A relative latecomer to the motorcycle market, Yamaha’s first motorcycle – the YA-1 – was launched in 1955 and the company quickly established itself through competition success, both at home and abroad. Introduced in 1983, the liquid-cooled RZ350 was an evolution of the popular and long-running RD350 series, powered by a two-stroke twin using reed valve technology. With a bore and stroke of 64mm by 54mm, the RZ350’s engine developed 52 horsepower at 8,750rpm and used the same variable-height exhaust port technology (dubbed the Yamaha Power Valve System) found on Yamaha’s 500 GP bikes. The RZ also benefited from a close-ratio six-speed gearbox, while the full-cradle perimeter steel frame had an alloy swingarm, rising-rate linkage ‘Monocross’ suspension, 18-inch mag wheels and triple disc brakes. Earning a reputation as a fast, sweet handling race replica thanks to the short wheelbase, the original RZ350 was also a fabulous looking motorcycle that earned a “perfect 10” from Cycle World in their July 1984 road test. Sold alongside the big RZ500 V-4s, the lightweight RZ350 is regarded as the last street legal two-stroke bike sold in the US and has earned classic status with collectors around the globe today.