RZ/RD 350 & Misc. 2-Stroke Tech BBS

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:48 am 
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So, I got me a new motor and, in my infinite wisdom, I decided to modify it.
The mods are certainly not extreme, but I think it’s safe to say that the engine is No Longer Stock.
Next year, when I get it on the road and start exploring the limits of speed and acceleration, I’d really like it to… not blow up.

In order to gain a bit of information on modifying 2 strokes, I’ve been reading, and reading, and re-reading a couple of 2 stroke tuning books. One written by Graham Bell, and the other by Gordon Jennings.

I’ve learned quite a bit of information on pistons, rings, piston speed, piston acceleration, combustion chambers, squish bands, expansion chambers (and the history of expansion chambers), tuned length, diffusers and baffle cones, cylinder porting, time area, angle area, intake tract length, resonant frequencies, cylinder scavenging, carburetion, carb size, ignition timing…blah…blah…blah.

I’ve read all this stuff and I still know next to nothing about tuning a high performance 2 stroke engine.
However, I did find tons of interesting items. Like the section on maximum piston speed and maximum piston acceleration.
After doing the math, I’m going to set my red-line (and rev limiter) at 10,000 rpm. (and that rpm is still at the upper limits of how fast a piston should be moving)

Another thing that both authors mention over and over again is that heat is your enemy.
And just about everything that you do to increase the engines power, will also make it run hotter.

The good news is that there’re all kinds of things you can do to reduce the temperature of the piston.
More fuel, less spark advance, less compression, different port timing, or a different exhaust design.

Like most amateur engine builders, I don’t have the knowledge to redesign heads, cylinders and pipes, or the physical skills needed to do the work.
So I can only make changes to the jetting and ignition curve, to keep the engine/piston temperatures within a safe limit.

When I decided to get a go-fast motor for my bike, I did what most people do, I let experienced, knowledgeable people do the design work, build the exhaust, and port the cylinders.
I just bought some parts and bolted them all together.
OK, I bought some really trick parts, and when this engine is tuned correctly, it should be a fire-breathing rocket.

Repeat, when the engine is tuned correctly.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of experienced 2 stroke tuners in my part of the world.
So, for better or worse, it looks like I’m getting a promotion from assembly-guy to tuning-guy.
What could possibly go wrong with this plan? :smt005

All I have to do is find the correct Carbs, Jetting, PV Settings, and Ignition Timing in order to get maximum performance out of the motor, from idle right up to WOT, at an altitude of 3500’, without ever overheating a piston, causing it to seize up and die.
No pressure.

For now, I’m sticking with the stock carbs, so jetting shouldn’t be too difficult. I’ll go bigger, and slowly work my way down.
As a starting point, I’ve gone up 2 sizes on the main jet and put a washer under the needle clip.
I’m now running 440 MJ, 25 PJ, Needle on clip 4 with a washer under the clip.

I still have the stock 5K1 needles in my carbs, but I also have a set of the original Toomey needles.
The Toomey needles are definitely thinner than the 5K1’s, which should richen the mixture at most throttle positions.
After I finish breaking in the motor, I’ll do some testing and see how the Toomey’s compare to the stock 5K1 needles.

There’s lots of info on PV settings, and I can do some experimenting without causing any damage.
To begin with, I’ve set them to fully closed until 6000 rpm, then start to open and be fully open at 9200.
I’ve also set the power valves so that they have an extra ½ mm of travel, to account for the higher exhaust port.

The tricky part will be the ignition timing. From what I’ve read, you should retard the timing on a stroker motor.
My motor also has the compression raised to about 150 PSI. More compression equals more heat, and you should retard the timing to offset this problem.

Gordon Jennings also talks about ignition timing:

Jennings 2 stroke Tuners Handbook, Page 15

“Generally speaking, modifications that tend to raise engine output without increasing the crank speed at which maximum power occurs will require that the spark be retarded slightly from the standard setting. Major upward relocations of the power peak usually require a more advanced spark."

Jennings suggests that you retard the spark by 5*, and slowly give it more advance.
But he wrote this in 1972, before you could buy programmable CDI’s. Back then, you set the timing to X mm before TDC, and that’s where it fired for the whole rev range.

So, I should probably retard the timing. But, how much? And at what RPM?

Damned if I know. But I’m on a mission to find some answers before Spring.
I’ve already searched the forum to see what other people have done, and found that opinions vary. Who’d have thought?
Some people recommend that you retard the ignition timing on a stroker.
Other people have posted curves with the timing advanced.
Other people say that it’s fine to run a 4* advance plate on a stroker

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5779&p=47393&hilit=ignition+timing+on+a+stroker#p47393

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5850&hilit=zeeltronic+ignition+curves

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9821&hilit=stroker+ignition&start=0

There are more examples, but you get the idea.

At this time, I’m thinking about programming these 2 curves into the Zeel.

For Curve 1, I’ll use the stock curve with 2* of retartd.
I’ll keep an eye on the EGT, and if all is well, I’ll run this curve for the first 200 to 300 miles, while I break in the motor.

2000 rpm - 15*
3500 rpm - 25*
9000 rpm - 15*
9900 rpm - 7*

I’ll put the stock RZ curve in the Zeel as Curve 2. I can then do some testing to see how the EGT compares to my track bike, which is also running stock ignition timing.

2000 rpm - 17*
3500 rpm - 27*
9000 rpm - 17*
9900 rpm - 9*

Here’s an Expanded version of the stock curve (I calculated the ignition timing for each 1000 rpm).

2000 rpm - 17*
3500 rpm - 27*
4000 rpm - 26*
5000 rpm - 24*
6000 rpm – 22.5*
7000 rpm - 21*
8000 rpm - 19*
9000 rpm - 17*
9500 rpm – 12.5*
10000 rpm - 9*


Depending on what I learn from running Curves 1 & 2, I’ll start advancing the midrange, from 3500 to 6000 rpm.
Maybe try something like the following as Curve 3.

2000 rpm - 15*
3500 rpm - 25*
4000 rpm - 25*
5000 rpm - 25*
6000 rpm - 24*
7000 rpm - 23*
8000 rpm - 20*
9000 rpm - 15*
9500 rpm - 14*
10000 rpm - 7*



I’ll do some more research, program some curves into the Zeel, hope for the best, and go have some fun.
Fortunately, I’ll have the EGT gauge to give me more info on what’s happening inside the engine, as I advance the ignition.
And I have free time on the dyno at work, which will also be very useful.


I’ll end this post with a couple of quotes from Mr. Jennings.
(I added the underlining because that’s the part that I found most amusing)

Jennings 2 stroke Tuners Handbook, Page 156

“Finally, with experience you'll learn to give your very close attention to all aspects of the mundane task of selecting jets and plugs, and spark timing, because in these things you ultimately succeed or fail as a tuner; all the rest is mere mathematics, surgery and wrench-twirling.”


Jennings 2 stroke Tuners Handbook, Page 129

“No greater futility exists than to invest heavily of one's time and money in building an engine with mirror-smooth ports, the best available pistons, rings, etc., and then approach the problems of carburetion and ignition armed only with enthusiasm.
It is an observable fact that some inherently mediocre engines have been made to prevail in racing simply because the men charged with selecting jetting and spark timing knew their business, but never in the history of the sport has there been an engine so splendid in its internal arrangement that a tuner's ineptitude could not render it entirely ineffectual.”


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:53 am 
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The RZ engines can bear a lot of advance.
15 deg at 9k with decent pipes seems a bit low'ish and certainly would waste quite some of the potential.
Also 25 at midrange can easily be 28.

Check out the pipe building and PV mod manuals on http://rd350.gmxhome.de
The first one contains a method to determine the "right" ignition map, the second one covers the PV.

Generally spoken a stronger ignition and higher advance requires a bit richer jetting. If you've been on the rich side before, it may be good now.

What I did was changing the slope of the falling part (up from 5k in your last curve).
Start with what you have and then make the falling slope less steep (i.e more advance at higher rpm).
Ride it and feel how it revs. If it's better then repeat with more advance until you feel the engine runs worse than before.

Then optimise the overrev by introducing a second steeper slope starting from the poin bof max performance. My guess is that with a limit of 10k, there's nothing to optimise here.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:01 pm 
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Hi Martin.

Thank you very much for your advice, and the link to getting the correct ignition and PV settings.
This information will help alot.


MK wrote:
Generally spoken a stronger ignition and higher advance requires a bit richer jetting. If you've been on the rich side before, it may be good now.


When I had the Stock motor in this bike it had the following parts / specs.
Zeel ignition, Dynatek coil, Toomey Pipes and Y-Boot, O-Ring head (130 psi comp.), stock carbs with 420 main jets and the needle on the 4th clip.

The new stroker motor is using Slingers Pipes with the Y-Boot, a new head with 150 psi comp., stock carbs with 440 main jets and the needle on the 4th clip with a washer under the clip.

The stock motor wasn't running overly rich, but just to be safe I went up a couple of sizes on the MJ as a starting point.
I've also got some 430 and 450 main jets so I can make some changes as needed.


I'm not sure if I have a Stronger ignition or not.
On the stock motor, I was using a set of 8 mm Taylor spark plug wires. On the new motor, I'm using a set of 8.5 mm MSD plug wires.
The Taylor wires have a resistance of 425 ohms
The MSD wires have a resistance of 57 ohms.

I measured the resistance of a couple of used NGK BR8ES spark plugs, and they measured 3800 ohms.
From an electoinic standpaoint, the voltage produced by the coil is dropped proportionaly across the resistance of the spark plugs and the spark plug wire.

The math says that, with the old 425 ohm Taylor wires, 10.1 % of the voltage was dropped across the wires and only 89.9 % of the voltage supplied by the coil was dropped across the spark plug.

However, with the new 57 ohm, MSD wires, only 1.5 % of the available voltage will be dropped across the wires, and 98.5 % of the coil voltage will be dropped across the spark plug.

Will the low resistance plug wires give me a stronger spark and improve the burn rate of the fuel mixture? [smilie=dunno.gif]


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:04 pm 
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You should have a stronger spark, but it should not have anything to do with the burn rate in the combustion process. Compression and fuel and air control that, along with the shape of the combustion chamber. The stronger spark will ensure that you get ignition of the fuel at the time that the spark is generated.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:22 am 
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Long post. I mean a really long post. Why?
Because it’s Winter, and Winter sucks.
I’d really want to go for a ride on the RZ, but I can’t because it’s -10*C and we just got another 7” of snow in the last 2 days.
So I’ve been sitting here, thinking about the bike, and doing what I can to ease the pain.
“I think I might have had a little too much today. Take me to my cabin, please.”
Definitely wouldn’t be riding the bike even if it was nice out.


Question: How much is an RZ350 worth?

5 or 6 years ago you could buy a decent running bike for $2000, in this part of the Canada.
For that price the bike would need some work. It would have an assortment of scratches, dents, and bent and broken parts.
It might need chain and sprockets, probably some new tires.
These days, you just don’t see RZ’s for sale too often, and if you do, there priced at a minimum of $3000.

Recently, there’s only been one RZ350 listed on Kijiji Alberta, and it’s a really nice bike.
Full fairing, fresh paint, lots of new parts. It belongs to a forum member and he’s asking $5500 Can. ($4800 US)
For this part of the world, that’s a lot of money for a 30+ year old bike.
But, when you consider the cost of a basic RZ, then add in all the time, labor, parts, and money that went into fixing it,
and turning it back into a really nice RZ, then it’s a bargain.

Most of us have seen the RZ’s listed on Ebay. Guys asking $6000, $8000, $10000, $12000.
We start threads about them, and we shake our heads and say things like:
“The guys an idiot”, “Wish I was smoking what he’s been smoking”, or “No way that bike’s worth that much”.

Which bring me to the original question, how much is an RZ350 worth.
I guess that the best answer that I’ve heard is that it’s worth; “Whatever someone is willing to pay”.

Obviously, I can’t put a price on RZ’s in general, but I can tell you what 1 crazy person was willing to pay for his RZ.

Way back in 2009, in my first post of this thread, (and my very first post on this forum), I said:

Off Road wrote:
I'm going to post pricing on what everything cost. Let's face it. Most of us are interested in what other people are paying for RZ's.
Besides that, 30% of you will think I paid too much, 30% will think I got a screaming deal and 40% will think I'm lying about the price. lol :smt003

I keep receipts, and I make notes and drawings, and I’ve created hundreds of files on the computer, all relating to my bikes.
I have to do this or else I’ll forget the information. I have a poor memory, and after a while, it’s hard to recall which RZ got which parts.
Did I put the new EBC clutch springs in the project bike, or the track bike, or did they go in the purple bike when I sold it?
If I didn’t have good documentation, I’d never be able to keep it straight. (For the record, all 3 of the above bikes got new EBC clutch springs)

A couple of days ago, I was searching through a bunch of files on the computer, looking for something ???, when I saw a file that was named “83 Project Cost”.
Curiosity got the better of me, so I opened it up. It made for some interesting reading.

I realize that a lot of people don’t like to keep track of how much they’re spending on their bike. It’s too depressing.

And I’m pretty sure that most of you don’t give a fat rat’s ass what I paid. That’s cool.
Still, I’m going to post my costs because:
A – I said I would
B – I have all the information right in front of me
C – It will give people a rough idea of how much stuff costs in Canada
D – It will let people know what they’re getting into if they decide to build a custom bike
E – Some of you may find it amusing.

Everyone else will just shake their heads and say things like:
“That guys an idiot”, “Wish I was smoking what he’s been smoking”, or “No way that bike’s worth that much”.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:23 am 
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So, here we go:

(Please Note that all prices are in Canadian Dollars)


$1500 - 1983 RZ350 with nice purple paint
$1000 - FZR400 Donor Parts
- Clip-ons and Gauges ($100)
- Toomey Pipes ($200)
- Swingarm, Rear Wheel, Rear Brakes ($300)
- Forks, Tree's, Front Wheel, Front Brakes ($400)

$300 - Works Performance Shock
$ 19 - Nitrogen recharge for the Works shock
$336 - Swingarm mods to dog-bone pivot location
$ 85 - Dog-bone pivot Bushings and seals
$110 - Rear Wheel Spacers, Bearings & Seals
$ 60 - Front Wheel Spacer, Bearings & Seals
$105 - Braided Steel Brake Lines (3)

$285 - Slinger O-Ring Head + shipping
$400 - Zeeltronic
$ 80 - Dynatek Coil
$125 - Dominator Dual Headlight
$ 40 - R1 Taillight
$320 - Custom Seat from Sargent Cycle

$ 30 - PV seals & o-rings,
$ 80 - Base, Intake & Clutch Cover gaskets
$ 40 - OEM Banshee Reeds
$ 40 - OEM Temperature Sender
$120 - DID X-Ring Chain
$130 - EBC Brake pads - Front & Rear

$100 - Powder Coat Parts - Gloss Black
$100 - Powder Coat Parts - Flat Black

$ 90 - Steering Dampner Fork-Tube Clamps
$100 - Shock Reservoir Bracket Welding
$200 - Billit Turn Signals
$200 - Headlight Brackets
$200 - Headlight Bracket Welding

$ 50 - Tail Light Bracket welding
$ 90 - Tail Light Cover welding
$100 - Turn Signal Bracket welding
$100 - Custom Passenger Grab Bars welding

$ 23 - LED Flasher Relay, EL-13L1
$ 84 - Toomey Battery Box
$ 25 - Spark Plug Wires
$ 60 - 10 mm Offset Front Sprocket
$ 16 - Front Brake lever
$ 10 - Kick Starter & Brake Pedal Rubbers
$ 85 - Aluminum Gas Cap
$165 - Aluminum Rad w/ 40 mm core
$ 50 - Modifications to Cush Drive/Sprocket Carrier
$ 50 - Modifications to Footpeg Brackets re: pipes
$ 80 - Front Calipers - Pins & Clips
$ 52 - Front Calipers - Covers & Spacers
$ 55 - Black FZR400 Front Fender & Al. Brace (spare)


Yup, I was young (OK, younger), and naïve (OK, stupid), and thought I was going to build a Low Budget Bike.
I’d just spend $20 here, $50 there, and $200 somewhere else, and build me a custom, one of a kind, fire breathing RZ350.
However, when I add up all the little items on my list, it comes to $ 7,290.00.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:23 am 
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So, I’m looking at the list, evaluating the wise choices that I made when spending my hard earned money,
when I notice that I didn’t have a cost for powder coating the wheels…or the frame.
And there’s no shock, or springs, or brakes. Oh My.
At this point I realize that this list was made in 2012. A year before I got the bike running and on the road.

So, I dug into my collection of receipts and updated my spreadsheet.

$650 - Ohlins Rear Shock (and shipping)
$100 - Racetech Fork Springs
$600 - EBC Brake Rotors (3) Front & Rear
$160 - Powder Coat FZR400 Wheels
$240 - Powder Coat the 1985 RZ Frame
$ 40 - New Wheel Bearings (Again)
$400 - Front & Rear Bridgestone BT016 Tires
$ 0 - Economy Cycle FZR400 Adjustable Fork Caps (Thank you, John. You are the man)

Well, that added another $ 2190.00 to the cost of bike and brought the total to $ 9,480.00.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:24 am 
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So, I started this project in 2009, and spent over 4 years and $9500.00 just to get the bike on the road.
Then I rode it hard for 4 summers (2013-2016) and put 13,500 km (8,400 miles) on it.
It ran great, it never gave me any problems, and the dyno said it made 60 HP.
It’s a fun bike to ride…… And that got me thinking.

If a 60 HP RZ is fun, then a 75 or 80 HP RZ should be a lot of fun.
Hell, I’m always up for a lot of fun, so I decided to build a stroker motor for the bike.
As a result, my bank account took another beating.

$300 – Donor Engine – complete, but blown up
$110 – Slinger Stroker Head
$680 - Cylinder Porting & PV mods
$550 – Hotrods +4 mm Crank
$250 – Wiseco 795 Pistons (64.5 mm)
$130 - Arrow Oil Pump
$ 75 – EBC Clutch & Springs
$400 – OEM Seals/Gaskets & Reeds (Every seal and gasket in the engine. All of them)
$670 – Slinger’s Stroker Pipes
$650 – Chrome plating for the pipes
$ 0 - Cylinder Boring (a perk for working at a bike shop)


Another $3815.00 invested in a motor and set of pipes, brings the total cost to $13,295.00.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:24 am 
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And, the bike still looked like a piece of shit, because it still had the crap purple paint on it.
I had to fix that. The problem was easily solved by spending $1200.00 on paint and decals.
I really didn’t want to spend that much, but bodywork and painting requires a lot of time, skill, and attention to detail,
which are things that I don’t have, so I had someone else paint the bike.
I’m really glad I did. The paint looks awesome. The bike’s going to look Spectacular.

And so far, according to my math, the cost of Spectacular is $14,495.00,


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:24 am 
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$14,500 CAD (which is around $11,000 or $11500 USD, depending on the exchange rate).

Kinda makes some of those EBay RZ’s look like a bargain. :smt005

On the positive side, I still have the complete 60 HP motor, carbs, and Toomey pipes that I just pulled off the bike when I installed the stroker parts.
The motor, pipes and carbs should be worth at least $1500.00, so I’m really only into the bike for about $13,000.00.

So, I’ve been working on this Project for 8.5 years and I’ve spent $13,000.00.
That comes to an average of $1529.00 per year, which is $27.45 per month, or $4.20 per day.
$ 4.20 a day! Damn, that’s a pretty inexpensive hobby. Really wish all my recreational activities were that cheap. :smt003

Just to be clear. I’m not bragging about how much money I’ve spent on the bike, and I’m not whining about how much it has cost.
I’m just stating some facts and sharing some information. This is what I bought and this is how much it cost me. That’s it.

All this spending started when I found this forum and saw all the cool, custom RZ’s on here, I got the urge to build one myself.
And maybe I went a bit overboard on a few Items. Big deal. So what. Who cares. I don’t
For me, the RZ’s are a hobby. They give me something to do and they're a good excuse to hide out in the garage, where no one yells at me.
I can do something creative, build something that I like, something that nobody else has, and when I finish turning wrenches, I can take it out and play with it.

I didn’t need to spend $200 on headlight brackets, $200 on turn signals, $600 on chrome plating, or $1000 for welding and machining a bunch of custom aluminum brackets.
I did it because I thought it looked cool and made the bike unique.

And, I really didn’t need an Ohlins shock and Racetech springs. The bike would have still been unique, even without those parts.
I put them on because I have very little self control and I knew that sooner or later, I’d twist the throttle to maximum, exceed the posted speed limits, and enjoy the rush.
So anything that helps the handling of the bike is well worth the money, IMO.

And I really, really didn’t need a stroker motor, but I know that, sooner or later, I’ll twist the throttle, exceed the posted speed limits, and enjoy the rush.
So anything that makes the bike faster is well worth the money, IMO.

I could have saved thousands and thousands of dollars if I had done things a little different, or used other parts. :smt010
And I probably could have built a bike that’s just as nice for half of what I spent. :smt012
But I didn’t, so that point is moot. :smt005



Long story short.
I wanted to build a custom, one of a kind RZ350
I spent some money, bought some parts, put in a ton of time, and built a bike.
I really like the way it turned out.
I’m happy.
Life is good.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:35 am 
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Great post Steve. Im with you mate! :)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:01 pm 
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Yup, me too.

Don't show Heather this post. She won't even notice the writing genius. She'll just see the numbers and seek out her heaviest frying pan and baking roller! Oh, and she might even yell at you!

As for Canadian RZ350 value: I'm pretty confident that $2,000.00 buys you a basket case now. A bike for under $3,000.00 Canadian, is a bargoon, in my books. I'm also pretty sure that engine builds for my basket cases are going to run me about $2,000.00 per engine. (New crank, seals, bearings, Pistons & rings, reeds, gaskets, rebores). Then you have to consider pipes and pods, wheel bearings, tires, cables etc. Oh, and decent bodywork, hand over your first born! Then the modifications, case cutting, aluminum swing arms, upgraded shocks and mods. My builds with new parts are going to be expensive. I don't like buying an old bike for more then it sold for new. The reality is, rebuilt RZs should be selling for upwards of $6,000.00 in this country. Unheard of, a couple of years ago. Look how many have made it to the states. They are willing to pay for them. Canada is drying up. The RZs are going up in price, and fast. Now, let's see if we can get cheap Canadians to anty up and pay what is needed to keep what we have, here.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:22 pm 
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So you spent $15K over 4 years. Honestly not that expensive of a hobby. Factor in a sold bike and you are only looking at a bit of $2K a year. That's basically the same price as going boarding or dirt bikes without equipment. Doesn't seem all that bad.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:48 pm 
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I stopped keeping receipts unless absolutely necessary years ago after adding up a Harley build. [smilie=eek.gif]

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:33 pm 
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Cheap hobby really compared to smoking. From 2mins of research i see that 200 ciggies costs about C$100. so 50c each. if you smoked 40 a day (2 packs) youd be spending more that $20 a day. 365x$20 = $7300 a year... about double what an RZ habit costs. The RZ habit leaves you with a valuable bike, the ciggies just a cough. Both mean you smell funny, and both will put you in hospital in the end... hmm...

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Yamaha '85 RZ350 F1 & '83 RZ & RD Athena 421 LC & XT500 Supermoto & Honda MT250... See them all on www.2smoked.com

Like Watches? You will love www.PloProf.com & www.DeskDivers.com


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