Additional photos of this 1984 Yamaha RZ500 are available here for your perusal.
When Yamaha debuted the RZ500 (known in some other markets as the RD500) in 1984, it was arguably the first production race replica. Built to emulate Kenny Roberts’ YZR500 factory racer, the RZ500 was the closest thing two-stroke enthusiasts had to a GP competitor for the road…as long as you didn’t live in the United States of America. Emissions rules put in place by the EPA prevented Yamaha from selling the RZ500 in the US, so the select few we get to enjoy had to be imported (typically from Canada).
Built in May of 1984, this RZ500 (VIN: JYA52X005FA000485) has seen better days. It would make an excellent restoration project as all the parts are there, plus it’s got a California plate with non-op registration. From a bodywork standpoint, everything is in good shape except the lower fairing, which is cracked and missing a piece. It was titled in California on July 20th, 2015 – the previous owner rode it most of 2015 and into 2016 but his wife eventually told him that he couldn’t ride it any more. He parked it on his rear deck under a patio, but it was stored outside in Santa Monica, California (near the ocean), which is why there is corrosion through as we’ve tried to show in the photos. But there’s also a lot to work with, so we’re hoping this finds a good home with someone that’s looking for an interesting project in the next few months!
The motor is free and has compression. If the next owner lives in California, the registration renewal cost would be $126 as of today. Don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions about this RZ500.