History of Yamaha RX-Z 135

RX-Z 100S

RX-Z started its production in 1980’s. At that time there are two version of RX-Z, namely RX-Z 100 and RX-Z 135. RX-Z 100 was specifically designed to fit the market in Mexico only, therefore we didn’t have it here in Malaysia. RX-S 100 and RX-S 115 was the common bike that we see before the introduction of the legendary RX-Z 135.

RX-Z 135 was introduced at that time with 5-speed transmission, box speedometer and straight exhaust pipe without the resonance chamber. Even though the design is created almost 27 years back, but it still relevant in today’s motorcycle environment. The design is still fresh and amazing. Given the power of 135 cc with 2-stroke class engine makes it a very intimidating bike. In year 1985, people who buys the RX-Z 135 is said to have a fun lifestyles, macho and having daring personality. RX-Z 135 design also is very futuristic compared to the bike such as Honda Raider, Suzuki Katana, X7 and Kawasaki GTO. RX-Z 135 is known for their awesome power can be harnessed easily just by a little modification. The most popular and cheapest modification with great performance boost is done by changing the exhaust pipe to a racing exhaust pipe. A good racing pipe can add up to 3 ps. This can be achieved if the exhaust pipe have a good resonance chamber that can works likes a mini turbo without the turbine. But, even in standard condition, the bike can go up to 150 km/h and that is higher than the highway speed limit here in Malaysia (110 km/h). Most of the RX-Z 135 owner here have modified their bike to go up to 200++ km/h and they used it for daily commute and mind you, it is not for racing. Speed is one of the reason why RX-Z 135 is very popular because we need it to overtake big lorries and heavy trucks during the commute using highway or specifically in PLUS highway here in Malaysia.

In 1990, Yamaha makes a little upgrade to the bike by adding one more gear to the transmission that makes the bike 6-speeder. The design of the exhaust pipe has been updated by equipping it with a new design that have resonance chamber and muffler. This design have increased the power of the bike to 21 ps. Still at this period of time, there are no bike manufactured by other company that beat RX-Z. In fact, there IS no bike by other manufacturer that has been build to be in the same category as RX-Z 135. Most manufacturer like to focus their bike to 150 cc segment. This is true when we look at Suzuki Gamma 150 cc, Honda NSR 150RR and Kawasaki KIPS 150, but here Yamaha also its own weapon that is TZM 150.

2000 has been the year RX-Z get a new cloth. RX-Z has been refreshed with new head and tail design. The new head gets a new smaller headlight. The turn signal has been integrated to the cowling, thus making the bike looks cleaner and more meaner. Tail light has been borrowed from 125Z, but it is okay since the tail light is also nice and clean. But. I prefer for Yamaha to make an original tail light design specifically for RX-Z 135. Clutch has also been upgraded by Yamaha making it is easier to switch gears and better handling for low speed travelling.

Even with lots of reason to be popular, RX-Z is not a bike without flaw. The greatest flaw that I can think of is, the position of the carburetor and the way it is assembled. Since the carburetor is only hold up by 2 connecting rubber, it is very easy to take the carburetor off. And this give way to thief to take it easily. Even if the thief won’t take the carburetor off, they can still steal the petrol from the RX-Z tank since the fuel line is exposed at the left side of the carburetor. I have heard a lot of complain about this from my friends and also from other RX-Z owners.

2008 is a year we all wait for Yamaha to unveil new RX-Z 135 design or at least stripe change.

Here’s the year and code name model change that RX-Z 135 have gone through:

1st model:
1985/87 – 2UX

2nd model:
1989 – 3UK1

3rd model:
1993 – 3UK3

4th model:
1995 – 3RSA

5th model:
1996/97 – 3RSB

6th model:
2000 – 3XL3

7th model:
2002 – 5PV1

8th model:
2005 – 5PV2

9th model:
2008- ??? (not yet introduced)
What is expected in 2008/09 RX-Z model:
Rear mono-shock suspension
Rear disc brake
Inverted front telescopic fork
Double piston front brake caliper
New stripe and design
New & original sports rim equipped

but, you should know that Malaysia already have stopped the introduction of new 2-stroke bike starting the year 2006. So, there are no more new RX-Z model. We will only stick to 5PV2 for the rest of the time.

Long Live RX-Z!

Co-founder of Bikes Republic and a motoring journalist by night. He is a self described enthusiasts with a passion for speed but instead rides a Harley and a J300. A man of contradictions, he is just as passionate about time off in the quiets as he is about trail braking into turn one at Sepang Circuit on two or four wheels.

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