Posts by tag: 1985

Suzuki April 19, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1985 Suzuki RG400Γ for Sale

With prices of Suzuki's RG500Γ "Gamma" through the roof right now, fans of 80s two-stroke exotica have had to look elsewhere for their smoky thrills, and today's Featured Listing RG400Γ might be just the ticket for collectors seeking two-stroke performance on a less extravagant budget. Certainly, values of the Japanese-market RG400Γ have been below those of the bigger bike, in spite of it being less common, owing to a significant power deficit: claimed weight is nearly identical at 340lbs dry, but claimed power is down significantly from 93hp to 59. That'd still make for a pretty fun package in a road bike, and you're still looking at better straight-line performance than the 250cc machines of the same period.

1985 Suzuki RG400 for sale on eBay

The Gamma was introduced in 1985 and lasted until 1987, although none of the bigger two-stroke machines lasted very long on the market. Suzuki's race-replica two-stroke was powered by an unusual liquid-cooled, square four engine that was configured like a siamesed pair of parallel twins, with two crankshafts and the "rear twin" slightly higher than the front for a sort of stepped design. The firing order helped to cancel out vibrations and the Gamma was designed without a heavy, power-consuming balance shaft as a result. The smaller RG400 was intended specifically for the Japanese market and was powered by a version of the engine that used the same 50.6mm stroke, but a smaller bore of 50mm versus 56mm to arrive at the reduced 397cc displacement.

Two-stroke engines are simple and very light weight, making them perfect for off-road and commuter machines. But that same incredible simplicity and a relatively high power-to-weight ratio also make them ideal for road-racing motorcycles and, once Walter Kaaden's two-stroke tuning secrets were "acquired" by Suzuki, they dominated Grand Prix motorcycle racing into the modern era. Riders familiar with performance two-stroke motorcycles love their incredible agility and savage power delivery, characteristics that defined the Gamma when it was new. As has been pointed out ad nauseam in the comments sections, even the RG500 isn't really all that fast by today's standards, although it's still a challenging ride: handling was superior for a 1980s motorcycle, but suspension has come a long way since then and the 59hp of the RG400 is being channeled through a 120-section rear tire that you'd be more likely to find on the front of a sportbike these days... But fans of the Gamma love the rawness, the purity of the bike. Or are just high on sweet, sweet two-stroke exhaust fumes.

This particular example features Walter Wolf graphics, which could be a plus or a minus, depending on your tastes. Suzuki fans might prefer the iconic blue-and-white colors, but I think Gammas are a little bit bulbous in the traditional Suzuki colors, and the Walter Wolf graphics slim the bike down nicely.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Suzuki RG400Γ for Sale

This early RG400 Walter Wolf is in good original condition with ~19,500km  / 12,100 miles. Recently purchased out of Japanese collection with 1987 Ducati 750 F1 Laguna Seca also listed on eBay. The mid to late 1980's was a great time to be a motorcyclist. Technology was evolving rapidly with the Japanese and European manufactures innovating at a tremendous pace. There were a myriad of engine layouts, number of cylinders, 2-stroke and 4-stroke vying for top honors and in the case of the NR500 - oval pistons! Technology proven on the race-track inevitably made it's way to the showroom to the great benefit of the riding public.  For a couple years in the later 1/2 of the 1980's enthusiasts in the rest of the world could go to their local dealer and buy an honest-to-goodness 2-stroke 4-cylinder F1 race-replica! The RG400/500 Gamma - along with the Yamaha RZ500 and Honda NS400 - brought the sound, the smell, and the looks of the GP circuit within reach of the knowledgeable motorcycle enthusiast.

The RG's square-4, twin-crank, rotary disk-valve RG400 is durable and reliable and easy to service and and readily modified for more power.

I've owned about a dozen RG500 as well as RZ500 in the early 1990's and this really takes me back. This one is a great 'rider' that draws a crowd and thumbs-up. It starts right up, idles well with and runs like 'back in the day' (a little smokey). Still has original oil-injection, airbox, and the original paint and bodywork. The aluminum frame is clean and bright with no sign of damage. Chassis and brakes are original and work like they should. Riding down the road, it's well-composed. A couple points worth noting 1) no belly-pan; 2) crack in upper fairing near windscreen at right rear-view mirror; 3) a couple touch-up on seat-section plastic; 4) turn-signal button missing (signals still work).

Ride it as it is, restore, or modify to suit your preference - whichever way you go, it'll bring a smile on your face and make a fabulous addition to your collection.
Currently on it's importation paperwork - Japanese de-registration certificate / English translation of certificate / NHTSA HS7 / EPA 3520-1 / CBP 7501 (stamped). Washington State title is available for $400 documentation fee approx. 5-week wait. WA state buyers responsible for Tax & License.

Happy to work with your shipper. In the past year I have shipped to/from Japan / Germany / England / Australia / Chicago / Georgia  / Arizona / California / Oregon / etc.i. I have been happy with Haul Bikes and would expect shipping to be in the $500 range to California and maybe $600-700 to the East Coast.

This looks like a pretty nice bike, considering the $9,250 asking price. There are a couple of cosmetic issues clearly disclosed by the seller and, although you might have to go with some aftermarket bodywork to replace that bellypan if you're on a budget, the bike is obviously usable without it. As always, it's important to do your homework if you plan to use this on the road: it sounds like the seller has all the paperwork needed to register this RG400, but whether or not that's even possible will vary, depending on your home state. Hm. I wonder what a Washington State PO Box runs per year...

-tad

Featured Listing: 1985 Suzuki RG400Γ for Sale
Laverda February 14, 2017 posted by

Love, Italian Style: 1985 Laverda RGS1000 SFC for Sale

Considering I can comb eBay for months on end and not see a single Laverda for sale, it's crazy that we've seen not just one but three worthy examples representing a couple different eras recently. From the 1990s Formula that might be more familiar to our readers, to the more vintage 1984 Jota and today's Laverda SFC1000, fans of the Breganze Bruisers have been spoiled for choice of late. The RGS1000 SFC was a bit of a last gasp for the original Laverdas before their death and subsequent resurrection during the Zane-era, a technological dinosaur that had been continually updated since the early 1970s to keep up with the ever increasing pace of sportbike development. Laverda knew they were falling behind the curve, as were all of the European brands, and they recast themselves as purveyors of elegant sportbike alternatives for distinguished gentlemen to help justify high prices, outdated technology, and "classic" styling. And even though the RGS wasn't a sportbike in the high-revving, light-weight idiom, it was still a blood-and-thunder brute with high-quality suspension, stability, and very real road-going performance.

Certainly, the "SFC" name of this very exclusive RGS variant was a bit of a cheat: produced in very limited quantities, the original SFC was based around Laverda's parallel-twin and was a barely-disguised racebike with lights stuck onto it to make it "street-legal" in the loosest sense of the phrase. Obviously, laws regarding that kind of thing were much simpler back then... SFC was an acronym for “Super Freni Competizione” which translates to “super braking competition”  and referred to the huge aluminum drum brake found on the original bikes. Later machines used a pair of discs as seen here, which provided less sexy but more reliable stopping power.

The engine was Laverda's long-serving and very charismatic three-cylinder 981cc engine, here with a 120° crankshaft that made for smoother running, along with high-performance cams and other assorted go-fast bits to raise the power from 85 to 95hp. Early examples of the Jota, Laverda's original, hairy-chested three-cylinder sportbike, used a 180° crankshaft that basically ran like a four-cylinder with a miss. It was good for power, but vibrated excessively and was eventually replaced with a smoother-running 120° crank. Even though the revised crank is considered a bit of an abomination by some Laverda purists, condemned of the sin of being "too civilized," if you've ever heard one of the 120° bikes, "civilized" isn't the first thing that springs to mind... It's raw and very Italian, and sounds like a Stradivarius violin crossed with a chainsaw being used to cut down a tree made of silk, dark chocolate, and truffles, or some other equally ludicrous simile. Basically, if you're expecting the soft whir and refined yowl of a modern Triumph triple, you'll be sexually aroused, pleasantly surprised, or horrified, depending on your feelings about earplugs.

So even though this was intended as a high-performance motorcycle, it was a bit behind the times when it was new. But if calling this an "SFC" is technically a bit of a stretch and merely a calculated dip into past glories to paint a moribund package a brighter shade of orange, this is still a very special motorcycle, as can be seen from the description below.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Laverda RGS1000 SFC for Sale

This unique SFC 1000 – one of a tiny number made – is in great original shape. It is a perfect runner receiving all it needs in the past four years to operate as new. The serial number shown is correct...0001.  Here's the story behind it:

This bike was built for Alexander Claren, a Cologne architect who designed Ewe Witt’s dealership (the German importer of Laverdas).  Claren saw the prototype bike at the Cologne motorcycle show and had to have one. He persuaded Witt to order one – requesting number 0001 - from the factory for immediate delivery and thus it was built ahead of the production line. The first production bike was number 1001, following Laverda’s usual numbering protocol. There are a series of letters from Piero Laverda in the file that accompanies the bike confirming the numbering.

SFC 1000 production ran alongside the RGS, RGS Corsa and various RGAs from 1985 through 1989 but few were made. SFC 1000 specifications changed only in detail as tiny batches of bikes were constructed. The most important visual differences were the color – red or black – and the wheels – three-spoke Oscam cast wheels or Akront wire spoke rims. The engine in all SFC's starting with this bike was to Corsa specification – that is 95bhp at 8000rpm - 5-speed, Marzocchi forks and rear shocks, Brembo Gold Line brakes, and either Smiths or Veglia instruments. All top quality components.

Two additional sets of factory exhausts and silencers come with the bike.  These are: a set of three into two in chrome (some SFC's had black, some had chrome) and a rare set of three into one.  The ignition currently on the bike is a modern Sachse electronic with selectable advance curves, but the factory original unit also comes with the bike. Note:  mileage shown is in km.

These bikes are rare. Don't miss an opportunity to own this one.

They were making these things, or titling them anyway, as late as 1988 by which point this machine would have been horribly outclassed by the latest generation of four-cylinder sportbikes from Japan. But while that might have mattered when the bike was new, it's pretty irrelevant now: it has classic looks you'd never confuse with a GSX-R or ZX or FZR or even FJ that would have mopped the floor with the RGS. And the bike's lardy 500lb dry weight was motivated by a stout 95hp so it's not exactly slow, even now.

So what's it worth? Well not much, unless you're an aficionado, so the $14,500 starting bid might seem outrageous if this is your first time clapping eyes on an SFC1000. But if you're a Laverda fan, that seems like a very reasonable place to start, considering what other rare Laverdas like the original Jota and even the standard RGS are going for these days.

-tad

Love, Italian Style: 1985 Laverda RGS1000 SFC for Sale
Yamaha December 18, 2016 posted by

Not Quite Stock: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

We generally try to post relatively stock, good-condition bikes here on CSBFS but, every once in a while, we like to throw you guys a curve ball, and this highly-modified Yamaha RZ500 certainly qualifies as that. At a glance, there's little left of the original, two-stroke GP-replica bike but the changes should make the bike handle like a much more modern machine. This one might generate some controversy and we want to hear from you, but keep the comments polite please!

The seller appears to be going for a 90's YZR500 look for the bike, but he doesn't indicate exactly where he sourced the bodywork. It seems like it retains the original RZ500 frame, but suspension front and rear has been updated to more modern spec, with the front using parts from a Yamaha R1. He mentions that the two-stroke V4 engine is by Rick Lance, which is a good thing as he's a well-known name in the two-stroke tuning community. Unfortunately, he doesn't really describe exactly what's gone into it. Interestingly, you can see that the bike does feature a headlight tucked back in the fairing and it is claimed to be titled and street-legal!

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

Up for GRABS... My sweet 2 stroke! I'm done with bikes, I need a new plane. Wyn Belousky built and Rick Lance powered rocket ship. List of goodies as follows: Öhlins rear shock, R1 front forks with Öhlins internals, JMC custom mega braced swing arm, 28 mm Mikuni flat slides, brand new Jolly Moto carbon silencers on Jolly Moto GP pipes, ginormous ZX7-R radiator. Handles like my R6 just much lighter and then there's the 2 stroke hit, lol! It's a shame just to leave in my garage somebody needs to ride the hell outta this thing. Merry Xmas happy bidding. Oh! And I have a bunch of xtra parts to go with it, street legal clear and clean Florida title.

There are no takers yet at the $17,000 starting bid, and this is the second time the bike's been up for auction. The asking price might be out of line, but I think the bigger problem is that the description is pretty vague: with something drastically customized, a list of the cool upgraded parts isn't going to be enough. A video of the bike in action, and pics of the bike with the fairing off might help as well. For the most part, it looks pretty professionally put together, but those primitive tabs mounting the fairing to the frame cast a bit of doubt... It's obviously a pretty cool machine, but not worth much to collector-types since it's so far from original and, without more information on this one-of-a-kind build, folks are obviously going to be pretty hesitant to drop the kind of cash the seller is asking.

-tad

Not Quite Stock: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale
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 October 31, 2016 posted by

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

1985-yamaha-rzv500r-r-front

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.

1985-yamaha-rzv500r-front

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.

1985-yamaha-rzv500r-l-frame

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.

1985-yamaha-rzv500r-dash

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.

1985-yamaha-rzv500r-rear

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

1985-yamaha-rzv500r-key

Cali-Titled Two-Stroke: 1985 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale
Yamaha October 4, 2016 posted by

Japanese-Market Two-Stroke: 1985 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale

1985-yamaha-rzv500r-l-side

This Japanese-market Yamaha RZV500R is a bit of a double-edged sword: one one hand, the bike came with a lightweight aluminum frame instead of the steel frame found on bikes destined for other markets. But, on the other hand, power output was restricted, down from 88hp to 64. From a pure performance perspective, the ideal RZV might be an aluminum-framed bike with a de-restricted powerplant, although purists might balk. Only real problem here: this Japanese-market RZV is currently in Japan...

1985-yamaha-rzv500r-r-side-front

Also known as the RD500LC, Yamaha's V4-engined GP-replica was never officially imported to the USA anyway, and the bike is old enough that, in some states at least, registering this example shouldn't be too hard. It competed in a class of two against Suzuki's square-four powered RG500 Gamma and was the much more civilized option: the liquid-cooled 50° two-stroke V4 had twin cranks, Yamaha's YPVS powervalves, Autolube oil-injection and, most importantly, a balance shaft to smooth out engine vibration. That shaft was supposed to improve performance by allowing other parts like the frame to be made lighter. In practice, it made the RZV the heavier, more refined option, and that hurt the bike's reputation among hard-core enthusiasts.

1985-yamaha-rzv500r-l-side-rear

But honestly, if you're looking for an authentic two-stroke 80's race replica, you really can't afford to be all that choosy, especially with Gamma prices headed through the roof. And it's not like the RZV isn't an exciting ride: handling is still excellent, with anti-dive forks up front and a rear shock mounted under the engine to clear up space for the upper cylinders' expansion chambers.

1985-yamaha-rzv500r-l-side-front

From the original eBay listing: 1987 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale

Very rare 2 stroke bike from Japan to you!!
YAMAHA RZV500R
VIN: 51X-0017**
Year: 1987
Mileage: 43,451km
Condition: Running very well.  Meter is aftermarket or export model. Mirrors are for export model.
We'll attach Japanese original title, Sales certificate in English, Bill of sale in English.
Shipping : Price is including the shipping cost from Japan to port near your place. We'll put in the wooden crate and ship by sea.

1985-yamaha-rzv500r-l-tank

The bike looks complete and in decent cosmetic condition, although there are a few minor scuffs, as you'd expect on a bike that's got the equivalent of almost 27,000 miles on it. I'd appreciate a few shots of the bike without its bodywork: covered parking is at a premium in Japan and many of these bikes have spent a good deal of time out in the elements, so surface corrosion and rust are pretty common. The Buy It Now price is listed at $9,800 with plenty of time left on the listing, so there's still time to check with your local DMV if you've got an RZV-sized hole in your collection.

-tad

1985-yamaha-rzv500r-l-fairing

Japanese-Market Two-Stroke: 1985 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale