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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

6 Comments

  • I remember the state of Ca. threatening to “crush” these evil gross polluters if they caught you with one on a public road, therefore, they MUST have been a cool bike! The counterbalencer/vibe cancellation design of the lump could however, be problematic. The JM chambers make up for the motor refresh this example probably needs…

  • I believe I have seen this bike in person. If the same one I was amazed to hear the mileage as the bodywork looked very fresh. Did not ride or start the bike but was a reputable owner.

  • C’mon Big Bang, your comments are usually more accurate than this..haven’t had your coffee yet perhaps? Seller’s first sentence mentions a rebuilt motor less than 1000kms ago..

  • I worked with a gentleman who rode one to work. I met him the day I rode my RZ350 in. He loved my low mileage pristine bike and wanted to trade me straight across! His was not running very smoothly so I passed. Man, I wish I had that RZ500 now! I sold my RZ350 for $2500 in 1989 and his was long gone before that.

    • BTW, this was in San Luis Obispo, California. Neither one of us ever got hassled by the police.

  • Sorry Colin, when “they” (THE SELLER) states that the mill has been “gone through” I tend to do the pilot thing. A: make damn sure every thing is a ok, B: make damn sure you have a place to land. Now at 10,000 rpm in 6th gear, I don’t trust anyone! Any further questions?

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