Out & About

Here, there & ev­ery­where

Old Bike Australasia - - CONTENTS -

Geoffrey El­lis writes, “When my story of the YDS1 Yamaha Lib­erty Ranch Model was in­cluded in OBA 26 it was at the time be­lieved that all sales records had been de­stroyed and num­bers built were there­fore un­known. The Ranch Model was Yamaha’s first off-road mo­tor­cy­cle, pro­duced specif­i­cally for Frank Johns and the Lib­erty Mo­tor Com­pany in Ade­laide who had world-wide rights to it. Re­cently the Lib­erty Mo­tors sales books sur­faced and it can be now said that 67 Ranch mod­els were man­u­fac­tured in to­tal. Whilst Ranch Mod­els are of­ten claimed to be from 1959, the first of the two eval­u­a­tion bikes (#6220) was sold to Anna Creek Sta­tion in South Aus­tralia on 7/12/1960 and the se­cond (#6222) on 19/12/1960. The rest were sold by Frank’s dis­tributers Dal­gety and Com­pany Ltd (Pas­toral) or Non­ning Nom­i­nees (Pas­toral) dur­ing 1961 and early 1962 with Lib­erty be­com­ing im­porters for the Ranch model only. Ranch mod­els were built off-line and were not al­ways built in num­ber se­quence. They were dis­trib­uted as fol­lows: 10 in May 1961 with num­bers start­ing and fin­ish­ing 7475 – 7484, then 42 in Septem­ber 1961 with num­bers 8545 – 8663, then 12 in March 1962 with num­bers 8702 – 9131. The last one (9180) is odd be­cause it was sold 12 months later on 26/3/63 for half price and was not the brown/white colour scheme but non stan­dard green/white. Whilst it was known that Ranch Mod­els were sold in NSW, Qld and SA/NT their sales went as far as Carnar­von in WA.

A cor­rec­tion to an­other of my ar­ti­cles, the Yamaha YDS1 Club­man Racer in OBA 58, (Yamaha’s first pro­duc­tion racer) is that in ad­di­tion to the 10 Club­man Rac­ers sold by Milledge Bros, Lib­erty Mo­tors sold two with num­bers be­ing 6401 and 6402 on 29/1/61 and 17/7/61. With Aus­tralia to­talling 12, it was Yamaha’s largest mar­ket for the Club­man Racer. The Yamaha 50cc step thru MF1 (Mi­nor) in OBA30 was also a good seller with 62 be­ing sold be­fore the 55cc MJ2 ar­rived and the pressed steel framed 250 YD2 (Tourer), of which I owned one in the mid 1960s, sold 24. Frank also sold one of the early Yamaha TD1 250cc pro­duc­tion rac­ers (045) on 20/7/63. Of per­sonal note to my­self, the 250cc YDS2 that I own and in un­mo­lested con­di­tion, was the first YDS2 sold in South Aust. on 19/12/62.

The Lib­erty Ranch 250 on show in Ade­laide.

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