What to look for

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Buying -

1 En­gine

Lots of blue oil smoke means worn plated bar­rel lin­ers so a re­bore is not an op­tion. High(ish) oil con­sump­tion is ‘nor­mal’ for th­ese Yams though.

2 Tank

Th­ese tanks can rust like crazy. Worse, if left for long they can do a seam, par­tic­u­larly bot­tom-left.

3 Brakes

Yamaha calipers of this era have a rep for in­ter­nal cor­ro­sion. Sticky pis­tons mean new seals. Blue spots are an op­tion.

4 Ex­haust

End can has a fetch­ing brushed ally sleeve over steel, the rest is poorly fin­ished mild steel and hence prone to rust.

5 Forks

Preload-only on first year bikes, fully ad­justable the sec­ond. Seals pop on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. Drop 5mm for quicker steer­ing.

6 Frame

Pressed steel and stiff, but fin­ish is thin, so look for cor­ro­sion from leak­ing bat­tery acid, or any crash-dam­age creases.

7 Carbs

Rough run­ning from the nor­mally smooth mill can be down to poor bal­ance plus the pri­mary cir­cuit is prone to gum­ming up.

8 Shock

Any orig­i­nal will be past it. A good af­ter­mar­ket unit helps re­alise the han­dling po­ten­tial. Link­age needs reg­u­lar greas­ing.

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