Posts by tag: Liquid Cooled

Suzuki February 6, 2019 posted by

Partly Lucky: 1992 Suzuki RGV 250

Pity the US-based two-stroke fan. Few models were ever officially imported into the US, and those that did hit our shores only lasted for a couple of years. And while we should be happy we ever got them at all, vitally missing were the hard-edged smokers and the big bore machines. Casting eyes northward, we could watch our Canadian neighbors ring-a-ding-ding and pop and smoke with glee – but this was all from the tree of carnal knowledge for stateside riders. Until bikes started to get old enough to import, that is. And even with used-bike age laws, there are still large areas of the country where these machines are verbotten (you Californians, otherwise too cool, got staunched on this one). As the laws of supply and demand go, where there is no supply there is capacity for high demand, which leads us to today’s 1992 Suzuki RGV250.

1992 Suzuki RGV 250 for sale on eBay

Suzuki smokers started life out at parallel twins, but it was soon realized that the vee configuration offered several benefits. Perfect primary balance, for starters. A smaller, narrower profile aided in aerodynamics. And finally, the configuration lent itself to moving weight around in the chassis as Suzuki sought to achieve the perfect weight distribution. So effective was the RGV that Aprilia first bought engines from Suzuki, then built their own clones under license, and then finally engineered their own modification to the platform. For Suzuki models, figure about 55-60 wild horses – once the tach swings up towards 11,000. That is for an exported model, such as this Canadian steed. Home market bikes are restricted and have less. With a dry weight in the 280 pound range, there is plenty of motive power to make this fun.

From the seller:
Absolutely superb VJ 22A in really nice condition. Well maintained and well taken care of, wheels and asymmetrical swing-arm recently powder coated, forks not rusted no pitting, all consumables ready to go (brakes, chain, sprockets and tires). The carburation has been cleaned out, jets changed in 2018. The bike is located in Quebec city Canada and comes with a Quebec ownership (equivalent of a title). The bike comes with a box of spare parts (lower engine case, clutch lever, some handlebar controls). All in all an excellent machine very well preserved. I am more than willing to either take care of the export process/shipping or help out with it. I can even drive across the border and meet on the US side. For the US buyer, I provide all necessary documentation to ensure smooth transition past the border but whatever pertains to your county DMV is the buyer’s responsibility.

The well-sorted twin is encased in a chassis complete with GP-racing amenities: twin-spar lightweight aluminum frame rails, nifty asymmetrical banana swing arm, stacked exhaust pipes, and trick (for the time) upside down forks. This was meant to be a racer for the streets, and with the proper livery one could imagine playing Kevin Schwantz at every roundabout. Which leads us to the primary issue with this particular offering: It has quasi-Lucky Strike colors, but is missing some key graphics. This leads to questions regarding whether it is a true LS, or simply a bodywork swap. Perhaps it is a legit LS but was rebuilt as the result of crash damage (the box of spare parts that comes with the sale could indicate same). The 22,000 km (sub 14,000 miles) on the all metric clocks is not that concerning, but as always, interested buyers are cautioned to do their homework.

This particular RGV is located in Quebec City, which means that US buyers will need to perform some paperwork in order to legally bring it in. Fortunately this seller appears to be familiar with this process, and has offered both shipping options as well as trailering the bike into the US. As always, registering the bike in your home state is the responsibility of the buyer. When it comes to the DMV, Californians need not apply (unless you know a guy). But for many US buyers, this is a legitimate way to own a quarter liter two stroke built during the height of two stroke tech. Check out the auction here. Bidding is only up to $2,850 with reserve still in place, but depending on where that is set this could be a relative bargain to get yourself into the game. Some restoration work will be in order to complete the Lucky Strike graphics, but if the mechanicals are in decent shape you could hoon this to the moon. Good (partial) Luck!!

MI

Partly Lucky: 1992 Suzuki RGV 250
Suzuki February 2, 2019 posted by

Wolf of Wall Street: 1986 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf

Before we start and this gets out of hand, you *might* remember when you could buy one of these for $12. Or $1500. Or maybe even $10k. Those days are gone. The fact is this sub 10,000 mile RG500 Walter Wolf edition Gamma is on eBay for just a tad shy of $33,000. And while the market will vote with the wallet, it doesn’t really matter if this bike sells. You see, the market has already spoken in the form of the motorcycle auctions held in Las Vegas in late January. There, record prices were realized for all sorts of stuff that you might remember selling for a lot cheaper. The market is up, and the stuff we like to collect is rising on that tide. Thus, we are looking at a very expensive 1986 Gamma in rare clothing.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf for sale on eBay

Beneath the purple, red and gold paint and beyond the white faced gauges, a Walter Wolf Gamma is really just a Gamma. That is to say, it is a marvelous twin-crank, square four two stroke that rips like it came straight off the racetrack. This was the unobtanium treat that US buyers were categorically denied. Enterprising enthusiasts soon learned to import the RG as a used bike – often from just over our northern border – and hooligan behavior ensued. Along with blue smoke and the sound that only a two stroke on the pipe can make.

From the seller:
Rare Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf Limited Edition!

If not familiar with the Walter Wolf, the bikes were never sold in the US. Approximately 100 were sold in Canada. This example here was imported from Alberta BC. This bike sits in my collection and is in excellent condition, with only 15665 km (9734 miles). The bike is free of common stress cracks around the various panel mounting points. Tires have good tread although I would recommend replacing if plans are to ride the bike.

The instrument housing foam shows some deformation, however a new replacement will be included along with a service manual. This bike is an excellent clean example of a Walter Wolf to ride or put in a collection! If not familiar with the value of Walter Wolf’s, included in the pictures is a recent sale. This bike showed 33400km.

Walter Wolf was a Canadian business man and something of a motor sport legend. Originally from Austria but self made in Canada as an oil man, Wolf poured his money into racing – investing in Frank William’s Formula 1 team and running his own Wolf Racing F1 operation. He had the money and the drive, and sponsored both automobile as well as motorcycle racing. Today, the Wolf brand is celebrated by a couple of different branded products – such as this wonderful Walter Wolf RG500, a tribute of Wolf colors and logos. The Walter Wolf Edition RG500 (there was also a 400 and 250 model) was released to the home market (in power restricted format) as well as Canada (estimated 100 units) and Western Europe. There are slight differences between each of the market-specific models largely due to local regulations (i.e. headlights, turn signals, etc). Japanese market bikes utilize a specific WW gauge package, while Canadian bikes make due with stock RG units. Logo placement is also slightly different between the markets.

Real and authentic WW models are few and far between. We have seen WW replicas on these pages before, so buyers do your homework, research and analysis up front. With only a graphics package separating a rare Wolf from a regular RG, it is not that difficult to build a replica. Today’s WW RG500 looks pretty clean, has enough miles to be a rider without so many as to be clapped out. Check it out here, although the pictures are (unfortunately) low res. I’m sure there will be many comments about how absurd the price is, but the seller counters with a photo directly from the Mecum auctions. Haters will hate, but the Las Vegas auction is the bellwether for collector pricing – and as of today, prices are running high. Hard to tell if there is enough here to ignite the kind of bidding war that drive top auction prices, but for now there is a very rare and cool Walter Wolf edition RG500 Gamma waiting for you on eBay. And you didn’t even have to go to Vegas. Good Luck!!

MI

Wolf of Wall Street: 1986 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf
Honda January 27, 2019 posted by

Legend: 1994 Honda NSR 250R SP MC28 Rothmans

A perennial mainstay on the pages of RSBFS, the Honda NSR250R should require no major introduction. Often considered the darling of the quarter liter smoking set, the 90 degree vee twin is named similarly to – and looks quite a bit like – Honda’s race-only NSR250. However the similarities are only imagined, as the two bikes share no parts in common. That being said, the NSR250R road going machine is a typically Honda-engineering wonder, sought after by riders and collectors, and a blast to ride. Today’s example, a 1994 MC28 model wearing original Rothmans livery, is a prime specimen.

1994 Honda NSR 250R SP MC28 Rothmans for sale on eBay

The original NSR was released as the MC16 back in 1987. Over the next (nearly) ten years, the model evolved in form and function. From a variety of swing arms and different suspensions to various states of tune, dry clutches and the PGM-I through PGM-IV ignition systems, the NSR changed with the times and what Honda believed the needs of the riding community to be. Not all changes were popular, although offering the bike in a variety of race-worthy livery was always a favorite. The Rothmans colors, emulating the tobacco-sponsored racers, remains among the most striking of the options. Often copied by way of knock-off body panels or re-spraying existing plastic, it is not easy to come by an original bike in these colors in this condition. Here is more from the seller:

From the seller:
1994 Honda NSR 250R SP MC28 Rothmans !
Original stock 1994 MC 28 SP U.S.title, plate, reg. very low original Km’s.

This is a original un-molested all stock 1994 Honda NSR250R MC28 SP. This is an *original* low Km Rothmans SP, NOT one that has been put together from parts.

The bike has the correct VIN, it has the correct R3R subframe sticker and even has the original rear fender decal with R3R code and matching VIN to the frame.

1,500 were made and not many survive in low Km’s original condition. Prices for 28 SP’s in Japan are already over a million yen for less than perfect examples. Not much is left.

More from the seller:
This bike has 6695 km or about 4100 miles. This bike has both original key cards and the code sticker. It also has the original tool kit.

Bike has all the original and correct SP parts including Magtek’s, forks, dry clutch engine. All original OEM Honda bodywork. The bike had a small dent on the tank, various scratches and scuffs and I had everything touched up, saving the original decals and clearing over some of them. You can still see some rash on right clip on, exhaust can etc from a light tip over. I still have all the original pictures of how the bike looked when it was in Japan.

As you can see there is some corrosion on the fork legs as is common with most of the bikes from Japan, but otherwise it is very corrosion free. Still has a small sticker from Red Baron on lower right frame (easily removed). The inner small white plastic piece in the right side tail cowl is in poor shape, but that is easy to remedy. I am leaving the bike as near original as possible and will leave it to a new owner to restore/clean it up as they see fit.

The original rear fender is cracked, but repaired, you need to look under it or remove the tail cowl to see it. The right lower fairing stay that mounts inside the bodywork is cracked (where they all break) and could use a repair, but its all there and a minor nuisance.

The bikes starts, runs and rides as it should.

More from the seller:
100% stock, restricted, not modded in anyway. All electrical works, no error codes. Has a new battery installed and had a recent service, brake fluid, coolant, etc. Tires are quite older and should be changed if you plan to ride it.

Honda Fun Fact: The name “NSR” is based on the fact that these bikes utilized a then-new process known as nikasil-sulfur lining in the cylinder bores. This process provided a hardened cylinder for better longevity, without the weight of iron or steel liners. The technology was effective, but nikasil-sulfur makes for a terrible motorcycle name. Hence the “NS” part of the NSR was born.

This NSR is available now on eBay. It is a Buy It Now listing rather than an auction, and the seller is asking $17,500. That is big money for a NSR, although the low miles and original condition helps it along nicely. Check it out here for the details, including the opportunity to purchase a livery matching Honda Cub EZ90 to ride alongside! Good Luck!!

MI

Legend:  1994 Honda NSR 250R SP MC28 Rothmans
Ducati January 24, 2019 posted by

Got my Filas on: 2003 Ducati 999R

The 2003 Ducati 999R Fila Edition was just one of a bunch of special edition bikes Bologna kicked out in the aughties to celebrate its myriad World Superbike successes. The Fila bikes were produced to hat tip Neil Hodgson picking up the storied marque’s 200th win, and were  more than just a branded sticker package. Instead, the 200 examples came with the R’s carbon fiber bodywork, sexier suspension bits and upgraded engine internals and a more aggressive fuel system.

2003 Ducati 999R Fila Edition for sale on eBay

That all meant the commemorative edition kicked out a bunch more power, was more confident in the twists and told the story of its successes in battle. While Ducati could be accused of kicking out some truly asinine specials in the mid-2000s, this is not one of those times.

This bike is number 30 of 200, and is in 100% stock condition. In 16 years it has seen just 22 miles (yes, twenty two), and has been stored without oil or gas in it, though the internals have been misted to keep them from seizing. The pictures are not hugely detailed, but they seem to back up the seller’s claims about the bike’s spot- and blemish-free condition. The tires appear to be original and still have the nubs from the mold.

From the eBay listing:

Ducati 999R Fila Edition
Numbered 0030
Bike is brand new 22/miles
Museum quality and is actually where bike was delivered from. Came from the Barney Besal collection. You can research the bike on youtube and internet both to get all the information on it you need.
Bike is spotless not one scratch
Bike is dry stored- no oil, gas, anything but has been fogged to protect all internals.
Bike is 100 factory no addons
Bike is no reserve but will not be cheap either. I have found another bike even rarer that i would like but am going to have to liquidate around 10 bikes to achieve it.
Any question message me.
Shipping i can assist in as well
No reserve

At $28,000, this Ducati is far from a steal, but it occupies a rarefied position among replica bikes, and for the dedicated Ducatisti, it’s a serious collection booster.

Got my Filas on: 2003 Ducati 999R
Honda January 7, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1985 Honda NS400R

While the world was off building 250cc and 500cc two strokes, Honda went their own way. Sure they built 250cc repli-racers (and even 125 and 150cc varietals). But when it came to the big two stroke, Honda took a cagey direction and built a mini hot rod. Emphasizing all the great points of a 250cc in terms of size and weight, Honda created a unique 400cc entry based on a V-3 configuration (just like their GP bike). The result was a bike not as powerful as the Gammas and RZs of the time, but more lithe and flickable than the bigger beasts. And although it was ultimately out-gunned on the top end, the NS400R could hold its own when the going got fun.

1985 Honda NS400R for sale on eBay

While a V-3 engine configuration might seem odd, it was actually a stroke (pun intended) of genius. Laying the two front cylinders forward and the single rear cylinder upright, the frontal area of the bike could be made as narrow as a parallel twin. And while both the Gamma square four and the RZ V-4 could boast similar stats, the NS single rear cylinder allowed the frame and bodywork to narrow considerably – a boon to both ergonomics as well as aerodynamics. The reed-valve triple also made due with a single crankshaft, which kept mass and rotational weight down when compared to rivals. The Honda power exhaust valve – dubbed ATAC – mellowed the power delivery of the bike, but like all two strokes nirvana is best discovered up near the top of the tach. With an aluminum chassis to maximize the benefits of the V-3 weight distribution, a front anti-dive fork holding a GP-inspired front wheel, and bodywork mimicking the race-only NS500 GP machine, the NS400 was considered the most polished of the large-bore two stroke set. Typical Honda fit, finish and reliability pervade the machine and the riding experience.

From the seller:
Reluctantly selling my 1985 Honda NS400R
Freddie Spencer inspired, 3 cylinders, 2-stroke, 72hp rocket
JDM spec, imported directly from Japan by me
Registered in California (current plate, registration and clear title)

More from the seller:
Complete frame-off restoration
Rare Rotthmans racing scheme
Only 10,700kms (6,700 miles)
Very rare and the US and even more with CA plate/title
Many parts powder coated, refurbished, too many details to list
All original fairings repainted to original specs
Looks and runs amazing

There is a LOT to like about this particular NS. First off, it has the rare Rothmans race livery, as opposed to the more common red/white/blue/yellow color scheme. It wears OE fairings, however they have been repainted. Thanks to what looks like a total refurb this bike is clean, clean, clean (just look at those pics!). For even more pics the seller has posted before, during and after images here. And while the rest of the world might not care, the California title is a nugget that is not to be missed. Here in Cali, two strokes are pretty much verboten – making this gem a bit of a unicorn. And chances are very, very good that a California title will enable reciprocity with nearly any other state of the Union. With importation and titling taken care of (a major headache for most), this restored NS400R is waiting for a new owner to ride off into the sunset.

The bigger two strokes continue to rise in value over the years. The Honda NS400R is a very unique offering in this segment, and not as popular in numbers as the big RZ/RZV, nor as popular with collectors as the Gamma. And while some of this can be attributed to the more diminutive stature of the 400 (think Dani Pedrosa instead of Cal Crutchlow), the limited years of production (1985-1987) likely have much to do with it. It you are in the market for a classic two stroke from this era, do not discount the magnificent NS400R. And when it comes to specimens, today’s example is one of the best we have seen in a long time. Check it out here, as this auction is going quickly – as is the bidding. Get your hand in today, before this one is gone. Good Luck!!

MI

Featured Listing: 1985 Honda NS400R
Honda December 21, 2018 posted by

Eye of the Storm: 1987 Honda CBR600 F Hurricane

Winter is upon us with its stormy moods. A perfect time to sit inside by the fire and reflect. What better time to take a look at a pretty cherry CBR600F model Hurricane and revel in its ability to survive. Sure, I know what you’re thinking: there is no way that a UJM that was mass produced in the tens of thousands will ever be rare. And I can see the point. The whole crux of the laws of supply and demand move us to a place where demand outstrips the supply – this is difficult to do with a commodity product. But this was a commodity more than 30 years ago. Today to find a well preserved CB600F model is not all that easy. It may not be Supermono or Tesi scarce, but certainly no easier than finding a clean Ducati “R” model, Superlight or the odd Bimota SB/YB series example. Today’s Hurricane has traveled fewer than 500 miles per year of its life, and is looking spiffy for it’s existence of relative relaxation. Let’s dig deeper.

1987 Honda CBR600 F Hurricane for sale on eBay

The bikes we covet today are direct descendants of the 1980s, that watershed era when manufacturers experimented like hippies in the 1960s. Trying any number of cylinders in a variety formats, different types of induction, liquid cooling, four valves per cylinder, mass centralization, full fairings and air flow management, tire and wheel sizes, brakes and exhaust, the Big Four went crazy with bringing new ideas to market. Honda in particular exhibited A.D.D. during this period, offering air cooled, V-4 and inline four models with varying performance characteristics. But it was the Hurricane that open the door to the fully-faired repli-racer look that continues to this day in the 600RR line. That is a pretty amazing run for a very capable machine.

From the seller:
1987 Honda CBR-600 F Hurricane – Only 15K Miles – Also CBR 600 F – CBR600F
Mechanically this bike is a 9.9 Out Of 10 And Cosmetically It’s a 9.8 out of 10
Excellent condition for a 32 year old ICON in the Motor Cycle World.

It’d be nice for it go to a collector who understands what it is and appreciates it’s excellent condition. I just rode it yesterday for 15 miles out in the country and the bike pulls clean and runs – idles perfectly. Please note in the pictures & the video that some of the angles the sun makes the red color look faded out. It is all bright RED as it was when new.

Before this ignites a storm of another kind, we have seen this seller before. The consensus is that the bikes represent themselves better mechanically than cosmetically – but that doesn’t mean everything offered is in the same condition. This bike looks very clean and in far superior shape to most any of the vintage Hurricanes we have seen. 15k on the clocks is higher than many would consider, but aside from some minor cosmetic damage if the bike is as stated mechanically what you have here is an excellent rider. Check out the pictures and video. And as alwasy, RSBFS recommends that you do your homework. Look closely, research the model, and ask the seller questions if any data or detail is unclear. This holds true regardless if you are buying a RC30 or a YSR50.

If you’ve weathered the storm thus far, you have seen a clean example of a 1987 CBR600F. And while this is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, this No Reserve auction has shown some decent action. There is no gold-plated Buy It Now option here. $100 bought you the first bid in this game, and the price has quickly climbed over $2k. How high will it go? There are lots of watchers on this one, but from the looks of things the price is still firmly in the bargain basement territory. I don’t see really see this above the $5-6k mark, but there may be someone out there that just has to have a vintage Hurricane. Jump in if you’re nostalgic for the bike you couldn’t afford in high school, but don’t expect to be making a brilliant investment. There will always be a market for a clean, older bike – even one that isn’t in high demand – but the value appreciation will be slow at best. But who really cares? The value is in what you see, and who doesn’t see something cool in a well-preserved sport bike artifact? Check it out carefully, and bid with gusto – after all, Christmas is just around the corner! And be sure and jump back to the Comments and share your memories of the Hurricane – because I know you have them. Good Luck!

MI

Eye of the Storm: 1987 Honda CBR600 F Hurricane
Yamaha December 18, 2018 posted by

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

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

1985 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

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

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

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

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

BIKE IS IN CANADA, NIAGARA FALLS AREA.

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

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

MI

Not Museum (but could be?): 1985 Yamaha RZ350
Yamaha December 16, 2018 posted by

Red, White and Blue (smoke): 1984 Yamaha RZ350

The RZ market is pretty crazy right now. RSBFS staffers have seen bikes of all types of condition with pricing all over the map. We’ve seen bargains, we’ve seen riders and we’ve seen basket cases. We’ve come across amazing time capsules of authenticity, and seen the results of ambitious projects (sometimes gone bad). The bottom line is that the lowly RZ350 is as close to a sure thing as you are going to get in the current market. Regardless of condition, we are seeing these bikes sell. That must be pretty exciting for RZ owners out there. And for those in the market for the last of the street legal factory smokers, the good news is that we continue to see a good supply of the model. Which brings us to today’s example: a low mileage, red and white example of the breed that seems to have survived the ravages of time and riders.

1984 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

For those of you who missed the heyday of the two stroke, pull up a chair. You see children, back before people realized that they liked to breathe and came to the realization that vehicles spewing out noxious smoke, visible gasses and other delicious cancer-causing fumes were not a great long-term health plan, pretty much anything could be put on the road. And like any other performance category, sport motorcycles were all about low weight and high power. And pound for pound, a two stroke is a far more potent form of motive power than a heavier, more complicated four stroke. Sure, they sounded like chainsaws. Yes, they often disappeared in clouds of blue smoke. Indeed, they were a pain in the butt at the gas pump – not only did they get crappy gas mileage, riders had to mix oil into the gas in a precise ratio. But the payoffs were (almost) worth it when the tach swung up past 7,500 RPM or so and the power band began. Below that there was nothing, and with only a narrow RPM range of usable power, these were not the easiest mounts to ride in anger. The EPA started cracking down in the 1970s, and by the early 1980s the smoking party was over. But it was damn fun while it lasted.

From the seller:
Up for sale is a 1984 Yamaha RZ350. This bike is in Museum quality condition. Paint on entire bike is original and in like new condition. This bike comes with the dual seat option. exhaust resinators where removed at some point. 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 2 minor flaws, 1- the windscreen has a sratch on the painted area. 2- The tank has one dent on the left side.

The RZ350 is the little bike that could. Pitted against 550 and 600 cc four stroke machines, the little screamer could hold its own. But to even get it on the road, Yamaha had to throw a lot of technology into the form factor. An exhaust power valve automatically adjusted the exhaust port height depending upon specific conditions, making the parallel twin more efficient. Evaporation canisters to capture fuel vapors were starting to appear, and exist on the RZ. But the real secrets were hidden in the exhaust pipes. What looked like two stroke chambers were really a complex series of catalytic converters with air injection. These made it possible to import the RZ into nearly all 50 states for it’s limited run of 2 years (CA only received 1985 model year bikes).

This particular RZ has very few miles on it for the age (4,028). It looks to be in decent condition, although it may not have been an indoor pet all of it’s life given some of the light corrosion. The seller points out the relatively small flaws of windscreen scratch and tank blemish, but otherwise all parts appear to be attached. The pipes are not the stock units, and there appear to be some other small aftermarket additions over time (fuel line and filter, for example). The term “museum” is an ambiguous word that comes up all too often in adverts. Calling this example out as museum quality depends upon the type of museum you frequent. This is not a zero mile, just been un-crated, never been run, never been rode or never been parked outside type of bike. This is certainly a low mileage survivor, and for those that want to ride, this is usually the better option. The seller is asking for some pretty strong numbers for this bike – but the market will pay what the market can bear. You can’t fault someone for asking, and the Buy It Now approach with a willingness to accept offers might just be a great way for the seller and buyer to meet closer to the middle. Check it out here – there is not a lot of text but a good number of decent pictures. And then you just have to answer one more question: Do you RZ? Good Luck!!

MI

Red, White and Blue (smoke): 1984 Yamaha RZ350