Tagged: RZ350

Tasty Two-Stroke: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

1985 Yamaha RZ350 L Side Front

I’ve only recently become an acolyte in the Church of Smokers. Growing up, I mostly heard them in the context of dirt bikes ripping up and down our street, and the angry, mechanical-insect noise isn’t really the sexiest… But I’ve opened my mind to the antisocial little things, and this bike might make a great introduction to two-stroke ownership.

Sold between 1984 and 1985 in the US, the Yamaha RZ350 was powered by a liquid-cooled, two-stroke parallel-twin that displaced 347cc’s. This long-serving powerplant was introduced in 1983, with variants finding home in select Yamahas until 2006.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 R Front

Evolved from the RD350, the RZ added liquid-cooling and Yamaha’s torque-enhancing power-valve technology dubbed, originally enough, “YPVS.” Can you guess what that stands for? This computer-controlled system helped to smooth out the traditionally peaky power delivery of the two-stroke, plumping the mid-range for improved street usability.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 Dash

A terror on back roads of the time, the RZ350 was literally one of the best-handling bikes you could buy at any price. Remember, this was before the GSX-R750 was introduced, and while many bikes made more power, they were usually correspondingly heavy and unwieldy: the RZ was light and nimble, with a powerband that needed chasing and a gearbox that rewarded the rider for doing so, a real enthusiast’s motorcycle.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 R Side Tank

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 for Sale

Fresh Paint about 5 years ago
Frame was powder coated
Couple of chips in front fender and a couple of nicks in stickers but otherwise paint is sparkling.  Looks like a new bike!
DG – Pipes
K&N Air filter
Aluminum battery box
Engine Stock
Never Raced
In the family since 1990
New Battery
#’s match

Bidding is active and there are just a couple days left on the auction, with the Reserve Not Met at $3,900. These can really run the gamut in terms of quality and state of tune. This one is largely stock and has been repainted, but ridden, which is as it should be.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 L Front

The RZ is the epitome of a “useable classic:” these are fun to ride, with plenty of power. They’re striking to look at with a strong community of experts and amateurs to help you keep your little bumblebee buzzing. Parts availability is excellent and  includes a wide range of updated parts, owing to the long production run of these two-strokes into the modern era, with many parts easily retrofitted to improve reliability and performance.

-tad

1985 Yamaha RZ350 R Rear

Two for Tuesday! A pair of Yamaha RZ350s for sale!

For Sale: Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition

From two different parties come these two fantastic Red/White 1985 RZ350 two strokes!

The RZ 350 was the spiritual successor to the RD series two-stroke lineage. Powered by a parallel twin, liquid cooled two-stroke with Yamaha Power Valve System (YPVS), the RZ350 was originally released in Yellow/Black livery with Kenny Roberts’ signature on the fairing. Long regarded as the last major two-stroke imported into the United States, the RZ came stock with catalytic converters hidden in the twin exhaust pipes to try to squeeze the bike through EPA testing. As these pipes are heavy and impede performance, they are often the first to go; it is rare to find an RZ complete with the original OEM exhaust system.

In terms of performance, the RZ was admirable – but not exceptional. It struggled to keep up with period 550cc middleweights of the day. Modified bikes (porting, carbs and expansion chambers) pull far stronger than stock, however, making a well-tuned RZ a potent performer despite the diminutive displacement.

It all ended too soon: the EPA choked off the last of the factory two-strokes after only a short 2-year run in the US. While other countries and regions continued to enjoy the RZ (also badged as the RD350LC) for several more years, the RZ is relatively rare in the US. There were a fair number of them sold during their brief heyday, but to find one in decent condition today is difficult. As a result, values on the RZ continue to slowly rise. We have seen RZs on our sister site RareSportBikesForSale.com to go between $3500 and $9,000 depending upon conditionn.

Bike #1

The first RZ in today’s post is a 1985 Yamaha RZ 350 in the red/white color scheme. Sporting some minor modifications (note the steering damper on the left side as well as the aftermarket exhaust), this bike has less than 13k miles on the odometer and looks to be in very clean shape.

From the seller:
Great little bike,fast. Frame number JYA48H000FA012575,Engine number 1WT016510. Everything works. Clear title in hand.

You will see that the seller made a mistake and listed this bike as a “Kawasaki RZ350.” That apparently has not stopped the rabid RZ fans from finding it – there are already more than a dozen bids on the bike at the time of this writing! The current bid is just above $2,500 (reserve not met) and the BIN is set at $4,295. Both numbers are entirely reasonable for the current market. For more details on this bike and to see all of the pictures, click the link and jump over to the !

Bike #2

The second RZ in today’s lineup is another 1985 model in the same Red/While livery. Again, this bike has been modified from stock via the addition of Toomey exhaust – and likely has some jetting changes as a result. The aftermarket for the RZ was initially very big, and Toomey was one of the top brand pipes of the day. Sporting less than 12,000 miles on the clock, this RZ appears to be well taken care of and ready for a new riding partner.

From the seller:
Super Clean, all original 1985 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Special. This bike has been carefully stored and maintained. The bike runs perfectly and carbs have recently been cleaned, you will not be unsatisified! There are only two small scratches on the bike that were diffuclt to photograph but are available upon request. The motorcycle has less than 12K miles on itand a Toomey Racing Pipe Kit. This 2-Stroke street machine is a thrill to ride and offers a ride that is difficult to equal.

This bike is also available now via auction, and it has also proven to be popular with bidders. At the time of writing, the bike was at $3,500 with no reserve – so this one is going home to some lucky buyer! There are more details and pictures available. Click the link and jump over to the !

We hope you enjoyed our Two for Tuesday selection this week. Don’t forget to tell ’em that you saw it on CSBFS!

MI