yamaha ya-1 (1955)
this was yamaha's first motorcycle. at a time when motorcycle design was dominated by imposing all-black styling, the ya-1 with its simple form and modern chestnut red coloring, quickly became popularly known by the nickname aka-tombo (the red dragonfly). what's more, it immediately demonstrated its high performance by winning the 3rd mt. fuji ascent race in july of 1955, and then swept the top places in the ultra-light class of the 1st asama highlands race of the all japan endurance championships. in an era when the national average starting salary of a male college graduate was 10,780 yen, this model, priced at 138,000 yen, was a coveted extravagance beyond the reach of most users.
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