After the late 1970's domination of the 500cc Grands Prix by Yamaha and Kenny Roberts, and the '80s comeback and 1984 championship with Eddie Lawson aboard, Yamaha introduced a racey 500cc two-stroke for the street. Known variously as the RZ500 and the RD500LC, the bike was never available for U.S. dealers ( though many have found their way here ), this RZV500R being a Japan-only lightweight replica.
Deep in the fairing and DeltaBox frame is a V-4 500cc two-stroke, first ridden in the 1982 OW61 grand prix race bike. Water-cooled and with Yamaha's Power Valve System controlling the size of the exhaust port, it has the peaky 87hp of a much large engine. Four side-draft Mikuni carbs turn into the top of the engine, with the front expansion chambers and mufflers sweeping back and the rears inside the seat cowling. After kick-starting, the wet clutch from their 750cc bike transmits power to a tall first gear, leading to six closely spaced speeds. Suspension is by Yamaha's own forks and monoshock, and with three 2-piston brakes, which have vented disks.
The hand-welded frame of the Japanese market replica is somewhat lighter than the rest-of-world RD's, and the total package is some 20 lbs. lighter at a little over 400 lbs. wet. Originally de-rated, this engine has been released with larger exhausts, and a comprehensive engine re-build. As the eBay auction states:
The 500cc engine has some torque to get you going, but really comes alive in the 6-10k rpm range. The engine was completely rebuilt in 2008 by well-known RZV/RD/RZ engine specialist Wilson Performance of Lee’s Summit, MO at a cost of $4000. It has done very little mileage since. I have receipts for the work, which included Wilson’s “Blueprint” rebuild plus “Phase 1” performance tuning. To see what is included in the work, click here. In summary, the performance build included new RZV Performance cranks, new Wiseco pistons, port and gasket matching, plus a lot more.
The 19,000 miles attest to regular usage, and has been the recipient of some restoration, appearing to be in very good shape. From the eBay auction:
The bike has 30,533km (just under 19k miles) on the clock. The paintwork is very nice, although there are a few nicks, scratches, and rock chips; all decals are cleared into the paint, the base of which is a pearlescent white. The bike is clean, but not show clean. The stock magnesium wheels were professionally refinished and the Dunlop Arrowmax tires are in very nice condition. The oil tank leaks some from the fill cap. The upright foam seat bolster has some worn spots around the edges (see pix). There’s some surface corrosion on some bolts here and there. I have tried to describe and photograph anything that really stood out on the bike condition-wise, but this is now a 30 year old motorcycle with some light wear and tear, so I cannot be held accountable for every single scratch, chip, crack or ding. A new Yuasa battery is included in the sale.
With bids meeting the reserve with four days to run, this rare bike deserves a look. It's so close by to me I might try to inspect it myself...