Posts by Category: Yamaha

Yamaha March 19, 2017 posted by

Collector Alert: 1998 Yamaha R1 with 4395 miles

1998 Yamaha R1 on ebay

Ahh the Yamaha YZF R1...not just the bike that moved the motorcycle world beyond the legendary Honda CBR900RR/ Fireblade but also the template for pretty much every superbike that followed.   When it was introduced the YZF-R1 changed the expecation of what a street superbike could by packaging a power to weight ratio that had only seen on pure track machines with a bike comfortable enough to use everyday.  It shouldn't be a surprise the R1 was named as "One-Of-The-10-Sportbikes-you-have-to-own!" by Practical Sportbikes in their Oct 2016 issue.   As motorcycling editor Phil West wrote

"In producing the  YZF R1 (Kunihiko) Miwa and his team not only revolutionized sportbike design, they created the template for every superbike to this day."

For anyone unfamiliar with the R1 development history, in 1996 most inside Yamaha believed the market for super-sportbikes was static or decreasing.  Faced with this lack of growth Yamaha decided the only path was to get a bigger share of the market "pie".  Authorization was given to start working on a new superbike with a mandate that it had to position Yamaha for both race and sales success.  This was a tall order given that the competition included the legendary Honda CBR900/Fireblade.

Lead by Kunihiko Miwa, a team of Yamaha engineers undertook the project guided by thee major concepts; make it have the highest power, make it have the lowest weight, and make ii have the most compact dimensions.  The result was a design that shortened the length of the engine by vertically stacking the gearbox (an unheard of feature for a streetbike) and then joined it with a new lightweight frame developed around the concept of ultra-light weight and rider control/ergonomics.  New handlebars/clipons, one piece brakes and even LCD gauges were all incorporated into the design.

Upon its launch in late 1997 the R1 delivered 150ps while weighing only 177kg  (that's 148gbp and 390 pounds in Imperial).  Not only did the R1 dramatically exceeded the performance of the competition, it and reset the bar that had been established by the Honda CBR900RR/Fireblade earlier in the decade, it also seemed like it came from a different planet compared to the Thunderace it was replacing.

This particular R1 is in the first year blue/silver color scheme which seems to have been more popular than the white/red style.  Condition looks to be absolutely pristine and the seller does a very good job with the photos showing the bikes condition.   While service history/details aren't much that is to be expected given the very low mileage.

Here is what the seller has to say:

  • No scratches, only a few pin size marks from road dust
  • Mileage under 5000
  • Original exhaust changed when new, inever used and comes with the bike
  • Original paint, seats, tires and rear bike stand
  • Original books, keys, Bill of sale, copy of MSO, original title, service records and shop manual.
  • Bike has had only 2 collector owners in its 19 year pampered life.   Always stored in Heated and Air Conditioned Collector Garage

So what is this benchmarking blue beauty worth?  The current asking price for this one is at $6995 USD which is kind of high in my opinion but not out of line with what we have seen previously on RSBFS.  While this one is not in the red and white bodywork more currently prized by collectors, it is in amazing shape.  I think a fair price for this one is about $6400, maybe a bit more if the seller throws in fresh rubber or shipping.

One final note - I think is important to recognize that just a few years ago a 1st year Yamaha R1 wasn't high on the list of future classics for most collectors.  Everyone seemed to think it was a great bike, probably the final great sport bike of the 1990's, and yes it dethroned the Honda CBR900RR/Fireblade, but a future classic?  While these same collectors were probably still searching for a Ducati 916SP or Kawasaki Zx7RR or perhaps even a first year CBR900RR/Fireblade, prices for first year R1's were  starting to move up and are now no longer cheap.  The value will probably continue to rise over time so this might be a rare chance to get one before prices get out of reach.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Collector Alert:  1998 Yamaha R1 with 4395 miles
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