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Yamaha posted by

Genesis Device: 1988 Yamaha FZR1000 for Sale


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

Over in the comments sections of another post, we’ve been debating the relative merits and values of some of the priciest motorcycles, but it’s still possible to find something cool, collectible, and very competent if you’re on a limited budget. It’s not one of Yamaha’s fastest sportbikes, but this first-generation FZR1000 might be their most historically significant. At the moment, it’s also one of the most unappreciated machines of the modern era: if the GSX-R was the first sportbike of the modern age, it can be argued that the FZR1000 actually codified the formula.

The original version of the FZR1000 built from 1987 through 1988 seen here was powered by a 989cc version of Yamaha’s inline four. It did not feature their signature EXhaust Ultimate Power or “EXUP” valve in the exhaust system, but did use their “Genesis” heads with three intake and two exhaust valves. Five-valve technology proved more useful in theory than in practice, in spite of the fact that Yamaha stuck with it for a pretty long time. But, perhaps more importantly, the Genesis engine’s characteristic steeply forward-canted cylinder head allowed the airbox to be located under the fuel tank instead of between the rider’s knees.

However, the bike’s defining feature was the aluminum beam “Deltabox” frame, the first time one had been used in a big bike like this. The contemporary GSX-R used an aluminum frame, but the square-tube construction was more of a cradle-type that looked backward towards past designs, while Yamaha’s beefy Deltabox was a much more forward-thinking concept. The frame spars were positively massive for the time, but the thin-walls meant the structure was as light as it was strong, and while five-valve heads proved to be a bit of a fad, thick beam frames have stood the test of time.

Looking at the spec sheet, all you’d need to do is add a sixth gear to the box and you could be looking at something from just a few years ago: the aluminum beam frame, liquid cooling, under-tank airbox, and 17″ wheels all sound very modern. It’s obviously from a different generation and is both heavier and less powerful by far than current literbikes. But it was very much the complete package when new, and the five-speed gearbox speaks to the bike’s seemingly bottomless well of torque and flexible midrange, qualities shared with the GSX-R1100, a bike that also lacked a sixth cog.

Ideally, if you’re looking at an FZR1000 you’d probably want something just a little bit newer, as the thorough redesign for 1989 featured a slight bump in displacement and the addition of the EXUP valve, but this is the original, and looks very sophisticated in blue and white speedblock graphics.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Yamaha FZR1000 for Sale

Up for auction is my 1988 FZR1000.  It is titled in my name and is currently registered in  the state of California til October 2018.  It is a nice survivor.  It has various scratches and some cracks here and there but overall in very clean condition.  It has good tires, a new fuel pump, fuel filter, various fuel lines, carb cleaning and synchronization done Dec of last year, rebuilt fuel valves, battery new last year, new windshield, front brake master cylinder rebuilt and a couple other things I can’t remember  now.  It comes with a tank bag, some spare parts and a service manual. It handles, runs, starts, brakes fine….although maybe it could use another carb cleaning as it has been sitting.  Still you could ride it right now…..it has  good  power.

Some things it would need is a new headlight.  Choke doesn’t work but it still starts easy when cold. Return throttle cable not hooked on.  Fuel pump is controlled by a switch in the back  so you may want to hook up correctly…..and I’m sure a few other things I can’t remember right now.

If anyone is interested but not local…PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE ask questions and request photos of any area of the bike you would like.  I REALLY PREFER SOMEONE LOCAL WHO COULD COME BY AND KICK THE TIRES AND INSPECT IN PERSON but if not please ask all the questions you want before bidding.  Although this bike is clean and a survivor it has not been in a box the last 30 years ridden only 50 miles so keep that in mind.  It currently has 20950 miles. I may make a couple trips up the mountain before it’s gone so there may be a few more miles on it.

Here is a video of it running.  

I am selling because  with my back condition I cannot use it like I thought I could.  

If you have any questions please ask.  If you think I left something out please ask.  If you need better pictures please ask.  I want to be as honest and accurate as possible so please ask anything.  If the winning buyer comes to pick it up and dosent want to go through with the deal for any reason no worries…..I will cancel the transaction….no problem.  The previous owner named this bike Noah. I want to see this go to a good home.

The Yoshimura tri-oval exhaust obviously isn’t stock, and isn’t even trying to look period-correct, but I actually like it: stock exhausts of the era are often pretty heavy and very ugly. Overall, the bike has some usual chips and wear you’d expect on a bike this old, but it seems honest. And the seller includes a nice video of the bike starting and running, with some closeups. Slingshot Gixxers and other late 1980s sportbikes have been rising in value, but the Yamahas seem to have been lagging behind a bit, and while the later EXUP models will probably be a bit more desirable, this early machine is historically significant. And also pretty cool. There are several days left on the auction and no takers yet at the $2,150 opening bid. It may not be original, but this could be a hell of a do-it-all machine with style if you’re on a budget and looking for something out of the ordinary.



  • Nice to see this one included on the site! These are right in my wheelhouse, fond memories of lusting after one but I was too happy with my VFR750F to part with it at the time, and being a poor college student, 1 (nice) bike was the max. Anyways, like you Tad I also don’t understand why these first gen FZRs don’t get more love from the collectors – to my eye they are sexier than the slab-side Gixxers, that frame looking back in the day like it was straight off the GP grid. I prefer the red/white ones but these blue ones look towards the Team Yamaha colors that get more popular later. Yes the 89 and up FZRs are better in every way, except I like the look of the first gen better and hey, none of these era bikes will run with anything modern so who cares if the 89 is a little better than the 87/88? But having said that about the Suzuki comparison, when I wanted to re-live my youth, I started with the slabbies for some reason (currently have 4 1100s in various states). But since then I picked up a couple of the 87 FZR750s (one basically stock and the other one far from stock – they are essentially the same bike as these 1000s with less hp) and I find myself oogling the Yamahas out in the shop a bit more than the Suzukis. A comparable slabbie 1100 would be a $6k bike, but this Yamaha can be bought for a song. This price is thrashed 15 year old 600 money! This one isn’t perfect but its all there and would make a great rider and should only go up in value, even with another 10k on the clock. Someone needs to grab this one! Just that solo cowl is worth $300…

    • Yeah, I feel like we’ve posted up just a handful of FZ and FZR models. But considering how GSX-Rs have really increased in value the past couple years, I figured I’d be a trendsetter and start posting cool examples now. This one isn’t museum-quality, but neither is the price! I’d love one of these big blasters for sport-touring or just generally riding around.

  • yup, these are great bikes & way more attractive (especially in the ’88 livery….so mature & classy!) than the slabbies to me.
    i never really got the “….but dude, this bike is oil AND air cooled, it doesn’t even need a radiator!”
    i bought an ’87 Genesis 1000 last month to go with the ’89 & ’90 EXUO+P’s in the garage & used to daily ride an ’87 750 RT (with factory close ratio 6-speed), an OW01 & a 1040cc ’89 EXUP, so i’m defintely Team Blue biased.
    i wish it wasn’t on the other side of the country.

  • The FZR is leaps and bounds ahead of an air/oil cooled GSXR. Anyone with an ounce of riding ability who has ridden both in anger would know this! Collector value is another story altogether though.

  • Oh my! I almost forgot about “tank bras”. How retro. Have not seen that in decades. We didn’t have tank grips and frame sliders back in the day. We had tank bras and lockhart “flush mount”, LOL, signals.

    Whata. Flashback!

  • I have seen very few ’85 and ’86 FZ 750’s on ebay but there seems to be a lot of Interceptors and GSXR’s for sale. I always wondered why. Did the FZ 750’s get totally used up and trashed out?

  • Probably fewer production numbers compared to the slabside for the 86 and on fz and fzr. So fewer today. My guess.

  • I agree Saul. I didn’t see many FZs on the road back in the day but Gixxers were on ever corner. Love the FZ750, steel frame and all. Yamaha nailed the styling and the motor didn’t disappoint.

    I don’t agree that the FZR is “leaps and bounds ahead of an air/oil cooled Gixxer”. The FZR does feel more modern but ride both in anger around a track and times will be very close. Gixxer main issue was when you put slicks on it, it feels like it has a hinge in the middle of the frame, so you had to brace the frames on them to keep handling decent. But otherwise, the Gixxer’s light weight paid dividends.

    The real peach was the Honda VFR750F. Look how long it stayed competitive at the privateer level, even though it was quite expensive with the HRC kit parts.

  • This would make a great resto. I’d go for it but have too many projects already.

    I was talking to Tad about these bikes yesterday. Such great motors, nice brakes, comfortable to ride but I don’t know if they will ever appreciate that much. Why are gsxr’s, zx’s, rc’s and ow’s going up so much…because they are all the bikes we dreamed of having when we were young…I had an fzr600 at 18 but I REALLY wanted a slingshot or zx7…don’t recall anyone saving up to buy an FZR back then. Great bike for a rider though and wouldn’t depreciate. Surprised it hasn’t been snatched up yet, double headlight bikes always do better it seems.

  • HUGE fan of the FZRs that began with this bike (in 88 for the 1000, and in 1989 with the 600) – and I love the fact that the collector market hasn’t caught on. Love the looks, love the (at the time groundbreaking) performance package. Finished up an ’89 FZR600 resto last year, I think I will tackle an 88 or 89 FZR1000 project next – still very affordable projects!

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