Best of the breed

Why it’s time to buy a Yamaha YZF750

Motorcycle News (UK) - - BUYING & SELLING -

Think Ja­panese sports 750 and most come up with Suzuki’s GSX-R750, the ‘Scott Rus­sell’ Kawasaki ZXR750 or maybe exotic Honda V4s like the RC30 and 45.

The one you should be think­ing of though – and in­creas­ing num­bers fi­nally are – is the YZF.

In short, Yamaha’s three-quar­ter-litre su­per­bike had it all. First, it was trouser-stir­ringly good-look­ing, es­pe­cially in its orig­i­nal and dis­tinc­tive 90s white and pink and sec­ond, it had an added air of ex­ot­ica.

Due to pre­vail­ing WSB rules it was also nec­es­sary for Yamaha to pro­duce a lim­ited edition ho­molo­ga­tion spe­cial SP ver­sion – com­plete with sin­gle seat, fully ad­justable sus­pen­sion, flat slide carbs, closer­a­tio gear­box and more.

The YZF was also hugely suc­cess­ful on track – at least in the UK. Although in WSB none of the Ja­panese 750s were re­ally a match for the big Du­cati twins, the YZF won the Bri­tish equiv­a­lent four times be­tween 1993 and 1998, first with James Whitham then, later, a hat-trick for Niall Macken­zie.

Best of all though was how it went: the alu­minium twin-spar frame and six-pot brakes de­liv­ered sharp yet neu­tral han­dling and brak­ing; the 749cc in­line four en­gine made it a free-revving flier.

Sadly by 2005 or so, all of that had been for­got­ten – mak­ing it a bar­gain. Cruddy ver­sions (it was prone to rot) are avail­able for £1500, but now the penny’s dropped and prices are on the rise. A de­cent one will cost around £3.

Road tester Kev Smith struts his stuff on the YZF750

Alu­minium beam frame for top hand­il­ing

Was some­one at Yamaha a Phil Collins fan?

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