Tagged: TZ350

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.


1975 Bimota YB1 R 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.


1976 Yamaha TZ350C L Side

Sharp Vintage Racer: 1978 Yamaha TZ350 for Sale in Australia

1978 Yamaha TZ350 R Side2

Although Yamaha’s TZ bikes had certain broad characteristics in common with their RD line, they were far more than just hotted-up versions of those bikes: they were pure racebikes designed for Grand Prix competition, and had no roadgoing direct equivalent.

The introduction of water-cooling to the two-stroke twin in the TZ allowed for much higher outputs and, at a competitive price point, they were dominant when new. The bikes developed progressively from dual-shock “A” models to later, mono-shock “C” models and on through to “H” models, although some models featured more drastic changes than others.

1978 Yamaha TZ350 R Side Engine

The “E” model featured here included an updated frame and other, relatively minor changes before the introduction of the more radically-revised “F” that followed. By now, many examples with campaign history include elements from different iterations: racers of the period wouldn’t have been a very sentimental bunch, and fitted their older mounts with whatever updates they could afford to keep their machines competitive in the ruthless grind of racing.

With a claimed 64hp from the little smoker and tires that look like they’d be more at home on a bicycle, this should present some very entertaining challenges for track-junkies weaned on modern-day, 190-section tires and 4,000rpm-wide powerbands to pull them out of trouble…

1978 Yamaha TZ350 L Side

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Yamaha TZ350 for Sale in Australia

Yamaha TZ350 E is a beautiful and very fast light road race bike.  Highly sought after by collectors and racers alike. Yamaha made a very small batch of road race bikes each year for sale through selected dealers and the demand was always greater than supply. 1978 was the last of this particular chassis shape and featured a few modifications over prior years.

Fully rebuilt from the ground up to go racing in the 350cc Forgotten Era P5 class in Australia, F500 AHRMA and similar classes with other race organizations. New pistons, gaskets, seals, rebuilt crankshaft, OEM six speed close ratio transmission with air cooled clutch and self generating Motoplat ignition (mag).  It has not been run since the rebuild.  It does come with a few spares, a drum of 100 Octane race fuel and an Accu-Mix jug to get the right fuel to oil ratio.

Upgraded front forks with later model damper rods and Gold Valve Emulators. This is an excellent example of this model water cooled Yamaha production road race bikes.

Aluminum tank with high flow petrol tap and stock or later model fiberglass race seat.  Scitsu electric tachometer and Daytona digital temperature gauge comprise the instrumentation.  No digital dashboards back in the day.  This is a race bike built for the race track but would look at home in any private collection of period race bikes.

My son raced this bike for a few years with a later model fairing and TZ750A reed valve top end (available separately).  It is being rebuilt with stock 1978 fairing and pipes and the correct piston ported cylinders. The cylinder head is in the shop being machined to as-new condition and if the bores on the 350 barrels are less than perfect, a set of NOS 350 barrels and pistons will be fitted.  Most of the pictures are as it was raced and the last one is a borrowed picture, but that is basically how it will look before it leaves the shop. It comes with a few race spares including 250 and 350cc barrels. It will have the original OEM fairing with alloy belly pan as shown in the sample picture.  I think I have a spare original belly pan somewhere too.

The TZ350 is slightly forgotten here in the U.S. as there was no real category for them to run in, although they were obviously allowed to race in the larger classes.  In fact, the last couple I’ve seen for sale have hailed from Austrialia. This example is in Melbourne and, as a pure-racing machine, importing it to the States shouldn’t be too much of an issue, aside from the drum of racing fuel…

1978 Yamaha TZ350 On Track

Vintage roadracing bikes are a bit of a strange breed. When new, owners would have been riders looking for a speed-fix, and bikes would have been modified in any way possible to eke out a few extra horses to punch harder out of corners, or squeeze out a few more mph on the straights, originality be damned. But the collector market seems to prize perfectly preserved machines above all else, although obviously racing history and period modifications are acceptable and even desirable, depending on the bike in question.

Bidding is only up to around $2,200 right now, with what seems to be a reasonable reserve set at $10,000. I’d prefer a few more pictures, but the description suggests a well-maintained bike in great, appropriately updated condition.


1978 Yamaha TZ350 R Side

Reader’s Ride: Ferocious 1973 TZ350A Vintage Racebike for Sale

1973 Yamaha TZ350 L Side

From one of our readers on the other side of the world comes this snarling little beast, a 1973 Yamaha TZ350A.  None of the usual worries about titling a bike from beyond our shores: this one never had one anyway.  The TZ series of bikes were pure production roadracers, and never intended to be used on the street.  Although I’m sure you could pull some shenanigans with derelict RZ frame and slap some lights on it…  But why?  Just load this thing up on your trailer and take it to the track!

With a dry weight of about 250 pounds and 60hp on tap, this shrieking little smoker would be a fun surprise for guys on more modern bikes…

This “A Series” bike from 1973 was the first of the water-cooled two-stroke TZ’s, and has the earlier dual-shock frame.  Later machines went to a monoshock setup, which may be better for performance, but I think I prefer this classic look.  It does, however, sport an updated clutch from a later machine, and known weak point on the A’s.

1973 Yamaha TZ350 R Rear

The original listing has a ton of useful details, including spare parts, tire pressures and carb jetting info, although this may not apply unless you’re going to keep this in New Zealand:

1973 TZ 350A for Sale

Twin shock rear, plenty of spares including a fresh crank, not installed, replated barrels, not yet fitted, new pistons, new rings plus lots of other bits.
Clutch center bearing conversion.  No more broken plates.
The current crank has done about 500 ks and the pistons and rings are ok.
Swarbrick pipes fitted, I still have the originals but they need some work, period modifications include TX 650 lower fork legs, now with Racetech internals, TX 650 hub and a single disc.
Rear shocks are modified YSS shock and they are not to bad at all.
Spare body work, original aluminium belly pan.
Full set of front and rear sprockets, spare chain.
Good tyres with a Dunlop race tyre on the back and a Bridgestone BT45 on the front, PVL ignition, and a set of rollers to help start it if your to tired to push it like me!
I also have a full log book detailing race meetings, gearing used, tyre pressures, jetting used and any problems ( not many) and parts replaced.
The original front wheel and brake was replaced many years ago and not by me.

1973 Yamaha TZ350 Engine

This is a beautiful, collectible bike in very usable shape, and the seller is looking for $14,000 for the package.  But don’t hesitate to contact the seller: he’s open to offers and is willing to sell the bike with or without spares, so it sounds like he wants to talk.


1973 Yamaha TZ350 On Track

Rob North 1978 Yamaha TZ350

We have seen TZ and Rob North separately here on CSBFS already, but this  has put them together. To sweeten the deal they also added Kenny Roberts and Kel Carruthers.

From the seller

            78 Rob North Yamaha TZ350 ,( developed with Kel Carruthers and Kenny Roberts with Rob North for his championship in 1978),

The two men, Roberts and Carruthers, are well known separately for their racing careers. Kel for winning the 1969 World Championship on a 250cc Yamaha and Kenny Robert for his many championships in multiple disciplines. The two of them joined forces in 1978, Carruthers was the elder team boss, and Roberts the rider and took off for Europe. They entered their Yamahas in 250cc and 750cc races, but their focus was on the 500cc Championship.  Barry Sheen may have regretted labeling Roberts “no threat” prior to the start of the season.

From TZ350.net history, Rob North and famed land speed racer Don Vesco got together to develop a frame that would lower the center of gravity of Kenny Roberts TZ. They called it the “lowboy” and TZ350.net claims there is some talk that Carruthers had copies made by and English frame builder and sold them out the back door. Could this be one of those of those frames? Did someone get a 350 engine and put it into a 250 frame?

From the seller

            this machine has come from Italy ,It comes with the Jacky Germain JPX Wheels These machines were Also used by Franco Uncini and Patrick Fenandez, I believe that with the french wheels this bike was Patrick Fenandez’s machine,As you can see they really set the trend for the low boy frame, (G model) 


The 350cc Yamaha engine found in the frame could produce up to 64bhp at 10,500rpm, but looking at the race results in the 350cc class in 1978, it looks like Yamaha was beat out by Kawasaki that year. The good news for Yamaha was Kenny Roberts did win the 500cc title that year becoming the first American to win a Grand Prix Championship.

This is a classified add, so there is no winning bidder, it is offered at the equivalent of $10,251. If you are one of the 221 visitors from England, this might be the bike for you, if not tell your friends. BB