Posts by tag: RZV500R

Yamaha October 4, 2016 posted by

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


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...


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.


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.


From the original eBay listing: 1987 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale

Very rare 2 stroke bike from Japan to you!!
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.


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.



Japanese-Market Two-Stroke: 1985 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale
Yamaha August 8, 2015 posted by

Tasteful Custom Stroker: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

1985 Yamaha RZ500 R Side Front

Well, last week's seemingly ham-fisted resto-mod Gamma went over like a lead balloon, so let's see how this one flies: a very bright and shiny Yamaha RZ500 fitted with some FZR bits!

1985 Yamaha RZ500 L Side RearJPG

Built from 1984 to 1986, the RZ500 was also known as the RD500LC in some markets. It was Yamaha's entry into the Moto GP replica wars and a direct competitor of Suzuki's equally wild RG500Γ Gamma, although most feel that the Gamma was ultimately the better bike. Due to emissions laws, the RZ500 was never officially imported to the USA, although some found there way here via Canada and, more recently, imported directly.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Cockpit

Like the Gamma, the RZ featured wild specifications: a liquid-cooled, 499cc two-stroke V4 with two cranks and 50° between cylinder banks. A pair of YPVS power valves and oil-injection. Even a balance shaft to quell vibration, and while this did improve the bike's ability as a street ride, the real advantage of the balance shaft was that it allowed the frame and other bits to be lighter. That light weight philosophy extended to the materials used, and the engine cases were made of magnesium. You know how I know that? It's got "MAGNESIUM" cast right there into the cases!

1985 Yamaha RZ500 L Side Engine

It isn't mentioned in the description, so I'll assume this bike has the standard steel frame. Japanese bikes actually had a desirable aluminum version of the frame that helped offset the detuned engine sold in that market. If you look, you can see the remote reservior for the rear suspension peeking out by the radiator: the rear shock was mounted Buell-style under the engine to make room for the rear pair of cylinders' exhaust. The original bike featured anti-dive forks, although those have been lost in the transition to the FZR front end, a loss I'd expect is more than acceptible, considering the other benefits of the swap.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 R Side Chambers

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

For sale is my 1985 Yamaha RZ500, 4 Cylinder Liquid Cooled Two-Stroke, Custom Painted to Kenny Roberts Replica Graphics. When I found this bike 8 years ago, I had to have it. I was (and am) a big RZ350 fan and then my buddy explained to me that Yamaha made a 4 cylinder version that was never sold in the U.S.A. I did some research and watched over a few years then saw this bike. Several things immediately drew me to it which might you too but high on the list was the Kenny Roberts Paint Job. For me (a person who is by far more drawn to stock) I just can’t stop looking at this bike. Then add to it the complete rebuild and modifications made with high dollar parts, there was no decision to be made.

When I got it, my buddy convinced me to take a ride to the local Indy Ducati Dealer which was holding an open house event and motorcycle show. As we pulled up, two guys from the Factory Ducati Semi heard the sound and ran up to ask me if this was really an RZ500… that felt good. I won 1st place at that show in the “Other Class”. I felt a little embarrassed as there was such a crowd gathered around the bike that most had never seen before. The same happens time and time again when I find the time to take it out for a cruise or to the Indy Moto GP… it just commands your attention.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 R Side Tail

The listing is pretty comprehensive and includes much more detail, along with some additional photos, so pop over for a look. With a Buy It Now price of $14,950.00 and just two days left on the listing, the seller is looking for premium money. But it looks like a premium bike, with those gorgeous expansion chambers, clean bodywork, thoughtful improvements, and a 17" wheel update that should make for improved handling. If you're okay with the updates, this is one sharp machine.

As always with these customized machines, expert opinions are welcome in the comments!


1985 Yamaha RZ500 R Side

Tasteful Custom Stroker: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale
Yamaha June 4, 2015 posted by

Alloy-Framed Race-Rep: 1984 Yamaha RZV500R

1984 Yamaha RZV500 L Side Front

From a styling standpoint, motorcycles of the 1980's were going through a bit of an awkward, adolescent phase... But continuing with that analogy, major growth and changes were occurring under the skin, and Japanese race replicas like this Yamaha RZV500 featured all sorts of wild, innovative technology.

1984 Yamaha RZV500 R Side

Yamaha's GP bike for the road pulled out all the stops and featured liquid-cooling, 50° between the V4's cylinder banks, a pair of crankshafts, magnesium cases, a balance shaft,  YPVS powervalves to boost midrange power, and the obscene-sounding Autolube oil-injection system to keep the smoker spinning happily. The factory claimed 88hp from the cutting edge engine.

1984 Yamaha RZV500 Cockpit

The rest of the package was no less sophisticated, with a six-speed gearbox, anti-dive forks, and a rear shock slung under the engine to allow space for the rear cylinders' expansion chambers, with a 16" wheel up front and an 18" hoop in the back.

1984 Yamaha RZV500 L Side Rear

Designed to compete directly with Suzuki's RG500Γ, the RZV500 was never actually imported to the US because of the two-stroke engine's emissions output, but many have found their way down to us from our friendly neighbors up north across the Canadian border. This particular bike was originally the Japanese-market version that had the much lighter aluminum frame but was detuned to 64hp. Happily, the seller rejetted the bike and fitted the headers from the UK's version, the RD500LC.

And check out those vented brake discs! I wonder how hard it is to find replacements for those...

1984 Yamaha RZV500 Brakes

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale

Take that tax return and put it into something that’s going to go up in value while you ride it, like this 1984 Yamaha RZV500R! That’s right kids, this is a factory-produced GP replica street bike. Inspired by the dominating YZR500s of Kenny Roberts and Eddie Lawson, and manufactured during Lawson's 1984 World Championship-winning season, this 2-stoke, liquid-cooled, 500cc sport bike duplicates the configuration of the factory team's YZR500 Marlboro Yamaha GP machines.

This bike is a blast to ride. A firm kick and the mighty reed valve, GP-derived, twin crankshaft V4 fires instantly and settles into an idle that I can only describe as an army of angry hornets. Put on your favorite helmet and gear and next thing you know you’re channeling Roberts, Lawson, or Rainey while giving the beans to a genuine, GP-derived V4 2-stroker the likes of which will never be seen again. 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 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 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 Aeromax tires are in very nice condition. The oil tank leaks some from the level sensor. 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.

1984 Yamaha RZV500 R Tank Detail

Apparently, this bike was up for auction previously, and the seller indicates that the auction was ended early because he'd incorrectly listed the year of manufacture, although he also freely admits to having ended other auctions in the past due to a "change of heart." Well at least he's passionate about his bikes, and it sounds like he knows his stuff!

Like Suzuki's Gamma, these are very desirable bikes and, if you're looking for a bike that's likely to continue to appreciate in value, this one's a good bet. I'm not the biggest fan of the styling, although you can't argue with 500cc's of snarling, two-stroke V4: they ain't pretty, but it's hard not to love the truly epic cacophony of that engine...


1984 Yamaha RZV500 L Side

Alloy-Framed Race-Rep: 1984 Yamaha RZV500R
Yamaha November 19, 2014 posted by

Smokes-Branded Smoker:1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

1985 Yamaha Marlboro RZ500 L Side

A wild race-replica from the era of two-stroke Moto GP machines, Yamaha’s RZ500/RD500LC was a direct competitor to Suzuki’s RG500 Gamma. Never officially imported to the US because of emissions laws, many have found their way south across the Canadian border.

1985 Yamaha Marlboro RZ500 Tank

The bike was powered by a liquid-cooled 50° two-stroke V4 with twin cranks. Midrange torque was boosted by a pair of Yamaha’s YPVS power valves and lubrication was handled by Yamaha’s suggestively-named Autolube oil-injection. Interestingly, the engine featured a balance shaft to smooth out vibrations. This not only improved comfort for street riders, it also allowed the frame and other parts to be built lighter, since they didn’t have to endure as much shaking. Engine cases were magnesium, as you can tell by the fact that “MAGNESIUM” is cast into them.

1985 Yamaha Marlboro RZ500 Dash

A six speed box with a conventional wet clutch put 88hp to the 18” rear wheel. In most markets, the frame was steel, although Japan’s home-market RZV500R featured an aluminum version, with lighter weight offset by a detuned engine that produced 64hp. The rear shock was mounted horizontally under engine, clearing space for upper cylinders’ expansion chambers and the battery. The front end featured anti-dive and a 16” wheel.

1985 Yamaha Marlboro RZ500 Front Brakes

From the original eBay listing: 1985 RZ500 for Sale

Clean WI Title – Original Owner

Engine is stock with less than 100 miles since it was freshened up with NOS parts July 2013 18,650kms on the odometer @11,500 miles

Besides the standard bore original parts engine rebuild the bike was gone through in late 2013 with new parts everywhere else they were needed, wheel bearings, cables, brake calipers rebuilt, new brake pads, forks rebuilt w/ stiffer springs, oil pump & hoses replaced, new battery, new tires, etc. Starts, runs and rides great.

Non-original items listed: 
Brembo full floating front rotors – very rare (originally for FZ750)
Stainless brake hoses
Fiberglass solo tail section & seat
Rearsets have no provisions for passenger footrests
Samco coolant hoses & clamps
Shorai sealed battery
New O-ring chain & sprockets
Platinum Pearl white & Marlboro Racing red custom paint with UV stable clear coating. Stickers are on top of the paint.

1985 Yamaha Marlboro RZ500 Front

So, not completely bone-stock, but the upgrades are appropriate and should improve the functionality. I can personally vouch for the Shorai battery: I stuck one in my Ducati and the light weight and difference on starting compared to stock are pretty amazing. Although the Marlboro paint scheme might not be to everyone’s taste, I like it better than the factory style…

(puts on flame-proof suit)

There are 4 days left on this auction, with bidding up to $8,100 at the time of writing, so we'll see just how that vivid paint affects the price for this one!


1985 Yamaha Marlboro RZ500 R Side

Smokes-Branded Smoker:1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale
Yamaha June 1, 2014 posted by

California Gold Rush: 1984 Yamaha RZV500R


This beautiful RZV500R tops off a trifecta of RZ500 goodness this week. Unlike the previous two examples which were offered up as stock examples, this bike has been carefully worked over in a way that makes grown men weak in the knees. Starting with a Japanese spec RZV aluminum chassis, this RZ has been de-restricted and lightly breathed on. The seller claims to have most (if not all) of the OEM pieces if stock is your goal - but that would be so far besides the point here it would border on criminal activity. This RZ is meant to be ridden. And the sound out of those chambers? Pure heaven. Just check out the video.

1984 Yamaha RZV500R for sale on eBay


From the seller:
or Sale is RZV-500R 51X Model
This is the Aluminum Japanese version of the RZ500. Not the Canadian Steel Framed RZ500 so the RZV is worth considerably more. Have Title and registration is current.
Most of the bike is OEM and can be put back to OEM condition. I have included many detailed pictures of the bike and a video. It has Lomas Stainless Steel Pipes, K&N air filter and Canadian carbs as the Japanese version was restricted. I have the stock factory pipes as well which is included as the other miscellaneous parts but that will be shipped separately at an additional cost as you cannot ship any parts with the bike when you use a carrier.

Also included is the factory tool set that goes under the seat.
Many parts have been replaced. The parts are NOS (new old stock). Back seat rest cushion, Seat reupholstered, new petcock, tail light, headlight rubber ring and many other misc parts. Upper and lower cowl have been recently repainted by as well as the gas tank. The carbs have recently been serviced and new pilot jets installed by



The seller claims a clean title and current registration - which is worth gold if it is indeed registered in California . Also included is a cool matching helmet, OEM parts and a stand (separate shipping and handling). This example is one very, very striking RZ, and represents the more rare RZV-R spec with aluminum frame. If this model is on your bucket list, your bucket may have just arrived. Check it out here. Good luck!!

California Gold Rush:  1984 Yamaha RZV500R
Yamaha April 3, 2014 posted by

Double RZV Fun: 1985 Yamaha RZV500R in Ohio


It looks like the melting snow in much of the country is uncovering rare gems that are begging to be ridden. While the last RZV we posted probably didn't have to live indoors due to the snow, today's bike has low-ish miles, some thoughtful mods, and enough spares to put it back into OEM condition. It looks like it was owned by an enthusiast, was well cared for, and now needs a new home. The market is certainly speaking loudly on these models, and this one in particular: bidding is up to $11k with a few days still left on the docket. Move fast if you want to step into the big boy two stroke leagues - these aluminum frame RZV (Japan market) models are the rare among the rare in RZ speak!


1985 Yamaha RZV500R for sale on eBay


From the seller:
This is a 1985 Yamaha RZV500R (1GE) late 85, I have all the original parts to put it back as O.E.
The front end is a 92 FZR 600 and the rear wheel is from a YZF600. 160 17 rear 110 17 front.
The tires are new Dunlop’s, exhaust is Jollymoto w/carbon fiber cans. The engine has about
1000 km on it, went through the motor just to check it out and all it needed was re-ringed and honed
resealed the complete motor. Put it on the dyno and it put out about 95 hp it will power wheelie in
1st gear and that's with a 38 tooth rear sprocket. It has many NOS parts on it.


Lots of pictures, text and details - and this cool video. How can you not want a bike that looks and sounds as great as this? Bidders are lining up - are you one of them? Good Luck!


Double RZV Fun: 1985 Yamaha RZV500R in Ohio