Posts by tag: Two Stroke

Yamaha August 22, 2015 posted by

More Two-Stroke Sizzle: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

1985 Yamaha RZ500 R Side

It seems like it's been raining two-strokes recently, and this RZ500 should make Yamaha fans happy. Bikes seem to come in waves as their values wax and wane. Forgotten bikes suddenly find a collector's market, and all those folks who've had them from new suddenly unload them, or get too old to ride them in a bunch, and the market is glutted for a while. That seems to be what's been going on of late with the 80's two-strokes. Sometimes, it's almost impossible to find a nice RG500 or RZ500 for sale, but the past couple months it seems like they've been everywhere.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 R Side Rear

These liquid-cooled, two-stroke MotoGP inspired machines were the ultimate road-going motorcycles of the time. From the twin-crank, 50° V4 to the anti-dive front forks visible in the photos, these were high-spec, high-performance machines like nothing else on the road. Sure, a big Ducati might be just as fast over a given section of road, but the two-strokes were scalpels to the Ducati's hammer, and offered a very different experience.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Front Wheel

This RZ seems to be a very decent example. Not completely original, but not resto-modded into something new and terrifying.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

Beautiful condition!

Frame has been powder coated.

Rims have been powder coated.

New tires, chain, brake pads.

Engine has been professionally tuned.

This beauty was a Grand Prix inspired 500. Light, powerful and stunning.

Willing to deliver as far as the Maine, USA border (Calais or Houlton).

I am also considering selling several other bikes in my collection - various vintage Yamaha's, to be listed at a later date.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 R Side Fairing

Bidding is active on this one with several days left on the auction. It's currently sitting just north of $5,000 but this will obviously likely go much higher before the end. The bike is currently located in Canada, but a ride back down through Maine at this time of year might make for a very nice vacation...


1985 Yamaha RZ500 L Side

More Two-Stroke Sizzle: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale
Honda August 20, 2015 posted by

Attention Track Day Junkies: 1998 Honda RS250 for Sale

1998 Honda RS250 L Side

Maybe you're thinking, "That doesn't look like any paint job I saw for a production Honda." And you'd be right, but unless you had a factory ride, the Honda RS250 didn't have any paint: they came with simple, bare white fairings, ready for any sponsor logos or graphics the team might want. The RS250 was intended as an over-the-counter, production 250GP weapon for purchase by privateer teams: factory teams got the slightly more high-zoot RS250RW and NSR250.

1998 Honda RS250 R Side Front Unfaired

Powered by a liquid-cooled, two-stroke v-twin, the original bikes had a 90° v-angle, although this was changed in 1993 to a narrower 75° twin, likely for better packaging, as the 75° engine will be shorter front to back and allow it to be pushed further forward in the frame for better weight distribution and a longer swingarm. These were capable of over 90hp when properly tuned, and weigh as much as some of our readers: about 223lbs dry.

1998 Honda RS250 R Side Engine

There's very little information or history mentioned in the listing, although as it's a race bike through-and-through, I'd expect the seller knows any prospective buyers have some idea of the life this bike has likely led, although some race history would be nice.

1998 Honda RS250 L Side Front Unfaired

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Honda RS250 for Sale

1998 Honda RS250 Factory GP Race bike, Bike is in excellent condition, Carbon Fiber bodywork, only 3 heat cycles in engine rebuild. Very rare factory

1998 Honda RS250 L Side Engine

Keep in mind: while all of the era's race and race-rep bikes appear to have very similar specification, this is the real-deal, a small-displacement race bike. Parts will likely not be cheap, and these are reputed to be harder to set up and maintain than seemingly comparable bikes from Suzuki, Yamaha, or Aprilia.

This is a tool for going fast, not a collectible to be pampered, but if you know what you're doing, this looks to be a very tasty indeed. With bidding up to $5,100 and the Reserve Not Met, I'm curious to see what this will go for.


1998 Honda RS250 R Side

Attention Track Day Junkies: 1998 Honda RS250 for Sale
Suzuki August 12, 2015 posted by

Some Assembly Required: 1987 Suzuki RG500Γ Walter Wolf

1987 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf L Front

There are race replicas and then there are race replicas. While many bikes are intended to ape the look and style of racing machines, they're usually more of a paint-and-tape affair, with few aspects under the skin to link them with their inspiration. That's not the case with the RG500Γ Gamma.

1987 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf R Side Detail

Powered by a 500cc two-stroke square four cylinder with twin cranks, the bike was powerful and very lightweight, with specifications ripped straight from MotoGP. And while the larger displacement certainly makes low-rpm riding a bit less lethargic than on a 250, that just means the hit of power is that much bigger, and these are very serious machines for very serious riders.

1987 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf Dash

In the usually very flattering traditional Suzuki colors, I feel like the Gamma looks a bit awkward and ungainly. The Walter Wolf dark blue with red and gold details definitely flatters the lines, and I think it's the best-looking version of the bike. It's particularly cool that the Walter Wolf Replica included different gauge faces and a special key as well.

1987 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf R Side Engine

While it's a shame to see a bike like this in pieces, it does give gawkers an opportunity to see the unusual square-four engine: you can see that the rear pair of cylinders sit a bit higher than the front pair. And the seller certainly didn't skimp on pictures over on eBay, so potential bidders can get a pretty good idea about what's included.

1987 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf R Side

From the original eBay listing: 1987 Suzuki RG500Γ Gamma Walter Wolf

If you know what these bikes are, and what they will probably be worth in the next few years, than I probably don't need to do any further explaining!

The RG500 Gamma, is already considered by many to be top of the food chain for 2 stroke street bikes, But a 1987 japanese Walter Wolf edition makes it even more so!
This bike came to me as you see it.  All the parts are there except the belly pan.  It does need a little work, but is in overall decent condition.  Standard RG500s are worth over $20K, In a few years this bike will probably be worth close to $50,000

Bike has just over 16.7K Kilometers, which translates to about 10,300 miles! I believe this to be true and correct.

Paint and body work:
Missing only the belly pan, besides that the plastic is in great shape, no major cracks, left side fairing does need a re-paint, as does the solo seat cowl,
the rest is in rideable condition, there are of course some scratches and wear, but overall the body work is not bad!

As you can see the engine is apart, I recently purchased a complete set of overbore cylinders and matched heads.  All the machine work is done, along with 1.5mm over
pistons and rings.  Bottom end and clutch are in great shape, basically all the engine parts are included to put the bike back together.

I have the Japanese title in hand, And original Walter Wolf key.

Remember this bike is almost 30 years old and is a project, anyone that buys this bike will have a rare opportunity of owning a highly sought after machine that is probably currently worth over $30k in mint condition. 

Well, there are projects and there are projects. "Basically all the engine parts are included" is not the same thing as "all the engine parts are included, down to the last nut and bolt." And while a project claimed to be "90% complete!" might sound like it'd be a snap to put together, keep in mind that's theoretically a whole lot of missing bits, and the last 10% could be very expensive, difficult, or nearly impossible to track down. If you're planning to plunk down for this bike, it might be worth a couple quick emails to the seller to find out exactly what might be missing.

1987 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf L Rear

I also think that the seller's insistence that this bike "in a few years will probably be worth close to $50,000" may be a bit optimistic: Gammas are definitely investment-grade bikes at the moment, but I'd be skeptical that this will basically double in value in such a short time period. That being said, there is a strong community built up around these bikes, and this one is definitely cool enough to be worth saving.


1987 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf Parts

Some Assembly Required: 1987 Suzuki RG500Γ Walter Wolf
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
Aprilia August 5, 2015 posted by

Track Only Two-Stroke: 2002 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

2002 Aprilia RS250 Track L Side

Bike's like Aprilia's high-strung RS250 two-stroke is really this website's raison d'être: specifications that speak to an almost single-minded pursuit of speed, race-bred bodywork, rarity, and an exotic nameplate. The icing on the cake is that the RS250 is relatively attainable, if you are willing to accept the compromises inherent in such a focused design.

2002 Aprilia RS250 Track Swingarm

Powered by a modified RGV250 two-stroke v-twin tuned to about 60hp, with a dry weight of about 300lbs, the bike featured powerful brakes, a beautifully-sculpted "banana" swingarm, and virtually unlimited cornering-clearance. Power was typical two-stroke all-or-nothing and guaranteed intimate rider involvement if any sort of progress was required.

2002 Aprilia RS250 Track Front Wheel

This example is even more single-minded in that it makes no pretense of being road-legal. That may frustrate some, but the RS250 makes a pretty poor roadbike and the purity-of-purpose is appealing: the bike looks especially sharp with those fairings uncluttered by signals or a headlight, and with the waspish tail unmarred by tail lamp or plate.

2002 Aprilia RS250 Track Rear

From the original eBay listing: 2002 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

This bike is in very good condition has been sitting in the living room for most of its life. Track ready and prepped by Steve Biganski. If your looking for a dependable 2-stroke this is the one for you!

Hm... Well if it's been sitting in a living room most of its life, I'm not sure how dependable we can expect it to be...

The Buy It Now for this RS250 is set at $6,500 which seems on the high side for an untitled bike, but this does appear to be in spotless condition from what I can see, although I'd request a few more detailed before anteing up that kind of cash. The question is: will the next owner want to risk this unmolested machine on track?

Here's hoping the answer is "yes."


2002 Aprilia RS250 Track Tank

Track Only Two-Stroke: 2002 Aprilia RS250 for Sale
Suzuki August 2, 2015 posted by

Cali-Titled Smoker: 1986 Suzuki RG500 for Sale

1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma R Side

Look, I'll be honest. There are basically two reasons I like writing about Suzuki's two-stroke sportbikes. One, they're pretty funky, like this RG500Γ Gamma you see here that sports an engine with a very rare square-four configuration. Two, I get to use the cool Greek "Gamma" character which, along with the umlauted "O" for "Öhlins" are sometimes highlights of my week.

In building a bike meant to evoke their Moto GP weapons, Suzuki knew they needed an appropriate two-stroke powerplant, as that was the formula in fashion for top-level racing during the 1980's. The 500cc engine that resulted was an unusual, water-cooled square four that was basically two parallel twins geared to a common crank. At under 400lbs dry with 100bhp and a capable chassis, it was the S1000RR or Panigale of the day and was capable of humbling just about anything on the road.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500 for Sale

Brand New Paint, 19,717 KM, Lots of modifications. Big bore kit (570cc), aftermarket expansion chambers, carbs. bored oversize, performance air filter kits, GSX-R upside down forks and 6 piston calipers, RGV 250 rear swing arm conversion. California Registered

This particular Gamma is obviously enthusiast-owned and in good, although not completely original condition. The bike has been ridden 19,000 miles, so it's no garage-queen and those modifications are clearly intended to improve performance and take advantage of modern-ish suspension and tire technology to better harness that wild powerplant.

I happen to love the look of the updated suspension and wheels, although the missing front mudguard does irk me a bit. However many Gamma fans are purists, and a bike like this may have them apoplectic with rage at the violations. Depending on where the reserve is set, this could be a great buy for someone looking for the experience of a big two-stroke, without some of the limitations found in an older machine.


1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma L Side

Cali-Titled Smoker: 1986 Suzuki RG500 for Sale