Tagged: two stroke

Last of the Air-Cooled Racers: 1972 Yamaha TD-3 for Sale

1972 Yamaha TD3 L Rear
Racebikes tend to have an unmistakably spare aesthetic, a mechanical pragmatism sadly hidden behind often garishly-painted plastics. And the endless march of progress sees older machines facing obsolescence continually updated, evolving to meet the threat of newer, faster machines. That’s the case with this 1972 TD-3, the last of Yamaha’s air-cooled, two-stroke production racebikes before the TZ series was introduced.  Yamaha actually pulled their factory 250cc World Championship machines out of competition after 1969, but the smaller machines were well supported by incentives and popular among privateer racers.

1972 Yamaha TD3 L Front Fairing

The TD-3 replaced, naturally, the TD-2 as Yamaha’s production 250cc racebike. Introduced in 1971, the bike featured a new dry clutch, lightweight frame, and six-speed gearbox. Slightly less oversquare bore and stroke of 54mm x 54mm matched the 247cc of the previous bike, with revised inlet and transfer ports to increase power. Producing almost 50hp, with just 231lbs dry to drag around, the TD-3 was plenty quick, with a top speed of over 140mph, depending on gearing and, of course, the rider’s weight…

1972 Yamaha TD3 Tank

From the original eBay listing: 1972 Yamaha TD-3 for Sale

This is a 1971 or 1972 Yamaha TD-3. The production racer years of production were not very accurate, but the TD-3 replaced the TD-2 in Motorcycle Grand Prix racing in 1971. By 1973, the TZ came out, which was a TD-3 with liquid cooling. This is a beautiful race bike which I raced for about 10 years. From about 1997 to 2006. I won the WERA Mid-Atlantic Championship with this bike in 2002. I have the trophy as proof! After 2002, work got in the way of racing and I could only participate in 3-4 races a year, so I was not able to garner enough points to be a contender, but the bike was very competitive. In 2006 I started the season, I only did a pre-race practice at Summit Point and decided to hang up my leathers. I had gained too much weight so that I did not fit comfortably in my leathers and was too heavy for a 250 class bike anyway. But, I had prepared the bike for the season in 2006 with new race compound Avons and I had put in next size new pistons and had lowered the ratios with a slightly smaller pinion as I felt that I was not getting enough power out of slow turns and my top speed was as high or higher than the Honda 4-stroke 350cc twins that were the main competition. Note: This was and probably still is a WERA Vintage 2 class race bike. The motor has chrome cylinders and the rebuild consists of installing the next size pistons and rings. I have a new pair of pistons and rings for the next size which I will include. A set of pistons and rings for this bike probably go for a pretty penny these days, if you can find them. This bike was racing relatively recently, so there have been class legal improvements made that the original race bikes did not have. It has a Penton PVL magneto ignition system which replaced the original Hitachi system, which I think I still have laying around. The bike does not need a battery. It has Works Performance rear shocks and an Italian Laverda SF front drum brake (Super Freno or Super Brake in English) and additional frame gusseting (to stiffen it) compared to the original. You will see a “MyLaps” lap timing transponder on the left fork leg which I think can be assigned to a new racer. The TD-3 has a dry clutch which you can see in the photos and a new set of friction discs were installed in 2006 and are unused except for a practice lap. As with most racers, the oil pump has been removed and it runs on mix. I have always used Silkolene Castorene. It will need a carburetor cleaning as the mix in the bowls will have varnished up, but it is out of the box ready to race. I have notes regarding jetting and the last jetting was for high humidity summer racing in the Mid Atlantic region. It has been stored in a dry trailer. 

 Mileage is unknown but an estimate is 10 laps at 3 miles for 6 average races a year = 1,800 miles plus practice = 2,500.
1972 Yamaha TD3 Engine
No display piece this, I only wish the seller had bothered to roll it out of his box trailer to take some nicer pictures! But even lurking in its cage, this little beast is obviously in good cosmetic condition and in excellent mechanical condition, with some upgrades that aren’t period-correct but should increase performance and reliability: the CDI ignition fitted to the TD-3 caused detonation problems when the bike was new, but this machine has a different setup. And that Laverda front brake is pretty state-of-the art, at least in terms of drum brake technology, and should provide impressive stopping power for this lightweight machine.

1972 Yamaha TD3 Front Wheel

While it is sad to see consumables being… consumed, it’s also great to see machines designed for racing actually being raced, instead of hidden away in garages. Racing a vintage motorcycle is obviously more about the sense of community and history than outright speed, since there are much cheaper ways to go fast. But if you’re looking to spend some time on track and like to tinker, a machine like this could be a lot of fun.

-tad

1972 Yamaha TD3 On Track

Radical Racebike: 1975 Bimota YB1 350GP for Sale

1975 Bimota YB1 L Side

The Bimota YB1 wasn’t originally called the YB1 because it predated Bimota’s traditional naming conventions. Internally, it was known as the Yamaha-Bimota Gran Prix ’74, but later became known as the YB1, the very first Yamaha-engined Bimota. In fact, it was the very first series-production Bimota, if something built in numbers this small can be considered “production.” Powered by either the 250cc or 350cc version of the TZ’s liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine, just twelve of these distinctive and very fast little machines were built.

1975 Bimota YB1 R Side Naked

The bike’s racing success helped pave the way for Bimota’s later, more well-known racing and road bikes and helped to establish BiMoTa as a manufacturer. It’s quite literally possible that, without the YB1, there’d be no Bimota today at all and the face of motorcycling might look very different.

1975 Bimota YB1 R Side Front

Built between 1974 and 1975, the bike included Bimota’s signature racing touches: one-piece bodywork that allowed easy maintenance, a stiff and lightweight tubular frame, adjustable ergonomics, and even a clever eccentric chain adjuster.

1975 Bimota YB1 Tank

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Bimota YB1 350GP for Sale

VIN 12

This is an iconic superare YB1, the first race Bimota with Yamaha TZ competition engine. It was also the second Bimota race model ever built (the first was the unique Paton Bimota) and definitely the first “true” racing Bimota as this model was raced by important names as Lucchinelli, Riondato, Ceccotto, Gallina, etc. This frame was built to be fitted with both Yamaha options 250cc and 350cc, this one is a 350cc. Only 12 units were built making this model extremely rare, desiderable and collectable.

This bike was last paraded at the main Italian event in 2012, kept in collection completely dry since. The paddock stand in pics is coming with the bike.

Race, parade and collect!

1975 Bimota YB1 Engine

Another one from our new best friend “Gianluca” who always seems to have the very coolest bikes for sale! Bidding is up to just $4,550 with the reserve not met and several days left on the auction. I honestly don’t know what this little exotic really should be worth, but it’s one of just twelve built, looks wild, and as an early Bimota is certainly historically significant. The YB1 was available as a kit bike, and supposedly very few were sold with this distinctive bodywork, making this zero-mileage example even more of a unicorn, literally ground zero for the modern sportbike.

-tad

1975 Bimota YB1 R Side

Sparkly Two-Stroke Terror: 1974 Kawasaki H1 500 Mach III for Sale

1974 Kawasaki H1 500 R Front

In the early 1970s, Kawasaki’s two-stroke triples like this H1 500 Mach III ruled the quarter-mile drag strips here in America. 60hp and a 115mph top speed may not sound like that much, but they were fairly light and lacked any of the modern electronic trickery designed to keep riders [mostly] on two wheels and away from the hedges, ditches, and telephone poles that seem to leap out of nowhere. Those horses also came on in a brutal, two-stroke rush that had the front wheel pointed skyward in an eyeblink, while sometimes unpredictable handling and a feeble front brake meant corners and stopping were best planned far in advance, a real challenge when the horizon was a simple flick of the wrist away.

Although the handling may have been primitive, the two-stroke triple and five speed gearbox that drove the beast was powerful, relatively reliable, and the perfect tool for tearing up the straight-line racetracks here in the USA, where they sold like hotcakes, since the scary cornering performance, dismal fuel consumption, and inadequate brakes barely mattered for most riders.

1974 Kawasaki H1 500 L Rear

The upside to the handling faults of many period motorcycle is that it allowed a whole cottage industry of frame-builders and tuners to exist: without bikes like the H1, we’d have no Bimota, and the world would be a sadder, emptier place. But the real question to me is why, since frame-builders of note had been around since the 1960s, didn’t Japanese manufacturers simply contract them to provide improvements? Especially since the issues that affected the H1 are relatively straightforward: frames lacking in stiffness, spindly forks that flexed, and primitive shocks. It’d be simple to dismiss those flaws as acceptable limitations for production-based motorcycles, but many racebikes of the period seem to have been similarly afflicted, so it seems like a pool of knowledge wasn’t being exploited.

1974 Kawasaki H1 500 R Rear

The H1 500 Mach III and the H2 750 Mach IV were both notoriously dangerous bikes that required skill and daring to ride quickly, although the H2 was significantly improved in terms of handling, a good thing considering the additional 50% in displacement… Interestingly, while the H2 was introduced after the H1, it was sold alongside its older, hairier brother for several years. Bidding for this example is just north of $4,000 and far short of the $7,500 Buy It Now price, although there’s plenty of time left on the auction.

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Kawasaki H1 500 Triple for Sale

Completely restored less than a year ago!
VIN BL353836
Open MA title
7806 miles
Dual disc front end braided steel lines
Rebuilt engine, less than 1000 miles ago
Powder-coated frame and wheels
Denco pipes
Custom Pearl Paint with candy color
Stainless spokes, powder-coated rims, extra chrome
Three small dents in rear of front fender (cannot be seen).
Runs and sounds awesome!

H1 and H2 prices have seen a dramatic increase in recent years, although values do seem to have leveled off a bit recently. That may be due to the fact that these were made in volume and, although pristine ones are pretty rare, it’s not all that hard to find a decent H1 if you want one. Although the seller claims that the bike has been “restored,” it’s important to remember that term does seem to mean different things to different people… This bike has obviously not been restored to some sort of “as-new” standard: the original bikes certainly didn’t have the painted triple clamps, the headlight ring is blacked out, the dash appears to have been painted, and the gauge faces are pretty faded.

1974 Kawasaki H1 500 Dash

That being said, the Denco pipes and the dual disc front end are certainly desirable updates, and the bike is very clean and shiny, with bright brightwork and chrome-y chrome. The paint, while not original, is definitely appropriate for a Kawasaki and, overall, this bike is more “resto-modded” and less “restored.” So while this bike may not be a good choice for collectors who prize originality, it might make a great bike for someone looking for a bike to ride, as long as the seller recognizes that the bike should command a lower price than a concourse-quality restoration when considering offers.

-tad

1974 Kawasaki H1 500 L Front

Origin of the Species: 1973 Yamaha TZ750 Prototype Road Racer #001

1973 Yamaha TZ750 L Side Front

The second of three very rare Yamaha TZ750 race bikes available this past week, this 1973 model is claimed to be a rare prototype machine. Fans of both ClassicSportBikesforSale.com and RareSportBikesforSale.com have proclaimed all three of these machines to be overpriced, but you can’t argue that they are very cool and very valuable motorcycles regardless of their asking prices. Yamaha’s TZ750 was all brawn and no brains, a power-mad beast of a bike that packed 140hp into a sub-400lb package good for 185mph, with basically terrifying handling when it was introduced. But that power came with reliability, and the TZ dominated AMA racing for years in spite of its lethally bad manners.

1973 Yamaha TZ750 L Side Engine3

This example is supposedly a “prototype” numbered #001, although I’d definitely want to consult with a TZ750 expert before plunking down my hard-earned cash. It’s certainly in impressive cosmetic condition and will undoubtedly look amazing on display. Early TZ’s used a twin-shock rear suspension as seen here, although later bikes moved on to a more modern monoshock set up that vastly improved handling from “scary” to “less scary” as the bike struggled to cope with increased power from the significantly revised powerplant that went from 700cc’s in early bikes to the full 750cc’s in the name.

1973 Yamaha TZ750 Bare Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1973 Yamaha TZ750 Prototype #001 for Sale

This is the rare only one built by the Yamaha Race department. It was finished in 1973 for Kel Caruthers to inspect and make final changes for the completion of the production TZ700/750 for release in 1974 for Daytona and European distribution.

What you see are some of the salvaged parts that were intercepted on the way to the crusher and torch. The main part being the frame and swing-arm stamped 409-100001.

This bike remained in the hands of factory rider Sadeo Asami until it was returned to Yamaha USA in the late 70`s. 

I sat in storage until 2012 when I was able to purchase the parts. A good friend and I spent 3 years bringing it back to as last race condition and another year to where it is now.

This is the bike that changed racing history.

1973 Yamaha TZ750 L Side Engine2

I would be curious, and I’m sure the seller can tell you, whether or not it runs. From the description, it sounds as if it does. This would obviously make a beautiful display piece and centerpiece to a collection, but racing machines I feel should always be kept in running condition, even if it’s only for parade laps and demonstrations. The Buy It Now price is set at $78,000 which, as stated previously, is very high for a TZ750. They’re pretty rare, but 600 were made and, even accounting for the attrition that naturally occurs during racing, it’s possible to find these regularly circling tracks in vintage racing events.

Regardless, I’m happy to see the bike offered up for sale, so we can all drool over it and think about how many extra kidneys we’d need to grow in order to be able to afford it….

-tad

1973 Yamaha TZ750 L Side

Bee Sting: 1975 Yamaha TZ750B for Sale

1975 Yamaha TZ750 L Front2

Looking like the world’s angriest bumble bee, complete with four stingers, this Yamaha TZ750B race bike is ready for a new life, terrorizing tracks in vintage racing classes. And “terror” is probably the right word: with as much as 140hp, the TZ750 was very fast and exceptionally reliable, although the concept of handling was still in its infancy and a “good-handling bike” was any motorcycle that exhibited cornering or straight-line behavior that didn’t involve a terminal death-wobble.

Early TZ750s may not have qualified…

1975 Yamaha TZ750 R Naked

The earliest liquid-cooled two-stroke fours look suspiciously like they were built up from a pair of 347cc parallel-twins to make the TZ700. The later 750cc engine that debuted in 1975 supposedly shared no parts at all with the smaller machines and was essentially a bored-out 500 Grand Prix engine. Power predictably overwhelmed the bike’s rudimentary handling and primitive tires. Early machines used a twin-shock rear, although the frames were eventually updated to a more modern monoshock design as seen here: this particular bike was obviously ahead of its time and uses a rare Kanemoto frame, according to the seller.

1975 Yamaha TZ750 L RearFrom the original eBay listing: 1975 Yamaha TZ750B for Sale

Show Winner – Fresh Rebuild – Race Ready. Very Unique Early TZ750; C&J Mono-Shock Frame equipped, Raced in the 1976 and 1977 Daytona 200!

C&J made 4 special TZ750 mono-shock frames for Erv Kanemoto in the mid 1970`s. They were ridden by Gary Nixon, Freddie Spencer, and Gary Fisher. This particular unnumbered chassis was built using a 1975 TZ750B donor bike, and made it into the hands of AMA Pro rider Cory Ruppelt; he finished in the money in the 1976 Daytona 200 Roadrace on this bike.

Original period equipment includes: Morris Magnesium wheels, Lockheed front calipers, early Vesco fairing, and silenced crossover chambers. 
Modern KR series Dunlop racing tires, D.I.D. endless chain, and Boysen reeds make it track-worthy.

Rebuilt motor has 1 hour track time; tear-down inspection just completed. Un-numbered cases. Genuine TZ750D Master Cylinder just installed – carbs, ignition, controls, forks and C&J modified bodywork are original TZ. The bike is near exactly as raced in the 1970’s including paint. Has been preserved for 30 years on display before being brought back to a rider. Unrestored from the 1970’s, in “as-raced” condition.

The seller also includes some on-track video of the bike doing some parade laps here.

1975 Yamaha TZ750 L Rear Naked

Many classic racebikes are non-running display pieces with too much history for the owners to risk a crash, or because they cannot afford the upkeep on a rare, non-production machine more than forty years old. Luckily, this particular bike comes with period looks, unrestored paint, and a refreshed motor that looks like it’s ready to rock.

-tad

1975 Yamaha TZ750 R Front

All-Original GP Machine: 1982 Suzuki RGB500 Mk7 XR40 for Sale

1982 Suzuki RGB500 R Side

Ridden by such luminaries as Barry Sheene and Randy Mamola, the two-stroke Suzuki RGB500 was eventually developed into the dominant machine you see here, but it went through a significant evolution following its introduction in 1974. As you’d expect, the bike always had power to spare, but high speed handling was suspect at first…

1982 Suzuki RGB500 R Side Naked

By the time the 1982 bike rolled around, Suzuki had moved to a “square” 54mm x 54mm engine for a grand total of 495cc. It was far more reliable than previous iterations and featured the same stepped cylinders seen on the RG500 Gamma road bike that had the rear pair of cylinders raised up slightly higher than the front pair. With a dry weight of 292lbs and 120hp, the bike could reach speeds of up to 170mph, which is pretty terrifying considering the tire technology of the time.

1982 Suzuki RGB500 R Side Grip

Fascinating details seen in the photos include the square-four’s complex throttle cable assembly and the anti-dive front system on the front forks.

From the original eBay listing: 1982 RGB500 Mk7 XR40 for Sale

This is not a street bike folks, this is the real deal, A real factory Suzuki GP road race bike… This bike has the stepped square 4 motor with magnesium crankcases, magnesium carburetors, and dry clutch… The Chassis is loaded with magnesium, Titanium and Aluminum, stuff you would expect to find on a factory race bike… First year of “Full Floater” monoshock suspension… Chassis number 42 motor number 49… Bike is in unrestored, excellent condition, just as it rolled off the race track in 1982… This bike from part of the team Heron Suzuki stable, bike has been museum store in Japan since last raced… these bikes are tad more rare than a TZ750 and much more powerful… It is the perfect bike to dominate vintage racing and is eligible for the “classic TT” in Phillips island This is a rare opportunity to own a real factory GP bike, don’t let it slip by, you’ll be sorry if you do…

1982 Suzuki RGB500 R Side Front

With a beautiful period paint scheme and tons of rare, race-spec parts, this bike may not have been ridden by any famous racers to any notable victories, but it’s also available at a price much lower than you’d expect to pay for one of those machines. Bidding is just north of $25,000 there’s a ways to go until we hit the $65,000 Buy It Now price. It’s in impressively original condition and would make a stunning collector’s piece, but hopefully, the rise in popularity of vintage racing will see this bike returned to the track.

-tad

1982 Suzuki RGB500 L Side

Two-Stroke Racer: 1976 Yamaha TZ350 for Sale

1976 Yamaha TZ350C R Side

Although the RD400 was certainly popular with racers of the day, Yamaha’s track-only TZ350 was a definite step up in terms of performance, with water-cooling added to the engine to increase performance significantly. While the TZ bikes had certain general characteristics in common with their streetable cousins: two-stroke parallel-twin engines, twin-shock suspensions, they were pure, over-the-counter racing machines. And they were priced to sell: combined with the performance you’d expect of a track-ready racebike, the TZ250 and 350 were a dominant force in period roadracing.

1976 Yamaha TZ350C Cockpit

The 349cc, water-cooled two-stroke put out 60bhp and was matched to a 6-speed gearbox. Combined with a dry weight of just 250lbs, the TZ had impressive performance. Early bikes used a conventional twin-shock rear suspension and drum brakes, but the bikes continued to evolve throughout their production run. The later “C” models bikes, as seen here, used a monoshock rear for improved roadholding.

1976 Yamaha TZ350C Rear Wheel

Although the listing shows the bike as being in Portland, Oregon, the body of the listing clearly states that this machine currently resides in New Zealand, so anyone considering a purchase should start calculating shipping, taxes, duties, and whatever other headaches might be involved…

1976 Yamaha TZ350C R Bar

From the original eBay listing: 1976 Yamaha TZ350C for Sale

The “C” model, of 1976 was another matter entirely. Here was a radical departure chassis and running gear wise from the earlier TZ’s. Adjustable “mono-shock” (spring preload and rebound damping only) rear suspension, combined with twin piston front and rear disk brakes set the world on fire, with the new bikes selling like hot-cakes from Yamaha dealers worldwide. The retail price of around £ 1,550 including a comprehensive spares kit was incredible value for money and did no harm at all to sales. The clutch basket “boss” was improved by changing it’s method of attachment to a male / female spline system from the previous model’s “dog” type. The exhaust header picked up an additional o-ring and a new mounting system. Power jumped up slightly to 62bhp @ 10,000rpm.

NOTE: This Motorcycle is “Not” located in the USA it is located in New Zealand and can be shipped world-wide. Allow and additional $1200USD minimum for most countries. Exact shipping price will be by quotation.

This bike looks extremely clean, although no mention is made of its running condition: the tires look basically brand new, so it’s a bit hard to tell if it’s set up for display or as a runner. With an opening bid of $12,500 and no takers as yet it’s not the first time we’ve posted one of these and seen a relative lack of interest. This one’s a bit more expensive than previous examples as well, which is a shame considering the condition and potential performance available for vintage racing enthusiasts.

1976 Yamaha TZ350C Front Brake

Here in the US, where this bike most explicitly isn’t, the TZ350 was a bike with nowhere to call home: there were classes for 250 and 500cc machines, but the 350 ended up having to run in bigger classes where it was at a distinct disadvantage in terms of power. These days, things may be different and organizations like AHRMA may give the bike more of an opportunity to shine, but limited appeal at the time makes these exceedingly rare here.

-tad

1976 Yamaha TZ350C L Side

Racer for the People: 1975 Yamaha TZ250B for Sale

1975 Yamaha TZ250B R Side

A production roadracer with no street-legal counterpart, the Yamaha TZ250 was a water-cooled update of the older air-cooled TD and TR bikes. Designed so that privateers of the era could pop down to a local dealer and literally buy a bike over the counter that they could expect to be reasonably competitive, the TZ250 cleverly used many production parts to keep costs down: some engine parts were shared with the RD350 and various suspension bits were taken from existing machines.

1975 Yamaha TZ250B L Side Rear

Unlike the often exclusive Hondas, the TZ was an everyman machine, with moderate pricing and strong support in the aftermarket and what it lacked in outright power, it made up for in user-friendliness. But keep in mind that “user-friendly” is relative: in spite of the small displacement, this is a very highly developed racing motorcycle and will require a correspondingly high level of attention to keep it running.

Luckily, it appears that, although this bike has been sitting a while, it appears to have been owned by a racer, not a collector, and the original listing contains tons of detailed information about what has been done to set up, modify, and maintain this machine.

1975 Yamaha TZ250B R Side Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Yamaha TZ250B for Sale

In 1981 I was newly out of high school, bumbling around, partying, chasing girls and trying to figure out my life.  I desperately wanted to become a motorcycle road racer and was privileged to be offered a job as a mechanic at Cycle Works in Stamford, CT.  As it turns out, a year later they were out of business.

I say privileged because Cycle Works was one of the last “real” racing dealerships from the golden era of the nineteen seventies.  This was the kind of shop that you could walk into and see a TZ250 or a race prepped RD400 for sale on the showroom floor or a TZ750 in line for service and race prep, I was twenty years old and thought I had died and gone to heaven.  Years earlier, Mike Baldwin had worked there and had purchased and ran a TZ250.  This TZ250.  Learning to race on an RD350, I then graduated to this TZ250.

The TZ hasn’t seen much action in the last ten years and has spent most of that time in my living room.  A few years back, I redid the motor which included: a freshly plated “F” model cylinder, new pistons, rings seals, bearing etc…, crank rebuilt by Lynn Garland. It has not been started since.

Previously I relocated the temp gauge holder to the opposite side so it wouldn’t interfere with the cables, I have the original tang.  In early 2000, I replaced the original Koni’s with a pair of Works Performance shocks.  The Koni’s will need to be rebuilt.  Other than that it is a really nice example of an early seventies GP bike.  It will have to be gone through if you intend to vintage race, but it’s really to valuable to be ridden in anger. (It is really fast though!)  It also comes with a State of CT title, yes in 1981 you could walk into motor vehicle and register you race bike for the ride. Never rode it on the street though.

1975 Yamaha TZ250B Engine Detail

1974 saw the introduction of the TZ250B, but it was nearly identical to the “A” that was introduced in 1973. The later “C” of 1976 saw the frame changed to a more modern monoshock setup, but this twin-shock bike certainly has plenty of period charm.

With no takers yet at the $13,750 starting bid, this machine is obviously overpriced for the market, or just hasn’t managed to find its audience. Luckily for us, the seller took some very nice pictures for us to drool over as we indulge our own vintage racing fantasies…

-tad

1975 Yamaha TZ250B L Side

Vintage Grand Prix: 1982 Suzuki RGB500 for Sale

1982 Suzuki RGB500 R Front

When Suzuki dipped their toe back into Grand Prix competition in the early 1970’s, it was with a production-based, water-cooled two-stroke twin from the T500. But while that bike did see some success, it was clear early on that a ground-up redesign would be needed. What followed was the twin-crankshaft, disc-valved square-four format that we all know and love from the RG500 Gamma road bike. In racing trim the RG500 was extremely successful in the hands of riders like Barry Sheene and variations the bike were a dominant force through much of the 1980’s.

1982 Suzuki RGB500 L Side

Of note are the air-assisted anti-dive forks, something that I’m sure works well here or they would never have been included, although roadgoing versions are of dubious value. Also of note is what appears to be a coolant expansion tank on the inside of the front fairing, something I haven’t seen on other examples.

1982 Suzuki RGB500 Dash

This one comes to us from our new best friend Gianluca over in Italy and is clearly photographed, something you’d expect when we’re looking at so rare a machine, especially considering an ex-racebike could be in very tatty condition.

1982 Suzuki RGB500 L Grip

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Suzuki RGB500 for Sale

model year 1982

VIN 10003 
Engine 10072

This is an Iconic model and does not need any presentation. The bike advertised has a very low VIN number, it was rebuilt 15years ago and rarely used, just paraded, it comes also with original cylinders. This is the bike bought and used my Riondato (Italian Champion in the 350cc class) beetween 1982 and 1984 in the Italian and European Championship including the 200miles of Imola. 

Race and collect! Bulletproof investment.

Bike is currently located in 33080 Roveredo in Piano, Pordenone, Italy but I can get them delivered all around the World at cost, no problem.

1982 Suzuki RGB500 Clutch

Clearly photographed and in beautiful, but well-used condition, what more could you ask for in an eBay listing? The original listing also includes some period photographs of the bike in action, although the paint scheme has changed since then to a more traditional Suzuki blue-and-white design, a decision that works for me: racebikes get crashed, painted, re-painted, torn apart, and rebuilt, so “originality” is pretty relative anyway.

-tad

1982 Suzuki RGB500 R Engine

Original Axe Murderer: Unrestored 1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV for Sale

1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV L Side

There’d been plenty of fast bikes prior to the Kawasaki two-stroke triples, of course, but while those were “introduced” in a conventional sense, the H1 and H2 were more accurately “unleashed on an unsuspecting public.” Never before had a bike’s ferocious engine so overwhelmed the limited chassis technology and brakes of the period in such a marketable way.

1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV R Side Front

By modern standards, and on paper, the power of the bigger 750 was fairly modest: just 75hp in a 450lb motorycle. But that was on paper. In reality, it wasn’t the quantity that made the power so terrifying, it was the sudden and violent two-stroke delivery. I’m sure you could ride your buddy’s around all day at low rpm and wonder what the fuss was all about. But whack that throttle open and hold it, hold it, and it would try to yank your arms out of their sockets.

Which was also fine, until you tried to stop, or go around a corner.

1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV Dash.JP

That lightswitch delivery combined with feeble brakes and a flexible frame that laughed in the face of words like “handling” and “stability.” This was a gas-sucking straight-line monster that suited American roads, the perfect Japanese alternative to big-displacement bikes like Kawasaki’s own Z1 that were so popular here during that period.

1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV R Engine

Many of the Mach IV’s that show up here on eBay seem to be painted in a very nice blue color that suits the bike very well. But this original, unmolested bike is an appropriately 70s green that is far more subtle and effectively evokes that glorious period of polyester and 8-tracks.

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV for Sale

You are bidding on a 1974 Kawasaki H2, 750 Mach IV, often referred to as “THE WIDOW MAKER”. My brother Mike bought this bike new in 1975 and it has never been for sale since that time, he has decided to sell it now.

This is a one owner 1974 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV in excellent condition.  This is an all original, ALWAYS GARAGED collectors piece that runs as designed.  This is a survivor, it has never been painted, it has the original title, seat, original mufflers, owners manual, etc.

The title is a MO title.  In MO you can keep the old title for your collection and apply for your new title in your name.

This bike even with the few dents and paint issues is as nice a bike as you will find that has never been restored and has been owned by only one person.  The bike was purchased new from Junior Mills Kawasaki in JoplinMO the first quarter of 1975.  The original title says 4/10/1975.

There are 11,000 original and accurate miles on this bike.  The chain, sprocket, tires and some rubber parts were replaced approximately 1000 miles and 5 years ago. It is in excellent running condition and runs like it did when new.  I have driven it about 100 miles in the last few days, it’s fun.  If you have never driven one of these it is an experience.

1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV R Side Rear

As they say, “it’s only original once” and that’s especially desirable when “original” is as nice as this one appears to be. While heavily patina’d bikes are all the rage these days, I’d personally rather ride around on something that cleans up nicely and shines a bit.

All of Kawasaki’s wild two-stroke triples are currently rocketing upwards in value, so at $6,500.00 with five days left on the auction, this one is obviously nowhere near its final price.

-tad

1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV R Side