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Posts by tag: Two Stroke

Aprilia June 13, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: Barely broken in 1997 Aprilia RS250

Today's featured listing comes to us from a seller whose bikes we have written about a number of times, but is a first-time featured seller. The guy has moved some pretty impressive metal in the past, but for his first feature he chose something truly special, a 1997 Aprilia RS250 with fewer than 700 kilometers on the clock. As a bonus, it carries a California street title, so it should be a fairly slick process to get it out of the garage and on the road as riding season hots up.

The little ripper came to this county more than 20 years ago, but was cooped up in a dealership's display for the first six years of its life. After that, the first owner rode it extremely sparingly until it came to our seller, who picked it up earlier this year. He set about adding a list of choice modifications and repairs and now presents it as a very ready, very sorted example of one of the finest handling bikes ever minted. We'll let him tell you what's what:

1997 Aprillia RS250, 2 owner bike, super low miles and California titled and registered. I purchased this bike a few months ago from the original owner. From what I was told he bought the bike in 2003 from Aprilia of Oceanside. They had used it as a display in the dealership since ‘97. From 2003 to April of this year the bike only accumulated 387 km. As soon as I purchased the bike it was time to make it road worthy. The brake master cylinders both needed service to unplug the bleed back holes. The carbs were taken apart and all the jets were either replaced or cleaned. All fluids were also replaced and I went about tuning the bike. Having owned two RGV250's in the past I decided to change to ignition and SAPC boxes for a Zeeltronic unit. I used an old SAPC box for the connectors so didn't need to cut or splice the harness. This upgrade makes tuning much easier and the bike really responded and runs clean from idle to redline now. My two RGV's both had the common power valve failures of loose pins so it was an easy decision to replace the power valves with the Cougar Red Valves that don't have this problem. Bike runs flawlessly and rides like a proper GP 250 replica should. The tires were also changed because who wants to take a chance with rubber that old. As far the condition of the rest of the bike there are some scratches on the tailpiece and a few nicks on the tank. Nothing that would be hard to repair, just finding original decals can take some time. I have owned more 2-stroke bikes than I can count, the fun factor with this one is off the charts. Only selling because I'm turning 60 and have no more desire for riding on the street. I work for Ferrari here in So Cal and wrench on old 2-strokes for a hobby. Getting ready to make the transition and try my hand at working on bikes for a living.

Check out Ron's website here: https://www.ronsvintagemotorcycles.com/

If the description isn't enough, check the following three videos for further proof:

If you're on the hunt for one of these little beasts, this one ought to jump to the top of your list. There are few enough miles to almost say you got it new, it sits ready to roll and it has had every potential problem area addressed. The seller is asking $12,000 for a machine that is not likely to lose value any time soon. He can be reached at ron42rogers@netscape.net

Featured Listing: Barely broken in 1997 Aprilia RS250
Yamaha June 12, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1984 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale

Update 6.13.2018: Unfortunately this bike sold while we were writing this post. Congratulations to buyer and seller! Check out the rest of Ted's inventory and thank you to Tad for the post. -dc

Yamaha threw their hat into the Grand Prix race replica ring with the… Well what this bike was called depended on where the thing was being sold. In Canada and Australia, it was an RZ500, which fits since it was like a bigger, faster RZ350. In Europe, it was the RD500LC, which also makes plenty of sense considering the RD series’ history, but with added Liquid Cooling! And in Japan, it was the RZV500R as seen in today’s Featured Listing, which sounds the most exotic to me.

And like Honda’s NS400R and Suzuki’s RG500, the RZ/RD/RZV was powered by a racing-inspired, two-stroke multi that was shared with no other bike in Yamaha's lineup. That made the bikes very exclusive, but not really cost-effective to produce. But really, what other sort of motorcycle would you power with a liquid-cooled 50° two-stroke V4 that featured twin cranks and a balance shaft displacing nearly 500cc? The rest of the package was likewise geared towards sportbike domination: a six-speed gearbox, a pair of YPVS power valves, Autolube oil-injection system, an underslung rear shock that was very exotic at the time, anti-dive forks, and 16” front and 18” wheels shod with typically skinny period tires.

Unfortunately, in spite of the racy looks and the inclusion of magnesium parts, the RZ500 still weighed in at a period-appropriate 450lbs dry. The problem was that rival Suzuki’s RG500 weighed significantly less while making more power than the RZ’s 88 claimed ponies. The RZ was designed from the start to be a civilized race-replica, but at the time the RG stole Yamaha's thunder with their much wilder ride.

But today, neither bike would be considered particularly fast on a racetrack and the appeal is a combination of nostalgia and the singularly exciting character of a big two-stroke, something the RZ still has in abundance and at a lower cost than an equivalent RG.  The RG has always been "the one to have," and steadily increasing values mean it's been priced out of reach for many fans. But although RZ prices have climbed to keep pace with the general increase of all 80s two-stroke sportbikes, they still lag behind the Gamma, making them the affordable choice.

This example is the Japanese-market RZV500R and featured an aluminum frame instead of the steel units on the other versions. Unfortunately, the aluminum frame wasn't something added to enhance performance, it was to offset the damage done by home market regulations that limited output to 64hp. Luckily, this example has supposedly been de-restricted and features a very sharp set of custom spannies that look far more upswept than the stock parts and should liberate more of the famous two-stroke crackle, along with FZR wheels, brakes, and front forks to match.

From the seller: 1984 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale

VIN#: 51X002446

Entering the world of RZ500’s has introduced me to several collectors who have shared some of their incredible knowledge of the Yamaha model. RZ500’s were built by Yamaha in model years 1984 and 1985. They were never sold new in the US and any that are currently here were brought in as Grey Market Vehicles. Yamaha Canada imported the RZ500 model which was also sold in Australia. The United Kingdom model was named the RD500 and came with a different color scheme than the RZ.

All of these models had steel frames and were delivered in what was considered unrestricted versions with higher horsepower than the domestic Japanese version of the motorcycle. The Japanese bikes with restricted horse power had smaller carburetors and exhaust systems to that end. In an attempt to balance the lost of power, the Japanese bikes were equipped with aluminum frames which were considerably lighter, but again, only for Japanese domestic consumption. That model of the RZ was called the RZV500, is model of bike being offered here. Our bike has the aluminum frame, different mirrors and decals identifying it as the RZV, the most desirable version of the bike if unrestricted. In this case that has been done with a set of Tommy Crawford Expansion Chamber Exhausts. The pipes are said to work well, are rare to find and are no longer made. A perfect storm so to speak.

This bike has been modified additionally with what we assume are a period FZR Front Forks and a set of matching wheels. There is also an Ohlin’s rear Shock Absorber in the back.

The owner of the bike was a huge enthusiast of Road Race bikes and at the time was doing some club racing. Being in the Service, when it was time to be stationed at another post, the Service took care of moving his personal property including his motorcycles. As per regulations, vehicles that were transported with personal property were to have all of their fuel removed, which was done with a tag hanging from the handle bar noting this. Unfortunately, medical issues evolved that prevented the bike from being recommissioned and it been in this state for over ten years. Sadly for the owner, he never was able to ride again and his family is selling the bike as part of his estate.

Collectors with an interest in the bikes have warned us about trying to start the bike without a serious inspection and reconditioning. Crank seals, carburetors and possibly other work may be needed and we are not in a position or capable of any of it. The bike, in running order, would most likely bring over $20,000 and is now priced accordingly to accommodate the possible needed work. It has an Oregon clear and clean title of ownership.

So this should pretty much be the highest-performing version of the RZ: the lighter aluminum frame combined with the full-power engine. More power, less weight, what's not to like? That is, once the bike is reconditioned, of course... The Seller is asking $15,295 for this one and, if you're handy with the wrenches and love to tune two-strokes, or have deep pockets and Lance Gamma's number on speed dial, this could be a good opportunity to pick up a clean RZV with more modern running gear that just needs some mechanical attention.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1984 Yamaha RZV500R for Sale
Featured Listing June 11, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1997 Suzuki RGV250 VJ23

Update 6.11.2018: This seller has renewed his Featured Listing for this gorgeous RGV250 Lucky Strike! He also notes that front and rear stands and all special Suzuki tools for the bike, are included. He can also help with shipping costs. Thanks for continuing to support the site with a Featured Listing and good luck on the sale! -dc

Representing maybe the only way to smoke, be cool and rep Lucky Strike, this 1997 Suzuki RGV250V is one of just 120 export-model RGVs in Kevin Schwantz-aping Lucky Strike graphics. The export models got smaller rear sprockets, different airbox lids and exhaust cans and were de-restricted to around 50 horsepower, up from the JDM 40.

The last of a long line of reliable, light, simple and terrifying Japanese two-stroke sportbikes, the RGV250 VJ23s rocked a 70-degree v-twin that is rumored to have been capable of 70 horses when full uncorked. With just 300-ish pounds to push around and the breed's characteristic on/off powerband, RGs are not mounts for faint-of-heart novices.

Even though this 1997 example is a 'V' model, which indicated it was destined for export, seller and friend of the site Alan says he imported it to England from Japan in 2012. It got a refresh in 2013, and has been used since then. Despite the miles, it is in excellent to immaculate condition, with just one minor blemish near the taillight.

From the seller:

For sale

My last rgv250v
This is a factory lucky strike and and is completely stock
This example was imported from Japan myself in 2012 and is unrestored and in superb condition.
Nothing needs doing to it and the usual consumables have been replaced.
It has currently been winterised and is showing 19001km
The vin run for these is as follows
Vj23a-102099 thru to 102218,just 119 bikes that’s it.
This bike is 102164.
It has a tiny mark on the rear edge of the LH rear panel,but that’s it.
It’s fitted with new conti sms.
This bike has been used since I recommissioned it in 2013,and is not a museum piece.
Look at the pics,any questions I’ll do my best to answer them.
Compression on both pots is around 145psi, and included with the bike is a complete spare top end kit and all the handbooks/sales leaflet.
Price is £14k firm plus shipping.
I’ve sold two others this last year for similar money ,not many left bog stock in this condition.

Contact: tasswipe@icloud.com

The asking price for this beast is breathing on $20,000, and that is before the cost of shipping it and importing it to the U.S. It's a steep ask, but the Lucky Strike-liveried VJ23s are rare beasts and should climb some in value.

Featured Listing: 1997 Suzuki RGV250 VJ23
Suzuki May 31, 2018 posted by

Canadian Stroker: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

Suzuki's RG500Γ "Gamma" didn't actually use a detuned version of the racing RGB500's engine, but at least shared that machine's square four two-stroke configuration, so it looked and felt like it could have been developed from the real thing. The specifications were certainly unlike anything else on the road: twin cranks, disc valves, four cylinders and 498cc, surrounded by a lightweight aluminum frame.

A quartet of very compact Mikuni flat-slide carburetors tucked in on the sides of the engine and fed the liquid-cooled two-stroke, a six-speed cassette gearbox kept the engine on the boil, and Suzuki's "Full-Floater" suspension system and anti-dive forks helped put the power to the ground.

That square four turns fuel and air into a combination of power and heavy smoke that dribbles out of the four separate exhausts at idle. Once "on the pipe," it puts a claimed 95hp through the impossibly skinny 120-section tire, enough to easily motivate the 340lb dry weight. Handling and braking were both exemplary in 1986, but have obviously been far surpassed.

The feeling is still there though and, in spite of Suzuki' Automatic Exhaust Control power valve that helped give the lightweight machine a more manageable powerband, the bike was still a very raw experience. Which is exactly what makes it such a desirable bike today: it's a race-replica that does more than just look the part.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

The bike has never been plated or crashed.  Have owned it since 1990.  Very low mileage, very fast and reliable, 1 -2 kick starts (usually 1).  The only mar on the cosmetics is 4 small dimples , the result of a board sliding over and contacting the tank while in storage.  Can put the winning bidder in touch with the shop that did the engine work.  The shop owner races a gamma in vintage Class, he is the predominate specialist in Eastern Canada.  The entire engine, including the crankshafts and powertrain have been rebuilt and/or inspected, the invoices exceeded $6,000 US and can be emailed to the winning bidder.  My storage people can also do crating, export documents and shipping (Div. of Tippet Richardson Int.)  Shipping are dependent on destination, an advanced quote can be provided.

There hasn't been much activity so far, but the opening bid was set at $18,000 and the seller is in Canada, which may be limiting interest in the bike. While I think this color and graphics scheme is very flattering, it may also be that purists prefer the classic blue-and-white Suzuki scheme. Hopefully, we'll see some interest over the next couple of days!

-tad

Canadian Stroker: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale
Aprilia May 30, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 2000 Aprilia RS250 Cup Challenge for Sale

"A man's got to know his limitations," Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry famously deadpans in Magnum Force, a film which happens to feature several Italian motorcycles, none of which are an Aprilia RS250 like this Cup Challenge bike. The decision-makers at Aprilia must have been fans of Clint Eastwood though, as they took that advice to heart: when they were planning the RS250, they stuck with what they knew and kept the frame design and styling in-house, while leaving the engine and transmission to an established manufacturer with vastly greater resources and expertise.

Instead, they used the 249cc v-twin from Suzuki's RGV250. Power for the RGV was listed at just 45hp, so the RS250's claimed 70 horses made it seem like the Aprilia version must have been outrageously modified, tuned to the absolute hilt. The reality was that Japanese restrictions meant all the home-market two-strokes were officially limited to 45hp, and were all capable of similar outputs when properly tuned and de-restricted. In fact, those in-the-know claim that Aprilia's modifications  pretty much amounted to a set of engine cases with "Aprilia" cast into them, and that 55hp at the rear wheel is a much more realistic expectation.

No problem: the Suzuki twin was plenty powerful and tuneable, with good parts availability and a high-strung character that complimented Aprilia's masterpiece of a frame, an aluminum beam unit that looked great and worked even better: reviewers then and now often refer to the RS250 as being one of the best-handling motorcycles of all time. Weight was pared to the bone and the bike was kick-start only. With about 300 pounds to stop, the triple Goldline Brembos were almost overkill, considering the same setup was used to effectively halt the much heavier Ducati 916 and the massive Moto Guzzi Sport 1100...

So the bike fit the standard quarter-liter mold: aluminum frame, asymmetrical "banana" swingarm to clear the expansion chambers, kick-start, and agility instead of brute strength. But where the Japanese bikes were often decorated with wild graphics and bold colors, the Aprilia kept things classy in elegant, basic black. Some of the earlier models featured race-replica graphics and colors, but even those were pretty understated, compared to other bikes in the class.

The Aprilia RS250 Cup Challenge version was created to compete in a one-make race series late in the model's life. It was never really intended to be a roadbike, but did come with an actual VIN so some have been converted, as you can see here: this example does the bare minimum to make it road-legal and looks that much cooler for it.

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Aprilia RS250 Cup Challenge for Sale

2000 Aprilia RS250 Cup Challenge Edition. Original owner. Titled and registered here in AZ since new. Street legal and plated. 2 stroke twin. 6 Speed. Never damaged or raced. Some track days over the last 18 years. 5400 miles since new. RS50 taillight and rear turn signals. Small Piaa headlight with switch and brake light switch to keep the DMV happy. New battery, oil service and fork service. Fresh coolant and brake fluid as well. Carburetors and power valves were also cleaned and synched. Factory service manual and some gearing go with. If you want to show up at bike night and be a bit different here’s your ride. The smell of castor smells like victory. Mechanically and aesthetically in excellent condition.

Well, this might have a couple nods to streetability that will "keep the DMV happy" but your mileage, as they say, may vary, depending on where you live. Honestly, all RS250s here in the US are "grey market" bikes and only quasi-legal at best here in California. That's part of what makes CA titles so valuable for bikes like these: if your RS250 doesn't already have one, it's unlikely you'll be able to get one. Then you're forced to register your bike in your Arizona-living buddy's name, and end up riding around hoping the CHP doesn't give you a hard time when they pull you over... This one has clearly been enthusiast-owned and miles are very low. Although it's really a converted race bike, the "road legal" equipment installation is pretty slick and unobtrusive. And reversible! Bidding is pretty active over on eBay and there's plenty of time left to get a bid in, so head on over and take a look!

-tad
Featured Listing: 2000 Aprilia RS250 Cup Challenge for Sale
Aprilia May 12, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 2009 Aprilia RS125

Update 5.12.2018: Price reduced to $3,999. Good luck to buyers and seller! -dc

Nothing in American motorcycling circles screams "MEH" like a 125cc single cylinder beginner bike, even if it does have a paint job aping a world champion's race bike. That's a shame, really, as most of the motorcyclists on these shores end up missing the joys of light, flickable, surprising rides in favor of feeding the maw of the ever-escalating horsepower wars.

You end up missing things like this 2009 Aprilia RS125, a 275-pound flyweight two stroke that puts out almost as much power as legions of bigger, tamer four-stroke dual sports. True, it won't win a stoplight to stoplight contest, and its merits don't shine until you have clear road in front of you and you're near the top of the revs, but it will always reinforce the slow bike fast principle.

The seller has the bike plated in California, although it is on a non-op registration after it proved too much for his new-to-bikes wife and too little for his frame. Though the title is clear, it is entirely possible Cali will revoke the plates the next time it crosses the DMV's threshold. It should be good just about everywhere else, though, and is the perfect weapon to chase down clumsily ridden big bikes.

From the seller:

For Sale: 2009 California plated Aprilia RS 125 “Spains No. 1” edition. Price $4800, reasonable offers considered. Ready to ride.

Purchased in 2012 as a bike for my wife, we quickly realized that managing a two stroke 125 repli-racer as a learner bike wasn’t the best idea. That and the fact that this is a beautiful bike (and not wanting to have anything happen to it) I took the bike to ride. As the third owner, I put around 100 miles on it, mostly short trips to the Rock Store - one of our local bike hangouts. For my size, the bike was underpowered and undersprung, so it spent most of the time in our garage. I was told by the previous owner that the street components (harness, lighting, etc.) are factory Aprilia and all were installed by Aprilia technicians.

Ultimately, to make room in the garage, in 2016 fluids (coolant, fuel, engine oil and transmission oil) and were drained and bike was put in climate controlled storage. Recently, it was brought back, fluids refreshed, restarted and taken for a checkout ride.

Title: Bike has clean title with California plates, but is registered as PNO (planned non-operation) in 2014 since the bike was not being ridden.

Known issues: There is a slight blemish on the passenger seat and on the right hand side panel it there’s a ¼” mark in the sticker (see photos). What I would do if I were keeping the bike: Tires are serviceable for street riding, but for more lively canyon use, I’d replace them. Also, fork oil should be refreshed and the oil injector lines seem to be a little stiff so replacement will be in order at some point.

Rear view mirrors are removed but will be included with sale. No other accessories are included.

Bike is located in West Hills, CA

Price: $4,800 now $3999 USD
Contact: paul@ifr1.com

At $4,800 it's most of the way to KTM RC390 territory, but is altogether more interesting, and for the right rider could be more fun. It's also worth noting that this bike truly is the top of the tech heap when it comes to two strokes, and is still cheaper than the older grey-market Japanese equivalents.

Featured Listing: 2009 Aprilia RS125