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Yamaha December 18, 2018 posted by

Not Museum (but could be?): 1985 Yamaha RZ350

If you are a regular reader of RSBFS (if not, sign up for our email service so you never miss out on a great find), you will know two things: Number one, the RZ350 is a very popular model of semi-rarity her in the United States; and number two, sellers have been classifying "reasonably good" bikes as Museum Quality since the beginning of eBay. That leads to many examples of collectible motorcycles being represented as perhaps slightly better than they are. Even so, we revel in finding the rare and the unusual and try to bring it to your screen with an open view as to what it is and what it is worth. As such, we find this second red/white RZ350 in a week (see the first one here), and are all too happy to share what looks like an original example of the breed.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

From a collector standpoint, originality counts. And on an RZ, while aftermarket expansion chambers are period correct and aid in addressing two major exhaust faults of the bike (namely weight and performance), they are not original. Original means the basic black - but very trick - two stroke exhaust that incorporate catalytic converters and air injection to ensure as clean a burn as possible. Mr. EPA required said trickery in order to make the RZ an officially imported bike back in 1984 when the model was first brought to our shores. So effective were those cats that the small-but-mighty RZ even made it into California for one year! Today these are very difficult to find, and very expensive to replace. But they make the bike original. Original may not be the fastest configuration, but it is the best bet to earn every dollar possible on the resale of a classic motorcycle. Although not super-rare in the world, the RZ is most certainly a classic sport bike when it comes to American riders. So when you find a classic model in original condition, you have something special.

From the seller:
I HAVE HAD THIS BEAUTY IN MY COLLECTION FOR A FEW YEARS NOW AND TIME FOR A NEW PROJECT. IT'S BEEN A GREAT BIKE THAT IS USED REGULARLY AND IS RUNNING EXCELLENT. THIS IS A FINE EXAMPLE OF THE KENNY ROBERTS SPECIAL THAT IS IN VERY NICE UNRESTORED CONDITION RIGHT DOWN TO THE CATALYST CHAMBERS WITH WORKING ALARM.

THE ORIGINAL PAINT AND TANK IS NEAR PERFECT. NO DENTS OR RUST, TANK LOOKS NOS. CARBS HAVE BEEN RECENTLY SONIC CLEANED AND SET. ALL NEW OIL AND FUEL LINES INSTALLED, BRAKES, AND OIL INJECTION TANK FLUSHED. ENGINE IS ORIGINAL NUMBERS MATCHING WITH NO LEAKS. NEW FORK SEALS INCLUDED BUT NEED TO BE INSTALLED....THEY ARE LEAKING A BIT. TIRES ARE A BIT OLD BUT HAVE LOTS OF TREAD AND NO CRACKS. IT LOOKS LIKE THE FRONT COWL MAY HAVE BEEN RESTORED AT SOME POINT BUT I'M NOT SURE.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR WANT MORE PICTURES PLEASE DON'T HESITATE TO CONTACT ME. PLEASE VIEW THE PICTURES CLOSELY AS THEY SHALL GIVE YOU A LOT MORE INFORMATION THAN WORDS CAN. I WILL HELP WITH INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING IF NEEDED AT THE NEW OWNERS EXPENSE. DON'T LET THIS ONE GET AWAY YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED!!

BIKE IS IN CANADA, NIAGARA FALLS AREA.

The seller has done a good job describing this particular bike, and provided the video to boot. As a 1985 model, King Kenny's signature adorns the fairing (it was only on the yellow/black models in '84), and said fairing looks good. So does the tank. The aforementioned boat anchor cats are well and truly in place (and operational, according to the over-temp alarm comment), although they *might* have been resprayed by the look of the finish. Of course time and heat cycles might have done that just as easily. There is some evidence of use and wear on the bike, but then again it does have 12,000 miles and change. Corrosion is not the dominant color scheme, which is always a good thing. Overall, this is a solid bike by my eye.

So this is what it comes down to: a rather well kept, reasonably presented, original bike with some of the faults and foibles you would expect from a used bike. And unlike our previously posted RZ, this one comes with a more realistic price tag: $8,995 if you buy it right now. Like the previous post, this seller is also open to offers. The days of the $2,500 RZ are long gone. The days when you thought $7,500 was a stupid-high number for a used bike are also seemingly gone. The RZ350 is popular; it was widespread enough to have parts availability, and it is unlike nearly any other machine offered then or since. There is something about it that tugs at heart strings, even though we know it is not the rarest or the fastest. But regardless of what tugs at your desires, do your homework and find the best possible example before you pull the trigger. Check out this clean example here, and see if you can't snag yourself a little Christmas present before the end of the year. Thumbs Up & Good Luck!!

MI


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Featured Listing December 17, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 2017 Suter MMX500 for Sale

So, I'm going to have to try not to gush uncontrollably here, because this is one of the coolest bikes we've featured recently. A real, live Suter MMX500, a "what if" race-replica from a parallel universe where MotoGP racing never made the switch from two-stroke to four-stroke power. A labor of love built by Eskil Suter of Suter Racing and a bunch of guys who never got over their addition to premix fumes.

Forget all of your shed-built Grand Prix homages with RZ500 engines stuffed into R6 chassis and painted up in Marlboro racing colors. No disrespect intended, but this is what you're looking for, the ultimate paean to the snarling, lethal machines that carried Rainey and Schwantz and Mamola to greatness.

The looks may be stealth-fighter modern, especially in this example's matte carbon finish, but the spirit of those older machines is still there, married to absolutely state-of-the-art racing technology. It's powered by a compact, fuel-injected two-stroke V4 with a pair of counter-rotating cranks based on the Swissauto/MuZ500 raced by Suter in 1998 and 1999. Apparently Suter "had a few crankcases kicking around from the 500cc V4 design," and frames are, obviously, their specialty.

I'm always fascinated by how two-strokes can be mounted in the frame: a lack of cams, cam-drives, or valve gear means they're ludicrously compact, and often oriented in ways not at all intuitive for someone weaned on four-strokes. In this case, the engine is laid over on its side, rotated 90 degrees from what you'd expect, facing forward. So more like a >4 really, at least if you're looking at it from the left-hand side...

The bike may be tagged as a 500, but it actually displaces 576cc, with an undersquare 56 x 58.5mm bore and stroke in an effort to deliver a bit more midrange and help the bike avoid racebike service intervals. Suter acknowledges that most of its customers are skilled enthusiasts, not win-or-crash racers, and the changes to the formula make for a more manageable ride that still captures the feeling of a two-stroke MotoGP machine, but is less likely to spit a rider off in an evil highside when they get in a bit over their head...

Modern electronics and fuel injection help there as well, while offering improved rideability and a better spread of power. Of course, the delivery is still two-stroke abrupt and, with 195hp at 13,000rpm pushing just 280lbs, power-to-weight is still fairly astonishing, so the two-stroke GP character is intact, just slightly more refined.

Head on over to the original listing for the bike, as there are plenty of additional photos for you to drool over.

From the Seller: 2017 Suter MMX500 for Sale

SUMMARY

Model: Suter MMX 500

Origin: Switzerland

Engine: Suter

Last Service: 490 km

Colour: Carbon

Suspension: Ohlins

Brakes: Brembo

OZ 17" wheels

Availability: Immediately in our store of USA

MODEL INFORMATION
Bike in good condition and ready to race. Extra parts included with the bike: rear stand, pistons, rings, reeds gaskets, fiber+steel clutch plates, plugs + caps, filters, front stand, windscreen, seat, engine stand, service manual, owner manual, cover.

Spares list:

Pistons, rings, carbon reeds, gaskets, and o-rings; enough for 2 complete rebuilds

fiber/steel clutch plates

plugs & caps

Spare seat #5 of 99

Engine stand, front & rear service stands

Parts, service & dash manuals

bike cover

This is the very first Suter MMX500 I've seen for sale. With just 99 made, I'm assuming they were all snapped up before they were even finished by well-heeled track day and racing fans. If you've got $115,000 lying around and decide to buy this, please let me know what track days you'll be attending, because I need to see an MMX500 in action. The craftsmanship and passion that went into its creation are impressive, as you can see from the images. Of course, the price is shocking, but this is a very rare opportunity to purchase one at any price, so refinance your home, sell that sailboat, or sell that kidney, and pounce before someone else does.

-tad

Aprilia December 17, 2018 posted by

Stocking Stuffer – 2009 Aprilia RS125

Even RSBFS is not immune to a little mission-creep, as our last two "stocking stuffer" posts were Aprilia RS50's !  Anyway this late and low-mile if lightly documented RS125 looks like just the suggestion for your future ex- this holiday season.

2009 Aprilia RS125 for sale on eBay

Aprilia's RS125 was introduced in 1992, and the 2009 came midway through the fourth generation.  By this time the RS125 was an RSV1000R lookalike, with twin headlights, four-piston front caliper, and Piaggio ECU to help meet Euro-3 emissions.  Power was great for a 125 at 28 hp, and alloy wheels were both 17's.  The No.1 livery commemorated Jorge Lorenzo's 125cc championship.

Not too many photos or words accompany this auction, but the second oil change miles and original condition speak volumes.  From the eBay auction:

2009 Aprilia RS125, two stroke, SC title, runs great, excellent condition, fun to ride.  Not too many of these in the US.  I have the bike listed locally and will remove ad if sold locally.

A number of current MotoGP starters have history with an Aprilia RS125, and while the sub-300 lb. weight might favor a youngster, anyone who wears mediums and wants to work on keeping the revs up through a corner will find joy in the RS125.  Aprilia brought a lot of the sophistication of their race bikes across to the showroom, with pricing to match their mid-size performance.  For a bike whose only purpose is fun, the asking price and condition are downright sensible...

-donn


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Yamaha December 16, 2018 posted by

Red, White and Blue (smoke): 1984 Yamaha RZ350

The RZ market is pretty crazy right now. RSBFS staffers have seen bikes of all types of condition with pricing all over the map. We've seen bargains, we've seen riders and we've seen basket cases. We've come across amazing time capsules of authenticity, and seen the results of ambitious projects (sometimes gone bad). The bottom line is that the lowly RZ350 is as close to a sure thing as you are going to get in the current market. Regardless of condition, we are seeing these bikes sell. That must be pretty exciting for RZ owners out there. And for those in the market for the last of the street legal factory smokers, the good news is that we continue to see a good supply of the model. Which brings us to today's example: a low mileage, red and white example of the breed that seems to have survived the ravages of time and riders.

1984 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

For those of you who missed the heyday of the two stroke, pull up a chair. You see children, back before people realized that they liked to breathe and came to the realization that vehicles spewing out noxious smoke, visible gasses and other delicious cancer-causing fumes were not a great long-term health plan, pretty much anything could be put on the road. And like any other performance category, sport motorcycles were all about low weight and high power. And pound for pound, a two stroke is a far more potent form of motive power than a heavier, more complicated four stroke. Sure, they sounded like chainsaws. Yes, they often disappeared in clouds of blue smoke. Indeed, they were a pain in the butt at the gas pump - not only did they get crappy gas mileage, riders had to mix oil into the gas in a precise ratio. But the payoffs were (almost) worth it when the tach swung up past 7,500 RPM or so and the power band began. Below that there was nothing, and with only a narrow RPM range of usable power, these were not the easiest mounts to ride in anger. The EPA started cracking down in the 1970s, and by the early 1980s the smoking party was over. But it was damn fun while it lasted.

From the seller:
Up for sale is a 1984 Yamaha RZ350. This bike is in Museum quality condition. Paint on entire bike is original and in like new condition. This bike comes with the dual seat option. exhaust resinators where removed at some point. If you are looking at this bike then I'm sure you aware of its heritage and the somewhat rareness of it. There are only 2 minor flaws, 1- the windscreen has a sratch on the painted area. 2- The tank has one dent on the left side.

The RZ350 is the little bike that could. Pitted against 550 and 600 cc four stroke machines, the little screamer could hold its own. But to even get it on the road, Yamaha had to throw a lot of technology into the form factor. An exhaust power valve automatically adjusted the exhaust port height depending upon specific conditions, making the parallel twin more efficient. Evaporation canisters to capture fuel vapors were starting to appear, and exist on the RZ. But the real secrets were hidden in the exhaust pipes. What looked like two stroke chambers were really a complex series of catalytic converters with air injection. These made it possible to import the RZ into nearly all 50 states for it's limited run of 2 years (CA only received 1985 model year bikes).

This particular RZ has very few miles on it for the age (4,028). It looks to be in decent condition, although it may not have been an indoor pet all of it's life given some of the light corrosion. The seller points out the relatively small flaws of windscreen scratch and tank blemish, but otherwise all parts appear to be attached. The pipes are not the stock units, and there appear to be some other small aftermarket additions over time (fuel line and filter, for example). The term "museum" is an ambiguous word that comes up all too often in adverts. Calling this example out as museum quality depends upon the type of museum you frequent. This is not a zero mile, just been un-crated, never been run, never been rode or never been parked outside type of bike. This is certainly a low mileage survivor, and for those that want to ride, this is usually the better option. The seller is asking for some pretty strong numbers for this bike - but the market will pay what the market can bear. You can't fault someone for asking, and the Buy It Now approach with a willingness to accept offers might just be a great way for the seller and buyer to meet closer to the middle. Check it out here - there is not a lot of text but a good number of decent pictures. And then you just have to answer one more question: Do you RZ? Good Luck!!

MI


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Suzuki December 15, 2018 posted by

Superbike Saturday: 1980 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley Replica for Sale

Ah, the Good Old Days, when a top-flight superbike could offer serious performance, all-day comfort, and room for a date-night passenger in the same package. An era when tires were skinny and powerbands were fat, when one steering damper probably wasn't enough, and engines were fully on display, stuck out into the breeze that served to keep them cool. But even back then, there were bikes that were more about synergy than brute power, bikes like Suzuki's GS1000S.

The GS1000S might not look much like a sportbike by today's origami-plastic-dart standards, but it most definitely was Suzuki's big-bore superbike. How do we know? Well, it was piloted in AMA Superbike racing by Wes Cooley, with engines built by "Pops" Yoshimura. Power output didn't match the Kawasakis and Hondas of the period, but the bike was relatively lightweight and its handling and braking were superior. Their racing success saw bikes with the blue-and-white color scheme retroactively known as "Wes Cooley" replicas, and who are we to argue with that logic?

Wes Cooley Replicas show up for sale fairly frequently, but real ones are pretty exceptionally rare: just 700 of the 1980 models were built, and even fewer were made in 1979, although the seller reverses these production numbers for '79 and '80. Regardless, it's a very rare bike. The 1980 bikes were updated with electronic ignition, slotted brake rotors, and other minor cosmetic changes, including a stepped seat for extra passenger comfort... on your superbike. Otherwise, you're looking at pretty typical 1970s UJM specifications: air-cooled dual-overhead cam inline-four displacing 997cc, five speed gearbox, and a dual-shock rear suspension.

The paint on this one looks very sharp, although there is some surface corrosion on the metal, and the seller mentions that the fork seals are original and will need to be renewed, along with the brakes. Although, how hard can that be? And as a bonus: vintage radar detector!

From the original eBay listing: 1980 Suzuki GS1000S for Sale

I bought this motorcycle almost 40 years ago in Tonawanda New York. Of all the motorcycles I have owned in my life, this was always one of my favorites.  This classic Wes Cooley Replica commemorated the AMA championships Wes Cooley won in 1979 and 1980.  There were 700 replicas built in 1979 and only 500 built in 1980. This is one of the 500 built as a 1980 model. After moving to Florida in 1986, I didn't ride it as much and it ended up being stored in my garage. The bike has been stored for over 10 years.  

This bike is an original Suzuki 1980 GS 1000 S Wes Cooley Replica. Since there were only 500 of this model built of the 1980 model, it is one of the most sought after motorcycles in the last 40 years. As seen in the pictures the bike is in very good condition. I am the ORIGINAL OWNER and have title, bill of sale, owner's manual, shop manual, tool kit and assorted advertising flyers which will be included in the sale.

Recently, I decided to have it overhauled at St. Pete Motorbikes.  The gas tank was sent out for restoration and lined with an epoxy finish, new tires were mounted and balanced, intake manifolds replaced, front master cylinder and calipers fixed, O rings, oil and filters, plugs and battery have all been replaced. The bike runs great!

It's tough to part with my classic Suzuki, but I'm not riding anymore and would love for someone else to finish restoring it and enjoy this rare piece of motorcycle history. As you can see by the pictures, this is an amazing machine.  Minor scratches, some spots of paint missing and the gas gauge no longer works, but other that that, this beauty of 38 years and 21,165 miles is a remarkable piece of motorcycle history.  The radar detector I added so many years ago still works, as well as the rest of the gauges, turn signals and clock.  Somehow the side mirror glass popped out while being transported back to my house recently.

Keep in mind this bike is almost 40 years old, and the front fork seals are the originals and will need to be addressed as will the 40 year old brakes.  This motorcycle is being sold as is. 

Obviously, a perfectly-preserved original might be worth more, but this one works perfectly as a rolling restoration, and the radar detector will keep your insurance premiums low and block any windblast that sneaks around the comprehensive windscreen. This Wes Cooley replica might not offer knee-dragging lean angles or the grunt to keep up with modern superbikes, or even a V6 Toyota Camry,  but it's a pretty competent motorcycle, a classic sportbike you could ride every day.
-tad

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