Posts by tag: Kenny Roberts

Yamaha December 18, 2018 posted by

Not Museum (but could be?): 1985 Yamaha RZ350

If you are a regular reader of RSBFS (if not, sign up for our email service so you never miss out on a great find), you will know two things: Number one, the RZ350 is a very popular model of semi-rarity her in the United States; and number two, sellers have been classifying "reasonably good" bikes as Museum Quality since the beginning of eBay. That leads to many examples of collectible motorcycles being represented as perhaps slightly better than they are. Even so, we revel in finding the rare and the unusual and try to bring it to your screen with an open view as to what it is and what it is worth. As such, we find this second red/white RZ350 in a week (see the first one here), and are all too happy to share what looks like an original example of the breed.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

From a collector standpoint, originality counts. And on an RZ, while aftermarket expansion chambers are period correct and aid in addressing two major exhaust faults of the bike (namely weight and performance), they are not original. Original means the basic black - but very trick - two stroke exhaust that incorporate catalytic converters and air injection to ensure as clean a burn as possible. Mr. EPA required said trickery in order to make the RZ an officially imported bike back in 1984 when the model was first brought to our shores. So effective were those cats that the small-but-mighty RZ even made it into California for one year! Today these are very difficult to find, and very expensive to replace. But they make the bike original. Original may not be the fastest configuration, but it is the best bet to earn every dollar possible on the resale of a classic motorcycle. Although not super-rare in the world, the RZ is most certainly a classic sport bike when it comes to American riders. So when you find a classic model in original condition, you have something special.

From the seller:
I HAVE HAD THIS BEAUTY IN MY COLLECTION FOR A FEW YEARS NOW AND TIME FOR A NEW PROJECT. IT'S BEEN A GREAT BIKE THAT IS USED REGULARLY AND IS RUNNING EXCELLENT. THIS IS A FINE EXAMPLE OF THE KENNY ROBERTS SPECIAL THAT IS IN VERY NICE UNRESTORED CONDITION RIGHT DOWN TO THE CATALYST CHAMBERS WITH WORKING ALARM.

THE ORIGINAL PAINT AND TANK IS NEAR PERFECT. NO DENTS OR RUST, TANK LOOKS NOS. CARBS HAVE BEEN RECENTLY SONIC CLEANED AND SET. ALL NEW OIL AND FUEL LINES INSTALLED, BRAKES, AND OIL INJECTION TANK FLUSHED. ENGINE IS ORIGINAL NUMBERS MATCHING WITH NO LEAKS. NEW FORK SEALS INCLUDED BUT NEED TO BE INSTALLED....THEY ARE LEAKING A BIT. TIRES ARE A BIT OLD BUT HAVE LOTS OF TREAD AND NO CRACKS. IT LOOKS LIKE THE FRONT COWL MAY HAVE BEEN RESTORED AT SOME POINT BUT I'M NOT SURE.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR WANT MORE PICTURES PLEASE DON'T HESITATE TO CONTACT ME. PLEASE VIEW THE PICTURES CLOSELY AS THEY SHALL GIVE YOU A LOT MORE INFORMATION THAN WORDS CAN. I WILL HELP WITH INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING IF NEEDED AT THE NEW OWNERS EXPENSE. DON'T LET THIS ONE GET AWAY YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED!!

BIKE IS IN CANADA, NIAGARA FALLS AREA.

The seller has done a good job describing this particular bike, and provided the video to boot. As a 1985 model, King Kenny's signature adorns the fairing (it was only on the yellow/black models in '84), and said fairing looks good. So does the tank. The aforementioned boat anchor cats are well and truly in place (and operational, according to the over-temp alarm comment), although they *might* have been resprayed by the look of the finish. Of course time and heat cycles might have done that just as easily. There is some evidence of use and wear on the bike, but then again it does have 12,000 miles and change. Corrosion is not the dominant color scheme, which is always a good thing. Overall, this is a solid bike by my eye.

So this is what it comes down to: a rather well kept, reasonably presented, original bike with some of the faults and foibles you would expect from a used bike. And unlike our previously posted RZ, this one comes with a more realistic price tag: $8,995 if you buy it right now. Like the previous post, this seller is also open to offers. The days of the $2,500 RZ are long gone. The days when you thought $7,500 was a stupid-high number for a used bike are also seemingly gone. The RZ350 is popular; it was widespread enough to have parts availability, and it is unlike nearly any other machine offered then or since. There is something about it that tugs at heart strings, even though we know it is not the rarest or the fastest. But regardless of what tugs at your desires, do your homework and find the best possible example before you pull the trigger. Check out this clean example here, and see if you can't snag yourself a little Christmas present before the end of the year. Thumbs Up & Good Luck!!

MI

Not Museum (but could be?): 1985 Yamaha RZ350
Yamaha August 23, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

Update 8.28.2018: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Although two-stroke sportbike production continued well into the 1990s in much of the world, here in the US the Yamaha RZ350 was pretty much the end of the line. Blame stricter emissions laws and progressively bigger and faster four-strokes in a country with very liberal licensing laws and no taxes on bigger bikes. Today's Featured Listing RZ350 has classic black-and-yellow King Kenny Roberts graphics and aftermarket Spec II bodywork that gives it a more modern look, compared to the bikini-faired original.

The aftermarket full-fairing does more than provide style and wind-protection: it moves the mounting points from the bars to the frame to improve stability as well. The solo tail in particular looks like something from the later Yamaha sportbikes. It suits the bike, although the big 18" wheels and skinny tires give the bike's age away. The RZ really did bridge the gap between the old and the new, coming as it did between bikes like the old-school RD-series and the later, more modern FZRs.

The bike was sold in the US from 1984-1985 and followed Yamaha's famous RD-series, adding liquid-cooling and Yamaha's game-changing YPVS powervalve system to the mix. The 347cc parallel-twin made 52 claimed horses and weighed in at a svelte 370lbs wet, making it loads of fun on a winding road, although the two-stroke power delivery requires commitment to extract, since it peaks at 9,000rpm, redlines at 9,500, and is pretty much dead below 6,000.

This example is in excellent condition with very minor cosmetic flaws well-documented by the seller in the pics below. The bodywork is obviously not original, but the bike has been thoroughly maintained and thoughtfully updated.

From the Seller: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

1984 Yamaha RZ350 2 Stroke 

VIN # 00854

Engine # 00854

This low serial number RZ350 was purchased in Southern California two years ago. It has been garaged in the area since that time. It has the original engine and transmission plus many upgrades.

Just over 8000 miles on original engine.

Recently completed was a mechanical restoration and engine top-end rebuild by renowned RZ Oracle Cary, owner of RZ's Unlimited. I have all receipts for the work done which are available via email upon request.

The bike has just 200 miles since restoration and must be broken in. I have all instructions from RZ's unlimited for you to break in the engine. Rest easy knowing that your RZ was broken in properly.

Everything works on the bike and it starts up right away. 

The bike runs like a dream.  

Videos:

This RZ has the Spec II full fairing, Spec II exhaust pipes, and one-piece seat/tail section, clip-ons and aftermarket rearsets.

Tail section was hand-painted by Gerod, owner of Valley Kustoms: that is not a decal.

There is a small quarter-sized dent in the right side of the tank as well as a few small touch-up paint spots. The right side pipes have 2 small dents / dings which are pictured. 

Great bike; ready to eat R1s all day long.

RZ's Unlimited Work invoices available on request for serious buyers only

--------------------------------------------------

Bike is located at Iconic Motorbikes. Please direct any inquiries there and stop by to check out the bike.

4161 Lincoln Blvd
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
424.228.4148

Iconicmotorbikes.com

Prices seem to be all over the place for RZ350s a the moment, but decent examples are still pretty affordable. The aftermarket bodywork may turn off purists, but anyone looking for a very solid bike with some mild performance modifications should give it a careful look. This RZ350 is located in Los Angeles at Iconic Motorbikes and is the very definition of a practical classic: performance is good enough to keep up with modern bikes on the road, and parts are relatively easy to source if you want to use it regularly.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale
Yamaha July 30, 2017 posted by

Bargain or Basket Case? 1985 Yamaha RZ500

** Not Actual Bike. For illustrative purpose only.

RSBFS is all about the rare machine in exceptional condition. This is NOT that kind of post. This is, shall we say, an experiment. As many of our readers exhibit extensive mechanical knowledge, how about a rare and desirable bike that requires a little bit of work? Put on your rose-colored "I can see the potential here..." glasses and dive into this 1985 Yamaha RZ500. Long a staple of US-based two-stroke desires, the big RZ is one of the more popular smokers in existence. With great examples capable of eclipsing $20k in today's market, does sweat equity mitigate the price or is this just another pile of parts? Read on before you make your decision.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Project Bike for sale

Known as the RD500LC in some markets, the RZ500 was Yamaha's repli-racer knockoff; having experienced tremendous success on the racetrack thanks to the exploits of Kenny Roberts and the PJ1-sponsored YZR500 GP machine, Yamaha hoped to parlay that into success on the showroom floor. Between 19854 and 1986, these 500cc, twin crank V-4 machines allowed street riders to exercise their inner Roberts or Lawson - everywhere but the US. Given the importance of the US market and the lack of EPA acceptance of anything as dirty as a two-stroke, the big RZ did not have a long model life span. Today it is considered rare and coveted by collectors. That is what makes this opportunity potentially (insert rose-colored glasses here) interesting.

From the seller:
1985 Yamaha RZ 500 in the works, I have most the parts (approx. 99.7%) including New Aftermarket Fairing kit with some new hardware (Tank cover not included). Windshield, Brakes, Tires, Chain/Sprocket, Wheel Bearings, Rims Powder Coated, Upgraded Hi Performance Ignition, Throttle Cables, Battery, Air filter, Gas Cap, Exhaust gaskets, Oil caps and plugs, Thermostat. Seat recovered. Some of these items have not been installed. Engine starts/runs but only been tested on cap full of fuel. Needs a bit more to assemble/finish YPVS needs setting up/repair. left handle bar cap missing, one mirror cracked. Need seat key/lock Fuel tank refinished in White Main photo of completed bike for reference only.

While the seller claims that the bike is mostly there, restoration experts would warn you that there can be a LOT missing in that final 0.3%. And that only refers to the parts list. Unless you have extensive experience assembling this model, have an original example that you can use as reference or are clairvoyant, you may find putting this puzzle together a bit more work than anticipated. And considering that this puzzle is good for speeds well over the ton, you had better ensure that the pieces are assembled correctly.

The general consensus is when collecting you should strive to find the best example of what you want; the cost of restoration usually exceeds the cost of what you could buy a better example for in the first place. Methinks this may be one of those cases, unless you are purchasing simply because you want a project. If you want a RZ500 to ride, my recommendation would be find one that is ready to be ridden. The seller is looking for $8,200 Canadian (works out to be $6,542 USD) or best offer. Cheap and interesting, or crazy and incomplete? Check it out here first, and then jump back and share your thoughts in the Comments section. Is this a project you would tackle? Good Luck!!

MI

Yamaha June 6, 2017 posted by

Like a virgin: 2006 Yamaha YZF-R1 LE with only 6 miles!

For many, the classic Yamaha race livery will always be the bumble bee yellow and black, an iconic combination forever immortalized by King Kenny Roberts. It is a color scheme that has adorned many models - from the TZs and RZ racers of the 1970s to the RDLC and RZ350 editions in the 1980s. It is bold, it makes a statement, and it is quintessential Yamaha. But is there more than just color here?

Yamaha YZF-R1 Limited Edition for sale on eBay

This Limited Edition YZF-R1, built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company, takes a page out of the Ducati playbook: take a good machine, beef it up in minor ways, add a splash of graphics, limit the number of bikes released, and sell each at a premium. The LE model of the R1 is really no different. Take a standard 2006 R1 - itself a very good open class bike. Add upscale Ohlins suspension front and rear, with a trick height adjuster out back (10mm range of motion). Dress it up with some custom Marchesini wheels (pattered after Rossi's MoviStar racer), shod it with super-sticky rubber, and add a slipper clutch for that little bit extra performance. Drape it in race bike livery that really makes it stand out. Anodize everything else to match. Give it an onboard lap timer to really sell the racing theme. Assign each one a number plaque and sell it at a premium. In this case, a $18,000 MSRP.

From the seller:
2006 Yamaha 50th Anniversary R1 Limited Edition R1 LE being Sold by Original Owner/Collector purchased in April 2006

Six…Yes ONLY Six Delivery Miles!

Bone Stock Original

Bike No. 243 of Serialized Production limited to 500 Units imported to the US

Original MSRP of $18,000

More from the seller:
Sale of Bike comes complete with the following included:

BRAND NEW Complete with Tags Yamaha 50th Anniversary Vintage Leather Jacket – Size XL (Original Purchase Price of $769.95/One currently listed on eBay for $829.99)

BRAND NEW Complete with Tags Yamaha 50th Anniversary Vintage Pants – Size 36

BRAND NEW in Box Arai RX-7 Corsair Colin Edwards Laguna Seca 50th Anniversary Helmet – Size L (Original Purchase Price of $759.95)

[Above Only Worn for Photo as modeled by 16 year old son, who is not included in sale as per Mom!]

Two Original Keys on Yamaha 50th Anniversary Key Chain(s)

BRAND NEW Yamaha 50th Anniversary Vintage Gear Bag

Additional Owner’s Manual in Plastic (In addition to original Owner’s Manual under seat)

New Service Manual; Original 2006 Yamaha Sportbike Brochure; and Color Copy of MSO

Additional Gold Drive Chain sealed in Plastic

Original Born with Yuasa YTZ10S Battery plus New YTZ10S Battery purchased on 05.24.17

The trouble with the "limited edition" format is that it has never really worked for the Japanese - apart for ultra-exclusive homologation bikes. Under the covers, this is really just a tarted up R1, of which Yamaha sold by the tens of thousands. With the Limited Edition Anniversary bike, Yamaha restricted output to approximately 500 units in the United States, and about an equal amount spread across the rest of the world.

This particular R1-LE is about as clean a bike as you are likely to see and comes with that looks like a pile of extra stuff. With only 6 miles on the clock (supposedly delivery / dealer prep miles), you are looking at essentially a brand new bike. A brand new bike that is 11 years old, that is. Will this one appreciate in value over time? It is hard to tell with any bike, but a rise in value is not likely to occur in the near term. And if there is a rise in value, it will likely be due to the fact that the bike is still in "as new" condition more so than the fact that it is an Anniversary edition. Still, it is a very cool bike - and one that we should be thankful Yamaha created. Check it out here, and then jump over the Comments and share your thoughts: Worth more for the miles or the LE graphics? Good Luck!!

MI

Like a virgin: 2006 Yamaha YZF-R1 LE with only 6 miles!
Yamaha February 6, 2017 posted by

Restored Replica: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

If you live here in the US and have a hankering for a two-stroke sportbike the choices, assuming you don't want to monkey about with a grey-market import, are few and far between. 70's two-strokes were relatively light and nimble, but still limited by the suspension and frame technology of the time, and by the mid-1980s, they'd been legislated out of existence, leaving this Yamaha RZ350 to make a final stand against the inexorable tide of four-stroke motorcycles. With blacked-out engine and frame, that striking black and yellow "bumblebee" paint, bikini fairing, and the "Kenny Roberts" signature, the RZ350 represents the very last of the old guard before "sportbikes" were codified into the narrow, very focused form we see in today's motorcycles.

Produced for a very short period between 1984 and 1985, the RZ350 was a follow up to Yamaha's RD bikes. It was powered by a 347cc two-stroke parallel-twin that added liquid-cooling to the successful formula, along with the "Yamaha Power Valve System" or "YPVS." Powerband is typically two-stroke-y, even with the benefit of the YPVS power-valve, but the additional displacement helps some, compared to the all-or-nothing 250s. Weighing in at just 370 pounds or so with gas in the tank, it will still shake a leg on spirited backroad rides and can surprise modern machines, although tire choices for the skinny 18" wheels will limit ultimate grip...

The seller claims that the bike has been restored from top to bottom, including a full engine rebuild, and it also includes a full-fairing that appears to have been a popular period accessory, considering the number of RZ350s fitted with them that come up for sale.

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Replica for Sale

Here is a beautiful restored 1984 RZ350 Kenny Roberts. The numbers are matching with a clear title in my name. This bike has a low production number of 223.  I have owned this bike for 6 years and have hardly rode it. It sat getting looks more than riding so its time to turn it loose. This bike has been completely restored. The engine has been professionally rebuilt from top to bottom. It runs and rides beautiful. There is less than 500 miles on this bike since it has been redone. As you can see it has a full fairing kit. The engine is stock with DG pipes and mild carb jetting. This bike is a real head turner where ever I have taken it. Probably the nicest RZ350 you will come across. Take a look at the pictures.

Bidding is very active on this one, and up to just over $7,000 with about 24 hours left on the auction. It's certainly possible to find an RZ350 for less but, unless you stumble across some pristine, low-mileage museum-piece that will probably need a full restoration if you plan to ride it regularly, you're unlikely to find one nicer. Well-reviewed when new and very popular now, the RZ350 neatly straddles the modern and classic eras, with clearly vintage sportbike style, light weight, and a liquid-cooled two-stroke punch. If you're looking for US-legal two-stroke performance, this is just about the only game in town, and this example looks to be one of the nicest around.

-tad

Restored Replica: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale
Yamaha November 23, 2016 posted by

11 Out of 10 – 1984 Yamaha RZ350

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.

20161123-1984-yamaha-rz350-left

1984 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

20161123-1984-yamaha-rz350-right-front

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-right

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-front

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...

-donn

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

20161123-1984-yamaha-rz350-right-cockpit

11 Out of 10 – 1984 Yamaha RZ350