Posts by tag: Two Stroke

Yamaha April 26, 2017 posted by

Head on Backwards: 1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA for Sale

Competition between the Japanese manufacturers in the 250cc sportbike class was fierce, with each trying for some small advantage in terms of performance, given the limited displacement and government-mandated power cap. On paper, they all seem to follow a pretty standard template: a compact two-stroke twin cylinder engine, power-valves of one sort or another, and an aluminum beam frame. But each manufacturer went their own way trying to maximize performance within those fairly narrow parameters. While development eventually led to the NSR, RGV, and TZR all using v-twins, there were a few experiments along the way, and today's TZR250 3MA represents an interesting attempt to solve the packaging issues inherent in two-stroke design.

Obviously, two-stroke engines are very compact by nature: with no overhead-valves or cams, they're short, simple, and very light. But while the exhaust expansion chambers required for a performance two-stroke may not weigh all that much, their bulging shape takes up valuable real estate in a motorcycle. The famous "gull arm" swingarms of the period were one solution to the problem and allowed the chambers to tuck in close to the centerline of the bike to maximize cornering clearance. But the 3MA version of the TZR250 went a different route by reversing the cylinder head so that the carburetors were at the front, with the exhausts exiting directly out the rear of the bike instead of curving around the sides or underneath. The bulbous expansion chambers fitted neatly into the seat, with the exhaust exiting through the tail.

The design was eventually replaced by the v-twin 3XV version introduced in 1991 after just two years, so the experiment can be considered a bit of a failure. But there's nothing inherently wrong with the idea, and this is one of my favorite bikes of the era, at least in terms of looks and the weird factor: it's my deep and not-so-secret shame that I haven't ridden one yet, but here's hoping that the stars will align and I'll be able to find a decent California-titled example when the time is right. Scouting around the message boards, it seems that the bike's reputation for poor reliability is exaggerated but, as these were not often seen anywhere outside of Japan, parts availability will prove difficult.

From the original eBay listing:  1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA for Sale

The parallel twin reverse cylinder version. The bike is imported from Japan. Not registered yet in the U.S. This bike is sold without title. (NO TITLE) Start engine. Original Cowl. New Aftermarket Front fork innre tubes. Dragging brakes. Need to change tires (flat tire) and a battery. Some scratches and rust, so look carefully all pictures and video. This motorcycle is 28 years ago. Sold as is.

11271km (7003mile) LOW MILE. Sold as is with NO warranty NO refunds NO return. Buyer responsible for vehicle pick-up or shipping to your location. (ITEM AT CARSON NOW)

There's also a helpful clip of the bike starting, running, and revving. The seller's English is a bit limited, but it looks like the bike runs from the video and just needs a little TLC: a brake rebuild, new tires, and some minor cosmetic issues. Normally nothing you'd find shocking in a 28 year old motorcycle, but make sure you're prepared to troll eBay and use Google Translate to track down parts to keep this running. It's certainly not pristine and it's not the cleanest example we've featured on this site, but if the price is right, it won't take all that much to get this one on the road. Obviously, the usual titling issues apply, so I doubt this bike will remain in Southern California.

-tad

Head on Backwards: 1989 Yamaha TZR250 3MA for Sale
Suzuki April 19, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1985 Suzuki RG400Γ for Sale

With prices of Suzuki's RG500Γ "Gamma" through the roof right now, fans of 80s two-stroke exotica have had to look elsewhere for their smoky thrills, and today's Featured Listing RG400Γ might be just the ticket for collectors seeking two-stroke performance on a less extravagant budget. Certainly, values of the Japanese-market RG400Γ have been below those of the bigger bike, in spite of it being less common, owing to a significant power deficit: claimed weight is nearly identical at 340lbs dry, but claimed power is down significantly from 93hp to 59. That'd still make for a pretty fun package in a road bike, and you're still looking at better straight-line performance than the 250cc machines of the same period.

1985 Suzuki RG400 for sale on eBay

The Gamma was introduced in 1985 and lasted until 1987, although none of the bigger two-stroke machines lasted very long on the market. Suzuki's race-replica two-stroke was powered by an unusual liquid-cooled, square four engine that was configured like a siamesed pair of parallel twins, with two crankshafts and the "rear twin" slightly higher than the front for a sort of stepped design. The firing order helped to cancel out vibrations and the Gamma was designed without a heavy, power-consuming balance shaft as a result. The smaller RG400 was intended specifically for the Japanese market and was powered by a version of the engine that used the same 50.6mm stroke, but a smaller bore of 50mm versus 56mm to arrive at the reduced 397cc displacement.

Two-stroke engines are simple and very light weight, making them perfect for off-road and commuter machines. But that same incredible simplicity and a relatively high power-to-weight ratio also make them ideal for road-racing motorcycles and, once Walter Kaaden's two-stroke tuning secrets were "acquired" by Suzuki, they dominated Grand Prix motorcycle racing into the modern era. Riders familiar with performance two-stroke motorcycles love their incredible agility and savage power delivery, characteristics that defined the Gamma when it was new. As has been pointed out ad nauseam in the comments sections, even the RG500 isn't really all that fast by today's standards, although it's still a challenging ride: handling was superior for a 1980s motorcycle, but suspension has come a long way since then and the 59hp of the RG400 is being channeled through a 120-section rear tire that you'd be more likely to find on the front of a sportbike these days... But fans of the Gamma love the rawness, the purity of the bike. Or are just high on sweet, sweet two-stroke exhaust fumes.

This particular example features Walter Wolf graphics, which could be a plus or a minus, depending on your tastes. Suzuki fans might prefer the iconic blue-and-white colors, but I think Gammas are a little bit bulbous in the traditional Suzuki colors, and the Walter Wolf graphics slim the bike down nicely.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Suzuki RG400Γ for Sale

This early RG400 Walter Wolf is in good original condition with ~19,500km  / 12,100 miles. Recently purchased out of Japanese collection with 1987 Ducati 750 F1 Laguna Seca also listed on eBay. The mid to late 1980's was a great time to be a motorcyclist. Technology was evolving rapidly with the Japanese and European manufactures innovating at a tremendous pace. There were a myriad of engine layouts, number of cylinders, 2-stroke and 4-stroke vying for top honors and in the case of the NR500 - oval pistons! Technology proven on the race-track inevitably made it's way to the showroom to the great benefit of the riding public.  For a couple years in the later 1/2 of the 1980's enthusiasts in the rest of the world could go to their local dealer and buy an honest-to-goodness 2-stroke 4-cylinder F1 race-replica! The RG400/500 Gamma - along with the Yamaha RZ500 and Honda NS400 - brought the sound, the smell, and the looks of the GP circuit within reach of the knowledgeable motorcycle enthusiast.

The RG's square-4, twin-crank, rotary disk-valve RG400 is durable and reliable and easy to service and and readily modified for more power.

I've owned about a dozen RG500 as well as RZ500 in the early 1990's and this really takes me back. This one is a great 'rider' that draws a crowd and thumbs-up. It starts right up, idles well with and runs like 'back in the day' (a little smokey). Still has original oil-injection, airbox, and the original paint and bodywork. The aluminum frame is clean and bright with no sign of damage. Chassis and brakes are original and work like they should. Riding down the road, it's well-composed. A couple points worth noting 1) no belly-pan; 2) crack in upper fairing near windscreen at right rear-view mirror; 3) a couple touch-up on seat-section plastic; 4) turn-signal button missing (signals still work).

Ride it as it is, restore, or modify to suit your preference - whichever way you go, it'll bring a smile on your face and make a fabulous addition to your collection.
Currently on it's importation paperwork - Japanese de-registration certificate / English translation of certificate / NHTSA HS7 / EPA 3520-1 / CBP 7501 (stamped). Washington State title is available for $400 documentation fee approx. 5-week wait. WA state buyers responsible for Tax & License.

Happy to work with your shipper. In the past year I have shipped to/from Japan / Germany / England / Australia / Chicago / Georgia  / Arizona / California / Oregon / etc.i. I have been happy with Haul Bikes and would expect shipping to be in the $500 range to California and maybe $600-700 to the East Coast.

This looks like a pretty nice bike, considering the $9,250 asking price. There are a couple of cosmetic issues clearly disclosed by the seller and, although you might have to go with some aftermarket bodywork to replace that bellypan if you're on a budget, the bike is obviously usable without it. As always, it's important to do your homework if you plan to use this on the road: it sounds like the seller has all the paperwork needed to register this RG400, but whether or not that's even possible will vary, depending on your home state. Hm. I wonder what a Washington State PO Box runs per year...

-tad

Featured Listing: 1985 Suzuki RG400Γ for Sale
Honda April 14, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1989 Honda NSR250R in Canada

What do you have when you locate a nice NSR250R MC18 in Canada? You have a cool smoker that is *almost* in the States. And while Quebec may seem very far away from your US-based locale, it is quicker and easier to bring a tasty bit of forbidden fruit down from Canada than to import one all the way from Japan or Australia. Think of Canada as the quick check-out lane in the grey market grocery store. (Note: Canada has much to recommend, and offers great value above and beyond grey market bike access). North of the US border you will find many fantastic creations never officially imported into America, all looking for a good home.

1989 Honda NSR250R for sale on eBay

Today's example is a MC18 variant of the NSR250R. The NSR is the bread and butter of the two stroke grey market world. With a 90 degree vee twin motor, aluminum frame, six speed gearbox, wet clutch (only the SP versions had the dry clutch) and full-race bodywork, the NSR was as close to Grands Prix racer as one could get for the street in the late 1980s. Today it remains one of the most coveted imports in the US, with clean, titled examples fetching bid dollars.

From the seller:
Rare, unique and totally OEM 1989 MC 18 with only 6000 km on the clock. We went to great lengths to save all fairings in order to preserve its originality. Pipes and all mechanical components stock and in really good working order/condition. Plugs changed, air filter cleaned and oiled. Wheels are freshly powder coated. Upper and lower cowlings have been restored and painted. The bike has some age related marks, scratches but no major bruises and no sign of track use of major accident. Brakes and rotors, chain, sprockets and tires are all within specs. The bike is corrosion free. This 250 CC V Twin two stroke is a blast and handles like few other machines. Comes with safety check is delivered in the province of Quebec, shipping available for all of North America.

6,000 KM equates to about 3,728 miles. That seems very low for the given year, but many of these bikes saw only occasional use. The seller notes that the plastics have been reconditioned, and the pictures show a clean and good looking example. No real info on maintenance, engine refresh/rebuild, etc., so again, do your homework. These models had a crank assembly that was not rebuildable - and Honda ran out of spares years ago. More knowledgeable RSBFS readers might be able to share info on replacement alternatives should the service life be a concern. Otherwise, this looks like a solid example of an early NSR250R.

This seller is familiar with shipping bikes over the border, so US buyers might have a bit of assistance there. Legally registering an imported smoker is difficult in many states, so plan first and then act. This bike is being offered for $8,199 or best offer - a tidy sum to be sure. However a quick troll of the RSBFS archives shows this to be a fair offer; most of the recent examples were looking for more, although they were already in the US (although not necessarily titled). Check it out here, and if you decide to hit the grey market import check-out line on this machine, be sure and visit the Comments section and let us know all about it. Good Luck!!

MI

Honda April 13, 2017 posted by

On Track: 2000 Honda RS250R

Spring has sprung, and you all know what that means, right? Time to dust off those leathers, spoon some fresh rubber onto your favorite scoot, and hit the track. Nothing teaches you about riding consistently like a track day; think of it as your personal canyon road with no cops. And for those of you that long for an elevated track experience (or even to dip your toes into the racing world), you're going to want a better starting platform than the commuter you currently have. Enter this fantastic RS250R. Honda introduced the RS250R model to be a production race bike - sold to privateers specifically for Grand Prix racing events. This is no converted streetbike; this is a serious track scalpel that was the pinnacle of 250cc racing technology (excluding the factory works Hondas, that is).

2000 Honda RS250R Racer for sale on eBay

Honda introduced the RS250R way back in 1984, and it enjoyed a long run - the last model was released in 2009. Between those years there were several changes. The most notable was to the engine. The original 250cc two stroke motor was a 90 degree twin. The 90 degree vee angle makes a lot of sense from a design perspective given that it provides for perfect primary balance, but the wide angle vee is difficult to package. Thus, in 1993 Honda introduced an updated 250 that utilized a 73 degree motor. This update allowed for the motor to sit (slightly) further forward for better weight bias.

From the seller:
2000 Honda RS250 for sale. Last year for the single sided swing arm.

The bike is well developed and has "0" miles on a completely rebuilt engine (including the gearbox). It has more spares than you can possibly imagine (see Dropbox link), including a spare crank with 500 miles on it. GMD rebuilt front forks, Penske rear shock, new EBC front disks & pads, new chain, etc. In addition, the spares include a complete '96 engine with 600 miles including carbs/powervalve controller. Complete perfect swing arm with eccentric hub. The intake has been modified with a removable fiberglass snorkel, so that you can use the much nicer '01-'03 bodywork (which is perfect, btw). The spares also include new ChickenHawk tire warmers, front/rear stands, spare wheels, rains, brand new replated cylinders (done by Millenium..when their work was quality). The RS also comes with AIM GPS, Mychron(5) dash with EGT sensors and the engine also has detonation counters - you can easily tune the jetting using the det. counter or EGT temps. The engine also includes new VHM heads set up to run leaded (C12 or MR12 - used to be MR8 oxygenated fuel). The MR8/12 gives you a little more on the top end, but it's expensive. It also has brand new carbon fiber silencers on the pipes. You even get 2 Hiatco footpeg stands that came from Jason DiSalvo's RS250 from 2001. New (few years old) Bridgestone softs are on the wheels which are good for practice, but not necessarily for race.

More from the seller:

I wouldn't say that you're getting a better-than-new race bike (though it is), but it's very, very clean, completely sorted with spares that will last you a long, long time. The RS is located in upstate, NY, zip code 13740. It's also listed locally, so, this auction will be closed if there is an offline sale. There is no title for a race bike, but you will get a bill of sale.

There are plenty of upsides to a racer. Nothing short of a full factory ride will handle like what you see here. You will need to recalibrate your brain when it comes to braking markers, apexes, and corner entry speeds. You may also have to recalibrate your conception of bike prep, as racers tend to have shorter lifespans between rebuilds. Fortunately, this seller has amassed a phenomenal collection of spare parts, setup hardware (i.e. gearing and the like) and wearable items. What is on the block is far more than just a Grand Prix 250cc racer, but rather an entire package of bike and support gear. This is practically a race team; just add rider.

RS250Rs don't come our way all that often. If you have the bug (aka circuitous asphaltis rapidicus), you might want to check this one out. There are many more pics of spares and stuff linked off of the auction site, so head on over for all of the details. You might want to work on that brain recalibration while you're at it. Good Luck!!

MI

On Track: 2000 Honda RS250R
Yamaha April 10, 2017 posted by

Race Developed – 1985 Yamaha RZ500

Developed to capitalize on a 500cc GP championship, the RZ500 promised the world and then delivered.  For all its street equipment, it was a close to a Grand Prix machine as a generation would get.  Thanks to careful updates and maintenance, a new generation might now experience this 500cc machine with liter-bike power.

1985 RZ500 for sale on eBay

The RZ500 was known abroad as the RD500LC, Race Developed Liquid Cooled.  Beside 88 hp on a mid-400 lbs. package, the RZ500 was a technical marvel.  The short list - V4, twin crank, servo-controlled exhaust ports, close ratio cassette transmission, anti-dive forks, horizontal monoshock and alloy swingarm - all things found on Kenny Roberts' YZR500.  The fact that it never was imported to the states has only increased its cachet, and this example has current California title.

More of a survivor than hangar queen, this RZ500 is mostly stock and very sharp for 30-plus years and 13,000 miles.  Carburettors and exhaust have been updated, but oil injection remains as well as un-restored fairings.  The owner says it sports a vanity plate, but the pictures don't divulge.  From the eBay auction:

1985 Yamaha RZ500 original paint, It has 28mm TM carbs and expansion chambers on it runs very good, Oil injection intact and working as it should, All lights work, New chain, New battery, Tires are 80%, The front forks have the normal clear coat going away problem on the anti-dive valves, But you have to remember its 32 years old other than a few spots it is a very nice looking motorcycles also some stress cracks on the fairing lowers nothing that can't be repaired but I decided to leave it alone as it still has the original paint.

Current California registration with personal plate that is very cool, I have stock exhaust and carbs also the air box and original cables and brackets, I have a complete set of rings and some gaskets, Also have at least ten motorcycle magazines with RZ500 articles, Also two sales brochures, I also have at least three sets of brake pads and a couple of brake rotors and some other parts, Yamaha service manual also, The bike has 21,326 kilometers on it a little over 13,000 miles, For sale in the USA only!!!! Always draws attention wherever I ride it.

Some compromises were made to road duty, like the wet clutch and engine's balance shaft.  Period wheel sizing - 18" rear with 16" front, requires care when riding and shopping.  But it's closer overall to the track than the street.  Most of the RZ500's here made their way down from north of the border, though they were exported down Oz way and sold at home.  The road ready condition of this RZ might keep the price out of the stratosphere, but the left coast title, well considered updates and mostly stock presentation should spell a smashing ride for the next owner...

-donn

 

Race Developed – 1985 Yamaha RZ500
Kawasaki April 10, 2017 posted by

Krazy Rare: 1989 Kawasaki KR-1

When it comes to quarter liter two stroke imports, the usual suspects are in (relatively) plentiful supply. While never officially available in the US, all sorts of fine, Japanese and Italian hardware make it to our shores thanks to creative individuals, and of course, our friends up in Canada. We usually don't go a month on RSBFS without highlighting a Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha or Aprilia smoker. What we do not see very often - as in maybe once a year - is Kawasaki's entry to the two-stroke wars: The KR-1. The KR-1 was developed with a familiar set of blueprints and without graphics could resemble any number of Japanese imports, both visually and in the performance department. But the KR-1 is a very rare little machine (not only in the US), and one that you should pay attention to when an example shows up.

1989 Kawasaki KR-1 for sale on eBay

With weight in the 270 pound range (dry), and a claimed 55hp when new, the KR-1 was good for a 130+ MPH terminal velocity. A six speed cassette tranny and triple disks all around put the KR-1 in the same competitive class as the NSRs, RGs and TZRs of the day, although the higher spec KR-1S was the real performer of the bunch. Performance aside, reliability is rumored to be slightly compromised with the Kawasaki; reports indicate that these motors tend to be less robust than those of its peers. Something to consider as parts availability raises its ugly head....

From the seller:
This bike is very clean. The motor has never been opened up. I have had this KR SINCE 1999. It comes with Jolly Moto pipes and has had the fork brace changed. Runs very strong. Looks good. It does have a few blemishes , at 6,850 mi not bad.This bike would be a great edition to your 2 stroke collection.

Given the rarity of this model, I long for more pictures and far more detail. The seller notes that the engine has not been opened up, so figure on a rebuild before riding in anger. Two strokes are notorious for air leaks at high RPM (i.e. air entering the engine other than through the carb), which creates a lean running condition which vastly increases internal temperatures while at the same time reducing the amount of lubricating oil. The end result is usually loud, messy, expensive, and potentially catastrophic to the rider (lesson #1: don't seize the motor mid-corner).

This bike is located in California. There is no mention or picture of a license plate, so no idea in which state this bike is titled - if at all. That would be a key question to the seller. Otherwise, should all else be copacetic, this KR-1 could be a real steal for your collection. There is no doubt that it looks quite clean. The price is set at $8k for this Buy It Now classified, although the seller is open to offers. This seller appears to have a few other bikes by the looks of the big Gamma and NSR400 parked alongside - maybe we'll see a couple more bikes available in time. If you ARE the seller, jump over to the Comments section and share some details with a KR hungry audience. Good Luck!!

MI

Krazy Rare: 1989 Kawasaki KR-1