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11 Out of 10 – 1984 Yamaha RZ350

Donn 27


This post is in our archives. Links in this post have been updated to point to similar bikes available to bid on eBay.

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Evolving from the now-vintage RD350, Yamaha made a splash with the first perimeter frame for the RZ350, along with the YPVS power valve and rear monoshock.  Due to emissions concerns it was short-lived in the U.S., but this example is better than excellent.


1984 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay


20161123-1984-yamaha-rz350-left-rear  20161123-1984-yamaha-rz350-right-engine

Yamaha’s 347cc parallel twin is water cooled and has oil metering, making its 50-plus hp at least less troublesome.  An early adopter of catalysts and vapor canisters, the RZ had a temperature warning light on the dash for the cats.  Emissions were also reduced by the YPVS ( Yamaha Power Valve System ) moveable exhaust port, and its rudimentary computer control extended the twin’s powerband.  Elsewhere the bike was well-equipped for the day, with 32mm conventional forks, preload-adjustable rear monoshock, and 267 mm disk brakes disks all around.  The flowing lines of the tank and seat fairing were complemented by the handlebar mounted bikini up front, available in red/white or Kenny Roberts yellow paint.


20161123-1984-yamaha-rz350-binnacle  20161123-1984-yamaha-rz350-right-rear

Not often seen so original, this RZ350 comes out of Illinois with just under 7,000 miles.  Exhausts have been updated to expansion chambers and mufflers, but elsewhere it’s surprisingly unfettered, and the factory finishes around the bike are beautiful.  Most often seen with a dual seat, this one has the sporty monoposto.  From the eBay auction:

Up for sale is a 1984 Yamaha RZ350 K/R. This bike is in Museum quality condition. Paint on entire bike is original and in like new condition. This bike comes with the single seat option. All dual seat parts are included with this sale. Bike has Chamber exhaust from HVC cycle. Carbs have been jetted for exhaust and a Y boot with a K&N air filter attached. Look, at all the pictures and check out the video attached, lots of info can be had from this. 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 3 minor flaws, 1- the windscreen on the bike has a crack about 1 inch in length. There is a brand new NOS screen in a box that will go with the bike. It has never been installed. 2- The speedo is what I call sleepy. After the bike sits for some time the bike has to be ridden approx. a mile before the speedo will register. This has been this way since I’ve owned the bike. Always works so I’ve left it alone. 3- There is a super small ding in the tank in the very front right side than cant even be seen unless your really looking. Just want to be real honest.  I didn’t see it until I owned the bike for several years. I’ve owned the bike approx. 5 years and have never had a ounce of trouble with just regular maintenance.  The bike is being sold without a warranty and shipping is up to buyer. I can store the bike for a short time in a heated garage.


20161123-1984-yamaha-rz350-left-rear-wheel  20161123-1984-yamaha-rz350-right-front-wheel

Light weight was always the RZ’s unkept secret, fully fueled it was still under 400 lbs., allowing the limited horsepower, bargain suspension and diminutive brakes to work their magic.  Many of the model found their way to the track, or were modified for the street, but the RZ350 presented here has been spared most of that agony.  Likely to continue as an occasional rider or show bike, the original equipment and finishes make this Kenny Roberts edition very special…


20161123-1984-yamaha-rz350-right-fairing  20161123-1984-yamaha-rz350-right-front-exhaust


  1. Billy1 Billy1

    Nice, but at 4 times the original price, I don’t get it. This is RZ/RG500 money he’s asking for this.

  2. Gary Gary

    I understand what your saying Billy but 2 strokes are in supply and demand, don’t you think asking the original sales price of $2,900 would giving it away ?

  3. John Schnabel John Schnabel

    Looks like there is a nice RZ350 for sale in Southbridge MA on Craigslist. Not as pristine, but has low mileage as well and is under $5k.
    At that price, you can ride and enjoy it.

  4. SmokinJoe439 SmokinJoe439

    Looks like some one with more money then brains bought it since it says sold now

  5. Billy1 Billy1

    Gary, I see what you are saying. But $5k-$6k would be more reasonable. And yes, I know 2 stroke values are rising. Which is one of the reasons why I have an all original 1978 RD400 sitting in my garage awaiting a full resto. Just have too many other things dealing with to get started on that project.

  6. Don Don

    I just made an offer on this bike and bought it. Seller was great to work with and is shipping additional parts with it. RDLCs and YPVS have been in huge demand in the U.K. for some years now and I used to race TZs there in 70s/80s. Very few YPVS left in the world now in unrestored condition as good as this. Maybe less than 10. Also it’s #71 of 9900 in the US in 1984. But I bought it to keep, not sell. I’ll be able to keep it in this condition in California.

  7. When they are no longer made, you can ask and get whatever you want for them. There is one on the wall of a friend of mine in his man cave with ZERO miles on it (yes, 0 miles), any guesses on the amount of money he has been offered for it? It is not for sale!

  8. Evan Evan

    Nice purchase Don. Expensive, yes. Likely one of only a few left in that condition though. I think long term you will do well. Its really not that much cash when you think about it either. Certainly not 500 money as speculated above, a mint original 500 is closer to 20k these days. To Billy’s comment, your 400 will never see that sort of money as it is a restoration. Best you can hope for is half of what a nice original is worth.

  9. Was fast now old Was fast now old

    Was fast now old
    I disagree with the rising two stroke prices overall…”flame suit on” Now that they are 25 years old the market is flooded and will become more so as they are “legal” imports unlike when we had to be creative to bring a container full of dismantled units in.
    I just sold a 5K mile 100% OEM Original (except tires) RZ500 for 12K as that was “market value” a couple months ago.

  10. Evan Evan

    Was fast now old: I think that is low for the 500. Have been seeing confirmed sale prices for beaters around $10K.

    You are correct that the 25 year old imports are coming in but the Japanese market did not get the RZ350 (or in low numbers) so it should have a minimal impact on the prices of the larger displacement 2-strokes.despite something like a NSR250 being a much better motorcycle.

  11. Don Don

    Hi all – as Evan said, mint condition unrestored older bikes are very hard to come by and command good premiums. Also there are so many guys restoring bikes now that the market is quite flooded for many models – like Z1B, H2 etc. That said, many of these have been exported to the UK where prices have been going crazy for selected 70’s/80’s bikes (nakeds) for some time. Example: a Yamaha FS1E 2 stroke moped that was 165 pounds new in 1973 in the UK, when restored, can sell for 5000 pounds upwards now in the UK (RSBFS you should post one of those for fun – crazy prices). However the pound is so weak now that importing from the US is too costly. That should give prices a boost here.

  12. Gary Gary

    Don, do you collect 2 strokes?

  13. don don

    Hi Gary – not particularly- I was thinking of doing a custom YPVS then this came up. Got 6 bikes now and no more room. Selling a couple in the next few months

  14. Gary Gary

    Hi don, ok, I know how you feel, I was just asking because I too might be “thinning ” my collection

  15. Don Don

    If RSBFS doesn’t mind, tell us what you have Gary – always interested to see/read about nice bikes

  16. billy1 billy1

    Gary, what do you have in your 2 stroke collection? Don, I have also been toying with a custom YPVS. I wanted to do a RZ350 (2 actually) engines grafted together to form an inline 4 cylinder 2 stroke. But alas, I am not gifted like Allen Millyard of 5 cylinder H2 Kawasakis fame. Finding someone to do the engine cases never panned out.

  17. Dan Dan

    I don’t mind, this isn’t a Featured Listing.


  18. RC45 RC45

    The RZ/RD350 is the very definition of an Un-limited producing model is.

    The KR LE may have been the exception here in the USA, and at 9900 is not very limited, considering how small the US market was and is for small 2 strokes.

    The venerable 350YPVs is like the Beetle churned out by the hundreds of thousands in various markets, its only “collectible” in the few markets that where not flooded with them back in the day (and that day stretched all the way to 1995) 🙂

    Everywhere else its just another 2 stroke that we thrashed to bits when we where teens 🙂

    The seller deserved what ever he could get for it, and one can only hope the buyer is satisfied with what the price bought him.

    I have a track day RZ500 (its been a dedicated track bike since the 2nd owner put to work as a race bike in the mid 1990’s. I am owner #4 and am happy with what I paid for it – but there is no way I would be paying $12/$14/$18,000 for a prefect street version in the hope that I could get my money back as an investment in 5 or 10 years time.

    As such I have another 3 RZ500’s that I bought in the sad shape they where and am idling away building a brace of YZR500 replicas.

    The reality is that unless any of these bikes is a zero miler and has some proper collector value, the moment the RZ/RD500’s, RG500’s and NS400’s become impossible to keep running for a reasonable cost, the value of the ridden bikes will plummet to realistic values.

    Outside of museums, antique cars and bikes really don’t carry much real value unless that exact vehicle has some historic significance..

    So to the sellers of the big 2 strokes get the big money while you can, and to the buyers of the big 2 strokes, don’t be caught holding the bag later 🙂 LOL

  19. twowheelflyer twowheelflyer

    The U.S. 1984 RZ350’s had a problem with the CDI or “black boxes”. The base of the unit would crack
    or flex and cause problems with the chips inside.
    This was addressed in the ’85 model.

  20. Don Don

    Owner is a very straight guy and he told me its running great but thanks I will look out for it.

  21. Since when did this become a fing chat room? But if it was an RZ350 that brought it on , meh, whatever!

  22. Dan Dan

    Sometimes I wonder if we should have our own forum so we can have conversations like this. Thoughts?


  23. RC45 RC45

    The website lists bikes and allows for comment discussion. The bike was listed, so discussion and comment followed.

  24. Ed Ed

    Super nice bike Don. And to all – when one considers the typical “driver quality” RZ sells for $5,000 to $6,500 these days you will see $9500 is easily reached when trying to duplicate or repair/restore. You are typically better off spending a few bucks more up front to get a nicer bike from the start.

    This bike however appears to have had the bikini fairing decals replaced at some point. The left side Kenny Roberts decal is crooked; and the front strobe decals off the headlight are coming off at a wrong angle – they are too close to the screw hole cutout for the headlight. Compare to any RZ and you will see something is going on there and likely not all original.

    But a very nice bike that can be taken to shows with pride and ridden too.

    With the solo rear cowl alone going for close to $1000 in that condition these days, overall well bought.

  25. Ed Ed

    Oh, and the YAMAHA logo decal on the bikini fairing is in a rectangle block form and not just solo letters as original. That correct decal is still available from Yamaha so easily corrected.

  26. Don Don

    Thanks Ed for the info. you are correct the left side signature is not right. The Yamaha logo I just ordered. Not 100% sure about the speed block graphic since i have seen some just like that on the internet which are supposedly original. Anyway I will have a good look at it when i get the bike. I will install original exhausts when I get it. You are right – very easy to run up a lot of $ when restoring and so few of these left in original condition. There may be one or two zero mile bikes left out there, but I’m interested in those since I want to ride them too.

  27. Don Don

    The UK market was flooded with RDLC and YPVS in the 1980s but that didn’t stop them becoming highly sought after now. A mint restored one can bring over $10K. Mint unrestored ones essentially don’t exist. Mint unrestored specimens of desirable/sought after bikes (early Z1, early GSXR750, Kawasaki triples, various other 2 strokes) will always be good buys. Early Fireblades, early R1, Suzuki X7 are also becoming sought after in the UK. A lot of bikes have been imported to the UK from US in recent years. There are many restorers in the game now but of course you can’t make an unrestored bike. Zero mile bikes are the ultimate but then what’s the point of having a bike you can’t ride?

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