Posts by tag: Yamaha

Yamaha April 9, 2021 posted by

Legend: 1985 Yamaha RZ 350

Every iconic bike tells a story. In the case of the RZ350 – the last of the factory imported two strokes into all 50 U.S. States – the story is one of evolution. The RZ (or RD350LC as it was called in other markets), was an evolutionary beast that began with the RD series of the early 1970s. But the RZ took the parallel twin two stroke concept much further, by adding liquid cooling and a trick exhaust port power valve to widen the power band (YPVS), not to mention the catalytic converters in the pipe trick. This particular bike has a story as well. And far from some adverts we see where the owner says (or knows) nothing about the bike in question, today’s seller has written a ton. I will let him pick up the story.

1985 Yamaha RZ 350 for sale on eBay

From the seller:
Step 1: The purchase
My desire for a top of the line RZ350 started years ago, but in early 2014 one came up for sale 800 miles from home. My wife and I jumped in my truck and arrived in Missoula MT to pouring rain and freezing temps. “perfect bike buying weather”. The seller was short on words, the bike was complete but the wheels were seized from sitting and the buyer all of a sudden “couldnt find the paperwork.” Are you kidding me? After we drove 3 states to come buy it? So i said I’m paying you 300 dollars under asking until you can find the title, long story short, he blocked me and I never heard from him.

More from the seller:
Step 2: Contract the builder
Reach out the best 2 stroke tuner/builder I know at the time. His name is Troy Gessner out of Bellingham, WA. If you’re ever curious, go look at 125GP records, his son John, had all of them. His dad is a 2 stroke genius and was a meticulous engineer type mechanic. Never cuts corners, never says “that should be ok”. While every other GP125 would have some sort of a mechanical or seizure, John and Troy went 2 years with 2 mechanicals, and both were electrical related, not catastrophic mechanicals. At any rate, I reach out and he says tell ya what… You get that RZ, and I’ll do a frame up, cases up build for you, at half what the shops would charge. Deal. He’s recently retired, and excited to work on a 2 stroke bigger than a 125GP Honda. We talk about the best route and without going into politics, WA state is real bugger on VIN/No title issues. So we result to buying a frame and title off of Ebay from AZ. Frame arrives to Bellingham, i take paperwork to DOL, we get title in my name, the DAY we recieve the proper title, clean title, Troy got to work. Please note, we are building a true Spec II Racing version of the RZ350. Spec II oem bodywork, Spec II windscreen, Spec II crankshaft rebuild and weld up, Spec II pipes. THIS IS A NON-MATCHING FRAME/ENGINE. Since this is a fun Spec II Yamaha version, the vin on the frame and the vin on the engine should absolutely not matter. It surely didnt to us. This is an aftermarket build with todays components and goodies almost everything upgraded to be better.

More from the seller:
Step 3: The build.
When I tell you that this was a nut and bolt restoration, I’m not saying it was “kinda taken down and slapped together with new top end and pistons” I”m talking every wear item, every nut bolt seal was ordered through Yamaha. We paid hundreds of dollars to have oem fasteners, nuts bolts springs, seals, all OEM. Here’s the short list. You will recieve with the bike, a build book. See final photo, its 1 page of your build book where Troy outlines every detail from every day he spent working/building the bike.
Entire bike disassembled down to nothing. Everything in the engine was in working order except the cylinder head showed some bad gas pre-detonation wear, so we waited for a month for a perfect OEM Cyl head to pop up on ebay.
Crankshaft sent to Spec II Racing to Gary for rebuild and welding.
After tearing everything down we realized after talking to the painter, the only way to get that specific decal kit to look right, is if its on the bike. Trevor Beckman at FlexiGlass in Vancouver Canada, needed the bike almost like it was going to be done. So the only way around this was to put the bike back together, without the engine and drive the entire bike to him across the border. Troy did just that. The Spec II edition decals were applied to the bike on top of the white paint but underneath the clearcoat, just like it should be. the paint/clear looks like a factory job. After paint was done, Troy went to pick it back up, and carefully disassemble it, and put the bodywork off to the side. Ducati red and bright white. Are those factory colors. Nope. Do they look correct, yup.

All holes in the frame were cleaned and die tapped. The frame recieved new head bearing races in the frame (and bearings upon reassembly)

More from the seller:
The internet says that the rear shock is “not repairable” Troy brought the rear shock to KFG Racing. You may have heard of them, they’re the #1 suspension shop on the westcoast. KFG drilled/tapped the shock, recharged it, and resprung for a 200lb rider. No more saggy bike with worn out 35 year old shock for a 140lb rider. Even better, when you buy the bike, if in 10 years it feels soft. KFG can service it again for you, like a current day sportbike shock. The front forks were torn down by Troy personally and rebuilt with new internals and oil. The calipers were nasty. He tore them down and rebuilt them with new parts and new brake pads. The wheels and calipers were in great shape. The bike only had 15k original miles.

When Troy reassembled the transmission, all the small washers, seals, springs, pins, bearings were replaced. Everything reassembled like a tech would in 1985. Shifts like a new bike.

Engine wise, the engine is stock. No crazy porting. No changes to compression. Troy says “we want this bike to last. We want it to run prime, and behave on the street.” So I agreed to that for sure. We decided to install VFORCE3 reed cages for some added mid-range power. Rebuilt oil and water pump. New bridgestone tires.

Things not restored: seat/seat cover, wheels, calipers, tachometer cluster, bar end mirrors kept.

Amsoil Dominator 2 stroke race oil injector used for break-in. Coolant topped off, Yamalube oil for trans. Bike runs like a dream, pulls hard, shifts hard, sounds great. Has a nice crackle to the pipes 🙂

More from the seller:
Lastly……Step 4: The negative. (small stuff!)
Ready for the bad news? (I told you. No surprises. Thats not how I sell)
Upon getting the bike back together, I went up to Troys house and he says well Darren the bike is back together go ride it. But we do have a ever so slight (a drip an hour) leak near the petcock. so we wipe the drip and go for a ride. Bike is great, I pay troy for his time, and i’m on my way home. I get home unload, go ride it again, I go for a 35ish mile ride, I’m as happy as a clam. All the electrical works, bike pulls, corners, shifts, and brakes, like a bike 20 years, 30 years newer! The gauge cluster still has a small chip out of the lower right side. very minor, see photo. I’m all smiles…. Until the next morning. I head out and the shop has a strong gas smell. I find a grapefruit sized puddle of fuel on the ground. I realize the tank leak is a bigger issue than I first realized. I touch the area up UNDER the bottom of the tank, if you know RZ350’s, they have a section of a half an inch that is LOWER than the petcock. A horrible design as all RZ owners know. I didnt catch it, Troy didnt catch it and VERY sadly, the painter/sander, did not catch it 🙁 Now we have fresh paint, fresh decals from australia, on a tank that needs some sort of a repair. I am no body guy, but i did what I could to try to fix it. i used an exacto knife on the fresh paint up under the tank maybe 1″? (i know, teeth gritting to read that) and I applied a thin line of JB weld. It was a temporary fix that worked for a few months, but it didnt fix it. I rode it 1 more time. I’ve had the bike entered in 2 motorcycle exhibition shows, and it one that gets the looks. And now the embarrassing part. A small dribble lead to the bike being parked and “i’ll deal with it later.” Its 2021. I opened Troy’s book to read off some of the meticulous notes, and it starts off with “15 May, 2014″….. I just shook my head. I have a family now, and I’ve decided to split ways with the bike. So you know the entire story. You’re getting the best of the best, frame up, engine up, suspension up type bike. You’re getting bodywork that is as rare as a white unicorn, a windscreen that is no longer in production, and pipes that are hard to find. BUT you will need to repair the slow leak gas tank. At this point you will need a new battery. The bike has approx 50 miles on it.

The long and short of it is that RZ350s are money these days. Non running junkers are going for what great riders were going for less than a decade ago. Today’s seller spent a lot of time (and money, undoubtedly) to build a very clean example of a neo-RZ – keeping to the original theme, but making some interesting and cool modifications. Clearly the Spec II parts and pieces approach works from a period-correct perspective. The pictures show a bike restored to a very high standard, but the tank leak is definitely unfortunate. So, too, is the damaged bezel given the overall condition of this machine. Which brings us to the asking price of $15k. That is big money, although a completely restored stocker might pull it off. The seller appears to be open to offers, so check out all of the details here and give it some thought. Good Luck!!

MI

Legend: 1985 Yamaha RZ 350
Bimota January 30, 2021 posted by

Why Be Anything Else? 1991 Bimota YB8

Bimota – a significant and famous portmanteau for motorcycle enthusiasts. Named after a combination of the three founder’s last names (Bianchi, Morri & Tamburini), Bimota started life out as a small design firm creating chassis and bodywork kits for racing. By replacing the spindly frames from production motorcycles, Bimota found that they could engineer a bike with much better performance than stock – even while using otherwise stock components such as wheels, brakes, engines and transmissions. This led to building street bike kits, until eventually Bimota became a full-fledged builder of complete motorcycles. Other than a brief foray into building their own engine (the ill-fated V-Due), Bimota has always relied upon donor engines and transmissions for their creations. And such it is with today’s beautiful Bimota YB8, which takes its heart from the mighty Yamaha FZR1000. Bimota supplies nearly everything else, given the bike its soul.

1991 Bimota YB8 for sale on eBay

The YB8 is not just another pretty face. Naysayers may look at a Bimota and see it as a rebodied or rebadged Yamaha. This could not be further from the truth. From the big beam aluminum chassis that exploits stiffness and mass centralization, the YB8 starts out life as a completely different motorcycle than the donor FZR. Bimota is very particular about their engineering and design; what is on the bike belongs on the bike, and nothing more. From the gorgeous frame plates to the svelte rear wheel eccentric adjuster, the components on a Bimota exude class. So too does the lightweight fiberglass bodywork; it has style and aero to compliment its utter lack of weight. And there is genius in the simplicity; one piece of bodywork comprises the entire tail section and tank cover, and one piece comprises the entire rest in a clamshell design.

From the seller:
I purchased this bike from Bob Steinburgler at Bimota Spirit. It was one from his personal collection just like the Vdue 500 I bought from him . One of the pictures is the bike at his shop before shipping it to me .YB8 is mint there’s no stress cracks on the body it is perfect so is everything else. Low mileage as well. If you’re looking for a collectable one this is it. Please feel free to message me if you have any other questions. Thank you very much.

As the Bimota brand is about uncompromising performance and style, it should not surprise the reader to discover that they are not about easy maintenance or access. Removing the lower bodywork is a stress test as these areas are known for cracking the thin gel coat. Components are very tightly packed together to centralize weight. Headers wrap very tightly against the engine and cases to provide minimalist dimensions overall, but make tasks like changing the oil a chore. In some Genesis-powered models, the engine needs to be lowered from the frame to adjust the valves. Is all that hassle worth it? You bet!!

Bimotas are rare and special bikes that are largely hand-built. They are designed and assembled by motorcycle enthusiasts that are willing to compromise some areas to ensure important aspects (again, performance and style) are enhanced. These are not mass produced, and numbers are relatively few. Parts for the Fizzer power plant and tranny are plentiful, making the YB series a pretty good way into the Bimota range. Power and performance is more than adequate, and the styling is off the charts. Nice touches like the Bimota-branded binnacle cluster show fit and polish that distance this bike from its kit-bike roots. This rare and wonderful machine is being offered up by the same seller that has brought us a recent stash of ultra-cool bikes (V-Due, OW01, YZF-SP, Superlight, 851…), and looks to have been maintained as is deserving of its pedigree. Check out all of the photos and details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Why Be Anything Else? 1991 Bimota YB8
Yamaha December 23, 2020 posted by

Almost Famous: 1985 Yamaha RZ350

How much does star power help with motorsport sales? It helps if the figure connected with the sale is related to the vehicle in question. And in the case of the RZ350, the connection is very, very good. Sporting the signature of “King” Kenny Roberts, the RZ350 came emblazoned with the bumble bee livery that made Yamaha famous on the race track. As the last factory two stroke to be imported into all 50 US States, the RZ350 is held near and dear as a truly special bike from a bygone era.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

For those that have been living in a cave without AOL dial-up, let’s go over the basics: Take the spiritual heart of a RD350/RD400 – namely the two stroke parallel twin – and throw go-fast technology at it in the form of liquid cooling and a computer-adjustable exhaust port that enhances the typically peaky two-stroke power curve (YPVS). For those that like to breathe, the RZ came with an exhaust system that incorporated catalytic converters and air injection to prevent mosquito fogging the street/canyon/track with bllue smoke where these bikes played. The rest of the gear was fairly conventional, including a mild-steel frame, a single shock rear suspension system and triple disk brakes.

From the seller:
1985 Yamaha RZ 350 Kenny Robert’s edition. The most desirable year of the most desirable color combination Yamaha RZ 350. Very low original 6809 miles. Runs well, idles perfectly, fires up first kick. Stock oil injection system remains intact. Stock carbs, rejeted for the Toomy pipes and 2 into 1 K&N air filter. It is stock bore with new high performance pistons. I pulled the top end just to inspect and check everything, replaced the pistons because I had an extra set.

This bike came from The American Pickers in LeClaire, Iowa and was on of their shows. It was purchased locally by a motorcycle collector, and I purchased it from them. I have the bill of sale from Iowa.

The bike is in over all in decent rider quality condition, it has the normal nicks and dings as it is a 35 year old motorcycle. This bike would be a great candidate for an easy restoration or enjoy as is.

Like most RZs, this particular example has shed it’s restrictive, heavy catalytic converters in favor of some old-school expansion chambers. That is one way to really wake up an RZ. The air filter mod – in conjunction with the exhaust swap – requires changes to jetting, since the motor is now able to flow more air. Racers usually disabled the oil injection system in favor of mixing oil right into the gas (again, old-school), but street riders will appreciate the ability to fill up the tank without the use of a mix-rite cup.

This particular bike was apparently featured on the TV show “American Pickers.” I’m not really sure if that adds any value, but does prove that many people think the RZ is cool. Pictures show a bike in pretty good condition. This is not a meticulously spotless museum piece by any means, but nor is it a thrashed, crashed and trashed example asking for an outrageous price. With no reserve and a single bid at time of writing, this RZ is in the $6,500 zone – which is close to where you might expect. There are a significant number of folks watching on, though, so you might see some last minute activity on this auction. Check out all of the details here, stay safe and good luck!!

MI

Almost Famous: 1985 Yamaha RZ350
Yamaha December 14, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing: 1979 Yamaha RD400F Daytona Special

Update 12.14.2020: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Before race bikes had to have fairings, custom suspension, and forged rearsets, they looked a lot like streetbikes with number plates, and the 1979 Yamaha RD400F Daytona was among the best. Lighter by half than most of the 750cc and 1,000cc superbikes of the time, the RD could run inside outside and around just about any of its peers. Usually, that means you sacrifice something in acceleration or top speed, but the RD’s parallel-twin 400cc two-stroke mill damn near made up for that.

With ~43 horsepower to push around just 365 pounds, the little RDs were darlings on the street, too. Their modern equivalent is probably something like the Yamaha FZ07, practical, lithe, fast enough to scare you and still accessible enough for a commuter.

This 1979 RD400F Daytona is a beautiful example of the brand, in the classic red/white/gold livery. It’s not perfect, but it isn’t that far off. It’s easily nice enough to put on a stand in your basement and stare at, but I wouldn’t be scared to take it out for a few nice weekend rides, either.

From the seller:

Canadian model 1979 RD400 F Daytona Special sold for only 1 year.
Bike is all original stock.
Low 8100 Miles.
Starts, runs and rides amazing for a 40 year old bike, no issues.
Numbers matching. Low number #403
Matching locks for all 3 – tank, ignition, and seat.
Rust free gas tank, no liner, truly in great shape inside.
Bodywork and paint in very nice shape,
Side covers in great shape very clean no brakes.
All electrical working and no cuts or repairs to wiring loom.
All chrome in great shape including the forks are clean no pits or rust, and gas cap.
Has tool OEM kit.
Things to note the Canadian model received a different crank, electronic ignition, as well as separate carbs similar to the earlier model (that doesn’t have the goofy carb tops and rubber accordion boots that came with the mechanical synchronizing system. Other changes from US model is the exhaust pipes, and have larger diameter for the header and inlet to the exhaust cigar pipes. The Canadian exhaust system also don’t have the butterfly valve.
Huge list of work done including,
Full tune up,
Carburetors just meticulously overhauled.
All work done by red seal mechanic.
140 PSI compression left and right cylinders. Can’t get better than that!!
Many fresh 0km OEM parts.
New air filter.
New spark plugs.
New neutral switch seal.
New shift shaft seal.
New clutch push rod seal.
New seat cover.
New fuel tank rear mounting rubbers.
Petcock rebuilt with new parts.
New exhaust pipe rubber joint gasket.
New black rubber fuel lines.
Fresh Motul trans oil.
Rear brake caliper rebuilt
Fresh brake pads, front and rear.
Bike roles very freely when brakes release.
1 season old battery.
Low km chain and sprockets.
Low km tires.
Probably more just can’t think of it at the moment. many months of love, sweet and work has gone into freshening up this nice original Daytona Special
I would rate this bike as a solid 8.5 out of 10.
Small deficiencies;
1 handle bar mounting bolt is not a match.
Black paint on wheels is starting to fade. comes back nice and black with a little mag product and work.
Front brake is a bit spongy from 40 year old rubber line, looks great, no cracks or splits just flexes more than I like. Yes I’m that picky.
Small marks on fuel tank.
Headlight ears have the dreaded RD400 creases.
Scratches and small weld repair on right exhaust pipe near passenger peg.
Tail fairing underside around mounting bolts has a small piece missing, can not be seen from outside.

Asking price is $7,500$6,995 US
Location: Vancouver, Canada

This one is a Canadian model, which means it’s a little harder edged than the versions we got in the U.S. At $7,500 $6,995, it’s not exactly a bargain basement collector’s piece, but it’s definitely one you should want to own.

Featured Listing: 1979 Yamaha RD400F Daytona Special
Yamaha December 10, 2020 posted by

Front Loaded: 1994 Yamaha GTS1000

While not particularly sport bike-like and definitely less rare than many unicorns posted on this site, the RSBFS staff nonetheless flocks to the unique – if not a bit porky – Yamaha GTS1000. A gem of the sport touring set with its own rabid following, the GTS stands out due to the RADD/Parker front suspension. The rest of the bike is competent and reliable, but otherwise unspectacular. Think of the GTS as competence accomplished in a slightly different way.

1994 Yamaha GTS1000 for sale on eBay

Motorcycle engineers have long envisioned an alternate type of front suspension – one that could isolate road irregularities from weight transfer and steering. The attempts at alternate nose gear developed the moniker of “funny front ends” by many. And while the various suspension designs all had merit in some aspects, the overall package was always compromised in some fashion. The RADD/Parker design offers a single-sided swingarm hanging off the front of the “chassis” with a strut on the left side only. Steering is accomplished via a telescopic column, and braking duties are managed via a single disk mounted centrally and squeezed by a six-piston caliper with antilock functionality. All in all the designed worked – but packaging (such as the C-shaped “Omega” frame) was best accomplished by something larger than a sport bike. Thus, the FZR1000-powered GTS was born.

From the seller:
1994 Yamaha GTS1000 A low mile original bike in fantastic condition. Runs and drives great. No issues. These were groundbreaking in their time and are getting very difficult to find in this condition.
Prices are steadily climbing. Collectors are moving in on them the last couple years.
A great opportunity still affordable for now. This bike will never go down in price.
The back rest is removable and the hard cases for touring come with bike.

Redesigning what has been a staple of motorcycling for more than 50 years took some guts by Yamaha brass. The years of massive experimentation during the 1980s were largely over, and the buying public had consistently voted to follow standard conventions when it came to buying new bikes in the showroom. To be fair, the front fork must compromise size in order to combat flex (which the upside down fork was designed to combat) and is far from an ideal solution for a device that has to deal with so many different force vectors. But it works well enough that creating a new mousetrap did not earn Yamaha a long line for the new GTS. That makes this example a relatively rare survivor, despite its otherwise conventional UJM features.

If you question how well this whole setup works, consider that this 1994 GTS is sporting 33,500 miles on the clock. In truth once you are seated in the well-appointed cockpit you would be very hard pressed to identify any differences from riding a conventional motorcycle. That is perhaps the biggest benefit – as well as the biggest detraction – to the GTS. It does everything you would expect from a well-engineered motorcycle without feeling different or special – even though it was much more expensive than its conventional peers. Today these are well-loved and sought after machines. This particular example looks to have been used and cared for, and includes a Corbin seat upgrade and hard bags to further encourage time in the saddle. With a Buy It Now of $6k, this 1994 Yamaha GTS1000 is looking for a new home. Check out all of the details here. Stay safe, and good luck!!

MI

Front Loaded:  1994 Yamaha GTS1000
Yamaha November 18, 2020 posted by

From the Cheap Seats: 1984 Yamaha FJ600

The 1980s were an amazing decade for motorcycle development, from cruisers to tourers, from sport tourers to all out sport bikes. Every manufacturer made strides during this time, and what you are looking at today is a 1984 Yamaha FJ600 – the middleweight king (for a short while, anyway). This was the ultimate evolution of the air-cooled sport bikes, but thanks to technology advancements it already had one foot firmly in the next generation of advancement; it was a capable sport tourer and a dominant club racer in the day. As a mass produced UJM, the smaller of the FJ series (Yamaha released the FJ in 1100 and 1200 models as well) was never very expensive, nor very rare. So why post this one? 1984 is long past, as are the best days for most FJ600 examples. But rare is the day you find one in this type of condition. Sure, everyone wants to lovingly restore and care for an RC30, but not many will do so for a more, er, pedestrian model. This is a unique opportunity to pick up what has to be the best conditioned FJ600 out there.

1984 Yamaha FJ600 for sale on eBay

The FJ-six was a little bit of a parts bin special, and a whole lot of evolution. Based on the 550cc Seca that preceded it, the 600 was air cooled and aspirated through only two valves per cylinder. This was the norm for the day, and compared favorably with the Suzuki GS550 and Kawasaki GPz550 designs. Of course the displacement advantage and Yamaha’s focus on overall power certainly helped the little FJ, and with 72 ponies on tap and a 10,500 RPM redline, the FJ600 was ready to rumble. The chassis was conventional round-section steel, and little of the GP-inspired racer tricks of the time are evident, save for the rising rate rear monoshock (adjustable for preload), and triple disk brakes (267 mm all around). Wheels were a conventional 18″ front and back, and even the bodywork was simple, with a main fairing and a large chin spoiler. Overall, the FJ600 worked very well as a commuter, a weekend canyon companion, and was a force to be reckoned with on the racetrack (until the other manufactures introduced technically superior 600cc models).

From the seller:
“I owned the same bike in the 80’s and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Last image is me in 1990 leaving for a ride to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.
This is not the same bike. This is my passion project.
I still have the Eclipse bags (from 1990) and tank bag if you’re interested in them.”

More from the seller:
A beautiful example of the classic Yamaha FJ style

1. Cherry condition (some wear/touchups)
2. Super low miles
3. Stored in the living room
4. Matching numbers
5. Original key
6. Straight in every way
7. New tires with less than 50 miles (nubs still on)
8. New brakes front/rear
9. New front brake master cylinder
10. Rebuilt calipers front/rear
11. New brake fluid
12. New steering head bearings
13. New wheel bearings front/rear
14. New fork seals and dust caps
15. New fork oil
16. New grips
17. New period mirrors
18. New battery
19. New oil+filter
20. New petcock, also have factory petcock with rebuild kit
21. Newly replaced factory shock
22. New chin cowling still in box (primer grey-requires paint/decals)
23. New clutch cable
24. New throttle cable
25. New intake manifolds
26. Newly rebuilt carburetors
27. New spark plugs
28. Fuel removed from tank and carbs in 2018
29. Clean cases
30. New front sprocket
31. New rear sprocket
32. New DID 520 O-ring chain
33. Clean Florida title in hand

Motorcycle collections tend to take on a life of their own. And while many collectors wish for a well-rounded class of bikes – say the homologation machines of the 1980s-1990s – there is little doubt that this beautifully kept FJ600 would fit right in to any gathering of motorcycles. Whether you are collecting one or dozens, a clean example such as this should always have a home. The best part? A mere $3,500 will buy it now. Parts are plentiful, there is nothing so unobtainium that you cannot ride and enjoy it, and it is a great motorcycle to boot. Welcome to the cheap seats – where only the price of admission is low; the standards are still as high as ever. Check it out here, because this 1984 Yamaha FJ600 is a beaut that deserves a loving home. Stay safe, and good luck!!

MI

From the Cheap Seats:  1984 Yamaha FJ600
Featured Listing November 3, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing: 1974 Yamaha TZ750 Racer!

When it comes to bikes that have made their mark on history, few can stack up with the Yamaha TZ750. A winning GP factory racer built for the Formula 750 class, the TZ750 was remarkable in its adaptability; from dominating Daytona, to winning the Isle of Man TT, to being converted into a dirt tracker of sorts, the mighty TZ sent a message to the world that to win you needed to be on a Yamaha. And far from the factory-only efforts of today, the TZ750 was available as a customer race bike. Show up to your local dealer with references and some cash, and factory speed and power was in your hands. Today’s 1974 example of the TZ750 is just such a privateer bike, and includes some interesting history and a trip to Daytona as some of the stories it has to tell. This Featured Listing is an amazing part of our motorcycling past, and can be raced in historics, parked in your man cave museum as artwork, or even ridden on the street (!). The sheer volume of quality pictures should say enough, but read on about this labor of love.

Featured Listing: 1974 Yamaha TZ750 Racer!

From the seller:
This is a 1974 Yamaha TZ750A, with true 750cc D-model cylinders. It was purchased by the current owners in 2015 from the previous (2nd) owner who had it since 1979. It was raced at the 1975 Daytona 200 by the original owner Doug Libby (from Michigan). We have been in touch with him, and he confirms that he did race this bike there, finishing mid-pack (pictures of Doug on this bike below).

The bike will come in the original race trim, as seen in the pictures with the flat-side open pipes and the #1 bodywork. The TZ also comes with a rare, clear Nevada Title so that it can be ridden on the street. We have the street trim equipment available to the buyer which can be negotiated separately, and includes the street exhaust (Swarbrick pipes built by Rusty Bigley), extra bodywork #40 (AirTech), kickstand, and electronics (headlight, taillight, license plate holder, turn signals, cooling fans and battery). All street parts were all installed with a “do-no-harm” mentality. Nothing was drilled or damaged to the bike in any way and parts can be added/removed as if they were never there. Both sets of bodywork have been professionally painted with automotive grade paint and clear coat over the pinstripes/color. The stickers are over the clear and can be removed by new owner.

First-year TZ750’s are very rare and we know of fewer than 10 in the United States and most of those are in museums. Ours also comes with a clear Nevada title and is the only twin-shock TZ that is street legal that we know of in the United States. Historically there may only be 3 or 4 TZ’s of any generation that were titled in the United States for the street.

More from the seller:
The bike went through a full restoration about 10 years ago by the previous owner. It has run 2-3 hours since 2015, when we purchased it. The previous owner stated that he inspected the engine for wear and compression and all is within spec, we have done a borescope inspection on cylinders and gearbox with no concerns found. Some of the fasteners i.e., bolts, washers, etc are non-factory Yamaha. It is always stored inside our home. A new set of Mikuni carburetors are installed that have idle screws (originals did not have them, making it hard to idle at a stop sign). The original 409 carbs will come with the bike and are in excellent condition however, they were all drilled for idle screws by the previous owner (see photo), as such the drill holes would need to be sealed to return them to original condition. Also, a new aftermarket radiator has been installed and the original is preserved and comes with the bike. Finally, a set of mid-80’s Michelin slicks will come with the bike if someone wants to make it truly period-correct for show. The slicks are not showing cracking but are only good for static display (due to age). The engine case does not come stamped with a serial number, indicating it was a factory replacement. The frame # is: 409000177 meaning it was the 76th TZ750 built in 1974.

For reference, we attended the Mecum motorcycle auction in Las Vegas in January 2020 where another first year TZ sold for $60k plus $6k premium for a total of $66k. That machine wasn’t even close to the quality ours is. It was missing various parts, and the finish was subpar at best. We constantly keep track of TZ750s that are for sale and only one or two per year come on the market. Most have not been restored or require significant time/money investment to become ridable. Ours is a ready to ride, race, or show either on the track or on the street.

Asking price: $65,000 USD

Contact: Jerall Lawrence (jerall.w.lawrence@gmail.com) for more details

More from the seller:
The street gear can be negotiated as part of the sale. The original flat-side “open” pipes will come with the bike in race/original trim. We also have significant spares that can be negotiated as we have another CMR chassis TZ750 that we are building to race. We are located in Las Vegas, Nevada, and can assist with shipping or transporting, depending on the situation and location of the buyer.

All of the pictures and videos posted in this ad were taken on 10/31/2020 (except for the vintage pictures, of course). We have put comments on the pictures to make it clear what comes with the bike. We took photos of all the parts available and made comments on each photo stating which come with the bike and which are negotiable.

A bike this magnificent needs to be seen in motion to truly appreciate the visceral elements of the breed. Check out this video of the bike running (in full race trim), and tell me that the sound does not send chills up and down your spine!

How do you like this view from the office? Not many riders have had occasion to enjoy this particular view, but the lucky buyer can chose what they see through the bubble: the racetrack, the canyons, or the man cave!

Another video provided by the seller shows this incredible TZ750 sporting street trim. That’s right. Forget all about those “GP Replica Racers” such as the RG500 Gamma or RZ500 – how about an *actual* race bike on the street? Where do I sign?! Once again, the sound is glorious – and I could only imagine how this would feel on my morning commute:

The TZ750 went through several iterations over the span of years, including frame updates (and a change to single shock rear suspension) and motor mods that greatly increased horsepower. Weight was also marginally reduced over the years. But like all racers, these privateer machines were generally used hard and funds were not always available to put them back together again. Many were crashed – hard. Others were destructively modified as rule books changed and teams struggled to keep older bikes competitive. Surviving racers in this kind of condition are a rare gift; we do not see them often because they did not live in a collector world. With a comprehensive restoration behind it, tons of documentation and photos, and the rarity of being a first-year, twin shock bike, this 1974 Yamaha TZ750 is sure to drive a lot of interest. Serious parties should contact father and son team Jerall & John Lawrence for questions or negotiations. At $65k USD, this bike is priced right in line with the market, and has plenty to offer in terms of history and potential add-ons. Good Luck!!

MI

Featured Listing: 1974 Yamaha TZ750 Racer!
Yamaha October 28, 2020 posted by

The Clean Side of Dirty: 1985 Yamaha RZ500

The legendary Yamaha RZ500 – the twin-crank, V-4, 500cc two stroke GP bike for the street – never officially came into the United States. By the late 1970s the EPA had their sooty little hands in, well, everything, and raucous power plants such as internal combustion two strokes were strictly off the list. Yamaha tried for a couple of years with the 500s baby brother, the RZ350, but ultimately shelved the clean air catalytic converter project. They didn’t even bother trying with the bad boy 500, and perhaps it was better that they didn’t. The RZ500 was a down and mean smoker, and never tried to apologize for that fact. It landed on the shores of North America and rolled on Canadian soil, but such was as close as it came for eager and lusting American riders. Thankfully many were unofficially imported into the US as used bikes, which brings us to this particular example.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 for sale on eBay

The seller of today’s bike has quite a bit to say, and I will let him pick up the tale from here:

From the seller:
Yamaha Other. 1985 Yamaha RZ500 2 stroke. Low miles. Speedo is in KM and bike has 5300 miles. I purchased this bike from the 2-stroke guru Rick Lance a few years ago before his passing. http://www.lancegamma.com He gave it a once over inspection and replaced the crank seals and gave it a tune up. Those who knew Rick can attest to his competence regarding two strokes and his integrity. He was aware of the history of this particular machine and stated he believed the engine had never been apart and was a great example of a stock, unmolested low mileage RZ500. I’ve seen numerous RZ500s over the years and have even raced them and this is one of the nicest, cleanest survivors. Upon receipt, I took it for a quick test ride to ensure everything was working properly. Lights, turn signals, horn, brake lights, etc. function as designed. The bike shifted through the gears and there were no mechanical issues. The bike even has the original tool kit and fuel tank service cable. The interior of the tank has no rust and the bike has new tires and battery. Because of the altitude of my location (4200 feet MSL),the bike did tend to bog and was in obvious need of a rejetting as it was running rich. After consulting with Rick, he said the bike had run clean at his altitude in North Carolina before shipping. Not having the time to work on it, I drained the float bowls and tank and put the machine into storage with the intent to rejet the carburetors and ride it in the future.

More from the seller:
Unfortunately due to work and personal commitments, I never did rejet and have decided to sell off several of my collector bikes. Not knowing where the machine would be shipped, I decided to leave the jetting for sea level instead of taking the time and effort to set it up for my altitude. Overall, this is a classic machine in great condition. It does not appear to have had any crash damage. Check out the YouTube link below of the bike running. It fires up on the first or second kick. Please feel free to ask any questions. When I sell on Ebay, I try to be as honest and forthcoming as possible. If you have a shipper, I’ll work with them on pickup or dropping the bike off at a location in the Salt Lake area. Please feel free to ask any questions. The bike has a clean Utah title. $500 non-refundable deposit required in 24 hours and full payment in 7 days. Bike is sold as is with no warranty although honestly, it’s in great shape and Rick Lance gave it a clean bill of health. The bike and title will not be released until payment clears. Thanks for looking.

If you doubt my earlier statement about “Ole Smokey” the 500cc two stroke, allow me to share the video created of this bike by the seller. I can practically smell the castor and revel in the sounds (and undoubtedly the lack of mosquitoes!).

This bike looks clean, clean, clean. The fact that it went through Lance Gamma’s shop is a real plus as few people knew and lived this era’s smokers like Lance. This bike has been wonderfully photographed, and shows its originality proudly. The miles are low, but I’m sure the riding smiles are off the charts! These big RZs are getting harder and harder to find in clean and original condition, and prices are definitely on the collector side of the fence these days. If you want one, the time to get in was yesterday – but better late than never. The current auction bid is up to $14k with reserve still in place. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

The Clean Side of Dirty: 1985 Yamaha RZ500