Posts by tag: privateer

Yamaha July 25, 2019 posted by

Purity of Purpose: 1998 Yamaha TZ250 for Sale

Laypeople often love cars and motorcycles with gratuitous stylistic frippery: air vents leading to nowhere, extraneous “engine beautification” panels to cover up the oily bits and wiring, unnecessary surface details to break up large panels. They don’t really understand the function of all those parts, or aerodynamic styling, so if it looks right, it is right. Purists also appreciate design, but often feel that good looks are a direct result of function, that that beauty is the natural result of effective engineering. Failing that, at least functional design has an aesthetic appeal all its own. Simplicity and lightness are especially important for racers, and sometimes the shapes that result look odd until you understand why they developed the way they did. In other cases, a pursuit of purity of purpose results in shape that just looks so right, like this Yamaha TZ250.

The TZ250 wasn’t simply a TZR250 with race plastics and the lights removed. It was  a pure racing machine, something privateers could buy directly from Yamaha and use to compete in Grand Prix racing. Everything on the bike is designed to help the bike make power, cheat the wind, or simplify servicing. Every component is as light as possible, and these featherweight machines are the model of elegant simplicity. Early versions were powered by a parallel-twin engine, but Yamaha switched to a v-twin in 1991, a liquid-cooled unit was basically one-half of the YZR500’s V4 and included a counterbalancer that made the engine much smoother, backed by a cassette gearbox for fast gearing changes trackside to maximize the bike’s narrow powerband.

The package was updated significantly in 1992, with subsequent changes amounting to a gradual evolution, refining and tweaking the package. The engine was updated in 1997 to allow the bike to run on unleaded fuel, as required by FIM regulations, while the 1998 version seen here introduced a sealed airbox with ram-air and oval-slide carburetors, along with revised bodywork that included the famous tapered tail.

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Yamaha TZ250 for Sale

I have a very, very nice 1998 Yamaha TZ250 4TW available. I purchased this bike in 2015 from a Southern California racer. It had been raced recently. I have done absolutely nothing to the bike, so it is still in as-raced condition. Overall its in excellent shape. The tank is flawless save for a very small dimple (about 1/8″ across). The bodywork is very good, but has a few imperfections here and there such as chips and scuffs. Normal racetrack wear. It has been stored in a heated storage facility with very low humidity here in Montana.

It has 190 miles on the top end and MCE racing crank. 2003 bodywork and airbox conversion. Includes PitBull rear stand, but no spares.

You can send your shipper here to my home in Red Lodge, Montana or I can deliver to one of several freight forwarders in Billings, Montana for attachment to a pallet.

The $14,500 Buy It Now the seller is asking for this TZ250 is a pretty good price, from what I’ve seen. It unfortunately doesn’t include any spares, which presents a headache if you’d like to use it regularly for race or trackday riding. You’ll obviously want to go through it thoroughly before using it, as it has been sitting for a couple years, but these are designed to be easily torn down and rebuilt, with crankshaft removal possible with the engine still in the frame and gearing changes to the cassette box taking only a half hour or so. Many TZs are being actively raced in AHRMA and other series, so I believe obtaining parts to keep them running isn’t prohibitively expensive, but these are a dying breed and represent the end of an era.

-tad

Yamaha February 27, 2019 posted by

Deltabox Racer: 1992 Yamaha TZ250D for Sale

Racebikes are different than other bikes we feature on RSBFS. Where the goal for many collectible roadbikes is absolute originality, or at least limited, period-correct updates, the whole point of a racebike is that it’s a rough-and-tumble artifact, a bit of living history, and battle scars are okay. If the machine in question is historically significant, that goes double. But race bikes are more like living organisms than ones trapped in amber, and some have evolved over time, especially if they’re still being used in competition, like today’s Yamaha TZ250D.

Note the missing “R” in the name: this isn’t simply a TZR250 with the lights removed. While people did use the TZR250 road bike as the basis for competition machines, the TZ250 was Yamaha’s pure competition machine, available over-the-counter to racers. Both the original TZ and TZR were powered by parallel twin engines, but Yamaha eventually began experimenting with a v-twin engine to keep pace with competitors in Grand Prix raxing, and the YZR250 used what was essentially half of the YZR500’s two-stroke V4. For a number of years, Yamaha produced the two machines in parallel: the v-twin powered YZR250 seen in Grand Prix and the parallel-twin TZ250.

1991 saw the introduction of a completely new version of the popular TZ250 racing platform, incorporating the v-twin configuration from the YZR250, along with upside-down forks, a banana-swingarm to clear the expansion chamber on the right side, a wider 5.25″ rear wheel, and a set of 38mm Mikuni carburetors. The “D” model that came along in 1992 featured a significant reworking of the rear suspension that meant the rear subframe could be made extremely light, with just one job: provide a perch for the rider. The new package worked well, taking the fight to Honda, and was popular among privateers.

Of course, this being a racebike and not a warmed-over streetbike brings its own set of problems. Racebikes generally aren’t designed with durability as a top priority, and two-strokes, although mechanically simple, are pretty maintenance-intensive. It’s also the nature of racing two-strokes, especially 125s and 250s, that they need gearing or jetting changes need to be made to suit the track, temperature, and altitude, to perform at their best. The trade off is incredible light weight and handling from the spartan machine, as well as racebike engineering to drool over. Honestly, I think Yamaha’s Deltabox designs of the era are some of the most beautiful frames ever created, and I think I’d just want to ride it around with the bodywork off, although I’d prefer the original finish in place of the polished part seen here.

From the original eBay listing: 1992 Yamaha TZ250D for Sale

1992 YAMAHA TZ250D

One of a kind with a beautiful polished frame!!

  • All new bearings (swing arm, steering head, and wheels).
  • Suspension rebuilt will new oil, bushings, and seals, set up for 185 lb. rider.
  • .8 kg/mm fork springs 8.5 kg/mm shock spring
  • Rebuilt Shindy Daytona Steering Damper
  • 120 mile Rick Schell crankshaft (crank is a work of art, lightened and polished flywheels and rods)
  • 120 mile top end (pistons, rings, bearings)
  • Roland Cushway 8.0cc heads
  • 96′ cylinders and pipes with 2.5mm pipe spacers per Roland Cushway
  • New plugs and caps
  • New reeds
  • New gaskets throughout
  • Dual EGTs
  • Daytona digital water temp gauge
  • New clutch and pressure plate
  • Every bearing in cases replaced with new (trans, case, water pump, balance shaft)
  • New EBC HH brake pads
  • GP tech thumb brake
  • Custom rear sets and foot pegs
  • Vortex Clip-ons
  • New DID x-ring chain
  • EBC Prolite rotors
  • Professional Paint
  • Airtech Aerotail w/anti Draft Shield
  • New Center front stand by Battle Factory
  • Original Rear Stand
  • New Multi-Temp Chicken Hawk Tire Warmers

Shipping to arranged and paid for by the buyer. I will assist the shipping company as needed. 

This Yamaha TZ250 has no racing history of note, so interested buyers will likely focus on race preparation and spares, since I’d assume they’re planning to use it in anger, and sourcing some parts for these now obsolete two-strokes is only going to get harder. No mention is made of any spares package, so a quick email to the seller might be in order to see if there are any available. That aside, this looks like a killer track bike or race bike for someone with the skills or friends or money to keep it running, and the Buy It Now price is set at $12,500 which seems reasonable, considering the preparation that’s gone into it.

-tad

Deltabox Racer: 1992 Yamaha TZ250D for Sale