1985 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts
Now here is where the fun begins. The RD series of motorcycles from Yamaha were seriously some of the most fun motorcycles you could ever ride. I spent a good deal of time on RD’s starting with an RD250 that my step dad ostensibly for my mom to ride. I think she spent about 10 minutes on it and decided motorcycles were not for her…lucky me. From there it was onto my father-in-laws RD350 (which decided to hole a piston somewhere between Phoenix and Albuquerque) Riding about 300 miles on a sick motorcycle is not fun and then to have the owner (your father in law who doesn’t really like you anyway..) blame you?? And lastly to an RD400. As I look back, those bikes always put a smile on my face, even when working on them (which wasn’t all that often…I’m lazy). Super fun to ride, reliable and good looking. You can’t beat that.
Just when you’re thinking things can’t get any better, the Tuning Fork company decides to make great bikes even better…here comes the RZ350. Water cooling, a new chassis (perimeter instead of spine style), better brakes, new styling, whats not to love?
So here is what makes this motorcycle so valuable…It came here for one year. 1985. Though many are titled 1984. The EPA decided that 2 strokes were incompatible with their emissions regulations. But wait, the RZ came with catalytic converters and the rest of the world was OK with it, whats wrong here?? California. I’ll leave it at that
My good friend and racing competitor,Craig races an RZ and absolutely loves it. As a matter of fact I have never met anyone that loves Sportbikes that doesn’t love the RZ. Would I love to own one? Yes, Would I do a weekend trip on it? yes. Would I ride it across the country to visit my brother in law…odds are are low on that one. Not because of my brother in law…but, multiple hundreds of miles a day on an RZ??? You must have done something bad in a past life….
1985 Yamaha RZ 350 Kenny Roberts