Posts by Category: Yamaha

Yamaha March 10, 2017 posted by

Thawed: 1984 Yamaha RZ500

In many parts of the country, it would appear that a wet winter has relented to an early summer. Warmer temperatures seem to prevail, which leads to more riding, sooner in the year. This particular RZ500 - the model a shoe-in for top 10 bikes searched by RSBFS readers - was a Canadian import now a Florida resident. With importation already taken care of, an avid rider can simply take advantage and shred a knee puck or two. Dragging appendages shouldn't be an issue, given the RZ's reputation for outstanding handling; the frame is a basic-yet-stout mild steel box-section affair arranged in a perimeter layout. The rest of the bike is packaged around the fabulous V-4, two-stoke power plant, with the rear shock placed horizontally under the engine. Given the need for expansion chamber space (it is a smoker after all) the under-seat area is chock full of the upper cylinders' pipes. The end result is more mass down low, and a very transition-friendly machine.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on eBay

From the seller:
RECENT CANADIAN IMPORT. PREVIOUS OWNER BOUGHT FROM ESTATE SALE. OWNER DECIDED TO POWDER COAT FRAME AND WHEELS AS THESE LET DOWN THE CONDITION OF THE REST OF THE BIKE. THE FRAME AND WHEELS CAME OUT AMAZING.

HE HAD ANOTHER MECHANIC HELP HIM CHECK OUT THE ENGINE AS IT SHOWED 46K KILOMETERS ON THE SPEEDO. ENGINE HISTORY WAS UNKNOWN. COMPRESSION/LEAK DOWN CHK WAS GOOD AND THE ENGINE WAS IN PRISTINE CONDITION VISUALLY WITH NEWLY FINISHED COVERS ETC ALL GASKETS THAT WERE VISIBLE LOOKED NEW AND THEY TOOK CLUTCH COVERS OFF ALL LOOKED GREAT. THE CARBS WERE CAREFULLY TUNED AND SET UP AND THE BIKE RUNS LOVELY. STARTS HOT OR COLD AND REVS FREELY.

A VERY GOOD 9 I WOULD SAY FOR CONDITION PLS CHK PICS AND SEE FOR YOURSELF.

From a riding perspective, it is very hard to go wrong with an RZ500. These are performance machines, and provided you are willing to deal with the vibration, smoke and somewhat compromising riding position, you might think you had died and gone to heaven. Power is quite respectable (about 80 HP in stock trim), and weight is nicely managed with a claimed dry weight of 438 lbs. Prices have held strong over the last 5-7 years, making this a model that costs more to get into with each passing year. That is bad news for someone who wants one, but good news for anyone that either has one or has the cash to purchase one. This is a safe investment bet from a two wheeled perspective, although the appreciation may not be as great as with other machines (i.e. RC30).

This bike is available in Florida. It is not clear if the seller simply imported the bike, or imported and legally registered the bike for use in the USA. That would be a pretty big decider, as a licensed RZ500 in the US is worth more (considerably more) than a "sold with a bill of sale" example. The seller does claim a mechanic has made an inspection of this approximately 28,000 mile machine, but seal replacement can be critical to a two stroke to prevent air ingestion (and the resultant lean seizure). As always, we recommend that you investigate carefully, as lots of questions, and - if at all possible - see the bike in question in person. This is a popular auction with bidding above $9,000 USD and reserve not yet met. Check it out here, and be sure and share your thoughts on the model. Good Luck!!

MI

Yamaha March 7, 2017 posted by

On the bubble? 1988 Yamaha FZR400

In the feast-or-famine world of eBay, we seem to be experiencing a bit of a glut from the Fizzer 400 quarter. We don't always see a ready supply of these bikes, but in the first part of 2017 we have witnessed a steady stream. That is the good news. A RSBFS fan favorite, there is much to recommend when it comes to this little 400cc machine. While HP is not impressive, this in-line four will rev to the moon, and with an aluminum delta-box twin-spar frame, adjustable suspension and a tidy riding position, cornering speeds usually surpass those of the bigger (heavier) bikes. What's not to love? Well, therein lies the bad news: prices are rising on these underrated sport bikes. If you have one now, hang on to it. If you are in the market for one, tread carefully (and prepare to spend some cash). Or wait to see if the bubble bursts.

1988 Yamaha FZR400 for sale on eBay

This FZR400 is claimed to be an original one-owner bike with fewer than 3,000 miles on it. The pics show a clean bike with no discernible rash. There seems to be a slight mark on the upper left corner of the fairin, but is easily forgiven on a bike of this age. Even the tops of the trees are free from the swinging key syndrome. The bodywork appears to be intact, and overall the bike is very clean and presents well. Given the difficulty of finding parts for these models, we recommend to purchase the best example you can find; the more complete the better. This looks like a complete bike, with some spares. Did I mention it is clean?

From the seller:
Up for your consideration is an original 1988 FZR400 Motorcycle with 2,609 original miles. Motorcycle has had one owner and stored in the garage since new. The auction includes owners and service manuals, spare keys and period performance parts that were never installed. The bike needs carb work to idle well.

I often wonder about additional performance parts included with the sale of a stock motorcycle. I wonder about exceptionally low miles in a cable-driven odometer world. The devil's advocate in me also wonders about the idle issues; is this simply a case of sitting unused too long, or is there something else lurking behind the scenes. Why are the tank cover mount grommets and screws missing/broken (or appear to be) - oversight or other? To be precise, this bike is not completely stock - the NRC case covers are clear aftermarket items. Again, the devil on my shoulder prods at me; is this preventative maintenance or evidence of a previous boo boo? There is nothing nefarious going on that I can tell from the advert, but if I had any Spidey sense it might be tingling, prompting me to either ask more questions or check the bike out in person.

Of course the devil that is poking at me sprang up from the asking price: $7,500. That would be a serious high-water mark for one of these models, and at that price I would expect perfection. We typically see FZR400s as $3,500 - $5,000 bikes, with exceptional examples fetching a bit more. You can't blame a seller for trying to get top dollar, and you can be sure I will be watching this one carefully, as it could be a price barometer for the type. If nothing else, we continue to see good examples of the FZR400 in the market - and that is something that should make all of us very happy. Check it out here and let us know what you think.

MI

On the bubble? 1988 Yamaha FZR400
Yamaha March 5, 2017 posted by

Japanese Spec: 1986 Yamaha TZR250

After a brief interlude, welcome back to the meat and potatoes of RSBFS programming; a tasty two stroke import. This particular TZR250 is actually a pre-import - in that it is currently still located in Japan. The seller outlines the documentation and services they will provide with the sale below. Given that we have seen legally licensed imports for sale on these very pages (such as this Featured Listing), one would have to wonder if it is worth the effort to go through the trouble of importing rather than waiting for the right bike to come along stateside. Depending upon your state of residence and your willingness to do paperwork and play with the local DMV, this could be a good way to get that rare smoker that you want (but can't find here).

1986 Yamaha TZR250 for sale on eBay

The TZR250 is a parallel twin, first introduced in 1986. There was a Japanese home market model (1KT) and a European model (2MA), the latter which differed primarily by road-going legalities such as headlight size, turn signal placement, etc. However the 2MA variant does have both a lower compression ration and more HP (50 vs 45), given that Japanese market bikes were restricted in output. The seller claims that this is a 1KT bike that has been upgrade to 2XT status, but it is not clear what exactly that entails. In the course of some research, I have seen 2MA (Euro) bikes listed as 2MA/2XT, so it could be as simple as regional updates. If you are in the know when it comes to TZRs, please chime in via the Comments Section. Your knowledge is always welcome.

From the seller:
Rare 2 stroke bike from Japan!!

YAMAHA TZR250 1KT

VIN: 1KT-012896
Year: 1986
Mileage:  15,132 km
Condition: Good condition and running very well. It is 2XT convert bike but VIN is 1KT model. Front brake cariper is Brembo 40mm. Body work has some scratches and tiny cracks. But still looks good.

Shipping : We'll put it into the wooden crate and ship by surface.
We'll enclose Japanese original title, and also Sales Certificate and Bill of Sales issued by us in English. Shipping cost: The bid price includes shipping cost to overseas, and it's charged from our office in Japan to the nearest port to your address.

We expect you'd pick it up at the port and arrange the land transport to your address by yourself. The other cost, such as the handling cost, duty fee, tax, etc. which will be charged in your country, they're not included there.

This bike shows all the hallmarks of a home market survivor: some corrosion is evident thanks to the proximity of the ocean air, there are bodywork nicks, scrapes and cracks no doubt obtained in close-quarter parking situations, and some road rash reminiscent of some youthful squidliness (don't ask me how I know what that looks like). Otherwise it appears to be a solid survivor. The bike has 15k on the odometer, but being a Japanese spec machine that is in kilometers. The mileage equivalent would be approximately 9,400 miles. Be aware that bikes imported from Japan do not have a 17 digit VIN, which may be a problem come registration time.

The price of entry for this 250 is only $3,800 USD. The seller will also entertain offers. That price includes the cost to crate and ship the bike to your home port. That is not a lot of coin, but then again, you have to take the risk, do the legwork, and get (potentially) buried in red tape or paperwork. Any of the RSBFS faithful have experience in these matters? If so, let us know if it was a dream, a nightmare or something in between. Check out this TZR250 here, and then check back into the Comments Section and share your thoughts and knowledge. And smoke on!

MI

Japanese Spec: 1986 Yamaha TZR250
Yamaha February 25, 2017 posted by

Clean Machine: 1988 Yamaha FZR400

Aluminum perimeter chassis. Aluminum swingarm. Inline four-cylinder power plant. Four valves per cylinder. 14,000 RPM redline. Racing-inspired bodywork with dual headlights. Solo saddle cover to look like a monoposto. Triple disk brakes. Competent, adjustable suspension on both ends. The list of included technology reads like our favorite recipe. The only difference is in the calories: We're not talking about a middleweight 600 or open class liter bike here, but rather the smaller 400cc rocket from Yamaha.

1988 Yamaha FZR400 for sale on eBay

The FZR was not the only 400cc class participant, but in the US it was the only game in town. Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki all offered some version of a tweener, each in some way more potent than the FZR. Yet the smaller Fizzer (although not the smallest Fizzer by any means) holds a loyal following among riders, and is generally praised as THE BEST handling sport bike to come out of the 1980s - and maybe beyond. Targeting more advanced riders, the FZR was neither the cheapest form of transport available nor was it really a beginner's bike. Unfortunately in the US, sub-500cc motorcycles are generally lumped into "first timer" categories, and many were purchased (with good intentions) as exactly that. If the bike was not abused at the hands of a newbie rider, it had a good chance of being flogged in competition, or just generally thrashed hard on the street. Not many pristine FZRs exist today, and those that do command a price.

From the seller:
ONE OF THE FEW NICE UNMOLESTED RED/WHITE FZR 400'S OUT THERE. All original except Supertrapp pipe and alarm. Manual, seat cowl, cover, original rear fender/turn signals. RUNS EXCELLENT !!

EXCELLENT CONDITION FOR THE YEAR a few minor cracks in plastic. The lower fairings having been cracked up but the bike never actually having been laid down !!!

This FZR definitely looks clean and pretty well cared for. It is well known that most of these bikes have lived a hard life - many of them on the racetrack. This one seems to have escaped much of that, but is not without some scars. The damage to the plastics is unfortunate, as these pieces are no longer available from Yamaha. And given the way the fairing scoops stick out, the damage to these areas is common. The remedies are not easy, but should be cosmetic only; this bike could still be an outstanding rider. And speaking of the riding experience, if the carbs have been rejetted properly for the exhaust then this could be quite the screaming little Fizzer.

The non-stock add-ons (signals, pipe and alarm) detract from the collector value of this bike, but some of the stock pieces are included with the sale. We don't see too many FZR400s - even though they were legally imported into the US - as these were not high-volume bikes in the day. The asking price for this one is a bit steep as far as Fizzers go, with an opening ask of $5k USD and zero takers thus far. The price is in the ballpark for a well-loved example , but probably a bit on the high side for an opening bid. Check it out here, and be sure to share your experiences with the FZR400 in the Comments section.

MI

Clean Machine: 1988 Yamaha FZR400
Yamaha February 23, 2017 posted by

North Star: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 in Canada

Perennial fan favorite, the RZ500 ranks among the top bikes viewed, watched, clicked on or lusted after on the pages of RSBFS. And it's no wonder why: with GP-inspired good looks, twin-crank V-4 two stroke power and a racing pedigree, the big RZ was all that riders could want from a sport bike in the early to mid 1980s. It made the right noises, had the go-fast credentials, and made one feel like King Kenny or Eddie Lawson right out of the box; as long as that box was not opened in the USA. Perhaps it is the forbidden fruit aspect of the big RZ that gets the blood pumping. Although readily available in most other world markets, the US was left wanting.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on eBay

Yamaha made two versions of this bike. For most of the world, they released what you see here: the RZ500. For the home market in Japan, Yamaha produced the RZV500. The RZV sports an aluminum chassis and weighs less than the RZ. However home market rules limited the HP, and thus the RZV was sold in de-rated condition. In stock form the RZ was the faster of the two bikes, although the hot combination is the RZV chassis with an RZ-spec (or greater) engine setup.

From the seller:
Awesome V4 2 stroke collector bike, less than 1000kms since engine was rebuilt, bike is in fantastic condition, sounds great with the Jolly Moto pipes which are worth 2k alone
comes with the original pipes in nice condition, original airboxes and mirrors
serious bidders only, no its not cheap for a collector item like this,
bike is located in BC Canada

shipping is buyers responsibility, i will assist whatever transport company you choose
dont ask me for a shipping quote, ask them

Since none of the RZ500s that landed in North America officially made it to the US, the quickest route to smoker glory came from our friends north of the border. Imported Canadian RZs have been fulfilling the fantasies of American riders ever since these beasts hit the showroom floor, and continue to offer a steady supply of ring-a-ding-ding to those with the desire and wherewithal. Shipping and paperwork not necessarily included.

With rare Jolly Moto pipes, some mods and a recent rebuild, this example could be a good find for someone interested in riding their collection in anger. It is not in pristine, stock condition - but appears to be holding up well. Nearly 30,000 miles have passed under the wheels of this bad boy, but it lacks the type of corrosion we typically see from bikes in this locale. Pity the pipes require rear bodywork changes, but it's probably worth it as the revs rise and bike comes on full song. Located in BC, Canada, this RZ500 could be your cure for the winter blues.

MI

North Star: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 in Canada
Yamaha February 21, 2017 posted by

Going Solo: 1994 Yamaha YZF750R for Sale

A solo seat on a sportbike is a statement of intent that says, "I'm a very serious sports motorcycle rider, and a passenger will only slow me down when I'm out dragging a knee in the canyons." Or maybe it just says that your significant other has their own motorcycle for canyon-carving... Honestly, considering the utterly impractical nature of modern sportbike design, pillion seats and pegs are, for all intents and purposes, largely decorative. Sure, people can ride back there in a pinch, but it ain't much fun. The comfort situation might have been better back in the 1980s and 1990s, but the message broadcast by a solo tail like the one on this very clean Yamaha YZF750R is the same now as it was then.

The top-spec YZF750SP was never officially sold here in the USA, and the R lacked that bike's adjustable swingarm pivot, flatslide carbs, and bolt-on rear subframe/solo seat combo. Gearbox ratios were different as well and the bike featured hotter cams and higher-spec suspension. With a claimed 125hp from the 749cc engine and a dry weight of 432lbs, absolute performance is closer to a modern 600 than a genuine superbike, but with some upgrades to the suspension and modern tires, there's plenty of fun to be had.

Ironically, the most significant part of the YZF750's story might be three other letters: CBR. The CBR900RR was introduced in 1993 and basically rewrote the rules for the class, offering nearly literbike power in a 750cc package. It ignored established rules that saw roadbike displacements reflecting racing class limits to embody the "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" philosophy: until the introduction of the CBR, the 750cc class was hotly contested on the street as it was in World Superbike, the premier production-based racing class of the era, where it represented the class limit for four-cylinder displacement. But the CBR belonged to no racing class at all and its popularity helped signal the end of the 750 class dominance.

But that certainly doesn't mean the YZF750R is a bad motorcycle. In fact, the 750cc bikes represent the pinnacle of 1990s superbike development. I prefer the earlier round headlamps to these "cat's eye" peepers and the simpler, less garish "speedblock" graphics of the late 1980s, but there's no arguing that, if you want a 90's superbike, you'd be hard-pressed to find one nicer than this YZF750R.

From the original eBay listing: 1994 Yamaha YZF750R for Sale

For sale is my truly superb YZF750R. I was with intention to hold onto it forever but I am seriously short of good garage space following my son's moving here from overseas with his "toys" etc. This may be the best one in the country, no exaggeration!  It looks like it left the showroom this morning.

This model was only imported for about 2 years and most of them were just used for the race track. This bike has NEVER seen a race track!  It starts up instantly, idles smoothly, is very fast and I have never had it close to the red line of 13,000rpm.  It has only done 6,600  miles from new, no noises or smoke or any leaks. When tested by magazines at the time, this model attained a speed of 165mph, a deep sounding after market exhaust system lets a bit more power out! For those not familiar with this machine, it has the 5 valves per cylinder engine.

It will purr along at 40 mph in 6th gear and carburates perfectly. I use full synthetic Mobil motorcycle oil and non ethanol 93 octane gas. I will be 70 years old next year and take it out for a 20 mile ride every few weeks on the local back roads here in NC.   I have had many, many bikes over the years both on the road and on the track, and this one always gives me a grin when I dismount.

I am starting the bidding at $5000 with no reserve. NADA has it valued way above this with a lot more miles for the year. I paid more than this a few years ago.  Ride it home or I will assist with any shipping to be paid for by the high bidder.  Clear NC title.

I'm not sure the seller is correct that "most of them were just used for the race track," as that was the job of the higher-spec YZF750SP. But, since the SP was never officially sold in the USA, you certainly would have started with this bike if you wanted to race a 750cc Yamaha here in the 1990s. That being said, the later YZF750 is a pretty rare machine in any guise here in the USA, especially in such extremely clean, low-mileage condition. Starting bid for this very nice YZF is $5,000 with no takers yet and four days left on the auction. That's definitely on the high end for a YZF but, if you've got an eye towards collectibility, it doesn't seem outrageous, considering this one is so clean you could just about eat off it.

The YZF750R generally came with pillion accommodations but the solo tail seen here, possibly from an SP, should save some weight and allows the aftermarket pipe to tuck in higher and closer for improved cornering clearance. It certainly looks the part. The D&D exhaust and the fake-looking carbon dash, on the other hand, are much more questionable choices but are easily replaced with a bit of careful eBay shopping. I'm not exactly sure what that switch on the left fairing in-fill panel does, though. Last time I saw one of those on a bike, it was a switch to turn off the rear brake light in case you needed to, um... run from the cops.

-tad

Going Solo: 1994 Yamaha YZF750R for Sale