If you’ve got money to burn, there’s a super-rare MV Agusta 750S America with your name on it this week. But if you’re just browsing, we’ve also rounded up a custom Yamaha TRX850, a zany electric bike with oodles of 80s appeal, and a slick Triumph street scrambler from Tamarit Motorcycles.
For Sale: MV Agusta 750S America This 1975 MV Agusta 750S America is not only unquestionably and undoubtedly gorgeous, but it’s also incredibly rare. It’s one of only 200 produced in the America’s inaugural year—and, more significantly, it bears the frame number 009.
When the 750S America was released, production bikes 001 through 008 were delivered to MV Agusta family members, board members, and Giacomo Agostini. That makes this particular bike the first 750S America to be delivered outside of MV Agusta’s inner circle.
009 was originally sent to MV Agusta’s sole US importer at the time—Commerce Overseas Corporation in New York. Interestingly, it was used as a test bike for motorcycle publications and then went on to serve as an exhibition piece at various trade shows.
The bike was owned by Commerce Overseas Corporation’s owner, Chris Garville, until he gave it to his brother in 1984. Some time after that, 009 went on to a new owner, before being restored in November of 2016 by the late MV Agusta dealer and guru, Perry Bushong.
The restoration was incredibly meticulous, bringing the bike back to a better-than-new condition. The 789 cc DOHC inline-four engine is a work of art in itself. The four-cylinder heads bolt to the crankcase separately; the whole thing is an essay in sand-casting perfection.
The only thing we like more than the engine is the four-into-four Kay Engineering exhaust system. There are also Scarab front brakes, Borrani alloy rims, Ceriani forks, and adjustable Sebac shock absorbers. The 750S America was marketed as a premium, cream-of-the-crop motorcycle (tailored to the American market), and it really shows with a parts list like that.
The suede seat looks like a great place to sit, especially behind that long, low, and shapely tank that bears the signature of John Surtees. Surtees was a legend of the racing world (on two and four wheels), and he signed the tank for the owner in 1994. (Pictures of this signing are included with the bike, along with a mountain of other parts and tools.)
Criminally, the odometer only shows 5,200 miles—with only 25 of those ridden by the current owner. If you’d like to bring this piece of engineering art out of retirement yourself, then you’d better head over to Bring-a-Trailer where our friends at Moto Borgotaro have listed it. Bidding currently sits at $33,000 and ends in seven days, so you’d better be quick about it. [More]
Yamaha TRX850 by ETTO Motorcycles Despite its parallel twin engine, the mid-90s Yamaha TRX850’s main rival was the Ducati 900 SS. It had a half fairing, a trellis frame, and a sport-like riding position—even if it didn’t have the handling prowess or the pedigree of its Italian opponent.
Ian Davis of ETTO Motorcycles prefers his bikes to perform flawlessly and look slightly more naked though. He specializes in traditional sheet metal fabrication and suspension, and he’s put those skills to good use customizing this 1996 Yamaha TRX850.
“I love the whole 50s café racer ‘ton-up’ scene, and wanted to build an homage to the guys and girls that took a poorly handling bike and tried to improve it, to hit that magic ton,” says Ian. “So the donor bike had to be a parallel twin that needed improving.”
The first thing Ian did was ditch all the factory bodywork, focussing on crafting lightweight alternatives. The whole front fairing has been deleted and replaced with a single round headlight, hung from brackets on a new front end. The front end was lifted from a Ducati 749 and sprung for Ian’s weight and riding style.
The tank was handcrafted by Ian himself from aluminum. It’s saved him 3 kg [6.6 lbs] of weight alone, and features an internal breather and a flush-fitting race fuel cap.
Next, the subframe was lopped off to make room for a custom aluminum unit. Straddled by a Honda RS250 race seat, it looks far more purposeful than the stock fiberglass tail.
The swingarm from a Yamaha YZF750 was grafted on and braced, with lightweight Marchesini wheels fitted fore and aft. There are Brembo brake components at both ends of the bike and a Nitron NR1 rear shock to keep the ride plush. The Ducati 749 also donated its handlebars, with Ian deciding on LSL rear set foot controls.
The engine was jazzed up with 40 mm Mikunis, a Domino quarter-turn throttle, and an oversized stainless steel exhaust system, complete with reverse cone mufflers. Ian has dyno-tuned the old TRX, managing to get it up to 87 bhp. Together with a 66-pound weight loss program, it can now boogie with the best. [Via]
Bonfire E by Loose Screw German custom bike builders Loose Screw are bringing the 80s back with their latest build. Based on a Bonfire E, an electric bike from Black Tea Motorbikes, they’ve made some outlandish mods to spritz up the approachable electron trader. And we love it.
The stock standard Bonfire E is a nice-looking bike—reminiscent of vintage, smaller-capacity Japanese scramblers. It’s designed for urban and suburban commuting, but nothing stops you from ripping down a dirt road to play in muddy puddles.
The Loose Screw gang started by tearing the new bike down to add their personal touches. The first thing to go was the stock ‘fuel tank,’ with another tank from an old KTM moped taking its place. The angular lines are more 80s, and there is now a bonus storage area under the hinged flap.
The Bonfire E electric motor comes devoid of any stylistic flourishes, so the team had to add their own. Laser-cut steel plates now adorn the sides of the motor enclosure, with a belly pan-slash-bash plate to match. The new panels, along with the matching front and rear fenders, add up to give the Bonfire E a far sassier vibe.
As for the control area, the bars are from LSL and the clear grips are from Hookie Co. A Thunderbolt LED headlight from Koso sits up front, along with Kellerman Atto indicators (which also do double duty at the back as taillights and turn signals). It might be a brand new bike, but that didn’t stop the Loose Screw crew from rewiring it with components from Motogadget and Axel Joost.
A custom seat rises onto the tank, and is finished in white and purple leather. It’s long and chunky, and sits pretty against the custom paint job that Loose Screw’s friend, Viktoria Greiner, laid down. Viktoria painted a Bell Moto 3 helmet to match too, creating the perfect riding accessory for the new Bonfire E.
The Loose Screw Bonfire E might operate silently—but it’s loud in a different way. More of this, please. [Via]
Triumph Bonneville by Tamarit Motorcycles Tamarit is back at it with yet another custom Triumph. This time they’ve taken an air-cooled Triumph Bonneville, and turned it into a slick street scrambler with all the trimmings.
As the Spanish shop’s customs builds go, this one feels a bit more subtle. But its the simplicity of it that makes it one of our favorite Tamarit creations yet.
The most obvious detail is the judicious use of rose gold nickel-plated finishes. Adorning bits of the engine and a few other key parts, it’s a stylistic decision that could have gone horribly wrong—but we reckon Tamarit has nailed it. The finishes on the bigger parts are echoed in smaller touches, like the custom tank badges and filler cap.
The front end has been blacked out, with CNC-machined yokes added for extra stability. A grille-covered headlight sits between the forks, with a small Motogadget speedo floating above it. Tamarit rewired the bike with a Motogadget controller too, and there are a host of other parts from the German electronics company strewn over the Bonneville.
The back end of the bike was chopped and looped, with an LED tail light integrated into the new hoop. The seat has been thinned out and modified with custom lightning bolt upholstery. It now also extends onto the tank, in a way that has us wondering why Triumph themselves didn’t do this from the factory.
Custom number plates mold around oversized pod filters from Free Spirit in Italy. The fenders are new too, as is the ‘tail tidy’ arrangement at the back. A set of YSS shocks prop up the rear, while chunky Continental TKC80 tires offer some go-anywhere grip.
Another nice mod is the Triumph’s belt drive conversion. Tamarit says that along with reducing maintenance and power loss due to friction, the belt drive produces less noise. Although, we’re not sure it matters much, given that the bike now sports twin Zard mufflers on shortened headers. [Via]