Posts by Category: Yamaha

Yamaha May 1, 2017 posted by

Grey Day: 1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA

It's a "when it rains it pours" type of situation with TZRs here on RSBFS. Given last week's 3MA model posting from a California location, here comes one from the other side of the US - Florida. Ironically, the seller claims that this one came from California a few years previous. In what small circles do rare bikes run!

1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA for sale on eBay

As staff writer Tad has captured in a previous post of this generation TZR: "The 3MA version of the TZR250 saw the head spun around 180° from what you might expect, with the carburetors at the front where they could gulp fresh air and the exhaust exiting out the rear. This helped solve some of the packaging issues involving the bulbous expansion chambers needed for two-stroke performance, keeping them tucked up inside the bodywork instead of having to route them under or around the engine." The net effect is not more power - that is unchanged from a conventional head setup - but rather the ability to keep all the bits tidy from front to back. Do not underestimate the difficulty in fitting expansion chambers neatly inside the bodywork. The 3MA was Yamaha's novel solution.

From the seller:
1989 Yamaha TZR250 Bought a few years ago from California. The bike dose not have a Title and is sold as is. It runs and rides. That said I have not ridden it in a few months. Its in good condition over all. Any questions or pictures just ask.

A no title two stroke is a roll of the dice in today's world. If you are a US resident, you may or may not have a shot at registering something like this. Being that this bike is based in Florida, I would have thought that was about the best chance you had to obtain a license plate. As always, do your homework with your local DMV constabulary *before* plunking down big dollars. Otherwise, this looks like it would make a pretty sweet track day bike. You do engage in track days, don't you??

That said, the opening ask for this one is $4,000 USD. The seller notes it has not been ridden in a few months, which means it likely has racked up few miles in the last year. That is a warning for engine seals and other goodies; smokers need to run in order to survive, and old engine seals are a quick trip to a seize and a high-side. Figure a mild refresh in your estimates to be on the safe side - until you know for sure. Only a few days left with no takers. Check it out here, and good luck!

MI

Yamaha April 30, 2017 posted by

Classy: 1978 Yamaha TZ250

When it came to Grand Prix racing, the Yamaha TZ250 was a class-leading act. Through the late 1970s and early 1980s, Yamaha was a force to be reckoned with, and the privateer racer was the prime beneficiary. Mere mortals - with some racing creds and a pile of cash - could purchase something very close to a factory race bike. Spares were available from your dealer. And the checkered flag was only a small investment away.... Fast forward to today, and the privateer factory GP race bike is all but extinct. Thankfully some still exist in preserved condition. Today's model does more than that. This example gives you the full TZ250 experience, yet is licensed for the street (!).

1978 Yamaha TZ250 licensed racer on eBay

The 1978 model TZ250 was officially known as a "Series E." What began in 1972 as an experiment in a water-cooled 250 racer blossomed into a multi-generation product run of a decade or more. The E model is relatively unchanged from the previous gen "D" spec (why fix what isn't broken?), and touts 53 HP in stock configuration pushing a total package of 260 lbs. The result is certainly enough to get your attention, provided the tach has cleared 7,500 RPM or so. What this was NOT intended for is street bike usage. Regular TZ250 racers lack the electrical system (headlight, tail lamp, etc) and the instrumentation (i.e. speedo) necessary for street use. There are other considerations as well, including the need for an auxiliary radiator fan when stopped - race bikes are not normally designed to hang out at traffic lights.

From the seller:
1978 Yamaha TZ 250 Very rare to have a Title to a TZ250. Looking to sell a couple of my bikes to make space for something else. The TZ runs and rides good. Have a few extras that go with the bike such as pistons, piston rings, extra cylinder jug, another windscreen new, original Mikuni carbs. Any question please ask.

Not a lot of detail as to what went into this street conversion. The pictures definitely show a headlight and tail lamp, so the basics are met. Not sure how - or if - the electrical system was upgraded as a result. No turn indicators shown, so better get some practice in with your hand signals: Left arm straight out to signal left, left arm bent upwards at 90 degrees to indicate right, and middle finger waving way up high to indicate your love for DOT, EPA, and (most likely) the DMV.

Some pretty serious bidding is underway on this one, with the current price below $5k and below reserve. TZ250s are not exactly a dime a dozen these days, so there is some element of rarity right there. TZ250s that are plated for the street?! That is a whole new ball game of rare. Californians (and others in restrictive states) best do their homework first, but if you live in a state that allows it this could be the street bike to beat as far as unique might go. Check it out here, and then jump back to the Comments. Would you rock a GP racer on the street? Let us know!

MI

Classy:  1978 Yamaha TZ250
Yamaha April 27, 2017 posted by

Collector Alert: 1988 Yamaha FZR400 with 94 Original Miles for Sale

Sometimes, the amazingly low-mileage bikes that we stumble across surprise me. I mean, who at the time it was new would think to ferret away a pristine Yamaha FZR400? Of course it was always a cool bike, but the kind of thing you'd buy and preserve as a collectible? Seems strange, but the upside is that someone gets to bid on this example that has the classic white-and-blue "speedblock" graphics and just 94 miles from new.

Modern vehicle technology is incredible, offering up reliability, safety, and efficiency at an affordable cost. New motorcyclists are almost spoiled for choice these days, with slick, utilitarian offerings from Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, and even KTM that look good and perform well. They don't offer much in the way of inspirational engine notes or cutting-edge handling, however: all are powered by parallel twins or singles and sound a bit agricultural or slightly obnoxious, depending on whether you have a Two Bros exhaust fitted or not.

The middleweight sportbike class is fast disappearing as well, with just the GSX-R600 and R6 left as Honda and Triumph discontinue their 600cc sportbikes. But in the late 1980s, you were spoiled for choice, and the FZR400 offered a stepping-stone up in terms of refinement from something fast but a bit crude like a TZR250. Most of the 400cc sportbikes never made it to the USA officially, as demand for what would be considered "small" sportbikes has always been pretty non-existent. We got a few bikes with their genes like the Honda CB1, but those never sold well either, making all bikes in the class pretty rare and desirable these days.

The FZR400's 399cc four-cylinder produced a claimed 64hp, still plenty of power for a bike that weighed 410lbs wet, but, with little power below 5,000 rpm, the rev-happy motor meant you had to work it like a two-stroke to make fast progress for maximum rider involvement. Interestingly, the FZR400 was a much more serious weapon than the bigger 600 although they look nearly identical at a glance. The 400 made less power but handled better due to the lighter, stiffer aluminum frame used by the smaller bike, versus the 600's steel part. Yes, the 600 fits into the 400's frame, so if you come across a 400 with a blown or high-mileage motor, you might want to consider finding a 600 to rebuild and slot in instead.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Yamaha FZR400 for Sale

Up for your consideration is a very RARE, very nice low mileage almost new 1988 Yamaha FZR 400 3EN1 with only 152 Kilometers (94 miles). It is in mint condition and has new battery, Yamaha filter & engine oil, new coolant flush, new fork seals and fork oil,  new brake fluid, new spark plugs and original air filter was serviced. Runs like the day it was new. Carburetor jets and needles are original and still comes with the factory jetting set from the factory. This FZR in mint condition and near museum quality. It still has the original factory tires, however there are age cracks in the sidewalls. There is patina here and there as you would expect from a 29 year old motorcycle. This FZR still has its original chain & sprockets, original brake pads and all original fairings and factory components. There is a small crack in the windscreen, however I have a new windscreen that will come with the bike. I haven't installed it to preserve the originality of the bike.

When we received the bike, It was taken apart and cleaned and inspected along with the full service. The muffler was chromed and re-finished to look new again. This FZR would make a excellent candidate for restoration, making it a true museum piece for your living room or just keep it and ride the hell out of it and make your friends jealous, lol. This FZR comes with a clean Utah title in my company name that will be presented to the new owner.

Okay, so the $8,999 asking price is pretty stupid money for a 400cc Japanese sportbike. Or at least is is right now: scoff all you like but I bet in a few years, Yamaha fans will be wishing they'd jumped in when these were so cheap... Especially at this mileage, although part of what's so cool about the FZR400 is the light weight and agile handling, so it's kind of a waste as a museum piece. I'm also not sure even very many of your motorcycling buddies will be very jealous if you have this in your garage or living room, let alone your more normal friends. Bidding's already up to $7,600 with plenty of interest, so I'll be interested to see if it makes it to that Buy It Now price.

-tad

Collector Alert: 1988 Yamaha FZR400 with 94 Original Miles for Sale
Yamaha April 26, 2017 posted by

Head on Backwards: 1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA for Sale

Competition between the Japanese manufacturers in the 250cc sportbike class was fierce, with each trying for some small advantage in terms of performance, given the limited displacement and government-mandated power cap. On paper, they all seem to follow a pretty standard template: a compact two-stroke twin cylinder engine, power-valves of one sort or another, and an aluminum beam frame. But each manufacturer went their own way trying to maximize performance within those fairly narrow parameters. While development eventually led to the NSR, RGV, and TZR all using v-twins, there were a few experiments along the way, and today's TZR250 3MA represents an interesting attempt to solve the packaging issues inherent in two-stroke design.

Obviously, two-stroke engines are very compact by nature: with no overhead-valves or cams, they're short, simple, and very light. But while the exhaust expansion chambers required for a performance two-stroke may not weigh all that much, their bulging shape takes up valuable real estate in a motorcycle. The famous "gull arm" swingarms of the period were one solution to the problem and allowed the chambers to tuck in close to the centerline of the bike to maximize cornering clearance. But the 3MA version of the TZR250 went a different route by reversing the cylinder head so that the carburetors were at the front, with the exhausts exiting directly out the rear of the bike instead of curving around the sides or underneath. The bulbous expansion chambers fitted neatly into the seat, with the exhaust exiting through the tail.

The design was eventually replaced by the v-twin 3XV version introduced in 1991 after just two years, so the experiment can be considered a bit of a failure. But there's nothing inherently wrong with the idea, and this is one of my favorite bikes of the era, at least in terms of looks and the weird factor: it's my deep and not-so-secret shame that I haven't ridden one yet, but here's hoping that the stars will align and I'll be able to find a decent California-titled example when the time is right. Scouting around the message boards, it seems that the bike's reputation for poor reliability is exaggerated but, as these were not often seen anywhere outside of Japan, parts availability will prove difficult.

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

The parallel twin reverse cylinder version. The bike is imported from Japan. Not registered yet in the U.S. This bike is sold without title. (NO TITLE) Start engine. Original Cowl. New Aftermarket Front fork innre tubes. Dragging brakes. Need to change tires (flat tire) and a battery. Some scratches and rust, so look carefully all pictures and video. This motorcycle is 28 years ago. Sold as is.

11271km (7003mile) LOW MILE. Sold as is with NO warranty NO refunds NO return. Buyer responsible for vehicle pick-up or shipping to your location. (ITEM AT CARSON NOW)

There's also a helpful clip of the bike starting, running, and revving. The seller's English is a bit limited, but it looks like the bike runs from the video and just needs a little TLC: a brake rebuild, new tires, and some minor cosmetic issues. Normally nothing you'd find shocking in a 28 year old motorcycle, but make sure you're prepared to troll eBay and use Google Translate to track down parts to keep this running. It's certainly not pristine and it's not the cleanest example we've featured on this site, but if the price is right, it won't take all that much to get this one on the road. Obviously, the usual titling issues apply, so I doubt this bike will remain in Southern California.

-tad

Head on Backwards: 1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA for Sale
Suzuki April 23, 2017 posted by

Rare Pair: 1990 Yamaha YZF750R OW01 and 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited for Sale

Just a quick Sunday post for you folks who can't get out riding this weekend. Or for those of you on the East Coast, reading this early in the morning before heading out for the day... So here we've got a pair of rare homologation specials from the Age of the Seven-Fifty, where this now-forgotten class was the cutting edge of competition. Sure, the Big Four all had liter-sized bikes available, but while they more powerful, they were also heavier and much more road-oriented, while the 750s were that perfect balance of light weight, agility, and power. Today's Yamaha YZF750R OW01 and Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited represent some of the very best-handling and most exclusive Japanese sportbikes of the era.

First up is the Yamaha FZR750R OW01, a bike that looks deceptively ordinary at first blush. It was designed to compete directly against the RC30 and in typical Honda fashion, they engineered a completely new solution for their homologation special, with a gear-driven V4, chassis, and single-sided swingarm shared with no other bike in their lineup. Yamaha's bike shares its silhouette with the more common FZR750R, but is far more exotic than it might appear: titanium rods, twin-ring pistons, an aluminum fuel tank, detachable alloy subframe, quick-release axle clamps, and Öhlins suspension at the front and rear. The engine was almost radically oversquare, although it displaced the advertised 749cc, and used Yamaha's five-valve head.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Yamaha FZR750R OW01 for Sale

This amazing bike has been in storage in a large collection for the last 9 years, dry stored correctly it will need recommissioning by the new owner for road use, it only has 34,000 kilometers and is in great shape with the original exhaust, toolkit and manual with pouch.

It has a few blemishes from its road use as seen in the pics rather than take up a lot of space here with this models lengthy attributes please do your own research, only 500 of these were made, a lot less than the RC30 and were quite a bit more expensive than it these bikes are getting scarce and climbing in value.

Suzuki threw their hat into the ring with their GSX-R750 Limited Edition, the homologation version of the iconic "Slabbie" version of their sportbike. Like the OW01, it's superficially similar to the standard bike, but features exotic parts intended for racing, like the lightweight dry clutch and electronic anti-dive forks. Lightweight bodywork, an aluminum tank, and a fiberglass tailsection differed from the stock machine, but the engine was still oil and air-cooled to save weight.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited, GSX-R750, and GSX-R1100 for Sale

Selling off my collection of 1986 GSXR First Generation Slab Side bikes. This is the ultimate collection if you are looking for all (3) excellent condition original bikes. Bikes are to be sold as a package as I have had them a long time and would hate to break them up.

1986 GSXR 750 Limited, 4400 miles, Original bodywork, pipe, airbox, etc  in excellent condition. Never been down and has not been a previous race bike.

1986 GSXR 1100- 8000 miles, Original bodywork,  pipe, airbox, etc in excellent condition. This bike has aftermarket tinted screen.

1986 GSXR 750 Red/Blkw ith only 600 original miles. Yes that's right only 600 true miles 100% correct and still has the OEM tires on the bike. I also have original bill of sale from dealer. This may be one of the lowest original bikes in the world. Pic does not show grab rail or front markers  but I have those as well.

All bikes have lots of paperwork. Not looking to separate bikes at this time.

Both of these auctions end Monday, so move quickly if you're interested. This is the second OW01 we've posted up recently and obviously will need some work if you want to use it on the road, but a new owner may just choose to preserve it as-is. The Suzuki is part of a collection so you'll be picking up three bikes instead of just one, but they're all in very nice condition with low miles so if you're thinking of adding some classic Suzukis to your portfolio, you're in luck!

-tad

Rare Pair: 1990 Yamaha YZF750R OW01 and 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited for Sale
Yamaha April 17, 2017 posted by

Collector Alert: 1989 Yamaha FZR750RR/OW-01 with 741 miles

1989 Yamaha FZR-750RR/OW-01 for sale on ebay

Most collectors of homologation bikes place the Yamaha FZR750RR/OW-01 near the top of their lists, along with the Honda RC30 and Kawasaki ZX7RR and...whats that you say, you don't understand all the fuss about homologation bikes?   Well I don't see any big blue police boxes or dogs named Peabody around so I guess I will just have to do my best to go explain the historical significance of these machines.

In the late 1980's race series organizers and major manufacturers agreed that it was in both of their interests if race bikes were more closely based on bikes that people could actually buy.  The thinking was this would keep fan interest, cut down on development costs and weed out money losing engineer flights of fancy (i'm looking at you, Norton rotary).  The adage of the day was "a win on Sunday equals sales on Monday".  But the major manufacturers engineer departments were still charged with winning and made the legitimate point that race bikes had very different performance needs from standard street machines.  In the end a compromise was reached; racebikes would still have to be based on a bike available for sale to the general public but the base bike could be a limited edition series that was equipped with the same components as the bikes that would be used on the racetrack, including racetrack level frames, engines and suspensions.  The limited edition bikes had to be able to be able to pass emissions and run legally on the street but could otherwise essentially be race bikes with lights and a license plate.  This agreement became known as the homologation rule and bikes from the era are referred to as homolgation bikes.


Okay, so they had some track-oriented tech, but you still don't see what's the big deal?  Consider this - a factory racetrack-level motorcycle has components that are hellishly expensive to develop and produce, the prices for one of these limited edition/homolgation bike was usually significantly higher than a standard street version.  The OW-01 had a list price of about $16,000 USD, which back in 1989 was equal to about a year of private college tuition.  And even with their high prices the street legal homologation machines were often unprofitable for the manufacturers so to cut down on losses the production run was typically a very small number of bikes.  For the FZR750RR/OW-01, production was 500 units over two years. But while Yamaha's 750cc powered machine was pricey and parts would always be a challenge, anyone who bought one did actually get something quite special: titanium rods, twin-ring pistons, an aluminum tank with a track ready fuel filler were all wrapped up in a beautiful hand welded frame. This was then combined with Ohlins suspension, magnesium brake calipers and quick detach sub-frame and axle release clamps.

And best of all, these track-oriented goodies weren't just for show. While not quite as successful as its main rival the Honda RC30, the FZR-750RR was used as the basis of multiple World Superbike wins, a British Sport Bike (BSB) title, set an Isle of Man TT lap record and was ridden to victory in the 1993 Daytona 200.

So in summary, homologation bikes were an opportunity for mere mortals to experience what a true race bike was like. They were also quite rare from a price and production number perspective and many were bought by privateer racers and then actually used on the track. This means that finding one today in pristine condition is quite a challenge and given that the primary rare sport bike criteria are condition, number produced, historical significance and technology, its only natural that the OW-01 always causes a fuss/is a big deal to collectors.

As for this FZR750RR/OW-01, a  quick look at the pictures in this auction show that the seller is a big fan on the late 1980's/early 1990's homolgation bikes.   The seller indicates a recent freshening of items which together with the low mileage means this one is a good option for someone building a collection.

Here is an overview of what the seller has to say

  • New battery,new fork seals and fork oil, new spark plugs
  • Fresh fluids including engine oil, new coolant flush, new brake fluid, and original air filter was serviced.
  • Carburetor jets and needles are original and still comes with the factory jetting set from the factory.  Runs a little rich at my elevation (Utah) but will need nothing if your going to run it at sea level. If your in a high elevation state it will need jets and fine tuning.
  • Still has the original factory tires, however there are age cracks in the sidewalls.
  • Still has its original chain & sprockets with factory safety wire, original brake pads and all original fairings and factory components.
  • Air breather hose was replaced since the original was hard and cracked.
  • Slight ripple in the muffler that does not show up in photos, you would never know it if I didn't mention it to you but its there.  Muffler was chromed and re-finished to repair the tiny ding in it that you cannot see now.
  • There is patina here and there as you would expect from a 28 year old motorcycle.  Also there was a scratch protection pad on the tank at one time, since been removed but has left a clear residue behind from adhesion.
  • The original fuel tank cap was replaced with a NOS OEM Yamaha fuel cap due to a rough edge from being dropped on the ground in the past we believe. Original fuel cap is included with sale.

?  

So, now for the price question- what is this bit of homologation era history going to cost?  While the listing has an excellent level of detail and some services have been done, the condition is not perfect (note the cracks in the dash foam) and there is a need for fresh tires.  Recent examples of FZR750RR/OW-01 on RSBFS  show a price range of between $16,000 -$25,000 USD so the sellers Buy-It-Now price of $27,500 seems to be a bit optimistic.

My person opinion is that the value of this one is right about $23,000 USD,  Current bid is at about $12,600 USD with about 5 days on the auction left.  Unless the seller has a significantly lower reserve than the Buy-It-Now price I don't think one will sell on the auction but any interested parties might want to follow the listing on Ebay and reach out to the seller after it ends.  Then again, Ebay can be a funny thing and part of being a smart collector is knowing when to pull the trigger so if this one is on your list, it might be time to move.

 

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Collector Alert:  1989 Yamaha FZR750RR/OW-01 with 741 miles