Posts by tag: parallel twin

Yamaha May 18, 2022 posted by

Hive Mentality – 1984 Yamaha RZ350

With spring in full swing and summer right around the corner RZ350s are popping up like, well, weeds. Scare in quality and quantity, 2022 has brought out a spate of strong contenders; bikes that present as well as any we have seen. So too is today’s find, a 1984 bumble bee 350 out of Montana that looks fantastic.

1984 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

Needing no introduction – but getting one anyway – the RZ350 was the last gasp of two-stroke street bike goodness in the early 1980s. Festooned with YVPS, oil injection, catalytic converters and EVAP canisters, the RZ was as close as EPA legal as could be with 1984 technology. Significantly choked by the emissions equipment (which was also very, very heavy), most RZs enjoyed a life on steroids – dropping the cats for a pair of expansion chambers, new fatter jets and improved upstream airflow. The RZ350 was an over achiever, running with the 550cc middleweights of the day, and were popular club racers to boot. Today, these are hard to find in many parts of the country, and harder still to find in original – or close to original – condition.

From the seller:
I am slimming down my collection, so its time for this time capsule to go. I purchased this 1984 RZ350 from the original owner in 2010. Its been in my garage ever since, in dry Montana, so there is very little corrosion. It has 3,714 original miles. I will also include the original exhaust pipes (photos coming soon). Overall, the bike is in very, very good condition for its age. Its not pristine, but very nice! The tires are old, so they are due for replacement and the brakes could probably be bled. There are a couple stickers on one of the fork tubes that can be removed.

More from the seller:
The original owner installed Spec II exhaust pipes. The airbox and intake are stock. It has steel braided brake lines on the front, and a Telefix fork brace.

There is no evidence of the bike ever being down. The seat is perfect. The gas tank has no dents and is very near perfect. It starts from cold on the first kick and idles perfectly.

I have a clean and clear Montana title.

The seller has also shared a cold start video on this bike:

RZs are worth real money these days. You can forget when you could pick up a beater for a grand or less; there is no value in lamenting the great one you sold for $2k. This is the ups and downs of the market, and while the RZ has had its unfair share of downs, it is currently on a credible upswing. The bidding on this very clean bike with period correct aftermarket add-ons (with original pipes available!) is well over $10k with a lot of interest. The reserve is still in place, so there is likely a lot more to play for. Only 3,700 miles on this time capsule, meaning that the winning bidder will have a lightly used rider that shows as well as any we’ve seen. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Hive Mentality – 1984 Yamaha RZ350
Yamaha May 13, 2022 posted by

The Same, But Different: 1984 Yamaha RZ350

In an earlier post, RSBFS Staff Writer Donn notes: Hardly a week goes by that a new RZ350 doesn’t pop up these days! I would like to take this opportunity to upgrade that statement considerably. Because today we have a double RZ350 Friday (take two – they’re small)! Forget Friday the 13th. This is Friday the RZ350th!

1984 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

This particular RZ shows very differently than the 1985 model posted by Donn HERE. This RZ seems to have a bit less info, and a potentially greater number of unknowns. It is clear that it has experienced some modifications along the line, from Airtech bodywork to updated expansion chambers, bar end mirrors, a complete replacement top end (with YPVS delete), and what appears to be some minor rash on the right-hand side case. But it is a RZ after all – and remains very popular with readers and riders alike. There are pristine, museum-style offerings that go for big, big bucks, ridden and hot rodded bikes that go for elevated prices, and then there are the bottom feeder bikes that have been used up, abused often and offered at a ridiculous price. This particular example feels more like the middle tier – modded and used, but presentable – and is pretty close in pricing to the 1985 example posted by Donn earlier today.

From the seller:
This 1984 Yamaha RZ350 is an original. The owner has had it for 5+ years. The vehicle runs great and is mainly used for weekend rides.

Bike has had a small restoration. Frame and swing arm have been powder coated. All new seals in components forks, front brakes, front master cylinder, etc. Has Airtech full fairing kit. Does not have YPVS anymore currently has a banshee top end. I do not have any of the original parts. Thanks for looking.

The seller has included the following walk around video of this particular bike. I am not exactly sure why one of the foot pegs is zip tied up out of the way, but otherwise the video shows a clean – but modified – RZ350:

Regardless of condition, RZ350s are hot property. That value is increased as the weather turns to a point where riding is possible around the country, and we are all itching to grab our leathers and hoon. And while we always recommend collectors purchase the best example they can find/afford, the truth of the matter is the RZ will always be in demand; even questionable bikes are fetching absurd prices. We do not see that changing at all in the future, except the prices are likely to be even higher. These are fun machines that really wail, they strike a pose very well in parking lots for bike night or cars and coffee, and are reasonably reliable given the volatile nature of two strokes. You can check this one out here as a compare and contrast – this is a great time to be in the RZ market!!! Good Luck!

MI

The Same, But Different: 1984 Yamaha RZ350
Yamaha March 25, 2022 posted by

Quick Smoke Break: 1985 Yamaha RZ350

There seems to be a marked increase in available RZ350s as of late, a clear sign that Spring has officially sprung. Amongst the frenzy of activity with trading, selling and buying (not to mention how hot the collector market is these days), this is a quickie smoke break from the high dollar exotica and represents something that readers want to see and can likely afford. I will warn you that time is short and bidding strong on this one, but the price remains in the reasonable range and there is still a reserve at play.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

The 1985 Yamaha RZ350 differed only slightly from the 1984 model in the US. The biggest visual clue is that the Red/White bikes had King Kenny’s signature on the fairing; in the inaugural year this was only available on the bumblebee-colored models. Otherwise you are looking at the same liquid cooled, parallel twin with dual carbs, reed valve induction, oil injection and the novel YPVS computer controlled exhaust port.

From the seller:
1985 Yamaha RZ 350 from private collection excellent condition no issues runs great sorry do not have original pipes.

Today’s bike has seen some miles (but not many – only 5,000 on the clock!), and has the requisite performance upgrade of replacing the stock catalytic converter-equipped exhaust with proper expansion chambers. This is usually best accomplished with related jetting (and sometimes airbox) changes, but no background history if that was done. There is also no word on the type of expansion chambers fitted; perhaps our eagle-eyed readers can help out with that one. The bike looks undeniably clean, which is a real plus. I am somewhat perplexed by the lack of the black chrome finish on the left side of the engine, but not on the right. But this otherwise looks like something that could (and should) rattle to life in a cloud of smoke that brings smiles to all. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Quick Smoke Break: 1985 Yamaha RZ350
Kawasaki January 19, 2022 posted by

Anarchy in the UK: 1989 Kawasaki KR-1S 250

Although most RSBFS readers are demographically located in the US, I say never mind the bollocks. Sure, this KR-1S is located in Jolly Olde England, but it is a freaking KR-1s! Possibly the rarest of the regular 250cc two stroke set by manufacturer, the KR series has a reputation for being fast, fast, fast.

1989 Kawasaki KR-1S for sale on eBay!

Of all of the quarter liter smokers, the Kawasaki was generally considered a bit of a failure. Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha dominated the sales floor, as the more rare Kawasaki lagged behind. The downside of the fast, fast, fast component of the KR-1 is that these have also been known to be somewhat fragile, but those that have survived are piquing the interest of collectors. What was a relative “failure” to sell in the day makes this all the more rare today. And today’s sub-8,000 mile example is one that is worth a look.

From the seller:
Kawasaki kr1s 250
1989 g reg
7900 miles from new
1 former owner first for 30 years
Original order as good as they come
Original tool kit under seat /handbooks /
Original number plate /1 key fits all locks
Does run but could do with a service and mot
Bodywork near immaculate
Any questions viewings welcome

There is not as much info as we might like to know, and only a few pics of this beauty. The ask is $11,500 USD – which is significantly below the nearly $18k asked for this 1991 California plated dream machine. If you can handle the shipping and importing, this could be a find. Only 10,000 total units of the KR-1 250 series were made, with fewer being the KR-1S model as seen here (and rarer still, the coveted R model).

Check out all of the details on this 1989 Kawasaki KR-1S here. Good Luck!!

MI

Anarchy in the UK: 1989 Kawasaki KR-1S 250
Yamaha May 25, 2021 posted by

Blue-Grey Smoker – 1989 Yamaha RZ350

Today’s RZ350 is the fully-faired F2 model which was never imported to the U.S.  Looks like a very nice survivor which should be an easy import.

1989 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

Water cooling let the RZ350 make better power with 63 hp, than its air cooled predecessor, the RD400.  And the YPVS power valve stretched the power band, though reviewers reported a big character change at 6,000 rpm.  Expansion chambers were factory equipment, as were multi-adjustable forks and pre-load adjustable MonoCross rear.  Triple 260mm disks were appropriately sized and 18-inch wheels were cast in black aluminum.  The full fairing had the same big side vents as the older brother RD500.

The RZ looks quite stock with astounding paint, if it’s indeed original.  Details of the faux pas seems to be attributable to a single incident.  Both blue and black seats have been seen with this livery, so this one might be factory, though most RZ350 rims have a polished edge so they may have been sprayed.  Guess a magnetic tank guard will be a little late to the party but will cover those nicks.  Comments from the eBay auction:

Legendary two stroke Yamaha bike in very good original condition (they are only original once as they say).

–  Numbers matching – original motor, never taken apart – original tool kit

–  Collector owned, stored in indoor heated space. Running and riding bike – has been out for use in 2021

–  11,000 original km (6835 miles)

–  Oil injection functional (no need to mix gas/oil)

–  Runs great – lots of power

–  Canadian spec model – 2nd last year of production

–  Great colour scheme – never available in the USA (Canada’s run of RZ350 went from 1983 to 1990 whereas the USA only got them 1983 and 1984)

–  Front brake rebuild 2021

–  Tires are in good condition – needs nothing to pass safety certificate

Even though is was only here for a couple of seasons, the bikini-faired RZ was pretty popular, so imports aren’t all that common.  The full bodywork hides the water-cooled mill and looks pretty racy to boot.  It’s high ( reserve ) season, so we’ll have to keep an eye on where this auction goes.

-donn

Blue-Grey Smoker – 1989 Yamaha RZ350
Yamaha March 19, 2021 posted by

Meet You Half Way – 1979 Yamaha RD400F Daytona Special

To celebrate Kenny Roberts’ 1978 Daytona win, Yamaha styled a distinctive final-year model with all the air-cooled improvements since 1973.  Here’s an Ohio native that shows like it has 1,2oo miles instead of the 12,000 the odometer says.

1979 Yamaha Rd400F for sale on eBay

The RD400F is just bit more grown up than the original RD350, though it shares the wheelbase, 28mm Mikuni’s and kickstarter.  Along the way it acquired five additional ponies, alloy wheels, capacitive discharge ignition, and a wider rear tire.  Its additional 35 lbs. meant 25 more feet in the 60-to-zero test, though braking was identical with front and rear 267mm discs.  Changes to the engine’s porting and an internal bypass improved rideability and lowered emissions, along with an almost Suzuk-ish shroud on the head which improved the noise signature.

Probably looking better than it did on day one, this collector’s item has been restored and polished to a fair-thee-well.  Since the Daytona is an exercise in white, black and chrome, it’s naturally photogenic.  Expert readers will have to weigh in on any discrepancies.  Comments from the eBay auction:

Only 12,122 miles. Clear title in my name. Numbers matching with all the 2VO stampings also. This is a beautiful survivor. The body set has been repainted with the pearl white to perfection. New seat cover. Tires are also new. Gas tank is clean metal inside. Everything works like it should. Starts easy and runs and rides great. Pulls hard and smooth through the gears just like it should. This is stunning survivor.

When the last RD400 rolled out of the showroom, Yamaha was in the middle of a staggering 12 year run of luck in the Daytona 200, and Roberts also won the last of that streak on his YZR680 / OW69.  Yamaha brought back the two-stroke twin ( in a water-cooled form ) in 1983, but took it offshore after only two years.  The sound, simplicity, and lighter weight make the air-cooled RD’s worth pursuing, but rather few are in this remarkable condition.

-donn

Meet You Half Way – 1979 Yamaha RD400F Daytona Special
Yamaha March 9, 2021 posted by

Out in the Yellow Paint – 1985 Yamaha RZ350

A classic in part because it’s the last year of U.S. imports, Yamaha’s Kenny Roberts edition typifies two-stroke fun.  Here’s a windy city example with low miles, excellent cosmetics, and Jim Lomas expansion chambers.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

Yamaha had their air-cooled 350 in the house since 1973, but liquid cooling brought more stable cylinder head temperatures and better all-round running to the RZ.  YPVS electrically tuned exhaust ports made for a wider torque band and 59 hp.  The RZ had Yamaha’s first perimeter frame on a road machine, in steel tubing with a racer’s drop-in fuel tank.  Other race-bred improvements like triple disk brakes and monoshock rear were making their way on to more popularly-priced bikes.  Yamaha’s day-glow GP race livery reflected their Marlboro sponsorship, but the AMA series speed block livery is adorned with Roberts’ autograph.

Apparently for sale by owner, this beauty shows just half of the 25K miles a lot of RZ’s have, with just a couple of paint chips to show for 36 years.  Throaty exhaust notes in the too short video posted – here –, and just a couple of comments from the eBay auction-

Kenny Robert’s edition, the most desirable year of the most desirable color combination Yamaha RZ 350. Very low original miles (12,647), clean title with owner of record since 1991 and matching VINs. Runs well, idles perfectly, fires up first kick and it was jetted for JL pipes.The bike is in overall in great rider quality condition, it has some very minor imperfections shown in the pictures below. The bike sits in my climate-controlled building and is available to view anytime.

Winning two Grand National Championships, and three World Championships ( and being runner-up in each once ), Roberts is a champions champion.  There have been other yellow and black comemmoratives since the RZ350 was legislated out of existence, but this is still number one.  For a fan of the man, the brand or the sport, a fresh-looking two stroke sportbike would be a great tribute to have in the garage.

-donn

Out in the Yellow Paint – 1985 Yamaha RZ350
Kawasaki February 1, 2021 posted by

KR1S KR0S: California-Titled 1991 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale!

Here in the US, the entire class of 250cc two-stroke sportbikes was long nearly impossible to come by and, let’s be honest, probably not much missed by the majority of the riding public. In a land of GSX-R1100s being ridden by guys who considered a mullet and wraparound shades to be adequate protection, the market for 45hp two-strokes was always going to be pretty limited. But if you were just the right kind of motorcycle enthusiast, it must have been excruciating to read about bikes like today’s Kawasaki KR-1S in the pages of Fast Bikes and other European magazines of the period.

It’s easier to get a number of these formerly forbidden fruits here these days, now that they’re legal to import. After all, the Honda NSR250R was in production from 1987 until 1996 so, if you’re not too picky about which particular NSR you get, it’s not really all that rare a bike in its home market: nearly 100,000 were built in total. But Kawasaki’s entry into the class is rare, even in Japan, and was only rarely seen outside its domestic market. And even then, just 10,000 were built between 1988 and 1992, the bike’s entire production run.

By the time the 90s had rolled around, Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha had all shifted to v-twins, but Kawasaki stuck with a parallel twin configuration, with the engine hung completely beneath the typical aluminum beam frame of the class. Like every other two-stroke two-fiddy, the KR-1 was light, agile, and involving to ride. Technology in the hotly contested class was cutting edge, and Kawasaki brought their KIPS powervalve and a slick six-speed gearbox to the party. Power was officially limited to a government-mandated 45hp, but the bike was naturally capable of much more when derestricted.

There were three versions of the KR-1 available: the base KR-1, the KR-1S seen here that included wider wheels at the front and rear, and a few hundred examples of the KR-1R that featured larger carburetors and a close-ratio gearbox. Top speed was a frankly incredible as-tested speed of 139mph!

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale

A Very rare 17 digit frame (Australia) CA titled 1991 Kawasaki KR1S 250 two stroke bike. Bike is in excellent condition. Bike will come with a lot of NOS parts and engine parts as well. Feel free to message me if you have any questions thank you very much.

The price for this two-stroke unicorn is a steep $17,900. Is it worth it? Well that’s hard to say: if that Cali title is easily transferred and if that cache of parts is extensive, I’m sure it will be to the right buyer. You may have heard that there are lots of well-heeled enthusiasts here in California with more money than sense… If you’re interested, move fast: there’s just about one day left on this auction!

-tad

KR1S KR0S: California-Titled 1991 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale!