The Ducati 125 Formula 3 bikes were born from Fabio Taglioni’s iconic 100-cc Gran Sport, a model that set the pattern for Ducati singles for the next 20 years. With its 100 cc SOHC bevel-drive single generated engine that produced 9 horsepower at 9,000 rpm with a top speed of 80 mph, the Gran Sport became the barometer for all other Ducati single bikes built in the 50’s.
One of the bikes that was born from this lineage is the Formula 3, or F3 for short. Whereas the Gran Sport carried 100 cc at its disposal, the F3’s powertrain was increased to a 125 cc SOHC Desmo single engine, a move that also resulted in a bump in horsepower to 12 ponies at 9,800 rpm and an increased top speed of 93 mph. The Desmodromic valve gear, which mechanically opened and closed the valves, was developed from the Mercedes-Benz technology they used on their straight-eight W196 Grand Prix cars. While Mercedes never used it in on its production cars at that time, Taglioni saw the opportunity to develop it for racing purposes.
Eventually, the Ducati F3 became available in different powertrain trims, including the 125 cc, the 175 cc, and the 250 cc. All these later models gained enclosed valve springs, with the larger bikes also carrying an improved twin-leading shoe Amadoro brake. Steering head angles and rear suspensions were also altered to improve handling while larger megaphone exhausts were fitted into the bike’s overall set-up.
The Ducati Formula 3 is a model that was developed exclusively for racing purposes with Ducati preparing them for private racers. The model that will be auctioned off is one of these examples: an original, unrestored F3 with a factory number plate fly screen, alloy wheel rims, Dell’Orto SS1 250 carburettor, Veglia competition tachometer, and an Aprilia headlight. Characteristic of its authenticity can be seen on the present patina on the bike, an irreplaceable quality that not only shows its age, but also its condition.
Expected auction price for the 125 F3 is around €20,000 - €30,000, which is around $26,000 - $39,000 based on current exchange rates. Rm Auctions will be taking the highest bid on May 11, 2012 in Monaco, so get those check books ready!
Classic Ducati bikes usually fetch a hefty price in an auction setting. And when you’re talking about classic Ducati’s, the 98 Sport belongs front and center on that list.
Built in 1953 to join the ranks of the Ducati 98 N and the Ducati 98 T OHV, the 98 Sport became an immediate success in the market, despite its modest performance capabilities. At the heart of the Ducati 98 Sport is a 98 cc OHV single cylinder engine that’s been mated to a four-speed transmission. The powertrain was capable of producing 6.8 horsepower with a top speed of 56 mph. Those numbers may not mean much compared to the bikes Ducati has in its line-up today, but back then, that was enough to make the 98 Sport one of the most popular bikes the company’s range.
One of the 98 Sport bikes will be up for auction by RM Auctions on May 11, 2012 with a price range of €3,500-€4,500, which is around $4,500-$5,800 based on current exchange rates. The auction model comes fully restored with a silver and black two-tone paint finish to go with chrome and alloy rims.
The Ducati Cucciolo 48 has a history that not a lot of bicycles in the world can stake claim to. Launched just after World War II, the Cucciolo 48 became an overnight success with Ducati selling over 200,000 models before 1950.
Back then, the Cucciolo 48 became the definition of the a high-end, powered-bicycle that no other in its class could compete with. Not only did it come with a classic design that included a dark red paint, chrome finish, and a sprung front fork, the Cucciolo was also powered by a 48 cc OHV single cylinder engine that came with a two-speed transmission and could handle 20 mph while traveling 180 miles on a full tank of fuel.
You won’t see a whole lot of these bikes on the road these days, but one in particular is set to go on auction in Monaco on May 11, 2012 at an expected bid price of around €2,500-€3,500, which is around $3,250-$4,500 based on current exchange rates.
As classic masterpieces go, the Ducati Cucciolo 48 belongs in that rarefied air.
The Honda CB450 Cafe Racer "Bonita Applebum" started its life as a 1971 Honda CB450 bought from eBay, and believe it or not, the bike was built in a small apartment. After buying all the items needed from eBay, Pepe Luque - the guy who now owns the bike - started to clean, paint, and spit polish every piece before installing them on the frame.
Besides some minor fine-tuning, Luque worked on this project all by himself, including upsizing the main jets to compensate for the airflow in and out of the motor and replacing the Pirelli tires for some Firestones. As for the exterior paint, it was inspired by a CB450 Armadillo, while the handgrips and seat color was suggested by his flatmate. Why is the fact that he built the whole thing by himself so noteworthy? Well, Pepe Luque is colorblind.
When explaining how he came about picking the colors and getting everything just right for the bike to work, he said: "The main section I really struggled with was the wiring of the bike. As you could imagine, being color blind did not help with the colors of the wires. I was very fortunate that my girl and my brother’s wife helped with labelling the wires. For instance, yellow with a white trace, I labelled FLB (front left blinker) and so on. It took me by surprise that I nailed the wiring on first go."
Derbi has unveiled details on the limited edition Mulhacén Café 659 Angel Nieto, a bike dedicated to the “12+1 World Champion” Angel Nieto, the man who contributed the most to make the Derbi brand famous in the racing world.
This special bike features a fire red lower section with a black horizontal band extending the entire length of the motorcycle in pure Seventies racing style. The bike rides on 17-inch alloy rims and features impressive 320 mm rear brake with Brembo radial caliper and the backlit digital instrument panel are the proof of the attention with which this new model was planned and created.
The Mulhacén Café features a robust and reliable Yamaha-Minarelli single-cylinder four-valve 659-cc engine (Euro 3 compliant), steel tube frame with aluminum swingarm and the refined progressive linkage on which the original adjustable lateral mono shock absorber operates
The ergonomics of the motorcycle have been carefully reworked for the street, and now offer a more comfortable ride for both driver and passenger making it also suitable for long distance riding.
You might remember Roland Sands’ KTM 530 EXC café racer that we’ve shown you a month back. We’re getting deeper into the story with detailed pictures from during the build and three inside videos of the café racer conversion. The process consisted mostly in shortening the suspension and the adding of a custom made bodywork with incredible results.
The conversion was aimed at emphasizing both performance and styling in an attempt to create the Super Single style. The idea sounds great and the bike is a dream to ride, just as Roland Sands describes: "The bike is super fun to ride, it’s light, agile, torquey and stylish. It does everything you want a good road bike to do....it just does it better." Hit the jump for the inside videos.
A café racer fan found this 1977 Honda CB750 on eBay and made it his for a couple hundred bucks. The bike was sitting in a barn for a couple of years, but it was fully functional and could be ridden for the next few months before the café racer transformation began.
First thing first, clubman bars and a tri-bar headlight were added so that the bike would lose its factory look. Also, the seat was reformed and reupholstered so that it would add a sporty look and yet offer plenty of comfort. After getting its carbs synchronized, exhaust pipes trimmed and brakes overhauled, the old CB was already transforming into a much sweater ride.
But this Honda’s Norton-like toutch was to be given during the second stage of the customization process by a new tank paintjob. In the end, this looks like a sweet and comfy café racer with plenty of years left to spend on the road. Hear it after the jump.
This 1981 Yamaha Virago 750 was transformed into a café racer in Haaksbergen in the Netherlands to pay tribute to the Zero Engineering style and it turns out that the bike manages to capture the very essence of the world’s first sportbike (the café racer) and add a little something to it, meaning fat tires.
Although details about the project are scarce, we can see that the original engine and transmission were kept, but also the Virago’s gas tank. The mag rims are also present, but unlike the standard bike, this café racer features 15-inch rims with big fat tires instead of a 17-inch one at the front. That’s what gives it that aggressive note, while the café racer rear end, clubman bars and the black paintjob complete the “don’t mess with me” state that it induces. See it for yourself.
Take a look at this radical ride and try to find any similarities with a KTM 530 EXC . Now that’s a challenge! But the comparison is justified by the fact that Roland Sands actually created this café racer out of the respective Austrian bike. The tuner actually brought in clip-ons and dual-colored KTM wheels (not seen in this picture) as well as a tank cover that is built from scratch. The reason for that is to retain the original tank and so keep the center of gravity low, which is what makes the bike so easy to live with on a daily basis.
Although it may look like a finished project, this is actually work in progress over at Roland Sands Design. But it looks great; in fact this thing looks just like a 1960s KTM café racer would have looked if the company would have ever made those.
Although it looks like a whole new British bike, this is actually LSL’s Triumph Bonneville ‘Tridays’ Limited edition café racer that the German accessories and customizing specialists have built for the three-day Triumph motorcycle reunion held in Neukirchen, Austria this year from 25-27th of June.
Starting from a 2010 Bonneville , the LSL team has painted the alloy wheels in black and brought in a Remus exhaust, YSS shocks, new instrumentation, ace bars, racer-style seat and polished alloy mudguards, just to name a few of the bike’s distinctive features.
LSL will only build twenty such units and plans on selling them for $16,445 (€12,950). The price also includes a package trip to the Tridays festival. Visit the Tridays website for more information.