YAMAHA YSR50 GAG BIKE
Paul Berryman’s bought a joke. He’s serious!
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.