're going to get some bugs!
1000 miles in less than 10 days, you

Not a “lean off” bike

On my Ducati ST2, I practice “lean off” turns from time to time as I ride it through some of the more aggressive stretches of roads in my area.  I know these roads well and remember their eccentricities to the point that I can work on my technique.  The big ST2 seat allows for movement of the rider around the bike. 

The Breva’s seat locked me in place.  Lean-offs were complex, and I found that I didn’t like the way that I upset the bike’s stance as I employed this technique.  For me, I made much quicker time by adopting a more “Hailwood” approach, keeping my body smooth and silent through the twisties.

The Breva “wants” to be ridden in it’s own way.  It’s good to know “how” a bike rides to decide if your “personalities” fit. I enjoy the diversity and investigation of different riding styles, so I don’t really have a dog in this hunt — but if you enjoy more focused techniques, I hope this helps you decide if the Breva 1200 Sport is for you.

Brakes and suspension tweaks really make it better

It makes a difference to adjust the brake/clutch levers to your style and hand size. Tweaking the suspension to your style/weight and road conditions makes the Breva a joy to ride.  Spending time reading the manual will make your ride happier.   Continue reading Moto Guzzi Breva 1200 Sport — 1000 plus miles, back to the factory!

Back to Motorcycling Part 4 — 25,000 miles in 9 months

This is the final installment of the series of getting back into motorcycling.  For Part 3 can be found here. Part 2 can be found here, and Part 1 is here.

 

I’ve never done anything half-way.  When I started riding I really wanted to get proficient, safe and comfortable with it as soon as possible. As I began racking up miles under my bikes I found that it gave me pleasures and satisfaction that I had never received in any car.  The complete isolation from the outside world while being immediately in it presented a contrast that I never had driving a cage, where the radio was blaring, the air conditioning was on, the phone would ring, or my passengers would be talking to me.  

The bike gives me the sensations without insulation.  Riding through farmlands I can smell the onions ready for harvest.  The smell of brakes alert me to big trucks ahead on downhill grades.  The vibration of the engine and the road feedback tells me what my machine is doing at any given time.  Where a car is insulated, the forces of cornering, braking, etc., more violent, everything on the motorcycle is there, and movement is smooth and flows with the physics of your motions and body. Continue reading Back to Motorcycling Part 4 — 25,000 miles in 9 months

Back to Motorcycling Part 2 – The Nicest People Ride a Honda, but the Most Eclectic People Ride a Moto Guzzi!

This is the second in a series of articles about getting back into riding after a long hiatus. Part 1 of the series can be found here.

Moto Guzzi

There are a couple of reasons that I will positively own a Moto Guzzi, some practical, some whimsical, and a final emotional reason – Officer Floyd “Skip” Fink of the Arizona Department of 72 Moto Guzzi EldoradoPublic Safety. Skip Fink patrolled in the Globe-Miami area when I was a kid. He and his partner, Russ Fifer, used to ride their big Guzzi Eldorados all over town, and visited my Father’s Restaurant/Hotel almost every day for lunch or dinner.

I made sure I was there when they pulled up. Floyd would wrestle with me, tell me about his job and treat me like a little brother (I had bruises to prove it). I always had the utmost respect for him, and it influenced my opinion of law enforcement for my entire life. Big Guzzis were exotic anywhere, even though a quite a few law enforcement organizations used them. The general public at that time was enamored of the Honda 750 and later the even larger-displacement Kawasakis. I don’t think that anyone in my small town even knew that Italians made motorcycles, yet here they were; big, fast and tank-like. All style and a stamp of approval from Law Enforcement officials that were practically family. Continue reading Back to Motorcycling Part 2 – The Nicest People Ride a Honda, but the Most Eclectic People Ride a Moto Guzzi!