Posts by tag: rz350

Yamaha November 30, 2018 posted by

Buzz Buzz Buzz: 1984 Yamaha RZ 350

The last street-legal production two stroke sport bike officially imported into all 50 States of the US by a major manufacturer, the RZ350 holds a special place in the heart of motorcycle enthusiasts. It was Yamaha's valiant move to bravely keep the two stroke spirit alive and kicking in the face of tightening emission and noise regulations. It was both a brilliant success and an ultimate failure; a short lived lifespan that stirred hearts as technology passed it by. Enthusiasts who reside outside of the US may wonder at the American fascination with this bike - after all it had been in-market outside of the US for years and would certainly not be considered rare. But unlike grey market imports, this was one model that we could truly call our own. And with bold Yamaha bumble bee graphics and American superstar Kenny Roberts signing the fairing of every one, this one was ours. The RZ350, for all its shortcomings, is a legend.

1984 Yamaha RZ 350 for sale on eBay

If you look at the bloodline, you can see the DNA that evokes the Yamaha RD models that came before. But designed as a modern approach to the "less is more" philosophy, the RZ added liquid cooling to the familiar parallel twin. The two-stroke powerband was (partially) tamed by the introduction of computer controlled power valves, varying the exhaust port height depending upon RPM and throttle settings. Oil injection was standard, eliminating messy mix ratio cups and associated refueling hassles. And there was a secret weapon: hidden in the smart looking exhaust pipes were a complex set of catalytic converters, just like you would find on your car. With the cats (and some air injection), the RZ could sneak into all 50 States of the Union, including the super-picky EPA stronghold of California. Sure, the cans were heavy, they were expensive to replace (i.e. crash damage) and they did not perform nearly as well as expansion chambers and stingers, but they made the bike possible in the US. They were also easily replaced, which is what most everybody did. Immediately.

The RZ350 was intended to compete with the current crop of middleweights; likes of the Kawasaki GPz550, the Suzuki GS550, or even Yamaha's own Seca 550 and FJ600. In that space, the stock RZ was outgunned by the bigger four cylinder four strokes. But the little RZ had agility on its side, and once on the pipe could fare well. But it would never be a great all-'rounder, given the peaky nature of popcorn power. There were many aftermarket and tuner tricks to unleash the beast. Typical tricks of overbores, decking the head to increase compression, and porting were effective. The fact that the Banshee, a Yamaha ATV, utilized the same motor definitely helped with parts availability and knowledge base. But despite the potential, the little RZ was not to be long lived. After a scant two years (and only one in CA), the RZ was pulled from the dealer floors. The party was over, and the used party began. This is where we pick up the story on this bike.

From the seller:
Bought this bike in 2001. Have ridden this bike regularly for 17yrs. Always kept inside. Rebuilt engine because of mileage. I am over 60 yrs old AMI certified motorcycle mechanic for 41yrs. and ride like a grandpa and take care of my things the same way.

- Work Performance rear shock
- Engine Rebuilt 1500 miles ago
- .020 Pro-X pistons,windows cut to match intake
- TDR reeds
- stage 1 porting
- Toomey pipes
- stage 1 dyno jet kit w/2into 1 K&N air filter
- Wiseco Hot Rods crankshaft
- New clutch w/springs
- Full gasket and seal kit
- Race Tech front fork springs
- Chain and sprockets 1500 miles
- New seat cover and battery
- HID headlight
- Powder coated frame
- Bike Dynos out at 59.6 RWH on Dayton Dyno at my shop!
- Spec II Full race fairing
- Fuel tank has no rust, has small quarter size dent and touch up on right front side

Forty Thousand Miles. Let that sink in. Most RZs don't get to that point, having been thrashed, abused, modified, seized and crashed. This particular bike has an amazing number of miles, but looks great. It is clearly no museum collector given the mods, but from a period correct standpoint - hell, from a fun to ride standpoint - this one piqued my interest. The .20 overbore either means the engine had been refreshed once before, or perhaps it was necessary to go that deep due to scratches in the bore. Regardless, that means for bigger pistons and more power. The K&N filter and Toomey pipes are perfect add ons, as is the full Spec II fairing. This bike has been stripped and rebuilt, as evidenced by the powder coated frame. But that just means you are potentially getting a nearly new bike out of the deal.

If you can get past the mileage (40k!) and the non-standard mods, what you are looking at is a great rider. This is a bike that deserves action rather than parking in a museum - although I must admit it looks pretty good. And with a long term owner and a capable wrench (just an assumption, but how many owners out there have their own dyno??), this bike could well be good enough to fill the two-stroke void in your stable. The best part is the price: compared to 90% of what we see on RSBFS, this chainsaw is a veritable bargain. The opening ask started at a reasonable $3k, and bids are flying fast and furious. The Buy It Now price is a mere $4,500, meaning that this bike will likely sell before the auction is over. Check it out here, but better be quick about it. It might already be gone. Good Luck!!

MI

Buzz Buzz Buzz: 1984 Yamaha RZ 350
Yamaha August 23, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

Update 8.28.2018: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Although two-stroke sportbike production continued well into the 1990s in much of the world, here in the US the Yamaha RZ350 was pretty much the end of the line. Blame stricter emissions laws and progressively bigger and faster four-strokes in a country with very liberal licensing laws and no taxes on bigger bikes. Today's Featured Listing RZ350 has classic black-and-yellow King Kenny Roberts graphics and aftermarket Spec II bodywork that gives it a more modern look, compared to the bikini-faired original.

The aftermarket full-fairing does more than provide style and wind-protection: it moves the mounting points from the bars to the frame to improve stability as well. The solo tail in particular looks like something from the later Yamaha sportbikes. It suits the bike, although the big 18" wheels and skinny tires give the bike's age away. The RZ really did bridge the gap between the old and the new, coming as it did between bikes like the old-school RD-series and the later, more modern FZRs.

The bike was sold in the US from 1984-1985 and followed Yamaha's famous RD-series, adding liquid-cooling and Yamaha's game-changing YPVS powervalve system to the mix. The 347cc parallel-twin made 52 claimed horses and weighed in at a svelte 370lbs wet, making it loads of fun on a winding road, although the two-stroke power delivery requires commitment to extract, since it peaks at 9,000rpm, redlines at 9,500, and is pretty much dead below 6,000.

This example is in excellent condition with very minor cosmetic flaws well-documented by the seller in the pics below. The bodywork is obviously not original, but the bike has been thoroughly maintained and thoughtfully updated.

From the Seller: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

1984 Yamaha RZ350 2 Stroke 

VIN # 00854

Engine # 00854

This low serial number RZ350 was purchased in Southern California two years ago. It has been garaged in the area since that time. It has the original engine and transmission plus many upgrades.

Just over 8000 miles on original engine.

Recently completed was a mechanical restoration and engine top-end rebuild by renowned RZ Oracle Cary, owner of RZ's Unlimited. I have all receipts for the work done which are available via email upon request.

The bike has just 200 miles since restoration and must be broken in. I have all instructions from RZ's unlimited for you to break in the engine. Rest easy knowing that your RZ was broken in properly.

Everything works on the bike and it starts up right away. 

The bike runs like a dream.  

Videos:

This RZ has the Spec II full fairing, Spec II exhaust pipes, and one-piece seat/tail section, clip-ons and aftermarket rearsets.

Tail section was hand-painted by Gerod, owner of Valley Kustoms: that is not a decal.

There is a small quarter-sized dent in the right side of the tank as well as a few small touch-up paint spots. The right side pipes have 2 small dents / dings which are pictured. 

Great bike; ready to eat R1s all day long.

RZ's Unlimited Work invoices available on request for serious buyers only

--------------------------------------------------

Bike is located at Iconic Motorbikes. Please direct any inquiries there and stop by to check out the bike.

4161 Lincoln Blvd
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
424.228.4148

Iconicmotorbikes.com

Prices seem to be all over the place for RZ350s a the moment, but decent examples are still pretty affordable. The aftermarket bodywork may turn off purists, but anyone looking for a very solid bike with some mild performance modifications should give it a careful look. This RZ350 is located in Los Angeles at Iconic Motorbikes and is the very definition of a practical classic: performance is good enough to keep up with modern bikes on the road, and parts are relatively easy to source if you want to use it regularly.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale
Yamaha April 3, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1990 Yamaha RZ350

Update 4.24.2018: This bike is SOLD, and to an RSBFS reader as well! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

As far as two strokes go, the RZ350 (also known as the RD350LC in some geographies) needs no introduction. Available in various markets and configurations between 1983 and 1995, this peppy two stroke was legally imported the world over - including the United States. And while U.S. readers might be most familiar with the bumble-bee black/yellow Kenny Roberts commemorative edition - or even the red/white Yamaha racing livery - there is a very special and very rare in the US model that was released in Yamaha blue. This 1990 RZ350 out of Canada is one such example.

Featured Listing: 1990 Yamaha RZ350 in Canada


As is undoubtedly known, the RZ350 is really the last of the factory imported two strokes when it comes to the US market. Born of a time when air-cooled 550cc four strokes ruled the roads, the RZ350 was a generational evolution of the older RD350 smokers. With a liquid cooled parallel twin cylinder format, the RZ350 introduced Yamaha's first exhaust power valve - which helped to quell the peaky nature of two stroke power delivery. And unlike the US which was blessed by exhaust chambers that contained catalytic converters (read: restrictive and heavy), the rest of world models made due with more standard - and powerful - expansion chambers. Talented riders able to keep the RZ on the pipe could wreck havoc with riders of heavier four-stroke machinery. And with a trellis-style perimeter frame, decent suspension and triple disk brakes, the RZ was a delight both in the canyons as well as on the racetrack.

From the seller:
I am selling my 1990 Yamaha RZ350 after purchasing it in April of 2011. The bike is located east of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and the odometer reads 20,610 km., or 12,806 miles. To my knowledge that reading is accurate. There might a handful of miles more because I replaced the odometer cable after noticing the original had expired on my way back from a ride about five years ago.

Again, to my knowledge, the bike is bone stock, and hasn't experienced an engine refresh, nor has it been raced or used for track days here in Ontario. The bike starts and runs perfectly, and the tires have fewer than two hundred miles on them, and has received a recent battery.

More from the seller:
The previous owner admitted that the bike has experienced the ubiquitous driveway tip-over, and I have tried to document the resulting scratches in the photos. Having said that, the bike presents very well, and the plastics are in very good shape. One of the mounting tabs was broken and when I bought the bike a large washed held the inside of the right fairing to the frame. I have since used a fairing repair plastic to repair that blemish, which I show in a couple of the photos. The decals on the bike are all there however, because of the way Yamaha chose to put the mounting holes through the side decals they have shifted in a couple of small areas.

There are about four pin-sized chips on the gas tank, but because they're so small I have no idea what could have caused them. The fairing, while complete and sound, has a couple of small stress cracks which can't be seen unless during a thorough inspection. There are two small areas (about the size of a quarter) on the fairing where it almost seems like the paint has worn off, but there are no cracks or abrasion there.

More from the seller:
The right side mirror, while replaced (I'm told) after the tip-over, had lost its collar where the mirror swivels. Because a new mirror is now unobtainium through Yamaha Canada I attempted to repair it with the same fairing repair plastic I used to fix the fairing stay. It looks OK, but if you can source a new or good used one, I leave that to the buyer. There was a crack at the tip of upper cowling where it meets the windscreen which I repaired with the plastic compound and a small strip of fibreglass. It is painted and not noticeable under normal scrutiny.

I rebuilt the front brake master cylinder in 2012, and has not needed maintenance since. The
radiator has been topped up with Water Wetter, and the bottom end has been drained and refilled with
fresh lubricant. The bike also has new spark plugs installed

I won't attempt to review the history of the RZ350, as there are many sites online that can fill you in on that. However, this is the last year Yamaha made this model, and it wasn't exported to the U.S. It's odd, but even Yamaha Canada doesn't have a record of this model in spite of the fact that they clearly were imported into Canada.

The bike, while not perfect, is a very good example of the model.

Price: $4400 (USD)

So what you are looking at here is a strong example of the RZ lineage. While the US only received the RZ in 1985 and 1986 (and California only in 1985), the rest of the world continued to enjoy this stout little smoker for many years thereafter. There were not too many changes to the hardware or output after the late 1980s, but the bones of this bike were so good that the model continues to be sought out to this day. This bike appears to be honestly presented by a fellow rider, which is always a benefit in a world full of short-term flippers. Purists will be quick to point out that the 1985-86 models are the most collectable from an investment perspective, but when it comes to riding finding a later variant that has been ridden and cared for is much more important. This sub-13,000 mile example ticks all the right boxes when it comes to a rider. No, it is not a museum piece or garage queen. Yes, it proudly wears the scars of some use. But most importantly, it is priced competitively for what it is. If you are looking to bolster your fleet with something that is worth hanging onto, this might just be your lucky day. Ping Brent if you are serious - and blue smoke and a silly grin will be just a few thousand RPMs away!

MI

Sport Bikes For Sale March 7, 2018 posted by

Handful of bees: 1985 Yamaha RZ350

The Yamaha RZ350 represents the last available road-going two stroke available in the U.S., and it brought to bear the full might of Yamaha's research and development into oil burners up to that point. In '85, the bikes paid tribute to King Kenny Roberts, sporting his factory bumble bee livery and his signature on the upper bikini fairing.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

The RZs reviewed well, as sharp-handling, powerful street bikes. They didn't shine until above 6,000 RPM, but above that threshold they got down the road with aplomb.

This 1985 Yamaha RZ350 has had a recent once over, during which it got a new chain, tires, brake pads, fluids and a carb clean. The seller says his mechanic gave the top end a clean bill of health. The bike has done just 4,500 miles from new, so it should be fully ready to be an occasional summer mount.

From the eBay listing:

Really nice running low mileage Rz350. I had my mechanic who knows these well go through it last fall. He changed all the fluids, cleaned the carbs, new front brake pads, new tires, new gold 520 chain. He said the top end was like new. There are a couple of very small dings on the left side of the tank. These bikes are really fun to ride and they handle great. Bike is for sale locally and I reserve the right to end the auction early if it sells. Deposit at auction end through PayPal, balance by certified check or wire transfer. I can keep the bike for a while until shipping arrangements are made. Here’s a link to see it running.

 

Handful of bees: 1985 Yamaha RZ350
Yamaha February 6, 2017 posted by

Restored Replica: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

If you live here in the US and have a hankering for a two-stroke sportbike the choices, assuming you don't want to monkey about with a grey-market import, are few and far between. 70's two-strokes were relatively light and nimble, but still limited by the suspension and frame technology of the time, and by the mid-1980s, they'd been legislated out of existence, leaving this Yamaha RZ350 to make a final stand against the inexorable tide of four-stroke motorcycles. With blacked-out engine and frame, that striking black and yellow "bumblebee" paint, bikini fairing, and the "Kenny Roberts" signature, the RZ350 represents the very last of the old guard before "sportbikes" were codified into the narrow, very focused form we see in today's motorcycles.

Produced for a very short period between 1984 and 1985, the RZ350 was a follow up to Yamaha's RD bikes. It was powered by a 347cc two-stroke parallel-twin that added liquid-cooling to the successful formula, along with the "Yamaha Power Valve System" or "YPVS." Powerband is typically two-stroke-y, even with the benefit of the YPVS power-valve, but the additional displacement helps some, compared to the all-or-nothing 250s. Weighing in at just 370 pounds or so with gas in the tank, it will still shake a leg on spirited backroad rides and can surprise modern machines, although tire choices for the skinny 18" wheels will limit ultimate grip...

The seller claims that the bike has been restored from top to bottom, including a full engine rebuild, and it also includes a full-fairing that appears to have been a popular period accessory, considering the number of RZ350s fitted with them that come up for sale.

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Replica for Sale

Here is a beautiful restored 1984 RZ350 Kenny Roberts. The numbers are matching with a clear title in my name. This bike has a low production number of 223.  I have owned this bike for 6 years and have hardly rode it. It sat getting looks more than riding so its time to turn it loose. This bike has been completely restored. The engine has been professionally rebuilt from top to bottom. It runs and rides beautiful. There is less than 500 miles on this bike since it has been redone. As you can see it has a full fairing kit. The engine is stock with DG pipes and mild carb jetting. This bike is a real head turner where ever I have taken it. Probably the nicest RZ350 you will come across. Take a look at the pictures.

Bidding is very active on this one, and up to just over $7,000 with about 24 hours left on the auction. It's certainly possible to find an RZ350 for less but, unless you stumble across some pristine, low-mileage museum-piece that will probably need a full restoration if you plan to ride it regularly, you're unlikely to find one nicer. Well-reviewed when new and very popular now, the RZ350 neatly straddles the modern and classic eras, with clearly vintage sportbike style, light weight, and a liquid-cooled two-stroke punch. If you're looking for US-legal two-stroke performance, this is just about the only game in town, and this example looks to be one of the nicest around.

-tad

Restored Replica: 1984 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale
Yamaha March 26, 2016 posted by

1984 Yamaha RZ350 with Only 3,984 Miles in Florida

Yamaha RZ350 for sale

This RZ350 has just under 4k miles, is almost all original, and not restored. The pictures show not only an uncut bike but one that has been kept in great condition behind the plastics. With over 50 watchers there is strong interest, but no one has pulled the trigger on the $10,500 buy-it-now -- yet.

dc

1984 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

from the listing:

For Sale is my Mint Condition 1984 Yamaha RZ 350. This bike is all original not restored. I have owned it for just over a year now and it is kept in my spare bedroom. The bike is in absolute Museum Quality. Everything works perfectly. Looks like it rolled off the showroom last year. Bike has 3975 original miles on it. All stock except the DG exhaust. I sold the stock exhaust in mint condition to a friend who still has it if someone wanted to buy it from him. I bought it with the intention of riding it more but I cant make it a daily rider its just too nice. Starts up first or second kick when cold. Everything looks like new cables brakes switches ect. If you saw this bike in person you would surely go get money and buy it now. Needs a new home. I have been to many 2 stroke rallies and there is not another one that even comes close to the condition of this bike. The only way you could find a nicer one is if Yamaha has one new in a crate somewhere.

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s-l1600 (2)

1984 Yamaha RZ350 with Only 3,984 Miles in Florida