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Posts by Category: Yamaha

Yamaha August 7, 2018 posted by

One-Eighty: 1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA for Sale

It's been a while since we've seen a Yamaha TZR250 3MA for sale, and the bike is both very rare and also a sportbike, so we're posting this one, even though it isn't in perfect condition. I'm a huge fan of this particular iteration of the TZR, because of course I'm a fan of the weird, slightly less-than-successful version of any bike. With competition very fierce in the 250cc sportbike class and specifications so similar, Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, and occasionally Kawasaki were all looking for a competitive advantage. The bikes all had aluminum beam frames, liquid-cooled two-stroke twins, and power valves to boost midrange. Light weight meant incredible agility and the triple disc brakes were almost overkill for the 300lb machines.

Although two-stroke engines are very compact, routing the bulky de rigueur expansion chambers meant design compromises: the typical quarter-liter solution meant asymmetrical "banana" style swingarms that looked cool and allowed the expansion chambers to tuck in close to the centerline and maximize cornering clearance, but added weight.

Yamaha had a different idea. Why not flip the cylinders of their parallel twin around 180° so that the carburetors were at the front and the exhausts exited toward the rear? Since two-strokes lack camshafts or valvetrain, this was pretty simple to do for the 3MA version, and meant there were no worries routing the exhaust and expansion chambers around the bike's lower half. Instead, they went straight back and out through the tail, creating a slight bulge in panels just below the seat.

The concept was sound but the bike was produced for just two years and is generally considered a failure, although its reputation for mechanical unreliability is apparently a bit of an exaggeration. It was light and handled brilliantly, but the reversed-cylinders offered no real advantage. A failed experiment, the bike was only officially sold in Japan, although the bike did find its way to parts of Europe as a parallel import.

This little TZR is a complete machine and appears to be original, but is a little scruffy around the edges, although it's hard to tell from the pics. I'm seeing the typical corrosion and discoloration you'd expect on a Japanese bike of this era, especially one that likely spent it's first few years in the salt air of its homeland.

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA for Sale

1989 Yamaha TZR 250 3MA, no reserve
New tires, chain and sprockets, carbs rebuilt, fresh service
Very low kilometers, runs good, aftermarket exhaust chambers, bodywork is OEM
I can send running video, call me or text me 954-809-8596
My name is Mike

Hi, Mike! This isn't my favorite color combo for this bike, but you can't go wrong with basic black. The $5,500 opening bid is probably in the ball park, but I wonder what the reserve is. TZRs are rare, but seem to generally be less desirable than NSRs. Personally I love the look and general weirdness of the 3MA, but there was no performance advantage for the backwards cylinders, and I've read that parts are harder to source than for earlier parallel twins or later 3XV v-twin TZRs. Basically, it's a cool bike, but it's the oddity and style that appeal most, and this one is a runner, but in need of a bit of cosmetic TLC.

-tad

One-Eighty: 1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA for Sale
Yamaha July 31, 2018 posted by

Phase Shifter – 1983 Yamaha RZ500

Here is one that will appeal to riding collectors, a 1983 Yamaha RD500LC, more commonly known as the RZ500.  Never brought into the states, this particular unit is listed as having been imported from Australia and appears to be excellent condition, although not 100% OEM.

1983 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on eBay

Some readers may wonder why the RZ500 is prized by collectors.  After all, 500cc isn't a lot of displacement by today's standards.   But what is forgotten is that the 500cc two strokes dominated motorcycle racing for almost three decades.  Due to the smaller engines, these bikes were fast.  I mean really fast.  Towards the end of the two stroke era companies were building two strokes that weighed about 130kgs (286lbs) and produced almost 200hp.  It should perhaps not be surprising that these bikes developed nicknames such as "the Unrideables"... "Death on wheels"... "The biggest, baddest, most evil racing motorcycles ever to see a race track."

This California RZ has had a startling amount of improvements, engine rebuilt, intake, cooling, and exhaust systems either new or rebuilt, but the whopper is the set of late-model R6 forks and swingarm tailored for it.  With refreshed drivetrain and 30-odd years of suspension and braking improvements aboard, this might be the 500 two-stroke experience without the age-related foibles of a "classic" superbike.  Here is the owner's list from the eBay auction:

*Bill Wilson Faze 1 built motor ~ 7,000 miles, ~100hp

*Custom Bill Wilson throttle junction / choke / oil injection cable / junction box

*Powder Coated frame

*28 mm Mikuni flat slide carbs- all rebuilt and just tuned. Custom individual tuned length throttle cables

*2010 -Yamaha complete R6 front end. Custom triple clamp adapter. Stock forks, triple clamps, clip-ons, brakes and 17” R6 wheel

*2010 -Yamaha custom R6 swingarm- $2100/ in parts alone- striping, machining, polishing and anodizing,

 *New 520 sprockets and chain. Custom brake line. Rebuilt caliper. Galfer disc and pads. 17” R6 wheel

*Jim Lomas stainless Steel expansion chambers w/ carbon fiber silencers

*Rebuilt Works Performance rear shock

*New radiator and hoses. Automatic and manual fan on switch,

*New rebuilt CDI ignition

*New rebuilt YPVS box

*Newly repainted and braced, side and bottom panels

*Custom under seat oil injection tank with indicator light

*Gas tank interior sand blasted and coated

*Current California registration

*Re-wiring extensive electrical

*Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa 17” tires

Obviously not meant for the display or museum, this is a rider's RZ.  The experience of accelerating a 500cc two stroke cannot be replicated, and it's nice to know this one can brake and turn its way out of a jam.  California registration is just the cherry on top.  Occasionally you hear that a leading manufacturer should re-introduce their classic bike, sports or muscle car with some up-to-date technology - this might be the next best thing...

-donn and Marty

 

Phase Shifter – 1983 Yamaha RZ500
Featured Listing July 29, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing – 1988 Yamaha FZR750RU

On the road to the OW-01, Yamaha made steady developments to the four cylinder FZR model, and for 1987 plugged the 5-valve Genesis engine into their Deltabox aluminum spars.  In time for the 1988 AMA Superbike season, the company made a few changes from the previous year, and brought the required 200 machines to their dealers.  This rare Yamaha has been treated to a high level of restoration and is now for sale.

1988 Yamaha  FZR750RU for sale in Portland, OR

The five-valve heads on the Genesis engine have great flow and combustion dynamics, and Yamaha's rocker-less valve actuation provides more linear response throughout the power curve.  For the DeltaBox, the company developed their own welding robots to seam the thin-wall stampings into a strong frame.  Steering head and frame connectors are vacuum-cast aluminum.  Brakes are substantial for a mid-size at 320mm, and Kayaba forks and monoshock are adjustable.  As per the fashion, wheels are staggered with a 17-inch front and 18-inch rear.

The owner commissioned a comprehensive rebuild in addition to a great cosmetic refurbishment.  Most all rotating parts outside of the engine bay are new or rebuilt.  Though the Genesis engine sounds complex, it was executed in a very straightforward way, and outside of a very long extension for your spark plug wrench, there's no reason to expect extra maintenance.  Here are Ethan's comments on the FZR:

This bike starts without hesitation, idles perfectly, has extremely crisp throttle response, and rides beautifully. It is truly a joy to ride, handles incredibly well, and pulls strong.

  • 26,000 miles
  • Carbs rebuilt and balanced by Vicious Cycle in Portland, OR
  • Factory original bodywork: all plastic was restored and all imperfections are gone, all paint is new in the original Silky White with clear-coat (tank has clear-coat over the decals), and all decals are new and factory correct. All work done by the skilled Paul Gardner of Image Concepts in Bend, OR
  • New EBC clutch friction plates and clutch cover gasket
  • New EBC rotors
  • New clutch pushrod oil seal
  • New wheel bearings
  • New shock linkage bearings
  • New fork seals and oil
  • New OEM hardware and grommets for all bodywork
  • New water pump, impeller circlip and oil seal, and coolant hose o-rings
  • New Metzeler tires
  • Media blast and new powder coat on wheels, exhaust midpipe, and subframe
  • Factory rebuilt and polished vintage Yoshimura pipe, new baffle and packing

The focus Yamaha put on superbikes led their build quality to new heights and prices joined them there.  The championships would have to wait, but the bikes are the stuff of legend.  Thankfully there are thoroughly freshened examples like this and we don't have to only read about it.   The asking price is $5,500, stop by Two Stroke Coffee in North Portland to take a look or contact Ethan - here -.

Featured Listing – 1988 Yamaha FZR750RU
Featured Listing July 24, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1987 Yamaha FZR750RT for Sale

The precursor to Yamaha’s extremely desirable OW01, this very clean FZR750R is actually even rarer, but a bit less exotic as well, both in terms of components and construction. Instead of rare materials and hand-welded parts, the RT was a bit more of a parts-bin special, but just 200 of the “T” were built in 1987 and another 200 in 1988 for the “U” model to satisfy homologation requirements for AMA Superbike racing.

The FZR750R formula should be familiar to Yamaha fans: an extremely light and stiff aluminum Deltabox frame that debuted in 1987 on the FZR1000 and was light-years ahead of cradle-style frames as seen on the GSX-R750, Yamaha’s signature five-valve “Genesis” head atop a 749cc block, and a six-speed gearbox in place of the bigger 1000’s five-speed. Front wheel was 17” and matched with a typical 18” rear often found on sportbikes of the period, and both were wrapped in radial rubber.

Suspension adjustable for preload and rebound at both ends was novel for the time, especially on a street-legal bike. Although Yamaha really didn’t intend for any of these to actually see the street, and actively discouraged dealers from selling them to anyone who was planning to use them on the road. Unfortunately, the 484lb [dry] package ended up significantly heavier than their road-racing rival over at Suzuki, and drag-strip performance was hampered by the ratios in the gearbox. But that was really beside the point, and the bike had some of the best brakes and handling available.

From the original eBay listing: 1987 Yamaha FZR750RT for Sale

Up for NO RESERVE AUCTION is a very nice original 1987 Yamaha FZR750RT.

The precursor to the OW01, the FZR750R Genesis is a rare collectable. Homologated for AMA racing with only 200 examples made for the US market. This machine came out of a dealership in Oconomowoc Wisconsin and thankfully never seen the track.

I purchased this bike from its second owner in WI about 12 years ago. I have enjoyed owning this bike and took great care of it but its time to pass it on to a collector. I recently moved from WI to Denver Colorado where the bike is currently located. I've only had the bike here in Denver a few weeks,  it started right up but I haven't driven it because I anticipate it would need adjustments for the higher elevation. Have not registered the bike here in Denver either so it is currently titled and registered with collectors plates from WI. Title is clean and clear of any leans. Cycle has 26,403mi.

Bike recently had a $1500 overhaul including fuel pump rebuilding, fork seals, brake pads, carb cleaning, clutch, adjustments etc (see photo of receipt). Runs strong and as it should. Has 26... k miles. Has vintage Yoshi exhaust, vintage Storz steering stabilizer, is properly jetted for the exhaust, original race sprocket was changed out for a more street friendly ride. ALL ORIGINAL PARTS INCLUDED and many extras including vintage riding apparel, period Corbin seat, parts, all manuals, period feature magazines, bike stand, cover and more

Motorcycle is for sale locally so I reserve the right to cancel the auction early if sold. I work during the day so evenings are my best time to answer any questions.

I would really like to see the bike end up in someone's collection that will really appreciate it. I will be happy to help the new owner with loading the machine and any other arrangements to make it a smooth transaction.

The FZR750RT is a historically significant machine that was incredibly trick when it was new, and I expect we're seeing a low point for values right now. As the seller mentions, this is no garage queen but condition is way more important than mileage if you actually plan to use a car or motorcycle, and this example has been serviced and is ready to go. It's not a museum piece, it's a living, breathing bit of sportbike history.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1987 Yamaha FZR750RT for Sale
Yamaha July 18, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1984 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale

Update 7.30.2018: Ted has updated us that this bike is sold. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Yamaha threw their hat into the Grand Prix race replica ring with the… Well what this bike was called depended on where the thing was being sold. In Canada and Australia, it was an RZ500, which fits since it was like a bigger, faster RZ350. In Europe, it was the RD500LC, which also makes plenty of sense considering the RD series’ history, but with added Liquid Cooling! And in Japan, it was the RZV500R as seen in today’s Featured Listing, which sounds the most exotic to me.

And like Honda’s NS400R and Suzuki’s RG500, the RZ/RD/RZV was powered by a racing-inspired, two-stroke multi that was shared with no other bike in Yamaha's lineup. That made the bikes very exclusive, but not really cost-effective to produce. But really, what other sort of motorcycle would you power with a liquid-cooled 50° two-stroke V4 that featured twin cranks and a balance shaft displacing nearly 500cc? The rest of the package was likewise geared towards sportbike domination: a six-speed gearbox, a pair of YPVS power valves, Autolube oil-injection system, an underslung rear shock that was very exotic at the time, anti-dive forks, and 16” front and 18” wheels shod with typically skinny period tires.

Unfortunately, in spite of the racy looks and the inclusion of magnesium parts, the RZ500 still weighed in at a period-appropriate 450lbs dry. The problem was that rival Suzuki’s RG500 weighed significantly less while making more power than the RZ’s 88 claimed ponies. The RZ was designed from the start to be a civilized race-replica, but at the time the RG stole Yamaha's thunder with their much wilder ride.

But today, neither bike would be considered particularly fast on a racetrack and the appeal is a combination of nostalgia and the singularly exciting character of a big two-stroke, something the RZ still has in abundance and at a lower cost than an equivalent RG.  The RG has always been "the one to have," and steadily increasing values mean it's been priced out of reach for many fans. But although RZ prices have climbed to keep pace with the general increase of all 80s two-stroke sportbikes, they still lag behind the Gamma, making them the affordable choice.

This example is the Japanese-market RZV500R and featured an aluminum frame instead of the steel units on the other versions. Unfortunately, the aluminum frame wasn't something added to enhance performance, it was to offset the damage done by home market regulations that limited output to 64hp. Luckily, this example has supposedly been de-restricted and features a very sharp set of custom spannies that look far more upswept than the stock parts and should liberate more of the famous two-stroke crackle, along with FZR wheels, brakes, and front forks to match.

From the seller: 1984 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale

VIN#: 51X002446

Entering the world of RZ500’s has introduced me to several collectors who have shared some of their incredible knowledge of the Yamaha model. RZ500’s were built by Yamaha in model years 1984 and 1985. They were never sold new in the US and any that are currently here were brought in as Grey Market Vehicles. Yamaha Canada imported the RZ500 model which was also sold in Australia. The United Kingdom model was named the RD500 and came with a different color scheme than the RZ.

All of these models had steel frames and were delivered in what was considered unrestricted versions with higher horsepower than the domestic Japanese version of the motorcycle. The Japanese bikes with restricted horse power had smaller carburetors and exhaust systems to that end. In an attempt to balance the lost of power, the Japanese bikes were equipped with aluminum frames which were considerably lighter, but again, only for Japanese domestic consumption. That model of the RZ was called the RZV500, is model of bike being offered here. Our bike has the aluminum frame, different mirrors and decals identifying it as the RZV, the most desirable version of the bike if unrestricted. In this case that has been done with a set of Tommy Crawford Expansion Chamber Exhausts. The pipes are said to work well, are rare to find and are no longer made. A perfect storm so to speak.

This bike has been modified additionally with what we assume are a period FZR Front Forks and a set of matching wheels. There is also an Ohlin’s rear Shock Absorber in the back.

The owner of the bike was a huge enthusiast of Road Race bikes and at the time was doing some club racing. Being in the Service, when it was time to be stationed at another post, the Service took care of moving his personal property including his motorcycles. As per regulations, vehicles that were transported with personal property were to have all of their fuel removed, which was done with a tag hanging from the handle bar noting this. Unfortunately, medical issues evolved that prevented the bike from being recommissioned and it been in this state for over ten years. Sadly for the owner, he never was able to ride again and his family is selling the bike as part of his estate.

Collectors with an interest in the bikes have warned us about trying to start the bike without a serious inspection and reconditioning. Crank seals, carburetors and possibly other work may be needed and we are not in a position or capable of any of it. The bike, in running order, would most likely bring over $20,000 and is now priced accordingly to accommodate the possible needed work. It has an Oregon clear and clean title of ownership.

So this should pretty much be the highest-performing version of the RZ: the lighter aluminum frame combined with the full-power engine. More power, less weight, what's not to like? That is, once the bike is reconditioned, of course... The Seller is asking $15,295 $12,000 for this one and, if you're handy with the wrenches and love to tune two-strokes, or have deep pockets and Lance Gamma's number on speed dial, this could be a good opportunity to pick up a clean RZV with more modern running gear that just needs some mechanical attention.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1984 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale
Yamaha July 6, 2018 posted by

Genesis Device: 1988 Yamaha FZR1000 for Sale

Over in the comments sections of another post, we've been debating the relative merits and values of some of the priciest motorcycles, but it's still possible to find something cool, collectible, and very competent if you're on a limited budget. It's not one of Yamaha's fastest sportbikes, but this first-generation FZR1000 might be their most historically significant. At the moment, it's also one of the most unappreciated machines of the modern era: if the GSX-R was the first sportbike of the modern age, it can be argued that the FZR1000 actually codified the formula.

The original version of the FZR1000 built from 1987 through 1988 seen here was powered by a 989cc version of Yamaha's inline four. It did not feature their signature EXhaust Ultimate Power or "EXUP" valve in the exhaust system, but did use their "Genesis" heads with three intake and two exhaust valves. Five-valve technology proved more useful in theory than in practice, in spite of the fact that Yamaha stuck with it for a pretty long time. But, perhaps more importantly, the Genesis engine's characteristic steeply forward-canted cylinder head allowed the airbox to be located under the fuel tank instead of between the rider's knees.

However, the bike's defining feature was the aluminum beam "Deltabox" frame, the first time one had been used in a big bike like this. The contemporary GSX-R used an aluminum frame, but the square-tube construction was more of a cradle-type that looked backward towards past designs, while Yamaha's beefy Deltabox was a much more forward-thinking concept. The frame spars were positively massive for the time, but the thin-walls meant the structure was as light as it was strong, and while five-valve heads proved to be a bit of a fad, thick beam frames have stood the test of time.

Looking at the spec sheet, all you'd need to do is add a sixth gear to the box and you could be looking at something from just a few years ago: the aluminum beam frame, liquid cooling, under-tank airbox, and 17" wheels all sound very modern. It's obviously from a different generation and is both heavier and less powerful by far than current literbikes. But it was very much the complete package when new, and the five-speed gearbox speaks to the bike's seemingly bottomless well of torque and flexible midrange, qualities shared with the GSX-R1100, a bike that also lacked a sixth cog.

Ideally, if you're looking at an FZR1000 you'd probably want something just a little bit newer, as the thorough redesign for 1989 featured a slight bump in displacement and the addition of the EXUP valve, but this is the original, and looks very sophisticated in blue and white speedblock graphics.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Yamaha FZR1000 for Sale

Up for auction is my 1988 FZR1000.  It is titled in my name and is currently registered in  the state of California til October 2018.  It is a nice survivor.  It has various scratches and some cracks here and there but overall in very clean condition.  It has good tires, a new fuel pump, fuel filter, various fuel lines, carb cleaning and synchronization done Dec of last year, rebuilt fuel valves, battery new last year, new windshield, front brake master cylinder rebuilt and a couple other things I can't remember  now.  It comes with a tank bag, some spare parts and a service manual. It handles, runs, starts, brakes fine....although maybe it could use another carb cleaning as it has been sitting.  Still you could ride it right now.....it has  good  power.

Some things it would need is a new headlight.  Choke doesn't work but it still starts easy when cold. Return throttle cable not hooked on.  Fuel pump is controlled by a switch in the back  so you may want to hook up correctly.....and I'm sure a few other things I can't remember right now.

If anyone is interested but not local...PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE ask questions and request photos of any area of the bike you would like.  I REALLY PREFER SOMEONE LOCAL WHO COULD COME BY AND KICK THE TIRES AND INSPECT IN PERSON but if not please ask all the questions you want before bidding.  Although this bike is clean and a survivor it has not been in a box the last 30 years ridden only 50 miles so keep that in mind.  It currently has 20950 miles. I may make a couple trips up the mountain before it's gone so there may be a few more miles on it.

Here is a video of it running.  

I am selling because  with my back condition I cannot use it like I thought I could.  

If you have any questions please ask.  If you think I left something out please ask.  If you need better pictures please ask.  I want to be as honest and accurate as possible so please ask anything.  If the winning buyer comes to pick it up and dosent want to go through with the deal for any reason no worries.....I will cancel the transaction....no problem.  The previous owner named this bike Noah. I want to see this go to a good home.

The Yoshimura tri-oval exhaust obviously isn't stock, and isn't even trying to look period-correct, but I actually like it: stock exhausts of the era are often pretty heavy and very ugly. Overall, the bike has some usual chips and wear you'd expect on a bike this old, but it seems honest. And the seller includes a nice video of the bike starting and running, with some closeups. Slingshot Gixxers and other late 1980s sportbikes have been rising in value, but the Yamahas seem to have been lagging behind a bit, and while the later EXUP models will probably be a bit more desirable, this early machine is historically significant. And also pretty cool. There are several days left on the auction and no takers yet at the $2,150 opening bid. It may not be original, but this could be a hell of a do-it-all machine with style if you're on a budget and looking for something out of the ordinary.

-tad

Genesis Device: 1988 Yamaha FZR1000 for Sale