The Yamaha RD500LC, also known as the RZ500 in Canada and Europe was a popular sportbike in the 1980s known for its powerful two-stroke V4. These days, a strong following for the RD500 persists all across the globe. There’s just something special about the two-stroke sportbikes of yesterday—something so raw and visceral.
Although today’s machines pump out more than twice as much power, the sportbikes of the past were so much more raw and analogue—characteristics loved by many motorcycle enthusiasts. Having said all that, now is your chance to own a 1985 Yamaha RZ500. Listed on Bring a Trailer at no reserve, this 1985 model is said to have been imported to the U.S. from Canada in 2003. Not exactly a showroom piece, this bike does, however, carry with it all its original character, with a two-stroke 499cc V4 engine taking center stage.
This bike has been ridden hard, yet has been well looked after with quite a good number of maintenance jobs performed throughout its lifetime. In 2004, the engine was completely rebuilt. In 2008, the motor was opened up yet again with new pistons and carburetors fitted. The bike got new tires in 2019, as well as brake pads, steering head bearings, and a new set of fairings in 2020, in preparation for the sale.
This 1985 Yamaha RZ500 is finished in its classic white, red, and blue livery, and includes all standard componentry. The bike’s split-spoke alloy wheels are powder-coated in dark blue, with new tires being fitted in 2019. The odometer on this bike reads 87,000 kilometers, which translates to around 54,000 miles. However, the selling dealer admits that the actual total mileage is unknown.
In 1985, the RD500LC’s 499cc, two-stroke V4 engine produced 88 horsepower. While the exact power figures of this particular bike are unknown, the engine did receive a thorough rebuild in 2004 by Wilson Performance. The same shop then worked on the engine again in 2008 following an engine seizure. This time around, the cylinders were bored and new pistons were fitted. Additionally, a set of 28mm Mikuni carburetors were fitted. A Jim Lomas full exhaust system equipped with GP-style expansion chambers has been fitted to the bike, giving its distinctive engine roar just a touch more volume.
The standing bid for this 1985 Yamaha RZ500 is currently at $13,500. Bidding closes in less than a day, so if you’re eager to add this bike to your collection, be sure to visit the original listing linked below.