Posts by tag: Kenny Roberts

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 Superbikeplanet.com:

Compare: 
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.

Ian

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.

Upgrades:

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.

-RN

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!

-RN

Sport Bikes For Sale September 13, 2011 posted by

Vintage Racer! 1978 YAMAHA TZ250-E PRODUCTION RACER

For Sale: 1978 YAMAHA TZ250-E PRODUCTION ROAD RACER

Up for grabs today is a historic Yamaha TZ250 race bike. These TZs cleaned up the class for many years in AMA racing, and this 1978 bike is what is known as an “E” model. First introduced in 1973, the TZ250 was the mainstay of privateer racers everywhere. With the right credentials and finances, anyone could order up a factory race bike – and many did. Each season Yamaha incrementally modified the bike, building upon past success. With each evolution the bike became faster, making more horsepower and handling better. It was a continual recipe for winning.

While the TZ250 changed in varying amounts each year, Yamaha kept several items stable throughout most of the model’s long life. For example, the same 54mm bore x 54mm stroke was retained from the inception of the bike until the 1980s, when gradually the bore was widened at the expense of stroke. Rated at 53 horsepower at 10,500 RPM, the TZ250 was the mainstay of many a racing career. Legendary tuner Kel Carruthers prepped an E model for none other than King Kenny Roberts; together they won many races in the 1978 season.

From the seller:
1978 YAMAHA PRODUCTION ROAD RACER

VERY NICE, ORIGINAL CONDITION; ENGINE TURNS OVER AND HAS SPARK, THOUGH IT’S NOT BEEN RUN SINCE I BOUGHT IT OVER 10 YEARS AGO, IN “AS RACED” CONDITION…

THE FAIRINING, BODY PANELS, AND TAIL SECTION ARE IN “AS PURCHASED” CONDITON, AND ARE IN GOOD CONDITION…

THE CARBURETORS ARE LECTRONS (NOT ORIGINAL)…APPARENTLY, KEL CARRUTHERS USED 38MM LECTRON CARBURETTORS, ALONG WITH OTHER MODS, TO PRODUCE MORE TORQUE ON THE “E” MODEL…

ALL OTHER PARTS ARE IN VERY GOOD CONDITION, AND APPEAR ORIGINAL, THOUGH THE ENGINE CASE DOES NOT HAVE A VIN STAMPED, THUS WAS SURELY CHANGED AT SOME TIME…

I’M SURE THAT THE BRAKES WILL REQUIRE CLEANING OR REBUILDING DUE TO THE AMOUNT OF TIME THEY HAVE NOT BEEN IN USE…

THE TIRES ARE THOSE THAT CAME ON THE MACHINE, SO ARE OK FOR A MODEST TEST RIDE, BUT NOT SERIOUS USE…

IF THE BUYER PLANS TO RACE IT, I’M SURE THAT A GENERAL “GOING OVER” WOULD BE REASONABLE, AND ANTICIPATED WEAR AND “SITTING” PARTS LIKE BEARINGS AND SEALS APPEAR READILY AVAILABLE VIA AFTERMARKET AND NOS PARTS SUPPLIERS, IF THEY ARE NEEDED…

THE DRY CLUTCH PROTECTIVE COVER HAS A SMALL SECTION BROKEN OFF THE UPPER-RIGHT (ABOUT 2 O’CLOCK) AREA…

THE BIKE WAS STORED INSIDE, IN A CLIMATE CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT UNTIL I MOVED JUST RECENTLY…

THIS IS A VERY NICE CLASSIC RACER OR COLLECTOR MACHINE THAT I HAD IN MY “SHOWROOM,” BUT WOULD BE EQUALLY AT HOME AS A CLASSIC RACER…AND MUCH MORE FUN, OR AT LEAST UNIQUE, AS A PRODUCTION RACER RATHER THAN A MACHINE BUILT FROM VARIOUS OTHER PARTS…

Old race bikes can be a mixed blessing. On one hand, they harbor a mysterious quality of unknown races and riders. On the other hand, they rarely remain in “stock” condition for long – the whole goal of racing is to win, and winning requires more than the next guy (more HP, more speed, more talent). The seller does not note any history with this bike – although it is listed as in “as raced” condition – so that might be something to ask. Also, the bike seems to sport bodywork from a later model. The tail section resembles a “G” model more than an “E,” so it is possible someone updated this bike through the years it was run in anger.

In all, this is a wonderful piece of racing history from one of the most iconic series on two wheels. The fact that the 2 strokes are all gone now might just help raise the value of this and other classic racers. With an auction that opened at just $1,500 and is at the time of writing only slightly above the $2k mark, this is a bike that will soon find a new home. For a great restoration project, a coveted track day bike or simply a piece of history, click the link and jump over to the auction. Good Luck!

MI

Yamaha September 8, 2011 posted by

Legal Smoke: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition

For Sale: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition

Is it just me, or has this year just flown by? It is September already. The kids are back in school and in many parts of the US the riding season is wrapping up. Pity those Californians, however. Their riding season still has months left to go. Too bad they can’t register really cool bikes like gray-market import smokers. Fortunately for the Golden State, this good looking RZ is ready to go with CA title!

This 1985 RZ350 sports some nice add ons that really help make the bike. The factory RZ came only with the bikini fairing (yellow bikes had King Kenny’s signature in ’84, but both the yellow and the white/red bikes had it in ’85). This bike has aftermarket lowers – nicely color matched – which help clean up the silhouette. The fork brace, also evident in this shot, is another necessary addition for when the road turns twisty.

With only 13,500 miles on the bike, this bike is right in line with other RZs we have seen. The Toomey piles are the real deal, and the K&N filter (and requisite jetting changes) really work together to wake up the performance of this little buzz bomb. The rear sets might be more extreme than some prefer, but the stock RZ has the rider sitting a bit upright – comfortable, but hardly in line with the intent. If you scrape a peg on this bike, it might be because you are sliding down the road! The clubman bars, evident in this photo, also appear to be an aftermarket item.

For Sale:
1985 YAMAHA RZ350N Kenny Roberts Edition. Excellent Condition. Always Garaged. Original Paint Still Shines Like New. Full Fairing, Raask Rear Sets, Toomey Pipes, Front Fork Brace, K&N Air Filter. Carburetors Recently Professional Cleaned and Tuned. Runs Flawlessly. Only 13,452 Original Miles(may have a few more by the time the auction ends).

The Only Flaws On This Bike that I Know of are as Follows…

Standard Road Debris Paint Wear on Bottom of Frame.

Tiny Touched Up Ding in Fuel Tank from Old Stock Mirror.

Oil Tank Mounting Tab on Frame and Plastic Tank Broke Off Clean Many Years Ago(oil tank sits in place by the hoses anyways so I never bothered to have it welded). You Can Set the Tab Back in Place on the Frame and Barely See the Crack so that is Why I Say it was a Clean Break. Another Oil Tank is Included with the Bike in Case the Buyer Wants to Fix this.

Small Touched Up Area on Top of the Rear Fender.

Minor Spider Cracks Around Some of the Screws on Fairing.

Exterior Rubber Fork Seal Covers Have Some Cracking from Age.

The Bike is Very Clean and You Have to Look Real Close to See any of the Above. The Spot on the Seat in the Main Photo is A Spec of Dust on the Camera Lens and Not a Flaw on the Seat. There are no Rips, Tears, or Flaws on the Seat.

This Bike is Street Legal in all States Including CA. It is the Last Street Legal US Two-Stroke Manufactured.

Don’t Miss this Rare Opportunity to Own a Clean, Low Mileage, Red/White Kenny Roberts RZ that is Sure to Increase in Value Over Time.

I like a seller who is not afraid to show his cards. In this case, the flaws are openly noted. I would prefer a few more photographs (preferably taken in better light), but you can’t fault the seller for sharing what he knows.

There are also a few items not mentioned here that are worth looking at. The turn signals were not originally flush-mounted – stockers sat on posts front and rear – so these have been modified. The seller also mentions a dent on the tank caused by the stock mirrors, but the stock mirrors were not bar-end mounted like the current set. That leads me to believe that when the bar-end mirrors were mounted somebody did not account for clearance between the mirror or mount and the tank. Minor, but a detail nonetheless.

Pricing on this RZ is right in the ballpark: The opening ask is $3,750 (a very reasonable starting point), and the BIN is set at $5,750. The BIN number might be a touch high for the market, but for someone who wants a titled smoker in great shape it is not an absurd price.

For your chance to check out this CA legal two stroke, click on the link and jump over to the auction. These RZs continue to be very sought-after motorcycles, and values may well rise in the coming years. Don’t forget to tell ’em you found it on RSBFS!

MI

Sport Bikes For Sale August 5, 2011 posted by

Smoker Alert! 1985 Yamaha RZ500

For Sale: 1985 Yamaha RZ500

Proving that RSBFS is worthy of International status comes this beautiful RZ500 from the wilds of British Columbia, Canada. Never imported into the United States but teasing us from the Northern borders, the RZ500 was a 500cc, V4 two-stroke hot rod in the footsteps of GP machinery ridden by the likes of Kenny Roberts and Eddie Lawson.

There are actually two models of the RZ500: this model, with steel frame and approximately 85 hp (stock), and the RZV500R which is a Japanese market only bike, containing an aluminum frame (20 lbs weight savings) but limited to just 65 HP in stock trim.

For a standard RZ500, this bike looks to be in great condition. The seller indicates an odometer reading of 34,371 km, which works out to be approximately 21,357 miles. There are also some tasty added-on bits which should definitely help wake up the performance of this beast.

From the seller:
1985 Yamaha Rz500 two-stroke motorcycle, great shape. 92 FZR 1000 front end, with Marvic 3.5×17 front wheel, J-lomas ss pipes with carbon fiber ends new tiers, and just over 1000 k on new motor. also have under seat oil tank (not installed) and extra used plastics (enough for new set) which can also be part of deal…? over $13,000.00 invested. this is a great bike, eye catcher, and runs fantastic, and sounds great!!!!!. This bike is a steal for anyone interested, and you’ll love it.

I must admit my ignorance on this one: While the livery looks to be stock Yamaha in layout, I am not familiar with this color scheme. Every RZ500 I have come across has displayed the traditional white/red/black Yamaha colors. Did these models also come in white/black, or is this a repaint? Perhaps an expert on the RZ500 models can provide some feedback in the comments section. Regardless, the bike does look sharp

Color aside, there is not a tremendous amount of detail here. The front end conversion is popular with these models, as the RZ500 was equipped with a 16″ front wheel; sporting rubber is difficult to find in that size today. A front end swap also provides access to bigger brakes and more modern suspension.

This auction is going on now, and currently sits at the $7,000 mark with reserve still in place. The BIN is set at $9k. For more information or to contact the seller, click the link and jump over to the auction. There is a great smoker available just over the border!

MI

Sport Bikes For Sale August 2, 2011 posted by

Classic 2 stroke – RZ 350 Kenny Roberts Edition

When I was growing up the RD250LC and RD350LC were the bikes to have.  Of course in the US you called them RZ’s.  These bikes were water cooled 2 strokes that rarely remained standard and could be heard screaming about the roads in the UK.  This example we didn’t get as it was in celebration of Kenny Roberts, we were way more concerned about a Barry Sheene Suzuki!  When Yamaha introduced the YVPS powervalve system the bikes had a broader spread of power but were still ultimately 2 strokes that you ran in the power band trailing a faint blue smoke while waking the neighbours.

The seller doesn’t say too much:

1985 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition
400 miles on NEW TOP END.
New Clutch, new Roller Chain, Tach is new factory, K-N air cleaner is new, Spec Chambers,new hand-stitched seat. Bridgestone Battlax tires. Has original manual and toolkit.
Mechanically New, Few cracks on plastic.
RUNS GREAT! Have owned for 12 years.
If you use the Buy Now option I will include stock pipes worth $300 each.No Free test rides.
Serious interest only.

The auction can be found here on eBay.

If you have always wanted a 2 stroke but the likes of a race 250 is too much then not sure you can go wrong with one of these which you can pick up for only a few grand.

Just in case you wanted to hear a little beauty like this:

AS

Sport Bikes For Sale June 7, 2011 posted by

Go big or go home: 1985 Yamaha RZ500

For Sale: 1985 Yamaha RZ500

OK two stroke fans, I have two words for you: California Title. Excited yet? Called out to us by sharp-eyed reader Ian, these bikes usually belong over on sister site CSBFS – but seeing how we need some great hardware to fight the influx of Ducatis posted here recently, I’m quite happy to show it off on RSBFS. Besides, The big RZ has lots of company on this site, as it continues to be a very popular model coveted and searched out by readers (check out some of the previous RZ500 listings by clicking on this RSBFS search link).

This has got to be one of the best pics in all of motorcycling: With the color-matched solo seat cover over the upper two of the four exhaust pipes and just a hint of license plate cleavage poking out from below, this just says “ready for business!”

From the seller:
You are bidding on a beautiful 1985 Yamaha RZ500 with only 27500 Km’s (17087 Miles), it is not show/display quality but as you can see from the pictures it is a stunning daily rider, it is in standard configuration (not tuned) and has the original exhaust pipes, auto lube and air box, the bike has been fitted with longer lower suspension arms to raise the back of the bike up by 1” to give it a more modern look, (the original arms will be included).

When I bought the bike the tank and fairings had been re-painted in original Yamaha white but had no graphics, so I decided to replace all of the graphics with high quality hand cut vinyl and as you can see it looks amazing.

No expense has been spared on the up keep and maintenance of this RZ500 and it starts and runs like new, it has never had any issues with water, fuel or oil leaks and the gear box does not use a single drop of oil.

The RZ has new Bridgestone BT45 tires, zero gravity windscreen and Gorilla alarm and as you can see from the pictures many of the parts have been powder coated, the wheels are flat black and all of the other parts have been powder coated satin black

With 17,087 miles showing on the odometer (that’s 27,500 kilometers for the metric set), this bike is in rare condition indeed. The apparently unmolested engine, intake and exhaust speak to a well-cared for machine that was not abused mercilessly. The repaint is striking – although questions on the reasons behind the repaint are probably in order. As always, we recommend asking lots of questions and requesting lots of pictures and information before committing hard cash on a bike unseen.

Thankfully, the seller has been quite forthright in what is not perfect on the bike:

From the seller:
Small piece of plastic missing from behind the front right turn signal
Fairing cut around the right side engine cover
Could use some paint touch-up on the engine (if you’re a perfectionist)
Crack on under side of belly pan (can only be seen from underneath belly pan)

All in all, this is not a bad list considering we are talking about a rare, gray-market import bike that is 26+ years old! And perhaps you missed another key aspect – this bike has a coveted CA title and plates (which may not mean much to the inhabitants of the other 49 states – or our foreign and overseas RSBFS readers – but is a BIG DEAL where bikes like these are coveted yet not able to be titled by mere mortals).

So how much for a rare beauty like this one? The current bid at auction is only $6,800, with reserve still in place. Bidding has been spirited, and the bike is showing a lot of interest. These are $9k+ bikes when found titled and rideable condition, so there is still plenty of opportunity to get in on the action. To check out all of the pictures, read more from the seller and possibly even bid on this great machine, . Good luck to the bidders, and thanks again Ian for pointing this one out!

MI