Posts by tag: RD500LC

Yamaha October 19, 2017 posted by

Ready to Roll: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

Yamaha's two-stroke Grand Prix replica went by a few different names, depending on where it was sold: RD500LC in Europe, RZV500R for the Japanese market, and RZ500 in Canada and Australia. You'll note that nowhere do we mention which version we got here in the USA. The reason? We didn't: this wild, two-stroke four-cylinder was never officially imported during production that lasted from 1984 through 1986. I'd assume this particular RZ500 probably slipped across our northern border at some point, although it's always possible it was smuggled into the US in someone's luggage coming back from vacation in Australia...

Of course, as lightweight as a two-stroke can be, that's all relative: in 1984, a sportbike making 88hp and weighing 450lbs dry was considered pretty darn lean and mean. Of course, that was nearly 100lbs more than Suzuki's rival RG500, which also made a bit more power. But neither would impress today's riding public, weaned on 120hp 600cc supersports and 150+ hp 1000cc superbikes. But fans of two-stroke performance aren't necessarily interested in top speed or pure performance. They're into the character of that performance, in that particular two-stroke zing that pretty much requires constant use of the slick six-speed gearbox to make any sort of progress, accompanied by the two-stroke's trademark ring-a-ding and the smoky haze left in its wake.

The Yamaha was powered by the kind of oddball engine you just don't see enough of these days: a liquid-cooled 50° two-stroke V4 that featured twin cranks, a pair of YPVS power valves and lubrication handled by Yamaha’s Autolube oil-injection. 80s fashion meant a 16" wheel up front, along with anti-dive forks, and an 18" rear wheel. Two-stroke engines themselves are generally very compact, but the expansion chambers required for performance applications meant different packaging challenges, and led to the RZ500's underslung rear shock that cleared space for the rear cylinders' exhaust pipes.

The seller's description indicates that the bike is not completely stock, but anything other than a mothballed time capsule is likely to have had some wear-and-tear, and it seems like the current or previous owners have taken every opportunity to update or improve the bike when opportunities presented themselves.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

1985 YAMAHA RZ500 V4 Two Stroke
Excellent condition, Looks amazing and runs great
COMPLETE engine rebuild and Stage III porting by Wilson Performance about 6500 miles ago. Total cost $6,400.00     (documentation attached)
Wilson Performance Air Filter System (documentation attached)
Wilbers rear shock Series 640. Complete factory rebuild in Aug 2017 (documentation attached)
Jim Lomas polished stainless steel chambers
Mikuni 34mm round slide carbs (nicely jetted)|
New AVON AM26 Road Runner tires
New chain and sprockets with 520 chain conversion
DYNA Coils
New bodywork
Factory Yamaha Service manual included and the rear stand
Bodywork kit is from Australia and runs about $1100.00
EBC brake rotors front and rear

The Buy It Now price is listed at $15,000 on the nose, pretty much the going price for a nice RZ500 these days. From the description, this bike looks like it's in very nice condition and is ready to be ridden, with proper maintenance and mild performance updates that should increase power and rideability. With new bodywork and the non-stock exhaust, this might not appeal to the most dogmatic of purists out there but, for everyone else, it looks like a very nice example, and the recent engine work should hopefully put prospective buyers' minds at ease.

-tad

Ready to Roll: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale
Yamaha June 28, 2017 posted by

New York State of Mind: 1984 Yamaha RZ500

I will freely admit - having been born and bred in SoCal - that I have absolutely no idea what a New York state of mind might be. However I imagine it a series of dichotomies; hot and humid summers, cold and snowy winters, and the world's most crowded (and motorized unfriendly) city. That pretty much conjures up the images I have, intending NO offense intended to our East Coast denizens. However in my palm-tree infested world devoid of rain, I have a hard time thinking about how rare hardware survives. This bike does little to change my impression, although it may not be entirely fair to blame the locale.

1984 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on eBay

As I'm certain you have heard before, the RZ500 is the most populous of the rare, big two strokes. Encompassing a V-4, twin crank two stroke in a mild steel perimeter frame, the RZ was akin to a GP racer for the street. It was not the most hardcore of the bigger smokers (that honor falls to the Gamma), but it was both approachable and readily available; provided you lived somewhere other than the US. There are plenty of examples available, mostly coming from north of the US border; our two-stroke friend, Canada. Given the location of this bike, that is the most likely point of import.

From the seller:
Up for sale is a 1984 Yamaha RZ500 Motorcycle. Clear Title. Frame Number 47X-002434. I will get the engine number Soon and update the listing. Previous Owner had Bought the bike in 2007, He had put on new Tires, When though the Carburetors, changed the Kilometer Speedometer out for a MPH Gauge. Original reads 19,651. He had put a used MPH gauge on so mileage should be around 20,000. He had kept the original Kilo gauge, see picture, reads 34,454. The bike has a new battery. Fires right up and sounds great, no leaks or noises. Goes through the gears fine, clutch feels good. Inside of the gas tank was previously lined and is now starting to Bubble, so will need to be cleaned out. Front and rear brakes work as should. Headlight/ Taillight work. Has rear blinkers, Front blinkers are missing. It has a Jolly Moto exhaust system. Plastics have some cracks and slight repairs, but looks great! Expect normal wear and tear for a bike its age. Little to no rust. Would make a great Rider! Rare motorcycle, Clear Title/ Toolkit and cowl for seat. Please see all pictures before bidding. Bike is sold as is.

The seller shares some good information about the bike, but it seems unlikely that these words are the whole story. Not only has the speedo been changed out, but so too has the temp gauge. Were these items damaged in a crash (evidenced by the numerous scars on the bodywork), or was there another reason? Was overheating an issue? Where did all of the rust come from? Where are the front turn stalks? There are so many questions that I would want to ask on this one, not the least is why are all of the puke tubes hanging out in non-stock locations? The Jolly Moto pipes are a good score, but great pipes attached to some questions only really amplify the queries. Was the steering damper added after the fact? I could go on, but I'll stop here.

It should be no surprise to less geographically-challenged individuals than me that this bike is located near Syracuse, only a short doughnut's throw over the border to Canada. The swapped speedo makes sense from a federalization perspective, but the rest of the issues nag at me. Far from the near-perfect $20k smokers and exotica you tend to see on RSBFS (like this Kawasaki H2R or this ultra rare Kawasaki KR-1R), this RZ500 is a bit of a work in progress (as soon as the new buyer starts making progress). That could be a good thing if the price is right. The fly in the ointment here is that the opening ask is one buck short of ten grand. Yes, that is $10,000 USD. While a clean and well-sorted RZ500 can be a $15k machine (and $20k for a time capsule example), this one is far from that. Check it out here, and let us know what you think; does the DIY approach make any fiscal sense here, or is this one simply trying to ride the bubble? Good Luck!!

MI

New York State of Mind: 1984 Yamaha RZ500
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
Yamaha August 9, 2016 posted by

Unfairly Overshadowed? 1984 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

1984 Yamaha RZ500 R Front

Many of the weird and wonderful bikes we like to feature on this site appear in time-capsule condition, as if Doc Brown put them in a trailer behind his time-traveling DeLorean and towed them from the distant year 1985 into… The future! Others are patched-up wrecks described as having “patina” with “90% tread left on tires.” This particular RZ500 falls somewhere in the middle, and looks like a nice, clean, bike with a reasonable asking price.

Crazy, right?

1984 Yamaha RZ500 L Front

Yamaha’s RZ500, also known as the RD500LC in some markets, was one of two 500cc race-replicas designed to ape the overall specification and style of the top-level two-stroke racebikes of the era. But unlike the Suzuki RG500 “Gamma,” the Yamaha pulled a bit of a Honda with their roadgoing exotic, taking a brilliant idea and then engineering the hell out of it, ending up with a bit of a muddle. The powerplant was a liquid-cooled 50° two-stroke V4 with twin cranks. So far, so good. A pair of YPVS power valves and oil-injection helped boost performance and make the bike a bit more practical. Seems like a smart choice. Sophisticated anti-dive forks and an unusually-mounted rear shock allowed for serious handling and tight packaging, respectively. Then a balance shaft was included to handle unwanted vibrations... In theory, this should have helped make the bike run smoother and make it more civilized while simultaneously allowing a lighter frame for improved performance, but it didn’t really work out that way. The resulting bike was both heavier and less powerful than the Gamma and although the RZ has its fans, reviewers and prices reflect the Gamma’s superior performance versus the RZ500’s more practical street bias. The upside is reasonable prices compared to the Suzuki, and that singular two-stroke sound and feel.

1984 Yamaha RZ500 Tank

So what’s the big deal with the rising popularity of these two-stroke sportbikes? A bit of nostalgia and a bit of performance. These tinny-sounding streetbikes began to disappear after the mid-1980s here in the USA where ever-tightening emissions laws strangled the smoky little beasts into an early grave. Top-level racing of the era saw two-stroke machines competing exclusively and that link to race-bred machinery is a powerful thing in the minds of motorcycle enthusiasts. There’s also the axiom made popular by Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus: “Simplify, then add lightness.” And two strokes are both of those things: with fewer moving parts, they’re simpler and lighter, while theoretically making twice as much power as a four-stroke of equivalent displacement. So while a 500cc two-stroke might make similar power compared to a 1000cc four-stroke, the resulting package is much lighter, meaning the bike will turn quicker, brake better, and generally offer more feedback to the rider. Two-strokes require more maintenance, which isn’t a problem for race bikes or committed enthusiasts, and they also produce more pollution, which is something many motorcycle fans are happy to… Ahem. Overlook.

1984 Yamaha RZ500 R Side Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

In great condition. Runs after one kick. Never downed. Never raced, 8700 Miles. Tuned by Lance Gamma

Engine: 499 cc liquid-cooled V4 two stroke Power: 64.2 kW (88 PS) @9,500 rpm Torque: 65.4 N·m @8,500 rpm Transmission 6 speed Weight 205 kg/452 lb (dry)

1984 Yamaha RZ500 R Side

There's a $9,000 opening bid with no takers as yet and a $10,000 Buy It Now price for this bit of two-stroke history. This example isn't cosmetically perfect, with a little bit of surface rust here and there on the steel frame, but appears complete and mechanically well cared-for: "tuned by Lance Gamma" certainly adds some value. Although as always, I wish these sellers would include more details about the bike's history and exactly what "tuned" means: did he adjust the carburetors, or do a performance rebuild of the motor and set up the suspension? Having been under the care of a well-known and regarded tuner is great, but a bit more detail might help the bike sell...

-tad

1984 Yamaha RZ500 L Fairing

Unfairly Overshadowed? 1984 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale