Posts by Category: Yamaha

Yamaha December 9, 2016 posted by

Titled in AZ: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

The two-stroke race-replicas like this Yamaha RZ500 represent a brief, very exciting time in motorcycling. The 1980s were a difficult time for bikes as well as cars: technology was leaping forward while emissions legislation stifled performance at the same time it attempted to save the planet. Eventually, manufacturers would find ways to work within or around these laws and increase performance to the point where today's 190hp literbikes, with incredibly sophisticated engine management software, ABS, and traction control, are useable by mere mortals without fear that they'll die the first time the throttle is wound to the stop. But the RZ500, Suzuki's RG500 and, to a lesser extent, Honda's NS400R were pretty wild for their time. They weren't the fastest bikes on the road, but they combined light weight and decent power in a package that rewarded skilled riders.

The RZ500, also known as the RD500LC in some markets, was motivated by a liquid-cooled 50° two-stroke V4 that featured twin cranks, with midrange torque boosted by a pair of YPVS power valves and lubrication handled by Yamaha’s Autolube oil-injection. Some engine parts were cast from magnesium for lightness and are clearly labeled "MAGNESIUM" for maximum bragging rights. A balance shaft smoothed out vibrations, which had the intended effect of allowing the frame and other parts to be lighter, as they weren't required to withstand as much vibration, while simultaneously making the bike smoother and more civilized, a feature that ended up backfiring on Yamaha a bit...

The claimed 88hp was transferred to the 18" rear wheel via a six-speed gearbox with a wet clutch, while the front end featured anti-dive forks and a 16” wheel. Packaging all four expansion chambers into a compact sportbike meant some unusual choices were made and the rear shock was mounted horizontally under the engine to clear up some space for the upper cylinders’ expansion chambers, as well as the battery. The Japanese-market version of the bike, the RZV500R used an aluminum frame in place of the steel part to save weight and offset that bike's reduced 64hp and, if you're not concerned about that bike's generally lower value, might make for a serious hot-rod when de-restricted...

The bike was never officially available for purchase in the USA, but many found there way here via grey-market import from our northern neighbors in Canada. Compared to Suzuki's RG500, the RZ500's most direct competitor, it was heavier, a bit less powerful, and noticeably more "civilized." It's still a 500cc two-stroke though, and power, although aided by the displacement and the YPVS, still has a pretty pronounced two-stroke powerband and that distinctive stroker sound. These have been generally less desirable than Suzuki's race-replica, but interest in this forgotten class has seen a steady increase in values.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

A one-owner bike; I’m the original owner. Km: 14,678 ­­­Mileage: 9,120. Purchased November 15, 1986 from Year Round Yamaha in Calgary Alberta. Located in Glendale, AZ.

Details

This RZ500 is an original, completely stock example with no modifications whatsoever.  Full documentation including original Bill of Sale, all receipts, and complete maintenance and repair logs since new. Legally imported to the USA from Canada in June 1997. All import documents included. Clean Arizona title.

Includes

Both original keys, original owners manual, original tool bag and complete original tools, Yamaha Service Manual (Canadian Version), more than 100 OEM spare parts including many hard to find spares. Comes with magazines featuring the RZ500 from the period and a TAMIYA RZV500R model kit.

Condition

Very nice original condition, unmolested, unmodified, and extremely well looked after bike. There is nothing missing and all fasteners are correct OEM. The paint and metal work are excellent. There is a fairing crack in the lower left side fairing. This is covered by the belly faring and can’t be seen; however this should be repaired at some point. The bike is currently licensed and insured in Arizona and runs as it did when new.

Repair History

The bike has had two “garage accidents” resulting in a dented gas tank and a cracked upper fairing. The gas tank dent was professionally pounded out and repaired without any body filler. The fairing was plastic welded. Both the fairing and gas tank were expertly painted by Art Line Painting in Toronto. The bike also had a 3 MPH tip over resulting in scratches to the left fairing. This panel was also touched up by Art Line Painting in Toronto. The paint repairs are excellent and completely match the OEM paint. See photos or ask for specific photos and I’ll provide them. The motor has been repaired twice; once in 1994 (6,672 KM) to replace a crankshaft bearing and once in 2002 (10,656 Km) to replace a crankshaft seal. In both instances, no short cuts were taken; all seals, o-rings and gaskets were replaced in addition to the failed part.  

While the mishaps the seller describes are unfortunate, they're to be expected when talking about a bike that's 30 years old, and the repairs indicate the kind of attention that's been lavished on the bike to keep it in top shape. From the photos, it appears to be in excellent, if not perfect cosmetic shape and, as the seller indicates, been kept in original condition. The bike's titled status is a bonus if you're looking to use it on the road, but would also make a pretty nice collector.

-tad

Titled in AZ: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale
Yamaha November 26, 2016 posted by

Black Friday – 1990 Yamaha FZR400

Junior welterweight-sized FZR 400's were made for markets with progressive licensing laws, and couldn't last in the U.S. displacement arms race.  Still, they are revered for their handling,  light weight and fun factor.  Many were fed into the racing mill, but this rare black version survived beautifully.

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1990 Yamaha FZR400 for sale on eBay

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Pushing nearly 60 horses out of the 399 cc inline four, the FZR400 had plenty of motivation, though it arrived at a tall 11,500 rpm.  While many larger sportbikes used steel frames, the 400's Deltabox was aluminum.  Front forks were right-sized at 41 mm, and the rear monoshock was only adjustable for preload.  Brakes are capable with twin 282mm front disks and 210mm rear.  Dual headlights dominate the front of the full fairing, and the smallish rider's seat is downstairs from a diminutive pillion.

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Appearing to be a one-rider bike with under 2,500 miles, this FZR appears unrestored though some freshening up has been done.  A few photos without fairing show this to be a very lightly used and clean example.  As the owner states in the eBay auction:

Impeccable as new condition, legendary Yamaha road racer. One owner 2478 original miles. I have in hand the original title,  bill of sale/invoice & all Yamaha documents. All stock, except for braided steel front brake lines, aftermarket fork springs, new tires & a new sealed gel battery. Carbs have a recent sync, head decarbonized & valve clearances checked. This bike runs as good as it looks. Starts & idles smoothly hot or cold. Great verbal history as well.

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The Japanese manufacturers have an extraordinarily competitive spirit, and innovations of the mid-1980's that had recently been on their GP bikes soon found their way to the showroom.  While the FZR400 never had quite the speed of the Honda or Kawasaki, there was a build quality and price advantage which translated into more racetrack time, where truth will out.  This FZR400 has been renewed mechanically and looks ready to help the next rider discover that truth again, but this time in a subdued paint scheme, instead of the usual red and white...

-donn

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Black Friday – 1990 Yamaha FZR400
Yamaha November 23, 2016 posted by

11 Out of 10 – 1984 Yamaha RZ350

Evolving from the now-vintage RD350, Yamaha made a splash with the first perimeter frame for the RZ350, along with the YPVS power valve and rear monoshock.  Due to emissions concerns it was short-lived in the U.S., but this example is better than excellent.

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1984 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

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Yamaha's 347cc parallel twin is water cooled and has oil metering, making its 50-plus hp at least less troublesome.  An early adopter of catalysts and vapor canisters, the RZ had a temperature warning light on the dash for the cats.  Emissions were also reduced by the YPVS ( Yamaha Power Valve System ) moveable exhaust port, and its rudimentary computer control extended the twin's powerband.  Elsewhere the bike was well-equipped for the day, with 32mm conventional forks, preload-adjustable rear monoshock, and 267 mm disk brakes disks all around.  The flowing lines of the tank and seat fairing were complemented by the handlebar mounted bikini up front, available in red/white or Kenny Roberts yellow paint.

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Not often seen so original, this RZ350 comes out of Illinois with just under 7,000 miles.  Exhausts have been updated to expansion chambers and mufflers, but elsewhere it's surprisingly unfettered, and the factory finishes around the bike are beautiful.  Most often seen with a dual seat, this one has the sporty monoposto.  From the eBay auction:

Up for sale is a 1984 Yamaha RZ350 K/R. This bike is in Museum quality condition. Paint on entire bike is original and in like new condition. This bike comes with the single seat option. All dual seat parts are included with this sale. Bike has Chamber exhaust from HVC cycle. Carbs have been jetted for exhaust and a Y boot with a K&N air filter attached. Look, at all the pictures and check out the video attached, lots of info can be had from this. If you are looking at this bike then I'm sure you aware of its heritage and the somewhat rareness of it. There are only 3 minor flaws, 1- the windscreen on the bike has a crack about 1 inch in length. There is a brand new NOS screen in a box that will go with the bike. It has never been installed. 2- The speedo is what I call sleepy. After the bike sits for some time the bike has to be ridden approx. a mile before the speedo will register. This has been this way since I've owned the bike. Always works so I've left it alone. 3- There is a super small ding in the tank in the very front right side than cant even be seen unless your really looking. Just want to be real honest.  I didn't see it until I owned the bike for several years. I've owned the bike approx. 5 years and have never had a ounce of trouble with just regular maintenance.  The bike is being sold without a warranty and shipping is up to buyer. I can store the bike for a short time in a heated garage.

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Light weight was always the RZ's unkept secret, fully fueled it was still under 400 lbs., allowing the limited horsepower, bargain suspension and diminutive brakes to work their magic.  Many of the model found their way to the track, or were modified for the street, but the RZ350 presented here has been spared most of that agony.  Likely to continue as an occasional rider or show bike, the original equipment and finishes make this Kenny Roberts edition very special...

-donn

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11 Out of 10 – 1984 Yamaha RZ350
Yamaha November 19, 2016 posted by

One Year Wonder – 1987 Yamaha FZ700

1987 brought a trade tariff for motorcycles over 700cc, and Yamaha's response was to de-stroke their recently designed FZ750 to 697cc's. Though it had the Genesis 5-valve head, some sporting aspirations were value-engineered out. Still, it was an able street performer and is now very rare.

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1987 Yamaha FZ700 for sale on eBay

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Carrying some interesting design points from the 1985 FZ750, the 700's straight four is canted well forward to 45 degrees, with the four Mikunis pointed up, and a substantial portion of the fuel load moved down and behind the airbox.  This arrangement paid the steel twin-spar center of gravity benefits as well.  38mm forks and rear monoshock were budget conscious, brakes as well with 267mm disks in triplicate.  The fairing is lightly updated from 1985 and provides good protection and great looks.

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With photos showing just under 10K miles, the Iowa owner states the current mileage is just under 13,000, hoping there's little difference between the before and after pictures.  It boasts progressive fork springs and braided brake lines but it's otherwise stock.  From the eBay auction:

Very nice used 1987 Yamaha FZ700 in very good condition. Does show some wear, scuffs, scratches here and there, otherwise looks very good. Gets a lot of looks and good comments from people. It starts well, runs well, shifts and brakes very well. The front suspension has been upgraded with progressive springs. It has stainless steel brake lines front and rear. This is a bike you can start it up and ride for hundreds of miles with out any problem.

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Though Yamaha was in between very sporty periods with the FZ's, the 700 had plenty of giddayup for an 11-1/2 second quarter and road-if-not-track-worthy handling.  Classic showroom management with the FZR baiting the eventual FZ sales.  Might be just the low pressure entrée into a classic sportbike...

-donn

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One Year Wonder – 1987 Yamaha FZ700
Yamaha November 6, 2016 posted by

Everybody Loves a Winner: 1998 Yamaha TZ250 for Sale

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Just so we're clear: this 1998 Yamaha TZ250 is not to be confused with the road-going but also very cool TZR250. The TZ250 was Yamaha's over-the-counter GP machine, a pure race bike. As such, "originality" is a relative thing, and these things have typically evolved over their racing careers with the goal of winning at any cost. This particular TZ250 has obviously been thoroughly developed, as it was the AMA 250 GP Championship winner in 1999...

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Like the later versions of the TZR250, the TZ250 was powered by a liquid-cooled two-stroke v-twin, backed by a six-speed gearbox, with a classic "banana" swingarm out back. The bike was designed to appeal to entry-level racers and is relatively reliable for a pure racing machine, but it will obviously need regular rebuilds and much more maintenance than a roadbike.

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The 1998 TZ250 seen here featured revised plastics, including that tapered tail that looks a bit like the later Aprilia RS250. The new bodywork also featured a sealed airbox and a ram-air intake to feed the updated carburetors, along with a host of minor upgrades to the rest of the bike.

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From the original eBay listing: AMA Championship-Winning 1998 Yamaha TZ250 for Sale

You've heard of Barn Finds... Time Capsules...  Museum Liquidations....   well today, have I got one for you! This is THE 1999 AMA 250 GP Championship winning machine as piloted by Chuck Sorensen.  Exactly as it ran, with factory spares to boot!  It was, and possibly is still today- one of the fastest 250s in the country.

I purchased this in early 2003, directly from James Siddall- owner of World Sports Imports.  This was James' trophy bike.  He mentioned that after it crossed the finish line, it went directly to his office to set behind his desk.  The only hands that have touched the motorcycle since purchase were those of Perry Melneciuc -who, if you know him- besides his being a Factory Mechanic for Ducati, Honda, Yamaha, AMA Race Teams- is considered the most correct, fastidious, compulsive Gran Prix mechanic alive.  All that, PLUS he was a World Sports' team member/rider.  Perry went thru it from tip to tail and made certain everything was correct, fresh and set to their true running settings.  (Perry's notes are included in the sale as to what World Sports ran and what it is set for now -including upper/lower, unleaded/leaded, head volume, deck height, squish, carb settings, transmission selections, etc.)
 
After Perry's meticulous go-thru, fluids were drained and it went into storage/display.  Until now....
 
The motorcycle is completely outfitted with very rare and otherwise unobtainable parts.  Almost every single nut, bolt, axle and pivot is either titanium or aluminum.  Forks and shock are the state of the art (for the time) Ohlins.  Expansion chambers/pipes are factory "A" kit titanium.  Wheels, are five spoke Marvics.
 
The spares package is rich and thick:
 
*Complete set of later model Corbin  #1 body work (seat, two lowers, two uppers, tank (un-dented) (left over from the 2000 campaign)
*Extra set of Factory "A" kit steel expansion chambers
*Sprockets (front and rear) and carriers
*Clutch basket (inner, outer) rod, gear, bearings etc
*two cyclinders
*at least three sets of heads (8.1cc, 8.3cc w/ deto sensors, etc)
*2 Ohlins alternate shock springs
*alternate Ohlins fork springs
*throttle sleeve
*Stator/Rotor
*New side cover with new gasket in package
*TEN brand new matched pistons with rings, wristpins, etc.
*4DP-40 CDI (black box)
*one World Sports Imports Team Polo shirt!
*two (matched L/R set of brake rotors)
*19 spark plugs (11 in bag, used, 8 in holder used but entirely serviceable.
*foot pegs, clutch springs, etc
*electrical umbilical cord for exhaust valve setting
*spare battery, charger
*the SEVENTY-FIVE (not including the ones in the motorcycle) individual gears/alternate ratios that make up the UNOBTAINABLE FACTORY RACING TRANSMISSION KIT.
*tire warmers, f/r stands
*etc.
 
To further document things, the photos should take over from here.  I tried to photograph all the spares so you can paw thru them...  but one photo got missed -showing the two alternate rate Ohlins shock springs. The only thing that has happened to the bike in the years on display is the right aluminum clip-on split due fatigue/time under load.  (You can actually see it in photo #6, right clip on...  a small white line, about 3/4").
 
Outside of that- the motorcycles' internals are fresh and as set by Perry.  With fluids, tires, battery and a proper set up for you- the bike is ready to ride.
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There are no takers yet at the $17,500 starting bid. The listing includes a huge amount of spares as described by the seller, something that can make or break the deal on a bike like this, unless you're just planning to simply display it. Two-strokes, especially highly-strung, tuned-to-within-an-inch-of-their-lives racing two-strokes consume parts regularly. Folks racing on a budget are likely familiar with that and comfortable wrenching but, when you're running a nearly twenty-year-old, limited-production motorcycle with parts you likely could never have simply picked up on the shelves of your local dealer, the chances of finding what you need are vanishingly small.
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And not only are maintenance parts included, but go-fast bits are in the mix. I can't imagine there's a track in the world you couldn't configure those seventy-five gears to tackle, which is probably the whole point, and I have no idea what the trick front end and shock would be worth on the open market. $17,500+ is a lot of money, but considering the race-winning history and the fact that it's basically a complete race-bike kit in a box (just add rider) that suddenly starts to seem pretty reasonable.
-tad
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Everybody Loves a Winner: 1998 Yamaha TZ250 for Sale
Yamaha October 31, 2016 posted by

Cali-Titled Two-Stroke: 1985 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale

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I have some bad news for anyone who lusted after the Yamaha RZV500 when it was new: the bike is now 31 years old. With any luck, you're aging as well as this V4 two-stroke GP-replica, although I'm sure that varies by individual. And that's the thing about bikes and bikers this old: even if they've been relatively well cared-for, they've still very likely picked up a few dings, scuffs, and scratches. Some call that "patina" and some call it "wear and tear." Whichever side you come down on, this particular RZV500 is exceptional condition.

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The RZV500 was powered by a twin-crank, liquid-cooled two-stroke V4 with a set of torque-boosting YPVS powervalves and standard Autolube oil-injection. Two-strokes can seem pretty raw, but the Yamaha used a balance shaft to smooth engine vibration. This was intended to allow the other parts of the bike like the frame and brackets to be more lightly built for less weight, but had the side effect of making the bike more civilized to ride.

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A six-speed gearbox put power to the 18" rear wheel and the bike's compact design necessitated a rear shock mounted under the engine, Buell-style, to free up space for the bulging expansion chambers for the rear pair of cylinders. Forks were high-tech as well, and featured an anti-dive system.

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Although it was thought of as being less sporty than its only direct competitor, Suzuki's RG500 Gamma, but that kind of thing is relative and the Yamaha was still a cutting-edge sportbike with a combination of power, light weight, and an evocative link to the two-stroke Moto GP racebikes of the era.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale

All original RZV500R Yamaha. A true and original 51x bike with aluminum frame and all original engine/body and exhaust. Imported into Calif in the 1990s and titled there. Clear title.

Frame is 51x, engine is original.

Ridden on nice Sundays until 2004 when it was put in storage with fuel drained. Kicks over easily. Will need to be serviced by new owner.

Certainly a motorcycle that belongs in a museum or private collection.

Bike is in wonderful shape, but has been ridden. Minor scuffing and etc but zero dents and no cracks in body.

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Mileage is very low: just 7,400 and the bike's overall condition reflects this, helped by the fact that the bike has been off the road for a while. It'll likely need some going through before it's road-ready, since rubber bits like brake lines tend to get dry and brittle with age, especially when they've been left sitting. Bidding is very active and up north of $10,000 with several days left and the Reserve Not Met, no surprise considering the condition of this RZV.

-tad

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Cali-Titled Two-Stroke: 1985 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale