"Yamaha Riva 200 (XC200 ?)"

Conferences > International Scooterist BBS > Topic #31801

Member since Oct-16-04 > 2 posts > Oct-16-04, 11:57 PM (EDT)
"Yamaha Riva 200 (XC200 ?)"
I recently inherited a Yamaha Riva 200 (~1989 model). This baby had been stored in a barn for 2-3yrs and had limited use (and maintenance) before that. Furthermore, I don't have a key for it. Reportedly, it doesn't run - which is why it went into cold storage.

So, I'm trying to determine how hard (expensive) it will be to get a key and get it serviced. I presume that it has bad gas and a dead battery - at minumum.

I called a few local Yamaha dealers and received guesstimates around $200-300 to rebuild carb, clean gas tank, clean air filter, and install new battery. That doesn't include getting a key for it. One dealer warned that they don't even take these things in for service anymore because some parts are unavailable ; or maybe they mean they've forgotten how to work on them.

I'm soliciting suggestions & info on :

1) Is there a simple "trick" to getting a key made for it ?
2) Source for repair & owners manual (prefer online downloadable .pdf) ?
3) Good sources for parts ?
4) Things I might want to look out for (needing extra attention) in an old scooter like this ?
5) What might it be worth if made to run well and the body is straight & clean ?
6) Other good scooter forums ?


Regards - TC02
<scooterbbs |@| 1fineday |.| net)>

John M Stafford
Member since Jun-3-02 > 9072 posts > Oct-17-04, 00:42 AM (EDT)
1. "RE: Yamaha Riva 200 (XC200 ?)"
In response to message #0
1. Write down the code on the ignition. Post 1975 you can go to any Yamaha shop and get a key made for any Yamaha.
2. No manuals are available online. I own owners and service manuals for both 180s and 200s, but you could probably have and raise kids in the time it would take me to copy 'em. I bought mine from Scootermania in San Diego scootermaniaAtjunoDOTcom
3. Any Yamaha dealer can order parts. Note that the 200 was made for only two years and many parts for it are no longer made (as opposed to the 180 & 125 which have plentiful parts). Many motorcycle dealers as a policy do not work on bikes older than 10 years.
4. Be very, very careful disassembling that carb, the automatic choke is an utter bitch to reassemble properly. If you remove the tank for cleaning make sure you mark all of the lines before you remove 'em. Look for severe oxidation in the the variator chamber. You need special tools to pull the clutch.
5. In the past two years I've seen straight complete running Rivas go for as little as $127 (Santa Barbara) and as much as $1125 (San Francisco). I bought one for $300 (Connecticut). It needed new tires, a new variator belt, and a new clutch. They don't command nearly as much value as a Vespa. Which means if you want to sell it you're better off NOT repairing it as you probably won't get your repaired value back.
6. Why should we advertise other forums? Okay, click the Twist-n-Go link at the bottom of this page.

Where do you live?

John M. Stafford

unregistered user > > Oct-17-04, 01:52 AM (EDT)
2. "I recently got a 1983 riva 180."
In response to message #0
It needed a battery and I had to remove the carb. and clean. A bitch with all the vac. hoses and just getting the carb. out. Also had to replace the 3 clutch friction plates. Runs well, lots of fun. Wish it had a decent package carrier on the rear. I would'nt necessairly remove the tank.
Siphon, add 1/2 a tank of gas. Shake that sucker real well, wait awhile and siphon again. Pull approiate hoses from carb. and let gas run into some kind of recepticle. If gas comes through you may be good. I don't know anything about your 89-200 so you might have a solenoid valve which might require a battery to start the engine for the valve to open.

Member since Feb-8-04 > 115 posts > Oct-17-04, 10:38 PM (EDT)
4. "RE: I recently got a 1983 riva 180. Me too"
In response to message #2
yes i was just given a 18o, I cleaned and rebuilt the carb last year for the guy, it recently started having variator clutch problems so he gave it to me. so if you have any info on were to get clutch parts please let me know.
Thanks Dean

Member since Jun-8-02 > 312 posts > Oct-20-04, 01:32 PM (EDT)
10. "RE: I recently got a 1983 riva 180. Me three"
In response to message #4
Interesting, seems to be a popular bike at the moment. How ironic.

I got a silver '84 model out in Palm Springs for just over $500. Runs strong, hits 70 on the freeway according to my roommate driving behind me--the speedo's broken. Nothing seriously wrong with it, doesn't even need much TLC. And if I'm not already soaked to the bone during my commute from Burbank to Santa Monica, the combo fender/legshield does an exceptional job of diverting puddle splashes. Ugly as hell, but seems to be a pretty darn good bike.

I found an excellent site for Riva 180 info:
The guy who runs it really knows his shit. He's got some spare parts, and knows where to get most of the ones he doesn't have.

John M Stafford
Member since Jun-3-02 > 9072 posts > Oct-20-04, 02:06 PM (EDT)
11. "Copycats"
In response to message #10
I was Riva when Riva wasn't cool.

John M. Stafford

Member since Jun-7-02 > 1565 posts > Oct-17-04, 10:00 PM (EDT)
3. "FREE! Riva 180 come n get it"
In response to message #0
That's right kids...I was given a 1985 a while back...It is missing mostof the plastics, but it starts and runs...sounds/feels like it needs a new clutch and/or variator work....but who cares, it's FREE!!!! Has 2 brand new tires too! Located on Central Coast of California
Call me or email


bacon g
unregistered user > > Oct-18-04, 00:11 AM (EDT)
5. "RE: FREE! Riva 180 come n get it"
In response to message #3
I'd like to see if I couldn't get my hands on that.

Send me your email address to

koshercowboy at yahoo dot com

unregistered user > > Oct-18-04, 08:50 AM (EDT)
6. "RE: FREE! Riva 180 come n get it"
In response to message #5
The carb on the riva 200 has half the mess of vacuum lines than the 180 does, its a simple carb rebuild, again those 180s are a MESS! As far as manuals online go, join the Rivariders yahoo group at
They will answer any and all questions you have about the bike,.

Now, as far as aparts go for the 200, the 200 is identical to the 180 but have a few (obvious) changes such as a
1. Double fork and 4.00-10 tires vs the 180 having a single sided fork and 3.50-10 tires,

2.Clutch setup, the 180 uses a motorcycle basket/disk style clutch while the 200&125 use the same scooter style shoe clutch.

3. obvious increase in displacement and exhuast differences, (althought i think the exhaust if the biggest limiting factor as far as power goes, im building a custom headpipe with tunable supertrapp)

As far as maintenence goes,

1.always make sure you have the proper air filter element int he bike! this is one of the most important things for these bikes to run right.

2.again clean the carb!!!,change ALL vacuum lines and also check and clean the vacuum petcock!

3.the variator, now there are no "special tools" needed to get to or open the variator, just a 2x4" with a big hole in the middle and 2 smaller ones on the outsides. (picture in the rivariders group) simple..

Check and replace the variator weights for gummed up grease and worn-flatspotted roller wieghts, also check the plastic sliders. If worn replace them!, if you feel the scooter is a big slow pig that wont get out of its own way or takes forever to accelerate (but seems to run good) then THIS IS YOUR PROBLEM!

Now, the roller weights go for like $18 Each! (you need 8) and the sliders for about $12 each (you need 4) from yamaha, YAOCH!! f-that man! right.

Well good news, because theres a guy by the name of Ernie (hes an awsome guy and his parts kick major ass) on the rivariders yahoo group who makes replacment rollers and sliders for the 125,180&200!,

Ernie sells a complete kit for around $75! now thats way better then over $200 for the yamaha parts, and his weights he can make a bit lighter too, becuase these bikes are set up with very heavy weights from the factory.

Sure there are some parts discontinued for the riva 200, but same goes the the 180 as well, However if you compare alot of part numbers both the 125 & 200 (and 180) share ALOT of part numbers, like for instance, the roller weights for the 125&200 are the same, but the 125 uses 6 and the 200 uses 8. there are many examples of this if you check the parts books,..

Dont listen to alot of trash talk about these Rivas, they really ARE great bikes, and look a hell of alot better then a honda elite!

I like to call them a "psuedo japanese take on the lambretta" yuo can see alot of similarities, the horizontal motor lay-out, the long rear end, the fixed front fender, etc etc..

These Bikes have proven to be quite fast too, I have gotten mine to bury the needle (speed reads to 85mph) going down route 84 in matamoras pa trying to catch up to my brother on his zx-11. on the way to try to get the the demons rally. he says i was doing about 90 and then made me slow down becuase of the bald rear tire.

unregistered user > > Oct-19-04, 03:04 AM (EDT)
7. "Deathshead, When I replaced the friction plates"
In response to message #6
on my 180 I noticed the rear sheave had 15 rollers, fairly small. Looked good so I just cleaned them and replaced. I did'nt check the primary weights as I assumed they were good. We all know what happens when we ASSUME. It seems to run well. I hav'nt taken it to a place where I can really open it up but I'm carting it down to my place in Florida.
Thanks for the help. Bob

unregistered user > > Oct-19-04, 08:44 AM (EDT)
8. "RE: Deathshead, When I replaced the friction plates"
In response to message #7
Hah!, ya "Dont ASSUME, it makes a ASS out of U and ME"

ya those rollers get nasty over time, and make the scooter really doggy.

unregistered user > > Oct-20-04, 02:55 AM (EDT)
9. "So sex Felix Unger. NT"
In response to message #8

unregistered user > > Nov-01-04, 00:21 AM (EDT)
16. "RE: Deathshead, When I replaced the friction plates"
In response to message #7
my 180 will not go over 35 ! At 35 in full throttle she surges slightly, as if trying to go faster, the engine changes pitch slightly. She starts fine, idles fine, and tools around and accelerates fine under 35 though. Could all this be a symptom of the friction plates too? She's only got 3,700 miles, and she is super clean. Some hoses don't have those 'trick' clamps, could it be vacuum? When I bought it 300 miles ago, it would do 60! Now, NO! Any help out there? Also, in the photos in this here forum, what size hardcase (liters), and brand is diplayed there in that photo. Is there a good sourse for those accessories, and would ' Givi' make something with a third brake light on it for our 'XC's? Mounting issues, rack compatibility?



Member since Oct-16-04 > 2 posts > Oct-20-04, 10:55 PM (EDT)
12. "RE: Yamaha Riva 200 (XC200 ?)"
In response to message #0
Thanks people. You are indeed a knowledgeable group. I will try to get my XC200 repaired. You've convinced me that it should be a good item when running.

unregistered user > > Oct-21-04, 07:10 PM (EDT)
13. "accessory question..."
In response to message #0
Anybody know what the compatibility for a lap apron on this scoot might be? Obviously none of the apron manufacturers make them specifically for the big Riva. But I don't know which other models listed that would probably fit right. And what about windscreens? I've seen pics of them. Anything around today that would fit?

John M Stafford
Member since Jun-3-02 > 9072 posts > Oct-21-04, 07:25 PM (EDT)
14. "RE: accessory question..."
In response to message #13
A lap apron in L.A.? Is there an ice age going on that I don't know about?

In my experience windscreen cause more handling issue than they afford protection. And since the Riva was not sold in Europe and has really odd mounting points finding a windscreen will be next to impossible. *I've* never seen a big windscreen on a Riva.

John M. Stafford

Member since Jun-8-02 > 312 posts > Oct-22-04, 12:17 PM (EDT)
15. "RE: accessory question..."
In response to message #14
Not necessarily an ice age, but I don't particularly like freezing my ass off when it's cold enough to see my breath and I'm adding up to 50mph worth of wind-chill to that. I'm one of those crazy people who commutes on my scooter even when it's chilly.

I'm not talking about a large windscreen, just a medium-sized one. With a strong enough engine, it doesn't make a huge difference unless you're going for top speed all the time. And it DOES help a LOT in keeping warm. Maybe somebody makes custom shields...?

Member since Dec-23-03 > 150 posts > Nov-01-04, 10:33 AM (EDT)
17. "RE: Yamaha Riva 200 (XC200 ?)"
In response to message #0
Get a real scooter

Drive On.

Michael H. Collins Admiral,
Penguinista Navy


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