Posts by tag: parallel twin

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!
Laverda January 22, 2021 posted by

A Winning Formula: 1979 Laverda Formula 500

Imagine you are a motorcycle manufacturer and need some publicity. What is the best way to make a splash? Racing is the traditional route to make some noise, but comes with the risk of being beaten (sometimes badly) by the very competition you wish to minimalize in the market. One make race series are a great way to drum up some business – regardless who wins, it will always be your bike. A few manufacturers have attempted this over the years, with the BMW Boxer Cup being the most recent on the big bore side, although the KTM RC390 series that ran with Moto America also applies. A lesser known (at least in the US) series existed in Europe, known as the Coppa Laverda (Laverda Cup).

1979 Laverda Formula 500 for sale on eBay

Formula 500 bikes were developed to drum up interest in Laverda’s smaller lineup of motorcycles – in this case the 350cc and 500cc models. These were air-cooled parallel twins that looked to capture a market outside of the big twins such as the 750 SFC and even bigger triples such as the 1000cc Jota & RGS. The bikes were marketed in the US as the Zeta platform. The race bike (track only, with no lights or other street legal accessories) was essentially a stripped down version of the 500cc street bike. Mild tuning netted about 53 ponies, and the whole shebang was wrapped in beautiful fiberglass bodywork. Laverda provided technical support to the racers, who were all privateers (no professionals allowed). And while the race series was a success in terms of participation and action, Laverda was purported to have lost money on every small bore bike sold.

From the seller:
Sold on Bill of sale. No title. Not for street. Mileage unknown, no odometer.

This is the motorcycle that was reviewed in Motorcycle Classics March/ April 2014.
I acquired it to race in AHRMA, but change of plans.

This bike was restored by the leading Laverda experts here in the U.S. and has not been ridden since it’s latest refresh 18 months ago. Besides the original exhaust that is installed, I have a custom made exhaust that will work with the Montjuic body kit (I do not have), or with the original body kit with a slight mod to the headers to fit under the original fairing.

New spare tires also included. No paperwork available as the collector I bought it from did not pass along any he had. I will pass the collector name to the buyer so he / she can try to get any available. Also the original restoration photo CD of the bike should be available from the expert who did it.

By modern standards these Formula 500 bikes are vestiges of the Stone Age. Air cooling, two four valves per cylinder, small-ish disk brakes and twin rear shocks – all very adequate but nothing that screams “cutting edge.” But the race bikes were successful and competent machines, and today they are quite rare (numbers are uncertain, but are likely in the low 200 range of total units).

I’ve been tracking this example for a bit as it makes its way through the usual relisting process. To be honest, I’m not really sure why the lack of interest by the market in general although the opening ask may scare off some bidders. This bike has gone through a relatively recent restoration, however it sounds like some recommissioning may be in order before running this bike in anger. Rear shocks look to have been replaced with more modern units, and the seller indicates some extra pieces are available. The bike looks clean, and the starting bid of $16,500 is market correct (even if the Buy It Now is rather high). This would make a fantastic collector, vintage racer, or track-day standout. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

A Winning Formula: 1979 Laverda Formula 500
Yamaha November 27, 2020 posted by

Been There Done That – 1985 Yamaha RZ350 with Just 1,972 Miles !

Introduced in 1982 as the closest thing to a race bike on the road, and certainly one of the last two-stroke street bikes available here, Yamaha’s RZ350 can be found in all prices and conditions.  With its sights set on the top of the hill, this later Fla. example has impossibly low miles and almost flawless condition.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

The early -80’s brought the Yamaha Power Valve System to their two-strokes, and it helps the engine run just fine around town.  But the 55 rated horsepower are available up at 9,000 rpm, requiring a more advanced set of rider skills.  Racey looks are helped by the perimeter frame and drop-in fuel tank, just like real racers of the day.  Dual front disks were new on a lighter-weight machine, and compensate for the lack of engine deceleration on a smoker.  Suspension wasn’t fancy, just preload adjustable but good quality like the rest of the build, and the gold-trimmed alloys had a light look.

An expert might be required to find something to quibble about on this RZ, and you’d suspect an odometer rollback if not for the museum condition.  Factory pipes look sharp and dispense with the catalyzer.  Comments from the eBay  auction:

Kenny Roberts Edition purchased from original owner earlier this year. Great condition very little patina  two small little touched up chips one on tank and fairing smaller then pencil eraser in front of gas cap the blue stripe is starting to shrink I don’t know if its from gas or what but that’s the only complaint I have with the bike because the rest of it is killer front forks are clean with very minimal rash the rims and controls are in great shape and look awesome. I have original pipes and tool kit look at the pics they tell the story look at them well please ask any questions or more pic’s if needed and the bike runs great . Miles are 1975 and the bike is all original not restored and shows extremely well for a 35 year old bike that hasn’t been monkeyed with and adult owned and cared for.

Like real estate, they’re just not making any more RZ350’s, so this owner can wait until his whopping buy-it-now seems sensible or someone makes an offer.  Not sure this year is CARB legal even with the original exhaust, but a knowledgeable reader will likely sing out.  The alternate livery doesn’t scream Kenny Roberts like the yellow, but it’s there.  You can usually hear me groan about bikes destined for the carpet, but this one is really too nice for anything but an occasional spin around the block.

-donn

Been There Done That – 1985 Yamaha RZ350 with Just 1,972 Miles !
Honda September 15, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing – 1982 Honda CB450T with 1,682 Miles !

Update 11.04.2020: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc


Accompanying bigger silver and blue Freddie Spencer replicas to the showroom, Honda’s 1982 CB450T had nice performance for a mid-size, and brilliant looks.  RSBFS fan Bill has been around concours winners for a while now, and presents his just-about-perfect CB450T.


1982 Honda CB450T Collector For Sale

Since the Dream days, Honda has always made room for a middle-weight somewhere in their line-up.  The CB450T might be the ultimate parallel twin, with CB900F styling – a 9,500 rpm redline, SOHC and three valves per cylinder pushing 43 hp.  As Honda would do, engineers put some neat stuff in, 9.1:1 compression and a 6-speed transmission, while bean counters stipulated the rear drum brake and emissions-compliant 30mm Keihin carburetors.  Stylists carried the day with the Comstar wheels and stripes that flowed from tank to the upturned seat spoiler, and just needs a number plate to channel the number 19 CB750F AMA Superbike.

Bill has been following RSBFS since the early days, and knows his way around perfect, having placed Honda bikes in the AMA museum and cars in two leading Honda collections.  He wandered through many CB450T’s before finding his example, several years ago now.  But best to let Bill describe:

MINT condition

One year only model. Honda made the CB400T for 1980 & 1981…but ONLY the CB450T [for 1982] got the extra 50cc and the Silver Freddie Spencer paint scheme, with the uber rare rear spoiler…like the bigger…and matching…CB750F and CB900F.

Last year for Honda SOHC

Honda made about 4,600 total production for US market, about 3,100 were made in the black paint with red and orange strips….only about 1,500 were in the Freddie Spencer Replica AMA Superbike race colors (Pleiades silver with 2 tone blue stripes).

Mine has: 1,682 orig miles from new, ALL fluids new with less than 25 miles including  brakes/ you can literally remove the brake pads and lick them…they are cleaner than your dinner plate, bike always kept in climate controlled, carpeted garage as seen in pics. No stories, no excuses, no rips, tears, no BS…it is FLAWLESS period. Even the chain is immaculate. Bike stays on battery tender 100% ready to go.

Bike has 1 mile on brand new tires..yes ONE (1)

I am second owner from new, I’ve owned since 2012, I am 60 years old, prior owner was 60 when I bought it from him.

Only mods to bike are PERIOD CORRECT K&N gloss black 1.5” lower handle bars and short stem black mirrors. YES, YES I have the original high bars and long stem chrome mirrors and they are ‘as new’ too.

Bill asks $4,500 is open to offers.

Freddie Spencer is certainly due a commemorative, having given the best part of his riding career to Honda.  Beside many AMA Superbike race wins, Spencer helped Honda develop the NR500, NS500, and NSR500, and took both the MotoGP 500cc and 250cc championships in 1985.  The ’82 CB450T is a single year special, partly a technology demonstrator for the SOHC drivetrain, and a great tribute in silver and blue.  Bill has a lot of expertise around the brand, and has curated his CB450T to museum level.

Bill has his CB450T in suburban D.C.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1982 Honda CB450T with 1,682 Miles !
Yamaha June 12, 2020 posted by

Can’t Quit – 1977 Yamaha RD400

Most running, driving bikes with 40-plus years on have taken some kind of rebuild, and this 1977 RD400 is no exception.  This recent completion has had soup to nuts attention with some nice upgrades.

1977 Yamaha RD400 for sale on eBay

Though regulators in the western hemisphere were already thinking of two strokes in the past tense, Yamaha had a world-wide market to consider, and put a lot of new engineering into the 1976 RD400.  New crankcases were required for the 44 hp twin, and without the counter-balancer required in a four-stroke, resulted in a lightweight power unit.  CDI ignition and rubber engine mounts civilized the new 400.  Chassis and suspension were pretty UJM, but disk brakes and cast wheels were a peek into the future for a small-bore.  Stylists used black mechanicals and chrome exhaust to highlight the tank color.

Offered by a southern Conn. restoration shop, this RD shows just 15,843 miles and recent rebuild of the engine and pretty much everything else.  The blacked-out fenders and yellow wheels update the looks quite a bit, and performance improvements from the DG expansion chambers, K&N filters and remote reservoir shocks can be anticipated.  Nice list of new or rebuilt components from the eBay auction:

This is a very clean custom eye catching RD400 The engine was rebuilt 2 years ago .50 over.  It has very little mileage since the build. Very Sharp. Very clean. It has some desirable mods for the street.  Tuned and timed. Very quick response, nice power band. 

New:  Custom paint & decals w/Matching rims. Very clear gauges. OEM style mirrors. Replacement controls. Grips. Cables. Tires & tubes. Clutch. Fork tubes, seals, dust boots and polished lower fork housings.

Polished heads. Chain and sprockets. Performance master cylinder and clutch levers. New calipers. Rebuilt rear master cylinder. Braided brake lines. Rear sets from HVC. OEM signals & rear tail light. Rebuilt carbs w/pod filters, new jets. Custom seat. RFY rear Nitrogen charged  gas shocks.

Very nice DG chambers – No road rash.  Note: Chain Guard will be installed after modification. 

Lighter than everything comparable, the RD400’s non-linear powerband made friends with reviewers at Cycle World, who called it one of the ten best in 1976 and covered it as recently as 1993.  Yamaha kept honing the two-stroke twin, going back down to a 350, adding catalysts and liquid cooling.  After the two-wheeler was retired in 1995, the powertrain lived on in the Banshee quad, and helped parts availability for RD owners.  This example has a few days to run and hasn’t met the reserve, but the sensible restoration looks good enough to get there.

-donn

Can’t Quit – 1977 Yamaha RD400