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.
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.
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.
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.
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!