Spring Aprilia Update

The weather here in the Pacific Northwest has been exceptionally wet, for the second year in a row I might add. So opportunities to get the bikes out has been few and far between early in the season. I did get the Aprilia out for a great ride on my regular loop south of Corvallis where I grew up. I went with Blake who recently picked up an old Katana 600. We had a blast running the RS and Katana up through the revs repeatedly on the back roads. And I confess: It’s so addictive hearing the little 2 stroker scream on these sweet pipes!

But of course the fun had to come to end as we got back into town. The bike started sputtering and losing power, and finally died all together. I waited about 10 minutes and the bike re-fired, but was noticeably down on power. I was able to get it back into the garage and started crawling through the AF1 Aprilia Forum for RS250’s. Sounded like changing out the plugs was the right place to start.

I chose to upgrade to the NGK Iridium version of the stock plug recommended by forum members as a preferred street solution to help prevent fouling. The new plugs feature a different top connector than the standard plugs though and I ended up having to change out the plug wire ends.

This is where I give a shout out to Fred’s Honda of Corvallis, who spent the time to look through the books to find the unusual plug wire ends that fit the fatter connector that is not usually found on wires for motorcycles. After searching the catalog, they found a snow mobile application that is basically exactly like the unit I needed, but with additional length on the rubber boots at either end for water proofing. I was impressed that they were happy to take the extra time help me get the right parts that were only going to cost $6 in the end. Good service is hard to find and I’ll be back — often!

Unfortunately the new plugs and wire ends did not solve the problem. Lots of smoke out of one pipe and no smoke on the other. So time to start going backwards from the wire…

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A Dream Realized: 1995 Aprilia RS250 Chesterfield Replica in My Garage!

When I first started getting into bikes in the early 90’s, i did a lot of research. It’s in my nature really and no wonder I love the internet so much! But before the internet, I went to the Corvallis Public Library and Linn-Benton Community College Library, which both had great collections of motorcycle magazines. I spent many afternoons reading them. After my thorough analysis (with no seat time) I really wanted a Yamaha FZR400 or an Aprilia RS250. They both had the performance and look I wanted, and I had rationalized that they’d be great first bikes. But to my dismay the 250 wasn’t being imported and the 400’s were very hard to locate as most of the public wanted the more powerful FZR600. But I figured at least they were available. Today the FZR400’s are coveted for their aluminum frames, more pure sporting mission, and performance in amateur racing classes that made them nearly as fast as the 600’s; all of which I knew then and was a large part of why I wanted one — they were special!

I ended up with a ratty FZR600 as it’s what I could afford at the time though. Here’s my original blog post on that bike at an early age riding to Sonomafest with Paul from the Willamette Valley to Bay Area.

Sonomafest really opened our eyes to the amazing talent that road racers possessed. Being able to witness their skill at speed, up close and personal, was really inspiring. We started to follow the top road racing series around the world, and in particular would watch the 250GP class on rented VCR videos. The star of that series was Max Biaggi and he rode the Chesterfield sponsored bike from Aprilia.

Watching Biaggi’s battles and victories only fueled the impossible lust that grew for the factory replica Aprilia RS250 that bears his race livery. But I never really thought I’d have an opportunity to have one considering they weren’t being imported. Here’s a picture of the race replica offered by Aprilia in 1995. I took this picture at the Barber Motorsport Museum:

Aprilia RS250 Chesterfield 2 stroke

Back to Sonomafest, it is one of my favorite road trip memories because we were essentially broke, had no proper gear, but made the trip anyway with great success as two wide-eyed enthusiasts joined up with what felt like thousands of our soon-to-be peers.

As we were staging up for the parade lap of Sears Point that was included with our Cycle World ‘Sonomofest’ ticket package, a guy pulled up next to me on an Aprilia Chesterfield replica — and it even had plates, which certainly added to the excitement of seeing an example like this that was legal-ish to ride on the street! The guy probably thought I was nuts as I practically fell running over to him, motioning to him that I wanted to talk. I tried to ask him how you get an RS250 into the states and get it plated. You could tell he had been asked this a million times, but he wasn’t giving up any secrets today and rode off.

Ever since I’ve been watching the ads. And sure enough, every now and again over the years, I would spot an RS250 that was for sale. Not often, but the more that surfaced, the more intent I became on watching the entire web to spot these rare opportunities.

After getting my job as a Web Services Manager in 2005, I started this personal blog that you are reading right now. And on occasion I started to blog car and bike classifieds I found from time to time that I found interesting and wanted to share. {sorry most of the images are broken on these ancient links!}

In some part, the RS250 and bikes like it, is what made me want to start Rare Sport Bikes For Sale and German Cars For Sale Blog.

Skip to 2008 and I actually blogged this exact bike when it came up for sale last time: http://raresportbikesforsale.com/1995-aprilia-rs250-chesterfied-replica/ Later I would find out that it was actually owned by an old childhood friend of mine, who is a part owner of SpeedyMoto. He invited me over to look at it and explained that he couldn’t actually go through with the sale. It was his wife’s bike and she got it from a family friend that went through considerable expense importing it into New York from Holland.

But on Tuesday last week he emailed that it was again available and asked if I could help list the bike on RSBFS. I said of course I can, but before we do that, I’M INTERESTED!

We quickly settled on a price and the bike is now in my garage with the Ducati 750SS. Now that I’ve been up close with the bike, it’ll be a 7/10 cosmetically when it gets cleaned up. Long story short, it needs some serious time on the buffer. They used it as a backup track day bike and occasional Sunday rider. It’s great mechanically, probably 9/10. Not to mention it came with crazy spares too. Like a full race body kit, a piston rebuild kit, and a factory decal kit that will allow me to restore the factory body work to new when I’m ready some day.

Luckily the day we went to get it in Portland, it was an amazing 60 degrees outside in January. That’s unheard of but it made for an amazingly awesome test ride in the sun. It makes about 60hp at the rear wheel and weighs in at 308lbs dry. The gearing is very aggressive right now and as Paul said, first gear is silly. There is next to no power below 6k, but then it starts moving and showing some grunt as the revs climb. When you hit 8k the real magic happens and in an instant another 20-30hp kicks in. It screams to the 12k redline immediately as it tries to lift the front end up — and I’m no lightweight myself! A very special experience was realized this day, and one not soon to be forgotten.

Since I read those magazine articles, it only took 16 years to get what I thought I’d never put my hands on. And this is going to sound corny but it probably wouldn’t have happened if RSBFS wasn’t created. The reach, connections, and friendships that the site enjoys has helped me to share what has completely exceeded my expectations and I feel very fortunate.

A quick shout out to SpeeyMoto and Christian Hanson. Thanks for the call!

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A Visit to the Barber Motorsports Museum: Sportbike Nirvana

If you should find yourself even within 500 miles of Birmingham, make an effort to get to Barber Motorsports Park. In addition to hosting the likes of AMA Superbike, NHRA drag racing, Grand-Am road racing, WERA, and two vintage weekends, they also feature a museum of rare sport bikes. The on site museum is packed with sport motorcycles; and they’re all perfect. Either ultra-low mile originals or beautifully restored examples. Many of the 20-40 year old examples had as few as 10 miles on them!

Paul and I recently made the trip to Birmingham to see our close friend Ed for his birthday in Duluth. On the way out of the airport towards Atlanta, I remarked to Paul that we should find out where the Barber Motorsports Park was in Alabama and see if we could fit that into our trip on the way back. 10 minutes later, we saw the billboard for the ‘next right, Barber Motorsports Park’. We looked at each other and noted that we would definitely make sure to hit the museum on the way back. Then we checked out the website. It boasts over 1000 motorcycles on display. I knew the collection was impressive, but I had no idea it was going to seriously rival the collection I saw at Hockenheim.

And as I eluded to, the collection didn’t disappoint. The entire facility is gorgeous and the place is spotless. Every bike on display is of significance and was almost always in perfect condition. We stopped by on a Monday in late February and nearly had the entire 5 floors to ourselves. To say the least, it was a totally orgasmic sportbike experience.

Here are my standouts, shot with a simple point and shoot digicam. Had I planned a little better, I would’ve known the racetrack was just outside our airport and packed the DSLR. Something tells me we’ll be back sooner than later though, and I’ll have the chance to redeem myself. In the meantime, check out the collection in the Flickr Group Pool for Barber Motorsports Park, which features beautiful hi-res pics of the museum and recent races.

Here’s a perfect example of the bike I rode in college: 1989 Yamaha FZR600, in this exact paint and graphics scheme. Mine was never in this condition, but it was super cool to spot it in the collection for sure. I can brag that a bike I used to own is on display!
Yamaha FZR600

An Aprilia RS250 Chesterfield replica. The bike I’ve always wanted and for some stupid reason didn’t buy when it came up for sale last year.
Aprilia RS250 Chesterfield 2 stroke

Upon spotting this awesome Honda CB-X, Paul’s first comment was, “I wonder how much those hard bags go for on eBay?!” I was dying with laughter!
Honda CB-X

And a little corner of the museum I’d like to refer to as my personal corner of sportbike porn heaven: A Ducati SS, an NC30, an RC30, an original Katana, AND a Yamaha FZR750RR OW01!
Birthday Trip to Georgia Feb 2009 103

And here’s the complete photo album of our visit to the Barber Vintage Museum:

$15 was never better spent, that’s for sure! If you should find yourself anywhere near this part of the world, and have ever had curious itch or a serious addiction, to sporting motorcycles, this is a must do.

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Check out Paul’s Garage Blog for more Barber Vintage Museum coverage!

Late December Summary Post of German Cars and Rare Sportbikes For Sale

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year, here are the entries for the end of December:

1990 Honda VFR750R RC30 For Sale in Rochester 1990 Honda VFR750R RC30 For Sale in Rochester – The title and registration, combined with the the obvious care and thoughtful upgrades, make this bike a standout. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one listed for sale in recent memory. What do you guys think of the $16k asking?
An RVF400 and VFR400 For Sale in the Bay Area An RVF400 and VFR400 For Sale in the Bay Area – Naturally the VFR400 with original looking bodywork would be my pick. Too bad it doesn’t have registration. The RVF400 is probably the cooler bike mechanically, but restored plastics would be at the top of my list. But with a title and registration, and an asking of only $3k, it’d be a great rider while you tried to determine if it was going to be a track bike or light restoration for the street.
Honda NSR250 MC18 For Sale Honda NSR250 MC18 For Sale – With no title, this great little bike will be attractive to collectors and track day enthusiasts. As a track day bike, do you pick something like this or a new Aprilia RS125? I sat on the latter this past weekend at the Seattle International Motorcycle Show, it’s amazing how beautiful it is in person…
1988 BMW M3 w/ 38k Miles Back on eBay 1988 BMW M3 w/ 38k Miles Back on eBay – in my previous post, I guessed that the winning bid would be around $25k. Considering brand new M cars are apparently immune to the sales slump, do you think this legendary M car will find a buyer this time?
2001 Ducati MH900e Mike Hailwood Evoluzione 2001 Ducati MH900e Mike Hailwood Evoluzione – The seller has it listed with a $13.9k buy-it-now shown. Having covered only a few thousand miles, this looks like a great buy considering brand new Sport Classics go for about this much!
1995 Aprilia RS250 Chesterfied Replica 1995 Aprilia RS250 Chesterfied Replica – Oh man… I’m very tempted to get myself the best xmas present ever and buy this before the auction ends in a few hours. It’s even titled and street legal. It’s only a couple hours away and I’ve taken all of next week off… But I probably won’t though, so I’m posting it here in case someone else can snag it.
1998 Bimota SB6R For Sale on eBay 1998 Bimota SB6R For Sale on eBay – For a buyer with some skills or connections to a good technician, this could be a steal. Current bid is around $7k. What do you think it’s worth once it’s running properly?
Stunning 1991 Porsche 928 GT For Sale with 5 Speed Stunning 1991 Porsche 928 GT For Sale with 5 Speed – I’m a big fan of the 928 anyway, but in this color, trim, and with the 5 speed, I think this looks like a great example. Current bid is just under $14k (no reserve auction) and 8 days to go. I’ll update after auction for the final sale price.
1993 Ducati Superbike 888 SPO: Just In Time For Christmas 1993 Ducati Superbike 888 SPO: Just In Time For Christmas – The only other Ducati’s of this vintage and price range that I would consider would be a 748, or a Superlight. And even in that company, I think the 888 is the bike of choice.
1998 Suzuki RGV 250 SP Lucky Strike Replica in Washington 1998 Suzuki RGV 250 SP Lucky Strike Replica in Washington – This bike looks incredible, but the only problem is the asking price. It’s $16k! It does have very low miles and a title, but this is an outrageous premium considering the market and other examples of the Lucky Strike replica’s that we’ve posted on this blog.
1988 BMW e28 M5: Possible Project Car? 1988 BMW e28 M5: Possible Project Car? – Obviously this one has a lot more miles than most cars I post on here. And I don’t know what showroom they’ve been hanging out in, but this car clearly isn’t that condition. Despite the fact that this car could’ve really benefited from a detail before shooting pics, the car looks complete and pretty good shape. If the motor was sound, this could be a pretty cool project car considering the asking. Which way would you go: fix it up as a nice driver or maybe enjoy as a weekend track toy?

We Stop By The Seattle International Motorcycle Show

Saturday morning, Paul, Scott, and I bombed up I-5 to catch the Seattle International Motorcycle show. It was a cool show with most manufacturers represented and lots of bikes to sit on, which is what makes these shows so much fun to attend! Here’s the raw and unsorted pictures from the show:

My pick of the show is fantastic Aprilia RS125. At only 280lbs, it’s light as a feather and makes my Ducati at 380lbs feel a bit chunky! Too bad the 125 isn’t street legal though…

Here’s a review of the RS125 on Motorcycle-USA.com

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Week In Review from GermanCarsForSaleBlog and RareSportBikesForSale

A short week since I was on the road with sporadic internet. But the rest of the week was pretty good! Check out these beauties:


Thanks for reading, and if you have an outstanding German Car For Sale or a Rare Sportbike, I’d love to list your ad for free! Just drop me an email.

Thanks!

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Announcing the MotoringBlogs Automotive and Motorcycling Blog Network

First I want to say how much fun I’ve had bringing readers at dancrouchblog.com the diamonds in the rough over the past 4 years. I have really enjoyed connecting with like minded enthusiasts and I look forward to making that experience even more meaningful moving ahead.

Now it is time to take my career more seriously, and that means making a transition from passive enthusiast to eventual full-time automotive and motorcycling, web and blogging specialist. I’m a bit premature in the announcement of this plan, but I want to keep dancrouchblog.com readers in the loop!

The most immediate and visible change is that I am splitting the topics that are most popular at dancrouchblog.com into their own blogs: German Cars For Sale Blog and Rare SportBikes For Sale. If you’re a fan of dancrouchblog.com, you’ll love these two blogs! They both follow the familiar “best of for sale” listings and resource guides you’re used to at this site, but both have much nicer .rss and email subscription options than I have utilized before. I hope you’ll consider subscribing. If not, don’t worry, I’ll still be highlighting these new blogs on dancrouchblog.com on a regular basis.

These two blogs are the first to be part of my new automotive blog network, MotoringBlogs. My hope for the network is two fold:

  1. Provide greater focus and detail to the automotive and motorcycling niche that the enthusiast searches for. The ability to provide more than a highlight reel or summary of information, and instead cater to the intense and educated enthusiast with detailed and opinionated editorial blog content.
  2. Build a network of authors, websites, and enthusiast readers that grow together to gain access and knowledge via an entertaining and informative blogging style to address sports cars, motorcycles, amateur motorsports, and the latest in breaking industry news.

The MotoringBlogs concept is in it’s infancy, but will grow quickly. More details will follow in the coming months. I will of course keep dancrouchblog.com readers informed first!

I hope you’ll find MotorBlogs to be an even better resource than dancrouchblog.com has been and I welcome your feedback in the comments below.

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2001 Aprilia RS250 For Sale: Oh Lawd, the Temptation!

I spotted this Aprilia RS250 on eBay (Update 12.30.07: Relisted. Update 1.13.2008: 1 bid of $8k, reserve not met.) this morning and it’s for sale right here in Oregon down in Medford. And it already has plates! Considering how difficult it is to title gray market machines, having this one plated and only 3 hours away is going to drive me crazy! (In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m a fan of the RS250 Aprilia.)

Aprilia RS250 For SaleAprilia RS250 Gray MarketAprilia For Sale Oregon

Starting bid is $8k with no bidders yet and 2 days to go. Time to check my stocking to see if there’s $8-10k hiding in the bottom 🙂

Update 12.27.07: Here’s another RS250 for sale on eBay:

Update 1.13.2008: Winning bid on this was only $7300!

1995 Aprilia RS250 on eBay, buy-it-now for $8500

Aprilia RS250 1995 For Sale1995 Aprilia RS250 For SaleAprillia RS250 For Sale

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