Posts by tag: Two Stroke

Kawasaki July 21, 2021 posted by

Moto Madness: Mike Baldwin’s 1979 Kawasaki Factory Works Race Bike

Star power. It is what sells. Be it the star power of a famous race bike, a famous team, a famous rider, a famous win, or all of the above. This is what sets certain bikes above the rest. And today’s find is a wonderful reminder that the lime green team was once a very dominant force in racing other than WSBK. This bike is a claimed works Kawasaki factory KR750 racer, piloted by none other than Mike Baldwin.

1979 Kawasaki KR750 Factory Race Bike for sale on eBay

In the early to mid 1970s, there was a flurry of activity on the racing scene. Yamaha had brought out their TZ750 – which looked to dominate all and sundry on both the factory and privateer levels – and Kawasaki wanted a piece of that action. Having a successful two stroke in the form of the H1 triple style, Team Green acted quickly to assemble a factory racer that could bring home the gold. With lower restrictions regarding homologation, Kawasaki was able to make use of existing tech, massage it heavily into GP-level machinery, and unleash it upon the world. Utilizing a 750cc triple, Kawasaki offset and skewed both the intake and exhaust ports to narrow the now liquid-cooled motor significantly. A one piece crank simplified the overall engine arrangement (as opposed to the Yamaha, which utilized a series of intermediary shafts to drive the primary and ancillaries), resulting in a powerful, but lightweight package. Coupled with a six speed transmission, triple disk brakes, and what appears to be ancient dual-shock rear suspension, the KR750 nearly won the world championship with Gary Nixon aboard. But runaway success was not to be for Kawasaki, even though the KR750 showed immense potential.

From the seller:
Mike Baldwin was a record-setting five-time AMA Road Racing Champion and the all-time wins leader in AMA Formula 1/Formula 750 history. In all, Baldwin won 27 AMA national races – 17 in AMA F1/750 and 10 in AMA Superbike – and he is considered one of the top road racers America has ever produced.

More from the seller:
At Daytona in ’79, Baldwin appeared to be a real threat to win the Daytona Triple Crown (the Daytona 200, the Daytona Lightweight and the Daytona Superbike races). He was easily the fastest in Superbike and battled for top billing in the Daytona 200 and Lightweight qualifying. Unfortunately, Baldwin high-sided in practice on Thursday and broke his collarbone. Without racing in the qualifying race, Baldwin had to start from the back of the grid in the 200. The leaders had completed nearly three-quarters of a lap by the time the third wave of riders, of which Baldwin was in the back, was given the green flag. In spite of his huge disadvantage and riding in pain with the broken shoulder, Baldwin tore through the field on the factory Kawasaki KR750 and finished a strong fourth, giving him at least a moral victory. In addition to racing for Kawasaki in 1979, he also raced in Europe during the gap in the AMA schedule after Daytona.

More from the seller:
The bike was restored in 1993 by author Stephen Wright with help from Norm Bigelow at the Kawasaki Racing Dept. It has been shown at Del Mar in 1997 and at the Bedford Museum in “The Wild Ones” exhibit in 2003. Also, first place at the Wheelcraft Motorcycle show at Sears Point raceway in 2001. Current owner purchased the bike from Stephen Wright in 1999. Sold on bill of sale. Race notes and history come with the bike.

Race bikes are very difficult to judge when it comes to value. To be certain, factory racers are built and campaigned in limited supply, making them rare to begin with. Couple that with the numerous mods that occur organically over the course of several seasons (due to rules, additional performance, etc), plus the very real potential for crash damage and it is not too surprising to realize that not many of these bikes survive to be restored to this particular level. That is especially true with a well-known and respected rider, such as Mike Baldwin.

The Buy It Now ask for this green monster is a very cool $125k. There is no doubt the bike is historically significant. Sadly we cannot comp this to other sales given the scarcity of pristine Mike Baldwin KR750s on the market. The seller is open to offers and it looks like there are a fair number of watchers on this one, so we may yet see a sale. Let’s all hope it finds a good home, as bikes this rich in history deserve a spot of honor. Check out all of the details here, then start shopping for some green leathers and gear. Good Luck!!

MI

Moto Madness: Mike Baldwin’s 1979 Kawasaki Factory Works Race Bike
Yamaha July 20, 2021 posted by

1987 Yamaha YSR 50 with a scant 1.9 miles!

Stealing a line from Kiss- “You wanted the best, you got the best, the hottest un-used bike in the world…. Yamaha YSR 50!”
(Did you play the guitar intro to Detroit Rock City in your head like I did?) I know, that’s both corny and a bit of a stretch, but this little fella has A LOT to offer the right person and I mean A L O T!

1987 Yamaha YSR 50 For Sale on eBay with 1.9 miles!

If the 1.9 mile headline didn’t grab your attention surely this little tidbit from the seller will-

This is a 2 mile never titled YSR50. Yes the bike has 1.9 miles on it. Prev owned by Brock Yates the founder and screen writer of the Cannonball Run movie starring Burt Reynolds. This bike is a piece of history with documentation to match. This was the bike that hung on the wall in the Cannonball pub in New York for years.

I’m not going to deep dive into the previous owner and all of that because the seller has it well documented, but for us that grew up in the 80’s, it definitely adds to the fun factor of this machine.

It’s no secret I love Yamaha’s and I love them even more when they’re dressed in red and white. The little YSR’s are high on the fun factor scale, but with their 49.3cc 2-stroke single and 38 mph top speed rank a little low on the performance scale. Granted, I’m not sure I’d want to go faster than 38 mph, but I would like to get to it a little quicker.

Designed to look like it’s much, much larger and more powerful RZ500 sibling, Yamaha packed a lot into the YSR’s such as a disc brake up front, a 5 speed transmission and a full set of lights. Did I mention it’s a two-stroke 🙂

As can be expected after hanging on a bar wall for a few years, this one will need some TLC, but by the looks of it, it won’t take much to bring it back to showroom condition. The seller states it’s not in running condition and is being sold in “as is” condition. I suspect this will be the preferred condition for most serious buyers because they will want to bring it back to life under their own watchful eyes.

Fluids are in bike and was running approx 6 months ago however wont currently start. Carbs prob need cleaning.
Also the fuel door seems to be stuck. Key does go in and slightly turns however wont unlatch. The bike remains untouched as it hung in the bar. Still dusty and has spider webs on it. I did not want to clean it and tried to preserve its heritage.

Again, it shouldn’t take much to bring it back, but you will have to bring some serious cash to the table to park this one in your collection. It’s being offered at $15,000 B.I.N. or you can submit an offer. I’m thinking this one will sell because unused anything from 1987 is far and few between and when you tack on the history of this machine . . . well, it simply makes it more fun.

dd

1987 Yamaha YSR 50 with a scant 1.9 miles!
Honda June 15, 2021 posted by

Half a World Away – 1991 Honda NSR250R

A continent or two removed from the usual superbike competition, very lightweight two-strokes lessen the role of the right wrist in any performance riding.  Here’s a Honda MC21 ready for registration and rejuvenation.

1991 Honda NSR250R / MC21 for sale on eBay

The NSR250 went through four developments, with the MC21 being third.  All used the 249cc twin, just about square bore and stroke, legislated at 45hp in the home market, but closer to 60 ponies when de-restricted.  Though carburetted, the PGM-III underseat ECU controlled reed valves and ignition advance based on throttle and gear selector position.  Semi-adjustable forks and Pro-Link monoshock presumed a youthful touch on the seat, but triple disks were ready to haul you down from top speed.  Especially in replica livery, the light but full fairing channeled the RS250R racebike.

As presented, this NSR250R shows some 8,233 miles, but begs for more pictures and information.  The bodywork may be a replacement, but the red seat console seems to be an MC18 livery.  On a 1991 model the assymetrical swingarm would normally be seen, but this one is straight-legged.   The SP sticker might be just that, but might be worth pursuing.  Looks like a thorough going over will be required before and after bidding.  Comments from the eBay auction:

Early 90’s – complete bike – speedo shows 13.3k – imported from England a couple of years ago – went into my collection and been sitting ever since – I never rode it – bike is in good shape for age – but not perfect – no title – comes with import papers and bill of sale – if you know what your looking at – this is a rare bike that is getting harder to find.

Honda was in competition with the RGV250, TZR250, and KR1 for the home and limited export market, and the lead swapped around regularly.  Prices on restored or collector models justify interest in a semi-project like this, but it’s a slippery slope.  Add the importation/registration question to the list, though the racetrack is really the place for an NSR250R these days.  Unlike the road, nobody out there is on the phone.

-donn

 

Half a World Away – 1991 Honda NSR250R
Yamaha June 5, 2021 posted by

Long Term Relationship – 1984 Yamaha RZ500

After Kenny Robert’s 1978-80 MotoGP crowns, Yamaha worked for a few years to bring a two-stroke 500cc V-4 to the showroom.  Here’s a Colorado example with touring bike miles but a recent engine rebuild and excellent cosmetics.

1984 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on eBay

Yamaha couldn’t exactly present their dealers with a $1,000-per-pound MotoGP bike, and had to incorporate production two-stroke cylinder tech, much of which came from the off-road side of the house.  Still the RZ’s V-4 ( or more exactly, pair of parallel twins turning the clutch input ) was a marvel, with 88 hp at 9,500 rpm.  Carburetors fed in from the side after foam filters gave the air a lick and a promise.  The powertrain architecture stipulated a cassette gearbox, which was filled with a robust set of close ratios.   The small tube chassis was executed in steel, with 267mm brakes and staggered 16-inch front/18-inch rear tire sizes in style for the 1980’s.  Air-adjustable forks and monoshock had multiple adjustments.

The surprising number of miles on this RZ differ with its spotless presentation and fresh-looking paint.  The  re-built engine at least partially offsets the high mileage, and the expansion chambers’ music will compete with any band.  Comments from the eBay auction:

These were never inported to the USA  by Yamaha  due to the EPA –
this bike was brought in from Canada  about 17 years ago. 
 
Blue printed motor by Wilson performance  a few years ago (world renowned RZ 500 performance).
 
GP stainless expansion chambers  and aftermarket bodywork last year!
 
This bike has 87,000 KM on it (Canada) which is roughly 54k miles.
 
The complete engine rebuild was done at 83,000 kilometers.
 
The bike runs flawlessly, we just put in a new battery.  Brakes work well , tires are fairly fresh with low miles.
 
Very rare Bike , imported properly to the USA one owner since its arrival.

Yamaha was never going to get their development costs back from the premium RZ, and retired the road machine after 1986.  The RZ continued to do well on the racetrack, but competition in the showroom was brutal.  Congratulations to the soon-to-be-previous owner for what seems to be an incident-free mileage record.

-donn 

Long Term Relationship – 1984 Yamaha RZ500
Aprilia June 3, 2021 posted by

Featured Listing: 1995 Aprilia RS250 Chesterfield

Update 6.3.2021: This bike has SOLD to an RSBFS reader! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

The Aprilia RS250 is an iconic motorcycle – the last of the modern street-going two strokes. For this, riders everywhere owe a debt of gratitude to… Suzuki. You see, Aprilia is a bit like that BASF commercial decades ago: we don’t build the two stroke, we just make it better. Because that is exactly what happened with the RS250 in the form of the Suzuki RGV250 engine. Sure, the engine cases are complete with “Aprilia Racing” castings, but these were built by Suzuki in their factory, and shipped to Aprilia for final motorcycle assembly. And somehow Suzuki was ok with this competitor arrangement, thereby allowing Aprilia not only to clean up at the racetrack, they also opened up the market for the last real streetable two strokes; a world market Suzuki eventually ceded.

1995 Aprilia RS250 Chesterfield Max Biaggi Replica for sale

The history does not necessarily mean that the Aprilia RS250 is a Suzuki RGV250 by another name – far from it in fact. While the powerplant comes from the Hamamatsu factory, the rest of the winning package is of Italian descent. The beefy frame is a mixture of aluminum and magnesium – both light and strong. The arrangement maximizes the location and benefits of the narrow V-twin Suzuki unit, just as the asymmetrical swing arm maximizes cornering clearance on the right side due to the exhaust location. In a show of Italian solidarity, the frame is actually manufactured by Benelli for Aprilia. Suspension consists of Showa inverted front forks and a Sachs unit in the rear. And as for the engine, Aprilia provided the airbox, modified the ECU and built model-specific expansion chambers. Figure 70-ish HP for a healthy stocker.

From the seller:
Very rare 1995 Aprilia RS 250 Max Biaggi replica Chesterfield Edition. One of the best-handling bikes ever made, the RS250 was the result of Aprilia working some chassis magic around a tweaked engine from a Suzuki RGV250. I am sure not there are not many left in this condition.

This beautiful example has 6481 kilometers on it. The bike has been part of a very large private collection. Stored properly in a climate-controlled environment. The bike has only been ridden by a long-time motorcycle enthusiast, properly ridden, and maintained. Never down, never seen rain, never tracked. The bike has gone through a recent extensive chassis, nut/ bolt, and tune to insure perfect run ability and safety. Fresh fluids, brakes inspected, all fluids fresh and changed. Fully prepped and detailed.

It has been stored properly so we have ZERO fuel or intake issues. The bike starts first kick!!! While the tires are not cracked, they are older, and we would recommend new tires if you were going to ride it for your safety. Decals are all original and in perfect condition. Everything works as new.

The 250cc two-stroke powerplant produces 69 horsepower and redlines at 12,000rpm. The Chesterfield replica as cosmetic only, but the performance of the base bike does not leave much to be desired. All you need to find some replicas of Biaggi’s Dainese leathers and his AGV helmet. The bike looks like it is going 150MPH sitting here.

This special piece is being offered for the first time at $14,500 serious only please.

While the Aprilia RS250 did not go through substantial mechanical changes throughout its run (1994/5 – 2002), there was a change in running gear (suspension, bodywork design and wheels) post 1998. The rest of the differences across all of the street models was livery. And that is exactly what makes this Max Biaggi Chesterfield-branded example so great: it is an homage to one of the greats. Max is a four-time champion in the 250 class, and won 3 straight for Aprilia in 1994, 1995 and 1996. This replica is fitting for the world class rider he is, and the street bike definitely inherited some of that racing DNA.

Today’s example is a 1995 Aprilia RS250 in the Max Biaggi / Chesterfield sponsored livery. The bike looks to be in fantastic shape – and has just over 4,000 miles showing on the all-kilometer clock. That is not a lot of miles, and the bike shows it. The frame and bodywork look clean and scar-free, and even the brake fluid in the remote reservoir appears as it should. Folks, we are talking about a 25 year old classic motorcycle that can still carve up the canyons with the best of them. With a low power to weight ratio (provided you keep the tach pointed north of 8k), this should be the biggest hoot on two wheels.

MI

Featured Listing:  1995 Aprilia RS250 Chesterfield
Yamaha May 27, 2021 posted by

Get Your GP On: 1985 Yamaha RZ500

Hot on the heels of the big Gamma we posted earlier this week, it only seemed fair to post the other 500cc competition – the Yamaha RZ500. Seeming more readily available than the Gamma, the RZ500 is another of the GP replica two strokes that were never officially imported into the United States. Today these smokers bring big bucks when presented in decent condition, and it’s easy to see why: Rare, fast and very exclusive, the Yamaha RZ500 was the closest you could come to channeling your inner Roberts, Lawson or Rainey on the street. And who didn’t want to do that?? Today, 35+ years removed, the world of ever-tightening emission and noise restrictions make these screaming banshees icons of a past era, never to be seen again. But today’s example shows that these icons can live on in the used bike market.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on eBay

Unlike Suzuki’s square four arrangement, Yamaha lined up their GP replica in a 50 degree, V-4 formation. Both brands utilized a twin crank setup – more out of two-stroke necessity than anything else. That meant that this is actually two twin-cylinder engines powering the bike, rather than one bigger four banger. Power from the two engines is harnessed and consolidated in the clutch & gearbox areas, making the whole thing seamless to the rider. The rest is pure two stroke wizardry, with reed valves, exhaust power valves and four individual tuned-length pipes for maximum HP (approaching 90 HP when new and stock). The chassis is a rather pedestrian mild steel affair. The Japanese home market offered a power-restricted version with alloy frame – the RZV – which shaved about 20 pounds off the total dry weight – but those are even more rare than the rest of the world model we see here. The swing arm for both models is aluminum. As per the fad of the times, the front hoop is a mere 16″ to reduce the gyroscopic effect and speed up transitions.

From the seller:
Also known as the Race-Developed 500cc Liquid-Cooled motorcycle or RD500LC, the RZ500 was produced in limited numbers from 1984-85 as a road legal production version of the YZR500 2-stroke V-4 Grand Prix factory racer. This rarely seen replica racer was not sold in the United States, and the1985 RZ500 stands as one of the most collectible road-going motorcycles of its era.

Very rare V4
Light and powerful
2 stroke Sports Bike
Liquid cooled, 6 speed
High performance with speed of 148 mph
499 cc
Odometer: 26604 km (16530 miles)

Bike is all stock and original, with the exception of the upgraded exhaust system (stock exhaust system will be included with the bike purchase). Original paint; see picture for a few minor flaws.

Bike is in excellent running condition with everything working.

Given the rarity of these bikes in the US and considering the short life span they had in market when new (model years spanned 1984 – 1986), it should be no surprise that prices on these big smokers are wafting up like the blue smoke they create. Still, these are a pretty good bet for long-term value appreciation since they are popular, approachable, and in limited supply. I don’t see any of those factors changing in the foreseeable future, although the availability of spares might become an issue at some point.

Today’s bike looks pretty good for an older girl (even with low-res photos). There are some unfortunate nicks and cracks in the plastics, but everything appears to be in place. The JL exhaust out of the UK is a nice addition, and the seller notes that the stock pipes come with. Definitely a bonus for the collector. The red handgrips look to be aftermarket, but the rest comes across as an honest example of the breed. With 16,530 miles on the clock this is not a garage queen, so somebody please buy it and get out there and ride! Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Get Your GP On: 1985 Yamaha RZ500
Suzuki May 26, 2021 posted by

Canadian Delicacy: 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma

The mighty Suzuki RG500 is well known on the pages of RSBFS. Derived as an homage to the RG500 GP racers developed in the 1970s, the Gamma is probably as close to the GP bike as you can get when comparing it across the other big factory two strokes. Utilizing the same twin crank, square four configuration as the racer, the street going Gamma was big, powerful and menacing. It was also fast and quite exclusive – especially if you lived in one of the 50 states that did not officially import this smoker across their borders. Enter the Canadian connection. Our closest border to the north, most of the forbidden fruit known as grey-market bikes came this route. Today’s example is a step further removed, in that it still resides in its native Canada.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma for sale on eBay

From the seller:
1986 RG 500 4 cylinders- THE MOST POWERFUL of the ORIGINAL 2 stroke Motorcycles! and 90lbs lighter than a std RZ 500.. Include current Canada, Quebec Clean title/ownership in my name with SAAQ/CarProof vehicle history and odometer reports from new. + r.d.p.r.m. no liens Certificate

And I can include a Quebec saaq inspection sticker to be road legal here (if sold in my province)…easy to pass the inspection because the bike is run &drive and everything work great

Immaculate condition and excellent example of a 35 years old collectable bike ( one similar in perfect condition like this one…just sold for $ 34000 in Canada!) .*** very good compression steady on all 4 cylinders!

More from the seller:
Only imperfections I could see are inside the OEM front right middle fairing with 2 smalls cracks but PROFESSIONALLY repaired (please look these repairs at the 2 last pictures..the exterior fairing is PERFECT). And I can’t see any aftermarket parts(except top forks valves caps and fuel hoses..that are brand new …with new battery and new carbs kit). ***previously, gas tank always drained + a thin layer of oil inside for no rust spot…please see the picture

The (mostly low-res) photos show a clean and well sorted RG500 that appears to be stone stock. There was some minor bodywork repair that is evident from the back side of the panel, but the outward facing paintwork and graphics appear to be good. There is no service history noted beyond general condition, and it would be interesting to know if the crank seals have been replaced. Two strokes are notorious for seizing (usually at the worst possible moment), and the most common reason for that failure is a lean fuel mixture due to an air leak in the bottom end. The lean condition is doubly catastrophic as the air:fuel ration creates a tremendous amount of heat AND since two strokes mix oil in the fuel to lube bearings, etc, the high temp situation is exacerbated. That is why a leak-down test is paramount before wringing the neck of a 35 year old bike in anger.

Bidding has been pretty constant on this one, and while the bidding is in Canadian dollars, the US equivalent is sitting just below $20,000 USD with reserve still in place. There are still days left to go for this low-mileage wonder bike, which should give you plenty of time to arrange for transport over the border. Bikes this old can skate under DMV restrictions in some states, so best do your homework. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Canadian Delicacy: 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma
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