Additional photos are available here for your perusal.
The RZ was introduced in 1984 and 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 could be easily addressed to unlock the full claimed 87 horsepower.
In preparation for the listing, the seller had us replace the battery, clean and sync the carbs, replace the petcock, and give the bike a detailing. We also installed new Metzeler Lasertec tires with date codes of 3422 and 4722.
Steve did the work, he notes the following in his condition report:
Fuel Tank Internal: Ok
Tire Years – Front/ Rear:2022
Suspension Leaks: Ok
Tire % Front/ Rear: 100%
Tire Press Front/ Rear:35/38
Brake % Front/ Rear :99/99%
Hydraulic – Front/Rear: OK
Drive Chain Quality: Ok
Transmission Oil: OK; Quality: Ok
2T Injector Oil Level: Ok
Low Beam: OK
High Beam: OK
Passing Light: Ok
Parking Light: Ok
Tail Light: OK
Brake Light: OK
Plate Light: OK
Battery: 12.49V, NEW
Test Ride: OLLY – TEST RIDE OK, UNIT OPERATES AS DESIGNED.
Currently located at our facility in Santa Monica, California (please make an appointment for an inspection), this Yamaha is offered on a clean Oregon title. Please note that as an import, this bike lacks certain compliance and emissions stickers that the state of California would require to transfer a title. Have any RZV500R stories or questions about this listing? Let us know in the “Comments” tab!