- Chassis # JYA48H005EA0000386
- Engine # 48H-000386
- An Extremely Well Preserved Original Paint Example
- Matching Numbers
- Showing Just 8406 Miles From New
- Recently Serviced And Ready For Enjoyment
Mixing oil and fuel may seem like a foreign concept too many off the bat but two stroke technology has been in use since the patenting of the rudimentary technology in 1880. Over the years, two stroke engines have been used to power everything from outboard motors, cars, and of course motorcycles. Two-stroke engines in motorcycles saw some use in the early 1900’s but it wasn’t until the post WWII period where they began to see true integration into the two-wheeled world. Many manufacturers began to offer lighter, smaller cc two-stroke options but it was the racing world that really took hold of two-stroke technology and pushed it further. Racers latched onto to the technology because of its instantaneous torque and high revving nature which lent itself nicely to race track use. Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s a whole host of two-stroke offerings were available from various manufacturers with displacements as high as 750cc in the Kawasaki Mach IV. As emissions restrictions tightened, manufacturers began to drop their two-stroke offerings as they simply could not meet the demands of the laws in place with the technology. One of the longest holdouts was Yamaha with the now iconic RD series. However, just like the rest, Yamaha eventually realized that the time for their glorious two-stroke offerings was coming to an end and decided to send it off with a bang.
Enter the Yamaha RZ350 also commonly known as the RD350LC II or RD350 YPVS in other countries. The RZ was the final iteration of the famed two-stroke RD lineup from Yamaha motorcycles and was produced in 1984 and 1985. The RZ350 is powered by a twin-carbureted, reed valve inducted, liquid cooled 347cc parallel-twin two-stroke engine. It has a bore of 64mm and a stroke of 54mm. The RZ350 benefited from the addition of YPVS (Yamaha Power Valve System) which essentially is a system built to alter exhaust port timing, which worked to change the engine power delivery and providing optimal power and torque across the entire rev range. The RZ350 was the first and only example in the RD lineup to utilize the YPVS system. A similar engine design was utilized in the infamous Banshee 350 ATV but lacked the assistance of the YPVS. In the U.S. the RZ was fitted with catalytic converters to meet emissions requirements and was the first motorcycle to do so. The now iconic styling of the R350 was borrowed from Kenny Roberts and his Moto GP winning race bikes. For 1984 the RZ350 was offered in the striking and more sought after “Kenny Roberts” yellow and black scheme as well as a metallic red, white, and blue color scheme. The RZ350 has the distinct honor of being the last road legal 2-stroke motorcycle sold in the United States. Today clean, low mileage examples are hard to come by given their exciting and fun to ride nature. Many were ridden hard and then discarded, or hacked up into race bikes as the RZ350 remains fairly popular in vintage racing leagues.
This particular RZ350, chassis number JYA48H005EA0000386 and engine number 48H-000386, was recently purchased out of long term enthusiast ownership. It currently shows 8,406 miles from new and is an all stock matching numbers example which is believed to be original paint throughout. This bike has lived a relatively easy life as indicated by the mileage which is believed to be correct. As a testament to the quality, this RZ350 was on display in the living room of the gentleman whom we purchased it from! The cosmetic condition is fantastic with only a few minor blemishes to speak of that ultimately come with the territory when discussing original paint machines. There are two small chips in the paint on either side of the tank where it appears the bars contacted the tank. They are not dented in, which leads us to believe it was a very light contact and not anything to worry about. The handlebars have some minor scuffing of the paint between the clamps. The black striping on top of the tank exhibits some spider cracking. There are a few chips in the paint that have been touched up on the front fender as well as on the rear tail piece. There is also some spots where the black graphics have begun to crack or have some scrapes in them. Minor blemishes aside, the paint on the frame is fantastic, the engine is clean and tidy and the motorcycle overall presents extremely well. Upon purchasing this RZ350 it was treated to a thorough sorting to address any and all problems that might have arisen from extended periods of sitting. Luckily this bike was stored properly so much of the maintenance performed was done in a preventative manner. To start with, the fuel system was disassembled and the carbs were rebuilt using a new parts kit. The tank was sent away to be professionally cleaned and coated due to some minor flaking of the interior coating that was forming. The braking system was gone through and pads and fluid were changed. Lastly a new battery was placed in the bike to ensure issue free starting and riding. Once service was completed, the bike was left in fantastic running condition. It starts with relative ease although cold starting naturally requires a few more kicks than once the engine is warm. Once out on the road, this little 350 is an amazing fun and enjoyable ride. It is torquey off the line and feels like it will rev forever on its way up to its 9500 RPM redline. The lightweight nature of the machine means that it very easy to ride, turns in with little effort, and steers wonderfully. These bikes are very popular with amateur racing and it is easy to see why as it makes you feel like a superstar when riding it. Given its condition and low miles, this 1984 Yamaha RZ350 represents an incredible opportunity to own a truly unique and fun machine. Examples this original and well kept are few and far between, making this already coveted two-stroke machine a truly rare find.