Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts

Discussion in '2 smokers' started by SonnyAK, Apr 19, 2021.

  1. SonnyAK

    SonnyAK Alaska Adventure

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    A while back, one of the other inmates posts his RZ for sale, and sadly I just missed out on it. I'd been interested in these little bikes since I was a kid (graduated high school in '84) but had never picked one up. After missing out on the other bike, I was on a mission to track one down, and luckily the inmate who sold the other bike pointed me to this one which had been listed for sale in Daytona. One thing led to another and we just made the drive down from southern Illinois this weekend to get it! It's in great shape and needs very little (other than usual old bike stuff) to be a great one! It's going to be a really fun little bike! Here's a shot of my GSD learning how to kick start... IMG_3184.jpg
    #1
  2. Canyon Rider

    Canyon Rider Been here awhile

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    Congrats! That's my old bike that I purchased from a friend when I lived in Santa Fe, NM. I moved to Florida with it in 2015. I sold it to a guy in Daytona named Tony a few years ago if I remember correctly.

    I can tell it's mine by the rear sprocket, mirrors, Works shock, and the pc'd rear pegs and swingarm. Also, inside the tank has that top filler hole thingy removed and the tank was sealed.


    746.JPG 751.JPG
    #2
  3. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer Supporter

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    @SonnyAK , I was given the same lead by the same inmate, but I was having my right knee replaced the next day. :bluduh

    Bad timing for me meant good timing for you.
    #3
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  4. SonnyAK

    SonnyAK Alaska Adventure

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    That's pretty funny Canyon Rider! It was Tony! He put the bike back a bit more stock, replacing both side covers on the engine and a few little things. He gave me a bunch of small parts he'd collected too, so I'll probably be doing some tinkering for a while! Hope it was a good bike for you. I've put about 60 miles on it so far with no surprises, so that's a good start. The Tach bounces some so I replaced the cable and it's still doing it (seems to read a bit low too - I'm taching 4500 when running 65 - does that sound right?).

    Florida Lime, hope your knee's healing up well! Are you still on the hunt for one? I'll keep my eyes open for you if you are.
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  5. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer Supporter

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    PM sent. :lol3
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  6. Ray916MN

    Ray916MN Dim Mak

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    Congrats on the RZ. I picked up one from an inmate a few weeks ago. I use to own one back in the late 80s. Power is as I remember, a ton of fun on the pipe and a moped off the pipe. The brakes on the other hand scare the piss out of me. I'd forgotten how brakes could feel like squeezing a block of wood and how the first step after drum brakes were single piston disc brakes. The combination of good power and poor brakes makes this the scariest bike I've ridden in a long time. Just ordered a set of FZR400 4 piston calipers which are supposed to be a bolt on swap and to be vastly improve braking performance.
    #6
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  7. busa1300

    busa1300 Been here awhile

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    Those calipers only work on the next gen RZ's (Canadian/Euro/Aus..), they have 83mm caliper bolt spacing. Unless you are going to use an adapter plate?
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  8. Canyon Rider

    Canyon Rider Been here awhile

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    It's a nice bike. The engine was done by Scott Clough in California with about 8k on the clock. It's been tuned by one of the best Chuck "Supertune" Quenzler from Team Scream Racing in Clearwater, Florida.

    It has a nice street port job. Not too big to where the bike is a light switch when it hits.

    The bouncing tach is common. One of my other ones does it also.

    I'll get on mine later and see where my tach is at 65. 4500 sounds low. If I remember the bike is geared -1 +2
    #8
  9. Canyon Rider

    Canyon Rider Been here awhile

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  10. SonnyAK

    SonnyAK Alaska Adventure

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    That's pretty much my take on them too! Also the extreme lack of engine braking! I'm used to riding bikes with tons of torque and lots of engine braking when you roll off the throttle, so I'm having to adjust to that again. My brakes are decent when I grab enough of them, but I'm also used to great brakes on my Aprilia, and a very light touch!

    Thanks for the great info! I appreciate your comparing the tach reading too.
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  11. Canyon Rider

    Canyon Rider Been here awhile

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    Thanks for giving me the motivation to fire mine up and go for a spin. These bikes are so fun!

    Alright, on my stock geared bike in top gear 4500 RPM was 48. 65 was 5750. I have no idea how accurate my speedo is, but yours is way off. I don't remember it being that way.

    Couple other little things I did (do) with mine is I run a mix of Sunoco 104 octane mixed with no ethanol 89 or 90. I mix for a 93-94 octane rating. It's not cheap, neither is a new engine. If you have no ethanol 93 you're good. I can only get 90. I never run ethanol fuel in any of my carb bikes. The bike can sit for months and start up no problem. I was told this method by Chuck Quenzler. To start it after sitting I don't turn the key on, and I don't touch the choke. I'll kick it through half a dozen times then I'll turn the key on and pull the choke. The bike always starts no later than the 3rd kick, many times on the first!

    Here's a handy fuel octane calculator.

    http://www.bazellracefuels.com/Calcs/OC1.htm

    It's tuned for warmer temps and obviously sea level. If it won't idle when it's cold out, It's lean!

    Enjoy it!
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  12. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer Supporter

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    I'm fortunate to have 93 octane no ethanol gas in Robbinsville near our NC house. :clap
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  13. SonnyAK

    SonnyAK Alaska Adventure

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    Thanks for the info Canyon Rider! My bike seems to be running well, so I think something on my tach may be slipping and reading a bit low, so I'll give everything a good look over. I haven't checked the accuracy of the speedo yet (it's very smooth) but will soon. Do you remember if the gearing is stock?

    I can get ethanol free 91 nearby and try to run that in my bikes and older cars. The tune on the bike seems good and it's been pretty easy starting so far. I'll try kicking it through a few times too and see if that makes it even better. Thanks again
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  14. Canyon Rider

    Canyon Rider Been here awhile

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    It was 16/42 if I remember correctly. Stock is 17/40.
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  15. SonnyAK

    SonnyAK Alaska Adventure

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    Thanks
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  16. concours

    concours WFO for 50 years

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    You should open the cluster and address the bouncing tach NOW. Lube the input shaft bushing being careful to not overdo it.
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  17. SonnyAK

    SonnyAK Alaska Adventure

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    Thanks concours, I'll give it some TLC soon! I have a timing light that'll digitally show RPM's, so I threw that on it the other day and found out the tach is reading correctly, so that was nice to see.
    #17
  18. eanth

    eanth We're all connected. (he/him/his)

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    upload_2021-5-14_23-46-47.jpeg

    Coming my way soon. Can’t wait.
    #18
  19. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer Supporter

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    Do you get a gas tank, seat , and tail section too ? :D
    #19
  20. eanth

    eanth We're all connected. (he/him/his)

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    Yes. It’s still being worked on. The paint you see is original except for the foot resets. The original tank has a couple small dings from the levers. The only serious cosmetic issue is the small lower engine fairing which has a crack. Engine / chassis work done by Spec II.
    #20
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