Additional photos of this Yamaha RZV500R are available here for your perusal.
Based on the results of the RZ500 project we sold recently, we can tell that you guys are clamoring for more of them. So here’s something that’s even more special – a Japanese market RZV500R!
First the RZ – introduced 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). But the RZV is extra special, as it was a bike for the Japanese market that had some distinct changes.
There were minor ones – a switch that converted the water temp gauge into a fuel gauge, fork preload adjusters at the top of the forks, or the deletion of the self-canceling turn signals. But the reason RZ fans covet the RZV500R is because it also came with a hand-welded aluminum frame, which helped the bike weigh 20 pounds less than its international siblings. This helped counteract a power cut – Japanese regulations required an output of no more than 64 ponies, which Yamaha enabled by restricting the exhaust and changing carb jets. Both things are easily addressed to get this bike back up to the claimed 87 horsepower.
Just 1,600 examples of the RZV500R were built – this one (VIN: 51X-000581) was recently imported to the US, and it’s a strong runner! It’s highly original with all OEM bodywork (including the hard to find windshield!) and minimal oxidation/corrosion.
The sale includes a Japanese title and a bill of sale so you’ll be able to register it in most states (besides California and Hawaii). There are cosmetic issues on most of the body panels (documented in the photo album) and the wheels could use a refinish, but this RZV is ready to ride. With some paint work and a fresh powdercoat on the wheels, you’d have a very nice example of a rare-in-the-US two-stroke legend. Our White Glove service would be able to handle the paint, powdercoat, or anything else you may desire or require such as new tires or transportation, just let us know!
So if you were tempted by the project we recently sold but you want something you can ride while you clean up the cosmetics, look no further!