Posts by tag: Kenny Roberts

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.

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1984 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

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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.

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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.

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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

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20161123-1984-yamaha-rz350-right-cockpit

11 Out of 10 – 1984 Yamaha RZ350
Yamaha November 8, 2015 posted by

Firsts, Lasts – 1984 Yamaha RZ350

At least in the USA, the two-stroke engine was winding down in the mid-1980’s, as the State of California ratcheted down emissions, and the Federal Government applied the fleet concept to motor vehicle manufacturer’s emissions.  The final few years were a hodgepodge of catalysts and evaporative emissions canisters, but the sweet handling bikes were quite memorable in their light weight and peaky powerplants.

20151108 1984 yamaha rz350 left

1984 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

20151108 1984 yamaha rz350 right front

20151108 1984 yamaha rz350 right rear

One of the first perimeter frame motorcycles, the RZ350 has no center backbone, the frame tubes follow and support the bottom of the fuel tank as they progress back toward the swingarm pickup points.  The 347cc engine is cradled in between the bottom tubes and generates 60 hp.  At the small end of the Yamaha line-up,  the RZ350 had plenty beside the 9500 rpm redline to interest experienced riders.  Yamaha’s Power Valve System has motorized control of the exhaust port height, extending the torque band substantially.  Fairly conventional front suspension with monoshock rear.  Brakes are triple 265mm disks, and tires are the same front and rear – 4.10 x 18.  But the low weight is what helps all those features work better, with half fuel the bike weighs just 371 lbs.

20151108 1984 yamaha rz350 binnacle

20151108 1984 yamaha rz350 left engine

30 years old with just over 2,100 miles, this survivor is in amazing shape.  Original turn signals are still there, along with plastic trim and reflectors on the radiator, and filler panels below the front of the fuel tank.  The single seat looks great, though the dual seat fairing is also included.  From the eBay auction:

What an incredible time capsule! Runs flawlessly. Look at close up of carburetors, still has the factory idle screw setting.
I have only owned this bike a short time but I did have the brakes flushed, tires changed and cable lubed. I have decided not to
ride this bike because the mileage IS so incredibly low (2135).
I have the original tires (pictured) and I have the dual seat cover (pictured). The only flaws are tiny and there are two of them on the tank (pictured).
Inside the tank is a baffle, it has slight rust on it. This one has the red frame! Not sure how many came with the red frame.
I believe even though it does not have the signature on the cowl it is still the Kenny Roberts special RZ.

20151108 1984 yamaha rz350 right front wheel

20151108 1984 yamaha rz350 right rear wheel

Identical to the Kenny Roberts signature edition in every way except the paint ( and signature ), the red, white and blue model has its own appeal.  At this age new caliper seals and brake lines would have to be considered, as would checking the wheel and steering head bearings.  But if you were inclined to continue this beauty’s modeling career, they could stay as they are…

-donn

Firsts, Lasts – 1984 Yamaha RZ350
Yamaha August 28, 2015 posted by

Simple and Effective – 1985 Yamaha RZ-350 Kenny Roberts Edition

These days, it’s longer to tell what’s not onboard the RZ-350 than what is.  One of the last two-strokes in the U.S. market, there is no ECU, no 3-way adjustable dampers, no anti-dive, no traction control, no speed shifter, no fuel injection, no anti-lock brakes, etc., etc.  Just 375 lbs., 50 ponies, and maybe you.

20150827 1985 yamaha rz350 roberts edition left

1985 Yamaha RZ-350 Kenny Roberts Edition for sale on eBay

20150827 1985 yamaha rz350 roberts edition right front

Not completely without modern equipment, the RZ-350 did have YPVS, the electronically-controlled exhaust port, which improved rideability.  But in most other ways it was just plain riding, a 350cc two-stroke introduced in 1983, the 1985 year having a lightweight bikini fairing and red-white colors.  A 6-speed transmission helps keep the 350cc twin on the boil.  Air-preload forks are complemented by monoshock rear suspension.  Triple-disk brakes make more space between telephone poles.   4.10 x 18 front and rear tires are on pretty light looking wheels.

20150827 1985 yamaha rz350 roberts edition cockpit  20150827 1985 yamaha rz350 roberts edition left fairing detail

A number of racey mods update this RZ350 – catalyst-equipped exhaust removed in favor of expansion chambers with mufflers, and handling enhancements up front include fork brace and steering damper.  The oil metering pump has been secured in favor of pre-mix, a standard racetrack update.  Otherwise the bike looks clean and original.

20150827 1985 yamaha rz350 roberts edition right tank  20150827 1985 yamaha rz350 roberts edition left engine

Though just five of the last 30 years are accounted for, the owner says in the eBay auction:

Collector quality 1985 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Signature Edition with only 8889 actual miles in excellent condition.  All original paint and engine. Has Toomey pipes, Daytona fork brace and a steering stabilizer that appear to be period correct. The oil pump has been disabled and is set up for pre-mix only, very common safety modification. I have the dowel pin and instructions from the original owner if you want to put it back to stock.  I also have the original pipes as well as all the smog components, hoses etc. Bike also has its original tool kit and manual. Bike starts, runs, drives, stops, and idles as it should. Mechanically sound. The tires, while having plenty of tread, are starting to get weather checked. I have lovingly owned and enjoyed this bike in my collection for the last 5 years.

Might want to replace or make a close inspection of those tires and other wear parts, but this looks to be a great very sporty RZ…

-donn

Simple and Effective – 1985 Yamaha RZ-350 Kenny Roberts Edition
Yamaha July 20, 2015 posted by

Two-Stroke Resto-Mod: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Replica

1984 Yamaha RZ350 L Side Front

While many motorcycle fans are sticklers for originality, I take a more flexible view: basically, if you make changes, even significant ones to the bike, but manage to maintain the spirit of the original, I’m probably on board. And while this Yamaha RZ350 isn’t quite stock, the seller obviously wanted to stay close to the look and feel of the original, with suspension improvements that should make the bike even more fun to ride.

1984 Yamaha RZ350 L Side Rear

If you live in the US and want a sports two-stroke of recent vintage, you’re likely looking at some tired ex-Japanese market bike imported through Canada and now of very questionable provenance. Or you’re looking at an Aprilia RS250.

1984 Yamaha RZ350 Dash

Two-stroke fans here have found slim pickings in the last 20 years or so, but it wasn’t always that way. Back in the 1980’s, that glorious era of neon, Nagel prints, big hair, and slightly ridiculous motorcycle acronyms, two-strokes were still popular, and enough people cherished their RZ350’s that they’re some of the most accessible sports two-strokes available here in the US. Sure, there are some thrashed bikes out there, but it’s not too hard to find well-preserved examples if you look.

1984 Yamaha RZ350 Fairing

Which is especially surprising, considering they were produced only between 1984 and 1985. The bikini-faired sportbike was powered by a 347cc two-stroke parallel twin that was evolved from the RD350, but added liquid cooling to the package, along with Yamaha’s YPVS which, as you can probably guess, stood for “Yamaha Power Valve System.”

1984 Yamaha RZ350 Engine

At the time, the RZ350 was a serious back road tool and was one of the best-handling bikes available at any price, and required rider involvement to maximize the two-stroke powerband.

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

Great bike that needs nothing, I’m selling to fund my Aprilia RS250 project. Specs below:

Motor:

200 miles on fresh top end and crank rebuild. Crank was trued and welded, Wiseco pistons on 2nd oversize bore. OEM head gasket. Zeeltronic CDI (non- programmable). Genuine Keihin PWK 28 flat slide carbs, uni pod filters and quick turn throttle with custom cable and aftermarket kill switch. Banshee adjustable ignition timing plate (currently running +3 degrees from stock). Allspeed expansion chambers that were repacked and powder coated black (sound great, not too loud). Oversized aluminum radiator. The carbs are jetted properly (if not a little rich) and the bike runs great. Starts on the 2nd kick cold, idles nice, pulls hard and is extremely smooth. Setup for 40:1 premix and premium pump gas.

Chassis:

Aluminum FZ600 swingarm (professionally machined to fit in the RZ frame). Fox shock with ride height adjustment.   FZR wheels (new bearings, powder coated black). The sprocket carrier was machined for proper chain alignment with the wider rear tire. FZR forks (fresh rebuild),triple trees and clip-ons, tapered head bearings. FZR brakes front and rear, stainless rear line. New chain and sprockets, chain is a gold o-ring 520. New tires. The bike handles and stops very well.

Body:

All of the paint was redone with reproduction decals and professional clear coat. Reproduction solo cowl with bump pad. Inside of gas tank is rust free, it was professionally coated by a radiator shop. Manual style petcock. OEM seat with no rips or tears. Custom laser cut stainless bracket to mount the OEM fairing and gauges to the FZR triple clamps (looks factory). The frame has original paint and has a few minor scratches and nicks but overall is very presentable. I left off the horns and turn signals for a clean look but the wiring is still there if you want to add them. The rear fender was also eliminated and tail light tucked up a little higher.   Included are the stock rear fender and tail light bracket.

Full disclosure: The motor numbers and frame numbers do not match. The original engine cases had damage to one of the crank bearing journals and it was decided to use a different set of cases. Clean title in hand which matches the numbers on the frame. The damaged cases with matching numbers will be included. The odometer shows 2400 miles but I have no idea if that mileage is accurate or if they are even the original gauges. It doesn’t really matter since everything on the bike from the ground up is essentially new or rebuilt.

1984 Yamaha RZ350 Tank

Bidding is up to $3,999, but there’s plenty of time left on the auction. The seller has obviously put plenty of work into it, but will purists balk at the changes?

-tad

1984 Yamaha RZ350 R Side

Two-Stroke Resto-Mod: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Replica
Yamaha June 21, 2015 posted by

Buzzy Little Bee: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

1985 Yamaha RZ350 R Front

Yamaha made a name for itself in the US building giant-killing two-stroke parallel twins that powered the RD and later RZ models like this 1985 RZ350. The 347cc engine reatured liquid-cooling and made over 40hp stock, with plenty more available with careful tuning. While Honda largely focused on their heavy, but very sophisticated two and four-cylinder CB motorcycles, Yamaha’s whippy little two-strokes terrorized backroads and race tracks all over American and Europe, creating a cult following that persists to this day.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 L Side

Two-strokes have never lacked top-end power, but their light-switch power delivery left something to be desired for street riders and, in th 1980’s Acronym Wars, the “power valve” was born. Yamaha’s version was, of course, known as the YPVS that used a computer to adjust the exhaust ports. The “Yamaha Power Valve System” plumped up the midrange of the raspy little two-stroke, meaning you could have your cake and eat it, too. Assuming you didn’t mind a little blue smoke in your eyes…
1985 Yamaha RZ350 Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

The 1985 Kenny Roberts Edition RZ350LC offered here is one of the quite rare leftover models with revised graphics that somewhat resembled the 1983 UK versions, but with gold rims and the Kenny Roberts signature, originally sold as an RZ350NC2 in California only from late 1985-6. It has been owned from new by only two enthusiasts and has been very tastefully modified with an original 1985 full fairing and Corbin Gunfighter single seat. Mechanically, the hugely desirable Pro-Design Cool Head was installed for increased cooling, and a Toomey exhaust.

The bike runs exceptionally well. It starts easily, idles well and has great power delivery. It shifts through all gears perfectly with a good clutch. Suspension feels taut and the brakes work very well, front and rear. Cosmetically the bike is in good condition with the usual scuffs of a bike with 17,000 miles, that is 32 years old.

The bike comes with a clean, clear California title and a substantial box of spare parts, including stock fairing, original exhaust pipes, turn signals, etc.

These are not bikes for the inexperienced or faint-hearted, with huge wheelie-popping performance on tap when the revs rise.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 Pipe

This particular RZ350 features a very stylish full-fairing that I’ve seen on several bikes for sale recently. I’m not sure if it was a factory option or not but, painted to match, makes for a very nice machine with light weight and bike-bike style. Parts availability to keep an RZ running should be no problem, but the included spare parts is just icing on the cake.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 Engine

 

A price of $6,900 means you’re looking at the higher-end in terms of pricing for these, but it looks like you’re getting a well cared-for, thoughtfully-improved, and very practical classic for your money.

-tad

1985 Yamaha RZ350 L Rear

Buzzy Little Bee: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale
Yamaha March 5, 2015 posted by

Never Been Smoked… Yamaha RZ350 with 10 miles

We just saw a very nice NS400R and now we have this immaculate RZ350 with just 10 miles on the clocks.  It wasn’t a powerhouse, but Yamaha’s claimed 55hp combined with a dry weight of just 305lbs made for a very engaging riding experience.  As long as you keep the revs and corner speed up, it was a backroads canyon carver that could leave bigger bikes in a cloud of blue smoke when the roads got twisty.

RZ350_rightside

 Mint Condition 1985 Yamaha RZ350 with just 10 miles!!

RZ350_leftside

This particular example is sure to cause the never ending ride it/display it debate to rage on.  It only has 10 miles on the clocks and appears flawless.  This is another case where the eBay description doesn’t say much, because the pictures do all of the talking, but you can read the seller’s input here:

RZ 350year 1985 2 stroke – Liquid Cooled, YPVS, TWINCompression 6.0 : 16 Speed TransmissionClassic White/Red Kenny Roberts ColoringI am not interested in any tradesPink Slip says 1985, but I am getting hit up that the tank is an 1984? it came out of the crate as is. thanks for an extra fee I can have you meet Kenny Roberts when you pick it up.

RZ350_tenmiles

Whether it’s the low miles, the fantastic condition or the flashbacks to what was the first “fast” bike for a lot of riders, there is plenty of interest.  The bidding is fast and furious and is approaching $10,000 in the first 24 hours!

-Matt M.

Never Been Smoked… Yamaha RZ350 with 10 miles
Yamaha December 3, 2014 posted by

Hot Yellow Smoker: 1985 Yamaha RZ350

RZ350_2

When it comes to the RZ350, examples fall into three basic groups: Stone stock (the most rare), nicely modified models with tasty pipes and suspension, and rat bikes thrashed within an inch of their poor parallel twin lives and then tarted up for a quick sale (most common). While RZs are climbing in value overall, it is the stockers that have the most collectible value in the future. Lightly modified bikes are nice for riding, but stock will always be preferred in the collector domain.

RZ350_7

1985 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

RZ350_8

The first thing that jumped out at me was the stock appearance of the exhaust system. The original RZ had a very complex system integrated into the stock chambers which included air injection and a very compact catalytic converter. These pipes were heavy and did not offer the performance of true expansion chambers, but they did allow for the RZ to be 50 state certified – for a short while anyway. Also in attendance on this particular bike is the charcoal canister and a evaporative system (more smog related items, primarily for California). These are parts that usually “accidentally” fall off during pre-ride prep. The inclusion of these two items goes a long way to helping verify this as a stock – and therefore collectable – RZ. The finish on the pipes has more shine than I recall, but that is not necessarily an issue. Your mileage may vary.

RZ350_14

From the seller:
I have an excellent 1985 Yamaha RZ350 for sale. It is a low mile bike in beautiful condition. The body work is mint with a deep shine. The frame, motor and chambers look good with only a couple rub marks on the frame like front the seat etch. This bike is part of a collection and is only ridden around the neighborhood a few times a year to keep it running well. It runs, rides and shifts like it should. No known mechanical issues or leaks. It appears to have all original equipment like stock chambers, oil injection, center stand and tool kit. I run the oil injection and pre-mix in the tank. It smokes a bit like that but mostly at startup. Once warm it’s minimal. Even with all the extra oil it never fouls plugs and always starts up. I am not an expert on originality so if something is important to you please ask. The only issues I know of are a clicking noise from the chain last time I rode it and the plastic around the ignition switch is missing. The chain I believe is from s sticky link from sitting. I sprayed a lot of lube to see if that fixes it.

RZ350_1

This appears to be a nearly 30 year old motorcycle in original condition. The odo shows just under 13,000 miles, so I would anticipate some usual wear from the years and the road. The seller comes across to me as a forthright individual, and even notes that a pre-purchase inspection is an option if you are local (the bike is located in Florida). The best part: this bike is priced at a very realistic $6k USD BIN. There is also an auction, with the current bid just crossing $3k with reserve in place. That is very fair money for an RZ. If you like ’em stock, you’d better put a watch on this one. Check it out, and then let us know what you think.

MI

Hot Yellow Smoker: 1985 Yamaha RZ350