When the XV750 first arrived on UK shores many must have been left asking why? Never before had the Japanese manufacturers turned out such a focussed custom styled machine, it must have been quite a gamble for Yamaha to take.
Tag Archives: Yamaha Classic Bikes
One of the UK biking scene’s best-kept secrets is the monthly bike night held at the New inn, Shardlow in Derbyshire. Held on the first Thursday in every month throughout the spring, summer and well into autumn, this meet regularly sees the gathering of the East Midlands LC and RD brigade and with them a fine collection of both standard and modified machines.
It is quite something when you can radically improve both the performance and handling of a seventies machine. What is even more special is if, while carrying out those extensive modifications, you can still retain most, if not all of the original spirit and feel at the same time. This is exactly what Dave Newitt of the Thumper Club has achieved with his superb XT500 Supermoto machine.
They don’t come much closer to the real racer deal than the Japanese only TZR250R. Ian King has one, and treats it to track session on a regular basis, as well as taking out on the road to the many bike nights in and around his native Lincolnshire.
A true icon of the 70’s the fizzie became the must have for any 16 year old of the period, and now the root of many a mid life crisis and middle age desires too. 48-year-old Tony Collins is a talented paint sprayer, who describes himself as being stuck in a seventies time warp “I love old sports mopeds” he laughs. “I have been restoring and painting cars since I was 17, this all started when a mate of mine wanted stars and stripes on his crash helmet, I do own a Suzuki GT750 as well as the fizzys, but my true love is my Fantic choppers i have four of these to date.
Those of you who regularly attend the many shows up and down the UK will have no doubt have caught sight of this fine looking machine at some point in time. Owned and lovingly built by Andy Holmes, more commonly known throughout the RD world as “Trig”, this distinctive looking Yamaha is the result of around three years tinkering to achieve his desires.
In the mid 80s, biking hadn’t quite decided what worked best and the end result was a host of gimmicks, acronyms, initialisms and other such foibles. This Dresda Yamaha plays host to one of the worst ideas to date, the turbo.
Most things in racing are born out of necessity and none more so than this particular motorcycle. Way back in the late 70’s racing was hot and competitive. Young lads were hurling stock RD’s around the UK race tracks with gay abandon (trust me it did not mean the same then) and there was very little preventing the top club and national racers from entering the GP circus within a couple of seasons.
Dave Newitt, from Hinckley in Leicestershire, has a history of restoring old XT Yamaha’s but has recently turned his hand to a string of smaller capacity strokers. His latest being a relatively rare 1979 RD400, and the last of the air-cooled breed before the world went totally LC crazy.
Mark Lindley had just turned 40, when he decided to live the dream and get away from the “rat race”. He and the family moved, lock, stock and barrel, down to the Norfolk coast and life now centres around the garage / beach / 2 stroke fumes but his biking habits of old would have to change to meet the surroundings. “I had my first TDR in 1992, what great memories” Mark recalls, “Various other bikes came & went in between but now I felt drawn back to the dark side.