Posts by tag: Kenny Roberts

Yamaha July 27, 2012 posted by

Performance never gets old: 1975 Yamaha TZ700/750

For Sale: 1975 Yamaha TZ700 T750

Regardless of age, high-performance never goes out of style. And while this is a 37 year old comparative dinosaur next to many of the modern machines posted on RSBFS, it still looks fast and purposeful – and ready to rip your arms out of their sockets when it hits the pipe!

The TZ series were Yamaha customer race bikes, allowing privateers access to *almost* the same machinery as “factory sponsored” riders. The factory boys probably sat on the same base motorcycle as the privateers, but were often assisted by trick parts and the latest developmental gadgets. Still, many a professional rider turned laps on TZ machines, and their contribution to motorcycle roadracing cannot be denied. Unfortunately, very few of the racebikes survive in any period correct semblance and prices are rising fast on quality hardware.

From the seller:
YAMAHA TZ750 TZ 750 700 TZ700
Serial number 409-100118

Rare and hard to find Yamaha TZ750
The serial number indicates this TZ750 is an early 1975 model,
still with the 700cc top end.

The 1975 production began with serial number 409-100101,
indicating this bike was in the first 20 bikes produced that year.
Possibly meaning that the bike was originally assigned to a factory-supported
team in the USA, Asia or Europe.

Perhaps this bike was originally assigned to Steve Baker,
Johnny Cecotto, Gaicomo Agostini, Gene Romero, Kenny Roberts
or another factory supported rider.

Almost impossible to find with the original top end.
The 34mm Mikuni carbs are properly marked with the “409” designation,
indicating the carbs were made for the early TZ750, A, B or C

Tank equipped with a quick-fill option. The tank conversion workmanship looks to be
either factory or a VERY professional conversion.

Wire spoke wheels appear original.

Attractive paint on tank, seat and fairing.

The cases have no serial number, not unusual for a factory bike.

The providence of any racebike is often a murky affair. The seller insinuates that this bike might have been ridden by one of the greats, but that is not a documented fact. The point is that documented race history turbocharges the price on any collectable racebike. Still, this is an undeniably clean example of one of the classic GP machines of the day.

I can’t decide if this super-sano example is a $34,500 find (as per the BIN) asked by the seller, or a $20k bike with a $15k detail job – I’m not sure the last meal I ate was served on a plate this clean! Two strokes are notorious for burping out schmutz on every possible surface – which is part of their charm – so to see this bike in such a restored state is really a nice treat. Other interested parties seem to agree, as spirited bidding has taken this bike over the $22k mark with reserve still in place. Do yourself a favor and check out the pics on this one: click here to jump over to the auction. Enjoy!


Yamaha June 21, 2012 posted by

Rolling Stock: 1985 Yamaha RZ500

For Sale: 1985 Yamaha RZ500

Update 6.20.2012: Back on eBay and it looks like for the last time as it’s now no reserve. Thanks for the heads up Jared! Links updated. -dc

Update 3.8.2012: Mileage is now stated as 9300 miles and buy-it-now dropped to $15k. -dc

Hot on the heels of Ian’s post on a modified RZ500 comes this beautiful survivor. How many stone stock RZ500s do you find in the States? Those who have looked will tell you – not many. Perhaps it is because so few RZ500s made it to the US in the first place (Yamaha never officially imported it, so all are grey market bikes), or maybe, as Ian stated previously, RZs tend to be on the receiving end of heavy modifications. Any way you slice it, a stocker from ’85 is definitely a rare find.

This particular bike looks good in the pictures, has the stock chambers, retains the dinky 16″ front wheel (inspired by GP technology of the day) bolted up to 37mm forks (equally dinky by today’s standards), and offers the solo seat cover (a passenger pillion is hidden beneath). All the reflectors are in place, and the turn signals have not been cut down or otherwise modified. From afar, this looks to be a showroom RZ500.

From the seller:
This is a 1985 all original Yamaha RZ500. has a Canadian title and is in South Florida. Not a big problem to title in States as it is considered an antique. Is in great shape with low miles. A real classic eye catcher.

So the BIG question is what is a 1985 RZ500 sporting 30,035 miles on the clock worth? Values on these bikes have been all over the place, but mostly on the up. We have seen lower mileage examples offered at $20k, but no real evidence of them selling at that level. This particular bike is being offered with a starting bid of $9,500, and a BIN set at $18,000.

This bike just hit the market, and interest has been relatively low at the time of this writing (zero bids). The opening ask is not out of line with the bike’s value, but perhaps bidders have been scared off by the BIN? For more info and details, click the link and jump over to the auction. This is a good looking example of a rare breed. Good luck!


Sport Bikes For Sale June 13, 2012 posted by

Clean ’84 Yamaha Kenny Roberts RZ350

Location: Cayce, South Carolina

Mileage: 17,850

Auction: $6,950 BIN

These RZ350’s keep popping up for sale and getting written up here on RSBFS. There’s a good reason for that of course. Not only is the RZ350 an actual fully legal two stroke street bike in the U.S., it’s also part of U.S. sportbike history, being connected to one of the greatest motorcycle racers in American history. Of course, I’m speaking of Kenny Roberts. A legend for sure. So this bike really has a lot going for it. And, frankly, to get what this seller wants for it, it needs a lot going for it.

Here’s what the seller says-

1984 YAMAHA RZ 350 .



Miles of 17,850 do not reflect rebuild at 4000 miles ago. and over the last 3 yrs all the work done , seals,bearings , chain and sprockets,rubber prouducts tires, etc





PRE-MIX. 32-1 and I will include the 5 gallon Pre Mix Bottle


And all the pics-

Threw in a photo of King Kenny, just so you know what he looks like.

So this thing looks to be in great original condition. The seller highlights all of the recent maintenance work that hopefully has this machine in top running condition. The rebuild work will help take care of concerns over the mileage. Everything else looks good.

The only other issue out there is the price. The seller is looking for what would have to be considered top dollar for this bike. Yes, they are rare and hard to find in good condition. And there’s a good bet that they’ll continue to increase in value. But the question is: How much will you pay right now. Today.

Well, you have to decide. But you should entertain the fantasy at least, and check this bike out!


Sport Bikes For Sale May 6, 2012 posted by

Collector Alert! Yamaha RZ350 with Only 561 Miles up for Grabs!

Location: Marysville, Washington

Mileage: 561. Seriously.

Price: $9,900

If you’re putting together your dream collection of historic sportbikes, or a stellar Yamaha collection, or a Kenny Roberts museum, then you need to look at this bike. Here you have the opportunity to own a true collector’s bike. All original except for the battery (understandable) and only 561 original miles – this is something special.

The bike is listed on Seattle Craigslist. Here’s what the seller has to say-

This motorcycle is a RZ350 NC Kenny Roberts Signature Edition. It only has 561 miles on it!. Everything is original, except for the battery. I am the second owner and have had it for five years. I have ridden it only a few miles while I have owned it. Everything is in good running condition. Motor compression is great, all electronics work. Carbs have been gone thru and all fluids have been changed gas tank is rust free. The brakes are in good shape too. 

Call or email me for more information. I can send more photos if you need. If you are looking for a bike to put in your living room this is the one!

And more pics for you-

I’m sure most everyone who follow RSBFS knows that a legal two stroke bike in the U.S. is as uncommon as it gets. These bikes were only imported for ’84-’86, making their numbers here even smaller. And finding one with mileage as low as this and as original makes those numbers even smaller still.

So if you’re a collector and have been looking for the right RZ350, you may have found it in this one. There’s not much to say for this bike. It speaks for itself. The seller is asking a serious price, but then again, when you have something like this, prices can certainly climb.

If it’s time to start or add to your collection, go check this listing out!


Sport Bikes For Sale April 23, 2012 posted by

Titled Champ: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 with title

Update 4.22.2012: First listed in January, the seller has come way down on price to $6500 buy-it-now. Getting closer to what those in the comments suggested for value. Links updated. -dc

For Sale: 1985 Yamaha RZ500

Todays two stroke wonder is yet another re-bodied RZ500. There seems to be a run on these models lately! Do I hear anybody complaining? I didn’t think so.

The standard RZ500 was released in the early 1980s as a replica of the GP racer piloted by the legendary likes of “King” Kenny Robers and “Steady Eddie” Lawson. It was a V-4 design, and featured liquid cooling, YPVS valve in the exhaust port and four separate exhaust chambers all poking out of the bodywork at the rear.

Today’s example has been modified from stock with the addition of new bodywork, fresh paintwork and some performance mods (such as aftermarket expansion chambers). There is no doubt that the new skins look clean and the painwork is indeed bright and sunny. Am I seeing some Swedish influence here?

From the seller:
1985 YAMAHA RZ500.

As you can see these aren’t the original body parts. The two rear pipes that are tucked in under the seats are also not the stock heavy pipes with heat guards but rather they are competition expansion chamber pipes. The Fiberglass body parts are of competition design but not sure where they came from. Shortly after I purchased the bike, I spent literally $2500 addtional for the fiberglass restoration (not major) and professional painting. The colors and design were my own and I worked with the guy who actuall did all the work.

Shortly after this was done (up in MD) I moved to Florida and would be better off with something practical for daily use. These are rare and the chances are too great for this to get stolen if I attempt to use it as a daily driver. Also note that I would not recommend using this in traffic jams where your are stopped with no air movement through the radiators. This bike has an extra radiator installed in front of the standard radiator instead of the stock forced air electric fan that would turn on when the coolant temp reaches a certain level. No problems with overheating unless you sit there in dead heat of summer with no air movement. This modification does appear to be professionally done but I’m not the person that did it. Also note that the Odometer is in kilometers and not Miles. So 40,000 km = less than 25k mi. Also I am fairly certain the engine was rebuilt just before I received it because of the claim of the previous owner that parted with it before he was able to complete his restoration. I can’t say this is 100% true because I did not tare the engine down to confirm it to be true. However, I can say that it runs stronger than what I would expect for a bike with 25k mi.

I believe this bike was set up for actual racing but I can’t imagine it was ever raced when you feel the motor compression. These bikes were also kick start and not electrical start. They were designed for professional moto GP and The United States of Dictatorship hates to let people have any real fun so when they were first allowed into the US back in 1985, our wonderful government (I say that with the utmost extreme sarcasm) stopped the import of these at the end of 1986. I can’t say how many are still legal in the US but this one is and it’s in South Florida. Clear title in hand (still MD tags with MD title). Remember I just moved recently so no funny business.

So looking at the good: Here is a relatively rare two stroke model never officially imported into the US. It looks reasonably clean and has some mods to help keep performance up to date with more modern machinery. 25k in mileage is not necessarily a detractor here, as a stroker has less complicated needs in terms of maintenance and fewer parts when it comes to rebuilds.

There may be potential downsides hidden under that pretty new bodywork, however. As with all bikes posted here, it is our recommendation that you do your homework and ask the seller lots of questions and request lots of pictures. While it is unknown on this particular bike, paintwork and skins are oft replaced as the result of damage. On the other hand, we have seen some nice hot-rodded RZs lately and this one might have been modded with intent – not out of necessity.

The seller has a $10k OBO number on this particular bike. For more info and details, click the link and jump over to the auction. Good luck!


Sport Bikes For Sale February 2, 2012 posted by

Yes, another Yamaha RZ350 “King” Kenny Roberts Edition (’85)

Location: Ashville, North Carolina

Mileage: 3,439

Price: Auction, currently $4,200 with a reserve

There seems to be a run of Yamaha RZ350’s lately on RSBFS. Like for instance this one just posted by our fearless leader, Dan. Like the others, this one is a Kenny Roberts edition, a rare two-stroke sportbike brought to the U.S. market. And I’m sure everybody here knows about Kenny Roberts and his stellar career in Grand Prix racing. A true American racing legend. These are cool bikes and it’s great to see clean examples out there for people to take home.

Here’s what the seller has to say-

Beautiful low mileage Yamaha RZ 350 with 3,439 original miles. Bike has expansion chambers matched with Tommey mufflers and runs great. The paint and bright work are in excellent condition and the guages are clear and in perfect working order. Bike has on a set of new Dunlop Arrowmax tires. Please note the many detailed photos as this machine is in overall excellent condition and is a blast to drive.

And some more pics-

This looks to be a clean, low-mile example. The seller doesn’t provide a lot of description except to highlight to expansion chambers and  pipes. The rest of the bike appears stock and in good shape. You may want to ask more about the condition and the maintenance history so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Low mileage bikes are great but not running a bike (or car) can have issues of its own.

There are plenty of bids so far and these usually go in the $5k range. So we’ll see where it lands. But if you missed out the other RZ350’s recently posted or this one is near you, negating shipping, or you just like them,  then go check this bike out.




Sport Bikes For Sale January 24, 2012 posted by

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!


Sport Bikes For Sale January 9, 2012 posted by

No Bids????? 1993 Suzuki RGV250 Gamma VJ22

No Bids????? 1993 Suzuki RGV250 Gamma VJ22

I don’t know if I want to live in a world where no one is bidding on a perfectly good RGV.  What am I missing?  It has a title, it has some nice engine work, it comes with two sets of chambers and looks sharp.  Of course the paint is not original but it is one of better Kenny Roberts Jr. replica schemes I’ve seen.  Yeah, she needs some bits and pieces fixed up but no bids?

It is not a collector type bike but should be appealing to the guy that wants one that is ready to rock and roll for the street or track.    It looks like the engine work runs almost $2,300 alone.  From what I can gather the Fischer service is an engine exchange.  You send them your engine and they send you one back tuned to the spec you want.  What the actual Kit 3  includes I couldn’t quite seem to find.  The seller says the bike also comes with two sets of chamber: Arrow and Jolly Moto.  Great to have two sets or a nice way to make a little $$$.

Look at that, it is gift wrapped for you.

The story:

1993 Suzuki RGV 250 VJ22.  This is a complete running motorcycle with a clear Virginia title.  I imported it from England in 2000 and it has been sitting in my dining room since about 2002. It was a project of mine that is 95% complete but I lost interest.  Bike is in complete running, riding order but has minor work to be done on the bodywork and other areas.  Jetting needs to be dialed in but it runs very strong.  The pilot jets probably need to be bigger.  It starts easily on the third or fourth kick when cold.  Starts first kick when warm.  It has a Fischer Kit 3 engine (see this link: which is highly modified and very strong.  Cylinders are actually marked Aprilia (the Aprilia RS250 used the RGV engine with different markings).  The engine has less than two hours on it.  It has Tyga steel expansion chambers.  The chambers have minor rust but no dents.   New tires.  Body work is original but has been painted to resemble Telefonica Movistar graphics.  The graphics are decals painted over with clearcoat.  It looks nice.  It needs rear brake pads, the passenger seat needs the latch secured, fairing needs some fasteners, the rear fender is not on the bike.  I have it but it’s cracked.  Turn signals need to be put on.  I can send detailed pictures to interested parties and will gladly show it in person to local buyers.  If you’re local and very serious I will roll it out and start it up for you.  Bike is sold as is with no warranties.  Payment by certified check within five days of closing.  Buyer pays all shipping costs.  I also have an old set of Jolly Moto chambers that are included.  They are kind of banged up but will work fine.  Send your questions and I’ll answer quickly.  I travel a lot so might be a little late answering but I will.

Some Tyga cans for your Arrows.  How about some nice short, black carbon ones to complete the replica look?  I’m still shocked someone has not thrown a single bid down.  Is the fact that the entire bike has been apart for powder coating and the engine swap scarring everyone off?   If the reserve is reasonable I’d consider this a nice find for someone that likes to tinker a bit.

Snap it up