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King Kenny’s steed: 1985 Yamaha RZ350

The Yamaha RZ350 lived a pretty short life on these shores, eventually leaving us in the face of EPA fleet emissions regulations and sales that paled in comparison to its bigger four-stroke stablemates. But, if you were serious about roadracing, or were a serious fan of the 500cc Grand Prix races of the time, the RZ was your mount. The little parallel twin leaves none of its inspirations to the imagination, wearing the signature of American 500cc ace Kenny Roberts front and center on its red, white and blue frame and bodywork.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

With just about 45 horsepower, none of which was available until about 6,000 RPM, the 375-pound RZ rewarded momentum and bravery over raw power and speed. Still, even with limited horsepower, the thing managed to click off a 13-second quarter mile at 100 mph in the hands of CycleWorld. That is musclecar shaming performance in a package that will turn with aplomb when you ask it to.

This 1985 Yamaha RZ350 has a few tasteful mods and has covered just under 12,000 miles in its 34 years. It is in very nice condition, with just a few scratches, dings and touch ups on the frame and body work.

From the eBay listing:

1985 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts

NO RESERVE

11,983 Miles
Fox Shock
New Battery
Powder Coated wheels
New Fork seals and oil
Brakes completely gone through
New EBC rotors and yamaha pads
KN y-boot filter
Hard to find Stock pipes
Tank is clean and rust free inside
Great condition ready to ride
Few minor scuffs as seen in photos
Touch up on frame

Buyer pays shipping (I can assist with shipping) Local pickup in Sarasota, FL area

With no reserve, this thing will sell come hell or high water. With the best part of a week to go in the auction, we’ll be curious to see what this pretty little smoker fetches.

3 Comments

  • The VIN makes it a 1EL NC2 late 1985 California spec bike with smog gear and catalytic converter pipes.

  • By far THE most important iconic bike to hit the US shores! Remember the first time you rode/raced/crashed one? Yeah the 500 was the schizznit, but if the state caught you with one on the street, it was subject to a crushing! The RZ 350 on the other hand, was yours with the smog nazi’s blessing. The mods you could do to this bike were/are mind numbing, to say the least. The mill is pretty much bombproof, and just a set of chambers and fattening of jets got you an extra 15ish H.P.
    Stage 3 porting, big carbs, and fat expansion chambers made an RZ a giant killer!
    I’m sure somebody will flame my post, but I’ll just have to refer to the wall of 450 superbike and middlewieght superbike trophies that reside in my mancave, and remember the fond miles I had on my RZ 350…

  • I have to agree.

    I’ve owned a few. My first one was a brand new 1984. More recently I’ve owned a dozen over the past 10 years.

    The prices are getting silly now for excellent examples. One sold earlier this month for $14,201 US. This RZ350 bike is a long way from that one and I suspect the smog gear and catalyzer pipes, along with the modifications, may keep the price down.

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