My first real bike. I bought this bike in July 1974 with money earned from a summer job in a local factory. The little Yamaha was a cracker. 200cc twin cylinder two stroke, twin leading shoe front brake, 85 mph - it was a light year ahead of the Bantam in speed & sophistication. It even had an electric starter. No separate motor, it used its dynamo to spin the engine.
I bought the bike from a guy in Bishopbriggs and had to ride across the city to get home. Only problem was I couldn't really ride! I kept stalling as I tried to move off. My father told me to start the engine, pull in the clutch, select 2nd gear then he and the owner pushed me down the street. I was told to drop the clutch and I was off. And that, folks, is how I learned to ride a motorcycle.
My first trip on the Yamaha was in September '74 when I went to Oban for the weekend staying at the Youth Hostel. I didn't have any bike gear so wore a plastic raincoat over a combat jacket. When I got up to speed the coat's buttons popped open leaving me with a flapping cape like Batman.
I did one long journey on the Yamaha with my brother on his Honda 175 from our home near Glasgow to London in the summer of '75. By that time I had passed my test but he had not and that meant the trip (about 800 miles) was done without using motorways.
|Me as surly youth with the Yam. Note learner "L" plates on fork leg and home made plywood top box.|
|What a lovely paint scheme - could this bike be any more 70's?|