1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition Frame no. JYA48H00XFA010249 Engine no. 48H-010249

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Lot 188
1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition
Frame no. JYA48H00XFA010249 Engine no. 48H-010249

Sold for US$ 6,900 inc. premium
1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition
Frame no. JYA48H00XFA010249
Engine no. 48H-010249
• Rolling tribute to an American racing legend
• Last of the two-stroke pocket-rockets
• Aftermarket expansion chambers and stock exhaust included

It is entirely fitting that the Yamaha RZ350 would be the last legal two-stroke streetbike sold in the U.S. in the face of ever-tightening EPA regulations. With a sporting history going back to the R5 of 1970, Yamaha's 350-400cc pocket-rockets had always been among the best and brightest of the strokers, giant-killers on both backroads and race tracks.

Outwardly simple, the RZ's six-speed, 347cc parallel-twin needed some technical assistance to sneak past the U.S. government's exhaust sniffers, namely a two-stage catalytic converter in each muffler, the first time this technology had been applied to motorcycles. Also making its debut on the street was YPVS, Yamaha's race-derived, electronically controlled variable exhaust port system, meant to broaden the engine's powerband. Likewise, the RZ350 was among the first roadsters to use a perimeter-style frame, now common fare for sportbikes – albeit crafted from aluminum beams rather than the RZ's round steel tubes.

Cosmetically, the RZ350 was a knock-out, a rolling tribute to Yamaha factory racer Kenny Roberts, two-time AMA Grand National Champion, three-time Daytona 200 winner and three-time 500cc Grand Prix world champion, then still at the height of his road racing powers. It was "King Kenny" whose race bikes first carried Yamaha's signature black-and-yellow bumblebee paint scheme, officially known as "Speed Block" and originally designed by noted graphics artist Rollin "Molly" Sanders. Just to drive home the point, decals of Roberts' signature were affixed to each side of the bike's bikini fairing. Cycle World was the first magazine to road test the Yamaha, hardly a clandestine endeavor as it turned out. "It became an everyday occurrence to be swarmed by curious people whenever we parked the RZ," said CW. "If good looks could kill, the RZ would be the atomic bomb of motorcycles."

Noting the bike's intended purpose was to "straighten out curvy roads in an almost effortless manner," the magazine quite rightly pegged the RZ350 as a harbinger of the single-purpose sportbikes about to inundate the marketplace: "All of this adds up to a motorcycle with an unusually narrow focus, a lightweight repli-racer sport machine. And within that narrow scope, the RZ350 is so good, so right."

The RZ350 presented here is reported by the vendor to be in excellent running order, and carries a desirable aftermarket Fox adjustable rear shock. A large number of documents, including a Service Manual and original Owner's Manual are included. The motorcycle will also be delivered to the new buyer with a Stage II gind Ed Toomey cylinder head as well as a fresh decal for the front fairing.

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.

Saleroom notices

  • The title will be in transit.
Contacts
1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition Frame no. JYA48H00XFA010249 Engine no. 48H-010249
1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition Frame no. JYA48H00XFA010249 Engine no. 48H-010249
1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition Frame no. JYA48H00XFA010249 Engine no. 48H-010249
1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition Frame no. JYA48H00XFA010249 Engine no. 48H-010249
1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition Frame no. JYA48H00XFA010249 Engine no. 48H-010249
1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition Frame no. JYA48H00XFA010249 Engine no. 48H-010249
1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition Frame no. JYA48H00XFA010249 Engine no. 48H-010249
1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition Frame no. JYA48H00XFA010249 Engine no. 48H-010249
1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition Frame no. JYA48H00XFA010249 Engine no. 48H-010249
1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition Frame no. JYA48H00XFA010249 Engine no. 48H-010249
1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition Frame no. JYA48H00XFA010249 Engine no. 48H-010249
1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition Frame no. JYA48H00XFA010249 Engine no. 48H-010249
1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition Frame no. JYA48H00XFA010249 Engine no. 48H-010249
1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition Frame no. JYA48H00XFA010249 Engine no. 48H-010249
1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition Frame no. JYA48H00XFA010249 Engine no. 48H-010249
1984 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Edition Frame no. JYA48H00XFA010249 Engine no. 48H-010249
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Buyers' Premium and Charges

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Buyers' Premium and Charges

PLEASE NOTE: THE BUYER'S PREMIUM FOR THIS AUCTION IS AS FOLLOWS:

For MOTORCYCLE property the premium is 15% on the first $100,000 of the bid price and 10% on any amount of the hammer price exceeding $100,000. Buyers are required to pay any applicable import duty, sales or use tax, as the case may be.

For MEMORABILIA property (Lots 1-22) the premium is 27.5% on the first $3,000 of the bid price, 25% on the amount above $3,000 up to and including $400,000, 20% on the amount above $400,000 up to and including $4,000,000, and 13.9% of any amount which exceeds $4,000,000.

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