1985 Yamaha RZ350

over 1 year ago
1985 Yamaha RZ350
Available on
Bay Area Riders Forum
of the instrument panel

This is a very verbose ad where I try to provide all the information you need if you have any interest in this motorcycle.
I just got my third knee surgery (two on the left and one on the right) and it is with a heavy heart that I have to let my beloved RZ350 go to someone who will take good care of her. This is the motorcycle that used to make me dream while I was a poor student. After many years of dreaming and finally reaching my midlife crisis I bought one in May 2004.
I am the fourth owner but the third owner just bought it seized, rebuilt the engine and sold it to me. This is not a concour/show motorcycle; it is an RZ that has been modified to handle and run as close as possible to a modern motorcycle. All the following mods/upgrades are 100% documented. This is a long list and I have split in two. The first part describes the upgrades that were done before I bought it and the second part the ones I had done:
Upgrades before I bought it:
Mikuni VM carburetors with K&N filters
TELEFIX fiberglass full fairing made in Germany and painted to the exact yellow/black Yamaha colors. It was sold by SPEC II in the US. It adds only 6lbs to the overall weight and it is frame mounted. It has few stress marks on the lower cowls
TELEFIX Fork stabilizer. This is one of the important upgrade to improve handling.
Solo seat
SPEC II expansion chambers
Stage II port job by SPEC II
DID 520 x 110 Chain
Tarrozi Clip on bars. I ended replacing them with the right model as they were the wrong size and were slipping.
Tarrozi rear set
Galfer brake pads
Engine was rebuilt perfectly and is on the second bore (leak pressure was double checked when jetting was done)
Brand new gas tank sourced directly from Yamaha was installed at the time I took possession of the bike.
Upgrades after I bought it:
NHK steering damper with RZs Unlimited aluminum milled mounts (long time ago I went into a tank slapper on my R80 and since I am paranoid and always put a steering damper on my motorcycles)
The instrument panel was relocated away from the handlebar and mounted on the front mount of the fairing (it was reinforced for this purpose). This also improves handling and it is a great aesthetic improvement as instrument are easy to read.
Custom build tachometer cable from MotionPro to accommodate the relocation of the instrument panel
Galfer front steel braided brake lines (this is one of the mandatory upgrade as the feeling is really lousy with the original brake lines)
SIDs Custom Upholstery in Mountain View reupholstered the seat with a thick layer of foam.
Powerlet (BMW type) socket. I have a BMW battery charger and I had this plug installed to that I could keep the battery happy when parked in my garage.
Dual Westberg Exhaust Gas Temperature gauge (lighted so you can see it at night). I was paranoid about the engine seizing (too many folks scared me about the danger of 2 stroke engines when I bought it). It also allows performing perfect jetting of the engine just by checking the exhaust gas temperature. There is a temperature probe in each of the exhaust outlet and you can glance at the gauge when you ride to make sure that everything is fine.
Green Light Trigger. This is basically a big magnet, which is fixed under the engine to help you get detected by traffic lights pavement loops. It works but in a limited fashion. There is a loop on Middlefield road in Mountain View that would trigger 50% of the time. With the Green Light Trigger I switched to a 100% success rate. However on those loops where I had 0% success I still have 0% success.
New steering bearing. Another mandatory upgrade.
RZ500 front light gasket. The TELEFIX fairing is famous for having the front light leak inside enough to make it more than annoying and blind the instrument panel at night. I bought an RZ500 gasket directly from Yamaha Canada and it fits greats.
Front fork and triple clamps straightened on the GMD Computrack at Evolution Motorcycles in Santa Clara
New Avon tires installed by Scuderia at 19407 miles
Ohlins S46 ER1 rear shock. I imported this shock from my native country (France) as it is still on the Ohlins catalog there.
The RZ350 was a major success in Europe and you still see some on the road there. I paid for it in Euros while it was in the stratosphere compared to the US $ so it cost me an arm and a leg. It does improve handling but this is not the most significant upgrade although it is cool to have an Ohlins and you will be able to brag about it.
RACE TECH Gold cartridge emulators installed (as well as the Ohlins) by Jim at Catalyst Reaction. The emulators are by far the best upgrade you can do to an RZ350. It is cheaper than an Ohlins or Fox shock and the return on investment will make you smile at every turn. The fork and the Ohlins are currently adjusted for me (200lbs) but you can easily take it to Jim to get retuned for your weight.
Digital Gear indicator. This is a luxury item but once you get it you wonder how you managed without before. It was installed by its designer/inventor
(Paul Graydon). It has a light cell and it adjusts automatically at night so it does not blind the rest of the instrument panel
High Capacity Radiator with electric fan kit also installed by its designer/inventor (Paul Graydon). The RZ350 is famous for overheating as soon as you are stuck in traffic. This forces you to either split lanes (even when you do not want to) or stop to let the engine rest for a while. With this kit you have the same feature as a modern bike as the fan kicks in automatically when required.
Engine/cylinder gaskets have been recently changed as one of the gaskets was leaking. This was the opportunity to change all the crankcase gaskets and engine oil seals and remove the carbon deposit on the pistons (see picture taken from Paul Graydons driveway)
New rear blinkers
When I bought the bike I was afraid that I could not find someone qualified to maintain it but BARFers pointed me to Robert Davis (aka RD) at Scuderia in SF and to Paul Graydon (who did a perfect jetting and is one of the nicest person you will have the pleasure to meet).
You do not need to worry about finding parts and there are local experts to take care of your baby.
It handles as close as possible to a modern bike. I also had an RS250 so I can compare easily.
It is not quite to the level of the Aprilia but it will definitely put you in confidence.
It is the real deal if you want a 2 stroke
It does not need anything. Everything works. You can happily ride it.
The BAD:
As I mentioned this is not a show bike. It looks good on the pictures but this is far from a new bike.
This is not for a collector. It is for a rider.
Neutral is very difficult to find from first gear. I got used to it and always get it from second gear and I no longer pay attention to it.
There is small dent on the otherwise pristine gas tank from me dropping one of the patio chairs that was hanging on the garage wall. Sounds like a lame excuse but it is the embarrassing truth. You cannot see it on the pictures.
I do not have many spare parts, only some light bulbs, seals and chemicals or it (fork fluid, transmission oil, engine oil). I have the user manual, the Haynes manual, a copy of the Yamaha Service manual, a copy of the Yamaha parts lists, the Ohlins manual and all the mods/maintenance records.
The title is clear and the registration is current and valid until the beginning of June. Current mileage is 20914 but it might be a little higher as I regularly take it for a Sunday spin to keep it in top shape.
I have invested a lot of money, time and care in this bike so the price is $7500 firm.
Test ride only if I have the cash in my hand (no exception) and you have a motorcycle license and a helmet.
Please PM me if you want to come see it.
Of course 1% to BARF.

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