Posts by tag: Deltabox

Yamaha October 15, 2019 posted by

Cherry Fizzer: 1988 Yamaha FZR400 for Sale

Practical sportbikes like the Yamaha FZR400 generally weren’t babied and pampered, or cherished in the way that seems so common with Italian superbikes: for an FZR400 fan, “to cherish” means to flog mercilessly on a canyon road or tight track, passing bigger bikes around the outside on that skinny 140-section 18″ rear tire… But nice, clean examples still exist, and today’s example has low miles to boot.

The bike followed Yamaha’s formula at the time: an Deltabox frame housing a liquid-cooled inline four, with a six-speed gearbox. It was actually more sophisticated than its bigger 600cc brother, with a frame made from lightweight aluminum, instead of cheaper steel. The engine revved happily to 14,000rpm which isn’t all that unusual today, in a world of 1100cc V4s that can reach similar engine speeds.But the 399cc engine lacked any appreciable power below 5,000rpm and made a claimed 64hp, so extensive use of the shift lever was required to make quick progress. Luckily, that aluminum frame meant claimed weight was just 346lbs dry, so the FZR400 probably still came in under 400lbs with a full tank of gas.

At the time, it was overshadowed a bit by the very exotic V4 Honda NC30, but the FZR400 offered a practical and affordable package, with exemplary handling: many are still used as race and track bikes for riders that believe less is more. In addition to the lower cost, they were actually sold here in the USA new for a while at least, making registration much easier than for some of the other bikes in the 400cc class like the ZXR400, GSX-R400, and aforementioned NC30.

From the original eBay Listing: 1988 Yamaha FZR400 for Sale

1988 FZR400 in excellent running condition with VERY low miles.  I imported about 2 years ago from Japan and rebuilt the carbs with a high quality carb kit about 5 months ago and synced them with the Morgan Carbtune, runs great.  New battery, everything works.  Will need new tires and most likely chain.  Has minor oxidation from the Japan climate but much of it will clean off, some will need repaint.  The body, tank, plastics, seat are excellent original cond.  I prefer to sell it to someone that will actual come see it in person so they know exactly what it is.  I can assist with shipping and know a few shippers.  It has a clear Florida title.  I have it for sale locally and reserve the right to cancel this ad and sell it.  Thank you

With just 2,600 miles on the odometer, this bike is probably one of the lowest-mileage examples on the planet, if that’s your thing. Of course, with an asking price of $6,500 it really should be… It did come from Japan recently, so probably worth it to make sure there will be no problems registering it, if you live someplace with a strict DMV, and as the seller mentions: there is some surface corrosion on some of the metal components, a common issue with bikes stored near large bodies of salt water. Ask me how I know…

-tad

Cherry Fizzer: 1988 Yamaha FZR400 for Sale
Yamaha July 26, 2019 posted by

Summer Fizz – 1989 Yamaha FZR-400

Late July we should be focused on tall drinks with a lot of ice and a splash of seltzer, when a bargain-priced lightweight pops up.  This restorable rider sponsors thoughts of a ( well air conditioned ) van trip to Georgia.

1989 Yamaha FZR-400 for sale on eBay

Yamaha had been pursuing separate F3 and 400cc road bike goals, but joined other manufacturers in the racey replica business in 1986.  The .85 pint-sized inclined four fit snugly in the Deltabox alloy frame, and 60 hp arrived at a lofty 12,500 rpm.  Relaxed geometry made the handling less aggressive than some of the competition, with just preload adjustable on the right side up forks and monoshock.  Brakes are single piston but 298mm dual rotors, muy bueno for the expected use.  16,000 miles and 30 years down the road, the original build quality testifies for the defense.

No word on the chain of custody or originality of some parts, but the FZR appears substantially stock and quite tidy.  The owner has this to say in the eBay auction:

extremely good condition and runs perfect and is surprisingly fast for a 400 – everything works and it has a manual fan switch for hot days – it has brand new shinko podium 006s , a yoshimira exhaust system that sounds great, new regulator rectifier,recent chain and sprockets, and comes with the service and owners manual – also it has the seat strap if you want to remove the solo seat cowl and the rear seat pad is there as well-there is a small crack and scuff on the left mid fairing as seen in the picture but doesn’t affect the rigidity of the fairing – would make a very competitive ahrma vintage race bike in the next gen lightweight superbike class or a fun bike to tear up the curves in the mountains –

Since RSBFS is usually attracted to nicer examples, it bears emphasizing that a real rider has its place in the garage.  It can go to the track, or out in the rain, or be lent to a friend.  Or become the basis for a riding restoration.  This FZR appears to have had attention when needed, but hasn’t been refinished or glossed over.  Some might find the ask a bit much for a generation-old midsize, but if you’re still interested the Make Offer button is lit.

-donn

Summer Fizz – 1989 Yamaha FZR-400
Yamaha July 8, 2019 posted by

Grace, Space, and Pace: 1997 Yamaha YZF1000 Thunderace for Sale

I co-opted Jaguar’s old motto for that headline, but it does seem to apply to the short-lived Yamaha YZF1000. Known in some markets as the “Thunderace,” the YZF1000 was quickly superseded by the class-breaking R1, but it was an open-class motorcycle in the GSX-R1100 and ZX-11 mold, offering handling, reasonable comfort, and real-world performance. Weight and power figures aren’t attention-grabbing by today’s standards, but these days you can pick up this handsome and versatile motorcycle for very little cash.

The “Genesis” inline four engine had Yamaha’s distinctive, forward-canted design and an odd 1002cc displacement. It was packed with their signature performance-enhancing technology, including five-valve heads and an EXUP Exhaust Ultimate Power Valve that helped with midrange performance. Pretty much every modern sportbike has some kind of exhaust valve now, but Yamaha were the first to apply the concept to four-stroke engines. The package was good for 145hp and 164mph, which is plenty fast for any roadbike, unless your weekends involve illicit drag races top-gear roll-ons against modern superbikes with extended-swingarms and nitrous on deserted stretches of freeway…

As with some other open-class sportbikes of the era, the “Thunderace” had a five-speed gearbox, since the engine had an ample spread of torque, but the six-speed from a YZF750R apparently will fit into the cases. So you can always bolt that in, if you happen to have one lying around. An updated Deltabox frame from the YZF750R was wrapped around the engine and gearbox, and the Thunderace saw one of the first applications of Yamaha’s famous “blue-spot” calipers that saw use on the original R1.

Today’s example is exceptionally clean, even considering the low miles. As the seller indicates, there are a couple of very minor flaws in the bodywork, but that can be easily overlooked if you just plan to ride it, or corrected if you plan to squirrel it away deep underground in your private, climate-controlled collection.

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Yamaha YZF1000 Thunderace for Sale

1997 Yamaha YZF1000R “Thunderace” 1003cc motorcycle with 8,980 original 2-owner miles with all original plastics and paint. I purchased from the original owner in early 2018. The YZF1000R was last year Yamaha used its bulletproof FZR1000 EXUP engine, stuffing it into a 600cc superbike frame – and this bike was only imported to the U.S. for one year (sold in Europe from 1996-2003). The YZF1000R is the bridge between the FZR1000 and R1 models. 

Perfect addition for ANY collection or to ride for the next 100k miles if you’d like. This bike starts/runs like a sewing machine, dives into corners like a champion, stops on an absolute dime, and rides/feels/looks like a nearly new bike. Maintains operating temperature as she should, pulling hard toward to redline from any RPM and in any gear. The only non-original item I can find on this bike are the installed Helibars, which have completely improved the riding position.

Bike was recently serviced by a former Yamaha mechanic and FZR/YZF1000R expert. New fork seals and oil, carbs cleaned and tuned/adjusted, new spark plugs, EXUP valve serviced, new valve cover gasket, new thermostat, o-ring and coolant. Also, installed new NOS cleaner element, rebuilt clutch using only OEM Yamaha frictions, springs and clutch springs, new OEM Yamaha front and rear brake pads, new OEM Yamaha oil filter, new OEM Yamaha fuel tank petcock (under tank), fresh oil, coolant, brake and clutch fluid. New NOS radiator cap installed, new NOS windscreen recently installed. Tires are nearly new with less than 800 easy miles on them. I’d estimate with the shop rates and parts costs, I’ve got $2000.00+ in the bike over the past year. With that said, she needs nothing else mechanically done to her.

Zero issues with this bike (e.g., does not pop out of gear on hard acceleration, strong clutch lever and grip, does not use or drip oil, etc.). Cooling fan come up when bike reaches proper temperature; she does not overheat in the Texas summers. Has only been fed non-ethanol fuel for the past year + Sta-bill additive = zero carb. issues (I don’t run ethanol-blended fuel in either of my bikes). Two original ignition keys come with the bike.

Winner of the bike will get all the original paperwork from the original owner, including the original sales invoice and other documents. Incredible documented history!

The only cosmetic flaws (see photos) came from shipping the bike. Note the left cowl where it meets the fairing is cracked (repaired inside the cowl – repair is not visible), note the cowl is cracked under/behind the LH mirror, note the fuel tank has a small ding in the top. Also note the original exhaust can has a dent underneath/to the outside (photographed) and scome scratching near the head pipe where your RH boot would be.  

The seller also includes additional pictures here, and a video of the bike running here, along with a video of Richard Hammond’s review. With a starting bid of $4,500 I think the seller might be aiming a bit high with this one, in spite of the low miles and condition. The Thunderace was a bit of a lame-duck bike for Yamaha: with the class-redefining R1 on the horizon, the YZF was soon very obsolete and the bike was only in production a short while, especially here in the US where it was only available for one year. That makes them pretty rare, but rarity doesn’t always equal value. Personally, I really like them, but I think the seller is overestimating its value at the moment.

-tad

Grace, Space, and Pace: 1997 Yamaha YZF1000 Thunderace for Sale
Yamaha May 8, 2019 posted by

Too Little or Just Enough? 1990 Yamaha FZR400 for Sale

The Yamaha’s R1M’s crossplane crank inline four makes 197 claimed horsepower. The brand-new, heavily revised BMW S1000RR supposedly makes 205. The new Ducati Panigale V4R? 221 horsepower. Where will it end? These bikes are technological marvels, with relatively minimal mass, power that would trump a world superbike machine of just a few years ago, and the electronics required to keep relatively novice pilots from launching themselves into next week when they sneeze and open the throttle a bit more than intended. But does that make these machines more fun? How much power can you really use on the road, and is anything more than 100hp really just gilding the lily?  Or did we hit “peak fun” with bikes like this 1990 Yamaha FZR400U?

On paper, pure performance is no contest, if that’s your definition of “fun.” The 399cc inline four that motivated the FZR400 was certainly much higher spec than you’d normally expect from a bike this size, and featured liquid-cooling, dual overhead cams, and sixteen valves. Unfortunately, there’s no replacement for displacement, and it all adds up to a claimed 64hp. The aluminum Deltabox frame helps reduce mass and the resulting 410 wet weight is light, but not shockingly so. Brakes are single-piston, but at least there are two of them up front.

But in spite of the fairly bland power-to-weight, the FZR was endowed with that magical agility possessed by the very best sportbikes. Handling certainly was a strong point for the FZR400, and these are famously competent sportbikes, although they often get overshadowed by Honda’s much more exotic VFR400R. That should be no surprise as, in many markets, the 400cc class was considered “middleweight” and was hotly contested on track and in showrooms. In the US, 400cc was definitely “entry-level” territory, and most companies gave only a half-hearted effort in selling their wares here: only the Honda CB-1 that shared an engine with the CBR400 and the Yamaha FZR400 made it here officially

As you can see from the pictures, it appears to be in very original condition, although the stalk-mount adapter for the left front turn signal is missing, and there’s plenty of surface corrosion and a few minor scuffs, as described by the seller below. The front calipers also look very freshly painted, which suggests regular maintenance of the parts that really matter.

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Yamaha FZR400U for Sale

This is a used 1989 Yamaha FZR400 with a clear title and very low miles, 28,375 mi. I don’t ride this, nor is it registered, so the mileage will not change. Selling to make space in my garage. I am the second owner of this ‘89 FZR400, it has spent the last 8 years in a climate controlled storage unit due to me being deployed. I had the fuel system flushed and the bike was serviced this past month, in addition it had a new battery installed. The tires are not dry rotten so I didn’t have them replaced. I can provide a video of the bike being started if you so desire. Being that it is a carburated model it takes a bit of choke to get it turned over. Now on to the pictures. As you can see there is some battle damage from a few different incidents. Since I have had it there was no use on it so the few chips and scrapes were done by the previous owner. There is some pitting on the forks and other aluminum bits. I didn’t see any cracks in the plastic, however keep in mind this has the OEM plastics on it. An oil change has been done recently,11Mar18, with Motul 5100 and K&N oil filter. Belly pan has some light scrapes and some distortion from the exhaust. This can be seen the photos. The heat distortion is the same that my ‘90 FZR400 has, the difference being my ‘90 has 1/6 the mileage on it. I can be present if you want the bike shipped, however I am not arranging shipping. I am not in a hurry to see this so, any low-ball offers will not be considered.

The seller refers to this as “very low miles” and, unless you’re talking about a car, I’m not sure nearly 30,000 miles qualifies. That being said, it’s not like this thing has been used as a commuter hack, so the miles wouldn’t necessarily put me off, either. Otherwise, it sounds like a solid bike, given the supposed care it’s received. After years of being the ideal budget-minded track or canyon ripper, these are starting to gain traction as collectibles. Certainly, they’re among the best-looking bikes of the era, with the classic Yamaha colors, twin headlamps, and chunky aluminum frame. Starting bid is $5,799.00 with no takers as yet. Prices seem to be on the rise for these, but the seller may be jumping the gun here and I’d say a $5,799.00 asking price is probably still a bit optimistic.

-tad

Too Little or Just Enough? 1990 Yamaha FZR400 for Sale
Yamaha February 27, 2019 posted by

Deltabox Racer: 1992 Yamaha TZ250D for Sale

Racebikes are different than other bikes we feature on RSBFS. Where the goal for many collectible roadbikes is absolute originality, or at least limited, period-correct updates, the whole point of a racebike is that it’s a rough-and-tumble artifact, a bit of living history, and battle scars are okay. If the machine in question is historically significant, that goes double. But race bikes are more like living organisms than ones trapped in amber, and some have evolved over time, especially if they’re still being used in competition, like today’s Yamaha TZ250D.

Note the missing “R” in the name: this isn’t simply a TZR250 with the lights removed. While people did use the TZR250 road bike as the basis for competition machines, the TZ250 was Yamaha’s pure competition machine, available over-the-counter to racers. Both the original TZ and TZR were powered by parallel twin engines, but Yamaha eventually began experimenting with a v-twin engine to keep pace with competitors in Grand Prix raxing, and the YZR250 used what was essentially half of the YZR500’s two-stroke V4. For a number of years, Yamaha produced the two machines in parallel: the v-twin powered YZR250 seen in Grand Prix and the parallel-twin TZ250.

1991 saw the introduction of a completely new version of the popular TZ250 racing platform, incorporating the v-twin configuration from the YZR250, along with upside-down forks, a banana-swingarm to clear the expansion chamber on the right side, a wider 5.25″ rear wheel, and a set of 38mm Mikuni carburetors. The “D” model that came along in 1992 featured a significant reworking of the rear suspension that meant the rear subframe could be made extremely light, with just one job: provide a perch for the rider. The new package worked well, taking the fight to Honda, and was popular among privateers.

Of course, this being a racebike and not a warmed-over streetbike brings its own set of problems. Racebikes generally aren’t designed with durability as a top priority, and two-strokes, although mechanically simple, are pretty maintenance-intensive. It’s also the nature of racing two-strokes, especially 125s and 250s, that they need gearing or jetting changes need to be made to suit the track, temperature, and altitude, to perform at their best. The trade off is incredible light weight and handling from the spartan machine, as well as racebike engineering to drool over. Honestly, I think Yamaha’s Deltabox designs of the era are some of the most beautiful frames ever created, and I think I’d just want to ride it around with the bodywork off, although I’d prefer the original finish in place of the polished part seen here.

From the original eBay listing: 1992 Yamaha TZ250D for Sale

1992 YAMAHA TZ250D

One of a kind with a beautiful polished frame!!

  • All new bearings (swing arm, steering head, and wheels).
  • Suspension rebuilt will new oil, bushings, and seals, set up for 185 lb. rider.
  • .8 kg/mm fork springs 8.5 kg/mm shock spring
  • Rebuilt Shindy Daytona Steering Damper
  • 120 mile Rick Schell crankshaft (crank is a work of art, lightened and polished flywheels and rods)
  • 120 mile top end (pistons, rings, bearings)
  • Roland Cushway 8.0cc heads
  • 96′ cylinders and pipes with 2.5mm pipe spacers per Roland Cushway
  • New plugs and caps
  • New reeds
  • New gaskets throughout
  • Dual EGTs
  • Daytona digital water temp gauge
  • New clutch and pressure plate
  • Every bearing in cases replaced with new (trans, case, water pump, balance shaft)
  • New EBC HH brake pads
  • GP tech thumb brake
  • Custom rear sets and foot pegs
  • Vortex Clip-ons
  • New DID x-ring chain
  • EBC Prolite rotors
  • Professional Paint
  • Airtech Aerotail w/anti Draft Shield
  • New Center front stand by Battle Factory
  • Original Rear Stand
  • New Multi-Temp Chicken Hawk Tire Warmers

Shipping to arranged and paid for by the buyer. I will assist the shipping company as needed. 

This Yamaha TZ250 has no racing history of note, so interested buyers will likely focus on race preparation and spares, since I’d assume they’re planning to use it in anger, and sourcing some parts for these now obsolete two-strokes is only going to get harder. No mention is made of any spares package, so a quick email to the seller might be in order to see if there are any available. That aside, this looks like a killer track bike or race bike for someone with the skills or friends or money to keep it running, and the Buy It Now price is set at $12,500 which seems reasonable, considering the preparation that’s gone into it.

-tad

Deltabox Racer: 1992 Yamaha TZ250D for Sale
Yamaha January 21, 2019 posted by

Resurrected: 1988 Yamaha FZR1000 for Sale

Having spoken with a couple people about the Yamaha FZR1000 of the late 80s and early 90s, I’ve gotten the distinct impression that, however competent it may have been, it really wasn’t cool in the way the Suzuki GSX-R1100 was. I think someone went as far as to say they were kind of the “nerdy” choice, at least among ballistic superbikes, so it figures I’d be into them.

It is a bit ironic that the FZR would be considered less cool than the GSX-R, considering that it was a much more advanced machine in many ways. The big Suzuki was a bit of a dinosaur, with an effective, but relatively primitive double-cradle frame, while the Yamaha was built around their light and very stiff aluminum Deltabox design, the first time the concept had been applied to a liter-plus bike.

Both bikes offered a broad spread of locomotive thrust, and did just fine with five-speed gearboxes, although the FZR managed to be as fast as the GSX-R, while giving away displacement to the Suzuki. And even though the GSX-R, originally eschewed liquid-cooling as a weight-saving measure, still ended up being pretty portly. The original 1987-1988 version of the FZR1000 used a 989cc version of Yamaha’s Genesis five-valve engine, although it lacked the EXUP valve that would become another of the FZR’s signature features. Five-valve technology has proven to add additional complexity for minimal returns and isn’t often seen anymore, but the engine’s steeply-canted design and under-tank airbox set the standard for sportbike packaging.

I think ultimately, the FZR was a victim of its own success. The Genesis was smooth, powerful and possibly a bit too refined. People generally don’t buy big sportbikes because they want refinement, or because they need them. It’s the same mistake Yamaha made with their RZ500: Suzuki’s Gamma was wilder and woolier, and stole the RZ’s thunder. Here, the Gixxer’s bad-boy reputation means that it’s an appreciating object of lust, while the Fizzer can be had for relative peanuts.

For now anyway.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Yamaha FZR1000 for Sale

On the auction block is a 1988 Yamaha FZR1000. This is a really nice motorcycle that was recently resurrected after sitting for an unknown extended period of time. All fluids have been changed, including fork oil since seals were replaced. Coolant was flushed, oil was changed and all brake fluids, clutch fluids were changed as well. All brake calipers were rebuilt, clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder were replaced. Tires were just replaced 200 miles ago, after the wheels were freshly powder coated and bearings and seals were replaced. Battery is a new, sealed unit. Carbs were rebuilt, with all new gaskets, o-rings and needle valves. Air filter is new. Windscreen and mirrors were replaced, only because they were fragile or porous. Fuel valves were both replaced, as were fuel lines. New chain and sprockets. Runs and drives as it did when new. Low mileage example that looks to never have been dropped or crashed, but as with any bike 30 years old, not perfect. A lot of work done to get this one right. Tried to show as much as possible in pictures, but if there are any questions, please ask.

This FZR1000 is a classy bike and looks very nice from the pictures. Maybe a bit too nice to use as a budget sport-tourer… There are the minor imperfections you’d expect in an original bike that hasn’t been restored, but it appears very complete. The FZR doesn’t have Suzuki’s wild, bad-boy reputation, but had very competitive performance and I happen to really like the clean blue-and-white graphics. The FZR may never achieve the desirability of a GSX-R1100 but, given how the values of all bikes of this era seem to be on the rise and how scarce really clean examples are, now’s the time to jump in if you want to recapture your youth or just want a very cool, versatile retro ride.

-tad

Resurrected: 1988 Yamaha FZR1000 for Sale
Yamaha December 5, 2018 posted by

Museum Quality: 1991 Yamaha TZR250 SP for Sale

Let’s get this out of the way up front: the seller is asking $16,000 for this bike, and that’s a big number for a Yamaha TZR250. But obviously, a thing is worth what someone will pay for it, and I’m not sure that the seller won’t get what they’re asking here, since prices have been increasing steadily on all two-strokes for the past few years. If you’re a collector for whom a couple grand one way or the other really doesn’t matter, and want the very best example for your collection, this TZR250 SP might just be what you’re looking for. Sure, $16k is a lot to pay right now for a TZR, but that might seem like a bargain in just a few years.

There are three generations of Yamaha’s two-stroke sportbike: the early parallel-twin 1KT/2MA, the reverse-cylinder 3MA, and the v-twin 3XV seen here. Personally, I love the style and general weirdness of the 3MA, especially that version of the gorgeous Deltabox frame, but the 3XV seems to be the most highly sought-after version of the bunch. There were a variety of different specification levels for the 3XV version, designated by the usual alpha-numeric gibberish: R, RS, RSP, SP, SPR. Wet and dry clutches were available, ignition and powervalves had different performance characteristics, and fairings were not always interchangeable between models. Ferreting out detail differences in these Japanese market bikes can be tricky, so experts are welcome to chime in in the comments.

The seller claims you can get 90hp from an unrestricted example which, from what I know, is theoretically possible, but at the expense of any pretense of durability. That’s pretty much race-spec, a smoky grenade you should ride with your left hand covering the clutch. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 60hp is more reasonable for a highly-tuned streetbike, and doesn’t really change the seller’s point at all, that an unrestricted bike would be much more powerful.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Yamaha TZR250 SP for Sale

This bike is fantastic. It has 1800km (1100 miles) it is a Japanese Domestic bike which I imported personally. There is no bond or restriction from Customs you can get it on the road virtually anywhere if you wanted to street ride it.  As you prolly know the SP bikes were about halfway between a standard TZR and a customer-racing 250. Restricted it’s 50hp and less than 300 lbs. It’s a weapon – even after 28yrs!! I have been told that derestricted with basic mods you can get 90HP from these which is just insane, of course. Thanks for looking!  

From the photos and description, this thing is just about perfect, in very original condition. And that’s maybe the only issue here: in stock, restricted form, the whole gang of quarter-liter two-strokes made a government-mandated 45hp. But it really depends on what you’re looking for: a wicked weekend ripper or a perfectly preserved museum piece. And I get the feeling that a dead-stock example is the way to gamble if you’re looking at investment potential.

-tad

Museum Quality: 1991 Yamaha TZR250 SP for Sale
Yamaha March 14, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1989 Yamaha FZR1000 for Sale

Update 3.14.2018: Turns out this one sold faster than we could post it. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

A modern literbike is a relatively peaky beast: chasing horsepower without increasing displacement means ever-higher revs are required, and a six-speed box makes sense. It’s telling that bikes like today’s Featured Listing Yamaha’s FZR1000, one of the cutting-edgy-ist sportbikes of its day, made do with just five and could still be considered fast now. Six-speed gearboxes had become the norm for motorcycles by the late 1980s, unless you were looking at cruisers, touring machines, or big-bore sportbikes. Why? Well, narrow, peaky powerbands require more gears to effectively exploit and the big-inch engines of the aforementioned six-speed exceptions had enough flexibility and torque to make them window-dressing: an extra gear just wasn’t needed.

Considering that Yamaha’s FZR1000 makes just 20 more claimed horses and weighs nearly 40 pounds more than a modern R6, you might think that these old-school machines would be no match for even a much smaller machine from today. But it’s the 79 ft-lbs of torque from the FZR that makes it so effective: a modern literbike like the BMW S1000RR makes just a few more foot-pounds. So how did they do it? Well the GSX-R1100 obviously benefited from a few more cubes, but the smaller 1002cc FZR1000 combined Yamaha’s five-valve Genesis head with their EXUP or “Exhaust Ultimate Power” valve to provide both low-end torque and high-end power.

Five-valve heads have pretty much disappeared these days, the theoretical advantages proving insufficient to outweigh the additional complexity required, but EXUP-style exhaust valves are ubiquitous, now that Yamaha’s patents have expired, allowing other manufacturers to take advantage. By the late 1980s, servo-operated “power valves” were common on two-strokes, but this was the very first use of the technology in a four-stroke, and the result was a very flexible engine with a 170mph top speed.

Introduced in 1987, the 1989 redesign seen here looked similar, but included updates to the frame and engine: the original had a 989cc engine bumped to 1002cc and rotated backwards in the Deltabox frame for a shorter wheelbase. Later, the bike adopted a single headlight design to help modernize it, but you can’t go wrong with a pair of big, round lamps. As you’d expect, performance and in particular handling improved throughout the bike’s lifespan, but this particular model strikes a nice balance between classic superbike styling and the better performance and handling of the redesigned bike. I happen to prefer the looks of the earlier machines: the single-headlight version does look pretty sharp, but it just doesn’t have the old-school round-lamp charm.

From the Seller: 1989 Yamaha FZR1000 for Sale

For being 28 years old the bike looks and runs awesome! It has less than 18k original miles, has never been dropped and has only a few minor cracks around the fairing mounting areas from the tightening of the bolts, which is normal for these older more brittle plastics (see near bolts in pics attached).

The 1989 version, crowned the “Bike of the Decade” by Cycle World, had 0-60 acceleration of 2.9 seconds, and a top speed of over 167 mph. I purchased one of these brand new in Miami Fl in 1989. I got on it and rode that bike all the way the Newline Vermont, 1460 miles in two days. It was a amazing adventure and the bike never missed a beat ripping off 700+ mile days with ease. This is truly a sports cruiser rather than a rep-racer R1. This particular dual headlight model was only produced one year, Yamaha went to the single (ugly) headlight in 1990. Anyway buy this unit, gas it up and head to for the opposite coast! We can deliver this bike anywhere in the United States for $500 enclosed and insured.

A few notes about the bike:

  • The bike was owned by 1 famous owner from new until when I bought it three years ago. It was a famous biker from the publishing world who collects bikes (Forbes magazine) and the bike was in Palm Beach all of its life until I got it. I have a copy of the title with his info on it that I can provide.
  • The bike was purchased from him for $4,500 and needed some TLC.
  • The bike had extensive work done to get the bike all up to modern running equipment. I spent over $4,500… All well documented (will provide) at Fast by Ferracci.
  • I also had a GPR slip-on imported from Italy (over $500) and it sounds awesome!
  • The carbs were also completely rebuilt, last summer 2016, and has all new gaskets – the engine runs amazingly well!
  • We over $9,500 invested in the bike. Went way overboard in its preparation. My loss, your happy smiles!

This does seem to be the version collectors will want, and in just a few years you may be kicking yourself for not taking advantage of the seller’s $5,500 asking price. There are some minor cosmetic imperfections, small cracks and the like, but these are clearly documented and not unexpected on a Japanese bike from the 1980s: paint and finish were generally of a lower standard than on European bikes and they often age poorly, even when well-maintained and sparingly used. Luckily, the major servicing headaches have been taken care of and the bike is reportedly mechanically sound, meaning that this should be a great candidate for a rolling restoration, since collectors will likely want to replace that lighter, but non-original exhaust can and take care of the blemishes.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1989 Yamaha FZR1000 for Sale