Posts by tag: Kenny Roberts

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


Sport Bikes For Sale January 7, 2012 posted by

Be the King- ’85 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition

Location: Acworth, New Hampshire

Mileage: 12,210

Price: Auction, currently $2,805 with a reserve

For all of you folks out there that secretly or openly lust after a two-stroke, here is a good answer for you. Don’t want to deal with getting a bike titled? And if you can’t, worried about getting your pride and joy confiscated by the two-stroke police? Well, then the Kenny Roberts RZ350 is a nice choice, as a rare two-stroke bike offered for street use in the US in the early ’80’s.

Although not imported into the US for very long, just three years, the reworked Yamaha was able to meet emissions standards and still provide a fun ride for two-stroke enthusiasts out there. It weighed 330 lbs, had disc brakes all around and you could take it home for $2,399. Back then.

Here’s what the seller has to say on this one-

I purchased this bike 4/09 with 11.230mi. 8/10 with 11.680mi. a new SPECII engine with a StageII upgrade was installed. This includes a new welded and balanced crankshaft, 64.5mm pistons, milled cylinder head, moderate porting, SPECII fiber reeds, 30mm Mikuni carbs.with a K&N 2 into intake, and SPECII classic expansion chambers. Additional work includes fork seals, upgraded steering stem bearings, #1 shift fork, EBC HD clutch, 16/40 sprockets, rear sprocket dampeners, and new tires. The fuel tank has been professionally repaired with the exception of the improper installation of the left fuel tank decal. This bike is in exceptional condition for its age.No rust. Mechanically flawless, though not aestetically perfect. The solo seat cowl has some minor cracks, the 2 up seat cowl is in excellent cond. The windshield has some cracking around the screws. Never raced and never down. The fuel system has never seen pump fuel. Any extra parts I have are also included. Thanks for looking and good luck.

And more photos for your consideration-

As the seller describes, this bike has seen some significant modification to the engine. In the auction there’s more detail on those mods in the Q and A. The bike also appears to have been very well maintained and cared for. The seller highlights some small cosmetic issues, specifically around the decal on the tank, small cracks around the windshield and seat cowl. You may want a little more detail on that, but it seems minor. Mileage is reasonable, especially with all of the engine work done.

All in all, this looks to be a cool ride that could satisfy your two-stroke desires. You could get on it and pretend your Kenny Roberts. If that works for you, go check this auction out.


Sport Bikes For Sale November 21, 2011 posted by

Yamaha’s Legendary TZ: 1975 Yamaha TZ750

Yamaha’s Legendary TZ:  1975 Yamaha TZ750

I think you can argue the TZ750 is one of Yamaha’s most iconic race bikes.  It takes you back in time to when bikes could truly be nasty beasts.  I think it is also a time when tire and chassis technology hadn’t quite caught up with engine performance.   I’ve posted this info before but it is worth a second look if you haven’t seen it before.  It is from a little comparison on

the 1974 TZ700 and the 2000 R7 Superbike

TZ700 R7
Wheelbase 56.28″ 56″ 
Weight 345 lbs 356 lbs 
Front Tire  3.25 x 18 3.5 x 17
Rear Tire 3.5 x 18 6 x 17
Horsepower 145 173

How about the rear tire size!

Here is the auction info:

Here we have for sale a very rare 1975 Yamaha TZ 750 GP road race bike. This bike is in fantastic running condition. Yes, this TZ runs like you would not believe!! The 4 cylinder 750cc two stroke engine is all rebuilt and had virtually no time on it after a proper break in. The transmission and the chassis were rebuilt too but never raced after the rebuild. The bike runs perfectly down the street. The fairings are 1976 TZ 750 and same with the exhaust pipes. The bike also has the rare magnesium racing wheels on it. I have the new never mounted spoke wheels too. The bike is painted pearl white with red. The gauges are all in perfect working order. The rear shocks were cantilevered to improve the rear shock feel and performance. The bike has all original parts on it. This bike won mutiple races at Daytona back in its hay day. I have all of the documentation with this bike with all of its racing provenance. I have boxes of original TZ 750 parts. Two gas tanks, wheels, wind screens, etc. This is the definition of a vintage collectors race bike!  Its the best sounding 4 cylinder two stroke race bike you will ever hear.  Its a beautiful race bike with a ton of history and do not let this one get away! You wont find a more unique, rideable race bike.

She is looking good under the hood.  You basically have a restored bike that hasn’t been used since.  How rare are the wheels the seller describes?  Here is some good tech talk on the TZ750 I purloined from an interesting blog on Yamaha race bikes:

To start off from the beginning, what Yamaha actually did was graft two 350 cc twin race engines and together they belted out 90 bhp from the crank with bore/stroke ratio was 64mm x 54mm. These twins were the TZ350. The crankcase itself was of ultra-lightweight magnesium construction, with the crankshaft having blanked off ends to keep the engine as narrow as possible. The primary drive was taken from straight cut gear cogs from the middle of the twin crankshafts. A massive dry clutch sat along with three of the exhaust pipes on the right of the engine. A spindly, tubular steel frame held the engine, with narrow telescopic forks at the front and conventional twin shocks at the rear. Later, TZ750 models (also known as OW31s) had vastly improved monoshock rear suspension, with a cantilevered swingarm to improve handling. It was named F750 as a prototype although it was actuallt 700cc. Awesome! 90 bhp from a 2 stroker would shred any kind of race tire way back then. Kel Carruthers, the 1969 250 world champ was the first man who tested the bike. He removed the initial glitches by increasing the swingarm and improving the suspension. Still except for Kenny, the others were quite slow on the tracks as they were not able to handle it as the bike had small fork tube and chassis. After about 3-4 races, Yamaha added some more power! Another 20 bhp. Why? Because according to Kel, “It wasn’t as fast as it could have been. They were really conservative in the way they built it.” In a way, Kel was actually serious. You know Yamaha back in the late 60s had V4 250cc GP bikes which were making around 75bhp, so logically the bike should have around 140bhp. Of course there was no chasis or tyre which would have hold it was another thing, but come to think about it, the bike with modifications later did belt was that much power.


I honestly can’t imagine the hit this bike would have.  I’ve always thought a healthy 250cc two stroke gives a nice adrenaline rush.  Maybe it is an optical illusion but I don’t know how that upper muffler doesn’t cook your leg.

It will make an excellent addition to any collection or instantly turn you into the bad boy at  the track.  If you interest still isn’t peaked it looks like it is a “no reserve” auction.  It is going home with someone.  Click to win.


Sport Bikes For Sale November 11, 2011 posted by

Clean ’84 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition

Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Mileage: 4,730

Price: Auction, $8,500 BIN

Here’s a clean “King” Kenny Roberts edition Yamaha RZ350. Many of these have been featured here at RSBFS, being a rare US legal two stroke. Two strokes offer an exhilarating world of high revs, light weight and good power. Unfortunately, emissions kept them mostly out of the US. Yamaha’s YPVS system helped boost power, keep things clean and gain its import into the States. And then there’s also the fact that Kenny Roberts is an American racing legend, being the first American to win a Grand Prix.

Here’s the info on this machine from the seller-

This bike is one of my personal bikes that I must let go due to hard economic times, I will miss her.

This is a very low milage RZ350,  almost all original the upgrades are listed below. I bought this RZ from a customer about 4 years ago after we installed new rings, cleaned the power valves, installed new chain and sprockets and tires, went through the brakes and installed new brake pads. Since then I put around 350 miles on the bike.

This bike will start right up, run great for miles and miles, and will not dissapoint.

The professional pictures were taken of the bike before we installed the HVCcycle exhaust. It had AllSpeed exhaust at that time. The HVCcycle exhaust is a far better and lighter exhaust.


Race Tech Gold valves and race tech springs in the front forks. (spring 2011)

HVCcycle Performance Exhaust, (Fall 2010)

Carbs have a Dyno Jet kit and a K&N Y-boot air filter kit.

Bridgestone BT45 tires  about 350 miles on the tires and tubes

New o-ring chain, and aluminum rear sprocket. (same as tires)

New EBC brake pads, front and back.

The bike will be sold with a brand new battery, the one in the bike is a few years old.

What is wrong with the bike

There is one tiny dent on the front right of the tank about a half a dime size.

Any questions, give me a call.

We can help to arange shipping.  I will deliver for a small price as far as Kansas City, or Des Moines.  Or about 3 hours from Lincoln NE.  (small price is determined on how much gas it will take to get there)

If you Win, a $2000.00 deposit is due within 48 hours. the balance due on pick up or before delivery.  I will take credit cards for the purchase but the 2.8% fee will be added to the total.  

And the pics-

So the great news on this bike is that it appears to be owned by a real enthusiast that has a shop pretty much dedicated to the RZ and two strokes in general. With that comes lots of upgraded goodies on the bike and what appears to be excellent maintenance. Also, mileage isn’t that high either. The seller points out a small ding on the tank as really the only issue.

So now the price. At $8,500 BIN this bike is going for a premium. While the market is always difficult to read, usually these are around the the $5k mark. This looks to be very well maintained with good upgrades so it’s up to you to decide how far that goes.

Regardless, these a killer rides. Take a look and if it strikes you, place your bid.


Sport Bikes For Sale September 14, 2011 posted by

Another “King” Kenny Roberts Yamaha RZ350

Location: Enterprise, Alabama

Mileage: 14,003

Price: Auction, BIN $4,600

We have seen a few of these recently here at RSBFS, and they are written up for good reason. Not only are they a US import two-stroke (a hard thing to come by) they are also the signature series bike for “King” Kenny Roberts, a Grand Prix racer that stormed onto the scene and dominated from the start. King Kenny stepped up and interrupted european dominance in Grand Prix racing and was the first American to take the title. A true legend. The bike itself is the opportunity to own a great performing two-stroke with a stellar racer’s name on it.

Here’s some information from the seller-

1985 Yamaha RZ350 YPVS.  2 cylinder, 2 Stroke water cooled sport bike.  This RZ is in nice shape and runs well, 14,000 original miles. 

.  If you are considering adding an RZ350 to your collection than you want a 1985 as opposed to the 1984 model.  The 1984’s had a failure prone ignition system which was sorted out for the 1985 model year.  This RZ is in nice condition and runs well, has never been dropped or wrecked.  Everything works as it should including turn signals. Yamalube oil injection system still in use with new pump.

This RZ has been well taken care of and is currently registered and titled in Alabama.  Many new parts including new tires, new brakes, new fork seals, new trailing arm bushings.  Complete Top End engine rebuild including new pistons done 1500 miles ago.

Many performance parts:  SPEC II exhaust chambers, Thunder Jet stage III Carb jet kit, K&N Y boot intake filter system, TDR Carbon Fiber Reed valves, Stainless Steel brake lines, 16 tooth front sprocket, Corbin solo style seat.

Stock parts included:  Stock exhaust system, Stock black seat, Stock 17 tooth front sprocket, Stock horn set.

Flaws: Front of gas tank had fuel spilled on it while paint was still fresh, it was touched up but is visible.  I took a close up picture so that there would be no surprises.  One scrape on the left side of the upper fairing.

The maintenance on the bike seems to be fairly thorough and the seller highlights changes to the bike along with stock parts included. To me this shows the seller is aware of the potential value of the bike in its original condition. While many bikes benefit from modifications, collectors are going to be more and more picky, especially as values climb. The seller highlights the flaws that exist too, which I also like to see.

Here’s some more pics-

Considering the maintenance performed on the bike and the mileage, it seems the sellers BIN price of $4,600 is right in the ballpark. You may want to get some more detail on the issue with the paint on the tank, but otherwise it looks to be a clean bike.

I stated my case as to why I like these bikes and why they earn their place here at RSBFS. It’s up to you now. If you like what you see, make a move and make the jump!