Best of the breed
Why it’s time to buy a Yamaha YZF750
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