This 1988 Yamaha RZ350 is a gorgeous example of one of North America’s last-ever road-going two-stroke sport bikes. As the 1980s waned, environmental regulations had all but ruled the simple-but-effective machines off the roads on this continent, leaving the smoky mounts for European roads.
But what a swansong the RZ350 was. The parallel twin used the variable port height Yamaha Power Valve System that was developed over years in 500cc GP competition, which gave the normally peaky powerplant a respectable torque curve. The bikes still made prodigious power for their displacement and weight, and the two stroke was still a two stroke, which meant the machines were not to be trifled with.
In the United States, the RZ350s are best known without a fairing and with the bumblebee paintjob that adorned Kenny Roberts’ race bikes. This example wears a full fairing, and Yamaha’s equally cool red, white and blue block paint scheme.
From the seller:
1988 Yamaha RZ350 – Canadian bike – amazing survivor condition – never been down! The closest thing you can get to going back in time and buying a new 1988 RZ350 off the showroom floor.
Mileage: 8,223 miles (13,234 kilometers)
History – 2 owner bike prior to me – first owner – owned for 7 years – 2nd owner owned for 23 years – he rode the bike once the day he bought it and and carefully stored it after that (he has a big bike collection)
Factory Tool Kit and Original owners manual included
Service – The bike has been completely gone over by a motorcycle shop very familiar with 2 strokes.
Items addressed in $2K service in November 2018 include:
– new tires
– new battery
– carbs cleaned
– fork seals replaced
– coolant and brake fluid flush
– master cylinder serviced
– kick start oil seal replaced
– steering head bearing replaced
– full safety inspection completed
Imperfections – the tabs where the body work attaches under the seat have cracked – these are not visible from the outside – could be plastic welded back to be complete. There are two hairline stress cracks on the bike (shown in pics) – first is one side of the fairing – second is where one of the mirrors attach to the bike.
Paint condition – excellent – stunning to look at
Reason for selling: I had bought the bike as I had always wanted an RZ350 and was looking for something fun to ride for pleasure use. After buying it and having it serviced, I realized the bike is such a rare survivor that I don’t feel right risking riding it around town. It really should be in the hands of a serious collector or a museum. I have bought another “rider quality” RZ350 for my own personal use.
Factory Tool kit and Factory owners manual included
Price $9500 US.
Importing a bike from Canada to the US is not a big issue – filling out the appropriate forms or using a broker is all you need to do. I can assist with shipping but all planning and costs are the buyers responsibility. I know an excellent transport company based in Canada that can deliver to the US and help with all the paperwork.
Bike is located in Toronto Canada – about 1.5 hours from the Buffalo, New York border
Though the bike is in Canada, its age should make it eligible to be imported and registered fairly simply. With a recent service, it’s ready for a long riding season, though if you’re like the seller, it might be hard to stomach the idea of road hazards marring that beautiful paint.