YAMAHA YSR50 GAG BIKE

Paul Ber­ry­man’s bought a joke. He’s se­ri­ous!

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - CONTENTS -

not con­tent with a dr600 with top-end is­sues, pb has bought this. Form an or­derly queue to do gag jokes…

Au­to­jum­bles. harumph! I now re­mem­ber why I don’t usu­ally take more than £50 to au­to­jum­bles. Within 10 min­utes of rocking up at an icy, but blue-skied, Kempton Park I’d bought a bike. at first sight of the patina heavy (knack­ered) ysr50 gag bike, I felt to­day’s fat­ter-than-usual wedge of ‘just in case’ cash start­ing to ig­nite the pocket lining in my jeans. In spite of the firm pledge I’d made to my­self I wouldn’t go home with an ex­tra bike, this deal was get­ting done. I’m so weak. Con­ve­niently I was with my good mate, the free-roam­ing, moto-mav­er­ick and for­mer Cmm scrib­bler Scott red­mond. Scot­tie, a breaker for years, is an ex­pe­ri­enced and shame­less hag­gler. The £495 ask­ing price was cut in two for the open­ing of­fer, and although the seller made a fu­tile at­tempt to re­sist the grav­i­ta­tional pull on his un­der­wear, a deal was quickly done at just £325. I didn’t have to say a word, if I had, I’d have paid more. Thanks Scot­tie!... I think? So, here we are. an­other bike. Bought with­out a plan – BUT! I’ve al­ways longed for one of th­ese lit­tle bun­dles of fun, so… I hit Google hard for in­for­ma­tion about the lit­tle bike, and re­alised there is a world of joy­ful up­grades for not-so-much money wait­ing. yamaha made both 50 and 80cc mod­els so the 60% big­ger en­gine that was shared with the DT80 was al­ready wink­ing se­duc­tively at me. Hav­ing a half-sized bike in your com­pany for even a few mo­ments does weird things to a grown man. I found my­self mak­ing coo­ing noises at it and clap­ping in front of my face, like you would when choos­ing a puppy from a re­hom­ing cen­tre, or be­ing nice to a line-manager’s new-born child dur­ing pay rise week. The fact is, a bike this small is just so damn cute!

Cute­ness aside, I still wasn’t sure about keep­ing it, so I thought a lit­tle me­chan­i­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tion would be use­ful to help de­cide. Not fall­ing head over heels in love with it also went pretty badly when I got it into the work­shop. Putting it on the bench watch­ing it come apart in about 37 min­utes flat was de­light­ful. This tiny lit­tle thing, with barely a hand­ful of com­po­nents, is a dream to work on! Once stripped down it is beau­ti­ful – it’s a per­fectly formed minia­ture lit­tle race bike, but half size. Did I al­ready men­tion it’s cute? Good, and it won’t be the last time. And I mean, re­ally cute. Although the bike is 99% com­plete, there are a lot of poor con­di­tion parts. Head­ing for the bin al­ready is the rear body­work, the fork stan­chions (although they maybe re-chromable) the clutch ca­ble, the throt­tle tube, the rearsets, screen, and 90% of the electrics. The loom was a mess – there were al­most as many fail­ing re­pairs as there were inches of in­tact wire. It looked like it was made from the left­overs of a tele­phone ex­change chain­saw massacre. Com­pletely miss­ing is the head­light lens, bat­tery (6V – see, cute again) and rev counter. On the ‘needs re­pair’ list is al­most ev­ery­thing else – there’s a lot of blast­ing to do and then a lot of paint. The tank is putting up a fight, firmly re­fus­ing to yield its lock­ing cap to me with­out the key, and then there’s a semi-mon­strous dent to deal with on one side of it. Hmmm. On the good list, there is much less stuff – the af­ter­mar­ket fair­ing fit­ted to it is ac­tu­ally way bet­ter than I had first thought. It’s had a small re­pair near the han­dle­bar shroud, but it is in­tact and has a good sur­face... well, it will have once the glue-traced le­gacy of a mil­lion old stick­ers has been re­moved. Although the mess of electrics and lack of keys mean the en­gine hasn’t been heard run­ning yet, com­pres­sion seems good and there’s noth­ing ex­ter­nally to sug­gest it won’t run. Once the fair­ing was off, I no­ticed rub­ber dampers be­tween the fins. Th­ese wouldn’t nor­mally elicit a raise in a grown man’s heart rate, but my in­tense Googling of the last few hours had re­vealed some­thing in­ter­est­ing; the vis­ual dif­fer­ence be­tween the 50 and 80 en­gine is limited al­most solely to the ad­di­tion of th­ese rub­ber fin dampers. Mmmm… I took a look at the bar­rel and when the LED torch shone brightly onto the ‘79cc’ cast onto the bar­rel I did raise a smile. Ha! It’s an 80! Up­grade #one al­ready in the bag. Back to the web for some mean­ing­ful up­grade shop­ping re­veals that most tun­ing parts and af­ter­mar­ket good­ies for the lit­tle YSR come from the USA and Ja­pan. From fork-braces to rearsets and loads of ex­pan­sion cham­bers, even up­side down fork up­grades from a YZ85 – the choice is ex­ten­sive. Sadly, of course, both coun­tries are a hefty courier bill and a whack of im­port duty away – any pur­chases will need to be planned and con­sol­i­dated. Bum­mer. Still, the stuff it­self is pretty cheap new, plus sec­ond-hand op­tions seem plen­ti­ful enough that bar­gains will sur­face. First up, I’ve got my eye on a nice twin head­light fair­ing from the af­ter­mar­ket body­work gu­rus at Airtech-stream­lin­ing in Cal­i­for­nia. This will, I think, turn the lit­tle YSR into a mini FZR replica. My OW-01 may be head­ing for a very dra­matic cos­metic re­fresh this year, and the plan is now clear­ing. The YSR could fol­low the OW-01 through the makeover process to be­come an OW mini-me! Af­ter a year-and-a-bit slav­ing over the Spa Kat, I needed some fun in the work­shop – this lit­tle YSR may not have been planned, but it’s al­ready win­ning me over with its pint-sized charm. It’s cheap and it’s ex­cit­ing – two of my very favourite things. Is it too early to say this one will be a keeper? It’s so damn cute, I re­ally wouldn’t bet against it.

This gag brought PB to his knees be­fore he even started it! Pur­ple alu­minium socket heads on en­gine parts – the first sen­tinels of a pre­vi­ous owner’s abu­sive regime.

It looks even bet­ter with its clothes off. GT85 can shown for scale. A call to Andy at elec­tro34.co.uk is look­ing very likely… Bought as a 50, It’s ac­tu­ally an 80! Happy days... Re­place or rechrome? Forks need help.

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