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It’s good to be King: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition

For Sale: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition

Located in North Carolina sits this beautiful survivor: a 1984 Yamaha RZ350 in the “King” Kenny Roberts colors of yellow and black. These RZs were the last factory two strokes to make it into the United States, and not many survive in decent condition. Because these bikes in stock form could not quite keep up with the 550cc four strokes of the era, the RZ did not sell well. Those that did were either raced, or thrashed and ratted out.

The most popular modification to “wake up” the performance of an RZ is the use of aftermarket expansion chambers. The stock pipes were heavy, restrictive units that contained catalytic converts in their centers – ditching these results in a healthy weight loss and healthy boost in power. Thus while collectors might seek a perfect bike with the original pipes, enthusiasts will want a slightly modified mount such as this. The difference in performance can be substantial.

From the seller:
Here is your chance to own a great classic bike. This is a 1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts edition in competition yellow. It has a 347cc, 2-stroke, liquid cooled YPVS twin engine and a 6 speed manual transmission. The bikes dry weight is 331 pounds and has a 5.3 gallon fuel tank. I bought this bike in 2007 and have kept it inside my temperature controlled shop only riding it here and there. It has only 8,254 miles and is in great condition especially for being almost 30 years old. This is a smooth bike and the only performance alteration being that it has been jetted for the dual pipe Toomey Racing exhaust. It has the single person seat on it and does not have mirrors. Cosmetically the bike is very sound as well, it has one very small ding in the gas tank which you can see in the picture and some missing paint from top of the right side engine casing. It would be tough to find another one of these bikes in this condition. The tray under the center stand is to protect the floor, not for leaks. If you have any questions or would like specific pictures feel free to ask. Thanks for looking.

I am only the second owner, I purchased the bike from the original owner when I bought it in 2007.

The Yamaha RZ350 was a 2 year bike in the U.S. After 1985 the two stroke party was officially shut down. Perhaps that is why these little RZs – despite not selling particularly well in the 1980s – have been consistently going up in value over the years.

The opening ask on this yellow buzz bomb is $5,500. While that sum would have bought you a very low mile, perfect example in years past, this is pretty much the going entry rate for the average bike. There is no word on if a reserve is set, so only time will tell if the price on this model ends up being on the high side. From the opening, however, this is pretty much a fair market ask.

For your chance to check it out, click on the link and jump over to the auction. Drool over the picks, imagine the ring-a-ding-ding of this little rocket coming on the pipe, and then drop back by to share your thoughts. Good Luck!

MI

3 Comments

  • These old 2-strokes are tough to value. On the one hand, they aren’t making any more – so good classic examples are becoming more difficult to come by. On the other hand, as a person who only owns ‘riders’ (no garage queens), most pre-’86 two-strokes leave something to be desired (in stock form anyway).

    As a rider and racer of many two-strokes over the years, I can say for certain that there is nothing that compares to the sound and fury of a two-stroke screamer, but in any practical modern riding situation that little engine can get you into way more trouble than the brakes and suspension can get you out of.

    To me this puts a practical limit on the value of the ‘steel-chassis’ 2-strokes. Once you approach the $7k mark, you’d be better off with an RGV or NSR which occasionally come up. That, coupled with the relative commonality of RZ350s puts this bike too close in price to import alternatives which will be much more satisfying (albeit not simpler) to own. – For the non-collector of course.

  • “As a rider and racer of many two-strokes over the years, I can say for certain that there is nothing that compares to the sound and fury of a two-stroke screamer, but in any practical modern riding situation that little engine can get you into way more trouble than the brakes and suspension can get you out of.’;

    That’s so funny and true, Back in early 90’s I had a GSXR750 full on Yosh Superbike. well one night at a hotel in Rockingham,while racing, it was stolen.
    I replaced it with an RZ,wacked on some slick’s and set out for morning practice at Summit Point. I made it to turn 3 and Oh my God! i didn’t even know what frame flex was back then. I pulled in on the first lap and sold it 20 minutes later in the pit’s.

  • My firstbike was an RZ350YPVS – in 1987. Never really liked how it pretended to stop and turn. In a straight line it was all go and little show.

    Eventually smashed it to bits 8 months later.

    Next was an RG250. Slower but could stop and turn.

    I don’t want another stock chassis’ed 350YPVS 😉

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