Posts by tag: RZ500

Yamaha May 18, 2017 posted by

Time Capsule: 1984 Yamaha RZ500

There is no doubt that RSBFS show the love for the big RZ. One of the most popular bikes searched for on the site, the Yamaha RZ500 combines race-boy naughty looks with a twin-crank V4 two-stroke, enough pipes sticking out the back to warn off possible tailgaters, and a GP-inspired 16" front wheel to reduce gyroscopic forces and aid in cornering transitions. If you like to ride and are breathing, how could this not elevate your heart rate?

1984 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on eBay

Never officially imported into the US, many RZs find their way to the States via Canada. This bike appears to be no different as it is still sitting in that Northern Wonderland, home to many exotics that Americans lust after. The seller has some experience with shipping across borders, and adds the following statement: I will crate and ship the bike to shipper of your choice in Vancouver BC included in the final sale price.

From the seller:
This 1984 RZ500 (RD500) was brought from the original owners estate. The original owner was a bush pilot who brought it new in 1984, rode it for a total of 2015kms until sometime in 1986/87 and stored it.

The condition of this bike is nothing short of astounding, all the original rubber and foam is supple , (excluding air filter element and battery strap). The battery was only slightly low in two cells, hence zero acid damage to the bike. The bike was lightly stripped, cleaned, lubed. The carbs where rebuilt. The bike runs beautifully, it currently has pre mix in it as well as running the pump.

Paper work from back in the day; 3 x Books, 1x Yamaha Canada transfer of off ownership, 1x Original ownership, invoice and receipt set for deposits, purchase off bike, including till receipts, 1x Assembly sign off sheet, 1 x 1st service paperwork, 3x insurance cover notes + all the current paperwork

Finding a RZ in this condition is pretty rare. Finding one with a documented history is even more elusive. And while two strokes do not require the same type of care as their four-stroke brethren, they do require care and feeding. When the condition of the bike in question matches up with paperwork from the time periods involved, you are a lot closer to that goal. Note that this does not mean the bike is perfect, nor does it mean that you - as a prospective buyer - are free from doing your homework. RSBFS always recommends interested buyers dig a little deeper when it comes to rare, older and hard to find machinery.

More from the seller:
Flaws; There are 2 mounting tabs repaired, cracks around left center mounting hole, and crack on belly pan. The tank was cleaned inside with metal rescue, it has not been lined. some minor rust flecks on underside of right lower exhaust and a ding. There is some flecking here and there on some of the olive fittings.The tach was not working in the vid, but has since started moving, i think it is sticky from sitting.

The bike runs and shifts great, however, the tires , brake pads, seals etc etc are 33+ years old, so indulging the inner Kenny right off the bat may not be a great idea.

The price of originality will always be higher than that of a modified machine. And in this case, the bidding internet certainly agrees. This low-mileage bike has several days to run at auction, with bidding already beyond US $16,500. How high will it go? All depends what originality is worth to the buyer. Note that this one is a Canadian machine and will still need to be imported into whatever country/state you are located, which may (or may not) be an easy task. Still, RSBFS recommends that you find the best example of the model you wish to purchase, as reconditioning and restorations are frightfully expensive. This one looks like the real deal. Check it out here, and good luck!!

MI

Time Capsule: 1984 Yamaha RZ500
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 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
Sport Bikes For Sale January 31, 2017 posted by

Bonhams Las Vegas 2017 Recap

While I've known about the Mecum and Bohmans auctions in Las Vegas for several years now, this was my first chance to go. We found a great package for the Bellagio and decided to make a quick trip of the event. Unfortunately we were only able to make it to the Bonhams sale but as a first taste of live auction action, we were not disappointed. Not to mention they had dozens of bikes that fit the RSBFS niche. I've highlighted a handful below with some shaky videos and quick snapshots.

Many thanks to Nick and Jared at Bonhams who graciously gave me the nickel tour just minutes before the auction began. I look forward to returning someday soon as a registered bidder!

dc

RSBFS notable sales:

This 2008 Ducati Desmosedici RR, one Owner with 1,500 miles sold for just $36,000 before premium!

Here is a 1985 Honda VF1000R with 4 Miles that sold for $11,500 before premium.

And an RSBFS favorite, a 1985 Yamaha RD500LC with 1,279 Miles sold for $20,500 before premium.

But this 2003 MV Agusta F4 750 Series Oro with 0 miles didn't sell at $40k bid.

This 1984 Ducati 748cc TT1 Road Racer was a featured bike at Bonhams but failed to sell at $80k.

I was curious about this extensively upgraded 1997 Ducati 900SS/SP, which sold for $6,800 before premium. The description states there is a history files documenting $20k in work!

The MH900e market seems stable with this example showing under 5,000 miles and reaching a sale at $18,400 before premium.

This Laverda RGS1000 was bid up to $9k but did not sell.

I didn't get to see this one, but this Bimota YB8 Furano is shown as sold at $13,000 before premium.

I also wasn't able to see this Ducati 851 Tricolore with the race kit. It doesn't show a sale price. Did anyone catch what the final bid was?

Out of sheer curiosity, this Cagiva Gran Canyon sold for a mere $3,450 including premium. Nice buy!

For all the sale results, check out the results on the Bonhams website.

My snapshot gallery:

Bonhams Las Vegas 2017 Recap
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